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Winter 2013 Anime Season

See MyAnimeList for my list of watching/completed anime.
Check out AnimeCalendar for a nifty tool to keep up-to-date with airing anime.

In my past anime chart blog posts, I would make predictions for the upcoming season prior to the first airing week, then update my comments at random points through the season. This time around, however, I’ve decided to first go through all the EP1s (and a few EP2s) so that I’d be able to give actual first impressions based on the actual episodes rather than just PVs + descriptions. I’ll probably end up updating this post a few times throughout the season (e.g. EP 3/4, then EP 7/8, then finally EP 12/13), so check back after a while if you’re curious.


Winter 2013/2014 anime season chart, reposted from neregate.

Initial thoughts (EP1/2)
Based on first episodes, I must say, this season feels quite dull. Space Dandy catches my interest and Nobunagun has potential but otherwise, I’m not all that impressed.

Robot Girls Z: (info)
Short fun clips bringing back nostalgic memories from the old-school 1970s mecha series Mazinger Z in the form of transforming moe highschool girls. Unfortunately, Mazinger Z is a few generations before me so I’m definitely missing a lot of the references, but as a mecha fan, I definitely find it interesting watching this comedy tribute to one of the most popular mecha series of it’s time.

Seitokai Yakuindomo*: (info)
If you like bad, perverted comedy, this is the series for you! This is an anime about the lives of some laid-back highschoolers, but filled with perverted jokes and ecchi references. Danshi Koukousei x Ebichu. I’ve not actually watched the previous season (Seitokai Yakuindomo), but given that it’s based off a 4koma, I doubt I need to. Plus, the character designs remind me of School Rumble.

Witch Craft Works: (info)
I honestly put this on my watchlist for a single simple reason: the main female lead’s character design reminds me of Momoyo Kawakami from Majikoi (whom I really, really wish they would make a figure of). Anyway, the art is decent, the character designs are nice, and the plot feels like it’s going to be a generic “boy gets involved in a secret war between magician factions” etc. Overall, I wasn’t impressed or strongly interested, but the ending animation completely won me over (even rival’s Neptunia’s). Guess I’ll watch a few more episodes and see how it goes.

Space☆Dandy: (info)
Straight from the opening, all I could think of was “what if Redline was turned into a (space cowboy) series…”. Which is great, cause I absolutely loved Redline and its flamboyant art style and crazy, random non-sensical scenes. As a person who loves anime series that are all about making no sense and defying common logic (see FLCL and the recent Kyousougiga), I have high hopes for this series. I was just surprised Gainax didn’t pick it up first. Oh, and no, I haven’t watched Cowboy Bebop (just the movie, not the full series) but I can definitely tell you that Space Dandy is a lot less serious and far more comedy.

Buddy Complex: (info)
As a hardcore Gundam/mecha fan, here’s my recommendation on the series: No. Once upon a time, mecha series were about the hardships of war, the sorrows of the loss of innocent lives, and the fragility of the human race. Nope, none of that now in the 2010’s era. Better fill that melodrama with teen angst and beamspam. Sorry Sunrise, maybe another time.

Super Sonico: (info)
Plot, plot, and even moar plot. Just take a look at all the existing Sonico figures and you can count on there being a never-ending supply of plot material.

Nobunagun: (info)
When I heard that the studio behind Soul Eater was starting a new series this season, I was pretty excited, and rightfully so. Whacky, action anime, with the gimmick being that each character’s super powers comes from historical figures. Oh, and how can you say no to a giant Gatling gun? Barret is out there, grinning.

D-Frag!: (info)
I’m honestly not sure how I feel about this one. It’s supposedly comedy, but it feels weak and kinda bland (or at least not meeting my expectations in terms of craziness levels for a slice-of-life highschool comedy series). Likely to be dropped early.

Hamatora: (info)
This action/mystery series looks interesting with its colourful artstyle and magical detectives-vs-criminals style premise. Immediately reminded me of K, which unfortunately ended up being really weak and poorly executed plot-wise despite it’s high budget beautiful animation and interesting premise. Lets see how this goes.

Onee-chan ga Kita: (info)
Short, light, fanservice comedy. Why not, wincest is always amusing.

Mahou Sensou: (info)
Honestly just checked it out because all the character designs reminded me of someone or another (especially that Gilgamesh). Ended up kinda disappointed, feeling like I’m going to drop it out of boredom/lack of uniqueness like I did with Strike the Blood.

Sakura Trick: (info)
Pure, pure sweet yuri. Those explicit kiss scenes. Totally did not expect that at all. I’ve watched serious yuri like Strawberry Panic and I’ve watched comedy shoujo-ai like Girl Meets Girl, but I’d never have expected comedy yuri. Not that I’m complaining :3

Nisekoi: (info)
Watched it cause the main girl’s character design reminded me of Saki‘s Koromo Amae. Premise feels like a generic highschool romance drama involving childhood friends, new rivals, etc. but it does give me this “I want to know what happens” feel, so I’ll give it a few episodes.

Sekai Seifuku: (info)
A loli appears before you telling to swear fealty to her in glorious quest for world domination. She also offers to share with you some of her candy. A colourful and whacky anime with potential, will be keeping an eye open for this.

Wizard Barristers: (info)
When I saw the PV, all I could think of was Mezzo Forte, which, although I haven’t watched yet, I’ve seen references to and artwork for all over the place. The unique art style (same as Mezzo Forte’s) that completely contrasts with today’s modern moe style alone is enough to perk my interest. After watching the first episode, I can say the premise and genre does somewhat interest me (“detective agency” genre + magic). Plus, it has a frog featuring the legendary voice of Norio Wakamoto.

Drop Milestone (EP3/4)
This is the point where series make or break the drop line. No surprises from my initial thoughts earlier unfortunately, but that’s to be expected of a winter season. At least there’s Sakura Trick though ^_^

Seitokai Yakuindomo*: (info)
Pretty funny as expected. Episodic 4koma-style comedy. Not ridiculously over the top comedy (and some jokes feel lost in translation) but good enough to keep.

Witch Craft Works: (info)
The only reason this series made the cut line was it’s hilarious ending animation (extended ver FTW!). Otherwise, characters feel a bit flat and the plot, while somewhat original, doesn’t seem all that ground-breaking.

Space☆Dandy: (info)
Hi Dandy. Hello.. Pretty fun over-the-top comedy acts, purely episodic. Apparently the series is also dubbed and currently airing on Toonami. Not surprised given how much it feels fitting with the Western crowd (who I find prefers episodic series over plot-driven ones).

Super Sonico: (info)
Yup, just non-stop plot. I also recently found out that NitroPlus made an idol-producer game featuring Super Sonico with gratuitous amount of plot. The rhythm game aspect of it though intrigues me and I might decide to try out a similar style of gameplay for some new mode of Beats2 (that is, the part about a moving centre-focused cursor along a plane of hitboxes, not the gravure photography part). Anyway, series dropped of course.

Nobunagun: (info)
The interesting art style and colour palette definitely doesn’t fail to interest me, but the flow of the series so far has come out a bit on the bland side (or at least disappointing Soul Eater-level expectations). I also have to point out, the OP/EDs are complete disappointments. Hoping things will pick up later on…

D-Frag!: (info)
Dropped. Overall felt like a weak high-school comedy with non-memorable characters with mediocre character designs. The original concept hook (club about playing games) ended up being not so much a strong focus point.

Hamatora: (info)
The animation quality is top-notch as expected. Series itself kinda feels like a mix between Psycho-pass and Durarara (even though I’ve yet to watch Durarara). Not a stellar story execution, but it’ll pass.

Onee-chan ga Kita: (info)
Who doesn’t have time for some short 5 minute bouts of wincest?

Mahou Sensou: (info)
Dropped like a hotcake. Episode 1 was alright, episode 2 was boring background explaining, episode 3 was out-of-character unnecessary love triangles. Disaster of a plot, waiting to happen.

Sakura Trick: (info)
So much sweet vanilla yuri. For some reason, reminds me of Manabi Straight in it’s comedy aspects, but at the end of the day, it all revolves around excuses for cute kissing scenes that will make your heart go HNNNNNGGGGGG!

Nisekoi: (info)
Still feeling like a generic high-school love triangle comedy, but overall feels well executed. Actually reminds me of the first season of Bakemonogatari. Watching for now as my romance/comedy series (Sakura Trick is in it’s own category), at least it’s more entertaining than Golden Time so far.

Sekai Seifuku: (info)
It’s definitely interesting though it almost feels like it’s holding itself back from taking the over-the-top route that other studios like GAINAX/Trigger take. Turns out, the series scenarios are written by TYPE-MOON’s very own Hoshizora Meteo, who also wrote the scenarios for Fire Girl and Girl’s Work. Unfortunately, I have no interest in neither of those since they’re not written by Nasu nor anyhow part of the Nasuverse. Either way, TYPE-MOON seems invested in promoting the series so I’ll give it a chance I suppose, at least for latter criticism purposes. Also, it really doesn’t help that the one loli has the same awkwardly-spaced eyes’d face as the one from Outbreak Company.

Wizard Barristers: (info)
Norio Wakamoto is probably the only thing keeping me watching. Art style is great, but the overall story flow feels like a mess and too jumpy-around. The court trial was also quite flat and disappointment, kinda undermining the whole “detective-agency” appeal of the series.

Build-up time (EP8/9)
Episode 8/9, when single-cour series start building up towards the climax, the finale time, for better or worse. Mostly for the better, for this was a depressingly slow season :( This time, I’ve also included some carry-over from the previous season that will be wrapping up this season.

Seitokai Yakuindomo*: (info)
4-koma adaption, every episode is more or less the same: comical perverted goodness ;3

Witch Craft Works: (info)
Totally having a Neptunia[/url] deja-vu. Weak anime that I knew I should have dropped but ended up following through purely cause of it’s ED. Meh, shikata ga nai.

Space☆Dandy: (info)
Totally episodic, but somewhat managing to stay amusing each time. Not too memorable, but enjoyable nevertheless.

Nobunagun: (info)
That “hoping things will pick up later on” never came. Once you’ve gotten used to the art style and colouring scheme, the shallow plot and twists just bore me. Not much background history/mystery/”now it all makes sense” feel either, and I’m expecting nothing short of disappointment for the ending, unfortunately.

Hamatora: (info)
Animation quality still solid, twists are getting interesting, it’s passable. I also actually ended up marathoning Durarara which I found pretty good, so Hamatora’s background-story-reveal better meet expectations!

Sakura Trick: (info)
Episode after episode of setting up for the expected kissing scene each half-episode. Which are still pretty cute/hot, so I’ve got no complaints xD

Nisekoi: (info)
Building up to some nice plot twist potentials. The series is 1.5-cour (20 episode), so there’s still room to build up that (likely original) ending.

Sekai Seifuku: (info)
Not only has the series’ character designs constantly been reminding me of Outbreak Company, but the general pacing has as well. Cheap comedy splattered liberally against filler-feeling episodes that only skim over the initial “conquest” philosophy building highlighted earlier in the series. Looks like this is going to become one of those TYPE-MOON-related animes that never happened.

Wizard Barristers: (info)
For some reason, watching this series feels really comfortable. There’s enough action to feel interested, every episode slowly reveals more character history/development, and there’s no over-dramatization. It very much reminds me of Witch Hunter Robin in its execution style and main character development (but of course much less gloomy). Too bad it’s only going to last a single cour, I’ve gotten a liking to the OP song

Golden Time: (info)
Never since School Days have I wanted to punch/slap so many characters. Weak personalities, weak and poorly timed plot twists, weak everything. Nothing at all like Toradora (which I also recently marathoned and absolutely loved).

KILL la KILL: (info)
Based-Trigger delivers. As always, amazing animation/scene execution, fast but strong pacing, and ridiculous plot twists. I’d actually go as far as to say that this series might actually trump Gurren Lagann in my books (especially with it’s second season twists). Don’t Lose Your Way has become the new Row Row Fight the Power! (ironically, neither are the actual song names xD)

Log Horizon: (info)
Still enjoying and looking forward to each week. Not so many strong twists as I expected for the second season and I’m still wanting to see some PvP action, but it’s definitely not bad. Should start working on my Shiroe cosplay for Sakura-con soon though…

Magi: The Kingdom of Magic: (info)
A nice watch, but not all much exciting and definitely having nothing to do with 1001 Arabian Nights other than borrowed names. Am looking forward to the OVA, Magi: Sinbad no Bouken which will feature the much-more-interesting character Sinbad ;3

Tokyo Ravens: (info)
Lesson to self: Just because the opening is sung by KOTOKO doesn’t mean it’ll be a good show. Oh well, at least the animation quality’s pretty decent and it’s better than most series this season.

Finale (ED)
Episode 12/13, when series hit their climaxes and finish. These are my final thoughts on the series overall

Seitokai Yakuindomo*: (info)
An overall pleasant and comically ecchi 4-koma adaption. A few jokes were missed/lost in translation but overall decent. 7/10

Witch Craft Works: (info)
Reminder to self: Stop falling victim to catchy OP/EDs… orz 6/10

Space☆Dandy: (info)
Came in with high expectations, got a Saturday morning cartoon instead. Amusing nevertheless. 7/10

Nobunagun: (info)
Short of expectations (was hoping for Soul Eater tier) but alright as a standard, mediocre anime. 7/10

Hamatora: (info)
Strongly reminded me of Durarara and Psycho-Pass. Felt a bit lacking in some parts, but overall well done, both artwork and animation-wise, with a nice leadin to a later S2. 8/10

Sakura Trick: (info)
Sweet, sweet mindless, vanilla yuri. Couldn’t ask for more. Straight 9/10

Nisekoi: (info)
In comes all the plot twists! A good balance of surprise yet pleasantries. Series still ongoing atm but looking pretty solid, a nice relief from Golden Time.

Sekai Seifuku: (info)
Honestly should have dropped this for its general lack of substance and flat comedy, but the TYPE-MOON name ended up suckering me in. 6/10

Wizard Barristers: (info)
Overall great series with amazing potential that was lost due to running out of budget the final two episodes. A 8/10 that urned 7/10 for the weak endings

Golden Time: (info)
Nope, not even an interesting ending. Much regret for wasted time. 6/10

KILL la KILL: (info)
I admit, this actually trumps Gurren Lagann in my books. Superb soundtrack, artstyle, plot, character development, and most unexpectedly, a non-GAINAX ending. The first 10/10 I’ve rewarded in years.

Log Horizon: (info)
A second season is upcoming, but overall, the series felt like it hit a low note. Twists were weak, cliffhangers were non-existent, and the overall lack of conflict made the series feel even more mellow than .hack//SIGN. Will continue watching S2, but there felt like a lot of lost potential. 7/10

Magi: The Kingdom of Magic: (info)
Felt mellow. Not bad, but not memorable either. There’ll be an S3, and I’ll watch it for completion, but I won’t be excited. A standard 7/10.

Tokyo Ravens: (info)
Good animation, good original first OP, interesting premise, alright execution, poor plot and character development. In the end, an overhyped series. At least it was more complete than K. 7/10

Overall, an expectedly weak season, only highlighted by the finishing of Kill la Kill and sweet vanilla yuri of Sakura Trick. Oh well, to the next season!

~Keripo

MyFigureCollection: http://myfigurecollection.net/blog/12276

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Spring 2014 Anime Season

See MyAnimeList for my list of watching/completed anime. Check out AnimeCalendar for a nifty tool …