Spring season kicked off this past weekend and so far, it is shaping up to be pretty good. I may be adding a 12th series to the list, Nichijou, which I had missed probably because I didn’t look at the description very well on any of the charts, haven’t been on /a/ in over a week, blahblahblah. Good thing for Twitter, eh? Anyway, here is the breakdown of what released over the weekend.
Madhouse’s version of X-Men reminds me much of the Ultimate X-Men series in many respects, it’s darker, grittier, and has the potential to be pretty badass as far as Marvel’s interest is concerned. They stuck close to the original team, Wolverine, Cyclops, Storm, Beast, and Professor X, only they opened up the episode with Jean Grey going Phoenix, so it looks like we’ll be flying without Jean in this series, as far as we know. A Japanese character comes into play next, as the end of the episode sees the team heading to the Tohoku region to find her, as she “went missing” and even Professor X and Cerebo can’t find her.
My initial impressions were a little less than what I got here, and I am okay with that. I felt the introduction of a “token Japanese character” might chip away at something that is very much based on this side of the pond, but Madhouse beat my expectations in the first episode. Despite that, my expectations going into the next few episodes will be to see how this character works with the established names, and what direction they plan to go with the story.
TLDR Watch This: You grew up on the X-Men comics, cartoons, and Marvel universe in general
TLDR Don’t Watch This: You are a purist.
Sub Group: Commie
First Rating: 7
Hanasaku Iroha opens up to a very eccentric girl in a not-so-eccentric world, in what reminds me somewhat of the first episodes of Toradora and Kanamemo. Ohana Matsumae is the eccentric girl whose mother is some sort of writer and converses daily with her best friend Kouichi Tanemura. Then all of the sudden, her mother decides to run off with a guy and sends her to an entirely new town with her mother who owns an inn, only Ohana isn’t welcomed by her grandmother as family, but another employee of the inn. Together with other fellow employees she starts out a new life that she intends to play somewhat according to her dreams.
I went into this thinking that at the very least, I might get a Kanamemo-style series set at an inn instead of a newspaper distributor, and honestly, it’s every bit of that and more. They introduced pretty much every major character from the get-go, and even established the main conflict of the story right there. Plus when you factor that this series is estimated to go for 26 episodes, it sounds like it has potential for all sorts of win this season.
TLDR Watch This: If you like an actual story in your anime, and a female MC who isn’t afraid to get her shit slapped
TLDR Don’t Watch This: If you took offense to the latter above statement there.
Sub Group: Horrible
First Rating: 8
Dog Days is practically a animated shout-out to every RPG made in the last 15 years, including Chocobos from Final Fantasy seeming to be the preferred method of transportation. Main character Shinku Izumi is brought into a world that goes to war for fun, as the “new hero” the Kingdom of Biscotti is looking for to save their face from what looks to be a rival kingdom of cats, lead by Leonmitchelli Galette des Rois. Our “hero” all too willingly accepts his new role, mostly because he is an exercise freak, and from Britain.
This series is a hodge-podge of established ideas, ranging from Asobi ni Iku Yo, Zero no Tsukiama, Nanoha StrikerS, and others I’m sure. At first I thought it was a real war, and then when I found out it was Japan’s idea of American Gladiators, I laughed my ass off. Still, the premise seems worthy of watching and the visuals are pretty good. The RPG-ish elements of it actually remind me more of Dokapon Kingdom more than FF, but only because I feel like the MC was pretty much brought in, handed some gear, and told to SAVE THE DAY! If it remained consistent with DK, he’d get creamed in episode 3.
TLDR Watch This: RPG-style anime, dog and cat girls, Leonmitchelli
TLDR Don’t Watch This: RPG-style anime, dog and cat boys
Sub Group: Ayako-Himatsubushi
First Rating: 8
Nichijou cannot be understood, only harnessed, as some sort of raw form of energy that the capable hands of KyoAni only can control.
Nah I’m just shitting you. But it really is pretty weird.
Subtitled My Ordinary Life, the series is in a nutshell, KyoAni’s random slice-of-life series that draws from many series that preceded it. Lucky Star, Pani Poni Dash, Azumanga, you can probably draw a parallel to anything, and I draw more towards PPD than anything. PPD for me was more about characters than story, as there was little to none of the such. I expect this series to pretty much entertain without thinking about too much else, and really, that is fine by me.
TLDR Watch This: If you aren’t sure which side of the chocolate cornet you’d eat.
TLDR Don’t Watch This: If your tripname is Yotsuba.C
Sub Group: Horrible
First Rating: 7
Airing this week is Steins;Gate, A Channel, and Sket Dance along with the final episode of Yumekui Merry and GOSICK Episode 12. Madoka continues to be a toss-up in the air, as of yet I have not heard when the final two episodes will air, and SHAFT has disappointed me so.