suntzuanime

A thoughtful response to current anime.

Fall 2012 Episode 2 Rankings

10: Robotics;Notes:

The “miracle” never happen.

Full post. The robotics club struggles to get their hobby robot working to compete in the competition. Second episode did not thrill me any more than the first did. They introduced more characters I didn’t care about, hinted at backstories for existing characters I didn’t care about, and haggled with a toothless old man over a hundred bucks worth of robot parts. (NO CHANGE)

9: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure:

It’s a doggie dog world.

Full post. JoJo discovers his father is being poisoned by Dio, and sets off on a quest for the antidote. This show got unbearably ridiculous faster than I expected. This episode introduced Speedwagon, king of the hoodlums. Oh boy. Plus, the plot threads don’t seem to tie together well – what does the magic vampire mask have to do with anything? The storytelling in this episode was pretty badly disjointed. (DOWN 5)

8: Little Busters:

Please be sure to vote for candidates who support gay rights in the upcoming election.

The Little Busters recruit Komari to join their baseball team. The first half of this episode dragged pretty badly, but it got better towards the end. Komari’s tryout had me laughing, and Rin’s reaction to her presence was pretty cute. I wonder if the problem with the first episode-and-a-half was that there weren’t enough girls? As an adaptation of a male-oriented visual novel, the guys aren’t supposed to be the main draw. So now that they’re starting to introduce enough girls to pass the Bechtel test, maybe things will get better from here on out. (UP 1)

7: Chuunibyou Demo Koi Ga Shitai:

That’s just what the High Priestess of the Administration bureau would say, though.

Full post. Rikka finds a cat but her sister won’t let her keep it. Rikka was cute in this episode (as amply documented in the full post), but it felt, I dunno, kinda soulless? Rikka’s moe characteristic is her refusal to engage with reality, but just as the bored character in Robotics;Notes makes me sorta bored, the disengaged character in Chuu2 makes me sorta disengaged. (DOWN 4)

6: Onii-chan Dakedo Ai Sae Areba Kankeinai Yo Ne?:

What a reliable imouto!

Akito doesn’t have enough friends, which worries his devoted younger sister. This episode had some funny jokes and it kept up a decent pace. I was a little surprised at how overtly sexual the opening animation was, but whatever. This episode followed the usual harem formula of taking some situation and then iterating over the haremettes showing how each of them reacts to it. A prime example of middle-of-the-road anime, reasonably enjoyable but entirely unmemorable. (UP 1)

5: Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo:

Tsundere is a national disease.

Sorata is put in charge of taking care of Mashiro by the other residents of Sakurasou. Mashiro was pretty great in this episode. The scene with her in the convenience store not knowing what the heck was nice, and she really showed off her adorable lack of affect in the scene where she was exploring Sorata’s naked body. Unfortunately the characters that aren’t Mashiro weren’t so great. I don’t care about Sorata not knowing what he wants to do with his life (you’re 17, cry me a river), the misunderstanding with his childhood friend was completely cookie-cutter generic, and I was a little annoyed by the two anime geniuses when they were getting all lovey-dovey with each other. I guess the maid AI was ok. (DOWN 3)

4: Busou Shinki:

OK

The Shinki work to make a delicious meal for their master. This was a really nice, heartwarming episode. We learned valuable lessons about the value of friendship, the importance of proper kitchen sanitation, and the limits of pacifism in a world full of hooligans. There were a bunch of fun sight gags as they were preparing the meal, too, I don’t think I could ever get tired of watching tiny robot maids try to cook. This episode reminded me a lot of like, a Tom & Jerry cartoon, actually. Less emphasis on characters and dialogue than most anime, more emphasis on quick sight gags and cartoony action. (UP 4)

3: Shin Sekai Yori:

Haha, I have days like that.

Full post. The students practice their TK skills by playing Psi-Sports. This episode was atmospheric. I’m not usually one to get taken in by the atmosphere of a fantasy world, but there’s just something about how aggressively normal everything in this episode was. I could believe it was a world people would live in and raise children and oppress ratpeople and cower inside the Holy Barrier and play clay doll soccer battlebots and feed kids to cat demons. Which is a lot to ask! (UP 3)

2: Psycho-Pass:

You’d think a reputation like that would make the Enforcers less inclined to screw with her, not more.

Full post. Akane deals with the consequences of her hectic first day. Like Shin Sekai Yori, this episode won a lot of points for atmosphere. And it won some political points for not showing the world as some dull dystopia, but actually making it seem like a world people would live in and etc. I guess I should have expected a little more nuance from the guy who wrote the scene between Kiritsugu and the Holy Grail in Fate/Zero. I felt like I got to know Akane a bit from this episode, and hey, she seems cool. (UP 3)

1: Hayate no Gotoku 3:

….

Nagi’s supposed little sister fights for Nagi’s acceptance. This episode had more of the fast-paced action-comedy that I liked in the first episode. I guess that’s the power of having the author working directly on the anime rather than having a team adapting a source manga – the gags can be intentionally timed for the pacing of an anime. The big battle between Hayate and Nagi’s sister probably would have had fewer gags in a manga version, for example, and would have felt stretched out if it were being adapted. Instead it was firing on all cylinders. One upsetting thing I noticed, though, was that the show seems to be set further into the storyline than the English translation of the manga has reached. Spoilers! Gosh! It’s like they don’t care about the delicate sensibilities of the English fansub audience. (NO CHANGE)

Big Winners: Psycho-Pass, Shin Sekai Yori, Busou Shinki

Big Losers: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai, Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo

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