Spring Anime and CrunchyRoll... an overview
It’s here, another season and another wave of anime series
flowing in. Speaking of anime, we haven’t really touched much on anime here on
LG much have we? Well, save for cons and cosplay, but generally it’s been
fairly minimal. I hope to rectify that with this post. I’m a huge fan of
Crunchy Roll and can honestly say that having this monthly subscription service
is well worth it. But this isn’t a sales call folks, I’m not here to sell you a
Crunchy Roll membership (though if you’d be interested, please use our links to
sign up), with a new season of anime upon us, I’ve had the pleasure to check
out a few shows (most of which I hit the first episode of) and a few more I
plan to add to my queue. You guessed it, this is a first impression post.
It’s weird and strangely alluring, I want to keep watching it but it gives me what I can only describe as the 'heebie-jeebies'
Some say ya gotta lead with your best foot forward right? Of each of the shows I’ve watched so far this season, the one that grabbed my attention the most in the first few minutes was Attack on Titan (進撃の巨人 Shingeki no Kyojin). The setting is a fantasy realm where humanity is driven to near extinction when these massive titans stand atop the food chain. In the interest of self-preservation, the survivors build these massive 50-meter high walls that separate titan territory (outside) from humanity. This allows the human race to flourish once again for 100 years, that is until the appearance of near 60-meter tall titan and an unstoppable armored titan break down the outermost wall. Immediately you’ll notice how superb the animation is, Production I.G. (Ghost in the Shell: SAC and Eden of the East) consistently craft superb work, the studio surely lives up to expectations. While following some formulaic plot devices (boy witnesses tragedy, boy fails to save mother, boy vows to destroy all titans) are used, the setting and story keep these relatively fresh. I particularly love the character design of the titans, from the fearsome Colossus to the regular sized titans, these beasts are absolutely horrifying, the glazed look in their eyes to the ravenous way they feed, they may look like giant men, but these are beasts through and through. I did watch ahead (to date there are 4 episodes up) and all I gotta say is it only gets better from there. This has quickly become my most anticipated anime series this season.
On a more light-hearted note, there’s My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU (やはり俺の青春ラブコメはまちがっている。 Yahari Ore no Seishun Rabu Kome wa Machigatteiru). Enter Hachiman Hikigaya, a reclusive second year student with no friends and an equally no motivation to make any. He sees the experiences of those around him as absolute delusions or outright lies. When he’s called to the faculty office to explain the theme of his essay, his outspoken teacher assigns him to join the Services Club, run by the intelligent and attractive Yukino Yukinoshita. Her character is just as important as Hikigaya, personally I feel they both share the roles of main character. Anyway, Hikigaya is forced to join this club to help remedy his inability to connect with those around him. The first episode continues to introduce the next major character to the group, Yui Yugihama, but she seems to be more tertiary, supporting role material (at least so far). It’s comedy and formulaic at points, but entertaining. The animation isn’t breathtaking, but the character designs are well done and it was funny, I’m not clamoring each week for a new episode but it’s a fun ride so far.
Did you see Persona 4 THE ANIMATION a while back? It was fantastic a truly captured the spirit of the game. With that said, another Atlas property (and fellow entry in the SMT universe of games) Devil Survivor 2 THE ANIMATION is based on the Nintendo DS game of the same name. The difference this time around is I didn't play the game prior to watching the anime. The first episode revolves around three schoolmates who were invited to view a website that eerily foretold their death; of course this death was a horrific subway accident. Not wanting to die, they are given the option to pass on or be revived. Upon revival, an app is downloaded to their phones that allow them to summon demons to fight on their behalf. It’s a common theme in SMT games, think Pokémon but with more death and dismemberment. The animation was solid and while I only saw one episode, I’m looking forward to catching up with the rest. To be honest, more so than wanting to catch up with the rest of the episodes up, I’m very interested in trying out the game.
Watching anime wouldn’t be the same without epic space battles and giant mechs right? To fulfill my “Evangelion-Fan-Boy-Jonez” I’m turning to Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet (翠星のガルガンティア Suisei no Garugantia). To be perfectly honest, I didn’t know what to make of it at first glance. The entire opening half was an epic space battle, prominently featuring Ensign Ledo (who seems to be the main character). He pilots a Machine Caliber, a humanoid shaped battle suit with an on board AI who Ledo refers to as Chamber. A turn of events occur and the setting shifts, contrary to the epic space battle, we now see Ledo’s Machine Caliber lying in a warehouse with people who seem to be less technologically advanced attempting to break the armor. Of course there has to be some conflict, Ledo opens the hatch and in turn of events that involved not understanding the native language and taking a hostage, he runs for what he hopes is a way out (all the while Chamber is analyzing the language to what I can only assume is to create a translation algorithm). The episode ends with Ledo discovering that the world he’s on is none other than the birthplace of humanity, Earth, and when the confused native people surround him after losing his hostage, he’s forced to call on Chamber to wake up. It really looks to be an awesome series! A technologically advanced wanderer in a world that doesn’t understand him. I can honestly say this will be one of my most anticipated (along with Attack on Titan) series this coming anime season.
The strangest one I started watching is Flowers of Evil (惡の華 Aku no Hana). The story revolves around Takao Kasuga, a shy student who loves to read. I honestly don’t know what to make of this first episode. The art style is very distinctive but not in a good way, looks almost like a live action film sent through a few Photoshop filters, the manga looks nothing like it. It’s weird and strangely alluring, I want to keep watching it but it gives me what I can only describe as the “heebie-jeebies”. The ending theme song alone creeped me out enough. To be honest, I’m lost for a description. I don’t know what to make of this series and while I like it in a strange sort of way, I can’t grasp why. It may be one of those series I just power through near the end of the season, but if it’s any indication what other psychological creep-shows like Lain: Serial Experiments or Paranoia Agent, it might be best to take this series is smaller, digestible doses. What the first episode seems to fail at is really giving me a reason to want to come back to it. Throughout the episode, Kasuga trades glances with the class beauty Saeki (who he obviously has a crush on) and even introducing the brash and outspoken Sawa Nakamura, who just so happens to rebelliously refuse to answer any questions on her test and even provokes her teacher to nearly smack her. It’s strange but it may be a surprising series.
I figured I’d round this out with a few short mentions, Oreimo is back for another season, more of the same mishaps from the first season. Samurai Bride is the second season of 2010’s Samurai Girls. I didn’t care much for Samurai Girls, felt like the fan service was almost too forced, in fact I had forgotten about Samurai Girls when I watched the first episode of Samurai Bride. A few series round out my “to be watched lists” but I am most interested in The Severing Crime Edge, Mushibugyo, and Valvrave the Liberator. All in all, it looks like this spring is going to be a good season for anime, looks to be some good cosplay inspiration, kind of maes me all hyped up for another Sakura Con here in Seattle.
Keep it locked on the scoop as we try to create more anime related content, sound off in the comments about your favorite anime of the Spring 2013 season. Have an idea for a segment? Don't forget to use our handy form down below! Stay Lifted g33ks!!