The fall season is almost completely underway, so here are my top picks so far!
1. Strike the Blood
This show has captured my interest most completely of all the new shows. There is a man-made island off the coast of Japan that hosts various supernatural species who are at risk for extinction. The main character is a regular high school student who somehow became the 4th True Ancestor, a pure, original vampire. One day he meets a girl with a strange weapon who claims she’s been assigned to watch over him and kill him if it turns out he’s a danger to the world.
The main reason this show is currently #1 is just by how thorough the pilot was. The setting is simple enough, but it was explained naturally without excessive hand-holding. This gave more time to introduce characters through interactive scenes, and even let some action seep through as well as plenty of foreshadowing for future plot points. The character designs are fairly generic but crisp and clean. Overall, the package and presentation were all very neat, which speaks well for future episodes, especially with the plot foreshadowing. I’ll admit that it didn’t do anything groundbreaking, it was a very by-the-book pilot, but sometimes that’s what you need.
2. Kyoukai no Kanata (Beyond the Boundary)
KyoAni’s contribution this season with typical attractive KyoAni character designs. It’s hard for me to get tired of them since they really are just attractive. The setting here is modern fantasy, with magic and monsters known as “youmu” an accepted part of daily life. The pilot episode really tries to marry the dichotomy between everyday school life and fighting and exterminating youmu. The biggest reason why I ranked Strike the Blood higher based on the pilots is I just don’t see the big picture in this show yet. I think Kanata has the better potential of the two, but Strike lays it out better and sets up future episodes better. I want to watch multiple future episodes, not just the next one. A pretty minor failing on Kanata’s part, but hey, all I can really do is try to rationalize why I’m a bit more eager to watch the next Strike the Blood episode than the next Kyoukai no Kanata episode :X
More after the jump!