Monday, August 30, 2010

Halfway Through - Impressions of the Anime of Summer 2010

Weeks have passed since the beginning of the Summer 2010 anime season, and both Sunagan and I have been watching a lot of the currently airing shows (well, to be fair, Sunagan has. I've just been slacking and only been faithfully following a select few). As promised, here are our impressions of the seasonal shows so far.

Summer 2010 Anime

Amagami SS

Sunagan: Why hello there, quirky high school romance that I’m starting to love! I’ve finally bumped into a story in this genre that’s faithful to itself AND actually original and refreshing, in a weird and clumsy but also very human way. The characters seem great and I love how the story starts running a parallel-universe every 4 episodes. I also like how the personalities of the involved characters are a little different every time. It’s very enjoyable and worthy to be looking forward to every week :-D!
Rating so far: 3½/5 stars. Definitely has some 4-star potential.

Omurqi: Why hello there, quirky high school romance that I'm starting to love! Yeah, I too am hooked to this show. I really like it's high pacing and focus on the individual romance, which is one of the reasons why I'm having trouble calling it a harem anime. You could call it one on paper, but its omnibus format in combination with the strong focus on a single pairing is making it feel more like a seinen~ish romance anime. Morishima-senpai and Kaoru were both really good in their own right. Sae? I'm not feeling it yet, but that won't stop me from enjoying the arc anyway.
Rating so far: 4/5 stars.

Asobi ni Iku yo

Sunagan: Bland and generic I thought, bland and generic it is. I hate it when I’m right about this kind of thing T_T. But let’s not be too judgmental. I’m absolutely thrilled by the upcoming doggie-neko fight, the religious cult and the harem. The little cat-robots are the best. No, honestly *looks out of the window carefully measuring the distance that could end all the suffering*. Ok, ok, maybe I’m exaggerating. It’s not totally atrocious, just ridden with cliché and mediocrity and probably enjoyable for people who are really into light, meaningless entertainment. And tits.
Rating so far: 2½/5 stars.

Black Lagoon: Roberta’s Blood Trail

Sunagan: Only one episode in I haven’t really formed a clear opinion on the OVA series that will continue after the fantastically executed finale of Black Lagoon 2. Still, seeing all the familiar characters with their coolness and raw mannerisms was like stepping into a hot bath of the distinctively badass Black Lagoon atmosphere. I foresee awesomeness to be upon us soon.
Rating so far: 3½/5 stars.

Omurqi: Being a huge Black Lagoon fanboy, I loved the first episode of this OVA regardless of how rediculous the new Lovelace-maid fights. It had big guns, it had Revy, Rock and crew and it had badass-frosting on a cake of awesome. Can't wait for the next episode.
Rating so far: 4/5 stars.

Densetsu no Yuusha no Densetsu

Sunagan: I’ll confess I’ve only seen ep 1 so far (haven’t had time yet for the other eps), but so far it’s by miles less epic, serious and mature I thought it would be. It would be the worst if the series only had pretty faces, ’funny’ comments and no significant content whatsoever for the length of the entire anime, but then again, the first episode might just have been a poorly executed introduction and epicness could be following. I’m not really buying it (even the fansubbers don’t seem to have any interest in the series at all as they seemed to be just randomly guessing while translating) but I haven’t given up hope yet for the legendary heroes. Now please don’t disappoint me.
Rating so far: 3/5 stars.

 High School of the Dead

Sunagan: It seems that I’ve finally encountered an action show that does NOT rely so heavily on its ecchi elements that the story falls flat on its face within 5 episodes. I think it’s a very enjoyable anime that’ll still amuse me more than average regardless of its lack of depth. The animation looks smooth and sharp, character designs are fine and the somewhat unoriginal story still keeps you glued to your seat without any effort. I also really love the survival elements (for my opinion on survival anime, check my one blogpost on GANTZ, Jyu Oh Sei and Tokyo Magnitude 8). This is one of the shows of the season I’ll keep looking forward to every week :-)! 
Rating so far: 3½/5 stars.

Omurqi: It's turned out exactly as I hoped it would. The premise of lots of ecchi was there, and so was the potential of a pretty decent zombie-survival flick. Luckily they are able to combine both elements in a way that the one isn't overpowering the other, and both aspects are there plentiful. While not as DEEP as the manga reviews want to make you believe, it's one hell of an entertaining ride of action, onslaught and boob-acrobatics. I also love how every member of the group has a distinct personality each with their own strengths and shortcomings, and how the group is able to work as a whole. One of the two shows (together with Amagami SS) I'm looking forward to each week.
Rating so far: 4/5 stars.

 Kuroshitsuji 2

Sunagan: Wow. All the rabid Sebastian-fangirls must have been so angry upon encountering the new couple. There are two basic problems with the new leads introduced in episode one. Alois is infinitely more whiny and uncool than Ciel, while Ciel has a certain calculated atmosphere over him despite being a kid. Sebastian is everything Claude is not. Sexy as hell, refined, devilishly evil, and unconditionally devoted to his master. Humorous. Claude just seems like your average uninteresting demon next to the shining awesomeness that is Sebastian, not to mention the delicious, subtle yaoi-hinting all through the anime. And yes, I can say, we were incredibly happy about the return of our favourite stars. A continuation of the first Kuroshitsuji is everything the fanbase wanted, and luckily it wasn’t completely spoiled by those two Trancy losers. I’m looking forward to see the continuation of Ciel and Sebastian’s story. And honestly, I can’t wait ‘til Ciel gets devoured for real this time…
Rating so far: 3½/5 stars.


Sunagan: God, this turned out exactly as atrocious as I had anticipated it to be. This is the kind of show that could turn perfectly normal people into psychopathic serial killers in less than 3 episodes by continuous exposure to its devastating pee, poop, puke, snot and boobjokes. I don’t know what to say more about this show, just that I’m absolutely stunned by its awfulness.
Rating so far: 2/5 stars. Definitely has 1,5 star potential.

Omurqi: Garçon, bucket (if you get the reference, you are officially awesome). Yeah, it's really bad. There's absolutely none of the Minami-ke goodness that might've been there (I've heard some of the same people are working on this show). Fans of slapstick comedy combined with Kodomo no Jikan might enjoy this, I don't. I've dropped it, and am not planning to pick it up again, ever.
Rating so far: 0.5/5 stars (yes, and nothing more).

 Nurarihyon no Mago

Sunagan: Hehe, I can’t help it but I just like this kind of shows. The bespectacled lead is no wuss and even well tolerable, thank heaven, and his demon form is droollicious! So far it’s developing like your typical shounen series (somehow in a kind of Hitman Reborn fashion), but I’m still thoroughly enjoying myself. Just blame it on me being a rabid shounen fangirl but if some good villain is going to show up soon, I’ll be unstoppable x-D. Probably won’t be worth your time if you don’t like shounen and demons at all, though.
Rating so far: 3½/5 stars.

 Ookami-san to Shichinin no Nakamatachi

Sunagan: Your typical harem show. I’m not really a tsundere fan, though I don’t hate them either. It’s just that the phenomenon doesn’t often show itself in the realm of reality in the middle and high school age groups. The lead, as usual, is a spineless, cowardly guy, but I don’t hate this one as much as I usually do ‘cause it’s so over the top it’s actually enjoyable. In short, it’s a predictable show presented in a coat of dull sarcasm that could have been much more convincing and funny if they tried harder. 
Rating so far: 3/5 stars.

 Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin

Sunagan: So far it’s ok to watch, but definitely less original and distinctive than I had imagined it to be. All characters seem too one-dimensional for a show of this kind, the mysteries are not mysterious and the male lead is a pussy T_T. Well sorry, I was just expecting some excellent, compelling or at least adequate character chemistry here. It’s still decent, nevertheless, and I wonder which direction the anime will take in the next few episodes. 
Rating so far: 3/5 stars.

Omurqi: I'm joining Sunagan with my opinion on this one. It had the potential to be a pretty good, Ghost Hunt-esque comedy with a bit more of a shounen twist rather than shoujo-comedy. Sadly, I'm not really enjoying most of the cast, with my most hated one being Uchida, the male lead. In my eyes, his cowardly personality isn't winning points with me, and neither is the target of his affections, Mikaze Nakagawa. Maya I do like, but seeing the screen-time Uchida has been getting, my enjoyment meter is tilted on the negative side so far.
Rating so far: 2.5/5 stars.

 Seitokai Yakuindomo

Sunagan: This seems to be a surprise win. It turned out completely different than I had imagined from the trailer. In the beginning I thought the constant sex jokes were a bit of a pain, but after some exposure it actually became a merciless assault on my laughing muscles - especially the dry reactions of the male lead and the stupidity of the whole thing in general xD. Yeah, it’s nothing substantial and it exists solely for entertaining its public – only that, but it’s good at what it does and doesn’t pretend to be more than it actually is. I like it!
Rating so far: 3½/5 stars.


Sunagan: Fearing it would be a cheap Higurashi-ripoff, I started watching this show with great caution. So far, it hasn’t disappointed me. The character designs may be weird but it’s also refreshing to look at original faces and eyes, I’m pleased by it. The whole vampire thing is dead-on, as I have a huge weak spot for magical creatures in general (and vampires in particular). As a horror show it might not completely succeed as I don’t find the elements of suspense convincing, but it’s really fun wondering which citizen will die next and watching the desperation that’s starting to get a good hold of Natsuno.
I must be sadistic by nature.
Rating so far: 3½/5 stars.

 Shukufu no Campanella

Sunagan: Wow. My Little Pony has changed into a human show. It obviously seems to be intended for cute 11-year old girls, except for the abundance of scantily-clad, big-busted main characters (but with the same mental age group as their probable fans). If there is going to be some serious storyline it might save itself the humiliation of being hated by large parts of the fanbase. If it won’t, it’ll be just another predictable and pubescent harem show with nothing fresh or new to offer. The costumes are gorgeous, though, you got to at least give them some credit for that ^_^. 
Rating so far: 3/5 stars.

Omurqi: While the artwork here is pretty smooth, full of gentle colour-schemes and strong costume-designs, the storyline has been awfully dull. The bits of fanservice or comedy alone isn't enough to hold me attention, and since there isn't a whole lot of plot progression going on, it's falling on its face. This all sounds a whole lot like how one would describe the Aria franchise (who apparently have the same people from the art-department), the setting and premise alone here simply isn't cutting it. Tl;dr, I'm glad I watch the majority of these episodes together with Sunagan.
Rating so far: 3/5 stars.

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