Welcome to Anime Winter 2013! I’m MG and I’m here to show you what is good and what is not so good this winter in the anime arena. Since you’re already caught up on what to look forward to in 2013 in gaming, how about we look at anime? On the list for Anime Winter 2013, there are a staggering 34 new anime series so it would be tough for me to watch all of them. Since
So, I used a few criteria to arrive at my choices. Naruto, Hetalia, and quite few other anime series are already established with multiple seasons under their belt. So those anime series immediately don’t make the cut. I also noticed a trend where some of the newest anime only have running times of 2-3 minutes per episode so I elected to cut them as well. Finally, I used what was available on Crunchyroll, the hugely popular anime streaming website,as they’ve secured the majority of the newest titles for this season. This makes it easier to watch anime without resorting to questionable measures. Also, in the interest of fairness I opted not to cherry pick the anime series I plan to see. I looked at the list of new anime titles provided by Crunchyroll and I wrote them down without watching previews or reading previous comments. This allowed me to watch the anime with a fresh perspective, free of from the bias of others’ thoughts or comments.
So let’s get to it! I watched 10 different episodes from 10 different series to give you some insight into which ones might appeal to your tastes.
Hakkendan: Eight Dogs of the East
The forest is bad for you, m’kay? That’s what I learned from watching the opening episode of this supernatural anime. It begins with rather gruesome images of survivors trying desperately to stay alive in a burning village. Flash forward to 5 years later and the survivors are living in a village outside the city leading fairly peaceful, uneventful lives. One day, however, a strange event (I won’t spoil here) occurs and the village and Sosuke, the main character, are left to deal with it. Throughout the episode, Sosuke has warned 2 brats, (one of which lives with him), not to go into the forest. You’ll definitely learn why by the end of the episode.
Also, a mysterious organization is looking for Sosuke and the boy, which drive the story. Ohh, those sinister people!
It’s a pretty good introduction episode and I really enjoyed it, but it lacks that intangible factor that really grabs my attention like other series do, i.e. Tiger and Bunny or Sword Art Online, to name a few. Still, the animation is very good, even if the character designs aren’t particularly memorable. If you are into supernatural stuff, give this a shot but for me it’s a miss.
The opening of this show actually made me shed quite few manly tears, no lie. It deals with a young girl named Kotoura with a very special ability, which has a severe impact on her when it comes to her family and friends. It’s very tragic stuff but when she transferred to a different school, she met quite an interesting character named Manabe who is bit too curious about her and wants to learn more.
This is the most hyped anime for this season and so far I’m very impressed with how the writers stay consistent with Kotoura’s ability. Also, Kotoura has very strong character design that allows her to stand out during first half of the episode. The friendship between Kotoura and Manabe feels very organic and genuine making it easy to get excited about the next episode.
This anime has the most potential so keep an eye on this one for sure. I strongly recommend this based on the appealing premise and stunning introduction.
Love Live!: School Idol Project
I was truly surprised at how much I enjoyed this show considering it’s more targeted toward the younger female demographic. This anime is about a school being shut down and how a few of the students are trying to prevent it from happening. Eventually, the main character comes up with the idea of forming a club that is similar to American Idol in order to attract more students to keep the school in business.
Honestly, I was expecting this show to be very syrupy but the story was very well told and you can really relate to the characters in it. Of course, some of the ideas that are being presented in this anime are totally absurd but we don’t watch anime to remind us of real life.
The quality of the animation is remarkably high- especially during the closing sequence. It helps that each character has their own visual trademarks, which makes distinguishing between them easier. If you’re into American Idol or similar stuff like that, you will definitely find something to enjoy.
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Truthfully I didn’t expect much from Maoyu. Looking at the opening credits, it appears to be one of the usual battle anime that I’ve become accustomed to. But I was very impressed with how they flipped the fantasy genre and managed to show the views from both sides of the war. Very ingenious, I must confess.
Also, I find it very fascinating that the 2 main characters did not reveal their real names to each other. Instead, they just call each other by their title, which are Hero and Demon King. It’s a unique concept that really draws you in.
The visuals and character designs are serviceable and I have no complaints. Demon King has very neat character design while Hero is bit on the bland side but this establishes a good visual contrast. I would really recommend this anime if you are interested in anime that challenge the conventions of the fantasy and battle genre.
Oreshura plays out in in typical ‘high school anime’ fashion, which is rarely well done. It has a good opening but the rest of the episode played out like the clichéd high school melodrama it is with the main character trying to get good grades so he can get a scholarship. Not to mention that he has to put up with very annoying childhood friend and a beautiful classmate whose is trying to challenge him and his beliefs.
Honestly, the only gimmick that this series has going is that the main character himself doesn’t believe in love. However, if my years of anime watching are any indication, it will change as the series progresses. I’m not convinced about this anime at all. There are other well done high school anime series like School Rumble and Azumanga Daioh that are more worth your time. In fact, I think the only praise I’ve heard about this episode is its reference to Death Note.
I would say that this anime is a miss and just check out School Rumble for a quality school anime series.
Problem Children are coming from another world, aren’t they?
This has a really interesting premise but I’m not entirely sold on it yet. It opens with 3 kids with powerful abilities getting a questionable letter that transfers them to different world. In that world, 3 kids meet a rather quirky host who explains that they can make any type of bet with anyone. The riskier the bet is, the better reward will be. Basically, I feel like I’m watching a kids’ version of Casino.
I feel that there is lot of potential for future episodes so I will keep my eyes on this anime to see if it gets better or not. Too often, I watch very promising introduction episode but only end up with a mediocre followup so we’ll see how this turns out.
Thankfully the ending of the episode brought up a lot of interesting questions so I’m very curious about it. I’ll recommend this based on the first episode.
When I first saw the name of this anime, I thought it would be about science fiction and I was almost right. It’s about an impoverished family that’s is living together happily and 2 of them play crucial role in this show. Grandpa is responsible for an engine that has the ability to run everything without relying on oil and there’s a cute girl who is super spunky while waiting for her friend to come back. She also spends this time encouraging her sister to do well in school.
Truthfully, I was very uncomfortable with lot of crotch shots on 14 year old girl since it’s pure fan service and doesn’t really add anything to the plot. But that all changes when a baddie from outer space suddenly pops up and threatens to destroy the power plant that runs the engine that grandpa develops. I really enjoy this part, but it was a bit brief in my opinion.
This anime is one of those that asks us to accept that a couple of 14 year old kids can save the world but I’m more than willing to suspend my disbelief, provided the story is good. Unfortunately, the story doesn’t really convince me in that regard but I’m more than happy to give the next episode a chance to see if it ramps up.
The Unlimited Hyobu Kyosuke
What a stunning first episode! I haven’t been impressed by an introduction episode in a long time so I’m very excited to talk about The Unlimited. This show is about the title character who is a powerful psychic user that deliberately allows himself to be caught by authorities so he can go to a prison island to finish up the unfinished business. Along the way he meets other psychics as well.
There are a lot of things to like about this show. Unlike other series I’ve been watching this season, this episode kept my attention the whole time, which isn’t an easy task. The story unravels at good pacing and the character designs are excellent to the point where each character has their own visual trademarks.
The ending totally took me by surprise and left me very eager to watch the next episode. Based on the strength of this episode, I can strongly recommend this anime. It’s excellent stuff and I hope that the rest of the series can keep up.
Bakumatsu Gijinden Roman
This is basically a Japanese version of Robin Hood but I think it’s very light and entertaining stuff. It has well developed characters that you really care about- especially the main character who is trying to stop the head of treasury from abusing his power.
It does feel bit safe and conventional at times regarding the opening and closing sequences but that should not stop anyone from enjoying this show if they want to turn off their brains and enjoy some riveting action sequences.
But hot damn, I wish I could’ve been there when the main character destroyed that lavish banquet, jacked the money from the baddies, and left all that dough behind for the poor! Jealous!
Wow, my jaw literally hit the floor when I was watching Amnesia. I was not expecting such a stunning and spectacular production but it really blew me away just with the first episode!
Basically, it’s about a female protagonist who has recently suffered a case of amnesia and is struggling to make sense of everything. Luckily, she has a strange companion named Orion from another planet. Orion serves as her guide and aid whenever he can.
The animation is just stunningly gorgeous with very vivid imagery and the character designs are marvelous! I can see tons of cosplayers trying to dress up like the characters from this anime because they are so vivid and fashionable. It really reminds me of the Persona series!
I’m pumped to see how the story progresses as the ending got under my skin BIG time- Something an anime hasn’t done to me in a while. I strongly recommend this show for sure and can’t wait for the next episode!
You can watch those anime for free at www.crunchyroll.com. Please support Crunchyroll because they work hard to get the licensing needed to provide tons of quality anime for your viewing pleasure for free.
There is a good mix of quality of anime this season but I believe that you should be able to find something that you will enjoy. I hope that this guide has helped you find something you like and that you will have some fun times checking some new anime in 2013!
What sounds most interesting to you?