Summer 2012 Quick Impressions

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Arcana Famiglia is a nice Italian- and Tarot-themed shounen piece. It's slow so far in the beginning, setting up the atmosphere, characters, and, well, the setting, but the action seems to be kicking in, so further judgement will come later.

Binbougami ga~ is a nice old-style comedy, with crazy humor and abundant refereces and shout outs. There's some surprising depth to both main characters, but nothing awestriking.

Campione is an interesting piece, one of the first of this season's many fantasy series. The setup: a guy kills a god and becomes god. The series self-proclaims to follow his adventures and the girls around him. It's nice for a series to be so honest about its premise, but there's surprisingly little fanservice, instead focusing on the main character's relationship with the girls. It also throws in a lot of good mythology as per a recent rise in "documentary learning" type anime.

Chouyaku Hyakuninisshu: Uta Koi is very good. It's premise lies on telling the stories behind the (love) poems in the eponymous collection. Hyakuninisshu literally means "a hundred people, one piece", meaning one poem each from one hundred famed poets. The anime introduces one poem every episode, painting colorful and entertaining scenes between the characters, as well as giving some historical information besides (another "documentary learning" title).

Dakara Boku wa H ga Dekinai is the second fantasy work, its premise being "horny guy fuels the powers of beautiful otherworldly girl with his lust". Fanservice wielded in both hands, this anime seems like your standard fanservice+fantasy fare.

It's a bit early to judge Dog Days' (the second season) just yet. I in fact finished the first season to prepare for this. Speaking generally (about the first and possibly applicable to the second), the series is very bright, happy, and action-packed, with fun characters and a touch of fanservice, bound together with a decent and cohesive, but not outstanding, plot.

No word on Ebiten yet, though it doesn't seem very deep, as a generic slice-of-life series.

A couple of things bug me about Hagure Yuusha no Estetica, mainly some petty fanservice surrounding the female lead and her ridiculously sized breasts. However, I really liked the male lead: head-strong, intelligent and strong, self-sacrificing. It's been quite a while since I've seen an anime with such an explicitly badass character. The plot seems to be winding up nicely. How it continues I don't know, but I'm interested to see.

Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita. There's a lot of parts that I like about this series, but a few of the main points are the pastel-colored dystopian setting (indeed, you read that correctly) and the unnamed main character's deadpan snarky commentary, similar to Kyon's. With interesting character, an interesting plot, and the generally fun setting, everyone should try watching a few episodes of this.

Joshiraku is a slice-of-life about rakugo-performing high school girls. As it describes itself, it provides a setting to allow viewers to enjoy the girls' cuteness unhindered.

At first I thought Koi to Senkyo to Cholocate would end up as your standard visual novel high school harem series, but it quite pleasantly exceeds my expectations. As its titles states, in addition to love (indeed, the main character meets and builds relationships with cute girls), elections (namely, the school president election) plays a large role in the plot (at least so far). The "Chocolate" part is still pending, although the girl who seems to be the female lead seems to have had a bad experience involving it.

Along the same lines, I expected Kokoro Connect to be standard K-On!/Yuru Yuri fare, but its somewhat unique cast coupled with original plot makes for an interesting watch.

I first read that Natsuyuki Rendezvous was about a love triangle between a guy, a flower shop lady, and the lady's husband's ghost. That is indeed what the series is about, but it's much better than it sounds. Letting go, hanging on, and love are the themes of the day, and Natsuyuki doesn't lose focus.

Oda Nobuna falls squarely into the "alternate historical rendition with cute girls replacing important personages" category (think Koihime). There's nothing particularly unique, but the story is interesting, and the series continues the "documentary learning" trend with (I assume) accurate historical fact and characters (barring some anime-ification), with a short historical introduction of each character's real life counterpart when they first enter.

Sword Art Online is based on a novel by the same author as Accel World, and you can easily tell by their shared VR theme. Whilst Accel World has its wimpy, angsty male lead, SAO has its veritably badass, and occasionally angsty male lead. However, the underlying motivations and setting is a little different. Accel World goes for a serious game that's still just a game, an exclusive world that people join, but SAO takes it to an extreme, making the game reality (in the titular VR game, you can't logout and you die if you die), locking in the world. Both series are very good, or more to the point, SAO is very good. The plot feels a little rushed, as the anime has no qualms about cutting out large chunks of time and leaving the viewer to see the important bits. I personally like the dense story, without the filler (even necessary filler that helps viewer identify and sympathize with characters sometimes drags too long), but some viewers may be left in the dust.

Tari Tari is a show about music. Actual music, that is, not like K-on! The characters get together and do music, whilst another who has abandoned music helps out (possibly relearning how to love music later on). Animation is sloppy at times, but the story is very good. Overall, Tari Tari feels very much like Natsuiro Kiseki from last season, down to the whole sketchy animation/surprisingly good story skit.

Yuru Yuri ♪♪ is just more of the same: slice-of-life, implied yuri, mindless goodness, if that's your thing.