October 17, 2010

What's Wonderduck Watching, Fall 2010 Edition!

In every anime season, there's always some keepers and some shows that are quite honestly nothing more than crap on a stick.  In this edition of the semi-regular series, "What's Wonderduck Watching?", I'll be pointing you towards a few shows that I think are keepers... and a couple that are crap on a stick.

As always, this post isn't meant to be a comprehensive review of every series out there, nor is it unbiased or even-handed.  It's a look at the shows I'm going to be following this season because I think they're good, and a warning to stay away from a couple of others because I think they're awful.

That being said, let's get on with the program!



FORTUNE ARTERIAL

Kohei (in white) is a transfer student to Suchikan Academy.  Bounced from school to school because of his father's job, he's finally gotten a chance to choose where he wants to be... and the island the school is located on was a place he liked as a child.  Erika (right), the school's student council Vice-President, welcomes him with a handshake... and reacts like she's stuck her hand in a pot of angry badgers.  We later discover that she's a type of vampire and there's something about him that sets her hunger wailing... maybe.  By the time the first episode ends, we're not altogether sure about that.  I don't hold out a whole bunch of hope that Fortune Arterial is going to be anything incredible, but it had some laugh-out-loud moments, the characters are likable, the artwork is acceptable, and it was entertaining enough.  If I have to drop a show, this'll probably be the first to go, but for now it's worth a look.

ORE NO IMOUTO GA KONNA NI KAWAII WAKE GA NAI

He's a normal 17-year old high schooler.  She's his middle-school student sister who's ridiculously popular, a fashion model, and treats him like he's lower than whale snot.  She also harbors a deep, dark secret: she's a Visual Novel otaku.  Worse, she's addicted to "little sister"-based VNs, because little sisters are so cute and pure.  No, she doesn't notice that she's a little sister that treats her older brother like dirt, nor that she's playing ADULT VNs.  When he accidentally discovers her hobby, she brings him into her world.  Hijinks ensue.  Loosely translated as "My Little Sister Can't Be This Cute," Oreimo is ostensibly a comedy, but also has the possibility of being a trenchant observation of the way otaku are perceived in Japanese culture.  If so, this could be a fascinating series... or just entertaining.  Based upon a series of light novels that have reportedly sold very well, there's a lot of story available to draw from here.  I have some fairly high hopes.

THE WORLD GOD ONLY KNOWS

Keima (right) is a "four-eyed geek", looked down upon by most everybody at his high school.  Online however, he's known as The Capturing God for his ability to win, or "capture" any girl in any dating sim without any effort whatsoever.  One day he gets an e-mail challenging him to capture some girls.  Thinking it's an invite to some game, he accepts.  Turns out it's actually a contract with a demon named Elucia (left) to recover "lost souls" that reside in the bodies of real girls, and if he doesn't succeed he'll die.  Hijinks ensue.  Something of a parody of dating sims, TWGOK is based on a long-running manga series.  It's also funny as hell, and has an interesting, colorful, art style.  The only fear I have is that it'll fall into a "girl of the week" pattern that won't let us get to know the people he's "capturing."  Still, it should be interesting to watch, either in a good way or a train-wreck sort of way.

YOSUGA NO SORA

Two identical twins (of opposite sexes) travel to their new home to pick up their lives after the death of their parents in a car accident.  Once there, Haruka (not pictured) becomes an instant hit in the local high school.  However his sister, Sora (above), proves to be a reclusive personality, shunning the outside world.  Hijinks ensue.  Look, it's not often that a series will surprise me these days.  Lord knows I've seen enough anime to be able to predict most plots, and via the otakusphere I can learn about anything else.  Yet Yosuga No Sora managed to sneak a fastball by me.  I assumed it'd be another high-school-coming-out story, like so many before it... and for the first 15 minutes or so, it was.  Then Sora shows up in her brother's bedroom wearing not very much and wanting to sleep with him, while he recoils in horror... yeah, that I didn't expect at all.  Nor did I expect the *ahem* solo scene at the end of the show, featuring the maid of one of Haruka's classmates.  Seems YNS is based on an eroge, and the production company has decided to stick close to the source material.  The artwork in the anime is good-to-outstanding (see the above screencap, or the spinning chair scene), and the unexpected (to me, anyway) plot twist has made this the "can't wait" series of the Fall.

SHINRYAKU!  IKA MUSUME!

Not by me, you aren't, and hopefully not by anybody with any sense of taste.  The most unfunny thing I've seen in months.

STAR DRIVER

The first half of Star Driver's first episode is a high-school comedy.  The second half is secret-conspiracy-meets-mecha series, featuring a lot of pointy chins and some of the most faaaaabulous mecha designs ever.  Dear merciful heavens, the main character is called "Galactic Pretty Boy".  Everybody wears half-face masks, bondage gear, or both, and absolutely nothing is ever explained.  Maybe this all sounds like something you'd like to watch, and if so I'd suggest some adjustments to your medications are in order.  If you're sane, however, I'd recommend running very, very far away.

So that's the new stuff that I'm watching (or not watching) this season!  How about you?

Posted by: Wonderduck at 10:29 PM | Comments (9) | Add Comment
Post contains 1007 words, total size 7 kb.

1 Heh, pretty much in line with my opinions on those shows. Except I thought Ika Musume/Squid Girl was hilarious. Maybe watching Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt has boosted my tolerance for tasteless humor.

Full list of stuff I'm watching (for now), roughly ordered from most to least favorite:
OreImo
Squid Girl
The World God Only Knows
Yosuga no Sora
Kuragehime
Fortune Arterial
Bakuman.
Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt
Tantei Opera Milky Holmes
Star Driver

Those last three are in limbo... they'd have been dropped if it weren't for being on Crunchyroll (PSG and Milky Holmes) or being a Bones show (Star Driver). The outright rejects so far are Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru (still can't stand Shinbo's direction), MM! (just wasn't funny), and Shinrei Tantei Yakumo (dead last out of everything I've seen).

Posted by: Andrew F. at October 18, 2010 01:37 AM (wVyZX)

2 Oh, also Otome Youkai Zakuro (slot it in between TWGON and YnS) and Soto no Otoshimono forte (not actually watched yet, but I'm loving the first season, so it's pretty much a shoo-in).

Yeah, I'm watching a lot of stuff this season.

Posted by: Andrew F. at October 18, 2010 01:43 AM (wVyZX)

3 Seeing a cute girl doing akanbe is always a good thing. Is that fanart? It doesn't look like a frame grab.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at October 18, 2010 12:42 PM (+rSRq)

4 It's from the OP... look at 0:49.

Posted by: Wonderduck at October 18, 2010 05:16 PM (2MleY)

5 I almost get the impression that you don't LIKE the squid girl show.

Posted by: Brickmuppet at October 19, 2010 01:38 AM (EJaOX)

6 Stuff Pixy is watching:









My life sucks at the moment.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at October 19, 2010 03:31 AM (PiXy!)

7 Oh, BBC documentaries.  I keep them on in the background while I'm working, which is most of the time.

No anime though.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at October 19, 2010 03:32 AM (PiXy!)

8 Pixy has now watched the first three eps of the Imouto thingy and the God Only Knows thingy, due to being up late nursing a sick server.

Not bad.  Both funny and better than expected.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at October 23, 2010 12:35 AM (PiXy!)

9 I was right with you on Sora.  Epic train wreck looked to be epic...
Then the second episode started and it was all, "I was just asking you to measure me for a school uniform!" 

Posted by: ubu at October 23, 2010 10:38 AM (GfCSm)

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