Fall 2013 Anime Rundown, Part 2

Yeah, I dunno, I feel like I’m not getting this blog off to a very exciting start, but I do want to finish the second part of my fall 2013 rundown so that I can at least talk a little bit about all of the shows that I do like from this season. I promise that my next post will be more interesting—either something on why I hate bullying so much or maybe a piece on the best (and worst) dressed anime characters of 2013!

3. Golden Time

Episodes seen: 4

My placeholder text for this entry was “blah blah blah” and as I usually come up with much funner and at least tangentially relevant stand-ins, I guess “blah blah blah” is just how I feel about this series. But first, you can’t mention Golden Time without mentioning Toradora!, so I guess that I’ll get that out of the way right off the bat:

I really wanted to like Toradora! and I almost really did.

Toradora!, like a number of other cross-demographic romcoms, gets a lot right. In fact, the things that it gets right—non-garbage male characters, good pacing, good dialogue when Taiga’s reality distortion field isn’t active, well-executed versions of stock character archetypes minus Taiga—it gets more right than many other romcoms that are better overall. However, among other problems, there is a major, major blight on the the quality of Toradora! in the form of the aforementioned Taiga. I don’t want to get too into this right now, but putting almost all of the “meaningful” dramatic aspects of your show on the back a massive caricature is never a good idea. Indeed, almost all of the strengths that I listed above are ultimately undermined by the awfulness of Taiga’s character and some instances of really bad writing. And I would argue that those instances of really bad writing were a function of the awfulness of Taiga’s character.

Similarly, the main love interest (and probable co-drama mule at the very least, sharing half or maybe more of the drama-bearing duties with our oh-so-interesting main character) in Golden Time is by far the most caricatured character of the show, but she isn’t a Hagu show-ruiner like Taiga is. In fact, the rest of the cast is so bland that her exaggerated characterization can be forgiven as one of the few engaging qualities in the entire series. Perhaps the rest of the characters will improve with time (although I wouldn’t hold my breath for it), but so far, the deliberately drab Mitsuo just doesn’t hold a candle to his colorful bespectacled part-time nudist counterpart from Toradora!, and although direct comparisons can’t be made for the other supporting members of Golden Time‘s ensemble, I can’t even remember any of their names, which is never a good sign. And with the main character himself, Tada Banri (always referred to by his inexplicably annoying full name), being as dull of a male character as any, the curse of garbage male characters in romcoms continues.

Prediction: 50% chance that I finish it and give it an utterly unmemorable 5/10, 45% chance that drop it out of hatred around the half-way point and give it like a 2 or 3/10, and 5% chance that J.C. Staff stops J.C. Staffing, the characters develop in a reasonable way, the plot isn’t horrid (although possibly-not-a-metaphor-which-would-not-be-a-positive-development ghost MC is already a bad sign), the romance doesn’t get ruined in one of the fifty gazillion ways in which it can get ruined, and this turns out to be like a 7/10.

No screencap for this show because it just doesn’t look very good. If you really want to see what it looks like, open an episode of like Railgun or something and pretend that all of the technogadgetry isn’t there.

2. Yozakura Quartet: Hana no Uta

Episodes seen: 3

The surprise of the season, for me at least, and I mean that in a very good way. If you enjoy quirky (I know, I know, I just used the “q-word”) and energetic anime like FLCL and Kyousougiga, there’s a good chance that you’ll appreciate Hana no Uta as well. The combat, which is something that I normally don’t much care about in an anime, in Hana no Uta is perhaps its standout quality, with Kotoha’s superpower in particular making for some really creative and fun action scenes. However, the weaknesses become apparent when you compare Hana no Uta to the strongest show of the season and possibly the year, Kyousougiga, which manages both the same kind of amazing energy and a really great script. Furthermore, Hana no Uta overdoes it a bit with the fanservice at times, which can really impact negatively the enjoyment of a show that already suffers from mediocre writing. I’ll probably write more about this show in the future and maybe pound out an 8/10 (#scoreinflation) review for it on MAL, but until then, I’ll leave you with some screencaps.

<I lied. Screencaps coming later.>

Prediction: 7/10! Nah, probably a 6, cause it has all of those problems that I touched, but it’s easily my second favorite show of the season.

1. Kyousougiga (2013)

Episodes seen: 4

kyousougiga

I love this show more than life itself.

Literally the best anime ever made. AOTY 2013, AOTD 2010-2020, GOAT, etc. More on this objective 11/10 masterpiece when I have time because this obviously deserves its own post.

Prediction: 50/10

0. Diabolik Lovers

Episodes that I’ve seen: 6, plus the recap!

diabolik

Too edgy to take his clothes off.

I have, well, nothing to say about this, uh, Japanese animated television series from the year 2013 of the common era. If you’re curious, try watching the recap episode. Be warned though, it’s literally 15 minutes of non-stop fantasy sexual abuse—I mean, vampirism. No brakes on the non-consensual blood sucking train.

Prediction: The high comedic value and extremely appropriate use of 70s porn music earn this show a 2/10 and it is not be doomed to the company of Blue Flames, Sanctuary, Mars of Destruction, and pals.

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