I’m really bad at procrastinating, sorry! I’m going to combine the reviews for the summer 2013 anime season and what’s out for the fall 2013 season, and I’ll have one more article (hopefully just one) like this; I’ll divide them upon season!
Choujigen Game Neptune the Animation– I-I’m not sure how to respond to this anime. This world is basically a personified video game…? The world is appropriately named “Gameindustri” and is ruled by four goddesses; they signed a treaty keeping them all from fighting over Shares (like stocks, but in this context, power) and try to work together to get their approval ratings up so that their citizens don’t try to take them down. Now where does the transformation come in? Well these Goddesses look like your “usual” anime girls, but they transform into their Goddess forms in order to power up and fight. The fanservice in this is kinda…wow. Like so many innuendos are thrown in and made pretty blunt, such as doggy-slimes being very inappropriate…Overall it gives off a cutesy vibe but it’s really an ecchi, so I’ve warned you!
Gen’ei wo Kakeru Taiyou– Girls with the power of the Tarot!
That’s really all there is So in the first episode, we meet our main character who is learning to read tarot cards. She’s following her mother’s footsteps after she had unfortunately passed away. Because of that, she has been living with a childhood friend, but they don’t exactly see eye to eye anymore now. Things go downhill pretty fast and take quite a dark turn, to the point I thought this was somehow related to Higurashi. The true powers of the tarot card are revealed, and our main character’s life changes, but it’s not clear if it’s for the better or worse. I’ve seen a lot of people compare this to Madoka, and I can certainly see the connections, but I wouldn’t say they’re exactly on the same level. This is much darker, and the story just sorta gets shoved in your face rather than built up. Regardless, give it a shot!
Fantasista Doll– Think Angelic Layer and Card Captor Sakura combined with a teensy bit of fanservice. Magical girls are basically under control of their master; they live in a digital-ish world (I guess?) and once they have been assigned a master (who has signed a contract), they can be summoned to fight and use various other cards for power ups and whatnot. Our main character is a little ditzy and doesn’t seem to understand the power she has, so she angers the magical girls. Though apparently she used to be a champion at a popular card game, so she seems to know what she’s doing. I find it kinda neat that the magical girls do have their trademark outfit, but they don’t always wear the same outfit, kinda like idols. I would like to think that the outfits give some sort of advantage like dress spheres in FFX-2, but I think it’s just for show. It’s a pretty cute series, but, once again there’s a touch of fanservice, just don’t let it bother you!
Fate/ Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya– I don’t quite understand, but I think this is somehow either a spin-off or just set in the same world as Fate/Stay Night…? Regardless, here’s another fairly ecchi, magical girl series. The story starts off with two girls traveling to Japan to complete some sort of mission; they have both made contracts with these magical wands (that reminds me of Card Captor Sakura’s staff), but they bicker all the time. Tired of their senseless arguments, the wands leave them as protest, but one ends up trying to recruit a new girl. Throw in some ecchi bath scenes, contracts, and a lot of steam, and bam! A new magical girl is born, with even more fanservice. Now, this unexperienced girl has to help with the mission as the former owner had no choice, but to forfeit her powers, and she doesn’t really want to help out anymore since her wand left. I didn’t get much out of it, but it gave off the impression it’s a spinoff that’s going to milk the series as t wasn’t relevant to much, but you never know!
Uchouten Kazoku– This is one of my favorites of the season! So this isn’t a magical girl anime (which follows the trend of the summer post I had intended…), BUT it does involve transformation: Tanukis! There are three main beings, in order from highest to lowest power are: humans, tengu, and tanuki. Our main character, a tanuki, is somewhat, the middle child; he frequently visits his mentor, an old tengu, and gets caught up in little shenanigans quite often. The anime is mostly about just the clash of the powers, and meeting our main character’s family; it does have comedic moments thrown in, but it is not an over the top comedy, as it’s a primarily a drama. It gets fairly intense, but it’s a nice quick watch if you like the mythical beings of Japan.
Blood Lad– Once again, no more magical girls! This one is a bit further out with transformation, but it deals with the “underworld” (that’s not the right word. Is it?) You know, the place full of creatures like ghosts, vampires, werewolves, etc. Anyway, so our main character is a vampire; the underworld is basically a big battle over territory, it’s split up into gangs, and our main character is notorious for being the toughest of them all. Little does anyone know, he’s a massive otaku. One day, after minding his own business, a human girl stumbles into the underworld, and is brought to him, as he is the boss of their territory. Turns out she’s Japanese, so boss decides to interrogate her about all sorts of geek culture. He is then set on bringing her back to the human world, but then…well lets just say she becomes a being who has no choice but to reside in the underworld. There are some serious moments, but this anime is primarily a comedic ecchi.
Gatchaman Crowds – Go Bird! I’ve never seen the original Gatchaman series, so I can’t say how it compares (I’ve heard bad things though…), but from brand new point of view, I really like it! Now it may just be the art style and the character designs that really draw me in, but hey it just means they’re doing something right. Our main character is Hajime; she’s a ditzy high school girl who loves DIY. To sum it up, she is approached one day and is basically told she holds the power to protect the earth, and becomes a Gatchaman. The Gatchamen vow to protect the Earth from aliens, although in this case they’re specifically fighting the “mess” which essentially causes chaos. After their transformation, they are able to envoke “amnesia” so that normal civilians cannot see them or the mess, and they seriously have to fight around everything so they don’t damage anything or leave any trace. At this point, I’m just about finished watching the series; I really like it, it has the classic “super heroes vs. villains” idea behind it, and I’m really just in love with the art style. I’d definitely recommend it for a quick watch, just as long as you remember it’s a new take on the Gatchaman franchise!
Miss Monochrome– Who is Miss Monochrome? Well I’m not 100% sure, but she seems to be an android idol who lives with a servant and roomba in a castle. This is a 4 minute long skit, and it doesn’t seem to appear to have any linear plot, as Miss Monochrome is a character that made an appearance at the end of a virtual concert (those holographic concerts commonly associated with Vocaloids or Tupac). She’s kinda monotone and dull, so in this episode, she wishes to be a flashy idol that wins over her fans’ hearts. She goes to look for a manager, but fails to understand what type of manager she needs, cue gag, and end of episode. It’s a little cheesy, but I’m not going to judge it based off of 4 minutes, so I’ll follow it for a while.
Coppelion– Let me just start with: the animation is gorgeous! Coppelion gives off a post apocalyptic vibe, and that’s somewhat close. Three teenage girls are wandering around a dead city, Tokyo; everything is in ruins, and there is little life in sight. The “vice principal” (it’s complicated to explain, or at least for me to understand his position) is giving them orders to find people, but who exactly are they looking for? Survivors of a nuclear accident. Tokyo has become inhabitable; even with hazard suits there is little chance of survival. These three girls were genetically engineered to withstand the harsh effects of the radioactivity and were given other survival traits in order to save those who they can, and probably to find a way to put an end to this…? The first episode leaves a lot to wonder, which is a great way to pull in an audience. I’m hoping this can replace the void that Shingeki no Kyojin left behind!
Kyoukai no Kanata– Next up on the dark animes of the season, we have an anime about a girl whose family is shunned for their spiritual powers; the have the ability to manipulate blood. Our main character uses the powers to her defense, and in a somewhat impractical way. Let’s take a few steps back; the anime begins with a young boy minding his own business when he sees what looks like a girl about to jump off their school’s roof. He quickly runs up and attempts to talk her out of it: it’s not worth it, she has more to live for, he loves glasses.Long story short, she wasn’t contemplating suicide, and she stabs him with a blood sword. The boy is part youma, so he is immortal, but the girl refuses to accept this and…tries to kill him repeatedly throughout the school day.After a negotiation, the two get dinner and talk, to learn about each other’s spirit world connections. So far this anime has a lot of promise; it’s dramatic, but not too dark, and there’s always a tad bit of comedy thrown in to break the tension.
Pokemon: The Origin– I’m not up to date with Pokemon, but I couldn’t pass up Origins! This is literally the beginning of the Pokemon series, the anime is based on Pokemon Red and Blue. Honestly, I was too young when the original games came out, but I really like how it somewhat follows the games. We start at the 8-bit title screen, giving us the option to load or start a new game. A new game is selected and Oak gives the usual game intro: “Welcome to the world of Pokemon….” and explains the journey of becoming a Pokemon trainer, and so forth. Red is the main character, with his rival being, of course, Blue. The two are starting their journey, and of course they rush straight into it to become the best trainer; in fact, Red encounters the first gym leader before the episode is over! It’s pretty fast paced compared to the “original” anime, but it gets the story across, and I would say it’s following the game’s pace as well. I didn’t realize this was going to be a series, I thought it was a movie or an OVA, but I’m absolutely excited!