Summer 2015 Anime – Early Thoughts

Well the new season of anime has begun yet again so I’m doing one of these again! Obviously as usual this is just my impressions of either the first episode or the first two episodes of these shows, then I might make another post about them later around halfway through, review them after they end at some point, or just never talk about them again even if I happen to really love them simply because I never get around to it. Anyway, let’s get started. This is in no particular order, by the way – aside the first 3 which I had separate posts about.

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[HorribleSubs] Gakkou Gurashi! - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_11.07_[2015.07.10_02.30.24]

Gakkou Gurashi – Definitely worth watching. This is, depending on how things turn out from here, easily top of the running for anime of the season and a very likely candidate for anime of the year. It handles some incredible themes really well, manages subtlety better than most, and is very cute to boot. Check it out without reading anything about it, it’ll be so much better if you do. See my more fleshed out thoughts so far HERE – but only if you’ve seen the episode!

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GATE – Very flawed and overly-nationalistic. See my full thoughts so far HERE. Since this post I’ve actually dropped this.

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Sore ga Seiyuu – Very fascinating, actually accurate unlike Shirobako, and very fun so far. See my full thoughts so far HERE.

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Working!!! (Season 3)

I don’t have much to say because it’s the third season of a show, it’s the same as always in the best ways possible. The first episode was fun with the cute little loli from various episodes (and one focused one on her) last season and both of the missing family members almost being found between Otoo-san’s wife and the Yamadas almost running into each other yet again several times…though of course neither of those things ends up with them actually meeting. One thing I did notice is that Kyoko’s seiyuu is doing her voice differently, probably just needing to get into the role again – she’s still great and you can still hear that very distinct sound she always had, it’s just higher pitched or something.

Just like season 1 and season 2, the art is different again – however this time around it’s much more similar to the art in the prior season than season 2 was to 1 which was changed much more drastically. My only complaint so far is the OP feels lazy. The first season had an iconic opening song and video – the WAN WAN everyone loves and extremely fluid high framerate sequences throughout. Season 2 went a different but similar route, with PAN PAN and instead of some of the most fluid animation outside of UFOtable decided on a more silly video. Season 3 though song wise is just bland, and the video is a lazy mish mash of rehashed sequences from 1 and 2 while also executing badly on those from 1 as the framerate is just a normal choppy one so there’s just some janky movements all over. It’s just an OP so it’s not a big deal.

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Durarara 2 Season 2

More Durarara, see above but switch “best ways possible” to “all the same retarded stuff”. The episode was fine but it was just another mish mash of dumb shit. I don’t really know why I still watch Durarara but I somehow enjoy it while I’m actively watching an episode unless it focuses too much on edgy shit or gets too confusing and introduces another 200 characters. Sadly the episode was mostly centered around Izaya and a few random new characters being introduced, so it falls under both of those issues. We did get some fun moments with Celty at least and Izaya’s trolling by using the police was actually kind of fun.

Oh, the OP is godawful by the way. Literally one of the worst I’ve seen in a long time. The video just has random clips with no cohesiveness or continuity while the song is just incredibly boring and FAR too slow and laid back for Durarara, let alone for the video you’re seeing at the same time. Last season’s OP was already a step down as it is, but it was still okay, this one is just plain shit though. The same applies to the ED – the song is fine though, but the video, yet again, clearly shows the staff have still not grasped why people loved the original ED so much while still trying to copy it. There is no cohesiveness from character to character and some are even off just floating on the side while most are just unconnected entirely. The whole point of the original ED was to show in a fun and unique way that all these characters are literally connected and in one way or another effect and hold up or push down on each others existences. It was fun to look at but also was a cool representation of a show with such a huge cast by reminding you they’re all important and all pushing and pulling on one another even indirectly. Now it’s just “here’s a scrolling character list with one or two sometimes holding another character”.

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Gangsta.

This was a really great surprise. I expected this to be nothing worth touching and only checked it out on a whim based on the name making me laugh. I figured it’d be incredibly edgy shit and possibly that “mature” type of show in the same way Berserk is “mature” – aimed entirely at teens who think pointless violence, gore, and sex is somehow adult material while actually being the most immature childish shit imaginable. However, I love organized crime and such, and yeah, it seemed like something worth trying if only to laugh at. Instead of remotely bad, this turned out to be genuinely cool throughout and it felt very reminiscent of Black Lagoon in overall tone and style while, just like Black Lagoon, managing to avoid being edgy about it.

Both leads are very likable already as well and I really love how one of them is fucking deaf which is pretty unique for anime at all let alone for a character like this. It makes him intriguing and also even more likable – while actually making him even more intimidating as well. There’s a scene in the first episode where he ends up getting really serious and pissed so he forces out some dialogue which – as a deaf person – ends up coming out slurred and enunciated wrong all over the place. Usually this sounds terrible or even hilarious, but here he manages to make it sound actually more badass and dangerous than if he could speak normally. On the other side of that, it’s shown clearly he cannot work on his own and that the almost fully muted world around him is treated as the danger it should be.

[Underwater] Gangsta - 02 (720p) [BDBE7152].mkv_snapshot_03.12_[2015.07.10_15.48.11]

The first episode also makes it clear that while they take on just about any contracts they are, aside that, at least somewhat good people all the same. The chemistry between Nico and Nina is really great too. Speaking of which, yeah, there’s a moe in this.

The music is fantastic, the art is nice, and yeah I like it quite a bit so far. It’s got an overall feeling to it that really grabbed me and I already wanted to see more of these guys. The OP and ED were pretty much the best I’ve seen so far this season as well – the OP is cool and kind of hilarious (drugs, literal prostitutes, and guns just falling down the screen all at once), and the ED has a real greatly done feeling to it.

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Aoharu x Machinegun

This is still an “ehhh” for me and I’d recommend not bothering for now, albeit I’ll personally be trying an ep or two more before deciding for sure what to do with it. The lead girl is cute in looks, voice, and strength – but she annoys me too. The fact she constantly refers to herself in the third person is obnoxious within the first half of one episode so I can’t begin to imagine how bad it’ll be by the end with her having said it hundreds of times an episode, as she so far has barely said a sentence without saying her fucking name in it. Luckily CR just changed that to I but you still fucking hear it. As for the voice saying it, like I said, I really like that part of her. She reminds me a lot of this version of Shikieiki Yamaxanadu’s voice which I always thought was the best and cute, so it helps me like her: https://youtu.be/arP18TqPZnc On top of that she’s pretty cute and a well designed reverse trap, no frills.

Aside that, it’s interesting to see a shounen lead by a cute girl but also one filled with bishounen. That does make me a little intrigued but not enough to keep watching if it’s bad. I’d say right now this is straddling a line I can tolerate but I don’t know how long – much like Sabagebu which I couldn’t be bothered to finish either even though it wasn’t BAD either, just ended up a chore. The thing keeping me watching is really just to see if this has a story or if it’s truly a meaningless meandering shonen focused on retarded toy gun fights rather than that but with a real story as well. I’m already behind on it.

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[HorribleSubs] GOD EATER - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_06.51_[2015.07.12_14.28.05]God Eater

I know jack shit about God Eater aside that the one I played a demo for on PS4 had a really cute tomboy with like 80 hair clips and a giant hammer (she is not in this anime as far as I know) and it was enjoyable but I don’t know any of the story, setting, or anything else. That being said, the show is something I’m still not sure about. The art is really awkward even though it’s UFOtable – they tried both keeping the budget down while also trying to mimic the art style in the games. While for a CG focused anime this does look far better than usual and is a great direction for that all to head, this still comes off as really janky and awkward and you can tell it’s just not perfected. Retards who are saying everywhere “this isn’t CG” – it factually is, actually all of UFOtable work is complete CG and this just happens to have an awkward style and lower budget than their usual stuff.

As for the show, I dunno, feels okay I guess but the art style, the cg work, and the characters – none of them are really grabbing me. I really would prefer a Freedom Wars adaptation as that has a fantastic setting, story, and characters that are all very unique and full of cool shit like massive propaganda and such, while God Eater is a lot more ‘generic monhun clone with some guns’ that some people are already treating as a ‘ripoff of attack on titan’ which is silly as God Eater’s original game in Japan and the first published chapter of AoT released at nearly the same time.

Anyway, I really don’t know yet if I’ll be watching this or not, we’ll see.

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Rokka – Braves of the Six Flowers

This seems surprisingly alright. The original concept of 6 chosen warriors going to fight a demon lord but with a seventh showing up and being a secret traitor who has been serial killing the possible “Braves” so that they can’t fight the demon – and this is an aspect that the characters have to figure out. That seems cool and really I hope they go the mysterious route with this while laying down small easily missed hints as well so we can piece it together as viewers and figure out who we believe the traitor is. I knew nothing else about it though until it aired, and I’ll say I like the setting and world too – it’s very JRPG-esque. A super powerful demon appeared, killed everything, and before humans were entirely wiped out a goddess appeared, pushed him back, and locked him away. Now he’s coming back and the goddess chooses 6 people who have her powers and who have to kill or lock it away yet again – fighting various fiends along the way and dealing with a potential traitor.

Luckily those people, well the two we know well enough to say so far of the 7, are pretty great. The main character has that slightly-annoying main character in a JRPG style arrogance and childishness while still being ‘cool’ style to him. The princess is very likable too and based on basic logic she can’t really be the killer – so out of the 7 we’ll end up with we know there are only 5 actual candidates for who to not trust. We also met a very cute one named Fremy who uses a rifle and reminds me a lot of Neiya from Infinite Ryvius in her design. I don’t think she’s the traitor either. Acutally, I really hope it’s not who it seems to be – as there is an edgy “obviously the bad one” character introduced this episode too, who happened to be “hunting the braves hunter”. If it’s him that’s just way too lazy!

I liked the overall atmosphere and way it all felt, the art and animation is nice, and yeah everything about this felt like it’ll be a great adventure with HOPEFULLY a good mystery of “who is the traitor” that, again hopefully, could possibly give the show a very unique tenseness throughout. Even if they do blow the whole traitor aspect, the show itself has a pretty good start to a possibly fantastic adventure. I’d say give it a shot.

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Ushio to Tora

I heard a little about the manga of this a while back and didn’t really grasp what it was at all. I imagined a serious more violence focused old school series set in a fantastical past-Japan or something, and assumed I’d end up dropping it after an ep or two. It turns out this takes place in the modern day and is a very lighthearted show that just happens to have some demons and some fighting that isn’t even taken seriously. It’s pretty great so far and has a really nice atmosphere to it, the chemistry between the human boy Ushio and the big charmingly-dumb demon Tora is already pretty fantastic as well. Also the two friend girls are cute and share a fun chemistry between them, as they both really like Ushio but are aware of it, and one just likes teasing the other about it all the time rather than having an active interest in ‘winning’ him over her, as she appears to be a good friend who has less interest in Ushio than she lets on and more just likes messing with her best friend in a cute mean little way. Overall this seems like an old-school lighthearted fun series with some already good cast members to continue building on.

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[HorribleSubs] Akagami no Shirayukihime - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_22.34_[2015.07.06_17.43.51]

Akagami no Shirayuki-hime

This reminds me A LOT of another show I watched recently, “The World is Still Beautiful”, which while in premise it was far different is very similar to the way this seems to be headed as well as in how the first episode was. I really liked that show so I feel like I’ll really like this one – and anyone really liking this I’d recommend trying that out as well some day. Anyway, this seems like a really nice and I don’t know – I guess “free and vibrant” feeling series, and that’s a great thing and something that is kind of missing these days having been replaced by slice of life 4koma adaptations instead. It’s fantastic so far and I highly recommend trying it. Probably my third favorite show of the season after Gakkou Gurashi and Gangsta. I could say more but if this is the type of show you’d like it should be pretty obvious so I’ll keep this one short – but don’t take that as it being bad, it’s awesome and really has a feeling to it you don’t easily find in anime these days.

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Chaos Dragon

The premise here is essentially a D&D game between Nasu, Urobuchi, the DRRR/Baccano creator, some nobody doujin creator, and some other literally who ended up interesting enough to them that they decided to write a light novel series about it and this is the adaptation of that. The main 6 (one of them made 2) cast members are the characters that these guys played at in their role playing tabletop adventure. I think the idea is pretty cool even though almost everyone I just listed is kind of lacking in talent or misdirected in how to use the talent they do have, even so I figured this would be worth checking out. Turns out, it was. This is nothing amazing by any means, but it’s certainly kept my interest and drawn me in – and the influence of the three guys I do know is plain as day here, especially Urobuchi and Nasu, the former I imagine being the one who primarily wrote the novelization. It’s got some twists you won’t expect, got some messed up shit in it, and is pretty entertaining. There’s a cute shota, there’s legitimate /ss/, there’s all sorts of fun things.

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Himouto

A cute n’ mushy little monster roams around a house, watches movies more properly than Japan will ever admit, has an oddly very accurate depiction of the Playstation 3 XMB, and is great fun. I do have to say it’s a bit awkwardly put together though and should have been split into shorter episodes or something. A 4koma can sometimes be turned into a natural feeling show or at least one with some flow even if it hops around from joke to joke – but here it really feels disjointed and every couple of minutes it feels like the reset button is getting hit. It’s awkward and not as fluid as it should be and it kind of bugs me in that way, but it’s nothing major or anything.

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 Jitsu-wa-Watashi-wa-Header-001-20150410

Jitsu wa Watashi wa

My favorite thing about this show it it’s title, as it might just be the WORST title for anything I’ve ever known of. “Actually, I am”. Yup. Even in Japanese it’s the fucking same thing. What a stupid fucking title.

That aside, the show is enjoyable and the cast all seem to be monsters of some type rather than just the obvious vampire girl and so it might be harem – but perhaps a silly enough one to be enjoyable. So far the cast is likable and strange enough to make you want to know them more, the art style is…odd but done nicely, and the voice acting – actually I really love the voice acting. It’s done mostly by completely new seiyuu and I’ve always loved when shows take that risk and bring new talent to the table at their freshest before they get pidgeon holed into certain roles or the director forces them to use the same voice in every role.

This seems really cute and silly and like one of those rare harems I can actually find a way to enjoy.

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Joukamachi no Dandelion

This feels…well it feels like it’s arriving 10 years late to the medium. It reminds me a lot of shows from the early-to-mid 2000s, and I don’t mean the top quality stuff but the middling material. This is alright, but there’s not much to say really good or bad about it. It’s fine, I’m watching it but probably going to fall behind and catch up randomly. I also don’t really care for the main girl’s motives for wanting to become King, as what she wants are things that would ultimately be taking away from her people simply to make her feel a little happier personally – but maybe that’s there on purpose as a plot point for her to eventually overcome. Another one I’m already behind on.

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Prison School

I’ve followed the manga of this for a good while now – well “followed” like every few months just getting through a handful of chapters to catch up with what’s out, and I always enjoyed it. It’s incredibly lewd and pulls it off better than I’ve seen out of any of it’s competition, yet at the same time it can sometimes be really funny. It’s not hilarious or anything, but the comedy is solid and the over-the-top silliness with the characters taking everything overly serious even when it’s the dumbest fucking thing in the world aspect of the story and characters is reminiscent of the satirical style of the Jojo series. I enjoy it – HOWEVER – this series is fucked for now until the DVD/BDs are available. This is a show that RELIES on the lewdness and the mass amounts of ecchi content. Even if you’re a girl or even if you don’t like seeing fanservice, well first off why the fuck are you watching this, but more importantly even then the censoring job here is TERRIBLE – it’s the HUGE sun rays out of nowhere that block half the screen at any point they’re there. It’s not some subtle smaller censorship.

Yet, even more important than that is the fact that THE ENTIRE SERIES IS FOCUSED AROUND THAT. That includes the story, that includes the character development, that includes the comedy. Every aspect of Prison School depends on that lewd content being there in full force. By censoring that you’re censoring the show’s entire content indirectly.

While I don’t advise touching this at all, that’s only true right NOW. Once this is actually out uncensored I’d say, depending on how well they adapted the humor aspect and how well done or not the art of the lewdness is, that this is worth checking out at that point for a good laugh and for a good time for your donger. Save it for later, don’t touch it now.

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 [HorribleSubs] Bikini Warriors - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_02.26_[2015.07.07_14.25.26][HorribleSubs] Bikini Warriors - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_03.29_[2015.07.07_14.26.31]

Bikini Warriors

Speaking of good donger times, this is a short that goes over the misadventures of a party of 4 girls who wear the best armor they can get their hands on – BIKINI ARMOR! The great thing about this is not actually the big juicy tits in your face the whole time, but the fact it’s poking fun at women’s incredibly contradictive attitudes about how they dress and is fully aware that its satire rather than a serious show for people to slap their dicks to. It’s a fun few minutes.

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Wakako-zake

Another short, this time about a cute young lady who goes out alone at night to various bars to eat a good meal and drink some drank. It’s very cute and it’s a relaxing little thing with an adorable alien for a main character. Definitely a great way to spend a couple of minutes.

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Dropped Shows

  • Charlotte
  • Wakaba*Girl
  • Danchigai
  • Classroom Crisis

See my thoughts on them and why I dropped them HERE.

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Well, that’s it. I say it but this is a pretty fucking busy season, all this along with a few continuing shows from last season on top of that. I can’t imagine not falling behind on some of these as I go, but I’m gonna try my best to not have that happen though really with ~25 shows at once that’s not really possible. I hope it all turns out great either way – this year has been fantastic for anime as it is.

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6 responses to “Summer 2015 Anime – Early Thoughts

  1. While I liked the risk Jista wa Watashi wa took with new voice actors, nothing about the show caught my interest, so I quickly dropped it. Felt the same about Dandelion, and have to agree that Himouto felt poorly paced, so both of them have been dropped too.

    Seems the only slice-of-life shows I’m still watching have zombies or superpowers in them.

    Like

    • I think Jitsu’s older feel makes me keep with it, it’s nothing outright special but it feels derivative of stuff from the mid 00s in a way that makes it relaxing and light.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yeah I think like Kyoko’s seiyuu is starting to get back into it maybe? I’m not sure but I think it might have changed slightly more towards what it used to be this 2nd episode. If so good?

    Oh and WOW? Aoharu X Whatever ended up being about toy gun fights? WOW the description didn’t say anything about that did it? Sounds like it’s another show that was pretty different than advertized, but luckily it sounds like it’s not BAD like Classroom Crisis is. Don’t think I’ll bother tho. OH ALSO, THANKS FOR LINK THAT VIDEO?

    Still upset about the mass censoring of Prison School, I’ll totally watch it when the BDS are out? Oh and wow I don’t really have high hopes for God Eater now?

    Like

    • It sometimes looks cool how well they mix the typical background art of UFOtable with this weird style, but then usually it just looks BAD and jarring. Everything else seems so “okay” that I don’t know if I can handle the art style for it or if I should even try.

      And yeah I wouldn’t bother with aoharu? I mean if it ends up good I’ll SOMEDAY find out but I doubt it, it’s “fine” and probably will stay that way.

      Like

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