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Fall 2012 Anime Season.

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Joined: 20 Oct 2012
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 12:52 pm Reply with quote
I'm new here, so please let me know if I failed to see an already existing thread pertaining to the Fall 2012 Anime Season in general. Thank you!

So... I'm sure many of us mulled over the various lists and charts describing the shows this Fall season months ago, when theme and plot descriptions are poorly translated and difficult to fully comprehend. When I first saw that list, I was immediately stoked about Jojo's Bizarre Adventure, Bakuman 3, and Hayate. I found myself unfamiliar with just about everything else, so I could only hope that the season would have more than just a few shows that I could enjoy. In the last couple of weeks, I've found that I've got plenty to watch after all. I'm enjoying Ixion Saga DT, Robotics;Notes, Code:Breaker, Magi, Suki-tte Ii na yo, Shin Sekai Yori, K, Zetsuen no Tempest, Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun, and Medaka S2. There are still some shows yet to premiere at this point, so I'm hoping to add some titles to this list. Haven't yet made time to watch Psycho-Pass, so any opinions about the show would be much appreciated.

One thing I need to mention is that at least one Fall 2012 chart included some incarnation of the original Mobile Suit Gundam but didn't describe it as a series, string of OVA's or movies, or as a single, stand-alone feature. Anyone know more about MSG appearing this season?

Since this is a thread speaking generally about this season thus far, I am concluding that it's one of the better anime seasons of the past 3 years. I also believe we're seeing a trend in which the quality, in adaptation, production, and theme, has risen somewhat steadily over that same interval. The Spring 2012 season really stands in my mind as the pinnacle of recent memory; that was a season abundant in ridiculously good anime. I find myself missing Accel World, Sakamichi no Apollon, Tsuritama, Eureka Seven AO, Bodacious Space Pirates and several other series from Spring, a few of which have returned or will return. Anyone agree that the anime seasons have appeared to include more quality shows done in higher quality than, say, five or more years ago?

This is not to mention many ongoing mainstay titles [Hunter X Hunter, One Piece, Bleach, etc.] that tend to defy the four-season release structure, including OVA's and movies. Those shows lay a nice foundation on which the newer shows can build to ultimately make or break a given season. We seem to have had a great year; thoughts?

Lastly, while composing this post, I did notice some links to similar general season threads. Please move this post to the appropriate place [if at all possible], point me in the right direction, advise me as needed, or delete this post outright if need be. One distinction I could point out is that this thread could be used as a source of opinion on shows from which we've had the chance to sample a few episodes, as opposed to a similar thread wherein the titles have been only anticipated or reviewed [the 'post-mortem' threads]. Thanks for your interest!
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Spastic Minnow
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 2:15 pm Reply with quote
[edit- WOW, I really have to learn how to self-edit. Just fixed a boat-load of typos]

I used to make "Master" season threads whose title I would change from preview, to general to post-mortem, but I stopped doing that last season since this "in-season" part of the thread didn't get much response, and such talk was mainly taken care of in Bamboo's "The Stream" column talkback. Which means I stopped doing it just in time for her to stop doing that as a regular feature. "The Stream" will now be a minor feature of her "Shelf Life" column but I don't know if the general season talk will get much discussion there anymore. So, no, there isn't a thread like this currently and there is room for it... but unfortunately I'm not sure it'll get much traffic.

Now, even though I've made those master threads that started from the previews/charts and have made the preview/chart threas again for this winter- I actually pay very little heed to the charts. I'll look for sequels and studio and staff names I like but make almost no decisions on the chart's descriptions.

For me it's all about watching the episodes or at least getting some trusted feedback from others. Here's a rundown of my season's first impressions. I posted it in the fall preview talkback but it ended up being the thread killer/ final post. Hopefully it won't be the same here . It needed a couple updates anyway, to take in the extra week and to add Kamisama Kiss, which wasn't listed in the spotlight guide that I was using to make this list.

Well, a scorecard of first impressions...
Gold stars for most promising!

AIKATSU!: Not even bothering. Thanks ANN reviewers, you confirmed what this show is likely to be- crap.

Bakuman 3: Continue? Yes, please. It really is a shonen version of those Business Comics that survive in a niche of manga publishing, and it's a very interesting glimpse not only into manga making but this unique genre that survives in Japan.

Blast of Tempest: Plot descriptions, viewer response, and the fact that its an an adaptation of an unfinished work all point to this being an absolute mess of a series that will have no conclusion. So I'm not even giving a try unless it gets really significant praise.

Busou Shinki: Watched the first episode and some of the second an my reaction is that it's just a bunch of bland. I'm getting nothing from it.

Chō Soku Henkei Gyrozetter
: I repeat- Not even bothering. Thanks ANN reviewers, you confirmed what this show is likely to be- for kids.

Chūnibyō Demo Koi ga Shitai!: Looking good. Rikka is no Mikoto Urabe (Mysterious Girlfriend X), but I do love a story about the strange girl and the guy who has to deal with her. And such a set up can definitely be much worse (See: Pet Girl). Good characters so far, fun "fantasy" segments mixed in with views of the reality of the situation. The second episode was better than the first when it introduced, or better defined, its characters- so it promises to get even better.

Code:Breaker: Stopped a minute in. I can't take "cool" characters this season, it all comes off as fake to me.

From the New World: I didn't watch the first episode of this until I saw the reviews. I thought it might be another dense and messed up plot but it seems to be intriguing, and it's source material is apparently complete- so it'll actually have an ending!

Girls und Panzer: I can see no superlative qualities to it, but it seems to me that it could be much worse. I do think the premise is a stupid ploy to once again attract that weird connect of moe anime and military otaku, but I am pretty susceptible to the wiles of cute girls bonding over club activities. So, though it undoubtedly won't even catch the modest level of a show like Sound of the Sky, it might be easily tolerable.
[2nd week] Nevermind, it really is vacuous and pointless dual otaku pandering. drop.

Hayate the Combat Butler: Can't Take My Eyes Off You: I'd prefer a straight continuation and a more consistent tone to the previous two series (Norio, oh Norio, wherefore art thou, Norio?) but I like how this promises to be a nicely self contained side-story and it's an easy commitment for me.

Hidamari Sketch x Honeycomb: They keep making 'em, I'll keep watching them. Some of the nicest and cutest of the girls doing jack-crap stories melded with that fantastic Shaft design element. Love it.

Ixion Saga DT: Another I only bothered to watch because of the reviews. I may not care much for RPG and sword and sorcery type stories, but this is demonstrating some solid comedy. The key staff member here is Shinji Takamatsu. Director of School Rumble, Daily Lives of High School Boys, and some Gintama. That is a pedigree that deserves a following,

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: This got a "Yuck" reaction from me. It's got that old-school "cool" feeling to me that is no better in my book than the current coolness. Don't like a single character, don't like the way it seemed to be going, really don't like the spoilers I've read. Dropped like bad fruit.

Jormungand Perfect Order : I was initially a bit uncomfortable with this show in the first season and after the spate of recent random public shooting in the US (and I live in Milwaukee, near the Sihk Temple and the Spa shootings- and a church shooting a couple years back), I just find the prospect of trying to enjoy the rest of this show impossible.

K: Too cool for me.

Kamisama Kiss: It hasn't blown me away at all but it seems to be a solidly pleasant show. I'll almost certainly stick with it 'til the end.

Little Busters! : Not much new here, more like a classic recipe with a slight twist. I'm in for the ride.

Magi: meh, not sure I'm up for it. But that's what I said about HunterXHunter, and I'm still watching that.
[2nd week] Nevermind, There is simply too much here that I recognize that I'm supposed to be liking that I just am not. Worst offense is the usage of the "EVIL" (all caps) bad guy.

Medaka Box Abnormal : If it weren't Nisiosin, and I took this at face value, it wouldn't stand much of a chance. But I am very intrigued by the motives and rationale used in the show- it's not just a bunch of super-powered kids in a school beating on each other- it the nature of the characters that's important.

My Pet Monster: This seems to be a very solid and fun shojo rom-com. Good characters, promising set-up, characters show their emotions nicely.

ONIAI: It's a good and bad thing that this show can't quite be described as this season's KissXSis. Uglier characters, but a slight bit more substance. It might be tolerable.

The Pet Girl of Sakurasou: After the second episode the girl still seems more mentally challenged than endearingly eccentric so I'm still not committed. It is getting to the point where nit-picky details seem major to me- which is not a good thing. Like, how does a girl who exhibits no interest in caring for herself constantly look made-up like a model? Skinny, flawless skin, long and shimmering blonde hair with no hint of tangles? If a "beautiful person" doesn't take care of themselves, they still look a mess, and tend to smell, but not her.

Psycho-Pass : Watched the first episode because of the noitaminA brand name, but I didn't like it. More "cool" facade, I agree with the assessment it tries way too hard and borrows too heavily from better works.

Robotics;Notes: Seems like a safe bet. I doubt it will get the discussion of Steins;Gate but a problem I had with that show was how forced so much of the character interaction was, this already feels much more natural.

Say, "I Love You": Ever get Deja Vu? This seems to be very solid and fun shojo rom-com. Good characters, promising set-up, characters show their emotions nicely. I'm getting it will delve more into the nasty corners of teen relationships than Pet Monster, though.

Teekyū: too-fast-too-much-its-a-failed-experiment-I-can't-even-stand-to-watch-for-its-two-minute-run-time.

To Love-Ru -Trouble- Darkness: I'm in the "wait for a release" crowd. The show is made to titillate, to show it censored defeats the purpose. And it's definitely not a show I'm likely to want to watch more than once.

Wooser: Now this is weird fun in a two minute package. It could actually stand to run longer.

Last edited by Spastic Minnow on Wed Oct 24, 2012 5:18 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 4:51 pm Reply with quote
Spastic Minnow, thanks for the response!

I really think anyone who is turned off by the first couple of episodes of Jojo's Bizarre Adventure would do well to give it time to reveal itself as a completely awesome story. I think the anime adaptation is pitch perfect. It's gonna be a very enjoyable ride for those of us who love the manga, and probably for anyone who gives it a second glance.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 11:29 pm Reply with quote
I have to say, this is my first year following any of the new shows while they come out. I admit, it's much cooler than I thought it would be. I love watching this way with so many others.

I haven't ever done this before because I generally hate watching anime on my computer, I much prefer watching on my big screen TV, however thanks to having a Roku player which allows me to stream from Crunchyroll and Crackle different anime shows, I started following some that way.

Once I realized how wonderful this was, I made some exceptions and started watching a few shows on my comp that I can't stream to my TV (Kamisama Kiss and K so far), and I am debating watching Say I Love You this way as well since I really want to see this show.

Overall, the experience is better than I would have thought, but it does mean that I have grossly upped my anime watching for the season. I watched some every day anyway, but now I seem to be watching so much more.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 1:25 am Reply with quote
I can't believe I didn't notice that the Fall 2012 thread was missing this time around. Let's see.

Btooom! - the main character's a dick. The show overall is like Mirai Nikki but without Yuno, and the only reason I watched Mirai Nikki before was Yuno so I don't really have any motivation to watch this show. Also, the main character's a dick.

Code: Breaker - it felt like the show was moving too slow? I can't quite explain, but after two episodes I was still at a loss as to what the show is about. The characters aren't very appealing for me either.

Chuunibyou Demo Koi Ga Shitai! - for some reason, I didn't make it past the first episode. If I have to give a reason, it's that once I understood what a chuunibyou is, I realized I didn't want to watch a show about it.

Robotics; Notes - I didn't finish the first episode of this show either. I thought I'd give it a shot, but I don't even like it's very plot. I'm afraid I'm not a big fan of robot shows.

On the verge of dropping:
Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo - I'm not sure what it is, but there's something wrong with this show. The overly eager fanservice charades are also very off putting.

Zetsuen no Tempest - it's okay, but it's not something that hooks me in. It doesn't make me feel like I want to watch the next episode as soon as possible.

Psycho-Pass - while I like the plot of the show, if things turn real gory I'm stopping.

Gonna keep watching:
Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun - this show is freaking hilarious, and I just love the main characters. I'm a big fan of romcom and so far I haven't seen a problem with this one. Shojo love.

Suki-tte Ii na yo. - Another shojo show, how can I not watch it? I've read the manga actually, but there's something about seeing those sweet, sweet since in full color and movement. The anime so far's been doing the manga justice, in my opinion.

Shinsekai Yori - possibly my shocker for the season. I wasn't thinking of watching it but I thought I might as well give it a shot and now I'm hooked. This show's very story is interesting already, but after the latest episode, I just can't wait to find out what will happen.

Kamisama Hajimemashita - it's animation is not quite my preference, but as a romcom fan, I can't let this show pass. So far it's been interesting, although I must admit I'm quite tired of the "nice to everyone" heroine. Still, I want to know how love will bloom between the main characters.

Magi - The Labyrinth of Magic - I love it. It's about magic and adventure, what's not to love? I think my preference for this show is reflected by my avatar already.

Of course nothing's set on stone, but I'm 100% sure I won't try to watch my dropped shows again. I'm following 12 shows this season as it is, I don't want to add more if possible.

Best part about this season really is the number of shojo shows. As a sucker for romance, I can't help but like a lot of the titles this season. And I don't regret watching them romcoms one bit.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 6:59 am Reply with quote
I already did this write-up for my facebook anime discussion group, so I might as well reprise myself here. I'll do these in order of my preference:

My Little Monster: This is hands down my favorite show this season. The characters and situations are well written, and it strikes that near-perfect balance of drama and comedy, at least so far. I'm getting Toradora-ish vibes from this show (Toradora being my favorite romantic drama/comedy of all time), not in the characters or situations but in the sheer quality of the dialogue and character development.

The Pet Girl of Sakurasou: A lot of people have dismissed this show, but I would urge you to give it another shot. I started it thinking it was just some ecchi comedy, but I could tell right from the first episode that there was more to it, and boy was I right. Episode 3 it really comes out - there's a lot more drama, and a lot more heart to this show than you would ever think just from hearing about it. It's not as deftly written as My Little Monster, but it hits all the right notes - it's not so much about otaku wish-fulfillment as it is about seeing past what makes people different and appreciating them for who they are. It has some brief moments of fanservice but they are really quite few and far between. Also the style of comedy it employs strikes just the right chord with me - it's basically slapstick, but it is woven into the drama pretty well. I really like this show.

Zetsuen no Tempest: Oh, Bones, you rarely fail me. I dig this show like crazy. The animation is superb, the fight choreography is amazing, and I absolutely love all the Shakespeare references. Mashiro is /such/ a Shakespearean character, too, it almost gives me chills. Of course, it's too early to tell if it's going to jump the shark later on, but as of right now, I really like it. I also adore the opening sequence, the making of awesome ones having always been one of Bones' strengths.

Shin Sekai Yori: I love the /idea/ of this show. First of all, it's based on an honest-to-goodness novel, not a light novel or a teen novel or anything else pretending to be a novel. Second of all, the world is extremely interesting. That's the primary reason I'm still watching, because thus far the characters have come across as extremely flat and one-dimensional. I don't even remember their names. But my hope is that it will pick up steam as we dig into the source material.

Robotics;notes: I'm enjoying this show so far, even if it is off to a slow start. I'm a fan of Nitroplus' works, and they usually start slow. All I can really say so far is that I find both leads quite likeable, and will continue to watch their adventures even if I'm not quite on the edge of my seat.

Psyco-pass: Man, I love Urobuchi, I'm a huge fan of Madoka and Fate/Zero, but I'm having a hard time getting into this show. The art is great and super pretty, the concept is neat and I like it, but so far it's just felt.. pretty bland. Like, nothing has happened yet to really draw me into the story. I'm going to give it a few more episodes though and hope it improves.

Code:Breaker: Popcorn entertainment. Heavily with shonen cliches. However, I do like the main dude's attitude. The chick is annoying as hell though, and I hope she wises up pretty soon or else this show ain't gonna make the cut.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 8:45 am Reply with quote
I will give this a try, and I will try to talk about my least favorite first so I can sound like a prick.

K: Others seem to like, but I am really not enjoying it that much, apparently it is cool but I feel it as more a try hard. I find the comedy awful, fanservice is shallow, characters keep doing things that feel contradictory, and other are just annoying. I would say the best bits are some of the action, but these are so small that it is not worth expecting

Zetsuen no tempest: Look above for a few things, now I tend to be the one who tends to be optimistic, but I just can't be with this series, although I am finding it better. My main problem is I just hate the main characters, except maybe one who really does nothing but talk and look pretty, although one was a little likeable recently for his actions, but other two said je was acting irrationally.

Aoi Sekai no Chuushin de: Only one episode out yet, but the Sega/Nintendo thing is interesting, sadly the first episode was plagued by poor pacing, and it is like they do not know how to use the ridiculous premise properly.

Code Breaker: I can't understand why people cannot see how cliché this is, my biggest problem being the characters. If there was a Mary Sue this season, it has to be the female lead of this series, pretty, smart, good fighter, popular, looks after homeless animals, and doesn’t realise things she say sound like confessions. And then people were saying that the male lead is deep because he did not hurt her, yeah she just got lucky. This might end up better though.

Teekyuu: Watch if you have two minutes free, though you will probably need to freeze to read it. Some generally funny jokes, even if it zooms past quickly. Tall senpai FTW.

BTOOOM!: I am a little more optimistic with this one, although I continue to be more put off by the extreme content, might end up with an interesting show on social stuff, but I have to put up with some horrific things. Gamer in me is interested.

Psycho Pass: The narration of the justice system at this could go either way for how good it may be, perhaps the lead is a little soft, maybe there is room to grow. But the sci fi in this is really good, maybe a little too close to possible future.

Hayate no Gotoku: Can’t take my eyes off you: I am a big fan of the Hayate series, I loved the first season, slightly less but still enjoyed the second, but then hated the movie as the entire spirit seemed so different. It is unfortunate that this series continues to do what the movie did, I don’t have as much a problem with the character designs of some, I find it hard to accept the lack of silliness and that I liked most, although some of it still funny. Nice OP.

Medaka Box Abnormal: personally I preferred it when the series was more comedy than fighting, but it might still pay off, could rely on how much Shiranui is in.

Jormungand: Perfect Order: More of the same of first season, though we are finding out more about Koko, and of a plot against her.

Busou Shinki: There is not really anything wrong with this series, it is a moe show that tries not to be too though provoking, but still manages to be fun. Turn off your brain and you will have fun.

Little Busters: Now I am a big Key anime fan, but for some reason this does not fit right with me, what will sell it will most likely be the emotional stuff that has not show up yet, we have the odd funny joke, but still not as much hits as my favourites.

Sukitte Iinayo: This is a surprisingly good show, the only problem being that it gets compared to another show this season which it cannot match. I like the Female lead, but I reserve my thoughts for the male he seems a little too giving.

Shinsekai yori: A good point about it is that it is based on an actual novel (not light), but that also causes some problems as the pacing obviously feels like a novel. For some reason I want to describe it as peeling layers, it is generally unremarkable at the beginning, like boring characters, but it keeps flashing that there is more under the surface.

Robotics;Notes: Apparently like Steins;Gates, although I don’t quite see it as I am actually enjoying this, I especially like the female lead. It has been bit of robot fighter anime, or even child tournament anime, but it seems to be something more, but not quite a parody.

Girls und Panzer: It is like Saki with tanks, but with less yuri, I have been a bit annoyed at the subs I have been using but still having fun.

Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo: I thought this would be a mindless harem anime filled with fanservice, although it surprisingly asks some tough questions, I wonder where it will go, possibly a gem from J.C. that just looks dirty at first.

ONIAI: An actual mindless Harem anime filled with fanservice, I actually rather like the characters in this one, fanservice is nice, and I laugh, I am allowed a guilty pleasure.

Kamisama Hajimemashita: Another surprisingly good shojou, it seems to have a problem with pacing where it is hard to figure what their daily lives are, but it is a lot of fun. OP and ED are somewhat hypnotic, characters are likeable, the animation is not spectacular but some of it still works well, like expressions.

Magi: We have not really explored the characters enough yet, but they are still engaging, some of it seems rather depressing, but it still feels very fun without taking from the bad stuff. Have to mention the music which has a great Arabian Nights feel that feels so natural, but I can’t think of such style used much else in anime. Also love the ED song.

Ixion Saga DT: They have turned the adventure genre on its head with this one, takes heavy parody swings at the genre, but without quite being a big joke, which has worked very well, the main character can surprise you.

Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai: KyoAni has struck gold again, some will get turned away but it is a lot of fun, you could always call it the answer to Haruhi’s success, difference being that there really is nothing secret under the surface, but damn that be a chimera. They just revealed another character’s hidden traits, and it is going to have some interesting character interactions. KyoAni also include some of the best fighting action that they have ever animated about once an episode, nice animation.

Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun: The show that almost everyone seems to be able to admit is good, definitely the surprise of the season , with likeable character, and not confirming to what you would expect from a shoujo, perhaps the reverse version of Hagunai though no harems so far. And a female protagonist that has surprisingly grown a little, has a way to go and rather honest.

*falls over* Is that all of them? I think the count is 23 anime.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2012 3:37 pm Reply with quote
[EDIT: Sorry, self-promotion and solicitations are not allowed. If you'd like to actually write the text to tell everyone your top 5 and why, that would be okay. But even video responses count as listing. So please try again. -TK]
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2012 7:01 pm Reply with quote
Fall was a pretty good season for me, I liked most of what I watched. I only dropped one show and for the ones I kept, I regretted none.

Psycho-Pass: It's just fantastic. I love the psychological thriller and how the plot always makes me reflect of our current society and how it may become in the future. The characters are very likeable -especially Masaoka-, if a little underdevelopped and the visuals are fabulous. My favorite this season, and can't wait to see how it continues

Magi: It's fun, exciting, full of magic and mixes innocent and pure characters such as Aladdin, Morgiana and Alibaba, with a very dark and rotting environment with social and political controversies and critics to selfish governments. I'm very happy it's continuing through the next season

Zetsuen Tempest: I think this gets extra point for Mahiro's fantastic characterization as a selfish bastard who will put the sake of the world at risk in exchange of attaining his personal goals -yet, he's not the villain- There's a lot of talking and debating and mistery and I'm very intrigued by the story and how it's unfolding around the two trees and the boys.

Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun: I got interested in this quite late, but managed to catch up around episode 11. The characters are fantastic and I love how it manages to give a nice development to most members of the cast -not only the main couple- in spite of the scarce episodes. I really liked it's spontaneous, energetic vibe.

Bakuman 3: There was no going wrong with this one, the first two seasons were already awesome, this third is going great too, though I feel it's going a bit too quick and they're rushing through the events which makes me wonder if they'll try to reach the actual ending in this season.

K: I loved the action and the visuals, and Yata's skateboard scenes (those were particularly beautiful) There were a bit too many characters and a lot that needed much more development. The story was a bit weird and made little sense at some points, but it was fun, I liked the characters, the design and the overall plot. And the BL undertones Very Happy

Sukitte Ii Na Yo: Very sweet and realistic, quiet and not very ambitious, just cute. I liked it a lot. I really liked how the characters grew, made mistakes and learned from them


Shin Sekai Yori: I reached episode 10 and decided I was dreading every new episode, so I dropped it. I liked the setup and the exposition episode was fantastic, the future world they built is very impressive and well funded. But it seemed completely aimless and with very hectic pace, just a bunch of kids running around, discovering their world is really fucked up and from where I left, spoiler[being killed/banished one by one due to knowing too much.] The mutant rats didn't help at all.

I hope to get time later to catch Medaka S2 and Robotics;Notes, but overall, I think I watched everything that interested me so I'm quite satisfied
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2012 9:00 pm Reply with quote
I haven't watched much new stuff this fall but I do like Little Busters! But I'm a Key fangirl too, so....Anime hyper
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 2:54 pm Reply with quote
Double posting action!

(also posted in The Stream, but I find these threads easier to access later)

It seemed like I enjoyed the season but I'm not sure there were any really big stand-outs.

Best to least enjoyed finished show:

Very Good

Chūnibyō Demo Koi ga Shitai!(TAN title: Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions):
KyoAni quality animation, cute and engaging characters, very effective humor, good couple, good drama (although a bit rushed and forced at the end), and that wonderful thing you just don't get in 12 episode shows much- a complete story. Really not much to complain about.

Hidamari Sketch x Honeycomb:
Merely the continuation of a solid franchise. the show can always give me the warm fuzzies and it has that added element of Shaft's artistic touches. Pure candy goodness- the content is sweet and the art delights me. I also like how this season often focuses on how the two older girls are about to graduate and Yuno is attempting to act more mature. That said, as necessary as the linear story-telling has become I miss the randomness of the early seasons and I have never really grown as fond of the freshmen girls as I am of the other four. I'm assuming they have a couple specials, or a movie, or maybe even another season in them to focus on Sae and Hiro graduating but I don't what comes after that. The main character is Yuno, and it is mainly about her coming of age- but can the franchise survive without Sae and Hiro? I have no idea where the source series goes after this.

From the New World:
I find the show absolutely fascinating and refreshing... although I also find it better watched in blocks, which is why I'm only through episode 8 right now. The thing is, this really does feel like a BOOK adaptation. It is meant to be seen as a whole and maybe doesn't work best in half hour segments, too bad the hour long OVA installment experiments from a couple years back didn't seem to pan out, this probably could have benefited from such a presentation.

The Pet Girl of Sakurasou**(continuing):
Damn the otaku desire for taboo subjects. It does not need to be about a "pet girl"- but it brings in the pervs while hoping it doesn't drive away too many that are looking mainly for quality story-telling (not that pervs can't enjoy a good story). But this does have a good story, Mashiro still tows the line between eccentric and autistic (Autiscentric? Eccentistic?) and is too perfect looking for someone with such issues but she can form relationships with effort and it's sweet to see her do so, and her talent, and the talent of the other hall weirdos is so evident you can see and empathize with the inferiority complex of the others.


My Pet Monster:
Say, "I Love You":
I simply have to put these two together. I liked them about equally, they had the same basic beginning set up with some eerily identical episode flags (both girls ostracized very young for animal related trauma, both episodes ended up with forced kisses, etc), some similar supporting cast. Both very solid and fun shojo rom-com. As I've said elsewhere it almost seemed like both creators were working from the same story elements and asked to put their unique touches on them. But both also seem slightly hindered by their sub-genres conventions. Monster is a bit wacky and because of that you get confused by moments like the repeated instances of Haru accidentally hitting Shizuku- is that funny? Is he truly sorry? Likewise Say "I Love You" emphasizes teen drama and inserts blatant sexuality into the story which detracts from Yamatos moments of being a silly love-struck teenager - Is he, or isn't he a sexually experienced playboy? Does Mei want to be a chaste and pure girl or is she looking forward to going on night trips with Yamato?
And unfortunately both shows end when they've barely begun.
If they continue with sequels their rating might get bumped up but because of their incompleteness both get placed at the "good" level for now.

Bakuman 3** ( continuing):
The show is starting to show some signs of going long. I think it's important to the story that things take a lot of effort and time for our heroes to reach their goals, but the recent arcs about the crowd-sourcing mangaka and the PCP-copycat robber feel more like distractions than essential. I keep rating this franchise as "good" but once it does wrap up I may bump the rating up. As a complete story I'm expecting a good pay-off.

Robotics;Notes** (continuing):
I'm basically in another holding pattern here, I can't make a real decision on how good the show is until more is aired. The mystery stuff and back-story revelation is showing promise and the SoL stuff and character interaction doesn't turn me off but it isn't coherring well yet. Maybe it never will, but I doubt it could make a really bad turn at this point. At worse the show will stay mediocre, at best it will be a fun but but unexceptional watch.

Hayate the Combat Butler: Can't Take My Eyes Off You:
The Very Good? A complete story told within a season.
The Good? Some character interaction stuff, like Hayate and Hina going to the park, was quite satisfying.
The Weak? the "wacky" otaku comedy, like the trip to buy video games, manga, and Dojinshi, was definitely a step down. I never got
used to the huge-forehead designs- they looked like neanderthals some of the time. the Hayate-Nagi schism in the middle was too forced. I've only watched the anime and some of the manga, I did not know some of the characters and wasn't familiar with new settings. No Norio meant little to no 4th-wall breaking, and what was there wasn't nearly as effective.

Medaka Box Abnormal:
This is another story where the idea is much better than the actual story. This series completely eschews the normal process of character development. It may just be an experiment in Literary naturalism, in which the the motives and temperaments are much more important than character traits and morals. These guys really are just a collections of motives and back story- how they react to each other is based on their philosophy and personal stance rather than how likable or unlikable they are. Because I really don't like the more common industry practice of showcasing characters that only have traits and charisma that make them seem cool and intriguing while abandoning actual character substance I like the experiment- but it's still a weak and cliched story. I hope it continues but I'm glad its one for now- the experiment gets tedious when it goes too long.

*Little Busters! ** (continuing):
I'm a fan of the Key formula and I enjoy the humor of this show and some of the characteristic melodrama, but damn do I wish I cared more for the characters. Riki is such a weak main character. I guess it's part of the point and a conscious choice to make him about as pathetic as the girls he helps but I do yearn a bit for the sarcastic straight man main character who goes after each challenge with his force of personality and determination. I'm guessing he may even be the victim of the inevitable tragic series climax in stead of the girls- as there has yet to really be a girl you can attach yourself to anywhere near to the level you get attached to other Key girl characters.

Ixion Saga DT:
I laugh a lot in this show but the execution sometimes puts me off. They're all such exaggerated extremes, it exhausts me to watch a show where everyone and everything is a "hey Look at me! I'm funny!" display. This is from the director of one of my favorite anime comedies, School Rumble, but it severely lacks the fleshed out and sympathetic aspects of the characters from that work.

Kamisama Kiss: Another example of a director of an earlier favorite work (Fruits Basket) putting out a work that pleasingly replicates some of the aspects of the earlier work but fails to flesh out the characters. So I enjoyed the show, I'll tell you to watch it if you liked Fruits Basket, but you won't like it as much and you won't get as attached to this show or its characters.

Wooser: The only "short" I'll bother mentioning this season. It keeps me watching for being so wonderfully weird, but the truth is a lot of the humor does miss. Either lost in translation or too confident in its own cleverness.


ONIAI: It's superficial fun, but damn is it superficial- It doesn't fall to the levels of ick of KissXSis but also doesn't have character designs nearly as appealing (IMO). Not it has ugly designs, not nearly as bad as that other oni-con show from last year with the stick bodies and big heads. And its best feautre is that it often doesn't take its shtick very seriously. They are very much in on the joke. Does that make it a good show? Well, it makes it "decent."
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