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Community Discussion: Blog by Lifesong | Lifesong's Spring 2011 New Anime GuideJapanator




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Anime nerd, occasional gamer and Japanese figure collector. Recently I've been digging into visual novels, and using that as an excuse to blog. I will read and blog English language visual novels for my feature on request; hit me up on theglorioblog.com(or here on Jtor) if you have something you think I should read.

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I watch the first episode or two of practically everything I can get my hands on at the start of each season. It has become my largest hobby over the last few years and I watch enough that recommending/discussing anime with friends at the start of each new season has practically become a hobby in and of itself. I have decided to up the ante a bit and dedicate myself to watching the first two episodes of just about everything. No I am not a masochist. I enjoy watching the first few episodes of an anime even when it is pretty damn awful. Think of it as a fun social thing. Be it narrating the first episode of Astarotte's Toy over Ventrillo to friends or writing about something new here on Japanator doing so is fun.

To break this guide down what I am going to do is watch the first two episodes of quite literally everything translated and broadcasting this season writing about it and updating this guide as new episodes air. I am not going to bother writing about sequels or ongoing series just new things that most of us have yet to form a strong opinion on. I will also provide a quick reference to where the anime in question can be found and when the new episodes are scheduled to air for any anime that is licensed for streaming. I will try and make a best guess at the schedule for unlicensed material as well.

Oh and fair warning I will try to avoid spoilers however If you have not already watched anything I am blogging and do not need my recommendation to watch it you might want to skip my summary until you do.

As always any comments, criticism or questions are always welcome. You can also follow me on twitter where I stalk other Japanator members and make occasional comments about the anime I am watching.

Update
Starting with A Channel I will be posting new updates at the top of my blog.

Update 2
I am nearing the end of this guide. I have two series left I intend to cover provided their second episodes receive subtitles soon if not I may just end this here with Blue Exorcist. If you have stuck with me and are still coming back for more then thank you for reading! At this point I have not decided if I will write another guide come summer or not however the feedback I have been given so far has been mostly positive and I am considering it. If anyone has any further suggestions or requests to that point I would be glad to hear them. I hope this guide has proven useful as I had a lot of fun writing it up. See you again next season! (maybe)

Blue Exorcist
Animated by A-1 Pictures
Airs each Wednesday at 1:00pm EDT on Crunchyroll





Premise
Rin Okumura is the son of Satan born from a human woman and raised as a human by an exorcist. His powers were sealed away in a sword so that he would live a normal life as a human. When the seal breaks he awakens his true power and vows to become an exorcist and kick Satan's ass.

My Thoughts
The plot felt like generic shonen to me but it has all the right elements needed to be great. The first two episodes kicked things off with a bang a cliche bang perhaps but one that had the production values to back it up and proved very fun to watch once the action got rolling. At this point it is impossible to tell if Rin will get stuck on the infinite power up hamster wheel so many other shonen protagonists have or if he will actually get a chance to kick Satan's ass. While I have my doubts about the plot the production values make this one to watch for any fans of shonen battle manga.

Watch If
If you like shonen battle manga and anime.
If you liked D.Gray Man.(I am very much tempted to call this a ripoff)
If you like well animated action scenes.

Don't Watch If
If you don't like generic shonen.
If you get offended by seeing religious material twisted to fit an anime plot.(some scripture chanting in the second episode)
If you don't like the full of angst shonen lead and all the tropes that come with it.

Victorique Excitement Level




X-Men
Animated by Madhouse
Not currently licensed for streaming. I believe new episodes are broadcast each Friday in Japan.





Premise
Phoenix explodes leaving Cyclops an angsty mess. Time skip and the X-Men are called together again to go to japan and save mutants.

My Thoughts
Why does this exist? I can't find anyone who likes it or has anything positive to say about it. I imagine the animators who made this can't have much pride invested. About the best thing that can be said for it is that it is better than the Iron Man anime. The pacing is awful. The first few minutes of episode one is spent watching Jean explode and presumably die. Leaving any new comers to the franchise confused. The rest of the first episode reintroduces the characters in about as boring a fashion as possible. Storm gets a few points for taking out some terrorists on a cruise but otherwise nothing all that exciting happens. Episode two sees our mutant team arriving in Japan to be met with loads of forced angst a few action sequences and Storm going all damsel in distress. At least Wolverine looks like a man this time.

Watch If
If you need to see everything Marvel and X-Men related.
If you like badly executed anime.
If you want to see American comics in anime form regardless of how bad that form is.

Don't Watch If.
If you are a fan of X-Men.
If you like Madhouse for their animation. (I wouldn't know it was them if they tried to hide it)
If you are a new comer to X-Men.

Victorique Excitement Level




Moshidora
Animated by Production I.G
Not currently licensed for streaming.





Premise
Kawashima Minami's close childhood friend is hospitalized and Minami declares that she will take over the position of baseball team manager for her hospitalized friend. Being a highschool student herself and having no idea how to manage anything she visits a book store and buys a business management guide by Peter Drucker on accident. Deciding to make the best of it she dives head first into the guide and learns to apply business logic to managing a high school baseball team.

My Thoughts
I was surprised by how much this anime is actually about management and not baseball. The first two episodes felt like they spent as much time in the hospital as they did out on the field. Even the moments out on the field everything was about character dynamics and how management effected team work. This is certainly not going to be something everyone will enjoy as it feels more like a social ecology lesson than entertainment. The animation wasn't anything special. Talking heads and close ups took up large amounts of screen time and this is a series that by nature is full of info dumps. All of that said though for what it is I thought it was good and while I am not expecting this to become the next Spice and Wolf I did enjoy it.

Watch If
If you are curious about social ecology and the way its principles can be applied to baseball.
If you like baseball.
If you like politics in your sports anime.

Don't Watch If
If you don't like Peter Drucker
If you don't like sports anime.
If you are turned away by talking head syndrome.

Victorique Excitement Level




Deadman Wonderland
Animated by Manglobe
Airs each Saturday at 1:30pm EDT on Crunchyroll





Premise
Igarashi Ganta has been sentenced to death for the crime of murdering his entire school class. A crime he did not commit. As part of his sentence he is moved to Japan's only privately run prison where he is forced to compete with other prisoners in arenas to earn points and buy candies that keep a deadly poison being admitted into his blood from killing him.

My Thoughts
I have a few strong complaints but I am thoroughly enjoying this show despite them. The animation is well done with the exception of censorship of gore as well as at least one glaring mistake in the second episode. Deadman Wonderland has proven to be pretty dark so far. However the horror elements are very much down played by Shiro an odd happy go lucky albino girl who is voiced Kana Hanazawa. I like the character but she feels kind of out of place as she keeps the dark vibe this show would otherwise give off from fully shining through. I am not sure where this will go in the long run but for now I am sticking with it.

Watch If
If you like battle royal style situations.
If you enjoy supernatural suspense.
If you like Kana Hanazawa.

Don't Watch If
If you are one to shy away from gory violence.(it is censored but still there)
If survival stories are not your thing.
If you don't want to watch a cute Kana Hanazawa character running around protecting the protagonist.

Victorique Excitement Level




AnoHana also know as We Still Don`t Know the Name of the Flower We Saw That Day
Animated by A-1 Pictures
Not currently licensed for streaming. I believe new episodes are broadcast each Thursday in Japan.





Premise
Jinta has become a hikikomori after a tragedy caused his group of childhood friends to fall apart. Jinta believes himself to be going crazy as a result of being under stress. Menma visits him and asks to have her wish granted. A wish where the only known condition is that everyone be brought back together again.

My Thoughts
Anohana is both gorgeous and touching. The first few episodes introduces us to a group of friends who have long since split apart. Much of what took place in the past including the details of the tragedy that caused the group to split apart are unknown but that is also the magic that has held the first two episodes together. It is not often that a first episode will having me tearing up but this show managed it. I will admit to being a sucker for this type of story. That said this is easily my favorite show of the new season at the moment. I would say if you were to only pick up one show this season this is it.

Watch If
If you like drama.
If you like gorgeous animation.
If you like character driven shows.

Don't Watch If
If you don't like tragedy.
If you don't like coming of age stories.
If you don't like sad girl in snow type drama.

Victorique Excitement Level




[C] - Control
Animated by Tatsunoko Production
Airs each Thursdays at 11:45 AM CDT on Funimation Video





Premise
Yoga Kimimaro works two jobs to pay his way through college. He desires a normal life with a secure position above all else. That is until he is forced into the financial district. A place where he is granted money through a strange credit card in return for his future. He now must fight weekly duels to keep himself from going bankrupt and facing severe consequences in the real world.

My Thoughts
An interesting premise held back by lackluster execution and awkward transitions between 2d and cell shaded animation as well as some plain ugly background art.(or lack of really) The first episode is all over the place feeling rushed and explaining little. The second throws our main character head first into a duel and while the combat portion is excellent the majority of the episode is spent in explanation mode as he is thrown back into his every day life. I can't say I am thrilled about this show but I am enjoying it despite some major flaws. I will continue to watch this and hope for the best even though at this point I don't really expect it.

Watch If
If you like monster of the week style battle anime.
If the premise and stories involving money interest you.
If you like card game battles involving summons.

Don't Watch If
If you don't like awkward animation.
If you don't like monster of the week type anime.(2 for 2 so far and it seems like the trend will continue)
If the premise does not interest you. The execution is not worth it.


Victorique Excitement Level




Samurai Facial Expressions the Anime also know as Hyouge Mono
Animated by Bee Train
Not currently licensed for streaming. I believe new episodes are broadcast each Thursday in Japan.





Premise
A historical fiction based on the life of a vassal of historic figure Oda Nobunaga. A man who is obssed with tea ceremonies and valuable things.

My Thoughts
This show treads on so bad it is good territory. The animation is nothing short of terrible with looping scenes and constant close ups that are done to an extreme and are disgustingly obvious. The main character is outside his mind in love with tea ceremonies to the point that while having sex with his "beautiful" young wife he is comparing her to an old tea bowl. I might watch more of this so that I can continue to poke fun at it but that would be about the only reason.

Watch If
If you like tea ceremonies.
If you like the faces in the image above and want to see more.
If you like historical Japanese fiction that does not remake its cast into sexy women.

Don't Watch If
If you like animation.
If you are not okay with the camera inverting the screen for no apparent reason.
If you are looking for quality.

Victorique Excitement Level




Hidan no Aria
Animated by J.C.Staff
Not currently licensed for streaming. I believe new episodes are broadcast each Friday in Japan.





Premise
Kinji is a student at a school for training private citizens to become mercenary style police enforcement agents. He wants to transfer out and lead a more simple life as he has no desire to become a hero. However he is thrown into a situation where he is forced into working together with Aria after showing her a glimpse of his hysteria mode ability. An ability where he essentially turns into a super powered laddies man when he gets turned on.

My Thoughts
I have seen this formula before. As soon as I heard Rei Kugimiya's voice I knew what to expect from the first two episodes and I was spot on. No new grounds are covered here but that doesn't mean this show is bad. Rei Kugimiya is a flat chested tsundere in sudden girlfriend appearance the 3rd is essentially what this anime is. It is a formula that works but also an overused one. You should know by now if you will enjoy this or not.

Watch If
If you liked Shana.
If you liked Zero no Tsukaima
If you like to watch Rei Kugimiya voicing a flat chested tsundere.

Don't Watch If
If you don't like Rei Kugimiya.
If you don't like sudden girlfriend appearance anime.
If you don't like flat chested tsundere characters.

Victorique Excitement Level




Honto ni Atta! Reibai-Sensei
Animated by DLE Inc
Not currently licensed for streaming.





Premise
This is a series of 5 minute flash shorts featuring a teacher who summons spirits of the dead into her classroom.

My Thoughts
Oda Nobunaga showed up again this season! and possessed a girl who then beat the boys into a bondage situation. Completely ridiculous shock value is about the only reason to watch this. And I have already completely spoiled episode 1 for you.

Watch If
If you are bored and have 5 minutes to kill.
If you are looking for something completely ridiculous.
If you ever wished your teacher would summon spirits and posses your fellow classmates with them.

Don't Watch If
If you are looking for quality.
If you could care less for the shock value.
If you are not laughing at the screen shots I left above.

Victorique Excitement Level




Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko
Animated by Shaft
Not currently licensed for streaming. I believe new episodes are broadcast each Friday in Japan.





Premise
Surreal slice of life where a young man moves to the city to live with his aunt and cousin. His cousin is a girl who believes herself to be an alien. She previously disappeared for 6 months and when she was found had no memory of the incident.

My Thoughts
Surreal, if I had to sum this show up in one word that would be it. Plenty of close up camera pans in typical Shaft fashion but everything looks fantastic. The real selling point is the dialog between characters as well as the setting which is wonderfully done. Just about everyone in this show short of the protagonist comes across as having a screw loose. The 39 year old aunt tries to act moe, her daughter spends most of her time wrapped in a futon, there is a quirky genki girl and also a tall chick who walks around at night in a sandwich suit. I have little clue where this show is headed in the long run but I will be sticking around to find out.

Watch If
If you can get behind a surreal story with a girl who thinks she is from space.
If you like slice of life stories.
If you like sudden girlfriend appearance anime. (technically she is his cousin so there might not be any romance but it still fits in with many of the tropes)

Don't Watch If
If you don't like shaft style long winded dialog.(you might be pausing on more than one occasion to read the subtitles)
If you don't like slice of life.
If you don't like quirky characters who are borderline batshit insane.

Victorique Excitement Level




A Bridge to the Starry Skies Also know as Hoshizora e Kakaru Hashi
Animated by Doga Kobo based off a Visual Novel by Feng
Airs each Thursday at 1:30pm EDT on Crunchyroll





Premise
Kazuma our protagonist moves to the country side with his sickly younger brother Ayumu. Kazuma and Ayumu begin their new life at an inn managed by an old friend of their father where they go to school meet (tons) of girls and Kazuma remembers his past in a place he visted long ago.

My Thoughts
This show has a nice relaxing vibe about it but that also translates into being a bit boring and feeling like this show is not really trying to entertain. The characters themselves seem like they could become interesting but little has been established beyond cliches as of the first two episodes. The first thing that caught my attention and the biggest selling points were the stunning backgrounds and landscapes. This show has a very laid back country side feel to it which I can appreciate. I almost didn't notice this was a harem until the first girl showed up hunting for edible plant life and was accidentally tackled and kissed by Kazuma.

Watch If
If you like pretty scenery.
If you like slow paced almost slice of life stories.
If you like ecchi and harem.

Don't Watch If
If you don't like ecchi or harem.
If you don't like slow paced anime.
If you don't like the defenseless airhead girl stereotype.

Victorique Excitement Level




Softenni
Animated by Xebec
Not currently licensed for streaming. I believe new episodes are broadcast each Friday in Japan.





Premise
5 middle school girls are in a soft tennis club and play soft tennis in slice of life fashion.

My Thoughts
Imagine K-On! but instead of music tennis and instead of Kyoto Animation Xebec. If that is something you can picture you pretty much have this show down. I won't lie this show has mediocre animation, lots of awkward ecchi moments and plenty of mind numbing stupidity. However Softtenni has one thing going for it that the other middle of the road shows I have sampled this season do not and that is some genuinely funny moments involving the girls quirks and stereotypes.

Watch If
If you want to watch quirky girls play ecchi tennis.(well the tennis isn't all that ecchi but the camera sure is)
If you like the perverted girl in innocent situations character type.
If you like self aware ecchi that doesn't take itself too seriously.

Don't Watch If
If you don't like ecchi, tennis or slice of life.
If you don't like idiot savant moe.(pretty much every character in the show is at risk of becoming this)
If you will drop a show for obviously cheap animation.(its not hideous just stiff)


Victorique Excitement Level




Yondemasu yo, Azazel-san
Animated by Production I.G
Not currently licensed for streaming. I believe new episodes are broadcast each Friday in Japan.





Premise
Rinko Sakuma is a college student who is working a part time job for a private detective who happens to also be a demon summoner. Azazel is a lust demon. The two are forced into a contract by Akutabe the detective.

My Thoughts
This show is essentially a gag anime involving demons and their abilities. Each episode is about 12 mins long. I enjoyed the first episode but was mostly bored by the end of the second. The jokes are either crude or dark but for the most part just crude. They cover everything from enlarging the chest of a woman who's husband is cheating on her to forcing a dog to defecate in order to make it stop running away.

Watch If
If you like crude humor.
If you like dark humor.
If you have 12 minutes to spare on a gag anime.

Don't Watch If
If you don't like crude humor.
If you don't like dark humor.
If you don't like demons and detectives.

Victorique Excitement Level




Hen Zemi
Animated by Xebec
Not currently licensed for streaming. I believe new episodes are broadcast each Friday in Japan.





Premise
Matsutaka Nanako is a university student who is enrolled in a Hentai class where she attempts to keep her sanity and dignity intact.

My Thoughts
This may be the oddest thing I have ever watched. I think it is a comedy but at the same time it has a serious vibe about it that throws me off. Most importantly for me though is that most of the jokes are not funny. Or rather I often found myself stopping to question if I was supposed to laugh or not. We have a girl growing bugs in her ear, metaphysical sexual harassment, all kinds of other crude jokes even a guy who attempts to suck his own pecker when they turn the lights off. Maybe this is just not for me but the thing that really leaves a lurking impression in my mind is how serious this show takes itself. Maybe I am just not perverted enough to "get it" but this is one show I won't be watching any more of.

Watch If
If you have ever wanted to see a hentai as slice of life.(no sex at least not yet)
If you are really into hentai and can relate to characters who do seriously strange things.
If you are looking for a sureal take on hentai logic.

Don't Watch If
If hentai makes you queasy.
If perverted logic turns you away.
If pissing in a girls beer and having her drink it unknowingly is not something you find funny.

Victorique Excitement Level




Happy Kappy
Animated by Shogakukan Music & Digital Entertainment
Not currently licensed for streaming. I believe new episodes are broadcast each Wednesday in Japan.





Premise
Kinoshita Suguri is a nine year old girl who meets up with Kappy a magical creature. She picks up a stone and puts it in her bracelet when she hugs Kappy he can use magic.

My Thoughts
Episodes are around 5 minutes long. This is a show with a little magical creature that is actually for little kids. Nothing much to see here.

Watch If
If you like kids shows on the level of say Barney the Dinosaur or Dora the Explorer.

Don't Watch If
If you don't like shows made for little kids.

Victorique Excitement Level




Astarotte's Toy Also know as Astarotte no Omocha!
Animated by Diomedea
Airs each Sunday at 12:00pm EDT on Crunchyroll





Premise
10 year old succubus princess Astarotte must form a harem and suck "life seed" from men in order to survive. However she hates men and wants nothing to do with them. Due to thinking it would be an impossible task for her underlings a human man is summoned to tend to her needs. Also this man appears to have a child of his own around the same age as Astarotte.

My Thoughts
I am not sure what this show wants to be. On the one hand it acts innocent on the other hand the subject material is anything but. We have a ten year old succubus who needs semen to sustain her lively hood a cow girl who produces her own milk and an elf with an SM fetish all wrapped up in an innocent first love tale.(wait what!) Rie Kugimiya voicing a flat chested tsundere is the main draw for this one. The production values are higher then I would have expected everything is nice and pretty but I can't see myself wanting to watch any more of this.

Watch If
If you like Rei Kugimiya as a flat chested tsundere.
If you are a lolicon.
If you like Rei Kugimiya as a flat chested tsundere.

Don't Watch If
If you don't like Rei Kugimiya or flat chested tsundere characters.
If you feel dirty and uncomfortable with obvious lolicon material.
If you are just looking to get your fill of skilled voice talent backing cute characters.(Dog Days has this covered much better.)

Victorique Excitement Level




Sekai Ichi Hatsukoi
Animated by Studio Deen
Airs each Friday at 1:35pm EDT on Crunchyroll





Premise
Onodera Ritsu our main character transfers into the manga editorial branch of his company. His new boss is his first crush and lover.

My Thoughts
This is the show I was dreading watching the most for this guide as to be honest it was the only show I would not have watched otherwise. About the best I can say for it was that it wasn't nearly as painful as I expected and on occasion it was even funny. Although to be honest I think I was finding things funny that were supposed to be serious but ah well I am not in the targeted demographic for this and so in case someone reading this is in that demographic I won't say any more.

Watch If
If you like boys love.
if you enjoyed Junjou Romantica. (I hear they are similar)
If you want to see an inside look at the manga publishing world.

Don't Watch If
If you don't like boys love.
If you don't like shoujo manga.
If you don't like slice of life.(I think that is what this is someone correct me if there is a better term for it.)

Victorique Excitement Level

Victroique is confused about her feelings on this one.


30-sai no Hoken Taiiku
Animated by Gathering
Not currently licensed for streaming. I believe new episodes are broadcast each Thursday in Japan.





Premise
A 30 year old virgin is visited by a self proclaimed god of sex who can't go back to heaven until this man gets laid.

My Thoughts
Mind numbingly dumb but it did make me laugh. I wonder who the target audience is? It claims to be a health guide but if anyone actually needs this kind of advice well... I doubt this guide will be doing you much good. Each episode is only 12ish minutes with the live action bits cut out. Worth a shot if you are looking for an anime to laugh at rather than with.

Watch If
If you want to see the most ridiculous thing Japan is animating this season.
If you are looking for a cheap laugh.
If you watch as much anime as I do at the start of each season.

Don't Watch If
If you need help getting laid.
If you have anything better to be doing with your time.
If you want high quality animation.(this isn't it.)

Victorique Excitement Level




We, Without Wings(also know as Ore-tachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai)
Animated by Nomad based off a Visual Novel made by Navel.
Airs each Friday at 1:30pm EDT on Crunchyroll





Premise
3 Men have encounters with women. No really that is the premise. One of these men seems to be from a different world.

My Thoughts
Despite being based off a VN from Navel this is not a harem. The 3 men in question seem to each have their own story and this feels like it is trying to blend VN style romance and ecchi with something more realistic. So far it is pretty painful to watch. Too many characters make this show hard to follow. It is fresh in the sense that they are obviously trying something new but that doesn't mean it is any good.

Watch If
If you are a fan of Navel's Visual Novels.
If you like mindless ecchi.
If you like the idea of an anime taking place in a bar.

Don't Watch If
If you want likable identifiable characters.
If you dislike ecchi.
If you want a coherent story.

Victorique Excitement Level




Dororon Enma-kun Meeramera
Animated by Brains Base based off a manga by Go NAGAI
Not currently licensed for streaming. I believe new episodes are broadcast each Friday in Japan.





Premise
It is 1970's Japan and demons are on the loose. Enma and co have been sent to the human realm to hunt them down and bring them back to hell.

My Thoughts
The first thought that comes to mind is that I love the animation. Brains Base does a great job making this world come to life. The art has has a very retro feel to it but the animation is all nice and pretty the mix of old and new is a treat. The premise itself feels pretty old but I can't really hold that against is since well it is. The show is good immature fun. This is my first experience with GO NAGAI and so far it is a positive one. This show won't be breaking any molds but its production values make it one to watch none the less.

Watch If
If you like high quality animations.
If you want to see retro manga art brought to life with modern anime production values.
If you are looking for a show that is wacky immature fun.

Don't Watch If
If older manga and anime are just not your thing.
If crude humor turns you away. (This is no where near the Panty and Stocking level)
If you dislike retro style ecchi.

Victorique Excitement Level




A Channel
Animated by Studio Gokumi
Not currently licensed for streaming. I believe new episodes are broadcast each Friday in Japan.





Premise
Cute school girls do cute things in cute slice of life fashion.

My Thoughts
Slice of life with lesbian subtext everywhere. Being what it is there is not much I can write up about it I think the pictures above say more then any words can. I enjoy slice of life in general but feel this one is pretty stale. The gags are really not funny and the sweet moments feel lackluster when compared to higher quality slice of life. Maybe this show will go somewhere eventually but as things are now I am completely bored with A Channel.

Watch If
If you have already seen every other slice of life and need to "catch them all".
If you like yuri subtext even if it is not particularly funny or sweet.
If you love watching cute girls do cute things.

Don't Watch If
If you want your slice of life to be funny.
If you are looking for warm fuzzy moments that can be found in other slice of life.
If you dislike yuri subtext and euphemisms.

Victorique Excitement Level




Tiger & Bunny
Animated by Sunrise
Airs each Saturday on Vizanime





Premise
Tiger and Bunny is a typical western style hero story with a twist. All the heroes are sponsored by real world companies. The most iconic to me perhaps being Pepsi NEX which has its own commercial mid anime. Our protagonist Wild Tiger is a veteran hero who is a bit down on his luck. The studio who sponsored him is selling out and his new boss does things a different way. He is assigned to be the side kick of a newly announced hero. This new hero conveniently shares the same ability as Wild Tiger and so they are paired for "marketing" reasons. Needless to say the two do not work together very well. This pair is about as different as well a Tiger and a Bunny.

My Thoughts
This show is pretty much NASCAR x Fantastic 4. I was underwhelmed by the way Tiger And Bunny opens. The sponsor system felt entirely out of place to me as I can't imagine why super heroes would need these sponsors. My suspension of disbelief simply could not keep up. I imagine if Tony Stewart could run at 200+ Miles per hour not only would he not need his sponsors he wouldn't need his crew or even a car. Yet here we are with business men calling the shots. The lack of thinking this through on the part of Sunrise makes my head hurt. Lets not even get into the political implications involved in a society that broadcasts high profile crime as entertainment.

Watch If
If you like super heroes and can accept heroes that they are a bit cheesy.
If you like to see a little drama between generations.
If you like CG characters in your anime.

Don't Watch If
If financial and political scenarios that don't add up can ruin a show for you.
If you don't like western comic book style super heroes.
If you dislike CG characters in your anime.

Victorique Excitement Level




Dog Days
Animated by Seven Arcs and shares the same creator who brought us Nanoha and Triangle Heart.
Currently not available streaming. I believe new episodes are aired each Saturday In Japan.





Premise
Dog people are at war with cat people. Only war is really a sport played between nations. The dog people have been losing all their matches and have decided to use their trump card and summon a human to help them in their "war" against the cat people. Shinku a skilled gymnast who has been looking to hone up his skills answers the call.

My Thoughts
This show promises to be something along the lines of Ninja Warrior meets Nanoha with cat and dog people. The first two episodes were relatively low key but I did enjoy them. Nanoha started out on a similar note so I expect things will escalate as the show goes on. What I see in this show is an attempt to be as cute and innocent as possible. The first episode is practically free of fan service the second has two moments of embarrassment. One accidental grope through some armor and some explosive clothing as well as a nod to what I imagine as the animators reaction to "fans" complaining about a lack of ecchi content.

Watch If
If you like the idea of cute characters fighting cute battles over Ninja Warrior like battle fields.
If you enjoyed Nanoha.
If you enjoy characters who shoot off lasers(because lasers make everything more awesome)

Don't Watch If
If you dislike being overloaded with cute sweet things.
If you dislike Ninja Warrior
If you dislike athletics as this is essentially a fantasy sports anime.

Victorique Excitement Level




Hana-Saku Iroha
Animated by P.A. Works
Airs each Sunday at 10:30am EDT on Crunchyroll





Premise
Ohana a 16 year old highschool student who is abandoned by her mother moves into her grandmothers inn where she is required to work and earn her keep.

My Thoughts
Drama, everything about this anime is dramatic to point of occasionally feeling overbearing and a bit forced. However also beautiful the art, animation and music all fit together wonderfully. Ohana has proven to be a refreshing character despite her melodramatic situation. Much of the rest of the cast the grandmother in particular has earned my hatred but also my attention.

Watch If
If you like serious drama.
If you like character driven shows.
If you like hostile environments and the potential depth it can bring.

Don't Watch If
If you dislike a show that puts emphasis on being dramatic regardless of the situation.
If you can't tolerate nasty old women.
If you are looking for a lighthearted slice of life show.(this is not it)

Victorique Excitement Level




My Ordinary Life (also known as Nichijou)
Animated by Kyoto Animation.
Airs each Sunday at 12:00am EDT On Crunchyroll





Premise
Slice of life where random school girls and the occasional boy do random things in a random school. Also included are awesome hair, goats and an android created by a 5 year old.

My Thoughts
Completely ridiculous and insane but incredibly funny. Kyoto Animation packed a ton of energy into this with beautifully crafted random events. I have not laughed this hard at a slice of life since Azumanga. I would recommend this to just about anyone with a healthy sense of humor if only for the shock value alone. Something this show has in no short supply.

Watch If
If you like to see cute characters doing insane and funny things.
If you like Azumanga.
If you like high quality animation.

Don't Watch If
If you never laughed at Azumanga.
If you lack a sense of humor and or can't handle increasingly random events.
If you dislike simple character designs and shows with little to no plot.

Victorique Excitement Level




Battle Girls - Time Paradox
Animated by TMS Entertainment
Airs each Monday at 1:30pm EDT on Crunchyroll





Premise
Hideyoshino is the type of girl who doesn't want to be bothered with trivia like getting to class on time. She has TV to watch and friends to talk to. Her very life revolves around these things. That is until she is sent back in time to feudal Japan to help some historic Japanese general reinvented as a woman collect a set of armor and conquer Japan.

My Thoughts
The early bits were pretty painful to watch as our main character was introduced and established. Upon arrival in feudal Japan this show starts to pick up a bit and becomes easier to tolerate and while hard to take seriously does provide some laughs. The characters all feel a bit stiff and predictable Hideyoshino herself feels very out of place. While obviously intended the plot does not give us enough to go to decide if her behavior should be considered awkward or not. The tournament between Hideyoshino and Mitsuhide has been the highlight of this series so far ending with a display of talent in the form of Kung Fat a martial art apparently learned by watching TV.

Watch If
If you like to see historical figures reinvented as sexy women.
If you like the shot of that rack I left above.
If you are a fan of idiot savant moe. (Hideyoshino is at least borderline)

Don't Watch If
If you take offense at history being rewritten.
If you dislike having an abundance of low intelligence characters.
If you need both genders present to enjoy an anime.

Victorique Excitement Level




STEINS;GATE
Animated by White Fox.
Airs each Tuesday at 2:35pm EDT On Crunchyroll





Premise
Rintaro Okabe is a self professed mad scientist working to fend off the attacks of "The Organization." a group out to get him. He witnesses a murder but when he sends details to a friend he finds himself in what seems to me to be a different time line. He also has a microwave that turns bananas into gel.

My Thoughts
I still only have a basic idea of what is going on. The time travel used seems to be based off the many worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics or some variation of it. The voice acting is the real selling point of the first two episodes. Mamoru Miyano really hits his role as Rintaro Okabe out of the park and Kana Hanazawa plays the role of an incredibly cute Mayuri. I am looking forward to seeing where this show will be going.

Watch If
If you like time travel and related things.
If you like otaku themes and places. (cute girls in cute outfits are in no short supply)
If you like listening to the delusional ramblings of a mad scientist type.

Don't Watch If
If you dislike a show that makes you stop and think things through.
If you dislike science fiction and the tropes that come with it.
If you dislike otaku culture(wait why are you here?)

Victorique Excitement Level




Toriko
Animated by Toei Animation
Licensed for streaming by Funimation





Premise
Toriko is a muscle bound man who hunts down rare ingredients from the world over in order to complete his perfect full course menu.

My Thoughts
Essentially Toriko hunts legendary pokemon beating them down with his bare hands and then devours them in order to taste test their potential for his menu. The first episode was a collaboration with One Piece and so essentially both episode 1 and 2 were introduction episodes. I enjoyed it, while not the most exciting show ever Toriko exudes hot blooded manliness and the first few episodes were fun despite being completely ridiculous.

Watch If
If you have ever wanted to eat your legendary pokemon.
If you like anime that can make you hungry.
If you like hot blooded manliness.

Don't Watch If
If you are on a diet.
If you feel sorry for pokemon when you beat them up.
If you are a vegetarian.

Victorique Excitement Level




SKET Dance
Animated by Tatsunoko Production
Airs each Thursdays at 5:30am EDT on Crunchyroll





Premise
A violent yankee woman a kid with a helmet and goggles and a computer nerd who uses a speech program on his computer to talk for him have a club called SKET. They help people with any troubles they might have at school.

My Thoughts
This has to be the most boring thing I have watched in a long time. While not particularly awful production wise it is filled with unfunny gags and the premise itself leaves much to be desired. The first few club activities involve helping a kid who is being bullied, helping a want to be samurai hone his kendo skills and finally babysitting a perverted monkey for a plus sized cheerleader. In each case I couldn't wait for the end to come.

Watch If
If you really really love high school settings.
If you like violent yankee characters.
If you like fat chicks in your anime.(the owner of the monkey even makes the intro)

Don't Watch If
If you are tired of school settings.
If you want an even remotely original set of characters or premise.
If you are looking for a slice of life.(this is more of a gag anime at least so far)

Victorique Excitement Level

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