Hyoudou Issei is your usual hormone-driven high school boy. When asked out by a beautiful girl from his school, he quickly accepts without second thoughts. However this girl turns out to be a sadistic fallen angel, who proceeds to killing Issei on the night of their first date. Laying in his own blood with deep regrets Rias Gremory appears and ressurects him as a demon serving as her pawn. She is from a high ranking family of demons and the head of his school’s Occult Research Club. In his new life he helps people who try to call forth demons and assists in Rias’ quarrels with other demons and fallen angels.
Being based on a series of light novels, there certainly is an unfolding story line that is interesting to follow, yet not too original or breathtaking to be praiseworthy. After all High School DxD’s main selling point seems to be the hilarious comedy and the extensive fan service. Still, the annoucmet of a second season proves its success among viewers, so fans of this genre should defenitly risk a glimpse. Rating: 8/10
Upon waking up, the first thing Otonashi sees aside of this beautiful night sky is Yuri, who is aiming at a girl they call Tenshi (Angel) with a big automatic gun. He has no recollection of who he is or how he got there. The world he finds himself in does not reach further than the school grounds and is inhabited by 3 kinds of people: First NPCs, who are soulless students and only appear to have normal behaviour; second the students, who teamed up to build the Afterlife Battlefront led by Yuri; and third Tenshi, who they are desperately fighting against. After Otonashi joins up with the Afterlife Battlefront he learns that in this world no one seems to age or die and that this world seems to be some kind of afterlife limbo. Everyone has deep regrets about their previous lives they don’t really want to talk about, projecting their hate and bitterness onto God and Thenshi. Yet, Otonashi is the only one who still doesn’t remember anything. Unlike the other members of the Afterlife Battlefront, he asks questions and does not simply drown his regrets in an everlasting battle against this mysterious Tenshi girl, dulling their pain and forgetting that the one they really hate are they themselves and their helplessness.
Angel Beats is an original story and arguably one of the best and most successful anime of 2010. What seems like a weird scenario at first, quickly turns into an emotional roller-coaster as you learn about the tragic pasts of the main characters. These authentic depictions of the problems and hardships of contemporary teenagers let the viewer relate to them on a level very few other anime can compete with. In between there is a lot of humor and mystery, which fits in just perfectly. Music, opening and ending are equally as beautiful rounding up an already perfect anime. Many complain that 13 episodes are not enough and wish for more episodes, while I think it is just fine the way it ended. It’s one of those shows able to move viewers to tears and will not disappoint. Rating: 10/10
Now that the summer is over, it’s time for Tsukune Aono and his friends to return to Yokai Academy. This season is set in the fall semester following the student’s freshman year. Upon returning to school, the Newspaper club member’s find much fan mail awaiting them, and one of Moka’s fans plans to kill her. These hilarious beginnings of a new school year set up the season with the introduction of a new character, and bring a much more relaxed feeling to season two. Many loyal fans might not be pleased with season two, when it breaks away from the manga after only the first episode. Viewer beware, this season is definitely rated Mature, featuring nudity throughout most of the season and much more strong language.
I admit, Rosario + Vampire Capu2 completely lived up to my expectations. Although it doesn’t follow the manga nearly as well as season one, it does offer up some of the best episodes of the series. The character development becomes much deeper, and the final few episodes are quite emotional, bringing out everyone’s true character. Rating: 8/10
Ririchiyo is a daughter of the rich and influential Shirakiin house. The envy of other girls made her a victim of bullying in her childhood. Those experiences have created a wall around her and the strong urge to be independent from other people. Over time she started acting moody and unfriendly to others, when in fact she really wants to make friends. In her urge for independance she moves out and decides to start living on her own in a mansion named Ayakashi Kan. In the Ayakashi Kan it is a custom to have all residents be accompanied by a member of the Secret Service (S.S.), which Ririchiyo of course refuses. The man assigned to her however, insists on serving her and pledges unyielding loyalty to the extend of a faithful dog. This man, who turns out to be a powerful fox spirit, seems to have some kind of connection to Ririchiyo’s past.
The strong points of Inu x Boku SS are the beautiful animations and the hilarious moments. However, the main running gag of Ririchiyo acting “tsundere” while her servant acts like a faithful dog, might over time get boring and repetitive to some if not changed. What confuses me a little is that this anime is often attributed with the shounen genre, even though a female main character who is fancied by bishounens is a typical feature of shoujo anime. For those who are not bothered by such distinctions, Inu x Boku SS is an entertaining comedy anime with a touch of romance and fantasy-action. Rating: 8,5/10
Since Makoto-kun’s parents are away on a business trip, he moves in with his aunt to a new home and a new school. There he meets his cousin Erio, who to his astonishment lives her life with her upper body wrapped tight into a futon mattress. From his aunt and his new friends at school he finds out Erio has been missing for half a year and has no memories of what happened during that time. After that incident she started behaving weirdly and now believes herself to be an alien visitor. Makoto takes it upon himself to help her regain her senses and ensure her way back into society.
The Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko anime is based on a light novel series. To me it seems this anime’s main appeal comes from Erio’s cute helplessness and moe behaviour. Yet I find it hard to categorize it: On the one hand Makoto’s quest to reveal Erio’s past and help her out of her misery introduces serious and dramatic elements to the show; on the other hand his interaction with the numerous female characters is quite similar to usual lighthearted harem/comedy shows. But as all characters are amazingly appealing and the animation quality is above average and very detailed, I can tell this anime will be very successful within the community (and it deserves to be). Rating: 9/10
Review: For his classmates Katsuragi is only a game obsessed nerd, but on the Internet he is known as the “God of Conquest”; the one man who can conquer all the girls. Or rather all the 2D girls in dating-sim games that is. Yet that is what the demon girl Elci didn’t understand when she formed a contract with him. It’s her mission to catch escaped souls that hide in girl’s hearts and can only be drawn out when that girl falls in love. Even though Katsuragi has no interest in the real world, he is now forced to conquer the hearts of girl after girl for Elci while using his not always very helpful game knowledge.
The World God Only Knows is based on a long running comedy manga and portrays how an otaku tries to use knowledge from fiction to conquer real girls. The funny and entertaining concept is a little weakened by flashy childish fantasy animations. However, it is a comedy anime after all and if you don’t try to take it too serious, it’s pretty entertaining. Rating: 8/10
Review: Tsukimi Kurashita is 18 years old and lives a drawn back life in Tokyo together with 4 of her otaku friends. Together they form some kind of sisterhood with its own set of standards and rules. Other than small jobs like managing an Internet store or drawing shounen-ai manga, they pretty much live only out of their parents allowance; despite being in their mid twenties that is. Rejecting make-up and trendy hair styles in general and taking no care of their outer appearance whatsoever only underlines the otaku shut-in lifestyle they lead. Even after several years the death of her mother still plagues Tsukimi and the only thing to calm her down is looking at jellyfish, which reminds her of the happy times she spent with her. It was during one of these times when suddenly a stylish young woman came up and helped he save a wrongly held jellyfish inside a shop. After some talking Tsukimi lets her stay over in her room. It is only in the morning that she notices that this woman actually is a cross-dressing man. How will she explain this to the sisterhood?
The Kuragehime anime follows a similar concept like Genshiken or Honey and Clover, yet with the difference of clearly being targeted at women. This becomes clear when the crossdressing man appears as a main character, who will clearly fill the role of transforming the sisterhood into beautiful maidens as a step for them into a brighter future. Yet, if you are able to overlook this, Kuragehime has many outstanding comedy and story elements to offer that make this anime attractive even to male viewership. The funny short-info inputs on the sisterhood and the parody of high ranking politicians are only a few examples. So this is an anime for all anime fan-girls, but also for all open minded anime fans in general. Rating: 8/10
Review: Kamijyo Touma lives in the Academy City, a special advanced city cramped with all sorts of schools and mostly populated by students. Through scientific means, students there are able to obtain and train their special superhuman esper-abilities. Touma seems to have no talent whatsoever as an esper, but in a fight he realizes his right hand can nullify any kind of esper attack. It’s a very rare ability, but maybe his hands repelling all good luck is the reason he always gets himself into trouble. Just recently he found a strange girl called Index sleeping on his balcony; and that’s where the real trouble starts.
The animation quality is pretty good and similar to Shakugan no Shana. The story is set in an interesting near future Japan I think. As the plot goes on more and more shocking truths are uncovered and it never leaves you bored. Shakugan no Shana fans and anime fans who like sci-fi and action should definitely give this anime a try. Rating: 8,5/10