Anime First Impressions: Winter 2014

Something I'm doing instead of picks, for now.






Nobunaga the Fool: Nobunaga the Fool is slightly reminiscent of Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon, only far better explained.  Utilizing the Rule of Cool to mix giant robots with old eastern/western design aesthetics, Nobunaga takes advantage of having Satelight as their primary animators to create a world that's both unique and beautiful to look at in its first episode.  With guest appearances from historical figures such as Jeanne d'Arc, Leonardo di Vinci and Magellan, this anime would have the potential to be one of the most distinctive series this season if it weren't for a certain other anime that happened to tread very similar ground.

Most likely I'll finish this out, unless King Arthur turns out to be a villain, or just overall lame.  (I admit I have specific rules, but time is so precious because its limited, so I think it's best spent doing things one enjoys.)



Hamatora the Animation I had zero expectations going into this, save that it had potential from its PV.  Fortunately, at least for this first episode, it didn't really let me down.  Hamatora the Animation is kind of like Getbackers, only with a larger cast of detectives and with the BL angle turned way down, and both of these are factors I see as positives.   The plot for this was kind of simplistic, but I'll let it slide for three reasons.   One: This was clearly an intro episode.  Two: So far it's missing a lot of the fetishistic idiocy of modern anime, and feels more like an 90's or an early 2000's series.  Three: It's so pretty.  Seriously it's like GoHands has an apprentice animation studio nobody told me about, because this is one of the most stunningly gorgeous anime I've seen since K, and it's easily twice as interesting as that series was. 

It's very early on, but I doubt I'll stop watching this series.  Absent of tsundere, lolis, or any other typical shit that pisses me off about current anime, and being so very close to realizing it's potential as an overall entertaining series--there's just no reason to give up on it. 





Nobunagun: I showed this to my friends and they flipped the fuck out at the concept.  Me?  I'm sorry but ALIEN REINCARNATION FURRIES GIANT GUNS AND BLADES ended up being just a little too much for me, exceeding Nobunaga the Fool's simple "Rule of Cool" application and pushing right into Ninja Pirate Zombie Robots.   They just threw a bunch of cool shit in a blender and spat it back out at me, assuming if enough shit blew up in cool enough colors that I wouldn't give a fuck.  Normally that would be true, but the world they had set up before they introduced the craziness simply wasn't detailed enough.

Still, I'll probably finish this anime off inertia alone unless it becomes ridiculously dark later on.



Witch Craft Works: With the female lead of this uttering lines to male lead like "You're my princess" and "Stay by my side", the first episode of this was filled with enough gender role reversal to make a ton of people flip right the fuck out.  Witch Craft Works lost a few points by having a male lead who's kinda useless (like Shirou from Fate/Stay Night) and I almost deleted it when I saw the evil rabbit robots, but overall I'm not quite sure what to make of it yet.  It's giving off the aura of a harem, but from what some of its manga fans have said that's not quite where its headed.   Still and all, I'm also quite tired of the "#1 student/most average student" dichotomy that most anime seem so infatuated with, and I don't think that aspect is going anywhere. 

As far as where I stand, this anime is pretty much on the razor's edge as to whether I'll keep watching or not.  It could easily find a hook that makes me finish the series out, particularly if its just a one cour (13 episodes), but more likely the male lead will say something incomprehensibly dumb and I'll drop it before I hit episode 5.  Hope not though, because I like the female lead so far.  




Mahou Sensou:  Still unclear on this one. This series has the makings of your typical harem/tsundere/Three's Company misunderstanding idiocy, but amusingly enough the actual plot got in the way so much that it went away too quickly to get pissed about it.  With what sounded like a ton of work put into the world-building of this universe, and slick Madhouse animation, this wasn't a bad opener if you can deal with a few cliches.

Like Witch Craft Works, this shit could get dropped at any moment from some unnecessary stupidity.  Or I may drop it because counting Hunter x Hunter and the leftovers from fall plus what's on this list, I'm well over a dozen anime and counting and that's a lot of fucking series to watch every freaking week.   Who knows.





Noragami: This season takes the cake for anime with most interesting and unique concepts.  Noragami takes the typical shonen "One day, everybody's going to know my name!" idea that Naruto's been running with since like 1999, and applies it to a god who wants to be worshipped by millions.  Wonderfully irreverent, Noragami is pretty hilarious for most of the episode, with all of its major characters possessing almost perfect comedic timing.   Supposedly it takes a more action-y bent over time, but really I hope it doesn't lose its humorous edge.

I'll definitely end up finishing this one, though it's a shame it's confirmed for one cour and thus will likely end up irrelevant with respect to actually wrapping up all the plot threads it introduces.



Seitokai Yakuindomo*: The pottymouths at Ousai Academy are back with the newest season of SYN, and I honestly couldn't be happier.  It took a bit of time to actually settle back into the multiple shorts to one episode format the series almost perfected in season one, but once it did everything was gravy.  

Quite frankly, this series is the only one I know I WILL finish this season.  What would I do without my raunchy school sex comedy series, after all?



Buddy Complex: Probably the strongest series I've seen of the new season so far.  It had a fairly Sunrise-y beginning with the "normal school life until one day....", only the lead protagonist seemed to be possessed of this strange thing called competence.   But like I said, it's Sunrise so when they throw you some shit like time travel and potential time paradoxes, you completely expect it.  Still, there was nothing really offensive to this opening episode, and it actually got me excited for what was coming next.   With beautiful character, mecha, and world designs, great fight scene animation, and nothing so far to piss me off, it's impossible for me to hate it at this point.

Now I just need to pray that this series doesn't go to shit on me in 20 episodes like Code Geass did. 



Z/X Ignition: This anime is some kind of really strange cross between Yu-Gi-Oh/Digimon, only aged up for teens so they added a "wrecked Earth" element.   Still, despite a rather depressing prologue, the world itself actually doesn't seem to be so bad, at least in certain spots.   On the whole, this episode had some pacing problems, going so far as to completely set up a conflict before jumping back in time to explain the main character's back story.  But other than that, I can see a lot of potential in this being just a fun, brainless anime on the level of a Digimon, and I'm cool with that.    There's a lot of world building to be done, and I like all the intricate designs of the "Z/X".  If this series fixes its pacing issues it should be a good way to burn 24 minutes.




Will be adding more to this until I actually finish...

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