Welcome Back Again! Chroma's Spring/Summer 2012 Impressions
Hey, everyone! Apologies for being away for a while, I've been keeping quite preoccupied with schooling and other projects. However, I never miss the chance to watch some great shows, and I hope you're prepared, because this season was quite good overall. Sorry I'm merging two seasons into one post here, but I just didn't get to watch much in the Spring season. Ready for some opinions?
You know what really stuns me about anime? It's the fact that the most simple things can bring about so much joy. Hyoka is a series that markets itself as a "mystery", and it's certainly a mystery how it manages to stay enjoyable after playing some of its best cards early on. That's right, the show definitely hits its climax around its first or second arcs, and sadly does slow down for the remainder of its 21 episode run. But you know, it's KyoAni's stunning animation mixed with some of the loveliest character interactions I've seen in a while that keeps things so fresh. The mysteries are less "hardcore murder mystery" like Sherlock Holmes, but instead take their time to settle in and leave you in a sense of pondering and even unease. One thing I have to note is that a few characters may start to feel stale about the time you reach the denouement, but that opinion may vary. There's also some really creative singularities near the end that kick you right back into the position where your eyeballs are stuck to the screen. The case of the missing chocolates in particular is a deceptively simple, but beautifully shattering episode.
I must stop allowing synopses deciding which series I'll end up watching, because while Kokoro Connect's outer premise sounds ridiculous and a recipe for disaster, it's turning out to be one heck of an interesting series. As mentioned, the idea of a group of high school friends suddenly experiencing a phenomenon where they mysteriously swap bodies with each other sounds like it could just hit rock bottom, but it's actually a portal into a story how even the closest of friends can lose faith in each other and find times of trouble. Not only do they have to find a way to prevent an unknown entity from controlling their entire lives, but they also have to keep their basic living standards and emotions in check to prevent disasters. Another thing it does marvelously is integrate an ending sequence that just oozes emotion, right into where the episodes need it most. Let's not forget the fantastic opening either though!
Rinne no Lagrange
Alright, I definitely hopped on the Rinne no Lagrange bandwagon (I think there was one?) quite late, but I'm here now, so let's talk a bit about it. Without attempting to be heavily biased, I'm not a fan of mecha series. Since I got that out of the way, I'll say that this series has a wonderful charm and has definitely surpassed my barrier to allow me to enjoy it. This series has a fantastic soundtrack mixed with some very nice visuals and a simple but charming story that can hold your interest at the very least. I'll say that it's not something I would jump out and suggest to the world to watch immediately, but for anyone who enjoys having a bit of laid back fun, I can definitely agree to giving it a chance. This show seems to share a little bit of what's good about Macross Frontier, and that's music, Nakajima Megumi and vibrant visuals. The characters are all very fun, and the protagonists are a wonderful blend of adorable and entertaining. As I previously mentioned, it probably won't be a show for everyone, but I have a feeling many of you would probably lean more towards liking it. If you asked me to rate it, I'd say it's a success, "maru"!
Sword Art Online
I just had to watch this one after catching the preview live at Anime Expo and then hearing the full opening in concert before its release. Sword Art Online takes the concept of being trapped in an MMO hell, where an in-game death is the actual equivalent of losing your life in the real world. Risk always stays with the players as they must clear the 100 floors of the game to escape safely. An ideal tactic would be to band together and utilize a combined strength to overcome the challenges, but with such an open world with endless possibilities, segmentation is an inevitability. Players get greedy, and others simply refuse to work with others from stubbornness and pride. The protagonist Kirito is such an individual, but slowly he'll have to learn that not everything can be accomplished alone. The series is still in its early stages, but I can tell so far that it plans to take a spiraling road towards its ultimate ending. In between actually clearing floors, there are little side stories that introduces characters and opens up the world a little bit more, which works well enough. It's not a bad watch so far, but there are a few early signs that Kirito is a little too powerful for his own good. Let's hope that doesn't affect the hurdles the characters have to overcome.
If you love comedy, you gotta love Yuru Yuri. If you love adorable things, you gotta love Yuru Yuri. Of course, if you love yuri, you'll probably enjoy Yuru Yuri. The amazingly lovable series makes a triumphant return with a second season, and it's even more glorious than its predecessor. Why? Well, lots of reasons, but if I had to sum it up into two words, it'd be Yui and Horie. The ever elusive character of Akaza Akane and her lovable seiyu Horie Yui tugged us along the first season without a proper appearance, but here she is, in full glory. As for the rest of the show, the laughs just keep on coming. Ever wanted to see Chinatsu's hair devour ping pong balls? Or maybe you wanted to see Akari actually get a little attention? Well, you just might.
I'd like to point out that I'm also finishing up the second season of Saki and also fully experienced the glory of the K-ON! movie. Overall, I really enjoyed this season, and I look forward to what's coming up in the Fall. Cheers!