Spring 2017 Anime Season Preview and Expectations

Holy smokes, the spring 2017 anime season began today. Where did time go?! Also, did I really not publish anything since the Winter Season Preview? Turns out that is the case. Real life was busy, mood was low. But things are looking up, finally. Anyway, it’s time to look towards the new season, and put behind us a season where I watched literally nothing, though I looked forward to quite a bit.

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, 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). I planned to write only when I really had something to say this time, but turns out, as always, I had a lot to say.


Uchouten Kazoku Season 2 anime - The Eccentric Family Season 2 anime 2Uchouten Kazoku 2nd Season / The Eccentric Family 2nd Season – Uchouten Kazoku was my 7th favourite anime series in the very strong year of 2013. And although I didn’t dedicate an entire piece to it, I did touch on its storytelling in my piece on Kyousougiga (Capital Craze). It was a story about loss, and family, and trying to fall in love. It got very emotional at times, while being silly, or ponderous in others. A good show. A second season? I’m watching, you can bet on it. Of special note is that season 1’s Series Composer Suga Shoutarou (OreGairu, Isshuukan Friends) is not working on the second season, but has been replaced by Higaki Ryou, who worked on the first season’s script, and also worked on Kuromukuro, Another, and Dimension W. Feels like a definite downgrade. Also, for those who don’t know, it’s based on novels by the same author as The Tatami Galaxy.

You can read my notes for the first season here, which are much shorter than my usual notes, as I only wrote them after watching an episode and not as it aired – didn’t want anything to get between me and the show.
Interest Rating: 2.5/3. A more serious yet not overwhelmingly so show. Comfy and emotional, no idea what the second season is about, but I’ll check it out. I do hope the change in Series Composer won’t be detrimental.
Airing Date: April 9th.

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Kyousogiga / Capital Craze- Families are Cycles Without End

Kyousougiga is a very interesting show; it’s interesting to watch, and to discuss. Not only that, but I consider it to be excellent, enough that I’ve given it the title of “Best Anime of 2013“. Kyousougiga is a family drama, at its heart, but it does very interesting things with the structure of the show, and it also ties them to the theme of the show, to its heart, which is what I will discuss in this write-up (the structure of which is also giving me a hard time, as every single thing relies on the others).

Kyousougiga / Kyousogiga / Capital Craze anime

(This is a Things I Like post, it’s not a review, but more a discussion of the show and of ideas that have risen in my mind as I’ve watched it. There will be spoilers of many major plot-points. I will also include some spoilers for Uchouten Kazoku (The Eccentric Family), but mostly discussing what is the premise of that show.)

I think that before discussing the themes, it might be best to discuss the overall structure of the show.
Episode o0 – is a remake of the original ONA/OVA content, but better animated, for the most part. It explodes with energy and colour, and is hard to follow, or make a lot of sense of. If you don’t like it, still proceed to episode 1, where the tempo is quite different.
Episodes 1-2 – We get to view the family, and we get to see Koto’s background. The energy here is still more or less boundless, but here we get to see this is truly a story about family, here we get some structure, and some poignant moments.
Episodes 3-5, and half of episode 6 – These are the siblings’ stories. This is getting to meet the world through its principal characters, this is meeting the family.
Episodes 5-7 (Yes, there is overlap)- This to me is the true heart of the show, we get to see what this story is about, we’re bombarded with richly symbolic moments that show us the true undercurrent of the show, we get to have some resolution, and we have build-up for the final confrontations.
Episodes 8-10 – The end-game. The mask is dropped, and all the players in this little play are exposed for what and who they are. “Mythic” doesn’t begin to describe the scale of what happens. But in the end, all the themes are laid out explicitly, and the family-drama nature is shown to have been the crux of the world, of the story, all along.

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Top 13 Anime Shows Ending in 2013

Well, the year is ending, and I’ve actually watched a large amount of anime shows ending this year (over 60), so here is my list of the top 13 shows which ended in 2013. The shows and their positions are factored by how much I enjoyed these shows and how good (artistically, thematically) I think the shows are. Only full shows had been considered, no OVAs or movies of any sort. The names link to the show’s description and information on My Anime List (MAL).

13. Aku no Hana (Flowers of Evil)

Aku no Hana / Flowers of Evil anime

This show is all about atmosphere. An oppressive atmosphere of self-inflicted fear, of being closed in, that one can’t escape. Not much actually happens in the show, but the constant fear of what is about to happen, of what is going to strike our protagonist drives both him and us as we watch the show. It’s hardly a “fun watch”, with each episode weighing you down until you seek respite elsewhere. Its masterful control of psychological horror and how well it conveys Kasuga’s life and the feeling of the town in which he lives make this show one that cannot be ignored, however.

It seems that had there been a second season a lot more would actually occur, and all that happened in this season was merely a precursor, but due to exceedingly poor sales, that is unlikely to happen. The rotoscoping is interesting, but believe it or not, the show I believe is closest to Aku no Hana is K-On! due to its absolute reliance on atmosphere over plot or character development.

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12 Days of Anime #11 – They Still Make Mature Anime!

As a somewhat older anime fan who’s been watching anime for a while, I sometimes reflect on who is anime aimed at, such as in this post about demographics. I confess to finding myself cranky and cynical, when shows aimed at “adult men” most often depict high school girls being “cute”, and the more thought-provoking anime often end up relying on sound-bytes of philosophy and gore to show us just how “mature” they are and are even ostensibly marketed towards teenagers.

Uchouten Kazoku / The Eccentric Family anime

Uchouten Kazoku showing us a rare level of self-reflection within anime.

Moreover, while anime is a medium, it often feels as if proper dramas are sorely missing. We have comedies, romantic comedies, action – both of the physical and of the thriller varieties, and we have mysteries. But dramas, of the kind where we get to know characters, and in more than just the tear-jerking capacity are sorely missing. As such, there’d been a few shows I was pleased with in particular with a few shows I’ve watched this year:

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