Spring 2010 Anime

Apologies for the long absence, but a combination of bad weather and the Easter holidays has left me with nothing to do other than play games, watch anime and eat chocolate for the last fortnight. Fun times, if noisy because of my siblings being at home all day every day, but not the type of thing that inspires me to write. But I can’t let this blog die. So I’ll attempt to summarize the new season’s anime offerings. You’ll remember a couple of posts ago (or if not, scroll down and it’s there!) I listed the series I most looked forward to, with Iron Man placing first. Guess which anime got postponed until Autumn… (I also wrongly listed Senkou no Night Raid as a MADHOUSE series – I meant Rainbow). But disappointments aside, this season is proving to be excellent; here’s my thoughts on everything I’ve picked up, in alphabetical order:

Angel Beats! – a difficult one to start on. It’s certainly different to any other Key adaptation, in that it has a lot more plot and male characters, though there’s still a large female cast of course. With a main character that looks like Haruhi, and divided opinions about the animation quality, this has certainly attracted more attention than most other new anime. My thoughts? I honestly don’t know, it’s off to a weird start. Intriguing first episode, though…

Arakawa Under the Bridge is another SHAFT gag manga series, along the lines of Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei. With a main character who’s greatest fear is a reliance on other people, a ‘love interest’ from Venus and a mayor who’s a kappa, all living together under a bridge, I can’t even begin to imagine what direction the comedy will take next… and we haven’t even met all the characters yet!

B Gata H Kei was a big shock. I like Hal Film Maker, but I took one look at the synopsis for this and thought ‘this can’t be good’. Well, it is good, so far at least. While there’s still a lot of ecchi, the focus is far more on the comedy, and the first ep was very well written. Character designs aren’t bad, animation is great, voice acting impossible to fault. And so I’ll be looking forward to seeing the 2nd episode, which downloaded as I typed this!

Giant Killing was an even bigger shock. I strongly dislike football, but would rate this one of the best episodes of this season so far. And it’s made by Studio DEEN, a studio that I’m naturally wary of after series like Umineko and Shining Tears X Wind. Anime never ceases to amaze me… Also, since Cross Game ended this season, I’ve got plenty of room for another sports anime.

Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou wasn’t really a shock, it was more or less exactly (if slightly better) than expected. Magical fantasy ecchi, completely massacred by censorship (though uncensored versions air a couple of days later). Yet strangely I didn’t even stop to think about this, for some reason I just felt I had to pick it up. Well, it was that or Shin Koihime Musou 2, so I’ll give the new series a chance.

Hakuouki Shinsengumi Kitan is another Studio DEEN series, this time catered towards fangirls. I’m beginning to question my judgement here… joking. In all seriousness, this looks like it may have a decent and mysterious plot. The secondary characters are mainly bishonen; with the main character being female this is an obvious reverse harem setup, but I haven’t watched one of those in a while so why not?

K-ON!! is next. Don’t hate me for it. I fully accept that this series is nothing other than moe blob characters sitting around drinking tea, eating cake, cosplaying and (occasionally) playing music. But with another season of Hidamari Sketch over, that’s exactly the sort of series I’m missing from my lineup. Slow paced comedy which require little thought can be nice at times.

Rainbow: Nisha Rokubou no Shichinin has, like Iron Man, been a victim of postponement. This was originally meant to air about a year ago! But it’s here now, and was worth the wait. Certainly the most shocking first ep of the season, with enough explicit content to warrant a warning at the beginning of the ep. Though not much happened apart from the shock factor and character introductions, I can see this developing into an epic series with time.

Senkou no Night Raid was made by A-1 Pictures. And is a series involving Japanese spies with psychic superpowers in 1930s China. What’s not to like? This should provide plenty of action, without the fangirl pandering of Hakuouki or the immortality of Angel Beats! My only worry is the politics – I know nothing of the events this series is loosely based on, so hopefully it won’t be too difficult to follow.

And that’s it so far. I plan to add two more series to that list, probably the currently unaired Yojou-Han Shinwa Taikei and House of Five Leaves. In case either/both of them disappoint, I’ve got Mayoi Neko Overrun! and Shin Koihime Musou 2 on reserve. 😛 The former was a little too weird for me, in terms of pacing and character introduction, though at least it tried to be original; the latter comes a bit too soon after the last Shin Koihime Musou series for my liking, but I’d still happily watch them.

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