A short anime review: Simoun
So, last Spring an anime came out called Simoun. I researched a little bit about all the upcoming animes for that season and most of what I heard for Simoun was "OMG! Hawt lesbians!" so I decided to give it a pass. A while ago I realized that I heard someone say something nice about the show, decided that hawt lesbians do have their redeeming features even if they aren't enough to get me to watch a full 26 episode season, and downloaded the series. I discovered two things:
1) I was lied to. Sure there were a few lesbians. There were even a few lesbian kisses and a lot more girls kissing each other platonically. But there was very little of the fanservice I had been led to expect.
2) Despite/Because of this it was the second best show of the season right after Haruhi-sama.
Why was it good? First of all character growth. Impressive character growth. Interesting character growth. Believable character growth. For 13 out of the 15 major characters anyways and that ought to be good enough for anyone.
Second, world building. Not necessarily a world that hangs together perfectly, but one that hand together well enough and that by its nature makes you think about things from new perspectives.
Third, drama. Moments of catharsis that left me shaking. Moments of redemption that left me misty eyed. Moments of fulfillment that were bliss.
Be warned, this is all heavy shoujo stuff. Yes, there's a war going on but its really just there as a background. If you couldn't care less about, say, character managing to honestly convey their feeling to each other you probably won't like this one.