Friday, October 7, 2011

Fall 2011 Thus Far

Alright, I'm pressed for time so let's get this over and done with. Presenting precise, concise and very much summarized reviews of the Fall 2011 anime so far... The ones I'm watching anyway. Not sure what to watch this Fall? This should help a lot.

1) Bakuman 2

No big hype with this one. Season 1 ended not too long ago this year and we all knew it was coming sooner or later. Typical long running shonen-ish series but with an interesting premise of two guys embarking on a journey to become pro mangaka. The second season starts off with their journey as serialized mangaka. You won't know jack (pun-intended) sh*t if you didn't read the manga or watch season 1 so not recommended for you to follow this Fall unless you followed season 1.

First Impression Rating: 6/10

2) Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai

This anime has seriously struck a nerve within me. Two people, working together to form a club so that they can make friends, just because they both have trouble doing so due to circumstances that make them misunderstood. Really struck a nerve with me. It's so true that society nowadays outcasts those with no social life but... That's not wrong is it..? It's such a simple idea yet... I think I'm in love with this anime. You'll feel like you could make the real effort to get more friends too after just episode 1! The art is crisp and the relationships plain adorable. Look forward to it!

First Impression Rating: 9/10

3) Curse x Cube x Cuious (C3 for short)

Boy meets girl anime, except said girl got shipped to him as a box. Boy meets girl stealing rice crackers in his kitchen in the nude. Girl shouts "kyaa" and boy gets blow to head. This is also known as cliche. First episode already builds up a premise that there is probably going to be quite a bit of love triangle/tsundere tendencies/general chaos. Think MM. If you've never watched MM then let's just say that this anime is going very much into romantic comedy territory. More on the comedy too.

First Impression Rating: 6/10

4) Chihayafuru

Wasn't expecting much from this one. I was sorely mistaken. First episode built up a myriad of emotions in me, and we're talking about an anime which is centered around "karuta", a Japanese word-card game. Google if you want to know more. In summary it involves memorizing 100 Japanese poems if you must know. The main character, Chihaya, warms up to you immediately as the pretty girl whom acts very much unladylike, causing guys to say that her beauty is misplaced. Rubbish. I think she's just fine. Coupled with a powerful flashback in the first episode which tackles just how much she wished she could live in the past again, you'll be enraptured by this one right off the bat.

First Impression Rating: 8/10

5) Fate/Zero

I've already dedicated an entire post to this one, so I don't think much needs to be said here. Movie graphics, awesome plot, action, saber, action, saber, action, saber. Repeat.

First Impression Rating: 9.5/10

6) Hunter X Hunter 2011

Retro. Will make you cry because all the memories of good old anime in the past will flood your brain. Most of you should know this series by now but in summary it's about a young lad who wants to become a hunter in order to follow in his father's footsteps. Hunters are basically monster erm... Hunters. Yeah. On the way he meets new people and makes many nakama. Typical shonen plot but done right.

First Impression Rating: 8/10

7) Kimi to Boku

At first, I was pretty annoyed by this one. Some of the characters seemed cold towards each other and I couldn't see the friendship promised by the plot summary. Then I realized after some time that it was but a facade hiding the strong bonds between them. An anime involving 4 childhood friends, all of whom are guys, without any yaoi tendencies? Amazing. An anime involving 4 childhood friends, all of whom are guys, without any yaoi tendencies and managing to interest me? Must-watch.

First Impression Rating: 7/10

8) Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon

You'll have to pick your jaw off the floor after episode 1. Nearly 30 minutes of nothing but action, with no explanation of the true plot whatsoever until the last 2 minutes. Even then, you won't get the plot cause it's too damn complicated and also because there are way too many characters to keep track of. Most noticeably, there's a naked demon guy and an indian curry guy. No kidding. Lots of boing-boing, blowing stuff up, chase scenes, general mayhem. Keep track of this one before it loses you.

First Impression Rating: 7/10

9) Maji De Watashi Ni Koishinasai

From the picture, I know what you're thinking. Not another Ikki Tousen. You couldn't be more wrong. This series is what I think Ikki Tousen failed to achieve: It's girls fighting each other all over the place with not a shred of blatant fanservice. Heck, they actually wear sweatpants under their skirts! Plus there's actually strategic warfare involved and the premise is very much like Baka Test, with classes fighting each other to gain some benefit. Action is pretty excellent and there's a confession right off the bat in episode 1. Still think that it might be taking ideas from too many anime at once though. You'll see once you watch it...

First Impression Rating: 7.5/10

10) Maken Ki!

You want ecchi..? You got ecchi. Presenting to you one of the only doses of ecchi in the entire Fall 2011 season: Maken Ki. This series reminds me a lot of Mai Hime, combined with Ikki Tousen. Almost 99% sure that an uncensored OVA is going to be released once the series is over and done with, seeing how the manga itself already leaves little to the imagination. Now off with you to google images of Maken Ki manga. I, on the other hand, shall just keep this series on tabs for now.

First Impression Rating: 7/10

11) Mashiro Iro Symphony

This series reminds me of every other typical series that has been adapted from an eroge. A whole bevy of school girls, one of which is probably a maid, another a tsundere and another a loud mouth, and one male protagonist. Said male protagonist also has an imouto whom is willing to do anything for him. Cliche much? Yeah. To make it even more cliche though, said male protagonist also transfers to a new school which was an all-girls school, hence the insanely disproportionate female to male ratio of the school populace. Where is Seitokai Yakuindomo when you need it..? I'll give props to this one for having better than average animation quality though.

First Impression Rating: 6.5/10

12) Morita San wa Mukuchi 2

Unlike Bakuman 2, does not require one to have watched season 1 to understand the premise. Firstly, each episode is only 3 minutes long, so some people don't even consider it an anime; more like an advertisement. Secondly, the premise is really simple. A girl who doesn't talk very much and her friends doing all sorts of normal school stuff. The "doesn't talk very much" part is probably the only thing that's really unique, but you get to hear her thoughts anyway so for us it doesn't really make any diff. Still, it's pretty fun to watch and isn't time consuming so I'd recommend it anyway.

First Impression Rating: 6.5/10

13) Persona 4: The Animation

I'm not much of a gamer, and I've never played Persona 4. However, I did a bit of reading up (wikipedia is your best friend) and I can say only one thing of Persona 4: The Animation; I know a good adaptation of a game when I see one. It's done in a way such that even those whom have never played the game can appreciate it for its plot value. It manages to fuse both comedy and tension into single moments, which makes sure that things aren't overly creepy but still allowing us to feel some sort of fear, which is what a game should be like I guess. Definitely keeping a watch on this one.

First Impression Rating: 8/10

14) Phi Brain: Kami no Puzzle

Still think there's too many recent anime with Kami in the front. This one also has a simple premise. Genius kid who believes that no puzzle can be solved. Is soon approached by mysterious evil character who challenges him to solve a seemingly impossible puzzle. Kid solves it and gains power to utilize max brain capacity. Features childhood friend with photographic memory as well as allusions to Einstein, Edison, Da Vinci and other historical characters with high IQ. Also has OP sung by May'n.

First Impression Rating: 7.5/10

15) Shiryaku!! Ika Musume 2

She's back! Again, you don't have to watch season 1 to understand the premise for this one but I suggest you watch season 1 anyway. The laughs are a plenty. If you're not laughing at the many fails of Ika Musume, you'll be laughing at the many colourful characters this series has to offer anyway. Also has strangely emotional moments at times. Highly recommended for your comedy dose of Fall 2011.

First Impression Rating: 8/10

16) Tamayura: Hitotose

Not many series can make you tear from episode 1. This is one of them. If you don't feel emotional that the main character lost her dad whom she's very attached to, you'll definitely feel emotional when the plot uses photographs as a medium to convey just how close the bonds that her family have. The art is fantastic and makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside, but also strangely a little melancholic. There is little that can be said to explain why I think this series could be likened to Usagi Drop of Summer 2011, so you'll have to take my word for it and put this on your "must-watch" list.

First Impression Rating: 9/10

So there you have it. Let's hope that this post was helpful in allowing you to decide on which anime to embark upon this Fall 2011! If it didn't then just watch all of them!

P.S. Mawaru Penguindrum will not be in this list because it began in Summer 2011. However, it will be considered for the best 3 of Fall 2011 since it ends in Fall. K thanks bye.

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