Spring Anime 2013 Recommendations

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This week in Anime was very exciting as we began touching base with the first episodes of every anime title that starts this season. Looking at this list in RandomC, we all picked up the titles we like, downloaded or streamed them, and then right now we will recommend them.

This list isn’t final, since we’re still on the lookout for additional anime episodes coming out this season, and most of them might not have aired yet, or no subber has released them yet.

After every rundown of the series, I have presented a quick reference table that sums up what you can expect from the anime:

Points to Consider: these are the attributes that I think will be the series’ strongest suit. These may convince you to watch the series, but will not guarantee you to stick with it.

Points Against it: these are the attributes that might tick you off the series, and may make you churn from it. If you’re forgiving of these points, you might want to try it instead.

Speculative Theory: My take on what might happen in the series. Sometimes I just troll it for fun.

Sub Groups: Fansub groups that are translating the shows, so you can go directly to their RSS feeds. If a simulcast is available in Crunchyroll, I’ll link them here (subject to availability to your region—blame the old licensing features of Anime).

With that aside, let us begin =w=

Suisei no Gargantia

This show is, by far, one of the most interesting titles I’ve ever seen. It’s part time-travelling and part exploration, where you will find the values, expressions, and culture from both advanced civilizations and ‘primitive’ come together to clash, all the while you can find a human re-discovery being one of the central elements in the story. I just hope that this doesn’t turn out to be an Avatar-esque type of series—I do wish that the story does not lose focus and give time to build up what it has started.

Points to Consider: Awesome intro. Lively characters. Two disparate cultures meeting together. Human rediscovery.
Points Against it: Seemingly rushed episode, an overdose of technical terms that may confuse you and make you lose focus.
Speculative Theory: The guy will be treated like a god, and that the series will explore more on the human nature and the evolution of society.
Sub Groups: UTW-Vivid, Commie, Hadena, HorribleSubs, Hybrid. UTW-Vivid Recommended.

Hataraku Maou-sama

Get your biggest bad in any RPG or adventure game and bring him to modern-day Tokyo. How does that sound?

In a series of crazy twists and turns, you see our main character, the demon lord, be cast away from his castle and tossed into our world. The idea of losing power and losing your previous lifestyle will seriously challenge our protagonists here. Couple this with a huge 180 degree turnaround of the Maou-sama’s personality into developing a character that has more servitude approach than usual, which irritates his servant all the more.

Another rushed development for the first episode—but maybe intentional since they have to lay down the plot in that short time given. Adding in your hero that defeated the Maou-sama guy of the opposite gender, well, makes the series more interesting.

And lol, cameo appreances of McDonald’s everywhere. Which adds more hilarity for us gaijin.

Points to Consider: Unique plot, very vivid personalities for the Maou-sama and his assistant, air of uncertainty for the outcome, possible romantic comedy b/w Maou-sama and Hero-girl.
Points Against: Rushed introduction, May have the tendency to degenerate into a typical romantic comedy plot if it loses focus.
Speculative Theory: Maou-sama might actually understand and like the life of a serf. Hero-girl not satisfied with this, challenges Maou-sama to a duel. She gets a cooking contest instead.
Sub Groups: Commie, DeadFish, FFF. Commie Recommended.

Shingeki no Kyojin (Eotenas Onslaught)

This series will push humanity to the limits of survival. Humans are mere livestock to the giants called “Titans” (though a translator would rather call them “Eotenas”—which sparks a huge controversy in the localization sector of fansubbing), and have been pushed to live inside walled cities. These walled cities are strongholds against the Titans and have led the human populace in complacency, while some more enlightened ones still look for ways to fight back.

The raw power of the fight for survival and for freedom against oppression is strong with this one—it challenges the ideas of “if we’re safe, then it’s okay”, and the ideas of a sheltered life. The naiveté of the protagonist in declaring that “living in this wall is like living like livestock” and the realities of fighting against the Titans will possibly go hand in hand in character development.

Gore is… plenty in this title, though to the extent of a certain level; which then scenes play out off-camera. Regardless, the images and the looks of the Titans eating humans might not be for the faint of heart.

Points to Consider: Intense will to live, high-quality shots, struggle for survival, and despair everywhere.
Points Against it: Drama might go over-the-top, can possibly degenerate into a series that focuses too much on gore, and the protagonist keeps on shouting in every line.
Speculative Theory: Titans are actually the evolved form of humans, and they are preventing humans from over-expanding. Titans might be a necessary evil in the world.
Sub Groups: Hatsuyuki-Kaitou, Lag-Taka, Diogo4D-Hattori, Deadfish, gg, Commie. gg Recommended.

PhotoKano

Another one of Enterbrain’s Galge-turned-Anime, PhotoKano will give a typical harem feel. The Camera here is presented as a central plot device, which will enable him to meet up and possibly hook up with them girls. Many fanservice shots are everywhere, which is quite justified when you meet the Photography club: one of them has that as his specialty. And the specialty’s name is “Borderline Erotic” shots.

Awesome and beautiful scenery will be this series’ strongest suit, since, well, this is also an anime that features photography. Flowers look like this series’ theme too, with a certain level of symbolism that might be used per heroine. The protagonist is very bland as he can be, since he is your typical generic eroge main character—to the extent that I think this is done intentionally for the male audience insert themselves neatly into his role.

The pilot episode ended with a quick rundown of all possible girls in a pretty much standard way, with quick shots of them doing stuff then smiling to the camera. Which broke the fourth wall for me.

Points to Consider: Awesome backgrounds, cute heroine lineup that will suit your various likes, borderline eroticism, flower symbolism, photography, Canan.
Points Against it: Generic and Bland MC, Blatant and Outright fanservice shots, supporting characters are, well, too generic for comfort.
Speculative Theory: MC will finally realize his love of cameras is equal to his love for the club president. Plotline changes, PhotoKare story begins.
Sub Groups: UTW, DeadFish, Digo4D. UTW Recommended.

Ore no Imouto ga Konnna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai!

The long-awaited return of Kyousuke, Kirino, Ayase and Kuroneko is finally here, starting off where the True End episode left off; but those who missed it will be able to catch up a bit, but in medias res. Kirino is back with her antics, almost retaining her abrasive personality from the previous season (as Kyousuke has pointed out, “it’s like she returned to how she was before she left”. This actually made me think that the progress they had in the previous season was a lie.

Each character arc will look promising, with Kuroneko fans (such as me!) enjoying the thought of having her relationship with Kyousuke held off for the moment with uncertainty. Ayase and the rest might not look like it yet, but judging from how fans of the original Light Novel are raving wildly about it I am waiting with bated breath.

Points to Consider: Bright and Vivid characterization, Unique plot, Anime within an Anime, Catchy Music, Kyousuke hugging a Pillow like an Idiot.
Points Against it: Fans that missed the True End or Firrst-Time watchers will be left in the air due to heavy references in the previous season, perpetual blushing.
Speculative Theory: Kyousuke and Kuroneko will end up together. Seriously.
Sub Groups: EveTaku, Deadfish, AsukaSubs, Mazui, C++. Mazui Recommended.

Devil Survivor 2

Devil Survivor 2 kicks off with your slice of life feel—a normal day in Tokyo. Your two best buds with apparently different personalities complement each other somehow, and this dynamic seems to give them life even during the short exposition.

Things escalated quickly, with a bunch of monsters appearing out of nowhere (but the origins are hinted at by the glowing phones held by the dead) and them able to do some awesome summoning themselves. The old Galapagos-type phones they have in the series make a full comeback, which is interesting to date since they retained some of the old technology of the world in context, where some anime studios adjust the tech in the anime title to fit in contemporary times. The mystery behind the program of Nicaea starts out as a bland addition to the story, but will turn out to be a major plot point in the story.

Fight scenes aren’t given the center stage in this anime, the studio apparently decided to only animate what was needed. The shots focus heavily on the expressions, emotions and thoughts of the characters, which hints to us that there will be character growth one way or another.

Points to Consider: Smooth scenes, distinct characters, crazy as hell monsters, amazing tech and that kick-ass ED.
Points Against it: Another adaptation from a game, very stylized character designs, outrageous setting for apocalypse (but can also be a plus)
Speculative Theory: They all forget to charge their phones and they get wiped out. The End.
Sub Groups: DeadFish, Anime-Koi, Hadena, ota, Commie, HorribleSubs, Tenzinn. HorribleSubs Recommended.

*Simulcast is Available via Crunchyroll.

What do you like to watch from our Recommendations (Spring 2013)?

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That wraps up our anime rundown of the season. What series do you like? What do you feel watching?

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