An Oasis of Thoughts

Fall (Delayed) First Impressions: This Season is Awesome

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Bookman agrees.

Sorry for the absence! My grades started to slip a bit, and I had to get those up or risk failing but things are good now! I may just stick to these kinds of posts and final reviews for the rest of the season.

Fall has is a lot of choices to choose from and a lot of them tend to be really solid. What do I think?

Overall impressions

I’m glad to say with confidence that Fall has been quite solid in most regards. I was planning on only watching around 6 or less series, but I somehow ended up with 13 which later turned into 11 (more on that later). Of all the seasons, Fall is usually the best because of the amount of series airing and the diversity: you can find at least one show to stick with, but there’s a good chance you’re going to wind up watching a lot more, just like me. Of course, there will be the Imouto and Onii-chan series that continue to appear like a plague that won’t die out, but this season may just be one of the best I’ve seen and there’s really only one show that’s responsible for it being the best (hint: the picture to the left).

#11 – Robotics;Notes (D)

I knew comparing it to Steins;Gate would be a bad idea, but hey: this show’s very first scene is showing the divergence meter indicating it takes place in S;G’s true end. That may not matter for some, but for me those are fighting words. It displeases me to see the new protagonist (or is Akiho the protagonist?) have absolutely none of the charms of the magnificent Hououin Kyouma. Though I’m not sure if Kaito is the protagonist, or Akiho, or both of them – but the two of them still haven’t impressed me enough to care about them much, though I did find Aki’s glasses moments to have somewhat the same punch as a typical Hououin rant. The overall plot is a lot more interesting, and I’m curious why Aki and Kai have some sort of ability that distorts their perception of time. Luckily, things got a lot more interesting with the introduction of Frau Koujiro and her 1 TB of BL.

The good: Frau Kojirou and her 1 TB of BL
The bad: Kaito, Kaito and Kill Ballad, Kaito, Kaito again…

OP: Alright, I guess. I would have like Kanako Itou more though.
ED: Who is that?? Seriously, the most random ED yet until we know who she is.

#10 – Zetsuen no Tempest (C-)

Tempest is the kind of show that has a lot of good things, but doesn’t know what to do with them. So having BONES in charge of the anime adaptation is akin to “Hey, whatever happens. Happens.” and the show that most resembles Tempest happens to be No.6….THAT No.6. Obligatory “Awesome BONES animation” comment here, but this may be the first time I actually get to say something about the music. Oh god, the music is so ridiculously annoying, I just can’t ignore it. It has that “I’m better than you” vibe (aka: pretentious) that I’m not a fan of. It also LOVES to quote Shakespeare, of which I am not a fan of either. Yet it still has a very interesting pair of lead characters that really play off of each other’s strengths very well and a kind of plot that does require some thinking, so while Tempest may love to annoy me with Shakespeare and ridiculous music, it still has potential with the plot and the lead characters.

The good: Very wise choice of main characters; stellar animation and a plot that’s actually got some creativity to it
The bad: Shakespeare, the music

OP: Really solid here.
ED: I’m biased for Kana Hanazawa, so I absolutely love this song.

#9 – Ixion Saga DT (C-)

This is one of the shows I had no intention on watching, but wow the first episode was hilarious. I do admit I’m pretty forgiving when it comes to comedy series: you can reuse the same joke and (usually) I’m pretty much okay with it and Ixion Saga is the show that does this constantly. It won’t win any awards that’s for sure, but as long as this show keeps up the parodies and the humor, I’ll stick with it. There’s a lot of high profile seiyuu here which makes some of the jokes even funnier when they’re referencing past voice roles as expected of the director of Gintama’s first 100 episodes. This is the main reason I’m giving Gintama another chance, because I’m just a fan of the director’s comedy, which was also brilliant in last winter’s Nichibros.

The good: The “villain”, Fullmetal Ballchemist joke, Jun Fukuyama as a trap character
The bad: Protagonist, art style is very cheap, OP/ED

OP: So awful but the hidden meaning of the lyrics is clever.
ED: This ED has balls.

#8 – BTOOOM! (C)

On the other hand, I had every intention on watching BTOOOM! and I find it to be a blast to watch every week. Sure it’s absolutely ridiculous and makes no sense in reality, but it handles the suspense and action quite well. What this show lacks in cohesive storytelling, it gains with the personalities of the players trapped on the island. It’s obvious that the people that are here were chosen to “disappear” by those who had grudges with them, and it’s interesting to see just what kind of people are playing this game. In a way BTOOOM! reminds me of Cage of Eden, in which both series take place on an island and both series have people turning on each other and doing whatever it takes to survive, so I appreciate BTOOOM! a lot more than most people would who can’t watch a series that makes little sense.

The good: Diverse cast of characters, gore and blood levels, OP song
The bad: Suspense of disbelief will be challenged almost every episode

OP: I love it.

ED: It’s alright.

#7 – Magi (C)

With Magi, I can feel that this show is building up to something really great and so far I’m actually not inclined to ignore these build-up episodes because there’s just a lot to like about this show. The setting is the main reason why I’m watching it, but I do like how this show avoided one particular cliche: when the main characters meet each other, they usually just head straight to their next destination. Here, everyone was separated so they can find their own paths and come back later when they’ve got their priorities straight and I really like that and wasn’t expecting the cast to be split apart already. There are things that bug me like Aladdin’s fascination of breasts (and not just of the female variety..) and there were times I felt the show was being rushed somewhat, but there’s no mistaking that this show is building up for something big.

The good: Setting, splitting the cast up already was a great idea.
The bad: Boobs; A feeling of being rushed.

OP: Alright, but I would have liked a more arabian feel to the sound.
ED: May be the worst ED so far just because it’s so unfitting.

#6 – Jormungand: Perfect Order (C+)

Jormungand is that show people should really be watching: it has everything you’d want like grotesquely muscular lesbian women (Valmet <3), brutal violence (most of which is uncensored yikes) and while season 1 was mostly just a lot of seemingly random fights, this season is really building up to one major event and it’s going to involve breaking down Koko’s character. Koko is a very fascinating character, because you never once could get a grasp of who she is and not even the ones closest to her really understand the real Koko, but with a member of team Koko dying I think it’s finally time to see the real Koko Hekmatayr and Jonah may be the key to that happening. It’s been a very fun ride with Jormungand and I’m excited to see how this will end.

The good: Things are coming together great. The characters are back and ready to kick more ass!
The bad: Some unfortunate animation drops and a mini-recap on episode 5 is somewhat troubling.

OP: Very catchy with great visuals.
ED: Bizarre use of instruments but it works.
Preview music: IT GOT BETTER!!

#5 – Sukitte Iinayo (C+)

I never thought the day would come when I have two Shoujo anime in my top five rankings, but never say never! If I did continue to watch more Shoujo anime later on, I might just prefer the ones with a more lighthearted feel as opposed to Sukinayo’s more melancholic tone. But while I’m not as head over heels about Sukinayo as I am about Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun, this is a show that tackles issues like bullying very well and leading that charge is a character who not only impresses me, but someone who I can relate to. I’m fascinated by Mei’s character: she’s very perceptive and her reasoning for not wanting friends isn’t shallow at all. What I’m wondering the most is: how will this show end? Will there be a big issue for Mei and Yamato to tackle or will it just be small stories like the latest episode?

The good: Mei; Tackles important issues very well
The bad: Cats, Yamato, Assumes every high school student has slept with multiple people.

OP: I feel bad for not really liking it, since the singer passed away in 2004.
ED: Simple, but effective.

#4 – Chuunibyou (C+)

I wasn’t very optimistic about Chuunibyou because like Robotics;Notes, it had a lot to live up to. But while R;N is not living up to my expectations, Chuunibyou definitely is! It’s just pure fun watching this show especially with the personalities of the main characters constantly clashing which results in some very well animated “fights”. What I fear the most is the romance angle: it just doesn’t work for me. It doesn’t work well with the absurd humor this show is great at, heck even the drama is handled quite well. But the romance…please KyoAni do not focus just on that! I’d hate to see a good show ruined by one bad mistake, like Angel Beats the comedy was fantastic but everything else was worthless and I’d hate Chuunibyou for being Angel Beats 2.0.

The good: Chuunibyou battles, Rikka, Dekomori (DESU/DEATH!), Hiring Jun Fukuyama as Yuuta who exhibits the same poses as Lelouch = brilliant.
The bad: Romance, Shinka’s personality change, seizure inducing OP (the first version, version 2 was toned down a bit)

OP: Good song, but seizure inducing

ED: Blatantly K-ON.

#3 – Psycho Pass (B-)

If there’s one show with absolutely tons of potential, it’s obviously Psycho Pass. Hype for this show began immediately when it was announced with hardly anything revealed and once people knew the man behind Psycho Pass, things just took off. I absolutely love the premise and while I hope there will be a much longer story arc later on, I’m very much pleased so far. This is my kind of show: unforgiving, dark and social commentary all nicely wrapped together. This may sound a bit sadistic but I can’t wait to see what Urobuchi does to Akane once the shit hits the proverbial fan, which may be sooner rather than later.

The good: Gen Urobuchi, appopriate choice of Akane’s seiyuu, animation, OP, setting
The bad: Is actually quite moe

OP: Now this is different! I like it alot.
ED: EGOIST? Production I.G., please stop kicking that dead horse called Guilty Crown.. Okay, it’s a good song..

#2 – Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun (B)

What I love about this show: it has tons of charm and charisma and the last show to have both of those qualities was Tsuritama, and everyone should know how I felt about that show. I praise Tonari because it deserves to be: we have another solid lead character, great humor and a wacky romance that has many sides and angles going for it. There would be a few things I’d like to see more of like more Sasayan and Asako, specifically how strange that they AREN’T dating or showing at least some sort of romantic attraction. As just individual characters, I really like them especially Asako and her voice actress is doing a really great job (and she’s a newbie apparently), even as well as the heavy hitters like Kana Hanazawa who voices Ooshima. This show handles comedy, romance and slice of life very well and I cross my fingers for a season 2. Make it happen!!

The good: Tons of charisma; Shizuku; mascot character isn’t a cat for once!
The bad: Haru’s violent tendencies don’t really sit well for me as comedy

OP: Energetic and fun
ED: Meh.

#1 – Shinsekai Yori (A-)

This show is awesome. I’m sorry to those who actually dropped this show (if it was to watch it all in one sitting, then that’s fine) because you made a truly unwise decision. Everything about this show is just so different even though it may not seem that way. The world of Shinsekai Yori has been fleshed out so much that it unfortunately took time away from developing the characters but these latest episodes have been trying to fix that. The art style is wildly imaginable and always seems to surprise me, including some very trippy scenes involving a naked Shun and a Minoshiro…yeah, you have to watch it to believe how trippy it was and the acid-like colors didn’t help make it less weird either. The music is also very haunting and bizarre which works well in this series, where nothing normal ever happens. A visual treat, a story spanning three time periods (hopefully it won’t end as bad as that other three generation series..) and with 25 episodes, I have high hopes that Shinsekai Yori will deliver.

The good: Pretty much everything
The bad: Episode 5 wasn’t as bad as people make it out to be, but it was still somewhat unnecessary.
ED: Fantastic, can the eventual OP be just as awesome?

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