So I watched a buncha stuff this season. I typically go through only a handful but this season I kind of went nuts. But it definitely gives me a lot to talk about that's for sure. Think I'll go in the order I finished them in.
Rampo Kitan: Game of Laplace - Okay this one was really weird. I can at least give it props for style because by all means it's a pretty interesting style. I just feel like for a general narrative it seems a little all over the place. There's so many weird characters and ideas that I feel like are all scattered from various Rampo Edogawa works that I am just unfamiliar with. There's some cool ideas but ultimately I feel like I would've liked to have more fleshed out characters. Kobayashi was such a strange lead protagonist, in that he seemed to legitimately not give any amount of fucks. He doesn't care for test and exams, he just wants to try and see and understand murder mysteries, helping out Hashiba and just ultimately being a strange lead. Would've liked to have known why or how, as they eventually did with the main ace detective and the show's antagonist but Kobayashi is just a weird character who is probably the most convincing trap I've seen all year. Like you thought Nagisa from Assassination Classroom was bad. This kid is literally about as femboy as you can get. Pretty sure he turns his best friend gay in the process, somehow even manages to wear Menma's dress from Anohana.
No really. Considering its technically produced by Aniplex it makes sense.
Super weird show, didn't hate it but didn't love it. Easily Lerche's weakest of the summer.
Aoharu x Machinegun - And speaking of traps we got Aoharu x Machinegun. A show that is basically based off the premise of a super masculine looking girl being mistaken for a guy by a super attractive host club member and his best friend who's an introverted ero-mangaka that all join an airsoft team together. Weird premise with some pretty interesting and enjoyable characters and I figured it'd be a fun ride. Well turned out it was less of a hyperactive sports anime and much more of characters dealing with their inner emotional turmoils of trust and betrayal and all this really seriously taken melodrama during a game of airsoft that's REALLY not quite what I bargained for when entering this show. There's a lot of melodrama, and I kind of eventually realized that the main conflict is really just more melodrama between another team of weird yaoi-esque archetypes and just some really dull drama. I liked some of the characters, especially Yukimura who is so weird but charming, but I can't really recommend it unless you REALLY want an airsoft gun anime. Otherwise, don't recommend.
SHIMONETA - Where the actual hell did this show even come from? There was a giant summer chocked full of harem and ecchi shows that I just assumed SHIMONETA was gonna be another lame and generic one. Oh how wrong I was, and how legitimately surprised I was to enjoy it. There's some really great outrageous comedy, and it's less about generic fanservice for gags and a lot more about how absurd this show's premise is. Erotic terrorism to educate the ill informed moral masses. It's absurd and outrageous and it wears its absurdity around its head like a pair of used panties. Also all the characters are great. Ayame, Otome, Goriki, Okuma, and my personal best girl Fuwa, the labcoat scientist with bags under her eyes. But I feel like there's someone I am forgetting.......Oh right. Anna and her "Love Nectar."
Either way Shimoneta was absolutely ridiculous. Wasn't always a slam dunk but was a pretty solid dirty comedy that was a lot more interesting, and sometimes even thought provoking in terms of purity, sexuality and censorship than I ever would've expected from a show like this. Good stuff.
Snow White with the Red Hair - This was the most chill and laid back show I watched this season. It was very pretty to look at with some good animation, had a very nice fantasy setting with some good characters, and the main pair in this romance was really likable. I especially liked Shirayuki a whole lot. Of course she falls for the prince but that's not her only trait. She wants to be a herbalist and treat others. Even when in danger and in new situations she's always very brave and courageous and she's very dead set on not being a simple item for Prince Zen but rather been seen as an equal and she's a very charming lead. I wouldn't say it was my favorite show this season, but I am really glad I stuck with it. Considering I had a couple of shows I watched that were legitimately disappointing I am glad that Snow White was such a calming and legitimately, consistently solid show. Really curious where it'll go next.
Himouto! Umaru-Chan - I almost ignored this one entirely but all the hype for this one and I had to check it out. To me, this is basically everything that OreImo SHOULD have been! Super dumb nerd comedy with some weird scenarios and super cute girls in the mix. Of course I don't really get WHY Umaru has to hide her otaku hamster hoodie persona and there's some characters that seem hilariously too dumb in certain scenarios for comedy but this was a fun one to just watch. Glad I at least checked it out though. (also Ebina is best girl)
My Love Story!! - LITERALLY THE SINGLE PUREST VANILLA LOVEY-DOVEY ABSOLUTELY ADORABLE FEEL GOOD ROMANCE THAT IS OR EVER WILL BE!!!!! Takeo's a fantastic lead. Yamato's so pure and adorable but also interesting because even as a cute pure girl her biggest problem is that she gets horny sometimes and Takeo's sometimes too dumb to realize it. Sunakawa's is the biggest bro character ever. All the problems are pretty chill and don't really lead to any real conflict. There's SOME drama but it all works out. You ever want a purely feel good show? Check My Love Story out.
And before you ask Hardy, yes I did double post, SOLELY because I actually managed to exceed the character limit. DID YOU KNOW THERE WAS A CHARACTER LIMIT? WELL I DO NOW. Anyways double post because I wrote a lot and am NOT condensing and editing that much stuff.
Monster Musume - I read the manga of this prior and I am legitimately shocked at how...surprisingly loyal this adaptation is. Like some of these are panel by panel. Hell even some of the gags in the manga were made better in the show. This one's super funny and the girls are super cute/hot. It's a really weird show that I am still baffled is as big as it is. But I can't complain. It was a good old time and a very well animated show. Lerche did a good job with this one. It's a weird show, and by god there's more than a couple of scenes you watch in it that make you contemplate turning to religion but it's a really fun time that's a guilty pleasure (Best girls for me: Miia, Suu, and Tio).
Charlotte - Boy what a trainwreck this one turned out to be. The biggest thing I legitimately didn't understand with this show was where it was going. Even in the last episode I still didn't know where it was going. I liked some things like Yu's character arc whenever it popped up (specifically the 1st, 7th and last episodes). Nao Tomori's a weird but cute lead girl. P.A. Works does some great visual shows and I liked some ideas. My problem is that this show has literally no idea about pacing and it really felt like they threw like 4 different shows in there. There's too much in here to explain without spoilers, but there are plot holes and inconsistencies literally all over the place and the direction this show goes kind of leaves everything that happened before the show went off-rails pointless and meaningless. Really big disappointment this one turned out to be.
Workinig!!! - The day that I thought would never come for this show. ROMANTIC. PROGRESS. Like wow it's so satisfying to see. I didn't even expect another season of this. Season 2 was in 2011, back when I first started actually WATCHING simulcasted anime. So this show was like an old warm blanket that you haven't used in a while but still feels just as toasty. It's not perfect and some of the running gags are a little dumb or go nowhere but I like the characters and it was legitimately satisfying that relationships actually finally went somewhere. Shame that this show's getting the BBB treatment though. A one-hour finale at an undisclosed date.
School-Live! - Legitimately my favorite show of the summer. Interesting drama and comedy with cute characters, some really great direction for this show too. Lot of very effective moments. Characters were cute, their adventures and their mental breakdowns were great fun. Trying not to spoil too much but this was easily my favorite of Lerche's all year. Really happy with this one. And yes MAL I KNOW it's different from the manga. I'll still read that too even to get a different story. Besides they're both good and one leads to more sales of the manga either way. Regardless, this was my favorite of the season. (KURUMI BEST GIRL0
Overlord - Overlord kind of grew on me. At first it was kind of dull and boring inbetween but Momonga is a very entertaining OP main character that has some interesting personality to him. Like remember how Kirito liked to "PLAY" the bad guy but never really did at all? Well Momonga's basically that, with all the demon girls that want his dick, except instead of a pretty 14-year old boy's wish fufillment, he's a giant demonic skeleton. Some cool fights scenes and setting. Definitely seemed more interesting in the latter half once they ditched the whole adventurer's companion sideplot. That's more of Log Horizon's strength and not Overlord's but Overlord is pretty good and enjoyable.
Gangsta - Pretty much the same as Firefly. That non-ending was really disappointing and its even more upsetting that this is what came out right before the announcement of Manglobe going bankrupt. Like they didn't even ATTEMPT an anime-only ending they just went off and did a thing and just let it stop. Guess I'll just have to read the manga now because god damn. Literally zero resolution. Some cool ideas and characters at the start that I really want to see more, but that final arc didn't even REALLY INVOLVE THE MAIN CHARACTERS AT ALL!!!!! Like neither Nic or Worick showed up in Episode 11. That was my first sign that nothing was going to resolve and unfortunately it did.
Also I watched Ushio and Tora but I'll talk more about that at a later date. I really do like it though.
TOP TEN OF SUMMER:
2. My Love Story
4. Monster Musume
5. Snow White with the Red Hair
6. Ushio & Tora
9. Himouto! Umaru-Chan
Here are my simulcasts. I'll do my non-simulcasts from this season once I get through binging them
Durarara!!x2 Ten - 7/10
The story got worse since they shifted back to the high school gang thing, so it makes me wonder why they keep going to the least interesting part about the narrative. Very few people care about these gangs these teens are running! I can't say I was overly impressed by half a season's worth of Mikado getting beat up! I continued to like Varona quite a lot, and Izaya's entourage-turned-traitordom might be one of the most interesting plots to date. I also really enjoyed Walker's character arc, who they've been hinting as a hardcore pyromaniac for some time, so the explicit payoff with him felt satisfying
The ending set up the final season quite nicely with new information about Saika, but like, aside from the Namie/Mika episode and the Ruri stalker set-up, I didn't particularly enjoy the show as I did the other two seasons. Hopefully something can overshadow the gang war in the final arc
Food Wars - 8/10
An extremely original addition to the shonen battle and fanservice genres. I was definitely impressed with the characters, the dishes they made, and the detailed explanations they came up with for almost every one. There was some really technical stuff being talked about for some of these recipes, but the show did it in a way that made it interesting and engaging. I'd chalk this one up to being one of a few shows that does fanservice correctly - visually having their clothes ripped off (figuratively) as they explode (figuratively) with desire (literally) for the food they're eating. Frankly, I'm a little disappointed they kind of went away from all that somewhere in the middle of the show, because their similes and metaphors were some of the most visually appealing parts. Loved the 2-3 split ending, and I'm really looking forward to another season sometime, hopefully
Gangsta. - 6/10
Not great! The story was largely unfocused and the art was highly volatile from week to week. I didn't dislike a single character, which is a welcome rarity, but I also wish there was a more defining plot for me to be interested in a conclusion. Maybe that's not how this sort of story works, but it would have been a bit more engaging if it could give me a clear answer on what the endgame is. Loretta was a welcome change to the common "loli as boss" trope (she also reminded me of Edward Elric at times, which was cool), and I also liked at how little Gina cared about pretty much everything. I suspect that, if another season of it is made, it'll probably blow season 1 out of the water, so I'll keep my fingers crossed for additional content to be picked up by someone who isn't Manglobe
God Eater - 4/10
Waiting on the last four episodes, so that number could still go up or down, but this was a struggle to watch. An interesting world with a story that explained itself into oblivion and stretched itself too thin with too many characters that ranged from unremarkable to outright terrible
What's super frustrating is that I absolutely LOVED the episode with the Dyaus Pita. Why couldn't the rest of the show be like this? That was so much better than random garbage like turning people away from the city, or whatever that was. Again, maybe the last four episodes will surprise me and turn out way better than the other eight episodes (not counting #5)
This show was a mistake
Ore Monogatari - 9/10
Incredible love story. You'd be doing yourself a great disservice if you didn't watch this. I'll admit that it's kinda tough to actually explain why it's so great, since it really is just the adventures of a couple dating. That's all it is, but it's so much more than that! I wish there was a better way to explain it. You'll love Takeo, and Yamato, and Sunakawa, and all the other characters, they're all just great, you'll love them all, I promise
Visually it looks very similar to Chihayafuru, so if you enjoyed Ore Monogatari a lot, or if you liked Chihayafuru a lot, then you should definitely check out the other one
Overlord - 7/10
I can definitely say I enjoyed its rather slowish pace as AOG just sorta felt out his surroundings, but that didn't stop the story itself from being pretty funky. Like, one of the random six Pleiades got WAY more screen time than some of the Floor Guardians, and that's pretty weird! I enjoyed AOG's lamenting every time he found out just how overpowered he was, and I especially liked the difference between his character voice and his "human" voice, depending on if he was thinking or speaking. Would love to see more of this, as I am very interested in the world itself
Rokka: Braves of the Six Flowers - 7/10
A fun action mystery that ended up better than I expected. What started as a standard "team up and save the world!" type of shonen really slowed down with the reveal of a traitor in the mix being the entire focus of the story. And that made it fun! The accusations and reasoning behind motives and opportunity was enjoyable (and makes me that much more excited for the Ace Attorney anime in the near future). Kudos for the show actually offering a payoff to the story it animated instead of telling us to go buy the novels (and then un-kudos for introducing a reason for us to buy the novels anyway). The mist twist was well-thought out in terms of reveal and foreshadowing (complaining about the heat, for example). I'm not sure how scientifically sound it was, but since it was kind of a clever idea without being overly stupid, I'll side with suspension of disbelief. It's a slow-moving show, but that doesn't stop it from being exciting, and for that, I can definitely appreciate it
Snow White with the Red Hair - 8/10
I could not get enough of Shirayuki and Zen as a gender-swapped star-crossed lovers. I loved Shirayuki's strong personality, pride, and ambition. There's one scene where Zen calls to Shirayuki from a hallway with a balcony, and Shirayuki climbs a tree and leaps to him instead of it being the other way around, which was such a great scene. Just a lot of situations where it was Zen depending on the strong-willed Shirayuki despite Shirayuki looking to Zen for her own strength. Both characters leaned on each other when they both needed it, which made it such a refreshing story. Also highly recommended as a love story, for both sexes!
I'm more sad that there probably (most likely) not be a follow-up season, that first week of sales was abysmal... like 550 abysmal. It did however give me another series to read while I wait on the DxD fanlation of 19.
I've been watching Kaze No Stigma and Fairy Tail absolutley love em
Finished Love Live season 1 and some first episode thoughts for the new season.
Love Live was decent. A feel-good show with not particularly interesting but still likable girls. Umi was my favorite from the start and remained that way through the end. Honoka's behavior in the final episodes admittedly got on my nerves and the resulting drama didn't impact me as much as a result. The music is nice but very much not to my taste. I don't feel like watching the second season (nor the movie by extension), but this was fun to watch for the most part.
Noragami Aragoto episode 1: The art and animation aren't quite as nice as season 1, but season 1 was pretty solid with the visuals and this was just the first episode of a sequel so they might be saving some talent for upcoming action scenes, not to mention that this episode still looked good regardless. The main focus was on Bishamon, with Yato, Yukine, and Hiyori mostly serving as a refresher on what they do while babysitting. And I'm okay with that. Bishamon's conflict is more interesting now that the Yukine problem has been resolved and the trio's dynamic is more normal. Anyway, I'm itching to see more of Bishamon this season and learning more about her past with Yato and the fallout of her taking on so many Regalias.
Attack on Titan Junior High episode 1: The running time is slightly less than a normal full episode, which I think helps. The TV in the background when Eren and Mikasa run out of the house has a clip from the main series playing. And the OP is a good parody of Guren no Yumiya. It's not really that funny, but it's not painfully unfunny either. It's mostly direct parody of very specific scenes and lines in the main series (so if you haven't seen or didn't like it, don't bother with this one *stating obvious*). Sasha's eating in class was dragged out too much just so that it could closely mirror what happened in the main series and it sucked a lot of the humor out of it. The scene was already a joke in the original, and I thought it was funny, same for Jean's attraction to Mikasa, but here those same jokes are just bland because it's a joke about a joke. I did find the scenes with Thomas and the Colossal Titan eating Eren's precious lunch humorous, and I predict I will enjoy those types of jokes about what were originally serious moments more than the jokes about existing jokes.... Mikasa is really adorable. Looks like Levi and Armin will get introduced next episode.
Let's see, it's been a very long time since I posted my thoughts on anything around here, I have, and still am, quite busy with a lot of what I've been doing. I won't be doing my typical analysis as I used to; I have a blog now for that, which I'm slowly, slowly building on.
To quickly summarize some of the highlights of the year for me thus far, I did see Cowboy Bebop for the first time in January shortly after receiving the Amazon edition. You know how there's always that handful of shows that people blow up that you just have to see? Cowboy Bebop is one of those shows, and has been for a long time. All I can say about that series, at least for me, was that it was one of the rare occasions where it lived up to, and exceeded my expectations based around all the reviews and fan opinions I have encountered. The movie is also great too.
I adore Cowboy Bebop, it immediately became a top favourite for me upon completing it. The animation still holds up by today's standards, yet has the flair and tone of the time it was made. The characters are well fleshed out and developed without spoon feeding these elements to the audience. It's an incredible balance of action, comedy and drama, the English dub is top notch, oh, did I ever enjoy this show. If you haven't checked out Cowboy Bebop; give it a go, it's accessible but unique enough to please almost anyone.
Other shows I watched over the course of the year that stood out enough for me to recommend, at least off the top of my head would be Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions, Le Chevalier D'Eon, Puella Magi Madoka Magica Movie 3 Rebellion (First time English dub), Expelled From Paradise, Darker Than Black Season One and Two, Yuki Yuna is a Hero, Colorful, Spirited Away (2nd viewing), Gatchaman Crowds, Gargantia, Outbreak Company, Sailor Moon season 1, Ouran High School Host Club, and Mushishi (which I expressed some thoughts about already).
If you don't mind ecchi content, Freezing Vibration was impressive overall as well as High School DxD New(which I posted my thoughts on a few months ago). If you're okay with intellectual bending, there's Serial Experiments Lain.
Other shows I've posted about this year that stand out to me include: Haibane Renmei, Short Piece, Welcome to the NHK, Kino’s Journey, and Trigun - that also includes the movie which is great as well.
So, I've checked out some shows I've been very impressed with all kinds of different styles and content in my purchases; which, I'm still not caught up with.
Most recently, I did see Future Diary, and without going into too much detail, it's an enjoyable show, although some of the pacing issues took me out of it at times, and on top of that, it's overall just kind of a silly show for me. I just had a lot of trouble taking it seriously for the most part.
After that, I watched Blassreiter; fans of Urobuchi, this is a must see for you since it has everything you'd expect from such a series, but done in a different way. Try to imagine the closed thing to a gender flipped Puella Magi Madoka Magica; there are so many aspects that are so close with "miracles" turning to despair and tragedy; even some of the designs are similar to the characters on Madoka you'd think they're brothers and sisters. There's even a character that is so similar to Wavier from Fate/Zero in his demeanor and motives who also has a similar conclusion to his arc; although there are significant differences in the external factors of their arcs.
The world building, themes and characterization are well articulated and conveyed, not to mention some outstanding action scenes. There's plenty of Christian symbolism such as religious imagery to implicit and direct references to the Four Horsemen. The English dub cast features many amazing talents such as Chris Sabat, Travis Willingham, Todd Haberkorn, J Micheal Tatum and Jamie Marchi.
My only qualm with Blassreiter is the CG animation at times; it ranges from good/decent for the characters transformed and action scenes to downright hideous when it comes to normal objects like people, as well as some of the movements of vehicles and people; I'm talking just plain bad in some places. It's because of this it didn't hit my top tier on my favourites list, otherwise, I still consider it a must see show, particularly if you're a Urobuchi fan. Also, I heard Jamie Marchi plug it on two occasions; once on YouTube and at the anime con I went to. I already had it in my collection for a few months because, I heard Urobuchi played a big role in writing it, so, her plugging it merely affirmed my instincts to buy it.
Right now, I'm four episodes into Ping Pong and I'm really liking everything about it; the animation style is unique but complementary as opposed to try hard and hipster like, the characterization is top notch, the comedy and drama are well balanced and executed and the action is so well done it makes Ping Pong feel more significant than it is. Perhaps it's because it's not just about Ping Pong, but about the characters and what Ping Pong is for them; and so far the series is doing a great job of exploring that and tying it to the themes it's discussing.