Winter 2016 Anime Overview – Week 4 (Anime Power Ranking)

Another week, and since proper subtitles for a show I was awaiting began appearing, and as my docket keeps dwindling, I actually checked out another show! This season’s “average” shows are falling behind, but the new show might be a keeper.

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) Boku dake ga Inai Machi / ERASED Episode 4:

Boku dake ga Inai Machi / ERASED anime Episode 4 - Fujinuma Satorou awaits Hinazuki Kayo in the snow

I’m melting!

My main reaction after each episode of BokuMachi is the same – “Why do I have to wait a whole week for the next episode?” Yes, episode 1 ended with a massive cliffhanger, and so did this episode, and episode 3 ended with a sort of ominous foretelling that was a bit of a misdirection, but it’s not really about that, because in my memory, episode 3 ended after Kayo and Satoru went to the tree. And yet, what I want, what I need is more of this show.

Continue reading

Winter 2016 Anime Overview – Week 3 (Anime Power Ranking)

Another week, and the number of shows I’m watching kept dwindling, so I actually checked out a new show! This season’s number of shows I’m watching is low, but the top end remains very high.

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) Boku dake ga Inai Machi / ERASED Episode 3:

Boku dake ga Inai Machi / ERASED anime Episode 3 - Fujinuma Satorou and Hinazuki Kayo under the Christmas Tree

This episode was good, once more! I really felt the absolute need to watch the next episode right after this one ended, only to find out that it doesn’t yet exist. Interestingly enough, the last time this happened to me was with another show directed by Itou Tomohiko – when I caught up with Sword Art Online’s first season around episode 17. Well, this was really good, and the emotional scene was very tightly directed. The music is very restrained for a Yuki Kaijura soundtrack, and the pieces seem almost copy-pasted over from Madoka, but as Satoru left Jun’s place, you could feel the mounting tension in the music.

Continue reading

Winter 2016 Anime Overview – Week 2 (Anime Power Ranking)

Second week is here, so which shows got cut cause I can’t stomach more of their badness, and what did I think of the other episodes? Read on to find out!

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) Boku dake ga Inai Machi / ERASED Episode 2:

Boku dake ga Inai Machi / ERASED anime Episode 2 Notes - Fujinuma Satorou and Hinazuki Kayo

This episode was really good. As good as the first one? Maybe it was, or the tiniest fraction lower, as this episode lacked the premiere’s “hook”, but had anything else. Strong direction and good shot composition were evident throughout, with many beautiful and/or impactful shows throughout. This was discussed somewhat back when Zankyou no Terror (Terror in Resoannce) aired, but everything in an anime shot has to be drawn, someone has to consciously think of it, so seeing characters through metal bars as they speak is very much a conscious decision by the artists and director, even more than in a regular film where if you film outside, these things are usually present in the actual locale. So, a lot of thought went into this show.

Continue reading

Winter 2016 Week 1 – First Impressions

Well, the new season is here, and I’ve watched a bunch of premieres. It’s time to tell you what I thought of each 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). I’m also going to give each premiere a couple of scores, “Premiere Score” for how well it did its job as a premiere (introducing characters, establishing situation, providing a “hook”), and “Episode Score”, for how well it worked as a regular episode. “Enjoyment Score” should be obvious.

1) Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinju Episode 1:

Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinju anime Episode 1 overview - Yotaro's toothy smile in the performance

Anime humor usually fails for me. Japanese humor routines also usually leave me cold. I also don’t hold any particular interest for Japanese culture over other cultures (but I do find most cultures interesting), so while I had high hopes for this show, aimed at adults and directed by a director I appreciate, I really wasn’t expecting to also be interested in its cultural content, the Rakugo performance. Imagine my surprise and delight when the highlight of this double-length premiere was a 10 minute long Rakugo sequence, where I sat through the final 7 minutes with a smile on my face, and chuckled and laughed a number of times through the final 3.

Continue reading

Winter 2016 Anime Season Preview and Expectations

Two weeks before Winter 2016 begins, which is a bit early for me, but it’s time to look towards the new season, and put behind us a season where there was very little of interest, and even then, several of shows I found to be of interest failed me as the season went on. This Winter is going to have 19 fewer newly airing shows than this past Fall season, so will it be our salvation? Read on to find out!

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.

Most of the information about the shows can be had from the helpful Neregate Chart. Since neither The Cart Driver nor Random Curiosity have their posts up yet, and since I was much more thorough with my research this time around, this is the most comprehensive overview of the upcoming season online right now. Have fun!

Sunday:

Dimension W animeDimension W – Poor Director Kamei Kanta, after directing Usagi Drop he went on to direct OreShura, Nanana’s Buried Treasure, and Saekano, the last of which I really hated. But even as I hated it, it was very well-directed, just directed on all the things I didn’t care for. Now though, he is joined by Suga Shoutarou, Series Composer for OreGairu (both seasons), Uchouten Kazoku, The Seven Deadly Sins, and Isshuukan Friends. I’d be willing to watch most stuff those two cook up together, but a gritty action-filled criminal-hunting, with some deeper musings on the side? Sign me right up. The lead reminds me of a cross between Lupin and Samurai Champloo’s Mugen. This show could be fun, and this show could be great. It might even be both.

The mangaka, Iwahara Yuji, wrote King of Thorn, as well. Promising.
Interest Rating: 2.5/3. I just hope “cyborg ally, might actually discuss deeper issues,” won’t turn into another Plastic Memories, or Tokyo ESP, that just flopped. But there are good people here.
Airing Date: January 10th. Preview.

Continue reading