Here’s the second half of my spring 2014 anime mid season impressions. If you missed the first part of my impressions, you can check out the post here.
Kanojo ga Flag wo Oraretara
I think that this series has it’s ups and downs. On one side, it’s pretty self aware and purposely tries to include every possible harem character trope within the series. On the other side, I just found it to be too over the top at times and not that entertaining. It’s kind of similar to Noucome in the sense that they’re playing on concepts commonly seen in the anime/visual novel worlds (multiple choice/raising flags). However, I just think Noucome executed the over the top comedy better relative to Gaworare. My reasoning for this is that I found Souta’s character to be too bland. He has a dark past which causes him to be unfazed by many things. The aspect of the show that I enjoy the most is Souta’s interactions with the harem individually. I actually enjoyed the moments where we get to know more about the characters (even if they’re a stereotype) and develop their relationship with Souta.
Kenzen Robo Daimidaler
This has to be one of the stupidest and downright most ridiculous series I’ve seen, yet I can’t stop watching for some reason. Daimidaler is over the top and abides by just about every trope/stereotype possible in a harem/ecchi series. Their jokes and action are so far out there that I can’t help but laugh at it. The characters are kind of just thrown in your face and the action never stops. There’s no real backstory or character development but that’s not the point of the series anyways. To be honest, I was getting a bit bored of the series since it was rather repetitive (penguins attack, Kouichi saves the day while fondling Kyouko). However, the last few episodes they took a gamble and actually changed the lead character of the show. Daimidaler is such a crazy series and they’re able to get away with anything in this show. Overall, it’s a stupid fun show as long as you don’t take it too seriously and don’t mind the fanservice.
Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei
I was pretty excited to see Mahouka after all the hype leading up to it. While I’m a bit let down and don’t see why this series was so hyped up, it’s still somewhat entertaining. Tatsuya is basically god and everyone just worships him. Miyuki is obsessive about her brother while all the other characters just sit around praising Tatsuya’s abilities. I’d say that their magic system is unique and well explained although this can also be a fault. They have really long technical explanations behind their magical spells which can be a turn off for some. Mahouka does have good animation as well as a decent sound track which enhances the viewing experience.
I don’t think Mahouka is as mind blowing as it was hyped up to be, but it’s still enjoyable. This is probably a case where hype actually affected my perception of the show. It built up high expectations which couldn’t be met when the material itself had some glaring flaws (at least for me). This could also be a result of me not being the target demographic for the series. Regardless, this is the shounen power fantasy of the season and can be fun if you don’t over analyze every aspect of the show. I’ve been doing weekly episode write ups on Mahouka which you can check out here.
Mangaka-san to Assistant-san
At first I was disappointed when it wasn’t a full length anime. However, after watching Mangaka-san, I actually enjoy the short format better. It’s a gag comedy similar to SYD so long episodes would just consist of the same set up over and over again. The jokes are usually based around Aito’s perversion but the cast of supporting characters is what makes the show. Either way, the show is fun to watch but nothing special really.
I was excited to watch this series as well after seeing it’d be animated by SHAFT and the source material seemed pretty high rated. It’s an odd series since it’s based on lyrics of vocaloid songs. I think this was one of SHAFT’s lower budget series. The animation seemed really poor in the first few episodes (though this past episode did look like an improvement). The story telling reminds me of the Monogatari series where they give us a bunch of different sides of the story and connect them all in the end. I think the SHAFT animation style distracts from the story of the show and makes it harder to follow. After I read the synopsis and wikis, the series made a lot more sense to me, but unfortunately I had to spoil most of it. It’s not one of SHAFT’s best works, but it’s still an interesting series.
No Game No Life
Madhouse really outdid themselves with this one. While the source material itself seems like your generic otaku pandering series, the art and direction of the series really ties everything together. Even though Sora and Shiro are your typical Gary Stu/Mary Sue, the way the series is executed makes it entertaining. They make a lot of popular culture references throughout the series which is always a treat to spot. The setting/premise of the series isn’t unique but I feel that NGNL has definitely focused more on the action.
Even though Sora and Shiro are unstoppable, they’ve shown some moments of weakness. They also explain their thought processes behind their decisions after they’ve secured their victory which always gives me an adrenaline rush. They drop little hints throughout their games which may seem insignificant, but in the end, everything was planned well in advanced. My one gripe with the show is how the rules of the world and game don’t seem to apply at all. I figure it’s best to not nitpick this series and just enjoy the craziness that is No Game No Life. I’ve been writing my brief thoughts on NGNL on a weekly basis in my weekly spring anime posts.
Ryuugajou Nanana no Maizoukin
I found Nanana to be a fun series. While the story is all over the place, the characters are equally as crazy which compliments the story. Nanana built this island before her death as a way for young people to challenge themselves with adventure. People come to the island seeking different things and end up going through Nanana’s challenges in order to achieve them. We’re not given a lot of insight on the characters’ history. However, the way they interact with each other, especially Tensai and Juugo, makes the show fun to watch. While it’d be nice to know more about the characters’ pasts, the mystery that surrounds them makes the show harder to predict. I actually thought Nanana would have played a bigger role in the series. As it currently stands, she doesn’t do much aside from eat pudding, play video games, and occasionally drop hints for Juugo.
Seikoku no Dragonar
Nothing much to say about this series. Dragonar is basically your cliche fantasy harem series. Ash Blake, the male lead, is an indecisive and sometimes hot headed harem lead who has some sort of secret power within him. The action and story are pretty mediocre and the characters are generic. The animation/art quality isn’t on par with some of the other currently airing series as well. The one upside to this series is that it has quite a well known voice acting cast. Sakura Ayane has been an up and coming actress and I’m surprised at her vocal range (much different from her voice as Suzuka in Tokyo Ravens). It’s also nice to hear Hanzawa Kana playing less timid characters where she can show off her other personalities.
Soredemo Sekai wa Utsukushii
I’m surprised that I’m actually enjoying this series as much as I am. It’s based on a shoujo manga so I feared that it’d follow the common style (aggressive male lead who is interested in a quiet/submissive female lead). I’m not really sure how I feel about Livius being such a young kid, but he definitely doesn’t seem as childish as he appears. He’s had a rough upbringing and missed out of his childhood. Nike is also a likeable female lead for the show. She’s not a damsel in distress and actually challenges the king throughout the series. She sees beauty in almost everything and is a very compassionate person. The art for the series isn’t the best, but it’s not too surprising with the lack of buzz surrounding this series. The soundtrack for the show is quite enjoyable as well. It’d be nice if they didn’t overuse Nike’s “Tender Rain” song in practically every episode despite being a beautiful song!) since it makes it harder to take the show seriously at times.
That concludes my mid season impressions on the spring anime series. I originally planned on watching several other series (Blade & Soul, Break Blade, and Sidonia) but after reading some initial impressions, I decided to not pick up a few shows. I’ll probably pick up Sidonia once I have some more free time available since I heard it’s actually shaping up to be one of the better series this season. Anyways, feel free to share your thoughts on the spring season thus far since I’m interested in seeing how other people feel about this season.