Starting up again – Thoughts on Winter Season 2011

And with this, Kame-chan will start up Desu Diary once again.

Having gone through more than half-way through my first year of college, I feel like I can finally manage the time to do my weekly blog posts once again and revive this solo blog. Of course, there are no guarantees, but I’ll try my best. Well, I’ll start this off with my thoughts on the anime I picked up on during Winter Season 2011. (Warning: Will contain spoilers)

Beelzebub – With the glance at the first episode, I knew it was going to take me awhile to get used to the idea of a delinquent with a random demon baby. Also, the action didn’t seem to catch me quickly since most were one-hit KO shots. However, the comedy kept me from dropping it instantly. Sure, the whole “shocking the main character” idea seems like it was taken from Pokemon and having characters getting stuck in walls is used up in almost any anime, but you also have all of the misunderstandings with Oga and Hilda, between Oga and Aoi, and with Furuichi and Alaindelon (yes, how can you forget about those 2?).

Kimi ni Todoke 2nd Season – Kimi ni Todoke didn’t let me down in the first season and it’s not letting me down so far. Through episode 1-7, you can still feel the intense drama and feelings of all the characters, especially between Kuronuma and Kazehaya. However, it’s ironic that in the first season, Kuronuma was trying her hardest to rid everyone of misunderstandings of herself while in the second season, she’s the one misunderstanding Kazehaya. The guy already grew balls to confess to you, Kuronuma. Meet him half-way already!

Starry☆Sky – I picked this up to see how they would adapt 12 male characters and 1 female character in 11 minute episodes. In my surprise, each episode explains the hardships they had as children and how their newly-found friendships were able to save them. You have all of the different types of guys: Aloof -> Whiny, but I’m not exactly complaining. They’re all male seiyuus that I absolutely adore after all. And I love the guitar rift that’s played in the ED after every episode. However, I don’t see much improvement past this pacing.

Puella Magi Madoka (Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica) – With the OP showing Madoka as a Mahou Shoujo being a total ditz and her cute plushies on her bed, you’d expect this to be just a typical Mahou Shoujo anime you’ve seen in the past. However, after episode 3, you get hit with the biggest hint that this is more than just “making friends” like in Nanoha or using magic to “help others” like in Moetan (even though it’s like that in a different regard). It’s life-and-death. Fight for yourself or die trying. Nothing about being a Mahou Shoujo in Madoka’s world is happy daisy as some would assume, but that’s the great part about it. The grim-dark setting startled me at first and it still startles me even though some incidents that happened with the characters were pretty predictable (like Sayaka). That predictability doesn’t change how much I like this anime so far. With all the progress they have so far in the first 8 episodes of this 12 episode season, I have high expectations the ending.

IS: Infinite Stratos – I first thought that this would be my action anime of the season (minus having Index II on the list) with a bit of harem moments here and there. But, with all of the jealousy and development of the female characters, I haven’t exactly gotten a feel for the action scenes that were shown so far. Sure, they’re slowly developing on the idea of IS’s with no core being a major problem… and I have nothing against the girls (since I’m totally rooting for Charlotte)… but for a 12 episode anime, I hope they don’t try to rush the ending with over-the-top battles that had no lead into them.

Yumekui Merry – I’ll admit that this anime has gotten relatively slow the past few episodes with the main two characters. However, the character developments of the other characters kept it alive for me, such as a possible relationship between the tomboyish Saki and haiku-writer Takateru and a friendship between the aloof Chizuru and the caring Isana. You can’t help but think that the relationship between Chizuru and Isana will have a role later on in the series as well. And how can you not love Merry’s awesomely cute face when eating donuts? Okay, if you’re not into cute, I can see that, but I know that suckered me in.

Fractale – With the slight feel of Final Fantasy throughout all of the episodes, Fractale has entertained me quite a bit. Seeing Clain get picked on, Phryne doing as she pleases in front of others, and the overly happy and outgoing Nessa running around, this anime feels more like it’s meant to be fun than serious. Of course, there are moments when trouble has to break lose, usually with guns, and doesn’t seem as great as it could be. But when it’s over, it’s overlapped with the development of the friendships those three main characters make and their personalities that makes the anime slightly more enjoyable. However, I wish we can finally find out why the slightly eccentric Nessa is so important.

Hourou Musuko – With the uncomfortable idea of gender bending, Hourou Musuko nicely brings out the problems that the main characters have to go through as well as develop the characters of their friends. From the love-triangle between Chiba, Nitori, and Takatsuki to the switching of names, you can clearly feel the similarities between those who aren’t gender bent and those who are. The slow pacing and basic animation makes it seem perfect for the anime and the upbeat For You by Rie Fu as the ED got me hook-line and sinker for the rest of the series.

To Aru Majutsu no Index II – As a sequel to the first season, Index hasn’t really disappointed me in the action and Touma’s sense of protection for other characters which got me in the first season. You can still feel those heart-filled punches from Touma a mile away while he faces new enemies in each arc. And you can tell he developed intellectually when he finds a way to survive every new obstacle, even though majority of it is fueled by his willpower. Though, I still wish they would develop more on his relationship with Misaka…

GOSICK – Being someone who loves detective stories and the occult-like, I picked up GOSICK with decent expectation. So far in the series, the mysteries have kept me guessing and the relationship between Kujou and Victorique has kept me coming back for more. With the recent episode showing that there’s more than just a physical, protecting relationship between the two, I can’t help but wait impatiently for the next episode.

Freezing – Girls fighting – Check. (Slightly) Ignorant main male – Check. Fanservice – Double check. Freezing has been slightly saving itself from being dropped with the tsundere Satellizer and the persistent Kazuya and the action that ensues with them. The past few episodes so far helped Satellizer develop as a character which will be used soon as the Pandoras have to go up their upcoming threat. However, I hope they don’t overdo the fanservice aspect because too much fanservice does turn off some viewers and lower their entertainment value.

Bakuman – Anime with mangaka? Win all around. With Takagi and Mashiro picking up the pace and getting closer to serialization, the anime knows when to introduce their other characters to stop them in their tracks and ask questions. Bakuman clearly shows the fun you get by doing the thing you love with the hardships that come with it, especially when you have a huge goal in mind like Mashiro.

Tegami Bachi REVERSE – From the reappearance of Gauche as a member of Reverse to Lag practically dumbfounded when he starts questioning whether Reverse is actually wrong or not, Tegami Bachi REVERSE hasn’t been a disappoint like the first season. I’m glad to see that they slightly cut down on Lag’s constant crybaby syndrome and explained more about the artificial sun. Also, the feelings with each shindan shot by any character still seem real as ever. With REVERSE nearing it’s close, it’s clear that Gauche will have a major roll in stopping the Cabernet. However, I’m wondering what he’ll do after it’s all over.

Mitsudomoe Zouryouchuu! – And the last on my listing is, of course, Mitsudomoe Zouryouchuu! Being disappointed that it already ended, this sequel didn’t let down at all from it’s predecessor. The upbeat and misunderstood Class 3 still had their ups and downs and necessary innuendos. However, some inner misunderstandings between the students and their teacher, Yabecchi, were cleared up and there was even a cute slice-of-life scene at the end to bring it all into a nice closure.

Well then, that’s all of the anime I’m currently watching. I ended up dropping Star Driver because the constantly transformation and summoning scenes seemed redundant and turned me off, but I may pick that up again later. As for the blog, expect the normal ending reviews and some quick thought posts in the near future. I will try my best to get this up and running again. Anyway, Kame-chan logging out.


One Response to “Starting up again – Thoughts on Winter Season 2011”

  1. Marina

    Not a bad assortment of shows here from this season! I enjoyed reading up on your thoughts now that we’re close to the end for many of the anime shows. From your list, I’m keeping up with Kimi ni Todoke 2, Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica, IS, Fractale, Gosick, & TB Reverse. It looks like we share similar thoughts on them so far :p

    Looking forward to reading your final results if you write about them!

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