So over at Chizumatic, there’s a discussion going on about what the best shows this season are. Well, no, really it’s a discussion on what people think their personal favorites are or aren’t. As we hit the midpoint of the season, I suppose I should weigh in. So here’s what I’m following, worst to first:
Edit: Not making the cut: MM, My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute, Panty and Stocking.
Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiriu — couldn’t make it past the first episode. The girls aren’t cute, the main female is annoying, the male lead is meh.
Fairy Tail I’ve watched the last few episodes. Enh, I never do well with continuous series. But Lucy and Ezra are cute.
Zero no Otomishono Forte — someone over at Chizumatic said (about another series) “Continues to hide tiny grains of Really Funny amid deserts of Obnoxious.” Change that “Really Funny” to “Really Serious” and you’ve got how I feel about this show. I’m not following it very regularly, but there’s touches of decent science fiction ideas buried under tons of obnoxious crap. And then they don’t really develop the touches. At least it beats Sturgeons Law: It’s only 75% crap.
Fortune Arterial — Only when I’m really bored. It hasn’t shown any sense of developing a plot, nor why the vampires decided to reveal themselves. It’s really coming across as “slice of life” with a pair of vampires in the mix. If I cared, I might remember who all the characters are.
Yosuga no Sora — the show that put the soft-core back into porn. Hey, at least we have a protagonist who really wants to score with the babes…. and since they keep resetting the story, a la’ SS Amagami, that’s exactly what’s happening, one at a time. Now we’re onto the childhood friend, which means, exactly as I predicted, we’ll finish with the maid and then the sister. Which I am beginning to find disappointing; only because I want a shop owner path. Damn, she’s hot. In fact, she deserves a second, better picture.
A Certain Magical Index II — I would have dropped this one even below Sora out of sheer disappointment in the first arc, but for the second arc being about Mikoto and Kuroko. And it’s a sequel to the Sisters Arc, which is a major plus. It starts off with Kuroko being Kuroko, but she starts to figure out something’s up when her Onee-sama is acting weird. Of course the nice assist from her new and overly talkative (shock! In this series?) nemesis does help. This is a welcome respite from the Orsala Aquinas arc, but long-term, I’m not sure I can hang with this series. Now, I’m not counting the first episode as an arc, as it was a kind of one-off, to reintroduce characters to the returning and explain them to the new. I’m talking about episodes 2 through 5, a.k.a. the Orsala Aquinas/Book of Law arc. Having suffered through fanatical miniskirt-wearing, pike-and-magical-grenade-bearing nuns, magic items that look like an old mop, various “well why didn’t you do that in the first place, dammit!” moments, I’m forced to conclude that the author of the light novels went to a catholic school, where he was brutally gang-raped by young, pretty nuns. Repeatedly. That’s the only way I can account for his making this crap up. Lets face it: in his world the Catholic Church is a force for evil. The Church of England is not really very good, but it is very cynical. Index II novel spoilers:
Demon Maiden Zakuro — It telegraphs every move, taken straight out of the Big Book of Obvious Plot Twists. But there’s still some things I want to see. The lieutenant who ended up assigned to the twins just came face to face with the fact that he’s helpless against some of their opponents, and the girls have to protect him. He’s not handling it well, but they’re working hard to talk him back down off the ledge. Bonus: we get to see why. Basically they’d probably have jumped at any guy that showed them attention and respect. Make it a handsome army officer, and they were as good as in the bag. Essentially, the last several episodes have taken us through the origin stories of the girls, and now we’re getting into the plot. As expected, it has something to do with Zakuro’s orign.
Samurai Girls — There’s always a show I say I’ve got no interest in, and then I end up eating my words. This one’s it for the current season. The fact that the girls are (mostly) busty, (often) undressed, and (all) cute is not a detriment, believe me. But the same could be said for Ikkitousen or Sekirei, but I couldn’t stand the first and got really frustrated with the second after the season’s mid point. What has Samurai Girls got? An intriguing alt-world that they haven’t explored enough of, and good comedic dialog. “It died…my innocence!” It still loses points for neutering the guy in the center, but at least in the last episode, they tried to give him something to do. Hopefully the next time it happens, it won’t be necessary for Sen and Yukimura to both go totally braindead in order for him to get bossy. Oh, and it’s firmly established that it is set in the modern day, meaning the girls we saw trashing B26’s in the opening segment were either prior incarnations, or the result of lazy animators wanting to do an action scene with the same girls. Personally, I believe the latter. Some suspension of disbelief is needed for this series; I have yet to see a single male samurai, other than Muneakira. On the other hand, cute girls are cuter with weapons. Desho?
The World God Only Knows — The winner for the season. My only disappointment is that they’re not exploring the backstory at all, but frankly at this point, there wasn’t much in the manga either. I suspect that particular hook will not be set until the end of the season. It’s an adaptation, and not original, so I can’t credit the anime writers with doing much more than following the source material, but at least they haven’t managed to screw it up. The concept behind this show is that Keima, “The Capturing God”, a player who can beat any dating sim, has been roped – very much against his will – into catching spirits hiding in the hearts of young girls. A complete gaming nerd (though not unattractive), he decides to apply all the tricks he’s learned in the games he has played. The obvious angle would be for it to fail, and he become the butt of much abuse. Not here — the humor comes from the fact that it actually works. Well, that, and how romancing so many girls runs Keima ragged, and his epic rants on gaming in general, and dating sims in particular.
I tried to get a picture of Keima, but Elsie tells me that he’s busy on a capture right now, and wasn’t available. (Actually Crunchyroll is having issues tonight, or I am. I almost can’t connect, and when I can, video freezes randomly and jumps to the end. Last time that happened, I needed a new Flash download. Sigh.