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
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: The story takes place in a world that is under threat of invasion from giant nova creatures. The only ones who are able to fight them are genetically enhanced girls called Pandoras. When Aoi Kazuya enrolls to an academy where young Pandoras are trained and educated, he instantly develops an affection for Satellizer el Bridget; the strongest but also coldest of all Pandoras in her year. Genetically enhanced boys may also visit this academy to be chosen by Pandoras as their Limiter and assist them during fights with their freezing ability. The distant and seemingly cold hearted Satellizer however doesn’t seem to have any intention of teaming up with anybody.
Freezing is based on a popular manga of the same name. Similar to Sekirei this anime has lots of action and fanservice in decent animation quality. Yet, there is also a solid story that develops slowly, while in the beginning the focus lays within the development of relationships. Let’s hope there will be more than 12 episodes so that the story will actually be going somewhere. Rating: 8/10
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: Sanpeita-kun’s mother is always busily working as an artist at home; that’s why his little sister has to take care of the household. Their father might be gone, but they still do their best to get by. However, suddenly Kemeko appears in Sanpeita-kun’s life crashing into his room with a giant rocket, announcing to marry him. Kemeko seems to be a rather weird and ugly fighting android who protects Sanpeita from other fighting robots who attack him for no particular reason. The beautiful girl inside Kemeko reminds him of his childhood sweetheart, but that is little consolidation for all the trouble she causes.
This anime is a rather well done adaptation of the Kemeko-DX manga. The brilliant animation quality enables an adequate presentation of all those funny jokes and ridiculous situations. There obviously is a developing story with questions and secrets to be uncovered, but you shouldn’t hope for a deep and original story too much. Most of all this show is about comedy with a touch of romance, action and maybe harem. Rating: 8,5/10
Review: Takasu lives alone with his beautiful but undependable mother. His father who isn’t around was a weird bad-ass looking yakuza. It’s because of his genes that Takasu-kun always looks evil and is always feared and mistaken for a delinquent, when in reality he is a caring guy who has to take care of his household on his own. On his first day in a new class he bumps into Taiga, a very small but pretty easily aggravated girl, often called palmtop-tiger, and gets punched in the face. At least all the misunderstandings about his personality are cleared now very early. He later finds out she actually lives in a big apartment just beside his small house. He also finds out they both are in love with each other’s best friends, and so they agree to help each other, which turns out to be not as easy as they think.
Toradora is one of the more deep school comedy romances. The protagonists are interesting and there’s lots of character development while the comedy does not fall short in any way. It’s a story about how, unlike their outer appearances and first impressions, people can be beautiful once you get to know them better and spend time with them. A show not only about love and comedy, but also about prejudice, misunderstandings, false rumors, psychology and friendship. The animation quality is more than acceptable, and from what I’ve read in the manga, the story is really going somewhere. However, the anime rushed the happenings of the manga (which also rushed the story of the original series of novells already) at a few rather important scenes and failed to convey their meanings fittingly. But someone not familiar with the novell nor manga will maybe not notice anything about that. Rating: 9/10