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September 27th, 2013

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Friday, September 27th, 2013 02:06 pm

Title: Free!
Year: 2013
Episodes: 12
Production: Kyoto Animation

Official Summary: The story revolves around Haruka Nanase, a boy who has always loved to be immersed in water, and to swim in it. Before graduating from elementary school, he participated in a swimming tournament along with his fellow swimming club members, Makoto Tachibana, Nagisa Hazuki, and Rin Matsuoka. After achieving victory, each of the boys went their separate ways.
Time passed, and in the middle of their uneventful high school lives Rin appears and challenges Haruka to a match, showing Haruka his overwhelming power. Not wanting it to end like this, Haruka, gathers together Makoto and Nagisa once again and brings a new member named Rei Ryugazaki to create the Iwatobi High School Swimming Club in order to defeat Rin. - ( MAL )

Catie's Thoughts: This is one of those shows where I have trouble putting thoughts into coherent sentences because ... well, because. This show is adorable and cute and it makes you want to flail about the characters. I don't think I can objectively review it because I want to put my face on the ground and roll around in a flurry of emotion. 

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Friday, September 27th, 2013 02:20 pm
 Title: Gin no Saji ( 銀の匙 )
Year: 2013
Episodes: 11
Production: Aniplex

Official Summary: Yugo Hachiken dreams of life separated from his family, so he takes the initiative by enrolling in an agriculture school. He thinks, with his talent in studying, no problems will arise no matter what kind of school he attends. He is proven wrong very quickly. Raised as a city boy, he is forced to uncover the inconvenient truth about agricultural life. Enjoy the story of Hachiken, as he tries to keep up with his new friends, farmers' heirs, who are already accustomed to the harsh world of farming. With no clear goals or understanding of farming life, how will Hachiken survive this new, cruel reality? The story of a sweat, tear, and mud-stained youth begins! ( - MAL )

Catie's Thoughts: I wasn't sure what I was expecting out of this show, as I hadn't read but the first chapter or so of the manga. Gin no Saji is Arakawa Hiromu's second series after Fullmetal Alchemist, and it is definitely an entirely different beast. It's a slice-of-life show, but interestingly educational at the same time. Hachiken spends a lot of his time learning and adjusting, and spends nearly the entire season grappling with the fact that they have to slaughter the animals to eat them. It's a moral quandary with no correct answer that I feel the show handles in an interesting manner.

The animation is very bright and fluid, and I was quite surprised to see the Noitamina tag on this series - but I guess this is definitely not your average slice of life anime! I am glad to see that the series is getting a second season, and I can't wait to see where it goes next.
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Friday, September 27th, 2013 02:30 pm
 Title: Ginga Kikoutai Majestic Prince (銀河機攻隊 マジェスティックプリンス)
Year: 2013
Episodes: 24
Production: Sentai Filmworks

Official Summary: In the latter half of 21st century, humans leave the Earth and begin to live in space. In order to adapt to the environment in space and deal with the hostile aliens in Jupiter, genetically engineered children called "Princes" are artificially raised and trained to be pilots of armed robots "AHSMB (Advanced High Standard Multipurpose Battle Device). This is a story about one of the teenage "Princes", Hitachi O Izuru, who studies in an academic city Grandzehle. ( - MAL )

Catie's Thoughts: I have a fondness for mecha series, as that was how I was initially introduced to proper anime (through the Midnight Run airing of Gundam Wing and FoxKID's butchering of Escaflowne), so I tend to be more lenient on it than I really should. Majestic Prince comes to us with some fairly familiar character designs, as those who are familiar with things like Infinite Ryvius, Fafner and Gundam Seed can attest. It doesn't take long to dispel though, because this is a different show.

It almost felt more like a slice-of-life with mecha on the side than the reverse of it, the battles don't take center stage until later on in the series. There is some interesting things here - that the kids have had their memories wiped before they became pilots, for one - but really at this point mecha series are so ubiquitous that every one feels faintly familiar after a while. It's going to take something that really stands head and shoulders above the rest to make a lasting impression.

I enjoyed Majestic Prince, but it's really not anything new or noteworthy. If you're a fan of mecha series - or even just a fan of the character designs, you'll probably enjoy it but I can't see myself recommending it otherwise.