Friday, May 18, 2012

Spring Anime Season: Halfway Report

It's here: the Spring Season, filled with blooming flowers, chirping birds, and of course, lots and lots of anime, This spring, the anime industry brought anime fans a lot of various anime, from Idol Moe, to High School romance, to even Zombies. No matter the genre, the spring anime season has brought a lot of good anime, and I honestly hope for some of these to be anime classics soon.

Accel World 
Personally, thus far in the anime season, this has to be one of my favorites I have picked up. The story follows a plain old boy named Arita Haruyuki, who meets up with the school's princess, Kuroyukihime through an online game. She then introduces him to "Brain Burst," which enhances the mind to enter the world known as Accel World, where people fight each other with avatars. Haruyuki becomes Silver Crow, and together with Kuroyukihime, they fight the enemies and hopefully become the strongest.

This anime has great characters, great story line, and is well planned out. The characters are memorable, even though the main character is a bit on the chubby side, and the girl is a bit too perfect, but those quelms aside, they are probably some of the best characters I have ever seen. The Accel World so far is pretty well explained, though a few things still remain unaswered, but as seeing we are only on episode 6, I can forgive that. Along with that, the animation is fluid, and polished and very pleasing to the eyes. I can only have high expectation for this anime, due the promising start, and I pray it does not crash and burn like some anime.

Acchi Kocchi 
The story for this anime is simple but sweet: Tsumiki has a bit of a crush on her classmate, Io, and Io has some feelings for Tsumiki as well, but neither one is aware of the other's feelings. Their friends try as hard as they can to get the two together, but so far, it has been failing. Hopefully one day, these two will realize each other's feelings, and get together.

I have a confession to make about this anime: I fell in love with it in the first five minutes of the first episode. The art style was adorable, and Tsumiki is such a loli, and she kind of reminds me of Konata from Lucky Star, but that's not all: the opening song was absolutely adorable, It's catchy, upbeat, and probably will give you sugar shock. Besides that, the characters are great, the animation is fluid, and the situations they get into might be a bit slice of life like,but still hilarious.

Imagine a future in which all music is banned. Secret idol groups have to give underground concerts, and those who are caught giving or attending these concerts are subject to punishment. The story follows an idol group called AKB0048, who give concerts, and the young girls who attend their concerts in hopes of joining the group.

One thing you should know about this anime is the fact it is based off an real-life band based in Akihabara called AKB48. I have never heard of this band before watching hte anime, but knowledge of the band is not needed in order to understand this anime. Since this is a musical anime, of course they put high emphasis on the music, and they do well with that. The artwork is super moe, and the little hilights in the hair are hearts, which I find adorable. The story outline is a bit dark, but they do put light into it, such as when the police show up to fight the group, their hairbows and stage props are actually weapons. Overall, can't wait to see more.

This anime's story can simply be described as slice of life with mystery. Our story follows Oreki Houtarou, a high schooler who was ordered to join the literature club by his sister in order to keep it alive, even as a ghost member. When he arrives at the club room, he finds a first year girl named Chitanda Eru asks him to solve the mystery of why the club door was locked. From there, when ever she asks about a mystery, he usually solves it, with the help of his friends.

Where to begin with this....the animation is fluid, cute and the sceneries are well designed. The story, the characters, and all...not so good. The set up for this anime is very episodic, though there is a continuing underlying continuing story. The mysteries in this anime are mundane, but yet the solutions to them are always pulled out of Oreki's ass. To  make matters worse, his solutions are always taken as the right solution to the "mysteries." I guess I can hope that the anime will get better with time, but I can only hope.

Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? Of the Dead
This anime is pure shenanigans. The characters are pure crack, the situations even more so. We have the return of our lead zombie, Aikawa Ayumu, along with the masou shoujo Haruna, and the adorable, but silent necromancer, Eucliwood Hellscythe, and the vampire ninja, Seraphim. The new situations they are put in are nothing short of funny, and what new adventures await them this season?

This is a continuation off the first season of Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? and whteht or not I'm amused is really up in the air. I love the characters, sure, but I think some of that odd-ball effect has sort of run dry due to the first season, and perhaps the fact they have almost run out of jokes. For some reason, I was hoping for a more serious side of it, like the first season was just exposition, however, what ever the case may be, I still enjoy this anime for all of its guilty pleasures.

Kuro Majo-san ga Tooru
Our story here is simple, but yet complex: Kurotori Chiyoko, an young girl interested in the occult, is asked by her classmates to summon the angel of love, Cupid. However, due a stuffy nose, she accidentally summons Gyubid, a black witch who engages Chiyoko in training to become a black witch.

Personally, I think this anime is actually pretty good, even though each episode is only seven minutes long. They manage decent character development, and make me laugh in that time span. The opening song is also catchy (not Acchi Kocchi catchy though) and animation is actually pretty decent. I honestly cannot wait for more of this anime, alhtough I wish they would make it longer.

Medaka Box
For some reason ever since The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi, there has been an obsession with making the main girl a god-like figure. The case still remains here in Medaka Box, even down to the point they both follow a club, or a student council with this girl in said group, and he cohorts helping her make everything the way she wants it. With Medaka Box, however, it is directly implied that she might a bit too perfect. Our story follows Medaka in her running the student council and making everything right as she sees fit.

Overall, this anime is not bad, but it isn't good either. The art work and animation is fine, and the characters are ok as well, but something about it irks me. It feels incomplete, which I blame on the format of the show; which divides each episode into two mini-episodes. Usually, due to my attention span, it works for me, but with this anime, it actually epically fails because they cannot get anything established.

Nazo no Kanojou X
We all have our addictions in life, whether it be alcohol, drugs, caffiene, and perhaps even stranger stuff. But, imagine if you're a man, and then somehow got addicted to a girl's saliva. That's exactly what happens to Tsubaki Akira when he he stays after school one day and finds the mysterious transfer student, Urabe Mikoto drooling on the desk. Curious, he tries a sample of the spit, not knowing that her saliva is somewhat addictive, and after getting sick for a week, she reveals to him that he was going through withdrawals and that  he had to have some everyday, or else they would happen. As the relationship  that started based off a boy trying a girl's saliva, romance will surely develop, won't it?

This anime, even though it has an oldish art style that would usually distract me, it works for me. The scenario is a bit weird, but they know how to make the best of the situation that is. The characters are also developed nicely, and each character has a distinct boundary so far, and with some of the other characters being introduced so far, I can only hope for a good end.

Saki-Ageha-hen-Episode of Side A
Remember a while back there was an anime about mahjong named Saki? Remember how good it was? Yeah, they decided it was so good they decided to do a spin off on it, centering around a group of girls Nodoka used to hang out with when she was younger, and their journey to the national championships.

My only response to this anime is basically why do you exist?! Seriously, if you're gonna do a spin off, least do one of the more threatening schools, or least have more interesting characters. The animation is the anime's strong poimt, and even that is average, due to the fact that none of the girls really stand out looks wise. The characters are so flat, I can't even remember their names honestly. Honestly, this is not worth the watch, and because I have a policy about dropping anime...forward we go.

It seems lately, Hollywood has become fascinated with zombies, and that trend is actually catching on in anime. When Furuya's cat, Babu, dies, he attempted to resurrect it using a potion he found in a book. While trying to resurrect his cat, he meets a girl named Sanka Rea, who is a seemingly perfect girl, except for the fact that she wishes to die and be reborn as someone else. With Furuya's help, it might be possible to obtain her wish.

Although this anime might seem a bit strange at first, I like it personally. It has good characters, and good character designs, ie, Furuyua looks like an adorable cat. The characters are also pretty good, and the cat's meow is unique, but adorable. Rea probably has to be the flattest of the main cast personality wise, but either way, she is still an excellent character.

Sengoku Collection
In anime, there seems to be a fascination with the era of the warring states in Japan like there is WWII fascination in the West. It seems there is a bunch of anime having to deal with the warring states of Japan, and lately, they seem to be marketing them as if all the leaders were school girls, instead of men. Sengoku collection follows some of the leaders as they somehow come to the modern day world, and their journey of trying to get back to their home.

Since my knowledge of this time period is limited, I can't properly judge the historical accuracy of this anime, but judging by characters and such, I'm a bit mixed about this. the art style looks low budget, and its mediocre all around, but it seems pretty decent far.

Shining Hearts: Shiawase no Pan
Our story for this is simple: Kaguya is washed up on shore, not remembering who she is or any type of emotions Rick, along with his baking assistants at the local bread shoppe try and help her remember who she is and help her regain some of her emotions.

Ok, basic slice of like with a bit of amnesia, things I actually like in an anime. How wrong can this anime go? Answer: very.Kaguya doesn't even come in until the third episode, which I would forgive if it was twenty-four episodes or so, but this anime moves way too slow, and with the amnesiac girl being a promised main character, and with most of the anime focusing around bread, this is a let down.The only slightly redemption for for this anime is the end song, which is adorable.

Imagine if a gun was a person. What type of personality would it have? Hpw would act around others who were also guns? And finally, what if they all went to school together? Such is the situation in Upotte!!, each girl is the personification of a gun, such as the M16A1 from America, FNC from Belgium, L85A1 from England.

This is my guilty pleasure. Of course with making all the guns chicks, they add moe and all that stuff. However, this is not meant for kids; its meant for basically military/gun fanatic otaku, and mostly for men (see episode five). The art style is great, and the characters fit not only the stereo-types of the gun, but also nationality. For example, the M16 is a hyper girl, like Americans are stereo-typically portrayed, and she tired are a short time, due to the three round burst limit. According to my military friend its very accurate portrayal of the M16.

Overall, this season has brought its share of good anime, and bad anime but regardless the case, I highly recommend you to check these out.

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