Despite the Winter anime season appearing initially weak, it will be another full season for me with about 10 anime total. Considering I’m retaining 5 shows from the Autumn (Chihayafuru, Future Diary, Guilty Crown, Last Exile: Ginyoku no Fam, and Persona 4 the Animation) and I already know I’ll watch Nisemonogatari, that means there are only 4 slots open for pretty much the entire season.
There will be stiff competition for the remaining slots but there doesn’t seem to be any anime that are knockouts or guarantees like in previous seasons so every anime will get a fair chance. I plan on giving a few anime two episodes each before deciding on my final lineup because I anticipate a traffic jam for the final spot or spots. I’ll want to give those anime another chance to help differentiate them so I can pick what I think will be the best anime of the season. Should be interesting to see what shows make the cut before everything is finalized for the season.
Kill Me Baby – I had some worries with this anime after those irritating promotional videos, but the episode rectified those wrongs fairly quickly and I watched the anime with an untainted palate. Kill Me Baby (or Baby, Please Kill Me) is a tame yet wacky comedy about Yasuna, an overactive and friendly school girl, and her quirky, assassin best friend, Sonya. It’s a set-up that works for a pure comedy like this and the humor was ample paving the way for an entertaining first episode but it did reveal some flaws. The direction particularly raises some questions. The adaptation from 4-koma to anime must have been difficult because some scenes were incredibly rough and some segments were integrated so poorly you would be correct to guess the storyboard was literally the manga itself. The energy and intensity of the anime was below what I predicted (somewhere between exhaustion and hypoglycemic) but it is far from relaxed or apathetic keeping the anime from reaching any unintended lows or lulls. The moe art style certainly is charming (what else do you expect from JC Staff?) and gives the anime an appropriate feel for this style of jokes and humor but the animation never dazzled besides a shot where Sonya twirled a mop like a bo staff. The cast gets a plus for their chemistry but they lack individuality. I get the impression that Yui from K-On!, Mariya from Maria Holic, and whatever polite/awkward/closed eyes character that is your favorite are the main cast (and I guess the character that wasn’t named but shown in the opening can be Suou from Darker than Black). I’m sure as the anime progresses the characters will differentiate themselves from what I’ve assigned them but how long until they reach that point could become a problem. But those are all minor issues and as long as the comedy keeps me happy and makes me laugh, I’ll be enjoying this anime. One thing I’d like to see, though, is the 4-koma style being managed better, mainly smoother transitions and less obvious structure to the jokes.
Rinne no Lagrange – This is about what I expected from Rinne no Lagrange, conventional giant robot fights and ordinary fanservice centered on a high school girl with a hidden power. Not a daming premise for an anime but I’m hesitant if it’s something I’ll keep for an entire season or two despite me generally enjoying the first episode. It’s doubtful the feeble story and the stereotypical cast will be enough to sustain the anime long term. The two features of this anime, the fanservice and the robots, don’t appear to be effective enough to support the series on their own and will likely tire out quickly. Actually, I thought the fanservice was somewhat lacking from my initial projections so I wonder if Lagrange plans to survive without it. I did find the animation to be better than anticipated and this is some of the best work I’ve seen from XEBEC. The soundtrack turned out to be my favorite part of the first episode and Madoka is a suitable character to be a lead in an anime of this caliber. But that’s it. The anime did enough to warrant another episode but it needs to make strides in several essential areas in order to beat out the remaining anime. Edit: I updated the screenshots with the 720p version. If you want to see the difference in quality between the webrip version (the one I watched), then here they are. Now that I’ve seen it in 720p, the anime has really impressive art and animation and I almost wish I never watched the webrip version. Oh well, it still gets another episode.
High School DxD – Well, that was tough to endure. I usually don’t find too many series structures that irritate me but this anime seems to have found my weak spot. The entire male cast is unyieldingly perverted dipshits who can’t seem to do anything besides talk about girls or boobs or whatever. Literally, that’s all they do the entire episode. Holy shit was that painful. The overtly sexualized female cast isn’t much better but their only purpose for being on screen is either to strip, have their breasts defy even jiggle physics, flash their panties, or lick phallus-shaped popsicles. Anything under that level of fanservice and they’re irrelevant. You can now begin to comprehend the horrendous mess that is this unfortunate excuse for otaku fap material. Furthermore, everything feels like rehashed material with the cast and plot showing zero evidence of originality throughout. On the plus side, the anime is uncensored, so there aren’t constant beams of light blocking entire shots of boobs or panties but that doesn’t mean the anime is any more watchable because of it. The art and animation are decent, so they got that right, too. It leads me to believe that most of the people that watch this will only be watching for the jiggling breasts, assortment of panties, and nude females and nothing else but even then there are better anime out there if you’re looking for these types of things. This one is just all-around bad.
Also watched Poyopoyo Kansatsu Nikki and Recorder and Randsell, both 3 minute comedy anime, and will probably keep both as well. Neither are impressive nor groundbreaking nor anything remotely special but for 3 minutes a pop, why not? It’s giving the same amount of time to them as I just did to High School DxD so it’s only fair.