Dream (Level 21)

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For this season, it looks like comedy titles are gonna be the big thing and it's done enough to surprise me considering I had no plans of even checking out a few of the titles for this season and was expecting another mediocre run. However, said comedy titles did enough to leave me surprised since they were able to pull the right strings in hooking me along to them. So having seen a number of titles for this season, I'll offer up my quick thoughts of what I think of titles for the fall that I have seen so far.

This was one of the original titles I had planned on checking out when I first heard of it over the summer. As far as I know, I've never come across a title that looks into someone trying to seriously put together a manga series and Bakuman is doing a decent job at hooking me in so far after three episodes. It's a mundane and honest look into two high school students in the start of trying to put together a successful manga series like the uncle of one of the two leads with some comedy tossed in regards to the two obsessing over how they are actually gonna be able to do what they want. It is a little over-the-top at points, like the whole promise that Mashiro makes with Miho that drives him for his work. But other than that, I'm looking forward to when these two start planning and working on their manga.
Psychic Detective Yakumo
I suppose this series was made in light of Halloween being this month. But for a horror-mystery title, Psychic Detective Yakumo is quite dull. In the two episodes I seen of the show, there wasn't much to be found with the supernatural in any of the episodic plots that Yakumo gets caught up in as they turn into something like a Scooby Doo/ Detective Conan mix with the instigator of the crimes as the first episode has a pure evil baddie and the second one confesses why they did it after discovered. And for being the show's protagonist, Yakumo wasn't too likable for me with his jerkass attitude and never seeming to have a change in any of his emotions while onscreen. I've chosen not to watch this any further as not caring for Yakumo has me not caring what direction the show is trying to go.
Arakawa Under the Bridge x Bridge
Back to charm me with its bizarre bridge residents and Kou's neverending dumbfound reactions to their behavior is the second season to this spring comedy title from Shaft. No different from the last season, Arakawa continues its sight gag comedy fixated on Kou's reactions to the bizarre behavior and appearances of the residents living under the Arakawa bridge. And so far, so good. The comedy still delivers well for me from a race that the Arakawa residents get into to the introduction of new character, the Amazoness. Arakawa was one of the titles I planned to check out for this season and it's another one that I'm still gonna be on the bandwagon to commit to after two episodes.
Squid Girl
Some people are gonna likely egg me for this, but I found Squid Girl to seem like another moe-pandering comedy title. Of what I seen of the first episode, the show seems to be trying to get its laughs off the quirks of Squid Girl's naivete of the reality behind her so-called invasion of the land-dwellers and her accidental damage of a beach restaurant forcing her to work there to pay off the damages. Only problem is that I didn't find myself laughing at this and I felt indifference similar to how I reacted to Fuko's starfish gimmick from Clannad. Moe comedies just don't work well for me. As a result, I don't plan on watching anymore of this series.
The World God Only Knows
This is the first series to take me by surprise for this season as I found myself rolling around in laughter to the first episode's opening scene where male lead Keima in school gets knocked back into reality from his dating sim game by his teacher. The show pokes fun of dating sim formulas when Keima makes use of his extensive knowledge of dating sims to try wooing girls to release spirits within their bodies for demon Elsie to capture. Having to humble himself for "real" girls to help out Elsie and deal with Elsie playing the role of his "illegitimate sister" makes Keima the unwilling trigger of the show's well-executed comical gags. Word has gotten out that a second season of this series is already in the works for Spring 2011. If The World God Only Knows can keep up with offering up its laughs well, this could be my surprise hit for the year and its sequel would be well worth my attention for next year.
The Noitamina block has done well for the most part in offering some worthwhile anime titles for me like House of Five Leaves, Honey and Clover and last year's hit Eden of the East. With this josei comedy title, it delivers and offers up something different by featuring the life of an otaku from a girl's perspective. But rather than the well-known obsessive interests being anime, manga and video games, our main heroine in this series is into jellyfish. She lives in an apartment with other otaku and NEETs who have an immense fear of beautiful-looking girls. The series gets its laughs by the social phobias that many of the girls have of those not like them yet the show does retains a mundane feel shown by our jellyfish-loving heroine thinking about what her deceased mother told her in childhood. The main twist in this series comes from a beautiful girl who visits the apartment of NEETs and otaku after helping Tsukimi save a jellyfish at a pet store who is not what she seems and it is that direction I would be interested in seeing where the series goes with it. Be sure to get a look at the show's opening sequence. It has a number of nods to popular film franchises here in the West that did enough at having me giddy in laughter.
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