Checking in on the Summer 2013 anime season 'midway' through

September 3, 2013

It's time for the semi-traditional midway update to my early impressions. The overall summary is that this is an excellent season with multiple stunning shows.

Things I'm (still) watching, in order:

  • Uchouten Kazoku: What Eccentric Family truly excels at is its storytelling (which is not the same thing as plot or action). UK doesn't have the most original or attractive sounding plot but none of that matters; what it excels in is in a sense its execution, of how the plot is conveyed to us. That's storytelling, a collection of moments like raindrops.

    UK has the best characters of the season (for me) and Yasaburo has a great narrative voice (which is, unsurprisingly, a storyteller's voice). To be honest I was hooked on UK from his opening narration in the first episode.

  • Gatchaman Crowds: I have no coherent words to sum up the complexity and plain smartness of this show. It continues to twist and turn in ways that are simultaneously surprising and entirely logical and to be a rocket heading, well, somewhere. This show is fast-paced (without feeling at all rushed) with not an ounce of flab on it.

    Hajime continues to rock. Everyone does, really, but especially Hajime. DIY Hajime really sold me on the show.

  • Rozen Maiden Zur├╝ckspulen: This is a fine show but I find it hard to watch, partly because of the feeling of creeping doom. Unwound Jun is not in a good place and not having pleasant experiences and after six episodes it's hard to shake the feeling that he is not going to have a really happy ending.

    (Probably it gets more cheerful if I watch more.)

  • Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya: I have to revise my initial opinion: this delivers plenty of well executed magical girl fighting action and some great Type-Moon jokes and references. The second half of episode six was especially epic. The core plot remains nothing special enough to write home about but the overall execution is more than enough to keep me watching.

    I think that this is much more enjoyable if you know enough Fate-verse lore to get most of the major references, such as the cards and what happens with Illya in episode six. I'm not sure how interesting it is for someone without that background.

  • Monogatari Series Second Season: My interest level has climbed up from where it was initially but the show is still not really rocking my world. It's okay and interesting enough for me to keep watching, partly because it's now stuck Araragi in a tough situation.

Now declared a miss:

  • Stella Jogakuin Koutouka C3-bu: The short version is in my tweet. The long version is that the show is not really about the action, it's about the character drama and the character drama (and the characters themselves) did not hook me. I might have stayed watching purely for the action but there isn't enough of it and it's merely ordinary (which is what you'd expect if it's only there to support the character drama).

    (This stands in contrast to Girls und Panzer where the action was interesting by itself and I cared more about what happened with the characters.)

In ongoing shows from last season (and before) Majestic Prince remains excellent, I am sort of watching Railgun S every so often in bursts, and Yamato 2199 is absolutely great (and I will catch up sometime).

(I'm treating Yamato 2199 sort of how I treat really great treats; it's so good that I keep saving it to savour slowly. This is kind of silly but it's very me, and the show lacks the weekly new episode release that would otherwise prod me into action.)

Written on 03 September 2013.
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Last modified: Tue Sep 3 22:50:40 2013
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