AURON570 (Level 15)

kukuku, how did that laugh ever become cute?... mysteries of the world..
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I'm going to go ahead and sell out with this blog. I don't really like doing these sorts of "list" type blogs, I'd rather focus each blog on a single topic or anime. Recently I've gotten more into writing episode summaries for the wiki whenever I watch an episode of anime, so I haven't really done much in the way of blogs lately. With that said, I actually do want to share my thoughts on what I have been watching this season and I am interested to hear what other Vicers think of this season of anime. So here goes:

Currently Airing

Hanasaku Iroha: (18/26 Episodes) I've really enjoyed Hanasaku Iroha ever since it started airing in early April. It has an incredibly strong cast of characters. Largely made up of hardworking females. Some even say that it is feminist. To be honest before watching this anime, I would not have given a second thought about the lives of people that run a hot spring inn, let alone waitresses. So I think it's a good thing that this anime was made and hopefully fosters a better understanding and level of respect for females in general. The direction in each episode is very clear and well packaged. Because of how well the story is written and how smoothly the story unfolds each episode, I've found it incredibly easy to write episode plot summaries for the wiki.
Ikoku Meiro no Croisee: (5/12 Episodes) It is a simple delight watching Yune the petit Japanese girl living in 19th century Paris. Each day she learns more about the differences between Japanese culture and Parisian culture. Like Hanasaku Iroha, I've found that each episode is well packaged, with a clear idea of what it's trying to accomplish. Although both anime are "slice of life" and arguable "moe", there is definitely more to each of them than meets the eye. Similar to how Hanasaku Iroha has feminist undertones, Ikoku Meiro seems to be fostering tolerance for foreigners and other cultures. 
Kamisama no Memochou: (5/12 Episodes) An interesting show. I was hooked after the first episode which was 45 minutes as opposed to 23 minutes. Narumi, a teenager who moves around a lot due to his father's work, has trouble making lasting friends, is forcefully pulled into a group of NEET detectives. Recently though, s
Who's that girl?
Who's that girl?
omething about the flow of the action in each episode is not sitting well with me. I'm still enjoying the series each week, but I get the strange feeling that each case is moving by more quickly than I would like it too. I suppose that's the hard part about doing a mystery anime. How does each mystery develop the plot and character? How do you pace each mystery so that the viewer isn't overwhelmed with too much at once, while also keeping it interesting? I remember when I was writing a summary for one of the episode, I found myself confused, or having to double check and rewind the video a number of times just to make sure I was getting things down correctly. Alice's light fan service provides some comedy, which is nice. A part of me just wants to hear what Narumi thinks about everything, but there is hardly any pause in the action to do so. With all that said, I think this is a pretty good series and I am really interested to see how it wraps up. 
Mawaru Penguindrum: (5/24 Episodes) Probably the most colorful and brilliantly animated series this season. Some really solid plot and character foundation has already been laid down, and with over a dozen more episodes to go, I have really high hopes for this series. Also his series is from the creator of Sailor Mo
on. And if yo u pay attention you can catch some Sailor Moon here and there. The series can be both seriously dramatic and seriously comedic, but none of it ever feels arbitrary or forced. The 3 mini penguins that follow the two male protagonists around are interesting. I don't particularly like them as characters, but they're there and help stretch the dramatic/comedic extremes in each episode even further apart to good effect. If you haven't checked out this series, you're seriously missing out on one of the best. 
Nichijou: (18/26 Episodes) After watching so much of this series, it's clear to me why some people may not like this series. The pace and flow of each episode can be somewhat "random" and bewildering. The jokes sometimes border on non-sense and are sometimes esoteric. Unlike Hanasaku Iroha or Ikoku Meiro, you would be hard pressed to find a "point" in Nichijou. I have previously tried to interpret Nichijou (or the english title "My Ordinary Life") as a comedic take on absurdism and an allegory for day-to-day life. It's fun for me to try and look past the "random" and try figuring out, "hey why did they decide to do that? or what about this is "random/funny"? But I can see how this might not sit well with some people. A large reason why I keep watching Nichijou is because of the amazing animation and soundtrack. The soundtrack sounds like something out of a Disney film, and the animation is on par with Mawaru Penguindrum. I've been taking screenshots of Nichijou to try and capture it's art style, but it's a completely different experience actually watching the animation unfold. 
My Ordinary Life Poster
My Ordinary Life Poster

No. 6: (4/11 Episodes) I'm interested to see how this turns out. Characters are fairly well realized, the sound and music is put to good use. And there's good plot development in each episode. It doesn't look like it's going to be amazing, but I'm predicting that it's going to be at least pretty good. Shion's naivety can get on my nerves sometimes, but I think this is just a set up. 
Steins;gate: (17/24 Episodes) Awesome. I'm still amazed that they found a way to keep Mayuri appearing in each episode. The whole time travel and reliving past events, while you're the only one that remembers everything, it can sometimes be a bit much. There are many theories as to how the series is going to wrap up, but I'm so happy with the series so far that I'd be happy with about any sort of ending. Given the fact that this series was based on a visual novel, I've been able to watch the anime and think about how it might be like to play it as a game. I would also imagine that the game has multiple endings and arcs. I think I've fallen in love with all the characters, I seriously have to give a hand to Mamoru Miyano for doing an amazing job voicing Okabe. I don't know if it's just me, but something about the way the voices were recorded, makes them sound that much more visceral compared to all the other anime I have watched. 
Usagi Drop: (4/11 Episodes) Single 30 year old Daikichi is tasked with taking care of young girl Rin. He has to make some sacrifices to accommodate thi
I promise
I promise
s new life form, but he begins to really care about Rin and her well being. It's great to see both Daikichi and Rin grow up and tackle new problems together. The cast of supporting characters in the anime are all well realized and incorporated without ever losing focus of Daikichi and Rin. Some people have claimed that this anime is "the cutest this season". I haven't really found Usagi Drop that cute. But it is a well-realized series and should not be missed. 
Uta no Prince-sama: (6/13 Episodes) I was very surprised by this anime. The only reason I planned on checking out this anime was because the artwork looked nice. I was skeptical about the story being a reverse harem, and how having a school full of aspiring idols and musicians would play out. But so far the anime is fairly pleasant and easy to watch. It doesn't really do anything out of the ordinary. It has familiar character archetypes and familiar plot development. Maybe I'm just biased because I play piano and I find it interesting to see things from a musical/creative standpoint, but I think this anime is alright. The animation and art is solid. And if you're making an anime about males who want to become idols, you better
 Help me Luffy...
 Help me Luffy...
believe that the voice actors are great too. Each episode is titled "Opus (number): ______", which is interesting. Each episode has good focus and action flows smoothly. 
One Piece: (37/??? Episodes) Yes, damn this is really awesome. The writing and storytelling is just magnificent. I'm at the part where Nami finally figures out what Arlong is doing to her. It's a great feeling to be able to understand and sympathize with a character so honestly, and I have to thank Eiichiro Oda for making this series.

Finished Airing

FMA: Brotherhood: (20/64 Episodes) Having had the original FMA ruined for me by my then-girlfriend, I decided to give Brotherhood a try. It is damn awesome, I remember thinking "so this is what happens when a studio gets a few years to refine an anime". I'm reading the watch&learns after I watch each corresponding episode, which is nice. 
Gankutsuo: (8/24 Episodes) I remember trying to get into this anime years ago, but I'm glad I've waited until now to really delve into it. It deals with many mature themes, and is shaping up to be one of the best stories shown in an anime ever. Incredibly character driven storytelling is this serie's forte. 
Kimi ni Todoke: (9/25 Episodes) After watching Kuragehime, I was eager to find another romance/comdey anime which was just as good and amazing to fall in love with. And I found it! Sawako is a simple and inspiring character, just like Tsukimi in Kuragehime. The voice actresses for both characters do an amazing job in their respective roles. It's really fun seeing Sawako overcome her shyness and making friends.
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