**Featured picture borrowed from Random Curiosity’s Spring 2012 preview.
For the most part, I believe the Spring 2012 anime season has been one of the best in recent memory. We have awesome sequels in Fate/Zero’s 2nd Season, Eureka Seven: Astral Ocean, and Aquarion Evol… entertaining shows in specific genres like Jormungand, Hyouka, Sakamichi no Apollon, and Accel World… etc. But at the same time, we also have quite a few shows that have seemingly been ignored as a result. This post highlights 5 shows I feel deserve more attention.
- From Macross Frontier director Kawamori Shoji comes a series with quite a bit of similar aspects: great music/vocals, awesome animated backgrounds, and a bit of Sci-Fi mecha goodness to top it all off. Granted, the idol genre’s a pretty limiting one and explored a lot by other series, but really, the focal point is the music in series like this… and it delivers. I know I’m not the only one that thinks this series might have the best original soundtrack of the season. You might need a little to get over the slightly awkward dancing choreography CGI and the hands down ridiculous plot line (entertainment bans and guerrilla concerts), but as Aquarion Evol showed this season, ridiculous plots aren’t always a bad thing. Oh yeah, only helps that it’s based on an exceptionally popular Japanese pop group (AKB48) too. Watch it.
2) Haiyore! Nyaruko-san
- Speaking of ridiculous shows, Haiyore! Nyaruko-san is another show that fits the bill. We get space aliens, dozens and dozens of references to other anime per episode, crazy characters… and it just combines to become one of the most entertaining shows of the season. It was advertised as a comedy/parody/Sci-Fi mix and it definitely is one. It doesn’t necessarily break down any walls in terms of uniquity, but if you’re looking for something to get some laughs and/or relax after a long day, this is one of the shows to do it with. Lost track of how many times I ended up laughing out loud in real life while watching this.
3) Tasogare Otome x Amnesia (Dusk Maiden of Amnesia)
- An intriguing mixture of the school, supernatural, horror, and romance genres, a lot of people dropped it mid-way because of its slow start and because it was a bit skewered toward the school aspect. At this point, it’s safe to say those that dropped it missed out quite a bit though, as the last few episodes have been just downright amazing, fulfilling every part of its original genre description and then some. Really, it’s been truly an emotional experience the second it started getting serious and has recently skyrocketed up my rankings in terms of the best series of the season. It starts off a bit slow yes, but it’s definitely worth going through all of that to get to the end. If you dropped it, pick it back up. If you haven’t started yet, start now. You’re in for a ride.
- Personally, I wasn’t really that excited about watching this show at first. I mean, fishing? Nothing against those that like it, but it just doesn’t really jibe with me eh. But hey, I figured it looked interesting enough regardless… and gosh darn, I really feel like giving myself a pat on the back for making such a great decision. Turns out I was worried about nothing after all. Fishing takes a fair amount of the focus, but in the end, it’s more about friendship and finding your way in life… with a bit of aliens and Sci-Fi mixed in. Great, memorable characters highlight the show, along with some of the best animation of any series this season. Also, I have to note that it’s one of the few shows I make a point to watch immediately when it’s out. Considering how many shows I’m watching this season, as well as the quality of this season overall… that’s just quite something. And it’s because Tsuritama is just that darn good. The plot ain’t necessarily anything special, but gosh darn is this show worth a watch.
5) Uchuu Kyoudai (Space Brothers)
- Perhaps one of the more criminally under watched shows of the season, it’s like, why aren’t more people watching this!? I mean, I’m pretty sure everyone’s contemplated going into space at some point or another, and this series tells you everything you’d ever want to know about what would’ve happened if you followed that path. NASA and JAXA make contributions to the series to make it exceptionally accurate… the main characters are memorable ones you’ll want to root for as they try to fulfill their respective dreams/missions… the OP one of the best of the season. Space Bros is just a show that’ll warm your heart and leave you all tingly and happy. And there’s a reason why Uniqlo decided to make a whole line of Space Bros shirts you know?
- Sakamichi no Apollon – I didn’t put it in my top 5 because it had a fair amount of exposure due to the Cowboy Bebop duo working on it, but it’s come to my attention that a lot of series are eclipsing this great show for no apparent reason. I don’t care if you don’t like jazz, you need to watch this great coming of age tale that drips with some of the best character interactions of the season, doesn’t shy away from realism and showing the harsh realities of life, and provides some great music to boot.