Spring 2013 Anime First Impressions – Mushibugyou, Dansai Bunri no Crime Edge, Yuyushiki, Hentai Ouji to Warawanai Neko – Last Minute Additions to the Team

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On one hand I’d like to be 100% correct when I pick which series I should include in my seasonal preview post. On the other hand I’m glad I’m not 100% accurate because there’d be no surprises left to discover. Thankfully, this season, like past seasons, have contained a few anime series that I initially completely passed over which turned out to be series worth watching.

You can probably guess what these anime series are, based on the long light novel style title above; so try to act surprised as you read on :) .

Mushibugyou

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Mushibugyou almost made it into my preview post based on residual respect for the animation studio handling it, Seven Arcs, after how well they did last year with Dog Days 2 and now that I’ve seen it; I wish I had included it. Set in a 1700’s era Japan infested with giant bugs that enjoy harming humanity, our hero seeks to prove his fighting skill and protect the populace by joining a specialized unit tasked with killing these giant bugs. Not the most complex or unique premise but this turns out to be one of the strengths of Mushibugyou. The series, like the main character, is straightforward and earnest and energetic and this makes for a welcome change of pace. Embellishing the experience is the setting – I love period series – the opening song – one of my favorites this season – and just the slightest bit of light fan service – proving less is actually more. I definitely recommend giving this series a watch, with the sole caveat that if bugs really bother you then Mushibugyou might be too much for you.

Rating for episodes 1 and 38/12  B+

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Dansai Bunri no Crime Edge

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Beyond being reminded of my own deficiencies, reading other anime blogs helps ensure that I don’t miss a series I should be watching. So it was with the recommendation of the blog Lost in America that I decided to give Dansai Bunri no Crime Edge a chance, even though I still felt the premise sounded stupid silly. See, in this anime our main character appears to be a normal high school boy with an obsession to cut people’s hair and one day he meets a high school girl with super long hair that cannot be cut, except, he can cut it using a pair of scissors that are a family heirloom. It was only after cutting her hair that he is informed that she is known as the “Queen of Hair” and people want to kill her and his special scissors were used kill a bunch of people and are now cursed. Our main character decides that he’ll protect the “Queen of Hair” and cut her hair, as often as she needs it. Where the story goes from here, I don’t know, but three episodes in and I’ve almost forgotten how stupid silly the premise sounds which speaks very positively for this anime. The way this anime was able to work with it’s premise instills a fair bit of confidence that the animators know what they’re doing and should be trusted in ensuring Dansai Bunri no Crime Edge turns out, at a minimum, decent and worth watching.

Rating for episodes 1 and 39/12  A-

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Yuyushiki

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Listening to the haters would lead one to believe that anime about a group of girls doing _____ are proliferating and pushing out the  “better” anime series but a quick look at this Spring season reveals only one full length series in this genre – Yuyushiki. With this season’s lineup so stacked towards SF, I decided to give this anime a try to see if I could use it to help create a buffer between the various SF series so they wouldn’t run together in my mind. Two episodes down and I have to say this isn’t half bad. Yuyushiki centers on three high school girls who join the Data Processing Club because it has no current members. The club is supposed to teach computer skills to help with job hunting but our main characters use the computers in the club to look up topics that interest them. This turns out to be one of the oddly fun parts to this series – watching the characters use Wikipedia to look things up. In the first episode I cracked a smile when they talked about the Maunder Minimum and decided it sounded like a finishing move. I’ve seen series in this genre done better but Yuyushiki has been a solid watch so far. The humor has been more funny than not funny and the vocal work as been excellent. If the unintroduced characters hinted at in the opening can help round the show (and the comedy) out a bit then Yuyushiki should become a solid hit.

Rating for episodes 1 and 28/12  B+

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Hentai Ouji to Warawanai Neko

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Sometimes reading other anime blogs can also get me to not watch a series as was the case with this anime. The preview at The Cart Driver convinced me to pass this series up but I got to thinking. As much as I respect and enjoy the writers at The Cart Driver, sometimes their predictive powers aren’t the best. The set-up to this anime has the potential – wish granting cat statue gives two high school kids what they desire, the boy loses his facade which allows his inner thoughts to spoken aloud and the girl stops from showing her emotions so easily. And watching the first episode I did have to agree, on the surface, listening to a high school boy blurt out his desires isn’t particularly funny but I had a moment of insight as well. What I found hilarious was just how pathetically predictable and mundane his inner desires actually were. This is what he wanted to use a wish for? Well, he is a dumb kid. There were other pieces to this anime that I’m enjoying. To name two, I love listening to Yui Ogura voice the girl who can’t express any emotions and the supernatural angle, with the cat statue, will be interesting to see how it resolves itself. There is plenty of time for this to get derailed but for now this appears to have the tools needed to be a solid series.

Rating for episodes 1 and 29/12  A-

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2 thoughts on “Spring 2013 Anime First Impressions – Mushibugyou, Dansai Bunri no Crime Edge, Yuyushiki, Hentai Ouji to Warawanai Neko – Last Minute Additions to the Team”

  1. I liked the fact that they were often social commentaries on modern day relationships in Hentai Ouji to Warawanai Neko.

    The person that is absolutely honest, yet as a result cannot survive in modern day society and becomes a pariah (enlightened monk living in a cave). People say they desire honesty, but that’s not what they mean and lack of honesty prevents them from explaining it entirely. People want honesty under the rules of society itself, in a moderated format, designed for and by the rules of social cooperation. It doesn’t mean being true to yourself in any way shape or form. It is not the soul that one finds in a mountain by yourself or training under a waterfall. When a person loses the ability entirely to put a mask up to deceive others, he becomes that.

    The second person wants to immerse themselves more greatly in the rules of modern society, to be recognized as an adult member with all the privileges and responsibilities that goes with such a status, all in order to get past their childish emotions as soon as possible. The ultimate consequence of that is nihilism or rather the deadening of childlike or youthful emotions. Being perfectly calm and rational has its benefits, but not to the extent that it destroys one’s human ability to empathize and sympathize with our fellows. Logic and rationality, used for the purpose of anti-human goals, has no real benefit to humans in the long term.

    The third character introduced cannot trust people for fear of being hurt, thus they utilize external societal masks in order to hide and protect themselves from other people. Those that fear to be close to others, yet also fear themselves and walking on their own true road, often have little choice but to use deception as a means of social survival. But that neither helps people around them nor does it save them from their own heart. For humans that do not like living by themselves or around few others, always wish for the warmth of civilization and community. The fact that they cannot leave and live by themselves, crave the warmth of the fire, yet fear the pain from being burned as they get near it, is why they desire the social armor.

    These 3, so far, extreme end points offer a social commentary on what exactly constitutes society, social rules, and civilization, especially in so far as its benefits and detriments.

    Be honest to yourself, yet hide your true thoughts and beliefs behind the mask of society to protect others, for deceiving them is a necessary protection for those that are burned by the truth.

    Control your emotions, yet learn when to use it and when not to use it, for losing your emotions in order to attain the title of an “adult” is meaningless in the long term.

    Social masks are a necessity for human cooperation, but do not use them as a substitute for human communication and relationships. Learn to differentiate between true friends and those who are out to use you for their own ulterior goals. Trust in other people if the situation warrants it, and if you are betrayed, at least try not to hate yourself in the process. Especially not future allies or friends you may have obtained. If one truly cannot differentiate between those who are truth incarnate in their words and actions from those who are energy vampire deceivers, then find people who have an intense loyalty to the truth. They are often the ones who have no need nor desire for social guard rails, for they are often not on the social highway anyways: they travel a different path, neither reliant on other humans nor envious of other people’s value.

    This show has setup an interesting premise and conflict between the characters. If people underestimate the power of this premise, perhaps they were not taught all they should have been taught concerning human social dynamics. All this knowledge is common sense for those who watch humans from afar.

  2. @ymarsakar: Thanks for the comments. Non-anime blogging duties of late have made it near impossible for me to spend the time I need to here.

    That was a good observation about the three characters. I don’t think I’ve read anyone else that has put it in those terms and it helps explain why my gut was telling me that there was some real heft to this series, which I neglected to mention above since I couldn’t quite figure out why I felt that way.

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