Anime Briefs – Spring ’13

The spring anime season is underway, with many shows streaming on their second episodes already so here’s some initial thoughts on them, roughly in the order they showed up. There seems to be a glut of giant robots this time around, whee. There have been a couple quite entertaining shows too though.

Majestic Prince: Human space bases under attack by superior alien forces. Enter five rookie student mecha pilots. Yes, five, yes they end up in different color mechas. They aren’t without talent, but lack teamwork. They end up thrust into battle in the mentioned colored mechs. Yes, they end up saving the base from the alien attack.

root – nothing new here, full of tropes, but it’s not unpleasant to watch. The art harkens to a more old school vibe, not quite 80’s though. The CG is done cell shading style and integrates well. It’s pretty hokey and predictable, but I’ll keep watching.

risu – couldn’t get past the show synposis!  N

Devil Survivor 2: Three Tokyo High school students end up with apps on their cel phones that summon demons to fight other demons that are showing up and attacking the city. A mysterious government organization shows up and takes an interest in the trio.

root – designs and art are contemporary. Visually it’s dark, art is passable. Story and elements all feel like we’ve seen it before. I’ll give it a few more eps.

risu – again, couldn’t get past the show synopsis.  N

Samurai Bride: More samurai warriors as females in gratuitous outfits, inkblots abound. I vaguely remember watching a couple eps of earlier series. Based of an eroge I’m sure.

root – fanservice has never bothered me, I can enjoy it. But for some reason this show doesn’t do it for me. The inkblot sensoring does bother me, for some reason more than the magical fog or glowing strategic lens flares. If the characters were better, esp the main male, maybe it would be more interesting. This is probably going to drop out of my viewing queue soon.

risu – a gajillion years ago, root gave me a fansub of the first episode of the first season.  At the time, I thought it was well-done and novel, and most importantly, loaded with style.  In the interim, an endless litany of historical-figures-depicted-as-moe-girls have come out, so now this seems old hat.  Although I remember the original with fairly high regard insofar as production quality, this second season seems rather poorly crafted, with terrible artistic continuity.  Not having seen the entirety of the first season makes watching the second season rather ponderous.  If you like them top-heavy and cankley, look no further.  I’ll probably keep watching regardless.  C

Zettai Boei Leviatan: Fantasy world, three girls encounter. One uses water magic, the other fire, and the third seems to have just enormous strength. A fairy shows up looking to recruit members to defend the planet against creatures that have shown up from a crashed meteorite.

root – Fairly bright colors, decent art, animation is actually fairly sparse. The girls are cutely done, it’s not bad. I’ll watch it to fill some time.

risu – I got about halfway through the first episode and gave up.  I think it was the fairy… or did I have to go somewhere… 

update:  OK, I watched the first episode all the way through.  It’s not terrible.  The production quality is about average.  The backgrounds are slightly above kiddy show grade.  I can’t say I really like the characters or really care where this show is going, so it is unlikely I’ll keep watching.  This one is really for the fantasy genre fan as it has no crossover appeal.  C-

Muromi-san: High school boy who like fishing one day hooks something more than he counted on, a mermaid. Now she visits him whenever he’s fishing.

root – OK, this one hooked me. Ow, ok, bad one. Anyway, this is has nice clean art, designs I like, and being a half length show looks like budget could afford some good animation. The characters are quite amusing. This show is a lot of fun. First show of this season that I really enjoy!

risu – the concept is good, but the quality varies.  The first episode and the Fuji episode (5?) have so far been about the best, but the remaining three have been somewhat mixed.  The first episode was very enjoyable (I watched it three times so far!).  The actual backgrounds and character animation are not actually that good, but the story saves it.  B+

More to come.

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