What'cha Watching? - Spring Anime 2014 Survival Guide! ~ What'cha Reading?

What’cha Watching? – Spring Anime 2014 Survival Guide!

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With all the new anime coming out this season that seemed fairly interesting, I went through quite a few of the new series and decided to write a review of the bigger ones. Of course, there are many more that you can watch. For example, the third part of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, and the second season of Mushi-shi. This is just a rundown of a couple of the other anime that stuck out to me.

What'cha Watching? - Spring Anime 2014 Survival Guide!

Sidonia no Kishi, literally Knights of Sidonia

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This is an anime based on a fairly popular series of anime by the same name, currently being translated in the US by Vertical. However, I wasn’t impressed by the first episode of the anime. Perhaps it’s partially because I have yet to read the manga (though it has been on my list of things to read for quite some time), but I was fairly disinterested by the events of the first episode. It took me a while to figure out what was going on, and I still don’t entirely know – which isn’t a complaint, necessarily, the only piece that I found annoying was that the scenes were short and rather choppy. It felt like they were trying to cram a lot of information and scenes into one episode, and I couldn’t find myself becoming interested with any of the characters and their problems. The main character, an amalgamation of various clichés, is introduced in a scene that involves him in falling into a giant hole while he’s trying to steal some rice, being nearly packaged with the rice, breaking two of his fingers – and then, when he finally gets away, he ends up slamming his head, full force, on a piece of wall that was jutting out from the side. He just seems generally awkward, which makes sense, considering he’s supposed to have spent his whole life underground with just his grandfather – but in every scene when I felt like I was getting closer to the main character it was cut short as soon as I got interested in it. The animation style of the show doesn’t help; they use a three-dimensional animation, with the lights casting strange shadows over the characters. There were various things in it that interested me – but I feel like I would rather read the manga than try to discern what’s going on from the anime. While I am planning on trying to keep up with it for a bit, in a season full of mecha anime, this one is not the one that I’ll be waiting to see, if the rest of the episodes end up like the first.

Two out of five stars!

                        Sidonia no Kishi premieres every Friday night!

Isshuukan-Friends.

Isshukan Friends., literally translated into One-Week Friends.

This particular anime is one of the more interesting anime coming out; being one of the only non-mecha anime of the season, it caught my eye. The show itself is about a boy who decides to become friends with a girl – in spite of the fact that, every week, she forgets all of her good memories and all the friends she made in that past week. She resets, and forgets all of those good times. As I read the summary, I immediately gave it the title of “the Crying Anime”. After watching the first episode, I can confirm that it truly is the crying anime. The main character, Hase Yuki, is too cute to even describe, with his friend providing the non-caring attitude that he needs to stabilize him. He spends the entire week trying to befriend this seemingly cold-hearted/tsundere girl – only to find out that she wants to befriend him as well, but, come Monday of the following week, she would forget about him. The writing appears top-notch, evoking emotions and making me start to tear up as early as forty seconds into the episode. The only concern I have is that it is a fairly typical plot; we’ve seen various movies come out with similar concepts. And it could be a boring concept, if not expanded upon in later episodes/ended quickly. But, from the feel of the first episode, it felt like it could be very well done. With the preview for the next episode making me want more, this is definitely one show that I’ll be keeping on my list.

Four out of five stars!

Isshukan Friends. airs each week on Sunday; hopefully you won’t lose your memories of the previous week’s episode!

 

61051lCaptain Earth

I’ve been waiting for this one for a while. Having been made aware of it a while ago, I ended up waiting patiently for the premiere date. This was the first show that I saw of the new season – and then I watched it again. The main character’s father was an astronaut who died in space – and the main character, a few months before that, had met a boy with mystical powers, and a girl who appeared to live in a giant bubble. After his father died, he leaves his hometown – not coming back until the day before the summer vacation of his second year of high school. Long story short, much as one would expect, he ends up piloting a robot into outer space. The main character, Daichi, is one of the more interesting things about the series; he appears disillusioned with school, finding safety in playing video games because he simply doesn’t care about the work that his school gives him. His father’s death has clearly affected him – but, at his core, he’s still a 15 or 16-year-old high-school kid, something that shines through every once in a while, which gives the show a lot of heart. Being done by the same people who brought us Star Driver, the show could really be a hit or a miss; from the first episode, I say it is very promising. Many other people call it a mix of Star Driver and Eureka Seven. Personally, I’m just waiting for the next episode to air.

Four out of five stars!

                        Captain Earth airs every week on Saturday night! You can watch it on Crunchyroll.53b523a5bb9fbea7ced5129bc4595c531388035835_full

 

Fuun Ishin Dai Shogun, literally translated into Dai-Shogun: Great Revolution

Where do I even begin with this particular show. For one, it was very sexually charged; one of the first scenes is of a girl trying to give herself to the main character, also offered to him because she had enormous breasts. The main male characters were very perverted, and the dialogue was very raunchy. The main character was a typical shounen protagonist, unable to really deal with women – instead he’s very dismissive of them, almost acting ignorant of their advances because he wants to fight. And there are a lot of advances. Honestly, the depiction of females in this first episode was really…sexist, being sexualized and not actually being used as characters. The show calls itself a mecha show as well, but the mecha didn’t come in until the last few minutes. It completely came out of left field, especially being an alternate history anime. I don’t know if I’ll be keeping up with this show – they seem to have more fun making sex jokes than actually working on the plot.

One out of five stars!

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Mekakucity Actors

This anime caught my eye from the beginning – I really do enjoy Shaft’s animation, neck-breaking head-tilts and all. And the character designs looked really nice. So I had to give it a shot. When I did, I was not disappointed. The show is about a boy, Shintaro Kisaragi, who has been a shut-in for the past two years; he hasn’t gone out, or even really left his house, just played on the computer with a cyber girl named Ene, who he received in an email attachment. In the present day, he ends up being forced to go out to replace his keyboard, and it’s very amusing for a while – and then things go downhill when he gets to the store and it gets taken over by terrorists and he’s held hostage, along with the other shoppers. Without saying anything more than that, it’s just a generally great episode, making me want to watch the next one right now. Definitely gonna be keeping up with this one.

            Four out of five stars!

                        Mekakucity Actors airs every week on Saturday! You can watch it on Crunchyroll.

Black.Bullet.anime_

Black Bullet

I decided to watch this just to see how it ended up, and it honestly met my expectations – it was a very typical shounen/seinen show, in my opinion, with the whole idea of the main character being a male when seemingly everyone else is female, and with his choice of various female characters to choose from – while fighting this evil creature. In this case, the evil creature is actually a plague, which causes people to grow into giant monsters. If the monster attacks you, you become infected, and become a monster yourself. Set many years after humanity’s fall, they say that the rest of humanity is within a set of borders, with the borders helping to keep the monsters out by using a certain type of metal that the monsters hate. Meanwhile, they have to make sure to keep the infection down to a minimum inside. There are two people; an Initiator and a Promoter, which go around hunting these things down for money. Very typical in many ways, in my opinion. To be fair, according to the summary of the show, the main plot hasn’t kicked in yet, but I found myself slightly bored and waiting for the end of the episode. It could get better, but now, it’s nothing to write home about.

Three out of five stars!

                        Black Bullet airs every week on Tuesday! You can watch it on Crunchyroll.

 

What about you? What new anime have you seen that looks promising? I’m personally also waiting for M3, which is coming out near the end of the month, and I think I’m going to end up sticking with Captain Earth, Mekakucity Actors, and Isshukan Friends definitely, with a few others in my “maybe” pile. Let us know in the comments!

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About Author

Avery Mathews was doomed from birth to be a geek as he descended from geek parents. He hopes to continue to fight the fandom power from the dark recesses of his dorm room as a freshman in college this fall. You can follow his adventures through newly minted adult life on twitter @livingxparadox.

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