Checking in on the Fall 2012 season midway through
This isn't quite 'midway' except by a somewhat stretched sense of time (even by my standards of delayed watching), but now that my watchlist has settled out I feel like writing it up to go along with my initial impressions. The big surprise for me this season has been how many shows I've wound up following. In contrast to spring, where I thought I was going to follow a bunch but didn't in the end , this has been the season where I thought many shows were going to drop out but they've stuck around.
Hits, more or less in order of how eager I am to watch new episodes:
- Shin Sekai Yori: This remains good and interesting but I have
nothing compact to say about it. Oh, I do have one thing; it's
consistently beautiful (although not always conventionally pretty)
and visually well-realized. Whatever else you can say about it,
I don't think SSY ever looks boring or plain.
Now that I've read this analysis of the end credits, the SSY ED may be my favorite one of this season.
- Girls und Panzer: This continues to mix very well done sports action
(yes, with tanks) with amusing events and decent characters. One of
the things that make it work is that the creators are treating the
whole premise not so much seriously (which would make it absurd) as
respectfully; they're inviting us to enjoy it rather than laugh at it.
One reason that the action works so well is that it actually makes
sense and is presented so that we can follow it (sadly this is not
anywhere near as common as it should be).
I was pleased to find out that the protagonist's tragic past is far less tragic than initially hinted at. Well, not tragic at all, really. It's melodramatic but that's okay, this show is the kind of show where that fits. We're not supposed to take it completely seriously.
(Grim tragic pasts are overdone.)
- K: Many aspects of this are quite well done but what's more and
more sold me on the show has been the characters and their
interactions. It's reduced the trolling lately (which I don't mind)
and has started to give us decent answers to some of the outstanding
I feel that K is the second most visually impressive show that I'm watching, although it's carefully hidden behind all those blue and red filters.
- Psycho-Pass: Rather to my surprise the third episode turned my
view of this show around by presenting an interesting situation and
a decent mystery (and the show has sustained that momentum since
then). I'm not entirely enthused about the horror tinges and how the
show loves its violence against women but it remains interesting
anyways. Akane gets great faces (her smug face in episode 3 helped
sell me on the show) and great moments.
The show has fortunately gotten a more interesting approach to its cinematography and setting than desperately trying to be Ghost in the Shell.
(Violence against women is apparently the in thing this season, or maybe I'm just noticing it more this time around.)
- Robotics;Notes: I kind of would like this to keep its conspiracy
plot out of my goofy mini-robots show, but I understand that I'm
not going to get that. It's slowly but steadily picked up momentum
and interest as it goes on. I find Kai less irritating than other
- Zetsuen no Tempest: All of the main characters keep on being
non-spuds. The spouting of Shakespeare lines may get irritating
at some point but for now I remain interested in where this is
all going. My one uncertainty is that right now I don't see how
this is going to sustain itself for an apparent 22 episodes.
- Magi: I'm less enthused than I used to be, partly because it's
been a bit slow moving and partly because I've learned that it's
being adapted from a still-running shonen manga and thus we're probably
not going to get a real ending. It would be much improved if Morgianna
kicked more ass more often; she remains the best bit of the show (as
she has been pretty much since her first appearance).
Magi is a bit silly and shallow in a kids-show kind of way.
- Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo: This prospers on the alternate strengths
of periodic sharp edges and brutal honesty (where the show carefully
avoids the easy way out) mixed with well done and reasonably funny
comedy, usually with the protagonist as the poor straight man.
If you look beneath the surface I think the show is saying some
interesting things (although I could be reading things into it
that aren't really there).
(By 'reasonably funny' I mean 'actually makes me laugh sometimes'.)
I consider this show to be on the edge not so much because the current episodes are so-so but because it could very easily slip and lose the magic that's sustaining my interest so far.
- Sword Art Online: It is just as it ever was, a disappointing
mixture of good and bad. If I was a smarter person I would
stop watching because I'm not at all sure that I'm really enjoying
it any more. See Evirus for more.
(Sometimes I distract myself by coming up with ways to make it much better. Yes, this way lies doom .)
- Eureka Seven AO: The last two episodes came out at last. I wasn't entirely happy, but it's over now.
Now declared a miss:
- Ixion Saga DT: writing up my initial impressions made me decide that this wasn't funny enough to continue watching. Since it apparently beat its cluster of related jokes into the ground in subsequent episodes, I feel justified in that decision.
Despite various (passive) sales efforts, I've continued to avoid the temptation of Busou Shinki. Apparently it's continued to be almost entirely about tiny robots doing housework and mooning over their owner rather than tiny robots kicking ass, so I don't regret this in the least.
Written on 28 November 2012.