Plot: When the ogres attacked over 400 years ago, a samurai named Kennosuke Tokisada Ouma and the princess of the Washiba fought back with a stolen mecha dubbed "Kuromukuro".
Now, the ogres are back. The first line of defense against the alien mecha is a special organization of UN scientists, who are researching a relic found at the Kurobe Dam. The daughter of the research director, Yukina Shirahane, is at Kurobe when the ogres attack and accidentally activates the relic. Kennosuke emerges, and, mistaking Yukina for his princess, fights off the ogres to protect her. Through an odd turn of events, Yukina becomes bonded to the Kuromukuro, and with Kennosuke's knowledge of the ogres, they are able to fight back. But can the samurai, displaced from his time, be trusted? (A-)
Artwork & Animation: Absolutely GORGEOUS backgrounds! -- A
Voice Acting: A-
Objectionable Content: blood, suggestive themes, profanity
Other: This was a bit more complex than what I could go into here. The series has a satisfying storyline, and watching Kennosuke try to acclimate to his new surroundings is a lot of fun.
Overall Score: A-
Plot: When Sota Tawara returns home to Kagawa in the wake of his father's passing, he finds a small child curled up in a pot in his father's noodle shop. He quickly takes a liking to the boy and starts taking care of him. But what will he do when he finds out that his new charge is actually a shape-shifted tanuki? (B-)
Artwork & Animation: B+
Voice Acting: A-
Objectionable Content: mild
Other: A quiet slice-of-life/fantasy series carried almost wholly by the way the characters are handled (and partly by the cuteness of Poco). While the plot is nothing to write home about, and the ending feels slightly rushed and anticlimactic, it has its emotional moments.
Overall Score: B+
What shows are you watching this anime season? Which ones are your faves? Share your recommendations!
Plot: Yoshio Kobayashi, a boy protected by an invincible shield-like power that he can't control, is unable to die and a danger to those around him. Kensuke Hanasaki is a member of the Boy Detectives Club. Intrigued by Kobayashi's abilities, Hanasaki invites the young misanthrope to join the club by striking a deal with him: he'll help Kobayashi find a way to die if Kobayashi still can't find a reason to live. (Execution is a bit shabby, but there's potential -- B-)
Characters: Definitely the series' weakest point -- C-
Artwork & Animation: A-
Voice Acting: B+
Objectionable Content: suggestive themes, blood, profanity
Other: It takes place in a cool world, and the potential is there for a good story. But the characters can sometimes be grating, and, more than halfway through the series, there's still not much positive development.
Overall Score: B-
Plot: Yoshimatsu Hotaka lost his father to a congenital heart disease and views himself as a weakling, having inherited the same disease and undergone a surgery that left an awful scar. He uses the manga club anthology to vent his feelings, and, in the meantime, is content with watching Niki Awaya, the girl he has a major crush on, from the club room window. When Hotaka and Niki finally meet for the first time during a swimming test, he has a hard time believing that Niki actually likes him. Pushed on by his friend, On-chan, Hotaka slowly takes the first steps toward befriending Niki -- who he may have more in common with than he could imagine. (There's a pretty good plot being slowly revealed, but something's a little off about the execution. B-)
Objectionable Content: fan service, profanity
Other: I haven't finished the series yet, so perhaps I'm jumping the gun on my judgement. There's obviously a big bomb waiting to be dropped on Hotaka, and that part of the story is interesting. But there's something that holds it back from being as good as it could be.
Overall Score: B