Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Final Thoughts: Spring 2013

Final Thoughts: Spring 2013As the spring anime season ends, I remind myself that I started this little thing just about two years ago. And I think I have improved. Not by a lot mind you, I still have a lot to learn, a lot of experience to acclimate, but still, I think I am better than I was two years ago. And hopefully I will continue to improve, continue to grow and evolve into the future. But enough about what is to come, let's look at the recent past. These are my final thoughts on the spring anime season. But first, let's look at the shows that I will continue to watch into the next season.

Cardfight!! Vangaurd- Link Joker-hen: This season is going strong and has finally introduced the titular season hook, Link Joker. Link Joker is a new clan in the card game and has a new ability that will really shake up the game. But this is about the anime, and Link Joker is doing something kind of cool in the anime. Link Joker is the clan of the series overall background villain, a sort of nebulous darkness that likes to destroy worlds. The plot seems to be that the villains will spread their clan throughout our world by defeating players and forcing them to play with the Link Joker clan. I like it, it is very different then what Cardfight usually does, though I am willing to bet that it will end in a tournament. Still, I look forward to more cardfighting, which is really awkward to say every time.

Ginga Kikoutai Majestic Prince- Majestic Prince is a strange show at times. At times a series about the intricacies of war, how you need a mascot for support back home and how when that mascot is your best squadron how it interferes with their performance, at other times a show talking about the incompetency of officers who have never seen real combat, and other times a series about five idiots trying to single handedly fight a war. Oh, and fan service. But seriously this show is really interesting. I want to see how the characters grow, how they form new relationships, and how they will end a war that is considered a harvest by the villains. This is a good show and I am very happy it is getting 13 or so more episodes.

Hunter X Hunter- Ooooooooooooohhh shit. As I have probably mentioned before, I have read the Hunter X Hunter manga back in the day, so I know what has happened and what will happen in the series beforehand. And I have been both dreading and anxiously waiting for what is about the happen in the series. I don't want to spoil too much, but if you think episode 85 was rough, just wait. Oh just wait. Also, KIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIITE! I nearly cried. Again.

Mushibugyou- This is a fun series. It is about samurai killing giant bugs with cool weapons, there is nothing I can't like about this series. And the story is really shaping up to be something interesting and entertaining. I thought the show would be mostly episodic, and at first it was, but now it is flying full on towards a war with giant bugs and bug people and as of yet unexplained transformations. I am excited for this show, and I want to see more and crazier fights, just murdering insects. God I hate insects.

Toaru Kagaku no Railgun S- Touma's back! That alone would make me like this season, but seeing the entire Sisters arc from Index in this new way really sheds light on so much. And it is honestly sad to see some of these events. I know the outcome, I saw Index, I know what happens to the Sisters and Accelerator. And it almost hurts to see them all before this happens. Full disclosure, I teared up at seeing Touma for the first time in so long. I remembered how much he doesn't, and his relationship with these characters in Railgun. God I want another season of Index. But still, Railgun is fine.

Toriko- After a decent length of more individual adventures with Toriko and Komatsu that helped expand the world and play with the story in the background, Toriko is starting up the plot engine again. Toriko has powered up again, Komatsu has even improved his cooking abilities, and the enemies are starting to make their moves. The plot moves again. I am really excited because finally we are going to go to Gourmet World, eventually. Not yet of course, but soon. And then we will get to see even crazier ingredients, huge fights, and maybe even some good cooking. Toriko has kept me interested in it for over 100 episodes, and I believe that it will keep me interested for 100 more.

Space Brothers- This is the best show ever. Alright, that might be a bit of an over statement, but seriously, this show is awesome. The episode where Hibito is returning from space is one of the most intense and dramatic moments I have seen in years. It expertly set up the drama beforehand, we know that returning to earth is as dangerous as leaving it and have seen others die in the exact same situation, and we as an audience feel that fear. And what makes it better is just how realistic it all is. Watching Hibito reenter orbit, waiting for the parachutes to open, and that sense of relief when he survives, when we see him walking on Earth, had to have been close to what people actually feel in this exact same situation. This show is amazing, in its execution, in its story, and just everything. It makes the audience run the gamut of emotions and keeps me wanting more. It will be a sad day when this show ends.

And that is what I will continue to watch into the next season. Now onto what shows are actually ending this season.

Aiura- For a micro series this one was nice, though really simple. There is nothing there to be honest, it is the bear minimum of what a series like this has. It is the simplest of the simple girls hanging out and talking anime. But because of how short each episode is I can ignore just how generic it is and appreciate the comedic timing and the animation, which to be honest is very well done at times. Also Aiura has one of the best opening themes this season. Steve Jobs and crabs and Andy Worhal paintings mix together perfectly for some reason. Overall, Aiura was an ok show, I would recommend it if you had an hour to do nothing. Remember, Think Crabbing.

Chihayafuru 2- THIS SHOW BETTER GET A THIRD SEASON! Now that that is out of the way, good sequel season. It continued the growth of Chihaya from the last season, while also highlighting the rest of the team very well. The introduction of a female coach who has taken an interest in Chihiya is also very interesting, and I would love to see how that is played out. But the best part of the season was the Queen/Arata match, and that was worth the price of admission alone. Seeing two of the strongest Karata players in this series face off with one another was great. Now we just need Chihaya to get to that level of play. I love this show, it is fun and intense and really needs a third season. If it were up to me this show would continue on like Space Brothers, but we can't get everything we want. Hopefully we will get another season of poems and card games soon.

Date A Live- This was a fanservice ridden, stereotypical, harem show with really nothing to offer. But I found it amusing. I liked the slight taking apart of the harem genre of anime, making jokes about harem games and the multiple choice systems they use. But it is also so simple and done before that I was never really invested in the show as a whole. The only character I really likes was Origami, the dandere (is that the right -dere? I am not sure,) and she ends the series strapped down to a hospital bed because she went a little bit mad. And of course the main character isn't going to end up with her, she is the secondary ship. Date A Live might be a really dumb show, but it is at times funny enough to be a simple little distraction. And I will probably have to watch the second season. God dammit hanging plot threads and one good character.

Haiyore! Nyaruko-san W- God I am a sucker for Kamen Rider references. Looking at Nyaruko-san critically it is not that great of a series. It is bland, the main characters is a bland everyman most of the time, and many of the jokes fall flat. But I do not watch Nyaruko-san because it is a well-crafted series. I watch it because of the references, especially for the Kamen Rider and Sentai references. That and I find Nyaruko herself to be adorable in her constant efforts to make Mahiro fall in love her. Yeah, this show will be swept away under a sea of much better anime given time, but I like this show for its pure reference core and its romance. That and it always starts at a climax.

Hataraku Maou-sama!- This show was a perfectly strange mix of slice of life, some really good action, and some really good comedy. It was just nice watching the devil work for their version of McDonalds, having them deal with financial problems, and every so often fight a mix of angels, priests and other demons. Seriously, this series is near perfect. Every character is interesting and funny, a personal favorite of mine is Lucifer the NEET. The different arcs were interesting and helped flesh out the characters. Even the action was really good, which I wasn't expecting because of how the show started. I really liked this show, and consider it a highlight of the season.

Namiuchigiwa no Muromi-san- Another show with a ridiculous opening theme. This was a fun show, kind of simple, and usually going for the lowest common denominator jokes, but that isn't bad once in a while. If this series was a whole half hour every week then I feel this show would have gotten boring and repetitious really fast, but with each episode being less than half that it is able to stay consistently funny without getting tiring. If they decided to make a second season of this I would definitely watch it, but if this is all we get to see of Muromi and her friends then I am fine with this alone. All in all a fun, if at times dumb, series.

Suisei no Gargantia- Of the three mecha series that came out this season, I believe that Garganita was arguably the best one. The early twists and terms set up a really interesting premise, the middle world building and character development of Ledo was done perfectly, and the ending was just really good. The questions the series asked about humanity was interesting, though I could see it getting preachy at times about communism and social political economic ideas. But I liked those discusions, heavy handed as they were, and thought they improved the series. It was strange how it went Gurren Lagann on the second to last episode, but it worked for the battle. Over all I liked Gargantia, it was a solid mecha show that really shined this season.

Uta no Prince-sama Maji Love 2000%- Dear lord this show is ridiculous. It is just singing pretty boys and dancing and some hip thrusting and a girl getting the harem ending and I love it. As I might have mentioned before I have a huge thing for shows that are musical in nature. Shows that have bands and idols and singing are just the best stuff ever. So I am naturally inclined to like this show already. What really elevates this series is how it revels in ridiculousness. The bright colors and over the top dancing just make for a really great show. That and I finally got my Idol Battle, which I have hoping to see since Love Live! I know I am blathering on a bit but there is not much I can say about this show. I like it, it is fun, and if they make a third season I would watch it in a heartbeat. All that is left to say is WE ARE STARISH!

Zettai Bouei Leviathan- This was a really fun, quirky, magical girl anime that I really don't think will ever find major popularity. I liked the world they were building, one with old gods and threats from space. I liked how the world was completely an RPG world, with one restaurant in town that acted as the local watering hole and the main information center. I really liked the characters, who were fun and bright and made a good three man sentai team. If this was a game, I would play it in a heartbeat. If they made a second season, I would watch it in a heartbeat. But it would not surprise me if I never hear about this show again, which is a shame because I really think there is some potential hear for a really good franchise. Maybe have a little bit less pseudo-fan service bits, maybe a few more dragons, and I think it will be a great show. Hopefully, one day, we will get to see more of Leviathan, Jormungandr, and Behamut, but until then I will just rewatch this series.

And those are my thoughts on the spring 2013 season. A bit later then I wanted to write it, but one show just had to finish a week late. Over all, I think this was a fine season, there was some really good shows, and some shows I dropped like a rock, like The Severing Crime Edge and Valvrave the Liberator, which were both two different kinds of awful. But still, there were good shows, some that I need more of in the future. So until next time, have fun watching.
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