Undefeated Bahamut Chronicle has young Lux, prince of the overthrown nasty empire, chasing a cat, falling through a rooftop, wouldn’t you know it, right into a girls’ bath on top of Lisha, the princess of the empire that overthrew his. Whee! Naturally she challenges him to a duel, making this show the season’s Asterisk or Cavalry. Of course she can’t defeat him even with her souped up mecha and his stock-parts one, but then a monster shows up and they team up to defeat it. All is forgiven for now, Lux gets to join the all-girls academy, and Lisha’s dere side comes out a bit quickly.
Variations in the format are …, er, I can’t think of any. The surprise monster maybe, or that both Lux and Lisha have secrets. Cute little sister who talks in a monotone–been done. Mecha duels, ladies academies, sorry, I can’t think of a single thing that could make this different from any other mecha/harem anime. Not that that’s a deal breaker, but it means the show will have to work hard to stand out.
In Mahou Shoujo Nante Mou Ii Desu Kara, Yuzuka, another normal middle school girl, gets an offer to become a magical girl from a strange mascot. Actually, Miton the mascot is kind of scary looking, but the thought of becoming a magical girl overrides Yuzuka’s fear. She’s downright annoyed to find herself in a swimsuit. Miton explains it’s the best outfit for her, but, well, an underdeveloped girl in a two-piece is probably just what some fans want.
It’s a short show so it’s done after she turns back and slaps Miton back into the trash pile. Normally I’d say this is your average cute mahou shoujo show, but the camera ogles Yuzuka in her swimsuit too much for me to be comfortable watching, so I’m dropping it now.
In Ao no Kanata no Four Rhythm, after a prelude of a girl singing and not being terribly happy, we meet the girl, Asuka, returning to that sunny island chain, now in high school, genki and air-headed as all hell. A boy named Masaya helps find her keys after she falls down, and they’re joined by sleepy classmate Misaki, and the three fly to school. Why this comes as a surprise to Asuka I don’t know, because all the kids do it. Well, I do know one reason, so they can give background info that’s really for us. Anyway, she sees a rival school’s flying ace humiliate some guy, gets mad, challenges her to a duel, though she can’t even fly without flopping around. You can imagine what happens. Oh, there’s some accidental fanservice too that has nothing to do with the show except it happened in it.
I hope Asuka gets used to this flying quickly because watching her lurch and tumble about like a beginner on ice skates got old fast. At least they took care of the “looking up the skirt while the girl flies” schtick out of the way quickly (why the school doesn’t give them less revealing uniforms is another great mystery of the show). Asuna starts annoying and gets little better, maybe gaining a few points for challenging Reika in the first place, even if the guy had just lost a fair match. Masaya has a dark secret about flying that the show’s already started to work with. The other characters are okay. Not much to this series. Let’s see how the characters pan out.
Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku Wo! is our second “regular guy thrown into a stereotypical fantasy world” show of the season, though it looks to be a lot friendlier. Kazuma, a countryside NEET, dies in embarrassing circumstances and meets Aqua, an afterlife greeter of sorts, and takes the choice to go adventuring in a fantasy world to defeat the evil guys there. He can choose one amazing thing to take with him so he chooses Aqua, out of revenge because she’s been so mean to him. Once there they start at level zero and have a hard time, but it’s only episode one.
Not sure why Aqua would stick by Azuma after they arrive, especially after she gets placed at a much higher level than him. And is she wearing anything under that dress? Never mind … Some of it works. Azuma gets off some good lines, and it’s rather fun to see him sort of take charge of their situation when they get there, even if the smallest roadblock stops him cold. It also gets a little confusing to see them both work as laborers to start with. And what was that “Pause” bit right in the middle? Commercial break? Well, the Azuma/Aqua combo can be fun to watch, and eventually they’ll level up and we’ll get some side characters soon, I figure.
Then there’s Ajin, the new horror/thriller by the people who gave us Knights of Sidonia, or so it looks. We get a look of what Ajin are capable of in the first scene, where African soldiers are trying to take down just one of them, until (we’re told later) Americans manage to subdue him. Already the questions appear. Are the soldiers really that bad shots? How did the other soldiers know what to do, even if (we’re told later) he’s the first that we know about? Anyway, we move to the present day and a studious, unlikable kid named Kei goes about looking at his notes, ignoring his childhood friend Kai, and meeting a girl in the hospital, not because he cares, but because of an incident years ago.
And more questions. Why does Eri cop such an attitude toward Kei? Because she sees his underlying selfishness? Because he blew off Kai as a bad influence at his mom’s request? And what WAS that thing he saw? Well, we figure it has to do with the next bit, where he gets killed by a truck and wakes up again, much to the shock and fascination of the onlookers who only know Ajin as monsters. After that it’s a typical chase scene, and Kai reenters Kei’s world. I expect Eri will next week, since we see her in the previews, tied up in a van.
Pretty well done. We have the same cgi issues we had with Sidonia–people walk funny, but the action scenes are terrific. And Kai’s “anime” face sticks out from the others a bit. Maybe it’s the hair. On the other hand, the show sets an excellent mood. Things are dark and scary from the very beginning. It’s all dark, blurry, and threatening. Maybe a little too much. I hope they decide to give us some bright sunshine here and there. The music, like in Sidonia, enhances it all. As for the story, it might wind up being kind of routine, but we have Kei’s issues (not only being ajin, but being an unpleasant human being) to work with, not to mention what will happen if Kei gets caught. A lifetime in labs getting killed over and over for science?
Finally, THE GREATEST ANIME EVER is FINALLY BACK! … Okay, Teekyuu‘s only been gone for a couple weeks. In episode 73 a shocking change, the girls decide to form the Well-Digging Club. It’s surprisingly fun! They’re aiming for nationals! Alas, the show got rusty after two weeks and the opening SPG ration is 4.28, over a point over their best marks. Come on girls, shake off that holiday rust!