Media Months in Review – September 2014 – February 2015 – Anime

The intention is to post these monthly. Since I haven’t posted these in a while though, I’m going to split the last half year’s media consumption post into several parts. This one will focus on anime. I’ll give a paragraph or so for every show I have what to say of.

Hyouka Anime - Chitanda Eru is curious

Hyouka episodes 1-18 (+OVA): There will be a lengthier post on this once it’s done. Hyouka is told in arcs, and each of them covers a mystery Oreki Houtarou, a cynical and lazy high schoolers and his friends tackle. But as with most so-called mystery shows, the focus is on something else, on human interactions. Small interactions between people happen to be what the studio behind the show, Kyoto Animation (KyoAni) is best at, and this is quite a good show. There are a couple things more this show is about, but you’ll have to wait for my post about it. The first arc is the strongest, while the second is considerably weaker.

Monogatari Second Season episodes 1-4: I actually watched these episodes before. Need to get back to it. Man, this arc is quite heavy on the fan-service, and here it’s hard to argue that the fan-service is due to seeing things from Araragi’s point of view, as he’s not present. I never truly found Hanekawa an engaging character, as she’s quite resistant to change, and is more there to help outline other characters. Her story had already been told several times before. I did like Gaen throwing Hanekawa’s words back at her, though.

Ouran High School Club episodes 1-21: Some parts are funny, but I don’t feel this is the focus of the show. We have so many characters in this reverse harem, but it wasn’t until the final few episodes where it was clear who Haruhi “should” end up with, but for the sake of shipping, they started giving more characters room here. We have parodied “strong women”, we have women who don’t care about genders. We have “nice guys” who are anything but nice, but who sometimes are. It’s hard to know who exactly the show is poking fun at at each segment, or if it’s truly poking fun, at times. It’s still funny at times, and the characters are endearing at times, but it’s hard for me to truly place this show in one box, you know?

Samurai Flamenco episosdes 13-22: Finally done with for the sake of the “Top anime shows of 2014” post, where Samumenco had done well enough to earn the 4th spot. Episodes 13-14 are where it started recovering from the weaker part (with Flamenco Beyond), and then it just became, well, weird. There’s no other show quite like Samurai Flamenco, that’s for sure…

Seirei no Moribito (Moribito: Guardian of Spirit) episodes 1-26: I was looking for an action-oriented show. I was told Moribito won’t have all that much action. Well, it actually had less than I thought it’d have, but the action sequences it did have were some of the greatest, in terms of animation. It was a story of growing up, it was a story of a journey, of finding one’s place in the world. As always, there were bits where it fell off, and the faces were really not well animated, but it was worth the price of entry.

Sora no Woto (Sound of the Sky) episodes 1-10 (+OVA): Is this a drama show? Is this a slice of life show, in the “cute girls being cute” sort of way? Is this a sci-fi story? Nah, it’s very much a slice-of-life drama show. It’s not very subtle with its characters and their backstories, as it foreshadows things quite heavily, and most of the characters aren’t as fully realized as one would like. I still need to finish it, which should hopefully happen at some point this year. The visuals and sound design are great, and there’s quite a bit more to find of interest in the show, or in the characters’ interaction, but not a lot was actually done with it.

The Pilot’s Love Song (Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta) episodes 12-13: I wanted to finally finish it. I commented before that after the show wasn’t very good towards its second half, it actually managed to finish on a strong note, but that was episode 12. I couldn’t fathom what episode 13 was there for, and after watching it, it was indeed quite meaningless. A shame, for a show that started with such promise.

Usagi Drop (Bunny Drop) episodes 7-11 + Specials 1-4: Finally, another show I stopped watching on week 9 of Summer 2011 (alongside Mawaru Penguindrum). Man, this show is so cute. So adorable. This isn’t a show about Rin’s journey, but about how one becomes a parent, about how one remains themselves while changing, and making room for another person in your life. You could replace “Child” with “significant other”, and the lesson would remain the same. It’s also about how families are about repeating patterns, for better and for worse, to a degree. The shorts were very cute.

Cromartie High School episodes 1-2 (short): I was in the mood for a light, gag-based comedy. For some reason I thought this would be slightly more plot-driven, and actually have animation, or have full-length episodes. I laughed at some parts, but this really is a stupid show, and there’s really not much to keep you interested. At least episodes are short, so you can watch an episode here and there. Yet episode 3 (watched in March) felt interminable, so I might not keep at it.

Rewatches:

Chihayafuru anime - Ayase Chihaya

Chihayafuru seasons 1-2: Two seasons, each 25 episodes, watched each in a single day. I was in the mood for “beautiful sadness”, so the plan was to only watch the first three episodes, and yet I somehow got drawn into watching it in its entirety. I regret nothing. Except that the manga is still serializing and I’m now waiting for each chapter to get released.

Neon Genesis Evangelion: It’s been either 8 or 12 years since I’ve rewatched NGE last. Rewatching NGE is quite unlike rewatching any other show, for me. There should be a blog-post about it next week, so I won’t spend more time on it here. And yes, of course it holds up.

OreGairu (Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru. / My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU) (+OVA): I was just in the mood to rewatch it. Not really remembering Yui’s personality probably had something to do with it. A show I like, but am not amazed by. My opinion didn’t change here. I was expecting the OVA to infuriate me because I remembered many “Hachiman x Sensei” comments following it, but it was just the usual dull OVA stuff we get for shows like that.

Shigofumi: My most rewatched show for a reason, someone brought it up, and I rewatched it. Watch Shigofumi, yo.

And Incomplete Rewatches:

Boku wa Tomodagachi ga Sukunai (Haganai / I Don’t Have Many Friends) Episodes 1, 12, Season 2 episode 4: Thinking of ToraDora made me think of another protagonist who has a scary face that causes misunderstandings. I wanted to watch Kodaka and Sora’s scenes in the first and last episode of the first season, and then episode 4 of season 2 had the great rollercoaster ride. I think a comment about said rollercoaster ride on a forum is what brought the show to mind again. Enjoy the webm!

Durarara!! episodes 1-12: Just like Shigofumi above, people mention Durarara!!, and I end up rewatching it. The world revolves around the sun, Shizuo hates violence, and I rewatch Durarara!!’s first half. Just in time for the show to go back on air as well.

Sukitte Ii na yo (Say You Love Me) episodes 1-2: Watched before Chihayafuru above, was in the mood for something “sad” and sappy, and the first two episodes of the show called out to me. I thought of rewatching it in its entirety, but went to Chihayafuru instead.

ToraDora! Episodes 1-5, 14-16, 20-25: Back in December. People on reddit rewatch ToraDora, people on Twitter mention it, and I ended up listening to all of its songs, and watching its best and worst moments. This is a great show. I didn’t plan to watch as much as I did, or I might have rewatched it in its entirety.

Seasonal Anime:

The anime I watched as they aired, though I did watch the last few episodes of Akame ga Kill! a few months later, and couldn’t help but notice how chuuni the show is in general (in the same way that Bleach and Naruto are). Due to the time-frame covered, we have the end of Summer 2014, entirety of Fall 2014, and the first two-thirds of Winter 2015 covered herein. There are still a couple of loose ends to tie up, such as the finale of Zankyou no Terror, but here is the entire list, in alphabetical order:

  • Akame ga Kill! 10-24
  • Aldnoah.Zero 10-12
  • Assassination Classroom 1-7
  • Shingeki no Bahamut: Genesis (Attack on Bahamut: Genesis) 1-12
  • Barakamon 9-12
  • Death Parade 1-8
  • Durarara!!x2 Shou 1-8
  • Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works 0-12 (three episodes or so were double-length)
  • Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya S2 8-10
  • Hunter x Hunter (2011) 144-148, 126
  • JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders 23-24
  • JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders: Cairo Arc 1-8
  • Kantai Collection (KanColle) 1
  • Koufuku Graffiti (Gourmet Girls Graffiti) 1
  • Log Horizon S2 1-21
  • Maria the Virgin Witch (Junketsu no Maria) 1-7
  • Parasyte: the Maxim (Kiseiju) 1-20
  • Psycho-Pass S2 1
  • Rolling Girls 1-3
  • Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata (Saekano / How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend) 0-1
  • Shirobako 1-20
  • Sword Art Online II 10-24
  • Tokyo Ghoul 10-12
  • Tokyo Ghoul Root A 1-6
  • Yuri Kuma Arashi (Lily Bear Storm) 1-2
  • Zankyou no Terror (Terror in Resonance) 8-10

Movies aside, I watched a total of 415 full-length episodes, and 6 shorts, during this time-period, or almost 70 full-length episodes per month on average, which is about my average. September to November had me watching less episodes, due to video games, but I made up for it in December up to now.

Any non-currently airing anime you’ve been watching recently and want to mention?

4 comments on “Media Months in Review – September 2014 – February 2015 – Anime

  1. S&P says:

    I’ve been rewatching Battle Tendency! And man, it was pretty damn great… I’m kinda bummed Stardust Crusaders has been… different. Preferred the absurdly escalating stakes to the more chill vibes we’re currently getting with Part 3, but hey, it’s still pretty enjoyable. Joseph was as charming as I remembered him to be, and so was the delightful mix of fabulous poses, psychedelic colors & dubstep music.

    I’m planning on giving Bebop another watch too, it’s been almost two years since I’ve first seen it. But first I think I’ll catch The Tale of the Princess Kaguya somewhere, it’s apparently pretty great. Have you watched it?

    • Guy says:

      Haven’t watched either Princess Kaguya or The Wind Rises yet. Speaking of Bebop, I’ve owned it legally for about 12 years now and still haven’t watched it.

      I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying the current JoJo, even if I’m not enjoying it. It’s hard to identify what exactly it was in Battle Tendency I liked so much more (and it’s not like I was blown away by JoJo, ever), that’s not present now, but so it goes.

  2. Jat says:

    I caught up on Kyousougiga and now I’m almost done with Mawaru Penguindrum. Both very odd but very interesting shows.

    • Guy says:

      I still don’t know what I think of Mawaru Penguindrum, not 100%. It’s one of those shows that I sometimes feel 9.5/10 about, and sometimes 6/10 about. Odd, and convoluted, and messy, and brilliant, and… it’s all of those things.

      I love Kyousougiga. It received my top show of 2013. You might want to read my episodic notes for that show, which from episode 5 onward are some of my best, or my editorial-review of the show, focusing on families. I don’t find it nearly as odd a show, and it’s much easier to tell what is “real” within the show, which is, well, everything.

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