Summer 2013 First Impressions

This summer we have a ton of new shows to watch and decide whether they will be hits or just doomed to be forgotten. This is just a first impression preview guide… you may see a full review of one or two of these titles once they conclude. In any case lets get this show on the road!

Free!-

Haruka Nanase has always loved to be surrounded by water and to swim in it. Shortly before graduating from elementary school, he and his fellow swimming club members Makoto Tachibana, Nagisa Hazuki, and Rin Matsuoka took part in a swimming tournament. After their triumphant victory the boys went their separate ways.

Years later in High School Rin returns to Japan and challenges Haruka to a match, showing Haruka his overwhelming skill. Haruka gathers together Makoto and Nagisa once again and sneaks into the school after dark to challenge Rin. After getting in trouble the next day the three friends along with a new member named Rei Ryugazaki form the Iwatobi High School Swimming Club.

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There is a funny story the goes along with Free’s! conception. It was originally a Kyoto Animation (K-on, Suzumiya Haruhi no Yūutsu) commercial that aired during the 10th episode of Tamako Market. Fans referred to it as the “Swimming Anime” as the trailer depicted prototypes of the main characters to some rather catchy music. From there the internet exploded, wondering if this really will be an anime or just a very flashy commercial. With over 3 Million views on Youtube it is certain that the hype was extremely high this past spring.

Not long, after Kyoto Animation announced that “Swimming Anime” would become a full length anime series called Free! and would begin airing in Summer of 2013. After the first few episodes its clear to me that with Kyoto Animation famed animation style, character designs, and plot that Free! was worth the wait.

Each of the characters are very likable and mostly easy to relate to. Haruka is the water loving male lead, Makoto the big brother type, Nagisa who is very giddy and excited most of the time, and Rei the serious track star who is recruited to the team by Nagisa after much harmless peer pressure by the team. I like where this anime is going so far and I’m excited to see if the actual swimming competitions are just as good as they are in the opening. And while we are on the topic of the opening and endings, they really grab you into the show, the ending song and visuals being the one I favored the most. The most amusing part is when you think the swim team members are just making up silly looking dance moves but those are actually swimming strokes and breathing techniques.

For now as I’d like to give Free! a 8/10 for having a great start with vivid animation, and showing that it has future potential to be something awesome.

Rin, Haruka’s rival if he were a greedy king with has vast wealth, the cities water supply.

The World God Only Knows: Goddesses-

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Keima Katsuragi is know as a dating sim champion. There is no cute girl that he can can’t concur due to his masterful game playing techniques. Too bad this isn’t the same for the real world. One day his risk taking game playing causes a real life demon hunter named Elsie to appear. Elsie wants Keima to help her free the demon souls who secretly possess girls of the real world.

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This is the third season of The World God Only Knows starts off introducing characters from the gap in the manga that the previous two seasons didn’t go over or was covered in the 2 part OVA. For me who has never touched the manga this was a bit confusing but luckily some of the main characters from the first season had the most screen time. This time around Keima is ‘recruited’ by the goddess Diana to help find the so called Jupiter Sisters who could be residing within the girls he has encountered before.

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The animation is still top notch as usual and no one is out of character as instances like this tend of happen when an anime becomes longer. The sound hasn’t missed a beat as everything is beautifully composed to set the scene. I’m looking forward to seeing how to story unfolds and if it catches my attention enough I’ll start reading the on going manga series. For now I think I’ll watch the OVA to avoid further confusion. 8/10.

Silver Spoon-

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Yugo Hachiken has always dreamed of a life far away from his family, so he enrolls in an agriculture school. He believes that with his talent for studying he will have no problem taking on any school that he attends. Hachiken is proven wrong and this city boy is forced to learn the ugly truth about agricultural life. His new friends, all farmers’ heirs who are already accustomed to the harsh world of farming and have goals of their own involving the profession. Having no definite goals of his own or knowledge of farming life Hachiken struggles to fit in.

Created by Arakawa Hiromu of Full Metal Alchemist fame Silver Spoon adds comedy to the seriousness off agriculture. You’ll even see a some censored images as farm life can get a bit gruesome. Likely its more hilarious then gross so thats a good sign. There is quite a bit of dialog as this is a slice of life, comedy series but it was a bit much. Luckily I can overlook this as we are introduced to the main cast in the first episode. Will there be hope for Hachiken after all? Well you’ll just have to watch and see! I’m giving Silver Spoon a 8/10 for the time being.

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Hachiken’s classmates are huge Agriculture Otakus

Fate/ Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya-

Illyasviel von Einzbern or Illya for short is a middle school student who wishes to be a magical girl one night knowing that it wouldn’t come true. A magical wand called Magical Ruby who broke her contract with Rin Tohsaka due to her personal conflict with a woman named Luviagelita Edelfelt, and also for not fulfilling the goal of capturing all of the magical class cards. Ruby chooses Illya and forms a contract with her, but is this truly a dream come true?

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Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya is a spin off in the Fate series created by Type Moon. Most of the characters are originally from the novel and anime Fate/Zero, visual novel Fate/Hollow Ataraxia, and PlayStation Portable fighting game Fate/Unlimited Codes.  Its very light hearted(so far) and the animation is very bright as compared to its other darker counter parts. Most magical girl shows are very girly and cute characters but as we have seen from series such as Puella Magi Madoka Magica this isn’t always the case. So it will be interesting if Prisma Illya strays away from traditional mahou shoujo roots.

It was very different to see characters from Fate/Zero living normal lives especially Illya’s mother Irisviel who without a doubt has the most tragic backstory in Fate/Zero. A younger Shiro who is known as Illya’s half brother lives with her and her mother in this spin-off as well as Leysritt who would normally be one of the homunculus maids that serves the Einzbern family. Sadly Kiritsugu Emiya the main character of Fate/Zero and Illya’s father is nowhere to be found as of yet.

I'll admit that Irisvial doesn't look as graceful looking as her Fate/Zero counter part she makes up for it with her kind and motherly attitude.

I’ll admit that Irisviel doesn’t look as graceful looking as her Fate/Zero counter part but she makes up for it with her kind and motherly attitude.

So far I would have to give Fate/Kaleid Liner Prima Illya a 7/10. The plot hasn’t been set up quite yet but judging from the opening we should be seeing some flashy battles in future.

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That’s it for the Summer 2013 first impressions that I have chosen to review and I will keep up with these shows till the end. Let me know what you think about these titles in the comments bellow and perhaps there are other new anime that you found just as worth while as these or even more exciting.

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