Rather than tearing asunder any view of me as an authority on anime by saying that I misjudged what this season was going to be like, I'll instead use the cop-out line that "you can never tell what a season's going to be like simply from the preview", and there is truth in this to be fair. As far to the contrary as I dare go, I must say that this has been one of my favourite seasons of anime in recent times. Hopefully I'll give you a taste of why below. I'm going to try doing this in alphabetical order so as not to miss anything important...
It's quite tricky to find a picture that encapsulates Accel World; a high school romantic comedy meets an avatar-driven virtual reality social network meets intense fights to the "death". The show revolves around a program called 'Brain Burst' which you can install into yourself (yeah, that's something you can do) and allows you to take part in what amounts to a gigantic MMO but utilising the futuristic software so you're essentially battling in the encounters personally.
This one's been dismissed by a fair few people as unwatchable due to it being a simple "wish fulfilment" anime. Whilst you can't really deny that aspect - our protagonist is fat and unpopular, yet somehow the most popular girl in school falls in love with him and he's randomly ludicrously good at life in the virtual world - you can't use it as a reason to dismiss a series either. After all, fiction as a concept originated around the idea of wish fulfilment and the unbelievable. It's a fun one to watch anyway, with some good action and an OP by May'n! There are cringe-worthy moments along the way though.
Your typical schoolmate slice-of-life cutesy sketch comedy show? I guess you could call it that, but the big difference for me is that this one is genuinely funny. The "premise", if you will, is that the girl in the picture above likes the guy in the picture whilst he is blissfully unaware of the fact. This is hardly a story-driven show though and, like the English translation of the name, it flitters about the place - any excuse for a laugh.
The characters in this are fantastic and, as I say, the comedy is top-notch. But be warned, it is very kawaiiiiii in a few places so if you're not a big fan of that then you may want to steer clear.
DID SOMEONE SAY CUTESY?! That's right folks, every girl in this show has hearts in their hair and eyes. Sweet, huh? I know what you're thinking though. "Isn't this just a shameless plug for AKB48?" right? Yes. Yes it is. But it still has me hooked. So basically in this future/alternate universe AKB0048 are an idol group, surprisingly enough, who bring hope and joy and laughter to an oppressed people under a galaxy-wide "entertainment ban". In such a capacity they perform at guerilla concerts and occasionally do battle with anti-entertainment forces.
Seems like a bit of a flimsy premise to justify a whole anime advertising AKB48, but hey it's what we've got. The show mainly follows some up-and-coming understudies of the group (who are immensely annoying) and their road to stardom, or something like that anyway. To cut to the chase: I like the songs. Happy?
You didn't think it would happen did you? An anime based on the Cthulu mythos - loosely of course. The result is pretty much exactly what you'd expect to get if you crossed Lovecraft with anime. Some hot demon-fighting action and one seriously messed-up harem.
There's some great comedy in here, often stemming from references to other series. I'm not sure how much I'd recommend it to a Lovecraft fan though...
This was a refreshing one, for me at least. Jormungand follows the antics of an arms dealer, Koko Hekmatyar, and her crew as they travel around the (under)world flogging weapons, assassinating people and causing general mayhem.
It's hard to pin down exactly what it is about this series that made it so appealing to me. It just seemed to have a different feel to it than most other series around these days. Perhaps it seemed grittier, and dare I say a touch realistic in places? They'd certainly done their research into the different weapons that crop-up in the show. The dastards left the whole series on a cliffhanger as well damn it!
Kuroko no Basket
'The Basketball That Kuroko Plays'. I can't believe I'm about to say this, but I'm hooked on a sports anime. I don't even know why! The plot is literally 'They play basketball'. At a push, 'They play basketball against quite a lot of teams'. And yet it's still so compelling to watch for some reason. Maybe it's the contrasting characters and the relationships that leads to between them, maybe it's the amazing OP and ED, maybe they've just got some kickass basketball moves, who knows? Check it out to see if I'm still sane please.
That'll do for part 1 methinks. There's just been so much quality stuff this season, and I'm having to skip out on a fair few shows that in a different season may well have gotten top billing. I guess 'Kore wa Zombie Desu Ka? of the Dead' fits in the range of A-Ku. That was ok too.
As per usual I'm still not sure whether I'm synopsising, describing, recommending or whatever here though.