Winter 2013 Impressions

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Tamako Market

Nothing groundbreaking here but fun viewing all the same. KyoAni have a great reputation for a reason and it looks like this series is already living up to its hype. Tamako is a charming main character, and her close friends (Midori + Kanna) seem interesting but we don’t know much about them just yet. The bird (Dera) is annoying as hell but does provide some variety to prevent the show from appearing 100% normal, so I guess we can tolerate him if his backstory gets interesting enough.  If you enjoy a well-animated slice of life with a hint of comedy you should make sure to check it out. The rivalry between Tamako’s father and a neighbouring Mochi shop owner is pretty hilarious. KyoAni fans will not be disappointed.

AKB0048: Next Stage

A continuation of the first series. It’s not easy to spell out exactly how – but this clusterfuck of futuristic/outerspace/mecha/drama and j-pop is actually pretty entertaining. Life as an idol in training is becoming more intense for the cast so the stakes are even higher now so everyone is feeling the pressure. Again, the kick-ass music somehow manages to carry the series through the absurd mess that is the plot. Animation is slick and colourful. Overall it’s hard not to enjoy. If you liked the first season there is no reason not to check out next stage.

Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru

I think it’s fair to say this show is not exactly off to a good start. 2 episodes in and we’re introduced to yet another deadpan boring MC (Eita), his somewhat annoying carrot-topped childhood friend (Chiwa), and one of the most manipulative and evil characters to grace our screens of late – the silver-haired and stunningly gorgeous Masuzu. Basically what we’ve seen in the first couple of episodes is Masuza blackmailing MC-kun into being her fake boyfriend (so she gets less attention from guys) and is now using him to screw with the osananajimi who is appears to be in love with him. Sounds like crap, right? Well to be fair there are still a few characters to be revealed so this series has more than enough time to turn itself around – but the next 2 characters (of black and pink hair respectively) better be awesome because right now the dynamic is boring and just hard to watch. Lets hope it picks up!

Modaiji-tachi ga Isekai kara Kuru Sou Desu Yo?

3 gifted teenagers are whisked off to another world to participate in magical games to defeat the devil-king, or something. They are annoying, particularly Izayoi. Episode 1 foreshadows very severe mediocrity for the rest of the season. Or something worse.

Amnesia

Neat animation and OST provides a cool and mysterious atmosphere for this show. It follows a girl who can’t seem to remember anything and talks to a magical pixie-like boy (?) called Orion. Based on a VN that I have not played so I can’t really comment on the direction it seems to be taking, but the story seems interesting enough. Looking forward to see how this will turn out.

Sasami-san@Ganbaranai

I’m not sure what to make of this yet, but it’s certainly intriguing and not what I expected. Story follows a young hikikomori (Sasami) living with her older brother (Kamiomi) who acts as her personal servant because she does basically nothing by herself and expects him to do everything for her. While this dynamic sounds one-dimensional and limited the reality is exactly the opposite. As more characters are introduced the show quickly escalates into something MUCH greater (and stranger) than you might expect. Highly recommended.

Vividred Operation

An original sci-fi production much akin to the widely popular Strike Witches series. Our heroine (Aoi) must save humanity from gigantic mechs that are hell-bent on destroying all humans. Expect fast-paced action with loads of fanservice but little substance.

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