It’s the new year and the new season of Anime is moving along at full speed. After watching the first few episodes of most of the current series, here is how I would rank them according to my preference.
Superb / Must See:
Puella Magi Madoka Magica
Kore wa Zombie Desu ka?
Awesome / Highly Recommended:
Er… / Average:
Onii-chan no Koto Nanka Zenzen Suki Janain Dakara Ne
Meh / Don’t Bother:
So as you can see, for me, this season is turning out to be a pretty good one. Each ‘Must See’ show is great in their own right, be it the slapstick comedy of ‘Mitsudomoe’ and ‘Kore wa Zombie Desu ka?’, the mystery and suspense of ‘GOSICK’, the intriguing stories and premises of ‘Level E’ and ‘Fractal’. Not to mention, out of all the shows that I have seen so far, there isn’t one that falls under the ‘Don’t Bother’ category.
‘Puella Magi Madoka Magica’ however, deserves a special mention. Seriously, if you are not watching this show, I highly recommend you do. It basically takes the all the magical girl classics and adds a whole new level of depth, intrigue and emotional content. Kind of like the Ga-Rei of Magical Girl shows. I won’t go as far as to say that it turns the genera on its head, it’s just that this series takes it in a whole other direction. I’ll be going a little deeper into this in a later article.
Even the animation and fight choreography is beyond brilliant. SHAFT is pretty well known for skimping out on Animation (due to low budgets and the like) and performing major touch ups for the BDs/DVDs. This is usually pretty evident in their very simplistic animation + long talking scenes from their previous works like Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei, Arakawa Under the Bridge, Bakemonogatari, etc… This time however, the fight sequences are all smooth, elaborate and extraordinarily fluid and detailed. I was simply blown away just from what I’ve seen from Mami’s fighting in the first few episodes.
Some may find the animation style that SHAFT uses to depict the Witches and enemies during battle scenes jarring and out of place. However, I myself simply adore juxtaposition of the regularly animated characters and the paper-cut out realistic looking enemies and backgrounds. It honestly adds to the ‘otherworldly’ and ‘surreal’ feel of the Witch’s barrier.
This one is shaping up to be my favorite SHAFT-produced show of all time.