2013 Winter Anime Season Half Point Review
The 2013 Winter anime season continued to ride the wave of interesting and unique series that began in late 2012. Accordingly a few new shows have been added and some old favorites have advanced to their final stages.
The list is all shuffled as the new and old collide! Check it out to see which new series ranked higher than most of the oldies, and which series took the honorable title of best anime of the Winter season.
A few notes before we begin. I dropped The Pet Girl of Sakurasou after episode 12, which isn’t much of a surprise considering my last review of it had a disclaimer that basically read: “Do not watch unless utterly bored”. I also watched the first episode of Tamako Market and decided not to continue after realizing it is a far cry from K-ON! and isn’t exactly my cup of tea.
From the New World (Shinsekai Yori)
After raising many question marks in its early episodes From the New World finally hits its stride midway and it definitely delivers. Saki’s worst dreams come true as she loses yet two more friends. Now the only remaining members from her childhood group are her and Satoru. Ten years pass with relative silence, but the peace does not last for long. The Queerats – long servants of the humans – rebel against them and horror ensues. I must say the horror genre truly suits Shinsekai Yori perfectly. I’ve invested a lot in Saki and Satoru, got to know them and their society. So now I’m genuinely scared when they are cornered from every direction and must survive at all costs against the Queerats and another, even more frightening, threat. It’s the last stretch for the series and I’m hyped to see which faction wins and how the survivors shape the world
Status: This series is pulling me in and already went beyond what I initially credited it with. Needless to say I’m still following it, but just as before I don’t think it’s mainstream enough to be appreciated by everyone.
I already wrote a first impression post on Sasami and for now it seems this series is doing exactly what it set out to do. It keeps me guessing at times, but never for more than an episode or two, and it manages to surprise me on every turn. With Sasami-san@Ganbaranai I can never know what the next episode holds, but I can always count on it being entertaining. I even enjoy the funny ending theme thingy (it fondly reminds me of Lucky Star’s karaoke box ending). Oh, and did I mention Sasami is arguably the best looking show this season?
Status: Sasami-san@Ganbaranai is a keeper. I’m enjoying more than one aspect of it and it is the most unique series on my current watching list.
After reigning supreme for more than a season Bakuman 3 has dropped to the honorable 3rd spot. I found the End of Crow arc to be a bit weak. The mangaka learn that Nizuma Eiji is about to end Crow, and are very happy for him because this will mean his manga will end while still at its peak. And yet they nonetheless actively state they will try to surpass his manga with all their might in order for it not to end. Talk about contradictions! Those cool lines about friendship and rivalry won’t confuse me. No sir. You can’t dance at two weddings. You either want Nizuma’s manga to end or you don’t.
On the brighter side after that arc ended things started getting really good. The relationship between Hiromaru and Aoki are becoming sweeter with every episode. It also seems like Takagi and Mashiro will soon have their coveted anime series – which will be a great victory for them but will mark the end of the show (which will in turn make me sad).
Status: Overall Bakuman 3 is still going strong. I wonder if they can’t expend the series into a 4th season that will show us how anime is made…
Robotics;Notes is still located in the “almost bad” status because nothing of importance has happened in it for long while now. Sure, robots went on a rampant and one of the minor characters fell off a cliff, but the main point of the story still remains unclear and with 16 episodes behind its back Robotics;Notes sure is taking its sweet time. I hope Kai finish collecting all those Kimishima reports (aka notes) soon so that I can fully understand what the hell am I watching.
Status: I still adore Aki and Frau and will undoubtedly finish this series, but it sure is frustrating when a show tries to hold into all of its secrets to the very end. There is nothing worse than an info-dump during the last episode, and I really hope the director of Robotics;Notes is aware of that.
Maoyuu Maou Yuusha
I’ve rambled on and on about Maoyuu Maou Yuusha two weeks ago, and unfortunately it still isn’t any good. The show is all over the place in terms of plot; Prancing between fighting, silly romance and economics like it was a drunken ballerina (frankly a show about a drunken ballerina might have fared better than that). Regardless of the fact that Maoyuu Maou Yuusha is based on a series of novels it does a horrendous job at telling a story. Right now I’m not enjoying it one bit, even though I’m honestly doing my best to hype myself before watching it every single week.
Status: Unstable. I’ll give it four more episodes or so before giving it the boot.
Yes, Psycho-Pass is still bad. Episodes 15 and 16 were considered by some to be the epitome of the series, but ultimately amounted to a big, resounding, nothing. Psycho-Pass is always dwindling a carrot in front of my face but never allows me to taste it. I feel cheated because none of the main characters (Akane, Gino and Kougami) are worth cheering, the bad guy is super generic and the story is simply terrible.
Status: Still watching since the ending theme is really good (but that’s really it). If you’re still thinking whether or not this will become something worth watching, I think by this point it’s safe to assume that it won’t.
And that’s it for this season. Thankfully there weren’t any “ugly” shows this time around. As usual I couldn’t possibly watch all the new titles that came along so if you’ve seen a new show this season that I haven’t touched yet and want me and the readers to know about it be sure to recommend it in the comments section below.