Summer 2013 #7: where I marathon the rest because I’m hopelessly behind.

A human is a curiosity in the demon world.
A human is a curiosity in the demon world.

Blood Lad turns out to be better than I had thought. From the picture I saw I thought it would be a bunch of stylish modern-day vampires, all smirking bishies of course, but instead we got a comedy about a boss in the demon world (Staz) who has a thing for Japanese pop culture (Eww!) and flips out when a real live human girl (Fuyumi) stumbles from out of nowhere onto his turf … and gets eaten, though that’s not apparently permanent if Staz can work the right magic, if he can travel to Earth, where he’ll be distracted by the pop culture, etc etc. I didn’t really laugh anywhere but I was smiling most of the way through. There are smart, funny moments in almost every scene. Staz is a good combination of cool, capable demon boss and uncool fanboy, and his rapport with his top minion Deku was fun to watch. Fuyumi, being eaten and turned into a ghost, is harder to read right now. A good start.

… and this is the point where I fell even farther behind, due to real life, so I’m going to push through the remaining shows on my list as quickly as I can. Since I’m already two episodes behind that dog and scissors show.

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Makai Ouji – Devils and Realist is about a rich kid named William who doesn’t believe in the occult and then learns he’s a direct descendant of Solomon and thus an “elector” and hot property for all those bishie demons out there who want him to elect them to Lucifer’s job. Episode one had a few good moments. They keep it as light as possible in a story where demons battle using all those gothic trappings. Both servants were entertaining in their butlery way. But William’s denial of the evidence got on my nerves really quickly. This is, by the way, the second show this season where you have turf wars in the demon world. I’m going to pass.

Oh, crap, she remembers everything.
Oh, crap, she remembers everything.

I thought I knew what I was getting into with the third season of The World God Only Knows, but threw something new at me. The reason for it is unclear (or pointless), but the girls Keima saved before are beginning to remember their time with him, and he’s got to sort it out or demons will take over the world, I think. Since the episode ends with an angel (a ditzy version of Kanon who calls herself Apollo) getting stabbed, it’s serious business, more serious than this show usually is. I’m more interested in the repercussions for Keima, however. It was certainly convenient, sort of a male fantasy, to be able to get girls and then have them conveniently forget after he gets them so he can move on, but now Keima is faced with all his conquests suddenly remembering that they are in love with him. It’s also a dilemma because beneath it all Keima’s a decent person. Looks like I’ll have to keep watching for a while.

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Next I got to one of the most anticipated new series of the season: Watashi ga Motenai … hell, I’ll call it Watamote like everyone else. The question after episode one is whether we’re just going to watch Tomoko go and fail every episode (no fun to watch) or will she somehow make friends (like all those other shows, therefore boring)? It’s definitely worth watching to see. Tomoko is charming in a weird, bitter, nearly feral way (nice voice work by Izumi Kitta), and if she has some unpleasant thoughts toward people who haven’t shown any animosity toward her, don’t we all at times when we feel vulnerable socially? I also like how it looks, and the weird effects Tomoko causes with her imagination. I’m happy to keep this for now.

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Gin no Saji, or Silver Spoon. Not bad. It’s nice to see a different kind of high school life for a change, especially after Watamote and its depressing view of it. Episode one is a fish-out-of-water type as our hero, Hachiken, experiences his first full day at the agricultural high school he inexplicably signed up for, and in spite of that, it’s not bad. Hachiken seems adaptable, and the classmates don’t seem like an unpleasant lot. But considering the amount of poop, drool, chicken anuses and blood that we see, maybe I shouldn’t have watched this right before dinner.

Three out of the four main girls.  It wasn't worth finding a screenshot with all of them.
Three out of the four main girls. It wasn’t worth finding a screenshot with all of them.

Hyperdimension Neptunia … dumb, confusing and just bad.

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I decided not to try Gatchaman Crowds. Which leaves me with Kimi no Iru Machi, either a serious love story or a harem series pretending to be one. I wasn’t crazy about the first episode, where this guy named Haruko transfers to a high school in Tokyo in order to see a girl who apparently dumped him, or just left, we don’t know. He stays with his sister and has a crazy classmate living next door who hates him at first, but since then has been giving him sidelong glances. In fact, the episode gives us a lot of glances. It jumps from one closeup to another of some odd thing in the room until I wanted to shout at the show to give us a normal angle of something for a change. Also, in case the thought of a “serious” love story is tempting, it also gives us a number of glances at panties, bikini bottoms, and other things that wreck the romantic mood they are trying to set. And the joking about characters’ accents got old quickly. I think I’ll drop this one, too.

I think that’s it, at least of the shows I wanted to try. Next I’ll have to figure out which ones to write about and which ones to just watch.

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3 thoughts on “Summer 2013 #7: where I marathon the rest because I’m hopelessly behind.

  1. As much as I want to, I just can’t get behind Blood Lad. I can see why other people might like it, but there’s too much heavy-handed fanservice and ‘witty’ otaku in-jokes there for me. I also ended up dropping Makai Ouji pretty damn fast. Gin no Saji on the other hand is so far my favourite anime of the season, while Watamote really surprised me by how enjoyable I found that first episode. It’s early days yet of course, but I think I’ve found my groove for the summer anime line-up with those two latter titles plus Love Lab and my not-so-secret guilty pleasure, Free!.

    • Yeah, I’m not sold on Blood Lad, either. We’ll see how it looks after a couple more episodes.

      I liked Gin no Saji partly because it’s a different setting than the other shows, and maybe I’ll pick up some interesting knowledge about raising animals. Heck, just in episode one I learned more than I wanted to about eggs. The story itself looks a little routine, but the other parts might make up for it. As for Watamote, I’m trying to figure out just why I like Tomoko so much.

      As for Free, having now watched ep2, I think I might have dropped it by now if not for KyoAni.

      • Gin no Saji is certainly a breath of fresh air after all the moe and various ‘cute girls doing cute things’ shows. To me, it doesn’t matter so much if the story is routine or not – of course originality and creativity is good, but it’s how the story is actually told that will make or break an anime for me.

        Free! is definitely all about the visuals, which KyoAni is thankfully very good at. It doesn’t hurt that I’m also a competitive swimmer, so it’s nice to see the sport look pretty realistic in terms of animation.

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