I never really said anything after the first episode of most shows (the ones I didn’t end up reviewing or discussing in another post on their own, though some of these did but whatever) from Fall, so I decided to smush that in here along with my early thoughts of the new Winter season shows.
Ushinawareta Mirai wo Motomete – Dropped after thinking it over some more, never got to episode 2.
Denki-gai – Ended up being very boring uninspired fanservice and otaku pandering shit with nothing redeeming or even fun about it. Dropped after episode 2.
Psycho Pass 2 –
Hi-scool Seha Girls – Lacks all the charm and fun of GDGD Fairies, this is just boring so I dropped it. I’d like it more if the cast actually had characteristics remotely making sense for what they are representing, but sadly they don’t. In that regard (but no other way) reminds me a bit of how the Neptunia games are supposed to have characters and places based on real companies and console and also did absolutely nothing to make them represent that in some way. When you try to do something like that you have to actually make that connection where, I don’t know like whatever is representing 360 could keep being sick (because of all the red ringing the consoles were known to have) or something like that, not just…”I wear all black and am a twintailed tsundere so I’m Sony :)” or in this case “I am literally wearing parts of a Sega console on me, and so I am a Sega device”. Dropped.
Gugure! Kokkuri-san – Funnily enough, I thought I’d love this one and I did for about 2 or 3 episodes. Once they introduced the dog guy the whole show became a nonstop running pedophile gag and not in a silly lolicon way. It constantly has the guy trying very seriously to, and describing in detail how he will, have sex with the little elementary school girl. There are limits to everything and this character goes beyond what I’m willing to deal with. If it was a one time thing or shown in a more silly manner it’d just bother me a bit, but it was nonstop for four episodes straight and I finally couldn’t be fucked to see if it’d ever stop. It was also the ONLY THING that went on in the episodes, with very sporadic rare scenes or jokes WITHOUT that happening. Dropped.
Wolf Girl and Black Prince – Pretty good, not amazing but I enjoyed it and it was pretty damn sweet at times. Most importantly though, it was really nice seeing a shoujo romcom of this particular style for once – it’s been awhile since these were popular and they are some of my favorite types of shows, so while this wasn’t close to the best even in that specific subset it was still enjoyable. Also had a really great ED song. If you miss when like 75% of every airing anime was Kaichou wa Maid-sama like I do, then this is definitely worth watching.
Your Lie In April – My own words were “I think this is probably the most likely to be my anime of the season, and depending how it goes it’ll be in the running for AOTY.” and I regret them to this day. This series…I’d like to some day write a review and fully explain all the problems with this show, but simply put the main problem is that it’s incredibly repetitive about it’s melodrama – and when you just do one single thing over and over and over and over end up with an awful show, especially when none of the characters but one of the side ones is tolerable at all. 90% of every episode is dedicated to the main character whining about how his mommy was mean to him. I understand the POINT but the fact this spends ALMOST THE ENTIRETY OF ALMOST EVERY SINGLE EPISODE SO FAR is not how you handle something like that. How many times do I have to see this little shit have the same recurring imagined fall into the sea and having his ability to hear the keys stop? I GET IT. THIS IS THE 10TH TIME. STOP. I stuck with it though for awhile, and oh, he finally pleases his dead mother – but no, she comes right back up in the next fucking episode.
This show has no subtlety at all and the writing is piss poor. Every character is totally fucking vapid and very easy to hate and yet they continue adding in new characters without giving their prior ones any development aside “muh mom” and “muh secret sickness”. This show is fucking garbage and I hate it, I don’t just dislike it I actively fucking despise it. It’s pure trash, the manga is even worse, I tried checking that out to see how it’d compare and it clearly is to blame for the show being shit too. I finally dropped it just recently. Kaori better be fucking dead like the penultimate chapter of the manga is implying, she was easily the worst character in the fucking show. The one and only thing I can say positive about this is that the tomboy is cute (albeit wasted here and, while she almost had interesting development, the show randomly cut it off) and the OST is pretty great.
Shirobako – To quote myself from my biggest disappointments of 2014 post, “promises (and advertises itself) to be a realistic depiction of the anime industry but instead ended up being a neat idea at attracting new employees to the industry with loads of factually wrong bullshit and mass amounts of cute girls (also factually wrong bullshit). Hell, even the ‘hardships’ the characters face in it are totally made up or, the few that are realistic, are shown in an incorrect half-true sort of fashion. I might not work in the industry but I clearly know more about how it works than anyone who worked on the writing for this shit, and that’s sad.”
Winter Updates/Early Thoughts
Yes, this is actually a fall show, but because it’s still airing I’m just including it under Winter. Yona is essentially an action-adventure JRPG turned into anime (not literally, though I do hope this gets turned into a JRPG some day) with an incredibly developed lead girl, a great main cast, some good twists, and honestly some really very touching episodes. The entire arc about the blue dragon was some of the best both of this series and in both the fall and winter seasons so far and genuinely got to me emotionally. I don’t want to spoil anything, but this is very much something you should be watching, even those who might get bad vibes at the very early bits of the first episode – just keep with it and at least finish episode 1 before deciding if it’s worth it (though why you wouldn’t like it right away I don’t know).
The new opening is fucking awful though, not only is it lazily done with almost all of it being rehashed from the first (and even the original early version) OP, but the song…OHHHH the song. This show had one of the very best and unique openings of 2014 and damn did it ever fit this show perfectly – a really great traditional sounding song with no vocals or modern twist to it. This time we’re treated do some very generic techno and flashy effects shoved in randomly. I wouldn’t be surprised if the third opening just uses a Skrillex song at this point. However, the new ending song is incredibly good and done by the always wonderful Akiko Shikata.
Kuroko no Basuke Season 3
I love this series but season 3 is off to a pretty rough start and I’m not really into it at all thanks to the current antagonist (introduced fairly clumsily in episode 1) who is a total piece of shit and the show tries hammering this into your skull in every way possible instead of having any sense of subtlety. First he tries raping Alex, then beats the fuck out of Tatsuya, then just decides to choke Alex before we get a flashback of him also NTRing the shit out of Kise. His whole existence is also kind of obnoxious, never once did anyone mention any sort of roster change at the old school where the miracles went – and now suddenly this guy gets written in and everyone treats it like it actually happened when there were no signs of it being a thing at any point. He also does this gay thumb licking thing every 5 seconds.
On top of being the most poorly handled ‘villain’ in recent anime, he’s also kind of fucking terrible at basketball. Kise is easily the weakest of the generation of miracles, and this guy is literally just him – his entire ‘ability’ is the cloning technique Kise uses. Aside that his skill at basketball is on par with an average player, and the only thing different is some hilariously stupid (even by this show’s standards) pseudo-science of how he does your move so slightly differently that it throws off your rhythm and you can never do the move again. WHO CARES? He’s a TERRIBLE PLAYER who can only match THE WEAKEST MIRACLE. He’s literally a nobody and not a player anyone but Kise would need to worry about. I mean imagine if this fucker was up against Aomine or Kagami and pals.
And, as usual, the refs somehow don’t notice things going on that PEOPLE IN THE STANDS WAY BACK notice from all various angles too. The most incompetent people in this show and the biggest plothole every game anyone cheats at all are the fucking referees. Given how the police ARE NEVER INVOLVED EVEN WHEN HE TRIES RAPING AND KILLING PEOPLE, I can only assume the referees are also the police in this city or at least related to them.
It’s…”alright” so far, if that. I don’t care for the nerdy looking girl of the twin sisters, she’s obnoxious and incredibly easy to hate (which I do), but her sister at least has nice big tits and cute short hair. I also feel like they upped the pandering/circlejerk factor of the otaku team which felt less “heh we’re otaku characters” and more “HEY VIEWER, WE TOTALLY KNOW THOSE LIGHT NOVELS TOO, LET US NAME DROP ABOUT 30 IN A ROW NONSTOP FOR NO ACTUAL REASON ASIDE TO ADVERTISE TO YOU. ;) YOU SHOULD TOTALLY BUY THEM. BUY BUY BUY! ;)”.
Instead of focusing on the bad though, I want to say the way Celty is being handled this season is already really great – they really upped her cute factor this time around, and her girly behaviors. She also now has reactions from her smoke to things, which comes off as adorable. I also really liked how now uh…I forget his name, the doctor dude, is breaking the fourth wall and acting as a narrator. I assume this is in some form from the books, but whatever it is I think it’s great and the best part is it fits SO WELL into this series – it just feels RIGHT and not out of place at all. Aside that, everything else seems on par with season 1, but with a show like this it’s too early to say anything given how much stuff is always going on.
Love that they are using the recaps mixed into the OPs again, I really wish more anime would do that as it’s really badass and immerses you right into the story as it begins. Though overall the OP by itself isn’t that great, especially compared to the season 1 openings but thanks to the recap style they are using again it comes out as pretty awesome anyway.
ED is sadly extremely lazy, it’s just a rehash of the shitty ED in the same style in season 1 – though this time it’s even worse. The whole gimmick of that ending was how everyone is holding each other up or hanging off each other; a tower built of the show’s cast. This time they are just kind of there in dumb poses and half the time not connected whatsoever in any way, which defeats the cool visual that made the first one so popular.
Aside the OP, ED, and the shitty twins – my only real complaint is that the majority of the new cast members are designed extremely lazily and feel like they are extremely rehashed in how they look. For example Shizuo’s brother is just the blond boy with Izaya’s face slapped on, and the girl is just Anri 2.0. The latter is actually worse, given she not only LOOKS like Anri (minus Anri’s amazing boobs) but has a lot of the same backstory (not including the famous stuff of this girl) and current life as a serial killer that Anri shares as well. It’s kind of very lazy in this case. It feels like all the new characters are just slight remodels of the old cast with a lot more edginess thrown into their personalities.
Actually, I was going to say this is the same old DRRR but it’s really not, it’s a big step down in quality. Shitty OP, shitty ED, awful lazily thrown together new cast, incestuous twin lesbians (this is canon, by the way) who even make out in the show just to pander for sales, the two otaku from season one were made absolutely obnoxious and unlikable (if anything, I suppose this is more realistic but that just makes them horribly unlikable), somewhat rehashed story threads, and so on. I’m not dropping it or saying it’s BAD, but it’s very much less than what it should be and has a LOT of shitty elements now. Depending on how those elements play out, then it may end up bad, but right now it’s totally fine.
Dropped, though I said that was likely in the first place. It really is just Studio Wit trying to completely mimic – possibly even steal (do they think they’re that new kurobas guy?) – this retarded shitty style from studio Trigger. Terrible trash.
Shaft relying 100% on “le epik in-memes” about their productions by throwing in all their usual shitty directing and effects and head tilts to pander to their fans, mixed with (also fairly common for them) pointless and obtrusive fanservice shit and sexualization of absolutely everything possible. Not to mention the show is wasting great talent in terms of seiyuu. Dropped.
As a weeb I’m ashamed to admit I don’t know all that much about Japanese history aside vague ideas and a few specifics, especially not post-Nobunaga. I also haven’t played a Samurai Warriors game since the first one, so most of this show’s story is familiar yet new for me. So, in that regard, I’m enjoying it enough to keep watching. With that, I also enjoy watching the big army be ignored entirely because they can’t hurt you at all just like in the games (I play DW a lot and it’s the same shit, so I still know that much!). Nothing special, but it’s watchable and Lady Nene has big tits. I also like the OP and ED, as they are kind of generic and poppy yet the singing is done by what seems to be an Enka singer and she constantly adds a unique flair to the music with the undulating vocals.
Maria the Virgin Witch
I originally thought this’d be a so-shit-it’s-great, but then I saw the director was Goro Taniguchi (Gun x Sword, Planetes, etc) – one of my favorites. Then I heard the music – fantastic. Then the show finally aired and, well, it’s awesome so far and has the tone of a more serious and somewhat dark series – yet mixes in plenty of cute as well. I have to point out the great directing that he’s doing yet again, Goro has a very distinct style and it’s only gotten better over the years. Don’t be put off by the title as it’s just a play on the virgin mary (Maria the blessed virgin), this is not a fanservice show or something like that. Hell, even with a literal succubus who is shown to do her job plenty, there’s nothing in it that would really be considerable as fanservice or anything that feels pandery/lewd aside Maria sleeping naked.
There’s also a lot of stuff going on that isn’t quite clear yet, like what seems to be a sort of ‘turf war’ between Heaven as a whole and the Norse Gods, and then the witches who neither side wants involved because they have the power to change the natural order (putting Maria in the spotlight as a problem, as she continually stops battles from happening). It also deals with some serious shit and is very much a story/character focused series, as well as having a continued focus on the massive amount of hypocrisy in God’s supposed teachings and the bible along with how the church and heaven itself acts. It’s a show I would say is definitely serious and far from a comedy or slice of life or anything like that. Anyway, HIGHLY recommend this show, the story is really interesting, the characters are all well made (both as characters and in their visual design – reminiscent of the planetes styles), it has a great mix of serious and story/character drama mixed with some fun lighthearted stuff, a very intriguing story, an outstanding OST, great art, and it seems like there’s a lot of shit that’s gonna be happening that you won’t want to miss. Oh, there’s also some pretty cool battles that are accurate to the times and pretty exciting. Easily the best new show of the year so far. It also has HanaKana.
Kamisama Kiss Season 2
I can’t say much about the specifics for this one because it’s a season 2, so it’d be a bit spoilery, however I’m REALLY enjoying this. Season 1 is a show I only recently marathoned through and that I ended up giving a 9 and later putting to a 10. Tomoe also managed to, for now, get a spot on my top 10 favorite characters on my MAL and is even the only male on it currently, and I feel like Nanami deserves a spot too – but too bad! The romance and the way it’s handled is just so perfect in this show, as well as the way it’s not overbearing but well balanced – but the chemistry between Tomoe (and his personality on it’s own) with Nanami is outstandingly done. I strongly suggest that everyone check out the first season. It’s very similar to Fruits Basket in overall feeling (but not story, well I guess some parts are similar there too) and is such a fun, cute, sweet, and ultimately is a very enjoyable and incredibly ‘pleasant’ experience. It’s also worth mentioning that season 1 of this would without a doubt have been my anime of the year last year had I watched it just a tiny bit sooner. I love Baby Steps, but it would have been second place to this easily.
Season 2 is currently airing, and I was lucky enough to be caught up while it’s only 2 episodes in! Season 2 seems like it may have a more overarching story than 1 did, but everything else is continuing on as if it never stopped. Both seasons also feature really beautiful yet very bittersweet and unique sounding opening and ending songs.
Winter Overall So Far
It’s actually an alright season so far. There’s barely anything I’m actually watching, but what I am is all pretty great. Thanks to the small number of shows I’m keeping up with I’ve also got more time to catch up on stuff I’ve yet to get around to – like Spice & Wolf among many others, and I’ve even started reading manga again after a few years of not touching any for the most part. I just finished Karin the other day actually – avoid the show at all costs, but the manga is an easy 9/10. So this season has been good to me so far in regards to anime and manga, and I hope these shows continue going strong. Hell, not just these shows, but those to come later in the year – Spring already looks like it’ll be a great one as well.