Weekly Anime Round-Up: October 8th – October 14th

The fall anime season is finally in full swing, and all of the shows I am planning on watching have at least aired their first episodes at this point.  This week MuvLuv did not air, and I dropped To Love Ru Darkness since even the AT-X airing was a butchered mess of censorship.  I plan on covering the Blu-ray of TLR in a future article about ecchi anime at some point, but don’t hold your breath on that since it will be a long time for those disks to come out.  Despite that little disappointment from the fall season, there are still lots of really awesome shows to watch, so let’s get started…

Busou Shinki:  Episode 2

This week’s episode of a glorified toy commercial has a new Shinki joining the crew.  Unlike the rest of the girls, it would seem the new model isn’t quite satisfied living a simple life around the house, as she has a thirst for combat.  While the other three girls literally risk their lives to surprise their master with a home cooked meal, they soon will appreciate having someone around that lives to fight!

Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai!:  Episode 2
(Despite My Adolescent Delusions, I Want To Date!)

This week we are introduced to the “villain” within Rikka’s delusional game of pretend, her sister.  There are all sorts of craziness that goes on when Rikka fights off her sister in brilliantly animated fight sequences of her delusions, all for the sake of keeping her pet “chimera”, (a cat.)  This is the most fun I have had watching an anime from Kyoto Animation in a long time, and I already recommend this show to anyone looking for a unique take on slice of life shows.

Girls und Panzer:  Episode 1

Even though Uppotte turned out to be a commercial disappointment, it would seem the anime industry is not done trying to bring out some stuff for that breed of otaku with a love for cute girls and weapons.  This is yet another anime that had such a silly concept I at least had to check it out.  This anime is about an alternate world where tanks are not as much used as tools of war, but instead are used for a type of sport for young women to earn respect and discipline through tank combat; almost like a ritual for entering adulthood.  No, I’m not making this up, in this world, tanks are for girls… in fact they even laugh at the notion of men using tanks right in the first episode.  I have no idea how this show is going to turn out, but I’m giving it a shot out of pure curiosity.

Little Busters!  Episode: 2

This week the Little Busters continue their hunt for new members so they can form a proper Baseball team, simply because it’s something to do.  Unfortunately for them, the only new recruit to show up thus far is a cute, yet athletically inept girl from another class.  However, it seems the Buster’s don’t really care, and happily add her to the crew.  The show has a really goofy, light hearted atmosphere about it, and it’s made me laugh out loud on several occasions.  I’m loving this so far, and I can’t wait for more next week.

Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse:  Airing Next Week…

Psycho Pass:  Episode 1

Psycho pass could best be described as a cross between The Minority Report and Ghost in the Shell.  It takes place in a future where science has such a vivid understanding of the human mind that computers can judge how a person will behave.  This judgment is based on a reading called a “psycho pass”, which is taken by scanners all around the city.  When someone’s psycho pass changes for the worst, they are hunted down by the police, with deadly force if necessary.  This first episode opens up with some great world building and action, and will have viewers asking questions right off the bat.  Oh, did I mention they have guns that make people explode?  Yeah, there’s that.  Have fun!

Robotics Notes:  Episode 1

This anime takes place in the same universe as Steins;Gate and Chaos Head, so I decided to try it out.  I should warn anyone going into this thinking that this show is a “sequel” to Steins;Gate will be disappointed, as the only thing that these shows really share are a couple themes that usually only get mentioned briefly at some point.  (Chaos Head and Steins;Gate are so dramatically different, most viewers would never really know they are even remotely related.)  Anyway, this show takes place in a near future where advanced smartphones/tablets, and robotics are becoming commonplace tools in the lives of regular people.  The story is about a pair of students in the “Robotics Club”, who hope to build a giant robot based on a robot from a world-renowned anime.

Shinsekai Yori:  Episode 3
(From The New World)

Much like last week, this episode opens with another “history lesson,” featuring samurai fighting off psychics.  Once things catch back up to the “modern” world, the children set off on their canoeing/camping trip.  What starts as a seemingly normal camping trip soon makes a turn for the strange when the students encounter yet another mysterious creature of the new world.  The end of this episode is guaranteed to make anyone ask, “What the fuck is going on?”

Sword Art Online:  Episode 15

Okay, I’m going to be nice and warn anyone reading this to stop if they have not watched the show up until now, since they will be spoiled.  Okay, with that out of the way, Kirito has begun to rehabilitate his atrophied muscles and is adjusting to being back in the real world.  Even better, he has found Asuna.  The problem is, not only is Asuna still in a comatose state, it seems there is a scheme by the owner of a tech firm to take advantage of the unusual legal situation caused by Asuna’s unconsciousness.  He plans to marry her, and did I mention he is a complete creep that likes to poke, prod, and sniff comatose girls?  He’s pretty much a well-dressed version of the sketchy trucker from Kill Bill, so be ready to be disgusted.

Zetsuen no Tempest:  Episode 2
(Blast of Tempest/ AKA The Civilization Blaster)

This week there is a bit of explanation about the events unfolding around the world along with even more magical fighting.  To make things even more interesting, the well-armed assassin from the first episode returns for some revenge.  Also, I thought I was going crazy because I thought there were a few references to Shakespeare throughout the episode, but after doing a bit of research it turns out the author had a thing for Shakespeare’s stuff.

Weekly Anime Round-Up: October 1st – October 7th

This has been a really crazy week for anime, now that the new season is getting in gear, last season’s shows are wrapping up, and the shows that are still running have been getting even better.  There are still a few more shows to come that I plan to cover in the round up this fall, so expect even more shows to pop up next week.    Here is how the fall is shaping up so far:

Busou Shinki:  Episode 1

This is a show I was not planning to pick up, but there was a lot of buzz about it being “surprisingly” good from all over the internet.  I had poor expectations of this because this show is essentially a toy commercial for Konami’s line of super popular (and super expensive) action figures called “Busou Shinki” (which roughly translates to “armed divine princesses”).  Busou Shinki figures are 15cm tall, highly-customizable cute anime girls in high-tech combat armor.  In the show, Shinki are sentient robots that assist their masters, and for whatever reason, they fight each other with high-tech weapons.  This show combines cute slice of life moments with remarkably awesome fight scenes, and some tidbits of fan service on the side.  I honestly did not expect this show to be so fun and entertaining, and I’m actually looking forward to more of this.

Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai!:  Episode 1
(Despite My Adolescent Delusions, I Want To Date!)

During his middle school years, Yuuta Togashi had what the Japanese call “chuunibyou”, or adolescent delusions.  He often role-played as the “Dark Flame Master”, a character he made up that seemed to be based on a character from a fighting anime.  Now that he is going to a new high-school where no one knows him, he has decided to start over, put aside his childish behavior and try to finally fit in.  Everything seems to be going to plan until he runs into a cute girl named Rikka, which claims to have a power she calls “The Tyrant Eye of Truth.”  Even worse, she knows about Yuuta’s past as the “Dark Flame Master,” and she wants him to play along with her.  This anime is done by Kyoto Animation, a studio famous for high-quality animation and several critically acclaimed hits, such as Lucky Star, and K-ON!  While I am not nuts about everything this studio does, (I actually passed on their hit from last season, Hyouka.) I really enjoyed this.  The strange situation and Rikka’s wacky behavior have already given this slice of life show a unique and fun twist.

Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon, Season 2:  Episode 13 END
(Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere)

The crew of the Musashi is now in the final stretch in their fight against the Spanish Armada.  As is the style for Horizon, the frenzied action continues all the way to the conclusion.  This story arc is now wrapped up, here’s to hoping that they will keep pumping out seasons of this show until the main storyline is complete!

Little Busters!  Episode: 1

This is a story adapted from a hugely popular visual novel, and the anime adaptation is one of the most anticipated shows of this year.  The story is about a boy named Riki that fell into a deep depression when his parents died, but soon befriended a group of kids calling themselves the “Little Busters” that changed his life to a happy one.  This show carries the brand of the visual novel company Key, and anyone familiar with their works should know how this will go… a mix of slice of life, comedy, romance… and the inevitable sadness.  Key productions are emotional rollercoasters, but they are unforgettable.  I never played the visual novel, (I know, I’m a filthy secondary.) so I’m not sure what to expect, but as a fan of anime with the Key brand, I have high hopes for this show.

Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse:  Episode 14

Just as it seems Yuuya is finished, he is saved by an unlikely group of friends, er, comrades.  But this is Muv-Luv, it’s never that simple, so it’s time for more Soviet backstabbing and the arrival of the deadly laser-class BETA.  A whole lot of things happen this week, and once again I’m going to wrap this up to avoid spoilers.

Shinsekai Yori:  Episode 2
(From The New World)

This week things start off with a disturbing look at some events from 500 years ago, and then moves on to fun and games at school.  This is a really interesting show, because every time you become calmed by the slice of life type of stuff, some kind of strange, mysterious, and potentially disturbing element of the society pops up and gets the viewer guessing at what is really going on.  Oh, get ready for rat people, the future of labor.

Sword Art Online:  Episode 14

So are you one of the many fans out there watching this?  If you are, and you have not watched this week’s episode, stop reading this and go fucking watch it.  There is absolutely NOTHING I can say about this week without spoiling something.  I will say this however, keep in mind at the end of this episode that this show is only halfway over.

To Love Ru Darkness (Brightness?):  Episode NOPE

If anyone bothered to read my articles on ecchi shows, I made a promise to cover this show in the round-up.  Unfortunately, there is a problem:  this show got extremely heavily edited by censorship, and to be honest, I sort of expected it thanks to all the pressure the Japanese government has been putting on the anime industry over sexual content.  Pretty much everything is covered up by bright beams of light and steam, so this is now an ecchi show, without ecchi.  That is like ordering a cheeseburger and getting and empty bun.

I didn’t even waste my time watching this, since all the fun has been stripped right out of the show.  I do however, have a backup plan.  A premium network known as AT-X in Japan usually airs uncut versions of some anime shows a few days after airing on major networks, and I will start to cover the show if they manage to air the uncut version of this.  Unfortunately, some studios like the censorship because it increases Blu-ray sales, and if there is no airing of the uncut version, I will have to wait for the Blu-ray.  If that happens, I will likely just cover this show in another one of my articles about ecchi anime in the future.

 Zetsuen no Tempest:  Episode 1
(Blast of Tempest/ AKA The Civilization Blaster)

I have been looking forward to this show since it comes from Bones studio, a studio that puts out some really great action shows.  This is a story about a high school student named Mahiro who is trying to find the killer of his parents, and he also happens to be a badass mage.  This episode has already delivered on my expectations with a really awesome fight scene and an intriguing storyline.  I’m excited to see much more of this in the weeks to come.