Some brief thoughts.
What anime to watch in spring 2016?
Last season was such a bore that I hardly bothered following any anime week to week. Thankfully, this season is different. I actually canāt believe Iām even following as many as I am given how burnt out on anime I was before this season. From the music magic that is Macross Delta to the crazy nonsensical trainwrecks that are Mayoiga and Big Order (and the literal choo choo train ride that is Kabaneri) to the calm slice of life anime like Flying Witch and Tanaka-kun, weāve got a ton of anime airing this season worth checking out. No fancy rankings this time. Iām too lazy for that nowadays. Letās just get started with my most anticipated anime of the season all the way to my least anticipated.
GIRI GIRI AI! AWWW YEEEAAAAHHHH. Holy crap these songs. These songsā¦ These catchy as fuck songs. Damn, you canāt help but dance to this shit. Man, it is fun as hell watching this show. These episodes get me pumped because thereās nothing better than some catchy songs with some mecha action. Oh boy. Iāll be honest. I was doing this post halfway when I lost motivation to finish it. If you want to thank anything for this post, thank this anime. It made me want to write it simply for this show. (JUNNA powa. Can you believe sheās just 15? Damn, I was doing really stupid things when I was 15 and she is singing for a fucking anime and is a total boss at it.) When I watch it and even after finishing the episode I canāt help but sing the song in my head and dance to the tune. Macross Frontier was one of the first anime I finished, and to this day some of my favorite songs come from that show such as Northern Cross (absolutely love the intense chorus), Diamond Crevasse (beautiful song), and Lion (definitely one of the better OP songs out there). I need to rewatch it to form an opinion about the overall show since I donāt remember a lot of whatĀ happened, so my opinion of Macross Delta is from the standpoint of someone who is generally unfamiliar with the franchise. I do, however, remember the intense song-mecha combination that made me hyped episode after episode in Macross Frontier. When I saw Macross Delta coming, I was hoping that it would have the lethal hype dosage of great songs and mecha action, and boy did I get what I wanted.
I would recommend everyone to check out the first episode unless you for some reason really dislike Japanese music and mechas.Ā Thereās no need to watch the pre-air in my opinion. Just watch the regular first episode. Watch it from beginning to end. The first episode should be very representative of what you will see for the rest of the season when it comes to the music + mecha combination. If you donāt get excited watching it then you wonāt be excited later on. The major standout aspect of this show, at least in my opinion, is the combination of the songs and the mecha action. The two blend together to create some memorable, upbeat, and exciting moments that make me really happy. Itās incredibly rare for me to be so glued to my screen and so into it that I literally move my body watching this show. Itās Macross Magic is what it is. Music magic. Not everyone will feel this way, but if you do, itās something you would not want to miss out on. Itās a great feeling. That’s why I would recommend those who havenāt seen anything about this franchise check out the first episode to see if the music + mecha combination is your kind of thing.
If you donāt like the type of songs, then check out the first Macross series as those songs are different (from what I have heard since I havenāt actually watched the whole series yet) or check out Frontier. Of course, no anime would be complete without story and characters. While I wouldnāt say they are particularly outstanding so far, they provide a solid enough backbone for the exciting music + mecha scenes for now. There are a decent amount of likable characters, they have their own personal conflicts, and the overarching story is clearly progressing every episode. Just donāt expect the characterization and thematic depth of something like Ping Pong The Animation. Itās solid, but nothing incredible. I know that as the anime progresses, the characters, story, romance, and themes will become increasingly more critical. As much as Iād love to see 26 episodes of music + mecha action only, that wouldnāt exactly work. The narrative is still in its beginning phases so itās difficult to say whether anything outside of the music + mecha combination will be as satisfying. Nevertheless, at least for now, Iām strapped on for the ride. Iām having an absolute blast watching it, so I canāt help but recommend it regardless of how the characterization and storytelling ends up. TIME FOR SOME MORE WALKURE. HYPE HYPE HYPE GIRI GIRI AI HYPE AWWW YEEEEAAAAHHHHH!
Koutetsujou no Kabaneri
Holy crap, this anime is gorgeous. Just, wow. The art-style and the animationsā¦ Absolutely fantastic treat for the eyes. You have to wonder how much effort the animators put into making this anime. How many all-nighters did they pull to make this anime look this impressive? Some animators probably spent days working on some small scenes that we watch through in seconds. Especially after watching what effort goes into making every anime from watching Shirobako, it makes me appreciate this anime even more. Originally, this section would have been all praises for this anime since the show has only gotten started. Heck, I wouldnāt have cared that much if it turned into a trainwreck story-wise as long as it kept up this level of visual quality. Although I still feel this way, after seeing episode 3, I cannot say I care so little now. Thereās an extent to which one can ignore the problems with storytelling, the characters, and so on evenĀ in these kinds of more entertainment-focused shows. This extent will vary from person to person. Some have higher tolerance for bad shows than others. (IĀ tend to be one of those who have high tolerance)Ā However, if some parts stand out enough, no matter how good the animations are and how pleasing to the senses the anime may be, those aspects may be overshadowed or muddled by the problems.
There are a few things that irked me in the third episode that I’d like to go over. (No spoilers)Ā The first issue is the main characterās backstory. Oh boy was it typical. Even the anime itself acknowledges that itās a fairly common story as if that makes it any better. Some may try to dig deeper at how this is a typical problem all people share and thatās the point of the story. These are desperate times and by making the main character suffer this typical fate it highlights the dark nature of the setting. Or something along those lines. Hereās the problem with this. I donāt care enough. When the flashback happens the way it does, itās like Iām watching Hundred. Iāve seen this kind of story many times. That by itself may not be terrible, but weāre at the very beginning of the story. Itās difficult to care about the characters so early on by going to their backstory so quickly.
Furthermore, this isnāt during some kind of intense fight scene where the main character remembers his goals and how he is different from before. This was presented during a very typical āOh, so what happened to you in the pastā scenario. Usually, a backstory is supposed to add to the emotion happening during the scene. When the scene is a typical conversation, it lacks the context for there to be significant emotional impact. Even if the backstory is fantastic, the context in which it is put in matters a great deal. Putting it in at the right time can add a lot to it. Consequently, putting it in at a very low-tension sceneĀ thatās hardly relevant to the backstory dampens the impact greatly.
Of course, not all backstories have to be done with emotional impact in mind. It could be to tell us more about the character and to give some kind of foundational characterization. Personally, I would prefer if the show did what it did in the first episode by making the characters show their characteristics by acting their beliefs out. I thought the first episode and the second episode did a fine job of portraying the personality of the main character. His motivations were easily understood and effectively portrayed in those two episodes. We already roughly knew his backstory from what was shown in those two episodes, but then it ended up being portrayed in such a plain way in episode 3. Just when I was liking the manly badassery of the main character too.
The second thing that annoyed me was Mumei. Iām certainly in the minority here, but I found her character so far to be fairlyĀ irritating. Now, I want to make it clear that this doesnāt necessarily mean that her character is bad from a critique standpoint. Not all characters have to be relatable and likable to be āgood.ā However, annoying factors in the show can detract from the viewing experience. Mumei to me is basically one of those annoying kids you have to look after in a daycare. She doesnāt explain the situation clearly even though it could have saved a lot of unnecessary conflicts. I understand why some of the conflicts are there. I just think there would be less unnecessary conflict and misunderstandings if she would explain to the other characters a little bit more instead of saying and doing whatever the hell she wants. I get thatĀ her nature is intentional and thatās who she is. She is still a kid at heart and you canāt expect her to be perfectly rational every step of the way. But does that make it any less annoying to watch? Not exactly. Sometimes I wanted to shout at her to just stop. But knowing how the MC got treatedā¦ Iād like to keep my balls intact.
There are some other annoying bits here and there in the third episode such as the dramatic nature of some scenes being a bit too over the top for me and so on. Donāt get me wrong. This is high up on this list for a reason. I still enjoy this anime quite a lot. At least for the first two episodes, I was really, really looking forward to seeing more. I was, however, quite annoyed at some parts of the third episode and this made me almost overlooked how beautiful this show looks. Iām not expecting this anime to be groundbreaking in terms of characterization or storytelling. I donāt think anyone was hoping for that going into this. An entertaining, beautifully animated show is perfectly fine, but when distractions get in the way of my enjoyment, I canāt ignore them as part of my critique. Most of my irritations are probably not an issue for a lot of others, but I am mostly limited to my personal viewpoint and thatās all I can really express.
I will certainly finish this anime since it is absolutely beautiful from an animation-standpoint. Production-wise, this is a fantastic anime. The fights are a pleasure to watch, and even looking at the details put in some of the frames leave me in a daze at how detailed they look. There are so many instances of great art direction that I cannot possibly cover everything I noticed in this post alone. Everything from the eyes to the hair (love the way hairĀ looks in this showā¦ sure makes me sound like a fucking creep to say it though) to the lighting to the weapons to just about everything looks magnificent. Itās been a while since I paused the video to look at some of the frames and admire them. Damn, this anime looks fucking fantastic! Hopefully, the irritating aspects will not be as bad for me going forward because this is a pleasure for the eyes rarely found in a seasonal anime series.
JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken: Diamond wa Kudakenai
I would have probably at least checked out the first few episodes if it were not for the fact that Stardust Crusaders didnāt go anywhere with a monster of the week format that I greatly disliked, eventually forcing me to drop the anime. Within all the fabulousness, the manly poses, and all the entertainment there was still progression in the story for the first series. Now that was fantastic to watch. Greatly entertaining, and supremely fabulous. I suppose I will watch the last few episodes of Stardust Crusaders (since thatās what people recommended me to do to avoid all the nonsense) and watch this when it finishes airing. Some say that this Jojo is the best Jojo. Iām looking forward to seeing if thatāll be the case, but Iāll probably wait for it to finish airing since the fabulousness is too much for me to handle if I were to wait week to week.
Comfiest show of the season? Itās a bit hard to say between this and Tanaka-kun. But these are the best legs of the season. FUCK. YES. God,
I just want to rub my face on those thighs like holy shitĀ One of the aspects I really find enjoyable about Flying Witch is how it incorporates witch-elements into the show. There are many, many slice of life anime out there that are slice of life and nothing else. No supernatural elements. Nothing that you wouldnāt see in real life. That can be fine and all, but after seeing many shows like that, itās nice to see something like Flying Witch coming along that actually has that extra genre spice to freshen things up. The added witch elements donāt replace the comfy slice of life nature of it. Instead, it adds that bit of momentary spice to make the show a bit different from the typical slice of life out there for the better whether it be the character reactions, episode plot points, and so on. While I think this would have fared fine without the witch elements, it certainly is better off with them. The characters have all so far been very likable. Chinatsu actually acts like a kid and does what kids do (without the annoying parts). Her reactions are adorable. The male character is laid back and relatable at moments, and Makoto is the prettiest with the best legs. Add in some other characters that have shown up over the episodes and you got a solid cast filled with potential for entertaining interactions. Flying Witch is an extremely comforting anime to watch, making it perfect for getting some relaxation after a long day. If you like these calming slice of life anime, this is definitely one to watch.
Ever since I finished watching Girls und Panzer all those years ago, I have been waiting for something like this. Thankfully, cute girls doing cute and slightly dangerous things is back this season with Haifuri. Instead of tanks, we get warships, which is probably just as good if not even better. What I found interesting in Girls und Panzer was that, well, cute girls were fighting in fucking tanks! Shooting each other with fucking tanks! Taaaankkksss!!! This time we get the same except with warships. Boom boom boom torpedo boom boom boom give me some of that shit aww yeess Iām eating it up. The biggest draw is not the fact that there are a bunch of cute girls doing cute things. Nononono. (Definitely not in denial right now) The serious side to it is arguably just as important as the cute side.Ā This is cute girls doing serious things. Now thatās a lethal combination. There are so many other slice of life anime out there that deal with cute girls doing cute things, but so few that deal with cute girls doing serious business. The more serious side of things actually add some tactics, strategy, and depth to the series otherwise not found in other cute girlsĀ anime.
There is more of a story compared to its slice of life contemporaries that deal with whatever random thing the writer may find interesting to write about. Haifuri is not episodic and instead actually has an overarching story with some intriguing mystery elements to it. Characterization is decent enough for me to care about the characters as they banter with each other in typical slice of life fashion. The characters may be nothing too special, but at least there is enough uniqueness in each of them for there to be some nice moments. Considering how large the cast of characters are and the possible combinations of characters interacting with each other in different ways, it’s quite fun to watch.Ā Add a dash of more serious overarching story as well as some warship action, and you got me waiting eagerly week to week to see more. Haifuri seems to be paying a lot of attention to the mystery aspects, so how good this anime ends up being will depend a lot on how the mystery side of things end up.Ā Will the overarching story be sensible and clever or will it be uninspired? Weāll have to wait and see. Still, Iāll be watching this from beginning to end as I have been waiting a long time for an anime in a similar vein to Girls und Panzer.
Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge
This was almost going to be one of those shows I was going to overlook since there are so many anime to watch this season. Thankfully, I gave the first episode a shot and from there I was hooked. Iāve seen people making the apt comparison between this anime and Gekkan Shoujo. This is an anime that has an exceedingly likable cast each with their own distinct personalities that add to the show in interesting ways. From the lazy and mindful dynamic between Oota and Tanaka to the wanting-to-be-mature and the lazy reluctance dynamic between Miyano and Tanaka (Miyano is the cutest), this show manages to create some fun interactions that make this anime pleasing to watch. Although I was a bit concerned about this anime after watching the first episode due to how it seemed to use Tanakaās lazy attitude as its central focus, the anime keeps things fresh with the introduction of new characters, and some solid character interactions. The character dynamics are some of the best Iāve seen in a slice of life anime, being not just funny and unexpected, but also sometimes even a tiny bitĀ profound. Adding to all of this is the art-style and pacing, which make this anime one of the mellowest ones Iāve seen. The serenity of the conversations and the fantastic choices ofĀ colors used make this a very relaxing anime to watch. Suitable, considering how lazy Tanaka is and how watching this show makes me feel lazy as well. Definitely a slice of life anime to keep an eye on if youāre looking for a very peaceful anime with some great character interactions.
Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu
I now understand how some people felt when No Game No Life was airing. I am feeling that way withĀ this anime. What do I mean? Well, itās the circlejerk when you donāt feel the show is as good as what others give it credit for.Ā At least, not right now.Ā Re:Zero may not have the most amount of users on MyAnimeList this season, but in terms of the amount of discussion surrounding it, it is arguably the most popular of the season with a large portion of the commenters viewing this anime very positively. Disregarding those comments that call this anime a deconstruction, since it can hardly be categorized as such especially so early on, people have been impressed with the anime overall. While I do like the premise, especially the darker approach,Ā I don’t think the anime has reached the stage where the high praise is warranted yet. This makes it difficult for me to read through some of the comments aboutĀ this anime, and perhaps the great amount of praise given to this show is making me more biased against the anime than I would have been otherwise. I will say that out of all the anime airing this season, this one has the greatest potential to be a lot better than what the first few episodes make it seem. That being said, I can only judge the episodes that have aired so far.Ā (Note that I am an anime-only viewer. Keep that in mind as you continue reading)
My biggest annoyance with this anime so far has to do with the main character. He is so damn slow. So slow. My lord Tatsuya Almighty please bestow some Gary Stu wisdom on his slow ass so he can comprehend what is going on faster and not drag things on with shitty lines like, āIs thisā¦ Is this really happening? Whatās going on? I should clearly be able to figure it out after going through this multiple times and yet Iām still unsure.ā For a person who is supposed to be genre savvy, he is incredibly slow at realizing what is happening. I donāt expect him or want him to be super intelligent, but it is irritating to see a main character to be so unaware and incompetent. At the very least he should think through some possibilities instead of being stunned at what is going on. Makes me grab my hair and want to smack some sense into his denseness. Thankfully, this seems to be getting better as the episodes pass, so as long as you can get through the first few episodes, it shouldnāt be too bad.
The second problem I have, though itās getting a bit better now that Iām growing on the characters, is the humor. Switching between serious moments and moments of comedy can work. However, I find a lot of the time Iām not laughing and the comedic moments distract me from the more serious things going on, taking me out of the moment. The jokes are often these āgenre savvyā bits of humor where the main character talks about how this would typically happen and how itās not going according to script, or itās the typical slapstick humor. Outside of the switches between serious moments and the comedy, I simply didnāt find the attempts at humor to be all that funny. Most of the attempts at humor come from the main character, so perhaps my dislike of the main character spread to the comedy as well. Well, that and the fact that Iāve seen this type of comedy many times before in the typical shounen series or slice of life anime. That being said, given all the crap the main character goes through, I am starting to empathize with his situation more. I wouldnāt be surprised if the comedy starts to grow on me as I get more familiar with the characters.
There is also a lot of talking in this anime, and sometimes I wonder if all the dialogue is really necessary. I understand the intention is to create a better understanding of the characters so that when the reset happens things are more brutal, and also so that we grow more attached to them. Re:Zeroās approach to this is similar to that of a slice of life anime. A lot of talking, and a lot of random character interactions. Except instead of being extremely adept at humor or being exceptionally calming for the soul like slice of life anime, Re:Zero is utilizing those slice of life moments to accentuate the serious moments of the anime.Ā As long as there is a suitable amount of foreshadowing and the characters do in fact end up mattering in the long-run, then I’ll have no problems with the seemingly excessive dialogue. However, so far, I can’t say this anime hasĀ been all that great whether it be in terms of character development or comedy. It’s been averageĀ at best, butĀ I recognize that this could change since the mysteries are only starting, and dialogue that may have seemedĀ to be insignificant at the time of viewing may be important as the story progresses.
So far, it is at the very beginning and I havenāt been sold on it so far. Right now, to me, itās simply a darker version of what you would normally see in a light novel adaptation. Nothing is really outstanding so far whether it be the mystery, characters, darker elements, storytelling, slice of life moments, humor, and so on. I have seen these various aspects done better in various other anime. Donāt get me wrong. The darker aspects of the show are interesting. It makes me wonder how the main character could change as a result of the trials he has to go through especially regarding the resets where he will have to start anew with the personal relationships. I understand that the anime is at its early phaseĀ and things could change quickly, making my problems with the anime disappear. With two seasons worth of content left, it’s not a big deal at all if I have some minor irritations with the beginning few episodes, and the rest of the anime ends up being a lot better.
If it can expand on the mysteries properly, tie things together, give nice depth to the resets and character interactions, I can most certainly overlook these comparatively minuteĀ problems I noted above. However, this is only hope. I can only judge what has happened so far.Ā For now, I am greatly anticipating what will happen, but I just don’t think it’s as good right now as what many people say it is.Ā I have heard that the web novel is 30 volumes long and still on-going. That makes me quite happy since it means the scale of the story will be quite large, and I really, really like larger scale stories. There is probably much more than meets the eye in these first five episodes. Will the mystery-elements be good? Will it go beyond being dark and provide some meaningful character growth and thematic development? Weāll have to wait and see.
Oh Okada Mari. Oh you. BACK AT IT AGAIN WITH THE SASUGA 10/10 COMEDY OF THE MILLENIUM. Holy shit this anime is actually unintentionally hilarious as fuck. Itās so retarded, itās hilarious. If this is what the creators were going for and they were being not serious about this on purpose then they deserve a fucking Pulitzer Prize or some shit. Oh man. Oh almighty Great Lord Tatsuya Onii-sama please have mercy. Iā¦ I canāt breathe. Okay. Okay. Okay. So, Mayoiga. This show is a trainwreck, but damn it is a show I really look forward to every week. The reason why this is such an entertaining mess? Firstly, because the characters are all mentally dysfunctional in some way. Theyāre a fucked up in the head, and you know what happens when you have a bunch of them in a setting where a bunch of terrible things will happen to them. Shit goes craaaazzzyyyyy. Itās entertaining as hell seeing the cast crumble little by little and what other crazy thing the writers will think of to progress the story. This is the type of show you do not take seriously and watch in delight with popcorn all over your face as everything falls apart. Itās that type of show. If that doesnāt sound entertaining to you, Mr. Super Serious over here can move on to some other show mmmk. Yeah, Iām high. High on some OKADA MARI 10/10 COMEDY OF THE MILLENIUM MAYOIGA AWWW YEEEAAAHHHH.
Boku no Hero Academia
Watching this anime makes me feel like a kid again. It may contain tropes such as āthe underdog becoming strong and wanting to be the bestā that you would often see in shounen anime, but damn does it do a good job executing those tropes. As one who caught up to the manga months ago and was glad to see this adaptation happen, I could not be more pleased with how BONES has handled the anime so far. Production values are high, pacing is steady, voice acting choices are spot on, and most importantly, the critical emotional moments are handled remarkably. I think there is something in the main characterās struggle that we can all on some level empathize with. Have we not at some time dreamed of reaching great heights only to have others that we canāt do it? Have we not had moments where we thought we didnāt have the ability to reach our dreams? Some of you have probably had someone reach out to you and help you just that little bit, and sometimes it can mean so much. The way the story is set up makes it easy for the audience to have an emotional reaction, and this is just as important as executing the idea well. Yes, itās clichĆ©. Yes, youāve seen it before. But the way the music, animations, voice acting, and everything comes together make for something that can tug at your heartstrings because itās easy to empathize with the main characterās situation.
This all being said, I donāt want to set anyoneās expectations too high. Although this is an anime that is great at crafting emotional scenes and executing them well, it is still a shounen anime. If youāve watched One Piece, Naruto, Bleach, and the like, there wonāt be anything that Boku no Hero Academia excels at far greater than its peers. Whether it be the story structure, villains, overarching story, or common themes, there wonāt be much that youāll find to be original or utterly fantastic. Is that a big deal? Not really, since as long as it can utilize the shounen elements well, itāll still be an entertaining and impactful anime. Originality isnāt necessary for something to be good or even great. That being said, if the shounen genre isnāt your kind of thing, youād be best off skipping this since you will not find anything different with Hero Academia. If this genre is your kind of thing thoughā¦ You cannot go wrong watching this show.
Netoge no Yome wa Onnanoko ja Nai to Omotta?
Mmm… Delicious yandere Ako. Crazy bitches be craaazzy.Ā Ah, otaku pandering anime of the season. We meet again. Here again we have a main character loved by a beautiful, cute, big boobies, fat ass female character so that the viewers can insert themselves and derive some form of imaginary pleasure to distract themselves from their dreary, non-productive lives. This is yet again another one of those high-school light novel adaptations that somehow involves yet another video game (though thankfully itās not transporting the characters into a game nor is it VR). Some people may look at this to be otaku pandering trash, and honestly, I understand the sentiment. If youāre looking for one of those really great shows that will make you reflect on the human condition or something like that, youāre better off not following anime season by season because those kinds of shows are rare. However, if you are looking for some mild entertainment with some ecchi otaku pandering material, then this is the one to watch.Ā Character designs are fucking amazing thanks to the anime staff doing a fantastic job adapting Hisasi’s designs into anime format, and the anime looks damn great overall.
The one standout element of this in comparison to other light novel adaptations is that there is a pairing. Kind of. If that sounds too good to be true, you would be right. Netoge doesnāt go all the way with the romantic pairing as the main character is still hesitating to give her the D, possibly due to the fact that if he does, and all the other girls later on jump on it, his balls will be cut off by this overpowering yandere leaving him no chance to enjoy the harem. But letās be honest. When has a main character actually sensibly enjoyed the harem instead of being a dense piece of shit who canāt make a damn move like a fucking wimp? To be fair, there has been a decent amount of romantic progression so far, but given the track record of light novel adaptations teasing viewers with potential romantic development, the cynical side of me thinks it may all be a ruse. Regardless, it is still nice to see that there is somewhat of a pairing and that at least there is some form of romantic development. Thatās more I can say for a lot of other light novel adaptations out there. I canāt say I havenāt enjoyed watching the character interactions and the romance shenanigans since I am one of those trash who find these kinds of otaku pandering nonsense to be entertaining. Say what you will, but I havenāt gotten to the stage where I canāt eat this shit up. Also, may The One True God Tatsuya Stu bless Hisasi. Mmmā¦ Gorgeous.
Sakamoto desu ga?
FABULOUS. TRULY FABULOUS. Ah, I still remember reading the manga all those years ago as the most suave motherfucker displayed his monstrously smooth fabulousness in all kinds of absurd situations. Sadly, the manga is over now, but at least we got a good anime adaptation. If youāre looking for some ridiculous coolness emanating from a character while he fabulously displays his manly coolness by dealing with common high-school problems in creative ways, this is the anime to watch. Somehow, both the manga and the anime manages to keep things fresh through the authorās creative ideas even though it seems like all the potential is used up. Basically, Sakamoto can be summarized with two words. Fabulously entertaining. Itās not the funniest anime nor is it the most calming anime like other slice of life shows, but Iāll be damned if this is not the most fabulous. Not many anime can be as cool as this. Sasuga Sakamoto. The coolest. (Note that this is lower on the list because Iāve read the manga and know what will happen, so it kind of lessens the cool factor)
Ah, glorious keikaku doori. How long have I waited for an anime to do this properly like Death Note? How many shows try to be all smart only to end up being contrived, nonsensical, full of plot holes, and a huge convoluted mess? Is this finally an anime that delivers deception, smart plans, and crafty plot points well? Surprisingly, I would say yesā¦ But it comes with a caveat. I know, dammit. I want something to meet my ideal expectations too. You know what I would like to see? Lord of the Rings level lore + ultimate keikaku doori + Game of Thrones level politics and intrigue + huge gigantic scale + Kingdom level battle tactics + a bunch of other things. Well, if no one will write a book that includes all those things then Iāll do it eventually. (If you know a series like what I mentioned above please tell me about it. Iād love to read/watch something like that.)
Anyways, my ideal book/show aside, the caveat is that this anime is episodic, and it is not for the better. Firstly, when it comes to the schemes there is hardly enough time to set-up, build-up, and execute in an impressive way. Wait, didnāt I say this show does it well? Well, hereās where my disappointment in missed potential comes in. With the length of time it is given, each episode of Joker Game does an adequate job of deceiving the viewers and offering some kind of plot twist that is often quite unexpected. At least, itās better than most shows that try this kind of thing. Itās clear that the writer knows how to do this kind of thing properly, but the sad thing is this episodic limit he put on himself. Itās this one decision that severely limits the scope and impact of the schemes to be simpler than they would otherwise be. Given that the show already does an adequate job with what little time it has, you have to wonder how much better the schemes and plot twists would be if each arc had more episodes. Donāt even get me started on the potential of a grand overarching story that covers the entire season. It would be pretty damn suitable for the World War 2 setting as well.
Sadly, the season will be fragmented pieces that do not connect with each other at all, making me disappointed at the missed potential. Furthermore, the episodic nature hurts the show in other ways. Joker Game already has a large cast of characters, but dedicating only a single episode to a character and having detailed schemes be a major part of the show is simply not enough time for proper characterization. Thatās not to even mention some of the missed potential with the mature themes it tries to touch upon only for them to be haphazardly put together due to the time constraints. Joker Game isnāt a bad anime. Itās missed potential. If the show didnāt restrict itself episodically then the writing would have been given room to bloom beautifully. Considering what little time every episode has, the writing is not bad. If only it wasnāt episodic. Shows that try to do as much as Joker Game cannot be put under this kind of episodic limitation.Ā It simply doesnāt work that way. This isnāt a slice of life anime that can contain unlinked episodes and not be worse off. Oh well. Iāll still be watching since there arenāt many keikaku doori type anime at all, and Iāve always wanted to see more shows that are actually well thought out. But it doesnāt look like this is the anime that will make me say, āThis anime is the one.ā
This is P.A. Worksā first entry into the mecha genre, and itās a 2-cour one. Itās definitely nice to see P.A. Works try their hand at this genre, especially given how few decent mecha anime we have seen in recent seasons. Given the fact that it is 2-cour and only a handful of episodes are out, itās quite difficult to say if this anime will end up being any good. Regardless, Iāll try my best. Letās start off with whatās good. For a first attempt at the mecha genre, Kuromukuroās mecha action is surprisingly not bad. The CGI isnāt the greatest and the fights arenāt exactly 1 episode long epic fights like what youād see in the second season of Sidonia no Kishi, but there is a nice amount of weight to the impacts, and the fights are well-choreographed. While this isnāt the best looking show P.A. Works has made by any stretch of the imagination, it still looks decent and consistent. The same goes for the sountrack. Production-wise, while nothing spectacular, Kuromukuro is fine.
When it comes to the story and characters, I canāt say I am convinced just yet. Right now the overarching story is still shrouded in a lot of mystery with some cryptic messages about the demons. These demons are basically random robots that descend on earth looking for something. This makes me a bit worried about the antagonists of the anime since brainless robots with no morals make for a lack of interesting conflict. This show is still in its early stages, so the anime will probably expand more upon these antagonists and give more character to them. That, or the anime could take a Sidonia no Kishi approach where itās more about survival. Currently, Iām still unconvinced by how good the antagonists would be, and given that this is a 2-cour anime, Kuromukuro really has to expand upon them and expand upon them well or else the major conflicts will end up being lackluster.
The overarching story still has a lot to tie together, and right now thereās only some hinting here and there as to how everything will connect, so I canāt judge in its entirety just yet. If I were to say what I think about it right now, again, itās a mixed bag. Iām not really sure where it is going with this. Is there more to what happened all those years ago? Will things be tied together from the past and present? What is this anime really about? Right now, this anime hasnāt developed far enough for us to know the answer to those questions, which make this anime difficult to judge. Simply not enough has happened yet for me to say if Kuromukuro is good or not. Sure, itās samurai character is interesting, but will he be more than that? Will the female lead character be this normal high-schooler that sheās portrayed to be as so far for the remaining parts of the show? I want to say that there is more to it, but I just donāt know. So many other shows Iāve watched have had great potential, but how many lived up to that potential? Very few. Iām cautiously optimistic going forward. Hopefully, P.A. Works will give us a bit of a surprise with Kuromukuro.
For an anime by Trigger, it sure looks not bad. Especially the lighting. The lighting is spot on. Compared to the plain red backgrounds we saw in Kill la Kill, Kiznaiver actually has proper backgrounds and is a decently animated show. At least theyāve got some budget now. Kiznaiver probably has the greatest potential in terms of its thematic depth out of all the anime airing this season. The entire premise of sharing pain and getting a group of people together means that there are great opportunities for Trigger to create something more profound. It could discuss subjects such as the distance between people and how we want to connect with others, what it takes for people to care for each other, and whether such a system of sharing pain will allow people to live in a more peaceful world. It makes me think about what happens in real life. There are so many horrible things going on in the world, but after making headlines those tragic events are buried underneath yet more terrible happenings. The events are often distant, on a screen, and so we feel disconnected from those tragic events. We arenāt nearly as empathetic as if it were to happen to us or someone close to us. Perhapsā¦ if we were to bridge this distance then things would change for the better. Or would it?
As great as Iām making Kiznaiver sound, so far it has barely scratched the surface of these themes. Iām simply laying out the potential themes it could expand upon in the future. The character introductions were done in quite an interesting way letting me get more familiar with the characters right off the bat. Though I didnāt like some of the more dramatic moments, Kiznaiver hasnāt tried to shove the more profound ideas down my throat and is instead more gradual in its approach. This gradual approach sometimes involves showing, but a lot of the time it relies on dialogue, which can make some scenes a bit clichĆ© with how it tries to pick at its deeper underlying themes. With the lack of thematically deep anime in recent seasons, Iām hoping that Kiznaiver will break that trend. I wouldnāt get my hopes up too much though because itās not easy to deliver profundity, and my instincts tell me this is probably not the one that will end up blowing your mind with its depth. Some of you may wonder why it’s so low on the list. Well… this isn’t in order of how good an anime is or how much potential it has. It’s simply how much I am looking forward to every episode. For Kiznaiver, maybe it’s not my kind of thing, but it’s one of the shows I look forward to least every week.
As a wise man once said, āThis anime is called āHundredā because youāve already watched 99 shows exactly like it.ā Ah, glorious generic harem light novel adaptations. If youāre losing confidence and need a self-esteem boost then look no further. This anime will make you feel like the fucking oracle of the universe. Just about every single generic light novel trope you can imagine is compressed into this delightful package of ultimate harem debauchery, making it the anime of the highest order in terms of predictability. Overpowered main character, drilltits, annoying idol character, the āsci-fiā elementsā¦ Oh, glorious generic light novel adaptation. You sure make me feel better in the face of the never-ending uncertainty of real life knowing that I can at least foresee with incredible accuracy what will happen in every episode of this anime. Whenever I face some great challenge, I will always remember how I once forecasted everything that happened with brilliant cognizance and gain courage to face the world. Never again shall I doubt my capabilities. Never again oh glorious harem light novel adaptation. The faith I have in myself shall never waver.
HERE WE HAVE ANOTHER TRAINWRECK. OH BOY. YANDERE MOANING SELF-INSERT MC GLORIOUS IMOUTO RANDOM GUY THAT LOOKS LIKE A FUCKING LOG, AND ALL THIS BULLSHIT. WHAT A MESS. BUT WHAT A GLORIOUS MESS IT IS. Here we go again. First Mayoiga and now this. Except this is really terribly paced and honestly Iām probably not going to keep up with it with so many shows to watch this season. There isnāt enough time in the day to watch everything. Perhaps when I want to see some more ridiculous nonsense happening and a giant trainwreck then Iāll marathon this. It should be pretty entertaining.
Spring 2016 Anime Season Roundup
So that was a fairly brief overview of this season. I didn’t go too much into detail since I’m way too lazy nowadays to write something like 19,000 words like my season review even though it makes more sense to look at shows after they’re airing. Ah, too much of a burden. It’s this or nothing I suppose. This season is surprisingly packed even a few weeks after airing. By this point in the season I’d have usually dropped half the shows, but for some reason a lot of shows keep me quite interested. At the very least I want to see where they are headed. With the amount of anime that are making me feel this way, this is definitely one of the better spring seasons in recent years. Most of the anime listed here is fairly set in terms of quality. Aside from Re:Zero and Kiznaiver, I doubt there will be many shows that will defy my current expectations. This most likely means that we’ll have yet another season filled with a whole bunch of mildly entertaining anime, but there won’t be any very exceptional ones either. Hopefully, either Re:Zero or Kiznaiver will prove otherwise. The summer season actually somehow looks even more packed than this, which is a bit ridiculous.Ā It makes me wonder if anime is getting a bit over-saturated. Anyways, I hope you’re having fun watching all the anime airing this season. I sure am.Ā Thanks a lot for reading! Hope you enjoyed reading this post. I’ll see you next time.