Initial Thoughts: Mirai Nikki, UN-GO, Guilty Crown

I couldn’t help but group these three together since I get a similar sci-fi feeling from all of them.  They all also easily made my watching list, which makes dropping Kimi no Boku. even more likely.  A lot of hype has been built up for each of these, and now I understand a little why.  If Mirai Nikki, UN-GO, and/or Guilty Crown are not on your list of shows to check out for the season, then you’re definitely missing out!Read More »

Initial Thoughts: Chihayafuru, Tamayura, Horizon, Kimi to Boku., Ben-to

We’ve got a mixed bag here, with a few jumping wholeheartedly into my watch list, and the other two standing back with dumb expressions on their faces.  For the sake of trimming down my number of shows for this season, as well as preserving what little dignity I have left for quality, I may very likely drop the one about which I’m currently hesitating.  I’ve still got three more shows (Last Exile: Ginyoku no Fam, UN-GO, and Guilty Crown) to try out before my fall initial impressions can be finished!

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Initial Thoughts: Gundam AGE, Hunter x Hunter (2011)

So for those of you who haven’t seen these anime and don’t know why I decided to group my thoughts on them together despite Hunter x Hunter being already two episodes in, the reason is simple.  Both Mobile Suit Gundam AGE and Hunter x Hunter (2011) make me feel like a kid again.  And this is a good thing, since feeling “like a kid” in this case has nothing to do with the head, but everything to do with some mighty big heart.

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Initial Thoughts: Shinryaku!?, Fate/Zero, Working’!!, Phi Brain, C3

The fall season has certainly started off with some stellar graphics and animation, with the following five setting some great examples.  I was also caught a bit off guard by their airing since I was focused on wrapping up my summer season final thoughts (still in progress as I’m waiting on some final episodes).  I’m pretty positive that at least four of the five described here are on my watching list, with only one of them still undecided.

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Initial Impressions: Uta no Prince-sama, Dantalian no Shoka

Uta no☆Prince-sama: Maji Love 1000%: Currently watching
I’m a bit bashful to have this show on my “Currently watching” list, especially since I made it clear on my Full season preview that I wasn’t going to even give this show a chance.  However, I found myself obtaining the first two episodes anyways and sitting through the first with the intention of reviewing it then dropping it.  Unfortunately, my fan girl side came screaming out with the first episode, and I ended up hungrily moving to the 2nd.  Yes.  There we have it.  I love reverse harems under one condition: the inclusion of a music environment.  Written in the same vein as Kiniro no Corda: Primo Passo, this anime features one girl in pursuit of her dream to become a music composer for idols.  Like in Corda, she attends a school dedicated to music, and again, like in Corda, she quickly finds herself surrounded by a handful of bishounen male idol and composer wannabes who all seem to find her irresistible.  WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME!? The simple answer? I’m a bit of a music freak.  Having played classical music all my life, and as a once music performance major, I still have dreams of living a life of music.  Though that dream has come and gone, I find myself living it out through these types of anime (perhaps also the reason for my inclusion of The IDOLM@STER).  Though romance between students is strictly forbidden at Haruka’s school, I still smell love in the air.  I already have favorites from the first two episodes, including the cheery Otoya, the serious Masato, and the brooding Tokiya.  Ahhhh, I eagerly await to be swept away by their shiny locks and smooth-as-caramel voices….. /fan girl squeal

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Initial Impressions: The IDOLM@STER, Baka to Test 2, Itsuka Tenma, Nekogami Yaoyorozu

The IDOLM@STER: On hold
Though I’ve never played the XBOX360 game, this episode gave me a taste of what it would seemingly be like.  In a unique narrative style, we follow twelve idols-in-training, viewing them through the eyes of the interviewer and his camera.  His questions are not audible to us, but appear as text across the screen–questions to which the girls answer while looking straight at the camera.  I was initially put off by the point of view, but slowly grew to enjoy it; however, with the revelation of the cameraman as the new, incoming producer, I don’t know if the 1st-person view will be used again.  The IDOLM@STER has the feel of a harem, with its colorful assortment of young, female idols and fresh-out-training, male producer.  The only difference in this case is that instead of the girl being chosen as the accompaniment to the male lead, the male must help the female lead find the spotlight.

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Initial Impressions: Bunny Drop, Mawaru Penguindrum, NO.6, Blood-C

Bunny Drop: On-hold
I know many readers who see my “On-hold” status on this show and are probably slightly apalled at my poor taste due to the overwhelming hype that this show has gotten.  Not only is the anime broadcasting on the notorious, high-quality noitaminA, but it also features a unique art style and story set up.  The magic’s in the cards, it would seem.  Although I do applaud Bunny Drop for its nostalgic, sketch-like art, as well as for its less than appetizing portrayal of some humans’ lack of warmth, this first episode failed to “ring the bell of happiness.”  Never once in the 22 minutes did I feel particularly drawn to any one character, not even to Rin, who I figured would clench my affections immediately.  Yes, I felt terrible for her situation, and yes, I was horrified at the family’s reluctance to take her in; however, the personalities of every character, including Rin and Daikichi, were so bland that I would easily forget them if I were to meet them in reality.  Nevertheless, I will continue to try this show out before I make my final decision on keeping or kicking it.

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Initial Impressions: Sacred Seven, Natsume Yuujinchou San, Kamisama Dolls, YuruYuri

Sacred Seven: Currently watching
Oh dear lord.  I’m not even sure where to begin with this, but to say that this show was ridiculous, but ridiculous in upfront and nicely executed ways.  I was already pleased with Sunrise when I got into watching Tiger & Bunny, so I expected an action-packed animation here as well.  They not only fulfilled those expectations, but upped the level; I can only hope that the quality remains high throughout the rest of the show. Main character, Tandoji Arma, is introduced as a highly-feared delinquent of his high school, who most people avoid.  His reputation of violence alienates everyone except for a persistent high school girl named Itou Wakana, who thinks the rumors are rumors only, and wants him to join her rock collection club.  She’s not the only one interested in him, however, as the lead of Sacred Seven, Aiba Ruri, also attempts to recruit him in the fight against Darkstones and those associated with them.  Through a predictable series of events, Arma fights the rampaging Darkstone by giving into his own powers, but loses control of himself in the process.  Only through Ruri’s intervention and subsequent release of his full potential is he able to regain his senses and maintain command of his power.  As fun as this show is, I hope that it doesn’t dissolve into a pure battle anime, but gives us something in the form of a plot worth following.

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Initial Impressions: Ikoku Meiro, Ro-Kyu-Bu!, Memochou, Double-J

Ikoku Meiro no Croisée: Currently watching
Everything about this show charms and warms your heart, and it has definitely taken its place among my top anime for this season, if not the very top spot.  I’ve always enjoyed period anime, and I have a special weakness for post-industrial French and English settings.  I really love the idea of a “Japanese in Paris” representing the West’s growing attraction to the mysteries of the East.  As a symbol and as a main character, Yune brings a burst of color to her surroundings, and her eagerness to please and wonderment at her new home make her all the more lovable.  Fulfilling her family tradition of serving as an attendant for an unstated period of time, Yune follows Oscar Claudel from Japan to France to satisfy her desire to work in Paris.  Upon her arrival, she meets Ocar’s grandson and succession to the family metalworking shop, Claude (Claude Claudel…hm).  His initial impression is not a good one, as he rudely makes it clear that she is unnecessary and unwanted in the shop.  But, as she so easily did to me as the viewer, she unintentionally wins her way into his respect with her guileless honesty and care.  The closing scenes are reminiscent of a new family in the making.

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