Stop; take a breath. We’re just past the halfway mark of the winter anime season. I can feel the warm breezes of spring coming (along with Jojo part 3! \o.o/).
With the crazy snowstorms behind us and the feeling a bit of a chilly winter still nipping at our noses (or not, if you’re living someplace warm; if you do, please send me your sunshine.), let’s review on some of the titles this season had to offer.
I started out the season watching at least one episode of everything airing, aside from a few selected ones, but soon whittled it down to a somewhat manageable list. In my choices, I’ve noticed that we have a lot of romantic comedies this season as well as a bunch of the supernatural genre. PLUS, supernatural romcoms! What more could you want?
I remember picking up a copy of JUMP and being confused by seeing a romantic comedy looking manga on the cover. This was Nisekoi (“fake love”) and I soon found out that while it does have its share of love story drama, it has strong characterization and well, violence as well. >_> Thus, when I found out there was going to be an anime made by SHAFT no less of this series, I definitely had to jump on board. So far, I have not been disappointed. And while the love triangle drama can seem a bit overwhelming (especially as we farther in the story), it’s a story where you can’t really decide what the OTP should be, and I like things that way.
Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! Ren
This one had me nervous, to be honest. I enjoyed the first season of Chuu2, but I was skeptical on how Kyoto Animation would be able to handle the story now that Rikka and Yuuta were together, but it turns out KyoAni has not lost their ability to tell any story well. The show thus far earns a solid “adorable” from me and shows that not all relationships are made alike.
Tonari no Seki-kun
As a break from the romcom (or perhaps not!), there’s the short series of Tonari no Seki-kun to give us 7 minutes to kill time, like Seki does each class period much to the dismay (and sometimes enjoyment) of his classmate who sits by him, Rumi.
The more I watch of this, the more I really like it. While I still share in Rumi’s frustration over Seki not paying attention in class, I also find myself enjoying his creative imagination like Rumi eventually does. Their relationship with one another started with one annoying the other, but it’s slowly turning into partners in crime.
Now, onto the supernatural. Noragami (loosely translated to “stray god”) is probably the most interesting and blogging worthy show of the season, I think. Depending how it ends up and if I can beat my dreadful procrastination, I’d love to write a post about it.
But, what makes this show interesting? While heavily influenced with Shinto, I’m finding some Christian elements springing up, especially when it comes to the effects of sin on a person and how it can affect the people around you. If you’ll grant me a bit more musing on this, there’s a concept called a “spiral of sin” that came to my mind when seeing the phantom storms brew in Noragami and many phantoms use temptations towards humans to corrupt their hearts by “easy” ways out of their troubles.
Basically, it’s a cool show about deep stuff that’s interesting. After this most recent episode, I’m both excited and scared to see where this show is going.
Neither a romcom nor supernatural, the light sci-fi of Space Dandy is probably one the best and more questionable choices in anime I’ve made (second only to Medaka Box, Kill la Kill, and Revolutionary Girl Utena).
I don’t like high sci-fi (aka: massive world building sci-fi), but I do enjoy some nonsensical sci-fi that gives you some fun social commentary with a side of aliens, zombies, and exploding planets. Think Hitchhicker’s Guide to the Galaxy, mix in a bit of the jazzy-ness of Cowboy Bebop and the flare of Redline and you may have something close to Space Dandy.
As a far warning and probably the reason that, last I checked, none of the rest of the Tangles’ writers were watching Space Dandy was because of a rather blatant and reoccurring fanservice joke.
The main restaurant that Space Dandy likes to go to is called “Boobies” (parody of Hooters, I imagine), which speaks far too much for itself, sadly. And while not an overwhelming element of the show, it’s there enough to be noticeable.
Mikakunin de Shinkoukei
(Engaged to the Unidentified)
This series is probably the biggest surprise to me this season, The premise sounded, well, not promising. 03.59_2014.01.23_23.06.57-1024x576" src="http://beneaththetangles.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/underwater-mikakunin-de-shinkoukei-engaged-to-the-unidentified-03-720p-99ed4f9c-mkv_snapshot_03-59_2014-01-23_23-06-57-1024x576.jpg?w=300" width="335" height="187" />
“Yonomi Kobeni, an ordinary girl, finds out on her 16th birthday that she is betrothed to Mitsumine Hakuya, a boy the same age as her. Hakuya moves in from the countryside and starts living with her, bringing his younger sister who is still a primary school student with him. Also added is her older sister who is already living with Kobeni and is two years older.” – myanimelist description
Somehow, it has turned out to be a series I look forward to each week. At this point though, I don’t know what to expect from this series since it keeps me guessing each week. But beyond the creepy sister loving tendencies of the elder sister, all the characters are interesting and great in their own way. And, again with the romantic comedy, this one has a different take on a relationship between two people who don’t know each other very well, but both make an effort to understand one another despite the crazy circumstances.
Inari Konkon Koi Iroha
I’m on the fence about this one, I really am. In fact, I may be ready to drop it because it’s not living up to whatever expectations I put on it(which was not much) and because the anime doesn’t seem like it knows what kind of story it wants to be. But while it does seem to be slipping into boring story land, it does have a few things going for it.
First off, this is a less extreme take on a magical girl story. The main girl, Inari, by making a wish to the gods to become a girl she admires, actually turns into that girl and thus gets herself into a whole bunch of trouble and can’t change back. Luckily, the god of the shrine (Uka) grants Inari some of her powers in order to change back to the way Inari was. The catch? Inari becomes somewhat of a mini-god with these newly found powers of being able to change into anyone.
This part of the plot is curious since it seems like this is not a good thing overall, for Inari to have these powers, that is. And the affects are mainly on the god Uka, but it is uncertain how bad this is.
Secondly, this story shows a very important lesson about life. While Inari gets into the habit of solving her problems with just changing into someone else, she starts learning this is not the answer and that, in fact, she has power to help others by just being herself.
Only time will tell if this series will shape into anything meaningful, though.
Kill la Kill
Not to say the past 17 episodes weren’t great, but finally we know where they were leading. Many jaws were dropped when episode 18 rolled along.
So, we’ve gotten to the final stretch and it’s all uphill from here to the final battle against the clothing apocalypse.
Yes, I do wish I was joking.
But all things considered, the show has been a awkward, strange, and thought provoking ride so far. I can’t wait to see where this ends up.
And there’s still some other series that I haven’t been watching (if only I had that kind of time XD). What all have you been watching? What’s good, what’s bad, and are we far enough to determine the best anime of the season yet, or is it still too early?