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Let’s be honest. Summer 2013’s anime season was pretty terrible. But luckily the anime gods have smiled upon us this fall season, because it looks to be one of the best seasons in the history of these roundups. I’m super excited about not one, but two shows – and two more are close runners up. Will you share my opinions? Maybe not. But let’s take a look at what we got here.

Strike the Blood

strike_the_bloodThe show is about a high school kid who’s also a powerful vampire. The world in Strike the Blood is a world of magic and demons. They don’t live in secret though, so that’s pretty interesting. The main characters all live on a man-made island crafted by the government to contain and research these demon creatures.

The show has some really nice colors and an attractive art style to boot. The music is pretty pleasant as well. I was surprised with the first episode of this show – it was definitely better than expected. It’s interesting on its own but it also reveals just enough mystery to keep you guessing and curious about what’s to come. It seems very well done and I’m looking forward to seeing more and figuring out what’s going on.

Who should watch this show: People who like cool, new age vampires and demons.
Likelihood of me watching another episode: Very good. I liked this first episode.

Strike the Blood (Second Opinion by Koichi)

Vampires, demons, and other fantastical beings live on a man-made island that was built to protect and research them. One particular Vampire, The Fourth Primogenitor, appears on the island but… he’s just a regular high school student. Or is he? I don’t ask that to be mysterious, I have no idea. So far I feel like there’s potential for this series to get good.

The groundwork has been laid and I like how they don’t really try to explain why all these creatures live here. I don’t think I’ll keep watching this one, but I can see why a lot of people would like it. Not your normal “Let’s get those Twilight fans watching!” series, so it’s not bad.

VERDICT: 3 Coke cans of blood.

Kyoukai no Kanata

Kyoukai.no.KanataThe opening sequence to this episode was a huge surprise. I thought the show looked cool just from the animation but then I was just like, what? I was under the impression that this was just a normal high school type anime, but I was very wrong it seems. Anyway, the show has spirit warriors and youmu. The spirit warriors are responsible for containing and defeating youmu, but the main spirit warrior girl is having issues with hunting and battling them.

The main character is half youmu and as a result, he is immortal. The other main character is the last of a spirit warrior clan with the ability to control blood and form it into weapons. The show is pretty entertaining and the interactions between the two main characters are often hilarious. I feel like Strike the Blood piqued my initial interests more, but since this show was funnier, I imagine I’ll be more entertained with it as the show progresses.

Who should watch this show: Those who enjoy humorous anime with an otherworldly twist.
Likelihood of me watching another episode: Great. This show really stuck out to me and I look forward to seeing more.

Sekai de Ichiban Tsuyoku Naritai!

Sekai-de-Ichiban-Tsuyoku-NaritaiThe story centers on two girls from an idol group, similar to AKB48. These two members end up getting involved in a pro wrestling league for women. So basically the show is filled with busty girls in revealing bikinis rolling around in a ring together. The main girl ends up converting to an idol to being a full-time pro wrestler in order to beat the girl who humiliated her and her idols friends.

Do not, I repeat – do not watch this show with anyone you would be embarrassed around. The gratuitous shots and noises are abundantly frequent in this show. It’s ridiculous and the story just seems like an excuse to have these pro wrestling girls wiggle their ample jigglies about.

Who should watch this show: Those who like boobs. And gratuitous moaning. And jiggly wigglies.
Likelihood of me watching another episode: No. No more of this please.

Meganebu!

meganeThis is a very colorful show with a striking style that immediately stands out. It’s magnificent. The show is about a handful of guys in a glasses club. They are very passionate about glasses and are striving to create a genuine pair of x-ray glasses (in the first episode at least). The things they do don’t sound that exciting when described, but the animation style and the timing of everything really makes this show stand out.

You really have to see this show to fully experience it. The trailer does not do it justice at all. I haven’t seen a show quite like this in a long time. It’s incredibly unique and highly stylized. I can’t remember the last time I laughed so much during an anime. I really like all the transitions and visual representations that occur during the show. I’m not really sure where the story is going to go here, but it’s so funny that I don’t really care.

Who should watch this show: People who like glasses and the hilarious antics of those who wear them.
Likelihood of me watching another episode: Fantastic. This show is hilarious.

Log Horizon

logThis show takes place in a MMO, kind of like Sword Art Online I guess. Actually, yeah – it’s a lot like that since the characters in the game are stuck there and unable to log out. A small party is formed and the characters try and figure out what’s going on.

The show is a little silly and kind of funny, but I didn’t find myself caring much about what was going on in the show. See Koichi’s thoughts down below for more details. This show just didn’t stick out to me at all.

Who should watch this show: Someone who really, really likes shows along the lines of Sword Art Online.
Likelihood of me watching another episode: Bad. I didn’t feel this show was anything special.

Log Horizon (Second Opinion by Koichi)

A bunch of people are stuck inside of an MMORPG. That’s like every WoW players’ dream, right? And, before you say “omg, this is just Sword Art Online” let me stop you there… Okay, fine, the basic premise is the same, and I have no idea where the story is going to go after the first episode, but I can say there’s definitely a difference.

SAO was about relationships and romance. Log Horizon seems to be more about action. If you loved SAO you may or may not like Log Horizon. If you didn’t like SAO you might like Log Horizon a lot more. The world in this one feels a lot more mysterious and has a lot more potential for exploration which makes it more interesting to me, though just barely not enough to keep me watching.

VERDICT: LEEEROOOOOOY JENKINS.

Yozakura Quartet – Hana no Uta

Yozakura-QuartetThis is a show about youkai. There are youkai, half-youkai, magic, and otherworldly things. The main characters are using their abilities to keep the town safe from those who would do it harm.

The show gets off to a pretty slow start and doesn’t get much better from there. It has pretty colors and all, but the show itself is just not that gripping. There’s some neat things going on, like “Powerspeak” to create and control the size of objects, etc, but it’s just not enough. I’m not really sure where they’ll be taking the story in this one, but I don’t really care.

Who should watch this show: Anyone who really likes youkai and magic and action.
Likelihood of me watching another episode: Bad. This first episode was really boring to me.

Gundam Build Fighters

gundam-buildThis is not your traditional Gundam show. It’s more like Yu-Gi-Oh, but with Gundam models. There are no real Gundams, just model Gundams that fight each other in a VR arena. The better put together the model is, the better it will perform, but you still need a skilled “player” to control it. The main kid is really good at making models, but pretty terrible at “piloting” them. But then he runs into a mysterious boy who can.

This show is a little silly. It reminds me too much of a kids show (which it no doubt it), and I don’t really care or relate to any of the characters. The mysterious kid who pilots the Gundam really well is kinda cool, but other than that, the show was kind of boring for me.

Who should watch this show: Kids, or those who really love all things Gundam. Or those who wish to feel like a kid.
Likelihood of me watching another episode: Not so great. I couldn’t get into this at all.

Nagi no Asukara

Nagi.no.AsukaraIn this show there are sea dwellers and surface dwellers and the sea people start attending school on land. When this happens, there is some conflict and racism, and everyone is uncomfortable and no one is happy. The physics and underwater stuff makes no sense at all and no effort is really made to explain how all this silly business works.

Well, the show does have some really pretty colors to look at – other than that, the show is really drab. It didn’t grab me at all. I’m not really sure what to make of it and I don’t know what to expect from the story either. It was a fairly lousy viewing experience.

Who should watch this show: Those who can suspend their disbelief and enjoy the lives of sea people.
Likelihood of me watching another episode: Not good. I don’t get this show at all.

Kill La Kill

killlakillRemember how I said Meganebu! was unlike anything I’d seen before? Scratch that. Kill La Kill is unlike anything I’ve seen before. It grabs you right from the start and does not let go. Koichi does a good rundown of the story below, but the story isn’t even that important in my opinion. It’s just acting as the glue holding all the absolutely ridiculous and over the top hilarity you’ll be experiencing in this show. It’s marvelous.

Who should watch this show: Anyone who likes anime. Seriously. This show is crazy.
Likelihood of me watching another episode: Absolutely. No Doubt.

Kill la kill (Second Opinion by Koichi)

Things start out like every single anime ever made. There’s some kind of school/academy. Then there’s a transfer student (of course, the hero of the story). Then, above mentioned transfer student reveals she is searching for the other half of a giant pair of scissors that was left behind by her father’s murderer, does battle with members of the academy (who are wearing special “Goku suits” that give them powers), and… well, you’ll have to watch and see yourself, won’t you?

Kill La Kill is quite possibly the most ridiculous show I’ve seen in a while and I can’t tell if it’s trying to parody other anime or not, though that ends up making it a bit fresh in my opinion. I’ll be watching episode two as soon as I finish writing this paragraph.

Unexpected things happen over and over again in quick succession, like someone spamming the jab button on Mortal Kombat. WAWAWAWAWAAACHA!

VERDICT: 12,000 Johnny Cages.


Recap

freeI didn’t end up abandoning any shows after mere minutes this season but there were a handful of shows that I thought looked interesting but I just didn’t have room for in this post. Some of these I’m just going to wait and see what the rest of the internet thinks before I get into them, but I’m very interested in hearing more about the shows I didn’t get around to.

And as usual, there were also a handful of sequels that I never watched the original for (sorry!).

Last Season’s Recap: I didn’t end up following any shows from the last season. None of them were strong enough in my opinion.

This Season’s Bottom Line: This season is looking pretty awesome. Kill La Kill and Meganebu! are definitely my two top picks and I’m really excited about both of them. After that, Strike the Blood and Kyoukai no Kanata seem the most interesting I think. I’m excited to hear more about any potential gems I missed though.


So tell me, how do you think this season compares to the last one? Any new shows look good to you? What’s your favorite one so far? Any good ones I missed? Share your thoughts down in the comments!

  • iamoyashiro

    interested in kill la kill ….

  • Mami

    Me too

  • Tenetan

    This session is a bit more promising then the previous one, but not by much at all. So far at least two shows who fully got my interest. Galilei Donna who defectively is #1 in the list and second is Coppelion. To bad you skipped both.

    That said last session, best score I even gave a show was 7/10 and that’s from enduring 9 of them. Show in question who got 7 was Gin no Saji, mostly due that I grew up on a farm and could relate in some ways.

  • Butchaa

    Kuroko’s basketball Season 2!

  • KaoriCamellia

    Meganebu! looks great! As someone who wears glasses, I can immediately sense the comedic potential in the premise. Still catching up with anime from last year though (Hyouka in particular), so who knows if I’ll get to it anytime soon.

  • calpendragon

    where’s kingdom and magi? valvrave 2 as well.. hmmm.. i think you need a roundup second opinion altogether.. or are you just citing new shows? =)

  • calpendragon

    agreed. better than last season really.

  • Edgar Moreno

    Good reviews, you missed Coppelion, the first episode was good for me, the second one, not too much. In my opinion, Meganebu! is aimed for a more female audience, but it’s a really good looking anime.

  • Edgar Moreno

    I think he only reviews new anime seasons

  • pseudonym

    in my opinion Kill la Kill is the biggest letdown of the season so far. I was super pumped for it with what they were building it up to and it turned into just another scantily clad heroine with slapstick humor. I also love how everyone compares the “trapped in a video game” shows to SAO now. When did we all forget about .HACK and how good that show was? :P haha I am going to stop ranting now as my opinion is almost completely opposite his on most of these shows (except his 2 runner ups those are looking really good!)

  • Momo

    To me, Log Horizon showed more premise than SAO. And the MCs not being Gary Stu/Mary Sue is another tick for me. While SAO hit off all doom and gloomy, Log Horizon actually laid down the suspense of all the ‘if you die here, you die IRL’ hoohaa, well after episode 1, anyway.

    Not going to argue about Nagi no Asukara, I can understand why people would find it boring, but I like it mostly because of P.A Works’ fabulous artworks. Plus, the drama actually sounds believable, as it also exist in reality.

    And Kill la Kill? Please, no. The hype was raise so much, it dropped right down off a 10-storey building with a massive thud after a week. Already had that feeling of it being just a ‘1-episode’ wonder, this week’s episode 2 totally justified my view IMO.

    Other than that, I feel Outbreak Company may come up as the surprise this season. Having read the synopsis, you would think the author got some screws loose, but after episode 2, it actually has a rather decent plot. Just, you know, put aside the ridiculous setting for a moment.

    Galilei Donna started off really good as well, with 3 really different sisters revolving around the centre of the plot. It’s definitely something to check out.

    Lastly, Unbreakable machine doll, might not be everybody’s cup of tea, but I feel a certain FMA vibes about the show.

    Others that I feel is rather average will be: Coppelion; Yozakura; Arpeggio; Gingitsune; Kuroko no Basket; Kyoukai no Kanata, Magi S2; Strike the Blood; Tokyo Ravens; Valvrave.

    Others not mentioned are straight up no go for me.

  • Stella

    I remember when SAO first started getting popular, and the more I heard about it the more I thought “Isn’t that just .HACK?”
    And I don’t even watch .HACK. ._.’

  • Vague

    White Album 2 and Samurai Flamenco also seem like two interesting new series. But then again, I’m pretty easy to please.

  • Doublevil

    My favorite show so far for this season is Non Non Biyori. I’m watching the first episode over and over.
    It’s a slice of life about rural life. It’s by far the most beautiful show I’ve ever seen (in terms of visual quality), has beautiful music, cute and non-cliché characters, and is utterly relaxing. There’s a bit of comedy, but it’s not what keeps you watching.

    If you don’t hate the slice-of-life genre, you should really give it a try. I’m seriously fascinated by this thing.

  • Pilipinoguy2k

    No Ippo?! Granted the manga has been out forever, but it’s still very exciting that it’s back in animated format.

  • http://www.cakeswithfaces.co.uk/ cakeswithfaces

    I like the idea of a glasses club for people who are so passionate about glasses :-)

  • 古戸ヱリカ

    Kill la Kill feels like they tried to combine FLCL with Re: Cutie Honey, but left out any of the interesting characters or actual creativity. I don’t think I’ve ever seen something try so hard to be wacky and random, but end up being so cliche and predictable.

  • Flora

    Kill la Kill is the most crack-addled show I’ve seen in my entire life. It doesn’t even try to inject sanity into it. I have no doubt that it’s meant to be a parody – action anime usually take themselves much more seriously & try to make everything extremely dramatic. Not only is KLK pure ridiculousness, but it knows it. Most people who watch it say it reminds them of Panty & Stocking.

    The only thing I seriously dislike about the show is the fact that there are already two pretty gratuitous rape jokes in the series. If they could ease those down to 0 (though not likely) then we’ll be golden.

  • Flora

    I wasn’t particularly interested at first, but I think I’ll take a gander at Meganebu now. Thanks.

  • Kanade

    EHHH, I agree about Meganebu and Kill la Kill but what about Kyousougiga? The show is not less awesome than the first two ones :3

  • Joel Alexander

    Funny, I thought last season was pretty good, and this season pretty dismal. =P

  • DAVIDPD

    KILL LA KILL, KYOUKAI NO KANATA, STRIKE THE BLOOD, KYOUSOUGIGA, and MAGI S2. That is my season. Thank you John. Your hard work is always appreciated in curating these lists.

  • Yaana

    What happened to Hajime no Ippo: Rising and Kuroko no Basket 2? Was I the only one hyped? xD

    Yowamushi Pedal is definitely for the laughter!

  • Erika

    Oh you left out Attack on Titan!! (Shingeki no Kyojin) – Have you watched it?

  • 古戸ヱリカ

    He mentioned it back when it first started.

  • Rachel

    I’ve seen meganebu floating around tumblr for a little bit. Probably going to watch the first few episodes, like I did free last season. All dem anime boiz.

  • Lulu

    I liked Samurai Flamenco too, you’re not alone xD

  • John

    Yeah, I covered that two installments ago, haha. Good show though!

  • John

    Haha – to each their own!

  • Tenetan

    They are both very similar, both released originally the same year where SAO some weks before, but on other hand .HACK was known for some time as well. SO it’s hard to argue who was ‘FIRST’. In terms of anime sure .HACK as ages before SAO but not as a story they released pretty much at the same time 10 years ago.

  • orangedude

    And here I thought I might actually have some time to do my homework this semester…silly me…

  • 古戸ヱリカ

    Um, didn’t SAO come out in 2009?

  • Tenetan

    No SAO came out year 2002. The thing you refering to is the release of the Light novel, the light novels are a rewriten and edited version of the original web novel who originally started to release 2002 up to 2008. Where he later removed it and started to release it as a Light novel.

  • Flora

    Oh, yeah – you forgot “Diabolik Lovers”!

    It’s basically yandere OHSHC with a blood fetish.

  • Tyke23

    Newbie question here. I haven’t watched anime regularly in many years. For someone living in the US, what is the best way to watch these new shows?

  • Mel

    What about coppelion, magi, samurai flamenco and Tokyo ravens?

  • 古戸ヱリカ

    Ah, I see. Interesting.

  • Jens-chan

    There is always crunchyroll which generally has the highest quality for internet streaming, but at the price of commercials unless you go premium. Your other riveting options are animefreak, gogoanime, and about 100 other sites! (^o^ )/ If you type in the anime your looking for and its episode with the optional “sub/dub” you will generally find a good site right off the bat. Some have commercials before you start the anime, but this can be bypassed with the lovely add blocker google chrome supports. Though some sites don’t necessarily like that and you might be unable to stream on that sight with add blocker on. All in all if your looking for quality go to crunchyroll but if you want the episode immediately just type it in. Enjoy~ ^^

  • さなこ-ちゃん

    What about yowamushi pedal or diabolik lovers?!

  • Kintaro

    Kill la Kill seems like a mash of Kill Bill (almost definitely with the feel, name, revenge-heroine) and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (with the mock action, ridiculous weapons, armor, characters, over-the-topness. Good work this season, John. i always look forward to these roundups.

  • ILoveGlassesToo

    Kill la kill looks like they’ve tried to mish mash Gurren Lagann and FLCL into one anime. Dunno how it’ll turn out but I’m not expecting much since they basically spelled out rest of the story in the first episode. Gurren Lagann and FLCL worked because they had really good story and well, FLCL was super crazy. And they had those moments that made the anime worth watching.

    Yozakura Quartet is on its second season and its main antagonist died at the end of first season so I think they’re building up the story a little. It has a horrible preview on mangafox nothing to with the story lol

    Kyoukai no Kanata has extremely contradictory story not to mention the characters look like they’re from a slice of life anime.

    Nothing special about this season. Its very very very generic.

    Gonna look up meganebu! and yowamushi pedal
    And thanks for the reviews John. They’re fun to read and controversial as always :P

  • Protonym

    Hi guys, I really like Shingeki no Kyoujin and Claymore. Can anyone recommend me any shows that you think I’d like? So more serious seeming anime really. I.E. I also love Ghost in The Shell as a film

  • xyz

    Maybe you could do a summary at the end of each season for the ones you actually finished watching? Since there are quite a few you always mention that you might go on watching, or maybe not.

  • disqus_ayYBU8s9ZG

    I’m interested to see how Diabolik Lovers will turn out… the drama CD’s were good, so I hope the anime will meet my expectations! I haven’t started watching it yet, though. Any good so far?

  • disqus_ayYBU8s9ZG

    Nice reviews (or previews, I should say)! For me, I’m going with Unbreakable Machine Doll (I remember beginning to read the manga when it came out a few years back, but it stopped being translated at some point or something), Kill la Kill (because it’s freakin’ ridiculous, and while not the best thing I’ve seen by far, I like it), Kyoukai no Kanata (after reading this and checking it out, I’m interested! The comedy and odd-action mix well), and Meganebu! (It’s hilarious! And after watching Free!, I’m not over the whole “almost-the-entire-cast-is-guys” period ^^;).

  • Coffeepot22

    Meganebu! oh how did i live before you came into my life???
    boys…. with GLASSES…. why thank you John!

  • John

    Yeah I was totally expecting a run of the mill pretty-boy type anime but I was really super wrong, haha.

  • John

    Thanks!

  • John

    Meganebu > Free

  • John

    Haha, glad you enjoyed – thanks!

  • John

    Yeah, that’s what I’ve been doing for the last two articles – I didn’t end up finishing any from last season, haha.

  • John

    Yeah, I was looking at Pupa too – it looked interesting.

  • Rachel

    After having watched it, yes completely. I haven’t liked an anime this much in a very very very long time.

  • John

    :D

  • tyke23

    Thanks very much! :)

  • Just_an_otaku_passing_by

    Especially excited for Log Horizon…slightly disappointed that it’s pretty much the same thing as SAO, but I’ll still watch it.
    And as for the rest…this anime season looks so awesome… :3

  • Alpha-Lfa

    Where’s Tokyo Ravens and Golden Time? I thought these were decent at least. Or even “Noucome”, although the humor is weirder in it.

  • ManThisIsStupid

    Do you even watch anime? Seriously kill la kill? How old are you 10?

  • armando

    you should watch Galileo Donna! It’s quite good too :)

  • creamxim

    could anyone recommend some nice anime which genre is death-note like?
    That would be AWESOME :D
    oh and any other animes that are new and nice would be good.

  • Shiroe

    Best Anime for me ;)

    1st Log Horizon = Action,
    2nd Kuroko no Basket 2 = Sports.

    Log Horizon vs Sword Art Online = (For me Log Horizon) Win
    First of All in Log Horizon based on story about MMORPG there’s plenty of Classes while in SaO (Sword Fight only)
    In Terms of Team Work i prefer Log Horizon cause there’s a PERFECT TEAM while battling Monster or Player Kill.
    (Tanker/Support and Killer) that’s why i love Log Horizon just like you’re PLAYING MMORPG :)

  • http://www.robertsocialkingdom.com/ Robert Wong

    top and best anime should be watched in 2013.. this is my list >http://www.robertsocialkingdom.com/2013/12/highly-recommended-and-popular-japanese.html

  • Lauren

    Just putting this out there, but Nagi no Asukara starts getting pretty good. After the first episode, I wasn’t quite sure what to think of it. Luckily, a friend of mine got me to watch the second. It definitely has a lot more to it than what I was initially expecting, and I found myself completely thrown by the last episode that was released. However, there is something I’m personally finding hard to overlook. My disdain for the main character’s personality. He still has that “little kid” feel to him, where he’s really possessive and controlling, and it’s a major turn-off. I think it’s kind of mind-blowing that none of the other sea kids do anything about it either. Long story, short: If you haven’t tried watching the second episode yet, I’d recommend you give it a try.