Well, a lot of shows are about halfway done (okay, most are about 1 ep before halfway) and it’s been long enough since episode 1 for them all anyway that I felt like going through – as my feelings for many have changed a good amount from the first time I tried them out! Some will be fleshed out more than others, as some I just wasn’t sure what to say – THIS DOESN’T MEAN ANYTHING ON ITS OWN, like I really love Gangsta but I just don’t have much to say as an update as I don’t want to sit here really spoiling anything for these I just want to pretty much catch up on how I feel about the shows so far. This is all also written all over the place because I don’t know but WHATEVER.
While this show is really great and my original feelings for the show based on episode 1 still stand, I have to say the series feels like it’s taken a clear few steps down from what it set the expectations at with that beginning in the most recent episodes. It’s not that it’s bad, I mean hell it’s easily in the running for coming in my top 3 of the year even now, it’s just that it’s making some not great decisions. The main thing I’m referring to is this insistence on flashbacks which I feel totally break the tension as you already know the outcomes of them, and breaking the tension ALSO breaks the amazing atmosphere this show has had up to now. It was still doing great with a mix of flashbacks to give backstory to how things ended up how they are and how these girls ended up surviving together WITH the present time stuff every ep, that felt perfect. You got backstory, you got fleshing out of these personalities, and at the same time you got that atmosphere and tension of knowing they could die any second during those times we see the present.
Yet instead beginning at episode 4 they chose to just go full flashback and drag it out a bit too much with no reason for it. On top of that, this irrelevant friend character who we all know ends up dead (as she is dead in the present, or at least ‘missing’) just isn’t really a good character and wasting time developing a literal non-character is pointless. I don’t care about her at all and her reasons for doing some really dumb shit are “I’M TIRED OF NOT LEAVING THIS SAFE HOUSE I WANT TO GO OUTSIDE”. For a show that’s built upon really fantastic understanding of the mind under duress, this felt really out of place. Yet, again, this didn’t suddenly end up with a bad episode. It’s just that the whole overall feeling is so bland compared to the first 3 episodes, though still great just lacking so much of what the series has already continually handed to the viewer.
At this point I can’t imagine the show will end up better than an 8 or lower by the end (leaving that open for lower simply due to the fact this MIGHT actually end up getting bad and going in some stupid direction), but definitely still be a fantastic and very special series throughout – just not the truly amazing thing it had the potential to be. I still very much recommend this, it’s incredibly unique and handles atmosphere and loss of sanity better than pretty much any other anime I’ve seen.
It might be obvious from my earlier post about this series but this in no way lived up to what it set out to deliver and in fact became offensively terrible real quickly. With a very thick and unavoidable fog of nationalistic jingoism it’s near impossible to actually see anything else in this show. Even if you somehow fight past that you’re suffocated by otaku pandering like a goth loli with a “sexy” voice who is overpowered and dresses like an anime character (in a world where anime and cosplay don’t exist) along with some fanservice bath time. On top of all that is a very strange problem given the author of the novels is an ex-JSDF member, there’s a fuck ton of military inaccuracies throughout both about their methods, strategies, and their equipment and how it works. Based on the ultra-nationalism present here and the fact this guy knows nothing about even basic military hardware or forward bases, it’s pretty clear the author is just a xenophobe who was stuck working a desk during his time with the JSDF, blaming America for him not getting to go invade China again, and never did anything “military” outside of basic training.
Anyway, this show is pretty unwatchable because even if you somehow can personally ignore one thing or another, there’s 5 other things in the way, and all of them are just so in your face you can’t pretend they aren’t there. Goebbels himself could not outdo this author when it comes to nationalistic propaganda and putting it in a form that retards will eat up without realizing it, Miyazaki could not make a more childish attempt at a serious story, and only the likes of things like love live could match it in terms of otaku pandering. I have fully dropped this after trying to give it more and more chances to get better and it only taking huge steps at getting worse every time.
And yes, I’ve looked into the novels as well to be totally sure this won’t all change and maybe this is just some kind of commentary AGAINST the jingoism and nationalism present here that is a reveal later…but somehow it’s EVEN MORE nationalistic – he may as well have printed a book of just one page that had the Japanese flag and DEATH TO GAIJIN SCUM, GLORY TO THE JAPANESE EMPIRE scribbled across it in blood with a sequel entirely about how Japan did nothing wrong in Nanking because the Japanese were saving those sad souls.
Sore ga Seiyuu
Much like Gakkou Gurashi, this is a series I similarly really loved right away and now have a lot of worries about it faltering with the direction the show’s been headed as of late. This is a show about the life of three voice actors and showing a pretty accurate vision of their job, yet now it’s taken a turn towards idol-seiyuu which are a whole different animal and one I can’t stand and have no interest in. Even idol seiyuu that I do like I actively ignore their ‘idol’ side, but I have to say there are very few idol seiyuu that aren’t total shit in the first place. Basically, I don’t want to watch another idol series that just rarely mixes in “we work on anime sometimes too”. I don’t want to watch them do stupid fucking concerts, I don’t want to watch them interact with idol fans (the worst people on the planet), I don’t want endless recording sessions for their radio show. I want a series depicting the life of seiyuu – NOT idols. I should have expected this turn though as the writer of the 4koma is actually an idol seiyuu herself (though essentially a nobody with no real work in her entire history worth mentioning) but that doesn’t change how bad this could get. Right now though it’s still in some kind of middle ground between the two so I’m still enjoying it a lot as it’s very fun at this point – but not without concern. It’s not to say it’ll end up BAD if it goes that direction, it’ll just lose my interest is all. Still a great series currently though; cute, fun, and interesting.
Again I want to reiterate I’m just worried about how it MIGHT TURN OUT BASED ON PERSONAL ASSUMPTIONS but SO FAR it’s actually fantastic and I very much recommend it and I’m having a blast watching it.
Actually, without deleting all that but editing this in after another ep – this newest ep reminded me why I enjoy this show so much and it was a fantastic episode that really did just wash away my worries for the most part – though we’ll still have to see how things go from here. I said I’m worried about where this show might end up going but it feels like it’s covering every base possible – and that just happens to INCLUDE idol seiyuu rather than FOCUSING on them. This ep focused on an event as well as working as a seiyuu on a game.
With the newest episode they also did something really cool that I didn’t realize was going on that’s beyond meta. I’ve gone over before how these three new seiyuu characters are voiced by 3 real life new seiyuu, well apparently they are also making the Earphones idol-seiyuu group that the characters make into a real life idol-seiyuu group with these seiyuu who voice the characters. They’re completely mimicing the story with these girls in real life and I think that’s REALLY FUCKING COOL.
Working was always a fantastic series, but it left a lot of its main little plot strings hanging constantly throughout the first two seasons – this time around that’s finally changing as it is the last one after all. First we got a lot more development between Yachiyo and Satou and then surprisingly we finally have Takanashi both become more aware of his own feelings and actually get pretty much confessed to directly by Inami (without her realizing it, as she had a bag on her head at the time) and without any “I’m too dense to get who she meant” bullshit getting in the way. Inami’s subtle progress with her disability has also been maintained and we’re finally seeing all the small steps built up over the past seasons adding up – she even serves some men and is constantly pretty close to guys and Takanashi without even really noticing it. I wasn’t sure how they’d handle closing up these two relationships but it feels like they’re doing a great job of it and I don’t see it fucking it up now. Actually, it’s being a lot more forward than I expected – with Inami outright confessing (by mistake) and Satou doing the same (on purpose). I figured they’d still fumble around to a clumsy conclusion but it’s going really smoothly and nicely.
Durarara X2 S.2
I still feel, no, I feel even more like I have absolutely no understanding what the fuck is going on – and I know a lot of people like to say that exaggeratedly about a lot of things, but I really do mean it. I don’t have a clue whats happening or who about 90% of the cast is, and there are a lot of things that are clashing with things I’m 99% sure happened in the first season (like how come Dotachin doesn’t remember Celty? Why does Anri think Mikado doesn’t know about Saika being in her when they’ve dealt with that for several episodes together in season 1? Have I just totally made up events because this story is so much fucking nonsense and that’s whats making it make even less sense?). However, I’d say there’s been a couple really good episodes this second half of season 2 – both being fully encompassing stand-alone episodes for the most part. One about the most badass yakuza ever and his backstory and another mainly focused on Shizuo. They were pretty fun and it’s kind of those types of episodes that keep me watching this series as well as enjoying the feeling of being totally lost sometimes.
This is definitely in the running for AOTY this year and that’s just continued being backed up with each episode. I especially enjoy the recent developments, rather the recent backstory about these dogtag/twilight hunts that went on in the past and learning a lot more about Nico and what he’s been through. I also really like what’s going on with the prostitute lately. She started off as the insert for the audience, yet we’re seeing the effects of this shithole even on her, as now after seeing her old pimp killed and shooting the shit out of his body herself she’s got some crazy PTSD seeping in. Of course I really like the cute little girl who helps out at the clinic as well, and her bonds with the handymen. Basically this is still fantastic in every way and I look forward to it every week.
Aoharu x Machinegun
I said this was “ehhh” for me before but turns out this is a really great show and I like it quite a bit. The survival game aspect is handled totally realistically and is a surprisingly small focus – the show is clearly about the characters more than anything else. We get survival games and practice and going shopping for a gun and such, but so far I’d say there’s only maybe 10 minutes total of actual survival game stuff. When we DO get it it’s also handled great, it’s totally realistic about it aside a few sound effects and some other very slight things like Hotaru’s athleticism just to make it more entertaining (akin to putting sound effects in a show that takes place in space during a battle, so it’s not boring as shit) but nothing overly exaggerated really so it actually comes off as kind of interesting and fun. The rest though, so most of the show, is really about these three characters. Of course with this huge tournament coming up that could change, but I feel like it’ll continue being a solid mix leaning mostly towards the group rather than the matches. The main cast grew on me really fast too, and I love that Hotaru is one of the only very rare legitimate reverse tomboys in the entirety of anime and manga. I can name maybe two others and that’s it – you really can’t tell she’s a girl yet it’s totally believable at the same time, but it’s not obvious whatsoever and even watching it you can forget she’s not just a really cute and kinda effeminate guy. Anyway, this show is really fun, the cast is very enjoyable, and the action portions are presented in a great way too.
Rokka surprised me – as I said in the picks post as well as the early thoughts post, I felt like it was likely they’d go the typical Japanese route of “we can’t do mystery for shit” and telling you the answer, making it incredibly obvious, or leaving you hints you shouldn’t actually have yet all over for the viewer. Instead it not only opts to keep you knowing pretty much only what the main character does while leaving you completely blind outside of that, and then it actually provides a really great mystery. This is an incredibly fun to discuss and think about show with nonstop red herrings, false flags, and possible truths – yet as the show progresses not only do some things get resolved either with answers or solving how x or y is irrelevant, but you keep piling on more uncertainties. You the viewer, just like the cast and especially the MC, are lead to constantly assume things based on the info they have and (in my case at least, and I’m sure plenty of others) their experience with anime, manga, and Japanese media in the past…and the creators and writers KNEW YOU WOULD DO THAT and ABUSE it.
It leads you to constantly believe “well I figured it out, way too obvious” and then throw you for a loop yet again. A real mystery like this is something essentially impossible to find in anime, and having it in this setting makes it extra unique and makes room for a lot more ‘puzzles’ to be involved and fantastical elements to become relevant to finding the truth. I really appreciate this show for what it’s trying to do (and actually executing on it very well) and enjoy it a lot. Also Fremy is super cute and I can’t really approve of them treating her like such shit even though she is officially, canonically, and admittedly a serial killer.
Ushio and Tora
I don’t have much to say here aside that I enjoy this still. I’m curious to see where all the recent very public and even on camera fighting between Ushio, Tora, and various demons will go because he can’t keep this secret forever and now even one of the girls knows about all of it. I’m also interested in the small romance aspect between the tomboy and Ushio and I hope to see that go somewhere before this is over, she still doesn’t know about Ushio and the demons and all that either.
Akagami no Shirayuki-hime
I still can’t get over how much this reminds me of “The World Is Still Beautiful” but that shouldn’t take anything away from this – not only because that’s a fucking fantastic show but because this is certainly its own thing as well. I’d say shows like this are probably my top favorite style, yet it’s one that rarely gets new entries, so I’d say don’t miss out on this. The romance between Shirayuki and Zen is really progressing well so far and it keeps giving us really sweet and warm scenes between them. It’s just such a good feeling and very relaxing and ‘soft’ type of show that feels so nice to sit down and watch.
It seems like a lot of people think this is some huge disappointment or a massive failure of a show, but I’m not sure why aside retards thinking Nasu and Urobuchi are some sort of master writers and pretending this show is below their usual quality – which is just personal stupidity rather than a bad show given those guys can’t write to begin with. Anyway, Chaos Dragon is alright – it’s nowhere near great and it’s not really something you need to see, but it’s totally fine there’s nothing offensively shitty about it. There are as many great things to say about it as there are real shitty ones, that being none at all. It just is what it is and what it is is fine. There’s some cute and sexy lady designs, there’s some legitimate /ss/, and there’s the best character design now being rehashed onto two women who both ended up dead and looked identical (however there is no twist, they were just lazily made).
I dunno, it’s fine and I don’t dislike my time with it but you can definitely tell the mish mash of all these bad writers worked out about as well as you should (though based on what I said earlier, most somehow don’t) expect ending up with a slight clusterfuck of nonsense, random deaths for an attempt at being edgy and grimdark, a lot of childish shit in the lore, and a story you can’t really follow all while still being somewhat entertaining. I see no reason not to finish it, I like it just fine. Oh, and of course Urobuchi’s character is insane and actually evil all along and it was obvious from the moment we saw her character design. He really has lost all his ability to be subtle – though she is pretty cute so I don’t mind her.
The awkwardly obvious 4koma jumping around within the eps is still around but it’s definitely something I’m already used to. I still think it’s either lazy or just that they didn’t realize it was done kind of poorly, but yeah it doesn’t really draw away from the quality of the content itself. This is easily the cutest show in a long time and I actually really like the comedy in it, with a lot of it drawing on unique humor mixed fully with the cute aspects to create a really happy upbeat show. Of the cast my favorite is by far Sylphynford, the name alone is enough but she’s super fucking cute too and I always hope for more of her each episode. Once you realize Himouto and Umaru are literally two separate creatures (though the same person) and that the munchkin form isn’t just a “stylized form” but a LITERAL MAGICALLY MORPHED INTO THING that she can somehow do right in the canon, it becomes a lot more silly and enjoyable too. The whole pretending to be her own little sister to one girl and now also an anonymous gamer rival to another is really fun.
Jitsu wa Watashi wa
I’m glad I’ve stuck with this as it turned out really great. It’s not actually a harem at all and there’s only two legitimate love interests – one of which already rejected him before the show even began and who is now genuinely totally fine helping him get with the girl he currently likes. That isn’t the point though, this is primarily a comedy with some weird aspects to give it a new twist so that it doesn’t just have old overdone jokes. With a vampire, talking glasses, a wolf man, several others we’ve yet to meet – and of course the very best, a little alien in a big mechanical body suit, you have so many new avenues to take typical jokes. It even skips out on some obvious stuff, for example at one point the MC has to sneak into the girls bathroom for story purposes to save this one girl basically, and during this any other anime would have him get caught even just as he runs away just as a quick throwaway thing. Here? Nothing, they don’t bother because the situation itself is such a fucking joke in the first place given he’s going there to rescue the out of battery outer body of a tiny alien girl with a cork gun because she thought he was talking about having sex with this other girl all night and it made her unable to charge herself during lunch.
I feel kind of bad for Aizawa because she pretty much ruined her chance with the boy she NOW is falling for, as she rejected him already, but I’m glad they aren’t making this some romance drama at all so that won’t end up sad really.
I’ve compared this to The Hero Yoshihiko a lot by now, and I still stand by that. Actually, this goes further into the meta of JRPGs than Yoshihiko ever did – that was a show focused on poking fun at cliches and tropes within those games, this however covers that AND concepts that only are there due to the players. Like the most recent episode where the girls need money to afford a new staff to deal with this boss and realize they have a shit ton of elixirs that they’ve never used because “we might need them later”. I don’t know a single person who plays JRPGs and doesn’t refuse to use their elixirs or similar items that are rare and incredibly good with the idea of “there might be a really hard boss later on I’ll need them for” while continuing this thought even through the final boss because there might be another FORM of the boss even. It’s something ingrained into the minds of most people who play these. Then they sell them, buy the staff, and double down with the fact that now they have no healing items, no elixirs, and manage to find a chest with the staff they sold them all to get inside – another thing anyone who plays JRPGs would know is pretty common, there’s almost always the new equipment being sold in town findable in chests in the next area. The show is really funny, sometimes goes way further than you’d expect with the lewd stuff, and manages to poke fun at JRPGs and the players incredibly well for being a short ecchi comedy.