Anime, Spring 2007

A new season of anime has come upon us. As a discerning adult viewer with no time (and even less patience) it will be impossible to follow every series, so what to do?

Easy. I know what I like, so that eliminates most of what I consider to be dreck (harem anime are definitely out, for example). Then, dedicate about half a day (on a weekend of course), watch and judge the first episodes of the series that look like something I might like, and then decide which to follow and which to drop. Three episodes to decide for the borderline cases. Usually reliable, but of course some anime really gets going halfway through (take a bow, Trigun) and others have promising starts and then dissolve into dull affairs (yes, I’m looking at you, Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto). I may miss a few gems this way, or waste my time with lousy stuff, but… ah, curse my adult responsibilities.

So… this season seems promising. First thing to notice, the Super Robot genre has made a comeback, with not one, but two series that look good. I prefer the Real Robot genre (more Macross? Please? Even more FMP! would be welcome), but I take what I can get.

First up, we have the remake Reideen. Superb production values, hot and mysterious girl, subtle humour, a monster of the week format and a lead character who is not annoying? A sure winner.

Next up, Bokurano (Ours). It features a whole bunch of kids, and has a very different feel from Reideen, very dark, very sinister. Lord of the Flies-esque, even. Plus that opening theme “Uninstall” by Ishikawa Chiaki is great. I did not think it was possible to make the word “uninstall” sound so poignant. The author of the Bokurano manga also wrote the excellent Narutaru, so I have high hopes for this one. Could be the best of the season.

The comedy of the season should be Hayate no Gotoku! (Hayate the Combat Butler). I have seen two episodes, and I cannot get enough of it. Simply brilliant. Could be this season’s Gintama. Or… is this season’s Gintama still Gintama? Hmm…

The last series I am enthusiastic about is Moonlight Mile. Looks to be hard sci-fi, and reminds me of Planetes. Excellent, and enough said, really.

In addition, there are a few series I may take a closer look at if I happen to have some spare time.

First up, Gainax’s own entry into the Super Robot wars Gurren Lagann. I am not convinced with both the character design and mecha design, and thus not keen on it. Knowing Gainax though, production values will be high.

Darker Than Black has good character designs, an interesting setting and good production values, but somehow the first episode left me a little cold. I probably will have to catch a few more episodes before I can make up my mind about this one. The bespectacled policewoman looks great though, so I want to like it. And then there is the almost obligatory personality deficient loli-goth girl for that certain segment of viewers (you know who you are, perverts).

Last, we have Claymore. The moment a monster uttered “So… So this is… a Claymore?” right at the beginning of the 2nd episode, I knew it was… typical shounen wank material. Parts of the premise is interesting, so it falls solidly into the three episode category.

That about sums this season up. Any other series this season I should check out? Think I wouldn’t know a good anime if it bit me on the ass? Comment.

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