Saturday, December 28, 2013

2013 Fall Anime Review

Fall is nearing its end; a list should be a befitting gift for this wonderful season.

This is my personal top 5 of the season. The list might be a little short compared to previous ones but a compact list with bunch of straight to the point reviews ins't bad at all.

Let's start with the 5th entry:

Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio - Ars Nova

This series is one of the most interesting ones. Combining wars and girls which strikes me with the same aura or Strike Witches and Vivid Red Operation, as well as Infinite Stratos, to a point.

The heroines are great. The plot seems to be fast paced but overall, the story is compact and revolves on a single topic. As what's expected of a 13-episode series, the story is great with the timing of several heroines and antagonists matched with the progression of the series.

If there will be new characters within the Fog and if there are going to be new plot twists other than defeat-and-join-my-crew-if-you-wish slash harem route, then, another season would be expected. Also, exploring the history of the human characters would be a nice addition to the story, as well as Gunzou's background. He's the reason why Iona managed to ignore the Admirality Code which Kongou refuses to let go.

4thA: Tokyo Ravens

I've watched the latest episode (but not updated with the manga), but assuming that Natsume is the one controlling Hokuto goes naturally. Overall, including Kon and the way Dairenji treats the main characters pushed the series to the fourth slot.

Comedy, school, moe characters and a bit of mystery on the side about those pesky villains who always hide their true identities only to be revealed as somewhat related to the protagonists.

Well, speculating doesn't matter at this point, especially if I am not updated with the manga; but as the series is currently airing (24 episodes in total), Tokyo Ravens caught the spot for the quality of the series, and alongside with the other 4th ranked series, Fall is a great season.

4thB: Strike the Blood

I have decided to put a tie on this list, with both Strike the Blood and Tokyo Ravens in the 4th spot. Both of these series offers good quality time if you're into anime. Strike the Blood might have better harem and a list of villain than of Tokyo Ravens but the latter pretty much nailed the characters with their shounen-esque main protagonist of starting as a weakling but eventually kicks butt after a few more episodes.

Anyway, Strike the Blood also follows some routine of having the main protagonist grow stronger and be in sync with his heroine and at some point, needing several heroines to unlock his potential.

As with Tokyo Ravens, the series is currently on going (24 episodes) and we'll have both of them reviewed again and write another blog which only focuses on these two great series.

3rd: Yowamushi Pedal

This series might become the next Eyeshield21. I think I just compared them again. Seeing as the series is really faraway from the finish line, I am going to see what's going to happen next.

Will glasses boy and his teammates win the upcoming race? Will these fellas and their competitive opponents show moves like Makishima?

Currently, they are exploring the shounen style of tournaments and by giving each character his respective specialization, they are also giving themselves enough time to show their faces in camera to avoid dull moments.

Onoda seems to becoming a great protagonist as far as the series is concerned. The series is still on going and might take two to three seasons of their first airing to conclude the first year of their life as cyclists. But having third years in their line up, as with all school-based manga and anime, they are bound to graduate.

Once graduation comes, no one knows if there will be new characters to enter the battlefield or will the series let the curtain fall and continue their lives behind the scenes.

2nd: Log Horizon

No flashy gimmicks. No gory antics. Just pure wordy and typical comedy inside an RPG life where people were locked inside it and now trying to live with the People of the Land (NPCs).

A support, a tank, a DPS, and semi-carry (with his utility partner slash maid). That party doesn't resemble a two-man coop of lovers.

Fight isn't always there. There's no bloody encounters and there are no potential scandals involved. Although that brings down the shounen in the series, Log Horizon still managed to get the 2nd spot.

Character design, the plot - not as unique but still quite packed with points and the looming war between the NPCs and the invaders (the Adventurers).

As the series traverse its mid-game phase, the momentum slowly builds up into a potential twist.

Also, as a personal opinion based review, I am glad that there are no twisted villains as far as the series is rolling.

Log Horizon also won both the opening and ending theme of the season. The opening song which sounds like nu rock or some sort of alternative rock and the ending which is quite cutesy but a real charm just like Gachaman Crowds' ending theme song.

1st: Valvrave the Liberator

I'm quite a Gundam fan and liked the series since it was announced by Sunrise. Although the twists of the series might be predictable, overall, it takes another step of becoming some sort of a drama with all explosive mechas and military angst flying everywhere.

The series just lost two Valvraves but the plot is still not in their twilight. Two 12 episode seasons are short for something from Sunrise. A third and a fourth season, throw a movie in as well and this will become a complete franchise.

Valvrave explored some points which the Gundam franchise didn't even touch. The way Haruto attacked Rukino Saki in the first season and the way Runes acted as the point of no return for pilots are the series' main points against the giant robot franchise. It doesn't matter if you move like a Newtype; there will always be consequences. It doesn't matter if you enhance people with some sort of a faraway future science; there will always be consequences.

Comparing Valvrave's pilots to the pilots of the Gundam franchise, I might say that the former's are all cyber newtypes because of their memory loss during every flight, which is quite the same with the latter's. Although at some point, berserk for people who cannot control their psychowaves AKA their newtype abilities, tend to destroy them and their factions as well. In Valvrave, it leads to death by not having enough runes in their body.

Haruto is much like Amuro Rei, always having their emotions go into the battlefield. He's also a harem genius, and probably, the strongest Valvrave pilot. Much like in Zeta, an antagonist of the series became their ally.

A looming triple threat is under way just like how Neo Zeon, AEUG and the Titans (Earth Federation) fought against each other. Will JIOR, ARUS and Dorssia conclude the story themselves just like the three Gundam factions?

After watching several series of the season, I am confident that this is the final list.

The following list is going to be the series which I am going to watch. Although, as per season, there might be series needed to be erased as not all series are within my circle of interest.

Anyway, this is Winter's List:

1. Hamatora the Animation

I am not familiar with the series but seeing the word "animation" in its title, I am assuming that the manga is quite far now from the start.

2. D-Frag!

Just like the first one, I am not familiar with this. I do not read manga that often and have no real time updates. But seeing this, it might be comedy, school and harem combined in a single title.

3. Chuunibyo demo Koi ga Shitai! Ren (season 2)

Yup. I watched the first season. This is a must watch.

4. Gin no Saji (season 2)

I predicted a second season, now here it is. Also, in other news, Gin no Saji will also have a live action movie. Let's grab some pizza and bacon and watch this cool, and easy-going agricultural college lives of everyone in it!

5. Maken-Ki! Two (season 2)

I came here to watch the plot! Enough jokes. I am still wishing for another season of Ben-To though. Both series were first aired in 2011.

6. Nisekoi

School, romance, shounen.

7. Noragami

Yep. We do enjoy people living with spirits and gods and other otherworldy specie. It doesn't matter where you came from. It's scary to think that only creatures in Earth are the only living things in this vast universe.

8. Nourin

9. Saikin, Imouto no Youso ga Chotto Okashiinda ga.

So, we are going to have another imouto based anime in the winter! I am seeing Kuroneko in this picture though. Or it might be a failure of the cells in my eyes.

10. Seitokai Yakuindomo

FINALLY! The second season has arrived! Enough said!
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