Now a full month into the fall season, I’ve finally settled on which shows I’ll be watching from week to week. I actually would like to include a few more, but my busy schedule means that some of them will have to be reserved for a slower time of year. For now, I’ve got nine new series to add to my watch list, and boy is there a lot of fluff and romance in the air!
Hidamari Sketch x Honeycomb (4 episodes)
There’s usually always at least one show per season that has all my hopes riding on it, the one I look forward to every single week–and Hidamari Sketch x Honeycomb is the show this fall season. I’ve been a fan of the series from day one with the first season, and picked it up for the following 2nd and 3rd series. The same cast from Hoshimittsu is back in full force, beginning with third years Sae and Hiro going on their senior trip, leaving behind Yuno, Miyako, Nazuna, and Nori to look out for Hidamari Apartments. As adorable as it was to watch Yuno struggle to be a proper “senpai” for her younger flatmates, it was also sad realizing that this would probably be the last season featuring all of our original cast. That feeling is part of what makes watching Honeycomb all the more nostalgic and endearing. I’m looking forward to seeing what our artistic sextet will create this memorable year, and what quirky situations my favorite Miyako will get herself into this fall.
Sukitte Ii na yo (4 episodes)
Quite different from the now popularized tsundere, Tachibana Mei seems to be heading the direction that the term originally described. Distrustful of all others due to childhood bullying, Mi has earned the dislike of almost all the students at her high school, all except for student idol Yamato, that is. With their common past experiences with bullying, I don’t find it too far fetched that Yamato would be attracted to Mei. I just have issues with how quickly the romance is escalating. I’m not looking for any wooing as tiresome as in Kimi ni Todoke, but having our characters talking sex only thee episodes in and introducing then dismissing rivals in the same short time span is much too quick. But maybe I’m old fashioned and overly conservative, since it does seem that sex happens at a younger and younger age over the years What I am enjoying is the gradualness of Mei’s growth in courage and self-value.
Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun (4 episodes)
Like Sukitte Ii na yo, TnK is led by a sullen-faced girl with almost zero social grace and absolutely no friends to speak of. Unlike Mei, however, Shizuku’s separation is not so much a result of past trauma and present distrust, but stems from her own emotional detachment fro everything that surrounds her. Studies are her main focus in life, and anything that doesn’t contribute to her academics holds no merit. It isn’t until a teacher sends her on a mission after absent delinquent Haru that foreign emotions begin to stir within her. What starts as anger rapidly (at least in the time frame of four episodes) evolves into affection. A couple of my biggest gripes regarding TnK are the strangeness of Haru’s character, as well as the unlikelihood of Shizuku’s attraction to him. While I get that family issues and anger management are the likely causes for his inability to trust people, his odd ups and downs scream bipolar disorder. Rather than fall in love with him, I’d expect Shizuku to at the most befriend him than try to get him treated.
Magi (3 episodes)
I grew up through the 90s, so of course some of my favorite Disney movies include Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, and The Lion King. Aladdin spun off with some sequels, including Aladdin and the Forty Thieves. That retelling of Ali Baba’s legend, along with Wishbone’s One Thousand and One Tails, made me a lover of the Arabian tales for a good portion of my childhood. So it was with much excitement that I noticed Magi on the fall 2012 anime chart and decided to give a try. Like the aforementioned adaptations, Magi so far is clearly geared towards a younger audience. It has some elements of dungeon clearing and monster fighting, which worried me since I thought it might end up centering mostly on dungeon floors per episode. Thankfully, that doesn’t seem to be the case, as the first dungeon was cleared in these first few weeks. There’s a bit of mystery shrouding our characters, the revealed magi and to-be king, and the roles they’ll be playing in the grand scheme among other nameless magi and the slew of unconquered dungeons and djinn.
Jormungand Perfect Order (3 episodes)
After a break from the first season, Perfect Order continues exactly where we left off, this time with a shorthaired Valmet, more affectionate Jonah, and a Koko on the brink of losing control. I always wondered why she chose to take in a child soldier, particularly one who clearly stated his hatred for firearms and their dealers, but after watching the opening “R” arc, her decision made more sense. I don’t think that Jonah will actually die through the course of the series, but I suspect that some abduction or serious injury may occur to him that will set Koko off on a rampage. Another big player of the season looks to be “Bookman”, a man we saw in the shadows near the end of the first series, but who was completely entangled in the events starting this second season.
Kamisama Hajimemashita (4 episodes)
Kamisama Hajimemashita pulls together romance, comedy, and fantasy in a style reminiscent of Fruits Basket, though the opening thus far is still light and silly. I kind of have a soft spot for seemingly plain girls thrown into positions of action, especially since their growth is usually more visible than the typical, faceless male lead. I can already see Nanami becoming proficient as a land god (Kamichu!, anyone?), and finding love during the course of matchmaking for the visitors to her shrine.
Sakurasou no Pet na Kanajou (3 episodes)
I would normally peg this as your usual guy and mysterious girl pairing, but…wait, that’s exactly what this show is! Despite the cliche, I can’t helpt but be drawn to the setting and strange cast of characters who all exhibit and act upon their individual talents–all except our male lead, Sorata, who seemingly has no gifts. But I think I can see where this show is going with our hopeless man and his sudden responsibility for “Shiro”. Already it seems he has a knack for caring or others, as if his multitude of stray cats isn’t a clear enough indicator. Where my interest mainly lies, however, is with Shiro–the helpless, genius artist with absolutely no sense for tidiness of self upkeep who shares my adoration for baumkuchen. It’s intriguing to me that a girl with such creative talents holds such passion for drawing manga when her own storytelling lacks depth. Perhaps like with Bakuman, she’ll find a writing inspiration with another.
Bakuman. 3 (4 episodes)
I’ve loyally followed this show for two, two-cour seasons now, and it continues to reel me back in. Having finally grasped the top ranking at the end of the previous season, Ashirogi Muto is starting to look ahead to their dream of an anime adaptation, hopefully with Azuki Miho as the lead voice actress. But with her own career flourishing, and more offers rolling in–even from one of Ashirogi’s rivals–it’s getting tougher for her to choose between jobs. Of course Bakuman wouldn’t the show that it is without the continued rivalry with Niizuma and Kenji–and now a new group of serializations are in to make the climb to the top even more difficult for the mangaka duo. My biggest desire is for us to finally receive an ending, particularly one with wedding bells.
Zetsuen no Tempest (4 episodes)
I wasn’t so sure about this show at the start, but changed my mind quickly by the second episode. ZnT is definitely a Bones TV series, and reminds me greatly of intriguing sci-fi No.6. Like the 2011 summer show, ZnT has a flair for drama with its Shakespearean influences in the setting, characters, and plot. A storm is on the move and increasing in intensity, freezing entire cities in time and strewing monstrous body-plant hybrids–”fruit”–in its wake. Part of what intrigues me so much about this show is the odd connection between the magicians and the murder of Mahiro’s little sister. There are a lot of coincidences already at the start that Tempest is asking us to just believe in, such as the chance of Hakaze’s bottled note reaching Mahiro–who happens to be the perfect person for her plans. But I’m going to go on faith with this show and hope the rest of the show explains the relation between Hakaze’s family and Aika’s death.
- Muv-Luv Alternative – Total Eclipse
- Sword Art Online
- Eureka Seven AO
- Hunter x Hunter (2011)
- Polar Bear Cafe
- Space Brothers
- The Knight in the Area
- Shinsekai Yori