meganbmoore: (ans: cosplay)
This anime season is about halfway over, so I guess I should actually comment on the shows I'm watching?

Fairy Tail Zero
: A prequel arc that covers the founding of the Fairy Tail Guild. Shortest plot summary: Two girls (one of whom becomes the founder of the guild) who are the only survivors of a massacre in their village meet three treasure hunters (2 of whom play important parts in the regular timeline, and the other is someone's dad) and they have adventures and learn how to become powerful wizards. The spinoff manga it's based on is only one volume long, so there's filler, but it's still pretty fun. There are references to the regular timeline and hints dropped about backstory the regular plot hasn't gotten to yet, but I'd say it's pretty accessible to people who might be curious about the series, but not want to dive head first into a 250+ episode shounen anime, once you get past the first 6 or so minutes of the first episode, which is pretty much just 2 of the main characters wandering around.

Durarara!!! x2: Whatever the current arc is called. Not much to say that I didn't say in my posts about the first season and first 2 parts of season 2. I love it even when I shouldn't, but there are so many plotlines going on that I wouldn't know how to even talk about it without needing multiple paragraphs and lots of spoilers. (Though at least some people are tarting to make decent choices and try to resolve things, though other people just keep making increasingly more terrible decisions and listening to the wrong advice.) This season has a tendency to have alternating episode structures, where one episode focuses on the Current Big Thing and checks in a bit on other things, and then the next episode tries to touch base with all the plots ever and go "oh yeah, and huge thing over there." Not a bad thing by any means, though I watched the first seasons so fast that I didn't notice whether or not they did the same.

Akagami no Shirayuki-hime: I think I like season 2 more than season 1. Don't get me wrong, I loved season 1, but not a whole lot happened as far as a central plotline goes, whereas this season has had an extended storyline and lots of action so far. Sometimes, though, I feel like going "who got angst on my fluffy fantasy shoujo romance?"

Haruchika: The only one I'm watching this season that's actually new. A mystery series about a girl named Chika who joins the brass band in high school, and learns that one of the boys is her childhood friend, Haruta. Together they investigate mysteries in the lives of other students and drag everyone they meet into their club. Normally, you'd expect the series to end with Chika and Haruta romantically interested in each other, even if they don't admit it, but in this case, Haruta is gay and they have a crush on the same teacher. (Who, thankfully, doesn't seem to reciprocate either of their feelings.) I enjoy it, and it's noteworthy as an anime with an explicitly gay lead that isn't marketed as BL, but it has a tendency to have Haruta do all the investigating and solving and then revealing everything in a long spiel, while Chika comes along without really having a clue what's going on, and Haruta sometimes tends to go out of his way to say something mean or hurtful to Chika just because he can find an opportunity to, and I feel like I'm meant to go "That Haruta! So snarky!" in those scenes. More recent episodes have been better about both those things, but I feel like the anime has a habit of falling into a "boys=intellect and logic and girls=emotion and passion" mindset, though less obviously so with the supporting characters.
meganbmoore: (levy writes)
Since the current anime season is about half over, I guess I should actually post about the series that I'm watching.

Castle Town Dandelion
: A comedy series about 9 superpowered siblings who are actually princes and princesses who are required to publicly campaign to be the next king. For some absurd reason, the king has decided that his family of 11 needs to live in a 2-bathroom house instead of the palace with dozens of bathrooms that's available for their use. somehow, this is supposed to make them more grounded and responsible. While they publicly and regularly use their superpowers, are surrounded by constant media coverage, and have to campaign to be elected king. But, I mean, cramming 11 superpowered people into a 2 bathroom house and having a huge limo pick you up for work everyday teaches children normalcy. None of the kids (ranging in age from around 6-17, I think) really seem to want to win to be a good ruler so far, but they are kids. Some of the plots, mainly the ones about the various siblings' motivations, are good, and some are unnecessary (the low point is when half of one episode is devoted to figuring out whether or not the main characters is wearing short shorts under her long shirt, or just her underwear). It's not amazing, but it's pretty entertaining.

Charlotte: The latest "totally not X-Men" anime. Somewhere in puberty, certain adolescents develop superpowers. At Hshinoumi Academy, the student council is made up of these totally-not-mutants, and one member, who is not named Cerebro, has the ability to locate the not-mutants and identify their powers. The main characters are Otosaka Yuu (who can possess people for several seconds), Tomori Nao (invisibility), Tokako Jojiro (super speed, but with no control over it. I actually like how they portray his powers and how destructive they are), Nishimori Yusa ( can be posssessed by ghosts), Kuorbane Misa (pyrokinesis. She's also Yusa's dead older sister, and regularly possesses Yusa, and has her own powers when she does so.) and Kumagami (not-cerebro). Being a not-mutant runs in the family, and Nao's older brother is also a not-mutant, but was driven insane by the government scientists the siblings were sold to , and Yuu worries that his younger sister, Nao, will also develop powers. I wasn't very interested in the first episode and only kept watching it because I've liked most of the P.A. Works shows I've watched, and got pretty into it after a few episodes. A lot of the episodes are the student council locating not-mutants and figuring out if they're using their powers for good or bad things, but it looks to be turning more metaplot-y the last few episodes. fallout from an event I didn't care for in episode 6 caused episode 7 to take a drastic turn in theme (I think someone went "hey, we should remind them of that thing we did at the end of Another! Everyone watching for not-mutant squabbling buddies will love that!") though with episode 8, it returns to the vibe of the earlier episodes, though more serious and a bit less upbeat.

Gangsta.: This series is much more violent than I generally like my anime (more specifically, it's semi-realistic violence), and I didn't get interested in the plot at all until episode 5, but I really like the characters. The three main character are Worrick and Nicolas, a pair of "handymen" who do odd jobs for both the police and mafia, and Alex, a prostitute they took in. Nic is a tag, a person with superhuman strength and speed, but is deaf. The character arcs surrounding the main characters largely revolve around abuse and recovery (I'm really not used to anime handling these kinds of abuse plotlines well, but this one is doing well, so far), while the main plot revolves around the local politics, and a serial killer who just leaves a bunch of jumbled bodyparts behind. I like it, but don't really have much to contribute. Aside from the 3 mains, my favorite character is Nina, a little girl who works for Nic and Worrick's doctor. I swear, this girl is the sweet younger sister of the lead in some harmless shounen series who wandered into the wrong series, proved surprisingly adept at coping with it, and everyone just went "Aww, she's adorable. We're keeping her."

Snow White With the Red Hair/Akagami no Shirayuki-hime: My favorite this season, though i'm easy when it comes to fantasy shoujo. Shirayuki is an herbalist who is infamous for her red hair. When the prince of her kingdom decides to make her his mistress, she cuts off her hair and flees to the neighboring kingdom of Clarines, where she soon befriends Zen, the second prince of Clarines, and eventually becomes an apprentice apothecary. It's light and sweet, but also has plenty of drama and politics to keep things going, and is something of a "simple love story in a complicated world" series. I'm also easy for shojo romances between grounded, pragmatic girls and dramatic boys. The animation is a bit simpler than the animation in the other series I'm watching, but it suits the series.

I'm still watching My Love Story!, but am taking a break from it for a while. Normally, I wish shoujo anime got longer series (and between Akagami no Shirayuki-hime and Akatsuki no Yona, maybe it's starting to become more of a Thing?), but in this case, I think it would have been better off limiting itself to 12-13 episodes. It's endearing, the characters are endearing, and guest/supporting characters having their expectations turned upside down is nice, but there's no real overarcing plotline or character/relationship arc. it's mostly cute standalones, which is completely fine, but has limited sustainability for me. I'll come back to it in a couple months, when it should feel fresher.

And watching Fairy Tail as usual. Not sure where the current arc is going, though I know there was a lot of excitement from manga fans over later parts. (Technically, I'm a fan of the manga too, it's just that I've only read the first 12 volumes.)


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