November 24, 2012 by Julia
We’re about half-way through the season. I’ve been kind of busy, so I haven’t had a lot of watching time, but here’s where I am at the moment.
Sword Art Online – Continuation from last season. It explores the “reality” of virtual spaces. The initial plot involves 10,000 people being trapped in an online game, but something happened at the end of last season that changed the plot a bit. I love it very much–the art, the characters, the plot, the world, everything.
K – I didn’t even know this existed until Danny Choo put up a preview for it. The character designs looked fantastic, so I figured I would give it a try. LOVE LOVE LOVE. The plot is relatively simple: various “kings” fight each other with magical powers in futuristic Tokyo, and a high school boy gets in the middle of it when someone mistakes him for one of the kings. They keep the tone of “mystery” just right, so that I’m always going, “GAH, no!” at the end of each episode. Is this guy really a king? Did he kill someone? What the heck is going on? Where are the other kings? Also, the show is preeeeeeeeeeeetty, for serious. Amazing animation!
Watching Once in a While
Shin Sekai Yori – So far, I’ve only had time to watch three episodes, and I really like the show. In the future, kids are expected to exhibit psychic powers; when the powers manifest, they get sent to special schools to train. But some of the kids vanish from the schools . . . They’ve got a good combination of creepiness, mystery, and fantasy going; there is even some mystery over how certain species of animals came to exist. I’m curious about what else is going on, I just haven’t had time to watch more yet.
Aoi Sekai no Chushin de – This anime is an anthropomorphized re-telling of the Nintendo-Sega console wars. Seriously. It’s pretty awesome. It’s also super ecchi, and definitely for adults only. I giggled throughout, though, and the references are neat. The problem is that they are doing one episode per season, so we won’t get a new one for a few months.
On Hold For Later
Ebiten - I usually avoid moe slice of life shows (or, rather, all slice of life shows and all moe shows), but commenters on ANN’s article about Crunchyroll picking it up for streaming made it sound like a hysterical send-up of the history of anime, so I decided to watch the first episode. That’s all I managed to get through, because it made no sense to me whatsoever. Things happened, but they were so random that none of them seemed like they belonged in the same show.
BTOOOM - The idea is that this guy who is one of the best in the world at a fighting MMORPG suddenly wakes up on an island with a bunch of bombs that mimic the weapons in the video games. He gets attacked by some other guy with different bombs, and has to kill him. In the second episode, we meet a girl who also played the game and got transported to the island, but only after having a real-life trauma in which three of her friends get raped but she got away. Once on the island, she joins a group with three dudes, but then one turns out to be a psycho and murders another, then when she escapes with the third guy, he naturally ends up trying to rape her. In case you can’t tell, this show is violent and gross FOR NO REASON. It feels like someone watched Sword Art Online and Mirai Nikki, and went, “Hmm, I want to write a story about people getting trapped in a video game who have to compete and kill each other, but it need to be SUPER EDGY, so every episode should be about selfish people, rape, and murder, and there should be tons of blood everywhere.” Um, no thanks. I love Mirai Nikki because there is a compelling plot, and the story is told very well–the violence is used in such a way that it creates a sense of futility, rather than being there just to get attention.
Ixion DT - Booooooooooooooring. Yet another show about a guy who seemingly gets transported to another world while playing a video game. This time, the gamer accidentally defeats a general leading an attack on a princess and her small entourage, and ends up being made a knight by the princess, who is kind of a brat. After two episodes, I just didn’t care about any of the characters. Not the self-centered, somewhat dumb gamer, not the bitchy princess, not the cross-dressing maid, not the big, strong bodyguard, and not the villains. No one. And when I realized that dudes getting hit in the balls was going to be a continuing plot point, that was it. Seriously, you can’t create an interesting fantasy world populated with interesting characters, but instead think it’s a good idea to rely on low blows? If you’re intrigued by the idea of an anime about modern Japanese people transported to a fantasy world who have to do strange things to get home, I recommend Those Who Hunt Elves. I may be its only fan, but I do love it. Also, it’s on sale for $16 right now.