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Yes, I am still alive and yes, unlike me this blog is pretty much dead but I will try to revive it. The autumn anime season is upon us so I feel compelled to do what everyone does and post some first impression from the several shows I have seen thus. Since the fansubbers need time to start releasing episodes I have not watched much from the new season thus far (and let’s face it, I am too lazy write a long entry).

Let’s start with a series with the unbelievably dumb sounding name – Pumpkin Scissors. It’s produced by GONZO and the art resembles Last Exile quite a lot. Since I love Last Exile‘s art this fact immediately put Pumpkin Scissors in my list of animes to follow this season, unless it happened to be mind-numbingly dull. Thankfully, so far it’s far from it. The setting seems similar to Europe between the two world wars, the Empire is ravaged by war and gangs of former soldiers harass their compatriots. The Pumpkin Scissors Platoon has the special mission of trying to alleviate the situation of the civilian population after the war. In the first episode some members of the platoon get rid of some special forces men turned highwaymen with the help of a mysterious ex-soldier with special powers. Nice start, the characters are not bad, the music is good, the action scenes promise good things for the future episodes. The cons include the humour that is very much not funny (I’d love it if this series becomes as dark and gritty as Speedgrapher but that doesn’t seem likely for now) and the main character, Alice seems to be of the suicidal do-gooder type of character which I am not that fond of. I hope she becomes cooler or funnier. Don’t get me wrong, she is not annoying or anything, it’s just that few people in real life would there to attack tank with a sword or whatever her close combat weapon was.

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Next comes Kanon. It’s apparently a remake of an older series with the same name which I haven’t watched. It’s produced by Kyoto Animation, a studio regarded by everyone but me as the lair of the anime gods (if you have lived in a cave in the last year go find a random blog/review site and read about Suzumiya Haruhi). I admit the animation of Kanon is stunning but it seems such a wasted effort to me. I haven’t seen so much moe-feeling in one episode since…I don’t know, never? We have a main male character who seems destined to be surrounded by a harem of girls who cannot seem to decide whether they are kids or women. He also suffers from amnesia – I wonder if this will bring some thrillers elements into the equation or is just a cheap plot device to make him forget his childhood love which will be of course remembered soemhow in the end. Since the character designs are nothing special and fanboys enjoying the view of the many moe girls seem to be the point of the series I ask – what’s the big idea of spending so much money and effort on the animation? Make sci-fi or fantasy, or good old action – anything that really will use this awesome backgrounds and all the other visual goodies. But I will persevere, I watched five episodes of Haruhi, I will probably watch about the same number of Kanon before deciding whether it’s trash or beautiful looking trash, I mean gem. And no, I don’t hate KyoAni, I actually love FMP:Fumoffu to death. Some of my best friends work in Kyo…ah, forget it, I went too far. But Fumoffu rules.

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We get to Asatte no Houkou. Now this is very promising. It’s atmospheric, it’s melancholic, the art while not spectacular is beautiful, the soft piano music creates a real feeling of summer and enhances the emotions the anime tries to convey and convey it does indeed. It seems to be character driven and the characters are intriguing, they don’t talk that much or spoon feed everything to the viewer but like in Simoun their facial expressions and the body language in general speak volumes. It’s about a girl, called Karada, who is about 12 years old I think and she likes to be treated like an adult, not a kid. Notice the difference with your average moe or loli or even anime schoolgirl. Most of them strive to be cute and tend to behave rather childishly because for some reason this is considered cute rather than annoying. The other main character – Shouko is bitter that Karada’s big brother has broken up with her years ago to take care of his sister. In the end of the epsiode a wishstone turns Shouko into a girl and Karada into a young woman. Be careful, what you are wishing for, huh? 🙂

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So far from what I have watched and read on various blogs and forums, the only yuri series of the season seems to be Otome wa Boku ni Koi Shiteru. It does suffer from the massive problem of the main character being actually a boy who pretends he is a girl and enrolls in an al lgirl school. I really wonder why this idea seems to get ever more popular. It hardly appeals to many fans of yuri (unless something changes the boy into a girl as in Kashimashi) and I doubt it appeals much to the fans of normal romance series – I know that most harem leads are often classified as sissies or wimps but wearing female clothes is really stretching the limit of the audience patience with such archetypes, one would suspect. So this anime looks a lot like Strawberry Panic, the uniforms are similar and from what I gathered from the raw the setting is a catholic school. I managed to survive seventeen episodes of StoPani stupidity so if there are some real hints of girl-girl romance in this I will probably follow this one (and curse myself for being a dumb fanboy who has to die, if we are to follow the slogan of this blog. Oh, the hypocricy…). It’s just 12 episodes long, IIRC, so maybe I will survive this trial. Maybe. 😉

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Lovely Idol is about idols. Much of the first episode (whose raw I mostly skimmed rather than watched) consists of many pretty girls singing rather bland J-Pop. It does feature a lot of cute girls (I know I said but that’s the main ponit so I needed to emphasise it), the character designs while very much unoriginal are nice eye candy, so if the music improves and the plot is not too dumb it might have some chancee to be a guilty pleasure reserved for depressing times. It also has a lot of female suiyuu talent, so I guess the senses might be satisfied from watching this while the mind might rebel. 😉

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