January 23, 2013
This post is based on watching the first three episodes of Amnesia. The show has a very strong design sense; it is also clearly based on an otome game. Although (as with any otome-sourced anime) the show is largely an excuse to get a girl into a situation where she needs to interact with a bunch of guys, Amnesia actually manages to establish itself as a Mystery. Our nameless heroine doesn’t know how she relates to those around her, and her attachment to reality is demonstrated to be thin, right from the start. Instead of just presenting the story as the mystery of who she is and/or what happened to cause her to lose her memories, inexplicable, even supernatural, elements are added in ways that make little sense (but maybe in a good way?).
January 11, 2013
The first episode of Chihayafuru season 2 was pretty good. there were some allusions to events and characters from the first season, but the show didn’t get bogged down in rehashing old material. New challenges surfaced without completely forgetting the promising direction things were going at the end of the first season. Obviously, as a first episode, the show is mostly setting expectations and introducing characters. It was great to see that the show will still look great, and have the mix of comedy and romance and competitive sports that were so successful in the first season. I also am very happy that Kousuke Hamada is credited with the music for this season, because the soundtrack to season 1 was really phenomenal.
As to the content of the episode itself, much of it was about the crisis revealed at the end of season 1. The Karuta club needs to increase membership, so they attempt to recruit freshmen. One of their new underclassmen is quite a handful, and we get to see the Karuta club from her perspective.
Bring on episode 2!
October 20, 2012
I was thinking I could get away with just two “first impression” posts this season, but it turns out this season has enough going on that the omnibus format is still quite useful. This week I include Zetsuen no Tempest for the first time. I also have juggled my pseudo-ranking scheme a little bit; shows that were previously marked “dropped” are still off the list, but some shows have failed to impress me during the first 2-3 episodes. I’m breaking this list up, then, into shows that have shown themselves to be Solid, those that I am still Following, and those that are on Probation.
October 13, 2012
The second week of the new season has brought us some new premieres, some solid second episodes, and some other stuff. Let’s get to it!
In a future where fabulousness is outlawed, who will fight for our right to entertainment? AKB0048, that’s who. AKB0048 are the spiritual successors to J-Pop sensation AKB48. AKB0048 is also the name of the last series to air of the Spring 2012 anime season. This is a Science Fiction series in which idol band AKB0048 fights against government prohibitions forbidding entertainment. Our perspective is that of some young fans, who are inspired by the groups fabulousness, and seek to join them. This adds a helping dose of tween rebellion that fits the basic theme of fighting for the Freedom of Expression quite well.
April 23, 2012
Hyouka is a new series for the Spring 2012 season. In a season that is already loaded with very promising works, it is almost difficult to believe a work that is this anticipated is just beginning. Hyouka is being produced by the [in]famous Kyoto Animation studio. KyoAni is famous for their abundant talent in creating gorgeous animation, but they have tended to focus on moe shows, and thus their brand is polarizing. Hyouka is supposed to have elements of Mystery, but do KyoAni have what it takes to deliver a real Mystery? Are they destined to turn Hyouka into a moe-infused school life show?
Tasogare Otome x Amnesia (Dusk Maiden of Amnesia) seems to be a Supernatural Harem School-life Romantic Comedy with a touch of Mystery for good measure. The male lead’s harem is the school’s detective club, and the club’s president, Yuuko, is his “magical girlfriend” (in this case a ghost). I don’t do too well with these types of shows, so I watch an episode to know what I am avoiding then insta-drop it. There were three things that surprised me about Dusk Maiden of Amnesia, though:
- The OP (used in this first episode as an ED) was actually pretty good (something you can confirm for yourself, below the fold),
- This first episode made use of the non-linear storytelling technique, which I thought was interesting and amusing, and
- The art direction was occasionally quite bold.
April 12, 2012
The Spring 2012 season finally feels real now that we’ve got the premiere of the Noitamina shows. Of course the show to which I have most been looking forward is Sakamichi no Apollon (Kids on the Slope). With Shinichiro Watanabe directing, Yoko Kanno providing the soundtrack, and MAPPA doing the animation, we have the A Team on production. The setting is unusual, in that it is set in the recent past (1966). It shouldn’t be a surprise that the first episode already delivers.
April 1, 2012
Uchuu Kyoudai (Space Brothers AKA SpaceBros) episode 1 does a great job introducing us to its near future (2025) setting, and to the two brothers whose story we are all eager to see. Though this show is ostensibly Science Fiction, at this point it is really a story of human pathos. Our principal viewpoint character, Mutta, is one of the two brothers who finds himself falling behind, while his younger brother, Hibito, pursues his dreams.