After several weeks of new anime series in the spring season 2013, it’s time to look back at some series. Which shows were good and which didn’t quite cut it in the spring season.
Please keep in mind that I don’t watch all series in a particular season, so you may find some shows missing that you wished to see. The Ninety’s Choice label is for a show that is a must watch.
Ore no Imouto tells a story about a girl who loves to play eroge games. Games with explicit sexual content and in this case its all about little sister eroge games. Kirino hides her passion for these games and someday she involves her brother in her hidden hobby.
Of course this is season two and continues the previous plot. Kirino and her brother meet new people, make new friendships and continue playing eroge. It must be said that the playing of eroge is moved to the background and the focus shifts to personal relationships between friends and family. With family it mostly involves Kirino and her brother.
And this brings us to one of the downfalls of this season, namely the shifting focus from eroge to the interpersonal relationships. What made the first season strong, was the fact that the show focused on the hidden hobby Kirino had and was desperately trying to hide. This resulted in funny and entertaining scenes where somebody who was ashamed of her hobby, slowly opened up to her environment.
Because season two shifted to the environment, the series started to get all over the place. It tried to rush the relationships a bit and gave limited information why those relations came to be. For example one of the characters Ayase, was in love with Kyousuke. The show didn’t quite explain the sudden change of heart, which left the viewer wondering. There were more events that had the same issues and gave the show a feel it was searching for an explanation for its own developments. As much as I loved the first season, as much did I feel unfulfilled with the second season that could have been so much more.
Red Data Girl focuses on a girl that is a vessel for a spirit that travelled through many different bodies and presumably reached the end of her cycle with our main character, Izumiko. The spirit has the tendency to take over Izumiko. Changing her character and creating minor differences in her appearance.
The synopsis is quite vague and so was the whole show. The theme was bound to cultural knowledge. Not all mythical creatures that appeared in the show were as clear. This might not be the case for the domestic audience, but for an ‘outsider’ the theme is hard to grasp.
Because the theme was difficult to understand, it resulted in a vague understanding what the main plot was. The importance of the spirit that possessed the main character was clear, but why it actually made such an impact to the world was rather vague.
On the flipside the studio managed to create an unique look and feel for the show. The main cast was colorful and interacted naturally within the setting. But then again, because the core theme was rather difficult to understand, the actions of our main cast weren’t always as obvious. The story tried to do so much in a short amount of time that a lot of the story got lost. Red Data Girl jumps from small events to an apocalyptic setting in the end. Resulting in making the leap from small plot progression elements to doomsday event rather illogical. P.A. Works had a concept that made a unique show possible, but wasted it on the overwhelming theme it tried to bring to its audience.
Short episodes revolving around the life of high school girls and their daily activities. Aiura showed slice of life elements from our main three characters. The daily activities had a touch of humor to them that made even small events enjoyable to watch.
And let’s kick off with saying that this show looks absolutely gorgeous. Aiura told its story like a canvas that came to life. Shifting through the pages in few minute episodes, with every episode another chapter. I like shows that try to recreate their story with colors that resemble children’s books. The colors are bright and have a water paint feel.
It must be said that people who don’t like slice of life genre themed anime, don’t have to bother picking up Aiura. The story at its core focuses on day to day activities with little impact. There is no actual plot or greater good behind the activities. You will not see epic, interstellar and military combat in Aiura.
Dansai Bunri no Crime edge tells a story about murder weapons with each their own unique set of features. The owners vary in character and have the urge to kill. Our main character that owns a murder weapon hasn’t got the urge to kill. He has the urge to ‘kill’ hair and found his goal in life to cut the hair of the hair queen.
This premise feels kind of weird. And it is weird. The story is weird and its execution is weird. The show uses some interesting storytelling techniques with various different color schemes. It must be said that the overall color scheme is rather dark which suits the dark theme of the show. Because the show has a variety of murder weapons, the studio is able to play with characters and place them in a certain evil setting. A setting which is accompanied by the color schemes that were mentioned earlier.
Weird isn’t a problem in particular and I’m sure that people could appreciate this show. It could even be considered as a breeze of fresh air between shows with a familiar formula that we’ve seen over time. Keep in mind that Dansai Bunri isn’t your average anime and will perhaps leave you unfulfilled at the end of the road.
The title may be a bit confusing as there is no anime prequel to this show. Devil Survivor portrays a world that has reached a certain level of civilization and is being tested by an all knowing entity. With smartphones, mankind, especially teenagers, battle the rather unknown and powerful entity.
Here we have the downfall of this series, the smartphones. I have written a separate post about this where I question the impact smartphones can have. Smartphones play a major part in Devil Survivor. They have such a major roll, that they are the hope for humanity. The usage of smartphones against the enemies feels so lacking in credibility. Using actual weapons would be more realistic and more impactful. This series was an utter waste of my time. I was hoping the series would do something good apart from its good ending song, but it didn’t.
When one day our main character Ledo gets separated from his platoon in a biblical interstellar war, he is send back to earth. An earth he isn’t familiar with. He finds a home on the drifting city ‘The Gargantia’ where he meets some interesting characters and his morals are being questioned in the society he found himself in.
Suisei no Gargantia is produced by Production I.G. with Urobuchi Gen at the wheel. Previous projects where Gen was involved were Madoka Magica and Fate/Zero. Where Madoka was rather abstract in its story telling, Fate/Zero followed a more steady path. But what those two series had in common was the fact that they questioned certain morals such as the value of human life, friends and enemies. Suisei does not differ from those topics, may it be a little less present.
In Suisei no Gargantia certain events function as actual plot progression, but some seem insignificant and irrelevant. This is an issue because of the limited amount of episodes that are reserved to tell the story. When Suisei no Gargantia was a two season show, the studio would have had more time to build a world and put more emphasis on the differences between the world of Ledo and earth. This is partially countered with the dialogue which is one of the strong points of this show.
Hentai Ouji is a production by J.C. Staff, which meant that I was skeptic about the possible execution. J.C. Staff’s animation is not always top notch and the overall storytelling can be lacking. None seem to be the case in Hentai Ouji.
Hentai Ouji is a story about a statue that grants wishes to those who request one. This comes with a price, you have to give something in return and your issue will be passed on to somebody who needs it.
Sounds like an interesting concept and it is. As a studio, you can introduce a lot of characters that inherited wishes or issues from others that they otherwise would have wished for anyway. But because our main character was a pervert, these elements could not be forgotten. Many suggestive elements come back in the show. This is made possible with the excellent character designs made by Kantoku. it must be said that J.C. Staff did its best to implement the bright colors Kantoku uses in his artwork, but I can’t help but feel that another studio would be better suited for this job.
Without going into too much detail about the show, I want to point out that people who dislike suggestive elements should avoid the show. The name is misleading, but the elements are there. The story overall is pretty straightforward with a steady main cast. Fair enough, I don’t like the voice actor who voices the main protagonist. But that is a personal taste and you might find it pleasing to listen to.