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Edition 19: Spring 2011 Anime Releases

» Articles, Features, The Watcher (Previews) | posted by Wai Yung (Wayne) Chim on 04/19/2011 [Discuss]

Nichijou (My Ordinary Life):
Nichijou
Wow. Keiichi Arawi’s comedic manga to anime is hilarious. Instead of an anime that tells a story, Nichijou is separated into parts. While some parts are better than others, the anime as a whole is laugh out loud funny. It has been a while since an anime has gotten me to actually laugh as if it was a stand-up comedy act. The gist of the show is about a group of high school students experiencing the weird occurrences of “Everyday Life.” There is a lot of promise in this anime. Hopefully, the comedy does not get old.


Steins;Gate:
Steins;Gate
As I was watching the first episode, I was lost. I did not know what was going on, what the story is going to be about and all I saw was a guy and a girl. They decide to attend some presentation and weird things happen and someone dies. At the end of the episode, the guy starts to have a revelation and everything began to make sense to him… but not to me. No wonder why this show is related to Chaos;Head another show that is a head scratcher. Steins;Gate is about a group of friends who discover a way to make their microwave into a device that sends text messages into the past. How will this show work? I do not know. But from my early view on it, this show is not one of my favorite shows in the world.


Sengoku Otome: Momoiro Paradox:
Sengoku Otome: Momoiro Paradox
Our protagonist, Hideyoshi Toyoomi is a normal teenage girl. One day she witnesses something in a shrine and accidently gets teleported into a world where feudal lords ruled and a world where only females existed. Once she is there, she meets Oda Nobunaga, a feudal lord who is trying to unite the nations. The show becomes about Hideyoshi and her quest to help Nobunaga’s goal. Hideyoshi brings a unique twist to the show because she is using modern techniques to approach issues. Overall, I think this show is not impressive. I was wishing something exciting would happen on the screen, but was disappointed. I do not like Sengoku Otome thus far. Hopefully it will turn for the better as the plot develops.


Hanasaku Iroha:
Hanasaku Iroha
This anime is about a girl, Ohana Matsumae, who has pretty much relied on herself throughout her young life as her mother is usually concentrated on her work or… her love life. One day, her mother’s boyfriend runs into some trouble and they decide to elope without Ohana. Ohana’s mother decided to send her daughter to Ohana’s grandmother’s inn. Here I start to think Hinatasou? But no, she is sent to live at Kissuisō. When she arrived she thought she was just going to shack there, but as it turns out, her grandmother was not going to let her have any free lunches. Immediately she is told to work for her living expenses.

I honestly thought this show was very uninteresting when it began. But as the story developed, I started to change my views on it. The plot is about how a girl changes her life. From the first time Ohana is introduced, she was portrayed as a self reliant person. As the anime goes on, the situation she is in forces her to change and rely on others in order to gain friendship and in order to coexist with others, along with the different way of life when her work place is based on the philosophy that the customer is always right. This show has potential.


Dog Days:
Dog Days
From the moment the show began, I thought Dog Days was a serious anime. The war between canine (Biscotti) and feline (Galette) races must contain a lot of bloodshed right? We will get back to that point later. Dog Days is about a boy named Sink Izumi. He is athletic and loves to compete in competitions. The current direction of his life is no longer exciting. He lives to test his skills. Ever since he came in second in the national competition, he has been itching to get back on the grand stage. All this happens as the world of Flonyard is going through series of wars between the Biscotti Republic and the Galette Lion Army. As the losses pile up for the Biscotti Republic, Princess Millhiore, summons the legendary hero to save their nation, that hero, turns out to be Izumi.

From all that seriousness from the start I thought it was going to be real war and all, but only disappointed with the actual format of their so called war. It is an obstacle course competition with a few magic spells here and there. There are no casualties, no bloodsheds, only cute dazed fur balls when they are defeated. I felt totally duped, but in a way that may be a good thing. Dog Days is different and while I am not a big fan of it, it is a break from the usual fighting that usually occurs in these type of fantasy nation versus nation anime.


Tiger & Bunny:
Tiger & Bunny
The title name just sounds weird. It is the complete opposite of what the title suggests (Bunny girls, cat girls :D). Anyways, when I saw the show, I was immediately thinking of how it relates to Watchmen. You know, heroes being idolized and doing just about whatever they want. The twist here is that these heroes here actually represent large corporations. And as they are fighting criminals they are broadcasted on Hero TV, graded and at the end of a season a king of heroes is crowned. The protagonist of the story is Kotetsu T. Kaburagi, also known as, Wild Tiger. He is not the most popular hero out of the bunch and when his sponsor gets acquired by another, he is forced to join forces with an emerging hero, Barnaby Brooks Jr. The animation was very good, the story was entertaining and the action scenes were great. I liked what I saw thus far and look forward to more of Tiger & Bunny. Watch Tiger & Bunny at Viz Anime!


Toriko:
Toriko
The first episode was interesting because the cast of One Piece joined Toriko on his first adventure on the screen. Upon watching it, I thought the series was moving in the right direction, but how far can it go? Will this get old? And with the cast of One Piece affecting my thoughts, I had to check out the next episode which was the actual start of the series. Komatsu is a chef and a representative of the International Gourmet Organization, he is given a job to gather the best ingredient for the IGO’s party and the ingredient that they wanted was the Galala crocodile. Komatsu finds Toriko, a bishokuya (gourmet hunters) who is on a mission to capture the best ingredients for his epic full course meal, and upon watching Toriko’s ability to capture his prey; Komatsu knew Toriko was the one and only person that would be able to handle the difficulty of catching the Galala crocodile.

As the show continued on, I was thinking how unique the concept was. It was like Cooking Master Boy meets Fist of the North Star, okay, maybe not so extreme as Fist of the North Star, but you get the idea. But at the same time the downfall that I can see right now is how long can this “catch a big animal and eat it concept work.” I hope the rest of the characters and story will solve that small issue as the series moves further along. But currently, I do like what I see; the show makes me want to down a T-bone steak right now!


Ao No Exorcist (Blue Exorcist):
Ao No Exorcist
I remember Viz Media sending out an email about this anime, and at that moment I was intrigued with what Ao no Exorcist would be all about. I have to say, I am very excited at what this show has to offer. An anime with demons versus exorcists and is combined with a great story to start? Sign me up right now. Blue Exorcist is about a character named Rin Okumura, he is a failure compared to his brother Yukio. One day as he gets into his daily scuffles with other teens he is told by a demon that possessed one of the teens, what his true identity was, Satan’s son. That sums up the first episode, but I am so looking forward to this series. The plot just glued me to my seat. You definitely have to check this series out, especially if you are into this genre. Catch the first episode here!


Dororon Enma-kun Meramera:
Dororon Enma-kun Meramera
I have to be honest. I was not expecting much when I first saw this title. I thought it was going to be kiddy and another one of those guy catch ghosts shows. But, the name Go Nagai caught my eye and I had to at least take a peek to pay the man some respect. After watching it, I was very impressed with this remake. Dororon Enma-kun Meramera is a horror comedy that focuses on the ghost capturing adventures of Enma-kun, Yukiko-hime and Kapaeru (Yokai Patrol). As the runtime expired, I thought this show was somewhat like Ghost Sweeper Mikami in terms of comedy, and while it is hard to top the sexiness of Mikami, Yukiko-hime does not do a bad job at playing the sexy role of the show. So a show with good comedy and some fan service? Now that is a great combo. On a side note, I still cannot get over the scene where a monster used his manhood as a weapon and as a result, broke, from the fighting. I was laughing so hard with the monster’s reaction after that little mishap.


SKET Dance:
SKET Dance
Support, Kindness, Encouragement, Troubleshoot. That is what SKET stands for. From the title alone, without doing any background research, one would immediately think this anime is about a bunch of kids going around break-dancing their butts off. Now after doing a bit of research, the show cannot be more opposite of the assumption. SKET Dance by Kenta Shinohara, in a way is like MM! and Ōkami-san to Shichinin no Nakama-tachi. The SKET club is dedicated to assisting fellow students with any issues that they are having. Now when you mix in a free spirit like Bossun as the leader, a yankee like Himeko and a robotic guy like Switch, you have a weird mix of personalities there. I firmly believe that SKET Dance works because of this mix of characters. The comedy contained here is hilarious. The story is also a joy to experience with the mini twists within. With just one episode, this piece will grab a hold of you and will not let go. This one is a definite must watch for the Spring.


Hoshizora e Kakaru Hashi:
Hoshizora e Kakaru Hashi
Hoshizora e Kakaru Hashi is an anime adaptation from the adult bishojo game by Feng. I do not know what is with adult game adaptations, but why does it somehow always come down to characters from the city going back to their old rural town where they once lived and mingle with people there? I was hoping this show is not like Yosuga no Sora, but I cannot help but think of the relation because of the siblings going back to the country side, meeting new faces and old faces. Please do not turn out to be like Yosuga no Sora. Do not ruin it for me. As I have not played the video game, I do not know what happens with the story at all. From my early views on it, this is quite good, seems to be a typical ecchi humor harem anime. If you are into this genre, which I am… check it out.


Hen Zemi:
Hen Zemi
Abnormal Physiology Seminar by TAGRO is certainly not for everyone. The funny elements here require a much opened mind. I found it strange that within the first few minutes of the show Nanako Matsutaka, the main character, is put into a dilemma, to walk down the stairs with a pervert videotaping her up skirt shot or not. If she does not take the stairs, she owes Komugi Musashi a favor, because he told her about Hishiyasu Ichikawa’s little experiment. And if she did take the stairs, Ichikawa will owe her a favor for doing his so called experiment. So, which choice is she supposed to make? Now, that is just a tamer example of the anime.

Hen Zemi expands further into the oddity by often referencing sexual themes, eating worms, and crazy fantasies. I mean, to be a part of the Abnormal Physiology Seminar, the first requirement is that you have to have some kind of issue. I thought the show was not very funny. I was more amazed at how far it will go to express how weird these characters are. The character design feels too rounded, maybe it is done that way to show to the audience that whatever is on the screen is meant to be a joke and should be taken lightly. Unless you are dying to find an anime with some strange comedy, Hen Zemi is probably not for you. It certainly is not for me.


Honto ni Atta! Reibai Sensei:
Honto ni Atta! Reibai Sensei
Hmm… where to start. For starters, I think the best thing about this show was that it did not waste much of my time. It ran about five minutes. The worse thing about the show was the animation. I seriously cannot get over the fact that this piece looked cel-shaded. As I think about it, it actually looks like some of the Adobe Flash videos that I have seen on New Grounds. Now that we got the best and the worse things out of the way, let us look into the anime a bit. Kibayashi Juri is a new teacher, and her talent is to communicate with the dead. On the first day of class, she shows this ability to her students after Yoshii Akiko asked her what her hobby was. The class gets flipped upside down and the episode ends. I give credit to the voice actors and actresses featured in this anime. They had to work harder bringing out characters with the limited animation. Overall, I feel this anime is good if you have five minutes to spare, if you do not, then you would not miss much.


Yondemasuyo, Azazel-san:
Yondemasuyo, Azazel-san
Cute summoned demons eh? How is this going to work? From watching the first episode I thought it was short and entertaining. Akutabe is a detective who summons demons to assist him with his clients. In this particular episode, Akutabe’s assistant Rinko Sakuma practices her summon and calls forth Azazel and Moloch. I was a bit confused with the show because the pictures I remember seeing were of small cute characters. But at the start, the viewer gets to see how vicious these demons really look. When they are summoned inside Akutabe’s building an anti-demon barrier is set up so that these vicious demons turn into cute beings in the human realm. While not a lot is shown in the first episode, I can see myself continuing with this anime. It was definitely appealing to say the least, and I am intrigued at how these demons will help Akutabe in the future.


Oretachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai:
Oretachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai
Oretachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai is brought to you by Navel, the same people that were behind Shuffle. As this is another eroge turned anime, I have to say, this one is my least favorite. Right off the bat there are too many characters introduced within the first episode, so many that at the end of the show I do not remember who is who. The flow of the anime is also very jumbled up. You will be shown one scene and then with no connection at all, go to another with different characters. Am I supposed to be connecting the dots here? At least give me some hints. For those into the ecchi-ness of Oretachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai, I was utterly disappointed. There was nothing much to see. The character designs were good and the animation looked up to par, but I just cannot understand what was going on. Maybe it will change in the latter parts of the show, but sadly I will not be staying on the ride to see it.


Astarotte no Omocha!:
Astarotte no Omocha!
Astarotte Ygvar is a succubus. Like a vampire, who requires blood to live, a succubus needs to ingest the semen of men. Judit, a guardian of Astarotte, suggested to Astarotte that she should start to build her own harem so that she can have an early start living the life of a maturing succubus. But the issue is Astarotte hates men. As a child, when she was about to go sleep with her mother Mercelída Ygvar, a member of Mercelída’s harem cuts Astarotte off and went into Mercelída’s room to commit the act… Astarotte witnessed the whole thing and her hatred towards men began from that day on. In an attempt to silence Judit, Astarotte states that she only wants a human male to be a part of her harem.

Astarotte knew very well that the Yggdrasill tree that connects them with the human realm has been dormant for a very long time. In an unyielding effort, Judit finally gets a reaction from the Yggdrasil tree and as her princess demanded, brought Naoya Tōhara, a human male into the realm of the succubus. That is as far as I will go with the summary of the story. As I was watching Astarotte no Omocha, I kept thinking of how similar this show is with Hayate no Gotoku (The Combat Butler), especially when Naoya becomes Astarotte’s “omocha” (toy). Well you really cannot fault me for the comparison because Astarotte is voiced by Rie Kugimiya, the same seiyuu as Nagi Sanzenin. Anyways, from what I have seen so far, I do not think this anime is anything special. As I have stated earlier, it feels completely like Hayate no Gotoku. And if you did not like that show, then you probably would not be interested in this one either.


Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko:
Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko
Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko began as a light novel by Hitoma Iruma. It was later adapted into manga and began serialization in Dengeki G’s Magazine. And after that, obviously, it is now an anime. The plot follows a young man name Makoto Niwa who is transferring from the countryside to the city due to his parents leaving for work overseas. In the city, he meets his aunt Meme Tōwa, whom he has not seen since he was a child. At this point, I was saying this was a pretty typical story… until we finally get into Meme’s house where the viewer gets to witness a girl that is rolled up in a futon from her head to her waist; just laying there on the floor.

Now I knew she was not dead, because there would not be a story if that was the case. But it was quite amusing to see Makoto’s reaction and asking himself if he should mention this body on the floor to his aunt or not, as she seems to be completely oblivious to it. When he finally worked up the courage to ask his aunt, he discovers that the girl in the futon is his cousin, Erio Tōwa.

Erio is a strange girl. She mysteriously disappeared for a few months and came back with no memory recollection of the event and began to believe that she is an alien investigator monitoring the life of humans. Her total personality change inhibits her from attending school like a normal teenager. And as the story progresses, you start to discover more about Erio. Is she really an alien investigator or just a person with a high level of alien fascination? This series looks to be entertaining; I will definitely keep my eyes on it.


Hidan no Aria:
Hidan no Aria
Right from the opening theme, I was captured by May’n’s signing voice. She is great! With that fact out of the way, Hidan no Aria or Aria the Scarlet Ammo involves our protagonist, Kinji Tohyama who attends a school called Butei High School. In this high school, you get to learn all your usual school subjects, but unlike the other schools, Butei High School’s other classes in its curriculum allow the students to become mercenaries of certain specializations, from intelligence, assault, infiltration and more.

I thought the plot was interesting. It is an action anime with hints of ecchi humor. I have enjoyed my time watching this series so far. It was funny to see how Kinji E class (lowest class of butei) can turn into Kinji S class (highest class of butei) from being aroused. Aside from his enhanced combat abilities, his personality will change as well. Once in his so called hysteria mode, he will do everything he can to protect the girl that he is with. But of course there is a twist to the story. Kinji wants no part of being a butei anymore, he has decided to transfer to a regular high school. That is when under certain events he meets Aria H. Kanzaki, a transfer student and an S class butei.

After seeing Kinji’s abilities, she tries to recruit him into the assault division, the very division that he had decided to quit. This anime is the one I have been searching for this Spring! Hidan no Aria is exciting and attracts viewers with its gun action and comedy. The characters accommodate each other very well. The plot is told in a way that is easy to comprehend. This title is just awesome. Watch the episodes here.


The World God Only Knows II:
The World God Only Knows II
If you have seen the first season or if you have read my views on the first season, I already stated this anime was one to look out for. Now we are one season in and the show continues to deliver. I like how this nerd of a character can pick up girls with his knowledge from dating simulations. He is the epiphany of a nerd’s role model. This time around, I am also more prepared for The World God Only Knows. I have read some of the manga and if season two follows the same route as the manga, it will certainly be a fun ride!


Kämpfer für die Liebe:
Kampfer Fur Die Liebe
Now I have recently watched Sentai Filmworks’ Kampfer and although I do not really feel the whole Natsuru Senō turning into female deal, it is a part of the story that makes other things roll, so I will turn a blind eye to that. Kampfer the series is about characters that are given dolls, and after receiving these dolls, they attain a specific power. At the same time, they are also separated into the blue or red group. Yes, you probably guessed it; these two groups fight each other for a certain reason. As the series unwinds, the story goes from the fighting between red and blue to the cooperative fighting of red and blue against an unknown enemy. Anyways, these two additional episodes of Kampfer focus on fan service. For people like me, who cannot get enough of the show it really is great! The ecchi humor is superb, fans of this genre and series should not miss this.


Deadman Wonderland:
Deadman Wonderland
Deadman Wonderland is a theme park. You know, something like Six Flags? The twist here though is that the employees of this Wonderland are prisoners. The concept of Deadman Wonderland, a privately owned prison, derives from the need to spark the economy, in order to raise funds to restore Tokyo. In the world here, Japan has been hit with a massive earthquake, with Tokyo mostly destroyed. The plot follows ten years after that tragic event and focuses on a middle school boy named Igarashi Ganta.

On a seemingly normal day at school anticipating the field trip to Deadman Wonderland, Ganta all of a sudden sees a man in crimson red armor floating outside his third floor classroom window. Before the class can make sense of the situation, they are massacred. In his confused state, Ganta comes face to face with the man in the crimson red armor and the man proceeds to put a crystal in Ganta’s chest. When he awakes in the hospital, Ganta becomes the sole survivor, and the sole suspect of the massacre. He is given a death sentence and will continue to live the days he has left in Deadman Wonderland.

Once the viewer is put into the environment of the Wonderland, you could assume there are going to be a lot of drama. From my early experience with this anime, I thought the concept was cool, and it has been a while since an anime got me emotionally involved. Whether it is feeling Ganta being wronged in his suspected crime, or feeling like punching a prisoner in the face, the show does a very nice job in bringing out these emotions. I look forward to this series, it has nice action, drama, and a plot that is very intriguing.


[C]: Control: The Money Of Soul And Possibility:
[C]: Control: The Money Of Soul And Possibility
Money troubles. Sound familiar? For Kimimaro Yoga, a college student who inspires to be a civil service worker, money is hard to come by. With his parents non-existent in his life due to various circumstances, Yoga has to hold down two part time jobs and watch his expenses carefully so that he can get by. One day, a jester looking man, by the name of Masakaki, appears at the front door of Yoga’s apartment like a salesman, and proceeds to sell the idea of the Financial District to Yoga.

After their meeting, Yoga went to the ATM like he would any other day and sees that his balance is substantially higher. Believing that this is a bank error he searches for advice on whether to tell his bank or use it. When he decided to take out the money, Masakaki shows up and brings Yoga to the Financial District, a realm where members who are called Entrepreneurs (Entré) along side with their Asset battle each other all while waging money for each attack. If you win, you get money. If you lose you go bankrupt. And the finances in the Financial District connect to the actual world. So if someone goes bankrupted, they are in serious trouble once they leave the Financial District realm.

After watching this anime, one thought came into my mind, evil. [C]: Control: The Money Of Soul And Possibility, pretty much shows the weakness in the hearts of people. Yoga represents the average Joe. He wanted his normal stable life with a normal stable family. But Masakaki shows that while he can get by working two part time jobs and hope the whole civil service thing works out, why not earn a tremendous amount of money now, without working so hard with the part time jobs and living a more luxurious college life. Most people will take the money in the fast lane; our protagonist is not an exception. I liked the show, it is very entertaining. The idea to incorporate finances with an anime that includes battles between owners of familiars was quite interesting. Also FUNimation is simulcasting this show, check it out!

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