The fall anime season is here, and I find it disappointing. After a summer of original shows like Usagi Drop and Ikoku Meiro no Croisée, and highly watchable shows like Kamisama Dolls and Kamisama no Memo-chou, the fall is a vast wasteland of pointless sequels, routine shounen, boring slice-of-life shows, and mindless harem and jiggle. Over the summer, I could hardly find time to watch all the shows I was interested in; this fall, I can barely stand to watch anything.
The immediately dismissable category includes Maken-ki (harem jiggle), Maji de Watashi ni Koi Shinasai!! (harem jiggle with a siscon), Mashiroiro (eroge without the ero), Phi Brain (cliched shounen), Persona 4 (cliched shounen for kids), Hunter x Hunter (a shounen remake), Mirai Nikki (the Deadman Wonderland of this season, and equally repellent), and C-Cubed (violent and uninteresting). The pointless sequel category includes Last Exile: Fam, The Silver Wing (why did they bother?), Shakugan S3 (I didn't like the original), Fate/Zero (ditto), Bakuman S2 (didn't watch the original), and Mobile Suit Gundam Age (recycled mecha for kiddies). The boring slice-of-life group features Tamayura (yawn) and Kimi to Boku (bigger yawn).
So what's left?
- Chihayafuru. This show has interesting characters and an interesting background premise (karuta). The characters are changing as they get older and developing in unexpected directions. My favorite so far.
- Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai. (Full disclosure: I'm editing this for a group so slow that we'll probably finish in 2013.) Again, the premise and characters are a little out of the ordinary. The introduction of the rest of the ensemble in the fourth episode has brightened the tone and made the show considerably funnier.
- Un-Go. I generally like mystery stories, but the first two episodes were not engaging. The third and fourth, however, had a great premise and hook. I'll keep watching.
- Shinryaku Ika Musume S2. More Ika-chan is always welcome. The episodes to date have been more or less on par with last season.
- Working S2. The basic shticks (Souta's obsession with all things small, Inami's reactive decking of any man within reach, Yachiyo's obsession with the manager, the manager's obsession with parfaits, etc, etc) were done to death in S1, and nothing has changed.
- Ben-To. I like the pseudo-samurai hokum, and the expansion of the circle of characters adds interest. However, the humor is inconsistent, and the level of violence appears to be escalating, as a "serious" plot is introduced.
- Guilty Crown. A sci-fi extravaganza that's one gigantic cliche. Post-apocalyptic Japan? Check. Nebish hero with superpowers? Check. Beautiful damsels in distress? Check. Crazed villains? Check. Beautiful eye candy, but it's all empty calories.
- Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon. This show must have a point; it must. They wouldn't introduce all those characters, and all those plot points, and never explain them, would they? Oh wait, isn't that what happened in No.6?