Early Thoughts on Winter 2013/2014 AnimePosted: February 12, 2014
Whenever a new season rolls around, I always use a chart to decide what shows I’ll watch based on a promo picture and short synopsis. It works well enough, but it never determines how much I’ll like or hate it, just whether I want to give it a shot.
So I figured I’d start up something new. After all the shows I’m watching from the new season have aired at least three episodes, I go over them and mention which are good and which are not. To be fair, bad shows could get better and good shows could get worse after this point, but a good show becoming bad is just disappointing whereas a bad show getting good is too little too late since most of the audience will have dropped it already.
Also, I won’t be saying a whole lot on each show, just something short and to the point (though my definition of “short” doesn’t typically line up with a normal person’s). I’d rather save long spiels for reviews, and I have no idea which shows may end up getting one.
Anyways, let’s get this started. I’m going in airing order according to the chart since I figured that would be the fairest.
Pupipo! (episodes watched: 6)
Summary: A pink blob thing sucks ghosts.
Thoughts: While it’s hard to feel really invested in anything due to the fast pacing that typically comes with 4-minute shorts, it’s still pretty nice. There’s actually some form of a coherent plot, it doesn’t reset after each episode. If you want something short that’s still competently-written, you can’t go wrong with Pupipo.
Saikin, Imouto no Yousu ga Chotto Okaishiin Da Ga (episodes watched: half of episode 1)
Summary: Horny ghost wants to bone a guy through his step-sister.
Thoughts: This is actually the only show I’ve dropped so far. I couldn’t even make it through the first episode, it was that bad. I think what did it was the approximately seven-minute chunk where she wanted to pee but couldn’t due to the chastity belt. It was supposed to be funny or something, but was just incredibly awkward instead. Fuck this show.
Witch Craft Works (episodes watched: 4)
Summary: A bunch of witches want a guy’s “white stuff” because reasons.
Thoughts: This is one of the shows I’m enjoying the least, but I’ll still probably end up finishing it. If only because they’re setting up a ‘big bad’ character that could result in a pretty cool magic battle. Though it’s far more likely it’ll just be dumb or anticlimactic. I just wish the main female character was actually capable of showing emotion, it’s hard to connect to or give a shit about someone with the personality of a brick.
Space Dandy (episodes watched: 4)
Summary: A goofball, a robot, and an alien cat fly around space being incompetent.
Thoughts: I’m not sure why there was a large chunk of people expecting this show to be serious with the synopsis that it had, but oh well. The main problem with Space Dandy isn’t that it wasn’t serious, it’s that the first episode wasn’t very funny except for the ending. The good thing is that every episode after has been better than the last. At the rate it’s going, it might end on a much greater note than it started.
Noragami (episodes watched: 4)
Summary: A god goes around doing odd jobs and sometimes fighting spirit monsters for pocket change.
Thoughts: Noragami is one of my favorite new shows this season, which is weird considering the original synopsis the chart had has almost nothing to do with how the story is actually going. Though it may not be too odd considering I’ve heard from others that the anime story is deviating so much from the manga that it’s getting hard to even say it’s an adaptation. Regardless, the show has a great sense of humor and the art direction is insanely beautiful at times, especially the scenery.
Buddy Complex (episodes watched: 4)
Summary: Male pilots become buddies by proposing to each other in order to get power-ups in battle.
Thoughts: I keep wanting to compare this series to Valvrave, since they both have incredibly silly concepts built into them for the sake of humor, but Buddy Complex seems to be taking itself at least somewhat seriously. It’s a bit less fun to watch because of it, but I’ll admit that I’m curious to see where they go with the Hina plot thread. I’m curious to see how things lead up to the events of the first episode.
Nobunaga the Fool (episodes watched: 4)
Summary: Mamoru Miyano voices Oda Nobunaga who rides a lizard-horse while sniping people that are in Code Geass-style mechs.
Thoughts: People who know the name Shoji Kawamori are probably familiar with the fact that the guy creates absolutely absurd worlds and stories. Before Nobunaga DA FOO’, he created AKB0048 – where a bunch of idols used lightsabers to fight anti-fun missiles – and Aquarion Evol – which had teenagers fight in mechs that were more efficient when the pilots stripped themselves. He clearly didn’t feel like changing his track record with his new show. They basically just wrote the most ludicrous script possible and then gathered a bunch of S-tier voice actors to voice everything because why the fuck not. God I’m loving this show.
Tonari no Seki-kun (episodes watched: 4)
Summary: Kana Hanazawa tries not to be distracted by the guy sitting next to her doing random shit on his desk.
Thoughts: Another short show that’s also extremely watchable. Not much else to say other than that it’s funny to watch, and pretty much has the perfect run time of about six to seven minutes. I just hope they don’t get any less creative with Seki’s distracting actions.
SoniAni -Super Sonico The Animation (episodes watched: 4)
Summary: Super Sonico is an idol and does things.
Thoughts: I decided to give this show a shot when I found the trailer for it to be surprisingly unoffensive, and I wondered if the show would be the same. Turns out it actually is, there really isn’t a whole lot of fanservice to be found here. Sometimes clients try and get her to wear something revealing and such, but that’s it, and those scenes are for comedy. The problem is just that the show has this tendency to be incredibly boring. The latest episode was actually not too bad, but if I drop any other show this season, it’ll probably be this one. Then again, if they keep giving Sonico’s manager more screen time, that could very well carry me through the whole thing because he’s fucking cool.
Nobunagun (episodes watched: 4)
Summary: Oda Nobunaga becomes a giant gun that his ancestor uses to shoot alien insects alongside Jack the Ripper, Isaac Newton, and Gandhi.
Thoughts: For a show that reminds me of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure due to its constant use of weird color filters, I wish it wasn’t so dull. There’s no real reason to care about any of the characters beyond what historical figure they use for weapons. They’re sort of trying with the main character, but even then she’s pretty boring. The plot itself also doesn’t have much going for it, at least at this point. I just haven’t had anything to really connect to, so this show is also one getting pretty close to ‘dropped’ status.
The Pilot’s Love Song (episodes watched: 4)
Summary: A former prince learns how to fly planes so he can get revenge on a priestess that controls the wind.
Thoughts: I love when stories have a classic ‘adventure’ vibe to them, and Pilot’s Love Song is definitely scratching that itch this season. I was already interested at the start, but the newest episode introduced a twist that has the story going in some potentially interesting directions. The art looks a bit wonky at times – especially the characters – but I just assume the studio wasn’t given a very large budget. Regardless, this show is another one I’m quite enjoying this season.
Hamatora (episodes watched: 4)
Summary: A bunch of teenagers with super powers solve mysteries Scooby-Doo style.
Thoughts: This show is weirdly conflicting. On the one hand, I like where the overarching story is going, but on the other hand, it has some serious tone issues. Everything is bright. colorful, and vibrant, but there’s always some sort of dark twist in each episode. It just doesn’t fit the look of the show and is actually kind of jarring. It’s not a deal-breaker though, and I’m curious to see how everything wraps up.
Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! Ren (episodes watched: 3)
Summary: Moe girls continue to be delusional.
Thoughts: More or less the same thing as season one. I’ll finish it, but I won’t really care that much about it, same as the first season.
pupa (episodes watched: 3)
Summary: Little sister turns into a flesh-eating monster and brother offers his body to sate her desires so that she won’t do it with anyone else.
Thoughts: I feel really bad for DEEN. They went through quite a few annoyances just to get this show out there, and when they finally get through that, they’re only given a four-minute run time. As a result the pacing is completely screwed. Sure, the short run time doesn’t guarantee fast pacing, but I’m assuming they already had the general storyboard laid out before they were told about how short each episode needed to be. A problem which Galilei Donna also faced last season when they were told they were only getting half the episodes they expected. Most likely as a result of all this, pupa is pretty underwhelming. I’ll probably finish it easily enough due to how short it is, but I’ll pity it the entire way.
Magical Warfare (episodes watched: 3)
Summary: Teenagers get magical powers and go to a realm of magic, generic high school stupidity ensues.
Thoughts: I was being really lenient towards Mahou Sensou at first because these types of worlds often take a few episodes to set up. That came to an end when the third episode was stupid romcom hijinks. If this continues, the show is going straight into the drop pile. Though it does seem like there’s something intense brewing in the background, so if it turns itself around I’ll probably stick it through to the end. We’ll see.
Sakura Trick (episodes watched: 3)
Summary: Girls kiss each other.
Thoughts: Eh, it’s alright. It’s actually pretty funny every once in a while, and the characters actually have personalities somewhat, but it definitely over-indulges in the kissing scenes. Admittedly, that’s what most people are watching for, so I can’t exactly blame the show for it, but it just causes the show to feel shallow as a result. Oh well, at least it’s pretty.
Silver Spoon Season 2 (episodes watched: 4)
Thoughts: Same deal as the first season: great characters, great writing, etc. Guaranteed to be one of the best shows this season before it even started.
Hozuki no Reitetsu (episodes watched: 3)
Summary: The inner-workings of Hell from a management perspective.
Thoughts: The first episode was incredibly unfunny due to the need to know Japanese lore and mythology, but the episodes that followed were a lot better. I quite enjoyed the portion where Satan visits in order to figure out how to conquer it later. Some of the jokes still don’t work, but Hozuki is doing a good job of carrying the show for now.
No-rin (episodes watched: 3)
Summary: A bunch of idiots learn agriculture.
Thoughts: It’s easy to compare this to Silver Spoon given the agricultural school setting, but that would be a disservice to Silver Spoon. No-rin is occasionally funny in an “I can’t possibly take this show seriously” kind of way, but otherwise it’s pretty damn boring. Watch it for the dumb humor if you must, but I’ll be surprised if I last through the entire show.
Nisekoi (episodes watched: 3)
Summary: Childhood promises are the ultimate expression of love.
Thoughts: A pretty standard romantic comedy that seems like it’ll turn into harem hijinks later on. I’d say that it’s at least visually impressive because of Shaft, but some of the visuals they use don’t even make sense. I mean, Shaft visuals are usually weird, but they typically at least add to the scene in some way. In Nisekoi, it feels like they’re just being visually random for the sake of it at times, which comes off as annoying more than anything. I’ll stick it out for now, but if it gets as slow and uneventful as manga-readers say it does then I’ll probably drop it.
Sekai Seifuku ~Bouryaku no Zvezda~ (episodes watched: 3)
Summary: A loli tries to conquer the world with a band of weirdos.
Thoughts: I’m honestly not sure where I stand with this show. On the one hand it’s plenty enjoyable with some pretty good humor, but on the other hand I feel like the show is trying to be more than just that. I’m already liking it and maybe time might be able to tell, I just wish I had a more definitive idea of what it’s trying to do after three episodes.
Wizard Barristers ~ Benmashi Cecil (episodes watched: 3)
Summary: Wizards defend wizards in wizard trials that are biased against wizards because wizards.
Thoughts: I’m surprised to see that a lot of people don’t like this show, I actually think it’s pretty cool. Though that could just be because I get Phoenix Wright vibes from the court trials being so one-sided against the wizard barristers most of the time. The actual art isn’t too great – though I’m someone who never liked the style of Kite and Mezzo Forte – but the actual animation looks pretty damn good except for come of the CG stuff. The first few minutes of the first episode showed that nicely with the opening chase and the court judgement scenes. I don’t care what others have been saying, I’m enjoying this quite a bit.
Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha (episodes watched: 3)
Summary: A girl gains the ability to transform from a god after she accidentally pulls her crushes’ pants down during gym.
Thoughts: It’s by pure coincidence that the show I’m enjoying the most is saved for last. I wasn’t even going to pick up this show at first because the promo art with the Shinto shrine made me suspect it’d be too Japanese-y for a Western viewer, but I was gladly mistaken when I ended up giving it a shot. The show has a great sense of humor and nearly all the characters are charming in their own ways. The one bad thing about the show is that it’s only getting ten episodes. If there’s one show you should be watching this season, it’s this one.