The Dreaded Fall 2009 Three-Episode Test

As this just happens to be the first time in years I haven’t been behind a school firewall, I thought I’d do something up-to-date for once. Luckily, the world’s most respected anime-watching technique is as useful as ever!

These shows passed!

  • Darker than Black
    Darker than Black – Ryusei no Gemini

    I really liked the early part of the first season, but haven’t watched past episode 10 or so. This one is moving along great – it doesn’t have the slow two-episode story arcs and doesn’t have to stop to explain any weird systems they just made up – but they kill off great characters so fast I’m afraid they’ll run out of new ideas. I didn’t see enough of the foreign characters in the first season to notice this, but they don’t actually bother researching foreign cultures and just write everyone as Japanese people – this isn’t actually a problem, but it’s a little silly. Also why did it turn into a magical girl anime?

    Golgo 13 is in this show.

  • To Aru Kagaku no Railgun
    A Particular Scientific Railgun

    Index was really boring, as if someone tried to make a Nasu-like shounen series but was even worse about having people give lectures while fighting. Railgun is much more entertaining and has so far successfully stayed away from its own plot. It even manages to bring in the old main character without him being annoying. The names are as bad as ever, though – I can just about deal with “Uiharu Kazari”, but GROUP?

    I do wish the jokes weren’t so, um, anime joke. They’re by far the most cliche thing about it.

  • Natsu no Arashi S2 ED
    Natsu no Arashi! Akinai-chuu

    And that’s three sequels in a row… well, at least it’s a good one. What he said, but actually this feels more like Shin Oonuma than Shinbo. I can never figure out what his “series director” credit means, but you can tell here because of the off-topic video game references.

  • Trapeze
    Kuchuu Blanco

    I read several people who rushed off after episode 1 to post about how this is SO CRAZY, but with this three episode test we can see that it’s totally normal! The weird visual design is different, but it’s really simple and almost too formulaic since it doesn’t change at all between episodes, and I don’t think “guy suddenly changes into an animal then into himself wearing a mask” really adds anything to the story. It’s kind of neat how the main characters are professionals and not whiny high schoolers.

    How do you spell “Buranko”?

  • Tegami Bachi
    Letter Bee

    He wants to be the best postman in the world! Inoffensive and kind of neat, but I hope it’s not too long.

  • Tatakau Shisho - The Book of Bantorra
    Armed Librarians – The Book of Bantorra

    Everyone else hates this show for some reason, possibly because the newish studio producing it is apparently run by former Studio Gonzo employees. And indeed it does look rough in the same kind of way, but they at least chose a better story than the mind-melting stuff Gonzo would do. It feels more like an actual book with a plot, where they can afford to foreshadow things more than a few episodes ahead.

    It also still feels like a light novel, because the main characters, who are librarians – Japan doesn’t know what librarians do – wear uniforms that are all completely different and have totally unrelated superpowers. One of them can turn into himself not wearing a shirt. The library director, who I think is immortal or something, at one point snipes several people from miles off with a slingshot. That’s not her power, she just does it.

    Kefka(!) is in this anime.

  • Sasameki Koto
    Sasameki Koto
  • Nyan Koi notes
    Nyan Koi

    Can’t really think of anything to say about these, but they’re watchable.

Dropped at episode 3:

  • Seiken no Blacksmith
    The Sacred Blacksmith

    Cecily Cambell the Knight Guard apparently spends all her time lecturing people about the meaning of love instead of learning to be any good at her job, since she falls over and her sword breaks whenever she tries to do anything. Unfortunately this isn’t Planetes, so there’s no hope of it getting better. By episode 3, we’re supposed to be disagreeing with someone when they say “a sword is just a weapon”, but we never find out what else it is.

  • Seitokai no Ichizon
    Seitokai no Ichizon

    Watching a show made entirely of references to things that aired two years ago is just disturbing. By the way, DVD 1 is the currently second-highest ranked anime DVD on amazon.jp, behind Nadeko Snake.

Dropped earlier:

  • Asura Cryin'
    Asura Cryin’ S2

    The first episode was amazingly packed full of plot elements that don’t fit a school anime at all. I think they might have explained why a pyramid was under the school, but it didn’t help.

  • Stupid Kämpfer screenshot
    Kämpfer

    So incredibly generic it felt like some kind of abstract anime art. The only new part was that it used several words I thought you couldn’t say on TV.

  • 11eyes
    11eyes

    Apparently based on a ~visual novel~; I don’t know anything about that, but the first episode did seem very visual-novel-like in general. By which I mean it was full of bad jokes and they used dramatic Photoshop filter effects over the whole screen to make a point.

    Taichi is in this anime.

  • Kimi ni Todoke
  • Sunred

    …are both good, but for some reason I just didn’t get into them. I think I might read Kimi ni Todoke, since, like Azumanga Daioh (controversial 2005 opinion) it seems a bit too slow when I can’t read it at my own pace.

  • Kobato.
  • Sora no Otoshimono
  • Kiruminzoo
  • Nogizaka Haruka’s Secret

    Yeah. Actually I almost feel like I’d be able to watch Haruka, if only the main character didn’t have a stupid haircut. The high-effort opening video was nice.

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