Uchoten Kazoku EP 1 Preview – Screwier than hell

Uchoten Kazoku

I feel like I should have written up an introduction to all of these summer anime I’m covering this year. It would be much simpler for you guys to see what shows we’re spotlighting. We have already covered what perhaps was the most anticipated of them all, Free! Next up, it’s Uchoten Kazoku or The Eccentric Family, the most recent contrivance by Tatami Galaxy author Tomihiko Morimi. Uchoten Kazoku feels like a spiritual successor to The Tatami Galaxy, and I’m not just referring to eccentric atmosphere surrounding both, but also the overall production. Aside from that, I don’t believe an episode summary would be enough to describe just what exactly is going on in this series.

Free! – Iwatobi Swim Club EP 1 Preview – The pool, the sun, and the fan service

Free! - Iwatobi Swim Club

Ah, it’s the summer time. When school’s out, the sun is shining brightly above, and the rising temperature gives everyone (kids and grownups alike) the safe excuse to go for a swim. However, sometimes life gets in the way of these fun, but time-consuming outdoor activities. To compensate for those who (myself included) can’t afford a few minutes of a busy day to chill near the water this summer, Kyoto Animation has released Free! – Iwatobi Swim Club to appease and entertain swimming fans, as well as fans of… pretty boys.

To say that Free! – Iwatobi Swim Club is an anime aimed solely at girls is but an observation, as this doesn’t seem to be its only target audience. Free! is extremely eager to please, and not just the girls. There is a peculiar appeal hidden beneath the surface of the swimsuits and the dubstep (more on that later). I’m going to try to keep the episode description to a minimum. This anime has to be seen to be believed.

Valvrave the Liberator EP 1 Preview – Social networking halves

Valvrave the Liberator

For being a series written by Ichiro Okochi, the brains behind anime such as Code Geass and Planetes, Valvrave the Liberator isn’t quite as liberating as it should be. Then again, this is the first episode we’re talking about. Sometimes the first episode of a series is more than enough to demonstrate its importance and potential. Other times, the result is completely hackneyed. After all, Valvrave kicks off its premise in a school setting, with students and their raging hormones confessing their unrequited loves, all-the-while a sociopath and his group of terrorists plot an attack against the school; and… our young protagonist finds and pilots a mecha in order to save the day. Sounds familiar? I thought so too.

Aiura Preview EP 1 – Think crabbing

Aiura

In a way, it was a great idea that we decided to pick another show to preview for the spring anime of this year… I say that because after watching the first episode of Aiura, I was reminded that life is too short. Aiura is a direct adaptation of a yonkoma manga by Chama, and this only adds to the effect that after watching this anime I was dazed and confused, in a good and bad way.

Attack on Titan Preview EP 1 – Gods and monsters

Attack on Titan

After such a searing first episode, Attack on Titan has won me over by a slight margin as the best anime I have seen so far this season. I’m sorry, Aku no Hana! This anime has sealed the deal with me as chances are, I will be following intently for the rest of the season. It helps that it was recently revealed that the series would be around 25 episodes, as that gives it plenty of time for characters to be developed, and plenty of exposition to happen. Anyway, the first episode of Attack on Titan was more than what I expected. Tetsuro Araki, known for the ultra popular Death Note has forged a behemoth of gargantuan potential.

Aku no Hana EP 1 Preview – A deceitful femme fatale

Aku no Hana

Fresh off my editorial we begin 2013′s spring anime season. Aku no Hana is the first series from our picks to premiere, and what a premiere it was. I knew there was something about this series I knew I was going to like. After watching episode one of Aku no Hana, I know exactly what it is. In spite of that I will warn viewers with the following… Aku no Hana is certainly not for everybody.

Perspective Preview: Thinking outside the box

Perspective

Developer(s): Widdershins

Platform(s): PC (Windows)

Perspective is an experimental first person puzzle game developed by Widdershins, a small development team comprised of students from the DigiPen Institute of Technology. For those not familiar, DigiPen is a video game development school which has produced a number of talented alumni. One of their biggest success stories was the game Narbucular Drop, which ended up becoming the mega-hit Portal. Perspective attempts to provide yet another interesting puzzle game, but instead of portals it deals with the concept of first person perception. It’s a hard concept to understand at first, but once you play it everything becomes quite clear.

The Iconoclasts Preview: Pixel perfect platforming

The Iconoclasts

Developer(s): Joakim Sandberg

Platform(s): PC

When I stumbled across this game, my expectations were standard, but those expectations were gradually blown away, one-by-one. The Iconoclasts showed me the capabilities of a single human in developing an unfinished game. This unfinished game is more impressive to me than many games which have been completed and developed by entire teams of people with money in their pockets.

Skulls of the Shogun Preview: Turn-based and totally addicting

Skulls of the Shogun

Developer(s): 17-BIT

Platform(s): Xbox 360, Windows Phone, Windows 8, Microsoft Surface

Skulls of the Shogun is a brand new turn-based strategy game currently in development by 17-BIT. Inspired by games like Advance Wars, it takes a familiar formula and transposes it into a world of undead samurai and Japanese folklore. While it looks simple on the outside, Skulls of the Shogun’s strategy gameplay looks to be incredibly deep and rewarding for players who invest themselves. At the same time the game is very easy to pick up and play, so even new players to the genre can have a great time and experience the fun and addicting gameplay.

The Unfinished Swan Preview: A unique fairy tale

The Unfinished Swan

Developer(s): Giant Sparrow

Platform(s): PS3

The Unfinished Swan is the first game to come out of indie studio Giant Sparrow. It is a first-person exploration game with puzzle elements. The basic premise involves you playing as a young boy named Monroe whose mother has passed away. She leaves behind an unfinished painting of swan, which ends up luring him into an all white world. Your task is to explore this mysterious land and use your unlimited supply of black paint balls to discover while lies hidden. As you shoot more paint unto the world, it starts to reveal itself, and you quickly realize that there is more on the surface than meets the eye.

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