Kaiser and Favaro are both bounty hunters within a world shared by humans, angels and demons. They were close friends in their childhood but turned into enemies after the events in which both of their fathers were killed. Being of fundamentally different character they now once again have to cooperate as they both promised to help the mysterious demon girl Amira on her journey to Helheim. Things get even more complicated when word spreads that the first half of the key to the seal of Bahamut, a monster that laid waste to the world 2000 years ago, was stolen.
Shingeki no Bahamut Genesis is set in a quite interesting medieval fantasy world. The dispute between angels and demons is overshadowed by the fear of the possibility of Bahamut’s return, while there are different fractions that each has their own agenda that is slowly revealed to the viewer. Humorous characters are used to lighten up the mood within the story, which otherwise could have been more dark and epic. If this is for better or worse is for the viewer to decide. There clearly went a lot of work into the design of the different characters, races and costumes, yet a 12 episode series can only offer a small glimpse into such a rich and interesting universe. Many things that are introduced to the story are only briefly glossed over or are left unexplained. More episodes or a second season would have offered more opportunities to delve deeper into this world and its characters. Rating: 8.5/10
The story is set in a world inhabited by humanoid titans that hunt and devour humans without reason or remorse. For more than one hundred years humanity could only survive within a country surrounded by thick concentric walls. One day an especially tall titan called the Colossus mysteriously appears and breaches the outermost wall, Wall Maria, enabling smaller titans to invade. Many lives are lost and the whole area has to be evacuated behind Wall Rose, the middle wall. Young Eren Yeager and his adopted sister Mikasa Ackerman lose their mother on that day and join the military to pursue their revenge on the titans.
Attack on Titan is arguably the best anime of 2013. The tense and hopeless situation of the people living in this ruthless world portrays an astonishing dark atmosphere. As even the military is no match for the titans, even many main characters die after being introduced, which makes for an unpredictable story. As it unfolds, many mysteries regarding the titans, the walls and this world are revealed and keep viewers interested. Action-filled, dark and bloody animes with solid plots tend to be popular especially among international anime fans. Still, Attack on Titan is not only successful because it fits perfectly into this slot, but also because it does so well in animation and its implementation. Therefore I think this anime deserves its hype. Rating: 10/10
On Sunday, god forsook the world. It happened 15 years ago and since then children stopped being born and humans stopped dying. God sent to this world one final miracle: the gravekeepers. Only burials by gravekeepers can grant a peaceful slumber for the restless dead. In this world 12 year old Ai-chan leads a peaceful life in a small rural village. She has taken over the role of gravekeeper from her deceased mother. Her small world is shaken when a wondering man who calls himself Hampnie Hambart, the man-eating toy, comes to her village and slaughters everyone. From there on her journey beginns.
Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi tells a very unique and original story. It is the story of bright and innocent Ai-chan, who journeys a dark and lonely word in a quest to “save the world”. It is especially this innocence and optimism that is a beacon of hope to the troubled people she meets and helps along the way. As she visits different places, the viewer slowly gets to know more about this interesting world and the hardships of its people. Together with beautiful animations, it creates a breathtaking atmosphere. However, contrary to early impressions many get from the first episode, this anime’s focus is not on fighting and action within a zombie apocalypse. This caused disappointment for many viewers. I however, am quite pleased with the way this anime unfolds and its original take to an end-time story. Rating: 9/10
When Yoshino visits his friend’s family grave, he is suddenly confronted by an armed woman who wants to know the whereabouts of his friend. His friend Mahiro left a month ago in a vain attempt to investigate the triple murder incident his parents and sister fell victim to. Since then he was seen at various locations that are now under quarantine. His sudden reappearance here is as unexpected as the magical powers he uses to save Yoshino. Mahiro’s powers are borrowed from talismans that belong to a trapped sorceress princess he made contact with through the help of a wooden doll. In exchange for his help she promised to use magic to solve the triple murder case Mahiro is so obsessed with. She claims the quarantine is due an epidemic curse that turns living things into metal, which is a side effect of the Kusaribe clan’s plan to revive the Tree of Zetsuen and the reason they trapped her. Yoshino decides to help them, but has his own reasons for doing so.
Zetsuen no Tempest is based on a manga of the same name. It is the dark and mysterious story of two friends who try to reveal secrets that are beyond their understanding. Many open questions and interesting and credible character designs leave viewers hooked to this original story line. The brilliant animation quality underlines its role as an adequate and noteworthy adaptation. Rating: 9/10
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