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Comedy and Militant Facism – Spring 2013 Review

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Comedies absolutely dominated my list of favorite shows this season which is surprising given my normal response to comedy anime. I’m not sure if it’s a cultural thing, or I just have a strange sense of humor, but anime jokes usually don’t make me laugh nearly as much as I think they should.  If I had predicted the rankings of these shows before the season began, it probably would have been completely flipped around, but something about the more serious anime this season just didn’t do it for me.

On a side note, because of the way my scoring system works, it’s incredibly difficult for any comedy show to get higher than a six. I found both Yuyushiki and Oregairu incredibly funny, and would have scored them higher if it wouldn’t throw off the rest of my scale. So without further ado, here are my Spring 2013 rankings.

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Yuyushiki

I have no idea how this became one of my top shows this season. It managed to make me laugh every week without fail which is no easy feat. I can’t explain why any of the jokes were funny, but if you didn’t pick up this show at the start of the season, I recommend that you at least give it a try at some point.

6/10.

vlcsnap-2013-07-06-16h34m17s227Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru.

I’m a big fan of deadpan humor, and Oregairu certainly delivered in that department. I expected this show to end up ranking lower because I was convinced the romance would dominate and consequently ruin the later episodes, but I was wrong. Although the romance was there, it took a backseat to the comedy which I was incredibly pleased about.

6/10.

vlcsnap-2013-06-16-11h48m26s234Toaru Kagaku no Railgun S

This show is kind of a guilty pleasure for me, so I might be a little bit biased in my ranking. It’s only at its halfway point, but it’s been good so far, and I enthusiastically await the second half.

6/10 as of episode 13.

vlcsnap-2013-07-02-21h49m09s118Aiura

There isn’t a whole lot I can say about a five-minute show, but it was pretty funny. The background art had a watercolor-like appearance that was attractive and relatively unique. Also, I rarely notice this and have never commented on it, but I really liked the voice actresses for this show. Don’t ask me why; they just seemed to fit the characters well.

6/10.

vlcsnap-2013-07-04-00h11m48s69Hataraku Maou-sama!

This show was a lot better in the first half as a slice-of-life anime than it was in the second half as a more plot-driven anime. Still, I can’t complain too much because they emphasized the comedy even when moving the story along.

5/10.

vlcsnap-2013-07-01-23h54m43s251Shingeki no Kyojin 

I’ve learned to take hype with  a grain of salt, and this show is a perfect example of why I do. Shingeki no Kyojin tries so hard to have an epic story, but it’s bogged down by a repetitive formula, too much melodrama, and a frustratingly naive protagonist. Maybe it’ll improve in the second half of the season, but the problems it suffers from have their roots in the fundamental structure of the show. I’m not getting my hopes up.

5/10 as of episode 13. Best ED. 

vlcsnap-2013-07-05-22h12m20s44Suisei no Gargantia

It was a decent enough sci-fi anime, but I think it suffered from either not having enough episodes or not appropriately pacing the episodes it was given. The ending felt rushed, and I’m used to the Urobuchi plot twists, but this one came so far out of left field that it left me wondering why it was included at all. Admittedly it worked, but I still think it could have gone so many other directions with better results. Sorry that I can’t provide a more objective analysis, but that’s the best I can do.

5/10.

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Red Data Girl

Every anime can do something right, but no anime can do everything right. RDG could have learned something from these words as it jumped around between so many genres that it ended up being a jumbled mess. It didn’t help that the story was virtually indecipherable. That being said, some of the supernatural episodes with a more spiritual vibe were actually quite enjoyable. I doubt it’s going to get a second season, but I wouldn’t mind seeing where they decide to go with the rest of the show.

5/10.

vlcsnap-2013-07-03-23h29m24s220Devil Survivor 2: The Animation

An awful antagonist and an even worse protagonist doomed this show from the start. It didn’t help that the entire conflict was oversimplified and forced upon the viewer. Meritocracies aren’t inherently evil just as egalitarianism isn’t inherently good. Devil Survivor thought it would be wrong to have the viewer make their own decision on the matter, so instead they just made the antagonist the most apathetic asshole I’ve seen in years. The characters were mediocre. The plot was mediocre. The show is mediocre.

4/10.

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Karneval

The potential of this show really started to shine through in the last two episodes, but it was too little to late for Karneval. I give them credit for the colorful art, but that wasn’t nearly enough to make up for the faults in every other part of the show. The fate of this show was bound to be determined by whether or not the main cast was interesting, and it clearly failed in that respect as most of the characters were either boring or wholly unlikable.

4/10. Begrudgingly, Best OP.

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I saw an episode of Law and Order: SVU that started like this.

Photokano

This show truly was nothing more than an excuse for fanservice. In that sense, it did quite well as the premise of the show allowed for relatively unobtrusive shots of all the girls. On the other hand, the romance fell flat and some of the girls’ issues were absolutely ridiculous. Oh, and the last episode was one of the cliche, “we’re not actually biological brother and sister,” incest episodes. That alone probably dropped it down a whole point in my book.

4/10.

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Yeah. Have fun telling that to your parole officer.

Dansai Bunri no Crime Edge

This is the lowest score I’ve ever given an anime, so please stay away from it at all costs. It was bad. Really, really bad. The only reason I finished it was because I felt obliged to report how bad it was to potential future viewers. My policy for reviewing is both a gift and a curse as it only allows me to score anime which I have completely finished. I put myself through this misery so you wouldn’t have to. Don’t let my sacrifice be in vain.

1/10.

That’s about that. The scores might seem low, but that’s more because of the comedies that claimed all the top spots. This season might not have been the most thought-provoking for me, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy it. Expect a late Summer 2013 Preview soon. I might even tack on some first impressions if I get around to it.

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5 thoughts on “Comedy and Militant Facism – Spring 2013 Review

  1. Out of curiosity, what sort of anime would warrant a higher score than 7 in your scale?

    Also yessssss I love seeing shows like Yuyushiki and OreGairu getting appreciated. And I agree with you – there’s something generally not as funny about comedy anime as they should be. I think it’s in the comedic timing, personally. I don’t think I’ll ever truly understand why the manzai routine is funny.

    • In order to receive a score higher than a six, an anime has to be a show that I would watch again. As you can imagine, this limits a lot of shows from receiving higher scores. A six basically means that it’s a show I would recommend but not watch again myself. Comedies almost always get trapped at this bottleneck because most jokes just aren’t that funny the second time around.

      Manzai routines can be funny when done right, but they often includes a lot of cultural references that foreigners simply don’t understand. On top of that you have a language barrier that is only exacerbated by all the word play. For example, a show like Bakemonogatari is incredibly difficult to subtitle as a literal translation will destroy any humor there might have been. It requires a lot of creativity on the part of the translator to make a show like that entertaining, but it is possible.

  2. I actually liked Crime Edge. I’m now re-evaluating my worth as a person 😛

    Also, I’m digging the new title/cover bar art.

    • You’re not the only blogger I know who enjoyed it. Still, I don’t know how you gained pleasure from watching that. Anime has the unfortunate hobby of sexualizing little girls, but Crime Edge didn’t even bother being subtle about it.

      I haven’t updated by header images in a while. Which one did you like?

      • I actually found the fetishizing and sexualizing to be extremely uncomfortable for a majority of the series, but considering how jaded I am towards all that stuff, I actually found the fact that it made me extremely uncomfortable to be a good thing. Or at least showing that something was going right in its execution if it made me feel that way. After I got to that point, I sort of took a step back and began to appreciate what it was doing, if not necessarily enjoying the end result. So I didn’t really gain pleasure from watching the acts themselves but more the atmosphere/execution. Which ultimately isn’t much better I guess, but it’s a small distinction nonetheless. *shrugs*

        And I just noticed the Kaworu x Shinji one. Best pairing right there.

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