First was Shura no Toki. It's a samurai fighting anime -- a genre we don't tend to like. Main character is Yakumo, a young boy who fights unarmed, in an unknown style. He gets hired as the bodyguard for a girl (who poses as her deceased brother), who is the heir to the lands of a certain clan. Her uncle has hired samurai to kill her, and the boy defeats the ten samurai singlehandedly, without a sword!
We also see Musashi coming by -- I don't know whether he will play any part in the rest of the series.
It's an interesting premise, and the chemistry between the easy-going Yakumo and his stuck-up employer is pretty amusing. We surprised ourselves by liking it.
Next was GANTZ. Main character is Kei, a highschool boy who doesn't think much from the people around him. And with reason: we get to hear the thoughts of some of the people surrounding him at the train station. Everybody seems very egocentric and selfish. When a drunk man falls on the track, Kato, Kei's friend from earlier days, jumps on the tracks to save the man. Het gets Kei involved, and together they manage to get the drunken man on the platform. But then the train arrives...
Suddenly, they 'run into' an empty room full of strangers. A large black sphere sits in the middle of the room. It turns out that everybody in the room was about to die, but suddenly found themselves in the room. They can't leave, because they can't touch the walls or doors. The group is pretty diverse, and people don't really get along...
At the end of the episode, a cheerful tune plays from the sphere, and it displays the message: "Your lives have ended. How your new life will be used will be up to me. That is the theory."
Pretty interesting, though it does paint a harsh picture of Japanese society today. I think the characters will all have to cooperate somehow, whether they want it or not. The intro is pretty action-packed, so I expect a 'Femme Nikita'-like setup. And what is it with rap-opening themes this season?
Last, we checked out Kyo Kara Maou. Main character is Yuuri, a middle school boy. A bunch of bullies force his head down the toilet and flush, and Yuuri wakes up in a fantasy world. Apparently, he is the new king of the demon race (who look suspiciously human). The running gag of the episode is that Yuuri thinks he's in some sort of theme park, but later on, he's convinced that it is all real.
There are people who don't fancy being ruled by a middle school boy, though, and they show it...
Typical 'modern kid in fantasy setting' with an amusing style. I'm interested in seeing the plot progress somewhat more.