Summer 2017 Anime – Halfway Impressions

Yet again I forgot to ever make a picks post and so instead I’m going the route of a halfway impressions post because they’re more informational anyway than just saying what I’m gonna try and because by now I’ve already seen enough to have significant thoughts on most stuff. You’ll notice this time a lot of PTW’d shows because most of the stuff I’m “dropping” this season is less of a drop and more of just something I really don’t want to fucking bother with right now – but maybe some day. As usual this won’t include CONTINUING shows and also if I say anything like “best of the season” keep in mind I’m consciously not including My Hero Academy 2 because it’s not from this season even though it’s most definitely still airing.

I wrote this over multiple weeks and days with random little chunks being written here and there, so if it seems off or clunky that’s why.

 

Welcome to the Ballroom

The show seems pretty good, actually it seems like it could be great and I was enjoying the cast and story. The problem lies in something you should notice upon playing the episode even just right away – the necks. I get that it’s the style but that’s exactly the issue, it’s unavoidably in the majority of the show and it’s just something I can’t look at. I’m genuinely not saying this to try and be funny or make a joke, let alone shit on the show which actually QUALITY wise the art looked fantastic, but there’s a very real visceral reaction that I have to the way the people look in this show that makes it uncomfortable for me on a deep level. You hear “uncanny valley” a lot but it’s usually exaggerated in that nobody tends to really FEEL what it requires – that strong uncomfortable, uneasy, upset feeling like something is terribly wrong – but it’s something I got every second of this show from the necks. There’s something so inhuman yet human about the characters looks overall mixed with that shit and their necks aren’t just alien length they also look snapped, it’s just really fucking upsetting to me on a level that I can’t explain. So, sadly, I won’t be watching this – I hope it’s good for those that can look past the art, I’d love to look past it if it didn’t hit me in such a seriously messed up way.

Hajimete no Gal

Let me be absolutely clear; gyaru are pretty much my absolute number one “fetish” (if you can call it that) of all time. I love absolutely everything about the lifestyle and the fashion sense and have been a massive ‘fan’ of gals since I was a kid and first saw them in anime – sadly I can’t pinpoint who was the first, but I do know I’ve loved them a very long time. They’re so goddamn hot, even a lot of the ganguro types. Plus, I might not seem the type but I’m actually pretty into fashion (even if I’m not fashionable personally) for some reason and I’ve always just loved the way they dress for the fashion aspect as well rather than purely finding it attractive, which probably is part of what lead me to a certain girl who happens to be tomboyish and wear a gal’s most notable item – loose socks. Anyway, aside from showcasing my degeneracy, I mention this because I’m really disappointed. This show could have been something really fun, cute, and even sexy – and instead, the show with all these heaving tits (I love those too!) ends up being one of the flattest things I’ve seen in awhile.

The main male character is a completely generic harem lead who, for some reason, is praised by the anime community as being some unique thing because he’s horny. That’s not unique, it’s also not really a great thing to make your entire character from without anything else to him. He’s lifeless aside “I want to get laid” – it’s a pathetic self-insert harem show that happens to feature some fairly hot gals…and that’s just not enough for me. If I want gal porn I can go look at the like 5 same sluts they use in all the gal JAVs or the billion doujins about gals – I’m not BOTHERED by there being a lot of fanservice here, but it’s ALL that’s here and it’s also all censored. Sure, censored in a fun way, but still destroys the only appeal of the show. Even then, it’s just not that great of service – it’s randomly thrown in in the most literal way possible with the director blowing his whole load showing them having sex in the boys imagination in episode 1 already…for no reason. They weren’t in any sort of place or context that could lead to that, there’s no reason for the imagined up scenario, it just happens out of nowhere and it really goes way too far for being the start.

They already delivered the maximum fanservice they can in episode 1, there’s straight up sex, so what’s the point of sticking around? Not for the completely non-existent story, not for the cast who are all the most bland creations possible, that’s for sure, and not for the INCREDIBLY SHITTY HUMOR. There was only one moment where I had a sensible chuckle in the entire episode and the rest was filled with failed goofs at every single turn. It ain’t funny, it ain’t really all that hot especially not worth sitting through 20 minutes of garbage for, and it’s just LAME – not even BAD just fucking super goddamn lame. It’s also confused about how it wants to portray the gal – with her being a slut on purpose half the time, but the other half being super shy and pure to pander to otaku who don’t actually like the gyaru type at all (all of them) making the fact she’s a gal a pointless accessory to the show because she ISN’T one most of the time. Dropped.

Touken Ranbu

I liked the chibi slice of life version of this that aired recently so I wanted to check out the much more serious and dark one – and this definitely fits that bill. The story so far is pretty interesting with the history revisionists trying to start a war between Japan and foreign nations before any conflict existed between them for some reason and so targeting any gaijin they can find in the past. One big issue I have though is that UFOtable is being really lazy. If you pay close enough attention you’ll see they’re finally to a point where they simply recycle assets from other things they’ve done, most notably here they’re using the exact same ones they used in Zestiria for a lot of things. My other problem is a more personal complaint in that even with all my knowledge of Japanese history – “all my knowledge” just isn’t a huge amount compared to someone raised learning it or even people more into it outside of Japan. I know most of the names that come up and the bigger events but it’s really hard to keep up with something as niche as the fucking names of swords and which belonged to who and also to keep up with all the interpersonal relationships of those people they belonged to, plus the names are retardedly hard to remember because they aren’t normal Japanese names due to being swords. So even stuff I can follow I just can’t because I can’t for whatever reason and so when they spend sometimes ~8 minutes just rambling on about shit I don’t understand at all it can get a bit of a drag. Overall though I think it’s okay and it plays with some cool concepts like having to let people of all ages and types die if history demands they do even though you are totally capable of saving them. Also has some nice flashy battles because UFOtable.

Clean Freak Aoyama

The first episode was really great – full of comedy and fun along with a really fantastic scene that was legitimately cool and really well done with Aoyama being able to overcome his serious issues for the sake of the team accompanied by a great insert song. It was a really great start and set the tone for something that’ll be badass and full of laughs and Dio’s abs. However, episode 2 was the exact opposite. It was a snoozefest with a story and ‘joke’ that were written clearly for a ~3 minute per episode series forcibly stretched to fit the 24 minute timeslot. It had one element which was to introduce the manager girl and it did this by repeating the exact same content about 12 times and never doing anything different or having any jokes or worthwhile content. It was a shit episode, and it spoke a lot for what the actual rest of the show would be. After that, I’m just not very interested in the show. I don’t want 24 minutes of what should be a 3 minute series, I want more of what episode 1 gave me but clearly that’s not what they’re going for. When Dio’s character isn’t around the show suffers a lot because absolutely nobody else is remotely fun or memorable, even Aoyama is just a one trick pony I’M OCD like yeah, I get it, it’s not funny. Oddly enough the “comedy” aspect of the show holds down what would otherwise be a really great sports series with some fun and unique elements – every time Aoyama is on the soccer field the show jumps up in quality, and I hate soccer so much that I even hate soccer ANIME so that’s saying something, but instead it focuses on wasting your time with really terrible “humor”. PTW unless I hear it never fixes the problem, in which case a drop.

*The shitty comedy obviously does NOT include Dio or his abs, that entire character is fucking hilarious and needs to be around way more.

Restaurant to Another World

The first episode was actually pretty good with some interesting stuff going on and all that but then already by episode 2 it becomes the most formulaic thing possible. Enter confused and perturbed guest who does not know they are entering a restaurant but think it is something else in their fantasy world. Enter chef calming them down and giving them something to eat. The guest falls in love with the food, becomes incredibly happy, and leaves the establishment to return another day. This happens 3 times in the first 2 episodes alone and makes up 3 of the 4 total stories covered in those 2 episodes. The pacing is not the issue, the style of show it wants to be is not the issue, the fact it is already resorting to a very blatant and plain formula right off the bat IS the issue. It’s literally over and over again multiple times an episode – generic fantasy character enters by mistake, is shocked, eats the food and cums in their pants, then leaves. I don’t like it nearly as much as I was hoping to and in fact planned on dropping it but I’m trying to barely keep up with it instead.

Even watching more of it, the formula is identical and the food-porn aspect is poorly done with a lot of just shitty writing “ITS AS IF THEY RAISE ANIMALS TO BUTCHER THEM IT TASTES OS AMAZING” as if he’d know what cow and pig tastes like so well that he could identify them (even when mixed together at that) and what they are if they aren’t being raised for the same purpose in his own world. There are plenty of really dumb fucking lines during the ITS SO GOOD IM FUCKING CUMMING INSIDE MY OWN ASSHOLE FUCK YES FUCK YESSS OH BABY over the lame ass food these people eat so I’ve learned to click through these parts because it ruins the show even more. It’s fucking spaghetti, dude, calm the fuck down. There are elements I like but man, this show is full of problems nonstop especially a surprising amount of plotholes for a show that has no plot. Plus…the entire namesake is sort of an issue in itself – the restaurant part adds NOTHING to the show, they could have just made half-episode vignettes identical to how they did here without randomly shoving in the restaurant and it’d be better for it. The concept is good but they did jack shit with it so it’s just in the way, I’m still watching it but eh.

New Game!!

Let’s get the main issue out of the way – what a fucking lazy title. I’ve said since season 1 STARTED that if they make a sequel it needs to be New Game Plus or something along those lines…instead we get a fucking second exclamation point. How fucking uninspired and goddamn lazy can you get? Seriously though, no I don’t dislike this for the title at all, the show is just bad now. They realized where their main sales were: shit-tier waifu collectathon type otaku, love livers essentially, and so they’ve destroyed the show for them. You get multiple full minutes of zoomed in entire camera encompassing ass, thigh, and tit shots for literally no reason, you get slutty costume “imaginations”, and then you get really sub-par thrown together story that is clearly suffering from “we never planned for a season 2 oh fuck” from the writing staff cobbling some garbage together. Fanservice is fine, the original series had it too, but the way it is here is ridiculous and diminishes the quality of the show and the cast, and the piss poor writing accompanying it just makes it a really shitty watch. Probably full on dropped, but PTW for now.

Aho-Girl

This is a show about an idiot who loves bananas. It’s a very classically Japanese type of comedy with loads of yelling, simple to follow manzai, and slapstick. It’s great because of it’s simplicity and the fact we don’t get stuff like this from Japan as often these days especially with Gintama turning to complete garbage. That’s really all there is to say.

Nana Maru San Batsu / Fastest Finger First

I didn’t expect to, but I actually like this a lot. It’s another one of those things I like – an “alternative shounen series” basically taking a unique idea and applying the formula of a (in this case) SPORTS shounen to it, the idea this time being quiz competitions. I’ve seen a lot of those shows that take an idea that you usually wouldn’t see and applying battle or sports shounen ideas to them but this is definitely one of the ones I’m most surprised by how well they’ve managed to make it work. Everything from the cast and rivals to the OP video feels like you just need to swap out the buzzer for a basketball or baseball and you’ve got another one of those. We’ve already gone through a short basically what euros would call a “friendly” I think in sports because euros are fucking strange, and during this for-fun competition set up between 4 schools we met a lot of characters and learned a lot of ‘strategies’ used in this quiz game as well as various rules and modes of play. It’s interesting how much work and thought they’ve put in to designing something so mundane, but it pays off. I also love that they’ve already established the main rival – and he’s not a dick either. Also as much as people complain about the girl’s voice, I think it’s cute and that she’s getting better at acting every episode.

Saiyuki Reload Blast

You may or may not have seen it clearly in the past depending on what you’ve read of my posts, but I’m very much against people jumping in randomly to stories – be it games, books, anime, or anything else even if you’re talking about “chronological canon order” which is fucking terribly stupid. However, with Saiyuki the last season made of this was in 2004 and according to every single fan of the manga not only blew dick (doubtful that aspect is true based on how fanbases always act) but also, just like the manga, basically made no progress in any direction and was just random adventures of the crew. I’ve never seen or read any Saiyuki before. I get the importance even in a situation like this of knowing those characters over time and spending that time with them, but with Saiyuki specifically and how much of an iconic series it’s been for decades in the medium, I feel like I’ve at least absorbed enough to know the cast through osmosis to justify jumping into something that last aired over a decade ago. Nobody doesn’t know Saiyuki or it’s cast, let alone the famous story its all based on. Anyway, ignoring my hypocrisy with this one, I really like this. It’s cool, it’s fun, and it knows exactly what it’s trying to be and nails it on every front probably due to having so much time and experience behind it. It’s really reminiscent of stuff from when it was more popular – just some dudes adventuring into a new town or situation each episode and dealing with it. In that way it’s nostalgic, much like Rinne and Guruguru.

Irresponsible Galaxy Tylor

I have no fucking clue what this is, but unlike everyone else who has seen the old show I’m really not bothered by this at all. It’s very short and I find it totally fine at entertaining and interesting me with its fun and cutely designed cast, plus I want to know if it ever has any relation to the real show. I liked Irresponsible Captain Tylor – not loved, nobody should LOVE it, it’s pretty typical of it’s time – but I really see no reason to hate on this as much as I’ve seen people doing. I like the little robot who keeps having stomach aches even though it has no stomach but really am completely lost as to what this show is meant to be or why it’s using this title.

Made in Abyss

I have to say I’m in agreement with a lot of people on this one – Made in Abyss is probably the best and most intriguing show of the season – and very likely going to be in the top 3 by the end of the year if not taking the top spot. It’s super intriguing and mysterious while also being very fun and cute, but most of all I love how it took 3 episodes to set things up before finally starting the real adventure. It’s really unique, has some fantastic ideas that are already being used, and something about it is just really fucking great at making you need to know more and want to go along on this dive into the abyss with this pair.

It has a really amazing and very special but hard to describe atmosphere to it all as well, especially starting from episode 4 – it adds a strong sense of danger, mystery, and even dread without being heavy about it especially through the subdued yet somehow also powerful music and surreal scenery especially when juxtaposed with cute lively characters facing the harsh and treacherous reality of nature and the unknown yet also the sheer genuine beauty of it. It’s really something special – I don’t just mean really great type of “special”, I mean the feeling the show exudes especially after episode 3 is one I don’t think I’ve ever felt from anything else and you should absolutely check it out. Also, don’t get the wrong idea, this isn’t some kid show (not that kid anime are bad – also this has some pretty gruesome shit in it so don’t show kids) nor is it cutesy, in fact it gets pretty seriously fucked up pretty quickly the moment the true adventure begins. I don’t have much to really say aside that, but not because of anything negative at all by any means. This is a special show with fantastic directing and atmosphere and is something everyone should be watching.

Shoukoku no Altair

Remember that fucking dumpster fire “Arslan Senki” by the one-hit wonder who wrote Full Metal Alchemist? Well, imagine if it wasn’t fucking atrocious fucking garbage nor full of retarded CG people at every turn, that’s kind of what this show is so far and I’m liking it actually a lot. The show does a fantastic job of handling it’s characters thus far and making everyone have plenty of depth AND believability to who they are instead of tossing that aside for more “dramatic” scenes. For example, the main character isn’t a prince this time around – he’s a fucking child soldier who grew from nothing to now being one of the top general/senate roles in the country while still being a kid…and this doesn’t end up forgetting that when convenient. He kills people and doesn’t care about it because it’s what needs to be done, there’s no obnoxious melodrama about it, it just happens and the show continues. Yet, at the same time, his emotions and personal history are always prevalent in every single action he takes. The same can be said of another very important character so far who is a very cold “do absolutely whatever it takes for my country” type who even allows a city and it’s people to be put likely to death just so he can prove a war is coming, yet at the same time he shows (to the viewer, at least, but not those around him) that he isn’t really that hollow inside and his love for his country doesn’t somehow undo the hatred or weight for the actions he has to sometimes take. It’s just really good with it’s characters, does a great job at showing different persona belief systems that all revolve around loyalty and love for your country, has a very interesting story especially with this war, and really spends the time to go over things. It’s not an action series, it’s not a political series, it’s sort of a mix while also being about the people involved.

Oh, right, how could I forget? The main antagonist is fucking Fango. If you don’t know Fango then you’re seriously missing out, he’s probably one of my favorite villains of all fucking time, he’s so goddamn great. This guy might not end up as good, too early to tell – but he literally looks just like him, thinks EXACTLY like him, is essentially doing the same shit as he did just on a grander scale, is just as intensely determined and willing to do some fucked up shit to get what he wants, and is voiced by the same fucking person. He may as well be just alternate universe Fango, they wrote him, drew him, and hired the same seiyuu just to make it even more him.

Ikemen Sengoku

Speaking of CG people, this does it right. Cute little chibis that look like they’re straight out of those Hatsune Miku Project Mirai games. It’s really cute looking and it’s fun to see yet another rendition of famous generals of the time – especially Nobunaga and Hideyoshi.

Yokai Apartment

Cute and fun. Hero Academia has made an invisible girl one of the cutest things possible – and Yokai apartment has made a girl that is literally nothing but floating hands super cute as well, even if she reminds me of that God thing from Excel Saga who was a mega-slut but SHE HAD A GALAXY FOR A BODY SO IT’S NOT THE SAME THIS HANDS GIRL IS PURE AND COOKS TASTY EATS. I love the amount of emotion and personality anime, and not much else, can pull out of someone who literally is invisible or who exists only as a pair of hands.

As for the show, yeah it’s cute, fun, and interesting. It’s not all happy go lucky but even when it’s not it’s got…well it’s got the usual nostalgic bittersweet sort of feeling all shows focused on yokai have. It’s nice and relaxing while having plenty to keep you interested rather than just being “chill”, like a cutie being run over by a motorcycle but also some messed up heavy shit like the story behind the little boy and his dog. Yet even the more serious aspects manage to come out positive in the end and a worthwhile experience to have gone through.

Mahoujin Guruguru

This is the thing challenging Made in Abyss for the top spot of the season for me so far. Everything about Guruguru is just fucking adorable and has a really special type of charm found only in older shows that they’ve absolutely managed to keep fully intact here. I love every single thing about this show so far and can only hope it maintains that top quality and keeps making me smile and laugh along with the super lovable and cute cast. It reminds me a lot of Hero Yoshihiko with it’s comedic style which makes sense given the original version of this aired WAY before that series was ever even thought up. I don’t just mean “both are DQ parodies” but also in how they’re not presented ONLY AS parodies of DQ, Yoshihiko is way more so literally JUST that but they both have a lot of nods, quips, and goofs that are just about video games as a whole that they make sure to work in constantly. This is really just a fantastically charming, genuinely funny, and very cute thing everyone should be watching this season – you won’t be disappointed. It’s also fun to note that it’s yet another show, just like Rinne, that is identical to old anime – yet the “oldfags” won’t touch it because they pretend to love old anime but really just love lazy, bland, lifeless shit full of gore and tits which makes up a lot of older trash in the genre. I REALLY like this show, it’s just so fucking cute, silly, and – while it’s full of referential humor and gags – somehow very original feeling.


And that’s kind of it. I’ve been feeling like complete shit mentally and physically and dealing with a lot of stuff – last season I ended up multiple episodes behind on every show and so I tried to go with less this time around and stick with what I’m truly enjoying. I’ve still fallen behind anyway but I try to keep up with most of them at least. Hopefully that’ll be all fixed by winter but for now this’ll do. When the season first started I was worried about the quality of a lot of these shows but I’m really glad the two I was most interested in (Abyss and Guruguru) have far exceeded what I was expecting out of them instead of being, like it’s happened very often in recent seasons, super disappointing. Aoyama is probably the most disappointing though, I really enjoyed that first episode.

Back to playing Persona 5 – expect a review but I’m not even done with it and with how long I take to get around to reviews I can’t say how long that’ll be, but I’m taking notes.

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3 responses to “Summer 2017 Anime – Halfway Impressions

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