Spring is definitely here. With the anime season in full swing, I believe it is time for some “what to watch” and “what to avoid” for those out there that may not have picked anything up yet, or are interested in what the new season has to offer.
Top 5 to Pick Up
No Game No Life – Does anyone remember an anime a while back called “Problem Children are Coming from Another World?” Neither do I. This anime is a thousand times better than Problem Children. In this show we have a brother and sister duo that are essentially NEETs and spend all their time mastering every game, refusing to lose. They view real life as “just another crappy game.” One day they get summoned by a God from another dimension, and are brought into this other world where everything is determined by games, including national borders and elections.
All of the characters are interesting and just generally fun to watch. The best part of the show is watching this duo adapt to their new surrounding by winning games against any who challenge them. Definitely pick this up if you haven’t already. It’s available on Crunchyroll.
Akuma no Riddle – Who wouldn’t like a show about a dozen female assassins? The added twist is that they are all after the same target for their own personal reasons. The first one to successfully eliminate the target gets their wish granted. But the plot thickens when one of them decides to protect the target instead.
I actually don’t have much to say about this show. The premise and execution (no pun intended) are really what drew me in. The animation can be lazy at times, but it’s nothing terrible. This is one for the serious type that want something that doesn’t involve random outbursts of sillyness. You can find it on Hulu.
Black Bullet – Humans are on the brink of extinction. They have all been confined to smaller areas surrounded by a material that protects them from the “gastrea,” the force that has drove humanity into a corner. Our hero, Rentaro, jumps into action as a civil officer specially trained to combat these mutated monsters. He and his partner work together with their peculiar powers to save Tokyo from destruction.
As an added bonus, Rentaro’s VA is the same as Eren Yaeger. Even though the plot sounds generic, it’s quite interesting. Where did these powers come from? What are these lolis with glowing red eyes doing isolated from everyone else? How will they eliminate the gastrea, and free themselves from confinement? You can find it on Crunchyroll.
Brynhildr in the Darkness – High-Schooler Ryota cannot forget his childhood friend who died in an accident. Feeling responsible for her death, he attempts to fulfill their promise to prove the existence of aliens. He spends his nights looking up at the sky as a member of the astronomy club. One day, a girl who looks exactly like his childhood friend shows up as a transfer student. An interesting turn of events occurs when it is revealed that she is a magic user who ran away from a research facility.
I’ve actually fallen off of this show, unfortunately. But from what I hear from everyone watching it, it’s good. I did see the first couple episodes and it did seem interesting enough. I’ll probably catch up on this one later. Despite that, I have only heard positive things. You can fin it on Crunchyroll.
Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders – Sitting in prison is Jotaro Kujo, a 17-year-old delinquent with a power beyond his control. With evil spirits awakening around the world, and his mother’s life at stake, Jotaro must control his dark power and travel the world to Egypt where a century old vampire thirsts for his family’s blood. But many obstacles “stand” in the way of Jotaro and his friends.
Normally I wouldn’t put a second season or continuation in this list, but Jojo’s is an exception. If you haven’t seen the first season, I highly recommend that you do, and then immediately pick up this season. It’s all available on Crunchyroll. This show brings anime to heights unimaginable.
Top 5 to Skip
Hitsugi no Chaika – Retired soldier Toru Acura wanders about with his life now that the war has ended. He comes across a small girl carrying a coffin and follows her in hopes of finding some kind of meaning to life again.
I only watched the first episode and it was more than I needed. I found myself periodically moving my mouse the bottom of the screen to see how much longer until this painful-to-watch abomination was over. This show screams Naruto syndrome, where all but the main characters are fine. And even then I had to force myself to think the supporting characters were likable. The girl’s broken and staggered speech was more annoying than anything. Also, don’t you think it’s a little overdone with the whole using guns that don’t actually shoot bullets, but are more or less a catalyst for casting spells? I’ll pass. If you DO need to watch it, it’s on Crunchyroll.
Blade and Soul – Based on the Korean MMO. After a thousand years of peace, the uprising Wind Empire conspires to overthrow the existing Stratus Empire, unite all of the continents and bring about equality… enforcing said equality with military force.
I’ve never played the game, but I didn’t even have to play it to know that this could not possibly be worth watching. If you don’t mind a generic JRPG plot with a main character that has no lines and nothing but flashy martial arts going for it, knock yourself out. Because if you don’t, this god awful anime will.
Fuun Ishin Dai Shogun – During the Edo period, Japan faced a crisis of invading foreign ships. A giant robot called Onigami, which had existed since ancient times, dispatched the ships and kept the foreigners away. The story begins in 1868 Japan during the Meiji restoration.
Ok, we’ve already seen a failed attempt at period anime that just throws in mechs. In fact, it’s still going on. This is Nobunaga the Fool ver 2.0, and it’s just as bad if not worse. When you have a tagline that says, “I can be the greatest man in the world, because I’m a virgin!” it doesn’t exactly scream “quality” to me. Crunchyroll it if you must.
One Week Friends – High schooler Yuki wants to become friends with his classmate and desk neighbor, Kaori. She declines his proposal explaining that her memories of her friends disappear in a week. Despite this, Yuki is determined to be her friend. They become friends over and over as the weeks go by.
You know, a colleague of mine mentioned something about a character like this in ef: A Tale of Memories. The only difference being that her memory lasted half a day. But she lost all memory after those 12-13 hours. In One Week Friends, this character loses just the memories of her friends after a week. I just thought this was a poorer premise with a poorer animation style. I gave it a couple episodes, but it just wasn’t entertaining or gripping. Crunchyroll is there for you, if you need it.
Mekakucity Actors – A series of incidents bring a group of young boys and girls together to form the “Blindfold Organization.” Each with a strange power involving their eyes, they work towards solving the mysteries of these incidents and the origin of their power.
I can’t say I hate this show, but we’re already halfway through the season and they have not touched on an overlying plot at all. It had an interesting first and second episode, but after that it’s gotten a little boring. SHAFT decided to jump around to completely different characters in each episode, making it a little hard to follow. My opinion on this may change by the season end, but for now it’s low on my priority. If it intrigues you, though, it is on Crunchyroll.
I know there’s a lot more than ten shows going on, but these were the ones that stood out to me. There’s also several that I have not seen at all, or didn’t care to pick up so if I didn’t mention some, that is most likely the reason. Be sure to tune in to our Anime Retrospective at the end of the season for a more detailed review. See you then.