New Winter 2013 shows pt. 2, or I’m beginning to get worried.

Moving on from those mostly regrettable first episodes from my last post, let’s look at some more!  Surely things will get better!  Er …


Next we get Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru, hell, let’s just call it Oreshura like everyone else.  It stars Eita, a high school boy bent on getting into a good medical school and so studies all the time.  It also helps take his mind off his parents splitting up for other partners and deserting him.  With this going on you can understand why Eita has no interest in romance at all.  Several clumsy scenes come and go, petering out the moment they had done their expositional job.  It’s when the beautiful Masuzu winds up beside him when the class desk order is shuffled that anything happens, which is Eita doing his best to ignore Masuzu’s charms and Masuzu getting more interested in him.  Eventually she confesses, and reluctantly walking home with her, Eita learns the reason.  The good news is that she’s actually unpleasant, devious, two-faced, and seems to get what she wants–a character with potential.  The bad news is she’s about the only good thing about the show.  Okay, Eita’s childhood friend/sidekick, whose name we don’t get in spite of her screentime (well, she’s nicknamed Chihuahua) has some moments.  But almost everything else rings false.  You mean to say Eita didn’t recognize that notebook right off?  And all those scenes which just fade out … there’s no flow to this thing until the conversation near the end.  Another show not off to an auspicious start …

She spends much of the episode saying things like that.
She spends much of the episode saying things like that.

Amnesia starts with a girl waking up with no memories of anything whatsoever.  And there’s a friendly floating guy from another dimension named Orion trying to help her out.  And there’s bad people out there (three grumpy women and one long-haired bishie) who want to do her harm.  None of this is explained in episode one.  The girl (whatever her name is) stumbles from one situation to another trying to figure out who she is and these people are without giving away her amnesia.  Why can’t she tell anyone?  Orion gives a lame excuse that makes him suspect.  it’s not all that bad, but the scenes where she has to work at her maid cafe job when she’s forgotten everything about it felt like one of those work-anxiety dreams everybody gets, and made me cringe with sympathy.  But what about that other cafe?  Or is her life resetting every goddamn day, except for Orion?  On a personal-taste level this looks like a reverse-harem series and I don’t care much for those, anyway.  So this innocuous first episode fails to pass my more stringent watch-list test.

I think this is ninja training.
I think this is ninja training.

Much easier to fail Senran Kagura, about five big-busted schoolgirls who go to a rich school but really attend ninja training.  We don’t learn much about them in this episode, like why they chose this way of life or the threats that they’re up against.  Instead we see a lot of underwear and bouncing boobs.  The five girls are all types.  There’s some humor in the gags, like their senpei Kiriya’s over-use of smoke and dumb Hibari’s devotion to Yagyuu, but really this is mostly about girls with bouncy boobs doing ninja things.  Unlike the heroine Asuka, who just barely manages to pass her practical exams, the show fails easily.

And we finish with one of the great hopes of the season: Tamako Market, the latest collection of cute characters, smart direction, and drop-dead glorious animation from mighty Kyoto Animation!  And indeed it’s off to a comparatively decent start … apart from the damn bird.

Shoo!  shoo!  Go away!
Shoo! shoo! Go away!

It stars (I think) Tamako, cute daughter of a mochi-maker, who sells in a shopping district right across from another mochi-maker, who has a son her age, aw how cute.  We see Tamako doing innocuous cute things like interacting with the other shop-owners, who are all, naturally, happily eccentric.  Oh, and she clobbers herself with batons.  It’s all fine, if slightly underwhelming after Hyouka and Chu2koi.  Then that bird shows up and steals every scene.  He talks, you see, so every time he opens his beak it stops whatever cute happy conversation the humans were having.  He’s also vain and annoying as all hell, and I can only hope that now they’ve established his existance they can move on with more interesting things.  So it’s not the best start for this series, but the way the season’s been going so far it might wind up as the best new show by default.

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