Winter Season 2010 – Impressions so far

"I'll be npalsensei's waifu when I grow up!"

Ok, so, +14 years means that I’ll be… meh, age doesn’t matter after that anyway…

Leaving the dreamscape for a moment, no, /me is not back, I just took some time off uni and other stuff to post this.  This winter season is a mixed bag.  There are some pretty awesome stuff (ok, not that many), some… well, watchable or even fun stuff, some meh stuff and some why-the-hell-do-people-even-watch-this-crap stuff.

Since I started with Anzu,I suppose I’ll not save the best for last.

Hanamaru Youchien

…wish all girls were as excited… Oh well…

The blond-brunette combo girl is Anzu and she rocks.   The clueless poor guy is Tsucchi (or hisfullname-sensei but I never remember that), who got his first job as a teacher in kindergarten (or however those are called).  While the kids seem rather interested in their sensei hitting on Anzu, the parents obviously don’t see it that way (except Anzu’s mom, who’s Tsucchi’s senpai and a totally charming nutcase :p).  Checking on the first post pic, we can also see Koume (middle girl, the shy one) and Hiiragi (right girl, cosplay maniac and genius).  Basically the anime evolves around them and their kindergaten endeavours (ok, mostly Anzu) with a number of cute, fun and well-placed side characters to keep things enjoyable.  There’s also Tsucchi’s apparent love interest, another teacher in the kindergarten, Yamamoto-sensei as well as some other (all female) teachers.

Two episodes in, this series seems bent on being cute and fun without all the ridiculous/retarded/blunt/fail fanservice that seem to plague anime during the recent years.  Well, it works and it works so well, I’m actually amazed I can enjoy an anime that takes places in a kindergarten with no apparent story (so far anyway).   It’s cuteness overload.  If I had to say something about it in a few words, so far it feels like a slice of life/comedy anime.  I’d say it’s a mix of K-ON minus the fanservice (or Hyakko, now that I think about it) plus the pleasantly surprising awesomeness of Sora no Otoshimono (also minus the fanservice) wrapped in a preschooler package.  A note on that:  Apparently, like Sora no Otoshimono, they’re going for a different ED per episode, so cheers to that.  Oh, and there are actually parents in this anime O_O.  I suppose Tsucchi not being a moronic adolescent helps with that.

Verdict: You’re still not watching that? O_o  Oh, and be sure to watch Sora no Otoshimono from the previous season and Sora no Manimani from the previous summer.  I was very pleasantly surprised with both.

A legal loli... RISE, MY BRETHREN! We have found the Holy Grail!

Ladies versus Butlers

There’s supposedly some sort of school training butlers or maids alongside rich girls (the ones that are probably going to get maids and butlers at some point).   This guy on the left, Hino Akiharu, starts going into this school, which is full of hot chicks (most of which are well endowed, plus the legal loli, and I think I spotted a reverse trap somewhere).  It’s one embarrassing occurence after another, in typical harem/ecchi fashion.  What does distinguish this from the trash of this kind is that the main character a) actually sounds like a guy (voice-wise) and b) is not a complete moron.   I actually kinda like the guy up to now.

Other than that, it’s seems like the usual thing, or more likely, it feels like Kanokon done better (yes, the character designs are the same as Kanokon).  Whether better is actually good remains to be seen, but at least no annoying wimpy shota failure is around so that’s an immediate plus.  Then there was this twist of him meeting his childhood friend nemesis also attending that school, a girl by the name of Saikyou Tomomi.  There’s also another prominent character, a drill-haired blonde, Selnia Flameheart (or something), which seems like an oujou-sama tsundere to me.  Oh, and let’s not forget the totally clumsy green-haired maid that somehow always finds her grotch on Akiharu’s face.

Verdict : Yeah, I know, we’ve seen most of this stuff, so what’s the selling point besides the hot chicks?  As I said, the main guy seems different that the usual losers so you can give it a try.  Don’t watch it if you don’t like ecchi, cause there’s plenty going around, plus the uncensored boobsaplenty version.

Ookami Kakushi

Cute neighbor welcome... more wishful thinking... oh well...

First thing you see on the premiere episode is a cute girl hitting on some sissy looking/sounding wimp… Not a good start.  Seriously, what’s with the crappy male voices like the guys are still attending elementary school and haven’t grown any at all?  No, that’s not that normal, people, that’s almost close to freak of nature.

Moving on, this guy moves to this new apartment block and we get this scene out of the blue.  I’d have totally dismissed that as something totally ridiculous, but the story keeps the notion intact for now.  You see, she’s not the only one who somehow likes the guy.  His whole class seems particularly interested in him and eventually the whole thing screams “something is wrong around here”.  There’s also this mysterious girl that looks like she keeps the rest at bay and says stuff like “your very existence is annoying” and I agree with the girl on that.  This mysterious girl apparently dresses up like some sort of demon miko (that’s what I think anyway, not really sure) and goes around killing paranormal entities, like a guy from the aforementioned class turning into a kind of monster.  From what I could gather, the whole anime has something to do with a legend around those parts about some wolves/werewolves/whatever, but basically that’s as far as info goes.  It’s obvious that this lame wimp is sort of special in a way and there are monsters after his neck but as to why, how, what’s with all his classmates (or even natives), etc etc, that’s probably what makes me keep watching this series.

The designs are appealing though, so if you’re into anime for the cute chars, there are enough here to keep you interested.  There’s a loli on a wheelchair, that’s the wimp’s imouto, not sure where she fits in but helpless lolis are moe.

Verdict: Despite the wimp and the cringe-inducing out-of-the-blue skinship (only because it’s so out of the blue it feels like straight mindless fan pandering), the story does seem interesting, although when there’s a creepy mystery hanging over everything from episode 1, I wouldn’t hold my breath.  More times than not, mysteries like that end up being lame, but so far, it’s interesting enough and you won’t miss your chance of oggling at cute girls.

This kind of female aggression... I could sooo get used to it (provided the girl is as stunning).

Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu

This is one interesting school.  Students take sorting exams and then are put into classes based on their scores.  Class A, besides being the top class, also has luxurious facilities, while Class F is… well, a dump, with the classes inbetween being… well, inbetween, as far as classroom quality and facilities are concerned.  The twist is that classes can challenge each other in order to rise in rank, thus switching facilities with the defeated class.  They can do that through an in-school battle system that involves either normal academic competion (ie scoring better at a given test than the opponent) or through Summoned beings combat.  What’s that.  Basically they each have a chibi model of themselves with certain tweaks like swords, etc etc, maybe a hidden ability or two and they pit that against an opponent.  The character’s stats are derived from their sorting score per academic field.  There’s a choice of academic field before battle, then, whoever has the highest score in that field wins (unless there’s a hidden ability invoked I suppose).

I thought it was interesting enough a premise to pick up, but what really makes this anime hold is the characters.  While you can play “spot the stereotype” and be generally successful, there are certain differences to key characters, like the Class F guys, that make this anime fun and refreshing to watch.  It’s a school comedy, so it’s got a number of puns, many of which are spot on.  Like most anime set during adolescence, the romance element is there, as demonstrated in the above pic.  That, and the Voyer trying to take a pantyshot before bleeding to death from the sight.

Verdict: I’ll be watching this.  It’s one of my better picks this season.  I doubt those looking for an awesome plot or storytelling will like it as it feels more targeted to comedy/school-life/moe lovers, but regardless, the absence of idiots so far makes this a pleasant watch.

*drool* ... ah... nopan... Saki, how I miss you...

*drool* ... ah... nopan... Saki, how I miss you...

Chu-Bra!

I thought I shouldn’t pick this anime.  I mean, it’d obviously be too over-the-top fanservice for basically no reason and it’d have to do with female underwear.  While I’m an admirer of female underwear and whatever hot stuff is inside, an anime with this theme doesn’t seem a particularly interesting watch, especially to a guy.  Anyway, I wanted to pick some more anime so I thought “what the hell, I’ll give it a try”.

While I can’t say I’m pleasantly surprised as in “SoraNoOtoshimonoPWNAGE” surprised or even “wtft this is some pretty fun watch” surprised, the thing is I learned a number of interesting trivia about underwear, which I doubt I’d have ever learned otherwise.  Other than that… Well… it feels like another school anime with the fanservice parts disguised as underwear documentary.  Or is it really an underwear documentary disguised as fanservice in a school anime… You get the point.  Besides that, it has puns, manual boob measurement, misunderstandings and the usual stuff associated with ecchi/moe/school anime.  The differences you can easily spot are : a) the one guy that’s around so far is actually a pretty decent guy that’s no one’s romance interest.  He’s basically an underwear designer, a close relative of our main girl (Nayu).  Nayu (Chihara Minori, btw) is the cute, rather oblivious girl that has an obsession with anything related to female underwear to the point that she wants to create a school club about them.  She is accidentally befriended by two other girls, the oppai restaurant girl, Haruka and the DFC kendo girl, Yako, and gives underwear advice to both, as in actual practical advice.

Neither the animation nor the designs are exemplary but that won’t be the reason you’re gonna pick this if you do.

Verdict: I’ll probably be keeping this for the cute relationship between the girls and all the underwear/female body trivia, but otherwise, it doesn’t really have anything more than the rest of the ecchi/moe kind and it doesn’t seem like something you can’t live without so you could safely skip it.  You could watch the first episode though and see whether you’d like to watch it or not.  I mean, being a guy and all, I wouldn’t expect to be interested enough in all the underwear info stuff to watch this in the first place, but the whole package was good enough for me in the end.

DAT ASS (or whatever the meme is, I never use it anyway :p) Other than that, *droool*

DAT ASS (or whatever the meme is, I never use it anyway :p) Other than that, *drooool*

Omamori Himari

If you haven’t watched anime like Wagaya no Oinari-sama or Tayutama, it’ll mean more to you than the abundant fanservice and the love triangle (with the obvious potential of growing into a harem).  For those of us who watched Wagaya no Oinari-sama (or both really, since I’ve also watched Tayutama), it’s basically another take at the “animal goddess/spirit protects guy” thing, only pulled to the more ecchi side.  Of course, the fact that all feline/animal/etc spirits have to compete with the likes of Kuu (or Horo, but Spice and Wolf doesn’t really share the spirit protector premise) isn’t good and playing the fanservice-on-every-turn card doesn’t do much to force the scale towards the newcomer Himari (that’s the “kills by nosebleeding” girls in the screenshot).  The thing is, unless you’re a total newbie to the whole concept, there really isn’t anything that stands out in this anime, apart from the more than appealing character designs and the fanservice so far.  The male lead being allergic to Himari’s cat-girl form would have been an interesting element if last season didn’t have Nyan Koi, a pretty good Fall anime.

Verdict: “Should I skip it then?” If you have time to kill/need more anime/totally love fanservice and hot girls (who doesn’t love hot girls?) , be sure to pick this up.  If none of the above applies to you but you haven’t watched any of the 2 other anime series I mentioned with the same theme, go watch Wagaya no Oinari-sama first instead, if only for Kuu.  Everyone else can safely pass this.  Me… Well, I liked the girl designs, I wanted to pick more anime, so I suppose I’ll keep watching unless it becomes painfully crappy.

Our vampire queen. Bow before her loli majesty, you maggots!

Dance in the Vampire Bund

A lolicious anime.  Seriously, that’s one of the most delicious lolis out there.  Or should we call this just DFC? I mean she is some centuries old so…  Nah, loli is fine.

So there’s this loli dancing naked in the OP.  Yes, I know, many of you were just sold, but I’ll continue.  Her name’s Mina Tepes, she’s supposedly a descendant of Vlad Tepes (the historical figure upon which the legend of Dracula is based), and the rightful queen of vampires.

There are vampires with their usual lore tweaked and mixed in this specific world.  Sunlight burns them unless they use this special sunblock gel that… well… sounds too lame, unless you have a loli undress and have a guy apply the gel, at which time it becomes “WOOTNAKEDUNCENSOREDLOLIFONDLING!”  I suppose the fact that they procclaim their existence to the world is a twist in all those vampire-oriented series/movies.  They also don’t sparkle, thank God, and they have some sort of true form that reflects their inner self (or something along these lines).  As you can easily tell, I was rather interested in all the Tepes loli talk but, near the end of episode 2, I stumbled upon something that feels almost like a deal breaker.  The guy this loli likes is some sort of werewolf who saves her from a predicament at least once…  Now WHERE have I seen that before… at least twice…

I suppose you won’t mind if you like this sort of stuff, but I’ve grown tired of the Vampire-Werewolf/human a la Romeo and Juliet thing and I fear this is gonna turn like the rest.

Verdict: I’ve got mixed feelings about this.  It seems good, the girls here and there are cute, the loli is delicious, the setting is interesting… but the werewolf… >_<  Anyway, if all that doesn’t drive you away, be sure to give it a try.  SHAFT’s generally been doing nice stuff recently.  If only there was no werewolf…

-"Oh, so you like doing that in public, hm hm"

Seikon no Qwaser

I could sum up my thoughts up pretty easily on this one. “The girls are delicious, the end.”  Of course that’s a lie, cause there is something, not that it works for the anime.

Ok, let’s talk about the idea behind the story… Basically there are these people called Qwasers that gain powers by eating something called Soma.  Sounds good enough, no? How about “here are these people that gain power by sucking boobs for milk”?  Seriously… what kind of mangaka actually comes up with a concept like this?  Who actually decides to make an anime out of it?  And damn, how can people actually watch a thing with so lame a premise as that?  Sure, I could watch it for the pretty girls, if Tomo (the girl on the right) didn’t make Charlotte from Princess Lover seem like a genius with godly reflexes.  Even if I chose to watch this for the girls, the premise keeps popping up enough to make me unable to forget just what kind of trash I’m watching.  The worst part is that it actually takes itself seriously.  This anime actually has a story and a plot, with some organization seeking a religious icon of Virgin Mary (you know, evil people want powerful item) and the Russian Orthodox church sends a shota Qwaser to deal with the issue (I think, not sure I got that part, my mind was too busy pondering how desperate for sales one must be to make something that’s based on the idea of milking female boobs for power).  The censored version replaces the boob sucking action with some totally irrelevant pictures, making the anime incomprehensible, besides totally lame.

It would make a usual premise if it were a hentai obviously, you can see even worse premises in hentai but you put up with it cause, you know, you don’t actually watch hentai for the premise.  For a non-hentai anime though that tries to be serious, I can’t really say it’s anything short of an epic fail.

Verdict: There’s a pretty hot Tomo PVC figure on preorder I think.  There are also at least two really  stimulating dakimakura featuring Tomo and a loli that hasn’t appeared in the anime yet.  I can honestly say the merchandise is appealing, but that’s all that’s actually of some worth.  The anime… O_o I’m not sure I’ve seen garbage like this in years.  That’s coming from a guy who (as you probably  well know) can actually sit and watch (and possibly enjoy) even stuff like Queen’s Blade.  If you can actually shut off your mind and watch it for the ecchi fanservice, that’s good.  Not sure how a person with as much as  half a brain can actually watch the thing for the story and not do a Kuroko desk headbang but whatever.  I wouldn’t pick it up again unless I got paid (yeah it’s not SO bad that I wouldn’t watch it for money, I admit :p )

So-Ra-No-Wo-To

Whether guitar or trumpet, whether citizen or soldier, Yui always has the same problem

Or however that’s spelled, I’ve seen various forms of it going around.  Many people prefer to call this “K-ON at war” or military K-ON.   Can’t say I blame them, the original designs got dropped in favor of the K-ON style KyoAni was so prominently using during 2009.  I personally don’t really find anything wrong with that.  I liked K-ON, the designs are nice and cute (or was that fluffy?) and, while the original designs were good, too, the change in character design style isn’t a deal-breaker or rant invoker for me.

The funny part is that it really DOES seem like military K-ON.  So far it’s just some girls being cute, having fun and blowing trumpets while dressed like soldiers.  Yes, like K-ON, I don’t really see either a story, central premise or any kind of plot.  When you’re watching cute, slice of life stuff though, do you even care about that?  Be sure to try matching the Sora girls to K-ON girls for the fun of it.

Verdict: I’m watching this.  People who liked K-ON have nothing to lose from watching this.  Not sure if there’s much to gain either if you’ve watched K-ON, but it seems like a pretty decent moe moe slice of life series.

No, I’m not watching anything else this season (probably).  Railgun and Kimi ni Todoke are still running which means I have leftovers from the Fall season, so that’s all.

Before I go,  for those who haven’t seen this yet, from my best anime this season, it’s Papa Panda Neko!

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