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Update on Summer 2013 Anime + Fall 2013 Season Preview

Gatchaman

There’s a lot of miscellaneous stuff I want to mention about certain anime that I never felt deserved a post of their own, so I decided to write about them all and slap them together in one post. This is going to come off as a bit unstructured compared to my regular posts, but bear with me.

Firstly, my thoughts on the Summer 2013 Anime. I’m not caught up with most of the current anime. I’ve put most of the season on hold so I can vainly catch up with my never-ending backlog.

There’s another reason for this, too. A lot of the stuff I liked and was interested in became incrementally less so as the episodes went by: Shingeki no Kyojin became dull and slow-paced (again!), Toaru Kagaku no Railgun is finishing with a filler arc, Watamote became repetitive, the campiness in Free! stopped being a novelty, Love Lab lost some of its earlier focus and spark. The only series I thought were improving as the season went along were Monogatari and The World God Only Knows – ironic because I am not that big a fan of either franchise. The only show I’ve kept up with religiously is High School DxD, but that’s because I have a blogging commitment to it.

I don’t think this was a bad season, however. Popular opinion has is that Summer this year is leagues ahead of the Spring Season and I don’t disagree with that. Most of the anime that air this season are genuinely interesting in concept, at the very least. My declining interest is also due to me prioritising my studies and writing over watching anime, which is why my blogging output remains the same despite me watching less anime than ever. When I do want to watch anime, I don’t want to feel as if I’m doing it to “catch up”, so when I finish this season’s anime (and I intend to) it’ll be at my own pace.

Anywho, here are some specific anime that I have opinions on:

Shingeki no Kyojin: Today, I had a lovely chat about this show.

Friend opens his mouth and says, “Oh, yeah, you know how the Female Titan is [name withheld].” I say, “What.” I had not watched episode 23, you see. Friend says, “Didn’t you know? It was REALLY obvious. You could see it from the way [name withheld] fights.” And I was like, “FUCK ME DEAD! I didn’t notice at all!” And Friend says, “Do you just turn off your brain when you watch anime?” and I say, “Yes,” and he says, “That explains a lot.”

After that, I was in depression because I really, really had no clue that [name withheld] was the Female Titan and now that the one good twist of the Shingeki no Kyojin anime has been spoiled for me, I have no reason to watch this show anymore. I therefore have no reason to live.

joe22

sadface

Gatchaman Crowds: I don’t particularly like Gatchaman Crowds. I can see that there’s an interesting story in there, but it’s lost amid a sloppy script, poor voice acting and overall half-assed presentation. However, my problem is not with the show but with the nature of the discussion around it. There are some militant fans whose attempts to defend the merits of this anime basically boils down to “Gatchaman Crowds is deep and you’re stupid because you don’t understand it”. I’m all for an intelligent conversation about the conceptual framework of an anime, but just because someone criticises the execution of the storytelling doesn’t necessarily mean they’re overlooking the ideas present in the work entirely. If you’re going to defend the anime against criticism (which you are free to do), you should directly address the argument at hand. Not accepting what to me seems like clear-cut logic is what leads to so many of the circular debates on the Internet in general.

Kimi no Iru Machi: I am disappointed with this. I thought it would make me rage but it only makes me confused.

Season Expectations versus Reality

vlcsnap-2013-08-21-17h49m28s45

It’s always interesting to compare what you wrote on a season preview to how the season actually turned out. Earlier in the year, I wrote a post where the OreImo characters stated what they were looking forward to in the Summer Season. I don’t intend to write a sequel to that post because the characters became horribly mutilated and unrecognisable in their own anime, which kind of makes them difficult for me to write with any accuracy. I can, however, quickly comment on what the OreImo characters may have thought of the anime that they had picked as their most anticipated series.

Kirino: Her choice was Futari wa Milky Holmes, but this turned out to be such a lifeless anime that I find it difficult to conceive anyone picking this as their favourite of the season. I imagine Symphogear G is more to her tastes. In terms of aesthetics and magical girl action, it’s improved heavily overall from the original.

Kuroneko: Her choice was Makai Ouji, which I’d assumed would be a ‘chuunibyou’ show in the vein of Kuroshitsuji and Pandora Hearts. I made a mistake in my forecasting: Makai Ouji ended up being a silly show rather than something very atmospheric. I think Kuroneko would prefer Rozen Maiden. It feels like a show that must have been one of her formative influences.

Kyousuke: His choice was Blood Lad, but having seen the anime, it did not feel “casual” enough to me. But since I think of Kyousuke as a sexual deviant rather than as a human being nowadays, I guess he would prefer Monogatari and sees Araragi as the man he wishes to become.

sexdrive

As for me, I said High School DxD New would be my favourite and it is indeed my favourite.

There was a poll on that post asking “Who has the shittiest taste in anime?” Kirino “won” by a landslide. Technically, you can still vote if you want, but here are the results:

The original post got some positive feedback and over 1,000 views – in terms of hits, it’s one of my most popular posts. It remains to this day my only attempt to directly combine fanfiction and blog post writing. It was a fun experiment; maybe I’ll try something similar in the future.

Fall 2013 Season Preview

I will be brief with this preview, since I try not to get hyped about anime in case crushing disappointment ensues. However, hype for Golden Time was unavoidable, with no thanks to appropriant and his talent for writing SODEEP posts about seemingly shallow romantic comedy anime.

Other than that, I only look at the season preview so I can pick out the sequels I’m interested in. Magi, Infinite Stratos, Little Busters, Kuroko no Basuke and Kakumeiki Valvrave are locks. I also watch every light novel adaptation and am particularly looking forward to Log Horizon (THIS DOES NOT SOUND LIKE ANY ANIME I’VE WATCHED BEFORE NOPE), Unbreakable Machine Doll and Outbreak Company. Everything else I’ve adopted a wait-and-see policy for.

The big question for next season is: What will I blog? I do want to be blogging one show episodically at any given time. But this season is so promising that I’m having difficulty restricting my prospects to one show. I’ve narrowed my top choices down to two, but I’m actually open to blogging anything from the next season, even stuff I’ve not mentioned in this post. So I’ll turn the question over to you readers. The poll is on the sidebar of this blog and will be up until the Fall Season starts, but here it is again:

Yeah, um, please vote. It’s not a hard poll to vote for.

That’s about it for all the miscellaneous blog/season updates. In the meantime, somebody convince me to pick up Shingeki again. I’m still depressed about that spoiler.

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Posted on September 18, 2013, in Reviews and Impressions and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 28 Comments.

  1. What’s sad about Golden Time is that the Little Busters PV looks like it has more energy and effort put into it than its PV. Considering that LB is one of the worst produced JC Staff shows I’ve seen in a while (although that’s only going by the 1st season. No idea if the 2nd will be like that), that’s kind of sad.

    I sorta feel you on this season BTW. I’ve got three shows I’m watching and liking, but none of them compare to Evangelion 3.0. The existence of that movie alone makes Spring > Summer.

  2. I had high expectations for Gatchaman Crowds since I absolutely loved Tsuritama, but after a few episodes I just couldn’t watch anymore. Simply not impressed with the writing at all on that one, which leaves me a a bit confused seeing just how critically acclaimed it is this season. Normally I wouldn’t care–but it’s a show I really wanted to be good, and to me it just isn’t. The characters didn’t hold my interest at all, the themes felt hollow and flimsy, the direction in general seemed aimless, and even the art style didn’t impress me much in the end.
    And I never cared for Attack on the Titans; the manga just didn’t impress me so I didn’t bother with the anime. I’m like one of five people total who didn’t like the manga though.
    I’ve fallen behind on some of the shows I was watching for fall; I will perhaps try to catch up on some now that the season’s winding up. (Oddly enough I took a similar stance to you regarding watching anime a few weeks into the summer season… I’ll get to the anime when I get to it.) But I have kept up with Watamote at least. Like most comedy series, you’ll either find it funny or you won’t. I find myself laughing out loud again and again every episode, so for me it’s perfect. I can understand it not clicking with most people though.
    For fall I’m actually looking forward to Little Busters and Valvrave, which probably confirms my terrible taste. LB grew on me over time after I picked it up again, becoming something that was much greater than the sum of its parts you could say. It’s very much an earnest series that plays out as sentimental or as goofy as it feels like. And then Valvrave is just exhilarating–I feel the storyline is surprisingly well-calculated compared to what most people make it out to be. Obviously it’s doing something very different from what people are used to though, so it makes sense it’d get a lot of flack.
    I’m also pretty interested in trying out the various Shinto/shrine/yokai type shows, namely Gingitsune, Tokyo Ravens, and Kyousougiga. And then Arpeggio of Blue Steel piques my interest for its really bizarre-sounding premise–and for taking me by surprise when I learned after watching the trailer that the whole thing was CG (!!!). And then I suppose I’ll have to at least give Golden Time a try (I mean, college setting romance, am I right?). And Blazblue too, since I’m curious to see how an adaptation of that insanity would be handled. SIGH, way too many shows. I’ll have to be harsh when I drop some of these for sure, though that’s hardly a problem I’m going to complain about. =P

    • Looks like expectations really affected your evaluation of Gatchaman Crowds. Since I hadn’t seen Tsuritama (or any other Kenji Nakamura work tbh) I went into the show feeling neutral and came out apathetic. I think it’s the kind of rushed, half-assed work a naturally talented person would produce on an off day.

      For fall I’m actually looking forward to Little Busters and Valvrave, which probably confirms my terrible taste.

      Not as terrible as mine! For me, Little Busters was also an acquired taste, although the general themes resonate me, and as for Valvrave… I’m ambivalent, to be honest. I did notice that it had more structure and symbolism put into it than most give it credit for, so I’m looking forward to seeing how the second season puts that to good use.

      SIGH, way too many shows. I’ll have to be harsh when I drop some of these for sure, though that’s hardly a problem I’m going to complain about. =P

      First World Problems ;D

  3. For summer, I ended up watching Gifuu Doudou!: Kanetsugu to Keiji, Kiniro Mosaic, Servant × Service, Fantasista Doll and Senyuu. My thoughts are as follows

    Gifuu Doudou!: Kanetsugu to Keiji – I was disappointed I found out that in Japan that anime was largely ignored despite it makes reminiscence an awesome thing to do while preserving the historical atmosphere and depth with regards of righteousness. The art, however is something left to be desired.

    Kiniro Mosaic: I feel much less stressed upon seeing the cute girls doing cute things. I couldn’t care less about anything else.

    Servant × Service: The characters are enjoyable and this is the first anime to make me actually laugh over the comedic scenes. The characters are likeable, but their interactions sometimes make me want to skip them.

    Fantasista Doll: The only things that are superb is the character designs and battle coreography. Everything else are medicore.

    Senyuu. : Just as amusing as the first season despite the plot intensity increased a lot.

    I personally find this spring better than summer because there are more variety and the shows are in average slightly better in quality, but that is more or less because I watch more spring shows though.

    As for fall, the shows that I am personally anticipated for watching (in order) are as follows:
    1. Aikatsu! 2
    2. Gundam Build Fighters
    3. Gaist Crusher
    4. Valvrave The Liberator 2nd Season
    5. Samurai Flamenco
    6. Yowamushi Pedal
    7. Log Horizon
    8. Galilei Donna
    9. Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio – Ars Nova
    10. Super Seisyun Brothers (already watching this, though)
    I’ll wait for previews/first impressions for the rest. Hopefully this season would be an enjoyable season for both of us.

    • Looks like you watched a lot of the shows I didn’t watch! Except for Senyuu. I recently rewatched the first season with a bunch of friends and I still laughed out loud every episode.

      I wonder how long Aikatsu is going to be. I knew there was no way it was going to wrap itself up in one season but following it up with a sequel without a break makes it feel like it never ended at all. I wonder if the ending this season will mark an important transition in the story.

      • I personally think that Aikatsu will keep going until the arcade game of the same name gets shut down, considering that it is a game adaptation and it is popular enough to get two 3DS game adaptations. Pretty Rhythm can get 3 (or possibly more) seasons and I am optimistic that Aikatsu can get just as much. The ending of this season will certainly mark an important transition in the story since that the plot of the second season is requires some radical changes to the current plot.

        By the way, for the question about “What Should I Blog For Fall 2013?”, I voted for “Blog a GOOD show (please specify)”. I would like to request that you blog first impressions of Gundam Build Fighters because I personally watched the second PV for the series and I find that it will be an excellent mechanical toy show.

        • Sure, I’ll blog my impressions of Gundam Build Fighters! I was kind of planning to check it out after the good things you mentioned about kids’ anime. If I take a fancy to it, maybe I’ll do more posts on it, but we’ll see!

  4. I’m pretty much adopting a “give it an episode or two” policy for this next season, mostly because I’ve been too lazy to look into what’s actually coming, beyond things like Golden Time, Beyond the Horizon, and Coppellion. Fun fact, Beyond the Horizon is from the same studio that did Hyouka and Chu2Koi (obligatory pickup for me).

    As for the previous season, I ended up dropping almost everything save for eight shows that managed to keep my interested for the entire season. Some dropped titles include K3 and Kiniro Mosiac due to the fact that I’m getting really tired of that genre being so overplayed. Cute girls doing cute things was funny for me back in the Azumanga Daioh days (don’t call me old) but now it feels like a stale genre that’s devoid of any plot or reason to watch other than seeing lolis doing lolitastic things, which even though I’m definitely not shy to admit I’m a major pedobear when it comes to loli, I’d enjoy a good story too :/

    Anyway here’s what I thought about what I didn’t drop.

    Kimi no Iru Machi – From the same guy who wrote Suzuka, the anime was horrifically botched, and is the result of what happens when you try to shove a 240+ chapter manga into an anime.

    Hyperdimension Neptunia the Animation – Splendid fanservice for those who loved the games (I played mk2 and Victory and thought they were a lot of fun), and excessively shallow fanservice and derpy plot for everyone else.

    TWOGK Goddess Arc – Easily the best out of all three seasons, the series takes a turn from being entirely date-sim style romance to an actual action title.

    Blood Lad – an awesome show for anyone that loves shounen, monsters, action, etc. though the randomly inserted romantic element feels somewhat out of place.

    Genshiken Nidaime – there isn’t a whole lot to say about Genshiken other than if you liked the first two seasons you will probably enjoy Nidaime, though be warned that the major theme of the season is BL and crossdressing, so any major homophobes should pretend it doesn’t exist.

    Love Lab – a show that appeared to have potential as a yuri or shoujo-ai went the other route for traditional romance, and while it started as a funny comedy, slowed down near the middle before picking up slightly at the end.

    Danganronpa – easily one of my favorites from the season, it started as a “I’m probably dropping this by episode 3” to “oh shit oh shit oh shit oh shit I can’t wait for next week I MUST SEE WHAT HAPPENS OF GAWWWD.”

    Dog and Scissors – if you go into this knowing that the plot is essentially nonexistent and mostly makes no sense and don’t mind minor hints of bestiality you might come out of it with a some good laughs under your belt.

    • I don’t usually agree with a lot of ANN’s reviews, but I read a snippet from one on Dog and Scissors that pretty well summed up my feelings on it: “If the show were just Dog instead of Dog & Scissors, I think I’d like it quite a bit.”

      It… had some interesting elements, I suppose, but essentially every character except for the protagonist seriously got on my nerves, and even he was a little off.

  5. I agree that this summer season is (was?) far better than the spring, and also that a lot of shows seem to have lost that vibrant spark they started out with – particularly in the case of Love Lab and Watamote, although I’m still enjoying both to some extent.
    As to the fall season, the only second season of anime I’ll be watching is Magi. Everything else is new – Coppelion, Kill la Kill, Samurai Flamenco, Kyoukai no Kanata, Pupa, Galilei Donna, and Gingitsune. Those first five especially are the ones I have my eyes on.

  6. I vote that you blog……Unbreakable Machine Doll.

    Oh, there’s no option for that. TEARS……

    Maybe I should do reviews for Unbreakable Machine Doll on my own blog……though reviews aren’t my kind of thing.

  7. Come on, the transformed titans kind of retain their human hairstyles, it was a clear hint xD.

  8. The lack of votes for IS saddens me.

    As far as this season goes, I think that Servant X Service was the big surprise hit for me. I expected very little from it, but I’ve ended up liking it more than its ‘spiritual predecessor’, Working!!, which I was already a fan of. Apart from that, Uchouten Kazoku is intriguing when I can be bothered to think, Fate/Kaleid was much better than expected in most ways, Danganronpa was a decent source of fast-paced action, Monogatari disappointed me with its first arc before pleasantly surprising me with its second, and Genshiken Nidaime was my long-anticipated sequel of the season that didn’t disappoint. I watched a bunch of other stuff too, but they mostly fall into that category of just ‘decent’ or ‘watchable’.

    For next season, my big picks are probably Golden Lover because of the author (though you’re right, Froggy, that PV lowers expectations somewhat), Kyoukai no Kanata because KyoAni seems to finally be doing something apart from slice-of-life again, Infinite Stratos 2 because KanaHana, mecha and decently-directed harem fluff is the perfect combo for a guilty pleasure, and then Little Busters: Refrain. Really, I know there are plenty of reasons (including the middle-of-the-road first season anime) to be sceptical over the Refrain anime, and all the anime-only watchers have probably heard a million times now how Refrain is great, but… there are reasons for that. Seriously. As long as JC Staff doesn’t butcher things on an unprecedented scale, the feels from Refrain should be pretty large. There’s always one unpredictable hit each season too, particularly over the last few seasons – Servant X Service, Hataraku Maou-sama, Kotoura-san, Kaibutsu-kun and Sakurasou all seem to have done this, so I look forward to seeing what it is from this season.

    • The lack of votes for IS saddens me.

      13 out of 16 people have terrible taste in anime.

      Genshiken Nidaime was my long-anticipated sequel of the season that didn’t disappoint.

      I eternally curse Genshiken Nidaime for making me ship Madarame x Hato. MY LOWER BODY IS CONFUSED.

      As long as JC Staff doesn’t butcher things on an unprecedented scale, the feels from Refrain should be pretty large.

      Ooooohh curse you for hyping me up! I’m really looking forward to it, though.

  9. I’m not particularly hyped about anything either but there are shows that have piqued my interest.
    Kyoukai no Kanata seems interesting enough so I voted for it (it’s not because I prioritize anything from Kyoto Animation I swear >.>)

  10. That Oreimo post is brilliant, lol.

    I haven’t managed to catch up with most of the anime but I did managed to finish fate/kaleid – it’s quite a cute anime and I ended up liking it way more then I thought despite my low expectations on spin-offs in general. This is also one of those anime which Kirino might like, and since Kirino has the worst anime tastes according to the poll…….. o.O

    There will be further twists in future materials of Attack on Titans.. xD

    I don’t usually make a checklist of what I want to watch for future seasons since it will always change for some reason. But I’m definitely watching most of the sequels, Little Busters, Infinite Stratos and I heard that Hajime no Ippo’s going to have a 3rd season too? As for the new shows, I don’t have a watch list aforementioned, but don’t think I could give up Golden Time and Pupa ^^”

  11. From the 12 (I think) shows I picked up, only two shows got a 7 in my mind. So yeah. The Summer of OG was a success…provided CROWDS doesn’t end on a sour note. I would also like to join Kirino in being labeled as having shitty taste in anime.

    • Don’t worry, I’m catching up to Kirino in terms of the “shitty taste” labelling… haha!

      • Scratch my last statement. There are 2 of the twelve shows that got a 6 from me.

        -Go Home Club, as far as Talk Show anime go, has been underwhelming. Believe me. I’ve seen plenty.

        -Milky Holmes 3’s problem is not that it changed from Looney Tunes level of glorious humor to a serious show. The problem is that as a serious show, it is nothing to write home about.

        There you have it. I’m not always the optimistic and positive voice of the blunt cynic filled Aniblogosphere, but darn it do I try as hard as I can to be that person.

  12. Blog this. “My Mental Multiple-Choice Power Is Completely Ruining My School Romantic Comedy”. It looks so classy.

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