Since I never really talk about short 2-5 minute anime, I figure here is probably the best area to cover the few new shorts airing this season. Of the new shows, both Mahou Shoujo Taisen and Inugami-san to Nekoyama-san are quick yet enjoyable comedies. Neither are unique or special in any way but are worthwhile if you want a couple minutes of amusement. Puchimas!! makes a return with a sequel that’s more of the same (which are episodes too short for more than one or two jokes). There’s no need to watch the first season of Puchimas! or The Idolmaster in order to appreciate the show, but it doesn’t hurt to know who the girls and their chibi counterparts are. In summary, looks like all the shorts are decent to good but still nothing phenomenal like Teekyuu.
No Game No Life
Although the setting and scenario of No Game No Life is not out of this world for anime (typical Japanese teenager [plus little sister] are transported into and stuck in a mysterious fantasy realm) it is the main character, Sora, that makes the difference between this anime being fair and being good. Whereas virtually all other anime where characters are trapped in these imaginary worlds with no chance of returning, we see Sora embrace his new home as it proves to be more interesting and agreeable than the modern Japanese society that he previously resided in. What this means is that the story will take a different direction than what’s expected, with Sora wanting to stay instead of finding a way back home. Additionally, Sora is interesting in that he does not behave like a typical protagonist in that he strives to satisfy the common good or his ideals of justice. Sora is a true competitor, even becoming a cheater, and doing whatever he wants to get what he wants. It’s satisfying to see a character like this in anime and even more rewarding to see him as the main character. Furthermore, the anime does feature a number of other positives, including a gorgeous and vivid fantasy world and a pleasant art style to complement it. I’m curious to see where the story will go as it has captured my attention, but I can see the story going either up or down at this point depending on what happens with Sora and Shiro. Still, there’s plenty to look forward to with No Game No Life and I’m looking forward to watching it this season.
Soul Eater NOT!
Since I am unfamiliar with the Soul Eater franchise (haven’t not watched the anime or read the manga), it’s taking me a bit longer to properly assess and evaluate the spin-off, Soul Eater NOT!. I don’t think I saw enough material and characterization in this introductory episode to give the anime a fair assessment, so I’ll delay my decision until after the second episode. The take-aways from this first episode though do bode well, as I am intrigued by the dynamic with the three main characters and their evolving relationships. Of particular note was the scene at the end of the first episode with Anya clinging onto Tsugumi’s sleeve and appearing conflicted, rejecting her superficial personality and stepping out of her character into stay with Tsugumi. That was the best part of this episode and I want to see where she goes as a character, as well as how Meme and Tsugumi develop as characters, too. I can’t really speak on anything else since I have a limited knowledge of the setting and scenario, but the art and animation are fine and I enjoyed some of the comedy. But really, I don’t think I’ll have anything meaningful to say until after the second episode… so until then, I am undecided on Soul Eater NOT!
Hitsugi no Chaika
Hitsugi no Chaika had an underwhelming first episode, but the anime flashed signs of potential towards the end, that it might be something more than what this introductory episode showed. Whether this anime improves or not remains to be seen, but that uncertainty should be answered before the end of the second episode. The main issue with Hitsugi no Chaika is its lack of anything interesting or remarkable, whether it be the characters, story and setting. Nothing about this anime seems extraordinary or exciting. The whole first episode was dull and predictable, with this being the thousandth time (probably an underestimate) when we’ve seen a random guy meet a strange girl for an anime adventure. The highlight of the episode, which I’m guessing was supposed to be the battle with the unicorn, was simple and unchallenging… and, in terms of excitement, was mundane at best. The character personalities are all cookie-cutter, so there’s nothing encouraging there. The setting has some basic creativity, but nothing that makes it memorable. I will admit, however, that the final scenes during the mansion break in were significantly improved compared to everything that had occurred prior, so the anime does show some promise that it can be better than what it showed for most of the first episode. If the anime can continue on this trajectory and carry this momentum into the second episode, then Hitsugi no Chaika might prove itself to be a worthwhile anime this season. If it reverts back to the uninteresting, unexciting garbage of the first episode, then that will be the final nail in its coffin (haha, puns).
Black Bullet will probably be remembered as the most frustrating and disappointing anime of the season. While I did not have high hopes for Black Bullet, even calling it ‘generic’ in my initial assessment for my Season Preview, I did not expect this to flop so quickly and be dropped in just one episode. Perhaps the most infuriating aspect of this anime are the characters with the second-most being the writing. Nothing about the characters seemed realistic or believable, especially with how they acted or reacted, with the loli being the worst offender. The dialogue was elementary and abysmal, some of the worst I have ever seen in an anime. The funniest part about this anime is that it attempted to include comedy, which is something humorous to think about. The fanservice was awkward and unwanted. The world isn’t terribly interesting with its monsters and methods for fighting them, but it probably doesn’t help that all the action sequences sucked in terms of pacing, directing or satisfaction. Nothing about this anime was original or innovative. Instead, it was cliché after cliché. It’s as if Black Bullet is the bastard child of all the negative aspects of all the sci-fi anime from the past 5 years. There’s nothing good I can say about Black Bullet or that I am done with it.