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[Anime Review] Spring 2014 Anime Preview

 

Review: by Kendrick

With the winter anime season wrapping up, I looked ahead at some of the more interesting looking anime starting in the spring.

Mangaka-san to Assistant-san to

Genre: comedy, slice of life

Theme: ecchi, harem

Vintage: 2014 – 04

Plot Summary: A life description about the mangaka Aito Yuuki and his assistant Ashisu Sahoto. Aito doesn’t understand the feelings of the characters in his stories, so he asks Ashisu to help him. Ashisu would do anything for the work—she will even let him touch her breasts, so he will know how it feels like.

Preview: This anime will most likely do well as a short form anime due to the fact that it is a 4-koma style manga. The series follows Aito and the many women that surround his life and help with his manga. There is the loli editor, the straight man assistant, the tsundere loli assistant, the large breasted laid back assistant, the cat with a bra on its head, etc. This will be a show that appeals to a small niche group, and I happen to be in that niche group. The manga Aito is writing is just full of panties, so he is always researching and obsessing over panties. The anime is going to be fun; but it will be used as an example of what is wrong with anime today. I can guarantee it.

Kanojo ga Flag o Oratetara

Official Website (Japanese)

Genre: comedy, romance, slice of life

Theme: harem, school

Vintage: 2014 – 04

Plot Summary: Hatate Sota is a high school boy who has an ability to visualize “flags” for future events such as “death flag,” “friendship flag,” and “romance flag.” Despite the flag-viewing ability, he avoids making friends with others due to a trauma he experienced in a ship submergence accident. Four beautiful girls get interested in his strange way of living, and they begin to live with him at the school dorm by force.

Review: This series is one full of tried and true romantic comedy tropes. The main character is average, but has a unique trait. Check. His unwanted harem consists of, a half blood, oldersister/childhood friend, a princess, a trap, and, later, a robot and tsundere. The main character gets his powers from a young girl on a boat, and the manga seems like it is going in the direction of having each girl in the harem fulfill a specific role to prevent his eminent demise from the death flag over his head. I am one hundred percent sure that this show will go the way of several mangas turned anime. Instead of the plot being interspersed with situational comedy from the harem environment, the anime will instead opt for nothing but ecchi for the first nine episodes and shoehorn the plot in for the final three.

Hitsugi No Chaika

Official Website (Japanese)

Genre: adventure, comedy, fantasy, romance

Theme: assassins, bounty hunters, conspiracy, magical creatures, special abilities, war

Vintage: 2014 – 04

Plot Summary: Toru Acura is a 20-year-old retired soldier meandering through life now that the war has ended. He encounters Chaika Trabant, a 14-year-old sorceress carrying a coffin, and follows her in hopes of finding meaning to his life again. The two travel with Toru’s adopted sister, Akari, the employed member of the group and thus Toru’s source of income.

Preview: This series is one of those awesome shounen animes. The main character, Toru Acura, is a professional saboteur that has lost his place in life due to the fact that life is really peaceful. This is because everyone is living in the wake of a huge war that provided his livelihood and that of his sister. His sister is fed up with his depression and decides to kill him if he does not get it together. While escaping his sister’s rage he happens upon a young sorceress, named Chaika, with a huge coffin being pursued by a beast taming enemy. She turns out to be the daughter of the King of the losing side of the war. This particular king was a powerful mage, and his dead body parts have become the magical spoils of war for the winning side. The show is about Toru and his sister helping the young sorceress reclaim her father’s remain so he can be properly laid to rest.

This series is full of action and adventure. Toru and his sister are orphans raised in a hidden saboteur village and are excellent at what they do. Of course, one can’t have a shounen anime without a cool action gimmick. The Saboteur’s is the Iron Blood transformation. It is akin to Dragonball Z’s Kaoken.  As cool as their Iron Blood transformation is, it is often dwarfed by Chaika’s sheer magical ability which she uses through a sniper rifle styled magic wand. The relationship between Toru and his sister is fun to watch. Akari has borderline incestuous love for her brother that can turn into killing intent in the span of a second. This is funny because they are orphans and are not even related by blood.  I really hope that this will be a long series that spans multiple seasons.

Black Bullet

Official Website (Japanese)

Genre: action, mystery, science fiction

Vintage: 2014 – 04

Plot Summary: In the year 2021, mankind is decimated by the epidemic of Gastrea, a parasitical virus, and is forced to live within Monoliths, which are created from Varanium: a metal that is able to subdue Gastrea. Soon, the “Cursed Children”, children born with the Gastrea virus who are able to control it, which gives them superhuman abilities, are discovered. Due to the Gastrea virus’ intervention, the Cursed Children could only be female. Civil Securities are formed to specialize fighting against Gastrea, operating with the pair of an Initiator, who are cursed children, and a Promoter, serving to lead the cursed children. Ten years after the epidemic, Rentarō Satomi, a high school student who is also a Promoter in his childhood friend Kisara Tendō’s Tendō Civil Security, along with his Initiator Enju Aihara, receives a secret mission to prevent the Tokyo Area’s destruction.

Preview: Black Bullet is another shounen anime coming out in the spring. I have been reading the manga and enjoying every minute of it. It almost makes me think of Nobunagun, if the antagonist won. The parasite Gastrea comes to earth and mutates all the animals into these super killing machines. Humans cannot stop them, so they hole up in towns and cities protected by a giant black monolith made of Baranium. Sometimes smaller versions of these mutates animals will get into the cities and feed on humans. Like vampires, the infected also turn into mutated animals. The police are wholly inept at stopping these outbreaks, so the organization Civil Security takes care of it. Each two man team in Civil Security consists of a Promoter and an initiator. The Promoter is usually a guy, but the initiator is always a little girl. When the Gastrea came to earth and infected pregnant women they would always have a girl with blood red eyes. These little girls would have superhuman abilities and were considered cursed. Note that each little girl had the genes of a particular creature that defined their superhuman abilities.

This anime is going to put one in the mind of kure-nai. We have a guy who does a dangerous job and desperately wants to be stronger. Tagging along with him is a little girl who just wants to help and be accepted.  There is even a female childhood friend who gives him employment.

I really like the villain in this series. He is a masked man with an initiator with praying mantis genes. This makes her excel in using twin blades.  He is absolutely crazy, but there are subtle hints that he is justified in his craziness.

It is almost fun to see how everyday society could drastically change due to a virus. Because of the virus infecting pregnant women, there is an entire generation of nine to ten year old girls that everyone hates.  The story between the two main characters is fun and touching, but the way the little girls that aren’t initiators are treated really rubbed me the wrong way. They are made to live outside the city in slums, and, because it’s an anime, they are all adorable which makes it even worse.  The anime is titled black bullet due to the fact that the main character uses guns with Baranium bullets.

Mahouka Koukou No Rettousei

Official Website (Japanese)

Genre: comedy, magic, romance, supernatural

Theme: school

Vintage: 2014 – 04

Plot Summary: “Magic” is a product of neither legends nor fairy tales. It has become a technology of reality for nearly a century. Various countries in the world are locked in a race in nurturing Magicians.

Shiba Tatsuya is an honor student without magic capability at First High School, a magic high school along with his sister who happens to be the top student among the freshmen. What will happen to him? How will he live his school life where he is one of the many reserves in the school looked down upon by the chosen magical students?

Preview: The anime coming out in the spring is going to most likely be a 12 episode series that encompasses the enrollment arc of this anime. If the anime follows the same story as the manga, this will be one of the best anime of the spring season. This series will appeal to all fans. There are the sci-fi fans who will love the ways the series goes fully in depth into the way magic works. The magic in this anime isn’t just “magic,” it is fully explained science. I cannot express how much I loved the explanation of magic, and I hope that it is not dumbed down for the anime. The niche sibling love fans will love how Tatsuya and his sister interact, and how they often emit an aura of a loving couple. The shounen fans will love the show because with magic comes magic battles.  Even the supporting characters are all unique and fun to watch.

I personally like the fact that innate magical ability is very much based on genetics and leads to an almost x-men like conflict. I also really like how there are moments in the manga that almost don’t make sense until you find out about the other series.

This particular series is a little weird due to the fact that the show is cut in to several different parts. The anime entitled Mahouka Koukou No Rettousei will tell the story of the Shiba Tatsuya and his sister enrolling into First High School. The story is told from Tatsuya’s perspective. Because he is so taciturn, you get a sense of background info being given on a need to know basis. The series Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei tells the same story but from the perspective of the sister. I hope that this could be animated as well because it gives more background to the main characters and explains some of the rather weird events that occur during the first series. In particular, there are two moments where if you have only seen Mahouka Koukou No Rettousei you would be baffled as to why an event occurs. Even though it is seen that Tatsuya’s sister loves him dearly, when he readjusts her cad for her, she almost kills him for what seems no reason. There is also a magic fight that starts for reasons that can only be inferred from the first series, but is fully explained in the next. The third series Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei – Kyuukousen Hen takes place after the enrollment arc and tells the story of the nine schools battle that is briefly touched on in the previous titles.

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  • I’m pretty late on commenting on this so it seems most of these (if not all of these) have already started. It seems the only one on this list I’m keeping up with at the moment is Mahouka. Still too early to draw conclusions (particularly because I have no knowledge of the LN or manga so it’s all new for me) but it seems like an interesting series. There’s certainly potential for development and the magical system seems intriguing so I hope the anime does a proper job of fleshing it out. I really enjoyed the first episode so I certainly hope this will be true of the rest of the anime as well.

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