2011 Fall Anime First Impressions
This is what I expected when I came into the season.
Once more, I’m adjusting what the ratings mean. They do not express what I think the show will be at the end. Neither do they only express what I thought of the first episode.
‘If the show continues at the quality of the first episode, how good will it be?’
This is the question that I ask. Thus, it’s obvious that ratings are going to have a general downfall since so much time and effort is put into that crucial first episode. However, ratings fluctuate, and I definitely expect to withdraw some of my cover ratings (Majikoi is definitely not a 9/10, and Horizon’s better than a 2/10 now).
I’ll probably do some sort of ‘quarter-season roundup’ talking about which shows I dropped and for what reason… if I HAD TIME. HAHAHA I DON’T HAVE TIME SO NO QUARTER-SEASON ROUNDUP FOR YOU HAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAH nobody cares… /emperorj
It’s obvious that I’m pretty late, now that some shows are already halfway finished, but meh, what can do? Just finished watching the first, and only the first episode for all of these shows (besides Ben-To, Majikoi, and Horizon, which I’m blogging, and Mirai Nikki which I saw episode two of in Anime Club), and now I have a huge backlog in the MIDDLE OF A SEASON. How does that even work?!
Let’s begin, arranged from worst to best.
Kimi to Boku.
This is my face after watching the show.
The OP is really the best part of it. Man, J.C. Staff, I know you screw up girl harem shows but how do you screw up a show that has FOUR BOYS and NO GIRLS AT ALL. I mean, even in your panning, every single non-main shot you have focuses on GIRLS or CATS.
I’ve always said that I wanted to see a show that’s a pure slice of life. However… pure slice of life is boring. Really boring. Nobody really wants to watch slice of life. If J.C. Staff’s goal is to finally hammer this concept into the minds of stupid people who still really want to watch slice of life, congratulations, they’ve succeeded. And I sincerely applaud them on taking such a brave step forward.
Doesn’t stop the show from sucking, though.
Kimi to Boku. Cover Rating: 2/10 (Boring) – One-Episode Drop
Tamayura just look like camera blurs to me. Similarly, here’s another slice of life show, or is it a ~healing~ anime? I never really understood that genre. Is it a genre? Am I using the word wrong? I DON’T KNOW I’M SORRY I DON’T SPEND HALF MY LIFE WATCHING ANIMATED CHINESE CARTOONS (I only spend like one fiftieth of my life watching animated chinese cartoons, I spend half my life posting about them).
Oh, here’s another cat…?
There’s a reason I haven’t ever watched a ~healing~ anime to completion – it’s too boring. I’m not injured enough to be ~healed~. I can definitely see how this can appeal to many, many people – it’s refreshing, relaxing, and rejuvenating. But not to me.
Tamayura: Hitotose Cover Rating: 2/10 (Boring) – One-Episode Drop
Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon
Here’s my first impressions post. I know I’m not allowed to talk about episodes past episode 1 in this post, but – Horizon definitely gets better with each consecutive episode, eventually earning it at least a 6/10 with Episode 5, which was simply amazing. But the first episode still sucked.
Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon Cover Rating: 2/10 (Bad) – Blogging
Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai
OH MY FUCK, THIS ART
I started this series out, expecting to give it a 8/10. However, as soon as the episode started, the art just made the rating plummet to 5/10. Expecting at least some comedy as a redeeming factor, I realized – I’ve already read all of the jokes in the manga, so the jokes in the anime have no impact! So, the rating falls again, to 4/10. Finally, we add in unnecessary drama and false hope that the series would actually be about socially awkward teenagers making friends. GUESS WHAT? They’re not socially awkward teenagers, and they HAVE friends. 3/10, no doubt about it.
Oh wait, here’s Onigiri-chan.
SUDDENLY, my perception of this show RISES again to 8/10!
Now, subtract more marks for the the ridiculous fanservice (why would you have fanservice on these fugly characters), copious amounts of lipstick, the horrible, horrible, horrible music, and the producers insistence to refer to the show as ‘Haganai’ and we have a final rating of 1/10.
Man… I want to read emperorj’s Sukunai posts so much that I feel like dropping this would be a waste. Fine, I’ll raise the score up a bit.
Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai Cover Rating: 3/10 (Neutral) – Three-Episode Test
In other news, I’ve went to Anime Club to watch several shows from this list, and if anything… it’s enlightening. Really.
UN-GO was the second show I watched in Anime Club. The first was Persona 4 The Animation, so I’ll talk more about Anime Club then.
But for now, I’ll let 2DT speak. Read his post first.
Now, my thoughts on this episode, as influenced by his post.
I liked Dantalian no Shoka. I thought it was awesome at the beginning, expecting huge adventure with space dragons and whatnot à la Inkheart. Then, I got to the middle, and everything was horrible, horrible, horrible. There were horrible, horrible, horrible ‘mysteries’ that were ‘deduced’ by pulling a random book from a magical library that seemed to contain every book in the world. There were horrible, horrible, horrible ‘stories’ that weren’t even mysteries, some stories which didn’t have anything conclusive happen (the Book of Equivalence), and others which ended right in the middle (the Book of Wisdom). They were stuck in horrible, horrible, horrible situations – their situations were horrible, yes, but the way they got out of them was even worse, not even relying on magical libraries anymore, but relying on sheer coincidence (the Book of Soul Exchange). Characters were introduced who never, ever, ever appeared or mattered again (the Libricide Officer) until the final episode, where they just blew stuff up and went away.
At the end, I realized that I liked the entire thing. I thoroughly enjoyed the Book of Twilight and Ilas’s story. Not because they were good stories, but because they held some sort of meaning, a meaning that I could just barely – just almost – grasp.
Instead of giving us a first episode with false hope, UN-GO starts us off right in the middle with horrible, horrible, horrible ‘mysteries’. So, this is why I give this rating. Yes, at the end, I did enjoy Shoka. No, at the middle, I did not enjoy it.
I will stick through with UN-GO, in the hopes that it will similarly deliver.
Now, another vein of thinking, that I am also following.
Fuck what the author’s thinking. I’ll shove my Westerner values into every single anime that I watch, and the only person who will care is myself. There’s no ‘you’ nor ‘should’ when you tell me ‘you should watch this anime like this’. It’s ‘I’ and ‘can’. Yes, you can watch your anime however you want. I’ll watch my anime however I want.
This is why the aniblogosphere exists, to promote, compare, and contrast different ways of thinking. It’s why I’m watching Ben-To as a metaphor for poor society and watching Majikoi as a tranquil reflection of older life.
Deal with it.
UN-GO Cover Rating: 3/10 (Neutral) – Watching
The art style seems changed a lot – the shots are larger, everybody looks smaller, and it feels like the watercolour effect used in Hourou Musuko.
Man, I’d feel all nostalgic about watching this so long ago and it being my third anime and all but wait, I just finished the first season last week.
So, nothing has really changed since last season. Except Takanashi. He’s a lot meaner now ;w;
Working’!! Cover Rating: 4/10 (Good) – Watching
Shinryaku!? Ika Musume
It’s not a tele-vision, it’s a…
Now here’s some nolstalgia. I hardly remember anything from last season, except I’m /pretty sure/ there wasn’t that much fanservice.
Look at that OP! I’m not a lolicon, I don’t watch Squid Girl to see squid girls. I watch Squid Girl for the… uh… hmm… intellectual value and cultured disquidtions of life.
The pun makers are also really lame. I guess they’ve got TIME TO CRUNCH, HA HA HA HA HA. Man, I should edit for Crunchyroll’s subs, my subs will be so lame I’ll be infamous throughout the land, and get promptly assassinated by a mob of raging enemies on my first visit to any con, anywhere.
SQUID-VASION ISN’T EVEN A PUN
WHAT PART OF SQUID SOUNDS LIKE IN? JUST THE VOWEL. WHY NOT SOMETHING MORE CREATIVE, LIKE…
‘I’ll BEACH the human fortifications.’
‘I’ll unleash a CATALAMARISTIC EVENT upon the Earth’s MANTLE with my new earthquake CUTTLEBALL!’
…maybe Crunchyroll purposefully hired people like me to make everything so lame ._.
Also, the jellyfish competition – wasn’t that really dangerous, as people could easily get stung while collecting jellyfish? I guess they didn’t have enough…
Shinryaku!? Ika Musume Cover Rating: 4/10 (Good) – Watching
Ben-To Cover Rating: 4/10 (Good) – Blogging
And, the most anticipated show of the season.
Is it even highly anticipated? I read one (or five) posts about it, and they were all Scamp’s.
Whatever, it disappointed. Lame magical girlfriend crap, shounen protagonist that saves the world by getting swords out of the girl’s boobs, etc. etc. Also government conspiracy but nobody cares about that.
Why the heck would he stick his hands into her boobs anyways? Imagine if you were running away from giant mechas and a half-naked internet was in your arms. What would you do:
a) leave her alone and SAVE YOUR FUCKING ASS
b) take her with you and RUN LIKE HELL
c) have hot sex because you’re going to die anyway and might as well enjoy it
d) Stab your hand into the space between her breasts.
I think 33% of you would choose the first option, 33% of you would choose the second option, and 66% of you would choose the third option. Who would choose the final option? NOBODY.
I had to include a screenshot from the episode, so here’s the most interesting shot in the episode.
And after you take this sword which is just A BIG COLLECTION OF ROCKS that ISN’T EVEN A SWORD because, y’know, ROCKS CAN’T CUT THROUGH METAL, what would you do:
a) DROP THE FUCKING THING CAUSE IT’S FUCKING HEAVY and RUN THE FUCK AWAY
b) Use it as a shield… AND THEN RUN THE FUCK AWAY
c) Take it with you… AND RUN THE FUCK AWAY
d) Swing it at a giant mecha with reinforced steel-plate skin.
And at the end, AFTER he pulls the giant sword out of some half-naked idol’s chest, AFTER he swings it at a giant mecha and causes a huge explosion of energy, he asks, “What is this?”
PALM, MEET FACE.
Guilty Crown Cover Rating: 4/10 (Good) – Watching
Persona 4 The Animation
Man, I HATE that musical thing. And velvet rooms? I’VE HAD ENOUGH OF VELVET ROOMS
Persona 4 The Animation Cover Rating: -3.1/10 (FUCKING VELVET) – DYING
Never mind, because I HAVE TO, I’ll GO DEEPER into this topic. Ha, haha, hahaha.
I especially like the OP, which firmly states that we are, indeed, living our lives. For a few seconds there I was scared that I might have been dying my life. I don’t want to die my life. Die is an intransitive verb. It cannot be used with an object.
Anyways, I haven’t had any experience with Persona, so when I boldly walked into Anime Club that fateful lunch, I did not know what to expect.
It truly was eye-opening – these people were normal people, neither weeaboos nor otakus (and definitely not the writers of some lame blog). And what they saw was truly amazing. They realized that that teacher was fucking creepy; they realized that people don’t talk to each other like that; they realized that you don’t invite a random stranger out to lunch just because you met on the street. They knew that suddenly walking into a television was ridiculous; they knew that nobody would stay around just to stare at some television screen at midnight; they knew that people didn’t have giant sweat drops behind their heads, and that people just don’t /act/ like that.
What might’ve been an amazing episode wasn’t ruined. It was held up to a new light and thoroughly examined.
At the end of the 23 minutes, I summed up my feelings with a short remark, that I was sure everybody would hear.
“When in danger, wear glasses.”
NOBODY HEARD IT
THIS FUCKING SHOW -3.2/10
Persona 4 The Animation Cover Rating: 4/10 (Good) – Two-Episode Chance
Hunter x Hunter (2011)
I trust my nose with a lot of things. Thus, I am just as certain as you are that the captain did, indeed, just poop.
Hunter x Hunter brings this huge feel of adventure to the table. I fell in love with the first opening notes. The music perfectly fits the mood, and the entire thing radiates this whole feel of excitement and animation, and that’s exactly why it feels so much better as an anime than on paper. As much as I love the One Piece manga, the anime was just… so much better. The only experiences I’ve had with the anime were when I was five, but that’s what got me into anime in the first place. This is what animation’s for.
The introduction to the plot was so fast, and it’s littered with shounen plot designs, such as the Naruto-like ‘creative testing’, where the test wasn’t as straightforward as you would’ve thought.
It’s really been so long since I’ve seen one of these types of shows. It’s been since I was five, really.
Feels great, man.
Hunter x Hunter (2011) Cover Rating: 5/10 (Great) – Three-Episode Test
Last Exile: Ginyoku no Fam
ur not asian enough herp derp ni hao ma
And right after this, another type of show that I haven’t seen, ever. A space opera.
Perhaps it’s just the time that I decided to enter the community (a year and three seasons ago), but I haven’t ever seen a space opera. Now, suddenly, there’s this and Horizon and Gundam AGE? What’s happening?!
The music sounds like a bunch of stoned guys being stoned guys, but the 3D modelling, it’s just absolutely stunningly gorgeous. But far beyond the art and the music, the one thing I’m looking forward to the most is undoubtedly the setting.
I haven’t seen anything related to Last Exile, and didn’t know what it was until this post, but the setting. Man, you have no idea how much I am looking forward to this.
I don’t know what else to say. This really boils down to the first three episodes, which will definitely determine the direction this is going. A moving narrative about growing up, or a massive space opera?
It’s not even set in space!
Bonus marks for using chess moves in every episode title: Open File (when an entire column is free of pieces, and is thus a great place to park a rook), Fool’s Mate (the fastest checkmate), Light Square (the… light squares), and Dubious Move (a… dubious move). OK, maybe the later episodes could be applied to any checker-board game but WHATEVER
Last Exile: Ginyoku no Fam Cover Rating: 6/10 (Amazing) – Three-Episode Test
Mobile Suit Gundam AGE
And another space opera, but this time, SET IN SPACE. *gasps*
I think I know the identity of the UE. You see, Nora obviously belongs to Japan, as the people speak Japanese there, the people look Japanese with their blue, orange, and white hair, and Nora sounds like a Japanese name anyways. What have the Japanese always been rivals with for THOUSANDS OF MILLENNIA? That’s right, EUROPE. The UE must be l’Union Européenne. IT EXPLAINS EVERYTHING
Except why he has blue hair and his classmates are so… rotund.
I’m not sure I agree with the producers’ decision to make the main character look so young. Sure, he’s /physically/ that young, but isn’t he emotionally and intelligently the same age as any other Gundam pilot? I mean, man, he doesn’t just RIDE the Gundam, no, that’s not enough, HE MADE THE GUNDAM, and PREDICTED AN ATTACK by the EUROPEANS. Maybe he’s not as smart as other children, because normally, when you find evidence that aliens are attacking your home, you don’t walk away being mopey and dejected, you TELL EVERY SINGLE PERSON YOU CAN TELL WITHIN A THREE-THOUSAND KILOMETRE VICINITY. Sheesh.
What? You wanted me to tell you my impressions of the show?
HA HA. FAT CHANCE.
(Same sentiments as for Last Exile – I’ll see how it is. I don’t think you guys know this as I’ve never watched a space opera before, but I FUCKING LOVE SPACE OPERAS.)
Mobile Suit Gundam AGE Cover Rating: 6/10 (Amazing) – Three-Episode Test
Ah, Mirai Nikki. The first anime that Anime Club has watched past episode 2 in its seven (plus or minus five) years of existence. Probably not, but still, a milestone.
Once again, Anime Club presents Mirai Nikki in a new light, namely – YUNO IS FUCKING CREEPY AND NOT CUTE AT ALL.
The entire first episode seemed so stupid, so pointless when dissected by the unwavering gaze of the Anime Club. Think about it – why would somebody wake up to throw darts? Where were his parents? Why is he such a loser that he writes entries about FUCKING ROCKS? Why would he ignore is friends?
Then, he gets this diary from this GIANT… MECHA DRAGON… thing. What’s wrong with him? Why does he crawl up in a blanket to IMAGINE a God? Why the fuck was Murmur spitting corn?
Third appears out of nowhere. Wait, who the heck is he? Why is he defeated so easily? Why does Amano sound like a child? Why would a God be named ‘Deus ex Machina’? Why do they pronounce ‘Deus ex Machina’ ‘Day-os ex Makinga’? Actually, the Latin pronounciation is closer to ‘Day-os ex Makinga’ than ‘Doos ex Machine-a’. Am I the only person who pronounces it ‘Machine-a’?
The episode really did become ridiculously stupid. But, the consensus of the club was that the ‘fucking creepy stalker bitch’ was ‘fucking awesome’, and that they should only watch Future Diary in subsequent Anime Club sessions.
I approve of this.
Mirai Nikki Cover Rating: 8/10 (Masterpiece) – Watching
Phi Brain: Kami no Puzzle
Kami no Puzzle, one of the worst shows of the season, rated better than Mirai Nikki? ‘Impossible!’ you exclaim.
But I think it’s completely plausible.
I’m not going to go on and say ‘you’re watching this wrong’. Instead, I’m going to say: “I’m watching this like this and PHI BRAIN IS FUCKING AWESOME.”
I’m watching Phi Brain like this and PHI BRAIN IS FUCKING AWESOME.
How am I watching it?
While solving the riddles.
No, not that lame sudoku (for your information, I solved it in just five and a half minutes) that was purposefully made to be solved. The maze, which wasn’t made to be solved.
Do you know how long I poured over the maze, trying to figure out how it worked? The most confusing part was that there was a clear path from the start into the large, empty room in the middle, but they didn’t take that route.
You know how in Ben-To, Satou’s food somehow tastes better when he works hard for it? The same happens here. I’m not telling you to solve the puzzles. I’m telling you that solving the puzzles
might will make the show infinitely times more interesting.
(The derpy art makes Phi Brain only twice as interesting as it would’ve been without)
When he finally revealed that the solution was to slide the entire top part, I was utterly crushed. The feeling of sheer defeat and ‘holy shit, how did I not see that’ is something I want to replicate so hard, but I can’t.
At least, not until next episode.
After the episode was over, more things started to click in. Do you know why he didn’t take the obvious route into the room? Because he, and the Self-Proclaimed King of Puzzles, already took that route, to find that the entire room was a giant trap. Makes sense though, as it’s not a room, it’s a space.
Perhaps the creators didn’t intend for us to attempt to solve the mysteries. You know what, fuck you, creators. You’ve making a fucking good show, and I intend to see it through to its full potential.
Phi Brain: Kami no Puzzle Cover Rating: 8/10 (Masterpiece) – Watching
Maji de Watashi ni Koi Shinasai!
Yes, the first episode was awesome. Yes, the following episodes sucked ass.
Maji de Watashi ni Koi Shinasai! Cover Rating: 9/10 (Legendary) – Blogging
I didn’t realize this was a 45 minute episode until after it was over. I haven’t seen any of the source material, but in terms of legendary introductions, Fate/Zero is just awesome.
Although at the beginning, everybody did look the same, at the end, I could clearly see that there were seven different (oddly, all male. Hmm, wonder what’s happening there) characters, all with their own motives to get the Holy Grail.
Sure, it wasn’t concise, but at least it crammed all of that into one episode.
This introductory episode can be sharply contrasted to Majikoi’s – where Majikoi’s was pure action, throwing us right into the thing without any form of introduction, Fate/Zero’s had absolutely no action, just talk and talk and words and words and talk and words. Whereas Majikoi entices you with promises of similar episodes in the future, Fate/Zero entices you by sucking you straight into its world, so that you can’t ever look back.
Because that’s what happens when you watch this episode. You’re already immersed in the world. Think about it – why did you want to continue watching? It’s simple – because you wanted to see what would happen. You didn’t want to see more of the same, you wanted to see more of the different.
Fate/Zero Cover Rating: 9/10 (Legendary) – Watching
That flashback completely made this season.
This, coupled with the rather out-of-mainstream theme, makes me have to watch it. It’s not often that an anime like this comes up. I expect to be impressed.
And that’s that.
Chihayafuru Cover Rating: 10/10 (Godly) – Watching
Unfortunately, I wasn’t similarly impressed by much of the rest of the lineup. There are a handful of possibly fantastic shows (Fate/Zero, Last Exile: Ginyoku no Fam, Mirai Nikki, and Mobile Suit Gundam AGE), then several solidly decent shows (Ben-To, Shinryaku!? Hunter x Hunter (2011), Ika Musume, Persona 4 the Animation, and Working’!!), and several hit-or-miss shows (Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, Chihayafuru, Guilty Crown, Phi Brain: Kami no Puzzle, and UN-GO).
All in all, it wasn’t as impressive as I had originally hoped. It’s just another average season, I guess.
tl;dr? Well, don’t read – a picture is worth… twenty words:
P.S. My notes were ~4200 words long, but I deleted 80% of them, and now, this post is only ~3800 words long…
P.P.S. FUCK I NEED TO NANOWRIMO AND SLEEP SO I DON’T WAKE UP AT 10:00 TOMORROW