First Impressions: New Anime of Summer 2015

Well, the newest seasons and series of anime have officially begun broadcasting. As my rule goes, I gave each new series one episode to impress me, which made for a lot of first episodes to watch! Some of them didn’t make it, alas, for reasons of either content or, more often, just failing to hook me. About a dozen of the new anime made it through, and here’s my impressions of them now after two or three episodes.

jitsu_wa_watashi_waActually, I Am…

Apparently, this is a vampire romance, advertised as “one of a kind,” though I seriously doubt that. Main character sucks incredibly at keeping secrets or telling lies, so naturally he is the one to accidentally find out that this girl, who he has a crush on, is a vampire, and if her secret gets out, she has to quit school. So either he keeps her secret, or he loses all chance of ever seeing her again. That sort of thing.

I don’t always enjoy love stories, and harem anime (there are other girls with other secrets, and it’s pretty obvious they all like him) can be tricky things from the beginning, and vampire romances are pretty common these days. Still, I find this vampire girl to be rather charming. Oh, and she doesn’t view the boy who has a crush on her as a food source, which is fairly unique in vampire stories. I’m not exactly on the edge of my seat with this one, but it looks like it’ll be a cute little romance.

joukamachi_no_dandelionCastle Town Dandelion

This one has a fairly odd and convoluted premise. The king has nine kids, each with some super-ability, and they now have to campaign to see which of them will be elected as the next monarch, with hundreds if not thousands of cameras all over the place specifically to watch them whenever they so much as set foot outside their home.

Yeah, it nearly lost me even before episode one.

However, it’s apparently a comedy, told as a series of shorts put together to make a full-length episode out of several separate adventures. The first episode was a little rocky, but the next two episodes have been smoother and I’ve found myself laughing quite a bit. Again, not quivering in anticipation for each new episode, but I’m definitely going to follow this one!

charlotteCharlotte

Another one with superpowers, but these just crop up in people around adolescence, and then they fade away as they leave said adolescence behind. Also, they’re very imperfect, such as the main protagonist who can possess someone for five seconds, a violent girl who can vanish from one person’s sight at a time, a human cannonball who can’t control when he stops… that sort of thing. Also, they try to stay secret because being discovered means being at the nonexistent mercies of scientists who will experiment on them, maybe driving them mad or even killing them in the process. So, secrecy: important.

I’m not feeling any real sort of tension here, though there are moments of heartrending sobriety. For the most part, I’m just enjoying the female protagonist more than anything else. She’s been through quite a bit, and yet she has such attitude! She’s definitely good as a leading lady, smart and tough! I suspect, though, that this is eventually to reveal itself as a love story between her and the leading male, and while she is clearly good for him, I’m not sure how good he is for her. We’ll see, but while this one’s interesting, again, not eager for the next episode.

classroom_crisisClassroom Crisis

This one barely managed to convince me to keep watching, and I’m still considering dropping it, at least for awhile. Apparently, in a future where we’ve colonized worlds and moons and such, there’s a big company that has, for three-quarters of a century, invested in selecting the very best minds at a prestigious school and using them to develop new breakthroughs. Lately, this classroom of geniuses hasn’t been producing much lately, and has cost the company a huge chunk of change. Their response? Send the junior member of the family, who is being groomed to eventually become the next CEO, in as a transfer student, to take it over, dismantle, and end the entire class.

Knowing absolutely nothing about business, that strikes me as a fairly roundabout way of doing things. You want to shut it down, then just shut it down, yeah? Well, whatever. I can’t seem to empathize with the students who are fighting to keep their class going anyway. They’re cool and all, but I’m just not feeling it, ya know? Meh. Perhaps it will surprise me.

gangstaGangsta

Two words: violence and tragedy.

A pair of thugs for hire, an eye-patched shooter and a sword-swinging deaf man, do dirty, bloody jobs that neither criminal organizations nor official law enforcement want to do themselves. They’re a rough and rugged pair of ruthless killers. Yet, even they have a subtle softness to them, such as when they save a prostitute from the gang that enslaved her. Granted, this was because they were being paid to kill off said gang, but they took care to spare her, even “claim” her so no one else would go after her. It’s an odd sort of friendship that the trio have with each other, but there’s loyalty to it. But, it seems the mystery of how the deaf man became deaf is rather sinister and bloody itself, and it may soon end up killing him.

This is one of those times where the violent and, even more, crude content of the show is a major turn-off for me. I also hate tragedies, which this seems to promise. Still… there’s a story here that is drawing me in. I’m going to wait a few weeks and then catch several episodes at once (this is the same approach I used when I began watching Attack on Titan) and make my final decision to continue or drop it then.

gatchaman_crowds_insightGatchaman Crowds Insight

This is the second season of Gatchaman Crowds, which is one of those weird, trippy shows that looks nothing but ridiculous for awhile, particularly darting between perspectives as it does, and then becomes surprisingly gripping as tension rises, and, ultimately, there’s a wonderful meaning to the wacky, zany adventures. Insight picks up awhile later and they’re definitely still keeping the weirdness, but anyone who’s watched it this far is going to laugh.

This one, I think, is far easier to watch in binges. Which is probably what I’ll do! 🙂

gate_jieitai_kanochi_nite_kaku_tatakaeriGate: Jieitai Kanochi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri

Title translates to Gate: And So, the Self-Defense Force Fought in That Place. I’ll just call it Gate.

A “gate” between our world and a fantasy world suddenly appears in downtown somewhere in Japan (I want to say Akihabara, but don’t quote me on that) and chaos instantly ensues. The invaders are killing everyone in their path with virtual impunity… that is until the Self-Defense Force arrives and turns the tables on them. A counter-movement begins, as they seize the other side of the gate, fighting off armies of knights and goblins with modern military technology. This accomplished, they begin to explore and learn about this other world, hoping, among other things, to bring the aggressors who attacked Japan to the table of negotiation via the display of their military power.

So, we have tanks vs goblins! 🙂 And knights! 🙂 And dragons! 🙂 Me like! 🙂 I am following this one! The main characters are entertaining, they backdrop of bigger events is intriguing, the fights are thrilling! What’s not to like? 🙂

overlord2Overlord

A player is trapped in a game world. Heard that before, but this one still has a new twist.

In .hack//Sign, we had one player trapped in the game world, unable to leave, and it involved a convoluted storyline where the real world was threatened by computer viruses. In Sword Art Online, we had many players trapped in a game, and it was all about them getting back and learning how things in games are real, not just fake. In Log Horizon, we have the players trapped in a game world that suddenly becomes real, and it’s a fascinating adventure that hasn’t finished yet, and I want to see that show continue to the end of the story! 🙂

In Overlord, we have one player who is lingering around in his game as it’s about to be shut down, and the moment that happens… he suddenly finds himself in the game world, which has become real around him, including the NPC’s… and what is going on? He investigates, and leads his NPC’s, and the ad for this mentioned that he was going to try and take over the world for whatever reason. Which is interesting!

I’m not sure just what it was, but this one has hooked me from the get-go! Almost nothing has happened, yet I’m excited for what will happen! I’m falling in love with all the characters, enjoying how they interact with each other, and appreciating how smart they are. I’m also loving how it plays with people’s appearance-based expectations and what lies behind those appearances. What you see ain’t always what you get, ya know?

Depending on what happens, this one could very well become on of my all-time favorite anime. 🙂

ranpo kitan_game_of_laplaceRanpo Kitan: Game of Laplace

I am dropping this one.

We have a collection of grisly, gruesome, disturbing murders which are investigated and solved by a couple of students with superior intelligence. Only, there’s not that much actual investigation and detective work involved. Two out of two cases, we have them just setting up clumsy traps and getting really lucky. It just magically works.

I mentioned how I hate tragedies, right? Well, we have a collection of tragedies here, without being properly off-set by intelligent characters and plots, or anything poignant, or positive, etc. It might appeal to some people, and more power to them, but it’s just not my cup of tea, ya know?

rokka_no_yuusha2Rokka: Braves of the Six Flowers

The first several episodes are apparently all to set up what the premise promises: seven heroes are chosen to fight a demon lord, only there’s supposed to just be six of them, so obviously one of them must be a traitor and a spy! It’s not like the goddess that chose them can change her mind, right? Nope. And somehow it’s supposed to be the main protagonist who is the spy! The reasoning for that has yet to be revealed, but I expect it to be interesting, at least.

This one isn’t so much gripping me with the plot as it is with the characters. The protagonist, in particular, is entertaining to me. I like redheaded, mischief-making geniuses, ya know? 😉 But I have to consider: what if he really is a spy, with false memories implanted to fool himself as much as anyone else? This could be a pretty fun story!

Yep, following this one.

akagami_no_shirayuki-hime2Snow White with the Red Hair

I am not usually one for obvious love stories, but this one is pretty endearing so far! The “Snow White” or “Shirayuki” of this tale has red hair instead of black (thus the title). She’s an herbalist, and a skilled one, and quite lovely. She attracts the unwanted attention of a prince who wants her to be his concubine. She refuses, and flees, and meets another prince, one with some actual morality to him. Interesting experiences follow, and we can assume they’ll fall in love.

What I like about this take on the tale is how both the woman and her prince are strong people, in different ways. She’s clever, mature, with a strength of spirit that inspires him. And he is strong and capable in his own right, including physical prowess, but he’s kind and down-to-earth, and inspires her. It’s a relationship between equals, despite the class difference between them, where both parties inspire the other to improve and follow their goals.

I think I’ll like this one! Following!

ushio_and_tora_2015Ushio and Tora 2015

This is a remake of a previous series, which is also on my list of anime to watch.

A boy is growing up in a shrine/temple, and he’s been told about his ancestor to defeated a monster with a magic spear and pinned him to a stone for eternity and yada-yada, more stuff and tall tales the kid doesn’t believe. That is, not until he stumbles onto a door in the floor of a very old building, and opens it to find the spear-pinned monster below. In a crisis, the youth has to release the demon, and the two have to work together despite apparently hating each other and fully intending to dispose of the other in due time.

The interplay between these two is hilarious! Though the two of them are, by all appearances, trying to kill each other, I can see the slow construction of grudging respect between man and monster. It’s a most amusing process! And the adventures they have are pretty entertaining as well! 🙂

Following!

working_3rd_seasonWorking Season 3

I’ve reviewed the first two seasons of this anime, and didn’t give the most glowing of reports, but that was partially because the story wasn’t finished. Based on the first three episodes of this third season, I have high hopes that they might correct that particular flaw! 🙂

Following!

So, in summary:
I’ll be following Castle Town Dandelion (not zealously), Gatchaman Crowds (several episodes at once), Gate (every week), Overlord (every week), Rokka (likely every week), Snow White (every week), Ushio and Tora (every week), and Working (every week).
Possibly following Actually, I Am (leaning towards “yes”), Charlotte (on the fence), and Classroom Crisis (leaning against, but not dropping yet).
Unsure about Gangsta.
And dropping Ranpo Kitan.

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