Continued from Part One.
Nobunaga the Fool is something weird, and not in a good way. It’s reminiscent of Kyoukaisenjou no Horizon that aired in 2011 and 2012 in that it’s a strange corruption of history set in some kind of futuristic alternate universe. It sounds pretty cool, especially if you liked Horizon. After seeing that it would have mecha, adding further to the already promised insanity of having Oda Nobunaga (conqueror of Japan in the 1500s), Joan of Arc (French heroine in the 1400s), and Leonardo da Vinci (Italian polymath in the 1400s to the 1500s) in the same place, I was excited. The result was very disappointing. I stuck it out for a few episodes, but at episode 5 I decided to drop it. I was bored. It struggled to keep my attention- I even found myself browsing the Web as I watched it, and at one point I stopped reading the subtitles in favor of letting it play in the background. The characters were bland; Nobunaga was a generic delinquent-type, Joan of Arc was portrayed as some kind of damsel in distress, and da Vinci was just plain annoying. The other characters were mostly useless and provided no real substance to the story. Even the action was uninteresting. Nobunaga’s mech was severely overpowered and seemed to simply brush aside anything that came its way. Not even the addition of Julius Caesar to the mayhem was able to keep me interested. Ultimately, I decided that it wasn’t worth sitting through every week (especially after learning that it would run for 24 episodes). Instead, I’m just going wait for a third season of Horizon.
Let me start by saying that this show takes place sometime around the year 2050, a time where men are nearly extinct and mahjong has tens of millions of players.
Many were excited at the premier of Saki: Zenkoku-hen, the long-awaited second season to 2009’s insane-mahjong-with-cute-girls anime Saki. Personally, I only watched the series a month before the premier of this second season, but I can understand the pain of some fans- especially when 2012’s Saki: Achiga-hen – Episode of Side-A spin-off series failed to be of the same quality as the first season. Saki makes the complex and difficult game of mahjong fun and interesting, especially with the addition of moe highschool girls with strange mahjong powers. One question I asked myself, however, is whether or not the second season will be able to keep up with the first season, when Achiga-hen was unable to. In my opinion, while so far it has not been able to live up to its name, it’s still pretty good. It’s fun to watch, and the large and diverse cast of characters remains a strong point. Since I know hardly anything about mahjong, I’m unable to comment on that fully, but it is very exciting to watch. I do feel that it loses enjoyment due to jumping right into the game without much focus on character building, and because the drama seen in the first season is gone without a trace. Everybody is everybody else’s friend, which is a problem in competition-type anime; The only real “rival” character would be main character Saki Miyanaga’s older sister, who is rarely seen, and who I do not expect to see very much of going forward either. Most probably, the climactic battle between sisters will be released as OVAs, a formula Studio Gokumi used when producing Achiga-hen. Overall, while it is a severe downgrade from the first season, Zenkoku-hen is still a very enjoyable and interesting show.
There isn’t very much to say about Tonari no Seki-kun. It’s a series of shorts, with each being approximately 7 minutes long, and each one is pretty funny. It has a simple premise: A “master distraction maker”, Seki, plays with random things during class and distracts Yokoi, the girl who sits next to him. Each episode brings another distraction. It’s not the best thing ever, but its humor is very consistent and enjoyable.
That concludes the second part of my thoughts on Winter 2014 airing anime. Thank you for reading!
To learn more about any of the shows I’ve mentioned, try searching for their names on Google, or using a database like AniDB or MyAnimeList.