It’s that time again; most new shows have started airing, so here are my thoughts on those I tried out. There are two shows not here that I haven’t been able to try, Etotama which hasn’t aired I think, and Kekkai Sensen which I don’t know if Funi released the first ep of yet or not (I think they licensed it though?). I’ll include them in the update I make in the next month or two after more episodes of these have aired if they’re available.
One episode isn’t much to go off of, but I’d like to be able to make an ‘update’ post about what I’m following this season in the coming months – which has become harder given shows got shorter, so those ‘updates’ would be halfway through shows sometimes and it was a bit silly. Anyway, here are my first episode impressions. Surprisingly all but 2 of these are available on CR, and those other 2 (Arslan Senki and
Baby Steps 2
Baby Steps was my AOTY last year and Natsu from it was the best new character of last year as well, so it’s easy to assume I’d love this – and I certainly do. It feels like (and literally is) a direct continuation and there’s no noticeable differences outside of a somewhat higher budget (no more crap CG in the background, not yet at least), so you’ll feel right at home like the show never stopped airing once you start the episode. I was a little disappointed that the OP uses the same song as last time, but its a great one and the video itself is new and very good so I don’t mind all that much. We also see a lot of heavy implications of Natsu and Ei-chan getting together finally in both the OP and ED, so hopefully these don’t end up false promises by the end of the season. I was worried the Florida arc would go on for half or even the entire season, but he’s only there for 2 in-universe weeks and with this show you have months skipped within episodes half the time and in just episode 1 of this season we already had spent several days at the training camp.
No complaints here, everything is as it was in season 1 – and I wouldn’t want it any other way. Obviously if you haven’t, you need to watch season 1 first as this is a very direct continuation, and if that’s the case I’d very much recommend giving the first season a watch and catching up quick. Oddly enough this is the only show that’s done the opposite in terms of the cheap cg dolls – while almost every single other show airing this season (with only about 2 exceptions) clearly has them, this used to have them and now got rid of them entirely so far, which is a great thing.
Season 2 starts off with some more of the best part of this series – silly Engrish, and it goes on throughout the first 10 minutes or so (albeit intermittently). This is what you’d expect if you’re a fan of season 1, everything is the same, the characters haven’t changed, the style and pacing is still how it was. It’s good, and I do like that they moved the classrooms around a bit to give some chances for new jokes between characters who weren’t often used together for much (like Alice and Inokuma).
I don’t like the new teacher though who seems shoehorned in for absolutely no reason, which is a problem pretty regularly with continuing seasons of slice of life shows like this. They always tend to think they have to add a character or two and they always feel needless and lower the overall quality of the show. Here it’s not horrible but the character herself isn’t that great regardless. I especially dislike the fact that she’s dressed super serious, talks about being professional, and then nobody at all mentions the fact that she has her hair in the style of an 8 year old’s.
Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?
Thanks to the shitty title I figured it was another shitty harem fanservice show and was gonna skip it, I just tried it because nothing else was on CR yet from this season at the time and the art looked really good.
First, contrary to the title it’s not some ecchi harem – both in terms of ‘so far’ and in basic research showing it just factually isn’t, so that alleviated one of my biggest issues. Fanservice, which was my second biggest likely issue, is pretty tame here. It’s got some skimpy outfits and some really big breasts that do tend to bounce like they are in a Dead or Alive game, but with the exception of certain scenes its not really a big enough deal to count as even somewhat negative. It’s just kinda there rather than in the way/overly pandery or necessary in order to sell the show.
The setting is really cool as it takes all the stereotypical RPG/MMO tropes and puts them into the ‘real world’ of the characters – there is no meta shit like SAO, LH, or .Hack. They live in this fantasy world with all these fantasy game elements, they even have their stats imprinted on their back via magic and level up through grinding in the dungeon – they aren’t in a game or anything, this is just the way their world is. It’s handled really well and gives a unique feeling to the show that I like quite a lot. The characters are all likable so far – even one I thought I’d hate the moment she showed up – the art is actually really nice most of the time, the music is fine, the main character is actually surprisingly very likable, the character designs are pretty great ranging from unique to typical (but good all around). It’s still early, but I think I like this show and I’m glad I didn’t skip out on even trying it like I had planned. Story wise it actually feels like it has one, and there’s already a love triangle formed as well. It’s nothing AMAZING so far but I do like it and it’s pretty neat. I definitely recommend giving it a try.
Shokugeki no Souma
This is the opposite of above and hilarious for the exact same reasons I thought that would be bad. This was a show I actually was kinda looking forward to, as the cooking genre doesn’t get much love these days outside of pastry shows which pop up from time to time…and it turned out to be complete shit. It’s just a totally vapid fanservice softcore hentai with nude huge tittied women having orgasms and literally squirting everywhere while moaning wildly and so on. I’m not even making that up – that screenshots straight from the show. Every time someone takes a bite of food they literally go into sexual ecstasy, but on top of that they even have scenes like one in the first episode with a squid very clearly tentacle raping a girl. It even spreads her legs wide and shoves two tentacles in there that slam in and out of her for a couple seconds before the camera changes to other things its doing to her.
This is LITERALLY a shitty porn, it’s not even just innuendo or implications. This is not even “sexually suggestive”, it’s just straight up low quality porn. Don’t watch this – if you want to masturbate there are a lot better alternatives, and if you want an actual show (let alone food related anime) this is not worth touching. The animation is trash, the art in general outside of the food is pretty bad, and yeah – its a shit porn, that explains it all really.
Enchousen was pretty much complete shit, but outside of that the entirety of Gintama is a fucking masterpiece that perfected the marriage between legitimate “laugh out loud” humor and some of the most touching and intense drama and action possible, so hopefully this season follows in the footsteps of the vast majority of the show rather than the most recent chunk of it. The first ep is right back into the usual and you’ll feel right at home if you’ve watched Gintama up to now and are up to date, hopping in again finally. We even get a throwback to Yamazaki’s SPARKING and finally Ketsuno Ana showed up again along with Otsu, both of which were kinda missing in the Enchousen and the apostrophe one for the most part and both of which I’m a big fan of so that was cool. Anyway, it’s more Gintama and I’d rather not spoil the episode – if you’ve seen Gintama and are up to date, this is delivering what you want and expect on every level – if you haven’t done that then go do it. Already very fun and delivering laughs.
Much like in the world of basketball, colorful hair makes you vastly superior to those around you and gives you unbelievable skill and talent in Gunslinger Stratos. Blue hair, pink hair, blond hair, a giant red pompadour – all of the cast have these and more while everyone else in their society has normal realistically styled brown hair and yet they are treated as if they don’t look any different at all. This is normal in anime and has been for ages, so why complain about it now? Because the MC constantly throughout the entire episode repeats how he doesn’t want to stand out and wants to be a sheep and how happy he is that he does exactly that and nobody notices him – it’s incredibly ironic and the series doesn’t seem remotely self aware on this point.
For reference, here is an image of how 100% of non-main characters look:
…and here’s the most ironic thing of 2015 – especially when its repeated 20 times in the first 10 minutes of the show.
As for the show itself, it seems fine I guess. No real issues at all outside of the show nonstop telling you how normal this boy is and how he loves uniforms and such because he blends in all while he doesn’t and neither does anyone he actually talks to. Aside that though it really is just alright so far. The art seems average at best, with even some of the very first moments of the show being full of “QUALITY” and a few CG models but not bad for the most part. The story, as you’d expect from an adaptation of an arcade rail shooter (if I remember correctly), isn’t anything spectacular so far and features a lot of dumb shit. I don’t care for the siscon bullshit either, if I wanted even more fucking incestuous characters I’d just kill myself instead of watching anything. I also find it silly that moments after being shown some futuristic hover-mobile we see a fucking ghetto ass Ford Aerostar going by as if we’re suddenly in downtown Los Angeles during a Lakers game.
So, I don’t know – it seems okay and I’ll be sticking with it for now (though probably end up behind every week for a few days), but not something worth bothering with if you weren’t interested already. The parts I really did like and made me want to find out more of whats going on in this story would be the part at the end with him falling somehow into essentially real-world 2015 and also finding another version of himself shortly after. However with a show based on an arcade rail shooter I can’t imagine this story – which seems to have some pretty good potential to be honest – will go anywhere, and the ‘fighting’ in this episode was terribly boring to watch and the worst part of it which doesn’t bode well given it’s likely an action focused show. It might get cool but right now the most I got out of it was constantly hearing the carrion crows from Bloodborne in my head every time the crows were attacking the girl or MC.
The story here is basically about androids with souls in them, but those ‘souls’ run out of time every 9 years and their memories and who they were are completely erased. The MC and crew are people who go to retrieve the ones who are out of time and take them back, so they’re basically reapers who go around “killing” and collecting when time is up. Part of the job also includes trying to talk the ‘owners’ of these androids into letting them take them, which sometimes isn’t easy as they become very attached as lovers or family members. The story sounded like it could be a pretty touching show, so I wanted to give it a shot – but then promo art and such had a lot of fanservice which made it seem more geared towards being something that is focused on dumb shit rather than those “human-drama” situations. Luckily, the show seems to actually be about that rather than anything else, and it handles it pretty well – you could really tell how the job affects the crew and the others who work with them and it does actually get kinda sad even in the first episode.
Isla is really cute and I look forward to learning more about her as we get to know just enough about her here to make her seem both like she’ll be a sad (she has a job where she’s facing her own future end every day as she’s one of the androids too) and very fun character (she’s like half retarded, it’s cute as shit). The girl back at HQ in this ep with short hair and actually realistic light makeup (rather than ‘anime makeup’ where its always super obvious and over the top) is real cute, and everyone else seems alright too. I do think it’s kind of funny that there’s an adorable kuudere with silverish-blue hair and a tsundere with long red hair and little ‘ears’ she wears too. It can’t just be me who finds that really familiar. And while I do say it actually is pretty serious, there is plenty of more lighthearted content as well – such as Isla “jumping” across to another side of a big apartment and just falling straight down like an idiot and breaking a bunch of shit. In some ways it reminds me of Planetes, especially in terms of the set-up (new employee with no idea about the job they just got ending up in some scrappy department with a laid back crew and dealing with jobs that can be pretty awful feeling in the end) and how it feels like it’ll attempt at a good balance of drama and fun without feeling like either is forced or out of place.
This isn’t a feel good show, nor is it one that’s really bittersweet – it’s just bitter mixed with bits of comedy and the former will likely always be more prominent. It’s not the type of show you should watch just for the laughs or to ‘feel good’, but if you want something that actually feels well made and like it has a purpose and a meaning to it then this is worth picking up. I’ll definitely be watching more of this one and really liked this first episode a lot and I just hope this doesn’t end with Isla’s time running out as the final ‘case’ for the MC.
I think this is a pretty fun and cute one so far. The main character is a girl who can see and talk with spirits and those around her are aware and accept it (lots of things prove it and they can see them sometimes too such as in mirrors – so nobody thinks she’s insane or anything), she’s real cute, her friends are real cute (especially the short hair one), and the spirits can be cute too. For example there’s a murder victim who tries being creepy to passerbys but with her she reminds him she has to get to school and he just starts asking about how her classes are going – or at school one of the spirits opens a door for her then when a boy who clearly has a crush on her comes by it slams the door when he’s in the doorway and smushes him. This type of thing continues and it’s always funny, cute, or cheeky and charming and it’s just a genuinely enjoyable time. The way the characters are designed and colored gives a nice feel to it as well. I really recommend this for a very comfy and relaxing 24 minutes of chuckles and feel-goodery with plenty of fairly unique humor simply thanks to the subject matter. I don’t have much to say simply because I’d have to spoil more cute things or gags, not because of any negative reason.
I was looking forward to this a lot as I certainly love my shoujo romance shows and this seemed like a unique and cute concept for one, not to mention shoujo with male leads are pretty rare. It’s really cute, sweet, and fun so far and definitely something I recommend trying to anyone who likes shows like this and anyone interested in trying one out. It feels like the other side of your typical shoujo romcom, instead of closely watching a girl in love try to get the boy she loves to love her, we’re seeing the half-retarded male love interest not understand like they usually do and hearing/seeing the logic that causes it. In this case there’s also a love triangle seeming to form between MC loving this girl, her loving him, and the friend of MC who most girls usually fall for (ones that MC typically has crushes on). It seems like the usual formula but with a refreshing twist on it and really just a totally lovable already main character and romance interest. These two are both really adorable and fun to watch and I really want to see the development of their feelings and hopefully the culmination of them. With how totally fucking deeply they are already into each other, I wouldn’t be surprised if we get an actual coupling between them before the end too and then get to watch my personal favorite style of romance anime – those that actually showcase a couple rather than trying to become one. But I don’t know what is to come, it might focus on this ‘love triangle’ but no matter what it really feels like this’ll be a nice show to watch.
Also the music is by SENS Project, which did the OST for Kimi ni Todoke too – and while that is literally the definition of “misunderstandings the anime” the show was still good and more relevant, the OST was fantastic.
Uta no Prince-sama 3
What can I say, really? It’s more UtaPri. I like this series for the same reasons I always have – incredibly vibrant and unique art that is top notch in terms of quality as well, great voice acting (especially from Sawashiro), adorable lead girl, and a cast of fun dudes who sing fun songs. It’s not for everybody and it is most definitely a show for fujoshi which is something I’m not, but I’ve always enjoyed it regardless and so I’m watching the new season. The first episode spends most of the time having short meet ups with each main character and Haruka to reintroduce the viewer back into the show and all that, and I felt like it was done pretty well with a cool backdrop. Each little meeting was just a way to remind you that all these dudes like her and that she likes all these dudes but is a good girl. Also a good reminder of Norio Wakamoto because why the hell is he in nothing but this these days? Still love the op/ed (not sure which it was, seemed more like the OP but played at the end – but it’s episode 1 so who knows) on stage with the hilarious fucking screams and moans of fujoshi in the ‘crowd’.
I also like that it just keeps proving shit like Love Live has no excuse to be how it is, given this is a thousand times better in every way from voice acting, singing, art and animation, and overall story – yet they’re essentially the same thing just aimed at the exact opposite audience. It seems that fujoshi are surprisingly less willing to buy whatever turds you slop on a plate for them than otaku are, so the shows for them have to NOT be totally vapid and hilariously cheaply produced.
Meet the same cast as every single thing this mangaka has ever created on a journey that once again takes some part of history and changes it around just enough to make it not a retelling of real life events. This show has a hilariously low budget based on the almost constant use of shitty low-budget CG dolls throughout the episode – I’d be a little more forgiving if they didn’t handle it how they do. How do they handle it? Well, instead of something like Samurai Warriors which relied on this a lot due to its budget yet made sure to show them as little as possible and only use them when necessary while keeping the camera away and all that, we get very zoomed in close up shots for upwards of 5 minutes straight with swooping camera shots like it’s a hollywood film to make it dramatic and it feels like the director thought the awful CG characters were really fucking cool and something to be proud of. So hell, maybe the budget is fine and whoever is in charge is just fucking retarded and thinks that actually looks good – or maybe they think if they copy Love Live’s godawful “animation” and “art” this’ll be more successful. It feels like you’re watching some bible program for children.
Aside the nonstop laughter from that, the show seems average. The story feels very run of the mill (and awkwardly similar to that of Akatsuki no Yona in many ways), the cast seems equally typical (while also being rehashed designs – as always with this creator), and there’s just not much to it. It is what it is, and it’s not BAD but it’s not GOOD either, it’s just fine. It feels like FMA really was the only thing this woman managed to make that was actually worth spending time on, given everything else of hers I’ve read or watched adaptations of has been pretty shitty. Again though, this is alright, so I’ll keep watching. Definitely not something to be excited about though and I can’t say I have any sort of feeling of “oh man I can’t wait till the next episode”.
Seraph of the End
This probably has the most chaotic first 60 seconds of an anime in years and it comes off as accidentally hilarious for it because it just keeps escalating in the same spot – you go from a dude dying on the street all the way through various worse and worse events ending up with the entire city destroyed and on fire. After that it does get pretty interesting though – humanity has been culled, except the virus that was spread to do it somehow didn’t work on children under 13, and so the non-humans that spread it come and collect them. Those “non-humans” happen to be vampires, and the virus didn’t affect children because they needed blood, so the kids were all gathered and now are essentially blood cows who get harvested regularly again and again. I assume they wanted them to be children simply due to the fact that kids aren’t a real threat while adults are. Them being kids really adds to the tense atmosphere as well. The art is really nice when they aren’t using the CG dolls, and I really like how the backgrounds all have a hand-painted look to them yet it doesn’t clash in a bad way with the characters at all. Character designs are all pretty great so far as well, and there is a lot of top tier seiyuu talent in this one. Biggest complaint so far: who the fuck didn’t think to bring Hiroyuki Sawano in on this project? This is just begging for his music. *Edit: Apparently he IS doing the music, which is great news.*
It’s an interesting setup, the first episode doesn’t pull any punches, and they’ve totally got me eager for the next episode. However, with the next ep preview I’m not so sure how this’ll go, so we’ll have to just wait and see. Hopefully it stays as good as this start though. But yeah, this really got me into it fast and feels similar to how it felt watching that first episode of Aldnoah (bleh) and that first episode of Attack on Titan (aw yiss) – and not many shows really manage that. Though one of those ended up total shit and the other really fucking awesome, so while I am excited to see more I’m keeping from getting my hopes too high till I see a little bit more.
The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki
Yuki was always my favorite character in Haruhi, and I loved how a lot of scenes in it (and from what I hear, in the novel and movie as well) heavily imply she is actually the one that is God rather than Haruhi – so seeing a spinoff for her is something really great to me. I was never a big fan of the original show anyway because Haruhi as a character was incredibly unlikable and soured the whole series, so this seemed like a really great thing that I’d like a lot more. However, I don’t really know how I feel about it being centered around that not-Yuki version of Yuki, the one that’s entirely not the Yuki that I like so much and is just a random ‘shy moe’ personality thrown into her body instead. It doesn’t fit her and the thing I liked most about her was how well they handled her kuudere personality compared to the lazy archetype that personality usually comes off as, so it’s jarring for me.
The personality change bothers me and it keeps putting Yuki barely on the right side of the line between cute somewhat shy girl and ‘loser who deserves to be bullied into suicide’. So far at least she’s actually pretty cute and likable and has more to her than shy loser and just happens to look like a nerd and be a quiet type. Yes, this change happens in the novels as far as I’m aware (just like this whole story), but if you know that LNs exist then you know they are written for the same exact otaku who think Madoka is a deconstruction and that KanColle is a masterpiece. Anime or LN doesn’t matter – the sales demographic for these types of stories is the same and so the pandering is as well, and this change already feels very much like it was done exactly for that which makes it feel sort of bad even when she is cute.
Regardless, I enjoyed the episode so I’ll be continuing with this. It was nice hearing Minorin again after she’s basically been inactive aside from her main career (singing), and I look forward to hearing Aya Hirano again as she may be a massive slut (and loves being labelled as one) but she was always very talented at her job. In terms of art, I have to assume a lot of people probably are bitching about the new style but I honestly think it looks great. Yes, it’s different, but it’s done well and looks as high budget as when KyoAni was doing it for the most part. It also gives the show more personality, as Haruhi just felt like it looked “like a KyoAni show” rather than “like Haruhi”.
My only real gripe aside the change in Yuki’s personality (which I knew was coming, so whatever) would be the needless fanservice already being shoved in and, worse, how it makes no sense. In this first episode we get a pretty long and focused scene of Yuki’s bare stomach down to her hips and “vagina bones” up to the bottom of her breasts, which alone annoyed me a bit but was made a legitimate issue the moment nobody actually cared UNTIL her bra showed a little. You can’t expect me to believe this shy girl who can’t even handle looking the guy in the eyes without blushing would be so fine (she was totally unphased, not even lightly blushing or fighting against it – actually holding her arms up to make taking her top off easier) with the boy she’s in love with seeing inches away from her vagina and entire midriff. The next ep preview clearly shows someone – probably her – wearing a real slutty ‘santa’ outfit too, so I can only hope it only lasts a short bit and isn’t as terribly handled as this part. Fanservice already annoys me as it is when it’s pointless outside of shows dedicated to it, but its objectively shit when they don’t even make the situation make sense – at that point it’s 100% pandering rather than serving any sort of purpose.
I also want to say that I think the strangest thing I’ve seen this year is Yuki Nagato wearing Uggs. At least they’re cute, unlike the fucking glasses. I hate girls with glasses.
Houkago no Pleiades
In my very small experience with shows sponsored very directly by car manufacturers (One Off basically being it) they can be surprisingly good. In this case we have a show that Subaru is producing wherein a girl named Subaru and loves the Subaru’s logo – oops, I mean loves the stars – gets involved in some kind of magical girl story along with some other girls, some weird androgynous guy(?), and has Rina Satou as a cute mom for about 10 seconds. Oddly enough there really is nothing you can even tie to the car company at all, unlike One Off which had made something good out of the focus on their vehicles. It made it a show about pushing your boundaries and figuring out your future, all while somehow attaching that to the scooters and the freedom they provide, and it did it well. I think the way they handle it here doesn’t work nearly as good and feels, somehow, even more like they’re trying to draw attention to their product somehow in a less honest and far more nonsensical way. It’s not terrible but I found myself mostly disinterested throughout the episode and I can’t really say I recommend it unless you’re very much in the mood for a mahou shoujo about a nearly obsolete automobile manufacturer. It feels kind of like a skeezy advert that’s trying to use subliminal – but very obvious – messaging to get Subaru on your mind, their logo burned into your memory, and to remind you that both Gainax and Subaru still exist. Aside that it’s also just the most generic run of the mill mahou shoujo possible and I’d much rather be watching a new PreCure or something instead.
That is an actual screenshot from the show – let this be a sign. This is something anyone should already know is just fap fodder – so the only real thing to see here was if it had nice quality art, kept the style of the artist, and how the animation is. If that was bad it’d be worthless, as fap shows without good art are just really shittily made porn. In this case it’s, I dunno, it’s too average looking to really bother with. This is a case where the original artist even does actual hentai doujin, so if you want to explode your donger just go look up his porn as it’s a thousand times better than this thing. You’d assume shows knowing they have no reason to exist aside for people to masturbate to them would actually put their budget focus on the quality of art and sexing up the girls, but here the characters are all very dull and flat, there’s no erotic appeal even as these heaving breasts that are barely covered are in your face you just don’t feel anything about them. This also features more fog censorship than almost anything else – instead of it being light fog around the important areas you just can’t see 90% of anything on screen aside faces because the entire screen is pure white. Maybe if the women weren’t so lazily animated I’d be at least a tiny bit interested in seeing the uncensored BDs but they aren’t, and when you consider the original art its all the more disappointing. Don’t bother with this one even for a fap.
I never actually finished Ranma (I didn’t think it was very good) or sat down for any real period of time with Inuyasha aside catching a pretty good amount of random episodes on TV from time to time, so I don’t really have solid experience with Rumiko Takahashi’s work, but I was looking forward to trying this anyway. Oddly enough the lead character’s story is pretty similar to that of Re-Kan – she can see spirits and such that nobody else can. In this case though she ends up helping a guy who can also see them (and has various tools for this sort of thing) send souls to the after life and fight evil ones, either ones they meet on their own or ones people at school ask and pay for his help with (not that they know its him). The girl is voiced by Marina Inoue so I like her already, and the guy is pretty funny thanks to being totally poor which leads to some fun moments in this first ep. I like it so far and it definitely feels like what I was expecting in that it feels very much like an older series – something you’d see coming out in the late 90s or so, which serves to give it a unique charm in both the overall feeling and in a lot of the writing as it’s got a lot of that “all ages” comedy and appeal to it. I’m glad to see the cute lady from the introduction of the episode will be back thanks to the next ep preview – and based on the opening and ending she’s probably important too.
This is actually a really busy season, which after years of most seasons having maybe 3-5 shows I was interested in, it’s great. Some of these don’t look amazing but are at least fun and it’s been awhile since there’s been this much worth watching at once. I might have to actually put some off “for later” simply due to how much there is, but I’m gonna try keeping up for now at least because it just feels good that “there is too much I want to watch” is actually an issue again after so long of the exact opposite being the problem. I’m most looking forward to more Baby Steps of course, but even with the sequels excluded this is still a good season. I’m also pretty sure Ore Monogatari is going to be the best show of the season and possibly be in the running for a top spot in my AOTY lists – but we’re still early in 2015 and the show itself so we’ll see.