Spring 2012 Quick Impressions

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Yo! It's been a while since I've posted, and I haven't had time to write anything long and deep, so I'm doing some quick impressions instead.

Spring 2012 has ended. What does the season look like?

Accel World is continuing. It's pretty good, but not perfect. The protagonist is frustrating at times, and morals and tropes do rub cliché, but overall satisfying.

AKB0048 was surprisingly good. Ties to AKB48 aside, it held an interesting discussion about entertainment, and various morals, as well as developing its cast fairly well (though some characters do suffer a bit). Not all questions are answered (though a second season is planned), but the conclusion climaxes gracefully. The concept "Swan song" comes to mind.

Eureka seveN AO is continuing. It's pretty good, but not as good as the original, which had its themes sorted out and properly executed. AO seems to be playing with many threads and starting to tie them together, but it lacks a strong "central" thread. Whilst the first focused on Renton and wove auxiliary plotlines beautifully with it, the central plotline around Ao is weak, whilst the auxiliary threads strong (Naru, Truth, Generation Bleu, America, politics, &c.). It suffers in the shadow of its forerunner, but is still strong, and reinforces the plot of the former. A rough analogy would be to compare it to Sora no Kiseki FC and SC compared to The 3rd.

Fate/zero 2nd is the second season of the first (obviously). It brings a strong conclusion to the first half, with intrigues, deep characterization, &c. as expected. It stands independent of stay night (the anime) and probably surpasses it without a frustrating protagonist (not really a flaw, per se, of the first, but which admittedly does make watching it a little...). It really makes me want to pick up the visual novels...

Haiyore! Nyaruko-san! was decent. Slightly better than average (5/10 or 6/10 in my strictly regulated books), which is Lovecraftian references (parodies) and also various other anime and related culture (read: otaku) references (parodies). It sports a very catchy OP and is generally interesting, but definitely not outstanding.

Kimi to Boku. 2 was pretty good. The episodes are generally stand-alone, as the genre is slice-of-life, but is more interesting and deep than usual entries in the genre. Firstly this is because it focuses on boys rather than girls (see Daily Life of High School Boys for a different take from the same perspective), but also because of interesting and, quite importantly, deep characterization and interesting stories revolving around the characters.

Kore wa Zombie desu ka? Of The Dead is more of its first season. It's done quite well, but quite generic, so it places at more or less that level in my rankings.

Natsuiro Kiseki I have yet to finish. It's animation is dubious at times, but the charaterization and story is very good and deserves better. I shall invest more time later.

Sakamichi no Apollon I admittedly only watched a few episodes. It's very good concept-wise and its characters are above-average, but in particular, I love its theme: jazz. But for some reason, I have I hard time watching it, even though so far it carried itself well.

Saki Achiga-hen I also only watched a little. A side story to Saki, it does a few things differently: it focuses on another school (of course), it focuses on the losing side of the story (I imagine, going from the plot of Saki), and it focuses more on the characters than the game. This is good, don't get me wrong, but I was looking forward to mahjong action and so haven't yet finished this.

On Shing Hearts: Shiawase no Pan, I'm not sure what to say. Again, I've only watched the initial episodes. It is an anime adaptation of the game. From what I've heard and read, the Shining games themselves are so-so: standard JRPG fare with Tony art, the art being the highlight. This seems to be the case with the anime as well, standard fantasy fare with pretty girls as the highlight. I haven't watched enough to give an athoritative opinion, but it doesn't seem very good.

Tasogare Otome X Amnesia is a bit better than average. It boasts an
interesting plot that does struggle at times with abundant fanservice. It would thus be classified somewhere along the lines of horror, mystery, supernatural, ecchi.

Upotte!! I loved very much, although giving an objective authoritarian opinion, it sits only above average (currently 7 in my database). It starts with the premise "These girls are actually guns" and drives it to the end. Thus, it mixes healthy levels of fanservice with a decent plot and abundant (and accurate) gun info, so that it watches as an immersive documentary. The documentary sections are short and unintrusive, which makes for a very enjoyable (and educational) experience, as well as ending with a slightly cheesy, but quite well done moral lesson.

Of Zetman I only watched one episode. It seems like standard dark action fare, akin to Deadman Wonderland. Take that as you will.

Acchi Kocchi is very cute; I would place it above average. A slice-of-life romance, it is very cute (especially the principle couple, Tsumiki and Io), appropriately over the top and fun. It's not deep at all, but again, cute and fun, and worth a watch. Of particular note, Acchi Kocchi has some of the best, most creative scene transitions I have encountered.

Sankarea I've mostly finished. It's about the relationship between a zombie-loving high school boy and a zombie girl. It deconstructs the zombie part, though, resulting in a slightly deep and interesting story, with better than average characterization of said girl. Slightly better than average.

Tsuritama seems to be the follow-up to Mawaru Penguindrum. It's not as good, sadly, but very good, and adopts the same vein of ridiculousness on a slightly lesser scale. Instead of penguins, we have fish aliens and the MIB equivalent Duck. Characterization is deep and interesting for its primary cast, and story is fun and suitably epic.

Hyouka is continuing. It is very good. Firstly, its animation is breath-takingly beautiful (as expected of Kyoto Animation). All of its characters are interesting, and its main cast deep. The plot is interesting (I feel like I need to expand my vocabulary to do these good anime justice). Hopefully, I'll do a more comprehensive summary later.

Nazo no Kanojo X is very good. I love it. It's about a high school couple whose relationship centers around sharing thoughts and feelings through saliva. The characters are deep and interesting, their relationships as well, and their special relationship highlights the importance of communication in relationships.