Busy week of anime – between the couple summer shows finishing up and the many new shows to catch, there was hardly time for much else. I’m pretty happy with the autumn season so far; many of the shows are starting off very well and there’s been a few that have even been able to surprise me.
Soul Eater, episode 26 – 12+/12
Natsume Yuujinchou, episode 13 – 12+++/12(end)
Ryoko’s Case Files, episode 13 – 12++/12 (end)
Toradora!, episode 2 – 12+/12
Hyakko, episode 2 – 8/12 B+
Kannagi, episode 1 – 7/12 B
To Aru Majutsu no Index, episode 1 – 12+/12
Shikabane Hime: Aka, episode 1 – 12/12
Tales of the Abyss, episode 1 – 04/12 C
Yozakura Quartet, episode 1 – 8/12 B+
Kemeko DX, episode 1 – 10/12 A
Ga-Rei Zero, episode 1 – 9/12 A-
Chaos;Head, episode 1 – 11/12 A+
Thoughts and Highlights
Let’s start with the only holdover from the summer season that I watched this week – Soul Eater. I was impressed by this episode a lot. I think the set episode count of this series is causing Bones to eschew the typical structure of a shounen show. After letting the Demon God go, I would have expected this anime to show the main characters training to power themselves up (like after the end of the Soul Society arc on Bleach). Instead this episode shows that some of our characters getting dispatched to the next trouble spot. The other reason that I liked this episode was that we got a lot of Crona, who is fast becoming one of my favorite characters. I feel odd saying that but then again, Sylar on Heroes is becoming one of my favorite characters especially lately with the writers making Hiro act stupid beyond belief.
Slice-of-life shows don’t, by definition, have a convenient plot structure that allow them to have an “ending” but it’s nice when some sense of closure can be given the viewer. I was really curious how Natsume would end, especially with the second season starting in the winter – would they try to give the show an ending or just act like the show was going on hiatus for a season? I wouldn’t have minded if this season didn’t have an ending but was happy that one was given. Having the chance to meet many of the ghosts and people one last time from the show was the perfect way to end one of the year’s best shows.
Ryoko’s Case Files’ last episode was likewise the perfect way to end the show. I hope this gets a second season, it really deserves it. If any of the fansubbers of [AonE-AnY] read this, thank you so much for providing a high quality fansub with a super-small file size.
Finally, onto the fall shows that had their second episodes this week – Hyakko and Toradora. The first, Hyakko, didn’t really impress me again. I want to like this show but I can’t quite figure out what it’s doing wrong or what’s wrong with me. I’m not even holding the drop in animation quality of episode 2 against it. On the other hand, the second – Toradora – was very awesome. This is definitely shaping up to be a more original show then I imagined and they haven’t even introduced the fifth main character that shows up in both the opening and ending. Also, Toradora is reminding me of another of J.C.Staff’s wonderful shows – Honey & Clover; I don’t know if this is intentional or just something I’m reading into the show that’s not there.