Gundam AGE: Flit Asuno is the sole survivor of an attack on a colony by the "Unknown Enemy" -- mecha that indiscriminately attack everything. His mom gave him some sort of control unit, and in his new home, the colony of Nora, Flit uses his control unit in a mecha he designed and built (even though he is ridiculously young, even for a protagonist in a mecha series). And then the UE attack Nora, and it is Flit who has to defend the colony!
It's a kid's series, plain and simple. The plot is simple, the characters one-dimensional... Only if you're a Gundam completist (which we are not)!
Guilty Crown: Shu is a 14-year old boy who keeps a low profile at school. But then one day he meets Inori, who retreated to his hide-out when she got wounded during a scuffle with the GHQ, a faceless organisation that 'saved' Japan from some sort of virus and which has the country in an iron grip now. Somehow, Shu gets caught up in a ruthless attack from the GHQ against the rebels, and goes all Absolute Destiny Apocalypse on Inori and defeats the GHQ mecha with the sword he gets from her.
Looks absolutely stunning, and it has action, mecha, conspiracies... The music and direction isn't half bad either. This one goes on our list. And what do you know -- it's a Noitamina series.
Chibi Devi!: Honoka leads a very lonely life, and one night she cries herself to sleep, wishing there was someone who would stay with her. The next morning she wakes up to find a small devil baby in her bed!
Completely unfunny and it looks like it's 10 years old and hasn't aged well -- even though it's a modern series. We'll be giving this one the thumbs down, we didn't even last the whole episode.
Mashiro-Iro Symphony: Shingo's sister Sakuno gets lost in the old part of the city, so he has to go and find her. During her wanderings, she meets another lost girl and Shingo helps her find her way too. The next day, Shingo and his sister go to Yuihime, a prestigious girls' school as part of an exchange program to see if the school and their school could/should merge. However, they meet fierce resistance from the girls in Yuihime -- foremost from the daughter of the principal, the girl they met the night before!
At first, it seemed like an OK series, but when they go to their new school, everything starts oozing the contrived harem plot. If you like maids and/or school uniforms and/or tsundere heroines, then you'll be delighted to see this series play it by the numbers. We'll watch something else instead.
Persona 4: The Animation: Based on a series of RPGs that feature alternate worlds and fantastic powers when you decide to throw it all away. In this incarnation, the weirdness is laid on thick right from the start: a brutal murder takes place, which sets off all kinds of speculation at school. Later, Yu (who seems to be the main protagonist) gets pulled into the TV when he investigates an urban legend... And there's a world behind the TV as well!
It looks good, it promises interesting weirdness... We liked the previous Persona series too, so we'll be giving this one a try as well!
UN-GO: During a gala dinner, the host gets stabbed! There are people who have a motive, but they seem to have an alibi. With the help of a strange woman who compells people to answer a single question truthfully, a shabby detective manages to solve the case.
Not that interesting, especially not because the writers don't give the viewer all the information that's needed to solve the case, just like Agatha Christie did. And it looks a bit basic, and there's a proliferation of characters that are introduced in a way that suggest they'll play a major part, but we never get an explanation on who these people are and what they do. All in all, rather sloppy writing. We'll give it a pass.
(There's more, of course, but I'll write about those later.)