April is over so here’s my feelings about the current spring anime season, which has been surprisingly strong.
What I am continuing to watch:
Space Brothers: Mutta’s determination to lead as the older brother to Hibito is endearing to me as he starts remembering about promises he & his brother made in the past (and we all know how anime characters are desperate to keep their promises).
The animation looks nice as I would expect from A-1 Pictures following Idolmaster, Kannagi, and others. It almost feels like it should be a noitaminA show although it’s actually airing at 7:00am Japan time on Sunday mornings. (One of this season’s two series in that acclaimed block, Tsuritama, is also being animated by A-1.)
I am enjoying both noitaminA shows - Tsuritama and Kids on the Slope - for their own reasons. For Tsuritama, I like the aloof enthusiasm of alien Haru, how Yuki’s nervousness was being depicted as drowning (with a “demon face” that could have come from Nichibros), and some details of learning how to fish.
Kids on the Slope is also well-animated and plotted so far with a love rectangle coming into shape. The show shares a similar plot element to Tsuritama in that the protagonist is an incoming transfer student and also has an opposite one of sorts – in Tsuritama, Yuki is introduced to a traditionally older activity (fishing) while Kaoru takes up a newer, hip type of music in jazz after previously playing mostly classical music.
I was familiar with the Lupin franchise’s characters on a basic level before seeing Fujiko Mine no Onna. Loving the direction by Sayo Yamamoto (Michiko to Hatchin), character design by Takeshi Koike and sensuality displayed by Fujiko. I’ve watched the first three episodes, which introduce Lupin, Jigen and Goemon respectively, and each one has its own charm.
I wasn’t as grossed out as other people while watching Mysterious Girlfriend X - in fact, the absurd premise just made it funnier for me. It has a non-traditional relationship where spit-giver Urabe initially took the lead in managing the pace, though she gave up a bit of control in the 3rd episode. Episode 4 added an interesting twist about Urabe’s drool that adds to her mysteriousness.
Haiyore! Nyaruko-san: I mildly liked the previous shorts and I’m loving the full-length episodes. Kana Asumi returns as the enthusiastic Nyaruko and is a big part of why I’m enjoying this Lovecraftian character romp.
Shirokuma Cafe has worked for me as sort of a light comedy. The voice acting and animals acting like people make the show for me, e.g. Penguin trying to use a smartphone with his beak or the cherry blossom viewing party.
Dusk Maiden of Amnesia took an interesting dramatic turn in its third episode. I’m liking its horror elements, Momoe’s clumsiness and Yuuko’s playfulness as “ghost president” of the Paranormal Research Club.
What I’ve stopped watching:
Acchi Kocchi felt average in its first episode – I liked the interstitial animations but the characters and jokes felt meh to me. Other people seem to be liking it, though. (Talking about its style, AJtheFourth recently wrote a piece about the series’ use of Ben-Day dots.)
I’ve had a good relationship with recent short-episode-length series like Morita-san wa Mukuchi and Poyopoyo but Yurumates 3D just falls short for me. I laughed at a couple jokes like the sudden cliff in episode 4 but not often enough for me to keep with it despite its three-minute length.
I didn’t dislike the first two episodes of Medaka Box - I thought the dog rescue assignment was good – but I’ve felt little motivation to continue watching it.
I dropped Upotte! after its 1st episode because I didn’t find it that funny and wasn’t that interested to marginally learn about assault rifles. (Sentai Filmworks recently announced their intent to release this series in the US, a move that isn’t entirely surprising given their previous track record – I mean, even Akikan! got brought over here.)
Finally, I was about to write off Kuroko no Basuke after its boring 1st episode but I may continue to watch on an irregular basis just for Rika Aida, the team’s coach who enjoys grooming talent, and her passion for making a great team.