It being just over a month since I started my first show of the Spring ’12 season, I thought I’d let anyone out there who cares know how I’m getting along with the shows I picked out. Feel free to compare to my Spring ’12 preview and see how horribly wrong or, (more applicable) scarily right I was about these shows. I’ve arranged the shows in descending order too, just another indicator of how much I’m enjoying them, knock yourself out!
For anyone who didn’t catch what I thought of the show on the APR rankings, week ending April 29, here it is again: “Whilst Hyouka had some great visual gimmickry, including Eru’s vine-like hair coiling itself around Hotaro, symbolising her all-consuming curiosity or, I dunno, how completely and utterly at her mercy Hotaro feels, I’ve never been one to favour a show simply ’cause it looked pretty! It’s opening episode failed to grab me, it’s ‘mysteries’ barely reaching Scooby Doo standard, and that’s that.” My thoughts on Hyouka haven’t changed much, (having only watched one more episode of it) I love how gorgeous it is but, nothing is happening! It’s like one of those mini-meals you get at a fancy restaurant- sure, it looks pretty but, it’ll never satisfy you like a big, greasy fry-up!
8. Shirokuma Café
Many of Shirokuma Cafés jokes are a bit hit and miss. Whilst puns were good enough for Shakespeare, they’re not really my cup o’ tea, therefore, it’s slightly irksome they make up such a large part of this show’s comedy repertoire. The whole ‘Ah, they’re animals doing human things!’ is yet to grow old though, and I appreciate the show’s occasional use of dark humour- the scene where the animals complained about their troubles, (including hanging from a tree all day) only to then have waitress-girl say her biggest problem was sorting out the trash to be particularly funny! Just goes to show we have it pretty easy as a species really! So, overall, the show’s sometimes funny, sometimes not, a bit inconsistent really but, oh, who cares- Panda is sooo cuuute~!
7. Eureka 7 AO
I’m quite pleased with what Eureka 7 AO’s doing at the moment. For a show aimed at a reasonably young demographic, it isn’t half exploring some meaty topics! The xenophobia that dictates the islander’s treatment of Ao seems highly unreasonable, rightly so- Ao was born and raised on the island and is human just like they are, they’ve no right to treat him like that. I think it’s awesome a show try to teach younger viewers to have love for their fellow man like that! But, as the show points out, man will always look to someone different to scapegoat for their problems. The only issue I have with the show is that, unlike its prequel, there aren’t really any characters in AO I’ve found myself growing attached to but, I’m hopeful that’ll come, in time.
I find it funny a show focusing on an arms dealer and her motley crew refuses to explore the morality behind the act of arms dealing. In a way, this kind of works for the show, stopping it from becoming all dark and gloomy, (something I usually revel in but, don’t think would suit Jormungand) and actually makes Koko, the character that drives the show, more frightening. It’s as though she doesn’t need a reason, she just deals for the hell of it, and there’s something quite terrible about that. Cleverer than it would have you believe.
I found Tsuritama extremely difficult to place on this list- having not quite decided what I think of it yet. It’s beautiful to look at and listen to, and its characters quirky and memorable but, I’m not sure what direction the show’s heading in in terms of the story. Which aspect of the show is the plot and which the subplot? Is this yet-another-friendship-story or is the show going to make pursuing ‘saving the world through fishing’ its main priority? *shrug* Nevertheless, one cannot deny that the first handful of episodes have been massively fun and some interesting elements introduced. Hopefully the direction the story’s headed will become clearer given time…
4. Lupin the Third: The Woman called Fujiko Mine
The thing I’ve enjoyed most about Fujiko so far is how stylish it is. For all its flaws- how inconsistent I seem to find it, enjoying some episodes far more than others, and the almost excessive nudity, (OK, we get it, she uses her feminine whiles to get by) – you cannot deny how wonderfully stylish it is! I love the stencilled look it’s got going on, the jazzy BGM and the sensuality of the interactions between Fujiko and the other characters. I don’t know what improvements I could offer to make the show more consistent- I haven’t worked out why it is I’m enjoying some episode more than others, and not shoving in nudity for the sake of it- it just denotes a lack of thought on part of the directors.
3. Nazo no Kanojo X
I case you’ve been hiding under a rock for the last month in regards to my blog, this is one of two shows I’ve been covering. I had originally pegged it as being quite strange, (who wouldn’t with a premise like that!?) but, Nazo no Kanojo X has exceeded my expectations of it in a big way! Not only does it capture the awkwardness and uncertainty which characterises the large majority of first-time adolescent relationships, it does it in an extremely clever way. The amount of symbolism in this show is immense, it’s been incredibly fun to over-analyse each episode, week after week. Admittedly, it had one baby slip up in the form of episode 3 which, in my opinion, was basically a repeat of episode 2 but, apart from that I can’t really fault the show and look forward to each episode every week. Want to know more of my thoughts and feelings on Nazo no Kanojo X? Read my weekly posts on it!
2. Avatar: Legend of Korra
It was an extremely close call but, even though Korra has, so far, had some beautifully animated fight sequences, political intrigue, peril which is practically tangible and a villain who has surpassed Johann Liebert level of scariness, Korra just loses out to Apollon on account of it just not being as funny as its predecessor. I know, that must seem a fairly crappy reason but, part of why I loved Avatar so much was because of how fun it always was, so far the only humour we’ve got is from Korra’s headstrong nature, (which is now set to change) Bolin, (whose appearance during the last episode seemed crowbarred in) and Tenzin’s kids. Heh, I’m probably just being unreasonable, wishing for Korra to be both darker and funnier at the same time, forgive me!
1. Sakamichi no Apollon
No doubt about it, my favourite show of the season! It’s difficult to say what it is about it I love so much ‘cause it doesn’t hit you around the head with its brilliance, it’s just subtly good. Ah, I’ve got it! It’s how genuine it feels, the interactions between the characters don’t feel at all forced, they behave in ways you’d expect normal kids within a friendship group to behave, which means it all feels very relatable- necessary when exploring issues such as first love, unrequited love and dealing with racial prejudice. Also, this show’s just been so bloody consistent week after week, not placing even a toe out of place. It’s gotten to the point where I’m almost wishing it’d trip up, if just so it can stop showing all the other shows of this season up!
Overall, I’m thoroughly enjoying 7.5, (I enjoy Shirokuma Café half the time) out of the 9 shows I picked. That’s pretty darn good considering it’s usually the other way ‘round, me enjoying only a couple of the shows I’ve selected. Also, I know for a fact there are at least two or three other shows out there I didn’t pick up that are being enjoyed by all those watching them, therefore, I’d conclude the quality of shows this season is through the roof! It’s so exciting, to experience such a fantastic season, I don’t see how any future ones could compare!