So I figured that because I haven’t been writing here recently, if I couldn’t think of anything to write substantially about regarding anime at the moment, I might as well write some quick impressions on the shows that I’ve been following during this season. I guess I should also mention some of the things I notice in what others write about these series as well. That’s in terms of ones that I’ve been keeping up with lately (at least only a week behind in episodes), as there’s always a list of shows that I want to see/put off watching for some reason or another.
Amagami SS: Moving into the final arc of the series, I’ve enjoyed the series more than I expected too. But I also notice that I don’t necessarily focus on the stories with each arc more than on how the characters interact with each other, so their idiosyncrasies probably matter more to me than they should (ni-shi-shi… is always awesome, e.g.). What strikes me most about others watching the series is that there’s a lot of stuff there that they could seem themselves or other teenagers doing in terms of Junichi going his way to unconsciously know about the female mystique and about love. If so, I’ve totally missed out on in my life, since I never remember having the focus that Junichi does in admiring his companions, nor slowly growing to fall in love with someone either. I wonder if this means that I’m emotionally stunted in those types of matters, but I guess that will matter if I ever feel like pursuing them. As we’re only just starting the Ayatsuji arc, which looks like it will be very interesting indeed based on the first episode cliffhanger, I can’t do a fair comparison of all the main girls yet. But I can say that I’ve enjoyed Kaoru’s, Ai’s and Rihoko’s arc compared to Haruka’s and Sae’s. Though isn’t it sad, Rihoko?
The World God Only Knows: I feel like this show really works it’s humor well, especially in Keima’s many words of wisdom to Elsie. I admire the effort that Keima makes to successfully capture the spirits hiding in his targets, and enjoy how over the top and life-threatening (which seems to be way too often for him) these efforts can be. The episode with the buggy game (5?) has to be one of my favorite episodes of the season, especially when knowing that TENMON was involved in the music for the game as well.
Oreimo: I’ve written a fair bit about my thoughts on what I like about the show, and how I see other people receiving it, so I’ll just note that the more recent episodes are cool in giving us more of an insight into otaku culture (including the sights and sounds besides the medium itself), though they definitely need to work with their drama chops. At those moments, things tend to become way to melodramatic, and the execution can be very poor. Ayase’s breakdown with Kirino is one such example in my mind. Besides that, I have to wonder if Kyousuke really just doesn’t give a crap about what people think of him besides Kirino, Manami, Saori and Kuroneko, based on how readily he smears his reputation in the eyes of others for Kirino. Dude’s really being a big bro, but I wonder how much he thinks things through when he does so.
Otome Youkai Zakuro: This is one of those shows where regardless on how interesting things are in the story, I’d watch it just for the vocal cast. But both the cast and the story are interesting, especially as it looks like we’re starting to get into the main conflict of the show. As for the characters themselves, Bonbori and Houzuki are fun to watch when they play off each other, and it’s worth it just to hear Zakuro’s incredulous “Huuuuuuh?!?” sounds when she can’t believe what comes out of some people’s (read: Agemaki’s) mouths.
Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt: I feel like people put much more into what the show means than they should. It’s definitely different in terms of character design and some topics covered than a lot of the anime out right now. But to say it’s a middle finger to mainstream anime is definitely a bit much, and sounds more like projecting more of what they want to see the show do than what the show is. Or maybe it’s that we all get blown away by Panty and Stocking’s transformation sequences, I don’t know. The stories are more hit than miss, with some episodes (second part of episode 5, and second part of episode 9) really knocking their stuff out of the park and again reminding us that our expectations can always be quickly thrown out in the blink of an eye. And when GAINAX fire all missiles with the animation, like they did in the second part of episode 1, or in the Angel/Devil square off in episode 6, the effect is damn breathtaking. As for the most important question: Panty > Stocking. I’d rather deal with someone who gets around vs. someone who’s a junkie, for starters. :P
Ika Musume: Definitely makes me laugh more than I’d expect it too, as the characters play off each other well. I definitely like the moments when Squid Girl is discovering something new about the world that she wants to invade (like umbrellas), since it’s the closest that we’ll possibly get to having a Yotsuba&! anime for the time being. Eiko is a formidable opponent/ally, for sure.
Star Driver: 1.) The title namedrop jingle during the eyecatches, along with Tauburn’s fabulous pose there is awesome. 2.) “Monochrome” (aka Fish Girl song), might be one of my favorite songs of the year by far. Shame that it seems like it will only get a limited run in this show. This is the show that I most look forward to watching this season, partly because of the mysteries surrounding the island and Cybodies (though I don’t mind it not being solved quickly at all), partly because of the solid vocal cast, partly because of how it approaches many things (the battles, the symbolism, the standing around while breathing), partly because of the music, and so on. It’s flashy, quirky, and throws enough kinks into the works to keep me guessing. I also have no problem with Tauburn being nigh unstoppable, since I’m enjoying it’s flamboyant actions and poses. My only desire is for someone to call Takuto “Ginga Pretty Boy!” during a battle. That would be glorious.