October 31, 2011
2 Comments

Hey guys! Welcome to the first looks of the Fall 2011 anime season. I have decided to try things a little differently this time around to help everyone go to one place to find my thoughts about the current season’s anime. I figure it is a lot easier for everyone to just get a quick quick read by placing all the anime I have watched so far in one post rather than splitting them up and having you wait a year and half for the one you are looking for. And for your convenience I have also pleased some anchors to guide you through the post. Or alphabetical order if you prefer.

Bakuman 2Ben-ToBoku wa Tomodachi ga SukunaiChihayafuruCube x Cursed x CuriousGuilty CrownHunter X HunterKimi to BokuKyoukai Senjou no HorizonMaken-Ki!Maji de Watashi ni Koi Shinasai!!Mashiro-Iro SymphonyMirai NikkiPersona 4Phi Brain: Kami no PuzzleShinryaku!? Ika MusumeTamayura ~hitotose~UN-GOWorking’!!

Legend
Worth Picking Up
On Watch
Dropped

Bakuman 2

Current Episode: 4 Bakuman has always been a pretty interesting romance series. The story of two high schoolers trying to make it big in the manga industry can be quite inspiring. The first season got me prety interested as they tried to get serialized. The struggles and gambles they took to get their name out there was pretty intense. The relationships were also pretty well thought out. The second season takes it further and is now about the struggles of becoming serialized and keeping up a good name before they are cut short. Honestly, the series never had my full attention and I didn’t consider it all that great when I first started watching it. The second season doesn’t seem to do much better, but at least it isn’t worse. It’s pretty safe to say that if you enjoyed the first season you will probably like the second. It has a little more focus on the side characters as well, kind of giving you a better feel of the entire environment. It seems to me that the struggles of keeping a series going isn’t as stressful or intense and getting your first serialization though. I’m a bit curious how the series will turn out this season so I’m going to be keeping it on watch. So far though I’ll say that if you haven’t watch the first season yet I’d still hold off. I don’t see this series being all that great and I’m sure there are a lot of others you could pick up instead.

Ben-To

Current Episode: 3 Probably one of the stranger anime of the season. In a good way though. I didn’t think that an anime about getting half priced lunch boxes was going to be that entertaining. And I started watching it simply from the curiousity. Three episodes in and I’m really glad that I decided to pick this one up. It has a lot of great things about it. I’m fan of the slap stick comedy and strangely good action scenes. So the art style in general I would say is good because they utilize a lot of factors that make a good fighting anime. There seems to be a lot of characters that still need to be introduced from the opening credits and I’m definitly looking forward to that. The characters so far seem to be quite entertaining to watch. I’ll admit that some of the characters aren’t the best in the world but with only three episodes in there is still a lot of time to improve. I’m really curious where they plan to go with the series though. It doesn’t seem that there is much in-depth story or character development that can happen with a series like this. I’m worried that the series original appeal of being unique will fall short in the long run. Three episodes in and I’m still really into it though, so maybe it will surprise me. I’ll keep it on watch but for now I’d put it on hold for anyone who hasn’t started since it can go either way.

Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai

Current Episode: 4

So far the best comedy of the season. This harem anime is considerably good. I didn’t expect to actually like a harem anime, but four episodes in and I’m still really enjoying it. Plus the artist is the same one who did Denpa so the eye candy is quite nice. The characters models are what really pull me into this anime. The main character specificially. You don’t know how happy I am that the main male lead isn’t some overreacting, nerdy loser who makes everything worse. I can’t tell you how angry it makes me for a harem anime to rely on awkward sexual accidents. I don’t understand how people can still find them funny. It’s quite literally the same thing over and over against except a slightly different setting. And even then bathroom A looks strangely the same as bathroom B. It’s not THAT different. It seems that the story has a little character development as well. There have been hints at more childhood encounters and memory loss. Who knows this might go surprisingly more than just another comedy. I’ve decided to also keep this one on watch the entire season. It seems like it might actually go somewhere for a harem anime.

Chihayafuru

Current Episode: 4

I’m having trouble seeing if this is a romance or slice of life. Maybe both?! Hope so because so far it is going very well and I never thought that karuta would be so interesting (looked it up before the season aired). Though like many anime I’m sure that the game is quite over exaggerated and doesn’t actually have so many dramatic moments. I was tempted to pick it up until I realized I have trouble remembering what I had for breakfast in the morning. Enough about that though, Chihayafuru is probably one of my most looked forward to anime of the season. It’s definitely something different and the first four episodes have really wow’ed me. The first three episodes did a great job of showing the viewers why exactly karuta is so important to Chihaya. The bonds she made as a child through the game are irreplaceable. Jumping back to present day as a teenager, Chihaya hasn’t really changed. She has the same go-getter attitude and quite an interesting character. Her passion for karuta has only become stronger. Personally I find it a bit inspiring to have a dream for so long and stick with it. I know a lot of people (including myself) that have had their dreams constantly changing as they grew up. The last episode I watched brought up signs of unexpected drama to keep the story moving along. I’m hoping that the anime doesn’t become too predictable because that would definitely kill the story. I don’t see it being exceptionally good, but it is on its way toward a high priority watch. I’ll keep it on watch for the rest of the season.

Cube x Cursed x Curious

Current Episode: 4

I’m not really sure what I think of this anime. The first episode made me think that it was going to be nothing more than random panty shots and moe moments. Then the second episode blindsides me with intense action, bloodstained floors, and spine chilling horror. The faces Fear made in the second episode hooked me in an instant. I had a lot of trouble looking away from the TV. However, not all was well and good in the world of horror. Despite being engulfed in the crazy world of C3 I couldn’t help but think, “Where did this all come from?”. It’s as though every character is something special and can fight quite well. With only four episodes in I can’t say what is happening or why. They haven’t fully explained most of the plot, but after episode two things seem to be picking up. It became a lot less slice of life and more action. I’m hoping by the end of episode five they will give you a better idea of why Fear is such a menace to society. There have been hints here and there, but it seems to me that there is a lot more to it. The characters for C3 are actually pretty well modeled. The villain is a psycho masochist who will do anything to destroy a cursed item, and the main male lead isn’t some push over. This leads to a lot more interesting battles where no one needs protection. Avoiding the whole damsel in distress scenario C3 is doing a pretty good job. Where do I see the story going though? Not very far. Sad to say, anime like these tend to fall short of anything substantial. I’ll keep it on watch because I never like to kill something off if it even has the slightest chance of being good, but I’m not expecting too much from this one.

Guilty Crown

Current Episode: 3

Guilty Crown is an eye candy, story driven anime that is one of my most looked forward to of the season. Its only competitor is probably Mirai Nikki. So far Guilty Crown is nothing short of awesome. Every time I hear the opening My Dearest by Supercell I get extremely pumped for the rest of the episode. It seems to be doing exceptionally well in everything I look at for an anime: art, story, and music. Only three episodes in and they are already giving you a lot of background story, character development, and suspense. This is probably one anime I actually don’t see falling short of anything by the end of the season. I’m afraid to make quick judgments, but it could be possible that Guilty Crown becomes one of my new top five favorite anime of all time. By now I generally see minor misses and screw-ups that could hurt a series later, however, Guilty Crown seems to be flawless. A great mix of action and story that will keep this on watch and suggested for watch by anyone who hasn’t already picked it up. I have a good feeling this will be worth it.

Hunter X Hunter

Current Episode: 4

I’ll lay it out there that this is an anime I am currently on the fence about for watching. That being said, I don’t think that it is bad in any way. The only reason I would keep this one on hold for the season is time restriction. It seems to be an anime that won’t particularly excel at anything, but wont fall short either. On top of that it is a remake of the original which many people have already watched. The first episodes also gave it a bit of a “kiddy” feel. It doesn’t seem like an anime that will bring something new to the table more than being known as an anime classic. The characters and story are pretty typical too. The only thing that stood out to me was the ED song. It’s a strange mix of electronic, metal, rock, and awesome; a combination I never thought possible. It’s unfortunate there is only a minute and twenty seconds long version of it out so far. It makes clicking the replay button quite difficult. I’ll keep checking back for a full version. Unless *dreads* that is the full version. Even the animations were  I will continue to keep track of the episodes but probably wont watch them until I have a lot more downtime.

Kimi to Boku

Current Episode: 4

Strangely enough I actually consider this a pretty decent comedy so far. I’ve got a few chuckles in and the friendship the four guys have is kind of interesting to watch. If you’re a fan of slice of life comedy this will probably be one of your favorites for the season. The first episode was frankly quite boring, but I’m glad I stuck with it. The three episodes following have been quite entertaining. The twins specifically get me every time. I don’t know what it is about anime, but everything there are twins it seems that they are always my favorite characters. Ouran Host ClubSoul EaterKimi to Boku… It’s something about their complimentary attitudes that always make for a good show. Now the soundtrack and art aren’t that great, and the story is probably boring for most people because it isn’t anything out of ordinary daily life. Thus the slice of life part. It probably wont ever be on the high end of anime, but it has definitely made its stand on my watch list this season. I’ll be keeping it on watch with (hopefully) more laughs to come.

Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon

Current Episode: 4

Another anime that decided to blindside the audience, except this one didn’t do as good a job. If anything it just made the anime worse. Watching the first three episodes I thought the anime was deciding to start slow. However, episode four decided to take a huge turn and make the anime really intense. At least it would be intense if I knew what’s going on. The anime doesn’t seem to have much in terms of story development becomes everything seems to be coming randomly. The main character isn’t present, then suddenly he shows up to grope the teacher. The next episode he decides to confess to a girl and everyone is cheering him on. Of course the girl is actually not alive and died a few years ago in an accident (supposedly). Just when I thought I was getting the hang of this new universe the city is suddenly under attack and there are bright lights flashing everywhere. You know who the attackers are, but not exactly sure of the motives. I’m sure in later episodes they will try to explain, but so far I’m not getting any of it. I’m barely certain that the opposing force are bad guys and from a different faction. But hey, someone who hasn’t even watched this far probably has a better guess than me. With poor characters, poor story, and decent art the series probably isn’t going to turn out that great. Actually I see it being an avoid watch all together. I’m on the fence about this one and will probably only stick with it to warn people not to watch it.

Maken-Ki!

Current Episode: 2

Yes, it only took me two episodes to realize that I wanted to drop this anime. My original hunch about it being too ecchi for my tastes were correct. The girls are the typical head-over-heals in love with the main character model, and the main character is the typical nice guy idiot who gets into awkward situations. And yes panty shots are very common among other things. And for any of you who are looking for an anime for pure panty shots don’t both with this one because there are also a lot of censors. Not the artistic censors like in Samurai Girls either. The standard white spot where the artists look like they conveniently forgot to color in. Please, for your sake, don’t bother picking this up. The story seems decent, but it isn’t worth going through the pains of overabundant fan service.

Maji de Watashi ni Koi Shinasai!!

Current Episode: 4

Another show I dropped for an unholy amount of fan service. This one decided to be a little better on artistic censoring, but in the end it is all the same. The anime spent over half the episode in the girls bath as a girl debating her feelings for the main character. Obviously coming to the solution that she must marry him because he saw her panties one time. The logical train of the though of course. The first episode was really cool to watch because it was pure action. Then the following three had nothing to do with the first. It’s your cliché harem anime and nothing more. There were very tiny hints at a story in episode two, but since I haven’t seen any follow through bye-bye Maji de Watashi ni Koi Shinasai!!

Mashiro-Iro Symphony

Current Episode: 4

Another cliché anime for the season with the nice guy lead and multiple girl heroine. It seems pretty predictable and the episodes are really boring. It offers nothing new to the table and just about the only thing going for it is the art. Even the girls aren’t that great which is never a good sign for these kind of anime. The only thing I’m remotely interested in is taht weird cat-like thing you see in the first episode. Seriously what the heck that thing? Is it a cat? A dog? Some sort of weird hybrid? It reminds me a lot of Dog Days because of it’s basically a ball of fur. A literal ball. Natural selection seems like it should have taken care of that species a long time ago. One thing that I gave props for is the introduction of male characters in an all girls school. It was nice that the anime didn’t have I’m not going to drop it just yet because it might surprise me later. A romance anime generally has at least one or two good scenes in it.

Mirai Nikki

Current Episode: 3

Easily my most looked forward to anime of the season. It’s completely sick, twisted, and horrific. Just my kind of anime. It is basically everything I’ve wanted in a horror anime. It actually gave chills down my spine seeing Yuno’s eyes peering in through the mail slot. Or the blood curdling screams of Yuki’s classmates as they get blown to bits. I feel that the darker side of me is starting to peer out of its shell because of this anime. The strange cravings of a psychotic, yet attractive, girl get stronger each episode. It’s easy to say that if you aren’t a fan of horror or psychological anime then this is not for you. It really dives into the worst reaches of someone’s mind. And if you don’t want those areas to emerge then you’re safer watching something nice and sweet like Chihayafuru. For everyone else who is like me though this is something you should pick up ASAP. The story is quite interesting as well. You can think of it like a multiplayer Death Note. Everyone has the ability see the future in some form or another. Each diary is different and corresponds to the user’s personality. If that person loses their phone (the future) their life is terminated as well. Seems pretty simple right? The motivation to win this survival game is to become a God. It isn’t too clear who this God character is other than his name. I’m keeping this crazy roller coaster on watch till the end.

Persona 4 The Animation

Current Episode: 4

I’m not sure how I feel about Persona 4. As a game adaptation it is restricted, but so far each episode has entertained me. The action and general story seem to be pretty well set. However, the characters are another matter. The charactesr for Persona 4 don’t seem that believable and certainly don’t live up to my standards. The main character, the silent time, only says words of wisdom in the most dire situations. Other than that though he pretty much sits there quietly and just does his things. He was also strangely accepting of the events going on around him. Transferring to a new school, strange deaths occurring around him, and something called the “Midnight Channel” don’t seem to phase him in the least. Accompanied by his new airheaded friend and most likely non-romantically-involved female friend the cast isn’t that great. I’m sure the anime is trying to focus more on story than characters though as many games do. The main character of course having very little background information or development because everyone plays him different in the games. I’ll keep it on watch because the story does seem to be headed in the right direction and the action scenes are really good.

Phi Brain: Kami no Puzzle

Current Episode: 4

A good anime, but not great. Phi Brain is your typical puzzle anime with mystery elements. You aren’t quite sure why there is a secret organization bent on creating ridiculously hard puzzle that are all life threatening, but you know there is one. The puzzles are pretty interesting for the most part, and usually just life scale models of paper puzzles. Of course there are always little tricks that make the puzzle more interesting. There also seems to be a lot of different characters being introduced which is always a positive. Each of the characters also has a sort of codename that describes their personalities: Einstein, Orpheus, Edison, etc. Basically figure heads of science and arts. There are bits of comedy as well that are a pretty entertaining. The difference between this anime and other puzzle anime is the magical armband the main character acquires in the first episode. It’s apparently meant to amplify brain power to solve puzzle better. Sounds me like some sort of drug being pumped into his blood stream. The last episode I watched gave me a better impression on the anime for two reasons: 1) not all of the members of this secret organization are villains and 2) Kaito doesn’t always need to use the bracelet to solve a puzzle. It’s nice when an anime doesn’t rely on the main character strongest move every fight. It gets a little old after a while. I’m keeping it on watch because it does entertain me for the most part.

Shinryaku!? Ika Musume

Current Episode: 4

It seems to me that I keep coming back to anime I never thought would be good. Comedies that I always thought would fall short end up being rather fun to watch. The second season of Shinryaku! Ika Musume is one of those anime. I’m not really sure why I like it, or why I still find some of the gags funny, but I do. I don’t want to question either if it makes me happy inside. In comparison to the first season I’m not as interested though and it has been a little more boring than I remember. It still has some good bits and gags though, and I do find myself missing the series until next week’s episode. It’s safe to say if you enjoyed the first season you will enjoy the second. You could theoretically pick up the series now since there is no real story, but you might miss out on a few things. More specifically the number of characters and their gags. I’m keeping it on watch.

Tamayura ~hitotose~

Current Episode: 4

I mentioned earlier that the Tamayura OVA is worth watching.so it is natural I would pick this up for the season. So far it isn’t disappointing. Since I was such a huge fan of the four episode OVA airings, it’s pretty obvious I would like a series length version. The anime goes a little deeper into the relationships between the four friends and their daily lives. It seems to be a lot less about taking pictures and more capturing the essence of the moment. Don’t worry for all you Tamayura fans out there, she still carries around her camera wherever she goes and isn’t afraid to take a snap shot. It seems to me though that she has finally come to reason with her father’s passing and is not making the best of her life. There isn’t much to say about this anime other than if you are a fan of slice of life pick this one up. It has a lot of bright elements that can really help you get through the stressful times of daily life. And it’s kind of nice not worrying about teenage drama between a bunch of girls, and instead just looking at the good times. Another on watch for me.

UN-GO

Current Episode: 3

Ah a mystery anime for the season. I’m generally quite a fan of mystery, but UN-GO isn’t really doing it for me. When I say that I mean the anime isn’t doing it for me as a MYSTERY series. As a series in general I find it entertaining. The mysteries are short and pretty simple. After the two minute explanation of what happened, you don’t generally get a “Oh that’s how they did it!” feeling. My feelings have been a lot more tame while watching this anime. It is hard to say why I keep coming back to this anime week after week. The characters are decent with the exception of Inga who adds a little twist to the series. S/he isn’t exactly human and her craving for discovering the truth is a little out there. It seems as though she is sticking with Yuuki because he finds most of these mysterious childish. About half way through the episode he already knows the culprit and basically uses Inga for conformation. It isn’t too clear how the two met or why Inga is following him around, but I hope they explain that later. For now I will keep it on watch but don’t expect it to be all that great.

Working’!!

Current Episode: 5

After watching the early release episode I was really scared that Working’!! will turn into a second season of Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu. Thankfully it seems to be the good ol’ Working!! that I remember. I still get a lot of great laughs from the series and the characters are just as entertaining. There have been small hints and romance but they were all done tastefully. They keep the series bright and happy which is what a comedy is meant to do. The opening has the same annoyingly catchy tune as the first season with cute animation. It’s hard to say that the series will keep me entertained for a whole other season since comedies tend to have trouble keeping up, but for anyone who enjoyed the first season pick this one up as well. I don’t see it disappointing me any time soon at least. And to wrap this long first look post up I’ll be keeping this one on watch.

  • feal87 says:

    So sad that Majikoi’s director totally ignored the original material to go in the fanservice area…:(

    Agreed pretty much on the rest though…:P

    • Jester says:

      I have to say that this season also has a lot of eye candy with C3, Guilty Crown, and Mirai Nikki. Even though C3 isn’t my favorite anime of the season it could possibly be my favorite art. I really love the flashing scenes and dramatically changing backgrounds. There are a lot of other small details that I was happy with as well.

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