Spring 2011 Anime Impressions (Part 1)

You'd think that with the strangely large number of airing series this season, most of them tend to suck. And strangely enough, that is not the case. I've never sampled so many series in one season before and a lot of them looked really promising...

Ok, so recently anime series with a promising start tend to suck near the end (like last season), but I'm seeing really high production values this time round and the chance of that happening is much lower. Still, I'm forced to drop some really good ones so I can spent my time watching the cream of the crop.

Due to the amount of show's I'm going to review, I'm going to split the post into 2 (or maybe 3) parts. Man, it's hard to write a good review when you're trying to keep it spoiler-free.

Hanasaku Iroha (4 episodes)

Hanasaku Iroha is undoubtedly the best anime I've watched this season, and that's saying a lot judging from the number of show I've previewed this season. If nothing else, this show deserves to be watched. Extremely high production values, with really good opening soundtrack and fantastic voice cast. It's nice to hear Mamiko Noto not using her shy voice I hated so much, and Toyosaki Aki taking a break from her Yui voice.

The story isn't much yet, but the character interactions are what made the show so enjoyable. And I must give praise to how realistic they have portrayed the characters; they're not characters you can associate common tropes like tsundere or dojikko, but each of them really does feels like an individual in life. Lead Ohana's monologue and her perspective of her life are the highlights of the show.

Outlook: Best this season!

Tiger & Bunny (4 episodes)

It's a pretty interesting concept, where superheroes are real occupations that's heavily reliant on sponsors to get the job done. I also enjoy the fact that we're looking at the superhero genre from a more mature perspective, because our lead's a middle-guy guy with a daughter, not your usual angsty confused teenager. Lead Kotetsu might be silly and goofy at times, but he's really likable character and has shown to be pretty reliable and mature at times. T&B has really good production values as well, so it's a keeper.

Outlook: Very Good

Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko (2 episodes)

I didn't know what to expect from this due to how little information there was available before it aired, but looks good enough to stay on my watch list so far. The story hasn't quite begin yet so I can't judge, but the series of "Denpa" girls (eccentric, more or less) introduced so far are really likable and it seemed like they will make the coming episodes a lot more enjoyable. The productions values are solid. The opening song feels like it would got on my nerves soon though. Right now the show hasn't prove to be much, but it sure looks promising.

Outlook: Very Promising

Deadman Wonderland (2 episodes)

What do you know, it really feels a lot like Eureka Seven. The pace is faster though, and it already getting interesting with Ganta's newfound powers unlike ES's slow start. Loved how Hanazawa Kana is using the Nessa voice for Shiro too. I have doubts whether the series would make it in the end due to the number of episodes, but for now it looks like the show's going to be pretty entertaining. I do find that the introduction of the story is a bit too implausible to believe, but I can overlook a bad start if they could keep up the current standard. The production values seemed very good thus far, although I've expected nothing less from Manglobe.

Plus Shiro is just too cute. Sometimes I wonder if they're trying to be serious or trying to overload with moe.

Outlook: Excellent

Anohana (3 episodes)

Anohana and Hanasaku Iroha actually shares a lot of traits. They're both beautifully animated dramas, with a lot of detail put into the characters interactions and behaviour, and a lot of the show is driven by the lead's monologue. Both are really awesome shows that I would recommend people to watch, although Hanasaku Iroha does it just a bit better.

If I had to describe the show in one word, it would be beautiful. The animation is top-notch, and I really love how much detail they put into the characters, right up to their dialogue, various outfits and emotion on their faces. I also like how they touch on the elements of friendship and family. It became very thought-provoking, and touching at times. I have a very strong feeling that the series would end up in some kind of bittersweet ending I loathe so much, but I'll continue to watch this if every episode is so enjoyable. I would rank this show right after Hanasaku Iroha, so it's also highly recommended.

Outlook: Excellent

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