Shard’s Spring Anime Rundown, Part II
I’m sure most of you are indifferent to this post, but for everyone else, here’s part two of my Spring Anime Rundown! For those of you just joining us, here’s a link to part one, where I discussed all the new anime this season. This time around, I’m talking about all the longer-running anime that I’m watching. Those of you who read part one will know that I’m discussing four series today, and those of you that read the intervening post will know that I’m actually discussing five, because I discovered Fairy Tail. But enough of this rambling, let’s get to the anime!
Genre: Fantasy, Action
Status: 270 episodes, Ongoing
Current Verdict: 4 out of 5
Preferred Source: Dattebayo
Summary: Teenager Ichigo Kurosaki could always see spirits. One night, the Shinigami Rukia Kuchiki suddenly appears in his room. When a rampaging spirit known as a Hollow attacks, Rukia’s Shinigami powers are accidentally transferred to Ichigo. This begins Ichigo’s story as a substitute Shinigami.
Ah, Bleach. I think it was one of the last anime that I watched during my days of watching dubs. My thirst for more plunged me into the world of subbed anime, and I never looked back. Except that I do look back, occasionally, and the view is DISTURBINGLY AWFUL. Anyway, Bleach is off to a solid start this season, after previously airing a filler arc, a painfully drawn-out bit of actual story, and then two more filler arcs in a row. They’re delving straight into the action, and they’ve got a great new opening theme. Bleach is a seriously long anime, though, clocking in at 270 episodes, so far. Wow. I forgot to add that in the info, didn’t I? Never mind, I fixed it. If you want to start watching this series now, I wish you good luck, loyal reader(s). But then, I’m in a worse situation, as you’ll see later on.
Genre: Comedy, Slice-of-Life, Music
Status: 19 episodes, Ongoing
Current Verdict: 4 out of 5
Preferred Source: CoalGuys
Summary: K-ON! follows the exploits of five girls, Yui, Ritsu, Mio, Mugi, and later Azuya, who comprise the light music club at their school. It’s a light-hearted series, rarely touching on particularly serious subjects.
K-ON!!’s a fun show to watch. It doesn’t have a strong, compelling story, but it doesn’t need one. Great characters, comedy, art, and especially ace music carry this series. In fact, the OP and ED singles for this season, GO! GO! MANIAC and Listen!!, topped the weekly singles chart in Japan, the first anime band to do so, and the first female group to do so in 26 years. The OP isn’t for those who can’t stand high-pitched voices, but Listen!! is a really great song, I think. And the80’s clothes they were in the video are pretty great. If you’re looking for some amusement without too much drama or complex story, K-ON!! is definitely for you.
Genre: Fantasy, Comedy, Adventure
Status: 30 episodes, Ongoing
Current Verdict: 4.5 out of 5
Preferred Source: HorribleSubs
Summary: In a world of mages and magic, the magic guild Fairy Tail is singled out as one of the most powerful, and most destructive, guilds. The series focuses on Lucy, a rookie member of Fairy Tail, and her companions Natsu, Happy, Gray, Erza, and the rest of Fairy Tail.
Fairy Tail, as I said earlier, was a late addition to this list, but by no means is it in last place. I was a bit apprehensive about watching it at first, since my sole familiarity with the author was from the crappy GameCube adaptation of Rave Master, but after watching the first episode, I already loved it. It’s got a great blend of comedy with a strong story, supported by an ace cast and great music. In addition to a good first OP and ED, the show’s soundtrack includes both classical music and original pieces of rock music with a Celtic component, making for a great sound.
Every one of the main characters is voiced by someone who’s voiced a character in at least one of my other favorite anime. Lucy’s seiyuu, Aya Hirano, is best known to me as the voice of Haruhi Suzumiya, from the eponymous series, as well as Konata Izumi from Lucky Star. Natsu’s seiyuu, Tetsuya Kakihara, voiced Simon in one of my favorite anime of all time, Gurren Lagann. Gray’s seiyuu, Yuichi Nakamura voiced Iceman Hotty in Basquash!, another of my favorites. Erza’s seiyuu, Sayaka Oohara, also lent her voice to Basquash!, as Haruka Gracia. And finally Happy’s seiyuu, Rie Kugimiya, is one of my favorites. She voiced Shana in one of my all time favorite series, Shakugan no Shana, Nagi Sanzen’in in Hayate no Gotoku, Louise in Zero no Tsukaima, and Alphonse in Fullmetal Alchemist. All of this together puts my love of Fairy Tail pretty high, and I’d definitely recommend it.
Genre: Mystery, Adventure
Status: 576 episodes, Ongoing. Are you kidding me?
Current Verdict: 3.5-4 out of 5
Preferred Source: PSP-Anime, but that’s because I’m only on episode 40…
Summary: Shinichi Kudo is a detective prodigy. That is, until one night when he gets caught witnessing a shady business deal. One of the criminals forces him to ingest an experimental poison, and leaves him for dead. But instead of killing him, the pill gives Shinichi superpowers!turns Shinichi into a child. In order to track down the criminals and find an antidote, Shinichi poses as Conan Edogawa, and comes under the care of Kogoro Mouri, a bumbling detective and father to Shinichi’s girlfriend, Ran. /lengthy summary
Ah, Detective Conan. I was introduced to this show by its very brief run on Canadian television as Case Closed. Remember when I said I was in a worse situation for getting caught up, this is it. I mean, wow. 576 episodes times 30 minutes is 12 days straight of Detective Conan. Wow. But I digress. Detective Conan is a good show, even if the overarching story only crawls along. Since the episodes are mostly self-contained, this is a really good choice to just pick up and watch.
Genre: Comedy-drama, Kaito(phantom thief)
Status: 1 episode, ongoing completed
Current Verdict: 4 out of 5
Preferred Soure: After a single episode, I don’t have one yet
Summary: Kaito Kuroba is the son of Toichi Kuroba, a famous magician who died performing a trick. Eight years after Toichi’s death, Kaito discovers that his father was in fact the Phantom Thief Kid, a notorious criminal. At the same time, Kid reappears after eight years. Donning his father’s costume, Katio confronts Kid, hoping that it might be his father, only to find that his father’s assistant had taken up the mantle, to lure out Toichi’s killer. Since there’s only been one episode, this is all we know so far.
This is a really exciting series. It’s new this season, but I held it over to part two, because it’s from the same guy as Detective Conan. Actually, the Magic Kaito manga was abandoned so that he could work on Conan. But anyway, this series shows a lot of promise. It’s got a good cast, comedy, and an intriguing and unique story. There’s only one episode so far, but I’m excited to see where this goes sad that there’s only one episode. Even after a single episode, I’d recommend this to anyone.
So, that’s it. After having seen both parts, what do you think, loyal readers? I hope my reviews have sparked interest in at least some of you to check out all of these great series. Do you agree with my verdicts? Disagree? Know another series that you think I would like? You know the drill, loyal readers, leave it in the comments. Till next time,