March 8, 2014
TL;DR : “Go see what Cara said.”
For the most part the Spring 2014 Anime season seems to be samey-sameness, with one important exception.
Ping Pong: the animation
This one looks really interesting! Masaki Yuasa is back in the Noitamina slot. All the visuals so far really stand out. Should be a good watch.
Atelier Escha & Logy ~Alchemists of the Dusk Sky~
I have written before about the Atelier franchise. I liked the emphasis on Alchemy, there were some interesting mechanics in the title I played, and it had some good art and music. Given that, I will be checking this anime adaptation out, but with some trepidation. They seemed to have played up the bishoujo elements, instead of some of the more interesting aspects. One of the most interesting aspects of this title is the very weird pun: the Japanese pronounce & (“and”) as toe (long O), so the characters names with an ampersand in it is pronounced as the word Eschatology, which is a sub discipline of Theology concerned with the End Days (with questions like What is Heaven? What is Hell? What happens after death? How will the world end?)
Kindaichi Case Files Returns
I have previously written about an earlier anime adaption of Young Kindaichi’s Case Files. The should be an actual mystery genre title. The mysteries in the previous series that I watched (I also saw a series of anime movies about Kindaichi) were fairly detailed and developed as actual mysteries (as opposed to masquerading as mysteries, but really being an action show, or something else). The author of the manga also did another mystery genre series that I enjoyed: Detective Academy Q. The problem with the author, as I see it, is that the characterization is very weak. I wrote about this before, too. Basically my view is that this could be a well-plotted Mystery series, but the characters are likely to be little more than one-dimensional.
I may seem dismissive in blowing off 9/10ths of the anime coming out this upcoming season, but three new shows to watch is actually not that bad. I still have some catching up to do from previous seasons, and #ESO Elder Scrolls Online will be launching April 4, 2014, so I’ll need to reserve time for that.
Enjoy the Spring, everybody!
January 5, 2014
The first episode of Space Dandy turned out to be mostly silliness. As I said in my season preview, this show just doesn’t look like it is going to have the heft that you might expect from Shinichiro Watanabe (Cowboy Bebop).
“X Jigen e Youkoso” by Etsuko Yakushimaru
Meanwhile the Ending theme, sung by Etsuko Yakushimaru was actually quite pleasant, although not as attention-grabbing as her work on, say Mawaru PenguinDrum.
January 3, 2014
January means it is time for another preview post, although I am not genuinely excited about the anime series this season is offering. (Maybe I am overly obsessed with the thought of Elder Scrolls Online coming out on 4/4/14; by contrast nothing in the new season seems as epic and engrossing).
Take, for example, Hamatora. On paper it sounds pretty good: people with psychic powers investigating a serial murder who is hunting their kind. The preview, however, just didn’t work for me. It looks more like a bishounen show than an action or a mystery.
Every time I start watching a preview for this show, I think, “hey, this looks pretty good!” The action looks exciting. There are older characters. The idea of “Wizard Barristers” is intriguing. Then, about half-way through the protagonist gets introduced and I think, “No. No. No. There is no way I am going to be able to put up with this series series.” I’ll probably check it out anyways. Then hate myself for it.
Inari Kon Kon Koi Iroha
This is the RomCom that looks the most interesting of the season. A girl falls for some guy and gets the power to shapehift by saving a fox. I like shows about supernatural beings at temples. Unfortunately the artwork seems a bit lackluster. Still worth a shot.
Houzuki no Reitetsu
Speaking of supernatural beings, the most promising comedy seems to be about the everyday life of a demon.
Normally I would be immensely excited for a show by Shinichiro Watanabe. I certainly will be checking it out, but the trailer (and premise) has me thinking it is going to be too campy to hold my interest.
Why you so dissatisfied, dog?
I think it is a fair question for someone to ask me why, with all the shows I just mentioned, I’m just not feeling it this season. I just don’t feel like there is anything substantial this season. I read about some old favorites over on Metanorn last month, as people were writing up their Secret Santa posts, and it just left me thinking, when was the last time we had something really substantial, like Serei no Moribito? My top three favorite series are Haibane Renmei, Twelve Kingdoms, and the Crest/Banner of the Stars series. I don’t expect every show to be that great, but series like Dennou Coil have deep world-building, unique characters, mystery, action, comedy, and innovative art styles. I just don’t see anything from this season reaching that level (although I would be happy to be proven wrong).
Enjoy 2014 (and get ready ‘cuz Elder Scrolls Online is coming)