Thursday, January 30, 2014

Winter 2014 Check-in

Gin no Saji Second Season - 01 - Large 10[2] Gin no Saji Second Season - 01 - Large 32[2] Gin no Saji Second Season - 02 - Large 19[2]
Hoozuki no Reitetsu - 02 -20 Noragami - 04-24 Space Dandy - 02 - Large 37[2]

Is it Spring yet?

Mushishi, Baby Steps, Isshukan Friends, maybe Hi Score Girl...  Spring hovers at the edge of the horizon like a mirage, promising an oasis of cool, clear water to soothe our throats, parched from the sand that is the Winter 2014 season.

But this post isn't about Spring (which still feels a long, long way off) - it's about Winter, which looked mediocre going in, started off worse, and hasn't really improved much since (though it has a little).  All told there's really only been two "wow" episodes in all the new series so far, Episode 2 of Space Dandy and Episode 4 of Noragami.  Apart from that there's been nothing that really blew me away, though there are several decent shows on the schedule and the second two weeks of the season were marginally better than the first (though it could hardly have been worse).

Compounding the problem is that the carry-over list from Fall - which was itself a fairly mediocre season - suddenly doesn't look nearly as strong as it did.  Of the big Thursday shows I started off covering, only Nagi no Asukara has survived the blogging cut - which is surprising both in that only one show survived, and that it specifically was the one.  I have some concerns with Nagiasu too, but they're mostly based on where it might go and not where it is right now - which is still damn good - and I'm pot-committed emotionally on that show anyway.  There's no way I'm dropping it at this point.

Thank goodness for Hunter X Hunter, eh?

I can't really dissect this season as I could some, because there's no one or two Achilles Heel that's holding it back - it just isn't very good, across the board.  There are very few series with creative ambition, only a couple more with really solid execution, and there's no one genre or trend that stands out as being particularly strong or welcome.  There are a smattering of pretty good shows across the spectrum, a few exquisitely awful disasters, several flawed series with one or two intriguing elements, and a vast ocean of mediocrity.  It is, as they say, what it is.  Bring on the Spring - but for now...


On, then, to Winter 2014:


The Elite

Gin no Saji Second Season
Episodes Watched: 3
Grade: A
Comments: No, this isn't really a new show - just the pre-announced second of a split cour.  But I didn't want to have nothing whatsoever in the "Elite" or "Outstanding" category so I cheated.  You know what to expect here, and you're getting it - Gin no Saji hasn't lost a step, thank goodness.



Outstanding

None



Very Good

Hoozuki no Reitetsu
Episodes Watched: 3
Grade: B
Comments: The humor in Hoozuki no Reitetsu has been hit-and-miss for me, largely because it's as steeply rooted in a detailed knowledge of Japanese mythology and culture as any show I can remember.  That said, when I do get the jokes I find them hilarious, I like the characters, I love the art, and there's an approachable quality despite the literacy quotient that reminds me very much of Shirokuma Cafe.  I can see why this series is very popular in Japan - whether that translates to any awareness at all in English is another matter


Noragami
Episodes Watched: 4
Grade: B
Comments: Noragami has been the most consistent show of the season in my view.  It isn't spectacular, but it gets a lot out of its premise with great music and visuals, a strong cast and a deft sense of pacing.  In the same vein as Hataraku Maou-sama and Blood Lad, Noragami is just a show that entertains by being very good at what it does.  That said, the most recent episode was certainly the best, and there's potential for this one to jump to the next tier.  I wish it were longer than one cour because I have serious concerns about what that will force BONES to do with the story, but so far it's a solid success.


Space Dandy
Episodes Watched: 4
Grade: B
Comments: My most anticipated series of the season, for certain.  Watanabe Shinichriou has been true to his word here - it's plain he has no interest in going for the deep or profound, instead focusing on comedy that's rich in pop-culture allusions, over-the-top fanservice (though not all that much of it, in truth) and lots of psychedelic imagery.  The second ep was the best of any new show this season - the others have been more of a mixed bag, though finding something new and hilarious in a zombie parody is itself a great achievement.  The ED ("Hey, Everett") suggests Watanabe may go a little deeper before it's all said and done and that the seeming reset button at the end of every episode could be a plot point, but for now I think it's realistic simply to focus on whether Space Dandy is funny or not.  So far it mostly is - this isn't the masterpiece I was hoping it would be, but it's way better than those joining the backlash against it for the ridiculous hype it received claim it is.  It's also doing very well in U.S. TV ratings, which is a good sign for anime on television in America and for BONES.


Tonari no Seki-kun
Episodes Watched: 4
Grade: B
Comments: Tonari no Seki-kun is a little short at 6-7 minutes per episode - two chapters per week would have been nice - but if any show was ever suited to the growing trend of short-running anime, this is it.  The anime has captured the magic of the manga (which was just licensed by Vertical, incidentally), which is funny for the obvious reasons (Seki-kun's ridiculous antics) but even more as a psychological deconstruction of Yokoi.  The key to the joke here is that Yokoi secretly (or at least subconsciously) longs to join in with Seki's scattershot madness, and is hooked on the buzz being its only audience and occasional participant gives her - and fortunately, the anime manages to get that across.




Tonari no Seki-kun - 03 -16 Toaru Hikuushi - 04-26 Inari Konkon - 02 -13


Worthwhile


Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta
Episodes Watched: 4
Grade: B
Comments: Here's another one that seems to have the potential to level up. and another one I wish had a longer run in its future.  I like the main couple a lot here, and there are a bunch of very interesting plot threads hanging out there.  Romance, politics, adventure - I worry that almost too much potential exists for Toaru Hikuushi to run through the next eight episodes without seeming rushed or exhausting.  As is, the size of the cast has reduced most of it to relatively nondescript background noise and the better part of an entire episode was devoted just to exposition (though it was brought off well).  Still, the world-building has been good and the combination of steampunk aviation, big and broad plot constructs and old-fashioned dialogue puts me very much in mind of a Gonzo series from the mid 2000s.


Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha
Episodes Watched: 3
Grade: B-
Comments: This is the bracket Gingitsune found itself in, but as with that show I give this a "B-minus with a bullet" - Gingitsune raised its game in a big way once the full cast was involved, and Inari Konkon might just do the same.  There's a ton of charm here, and lovely Kyoto Shinto-themed artwork.  It's more conventionally plot-driven than Gingitsune, and thus the fact that the plot has been pretty predictable is an issue.  There have been some pretty dramatic tonal shifts in each of the first three eps - whether that's an interesting quirk or a problem remains to be seen - and the second episode especially hovered dangerously close to the line of being too cute for its own good.  Inari Konkon is also burdened with the curse of a 10-episode run.  But there's a ton of heart and evidence of a sharp sense of humor lurking, and the main romantic pairing might end up being pretty appealing in an innocent sort of way.




Witch Craft Worrks - 01 -6 Wake Up Girls - 02 -12 PuPiPo - 01 -5


Still Watching

Witch Craft Works
Episodes Watched: 4
Grade: B-
Comments: This one is pretty much riding the strengths of the second episode, which had a very weird randomness to it that I really liked (though the other eps haven't been bad).  So far I find neither the premise or the characters to be all that interesting, and even if there's a satiric point to having a useless main character he's still a bore at the heart of the show.  But you have a director who's better than the material managing to inject some real style, and there does seem to be a sort of ruthless wit to the writing that lifts it above outright mediocrity.


Wake Up, Girls!
Episodes Watched: 3
Grade: C+
Comments: To be honest I think the existence of this series is more interesting than the series itself.  I like Yammamoto Yutaka (despite his proclivity towards stupid statements) and I hate the idol industry, so this is an intriguing combination.  But the hard truth is an anime that's truly, unapologetically a critique of the idol trade could never happen, even though I believe Yamakan would like to make one.  The most recent episode makes it clear that what we're getting is just another romanticizing with a sliver of sanitized reality thrown in, and the execution of the show itself (which is clearly on a shoestring) is only middling.  In this season any series that's about something and character driven stands out, and there is a beating heart at the center of WUG.  But ultimately it seems doomed to please no one, and to fail both commercially and artistically.  And that's a real shame.


Pupipo!
Episodes Watched: 5
Grade: C+
Comments: Pupipo! is a show that really would be better served by at least a half-length format, but even at four minutes it's modestly entertaining.  Oshikiri Rensuke is an interesting writer, and even this little trifle proves surprisingly dark and even disturbing at times.  Oshikiri's best manga, Hi Score Girl, is getting an adaptation as well and I'll be crushed if it's not a full-length series.


Chuunibyou 2
Episodes Watched: 3
Grade: C+
Comments: The magic is really gone for me in the second season of Chuunibyou, which was never brilliant in execution but had a very intriguing premise in the first season.  If I were to distill it, the act is wearing thin - the series in general, and all the self-absorbed overgrown children at its center (especially Rikka).  Maybe the relationship between the two leads will blossom into something that actually makes  a second season seem like it has a larger reason to exist than cashing in, but right now I'm just not buying what this show is selling.  It might be me more than the show itself, but I feel as if Chuunibyou gave everything it had to give in the original run.


Nobunagun
Episodes Watched: 4
Grade: C+
Comments: Nobunagun was one of the few premieres - perhaps the only one this season - that significantly exceeded my expectations.  It had a great energy and a distinctive visual style (some of which it shares - along with an Art Director - with Dansai Bunri no Crime Edge).  But I've liked the succeeding three episodes less, though the most recent was a modest comeback.  Ultimately it seems as if Nobunagun is just another  cute schoolgirl with a big gun show, just one that happens to be brought off with more panache than most.


Buddy Complex
Episodes Watched: 4
Grade: C
Comments: Sunrise is on very familiar ground here, perhaps too much so.  The premiere was amazingly bland, though Buddy Complex has gotten marginally more interesting since then.  It's competent - this is a Sunrise mecha show and it looks decent, and features a stable of big-name actors who know how to play the roles expected of them.  But so far I just don't feel the spark of originality, or much of a spark of anything to be honest.  If you're watching just one Sunrise mecha series it really should be Gundam Build Fighters, which has incalculably more wit and energy and manages to honor the studio's legacy without taking itself at all seriously.


Sekai Seifuku: Bouryaku no Zvezda
Episodes Watched: 3
Grade: C
Comments: This show is just bizarre enough and occasionally funny enough to barely stay above the "watch it when I'm caught up and bored" line.  In this abysmal season it's been hailed by some as satirical genius, but for me it's just another ouroborous in an industry that's becoming so inward-looking that shows that slightly tweak cliche and formula are now considered "alternative".  Zvezda isn't bad at what it does - sometimes it gets weird enough to make me laugh, but it's not nearly as funny as it thinks it is.  I guess it's important for people to laugh at the inanity of the dumb shows they watch - which have come to dominate anime - so that they can pretend the dominance of those shows isn't a problem. And this is a series that seems to scratch that itch.



Dropped:

Nisekoi, Nourin, Mahou Sensou, Pupa (what a shame), Mikakunin de Shinkoukei, Hamatora, D-Frag, Nobunaga the Fool

There are still a couple of fence-sitters, at least for one more week.  As for carry-overs, I'm still watching Golden Time for the moment but it's a struggle, and I just can't muster the will to blog it.  I might do a wrap-up post after the final episode.  Here's my take on the schedule as of right now:

Monday:
Definitely Blogging: Yowamushi Pedal, Kingdom Season 2, Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta

Tuesday:
Definitely Blogging: Hunter X Hunter 2011

Wednesday:
Definitely Blogging: Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha

Thursday:
Definitely Blogging: Nagi no Asukara, Gin no Saji Second Season, Hoozuki no Reitetsu
On the Respirator: Golden Time

Friday:
None

Saturday:
Definitely Blogging: Uchuu Kyoudai

Sunday:
Definitely Blogging: Uchuu KyoudaiDiamond no Ace, Space Dandy, Noragami
Probably Blogging: Tonari no Seki-kun
On the Bubble: Witch Craft Works

Manga: Otoyomegatari, Mix, Chihayafuru


Watching For Now: Gundam Build Fighters, Magi S2, Pupipo!, Golden Time
On the Fence: Wake up, Girls!, Nobunagun, Chuunibyou 2, Buddy Complex, Sekai Seifuku

37 comments:

  1. Ah I see we have another person in the "I don't really know why I'm still watching BudCom" group, it seems to have snagged a number of us even though it's really not that good or engaging....

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    1. To be honest, I made it about 14 minutes into the latest episode and then I just minimized the player and surfed while I listened to the Japanese dialogue, seeing how much I picked up. To say it's hanging on by a thread would be generous at this point. About the only thing I find really entertaining is Shou Hayami and his deadpan wiseass of a character.

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    2. Buddy Complex has moments when the epic music starts playing and the swords are slashing where the adrenaline fools you into thinking it's a good show. And then the coupling duration ends. It's a pretty good show for the demographic it targets as a shonen.

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  2. Seriously disappointed about pupa. I'd been looking forward to it since last year when it was first announced.Oh well. Do you still watch Kill la Kill, by the way? Curious to see how you feel about it now (though to be fair, my personal opinion is of disappointment too.)

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    1. No, I finally gave up the ghost around #11. For me, there was just no "there" there.

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  3. Since Slice of life is my bread and butter, there is some pretty decent stuff this season. Nothing great though.
    It is a shame everything I'm watching that I would say is above good is either continuing from last season or is a second season/cour.

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    1. I don't even see that much slice of life that really floats my boat, to be honest. If anything comedy seems like the closest thing to a strength to me.

      What's really the icing on the cake is that the last month has sharply declined for me in terms of carryovers, too. I have my H x H and the sports series, plus Uchuu Kyoudai and Nagi, but I ended up dropping a few series I never expected to drop.

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  4. Grim season indeed. At the moment I'm only up to date with one show that isn't a carryover, sequel or split-cour and that is Space Dandy. Everything I'm just watching if I feel like it (which I don't at the moment)

    Also history tells me that the Summer is usually the season that has that one or few "slice of life" type series that I really like for that year. 2008 - Natsume Yuujinchou, 2009 - Aoi hana 2010 - Ok this year had nothing for SoL but it had Shiki, 2011 - Usagi Drop, 2012 - Tari Tari, 2013 - Too many lol.

    I'll be spending this season either watching my backlog or catching on some TV shows that I've put on the backburner, starting with Breaking Bad and Mad Men which I haven't watched past the first two seasons. And maybe I'll start the second season of Newsroom since I very much liked the first one. And ofc the upcoming Game of Thrones season but that's going to be in Spring...



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  5. Well Enzo, if you're truly stuck for a truly great, one of a kind series, there's always Maken-ki! So.. much.. blogging.. potential... there.. yeah..

    But seriously, in Togashi we trust.

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  6. So you still watch Magi? I feel as though it's been getting significantly better this season.

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    1. It has, because so far Yoshino isn't free-lancing the plot. But it's too late to save BD/DVD sales - that ship has sailed.

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    2. Well, considering how well the manga sales, I don't think the BD/DVD sales really matter to them all that much. Pretty much like with Kingdom the Anime only exists to Promote the manga.

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  7. if you're already looking forward the spring...don't get yourself high expectations already.
    baby steps by pierrot confirmed with "new plots" (namely, fillers. so this is going to be like Naruto/Bleach shit?). there is also something weird that shaft is pulling out of the hat. I'll try it...but that's sound weird according to what I have been told...
    BONES captain earth is another dangerous since it's the staff that did star driver...so I hope captain earth won't be like that...
    and I don't know how "selector infected" gonna be. there is potential (Okada Mari and S;G director in JC stuff) for better but also for worse...you know.
    there are still some good stuff. Madhouse with 2 LN which get a lot of attention and madhouse won't screw up i this like mahou senso. and those are some of the successful LN in japan..they don't want angry fans. there is also HQ and I wonder how Sidonia no Kishi gonna be like..
    as you said, there is still time for spring, let's not rush up for it. THO it was you who bring that up in first sentence in winter-check up.....and it sounds like this winter is that bad and I don't necessarily agree.
    in first look, this winter didn't start very well.
    but now, after almost about a month, I think it's quite a good winter. usually it's very very weak season, but there are at least some worthy and even good to very good anime, and not just one (like last winter).
    the fall leftovers this time is kinda weak. sure we have NnA which is excellent. but GT is too much inconstant. samumenco for now is doing good but not everyone can enjoy it. KLK is OK...last episodes were too much energetic...but part 2 (actually last third) gonna start.
    luckily for fall leftovers, 3 great sports anime(plus KuroBas which is good more or less).
    and LH which is very enjoying (don't know why/when you've dropped that...this is really enjoying stuff).
    biggest surprise is magi s2. seriously I never thought I'd enjoy magi that much. it begun with the atmosphere of poor 1st season but a little before the group parted..this is going more and more interesting. tension is up every episode and I found myself eagerly looking forward magi's episodes (not to mention I was on slow poking at first).

    as for winter itself?Noragmi, silver spoon and Toaru Hikuushi are hits, outstanding each one of them.
    not much of "very good or great" shows. maybe Nisekoi (I really don't understand what's so bothering, I can understand if shaft style isn't your cup of tea...however this isn't monogatari. and Nisekoi is good stuff. look at poor GT wanna be some romcom...with Nisekoi it's much more natural, even if it's shaft style, which I like anyway).
    but there are really good shows: Tonari no seki-kun, chuunibyou S2, wake up girls, wizards barristers is quite pleasant as well, and of course Inari (despite last episode).
    others are quite mediocre such as buddy complex, WCW, sekai seifuku (THO last episode with the smokers was quite good), nobunagun.
    biggest disappointment is pupa. after that it's Hozuki. sorry, this is like a staff-only sign with the type of "japanese only".

    overall, there are some decent anime, even really good ones. fall leftovers reputation is saved mostly thanks to sports and 2 surprises of magi and LH.
    anime is far from being saved by some space dandy guy...but let's hope he won't be dead till next episode (oh shit..he is a walking dead..so is that means he can't be dead?but then how is that hunters are killing space walking dead?I don't get it LOL).

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  8. Different Strokes for different folks, I suppose. I think you've given up a bit too easily on some shows as well. Aside from some big flops, this has been a solidly good season in my opinion. Heads and shoulders above last year's winter easy.

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  9. For a weak winter season, you watch an awful lot of shows, approximately 20 if I counted right. For what purpose do you view the lesser ones?

    I do agree with the assessment on this season. From the new series, I’m enjoying Tonari Seki, Space Dandy and Wake up, Girls (even though the third episode was a huge letdown). On the fence about Pilot Love Song and Inari Konkon, since I’m starting to lose interest. Recently dropped Witch Craft, Nobunagun and Noragami, because I don’t see any value in watching them.

    Anyway, a weak anime season is never a bad thing for me. Now I can marathon the 4 sports anime which began last year (these shows are practically designed for binge-watches!), catch up with some long-running anime and invest more time in other media like American TV-series, movies, books (A Song of Fire & Ice) and games.

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  10. Don't forget about Haikyū!! for the Spring. The manga is excellent.

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  11. I forgot to ask, no hype for Jojo season 2 (part 3?)

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  12. Hey Enzo. The latest Golden Time was pretty good actually. Some real character development and honesty, finally. It hasn't been good lately, but this one might just get itself out of the respirator.

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    1. I didn't think it was anything special, to be honest.

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    2. ioh, so you finally dropped GT from the blogging list. I'll have to agree with Stot though that the last two episodes where actually better now. love the development in Kouko's character though, i admit, this came in way too late for the series. had they done this at around eps 12-13, it would felt like a more natural transition. also, GT still have that annoying Ghost Banri thing to deal with.

      As for BudCom, the premise was interesting. exectution could have been better though if they just forget those cringe-worthy yaoi innuendos (gah, the ED even makes it look like there will be a love triangle of sorts betwee dio, aoba, and hina).

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    3. Considering some of the other series getting the axe, and the lack of enthusiam, I'm surprised why GT gets a Get Out of Jail Free card.

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    4. Roger +1. My thoughts exactly. From mid season 1 or so it seemed like our only hope was that Kouko should be dumped gently, since she wasn't getting any development and any plot movement away from that was frustrating the audience.

      And this episode's funny side wasn't swing and miss, thank god.

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    5. I don't fundamentally disagree with anything you said, Roger, but boy, is it ever damning with faint praise. Better? Yeah, marginally - but this is definitely way too late for Kouko's arc to be believable. And it also feels like pretty much manufactured drama, to me. It's like a deathbed conversion with Kouko's exposition, and it's like Linda became inconvenient for the latest hairpin turn so let's just pretend she never existed.

      I still have no clue what this series is trying to do - is is pursuing a conventional route badly, or trying to do something completely unpredictable? I suppose that's modestly interesting in itself and I don't claim to know whether it's the fault of the writer or the adaptation. But there have just been too many missteps for me to be emotionally invested any longer - it's curiosity that keeps me watching, but that's not enough motivation to blog a show.

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    6. actually, i share your sentiment, Enzo, while I did like how episode 16 built kouko more and episode 15 for showing a totally different side of kouko outside her manic personality (it was by far the most fun one without being too pretentious), i really feel like they should have done it two or three episodes earlier. and linda was reduced to extra, whereas the first half had her story intertwined closely with kouko's and banri's

      but definitely my biggest gripe with the series is still Ghost Banri. the writers don't seem to know whether they want to use him as a character or a mere plot device. they even make it look as if he was the one responsible for kouko deciding to be the driver and falling asleep on the wheel, which totally takes away from the strength of episodes 15 and 16.

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  13. The only "new" shows I kept from the winter are Noragami and Silver Spoon. Space Dandy didn't do it for me personally.

    I also think I will keep up with Inari. I have only see 2 episodes of it so far and while not amazing, it's a cute show.

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  14. Honestly, Im a bit worried about spring 2014...but hopefuly that changes when i actually get to watch some of the series. Right now the only series from Spring 2014 im truly amped for is Mushishi...that really is about it. Although i do have to say captain earth kinda piqued my interest (if only for the fact that its a sci-fi and its from bones) The fact that it's helmed by the star driver team doesnt really bother me (Star driver wasnt the hit it was suppose to be because the staff was bad, but for other reasons)

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    1. I have so much faith in Baby Steps that I don't think it can be totally ruined. Isshukan Friends in Brains Base hands is a top pick. I'm no Star Driver fan, but Captain Earth is still a BONES sci-fi and Miyu Irino's first lead role in ages. There's also the horror titles, maybe Hi Score Girl... Sure, it could all flame out by by God, it's surely going to be better than what we have now.

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    2. I don't think either of those horror titles have ever been announced for spring.

      Brain Base is busy! Three shows lined up, an otome and two generic looking manga. Sad.

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    3. Oh yes i definitely agree that spring 2014 is going to be better than what we have now (even if it does happen to flame out hehe) and i must say it did put a smile on my face to hear Miyu Irino being in a star role of a series (speaking of really good seiyuu, i have not heard ito kanae in a lead role for quite some time...or any series really). Im definitely going to look into the other spring series you have mentioned because you seem to have a good amount of faith in them and i hope they bring some very interesting dimensions to the spring season.

      Ive just been kind of nervous because ive seen stronger spring seasons and after winter i guess im approaching the following season with a bit of trepidation. Winter 2014 isnt completely bad cuz there is some light, but its frustratingly lacking; I think that's the best way to describe it. But time will tell if this spring season measures up to the usual expectations. ill make judgments once the season starts rolling.

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  15. Last season is certainly rubbing off on this one. One-cour of DnA was enough for me, YowaPedal has lost speed and Gin no Saji is fine but not that engaging all the time. Kill La Kill looks to be the last man standing from Fall. A few surprises coming out of winter though. Noragami has finally grown legs, whereas Space Dandy refuses to use theirs. Hozuki, Tonari and Nobunagun are still doing it for me. I don't think Pupa is all that tragic either.

    I'm less optimistic about Spring besides JBA:S2, Ping Pong and Mushishi. All the big gun studios have caved and seem to be picking the hottest from LN shelves. Even Anime Mirai looks less appealing this time. Might look into Majin Bone, Captain Earth and Dai Shogun simply for being 'original'.

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  16. So after the new Samurai Flamenco episode (15), what are your thoughts on it (If you're still even watching it, that is)?

    I personally thought that the "twist" was the only logical thing that could have happened at this point. All the signs I mentioned several weeks ago were pointing towards this too.

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    1. The twist is too little too late AFAIC. I think they're just trying to be too clever by half.

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  17. While I'm feeling cautiously optimistic about the upcoming Spring, I'm not seeing this Winter as pessimistic as some may see it -- it's way better than last Winter. This year's Fall carry-overs are weaker than last year's though. I'm not watching a lot of shows this season, and I have decided to ignore shows with bad writing and characters. Having said that, I'm still picking up a few shows this Winter -- whereas I couldn't at all last year -- Noragami, GnS, Hoozuki, SD, Seki-kun, Hamatora, Pupa, and Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta (although I'm thinking of dropping this show). Long-running shows and those started last year that I'm watching are Uchuu Kyoudai, HxH, Kingdom, DnA, GT, KnB, NnA, and SF. Wow, that's 16 shows. It's only when I listed them all out till I did the count, and that's a lot for me for any season. No wonder I don't feel that this Winter is that bad.

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  18. It's interesting that when it comes to lower quality shows our preferences are very much based on moe. I don't mean the silly term coined primarily for the usage of supposedly attractive females but rather the original meaning of the word, what turns us on in a show (non-sexual unless what turns you on is sexual).

    Gin no Saji, Noragami and Tonari no Seki kun all are clear cut as quality animes but the rest, with the exception of Toaru Hikuushi, I don't follow with GE's standings. Inari Konkon is a much better show than merely worthwhile IMO and the rest on his list are, IMO, boring, cliched or lame.

    The only episode of Space Dandy I enjoyed was episode 4 and that was because like a Gintama-Lite style episode. Will SD change anime and make it more accessible to non-Japanese? I can't predict that but my belief is that as soon as its run ends it will be forgotten. Shingeki no Kyojin (which I dislike) is more likely to boost anime's profile than it but a single show is not enough to change the backward thinking and ever shrinking market of anime. A change in the structure is needed.

    I looked at the price of YP's second volume on Amazon. If you include shipping and tax it rises to well over a 100 bucks for 3 episodes! I can buy all 3 SEASONS of GoT for that much. Maybe I've been spoiled by the prices of DVD/BD box sets here but even then these prices are ridiculous. If anime wants to increase its market value then it has to consider the competition outside of Japan for once. And it's got to shut down or at least limit free fansubbing of anime/manga, force people onto Crunchyroll.

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  19. Can't wait for Mushishi… Even if it was the only show to come out, that would still make it the best season of the year for me :D

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    1. I've been re-watching and yes, it hasn't lost a step. Really a classic.

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  20. You know. Episode 2 of space dandy wasn't that good, but whatever, still a good series. And for me, Buddy complex works. Plot is interesting and mecha fights actually are quite good, mainly because they are not confusing.

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