Kamisama Kiss (Kamisama Hajimemashita)

(13 episodes)

What’s it about ?

Shoujo male harem with god bishies.


Nanami, our female protagonist. She’s got a bit more spunk and personality than the usual, what with now being on the streets due to her dad running away and the debtors taking the house over. She then meets…

Mikage, the local god, who ran away a long time ago and doesn’t really want to come back. So he kisses her on her forehead, which somehow transfers the local godhood to her. The scamp then disappears after giving her directions to the temple. Well, at least it’s a roof over her head…

Tomoe, a more minor local god, who’s been waiting for Mikage for ages. He’s really not fond of this normal human taking over the business, and was about to storm off when she kissed him, which somehow forces him to assist her. (Don’t ask me how it works, I was barely able to pay attention by then.)

There’s also a couple of mini-dudes in masks hanging around and being obnoxiously helpful.

Production Values

Very average.

What did I think of it ?

Snore. It may be because I have no interest in the genre, but I found this very boring. The two leads have no chemistry, and the jokes stop working halfway through. The OP/ED (and the next episode preview) promise more god bishies in further episodes, which I don’t find enticing at all.

I’ll pass.

via [In which I review] New anime, Fall 2012 – Page 2.

La Storia Della Arcana Famiglia

(12 episodes)

What’s it about ?

The super-powered henchmen of a mafia family having a contest to see who gets to be the new head and marry his daughter… you’ve guessed it : it’s a male-harem shoujo action-romance.


Felicita, the daughter, at least seems to have a personality (and combat skills), and obviously doesn’t like this “marrying her off to the winner” idea one bit. But hey, she can participate too !

Liberta, the Fool (they all have powers patterned after tarot cards). He’s our “sympathetic” male lead, although mostly he’s a moron with no impulse control. It takes all of Jun Fukuyama’s natural charm to make him not too punchable.

Nova, his natural rival, straight-arrow and humourless. Well, at least he agrees with Liberta and agrees not to marry Felicita if he manages to win.

We get a bit of insight into some of the other guys too : the big bald right-hand man who uses a bazooka as a weapon of choice, the quirky epicurian, the hopeless guy who was in charge of raising Felicita, the smug asshole in sunglasses who’s sure to win if he takes the contest seriously…

And of course there’s “Papa”, a strong contender for the “Father of the Year” award. (Bonus points for being voiced by Fuhimiko Tachiki.) I half-suspect the whole thing is a setup to toughen Felicita up so that she can take over the clan, but I may be giving him too much credit.

Production Values

About okay, with fluid fight scenes (this is JC Staff, after all).

Overall Impression

This is slightly better than I expected. The action prologue suffers a bit by trying to introduce nine major characters in way too small an amount of time, but it flows more naturally later on. Similarly, the exposition about everyone’s power starts clunky and gets a bit better as it goes.

But the most interesting point here is that the show seems intent in portraying Felicita as a character of her own, and not just a stand-in for the female viewer. The narrative has her on an equal footing with the dudes, and I really hope this will keep.

… And then the next-episode-preview had to ruin it all by promising pulse-pounding “our three leads searching for a cat” action. WTF ? We don’t need a breather episode already, and this doesn’t bode well.

via [In which I review] New anime, Summer 2012 – Page 5.

The Scarlet Fragment (Hiiro no Kakera)

(26 episodes)

What’s it about ?

It’s an adaptation of an otome game. You see those romance-simulators where the player can chose between a harem of characters ? This is the female-oriented version, where the player-stand-in is surrounded by a bunch of pretty boys.


Tamaki, our generic female protagonist. With her parents off doing cooperation work over in Africa or something, she’s moving back to the countryside to her grandmother’s estate. Which is very convenient, because she’s the next in line to be the Local Princess Protector Of Stuff, and Granny’s about to retire. She has no clue what this is all about, although she does seem to have the innate skill required to cast spells against the random creepy things crawling around the place.

Takuma, the mandatory gruff bishie who begrudgingly escorts her the whole episode (voiced by Tomokazu Sugita, impeccable as always). There seems to be no depth whatsoever to him besides that. He just grumbles and reluctantly gives some exposition from time to time.

Tamaki enrolls at the local high school, and there are a bunch of of female classmates that might have gotten a chance at becoming supporting characters if Takuma hadn’t dragged Tamaki out of the classroom within 30 seconds so that she could meet more bodyguard bishies. There’s the short one with a size complex, the quiet deadpan one, and the handsomer-than-the-others glasses dude.

Just in case you’re wondering whether there’s actually a plot here, the last minute shows us Tamaki’s Evil Blonde Counterpart and her squad of underlings. Not that they do anything yet, mind you.

Production Values

Slightly better than you’d expect. The random monsters do look suitably creepy and menacing, at the very least.

Overall Impression

This could have been worse. Sugita pulls off his character without being too annoying. Some of the jokes work. (I like that Tamaki’s bodyguards are called “The Five” despite there only being four of them.) The monsters look good.

But the key issue here is that it’s dreadfully unoriginal. There’s nothing to set it apart from any other series in the same genre. None of the characters display any dimensions beyond their respective archetypes. To put it bluntly, I just don’t care, and I can’t see myself bothering with another episode ; nearly everything else this season looks more interesting than “Generic Otome Game Adaptation #1642”.

via [In which I review] New anime, Spring 2012.

Uta no☆Prince-sama♪ Maji Love 1000%

What’s it about ?

Male harem romance in an academy grooming pop idols and composers.


Haruka, our generic female lead. The kind that arrives late because she was busy helping a random little girl. She joined the Academy because she dreams of composing music for her favourite idol. Voiced by Miyuki Sawashiro, whom I didn’t know could sound so boring and unsexy.

As per the rules of the genre, there are half a dozen prettyboy stereotypes just tripping over Haruka. There’s the boy-next-door, the rich-but-charismatic guy, the brooding dark dude, the childish one… and the mysterious guy who’s a dead ringer for Haruka’s favourite idol, but displays a completely different personality (angry loner instead of clown).

Rounding up the cast are Tomo, Haruka’s roommate (the female equivalent of the “perverted best friend who handily provides exposition about everyone” cliché), their homeroom teacher (an androgynous senior idol voiced by Yuuichi Nakamura)… and the FABULOUS principal, a retired idol who funded the creation of the academy with his royalties, and voiced gleefully by Norio Wakamoto – his entrance ceremony speech just has to be seen to be believed.

Production Values

This looks pretty good, if you don’t mind technicolor day-glo. The character designs for the dudes look beyond generic, though, and Haruka’s dead eyes are just plain creepy.

I quite like the opening sequence with all the guys doing a boys’ band routine : sure, it looks stupid and awkward, but there’s a certain charm to it, and the tune is annoyingly catchy (“Let’s song !”).

Overall Impression

Well, that’s certainly better than I anticipated. Not that it’s actually any good, mind you ; the harem romance is as cliché as possible, and neither the female lead nor any of the dudes look like they’ve got any potential to rise above their genericness. But there’s some decent entertainment to be had out of the setting, as both the homeroom teacher and the principal are FABULOUSLY camp and nearly make the episode worth watching from their few minutes of screentime alone.

I expect myself to get bored of it very quickly (especially if the harem plot gets too much screentime), but I’m surprising myself by giving it a tentative second episode.

via [In which I review] New anime, Summer 2011 – Page 4.

Prétear (Shin Shirayuki Hime Densetsu Pretear)

(13 episodes)

What’s it about ?

The baddies have unleashed seeds of misery onto Earth ! The Knights of Leafe immediately start running around to seal them, but their power is limited until they can find the legendary Prétear. (The gimmick is that she gets different powers from merging with each Knight.)

This is actually quite better than it sounds.


Himeno, our protagonist, has a much more complex background than your average high school magical girl. Her hopeless dad just married a very rich woman who basically owns the town (every company bears her name… or rather his, now) and lives in a ridiculously huge mansion. It’s not clear how that happened, but they do look genuinely in love. Anyway, Himeno doesn’t really get to enjoy it, as she’s martyrised by one of her stepsisters (the other just ignores her blatantly), and ostracised by most of her classmates as a gold-digger.

There are seven Knights of Leafe, all of them male. It’s very obvious most of them were designed as fanservice for the ladies, although three of them are underage for the “cute” factor.

The only one who really gets a personality so far is Hayate, the one Himeno randomly bumps into. It’s irritation at first sight. Too bad their hands connecting identify her as the Prétear : he’d much rather do without this brat.

Whoever the main villain is, she stays conspicuously off-screen (although the Knights do refer to her as female). Anyone taking odds on her being the quiet stepsister ?

Production Values

Perfectly okay, and it does succeed at building a foreboding atmosphere.

A pity that the ED proves that Himeno’s VA can’t sing, though.

Overall Impression

This is quite intriguing. Himeno belongs to an archetype (girl bullied by her stepfamily) that I’m not used to seeing in magical girl stories, although in retrospect it’s a perfect fit for a genre that’s all about wish fulfilment. When the series focuses on her, I’m quite enjoying it. The main plot is very basic, but the show makes a good job of selling it.

On the other hand, I’m not quite buying the Knights, who look like a bunch of bishonen clichés (with some cute shota thrown in for good measure). I fear this could turn into a male harem setting (especially with the blatantly unsubtle subtext of the Prétear merging with a Knight), and that’s the second last thing I want to watch.

This could turn out either way, really.

Blur effects shouldn't be a substitute for actual animation.
Blur effects shouldn’t be a substitute for actual animation.

via [In which I review] New anime, Spring 2001 – Page 4.

Starry Sky

(13 episodes)

What’s it about ?

Reverse harem setup : formerly exclusively male academy is now co-ed, although there’s only one female student right now. Each episode focuses on a different male student, with a parallel to the zodiac constellations (although they’ve introduced a 13rd one for some reason). Apparently this school only teaches astronomy- or astrology-related fields.

Characters :

Tsukiko Yahisa, our female lead. Nearly no screentime so far.

Yoh Tomoe, Capricorn. This is a pseudonym : his actual name’s Henri Samuel Jean Aimee (sic). Half-French, choosing to go back to Japan in order to find a girl he fell in love with a decade ago. His parents approve (it’s implied his father did something similar way back when).

There are other various classmates, including a very enthusiastic Mr Exposition, but none of them got any names yet.

Production Values :

Low. It’s a net anime, and the animation is quite minimal (not to the degree of Nyaruani, though). It doesn’t look particularly good, but this could be my personal distaste for standard shojo character designs. Also, the episodes are only 11-minute-long.

Overall Impression :

Dull, dull, dull. There’s no real conflict yet, and the plot barely gets started at all. I can’t sympathize with Capricorn-guy, and the girl is a non-entity so far. Frankly, I doubt I’d manage to watch another episode without falling asleep.

But then, I clearly don’t care for the genre ; if you’re more into it than me, you could find some value to this show (it’s got a pretty impressive voice cast, for example).

via [In which I review] New anime, Winter 2010-2011.