Spring 2016 Anime Season Preview and Expectations

It’s now two weeks before the spring 2016 anime season begins, which means it’s time to look towards the new season, and put behind us a season with a few great shows, and little else to recommend beyond them. Will this spring season finally save us from the drought of the last 3 seasons? It seems as if it might actually be the case!

As always, in these posts I cover shows I plan to follow, or have thoughts on why I will not follow them, or considered following and decided not to. As always, I try to strike a balance between giving you enough information on the show, and telling you why I think it is or isn’t worth watching. Shows ordered by day, and by expectation within the day, as that affects pick status. The “Almost In” category describes shows that I’d pick up in prior seasons, but decided to put aside in order to make more time for backlog, after growing unhappy with how many of the shows I pick up ending up “not worth the time”, let alone “good”.
Much space is given to the people involved with a show, as premises are easy, but execution is hard, and it’s people who are in charge of that. You’re likelier to end up with good shows that way. Link in anime title is to the show’s page on MAL, in case you want to check out the premise and details yourselves.

Most of the information about the shows can be had from the helpful Neregate Chart, and what I’ve happened to see on various sites, such as The Cart Driver. Check them out if you want more information, or information on shows I didn’t cover (such as follow-ups to shows I don’t watch).

Sunday:

Concrete Revolutio anime 2nd seasonConcrete Revolutio: Choujin Gensou – The Last Song / Concrete Revolutio: A Superhuman Fantasy 2nd Season – Concrete Revolutio’s first cour was good enough to end as my 6th best show of 2015. With a nuanced approach to “multiple justices,” of trying to do the right thing while accepting that the other side believes they’re doing the same thing, the show also takes a close look at how shaping the way people perceive justice might be more important than being “just” to begin with. The first cour intertwined a continuing and developing character drama with episodic vignettes.

I was wondering for a moment, “Where will they go from now?” as we “found out” what led Jirou to leave, but since the show has never been a mystery and we’ve known all along, the answer is clear – they will tell us more of the struggle, while exploring moral and social questions. They’ll also have Urobuchi Gen writing an episode or two, for those to whom it makes a big difference. But since it’ll exist within the larger narrative, I don’t find it particularly important.

I do recommend picking this show up if you hadn’t before. If you’re having trouble with the time-skips, check my episodic write-ups, which aside from a thematic discussion of each episode also provide an up to date timeline.
Hype Rating: 2.5/3. A second cour of a show I liked? I’m on board. This show rarely “excites” me, but I expect to enjoy it and find a lot that is worthwhile there, with a few touching moments and moments of highlight animation tossed in.
Airing Date: April 3rd.

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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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Summer 2014 Anime Season Week 3 (Anime Power Ranking)

Another week. This time I also give my interim scores for the series I’m watching, as we’ve reached a quarter of the season through.

Weekly impressions for Akame ga Kill!, Aldnoah.Zero, Barakamon, Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya, Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, Sailor Moon Crystal, Shirogane no Ishi Argevollen (Silver Will Argevollen), Sword Art Online II, Tokyo ESP, Tokyo Ghoul, and Zankyou no Terror (Terror in Resonance).

The list is organized by how much I’ve enjoyed each episode, and the link in the title is to a more thorough write-up on the episode. For first impressions it means mostly more about production and presentation, but also about themes.

1) Barakamon Episode 3:

Barakamon anime episode 3 overview

When this is literally the first thing you open an episode with, how can you follow it up? Well, judging by the episode’s screenshot album, you can, with much panache.

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Summer 2014 Anime First Impressions (Anime Power Ranking)

A new season is upon us, so I watch anime so you won’t have to! This season is off to a respectable start. Plenty of things I’m enjoying, even if historically I get tired of them mid-season, but nothing that floored me just yet. The “thematic heavy hitters” often take time to get going, and it seems that’ll be true this time as well.

First impressions for Akame ga Kill!, Sailor Moon Crystal, Sword Art Online II, Aldnoah.Zero, Tokyo Ghoul, Barakamon, Glasslip, Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya 2wei, and Shirogane no Ishi: Argevollen, as well as the weekly opinion on JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure.

The list is organized by how much I’ve enjoyed each episode, and the link in the title is to a more thorough write-up on the episode. For first impressions it means mostly more about production and presentation, but also about themes.

1) Barakamon Episode 1

Barakamon anime Episode 1 overview

This show was my pick for the heart-warming, chill, and/or funny slot. The one occupied by Gin no Saji, Gingitsune, etc. recently. It’s mostly comic thus far, and one can easily see what sort of “messages” about growing up, being free and true to ourselves the show is trying to pass to us. But does it matter? The show is cute, and the show is fun. Well-acted and well-drawn. I found myself chuckling quite a few times during the episode.

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Summer 2014 Anime Season Expectations

Summer 2014 is nearly here, and the season actually begins on Wednesday, July 2nd. So time to see what I’m more interested in. I wasn’t very good with my Spring season predictions (M3 2.5/3), but it’s more about my interest levels, than how good I think it’d be. Shows that “didn’t make it” are usually shows I’m slightly less interested in, or find it interesting to remark on.

As always, organized by days of the week, because I might pick a show on an empty day or cut shows I enjoy on days already overfilled with other shows. Order is by expectation within that day. I plan to do write-ups for no more than 3-4 shows this season. Furthermore, I’ve realized I don’t enjoy action popcorn shows (shounens) as much when watching them weekly, so more are likely to only be watched when the season ends.

Descriptions will be short, more on why I find them interesting. “Didn’t make it in” could also be seen as shows I might pick up after dropping others based on buzz or free time. Most of the information about the shows can be had from RandomCuriosity’s page, the helpful Neregate Chart, and what I’ve happened to see on various sites, such as The Cart Driver. Check them out if you want more information.

I’m liking the shape of next season, even if not a lot truly stands out to me.

Sunday:

Akame ga Kill! animeAkame ga Kill! – A battle shounen in a medieval setting, corruption and mystery, reveling in over the top action and “grimdark”. I actually like this sort of thing. That’s what B-Movies are made of. So long the material knows what it is and embraces it, why not? Yes, the quest for “Maturity!!!” is usually pretty immature, but so long you know it. It looks pretty, and that’s the most important thing.
Interest Rating: 1.5/3. I’m not expecting anything great, just some fun. Might go on hold after a few episodes since popcorn shows do better in a burst.
Airing Date:
July 6th.
Write-ups/Notes: Nope. Almost tempted to watch it after it airs. Trailer.

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