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
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
“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
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.
Want an example of a character taking over a show? Hajime does just that.
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
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.
This is a more detailed look at the best anime the summer 2013 season has to offer and why you should watch them. To see a brief summary of all the shows I previewed (the first 3 episodes), go here.
To see the midseason report on every show I’ve been watching during the summer 2013 seasons, go here.
#1. A Certain Scientific Railgun S (continuing from Spring 2013)
- That’s right, Railgun S is the number one anime to watch this season, even passing the much adored AoT. Focusing on the Sister’s Arc from Misaka’s perspective, Railgun S holds a few advantages over the aforementioned Attack on Titan. Firstly, Railgun S is building off a previous season, one that focused mainly on character building, rather than plot. That is not to say the first season was boring, for it certainly was not, but having that groundwork to stand on allows the show to connect you better to the characters. Railgun S, thus far, has done characters better than Attack on Titan, mixing in excellently animated action scenes with potent moments of human pain. Furthermore, the thematic discussion that the series engages on human cloning is one that is relevant to today’s world, a trait that can be hard to find in the midst of a fantasy setting. Misaka is a fantastic protagonist, who runs through the full gauntlet of human emotions as she struggles to bring an end to the inhumane experiment that oppresses her conscience. Combined with a lack of annoying fanservice and excellent OPs and EDs, A Certain Scientific Railgun S is the best anime of the season.
#2. Attack on Titan (continuing from Spring 2013)
- No surprise here, Attack on Titan is the obvious choice for the number two anime of the summer 2013 season. If you want quality production, Attack on Titan has it in spades. The animation, music and voice acting are all top notch. More importantly and more impressively, Attack on Titan spectacularly engages the human emotions and passions awakened in a desperate struggle for survival. Death is everywhere in this show, but unlike your typical shounen, Attack on Titan makes it clear that each of those lives was valuable. People aren’t thrown away in this show to die for the sake of the plot. When they die, whether it is in battle or because the government has sacrificed them to sustain itself and the upper classes, the tragedy is not dismissed. You will think after this show. It’s impossible to avoid. And it’s not for everyone. The Titans are terrifying, the animation doesn’t shy away from displaying blood, but none of it is overdone to the point of being gratuitous. I rank Attack on Titan behind Railgun S mainly for the characters. I’m not sure if it is due to the pacing (which can, incredibly, seem absurdly slow and blinding fast at the same time), but I still struggle to relate and connect with Eren, Mikasa and Armin. Perhaps that is simply because I am so detached from their circumstances that I cannot understand them. Regardless, if you can stomach the violence and bloodshed, watch Attack on Titan.
Currently working on a trio of posts defending commonly criticized elements of Sword Art Online, so while I’m working on those, enjoy this contender for the best OP of the summer 2013 anime season.
It’s from the show Servant x Service, and is appropriately entitled “How May I Help You?” by Ai Kayano, Mai Nakahara and Aki Toyosaki.
EDIT: I should also mention that the new OPs for A Certain Scientific Railgun S and Attack on Titan have not been released (or, at least I haven’t heard them yet), and I expect good things from fripSide and whoever is doing the AoT OP.
The summer season of anime is upon us, and there are a lot of new shows to watch. But just because there is a glut of new, shiny things to observe doesn’t mean every show is worth your time to watch. Out of the spring season, I only ended up watching 4 shows all the way through, which honestly is probably a pretty good number. I want to share here a list of the new shows of which I intend to watch at least the first couple episodes, and my thoughts on which are worth your time to watch.
I feel like this show understands my life…
You may notice the omission of Free!, Watamoe, Recorder and Randsell, The Eccentric Family and a few other shows. Time is valuable, and none of those piqued my interest enough to make me want to watch an episode. I may take a look at R&R or TEF if I hear good things, but right now, this is my official testing list. (EDIT: I did pick up TEF, and added my first impression below.) It’s times like these that I curse myself for being too stingy to pay for the Crunchyroll premium membership. I’m a week behind with every show, but it’s cheaper this way. And cheaper is better.
I plan to post final yes/no verdicts after the 3rd episode of each show. 3 episodes is usually about 1/4 of the way through, and if a show hasn’t shown itself to be worth my time through the first quarter, I won’t have high hopes for it turning things around going forward.
Continuing from Spring 2013
- Attack on Titan
- To Watch, or Not to Watch: I plan to eventually write a review on episodes 7-13, but if you can tolerate the violence and blood, Attack on Titan is definitely a show you should be watching. It has great potential going into the next half of the show, and it will be interesting to see if the writers can capitalize on the thematic and emotional gold that I saw glimpses of in the first episode. Verdict: Watch.
- A Certain Scientific Railgun S
- To Watch, or Not to Watch: I’ve never divulged by thoughts on Railgun in this blog, but I really like the show, and it continues to impress with strong writing. Plus, with fripSide continuing to do the OPs, you could watch the show for those alone. Has less to prove to me than Attack on Titan; does characters a little better and it’s better paced. Verdict: Watch.
New in Summer 2013
- Servant x Service
- To Watch, or Not to Watch: Easily a top contender for OP of the season. A fourth of the way through the show, and it’s still entertaining and some of the dynamics between characters are coming out. The third episode strayed a little bit, getting bogged down in the same stupid joke, but the character development was really nice. Should be a fun watch through the rest of the season. Final Verdict: Watch. Continue reading