As promised, here are my impressions of the first few episodes of eight new anime series currently airing in Japan. (Please note that I’m only providing links to legal streaming sites. Anything else you want to watch, you can find it on your own. ^-^)
Occult Academy: Watch on CrunchyRoll
Apparently, Maya hates the occult. This “Supernatural Comedy” is trying way too hard in my opinion. I watched the first few episodes, and I’m honestly bored. The character designs are completely uninspired (though I do like the fact that the female lead is wearing normal shoes), and the music is nothing to note. In fact, I’m honestly surprised that I have much to say here. The premise is absolutely silly. Maya’s father was the principal of this school dedicated to the study of the occult that he himself built, and she returned for his funeral. But apparently, Maya’s one true desire is to destroy the school because the occult will bring about the destruction of man. Funny side note: this anime is set right at the turn of the century in 1999 — maybe they’ll play with Y2K later on in the season. I wouldn’t recommend this anime, but if you’ve got a serious love for the occult, you may as well give it a shot.
Based on the visual novel by the same name, I’m actually really enjoying this anime. Junichi is the main male character, and in this strictly romance-based anime, viewers get to see him go through six girls in four episode arcs. I’ve seen all of the first arc, and I was pretty excited to see a “ten years later” bit. It was really a cute way to wrap up the entire arc. Now we’re moving on to the second arc. It’s a very unique way to tell a story based on a visual novel. Instead of choosing one path, the creators of this anime chose to take all the paths and show how the game would have been played out in each scenario. This anime is STRICTLY romance, mind you. No drama, no supernatural, no action. The character designs are very real, and I find the animation style very calming and fitting for a romance anime. If you like a good romance (like me) go find yourself a stream of Amagami SS!
High School of the Dead
This anime seems to be the cult hit this season. Everyone I know seems to absolutely love it. But be mindful, it is a VERY mature anime, full of fanservice, bouncing breasts, and more gore than you can fit in a ten gallon bucket. This is the story of the aftermath of the beginning of a zombie apocalypse — a really new thing for anime. The story itself is interesting, and the animation is very good, but I’m having trouble relating to and liking the characters for this anime. They all seem very unrealistic and difficult to relate to, and it’s important to be able to relate to the characters in a world so unlike the one we really live in. The pacing itself also seems a little off. I’ve watched three episodes so far, and nothing seems to be happening, other than the zombie apocalypse. I hope that as this anime continues, the pacing picks up a bit and we start to see a little character development (and less of the Nurse’s size XX breasts). If you love the zombies or are looking for some seriously mature action this season, check out High School of the Dead.
Mitsudomoe: Watch on CrunchyRoll
Mitsudomoe is an absolutely hilarious Slice of Life/Comedy. It takes the “moe” template and turns it on it’s head. The triplets in this anime are in about the sixth grade, and they are absolute HELLIONS. For anyone that watched the English dub of Shin-Chan (which was much more adult than the original Japanese anime), this has similar humor and MUCH better animation. I’m actually really enjoying the sort of mindless humor that the girls and their poor teacher have brought me in the past few episodes. Let’s just hope they keep coming up with fresh ideas and situations for them, or this will become stale quickly. If you like humor in the vein of Shin-Chan or perhaps South Park, check out this anime~
Digimon Xros Wars
Oh god WHY?! Why do you do such things to my sweet, sweet childhood? In other words, I am NOT a fan of this anime. The voice acting is awful, the characters look WAY too similar, and the entire idea is that the main male can stuff digimon together into bigger and better Digimon. Also, “Shouter” should go die in a fire. Just saying. Do not watch this anime. Please. If you liked the old Digimon (seasons 1 and 2), save yourself the internal suffering and just walk away.
Shukufuku no Campanella
This is an anime that I really want to like, but I just can’t. The main female character drives me UP A WALL. She’s needy and whiny and then suddenly switches into this semi-mature adult when fighting. The animation values are really high, and the entire thing is very, very pretty. It’s definitely a magical anime, and should be a good watch for anyone who enjoys that sort of thing, but I really hope that I find some way to like this character soon, or I’m going to have to drop it.
Legend of the Legendary Heroes
Confession time, I’ve only watched one episode of this anime, and it was really confusing. ^.^; I’ll try to watch a few more.
Shiki: Watch on FUNimation
This anime is a few episodes in now and is still sort of confusing. It’s very a strangely designed anime, and also oddly paced. It’s a horror anime that’s about vampires, but the vampires haven’t really been discovered yet. It was sort of sad in the first episode, because the chick that I absolutely hate and kept saying I wanted to die… well, really did. I’m still interested in it, but I’m hoping the pace picks up and something more than “MYSTERIOUS DEATH” happens soon…