Now that we’re all set for the fall anime season, it’s time to start picking out the best and worst shows of the season. Fall’s actually coming pretty strong, I don’t have any particular stinkers like I did with Ninja Slayer and Sailor Moon Crystal in Spring or Chaos Dragon in Summer, so it’ll be hard to be putting some of these shows in the bottom.
1. Noragami Aragoto
Honestly these top three picks could be easily inter-changeable, and I already imagine these three staying unmovable throughout the season, but this week I’m giving the top spot to Noragami, not only for being such a competent sequel, but because it’s punching my pain buttons in just the right ways. Fridays can’t come soon enough, the anguish is killing me.
2. Haikyuu!! S2.
The Villager B episode does a brilliant job in adding Yachi to the cast and endearing her to us. Haikyuu has always been terrific in making likable, lovable characters, and even if Yachi’s time in the series has been short, she already feels like part of the family, and I love it!
Tsukki, you suck and I love you.
3. One Punch Man
Where the hell is all this money coming from?! Three episodes in, this still is the top show in terms of production values and animation alone. The humor remains absolutely brilliant, the reveal of Saitama’s “extreme” training was just brutal. And Genos is a fucking treasure. I wasn’t familiar with the manga before, so based on the promos and his design I assumed he would be Saitama’s rival, but the role he’s given is so much more amazing. Definitely the best non-sequel show of the season so far. Please never run out of money.
4. K: Return of Kings
The Green clan JUNGLE has begun to make its move. Their incapacitated King wants the Silver Clan exterminated, hoping it’ll draw Shiro out and it kind of does, minus the extermination. Money continues to ooze from this production and it was quite a treat to get a little Fushimi/Misaki moment. I didn’t remember how much I enjoyed the original K until I started watching this new season and I’m loving it. I’m equal parts excited and terrified to see where this story will go (just leave Reisi’s Damocles alooone)
5. Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans
Look at this charming little show full of cold-blooded murderer teenagers. Gundam painted itself a big stroke of grey with the confrontation betwen Mikazuki and Lieutenant Crank from Gjallarhorn. Our main characters decide to take the reins of their own future and it seems we’re all set for the princess’s journey to actually get started. I’m excited for this, even if it smells like a tragedy is coming.
6. Ushio to Tora
Last week’s chapter was very rushed and weird, but this one was fantastic. Ushio proves one more time why he is the moral lynchpin of the series and shuts down all those non-believing Spear Successors with the purity of his motives and his sincere kindness. I found the whole macho bravado “omg I don’t want girls to cry” explanation pretty dumb and eyeroll inducing, but the rest of the episode was good enough to make me let go of it, and I’m definitely happy that little Izuna didn’t die.
(I forgot to take a screenshot for this one and I’m too lazy to search for one, whoops)
7. Concrete Revolutio
Will there ever be a day in which I’m not upset by that stupid lack of ‘n’? Don’t think so. But other than that, it seems this show has finally found a good rate of present/future flashes and connect the story and the characters to where they are now and where they’ll be in the future. Now that I too ave understood what the show wants to do, I find myself a lot more excited about where it’s going and to find out how the future became so hopeless and grim.
8. Lupin III
When I was doing the First Impressions I actually forgot I had watched this one because it’s not licensed and thus no one’s talking about it, but it sure is a helload of fun! I’m relatively new to the Lupin franchise, I’m only familiar with the Cagliostro movie (charming, but embarrassingly childish) and the Fujiko Mine anime from 2013(?). This new incarnation retains the its comedic charm but also the more adult-oriented aesthetics and storytelling. While it hasn’t gone full dark or experimental like Fujiko Mine, we have Jigen and Lupin being tortured and tailed by the MI6 and getting involved in bigger poitical messes. While it doesn’t get me “excited”, it’s very fun and entertaining
9. Owari no Seraph: Battle for Nagoya
Part II of this vampire/demon harem anime… wait, what do you mean it’s not a harem?
Ehem. Episode two has our heroes training to get in touch with their demons. Our little ball of fluff and gay sunshine, Yoichi, actually achieved it by himself, just talking with his demon at nights (how sweet ahaha), but Yu and Kimizuki need to take a more dangerous (and repetitive) approach. You can tell this second season has more money then the first one (at least for now), the demonic powers and the hallucinations’ watercolors look fantastic. This is my weekly dose of cheap snacks and it continues to satisfy me much more than it had the rights to.
This is one of those shows that I acknowledge as being intellectually terrible and dumb beyond hope, and is still somehow weirdly enjoyable. This week we get to know callous elite dude Tengeji who is not amused by thou peasants and also sings love songs to his cat. OK. The production of Tengenji’s impromptu song wasn’t as good as Ohtori’s ot Nayuki’s last week but it was still pretty okayish. This show gives me the worst kind of second-hand embarrassment (and by the worst, I mean the best) and I kinda love it.
11. Fairy Tail
Oh Fairy Tail, what shalt we do with you. The anime finally reached some of the most emotional moments in the arc, with Juvia’s defeat of Keith a few weeks ago, to the highly anticipated Air episode (sidenote: It’s perfectly OK for morning cartoons to show women in distress and getting their clothes torn to pieces, but god forbid they draw a close up to a CPR scene), and then this bizarre anime-original Lazus revival which was pretty cool (I honestly don’t remember who defeated Tempesta in the manga, the villains in this arc are terribly forgettable). But this cour also saw the return of endless flashbacks and recaps, weird super slow pacing and odd pauses. We literally had TWO recaps of Laxus’s hopelessly heroic scrifice in the span of five minutes. Get your shit together, show!
I’m not gajevy trash, why’re you asking?
12. Subete ga F ni Naru: The Perfect Insider
I don’t know where I stand with this show. I’m not even sure I want to keep watching. While the mistery is compelling and interesting, the characters are booooring and insufferable. I want to know how Magata was killed, but I’m not sure if I want to spend 8 more weeks watching Moe and the teacher talking endlessly about wheter or not they’re going to check inside the room.
13. GARO: Guren no Tsuki
Please, One Punch Man, send some money over to Garo.It’s only episode two and the animation and production values are already falling apart. There were little to no in-model shots. It’s a major step down for studio MAPPA and this franchise, and makes me worry about the 24 episodes we still have left. Raikou’s story and connection to Seimei is somewhat interesting, but the monster-of-the week stories have been hardly compelling. Here’s hoping there are better things in store for ths franchise.
(Sorry, no screenshot here either)
14. Dance with Devils
This one has somehow managed to stay clear from creey territory, but I’m seriously bothered by how the brother refuses to let his sister know what’s going on. One would think that telling her there are demons trying to sacrifice her to the Devil would at least make her a little more reluctant to run outside the moment she heard a faux car crash in the vicinity. Ritsuka isn’t an entirely void protagonist like those from Amnesia, Diabolik Lovers and Brothers Conflict, but she really needs to figure out what’s happening asap, because this dumb quick-to-trust nature that she didn’t have in episode one yet is now way too convenient in putting her in danger is driving me a little nuts.
This is not a bad show by any means. Some of the jokes are very funny and the voice work is great. But I’ve never been cut for one-off jokes and strictly gag plotless series. I’m very busy at this point in my life and can’t just continue watching stuff that barely entertains me just because it isn’t bad enough to drop.
Sakurako-san no Ashimoto ni wa Shitai ga Umatteiru
Episode 2 was okayish but Episode 3 was a big fat yawn. The artistry is still great, but, just like above, just because it isn’t bad enough for me to drop it, I don’t feel like it’s really worth my time. It’s a shame because it’s beautiful to look at, but after the episodes are over I’m left feeling like I honestly don’t care. Unless I hear it gets some major improvement eventually, I don’t really care to watch it anymore.
Utawarerumono: Itsuwari no Kamen
Yaaaaaaaaaaaaawn. Sorry, I really don’t care about giant centipede monsters.
The Space Monster Guilala’s cameo in Tora-san’s 1984 outing Tora-san’s Forbidden Love (男はつらいよ 寅次郎真実一路), the 34th film in the (very!) long-running series. Shochiku recently reissued the entire series on DVD at discounted pricing (this was ~$9 at Amazon.co.jp), and with optional English subtitles no less.
Outside Shibamata station in northern Tokyo stands a statue celebrating the films and character of Tora San. nearly 50 films were made between 1969 and 1995 and the character , a sort of hapless stalker, became a much loved figure in popular culture. A lot of the films were shot around Shibamata and the nearbt Yagirinowatashi ferry.