Winter Anime: Final Thoughts
Finally I can sit down and write down all the stuff I watched through the winter. I’ll just do a quick rundown of the stuff that finished this winter (pmuch everything except for AssClass). The Spring season is trickling in very slowly, so I’ll post my final watchlist once it’s all out (for the time being JoJo and HeroAca have been great, UshiTora was nice and everything else’s been so-so).
The series will be ranked from worst to best >:D
Halfway through the season I found myself with even less time to watch anime than usual, which ended with having to drop a lot of stuff that I was honestly watching out of inertia:
BBK/BRNK: I watched all the way to episode… 5? When it became evident we were going into contrived one-on-one battles because of some very convenient rule of I don’t even care I couldn’t bring myself to keep watching. Funnily, ep 5 was the strongest the show had since the first one, and it still didn’t hook me. Consensus seems to be I didn’t miss out on much.
Divine Gate: God episode 6 was soooo stupid. I heard that lots of people died in ep 7? I don’t know, even the unintentionally hilarious narrator gimmick became tiresome at some point. I think I saw a bit of the start of one episode? 7? 8? When the boss dude had a flashback of his meeting Santa Claus or something? Dunno, it was just so dumb and not funny enough to warrant the braincells I was wasting on it. I’ll never forget the guy who put ice on his ramen tho, thanks show.
HaruChika: Later episodes got slightly nicer than the first ones, with Haruta being just a little less pushy, something that really bothered me, but at the end of the day, the whole thing was really damn boring. I think I made it to episode 6.
(same, girl whose name I forgot, same)
Why did I watch this whole thing through?
Somehow I didn’t drop these shows, even though at the end of the day all I have left is this sense of hours of my life I’ll never get back
Garo: Guren no Tsuki: At the time of writing this sentence I haven’t watched the final episode, but I can bet all my Haikyuu Nendoroids that it won’t make up for the 23 weeks I waited for this show to get better. Now I’ve watched ep 24 (was it the ending?) I’m not even sure if that was the ending and I don’t care. God it was worse than I expected. Ugh, I hope the Honoo no Kokuin movie comes out soon. Hopefully we’l all forget this stupid waste of time ever existed
Dimension W: This show started okaaay-ish and it had some really interesting concepts… and then it crapped the bed, jumped the shark, shot itself in the eye, whatever you wanna call it. From the introduction of the “king of a nondescript African country in disarray” and the Easter Island nonsense everything went down the drain really fast. Like man, the whole thing turned out incredibly stupid, and that’s not even considering the asspull last minute villain. And it also left all the interesting concepts to die in a jungle of fake science gibberish.
Stuff that was okay
Shows that didn’t change my life, but didn’t waste it either
Ajin: The CGI is hoooorrrible. It started fairly weak too, but with the introduction of Satou and the reveal that Kei is actually a much grayer protagonist than it first appeared, I’m kind of intrigued to see where it’ll go. Not blown away by it, but my general impression improved quite a bit after Kei escaped the government facility. Would watch a second season if Netflix does more. Episode 12 was greaaat it kept me on edge the whole time. The last one hasn’t aired yet but my thoughts on this are pretty cemented
Grimgar: It was okay? It wasn’t as distasteful as it could’ve been? Went some interesting places in terms of grief and coping? The overall look of the production was very beautiful? I just don’t know if the character work it did was worth the 12 weeks, apart from Manato’s death episode I didn’t feel much of an emotional connection to the characters. Also Ranta is a sleazeball that never repents for the bullshit he does (just a little, at the end). Yume’s voice was very cute tho. But Haruhiro was so boring as a character. Idk, wouldn’t watch a S2 tbh. It’s weird because I think I like it more than Ajin (partly because colorful stuff>>> bleak stuff), but the story didn’t hook me? My feelings for this are very scattered
Prince of Stride: Look this show was fine and fun but the character development was overall terrible and it had some seriously bad shoehorned plot points (namely the main trio’s conveniently forgotten childhood promise and that Nana was somehow dubbed the Princess of Stride because her father was the King? Every time the announcer mentioned the King-Princess thing it felt so dumb and artificial, like no real sports announcer would say that). The finale was complete bullshit, I feel robbed of real resolutions in the characters’ relationships. But I did like the overall style, and I did come to like the characters, so I have more positive feelings for it than the other two.
(the gay, the gay of it all)
Fairy Tail: This makes me sad. I love the story of Fairy Tail. With a few hiccups here and there, the manga is overall fantastic and extremely fun. And the first year’s worth of episodes for this second anime series was pretty fine, they did a good job with the GMG and the Dragon invasion. And then I don’t know what happened, but between the muddy colors, the sluggish pace, the atrocious animation, the endless recaps and the people-talking-really-slowly to fill-in time, even my favorite moments in an overall lackluster arc (Tartaros) and an arc I love (Zero) were overall extremely lacking in weight and emotion all I felt was disappointment and boredom. I’m very sad this show became like this and I really hope however long it takes them to do a new series, they’ll give it to someone who can love the material and give it the treatment it deserves.
Stuff I liked!
Not the shining stars of the season, but fun, entertaining shows that I enjoyed a lot.
Gundam: Tekketsu Orphans: This show started really strong and I overall like it, but when we reached the finale I realized I had no idea of how things had reached this point or why. There’s a S2 coming in Fall, and I’ll gladly watch it because I’m still deeply intrigued by the really unhealthy relationship Mika and Orga have, but I have no idea of where the story’s gonna go at this point. This feels like a more competently executed Aldnoah (not that it’s high praise, that show was a mess). It did a good job engaging me in the character relationships. As a Person who hates the original Gundam ™ I was pleasantly surprised by how enjoyable this was.
Akagami no Shirayukihime: Definitely a step-down from the first half. The most remarkable thing about this season was the development for Obi and Raj, both characters becoming my favorites (interestingly both began as antagonists) and I really enjoyed every moment they spent on screen (Obi wearing formal clothing is so important to me now). I did feel that both Shirayuki and Zen became stuck and didn’t really evolve much, not in their relationship and not as individuals, so that was disappointing. Also, the kidnapping arc was very dumb. But the overall experience is pleasant and happy, I can’t really bring myself to hate the show. Would watch an S3 (that will never happen) if they promised me we’ll see Mitsuhide doing something about his very poorly hidden feelings for Kiki.
Boku Dake ga Inai Machi: This show peaked around episode 7-8 with Kayo’s story, achieving some true brilliance in how it dealt with abuse and how victims cope with it, and then it never managed to reach those heights once Kayo was written out of the show. The identity of the killer was disappointingly obvious, I wish they had been more overt about it or that they’d presented two equally viable suspects so it could be an actual surprise when the truth was revealed. Satoru’s final confrontation with the killer was laughably ridiculous and I can’t help feeling annoyed by the fact that the masterpiece hidden in Satoru’s soul and repressed by his regret was a generic teenage magicky craptastic looking thing. I’m sure he made more people happy delivering pizzas. Still a worthwhile watch, mostly for Kayo’s stuff.
Assassination Classroom would go here but it’s only halfway through. It’s a really good show though, y’all should check it out! FukuJun’s doing a brilliant job as Korosensei too. Not a fan of the “taming” of Irina (I’ve never liked how she’s treated by this show in general) or the whole Shinigami storyline, but it’s overall doing a good job.
Lupin III: This was a damned good show! Its flavor is somewhat lighter than Fujiko Mine but more adult than Cagliostro, like a healthy middle ground. The last two episodes weren’t that great, but the rest of the show was very fun and unique, with a fantastic look, unique storylines and tricks –the midseason finale was brilliant!- and it did a great job integrating the new characters: Nix and Rebecca. I’m very glad I decided to give this one a shot.
Best of the Season
(that should be self-explanatory)
Ketsu: I’m honestly kind of amazed by how they wrapped everything up. These
last three cours improved progressively and I was very happy with how
everything was tied up. I adore Shinra and Celty, so their beautiful climactic
reunion at the end (especially Shinra admitting to his own selfishness and
risking his life for their love) made me so happy. I am however disappointed
that Anri didn’t actually do anything or that no one actually punched Mikado
for being a dick. Rokujo was a great character and I would’ve liked to see him
in the epilogue too.
My husbando Shizuo was his perfect beautiful self all the
way through and I love him. I’ll miss this series. I think I’ll rewatch it
actually, from season 1. It’s definitely one of my all-time favorites, even
after all these years.
Haikyuu S2: I have mixed feelings on this. I think the adaptation was absolutely beautiful in every sense, and we all know how much I adore these characters. However, I do absolutely feel they could’ve padded the games a little more (give Johzenji, Wakunan and Datekou more screentime) and leave the Seijoh match for Season 3. That way they wouldn’t be running out of material and we’d get more Oikawa and Iwa-chan (why did I have to develop such a huge crush on Iwa-chan just as his part in the series ended ;A;). I understand why they did it this way –to set the contrast between this finale and the ending of S1- but I still wish they’d made it a little longer and I can’t help feeling a little bitter about it. It’s still a show I love and that I can’t wait to get more of, and certainly my favorite sports anime up to date.
Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu: Hands down the best show of the season and a strong contender for anime of the year, I can’t imagine there’ll be much stuff to rival it. It’s such a unique and adult story with so many nuances, beautiful direction, well-rounded characters and that subtly deals with issues of sexuality and gender roles and just… ugh. That scene in the graveyard murdered me. I think it’s a must see if you’re able to look past the unconventional theme. I’m so happy to know that it’ll have a second season to cover the rest of the manga.
(we could’ve had it aaaaalllll)
As an overall I think the season was weak, a lot of forgetable, mediocre shows and nothing “so bad it’s good” to make up for it. But bcause Showa was such a strong and unique offering, -the kind of show you only see a handful ot times every decade it makes the whole season worthwhile and I don’t feel like three months of nothingness (hello spring 2015)
What were your favorite shows of the season? Replies are bac so y’all con comment here directly about it