Anime Winter Season 2011 review – part 1


Welcome to my second review about an anime season, This time it’s about Winter Season 2011, most of the shows I watched have ended and so I will share my impressions with you.
In this winter season I only picked a few shows for watching, because in the last season I watched too many (13!) shows and not all of them turned out as satisfying or entertaining as I had expected and followiing all of them was pretty exhausting. With the shows I’ve picked this time I had a lot more fun than last season, so here are the shows I’ll write about in my Anime Winter Season review:

Toaru Majutsu no Index II, Rio: Rainbow Gate!, Fractale and Kore wa Zombie Desu ka?

As last time I will give you a short discription and a few of my thoughts about them. The star rating system from last time wasn’t so good so I will only use the simplier X of 10 rating system.

Kore wa Zombie Desu ka?

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The story centers about a nearly ordinary guy named Ayumu who is introduced to us as a Zombie, well he eats no human flesh or rots, but he’s nearly immortal and can regenerate his body, he also can exceed the power of a human by far. Ayumu lives together with a friendly girl in body armor, she is a Necromancer called Eucliwood Hellscythe, nickname Yuu, who transformed Ayumu into a Zombie, after he was killed by an unknown person, she has impressive magical power, but she’s always pretty calm and she seems to have a fragile little heart.

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For some reason, I won’t spoiler here she can’t speak and so she communicates via a notepad, which is somehow quite charming. Because of her inability to speak and she hardly shows emotions Ayumu sometimes has strange fantasies of how Yuu would speak and react, a funny side note is that Yuu always has a different voice actress in this fantasy scenes.

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Aizawa and Yuu are a nice apartment-sharing community, but their peaceful days end soon.
As two troublemaker girls appear; Haruna, a masou shoujo with a magical chainsaw and Sera a well endowed ninja vampire, both start living at Ayumus appartment. At first they are annoying, but in the progress of the story, the now bigger apartment-sharing community grows together.

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The character design is very creative with all the different kinds of strange and supernatural people. The Genre is a mix of slice of life, action and comedy, in the show we get a lot of funny and also nonsense comedy, the show also delivers emotional and heartwarming moments (the scene where Yuu and Aizawa first met for example was very sweet.) and be warned there is also a lot of splatter and blood in the show, all in all it’s very entertaining mixture.

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The episodes are well connected and have a good story line, characters and the relationships between them are in the main focus of Kore wa Zombie Desu ka?, there are also cool fights, but its not that the fate of the world is on the line. Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? is based on a still ongoing light novel with the same title. I’d say Studio Deen that did a good job with this adaption.

I liked this show a lot, the setting was cool and what I really enjoyed was how the group grows together to a nearly family like situation. After the last episode I started to rewatch this show and enjoyed it even a bit more. Please give us a second season.

Fractale

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In the distant future a worldwide network called Fractale System is established, it grants the people the possibility to live in freedom without being tied by anything. Even families are living seperated from each other, because the individual freedom became the most important thing for the people. Fractale is considered as an religion, later we learn that Fractale isn’t so nice at it seems, the people get brainwashed so that doubts about the system can be surpressed.

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Fractale is an 11 episode long anime, but because the compressed info about the setting and the characters as well it feels more like an anime movie. The show begins when the system shows some problems and needs to be rebooted soon. The main character Clain lives all by himself on a beautiful Island. His parents and the pet are only present as strange looking holograms, called “Doppel” which  Clain can let disappear when he likes to. He likes to live alone and he  likes old electronic things. One day he finds a slightly injured girl named Phryne at the cliffs of the islands and lets her rest in his house, the day after she gives him a brooche to take care of and leaves him. As Clain examined the brooch a hyperactive and happy Doppel called Nessa jumps out of it. Somehow Clain and Nessa arrive in the ship of the Granitz family a branch of Lost Millenium, a group who fights against the Fractale System and tries to take it down even by force. The first few episodes have a very friendly and humoristic nearly Ghibli Movie like atmosphere, but later there is also blood and people who are dying.

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Well, theres nothing wrong with the story of this anime I would even say it was quite good, but it was a bad idea to give this project only 11 episodes. The major problem of Fractale is that theres a lack of background informations about the characters and explanations about the background of the Fractale System. The things which are happening in these show are hardly explained whats often gives you thoughts like: eh, what ?!… ok.  Sometimes we get small hints and very interesting aspects of the Fractale System, but theres mainly place for the main story and the three main characters, Claine, Phyrne and Nessa. Overall it was a quite enjoyable show for me with a great looking animation style.

Rio Rainbow Gate

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The main heroine is the attractive and very kind girl Rio Rollins who works as a dealer at an casino, in the first few episodes Rio is shown at her daily work at Howard Resort Casino. The owner of  Howard Resort lets her dress up in pretty daring outfits to please the customers, Rio doesn’t like this but she is too kind to refuse these embarassing appearances. Rio’s sidekick is the cute little girl Mint who is by her side most of the time, ah she’s really cute.

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After the first half of mainly plotless and fanservice filled episodes I asked myself  “Whats the whole thing about, hello story!?”  Well there actually is a story: In the world of Rio Rainbow Gate, 13 gate card owners battle each other to receive all 13 gate cards in order become the MVCD (Most Valuable Casino Dealer). They battle each other in mostly ridicolous looking competitions which are mainly decided by luck. In the later battles they play serious games like poker. In the second half things get more interesting, when the main villain appears, who wants to crush Rio and also wants to overtake Howard Resort…Thats probably the best part of this show where it nearly redeems itself. The Casino setting was something new for me, but overall the whole atmosphere felt sterile and somehow cold, I missed some character background and more interaction between them, or something that would give more life and warmth to the whole show. One aspect I can’t complain about is the animation quality, which looks really good, it is crisp, clean and colorful, the character design isn’t bad either there are a lot of attractive female characters in all personalities, sizes and ages ^^

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The comedy isn’t great, but good for a few laughs. It is no show I would really recommend to anybody, anyway I don’t regret that I’ve watched the show, after the mainly boring first half the second half became a lot more entertaining, the end wasn’t bad either but overall Rio Rainbow Gate appeared a bit trashy, well I need at least one trashy show in an anime season (lol that sounds mean, sorry Rio) At the end of episode 13 it looks like a second season awaits us.

Toaru Majutsu no Index II

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As the self declared Toaru Majutsu no Index fan #1, I can say that I’ve also enjoyed this second season quite a lot. This season shortly starts where the first one ended, this time the main villains are the roman catholics, who want to overtake Academy City. (I think it’s pretty bold torwards the real roman catholics, but that shouldn’t be my problem here^^).
The different Arcs are interesting, even though not all of them don’t reach the level of the arcs in season 1. I really liked the Remnant arc, the Daihaseisai Festival, as well as the Last Order arc.  Aside from the very cool characters of season 1, like Stiyl, Kanzaki, Tsuchimikado and Komoe-sensei, Some new groups and characters are introduced in this season as well.

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There isn’t much character development from Touma and Index, mainly in the second ending theme, it is shown how close these two actually are. Therefor Misaka is presented in a more natural way, while she was mainly full of anger in the first season, now she can also show her cute side, which makes her much more likeable for me. Accelerator turned even more into an anti hero, who really cares about Last Order a.k.a Mini Misaka, even though he tries to deny it by acting annoyed. As half good guy he does a really good job, the scenes with him are great.
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With Oriana Thomson Toaru Majutsu no Index II has the hottest villain of this season ^0^, well that was also a very good arc. In the last few episodes, we have a lot of epic action on different stages. The Fanservice this time is a bit much and most of all repititive, its always the same setting, when Index or another girl is changing or showering, Touma barges in, freezes and gets beaten. Aside from it’s repititiveness, the fanservice looks quite nice, sample shots ^^
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The comedy in this this season is very good, there were so many things which made laugh pretty hard. Another really enjoyable part was the meeting of characters who never met before, for example Misakas mother meets Touma, Index and his parents or Touma meets Last Order and Accelerator meets Index and so on. It gave the whole thing a deeper connection.

The not so good thing is the ending of the show in the last episode, it seemed like they were building up the grand finale for next week, but with this episode the season is over, we get an ending that doesn’t feel like an ending at all. At least it looks like we will get a third season.
With this all said Im done with part 1 of my Anime Winter Season review, from these 4 shows my favorites were Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? and Toaru Majutsu no Index II in part 2 of Anime Winter Season review I’ll write about the three remaining shows from my winter season list. Kimi ni Todoke 2nd Season, Yumekui Merry and Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica, the last episode of Madoka will be aired on April 21, so part 2 of Anime Winter Season review will be completed at a later date.

I’d like to know which shows you were following and your favorites from this season?

related post

Anime Fall Season review part 1

Anime Fall Season review part 2

15 Responses

  1. Fabrice

    I skipped quite a few series for winter because of its unappealling plot but luckily there were a few ones that managed to save my winter season of anime.
    …8/10 for zombie.. <..> woot?
    For me the ending really really disappointed me, it had potential in like the first 2 episodes… I agree with fractale thought even thought i have to debate with the animation style, couldnt they bloody stick to the original illustration -.- im curious into why they changed the hair colour especially. As for Index.. i kinda finished the series quickly as i skipped most of touma’s speaking, he talks a lot hey?

    • wieselhead

      my taste isn’t suited for the majority, but I have no problem when you say the show was a piece of crap :p
      In the first few eps I disliked it as well. ok and the end was mainly really trashy, but I enjoyed the whole show a lot, so I can’t give a lower score.

      Maybe they wanted to keep the look of the characters more natural, to somehow be more related to the real world of us, but Idk.
      purple haired Nessa looks better, no question.

      Index and Touma were really pale characters in this season nex to (the lovely)Misaka, Accelerator and the other characters. His talks were a bit lame, but thats Touma with his Hero syndrome :p

  2. Yi

    When I’m in the mood for a trashy anime, I think I’ll go for Rio.

    Anyway, didn’t get to watch that many anime this season, so didn’t see anything on this list. I’ll eventually be watching Majutsu Index II though.

    • wieselhead

      Haha, but maybe its too trashy for you, dont blame for it please ^^

      Maybeyou’ve watched somethint from my list in the upcoming part 2.
      Majutsu Index II is very cool 😉

  3. BioToxic

    I only watched 1 show from the Winter Season, Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? . And I can’t say I liked it very much either.
    I found the episodes were too inconsistent. Sometimes they would be funny, then the next it would be serious. The problem with that was the “serious business” was never of any interest or significance; it just felt hollow. By the time I got to the last episode I found myself skipping huge chunks just to finish it.

    You’ve reminded me though that I should restart watching Toaru Majutsu no Index II & Kimi ni Todoke 2.

    • wieselhead

      Ah I see, thats okay, it was a not so epic plot, but I’ve enjoyed the slice of life atmosphere..

      I guess you will like the two other shows you’ve mentioned more, Kimi ni Todoke 2 is especially nice =) And Toaru Majutsu no Index II is cool as ever

  4. Nopy

    Kore wa Zombie Desu ka was surprisingly good considering the plotline. I wasn’t expecting to watch more than a few episodes, but I ended up finishing the series and enjoyed all of it.

    I really like all of the battle scenes in To Aru Majutsu no Index, but I’m a bit annoyed that they still haven’t explained everything. I want to know what’s going on between the upside-down guy and the church.

    • wieselhead

      The ztory was more slice of life than epic, but I think it was well done. In general I don’t give much credit to shows from Studio Deen, but exceptions are Fate Stay Night, Higurashi no Naku Koro ni and Kore wa Zombie Desu ka.

      They are giving out the infos quite slowly, but next season there should be some answers I guess

  5. Miette-chan

    Favorite new show has to be Zombie, that was more fun that I expected. Really didn’t want it to end.

    For Index the more novels adapted the better as that’s the only way for me to experience it.

    • wieselhead

      Cool that you also liked it.

      Yeah I also prefer anime over light novels.
      reading manga is also ok, but a light novel without many pictures kills my motivation somehow.. ven though I’ve read 3 chapters of haruhi with pleasure 🙂

  6. Luth

    I’ve only seen zombie but I loved it so.*spoiler alert* At first Masou Shoujo Ayumu freaked me out but then it just got funny. The craziness and randomness just made that show.

    • wieselhead

      Ah I see good choice there 😀

      I don’t think it was that random, haha it seems like only I saw the storyline in it ^^

  7. Zai

    I think I enjoyed Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? as much as you did! I was a little hesitant to watch it at first but by the end of the first episode I knew I’d be watching it ’til the end. Yuu was my favourite.. such a cutie..! Would love a second season!

    As for Fractale, hmm.. I felt it gave us an amazing premise then let us down with poorly developed characters. I also felt the story could have been told a lot better than what it was. It was beautiful to watch though and I don’t regret doing so. ^^

    I didn’t see Rio, hehe.. and I still need to get around to watching season 2 of Index! I only just finished season 1 and Railgun not long ago so I’m looking forward to it.

    • wieselhead

      at first I wasn’t that convinced either but it turned out great after rewatching it I noticed the whole storyline more 😀
      Fractale was ok, but the characters were really undeveloped and had no depth.
      Ah I see the whole index railgun universe is so damn cool, I think you’ll enjoy season 2

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