Wow, was summer 2012 disappointing or what? Disastrous. Such promise, and there was almost zero follow through.
Sword Art Online I dropped in the middle of the third episode out of sheer boredom. Such a disappointment after such a spectacular first episode. Humanity Has Declined became an utter chore to watch, especially in the “Groundhog Day” episode. Dropped. Natsuyuki Rendezvous I managed to stick through til the bitter end, but boy, was that bitter. Hated both of the men. Neither redeemed themself. Shimao became more and more despicable until I was yelling at my tv in the final episode. Rokka was extremely flat as a character. No chemistry between Hazuki and Rokka, plus he was trapped in fairy tale land for about five episodes and that was SO BORING. I’m so mad I wasted all that time watching it, but I had to see what happened since I watched half of it before getting fed up. At least it was pretty.
The two successes for me were Utakoi and Moyashimon Returns. And I know I’m in the severe minority for Moyashimon Returns. Almost my entire twitter feed hates it, and we usually have fairly similar tastes, more or less.
For continuing series, Kuroko’s Basketball finished for now (I think more is coming in a couple seasons, thank god), and Space Brothers is still super spectacularly awesome, so yay!
Fortunately Fall seems to be making up for a dismal Summer (although not as good quality-wise as Spring). Watching nine shows currently (counting the ongoing Space Brothers), and that’s insane.
Code:Breaker: This season is very heavy on the dystopian/magic/suspense shows and the shoujo romance shows. This is one of the former. The first episode was quite good and featured a really strong female protagonist who gets caught up with a strange guy who calls himself a trash man as in, he cleans up human scum by setting them on fire. Cool, right? I was super excited with it! And then the second episode became boring and blah and expositiony and I lost all interest in it. I’m willing to give it one more episode to see if it picks itself back up, otherwise I’m dropping this.
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Shin Sekai Yori/From the New World: In our time, humanity is suddenly threatened by some kind of manifestation of psychic power. Skip forward 1000 years and children are being trained to control their powers in school. If children do not manifest psychic power during puberty, something suspicious and undisclosed as of yet happens. So there’s this feeling of ominousness hanging over the show, but so far nothing really has happened. A couple of kids have disappeared quietly who were having problems with their power–either not strong enough, or too power hungry, but of the main five characters, they’re on some kind of educational camping trip. Apparently the next episode goes off the deep end in exposition so I guess I’ll learn something then.
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Zetsuen no Tempest/Blast of Tempest: First of all, I call it Tempest Blast because Blast of Tempest sounds stupid. WHY they didn’t call it Civilization Blaster LIKE IT SAYS ON THE PROMO ART is beyond me. But nobody calls it that, so I call it Tempest Blast ’cause it sounds at least somewhat close. Anyway, another one of those mystery happenings anime. These giant eyeball things appear in the sky and then suddenly entire cities get wiped out by some plaguey thing that turns all flesh to iron. There’s also a internal war in a family of mages. One mage is thrown into a barrel and set adrift in the ocean to land on a deserted island where she can’t use her magic. A boy’s sister is brutally murdered and he goes ballistic, and seeks the help of the exiled mage for answers and revenge. Somehow based on Shakespeare’s Tempest… To me, this is just sort of a confusing mess, and I’m still watching it, but I’m not really captivated by it, hence the garbled summary. The boys are pretty? One of the “bishounen” shows that are prevalent this season.
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Psycho-Pass: Of the mystery shows this season, this one is my favorite. It’s very Minority Report, which I like. Everyone has a Psycho Pass, which monitors latent criminal tendencies. If it shows a sudden spike, Inspectors and their Enforcers are sent out to find the person and bring them in for rehab. Enforcers are latent criminals that work for their organization; they’re basically hunter dogs and Inspectors are their handlers. Of course there are problems, just like in Minority Report, as the “criminals” haven’t technically committed crimes yet, they just have the heightened potential to. The main character Inspector seems woefully misplaced in her job; she’s very noobish and seems quite incompetent, although at least she realizes her uselessness and is despairing about it. Hopefully the series will show her growth; otherwise this could be quite irritating. It’s an interesting world at least, so this remains a strong anime.
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Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun/My Little Monster: A quirky high school romance. Shizuku is a top student and has no time nor desire for friends, really. Haru is an AWOL delinquent student (but actually very smart) and completely socially incompetent. Of course that means these two are meant to be together. There was a lot of controversy over a very badly used line (“Be quiet or I’ll rape you”) which is unfortunate. There’s also a forced kiss, which again caused more controversy in a very touchy culture nowadays. However, it’s actually kind of a cute anime as Haru immediately declares his love for Shizuku without really understanding what it means, throwing her into a tizzy. Haru’s friends/notfriends are starting to hang around more, and the quirky cast is growing rapidly, which I think will bring more fun.
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Kamisama Kiss: Possibly my favorite of the new shows this season. Another light-hearted romantic comedy, this time between a high school girl, Nanami, who suddenly finds herself as a land god with a rundown temple. Convenient, since her loser father just lost their house due to gambling and ran away. Anyway, she has a couple of small servants and also a really big one in the form of a surly fox familiar to help her with her new duties. This super cute, SUPER bishie anime is done by the same director of my beloved Fruits Basket anime, and has much the same feel, from the onigiri voice to the scene change sound effects. Nanami even looks a bit like Tohru sometimes. This show has me giggling a lot and feeds my inner fangirl.
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All of the above shows can be found at Crunchyroll.com (My Little Monster, Tempest Blast, From the New World) or Funimation.com (Psycho-Pass, Code: Breaker, Kamisama Kiss). The next two were sadly not picked up for streaming, even though they were my most anticipated shows of this season.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventures: SO DRAMATIC. Everything is exaggerated for effect. It’s pretty ridiculous and silly, and it’s so over the top even tragic occurrences are almost laughable. George Joestar almost dies in an accident but he and his son Jonathan (JoJo) are rescued by a thief looting what he thought were dead bodies. In return, George takes in the thief’s diabolical son Dio and treats him as one of his own. Dio doesn’t hide his evil side from his step-brother, but does from their father in the hopes of inheriting the expansive estate, which leads to stress between JoJo and his father since JoJo knows the truth and his father doesn’t. There’s also a suspicious magical mask that JoJo’s trying to figure out what it does. Only 3 episodes in, and there’s been so much craziness that’s happened and I’m told it only improves from here.
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Suki-tte Ii na yo/Say I Love You: The drama of the shoujo romances. Mei is ostracized at school, bullied and friendless. Her anti-social and loner attitude catches the attention of the super popular Kurosawa, who is instantly intrigued and begins to pursue her. I have mixed feelings about this show. I do really like it. It feels the most real emotionally of the shows. However, Kurosawa’s weird dominating attitude over Mei sort of creeps me out just a tad and it makes me a little uncomfortable. Multiple forced kisses! A part of me is wondering if I’m being manipulated by the growing disdain and increased rumblings (rightfully so, mind you) of how women are portrayed in geeky entertainment (anime, games, etc.) and it’s affecting my watching behavior and reactions. Anyway, I’m really interested in seeing where this is going, as I know several manga bloggers that were ecstatic when this anime was announced.
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Dropped Series: these are shows that I watched maybe one episode of before throwing up my hands and giving up.
Magi: Loosely based on Arabian Nights characters like Aladdin and Ali Baba. Except Aladdin is an annoying 8 year old boy (at least he looks like it) who stuffs his face all the time, and can’t help but attack large breasted women (or men) and mash their boobs around or give them “motorboats.” NOPE.
Ixion Saga: A horrible looking fantasy where a MMORPGer gets transported into a fantasy land and … zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Terrible art style, terrible plot, terrible humor, barf.
Robotics;Notes: Something about a robot club. Happens in the same world as Steins;Gate (which is supposed to be superb) and Chaos;Head (which is supposed to be atrocious). This seems to be very middle of the road bland. It wasn’t good. It wasn’t bad. It just… was. I’m not adverse to it, I just didn’t find anything interesting about it. If reviews improve or become really strong, I could go back to it.
Aoi Sekai no Chuushin de: A war in a fantasy land between Nintendo warlords and the oppressed Sega. Really. The characters are all based on video game characters. Mario is the evil Nintendo emperor, hahahaha. I was going to watch this for laughs, but the first episode was SO AWFUL. First, Gear’s (aka Sonic) powers are so amazing, that Ramses (Columns) pretty much has an orgasm and all her clothes explode off her body. Uh huh. Then, Gear is challenged to a duel by a disgruntled Opal (Opa-opa from Fantasy Zone) and when he headbutts her before she can attack, all of her clothes go exploding off her body. Especially around the boobage area. At that point I was all, “HELL NO” and turned off the show. The only part I liked was seeing evil Mario arrive on his flying dinosaur, who I presume was Yoshi.
So that’s it for Fall 2012! Very curious to see who survives to the end of the season. I’m guessing at least one more show will be dropped, but it would be nice if some gems come out of this. Winter is bringing back the second season of Chihayafuru and I’m SO EXCITED!!!