Undercover Lover

The toughest part about each season is having to make up the WatchRanking chart each week, because so many shows are so many ways of good, and it’s hard to assign a numerical value to them. Despite all that, the other half of premieres rolled past, and here is your abridged view on some real gems this season. I did not have access to my system, so I had to pilfer some screenshots from elsewhere on the internet, so hat tip to Random Curiosity for that, who also reviewed those series too, if you’re interested in multiple angles.

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Our Lady of the Bazooka

Back again in what will likely be the last post of the year unless I squeak one in before. Lot of things to cover, so let’s not waste your time.

I mean seriously, she HAD to have known that shit. What a Haruhi.

You're a sly one... Ya-zor-a~

After a rabble-rousing eleventh episode of Boku ha Tomodachi ga Sukunai we finally figure out who his childhood friend really was. What? You knew already? I mean, they totally didn’t give it away several episodes ago? Well what the fuck man, where was I? Surely I jest, I knew this too, however I was unprepared for her to Haruhi her hair to fit the part. Haruhi is a verb now. FYI. Not sure how this show is going to end, but frankly, I hope it gets more. I’ve certainly enjoyed every episode.

*drums*

Maybe you should have been Sixth and been facing the other way.

The odd thing about Mirai Nikki is when it tries to be funny in a serious manner, it’s rather terrible in its execution. But that is easily forgivable in Yuno’s crazy-ass methods of shooting first, dragging Yuuki, and asking questions later. Now there is some temporary truce with Ninth, and I see her sticking around for awhile in this show, at least until the end where Yuuki kills everyone, becomes God, and brings everyone back. Cause you know, that’s how they roll. Maybe.

RIDE THE LIGHTNING

BATTLE NUN

Things continue to heat up in Shakugan no Shana Final as Shana and Co. head into the gate in search of Darth Yuuji and his followers, while Sophie and the army of Flame Haze continue to mount their attack on the castle. Fortunately, we get to see her in action quickly as she removes Decaberia from action before he could take out their main force, but realizes quickly the enemy reinforcements they thought would be late to the party, show up early. Meanwhile, Keisaku and Margery share an intimate (read: LEVEL UP) moment before we see her get ready to get back in action soon, which is awesome because the party was missing its Druid. I moved Shana up in the ranks because rightfully, this shit is getting good, the dull wait was worth it.

INNOVATOR!

I LOVE YOU~ I TRUST YOU~ whoops, wrong show

Gundam AGE geared up and down as the crew handed the UE another loss, but at the hands of losing Don Boyage and many of his forces. Still, enough data was gathered for the AGE system to make a speed version of the Gundam and put it on par with the suit that faced off against Flit, likely piloted by Decil Galette. The ship docks at another colony to meet the man who would be helping coordinate the attack on the UE nest. Flit meets Yurin again, whom was adopted by the man, but was short lived when Flit and the crew had to leave again. I suspect she, like Decil, have some sort of Coordinator/Newtype/Innovator power that allows them to sense their surroundings, and Flit likely as well. Still, I’m ever curious how this show will progress, because of the character listings on MAL for his son and grandson. I assume there will be timeskips at some point.

I mean seriously. Who doesn't like kittens?

Naww dog, that ain't true... actually yeah it is.

Working continues the crazy adventures at Wagnaria with more Inami-style hijinks, this time centered around her text conversations with Takanashi. Clearly kittens make for a good ice-breaker, much to Izumi’s disarray, as she doesn’t want him to leave so he can continue taking care of her. Also, Yamada tries to claim she can take care of herself, but that is laughable at best. The manager tries to cross-dress for snacks, but her tits do not allow for it, and Soma almost gets Inami-PAUNCH’ed, but Sato intercepts it with Yamada’s bear. Just another day at work.

Everyone is clapping for you. In your head. They're actually dead.

Congratulations, Shinji

I’ve read a lot of Twitter and blog traffic and most folks don’t like Guilty Crown. I’m going to have to be that guy who begs to differ, in a couple ways. I’ll start off by saying that it is not Ghost in the Shell: Stand Along Complex. Not even close. There are similar plot elements, but the characters are too flimsy and one-dimensional to compare to the fuckwin awesomesauce that is GitS:SAC. To compare it to Code Geass, is a better comparison, but still not quite the mark. CG had better characters that often times would be unpredictable and change the story with it. Guilty Crown has been fairly predictable from the start, and even with it’s latest TWEEST involving the stone that started it all, I can only imagine this is going to bump Shu in the direction he should have been going from the start. Despite all that, I actually am enjoying this show and what its worth, despite the criticism.

I CAN SPEAK FOREVER

I CAN SEE FOREVER

I often forget to watch UN-GO because I keep forgetting to add it to my torrent bookmarks, so it ends up being the last thing to watch, and after you watch 10 other shows, fatigue sets in and I end up saving them for another day. Despite all that, it is a fantastic if not puzzling show at times just trying to follow what is going on. The introduction of another supernatural character and its handler kinda threw me for a loop, but it’s to be expected. In a way, this show reminds me a lot of last season’s Dantalian no Shoka in many ways. Hopefully it doesn’t mimic the same though.

Don't know if want

Can you put this pill up her ass? No? I'll do it.

What makes a show like Ben-To hard to rank each week is that it is fantastic, but there is so much fantastic happening ahead of it. Rather annoying. After the twins beat the Ice Witch last week, she ends up getting sick from the ordeal and misses class, while Satou tries to help care for her. They agree to get her well enough for Grilled Eel at the local store where she plans to challenge the twins to a rematch, only to make herself sicker from leaving the A/C on. Meanwhile Kaneshiro finds out what really creamed the twins three years ago and races back to warn them of it occuring again, as he steps off a train in the final scene of the episode.

Those MIT boys

Me either

Meat, snow, and the secret of Chizuru’s power are on the docket for this week’s Ika Musume and they were pretty solid episodes. I actually enjoyed the snow episode the most, finding it hilarious that they would combat the hot with the snow, and the snow with the hot. Also Ika in winter clothes was rather humorous. I’m surprised Cindy was surprised though at the display, being the head of the nerds and all.

FOR THE PLOT

You do? You certainly did a half-hearted job of unzipping your jacket there.

Finally, on the bottom, as usual, is Maken-ki. I’m afraid introducing the “big bad” in the last episode is just poor taste for a show that had a sliver of promise as a proper show, but then I discarded the notion of it having a plot and watched it for the fanservice from the second episode. My hope though is it gets a DVD/BD release and remove some of those goddamn sun rays and blurred lines so I enjoy my tits and ass proper. Jesus Japan, have some respect!

Last episodes of the season are this week or next week, depending on the holiday schedule. Regardless I will probably not have another post up until either next week, or the week after into 2012, depending on how shit stacks. I have this week off from work though, so I will be doing the Winter 2011/2012 Preview Chart soon. A few shows from this season carry over, so I should have a fairly full roster again next season.

The beat goes on.

Master and Student

With the holidays and other things work and home I didn’t get to watching two weeks worth of anime until this weekend, and even then I crammed it into the evenings after helping out with moving office furniture. But fear not, I got your back, everything covered here except UN-GO, which I’ll get to tomorrow, and this week’s Ben-to and Gundam AGE, but I’ll recap the previous. Going in random order:

About damn time. It's go time.

Guess who's back. Back again. Shana's back. Guess you're dead.

The wait is over for those of us impatient through the story building, Shakugan no Shana Final heats up as Wilhelmia and Co. find the secret sneak attack into Seireiden with the goal of collapsing the barrier around the castle, destroying the portal, and rescuing Shana. This is the first real action scene for Khamsin Nbh’w, who was seen in the first season, along with Rebecca Reed. Fortunately, Shana’s strong will revives the sword and the spirit within to return to her and regain her powers. About fucking time. Let’s rip some shit up and set Darth Yuji vs. Shana into motion.

and not all over the wall

Well at least he got to the bed.

Haganai continues to be the best show this season, haters gonna hate. Every scene between Meat and Kukuku is adorable and priceless, and Rika is my idea of fun. A bit disappointed in no Yozora swimsuit edition for the pool episode, but perhaps the beach will nullify that.

Never trust the head chef

Working is just a barrel of non-stop awesome, seriously, with Yachiyro and the cell phone, Yamada doing Yamada things, Inami, and poor Popura, it’s never a dull moment at Wagnaria. Ever.

That Sanae.

...were set up to stalk Ika-chan? Yeuuuuuuuup.

Ika Musume squiddin’ around, what would she do without her shrimp? For that matter, what would Sanae do without her Ika? Probably molest other little girls.

Or just pierce the Martian Successors. Wait...

PIERCE THE HEAVENS

As I mentioned before yesterday, Gundam AGE plays off to me like an interchangeable model with a billion different parts. We all know Gundam exists to print money for Bandai, in models, and no doubt the base Gundam will be sold with lots of snap-on parts for it sold separately. Essentially Gundam has become Figma, and I’m not sure if I like that. That said though, the series has gotten pretty good, even if they’re still up to no major plot point, other than Beardsly McTurban striking backroom deals for warships to take on his foes. Emily also wasn’t a complete cunt, but that will no doubt happen when Flit tells her he is staying to fight. She’ll join the army anyway, and whatshisname will leave like that asshole from SEED did at the first sign of trouble.

Hide yo kids hie yo wife

Rule #1 - Don't Piss Off Yuno

Mirai Nikki is pure win, from the action to motherfucking creepy Yuno and her super-yandere with Yuuki. Seriously, she’ll kill children to keep him safe, and it’s fucking fantastic. That said though, I’m surprised they censored the knife in the kid, presumably because it was a kid she killed, but they also censored the end of the girl’s arm in the last episode. Crazy Japan. The BD/DVDs will probably be awesome. If you aren’t watching this show, you should.

Crazy literary people

Oh it's coming alright. Through your panties.

Ben-To stalls the fighting to introduce Kyo and Kyo, twin sisters with different silver hair styles. They apparently have taken an interest in The Ice Witch, and attempt to infiltrate a hospital they thought she was staying at, but it turns out to be Satou recovering from a fall he took to save his Sega Saturn. They provoke him in a way only sexy nurses can before realizing their error, after he shows his title off, and hypes up Oshiroi to write more of her yaoi about him. Such a good show, can’t wait to watch the latest tomorrow.

I'd undertake them.

That'ta boy Shu, eyes down there. Like a man.

I have to admit, Guilty Crown has turned out much better than I expected, almost a guilty pleasure to watch, even if it’s starting to settle into a monster-of-the-week format, the different awkward situations Shu and Inori can get into are worth the ticket price. The student council prez isn’t half bad either, although at first glance, I almost thought it was Gai in drag.

Cool Story Bro.

I watch Maken-ki for the plot.

Honestly, if anyone is watching Maken-ki because it’s an actual story with good characters, you best be joking son. It’s tits, tits, and more tits, and when they think you haven’t had enough tits, they introduce new character with tits to add to the other characters with tits. They’ve got more tits to give you on this show than you’ll see at a concert in a Buick with a fucking monkey. But seriously, is Tate and Mai Takaru and Haruko going to fuck, or what?

I’m pretty bad at keeping regular updates and updating the stuff on here, more so around the holidays, so expect updates to be sporadic over the next few weeks until the new year. The Winter 2011/2012 lineup should be starting to form or be final soon, so expect a preview of what I’ll be watching, which will no doubt be the final season of Zero no Tsukaima.

Only One Question

I’m finally back after a long hiatus filled with many interesting adventures, some of which I could have done without. Finally caught up to this week’s airings, just in the nick of time. Here is the rundown of week six, in the usual order.

and Gundam. Science and Gundam. I'd be in heaven.

I hate to blur reality with fantasy, but fuck man, she's into science.

Boku ha Tomodachi ga Sukunai continues to be my number one show each week, because it’s the Haruhi that KyoAni couldn’t muster, and it’s fantastic. I know they’re trying to open up the “oh that boy was Yozora” bit very badly in each episode, but I could watch 26 episodes of just this shit all day and take it to the bank. It might not take much for me to be entertained though. U mad sophisticatebros?

Don't know if want?

Does a psychopathic girl who wants to fuck my brains out then stab me count?

Yandere yandere Mirai Nikki continues with the untimely demise of two more Future Diary users, and Yukiteru escaping with his life once more, but can’t seem to shake the creepy Yuno from keeping ahold of him, and now she’s wooed his mother over to her wiles. This series really puts such a fantastic spin on “The Highlander” type series, and the cast of characters isn’t half bad, including blind oracle girl who was raped her whole life. Sucked for her in the end.

Remodel them all into kitties.

No, no, please do.

Working is doing.. you know.. Working things, as the past two episodes have focused mostly on Takanashi’s relationship with Inami as her “handler”. He of course sees her as a dog, and she sees him as a… er… punching bag? Add some other hijinks involving colds, possibly Yamada’s brother, and the Manager’s gang, and two more episodes of the greatest show on earth go down in the books. Well, maybe not greatest, but damn close.

The Joe Swanson of GC

You knocked her out of her chair? The ADA is gonna have a field day with you.

Guilty Crown surprisingly remains strong in a point where you expect it to fault, given the weak babby protag and no clear idea of who The Undertakers are really fighting, but the episode, which largely focuses on Shu and Ayase with Inori also as Shu finds out Inori was basically using him under Gai’s orders to bring him into the fold easier. Fortunately he retains some guts to join and actually defeat Ayase in her Enclave, albeit using someone’s Void. I might be the only blogger to like this show, but it’s not half bad, and less campy so far than Code Geass’ high school hi-jinks, which aren’t happening here for some reason yet.

So is the robot too. Awkward three-some.

Well, he/she is part girl, right?

Hot on the heels of GC is UN-GO which continues to be the shining diamond in the rough this season, with its quirky style and cast of characters. Inga and the RAI amuse me the most, mostly with their antics through the episode, but even the mysteries and how Shinjirou and Kaishou solve them differently amuse me as well, it’s like Sherlock Holmes and Encyclopedia Brown. Inga however is the wild card, and now that we hear she used to kill people, presumably for souls, and now obtains them differently, suggests they met somehow during the war.

Seriously, are all civilians this stacked?

COME WITH ME IF YOU WANT TO LIVE-- WOOGAAAGUHOOO

Mobile Suit Gundam AGE ducks indoors for their sixth episode to highlight some internal strife among one colony, which continues to fight an age-old war on a smaller scale daily within the colony, and those in the slums below trying to make a living. Flit of course tries to take up the cause of the noble man, and ends up blackmailed by the UE as they run away and leave him to the colony army who assumes he tried to attack the colony. Meanwhile shady captain seems willing to trade military secrets for warships to take on the feds. WHAT A TWIST!

We don't need no water?

This must happen a lot, eh?

Shakugan no Shana Final steps away from Shana a bit to focus on Keisaku who arrives at the HQ for Outlaw, but is put in a room for almost a week, until being “rescued” by “Scatterer of Sparkling Light” Rebecca Reed, who was a personal friend of Wilhelmina, and decided to help her on her quest to rescue Shana from Bal Masque, despite warnings of the impeding war between them and the Flame Hazes. Shana is starting to get good, and I know it’s a buildup, but man, so ready to rock this shit fo’serious.

Mary Sue galore

If only he was there to stop Twilight from being written in a similar fashion

If it wasn’t for everything else above it, and I allowed ties, Ben-to would be much higher, it really is a fantastic show. The inclusion of a “Mid-Boss” was a bit out of place at first, especially given how fast it took them to defeat him, but made for an interesting feat of strength shown from The Ice Witch. For a show about half-priced lunch, you have to commend their style in keeping it real.

Would have also accepted TEAM GINYU

MIGHTY MORPHIN SEA INVADERS

Ika Musume continues to squid around in various ways, including having Sanae as a bodyguard, and another episode of Mini-Ika and her adventures outside, like “Honey I Shrunk the Kids”. Can never go wrong with our intrepid sea invader.

Tsundere likes cats isn't a surprise anymore.

Oh, she likes cats. Eh.

Of everything this season, Maken-ki is on the bottom rung. There just isn’t anything more to a harem show with super powers when it just touts a pro-feminist line more often than not and just seems unappealing. The main character is a joke and the main female character is overbearing and retarded. Still, there is some compelling force that keeps me watching in the hopes that something intelligent will spark and end the show on a high note. Right. When pigs fly.

All wrapped up for the week, just in time for the next wave tomorrow and into the weekend. Also, I am looking around for Winter 2011-2012 information to get started on that, I know ZnT’s final season is among that list. I’ll have more as I look into it.

I’ll also try to remember about this blog. Once and awhile.

Just a Different Kind of Love

As we start to settle into the coming winter months of the season, by now I think the subs are smoothing out and the weeks are rolling by. Some good stuff and some okay stuff. Here is the breakdown for the week.

First off, I have enough data now to update the the weaboo wall with this season’s entries. Be sure to check that out.

iknowthatfeel.jpg

When you realize how many times you facepalm behind a speaking woman, this makes sense

I might be the only animu blogger to say this, but I quite like Boku ha Tomodachi ga Sukunai, even if it’s heading slowly into harem territory. The male MC isn’t a complete sod, but the rivalry between Yozora and “Meat” is just incredible. It has a visual style rather like Denpa Otoko but character interactions from just about everything else. This episode was just as good, including how they set up some kinda fun little flashback that connects the main characters. Go on.

Sure as hell ain't going through no middle earth

OH GOD IT'S THE EYE OF SAURON

Mirai Nikki is just plain weird and creepy, but it’s one of the most thrilling shows this season in my opinion. I knew what to expect a bit from the OVA, but they even captured Nina Wang’s signiture hairstyle well in Uryuu Minene, the crazy terrorist bomber whose diary is the “Escape Diary”. But the obvious outcome of this episode, is that Yuno is a stalking psychotic bitch with definite ulterior motives against Yukiteru. Sounds like the kinda girl I know one person might enjoy…

The Takanashi's seem to have mastered control over Popura

Yachiyo’s strange relationship with Kyouko is the focus of this episode, as they run into Otoo’s long-lost wife only to lose her again, while Nazuna Takanashi seems to have figured out how to control Popura and Yamada through the power of praise. Just another fun-filled day at Wagnaria.

The sword is a girl too, jesus

You have a fucking sword man, don't look like an idiot

I realize I didn’t do a full preview for Guilty Crown but I can’t be bothered to do that, so I’ll jump ahead. Honestly, despite several folks on my feed who might disagree, I am finding this show to be quite excellent. As excellent as the often compared UN-GO? Eh, I’ll leave that alone, but on it’s own, it has a very GitS kinda feel with a tablespoon of Code Geass, a teaspoon of any generic techie-type show, and something else I can’t put my immediate finger on. Still, it looks promising, and if they promise not to fuck it up, I’ll keep saying it’s good.

Oh yes. I wrote that.

Judging baking competitions and circuses behind him, Pierrot had a sex change and decided to be a detective sidekick. This is hisher story.

Caption aside, UN-GO is actually pretty good, and presents an interesting angle in the genre of “solving mysteries”. So far this year we’ve been treated to a variety of mystery-solving titans, from Victorique to Sherlock Shellingford, to Alice and more, but here we have a “Failed Detective” and his meta-morph sidekick whose special power borderlines Lelouch’s absolute obedience. Their mission? To really solve crimes that some four-eyes old man sitting in front of a monitor cannot. So really, it’s like the anti-thesis to Kamisama no Memo-chou with special powers.

Whoops, that phrase might be BANNED IN TOKYO

You reach for his joystick alright

Alright, let’s settle a few things down before I start. I am a Gunda/m/ man, so if you aren’t, you can skip this. For the rest of you, AGE isn’t doing anything new so far. You’ve got your Amuro, you’ve got your Nalah, and you’ve got your everyone else and Haro. Space colony. Invaded. Blows up. SEED started that way. Unknown aliens, probably will end up being exiled humans or some shit, Nadesico, check. Wait, Nadesico? Yeah, this is my single complaint about AGE, it simply does nothing to make Gundam any newer than the last ten series. When people say it’s a re-hashing simply for toy profit, they’re right.

That said though, “Loli Gundam” isn’t half bad, and it’s been pretty good out of th starting gate comparatively. It’s no 00, which sadly is one of the best modern Gundam series out there, but it can’t do any worse than SEED Destiny unless they replace the entire cast with Jesus Yamato and Mary-Sue Cylne and Mitsuo Fukuda takes the helm.

Or a slowdown.

It's gonna be a throwdown.

The one thing I kinda hoped Shakugan no Shana Final would do from the gate was wow us, you know, make the fact that we had to put up with numerous other JC STAFF projects, bad Rie-voiced clones, and constantly delays of this season by making it something worth watching, even for the first few episodes before they settle into some story and setting. But instead they just kinda present you with ten seconds of what you’ll see at the end to tease, and then backstory, blah blah, shit we already knew. If I wanted to read the book, I’d have by now, and honestly I should, but I don’t want to spoil what I am going to see. That said however, Yuji being back and squaring off against Shana, what is all of this about? Fuck I’m still confused about the Bal Masque shit, but I’ll roll with this.

Edit: It occurred to me after trading some words in saimoe chat today that I might be just impatient as they set the story up for the final hustle. This is true, I am being a bit impatient, and bookfags have told me that the fact Yuji leads Bal Masque and that shit gets real soon enough should be reason alone for me to watch, but what got me was that towards the end of each episode, they would tease you with the notion that something was about to go down in the opening minutes of the next episode, but then wind back up to building up again. When I say it’s like slow masturbation, I mean it, and I don’t know about you, but eventually when you can’t take it anymore, you flip on the good shit and go to town. I’m okay with building the story, but give me a little meat to sink into for more than thirty seconds to prove there is a reason I’m still going to name my first-born daughter Shana in the future.

My body is ready

The last thing you will see before death, is the gloss in her eyes

I was very impressed with this week’s Ika Musume as one of the shorts was about English, and how apparently everyone but Eiko can speak it. Now, usually when Japanese VA’s speak English it’s always either heavily accented, or broken Engrish-sounding mess, much like overzealous American teen girls trying to speak Japanese. But if Cyndi Campbell’s VA, Nabatame Hitomi, was speaking those parts, that sounded like flawless English, almost too good to be true. I’m inclined to find out more about that just for shits and giggles. Good show.

She's like a ninja. Nin-nin-nin...

Sneaky sneaky indeed

If it wasn’t for the many top-tier shows this season, Ben-To would be much higher, because it really is above expectations. Sure the subject matter is strange as hell, but when you think about it, if stores around here put food up for half-price you’d have to be quick to grab that shit before it’s gone, I’d probably fight for it. So in retrospect, nothing like a fighting-type to shake up the season roster.

Not really

Yeah, it's kind of a big deal

Honestly, Maken-ki started out well, and then dipped into a disappointing harem that I’m afraid not even the big breasts may save soon unless something changes. For one, the female MC is an overbearing sod who can’t stand the pervert, but isn’t exactly avoiding it by rooming with the poor fellow, the male MC is a powerless piece of garbage who just ogles the girls all day and whines about everything, and then there is hiw stupid chivalrous charade where he thinks he needs to protect the girl, and with the show’s overly pro-woman “WE’RE AWESOME” rhetoric, they render him completely unnecessary in this show. The solution? Dump him and continue the show with just the girls. Otherwise, have a guy beat one of the girls senseless and shove off this feminist bullshit. That is playing fair, right?

Finally, a short word on the latest “innovation” in subbing technology, 10bit. A lot of subbers are using it, and that’s fine. A long time ago I would talk about how it annoyed me that subbers pushed the h264 format on subbing because they acted like everyone should own good computers when the majority didn’t. This of course was probably 3-4 years ago, and by now, most have upgraded to dual-cores or better and have the power to render things at 1080p, so we’ve accepted it as the norm. I still find it annoying that my PS3 won’t play MKV files, that I still have to rely on XVIDs if I want to watch my shows on the couch in the living room, but eventually when I build a machine to hook up to that TV it won’t be a problem.

10bit kind of annoys me the same way, because while it is not a major upgrade in terms of format and such, it means I can’t just pick and choose between multiple subbers if I am going to store the show on disc later for viewing sometime, I have to make sure it will play on approximately whatever I have to play it with. Of course I’ve upgraded my CCCP and don’t plan to downgrade or all, but all it takes is for me to whip out some older computer or something without internet access in the mountains and be greeted with splotchy colors or someshit and rue the day anyone was born. I realize this is an extreme scenario, but I am a man of standards, and I just feel it’d be nice for the subbing scene to wrap around the same pole somewhat, though to their credit, it’s a whole lot better than a decade and some ago when the digital age first started. Thank god for CCCP and Nyaa Torrents, ya’ll got it easy today. To think of the days spent downloading A-E’s Angelic Layer from IRC bots during class. Wow, I’m old. That’s sad I can even write that.

Until next week, or after that. Or something.

Squiddin’ to the Left

New season of shows, and several off the start, including Shakugan no Shana III and Ika Musume Season 2. Is your body ready?

Wait, what happened in the last season?

Good Yuji, you're looking kinda badass there

Honestly, I don’t remember the fine details of Shakugan no Shana season two, but I seem to recall the Reiji Maigo being taken from Yuji, giving him a finite amount of time left. By the end, he disappears, but his memory remains in Shana, Yoshida, and the other Flame Hazes. This season’s first episode opens up immediately to what I fear we will be seeing, a somehow reincarnated Yuji versus Shana, for reasons yet revealed. The episode then spends about half the time briefly recapping the end of the last season and putting the pieces together for the episodes moving forward. OP/ED was pretty good as usually, moreso ED than OP, but still good nonetheless. Hopefully they don’t fuck this up.

TLDR Watch This: Shana, Shana, Shana, and melon bread.
TLDR Don’t Watch This: if you’re confused about the story and think this is going to be a terrible segway to the last season of ZnT
Sub Group: Commie
First Rating: 8

I just figured she liked blue

So her braclets control her weight? Tricky.

New season of Ika Musume and the formula remains the same, three mini episodes of silly little antics. Thankfully they do not change much around, characters remain the same and all got a little screen time early on, including the ever insane Sanae and her fetish for “Little Ika”. There isn’t much else to really comment on, it’s a show you’ll watch for the hell of it or not. Don’t expect any real story or meaning or anything.

TLDR Watch This: if you like squddin’ around
TLDR Don’t Watch This: if you’d rather watch the persona 4 anime
Sub Group: FFFpeeps
First Rating: 7

Her slow reaction means she's asking for it

Didn't take long for this to happen in my harem anime

I’m not exactly sure what to make of this, it’s your typical magic powers in school type show, with mostly girls and a few boys, so we’re talking Freezing with a touch of the “childhood friends” harem-type bullshit, mixed with Ikkitousen and probably a touch of Infinite Stratos. Fair warning, most of the girls have tits, and physics-defying ones at that, so fanservice is at maximum here, and probably will stay. How the guys factor into this equation I am not sure yet, but this sounds about the sort of thing you’ll watch just because you can.

TLDR Watch This: fanservice, girls fighting each other, girls fighting each other for the shitty male MC
TLDR Don’t Watch This: harem animes, childhood friends, reminders of kampfer
Sub Group: Hatsuyuki
First Rating: 7

No wait, come back, I need friends

GTFO

So from the same studio which brought you Ore no Imouto comes Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai and I have to say, this is actually looking pretty good from the first episode. You have Yozora Mikazuki who comes off to me as a mix of Haruhi, Shana, and Meme Touwa with Kodaka Hasegawa, a half-British half-Japanese transfer student who gets himself sucked up in Yozora’s idea to form a “Neighbors Club” to make friends, only to attract Sena Kashiwazaki, a popular and good looking girl, but with no real friends either. It borrowed a lot from Haruhi’s premise with the formation of the club, but reminded me a lot of Denpa Otoko. But really, I found a sparkle in this somewhere that makes me thing this might be worth watching.

TLDR Watch This: if like me, you have few/no friends and would like cute girls to act all tsundere around you
TLDR Don’t Watch This: if you thought that above statement was serious
Sub Group: Kanjouteki
First Rating: 8

So the season is starting out well, and three more shows premiere tomorrow, Gundam AGE, mirai Nikki, and Ben-To. Guilty Crown heads up the rear next week. So a somewhat light season this is, but still full of fun, or something.

Fall 2011 Preview

We’re over halfway through Summer 2011 and closing in on what looks to be a substantial Fall season this year, complete with the long awaited third season of Shakugan no Shana and second seasons of Ika Musume and Working!!. Here is a look at this season’s draw:

Mobile Suit Gundam AGE
The next offering in the legendary Gundam franchise is up this season with AGE, a story set in what looks to be a new alternate universe, AG 101, where an unknown enemy attacks a space colony. I honestly haven’t spent much time on /m/ or elsewhere looking this up, so I can’t comment on specifics, but if it’s Gundam it’s worth watching until I feel it’s terrible.

TL;DR: It’s Gundam. If you like Gundam, you should be watching. Otherwise, piss off.
Producers: Sunrise
Network: MBS/TBS
Airing: October 9 @ 17:00
Confidence Level: 90%

Guilty Crown
Production I.G and noitaminA’s latest creation looks to be a supernatural/mecha series set in a school with a boy who saps powers much like Megaman I guess, but it has a very Code Geass vibe to it, but maybe not? I am interested to see what is in store, I am just hoping it won’t be completely off-base like Sacred Seven has been, given similar frameworks.

TL;DR: It’s airing on the noitaminA block, we’ve seen some good shit come out of that block the last couple seasons, so it’s worth a shot.
Producers: Production I.G
Network: Fuji TV
Airing: October
Confidence Level: 85%

Shinryaku!? Ika Musume
If you’ve seen the first season, my guess it will be much more of the same. Short episodes, crazy fun, Ika Musume. There is little to drive home about in terms of plot or story, but Ika Musume is cute as buttons in her attempts to sound mean, and the rest of the cast supports their roles well. Always a good decision.

TL;DR: Wouldn’t you sit down and watch?
Producers: Diomedea
Network: TV Tokyo
Airing: October
Confidence Level: 100%

Working’!!
Second season of A-1’s successful series Working! about a high school kid working at a family restaurant with a girl older than him but shorter than him, a girl who carries a sword, a girl afraid of guys, a manager who doesn’t manage, and two male cooks. Add some crazy adventures, a ceiling cat, the kid’s three sisters, and some other random crap, and you’ve got something those of us would kill for in real food service.

TL;DR: Poplar. Just, Poplar.
Producers: A-1 Pictures
Network: Yomiyuri TV
Airing: October
Confidence Level: 100%

Shakugan no Shana III
The third and final season to the hugely successful J.C Staff series about a fiery hot red-eyed girl with a sword named Shana and a “torch” with the ability to live forever in death, Yuuji, and their adventures in battling denizens of the Crimson Realm, and Ball Masque, an organization bent on controlling the treasure that granted Yuuji his immortality as a Mystes. No idea what will happen here, but when it’s done, it’s likely done, so put on your wizard robe and hat.

TL;DR: URUSAI URUSAI URUSAI URUSAI URUSAI URUSAI URUSAI URUSAI URUSAI URUSAI MELON BREAD!
Producers: J.C STAFF
Network: TBD
Airing: TBD
Confidence Level: 100%

Mirai Nikki
A series about a boy who records his life into a cell phone, encounters a supernatural being that extends that ability to record the near future. Sounds like Death Note in a way, with some TEMPORAL PARADOX no doubt, but interesting enough to give a shot.

TL;DR: Welcome Agent 5 on your fourth late arrival.
Producers: asread
Network: TBD
Airing: TBD
Confidence Level: 70%

Ben-To
A school story about a boy who likes playing SEGA games, and when he visits the local store, discovers half-price lunch, but before he could buy it, ends up knocked out. When he comes to, he meets a few people who formed a club to get this half-price lunch by whatever means necessary. Looks weird, looks like it might be fun, pointless, whatever. Gotta have at least one series like it.

TL;DR: OH MY GOD MAN, THAT LUNCH IF HALF FUCKING PRICE. I’M TOO HIGH FOR THIS.
Producers: David Production
Network: TBD
Airing: TBD
Confidence Level: 75%

Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai
A boy (or girl? the description is vague, and remember how I fucked up Loli Jam in my Summer preview?) who is half-Japanese, half-British, enters school, but with blond hair, is mistaken for a delinquent. Not making friends, he (she) encounters a girl and together they form a club for meeting people for people like themselves. It looks like it might be funny and serious, serious and funny, still don’t know the gender? It’s all good, as long as it isn’t pretty boys I’m okay with this.

TL;DR: Mister Rogers (Japanese) Neighborhood with Cute Girls Doing Cute Things?
Producers: AIC Build
Network: TBS/BS-TBS
Airing: TBD
Confidence Level: 75%

Maken-ki!
A boy enters a school for using magical powers, but runs into a childhood friend and several other girls who don’t like him. If you’re thinking Infinite Stratos, you’re probably right. I was also thinking that demon king series from last year too.

TL;DR: A Char would be fine too.
Producers: AIC
Network: Teletama
Airing: October
Confidence Level: 75%

So overall a pretty solid season, honestly I am expecting decent performance from my Core 3 and Gundam, and hopefully Guilty Crown, but hoping the others meet expectations. (Those aren’t high) Worst case, I have a lot of shows from the past few seasons to watch, mostly from suggestions made by folks online, and what I’ve read from other places, so I’ll keep busy. Saimoe 2011 is also still going, so still busy with that. More information as I dig it up.