Now that we’re well into our third week of the season, here are my first impressions of the remaining Spring shows. Yes, I’ve been that lazy busy but whatever. I may pick up some shows later should I hear a general consensus of positive reviews toward the show or if friends recommend them. But for right now, these are my final thoughts on the shows I tried this season.
Maria Holic Alive (Brain Off) – Maria Holic returns for another season with its familiar cast lead by the unconventional and unlucky lesbian, Kanako Miyamae. The format of the show really isn’t different than the previous season, so you know what to expect if you’ve seen it before. I’m glad not much has changed since the previous formula was near-perfect for me. I’m glad we are getting another twelve episodes of this. I can’t wait to see what wild misadventures Kanako gets herself into this time.
Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai (AnoHana) (Brain On) – The other noitaminA shows of the season was an obvious pick-up but not an obvious favorite for the season. For one thing, the show has incredible production values, especially in the art and animation aspects. The story seems motivating and I like the overall depressing nature of the show. However, I can honestly say I don’t like any characters. It’s only been one episode, so that’ll likely change, but I feel no empathy toward any of the show’s cast. Another thing that may irritate me is if the mood of the show stays constant. Some variation is needed to break up the monotonous disheartening mood I felt throughout the first episode. Nevertheless, this has been one of my favorites and is saturated with potential. Looking forward to more.
Deadman Wonderland (Brain Off) – Finally a violent and bloody anime with a rather striking story. The strengths for Deadman Wonderland lie in its storytelling, its production values, and its brutality. I have no qualms with the cast thus far and am interested to see more of the imaginative amusement park/prison that is Deadman Wonderland. I’m actually more interested to see the region they live in since it seems to be sometime in the future but I doubt we’ll be leaving the prison anytime soon to see the cultural and political differences.
Ao no Exorcist (Brain Off) – I was expecting Ao no Exorcist to be a serious anime like AnoHana or Deadman Wonderland but I was wrong. There’s a lot of comedy in Ao no Exorcist which, along with the serious tone, makes for a pretty entertaining anime. There was adequate action, too, and above-average animation but I’m not completely sold on the story yet. I guess I’ll have to wait for a few more episodes to air to get a better understanding of what’s going to happen but it can either make or break this anime for me.
Psuedo-Dropped (I’ll try one more but otherwise it’s dropped):
Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko (Brain Off) – I’m really conflicted with this one. My initial thoughts were to drop it but the more I think about it, the more I want to continue watching. The cast gets is the real downer here, not only being generic (both in role and character designs) but also pretty annoying, especially the aunt. Still, I want to keep watching to see what happens with the whole alien theme since that’s actually interesting. And it is a Shaft production, which has never disappointed me before. But there’s always a first. Unless the second episode is astounding or throws a curve at us, this series will likely be dropped.
Hen Zemi (Brain Off) – The humor in Hen Zemi really isn’t the kinda humor I like. Sex-related jokes have always been one of my least favorite styles only because it needs to be written and delivered perfectly in order for it to be funny. The best example I can think of would be Married with Children (and even then, the fat jokes were the best part). So without the comedy working for it, Hen Zemi really isn’t anything for me.
Toriko (Brain Off) – Komatsu (the timid chef who always screamed) literally ruined the show for me. I could potentially overlook the bastardization of the biological science or the pro-obesity message of the show but that character was absolutely irritating. Everything he did, from all his overreactions to his general uselessness, really thwarted my enjoyment of the show. Toriko was awesome and the concept was fun but it’s hard to like a series when you passionately loathe a character.
The World Only God Knows II (Brain Off) – What I was hoping from the second season of The World Only God Knows was some development on Elsie, the Hell she’s from, why she’s assigned to hunt for these spirits, and the recent surge of evil spirits that have plagued whatever high school Keima goes to. But no, it was the exact same format as the previous season with no advance on a plot at all. It was a struggle for me to finish the first season last fall, so I know I should just stop right now. It’s popular enough to get a second season but it just isn’t my kinda series.
And that concludes all the shows I’d try one episode of this season. My overall thoughts are that this is a particularly strong season with lots of quality anime, especially drama and comedy. Looks like I’ll be watching 12 shows this season which has been roughly my average for the past few season. It’s just that this season’s final grades will almost certainly be above-average and maybe the best in recent memory.