The following are 9 of the shows I'm definitely following this season... well, that 'definitely' applies more to the series further down the list (I kinda ranked them from "Nyeh" to "!!!!" based on 2 episodes) while the first few are at some sort of risk of being dropped. It's not a complete watchlist yet since I've not gotten to episode 2 of some of the other shows I intend to, but for a start here goes:
9. S.A. (Not very Special Anorexics) - Needs more
Honestly disappointed at how mediocre Special A is turning out to be. Atrocious OP btw, it makes Koi no Mikuru Densetsu sound like the pinnacle of anime music (I'm neither a Mikuru fan nor one who actually believes this). The comic timing isn't very good, the jokes feel rather stale already (most of the entertainment value is riding on the side characters of the S.A. class anyhow) and I don't really care for Kei and Hikari - their relationship is starting to look like an inferior KareKano (an unfair comparison seeing that KareKano's first 2 episodes were real good). Perhaps this feeling of disappointment can be attributed to how well it's shoujo counterpart this season is doing in comparison, but if S.A. can't stand on its own soon, I see no reason to continue watching aside from some form of 'shoujo loyalty' on my part.
8. Junjou Romantica - Obligatory 'a new challenger appears' + passionate 'subtext' episode.
So Junjou Romantica is travelling down the path of generic yaoi - and I'm following for the ride? Usami's such a possessive bitch while Misaki's seiyuu (Sakurai Takahiro) just makes the show seem like Kyou Kara Maou all over again (thankfully, Usami isn't even close to being as annoying as Wolfram is *urgh*), but the show still manages to stay absolutely hilarious (partly because of the Nico video comments. There was one that went : "You just realized this is BL???"). Like how everyone in uni avoids Misaki because they're somehow well informed about the fact that the person sending him to classes is a famous BL author (they must all be jealous closet fans XD). There is 'subtext' involved of course, but I'm willing to tolerate it if it comes after the romancing.
And yes, the OP is actually good (which puts this ahead of S.A. -_-"), and not in the cheesily gay-tastic way that Gakuen Heaven's was, LOL.
7. Tower of Druaga - Generic RPG adventure plot twists
Well, the hilarity of the first episode has been replaced by a somewhat generic RPG adventure story (Tip : If you're ever an eye-witness to a successful assassination, clear out of the way before someone points the finger at you *smacks forehead*) but thankfully that doesn't mean the show has gotten bad in any way. The characters have been revealed to be a rather interesting bunch after all (and not in the "I'm going back to my village to get married!" kind of way XD) so despite the fact that it's no longer anything like ep1, I'll still be watching this to see how it develops to the end.
And yes, while I'm at it, the OP sequence is my favourite this season =P
6. Nabari no Ou - Why should we care if you don't?
Again, another show I probably would pass on if not for the funny (as opposed to laughable) characters. And again, thank goodness Kugimiya Rie is voicing Rokujou, since otherwise there'd be a high chance she'd voice the blonde twintails girl -_-" Rokujou may be the 'king of apathy' but his sneaky devil antics make him more likeable than an annoying 'shounen' lead. The only thing I don't like so much is that the characters here are almost on the anorexic level of S.A., but I suppose ninjas need the speed and agility whereas pro wrestlers... Gah, why pro wrestlers at all S.A., why???
5. Allison & Lillia - Cosplay time?
Episode 2 of Allison to Lillia (though when does the 'Lillia' part come in?) has affirmed my liking of the show. When they crash landed into enemy territory it started feeling like Crest of the Stars again (just substitute Kawasumi Ayako's cool and spicy Lafiel with the equally awesome Mizuki Nana's Allison). Like Crest, I'm not in the show so much for the setting (since war sucks, but there you go) and more for the interaction between the leads (Crest of the Stars had some of the best banter and lines ever) but I do want to know where this adventure of Allison and Will's will (getting tongue-tied :S) be taking them.
Also the episode eyecatch is just plain adorable =P
4. Code Geass R2 - LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL
You know, I could try thinking of purely sensible reasons to why I absolutely love watching Code Geass (Hmm... kick ass mechas, intriguing character depth, ZOMGWTFBBQ plot twists, CLAMP's gorgeous noodle bishie designs? *stiffles laughter*), but I'd rather just tune in every week and tune off my brain and LMAO at every new cheesy 'development' they throw at us, even if it is all recycled plots devices from the first season. (As to how shut off my brain is while watching, I'm probably the only person dense enough not to guess it was Rollo in that new fangled 'my mecha is better than yours!' Knightmare)
And though I'm curious as to what's become of Nunally, I really demand to know why Lloyd and Cecil are nowhere in sight still when even psycho Nina's made an appearance!
3. Itazura na Kiss - Nice
Story and character wise, Itazura na Kiss doesn't attempt to be more complex than it should be, which is why it's succeeding remarkably well. Or maybe it seems that way since it's a more entertaining show than 'Special' A has been (come on anorexics, you better be proving this post wrong soon!). Kotoko and Irie may not be as 'aesthetically appealing' as Hikari and Kei (who should audition for Top Model not pro-wrestling!)but it just shows that even in a visual medium such as anime that substance takes precedence over looks (or should, at any rate). Everyone acts in an acceptably believable fashion which makes them likable, except Irie and his brother who are your token jerks, but that's a given. And I wish I never found out that that was once Itou Makoto's voice we're hearing since it's giving me the urge to go sharpen knives when I hear Irie talk now... Thankfully Mizuki Nana's (yes, it's really her!) Kotoko cancels that out =P
Also, real moms cross-dress their children! Just look at Yuri in Kyou Kara Maou XD
2. Kure-nai - Don't worry, you're not a pedophile if you like this show after all... Well, not necessarily anyways.
I loved how episode 2 confirms that despite her lavish upbringing, Murasaki is in no way an annoyingly spoilt brat that at first glance one may expect her to be. Sure, she may not be a Chagum yet in terms of actual maturity, but she knows to take note of her own mistakes and act to correct them in her own child-like innocent (but not childish) way. Sawashiro Miyuki's portrayal of Shinkurou is also my favourite male character voiced by a female seiyuu this season :P (who would've though Kugimiya Rie would be 2nd?) The casual caring interaction between the two is of course one of the highlights of this show, and this somehow flows along with the darker more mysterious elements of the show. Definitely a keeper.
1. Toshokan Sensou - WHERE ARE THE SUBS????
Despite the fact that I felt mostly lost watching the first episode raw, I still ventured on to the 2nd when the lack of subs started leaving me in despair. It just shows
I act on blind faith that Library Wars is just that awesome! Episode 2 was much easier to comprehend once you get the situation about the Media Communists (that's what I call them :P) and the Library Task Force (come on, you don't have to be a total book nerd to find that awesome!) and even when the banter gets technical, the gist of it still comes across. And though they're still bickering every episode, Doujo and Iku's relationship is actually developing in a positive direction (He's untsundere man enough to praise and support her) unlike... (okay, that's enough bashing S.A., it's only 2 episodes in after all -_-"). The surprise confession by Tezuka at the end though, throws an interesting wrench into the works. Thanks to Impz for the much needed summaries of course. Hopefully as the weeks progress my own Japanese comprehension skills improve enough to watch the raws competently (or subs finally get released!)
From my First Impression posts, there are certainly other show I'd like to follow this season, and if my schedule permits it I'll follow through with all of them. Otherwise, depending on how their 2nd/3rd episodes fare, I may have to switch out some of the series here with them and stick to under 10 series this time around. Wait, that's still a rather large number isn't it? Err... well, it's all for the sake of improving my Japanese, I guess!
Monday, 21 April, 2008