24 July 2013

Anime summer 2013

It's a new anime season, so there are new shows! Here's what I'm watching, and also what I tried and gave up on.

Tried and abandoned

I give you the links, so you can watch an episode or two and decide for yourselves.

Gatchaman Crowds This reboot of the classic 70s series "Science Ninja Team Gatchaman" didn't do it for me. At all. The main character is an archetype that I want to stake in the heart, set on fire, and shoot its ashes to the sun for good measure. She's irritating as hell. She has a notebook fetish. She goes around loudly announcing that she's in Gatchaman. She's Haruhi fucking Suzumiya, whom I also wanted to stab in the throat. Ain't got time for that.

Devils and Realist So, a few years ago there was this show that was pretty popular called "Black Butler," where the heir to a family enters into a contract with this demon who's been working as his family's butler for a long time. D&R is in that vein, except where as Ciel accepted Sebastian's service, the lead of D&R is a realist, who believes only in science. Which could lead to a lot of humor, except it doesn't. Complicating things, William is the reincarnation of (that) Solomon and the elector of Hell, and Dantalion is a nephilim who wants to rule while Lucifer is sleeping. It is a ridiculous, confusing amalgamation of Old Testament lore. (Also, Solomon had yellow-blond hair and blue eyes. Not particularly likely...)

Uchouten Kazoku Yasaburo is a tanuki living in Kyoto. He just wants to have fun, but his father was powerful in tanuki society, so there are high expectations on him and his brothers. Cute concept, but it really didn't do anything for me. (Tanuki are also known as raccoon dogs, and in Japanese lore, they're shapeshifters and tricksters.)

Still watching

Attack on Titan Continuing on from last season.

Free! a/k/a "the bishounen swimming anime." This offering from KyoAni, purveyors of such fine moe-blob (ware: TV Tropes link) animation as K-On! and Clannad, is about four young men on a swim team. They all have feminine names. They used to swim together in middle school, then the red-haired one went to Australia to go to a school for swimming. The other three (the genki blond, the cheerful brunet, and the weird black-haired one) stayed together. The genki blond decides they should restart their high school's swim club to make the black-haired one happy. (He really likes swimming. He wears swim trunks under his clothes, and in a running gag, whenever he sees water, he strips and jumps in.)

The red-haired one's sister, who has a masculine name, offers to be their manager. She frequently comments on the boys' deltoids, traps, and assorted upper body musculature. It isn't particularly deep, but it's fun.

Genshiken Nidaime This is the second TV season (not counting the OVAs) about a college anime club. It's like the first season, except there are mostly new people. I'm vaguely uncomfortable with the way two of the characters treat the male crossdresser (a new character, who is a straight man but likes reading BL and wearing women's clothes), but they're actually fairly realistic from what I've heard. (One wants her to just stop crossdressing and be a boy; the other treats her like a girl except when she wants to look up her skirt.) But I really don't expect careful explorations of gender issues from anime.

All the characters are fucked up in some way or other, in ways which will be familiar to anyone who has ever attended a college (or high school) anime club.

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