Thoughts on Winter Anime Season 2014

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Konbanwa!^^/

Sadly, the winter season for Anime, has more or less ended. I promised myself that I would only watch a few… somehow I started to watch more and I ended up watching 10! XD! How did that happen? Anyway, I figured I’d share my thoughts with you.

Contents:

  •          Wonder Momo
  •          Maken-Ki! Two
  •          SoniAni: Super Sonico the Animation
  •          Onee-Chan ga Kita
  •          Nisekoi: False Love
  •          No-Rin
  •          Strike the Blood
  •          Witch Craft Works
  •          D-Frag

Here we go…

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WONDER MOMO

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Haha, Wonder Momo… this has been getting critical reviews.

For those who don’t know, Wonder Momo used to be an arcade game back in the 1980’s. This year they decided to make an ONA (which is basically an anime production that you can only watch online) based on the character’s daughter…she is also called Wonder Momo. XD

I can understand why this is far from popular. The storyline, music, voices and characters design are all rather cheesy. The seiyuu for Wonder Momo has especially been criticised as it’s been said that she doesn’t really believe in her character. Personally, I think it’s down to the actor’s lack of experience. It’s her first ever role in an anime so she probably didn’t get the best out of it as she would have liked.

I did wonder at times (no pun intended ;-)) if perhaps the production crew deliberately made this cheesy? It certainly has a lot of elements of retro stuff but set in the modern age. So perhaps, they went OTT on certain things?

In any case this show was worth the 5 minutes of my time as it gave me many, many chuckles… perhaps for the wrong reasons but I still feel that it was worth watching. =D

Rating: Thumbs So-So

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I didn’t want to give this a thumb’s down but I didn’t want to give this a thumb’s up either as it didn’t meet my requirements for either rating. =D

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MAKEN-KI! TWO

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I quite enjoyed the first season of Maken-Ki and I enjoyed the battles, characters and the bonds between the cast. In season two I was expecting cheeky moments but there were a lot more than just little cheeky moments, some parts were just borderline rude. XD

I have a big hunch, that everything that happened in this sequel, or at least 90%, was Anime only. I.E., it was mostly filler that didn’t take any content from the original manga. I don’t know why this is but even though this is a sequel it didn’t really feel like the story continued from the first season. It felt more like the production crew were focusing more on the visual entertainment rather than the story itself. I don’t really have any problems with that but I do feel that this sequel show missed out on a good story.

Maybe there wasn’t enough to go by from the manga plot so the anime production decided to create more of their own story in the world of Maken-Ki!?

Personally I would have focused more on Take’s character development. A lot of supporting characters did get their time to shine though so that is one good aspect. I grew fonder of Aki especially, not because of her good looks but I just found her overall character to be very cute. She should be a lot more experienced in love but yet she is very innocent.

Rating: Thumbs So-So

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I didn’t enjoy this as much as the first season but I still found it watchable.

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SONIANI: SUPER SONICO THE ANIMATION

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I’ve been waiting for this to be turned into an anime for years and my wish came true in 2014. =D

A good number of people on the internet have been highly critical of this anime. It is unfortunate to see but really I don’t believe it’s so bad that it deserves to be labelled as “Worse anime of this season”. Granted it’s not an intense story like Attack on Titan or Monogatari Second Season but it’s far from terrible, at least in my opinion.

The whole point of this Anime is to show what sort of shenanigans Super Sonico gets up to in her daily life. It shows the sort of people she hangs out with, her modelling career and performing rock. It had all those elements with mild fanservice and has little to no drama. Sonico is given the persona of a fairly shy girl who is rather ditzy, fun-loving and not rude in the slightest.

So, when I bear all of this in mind, it’s actually a very relaxing and down to earth anime. When I picture Sonico I picture her as a very polite rather timid girl, so, I feel that her persona was right on the mark. Granted, she’s cute, but I find a character more attractive if they have a nice and/or funny personality.

My favourite parts of the show were when she interacted with her bandmates, especially Suzu, she definitely has personality. She rocks that nurse’s outfit. 😉

My Rating: One thumb’s up.

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Watching the life of a cute and polite girl with little to no drama can be very soothing, especially if you don’t raise your expectations too high.^^/

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ONEE-CHAN GA KITA

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This was another short anime that was worth five minutes of my time.

The art style is very cute and I liked Ichika’s character design, especially her mouth. XD She is quite a sweet character. She is one of those half-sibling anime characters who have a bit of a complex towards their half-brother.

Very light and humorous, I enjoyed seeing the consequences whenever Ichika caused trouble or inconvenience for Tomo. Since some of the themes reminds me of Kiss x Sis I expected Tomo to be a lot more like Keita. I personally didn’t see any traits or similarities at all. In fact, I actually think Tomo treats Ichika nicer then Keita does with his sisters.

Nice set of characters too but my favourite part of the show is the character’s design and Ichika.

Rating: One thumb’s up.

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NISEKOI: FALSE LOVE

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This series spans up to 20 episodes and will carry on and finish into the spring season of Anime. So far 12 episodes have been aired. I decided to share my views on this as to what I thought about it so far…

It’s very funny with a good storyline. I learned about Nisekoi after VizMedia announced that they licensed it. I noticed these two girls on the front cover with this friendly looking chap…Both Kirisaki and Onodera are pretty in their own rights. Just by looking at the cover I knew instantly that it was a romantic type with a potential love-triangle dilemma.

Like some anime this show does have many clichés. I.E., two people who get “engaged”, hot-springs fanservice, female on male violence, childhood friendship and the test of courage. A young teen being the adventurous/protector type when they were a toddler is also somewhat a cliché as I’ve seen it quite a bit.

The biggest selling point for me, as well as the unique storyline, is the comedy. I like the slapstick elements and how the characters react when they’re embarrassed or shocked.

I’m also enjoying the suspense of the childhood memories of certain characters…;-) I also don’t know who Raku is connected and isn’t connected with. I can make guesses but I don’t know for certain. I’m enjoying the fact that I can’t make predictions clearly based on what I see.

If I were to predict though then I would say that Raku would eventually get himself into a dilemma where he would have to choose to be with either Onodera or Kirisaki. I would guess that Kirisaki would become Raku’s official partner in the end. I don’t have a clear pairing favourite but I do especially like Onodera and I wouldn’t want to see her get heart-broken.^^’

Regardless of it all, I’m still enjoying the story and enjoying Raku’s relationship with the rest of the ladies of the show. =)

Rating: To be determined.

I don’t think it would be fair to rate an anime show when is half way through the series. So, I’m keeping my thumbs in my pocket until the end.^^

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NO-RIN

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This is so silly, but, so funny at the same time. XD

This wasn’t really on my watch list but I noticed that the producers of this show also produced Non Non Biyori, so I decided to give this a watch.

It’s quite refreshing that they based the setting of the school in a horticultural environment. I also like how different Ringo is as a student compared to her days as an idol.

It’s cringing funny and random funny. Becky, the teacher, is especially hilarious.

It does have its serious points though and I enjoyed them just as a much as the funny moments. I liked the love triangle between Minori, Ringo and Kosaka (albeit, some of it is one-sided!) Minori is especially funny; she is very perverted and fun-loving. I’m not sure about anyone else but I thought she looked cute when she put on weight and grew fat! XD!

The openings and ending songs are lovely on the ears and I would recommend you have a  listen. ^^/

Rating: Two Thumbs-Up

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A very funny anime with a lot of random, self-aware, quirky and slapstick humour.^^/

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STRIKE THE BLOOD

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I was able to connect with this story just fine.

I found that I couldn’t watch this on a weekly basis, so I watched this whenever I was in the right frame of mind for it. I think it’s because I found parts of it a little complicated to understand, so, I had to watch it when my mind was 100% focused and relaxed. =)

That being said, I think the female characters are beautifully designed and Koujou is one lucky chap. He’s not totally clueless either. He’s not in the same league as Keima Katsuragi but he’s not so daft that he doesn’t get “invitations” so to speak. Wink, wink. 😉

The outcome of the fights and conclusions weren’t as predictable as I first thought. All the battles were intense and I found myself engaged. As well as looking pretty all the girls had special abilities of their own. I liked La Folia’s gun, Sayaka’s archery weapon thing and Yukina’s… spear? Whatever it is it’s a kickass weapon – very shiny and looks like it can do one heck of a lot of damage. I liked Koujou’s familiars too, reminds me a little bit of Godou from Campione! Whenever he uses mystical beast type creatures.^^

The way Koujou nibbles on Yukina’s neck… I feel like Yukina deserves a pay rise or a bigger role for being Koujou’s blood-doner. XD!

I get mixed feelings for Yukina sometimes. For the most part, I like her but sometimes I shake my head when she interrupts Koujou’s potential “moments”.

Those are just little snippets about Yukina I get disappointed with.

Rating: Two Thumbs-Up

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WITCH CRAFT WORKS

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Without a doubt this is my favourite Anime from this season, apart from perhaps D-Frag.

I would say that this is my kind of anime. I suppose I find the relationship between a meek male and an emotionless but powerful female, quite charming. I discovered this after watching the OP, and I decided to give it a try.

I do like girls like Sayaka as I do have a bit of a thing for girls who are expressionless. I think it’s because they show affection through their actions and words, but not necessarily through their facial expressions. She reminds me a little bit of Ikaros from Heaven’s Lost Property and HItagi Senjougahara from the Monogatari series.

I like the characters, the theme, the magical settings and the humour. Those certain five Tower Witches, led by Tanpopo, are just comedy gold. I just can’t take them seriously. Every time they make an appearance I just laugh. XD They’re villains but they’re completely useless. Sayaka doesn’t even take them seriously and can KO them even without the use of magic. Their song at the end is very catchy and quirky. It’s also the reason why I can’t take those characters seriously.

Speaking of Tower Witches, I really like Mei Menowa’s voice. I can’t really describe it, it’s like a grown up deep seductive type of voice. Whatever it is, it’s certainly refreshing and nice to listen to.

One of the best points is how the production crew keep switching from the main storyline to something random like Tanpopo playing cards with Medusa. I like those random moments. XD In episode 2, it took me a few good re-watches to notice those little cameos that Kasumi, Honoka’s sister made. Very funny indeed!

All the characters are different too, especially the designs. I love different types of clothes and eyes that girls have, and Witch Craft Works certainly has plenty of those!

Rating: Two Thumb’s Up

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Definitely one of my favourites from this year so far and I really like Sayaka and her relationship with Takamiya. I’m delighted that I found out that the Vertical Publishers have officially licensed the rights to sell Witch Craft Works in manga form. A good reason to look forward to October as that is when it’s released. =D

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D-FRAG

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It’s one of those comedies that is very self-aware and often takes the mickey out of itself.

I literally laughed at every single episode, and if something makes me laugh then I love it. =D Because I enjoyed this Anime very, very much I’m going to be as concise as possible… if it’s possible that is. XD!

It reminds of the Simpsons in the respect of how the extras/random characters pop up and make a significant contribution.

Kenji is certainly a good character with an interesting twist; he claims to be a “delinquent”. 😉 Usually delinquents are rebels who pretend to be good but it’s quite the reverse in this case. Kenji wants to be a delinquent but isn’t, far from it in fact. How many delinquents do you know who go to school but have their cute little sisters prepare his bentos?

One moment he goes from being a “rebel” to being surrounded by eccentric girls who are, ironically, stronger and more ferocious then him.

Some of the male characters have some fetishes…I can’t help but to laugh at the hilarious consequences of their fetish situations. XD!

All the characters are very cool and I especially think that all the female characters are very likable. They’re all very different, funny and charming in their own way. Even the extras play their parts very well. I genuinely like all the characters but I especially like Funabori and Takao.^^/

I feel like I could go on forever, so for now, I’m going to stop talking and start rating…

Rating: Two Thumb’s Up.

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If I had three hands then I would have given this Anime a Three Thumb’s Up! =) I have heard that an OVA starring Kenji, Nao (Kenji’s little sister) and Sakura will be released this year. Seven Seas are also releasing the Manga in July. I’m very much looking forward to both! =D

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Hope you enjoyed the read; this is of course just my opinion.

I look forward to hearing your opinion on this season’s Anime. =D

Sayonara.^^/

Ryan

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