I'm slowly getting back into my old interests, which is great! Aside from video games, I found myself slipping right back into a familiar niche—this one belonging to anime. I've been all over the place these few months. My summer and beginning of fall have been filled with keeping current or catching up with series. And this is going to be a long, long talk about everything I've seen. Or rather, those I care to make notes of.
So sit tight and maybe grab a pen and pencil if you want to note down some favourites or things you want to watch.
Uta no Prince-sama Maji Love 1000% & Maji Love 2000%
I've never been one for shoujo. Japanese tropes can be a bit more dated than American ones that I'm familiar with. When it comes to shoujo, the protagonist is usually an empty headed, naïve female who's clumsy and prone to misunderstandings and flustered sentences. I could never get into it, though I do have some outstanding favourites as far as shoujo manga is concerned.
When it comes to Uta no Prince-sama, the female lead is still a bit ditzy and naïve, but somehow she was still enjoyable. This anime is 100% over the top and ridiculous. It's colourful and bright, and I can't even begin to express my fascination with it. The men are typically beautiful and just as colourful as the world they live in. Their songs are catchy as all get out, especially when we talk about the opposing band HEAVENS. The songs really do get stuck in my head; in fact, I'm still singing them...
The show still does have a lot of sugary sweet values and misunderstandings. Numerous love interests all vying for a single girl's love and attention. I never knew this was based off an otome game, but I honestly can't say that I'm surprised. One of my favourite characters in the series, surprisingly, isn't one of the beautiful, talented singers, but the scary, risky principal Shining Saotome.
You-tachi should watch Uta no Prince-sama, if you can stomach all the sugar.
Aah, yes. The complete opposite of all the sugar I had ingested between Uta no Prince Sama Maji Love 1000% and Maji Love 2000%. Here I thought that I was going to get blood, action, and angst wrapped in one beautifully animated series. And I was right—partially.
Shingeki no Kyojin is masterfully animated. The amazing perspective changes and camera rotations take my breath away; the use of the military mechanisms win me over as an amateur inventor; and the characters. I grew into them all and treated with with an indifferent admiration individually. However, the series started off strong and started to wane in irritating ways.
I love shounen and seinen anime, as they were one of the top genres I grew up with and ended up enjoying. Because I grew so closely to the genre, I grew used to the obnoxious, hot-headed male protagonist who wants to recklessly prove his worth. It became a hollow hole in which I was used to seeing filled. With them, I knew learned to identify cop-outs for the sake of plot and overly extended battle scenes for the sake of drama (merci à la Dragon Ball—which I still love—and Bleach, which could do better for itself by ending).
Shingeki no Kyojin, the anime anyway, took some serious dives and aggravating moves. It's hard to explain how certain characters' personalities were weakened or how certain words were completely taken the wrong way, but I ended up being greatly disappointed with the anime. It's been a while since I've read manga, so it's hard for me to get into the swing of it just yet. When I do start again, I might end up looking into Shingeki to fill in the... numerous holes the anime left behind.
I'm sure that people will still enjoy it. There's still a gratuitous amount of character death, angst, and laughs to feast upon. This just, sadly, ended up not being my cup of tea.
Free! - Iwatobi Swim Club
If you can't guess what this one might be, bishounen swimmers is really all I have to say. Okay, bishounen swimmers with a [not-so-subtle] hint of shounen-ai. I love sports anime. I have a lot of loves and likes when it comes to anime, okay. I wasn't really sure what to think about Free! at first. I just knew that there were so many people going crazy about the bishounen cast. Let's just say this.
The opening and ending are pretty catchy and are sung by STYLE FIVE. One of the members in said group is Tatsuhisa Suzuki, otherwise known as Tachibana Makoto's voice actor. Ohoho.
This is another series where the animation is spectacular. It's not as cinematically engaging as Shingeki, but if you're a stickler for sports or swimming, you can appreciate the grace and research put into each stroke and movement. I really ended up liking this series, and though you could see the ending coming from miles away, I think that it fits Free! - Iwatobi Swim Club pretty well.
I never read the light novel it's based off of, High☆Speed, but one day, I hope to get the chance to do so. It's a pretty good series to enjoy as long as you try not to take it too seriously. Also, if no-nipples don't bother you.
Ghost Stories. The original anime was so bad that it was cancelled and never given an official final episode or continuation. That being said, it's probably the best thing I watched all summer. I watched the dub, which was taken on as an official joke, and I never laughed so hard. It's spectacular and perfect.
Now, it does have an incredible amount of off-collar, offensive humour. I can't say that I didn't laugh at a lot of it, but it isn't for those who do get bothered by the topics they joke about. They might be funny, but I can realise that they are still offensive and will blow a little steam under a lot of people's collar.
The style shows off that this is a relatively old anime, and I can only wonder what the original was like. I'm probably never going to watch it because I don't want to ruin the splendor that the dubbed version gave me. If you really want to test the waters, give Ghost Stories a try, but don't say I didn't warn you.
Finally, I want to talk about a series that's slowly becoming my favourite. When I heard about Kyoukai no Kanata on tumblr, it was described as "cute girls fighting demons". Boy, does it deliver. It doesn't have the grit and grim that would usually come with a demon fighting series (yet, maybe?), but it looks promising. The female protagonist's name is Mirai Kuriyama, and look at her! She's a megane, and I adore her. The male protagonist's name is Akihito Kanbara. Akihito is immortal, and Mirai is a demon hunter, or rather a youmu hunter.
In the first episode, these two are at odds with each other, but as things go on, you learn more about Mirai and her life, and you're introduced to other characters like the Literary Club members. I love the music, the characters, and the plot so far. Since it's still on going, I can't wait what else there is. If you don't mind watching it weekly to catch up, I would suggest getting with it. It's really good so far, and I honestly hope that it stays that way (or gets better).