It seems like people may actually need our help this time. The Fall 2013 Anime Season has been out for quite some time now and a few things have been made fairly clear already. People love sequels, Kyoto Animation knows a thing or two about blood, and there are at least ten thousand quality series out right now. That last part was a bit of an exaggeration, but it is true that this season has brought us too many series to handle. Do you not have the time to check out everything that came out this season? Are you looking for a series that flew under the radar to watch on one of your slow anime days? Do you simply read all of our posts because we are excellent writers? No one answered “yes” to that last one. Well, this post will hopefully help out a few people. I would say that you should listen to our opinions, but they are probably wrong. Just remember that it is never too late to start a new series unless Tumblr has spoiled it. I feel like I watched all of Shingeki no Kyojin without getting past episode two.
Here is something that will at least draw your attention. Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio: Ars Nova is one of the most interesting post-apocalyptic series that I have ever watched. If you can get past the fact that the entire series is done in CGI, then there is a lot to like about this series. The world was taken over by a mysterious group called the Fleet of Fog. After the combined force of the United Nations was taken down, all ocean routes and satellites were taken over forcing all countries into a state of extreme isolation. However, a group of young people are now the crew of a rogue submarine that has the advanced technology to win the war. I would suggest this series to fans of science fiction with a decent level of tolerance for odd animation. Oh yeah, and be prepared for some ridiculous romance.
Watching: Duc, Will
BlazBlue: Alter Memory (Hoods Entertainment) – Genre: Action, Fantasy
Due to the great art and story, I have wanted to see the BlazBlue fighting game receive an anime adaptation for a while. To my disappointment, this series is cursed to be mediocre like other recent anime adaptations of video games. The pacing is unreasonably bad and the overall presentation is lackluster. I wish we could have received a proper adaptation to do justice to the game, but alas, our princess is in another castle. The anime simply rushes along the story and tries to emphasize the fighting, which are actually kind of dull. I assure you that the fighting game will provide more entertainment, so I’d recommend that you skip this anime.
Coppelion (GoHands) – Genre: Action, Sci-fi
Despite being my (perhaps) most anticipated series of the new season, Coppelion thankfully did not manage to disappoint me, but instead left me with some fairly high hopes for the rest of the series. I’m not the biggest fan of the strict sci-fi genre, and thankfully Coppelion appears to have a plethora of different genre elements to offer. From an intriguing premise to colorful characters, there’s something for everyone! Coppelion strives to create an atmospheric environment, rather than drowning you with plot elements. The mystery is left out there for us to wonder and to wait for future episodes.
Watching: Bryan, Daniel
This is just as bad as Brothers Conflict. A pretty if bland girl gets sent to live in a mansion full of vampires who all want to “eat her up.” The worst part is that it feels like badly-written Twilight fanfiction. It’s a haunted house of copy-pasted otome-game males with ridiculous fashion sense and an inexplicable lust for our female lead, who is yet again an empty shell for hapless young women to project themselves into and indulge in this twisted fantasy scenario. Misogynistic lines like one of the vampires calling her “Bitch-chan” pop up a lot, and their treatment of her had me cringing every second. The heroine is just as bad, lacking all form of logic, and should’ve just turned right around and ran back home. Bad dialogue, horrible characters, and a forgettable plot makes this yet another otome-based adaptation that leaves a bad impression of the genre as a whole. I seriously wish I didn’t get these types of shows all the time.
Watching: No One
Diamond no Ace (Production I.G) – Genre: Comedy, School, Shounen, Sports
I hope you like a sports series with an extremely realistic style because that is what we are getting. Diamond no Ace is the story of a young pitcher that leaves his hometown in order to reach his full potential at a baseball school in Tokyo. The national powerhouse has seen better days as they are still one of the top three teams in there region, but they have yet to get over the hump and reach the national tournament under the guidance of their new coach. Luckily, the introduction of young talent always has the power to spark a franchise. If you can handle a protagonist that is a complete idiot and will always ruin the serious tone of the series, then this is a pretty fun watch. I know that sports series aren’t for everyone, but anyone that appreciates the technical side of baseball will enjoy this series. I would suggest this series to anyone that likes sports series, but doesn’t need Eyeshield 21 or Prince of Tennis theatrics.
Galilei Donna (A-1 Pictures) – Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-fi
Like many of the other shows this season, I’m already loving the setting of Galilei Donna as it’s unlike most series I’ve ever seen before. I have no idea where the series will go from here, but I like how it’s started so far. It reminds me a lot of intros we’d see in a JRPG. Not much is explained about the story, and we have brief introductions of each character before everything is blown up as we fly away on an airship. Galilei Donna also shares a lot of the fantasy meets technology aesthetics of JRPG’s and is kind of steampunk-ish (maybe not as much as Machine-doll). This first episode might not have enough to grab everyone, but I’d say stick around for more. I can tell there’s plenty of potential to be unleashed in the weeks to come.
Watching: Bryan, Daniel, Duc
Gingitsune (Diomedea) – Genre: Seinen, Slice of Life, Supernatural
Here is a series that will appeal to a different audience than most of the things in this anime season. Gingitsune is the story of a young girl that lost her mother at a young age. Due to the death in the family, she became the next true successor at the shrine she lives at. This has made it so that she can see heralds and a relationship between her and the family herald begins. The level of slice of life drama is very high in this one as the main character deals with various issues at school that affect her friends. I will say that it seems like there isn’t a lot going on as this is a dramatic series that lacks the shoujo intensity that I am used to. I would suggest this series to anyone that like slice of life drama, but doesn’t need much more than that to enjoy a series.
Golden Time (JC Staff) – Genre: Comedy, Romance, Seinen
From the creator of Toradora!, we have this new comedy that centers around the college life of a few freshmen. At first, I was mainly looking forward to the college setting (as opposed to the typical high-school one), but the comedy and unique characters are quite appealing. We follow the experiences of Tada Banri, a freshman who just entered a private law school in Tokyo. His chaotic first day in college leads him to befriending a guy named Mitsuo and falling in love with a mysterious girl named Kouko. While this series is a great comedy, it does feature some mature and dramatic elements, but more development on that will come in time. Overall, it has a funny and intriguing watch, so I highly recommend you give it a chance sometime!
Watching: Bryan, Daniel, Duc
Gundam Build Fighters (Sunrise) – Genre: Mecha
You have to put your heart into the GunPla! Unlike the past Gundam series, this one deviates from the traditional style and goes for a setting where people bring their Gundam models to life to duke it out. While I was a bit more critical in my first impression of this series, I must admit that this show is great for kids who like toys and fighting robots. The show is very similar to Beyblade through its simple and cliché story, but I’d probably love this show if I were still in elementary/middle school. Bringing my Gundams to life in order to brawl was definitely one of my hopes as a child, but I’d prefer to watch a new series with the usual Gundam style and elements. Regardless, this series is good as a kid’s show and may be a good way to reconnect with your inner youth.
Watching: No One
IS: Infinite Stratos 2 (8-bit) – Genre: Action, Comedy, Harem, Mecha, School, Sci-fi
This season has brought us quite a few sequels and this one was a highly anticipated one to say the least. Infinite Stratos is a harem series that appealed to a lot of people with the international flavor of the girls. This season actually has a story to worry about, so be prepared to actually pay attention to something that isn’t the cuteness of Laura. Ichika and company have returned to school after a long break and things seem to be just like they were last year. Ichika is still an idiot and that may cost him more than usual because there is an evil organization after his IS unit. With intense training, battles against new IS units, and additions to the harem, IS: Infinite Stratos 2 definitely has improved upon the first season of the series. I would suggest this series to anyone that enjoyed the first season. If you want to start this series now, then check out the first season if you like harems with great female characters and a shitty protagonist. (LOL)
Watching: Bryan, Duc, Will
Kakumeiki Valvrave 2nd Season (Sunrise) – Genre: Drama, Mecha, Sci-fi
If you like sequels, then how about the second season of one of the best series to come out this year. They only took off for one season and fans of Kakumeiki Valvrave appreciate the prompt continuation. Kakumeiki Valvrave 2nd Season takes place after the events of the first season. Module 77 has finally reached the neutral territory of the moon and it is time to expand the plan for stopping Dorssia. The operation has taken the pilots and crew to Earth as a real fight is about to take place. How will things go with questions still surrounding the Kamitsuki, lack of disclosure amongst the ranks, and an ever evolving army of Dorssian soldiers on the other side? I hope that the writing holds up because the quality thus far has been superb. I would suggest this series to fans of the first season. If you want to jump in now, then watch the first season if you love mech series with an intelligent plot to follow.
Watching: Duc, Will
This is a show that knows how to have fun. The debut anime from Studio Trigger (who released the popular Little Witch Academia over the summer), Kill la Kill is oozing with equal parts style and substance. At it’s core, the story centers around a young transfer student who must fight her way through a ruthless student council in a post-apocalyptic Japan in order to find the truth about her father’s murder. If you had to describe the show in one sentence, it would have to be that it is completely over-the-top, in a good way. Make sure to leave all logic and reason at the front door, as you’ll witness talking sailor uniforms, ruthless authoritarian school presidents, giant weapons, and more. The art style is excellent with beautiful backdrops and crazy fight scenes, punctuated by the great score. An original story (!) with great production values and a high entertainment factor is rare these days, so keep an eye out on this during the season.
Kuroko no Basuke 2 (Production I.G) – Genre: Comedy, School, Shounen, Sports
Did anyone else notice that all of my sequels are kind of stuck together alphabetically speaking? Well, Kuroko no Basuke 2nd Season is definitely something that should have fans excited. Seirin High School is back and it is time for the Winter Cup Preliminaries. Plot armor has gotten Seirin to this point and it is time for the new and improved team to show everyone what they are truly made of. With new techniques, members, and opponents, this season of Kuroko no Basuke is sure to draw fans in. Oh yeah, and the animation quality took a big jump in the right direction. I would suggest this series to fans of the first season. If you want to start now, then check out the first season if you like basketball that is only kind of ridiculous to watch.
Watching: Bryan, Will
Kyoukai no Kanata (Kyoto Animation) – Genre: Fantasy, School, Supernatural
Wow, I don’t even remember the last time KyoAni did anything that wasn’t strictly slice-of-life in an everyday high school setting, but here we are with their latest work for this season, Kyoukai no Kanata. Based on a short series of light novels, the anime follows the adventures of several mysterious and exceptional high school students with equally mysterious and exceptional abilities. Given that it’s KyoAni we’re talking about here, things like animation quality are always expected to be of the highest quality. The pink/orange color pallete gives off a nice otherworldly feel, despite the mundane school setting. The supernatural elements and the BGM in particular gave me a very Harry Potter vibe, but that just might be me.
Watching: Bryan, Daniel, Will
Not one to let Kill la Kill steal the limelight for “Most Over-the-Top” series, Kyousou Giga is all kinds of weird. Originally an ONA that eventually got a brief 5 episode sequel last year, 2013’s Kyousou Giga expands on the story and takes the craziness even further. Taking place in an alternate Kyoto, the series seems to revolve around spirits and demons. But it gets strange very fast, with a rabbit painting taking on a human form to marry a priest, children who are born from paintings, and other supernatural weirdness. Things already look like they’ll get crazier with a strange girl in a sailor uniform seeking out the priest and carrying a large hammer. It’s hard enough to describe what I just watched, but with such a unique art style and a wild premise, I’m definitely intrigued to see more. Kill la Kill isn’t the only one trying to outdo all of the other shows this season.
Little Busters! ~Refrain~ (J.C. Staff) – Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance, School
I honestly didn’t expect this series to hook me as it has. For me, the first series was just a nice little thing to watch on the weekends with some drama attached to the characters. I liked the characters and the friendly clubhouse atmosphere, but it wasn’t anything that blew me away (except for maybe Haruka’s arc). Now, the story of ~Refrain~, the second season, has engrossed me in such a way that I literally can’t wait for each week for the new episode. It’s a feeling that I love and hate, for obvious reasons, and I don’t really remember the last time I’ve felt like this. There have been fantastic series this year, but none really pulled at me in the same way Refrain has.
Log Horizon (Satelight) – Genre: Adventure, Fantasy, Magic, Romance, Shounen
From the general background of this series, you would probably be expecting some sort of knockoff of the recently successful Sword Art Online. Surprisingly, you would be very wrong as this series differs in many aspects and is a much more enjoyable view because of this. The premise of Log Horizon is essentially the same as SAO, but the results of dying in the game are mysterious and uncertain. Another key difference is that the series is fairly light-hearted and doesn’t take itself way too seriously. Along with the likeable and funny characters, the story is intriguing due to the driving mystery behind the online world. If you are a fan of this kind of fantasy and like a good mix of comedy, then this show may be the thing for you!
Machine-Doll wa Kizutsukanai (Lerche) – Genre: Action, Ecchi, Fantasy, School
When I saw the first trailers and learned that Lerche was in charge of production, I had a feeling that things wouldn’t be as high quality as I would have hoped for, which is a shame because I really love the setting and premise of the story. The low animation quality becomes a bit apparent during fight scenes, as most of the action is done in CGI. I’m not sure when it became commonplace to do this, but I can’t say that I like it very much, especially when the movements don’t appear fluid. The character animation in this series looks great same as (OreShura), it’s just the CGI that really holds it back. Part of me hopes that it’s something that will improve as the series progresses. What I do like, however, is the music. It’s very cinematic and fits the setting nicely, using warm orchestral instrumentation.
Magi: The Kingdom of Magic (A-1 Pictures) – Action, Adventure, Fantasy
While I know many people who read the manga have been disappointed with the anime so far, I’ve actually enjoyed it so far (I haven’t read the manga though). Magi is a “shounen” series that I can get behind, and the story continues to intrigue me. I honestly don’t even remember why I started to watch the first season of Magi, but I did and it’s probably the most “shounen” series I’ve watched since Naruto. Staple themes such as a lead character who was unsure of how to use his powers (and this case, his social status) to best benefit the world were prevalent. I think what I really liked a lot about Magi is how both Alibaba and Aladdin were the main protagonists, both with fairly different obstacles and motivations.
Guys with glasses doing things in their non-standard club of outcasts. That’s pretty much what the whole entire premise of this show revolves around. It’s not an original concept within the original slice-of-life genre, but there is really nothing noteworthy to mention here. There’s no sense of what direction this show is aiming for, and half the time I couldn’t figure out how to describe what was going on. The characters are so hollow in personality that I can’t even remember their names, and the only uniting thing amongst them seems to be the fact that they all wear glasses. In a show where the animation tries really hard to spice things up, the content is surprisingly bland and their antics get old very quickly. The animation is really the only thing worth mentioning, as Director Soubi Yamamoto does her best to keep viewers engaged by hiding the dullness with bright colors.
Watching: No One
This was made as a pure vehicle for Yui Horie to star in. Based around a virtual 3D idol singer that she created, Miss Monochrome follows the titular character as she struggles to become a successful idol. The plot gets ridiculous from there, with Monochrome being conned out of her entire fortune and mistaking the manager of a convenience store for being a manager for a talent agency. She even has a roomba for a pet; it’s that ridiculous. The character is like a poor man’s Vocaloid: she’s got all of the autotuned vocal talent of a computer program, but without the personality. If you’re a fan of Yui Horie and nonsensical plot devices, then this is for you; otherwise, it’s a light comedy worth checking out for a quick laugh.
Watching: No One
Nagi no Asukara (PA Works) – Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Romance
PA Works has been providing some pretty visuals and appealing art, especially in this new particular series. While I thought it was simply about an underwater world at first, I was surprised to find that it’s about a modern world divided between humans and mermaids. Due to the tensions between the two races, the main characters (a group of middle school kids) are tossed into a conflicting scenario full of tension. This plot tackles some deep concepts and has a notable sense of romance/drama thanks to a certain love triangle amongst the cast. To accompany this captivating story, the background scenes of the underwater city are very attractive and mesmerizing. Definitely check this series out if you’re craving a dramatic series with great presentation.
Non Non Biyori (Silver Link) – Genre: Comedy, Slice of Life
“Yes, I knew this would be great!” That’s pretty the thought that ran through my mind throughout the entire episode, and right from the opening moments, I knew my expectations would be realized. Non Non Biyori is the kind of show that you can relax while watching. The easy-going pace actually allows you to breathe deeply, while taking in the great atmosphere that it creates, and I’m sad that more series like this don’t air more often. People say they get sick of slice of life anime, but I think the setting alone of Non Non Biyori is enough to set it apart from the crowd. But unfortunately, I can see this getting overlooked very easily by everyone. So if you like slice of life at all, then you definitely need to give this a shot. You come for the warm atmosphere, and you stay for the funny characters.
Ore no Nounai Sentakushi ga, Gakuen Love Comedy wo Senryoku de Jama Shiteiru (Diomedea) – Genre: Comedy, Romance, School
Did someone request a ridiculous series that can be hard to watch at times due to embarrassing moments? Well, the series you requested has finally arrived. This series focuses on the high school life of a young man that has been cursed. At random points during the day he must choose one of two options that are given to him in his head. The choices are often ridiculous and include both perverted and stupid things that must be done at the risk of intense pain. Luckily, there is a way to lift the curse, but it includes a series of missions that are as ridiculous as the choices that cannot be failed. I would suggest this series to fans of ridiculous comedy that don’t mind extremely embarrassing or perverse things. Do not watch this series in public.
Watching: Bryan, Duc, Will
Outbreak Company (Feel) – Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Romance
A man gets sent to a foreign land to establish cultural ties with the natives there. This is a plot that’s seen in anime and movies for a long time, but Outbreak Company adds an original and comedic spin on this old tradition. The story centers around a master otaku who’s contracted as a missionary to spread Japan’s otaku culture across a recently discovered fantasy world that’s connected to Japan via a wormhole. If that sounds absolutely ridiculous, that’s because it is. It’s exactly for this reason that Outbreak Company makes for a surprisingly enjoyable watch. It’s got a pleasant fantasy atmosphere, it doesn’t take itself that seriously at all, and has character archetypes that’ll excite any seasoned otaku.
Watching: No one
I’m sure lots of people have had dreams of becoming a superhero while growing up. This series takes that a step further, as we follow Masayoshi Hazama, a young man who decides to take justice into his own hands and fight criminals under the guise of Samurai Flamenco. Only he doesn’t have the funds like Batman or any superpowers of the sort; in fact, he’s just an average guy with a naive sense of righteousness. Forced to help him in his quest is police officer Hidenori Goto, voiced by Tomokazu Sugita who brings his usual snark to the character. The story is surprisingly tame, as the criminals that our young hero targets are jaywalkers and loiterers, with Goto having to clean up his messes and keep him out of trouble. There’s a lot of bromantic vibes from their already rocky relationship, so it looks like the series will focus a lot on their opposing views on justice. Other than that, it’s a very tame offering that you get, so whether or not it will become something more down the line remains to be seen this early on.
I implore all of you to please avoid watching this, if you have any sense of dignity and appreciation for quality television. The story centers around a young idol singer who decides to become a pro-wrestler to protect her pride. But man, if she saw the horrible animation and shameless fanservice being thrown around every few seconds, her pride would shrivel up in a heartbeat. The totally incomprehensible plot is only there as an excuse to show the female characters in skimpy wrestling attire making suggestive noises as they wrestle around on the ground. If you thought Rumble Roses made wrestling look sexy, this will make it look like a bad porno. There is really nothing worth salvaging here, so unless you really like bad animation and even worse fanservice, then you’re the reason why shows like this are still being made.
Watching: No One
Strike the Blood (Silver Link) – Genre: Action, Ecchi, Fantasy, School, Shounen, Supernatural, Vampire
Here is a series that really has me thinking. It isn’t extremely intellectual or anything like that, but Strike the Blood continues to surprise me. Our story takes us to a man made island that is basically a refuge for fantasy creatures like vampires and other such demons. There are beings known as Primogenitors that are vampires powerful enough to take on the joint military force of the world. Our main character accidentally became the Fourth Primogenitor and it is starting to get him into trouble. A young girl that was raised to fight demons was sent to observe his actions, but their relationship is clearly something more than subject and observer. I don’t know if this series will focus on romance, and intense story, or try to pull off both, but it is definitely something worth checking out. I suggest this series to anyone that likes vampires, romance, and an oddly deep plot that is worth venturing into.
Watching: Duc, Will
Tesagure! Bukatsumono (Tesagure! Production Committee) – Genre: School, Slice-of-Life
So this CG anime consists of short 10-minute episodes focusing on the activities of four girls at their school. The anime is mostly the girls talking to each other about quirky topics. Eventually, the girls do engage in some wacky activities, but it isn’t overwhelmingly funny. The CG art is a little weird, but I guess its a different experience from the usual. In the end, I’d say this series tries to be a small imitation other shows like Azumanga Daioh, but is fairly lackluster and short. If you’re into CG and like to watch series involving girls gossiping and stuff, this may be your thing.
Watching: No One
I like shows that put a spin on supernatural twist on fantasy stories. Tokyo Ravens takes place in an alternate Japan where magic has been introduced and accepted into society. Enter Harutora Tsuchimikado, a young man who comes from a family of mages yet doesn’t have any sort of spiritual powers whatsoever. As he gets sucked deeper into a larger conspiracy, he finds himself unable to distance himself from his bloodline and is forced to fight. It’s got all the usual tropes of a supernatural shonen action series, which it does well. The action is pretty cool (though it reminds me of Persona a bit) and the animation is good. Will doesn’t like the fact that one of the romantic interests is his cousin, but don’t let that sway you from checking this out.
Walkure Romanze (8bit) – Genre: Ecchi, Romance, School, Sports, Harem
I certainly did not expect a harem anime about the art of jousting to ever become a thing. The story revolves around a young man who was once a champion, but decided to become a knight’s assistant after an injury. Due to his notable reputation before the injury, a lot of the female knights from his academy want him to be their assistant…leading to the harem. Now while the presentation is really nice and the premise is intriguing, the ecchi scenes can be a bit much at times. I personally don’t enjoy seeing horses wreaking havoc and tearing skirts off of girls, but I suppose it can be considered comedic in a sense. The jousting sequences are pretty cool though, so I’d say this could be an enjoyable view.
White Album 2 (Satelight) – Genre: Drama, Romance, Slice-of-Life
This new series is a really intriguing slice-of-life that focuses on the interactions of three students with a talent for music. Although I can see a love triangle and drama in the making, I think this show is going to still be an enjoyable and quality experience. The story revolves around Haruki, who is currently living a very busy life in his high school and wants to keep his Light Music club alive. I find the main characters of this series to be interesting and look forward to how their interactions play out. The visuals of this series are also pretty nice and the music is very good. I recommend this series to those who like music and dramas.
Yowamushi Pedal (TMS Entertainment) – Genre: Comedy, Drama, Shounen, Sports
Who would have thought that we would be getting three sports series in one season? This one is a little bit special for two reasons. The first is the fact that our story revolves around an amateur cyclist that is being drawn into a bicycle racing club. The second is the fact that ROOKiEZ is PUNK’D is doing the opening theme. As far as sport choices go, this was an interesting one because the actual sport isn’t very glamorous, but it is one that a great deal of people take part in. The realism is key here, but I do warn you that the pace is kind of slow thus far. I would suggest this series to people that enjoy technical sports series and have the patience to sit through what I expect to be a lengthy introduction stage.
Yozakura Quartet: Hana no Uta (Tatsunoko Productions) – Genre: Action, Supernatural
Third time’s the charm, right? Will Yozakura Quartet get it right this time? Well, it’s hard for me to say since I’ve never read the manga or watched the previous two incarnations of the series. But what I can say is that while I like certain aspects of the show, I found it difficult to really get into it. It’s not that I don’t like the characters or setting. I think has more to do with the animation quality and overall presentation, if anything. Hopefully, the series will elaborate more on the backstories of the main characters and how that ties into why they’ve taken on the duty of upholding the peace in the city. I’m liking the action in the series, though I just have to hope that an interesting story will come out of this.
Yuusha ni Narenakatta Ore wa Shibushibu Shuushoku wo Ketsui Shimashita. (Asread) – Genre: Comedy, Ecchi, Fantasy, Romance
Did you miss Hataraku-Maou Sama!? Well, this isn’t exactly a replacement, but we are getting a similar feel from the story. A hero in training has to take on a retail job after the demon lord is defeated and he meets a young lady that just so happens to be the demo lord’s daughter. He tries to train the young lady, but her life in a demon world castle has her style all kinds of messed up. Don’t worry, they are obviously going to be the main romantic focus, so their interactions are pretty adorable. I will warn you that this series gives us a level of fan service that borders on pornography more times than I would like. I would suggest this series to fans of romantic comedies that are able to sit through several minutes of soft core hentai. Please make sure that you watch this series with headphones on and your back to a wall.