Stark’s Picks: 2012 Anime of the Year

You Can (Not) Handle All This Moe

It has been about a year since I did my first AOTY article for Varms.net, and since then I’ve begun writing the Weekly Anime Round-Up, where I talk about currently airing anime fresh from Japan.  This year I’ve decided that all of my picks for AOTY will have to consist of shows that finished airing within the year, since some shows can turn ugly during the second half.  This year I have also included a few special categories, along with my top 10 picks for the year.  This year, Comedies and Slice of Life shows dominated the scene by delivering some very unique concepts that proved to be incredibly entertaining.

This ranking is based solely on my personal selections for the year, so don’t get bent out of shape if your favorite show isn’t here.  There were plenty of other shows I personally enjoyed that did not make this list, but I would like to encourage any fans out there to post their favorites from 2012 in the comments.  I tend to watch most of the stuff readers have suggested in my other articles, so it’s always good to share your favorites.

10.  Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate
(Love, Elections, and Chocolate)

The only election in 2012 that was worth paying attention to.

KoiChoco is about a school in the near-future that is operated by a powerful student government.  When an upcoming election threatens to shut down the school’s easygoing clubs in an effort to make budget cuts, Yuuki Oojima of the “Food Research” club enters the election to save his club.  Unfortunately, he soon finds that this seemingly innocent school election is full of conspiracies, class-warfare, and even attempted assassinations!

This show mixes political drama and typical school romance into a unique formula that was very enjoyable.  I really liked that they didn’t leave the story or its romantic elements “open” at the end like many shows, and instead things wrap up very nicely over the course of 12 episodes.  Also, the beer-chugging teacher was the most awesome teacher in all of history.

9.  Upotte!
Japan may love guns even MORE than Americans do.

In Japan, pretty much anything can be represented by cute girls.  Upotte is about a school for assault rifles, where different models of guns are schoolgirls.  These girls train and compete amongst one another in school sponsored events to prove which “gun” in the superior weapon.  This show combines slice of life elements with action sequences, along with some interesting lessons about military firearms.  And there is lots of ”gun cleaning” (Guess what kind of scenes those are), because clean guns are happy guns.  This show ends with a literal “bang” as the girls eventually battle against the “evil” cold-war era Soviet firearms.

While this show did not have a large popularity in either Japan or over here, it has gathered a cult following among aficionados of weapons and all that is cute.  The strange concept behind this show is what originally drew me in, and it was executed well enough to be one of my favorites for the year.  The NRA should be taking notes; because an anime is somehow one of the greatest pieces of pro-gun propaganda of all time, and the ending delivers a simple yet undeniably true statement about the nature of firearms.

 

8. Ano Natsu de Matteru
(Waiting in the Summer)

Ku Ku Ku… Who wants some dynamite drink?

Ano Natsu is a high school/summer romance story with the twist of having one of the students being an Alien that has crash landed on earth.  While this has certainly been done before, this show does it right.  The story involves a boy named Kaito that becomes mixed up with a girl that is new to town, and unbeknownst to Kaito and his friends, new to planet Earth.  Most of the story takes place during summer break, when Kaito and friends film an amateur sci-fi film and attempt to sort out their feelings for one another.

This show has a cast of interesting characters, crisp and colorful scenery and animation, and a great storyline with lots of unique twists and turns.  The end of this show is quite the surprise, and finishes the story in a spectacular fashion.   This show is a great watch for anyone that digs the romance/slice of life genre.

7. AKB0048

Idols fighting space marines with motherfucking lightsabers.  What more could you want?

This show was created as a shameless plug for the famous Japanese Idol group, AKB48.  This show has the ridiculous concept of being a story about an Idol group in the future that flies around the galaxy performing shows on various planets.  The catch is that the Interstellar government has a ban on entertainment, and they enforce this ban with heavily armed troops and battle mechs.  This means that the rebellious Idol group, AKB0048, must be proficient in both singing and combat.

The absurdity of this concept is what makes this show surprisingly good.  Watching idols fight off armored troopers and battle mechs with microphones that turn into lightsabers and clothing accessories repurposed as weapons is a kind of crazy awesomeness that only anime can pull off.  Who would have thought that a show about fun being illegal would be one of the most fun shows of the year?

6. Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon II
(Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere II)
Big boobs and frenzied combat are back!

This is Horizon’s second time to land on my AOTY list, and its back for all of the same reasons.  This time Tori and the crew of the Musashi travel to the floating island of England, while still fighting off the Testament Union.  This season delivers even more of what made the first season so great:  crazy and creative fast-paced fights, a unique setting with a detailed universe, and lots of sexy girls in skin-tight outfits.

Horizon is what happens when anime gets cranked up to 11. It is an intense show that moves at a brisk pace even when it seems like not much is going on.  For a second year in a row, Horizon has continued to be a devilishly entertaining blend of action, comedy, and fanservice concentrated into pure fun.  Rumor has it a third season in the works, so we may get yet even more of this!

5. Yuru Yuri II
I for one, welcome our new moe overlord.

I missed the first season of this show when it aired last year, but I got caught up just before this season aired.  Yuru Yuri is a slice of life/comedy about a group of girls in the “Amusement Club”, which is pretty much just a club for the girls to mess around without any real purpose.  With the phrase “yuri” in the title, some may get the idea that the focus of this show is on lesbians, but that would not be an accurate assumption.  While some of the girls have crushes on one another, that isn’t the focus of the show, and there is no form of fanservice to be found in this show whatsoever.  This show is simply a light-hearted comedy with a lot of character-based humor.

This show has a similar vibe to “Lucky Star”, but its unique humor and oodles of cuteness keep it in a class all of its own.   While this show is by no means revolutionary, it was one of my favorites this year because of the simple fact that no matter how bad a mood I was in, this show could make me laugh.  Anyone looking to get into this show should watch the first season, since the most of the jokes are tied closely to the characters and their personalities.

4. Kore wa Zombie Desu ka?  OF THE DEAD
(Is This a Zombie? Season 2)
Even alcoholics are cute in anime.

Zombie is yet another show to return to my list of AOTY picks.  Even though this season is more focused on this shows ridiculous brand of humor instead of advancing the main storyline, the non-stop laughs from this show make it all worth the time.  A few new characters are introduced this season, my favorite one in particular is a cute girl in a frilly dress that spends her time drinking booze in the school’s chemistry lab and puking rainbows.  Other wacky additions to the cast include a mysterious man that coughs up blood for no reason, and a busty magical girl that spends her time drawing manga.

My only major complaint with this season of Zombie is the fact that it abruptly ends just as the story has built up, but the endless barrage of hilarious situations more than made up for any misgivings I had.  This show begs to have a third season, but considering its so-so BD sales, the chance seems slim.  A sliver of hope for more remains due to the fact that the final episode and OVA hint at more to come.

3. Haiyore! Nyaruko-san
(Nyaruko-san, the Crawling Chaos)
Don’t be scared, she’s just an unfathomable abomination.

Even Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos is not beyond the reach of Japan’s culture of cute.  Nyaruko is a comedy about a student named Mahiro that becomes dependent on the protection of Nyarlathotep, who has taken the form of a cute girl.  Anyone hoping this show will be a serious take on the Cthulu Mythos should stop right here, this show is a reference-packed comedy show through and through, and that’s why it’s awesome.  Each episode is crammed with references to Japanese TV shows, anime, video games, and even a few American films, along with the its own brand of random, at times perverse, humor.

While it is unlikely for any viewer to pick up on all of the references, there is still plenty of stuff for a seasoned anime fan to pick up on.  Even without the references, the nonstop humor of the show in itself will have anyone that isn’t dead inside laughing their ass off.  I had tons of fun watching this, and the best news yet is that a second season is already on its way!

2. Accel World
Fun Fact: Silver Crow gets all the bitches.

This anime has received a mixed reception among many fans, mostly because of the fact that the main character is a short, fat student harassed by bullies.  Anyone that passed on this show for that reason has only cheated themselves, because Accel World was one of the most amazing shows to air this year.  Accel World takes place a few decades in the future, where a device called the neuro-linker has made major advancements in information technology.  Neuro-linkers are powerful computers that are worn around the neck, and connect directly to the mind.  This device makes Augmented Reality a part of everyday life, and Virtual Reality video games a popular pastime.

This story is about a student named Haru, who uses Virtual Reality games to escape his miserable life of bullying and disrespect.  One day his life is changed when the most popular girl in his class offers him the chance to download a mysterious program called “Brain Burst.”  At first glance, Brain Burst seems like nothing but a MMO fighting game, but the game rewards its players with something called “Burst Points.”  These burst points can be used for leveling up avatars and other in game exchanges, but their real power is they can also be used in the real world to “overclock” a players brain.  This accelerated thinking speed gives its user a sensation similar to stopping time, allowing players to gain an advantage in real life.

Accel World takes place in an interesting universe, as both the real world and the world of Brain Burst make for an awesome sci-fi setting that is one of a kind.  Watching Haru’s character grow as he faces the struggles of the real world and Brain Burst was a really great aspect of this show, since Haru eventually breaks the mold of the typical, weakling “Shinji Ikari” type of character.  This show has an awesome mix of action, drama, world building, and of course, plenty of cute girls.

1. Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai!
(Despite my Adolescent Delusions, I Want to Date!)
The Dark Flame Master is the world’s only hero.

During his middle school years, Yuuta suffered from what some people call “chuunibyou” or “8th grade syndrome.”  Basically chuunibyou is something like an overactive imagination.  Yuuta loved to stay in the character of “Dark Flame Master”, a fictional character he created through his love of anime and manga.  Now that he’s made it to high school, Yuuta enrolls in a school where no one knows him, in hopes of living a normal life without the embarrassment of his childish behavior from middle school.  Just as Yuuta thinks he’s on track to enjoy a healthy social life, a girl named Rikka climbs onto his balcony, seeking the “famous” Dark Flame Master.  Rikka wears an eye patch to conceal what she calls the “Tyrant’s Eye”, and claims she is on a mission to find the unseen Horizon.

This show is an amazing romantic comedy, animated by Japan’s famous Kyoto Animation studio, an anime studio renowned for its high quality animation and captivating characters.  The antics of Rikka and her “servant” Sanae kept me laughing through almost all of this show.  This show also features some amazing animated “battles”, scenes where Rikka and Sanae’s delusional fights are brought to life in spectacular fashion.  Eventually things do take a serious turn, as both the drama and romance heat up between the characters.  Everything comes together nicely at the end, making this a great “feel good” anime.

This show tops my list for AOTY for its unique take on a romantic comedy, fun characters, beautiful animation, and a heartwarming story that deals with being true to oneself and coping with loss.  This anime didn’t set out to blow anyone’s minds or bring drastic change to the medium, it simply set out to tell a good story, and that’s what makes it so wonderful.  While I personally find a lot of Kyoani’s shows to be hit and miss, I think this is one of the best shows the studio has put out in years.

2012 AOTY Special Categories:

2012 AOTY Honorable Mention:
Psycho Pass
One of the most awesome weapons in all of anime.

Psycho Pass was not considered for AOTY simply because it is only halfway finished at this time.  However, this is probably one of the best sci-fi anime to come around in years.  Psycho Pass takes place in a future where a computer known as the Sybil system watches over and evaluates the minds of every citizen.  This system knows if some has, or will commit a criminal act, and “Latent Criminals” are given the choice of seeking therapy or suffering the consequences.  The story surrounds a police force known as the “Enforcers”, latent criminals that are given a second chance by hunting down other criminals, under the supervision of detectives.  The enforcers also employ a unique firearm known as the Dominator, a gun that will only fire upon an individual with a high “crime coefficient”.

This show has a really awesome setting, great characters, incredible animation, and interesting villains.  Psycho Pass has only gotten better with each episode, so things are looking good for the second half.  Depending on how well this show finishes up, it could very well be a serious contender for 2013’s AOTY.

Best Ecchi Show:
Highschool DxD
Trying to find a screencap of this without full-frontal nudity is REALLY hard.

Sure an ecchi show may not necessarily be AOTY material, but they sure as hell can be fun.  Highschool DxD is ecchi done right:  it blends tons of hot girls, a bit of action, and hilarious comedy, and it doesn’t skimp on the ecchi.  The show’s opening has nudity right off the bat, and the credit sequence has an amazingly well animated display of the girls dancing like strippers.  DxD is about a student named Issei , that winds up being murdered and resurrected into a demon by the hottest demon you will ever see.  This show is all about Issei trying to prove himself to his new demon masters, so he may one day become an overlord with the harem of his dreams.  A must see for any fan of ecchi shows.

So Bad it’s Good:
Senki Zesshou Symphogear
Girls in skimpy battle gear are always worth a watch.

Symphogear is a show that takes place in the distant future, when mankind is plagued by an alien menace known as the “noise.”  The only weapon that can defeat the noise is a song-powered battle armor known as the Symphogear.  That means this show is about cute girls in skimpy battle armor that sing idol songs and the fight aliens.  The story is nothing but silly nonsense, but the show is honest with itself for what it is and the cool designs and over the top action scenes make this show incredibly entertaining.

Best Mecha Show (That isn’t part of the Gundam franchise):
Muv Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse
TSF’s are pretty fucking awesome.

Muv Luv was a highly-anticipated show for this year, based off a popular visual novel with a devoted fan base.  Unfortunately, this show’s low production values and slow pacing made it a bit of a letdown for many fans.  While this show is by no means amazing, it still proved to be quite entertaining, and has some really awesome, and at times very gory, action scenes.  Mecha anime have been dwindling in recent years, so there wasn’t much competition, but it was still worth watching nonetheless.

Biggest Disappointment:
Sword Art Online
At least the girls were cute.

This entry is likely to ruffle some feathers, since this is probably the most popular show of the year. SAO is about gamers that become trapped in a Virtual Reality MMORPG, and if they die in the game, they are killed in real life.  I personally enjoyed the first half of the show, and defended its criticisms time and time again.  Unfortunately, the end of the first story arc is where several problems began to pop up.  The story became increasingly reliant on unexplained “miracles” to get the characters out of jams, and the writing became sloppier as the second half of the show continued.  Much of the suspense and thrills from the first half are lost when the main character, Kirito enters a game to save his girlfriend that is still trapped in the virtual world, only to sideline his mission to show off for other girls.  Every time the story goes and explains something can’t be done, Kirito does it anyway, with no reasonable explanation.

The show had a lot of great things going for it: an interesting setting, great character designs, good animation, and an epic soundtrack written by the same composer from Madoka Magica.  Unfortunately, the adaptation of the show from the original light novels was executed poorly, and at times it felt like the writers were literally making things up as they went along.  This show was entertaining, but it is not worthy of the general acclaim and popularity it has received.

Weekly Anime Round-Up: September 24th – September 30th

This week most shows in the round-up come to an end.  Most of the new shows for the Fall season will be starting up next week, but this week we already have a new show to add to the round-up.  There is also some great news this week:  a second season of everyone’s favorite moe abomination comedy,    Haiyore! Nyaruko-san, has been officially announced!

Dog Days Season 2:  Episode 13 End

This week Shinku and company say their goodbyes and return home… and that’s pretty much it.  While I loved the first season of this show, this season seemed to be really confused with what direction they were going to go with.  The first season’s formula of cute, fun, and action has been changed around with rather poor results.  This time it felt like they flirted with making this an ecchi comedy, slice of life, and adventure show all at the same time, without pulling off any of these changes effectively.  There are already rumors buzzing about a third season, and after seeing this mess of a season, I literally face palmed.

Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate:  Episode 12 End
(Love, Election, and Chocolate)

The show about the most intense school election is finally over, and what an amazing ending.  (Your thoughts may vary, depending on what girl you were rooting for…)  I really did not know what to expect from this show at all when I first started watching it, but eventually it became one of my favorites of the season.  This show had a great mix of slice of life antics, romance, drama, and political intrigue that got better with each episode up to the very end.

Kono Naki ni Hitori Imouto ga Iru!:  Episode 12 End
(One of Them is my Little Sister!)

The true imouto is finally revealed! (For real this time!)  Now Shougo can safely bang his classmates without fear of committing an act of incest and losing a corporate empire!  I was a little disappointed by the “open” ending of the show, but I still enjoyed it.  The first volume of the Blu-ray is packed with all the naughty content that was censored in the TV version, just in case anyone wanted to do more research on creampuffs.

Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon, Season 2:  Episode 12
(Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere)

The battle against the Spanish armada continues, yet again.  (Were you expecting everyone to just sit down and have tea?)  This week money, baseball bats, and perverts are all used as weapons, along with the traditional anime staples of swords, guns, and giant robots.  Enjoy yet another dose of crazy, fast paced fighting this week.

 Oda Nobuna no Yabou:  Episode 12 End
(The Ambition of Oda Nobuna)

This episode sums up the current story arc, but remains open ended, implying the possibility of another season.  None of the questions I had this season ever got answered, (Such as how the hell Sagara went back in time, or how/if he ever goes back to the future.) and I felt a bit disappointed with the show overall.  I picked this up thinking this was going to be an action-packed show with cute samurai girls, and instead I got incompetent Japanese warriors getting humiliated by little girls.  It was entertaining enough to keep me watching, but just barely.

Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse:  Episode 13

Yuuya has come to the rescue, but unfortunately even more BETA are rushing to the hanger where Yui is located.  It seems the production values have bumped up a bit for the second half of the season, and there has been much more action in these past few episodes.  While this show had a fairly weak start, I’m already much more impressed with the pacing of the show for this half of the season.

Shinsekai Yori:  Episode 1
(From The New World)

From the New World takes place 1000 years into the future.  It seems the event of people discovering psychic powers in the 21st century did not work out very well for civilization, and Japan now seems to resemble the feudal days.  The story revolves around a group of students attending a school that trains people in the use of their psychic powers.  While things seem cheery and peaceful on the surface, it would seem there are some very dark mysteries surrounding the school and modern society in general.

Sword Art Online:  Episode 13

Kirito and Asuna’s leave of absence from the guild is cut short when they are summoned back to headquarters.  A team sent to clear the 75th floor has disappeared from the boss room, so a massive raid party is assembled to investigate and fight the boss.  Before setting out to fight the boss, Kirito begins to wonder if he is simply better off staying in the game world, while Asuna becomes concerned about what could be happening to their bodies back in the real world.

Weekly Anime Round-Up: September 17th – September 23rd

The summer season is coming to an end, and on that note two awesome shows aired their last episodes this week.  Accel World and Yuru Yuri are over, and both shows will be missed.  The weekly round-up may start to trim down for a bit during these next couple weeks as more shows finish up, but don’t worry, they will soon be replaced by a handful of new shows I plan on watching for the Fall season.

Accel World:  Episode 24 End

The final battle is Dusk Taker is underway, and now the pressure is on Haru to prove his worth to the Nega Nebulous legion.  As this story arc comes to an end, it seems there are still many questions left behind about the true nature of Brain Burst.  This show is selling reasonably well, and even has an upcoming PSP game in Japan; so there is a good chance we will get another season down the road.  This was one of my favorite shows of the year so far, and a big contender for my top 10 shows of the year.

Dog Days Season 2:  Episode 12

With only one episode left, the action and drama is getting intense for Shinku and friends.  Nah, just kidding- like the rest of this season, not much of interest happens this week.  It may seem premature to criticize this show before it’s finished, but I’m going to say this was one of the biggest flops of the season, and a huge disappointment.  I honestly have contemplated dropping this a few times over the course of the season, but I held on purely due to my love of the first season.  The cute, fun, and light-hearted nature of the original has somehow been confused with filler-grade fluff this time around, and this episode was more of it.  Even a mind-blowing final episode next week won’t make up for this season, but I’ll be sure to gripe about it when the time comes.

Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate:  Episode 11
(Love, Election, and Chocolate)

Now that Yuuki knows the truth behind the so-called “Public Safety Committee”, he finds out his political career may be over before it has even started.  There is a lot that happens this week, and this article would be spoiler-tastic if I went on about what happened.  Stop reading this and go watch, NOW.

Kono Naki ni Hitori Imouto ga Iru!:  Episode 11
(One of Them is my Little Sister!)

As “Mister X” continues to help Shougo stop the plot to take over the company, Miyabi has decided to step up her game and ask Shougo on an actual date.  Unfortunately, Shougo’s doubts about the girls he had finally begun to trust are becoming more intense as new facts come to light.  Will Shougo ever be able to get some without ruining a chance to run a massive corporation and become stupid rich?  Hopefully we will find out next week!

Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon, Season 2:  Episode 11
(Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere)

As Tenzou races to save his love interest, the battle against the Spanish Armada continues at a furious pace, and this is only the first half of the fight!  If there is one thing that is certain, this season of Horizon is certainly not lacking in the action department.  The entire second half of this season has been nothing but Horizon’s trademark wacky combat, and this has been one hell of a fun ride.  Next week will likely wrap up this story arc, so get ready for things to get even crazier.

Oda Nobuna no Yabou:  Episode 11
(The Ambition of Oda Nobuna)

Word has reached Nobuna that Sagara did not survive his last battle (?), and she is not taking it well.  Now the rest of the crew has to find a way to calm Nobuna’s rage before she uses her military might to crush the will of the people she was working to unite.  Next week is the final episode, so we will have to see what happens then…

Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse:  Episode 12

Yui desperately struggles to find a way to destroy the radiation cannon in order to keep it out of Soviet hands, while also dealing with a horde of BETA without a TSF.  Can Yui survive a swarm of hungry, hungry BETA long enough to accomplish her mission?  Will she ever just admit that she secretly wants to bang Yuuya?  We have yet another half of this season to find out!

Sword Art Online:  Episode 12

A member of the Liberation Army requests help from Kirito and Asuna to rescue someone who has been trapped in a secret dungeon beneath Beginner Town.  A sudden encounter with a high level monster reveals the shocking truth behind the mysterious girls Kirito and Asuna have been taking care of.  On a side note, it seems the popularity of this show has spawned an equal amount of haters out there.  The funny thing is, even though this show is only halfway over, I’m already considering it for an AOTY contender.  Haters gonna hate…

Yuru

This time the Yuri’s have decided to do Snow White and the 7 Dwarves for a school play.  This ridiculous rendition of a fairy tale classic turned out to be a hilarious way to end the season.  I had almost as much fun watching this as I did watching Nyarlko from the spring season, and I will surely miss the joy of Yuru Yuri Mondays.

[Not Very] Weekly Anime Round-Up: August 27th – September 16th

Okay anime fans, I messed up.  The boring and wretched toils of real, non-2D life got ahold of me for a few weeks, so the “weekly” round-up did not happen for a bit.  A combination of working massive amounts of overtime, moving to a new city, and waiting to have precious internet installed had forced me to put the round-up on a temporary hiatus.  Fortunately I found a way to marathon 3 weeks’ worth of anime and get caught up with the important things in life, such as futuristic online gaming, mecha combat, and teenage time-traveling lesbians.  For the sake of brevity and brining things back to the status quo, I’m going to jump right into the current episodes.

Accel World:  Episode 23

Now that Haru has figured out the secret behind Dusk Taker’s ability to stay hidden from match lists, he has finally decided to confront him before his master returns.  Dusk Taker has challenged Haru and Taku to a match that will put everyone’s burst points on the line- the winner will take a huge pile of burst points, the loser will lose everything and have Brain Burst forcefully uninstalled forever.  I also discovered something interesting during the past few episodes:  it turns out this show and Sword Art Online both take place in the same universe, and both franchises were written by the same author.

Dog Days Season 2:  Episode 11

Now that the “war” between the three kingdoms has come to pass, it will only be a matter of time before Shinku and company will have to return to Earth.  Naturally, this means it’s time for a body-switching episode, since no one has used that cliché for a while.  This episode was filler-tastic, which is pretty disappointing considering this season may only have one or two episodes remaining.  However, there is some fun in watching Shinku try and deal with being stuck in the body of a large-breasted ninja…

Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate:  Episode 10
(Love, Election, and Chocolate)

After Yuuki survives his close brush with death, he now has to deal with a literal “clinger”.  To make matters worse, Yuuki has discovered that the group sponsoring his candidacy has a rather shady background.  This episode of full of drama and political thrills, not to mention some shocking revelations…

Kono Naki ni Hitori Imouto ga Iru!:  Episode 10
(One of Them is my Little Sister!)

Shougo has finally found his real sister, and has decided to go back to finding a bride.  Unfortunately, his bride hunt will have to wait until he deals with that little conspiracy take control of his father’s company.  Can Shougo foil the plot to steal what is rightfully his before it is too late?  Looks like we will have to watch and see!

Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon, Season 2:  Episode 10
(Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere)

The battle with the Spanish Armada is finally underway, and even though the Spanish fleet is destined to “lose” this battle according to the plan, they intend to sink the Musashi no matter what.  As the battle rages on, some of the crew has moved into England in order to help Tenzou save his newfound love… and get some revenge on the Trumps of England.  Prepare yourselves for even more spectacular, over-the-top action this week!

Oda Nobuna no Yabou:  Episode 10
(The Ambition of Oda Nobuna)

Sagara is beginning to feel the consequences of tampering with the past, as he finds the events around him are growing more difficult to predict.  Just as he begins to question how he can still be useful to Nobuna without being able to use knowledge of the future, one of the most critical battles in this era is about to take place.  There are some really crazy things that happen during this episode, so to avoid any nasty spoilers I’m not going to say anything else.

Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse:  Episode 11

A swarm of BETA rushing the base seems to be bad enough news, but things go from bad to worse when everyone figures out that the Soviets “allowed” this to happen.  It seems the Reds really want Japan’s shiny new radiation cannon for themselves, and will do anything to have it.  Can the team figure out a way to fight off the BETA and keep those dirty commies from stealing that really awesome gun?

Sword Art Online:  Episode 11

Kirito and Asuna have finally tied the knot, or at least they have in the virtual world.  In order to celebrate, they have decided to take a temporary leave from the guild and buy a home together.  As they go about enjoying their new lives together, they stumble upon a mysterious lost girl that has no name or stats, unlike a normal player.  Now the newlyweds have set out to return this lost girl home, and hopefully find her parents in the game world.

Yuru Yuri Season 2:  Episode 11

This week the girls discover a time machine just lying about the clubhouse for absolutely no reason.  Naturally, this causes Akari to accidentally get sent 1 year into the past.  Akari ends up trapped in the past when she finds out the time machine is broken, and she will need the help of a certain explosion-loving scientist in order to get back to the future.  In the meantime, Akari makes several attempts to alter her past in hopes of securing her place as the “main character” of the group.  The only bad thing about this episode is knowing there will only one more episode of this show left.

Weekly Anime Round-Up: August 19th – August 26th

This week Kono Naki plays catch-up by delivering a double dose this week to make up for the time lost to the Olympics.  We are finally entering the second half of this season, and the hype for the fall season is already building up.  In other news, it was recently announced that the Hyperdimension Neptunia franchise of RPG’s will be getting the anime treatment, a nice tidbit of news for those overlapping fans of anime and video games.

Accel World:  Episode 20

With the side story from the last two weeks finally over, we finally get to see what becomes of Haru and Taku as they fight Dusk Taker… and Chiyuri.  The intensity of the fight causes Haru to unleash a frightening new power, just as the match ends due to time.  There is plenty more rage to be had when Haru and Taku confront Chiyuri about her betrayal.

Dog Days Season 2:  Episode 8

As the three kingdoms prepare for a major event, Becky and Biscotti have a chat about where they stand about pursuing a relationship with Shinku.  Meanwhile, a lost spirit now turned into a literal cat burglar plagues the kingdom with a taste for all things shiny and expensive.  This felt a lot like a filler episode, but next week there should be some great action when the “war” begins again.

Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate:  Episodes 7
(Love, Election, and Chocolate)

With a victory in the primaries in the bag, the gang prepares for their next step in the election.  In the meantime, Yuuki has an interesting confrontation with Chisato in the bath, and then finds himself in a huge bind when he tries to help his drunken teacher.  What is the lesson of the day?  Leave drunk people alone.

Kono Naki ni Hitori Imouto ga Iru!:  Episode 6&7
(One of Them is my Little Sister!)

Shougo eliminates yet another girl from the list of potential imoutos… but he is still full of doubts about the entire situation.  He finally decides to do the smart thing and employ DNA testing in order to find some relief, and possibly score.  Leave it to the creative minds of the Japanese to find a way to make a DNA cheek swab perverse…  Oh, and brace yourself for some heavy-handed censorship in episode 6.

Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon, Season 2:  Episode 7
(Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere)

As the dust settles from the huge fight with the Trumps of England, the crew decides to make their plea to gather the Armaments of deadly sins.  The tension rises as the execution of Bloody Mary draws closer and a war for the purpose of re-creating history is brewing. Unfortunately, the crew of the Musashi will have to bargain with England’s queen, and she is not amused.

Oda Nobuna no Yabou:  Episode 7
(The Ambition of Oda Nobuna)

Nobuna continues her conquest, and attempts to fill in a power vacuum left by a fallen shogunate.  Sagara uses some spare time to wander about, only to run into a nun in distress and yet another young warrior.  Altogether this was a fairly uneventful episode.

Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse:  Episode 8

The team arrives in the Soviet Union and is preparing to test a new TSF weapon in live combat against the BETA.  Unfortunately it would seem there are members of the Soviet Union should not be considered “comrades”, as poor Inia discovers.  It seems next week we will finally be able to see some decent fighting against the BETA, so look forward to it.

Sword Art Online:  Episode 8

Two years have passed in the game at this point, and it seems most of the players have adjusted to their new lives.  There are growing signs that many players have grown complacent, and have even lost their desire to finish the game and return to reality.  Kirito eventually finds himself having to help Asuna deal with an obsessive guild member that challenges him to a duel.

Yuru Yuri Season 2:  Episode 8

Kyouko and the girls are working on her manga, while trying to ensure that Chinatsu does not “help”.  The girls also go out for some karaoke, and Chinatsu goes on a “date”.  Chinatsu hatches a plan to go to a horror movie in order to make a move, only to have it horribly backfire.