Just a quick post on the ending of the fall 2007 season and the startup of the winter 2008 season as it applies to this blog…
With the fall 2007 season ending, some one season series ended and some multiple season series still continue. For me, I was following four fall 2007 series that ended:
- ef – a tale of memories
- Genshiken 2
- Myself; Yourself
As one of my favorites from the previous fall season, ef surprised alot of people with its execution. Even though I can see this kinda hard for some anime fans to truly appreciate, it is at least a watch for most.
All of the above are getting reviews on the blog. The Myself; Yourself and Genshiken 2 reviews are finished. The other two will be done soon (I just finished Minami-ke and I’m trying to put ef last to give me more time to think about it). It is actually taking longer than I had expected. Primarily because I didn’t expect to be that busy with work when I returned from vacation (everyone else was on took a longer vacation than I did and I was the only point of contact for testing data) and mutli-person reviews take a bit longer to coordinate. Bro (chigaimasu) is also working on a review for Dragonaut -The Resonance.
Along with all of the one season series that finished, there are a few two season and multiple season series that are a good chunk of the way through. Here’s what I have been following:
CLANNAD (seen 12 episodes) – This show has been excellent so far. I find this to be miles ahead of Air and a considerable improvement from Kanon 2006. Kyoto Animation seems to improving upon the character designs and art direction that has been their bread and butter for years. What I really like about CLANNAD is the execution of its characters. The lead male character (Tomoya) does not try to solve all the problems by himself, the female characters have strong independent personalities and the individual lot arcs flow better together. I really can’t wait to see more of this show.
CLANNAD is great partially because of its random slice of life/comedy scenes like this one, the “hot yuri favor asking” scene in episode 4. Since the viewer knows the series will get serious later within a character arc, KyotoAni does a really good job executing on these regular scenes to allow the audiance to relate and attach themselves to the characters. Along with “spectators view” in episode 1, “final hitode tsukai Fuko” in episode 6, “magical girl lyrical Kyou” in episode 11 and others, CLANNAD is just as fun to watch as it is to watch for its production values and execution.
Shakugan no Shana II (seen 9 episodes) – Just like everyone else, I had high expectations for this show. And just like everyone else, the first few episodes were disappointing. But I really like the Shana franchise and it is beginning to finally pick up with its action. I’m starting to look forward to this series again.
Gundam 00 (seen 12 episodes) – Sunrise’s new mecha series with the Gundam name isn’t particularly that good. It nowhere comes close to Sunrise’s Code Geass. I think the problem is lack of a plot focus. Too many characters are out there for the viewer to get attached to. The plot is also a bit too predictable. Even with all this, Gundam 00 holds together enough to still warrant a watch. I’m still gonna follow this though.
Ghost Hound (seen only 2 episodes) – Interesting yet is often put on the backburner for other series. I would probably follow this through as well since it is really interesting and thought provoking. My problem is that the series is a bit intellectually heavy which requires the right mindset to watch. Often times I only have time to watch anime for entertainment, not something Ghost Hound fits well under. We’ll see for this one.
After starting off really slow, Shana II is finally picking up speed with its action. J.C. Staff is finally giving the Shana fanboys what they want. Being that I am a self-proclaimed fanboy, J.C. Staff has got me hooked in now.
For a look at the comprehesive list of winter 2008 shows, Omni from Random Curiosity has a solid list of the new shows with summaries.
I’ll be honest about this upcoming season. It doesn’t seem to be any good. It’s somewhat expectable since major studios don’t harp on the shorter winter and summer seasons. But since the past summer and winter had some pretty good anime (summer 2007 – School Days and Higurashi Kai, winter 2007 – Nodame Cantabile and Manabi Straight), the winter 2008 season just doesn’t have the titles that stick out as immediate winners. Actually, the ones that I kinda want to see are n’th season shows that where I haven’t seen the first season (ex: Zoku Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei and ARIA The ORIGINATION). There are a few shows that I’m going to take at least a look at. Of course, being the Japanese ignorant anime fan I am, what shows I will actually watch will depend heavily on what gets fansubbed as well. Here are some shows that I find interesting for various reasons:
Rosario to Vampire (Rosario + Vampire) – Sounds interesting enough for at least a first episode watch especially with Nana Mizuki as the lead girl. Got to around the 8th minute of the first episode, stopped it and went to sleep. Primarily because I was really tired and I wasn’t in the right mindset to watch this at the time. My biggest problem with this just on the first eight minutes is that the show is too well set up. We know exactly the kind of series this is going to be. It’s kinda like Seto no Hanayome in that regard but at least it had strong characters for a predictable plot. Rosario to Vampire looks like it doesn’t have those kinds of characters (even with Nana Mizuki) to back up the plot. I’ll relook into this series when I have more free time.
Even with Nana Mizuki voicing the lead girl, Moka Akashiya is definitely no Fate Testarossa. Being that I am a Nana Mizuki fanboy, I might see this through even though I know this has all the signs of a train wreck.
H2O ~FOOTPRINTS IN THE SAND~ -Just the promo alone did it for me. I need to at least watch a few episodes of this. I haven’t got the chance to watch the first episode yet. There’s already a good chance I might end up watching another train wreck of a harem series in this. But with Ami Koshimizu and Yui Sakakibara in it, I just need at least a looksee.
Minami-ke ~Okawari~ – After watching the first Minami-ke with bro and sis (expect the dual review soon), watching this is almost a given. For me, I’m interested on how the Shuffle! production staff will end up working this. Although I don’t like the new character designs from a few screenshots, I’m probably gonna watch this through.
Ookami to Koushinryou (Spice and Wolf) – Finished watching the first episode and I must say, I am a bit impressed. It’s one of the few shows this season where it might actually turn out to be good. The first episode is a little bit slow and as a whole it isn’t outside the norm. It seems to be the only other show where I could follow through this season outside of Minami-ke.
Spice and Wolf feels like the only show that can be good out of a list of what looks to be average shows this winter. Although it took me awhile to clear and reset Lawrence’s voice (who is voiced by Jun Fukuyama who also voices Lelouch in Code Geass). Every time Lawrence sounds remotely pissed off, I instinctively mouth off “Viva el Zero!”
There are a few more shows that I might look at (ture tears, PERSONA and Mnemosyne). But once again, this is all dependent on what I can get fansubbed and my free time. Hopefully I can find a solid sleeper hit among the somewhat lackluster winter offerings.
As for anime watching until the spring season starts, I think I’m gonna end up mostly sticking primarily to the fall 2007 series that I know will hold strong (CLANNAD, Shana II and maybe Gundam) and picking a few winter 2008 series here and there (new Minami-ke and Spice and Wolf). With all that said, I having a feeling that I’m gonna catch up with some older series I initially missed (Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei) and my region one dub watching this season (Kanon and soon Shuffle!). With plenty planned, time to watch.