I believe I have been out of the loop. How many times have I heard my friends gush and gripe about the current anime offerings, only to have me admit “I haven’t got to that yet” NO MORE! NO MORE I SAY! Here are some of my initial thoughts on new releases for summer 2013 anime season. Thankfully pretty much everything here (unless indicated) is available for free on Crunchyroll!
Hachiken has just enrolled to Ooezo Agricultural High School in Hokkaido. It is a school that is devoted to the food sciences, food production and other farming and agricultural lifestyles. Is he looking to be a veterinarian, to take over his family’s farming business or develop his own food business? Maybe he wants to get into the Food Sciences himself? NOPE. He just wanted a school with a dormitory on it! He may have come from a high class prep school but is he prepared for the farm and all the work that it entails?
Again high school, maybe I’m getting too used to high school anime. But hear me out. This anime is a charming look into the hard work that agricultural business entails. At the end of this 1st episode, I truly felt almost as tired as our main protagonist who feels slightly out of place among these students who already have big dreams among themselves. And it is an interesting contrast as he seems to be the only student to truly excel at the general studies subjects (math, science, english etc), but is constantly tailing behind everyone else when it comes to the actual farm work and business. (Various students discuss the practice of cloning cattle as a possible farming solution, he is left in the dust) There’s lots of humor abound too as he struggles with the tasks that everyone else seems so accustomed too. (Many of them are from farming families, so chasing after livestock and being surrounded by stinky animals never seem to faze them) Animation is pretty good looking with emphasis placed on food (never has raw egg look so delicious…) and the ED in particular is really cute. (In my opinion, it was charming acoustic which suits the farm setting well) It’s from the same author as Fullmetal Alchemist and it is a refreshing change to see someone tackle a completely different subject. It’s worlds apart from Edward and Co. and I’m already loving it. Looking much forward to the next coming episodes.
No Matter How I Look At It, It’s YOUR GUYS FAULT I’M NOT POPULAR!
Kuroki Tomoko thought for sure she would be popular once she became a high school student. Besides, she’s played so many Otome dating sim games, how could she not gain her very own harem in the romantic battlefield that is high school? She should know what it takes right? Err…actually no, in fact its already been two months into the school year and she hasn’t spoke to a single person while her peers have already been gathering in their small packs of friends. She’s painfully shy, can’t talk to anyone outside of her family and no one seems to know she exists…. What is she doing wrong?
Holy shit this anime… I’ll take a note that this is another series that I can’t watch around family and I’m surprised (and thankful) that my Mom stayed so composed, as Tomoko basically fondled a virtual man in her handheld game system onscreen. I just feel so sorry for this girl and her constant failures to try to change herself. It’s almost painful to see her pine longingly to be popular among boys (comparing herself to the laughably rose colored world that is her Otome game playing experience) But then criticize and hiss so bitterly at the social habits and appearances that she could never achieve. Her social awkwardness is so pitiful that ordering a hamburger from a Wcdonalds (Yes, That’s spelled right) is a struggle to do and watch. Kinda leaves you wondering why this series was so popular among the 4chan folk. (To which the series acknowledges as ‘the western counterpart of 2chan) It just kinda made me feel sorry for her the entire time, especially since her brother, one of the few people she can talk to, goes out of his way to distance himself from her as much as possible. (With looks that extreme…) Its a darkly hilarious kind of sympathy and yeah I’ll stay with her a bit longer. But girl, we need to talk. Otome experience, girlfriend material does not make. (To be frankly honest her regular composture is strangely moe to me…) Animation is pretty average and the music is not very memorable, OK I take that back the OP and ED are both downright strange.
Uzume Uno is your average middle school student, the only thing she is the expert on is card games. (CARD GAMES ON- just kidding) Until one day she is drawn into a magical battle and becomes a Card Master, using a cellphone and card like device to summon dolls to fight for her. Each have their own personality and special ability, the dolls are somewhat begrudged that they are given to a master with little to no experience. She’s not sure why she has been called into this battle, but this game will soon involve the fate of her town, more so the fate of the world.
It looks very sparkly and I couldn’t help but feel that Uzume Uno is our new watered down Sakura Kinoshita. (Cardcaptor Sakura just in case you young’ns didn’t notice the reference) There wasn’t much explanation on how the powers are bestowed (something about a contract..) but I did chuckle with the closet full of magical girl outfits that one of the dolls dig through for her power up. So if I’m understanding this correctly, the dolls have different abilities depending on what card (clothes) that the Master gives them…. I think, I guess I was too distracted with the nubile bath scene. (Seriously, how did they all fit in that tub?!) It’s like Pokemon/Yugioh/Cardcaptors got together and made a child…. a not very developed looking child. The animation is very shiny and sparkly and the music was not much to remember. I’ll have to watch more episodes to pass any true judgement but its not very high on my priority list as of now.
Chronicles of the Going Home Club
Join five high school girls in their quest for good times! The Going Home Club is now in session as they set out to have as much fun as possible after school. Whether this is a real sanctioned club or not has yet to be seen but who cares! The seals don’t mind. ….Wait whut?
Another anime that concerns the random adventures of random girls in high school. And this time we’re not even sure if this is a real sanctioned club or not! One episode is split into mini chapters when the topic changes. Speaking of plot it could be anything from ice cream discussions, crepes, or an epic quest to defeat bears. It’s alright if you feel like turning off your brain for a moment and enjoy cute girls doing cute things. We have the staples yet again, the straight sensed character who basically calls out everyone else on all the bullshit that goes on (she’s pretty much or Kyon, but she has the most annoying Ahoge I’ve ever seen), the determined and reckless leader, the kind rich girl, the strong martial arts buff and the airhead. So yeah, I can’t really describe the plot that well but sometimes the jokes tend to carry too far and are repetitive. (It’s funny when you bring the credits in too early, but it gets old fast if you do it too often) Speaking of which the 4th wall is broken twice, which I don’t particularly mind, but I know there’s a lot of people who do. Music is your basic sugar Jpop with seiyuu from the series itself and the animation is pretty standard. The character designs are also pretty average to their character types, save for that ahoge, which basically serves as a giant question mark on our resident straight girl. I would enjoy this more with some friends to laugh with, but this is probably a series I wouldn’t pursue on my own.
Stella Women’s Academy High School Division Class C3
Yamato Yura has just gotten into the school of her dreams, the prestigious Stella Women’s Academy! The rich campus life is almost like fairy tale, but too bad she has problems befriending new faces. As she settles in her fabulous dorm, she finds a peculiar object under her pillow… a desert eagle. Turns out the ultra feminine academy has a rag tag club of the most unlady like sort. It’s the C3 club, a group of survival game enthusiasts armed with a vast weaponry of the airsoft persuasion. And they’re looking for new members!
ANOTHER highschool series that is based on some random sport. And this time it is AIRSOFT?! You’d expect me to get sick at this point (Why isn’t there an anime based on under water basket weaving huh? HUH?!) But for some odd reason, I enjoyed this anime more than others. As long as these girls actually-
But fear not, they actually do engage in the sport of their name and that’s good! Maybe it is the contrast of a manly sport being carried out by the cutest girls that I’ve seen in a long time. Strange, they don’t have any crazy hair dos (ahoge) and are rather simplistic. But its this irony that seems to have caught my attention. Still it drives more realistic questions as well. I would wear more protection in airsoft, being hit by those pellets really hurt. Screw wearing skimpy high school uniforms, I would be covered from head to toe during these survival games. The color palette and design of this series should belong to a magical girl anime but its not, its girls chasing each other with guns! The characters themselves are very cute and that’s about it for now. Hopefully we can get to know them better in the future, especially our main girl and why its so difficult for her to make friends. Its a sort of fresher looking face among the random sport/random club anime that seem to be dominating so much of the past years. I’m mildly interested at the most as its still basic with a pretty looking face. Let’s just hope they can keep it up.
Servant X Service
Follow the misadventures of three employees who have just started their first day of work at the civil services office! Whether its asking for your co-workers emails, shunning your first name, or hiding from that kindly old lady who won’t ever shut up about that daughter in law, it’s never a slow office day! Your tax dollars at work ladies and gentlemen!
This series is from the same mind that brought you Wagnaria (aka Working!) that already should be an indicator of what to expect. It’s office light hearted comedy that puts color on what should be one of the most boring settings I’ve ever seen. But its far from boring and that’s thanks to our colorful cast with their own quirks, mannerisms and secret hobbies~ Music is charmingly cute (love the ED in particular) and the animation is pretty solid work from A-1 pictures. It’s basically Working!..in the office, and but this time they’re actually Working…sort of. It did have me laughing out loud at their hijinks so definitely will be looking forward to more. Lemme put it on the record that this is first time I’ve seen a character with a popping vein that NEVER disappears even when she’s not really angry.
Ogiue is the president of the Society of the Study of Modern Visual Culture, or Genshiken for short. Last year freshmen turn out has been pretty low but this year will be different. Get ready to welcome a new cast of characters into the club as Genshiken is back in session!
I wanna say I’m excited for the new Genshiken anime. This should be especially true because most of the members are now girls or in this case ‘Fujoshi’ the otaku’s sister. Anyways I was a little underwhelmed on the presentation of it as it seems a little change from the original series, the color is a little brighter than I’m used to and I noticed that Kuchiki sempai is no longer voiced by Akira Ishida anymore. These are all little nitpicks. The focus seems a little less on their hobbies and more of their insecurties with each other and the fact that one of them is actually a crossdressing male (GUESS WHO!?) Maybe when the plot picks up more I’ll be able to enjoy the in jokes and the otaku lifestyle that was the reason that got me involved in the first place. Part of me is just screaming out “We get it, ONE OF THEM HAS A DICK, can we move on!?” It just seems very 4coma ish to me again, but the sometimes cameos from our senpais are appreciated. The introduction of the sugary Jpop songs replacing the catchy rock themes of before is not.
Sunday Without God
…and on the seventh day, God rested… but what if God left us? In this universe God abandoned humanity on Sunday, leaving a world where no one dies and no one gives birth to children. Enter Ai, our resident grave keeper who goes about digging graves that no one will ever use, that is until Hambart a self proclaimed ‘man eating toy’ shatters the peace and her world. Together they set out to discover the truth…
A bit slow moving for my taste, but I’m very curious as to what direction this anime is going to go, especially with lots of sensitive subjects tossed from the start. Christian symbolism and talks of God abound in this dramatic take on death. Or more appropriately not being able to die. Much isn’t very clear in the first episode and what it did reveal I kind of don’t want to spoil. The look and feel of this anime is very ladden with dark fantasy and perhaps the cutest gravekeeper I’ve ever seen. I’m mildly interested with such a premise and I’ll be looking to further episodes to see whether this will be a keeper or not. (You know like gravekeeper? Hyuk hyuk)
Dog x Scissors
Harumi Kazuhito loves books. In fact he loves reading so much he declares that he refuses to die before he reads the latest book from his favorite author Akiyama Shinobu. He seems to have gotten what he wished for as he is brought back to life after he is killed during a robbery… as a dachshund dog. He is eventually adopted by Natsuno Kirihime, a sadistic woman dressed in black who wields a violent pair of scissors. For some reason she seems to understand his thoughts but why? And what is her connection to Akiyama Shinobu?
Well this is strange as they come in terms of premise. For some reason he is brought back to life as the cutest weenie dog, still with his passion for books and reading. Not much in terms of plot, and with the amount of female characters out weighing the males I’m in fear of this turning into a harem anime with a dog being at the center for some reason. Also the humor with the scissors and the constant death threats get old for me. But who knows maybe my opinion and fears will change for the better in coming episodes when the plot becomes more pronounced. Here’s to hoping anyway.
Makai Ouji: Devil and Realist
William is the heir of a rich and successful family and is by himself a brilliant student. One day, his uncle makes a couple of bad business decisions that not only loses the family fortune but also puts William’s academic life in jeopardy. (Those tuition bills need to be paid!) Desperate, William goes to his now bare mansion in search for anything of value. There he discovers a secret room bearing a magic circle on the ground, it is here that he accidentally summons Dantalion a demon lord from Hell. He declares William to be the Elector, the one who decides who will be the next King of Hell. Now that the news is out to the underworld, more demons are showing up to attempt to win his favor. Oh, did we mention that William is a man of scientific thought and believes nothing of the Bible let alone Hell?
Kuroshitsuji fans rejoice! We have a new anime series to tickle your fancy! Or at least I thought so. It kind of lacks the class and darkness as Kuroshitsuji has but the demon master relationship seems to be the focal point and it may even cross to be a love triangle battle between the other demons who show up and (surprise surprise) enroll themselves as students in order to be closer to William. There are yaoi overtones (from the first scene even) nothing too overly affectionate…yet. Action is pretty average and so are the character designs but William is actually a lot funnier than I gave him credit to be sometimes. Not very high on my priority list especially when it seems all too familiar but I’ll be hoping for a higher development once all of our players are introduced. So in short, yeah its obviously targeted against the Kuroshitsuji crowd but not sure if its enough to keep their attention for long.
Ile sola penetra le illusioni – Daybreak Illusion
Taiyo Akari is an young amateur fortune teller. She practices her skills in a fortune telling mansion using the deck she has inherited from her late mother. Her peaceful life is shattered as she is faced with a new threat, Daimyao, demons who feed of of wishes and dark desires of evil humans. But she along with three others have the power of the Elemental Tarot to defend humanity against evil, but at what cost?
I’m actually surprised to how interested this first episode got me. I even watched it twice. Maybe because I’ve always been a fan of the tarot card symbolism that I haven’t seen in a while. (The only one I’ve seen to make extensive use of the Tarot card is the Persona series) Character designs are very cute even if everyone in this universe including the adults are built like twigs. Its magical girl action that can get shockingly bloody and fearful. It’s not completely Madoka but I felt it to be in the familiar vein as this job is revealed to be not as glamorous as one would think it to be. I also appreciate the fact that their tarot abilities carries on in their everyday day life. (There is a reason why the plants in Taiyo’s room grow so healthily) And I also like the fact that in this team of magic girls they seem to have a vast array of skills to compliment each other. (A sniper, a binding force, defense and your general swordsman) I’m totally invested in this series and will be looking forward to where it will go in the future. The animation is bright and is even pretty without such a complicated magical girl transformation sequence, and the music is pretty standard with a flair of the dark fantasy that takes place.
Danganronpa – The School of Hope and the Students of Despair
Naegi just can’t believe it. He has been accepted in the Hope’s Peak Academy, a school of the most talented, strongest and the smartest. He must have gotten in by his sense of pure luck right? This is where his good luck ends as he is driven unconscious on his first day of school and wakes up in a classroom where all the windows are bolted shut. Turns out he is trapped in the school building along with other students (all of whom are the best in their field) with no way out and is under constant surveillance by cameras everywhere. Monokuma (a pun on bear and the pronounciation of Monochrome, just look at the bastard!), their new ‘principal’ explains the situation further, to earn your ticket to freedom the task is simple. KILL but don’t get caught…
HOLY SHIT! I can see why this anime was so highly anticipated. Based off a mystery visual novel in the same name, its a good ol’ whodunit murder mystery in the veins of Battle Royale in which students are forced to do the unimaginable to each other. All at the chuckling amusement of Monokuma (who sports the same voice as Doraemon to put things in perspective) Every student is given the grade Super as in they are the very best at their field of expertise (one is a idol, one is a novelist, one is even a doujinshi artist) and are pitted against each other ….if Big Brother had an even sicker sense of humor. Animation looks pretty damn good with some of the most wackiest character designs I’ve seen in awhile. Music is actually very dark and dare I say it? Groovy and it will be a guilty pleasure to see who gets plucked out first. Danganronpa is currently simulcasting free from Funimation.