Good afternoon loyal readers of Sekijitsu, this is Heartless and I’ve taken over the April summary. April marks the official beginning of the Spring anime season and there are a plethora of series to check out. As always, there are some that are pretty good, some are bad and there’s always one, sometimes two that are overhyped. April has been better than expected with some surprises like No Game, No Life and Black Bullet while other series like Nisekoi and Hitsugi no Chaika have been a bit of a let down.
Hot: Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou
I’m quite surprised at how much I enjoy Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou considering the overarching plot isn’t that complicated or interesting on the surface. The one thing, of many, this anime has done extremely well is make the interactions of characters actually carry some significance, like: forming the ties between each tenants and developing a ever growing interests in each of the characters. Regardless of the fact that each character feels a bit extreme at times, the conversations they have with any one of the other tenants makes them feel like they are more believable by proxy. The fact that each character is very simply at first glance, when the anime reveals a new aspect of the character, that isn’t so clear, it instantly makes learning and being investing in each character more compelling.
The other side to this coin of character interactions is this teen romance that is forming. When it comes to most anime, they usually lack that believability of a progression in a relationship to actually look forward to the outcome; in the case of Ritsu and Kazunari, there is this genuine curiosity coming from our male character that lead him to seek and actually learn more about his love interest; and despite the slowness, it feel nice to see such progression. And to the point about the slowness, it ends up working in a way that there actually is progress happening and it is expressed very clear in Ritsu’s expressions, but Kazunari is more caught up in looking like a fool in front of her to notice. So actually experiencing the different speeds relationships developed between other tenants in Kawai makes the inevitable romance have that much more weight carried with it; plus it helps that this anime is pretty sharp in it’s humor.
Not-So-Hot: Date A Live II
I would say that Data A Live II suffers from having interesting content, that will be shown in later episodes, and the journey to get there is just a struggle. The first season suffered from this as well, only the idea of sealing away the Spirit of the girl that had them was interesting enough to keep that fact hidden. Unfortunately, since this is the following season, there is none of that and we end up getting more of the same thing, which can be good in some cases, but not here. By episode three it has gotten to the point where I’m saying to myself “Lets just get to the point already”, and soon it becomes extremely samey considering you know in the end Shido will end up conquering this girl — or in this case girls since these Spirits are the split personality of one.
Fortunately, these criticisms of mine expired when I watched the fourth episode. The biggest problem I have with Date A Live as a series is the fact that it covers a lot of its gems in unnecessary fluff to appeal to a general audience, and that really turns me off. Most of it comes from the fact that Shido is unable to make a strong decision; so when the fourth episode came around and Shido actually did something, I was pulled back into this series after suffering for three episodes. The only thing is, one good episode doesn’t excuse the other three lackluster ones, so this is why Date A Live II is in my “not-so-hot” category. But now that we finally made some kind of progress in the story, I’m looking forward to what’s to come. I just wish they would stop with this useless micro-drama that Tohka brings in every single episode, when the scene could be just a normal event.
Hot: No Game No Life
I know I was pretty close to bashing No Game No Life right at my first impression post but after seeing a few more episodes, I actually find myself being absorbed by its interesting world along with its I-don’t-even-know-what-to-make-out-of-them main characters. I think one of the things that made me really enjoy this series is my low expectation toward it. During the beginning of the season, No Game No Life was highly compared to Mondaiji-tachi ga Isekai kara Kuru Sou Desu yo? which I think was pretty reasonable – main characters brought to a fantasy world, and everything is decided by games. But the execution of these ideas became the difference which makes No Game No Life a bit more interesting (but I’m still into Mondaiji-tachi more, enjoyability-wise).
No Game No Life has been pretty enjoyable so far with its multicolored-interesting world, fun characters, and decent amount of fan service. With Sora and Shiro finally becoming the King and the Queen of Imanity, the forthcoming war will surely be full of interesting things (it’s definitely because of how Sora takes on everything – that chess match was priceless XD).
Nisekoi is a manga that I read when it came out. I enjoyed it when it was beginning because of its nice romance and comedy. When the anime was adapted, I was expecting it to look something like Oreimo because of its harem nature and beaten up but pretty nice main guy. But SHAFT took the job and made it… well… SHAFT which looks absolutely beautiful because of all the nice dialogue delivery, creative art, and lots of pretty quick cuts (but seriously it’s starting to look a lot like the Monogatari Series).
Maybe that’s just me somehow praising Nisekoi…
My real problem with the series is how the story is dragging so much. Realistically speaking, if this isn’t a JUMP series (which needs to drag series just to make them long), Nisekoi will actually look great with a one-cour anime adaptation with lots of funny moments, decent amount of fan service, and pretty romance. Watching the anime actually made me realize how annoying it is how everyone is falling madly in love with Raku (well maybe that’s an exaggeration) and how every promised girl has the same freaking story (at least we only have three as of now)…
Hot: Black Bullet
Black Bullet has certainly popped up as quite an enjoyable view this month. Fast paced and filled with moe, monsters, bare knuckle fighting, guns, swords, and other themes that surprisingly works well when mixed together create this wild ride. In only one month, we’ve been introduced to our main cast, the biggest threats, a boss battle and basically went through the entire first arc of this series. For someone with little time on his hands these days, I am thankful for Black Bullet’s need to simply get down to business and move on but I am more impressed that it still has the ability to do that while smoothly giving out info.
Not-So-Hot: Chaika the Coffin Princess
Chaika the Coffin Princess is another anime by Bones this season and there hasn’t been anything noteworthy about this show since it’s airing. “Get to the specified location and extract the key item from a strong opponent without getting caught or dying” is the this anime summed up in one sentence. While such a framework works well for video games, it’s pretty boring when applied to anime. A lot of anime are similar but use something else to get my attention. That “something else” may be great action, in-depth character development, fascinating world building or something but Chaika the Coffin Princess has none of that.
It’s so incredibly linear, it’s pretty boring. The only thing this anime has going for it is the mystery of Chaika’s background and I just barely care enough about that to not drop this series. The monster designs are pretty good too but they’re not important.
The spring season has just begun so we are still a ways away from finding out which series will turn into gems and which will end up as utter garbage. The month of May is looking to be a great month for almost all of the Spring anime as this is the time that each series really gets entangled in their respective stories and their plots begin to build towards the climax.
Tell us what anime you thought really brought home the gold in April and which anime you’really paying attention too most (or least) in May.