The Spring 2014 anime season has just begun and there are plenty of series that I’ve picked up. This week, I’ll try to briefly go over my thoughts on No Game No Life episode 1, Isshuukan Friends episode 1, Haikyuu!! episode 1, Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou episode 1 and Nisekoi episode 13 (continuing winter 2014 anime).
No Game No Life
I was really looking forward to this series after seeing the voice cast (Sorata and Mashiro from Sakurasou!) and unique art style. No Game No Life definitely caught my interest with the first episode. While the premise isn’t exactly unique, I found the overall story to be interesting. The beginning of the episode had a depressing feel to it. It series starts off in Sora and Shiro’s room where they spend practically all of their time playing games. Games are all they have in the real world. However, no matter how good they are at video games, it doesn’t add anything of value in their world. They’re given a chance to live in a new world, Disboard, where their strength in playing games is considered crucial in the world. The overall mood of the show changes as Sora and Shiro plunge into a completely new life where society completely revolves around games. While you’d think that having everything being decided on the outcome of games would result in equality (whoever is the best wins in the end), that still isn’t always the case in Disboard. Corruption and cheating seems to be an issue that still exists in this society just like in the real world.
Sora seems to be your typical Gary Stu (at least in Disboard) who outsmarts and defeats everyone with ease. His view on the world is rather grim. There are no set rules to follow yet people are expected to live their lives a certain way. They can’t stand out or stray too much from the norm (winning, losing, or talking too much) or else there are consequences. Sora seems rather lost in real life and uses games as a way to escape from the reality that he hates so much. He’s also very observant (could be a result of always being considered an “outsider”) and is quick to judge others. Hopefully there will be some people in this world who can match up against Sora’s strength, otherwise the series will probably get repetitive very quickly.
You can watch No Game No Life on Crunchyroll (may not be available in all regions)
Isshuukan Friends managed to surprise me with how quickly the tone of the series changed. I didn’t actually read the synopsis prior to watching this so I wasn’t aware of Fujimiya’s condition. The way they portrayed her character was really well done though. While she put on a cold exterior to drive people away, you could tell how badly she wanted friends. Even though she kept trying to push Haze away, she ended up waiting for him everyday to eat lunch. She enjoyed the companionship and really started to open up to him. While she was happy to finally have a “friend” she knew this was all temporary and tries to cut off ties with Haze on Friday so he doesn’t have to deal with the pain of “losing someone”. I thought that Isshuukan Friends was a very sweet and innocent series and I hope there will be some progress on Haze’s and Fujimiya’s relationship as the series progresses.
You can watch Isshuukan Friends on Crunchyroll (may not be available in all regions)
I’m not really a big fan of sports anime but I decided to give Haikyuu!! a shot anyways. I think my biggest issue with sports anime is that they tend to defy the law of physics. They usually just end up feeling like a typical shounen where everyone has special powers. I understand why a lot of series tend to do this (otherwise why would people watch an anime on sports when they can watch the real thing?) but I guess it’s just not my cup of tea.
My initial impressions on the series is that it seems like your typical shounen lead. Shouyou finds something he’s passionate about (volleyball) and decides to do his best to make his dream a reality. Even though he’s playing with inexperienced teammates, he doesn’t let that get in the way of him having fun. He still tries his best to win even though it appears hopeless. While Shouyou is ultimately defeated in the end, he continues to strive to improve himself and eventually be the best.
You can watch Haikyuu!! on Crunchyroll (may not be available in all regions)
Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou
The first episode of Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou reminds me a bit of Sakurasou. We have a “normal” guy who, due to unforeseen circumstances, has to begin living in a dormitory. However, the dormitory he’s relocated to is filled with odd residents. Even though they’re all so strange, they’re just like everyone else down at heart. Mayumi seemed like your typical promiscuous middle aged woman who’s constantly trying to find a husband. However, she’s still just like a kid at heart who seeks out her “mother figure” to find comfort when times are difficult for her. Everyone at the Kawaisou has their own little quirks but they seem to be like their own little family and care a lot about each other. I’m also a fan of the art style for this series. The light and dark shading used for contrast really makes the show look clean and vibrant.
You can watch Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou on Crunchyroll (May not be available in all regions)
Raku and Onodera’s little misunderstanding continues to grow. While Raku hops on the opportunity to spend more time with her, Onodera continues distancing herself from him because she thinks he’s growing more attracted to Chitoge. While it really seemed Raku and Onodera were making progress, this is a setback for them. On top of that, Raku and Chitoge’s relationship has been seeming a lot more “real” as well. Raku continues to comfort Chitoge when she’s distressed and always manages to help her out when in need.
Just when things are looking good between these Raku and Chitoge, they decide to finally introduce a third girl from the past. This girl has been listed as a main character so it’s about time she’s made her appearance (with only 7 episodes left!). Hopefully we’ll get to know more about Raku’s past with the introduction of this third key holder. Unlike Chitoge and Onodera, she seems to remember Raku from her childhood and can hopefully shed some light onto their past.
I think that the Spring season has started off quite strong. Most of the shows have been able catch my interest right off the bat (possibly because romcoms and slice of life are my favourite genre). I’m following quite a few other series that I didn’t get a chance to discuss about in this post. I’ll try to get into them in the following weeks as more episodes air and I can form a more solid opinion on them. If not, you’ll be able to find my thoughts on all the spring 2014 anime that I’m following in my mid-season impression post that will come later into the season. If you haven’t already, you can check out my thoughts on Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei episode 1 and Black Bullet episode 1 in their own posts.