Let’s get right to it. There are several shows I’ve been anxiously awaiting and the first of them is…
Do I like the weird CG animation? No. Do I love Guts? YES. So, ultimately, it doesn’t matter how he’s animated, I love watching Guts and I love the whole story of Berserk. I never actually recommend the manga or anime to anyone because it’s so, uh, gross and intense and really only suited for the truly sick and twisted. That said, I’m beyond thrilled that Berserk is back. My mouth watered the whole episode.
When I started the manga, I loved the premise. It was a little uncomfortable in a Welcome to the NHK hitting-too-close-to-home kind of way but I felt like that’s what made it so great. Maybe it’s because I knew what was coming but the anime didn’t grab my attention the way the manga did. I thought it would really benefit from the animation and actually being in color but the first episode bored me a bit. I’m not actually looking forward to watching more of it but apparently there was an episode dump so I’ll go ahead and plow through a few more episodes and hope I re-warm to it. Please don’t let this put you off if you’re considering watching it–I’ve recommended the manga to friends because I thought the premise was so interesting. Give ReLIFE a try!
**Update: Since I first started this post, I ended up watching all of ReLIFE over the holiday weekend and ended up soooo happy I kept with it. I could’ve just edited the above paragraph entirely but I wanted to share the ups & downs of the ReLIFE viewing process…hehe**
So you all know I LOVE sports anime. I love manly rivalry and bromance and struggles and the power of friendship. So even though I don’t know anything about soccer and have no desire to, I was stoked for DAYS. And by the end of the opening theme, all I could think was, “Sports anime is love. Sports anime is life.” Let me tell you, the first episode did not disappoint. Our predictably shy, awkward, mostly-inept kid gets invited to an after-school game by the super cool kid and he totally sucks but puts in a ton of effort and impresses everyone. He has that barely-older-friend-that’s-like-a-sister character (reminded me of Eyeshield 21, which never hurts). He’s so excited that he thinks he made a friend and now wants to try out for the school team but gets his butt kicked. Yet, when it’s all said and done…late at night, he’s still at the field, finishing running, winning over not only me BUT more importantly our super cool blond athletic friend as well. What is not to like about this?! This is sports anime at its finest and it’s only the first episode.
All of this in just the first episode?! I LOVE SPORTS ANIME. Cannot wait for episode two.
Possibly the only thing that compares to my love of sports anime is my love of stupid shows loaded with popular voice actors about boys singing and/or dancing. So you can bet B Project was on my list. I think I was smiling within about the first two seconds and ended up grinning through the entire opening theme. Is it stupid? Absolutely! Do I still love it? Absolutely! The fact that Showtaro Morikubo’s character looks like his characters Bartolomeo and Reiji Kotobuki had a baby is just an added bonus. As expected, the female protagonist is similar to all otome game protagonists and she’s pretty innocent and dumb, but hey, we’re not here for her, are we? We’re here for singing, dancing, voice actors, idols, tropish characters, really dumb plots, and of course, my favorite: Daisuke Ono singing out sparkles.
First Love Monster
Speaking of stupid…this show is about as dumb as it gets. Which is why when I heard the premise I picked up the manga and laughed at how incredibly ridiculous the whole thing is. Now, I do sometimes worry that I’m going to be put on a list somewhere for reading a manga/watching an anime about a girl who dates an unrealistically mature-looking fifth grader but the hilarity might be worth the risk. The story definitely benefits from animation…or rather, from the voice acting since the three mutant fifth graders are voiced by stellar actors. I guess Sugita-san’s voice just belongs to guys named Gin. Anyway, the premise is what makes the show funny yet the premise is also what makes it kind of…”ehhhhh?”
The Heroic Legend of Arslan
I’ve been anxiously awaiting the return of The Heroic Legend of
Daryun’s Arms Arslan. The first episode gave us a nice little refresher and lots of beautiful muscles. No complaints here.
The Morose Mononokean
I’ve been reading the manga via the Crunchyroll Manga app and loved it from the get-go so of course I was really excited for the anime. And I’m still excited! I loved the first episode, I love the white fluffy thing, I love the clothes and the colors and the plot. If you enjoy yokai-related anime, you should really try this.
The Highschool Life of a Fudanshi
Is this my new favorite show? Probably, yes. Now I just wish the episodes were longer…I need MORE IMMEDIATELY!!!
Sweetness & Lightning
I started reading this manga on the Crunchyroll Manga app but it was just too cute so I ended up giving it up. So I’m not really sure why I thought, “Oh, cool, that’s getting an anime!” but…I liked it. Maybe it’s from being in the restaurant business or having a mom who expresses affection through food but the first episode struck a chord with me in a way the manga didn’t.
I picked this up due to all the hype, fully expecting to be disappointed. Instead, I kinda liked it! I really appreciated how things got right to the point. This episode hit the ground running and felt very shonen-y, which I liked. I don’t really know why but it kind of reminded me of Ushio & Tora.
I was so glad to see someone made a show just for me. “Haven’t we always been together?” YES, THAT IS WHAT I WANT TO HEAR! Manly friendship! And the premise is genius–cheerleading! It’s like my love of sports and love of boys dancing formed a super powered robot of anime perfection. Okay, I know you’re asking, “But is Sugita-san’s character the best?” The answer is, of course, “Yes.” It’s only the first episode and I’m 99% sure he’s the best character. Go! Fight! Win! Boys!
D. Gray Man HALLOW
I have very little memory of the previous anime but I read what was available of the manga to get prepared for this one. Fortunately for me, it picked up right where I’d wanted to see because I didn’t pay attention enough when I read it. Other than that…1) Cross Marian is just too cool; 2) Guys that look like Hitler are bad news.
As a fan of the manga I was really looking forward to the anime. I don’t have a lot to say about the first episode; it didn’t blow me away but I didn’t expect it to. This is one that’ll get better the longer it goes.
Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE!
I loved the first season of this show and with a start like this…well, I love the second season too!
And OMG this new villain is ADORABLE. Also, I really want a Wombat plush.
It’s pretty ridiculous but I think I like it.
Alderamin on the Sky
I judged a book by its cover on this one and picked it up solely on looks. But after my recent foray into The Twelve Kingdoms, I’ve been a bit more forgiving of slow pacing in the interest of world-building. I was getting a bit distracted but I did love the little Care Bear elf thingies and by the end of the episode I wanted more.
I kept putting this one off because I was SUPER EXCITED and it was my reward for getting through some of the other shows. After seeing the character designs and the casting and reading about the plot, this was one of my most-anticipated shows of the season. And holy crap, I loved it. I am sooo looking forward to where this story goes.
I was a bit disappointed during the character introductions because when I watch idol shows, I want to pick a favorite. I guess that’s my project in future episodes..? Anyway, the use of the younger brother in this episode was refreshing even if the CG dancing was not. I’ll tolerate weird CG Guts simply because I’ll take whatever Berserk I can get but I really dislike CG dancing. 😦
Scar-red Rider XechS
When we began with a moody boy and a guitar, my first thought was, “Well, they know their target demographic.” But then we had that great weird underground military scene with that lady straight up shooting that guy and I had to reconsider my first impression. Then the rest of the show happened and I kind of think my first impression was the correct one. I had actually been looking forward to this show but for now I’m getting that “well, it’s okay” feeling.
The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.
This is one of those shows where I was 99% sure I’d love it before I ever even saw it. A safe bet. And in case you were wondering–yes, I love it.
Speaking of shows I was 99% sure I’d love…I could watch this for hours. The beginning of episode one was absolute perfection. I think I just smiled the whole episode. I loved Barakamon and I love the Handa-kun manga and I can’t shut up about how much I love this! My only complaint ? (which I now feel awkward making after the first part of the episode being yelled at about how difficult anime is to make, heh) is that Handa’s voice is Daisuke Ono to me and having it be not him…took some getting used to. Kawafuji having a different voice will be jarring as well.
hitorinoshita – The Outcast
I really liked the look of this and thought it would be interesting. I don’t know if it’s really not that interesting or if I’m just suffering First Episode Burnout at this point.
Whew! If you read this far, let me know what you think! What shows are you excited about? What shows have you already dropped? Is there a series not on this list that I absolutely must see?