Girls Und Panzer – While nothing groundbreaking, specular, or phenomenal, Girls und Panzer might be the most impressive and inspiring anime of this young season. So… how exactly is that even possible? Well, considering how little I thought of this anime beforehand, I came in expecting to see Girls Und Pantsu, I figured I wouldn’t even finish the first episode, partially due to an overabundance of tired anime clichés, lack of characterization and depth, and a hefty amount of uncomfortable, unnecessary loli fanservice. So consider how surprised I was when the anime actually presented itself as a decent, watchable anime, one that can split time between lighthearted fun and simple drama. Though the story and characters do retain some of the feared clichés in anime, it is never overbearing and the characters were actually given some amount of complexity in this introductory episode. The dialogue, again, is simple but effective and the theme of friendship helping Miho withstand her stress and anxiety is already a highly encouraging aspect of watching this anime. And unless you consider a camisole ecchi, then this episode had nothing sexual about it, no perverted camera angles, scenes of undress, or even the slightest hint of panties anywhere in this episode. So with my expectations all significantly better than expected, all that’s remains is the animation and music. The opening scene with the tank battle was brilliantly directed, showcasing what the anime should be capable of during the latter episodes, and featured a pleasant combination of 2-D girls in a 3-D environment. As for the rest, nothing really stood out visually, though I will admit the character designs have some charm to them. The background music for this anime is marvelous, already one of my favorites when comparing it against the other Autumn anime. So considering all that, Girls und Panzer exceeded all my expectations for it with this first episode, which earns it the distinction of being the most impressive and encouraging anime of the season. It probably will never make a move toward the upper echelon of anime for this season, but it is a solid anime that I will definitely watch.
Psycho-Pass – It’d be superfluous to remind you again how much I adore a powerful and compelling setting in anime, but it’ll help explain my stance on this anime once you know that the morally-questionable, technology-laced, dismal, dystopian metropolis that Psycho-Pass sets itself in is one of my most cherished and favorite settings there are. And how it’s able to use that setting to construct the atmosphere of this episode, to create the distressing environment and steadily increase the tension, was magnificent and incredibly reassuring that the setting will be a decisive factor in this anime, especially with the budding conflict of Akane’s character with the established justice system, Sibyl Judgment, and the use of enforcers. Alright, enough with the setting now, turning to the rest of the anime. The set-up with rookie inspector Akane Tsunemori joining the Criminal Investigation Department and finding conflict with it isn’t anything new for a plot, but it certainly can be innovative in how it presents itself, not to mention its rather unique for an anime, too. Psycho-Pass certainly wants to portray itself as adult and edgy with its details, featuring a couple of ultraviolent scenes and a semi-nude person, which is alright, nothing special, but the heart of the series which is the ethics, decisions, and fear of Akane’s character are the strengths in its plot and writing, especially considering the amount of tension and emotion that was displayed in the closing moments of the episode. The remainder of the cast seemed to only get their introductions in, though Masaoka and Ginoza certainly were able to make some impressions based on their actions in this first episode. The art, animation, and music were all above-average, but nothing remarkable by my standards. So, with all that, it should be no surprise that Psycho-Pass is on my watch list for this season, and I’m already enthusiastic about what this anime will do and where it will go over the next two seasons.
Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo – Sakurasou really has nothing going for it besides being mildly fun and featuring a cast of cute girls. Really, that’s it. The set-up, unfortunately, is another romcom harem anime with a featureless male lead being paired up with an attractive and special (in this case, very special) girl which will then lead to laughs, love, and probably not a lot of people watching. It’s truly amazing how this type of anime is continuously remade or repackaged every season and always without any effort or signs of creativity and innovation. Like, I’ve probably seen this anime a thousand times already with this same plot and same cast of characters but with only the slightest, insignificant differences between them. Still, there’s really nothing wrong with the rest of the anime after overlooking the mess with the characters and the story. The anime is certainly energetic with Misaki, a definite plus, and has some pleasant visuals concerning its environment and character designs. The comedy was actually better than expected, though most of the jokes were just rehashed otaku-bait like two guys talking about a girl’s breasts or embarrassing the male lead with sexy jokes in front of the whole neighborhood. So there’s some hope there, even if it’s only the slightest glimmer. I don’t hate the romance so far but I figure it will only go downhill from here, and it’s already been a disaster knowing there’s that nervous and indecisive childhood-friend in Nanami. So, there’s a bunch of huge negatives with the series, a few positives, and my decision is to see how the second episode performs before making a final decision. It doesn’t look good for the anime, but it’s done enough to get a second episode watched out of its planned 24.
Nothing more this week as it seems the season has been mostly determined besides Sakurasou which should be resolved next week. However, depending on how the season progresses, some of these anime may be delayed or stalled, really depending on my workload. Guess we’ll see how everything performs with the second week of anime already well underway!