Weekly Anime Round-Up: January 7th – January 14th

The winter anime season has finally shown up in full force this week, and we now have enough shows for a respectable round up.  This week one of my favorite shows from 2011 returns with a second season, and we have a couple fresh new shows that look like they will be a lot of fun.  I’m considering adding one more show to the round up if I find something worth catching up on, and I also have a special addition to this week’s round up at the end.

AKB0048:  Episode 15
Watch out idols, Mimori has put you on notice.

With DES crackdowns on fun getting tighter around the galaxy, Tsubasa has decided to use gorilla broadcasts of “variety shows” to reach a larger audience that would otherwise never see a concert.  If you haven’t guessed, this episode is the anime’s take on Japan’s famous (infamous?) variety shows that feature pop icons doing silly things on television for shameless self-promotion.  While the girls struggle with the pace of the TV biz, they begin to question the importance of variety shows compared to the concerts they perform.

Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai NEXT:  Episode 1
(I Don’t Have Many Friends)  AKA: Haganai
Meat, it’s what’s for dinner.

One of my top 10 anime from 2011 has returned; ready to deliver more of the legendary battle between Yozura and her arch-nemesis, Sena.  For those who missed the first season, (What are you doing?  Just watch it.) this show is about the neighbor’s club, a gathering place for misfit students to scheme new ways to make friends.  Much of this show’s humor comes from the constant feud between Yozura and Sena, and this season gets right back into the fray between the two girls.  “Meat” lovers will be happy, as Sena gets plenty of screen time this week, along with her questionably insane father.

Little Busters!:  Episode 14
Remember kids, a great imagination will only land you in the crazy house.

With the “real” Mio fading away from reality, Riki scrambles to find a way to keep her in his memories.  Riki has his work cut out for him, since the “new” Mio is actually an imaginary friend looking for revenge.  Yes, this episode is that crazy.

Psycho Pass:  Episode 12
Who keeps giving this guy crayons?

This episode takes place 3 years in the past, and tells the story of how Yayoi became a latent criminal, and recruited into the enforcers.  This episode does a good job of demonstrating just how screwed up the “utopia” created by the Sybil system really is, and how much personal freedom has been tossed aside for the sake of “mental health”.  The audience also gets a view of what “therapy” consists of.  As nice as it would have been to keep the story moving after the events of the last episode, this was still a really interesting episode, I promise it won’t disappoint.

Robotics;Notes:  Episode 12
Junna seems to dislike robots for their “kill all humans” policy.

Now that Kaito has been warned to stop researching the work of Kou Kimishima, Kaito just can’t resist finding more of the Kimishima reports.  With the help of Airi, Kaito continues to fulfill the ridiculous requirements of unlocking the next report.  Meanwhile, Junna is looking to resign from the robotics club, due to the fact that she is scared shitless of robots.  Go figure.

Senran Kagura: Episode 1
Anime Fact:  Girls can’t resist grabbing each other’s boobs in changing rooms/bath houses.

Do you like ninjas?  Do you like boobs?  If you can answer yes to both questions, you will fucking love this show.  This show is based off of a video game of the same name, and can be summed-up as the adventures of large-breasted teenage high school ninja girls.  This show only aims to bring bouncy boobs and ninja action, and it does exactly that.  This isn’t award winning material by any means, but it sure is pretty damn fun.

Shinsekai Yori:  Episode 15
(From the New World)
You guessed it, it’s time for Shinsekai Yori!

Saki has set out on her mission to return her friends to the village, and in the process she meets up with her creepy old friend, Squeeler the queerat.  Things seem to be going swimmingly well for Squeeler’s queerat colony: they have made major advances over the years in industry and construction, and queerat creepiness is at an all-time high.  Is Squeeler’s hospitality a sign of true friendship, or is this scheming little creature simply using the “gods” to do his bidding?

Vividred Operation:  Episode 1
Step aside military, it’s time for magical girls to get the job done.

This anime has been building hype for about a year now, and it features the director from Strike Witches.  This can only mean one thing:  sci-fi action with tons of fanservice (and DAT ASS).  This show takes place in the future, where all of the world’s energy problems have been solved by the Incarnate Engine, a huge power plant that supplies energy to everything.  Unfortunately, a mysterious being known only as “Alone” has come to destroy the Incarnate Engine.  While advanced fighter jets and naval battleships are ripped apart by a giant mechanical being, this anime provides the ultimate weapon: cute girls in skintight hot-pants.  While it is obvious this show should not be taken TOO seriously, it seems to have an interesting storyline, and features beautiful, colorful, fluid animation with high production values.  The transformation scene towards the end of the episode was nothing short of awesome thanks to its stylish execution.  This episode is sure to leave anyone interested begging for more at the end.

Zetsuen no Tempest:  Episode 13
AKA: The Civilization Blaster
The savior of civilization or the world’s greatest enemy?

This week’s episode is pretty much just a recap episode with some new scenes.  There is just enough stuff to make this episode worth a watch, but there is nothing noteworthy going on this week.  We will have to wait yet another week to see what happened after the events of the last episode.

Bonus Anime:  The Mini Round-Up

For whatever reason, it would seem subbers have been taking the time to subtitle “mini” shows, low-budget anime with 3-5 minute long episodes.  Last season brought us the hilarious tennis comedy, Teekyuu, so some of these shows can certainly be worth a watch.  I don’t plan on covering these shows on a weekly basis, since there is only so much that can be said about a few minutes of content each week.  I just figured I would mention a couple of the mini shows that popped up this season.

Boku no Imouto wa “Osaka Okan”
(My little sister is an Osaka mama)
Namika is lewd.

This story is about a student named Kyousuke that is re-united with his younger sister after she spent 10 years living in the Kansai-region.  This entire show is built upon the premise of how the Japanese apparently love picking on people from Osaka.  I would suppose the closest thing in western cultural similarity would be the difference between Americans from the north and rednecks from the south, but most would argue that is a bad comparison as well.  I’m not sure why Crunchroll started subbing this, since all of the humor would only make sense to someone that is Japanese or has lived there long enough to understand the quirks of people from Osaka.  If you have a few minutes to kill and you are interested in attempting to understand local Japanese humor, this show is around to fill that void.

Inferno Cop
Inferno Cop does not give a fuck.

Inferno cop is a ridiculous show with pretty much no animation whatsoever, about the only cop that can clean up the grittiest city in the world.  This short reminds me of something you would see randomly on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim.  There isn’t much here besides silly, over-the-top nonsense, but it is quite fun to watch.  This is totally worth the few minutes of anyone’s time, and I would even say this could be shown to friends that don’t even watch anime, as it’s likely to get some laughs.

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