I have often commented that for a blog to be successful the blogger must read more than write; so, one can only expect that yours truly has broken this rule many times. This season of anime, my opinions feel rather isolated despite at least three popular shows appearing in my lists. Yet, I think that I have read plenty of blogs over the past few months. Perhaps I have not read the right blogs? But, I thought that I only followed like-minded people! Shikata ga nai. Angryjellyfish has six of these shows on his watch list (just missing Danna ga Wakaranai), but I cannot find another blogger with as similar of a list. The end result is that the following opinions of mine feel more shallow than usual, as there are fewer sources of opinion from which to glean ideas. Well, there is always next season, and my dear readers can satisfy my curiosity as to which of the following shows wound up as their favorites this season.
7) Gunslinger Stratos
Interesting ideas about time and alternate universes fill this show. I started watching it because it quotes St. Augustine’s Confessions at the very beginning. The characters, unfortunately, feel sadly bland. Actually, they’re not much worse than other anime characters. Their very mediocrity must repel me. As Ernest Hemingway says: “You should only read what is truly good or what is frankly bad.” Perhaps my assessment of them will change ere the end, as I’ve only watched four episodes.
Here’s a show of which I’ve only seen five episodes. The first couple of episodes made me think that it would be a thrilling adventure series. Unlike Gunslinger Stratos, it has awesome female characters. However, that colorless protagonist maddens me to no end. Recent years have made popular the Tenchi-esque approach of surrounding a bland hero with women that are far out of his league. It only works when the plot can remove the audience’s attention from the hero; instead, the hero holds the prime importance over the much more interesting women surrounding him, which stands as a major obstacle to me enjoying Danmachi.
5) Knights of Sidonia II
This stands as the most unfair of my rankings. Despite the first season making second place in my ratings a year ago, I somehow did not give this show a try until mid-season and have not seen more than two episodes. (I can only suppose that the four shows below had thoroughly sucked in all my attention.) One has to love the coup which took place and the dangerous scientific experiment of combining a human with a Gauna. This series never ceases to surprise the viewer, and it cannot be reiterated enough how well the CG bolsters the foreboding and dark feel of the setting.
Tonight, my goal is to marathon this show. I should not be surprised if it jumped two or three places higher in my estimation.
After reading Cytrus’ article, I have come to the conclusion that one of my favorite shows this season falls into the yuri genre. The characters often crack jokes about the closeness of the heroines’ friendship, e.g. Amami’s father and Inoue have the same petrifying fear of the supernatural, so one of their classmates jokes about how women are often romantically attracted to someone like their father. The dynamic among this set of friends is incredibly amusing to watch, and the supernatural events deepen our understanding of the characters’ pasts and motivations. So, one can say that I can’t get enough of these characters and the comedy, while the yuri-ness of the show falls well within the family friendly zone.
3) Danna ga Wakaranai
I’m this close to claiming Kaoru and Hajime as anime’s best couple over Jinto and Lafiel of Crest of the Stars. What else can I say about this favorite anime short of mine? The first episode of this sequel made me worry lest it had lost its old spark, but the following episodes put my fears to rest. I was a bit disappointed that they decided not to follow through with Kaoru bringing a baby into the world. All the same, the cast of characters we know and love are all there, and the characters are as hilarious as ever.
2) Arslan Senki
This show is the objective best of ones I’m watching. It recalls Akatsuki no Yona in the similarity of its plot, how slowly it moves, and the likability of the characters. The battles are quite intense, and the show manages to emotionally invest the viewer in the fate of Arslan and the Kingdom of Pars. My favorite character stands as the vassal sans peur et sans reproche Daryun, then the bossy servant Elam, and next the roguish minstrel Gieve. I may eventually warm up to the eccentric and taciturn Farangis as Arslan’s quest for the throne continues.
1) Seraph of the End
Seraph of the End is essentially the Black Bullet of this season–the most anime-ish of this season’s anime. It features some great anime lines and is quirky and flawed enough to base a drinking game on. (Anything more potent than a session lager, and two episodes of this will likely kill you. xD) Perhaps, I love this show as much for its imperfections as for what it does well. The show starts very ambitiously and has so far failed to reach the level of greatness it promised. Well, if only we had more over-ambitious anime not afraid of failing!
In any event, I love the “I am Legend” feel of the setting, and the characters are all likable–even the irascible Shiho and the once-milquetoast Yoichi. Our hero’s brashness, loyalty to his comrades, and utter devotion to righteousness make him second only to Daryun among my favorite characters this season. And, for the record, this show features the best opening and ending songs this season.
Well, that wraps up the anime I’m watching from this season. Stay tuned for my post on the older anime which have my attention. Perhaps, I’ll write a little post on manliness first, since some modern errors and misconceptions on the subject have vexed me ever since I’ve started reading reviews of Mad Max.