Fall Anime Impressions: Part 2

My fall anime impressions continue with Parasyte, Grisaia no Kajitsu, Gugure! Kokkuri-san, Hi Scoool! Seha Girl, Chaika: The Coffin Princess Avenging Battle, Inou-Battle wa Nichijou-kei no Naka de, Kaitou Joker, and Karen Senki.

Parasyte (Kiseijuu)
Parasyte is, hands down, the most hyped non-sequel series of season, and, thus far, it does not disappoint. Parasyte -the maxim-, aka Kiseijuu Sei no Kakuritsu in Japanese, follows Shinichi Izumi, a generally nice typical high school student, whose hand is infected by an alien Parasite. This species of alien Parasite usually infects the host’s brain; however, the one that infected Izumi was not able to, thus it ate and replaced his right hand.
Naming his hand Migi (Japanese for “right hand), Izumi also discovers that the other parasites are responsible for the recent string of murders throughout the world. Izumi is the only person that is able to detect other Parasites that are eating humans, which appears to be setting him up to try and stop some of the other Parasites from murdering more people.
Right from the start, Parasyte is clearly a mature sci-fi horror thriller with a lot of violence. In a year of anime with black censor-bars (Terra Formars and Tokyo Ghoul) to censor the violence, Parasyte somehow manages to avoid the censors, at least in the Crunchyroll release. I am not an advocate of violence for the sake of violence, but Parasyte is the type of series that justifies its use of violence in the context of the story. Obviously, Parasyte is not for the faint-of-heart or anyone sensitive to violence. Also, there are a few other mature themes.
With that out of the way, Parasyte is setting up a seriously awesome anime with the last two episodes, and horror anime is not even my preferred genre, but this is intriguing me. In terms of characters, Izumi is a likable protagonist, who does not fit into the most common archetypes, and the parasite, Migi, is freaking creepy; their interaction is one of the more entertaining aspects of the series. Studio Madhouse’s animation is crisp, clean, and modern, and even though it departs from the manga’s 80s/90s designs, it is probably for the best. Thus far, Parasyte has yet to do anything truly exceptional or mind blowing, but if what is said about the manga is correct, we are in for one heck of a ride, and one of the best series of the fall.
Recommended For *+18*: Seinen fans, Horror fans, Sci-Fi fans, Thriller fans, 

Plot Summary: "They arrive in silence and darkness. They descend from the skies. They have a hunger for human flesh. They are everywhere. They are parasites, alien creatures who must invade–and take control of–a human host to survive. And once they have infected their victims, they can assume any deadly form they choose: monsters with giant teeth, winged demons, creatures with blades for hands. But most have chosen to conceal their lethal purpose behind ordinary human faces. So no one knows their secret–except an ordinary high school student. Shin is battling for control of his own body against an alien parasite, but can he find a way to warn humanity of the horrors to come?"

Grisaia no Kajitsu

Grisaia no Kajitsu, also known as Le Fruit de la Grisaia, which is French for The Fruit of Grisaia, is an intriguing series. Much like the spring's Brynhildr in the Darkness, Grisaia no Kajitsu seems to be an ecchi/harem with a slightly darker edge. Yūji Kazami is the "janitor" of the underworld, who cleans up the proverbial "mess" as an assassin. However, Yūji wants to experience a "typical high school" life, which is part of his reward of sorts for doing well as a young assassin, although all of his background is more alluded to than shown or explained. At his new school, there are only five other students in the school, all of whom are female and are there because of mysterious "special circumstances," but of course that is only hinted at in the first two episodes. Of course, being the only guy at the school among five beautiful girls, we have the foundation for an ecchi/harem. Unlike most protagonist of the genre, Yūji is the stoic, militarian type due to his assassin training, and thus he is never embarrassed by a situation, which is refreshing. He is cold and blunt. The cast of females include a tsundere, who the protagonist hilarious points out as trying to be intentionally be a tsundere (gif below), a lolicon, a maid, and a few others. While tropes often are a negative, the way the series is almost aware of the tropes is entertaining. Studio 8bit's animation is rather stunning for a high school series. Everything is crisp and consistent. Interestingly, the series uses a letterbox video format, although I am not sure why.
Even though the first two episodes are mostly set up, it intrigues me enough to keep watching for sure.
My main complaint with Grisaia no Kajitsu is the fanservice, which is rather prevalent throughout both episode, although it is more obvious and brief than too over-the-top like High School of the Dead for example.
No doubt Grisaia no Kajitsu will at least turn out to be a guilty pleasure of sorts, due to the appealing animation and uniqueness of the setting, but it is not quite worthy of a full recommendation yet.
Recommended For: Ecchi/Harem fans, Mystery fans, 

Plot Summary: "The anime revolves around Mihama Academy, a prison-like school built to preserve fruit that has fallen too far from its tree. It is home to five female students who each have their reasons for enrolling in the academy and live their life idly within the walls of Mihama. 
One day, Kazami Yuuji the institute’s first male student arrives and throws the orderly rhythm of Mihama off balance. Is Yuuji what the girls need to hold of their lives once more, or will the weight of their pasts prove too steep a wall to overcome? Or is his past even heavier than any of the others?"

Gugure! Kokkuri-san
Gugure! Kokkuri-san's premise (explained below), is completely absurd, and this premise is a springboard for the funniest series of the season thus far. Nothing even comes close. Gugure! Kokkuri-san is pure hilarity. Obviously, comedy is subjective, but nothing has made me laugh this much since Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun, and if Gugure! Kokkuri-san continues to be this funny, is an easy contender for top 10 anime comedies ever. Almost everyone that has seen it agrees that Gugure! Kokkuri-san is freaking hilarious! Before the series came out, I expected a "man-service" Inuyasha parody, and Kokkuri-san is far from it. This is one of the examples where bishounen characters can be used effectively. Unlike a lot of comedy anime, Gugure! Kokkuri-san features little to no fanservice. Gugure! Kokkuri-san is absurd comedy at its finest, and there are even a few hints at character development, although the humor generally comes first. It is just hilariously random, yet still clever and incredibly unique At one point, a character pulls out a freaking Lightsaber! Basically, watch the first episode of Gugure! Kokkuri-san, you will not regret it.
Recommended For: Comedy fans, Fantasy fans, Anyone,

Plot Summary: "The original manga revolves around Kohina, a little girl who ends up summoning by a Kokkuri-san, a lower-ranking ghost in Japanese folklore. The Kokkuri-san she calls ends up being a white-haired handsome, young man. Although he had intended to merely haunt her at first, he becomes worried about her terrible eating habit of cup ramen for every meal, so he decides to haunt her in order to protect her."

Hi Scoool! Seha Girl
Hi Scoool! Seha Girl is a unique series to say the least. With short 10 minute episodes, the series is about personified versions of Saga’s video game consoles, the Dreamcast, Sega Saturn, and Mega Drive, and the three girls have personalities reflecting the console they are based on. Even though I have never owned any of the consoles, as someone who is knowledgeable about the history of video games, and has played many of the classic games referenced, the references are incredibly entertaining. However, if you are not familiar with Saga’s video games like Sonic the Hedgehog, Virtua Fighter, or Streets of Rage, then this is not a series for you, and if you are not in the intended audience, there is little reason to watch it.
Recommended For: Gamers, Saga fans,

Plot Summary: "The story of the anime will revolve around Dreamcast, Sega Saturn, and Mega Drive, who have just enrolled in SeHaGaga Academy at Tokyo’s Haneda Ōtorii station. They are given an assignment needed to graduate by a suspicious teacher, and to clear this assignment, the girls need to enter the world of Sega games. The girls must try their best to graduate without incident."

Hitsugi no Chaika: Avenging Battle
During the break between the summer and fall, I caught up to Studio Bones’ Chaika, which aired in the spring, and I am glad that I did. Hitsugi no Chaika: Avenging Battle (Chaika -The Coffin Princess- Avenging Battle) is an action fantasy shounen about a girl named, Chaika, who is the daughter of the former emperor that ruled the land for 500 years until being defeated by the heroes of the resistance. After being defeated, the remains of the emperor were divided among the heroes because each one contains immense magic power. To collect the remains of her father, Chaika hires two retired soldiers, Toru Acura and his adopted sister, Akari, and thus an entertaining fantasy adventure ensues. However, what sets Chaika apart from other shounen is the execution and unique characters. Chaika is a wizard, yet she is naive, cute, and speaks in humorously broken Japanese. While the story is far from flawless, it is a fun fantasy adventure that sets itself far apart from series like Akame ga Kill with stronger story elements, unexpected twists, and less tropes. Also, the series is able to balance the humor and lightheartedness with the darker elements, much like Bones’ Fullmetal Alchemist series. Studio Bones’ animation continues to be top notch, and the action sequences are some of the most entertaining of the year. Thus far, Chaika -The Coffin Princess is one of the best shounen series from the season, and if we get a satisfying conclusion, it will be one of the better series of the year.
Recommended For: Action fans, Studio BONES fans, Fantasy fans, Shounen fans, Fullmetal Alchemist fans,

Plot Summary: "Toru Acura is a 20-year-old retired soldier meandering through life now that the war has ended. He encounters Chaika Trabant, a 14-year-old sorceress carrying a coffin, and follows her in hopes of finding meaning to his life again. The two travel with Toru's adopted sister, Akari, the employed member of the group and thus Toru's source of income."

Inou-Battle wa Nichijou-kei no Naka de
Inou-Battle wa Nichijou-kei no Naka de (When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace) blends a typical high school club setting with superpowers and then comedic antics ensue! Inou-Battle is a series that is leaving me a bit conflict on how highly I should recommend it. On one hand, the series is thoroughly entertaining with its somewhat unique concept. On the other hand, Inou-Battle features many typical tropes, just in a different setting. Inou-Battle follows the literature club and one day the members all receive special powers, except there is no one to fight or a purpose to use their new found powers, and thus they continue to live normal lives with their powers. The sole male member of the club, Jurai Andō, has 'chunibyo' (eighth grader syndrome), and if you do not know what 'chunibyo', look it up, because that is something for an entire other post. Thus far, the characters having powers, yet no one to fight is creating some very fun antics that almost remind me of the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. There are hints at romance with the typical tsundere, but it seems that the romance is not going to progress much. Studio Trigger, the creators of Kill la Kill, animated Inou-Battle and while nothing exceptional, their animation is above average for a school series. If you want to watch a high school club series with a fun twist, give Inou-Battle a watch; otherwise, steer clear.
Recommended For: Comedy fans, High school genre fans, Superpower fans, Fantasy fans, Haruhi Suzumiya fans, Studio Trigger fans,

Plot Summary: "The five members of the literature club awakened with extraordinary powers half a year ago. Although the members expected to be thrown into a world of super-powered battles at their school, their normal daily routine continued. No secret organizations bent on world destruction, no super-powered wars, no brave heroes or demon kings. However, the members still look forward to the possibilities of adventure, and continued to believe that with each day, they were getting ever closer to those days of fantasy. Their days of romantic comedy and battles with extraordinary powers begin!"

Kaitou Joker
After only seeing the picture on Anichart, it was clear that Kaitou Joker was likely not for my demographic, and after watching the first five minutes of the series, my expectations were confirmed. Kaitou Joker is a series intended for young boys around 12, and thus, I had no reason to waste any time on the series.
Recommended For: Young boys,

Plot Summary: "In the story, there is nothing in the world that the mysterious phantom thief Joker cannot steal. He goes after one treasure after another in unpredictable capers with seemingly miraculous tricks."

Karen Senki
Karen Senki is a short sci-fi series set in a Terminator like future where machines become sentient and attempt to destroy humanity. Taking place years after the war, the series focuses on a woman, Karen, who is generally bad*ss and incredibly proficient at killing robots, as she is on the run from machines, because she is the leader of the resistance and has superhuman abilities. Karen Senki is a short with 10 minute episodes, and, as you can see from the gifs, the series features 3D animation. Typically, the shell shaded animation does not work, but Karen Senki appears to be one of the rare exceptions where the animation is often quite good, almost like RWBY. In terms of story, Karen Senki is unfortunately rushed so that it fits the 10 minute format. Even though not a lot of character development or a lot of story has been revealed, Karen Senki continues to deliver exciting action sequences, a bad*ss protagonist, and a surprising degree of entertainment for a short. Karen Senki does have a very odd scene in the first episode, and it does continue some fanservice. If you are looking for something short with an interesting setting and exciting action, give Karen Senki a watch.
Recommended For: Action fans, Sci-Fi fans, 3D animation fans, RWBY fans,

Plot Summary: "In the post-apocalyptic aftermath of a war between machines and their creators, machines rule while humans exist in a state of servitude. Titular character Karen leads Resistance Group 11, an eclectic group of humans who find themselves fighting for their lives as they are hunted by the robots in each episode. Is this the end of humanity? Are they fighting a losing battle?

Through Karen, we delve into a struggle between right and wrong, between indifference and love that explores some of the deepest questions about humanity. What is the difference between a thinking machine and a human being?"

What anime are you watching this fall? What do you think of the series that I have reviewed thus? Please comment below and let me know.

Below is a link to the first part of my fall impressions, as well as parts one and two of my summer anime review.

If you want to contact us or have any questions please send an e-mail to johnstarslayer@gmail.com.

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