hisuineko: (No.6)
[personal profile] hisuineko
Life has been a bit time-consuming lately. My house has just finished being repaired and I'm busier with projects at school, since this year is quite important. On spare time I still watch some new anime, and as much as I want to limit the amount of series I'm following, I'm not able to, since this year I found a lot of series that are to my liking.

Winter Season: I initially wasn't interested in any anime this season besides Gosick (which I dropped later because of the plot holes, the bland main character, and the annoying tsundere female), but then after reading impressions from other blogs, I decided to try out Hourou Musuko, Level E and Madoka Magica.
  • Being totally different from other cross-dressing anime, Hourou Musuko is a realistic take on the teenage cross-dressers, and it had been a nice ride, with great drama acting and realistic characters.
  • Level E is an adaptation from a manga by Yoshihiro Togashi (Hunter x Hunter, Yu Yu Hakusho), and is is a brilliant and intelligent humour series with the theme of aliens. It goes a bit of a downhill in the middle, but the start and the end of Level E are awesome.
  • And finally, Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica, oh god it was a fantastic series. It went instantly into my list of favorite anime as being an excellent deconstruction to the mahou shoujo genre (where you take something that seems to be a cliche premise and look at it in a totally different view, or add more realism into it). It's got a gripping plot, well-developed characters, artistic visual background and beautiful soundtrack. And it's also one of the few series that doesn't waste any minutes of each episode, the direction, the developing plot, the twists and the use of music kept me hooked from start to end.

Spring Season: At first, I didn't plan to watch any series of this season, but failed again.
  • Another series that doesn't waste any minutes in its airing time just like Madoka Magica is Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Boku-tachi wa Mada Shiranai. It had been a long time since I watched a drama anime as good as Clannad, and AnoHana, while still inferior, didn't disappoint. It has themes about childhood friends, nostalgic summer, angst about the lost of the loved one and growing up from getting over the past. Great character development and well-acted drama are the things that made me shed tears at the end.
  • There are other two shows that I only picked later and was so amazed at how they turned out much better than I expected: Tiger & Bunny and Steins;Gate. Tiger & Bunny is a good deconstruction for the superhero genre as it added more realism into the settings and characters' backstories. Steins;Gate is a sci-fi anime about time travel that has a plot that is just as good as Madoka Magica, with an enjoyable first half and epic plot twists in the second half. I also love the character designs and the art in this series, they gave the series its unique and dark atmosphere that we don't easily see anywhere.

Summer Season: I picked No.6, Usagi Drop and Mawaru Penguindrum.
  • No.6 is basically an adventure of two boys Shion and Nezumi (and also a relationship that is at the border between friendship and platonic love between these two) to discover the secrets of No.6, a dystopian city where Shion ran off from and also which Nezumi tried to destroy. As for this series, I read some of the novels, the translated manga beforehand and found this to be a compelling story with a well-developed relationship between the two main protagonists. However if you ever want to watch the anime series, I warn you to avoid the final episode. Episode 1-10 are fast-paced, solid and well-animated, but that last episode was one hell of a rushed and made-up mess, so I recommend reading [livejournal.com profile] hiriajuu's novel summary vol.8 & 9 instead.
  • Moving on, Usagi Drop is an insanely cute and realistic series about 30-year-old Daikichi and his 6-year-old aunt, who he adopted and raised. They have a really interesting father-daughter relationship (well, kinda) along with some drama that came from their awkward positions in the family. A really nice and cute series to pass the time if you're interested.
  • Mawaru Penguindrum is a big surprise. I thought it would be another family drama story and here I got a weird show about penguins, stalkers, survival strategy and love potions involved frogs. Well, as weird as it may sound this anime has a great blend of comedy and drama, weird visuals, intriguing plot twists and excellent music, all thanks to the good direction this show received. Whether the plot would turn out as good as Madoka Magica and Steins;Gate, I already see the potential and I'm looking forward to it.
  • For this season I also heard good things about Kamisama Dolls, I may pick it up someday.

Autumn Season: This season has just started airing but I already have a huge love towards some series.
  • First off, Fate/Zero. I've already read Fate/Stay Night visual novel and liked it, then I read the prequel, Fate/Zero novel and became a huge fan of Gen Urobuchi, the writer of this prequel (this guy also write the script for Madoka Magica). Seriously Fate/Zero > entire Fate series. It is the true Holy Grail War that I want to see, an epic battle between conflicting ideals and goals, dark, mature and realistically painful. The studio Ufotable, who have already done an excellent job with Kara no Kyoukai (another Type Moon novel), did a great job at adapting the first half of vol.1 of the novel, delivering beautiful artwork, animation and good storytelling. Of course being a long-time Fate fan, I'm waiting for more epicness.
  • Mirai Nikki, an adaptation from a famous mystery/suspense manga, also had a good start this season with thrilling atmosphere and good animation. I'm still looking forward to Persona 4 despite a rushed beginning compare to the game/manga.

And also Un-Go and Guilty Crown have yet to air, but I'm already excited for them.

Date: 2011-10-12 06:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] crysalice-bell.livejournal.com
Wow, what an interesting list~

Yes, I agree with your comments about Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica. I've been seeing it mentioned around anime fans, so I decided to watch it, and wasn't disappointed at all! I agree that it's amazing how they took a normally repetitive and cliche genre of anime and turned into an emotional roller-coaster deconstruction that still manages to be in-depth and amazing. As for the lyrics, if you try to read it, Connect (the OP) is about Homura, and Magia (the ED) is about Madoka. Yet the tones of the songs are reversed for them, as Connect is upbeat while Magia is creepy and dramatic. ^^

I'm looking out for Fate/Zero too. I agree that it's really the most accurate presentation of the Holy Grail War yet, because in Fate/Stay Night, even in all 3 routes of the V/N, the War is just the background or the platform for the major events. Fate/Zero really plays out the Holy Grail War as the 'war' that it is, I pretty much agree.

Date: 2011-10-13 01:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bloodcat0502.livejournal.com
If you like Madoka Magica, then you should also watch Steins;Gate as well. It can help you understand the ending of Madoka Magica better, and also other anime that involved time & space travel. Besides, Steins;Gate is a great anime on its own. It might start out slow and spend around 12 episodes just for build-up (which consists of definitions, experiments, speculations and slightly perverted comedy), but when you get to the big climax, expect emotional roller-coaster and epic plot twists just like Madoka. It's understandable since Urobuchi Gen, the writer for Madoka used to work for the company Nitro+ that produced the original visual novel Steins;Gate, so there must be the influence in each other works.

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