Rejoice fellow anime fans! Although we haven’t seen much from them in recent anime seasons, Anime On Demand is back with six simulcasts for the fall anime season and due to the lack of recent content, all of the new simulcasts will be 100% free to watch. How can you ignore this opportunity?
I’m back to provide my own thoughts on the new AoD Fall simulcasts, providing a first episode preview to see if any of this takes your fancy – oh wait, it’s free. So you may as well give them a look anyway!
Early this year, there was a trailer that popped up on YouTube simply titled ‘K.’ The three minute PV provided me with excitement due to its stunning visual style, beautiful music, and well animated action scenes, not to mention the A-class seiyuu talent. I was actually really excited for this and now it’s here. While I was impressed by the end of it, the first episode was all over the place.
The biggest strength so far is in its visuals and setting, which feels very urban and reminds me of anime such as Durarara. The studio, GoHands, and director Gou Nakanishi worked on Mardock Scramble which got a UK release not so long ago, so some of the visuals may be familiar to a few.
The only small gripe that might be remedied is the bewildering number of characters that have been introduced. The main character, Yashiro Isana, seems to be at the centre of what is currently going on and the final minute of the first episode shows a possibly dangerous side to his energetic, nice self. Still I look forward to more of K; there is enough in the first episode to get me interested and I hope it stays that way.
To Love-ru Darkness
UK anime fans might not know what this show is; well, surprisingly, this is the third season of the adaptation of the manga, but the first and second seasons never got a UK release. So what is it? Basically it’s another harem comedy. I would put the ‘romance’ in but so far there hasn’t been any kind of clear romantic conclusion in there. Instead, To Love-ru actually sets itself apart by putting a lot of energy into its harem comedy to a point where it becomes ridiculous, while also giving small hints of plot.
As a critic of To Love-ru, the first episode does pretty much what I expected it to do. Although there is plenty of fan service (which can put some viewers off) there are quick introductions to some of the female characters, and Rito, the main male character, is pretty much surrounded by them. Yami (otherwise known as Golden Darkness) seems to be the first of the girls to get some backstory but the amount of censorship might remind you that you can’t really take this show seriously.
That’s basically the bottom line with To Love-Ru Darkness; if you want a ridiculous harem comedy that’s littered with cute girls and fan service, then this is definitely for you.
Hidamari Sketch x Honeycomb
Manga readers might recognise this title; the Hidamari Sketch manga is licensed by Yen Press and is available in the UK (Sunshine Sketch is the English title). And now Anime On Demand have decided to bring the fourth anime season of Hidamari Sketch to our shores.
Hidamari Sketch is one of the more successful all-girls slice-of-life franchises to come out of Japan in recent years and if you have read or somehow watched the previous anime seasons, you’ll know that it’s easy to see why. All the characters in the show are very supportive of each other and very close too, which makes watching their daily routines heartwarming for the most part. The show can be really funny as well, Miyako’s antics providing the perfect example of that, especially in this first episode.
Again SHAFT returns to animate the fourth series and its animation is very eye-catching, even stunning at times. Lastly, you don’t need to have watched previous seasons to enjoy Hidamari Sketch x Honeycomb; if you like this type of slice-of-life show, then I fully recommend it.
Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai!
Moe, silliness, randomness, cute girls, high school, comedy. No this isn’t K-ON, this is the new Kyoto Animation project with the director of Clannad at the helm.
The first episode is pretty basic, introducing main characters that seem to be a bunch of childish nutters for the most part, spouting a lot of nonsense – still I’m wondering if all this silliness will lead to something interesting.
If you’ve watched Nichijou on Anime on Demand before, then you will notice how well animated Chuunibyou really is, which seems to be one of the show’s strong points. While I’m not really wowed by the series at the moment, it’s at least enjoyable and worth checking out.
I will be perfectly honest and say that I don’t read or watch things that are based on the Arabian Nights stories (unless you count Disney’s Aladdin) but Magi is not a children’s story. In its first episode, you can see the maturity behind it, introducing elements such as slavery and violence, and its setting is very intriguing so far.
A-1 pictures return to animate another action/supernatural anime along with Koji Masunari (R.O.D, Welcome to the Space Show), which explains some of the hints of comedy, especially coming from Aladdin, one of the main characters.
Magi’s setting and animation are easily worth recommending to folks who want a new shounen show to follow, and if you have a fascination for this Arabian Nights-themed world, then give it a go.
In this world, there are female action figures known as ‘Busou Shinki’ that come to life and are equipped with mecha suits. They also follow their masters, who are basically their owners; this episode basically introduces the premise while also showing off some decent action scenes to boot.
However, the show falls into the trap of producing a very weak first episode. The main male character (I don’t know his name because the show hasn’t even bothered to tell it to me) owns three Busou Shinki with awfully basic personalities: The Childhood Friend, The Tsundere and The Ditzy One. What makes it even weirder is that some show romantic feelings towards him, hinting at an awkward action figure harem; it’s really out of place.
The soundtrack was unappealing, the male main character design is really badly animated, leaving me with a weak recommendation. Still I hope that Busou Shinki doesn’t take itself seriously. And there are some decent action scenes, so I’d at least give the first episode a go.
That’s my Fall 2012 Anime On Demand roundup. To watch any of the shows mentioned then follow this link; remember it’s FREE: http://www.anime-on-demand.com/free-zone