If you have not read Part One of this Monogatari Series: Second Season review, please read it first.
2013: Summer Season
Monogatari & the Extinction of the Harem (Part 1)
With my completion of Monogatari Series: Second Season (Monogatari), I have watched over 50 episodes of Nisio Isin’s Monogatari franchise. That’s a lot of time to spend with the same group of characters, and yet my experience of watching Monogatari Series: Second Season (SHAFT, 2013) was utterly unlike my previous encounters with Bakemonogatari, Nisemonogatari, and Nekomonogatari: Kuro. Part of the tag for Monogatari Series: Second Season was as follows:
“Their soliloquies, confessions—and goodbyes.”
If the previous entries into the franchise were beginnings, Monogatari Series: Second Season was most certainly a story of seperations, of departures, and of change.
Love Lab Review
Hello, hello, I’m back again with another cheery anime review, the oddball middle school comedy Love Lab. Allow me to sum it up in a picture:
And that’s the crazy, clean fun that represents Love Lab. See see where it ended up in my rankings, click here. Love Lab gets a 7/10 from me, missing out on a higher rating because it is fairly shallow (although not in a bad way). However, the comedy is excellent and the themes are wholesome, ensuring that Love Lab deserves to be in the company of big hitters like Attack on Titan. Continue reading
Best of Summer 2013 Anime Votes
A little late, but here were my votes for the Best of Summer 2013 in several different categories for the Crunchyroll voting.
1. Attack on Titan Most immersive and intense plot of the season. Say what you want about pacing, but the actual story itself is inventive and told in a way that keeps you wondering How? Why? That’s good enough for me.
2. The Eccentric Family Delicate, wonderful storytelling throughout, backed by a great POV & superb writing.
3. A Certain Scientific Railgun S Highlighted by the incredible Sisters Arc, Railgun was in the lead until it ended. Although Silent Party wasn’t bad, it just couldn’t keep up with the rest of the show.
1. Free! Spectacular animation from sexy hair to sexy toes. Everything in the water was beautiful.
2. Sunday Without God Loved, loved, loved the ethereal color pallete they chose.
3. Gatchaman Crowds Not as amazing all the way through, but it’s delightfully colorful and has moments of brilliance. Continue reading
The Eccentric Family Review
“What is fun is good!” Aaaannd it’s time to review what was, for me, the best anime of the Summer 2013 season, The Eccentric Family, or Uchoten Kazuko. I’ll try my best not to be too biased, but I really loved this show and may not be able to totally keep myself from gushing. You’ve been warned. To see where it ended up in my rankings, go here. Continue reading
Attack on Titan Review
Hello, hello everyone! It is time for reviewing the most popular show of the past two seasons, Attack on Titan. It’s a monster of a task, so I’m going to quote myself a bit to start off. I wrote a review of the first six episodes a while back, so take a quick break away from this post to see what I had to say a quarter of the way through.
To see where I dropped Attack on Titan in my overall rankings, click here. That’s right, folks, I have four (4!!!) shows from the Summer 2013 season ranked ahead of Attack on Titan (Railgun S, Silver Spoon, TWGOK, Gatchaman Crowds). But before your outrage gets the better of you, allow me to explain myself. Continue reading
Gatchaman Crowds Review
Today, we saw the ending of Gatchaman Crowds, which probably holds up the title for quirkiest anime of the Summer 2013 season. And yes, the very end was weird, but the ending was exceptional. So let’s get to it. If you want to see where Gatchaman Crowds ended up in my list of rankings, head on over here.
Gatchaman Crowds, a reboot of the 1972 series Science Ninja Team Gatchaman, is not your typical superhero TV show. Early on, it reminded me a lot of Teen Titans, but as the show went on it differentiated itself as something totally unique. Noted throughout the season for its deconstruction of many cliches of the genre, Gatchaman Crowds continually and deliberately avoids many tropes and dodges expectations time and time again. What we end up with is an intelligent, engaging and ultimately hopeful message on the inherent goodness of humanity and a clear message that violence isn’t always the answer. Continue reading
Kiniro Mosaic (Kinmoza!) Review
Following the lead of Silver Spoon on Thursday, the second anime to pull across the finish line this season is Kiniro Mosaic, a delightful bit of moe girls doing cute things and having fun. I picked this one up late, and while it wasn’t the most-thought inspiring thing I watched over the season, it did provide a number of laughs and a generally bright, inoffensive story.
Kiniro Mosaic follows the high school adventures of Alice Cartalet, a blonde-haired English girl who comes to Japan to study with her friend Shinobu Omiya. They are joined by Shino’s classmates, Yoko and Aya, as well as Alice’s friend from England, Karen. As far as plot goes…well, I’d be hard pressed to distill an overall plot line from this compilation of 12 episodes, as each episode is really just a number of gags centering around a common theme. It’s not a bad way to do a show, especially when the main draw of the show is clearly riding on the cuteness of the characters and the overall silliness that occurs. Continue reading
Silver Spoon (Part 1) Review
The fall season is beginning to draw to a close, and the first show to finish up is the excellent Silver Spoon, or Gin no Saji. Chronicling the high school adventures of Hachiken Yuugo at Ezono Agricultural High School, this anime with a seemingly strange premise is from the writer of Fullmetal Alchemist and lived up to EVERY expectation I had.
Silver Spoon is a show all about farming, which means it has three main themes. Food, animals, and food. How do you make a compelling story out of that? With excellent writing. The show is written masterfully, and all season long I would finish an episode and go, “Wow. That was perfectly written.” The coming of age story has been done over and over again, but Hiromu Arakawa puts a spin on it that I have never seen before. Hachiken, who was a perfect student in middle school, is initially way out of his element at Ezono. He’s never really been around animals before; all he knows how to do is study. But he is immediately faced with the challenge of realizing the pigs (specifically a runt, whom he names Pork Bowl) he is raising will soon be slaughtered for food. Taking the life of anything is serious, and even at the end of the initial 11 episodes, Hachiken still hasn’t completely come to terms with the matter. Continue reading
Summer 2013 Midseason Report
We are now rounding the bend on the Spring 2013 season of anime and I still am watching 12 shows. So, to help you figure out which shows you should go marathon and catch up on, I present the Spring 2013 Anime Midseason Report. You can find my current watchlist here.
This post isn’t meant to be a ranking system for the season’s anime (that will come later), only a report on what’s been living up to expectations and what’s falling short. So, in no particular order…
The Eccentric Family (Watch)
The writing in the show is wonderfully strong and has a natural Japanese feel to it that gives a very nice sense of culture. That trait is an extremely important one, as staying true to the Japanese lifestyle, language and approach is what makes this show so unique. Despite the more serious turn lately, the anime has not lost an ounce of its charm from the beginning of the show. Rather, the introduction of new characters has deepened the experience and adds layers to the wonderful complexity of the main characters. The Eccentric Family also holds the viewers’ trust faithfully, gently following up on its promise to unravel the web we’ve been shown. It is an exceptional bit of storytelling and well worth your time.
Servant x Service (Maybe Watch)
Still funny, although it has taken a turn out into relationship land, away from workplace humor. That being said, the narrative is plenty entertaining & has actually shown some moments of real emotion. The OP song is certainly one of the best of the season and overall Servant x Service is a really enjoyable addition to a Thursday afternoon. Small warning for some innuendo type humor, but other than that, I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a light-hearted show with good laughs.
The World God Only Knows: Goddesses (Watch)
Keima’s still at it and, albeit a couple episodes in the middle, TWGOK has maintained an admirable amount of dramatic tension and a sense of urgency throughout the entire season. Far better than the first two seasons in terms of emotion, the third season has also continued to develop Keima. Despite the rather odd premise, there is a strange, lovable charm about this show that effectively causes you to invest in every single romantic relationship. Strong recommendation for anyone who like romantic comedy.