Dissecting the New Fall Season

Pic Unrelated

After finishing round 2 (3 for some), some things have changed… but others didn’t.

NOTE:
Since I’m a bit too lazy to rewrite reviews and provide pretty screenshots, I’m going to just copy and paste what I’ve been writing on my university’s anime society’s forum. One of the club officers disagrees with me so I’m going to copy both our posts (and one from another person). Besides, it’s more enjoyable to have feedback, even if it’s negative.

===============================================

Officer:
So the October 2008 releases are starting to roll out.

On RAWs alone, currently I liked:

Skip Beat!
Shikabane Hime: Aka
Tales of the Abyss
Chaos; Head
Tytania

Here’s what I’m now making space on my hard drives for:
Skip Beat!
Shikabane Hime: Aka
Tales of the Abyss
To Aru Majutsu no Index
Chaos; Head
Tytania
Nodame Cantabile: Paris Hen
Toradora!
Vampire Knight Guilty

And here’s what I’m not making room for:
Kuro Shitsuji
Yozakura Quartet
Kurogane no Linebarrels

And here’s what I still need to watch:
Ga-Rei: Zero
Kurozuka
Mouryou no Hako
One Outs
Switch
Akane-Iro
Michiko to Hatchin

===============================================

Me:
Finally a post about the new season! :)

Epic Win
ef -tale of melodies-
Clannad ~AFTER STORY~
Kannagi

ef continues to satisfy me, the dark horse visual novel adaptation that matches (or in my opinion, surpasses) KyoAni’s Clannad. The latter is an obvious choice since after watching the movie, I’m just waiting for the heartache and tears to fall. As for Kannagi, I think it’s going to be the winner for new series due to how well-balanced it is… at least in the manga. Besides, OP was done by the same people as Haruhi and Lucky Star. Can’t go wrong with that.

Almost Guaranteed
Tales of the Abyss
Hyakko
Gundam 00 Second Season
Chaos; Head

All of the “Tales of…” adaptations are great so it shouldn’t disappoint (Bump of Chicken :)). Hyakko is a nice slice of life. Gundam 00 satisfies my mecha appetite but I could do without the bishounen pilots. Chaos; Head is just for the gore and messing with the mind.

Meh
Akane Iro ni Somaru Saka
Shikabane Hime Aka
Kuroshitsuji
TYTANIA
Casshern Sins
Kyou no 5 no 2

Akane Iro ni Somaru Saka had an interesting start but it might drop to Goshūshō-sama Ninomiya-kun’s quality… which is bad. Shikabane Hime Aka, made by the same creators as TTGL, didn’t amaze me at all. Kuroshitsuji has the FABULOUS but I’m not a shouta fan. TYTANIA seems to be a bad rip of Crest/Banner of the Stars. Casshern Sins has potential but it seems too thoughtful like Kaiba. Kyou no 5 no 2 is better off as an OVA production to prevent sacrificing the animation quality.

Close to Dropping
Macademi Wasshoi!
GA-REI -zero-
Rosario + Vampire CAPU2
Toradora!
To Aru Majutsu no Index
Kemeko Deluxe!

Macademi Wasshoi! is like Negima but without Nodoka. GA-REI -zero- isn’t like the manga at all. Rosario+Vampire has the catchy OP but that’s it. Toradora! and To Aru Majustsu no Index’s adaptations are not to my liking so I’ll keep to the manga. Kemeko Deluxe!… never was a fan of it.

Doomed
Kurogane no Linebarrel
Vampire Knight Guilty
Skip Beat!

Another emo boy pilot… but this time spouting about justice while going through his emo routines. Not a fan of Vampire Knight nor Skip Beat!

Has Yet to Touch
Nodame Cantabile Paris Chapter
Hakushaku to Yousei
KUROZUKA
Yozakura Quartet
Michiko to Hatchin
Mouryou no Hako

EDIT
I stand corrected by GA-REI -zero-‘s ep 2. Seems like it’s an alternate retelling of the manga.

===============================================

Officer:
Wow. How can you not like Skip Beat? It’s such a great story. So little of it is about girls getting boys even though a boy is the catalyst for the story. In fact, it’s the exact opposite. Kyoko ran out of love, leaving her with only a healthy vengence.:P How often does that happen nowadays? Plus, they seem to be keeping really close to the manga so far.

But can you elaborate more on your like of Kannagi? The summary made it sound like just another generic title of that sort. What about it do you like?

===============================================

Me:
Skip Beat!’s art style isn’t something I can enjoy and admittedly, I can’t even finish the manga because of it. It’s just personal preference.

Kannagi gives off Clannad vibes… though focusing only on the humorous parts. Besides, Nagi is such a colorful character. I mean, how many characters in the anime world can appreciate puns so well :)

Also watched KUROZUKA… seems like a very gory anime with an immortal vampire in it. Animation is great so I’ll stick it in the “Almost Guaranteed” bin.

===============================================

Another Club Member
Hmm…I’m not sure I agree with this list. The first episode of Kannagi didn’t really wow me…I’d stick in the same level of interest as Shikabane Hime Aka. To Aru Majutsu no Index seemed to hold some more potential than you’re granting it as well, though that could just be personal preference on my part.

===============================================

Me:
Kannagi is more of the breath of fresh air, the light-hearted series that balances out the action and drama series that I’m watching. Also, that statement doesn’t meant that Kannagi can’t stand by itself. It’s great in its own right. Just like Eve no Jikan but without the 2 month wait between episodes.

Index has potential, just not enough to grab my attention. Admittedly, it interests me as much as Linebarrels… which is Gonzo’s latest failure. What happened to their redemption through Tower of Druaga?

Speaking of redeeming themselves, GA-REI -zero- just got bumped into the “Almost Guaranteed” since the plot makes a lot better sense now.

Spoiler (highlight to show):

The series will cover that time leap not shown in the manga. It’s going to be on Yomi’s continuing evil transgression up until her sister Kagura killed her… possibly to when she tries to awaken the Demon King underneath Tokyo. We might get to see up to 70 character deaths…

So it’ll be packing a ton of action and quality animation.

===============================================

Officer:
Oh, but you can’t cancel out a series you admit has “potential” until you see at least 2 episodes. There are lots of series that need that 2 episodes to establish itself.

===============================================

Me:
Every series has potential, even Naruto/Bleach which I don’t watch but read. Are they interesting? Fairly. Do they have enough potential to grab my attention and keep me faithful to the screen? No.

Watched 2 episodes. Skip Beat! remains in the rejected bin along with new friends, Macademi Wasshoi! and Kemeko Deluxe. Toradora! and Index are slipping further so they might be joining them soon.

EDIT:
Watched Yozakura Quartet. It seemed pretty interesting.

===============================================

Officer:

FFVIIKnight Wrote:
EDIT:
Watched Yozakura Quartet. It seemed pretty interesting.

Well, alright. If Rental Magica…I mean, Yozakura Quartet floats your boat. Really though, it’s practically the exact same story. How can you go for series that do that? It’s not even told in an original way.

Also, you’re not giving reasons why you’re rejected these titles. Do share!

===============================================

Me:
Let me get this straight…  You mentioned the failure of Rental Magica?

Yozakura Quartet was chronologically correct in its two episodes… unlike Rental Magical which ruined itself with timeskips. There’s barely any romance (though I suspect the Mayor will be the primary candidate with Akina), none of that Honami vs. Adelicia trash.

Most importantly, the protagonist’s superpower is not super business management like Itsuki’s. It’s exorcising spirits that turned harmful to the town’s residents. They’re trying to protect their way of life, to keep the peace between humans and spirits. They’re not a poor mercenary group that’s hired on occasion to fix magical pollution in some random location. There’s a central focus to this series, evident by the antagonist lightning fox spirit trying to destroy the barrier in the first two episodes.

I might be wrong though since this is based on the work of a first-time manga author but so far, there’s plenty of potential with the first two episodes. Rental Magica only had episode 1… then it fell into a bottomless pit.

—Reasons for Dropping Series XXX—

As I’ve mentioned before, Skip Beat! is impossible for me due to its art style. Say what you want about how great a shoujo work it is with Kyouko turning into a star just for revenge… but that’s going to be your realm of opinions, not mines since I’m dropping it. Just like Wallflower. I can’t see how people can get past the character designs. For me, the humor doesn’t make up for it and thus, up until the ED, my eyes were just begging to be put out of its misery.

For Kurogane no Linebarrel, it’s easy. The manga was passable with the mecha battles but I woefully underestimated how horrible (and delusional) Kouichi was. I could skip the pages where he spouts about being justice but I can’t do that on the screen. He’s nothing more than a conceited brat who just happened to control an almighty mecha. Typical plot devices with the same bland story being told. Fail.

Vampire Knight Guilty is the sequel of Vampire Knight, which I dropped when that aired. Touched the manga before it got adapted but interest quickly faded away. Not a fan of it. Never was.

Macademi Wasshoi! is just magical school-turned harem fanservice trash. Negima! was bad. Zero no Tsukaima was also bad. Zero no Tsukaima: Futatsuki no Kishi was worse. Zero no Tsukaima: Princesse no Rondo was much worse. This might be the worst of them all.

Kemeko Deluxe is like Kannagi but with much less appeal… and that wtf-robot-thingy. Funny but not so well-balanced. Admittedly, time constraints forced me to drop this one… otherwise I’ll be following ~18 series this semester.

After watching episode 3, Toradora! is on hold… if not on indefinite hold. Plot, as I anticipated, is just recycled from other series I’ve seen before. Voices are annoying, especially Minori’s. Nothing spectacular and this is more of a series for new anime fans… not for those that already seen a lot of similar shows.

===============================================

Officer:
A) I never mentioned any sort of opinion on Rental Magica. I just said that Yozakura is a copy, right down to the chicks that do all the work and the male lead being seemingly useless eye-candy until the very last second. The characters so far are all the same builds.
B) …Can I ask you to compare my opinion on Yozakura and your’s on Toradora? Because you’re putting Toradora on hold because it’s “a show whose story we’ve all seen before” and yet you’re watching Yozakura, whose characters we’ve all seen.

Side Note: The art in “The Wallflower” anime was different from the art in the manga. Even I had a hard time with that anime despite liking the manga until the story plateaued.

===============================================

Me:
Akina as eye-candy? That’s a first.

Anyways, if you say Yozakura is a “copy” of Rental Magica, I would expect you to have high expectations given that RM had an explosive 1st episode. It was only later when we see its (many) faults.

I suppose you look at the characters more than the plot, unlike myself who prioritizes plot and BGM. If that’s the case, I would like you to present another example series that resembles Yozakura. Frankly, I see no relation between this and Rental Magica.

Similarities
Has male leader of some group
Has female companions who have magical powers

Dissimilarities
Strong single female lead (Mayor/Hime)
Exorcism vs. Management

I would like to say that this resembles Tactics since Akina faces moral issues in exorcism just like Kantarou did. With RM, we’re just waiting for Itsuki to rip off his eye-patch and spout orders to his lackeys. Here, we see Akina actually confronting the spirits, risking his own life (and no fist of fury… yet).

Yozakura is a potential favorite in the fantasy/supernatural genre. How many other series in there turned out good (not counting the more action-oriented like Hellsing and Blood+)? Compared to romance/drama which I could name a lot more (ef being the king/queen of them all)…

Toradora! falls into the same development that I’ve seen before. I mentioned nothing about characters.

Quote:
Plot, as I anticipated, is just recycled from other series I’ve seen before.

Please differentiate between plot and character designs. They’re completely separate.

Toradora! is just romance-only Shakugan no Shana (or insert other tsundere romance here). If I have more time, I would restart it but for now, it’s frozen.

===============================================

And to end this post… my current signature on that forum.

13 Responses

  1. Thank you for posting both your impressions and reactions of others :)

    Let’s look at your list…

    – – –
    Epic Win
    – – –

    I have not seen Ef and Clannad because they are second seasons of the shows I have not watched. I did watch Kannagi and liked the art, but character design and the plot didn’t fit my taste.

    – – –
    Almost Guaranteed
    – – –

    I didn’t watch Tales of the Abyss and Gundam 00 Second Season. Well, at least we can agree on Hyakko :D

    – – –
    Meh
    – – –

    Didn’t watch: Akane Iro ni Somaru Saka, Shikabane Hime Aka, Casshern Sins, Kyou no 5 no 2
    Watched: Kuroshitsuji, TYTANIA,

    Kuroshitsuji has many other things besides shouta :P Tytania has more common with Legend of Galactic Heroes probably :P

    – – –
    Close to Dropping
    – – –

    Skimmed: Kemeko Deluxe!, Macademi Wasshoi!
    Didn’t Watch: Rosario + Vampire CAPU2
    Watched: GA-REI -zero-, Toradora!, To Aru Majutsu no Index

    Kemeko Deluxe! has one of the most bizarre openings… Macademi Wassoi! has a nice yandere example, but the show is crazy! lol GAR Ei knows how to twist things and Index has nice art and expressions.

    – – –
    Doomed.
    – – –

    Didn’t watch: Kurogane no Linebarrel, Vampire Knight Guilty
    Watched: Skip Beat!

    I really liked Skip Beat! due to determination and enthusiasm of Kyoko and her voice actress. The character design didn’t bother me, but you know that I wouldn’t watch some other popular series and some other series by that company just because of character design :P Everyone has a different taste and that is fine :)

    – – –
    Has Yet to Touch
    – – –

    Actually I watched all the shows you didn’t watch yet :P If you liked otaku in Chaos Head, there is another one in Nodame :P I really liked voice actress of Nodame too :) I have a feeling you wouldn’t like Hakushaku to Yousei given your preferences :P Kurozuka is kind of like matrix with swords. I have extensive coverage of the first episode. I felt there was too much action in Yozakura Quartet. I skimmed Michiko to Hatchin and it wa PAINFUL to watch due to all the violence… Mouryou no Hako has excellent art, mystery, and some plot twists.

    Moral of the Fall Season 2008? If a show has an exclamation mark after the title, BEWARE! :P

    Oh well, due to some circumstances, I had to drop all shows except Kuroshitsuji…

    – – –

    Regarding that Officer… It is funny when people fail to appreciate diversity of tastes. It looks like your officer thinks that if s/he likes the show, the others MUST like it as well (“Wow. How can you not like Skip Beat?”). As for the two episode rule, yes, I also had three episode rule, but now I have a quality detector that can classify with decent sensitivity and specificity just based on one episode :P I have not watched all those other series you mentioned talking to that officer, so can’t comment.

    hahaha That signature is awesome! :)

  2. I admit I have an elitist tendency when asked about my opinions of shows. However, from her point of view, I suppose she thinks that something plot-spectacular like Skip Beat! should be watched despite its other flaws. Unfortunately, I won’t watch something that would murder my eyes and gives nothing substantial in return.

    2-3 episode rule is something I follow unless a series just rubs me the wrong way from the start, which is how some of them are doing.

    Now I’m waiting for Clannad+Tytania subs…

  3. Your officer’s comment about Skip Beat is like a line of my own… lolz.

    It’s sad that the aesthetics aspect of Skip Beat is keeping you from seeing how AWESOME it is :( Does this mean you skipped out on the Tokyo Crazy Paradise manga too?

  4. I can’t believe you’re almost dropping Ga-Rei -zero! And ToraDora as well! Besides Soul Eater, they’re the only two shows I’ll be following lol

  5. Clannad looks more of the same though that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The real winner this season would probably be Kannagi for me, as it came out of nowhere and took me by surprised. Nagi’s my wife of the season wwwww

  6. Good call on Yozakura. I liked the first two episodes well enough; in fact my only complaint at this point is that the animation quality should be better. But I can put up with that.

    I might give Kannagi a two-episode trial run. Yours is one of many voices of approval I’ve seen about this show.

    “Unfortunately, I won’t watch something that would murder my eyes and gives nothing substantial in return.”

    My sentiments exactly. Hagu’s repulsive face is pretty much the only reason why I didn’t touch HachiKuro with a bargepole (glowing recommendations notwithstanding).

  7. @usagijen
    Tokyo Crazy Paradise has the action/adventure element along with the romance. Unfortunately, Skip Beat! lacks the former.

    @blissmo
    I’m not dropping GA-REI -zero- anymore. The others… well… we’ll see. 18 series is murderous to keep up with.

    @Shin
    I’m just waiting for the waterworks in AFTER STORY… though the Sunohara-Mei arc isn’t that bad. Onii-chan MOE bomb!

    Kannagi? Well… let’s just say I agree with that winner statement… though GR-Z might be a contender from the other side of the genre spectrum.

    @Diego
    I’m still waiting for a decent fantasy series. Unfortunately… I’ve came across very few but Yozakura looks promising.

    You’ll learn to worship Nagi soon enough. Maybe her sister too! :)

    As with the Skip Beat! issue, even if it’s a wonderful plot, if it’s something I can’t watch, I won’t force myself to do it. Glad to know that I’m not alone with that sentiment.

  8. Probably the last couple comments pertaining to the new season…

    ===============================================

    Officer
    But…Rental Magic does have exorcism…
    Also, I know the difference between plot and character. My point was that you’re excusing one anime from copying but hating another for it. That’s my point.

    But you know what? I’m tired of talking about a series that, having seen both raw and subbed, is not nearly one of the best to come out this release season (IMO). (And just so you know, I went into that series wanting to watch it. It was only after viewing that I generated this opinion.) But hey, we’ll just wait and see and let the mass internet reviews and ratings speak for themselves later down the line.

    ===============================================

    Me:
    Assuming that you are right and that Yozakura has the “same builds”…

    That’s like saying Naruto and Basilisk are the same (because they have ninjas) or that Gurren Lagann and Linebarrels are the same (because they have mecha). To me, they are completely separate but just by coincidence, happen to share a few similarities.

    Yozakura is the same. If any similarities do exist outside of the supernatural premise that both share, it still has nothing to do with their individual plot and where it goes.

    LittleHobbit13 Wrote:

    But hey, we’ll just wait and see and let the mass internet reviews and ratings speak for themselves later down the line.

    Unfortunately, popular opinion has little to no influence on how I judge series. If I like something, I like it. Whether or not other people enjoy it, that’s a minor matter that only comes up when someone asks for recommendations.

    As for the “best series”, predictions of this season will be…

    Top Romance/Drama: ef -tale of melodies-
    Top Action/Adventure: GA-REI -zero-
    Top Comedy: Kannagi/Clannad*
    *Up until it gets serious, probably after the Mei arc

    It’s subject to change as the season progresses but so far, that’s my impressions from watching them.

  9. Mass internet reviews and ratings certainly do speak, but the question is what do they really tell ;)

  10. I’m waiting for Code Geass R3. Eveybody is alive and is living in fcking Disneyland (aka Damocles).

  11. @kitsune
    Only the view of others… but not our own.

    @… Gundam… person
    You mean the sun? FAIL.

  12. I also dropped Skip Beat because it wasn’t able to catch my attention.

    On a side note, the thing with anime spun from popular manga is that there is bound to be comparisons and when the anime do not meet up or stay “true” to the manga, it’s frowned upon. Think the last few episodes of Claymore anime and you’ll get what I mean. Save for vampire Knight Guilty, I haven’t read the manga for the other manga spun anime series like Ga-Rei Zero so it’s a rather new and interesting series to me. (: Either that or blissmo got me sync-ed along the same lines as her. lol XD

  13. If they wiped the last two episodes, Claymore would have been almost perfect. Unfortunately, that’s not how things turned out.

    Manga-adapted anime are always bound to be scrutinized more. There can never be an “unbiased” opinion when already read it. Expectations are made and they are either met… or not.

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