Autumn 2011 – Week 2 – Weekly Anime

Reactions, thoughts, and opinions on this past week of anime.  This week: best character of the season in Tamayura, why I’m happy with UN-Go, and awesome fights in Persona 4.

So I’ve decided on what 10 anime I’ll be watching during the Autumn: Chihayafuru, Guilty Crown, Ika Musume, Last Exile, Persona 4, Tamayura, UN-Go, and Working!! in addition to last season’s continuations, Idolmaster and Mawaru Penguindrum.  You can expect me to have a weekly post with some insight on each anime.

I really like being able to write something on every anime I watch and this type of post is the best way for me to do so.  But I’ve decided to switch up my Short Thoughts posts each week and see how this works out.  Some parts are still in flux but for now there is a new title, a new picture format, and perhaps a new posting format (will try that next week).  Otherwise, everything should be the same as last time besides the new anime.

Chihayafuru (Episode 2) – I already have a theory why Wataya only plays karuta.  It’s because it’s the only game he can play.  Imagine if you tried any other type of card or board game with him.  Everything would go flying with his bullet-like hand movements.  Trying to turn the cards over in blackjack?  Well, now everyone sees what you have.  What about chess?  Rook to A3?  No, more like every piece to off the board and on the floor.  Risk?  Risky considering every turn he’d have a chance to decimate every army in the world with a quick sweep of his hand moving pieces or reaching for the die.  Battleship?  You sunk my entire fleet without a single shot fired.  Of course Wataya is smart enough to know better than ruin ever game around him but I couldn’t help but laugh at the comical way he thrashes the cards on every turn.

Guilty Crown (Episode 1) – I follow many different blogs and two things are clear from all the reviews I’ve read for Guilty Crown: one, the art is exceptional and two, it’s being compared to/seems similar to a bunch of different anime.  I’m no different myself.  And that’s also true for everyone I’ve talked to about Guilty Crown: it reminds them of Code Geass, Ghost in the Shell, or whatever sci-fi/mecha/military anime happened to be on their mind sometime during the episode (what, still no Full Metal Panic similarities?).  And while this is a point that it’s been uninspired or derived from greater works so far, it also is a testimony to the potential within.  Comparing it already to some of the most celebrated anime means there are lofty expectations set on this anime.  That and people are being reminded of some of their favorite anime.  You don’t see people making the same comparisons of other anime this season despite being able to do it for virtually everything out today.  It is a negative of Guilty Crown but this is its silver lining.  We’ll see how long these comparisons last once the anime has more than a set-up episode below its belt.

Last Exile: Ginyoku no Fame (Episode 1) – I like how some things in Last Exile: Ginyoku no Fam are different than the first season and others remain unchanged.  It does well for the consistency in the gorgeous and detailed setting that is Last Exile.  The one thing I’d absolutely love to see in this version from the original would be Lavie’s/Al’s goat doll.  I love that doll like nothing else.  Without a doubt, it is my most favorite thing from the first season and I’d be thrilled beyond belief if that doll makes it into this anime.  Not only was it cuter than anything in anime today but it had a purpose, too, helping break the tension when it ‘baaah’ed and helped elevate the comedy when it so warranted.  I have faith the goat doll will return and if it does, you’ll certainly know about it from me.

Mawaru Penguindrum (Episode 14) – For the first half of the series, I hated Ringo and disliked Shoma.  While their characters were being developed and their story was the point of interest, I failed bond with them like I did effortlessly with Kanba and Himari.  It dampened my enthusiasm for the series but since they’ve taken a step back for the others to catch up, I’ve begun to warm up to them.  The scene where Ringo and Shoma talked and eventually parted way was really what I needed for me to buy back into these characters and it worked marvelously.  My former feelings toward Ringo, distorted due to her blind greed and selfishness, are mostly gone and I enjoyed seeing her talk with Yuri in the final scenes of this episode.  It’s nice that those negative feelings have been lifted through characters progressing and acting on each other rather than a random event that ‘changes’ the character.  Of course, I’d expect nothing less from this anime.

Persona 4 the Animation (Episode 2) – In the two episodes we’ve seen thus far, we’ve had two crucial fights, each central to the story.  And I’ve been impressed with both, especially the one in this episode focusing on Yosuke.  Not only has each had a real meaning to the story but they’ve been the highlights of each episode so far.  The direction in great, showing various shots, angles, and the action is satisfying, too.  If it keeps up, both the action and the story, then I wouldn’t be surprised to see this end up being the best surprise of the season.

Shinryaku!? Ika Musume S2 (Episode 3) – The exercise scene has been the funniest Ika Musume skit ever (for me).  Usually skits bounce around between smile and chuckle but when Ika Musume began her ‘exercises’ and annihilated the group of children, I could not control my laughter.  That’s never happened before during an Ika Musume episode.  The closest has been a couple deep laughs but never an unending guffaw.  I had to pause the scene just to catch my breath and collect my thoughts and ended up rewatching the scene again and again.  And every time, I’m laughing.

Tamayura ~hitotose~ (Episode 2) – That teacher.  Dougou-sensei.  What an absolute character his is.  His overemotional and flamboyant movements coupled with his egotistical and oblivious personality automatically makes him the best character in this series and, quite possibly, this season.  He’s always good for a few laughs with how he’s drawn and what’s most surprising (or perhaps most disturbing) about that style is that it’s justified with how he acts.  He’s clinically insane.  He’s an explosion of awkwardness in every scene.  His existence is irrational.  And he’s my favorite part of Tamayura.

The iDOLM@STER (Episode 15) – Will they ever give Makoto a chance to do something girly or feminine and complement her for it?  Every time she dresses up for something, it’s always reverse-trap this or pants that and never anything frilly or fluffy, which is what she wants.  Granted, she does seem to have appalling taste in women’s clothing, but you’d figure she’d get a chance to highlight her feminine-side sometime like all the other girls.  Instead, she’s always forced into tuxedos or other male costumes.  Maybe toward the end of the series we’ll see her succeed in doing something feminine but I’m surprised it hasn’t happened yet in the anime.

UN-Go (Episode 1) – Sure, the mystery in this first episode was a little inadequate and it was pretty much solved through supernatural powers (which weren’t needed since I called it before the commercial break) but the reason I’m happy with UN-Go is the deception going on with the detectives.  They found out the truth and could’ve brought the criminal to justice but instead, they fabricated their own story of events and created a lie for the public and the government.  That’s pretty awesome that the two “heroes” of this society are doing this.  They’re just doing what they see fit to make the world turn even though they’re bastardizing justice and all things correct and true.  I could get behind that idea for the series where they solve the mysteries but never disclose the truth.  Would be an interesting twist if the mysteries were actually interesting.  Also, did anyone else catch Hatsune Miku in the episode?

Working’!! (Episode 2) –Working!! is one of my top slice-of-life/comedies but I’m not sure why.  The comedy is above-average but nothing really comes across as memorable or worth mentioning.  The slice-of-life aspect, something I don’t particularly care for too much, is respectable (which shows you how much I care about the relationships and them being reset after a season’s worth of ‘progress’) but nothing overly impressive either.  So what is it that Working!! does that has me so interested?  It’s largely the characters.  Everyone is likable and each have a certain chemistry or dynamic that makes watching this show so entertaining.  The interactions between everyone are top-notch and written extremely well.  The setting helps, too, as I am positive I wouldn’t enjoy this anime if it took place at school or in a neighborhood or something more standard.

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  1. #1 by Detetiv on October 15, 2011 - 9:58 PM

    Cool, need to go watch the 2nd episode of Persona 4 & new Last Exile when I come home tomorrow from NY Comic Con. Actually saw a Persona 4 Chie [another ps4 was around] & sellin persona 4 fan art thingies… I need to do a post about the con tomorro if I’m not dead…

    • #2 by avvesione on October 16, 2011 - 11:17 AM

      I’m guessing with the anime out now that the popularity of Persona4 will pick up again. People who’ve played the game are talking about it again, especially comparing it to the anime, so it’s nice to see a good game like that get a second life through an anime like this. Certainly helps when the adaptation/anime is good, too.

      • #3 by Detetiv on October 16, 2011 - 7:44 PM

        Even cooler is when you see a Squid Girl & quite a bunch actually knew who she was [she didn’t know there was a 2nd season out till I told her] I think thought mostly everything got overshadowed by Tiger & Bunny…. Esp at the Artist Alley…

        • #4 by avvesione on October 17, 2011 - 9:44 PM

          Nice to hear that Squid Girl has invaded America. Same for Tiger & Bunny.

  2. #5 by Marina on October 15, 2011 - 11:33 PM

    I’m so excited to see Last Exile: Fam, and now that I see it’s out since you’ve blogged it, I’m going to run out and get it! :D

    • #6 by avvesione on October 16, 2011 - 11:20 AM

      I’m planning to do episodic posts for it, too, like I am doing with Ika Musume and Guilty Crown. But I’m trying to finish my Summer Review sometime this weekend since I kinda forgot about it for a while. Should be up sometime this week for more of a focus on Last Exile.

      • #7 by Marina on October 17, 2011 - 7:02 PM

        I finally watched the first episode, and well, yeah. I loved it. It may even be the first anime I do episodic posts for. Looking forward to your future posts of it.

        • #8 by avvesione on October 17, 2011 - 9:46 PM

          I don’t know anyone who didn’t love the first season and I have high hopes for this new one. First episode left me happy and excited for this new series (especially if the goat doll makes a return!)

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