Yet More 2013 Post-New-Year Season Anime

There are a couple of new shows running on Funimation’s site too.  Like some of the other properties they stream there, they may or may not produce retail DVD or BD products of these shows.  Read on!

  • PUCHIM@S! – This is a spin-off short from the iDOL M@STER property.  I never really got into the whole Idolmaster series, so to a certain extent, some of this escapes me, but since this show is more about everyday (yet bizarre) occurences, it is easier to take if the whole idol/singing/competition thing disinterests you.  There is enough character development that you can go into this cold and still enjoy it, as opposed to the Type-Moon Carnival Phantasm property that was so suffused with inside jokes that only the diehard Type-Moon fan could make sense of it.  Animation quality is actually pretty good.  This is sort-of like a dull, short version of Potemayo.  B-
  • Senran Kagura – This season’s “boobs and blades” property.  Between shots of giant, jiggling breasts, the show looks like it is shaping up to be about two rival groups of modern-day kunoichi – female ninjas.  The fighting action is done fairly well.  The cuts are actually rather limited in action, but the overall direction and storyboarding is done very well, so you get the impression that you are seeing a lot more action than there actually is.  Artwork is average, with backgrounds slightly better than kids shows, and decent character animation.  The feel is more like Asu no Yoichi or Maken-ki! than Omamori Himari or Majikoi Oh! so far.  It is definitely not as expliotive fan-service-wise as Kampfer or Sekirei, but there is still the transformation trope.  It’s probably as forgettable as all those shows with the cookie-cutter characters, but it is entertaining enough and worth the watch.  B-.
  • Minami-ke Tadaima – The fourth TV anime season of the Minami-ke franchise, this one feels more like the first season.  The second season (Okawari) to a certain extent and the third season (Okaeri) to a greater level turned me off to the franchise, but this new series with a new studio has reengaged me.  The show is just a slice-of-life story surrounding three sisters and their peer groups in school, but the characters are very original, making this not a run-of-the-mill everyday life show.  The situational comedy is a little less risque than the TV anime adaptation of the original manga author’s work Kyou no Go-no-Ni.  If you haven’t seen any of the other seasons, there might be a few things that feel in need of explaination, but it is possible to go into this one cold and still enjoy it.  The three sisters’ personalities and dynamic are fairly easily to get just from the first episode alone.  Background and character artwork is better than the previous two seasons, and the directoral style is more in keeping with the original 4-koma manga.  I guess I’m back on board with this one.  A-.
  • Little Busters – this one is running on Crunchyroll, but inexplicably only from episode 14.  Since this is a Key property, one can expect some kind of weird metaphysical/supernatural story aspect to manifest, and possibly the death of a core female character.  It’s not being done by Kyoto Animation, so I’ll probably be disappointed in the animation quality, but with any luck, it will be better than the Toei Animation Key adaptations.  I’ll go and marathon the fansubs of the first 13 episodes before I get into reviewing it.  Okay, I’m back.  Man, it’s really difficult getting past the whole baseball thing.  I really almost gave up after the first episode.  The animation quality is average as are the backgrounds.  The writing and direction are definitely sub-par to the Kyoani Key properties as well.  This one has a pile of male characters unlike Air, Kanon, and Clannad, so the feel is more like Angel Beats!.  I might watch it all the way through, but begrudgingly, like with Angel Beats!.  C+.
  • GJ-bu (GJ Club) – this one is running as a fansub with no “official” streaming source.  Stylistically, this one reminds me a lot of MM!.  The premise is somewhat haremesque with a single male character surrounded by multiple female characters, but there are no shenanigans going on, nor is there the intent.  The male character is more the victim of the female characters’ idiosyncracies, rather than any ribald desires.  The character artwork and backgrounds are well done.  I like it, but I’d like it even more if the club president was voiced by Kugimiya Rie!  A-.
  • Nekomonogatari (Kuro) – this one appeared as a fansub, though it may eventually get picked up for a legitimate USDM release.  This four-episode mini-series chronologically takes place just before the events in the original Bakemonogatari series.  It expands on the Hanekawa Tsubasa story arc from the original series, and adds a little background on the Fire Sisters and Shinobu.  This one comes closer to the original with the overuse of blank cuts of various solid colors that was somewhat toned down in Nisemonogatari.  There are the expected odd camera angles and tight closeups that this franchise is noted for.  In all honesty, I really don’t like the style.  I especially dislike the inconsistencies in character design between extreme closeup and normal – it’s that “super real” thing that gets made fun of in other properties.  The backgrounds are really crap if you think about it.  The story is really the only thing that keeps me watching this.  B-.
  • Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai NEXT – right now, this is running as a fansub, but I’m guessing Funimation will pick it up at some point, as they have the license for the first season.  The second season of Haganai continues without a hitch.  The director and writer are different, but the production quality appears to be about the same.  There is a slight difference in the character animation, but in general, it is still very good.  I’ve been looking forward to this one since I heard it was being made, and I’m not disappointed.  A-.

Get out there and watch some anime!

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