I tried to give this one a chance, mostly out of loyalty to Satelight and curiosity about Okada Mari writing a mecha series – and a sequel at that. But to be honest, it just didn’t do a thing for me. From what I can tell, we have a sequel set 12,000 years after the original Aquarion and starring the cast of Guilty Crown. That all seems well and good, but the sense I got was that viewers are expected to be intimately familiar with the mythology and those of us who weren’t are pretty much going to be lost at sea. I really felt as if I was dropped in the middle of a story and not a terribly interesting one at that, though I’m sure the effect is different for hardcore fans. The voice cast sounds pretty tired to me too – familiar actors doing familiar voices and boy, am I sick of Kaji Yuki. I’ll give this another look next week, but it’s a longshot to stick.
Brave 10 – 01
This one was pretty far down on my list going into the season, but I actually liked the first ep quite a bit. This re-telling of the “Sanada Ten Braves” saga of Sengoku-era Japan from Studio Sakimakura (this is only their second series after Cardfight!! Vanguard) is certainly fujoshi-friendly, à la Hakuouki – a little too much so for me, to be honest. But it’s lively and likeable, and even if it’s a cavalcade of bishies I’m always inclined to like a good Sengoku-era tale. It’s a classic damsel in distress story – Miko Isanami (Satou Rina) is on the run after her shrine is put to the torch by Tokugawa Ieyasu. The lone survivor, she sets off the find the Lord Yukimura Sanada (Morikawa Toshiyuki) and along the way is saved by wandering Samurai Saizou Kirigakure (Ono Daisuke) who reluctantly accompanies her to Ueda Castle. While violent, the material is played pretty lightly, and Isanami is a fairly stock anime heroine. But the premise is good and the writing fairly sharp, and it should be interesting to watch as Sanada gathers the Ten Braves together to defend Isanami, and perhaps find a way to co-opt the strange powers she seems to possess. Plus, romance – both between Isanami and Saizou (though I’m sure there’ll be a reverse harem) and seemingly between Sanada and his page (for the Otome Road crowd). This isn’t anything spectacular, but it’s fun and easy to watch.