Finishing things off with part 3 of our GLORIO Summer 2012 Guide
Part 1 Kingdom Tari Tari La Storia Della Arcana Famiglia Humanity Has Declined Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse Chouyaku Hyakuninisshu: Uta Koi Yuru Yuri ♪♪ Binbougami Ga!
Part 2 Natsuyuki Rendezvous Campione! Love, Election & Chocolate One of Them Is My Younger Sister! Joshiraku Aesthetica of a Rogue Hero So, I Can't Play H!
Part 3 Dog Days Season 2 Sword Art Online Kokoro Connect Horizon In the Middle of Nowhere Season 2 Moe Nobunaga Vol. 2 Lagrange: The Flower of Rin-ne Season 2
Dog Days' Continuation of the Anime Original by Seven Arcs
Simulcast on Crunchyroll
Premise Three months after his first adventure in Flonyard, Cinque returns with a few more friends from his world.
Lifesong's Thoughts If you could crystallize fun this is what it would look like.
Lifesong's Verdict?Overdose Of Fun And I love it for that. So many fantasy worlds are actually awful places no one would ever want to visit. Not true here, Biscotti is at the top of my if I could travel to a fantasy location list. I loved the first season and I am happy to see more of the same kicking off this one.
Marlin's Thoughts Dog Days was a cute show about a world where war is the most harmless thing in the world. Nothing seems to have changed there.
Marlin's Verdict?Why does he still treat Milhi like a dog? Seriously that just weirds me out, especially if he has the hots for her. There’s really not much else to say about this first episode than it seems like more of the same, a lot like the first episode of Yuru Yuri. Take that as you may.
Timmy's Thoughts Going into this season I was a bit concerned by the apparrent lack of shows pinging my intrest and I began to look twards the contnations for something to watch. After hearing Life gush over Dog Days I decided to sit down and give a show that I didn't give the time of day back when it aired a second chance. Long story short, I loved it. Dog Days is cute, clever, and I enjoyed the idea of a global economy based on 'war games.' So how does the second season stack up to the first?
Timmy's Verdict?If It's Not Broke Don't Fix It Looks like they are sticking with the same formula and I am glad as it worked so well previously. Hopefully they tread lightly on the old jokes but with a new fraction lead by a squirrel girl entering the fray to really mix things up I don't think that will be a problem. It will be interesting to see how the show balances introducing all the new characters while still giving the old favorites their time to shine. Can't wait for more.
Premise Gamers everywhere are lining up to get into the latest MMORPG but when they log in they find it's not what they were expecting.
Jel's Thoughts It's very pretty, it seems like the action will be cool and I think they even got me over my general dislike of game settings. But after the direction Accel World took I just can't help but be wary of the message. Is this just going to be more nerd fantasy wish fulfillment? Play lots of video games and shut yourself off from the world and you too can get all the ladies? I guess we will have to see. At least this main character has some confidence, but the fact that I can't assign him any other trait than "good at video games" does not bode well.
Jel's Verdict?Accel World 2.0 Yes, that is an incredibly lazy verdict but Sword Art seems to improve on its sister series in many ways while keeping a thematic similarity. I've got a lot of other things to watch but I may check back in on this later.
Lifesong's Thoughts I grew up on MMORPGs so this kind of setting is something I can get behind. Undoubtely there will be quite a few comparisons between this and .hack but let me say this straight up, .Hack was never this focused. This virtual world wastes no time showing how brutal it can be making everyone clear of the consequences of trying to log out. The anime really does a good job of feeling like an MMO without being too gamey. Now comparisons to Accel World also come to mind. Those are fair as it's the same author. Reki Kawahara clearly likes his virtual reality a lot but I'm cool with that, I like his virtual reality as well.
Lifesong's Verdict?What If .Hack Didn't Suck? This is the show to watch this season and it's got my attention. If you only test drive one anime from this seasons offering this should be the one.
Dragonzigg's Thoughts Sword Art Online is treading a little close to fan favourite Accel World in its premise, but I far prefer the execution here. The fantasy world is gorgeous to look at, the battle animation is great and it's been a good while since we've had a properly decent swords 'n' sorcery epic so I have high hopes for this one. Little disappointed the 'gamey' elements keep intruding though, it somewhat ruins the flow.
Dragonzigg's Verdict?Connected Fantasy It's looking like a smart, conscious take on a time honoured genre, with some VR mindbending to spice it up. Hopefully it can balance the two aspects and turn out a great tale from them.
Irothtin's Thoughts Escapist gamer fantasy taken to its logical extreme.
Irothtin's Verdict?Let's Play The Anime I watch Let's Plays pretty often, and the Skype Chat likes to tell me that it's dumb to watch someone else playing a game - watching this show is basically the same thing, but in anime form. It has a solid concept, and I'll probably keep watching, but it lacks a really strong plot that would otherwise make it stand out.
Marlin's Thoughts I’m enjoying Accel World to varying degrees so far, and I love the author’s world building concepts. When I heard SAO was by the same guy, it really showed, and I was equally impressed as to how he built a realistic mmo feel to the whole story. However, at the same time it falls into the heavy wish fulfillment themes that Accel World carries as well. While this can be a good thing in moderation, too much and sometimes it’s hard to suspend disbelief and it just becomes awkward in my opinion. The first episode did a good job of setting the dread of this do or die situation the players have been put into.
Marlin's Verdict?Get your Cheetos and Dew Seeing the second episode, it seems it is keeping close to its mmo roots down to making guilds to fight bosses. Overall it’s definitely worth a watch.
Timmy's Thoughts Many a gamer have wished that games were real and this show lets us see what it might be like if it really happened. Sword Art Online is saying be careful what you wish for.
Timmy's Verdict?Log Into This One The virtual MMO idea could be fun by itself but when you turn it into a life and death struggle like this show has then you really got something. Just try not to think about the concept too much as there are a lot of issues with it that at this point lie unanwsered. You know, trival stuff. Things like not starving to death in the real world while you are locked in game for months. Otherwise it is a fun concept that makes a promising show.
Kokoro Connect Novel Adaptation by Silverlink
Simulcast on Crunchyroll
Premise A group of five friends start a club simply to meet a school requirement and for some reason they start swapping bodies.
Lifesong's Thoughts I know The whole kids swaping boddies thing has been around for awhile but this is my first real experience with it. The premise might seem silly but the execution works pretty well here. Miyuki Sawashiro and Aki Toyosaki manage to capture their respective characters personalites incredibly well. As per usually I am enamoured by Shin Onuma's style, he and Yukiko Horiguchi make a great pair. Kokoro Connect also seems to have slightly higher than average Silver Link production values which I can appreciate. Sure this is only a first episode but it's a good start.
Lifesong's Verdict?Switch Me Up! While maybe not as flashy or as cleverly engaging as Dusk Maiden, this first episode was a lot of fun. I expect good things from Kokoro Connect.
Marlin's Thoughts At first the idea of a plot based around body switching just sounds like an opportunity for sleazy ero fodder right? Thankfully this show has decided to take the high road and I like the results. The characters act as I think anyone would feel if such a thing actually occurred: surprised, and scared. When switching genders they seem mindful of the fact of how wrong it would be to exploit that.
Marlin's Verdict?Watch Again In A Heartbeat With the second episode already watched I say I like how the group dynamic is developing. The reveal of some sinister alien force is somewhat cliché but honestly there’s no better way to explain random body switching. Welcome to Invasion of the Body Switchers, if it keeps up this momentum I think I’ll be along for the ride for the long haul.
Timmy's Thoughts Other the that first Shana OAD I don't think I have watched anything using bodyswapping before so this will be an interesting one. Other then that though it looks to be same formula of a bunch of highschoolers in a club doing club stuff.
Timmy's Verdict?Intriguing Enough I am already watching two "highschoolers doing club things" type of shows so the plate is already quite full. Wether I keep up with Kokoro Connect will depending on how it decides to play out this twist. At the very least I am commited for a short while at this point.
Premise Does anyone really know what this show is about? You knew what this was.
Lifesong's Thoughts Okay recap time, we have a main character who spends the entire episode naked, dudes fighting with magical baseball equipment, a mecha that makes some sort of alternate dimension thingy and a second pair of enemies that fight by doing various things while quoting shakespeare. If you are not already looking this up you probably want no part in it.
Lifesong's Verdict?Homerun! But if you are looking this up you will probably love the hell out of it. It's hard to express what Horizon is without showing it to someone in it's entirety. This show is equal parts mess and fun. Now with none of the infodumps from the early part of the first season to slow it down, this show jumps right into things in the craziest fashion possible. I love it personally and I have high hopes for this season, even if I may never fully understand it.
Moe Nobunaga 2.0 Novel Adaptation by Studio Gokumi/Madhouse
Simulcast on Crunchyroll
Premise A young man who loves Sengoku era video games wakes up on the battlefield and assumes the role of Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Oh and surprise! Most of the other warlords are now girls.
Jel's Thoughts I spent most of this episode yelling "WHO GAVE THEM THIS BUDGET?!?" as the animation and characters are gorgeous but the material... not so much. It could be end up being a fun romp for history buffs, I don't even need to know why the main character ended up their in the first place. But when he is literally saying STOP I AM FROM THE FUTURE AND THIS MUST HAPPEN BECAUSE THAT'S THE WAY IT HAPPENS it's some of the most lazy writing imaginable for material that is basically already written for you. Couldn't they have just had him going along for the ride?
Jel's Verdict?Just Another Pretty Face Maybe I will regret dropping this the way Sengoku Collection miraculously came around and became awesome, but unless this is also ends up a total departure from the first episode I doubt it.
Lifesong's Thoughts Hideyoshi dies before the opening and some dufus history nut kid takes his place. Oh and most of the generals are women. There are plenty of silly antics but the show has a surprisingly serious vibe about it.. puting our incredibly silly protagonist aside anyway. It's a nice change of pace to see someone sent back in time who actually knows how history is supposed to be instead of the usual idiot on a field trip. Also bouncing breast armor is a thing in this anime.
Lifesong's Verdict?Fun With History Studio Gokumi and Madhouse and both studios I've come to expect little from so imagine my surprise when this turned out to be a fun first episode. Maybe it's just my natural incilnation to enjoy this genderbent warlord stuff but I thought this first episode was a lot of fun. Unlike similar things which tend to throw history to the wind such as Battle Girls - Time Paradox, Nobuna actually feels like it's trying to stick closer to history instead of focusing on making the warlords quirky women and I can appreciate that. While certainly not show of the season The Ambition of Oda Nobuna is something fans of the Sengoku peroiod or just history lovers in general are sure to enjoy.
Irothtin's Thoughts A dude appears in the Sengoku Period and uses his video game knowledge to hit on all the warlords (who are all nubile young women).
Irothtin's Verdict?URGHHHH I did not enjoy this. It has good production values, I guess, but otherwise there was nothing that made me want to keep watching.
Marlin's Thoughts This is one of those shows where I really don’t understand the demo. Are there just a bunch of history majors out there with pent up feelings for historical figures but don’t want to recognize that mostly all of them were dudes? I did like that they had the dude from the future actually use his super nerd history knowledge as it makes him more than just an accessory to the plot, though.
Marlin's Verdict?A New Meaning To the Sengoku Period If they keep it interesting I could see this being one of those shows I could watch and enjoy but not love. Only time will tell.
Timmy's Thoughts Guy gets thrown into a world where many significant historical figures are genderswapped. Somehow I get the feeling this has been done before... or not.
Timmy's Verdict?Moe History Done Right As probably many others were, I was expecting this to be another Samurai Girls where some names of historical figures are applied to several elaboratly designed female characters who are then thrown into some random story. Turns out I was pretty much right for the most part but the big kicker here is that the story is these character's actual history and it works. While the intended audience for this seems to be japanese history buffs the show elaborates enough for anyone to pick up the historical references. If you liked Samurai Girls but thought it could have used a much stronger story look this one up. Hell, you might even learn some Japanese history watching this.
Premise Several months after the flower incident, Madoka encounters her old comrades back in Kamogawa. Will the three girls' relationship ever be the same?
Jel's Thoughts I don't know if I would call it a shortcoming of Lagrange's first season, but I would say I wouldn't mind a little more concrete conflict or danger going into season 2. Fortunately that seems to be the way they are headed, cashing in on last season's set up as the three factions square off. I'm not saying I want all death and destruction either, as the balance of fun and serious was the series strongpoint. So I'm glad to see they haven't neglected that aspect either.
Jel's Verdict?Make A Little Circle With Your Hand... ...and stay tuned.
Lifesong's Thoughts It's a rare find when anime manages the right balance between interesting characters and deeper plot happenings, something I believe that first season of Lagrange pulled off pretty well. So here are going into season two With two factions ready to square off and Lan and Muginami dedicated to different ones Madoka is stuck in between their dispute. The first episode kicks off the action with a bit of intrigue, reminding us of the darkside behind the good guy aliens as well as reminding us that all is not what it seems with last seasons bad guy aliens. Last season left of ton of questions to be answered and while this first episode didn't give us any of those answers it's good to see the questions havn't been forgotten either.
Lifesong's Verdict?Maru! No way am I going to miss this. Lagrange was Winters surprise hit that under the radar. I am very much looking forward to seeing how this all pans out. Get hype and Maru, Lagrange is back!
Timmy's Thoughts Lagrange is another show I picked up in fear of an anime drought this season and also ended up loving it. Madoka is offically a total badass. So how does the show fare post-timeskip?
Timmy's Verdict?Still Per-fect! Still pretty dam good. A lot of shit has gone down since we last were here. Old allegences between the threesome have become strained and I love the fact they decided to throw in some internal conflict in to kick this second half off. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.
Marlin's Thoughts We come back from the season break to see a long time has passed. With Lan and Muginami off fighting for their respective homes, Madoka is left alone in Kamagawa to live her everyday life. This is definitely not what she was wanting. I don’t know what made this show so likeable for me the first time around, maybe it was just the backdrop of a super serious interplanetary war juxtaposed with the pure boundary crashing will of this spunky high school girl. I love how even though there’s so much seriousness around the entire production there’s always Madoka ready to bounce in and try to break any kind of sense. Interplanetary fugitives? Work at my new restaurant. Interplanetary war? I’ll make them kiss and make up! This girl is just a giant ball of crazy, but somehow it just is so infectious I can’t stop watching.
Marlin's Verdict?Still don’t get all the lesbian undertones Maybe that’s a Nanoha homage or something? Who knows.
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