Ashita no Anime

Anime of Tomorrow

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Anime of the Week (11/25 – 12/1)

Anime of the Week – Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo
Sakurasou5 Failure—I mean REAL failure—is not a dilemma that is easy to address. But Sorata’s comeback from the edge of despair to find the determination to give his dream another go is terrific. It’s truly wonderful having friends who will be there to make sure you laugh instead of cry when the weight of life gets you down. Also, kudos for sneaking in a swimsuit segment that actually felt like a natural change of pace rather than an out-of-place fanservice excuse.                              
November 25 SAO Ep. 21 All in all, this series has way too many transition episodes that serve no other purpose besides providing new information.
Shinsekai Ep. 9 I somehow find it odd that the amateurish sleuthing of these young people seems to have gone unnoticed by the authorities.
Little Busters Ep. 8 This is how an anime based on a dating sim should be done. Introduce the girls organically instead of using arcs.
Sengoku Basara Ep. 2 The worst part of this anime is that it doesn’t explain ANYTHING. Is it too much to ask for some background info?
Sengoku Basara Ep. 3 Um…What just happened? I feel like I missed an entire war and now all the characters are living out their epilogues.
Sengoku Basara Ep. 4 The characters have no personality and the battles lack strategy; banging rocks together would be more entertaining.
Sengoku Basara Ep. 5 I let Masamune’s horse-cycle slide until a mech showed up. Inconsistent doesn’t begin to describe this anime’s tone.
Girls und Panzer Ep. 6 This is how a battle should go. Teamwork, tactics, terrain advantage and a nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat climax.
November 26 Ichizon Lv.2 Ep. 2 This anime’s usual style of starting off halfway through the conflict and getting distracted along the way is too fun.
Total Eclipse Ep. 21 I know I’ve said people can’t stop fighting even in the face of extinction, but this might be taking it too far.
November 27 Eureka AO Ep. 23 To a large degree, Ao’s hesitation in the face of the inevitable decision he’s forced to make continues to be annoying.
Eureka AO Ep. 24 The drama of characters’ past decisions is made moot when it all ends up just being erased as if it had never happened.
Sakurasou Ep. 8 There is a powerful sense of drive and accomplished in the way Sorata chases his dreams with such clarity and determination.
November 28 Jormungand PO Ep. 8 Ok, we get it! Koko and Minami have a secret plan they’re working on and everyone wants in. Tell us what the heck it is!
November 30 Chuunibyou Ep. 9 My day was made when Nibutani’s attempt to get Yuuta and Rikka together succeeded genuinely, deeply and wholeheartedly.
Psycho-Pass Ep. 8 Some smart detective work, a macabre philosophical viewpoint and tenacious characters create a masterpiece of intrigue.
December 1 Zetsuen Ep. 9 Value is not intrinsic. It is a human construct that varies from person to person. We are the ones who give meaning to life.
BTOOOM! Ep. 9 Between psychological attacks on people’s character, reading body language and battlefield tactics, this anime has it all.

*You could have read these mini-reviews in real time as I updated my status by following me on Twitter.

Anime of the Week (9/23 – 9/29)

Anime of the Week – Rinne no Lagrange 2
All too often the fun series that lack deeper meaning get overlooked a little too easily in favor of their more grandiose counterparts. But there’s nothing wrong with keeping things simple and just telling a straightforward, solid story that’s well-paced and feels really good.                              
September 23 SAO Ep. 12 A great example of something that pushes our conception of sentience. Sadly, it seems the heroes’ honeymoon will be cut short.
Kokoro Connect Ep. 12 I think rediscovering important things you forgot from your childhood would be worth turning back into a kid.
September 24 Total Eclipse Ep. 13 Yuuya can’t die yet, but he’s in a real pinch. How honest our heroes will be with their feelings remains to be seen.
Lagrange 2 Ep. 12 What a weird and somehow fitting ending to a series that did a great job dancing the line between serious and silly.
Dog Days 2 Ep. 12 The story seems to have glossed over that this is an action / romance at its heart because the conflict has escaped.
Hagure Yuusha Ep. 12 If Accel World is the epitome of a good open ending, then this series is a case for conclusions that need more closure.
Eureka AO Ep. 21 At this point, the plot has been lost entirely. I’m so hopelessly confused by jumbled pasts and poorly-informed motives.
September 26 Tari Tari Ep. 13 It’s really ironic. In an attempt to be truly beautiful and dramatic, everything instead feels over the top and empty.
H ga Dekinai Ep. 11 I’m not sure a somber tone is the right move. Everything was always so lighthearted and honest—if at times too ecchi.
September 28 H ga Dekinai Ep. 12 This was a nice surprise. The ending turned out smart, moving and best of all it resolved in a really original way.
September 29 Koichoco Ep. 12 Chisato has some smart remarks to Yuuki regarding his prioritizing her over the election they all worked so hard on.
Eureka AO Ep. 22 How many times will every character change their affiliation or alliance? I get that right and wrong are in flux, but jeez.

*You could have read these mini-reviews in real time as I updated my status by following me on Twitter.

Anime of the Week (9/9 – 9/15)

Anime of the Week – Sword Art Online
After its ominous start followed up by an epic boss battle, SAO became an episodic stroll as we watched Kirito lend his assistance to one young lady after another…until last week when things changed. There’s finally some pressure on our heroes and as the focus shifts from surviving to just living, the story can only become more enriched.                              
September 9 Koichoco Ep. 9 Yep. I knew this series would have some excellent moments of backstabbing politics, sad memories and heartbreaking love.
SAO Ep. 10 Where did all this edge-of-your-seat tension come from suddenly? The action and plot development has finally picked up the pace.
September 10 Kokoro Connect Ep. 10 Between conceited assumptions and a heartfelt confession, Inaba is an absolute mess. Why does love mess people up?
Hagure Yuusha Ep. 10 Scattered and overly ecchi—I say it every time—this series also mixes in a good amount of serious action and drama.
Hyouka Ep. 21 Maybe it’s because I’ve never been loved or in love, but I think Satoshi doesn’t know what an enviable position he’s in.
Lagrange 2 Ep. 10 The calm before the storm has passed and all bets are off. I’m expecting the ending to be spirited, but fairly generic.
Total Eclipse Ep. 11 Things are getting predictable. If Yuuya rushes to save “Princess” Yui from the BETA, I want you to know I called it.
Eureka AO Ep. 19 Wow. What started as simple business politics turned into one of the biggest shocks and twists I’ve seen in this series.
September 11 Dog Days 2 Ep. 10 Yeah…pretty ordinary. The spark of creativity has left and this battle is really just about going through the motions.
September 12 Tari Tari Ep. 11 This anime doesn’t handle its time skips gracefully. Everything is too cliché and the characters are always victims.
H ga Dekinai Ep. 9 I like that this series is not following a rigid, standard formula and actually has an expanding and evolving conflict.
September 13 Arcana Famiglia Ep. 10 I like that this series isn’t a drawn out contest, but will the arcana duel ever happen? There’s not much time left.
September 14 Natsuyuki Rendezvous Ep. 11 I really hate romance anime that cut off the story right at the moment the hero and heroine fall in love.
Koichoco Ep. 10 The dark secrets are finally coming to light and a lot of the characters’ unique quirks are starting to make sense.
September 15 H ga Dekinai Ep. 10 As simple and empty as some of the scenes are in this series, it still keeps twisting and turning with my expectations.
Accel World Ep. 23 Although some realism has left the battles in favor of contests of willpower, it’s still epic, dynamic and emotional.
Eureka AO Ep. 20 Sadly, things have started to get needlessly complicated and I’m losing perspective on what exactly is happening and why.

*You could have read these mini-reviews in real time as I updated my status by following me on Twitter.

Anime of the Week (8/26 – 9/1)

Anime of the Week – Hyouka
Ah the irony. In the attempt to make a wild guess while still reaching a plausible conclusion to demonstrate his own falibility, Houtarou only succeeded in proving his skills of deduction may exceed his modest self-assessment far more than he ever expected. Oh, and Chitanda’s earnest expressions are adorable.                              
August 26 SAO Ep. 8 Even in an MMO, food is a good way to bond with others. At Kirito’s level, does he have anything to fear from other players?
Kokoro Connect Ep. 8 It’s hard to say anything profound about plot pieces that are a setup for the next step but don’t really go anywhere.
August 27 Dog Days 2 Ep. 8 I wish they could have put more effort into the composition of Yui Horie’s song. She has such a gentle and pleasant voice.
Total Eclipse Ep. 9 I can only imagine how a 20+ soldier must feel being the rearguard to an army of more experienced, younger pilots.
Lagrange 2 Ep. 8 The Jersey Club characters are energetic, proper and air-headed and now with the addition of Reiko they have clumsy.
Hyouka Ep. 19 This organic flow of thoughts from a solid start to a wild conclusion has a more intellectual feel than I’m accustomed to.
August 28 Hagure Yuusha Ep. 8 It’s time for things to get serious. Akatsuki is overpowered and that’s fine, but I’d like him to have a real match.
Arcana Famiglia Ep. 8 This series always has a nice charm to it, but I can’t see its overall objective. What end is it headed towards?
August 29 Tari Tari Ep. 9 To highlight each character’s struggles and efforts, this series has a weird flow of mini-arcs that feel too formulaic.
H ga Dekinai Ep. 6 Interestingly, this very ecchi series is showing the ability to tell a complex and engaging, if somewhat clichéd story.
H ga Dekinai Ep. 7 I’ve watched quite a few bad ecchi anime, but this series makes me glad I can look past its titillating shortcomings.
August 30 Arcana Famiglia Ep. 9 I like using tarot as the basis for supernatural abilities, but I don’t think those powers are interpreted very well.
H ga Dekinai Ep. 8 I say it often, but writers need to have more confidence and stay away from ecchi that ruins an otherwise good story.
August 31 Natsuyuki Rendezvous Ep. 9 Gosh, this series really does like to drag out this climax it’s been building towards for almost three episodes.
Koichoco Ep. 8 While it’s great that the side characters are getting some attention, it’s distracting a little too much from the main story.
September 1 Accel World Ep. 21 We have hit that time in the season when all anime are entering their climax phases and nothing decisive is happening.
Eureka AO Ep. 18 I understand the conflict in Ao’s heart over the power he wields, but from a writing standpoint it’s too wishy-washy.
Hagure Yuusha Ep. 9 Izumi’s line at the start of the episode is blunt, but she summarizes this series well. You can’t stay mad at Akatsuki.

*You could have read these mini-reviews in real time as I updated my status by following me on Twitter.

Anime of the Week (8/19 – 8/25)

Anime of the Week – Hyouka
Houtarou possesses an honorable character trait that I wish more people would appreciate. He’s willing to never be completely certain unless he has all the facts straight. It’s a humility that allows him to be honest with himself and never resign to take something at face value.                                
August 19 SAO Ep. 7 Dealing with the troubles of romance is fine, but I feel like this MMORPG is too much massively multiplayer and not enough RPG.
Kokoro Connect Ep. 7 I think the mind swapping arc was funnier than unleashed desires, but acting on your emotions has an honesty I like.
August 20 Dog Days 2 Ep. 7 Another old idea, reused and rehashed. This series is still fun, but I hoped there would be more weight to its triumphs.
Total Eclipse Ep. 8 I guess it’s a testament to the writers who envisioned a collapsing world where humanity is still divided by politics.
Lagrange 2 Ep. 7 There’s something inescapably likeable about a girl like Madoka who has the honesty and guts to call things as they are.
Hyouka Ep. 18 It’s interesting how a few random thoughts can create the perfect storm that strikes your memory like a bolt of lightning.
August 21 Samurai X Ep. 1 Throughout every second of this anime, I’m bothered by the fact that Kenshin is the only character without black hair.
Samurai X Ep. 2 An anime that shows visceral death but not torture has annoying thematic inconsistencies, even if the story is interesting.
Samurai X Ep. 3 Someone thought it was stylistic to use live action video in an anime, but it makes mixing drawing and CGI look amazing.
Samurai X Ep. 4 With bad animation, barely audible music and fairly decent writing, I don’t see how this is the best anime of all time.
Tari Tari Ep. 8 As the heartbreak comes and goes, it’s hard to feel strongly for the characters when everything works out so easily.
August 23 Hagure Yuusha Ep. 7 After six and a half episodes back on Earth, I’d thought we were finished with Alazzard. I’m glad to see there’s more.
August 24 Natsuyuki Rendezvous Ep. 8 How long can a story drag out the protagonist’s decision to press forward when he’s thinking of giving up?
Koichoco Ep. 7 I love how playful this series is with its suggestive tones. It never crosses any lines and always maintains an air of class.
August 25 Accel World Ep. 20 I had a feeling something would happen soon that would trigger the Armor of Catastrophe to begin to influence Haru.
Eureka AO Ep. 17 As the reality of the world comes into focus, so too do Ao’s motivations. I can’t wait to see what his decision will be.
H ga Dekinai Ep. 5 As juvenile as this anime’s themes are, I’m always left with the impression that its heart is in the right place.

*You could have read these mini-reviews in real time as I updated my status by following me on Twitter.

Anime of the Week (6/24 – 6/30)

Anime of the Week – Accel World
This series is really making a reputation for itself as a top-notch shounen / action anime. A generous dose of science fiction, a dash of the supernatural, some hints of romance, a sprinking of philosophy and just enough comedy have created a winning formula.
June 24 Fate/Zero Ep. 25 What an utter, inane, pointless, rubbish ending. Easily one of the most disappointing anime I’ve ever watched.
Acchi Kocchi Ep. 11 The jokes were really hitting their marks this time. I love it that the topics are usually things I can relate to.
June 26 Hyouka Ep. 11 Just when I thought this mystery was sewn up, it goes and gets torn open again. I feel I’m loosing some of the pieces, too.
June 27 Eureka AO Ep. 10 I like these kinds of twists where the older leadership gets turned on its head in favor of younger, more creative minds.
Tasogare Otome Ep. 12 I was worried this serious ending would feel weird compared to the rest of the series. But my fears were unfounded.
June 28 Jormungand Ep. 12 This season finale was in too much of a hurry to wrap things up. That’s a shame because there’s another season coming.
June 29 Accel World Ep. 12 Those who seek power must be careful. Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely, but it rocks absolutely, too.
Acchi Kocchi Ep. 12 I feel like this series was a profound lesson about innocent romance coated in a sweet shell of delicious moe comedy.
Sankarea Ep. 12 Since this series is presumably going to get wrapped up in its OVAs, this season finale seems to be building up to that end.
June 30 Eureka AO Ep. 11 I really like these complicated spy vs counter spy entanglements that leave you wondering whose side everyone is on.

*You could have read these mini-reviews in real time as I updated my status by following me on Twitter.

Anime of the Week (6/10 – 6/16)

Anime of the Week – Jormungand
Koko’s foresight and ability to read people adds terrific depth to her character and is a complement to some well-thought action scenes and perfectly-timed comedic moments.                                
June 11 Fate/Zero Ep. 23 Between characters with inconsistent personalities and stupid one-upmanship fights there’s no shortage of bad writing.
Acchi Kocchi Ep. 10 It’s a little unseasonal to have a Christmas episode this time of year. But that doesn’t detract from the charm.
Kore wa Zombie 2 Ep. 4 The first season had a wacky story, but it was definitely going someplace. This is completely aimless and boring.
Tasogare Otome Ep. 10 The first-person POV animation style of this episode really sells the effect of experiencing someone else’s memories.
Medaka Box Ep. 5 I’m impressed by how well many anime from this season are finding good twists to put on stereotypical fanservice themes.
June 12 Hyouka Ep. 8 It seems the classics club is gaining a reputation for solving mysteries. I can sympathize with Oreki’s dislike of summer.
June 13 Jormungand Ep. 10 I love how Koko can request a huge piece of artillery with the same tone of voice as a child asking for an ice cream cone.
June 15 Sankarea Ep. 0 The cryptic tone of fate that fills this simple prequel has a naturalness to it that epitomizes everyone’s personality.
Sankarea Ep. 9 This break from the action of the main story feels misplaced. But it was a nice bit of insight into Mero’s dry personality.
June 16 Accel World Ep. 10 Seeing the full game world of Brain Burst is a real eye-opener. Aging mentally but not physically must be incredible.
Sankarea Ep. 10 Danichirou is the overprotective father of daughters’ nightmares. His blind devotion has even broken his neglected wife.
Eureka AO Ep. 9 Ao’s chivalrous attitude is a good character trait, but I’m inclined to think it doesn’t get him into trouble often enough.

*You could have read these mini-reviews in real time as I updated my status by following me on Twitter.

Anime of the Week (6/3 – 6/9)

Anime of the Week – Hyouka
This continues week after week to be one of the best thinking person’s anime that’s been able to scratch my puzzle itch for quite a while. Probably the most important thing it displays is mastery of pacing out its clues between dialogue, setting and visual hints.                                
June 4 Acchi Kocchi Ep. 9 Sometimes it’s best to keep things simple. But other times it’s better to stick with what you know how to do well.
Fate/Zero Ep. 22 Maybe I could appreciate all this philosophical talk if I didn’t know it was all for naught. But it feels so empty to me.
Accel World Ep. 9 Yuniko’s methods may have been underhanded, but with a boss character looming over everything it’s understandable.
Eureka AO Ep. 8 I get that Generation Bleu’s mission isn’t to save Naru, but deviating from her predicament doesn’t feel right to me.
Hyouka Ep. 7 Onsen episodes often aren’t done correctly, but there’s nothing inherently bad about them. Just make sure there’s a story.
June 6 Tasogare Otome Ep. 9 Seeing Yuuko’s shadow develop a personality with Teiichi between them is like living in someone’s mental disorder.
June 7 Jormungand Ep. 9 I wonder why this anime is so hung up on using euphemisms for the names of all the warring countries Koko works for.
Medaka Box Ep. 4 This series has no pressure to finish an ongoing story arc and will let it spill partway into the next episode if needed.

*You could have read these mini-reviews in real time as I updated my status by following me on Twitter.

Anime of the Week (5/27 – 6/2)

Anime of the Week – Hyouka
Chitanda’s radiance is addictive and contrasts so well with Oreki’s energy-conserving personality. The coupling of thought-provoking puzzles and a prismatic palate of colors gives this anime beauty and brains.                                
May 27 Eureka AO Ep. 6 I’m sad to see the trope of the indecisive boy pilot. But I’m pleased to finally have the main villain get introduced.
Fate/Zero Ep. 21 Stay Night actually got its viewers invested in the characters. Zero is detached and simply going through the motions.
Eureka AO Ep. 7 The pace of this series is something else. It’s hard to follow sometimes, but I can see it making the circuit complete.
May 29 Hyouka Ep. 6 I was worried after Chitanda’s big mystery got solved that this anime’s puzzles would disappear. I’m so happy I was wrong.
Another Ep. 0 Now this is what an OVA should be—something that enhances the plot established in the main series without intruding too much.
May 30 Jormungand Ep. 8 The full opening for Jormungand came out earlier this week. I love Mami Kawada’s voice—and her English is pretty good, too.
Tasogare Otome Ep. 8 “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned,” seems the most appropriate phrase to describe the current situation.
May 31 Sankarea Ep. 8 This series meshes zombie tropes and being alive but with a dead body to present some very intuitive, creative problems.
Medaka Box Ep. 3 If you’re going to fill an anime with tropes, Medaka’s style of loving them to death is at least an entertaining choice.

*You could have read these mini-reviews in real time as I updated my status by following me on Twitter.

Anime of the Week (5/13 – 5/19)

Anime of the Week – Acchi Kocchi
I don’t know that I’ve ever applied this word to an anime before, but I think the best way to describe Acchi Kocchi is “precious.”                                
May 13 Accel World Ep. 6 For all of Haruyuki’s talent, it’s a terrific character flaw to see that he still has the shortsightedness of a newbie.
Black Lagoon Ep. 4 Some of the story ideas for this anime are really off the wall, but at least they manage to keep things interesting.
Black Lagoon Ep. 5 You don’t have to explain everything, but some details can’t be overlooked—like why there is air in a sunken ship.
Fate/Zero Ep. 19 This is the kind of story I was hoping to see more of in this series. Not the predictable stuff that hogs so much time.
May 14 Eureka AO Ep. 4 I think the strength of this series is how it’s honest and doesn’t put up any pretenses. The story is all it needs.
C3 OVA While delightfully off-canon as most OVAs are, it also fails to recapture the series’ spirit. At least it manages to be lighthearted.
May 15 Black Lagoon Ep. 6 I can’t tell if this was just an unlucky job or the start of some larger plot arc that is slowly revealing itself.
Acchi Kocchi Ep. 6 This anime succeeds again at putting charming twists on some stereotypical school drama scenes. It’s an adorable romance.
May 16 Sankarea Ep. 6 “Give me freedom or give me death,” is a simple enough theme and associating death with freedom is a really cool concept.
Jormungand Ep. 6 After the opening battle I had a funny thought that all cargo ships rounding the southern end of Africa should hire Koko.
May 17 Hyouka Ep. 4 I like mysteries, but this was a little too information heavy. The hesitation at the end also indicates this isn’t over.
Ladies vs Butlers Ep. 1 Somewhere I’d heard good things about this anime, but it’s a poster-child for what happens when ecchi goes too far.
Tasogare Otome Ep. 3 This anime’s playfulness combined with the way it makes light of its darkness makes it both fun and insightful.
May 18 Sankarea Ep. 7 This review of Chihiro’s history with Ranko would have been a lot less interesting if it wasn’t for his zombie mania.
Eureka AO Ep. 5 It’s pretty clear that Ao is in the process of finding himself. But what intrigues me most is Generation Blue’s motives.
Tasogare Otome Ep. 4 I’m impressed by how well this anime transitions from playful to serious without skipping a beat. It’s beautiful.
May 19 Accel World Ep. 7 Is this episode about camaraderie or about learning to forgive yourself? Either way, it was a little too sentimental.
Acchi Kocchi Ep. 7 Well-scripted timing of romantic humor is definitely this series’ best asset. If you like moe this is a must watch.

*You could have read these mini-reviews in real time as I updated my status by following me on Twitter.

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