Spring 2015 Anime Midseason Overview

Mid-season of the anime season of Spring 2015 is upon us, so time to round up how I feel about the shows I’m current on, or decided to put on hold. A round-up telling you what I think is worthy of your time, or not, and where it’s at. This season I decided to pick up less shows than usual, and hold off what I expected will be “averagish”, so let’s see how it panned out.

Tiers are in-order of enjoyment/evaluation. Within each tier the order is alphabetical. Also, each show will get a couple of words about how the past week’s episode had been, because I’d rather jot these down.

Great:

OreGairu Season 2 (SNAFU Too!):

OreGairu S2 episode 4 anime - Hayato Hayama is trying to help Hachiman grow up

If you keep at things for long enough, things will boil over and drama will ensue. The light atmospheric comedy of the first season is rarely seen, and instead Hikigaya Hachiman is brought to task over the way he “solves” things. It’s as if the finale to the Cultural Festival arc was stretched into an entire season. Yes, Hachiman is still allowed to perform his “cool martyr” act, and people who really want to can still believe it’s everyone around him who sucks, but the show, and Hachiman know it’s he who suffers. A very sharp take on human interaction and loneliness. If you liked the first season for “cool Hachiman” and the more standard RomCom antics, you might be disappointed, but otherwise? Pretty great.

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Spring 2015 First Impressions

Having watched seven shows, all of the ones premiering on the first week of the season, it’s time for a short round-up post where I share my impressions of them. As I actually wrote something longer for each of these shows, I’ll keep it brief, and link to the lengthier impressions post.

As always, the list is ordered by how much I liked the episodes, combined with how good I thought they were, in a descending order (first is best, last is worst).

1) Plastic Memories Episode 1:

Plastic Memories episode 1 anime - Unrewarding work

Plastic Memories is off to a great start. Its direction has a great knack for comic timing, and even if all the gags are physical or old hand, they take just the right amount of time, or are carried so fluidly and naturally that they don’t draw undue attention when they don’t wish to. The drama tearworks were reserved for the episode finale, and even there, the choice of what to show and when to show had greatly enhanced the effect.

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Winter 2015 Anime Midseason Overview

Mid-season of the anime season of Winter 2015 is upon us, so time to round up how I feel about the shows I’m current on, or decided to put on hold. A round-up telling you what I think is worthy of your time, or not, and where it’s at. I also happened to appear on a podcast discussing these shows with Flawfinder and others, which you can check out here.

Tiers are in-order of enjoyment/evaluation. Within each tier the order is alphabetical. Also, each show will get a couple of words about how the past week’s episode had been, because I’d rather jot these down.

Great:

Death Parade:

Death Parade anime - Winter 2015 Anime Season Overview

Death Parade is a show where I don’t know what to expect from each episode, except for it to be both entertaining and quite good. We see humanity, and we see humanity pushed to the limit. Then we see said humanity judged by someone with next to no understanding of what it is he observes, which the show is aware of. We see judgments, and sometimes we do not. We see slices of lives, of the people judged, and of the judges. What is the true focus of the show? To show us slices of humanity? To show us the judgment, and make us think what decisions we would have made in their place? To try and understand the inhuman and quite child-like Decim behind his cold facade?

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Winter 2015 Anime First Impressions – Week 2 (APR)

Last week was sort of scarce on premiers, but this week had been filled with all the rest of them. So I’m going to start by listing my order on every series up to now, with a numerical score, and then I’ll list my thoughts on the episode. Longer write-ups can be had by clicking on the show’s episode title. The “Post Episode Thoughts” in particular should have my thoughts on the episode, if they weren’t copied here. As always, the list is ordered by how much I liked each episode.

First impressions for Assassination Classroom (Ansatsu Kyoushitsu), Death Parade, Durarara!!x2, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders Egypt arc, Junketsu no Maria (Maria the Virgin Witch), Koufuku Graffiti (Gourmet Girls Graffiti), Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata (Saekano), The Rolling Girls, and Tokyo Ghoul Root A.

The Rolling Girls anime episode 1 overview - pretty background

The Rolling Girls is very visually flamboyant.

There’d also be notes on the second episodes of Log Horizon S2, Shirobako, and Yuri Kuma Arashi (Lily Bear Storm).

Let’s start with a quick overview of first episodes and scores:

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Summer 2014 Anime Midseason Overview

Mid-season of the anime season of Summer 2014 is upon us, so time to round up how I feel about the shows I’m current on, or decided to put on hold. A round-up telling you what I think is worthy of your time, or not, and where it’s at.

Tiers are in-order of enjoyment/evaluation. Within each tier the order is alphabetical.

Great:

Barakamon:

Barakamon Summer 2014 anime midseason overview

Barakamon is a light show. It makes me chuckle. It has good actors, and good chemistry between the actors and characters. There’s nothing “special” about it, except for Naru’s character, perhaps. A child, a bundle of energy, who is actually voiced by a young girl and brings to the series an infectious amount of energy.

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Spring 2014 Anime Season Overview

The Spring 2014 anime season had come and gone, and it’s time to look at the wreckage, see what was worthwhile, and what wasn’t, as well as give some thoughts on each of the shows. Some of these might yet get editorials, depending on energy levels and interest on my part, but if not, I’ll always be able to point at this!

Shows organized by how much I liked them or thought they were good, order doesn’t correlate 100% to the scores given. So, let’s go from worst to best!

15) M3: Sono Kuroki Hagane / M3 The Dark Metal:

M3: Sono Kuroki Hagane Anime overview

Look at this gif, it’s so terrible it’s hypnotic, I call it “boobie-balls”. It’s the best worst part of this show. This Mari Okada show is a take on NGE, as the other is a take on Madoka. This isn’t to say they’re actively trying to mimic those other luminary shows, but the point is it feels tired, it feels trying too hard.

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Spring 2014 Anime Midseason Overview (Part 2/2: Non-Action)

Mid-season of the anime season of Spring 2014 is upon us, so time to round up how I feel about the shows I’m current on. Due to the length of the list, I split it in half. The first part covered action shows. This part covers all the rest of the shows.

Shows are listed in order of enjoyment. Numbers are order on the list, and in parenthesis the order in the joint list, comprised of 13 shows. The first three shows in this section are my favourite three shows of the season, and they’re all at basically the same spot. They’re all winners.

1 (1) Ping Pong the Animation

Ping Pong the Animation anime Spring 2014 midseason overview

This show isn’t all that interested in telling us a story we hadn’t heard before. That’s fine, because there aren’t many such stories. This series is interesting in not merely a well-constructed story, but also in one that is well-told. The acting is solid, and the characters are believable. You can understand what is at stake when every conflict is had, or what its purpose is – such as when they use a conflict in the first episode for a third character to look at it and explain to us what is really going on, which in retrospect shows that the “stake-free conflict”, due to how it’s the same conflict that had been ongoing for a while is merely a character’s never-ending capitulation.

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