Firstly, a happy Chinese New Year to those that celebrate it.
So I’ve gone and watched most of the shows I planned to watch this season, and – well – colour me surprised. A lot of the offerings this season are actually deceptively good.
This contrasts quite spectacularly with Fall 2011 for me – I had expected quite a lot from the previous season, but ended up feeling like I had gone through several rather mediocre series instead. For Winter 2012, I went in with feelings of doubt, but came out satisfied.
So, a brief summary of what I’ve seen so far, and my feelings about them, along with relative ratings (these ratings are based upon how i feel about a show with respect to series that I have already rated before, on an adjusted scale of 1 to 10). Also, just for the heck of it, the first other show I think of when I watch it.
Another (eps watched: 1)
Show I think of: Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni
The sound direction is good in this one, mainly because the sound director actually knows that for this show, the lack of sound is more important than having any sound at all. Having absolutely nothing playing in the background enhances the creepy feeling behind the show, like the long lull period before the crescendo in a horror movie where nothing happens, but you still feel like your heart is about to leap out of your throat anyway.
AIC once again offers up a beautiful show with a muted colour palette that serves just enough to give the world some life, but cuts out enough to let us know that something is off about this show.
Currently, however, the story isn’t reaching out to me just yet. I’ll likely finish this, but part of me is too lazy to get the next episode for now in favour of other series below.
Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou (eps watched: 3)
Show I think of: Nichijou
Fantastically hilarious, especially since I came from an all-boys secondary school myself. Much of this show reminds me too much of my interactions with my less-than-pure friends, where innuendoes and constant deliberate verbal deconstruction are the order of the day and flights of fancy are routine.
Art is nothing to shout home about, and neither is music, and honestly, I didn’t notice much of either (besides that ridiculous ending in episode 1). This is testament to the strength of the writing and the voice-acting, which is vital in gag shows like these. The deadpan/over-the-top delivery of the VAs does wonders for the already non-sequitur dialog. I started laughing thirty seconds in, and stopped… well, only a minute after the end, really. Then I went back to rewatch the last skit and laughed myself silly again.
Inu x Boku SS (eps watched: 1)
Show I think of: Kami-sama no Memochou
If you’ve seen this show, you’ll understand why the first thing I think of is Kamimemo. I mean, tell me Ririchiyo doesn’t totally remind you of Alice. Go on, say it.
Looks aside (I love the way Ririchiyo looks, by the way, and dear me them legs) the story hasn’t quite grabbed me as of yet. This is one of those shows where I am watching merely because I like the character designs. All that leg-service doesn’t hurt it, either. <_<
Mouretsu Pirates (Number watched: 4)
Show I think of: Tengan Toppa Gurren Lagann
Why Gurren Lagann, I can hear your brain muttering incredulously. Well, honestly, I don’t know, but the first episode of Gurren Lagann somehow gives me the same feeling as I am getting from Mouretsu at the moment. It’s not exactly a great comparison, and I know most will be hard-pressed to find the common point between the drilly start of Kamina and Simon’s adventure and a bunch of teen girls flying around sailing spaceships. Still, that’s the feeling I get.
The direction of this show actually feels rather different from other offerings in recent years – it has a more anachronistic feeling, like a show from a generation ago. The character designs also give off a more prev-gen kind of feel as opposed to most shows. What this means for me is something different.
Nisemonogatari (Number watched: 4)
Show I think of: Bakemonogatari (and how!)
Honestly, this was the show I was looking forward to the most this season – and it still is. Not only has SHAFT given us more of the same pop-art aesthetic and witty dialogue that we know and love, they’ve gone above and beyond the call of duty by further improving character art, and feeding us tasty fanservice by the bucketful. Granted, that last point is mostly due to the author’s writing, but that doesn’t stop me from loving every last second of it. It does make it slightly harder to watch when people are around, but damn, it looks gooood.
Eventually, the toothbrush scene is going to arrive, and seeing how SHAFT is going about with Nisemonogatari now, it’s probably going to be worth a rewatch. Or seven. And I’m going to love it.
Papa no Iukoto wo Kikinasai! (Number watched: 2)
Show I think of: Angel Beats!, The iDOLM@STER
Papakiki is, at first sight and if you didn’t bother to read reviews or the summary (like me), a nice relaxed show about three cute young things. After watching the first episode, you think it’s a nice relaxed show about three cute young things and a young guy-person and probably some harem-ish borderline pedophilic show.
Then you watch the second.
Being a superficial jerkass who chooses new shows to watch based on 1) character design and 2) animation studio where no preexisting factors are in place (like, y’know, Gen Urobuchi, Kajiura Yuki, TYPE-MOON etcetera) I started watching Papakiki solely for character designs. I was all, “oh, Hina kinda looks like Hibiki, doesn’t she” when I somehow came across a Youtube video about it, and when I realised it was an anime and Sora looked like Yuri I was all “f*** this, I’m watching it”.
Which was a good thing, because Papakiki is good. At least, so far that I’m watching it, and from what I hear about it.
This season is a good one. The reason? I’m a really fickle watcher, and what I don’t like gets dropped faster than the Flash running the 100-metre dash. Last season alone saw me dropping at least five shows. This season, however, I’m not dropping anything. Might be a bit slow watching, but definitely not dropping.