First, I want to apologize for how late this post is; I realize that many of these shows have already aired their second episodes. However, for this post, I’ve only watched the first episode of each and provided my thoughts, opinion, and review on just that material. The following episodes for the anime that will be kept will be covered in my Weekly Anime reviews and the ones that are dropped will hopefully be removed from my memory once this post is published. Now then, onto the impressions and evaluations for these five anime:
Shin Sekai Yori – Among the strengths that Shin Sekai Yori presents in its first episode, what distinguished this anime from the rest is its presentation. The style of directing, focusing of life in the present but with a heavy emphasis on specific and abrupt flashbacks gives us a setting that is familiar and frightening to the characters but mysterious and frightening to the audience. When the story or the characters need development, through events that occurred in their past to provide explanation to their present actions, then Shin Sekai Yori will allow it but only as necessary. This tease of information, and not presented through exposition or lengthy dialogue, generates intrigue into the characters, concepts, and setting that is Shin Sekai Yori. And the setting, what a setting given how detailed the world is. Beyond the schooling, clothing and architecture, the whole idea of psychics in a desolate, backwater environment fearing mythical beasts and unfortunate death really puts the story and characters in its proper place. Not only does it help generate interest in the world they live in but it seems to already enrich the story given how unique it feels. The art and animation are nothing surprising but different enough from mainstream anime to be fun and representative of this anime. Right now, I’m excited to see where this anime goes.
Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai! – Amusing and amazing, Chuunibyou certainly fits the description for an entertaining anime that has the potential for a deep, though-provoking study of children’s psychology… provided it goes down that route and not just an anthology of the nonsensical childish adventures of a boy and a girl. Well, regardless of its latter choices and situations, the first episode of Chuunibyou impresses provided its high level of amusement, relying on sight gags (physical humor), awkward situations (along with extreme facial expressions), and clever dialogue to articulate this fun. It shouldn’t be surprising to find this as the strongest comedy anime of the season, but it might be surprising considering its potential for a profound and expressive story, one that takes the time to analyze the social behaviors and pressures that face teenagers in these uncomfortable and stressful situations. If that’s the case, then the anime will need to rely heavily on its directing which performed greatly in this first episode, one that did enough with its story to feel neither rushed or stagnant and enough with the comedy to make the series enjoyable. The whole concept is endearing, too, so it doesn’t appear that its charm will wear off quickly, though it might for some. And do I really need to mention the art and animation when discussion a Kyoto Animation anime? KyoAni doesn’t need the free publicity given how phenomenal they’ve always been. And not only that but their choice of music has been a strength of theirs lately, too. Regardless, Chuunibyou has made it to my watch list without raising any red flags.
Kamisama Kiss – I’m not a strong enough man to take on a shoujo romance straight, I always need something to dilute it before I even consider trying it. Not to say that shoujo romance is something I can’t handle, but pure and authentic, it’s overpowering for me. That’s why the whole concept of gods and spirits and youkai monsters, not to mention the delightful but never overbearing comedy, made Kamisama Kiss look appealing to me. Turns out, after finishing the first episode, that the anime is fairly pleasant though hardly impressive. It’s enjoyable but nothing I find myself getting terribly excited for. It’s a bit tricky at times, for me, considering that the stereotypical romance moments were a bit of a downer, but everything else was enough to keep me smiling and even laugh a few times. I’m not sure where the anime will go after this, but I plan to follow it. It isn’t anything outstanding but it’s fun enough and interesting enough that I want to see how it performs. Consider this a victory, albeit a minor one, for Kamisama Kiss.
K – A triumph of aesthetic display, K is an illustrated masterpiece provided the meticulous urban landscapes, harmonious animation, gorgeous character visuals, and utilization of special effects to convey its story, its characters, and its world. Not only are the art and animation technically sound and beyond dazzling, but the use of cinematography, primarily utilizing camera motion to create energetic scenes and the use of filters to make everything uncomfortably blue, make K one of the most stunning and beautiful TV anime I have ever seen. Given the first episode, the characters and story were detailed at a minimum, but both show the potential to be either remarkable or underwhelming. However, elements of rathe series strongly resemble Durarara!!, considering some of the characters, their setting, and that they’re fighting each other, so that bodes well for me. Speaking about the setting, it does appear to be a bit chaotic in an orderly, urban environment which pleases me since I’ve typically liked, if not loved, that dynamic in the past. I do need to see more to be able to comment more, but it has showed hints and efforts in regard to those points, and once I see more, I’ll be able to clarify and explain my thoughts better. And seeing more of this anime, I will, as this easily made my anime list for this season.
Nothing this week, with every anime being a pretty easy decision. These five were all hit-or-miss and would’ve been all hits provided there was not one anime remaining. And what a miss it was.
Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun – How bad was it? Well, considering I dropped it less than 5 minutes in (yes, before the infamous rape line), I found the anime to be bad. What caused this anime to be such a catastrophe were how insipid and tiresome the presentation was, how disturbingly forced the dialogue was, and how the two title characters were unbelievably boring and unappealing. It’s about this really smart, antisocial girl who’s gets good grades and this really mean (but only because he’s misunderstood) boy who fall in love. BOR-ING. And the comedy? Solely based off these one-dimensional personality, even when I scanned through the end of the episode, it’s like two stand-up comedians repeating the same joke for 24 minutes. No wonder why my seat was empty after the first 4. I couldn’t even imagine how awful the romance will be, and I assume it’ll be littered with frustration and confusion like most in most shoujo romances. Look, I realize that there are some people out there who value romance more than I and have a different sense of humor, too, but this anime is just so featureless, unappetizing, and beyond tedium. I hope that the people who watch this anime enjoy it because, to me, this is nothing more than an absolute disaster and an excellent waste of time.
I have actually watched all the anime that have aired currently but needed to separate the posts provided my timing and current workload. The remaining anime will be up soon, just at an unknown time given how busy this season will be for me outside the realm of anime. It’ll be interesting to see how this season progresses, both in terms of the anime I watch, how this blog is managed, and how everything else goes out in the real world. But besides that, I’m glad I’m enjoying most of the season so far and finding a number of anime worth watching whenever I find the time.