Haha, you’re so silly Mr. Bread… o_o
Summer’s here already, and three spring anime are done (tsuritama, Kids on the Slope, and Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine). These were all extremely excellent anime and I’m so sorry to see them finish. Summer is emptier without them. I’m continuing on with Space Brothers and Kuroko’s Basketball, and bidding Jormungand goodbye for now (it’s reached meh territory–I really don’t care about any of the characters with the exception of Valmet). With summer, I thought I would only be watching Moyashimon Returns, but to my surprise, picked up four other seemingly strong anime, so I’m still holding at seven anime a week (on top of an old one, Skip Beat, because I love the manga so much and discovered Crunchyroll had the anime).
Sword Art Online: Well… I WAS excited about this when I first started writing about this post. And then all of a sudden, I just lost interest. The first episode was pretty great. A game developer creates this MMORPG (i.e. a game like World of Warcraft) and also creates special headgear to play the game, and then it turns out the game traps all of its players inside it and you can’t quit until you defeat the game. If you try to remove the headpiece, you die. Also, if you die in the game, you die in real life. It started off really exciting with people being excited and happy about the game and then you see it change to horror as they realize their situation. And then in the second episode, I just became all mehhhhhh. I have no idea what happened. There was a boss fight and everything. I think I’m dropping it and waiting until I hear otherwise from people who stay on it. Although there’s been some suspicious forum mumblings about some botched up sex scene from the novels.
Humanity Has Declined (aka “That Fairy Show”): Again, like SAO, this had a completely interesting first episode (and WEIRD) and the second episode was even weirder, but not quite as interesting somehow, and the third episode was boring and I honestly started falling asleep (although it did end well), and the fourth episode was not quite as boring and was kind of funny… but something’s not quite clicking. This anime is doing a kind of social commentary on our world with these weird big mouthed fairies and humans. The first two eps were poking fun at the dangers of overprocessed foods, and the next two had to do with mangaka and manga fans, specifically fujoshi (fangirls). The humor can be deliciously dark (as what happens to that carrot bread in the header) or it can be kind of dumb and boring and trying too hard. It’s very uneven. I’ll continue watching for now, but my guard is up.
Moyashimon Returns: I know a lot of people have been disappointed by this sequel to one of my favorite anime ever, Moyashimon, from the 2007 season. I am still optimistic. I don’t really need a lot to happen in this anime; I just like learning about fermentation and what all these cute little bacteria do. So everything else is gravy. Plus it has the best ending song this season. It sort of suffers from being a direct continuation with hardly any recap, so anyone trying to start with this season is going to be way confused. And the character designs have changed a bit, although that doesn’t bother me too much.
I know it has incensed the anti-moe crowd though. (I’m fairly anti-moe myself, but as long as I can still recognize the humans and they leave my beloved bacteria alone, I’m cool, although I do admit Kei looks a bit frightening in this image, and the original designs were better).
Natsuyuki Rendezvous: One of the two josei (manga or anime for older women, as opposed to teenagers) series out this season. Josei is rare, so any josei advertised, gets an automatic watch from me. Rokka is a youngish widow, and Hazuki is a younger man who’s interested in dating her. However Rokka’s husband, Shimao, is still hanging around and he’s very possessive and jealous. However, Rokka doesn’t know that she’s being haunted; only Hazuki can see him, which Shimao exploits to his advantage, sabotaging all of Hazuki’s advances whenever possible. I’m watching this, but it’s kind of irritating me because I do not like either one of the guys. With the dead husband being a controlling jerk, you’d think Hazuki would be the easy guy to root for, but he’s been manipulating Rokka’s emotions and memories. I’m kind of hoping a third guy comes in while these other two are too busy one-upping each other and takes her away from both of these d-bags.
Utakoi: You may remember me talking about the anime Chihayafuru from three seasons ago, the one about the poetry card playing game/sport. This josei anime is about the 100 poems (the hyakunin isshu) used in the sport, and how their history… loosely. It’s a very lovely looking anime, and each episode has 1-2 stories about how the poems were created and how they can be interpreted. The poems focused on are the 43 love poems, and the narrator is the guy who selected which poems would be included in the hyakunin isshu. Since this was set in the 1100-1200s, women are more passive, although thank god the anime doesn’t make some of them too passive or this would be dead boring (as the second story in the first episode was). Some of the women do wish for more and/or stand up to the arrogant, caddish men (although whether they truly did or if this is just fantasy I don’t know). Those stories I like. Oh well, even the stories with the more passive women are still beautiful to look at with its heavy outlines, static and bright patterns, and stylized clouds. And, in my opinion, Utakoi has the best opening song this season. (I couldn’t find one on youtube, so here’s episode one, skip to 0:55 to see it). It also manages to have the worst ending song somehow.
All of these anime you can stream legally at Crunchyroll.com.