Dispatches from the Spring Season Part 1

This was the thing that kicked off the spring season. They're so cute whey they're young.

Being the serial dropper of series that I am, I set a new challenge for myself for the spring season. I would not drop anything I started. This was not without a few caveats for I had several already existing rules on what to watch:

  • Nothing from Madhouse (also known as the Grenoble rule which expires May 27)
  • No starting anything that would have no definitive end as I don’t want to spend a decade watching filler
  • Anything made for children under the age of 8 was no good (feral children scare me so why would I want to think like them?)
  • And thanks to Scamp, no Go Nagai
  • Finally, no sequels of shows I failed to complete the first time around

No worries however as I’m going to try to make this as entertaining an experience as possible. Just one more reminder, don’t expect much in the way of serious analysis (that was all used up on Giant Killing).

Career trajectory trending downward at 75 degrees

On Viewing Alphabetically

A few months back, I began to watch series alphabetically based on title on MAL. I don’t remember why I did it, though it probably had something to do with wanting to mix things up a little. Over the first month of it it led to the most amazingly stark contrast. I went from an episode of Banner of the Stars II, where Kawasumi Ayako’s Lafiel worried about Jinto’s fate stranded on a prison world to then seeing her Laura Stuart in To Aru Majutsu no Index II immediately fall into bathtubs simply for show.

There hasn’t been anything that crazy in the first 2 weeks of the season, but the potential is there for something to happen. I’m especially looking forward to the Madoka followed by Gundam 00 part of the rotation simply because the unintentional comedy stakes are high. Actually that applies to Gundam 00 and anything watched around it. More on this if it actually comes up.

Starting with the bathhouse scene, which is pretty much the equivalent of the way I started this post

Dipping Into Controversy

It isn’t unusual for there to be series airing in the spring and fall that have a tinge of controversy about them. Whether that is rape, incest or overly sexual portrayal of children, it almost always has to do with sex, and this season is no different.

First up is 30-sai no Hoken Taiiku, which is meant to appeal to an older audience. However, it finds itself crippled by the fact that it is heavily censored. Instead of a sexual-education comedy, it is more of a statement on the restrictions that even adult audience have to deal with. That aside, this would have been OVA fodder 20 years ago, now it gets the worst of both worlds.

Astarotte no Omocha takes a look at a portrait of the succubus as a young girl. The casting for this was spot on in my opinion, but the real story lies in the premise. Like Seikon no Qwaser it is relatively easy to put it in the category of a standard genre piece with an absurd hook. In this case, I would say that the fact that the potential harem lead is so against forming a harem makes this worth watching in the early stages.

There’s also Softenni, but any examination of that on a serious level is completely wasted. As a tennis enthusiast there really isn’t anything to care about, though thankfully it doesn’t include killing off the dinosaurs. The fact that it could be consider the poor version of something airing in the same season is really a sad indictment.

It wouldn't be funny if it wasn't true.

Stuff I Liked

In an attempt to not sound so cynical about recent anime, since my most recent posts have called Oniikoto representative of all and lampooned Madoka, I should point out that there are quite a few things I like this season.

Nichijou is actually turning out to be a fairly promising situation comedy. To be fair, all it took for me was the scene in episode 2 where a chase after a notebook turned into an epic action sequence with a Hans Zimmer-esque score to convince me. While there is still one of 2 characters that I dislike this season playing a prominent role, the lack of Fractale-level directing could make this better than Lucky Star.

The World God Only Knows is back for another season and appears to be following the exact same formula as season 1. There’s not that much wrong with the script at this point. Keima spots girl, finds a route to follow, then captures her heart. The danger here is making it more complex than it deserves. His actions don’t matter at this point, but the way they make them important could ultimately ruin everything.

Finally, Hanasaku Iroha deserves some credit for trying to get a response out of its viewers. I’ve tended to see the secondary characters as NPCs who always give out exactly the right advice to Ohana when she needs it. Anyway, it seems to already be heading toward a conclusion where she comes to realize that her grandmother really cares for her and is trying to make her not like her mother. That’s still several months away, but I’m pretty sure it will turn out like that.

Part 2: Some other stuff I haven’t seen yet, plus some general annoyances and shows I would have dropped already (looking at you Sket Dance). I may also take a look at Tiger & Bunny and the one SHAFT series I can watch this season. There could also be a bunch more if there’s interest.

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