The winter 2013 anime season has pretty much now finished, and now I have finally finished all bar one show, I thought it time to give my verdict.
The year started on a massive high in the form of –
Now i’m a rather big fan of the -monogatari series, so when I saw that the Japanese were getting this as their build up to the New Year, I was quite jealous. Best we can do is interviewing people in front of the London Eye and a few fireworks. Its interesting to see how the timeline for the -monogatari series is as it keeps jumping forward and backward. I wont try and explain the plot as there has already been 26 episodes over two shows and a film, but it deals with the supernatural. Anyway, its a great continuation to one of my favourite series and I look forward to the latter half of the year as we may be getting the rest of the light novels animated.
And now onto the proper shows of Winter 2013
Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai NEXT
The sequal to the harem series Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai. The use of the word “harem” in the previous sentance should dictate that by anime law that the main guy should carry on bumbling around between women and make no progress. Surprisingly, this does a better job of second season harem than expected. While it does the usual trope of introducing even more characters that take an interest in the leading man, the second half brings in a lot of on-going plot. This might be because the light novel author worked on the show, but it was a welcome addition and made it rise above the generic harem fair in my eyes. I’m hoping for a OVA or third series.
A short gag anime (and by short I mean every ep is about 4 mins long) about a group of women putting out a manga anthology and dealing with the whims of the artists. Nothing special but the short episode length is kinda annoying. Just as your settling in the end credits roll and its all over.
Maoyuu Mao Yuusha
I started off really liking this show. By the final episode I kinda didnt care anymore. That probably wasnt what the creators were going for. Its the story of the Hero facing off against the Demon King, only to find the Demon King is a female demon thats more interested in trying to stop the conflict between demon and man by non violent means. So far so good. The dynamic between the Hero and Demon King is really interesting. They even picked seiyuu that really work well together (they happen to be the leading couple from Spice & Wolf – in the Japanese that is). So for the first few episodes I liked it. Then for story reasons they split the pair up and the dynamic I liked so much was gone. For the rest of the show it gets bogged down with its politics. To keep up with everything going on between different factions, the church and the demons I’d have needed to take copius notes. Maybe this stuff works better in the form of a novel but I had the same problems with both series of Spice & Wolf. By the end I was just watching to see the overall outcome, so not one I would recommend unless you really liked Spice & Wolf.
Sorry, after seeing this on google image search I had to use it, as all shall bow to Haruka-nee-sama the Queen of England! Minami-ke is a slice of life show about the three Minami sisters, one in each level of Japanese education. This is the fourth series and thats honestly the best I can do for a plot synopsis. Which is great for me as I love slice of life shows, especially ones as funny as this. As you can guess that by the fourth season, if it aint broke dont fix. There are no radical departures or singing episodes. Just the every day lifes of three schoolgirls. Its hard to praise as there is nothing special to mention but I just find it so fun to watch.
Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru
Eita accidentally gets a girlfriend in the form of school beauty Masuzu. However it turns out Masuzu has just picked Eita as he is just like her, they have no interest in love. Throw in a childhood friend and you get the start of this harem comedy. As is usual, after a few episodes a few more girls turn up. Seems the new hotness is to have a character with 8th Grader Syndrome and this show is no exception. The character with the afore mentioned problem seems kinda tacked on when compared to the other girls. Quite a good harem show, though the end looked like it was going to be bold but I felt it caved at the last minute (maybe due to possibly trying for a second season).
This 3 minute per episode gag anime will have no meaning unless you have seen the Idolmaster anime or played the Japanese game the anime was based on. Each of the idols at the 765 Pro agency slowly finds Chibi versions of themselves. Often these versions have special abilities like multiplying if dowsed with water or teleportation. As can be expected with a gag anime, its pretty random and for fans of the original media only. Having watched the original anime I found it entertaining but once again the short run time of each episode can ruin the flow.
What happenes when someone with the power of the supreme being becomes a hikikomori? You ask Shaft to animate it and end up with a wonderfully bizzare show. I wont go further into the plot as its all over the place and I dont want to give any hint of spoilers. The visual style of this show isnt done justice in still shots. It often takes the water colour style of Usagi Drop but pushes it further. If you like bizzaro comedy then give this a try. One of my highlights of the season.
A big boobed ninja action anime (Onosokumaru would be proud). Based on a 3DS fighting game, this centres around the female light ninjas in their fight against the female dark ninjas. Its not all without merit. A lot of the characters are likeable (even the “evil” ones) and some of the fights are interesting.
The newest offering from Kyoto Animation. Based around a girl, Tamako, who lives in a mochi making shop who accidently meets a talking bird called Dera. Dera happens to be out travelling to find a bride for his master, the prince of a tropical paradise. After indulging in way too much mochi, Dera attempts to slim down while keeping an eye on Tamako and her friends. A nice and charming slice of life show. Once again light on plot for the most part (as has been with a fair amount of KyoAni shows).
This anime is 50% Strike Witches 40% Magical Girl and 10% Science. The set up is amazingly similar to Strike Witches in that an unknown enemy is attacking and only several young girls seem able to stop it. The girls get these keys that let them transform but once they are transformed, they look like they should be in control of a marching band. Which is odd as some of the mid transformation designs look quite cool. Each girl has a different speciality which can be combined with the main girl to make an uber version. This is pretty by the numbers but some interesting characters lift it above just being a Strike Witches copy. Plus you have a stuffed weasel wearing Gurren Lagann sunglasses, so it cant be bad 😛