Well, here I am with some First Impressions on the new anime this winter season. There are many shows that have caught my eye, and I’m excited to check them out. Here are my thoughts on the first few shows that I have watched. Thanks for reading! Oh, and my apologies for not posting the visual guide for the 2012 Winter Anime Season like I did for the Fall season – I still can if anybody wants me to!
The entire experience of watching the premiere of Senhime Zesshou Symphogear left me unremarkably confused. It felt as if I were watching the last episode of a series that I knew nothing about. The basis of the story is a futuristic world where Earth(?) is under attack by a strange race of aliens(?) called the Noise, and a pair of singers are the only ones who harness the power to stop them(?). At least, that is about as much as I was able to make out from the first episode. Events occur very quickly, too quickly, and almost nothing is explained in full. The mood switches from happy and cheery to serious, dark, and depressing in the blink of an eye. Character development is spotty, and any outline of a stable plot is practically non existent. What really disappointed me, however, is the animation. Considering a majority of the episode is fighting and/or singing, the fluidity of the animation is seriously lacking. What Senhime Zesshou Symphogear does have, however, is potential, and a unique vibe that really makes me want to check back for the next installment in the series.
I’ve heard a particular bit of hype for Mourestu Pirates, and I was eager to check it out. This is another example of a show that certainly has potentional. Taking place in an interesting era of futuristic technology and modern architecture, a young girl who is a member of the yacht club (spaceship flying club, pretty much) at her school finds out that she has become a captain of a space pirate ship, the next in line after her father. Of course she didn’t know that her father was a pirate, ecetera ecetera, you can figure what happens next. Overall, the show looks promising. I don’t have any complaints as of now; this is one of those episodes that simply lays out the basis for the plot and that’s it. It did serve for a good preview of the pacing, animation, and (likable!) characters, all of which I have enjoyed so far. I expect to check out Mourestu Pirates in the weeks to follow.
Another has me extremely excited. VERY rarely do we see horror/mystery anime nowadays, and this series meets all of the criteria. I’m talking top-notch psychological horror, the type that gets your heart pumping by slowly revealing the details piece by piece. From what I’ve seen so far, Another is going to be a prime example of the genre. A conversation between two unknown characters lays out the dark backstory in an interesting prologue. We are then introduced to the main character, a sickly young boy who has moved to a a rural town due to his father’s job. The situation turns eerie, and the reactions of his presence from fellow classmates creates a tense feeling of being trapped, like the entire town is out to get him. And it only gets more eerie from there. Save for the prologue, the audience only knows as much as the main character, and – coupled with the electrifyingly suspenseful soundtrack and natural sounding voices – it is easy to get involved in the story. I could probably write a whole separate post on my first impressions of Another, but I’ll stop myself for now. Any fans of series such as Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, Chaos;Head, Kara no Kyoukai, or any “psychological thriller” anime should definitely not pass up Another.