Summer 2013 Anime Recommendations

The summer season of anime is upon us, and there are a lot of new shows to watch. But just because there is a glut of new, shiny things to observe doesn’t mean every show is worth your time to watch. Out of the spring season, I only ended up watching 4 shows all the way through, which honestly is probably a pretty good number. I want to share here a list of the new shows of which I intend to watch at least the first couple episodes, and my thoughts on which are worth your time to watch.

I feel like this show understands my life...

I feel like this show understands my life…

You may notice the omission of Free!, Watamoe, Recorder and Randsell, The Eccentric Family and a few other shows. Time is valuable, and none of those piqued my interest enough to make me want to watch an episode. I may take a look at R&R or TEF if I hear good things, but right now, this is my official testing list. (EDIT: I did pick up TEF, and added my first impression below.) It’s times like these that I curse myself for being too stingy to pay for the Crunchyroll premium membership. I’m a week behind with every show, but it’s cheaper this way. And cheaper is better.

I plan to post final yes/no verdicts after the 3rd episode of each show. 3 episodes is usually about 1/4 of the way through, and if a show hasn’t shown itself to be worth my time through the first quarter, I won’t have high hopes for it turning things around going forward.

Continuing from Spring 2013

  • Attack on Titan
    • To Watch, or Not to Watch: I plan to eventually write a review on episodes 7-13, but if you can tolerate the violence and blood, Attack on Titan is definitely a show you should be watching. It has great potential going into the next half of the show, and it will be interesting to see if the writers can capitalize on the thematic and emotional gold that I saw glimpses of in the first episode. Verdict: Watch.
  • A Certain Scientific Railgun S
    • To Watch, or Not to Watch: I’ve never divulged by thoughts on Railgun in this blog, but I really like the show, and it continues to impress with strong writing. Plus, with fripSide continuing to do the OPs, you could watch the show for those alone. Has less to prove to me than Attack on Titan; does characters a little better and it’s better paced. Verdict: Watch.misaka

New in Summer 2013

  • Servant x Service
      • To Watch, or Not to Watch: Easily a top contender for OP of the season. A fourth of the way through the show, and it’s still entertaining and some of the dynamics between characters are coming out. The third episode strayed a little bit, getting bogged down in the same stupid joke, but the character development was really nice. Should be a fun watch through the rest of the season. Final Verdict: Watch.
  • Rozen Maiden Zurückspulen
      • To Watch, or Not to Watch: Too convoluted and not interesting enough for me to continue watching. Also, the whole dolls thing kinda freaks me out, so there isn’t much that really is really appealing enough to make me want to watch more. Final Verdict: Nothing special, and no apparent redeeming value to make this one worth watching. Dropped.
  • Day Break Illusion
      • To Watch, or Not to Watch: The first three episodes were enough to make me want to see more. Nothing really exceptional about this show, at least at face value. The core cast is interesting and entertaining enough to watch for now, but the plot hasn’t gripped me as of now. Final Verdict: Too dark without anything to redeem it. Dropped. 
  • Fantasista Doll
      • To Watch, or Not to Watch: We’ve had a show about dolls. We’ve had a show about cards. And now, a show with dolls AND cards. Seriously, what the heck is going on with this season’s obsession with cadres of girls boasting supernatural powers? The brighter mood of this one drew me in a little more than the previous two shows, but it’s not going to be the best anime of the season. Final Verdict: Not a great show by any stretch of the imagination.  Dropped.
  • Makai Ouji: Devils and Realist
      • To Watch, or Not to Watch: What a relief this show was. I thought the plot summary seemed intriguing, and after the first episode, it seems the writers are taking advantage of the plot to bring up some interesting thematic issues. Oh, and we’ve yet to see any sort of female in this show. (But they are coming?) After three episodes, I’m not as charmed as I was before. Too much pretty boy fanservicey stuff for the ladies for my taste. Final Verdict: Not good enough to justify a recommendation. Not bad, just not good. Dropped..
  • The Eccentric Family
      • To Watch, or Not to Watch: Definitely the odd duck anime of the season, The Eccentric Family is a quirky show, with a delightful art style. I think I’m missing some things due to my lack of  knowledge of Japanese culture, and tengu, etc., but I enjoyed the first episode enough to keep watching. It’s deeper than it seems, and should be fantastically entertaining. Final Verdict: Sleeper hit of the season. You should be watching this one.
  • Stella Women’s Academy, High School Division Class C3
      • To Watch, or Not to Watch: Seems to be a better version of Chronicles of the Going Home club. “She responds to cake!” Definitely an enjoyable first episode, even if the plot isn’t anything special. Final  Verdict: Still fun, stilly funny, still watching. 
  • Hakkenden: Eight Dogs of the East Season 2
      • To Watch, or Not to Watch: Well, I never thought the first season was exceptional, and it looks like season two is going to follow that pattern. The story is still unorganized and the plot is murky. Final Verdict: Only worth watching if you already saw season one and enjoyed/like the characters.
  • The World God Only Knows: Goddesses
      • To Watch, or Not to Watch: If you’ve been watching this far, I can’t imagine that the third season would disappoint. The girls from Keima’s past are returning, which bodes well for continuing to break down his barriers and draw him into the real world. Final Verdict: Catch up if you haven’t, and watch.twogk
  • Sunday Without God
      • To Watch, or Not to Watch: The premise still disgusts me, but after only two episodes, it is obvious that this show is a must-watch. Beautiful animation (reminicient of K), intersting plot potential and huge room for thematic exploration and growth. Final Verdict: It’s a must watch.
  • Silver Spoon
      • To Watch, or Not to Watch: Honestly, I didn’t think it was a charming or funny as some of the other shows for this season, but it has a few episodes to grow. Not to mention, this is by the same author as FMA, so it’s hard not to expect greatness. After the second episode, I think I’m going to like this. I don’t really know much about the subject matter, but I think they are doing a pretty good job portraying thing accurately. Final Verdict: This isn’t FMA. But it’s still a good show and, I think, worth a watch.
  • Gatchaman Crowds
      • To Watch, or Not to Watch: After the first episode, I was thinking, “No way.” After the second, I’m suddenly more fascinated. Final Verdict: I think it’s a must watch at this point. There are fascinating things going on here..
  • Hyperdimension Neptunia
      • To Watch, or Not to Watch: Cool action scenes, a population of only females and a pretty light, fun tone to start. A little moe and a little fanservicey for me. Final Verdict: Unless you are invested in the games, not worth your time.
  • Chronicles of the Going Home Club
      • To Watch, or Not to Watch: A show with fun characters and a nice concept, but absolutely crippled by the bad writing. It’s not clever, funny or really very entertaining. A disappointment, sadly.  Final Verdict: Don’t watch, it’s not worth your time.
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