Anime Final Thoughts: Fall 2013

With this, you can probably consider the Picks series of columns done for now.  I just think it's more effective to discuss actual thoughts on series now rather than merely predictions. 

As I discussed before, Fall 2013 was actually the first season last year that managed to become something truly decent, helping drag anime from the moe filth it had been drowning in for three seasons straight.  In my Fall picks article I had over a dozen series I intended to watch, so let's see how that turned out:


Tokyo Ravens: If you recall the First Impressions, you'll know I dropped this as of episode 2.  I just wasn't in the mood for any derivative idiocy that season, so it was an easy cut.


Coppelion: Despite GoHands' beautiful work bringing this anime to life, I just couldn't get into a series about a trio of high-school aged girls exploring a ruined post-apocalyptic city.   Imagine that.  Honestly, I gave this series the boot after the first episode.  It wasn't bad, I just didn't want what they were selling.


Strike the Blood: While this series isn't finished, it's unfortunately constantly teetering on the edge between "watchable" and FTS (fuck this shit).  While I enjoy the amount of work that's gone into the world building, what that really means is while I'd love to see more about the complexities of this formerly war-torn world locked into a stalemate and the changes the main character (the only person powerful enough to break said stalemate) bring about merely by existing...what actually happens is that I get stuck watching this series equate blood-sucking to having sex over and over with all the subtlety of being pelted with a ton of bricks. 

Despite the tsundere and the overall idiocy of the main cast though, the drool-worthy animation supplied by Silver Link and the occasional battle scenes have pushed me to keep watching this series, even if I doubt it'll actually be worth buying in the end.


Log Horizon: Database, database, just living in the...oh, right.    Yeah, Log Horizon turned out to be the motherfucking MVP of the season.  This show is just excellently constructed, front to back.  The OP is fucking hype incarnate, the ED is adorable, and the animation is exactly what you'd expect from Satelight, taking this intricately constructed world from light novel to anime perfectly.   

I said in the impressions that the first episode seemed centered around telling us how the rules of this MMO worked, but I wasn't sure if they'd stick with it--especially since Sword Art Online did the same thing and well...we all know how that turned out.  But fortunately, Log Horizon has instead taken the time to give a lot of fans what they wanted from SAO: an MMO world painstakingly brought to life.   The story is still developing, but I'm 12 episodes in and this series has yet to lose its way, so I'm going to say that barring any last-minute fuck ups in the late teens/early 20's, this is probably going to take the spot of best show of the season.

(Extra points for managing to make pretty much every character in the series awesome, and for making a glasses' wearing character a fucking boss.)



Yozakura Quartet: Hana no Uta: ....I can't lie.  I could never bring myself to watch this.  Even when I wasn't busy, I just never felt compelled to do so after giving the series two tries already.



Sekai de Ichiban Tsuyoku Naritai! (I want to become the Strongest in the World!): Dem porno screams and the fact that the main character was a jobber combined to make me drop this in the second episode.   I know there's a chance things could've gotten better, but I looked ahead to find out in the third episode she proceeds to lose the next twenty matches.   I...just can't.


Unbreakable Machine Doll: One of the few shows I picked that actually ended with the start of the winter season and that I finished, Unbreakable Machine Doll was actually fairly good.  It's guilty of a number of things that piss me off about anime lately (misunderstanding upon misunderstanding, tsundere female lead), but overall it set up a fairly entertaining world of intrigue and mystery.  The only bad thing about this series is unless it receives a season 2 there'll be a ton of unanswered questions since it only adapted a small portion of the available light novels.  



Gundam Build Fighters:  Gundam Build Fighters would've beaten out every other series this season for the title of "best" if Log Horizon wasn't so consistently awesome.  Still, Build Fighters is a very close second, and as far as new series go, nothing else comes close.

Following Gundam model builder Iori Sei and mysteriously talented new pilot Reiji, Gundam Build Fighters is an affectionate pastiche of literally everything Gundam, from mainstream series like SEED to the obscure and sometimes downright hated pieces of Gundam lore like the G-Saviour and SD Gundam.   Build Fighters manages to cover everything, and despite being "just another tournament with kids in it" or "a 20 minute toy commercial" or whatever you want to call it, still manages to make each and every episode feel important, so you never want to miss a single one.  (Plus I think before it's all said and done, and we finally move on to dat UC goodness in Gundam: The Origin, Build Fighters is going to give us at least one or two surprises.)


BlazBlue: Alter Memory: Despite a very interesting first episode, a disjointed plot that was slowly told and uninteresting characters made me give this series up after the fourth episode. 


Samurai Flamenco: Only got two episodes into this before my school workload and an overall lack of desire to finish this lead to me putting it on hold.  I'm told some stuff happens that would actually appeal to me later on, so I may pick it back up later. 



Galilei Donna: This is one of those series I think is just "okay".  I like that it centered entirely around this family of sisters trying to save themselves from a world with less than savory intentions for what they could do, but it never made that interesting enough for me to keep watching.   It's one of those series that you intend to finish but never will, or even if you do it won't be all that important, it'll just be something you did to say you did it.  


Magi - The Kingdom of Magic: First off, let me just say that this ending is surprisingly boss.

Anyway, one of the returning champs from the surprisingly great Fall 2012 season, Magi: The Kingdom of Magic is actually better than Labyrinth was.  More faithful to the manga, and in general shonen manga always take some time to start up and tend to be at their best in the middle rather than the beginning or end.   Since the Magnostadt arc is probably going to end up being roughly the middle of Magi, this is most likely as good as it gets.  Fortunately, that's very, very good.   With more impressive fights as we get down to the war between Magnostadt and the Kou Empire, and the eventual fate of Hakuryuu Ren's soul, Magi is in the zone right now and for the second time manages to be one of the best series in its season.

Whew!  That's a lot more work than the Picks columns ever were.  I'll be doing another one of these when the Spring series rolls around for the Winter.  Look forward to it.

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