Brief early impressions of the Summer 2013 anime season

July 29, 2013

As before this is my (slow, delayed) impressions of the summer's crop of new shows, or at least those that I've watched so far. I will skip trying to explain why these 'early impressions' are in fact rather late.

Things I am enthused about (so far):

  • Uchouten Kazoku (aka Eccentric Family): If this was a western work I'd call it urban fantasy (of the old fashioned Charles de Lint sort, not the new variety with vampire romance) and as it happens I'm quite fond of that (sub-)genre. Other people have lots of interesting things to say about the show's themes and stuff. I'm too distracted enjoying all of the characters bouncing off each other and the setting.

    (A resigned frog down a well. How could I not love it?)

  • Gatchaman Crowds: So far this is fast-moving, weird, and decidedly playing against cliche and genre expectations in all sorts of nice ways. Hajime is an excellent character in a cast of good ones and I can't wait to see what happens next. Oh, by fast-moving I mean that this show gets stuff done; more happened in the first three episodes than some shows manage in a season (although mostly in the second and especially third episodes).

    (GC is a show that probably can be analyzed a lot but I'm not going to attempt that right now. I'd rather watch and enjoy cheerfully.)

By the way, as a general rule the more I'm enjoying a show the less I have to say about it in the beginning. Like many people I find it easier to write useful criticism than interesting and coherent praise.

Okay (so far) but not enthused:

  • Monogatari Series Second Season: I think that the appeal of the Monogatari series is fading for me (the love story of Bakemonogatari was my personal highlight). It's okay, but I keep kind of thinking that it's too clever for its own good and that it could be more tightly edited. Still I'm invested in it so I'm going to keep watching for now.

    The absence of Araragi improves the show.

On the edge:

  • Stella Jogakuin Koutouka C3-bu: This is not Girls und Panzer by any stretch of the imagination but it's decently okay. I'm not sure it's going to sustain my interest over its entire run if it stays with just the themes of the first three episodes. One of the ways that it's not Garupan is that so far there is a lot less of a focus on the action and tactics and much more on character issues (which I find less interesting).

    (The climax of the fourth episode could be the start of a significant pivot that would make the show much more interesting. On the other hand it could equally be a one-time 'ghost story' with the show returning to standard form. My usual use of Occam's razor here biases me towards the latter view.)

  • Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya: This is a perfectly decent modern self aware magical girl series aimed primarily at adult fans. But I don't think there's going to be anything substantial here and I'm not enough of a Type-Moon fan to enjoy it for the injokes. I don't know if the show will have a good enough execution to keep me amused and watching for much longer.

Not watched yet but hopefully soon:

  • Rozen Maiden Zur├╝ckspulen: Although I enjoyed the first two seasons of Rozen Maiden, I wasn't initially planning to watch this for various fuzzy reasons. I've been hearing quite good things about it, though, and I'm now going to watch at least enough of it to form an opinion. But I haven't yet and I'm four episodes behind and if I wait to watch it, these 'early' impressions will be even less early.

    Check back later.

Shows where I'm going to try the manga instead:

  • Silver Spoon and Watamote.

    While widely praised, both of these shows are in settings and genres that almost never click with me regardless of how good the show is. After thinking about it for a while I think I'm much more likely to enjoy their manga versions so I'm going to try those; among other things, I'm much more tolerant of several of their elements in manga form. I also find that manga generally goes by faster.

    (I tried to watch the first episode of SS but slammed to a halt less than a minute in. Having skimmed the whole episode, I think there's a bunch of things that would work in manga but that are too time-wasting or annoying for me to watch animated. Also, I've actually read a bit of the Silver Spoon manga in passing and found it decently interesting.)

Possibly excellent but I can't watch:

  • Senki Zesshou Symphogear G: People say good things about this season of Symphogear but I never finished watching the first season so I'd have to do that first.


  • Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi (aka Sunday Without God): As I basically put it on Twitter, the first episode was only interesting because it was mysterious and then the second episode was rather a letdown. The show is also based on an as-yet-unfinished light novel series which suggests that we are extremely unlikely to have any major aspects of the story resolved in a satisfying way. All in all, no.

On continuing series, I'm actively watching Majestic Prince and still theoretically watching Railgun S (but I don't expect to watch the last arc of the latter, which is apparently going to be an anime-original segment of basically fanservice to increase Blu-ray sales).

Written on 29 July 2013.
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The Railgun and her friends in Railgun S »

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Last modified: Mon Jul 29 21:03:48 2013
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