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?

Continue reading

Winter 2015 Anime Overview – Weeks 4-6 (APR)

This was supposed to go up on Wednesday, but between my cat having surgery (4 teeth removed), and me finding myself busy with all sort of things, it was delayed. I’m going to cover 2-3 episodes of each of the currently airing shows I’ve watched over the past three weeks, the cutoff is this past Wednesday. Next week will hopefully have an editorial, the mid-season post, and then we’ll go back to normal, including a post on Hyouka and another on rewatching Neon Genesis Evangelion.

The shows covered will be Assassination Classroom (Ansatsu Kyoushitsu), Death Parade, Durarara!!x2, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders Egypt arc, Junketsu no Maria (Maria the Virgin Witch), Log Horizon S2, Shirobako, The Rolling Girls, and Tokyo Ghoul Root A.

Shows listed roughly in order of how much I liked the episodes in question.

1) Durarara!!x2 Shou episodes 3-5:

Durarara!! X2 shou episodes 3-5 overview

I love Durarara!!, and I love the way in which its stories are told, how they are just presented, and it’s not the action through which the story is told, it’s not necessarily the events occurring, but the way characters and storylines intersect. We have an increasingly large cast of characters, and rather than dilute the broth, or mean things take longer to occur, it feels as if the opposite is taking place, with me feeling as if one episode contained enough material for three distinct episodes, and none of it feeling rushed or ignored.

Continue reading

Winter 2015 Anime Overview – Week 3 (APR)

Week 3 of the Winter season, but most shows only had two episodes. Still, we’re starting to see the season (of Durarara!!’s return!) shape up, and it’s not at all bad! There won’t be Yuri Kuma Arashi (Lily Bear Storm) this week, because being sick, I postponed watching it. The write-ups this week are pretty long, so I’d like to hear your thoughts – would you rather have a single paragraph summary of my thoughts, perhaps with a link to the 3-4 paragraphs detailing more thematic breakdown, or do you like all the text?

As always, links in title are to full write-ups (for very few shows this time around), while the shows are ordered by how much I liked the episode, compared to the others.

The shows covered will be Assassination Classroom (Ansatsu Kyoushitsu), Death Parade, Durarara!!x2, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders Egypt arc, Junketsu no Maria (Maria the Virgin Witch), Log Horizon S2,  Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata (Saekano), Shirobako, The Rolling Girls, and Tokyo Ghoul Root A.

1) Durarara!!x2 Shou episode 2:

Durarara!!x2 Shou anime episode 2 overview

So, let’s start with the obvious question – how is it relevant for us to hear of all the new Raira academy students in order to understand what’s up with Celty and Shinra? And it’s obvious, because all the stories in Durarara!! connect to one another. Celty’s money was found by the twins, who ran into the man Shizuo smacked silly (and here we see the “Damn thieves!” moment from the previous episode), and who might end up being treated by Shinra. Everything relates to the Dollars, and Mikado is going to meet with the other student who wants to be in the dollars, and is now involved with the twins…

Continue reading

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:

Continue reading

Winter 2015 Anime Season Preview and Expectations

Fall 2014 is over, and I’ve barely watched any series, roughly 7. But enough with that, the season that just ended was apparently pretty great, but we need to look ahead! Winter 2015 begins officially tomorrow, with Tsukimonogatari’s release. Most everything else begins on January 4th, which is next Sunday. This season is a bit sparse, but continuations (Shirobako, Parasyte) and returning shows (Durarara!!, JoJo) pick up some of the slack.

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, since I might pick or not pick a show up based on how busy that day is. That’s only sensible.

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, or information on shows I didn’t cover (such as follow-ups to shows I don’t watch).

Sunday:

Junketsu no Maria / Maria the Virgin Witch anime Winter 2015Junketsu no Maria / Maria the Virgin Witch – The Hundred Years’ War. Maria decides to stop the war by summoning a succubus and incubus to sleep the armies’ commander into a happy stupor. Heaven intervenes and decrees Maria will lose her powers if she were to lose her virginity. Manga-based. I am often tired of “non-humor gags” that proliferate through anime, but I actually laugh at many such gags when they appear. Speculative pick of the season for me. Of special note is the director behind the show is Taniguchi Goro, knows as the director behind Code Geass and Planetes. Not exactly known for comedy, but a solid pick.
Interest Rating: 1.5/3. I’m not a huge fan of anime comedies, but I do enjoy them when they work. It seems the combination of humor and comedy might work out for me. Hope springs eternal.
Airing Date: January 11th. Preview.

Continue reading

12 Days of Anime #5 – Tokyo Ghoul’s Finale Was Stunning

Tokyo Ghoul started out strong. It had gore, it had violence, it had some of that “I’m going to show you sexy stuff”, all that makes one think a show is trying to pass itself off as “mature”, but is anything but, right? But if you read my notes for the first episode (the only ones I published), you’ll see I actually saw something there, it reminded me of werewolf and vampire stories, and how often they’re used as allegories for sexual awakening, or of growing up. I saw something similar in Tokyo Ghoul’s premier.

Tokyo Ghoul Anime - Kaneki Ken

The question at the heart of any story about growing up, and also many horror stories.

Now, aside from horror at what the protagonist has become, horror at the world he’s found himself from, which seems to be the tension and hallmark of most psychological horror, this show did indeed have quite a bit of a “shounen battler” feel, which wasn’t the greatest. At least they spent most of their thematic time on the topic of recreating horror, of people replicating what has been done to them, and that the true horror is how people treat one another, how they “Other” each group they don’t belong to, and allow themselves to replicate the atrocities that had been done to them, an endless vicious cycle.

Continue reading

Summer 2014 Anime Season Week 11 (Anime Power Ranking)

Hunter x Hunter, I’m caught up! Two series reach their conclusions (finally), and other shows amble about.

Weekly impressions for Akame ga Kill!, Aldnoah.Zero, Barakamon, Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya 2wei!, Hunter x Hunter(2011),  JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders, Sword Art Online II, Tokyo Ghoul, and Zankyou no Terror (Terror in Resonance).

Link in titles leads to full-episode write-ups. Write-ups ordered by how much I enjoyed or thought the episodes were good.

Barakamon episode 10:

Barakamon anime episode 10 overview - Handa Seishu is having fun

This episode continues the ideas expressed in most of the series, but especially in the 8th episode, where Sensei watched over the grave of Naru’s grandmothe. Handa is part of the crowd, happy to help with building an anti-typhoon wall at the behest of Naru’s grandfather, how he has a phone-call while taking care of the girls as if they were kittens, how he goes with them to their spot to watch the fireworks…

Continue reading