Seven out of the nine shows which caught my attention have been viewed so far. I also added one more: Blade and Soul, due to D. M. Dutcher’s first impressions of the season. Some of the backgrounds are remarkably beautiful, and the action’s not bad. On the other hand, the character designs and predominately female cast make this show feel like Queen’s Blade–not that I watched more than two minutes of the show! (Yes, I ought not even have entertained any hope for Queen’s Blade being a good anime. But, Grenadier and Freezing are examples of enjoyable fanservicey shows which have more to them than the heroine’s bosom. So, I felt Queen’s Blade had a chance.) All the characters in episode one appear disappointingly flat; n.b. I refer to their character, not physique. But, I am ready to give this show one more shot. I have yet to find episode one of Mekakucity Actors, and reading about Abarebou Rikishi!! made me more eager to watch Ashita no Joe than the sumo version of a similar story.
Anyway, the first show to receive my approval was Black Bullet. The cast of characters are pretty cool–even the frenetic Enju–and the tale seems to be a cross of Psycho-Pass and Mushi-Uta. (If you haven’t seen Mushi-Uta, watch it when you’re in the mode for something weird and soul crushing.) Despite the cheerful characters, there’s plenty of darkness surrounding this world, and I expect the story to become darker as the series progresses.
Hitsugi no Chaika seems to be a lighthearted fantasy. I like the fact that unicorns are treated as baneful rather than cute. Some have noticed that the hero’s sister is unusually possessive of her brother, perhaps even incestuous. But, this trait is more an affectation than purposive, as one would find in Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei. For example, she attacks her brother for dining with Chaika and says later, after Toru speaks badly of himself: “Even if you are my honored brother, I will not allow you to look down on the brother I admire so much.” It’s comedic, not serious!!! Then, Chaika herself is a fun character with her stilted speech and super-powered sniper rifle/magical rod. With it’s splendid mixture of comedy, quirky characters, and action, I’m expecting good things from this show.
TWWK made brief comments on Gokukoku no Brynhildr on Beneath the Tangles. He claimed that the beginning of the episode indicated that the series would be dark and brooding. It can be, but the characters are too focused on survival and making the best of their fugitive lives for these moods to last long. From having read the manga, I can say that Lynn Okamoto, the author of Elfen Lied, has improved on his craftsmanship, as the characters are more vivacious and the killing is less–even if this series’ secret government agency is more odious and cruel. I could barely put the manga down and expect good things from the anime adaptation–still not sure whether they will tone down the blood and gore.
Nanana’s Buried Treasure promises complex, likable characters. The story is set on an artificial island dedicated to boarding schools where the author has decided to study. (That’s one way to make sure parents don’t get in the way of the tale.) Only, he discovers that he shares his room with the ghost of murdered Nanana–one of the founders of this island. The characters are so likable that I find myself enthusiastic for this show–despite the little amount of information given by the first episode.
Two mecha series looked like they could be fun. Knights of Sidonia does a beautiful job of employing CG. They focus on the backgrounds and the scenery rather than on the characters, and I find myself curious to learn more about this world. Captain Earth has hero for whom I identify greatly. (Letting one’s studies go in order to research more important things? Might as well be your humble blogger piloting the mech!) This show offers a very intriguing opening despite the traditional “Congratulations! You’re now a mech pilot in charge of saving the world!” scenario.
But, the main reason I find myself a little leery of the above two shows is because my tastes do not lean toward mecha. I thank Full Metal Panic for making me interested in the genre. After all, I started watching anime with shows like Rurouni Kenshin, Samurai: Hunt for the Sword, Inuyasha, Peacemaker, and Samurai Deeper Kyo. See a common theme here?
And let me tell you all you need to know about Dai-Shogun – Great Revolution: it’s horrible and will liquify your brain. The first episode features a hero who’s only interest is fighting, plenty of fanservice, and a murderess who amputates her victims’ analog stick–to borrow a slang from Gintama–before finishing them off. Yeah, a show which panders to the base desires.
But, I must retract what I said in a prior article. I’m impressed so far and hope that this strong start will carry over to a great finish.