I actually was quite busy this past week watching anime. I decided to watch the three seasons of The World God Only Knows available in Crunchyroll. Overall, these three seasons left a positive impression on me. The first and third seasons were not very good, but the second was a bit better done. I like the premise of this franchise, and I wonder if we will see a fourth season. For now I am getting ready for the upcoming anime season. Hopefully, there will be some good new shows. Happy anime viewing.
By my standards I watched a lot of anime this season. I usually follow (watching the episodes as they air) 7 series per season, but this trimester I went with 15. Watching this many shows also increases the chance of running into more mediocre offerings, which is precisely what happened. Despite this, I found several enjoyable, quality series. I present here my rankings for the Fall 2013 anime season. I am using the ratings from Anime News Network to grade the series.
1. Gingitsune (Very good) - I initially dismissed this series because it did not seem attractive based on the little information I had. The apathy went away after watching the first episode. I am a fan of slice of life anime, and Gingitsune happened to have most of the things I look in this genre: likable characters, an enjoyable atmosphere, drama, heart warming moments and a light dose of comedy. I wish more of the source material were animated, but as it stands Gingitsune is a very nice work close to my heart.
2. Monogatari Second Season (Very good) - Ever since this series was announced I have been looking forward to it because Monogatari is one of my favorite anime franchises. The first arc was superb and very close to the greatness of Bakemonogatari. In general the series has been strong, and the producers have done a very good job expanding the narrative of this imaginative franchise. The fifth arc concludes later this week, but this second season will most likely be completed after Hanamonogatari airs.
3. Nagi no Asukara (Very good) - The new original anime series from P.A. Works has not disappointed after 13 episodes. Like other original series from P.A. Works, Nagi no Asukara is another light drama with young teens. But this new show is different because it has a supernatural angle. So far I have enjoyed Nagi no Asukara, and I am looking forward to the rest of the episodes, especially after a terrific episode 13 that seems to have drastically reshaped the direction of the series.
4. Non Non Biyori (Good) - This is another anime that I also initially dismissed. When I learned that this anime was going to be about little girls, I was convinced that it was going to either be stupid or perverted. But I was completely wrong. I had a great time watching four charming and odd girls essentially doing cute things but this time in a rural setting. Personally, I would not mind seeing more Non Non Biyori anime in the future.
5. Valvrave the Liberator (Decent) - This has to be one of the craziest animes I have ever watched. It has school teens, robots, conspirations, supernatural beings, great choreographed battles and even singing idols. I had a great time watching both seasons of Valvrave the Liberator, and even if its story and characters were not very well written, the ride was intense. This anime is also one of the best looking I saw this year. Sunrise did a superb job with the production values.
6. Galilei Donna (Good) - I had high hopes that this could be a great series because the premise was interesting, and the first episode laid a solid foundation. The next few episodes were not as good, but I had faith that it was going to eventually breakthrough and become truly special. Unfortunately the series ended, and it never reached that special place I hoped to see. I enjoyed some moments of this anime, but I will most likely remember Galilei Donna as a good but not very special series.
7. Golden Time (Decent) - I was almost immediately drawn to this title when I learned that it was going to be a romantic comedy; I am kind of a fan of those. Halfway through it (12 episodes), Golden Time has been pretty much all I expected: a predictable story with funny moments, the occasional drama and mediocre production values. At times it has surprised me a bit with some twists, but Golden Time is consistent and good enough to keep watching.
8. Strike the Blood (So-so) - I initially ignored this title because it looked like another stupid and juvenile anime with vampires. However, I decided to check it out and was captivated by the two leads. It is a dumb show with a cliched story, formulaic characters and pretty and well-endowed female teenagers in frequent situations of sexual nature. The series is divided into arcs of four episodes each. After 3 arcs I keep liking Strike the Blood. I only ask that the harem elements do not get too out of hand.
9. Samurai Flamenco (Good) - I did not like this anime much when I starting watching it. But over the next 5 or so episodes I started to appreciate its weird premise, and the commentary about the meaning of being heroes. After episode 7 the show changed as it went from a theoretical take on heroism to a more practical one. Thankfully, I also came to appreciate that twist. However, I fear that the changes introduced in episode 11 might ruin the series, and thus, decrease my enjoyment of Samurai Flamenco.
10. Outbreak Company (Decent) - This anime is probably my biggest surprise of the Fall 2013 season. Outbreak Company seemed like another otaku-pandering show, but it quickly became evident that the writers had some clever ideas. It also helped that most of the main characters were likable and had something worthy to add to the mix. I enjoyed the 12 episodes of this anime. I do not know if we will see more seasons, but I will make sure to check them out if it happens.
11. Ace of Diamond (Good) - I am fan of team sports, and baseball is one of my most favorites. To be honest, I began watching Ace of Diamond because I was looking for another show that could be watchable, and I was curious about this new baseball anime. And after 12 episodes it has been a nice experience. Ace of Diamond started kind of slow, but it has become good and very enjoyable. I hope it at least keeps up with the current pace and quality.
12. Magi: The Kingdom of Magic (Decent) - I decided to watch this series because I watched the first season. Magi: The Kingdom of Magic can be both an entertaining and emotionally touching experience. The problem is that it can also be inconsistent with pace issues and occasional silly and shallow episodes.
I continue to like the premise of this franchise, but it can get frustrating. For the moment I feel inclined to keep watching more, especially after a very strong episode 12.
13. Kyoukai no Kanata (So-so) - I had a bit of high expectations for this anime because it was to be animated by fan favorite studio, Kyoto Animation. Those expectations quickly died down with the slow and unfocused beginning that Kyoukai no Kanata had. Sure, the show is pretty to look at, but it was hard to figure out what exactly the producers were trying to do. The second half was somewhat better and more intense, but its weak conclusion cemented Kyoukai no Kanata as a mediocre anime.
14. Kill la Kill (Good) - This is the hip show of the season; I was not going to watch it because of that reason, but I ended up watching it. Kill la Kill is undoubtedly a fun, entertaining and well animated show, but its story and character development are very predictable. After its first 12 episodes, it continues to be a fun show, but I might have to put it in the back burner if I find another series more appealing, which is very likely because I am not a big fan of watching crazy shit.
15. Coppelion (So-so) - This science fiction series seemed to have a great premise, and the first episode was indeed promising enough to expect a competent anime. The problem is that the first half of Coppelion kept mostly going in circles by rehashing the premise and not building up over it. The last third of the series was somewhat better but was not enough to save this work from mediocrity. I am disappointed in Coppelion because it has a good premise, but the producers squandered it.
Yesterday I finished watching my Sentai BD's of Kokoro Connect. I still enjoyed rewatching this strange anime. I consider Kokoro Connect to be a strong series, but I realized that what I like the most is how likable the main characters are. The premise of the story is still intriguing, but I did not find it that interesting this time around. The art and animation looked a bit better on BD, but they did not wowed me. Overall, I enjoyed the experience, and the conclusion was well done.
In other occurrences, when I woke up today I was pleased to find out that Psycho-Pass is up for pre-order and will be released this upcoming March. I am very excited about buying this series because it was one of the best from 2012, and really enjoyed its well written story and strong premise. Next week I plan on having a long post about the anime from the Fall 2013 season that I watched. See you next week and happy anime viewing.
I am restarting my blog. I got a bit burned out because it was stressful to blog about three ongoing series. I am not completely sure how I am going to go about blogging, but I intend to publish two posts per week. I want to use my blog as a diary on my anime related activities during the week. I also intend to add more features to my site. I hope to be up to the challenge and have fun curating my site. Happy anime viewing and see you soon.