Not Bad, So Far

Not exactly a thin-slicing, but here’s my take on the Fall shows thus far. For a season that I was cynically certain would be a total waste of time, this one is turning out to be ok, maybe even good. So far, my “must watch” list only has one series on it: Fate/Zero. UFOtable pulled out all the stops on the first episode, and I’m anxious to see how well they continue to perform. By itself, it might redeem the season for me. I’ve already said plenty in the prior article, so no more here. Except to note that I’ve probably watched the final few minutes (the summoning) six times already. Of course, it ends with Saber reprising her lines from the end of the first second episode of F/SN: “I ask of you…are you my master?” Only this time the summoner was clearly expecting someone else…

Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon, on the other hand, is a huge disappointment. I’d hoped that the difficulty in explaining the background might just have indicated depth, and a really good show. Instead, it’s looking like a dungheap. A confused beginning and an impenetrable ending explanation book-ended nonstop boobies, some groping, plus hyper-kinetic, barely-coherent action, and the introduction of a main male character who has no redeeming features that I can find, other than a pulse. He skips out on the final exam, shows up at the last moment, gropes the teacher, and announces that he was busy buying the latest limited edition eroge, because… tomorrow, he’s going to confess to the girl of his dreams, Horizon! Literally, dreams, as everyone points out that she’s been dead for ten years, now. So why do I think that Horizon is the unconscious girl that just collapsed on the doorstep of a shopkeeper that bears an uncanny resemblance to Eucliwood Hellscythe? Oh, and they’re all going to fight for freedom and justice against political oppression. With delusional boy as their titular leader.

I guess they had to save money somewhere after all that action, so we get potato-faces and button-eyes.

Will watch that show for the boobies only, if at all.

Moving on, I suspect the next show was an OVA, because I’d seen nothing of it — but I caught a fansub of Valkyria 3. Although Welkin and the gang appear in it, this series seems to follow a new unit of almost-renegades centered around a single tank. I only followed the first season for a few episodes, and seem to have written only a single paragraph about it. (I thought I had a post, but maybe I’m thinking of something I read?)

Let's see... out of contact, out of supply, exhausted? Of course we'll rescue your village, miss!

ChihayaFuru is another slice of life show about Ayase, the younger sister of a famous model, who is obsessed with an obscure card game, called Karuta. It’s a simple matching game where lines of a poem are broken into three parts and printed on various cards; the object is to be the first to grab the next card in sequence when a verse is read. It’s not a bad premise, and the first episode contains an extended flashback showing why she’s so obsessed. It also shows the emotional brutality that is elementary school, especially in Japan, where being ostracized is… well, bad. I probably won’t be following it, even though Ayase’s monomania and social ineptness are kind of cute.

Ok, she's a little skinny, but she had to join track to make friends in Jr. High? I call bullshit.

Tamayura HItotose: Not my speed. Too much gentle slice of life. It’s cute, but I was fast-forwarding by the OP. And a lot of product placement by Nikon… for their old film cameras.

Product placement much?

Maji de Watashi ni Koi Shinasai!! This was far less fanservice-y than I expected, and a lot more fun to watch. It’s been described as “Baka to Test with Dog Days rules” and that’s pretty much on the target. The cast is large, but the primary male is a brains-before-brawn type who’s in love with the top fighter in the school. Unfortunately, though she comes to respect him by the end of the first episode, she’s resolutely friend-zoned him. Which has only made the other four girls after him that much more determined.

I wouldn't mind being friend-zoned by that, as long as it came with benefits....

Still waiting on Mirai Nikki and a few others. Since some shows aren’t debuting until the 13th, I’m going to be waiting a while.

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