Synopsis
The members of the ESP Research Club set out to find Haruka.  They arrived to a small town, and there they ran into a shrine priest, who actually knew Haruka.  He took the members of the club to Haruka's grandfather's (who is a pervert too) large house.  Haruka still felt guilty for all that had happened to Yoshihisa and her classmates, refusing to return.  Haruka finally changed her mind when Hiyori arrived to apologize to her.

Analysis
Episode 4 of Kotoura-san was "interesting".  Haruka was expectedly found and convinced to return, but two things stood out from this episode.  The pervert moments with Haruka's grandfather were creepy.  It does not kill the series but seems of bad taste (or maybe I am being a hypocrite).  The other thing that stood out to me is that Hiyori has finally come around in regards to Haruka.  I give this good, but kind of uncomfortable, episode a 8 out of 10.
 
 
Synopsis
Saki is now 26 years old and in charge of the Department Mutant Management.  She takes care of newly born monster rats (which were originally created by the humans), but her official, real job involves surveying and managing the monster rats.  There was an attack on one of the monster rats colonies.  Squera and Kiroumaru were summoned to learn if their powerful colonies (the Robber Fly and Giant Hornet respectively) had anything to do with it, but the village leaders could not reach a conclusion.  Later Saki ordered the Giant Hornet colony to fight another colony.  The Giant Hornet colony is supposed to be very powerful, but at the end of the episode Satoru tells Saki that the Giant Hornet colony has been wiped out.

Analysis
Episode 17 of From the New World continued to add more intrigue to this mysterious story.  It was nice to learn a bit about the origin of the monster rats.  I am also surprised that some of the leaders of the colony (including Saki) seem to be oblivious to the fact that the monster rats colonies have gained more knowledge than they should have (for the sake of the humans, of course).  Finally, the sucker for romances in me could not ignore the apparent cold relationship between Saki and Satoru.  This episode gets a 9 out of 10.
 
 
Synopsis
The Demon Queen met with two members of the Alliance.  She gave them the idea of cultivating corn in exchange of ending the war.  Somewhat begrudgedly, they agreed.  One of the negotiators, a young merchant, even disclosed his plans to eventually marry the Demon Queen.  The Hero was supposed to be looking for her former mage colleague, but he has been hidden in the mansion.  He is afraid of not being able to help the Demon Queen, falling in love, and making her suffer with his eventual death.

Analysis
Episode 4 of Maoyu was okay.  Most of the episode revolved around the Demon Queen, the Hero and their insecurities.  We got a glimpse on the human forces' preparations for a big battle against the demons.  We again saw interesting traits from the big sister maid.  While trying to comfort an exhausted Knight, the big sister maid questioned if  she was still a human after learning so many  new things.  This mostly uneventful episode gets a 8 out of 10.
 
 
Synopsis
The episode began with the four members of the ESP Research Club going to karaoke.  Afterwards Yuriko urged Haruka to confess her feelings to Yoshihisa.  Haruka followed an earlier suggestion from Yuriko, and she decided to cook lunch for Yoshihisa.  However, things went sour when Hiyori sent members of her father's doujou to rough up Yoshihisa.  When Haruka arrived to the hospital she concluded that no matter how she tries, she will always hurt the people around her.  She decides to go away.

Analysis
Episode 3 of Kotoura-san was kind of uneven.  The first half of the episode was very silly, and the second half took a dramatic twist.  More than sad, to me the ending was frustrating because  Haruka's decision was too radical.  I continue to enjoy the relationship between Haruka and Yoshihisa.  I am also very intrigued by Yuriko apparent hidden agenda.  Hoping that this series continues to be good, I give this uneven episode a 8 out of 10.
 
 
Synopsis
The episode started with Saki and Satoru reading a letter Maria left.  On it, Maria remembered the time she spent with her beloved Saki and the others.  Maria also questioned if the methods the Ethics Committee employs to eliminate "defective" children are right.  Later on, a depressed and tired Saki had a dream about strange creatures and a faceless human, who told her that Maria had to die.  The remainder of the episode was spent with Saki and Satoru searching for their friends.

Analysis
Episode 16 of From the New World was very heartfelt.  The letter from Maria showed us that she and Saki had cared deeply for each other ever since they met as children.  Saki spent most of the episode suffering and crying.  The only way she could find some comfort was in Satoru's arms.  This episode gets a 8 out of 10.
 
 
Episode 1
Synopsis
Maoyu is a story about a war between humans and demons on Earth.  One day a hero arrives at a castle, where he plans to vanquish the king of the demons.  The king turns out to be a beautiful young woman.  She immediately declares her desire to make the hero hers and save humanity from misery and war.  The prince, at first, does not want to have any of it.  But after she explains that the war is more or less a cheap invention that benefits both humans and demons, the hero agrees to her requests.

Analysis
First of all I am surprised that anime with an otaku atmosphere (mainly the heroine) will decide to deal with war as a means to gain economic and political power; it is a nice surprise though.  I am sure the story will revolve around the young hero and young demon girl (who look like a normal human girl by the way), but I hope the war angle continues to be developed.  I give episode 1 of Maoyu a 9 out of 10 because it has potential do do something interesting and memorable.


Episode 2
Synopsis
The Hero and Demon Queen (young demon girl) have settled on a small village.  There, the Demon Queen hopes to change people's ways to create a better world.  Two strategies used are new farming techniques and education.  We also met the Head Maid (the Demon Queen's personal maid).  She is strict but ultimately just.  The Head Maid initially refused to help a young female runaway serf and her little sister.  But after the serfs understood that they needed to work (and not simply beg for money), they were given jobs as maids.

Analysis
In episode 2 of Maoyu the creators continue to focus on tackling economic, social and political issues.  To lighten up the sometimes bleak atmosphere, we have the cute, but apparently very strong, relationship between the Hero and Demon Queen.  They seem so right together.  I continue to like the premise of this series.  This episode gets a 9 out of 10.


Episode 3
Synopsis
In this episode the Demon Queen and the Hero went to a convent to ask for assistance.  There they run into the Knight, and old female acquaintance (and perhaps old love) of the Hero, who is now a nun.  The Demon Queen showed and had the Knight taste potatoes.  The Demon Queen asked the Knight help in establishing new convents and teach people about crops and harvesting; and she accepted.  The Demon Queen is also planning something to gain influence with a powerful merchant group, known as the Economic Alliance of Free Merchants and Southern Independent Cities.

Analysis
Episode 3 of Maoyu had a bit more of otaku tropes and clichés but it continues to have an interesting premise.  I do not have much to analyze.  I continue to like this show.  I like the series for its economic/political/social commentary, but I would like to see if we will be having a love triangle between the Hero, Demon Queen and Knight.  The young, former runaway serf (now maid) woman also intrigues me.  This episode gets another 9 out of 10.
 
 
Episode 1
Synopsis
We met Haruka Kotoura, a sweet girl with the ability to read people's minds (ESP).  Unfortunately for her, this ability caused her classmates in elementary to despise her and call her a monster.  At first her parents tried to help her, but become frustrated to the point of abandoning and living her to a grandfather.  Time has passed and Haruka is now in high school.  She continues to suffer and alienate everyone around her.  However, Haruka's life appears to have turned for the better after meeting a male classmate named Yoshihisa Manabe.

Analysis
Episode 1 of Kotoura-san had a very strong and emotional start.  I felt very bad for Haruka every time someone close to her abandoned her.  Yoshihisa seems like a very caring person despite seeming like a goof ball.  I hope things between they work out for Haruka's sake.  The character designs are simplistic but work.  Interestingly, the backgrounds appear to be rendered at a very high quality.  Hoping that Kotoura-San becomes one of the highlights of the Winter 2013 season, I give this episode a 10 out of 10.


Episode 2
Synopsis
In this episode we met Yuriko Mifune and Daichi Muroto, who are respectively the president and vice president of the school's ESP Research Club.  Initially Yuriko seemed like an altruistic person genuinely sympathetic to Haruka and other people with psychic powers.  But she wants to use Haruka to prove that people with ESP exist to clear the name of Yuriko's dead mother.  After Hiyori Moritani (who is in love with Yoshihisa) upsets Haruka, she starts being bullied.  Yoshihisa defends Haruka and publicly declares his feelings for her.  In the end Yuriko apologizes to Haruka.

Analysis
Episode 2 of Kotoura-san was again funny, dramatic and uplifting.  I thought that the tone from the first episode was going to be significantly reduced, but the second episode managed to retain a lot of it.  I want to highlight two things.  First, I am surprised that Hiyori has somehow accepted that Haruka has ESP abilities without freaking out much.  And second, I find it very hilarious that the ESP Research Club room looks a bit like a creepy dungeon.  I continue to like this series, and I hope it continues this way.  This episode gets a 9 out of 10.
 
 
Episode 14
Synopsis
Satoru and Saki returned to their town in order to ask clemency for Mamoru.  Saki was harshly questioned by the Education Committee.  Things seemed bad for Saki after talking about Mamoru being approached by the Trickster Cat and other nasty facts.  Saki was saved by Tomiko.  They had another an interesting talk about how their world functions.  At the end of the episode Saki and Satoru were given the task of bringing back Mamoru and Maria before the town (and neighboring towns) decided to eliminate them.

Analysis
Episode 14 of From the New World was good but not great.  We learned more about why things with Saki's group have transpired as they have.  It was also interesting to see that the town's leaders are very interested (almost obsessed) with maintaining order.  Tomiko also continued to be an interesting character.  This episode gets a 9 out of 10. 


Episode 15
Synopsis
Saki and Satoru arrived at the cave where Mamoru and Maria were hidden, but they were gone.  They ran into Squera.  He told them that several monster rat colonies had merged into a gigantic one.  In the process the Robber Fly Colony had reached Industrial Level status and sat the basis for a democratic form of government.  Saki and Satoru were rightfully scared and shocked that the monster rats were dangerously becoming more like humans.

Analysis
Episode 15 of From the New World took a detour from the current arc to revisit a past issue.  I had forgotten about the monster rats and their place in this world.  It is clear that the monster rats have ambitions, and I do wonder if the humans are aware and ready for this development.  This episode gets a 9 out of 10.
 
 
Fall 2012 was, in general, a good season to me.  It had several weird but interesting shows.  I ended up following more shows than I anticipated.  I wish I had blogged about more series, but not all of them fit my criteria and time was limited.  My highlights of Fall 2012 were From the New World, Robotics;Notes, My Little Monster, and Magi.

For Winter 2013 I plan on continuing blogging about From the New World.  As far as new shows, Winter 2013 does not look very strong, but I have a couple of possibilities to blog about.  The blogging schedule will be as follows: from the New World on Tuesdays, Kotoura-san on Thursdays, and a possible and still undecided third series on Saturdays.  

I am glad to be back and blogging but for now, happy anime viewing.  
 
 
Episode 11
Synopsis
The first half of the episode focused on Yamaguchi.  He seems to be used to always getting his way, but he is struggling on how to react around Shizuku.  The episode also took another look into Haru's past.  We first saw about Haru and Yamaguchi's relationship when they were little.  From another flashback we could pick up that Yuuzan has reasons to hate Haru, but he cannot do it.  The episode ends with a hug between Haru and Shizuku, and another of their weird and melancholic exchanges.

Analysis
Episode 11 of My Little Monster was absolutely great.  It is one of the strongest in my opinion.  It was nice to see a bit more about Yamaguchi's life and personality.  The series continues to do a great job combining weirdness, comedy, drama and melancholy.  On a side note, Chizuru's little sister made a couple of appearances.  I wish we had more of her because she seems like a potential cool character.  This great episode gets a 10 out of 10.


Episode 12
Synopsis
In episode 12 the series shifted its attention to the great Natsume.  As expected she is still struggling with her feelings for Mitsuyoshi.  Natsume has in general a problem interacting with other males (especially school mates) around her.  Natsume is also a very lonely and under confident girl, who pretends to have things under control.  Later, everyone goes to a shrine for New Year's Eve.  Afterwards, on the roof of Haru's home, Natsume appears to confess to Mitsuyoshi.

Analysis
I was hoping for this episode to settle the Natsume-Mitsuyoshi once and for all, but it did not.  Episode 12 of My Little Monster was not that great and felt uneventful.  Hoping for a strong finale, I give this episode a 8 out of 10.


Episode 13
Synopsis
The episode began with Haru looking desperately for something.  He ran into Shizuku, Natsume, Sasayan and Yamaguchi.  He accidentally dropped something with each of them.  This caused them, and almost all the rest of the characters, to meet at the batting center.  At the end of the episode Shizuku ran into Haru on the stairs by her place.  Both saw together what appeared to be a winter firefly, which was what Haru was so desperately looking for.  

Analysis
The final episode of My Little Monster did not feel much like a conclusion.  Nothing was solved!.  There is not much to analyze.  The most interesting part of the episode for me was Chizuru's little sister running into a wondering Nagoya (Haru's rooster).  The series seems to be the first season of a continuing franchise, but to me a second season is doubtful.  This episode gets a 7 out of 10.


In general My Little Monster was a fun and entertaining series.  All the main characters are interesting and easy to root for.  I want to give a big commendation to the artists and animators of this series.  Although, the character and background designs were simplistic, they were very well done.  The facial expressions on the characters were very effective in conveying emotions.  The story and character are quite intriguing, and I hope we get more anime.