Sunday, December 29, 2013

Fall 2013 Anime Final Thoughts

2013 is almost gone, and the fall season of anime has come to an end. As always, I give a little final thoughts post to the anime series which finished during the season that I watched but didn't blog episodically. For Fall 2013, the four series are Coppelion, Freezing Vibrations, Infinite Stratos 2, and Monogatari 2nd Season.

Contains spoilers


Coppelion

This would make a good boss battle for a FPS game.

Synopsis:
A trio of genetically engineered teen girls called Coppelions are sent into an abandoned Tokyo devastated by a nuclear accident to rescue survivors. In the process, they have to battle against the elements, hostile survivors, and even other rogue Coppelions.

Thoughts:
Coppelion was an okay sci-fi/action show. I was worried in the beginning that repeatedly rescuing people would get stale, but the show manages to scrounge up some passable villains in the form of the 1st Company survivors and the two crazy Ozu sisters for the latter parts of the series. The protagonist trio of Ibara, Aoi and Taeko are fairly likable, and so are most of the friendly supporting characters. My main complaint about the show is that it seems to run out of budget during some of the important action sequences, especially later on... maybe because I remember those episodes more. I liked the special abilities of the Coppelions and the giant mechanical spider, but the action just seems to be missing a little bit of pizzaz and details. It just seemed off. The story, everything else was decent, but some of the lapses in the battles bothered me. Otherwise, Coppelion was a decent show. There was no element that was truly outstanding, but it was reasonable and there's nothing too terrible about it. It'd be good to find out a little big more back story on the Coppelion program and why these kids are given special abilities in addition to radiation resistance. I guess this will happen whenever the second season of the anime comes around.


Freezing Vibrations

Even the main characters are standing on the sidelines for the final battle.

Synopsis:
Kazuya, Satellizer, Rana along with some of the most promising Pandora trainees (and their Limiters) are sent to Alaska to help with the development of E-Pandora program where girls can become Pandoras without being compatible to Stigmata. However, the E-Pandora project is just a cover for something else entirely.

Thoughts:
The second season of Freezing wasn't bad. There is still a lot of pretty girls, fan service, and cat fights which can get rather bloody and violent. As with the first season of Freezing, even though the goal of the Pandora program is to protect Earth from extra-dimensional aliens known as Novas, most of the action comes from the Pandoras fighting among themselves for various reasons. I don't remember the first season all that well, but I believe this season had more of a story. There is of course the main story with the inhumane experiments on the E-Pandora girls covering up for the real project of trying to clone Maria Lancelot, the first Pandora, but most dramatic part would have to the side story of Satellizer and Kazuya confronting Satellizer's half brother Louis who sexually abused Satellizer and also treats his own Pandora Holly badly. Louis is as despicable as they come, and that part really resonated with the emotions. I wished the anime would have given Louis a bit more punishment for all the shitty things that he has done, but I suppose the the point of that story line is not vengeance.

As for the main story, it was a little weird how it ended. Satellizer and allies' efforts to help the E-Pandoras ends up creating a Nova outbreak at the Alaska compound, and in the end Chiffon the strongest Pandora ends up sacrificing herself to save the compound after she beats down both Satellizer and Rana. The final battle against the new Nova was not particularly exciting. I'm not sure what we are supposed to feel from that season finale. I guess we'll learn more about the significance of this event when the series continues.


Infinite Stratos 2

The chief accomplishment for this season is that Ichika added two new girls to his harem.

Synopsis:
Ichika and his harem continues to study at the IS Academy. Along the way, some bad girls from Phantom Works show up and threatens the peace, and Ichika picks up some more girls for his harem.

Thoughts:
The first season of Infinite Stratos was not bad because it has the unusual combination of being a harem-comedy with mecha combat, but the novelty as worn off and this second season feels rather mediocre. The series splits its time between harem-comedy and advancing the mecha-related central plot, but it doesn't do either one particularly well. Having a plot-episode with mecha comedy one week and then suddenly going into a completely whimsical harem competition the next week is not the best way to move the series along. Some villains actually show up in this season, but they are not able to do much. As for our main characters, Ichika is still as dense as ever if not denser than the first season, but he contains to build his harem because he happens to be the only game in town. Overall, this season was watchable, but I wasn't impressed.


Monogatari 2nd Season

When you play the harem game, there is always the risk that one of the girls will go yandere on you.

Synopsis:
Koyomi, his harem, and rest of cast continue to run into various supernatural problems.

Thoughts:
The "second" season of the Monogatari series ran for two cours and told five stories. It's still the same dialogue-heavy storytelling that can get a little too wordy at times, and that was especially true during the Shinobu Time story where Shinobu starts recalling her personal history. The good thing is that the stories and the characters are still intriguing, and there are enough special moments (however brief) to make watching the show somewhat worth it. The highlights of the season for me in no particular order are:

- Hanekawa finally confessing to Koyomi and getting rejected.
- Nadeko turning yandere on Koyomi.
- Koyomi patting Kisshot in the alternate timeline on the head during the Mayoi Jianshi story.
- Koyomi kissing Shinobu on the lips.
- Mayoi bowing out of the series.
- Kaiki managing to trick Nadeko into not being a deity by digging up the romantic manga she drew, and then telling Koyomi never to bother Nadeko again.

My overall thoughts on the Monogatari series is still the same: it's certainly not my favorite show or even the type of show I'll like a lot, but it's different and has some interesting characters and stories.

2 comments:

  1. Coppelion was fine by me .. the story lines, trying to survive a harsh world .. I better get the mangas. Freezing Vibrations was ok .. pity I have already read the Manga. But it was nice to see pictures moving. Too bad Chiffon had to sacrifice herself. Infinite Stratos 2 was yuck .. nothing happening the entire series. A waste of my time. Will have to catch up with Monogatari 2nd Season. See you Winter 2014

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, IS2 was a lot of nothing happening. very little development in terms of the actual story, and obviously no real progress with the romance either since Ichika has an even thicker skull this season.

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