Namiuchigiwa no Muromi-san
What Muromi-san lacks for in depth, complexity and characterization, it makes up for with its adorable cast of characters, its charming comedy and a handful of scenes with wonderful animation. Perhaps the most notable aspect of this anime is its art and character designs. To me, it seems like the anime plays tribute to an older or atypical style of animation which really helps emphasize the characters and helps out with the comedy, too. The anime is cast with bright, vivid colors in a warm light giving the show an inviting and enhancing atmosphere that really appeals to one’s eyes. It helps compliment the energy and exhilaration on screen too, especially when Muromi-san is present and acting as enthusiastic as she does. The humor in this episode was rather simple but effective and is sure to develop when more mermaids join the cast and can allow the style of humor to expand beyond crazy girl meets lethargic boy. There isn’t much value in terms of story and characters and, although that usually is a negative for me, it makes sense given that Muromi-san is a 12-minute comedy anime that doesn’t need a story or intricate characters. Every episode of Muromi-san is supposed to be fun and enjoyable without needed to cater to any type of story or theme or whatever. And as long as you’re having fun and enjoy watching Muromi-san, there’s no reason to stop. It’s an easy choice to pick up for this season.
Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan)
There are six major categories for which I use to understand, evaluate and appreciate anime. They are art, characters, entertainment, setting, sound and story. All an anime needs for me to like it, or even love it, is to excel at just a few of those categories and even my favorites don’t measure well in all six. So when an anime comes along that surpasses a majority of anime in all six categories, what does it say about that anime? Well, after one episodes, it’s a bit too early to hail it as the best anime of the season, but it certainly speaks well for what to expect from this anime for the next 24 weeks. What I enjoy most about Shingeki no Kyojin is its setting and how it is communicated to us. Rather than waste some precious time for a narrator to tell us about this world, it shows us various details spread neatly throughout the episode and embeds it within the dialogue. Not only that but the setting of Titan is uniquely distinctive and its threats and modes of warfare are both remarkable and thrilling. The art and animation is nothing short of spectacular too, and the use of lighting and shading is phenomenal. I won’t get too much into the characters or story since both are in their infancy but both show promise, especially with how unnerving and expressive the siege on the city was portrayed. And though I was expecting the anime to be entirely serious, there were a few bits of genuine comedy tossed around in this first episode that made me smile. I was expecting the entertainment to be solely through the battles and action sequences but there seems to be some well-timed comedy throughout, too. Really, this is easily the most impressive anime of this new season and one I adamantly recommend to anyone and everyone who has yet to watch the first episode.
Suisei no Gargantia (Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet)
Gargantia is a fascinating, sensational, and passionate anime that is easily one of my favorites of this Spring anime season. What enchants me the most about this magnificent anime is how it is written, not merely the dialogue alone but how the story is presented, how it is staged and how well the episode flowed from start to finish. Not only did the episode flow in a logical manner, helping exhibit the situation, introduce our protagonist and the remainder of the cast, and detail how our hero learned about the setting through a lengthy hostage scene while communicating back and forth with his only friend, a mecha named Chamber, but the dialogue was expressive and meaningful (and even reaching to levels of hilariousness). The world of Gargantia is also fantastically animated, full of motion and liveliness as seen through the space combat and chase scene. Additionally, the anime is brilliantly colored too, featuring a bright and energetic color scheme that really differentiates the characters from the metallic setting and from Red who’s a bit monochrome in his battle suit. As for the cast and story of Gargantia, there isn’t much to say at this point since we’ve just finished our introductions but each has the potential to be the best this season has to offer. The cast features some enjoyable characters with strong, independent personalities. On the other hand, the story seems a little ambiguous and ambivalent right now but I am dying to see how Red explores and merges with this new world and how it joins up with the space warfare from the first half of the episode. Who knows, Gargantia might end up being my favorite anime of the season, especially if every episode from here on out is at this level or somehow improves. This is yet another anime I vehemently recommend as I am sure everyone who watches it will not be disappointed.
Yuyushiki is a tale of two halves. The first half of the first episode featured mundane comedy masking a tedious slice-of-life set-up where three girls wandered around their first day of highschool aimlessly. It was incredibly boring. The second half, when the girls got to the Data Processing Club and goofed around on the internet, was brilliant in its entertainment value, proving to be amusing and enticing almost instantly. Really, it’s like I watched two different anime in the span of one episode of Yuyushiki with one being really, really bad and the other one being legitimately good. As you can guess, I’m at a crossroads with this anime since I was certain I wanted to drop it after 12 minutes and certain I want to keep it if future episodes are just the girls surfing the internet for 20 minutes at a time. I can see myself going through peaks and valleys with this anime depending on the skit and the jokes but if it’s still hilarious every so often, it’ll be a keeper. I’m not terribly impressed or thrilled with the characters, especially since Yuzuko and Yukari appear to have the same personality and play the same role in the comedy (both are the boke or funny man) and Yui is a tepid tsukkomi (straight man). It isn’t great like most other comedies that I enjoy but it’s functional if less than ideal. There really aren’t any significant portions of animation to note after this first episode and the art style isn’t my favorite but it still is cute. Depending on how the comedy performs in the next episode (really, it depends on how much time they spend in the computer lab), I’ll be deciding on keeping or dropping this anime.
Zettai Bouei Leviathan
While there were some positives from the first episode of Leviathan, it wasn’t enough to overcome the tremendous feeling of bored that overwhelmed me while watching its debut episode. There was absolutely nothing in this episode that lit a fire underneath me or beckoned me to keep watching. The story isn’t much of a story with three girls becoming friends and saving the world from an invasion of bugs or something (if this is wrong, sorry, I stopped paying attention somewhere before the bar fight). And although the characters are incredibly cute and endearing, there really isn’t much in the way of personality or role in the story to keep me interested in their adventures or character growth. I always have a soft spot for fantasy settings such as this and it seems like all the characters are human-shaped dragons or fairies. It makes me wonder why these three magical girls were given the names Leviathan, Bahamut and Jormungand when those are some of the most storied and fabled dragons of the world’s folklore. Maybe the parents of these girls knew that they’d save the world when they were in their teens? Who knows. The art and animation seemed to be a bit below-average which probably reflects the below-average budge this anime has and the fact that the voice casting for this anime is all A-list talent. And while the anime features highly talented seiyuu voicing its characters, the dialogue is unfortunately simple and, at times, even shameful which made the episode feel awkward and sluggish more often than not. I found it a pretty easy decision to drop this anime after the first episode but I do regret not being able to see these cute dragon girls for the remainder of the season, so hopefully someone out there will post dozens of screenshots every episode for all of us to enjoy.