Spring Anime 2013 – (Almost) Halfway Impressions – Part 1

Blood Lad

Episodes watched: 5/10

Episode one felt kind of rushed, but Blood Lad quickly became watchable thanks to some interesting characters and a healthy lack of seriousness. The plot seems to twist and turn without much warning – but it’s forgivable seeing as the show is only scheduled for a 10 episode run. Most of the show takes place in the Demon world, which is a little like our Earth, except waaaaay more quirky and (intentionally) strange. The politics of Demon World are highly entertaining – each section is ruled by a particular ‘boss’ who regularly has to assert his dominance through magical power or brute strength. The whole vibe is cheeky, imaginative and slightly chaotic. For these reasons Demon World stands out to me as a marvelous setting for this show. Expect multiple-eyed creatures, a disregard for conventional physics, and a generous pinch of magic. The art style is wacky and colourful.

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As for the characters – my current favourites are Bell (because she’s hilarious and always one-up on Staz) and Mamejirou (the 3-eyed cat). Deku is also totally hilarious, we need more of him. Special mention to Liz as well for being cute as hell. Pretty much every character in this show is highly abnormal in more ways than one. This helps Blood Lad to distance itself from the recycled action heroes we’re way too used to seeing by now. One could argue that the cast are just ‘random for the sake of randomness’, but it still works way better than having boring characters.

I can rely on Blood Lad to deliver at least a few laughs each week. Good stuff.

Watashi ga Motenai no wa Dou Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui! (Watamote)

Episodes watched: 5/12

Watamote is one of those shows that really only has one joke but still manages to succeed thanks to near-flawless execution. The comedy revolves around the socially challenged protagonist, Tomoko, and her attempts to survive high school despite being born a total oddball. Hilarity ensues. It can’t be that easy, right? But it is! The gags are confronting, hilarious, and perfectly timed.

At least once per episode, Watamote draws me into feeling two very conflicting emotions at the same time. When Tomoko finds herself stuck in the middle of the most awkward situations imaginable you can’t help but feel bad for her, but you can’t help but laugh at the same time. It’s a style of comedy that’s not quite black, but makes  you cringe all the same. Apparently a bunch of viewers have been forced to look away during some scenes and I can’t really blame them! The awkwardness is strong in this one, but the humor is just as sharp. Watamote is a techincally a slice-of-life anime, but its style is unconventional when compared to most others. It fresh, and works very well.

[HorribleSubs] Watamote - 02 [720p].mkv_snapshot_21.36_[2013.07.16_21.53.18]

There are a handful of great Otaku references as well, and they aren’t shoved in your face to make sure you’re laughing like some other shows do. They’re just implemented better here. Who could forget Yandere Boys?

I can’t mention this show without praising the soundtrack as well. As a metal guy, Watamote’s OP is easily my favourite of the season. Theres also some cool metal riffs to be found in the background too. They often kick in during one of Tomoko’s infamous freak-outs. As you can imagine, It works stupidly well. This show is excellent so far.

Genei wo Kakeru Taiyou

Episodes watched: 5/13

Lots of discussion around this one. I’m still not sure how I feel about it but I have to say that it’s pretty entertaining despite a few problems. Let me start off by saying that the Madoka comparisons are a little unfair. It’s already obvious to me that Madoka is a much better show than Genei, but I think it would be just swell if people could stop comparing them now. Let’s see if we can judge this show on its own merits instead of just comparing it to something so highly revered.

So, what’s good about Genei? The thing I like most about this show is the soundtrack – it fits so damn well into every scene and gives the show a massive lift. Everything from soft to loud, tense to relaxed – it all sounds great. LiSA (of Angel Beats/GDM fame) makes a return and lends her voice to the OP which is really neat. Sonically, this show is beautiful. When it comes to the artwork though,my feelings are a little mixed. The character models are impossibly thin and stringy, it’s just not really my thing. Background artwork looks good though, and the action scenes are neat.

Screen-shot-2013-05-27-at-11.58.17-AM

I feel like Genei is struggling a little when it comes to narrative execution. The pacing just comes off a little stuttered and the characters don’t have the room to develop properly because the show is moving so fast. It’s far from a trainwreck – but it doesn’t really feel comfortable yet. That said I might be missing some stuff because I don’t know the first thing about Tarot. Either way, it feels awkward to me. I hope the characters flesh out a little more because they’re certainly likable enough (despite having noodles for legs).

That said, I’m still interested to see where the story ends up, so I’ll definitely keep watching for now.

Teekyuu 2

Episodes watched: 5/12

The words ‘more’ and ‘Teekyuu’ can only mean great things. Nothing could possibly lead you to think otherwise. nNew OP is legit.

[HorribleSubs]_Teekyu_S2_-_13_[720p].mkv_snapshot_01.20_[2013.07.08_00.35.17]

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More coming very soon!

Feel free to leave a comment about what you’re liking (or hating) this season.

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