Anime Season Review (SUMMER 2015) – The Worst and the Best

Anime Season Review Summer 2015
Time for a season review!

Reviewing 21 different anime.
Taking a look at the best and worst.
No spoilers.

Hello everyone! I hope you had a great summer season. I know I did after my allergies went away and snot stopped dripping out of my nose while I watched some foodgasm action, slice of life goodness, a whole bunch of solid adaptations, and some surprisingly good shows like Baby Steps and Joukamachi. As decently entertaining as many anime this season are, there were quite a few disappointments as well. Charlotte ended up being a clusterfuck of a disappointment (Oh don’t worry, you’ll read a lot about it in my rant below. It’s first up!), Gangsta ended up being a poor-man’s version of Black Lagoon, and after thinking about it some more, Overlord wasn’t actually as well-adapted as I initially thought. As I promised in my first impressions, I’ll be following it up with a mini review for all the 21 different anime I finished watching this season totaling around 19,000 words.

I have no clue if I’ll continue to make season reviews this long in length. But after I started ranting about Charlotte, I thought, why the fuck not? Let’s just talk about whatever we want to talk about and go… some of the way. Not all the way because then it’d be 100,000+ words and I’d be better off writing a book titled, “Bullshit in Anime: What Happens When Otakus Have Their Way And Buy All The Dumb Shit Because Of The Big Names And Their Really Shit Taste So That Eventually Studios Will Just Make Shittier and Crappier Shit Again And Again Bankrupting Original Ideas And Actually Good Writing Until Even Blowjobs Aren’t Enough To Make You Watch These Chinese Cartoons.” Apparently what happens is that you start making titles the same length as their fucking light novels. Anyways, there’s a ton to cover, so let’s get started!

Important note: Because I am covering 21 different anime, do not expect these to be in-depth reviews. These reviews simply give you a general idea of my thoughts.

Tiered List

Within the tier, it starts from what I think is worst to what I think is best. The last (best) few ones of the tier can sometimes be fairly close to the next tier. Consequently, the first few of each tier can sometimes be close to the previous tier. Don’t complain about why some anime in tier 3 is not higher than another show in tier 3. This is a rough method and not a precise method of determining the quality of an anime. The tiers are also not relative to the anime in each season. This means that there are no fixed number of any tier for any season. It’s possible for their to be no anime in any of the tiers. For what anime I am putting on hold and have dropped, refer to my first impressions.

The Most Disappointing Anime – The title says it all.

The Shittiest Crap – Nope, nope, and nope.

The I Will Defer Judgement Until All Episodes Finish Airing Anime – Thanks ufotable for making me increase my production levels by adding another tier.

The Average Anime of the Season (Very cramped this season. Do not pay too much attention to exact placements.) – Decent anime that are watchable, but have their fair share of problems and are nothing too noteworthy.

The Good Anime of the Season – The better anime of the season I would actively recommend others to watch.

The Great anime of the Season – Incredibly entertaining anime, or truly excellent anime.

The Most Disappointing Anime

Charlotte

Charlotte Yuu laughing

Maeda Jun right now except instead of dirt he’s rolling in the dough of all those nincompoops who bought the BDs for this atrocity.
I can understand why Yuu would need to laugh crazily. He’s in this show and I’m just watching it. Imagine the insanity of being in this clusterfuck.

Warning: Rant ahead.

Oh man. Oh boy. Oh god. Where do I even begin? Well, while I was writing the first impressions, I expected the anime to get more serious and hopefully better because the first few episodes consisted mostly of slice of life moments and some monster of the week stuff that didn’t seem to matter. I did end up expecting the right thing in one respect. It did get more serious, but it certainly, oh most definitely, did not get better. Here’s the thing about this anime. It has so many problems that it’s too overwhelming to talk about all of them. I almost wanted to make a full review of it, but I’d probably die of old age before typing out all the problems this shit has. Furthermore, many flaws can be encompassed in one phrase such as “plot holes,” but have large implications when considering the overall anime. To even state their significance it requires me to spoil things, so what I’ve done is something I usually never do in long seasonal posts like this. I’ve made a spoiler section below to back up my more general critique with actual evidence so people won’t say I’m talking out of my ass. I won’t go too in-depth because that would be worth a post all on its own, but it should be enough to give you a general idea of the problems that Charlotte has. Now, let’s first begin dissecting Charlotte without any spoilers. The first and most major problem of this anime is that it tries to do too much. It tries to do sci-fi, supernatural powers, romance, large scale plot points, slice of life, and other things that I can’t spoil. It’s as if the creators wanted to shove as much as they possibly could in 13 episodes. By the end, absolutely nothing stood out and everything got in the way of each other creating a convoluted mess with no idea of what it wants to be or where it should go.

The first bit of the anime consists mostly of slice of life moments with a monster of the week format as the characters try to find those with supernatural powers. Back then, I criticized the usage of the episodes for such meaningless developments. They only had 13 episodes, and yet they wasted many on not progressing the story or giving much more depth to the characters. Instead, it would spend an episode on this random character that would soon be forgotten. What was the point? I thought maybe they’d tie things together at the end, but they didn’t. Entire episodes were essentially wasted. It even tried to poke at my emotions for a few of them to which I felt absolutely nothing because it’s the first damn I episode I even met the character. How the hell can I sympathize? As you can expect, this becomes a huge pacing problem in the second half as it finally gets rolling with the story. But with them wasting what little episodes they had, the story feels incredibly rushed. This is further complicated by the fact that the story is a dense one. Again, I don’t want to spoil anything, but let’s just say there is more than enough material for another season even if it were to not waste the episodes it already did. That’s what I mean by Charlotte trying to do too much. It’s far too ambitious. When there is a 1-cour limit, you don’t try to cram so many things in and try your best to make it all fit. Even the best writers will have great difficulties trying to make everything fit into such a small timeframe. Here’s where some people will blame the episode count. And here’s where I don’t think you should. Yes, it would have probably been a better anime if it did have another 13 episodes, but that’s not the point. It is up to the creators to understand their limitations and adjust accordingly. If they are given 13 episodes, they should treat it as such. By treating a 1-cour as if it were a 2-cour, they are misjudging their constraints and are in effect showing their incompetence.

You can probably see how this is a cascading effect on pretty much everything else the anime tries to do. Because it tries to do so much and is so rushed, everything is half-assed at best. One of the “antagonists” if you can even call them that, came out of nowhere and was subsequently never touched upon again. The only purpose they served was to create some extremely cheap shock value to get the viewers to feel something. To me, it was such a cheap attempt to get me to feel something that I was simply disgusted. What’s more is that I really didn’t feel anything emotionally throughout the entire season. There was nothing that tug at my heartstrings. It all either felt cheap, predictable, or cliché. That’s a bit strange coming out of a show made by Maeda Jun since as melodramatic and cliché as the shows he create can sometimes be, I more often than not at least feel some kind of emotion. This time, I felt nothing. Speaking of cliché, the finale… Holy mother of Tatsuya. That is some cliché stuff. It’s almost a bit strange saying this, but I didn’t expect it to end the way it did. Wait, how does that make sense? That goes against being cliché, right? Well, that’s because I expected a different tone from the ending. However, if you are to consider the contents of the ending itself and disregard your preexisting notions of the creators and what the ending should feel like, you’ll find that the ending is an extremely cliché one. I’ll talk about it in more detail in the spoiler section, so you’ll have to just watch it yourself or trust me on this one if you haven’t seen it yet.

There are also other apparently significant characters shown near the beginning/middle of the anime that are literally never touched upon again. They provided hardly any thematic importance or emotional impact. To add to all of this, there are a bunch of plot holes and contrivances throughout the second half of the anime. Some of them are minor issues, and some of them are just downright stupid. I don’t know about others, but it really takes me out of the moment when something ridiculously inane happens. Charlotte also has problems with its character development. There were interesting moments of descent, despair, and rebirth, but, again due to the rushed pacing, it all ends up being half-assed. Certainly, it would have been interesting to see a longer version of what is shown because the ideas are good. And I suppose that’s the main thing this anime has going for it. That and the soundtracks since they are great though they’re not used to their full potential in the anime. The ideas this anime has about the story and characters are undoubtedly interesting. For example, in the first episode we see that the male lead starts off being a selfish asshole. That’s not something I expected to see going into it, and the anime didn’t hold back showing his depravity. The overarching story also has plenty of great ideas that, if they were done properly, would have led to a far better anime. So that means the execution is at fault right? Well, not necessarily. I think the most critical flaw of Charlotte is that it fails to match its ambitious ideas with the limited resources it has. Yes, it has great ideas, but by cramming in so many of those ideas, the staff were forcing themselves to fail no matter how well they executed it. Even though they wasted two or so episodes on unimportant developments, even if they were to do those two episodes well, I doubt that much would have changed.

Some may argue that getting it all to fit in 13 episodes will lead to too large a fundamental shift in this anime’s core ideas and that would just make this an entirely different show. But I think that’s fine. In fact, that’s the point of changing your concepts to fit your resource limitations. Our imagination is vast, and often the resources we have to make our imagination into reality are severely limited. We have to use both our imagination and our resources wisely. We have to match them with each other. Too little imagination in comparison to resources will lead to something uninspired. Too much imagination in comparison to resources will lead to something that cannot meet the initial vision. It is most ideal when the two sides match each other. Charlotte simply failed to do so. Its vision got way too far ahead of its resource limitations. They tried somehow to fit it all together with what little time they had, and we received this mess. Anyways, below are some spoilers. You can discuss them in the comments, but just make sure to have a warning that you’re going to write spoilers before your spoiler section. (This applies for all the other anime by the way.)

Charlotte Spoiler Review

I’m going to go through some problems haphazardly. There are more major problems I could dig up, but these should suffice to prove my points. Let’s start from the very beginning. The first episode is a great start. It set up the main characters well, and provided enough interesting developments to keep me watching. Even the second episode, despite its first half which consisted of a random nameless character that didn’t have any significance at the end, was fine. I don’t mind them showing a bit more of the supernatural powers as well as how the student council worked. Moreover, we get introduced to Tomori’s brother, so while it could have been condensed, it’s definitely still fine. It developed the more serious side of the anime fairly well. Well, that was what I thought at the time when watching it. In hindsight, Tomori’s brother provided nothing for the story aside from emphasizing that being captured is a cruel, terrible thing. You would have expected more significance from a seemingly major character, but in the end he was simply cured by ZHIEND and that’s that. Really? That’s it? Not even a few emotional words to her sister? Nothing more to try to tug my heartstrings? How underwhelming.

Episode 3 is where the pacing issues start becoming far more apparent. This time it’s about Yusa and her powers. Her sister that died and you know the rest. They basically tried to tug at our heartstrings with some badly put together drama and romance. I just met this random male character this episode and now he’s talking about his feelings being all dramatic. He starts crying and I literally couldn’t give less of a damn. It’s a shame because when you consider how little time those moments had, it wasn’t terribly done. Still, you can’t try to fit in something like that in less than an episode unless you’re a seriously phenomenal writer. And even then I don’t know how well it’d fit. Episode 4 is probably the worst offender of wasted time in this entire anime. It’s a whole episode of fucking baseball. Thanks Maeda Jun. It’s like he’s filling out his own bingo or some shit. BASEBALL. CHECK. Nothing even happened in this episode. It was a slice of life episode. That’s it. I get that an anime needs some time down, but surely it didn’t need an entire episode of downtime.

Okay, maybe episode 4 isn’t the worst usage of time in this anime. Maybe it’s episode 5. It’s a pretty close call. You guessed it, it’s the flying guy’s bullshit episode that consisted of slice of life moments yet again. At this point I am wondering if I am watching the right anime. Maeda Jun is in this, right? OHHH DON’T WORRY. HE IS IN THIS ALRIGHT. He’s just taking a nap right now. He’ll be up crazier than ever. Aaaaand he’s awake in episode 6 as things turn far darker with the imouto doing her collapse and pizza sauce is conveniently spread across the pavement. How delicious. Episode 7 is probably one of the best episodes in the show. It shows the descent of Yuu fairly well, and although fairly predictable with the pizza sauce at the end, it provided some good characterization as well as development in the relationship between Yuu and Tomori. Plus Yuu was pretty damn badass here, so I don’t have too many problems with it other than it being a bit too fast as usual. That, and there’s not much emotional impact. Maybe it’s the scene execution or the circumstances. Whatever the case, it’s okay. Nothing as terrible as what happens later on at least.

Episode 8’s importance in hindsight is far less than I thought when watching it. The only thing it really did in the long-run was give more strength to the relationship between Tomori and Yuu. This is a big missed opportunity since the whole deal with Tomori’s brother appeared to be a big one at first. Sadly, it was shoved completely to the side after this without even much of a remark. That’s really a shame since in episode 2 there was some decent flashback moments which gave him at least more depth than the other random characters we saw in episodes 3-5. Episode 9 is the most interesting episode in the entire anime. At least in my opinion. This is where the time travel twist happens, and we learn that Yuu’s power is to steal other powers. I found this to be a very intriguing twist in the story, but at the same time I knew I was going to be disappointed due to this being such a huge plot point that had a long way to go even though there was only a few episodes remaining. I knew the rest of the episodes were going to be rushed to hell and we weren’t going to get a satisfying progression of events.

As interesting as episode 9 was, it was also at this point that this anime’s over-ambition became very clear. Throwing in time travel when there are 4 episodes remaining is something you almost never want to do. A clear sign of this anime being far too ambitious. Now that we’re talking about the broader overarching story, I can start with some of my more major complaints. Throughout the entire anime we’ve never really had an antagonist aside from the nameless ones that are the organizations capturing those with superpowers. This makes the major conflict that Yuu’s brother faces very weak. There is no depth to the conflict here, and furthermore there is no real context. How large are the organizations that are after them? What about the government? How did Yuu’s brother get his resources? Who are behind him? Why? Certainly there must have been interesting things that went on during this time. What happened exactly? Did they destroy any organizations? How did they set up the school? There’s a lot here to cover, and we get a short ½ episode part that barely goes over the details that could have been very interesting. I mean, what was the point of showing how much they struggled when captured only to barely actually show what successes they had?

It’s almost insulting when in episode 11 a random antagonist comes out of nowhere to capture Tomori and take Pooh. Firstly, they’re absolutely terrible antagonists. I don’t think I even need to explain that. Secondly, this episode is riddled with illogical things. Why the hell would they send Pooh, the right hand man, without a fucking bodyguard? He is one of the most important people they have and they don’t even have a person with offensive superpowers with him? Secondly, why would Pooh not call everyone else? As cruel as it may sound, he is risking everyone’s lives for one person. Carelessness aside, there is also the issue of how the antagonists explain that if Yuu time leaps and changes things, they will assume he did time leap and that plans diverged so they will kill off the driver’s family. I don’t even know how sound this plan actually is because there is very little information. We don’t know if the driver’s family was captured this whole time or if they were captured recently. They could have been captured this whole time because the driver doesn’t go home often. If they were captured recently, Yuu could time leap back, warn his brother, put superpower people to infiltrate and rescue them, and then they can’t kill them. If something bad should happen then he’ll time leap back. Heck, I don’t know why Yuu didn’t try to time leap further back anyways because even if the family were to get killed, he can keep trying for a while until his eyesight starts to degrade. None of us know how the plan is put together so it just seems like a poor excuse to bring forth the climax of the story. Their excuse is basically, “they can notice such anomalies.” How? Did the writers really think about this critical part of the story or did they slap it all together to try to make sense of it all? I know they say that the syndicate may not even exist and that’s why they can’t have Yuu jump back, but we have no idea how they’ll notice. It’s very poorly constructed and the fact that the syndicate may not exist just seems like a poor excuse for covering up the possibility of Yuu jumping back further in time. Furthermore, they should know people could die from this. They should all be prepared. And yet they act like they want the best of everything and for everyone to be alive by the end of it all. You can argue they’re just teenagers, but that’s a weak excuse.

Don’t even get me started on how they tortured Pooh. That shit is so fucking ham-fisted. They did it purely to make you feel something not because the situation is a natural progression of events, but because they want to shock you for the sake of shocking you. It’s some of the cheapest shock value I’ve seen. Then we have Yuu gawking at the person jumping from such a height to attack him. Really? Did you come in just to get your eye slashed? You didn’t even try to protect yourself during all of this? Why didn’t you do something more drastic? Why didn’t you use telekinesis and those steel beams to attack the fucking person right on your back? Why didn’t he steal more people’s powers that could have protected him or made him more offensive? Why why why? *Sigh. Damn, this section is already 3,000 words long. Time to wrap this up a bit. Okay, let’s skip the melodrama about Pooh dying and Tomori getting stripped. Those things were clearly terrible manipulative attempts to get me to feel something. Let’s just talk about the final episode.

I’ll be honest. I had fun watching the finale. It was very badass seeing Yuu be a monster of mass destruction. Turning guns into bling, doing the matrix, and being all godlike. It was quite a bit of fun to watch. That aside, holy shit are things convenient for our main protagonist here. Need to understand a foreign language? No worries! Supernatural kami-sama is here to grant your wish. Boom superpower to solve that problem. And why the hell did Yuu travel around the world in such a fucked up way? Russia then France then Portugal then… Lord almighty. Plan your routes properly so you take the shortest way around the world. Don’t even get me started on the healing power he got. JUST HEAL YOUR FUCKING EYE. YOU DON’T HAVE TO TRAVEL BACK IN TIME, YOU IDIOT. IT JUST HELPS TO, YOU KNOW, SEE?! What about your brother? Can’t you take a slight departure and heal his fucking eye? Dammit. Then as if the last seen show by Maeda Jun was a fucking shounen harem romcom bullshit animu, the last ability is courage. Fuck me. Like, it’s not even that major of a complaint, but it’s just, why? Was that supposed to be insightful or something? Was that even necessary? Whatever, here comes your brother to save your fucking ass in the middle of god knows where at the perfect timing. How much more convenient is this going to get? Moreover, the fluctuation of him being sane to crazy is so crammed together that I don’t really know what’s happening during all of it. There’s a difference between showing descent of a character properly as he struggles internally versus being just downright chaotic.

Seriously, the way this all ends happily and how everything is a-okay is damn cliché. It was only unexpected because I expected more people to die. Everything else was out of a fairy tale ending. Why do I feel that it wouldn’t actually be so simple? What about the vaccine? How did that even go? How did they even have the resources to convince everyone to take it? Some random organization distributing this stuff? Isn’t that going to be kind of fucking difficult? There was enough material here for another season and then some. Most of the characters ended up having very minor roles by the end. Yusa’s parts, for example, were extremely unnecessary. The internal struggles Yuu faced while stealing abilities were glazed over without much depth. All in all, it’s a clusterfuck. This anime is a clusterfuck. It’s a gigantic mess of events that is haphazardly put together. One of the biggest disappointments I’ve ever seen? It’s up there. I’ve already spent more time than I should on this, so I’ll leave it at that. I could make a 10,000+ word review describing the flaws in more detail, but let’s be honest, it’s not really worth the time and most people already consciously or subconsciously understand the major problems this anime has. Doing anything more is a bit excessive. Plus I’ll probably end up laughing crazily like Yuu if I dig any further and seriously review this. Let’s move on to the next anime.

[collapse]

 

Gangsta.

Gangsta Worick

I’m just going to put lying down pictures.
Charlotte made me crazy and laugh from its idiocy and contrivances while Gangsta just makes me… just disappointed.

If I had to name an anime I’m most disappointed in aside from Charlotte, it’d be this one. Not only does it have a finale that completely cuts in the middle of an ongoing story leaving me a very unsatisfied aftertaste, the animations progressively got worse as the episodes passed, the story didn’t really go anywhere, and ultimately it wasn’t all that captivating to me. This anime started off strong. It had an interesting setting, a unique main character that was deaf, a dark tone and approach to its storytelling, and some overarching conflicts regarding the people who keep the equilibrium of the city that I wanted to see more of. The problems that arise are mainly because of the lack of direction. A lot of this anime consists of side jobs and random happenings in the city that lead to new characters popping up all over the place. These side jobs and enemies aren’t really all that interesting because those antagonists would pop up, cause havoc, disappear and that’ll be the last you’ll see of them in this season.

While this can be fixed in later seasons, should any even come out, the anime could have at least given some context and depth to the situations rather than make the fights feel so empty. The story segments aren’t interesting because there’s nothing to really tie them all together. They seem like isolated happenings one after the other. There’s no meat to the conflicts. There’s no overarching story to make sense of it all making everything feel incredibly disorganized. Heck, after all these episodes, I still don’t even know what the hell is going on. I don’t mind an anime being more on the mysterious side implying what’s going on instead of outright saying it. That’s an acceptable form of storytelling, but it seems in Gangsta it consists mostly of lines like, “I see, so it’s finally happening,” and other things that give no real information to the viewer. What the hell is really happening? Give us more than that.

I have to admit I’m struggling to find exactly what is wrong with this anime that makes me feel it’s so underwhelming a lot of the time. Many episodes leave me feeling almost nothing even though what’s on screen would indicate otherwise. There’s some tragic backstory or some traumatic event going on or some violent action, but I’m not into it. I don’t really care. Maybe this anime is spreading itself way too thin with so many plot points and characters all over the place that it only started to get somewhere when the final episode was up. Maybe that’s why it feels like a lot is happening and yet not a lot is happening at all. All these things that are happening may be too shallow for me to really care all that much. Whatever the case, if you’re looking for something similar to Black Lagoon, I wouldn’t hope for too much. This is a poor-man’s version of that show. Perhaps the later seasons would convince me otherwise when it actually ties everything together and delves deeper in the numerous plot points it has dug up. For now, I have to say that Gangsta fell short of my initial expectations and is one of the most disappointing anime of this season.

The Shittiest Crap

Kuusen Madoushi Kouhosei no Kyoukan

Kuusen Madoushi Kanata Age

No, you.
You’re a complete fucking failure of a Gary Stu. Go reflect the teachings of The One True God Tatsuya’s a trillion more times before attempting to be one again.

What a disaster. (I promise things will get more positive the more you scroll down. I have to get these shitty shows out of the way first after all.) This is the kind of anime that someone would pay you to watch, and even then you’d need some paid for vodka, and a blowjob or two to go alongside this main dish of absolute atrocity. No one paid me anything, I don’t drink, and I don’t see how I’m supposed to give myself a blowjob (Hahaha… haha… ha… D:), so I have no clue how I managed to survive watching the entire season of this failure. Not only did the fights look like someone was presenting a terribly put together PowerPoint, just about every other aspect whether it be the characters, dialogue, “badass” moments, or direction, are all atrocious. This is a great anime to watch if you want to learn how not to make an anime. There’s so much wrong with this show that it would take forever to talk about all of them. I’ll just discuss the major things this anime does wrong. Firstly, the characters are extremely generic. Yeah, yeah. I know some people talk about how everything is generic to some degree and that it’s very shallow to critique something in such a manner. So let me explain more fully. What I mean is that these characters are not well-written enough to go beyond the broad descriptions for tropes. Tropes are defined with broad characterization terms like “shy,” or, “upbeat.”

Great characters, for example, HachimanSenjougahara, Spike, and so on, go far beyond those typical descriptions one can find in a dictionary. Yes, you could use the words “pessimistic,” or, “pragmatic” to describe Hachiman, but that would be doing a huge disservice to his character if that’s all you’re going to say about him. No matter how many one word descriptions you throw at well-written characters, you can never fully describe them. Their motivations, their growth, and their inner thoughts are simply not captured well enough with such broad descriptions. Basically, they’re deeper than that. They’re more complicated than that. The opposite is true for characters that are poorly written like the ones in Kuusen Madoushi. You can use such simple descriptions to almost fully describe the characters in this anime because that’s all they are. There is not much to them. They stick to the conventional tropes so much that they never break out of them to become their own unique character needing their own descriptions beyond the broad terms used to classify character tropes. That’s what I mean by these characters being “generic.”

What’s even worse is that the male lead is supposed to be a Gary Stu, but the show doesn’t even give us many moments where he shows his overpowered badassery. In fact, during the climax of the season, he gets his ass whopped and goes all keikaku doori. What absolute bullshit. It’s as if it is trying to convince us that there’s actually some tactics involved. What a joke. There is none. The “tactics” in the fights are a façade of apparent depth in the fights when in actuality it’s just some basic maneuvers that the anime tries to depict as tactics. Granted, it is difficult to portray smart tactics in these kinds of anime since the fighting system is completely different from what you’d see in real life. To do it properly, you’d have to explain the fighting system, strengths and weaknesses of the fighters, and a whole bunch of other stuff. Even some of the best fighting anime struggle with portraying fight scenes that appear very tactical. This anime’s fighting system is a sad excuse so don’t expect anything here. Then, we have the animation quality/direction. The direction of the final “climactic” fight scene was some of the worst crap I’ve ever seen. There was no fluidity. It was a PowerPoint presentation. A really bad one at that. It also doesn’t help that the antagonist is one of the most generic antagonists you can get from these kinds of harem anime. Yep, it’s that fucking bad. Bad even by these low standards. It’s such a typical “I’m such an evil bad guy” kind of character that you honestly have to laugh at how cliché it is or else I don’t know how you’d endure.

Other major plot points are resolved anticlimactically as well. For example, there was this tournament that was supposed to decide the fate of the team. We get a choppy as fuck fight scene with some bullshit tactics thrown in and terrible animations to boot annnnd it’s fucking done. No badass moves. No escalation of tension during the fights as the audience reacts to what’s happening. No unexpectedness. I mean, when you’re doing these kinds of shows, I don’t expect anything spectacular. But at least give me some redeeming factor like some bullshit powerup that makes me go “dayum” or have good animations or throw something interesting into the mix. There’s none of that here. There’s nothing interesting about anything. Well, there was one plot point about the male lead apparently being a traitor that seemed kind of interesting, but it’s hardly addressed in this season so… Yeah… I have no clue how I even watched this anime. Maybe it was because there wasn’t much Gary Stu action going on this season (Thank Tatsuya for Rakudai for the fall season. STELLA BEST.) so I was craving for some overpowerdness. I don’t know. I guess I did look forward to seeing if this anime could actually improve and pull out something interesting. There were a few episodes where there were hints of actual character development, but everything was overshadowed by the mediocrity of just about everything else. I could go on, but I’ll be wasting my time. Skip this one unless you are ready to take notes on what not to do when making an anime.

The I Will Defer Judgement Until All Episodes Finish Airing Anime

God Eater

God Eater Alisa Anime

More underboobs soon.

God Eater has to be one of the messiest anime from a production standpoint that I’ve ever seen. I have seen studios delay the finale until a later time, but it is very rare to see a studio miss out on 4 episodes. That’s right. Episodes 10-13 will air in December January (Winter season). What a mess. Well, I did say in my first impressions post that ufotable is clearly experimenting with things. I hope they’re done experimenting because I do not want them to do anything like this on an IP that’s actually good. Though I doubt there’s anything to worry about for ufotable going forward. God Eater is far more of an exception than the rule. Anyways, production issues aside, this anime has improved since I wrote the first impressions. The dialogue and writing is still more or less the same (read my first impressions if you want to know more), but things have escalated quite a bit story-wise in the second half. We are getting to know what exactly happened in the past that has led humanity to this point, and what awaits them with their new ventures. In that sense, the overarching story has become quite a bit more interesting than it has before, which makes it an even bigger shame that we will have to wait months for the last four episodes. There is also a shift to an even darker tone. It provided some good shock value to keep me interested.

On a smaller note, it’s somewhat refreshing to see no bullshit ass-pull power ups for once. That was nice. Aside from that, not much else has changed. The characters are still of the same quality as before. It’s a big plus that the story has become more intense and intriguing otherwise I think I would have stopped watching this. Whether the revelations will be good or not will decide if these episodes of tension and uncertainty are really worth the wait. Even so, it’s at least got me waiting for the last four episodes, so it’s done a fairly good job of captivating me. Would I recommend it at this point? Well, more than what I would have in the first impressions, but I still wouldn’t recommend it unless you’re looking for a different kind of animation style. Personally, I enjoy the art style and how it’s animated so far. I may change my opinion of God Eater if the last four episodes reveal something amazing and develop the story a lot more in good ways. Though I doubt that’ll end up happening. I’ll write about it at the end of next season, so stay tuned until then.

The Average Anime of the Season

Jitsu wa Watashi wa

Jitsu wa watashi wa

Can you two just kiss fuck already?

With other great slice of life anime airing this season, Jitsu wa Watashi wa has clearly been overshadowed by them. What separates this anime from the others is not that it is very flawed, but rather that it does nothing as well as the other slice of life anime this season. In terms of character interactions, Joukamachi’s got it beat. In terms of romance shenanigans, Ore Monogatari and Akagami’s got this beat. In terms of humor, Joukamachi, Non Non Biyori, and arguably Himouto’s also got it beat though I’d say that Jitsu wa Watashi wa is much closer to the other anime in terms of humor compared to anything else especially during some episodes. That said, the aspect this anime does have other shows beat is in its strangeness of character types. Not exactly in terms of character demeanor because that is fairly standard, but what they actually are. You’ve got an alien, a vampire, and a devil. Apparently there are even more crazy types of characters ahead that we haven’t seen yet.

The anime does a decent job of incorporating this into the slice of life moments. It’s just not as much of a selling point compared to the strongest parts of other slice of life anime such as the romance in Akagami and Ore Monogatari, the character interactions in Joukamachi, and the cuteness in Himouto, Joukamachi, and Non Non Biyori. Jitsu wa Watshi wa does try to utilize its character types to create unique scenarios quite often. The thing is that the character types are a means of achieving humor and enjoyable character interactions and not the end itself. As different from other anime as the character types may be, they didn’t end up creating a far superior slice of life experience, so I have to conclude that their impact was minimal. It’s also a bit of a shame that there is no real romantic development in the course of the season even though it looked like there would be some. Maybe that would have made this anime stand out a bit more. With so many great slice of life anime coming out recently, I think there are better ones to watch unless you’ve watched them all and you’re still looking for more. If that’s the case, go right ahead and watch this. Just don’t expect anything exceptional in any aspect. It’s an okay slice of life anime. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Himouto! Umaru-chan

Himouto Anime

NO. NO. STAY AWAY FROM EBINA.
I WILL NEVER ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR ASSHOLE EXISTENCE. GO AWAY.
COLA AND CHIPS ARE BAD FOR YOU FOLKS. IF YOU WANT TO LIVE TO SEE YOUR GRANDCHILDREN, DON’T DO IT.

Arguably one of the most adorable anime of the season, Himouto manages to maintain its solid first few episodes all the way until the finale. I have to admit that the pesky little brat really took it out of me after I got used to how she looked and saw beyond the cute faces she always makes. Maybe I got used to it or I became a bit more disgusted with her being a complete asshole most of the time. Regardless, it still is a solid comedy anime with tons of cute moments. The characters are mostly solid with Ebina’s growling stomach and cute demeanor as well as Afro guy’s bantering with other characters being notable aspects that keep things fresh throughout the season. If it weren’t for the other characters, that pesky Himouto would have made it more and more annoying to watch as a lot of it came down to her being an asshole to her brother who loves her and wants the best for her. Yep. I’m fucking salty. HOW CAN SUCH A PURE INNOCENT IMOUTO TURN INTO THAT… CHIP EATING, ONII-SAN ABUSING, COLA ADDICT? Damn it. Ladies and gentlemen, please do not let your children turn into this abomination. Please raise an innocent, always hungry Ebina-chan instead. Even if world hunger would never vanish if that were to be the case, at least there will not be widespread diabetes (Ebina eats healthy food obviously to keep dem curves) and onii-sans around the world will be saved from their eternal torment. Amen.

Arslan Senki

Arslan Senki

CAUSE I
FEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEL

I love a large sense of scale. I love it when I see armies of thousands clash, and grand overarching stories unfold. Arslan Senki appeared to be a great candidate to fulfill my longing for these kinds of shows especially after Madan no Ou’s terrible anime adaptation. (The source is much better. Read that instead.) While Arslan Senki is certainly better than the anime version of Madan no Ou overall, it never managed to scratch my itch for these types of larger scale anime. Let’s go over why this is the case starting with the story. This anime tells the often told story of a prince who must gain the support of his allies to ultimately reclaim his throne. I have no issues with using a typical tale like this. The problem lies in what happens in-between. From the man who brought us Legend of the Galactic Heroes, you would expect a great deal of political intrigue, strategies, and messy inter-personal conflicts. In Arslan Senki, that’s all missing. There are no grand schemes or revelations that really shake up the story except for what typically happens in a storyline such as this. There are not really any messy betrayals worth much note. The anime is straight and narrow in its approach of telling the overarching story. For example, the main allies Arslan gain in these two seasons are perfectly loyal. There is no real air of tension with regards to a certain character’s true intensions. The anime has tried a few times to instill this, but failed to follow it up after an episode. Aside from the overarching story, there is a lack of conflicts in-between that are not insignificant complications that are dealt with fairly easily. There’s not as much depth to Arslan’s journey as I expected going in. I thought there would be more twists and turns in how he gains his allies. Instead, it’s all very predictable.

If there are no mind games in the story, then what about the battles? Are they any good? Not really. Aside from interesting tactics shown just a few times in the entire show, this anime is devoid of detailed battles akin to something like what you’d see in Kingdom. Sure, there are some typical tactics like flanking and stuff, but you can’t really call those simple tactics pretty much anyone can come up with to be tactics worth commending. Turning points in battles are not based on the cleverness of utilizing the current battlefield, but are rather based on new points of exploitation the writer puts in when the time calls for it. For example, the characters discovering a secret tunnel to the enemy’s base or something of the sort. What would be tactical would be if we got a rough idea of the entire battlefield. Terrain, strength of forces, morale, etc. And then the characters would come up with some clever way to exploit what we already know in a way that we didn’t expect them to. Coming up with brand new things in the middle of the battle in order to resolve a stalemate or to give one side a chance for victory is not tactics. That’s just the writer wanting convenience to resolve things quickly. It also doesn’t help that the animations are mediocre at best making the battles even less exciting.

Aside from Arslan, there is almost no development in the other major characters after an episode or two from their introduction. Who they are in the beginning is pretty much who they are by the end, and who they are in the beginning is not exactly great. You can basically characterize the other main characters as, guy who’s smart (Narsus), guy who’s great at combat (Daryun), girl who is beautiful and is skilled with the bow (Falangies), and so on. I don’t mean this in the way that this is just one characteristic the characters have. I mean this is pretty much all they are. It’s almost surprising how little we know about them by the end. Seriously, aside from a short tale of strategic genius regarding Narsus, we don’t get any backstories at all. (Maybe there were a few short moments, but nothing really worth mentioning I believe. Correct me if I’m wrong. I have pretty bad memory sometimes towards things I don’t really care about. And even if there was backstories, that’s another point of complaint if I can’t remember them that well. They weren’t all that significant.) That’s really strange. Aren’t these supposed to be Arslan’s closest allies and friends? I get that Arslan probably knows them well, and I know it’s surprising, but we don’t live in his world. How are we supposed to get to know these characters otherwise? It doesn’t even feel like these are real characters. They feel more like Gary Stu tools for Arslan to achieve his objectives. Instead of one clump of Gary Stu overpoweredness, it comes in pieces. One guy is the brains, and another is the brawn. It’s a shame that this is the case since when the major characters are introduced, the anime did try to develop them. However, an episode or two later, they were hardly touched upon again from a characterization standpoint and the anime left them the way they were as if it was good enough. Arslan does develop more throughout the series as he learns his role and strengthens his resolve for what he has to do. Even so, there’s one important thing to take into consideration. It’s far easier for a writer to develop a naïve, undeveloped character than it is for a writer to write more mature and developed characters like Narsus and Daryun. The bigger question is how Arslan will develop after he has grown up because that’s when the real characterization challenge begins.

The important thing to note is that there is a season two on its way, which means that the problems I put above could very well be addressed. I will give this title the benefit of the doubt as this type of epic adventure story can take time to get rolling, and we haven’t seen the resolution of the grand overarching story just yet. I know I mostly labeled the negatives and it may sound like I didn’t have fun watching Arslan Senki. That’s not true. However, I simply cannot deny my disappointment knowing this came from such an esteemed creator. I really enjoy these larger scale kind of anime, but I have yet to find one that manages to impress me with its military strategy, politics and intrigue, characterization, and the grand overarching story. Heck, there aren’t a lot of large-scale anime to begin with. It is difficult to write something of this scale well since there are so many factors to consider. If I could choose, I would put economics, culture, and other real life macroscopic factors as aspects I would want to see in an ideal large-scale anime. Clearly, the difficulty of creating such a beast would be immense especially in anime format. Ah, I can dream. (I swear to Tatsuya if nothing like this comes out, I will do it myself. WAIT 30 YEARS FOR MUH ULTIMATE EPIC ADVENTURE.) (I won’t count LoGH since I’m still watching that shit. On and off, man. Give me time.) Overall, Arslan Senki is a fairly underwhelming large-scale epic that isn’t terrible, but doesn’t nearly reach a level where I can say I am satisfied with how it approaches telling an epic story. Definitely one of the rarer genres in anime and one of my favorites, so I will definitely watch the second season. Not that I have much of a choice since I crave these kinds of shows so much.

Sore ga Seiyuu!

Sore ga Seiyuu idol anime

IDORU IDORU IDORU.
DOES THAT GET YOUR INTEREST?
YOU BILLION OTAKUS WHO BOUGHT THOSE LOVE LIVE BDs?!

This is probably one of the most underwatched anime of the season. While it isn’t fantastic in any aspect, it is a solid slice of life with a voice acting twist akin to what we saw in Shirobako. While Sore ga Seiyuu isn’t nearly as good as that, it still provides insightful information about the voice acting industry, decent character interactions and execution of more serious moments, as well as a good bit of character development. This anime feels very natural almost as if you’re watching young voice actresses in real life trying to become better seiyuu as they deal with the difficulties of the industry and their unfamiliarity with their profession. By the end of the season, the characters really grew on me. I genuinely felt happy for the characters when they succeeded, which surprised even me. It’s something that only a show with likable characters and decent writing can pull off. It’s a fun, cute, and enjoyable show to watch. It may not be superb, but it’s solid at what it does. There are not many other anime that realistically depicts how brutal this industry can be. Just because of that, I think it’s worth a watch for anyone who’s seriously interested in the medium since it’s easy to take what we see for granted.

Ore Monogatari!!

Ore Monogatari Yamato Takeo

He needs to be real careful in bed or he’ll fucking break her in half.
Maybe that’s why this anime doesn’t develop them that quickly beyond the first bit.
It’d turn into a fucking tragedy. That massive gorilla coc-

You know how romance anime tend to be about how the couple gets together and not what happens afterwards? You know, actually living their lives out after getting together? Haven’t you wondered what actually happened after a pairing magically finally got together after all those episodes? I mean, with all the cockteases out there right now I know it’s difficult to imagine, but there are some that have actual pairings. With the divorce rate at something like 50%, who knows how high the relationship break-up percentage is? With those odds, you should be breathing a sigh of relief that they don’t actually show what happens afterwards. (It would be hilarious to see them break up after all that and all the ships sink, hahahahahahahaha. I would totally watch that. S1 they get together and S2 they break up. IMAGINE THE RAGE. Oh wait, I know something like that. The town where you rage. Right. K. nvm that was pretty painful.) Ore Monogatari is the show that is actually far more about what happens after a couple gets together and the doki doki that follows. It’s heartwarming and cute, but it’s also repetitive with how it does its romantic moments. With 24 episodes and it being an anime after a couple gets together (mind you this happens early on), you would expect a ton of development… right? Well, not really. I mean, don’t get me wrong. The moments are cute and as a slice of life it’s fluffy and all that. That’s all nice and good though I find it a bit too overwhelming at times like when you look at two people in public all over each other’s tits and balls. I’m talking more about the actual romantic relationship between the two characters. Yes, they throw around “I love you,” cute faces, and those sorts of things, but damn do they take a long time to hold hands, kiss, and develop on a deeper level. In fact, I’m not even sure if they did develop that much on a deeper level by the end of the show.

Maybe I’m just too used to the romance drama I usually see and seeing two people actually act like couples is foreign to me. I don’t want to see screaming and all that. I don’t. I don’t want to see melodrama and some NTR bullshit to spice things up and make it appear like there’s development going on. That’s not what I want in a show like this. But the relationship between the two characters feel kind of hollow. Although they say they love each other and act so lovey dovey, it seems like the writers think that’s all that’s necessary to portray a good romantic relationship. I personally don’t think it is. People have their own ambitions, preferences, perspectives, and more. There will be times two people won’t be compatible in some respect. They’ll disagree, they’ll argue, they’ll find a solution, and they’ll understand each other better. (Or, maybe they can’t and it eventually gets too hard so they have to break up, but we’re not going over that kind of scenario right now.) The point is that there is some kind of a struggle in every relationship. What we see in Ore Monogatari is too pure. It’s too clean. Maybe it’s a bit unbelievable because of that. Yes, this anime is not completely devoid of struggles. One could use the last few episodes as an example. But you can’t seriously call that good drama. It’s not. I shouldn’t even need to go into a spoiler section to explain that.

Maybe this is the kind of show where you shouldn’t expect much more than an innocent romance. If this show was designed purely to look at the “good” side of love, then I just had the wrong perspective. After all, going into something like a comedy and expecting a serious drama is going to create problems. Expectations are important. Maybe I had the wrong one going in. Then again, I think Akagami no Shirayuki-hime was able to capture the innocence and fuzzy moments while still providing that a modest level of depth to the relationship, so maybe it’s not just me. I know plenty of people loved this anime, and maybe it’s because how innocent and pure it is. To me, the romance got a bit too repetitive and shallow though it was still heartwarming overall. I definitely still enjoyed watching it. The main characters are interesting with Suna especially being the best bro. There are some absolutely hilarious moments, and the fuzzy moments with the couple are nice to see. What I can say that is if you want a really good drama romance anime with plenty of depth, struggles, and so on, you won’t find one here. But if you do want to see a lighthearted romance anime that focuses almost purely on the lovey dovey moments, definitely give this one a shot. An innocent romance anime is not so bad once in a while. There aren’t many anime like this out there.

Classroom Crisis

Classroom Crisis Kiryuu Nagisa Season 2 when

SEASON 2 WHEN?!
INB4 TAKING OVER THE WORLD OVERARCHING STORY OH DAYUM.

Classroom Crisis Iris Mizuki

Also, ERABE.

I initially wrote an overwhelmingly positive section for Classroom Crisis, but after thinking about it some more, I decided to completely revise it. The more I thought about it, the more average this anime became. For many people, Classroom Crisis ended up being the most surprising anime of the season. While it’s obvious that this anime is a lot better during the second half than its first half, there’s no denying that it could have improved its first half to make viewers stick with the show until the end. No, this show is not simply about building rockets with a slice of life setting. Though, there’s no denying that those things are major parts of the anime. We’ll get to that in a bit. A large portion of this anime is focused more on politics and intrigue, so let’s go over that first. In the beginning half, the antagonist is an incompetent one that just yells and throws things. That’s the major political conflict we see early on, but it’s not interesting to watch because he’s so damn incompetent. There’s no back and forth to the political struggles. This political conflict in the first half should have been replaced with either a more competent antagonist to make the political dealings less one sided, or it should have simply introduced the major political conflict in the second half. I think the latter would have been more suitable since the major characters and how the political field looks is very quickly introduced to the viewer making things more confusing than necessary. Furthermore, because new characters show up so quickly, and disappear so quickly as well, it’s harder to care about what’s going on, the overall conflict feels more empty, and it’s less tense as a result. One character after another would randomly pop up to resolve threads of the main conflict, which may be an okay showing of intrigue and political struggles, but definitely not a great one. Don’t get me wrong. It’s nice to see this for once in an anime. We don’t really get these kinds of shows often. It definitely has some nice twists here and there to keep things interesting. However, novelty aside, because the political field is introduced so quickly and we barely get any background information on the state of politics the way things unfold is a bit confusing, random, and too sudden at times.

I’m going to give an episode 1 spoiler for what happens, so if you don’t want to hear anything about this anime then skip to the next paragraph. At the end of the first episode, we learn that A-TEC is in trouble of getting shut down due to spending too much money and their latest invention ending up the way it did in the first episode. A significant part of this anime is about the team trying to salvage what’s left of A-TEC and create a great rocket. The thing is that they get through their budget constraints with a legal loophole that is randomly introduced to the viewer, and beyond that, the show doesn’t really put much depth to this overall ordeal. It’s not like there are other political dealings here where they’re trying to get funding or special workers to assist them. It literally consists of them just doing it. You sometimes see them working on the rocket, and that’s pretty much it. I understand that this part of the show isn’t as major as the political dealings, but it’s hard to really care about what’s happening with the group when there was hardly any struggle that was actually depicted. It doesn’t help that most of the characters in A-TEC are incredibly insignificant. The staff aside from the two main female protagonists and the teacher have no other roles than to be engineers that build the rocket and provide some logistical support (as in when the rocket is being piloted). These characters are simply used to not make it seem like there are only 3 people working on creating this innovative rocket. Obviously, you need more people to make something this sophisticated so they stuck in some random nobodies to make it a bit more reasonable.

Thankfully, not all the characters are like this. Kiryuu Nagisa is the most thoroughly developed character in the anime, and his character is done decently. From the beginning of the anime until the end, there is a clear sense of development as he faces his long-term political struggles and how he gets to know A-TEC. One female protagonist, Iris, is basically a Rei clone, so not much to talk about there. Mizuki is the genki girl that… Well, I’m not really sure what to say besides that other than that she’s “okay.” At least she’s not a crazy tsundere type character who is really annoying. She’s more down to earth and calmer. That’s nice to see. But that’s just it. There’s not much to her besides those basic characterizations. She’s not exactly involved in the political struggles. She’s some who provides emotional support and… stuff. I suppose she does play a role in the romance subplot. Speaking of romance, some people were pretty surprised what happened and found it to be good. I thought it was fairly lazily slapped on together though for the time the anime dedicated to it I suppose it’s not terrible. Just nothing noteworthy minus some surprise that it’d be executed in that fashion. Let’s face it, Maruto can do a lot better than this. Just leave my heart in one piece this time, thanks. Anyways, the antagonist during the second half is far more interesting than the first. It’s a more capable and pragmatic one that isn’t completely fucking crazy. Sadly, this anime ends before we see much more of him. Speaking of the ending, it’s a pretty good one that leaves the possibility of a continuation open but closes enough of the main conflict for me to be fine with it not tying up some loose ends. The ending keeps true to its spirit of intrigue and politics to pull a fairly interesting twist on things I wasn’t expecting. It would certainly lead to an interesting season two if it should come. I could imagine the business battles now. Maybe something like Suits and House of Cards except with corporations as the focus? Man, that’d be something.

Overall, I think the vibe you should get from the above paragraphs is that this anime is decent. It’s fine. I think I rated it too highly when I finished it because the second half stands out a lot more compared to the first half. I contrasted the two a bit too much instead of looking at the show on an overall basis. The politics and intrigue could have used some work with more preparation and buildup, but the anime manages to keep things tense and unpredictable with back and forths that occur in the second half. The characters aside from Kiryuu Nagisa are nothing noteworthy except maybe the antagonist in the second half though he didn’t get enough screen time for me to really say for sure. There is also no denying that the first half could have been a lot stronger if the antagonist wasn’t such an incompetent wuss and focused more on the things the second half did. All that said, I definitely did enjoy watching this every week. Well, to be honest I can enjoy most shows no matter how crappy they are, which is why I tend to be far more positive before critically viewing anime. It’s my job as a reviewer to be harsher than a “turn-my-brain-mostly-off” state, which is what I default to in order to enjoy many shows airing every season. I don’t want to be that jaded critic who views things with extreme negativity and talks about this bad thing and that bad thing while watching. I want to enjoy the medium because at the end of the day, enjoyment matters a fucking great deal. I mostly watch anime because I enjoy doing so, and because it helps me relax from other work-related activities. I am, however, still responsible for bringing these kinds of posts to you all, and I do realize that not everyone wants to turn their brain off and just enjoy whatever comes their way. (I also have to say that I have a weirdly good aptitude for this. Call it shit taste if you will, but I’m enjoying every season, fuckers. Enjoy your no-fun seasons.) As such, I have to push down my “shit taste” and think about things a bit more critically otherwise I’d literally recommend every single fucking show because that’s how much I can turn my brain off. Anyways, Classroom Crisis isn’t anything special, but if you’re looking for some politics and intrigue with some twists here and there, this one isn’t a bad one to watch. Ultimately, this is just another one of those shows that aired in a certain season that remains relatively unremembered in the sea of average anime out there.

Shimoneta to Iu Gainen ga Sonzai Shinai Taikutsu na Sekai

Shimoneta Sox

ALL HAIL SOX.
ALL HAIL SOX.
ALL HAIL SOX.

I am really conflicted about how I feel about this anime. On the one hand I am thinking, “God dayum all dat ecchi bullsh- HOLY SHIT WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING- IS THAT A TASER DILDOPENISTHING OH MY- TASTE THE RAINBOW LOVE NECTAR WAITWAT- Damn… This show is fucking amazing.” On the other hand I am thinking how even though those moments were fantastic, a lot of the other slice of life moments and attempts at humor weren’t nearly as great as those climaxes. A lot of what happens in-between the peaks don’t really make me all that excited, which was partially the reason why I didn’t follow this anime after its extremely unexpected ultimate lewdness peak that is episode 4. The six episodes that followed didn’t have that same kind of absurdity, and it’s only until the penultimate episode that we really witness some obscene and downright awesome moments. That said, those in-between episodes were mediocre, not absolutely atrocious. It’s just that the peak moments of this anime are extremely high, short-lived, and very few in number, while there the troughs are low and last quite some time. Part of the reason for the troughs being not nearly as enjoyable was due to the introduction of Kosuri, who didn’t add much to the absurdity of the show, and was mostly annoying more than anything else to watch.

A bigger problem with the troughs are the relatively insignificant happenings. Yes, compared to other anime I don’t think panties dripping wet sniffing the main character’s ballsack stained underwear would be classified as “insignificant.” Nevertheless, when the nature of the show is to be absurd, lewd, and extreme in its depiction of ecchi shit going on, I can’t help but expect more especially when I have those high peaks to compare the rest of the episodes to. Not to mention I got a little desensitized towards all the crazy shit going on after episode 4 and adjusted my expectations accordingly. I think if there were a few more absolutely crazy moments or more creative storylines during the downtimes between the peaks I would have ranked this a lot more highly than I currently am. If I could only rate the best episodes of this anime, it’d be close to being in the first tier. It’s a shame that the rest of the episodes are very downplayed versions of the peaks because Shimoneta is definitely a… different kind of show even by anime standards. Its use of ecchi is quite extraordinary. There’s no doubt that I had a ton of fun watching the climactic moments. If you’re up for some lewd, obscene, crazy, nonsensical, panties wet taste the rainbow absurdities, and you are liking what you’re reading even though you have no fucking clue what’s going on with your penis/vajayjay confused, this may be your kind of anime. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

Akagami no Shirayuki-hime

Akagami no Shirayuki-hime

Do you like redheads?
I like redheads.
CAUSE IN FALL WE’RE GETTING A TREAT.
STELLA STELLA STELLA BEST.

If you are looking for a strong female protagonist who can hold her own with a likable personality and some solid, heartwarming romance, this anime is for you. Oh, and the animations are beautiful to boot. Some viewers have commented how great the cinematography and the overall animation direction is. I don’t have such deep insight, so instead I’ll just say that, dayum it looks good. What I can comment on is the romance. For once, we don’t have silly misunderstandings and immature characters yelling at each other taking absolutely forever to develop romantically. This anime cuts all of that nonsense and depicts mature romance that’s endearing to watch. There is solid progress between the main characters almost every episode as they communicate (I know, it’s a fucking miracle) their feelings, thoughts, ambitions, and desires. I do have to say that as sweet as it all is, I have the same complaint with this as Ore Mongoatari. It’s almost a bit… too sweet. I find that this kind of thing works a bit better in the context of a manga since it feels a bit too stuffy when you listen to one passionate line after another. It’s like seeing two people in real life being all lovey dovey in public. I know some people who just shout, “Get a fucking room!” I’m not one of those people, but I admit that when I see them fingering each other it becomes a bit too much. No love nectar in public please. That said, I’d prefer an anime being a bit more excessive with its romantic portrayal than an anime that only teases me with one event that-never-ends-up-developing-the-relationship-but-should-have after another. It also helps a lot to have a strong-willed female protagonist who can carry her own share of burdens while being feminine when the time comes. Plus, the cast is generally likable, which helps its lighthearted slice of life moments. Overall, it’s a solid romance anime with a second season coming at the beginning of next year, which I’m definitely looking forward to with the romance side of things really getting rolling now.

Gate: Jieitai Kanochi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri

Gate Anime Rory-sama

ALL HAIL RORY-SAMA.

All hail Rory-sama. That glorious voice oh my lord Tatsuya almighty please let me hear more of it. Thank Tatsuya Gochuumon is fucking back so we’ll be hearing more of Taneda Risa. That aside, pretty much everything I said in my preview and initial impressions holds true here. It’s a great adaptation, the setting conflict is fairly interesting, and Pina Co Lada remains one of the most ridiculous character names I’ve ever heard. Animations are solid throughout, so overall I cannot wait for the second season coming next year. I don’t want to repeat what I said last time too much, so I’ll just redirect you to my preview and initial impressions here for you to read why I liked the manga. It’s an entertaining series, but it’s not much more than that.

Gakkou Gurashi!

Gakkou Gurashi Characters Anime Finale

IT’S ALL DAIJOUBU.

Warning: If you have not watched the first episode be warned that any discussion will spoil this anime to some degree. I suggest you to watch the first episode first and then read my thoughts if you want to get the best viewing experience.

Gakkou Gurashi started off strong. Even though I knew what was going to happen since I have read the manga, the execution of the contrast between the light and dark moments were very well done. Such high quality execution remains the strongest aspect of Gakkou Gurashi until the final episode. From the slice of life moments to the dark and gritty, it manages to flip between the two contrasting tones well without making the transitions awkward for the viewer. For the final few episodes, and perhaps the finale especially, through great direction, it manages to create a surprisingly emotional atmosphere even though I was personally prepared for whatever I thought would come my way. It helps that the dramatic moments are not filled with unnecessary screaming and crying that dulled my senses. Instead, such moments are often far quieter. It is because those moments are more subtle in their approach to creating dramatic effects that they felt more natural. Often I have issues with shows resorting to drama for the sake of drama through a lot of crying, really loud dialogue, and needless exaggeration. Thankfully, because that’s kept to a reasonable level in this anime, I was actually a bit touched. Now, that’s not to say I cried. I very, very rarely cry when watching anime, so it’s no surprise that I didn’t here. But I felt something. The struggles the characters faced actually did have an effect on me, and I think this is not so much because of how fantastic the story is or how great the characters are. I really think it’s how it’s executed.

But what does that really mean? The word “execution” is so vague. It means something different for every type of show. For instance, to execute the drama well in a romance anime is very different from executing an exciting moment in a shounen anime well. Every anime also has different objectives. This means that what defines good execution is unique to each individual anime. At least, I think it does on some level. For Gakkou Gurashi, one of the most important things for it to execute right was the contrast between the happier moments and the despairing moments. And that’s exactly what it did. It did that very well through a combination of great animation direction, pacing, and storytelling. Basically, the cinematography was great. This is outside my realm of expertise since I am not really familiar with the art. Heck, I have trouble drawing stickmen that don’t look like absolute abominations. But after watching hundreds of anime, I can at least tell when certain things like usage of lighting and camera angles stand out from other anime. The sense of foreboding is very clearly felt throughout the anime with how it consistently creeps in those little dark moments here and there. Add in the expert usage of sound, and you’ve got quite an atmospheric experience. I know people who analyzed all the symbolism and whatever, but to me, the atmosphere and execution were what stood out the most. Those things really sold me on this show, so if you’re looking for some great cinematography, sound design, and execution of a sense of foreboding and tension, this is a great anime to watch.

You thought I’d just end it there? Nope. If the above two paragraphs were all I had to say, this would be a lot higher on the list. As great as the execution is, it’s a bit lacking in other areas like the psychological conflicts. Yuki’s psychological state is taken as her just dealing with the situation, but is kind of breezed over without giving much depth. The same goes for Kurumi and Yuuri. Though Kurumi does get more attention in this regard than most of the other characters while Yuuri’s internal conflicts are pretty much ignored throughout the entire season except key pivotal moments. Psychological conflict is a very important aspect to get right when it comes to a post-apocalyptic setting since the situations the characters are in are often dire. There is a lot a show can do to give a lot of depth to this mental conflict as the characters struggle with a setting that’s completely alien to them. In Gakkou Gurashi, a lot of this is missing. We barely even learn anything of Kurumi or Yuuri’s past as well as how the changes in their mental state throughout the series. The anime could have definitely done more here. Secondly, a lot of this anime consists of slice of life moments that you would see in, you know, a regular slice of life anime. At times I didn’t really look forward to watching this anime because it can be fairly slow, and compared to some great slice of life anime airing this season it’s more noticeable that it’s comparatively lacking in its happier slice of life moments. While that’s not a major factor, I think the fact that I read the manga severely hampered my enjoyment of the anime. There are shows where knowing what happens ruins the experience. Though I don’t think knowing what happens “ruins” the experience for Gakkou Gurashi, it is definitely a negative since a lot of the shock value disappears and you can see the tone shifts coming making them less effective. I think I would have liked the anime more if I didn’t know anything about it, so that’s why, combined with the other aforementioned factors, Gakkou Gurashi remains in this tier.

Rokka no Yuusha

Rokka no Yuusha Seventh Shocking Truth

SHOCKING TRUTH.

Sherlock the fucking anime. Seriously, I went into this thinking how this would be one of those fantasy adventure series and I got an entire season adapting the first volume filled with deception, The Strongest Man in the World being apparently so insecure that he needs to repeatedly say that he is indeed The Strongest Man In the World, detective work, and a true test of The World’s Strongest Man’s problem solving skills. So don’t go into this expecting them to kill tons of demons and the demon lord like the premise may indicate. This is really a mystery/detective anime focused almost entirely on figuring out who is the seventh. The question is, does it do a good job in this respect? Well, what it has going for it is that you’re never absolutely certain who the culprit is. Rokka no Yuusha manages to keep it uncertain throughout the entire season, which allows it to create this sense of tension that come with good mystery shows. At the same time, it gives enough hints and clues to allow you to narrow down your selection to a few people. There’s no bullshit explanations or asspulls that don’t make any sense, but it’s also not mind-blowing with its logic that makes you say, “Holy shit, I get it now!” The final revelation at the end of the season was nothing phenomenal. Many people guessed correctly or had suspicions that the person would be the seventh. But again, although I could narrow it down to a few people at any given time, I could never bet my life on it being one or the other. There was enough uncertainty mixed in to keep things suspenseful. It definitely kept things intriguing throughout the season.

The anime also makes good use of its ups and downs almost every episode to keep things interesting once a certain someone is suspected to be the seventh. From that point on, it’s a guessing game where many viewers have put forth their own theories and thoughts. When you see as much speculation and discussion as what we saw when this anime aired, you know it’s doing the mystery aspects well. That said, this anime is not without its problems. Firstly, I know some people could not overlook the poor CGI quality. I won’t blame them. It is pretty bad. Secondly, this whole season is an adaptation of the first volume of the light novels. Wow, what a time we live in. Not too long ago we had many adaptations that would cover 4-6 volumes in a single season. I remember lamenting the fact that they were so rushed. Now, we have the opposite happening with 12 episodes covering 1 volume. As you may expect, it does end up feeling a bit dragged out. Perhaps I wouldn’t mind so much if it weren’t for the fact that the finale only leads to more and more questions, and that the final revelation isn’t exactly as satisfying as I expected it to be since I roughly guessed who it would be. Furthermore, what happens at the very end makes me want to slam my head on a table because… fuck me. If you watched it, you’d know. It’s quite frustrating seeing how they finally solved things and at the end that happens. Maybe that’s to be expected from an anime like this, but I can’t help but feel that this is one huge cliffhanger. It leaves an unsatisfying feeling when you finish it. Nonetheless, there’s no doubt this anime is unique. There’s nothing quite like a fantasy adventure that ends up being Sherlock the Fucking Anime.

Overlord

Overlord Albedo Body Pillow Ainz

YFW SOMEONE WILL NEVER MAKE A BODY PILLOW OF YOU AND “HUG” IT VIOLENTLY.

If you read my preview for this season, you know I really like the source material. If you read my first impressions, you know that I think it was a pretty good adaptation. Even after I saw the last episode, I tweeted out how I found the finale to be great. Overall, I thought it was a great adaptation. At least at the time. Let’s just say after thinking about it for a while, my opinion has changed. I don’t think this is as good of an adaptation as I once thought because I think the adaptation misses some of the major points that made the light novel enjoyable to me. Let me go over the reasons one by one. A good place to start off is by mentioning that the anime skips quite a bit of material. The reason why I found this to be a great adaptation in the beginning was because I thought the shortcomings of the anime was due to the differences between the mediums. For light novels, it is far easier to do world building, flashbacks, backstory segments, and the bits of flavorful dialogue than they are in an anime. The reason why this is so is obvious. Lines that are written take up less space in a light novel than spoken lines do in an anime. As such, it is not uncommon at all to see adaptations have less depth in a wide variety of areas compared to their light novel counterparts. The anime adaptation of Overlord does not suffer as much compared to other adaptations, but it suffers nonetheless.

At first I excused it because on the surface Madhouse appeared to have done a great job with it. Most of the core of the story is there, and although definitely not perfect, it seemed to have most of the material in the light novel and skipped the little bits of details that at the time I felt were necessary for them to fit everything into 13 episodes. And therein lies my problem of perceiving this adaptation as good as I thought it was. I know what I’m saying sounds contradictory to my reactions after every episode on Twitter. I think that was partially to compensate for my liking of the light novel. To be completely and totally honest with myself I was underwhelmed in numerous episodes, but maybe I wanted to delude myself because I liked the source material and thought the staff did as good of a job as they could with 13 episodes. I didn’t realize at the time that I was using the episode count as an excuse. But that’s the same thing I criticized in my Charlotte section so it wouldn’t be fair for me to give Overlord a free walk. I said then that people should almost never use the episode count as an excuse. People should simply look at the content itself not the number of episodes. Once I took in those thoughts more seriously, my bias became more apparent. With my mind cleared I came across some glaring problems.

Firstly, as mentioned above, world building, flavorful dialogue, and the like are difficult to adapt due to time constraints. Overlord skips many segments of world building where we got to know the classes of the characters, their strengths and weaknesses, the details of the many floors of Nazarick, and more. While individually these aspects do not amount to much, combined they give a great amount of depth to the world. A lot of this was missing from the anime. Nazarick itself was hardly ever mentioned in any real detail, and we never really learned much about the quirks of the Guardians, the abilities, the chemistry between them, and so on. That’s not the only things the anime skipped either. Another issue is the lack of flashbacks, backstories, and buildup of tension during some moments that were important in the light novel. (No spoilers don’t worry) A good example is when a certain pitiful human in episode 10 dared to go against the forces of Nazarick. In the anime the scene is treated as a brief aside to the main plot of the episode, but in the light novel this scene was full of vivid descriptions that prepared the viewer for what’s to come. It gave a thorough backstory to give some characterization to the pitiful human, and it really built up his competence by detailed what he went through to achieve his level of strength. That made what subsequently happened all the sweeter. There was no such thing in the anime, and I really felt it was a shame since when I was reading the light novel, I felt the difference in power levels much more. Overlord’s unabashed approach to depicting its overpowered characters shone much more in the light novel because it was given that level of detail and buildup. The anime fails to portray the overpoweredness with as much expertise as the light novel does.

Grotesque happenings was also supposed to follow after that scene. In the light novel it was bloody, brutal, and horrifying. It was awesome. It showed that the characters weren’t simply overpowered. They were different. They were otherworldly. The light novel made sure you understood that. More importantly, it had the brutality the light novel is well-known for. In the anime, it’s far more toned down. I didn’t feel nearly the same impact as when I read the light novel. It just wasn’t the same. Such awesome scenes in the light novel not being adapted properly is not an uncommon occurrence in the anime. I definitely won’t say Madhouse did a terrible job. Definitely not. For many scenes they were acceptable. But that’s just it. It may be acceptable, but it just wasn’t enough. It almost never fully captured the extent of the brutality the light novel did. And I think the feeling of “It may be acceptable, but it just wasn’t enough,” exemplifies how I feel about this anime overall. I can’t say it did a terrible job in any respect. It just wasn’t enough. It didn’t go all the way. It needed to in order to make me feel that thrill and excitement I felt when I read the light novel. What precisely does it need to improve? Well, if you really think about it, a lot of the problem here is due to the animations. What was shown on screen didn’t match or surpass what I imagined when reading it. If they had a whole bunch of money, talent, and time, I’m sure it would have surpassed my imaginations. *COUGH*ONEPUNCHMAN*COUGH* The animations simply didn’t go to the same extent the light novel did for its descriptions. I can’t help but find that to be underwhelming. Even if I didn’t read the light novel, I don’t think any particular scene would stand out and be talked about for how gruesome and horrifying it was. All the major scenes will simply be forgotten because they’re simply “okay” but not exceptional.

While the main story is important, I believe these aspects (world building, violent depictions, backstories, little bits of flavorful dialogue, etc) are just as important because all together they were the spirit of what the light novel was to me. Those aspects were what made the light novel really stand out. They weren’t as emphasized as they needed to be in the anime for me to feel that this anime is a great adaptation. I don’t know if I would have liked the anime more or less if I didn’t read the light novel. On the one hand I wouldn’t know the context of many things and it may have been more lackluster to me. On the other hand I would have nothing to compare it to and so I may find this to be better than what I currently think of it. You may tell me to stop comparing, but I can’t. Even if I try to, I am still biased towards comparing because I can’t just forget about the light novel. And even if I did I think I would still have the same issue of it being acceptable, but not enough. I still enjoyed watching this anime every week. Certain parts, like the last two episodes, I felt were done quite well and did manage to capture the feeling the light novel gave me decently well enough. (Of course I could find problems with those parts too.) It isn’t so much that the anime adaptation is terrible as it is underwhelming. I would recommend anime-only viewers to read the light novel from the beginning because I think it is the superior experience. Heck, I would recommend those even vaguely interested in this anime/light novel to just read it. Some of you may wonder why this anime is so high up on the list when I am speaking so negatively of it. First, remember that this tier is incredibly tight. The precise rankings could have easily changed. Secondly, I still like the content and I’m a big fan of the light novel. Overall, I think the anime of Overlord is a fun watch for those interested in the genre and/or is looking to watch overpowered characters. However, it never managed to impress me as much as the light novel did since it is lacking in its world building, characterization, execution of critical scenes, backstories, build-up, and so on. It never reached its full potential. A shame, but now that I have come to terms with it, I can rest easy knowing I was more honest with myself and that I have found the reasons for my sense of slight unease while watching this adaptation.

The Good Anime of the Season

Prison School

Prison School Boobs vs Butts

AS AN ASS MAN, I APPROVE.

Prison School is yet another great adaptation in this great adaptation season. Like Gate, if you want to hear my thoughts on the series please refer to my preview and first impressions. Nothing has really changed my thoughts aside from the fact that I’m pleasantly surprised how well J.C. Staff has handled, well, pretty much everything. Okay, you do need to wait for the BDs if you want the proper experience since the censorship is a bit much. But the execution of the hilarious, exciting, and perverted scenes? Spot on. Pacing? Not bad especially for adapting so many chapters. Animations? Solid. It’s a fantastic adaptation that I really did not expect to see going into it. I still remember talking to my friend about how this was probably going to be a terrible adaptation due to the art being so damn good in the manga. But nope. Everything is rock solid including the finale, which by the way, teases a season 2. I wouldn’t get my hopes up though since a lot of shows tease for another season only to never get one. So yes, if you’re looking for something more obscene in its humor and fanservice, this is definitely the one to watch. It’s unlike most other ecchi comedy anime in that it is so over the top in so many ways. The reason why this is higher than something like Shimoneta is because this anime doesn’t have troughs that are nearly as low and the peaks are arguably just as high or even higher. Almost every episode has something obscene, fantastic, grotesque, and awesome going for it. Some people don’t seeing such absurdities, but I love it. As an ass man, I approve.

The Great anime of the Season

Joukamachi no Dandelion

Joukamachi no Dandelion Akane

I’ll miss this show.

I rated this anime far too low in my first impressions. I thought so a day after I published the post, but I was just way too lazy so I left it as is. So let me correct myself now. Joukamachi is one of the most entertaining slice of life anime I’ve ever seen. I have to admit that some episodes were not exactly up to par when compared to some of the best episodes in the season. However, overall, and especially when you look at just those excellent episodes full of humorous moments, incredible adorableness, and fantastic character interactions, this anime is great. I mentioned in my first impressions that this is one of those rare shows that can actually handle a large cast well. This has not only remained true since then. The characters were even handled better and better as the episodes went along. Partially this has to do with how I grew more attached to the characters as I saw more episodes, but the way the anime is written should not be overlooked. Every single major character has their own distinct unique relationships with the other major characters. The kind-hearted Shiori looks after Teru’s recklessness while Haruka gives Misaki emotional support. Then we have Shuu’s role as the big brother along with Kanade’s strong sense of responsibility that veils her soft heart. Add to that Akane’s cuteness with HanaKana’s superb voice acting and you have a cast that really feels alive. The characterization and writing are strong enough to carry one enjoyable interaction after another.

It’s almost magical how great some scenes are. They either overwhelm me with cuteness overload or by making me care about what’s happening enough to make me emotionally invested so when something fun happens, I’m having an absolute blast watching it all happen. To be honest, I’m not good at judging slice of life anime. I’ve never seriously reviewed any of them, so a lot of the reasons for why I like many of them so much remain mysteries. Sure, I can say that characterization is solid, and that there are dynamic character interactions with humorous moments to boot. Add in some creativity with the scenes to keep things fresh and some good dialogue, and you’ve got a recipe for success… Right? I’m actually not so sure if those aspects are truly what make great slice of life anime great. They are obviously important components, but is there something more to it? Something more subtle? For example, why did the author choose these types of characters? What makes them come together? Moreover, what is it that really makes me smile? Those are just a few questions I have that I have yet to fully answer. Until then, all I can do is recommend this based on the enjoyment I had with this anime. I was almost going to say this is one of the most entertaining anime I’ve ever seen, but the one thing that makes me not say this is that there is quite a large difference in enjoyment between the best episodes and the weakest episodes. It’s not like Non Non Biyori where literally every single episode is absolutely golden. The weaker episodes/scenes do drag this anime down quite a bit, so I’ve toned down my positive thoughts of this anime a notch. Of course, there are many people who don’t like this anime nearly as much as I do. That’s to be expected for a slice of life anime. That said, if you ever feel like watching some entertaining sibling/family shenanigans, adorable moments, and HanaKana’s flustered voice, give Joukamachi a shot. You won’t regret it.

Shokugeki no Souma

Shokugeki Erina-sama blushing

ERINA-SAMA BEST.
yeah fucking fight me.

Shokugeki Megumi Monkfish hype

God damn this scene was so fucking hype.
Holy shit it was good.

Shokugeki no Souma Ending Season

SEASON 2 WHEN?!
NEED MORE FOODGASMS.

This anime was really difficult to rank for me because on an enjoyment level, this is some of the most fun I’ve had watching anime and I kind of thought I should rank it even higher. Regardless of the exact order, being in this tier should be indicative enough of how damn awesome this anime is. This anime is really fucking entertaining. If you are like me and like to eat food when watching your daily dose of Chinese cartoons, this is the anime to watch while doing so. Trust me. It makes even my shitty cooking taste good, so it clearly stimulates my appetite. A lot. By that same token, do not watch this anime on an empty stomach. That’s just suffering. Anyways, as someone who really enjoyed reading the manga, I was pleasantly surprised to see J.C. Staff do such a great job with the adaptation. I thought going into this show that the foodgasms may not be up to par and the animations won’t be able to match Tosh’s illustrations. Thankfully, I was wrong. The foodgasms are as fantastic as I remembered them in the manga, and Tosh’s art has been adapted well in anime format. Far beyond what I thought they’d be capable of. Most importantly, the high impact, tense, hype inducing scenes are done very well giving me roughly the same feeling I felt when I read the manga. That was incredibly important for them to nail because the exciting revelations, reactions, build-up scenes, poses, and badass lines make this one of the best shounen titles out there. The manga captured the essence of what makes a great shounen anime. The anime took that and transformed it into a proper anime format that gave the same extremely thrilling experience. I can’t emphasize with just writing about it how damn awesome and hype-inducing this anime can be. You really have to watch how they masterfully build up tension, and execute the over the top scenes to fully appreciate how much of a wonderful job they did adapting this.

I’d like to go over briefly in a bit more detail why I think this is one of the best shounen titles out there. Firstly, as I mentioned, it almost always manages to make things exciting. There are so many moments when I went, “holy shit” while reading/watching Shokugeki no Souma that I’ve lost count. Most of the time these scenes can be summed up with the phrase, “badass as fuck.” Whether it be Souma’s vindictive declaration of a shokugeki or characters showing off their abilities, there are numerous instances where I’m (internally) jumping up and down inside in excitement. At the same time, the over the top reactions as well as the detailed explanations of the dishes give those scenes that bit of extra flavor. Not to mention how it  It’s this attention to detail in places that really solidifies Shokugeki no Souma as a great, and not just good, shounen anime. A good example of this is in the characters. I’m not talking about Souma. He’s alright, but honestly for a shounen protagonist he is nothing too special. What I am talking about is virtually everyone else. So often you see antagonists and side characters pop up in other anime/manga that get a few moments of glory only to completely fade away. Shokugeki no Souma actually pays great attention and care to almost all the characters, main or not. Souma’s rivals have their own backstories, and everyone feels significant in their own ways, which make the matches all that more intense. They all have noticeable personalities and quirks that make the entire show feel alive and full of energy. These aren’t disposable characters no one pays attention to. The anime/manga give the characters their own moments of glory as well as their moments of failure and despair. They feel real. When you look at how incredibly large the cast is, this is something especially worth commending. Don’t even get me started on the development of Megumi. That was some fantastic portrayal. Who would have thought a cooking anime would be touching?

Secondly, it executes the badass, high-impact scenes very well. I think the manga does a better job at it for two reasons. One, it’s a manga so the panels and the way pages flip to the sudden panel where the characters are being all badass gives a really big impact. Secondly, Tosh’s art is fucking amazing. The details, the shading, the poses, everything. It’s absolutely spot-on. The first factor is the nature of the medium, and the second factor can’t really be replicated exactly in anime format minus immense time/money/talent requirements. Even so, the anime does a great job through its animation quality, animation direction, and pacing of the scenes to replicate the thrilling experiences the manga dishes out frequently. The high-impact panels in the manga are almost exactly copied, and the adaptation overall is very faithfully adapted, so you do get a similar feeling watching the anime. I could go on about the good aspects in more detail, but you should get the point. If you want to watch a great shounen anime, this is the one to watch. Notice I’m saying shounen, okay? I don’t want people whining in the comments about how this isn’t that deep or whatever. There are all kinds of shows out there. This one is meant to be a bit cheesy with the shounen tropes some of you undoubtedly dislike. Yes, if you don’t like how shounen anime do the badass moments then you probably won’t like this anime. Not everyone will like these kinds of anime. That’s fine. That’s why genres and demographic targets exist. If I have to say one thing though, the fanservice in the beginning, especially in the first episode, is a bit excessive compared to the rest of the anime. The moaning and all that is not what you’re going to see for the rest of the 25 episodes. It’s not that intense after the first bit. Safe to watch with parents around? Absolutely not. You’ll be disowned. But a bit toned down definitely. Anyways, there is more than enough source material for 25 more episodes, so hopefully we will be seeing that soon. I am caught up with the manga, and boy are some things going down. Damn, these guys know how to make this fucking thrilling to read. I had a ton of fun following this anime week to week. I hope you guys did as well. If you didn’t, there are 25 episodes of pure foodgasmic, badass, Erina-sama is the greatest yeah fucking fight me, Isshiki-senpai butt shaking, Megumi too stronk, how many more memes am I going to throw out, goodness in front of you. Go get ‘em. Here’s to more foodgasms!

Baby Steps Season 2

Baby Steps Season 2 OP Hype

The OP song is fucking great.
Love this show.

“Baby Steps?! That’s your second favorite anime of this season? Really? I haven’t even heard anything about it.” Is probably what you’re thinking. Yes, Baby Steps. It’s no surprise that many people haven’t even heard about this anime since it is ranked #1000+ in terms of popularity on MAL. I actually didn’t even mean to finish this anime as quickly as I did. It was a few weeks ago when I was caught up to every airing show and wanted to watch something a bit longer. The first season of Baby Steps popped up on my radar randomly, and so I thought I’d just give it a shot. I knew it was still airing this season, but thought I’d enjoy the ride rather than rush through 50 episodes. Well, you know what happens when you get into a show and there’s the next episode right in front of you. I ended up finishing the entire two seasons in a few days (minus the last few episodes because I had to wait for them to come out). Yep, a few days. If this wasn’t going near the top of this season, I don’t know what would. So, let’s talk about why I enjoyed this anime so much.

One of the biggest factors to my liking of the show is how marathonable it is. This anime is extremely marathonable because it is one where the character goes to greater and greater heights. It’s like how you want to keep playing a game because your character is getting stronger, you’re leveling up and getting better loot. This sense of progression keeps people going, and boy does this anime do that well. Starting from the first episode, the character doesn’t even know how to play tennis. As he learns about the game, so to do viewers, which also makes it a very natural introduction for viewers who don’t know the sport. As the anime’s name suggests, the character takes baby steps to become a better player. In the process he plays against stronger and stronger foes while exploring new frontiers of what he knows about tennis. This kind of progression easily pushed me forward to watch more and more episodes wondering in which areas he will grow, how he will overcome his weaknesses, what new tactics he will come up with, and how much more intense the games will be with his fellow rivals as he becomes a better player. All of this is greatly helped by two things. Firstly, this anime is fucking realistic. Secondly, the main character is a logical, methodical, thinking kind of player. Let’s go over the first aspect first.

It’s fucking realistic. I’m not kidding. I used to play tennis when I was younger, though I was damn terrible at it, and I can say that this is one of the most realistic depictions of a sport in anime I’ve ever seen. This is definitely no Prince of Tennis where there physics defying moves is the name of the game. Baby Steps is deeply rooted in reality, which makes it a breath of fresh air. There are obviously pros and cons to this approach. The pros are that this show makes a lot of sense. The progression of the games are very logical, and there are no ass-pulls. This is where the second aspect comes in. The main character is not an intuitive player who just plays what he feels like. He is known for his extremely methodical method of playing tennis, like how he takes notes of everything, and this really helps to make the realism more interesting. He precisely details what is currently happening in the match, what are his problems, and even his current mental state. It’s a constant commentary that makes you feel like you are taking part in a match thinking of how to best your opponent along with the main character. This commentary isn’t flawless either. In fact, at times I even picked up that he was wrong and isn’t looking at things the right way. And that’s the thing. The matches make me as a viewer feel somewhat involved. Because this anime is grounded in reality you can actually make predictions and figure things out without feeling cheated when a random bullshit power-up or new move pops up out of nowhere to ruin it all. When the main character wins or loses, it never feels cheap. There’s nothing like the power of determination that allows him to defeat an opponent that’s much stronger than he is. I know other shounen anime do these kinds of things in order to make the main character look badass. That doesn’t happen here. It’s logical and reasonable.

This reasonableness doesn’t apply only to the matches. Even the progression of the main character to become a better player, and the realism of just about everything else is kept at a very high level throughout the 50 episodes. While the main character’s skill development is very fast, it’s not as if he could beat players much stronger than he is with just a month of practice. Especially early on, the main character fails very often. The way he practices is realistic, and he makes his fair share of sacrifices to maximize his capabilities. No major spoilers here, but let’s just say he knows how much the best of the best practice and to surpass them he has to do even more so he has to change his way of life. True to its name, the main character really does take baby steps to become a completely different player by the end of the two seasons. Such growth was fantastic as you see him lose, learn, improve, struggle, and sometimes grab that sweet, sweet victory. It’s addicting watching this precisely because you wonder what kind of stronger opponent he will face next and what lies ahead in his journey of never-ending improvement. It helps that although the main character greatly improves, we always see how much of a long road he still has ahead of him thanks to how the anime inserts moments with far stronger tennis players. It’s kind of like an overarching objective that he’s trying to reach towards, and you can tell that it will be important much later down the line. So it provides that extra bit of anticipation for what will happen next giving further proof that the ability for this anime to raise anticipation is probably one of its strongest strengths. Some of you may be wondering what about him as a character? Does he develop? Yes he does, but I would say that because this anime is so focused on tennis, him evolving as a player in tennis by understanding the game differently from how he first began and what tactics he use now are synonymous with his development as a character. As a player, he changes very dramatically as you will note with his internal thoughts as he plays the games. To that extent, it’s a slightly different kind of character development from what you may be used to.

The con of being so grounded in reality is the loss of shock value when a super amazing move is shown to the viewer. Those moments are the easiest ways to induce hype, and this anime doesn’t exactly have those moments. However, I want to emphasize that Baby Steps is definitely still exciting to watch. It’s just not exciting in the same way as something like Prince of Tennis or Kuroko no Basuke because they are different types of sports anime. The excitement in Baby Steps is like watching tennis tournaments in real life. Sure, you see Federer do these moves now and then, but it’s mostly the nice plays that flow from one return to another that make real life matches exciting to watch. For Baby Steps, it’s very similar. This excitement is partially thanks to its strong cast of characters each with their own clear goals, which make very strong rivalries between the characters that make the matches exciting to watch. That was key to get right. With cliché opponents that were just “bad guys” or something of the sort the matches would get stale. Thankfully, the players have their unique personalities as exemplified by their playstyle, and they all feel real. They don’t feel like insignificant stepping stones for the main character, but rather harsh obstacles that will continue to give him a challenge in the future even if he were to win a match against them today.

There is one major drawback to this series. The animation quality is not good. That’s probably the biggest downside of this entire anime. It hurts especially for sports anime because it’s difficult to make things exciting without fantastic jaw-dropping animations to back it all up. Certainly, you won’t see anything like those crazy moments in Kuroko no Basket where Production I.G. goes all out and the characters go ham. There was a final point of a match that lasted like 20-30 seconds that was fairly well animated. Besides that, there really isn’t much else that’s noteworthy about the animations. That said, the overall directing is solid. It’s still tense because of how the match is paced, the proper use of camera angles, player/audience reactions, and so on. Heck, it got me to watch all those episodes so quickly despite its clear lack of budget so it had to get the direction right otherwise the matches would be boring to watch, which they’re not.

This anime isn’t unpredictable either. There are obvious matches where the main character will definitely win because he has to in order for the anime to progress. While there are also matches where that’s not the case, and things are left more up in the air, I think I guessed the outcome of all those matches correctly except for one of them. Isn’t that a bad thing? Well, not exactly. It’s less about the actual outcome of the match and more about what happens during the match. Yeah, yeah. It’s the same old, “It is the journey and not the destination that matters,” saying. But it is very true for this anime. Of course I knew, like everyone else, since the beginning of watching this anime that the main character is going to be a great player later down the line. I knew it but I watched and loved this anime regardless. It wasn’t about what he would become at the end. That’s just a single point of his life. What was interesting was how he would become that person. What were the challenges he faced? How did he change as a player? How did his environment influence him? Those were the things that kept me going. I was curious. I was captivated. I wanted to see what would happen next. Speaking of wondering what will happen next, this anime also has a tinge of romance. A really, really nice tinge of it actually. By the way this is romance, romance. Not that harem nonsense or apparent attraction that never grows. There is real romance going on. (I can’t believe I have to even clarify this. What a time to be alive.) I don’t want to spoil anything, but let’s just say it’s damn satisfying to see, and I’m starting to read the manga from where the anime left off to find out what happens. Great stuff. Agh, I want to talk about it, but I can’t spoil. MUST RESIST. But seriously, it’s good stuff. Again, this is another example of this anime excelling at making you wonder what will happen next.

Alright, so that’s a short review of my thoughts on Baby Steps. It’s severely underwatched though not underrated since it is rated fairly highly across the board. Tennis is one of my favorite sports, so it helps a lot with my enjoyment of this series. If you’re a fan of sports anime, give it a shot. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed in anything aside from the animation quality. If you’re one of those people who don’t think sports anime are worth trying out, trust me, give this genre a shot. Not necessarily this anime right off the bat, but go watch something like Haikyuu. (Or Kuroko if you want some badass moments with basketball not grounded in reality) Even if you don’t like the sport, just give it a shot. These kinds of shows are so marathonable that you’d be a bit surprised you’ve watched 25 episodes in like a day when you thought it would be a silly show you wouldn’t give a shit about. Oh, and did I mention that the OP is fucking awesome? The animations are actually okay, but dayum the song is awesome. It always gets me so hyped. Anyways, Baby Steps was a pleasant surprise with logical matches grounded in reality, a great sense of progression, great cast of characters that feel real, and even a very nice tinge of romance. It’s a title worthy of being second best this season. Highly recommended.

Non Non Biyori Repeat

Non Non Biyori Repeat Ren-chon

REN-CHON POWA.

As I watch this anime, I honestly think this is the epitome of slice of life anime. I really do. Well, alright. That’s not exactly fair. You see, these kinds of moe slice of life anime, although similar, have different approaches. Non Non Biyori focuses on its phenomenal portrayal, tranquility, and pacing. Other slice of life anime focus more on cuteness, humor, and so on. Therefore, it may not be fair to compare them so closely. Anyway, back to Non Non Biyori. By portrayal, I mean how it can evoke poignant emotions in a viewer through its fantastic direction, its showing instead of telling approach, and animation quality. You would expect slice of life anime to be all calm, fun, and happy. You would never expect to feel sad. Happy, for sure, but sad? To see themes related to the wonders of life, death, moving on and more in an anime like this? More importantly for those themes to be done so well? That’s something exceptional. What’s even more noteworthy is how simple it is in its approach. Every episode is separate from each other. There’s no long-term buildup of tension and drama that come with most other anime that tries to emotionally impact viewers. Instead, in a single episode, or rather, in less than a single episode, it manages to do what other anime try to do for a whole season. There is so much beauty in its simple approach of affecting viewers on an emotional level. How it relies more on showing than telling is perhaps its greatest strength that allows it to succeed in this way. It’s such a rich experience to watch this anime that I’m honestly confounded how it actually does this. You know, I think that most great shows have few flaws. But to be truly excellent, a show needs to be superb rather than flawless. Beyond a certain level of quality, a show needs to do something better than most other shows in order to stand out. That is what Non Non Biyori has done yet again with its phenomenal portrayal backed by its fantastic cinematography, writing, pacing, and sense of tranquility. This is truly an excellent anime.

Anime Season Review Summer 2015 Final Thoughts

For a summer season, this was quite a good one. Compared to the summer seasons for 2014 and 2013, this one comes out on top by a fair margin. This summer season has an absolute ton of shows that are decently entertaining to watch, which really makes the “average anime” tier extremely cramped. The top of the season ended up being surprising too since I didn’t expect Joukamachi and Baby Steps to end up being as great as they were. Adaptation-wise, we had many, many solid adaptations such as Prison School, Shokugeki, Gate, Shimoneta, Ore Monogatari, Akagami, Rokka, Gakkou Gurashi, Baby Steps, Joukamachi, Non Non Biyori, and more. Holy shit. Just take a look at that list. Almost everything this season consisted of either manga or light novel adaptations (that are well adapted to boot). Well, I can’t complain too much when they are doing the adaptations as well as they are. I got so used to seeing rushed and half-assed adaptations that I didn’t think the day would come so soon where the vast majority of adaptations would be done so well. Bravo to all the people responsible for bringing us all these entertaining shows.

However, the sacrifice is that we haven’t really had an original anime stand out or a truly hard hitter like Shin Sekai Yori, White Album 2, Kyousougiga, and so on. You may say, “Hey, what about Non Non Biyori?” Well, the thing is that, firstly, I expected it to shine a lot already. Secondly, the slice of life genre is fairly saturated with plenty of great ones that have come out or are coming out. Thirdly, the medium itself does not lend well to the same kind of impact the three aforementioned anime give. I have to admit how greedy I am waiting for a Steins;Gate, Madoka, or perhaps even Monster or some really hard hitter to finally show itself again when it really hasn’t been that long since we saw a fantastic year that was 2013. I suppose part of the reason was that 2014 was extremely empty in that regard, which was the main reason I didn’t do a top 10 for it, and this year appears to be more or less the same. Ah, I’m going on too much of a tangent. Anyways, this season was a lot of fun. That seems to be the name of the game in recent seasons. A lot of fun, but not a lot of substance. That’s fine with me since I enjoy watching moderately entertaining shows almost every day. This trend is continuing on to the next season as well. Thanks a lot for reading. The reviews ended up far longer than I thought they would, so thanks for sticking with it this far. Hope you had some fun this season. I’ll see you all in the first impressions post of the fall season! HYPE ONE PUNCH MAN DEM ANIMATIONS GOCHUUMON HOLY SHIT MOE MY HEART RAKUDAI STELLA STELLA STELLA. Until then, everyone!

Gakkou Gurashi Wallpaper Shokugeki no Souma Erina and Souma Wallpaper Himouto Characters Wallpaper Joukamachi Anime Wallpaper Shiori Non Non Biyori Repeat Wallpaper

 

PUT A WARNING IN YOUR COMMENTS BEFORE SPOILING AN ANIME!!! OTHERWISE, FEEL FREE TO DISCUSS THE REVIEWS ABOVE!

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  • Adam’s Leoncehart Archer

    First.Need to make a joke.
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    I don’t read this yet.

    • http://www.entravity.com/ Entrav

      lolok

  • Никульшин Фёдор

    >solid adaptations
    >Taroumaru Gurashi
    Right.

    • http://www.entravity.com/ Entrav

      Well, I don’t think the adaptation is done badly. It’s more like the original content led to the anime being just okay.

      • Никульшин Фёдор

        Well I do think that the adaptation was done badly because most of the original great scenes were either cut or changed for the worse (and the original characters were replaced by the diffrernt ones, especially Miki). Though if in the end you still liked it that’s good for you, I guess.

        • http://www.entravity.com/ Entrav

          Hmm… You may be right. I’m not sure since my memory is pretty poor and I read the manga quite some time back. Not sure if I remember all the nitty gritty details. I agree that some of the changes to the original that I remember were definitely not great, but I don’t remember the characters being all that different.

          Oh well, it’s in the average tier for a reason. If I re-read the manga and like it more then I misjudged how good the original was. I have to wait for more chapters though because they take forever to come out.

  • zeroyuki92

    This is some fucking long review, so firstly good job at writing this thesis.

    Got many responses while reading this, but since this is so long I just remember few:

    – About Arslan, I think the main problem is that they are dumbing down many elements (especially characters) for whatever reason, probably to make it easier to digest by new viewers. Also disappointed by the lack of tactics+competent enemies and how they changed the final arc by adding many elements which may make it more suitable as “finale” but leaves many character induced stupidities instead.

    Thankfully I did the same fix with you: just watch LoGH. It fixed most of the problems, especially the lack of competent opponents, scales, tactics and side characters. It still have some problems (oh boy documentary episodes are the worst offender of “show, not telling” rules), but everything is so grand that I will forget such trivialities. Still on mid season 3 though since this thing is so goddamn long.

    – I’m glad I dropped Charlotte at 3 since I just feel that this will just become an inferior Angel Beats at best. Seems like it’s actually even worse than that.

    – Got basically similar responses to your mid-tier shows (besides no matter how much Ebina and cuteness it throws to me I just can’t stand Umaru) and the conclusion for the season: Tons of good and fun shows, but lack of masterpieces. And yes it has been going for few years.

    – Okay I got to watch Nonon already, I wonder how will this fare against ARIA since how you describe nonon is how I describe ARIA. Also baby steps, both RC’s Enzo and you placed it that high so I just can’t miss it.

    • http://www.entravity.com/ Entrav

      Thanks for reading!

      That’s a shame for Arslan. Maybe I’ll go read it instead. Then again, maybe I should finish LoGH first. >.>

      Yeah, definitely give Non Non Biyori and Baby Steps a shot. Worth.

      • Chonomancy

        Def watch ARIA, really want to know what you think about it.

        Great reviews btw, love reading them.

        • http://www.entravity.com/ Entrav

          Yeah, that one’s high up on my watch list. I know many say it’s absolutely fantastic. I’ll definitely get to it someday.

          Glad you enjoy the reviews. Thanks for reading!

      • zeroyuki92

        Read it? Not sure how far the fan translation of the novel is but iirc it’s still quite far from the season’s checkpoint (unless you can read moonrunes), and manga adaptation share similar problems (plus lag even more behind the anime). The other alternative is the old OVA, but it does get some advantages compared to the current anime version despite of its short length.

  • Lenas und Claras Dango-Blog

    WTF, what a long review! :O
    Good job, it was really entertaining and it shows how much time you spent on your article. I didn’t read the whole thing but the reviews of the animes I watched myself.

    Since Angel Beats is one of my favorites, I was really looking forward to Charlotte for MONTHS but what I got was very disappointing. By the end of the last episode I felt frustrated how rushed it was. When I read your spoiler section I laughed a few times because it’s so true and really a shame. I think Charlotte had great potential and most of it was wasted. Nevertheless I also really liked a lot about it – the comedy, the whole idea, the time leap plottwist… some of it was awesome to watch but could have been a lot better in its execution.

    ————–
    (SPOILER SECTION)
    The biggest question at the end was for me: Why aren’t there any side effects (besides the crazyness) when Yuu is looting all these abilities, while all the time there had only been imperfect abilities…? Why are alle these abilities he gets just perfect?
    (SPOILER SECTION END) (Added it in. -Entrav)
    ————–

    When it comes to Gakkou Gurashi I must say that I watched the first episode knowing nothing about the story and I really really enjoyed it! It was my favorite anime in this season because I liked everything about it – the characters, the story, the twists, the genres mix… but that’s just my taste. :P

    I haven’t finished Ore Monogatari and Arslan Senki yet but the last one is a bit boring, I think.
    And Kuusen Madoushi has been dropped after the first episode – it was just terribly bad! XD For me there was no quality in this show at all and the opening was the worst I’ve ever seen. X( It’s not that I don’t like these shows – I am currently watching Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry, Asterisk and Tamaidou Gakuen and they’re all really enjoyable!

    Btw, I’m writing weekly anime reviews and season overviews on my blog, Awkward Dangos, too, and your articles were the reason I started thinking about an anime blog. :) Unfortunately, I can’t invite you to check it out cuz it’s in German. XD But I just wanted to tell you, your posts were a nice inspiration for me. :)

    Greeting from Germany,
    Lena

    • http://www.entravity.com/ Entrav

      Thanks for reading!

      That’s another good point that you brought up for Charlotte. I think the last episode was so condensed that they didn’t really go over the drawbacks, which is pretty much equivalent to them being lazy and forgetting all about it to be honest.

      It’s an honor to be an inspiration for you to start your own anime blog. Hope you’re having fun writing!

  • MACHA

    Woooooooooooooo what a long review~~! And the opening group image is also really awesome. :)

    While summer did have some good stuff, I stopped watching a lot of shows once september rolled in. The reasons vary for a few but I do plan to continue some of them. But first what I finished:

    Of everything I started I only finished Classroom Crisis and – Sweet Tatsuya, I wish I didn’t – Rokka.
    Classroom Crisis was good. I didn’t mind the extra surprise but I did see hints
    of it. It’s just that there wasn’t enough time spent on it to make it more relevant and really add some weight. That’s quite a shame, because really don’t mind the surprise – I welcome it – just wished it was fleshed out even 5 minutes more.
    I have nothing to say about Rokka. It was a waste of my time, period.

    [Warning: The following reads a bit like a long rant because I just felt lost halfway into summer concerning anime so while it’s not mindless banter it’s not the best my two cents can offer for summer. Especially because I didn’t finish everything.]

    Stopped Overlord in favor of waiting for all of the episodes. Basically, if I don’t watch it soon, it’ll enter my ‘never gonna finish’ list. Not because it isn’t good. I just didn’t get pulled in after the first two eps. So I’ll return to that hopefully.

    Did kind of give up on God Eater though. It’s just meh. Even the art
    isn’t enough keep me around. So it’s officially dropped for me.

    Ooooohhhhhhh Prison School!! I stopped on episode 4! TTOTT I know it’s good. I know what’s coming. It shall be watched when I really need to laugh. Besides, the manga has kept me occupied so I don’t feel like I’m missing out.



    Right?
    Riiiight???

    Shimoneta. Jeez I’m horrible. Why did I stop watching this again? Life? Not really. I’m watching THE ALMIGHT TATSUYA, Captain Earth, Arslan Senki and How To Get Away With Murder soooooo I gots time. Let’s just say more interesting stuff appeared and now that they are out of the way, I can make time again. Haha, who am I kidding, Rokka took the fun out of summer for me. I even forgot about Classroom Crisis – watched the final nearly two weeks after it aired. XD

    Gangsta. Yeah, the manga is probably a better option since the anime follows the pacing exactly. Plus, not everything has come together yet in the manga, either. The slow crawl approach the anime took only guaranteed it would have an underwhelming end if it doesn’t get a second season. Stopped on ep 6 for this and ep 4 for Charlotte. Charlotte is just not giving me a reason to keep going. And judging by all the problems I’ve read it looks like a dodged a bullet.

    Ushio and Tora has been watched whenever I had a chance to chill. It’s the only anime I’m truly satisfied with from the summer bunch (with the exception of Shimoneta and Prison School).
    Besides that, the summer was a real bummer in my opinion. Although it’s primarily because I didn’t finish a lot of shows I started. It’s also the first time so many shows just… faded for me? My interest just up and left for some shows (God Eater, Charlotte). But others are on the backburner for now because yeah (Shimoneta, Prison School) or I’m reading the manga (Gangsta, Prison School). But Rokka… it really drained the will to continue this season for me. The time I lost watching it is time I almost wish I’d spent REWATCHING Aldnoah.Zero – which also sucked harder than a black hole.

    On a more positive note: I did watch Terra Formars (Uncensored of course! Jeezus those circles are profanity itself). And… well, that was… a lot to take in/accept. I loved it, hated it, and realized the creator doesn’t like happy people. The manga is my next target.

    Onepunch Man is glorious, but when will there be another ALMIGHTY TATSUYA, great writing to put SSY or Monster to shame or another anime that is truly ERU ERUFU?

    • http://www.entravity.com/ Entrav

      Yay someone commented on the thumbnail. Pretty proud of it. Probably one of the most enjoyable parts of making these kinds of posts.

      Just wait for the BDs for Prison School. Unless you’re never going to watch it if you wait that long.

      Captain Earth? Pls.

      Rewatching Aldnoah.Slaine.Lel.Topkek.Zero? Pls. That is like torture at least Rokka has bunny slut and naked belly button flower girl.

      Don’t hope for much for Terra Formars. It’s just a bunch of random fights at least what I’ve read (some months ago). Felt like missed potential.

      ONE PUNCH MAN IS TRULY GLORIOUS INDEED.

      Put SSY or Monster to shame? I don’t think that’ll be possible. Better than those two anime, sure. But to shame? That’s a bit excessive. Not sure if that’ll ever happen.

      Still waiting for another absurd show. SUNRISE PLS. But looks like they’re taking things seriously this time with Iron-Blooded Orphans, which is fine too.

      Thanks for reading!

  • VanillaSandvich

    Oh wow, Joukamachi actually ended up being the great one? Well damn, I kinda dropped it because I wasn’t really feeling it from 1 episode alone and my friend watched it just because there’s Kanahana which I don’t really care about… guess I’ll watch that later…

    And I just love reading Charlotte being a dissapointment lol. I never came there with an expectation it would be good because it’s so hyped up. I do agree that the first episode was really interesting and the 7th episode was also nice because it’s pretty unusual to see a character degrading like that to me.

    • http://www.entravity.com/ Entrav

      I know many people who found Joukamachi to just be “okay.” Don’t get your hopes up too much.

  • Bakutay

    Welcome back! Having only watched rokka no yuusha and gakkou, i cant say much, but the food anime does seem interesting. Good review altho i mostly scrolled thru it. No offence :x

    • http://www.entravity.com/ Entrav

      Thanks!

      Nah, no problems. Glad you read and commented regardless.

      Thanks for reading!

  • Dan

    Just wanted to say thank you for again delivering another well-composed, insightful article/post. It was not an easy task seeing the amount of passion and effort you’ve put in; so thanks again!

    I agree with a lot of things you’ve mentioned on your post and I am really glad that we have converging thoughts! Thank god for Non non biyori – I would not know what to do in a season without at least one truly excellent anime. (Have not seen Baby Steps.)

    Though my only qualm: While your justification is warranted and works, I believe Classroom Crisis, while mundane in the beginning and gratuitous/confusing towards the middle, deserves a higher spot on the list. But this is just what I think and I do not have time to go into it more.

    I really enjoyed Sore ga Seiyuu and Ore Monogatari as well! In terms of what the creators’ aims were, they were handled quite meticulously well.

    All in all, wonderful write-up! I am strongly recommending it to some associates.

    Looking forward to your first impressions video a few weeks from now!

    Best,

    Dan

    • http://www.entravity.com/ Entrav

      Thanks for reading as usual!

      Not sure if you saw the tier section, but the average anime tier is very cramped this season, so Classroom Crisis could have moved higher. It was too much of a pain to consider the exact placements so I just roughly did it.

      About the first impressions, I will not be doing a video for it. I haven’t done a video for a long time, and I probably won’t do one any time soon unless I really have the time/energy. This post already took me dozens of hours and doing a video would double that. I just don’t have the time/energy recently. Sorry. (Unless I plan to do a podcast version where I talk casually, which I may experiment with soon. Though I won’t be doing that for the upcoming first impressions post since many shows have hit the third episode already, and I haven’t even started writing about any of them yet.) The written version will definitely come in a few weeks.

      Thanks again!

      • Dan

        Sorry, I meant write-up for the first impressions!! Haha slipped my fingers!

  • MgMaster

    Just how long did it take you to write this Entrav? :D

    But anyway, I’m surprised to see no mention of Monster Girls yet Jitsu Wa made the list. The former went a bit beyond what one would initially expect from an ecchi harem series by creating the comedic lewd moments from the fact that the girls were non-humans, using each of their species’ unique traits.

    Also, this summer has been such a treat. I don’t know if the world was ready for Prison School, I know I wasn’t, but holy fck, it’s one of my all-time favorites now, along with the manga. I’ve never seen a show manage to tell an interesting story based on such ridiculous situations. It pulls no punches, every character is important and the animation, the soundtrack, all add’s to the tension to make it look like it’s a life & death battle.

    And speaking of life & death battle, Shokugeki no Souma was no slouch either. Would be awesome if J.C. Staff would make these two their flagships for another season or two. There’s easily enough material to make at least another 1-cour season for each of them and they’re fairly popular too.

    They also deserve praise for the wise choice of putting most of their budged where it mattered most. Shimoneta was fun & all while reaching certain peaks of hilarious greatness whenever we got some glorious horny yandere Anna moments but better animation & soundtrack wouldn’t elevate it much anyway, IMO.

    Make sure you give STELLA the praise she deserves in that fall impressions post now.

    • http://www.entravity.com/ Entrav

      No idea how long it took me, but it was much longer than I thought it’d be. Dozens of hours. Maybe 25-30 hours? Not sure. It took me 5+ hours to write the Charlotte section alone. Other ones took roughly an hour each including pics, links, formatting, and the little stuff really add up. Yeah, it took a long time.

      For Monster Musume, you can check the previous first impressions for my reasons of not following it. I didn’t watch it beyond 3 episodes. Just didn’t feel like it.

      I know right? Prison School is damn awesome. I was really glad that J.C. Staff managed to adapt it as well as they did. I thought they were going to butcher it badly. Phew.

      Shokugeki will definitely get a S2. The manga sells well, it’s in Jump, so yeah. It’s guaranteed, but the question is when. It didn’t sell well in terms of BDs. Though for those kinds of shounen Jump titles, it doesn’t matter nearly as much compared to the usual late night anime.

      Oh yeah, Stella will get that praise. Ohhhh man. STELLA STELLA STELLA.

      Thanks for reading!

  • Quito Barajas

    Thanks so much for this, Entrav!

    • http://www.entravity.com/ Entrav

      You’re welcome!

      Thanks for reading!

  • Doominator10

    Great review. Disturbing lack of MonMusume since now I can’t explain to you why Suu is best girl, but I’ll let it go.

    For me Gakkou Gurashi is my definite must watch of the season. I was an anime only and that first episode was probably the best first episode… I have seen? (Do I dare to make that claim? I’m scared.) I was really only dissapointed with the pool cleaning episode since I feel like they didn’t prick enough dread into the happiness there until the end. Just a quick casual/brutal reminder in the midst of the session would be appropriate, but other wise fine. Even my mom (who has a short attention span but I’m slowly indoctrinating into anime) was completely blown away after I forced her to sit through episode 1. (I vet all the shows I show her so she knew something was going to go wrong just by me telling her to watch it.) ‘Twas the first time she actually went off to see other episodes on her own (I’m so proud).

    While I can recommend Gakkou to everyone (and do), Prison School was my favorite for obvious reason. I’m in the same boat as you with Overlord (LN lover), so I’ll have to rewatch the show if I want to get a more critical opinion of it… or just read reviews like these and keep my happy opinion. Shimoneta had the the best climaxes of the season (yep, had to throw one in there.) Charlotte had an interesting ep 1 but ep 7 was probably my biggest emotional high of the summer, just seeing how his descent was so detailed and well done for an entire episode. Only thing that could be made clearer was the time frame of it (I thought that episode lasted 1-2 weeks, but there’s some confusion there.) Such a shame that it dropped so hard I didn’t even watch the last episode. Glad to see more Baby Steps getting the recognition it deserves. I used to play tennis in high school and I remember that exact feeling of trying to perfect myself playing ‘wall-ball’ on the same spot over and over. Felt very real to me. OreMono ( :D ) , Shokugeki ( :D ) Gate ( :D ) Rokka ( meh, ok )… This season had the most above average (for me) shows at once. None were as hype for me as Oregairu S2 (I don’t think anything is topping that anytime soon), but a lot of surprisingly amazing stuff here.

    Sadly I’m not interested in Non non as those kinds of SoL haven’t seemed to interest me (there was another popular one that I tried to get into but couldn’t. Can’t remember name). Will at least check out Joukamachi, as I do love me some solid character interactions. I’m surprised Working!!(Wagnaria!!) didn’t make the list because of that. It’s even on it’s third season now!

    –Gangsta could have been great q_q
    –Do you know of any other blogsites with writeups of this if not better quality? I only know of myswordisunbelievablydull

    • http://www.entravity.com/ Entrav

      Thanks for reading!

      It’s pretty awesome that you’re getting your mom to watch anime. Good fucking job. Soon she’ll start watching those harem anime and say how much shit taste you have…

      I didn’t finish even the first season of Working so I can’t talk about the third season. I’ll get to it eventually.

      I don’t read any other blog sites, so I can’t help you there.

  • sonicsenryaku

    did you just say erina is best girl in food wars?????……….PUT ON YOUR BOXING GLOVES…..NOW!!!!!

    • http://www.entravity.com/ Entrav

      Fucking fight be, bro. Let’s get it on.

      ERINA

      IS

      BEST

      • Doominator10

        Megumi has a few quiet words of JUSTICE AND SMACKDOWN to be politely delivered.

  • Chris Nelson

    WE BACK AGAIN BOYZ
    Man, I always look forward to your posts, Entrav! So great to see the in-depth reviews you give to even the bottom of the bucket (goddamn it Charlotte getting my hopes up). I read most of it (I’ll admit I skipped some of the beginning minus Charlotte to get to the good stuff). I’m really hoping for a good rest of the winter/beginning of spring season! Also I agree, Erina-sama is best girl (although I do like Ryoko a lot, despite her being a side character). Gonna go re-watch Oregairu since you mentioned it. Great job on this season recap, and keep up the good work!

    • http://www.entravity.com/ Entrav

      Awwww yeeeeeh Erina-sama master race.

      This post took me way too damn long, so I’ll probably just do a top 10 for each season from now on. I’ll talk about any others that I’m interested in outside of that. Though in the long run I’m not even sure if I can keep that up. Maybe it’ll just end up being a top 5 or the notable shows that I actually want to talk about for each season good or bad. A lot of the shows I really don’t have much to say. Nothing much to analyze.

      Thanks a lot for reading as usual! Appreciate the comment. Sadly, I won’t be doing any more episodic reviews. I simply don’t have the time/energy nowadays. Maybe there’ll be an extremely special case where I absolutely must talk an episode, but that may not end up happening at all, so I don’t want to get your hopes up.

      Anyways, I’ll see you on the next post!

      • Chris Nelson

        Honestly, I think you should just stick to the shows you want to talk about. Taking a lot of time on the crappy shows that bored you doesn’t seem very interesting both for you and for your readers. Good luck!

  • reyzarddell

    WHERES the preview/review for fall anime 2015 ..? and the preview for winter 2016…please write more review on this site…….IM LOVING IT