Fall 2012 Anime – First Looks

tonari no kaibutsu-kun
tonari no kaibutsu-kun - Shizuku

Tonari no Kaibutsu-Kun: (My Little Monster) The introverted loner female lead finds herself unwillingly involved with a fellow school student whose impulsive and violent behaviour gets him banned from school. When she is obliged to take some class notes to his home, he decides that he is in love with her. I like this, and I’ll be following it. Both the principal characters are rather sociopathic in their different ways 🙂
By the way, it’s on Crunchyroll.

Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai: Yuuta Togashi has just started senior high school, determined to leave behind his hideously embarrassing middle school self, in which he acted out dark fantasy game/cosplay roles in public. He encounters Rikka Takanashi, a classmate who is now living with her older sister right about Yuuta’s apartment. She unluckily finds Yuuta chucking out his dark fantasy gear and, as she is still in the middle of a public fantasy game/cosplay obsession, immediately seizes on him as a kindred spirit.
I quite liked it, though I don’t rate it as highly as Tonari no Kaibutsu-Kun. The dark-side obsession reminds me of the hero’s cute little sister in Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, who was obsessed with the same sort of thing. Is this common with Japanese middle-schoolers, I wonder?

Kamisama Hajimemashita: Seventeen year old Nanami is evicted from her home when her deadbeat dad runs off after running up gambling debts. She rescues Mikage, an earth god, from a dog, and is pointed in the direction of a temple guarded by pale-haired bishii fox demon Tomoe. Tomoe is reluctant to take her in. It was quite fun, though I don’t rate it as highly as ‘Chuunibyou’ or ‘Kaibutsu-kun’ seen this week. Kamisama Hajimemashita did have an air of ‘seen this before’ i.e. homeless girl (tick) youkai (tick) pale-haired bishie supernatural being (tick). All the same, I’ll be watching it next week.

Zetsuen no Tempest: While the viewer gradually learns that magic is being used to unleash something unspeakably horrific, two high school friends, Mahiro Fuwa and Yoshino Takigawa are still caught up in an unsolved murder. Mahiro’s sister (and Yoshino’s secret love) Aki died a year before. This story has moody protagonists, action, gorgeous girls, mystery and magic. What else could one ask for? A must-watch. [on CR]

Suki-tte Ii na yo (Say you love me):
Tachibana Mei has spent her 16 years without making friends, or having a boyfriend. One day, a mild episode of harassment causes her to snap and drop-kick Yamato Kurosawa, the most popular boy in the school, who is standing next to the culprit. Evidently bored by girls who throw themselves at him, Kurosawa decides that Mei is ‘interesting’ and starts trying to befriend her. She repels these efforts. However Mei, who is quite a good-looking girl, has another admirer, a stalker. When the stalker follows Mei to a supermarket and loiters outside, the terrified girl phones Kurosawa and he rushes to her side. To discourage the stalker, Kurosawa kisses Mei.
This is one of the best-designed and animated TV anime I’ve seen, and it has a decent script. A must-see if you like school shoujo romance. Even if you don’t, check out an episode to see what it looks like.

Already it is looking like this season will have more new shows worth watching than the previous (summer) season.

Second League:

Code Breakers: Alpha high-school girl Sakurakouji Sakura is riding the bus one day, when she sees a cold-eyed bishii boy burning some people with a blue flame. I found this to be a strong supernatural drama mixed with lighter and more comical scenes, and looking quite promising till the scene near the end of the first episode, where Sakurakouji righteously takes on a gang of over a dozen large vicious adult thugs who are armed, don’t fear the police, and have already beaten up and killed people. Since she does not have any supernatural powers, this is just insane. The episode ends with a nasty twist in the tail.
I expect that I’ll watch the next episode to see if drama or implausibility wins out, and who asides from Ogami Rei is still alive at the end of #2.
Ixion Saga DT: The game geek hero finds himself in a fantasy world where the princess is a snarky 8 year old on her way to get married, and the royal maid is a cross-dressing man. It’s certainly a funny parody, and since it’s on Crunchyroll I’ll probably tune in again. But I suspect the novelty may wear off after a while.
Teekyuu: This comedy about a girls’ tennis club has very short episodes – about 2 mins IIRC. In the first episode two characters are on court with one of them demonstrating a startling lack of talent and enthusiasm. The character designs are nothing special. It’s quite amusing and ends before one has time to get bored.

Some New Anime you needn’t watch:

Shinsekai Yori: A serious sci-fi drama in which children with psi or telekinetic abilities are trained in special schools. To me it seemed rather lame, and more like a fantasy.
Btooom!: The hero, an unemployed young man who plays computer games all day, won’t look for work, and is rude to his mother, suddenly finds himself kidnapped and dropped into a real-life version of the Btooom game. The ‘bombs’ the characters use are just a species of hand grenade. They are unconvincingly variable in their lethal effect, and the viewer is far quicker than the hero to realise that some have timers.
It looks like each episode might highlight a different unloveable character.
Busou Shinki: The principal (sole?) novelty is that the fembots are only 150mm high. Otherwise we have a collection of familiar elements: High-schooler living alone (tick), female style robots (tick), violent aerial robot battle scenes (tick), transforming robots (tick), female characters in skimpy attire (tick), maid outfits (tick), vague sexual innuendo (tick), harem (tick). Added to that, there is no strong story yet, and the high-pitched voice acting is extremely irritating. Altogether, little incentive to continue watching.
Oni-chan Dakedo Ai Sae Areba Kankenai yo ne!:
A sixteen-year old boy lives alone, till his long-absent sister of the same age arrives to live with him. Unfortunately she is obsessed with bro-con and is determined to have sex with him. So relentlessly and unfunnily awful that I stopped watching halfway through.
K: Two gangs with supernatural powers try to look cool and fight each other. I could not see any point to it at all, and only managed to watch half the episode.
To Love Ru Darkness: An unfortunate youth has three alien girls living with him, who subject him to sexual harassment. Far more tedious than it sounds. I switched off halfway through.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventures: It is the nineteenth century. A rich man is badly injured in a coach crash. He regains consciousness while a vile old man is robbing him, and mistakenly thinks that the man has helped him, and gives the man his address. When the old man dies, his equally vile son calls on the rich man and is invited to live with him. He immediately tries to break the spirit of the rich boy, JoJo, and take his place, but ultimately fails as JoJo grows in strength and resolution.
At least this one has a proper story, but it’s so disagreeable and full of unpleasant characters that I don’t want to watch any more of it.

Medaka Box – Abnormal: This season of the uninspired show about a super-capable class president includes a class of students who are ‘Abnormal’- in other words they have supernatural powers. Medaka is thought to be a candidate for the ‘Abnormal’ group. Cue lots of fighting. Medaka Box crossed with Dragonball Z does not a good anime make.

Robotic Notes: The school robot club has just two members, plus a half-completed giant robot project. The hyper-enthusiastic girl member wants to get school funding to complete the robot in time for a national robot festival. Like we care.

Psycho-Pass: In the future, criminal tendencies can be detected in humans by remote sensors. Those who score too highly are arrested for re-education or terminated on the spot. A newly qualified police lieutenant is pushed straight into a field operation without any induction, and is shocked when on the basis of sensor readings, the central computer directs her to terminate the victim of a kidnap/sexual assault case as well as the perpetrator.
a) it’s an implausible set-up
b) if she feels like that, why join the Stasi cops in the first place?

Girls und Panzer: Feeble school comedy with uninteresting characters and poor character designs (+ tanks).