Hey guys! Samurai here. As you all know, the end of Summer brings with it the end of the Summer 2012 anime season! While OtakuAndrain will be filling you guys in on what to expect for Autumn 2012, I’ll be taking us on a tour back in time to point out some shows that I followed [And in some cases dropped] during the Summer 2012 Anime Season! I’ll also do a check-in with some shows that are currently ongoing from the Spring 2012 season! Once again, I plan on doing complete reviews of all the series I touch on here at a later date, so please only think of this as my own personal breakdown of the following series! That being said, let’s get into it.
When OtakuAndrain told me about this series in the beginning of the season, I found myself thinking “Yeah, umm…a young girl who fawns all over a much older guy”…this is going to be sketchy…however, when I settled down and watched a couple of the short three-minute episodes, I found myself laughing and loving this cute little series! It’s very innocent, sweet and, did I mention funny? If you could imagine an older Anzu, Hiiragi and Koume from “Hanamaru Kindergarten”, then you pretty much got Chitose, Misaki and Hinako. [In fact, Hinako’s last name IS Hiiragi and just like her counterpart in “Hanamaru”, she REALLY enjoys cosplay…scary…] While the series is good, I really don’t see anyone picking this one up here in the US; there’s not much market for a series with episodes as short as “Chitose Get You!”, but if Funimation could pickup a series like “Axis Powers Hetalia”, a show with many short episodes, then anything can happen. I plan on following this one on out to the cute, bitter end!
What we once thought was going to be a comedy series about high school kids swapping bodies has turned into one of the most talked about dramatic series of the Summer 2012 season. “Kokoro Connect” is a very intriguing story, following a group of high schoolers in their high school’s Culture Club. They start off as your typical series group; the Tsundere, the high school loli, the healing character, the goofy best friend, and the level-headed one. However, thanks to an extraterrestrial being known as Heartseed, the group goes through different trials and tribulations that both bring them closer together and forces them apart to near breaking point. I have to admit, this show is addictive and completely shatters my initial perceptions. While the different “games” that Heartseed plays are, at first blush, comical, it actually takes a backseat to the drama that comes about from the “games”. Painful truths, damning secrets, and new loves are found during these trials, and it makes for good viewing to see how our group handles the situations and themselves by extension. I’m obviously following this one to the end as well. I give this one a high chance of being picked up by somebody, but I gotta be honest, I would’ve given it better odds had Bandai Entertainment USA picked this one up–this looks like the kind of show they would love to work with.
I really don’t know about this one. I followed it for about two or three episodes, then I just let it go. Perhaps its the concept that put me off. Our male lead, at his late father’s request, attends this private school where his future bride is also attending. However, he receives a mysterious phone call from a girl saying that he is long-lost little sister and she is also going to the same school he is attending, yet she does not want to give up her identity. So now, without any clue as to who his bride is or who his little sister is, our male lead goes to school and encounters quite a few young ladies who begin throwing themselves at him. While our male lead is obviously interested, he still hesitates to get anything started with any of them because there is the possibility that the girl he picks is his little sister. And so begin the hijinks that follow what is just another harem series with an incestuous theme. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t this just “Please Twins” with more girls? Maybe for “Harem Month” I’ll pick it up again, but at present, I’m leaving this one alone. Perhaps Sentai Filmworks will pick this one up, as they have picked up quite a few harem shows in their day.
Hands down, this has to be the best dramatic series of this year. This story follows a guy named Ryosuke as he comes to grips with his feelings of love for his boss, Rokka. Rokka is the manager of a flower shop she started with her husband, a man named Shimao. Sadly, though, her husband passed away leaving her alone. However, all that is dead is never really gone as Shimao remains behind as a ghost, following Rokka as she manages the shop and, much to his chagrin, as Ryosuke begins making inroads towards his former wife. Shimao soon makes himself known to Ryosuke and pretty much tells him to back off. Ryosuke, oddly laid back about the idea of seeing his boss’s late husband floating around in front of him, nevertheless continues pursuing Rokka, determined to make her forget about her past and start a new life with him. “Natsuyuki Rendevous” is a gentle and slow story. For some, it might be too slow, and I admit that at times I thought it was painfully slow as well, but on the whole, it’s the slow pace that makes you come back for more. It gives our characters a chance to grow, understand, acknowledge and mature. Unfortunately, shows like this are rarely, if ever, picked up for US Releases…which is a crying shame, as this show is very well done.
Pretty much, this show is just “K-On!” with a choir. I tried it for a few episodes, but I just didn’t get into it. I got bored with it, plain and simple. Maybe Funimation wants to pick this one up so they can have their own version of “K-On!”, but they already have “Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad” for that.
I have to admit, I thought this show was going to be boring. I mean, an anime that interprets the Hyakunin isshu 100 romantic poems by 100 poets compiled during the Heian period? YAWN… wasn’t there a show just like this last season dealing with poems or something? But then I saw the first episode, then the second, then the third…and before I knew it, I was HOOKED. I admit, I didn’t have clue one about the Hyakunin Isshu poems outside of what Konata mentioned in “Lucky Star”. But I found myself being very interested in the writing styles and the stories behind the poems. I found the MC, the pretty boy representation of poet Fujiwara no Teika, to be funny and amusing. The characters themselves are also very beautiful to watch and listen to as they read the poems inspired by their own life events. Now don’t get me wrong, this show does have quite a few comedy moments; it’s not all stodgy old guys reading poetry. This show has LIFE and it’s real refreshing to watch. Add to it that this show is ABSOLUTELY beautiful to look at animation wise, and you have a series that stands out this season from all the others, if for no other reason than the animation! It’s funny, it’s sad, it’s dramatic, and it’s something that I recommend everyone take a look at. I give this one even-money to be picked up in the US. There’s not much call for a show about Japanese Poetry here in the US. Perhaps if “Chihayafuru” was picked up first to generate some excitement then MAYBE this show would have a better chance, but as it stands now…I can only give this one 50-50 odds.
Okay! Now let’s get into those shows that are still going strong from the previous season!
“Space Brothers” [“Uchū Kyōdai”]
Airing Status: Continuing
My Viewing Status: Actively Following
Viewed On: Crunchyroll Streaming
Chances of Being Licensed: 100% [Acquired by Sentai Filmworks for DVD/Blu-Ray Release]
The theme song may have changed, but “Space Brothers” still remains the same! This show, following older brother Mutta as he becomes an astronaut to catch up with his younger brother Hibito, still pounds out episode after episode of awesome story telling coupled with great, relatable characters. Since the Spring 2012 season, we’ve only gone through one real major story arc, but it feels as though we’ve covered so much ground with regards to character development. I understand so much more about these characters since the beginning, and it feels like I’m only scratching the surface. The next few episodes promise to bring more of the awesome story telling that we’ve come to expect and love from this series, and I plan to be there watching front and center. No word yet on a DVD/Blu-Ray Release, or even if the project has been slated to be dubbed, but rest assured, I will have “Space Brothers” in my collection and I will be “Feeling So Moon…
I’m gonna be honest guys: “Eureka Seven: AO” was close…REAL CLOSE…to getting my “Dropped” status. I know I said that last time, but this time, I was going to make it official. The reason behind my anguish with this series is simple–It’s just not what I expect from a series that claims to be an “Eureka Seven” descendant. To me, “Eureka Seven” [The first series…] had several themes going for it; it was a slice of life story, a coming of age story, a “Rebels with a cause” story, an action story, and a very good romantic story. “Eureka Seven” had the Geckostate, a band of counter-culture vagabonds who didn’t conform to any kind of set mold or answer to any authority other than themselves. The show wasn’t just about the mecha fights or battles; it was about growing up and finding your own way in life without conforming to a set ideal. I don’t get that feeling with “Eureka Seven: AO”. This show seems darker than the original. It’s more concerned with the technology and the mechas than with the people. Simply put, to me, it’s not as FUN as the original show. However, while it’s not as fun as the original, it is just as interesting as the original, which keeps me from dumping it all together…that and I have a thing for sloths. Don’t judge me!
And so we bring the Summertime 2012 Anime Season to a close! All in all, it wasn’t a bad season! Granted there were some swings and misses, on the whole, the season was rather good! OtakuAndrain will, in due time, give you guys his thoughts on the Fall 2012 season which, after discussing it a bit with him, promises to be a very…active season. Now, if you guys will excuse me…I have to get ready for battle…heh…