[In which I review] New anime, Spring 2013

Ashikaider

seeker of things AWESOME
Hataraku Maoh-sama is a hoot. I wasn't sure about it when I read the concept, but it was executed really well.
 

Jhiday

Unrepentant Froggie
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Uh. Of course there were FOUR new series out this morning when I woke up.
Only got time to see three of them. As I expected my Love Comedy has a ridiculously long title will have to wait until this evening.

Part-Timer Demon King (Hataraku Maou-sama)
(13 episodes)

What's it about ?

When his demonic forces are about to get overwhelmed by the human army and their Hero, the Demon Lord decides it's better to turn tail and flee to a parallel universe, i.e. our Earth. While he's recovering his strength, he takes a part-time job at the local McDonald's knock-off. Cue hijinks.

Characters

Satan, the Demon King. After the initial culture shock, he's actually adapting very quickly to this world. He's retained a little bit of his magic after entering this non-magical world, but he has no clue how to replenish it and has to use his reserves cautiously, only for emergencies such as obtaining proper papers with low-grade hypnosis or fixing the French fries cooking machine.

Alshiel, his minion. Satan had other generals, but Alshiel was the one who opened to portal to Earth and came with him. Clearly this wasn't a plan with much thought behind it. He's spending most of his time at the public library searching for a way to restore their magic. He's getting a bit worried about Satan going native and forgetting about why they came here.

The supporting cast is rounded up by a couple of Satan's coworkers : his sardonic boss, and the clumsy cute girl.

Also, he randomly bumps into the Hero on his way home from work. Wait, what ? That's the cliffhanger, obviously.

Production Values

Wow, budget ! This looks way too good for a forgettable comedy show. The animation is superb, the soundtrack is very good, and the opening 5-minute heroic-fantasy battle scene is a sight to behold.

What did I think of it ?

Well, it's reasonably funny. It's a decent joke, sold by characters and direction that play the premise dead straight to increase the comedy value. It's not a laugh-a-minute riot, but it mostly works.

I'm going to keep watching this one, I think.

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Karneval
(13 episodes)

What's it about ?

Fabulous characters fighting a demonic conspiracy in a victorian-style setting.

Characters

Nai, our "protagonist", if you can call that a character who starts the episode in bondage and barely gets any more agency over the course of the episode. He's a wimp, desperately looking for his seme protective friend Karoku (last seen as just some drops of blood and his precious bracelet). He's not completely useless, though, as he seems to be able to hear electronics or something.

Gareki, a thief who was infiltrating this rich-looking mansion on the city's outskirts, and ended up finding (1) a tied-up Nai in the master bedroom and (2) the mistress of the place transforming into an unholy abomination to fight him. The shit having hit the fan, but Nai's bracelet looking very interesting indeed, Gareki takes him with himself in his escape. To escape the authorities, they jump onto a passing train...

... which happens to have been taken hostage by a bunch of workers dissatisfied with their boss (who was on a trip with his innocent granddaughter). It doesn't help that everyone mistakes Nai's bracelet as the sign of him being a member of Circus, the elite magical cop force.

Hirato & Tsukumo, actual members of who came to the mansion too late (its mistress having been disposed of by her boss) and arrive to defuse the train hostage crisis because they have nothing better to do, I guess. They curbstomp the hostage-takers without breaking a sweat, although Nai's superhearing and Gareki's bomb defusing skills do come handy too.

Production Values

A white-haired pretty boy who spends a good chunk of the episode in handcuffs ? Elaborate, classy outfits for everyone ? Well, I guess there's nothing wrong with aiming for the female audience, I guess. And the show as a whole does look very pretty indeed.

What did I think of it ?

What a novelty : an anime that features some actual ambitious storytelling ! (It's not really non-linear, as all the scenes are in chronological order ; it's just that we swiftly cut back and from without warning to the various subplots before learning how they mesh with the core story.) This has to be commended, especially as the pacing is pitch-perfect and manages to stay coherent and tie all its subplots niftly together despite having tons of stuff happen.

Let me be clear : this isn't heady stuff. It's a straight action piece in a setting that appears to value flash over substance. It's just that it's very cleverly put together, and seems to be having a lot of fun in the process. And it looks great.

This one is definitely a keeper.

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Photo Kano
(13 episodes)

What's it about ?

Harem romantic comedy, adapted from a dating sim.

Characters

Kazuya, our generic male protagonist. Even he calls himself boring, although he's trying to change that with his new hobby : taking photographs of everything ! (Daddy has just handed him down his old camera.)

You know how there's always a perverted best friend ? In this show, there's a whole club of them : the Photography Club, including a dude who specializes in upskirts, another in cleavage shots from above, the hot-blooded president, and the token girl who's practically invisible. They want him to join them, of course.

There's also a "proper" Photo Club right next door, who do all the official photographs. Although since it's just its president (who ticks all the "potential love interest" checkmarks) and her clingy underling who's already in another club, they're not an actual club recognized by the school.

This being a dating sim adaptation, we also get introduced to other potential love interests : the childhood friend, the tomboy, his annoying little sister's friend, the student council president... (I really hope said annoying little sister isn't an option, despite her name being in the title.)

Production Values

Perfectly okay. The fanservice level isn't overwhelming, but there are many gratuitous panty shots indeed.

What did I think of it ?

Exactly what you'd expect from Generic Dating Sim Adaptation #46127 : inoffensive, easy on the eyes, and instantly forgettable. It brings absolutely nothing new to the genre and goes through all the expected clichés, but it does it pleasantly enough that you probably won't mind if you have some interest in the genre. Otherwise, don't bother.
 

Quasar

Feeling kinda smurfy
Validated User
Uh. Of course there were FOUR new series out this morning when I woke up.
Only got time to see three of them. As I expected my Love Comedy has a ridiculously long title will have to wait until this evening.
That's what I've had most fun with so far. Whilst hardly original (reminding me of both Haganai as well as Oreshura to name two in terms of themes), I enjoyed the salty exchanges between the characters.

Devil Survivor 2 I found surprisingly watchable for someone who has no knowledge of the games.
 
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Rainfall

Registered User
Validated User
The character design is very poor. I understand that it's stylized and having seen the blandness of Devil Survivor you can tell these characters had thought put into them. The problem is that they are not very attractive, they have a crude cartoonyness that jars badly with the rest of the setting. Going from training to first successful mission in one episode is pushing it and leaves no time for character development. Indeed it makes last season's Total Eclipse look good and seem better paced. Be interesting to see if they can make these rabbits engaging.
Just shows how much your mileage can vary, I really love the character designs, at least they look different. Always had a sweet spot for cartoony styles though, so it plays to my bias here.

Was really amused by the team, they're such a bunch of PC's. I have zero trouble imagining the leader actually doodling at the gaming table. Also got a good laugh at realising they were treating the mechs like race cars, complete with distinct pit crews. :D

Is it deep? Not really, but the characters do have personality and they even manage a few distinct character traits for many of the major characters. Not a simple feat for a 22 minutes episode. I just expect a fun ride at this point, but it seems to have the potential to do something semi-serious like Nadesico. Really liked the episode's ending.

That series deserves extra points for putting CnC in a sensible point, and not on a tower at the top of the ship.
 
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ru

temporary avatar
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Validated User
this season snuck up on me. (they always seem to)

Red data girl
There's never been an otome show I liked, because the main characters always seem to be spineless. this seems no different, but i may stick with it to see if the comments upthread turn out to be true.

the hair thing
"unintentionally hilarious" sums it up. the two kids are cute together though, although I quite liked the girl with her long hair in a kind of art nouveau way. I'm not expectin much, but I'll stay for a couple of episodes.

majestic prince
Add me to the list of people who like the character designs. It's nice to see something a bit different, and it conveys their personality. looks to be a straight-up reconstructed mecha show, and the plot looks pretty bland, but the dialogue is snappy and fun.

devil survivor
painfully generic. I have a lingering affection for the franchise, but..

Hataraku maou-sama
I'm reserving judgement for now. I liked the surprise at the end, but if she turns out to be a textbook tsundere this show will get dropped like a stone. And I'm not sure the inherent comedy of a demon lord working in McDonalds is really enough to carry a whole show for me.

Karneval
again with the annoying protagonists. I like the setting though, and the "Circus" character designs.
 

Icarium

Registered User
Validated User
Just watched Majestic Prince's first episode, and while it's definitely painting by the numbers plot-wise for the moment, I really liked it. The 'leader' guy catches a lot of love from me for being heroic but not totally confident, which I like.

The designs aren't my favorite, but I don't hate them either. The battle fight was good, though I'd like to have more emphasis on the other people instead of just Red.

Here's hoping the plot moves forward in an interesting manner without going all grimdark.
 

MadMac

Registered User
Validated User
Just barely caught up with all the Winter Season finales. In conclusion, meh.

The only new show I've found time is watch is Majestic Prince I like the old school vibe, and it's amusing enough I'll probably stick around for a while. Unfortunately I've never been into mecha shows so there's almost no chance of me going the distance with it.

Not super motivated to try out anything else so far yet. Kinda want to check out the McDonalds one to relieve the pain of working in the service industry.

There's never been an otome show I liked, because the main characters always seem to be spineless.
It's so sad that this is the one main thing Harem and Reverse Harem shows have in common. Well that and the main love interest is probably tsundere, yeesh...
 
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ru

temporary avatar
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Photo Kano
If you can ignore the fanservice, the art production is really nice in this one. It's got the same sort of realistic look that Amagami did; detailed backgrounds, lots of locations and so on. My question is whether they're going to do each route separately, or meander around and then pick the one-true-girl.
 

Rabbit

Registered User
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I normally have one i'm looking forward to (which Crunchyroll doesn't pick up, just 'coz) two I'm kinda interested in, one of which will prove to be a crushing disappointment, and 2-3 random shows that prove better than the writeup suggests.
I have a feeling the world is really ending.

"Crunchyroll to Stream "Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet" Anime"

Wonder what flavour of Tang I'll be?
 
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