Winter 2013 First Impressions – The Ever Problematic Season

[FFF] Love Live! - 01 [02F499E0].mkv_snapshot_23.23_[2013.01.09_02.36.35]

This winter, nose-less nubile girls take center stage as they dance and sing about NEVER GIVING UP while avoiding cars.

Winter Picks


Maoyuu

[HorribleSubs] Maoyuu Maou Yuusha - 03 [720p].mkv_snapshot_01.18_[2013.01.20_22.20.16]

This series is often described as “Spice and Wolf, but with macroeconomics!”.

I’ll be glad to tell you that I have no prior experience with Spice and Wolf so that’s previous statement was simply a pathetic attempt to explain this to that specific viewer who may have seen Spice and Wolf.

Maoyuu dabbles on the topic of war and economics. It also indulges in 1) Animated boob jiggles, 2) bad jokes and 3) an idealized chaste relationship between a demon queen and a gallant hero. So, NO. We’re not exactly forming a dream team here.

But what Maoyuu lacks in finesse it makes up for with interesting subject matter. While the prospect of having two characters talk about potatoes may not seem enticing, the series makes an honest effort to make it interesting. However, Maoyuu has a long way to go. In a show like this, the narrative can only be as fascinating as the world it has created for itself and the characters will have to become more than just amusing mouthpieces.

Cuticle Detective Inaba

[HorribleSubs] Cuticle Detective Inaba - 03 [1080p].mkv_snapshot_02.08_[2013.01.21_01.55.34]

Cuticle Detective Inaba’s comedy tactics involve a violent barrage of jokes that mercilessly attack the viewer in lightning speed. By combining this approach with a cast of some of the most absurd characters only conceivable in an anime, Cuticle Detective Inaba successfully manages induce a laugh or two from each bizarre skit.

Love Live

[FFF] Love Live! - 01 [02F499E0].mkv_snapshot_01.33_[2013.01.09_02.30.22]

Love Live is sugarcoated, diabetes-inducing fluff in its most concentrated form. The series effectively removes the cut throat aspect of show business and instead uses an all girl’s school as a backdrop in which budding, young idols thrive. Lovingly animated by Sunrise, it is a true exercise of moe freedom, an artistic revolution constrained by moe hating adversaries.

Bakumatsu Ginjinden Roman

[HorribleSubs] BAKUMATSU GIJINDEN ROMAN - 02 [720p].mkv_snapshot_03.11_[2013.01.21_02.17.14]

Roman is not a period piece. Roman is about a ragtag group of people who steal from the rich and give to the poor, it just so happens they were born into the Bakamatsu era. What’s commendable about this series is the energy that surrounds it and its characters. Yes, it is undoubtedly goofy, but beneath that wacky veneer is an intriguing search of the secret of the Cherry Blossoms. Vastly underrated!

Zettai Karen Children: The Unlimited – Hyoubu Kyousuke

[HorribleSubs] Zettai Karen Children THE UNLIMITED - Hyoubu Kyousuke - 02 [720p].mkv_snapshot_23.53_[2013.01.21_02.24.53]

The Unlimited’s first episode heavily reminded me of Code Geass. The stylish, action-packed affair, ZKC: The Unlimited doesn’t quite inform its audience of a definitive plot from the get go. Instead, we’re forced to piece together how things fall into place, all while enjoying the fantastic psychic battles featuring Silver! Lelouch and Heterochromia!Suzaku.

Senyuu

[HorribleSubs] Senyuu - 02 [720p].mkv_snapshot_03.28_[2013.01.21_00.54.22]

Senyuu has the greatest anime opening of 2013 to date. Any show that opens with a song by JAM Project is legit. And thus, Senyuu is perhaps the only anime short worthy of some kind of praise. Senyuu is an RPG parody, switching between mean spirited and whimsical, Senyuu is competently put together and sometimes, surprisingly clever. Yamakan may have found this true calling: anime shorts.

On The Fence


Tamako Market

[Mazui]_Tamako_Market_-_02_[A74AB4F2].mkv_snapshot_01.13_[2013.01.21_02.10.00]

Tamako Market seems unable to balance the saccharine and the eclectic. It is facing an identity crisis. Perhaps it is unsure of how to portray a shopping district as something that is both close to home, and yet wildly colorful and almost magical. Does Tamako Market simply aim to make me (the viewer) feel good? Does it want me to go out and buy myself mochi? Then get me invested in this show and find a way to deal with your identity crisis.

[gg]_Sasami-san@Ganbaranai_-_02_[EEF8C9E9].mkv_snapshot_22.04_[2013.01.19_02.59.50]

Sasami-san@Ganbaranai

Sasami-san almost feels like a Shaft show made for Shaft fans. It targets a very specific kind of anime viewer, and because of this– Sasami-san indulges in all the typical traits present in a Shaft production. It relishes in referential humor, superfluous dialogue and style. Mythological allusions are great and all, but only if I care.

Offensively Bad


[HorribleSubs] Amnesia - 02 [720p].mkv_snapshot_19.48_[2013.01.21_02.01.31]

Amnesia

Brain’s Base has solidified this image of creating some pretty good shows. After the first two episodes, I can safely say that Amnesia won’t be joining the ranks of Baccano!, Natsume or Penguindrum soon.

Banal tripe at its finest. This series put me to sleep but not without throwing an angry fit. It’s almost like a parody of every Otome game anime adaptation ever, except they’re completely serious about it. The main character in Amnesia is so unresponsive she can’t scream– even as she falls off a cliff.

[Commie] Vividred Operation - 01 [EEB956D7].mkv_snapshot_07.07_[2013.01.21_02.07.18]

Vividred Operation

The fact that this is the kind of late night anime that gets 3.7% ratings depresses me. Even as I try to ignore the gratuitous butt and crotch closeups…I’m not depressed enough to delude myself into thinking that the plot is any better than Bakumatsu Ginjinden Roman.

[HorribleSubs] Kotoura-san - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_09.06_[2013.01.21_02.00.06]

Kotoura-san

I don’t get it. This is stupidly overdramatic and unfunny. I am not entertained by this. While it may be okay to have an emotional response towards an anime. Kotoura-san pushes the boundaries of what I find to be acceptable when it comes to emotional manipulation. This is the kind of story Gintama made fun of whenever they did these extremely tragic stories narrated by some bloke and it all ends with a big punchline. It’s almost kind of gross that I have to take this seriously.

Closing Thoughts

THIS SEASON SUCKS.

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15 Comments

  1. W-what happened to the top image?

    Anyway, I enjoyed Inaba, but I’m still at a total loss as to why it’s “Cuticle.” They act like it has something to do with hair, and it doesn’t. I just don’t know. I did effortlessly watch two episodes though, so it’s good at what it does.

    The Unlimited looks like they went a little too far in trying to appeal to certain audiences or trying to be cool. It’s not disgustingly so (yet), but I worry. I’m glad I’m not the only one who kept thinking of Suzaku every time Andy was onscreen.

    I notice you didn’t mention Mondaiji-tachi or Hakkenden. Any particular reason?

    At least there are still continuing shows like HunterxHunter and Jojo, right? And any backlog you might have.

    • W-what happened to the top image?
      I thought I’d welcome the new year with something new! Although I will miss that K banner, season 2 can’t come soon enough.

      There are a lot of things in Cuticle Detective Inaba that confuse me. And because this show just pummels you with one joke after another, it’s just not that easy to react.

      There’s no doubt The Unlimited is trying to be all cool and badass, I’m easily satiated by great animation so as long as they make the ride entertaining, perhaps The Unlimited will do fine.

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who kept thinking of Suzaku every time Andy was onscreen.
      I sense a bit of Syaoran there too. But yes, he’s basically Suzaku with a geass.

      I notice you didn’t mention Mondaiji-tachi or Hakkenden. Any particular reason?
      I didn’t find myself enjoying the first episodes of both shows. I have yet to sit down and attempt to reevaluate both shows.

      I’m definitely glad to have HxH and Jojo around this season. I do have a massive backlog and I’ve just recently finished a few shows I’m itching to write about!

      • “I sense a bit of Syaoran there too. But yes, he’s basically Suzaku with a geass.”

        Maybe that’s what it is… I know I feel he’s familiar, but I can’t quite place it. Anyway, that’s not a geass! That’s a Geass Canceller! Come on, it’s a robot eye and he cancels powers. Clearly, he’s Suzaku and Orange’s lovechild.

        I haven’t seen Hakkenden (it does look dull), but oddly enough, I rather liked Mondaiji. It’s like a less fluffy Dog Days. I guess the main draw is that the three main characters are all self-confident and reasonably smart.

        • Clearly, he’s Suzaku and Orange’s lovechild.

          This is easily one of the most horrifying things I have ever read.

          After three episodes of Hakkenden, I can safely say that does get pretty interesting. Still a bit dull in places, but it’s slowly gaining momentum. Seeing that I didn’t enjoy Dog Days, Mondaiji may not be my thing. ^^

  2. Heh, even though I’m pretty excited for Kotoura-san myself, I have to agree that I found the whole downward spiral–particularly the kitten scene and wail–overly dramatic. I actually laughed there.

    You’ve convinced me to give Bakumatsu Ginjinden Roman a try. Most other reviewers gave it the bare minimum of discussion, likening it to Lupin. That didn’t help me since I have yet to get around to watching any of Lupin works. I am a bit confused about something you say, though. At first you seem to be praising Roman, then later it sounds like you’re knocking it:

    I’m not depressed enough to delude myself into thinking that the plot is any better than Bakumatsu Ginjinden Roman.

    Does that mean simply that Vividred Operation‘s plot isn’t good, or are you saying that both of them have bad plots and it’s only characters that Roman does well?

    • Almost everything Kotoura-san has done has kind of gotten me cringing so…

      What I meant is that both Vividred and Roman right now have very simplistic plots and yet Vividred seems to get more attention and it’s plot as been described as ‘intriguing’. Neither of the shows have shown signs of a complex and intelligent plot but I’ll choose Bakumatsu over Vividred because it’s features more compelling characters and is much less creepy.

  3. Is it just me or does it feel like Brain’s Base is trying to ruin their good track record on purpose?

    I haven’t seen Kotoura-san, but I feel like I would have the exact same thoughts as you do. It feels like it’s only praised because “it wasn’t what people expected”. I cannot confirm this unless I watch it, however.

    Do you feel this is the case?

    • Maybe they’re just taking a breather. I hope they’ll come back with a GREAT show just to remind me that I actually like them as a studio.

      Do you feel this is the case?

      I personally think this tends to happen more often than people think. Nothing was known about Kotoura-san, so the show really made an impression to those who didn’t see it coming. There’s also that thing about the anime fandom being fond of heavy drama too.

  4. The main reason I’m still watching Amnesia is because it makes me laugh. Like that screencap you took. That scene was obviously supposed to be ~dramatic~ and ~suspenseful~ but that crazy face + holding a flashlight like that = me unable to stop giggling at how stupid it is.

    So I’m enjoying it, just not for its intended purpose. :D

    • So I’m enjoying it, just not for its intended purpose. :D

      Same thing happened to me while watching Code:breaker, good thing I have Love Live to ironically enjoy!

  5. I think Zettai Karen Children is the only thing that looks even remotely appealing to me on this list :( otherwise, wow, I’m glad that Psycho-pass is carrying over from the fall and I still have a few things to catch up on. Maybe there will be some surprises so I’ll keep an eye out. Here’s hoping for better in the summer.

    • Right now, ZKC is definitely one of those shows I’m really excited to see every week. There’s nothing much to blog about — yet, but it’s one of those shows that has something going for it at least.

  6. Exact same feels with Kotoura-san–I thought it was only me who thinks like that. I don’t get it also; no matter how much I tried giving it another shot, I just don’t believe the whole tragedy and Kotoura-san’s character is more of ridiculous than pathetic.

    • I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who disliked Kotoura-san as a whole.

      Kotoura-san’s character is more of ridiculous than pathetic.

      The series plays it out like nothing is directly her fault and everyone was just being terrible people. All it gets from me is an eyeroll.

  7. Have you seen “Mondaiji-tachi ga Isekai kara Kuru Sou Desu yo” because I think it is worth metioning.

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