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Edition 24: Fall 2012 Anime Releases

» Articles, Features, The Watcher (Previews) | posted by Wai Yung (Wayne) Chim on 10/13/2012 [Discuss]

When it comes to K, there is something oddly familiar, but yet different. While watching it, I felt I have seen something like this before, but this piece manages to change my perspective fairly quickly. K starts out with our main protagonist, Yashiro Isano just at school bumming other students for food. Surprisingly, every student seems accepting and offers him pieces from their bento. After a few calming scenes, where I started to wonder, “If this was all there is to this anime?” A member (Kukuri Yukizome) of the student council and secret admirer of Shiro, sends him off to run some errands for the council. Now this is where this ordinary, peaceful day becomes a nightmare for Shiro.

All of a sudden he finds himself being chased by members of the Red clan. When Shiro is finally cornered in an alley, a character by the name of Kuro Yatogami comes out of nowhere and “saves” Shiro. In the following scenes, it is shown to the viewers why Shiro is being targeted, as a video of someone resembling him maniacally claims himself to be the colorless king and proceeds to shoot the person (a Red clan member) holding the recorder, is displayed everywhere in the city.

K is a strange anime. There are different aspects of the show that I like, such as, the psychic abilities, the setting, and the animation. But I am having some reservations while I was watching this show and it is certainly not due to the fact that there are a lot of pretty boys featured here… okay maybe it is lol. Anyways, if you like action and supernatural powers anime based in a somewhat present looking setting, you should enjoy it. K runs 13 episodes long and is simulcasted on; there is no excuse to not at least check out a few episodes.

Zetsuen no Tempest:
Zetsuen no Tempest
This anime is the first of this season that really got me excited. Could it be the homage paid to the works of William Shakespeare by this show’s characters? Or could it be the magic and plot behind this piece? Whatever it is, I definitely enjoyed what I saw. While Zetsuen no Tempest begins like a regular high school life anime, it progressively lets you know that it is far from it. The show had a Guilty Crown kind of feel, where people are being infected by a disease that turns them into metal statues. This illness if we could call it that, is caused by the Kusaribe clan’s plan to resurrect the Tree of Zetsuen.

After some dramatic scenes from the introduction, our main character Yoshino Takigawa is paired back up with his friend Mahiro Fuwa and from that point on, Yoshino is briefed on what is happening to their world. Mahiro is the brash character of the two and he is put into place by his sister Aika. Aika along with his parents were killed, which then lead Mahiro to set out and find the murderer himself, as the police were inadequate.

On one fateful day, Mahiro finds a message and a wooden doll in a bottle and proceeds to follow the instructions written on the message. It is there where he is connected to Hakaze Kusaribe, the magician of beginnings and the ex-leader of the Kusaribe clan, it is also there where he gains his magic power to help him on his quest to stop the resurrection of the Tree of Zetsuen and ultimately find his sister’s killer. Zetsuen no Tempest has the potential to be great. The action scenes were good and the plot certain twists and turns to give you a surprise. You really should not miss it.

Girls und Panzer:
Girls und Panzer
Girls und Panzer runs a little like Upotte. While the girls here are not actual guns, they are weapons in a sense. In a world where sensha-do (art of battle vehicles) is accepted as a traditional art form for girls, our main character Miho Nishizumi is not particularly fond of it. That is the reason why she enrolled in Oarai Girl’s high school, where sensha-do does not exist in its school curriculum… Or so she thought.

On the day that she finally made some friends, the student council drops a bomb on the school by proclaiming that sensha-do is back and they are gunning for the national championship. After taking some time to deliberate whether she should participate in the class, her decision to ultimately join was influenced by her friends. And so the revival of sensha-do at Oarai high school begins!

While this anime is just starting out, I cannot envision where it will ultimately end up. The formula that makes up this show just feels awkward. I do not know how girls in tanks can be exciting or entertaining. Let alone making the whole show about tanks in a competition style environment. One thing is for certain though, do not mistake Girls und Panzer with Pumpkin Scissors as far as tank battles are concerned.

Little Busters:
Little Busters
Little Busters is one of those anime derived from a romance visual novel and is about a group of childhood friends whom are about to finally go their separate ways as their leader of the group, Kyousuke Natsume will graduate high school next year. Our main character is Riki Naoe. His childhood was tough, his parents past away and he was left by himself, until a group of kids calling themselves Little Busters came along and made him the fifth member. Ever since that day, all of them have been together; going on adventures and doing things that might seem stupid to some, but righteous in their eyes.

This series will span 26 episodes and I fail to see how the fun can last that long. Little Busters feel like the typical high school life anime where a group of friends are going for their last hoorah before everything is over… it just really is not all that interesting to me. There is some comedic relief, you will get a few chuckles here and there, but overall it is an average anime at best. You will not miss much by skipping this.

To-Love Ru ~ Darkness:
To Love Ru ~ Darkness
Ecchi humor fans rejoice, one of the best of this genre is back again and it is not shy to go even further than the bar its predecessors have set. Since the series was left off at Motto To-Love Ru back in 2010, nothing much has changed. Yuuki Rito is still the main character, he is still in love with Sairenji Haruna, and yes, he still has not confessed his love to her. On the other side, there is Lala Deviluke, the alien princess whom he has confessed his love for.

Now things are not that simple this time around. Not when Lala’s sister Momo has taken a liking to Rito and she is also set on creating a harem for Rito; with her included of course. There is an actual story that this show is trying to convey… but honestly? Anyone watching this show really is not in it for the serious stuff. I am just saying. Anyways, Sentai-Filmworks has licensed this show for the States and is due for a release sometime in 2013. Be sure to check it out if you are a fan of the show and genre.

Hayate no Gotoku: Can’t Take My Eyes Off You:
Hayate no Gotoku: Can't Take My Eyes Off You
Hayate no Gotoku: Can’t Take My Eyes Off You is the sequel to the long original series. It has been several years since that series came to an end, but not much time has passed inside the anime’s world; only nine months. For those who are not familiar with the series, Hayate has never had much luck in life; the final straw was when his parents left him with a load of debt to pay off. One evening he meets Sanzenin Nagi and his life changed from then on as he accepts her offer to be her butler, as he pays off his debt to her.

For those who are familiar with the series, nothing much has changed. Nagi is still as NEET as ever. When every part of her life felt boring, she suddenly catches a documentary pertaining to aliens on the television and begins to fantasize about visiting Nevada the site of Area 51. When Maria and Hayate both try to persuade Nagi to not go to Nevada, she runs out of the house and similar to the first series, she is kidnapped and saved later by Hayate. But to end the show with a surprise, a girl by the name of Tsugumi Ruri claims to be Nagi’s little sister!

Sometimes I wonder, why I continued to watch this anime all through its first season. It was not great, matter of fact it was an average anime with the same old theme episode to episode. Now with this series, there is not much of a change to the tune. It is still about Hayate serving Nagi and saving her whenever she is in trouble, as well as, Nagi acting all tsundere. Sure, there are new characters to cause some drama, but overall the show moves at the same pace. It gets kind of boring.

Ixion Saga: Dimension Transfer:
Ixion Saga: Dimension Transfer
Ixion Saga is an anime that is based on the video game by Capcom. The show revolves around Kon Hokaze an avid gamer. One night as he is playing the game, he is approached by a female player. If a character is a gamer in an anime, we can assume the stereotypical attributes for him. He is still a virgin and he rarely comes into contact with the opposite sex. In this case, he falls in line with all those attributes.

The female player proceeds to asks him for help and promises that if he agrees to assist her, she will give something to him that she holds very dear. With his mind in the gutter already, he jumps on the request without knowing what exactly she is asking him to do and is immediately transported to another world known as Mira.

When he arrives at Mira he makes an impact of a situation and joins Princess Ecarlate and her crew; Mariandale a cross dresser and Sainglain a well reputable swordsman. I do not want to ruin the things that will occur in the show. All you have to know is Ixion Saga is a cannot miss title; it is hilarious and a pleasure to watch. I liked the fantasy aspect and the fact that it is a sword play styled anime. I am definitely sold on this show and cannot wait to see what else this piece has to offer.

Magi: The Labyrinth Of Magic:
Magi: The Labyrinth Of Magic
Honestly, I did not know much about Magi. I took a look at the show and saw the setting of it and was kind of turned off by it. An anime with an Arabian theme? What is this Aladdin from Disney? Of course, whenever I make quick assumptions, I end up eating my words at the end. Magi is an anime interpretation of “One Thousand and One Nights,” also known as “Arabian Nights.”

The show’s protagonist is Alibaba, a young man who is striving to be rich, by exploring a dungeon called Amon. These dungeons have been popping out of the ground randomly and is said to hold unimaginable treasures. Now when there are treasures, there are risks as well. There are dangers inside these dungeons and some adventurers do not make it back out at all.

In comes Aladdin, a kid with a special flute. When Aladdin is introduced in the story, he has the happy go lucky personality. Immediately he gets Alibaba in trouble with Alibaba’s job. It is also at that point we see the fake life that Alibaba lives. In order to survive and not make any enemies, he turns the other eye and acts like a cowardly dog. This act of Alibaba continues to persist until finally he was fed up with himself, and could not place human lives before some wine that was being offered to some other lord. His defiance was much to the delight of Aladdin, which then leads Aladdin to summon his djinn friend, Ugo, to save Alibaba.

Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic was quite entertaining throughout. The story tugs on the viewers emotions, and incite anger, and joy, amongst others. From the looks of it, there will be a deep story and it should be a good show to catch this Fall. Also, Magi has been licensed by Aniplex USA for release in North America.

Sakurasou no Pet na Kanajo:
Sakurasou no Pet na Kanajo
Sorata Kanda is a normal student who lived in the normal dorm with other normal students. This life of normalcy is changed when he picks up a stray white cat and decides to take care of it. Since pets are not allowed in the normal dorms, his only other option was to move to the other dorm for special “troubled” students. The first thought that runs into any viewers mind is, “troubled students, meaning delinquents?” That idea is far from the reality. Sakurasou has a bad rap, because the people who live there are not normal; they have some kind of skill that separates them apart. Take Misaki Kamiigusa for an example. She is creative and creates her own anime shows in this series.

Anyways, Sorata is not happy about his life at the Sakurasou. Ever since he started to dorm there, his goal was to get back to the normal dorm as soon as Hikari (the cat), gets adopted or something… but his luck with stray cats never ceases to amaze as his collection of stray cats borderlines hoarding. One day Chihiro Sengoku, the teacher and resident of Sakurasou tells Sorata to pick up her cousin from the train station and this is the point where he meets, Mashiro Shiina.

Shiina looked quite normal at first, but there is more that meets the eye. When the next morning came, Sengoku told Sorata that he is now responsible for Shiina. Wondering if there was any extra meaning he proceeds to wake up Shiina for school. In the next scenes we get to see what the real deal is with Shiina. She has the talent for art and draws manga, but she has total lack of self care. She is unable to do anything without being told; she is like a child in that regards and now Sorata has a new “pet” to care for in a sense.

I enjoyed watching Sakurasou no Pet na Kanajo, it was amusing. I liked the romance and comedic aspects of this show. As I was watching this anime, I cannot help but think about the other “sou,” Hinatasou to be exact. While nothing can replace Love Hina as one of the top romantic comedies, Sakurasou no Pet na Kanajo will fill in nicely. I am all in on this one.

Ao no Exorcist (Blue Exorcist) is that you? Wait no? This is some other guy that plays with blue fire? Is this some kind of cheap rip off? Hopefully not. Code:Breaker is a manga by Akimine Kamijyo and is adapted into anime by Kinema Citrus, it is also licensed by FUNimation for release in North America. The show begins with Sakurakouji Sakura riding on a bus and as she is gazing out the window she sees a guy surrounded by a group of people lit up in blue flames. Immediately she alerts the police only to see no evidence of the burnt bodies as they arrived at the scene. The only thing left from the incident she witnessed was the charred ground, which the police casually put off as fire that was created and left by the homeless folks in the area.

In the next morning, Sakura, a popular student amongst the student body is put into a peculiar situation. The guy that she saw from the bus window is the new transfer student! Rei Ogami is an immediate hit amongst the female students and when Sakura takes interest in Ogami, because of the incident… the students gets the wrong idea. This is an example of the light moments that this show contains.

On the darker side, Rei Ogami serves the government by being a Code Breaker or in another term, an assassin. In this world that is overrun by corruption and the police turns a blind eye towards a gang known as G-Falcon, Ogami is a member of a secret organization that specializes in “taking out the trash.” Code:Breaker was decent. It was not anything out of this world extraordinary, but it is adequate enough to pass the time with. I did enjoy watching this show, and it looks like this would be a good one as well. I just hope each episode will not turn out to be a Rei Ogami barbeque special, in which, he just grabs people’s heads and torches them.

Well well, if it is not an anime from Production I.G. I did not have to prepare for this show ahead of time to realize they were behind PSYCHO-PASS, just by looking at the setting. PSYCHO-PASS is based on a world that resembles that of Ghost in the Shell. And in this futuristic world, you do not have to commit a crime to be prosecuted. You just need to have the criminal intent. Technology has advanced so much that the system that oversees the world is able to now quantify an individual’s mental state in separate scores. If that criminal coefficient gets to a certain level, an individual can be taken out by any means necessary as constituted by the system.

Right from the get go, we get put into the controversy of such a system as rookie Akane Tsunemori is immediately tossed into the fire having to work with a group of enforcers. Enforcers are people who have high criminal coefficients, but they use their skills to take out other criminals. Each group of enforcer is lead by an inspector to ensure everything goes smoothly. Each person of the task force is equipped with a “Dominator,” a weapon that will scan criminal intent and unlock certain features as the numbers change. For an example, a normal civilian will not be harmed by the Dominator as the weapon will be locked. If this civilian’s level rises, the weapon will release and open up paralyze mode and if the level rises even more, the weapon will unlock the eliminate mode… you can guess what that mode will do.

Back to the controversy, Akane Tsunemori is a newbie and because she is fresh from the academy her views on the situation are by the book. In the case that they are working on, they are tasked with stopping a kidnapper who has taken a hostage. When the opportunity arises, the enforcers tried to paralyze the criminal. When this did not work, it leads to a chase. As the kidnapper is dragging his hostage around, her mental stress state rises and she too becomes open for judgment by the Dominator. And this is where Akane comes in. She did not agree with eliminating the hostage even though the hostage did nothing wrong, other than being put through all the torture by the kidnapper. But the psycho-pass system did not see it that way. In the end, Akane stops Shinya Kogami, the main enforcer that this story follows, by firing her Dominator at him, to paralyze him of course.

PSYCHO-PASS is great. It is a dark themed anime with blood and gore just at the right levels. Egoist is also back with a new theme song as well, for those who have seen Guilty Crown, you know what I am talking about. This anime is definitely a must see for any anime fan. The characters are intriguing, the action is remarkable, the plot is awesome and the concept is superb. FUNimation has licensed PSYCHO-PASS and is available for streaming as well.

Seems like FUNimation is on a roll. Robotics;Notes is another series licensed by them for release in North America. It is also another Production I.G work and it feels like they can never go wrong right? I have a dilemma here. This show seriously put me to sleep. After being wide awake for PSYCHO-PASS, by the half way mark of Robotics;Notes I was out. Is this a sign of bad things to come for this anime? I do not know, but I wanted to give it a fair shot and re-watched it again next morning.

I have always had an issue with these “;” shows. The same happened with Chaos;Head, and Steins;Gate. Robotics;Notes starts out very slow. We are dropped into the world of Akiho Senomiya and Kaito Yashio the only members left of the robotics club of their school. Kaito is an avid gamer and it feels like nothing in the world inspires him much anymore. All he does is play on his tablet. Akiho on the other hand is an overly optimistic girl who envisions the revival and success of the robotics club. Her goal is to finish what the club started years ago, the giant robot, Gunvarrel.

With a robotics tournament and the club’s budget allocation talks coming up, Kaito and Akiho are given one last chance to prove the robotics club is worth it to continue to exist in the school. If they fail to place first in the tournament, the club will disband. That is the gist of the story here and it does not sound all too exciting. Even after re-watching it, I was bored. The dialogues are strenuous and feel like it is the same tune playing over and over a la Akiho’s overly excited voice and Kaito’s “I don’t really care” attitude. Hopefully it gets better once new characters are introduced and the club finally gets down and dirty to get their giant robot project going.

Suki-tte Ii na yo (Say, “I Love You”):
Suki-tte Ii na yo
When she was a young child, Mei Tachibana was betrayed by her friends; framed as the person who caused the class rabbit’s death, Mei became a loner. Her group of friends abandoned her, which led her to follow a school life without seeking friendship. One fateful day, Mei bumps into the school’s popular male student, Yamato Kurosawa. While Yamato’s friend told him to leave her, Yamato became particularly interested in Mei because of her personality.

Let us be honest, we all know how this anime will play out. Guy breaks girl’s leave me alone barrier. Girl starts changing her perspective. Guy and girl start dating, etc. The formula does not change much in these romance anime, there may be some variations, but the gist is the same. That in no way means this show is not good, because I did have a great time watching it. This anime has a nice group of characters and you will enjoy their interaction throughout; I also liked the way the show is animated. If you are looking for a romance anime this fall, this is one you need to have a look at.

Tonari no Kaibutsu:
Tonari no Kaibutsu
While we are at it, here is another high school romance anime. Tonari no Kaibutsu follows the life of Shizuku Mizutani and Haru Yoshida. Shizuku is a girl who has no interest in anything else besides school and studying, while Haru is a delinquent and has the ability to attain top grades with no effort put towards studying. These two characters are like oil and water; they do not mix.

When Haru is suspended from school after an incident involving seniors of the school, he continues to not attend even after his suspension period was over. This was when their class teacher stepped in and tasked Shizuku to go over to Haru’s and give him some class handouts. Upon seeing Shizuku, Haru immediately pronounces her his friend and sticks to her like glue.

This show will most likely be about the way Haru will influence Shizuku down the line to care about other things in life and not just to study. This friendship between them will also cause Haru to act less out of control and be more obedient towards high school life. After watching this, I was surprised that there are two romance titles that are truly entertaining this season.

Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai:
Chuunibyou DemoKoi ga Shitai
Eighth Grade Syndrome, that is what some kids are infected with in this anime’s world. The Eighth Grade Syndrome is not a deadly disease or anything. It is just a condition where the person affected believes they are living in another world, having magical powers and on an adventurous mission to accomplish whatever they have to in their own fantasy land.

Yuuta Togashi recovered from chuunibyou, those days are the most embarrassing of his life and he wanted to leave it all behind by attending a high school that was far away from his middle school; so that chances of people who might have known him in middle school are slim to none. Everything in his life was fine, until he meets Rikka Takanashi, a classmate who is suffering from chuunibyou. She believes she has magical powers and tries to get Yuuta to come back as the dark warlord that he claimed to be.

I thought this show was cute, and you know those eye patch girls are serious business in the anime world. I would not recommend this as something everyone should watch. Personally I will not be pursuing this show as it is just not enticing enough for me. Chunnibyou is just weird. Not the show, but the syndrome. Well, thinking about it, I guess this show could be considered weird as well for having characters that act “out of their own character.”

Onii-chan Dakedo Ai Sae Areba Kankeinai yo ne!:
Onii-chan Dakedo Ai Sae Areba Kankeinai yo ne!
This show is for those who are into the onii-chan complex. Akiko Himenokoji is the “twin sister” of Akito Himenokoji, after living apart from each other for many years due to certain circumstances, she finally moves back to live with Akito for school. Things start getting awkward when Akiko, on their first night together, waits impatiently in the bath hoping that her brother will come in to have a look. In a shock of disappointment, she demands that he peek when she goes back into the bath again. Now Akito does not have any interest in that kind of thing. He views his sister Akiko, as his sister and obviously does not listen to Akiko at all.

Akiko does not have any qualms about her brother complex and takes pride in trying to seduce Akito any chance she gets. There is a twist in the story that will get revealed later on, but as of right now, Oniai is just about a devoted little sister who has a serious brother complex, trying to seduce him and block other girls from advancing on him.

Aside from the brother complex aspect of this anime, this show is just another romantic comedy with a harem of girls fighting for one guy. I am not sure why we continue to see types of onii-chan love anime. It is awkward and the thought of it is plain disturbing. Anyways, FUNimation has licensed this piece and is currently streaming it from their website.

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