Weekly Anime Round-Up: March 25th – March 31st

Winter anime has almost entirely finished for the season, with Little Busters being the only show included in the round up that did not end this week.  This season was a lot of fun, but the upcoming spring anime lineup looks very exciting, with lots of variety and the return of some popular shows from last year and beyond.  Since this article consists almost entirely of endings, I’m going to try and keep things short and sweet.

AKB0048:  Episode 26 END
Can’t… resist… the moe…

AKB0048’s final push to retake Akibastar involves singing to a crowd of disenfranchised citizens that feel they were abandoned during the DES assault.  As expected, this show wraps up with a spectacular performance of idols vs. space marines, along with answering a lot of the viewer’s burning questions.  This is the kind of show someone will either love or hate, but it was a fun ride and worth watching by any fan of idol anime.

Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai NEXT:  Episode 12 END
(I Don’t Have Many Friends)  AKA: Haganai
I’ve heard this is a common practice in American prisons

This episode reinforced my opinion that Haganai is awesome when it sticks to comedy, and just plain awkward when it tries to be serious.  I really loved watching this season, and I still recommend it to fans of Haganai, but be warned, the ending for this season is going to leave a bitter taste in your mouth.  Unless a 3rd season comes around, this will be one of the worst endings to a TV anime I have ever seen.  Now go ahead and watch it and rage.

Girls und Panzer:  Episode 12 END
B-b-but tanks are supposed to be fun!

The conclusion of the biggest tank battle the girls have faced is finally here, and it was worth the wait.  The creative team’s decision to take the extra time needed to do this final battle the right way paid off, because both of these episodes were simply amazing.  This show is yet another example of anime’s unusual knack for transforming strange concepts into fantastic entertainment.  The massive popularity of this show practically guarantees another season, so it is almost safe to say we can expect even more cute girls and tanks.

Little Busters!:  Episode: 25
A true anime rarity:  a girl with an eye patch for actual medical reasons.

This week the Little Busters are… actually getting ready to play baseball?  A game has finally been arranged for the Busters to play against a team formed by the schools other athletic clubs, but they are still short one player for the game.  Will unusual circumstances once again bring another player to the Little Busters baseball team?

Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru:  Episode 13 END
(My Girlfriend and my Childhood Friend Fight Too Much) AKA: Oreshura
The final battle for the title of best girl begins…

The “Oredere” game promotion contest has begun, in a seemingly cruel display that forces the girls to pour their hearts out for Eita in front of a large audience.  The sacred answer to the question of “which girl won” is up for debate after the conclusion of this show.  In the end, Oreshura was enjoyable, but also a fairly average romcom anime with a fairly average romcom ending.

Senran Kagura:  Episode 12 END
Best girls have arrived to save the day!

The conclusion to boobie ninja’s is upon us, for better or worse.  This show set out to be an ecchi/action/comedy and achieved exactly that, and it won’t ever fall under or exceed those expectations.  Was Senran Kagura a pervy action show made to pander to fans of ninjas and boobs?  Yes.  Was Senran Kagura awesome for those same previously mentioned reasons?  Absolutely.

Vividred Operation:  Episode 12 END
C’mon crow god, have you seen gas prices?  Taking away the Incarnate Engine is a dick move.

The interdimensional crow-god thingy has spoken, and naturally it wants to destroy all of mankind, because that is the only reasonable thing to do.  Can Akane and her friends save mankind and alternative energy with the power of friendship and yuri overtones?  We are going to find out!  Vividred is a really fun show made to entertain anime fans, and is completely unapologetic about it.  Obviously this means this show isn’t for everyone, and strangely enough that is also what makes it devilishly fun.

Zetsuen no Tempest:  Episode 24 END
AKA: The Civilization Blaster
Can anyone stop the tree of Genesis?

Studio Bones is infamous for the way they end anime (Just ask Soul Eater fans), but I have to admit, they did a good job this time.  Everything wraps up nicely, and a very satisfying ending was delivered.  It’s obvious that my enjoyment of this show was lacking during the second half, mostly due to some really bad pacing issues.  This show could have been amazing if it was trimmed down to a single core season of 12-13 episodes, especially because I always had the feeling every bit of the story was being stretched beyond its limit.

Yet Another Show I Watched:

GJ-Bu:  12 Episodes
Anime high school once again proves superior to real high school.

GJ-bu is yet another show from this season that I regrettably did not include in the roundup.  The story basically involves the daily activities the GJ club, a school club that consists of four girls and a new member nicknamed “Kyoro”, the only male member of the club.  The GJ club is pretty much just an excuse for everyone to have a place to mess around, and that is the basic premise of the show.  This is a slice of life/comedy that strongly represents everything that is great about slice of life anime.  The show is both relaxing and humorous, and features a cast of colorful and memorable characters.  Slice of Life shows can be very hit or miss with me, but I really enjoyed this one.  If you are in the market for something cute, silly, and relaxing, this show hits the spot.

Weekly Anime Round-Up: March 18th – March 24th

Three of shows have come to an end this week, and almost all of them will finish up next week.  Things will be slow for the next couple weeks, but there is some good news:  Girls und Panzer has returned!  The conclusion to one of the biggest shows of last year is finally upon us!  Mahou shoujo fans also have a special treat this week, as the Lyrical Nanoha A’s movie finally came out on BD, with English subtitles included!  Naturally, I added this awesome movie to this week’s roundup, enjoy!

AKB0048:  Episode 25
Look out!  That fun is comin’ right for us!

As the girls rehearse for the concert to take back Akibastar, things on their home world are nothing short of terrible.  A strange phenomenon causes the girls to take a peek into the hidden world where the “center nova” disappear into, and learn a bit about their true origin.  Prepare for a cliffhanger ending.

Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai NEXT:  Episode 11
(I Don’t Have Many Friends)  AKA: Haganai
Even when sick, Rika maintains her elegant passion for romance.

Being the only person capable of spicing up Sena’s ridiculous movie with high-quality CG special effects has taken a toll on Rika, causing her to fall ill.  The Neighbors club decides to cancel the film screening for the festival, so they call all enjoy the movie together as… friends.  Just as the festival finishes up, jealousy gives birth to the greatest enemy the Neighbors club has ever faced, and things wrap up with a shocking event!  Get ready for the shocking conclusion next week!

Girls und Panzer:  Episode 11
Can the girls of Oarai stop moe Nazis?

The much anticipated conclusion to last year’s biggest hit is finally here!  The wait was long, but kudos to the team behind this show for admitting they needed more time to deliver an awesome ending.  This episode is packed with tons (forgive the pun) of tank action, and a powerful reminder of how awesome this show can be.  The cliffhanger at the end will leave you begging for next week to get here.

Little Busters!:  Episode: 24
I’m not sure if they are determined or angry.

Now that another member of the Little Busters has had their problems solved, it’s time for yet another mysterious mission from the cat master!  This time the gang has been assigned the simple task of putting on a puppet show.  While looking through some children’s stories written by Komari, Riki is disturbed by what seems to be an ominous foretelling in one of the stories.  What is going to happen when Rin and Riki discover the true secrets of their world?

Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha: The Movie 2nd A’s
Magical rocket-powered sledgehammers are the solution to any problem.

For those not familiar with the series, Lyrical Nanoha is a magical girl show in a world where magic, science, and advanced technology are all mixed together.  These movies are a retelling of their respective television series.  This is the second installment, based on the second TV series, and the third and final movie covering the third TV series has been announced at the time of this article.  These films are awesome because they are the pure essence of anime at its finest:  that strange yet amazing blend of being both incredibly cute and awesomely badass all at once.

This film takes place a couple years after the first, as Nanoha is reunited with Fate after she has repaid her debt to society and the Time-Space Administration Bureau.  Not long after the happy reunion, a group of powerful mages attack with the intention of stealing their linker-cores, the source of their power as mages.  This movie is packed with awesome, over the top fight scenes, amazing animation, incredible music, and everything else one would expect from an anime made for the cinema.  This movie was so good; a Japanese police sergeant was arrested for recording a cam-rip of this film just to watch at home.  Fortunately, thanks to the fact that English subtitles are included on the Japanese BD’s, (and the fact that the internet is your best friend) you can enjoy this movie at home without the threat of incarceration!  Don’t miss this one!

Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru:  Episode 12
(My Girlfriend and my Childhood Friend Fight Too Much) AKA: Oreshura
Anime Fact:  Men naturally reach for the nearest pair of breasts whenever they fall down for safety reasons.

Eita and the girls have arrived at the beach house to get settled in before the contest.  If you haven’t realized it yet, it is time for the inevitable beach episode and the usual antics that come with it.  A surprise encounter with Mana and Masuzu finding an important passage in Eita “8th grader syndrome” notebook serve to add more fuel to the fire of “which girl will win?”  I’m personally hoping for orange to come out and win, but smart money is on silver right now.  Place your bets!

Psycho Pass:  Episode 22 END
Time for a good ol’ fashioned knife fight.

This week we finally find out if someone can stop Shougo from ruining everyone’s delicious hyper oats and bringing down Sybil with chaos caused by mass starvation!  I honestly didn’t expect this show to end as well as it did with only one episode to wrap up so many events, but they somehow managed to pull off a really satisfying ending.  This was one of the best original series I have seen in a long time, and a serious AOTY contender.

Robotics;Notes:  Episode 22 END
Can Gunpro-1 save mankind?

The final battle between the rebuilt Gunpro-1 and Exoskeleton’s high-tech war machine has finally begun!  This show had a lot of ups and downs, but it was worth watching to the end.  This is a “must watch” for fans of Science Adventure visual novels and anime shows (Chaos; Head, Steins; Gate), but it should be said that no one should go into this expecting another Steins; Gate.  Just for the record, I still say Frau was best girl.

Senran Kagura:  Episode 11
I hate bean sprouts, but I would eat bean sprouts with her all day every day.

The great ninja clash has begun!  Once again, the girls each face off with their own arch enemies, hoping to dish out some payback for last time.  Meanwhile, Hibari must escape from her holding cell so she can tell her friends about the terrible curse placed on the students of the dark faction.  Will the balance between light and darkness be restored?  Will we finally get a bath scene with the girls from the light AND dark factions bathing together?  All questions will be answered next week when we finally get to the conclusion of the breast ninja film of all time!

Shinsekai Yori:  Episode 25 END
(From the New World)
Even after attempted genocide, Squealer delivers the laughs.

The final episode of Nightmare Fuel: the Anime is finally upon us.  Discussion of what happened during this episode would actually spoil the ENTIRE series, so I’m keeping my lips sealed.  Don’t worry; you will be thoroughly disturbed when this is over.  This show wasn’t a spectacular anime, but it was fascinating, unique, thought provoking, and deserving of much more praise than it has received in both Japan and the west.  While this has been a commercial failure, this show is a hidden gem that is worth watching by anyone looking for something that breaks away from typical anime formulas.

Vividred Operation:  Episode 11
I’m not sure if this was an intentional reference or not…

The UN has arrested Rei and taken her to a special detention facility, because it seems the UN doesn’t care for acts of terrorism against critical energy infrastructure.  Despite knowing Rei is their enemy, Akane and friends just simply can’t resist friendship; so they make the sound decision to suit up and fight their way into the UN detention facility for one last talk with Rei.  What could possibly go wrong?

Zetsuen no Tempest:  Episode 23
AKA: The Civilization Blaster
This is the best possible response to getting caught with pornography.  10/10

The final preparations for the attack on the tree of Genesis are being made, but not without some more drama from the lovely princess, of course.  The last half of this episode features mages vs. naval battleships, and I have to admit I have forgotten how awesome the fights are in this show when they actually happen.  The grand finale airs next week!