To be frank, the winter lineup has left me cold. I have little to no interest in any of the new titles being released, the only highlights coming in sequels to some fantastic series.
Up first: Durarara!! X2
I admit, when I stumbled on the existence of this in the lineup, I got a little giddy. Definitely fanboyed out a bit. Baccano! and Durarara!! are some of my absolute favorite series due to their off the wall, extraordinary nature and the bat sh!t insane comedy they excel at. I was ecstatic to see the continuation of Durarara!!
The first episode doesn’t miss a beat. It maintains the sharp, fast paced, disjointed storytelling style that I love so much and it starts right off with my favorite character, Celty Sturlson – the Kubinashi Rider. That’s right people who didn’t watch the first series, the headless horseman is actually a woman and she’s been living in Japan working as a motorcycle courier while looking for her stolen head.
Her flight through Ikebukuro connects us back to the denizens of this strange city nicely, while allowing the story to jump back and forth through events taking place in the intervening time between the last series and this one.
Next up: Aldenoah.Zero2
I wrote about the first series back in my Summer Anime Offerings and it did turn out favorably. It quickly lost it’s alt history feeling and moved in to an exceptionally well told story. I enjoyed every moment of it. The twists and turns and the struggle. Until the ending. It was one of those moments all too common in anime. The moment of “WHAT THE F WAS THAT!?!?” that typically never get a follow through to find out what happened. Well this one did. The follow up turned a really depressing ending [HIGHLIGHT FOR SPOILER] where you’re left believing the two main characters died, failed, and everything is lost around into a nice hook for A.Z2.
Nothing is clean cut in this show and everyone has dirt and blood on their hands. To describe it as dark would barely suffice. These characters are broken mentally, physically, and morally in their journey toward their goals. The art remains gorgeous and the conflict between Inaho and Slaine is probably one of the best ever written. You never know what’s going to happen next between them. Taught with dramatic tension and a world at war, A.Z2 looks to deliver quite a few more gut punches before all is said and done.
Continuing Series: Log Horizon 2 & Cross Ange
The other two series I’ll be keeping up with over the winter are Log Horizon 2 and Cross Ange. Not really much to say about them except check them out if you aren’t watching.
Log Horizon 2 (Electric Boogaloo) is the second installment of a “trapped in a video game world” series which debuted in 2013. Players wake up one day trapped in the world of Elder Tale, a WoW-like MMORPG, and must figure out how their new home works. It follows the exploits of Shiroe, a top class strategist in the game with a someone nefarious reputation as “The Villain in Glasses” due to his cold, calculating, ruthless nature when it comes to game play, and the friends he gathers along the way.
Cross Ange is kind of your typical girls with mechs fighting anime. Highly ecchi, good conflict, and it turns out to be another spin on a post-apocalyptic world. There are also dragons.
I only have four anime on the schedule right now. That’s appallingly short.
To supplement this shortfall of material though, I’m going to start a new project with my friend Max in which I teach him the ways of anime. He’s agreed to watch the first four episodes of four series I assign, and we’ll see how he likes them. We’ll watch what I consider a good anime, a bad anime, a screwball anime, and the fourth will be themed for the month.
Stay tuned for the debut of The Good, the Bad, and the Screwy right here on Halfacre Pond.