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Edition 22: Winter 2011 Anime Releases

» Articles, Features, The Watcher (Previews) | posted by Wai Yung (Wayne) Chim on 01/8/2012 [Discuss]

Amagami SS Plus:
Amagami SS Plus
Amagami SS Plus is the sequel to the first series of the dating simulation adaptation from the Playstation 2 console, Amagami SS. The series focused on Tachibana Junichi and his individual love interest of the different arcs. In the first season each girl had four episodes to shine, in the sequel; they will have two episodes to further develop where it was left off in the first season.

To start if off, Ayatsuji Tsukasa graces us with a bath scene with Junichi and I was wondering at this point, whether the series took a crazy turn for fan service that I did not know about. It did not, I was relieved. Anyways, because there is a continuing change of the story as the heroines change, it is hard to gauge what I really feel about the show. I am going by what I experienced in the first season, there will be some arcs that you like more than others, and some that you would hope, would hurry up and end.

If you are a fan of the high school drama anime and interested in watching one guy going on a mission to go out with different girls, with different story lines, Amagami SS Plus is for you. Heck, to be honest, this series had a weird grip on me the first season. I kept telling myself it was not that good, but continued to watch it to the end anyways. Judging from what I have seen thus far, I genuinely liked what I saw.


Poyopoyo Kansatsu Nikki:
Poyopoyo Kansatsu Nikki
I have never understood these short anime flicks. And I have never met any five minutes or less anime flick that has given me a good surprise until this Winter season. Poyopoyo Kansatsu Nikki is short and sweet. It is cute and at the same time gets a laugh from the audience. I went into this show expecting a desire for a refund of my time, but after it was said and done, I really enjoyed this short piece.

Poyopoyo Kansatsu Nikki is an adaptation from the manga by Ru Tatsuki and it will also be made into a game on the Nintendo 3DS in February 2012, where the player raises Poyo. The anime starts off with Moe Sato stumbling on a soft and round object on the ground. After falling asleep on it for a night she realizes that this soft thing is really a cat. Moe brings the cat into her family and raises it as a family member. In this show you will see how the family and the other people of the show react to Poyo. It is funny and silly and since it is also short, that makes it even better.


Nisenmonogatari:
Nisenmonogatari
Nisenmonogatari is the sequel to the series, Bakemonogatari, which is a light novel adaptation by Nisio Isin. If you liked Bakemonogatari, you will like Nisenmonogatari. The series is more of the same formula that viewers have experienced in the previous series. The anime is dialogue driven. There are a lot of face to face interactions and the background is often neglected… or should I say simplified.

While there is action here and there, it is very sporadic. The animation style is unique as it is a compilation of cut scenes. Because of how this show plays out, I always wondered what other people thought of it. Personally I got annoyed with all this talking. I started to feel it was reading me a visual audio book. Nisenmonogatari is not for everyone and unless you are prepared to listen to constant conversations with nothing much in between, you might want to stay away.


Recorder to Randoseru / Recorder & Randsell:
Record to Randoseru
Remember what I said earlier in the Poyopoyo Kansatsu Nikki view? Recorder to Randoseru (manga by Meme Higashiya) is one of the other five minutes or less anime that has surprised me this season. This is unheard of! I always go into these kinds of shows with no expectation.

The plot of this anime follows Atsushi Miyagawa and Atsumi Miyagawa. They seem normal until you find out that they are not what they look they are. Atsushi is an elementary school boy in an adult male body and Atsumi is a high school girl in an elementary school girl body. The utilization of this confusion is hilarious. Judging from what I have seen thus far, this show will be quite a joy to watch. Give it a try, if you do not like it, it only cost you five minutes of your life, right?


Zero no Tsukaima F:
Zero no Tsukaima F
It has been a while since I last saw Zero no Tsukaima and if you have never seen this series before you can expect magic, comedy, fan service and action. The characters are nicely designed and grow on the viewers. That is particularly the reason why I have been sticking around this series for so long. Zero no Tsukaima F is the fourth and final of the series and will continue from where the story left off in the last series; Princess no Rondo.

In F, the producers have introduced a twist to the master and familiar relationship. After certain events in the show occurred, Tiffania decides it is time for her to summon her own familiar so that she can contribute more to the cause. This is also after finding out that she too is a void mage.

The episode ends as Tiffiania summons and Saito falls off a building and right through the portal created by Tiffania’s summon. How did I know something like this was going to happen? Anyways, I definitely will continue to support this series. It has been a fun ride every season of this show that I have seen.


Brave 10:
Brave 10
Brave 10, like other anime, such as, Sengoku Basara and Samurai Deeper Kyo, get its inspiration from the group of ninjas known as the Ten Heroes of Sanada during the late Sengoku period and early Edo period of Japan. In Brave 10, our main character Saizo Kirigakure is a skilled samurai who does not trust lords. As he was traveling, he runs into a shrine maiden, Nami Isa, who is being chased by a bunch of Tokugawa Ieyasu’s ninjas. Nami pleads to Saizo for help.

When the ninjas decide that Saizo needs to die since he witnessed this event, Saizo takes action. When it was over, Nami convinces Saizo to be her bodyguard until she reaches Sanada Yukimura, a lord that her shrine sided with. It has been a while since I last saw a good slice ‘em up anime and so far, Brave 10 is quite good. The pace of the show moves very fast. It feels like there is a rush to get from scene to scene. The action is very nice and the plot is intriguing.

The producers reveal to the audience that Nami has a hidden power that other lords would want to have at their disposal, and the fact that Sanada Yukimura is collecting his group of ten heroes for a samurai showdown adds to that excitement. This title has also been licensed by NIS America, be sure to follow the release details in the coming months.


Kill Me Baby / Baby, Please Kill Me:
Kill Me Baby
From the moment I heard the opening theme, I was already expecting the worse. Kill Me Baby is an anime about the everyday life of Yasuna Oribe, the typical airhead and Sonya, the typical serious opposite of what her counterpart is. Add the fact that Sonya is an assassin and you get the comedic base for the majority of the show.

Kill Me Baby starts out okay. It was funny for a short moment. Then the comedy just got stupid, boring and repetitive. The kiddy styled animation contributed to its downfall as well. At the midpoint of the show, I was saying to myself how ironic the anime’s title was. I wanted someone to kill me, it was that bad of a train wreck of a show. Stay away if you want to keep your sanity.


Moretsu Pirates / Bodacious Space Pirates:
Moretsu Pirates
Marika Kato is a normal first year high school girl. She had lived her life with her mother without knowing anything about her father. One day, two mysterious travelers decides to visit Marika at her part time job at a maid café and when this incident was brought to her mother’s attention, everything else just falls into place.

You see, Ririka Kato (the mother) has not told Marika anything about her own past or who Marika’s father was. It was until the two mysterious travelers came to pay another visit to Marika’s house… that was when Marika was told about her father, Gonzaemon Kato who was the captain of the space pirate ship Bentenmaru. Since Marika’s father had passed away, the only rightful heir to the captaincy is the direct descendant of the previous captain, which means Marika is now thrust with the responsibility of Bentenmaru.

Morestu Pirates feels like it would be a very good adventure. The story thus far has been quite entertaining and with great character design and nice animations, I am excited at what the future holds for this series. Sentai Filmworks has licensed Moretsu Pirates, and digital and television releases will begin this February. Be on the look out!


High School DxD:
High School DxD
When the first line of the main character, Issei Hyodo, is that he wanted to fondle some boobs… you kind of know where this anime is going to go. High School DxD is this season’s ecchi humor, harem anime; there is no lack of boobs or girls on screen. Our protagonist is a pervert, and along with his friends, transferred to Komaou Private Academy, because it had recently been converted into a co-ed. With the number of females trumping over the number of males… Issei figured that he would have a chance at getting with a girl.

The problem is, his perverted ways has given him a bad rap in the school. One day as he walks home, a girl named Yuuma, approaches Issei and asked him to go out with her. Obviously he jumps at the chance and at the end of a date that they had, Yuuma asks Issei if he could die for her. Not knowing if it was a joke, Yuuma transforms into a fallen angel and kills Issei, yet Issei only thought about catching a glimpse of her naked boobs for a second or two.

As his life dwindles away, he wishes for a chance with Rias Gremory, a senpai who he had admired from the first time he laid eyes on her. Some more things happen and we end up learning that Rias Gremory is a demon and she had “revived” Issei to serve her. I think the story is not overly deep. The focus of High School DxD is obviously the fan service. If you like bouncing breasts in anime, then this piece here will satisfy your appetite. If you are looking for some spice of life drama, you will not find it here. I just hope this anime is not like Manyuu Hikenchou, where it gets excessive and to a point of disgust.


New Prince of Tennis:
New Prince of Tennis
I was never a fan of the original Prince of Tennis, although I have heard many good things about it from friends, my attitude towards this franchise might change after watching this new series. From what I have read this series is a manga adaptation and continues from where the original series left off. Ryoma Echizen starts off at the Grand Central Terminal in New York City and receives an invitation to the Under 17 tennis boot camp in Japan.

This boot camp consists entirely of high school tennis players from Japan but this time around, the U-17 decided to allow fifty middle school players to participate. Only the best will survive this vigorous training camp. The format is simple. The participants will have random matches to gauge which court or level a player will play on. The best players go to the lower numbered courts and the scrubs… you know, go to the high numbered courts.

The show is somewhat newbie friendly. I say that because even though I have not watched Prince of Tennis before, it felt like I have after they showed and featured the specialties of each middle school player in the Seigaku Academy tennis club during a challenge from some of the high school players. Of course, this does not mean that I am all of a sudden a Prince of Tennis guru; it just makes me feel less lost within the series. When it was all said and done, I enjoyed the time I had with this show, the drama, and the competition aspect of it were a real treat. It is no wonder why Prince of Tennis is one of the most favorite anime of the Japanese.


Area no Kishi / The Knight in the Area:
Area no Kishi
Football or soccer to some is the most popular sport in the world. In Area no Kishi or The Knight in the Area, we are shown what soccer means to a boy named, Kakeru Aizawa. Kakeru’s older brother, Suguru is a soccer prodigy. Kakeru is the manager of his brother’s soccer team. It is revealed that while Kakeru tells people that he is happy with his choice to be the team’s manager and has no urge to play soccer, he secretly practices in the evening at the park.

At this time it is also shown the reason for why Kakeru is hesitant to play soccer again. He had an injury to his left leg and does not want to embarrass himself or his brother. A gray alien challenges Kakeru at the park. Through their small match, Kakeru realizes that he does want to play soccer again.

Area no Kishi is one of those sports shows where the viewer will experience the good and the bad times of the character; the drama and the struggle with his love for the sport and dealing with his brother’s stardom. While I think this show has some good points, I do not believe I will follow it. The reason being that I feel the main character’s personality will get on my nerves and honestly, I am not a big fan of soccer.


Senki Zesshou Symphogear:
Senki Zesshou Symphogear
Anime that are based on singing are always a hit or miss for me. The successful cases are Macross Frontier and Guilty Crown, the not so successful cases are Uta no Prince-sama and The iDOLM@STER. Hopefully this anime will end up a success in my book. In Senki Zesshou Symphogear, Tsubasa Kazanari and Kanade Amo are idols known as ZweiWing and during a concert performance, aliens known as Noise, attack the venue. Tsubasa and Kanade bursts into action with their Symphogear armor to try and stop the Noise. When Hibiki Tachibana was wounded as a result of Kanade’s fighting, she decided to sacrifice herself to save Hibiki and put an end to the assault.

Two years pass , Tsubasa continued her ways as an idol by going solo and Hibiki was back to living a normal life. That is until she once again encounters the Noise. Her will to survive was influenced by Kanade’s last words telling her to not accept death. When she is finally cornered with nowhere to run, Hibiki sings the song that Kanade sung when she sacrificed herself. Suddenly Hibiki is engulfed in the power that Kanade had and the episode comes to an end there.

Senki Zesshou Symphogear is somewhat confusing at the beginning. The show brings us to present time where Hibiki’s best friend arrives at Hibiki’s grave, then we go back two years and witness what we did at the concert, then we go back to “present” time where Hibiki is alive and kicking with said friend! I did a double take when I saw that. The story will probably explain the gaps later on, so I am not worried. As for the action of Senki Zesshou Symphogear, I really disliked the screen shots of a special move followed by the move’s name. It is just super lame in my opinion. Other than that gripe though, this anime shows promise. The music was not bad and the story is quite intriguing.


Another:
Another
Horror mystery anime… you do not see this genre often, last one I can remember is Ghost Hunt and that was years ago. Anyways, Another is an anime that is based on Koichi Sakakibara and his experience after he had transferred from a private school in Tokyo to a public school called Yomiyama North middle school out in the middle of nowhere. On the day that he was supposed to introduce himself to his class, he suddenly fell ill and had to be hospitalized.

The scenes that occur after his hospitalization will make a viewer question what the heck is exactly going on. I know it is early and I should not expect the anime to tell me all the details, but at the end of the episode, I do not know what was going on. To simplify it, Koichi meets Misaki Mei (mysterious eye patch girl) in the elevator, and his interest in her sparked from that encounter. When he was healthy enough to attend school, you can see that the atmosphere of the class is not very lively.

It feels like they are reserved and hiding something even when they are casually having a conversation. It is then revealed that no one else can see Misaki Mei. In one scene her desk was clean when Mei was in the scene, in another scene it is shown that her desk is worn down and empty. At the end of the episode, Mei tells Koichi that the class associates his name with death… and that is it. So from what I have seen thus far, this show is complicated and the plot is dull. The characters are not great, but I will give credit to the animation for giving this show the mysterious and creepy feel. Personally, I would not waste my time with this anime.


Aquarion EVOL:
Aquarion EVOL
What kind of anime fan would I be if I did not love giant robots? A total fraud of an anime fan! Aquarion EVOL is the sequel to the series Genesis of Aquarion and to be honest, I have never seen it, although I have heard about it. Right from the start, I can tell this title will be very detailed. I loved the setting, the atmosphere of the world that they are in, the mecha designs are awesome and the scenery is quite beautiful.

Amata Sora is the protagonist of the story and our female lead is Mikono Suzushiro. Their meeting in the movie theatre that Amata works at is awkward, but works. I thought it was funny that Amata needs to put weights in his boots so that he does not fly away. Yes, he has the power to fly when he is excited. While on their mini date, the Abductors attack the town and in the chaos of it all, Amata decides to unleash his power of flight.

Several scenes later he ends up in Aquarion with Mikono. The Aquarion combination scene was exciting and the interesting twist to the combination was that it is forbidden for males and females to combine… or sync. So to see this vast display of power from Aquarion, it was an eye opener for all of the pilots. Aquarion EVOL is truly an astonishing piece visually, and the plot so far is very engaging. Giant robot anime fans, we have been waiting for this for way too long!


Daily Lives of High School Boys:
Daily Lives of High School Boys
The title pretty much explains what you will see from the piece; it is the Daily Lives of High School Boys. Often times we get anime that are geared towards the females for the slice of high school life genre, in this anime we get to see what the guys do… and it is somewhat accurate, emphasis on somewhat. Daily Lives of High School Boys focuses on comedy, and it is a hit or miss.

This show tries too hard to get a laugh, going to various extremes. Dressing up in your sister’s underwear and skirt to get inspiration for what it feels like? Not sure how many guys actually do that on their chill time. Anyways, Daily Lives of High School Boys is an okay comedy, it is split into chapters and does not have a main story that it follows… other than acting a fool in school and out of school.


Rinne no Lagrange / The Flower of Rin-ne:
Rinne no Lagrange / The Flower of Rin-ne
Madoka Kyouno is a member of the Jersey Club. The club’s activity focuses on helping others. As the only member of the club, she has her hands full with helping other clubs, and other classmates. One day she is approached by a girl in a strange outfit. Being the easy go lucky kind of person Madoka is, she immediately accepts her as her comrade, since Lan, the girl, helped Madoka by returning her clothes that she took off to save a drowning person earlier on.

Lan asks Madoka to help her by piloting a robot called Vox. Without any knowledge to how to pilot it, Madoka jumps in and wings it, all the while, trying to fight off an enemy robot that came from outer space. From my early view of this show, I thought it was entertaining. Madoka’s personality was attractive and a joy to see. Rinne no Lagrange seems to be a fun ride and I suggest you go over to VizAnime.com and watch the simulcasts! Also, if you are a fan of Megumi Nakagima you will enjoy the opening and closing themes.


Ano Natsu de Matteru / Waiting in the Summer:
Ano Natsu de Matteru
Ano Natsu de Matteru or Waiting in the Summer felt familiar. I felt like I have seen these characters before and have seen something like this before. Not to my surprise, I found out that this anime was produced by the same folks that were involved with the Onegai Teacher, and Onegai Twins franchises. That to me, my friends, is very good news. I loved Onegai Teacher, although not so enthralled with Onegai Twins.

Ichika Takatsuki is an alien (Mizuho Kazami look-alike, anyone?) and Kaito Kirishima is an average student who lives with his sister due to the passing of their parents. One thing that he remembered that his father always did was take a camcorder to film everything. Kaito decides to go out during the night to scout for some nice scenes to film. All of a sudden a bright light engulfs him and he dies.

Okay no he did not die, maybe he did, but whatever. He wakes up perfectly fine in his house. When he got to school, he notices that a new student had transferred in, that student was Ichika. Kaito immediately had an interest in Ichika and begins to film her. When his friend helps him out by asking whether Ichika would like to join Kaito’s movie project, she accepts. And that is the base of the show.

Ano Natsu de Matteru started off slow, the protagonist was boring, the show did not pick up until towards the end of the episode where Kaito is “talking” to himself, but really he had been talking aloud to Ichika. During the conversation, he suggests Ichika live in his house and she took on his offer. As she gets out of the bath, Kaito faints and is affected by some kind of virus. When Ichika heard him collapse she rushed out of the bath and proceeds to save him. This involved her giving him CPR. At the same time, his sister returns home to witness a naked girl making out with her brother. This confusion felt very familiar with the Onegai series and that is what makes the franchise so great.

The smart mix of fan service and comedy is truly entertaining and definitely worth my time. This is ecchi humor at its best. Sentai Filmworks has licensed this series for U.S. release and it is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.


Papa no Iukoto wo Kikinasai / Listen to Me, Girls. I Am Your Father:
Papa no Iukoto wo Kikinasai
Papa no Iukoto wo Kikinasai or Listen to Me, Girls. I Am Your Father was a light novel adaptation to manga adaptation to now an anime. The story focuses on Yuuta Segawa, a college student. His sister has remarried with another guy and Yuuta decided to move out and live on his own, kind of keeping his distance from the newly formed family, which consisted of a total of three children.

His college life was going smoothly until he gets kidnapped by the Street Observation Research Society. In the club, he was first tricked into believing that he got drunk and did something bad to Oda Raika, the sexy character of the show. Raika is the kind of character who has the body, but a lack of personality. She does not show her emotions easily and does not connect with many people. But somehow, a friendship formed between Raika and Yuuta and Yuuta began to fall for her.

The way the anime was going, I was wondering what the deal was with the title. It does not sound anything like it. Then it is shown that Yuuta’s sister has asked Yuuta to come over to her house to take care of her kids while she and her husband go attend to some matters. What happens after that is not shown yet, but you can figure out what happens if you just piece everything together.

Yuuta ends up having to take care of his sister’s kids and how will that turn out? How will this twist affect his progress with Raika? There will certainly be some amusing times with Papa no Iukoto wo Kikinasai. From what I have seen thus far, I am definitely hooked to this. The twist is appealing and the characters are attractive. The Street Observation Research Society kind of felt like Genshiken. The combination of this weird club in Yuuta’s college and his situation with his family is entertaining. I can just envision all those weird situations he is going to get himself into.

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