Winter Anime Impressions: Part 3

My winter impressions continue with Junketsu no Maria, Durarara!!x2 Shou, Unlimited Fafnir, and World Break, although, due to some delays, these are more like mid-season reviews. Anyway, let’s do this!

Junketsu no Maria (Maria the Virgin Witch)
Set in France during the Hundred Years' War, Junketsu no Maria, aka Maria the Virgin Witch, follows Maria, a powerful witch, who adamantly tries to stop the war by using her magic and succubus servant to interfere with the warring factions. However, as word of her interference spreads, certain higher powers take notice and try to stop Maria. I will stop the plot summary there as to not spoil the series.
Due to the impressive visuals and a classic fantasy setting, Junketsu no Maria was one of my most hyped anime of the winter season, and while it has moments of brilliance, it is, unfortunately, not living up to what it could be. 
Classical fantasy is one of my favorite genres, and Junketsu no Maria's setting of using a real war from the past with elements of magic intertwined is very interesting. Even though the first episode is all around excellent, the series takes a turn for the worst in episodes two and three with an oddly heavy focus on crude humor that clashes with the rest of the series, almost to the point of ruining the entire experience; a lot of the material just falls on its face. Fortunately, episodes four and five seem to be taking a better direction, and maybe the series' plot can become more focused, because the concept and world are fascinating. 
As for the characters, Maria herself is very likable. She only wants to help, and her banter with the other characters is usually a lot of fun. The other characters are okay, but not terribly memorable.
A big selling point of the series is Production I.G.'s beautiful and unique art style. The animation brings the fantasy world to life with a lot soft round edges vibrant colors, which makes for an appealing world to just experience for 20 minutes every week. Maria's character design is particularly well done and is actually unique as it almost mixes Kiki's Delivery Service's designs with modern anime for great blend of the two styles. Unfortunately, along with the crude humor and dialogue, there is quite a lot of fanservice.
Junketsu no Maria has a lot of potential, and while it seems that it will not fulfill said potential, the characters, art style, and fantasy world will keep me coming back until the series' completion.
Watch if you like: Fantasy,
Warning: Recommended for mature audiences.

Durarara!!x2 Shou
Durarara makes it triumphant return in Durarara!!x2 Shou! Set several months after the events of the first season, Durarara is right back to what made the first season so much fun with its large cast of characters and relentless pace. As for the first season, it is a ton of fun, and after you watch Baccano, which is based on light novels by the same author that wrote Durarara, you should definitely give Durarara a watch. It is way too much fun, and the style is just the right amount of zany, without reaching Kill la Kill levels.
Going back to Durarara!!x2 Shou, it is just absurdly entertaining! And even though Brains Base did not return to animate the series, the new Studio Shuka matches the Brains Base’s perfectly. Of the sequels this season, Durarara is right up there with Stardust Crusaders 2 as the best. Apparently, the rest of the light novels are set to be adapted into an anime in the summer and next year’s winter season, which means there will be plenty of Durarara greatness to come, so there is no better time to catch up on the series than the present.
Watch if you like: The first season, Action, Fantasy, Unique style,

Seiken Tsukai no World Break (World Break: Aria of Curse for a Holy Swordsman)
Seiken Tsukai no World Break (World Break: Aria of Curse for a Holy Swordsman) is yet another derivative ecchi harem that in set in a fantasy world where certain people have the memories of their past lives as heroes (or villains) that can use magic to defeat monsters. Of course, the series is set in a high school where the characters learn how to use their powers. Despite being clichéd in setting, the characters are a little different than the norm.
Moroha Haimura, the main character, is the typical guy with special powers that make him better than everyone else. However, the supporting harem, especially, Shizuno Urushibara, do not fall into the overly shy or violent clichés that annoy me. Urushibara is surprisingly nonchalant whenever Haimura ends up in an awkward situation with her, which is nice, and despite being a tsundere-esque character, Satsuki Ranjō is very open about her affection for Haimura. The series plays out more like a love-triangle since the other girls having no real shot, even if one of the other girls harasses Haimura with an ear of corn (I cannot make this stuff up, but it is played for comedy).
Diomedéa’s animation is average, or slightly below, although it does not have a ton of horrible CGI, and the fanservice is not that bad for an ecchi.
World Break is just barely above average as an ecchi series that has an interesting concept that is likely to be pushed to the side. However, it is not a bad viewing experience, so I am going to keep watching.
Watch if you like: Ecchi, Fantasy,
An intentional kiss in the first 10 minutes, that's actually impressive for a harem.

Juuou Mujin no Fafnir (Unlimited Fafnir)
Unlimited Fafnir is set in a fantasy world where large dragons attack the world, and girls with the powers of dragons, referred to as “D,” appear. The series takes place on a special school for the “D,” and of course, being an all girls’ school, the world’s only male “D,” Yuu Mononobe, goes there and the plot for a typical ecchi/harem begins!
Honestly, there is not much to say about Unlimited Fafnir other than it is exactly like every other ecchi/harem that you have ever seen, although with a little less fanservice than most. Some of the concepts are relatively interesting, but as a whole, the series does nothing original. Studio Diomedéa’s animation is a little below average, and the 3D used is worse than something out of the 90s.
With all that said, Unlimited Fafnir is not a bad anime, just a completely average one, and it does provide a little entertainment. Having already invested the time to watch six episodes, I suppose I will go ahead and finish the series, but it is not recommendable.
Watch if you like: Ecchi,

What are you watching? Are you interested in any of the ones that I have reviewed today?

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