Let us continue with the round-up of first episodes from the new season! There's more quality in this part I'm pretty sure...
Evil demon lords somehow finding their way into and having to survive in our world seems to be a genre almost as popular as the gender-swapped Sengoku period leaders somehow finding their way into and having to survive in our world genre these days. The episode begins at the end of a long campaign in a fantasy world, where a group of heroes is about to defeat our Dark Lord Satan. To escape certain death the Dark Lord, along with his trusted associate, uses some kind of emergency warp magic and disappears to, as it transpires, our modern world. The two eccentric characters (complete with capes) soon find themselves in police custody and the Dark Lord uses some of his now-limited hypnosis magic to acquire knowledge of the world he has arrived in as well as the local tongue. Wishing to return to their own world but lacking a way to do so, our two antiheroes settle in for the long haul - they rent a small apartment and the Dark Lord picks up a part-time job at MgRonalds to earn a living - though much to his friend's chagrin the Dark Lord finds himself investing in this alien world far too readily, even contemplating using up what's left of his magic to win a sales competition at work. The episode rounds off with a chance encounter with one of the heroes who was on the verge of destroying him previously, who obviously has also been transported to this world.
Now as a general rule I'm not really into the "person from another world ends up in our own and hilarity ensues" sort of show, but I have to say this series looks to be that but done right. I was in hysterics throughout the episode as they portray how the demons struggle to get to grips with Japanese, how the Dark Lord commits himself to good customer service at MgRonalds and the ensuing despair from his roommate who has been tasked with finding them a way back to their world. The characters are immediately likeable, which is tricky to achieve especially when they're the epitome of evil, and if I recall correctly the music was pretty funky as well.
Will I continue watching? No question about this. This was without a doubt my favourite of the first episodes of the first episodes I've watched this season.
Was expecting a 'HELL YEAH GRANRODEO' moment in this one, but alas they didn't show the opening in this episode. All is well though because I was treated to a 'HELL YEAH ONO DAISUKE AS A BADASS CIRCUS MAGICIAN GUY' moment. So at the start of the show we're treated to a sequence of images that seem to relate to who will be the individual 'main players' in the series, which was pretty intriguing, before we settle on Nai who is being held captive somewhere by what turns out to be some kind of freakish demon woman. Nai is sprung from his prison by Gareki, seemingly an opportunistic thief, but in the course of their daring escape they find themselves mixed-up in a train hijacking along with
Ono Daisuke Hirato and Tsukumo, agents of the mysterious 'Circus' who seem to possess some kind of special powers. It also turns out that Nai himself has some kind of extraordinary hearing, which some suspicious gentlemen are seen to take an interest in.
The episode certainly drew me in and left me with all sorts of questions, namely "Who are Circus? Why are they needed?", "Is there any explanation for their powers?" and "When will I get my GRANRODEO?". The characters and the premise seem interesting, as do these unexplained mystical abilities.
Will I continue watching? I'm pretty sure I'll be seeing this one through, yes. I need to know what happens.
The premise of this one certainly piqued my interested, that is "Gigantic bugs and things have been terrorising the city of Edo and a magistrates office devoted to the eradication of these creatures was formed of the strongest fighters in the land". Alas I'm not a massive fan of the artstyle and it's needlessly ecchi in places, though I may give it another shot because some of the characters who aren't the protagonist looked at least vaguely interesting.
Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai. (OreImo season 2)
OreImo continues from the point after Kyousuke manages to convince Kirino to return from America. Not much really happened in the first episode. I can't say for sure why I like OreImo, but I do. Will probably keep watching this one.
A glorified advert for Canon cameras, seemingly targeting perverted high school students. Yup.
Shingeki no Kyojin
Humans find themselves living in captivity, "like cattle", within gigantic walls that are there to protect them from the titans that they live in fear of. Occasionally mankind sends out recon groups who try to establish outside bases for the humans and/or take down a giant or two, though these sorties are never successful, and our protagonist is a young boy who wishes to join these bold crusaders one day. Before the end of the first episode the wall is inevitably brought down by a titan and the giants pour into the city destroying houses, wreaking havoc and eating, amongst other people, our protagonist's mother.
This looks to be a much darker series than your standard fare, and that alone is almost enough to keep my interest. The design of the world itself is really nifty, and the titans themselves look grossly intriguing. The human fighters also have these cool propulsion devices that let them sort of sling themselves around in the air off trees, houses or the like which I'm a fan of. The first episode does an incredibly good job of highlighting just how hopeless the situation is right off the bat.
Will I continue watching? Definitely. I want to see what's going to happen, assuming the series doesn't end in episode 2 when the giants just destroy what remains. Plus I need to get some bloodshed from somewhere.
Suisei no Gargantia
As someone who's not a big fan of mecha or space battley type things in general I can say that this episode opens with a spectacularly done fight sequence which represents a last-ditch offensive by humanity - who have long been displaced to a gigantic space station which they now call home - against alien oppressors who threaten to wipe them out. As the human forces are broken and on the run a lone fighter, piloted by our protagonist no less, is disrupted, separated from the main fleet and sent spinning off into space on his own. He and the mech he was flying are discovered six months later by a civilisation of humans with whom he is not familiar, on a planet capable of sustaining life - thought to no longer exist. Shock horror, it turns out that the planet is Earth!!!
As yet there is nothing too special or unique about the characters or premise, however the way life on Earth is shown - which now consists solely of connected fleets of vessels travelling across the vast oceans which cover the planet - is pretty interesting. The animation in the opening battle was suitably epic though, and the artstyle pleasant to look at. From here I can only assume that our spaceman, who speaks a different language to our earthlings, will find some way to communicate with and befriend them, whilst protecting their fleet from outside threats using his super-advanced technology. Further than that I couldn't say what they could do with the series from here.
Will I continue watching? Well I've already seen episode 2 at this point and I'm willing to keep at it for a while at least.
Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Come wa Machigatteiru
Your typical "guy acts-up in school and so is forced to join a club for do-gooders" anime. In this case the "acting-up" consists of going on a tyrade in an essay on 'high school life' about how "youth" and "love" and the like are all lies. Nothing particularly refreshing about this one, or at least not yet, though the male lead is pretty likeable and the air of disdain between him and the club president is fun enough.
Zettai Bouei Leviathan
Well this is a pretty weird one. Some kind of non-specific threat is in danger of destroying this fantasy world and so a fairy of some description flies around in search of a willing band of fighters to put a stop to it. Not much really happens in the first episode though, apart from establishing that there are these cute girls who possess magic powers and such.
That's pretty much it for the anime of Spring 2013 then. I think there are a couple of shows that are yet to start of course, and I've left out all the non-full-length series from this list, but hopefully this was enough to give you a flavour of what's going on and whether or not there's stuff worth watching. Now if you'll excuse me, the second episode of Hataraku Maou-sama! was just uploaded...