My early impressions of the Spring 2011 anime season

April 29, 2011

Another season brings another set of snapshots, just like last time, except that this has been extended and slow enough that this a lot more than first episodes by now.

Shows I've seen, more or less in the order seen:

  • Dog Days: It's a refreshing change when the summoned hero is both competent and enthusiastic about his new situation. Apart from that, this is lightweight but cheerful and fun. Honestly, there's a lot to be said for that.

  • Sengoku Otome Momoiro Paradox: this is bizarre in an almost over the top way, but ultimately it doesn't really sustain my interest (partly because it's too lightweight and too much a single joke).

  • Steins;Gate: it's at least trying to be interesting, but it's not really succeeding; it has too much incoherence and not enough coherence.

  • Softenni: this is probably decent but I found it insufficiently interesting for me to have much of an opinion on it. This is not really the show's fault, and people who like straight-up comedy will probably find it more attractive.

  • Hidan no Aria: At first I thought this was interesting, but now I think that it was kind of generic (in fact, a lot like last season's Dragon Crisis). I have no confidence that it won't be yet another action/harem show.

    (On the other hand, the third episode surprised me. So who knows. I am a perpetual optimist about these kinds of shows.)

  • [C] The Money of Soul and Possibility Control: Beneath the shiny peculiar stuff, this mostly looks like one of those 'person dragged into a fighting genre' shows that we've seen before. However, it has potential to be a well executed one.

    (It also has the potential to be an epic trainwreck of incoherence.)

  • Ao no Exorcist: It's an action show, but it's not a bad action show so far. However, the first two episodes were basically the background introduction; things may change now that it's moving on to the main setting.

  • Deadman Wonderland: This would be a lot easier to feel very enthused about if the setting wasn't so over the top implausible. Apart from that, it doesn't really stand out (except by promising the standard shonen fighting tournament, which does not exactly thrill me). In fact, the more I think about it the less enthused I am by this. I don't really need to watch two 'trapped protagonist' shows this season, and [C] is much more interesting and better executed (and has a far less offensive setting; Deadman Wonderland is asking me to watch lethal bloodsports).

  • Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko: This made me smile. A lot. The narration totally makes it work. Although I did not expect it, this is the show that most made me go 'I want the next episode right now'.

    (I recognize that this charm may wear off fast, but I'm going to enjoy it while it lasts.)

  • Dororon Enma-kun Meramera: The retro style and setting of this doesn't lift it out of the 'competent but uninspired' category. In the wake of Panty & Stocking, I find myself not impressed.

  • Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai (aka AnoHana): This is a well made show in a genre that I generally don't find interesting. It's probably not well made enough to keep me watching it, though, which I sort of regret.

I'm going to skip trying to list the shows that I haven't watched for various reasons.

Looking at the list, I expect to continue following Dog Days because it is plain fun, Ao no Exorcist for decently well executed typical shonen action fare, [C] because it's well made, interesting, and they're at least trying to be unusual, and Denpa Onna for as long as it keeps making me smile happily. Steins;Gate and Hidan no Aria are kind of on the edge. AnoHana I will probably lose interest in soon.

(Disclaimer: predictions are dangerous. I'm probably going to be wrong, and anyways I have low willpower for stopping watching shows that are just on the edge and could be good next episode maybe.)

Written on 29 April 2011.
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Last modified: Fri Apr 29 23:20:52 2011
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