My Progress This Season

Well, I figure that my dear readers deserve to know how I have been occupying myself recently with anime, so I have decided to write a post on my general progress.  Some older shows with which I have been dallying are Hunter x Hunter, a series of shorts named Sparrow’s Hotel (completed in one evening), Majestic Prince, The Third: The Girl with the Blue EyeSolty Rei, and Tower of Druaga: The Sword of Uruk.  At last, I’ve almost finished with the original Hunter x Hunter, having just watched Kurapica’s major battle with one of the Spiders gang.  It was so pleasant to see the god-like and glorious victory over a certain murdering blackguard–whatever his name is–that I have difficulty putting my feelings to words.  Sparrow’s Hotel is a great comedy about a kunoichi working at a midsized hotel, which I heartily recommend to anyone needing a laugh.  I’m still trying to finish off Majestic Prince, which has to be one of the greatest mech shows of recent years–I place it next to Code Geass.   You might know that two of those last three shows figure on my top fifty list, and hence deserve their own posts.  Tower of Druaga is a great fantasy, and the first episode alone, which parodies fantasy anime in a grand style, suffices to give it a large place in any otaku’s heart.

tower of druaga

But, now onto some brief descriptions of this season’s shows.  I still have to get around to Samurai Flamenco and Coppelion, but I expect to accomplish this soon.  At any rate, my ability to keep up with new shows is much the highest since 2009.  That says something about the quality of this season!

arpeggio-of-blue-steel-ars-nova-1

1) Arpeggio of Blue Steel (aka Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio) – 3 episodes

My long time readers will know that I am a huge fan of submarine warfare, particularly the WWII era.  So, it comes as no surprise that I am digging this show, despite the fact that the show exclusively employs CG animation.  As a matter of fact, I’m surprised in how unobtrusive they render this style of CG, which likely indicates that it will become more prevalent in the future.

It's based on a manga!  Now, I have to read that too!

It’s based on a manga! Now, I have to read that too!

Anyway, this show concerns aliens known as The Fog, who have effectively wrested the seas from humanity.  One of their vessels, a submarine, defects and gives humanity the chance to regain possession of the seas.  I find the fact that each ship’s personality is presented in the image of a cute young lady most amusing–all ships are feminine, you know!  The first sea battle was very exciting, and the submarine’s captain displayed that combination of intuition and sang-froid which renders submarine warfare particularly delightful.

Golden Time

2) Golden Time – 3 episodes

I was pleasantly surprised by this romance anime.  The dialogue tends to be rather sophisticated, and the characters entertaining.  A very enjoyable watch thus far.

Hajime-no-Ippo-Rising.jpgoriginal

3) Hajime no Ippo Rising – 1 episode

It feels very much like the prior season.  As long as this show sticks to exciting boxing with interesting characters, I’m going to keep watching.  I’ve only seen one episode so far because I hope to watch the rest of the series with my brother.  He’s a bigger fan of the Hajime no Ippo franchise than I am!

ICBAH

4) I Couldn’t Become a Hero, so I Reluctantly Decided to Get a Job – 3 episodes

This show is hilarious!  Usually I steer clear of ecchi with shows like Freezing being a major exception.  The premise is that a prospective hero is forced to get an ordinary job after failing his exam.  While working in a magical department store, the demon king’s daughter decides to work there with him.  The effort he must expend to try to make this person use polite language and treat customers with hospitality is absolutely hilarious.  I might add that the girls are quite cute too.  Forma pulcherrimae!  When the tentacle monster appeared, I feared lest decency forbid me to watch further, but that scene did not exceed my tolerance, though it did exceed the grounds of decency.  This is a wonderful comedy if you don’t mind some fanservice.

NitBs

5) Infinite Stratos 2 – 2 episodes

Hmm…There’s not much to this season yet.  I’m almost tempted to drop the show, but then I should be denied Charlotte’s cuteness.  I’m not sure whether I’m ready for that deprivation.

Commie-Kill-la-Kill-01-07B80133.mkv_snapshot_04.58_2013.10.04_18.36.46

6) Kill la Kill – 4 episodes

This is indeed an interesting show.  My last post and the commentary below it make it clear that this is a very thoughtful work.  I’ll definitely be keeping track of this show, and I hope that the animators are able to keep the high action and amusing antics up.

Well, that adequately describes the shows which I have watched.  I can heartily recommend all of them except Infinite Stratos 2 and recommend Golden Time with the reservation that shonen fans might find it uninteresting.  Cheers!

saw2 cheers

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17 comments on “My Progress This Season

  1. zeonista says:

    Well, you have been watching some good shows! Most of them I could watch with no trouble; indeed I am doing it this week.

    Majestic Prince is a glorious return to some of the hallmark characteristics of mecha anime from 20-30 years ago, retouched for the contemporary anime scene. It has heart, and a sense of camaraderie and genuine grace under pressure that is hard to beat. (And we will get a second season next year, too!) Tower of Druaga is almost too much fun for an anime based on a series of arcade games, that got a console version and this tie-in. I know you would be taken with the hero’s quest first for renown, and then for redemption and true resolution of the periodic danger facing his world. (Not to mention the dark mystery of the secret “roper dance”. 😀 )

    1. Arpeggio of Blue Steel
    This was an unexpected hit with me. The animation is cleaned-up and digitally animated take on anime circa 1993-95, but I liked that style anyway. The warships are gloriously detailed and modified, both familiar and strange at the same time. (A little research will remind us the creator is dealing in historical irony too.) The Memory Model girls are good fun, and the protagonist is a cool customer for his age.

    2. Golden Time
    Almost against my will, I started this one. I have not dropped it yet, mainly because for a visual novel adaptation, it is so far a clever dramedy that plays with the usual scenarios. There is also some clever commentary on conflicting wants and needs, and some of the shenanigans that take place on college campuses.

    4. Yushiburu
    I used the hip and necessary abbreviation of the Japanese title. the title does define the show, and it was another surprise hit. Seeing a potential High Fantasy JRPG-style hero demoted to worker at Magical Best Buy din’t seem like a hit-maker, but it has been a blast. There is some pointed social commentary lurking among the sitcom escapades and magically afflicted appliances, which allows for some unexpected depth to the situation. It also doesn’t hurt that Airi and Fino are so damn cute as well. 🙂

    5. Infinite Stratos 2
    Episodes 3 & 4 are currently saving the show from becoming a visual chocolate mousse. Events are afoot, and Ichika and his harem will have to acknowledge the world outside their mecha-academy paradise for a while.

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    • I have to agree with all you said. I’m a particular fan of 90’s animation. Thanks for pointing out that they modeled the CG in Arpeggio of Blue Steel after that era. I hope that it remains as enjoyable as it has been.

      I must thank you for relaying to me the nickname Yushiburu in the place of that long winded title. I haven’t seen a title of such length since I studied the slave narratives, whose titles perfectly and completely describe the action of the work. I would never have expected the show to produce comedy so well out of that scenario, but it’s certainly hilarious! I find myself more into Elsa and Nova, but all the women are all easy on the eyes.

      I’m happy to hear that episodes 3 & 4 save the Infinite Stratos 2. I can’t wait to watch them now!

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      • zeonista says:

        Some of the Arpeggio human animation is constructed as if it were a video game. The lines between our forms of entertainment are blurring some…. Yu-Shibu (I should use the CORRECT abbreviation! :P) is a lot of fun, hinting at some future Big Story but so far just enjoying itself in the novelty of its scenario. Infinite Stratos 3 does start out fluffy, if only to remind us once agan that Ichika is a hot property at school. The fluff is spread evenly around the harem, although Charlotte & Laura fans are winners. 😉 The end of 3 & on into 4 is where things kick into high gear.

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  2. Sounds like you have a lot on your list. Props for mentioning The Third: The Girl with the Blue Eye (happens to be a favorite on my list as well). Been watching a couple of past series myself like: Last Exile (almost finished), Mirai Nikki (finished), and Dirty Pair (might start next weekend) to name a few.

    As for this current season, nothing exactly catches my eye, but everything seems watchable. Wish I could say I share your sentiments about Arpeggio of Blue Steel’s CG, but the naval battles and action sequences seem to benefit from it thus far.

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    • The Third was never given enough attention, even with how much Right Stuf advertised it. So, I think that I will right a post in the near future on this thoughtful tale–hopefully, gain it at least a few more fans. Last Exile is a truly awesome show. Beautifully animated and creative to a degree rarely seen in anime. Mirai Nikki I found too tragic and its protagonists mostly unsympathetic, but still I recognize it as a great idea–Uryuu Minene was a wonderfully complex character. Dirty Pair is a hoot! I’ve watched about half of the episodes myself and would like to finish it off soon.

      I am surprised myself at how well I have taken to Arpeggio of Blue Steel’s CG. Usually I cannot bear anything overly CG–I almost couldn’t sit through Appleseed because of it. But, the one benefit to CG is that it does tend to give more solidity to inanimate objects, like the ships, which is what I think makes it work for this show.

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  3. Genki Jason says:

    I Couldn’t Become a Hero, so I Reluctantly Decided to Get a Job, sounds a lot like The Devil is a Part-Timer. I liked the latter show but more of the same doesn’t interest me right now which is why I am struggling to like Log Horizon (very generic), one of my picks. So far, the only show that has stood out for me this season is Samurai Flamenco which is like the film Kick Ass only much funnier and with likeable characters.

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    • Now, I have to give Samurai Flamenco a shot. Kick Ass certainly had a dearth of likable characters and too bloody to boot.

      Don’t you love it when the anime industry gives two similar shows in back to back seasons? This season has Log Horizon (Sword Art Online) and Yushiburu (The Devil is a Part-timer). But my favorite example is Code Geass, whose scenario seems ripped right from Innocent Venus with the exception the Japanese lost.

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      • zeonista says:

        Well, you know the Japanese, any hit is worth copying three times.

        I am definitely liking Log Horizon, which is similar enough to SAO to cause confusion. Log Horizon is a little different, in that the players already know the game, they just need to figure out what to do to get everybody to log out of it. The PK guilds are the main bad guys, a status they definitely deserve! Akatsuki-chan is loads of fun as the moe ninja halfling. 😀 It is probably going to run to the 24 mark or something like it, since the story pacing seems set for a long run.

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      • Genki Jason says:

        I got bored of Sword Art Online at episode six and I was pretty hyped for it because I liked the concept and love JRPGs. Log Horizon makes some of the same mistakes – submissive female characters – but seems moderately better. The only problem is that I don’t feel any tension and so the action is flat.

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      • That is a problem. Some anime seem to underestimate the necessity of conflict, which is why we have shows like Aria.

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  4. MIB says:

    I have to add praise for Samurai Flamenco. It has a slight Tiger & Bunny feel to it which is a compliment as that is a great show.

    I’m surprised no-one has mentioned Nagi no Asukara yet. This is a high school show with a difference – the difference being half the cast are from under the sea! It’s quite charming actually.

    Kyoukai no Kanata is this season’s supernatural show with a cute glasses girl being a reluctant demon hunter.

    If you want some light and fluffy moe action then Non Non Buri is gentle fun, set in a small rural school where all the kids – regardless of age – are in the same class!

    However I have to say that Kill la Kill is a major highlight of the season, at least for me, with its manic subversive assault on the senses! 😛

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    • zeonista says:

      I do agree that Kill la Kill is a major hit, but our host has already given that show its separate thread, so I didn’t say anything here. Kyoukai no Kanata turned out to be better than I initially expected. Then again, it has some appealing characters, and another fun spin on the Japanese sense of the supernatural, which is intriguingly similar to Faerie, before we banished said world to kiddy-land. Non Non Buri seemed appealing, but got axed from the list because there were so many other shows to watch!

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    • I’d have to agree with Kill la Kill being an assault on the senses! The animation actually reminds me a lot of American cartoons (may they not go too far), and they succeeded in making it crazier than Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagaan.

      Tiger and Bunny is a show I must see. Somehow, I have not yet gotten around to it. Kyoukai no Kanata has received some praise from various bloggers, so your recommendation means that I shall certainly watch it.

      Nagi no Asukara has received little press. After being an anime fan for so long, I’ve come to dislike the high school setting unless it is given a significant twist. Students being from under the sea is very new. I might watch it–maybe.

      Now, to stop blogging for a while so that I can put in a few episodes of Samurai Flamenco!

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  5. japesland says:

    I would really like to pick up Arpeggio some time, but I simply don’t have the time and Crunchyroll added it to its simulcast after I had already picked out what I was watching. I’ll probably marathon it some time around Christmas time considering the amount of positive things I have heard about it.

    I originally dropped I Couldn’t Become a Hero, so I Reluctantly Decided to Get a Job after episode one due to the gratuitous ecchi, but decided to pick it back up after reading your article. And man, am I glad I did… it is so hilarious! Very happy to have another quality comedy on my list (I just have to make sure I’m watching it somewhere my roommates can’t see, hehe).

    Funny enough, despite watching 9 this season (10 if you count Arpeggio once I pick it up later), Golden Time (which I am thoroughly enjoying) is the only other one that we share. While the season seemed pretty dry at first, I’ve been liking quite a bit of what I’ve been seeing so far.

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