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 Series: Inou-Battle wa Nichijou-kei no Naka de / 異能バトルは日常系のなかで
 Year: 2014 |
 Episodes: 12
 Production: TV Tokyo

 Official Summary: Half a year ago, the four members of a literature club, as well as the elementary school niece of their faculty adviser, were bestowed with supernatural powers. The boy in the club, Ando Jurai, became able to produce black flames. The girls acquired a variety of powerful abilities: Tomoyo could slow, speed, or stop time, Hatoko could control the five elements (earth, water, fire, wind, light), little Chifuyu could create things, and Sayumi could repair objects or heal living things. However, since they gained these powers, nothing has really changed in their everyday life. Why have they been given these powers in the first place? Will the heroic fantasy life they imagined these powers would bring ever actually arrive? (via MAL)

Catie's Thoughts: Meh. 

Okay, that's not fair. The series has an interesting premise, which is that there's this epic magical fairy war going on in the background that these kids have no idea about despite having developed random superpowers because of it. It's a slice of life as to what they're doing now, messing around with their powers and being generally nerds. However, underneath that premise is a basically by-the-numbers harem show complete with every girl falling in love with the rather-unlikable MC whose name I've already forgotten despite having just watched it two hours ago.

(It's in the preceding paragraph and I can't even be arsed to match it up.)

There's nothing really wrong with the show. It could be fairly charming, to the right person, I'm just disillusioned and quite bored with harem shows. The girls all have some interesting personalities underneath the stock harem tropes, I just would have been more on board with it if half the show wasn't devoted to each and every girl fawning over and falling for the again-uninspired lead male character.

Watch It: Crunchyroll This entry was original posted at Dreamwidth and has comment count unavailable comments. You can comment there or here.
 Series: Hitsugi no Chaika: Avenging Battle / 棺姫のチャイカ AVENGING BATTLE
 Year: 2014 | Fall
 Episodes: 10
 Production: Studio BONES

 Official Summary: The search for the remains of Emperor Gaz continuous. Chaika still in search of knowing who she really is and what her purpose is. Similarly, the Red Chaika continues the search for the rest of Emperor Gaz's remains. The Gillette corporation continues the mission to catch every last Chaika. In their adventure they give a revealing account kept secret by the Emperor, which Chaika, Fredrica, Toru, and Akari decide to uncover. (via MAL)

 Catie's Thoughts: Technically this is just the second half of the series, but as there seems to be a trend of separating the shows by a season. The story picks right up where it left off with no silly thing as a recap to remind you where we were or what was going on.

I really did enjoy the show as a whole, however. Studio BONES does some nice things with their original shows, although the "here's the twist" thing is kind of getting - not old, but perhaps a bit predictable. However all the clues to where the show was going to end up were scattered through not only this season, but from the original season as well. 

This may just be my lack of memory regarding the first season, but it felt like the "whoops surprise here's our mentor we have to fight to the death now" thing came out of left field. I have a vague memory of a flashback from the first part of the show, so it may just be the fact that there was a half-year between that and this to blame. The last two episodes felt a bit rushed and too slow all at once, which is a weird pacing issue - I'm not sure I liked how quickly Toru just threw away his identity? It felt like it came out of nowhere, although he was much more a subtle character so I probably missed the signs. 

Overall I did like the show - it doesn't stand out among BONE's best by a wide margin, but even BONE's middling series are a head and shoulders above a lot of other studios.

Watch it: on Crunchyroll, where else

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Completed Series: Haikyuu!!

   Series: Haikyuu!! / ハイキュー!!
   Year: 2014 | Spring
   Episodes: 25
   Production: Production IG

   Official Summary: A chance event triggered Shouyou Hinata's love for volleyball. His club had no members, but somehow persevered and finally made it into its very first and final regular match of middle school, where it was steamrolled by Tobio Kageyama, a superstar player known as "King of the Court." Vowing revenge, Hinata applied to the Karasuno High School volleyball club... only to come face-to-face with his hated rival, Kageyama!

A tale of hot-blooded youth and volleyball from the pen of Haruichi Furudate!! (via MAL)

   Catie's Thoughts: I'd been circling this series for a while because, well. Haikyuu is everywhere, really. It's super-popular, got a big cast of male characters - it's a shounen sports anime ffs. I remember how Prince of Tennis kinda ate a huge chunk of my friendslist whole (although I could never get into it myself). So I waffled, and I was finally talked into watching it - and I enjoyed the hell out of it. Mainly, because I wasn't expecting a sports anime to be cute.

I almost called it quits during the first episode though, but it's certainly worth it to stick it out. Every single character in this show is amazing, and adorable in their own right. The relationships between the characters, Hinata's boundless enthusiasm, and the way that they grow and change certainly makes up for any bits lacking. Even the way the games are staged is nice, although near the end we certainly fell into the "people in the stands explaining everything" trope that makes me go ehhh. 

The animation is very much on point, and I can only hope that IG gets to do season 2 as well. I will be there for that, certainly.

Watch It: Crunchyroll

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  Title: Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun! / 月刊少女野崎くん
  Year: 2014 | Summer
  Episodes: 12
  Production: TV Tokyo

  Official Summary: High school student Chiyo Sakura has a crush on schoolmate Umetarou Nozaki, but when she confesses her love to him, he mistakes her for a fan and gives her an autograph. When she says that she always wants to be with him, he invites her to his house and has her help on some drawings. Chiyo discovers that Nozaki is actually a renowned shoujo manga artist named Sakiko Yumeno. She then agrees to be his assistant in order to get closer to him. As they work on his manga, they encounter other schoolmates who assist them or serve as inspirations for characters in the stories. (via MAL)

  Catie's Thoughts: I have no idea what I expected with this show, even with everything I'd seen on tumblr. I cackled a lot, to the point where I had to pause or even rewind because I missed things. It is genuinely hilarious - and while Nozaki's obliviousness does get a little old, the supporting cast is fantastic. I want to see more of all of them.

  Watch It: Crunchyroll This entry was original posted at Dreamwidth and has comment count unavailable comments. You can comment there or here.
  Title: Fate/stay night [Unlimited Blade Works]
  Year: 2014 | Fall
  Episodes: 12
  Production: ufotable

  Official Summary: New anime adaptation of Fate/stay night, following the Unlimited Blade Works route. (via MAL)

  Catie's Thoughts: All I really remember of the original Fate/Stay Night anime was that it was fairly disappointing after a promising start, and that it went into harem territory quickly. Also I seem to remember an onsen episode, but I might be mixing that up in my head with a different series. UBW, on the other hand, eschews all of that nonsense and gets right to business.

Having watched Fate/Zero helps quite a bit, and while it's not super fresh in my memory it's enough that I know what's going on without the exposition. The animation in this show is insane, it's gorgeous - and I'm waiting on pins and needles for the second season, because I want to know what happens next because I genuinely don't know.

  Watch It: Crunchyroll, the land of anime This entry was original posted at Dreamwidth and has comment count unavailable comments. You can comment there or here.

Completed Series: Donten ni Warau

  Title: Donten ni Warau / 曇天に笑う
  Year: 2014 | Fall
  Episodes: 12
  Production: VAP 

  Official Summary: When swords were outlawed in the eleventh year of the Meiji Era, the mighty samurai population began to dwindle. Those who rejected the ban on blades rebelled, causing violent unrest to erupt throughout the countryside. To combat the rise in criminal activity, an inescapable lake prison was constructed. Three young men, born of the Kumoh line, were given the duty of delivering criminals to their place of confinement—but could there be more to their mission than meets the eye? (via MAL)

  Catie's Thoughts: So I started this because - anime set during a very specific era of Japan's recent past that I'm very interested in, plus a story about brothers, which is my jam. I did not expect: to get slammed in the face with this show and leave me for dead on the side of the road. That official summary up there makes the show seem a lot less heavy than it ends up being, and when a Certain Occurrence happens at episode six, well ....

I really did like this show a whole lot more than I thought I would. The show does suffer a bit from strange pacing, but by the time you reach the end you understand what the intention of the pacing is. Also, nearly all the characters are touched upon and their stories are all integral to the final bit of the show - and while a lot of tertiary characters aren't really introduced, or others have small bits clearly hinting at a larger story, it's still enough to get the gist of the show across. 

On a personal note, I kept cracking myself up because certain characters are expies of Ed and Masayoshi, and, well - that's just hilarious.

  Watch It: Funimation This entry was original posted at Dreamwidth and has comment count unavailable comments. You can comment there or here.

Completed Series: Amagi Brilliant Park

 Title: Amagi Brilliant Park / 甘城ブリリアントパーク
Year: 2014 | Fall
 Episodes: 13
 Production: KyoAni

 Official Summary: Seiya was forced to accept an invitation to an amusement park by the mysterious and beautiful girl Isuzu. What he didn't know was that she would bring him to the decrepit Amagi Brilliant Park, Japan's most disappointing amusement park. Seiya is introduced to the leader of the Park, the "real princess" Latifah, who suddenly entrusts him with saving the park, which is in danger of shutting down. Amagi Brilliant Park, it turns out, is not just any amusement park, but rather one populated by fairies. (via MAL)

 Catie's Thoughts: Brilliant, light-hearted piece of fluff that makes good use of KyoAni's gorgeous visuals. It's silly and absurd in the best ways, from mascots who are really real (and lecherous dicks) to elemental fairies who sit on social media and pretty much everything in between. One mascot in particular might look a little familiar to anyone who's seen Full Metal Panic!, and yes, they make an aside (walking copyright violation, lol). 

The characters are all likable even when they're dicks, the only thing I had issues with was that Sento pulled her magic rifle from under her skirt, but you never actually got flashed her panties so okay. Also there are so many characters who deserved more time and exploration, but. Enjoyable fluff and a great way to spend a weekend, although I did spend an inordinate amount of time chuckling that Seiya looks pretty much exactly like Haru with brown eyes and actual emotions, but that's KyoAni for you.

Watch It: Not available for streaming that I could find, Funimation has the rights.
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Completed Series: Akame ga Kill!

 Title: Akame ga Kill! / アカメが斬る!
 Year: 2014 | Summer
 Episodes: 24
 Production: Square Enix

 Official Summary: In a fantasy world, fighter Tatsumi sets out for the Capitol to earn money for his starving village, and finds a world of unimaginable corruption, all spreading from the depraved Prime Minister who controls the child Emperor's ear. After nearly becoming a victim of this corruption himself, Tatsumi is recruited by Night Raid, a group of assassins dedicated to eliminating the corruption plaguing the Capitol by mercilessly killing those responsible. (via MAL)

 Catie's Thoughts: I went back and forth on this show a lot. It feels familiar while still keeping it fresh - it reminds me a great deal of how I felt when I first got into anime, and this brand new fantasy world opened up, full of characters with a quest to follow. The difference here is that the quest is assassination, and when Tatsumi got all starry-eyed about doing it FOR JUSTICE, he got smacked down immediately with "no, we're murderers."

And while this again feels like a late 90's, early 00's series, there are a lot of earmarks that it is not. The casual violence, for once - and the fact that characters die, and stay dead, and there's often not a lot of warning at all. In fact, if you embark on this show, I wouldn't get too attached to anyone, it'll save you some heartbreak later.

I really, really enjoyed the series and the character dynamics a lot more than I thought I would. I don't know if I would want to watch it again (see: heartbreak) but I would buy a release and keep it on my shelf. 

Watch it: Crunchyroll, of course.

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 Title: Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru! / 結城友奈は勇者である
 Year: 2014 |
 Episodes: 12
 Production: Dentsu

 Official Summary: The story takes place in the era of the gods, year 300. Yuuna Yuuki lives an ordinary life as a second year middle school student, but she's also a member of the "Hero Club," where club activities involve dealing with a mysterious being called "Vertex." (via MAL)

 Catie's Thoughts: There are two types of magical girl shows: ones where everything is as cute and up-front as it seems, and ones where everything is FUCKED and everyone is going to SUFFER. We seem to be suffering from an excess of the latter, and I firmly blame Madoka for that, but that's neither here nor there. Guess which side of the fence Yuuki Yuuna falls?

There are a lot of things to like about this show. While there is an excess of MAGICAL GIRL = SUFFERING, it does a lot of interesting things. Firstly is Togou, who is wheel-chair bound after an accident had her lose the use of her legs. Even while as a magical girl her legs are not restored, and her costume takes this into account and it's really cool. Yuuki Yuuna herself is an awesome, bubbly protagonist, pretty standard but I liked her. There was also the way the cell phones and smart phone apps tied in to their ability to transform, and the fact that they could force the transformations (which was pretty freaking awesome).

Overall I enjoyed it, even if I'm getting tired of the whole "something bad's going on under the surface" genre in my magical girl shenanigans. I don't really have any desire to see it again though.

Watch it: On Crunchyroll, of course.

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 Title: Ginga Kikoutai Majestic Prince (銀河機攻隊 マジェスティックプリンス)
Year: 2013
Episodes: 24
Production: Sentai Filmworks

Official Summary: In the latter half of 21st century, humans leave the Earth and begin to live in space. In order to adapt to the environment in space and deal with the hostile aliens in Jupiter, genetically engineered children called "Princes" are artificially raised and trained to be pilots of armed robots "AHSMB (Advanced High Standard Multipurpose Battle Device). This is a story about one of the teenage "Princes", Hitachi O Izuru, who studies in an academic city Grandzehle. ( - MAL )

Catie's Thoughts: I have a fondness for mecha series, as that was how I was initially introduced to proper anime (through the Midnight Run airing of Gundam Wing and FoxKID's butchering of Escaflowne), so I tend to be more lenient on it than I really should. Majestic Prince comes to us with some fairly familiar character designs, as those who are familiar with things like Infinite Ryvius, Fafner and Gundam Seed can attest. It doesn't take long to dispel though, because this is a different show.

It almost felt more like a slice-of-life with mecha on the side than the reverse of it, the battles don't take center stage until later on in the series. There is some interesting things here - that the kids have had their memories wiped before they became pilots, for one - but really at this point mecha series are so ubiquitous that every one feels faintly familiar after a while. It's going to take something that really stands head and shoulders above the rest to make a lasting impression.

I enjoyed Majestic Prince, but it's really not anything new or noteworthy. If you're a fan of mecha series - or even just a fan of the character designs, you'll probably enjoy it but I can't see myself recommending it otherwise. 
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Completed Series: Gin no Saji

 Title: Gin no Saji ( 銀の匙 )
Year: 2013
Episodes: 11
Production: Aniplex

Official Summary: Yugo Hachiken dreams of life separated from his family, so he takes the initiative by enrolling in an agriculture school. He thinks, with his talent in studying, no problems will arise no matter what kind of school he attends. He is proven wrong very quickly. Raised as a city boy, he is forced to uncover the inconvenient truth about agricultural life. Enjoy the story of Hachiken, as he tries to keep up with his new friends, farmers' heirs, who are already accustomed to the harsh world of farming. With no clear goals or understanding of farming life, how will Hachiken survive this new, cruel reality? The story of a sweat, tear, and mud-stained youth begins! ( - MAL )

Catie's Thoughts: I wasn't sure what I was expecting out of this show, as I hadn't read but the first chapter or so of the manga. Gin no Saji is Arakawa Hiromu's second series after Fullmetal Alchemist, and it is definitely an entirely different beast. It's a slice-of-life show, but interestingly educational at the same time. Hachiken spends a lot of his time learning and adjusting, and spends nearly the entire season grappling with the fact that they have to slaughter the animals to eat them. It's a moral quandary with no correct answer that I feel the show handles in an interesting manner.

The animation is very bright and fluid, and I was quite surprised to see the Noitamina tag on this series - but I guess this is definitely not your average slice of life anime! I am glad to see that the series is getting a second season, and I can't wait to see where it goes next.
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Completed Series: Free!

Title: Free!
Year: 2013
Episodes: 12
Production: Kyoto Animation

Official Summary: The story revolves around Haruka Nanase, a boy who has always loved to be immersed in water, and to swim in it. Before graduating from elementary school, he participated in a swimming tournament along with his fellow swimming club members, Makoto Tachibana, Nagisa Hazuki, and Rin Matsuoka. After achieving victory, each of the boys went their separate ways.
Time passed, and in the middle of their uneventful high school lives Rin appears and challenges Haruka to a match, showing Haruka his overwhelming power. Not wanting it to end like this, Haruka, gathers together Makoto and Nagisa once again and brings a new member named Rei Ryugazaki to create the Iwatobi High School Swimming Club in order to defeat Rin. - ( MAL )

Catie's Thoughts: This is one of those shows where I have trouble putting thoughts into coherent sentences because ... well, because. This show is adorable and cute and it makes you want to flail about the characters. I don't think I can objectively review it because I want to put my face on the ground and roll around in a flurry of emotion. 

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Completed Series: Blood Lad



Series: Blood Lad (ブラッドラッド)
Year: 2013
Episodes: 10
Production: Brains Base, Viz Media

Official Summary: Staz is the vampire boss of a section of the demon world, but he has little interest in human blood. He's more infatuated with Japanese culture. When he learns that Yanagi Fuyumi, a Japanese teenage girl, accidentally wanders into the demon city, he jumps to the occasion. However, while Staz deals with an intruder on his turf, the oblivious Fuyumi is killed by a monster and becomes a wandering ghost. The disappointed Staz vows to her that he will find a way to bring Fuyumi back to life. ( - MAL )

Catie's Thoughts: It's stylistic but very messy, and overall the show is middling. Clearly meant to tie in to the manga and boost the manga sales, it doesn't stand alone very well. Only ten episodes, you get maybe an arc or possibly two if you rush past the character introductions, and by the ninth and tenth episodes there's so much going on that if it were meant to be an average shounen show you could tell it would go on into the hundreds of episodes. Alas, not meant to be.

Some of the introduced arcs were interesting, but most of it stank of overused. Vampires, werewolves, demon world - check! The fact that the main character is an otaku - but a powerful character? Eh, somewhat interesting. The plotline that eeked in over the finish line - Staz's older brother challenging the Demon King? That actually got my attention but of course that plotline was introduced in the second-to-last episode and has absolutely no resolution because the show just flat-out stops. The plotline about Fuyumi's missing mother - and how she's connected to Bel's mother - that was actually fairly novel as well, I liked that. Again, things introduced just before the finish line. I'm not sure if I would have like the series more if it was given time to grow or not - fairly typical shounen by way of fanservice, which while wasn't strictly unsettling, the air-inflated boobs character design is so boringly overused. This show had some elements that handled right I would have absolutely loved - but it was so meh that I can't bring myself to really recommend it. Any time I hit up a show like this I get curious about the manga and maybe if it's handled better, so I've added the manga to my 'to-read' list. We'll see.

Would I buy it? Nope. Likely not even if found used, just terrifically unimpressed overall.

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Completed Series: Karneval

Series: Karneval (カーニヴァル)
Year: 2013
Episodes: 13
Production: Bandai Visual, Manglobe

Summary: Nai searches for someone important to him, with only an abandoned bracelet as a clue. Gareki steals and pick-pockets to get by from day to day. The two meet in a strange mansion where they are set-up, and soon become wanted criminals by military security operatives. When Nai and Gareki find themselves desperate in a hopeless predicament, they encounter none other than the country's most powerful defense organization—"Circus"!! ( -MAL )

Catie's Thoughts: Okay, let's get this out of the way. The main character looks and acts like Rian. If you know who Rian is, great. If you don't, whatever. I maybe screamed about this for the first half of the show and then fell in love with Yogi for the second half. Regardless, this is an enjoyable show, if a bit middling and confused about what it's doing. Yet another one of those series that should be more than one season and feels like it was planned for longer, but let all these plotlines fall apart in the face of a limited space to tell a story.

I love Circus's character designs - also fascinating to me is their eyes. No one's eyes are a single color. And they're not like, shades of the SAME color, they're, like, yellow with a purple tint and it's so weird and fascinating and unique. I love it. 

Would I buy it? Oh yes. If only for Gareki because reasons, okay. And his questionable, likely-influenced-by-Ed clothing choices.

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Series: Kakumeiki Valvrave (革命機ヴァルヴレイヴ)
Year: 2013
Episodes: 12
Production: Sunrise, Aniplex

Summary: True Calendar (T.C.) 71 - A new age where 70% of the human population lives in space thanks to the development of "Dyson Sphere", a city in space.

The world is divided into two main powers: The Dorssia Military Pact Federation, a power which grew out of a military alliance, and the Atlantic Rim United States (ARUS), which grew in power as it expanded its trade agreements. The minor nation of JIOR has declared neutrality between these two forces and maintains its peace through economic prosperity.

Within the JIOR's Sphere, Haruto Tokishima lived an ordinary life as a high school student in the division known as "Module 77"—until the Dorssian military begins their sudden invasion!

But the whole world will be shaken when Haruto meets the mysterious humanoid weapon, Valvrave! ( -MAL )

Catie's Thoughts: Another series that I was unsure of at the start, that it turned out I loved. While there are certain .. aspects ... of it that I wish hadn't occured, overall the series took a tired premise and put a bunch of newer spins on it that mashed together and made things more interesting to me. Most of the characters I'm ambivalent to - Haruto has possibility to go either way, but L-Elf fascinates me. The whole lot of the cast becomes more and more fascinating as the season progressed, and I have to say that the last pilot's identity ended up surprising even me, and I loved that twist.

I'm glad this one is getting a second season, and that there is more to it. Shoko too, she is amazing, I feel remiss in not mentioning her awesome. She is a new generation's Relena and I am glad to see that there is not the hate that Relena got. (I think it helps somewhat that her character is more personable, but their roles are quite similar.) I'm not as big into mech shows as I once was, I burned out on them fairly quick as they start to blend together quickly, so it's nice to have one that stands out. It's a Sunrise production though, so that explains a lot. There's also this faint tinge of CLAMP to the character designs - they're clearly not, but you can feel the echoes of Geass here.

Would I buy it? Definitely. I enjoyed the season way more than I thought I would, and may even rewatch it. This entry was original posted at Dreamwidth and has comment count unavailable comments. You can comment there or here.
Series: Hataraku Maou-sama! (はたらく魔王さま!)
Year: 2013
Episodes: 13
Production: Lantis, Pony Canyon, White Fox

Summary: Devil King Sadao is only one step away from conquering the world when he is beaten by Hero Emilia and forced to drift to the other world: modern-day Tokyo. As "conquering the world" are the only skills the Devil King possesses—and are obviously unnecessary in his new situation—he must work as a freeter to pay for his living expenses! ( - MAL )

Catie's Thoughts: Oh my god I thought this show was fantastic. I loved it. My biggest qualms are its wasted potential - there are so many bits of the storyline that could be explored, both on a serious side (Sadao killed a shit-ton of people on Ente Island, he was kinda insane? We just ignoring that? Okay then.) and otherwise. But this was only a single season show, wasn't like they had the time to do two-season story arc. I don't care how many times I have to complain about the new turn of single-season shows, because I will. Every damn time. Ahem.

Oh man, the characters were fantastic. All of them. I love how Alsiel and Sadao just acclimated and became domestic. I loved Lucifer the hikkikomori, Emilia and her best friend, Sadao working at McDonald's - forgive me, MgRonald's - all of it. 

I might have had a tiny shitfit at the blue-haired cupid Sariel. Tiny little one. Eensy. I may have not scraped Sariel!Ed off the ceiling yet. 

Would I buy it? Heartbeat. Yes. Get into my bookshelf.

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Completed Series: Devil Survivor 2

Series: Devil Survivor 2 (デビルサバイバー2 THE ANIMATION)
Year: 2013
Episodes: 13
Production: Mainichi BroadcastingPony CanyonSentai FilmworksBridgeDevil Survivor 2 Animation CommitteeIndex

SummaryMysterious invaders called the Septentriones arrive in Japan and begin attacking the country on a Sunday. To fight back, the heroes in Devil Survivor 2 signed a pact with the devil to become the Thirteen Devil Messengers. The Septentriones show up at least once a day and you have a time limit of seven days to defeat them. ( - MAL )

Catie's Thoughts: An adaptation of another of the Shin Megami Tensei series; Devil Survivor 2 follows in Persona 4: The Animation's footsteps to be exactly like the walkthrough of the game. The benefit to me, however, is that I haven't played the Devil Survivor series (and now, I don't have to!), so the story was entirely original to me. 

It did feel like playing a game, though, with the added bonus of having absolutely no control over the circumstances or the battles. The animation was slick, and the storyline wasn't bad - but it felt like it was lacking something. I enjoyed it overall, the characters were mostly likable, the battles were huge and the quickly deteriorating setting was interesting. The music was not as memorable as P4, but the ending theme was used fantastically. I tend to like it when they can bleed the theme over the last bit of the episode, it adds such heavy atmosphere, especially with the ending song for this series.

Would I buy it? Possibly, if I found it on sale or used. Does not have a particularly high rewatch value for me, but I did enjoy it.

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Completed Series: Arata Kangatari

Series: Arata Kangatari ( アラタ カンガタリ ~革神語~ )
Year: 2013
Episodes: 12
Production: Satelight, Lantis, JM Animation

SummaryEvery 30 years, a new princess is chosen from the Hime family to serve the Hayagami. The time has come again, but over these past years, records state not a single female has been born, save for one, the 15-year-old Arata. The only problem is, Arata is actually a male! Forced to disguise himself and take the place of the princess candidate until a formal one can be found, he attends the festival only to witness the current princess, Kokuri-hime, murdered, and his own life is forfeit as well, by the hands of the princess' personal guard, the 12 Shinshou. As he runs for his life, Kannagi of the 12 convinces everyone that Arata is the one who has murdered the princess instead, and now everyone in the Imperial Court is after his head! ( - MAL )

Catie's Thoughts: Fairly mediocre show, it had a lot of promise to it but being cut short at 12 episodes meant that instead of being a more fun action romp, it kinda just ... died. Nothing is resolved - oh, the main shounen hero got a power-up! - but ... yeah. It just kinda stops and I really fucking hate that that's a thing now. Maybe if this show gets a second season my opinion will improve, but I'm really fucking sick of the way that is being handled - one 12-episode season, and poof. Done. It doesn't lend itself to the storytelling, the shows tend to be paced badly and wander all over the place, characters get forgotten or poorly developed, and plot holes. Plot hooooooles.

It is interesting how the bullying is handled in the show, though. I am also sad that we didn't get to see that much of the "other" Arata running around in Hinohara's life, because I'm sure that is greatly entertaining. Ah, well.

Would I buy it? Likely not, not as it stands now. If it got a second season and that rocked, then maybe.

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Series: Dansai Bunri no Crime Edge (断裁分離のクライムエッジ)
Year: 2013
Episodes: 13
Production: Media Factory, Sentai Filmworks, Studio Gokumi

Summary: Haimura Kiri is a seemingly ordinary boy with one slight problem: he is obsessed with cutting other people's hair. One day he meets Mushiyanokouji Iwai, the "Hair Queen" who cannot cut her hair because of an inherited curse. Kiri finds out that his scissor, "Dansai Bunri no Crime Edge" is the only thing that can cut them. But little did he know that their meeting sparked the start of an old murder game to kill the "Hair Queen" using the cursed killing tools, the "Killing Goods." Can Kiri protect Iwai from the Killing Goods Owners? Let the game begin! ( - MAL )

Catie's Thoughts: Hm. I really don't know what to think of this show, it was ... strange. Not particularly outstanding, pretty mediocre as far as things go. The story line felt as if it was a mish-mash of several different series, due to the moe aspect and the fighting series aspect, plus the whole murderer aspect. There's a lot of little bits that are intriguing in that vein - especially the Killing Goods, the original murderers and the effect that the cursed weapons have o the Authors, and fortunately the series focuses a lot on that. There are so many characters that are slightly shoehorned in, that you see a few times and don't turn up again. There are also things that seem like they might be important that are just dropped by the wayside, forgotten bits of story and plotlines.

The series feels entirely too disjointed. I hear that there may be a second season and if that's the case I'll watch it simply to see if more episodes helps tie it together more soundly. The characters are both at the same time interesting and flat, like the character creation model stopped halfway through. 

Would I buy it? Likely not. It's not generally the type of show to appeal to me for a second watch-through, even if I wasn't so perplexed by it. I would give this series a pass unless you're already invested in the series, or enjoy really strange storylines. (Or, like Kiri, have an almost perverse fetish for hair-cutting.)
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Completed Series: Kannagi

Series: Kannagi (かんなぎ)
Episodes: 13 +
 1 OVA
Year: 2008
Animation Production: Aniplex

Synopsis: Our unlucky protagonist, Jin, uses the trunk of a sacred tree to carve a statue for a school project. When he takes it outside, to his surprise it begins absorbing the surrounding earth and transforms into, hold your breath on this one, a girl! So like all similar setups this guardian deity is pretty pissed that her tree was cut down and lives with Jin while she takes out her anger on squashing bugs....er, cleaning the "Impurities". ( - MAL )

Catie's Thoughts: A mostly benign, cute series. Not as SUPER moe as some out there, but definitely in the genre. There really isn't anything particularly stand-out about the show that would make me want to sing its praises or groan in agony. The animation is pretty, the character designs consistent - and I do have to admit I laughed my ass off at the wand being stuck to the center of the kotatsu table. 

I do admit that the show feels aimless. It starts out like it has a grand mission to accomplish, and just kinda wanders around and never really gets to the point. The climax of the series feels like, well, not quite what the show had been building toward, but I would wager that on this being just a one-off season to satiate manga fanatics with no intention of following through to greater story lines.

Would I buy it? Nope, not really interested.
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