I agree with you on how Arpeggio making a lot (all?) of the fog-ships have moe girl representations was a bad call. That last scene in Episode 1 did seem needlessly pandering to me, and yeah, it makes Iona seem much less special.
I also liked GD's final scene because the show has this certain high-tech absurdity to it anyway. It felt less "out of left field" than what we saw in Arpeggio and Tokyo Ravens, imo.
You know, I feel kind of inconsistent for saying it for docking marks from Arpeggio and Tokyo Ravens (the latter of which I actually like a lot) for what I thought to be the ridiculousness of their final scenes, but Galilei Donna's first episode was a riot.
And on a completely different topic: I final got around to seeing Star Trek VI recently... and for all the Into Darkness/Star Trek II comparisons, I kind of feel like Into Darkness is like a contemporary update of Star Trek VI. Not sure if you've seen both, but if you have I'd be interested in your opinion on it.
I really like the characterization in Tokyo Ravens episode 1. I had to dock a couple marks for the final action scene though - the combination of mechanization and spirit powers was actually pretty cool but the execution of it in that scene just seemed excessive and needlessly elaborate/complicated to the point where it actually broke suspension of disbelief a bit. It actually bothered me more than the high gloss late-90s looking CG.
That said, I still have to say I'm very positive on the show. This wasn't like Arpeggio's last scene, which knocked away a lot of my interest - I liked Arpeggio better when I assumed that Iona taking human form was something unique.
Two minor notes:
1) Is it just me, or is Natsume's dress actually pretty revealing under strong sunlight?
2) KanaHana playing a miko? Between that and Gingitsune, this season seems to be catering to that particular taste of mine a fair bit.
Both of those are great pics. The Kanade/Kuroneko one is quite fitting. The Hyouka one is a real stroke of genius for whoever came up with it (although Satoshi's son looks like a carbon copy of Satoshi, and it's hard to see what Mayaka contributed, lol).
It is funny how you ended up voting for the Tiara Winner in the Tiara final match-up without even realizing it.
So I barely participated in ISML this year, but ended up voting in the last match without realizing it (I didn't look to see what match it was, actually). And yet somehow, it's the first year my girl won. (To be fair, I think a lot of fans were sympathetic to her after S2.)
Had my season kick off screening today, though we didn't have time for a few shows (Strike the Blood and White Album 2 come to mind).
Outbreak Company was surprisingly popular given that my group isn't the most easily pleased. I think the 90s throwback world design helped win some people over - one friend thought it had shades of Irresponsible Captain Tylor to it. I notice Enzo noted in his blog that the show has a bit of a humanistic side, and I'm kind of feeling like that's the other special ingredient - in particular, I'd cite the scene where he starts teaching Miusel to read as being one of the bits that keeps it from feeling like an also-run reference comedy.
Though for stuff that's clearly intended to be heartwarming, there's Gingatsune. Genki miko playing off a grumpy fox spirit. Non-romantically, even.
At one point, a friend and I decided it would be fun to force the group to watch a double header of fujoshi shows - specifically Diabolik Lovers and Megane-bu. Diabolik Lovers appears to be based on an otome game targetted at Twilight fangirls - specifically one aimed at the kind of girl who fantasizes about being stalked and harassed by brooding sparkly vampires. I found it rather amusing, but then again that kind of thing doesn't phase me much.
Re: Mio in Walkure Romanze: whose brilliant idea was it to dress a shallow klutz in an obvious rip off of the garb of one of anime's most iconic strong female leads? Even for a veteran of guilty pleasure anime, I have to call that one out for being terrible, terrible taste.
One the other hand, Mirai's klutziness didn't bother me nearly as much on a second watch of Kanata no Kyoukai episode 1. Since the show actually has a decent number of things I like in it, I see this as a good sign moving forward.
I really like that Outbreak Company has an otaku protagonist but he isn't portrayed as a jerk or one step away from molesting every girl he meets. Actually, the bits with him and the half-elf maid were kind of cute. (Also, as I mentioned in the thread, I also like that they portrayed being a "master" as kind of awkward, because I've attended enough maid cafes at events to say it actually can be.)
The Charles charade was one of my favourite things about the first season but I actually have to admit I'm surprised that Charlotte can pull off a good reverse trap.
Monogatari season 2 has been pretty solid in general but I personally feel like the Nadeko Medusa arc is one of the best anime I've seen in ages.
I'm pretty much with you on Golden Time. The Club Recruitment scene was definitely overplayed a bit. Still, I'm liking the show so far.
With IS2, I liked the call-back in having "Charles" dressed as a butler. It's good to see she can still pull of a trap well. I've resigned myself to "Houki or nobody" being the almost certain end of IS romance-wise. My expectations going into IS2 were pretty low, but the show at least didn't fall short of them.
Pros: college setting, actually decent interaction between male characters, and what little I've seen of Chinami was adorable.
Cons: The Latin dance club scene was just embarrassing, not sure how I feel about the lead girls stalker habits (especially given she's already at college).
Infinite Stratos 2:
Pros: Charlotte working at a butler cafe. Charlotte seemingly having more interaction with Ichika during the pool scene than the other girls. Charlotte in a pool scene. Oh yeah, the OP has Rin in a cheogsam. (See? I'm not just a Charlotte man.)
Cons: Episode doesn't have Charlotte in a maid outfit even though Laura gets to wear one. ED seems to emphasize Houki more than other girls, threatening a slide back into late season one's "Houki wins, just because she's first girl" mode. A lot of the action scenes are cheesy and the serious ones clearly meant to foreshadow felt rather flat.
I wasn't offended about it. I was getting a bit frustrated at how some posters weren't addressing the points I had raised, which might have been what you're thinking of. And as you may recall, I have stronger opinions on HSI in general and that arc in particularl than about most anime I've watched.
Since she felt so strongly about it, I think Minko should have put the onus on Yuki and her supporters to figure out how they were going to cook it given the equipment available. "Your objection is noted" is not really a good solution to this kind of thing (I seem to recall it didn't go across too well for Picard in First Contact either). So yes, good character development arc for Minko. (I also thought Tohru's eventual response at the wedding - writing "Love" on the Sashimi - was pretty hilarious.)