The second week continues the spring 2012 anime season, with one new show added to my watch list and the first casualty. A few shows have begun to surprise me in ways I did not Imagine, where a couple others have already begun to show their flaws. Time to see what’s hot and what’s not for this week…
Accel World 2
This episode picks up right where the last on left off, with Haru being forced into a fight in a strange virtual world. This episode is focused on explaining more about the “Brain Burst” program and the acceleration powers it offers, as well as showcasing Haru’s first real fight. While nothing too spectacular happened this week, the stage is being set for very interesting fights and situations.
Just when you thought Upotte! was the most unusual case of turning random things into moe schoolgirls, Nyaruko-san steps up with something even crazier. This time, H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulu Mythos is given a moe makeover. The episode opens with a boy named Mahiro being attacked by a terrible looking monster, until he is saved by a powerful, yet cute girl named Nyaruko, whom introduces herself as the “crawling chaos.” Nyaruko claims that she is Nyarlathotep, taking the form of a human girl to preserve the sanity of those who see her.
Nyaruko then explains beings like herself and other creatures of Cthulu mysthos are aliens, and that she has been sent to stop an evil organization of them that has appeared on earth. The show is not to be taken seriously by any measure, and runs wild with its goofy premise. Many fans have stated this is the best show of the season, and while it may be too soon to make that claim, so far this has been one of the most fun and entertaining shows right out of the gates.
Kore wa Zombie Desu Ka? OF THE DEAD 2
(Is This a Zombie? 2nd season)
This week’s episode of Zombie starts off with Ayumu dealing the social and legal consequences of his “public” transformation into a magical girl. This episode delivers even more laughs as Ayumu finds his embarrassing transformation plastered all over the internet, and the fun continues as the gang decides to go on a hiking trip so Ayumu can relax for a bit, as unlikely as that will be. This week’s episode ended with a taste of things to come, as the evil masou-shoujo (magiclad) Kyoko makes her return.
Medaka Box 2
Medaka Box had a massive plunge in popularity this week, and this episode is an example of why. This week Medaka spends her time uncovering shoe vandals and looking for lost dogs. I’m not kidding, that’s what they did this week. Many fans, myself included, are becoming disappointed by this show’s boring pace and poor animation quality, something that is unacceptable from a studio like Gainax. Things could turn around dramatically for this show, but if nothing happens soon this show is likely to get dropped off my watch list.
Natsuiro Kiseki 2
(A Summer-Colored Miracle)
Magical rock wishing girls continues, with an episode that is much more fun than I had expected. As Natsumi and Saki continue fighting even after the miracle they witness, Yuka and Rinko accidentally make a wish that forces the fighting girls to become “stuck” to each other. The silliness of the situation and how they handle it made this episode surprisingly funny. Another thing I have noticed about this show is the painstaking amount of detail in the scenery, and the vibrant colors used to bring it all to life. I’m not always crazy about slice of life type shows, but for now I’m certainly going to keep watching this one.
Nazo no Kanojo X 2
(Mysterious Girlfriend X)
This show takes the cake for being the strangest one of the bunch, and that’s saying a lot since it’s in a season with shows about monsters from Cthulu lore and assault rifles turned into cute girls. This episode features Akira moping about because he is finding his relationship with Mikoto is at a dull standstill, the only constant being the daily ritual of eating Mikoto’s drool. Things get weirder as the episode moves along and some of the more unusual side effects of Mikoto’s drool are revealed. While I always try to be as open-minded as possible about anime, this was just too much for me to handle.
Chihiro’s attempts to revive his dead cat continue in this episode, but things get very dramatic as Rea’s tragic background is revealed. It turns out there is a rather disturbing relationship between Rea and her father, bringing a rather unexpected, dark turn for a show that comes off as a typical romance comedy. This episode had a cliffhanger ending that has me eager to see what happens next week.
The most adorable show about firearms starts off with what seems like a documentary on the performance of different models of assault rifles, presented in a way only anime can. Things get intense later in the episode when the assault rifle girls are challenged to a gunfight by the senior battle rifle girls. While there is no “body count” (they are just supposed to pop balloons above each other’s heads, which is also something you should never do with real guns, EVER[this announcement brought to you by Varms.Net]) the gunfight between these two classes was a fairly exciting and action-packed affair. For some Upotte! related bonus fun, check out some forum threads about this show, where you can see the funny yet disturbing trend of anime fans turning into gun enthusiasts.