Fall 2015 Anime Midseason Overview

Well, this was supposed to go out Wednesday, of last week, but I’ve been busy with all sorts of things. I usually split these mid-season posts into “Great”, “Good”, etc., but since things aren’t really looking hot in that aspect, I’m just listing them by how much I like them. Anyway, if you’re thinking of what to pick up at this point into the season, and I hold 5-6 episodes in is exactly when you know whether a show’s worth picking up, welcome to my corner, where my Good Taste Opinions™ will be dispensed.

Ushio to Tora / Ushio and Tora:

Ushio to Tora anime episode 20 - Crying Aotsuki Ushio

The last arc really delivered on the tears.

Man, this show sure is delivering. Ushio is cool, Tora is becoming more dere and less tsun, and together they kick ass. We’re seeing some elements of old-fashioned machismo, but even if the way the girls had been grouped was a bit eh, and the delivery at the end ran a tad too long, it was not only fun, it was emotionally touching, and this show really knows how to deliver emotionally touching moments, though mostly by pressing pretty hard on the tear-ducts, but the last couple of episodes had delivered slow and long-awaited pay-off. I’m enjoying this episode every week.

Episodes Watched: 20/26.
Current Rating: A-. Still not “special”, but a lot of fun, and emotional. This is what I’m looking for out of my shounonsense, though better animation would’ve been nice too.

Concrete Revolutio: A Superhuman Fantasy / Concrete Revolutio: Choujin Gensou:

Concrete Revolutio: Choujin Gensou anime Episode 2 notes - Fuurota and Hitoyoshi Jiro discuss complications

This show is like my third top show of 2014, Samurai Flamenco, in that it is often ambitious, but in all sorts of ways it’s a flawed mess. It is even more like my third top show of 2013, Gatchaman Crowds, in that it is a show that is not character or story-driven, but instead is theme-driven, and also in that it i a show that is very interested in exploring not merely social, but sociological issues, of discussing right and wrong, free will, and the lies we tell one another, of the nature of black and white. But rather than merely using these concepts to drive forth and explain the conflict in the show, here it is brought up and the conflicts are used to further explore these concepts and questions, and even the answers given are more to raise the issue than give a definitive answer.

The show is considerably less interested in elaborating and portraying its characters, which causes some issues in terms of connection, and also, even though the story keeps hovering around and driving towards an impactful divide within the story, it doesn’t feel as if the story is all that important to the story. It’s very much a different experience, which is not always the best it could be in terms of construction, but I for one find it intensely interesting and rewarding, and the emotional resonance is found from the characters that are very much struggling with these all-too-human questions.

I do suggest watching up to episode 3, which is more indicative of the show as it is later on, and if you don’t like it, you don’t like it.

Episodes Watched: 7/13.
Current Rating: A-. Flawed, interesting, and interested in its themes and concepts, which revolve around social issues, more than its characters or stories. It speaks to me though.

Check here for my post-episode write-ups with an updated timeline for each episode.

Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans / Kidou Senshi Gundam: Tekketsu no Orphans:

Mobile Suit Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans anime / Kidou Senshi Gundam: Tekketsu no Orphans anime episode 3 - Kudelia Aina Bernstein on useless fights

This is a Sunrise Mecha show. I spoke before it aired on what sort of content I expect from it, the morally grey, the children versus adults, that we will see people on both sides, and both sides will be painted as understandable humans, and that both sides will also not really be “heroic”, and thus far Iron-Blooded Orphans had delivered on all of these. Seeing that these shows are so similar in so many aspects, it all comes down to execution.

And Iron-Blooded Orphans is well-executed. It’s a good show, which elaborates its characters well, and usually doesn’t hammer at us too hard with its messages of how the children are mistreated and how the world is unfair (though there are some moments it shouts at us still there), but mostly lets it appear more organically. The characters are mostly fine and understandable, though one of the mains, Mikazuki, still leaves some stuff to be desired.

The “problem” with the show is that aside from setting up all the Sunrise Mecha Themes™ discussed above it hasn’t actually done much. It’s a very solid show, but it doesn’t excite me. It doesn’t really do anything yet with it that is different than all these other shows, and it can still end up falling flat on its face, but with the show being 25 episodes long, I’m also not too worried about the speed in which it is moving thus far.

Also, the show looks pretty bad, with things appearing off-model more often than not. Unfortunate.

Episodes Watched: 6/25.
Current Rating: B++ to A–. This show is doing a lot of stuff right, but it’s not exciting me yet, we’re still in setup land. I’d say it’s the best show this season when looking at things in terms of standard quality, though.

Utawarerumono: The False Faces / Utawarerumono: Itsuwari no Kamen (Season 2):

Utawarerumono: The False Faces / Utawarerumono: Itsuwari no Kamen (Season 2) Episode 1 - Kuon is cute

Don’t lie to yourselves, we’re all watching because how cute Kuon is.

The original Utawarerumono (“The One Being Sung”) came out in 2006, though this is set in the same world, people said it could be watched without knowledge of the previous season, so I decided to give it a shot. The background music is grating, as befits a Visual Novel (Strategy-RPG) adaptation, the sound effects are good, and the acting is solid. The art’s fine, and the show has plenty of cool faces. The action we’ve had thus far wasn’t impressive or memorable, and the OP (opening song) alongside episode 3 in particular paint this very much as a harem, with all sorts of girls being introduced, an effeminate man who wants our main character and is being made into a joke, etc.

It’s a pretty cute show mostly carried over by Kuon’s cute faces at this point, but I’ll watch a few more episodes to see where they’re going with it.

Episodes Watched: 3/25.
Current Rating: B. Cute, haremish, don’t really know where they’re going with it yet. Funny faces seem to be the main attraction at this point. And a cute cat-girl. A very cute cat-girl.

One Punch Man:

One-Punch Man anime Episode 5 notes - Genos and Saitama spar

The good part of the show.

One Punch Man is two shows. One is an action show, with vibrant colours and explosions, dynamic shots and poses, and everything I’d want my shounonsense shows to look like in my wildest dreams. Then there is the other show, which is a comedy, with one joke, which had gotten stale in the 2nd episode, and not only that, it’s dragged out for minutes at a time. Sadly, it seems the comedy half is the important part of the show, for the show, judging by how much time each gets. So while there’s what to like in this show, I also sigh at the way it drags its time, and wish that we got more Genos time. Saitama rarely gets to be cool either, but rather, the people he’s fighting with or against get to be cool, until he steps in and stops them.

I like this show when it’s giving me what I want, but it gives me too much of what I don’t care for. But those moments are still tolerable enough for the action sequences.

Episodes Watched: 7/12.
Current Rating: B- or C+. If you like action combined with stale anime humor (and most anime watchers seem to), then this show is likely A+ for you. This show has moments that really work for me, and those I just wait for it to end.

Beautiful Bones – Sakurako’s Investigation / Sakurako-san no Ashimoto ni wa Shitai ga Umatteiru:

Beautiful Bones - Sakurako's Investigation/ Sakurako-san no Ashimoto ni wa Shitai ga Umatteiru anime episode 3 - Kujo Sakurako thinks you're stupid

“Write dumb side-characters so MC appears smart” backfires.

Why am I watching this show? This is not a rhetorical question, seeing as when I tried to pick shows to watch this year, I tried to aim shows that are “worthwhile”, that would be worth checking out in several years when people look back to watch shows from this year, not just the “must-watch”, but those who left some impact. This show doesn’t really leave all that much of an impact on me, and I doubt I’ll even remember much of it a month after it ends. But somehow I enjoy the experience, or bits and pieces of it. I enjoy some of Shoutarou and Sakurako’s interactions, even as it is tropey and makes me roll my eyes at how LN-protagonists they both are. I like Sakurako’s faces, even if they’re usually there to denigrate those around her, who are depicted as incredibly dumb, just so she’d appear smart. The way characters and the police are treated in this show are so bad, just so our protagonist could appear intelligent as it solves mysteries in seconds.

If the mysteries are meant to be the focus of the show, then they are very poorly done and them being solved in a minute out of nowhere does the show no favours, but if the mystery is only there to serve as a vehicle as we learn more of the characters and get to spend more time with them, then it’s not doing enough with this time, repeating single notes (such as Shoutarou glaring at Sakurako’s body) too many times, or wasting 10 minutes on explaining every single minutiae of a non-mystery’s solution, and well, the characters, while somewhat having good chemistry with one another, aren’t actually good characters.

I shouldn’t watch this show, and I might give up, because it frustrates me with what it does, or doesn’t do, but I do actually enjoy it when it doesn’t, even if I’m not sure why – its characters are just characters enough, and their chemistry is just enough. Maybe I just like Sakurako’s character as an archetype, looks and personality. Maybe.

Episodes Watched: 6/12.
Current Rating: C+ or B–. This isn’t a good show, but it’s doing just enough that I enjoy it, sometimes, in some ways. I should probably spend my time better.

Kagewani:

Kagewani Anime Episode 1 - Content creators know what really matters

Shorts, especially the more story-driven ones tend to be, well, not good. The show is going for mostly episodic content that has some minor follow-up between episodes and hints at what is to come, in a manner that reminds me of the first half of Fringe’s first season, but I worry whether they’ll have time to actually let the plot play out. Then again, with such a short show, maybe it’s best to go for episodic atmospheric horror, and somehow, the show nabs the atmosphere horror – the music is really well done and enhances the mood, which is always important with horror.

Still, there’s not much here beyond atmosphere, but what can you expect from such a show?

Episodes Watched: 6/13.
Current Rating: C+. Surprisingly non-terrible. It’s not actually a “filling meal”, but it’s ok.


On Hold:

Lupin III (2015):

Lupin III (2015) anime Episode 1 - Lupin and Jigen run away from Zenigata

Only watched one episode, but it was fine, it was good even, except I don’t care that much for episodic content. However, there are no proper English subtitles for this, but the Italian translated and localized version had been translated again to English. I think I’d pass until it’s fixed, and I can always get my fix with prior seasons I haven’t watched, or better yet, The Woman Called Fujiko Mine, which is likely to be more my taste, with its continuous storyline.

Episodes Watched: 1/24.
Current Rating: B+. Solid episodic Lupin with twice-translated localized subtitles.

Osomatsu-san:

Osomatsu-san Episode 2 - Pool-time shenanigans

We’re so absurd. And funny.
Please laugh.

Osomatsu-san has many good actors, and each of the characters is quite an archetype which is easy to follow and fills a purpose, and you don’t feel any of them are superfluous. I even find quite a few of the jokes funny, whether they rely on ironic repetition, outright jokes, or physical gags. But I also find a number of jokes unfunny, but that’s to be expected. The thing killing the show for me is that after every single joke, the show basically stops and goes, “Aren’t we funny? Aren’t we hilarious and oh o abusrd?!” and that just kills everything for me, even when it’s otherwise working out.

It’s a fine comedy, better constructed than most anime comedies, certainly better written with less reliance on gags and jokes I’ve seen dozens of times before, but it’s not really for me. I still appreciate what it does. It feels more similar to Monty Python than to most anime, but I could also see it being more similar to Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei within the realm of anime.

Episodes Watched: 2/12.
Current Rating: B. For those who like this sort of humor, then I recommend this show. It’s just a case of “not for me,” and that’s fine.


Dropped:

Subete ga F ni Naru / Everything Becomes F: The Perfect Insider:

Subete ga F ni Naru: The Perfect Insider Anime Episode 5 - Nishinosono Moe tells Saikawa Sohei she doesn't care about him

That’s exactly the problem.

I really wanted to like this show, and gave it several chances. I just… can’t. Professor Saikawa is a tool, he’s full of himself, he keeps spouting bad and simplistic philosophy, and he idolizes everything Shiki does or is not because it’s good, but because she’s the one who’s done it. That’s fine, shows can have annoying characters, but when said character speaks roughly 60% of the show’s lines and appears in 80% of the scenes, it’s not the same. Yes, Moe calls him out on it, and the show sometimes mocks him, but the show is still going out of its way to show us how he’s smart, how solving the situation is up to him. It doesn’t help he’s not well-acted. Boringly so. Even if that’s the design, it doesn’t lead to an enjoyable experience, and again, he sucks the interest out of every scene he’s in, and he’s in most of them.

And then we have Moe, who could be a good character, but is also annoying, by design, like a little spoiled sister could be. She manipulates those around here and could do more, but most of what she does is interact with Saikawa, who, as mentioned above, sucks the interest out of any interaction. Her other role is to be mirrored by Magata Shiki, the show’s highly romanticized eccentric killer, who is suffering from a very inaccurate case of Dissociative Personality Disorder (Multiple Personality Disorder), and of course, an extreme case of romanticizing a Lolita situation.

It doesn’t help that the people in the lab act in ways that don’t seem real, that resonate false, such as the Director’s wife after he’s been killed, or that everyone reacts, well, stupidly. Saikawa doesn’t appear smart at all, but he’s painted as exceedingly smart, so the author just wrote all the other characters stupid. And they’re badly acted, and their faces either show no emotions or only extreme cases of emotion.

I wanted to like this show, but it’s a pretty cold mess.

The lighting is good though.

Episodes Watched: 5/11.
Rating: 5.5/10. Came in hoping for much, didn’t have fun, and realized it’s unlikely to be “Not fun but good” either.

Garo Season 2: Guren no Tsuki / Garo: Crimson Moon:

Garo: The Crimson Moon / Garo: Guren no Tsuki anime Episode 1 - Raikou tells Kintaro of his duty.

This episode just bored me. If I hear really good things about the show I might reconsider. It didn’t help the show didn’t look good nor that the acting, especially of the child character, grated on me. But I haven’t really heard much of the series, and what I did wasn’t inspiring.

Episodes Watched: 1/24.
Rating: C. Not actively bad, just didn’t grab me at all.

Kowabon:

A short that wasn’t fun or interesting, just didn’t care to keep watching, not a lot to say.

Episodes Watched: 1/3
Rating: C.

Heavy Object:

Heavy Object anime Episode 1 notes - Qwenthur Barbotage stares at Milinda Brantini's boobs

Imagine your regular not very good Light Novel shounonsense anime adaptation, now make the fanservice even less fitting and more distracting within the context of the show, erase any moral quandary that might arise, double the awkwardness of the info-dumps, and remove any sense of in-universe coherence. This show isn’t really fun, the characters are sometimes fun, but always dumb. The action isn’t awesome, the villains are ridiculously over-the-top in a way that removes any question of them and just makes one groan… you could do better than this show with literally a couple dozen shows of its ilk coming out every single year.

Episodes Watched: 3/24.
Rating: 3/10. Only if you somehow ran out of everything to watch, or are super entertained by simplistic boobs and even more simplified morality. I couldn’t find it once on MAL because I accidentally searched for “Horrible Object” instead of “Heavy Object”.


Overall thoughts on the season:

Remember when we all despaired of last season, the Summer one, at least before it aired? But it had good sequels (Durarara!! and Gatchaman Crowds), and it had a show that might not have been great but which I enjoyed a whole lot and smiled after each and every episode (Akagami no Shirayuki-Hime / Snow White with the Red Hair), and a show that came out of nowhere and surprised me with how much I liked it and how good I thought it were (Gakkou Gurashi / School Live). There was even one action-moe show that had issues and troubling subtext but which I enjoyed (Gate).

This season is much worse. There’s a single show I enjoy unreservedly, which also aired back then, and another show that I think highly of and usually enjoy, or well, find interesting, and one more show I find good, even if not all that interesting. And that’s about it. I’m not left with a whole lot of shows, but even from the ones I’m watching, apart from the top 3, are of dubious quality, and provide me middling amounts of entertainment.

This season is weak. It’s not terrible, but… man, it’s really weak. I should be catching up on shows, and during October I’ve done that quite a bit, but it slowed down this month. Time to pick up the pace again.

Today’s question should be obvious: With the anime midseason upon us, how do you feel about this season as a whole?

28 comments on “Fall 2015 Anime Midseason Overview

  1. Ayanami says:

    This season would probably be going a lot better for you if you were into/caught up with Noragami and Monogatari.

    Owarimonogatari is at a pretty high point in the series, and it would be even higher if the second half of Second Series didn’t exist. And although I also heard good things about Fairy Tail’s current arc (I dropped it early into the 2nd series, so I cannot confirm/deny), I still feel OK claiming that Noragami is the best “shounonsense” currently airing.

    One short that probably flew under your radar that maybe you want to try is Hacka Doll. It’s studio Trigger, and it’s filled with anime parodies, including an almost shot-for-shot Eva parody in episode 3. Although I am really enjoying Osomatsu-san too, so maybe our sense of humor won’t align. But anyway, it’s worth 7 minutes to see if it clicks with you or not.

    • Guy says:

      So I keep hearing. But even if I caught up with Monogatari, I only watch that when the BDs come out, so I wouldn’t watch it live anyway. And even if I didn’t wait for BDs, I’d watch an arc at a time, not weekly, because Monogatari single episodes are often empty in a way that frustrates me, even as they are full of other things.

      I’ll consider giving Hacka Doll a try, but yeah, anime parodies are one of the things I enjoy least in anime comedies, and I’m not a big fan of anime comedies to begin with. But definitely worth a short try.

      I’m still thinking about Noragami, since some of my issues with the first season were that it was a glorified and overlong setup, for, well, nothing, but I’m going to wait and see what people say of Noragami’s newest arc. Who knows, maybe I’ll watch just the Bishamon arc, rather than follow the show weekly.

  2. rpgmaniac says:

    Man WTF are you watching that’s not even half of the good shows that air currently for this season & you describe this season as bad & worst that summer aaargh… & you call yourself an anime fan? I watch anime for almost 25 years know I watch from 15 to 20+ anime each season this season is actually amazing because it have sequels from very hot anime from previous seasons like:

    Haikyuu Second Season – one of the TOP 3 of the season, amazing!
    Fafner: Dead Aggressor Season 2 – also one of the best of the season I love this anime & all the previous seasons.
    Noragami 2nd Season – 2nd season rock! till now lot’s of very interesting things happening.
    Owari no Seraph 2nd Season – very nice 2nd season till now it never make you bored you always want to see what is going to happen next.
    Yuru Yuri 3rd Season – the perfect anime to pass some good time relaxing & laugh as it’s very funny at times.
    K: Return of Kings – it might not have the best story but it’s a visual treat & action scenes is always well made that alone make it worth watching.

    Now if we add to those the new Gundam & One Punch how can you seriously describe this season as bad? I know how a bad season is, this season is nowhere near bad the opposite actually it’s very good, a season is good when you have at least 3-4 good anime to watch I have already twice as much good anime to watch every week, if you find this season bad then what can you describe as good season plz tell me.

    • Guy says:

      Man, all those superlatives. Everything is amazing! Well, I’m glad you’re feeling that way. I’m not sarcastic at all, I’m glad when people enjoy shows, and seasons, even if I don’t. You’ll also note how everything you mentioned here are sequels, and well, people who keep watching shows are usually those who liked the first seasons – I didn’t care for Noragami’s first season, and Yuru Yuri is not my kind of show, but again, as someone who keeps watching 15-20 shows every season, it shows you’re able to enjoy all these shows, I don’t.

      I also touched on One Punch Man, and noted I’m not at all loving it. Why is this season bad? I have season preview posts, and before each season I think of which shows interest me. I used to watch 20+ shows every season, and quickly dropped down to 12-16. The last couple of seasons I’d make a list and only watch about 10-14 I’m most interested in, but still noted the 6-12 I’d have watched previously, and which I’d check out if people say good things about them.

      Well, for this season I’ve had the least amount of such shows since 2013. The sequels play a part in it, but I’m used to 15 shows that interest me and/or I think might be good every season even without those, and which wasn’t the case at all this time around.

      Again, glad you’re liking things, you’re definitely a “fan”, but your taste isn’t mine, and this show is very lacking in shows I like, and half of the sequels you enjoy I wouldn’t touch with a ten feet pole, but hey, different strokes are cool.

  3. This season’s not as good as I expected, but I still consider it to be better than the rest of the year. As for Lupin III 2015, Animeshow.tv has pretty good quality subs. The usual fansub grammar mistakes still pop up from time to time, but nothing that’s hindered my experience so far. It’s not a masterpiece, but it’s still REALLY fun, and perfect for marathoning. Temporarily put down Osomatsu-San to make time for schoolwork and video games, but I’ll pick it up later. The writing wasn’t too impressive (why do anime comedies always point out their own jokes?) but I didn’t mind it, and the visual humor always gave me a good chuckle. One Punch Man is still solid as far as I’m concerned; I’m never dying to watch it, but I always enjoy it. And I still think the Perfect Insider’s doing alright- I’m still intrigued by its story and characters, though my overall opinion will largely hang on how well it resolves its mystery.

    • Guy says:

      Lupin III 2015 is translated Japanese > Italian > English, rather than Japanese > English, and the Italian subtitles are official, and localized, and I’d rather avoid twice-translated subtitles when possible.

      As for marathoning, that’s interesting, since I’m the exact opposite about marathoning episodic content, I just can’t do it. It’s interesting seeing someone who’s of the opposite mind.

      When I complained about Osomatsu-san pointing at its jokes and going “Look at us, we’re so absurd!” someone replied that’s Japanese humor, which might be true… then again, just how different is that than a laugh-track in western sitcoms, designed to tell you where you should be laughing?

      As for this season in general, how can it stand up to Winter, which had Shirobako’s second half, Yuri Kuma Arashi, Death Parade, and Junketsu no Maria? I just can’t see it. Not just the high end is lower here, but the average, which is mostly what I’m talking about.

      • To me, shonen action and episodic adventure were always my easiest marathoning genres. The mix of fun action and low required intellectual investment makes them easier to watch in large chunks. The one exception was Baccano, where it was easier to watch everything close together so all the details stayed fresh in my mind.

        Your comparison with the laugh track is very apt. To be honest, I never much liked laugh tracks either (how come they only laugh? Shouldn’t they cry during emotional scenes? Groan at bad puns?), but I’m willing to put up with both as long as the overall experience or jokes underneath it appeal to me.

        As for season comparisons, I usually judge them by my specific tastes rather than by how many shows people like. As good as Yuri Kuma Arashi and Junketsu no Maria may have been, they’re not really my thing (though after I watch Utena I might have to give Yuri Kuma another go.) In this season I haven’t even started Con Revo, Iron-Blooded Orphans, or the new Noragami season, and I’m still content with what I’m watching. So you got me there- guess the fall season was just more enjoyable for me specifically.

        • Guy says:

          The laugh track is a result of researches that find that we find someone funnier if we hear others laugh at their jokes, and think more highly if people clap. It comes from Presidential Election researches in the USA, IIRC.

          Though I find shounens fun to marathon, I usually marathon them because not enough happens weekly, and it leaves a bad aftertaste in my mouth to think of just how little things progressed. I actually like marathoning plot-driven shows the most, as it allows myself to completely immerse myself in the story and world in one go.

          And in the end, watching what you enjoy is the right call, almost every single time, so I can’t really argue against it. I do argue for a distinction between “favourite” and “best”, though not everyone agrees, which is fine as well.

  4. Helen says:

    “Don’t lie to yourselves, we’re all watching because how cute Kuon is.” Darn straight!
    As for Garo, much like ConRevo I felt like it really started finding its feet around the third episode but honestly even after that it’s still not nearly as engaging as the first season. It does seem to be building to something and getting better as it goes along but at this point you’re still not missing too much.

    • Guy says:

      It’s probably not exactly “fair” to drop a show after a single episode when it’s not actively bad, just lacking in anything good to make it interesting, but… if I’m not having any sort of fun or it’s not at all interesting, why watch?

      That’s the best thing about backlog shows, if people say it’s worth it, you can have an idea it might be better to stick things through, but in the end, most shows don’t really end up “worth it”, so one cuts them off faster at the start. At least, I do after a couple of years of picking up ~20 shows every season…

      And yeah, I always keep an eye out for how people say such shows are doing, and am always willing to revisit my decisions.

  5. exof954 says:

    Yeah… stuff like Noragami (or really… just Noragami) I expected to do well. But where most of last season’s border shows managed to rise above… Most of this season seems to be sinking below.
    Gundam is still okay, like you said, and Haikyuu and Noragami are both A-Rank all-stars. Gintama’s a little varied, but I’d still give it an A- at its worst moments- of which there are few right now, thankfully.
    But… Heavy Object, 35 Strike Platoon or Whatever The Heck It’s Called, and in particular Comet Lucifer- they’re all sinking like rocks. I gave Lucifer 3 episodes, and it chose to waste its last one on a bunch of pandering loli nonsense. The only loli I tolerate is Illya, and even that rule has exceptions. So… yeah. But at least We’ve got a few decent shows, so it’s not all bad.

    • Guy says:

      It’s never all bad, and we always have other stuff to do.

      The real opportunity cost of bad or underwhelming shows isn’t just “better anime we could be watching,” but “better anime, movies, western TV shows, video games, or just time spent with other people.” There’s really no excuse to watch bad shows that don’t actively help you understand why they’re bad, and how shows could be made better…

      Except it’s easy. Easier to watch what’s airing than older shows. Need to kick those bad habits away, myself included.

      But, this season is indeed not terrible as in entirely lacking in content, just underwhelming, and it’s even better for people who have those returning/continuing shows, but that’s always a crapshoot.

  6. John Samuel says:

    Looks like I might have to pick Ushio and Tora up again once I have some mental energy. Right now? Dirty Pair is it for me.

    • Guy says:

      I haven’t watched Dirty Pair since like 1998, and even then, it was only a random couple of episodes. I can’t argue against backlog shows in a season like this, or ever, especially as a marathon-lover.

      About Ushio and Tora, I liked it all along, and recent episodes had been very good on the emotional front, but if you didn’t care for it early, I doubt you’d care for it now. It’s to a large degree “most of the same, but less episodic.” I just like that more of the same aspect.

      • John Samuel says:

        I quite liked what I saw of Ushio and Tora, I just stopped for want of energy. It’s been a tough year in some respects.

        As for Dirty Pair, I’m 16 episodes into the TV series and there’s only been a couple of duds so far. This is one old show that’s standing up surprisingly well.

        • Guy says:

          Well, I watched a bit of Dirty Pair on VHS at someone else’s place, just never got back to it in the age of downloads. And I hear you on the rough year, and in that case, definitely go back to Ushio and Tora :)

  7. King Marth says:

    I haven’t been watching many new shows, though from the looks of things I should really pick up Concrete Revolutio. The talk of tracking a timeline and updating it after each episode is a bit daunting, but having someone write that out is helpful.

    I’m enjoying One Punch Man, though I’ve a weakness for shows where there’s a character on a power level above everything else; Assassination Classroom scratched this itch, plus on the serious side there’s Watchmen. Genos is a good companion for Saitama in the same sense that The Doctor needs companions; to The Doctor everything is alien and normal, so he needs a human around to point out that the massive alien ship in the middle of London is out of place and should probably be looked at. To Saitama every threat in the world can be dispatched with one punch, so he has no way to tell them apart and know when people are actually in danger; this then leads to the bizarre humor of him thinking less of a city-destroying monstrosity than missing a supermarket sale. He does know that Genos is strong, and he cares about Genos, so when the cyborg kid is in over his head Saitama finally has a clue about where the danger is.
    The halo effect allows me to excuse the jokes that don’t work.

    • Guy says:

      The first 3 or maybe 4 episodes of Concrete Revolutio jump around a lot. It’s not that bad afterwards, and as mentioned, I did the heavy lifting for you.

      Well, the Watchmen example is apt, which shows exactly why it doesn’t work. The Doctor in Watchmen is so powerful that he’s not allowed to interfere, and half the plot comes about because people try to work around without involving him, and his story involvement is mostly about interpersonal matters, where all his prowess doesn’t matter. Contrast that with One Punch Man, where in the end everything comes down to Saitama.

      I like power fantasies too, a lot, but for me, the illusion of weakness at times helps more, or not making it so grossly overpowered and relying on its unfunny joke. Even if someone is uber-powerful, but they have reasons to not go all out usually, but that just doesn’t happen here, quite the opposite, with Saitama using his prowess without even thinking about it or the consequences.

  8. EatzAce says:

    This season is weak. It’s not terrible, but… man, it’s really weak.

    Ahah, is it just me or do you seem to say that about every season (at least of recent memory)? Do you think anime is getting progressively weaker each season or are they all similarly weak? Or could it be they’re all just less memorable?

    Personally I dropped all shows that didn’t immediately interest me at episode 1 and later browsed episodic reviews and blogs to see if any of them improved to be worthwhile enough (sadly none so far but it is kind of nice to see my initial impressions were correct). As a result my impressions of the season are slightly more positive than yours as I had a lot less shows to disappoint me. Although as a reviewer I suppose you may not have the same liberties but I found it helps in improving one’s overall enjoyment of a season.

    It could also just be that I’m just enjoying the airing sequels this season (Haikyuu especially) that my overall impression of the season may be warped from my overwhelming enjoyment of a handful of series.

    I should be catching up on shows…

    How’s Classroom Crisis treating you so far?

    • Guy says:

      Looked back on my previews for the last 6 seasons, and well, Winter 2015 was amazing, Summer 2014 was good, Fall 2014 was pretty good too. After Winter 2015, Spring 2015 was pretty good too. I write it often, but not every season, and certainly not in a row. If you look at me saying “it’s not amazing” as saying it’s underwhelming, that’s different, cause “amazing seasons” are more uncommon than common. As for Summer 2015, I said it about it as well, but I didn’t actually write my thoughts on the season, and it might be because I ended up only watching a few shows, but it was better than expected.

      This season though, I didn’t come with the highest of expectations, but it was solid, somewhat, but hinging on several “feast or famine” shows, where Concrete Revolutio delivered, and Sakurako-san and Perfect Insider failed, at least at this point.

      I don’t think seasons are getting worse, but we’re not getting consistently good seasons one after the other, or seasons that really blow me away with how many 8+ scores I hand out, which 2013 had a couple of in a row, and then Winter 2014 was pretty good too. It’s not really a trend, that’d be years as whole, because seasons are often just about schedules. But 2015 is a weaker year than 2014, if I look at top 20 (or top 40, or top 50), though equal at top 7-8, and 2014 was weaker than 2013 (no matter how many shows you pick to look at).

      And yes, sequels often make or break seasons, especially the weaker ones.

      How’s Classroom Crisis treating you so far?

      Watched Hibike! Euphonium this week, gonna finish Gatchaman Crowds rewatch this weekend, then do Durarara!!x2 Ten next week, then Gatchaman Crowds Insight, then Yuri Kuma Arashi, then will hopefully still have time for Classroom Crisis. Also got my Secret Santa anime to get through…

      And about disappointing shows, that’s why I picked up less shows than usual for the past year, but somehow the few I pick up still manage to disappoint me somehow, though it was better in Summer season. I didn’t watch a couple of shows beyond a couple of episodes, where they might’ve started disappointing me, heh.

      • EatzAce says:

        And yes, sequels often make or break seasons, especially the weaker ones.

        That’s actually very true now that I look back at certain anime seasons. My overall impressions of the season that aired the hot mess of a first cour of Durararax2 felt very different from the overall impressions of the season that aired the solid 2nd cour. When an awaited sequel isn’t doing so hot it really puts a damper on my enjoyment of other airing series since my disappointment kind of hangs there in the back of my head when I try to watch other series. When multiple sequels bomb in a season I found that I get very irritable when watching anime and start dropping shows left and right for the most minor things (big reason why I dropped Shirobako even though I knew it’d probably be a great show).

        that’s why I picked up less shows than usual for the past year, but somehow the few I pick up still manage to disappoint me somehow

        Heh.

        Out of curiosity, what would you consider the stronger season: one that had a few 10/10 shows or one that had many 8-9/10 shows?

        • Guy says:

          Out of curiosity, what would you consider the stronger season: one that had a few 10/10 shows or one that had many 8-9/10 shows?

          The one with many 8-9. 8-9s are pretty rare as is, but say, a season with 10 7.5+ and no 9+ is a stronger season than one with two 10/10 and everything else being 5/10 and under. Sure, years later we’d still rather have the latter (though it depends on how many 8+ we’ve had), but as a season, as a whole? No doubt which is more enjoyable.

          Sequels are also “less pressure”, we go into them expecting to like what we’re seeing. It means we have things to retreat to when the new stuff disappoints us. But yes, if a sequel disappoints us, it can paint everything in a much worse light.

  9. Houndoom says:

    I agree with you list for the most part, but like several other comments I really think Haikyuu!! and Noragami are major things you’re missing. Where did you stop in the first season of Noragami? But I do understand taste differences, and Noragami is basically in my favorite sub genre niche.
    As for Haikyuu!!, I think the humor and funny faces carry it a lot, and I find all of the characters pretty engaging. I don’t care for sports shows most of the time, but this one hooked me.
    Besides those my feel and top picks this season are basically the same as yours, with a higher rating for OPM. Still haven’t gotten into the new gundam, because usually those mech shows have a feel I don’t like. But I keep hearing good things so I’ll pobably try it soon.

    • Guy says:

      I stopped on episode 7 of the first season of Noragami, when I realized the “story” is mostly going to spend an entire season just on introducing the characters to us, with a bunch of the characters not being interesting enough, and the action being limited to one shot an episode. There just wasn’t anything to keep me interested.

      I don’t have an issue with sports shows in general, but I’m also not caring for them especially, and not enough to catch up on Haikyuu over shows I think I’ll like a lot more.

  10. Bright Chen says:

    Late to the party as usual, but hey, I’m here! I followed about 11 shows from Fall 2015, with a number of titles also showing up here, but some with monumentally different verdicts than mine. I also published this season’s overview over at my site. 9000+ words, in fact, if you factor in it being in 2 parts, plus an additional commentary. (I tend to do that.)

    I admit, that I’m far more optimistic about the shows I follow, and I tend to remember the positives better when sitting down to analysis a title. What I find particularly interesting is your verdict on The Perfect Insider: a show which I find to be one of the more quietly interesting ones of the season. Also, in regards to Heavy Object (A show that I initially didn’t plan to follow, but did shortly after the half-season mark), I realise your reservations in regards to its first episode’s rather tasteless fan service, but I can assure you its quality after that: the happy-go-lucky comedic duo of our two male leads is eternally more entertaining than most shows that I followed this season, and the down-to-the-pixel detail of the strategic implications that they go into whilst battling those mechanised giants are incredibly precise and interesting, I am not sure about the overall quality of the title, but of the 5 episodes I’ve so far watched, that’s the atmosphere and tone I’m getting.

    Needless to say, I find Fall 2015 to be an immensely interesting season. Even more exciting is my watchlist for Winter 2016: All my favourite studios (KyoAni, PA Works and Bones) have big offerings, amongst no less than 15 other titles that I will be taste-testing.

    • Guy says:

      Well, late replies are fine, cause I also tend to leave late replies to replies, hue.

      Also, you should update your Gravatar link. Previously it led to the wrong blog, and now there’s no blog it leads to at all, so people can’t read your own season overview.

      I dropped Heavy Object after 3 episodes, not just 1, as is noted in the write-up above. Just for you, I uploaded my write-up for episode 3. I dunno what you go by when you call it “down to pixel detail of the strategic implications” or “incredibly precise and interesting,” but nothing about the show’s military content is plausible, accurate, or even sensible. From logical holes in the most basic of operations, to distances not making sense, to the whole war effort and what is considered “surprising and brilliant” to be the most asinine stuff ever.

      This show is terrible, and it’s not accurate, or precise, nor does it give proper attention to either grand picture or small details.

      As for my write-up, I don’t have a preference for remembering either positives or negatives, it depends on the shows, and this season is filled with shows I found poor, so the negative was in full force.

      I wanted to like Perfect Insider, I just found the way it did things bad, and boring, and I wish I didn’t, but so it goes.

      Also, I try to keep the mid-season posts short, as they’re supposed to serve people who’re curious what’s worth picking up, rather than be a detailed analysis of a show. If anything, I worry I wrote too much here.

      • Excuse the profile hiccup, had to change the URL. I also had to revert a few posts back to draft, due to some referencing errors and interface issues. I will look back on the first three episodes of heavy object with your notes as reference; although a some of your points are already registered myself. I tend to find it quite easy to separate enjoyment from critical dissection, so perhaps a rewatch can clarify my viewpoint.

        • Guy says:

          I certainly sometimes enjoy shows I don’t find all that good, or don’t enjoy shows I find superbly done.

          I’m less likely to enjoy “non-good” shows, certainly when it comes to bad shows. Heavy Object to me had bad humor, bad focus on fan-service, bad morality, and illogical behaviour both by individuals and armies. I just found nothing good there to like. I’m not trying to convince people to dislike shows I dislike, as I think having fun is much better, but a comment that said the show discusses the military aspects of the show as “precise” and such? That’s just not supported by the show, at all.

          So it goes.

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