Since everything ended last season, this autumn we’re introduced to many many many new anime series. Though I’ve chosen to pass most of them, I’m still watching more than a dozen new series. Coming to think of which… I think I’m watching a little bit too much. Nonetheless, on with the list (bear with me here because it is a long list). This time I’m including a screen cap for each anime so it isn’t so bland.
Chaos Head – Based on the visual novel gal-game (eroge?) by Nitro+. The key function of the game is the ability to switch between the antagonist’s reality and his fantasies. The problem is, in the anime version we have no idea when he’s fantasizing and when is it reality, sometimes it’s easy to tell and some times it’s not. Up to the 4th episode I’m still pretty much confused as to what is happening in the series. Basically it’s a mysterious serial killer on the loose but somehow the antagonist is recieving online images of these killings: before they even happen. It is a gal game, so the antagonist is surrounded by the steriotypical harem game cast. Maybe if I knew what is actually happening in the story I might be able to say if this is a good series or not, but not now. (6/10)
She likes you, and your figure collection too.
Clannad: After Story – I never blogged about the first season because I only watched it a few weeks ago all in one go (all 24 episodes). Clannad itself is based on the visual novel gal-game (non-ero) by Key. I never played the game before but I must say I definitely enjoyed the first season when I watched it, and was on the verge of tears at a few points. I definitely recommend the first season, this has got to be one of the best done high school harem themed anime out there. The second season continues with the life of Tomoya & friends. It’s off to a strong start so I’m definitely looking forward to the rest of this season (which should conclude the series). Be warned that if you don’t like sad sad stories, you might wanna stay away from this. (10/10)
I’m not a lolicon I’m not a lolicon I’m not a lolicon I’m not a lolicon
Gundam 00 (2nd Season) – After the Code Geass R2 break, we are finally back to Setsuna & friends. Watching the OP you’ll go WTF because the seemingly-everyone-is-dead ending of the first season gets completely defeated by the OP because you see all 4 of the gundam meisters well alive (with a twist, which you’ll find out soon enough). I loved the OP song. None of the 4 gundam units survived the first series so everyone gets a new mech (except the mothership is the same), so much for Bandai gundam model marketing strategies. Series starts rather slow as the Celestial Being rebuilds itself under a new rule of order in the world. Not much action yet, looking forward to see where the story will take us. (8/10)
Yeah, they’re all back, all 4 of them.
Rosario & Vampire (2nd Season) – Tsukune and his harem gang is back for a second season. Because the first season didn’t end with the manga’s season one ending, the second seaons only starts with the introduction of Moka’s younger sister (same as the manga’s 2nd season) then heads into an original story (almost entirely). It’s still the same lighthearted fanservice-centered anime like the last season. On the other hand the version I’m watching has the annoying bat (the narrator) conveniently blocking most (not all) pantsu shots. I’m not really complaining but it kind of destroys the overall feel of the anime. I heard there’s a version without the bat, so you might want to look for that. Note that this time around the animation is only mediocre and because it’s not really following the manga the story is also pretty meh. (6.5/10)
Sorry, no panties for you.
Tales of the Abyss – Based on the Tales series game by Namco. Guy who is the son of a nobel in one of the two major countries in a world lost his memory and is somehow the subject of a world-altering prophecy (yeah typical), adventure ensures. You can go search for the wiki and you will get spoiled because it tells you the entire plot there. I had extra time on my hands so I decided to watch it anyways. Note that the protagonist is sorta annoying (not as annoying as another protagonist this season, but still), if you can bear with that I’d say this is actually a pretty decent magic world adventure series. The way they’re doing this anime really makes it feel like you’re watching the animated version of an RPG game. (7/10)
Aren’t they adorable?
Tora Dora – Based on the light novel. Guy who is actually decently nice but has a scary face helps his next door neighbour (girl) go after his best friend. Conincidently he has a crush on the neighbour’s best friend as well. Lighthearted highschool themed story between a bunch of high school students. Animation quality is superb and the story itself is pretty enjoying to watch. The female lead is voiced by Kugimiya Rie (aka Shana, Louise, and Nagi) and is a very typical Kugimiya style character (aka Shana, Louise and Nagi), I personally am not really fond of her style of acting these characters (because it’s all the same lines and it gets old), but since this time around the male and female lead aren’t directly romantically involved it’s less annoying. (8.5/10)
This scene itself is reason to watch this series.
Bounen no Xam’d (Xam’d of Lost Memories) – This actually started in the summer. But it’s not really a weekly aired show. You can get it off PSN. Ordinary guy suddenly gets caught in a strange bus bombing and he gets transformed into a monster. Mysterious girl comes to his rescue and tells him that he is now the host of a Xam’d. Guy sets off with the girl in search of his “true self” and a way to co-exist with the Xam’d. A very Hayao Miyazaki-esque themed world and story, the story is exceptionally good and definitely worth the watch. There are many different characters appearing throughout the story but it has still managed to give depth to most if not all of the characters. Very recommended wtach. (9/10)
The Xam’d: yeah he’s sorta ugly.
Yousakura Quartet – Based on the manga. Talks about a world where monsters (Japanese style) take human forms and co-exist with humans. But to send monsters back to their homeworld, a tree was planted somewhere to act as a passageway to that world. A town grew around the tree and became home to most of the monster population. The protagonist, human, was the descendant of a family whose special ability was the ability to send the monsters back to their homeworld. He and a few of his friends work together to act as the guardians of this town, preventing renegade monsters from trying to wreck havoc and helping other monsters and people fit in to this town. It’s pretty light hearted even though it has a sort of serious storyline, characters are interesting but some may find the storyline mediocre and uninteresting. (7.5/10)
And you thought Gilgamesh from Fate/Stay night was powerful.
Hagane no Linebarrel – Based on the manga. There was apparently a lot of hype surrounding this series. The animation quality is… mediocre. It follows the style of the manga so the characters look a bit wierd, and the robots are all CG (it’s a Gonzo production, therefore expect robot battles along the lines of Bassreiter). Story is about a guy who gets killed by accident by a Linebarrel (robot), the owner of the robot decides to resurect him using the linebarrel’s ability and make him the factor (pilot) of the linebarrel. Now this protagonist is a weak crybaby and when he finds out he has superhuman strength and an overpowered robot at his disposal he becomes this total pain in the ass prick that starts thinking he is the persona of justice. This has got to be the most annoying protagonist to be seen in an anime ever (maybe Makoto in school days but he died a horrible death). By the 5th episode there is a change of events and hopefully this guy will get his act together and we can finally start to enjoy this series. (6.5/10, would be higher if this guy wasn’t so annoying).
Trust me, there’s nothing sexual here: they’re summoning a robot…
Shikabane Hime Aka – Also based on the manga. A world where when people die with things they left unfinished during their life they ressurect as shikabane (corpse), or zombies and start killing people. A group of Japanese monks start making their own shikabanes to hunt and kill shikabanes, and coincidently all their shikamanes are females and are hence called shikabane himes (corpse princesses). An adopted younger brother of one of these monks suddenly gets involved in a series of shikabane events as a mysterious cat starts showing him around. The voice actors are pretty mediocre but the story itself is pretty good. A friend who read the manga says that the anime adaptaion is much better. Animation is decent. (7.5/10)
Chicks, sailor fuku, and gunz.
Kannagi – Again, based on a manga series. This is totally the hidden gem of this season. The manga itself isn’t well known and if you go find it now you’ll see why: The anime productors have managed to take a mediocre manga series and transform it into a fantastic anime. Guy builds a wood sculpture of a girl he met when he was young out of the wood of an ancient tree that was cut down for urban development. The land-god of the area suddenly appears out of the sculpture into a pretty teenage girl, saying that her powers have dwindled because people have lost faith in her and even chopped down her tree. She then lives with the guy and a hillarious story ensues. Top quality animation, a super funny story, and hilarious facial expressions make Kannagi one of the best anime series this season. Definitely don’t miss this one. (9.5/10)
Best facial expressions… ever.
Garei Zero – The prequel to the manga series Garei. I’m going to spoil the first episode for you right now: In the promotional materials you are shown a cast of characters, at the end of the first episode, they all die. I’m serious. I wasn’t going to watch this series until I read about this first episode. Definitely an innovative way to start a series, but you’ll find out quickly enough that the story isn’t really about the people that died in the first episode. Real story picks up around episode 3. It’s actually a story about a group of people who can see demons with their naked eyes (that normal people can’t see) and their fight against these demonic beings. Animation quality is high, but if you go read the actual manga you’ll find that the animation has gone and upgraded some of the manga’s character designs and maybe even changed a bit of the story too (I didn’t go far enough in the manga to tell). It’s actually a pretty decent series, if not only just to watch the first episode which is completely dumbfounding. (8.5/10)
Every single person you see in this picture, dies: in the first episode.
Kemeko Deluxe – Yes, based on the manga series, again. Guy and girl vows to marry each other when they were young, girl tells guy to swallow some mysterious green ball. 10 years later guy is in highschool and a mysterious mechanical midget appears out of nowhere and says that she is going to be his wife. Inside the robot is a girl who looks like the girl he vowed to marry 10 years ago but she denies that it’s her. Harem themed anime that is completely out there. It’s just messing around alot and using the mechanical doll to cause a lot of havoc. Interesting? maybe. But it’s a little too silly for my taste. Animation is decent but for some reason the protagonist’s skin tone got a little bit too much red on it and looks like he’s blushing 24/7. (5.5/10)
The cute girl and her fugly mech suit.
Moryo no Hako – Based on some story (not sure what it is), character design by Clamp. This is the most confusing anime series ever. To be honest I’ve watched 5 episodes of this series and still cannot understand what this story is about or where it’s headed to. None of my friends that are watching this have any clue either. Moryo are demon like beings, and hako is a box. The first episode we are shown a box with a girl’s head in it, just the head, and it looks like she’s still alive. Then it completely goes in other directions. I suppose if you can keep track of all the dates it keeps throwing at you it might be a bit more manageable. Anyways, it looks like it’s an interesting story, and it looks like it might be a good series, but before I can grasp just what this story is about, I can only keep watching and say it’s mediocre. Hopefully it will turn out to be a very good series. (7/10 until further watching).
There’s a head inside that box, and it’s alive.
Toaru Majutsu no Index – Based on the light novel. Guy is one of the many students of a school-city (a city where everything is about education) that is the gathering place of people with superpowers (scientifically explainable powers). This guy’s ability is his right hand can resist and dispell any other superpower that it comes in contact with. A mysterious girl falls from the sky and lands on his balcony one day claiming she is a library of a hundred thousand books on forbidden magic (magic is not recognized as a superpower and its existance is denied). He feeds her and finds out that she is being persued by evil magicians wanting to get a hold of the collection of books. Story continues on from there. Quality of this series is top notch, definitely recommended. (8.5/10)
She’s got more books in her head than you’ll ever read in your lifetime.
Macademi Washoi – Based on the light novel. High school kid is actually a magician and has to go to magic school after his normal school hours. In his attempt to summon a familiar he summons a strange girl with immense power that is neither demon or angel and becomes his familiar. Harem style anime, lots of otaku references, and basically a light hearted fooling around anime (like Kemeko). I’d say this one is better if not just because it’s more funny. They use clay dolls to represent naughty scenes sometimes and it’s annoying because the clay dolls look fugly. (6.5/10)
These guys tell you what happens when otaku become powerful magicians.
Best Anime of the Season : Clannad – After Story –
Recommended : Kannagi, Gundam 00, Bounen no Xam’d, Toaru Majutsu no Index, Garei – Zero-
I liked (but you may not) : Yousakura Quartet, Shikabane Hime Aka
Thanks for reading this stupidly long post.