Winter Anime Final Impressions
I was supposed to do this like two weeks ago but with Gundam ending so late and me getting swept up with many things, I didn’t have the time, but here’s a quick rundown of the best and worst of the Winter season. I’m gong from best to worst and also since I watched very few shows this season, I ‘m not gonna break them down in best/meh/worst
Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu: Sukeroku Futatabi-hen
A masterpiece to the very end, as heartbreaking as it was full of joy and love. There was this weird insinuation at the end that didn’t sit well with me at all and I’m not sure why they felt the need to do it, but I can overlook it because the rest of the picture is so wonderful and special and heart-wrenching. When Konatsu asked Yakumo to make her his apprentice, I actually cried. What a beautiful show. Don’t let the obscure antique Japanese art keep you from experiencing one of the best anime of this decade.
Ao no Exorcist: Kyoto-hen
I was a bit worried about this one because lately, when an “old” show gets a sequel many years after it last aired, said sequel turns out underwhelming and poorly done. See D.Grayman HALLOW (which also adapted my favorite arc from that manga) and Berserk (production values aside, the decline of this is due to Miura’s gross storytelling, so I guess it was inevitable). But I was more than surprised and ecstatic to see this rendition of the Kyoto arc did justice on the source material, with excellent production values, a good pace and wonderful emotional and action scenes alike. AoEx is one of the finest examples of the battle shonen genre and that translated wonderfully to this new iteration of the anime. I can only hope we’ll see Izumo’s and Shura’s arc eventually too.
I was a Little on the fence on this one at the start, but once they laid down all the cards and tied all the loose threads, it became absolutely amazing. I’m sorry I ever doubted you Natsume Ono, your ability to craft smart and fascinating adult stories shall never be questioned again. Definitely worth checking out if you want to try something different to your usual anime genres. Helps that the visuals are really interesting and that Mauve is such a bae. I still feel Jean was the weakest link with his absolute nonchalance, but even that somehow worked at the end. Definitely worth going through the somewhat slow initial episodes.
Yowamushi Pedal: New Generation
NGL i’m not a fan of Kaburagi, he’s so much like Naruko I don’t feel he adds anything to the team. But this is now officially the Teshima show and that compensates for the snooze that is Kaburagi because Teshima has become so fabulous and cool I’m just excited every week to see what he’ll do next. Also the First-year race was a true highlight and I’m very disappointed Sugimoto didn’t make the cut, they did a fantastic job in making him likable, so it was sad to see him lose. Hopefully he’ll get to assist Imaizumi when they’re 3rd years.
Little Witch Academia
This show’s a lot of fun, with really sweet animation and it also sports the Best Girl of the season, Sucy Manbavaaran, although I gotta say there were a bit too many fillerish episodes and it was frustrating to see them take so long to get the plot going. I’m not hating on the show, it is in fact extremely entertaining, but it’s a little lacking on the plot department. Hopefully we’ll get more of that on the second cour.
I’ve never been happier of not quitting a show as I am about Classicaloid. By episode 3 I was on the verge of giving up because it wasn’t what I had expected, but I kept going and I ended falling so hard in love with this show I’m ecstatic it’s getting a second season. Once I embraced the absurdity, it became the best comedy of the season, and I honestly would watch Schubert’s fishy misadventures for 52 weeks a year. It’s an acquired taste for sure and not easy to recommend, but if you’re willing to let go of all reason, you’re sure to have a good time.
I have a lot of love for this show and its characters (and Sekizan’s ridiculous hair), but I’m afraid the pacing they chose basically doomed them because with the abysmal sales, it seems unlikely we’ll ever see a second season and therefore we’ll never get to see if Jinko does get to Hanazono. It’s a perfectly competent sports series, that does a really good job of developing its huge cast, definitely much better than the likes of Prince of Stride or DAYS, but its inconclusive ending is quite frustrating. I really do hope we get to see more of these boys, but Madhouse’s never been all that good with the whole getting-sequels-done so…
Kuzu no Honkai
In spite of its low ranking, this is actually a really good show and a unique take on teenage female sexuality that you wouldn’t normally see in this mostly sexist medium. Hanabi made for a truly interesting protagonist and I liked seeing her explore herself and her relationships. I was however quite disappointed by how little focus we actually had for Hanabi and Mugi’s relationship. I felt there was more telling than showing in that regard, especially in the latter half of the show. The ending was pretty good and mature in spite of everything, and as always, I’m just really fond of all the vaginal imagery in the ED animation. Could’ve done without Moca though.
Gundam: Tekketsu Orphans
At the end of the Fall season, I expressed my concern about pointless, meaningless deaths. Clearly the Gundam writers thought I wasn’t concerned enough because the amount of characters that died pointless deaths went on to, I think, the double digits. I wouldn’t have minded the carnage if there had been some sort of payoff to the sacrifices. For example, if Shino hadn’t stupidly and conveniently missed his one shot because the show couldn’t afford to kill Rustal yet. I always felt Orga, Mika and Akihiro had a ton of death flags looming over their heads, but I certainly didn’t expect all three of them to get to the chopping block. Orga’s death was particularly random and pointless, but then again, what they did with Orga in general was very confusing. That he agreed to McGillis’s sketchy propositions to become “king of Mars” never made a whole lot of sense to me and that’s the result we got. I’ll also never get over how creepy and weird the whole Atra giving Mika a baby thing was. In short, I have very mixed feelings about it.
I could write thousands of words for everything that was wrong with this series but I think it wouldn’t make justice to the absolute experience that is watching this amazing trainwreck. Go watch it to see a masterclass of how not to anime. Honestly I had such a good time hating this show, it was so horrible in every possible way. Good job GoHands, even animate, who sponsored this show, won’t give it any publicity.
I’m not sure of how this production team managed to put out 20 episodes of nothing actually happen. Like you just have to give kudos to the writers for managing to simply not do anything over the course of 6~ hours of content. No drama, no decent comedy, no character development, not even relationship development in a BL romance. It’s kind of amazing how pointless the whole thing is. The dog’s still cute and the relationship is still creepy and gross and that’s about all there is to say about this.
Although most of the shows I watched turned out great, it did feel like a weaker season because there wasn’t that much that was interesting (my Wednesdays were literally empty). Or maybe everything looks lackluster in this post-Yuri on Ice world D: But there was Rakugo and rakugo is good and I’m glad we live in an age in which such a niche, quiet and adult artistic show could be made and tell a complete story.