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With Summer’s end comes Fall’s beginning. Fall is my favourite season for two reasons: the first being that the abhorrent Summer is at last over and the second being that nostalgic feeling I get on a cool day while walking through dead leaves. Too bad it’s 80 degrees today (in October, just five hours south of the border to Canada) and I have my air conditioner on and it is far too sunny (and hot, don’t forget hot) to be walking around outside in dead leaves. So instead I sit at home and watch anime all day, like a true nerd.

So here’s how we’re gonna do this. First I’m giving a short review/overview of my thoughts on the shows that ended in Summer. After that, I’ll do the same with the shows that were airing in Summer but haven’t ended yet. And then comes opinions on the first episodes of the new Fall shows. This is of course only going to cover what I actually watched… Now, for the Summer shows:

Natsume Yuujinchou San
My favourite show out of the ones that actually finished during the Summer, even if I never did actually look forward to watching it. All the excitement went towards Blood-C because what is that show I don’t even. Anyway, the third season of Natsume Yuujinchou wasn’t the same as the first two seasons. With less focus on returning names to youkai, Reiko, and also Natsume’s similarities to Reiko, there was less of that lonely melancholy feeling that permeated the first two seasons. Instead, though, this season showed more of Natsume’s past, and had a few of the best episodes in the series. I feel like the loss of most of the lonely atmosphere took away something that made Natsume Yuujinchou special, but I would still say that this is pretty close in quality to the first two seasons by virtue of its best episodes being really, really good. Can’t wait for the fourth season!

Blood-C
A trainwreck or an attempt at trolling. I’m not entirely certain which it was. The first six episodes were filled to the brim with foreshadowing and cicadas, and everyone found that really boring. I am no exception. But I did quite enjoy the fighting scenes, of which there was at least one every episode before the turning point. The turning point turned this into a show with absurd amounts of gore and almost none of the boring happy cheery slice of life they were showing before. I thought all the gore was pretty cool, not because I particularly like gore but because Blood-C’s was truly ridiculous. It’s that kind of morbid amusement you get when you wonder just how far they’re going to go. It took until the second to last episode for the show to “reveal” its plot twist which everyone already knew about from all that foreshadowing, and it somehow took up the entire episode for this reveal even though it can easily be summed up in all its details in a short paragraph. The whole episode was beyond irritating and I am just going to stop talking about this show until I do my full review of it. I will miss the opening if nothing else.

Usagi Drop
A really good solid show. No real flaws, but something about it became less interesting each week. I absolutely loved the first episode but by the time I got to the last three my motivation to watch no longer existed and I did it more out of a routine than anything else. Maybe I just got tired of the adventures of supermanly Daikichi and adorable Rin. In any case, this is a nice story about an awesome guy who takes in some little girl that was pretty much ditched byt he rest of their family after her father died, and actually gives you some tidbits of social comentary regarding families in many episodes, too. I recommend this to everyone except for those that require action and fightan to enjoy a show, because obviously this doesn’t have any of that.

Nyanpire the Animation
I’m going to be honest here. I only watched this for the ending. There’s just something so addicting about it despite how horrifying it is the first time you watch it. Um, I guess the show is cute visually. Some people may enjoy the humor in it. I didn’t, but I’m an agry super serious person who can never enjoy comedy that isn’t obviously pardoying or referencing something I know about. That’s actually not true but close enough. The episodes are only five minutes each so I guess if you like cats and cute things you should watch it. Otherwise it is a waste of five minutes you could be using to make me a sandwich. You know, as compensation for all that discrimination against women that happened before I was born. Just imagine how much I personally suffered! Imagine it and feel guilty, even if you are also a woman.

Blue Exorcist
My opinion of this fluctuated a lot, probably due to the mix of the fact that it was generic shounen (not exactly a genre I should be touching) and had some amazing staff behind it (Tensai Okamura directing this is actually the reason I bothered trying it at all). A lot of episodes were honestly boring. There’s just this “safe” feeling in shounen where somehow you just know that none of the main characters are going to die. There’s nothing special about the story or the characters or anything. But man, this show sure had great presentation. These guys knew what they were doing and because of that I was able to enjoy a show that is very much outside of my regular scope of enjoyment. Great music, flashy action, fabulous last episode (enhanced quite a bit by its use of the song “Me & Creed”). If there’s a continuation of this I probably won’t watch it, but I will probably be convinced for a very long time that this is the best shounen series. Even though I have only seen a few of those to begin with. That’s how good it is (for what it is).

Hanasaku Iroha
This show was just okay, just nice, until the middle. Then it was actually genuinely good. And then the middle was over and it wasn’t so good. It was worse than it had been at the start. I don’t dislike it by any means but honestly I’m not a fan. I don’t even remember if this had any music, but the story decided to be a dramamachine pumping out random conflicts because it can near the end, and with how forced that was the characters weren’t very enjoyable anymore (not that they were really anything special excepting Ohana’s mother and grandmother). I also don’t really get the visual appeal everyone talks about. Is the animation good? I didn’t even notice since they weren’t using it to really accentuate any scenes or anything and didn’t look somehow unnatural like much of KyoAni’s animation does to me. It probably was good animation, but it just didn’t stand out in any way and I don’t think the designs are as great as others apparently think they are. tl;dr this show is okay and I will probably never recommend it to anyone even if there is nothing horribly wrong with it.

The shows that will continue into the Fall now!

Suzy’s Zoo! Daisuki Witzy
The adorable short animu for childrens narrated by Maaya Sakamoto that you will not watch no matter how much I talk about it. It has not yet been subbed past episode 7 or so but I’m certain it’s the best anime here aside from that show about penguins.

Mawaru Penguindrum
This is based on the first twelve episodes seeing as how I have yet to watch episode 13. I do not count seeing the second half while it was airing by accident and then not paying any particular attention until the ending (at which time a disappointment grew in me as the new ending is not worthy of replacing the old one). Uh, anyway. This is the best show airing right now. It’s weird and funny and sometimes serious. Though, I’ll be honest… I don’t feel a whole lot from the serious scenes (an interesting exception is that last scene in episode 12, but I wasn’t even feeling the emotion intended by the scene; sadness). I don’t think this is a flaw with how the show is handling them but rather a side effect of having such a bright and happy art style in a show that spends much of its time on gags with penguins and creepy stalker girls. You’re just not prepared to take the serious scenes seriously once they show up. It also spent an awfully long time on Ringo, to the point where a lot of people were turned off. Even I was, despite liking Ringo. I just don’t want an entire show about her. But then it fixed everything with awesome episodes like 9 (especially 9!) and 12, which solidified the show as awesome again. If you watch anime ever, you should be watching this.

Suite Precure
I said this before in my Heartcatch Precure first impressions post, but this show doesn’t have much going for it. It’s all about the music (by Yasuharu Takanashi!) and them transformation scenes. The story and villains were a little laughable at first, in that B-movie way, but that lasts only 2 seconds before you realize that it wasn’t actually that funny to begin with and you are a bad person for finding it funny and it will never do anything different so it will never be funny. And none of the characters really have any depth to them (or make any sense). I am still watching this, but I acknowledge that it is a waste of time to now that I have acquired the soundtrack. It may be interesting for readers to know that this is the first magical girl show I’ve seen if you don’t count Madoka Magica.

Finally, on to the new shows!

Fate/Zero
This was pretty interesting I guess but a huge disappointment considering all the hype. Of course, the disappointment was caused by the fact that everyone sat around talking about I don’t even know what (there really was just too much information at once so I honestly don’t remember) and not moving at all except for that one weird time when they were walking in circles for no reason… but I mean. I know. This is only the first episode. It is packed with a ton of information they now do not have to get into for the next episodes. It will be awesome. And if it’s somehow not, then I suppose I am doomed to never enjoy a Fate anime. Best first episode, in any case.

C³ (CubexCursedxCurious)
I don’t recall what it was that made me put this on my “try watching” list, but clearly it was a mistake. I mean do people actually find this funny? I can’t even enjoy the art fully. I mean, I do like the coloring style… but as soon as the lead female’s face shows up I hate it instantly because it’s a style that I dislike, likely because of the association with shows like this one. Well, I guess to the right audience this is probably amazing. But it is unfunny and uninteresting to me, and though they do occasionally try to do some interesting things with angles they don’t do it enough and when they do it just… it doesn’t work. Maybe they need more money to make it work. Or maybe some actual creative sense. I’m not sorry. The only thing that can make me try another episode is the fact that Sayaka Ohara is in episode 2. We will see if that is enough to convince me.

Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon (Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere)
I had hoped that while the designs would remain as terrible as the original ones, this would actually be good. All it really has going for it is decent animation. Maybe it gets interesting later, too, but I will probably never know because it was annoying visually, aurally, and intellectually.

Chihayafuru
I find it hard to believe people really play karuta so dramatically, but… This was definitely a lot better than any of the other shows I’ve tried thus far. Except I guess Fate/Zero. I don’t know if I should be excited by the story or anything but I do know that I really liked the whole flashback portion. You can tell that the staff behind this actually have an idea of what they’re doing and actually have some sort of skill. This is a good sign for the future and I look forward to the next episode. It is true, I don’t hate on EVERYTHING I watch.

Shinryaku!? Ika Musume
Second season. I liked the first season well enough, but I found the first episode of this season pretty boring overall. Maybe it was the change of director (if it even matters? The director of the first season is listed as the “Chief Director” of this so honestly I don’t know if it even makes a difference) but the jokes were just rather dull. Maybe I’m just remembering wrong and the first season was lacking at the start too, but yeah. Another disappointment for me, though I will continue watching this one for sure.

There is a possibility that I’ll watch Persona 4 but as someone who played through the game I think I can safely say that unless the story is handled in a very subtle and detailed manner, there is no appeal to watching this for someone who already knows the story. And I don’t foresee the degree of subtlety and detail required existing in an adaptation of a video game. I also downloaded Phi Brain and lost interest in it before even opening the file and I couldn’t pay attention to Kimi to Boku (and since I could not I have nothing to say about it). Where are all the exciting shows that just strangle you when they’re trying to drag you in so you can never escape?! They must be the ones that have yet to air.

Of those shows I am excited about both noitaminA shows: UN-GO and Guilty Crown. But I know, this is a bad thing to do these days as this timeslot can no longer be trusted. If it ever could to begin with. I’d be a big fat liar if I said I liked Jyu Oh Sei or Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 or if I said I was able to get into Paradise Kiss or Hakaba Kitaro or if I said I’d actually given Antique Bakery any sort of chance. Whatever. I will also be trying Ben-To this season despite knowing nothing about it. And I suppose that is all unless some of these obscure shows listed on Fansubwiki that I’ve never heard anyone talk about ever end up being adorable shorts for childrens. I am a fan of those okay.

tl;dr: Summer was cool but maybe too slice of life for me and Fall is falling into obscurity. And not the kind of obscurity that some people consider stylish. Let’s hope noitaminA destroys that (or Fate/Zero seeing as how these are probably the only shows with that kind of potential).

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