Spring 2013 Episode Rankings – Week 1

Here we go again! A new season, and a virtually all new lineup of anime series. This time around I sampled the first episodes of everything (barring shorts and sequels for series I haven’t seen) before narrowing them down to just 15 series, which is why I’m posting this rather late. So although the second episodes of most of these shows have aired by now, these rankings are all based on the first episodes.

One of the few shows continuing from earlier seasons is Uchuu Kyoudai (Space Brothers)… amazing to think I’ve been watching that for a year now! I’ll be leaving it out of the rankings until the current recap episodes are over, but it’ll be back afterwards. 🙂

Hataraku Maou-sama! had me in stitches.

Hataraku Maou-sama! had me in stitches.

1 – Hataraku Maou-sama! ep 1

2 – Shingeki no Kyojin ep 1

3 – Hunter x Hunter ep 74

4 – Kakumeiki Valvrave ep 1

5 – Hentai Ouji to Warawanai Neko ep 1

6 – Chihayafuru 2 ep 13

7 – Suisei no Gargantia ep 1

8 – Karneval ep 1

9 – Devil Survivor 2 The Animation ep 1

10 – RDG: Red Data Girl ep 1

11 – Hyakka Ryouran: Samurai Bride ep 1

12 – Haiyore! Nyaruko-san W ep 1

13 – Uta no☆Prince-sama♪ Maji Love 2000% ep 1

14 – Aku no Hana ep 1

15 – Date A Live ep 1

16 – Mushibugyou ep 1

17 – Dansai Bunri no Crime Edge ep 1

Peek-a-boo!

Peek-a-boo!

Starting with the all new, non-sequel series, Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan) impressed me a lot. The premise was always going to appeal to me, but the high production values made it even more enjoyable. As first episodes go, though, it was pretty standard introductory fare… which may be why Hataraku Maou-sama! beat it to the top spot this week. Being a comedy series, it was able to rush through the backstory at a breakneck pace and get straight to the point: inducing laughter. Which it did very, very well. I just hope it keeps it up and remains highly rated for the whole season, instead of slowly dropping down like Cuticle Tantei and Binbougami-ga! before it.

Hentai Ouji to Warawanai Neko was the main reason I ended up posting this so late, as it aired a good week after most other series, so fortunately it turned out to be worth the wait! Over the years I’ve grown tired of the stereotypical pervert protagonists and emotionless girls in anime, but Hentai Ouji puts an interesting spin on things: after having their wishes granted (but not quite in the way they’d hoped), main character Yokodera Youto impulsively shouts out whatever perverted thoughts that come into his head, while lead female Tsutsukakushi Tsukushi (these names are ridiculous) is left incapable of outwardly expressing the emotions she feels inside.

The monobrow suits him, somehow.

The monobrow suits him, somehow.

Then, there was Aku no Hana. Wow. I don’t think I’ve come across so much rage towards an episode since the Endless Eight arc of Haruhi Suzumiya… My thoughts? As a fan of the manga, I was initially disappointed that they changed the character designs so drastically… but I remain optimistic. The story was always the main selling point of Aku no Hana for me, and I’m actually looking forward to seeing certain scenes animated in this weird style. The low ranking this week was more to do with the content (or lack of it) than the visuals – it was a very slow introductory episode, and not a lot happened.

Lower down in the rankings, Mushibugyou was standard shounen fare. The protagonist moves to Edo to join the Mushibugyou, a magistrate unit set up to protect the citizens from giant insects and arachnids… don’t see what they’re all so worried about to be honest, it could be worse – it could have been titans. Anyway, I’m not expecting a lot from it, but that’s fine – a series with plenty of action, passable animation and nice enough character designs can still make for great viewing when I’m too tired to focus on a complex plotline. 😛

It looks as though someone has taken the tape out of several VHS cassettes and glued it to her head...

It looks like someone has taken the tape out of several VHS cassettes and glued it to her head…

The first episode of Dansai Bunri no Crime Edge impressed me the least, simply because it all felt so rushed and confusing. All this talk of ‘Killing Goods’, curses, and something to do with the protagonist’s ancestor being a mass murderer… I don’t know how much of it was meant to be shrouded in mystery, and how much was just poorly explained in this episode! Hopefully it’ll all make sense in the end though, as I decided to give it a chance anyway based on other people’s high praise of the manga, as well as the fact it looks like it’ll descend into a survival game. I like survival games. 😀

In the middle of the table, KarnevalDevil Survivor 2 The Animation and RDG: Red Data Girl were examples of first eps that posed a lot of mysteries and questions without leaving me in a state of confusion – I imagine this is due to their having better pacing than Crime Edge, which meant I found it easier to follow the bits I was supposed to understand. 😛 RDG also has some of the best animation of the season in my opinion (P.A. Works always delivers in that regard), while Karneval had plenty of appealing bishonen and bishoujou character designs. Devil Survivor, on the other hand, had the same great style going for it as Persona 4, staying true to its video game origins.

Deathclock.com says I have 30 years to live... but I'd be much more inclined to believe it if it had bunny girls.

deathclock.com says I have 30 years to live… I’d be much more inclined to believe it if it had bunny girls.

This season’s sequels are a crazy bunch. I don’t know what was more hilarious, the dojo-turned-maid cafe in Hyakka Ryouran: Samurai Bride, or… no, actually it has to be Uta no☆Prince-sama♪ Maji Love 2000%. Seeing Haruka ‘coincidentally’ bump into each member of her bishonen reverse harem one after the other was cringe worthy (in a good way, if that’s possible), and the appearances of Ringo, the ‘pioneering princes’ and (especially) Shining Saotome were fantastic. Haiyore! Nyaruko-san W also impacted on my sanity points, but since I only marathoned the first series last month it was fresh in my mind, so I had a better idea of what to expect. 😛

Finally, while all these new series are shiny and exciting, I mustn’t forget the older ongoing series – they stood up well to these new threats! 6th place is a fairly standard ranking for Chihayafuru 2, and it was a fairly standard episode too… have to admit I’m more excited about the upcoming individual tournaments than the groups. However, looking at last season’s performance, 3rd place for Hunter x Hunter is anything but standard. While the Greed Island arc slowly got better towards the end, it still paled in comparison to Yorknew City… until Gon’s battle against Genthru, which was among the best in the series in my opinion.

Rainbow subs and epic rolling of 'R's... I've missed this series!

Rainbow subs and epic rolling of ‘R’s… I’ve missed this series!

So, that’s everything I’ll be watching this season! I feel as though this could be a very good one. 🙂

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