Fall 2012 First Impressions ~ Week 2
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!
Kamisama Hajimemashita (episode 2)
This was a cute episode. We got a better sense of Nanami and Tomoe’s characters, and this episode also showed how they would incorporate the yokai / supernatural theme into the main story.
Chuu-ni-byou demo koi ga shitai! (episode 2)
Admittedly this episode showed signs of a harem rom-com in the making, but it also delivered something that I was looking for. The cold open, and the fantasy battle sequence towards the end were good, both in being something beyond typical harem hijinx, and they fit the idea of Rikka’s tenuous grasp on reality nicely. So, where does this show want to go? Are we going to end up with more pool scenes, or will Rikka turn out to be an interesting, if a bit deranged character?
K (episode 2)
Every once in a while you find a series that knows it is flashy, but substance-less, and it runs with that. K is turning out to be precisely that type of show. This second episode was about 80% action sequence, and the little that wasn’t didn’t really explain anything, but mostly looked cool anyway (e.g. animated wallpaper). In the end it turned out to be just as fun to watch as the first episode, so this show has actually climbed in my opinion.
Shin Sekai Yori (episode 2)
I still can’t quite follow what is happening in this series, but it still doesn’t bother me, because they are continuing to develop the world in an interesting way. We had a fairly detailed look at a psychic power tournament and our first clear look at creatures that are other than humans. How did rat monsters come into being? We also saw what looked like an event from 500 years before the current story, in which an “emperor” killed his subjects to commemorate his ascension. It is starting to look like this will require an entire course (~12 episodes) just to lay out the way this world works, and whatever is at stake, and who, exactly the players are. As a result, I’m not expecting the real plot of this show to become apparent until the transition to the second course (~January).
The Rest, part 1: Still Watching
Psycho-Pass (new this week)
This first episode started to establish the setting. The series is presenting a dystopic view of police work in the future, when technology can make the decision as to who is a criminal based upon their mental / emotional stability. The show was quite dark, in outlook, events, and also in the lighting of the various scenes. I was hoping the artwork would be more interesting, but they went for dark and gritty, which is reasonable, given the subject matter.
I was pretty pleased by the main character. She seems like she is in over her head, but she takes initiative that causes her to get in trouble, and yet she made what could be argued was the right decision. It also sets up some interesting dynamics with the other characters, given that she now has to work with people that know she is willing to shoot at them.
Code:Breaker (new this week)
There was a lot about this initial episode that struck me the wrong way. The art and animation was a bit clumsy. The pacing was rushed and very expository, which kept the show from feeling natural at all. On the other hand, the “confession” scene was pretty funny, and I liked the ambiguous ethics on display in the park scene at the end. Instead of creating a good and a bad, there were different ways to look at what Ogami was doing — he is both good and bad, and Sakura is both right and wrong about him. Interesting enough to keep around for a few more episodes at least.
Little Busters (new this week)
I had not intended to watch this show, but I watched the first episode and it turned out to be better than I thought it would be, mostly because some of it was pretty funny. I have no idea how long it will hold my attention, but if it continues to be funny I’ll probably continue watching it.
Suki-tte Ii na yo (new this week)
I mentioned in my season preview that I wasn’t sure about this title, since the first chapter of the manga was loaded with bullying, but they toned that down, and I liked the episode more than I thought I might. I talked about this episode in more depth during my post on the three shoujo series airing this season.
Robotics;Notes (new this week)
Not a great first episode. I do like the idea of creating robots, though, so I am certainly keeping this one for now.
Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun (episode 2)
Frankly, if this had been the first episode, I might have dropped the series. I suppose it wasn’t awful, but it didn’t do a lot for me. Verdict: on probation!
The Rest, part 2: Dropped
Btoom! (first report, but I watched through episode 2)
Another show I thought I would check out, even though the premise didn’t impress me. The first episode was kind of stupid, and the second episode made me feel bad for having watched it. If this show had been more about tactics, it might have held my interest. Instead it seems to be about how the characters are justified in killing people, and then showing people suffering. I kind of wonder if there is any sense to the world they have created (beyond kill everyone, since all humans are scum), but screw it.
Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo (new this week)
Wow. I was way off on this one. I was hoping for something that was at least TRYING to be another Nodame Cantabile, instead it seems to be trying for Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko. Essentially we have a fan service filled harem. The main character is the typical Mr. Average, and the female lead isn’t quite as smart as a pet cat.
Bakuman Season 3 (new this week)
Starting the new season off with a focus on the relationship that I hate more than anything else in this series was not good. I have no idea what happened to the enthusiasm and unusual story ideas that this show seemed to promise when it began, but the best thing about this episode was that they seemed to imply that they wouldn’t waste any more time on the terrible romance until after Ashirogi Muto have had their manga adapted for an anime.
There are a lot of shows I’m trying to watch, but the beginning of a season is always like this. As the season proceeds, more shows will get dropped. I also still have one show I want to check out, since Sapphire Pyro has such nice things to say about it on the Daydream Sanctuary : Zetsuen no Tempest. This might be my last “first impression” post of the season, however.