Once again, I am presenting an overview of the new anime season. So far, the pickings other than sequels seem rather slim.
Mayuu Maou Yuusha: There is a long-running war between the humans and the demons. The Hero (that’s his name!) leaves his small band of adventurers and, alone, approaches the castle of the Demon King, intent on violence. He finds the place undefended. The Demon King turns out to be a young Queen who tries to acquaint him with the facts of life (in more senses than one!) She points out that the war has become economically necessary to both sides, and that an abrupt ending would cause severe economic dislocation, and result in further suffering and conflict. She wants the hero to join with her in bringing about a managed run-down of the war. The Hero is reluctant, despite his fascination with the Queen’s big bouncy breasts.
The economic aspect is definitely interesting, and the show has the director and writer of the popular economics-based Spice and Wolf, as well as the two principal voice actors. On the other hand, this show seems to have been dumbed down for the benefit of adolescent males. The opening looks very like a parody of RPG-based fantasy anime, and the Hero has a virginal panic whenever the busty Queen tries to touch him.
Hakkenden: Tohou Hakken Ibun: Forget everything you vaguely remember about the original Hakkenden: this is a period supernatural monster drama involving the Church, and set in ‘Black Ships’ era Japan. Diverting.
Bakumatsu Gijiden Roman: Roman is a phantom thief who steals from the rich the things they have stolen from the poor. This is a period comedy drama, set at the end of the Edo period, in the mid-19th century. The principal character looks just like Lupin III; not surprising as he’s by the same designer: Monkey Punch. The first episode was quite a lot of fun.
Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru (Oreshura) My Girlfriend and Childhood Friend Fight Too Much: Wins the prize for the season’s longest title. Eita is a smart and high-scoring student who is determined to get into med. school. Ditched by his feckless parents, he wants nothing to do with school romance. His childhood friend Chiwa is clearly romantically interested in him. Enter transfer student Masuzu, a girl who is gorgeous and smart, but equally uninterested in romance, and tired of being pestered by love-struck male students. A girl who knows what she wants, she soon finds out about Eita’s fantasy delusions and uses his diary to blackmail Eita into being her pretend boyfriend.
Masuzu, gorgeous, clever, determined, and frankly not altogether nice, is an interesting character, and might prove a reason for watching this show, which promises to be an all-out harem comedy. The lively Chiwa is also engaging.[CR]
Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai Next: Continuation of the popular harem comedy. I liked several of the characters in the first series. The series’ theme is the difficulty of making friends. The male lead is an unusually assertive character for this sort of show. First episode has Sena fooled into changing her hairstyle. Parts of the first three episodes seemed overly familiar, but I think this is because I read the same material in the ‘light novels’. Still fun.
Kotoura-san: Kotoura can read minds, but becomes lonely and rejected because people think she’s a nasty freak. At a new school she encounters a boy who likes her. The poor girl must be a bit dim, otherwise she’d sooner realise the disastrous consequences of blurting out other people’s secrets. Credibility problem, but strong theme.
Chihayafuru 2: Continuation of the enjoyable and well-made series about young players of karuta, the competitive card game based on classical Japanese poetry.
Sasami-chan@Ganbaranai: Sasami-chan stays at home, slavishly tended by her older brother. She views the outside world only via a Brother Surveillance Tool on her computer. Meanwhile, three odd sisters seem to be romantically (or not) interested in Brother. Like Serial Experiments Lain on drugs. So weird it makes ‘Alice in Wonderland’ look normal.
Tamako Market: Tamako’s family run a rice-ball shop. There’s also a supernatural talking bird that keeps sitting on her head. Cute comedy, even if it sounds like the output of an ideas-generating program 🙂
Vivid Red Operation: In a future Earth, energy problems have recently been solved by new technology and the world enjoys peace and plenty. An unknown enemy appears, targeting the power source. However, young Akane’s inventor grandfather, as well as inventing the power source, anticipated the invasion, and produced a counter-measure that only Akane can control. Credibility is zero and many elements are obviously borrowed from previous anime series, but Akane is an energetic and cute heroine (with cute hot-pants), and the animation, with its bright primary colours and crisp outlines, looks great. If it wasn’t for the obvious fan-service, I’d say that this show was ideal for kids rather than more sophisticated viewers.
but not necessarily bad, these mostly do no more than pander to popular tastes.
Yama no Susume: Short anime; school friendship antics. [CR]
Mangirl! No, it’s about young manga artists starting a magazine. Short anime.[CR]
Ai Mai Mi: mercifully short anime about school manga club. [CR]
Cuticle Tantei Inaba: Detective used to be a dog. Comedy. [CR]
Da Capo III: Cute girls, fanservice.
AKB0048 Next Stage: Idol group spinoff.
Minami-ke Tadaima: Comedy with cute sisters, mild fanservice.
Senrun Kagura: Comedy with big-breasted ninja schoolgirls. Fanservice.
Love Live: Idol-singer themed school comedy. [CR]
Ishida to Asakura: Short anime. School comedy about male friendship. [CR]
Amnesia: Romance about a girl who loses her memory. Heroine is irritatingly helpless and passive. [CR]
The Unlimited: Violent esper action drama. Spinoff of ‘Zettai Karen Children.’ [CR]
Senyuu: Short anime. King sends descendants of a hero to fight demons. [CR]
GJ-Bu: The GJ (Good Job) school club has four members: three girls and one boy. The girls do cute and amusing things. About as interesting as watching paint dry.
[CR]= streamed on Crunchyroll.