Hein (fub) wrote,

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Much too late: New anime

Somehow, things have been so hectic that I haven't even been able to review all of the new anime -- and we're already in the third month of the season! Time to get crackin'!

Devil Survivor 2: The Animation: There's this app that you can use to see videos of how people close to you will die. It's treated as a macabre joke, but when the events of the video actually unfold and the main characters (school kids, of course) get a sort of 'restart' screen on their phones (while they are dead!), the fun is definately over. And there's something about the end of the world and sumonning demons through your phone.
In earlier times, this would have been magical scrolls or something like that. In Persona 4, it was the TV. These days, it's phones. I'm not sure what to think about it -- the concept of a government agency equipped with smartphones to fight against the end of the world is a bit... odd.

Photokano: At school, there are two photography clubs. One is run by girls who try to make genuine interesting photos. The other is run by a bunch of guys who strive to show as much cleavage or leg in their snaps. Obviously, the two don't mix very well (though they have to share the use of the club room...) and our hapless protagonist is thrust in the middle when he gets a new camera and simply wants to make some interesting shots.

Dansai Bunri no Crime Edge: A boy likes being a hairdresser, and he takes his trusty pair of scissors, an inheritance from his uncle, with him everywhere. Then he meets a girl whose hair can't be cut -- except with his scissors, because they're infused with power after being used for crimes.
Unusual, and could develop either in a romantic story with a slight supernatural edge, or go off into completely symbolic territory. Or veer off somewhere completely else.

Karneval: Dazed, naive kid falls in with a circus-themed group op special operatives with superpowers.

Red Data Girl: Suzuhara can't interact with technology: everything electric breaks when she touches it. She lives in a shrine in the middle of no-where, but when she decides she wants to move to the city to become more self-sufficient. Then one of her childhood friends is... 'persuaded' to join her there. It turns out that she is the lynchpin in some sort of ceremonial thing, having to do with the shrine where she lives.
I find the treatment of Shinto in modern Japanese media quite fascinating. The religion (if you can call it that) is very much alive: just visit one of the big shrines and see the rituals in action. But that does not stop the Japanese from taking the concepts of Shinto and spinning fantastic tales around them. And no-one protests or seems to think that their religious dogma should not be featured in any sort of critical discourse. I know a few religions that can learn a thing or two from the way the Japanese go about their religious rituals.
The beginning of this series is quite mysterious, and Suzuhara is a bit whiny, but I strongly suspect she will grow into her role when the going gets tough!

Hataraku Maou-sama!: Just when the devil lord is about to be defeated once and for all by the human hero, he manages to open a portal to another world and escape with his most loyal minion! ...Except this is of course modern-day Earth, and their magic doesn't work here. What's worse: they've turned into humans, because that's the closest equivalent of demons here. They need to preserve their magic, and they need a place to stay... And so it happens that the devil lord becomes a burger flipper at a fast-food joint. And to the dismay of his underling (who is charged with investigating sources of magic in this world), he really gets into it! And then it turns that the hero has followed them to this world as well!
There have been more series where a character (either fictional or historical) gets transported to modern-day Japan, but those are seldomly good. This is the exception: it's genuinely funny, and I want to see more of it.

Uta no Prince-sama - Maji Love 2000%: A straight continuation of the earlier series. Even though everyone has graduated, it's now time to attend a seminar -- together of course. And so we start back from square 1. We decided we didn't have time for that.

Attack on Titan: On a semi-fantasy world, humans live in cities surrounded by huge walls -- to keep the giants out. You see, the giants, non-articulate monsters, eat humans. As snacks. There are some brave guys who go outside to fight the giants, but most of those never make it back -- the citizens think they're stupid to risk life and limb when they could have stayed inside the walls and be safe. And then the walls are broken down by a particularly large giant, and then the smaller giants stream into the city for crunchy snack time! One boy, who admires the giant fighters, is forced to flee and vows to take the fight to the giants!
Really interesting premise. The giants are like lumbering, mindless beasts, and the cooped-up mindset of the citizens is recognisable. I bet this is going to be a great fantasy series.

Even more later...
Tags: anime, first episode review

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