Thursday, January 17, 2013

"Sasami-san@Ganbarani" and "Kotoura-san" (Anime) Initial Thoughts

A lot of people from various sites have been criticizing how this anime season looks to be the most generic and “Moe” heavy one yet. At first I agreed because my first impressions of some of the anime were not that great but just when I thought there was no other anime worth picking up this season, Sasami-san@Ganbaranai and Kotoura-san revealed themselves to me. The site I use happened to showcase these two on the home page and after reading various comments for each series I decided that it wouldn’t hurt to add two more anime to my watching list.
Let’s start out with Sasami-san@Ganbaranai. The first episode made me very interested in what this anime is trying to achieve. The only way I can describe this show is that it is trying to have the randomness and witty conversations of Bakemonogatari while also having strange and likable characters such as the ones in Humanity Has Declined. The main character Sasami seems to be able to change the world around her based on her current feelings. This sort of plot device is just like the one used in The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya…in fact it almost completely mirrors it in many ways. The main character is a likeable but pushy female lead and her surrounding “friends” have to do various things in order to keep the surrounding world in check…yeah sounds exactly like The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya…Well anyways the show is interesting, good looking, and has a really good soundtrack. This anime has the potential to be the good non-“moe” anime of this season.
Finally we have Kotoura-san, my favorite new anime of this season (pending more consideration). This show does something that I think a lot of anime tend to forget; first impressions can be almost more important than the whole show’s running. If you are not initially drawn in by something then it doesn’t matter that the show has an amazing last arc or ending (like Guilty Crown). Every show/movie needs to grab your attention at the start so that you are emotionally invested and actually care what happens in the show/movie. Kotoura-san’s first episode will pull on your heart strings and make you want to seriously rough up some messed up parents and kids. While I will not ruin the experience for you, the first episode does an amazing job setting up Haruka’s unfortunate situation while also introducing her new best “friend” Manabe. While the first episode has a very serious tone, the second (and from what I can tell every episode for now on) shows the anime’s true form; a romantic high school comedy/slice of life. Now don’t go and immediately write this off as a generic copy like I did at first, there are a lot of things Kotoura-san is doing correct. The show quickly introduces all the main characters and sets up where Haruka and Manabe will be spending most of their time; at the ESP club. The very pushy club president Mifune will most likely be a source of bringing Haruka out of her shell because in the second episode she pushes Haruka a little too far with the fortune telling booth. The animation and sound of this anime are both very good so far. Overall this might be my favorite anime of this season so far (or a close tie with Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru). This is an anime you want to pick up regardless of how you feel about high school “moe” series. 

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