Hein (fub) wrote,

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New anime for January

What with all the things going on at home, I haven't had much time (or energy!) to review the new crop of anime. Now it's time to rectify that!

Space Dandy: The Space Dandy (complete with rock&roll quif) works as an 'alien hunter': the first one to scan and catalogue an alien gets paid. Of course, the Space Dandy gets in all sorts of trouble trying to find new aliens and getting into the pants of the hot waitresses at Space-Hooters.
It's like Cowboy Bebop if Spike had a robot sidekick, was vain, lazy and ineffective, and had both amazingly good and bad luck. It's pretty zany, but there are also hints of something deeper going on. Bound to be a rollercoaster ride!

Saikin, Imouto no Yousu ga Chotto Okashiin Da Ga: This ridiculously long title means "Recently, my sister is unusual". The sister in question is Mitsuki, who is Yuya's stepsister. Their parents recently married, but are now going away on a multi-month business trip. Mitsuki isn't that impressed by Yuya, while he tries to be supportive and kind. And then some ghost possesses Mitsuki -- a ghost who has a thing for Yuya and who equips Mitsuki with some sort of magical chastity belt.
The set-up is quite ridiculous, and I didn't really enjoy watching Mitsuki being sexually assaulted by a ghost (even though that's all heavily censored). This whole pseudo-incest genre is creepy, and this takes it at least four steps further.

Nobunaga the Fool: There are two planets: West and East. On the East planet, Nobunaga lives in some sort of pseudo-Sengoku world, and he vows to prepare his country for the coming war (which will be mainly fought with mecha). Meanwhile, on the West planet, Leonardo da Vinci takes Jeanne d'Arc with him in a spaceship to the East planet, because she has vision which make her some kind of profet. They crash, and Nobunaga acquires the special mecha that Leonardo has built.
I don't know what to think of it. It's an odd mix of re-imagined historical figures, with some weird stuff going on. But it's by Shoji Kawamori, so a cool fantasy mecha romp is assured.

Noragami: Yato is a minor (shinto) deity -- so minor he doesn't even have a single shrine dedicated to him! So he starts some kind of 'delivery' business: in exchange for a five-yen coin, he will exterminate evil spirits that have been plaguing humans. Hiyori gets caught up in this: after getting in a car accident, she loses her soul easily, turning her into some kind of ghost. Yato takes pity on her, and they sort-of team up.
For some reason, I really like shinto-inspired anime. It has a vast potential for magical effects, while also being set in the present time. The 'bum god' is also a (minor) plot point in a series like Kamisama Hajimemashita -- I'm interested to see how Yato will (try to) make a name for himself and acquire followers.

Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta: A boy trains as a pilot with his step-sister. Together, they leave on a big journey aboard a floating island -- sponsored by the government to find some sort of mystical source of energy. It is a desperate gamble, and no-one knows if they'll ever make it back.
The start of the episode reminded us of Last Exile -- which is not a bad thing at all. But since the whole island floats, the plots will probably be more diverse, since there's more room to explore the different things that could happen.

Super Sonico the Animation: Sonico, who seems to have a pair of headphones screwed to her head, is a college student who also works as a model. She is perpetually late at school, helps her grandmother out at her restaurant and plays in a band with two other girls.
....and that's about it. Nothing happens and Sonico doesn't seem to have any sort of personality of her own. Boring.

Buddy Complex: Suddenly, high-school student Aoba is attacked by a mecha that seems to specifically target him. His classmate Hina appears with a mecha of her own, defending Aoba. It turns out that Aoba will play an important part in the future, and it involves these mecha. Hina takes him there, saying that someone is waiting for him.
The big problem of mecha anime is always how to get the unsuspecting hero into the pilot seat. The solutions often either involve the hero accidentally getting into the cockpit and somehow 'remembering' how to pilot it, or boarding the mecha in a desperate attempt to fend off an enemy attack. This series takes a new approach -- one that I quite liked. Add in the time travel and I'm interested!

D-Frag: Kenji and his group of friends try to be the toughest delinquents of the school -- and while they have that image, they're actually quite meek. Then they meet the girls of the Game Development Club, and gets forcefully recruited into the club!
So, it's another one of those 'single guy versus a club full of female weirdoes' -- but this time the weirdness seems to be tons of fun.

Tonari no Seki-kun: Yokoi sits in the back of the class. The seat next to her is taken by Seki, who delights in playing around -- in the first episode, he uses an infinite supply of erasers to build an intricate domino trail. And of course it's Yokoi who gets in trouble for it.
Kinda odd, half-length episodes, not that well animated. Didn't grip us.

Robot Girls Z: Three girls (styled after three Mazinger-style mecha) get into repeated battles with "mechanical beast" girls over some sort of power source. The poor beast-girls get beaten again and again, getting more and more traumatised.
I don't understand why this was made. If you're a die-hard Mazinger Z otaku, you'll enjoy the puns -- but for the rest of us it's mostly watching one set of girls beat up another set of girls over and over again.

Hamatora: There's some sort of super power that's available to some people when a certain condition is met (like: chewing gum), called the Minimum. Two Minimum Holders start a detective agency, but since they're not very successful they live hand-to-mouth from case to case. And of course they get to show off their cool powers when other Minimum Holders get involved.
The 'hungry detectives'-trope is kinda old, and while this series tries to bring something new to the table with the Minimum powers, it didn't succeed in making it interesting.

Witch Craft Works: Ayaka is the school princess, popular with all the boys and girls alike. In contrast, Honoka is plain and unassuming -- a nobody. But when he gets attacked (with magic none the less!), it is Ayaka who saves him. She reveals that she is a witch and it is her mission is to protect him. But when she insists they hang out together, Ayaka's entourage doesn't take a kind view of him.
Who wouldn't want the school princess to be their guardian angel? The writers are laying it on quite thick, and the plot doesn't seem to be anything other than 'attack of the week' so far.

Mikakunin de Shinkokei: Kobeni finds out on her sixteenth birthday that she has been engaged to Hakuya, a boy her age whom she hasn't seen since she was about five years old. Their grandfathers arranged it all -- including the fact that Hakuya and his kid sister will live with them from then on. Benio, Kobeni's older sister, is very protective of Kobeni, so she wants to make sure Hakuya is right for her. Meanwhile, Hakuya is a quiet but kind guy, who simply goes with the flow while his female relatives make a lot of fuss.
Another one of those plots that we have seen before. But this time, the focus seems to be on the girl -- and she seems to be a rather down-to-earth type who has her own thoughts on the matter. And Hakuya isn't a fawning idiot either. It'll be interesting to see how their relationship develops.

That's not all, more to come later!
Tags: anime, first episode review

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