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A break from the shipping meme! Animenite is trying out some new fall anime series. So far:

Bakuman: Potentially interesting, although it seems like they can't quite decide how seriously they want to take themselves. So far it's looking like a slice-of-life about two high school guys who decide to become a manga team - one as the writer, one as the artist. The artist's crush wants to be a voice actress, and there's this whole promise that they'll try to get a manga turned into an anime so she can voice the lead, and then she and the artist will get married. There are some obvious problems with this plan, starting with the fact that his crush has said they can't see each other at all until this happens.

MM!: Something about a masochist joining a high school volunteer club to try to not be so much of a masochist. This is a plot that would work better if the art style weren't the kind that makes all the female characters look five years old. Also I'm really not sure what the point is beyond the male lead getting abused a lot. Pass.

Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt: Art like Powerpuff Girls. Content not so much. I'm not exactly clear on what's up with this one either; it appears to be about a pair of "angels" who are contracted to fight monsters with weapons created from their undergarments, but then again the whole second half of the episode I saw was about retrieving every copy of a porn movie that Panty starred in to prevent her image from being ruined. So, whatever.

Hyakka Ryoran Samurai Girls: Another completely incomprehensible show, this one involving super-powered female samurai with historical names, and the wide-eyed, large-breasted, frequently-naked mental five-year-old kind of anime heroine I'm really learning to hate. Meh.

Psychic Detective Yakumo: This one, I liked. The title character is a bit of a jerk, always a plus for me; he can see and talk to the spirits of the dead, and also makes some spare cash on the side faking other psychic powers he doesn't actually have. The female lead prevails upon him to help after several of her friends end up possessed and/or dead, kicking off the plot. The female lead bears a suspicious resemblance to Shuichi from Gravitation, but is not voiced by Tomokazu Seki and is probably actually female.

The World God Only Knows: A cool title wasted on its plot, which is about a guy who claims he's only interested in girls in dating sims, not in real life, and is almost immediately shanghaied into driving evil spirits out of girls' hearts by making them fall in love with him. This one makes me kind of uncomfortable: the main character seems like he's set up for a lesson about how real relationships are both more complicated and more rewarding than video game ones, and that being a dating sim expert doesn't mean he's in any way equipped to win girls over. What actually happens, meanwhile, is that (some initial screwups aside) he succeeds in setting up dating sim cliches and winning girls over with them, and then once the evil spirits are driven out, the girls are made to forget the whole thing. So yeah.

Kuragehime: The winner of the evening, about an apartment complex inhabited by female otaku - most prominently a jellyfish enthusiast - and a gorgeous, stylish cross-dresser who will probably be moving in with them.

Otome Yokai Zakuro: Some kind of alternate historical Japan in which four "half-spirit" girls (read: catgirls) team up with three soldiers to combat spirits. Mostly focuses not on the combatting but on the fact that one of the girls is tsundere and one of the soldiers is terrified of spirits and is way too prone to sparkles and random roses for any character who's not actually in the Ouran Host Club.

Squid Girl: The other winner of the evening. Cute squid girl (read: girl with cute tentacles for hair) emerges from the sea to take over the world and punish humanity for polluting the ocean. She has no idea how to do this and ends up pressed into service as a waitress in a beachside cafe to pay them back for putting a hole in their wall. Pure comedy.

Tantei Opera Milky Holmes: Another victim of the art style that makes every girl look five years old. Plot is a mess involving a detective academy, magical powers called "toys," and a team of "gentleman thieves" with some really annoying character tics. Totally vetoed.
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August 2012

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