Ty for the avy explanation ... makes a little more sense to me now.
Yes indeed ... I happen to be very fond of the "healing genre" of anime in general; I'd even say exceptionally fond of it. So of course my tastes will excuse a lot of "other elements" that others might look for and exalt that series high up in my estimation. Coupled with that is that I was already a huge fan of Tamayura from the OVAs and the Drama CD. It will definitely be among my faves for the year.
But to be fair, even though I love the series, it still does not exceed Ikoku Meiro for me. The latter is definitely shaping up to be my fave series of the year ... if something "de-thrones" it I will be quite shocked! Yune is still proudly occupying her throne and ruling with an iron fist.
Re. Mashiro-iro ... I also like the fact that Sakuno is so normal ... although we will see as the eps progress.
My avatar is a fusion of Gai (his hair, mainly, lol) from Guilty Crown and the famous Command and Conquer video game character Kane. It's based upon:
1. The neat similarities I and some other GC fans see between Guilty Crown and Command and Conquer.
2. The fact that while Gai is pretty cool, he'd be even better if he was more like Kane, lol.
Oh, by the way, I'll say that I'm still thoroughly enjoying Tamayura Hitotose, since I noticed that you and Enzo are talking about it. I consider Hitotose one of my Top 5 of Fall 2011, and there's some chance it'll be in my personal Top 10 list of the entire year.
However, I do see Enzo's well-stated critique. Tamayura does one thing extremely well (heavenly heartwarming healing anime), and it's to be commended for that, but there's not much it does other than that one thing. For this reason, I couldn't put it ahead of the Madokas and Steins;Gates of the year. Still, Tamayura adds a lot of balance to the Fall 2011 season. It's great to have a serious "healing" anime without heavy romance in it.
As for Mashiro-iro Symphony, my views are somewhat similar to Enzo's. Sana's character is likable enough, but she's also the one that's the hardest to swallow characterization-wise, but she certainly could have been executed much worse. I really like Sakuno, in large part because she's not a heavy brocon or raising incest flags. She clearly loves her brother, but it lacks a sexual tint to me, and I like that. I hope the anime keeps her that way, but I'll probably just sigh and eyeroll a bit if they don't.
I really like both Airi and Miu, and I'd be completely floored if one of them doesn't end up with Shingo by the end of the anime, so I'm a happy camper shipping-wise at the moment. ^_^
Yes, yes indeed! iM@S is great! Solid is a wonderful word for it ... I was originally expecting very little but brainless fanservice to the extreme, but it turned out to be very wholesome and realistic, looking into the lives of an up and coming idol agency's members. I find the idols to be charming and endearing at the same time. It's actually quite refreshing imo.
As for poor Shu ... good take on his being a more realistic portrayal of modern day otaku sorts. But I must admit, otaku or otherwise, the guy is still a shy and awkward teenager - and Inori's actions (whatever her real or faked motives, etc.) had to hit him hard.
I agree with you on Shu. I think he's taking a bit more hate than what's deserved. But I do have a theory on this, thanks to hoarfrost: I think that the "Yuji Everyman" character type is often an idealized representation of the modern otaku, whereas Shu is a more realistic representation. That makes Shu come off looking worse to a lot of people, whereas to me I think it makes him seem more real, and hence easier for me to feel sympathy for.
Oh, and on a separate note, I recently picked Idolmaster back up, and am up to Episode 8 or so now. It's very solid! I'm enjoying it more than I thought I would.
Part of the reason I stalled it before is that I found the cast size simply daunting. But each episode is thankfully choosing different girls to focus on, and it's gradually becoming easier and easier to tell the girls apart from one another.
BTW - totally agree with your comments in defending Shu for Guilty Crown ep 5. Must admit that I personally don't really like the "he soooooo deserved it" angle some were taking. But then maybe that's just me. Man - I felt so badly for him after Inori dropped the bomb and then he saw her going into Gai's room followed by Ayase's comments.
I know I would have been pretty hurt in that situation....
Between Chihayafuru, Mashiro-Iro Symphony, and Tamayura ~Hitotose~ this has actually turned out to be a much stronger season for slice of life/drama/romance anime than I thought it would be.
Agreed ... although I must admit that I am still kinda surprised you have not been bitten by the iM@S bug. Hard to find a better example of cute girls doing cute things airing atm imo. (In fact am listening to the Full version of the iM@S OP 1 as I type this ... grabbed from a youtube repost from Nico Nico.)
Well - everyone has their 'drothers and such!
Interesting about Tamayura ... ep 6 focused on the friendship between Maon and Norie ... had forgotten about that "building block". Maybe the second half of the season will bring in the photographer?