Here I am again with the Anime On Demand – Winter 2013 Season Preview. I will be going through five shows streaming this season; the sixth one is Magi which will be continuing from last season, so check out my last season article if you want more information on it.
Also, Anime On Demand will be continuing their free subscription for these shows as long as you’re signed in, so give them a watch if you’re interested:
Kyoto Animation return this season with their first original anime series and it’s no surprise that most of the K-ON staff have come back to helm this project.This was worrying for me since the show could easily have been a K-ON copycat, but thankfully this wasn’t the case in this first episode.
Our main character is Tamako, is a high-school girl who lives and works at her family mochi store – which is part of the Usagi-yama shopping district. She has a normal life until she meets a talking bird called Dera; this flamboyant bird is part of the royal court on one of the tropical islands and is travelling around the world to look for a bride for his prince. However after meeting Tamako, he is stuck with her for longer then he was expecting.
Tamako Market doesn’t just focus on these two characters; the people at the shopping district are also introduced, all with different traits, but maybe there is a bit too much going on here to actually develop them. I’m glad that a small amount of plot was introduced but there were a lot of cute interactions. Kyoto Animation again bring their excellent animation to the fore but that’s the only great thing I can say about it.
So my feelings are slightly mixed about Tamako Market. If you want another fluffy Slice-Of-Life anime, then this will most likely provide it, but it runs the risk of becoming boring.
Also returning this season is studio SHAFT with Sasami-san@Ganbaranai; again this would personally be my most anticipated show, since I’ve always enjoyed this studio’s work even if some of there idea’s are a bit strange.
Sasami Tsukuyomi is a First Year high school student that rarely leaves her house and is very unmotivated, spending most of her time near a computer. She lives with her brother Kamiomi Tsukuyomi (who always seems to hide his face behind random objects for some reason) and is a teacher at the same high school. When Kamiomi leaves the house, he bumps into the three Yagami sisters who have very strange personalities and it’s not long after their introduction that things become a bit….chocolaty.
Sasami-san’s first episode is very confusing. Its weird characters and interactions show some charm but I did end up scratching my head at times. It’s not until the final five minutes, when things start to get seriously ridiculous, that I thought that maybe this is the show’s true purpose. It might be worth sticking around to see what Sasami-san has up its sleeve.
Maoyuu Maou Yuusha
Maoyuu is one of the more interesting shows this season, due to it first appearing on the Japanese 2 chan site. Since then it has been made into a light novel, a manga, and now it’s getting an anime adaptation thanks to studio ARMS.
The story starts with our young hero Yuusha storming into the demon castle to slay the Demon King but finding it strange that the castle is completely unguarded. What’s even more strange to him is when he meets the Demon King, he is actually a she who looks human and calls herself Maou. Maou talks with the hero about the current war between humans and demons and how ending it could cause even more death due to possible civil wars among the humans. However she has a plan to avoid this and asks the hero for his help. After much convincing, the hero agrees and thus their adventure begins.
Strangely enough, the world of Maoyuu is very medieval and Maou’s plan involves some economical thinking (a little fact is that the director of Spice & Wolf is also directing this), so it’s far from being a dumb action anime, which I like. Also there seems to be a hint of romance between Yuusha and Maou at this early stage, which is added to the mix.
Overall, this first episode hits all the right notes and is a great set-up for what’s to come; I’m looking forward to watching this.
Student Council’s Discretion Lv. 2
This is sequel to the largely unknown Student Council’s Discretion series. Even I didn’t know much about this show, so I was expecting a relatively normal Slice-Of-Life show; however, there are signs that it’s much more than that.
I won’t really give a proper plot summary because all of the show takes place in the Student Council’s Discretion club room, where five members discuss various topics that normally lead to various breaking the fourth wall jokes and parodies of typical anime traits. Even if this is a second season, the show gives us an introduction to all the characters again and their personalities.
I was really surprised how much this show broke the fourth wall; it’s not a one off thing, they do it multiple times, and there is even a discussion on how to get newbies to watch their show which leads to a few jokes.
I don’t think I can recommend this to viewers who are new to anime, since most of the jokes are aimed at people who know these tried generic anime tropes that this show takes the mick out of. That said, the show can be funny and I enjoyed it somewhat; it’s worth a look.
Problem Children Are Coming From Another World, Aren’t They?
Last of the bunch is Problem Children Are Coming From Another World, Aren’t They?, animated by Diomedea, the studio that made Squid Girl. It’s another show I blindly went into and came out pleasantly surprised.
The plot starts with three children with supernatural powers receiving a letter that transports them to the world of Little Garden, a place filled with various gods, demons and other humans with special powers. Our main characters are greeted by Black Rabbit, who gives a detailed explanation of the world of Little Garden and how they can take part in the Gift Games, which offer rewards for completing certain challenges.
I admit that I wasn’t expecting to like this show but I ended up really enjoying the first episode. My first worry was that the three characters – Sakamaki, Kudo and Kasukabe – would greet each other very coldly, adding some typical anime clichés, but that’s not the case; their conversations bounce off each other really well. Also the explanation for Little Garden and the Gift Games was great, giving me a reason to check out future episodes.
If I had to pick, Problem Children has the strongest first episode out of the line-up and I can’t wait to continue this show.
Again, it’s worth mentioning that this seasons shows are 100% free, so you can check them all out on Anime On Demand’s site: http://www.anime-on-demand.com/
Until next time!