Well, folks, 2013 is drawing to a near close, meaning it is that time again where people make their best of, worst of lists of whatever movies, TV shows, and music, comics they either watched, read or listened to. Now, last year, I have made a list of anime that I have watched but not made a review of and I did noticed I haven’t watched much new anime last year and surprisingly this year, I’ve watched plenty of new anime from this year and it was a pretty great year for most anime titles, especially for one anime in particular.
Now, just to be clear, I have not watched every anime that aired this year because there is a lot of anime and most of them, I really don’t give a shit that much to watch or at least, wait until it gets a physical release and/or if it gets an English dub and speaking of that, I’m splitting this into two sections: First being the Simulcasts, for the newly aired titles and the second part being dedicated to English dubs, some related to Toonami and Neon Alley, as I believe both of them have majorly contributed to airing English-dubbed anime in the States and will be a big part in that half.
Now keep in mind that most of the anime titles I’m talking about in the SIMULCASTS section have not finished their series run or there could be the fact that I dropped it or took a break from that specific show and the fact that THIS IS NOT A FORMAL REVIEW, mostly just my thoughts on whatever show. Now, let’s start with a title that I really just dropped after 4 or 5 episodes and that is…..
Diabolik Lovers – [animated by ZEXCS; licensed by Sentai Filmworks; streaming on Crunchyroll]
OK, Yes, I dropped this show after 4 episodes and there’s only 15 minutes in each show. I couldn’t last an hour of this and I couldn’t give a damn about any of the 6 vampire brothers and yes, they are the typical brooding “oh woe is me, I was treated like shit as a child” character type and the main heroine is just a doll for them to play with, and by play, I mean abuse. I mean, Yui isn’t really that great of a character. Actually, no, she’s pretty much a pathetic character but hey, I dropped this show so I really don’t know much about it in the end but I couldn’t take more of this. Also, the music wasn’t really that noticeable The animation is typical good-looking dark and gothic style and considering the show was made by ZEXCS, who actually made a better anime series (to me, reception of that show is quite polarizing) and speaking of that show……. (Oh yeah, this show is a 1/10 – A fucking CLOWNSHOES)
Aku no Hana (Flowers of Evil) – [animated by ZEXCS; licensed by Sentai Filmworks; streaming on Crunchyroll, Hulu & The Anime Network]
I had some friends who watched this show in the Spring Season this year and I skipped this one……in favor of another anime and unfortunately, Valvrave Season 1. Boy, I was stupid to wait that long. Like I said, not too many people liked this show. However, some may not like it or dropped due to its choice of art style, i.e. rotoscoping and not doing the traditional attractive-looking characters and those people are well……idiots. If you drop it or didn’t like it due to something more plausible, then good for you. As for me, I really like this show and its choice of animation just fine. It’s a high school anime that’s actually more like how you went to high school instead of some fantasy place where everything is clean cut. This show really captured my attention with its main characters Kasugi and Saeki, who may seem like a typical bookworm and innocent love interest but they are proven to usurp that trait of theirs and my favorite character on that show is Nakamura and the way she endure chaos in her soul in a twisted way and I love that about her. Plus, the opening and ending themes are quite fitting for the tone of the show. It’s definitely worth checking out for yourself. (7.5/10 – Low SOLID B.)
Kakumeiki Valvrave (Seasons 1 and 2 / Valvrave The Liberator S1 and S2) – [animated by Sunrise; licensed by Aniplex of America; streaming on Crunchyroll, Hulu, Daisuki & Aniplex Channel]
Yes, I opted to watch this show instead for the first season and boy, the response at first was mostly corny mecha show by SUNRISE aka those guys that made Gundam A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H something 11 227 Build Fighter MF Doom and I was fine by that but when episode 10 came around, everyone lost their shit over that one. (Yes, it was the episode where the main character Haruto sexually assaulted or raped his classmate Saki while his friend Shoko won the student body Election (in other words, she got the election while Saki got the erection.) While I thought that scene was a bit jarring and uncomfortable, the worst thing about it for me is did it really need to be there? No, it didn’t. They just wanted to add in shock value and doing that for the sake of a cheap reaction lessens the value of the show, which wasn’t that high to begin with. 2nd season, on the other hand, has started to get a little bit better or back to that cheesy mecha show route although I think there was an even more uncomfortable sequence in episode 9 that rivals that rape scene in the first season. This one might appeal to some fans but you can’t please them all. (4.5/10 – Low AN ACQUIRED TASTE)
- Tokyo Ravens – [animated by 8-bit; licensed by Funimation; streaming on Hulu and Funimation.com]
This one…….yeah, I don’t know why I bother to watch this show mainly because I wanted to what FUNimation has in store for the fall season (SPOILER: Not that much good shit; i.e. FUNi is kinda slipping on their selection) and while this isn’t their worst selection, this is more mediocre and I really don’t understand the plot of this and I feel like I’m obligated to continue watching this because I really want to understand this more but as for now, (So far…..5.5/10 – Vanilla)
BlazBlue: Alter Memory – [animated by teamKG/Hoods Entertainment; licensed by FUNimation; streaming on Hulu and Funimation.com]
And speaking of FUNimation getting such lackluster titles this year, you remember when Persona 4: The Animation came out and some people are split between those. Some like it, others hated it including some I know either via Twitter and Planet Tyro but with this show, this was just bad and uninteresting because it feels like a long videogame cut scene every episode. Not to mention most of the humor is just annoying along with some side characters like the cat. Animation-wise, it’s not that impressive, it’s just “meh” and as for the overall show, I couldn’t care less about finishing it or not, it’s just not that good of an adaptation. (So far…3/10 – Low NOT FEELING THIS)
Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio: Ars Nova
(Arpeggio of Blue Steel: Ars Nova) – [animated by SANZIGEN; currently unlicensed; streaming on Crunchyroll]
Yeah, I got to confess. I only watched it because the name sounded cool and the show is……well, passable. IT HAS GIRLS WHO TURN INTO BATTLESHIPS!!! Well, at least it sounds better than the overall Battleship movie. The CG on the show is a bit jarring and I wasn’t really into the story as much although if you’re just looking for some good action, this could meet your quota. (6/10 – High VANILLA)
Blood Lad – [animated by Brain’s Base; licensed by Viz Media; streaming on Hulu and VizAnime.com]
VAMPIRES!! Again, I notice some vampire anime this year, whether it be Diabolik blah blah and Valvrave (well, mecha vampires) and this one is more of the comedy side and for the show that it is, I did enjoy watching it. I wouldn’t say it was excellent but I would watch it if I’m bored or on a rainy day. Most of the characters are pretty alright but some fall into typical anime archetypes, such as Fuyumi being the lady in distress and also having big boobs and there’s Staz as an otaku vampire. Granted, that is an unusual character trait but everything else about him isn’t that standout-ish. (7/10 – It’s S’alright)
Coppelion – [animated by GoHands; licensed by Viz Media; streaming on Hulu and VizAnime.com]
Well, this is the second GoHands show I’ve watched this year, with me already reviewed K (K Project) and while I thought K was in the middle of the road show for me, Coppelion was all over the place. I was either interested, annoyed and befuddled with the show. Most of the first half was slow until more characters like Haruto and the Ozu sisters showed up later into the show, the latter characters I have been waiting for since I saw that trailer. The main three female characters do get overly emotional where it’s not needed but I hardly felt irritated but them, except for Aoi, who was just useless through most of the show and her development as a character just went downhill as Ibara and Taeko were okay characters though. (6/10 – Low VANILLA)
Nagi no Asukara (Nagi-Asu: A Lull in the Sea) – [animated by P.A. Works; licensed by NIS America; streaming on Crunchyroll and Hulu]
At first glance, people would think this show is mostly cutesy-looking, knowing that it’s a slice-of-life show that has some aquatic themes and outlook…..and there’s also the theme of prejudice of sea people vs. land people, the jealousy from your best friend when she’s in love with a guy that’s not him, lost loved ones and moving on although your kids may feel different about that and pretty much some aspects of a coming-of-age tale. This is actually a very interesting show as it does have a mix of fantasy but not completely swallowed by it with a dose of reality. P.A. Works are known for making incredible looking animation and it shows but I do feel the character designs are too moe for my taste. Characters are mixed as Manaka and Hikari are not exactly a favorite as they are the weakest ones, especially Hikari for being a jerk asshole for most of the part but fortunately he managed to be tolerable as the show goes along (So far…..8/10 – Solid B.)
Log Horizon – [animated by SATELIGHT; licensed by Sentai Filmworks; streaming on Crunchyroll]
So this is an anime centered around an MMORPG and at first glance, people say this is a clone of some other anime although there was been a lot of anime with that almost similar premise only this feels more like a MMORPG game rather than anything too much of a life-or-death situation. It’s rather fun and light-hearted with a rather slow pace but not snail-like slow and it has some interesting dialogue between most of the characters, which most of them do any some equal screen time and give us a chance to know more about them. This make want to watch more of the series but this is more of a marathon-type rather than once a week. (So far….8/10 – Solid B.)
Galilei Donna – [animated by A-1 Pictures; currently unlicensed; streaming on Crunchyroll]
So to me, this was one of the Fall 2013 anime titles I was really looking forward to, because the plot of it was very interesting, some of the characters were likable, especially Hozuki (the younger sister), the animation and artwork are quite good, although some of the character designs on the girls do remind me of Sword Art Online (Hint: Character designer worked for this show and SAO, such as A-1 Pictures) but the direction is sometimes unfocused and out of tone most of the time that the show doesn’t know what it wants to be midway and given that it’s Yasuomi Umetsu, who is the director of OVAs Kite and Mezzo Forte, I had a slight feeling that it can fuck up on its own but for the majority of the show, it was a good anime, not the one I thought was grand, but nevertheless a good watch. (8.5 – HIGH Solid B.)
Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan) – [animated by Studio Wit and Production I.G.; licensed by Funimation; streaming on Crunchyroll, Hulu, and Funimation.com]
Now I know most of you guess that I saw this earlier in the year. Hell, everybody (including some non-anime fans) have gotten to watch this show. It’s practically the most popular anime in all of 2013 (or at least for the first half) but the real question is…..is the show actually good at all? Yes. This is a great show, it’s not a God-tier show or THE BEST ANIME EVAR as some people make it. The show has a great premise, horrifying sequences of action and drama, good comedic elements that doesn’t feel out of place, characters that are likable and most important ones you do feel an emotional feel when some of them die and believe it, most of the characters (not just the Red Shirts) do die; however, the pacing issues are a factor but not exactly that’ll hurt the show’s quality. It’s a great thing that this is both a popular anime title that is a well-liked but also a title that is actually good, even to get non-anime people into this series and I’m not sure if a 2nd season is confirmed, but I think it’s going to happen sooner or later. (8.5/10 – Low FIRST CLASS)
Samurai Flamenco – [animated by manglobe; licensed by Aniplex of America; streaming on Crunchyroll and Hulu]
One of the most underrated titles of 2013 and this is a NoitaminA anime to be exact, as they are held to be some of the most top-tier quality anime (Kids on the Slope, Shiki, Paradise Kiss) and most of the time, some of them happened to suck (I’m looking at you, Fractale and Guilty Crown) and this particular title is more unique in an anime sense; somebody wants to follow their childhood dream of being a superhero. The one thing I thought watching this was the movie Kick-Ass and it had some similarities like Masayoshi being the hero that isn’t exactly super, if you get the draft while there are better ones like Mari Maya aka Flamenco Girl (think Mindy McCready/Hit-Girl but in a female idol group along with two other members, who joined her in her superhero team) with some exceptions like replace comic books with tokusatsu shows. Granted it started like that but it actually gotten more serious as goes along and I like how that went. Hell, it surpasses my expectations as I thought Galilei Donna would be higher than this but I was wrong. This is a really excellent show and I highly say people should watch this. (So far…..9/10 – FIRST CLASS)
Kill la Kill – [animated by TRIGGER; licensed by Aniplex of America; streaming on Crunchyroll, Hulu, Daisuki & Aniplex Channel]
You know, I have been guilty of saying some things are perfect when we all know nothing is ever perfect and while I really meant in my eyes, this particular thing is perfect. Kill La Kill is a good example of how this show is perfect in my eyes. At surface value, people may say the animation (or art) is very cartoonish-looking and honestly, it fits within the style of the show and that’s why I favor this type over the generic good-looking bland-visualized anime that most studios tend to do as I’m kind of getting sick of people dismissing some shows because of the art style (see Aku on Hana above) as I watch anime not just for look at the art, but get into the story as well and it is very energetic and lively. Speaking of the story, this is nothing new. I will admit that it is a story of a girl wanting revenge for the murder of her father but it is how the execution is done and it has been very unpredictable and has some unexpected twists unless you thought you expected it. Plus, I know some people are going to mention the fan service and here are two things: 1. They are very self-aware of it as it’s meant to poke fun, not to sexualize the character or do a poor attempt at that and yes, both male and female audiences get their fair share of it. 2. There are far worst shows than this. Also, like the animation, its characters are very energetic and lively and I didn’t have one thing to find them annoying as they were all very likable characters. This is definitely my favorite new anime of 2013. I commend Studio Trigger for their first studio anime effort since most of them left Gainax as that Gurren Lagann-like spirit lives on in Kill La Kill. This is highly recommended to all of you. (So far and possibly forever….10/10 – HALL OF FAME!!!)
And that is it for Simulcasts part of Anime Discovery Recap 2013. Tune in next time for the English dub edition!!
Until then, this is MAK2.0 aka Blue Hybrid, bringing all the elements in one format.