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Tag Archives: Date A Live

Anime of the Year 2013 (25 to 21)

It’s that time again.  It’s time for me to reveal just how much I disagreed (and to some extent agreed) with the greater anime community over the past four seasons.  This year I decided to do the most comprehensive list of my top anime of the year I’ve ever undertaken and to hype up the suspense I’m going to count down from twenty-five in five anime increments.  It’s going to be a journey that I anticipate will be controversial, but as I constantly remind my readers, I’m here to represent my own tastes in anime because I’ve not found another critic who will even come close to agreeing with me.  And so I start with the bottom five of my top twenty-five of 2013.

Akari Awakens25. Daybreak Illusion

Any magic girl anime that avoids the common pitfalls those types of shows are prone to is ok in my book.  It also has a fresh art style and enough darkness to give its story some real edge so you can feel for the characters.

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Spring 2013 Wrap-up

This has to have been one of the most up and down seasons of anime since I started writing this blog two years ago.  Several of the anime I had a good feeling about initially ended up turning sour at their conclusions (or in the case of Attack on Titan, the midpoint).  That’s not to say my predictions were totally off, but to see so many fail to meet even my most basic expectations…I’m just at a loss in the wake of this unexpected twist.  There were also a few nice surprises, but they weren’t so Earth-shattering as to overcome the lack of quality that emerged from my other, former top picks.  What follows are my final impressions for spring 2013 and how my ratings changed from the beginning of the season.

Ledo wishes he didn't have to fight1. Suisei no Gargantia (unchanged)

I’m at least glad that my top two picks were spot on.  I expected a story of culture shock on a life-altering scale and I got it and more with some amazing conundrums that challenged my assumptions about the boundaries of morality.

Misaka destroys everything2. A Certain Scientific Railgun (unchanged)

I’d have been very disappointed if this sequel to an anime starring one of my favorite characters had let me down and it didn’t.  Misaka continues to be the honest girl who will never give up in her pursuit of what’s right.

Tsukiko and Yokodera go on a date3. HenNeko (formerly.7)

I’ve heard of never judging a book by its cover, but from now on I guess I have to remember never to judge an anime by its title.  I was expecting a really ecchi comedy series without much substance and what I got was a quirky, yet wonderful romance story punctuated by moments of sheer hilarity.

Izumiko dances to restore balance4. Red Data Girl (formerly.9)

Stories that revolve around Shinto mythology always have a flair for making up their own rules—a sort of free for all with the content of the setting.  So in order to be successful, anime in this genre need to tell a great story with relatable characters, which RDG does very well.

Tohka rages at Origami5. Date A Live (formerly.6)

Harem anime are a dime a dozen, so for one to come along and actually surprise me with some fresh character archetypes, clever writing and a scenario that isn’t about turning some random loser guy into a sex object is worthy of praise.

Eren supports the hope of humanity6. Attack on Titan (formerly.5)

For me, everyone’s favorite series this past season falls a notch to an anime I’m sure many people dismissed. My contentious reason for this is because I feel it’s taking forever to tell its story.  The action is great and the emotional pursuits are moving, but it’s just spread too thin to really, fully satisfy me.

Leviathan fights off a giant lucasite7. Zettai Bouei Leviathan (formerly.10)

KISS (keep it simple, stupid) applies to this surprise hit very appropriately. Dragon girls, a fun-filled adventure, saving the world as a side benefit?  All good stuff that doesn’t need anything deep to overcomplicate it.

Muneakira and Juubei fight together8. Samurai Bride (formerly.13)

Nowhere near the level of smart writing that made the first season of this  fanservice-laden anime stand out, it still did a better job telling its mediocre story than the series that follow.


Yuzu spills a drink in Yui's room while Yukari laughs9. Yuyushiki (formerly.8)

I wanted a cute, moe anime and what I got was a repetitive, moe-ish anime.  It’s fine to
have one character deliver all the random thoughts, but that can’t be all there is to make up for the lack of any plot whatsoever.

Hibiki faces Yamato before Polaris10. Devil Survivor 2 (formerly.11)

Don’t watch this. Play the game.  And then after you’ve played that game, you still shouldn’t watch this.  The people who let this go to air should be ashamed of themselves.  That’s all I have to say.


Maou Sadou in Emilia's imagination11. Hataraku Maou-sama (formerly.3)

What wasted potential.  The devil works at McDonalds and is thwarted by an angel who works at a call center.  The possibility for comedy was golden, but instead we got a sub-par adventure story that didn’t really go anywhere and was devoid of substance.

Kiri resumes cutting Iwai's hair12. Crime Edge (formerly.4)

A series that was shaping up to be about poetic pairings of opposites that when put together create a  wonderful harmony—tarnished in the end by bad pacing and a lost focus on what made it really cool in the beginning.

Yukino backs up Hikigaya during a tennis match13. OreGairu (unchanged)

OreShura disappointed me last season and only 1/3 of the way in, this was shaping up to be more of the same.  I dropped this at episode 3.

Anime of the Week (6/16 – 6/22)

Anime of the Week – The “Hentai” Prince and the Stony Cat
Tsukiko wonders about her past.

The part of us that makes each of us who we are is our memories. But when those memories are lost, have we lost ourselves? What about when we remember events incorrectly? In doing so, have we fundamentally changed who we are?                              

June 16 HenNeko Ep. 10 Anyone who wrote off this anime as shallow needs to give it a second look. It’s got some great themes about love and family.
Attack on Titan Ep.11 Dot Pixis rallies the troops brilliantly. Instead of thinking about themselves, he motivated them to think of others.
June 17 Gargantia Ep. 11 The problem with a meritocracy is the same as communism. They work in theory—not in practice—because people value freedom.
Date A Live Ep. 12 The key to a good harem series is making the presence of all the girls be either believable or an original plot quirk.
Leviathan Ep. 10 A big helping of Final Fantasy, a little Dungeons and Dragons and some Pokemon flavor to complete all the RPG references.
June 18 Yuyushiki Ep. 8 While this series is satisfying my moe passion better than Minami-ke 4, it doesn’t have anything memorable that stands out.
June 20 Yuyushiki Ep. 9 Why is it when girls touch each other’s parts it’s considered playful, but when guys touch each other’s parts it’s gay?
Yuyushiki Ep. 10 Like Yui, I’ve not found that level of tact which lies somewhere between brutal honesty and respecting others’ feelings.
June 22 Maou-sama Ep. 12 Maybe it has something to do with the fact that he’ll just go back to his fast food job, but the battles feel empty.
Samurai Bride Ep. 12 The degree to which the ending of this anime rips off Madoka is stunning. It’s too bad the action is pathetically lazy.
Railgun S Ep. 11 I don’t know what it is, but I’ve always enjoyed Touma’s interactions with Misaka much more than when he’s with Index.
Crime Edge Ep. 11 I’d never considered the acting in this anime to be particularly good, but as the series has progressed it’s gotten worse.
Crime Edge Ep. 12 I had such high hopes for this anime’s theme of “opposing symmetry,” but now you couldn’t even call it poetic justice.

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Anime of the Week (6/9 – 6/15)

Anime of the Week – Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet
Chamber discusses philosophy with Ledo

“The unexamined life is not worth living.” —Socrates

As Ledo comes to the realization that he’s just been blindly following the whims of others without a single original thought, he begins to readjust himself to accept the burden of the consequences of his actions.

June 9 Attack on Titan Ep. 10 Just because your friends don’t constantly reassure you, it doesn’t mean you should think yourself a useless person.
HenNeko Ep. 9 Yokodera might be the hentai prince, but that doesn’t mean he’s incapable of being a heroic prince when it counts.
June 10 Gargantia Ep. 10 Advancement through technology or growth through biology? Is there truly a correct path to follow into the future?
June 11 Leviathan Ep. 9 I don’t think I’ll ever understand the way Japanese people clean floors by running on their hands when they could use a mop.
Samurai Bride Ep. 9 This series has always been more style than substance, but I like how all the major adventuring classes are completed.
June 12 Date A Live Ep. 11 It’s good to have a wingman if your confidence is low, but it’s only when you fly solo that your true self can shine.
June 15 Crime Edge Ep. 10 As the series has progressed, it has really lost its almost magical sense of irony and is just aimlessly wasting time.
Yuyushiki Ep. 7 I feel fortunate to have lived in Japan long enough to understand a lot of the very Japanese jokes in this anime.
Railgun S Ep. 10 Misaka may be celebrating a small victory, but she doesn’t possess the arrogance to think that it’s all finally over.
Maou-sama Ep. 11 The dilemma facing Suzuno now is one of compassion versus dogma, which often causes internal conflicts for all faiths.
Samurai Bride Ep. 10 *sigh* It would seem we’re supposed to have some sympathy for the dark samurai, who are puppets of a greater evil.
Samurai Bride Ep. 11 Is this a harem or action series? There’s no reason it couldn’t be both, but each episode flips one way or the other.

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Anime of the Week (6/2 – 6/8)

Anime of the Week – Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet
Ledo encounters a juvenile Hidiaazu At what point does a human stop being human? At what point does a person stop being a person? And at what point can you be forgiven for being fooled by propaganda?                              
June 2 Attack on Titan Ep. 9 It doesn’t matter what you say or how you say it, even if it’s the truth there will be some who don’t believe you.
HenNeko Ep. 8 Yokodera is no saint, but the fact that he had the opportunity to wish for his paradise and didn’t shows he’s not so bad.
June 3 Gargantia Ep. 9 I’d suspected all along that the Hidiaazu originated from the Earth just as humanity did, but I didn’t expect this twist.
Leviathan Ep. 8 When enough coincidences start to add up, it’s easy to mistake the natural connections between our lives for fate.
June 5 Date A Live Ep. 10 I love how the plot has managed to creatively and logically explain why all these girls are clustering around Shidou.
Devil Survivor 2 Ep. 8 All bets are off. There’s barely anything left in the anime’s story that even vaguely resembles events in the game.
June 6 Otoboku Ep. 5 I’ve found something I have in common with protagonist, Mizuho. Despite being guys, the two of us both have our mother’s hair.
June 7 Maou-sama Ep. 10 Yes, we get it. Maou Sadou has been very circuitous about his methodology of returning to power. Now hurry up and reveal.
June 8 Railgun S Ep. 9 I’d hope that pursuing a path to uphold your morals gives you a strength of conviction that an unscrupulous person lacks.
Red Data Girl Ep. 12 There are times when we feel helpless and it seems all we do is hurt those around us. But we are never truly alone.

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Anime of the Week (5/26 – 6/1)

Anime of the Week – Attack on Titan
Mikasa embraces Eren Real friends are there for each other in their darkest moments to pull them back from the brink of the abyss. It’s very powerful to watch these brave young men and women assess their situation, develop a strategy with the limited resources available to them and put it into action (not without a few problems to be addressed along the way). And in the end, it’s also nice to be reminded that sometimes the little things are what’s most important.                              
May 26 HenNeko Ep. 7 We may long for someone to love us, but it isn’t something that can be forced. You have to let it happen naturally.
Red Data Girl Ep. 10 We can seek the advice of our friends and family, but at the end of the day we are responsible for our own decisions.
May 27 Attack on Titan Ep. 8 My prediction was spot-on that Eren had turned into a titan, but Mikasa’s reunion was more touching than I expected.
Gargantia Ep. 8 Ledo is much more complicated than he appears at first glance. He’s not fighting for the glory, but to protect humanity.
May 28 Date A Live Ep. 9 It bothers me that Ratatosk had a way of preventing space quakes for some time, but hasn’t been using it for some reason.
May 30 Samurai Bride Ep. 8 It’s disappointing to see a series with a strong first season get such a lacking sequel. Even the ecchi feels lazy.
June 1 Railgun S Ep. 8 Justice without power is impotent. Power without justice is tyranny. Misaka is power and justice combined in one person.
Maou-sama Ep. 9 Other than being ironically creative in its reinterpretations, I didn’t see anything that was essential to the story.
Crime Edge Ep. 9 Though it’s not the most eloquent of stories, this anime nonetheless still manages to have its touching moments.
Red Data Girl Ep. 11 Isn’t it better to trust in how things actually are than to deceive ourselves and others with preferable, wistful lies?
Leviathan Ep. 7 This series isn’t very sophisticated, but because it knows it isn’t supposed to be sophisticated it’s still fun to watch.

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Anime of the Week (5/19 – 5/25)

Anime of the Week – Toaru Kagaku no Railgun S
Kuroko daydreams about Misaka I really liked seeing this more serious side of Kuroko. Usually all she does is fawn over Misaka, but now we know it’s not simply lustful desire to be in her presence at all times, but genuine admiration and the motivation to be the best friend possible. The depth of these characters’ relationships and the subtle ways they grow closer is why this is one of the greatest anime franchises of all time.                              
May 19 HenNeko Ep. 6 The reason a lot of wishes usually have unintended consequences is that most people don’t really know what they want.
May 20 Attack on Titan Ep. 7 Did the injection that his father gave him as a child allow Eren to become a titan once he was consumed by one?
Gargantia Ep. 7 What is the real nature of the Hidiaazu? Are they simple, animalistic alien invaders or creatures just defending themselves?
May 22 Date A Live Ep. 8 Despite Kurumi’s overzealously bloodthirsty nature, I can very much appreciate her twisted sense of poetic justice.
May 23 Yuyushiki Ep. 6 Doesn’t everyone have a thing or two that creeps you out to the point that merely talking about it puts you on edge?
Devil Survivor 2 Ep. 7 Man, the story and characters are a total mess. Things are progressing too fast in places and too slow in others.
May 25 Railgun S Ep. 7 Sometimes you can’t help your important people through a rough time directly, but you can still be there for them.
Crime Edge Ep. 8 It’s my determination that the phrase, “two wrongs don’t make a right,” is too narrow to be applied in every situation.
Maou-sama Ep. 8 This may be the first time a confused assumption about what someone knows has actually helped facilitate understanding.

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Anime of the Week (5/12 – 5/18)

Anime of the Week – Toaru Kagaku no Railgun S
Accelerator reflects Misaka's railgun Nothing makes your heart stick in your throat more painfully than having a righteous cause, but finding yourself powerless in the face of your seemingly invincible adversary. But giving up never enters into Misaka’s mind and I can’t wait to see how she puts that fighting spirit to good use.                              
May 12 Leviathan Ep. 6 I’ve been wondering how these reluctant girls were going to get roped into saving the world… but who’s the kid?
HenNeko Ep. 5 It’s a real treat to watch Yukari Tamura do her tsundere. And Azusa also shows how to turn things around when plans go awry.
May 13 Gargantia Ep. 6 It’s my theory that the Hidiaazu are not aliens, but are a species from the Earth that hitchhiked with humanity into space.
Attack on Titan Ep. 6 Yes, yes. Backstory is important and we’ve established that Mikasa is badass. Now can we finally start moving forward?
May 15 Samurai Bride Ep. 6 Another second season that’s not living up to its predecessor because the writers just wander aimlessly without focus.
Devil Survivor 2 Ep. 6 We’re missing a lot of the complexity the characters showed in the game through their relationships with Hibiki.
May 16 Yuyushiki Ep. 5 If anyone is interested in how my thought process works while I’m brainstorming, watch this anime. It’s about like that.
May 18 Date A Live Ep. 7 What this series was missing has arrived—a sense of foreboding and dread that has really ratcheted up the suspense.
Crime Edge Ep. 7 We shouldn’t become overwhelmed by our jealousy of what others have, but instead pursue that desire in our own way.
Railgun S Ep. 6 If we can draw a clear line between chemistry and biology, why is it so hard to draw the line between animal and human?
Maou-sama Ep. 7 In the words of Elie Wiesel, “The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference,” which is why Emi still cares about Sado.
Red Data Girl Ep. 9 I don’t get the impression a deific being would enjoy empty flattery, but it would be foolish to make her angry, too.
Samurai Bride Ep. 7 With the plot finally starting to get rolling, it feels like the first half of this series was just wasting time.

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Anime of the Week (5/5 – 5/11)

Anime of the Week – Toaru Kagaku no Railgun S
Misaka plays happy slaps with her clone. A terrific balance of comedy and philosophical quandaries juxtaposed by some sinister dealings to maximize the tension level, last week’s episode was a perfect example of why the Toaru franchise is brilliant.                              
May 5 Leviathan Ep. 5 Don’t you hate it when everyone goes fishing, you’re all using the same bait, but you’re the only one who can’t catch one?
HenNeko Ep. 4 After Yokodera got his facade back so easily, I was worried the conflicts in this story weren’t resolving dramatically enough.
Red Data Girl Ep. 4 What is going on here? There’s a lot of people with supernatural connections at this school, but who regulates it all?
Red Data Girl Ep. 5 Why is it so viscerally satisfying to see an egotistical overachiever get brought down by an unexpected turn of events?
Red Data Girl Ep. 6 If we learned anything from Totoro its when anime gets too deep into its own mythology it starts making its own rules.
Red Data Girl Ep. 7 I always find it interesting to think about the various ways we apply morality differently to animals and humans.
Yuyushiki Ep. 3 To anyone who decides to come to Japan from June to September: be prepared for hot, humid, energy-draining weather.
Muromi-san Ep. 2 I wish I’d been able to made the connection between “leviathan” and “Levia-san” without having to get it explained.
May 6 Gargantia Ep. 5 So even Gargantia has a red-light district. They said it’s good for him, but talk about throwing Ledo into the deep end.
Attack on Titan Ep. 5 Just what are these titans? The story is trying to explain them, but in doing so it may demystify them too much.
May 7 Yuyushiki Ep. 4 Unlike Yuzuko, I very much like wearing my glasses because it has the additional side-effect of making me look smart.
May 8 OreGairu Ep. 3 It’s said that discretion is the better part of valor, but sometimes the situation calls for standing up for what is right.
May 10 Crime Edge Ep. 6 Women are often accused of forcing men to be mind readers, but that doesn’t mean males can’t make their own feelings clear.
Maou-sama Ep. 6 Ugh. As episodes that connect story arcs go, this was poor. I see where they’re coming from and going to far too clearly.
May 11 Date A Live Ep. 6 What happened? Was this episode concepted by the writer’s teenage son? Even as onsen episodes go, this is darned campy.
Railgun S Ep. 5 It’s interesting to consider just how much of our personalities are determined by our upbringing and how much is DNA.
Red Data Girl Ep. 8 It seems to be human nature to resist change at every opportunity. But we need to accept that change is inevitable.

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Anime of the Week (4/28 – 5/4)

Anime of the Week – Suisei no Gargantia
Ledo makes a flute from a Hidiaazu claw No matter how much training and discipline the most hardened soldier may have, at the end of the day he’s still human and something humans never truly forget how to do is relax.                              
April 28 OreImo 2 Ep. 4 Ugh. The premises this second season keeps rolling out are getting more and more ridiculous. I expected better than this.
Valvrave Ep. 2 I get it. Unrequited love is a common trope, but no half-assed confession has made me want to upturn my desk more than this.
April 29 HenNeko Ep. 3 Why does society accept that all men are perverts, but if a man wore his desires on his sleeve nobody would trust him?
Yuyushiki Ep. 2 I always enjoy these natural-thought-process moe anime with wandering ideas that make you feel smarter for watching it.
Gargantia Ep. 4 It’s a good thing that morality is a malleable concept that can be molded to fit whatever circumstances face humanity.
April 30 Attack on Titan Ep. 4 It’s important to develop the setting and characters, but there’s no reason it can’t be done while telling the story.
May 1 Leviathan Ep. 2 Sometimes complexity is overrated and this series is doing great keeping things simple yet still telling a fun story.
Leviathan Ep. 3 Like the heroine, I also love barley tea, but using it to defeat monsters never occurred to me. This series has me hooked.
May 2 Leviathan Ep. 4 This series celebrates the unique traits that men and women possess and by working together we can make each other stronger.
May 3 Maou-sama Ep. 5 Even if it’s not intentional, once you’ve invested a considerable amount of time into something, it becomes more precious.
May 4 Date A Live Ep. 5 What has been seen cannot be unseen, but sometimes what has been done most certainly can be undone.
Railgun S Ep. 4 I think we forget that if a clone of ourselves existed, it would almost certainly be a separate person and not a slave.
Crime Edge Ep. 5 It’s still kind of sad, but it’s nice to see a role reversal where the girl is clueless about the guy in love with her.
Samurai Bride Ep. 4 Women worry far too much about changing themselves when the man who will love them thinks they’re already perfect.
Samurai Bride Ep. 5 The problem with unnecessary sequels—all the best ideas were in season one and season two is just a spectacle.
Devil Survivor 2 Ep. 4 Everything is proceeding out of line with the game. Time will tell if that was the correct way to tell the story.
Devil Survivor 2 Ep. 5 I’ve played the game, so I know the backstory and context and I’m still lost. Is there any hope for the uninitiated?

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