Girlish Number: The art and animation for this show is at a very high level. It makes for a nice contrast with Sore ga Seiyuu!, which had a pretty bare-bones budget, considering both stories are cynical, comical takes on the seiyuu industry. If I had to compare the two works based on just the first episode, I would give Girlish Number the nod. That's high praise, considering Sore ga Seiyuu is already in my top anime rankings. If Girlish Number stays poppy, fizzy, exciting and humorous all at once like it has so far, it's definitely going to enter my rankings too. So far this season, as far as possible new entries to the great anime world, this series is the most promising. Pass.
3-gatsu no Lion: Another artsy, long-winded, boring, almost nihilistic anime that belongs in a college classroom instead of the commercial world. Navel-gazing artistic expression contests are not for a consumer audience. Why do these projects keep getting animated? Can't anyone tell them they will be flops ahead of time? If this somehow does succeed, it will only be because I underestimated the stupidity of the masses, not because this show could possibly be any good. Fail.
Long Riders: Moe + cycling. I like moe girls and cycling, so this is a fine combination. My only complaint is it feels like the show is low calorie fluff. There's no real depth to the story or the characters, just sweet, cute nothings, like cotton candy. I've never seen such a crazy bike the main character rides, I never knew such a small wheeled model existed. The things you learn by delving deep into hobbyist anime. It's a little refreshing that the show is set in college for once instead of high school, so that's another plus. For a first episode it's fine, but it might get boring before the end. Pass.
Occultic;Nine: There's a kernel of a good story in here, but the exterior is so painfully bad that it's not worth burrowing through. Anime is at its root a visual and auditory experience, the actual written abstract words that compose the plot are only an afterthought. If this were a book it might have worked, but because the visuals and sounds were so bad as an anime it completely fails. From the frenetic pace everyone talks at, to the main character boy's high whiny voice, to the semi-retarded girl's random screaming, to the transgender man's creepy voice, everything you hear during the episode is painful. Then you combine that with the awful looks of the transgender man, the ridiculous bust size of the screaming retarded girl, and the weird art style in general, and it just completely turns you off from any attempt to engage with the actual story. Presentation is important, and this project seems to be intentionally presenting itself in as bad a light as possible. That's just not going to cut it. Fail.
Soul Buster: I couldn't watch this episode to the end. The plot is stupid. The art style isn't even anime. I don't know what you'd call that, except the 'really bad style.' The main character cavalierly throws away his life out of casual curiosity and is too stupid to even realize this. Is there anything positive about this show? Why was it even made? Fail.
Idol Memories still hasn't been translated, so I'll just have to cover it some other time, if it ever does come out. For now this concludes the fall anime season's initial lineup. I'm watching these shows in this order of excitement:
1. Hibike! Euphonium S2
2. Brave Witches
3. Vivid Strike
4. Girlish Number
5. Shuumatsu no Izetta
6. Dragon Ball Super
7. Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku
8. One Piece
9. Naruto Shippuden
11. Stella no Mahou
12. Long Riders
13. Shakunetsu no Takyuu Musume
(Let's face it, subtitled Mahoutskai Precure hasn't come out in weeks, so it's hardly a currently airing series)
Once the third episode of Shuumatsu no Izetta comes out, I'll have officially watched 600 different anime franchises for at least their first three episodes. That means there are 600 mediocre and above anime shows in the world, which is pretty darn impressive. Sadly, I can't symmetrically raise my anime rankings all the way up to 200 in response, because there's a difference between great and 'top 1/3 of all at least mediocre shows.' But not much of a difference. With 183 ranked shows, the symmetry is pretty close even as things stand. Maybe someday the great anime rankings will catch up.