Next two shows up in the first impressions for the Winter 2012 Anime Season are High School DxD and Knight in the Area.

High School DxD is something that I actually stumbled upon around two months ago from an image of Rias Gremory (Red haired girl above) on a random forum poster’s signature. I’ll have to admit that I instantly fell in-love with her design and decided to seek out the manga. I wasn’t really holding out for anything deep and I was correct, the High School DxD manga wasn’t anything of note (typical harem comedy with devil/angel twist) and I was going to follow this series merely as a guilty pleasure.

Warning Op is NWSF

The anime’s first episode was surprisingly decent, fan service aside (and there is quite a bit of it for those that mind), the opening sequence which features Issei’s death is done quite well and I think overal the episode flows better and is slightly different from the manga (from my memories of it). Music wise, the op was absent and the ed decent (tho it could very well be the op but it played at the end), but nothing special at this point. Yoko Hikasa, who plays Rias Gremory, does a fine job played the sexy, student council president and after remembering her from various roles (Hoki (Infinite Stratos), Minami (Moshidora), Izumi (Working), and Seraphim (Kore wa Zombie Desu ka?), I’m starting to appreciate her more and more. Overall, looking forward to the next episode, I like the direction things are going, as it seems that the plot is developing a bit beta/faster than in the manga.

The fourth anime of this season I managed to catch is Knight in the Area. After finishing Cross Game less than a month ago, I was very in the mood and excited for this anime. Soccer and sports in general ren’t quite my area of interest (as stated in my earlier post[s]), but after how refreshing and superb Cross Game was, I could not let go a chance at trying another new modern sports anime.

The first episode of Knight in the Area is ratherly awkwardly done, what I mean is the exciting soccer match-ups are done mostly in a slow motion style animation. I understand that the reason they did it as such was to better articulate the action, but the exciting bgm that was used for the scenes didn’t go quite well with that style. And furthermore the style only seamed to slow down the excitement, which I think worked to the show’s detriment.

Character wise, the main guy, Kakeru is a wimp for a bit of the episode, but I was glad that he decided to man up by episodes end and can only hope that continues to be the case and he doesn’t revert back to his wimpy state like other shows seem to do with the main guy (Guilty Crown in more recent memory). He apparantly has an injury on his left leg, which is the main reason he had himself reverte to a manager position away from the field, I imagine the trauma (which was slightly portrayed) will play an important part next episode and perhaps throughout the series.

Kakeru’s older brother, Suguru is the cool guy that all the girls love and seems to exceed at everything (Sasuke from Naruto anyone?), I liked how he was really a hard ass on Kakeru and helped whip him back into gear.

Otherwise I liked Nana, also known as Seven, the new girl that just returned from America and a former childhood friend of Kakeru/Suguru. I was hoping that she would be his main reason for joining soccer again or at least the one that gets him to his left foot again, though it seems that isn’t/won’t be the case.

My main hope for her is that she doesn’t become involved in a love triangle, because that usually conflicts too much with a series’ main plot (though Cross Game was able to do it correctly by not making it a big focus).

Music wise the op was decent and I kind of liked the video, though the font used to introduce side character names was rather atrocious.

Overall, didn’t meet my expectations (though admittedly they were set high), but I did enjoy the episode and will continue to watch. As of now Moretsu Pirates is probably my favorite of the season. Next show I will check out will most likely be Amagami SS+.

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