Seikon no Qwaser: Mafuyu is the adopted daughter of the previous dean of St. Mikailov Academy, who dissapeared some time ago. She and her sister are the target of a bit of bullying ever since. One evening, they find a silver haired boy, who turns out to be an alchemist who can manipulate iron and who (ab)uses a resident nun as the source of his power. He gets into a fight with some other 'Qwaser' over an icon, with Mafuyu caught in the middle.
Aimed at slightly older boys, with lots of fighting and shouting along with the obligatory T&A. Add in some incomprehensible backstory about the powers of icons and various church factions that chase after it, and you have something that we're not in the least interested in.
Nodame Cantabile: Finale: Picks up right where Nodame Cantabile: Paris left off. However, there is absolutely no progress in the relationship between Chiaki and Nodame: Chiaki is still doing his own thing as the conductor of the Roux-Marlet Orchestra while Noda is toiling away at her piano studies. The two hardly talk together about their relationship -- I think this series (as well as many, many others) could have been cut in half without any loss of plot if the main characters would only talk about what they want...
Still, it should be palatable if it's only one season. The novelty is wearing off, let's get it over with!
Baka to Test to Shokanju: There's this school where every so often, you get a test that will determine your standing in the school. The A class, with the highest test scores, have all the luxury they want and the best teachers, while the F class is housed in a derelict room with crummy furniture. One guy, who is an idiot, gets placed into the F class, along with a former classmate who fell ill during the test and hence scored a 0. But this school has a 'feature' where students can challenge other students when supervised by a teacher -- some sort of augmented reality fighting game where the scores in the last test determing the number of hitpoints your 'being' has. The F class resolves to fight their way up to the A class...!
It's an incredibly stupid series that tries too hard to be snappy like Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei. And the fights are really stupid as well -- I'm guessing it's all part of a plot to make Japanese middle-schoolers want to study. But I find it hard to imagine someone would fall for it.
Durarara!!: Mikado is a country bumpkin who never left his village. But when he has to choose a highschool, he choses one in Ikebukuro, because his childhood buddy Masaomi is living there. Masaomi comes to collect him from the station, and introduces him to some of the colorful characters that walk around there. Meanwhile, a trio of unsavoury types abducts a girl, but they are chased down by a motor-rider with fox ears on her helmet. This is the rumoured headless shinigami, and she makes short work of the would-be evildoers...
A rather urban anime with a touch of danger and mystery. Pretty decenty animated and the info-dumping is actually quite unobtrusive. I'm pretty sure Mikado and Masaomi will get in way over their heads, which should be interesting.
Okamikakushi: Hiro's family of three (him, his writer father and his sister Mana who is bound to a wheelchair) move to a rather sleepy town. At school, everyone acts as if Hiro was their long-lost friend, except for Nemuru, whom the other kids seem to be afraid of. That night, we see Hiro's new BFF being chased by Nemuru who seems to be some sort of shinigami (complete with scythe). The next day, the classmate is missing and everybody acts as if nothing happens. Then there's the 'Old Town' that everyone seems to be desperate to keep Hiro out...
The usual plot of 'new blood comes to a town where something sinister is afoot', but this one is trying just a little too hard. Looks attractive enough, but we were not impressed.
Sora no Woto: Sorami joined the army as a trumpeteer. She gets stationed in a fortress near the city of Seize. Just as she arrives, there's festival going on that celebrates an ancient legend of a pair of maidens who saved the world from a large winged demon. Sorami gets caught up in the festival and gets sidetracked. When she gets into a dangerous situation, she blows her horn and gets saved (and a stern talking-to because of her tardiness). And so her life as a soldier in a remote fortress starts!
It's pretty 'military-lite' in the sense that there doesn't seem to be much reason to stand at alert. The whole fortress is staffed with girls (typical!), and I'm sure the legend will come into play sooner or later. Pretty nicely animated too -- definately a nice bishoujo series.
Omamori Himari: Yuto comes from a family of demon slayers -- though he doesn't know that. He always wears a charm to hide his presence, but at one time it's protection fades and the demons become aware of his existence. But luckily Himari, who is actually a cat spirit, comes to protect him, due to some old promise to one of Yuto's family-line. She wants to get as close to Yuto as possible, but this is not to the liking of Yuto's classmate and childhood friend!
Quite ecchi (pantyshots and cleavage galore), with shouty fights. Pretty stupid plot.
Chu-Bra!!: Nayu wears 'grown-up' underwear, which causes all sorts of wild speculation amongst her classmates. It turns out that she is a 'tester' of new types of underwear, and she has become some sort of expert on the subject. She likes the fancy stuff, and decides to help out her classmates by helping them to select the correct size bra.
I know that the occasional pantyshot adds a bit of spice to a series, but this whole series is about underwear... 'Nuff said.
Ladies versus Butlers!: Akiharu enters a boarding high school to learn how to be a servant. The other section is reserved for high-class elites the types who would normally have servants. During his first day at school, Akiharu gets in all sorts of misunderstandings that involve (accidental) groping, seeing panties and more mayhem -- causing a whole regiment of ladies to chase him around...
This series finds new ways to show the girls' underwear, with the usual misunderstandings and casual violence towards the male protagonist. At least the designs are attractive.
Dance in the Vampire Bund: The princess of the vampires wants to stop hiding from humans and has created an island off the coast of Japan to establish her own domain. But other vampires (and those of lower blood) seem to be opposed. During a variety show about whether vampires do or do not exist, she announces her intentions.
The variety show itself is pretty cool -- that is what Japanese TV is like: various (semi-)celebrities discussing a topic (though this time it isn't about the food). There's plenty of action, it's very well animated, and it's bound to be interesting.
I think four out of ten is a bit of a low score for a season, but there you have it. We have enough older stuff to watch anyway. Also, what is it with the exclamation points in the titles this season?