Aquarion Evol: It’s 12,000 years after a previous round of warfare, and the ‘Aquaria’ robots are manned by pairs of boys, or pairs of girls, against the threat of invasion. The boys and girls are forbidden to meet. An attack from another dimension, plus a character who is able to fly, scramble things up, with the boys and girls pairing up and the Aquaria linking with a spacecraft to make one giant robot.
The animation is impressive, with complex backgrounds, and elaborate robots flying busily about, but the spiritual hocus-pocus and suggestive ‘couplings’ are adolescent and not my cup of tea. Definitely of the ‘magical super-robot’ genre. 2/5
Brave 10: In 17th century Japan, pretty priestess Isanami flees a massacre at her temple. She asks ronin Saizo Kikagure to help her, but he is reluctant to do more than fight off an attacker who assaults the pair of them. She seeks the help of lord Sanada Yukimura, but he also is unwilling to help till he sees the power of the jewel that Isanami wears.
Despite the dark events, the overall tone is humorous, with some sexy scenes. There will clearly be a lot of battling between super-powered ninja, but while this could be entertaining, my expectations are not high. For one thing, Isanami looks like she escaped from some entirely different anime series. 3/5
Inu x Boku SS: Ririchiyo, a daughter of the powerful Shirakiin family, is moving into the security-conscious Maison de Ayakashi apartment complex. Her motive is that she wants to be alone while she comes to terms with her character: awkward and lacking in self-confidence after being bullied at school, she has a tendency to be aloof and unpleasant with people rather than let them get close to her. However, on moving in, she finds that somebody has appointed for her a personal Secret Service bodyguard, the overly attentive and over-helpful Soushi, an attractive young man with mis-matched eyes, who declares that he wants to be her dog, and offers to die when she tries to dismiss him. Eventually, she tells him that since he’s going to ignore what she says, he can do as he pleases. This could be a mistake…
An ordinary burglar breaks into the complex, and it at this point that we discover that both Ririchiyo and the bodyguards are more than they seemed…
This is the most psychologically interesting of all the new season anime so far, as Ririchiyo’s character is clearly laid out – she is a self-aware tsundere who doesn’t want to be one. Some of us will identify with her difficulties in dealing with others. There is also a slightly stock romantic situation, and some other baubles thrown in to increase the appeal to fans: sexy views of Ririchiyo, and there’s a comic lesbian guard character. There’s considerable potential here, but it remains to be seen how well the series will exploit it. 4/5
Thermae Romae: An ancient Roman is at the public baths when he slips down a time-hole to a more recent Japanese public baths. He doesn’t quite realise what has happened to him, and thinks he has surfaced in the slave baths, but he likes what he sees, and also the refreshments. When he regains consciousness in Rome, his companions tell him he almost drowned. However, he opens a new baths, with pictures and advertisements, and bottled drinks, with great success. This is an amusing sketch, but the heart sinks at the thought of watching a whole season of it. 2/5