Top Anime Fall 2013 Season: Keepers and Drops

The fall season is roaring up on us, with a ton of anime premiering in the next couple days, so here’s your quick and easy guide to the best anime of Fall 2013! Shows are still being added as we speak, so the list should grow over time. If you need links to shows, head over to my current watchlist page.

Nagi no Asukara Poster

Keepers:

  • Golden Time
    • From the author of Toradora!Golden Time has Yuyuko Takemiya’s fingerprints all over it. Instantly likable, and notable for its setting at a university (not a high school!), the first episode set up played no tricks. It’s not a guessing game what this anime is going to be about, but the fun will be watching the story unfold. High expectations and recommended watchGolden Time Poster
  • Beyond the Boundary
    • The dark-fantasy anime from KyoAni had a strong first episode, setting up the main characters as likable and fun to watch. As expected, the animation quality is phenomenal and the plot interesting, at the very least. Beyond the Boundary is a recommended watch.
  • Kill la Kill
    • The novelty of this show alone is enough to keep me watching. Kill la Kill is like no anime I’ve seen recently and approaches FLCL levels of insanity. Fortunately, however, it seems be a little bit more lucid that FLCL, with a plot that can actually be followed. For now, it’s a recommended watch because you’ve probably never seen anything like it. Also, it reminds me of George Orwell’s Animal Farm, for some reason.
  • Nagi no Asukara
    • Was it a foregone conclusion that Nagi no Asukara would end up here? Well, not exactly, but pretty close to that. The animation is superb, maybe the best I’ve ever seen. It is just absolutely beautiful to watch. The story has already raised some interesting questions and character relations, and has the potential to go pretty much wherever it wants. Overall, the sheer beauty of it all is the overwhelming charm, but I expect great things from the story. Nagi no Asukara is a recommended watch.
  • White Album 2
    • No, you don’t need to have seen White Album to understand what’s going on, and that’s a good thing. I was hugely impressed by the first 3 minutes of the episode, and continued to enjoy it through the end. I’m always a sucker for good music as an important part of the story & I especially appreciated the portrayal of music bringing people together. Expecting at least one major cry fest by the end. White Album 2 is a recommended watch and I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

White Album 2 Poster

  • Galilei Donna
    • A brilliant, fun first episode. Loved it from beginning to end. The three sisters are the obvious gems of the anime at this point, but their parents add a nice dimension. There’s some mystery already in the storyline, but the characters are the obvious winners early on, which is a great way to start off. Easy to choose this one as a keeper, and it’s a recommended watch.
  • Tokyo Ravens
    • This is basically everything I like in an anime. Some magic, some character relationships, some slice of life. Two episodes in, I’m already impressed by the graceful use of emotion. The writing is really pretty well done, and while the CG animation isn’t the best you’ll ever see, the rest of the show more than makes up for it. Tokyo Ravens is a recommended watch.

Keeps for Fun:

  • Gingitsune: Fox Messenger of the Gods
    • Not the deepst, most intriguing show of the season, but it has just enough charm to be interesting. It’ls also pretty different from anything else I’ve seen in recent memory, and I’m looking forward to any insights it might have on the Shinto shrine culture and mythology.
  • Strike the Blood
    • After episode one, Strike the Blood looks to be an about average show. The world in which the anime is set has already drenched in names and terms.  Strike the Blood PosterThis is not necessarily a bad thing, but ittells you a lot about what kind of show this is going to be. There was a little unnecessary fanservice, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed for that being a one-time thing. The action looks to be superb, however, making Strike the Blood worthwhile to watch just for the fun factor.
  • Log Horizon
    • As of the first episode, Log Horizon has shown a lot of potential, but isn’t quite distinguished enough to be a unquestioned keeper. The world building is already impressive, & Shiroe is an interesting main character. It’ll be fun seeing how the show develops in the next couple episodes. I’ve got decent expectations for it being able to move up into keeper territory.
  • Arpeggio of Blue Steel
    • First episode set us was very well done. Like Strike the Blood, I don’t expect this to be a watershed moment in anime history, but it’s should be a fun ride, marked by some excellent action scenes. Character animation is definitely not the best quality I’ve seen, but the rest of the animation is very cool looking, so I can forgive that.
  • My Mental Choices are Completely Interfering with My School Romantic Comedy (Noucome)
    • Cute concept pretty well executed in the first episode. I think there is a TON of comic potential in this show, as long as they keep it out of reptitive sexual humor and go for more situational comedy. I also like that the main character supposedly makes his choice at the beginning of the show, so the harem aspects will be less important. Second episode was funny enough to let me plan to keep this on for a while longer.
  • Miss Monochrome-The Animation
    • Since it’s just a short, I’m keeping it. Funny moments in both episodes, although it doesn’t have the density of laughs of something like Senyu. It has been getting better each week, and is definitely worth the three minutes it takes up.
Option 1

Option 1

Drops:

  • Coppelion
    • Closer to being dropped than it is to being kept. Forget a lack of character development, how about a general lack of characterization. Unlike K, which had the king’s magic to add color, Coppelion is lots of washed out grays, browns and greens, making the animation not as pretty as it could be. Overall, it hasn’t made up its mind on what it wants to be, and three episodes in, that’s a problem. The ED is still the best of the season (maybe). Dropped after episode three.
  • Infinite Stratos 2
    • Didn’t ever really have high hopes for this, having seen the first season. Ichika is still a blundering, boring mess to watch on screen. The animation, frankly, looks worse than it did in the first season (and I even watched the first season on Hulu). It still has that strange charm that makes you grudgingly want to continue watching, but Infinite Stratos 2 is a drop after episode three.
  • Samurai Flamenco
    • I didn’t dislike the first episode, or the premise, but compared to some of the other shows happening this season, I wasn’t inspired to keep on watching. It was pretty vanilla stuff and only mildly entertaining, so I have no qualms about dropping after episode one. Normally I’d give three episodes, but I’m happy enough with my keepers as they are.
  • I Couldn’t Become a Hero, So I Reluctantly Decided to Get a Job
    • Unreal levels of fanservice make this entirely unworth any entertainment that could be derived from it. There was one good gag in the first episode, but the fanservice simply drowns out everything else. Dropped after episode one.
  • Wanna Be the Strongest in the World
    • An arrogant idol gets her butt kicked when she challenges a pro wrestlers to a fight, so she decides to become a pro wrestler herself to get revenge. Yeah, it’s that dumb. Essentially, this show is just one big excuses to have half-clothed girls grabbing at each other. Dropped after episode one.
  • Walkure Romanze
    • What looks to be another generic harem anime, headed up by a main female protagonist that is miraculously dumber than the harem master, is nothing more than that. However, the show has an interesting setting (jousting school) and pretty animation. Dropping after episode one. If I have to keep one fanservicey/harem show, it’s going to be Infinite Stratos 2, not this.
  • Diabolik Lovers
    • Don’t watch it. Save your mind and soul and just don’t. Dropped after episode one.

walkure romanze

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