Month: July 2016

Summer 2016 Explosion!

Let’s get right to it. There are several shows I’ve been anxiously awaiting and the first of them is…

BERSERK!

Do I like the weird CG animation? No. Do I love Guts? YES. So, ultimately, it doesn’t matter how he’s animated, I love watching Guts and I love the whole story of Berserk. I never actually recommend the manga or anime to anyone because it’s so, uh, gross and intense and really only suited for the truly sick and twisted. That said, I’m beyond thrilled that Berserk is back. My mouth watered the whole episode.



ReLIFE

When I started the manga, I loved the premise. It was a little uncomfortable in a Welcome to the NHK hitting-too-close-to-home kind of way but I felt like that’s what made it so great. Maybe it’s because I knew what was coming but the anime didn’t grab my attention the way the manga did. I thought it would really benefit from the animation and actually being in color but the first episode bored me a bit. I’m not actually looking forward to watching more of it but apparently there was an episode dump so I’ll go ahead and plow through a few more episodes and hope I re-warm to it. Please don’t let this put you off if you’re considering watching it–I’ve recommended the manga to friends because I thought the premise was so interesting. Give ReLIFE a try!

**Update: Since I first started this post, I ended up watching all of ReLIFE over the holiday weekend and ended up soooo happy I kept with it. I could’ve just edited the above paragraph entirely but I wanted to share the ups & downs of the ReLIFE viewing process…hehe**

DAYS

So you all know I LOVE sports anime. I love manly rivalry and bromance and struggles and the power of friendship. So even though I don’t know anything about soccer and have no desire to, I was stoked for DAYS. And by the end of the opening theme, all I could think was, “Sports anime is love. Sports anime is life.” Let me tell you, the first episode did not disappoint. Our predictably shy, awkward, mostly-inept kid gets invited to an after-school game by the super cool kid and he totally sucks but puts in a ton of effort and impresses everyone. He has that barely-older-friend-that’s-like-a-sister character (reminded me of Eyeshield 21, which never hurts). He’s so excited that he thinks he made a friend and now wants to try out for the school team but gets his butt kicked. Yet, when it’s all said and done…late at night, he’s still at the field, finishing running, winning over not only me BUT more importantly our super cool blond athletic friend as well. What is not to like about this?! This is sports anime at its finest and it’s only the first episode.


All of this in just the first episode?! I LOVE SPORTS ANIME. Cannot wait for episode two.

B-Project

Possibly the only thing that compares to my love of sports anime is my love of stupid shows loaded with popular voice actors about boys singing and/or dancing. So you can bet B Project was on my list. I think I was smiling within about the first two seconds and ended up grinning through the entire opening theme. Is it stupid? Absolutely! Do I still love it? Absolutely! The fact that Showtaro Morikubo’s character looks like his characters Bartolomeo and Reiji Kotobuki had a baby is just an added bonus.  As expected, the female protagonist is similar to all otome game protagonists and she’s pretty innocent and dumb, but hey, we’re not here for her, are we? We’re here for singing, dancing, voice actors, idols, tropish characters, really dumb plots, and of course, my favorite: Daisuke Ono singing out sparkles.

First Love Monster

Speaking of stupid…this show is about as dumb as it gets. Which is why when I heard the premise I picked up the manga and laughed at how incredibly ridiculous the whole thing is. Now, I do sometimes worry that I’m going to be put on a list somewhere for reading a manga/watching an anime about a girl who dates an unrealistically mature-looking fifth grader but the hilarity might be worth the risk. The story definitely benefits from animation…or rather, from the voice acting since the three mutant fifth graders are voiced by stellar actors. I guess Sugita-san’s voice just belongs to guys named Gin. Anyway, the premise is what makes the show funny yet the premise is also what makes it kind of…”ehhhhh?”

The Heroic Legend of Arslan

I’ve been anxiously awaiting the return of The Heroic Legend of Daryun’s Arms Arslan. The first episode gave us a nice little refresher and lots of beautiful muscles. No complaints here.

The Morose Mononokean

I’ve been reading the manga via the Crunchyroll Manga app and loved it from the get-go so of course I was really excited for the anime. And I’m still excited! I loved the first episode, I love the white fluffy thing, I love the clothes and the colors and the plot. If you enjoy yokai-related anime, you should really try this.

The Highschool Life of a Fudanshi

fudanshiclerk.jpgIs this my new favorite show? Probably, yes. Now I just wish the episodes were longer…I need MORE IMMEDIATELY!!!fudanshi.jpg

Sweetness & Lightning

I started reading this manga on the Crunchyroll Manga app but it was just too cute so I ended up giving it up. So I’m not really sure why I thought, “Oh, cool, that’s getting an anime!” but…I liked it. Maybe it’s from being in the restaurant business or having a mom who expresses affection through food but the first episode struck a chord with me in a way the manga didn’t.

Taboo Tattoo

I picked this up due to all the hype, fully expecting to be disappointed. Instead, I kinda liked it! I really appreciated how things got right to the point. This episode hit the ground running and felt very shonen-y, which I liked. I don’t really know why but it kind of reminded me of Ushio & Tora.

Cheer Boys!!

cheer boys showerI was so glad to see someone made a show just for me. “Haven’t we always been together?” YES, THAT IS WHAT I WANT TO HEAR! Manly friendship! And the premise is genius–cheerleading! It’s like my love of sports and love of boys dancing formed a super powered robot of anime perfection. Okay, I know you’re asking, “But is Sugita-san’s character the best?” The answer is, of course, “Yes.” It’s only the first episode and I’m 99% sure he’s the best character. Go! Fight! Win! Boys!

D. Gray Man HALLOW

I have very little memory of the previous anime but I read what was available of the manga to get prepared for this one. Fortunately for me, it picked up right where I’d wanted to see because I didn’t pay attention enough when I read it. Other than that…1) Cross Marian is just too cool; 2) Guys that look like Hitler are bad news.

Servamp

As a fan of the manga I was really looking forward to the anime. I don’t have a lot to say about the first episode; it didn’t blow me away but I didn’t expect it to. This is one that’ll get better the longer it goes.

Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE!

earthdefense

I loved the first season of this show and with a start like this…well, I love the second season too!

And OMG this new villain is ADORABLE. Also, I really want a Wombat plush.

Thunderbolt Fantasy

It’s pretty ridiculous but I think I like it.

Alderamin on the Sky

I judged a book by its cover on this one and picked it up solely on looks. But after my recent foray into The Twelve Kingdoms, I’ve been a bit more forgiving of slow pacing in the interest of world-building. I was getting a bit distracted but I did love the little Care Bear elf thingies and by the end of the episode I wanted more.

91 Days

I kept putting this one off because I was SUPER EXCITED and it was my reward for getting through some of the other shows. After seeing the character designs and the casting and reading about the plot, this was one of my most-anticipated shows of the season. And holy crap, I loved it. I am sooo looking forward to where this story goes.

Tsukiuta

I was a bit disappointed during the character introductions because when I watch idol shows, I want to pick a favorite. I guess that’s my project in future episodes..? Anyway, the use of the younger brother in this episode was refreshing even if the CG dancing was not. I’ll tolerate weird CG Guts simply because I’ll take whatever Berserk I can get but I really dislike CG dancing. 😦

Scar-red Rider XechS

When we began with a moody boy and a guitar, my first thought was, “Well, they know their target demographic.” But then we had that great weird underground military scene with that lady straight up shooting that guy and I had to reconsider my first impression. Then the rest of the show happened and I kind of think my first impression was the correct one. I had actually been looking forward to this show but for now I’m getting that “well, it’s okay” feeling.

The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.

This is one of those shows where I was 99% sure I’d love it before I ever even saw it. A safe bet. And in case you were wondering–yes, I love it.

Handa-kun

Speaking of shows I was 99% sure I’d love…I could watch this for hours. The beginning of episode one was absolute perfection. I think I just smiled the whole episode. I loved Barakamon and I love the Handa-kun manga and I can’t shut up about how much I love this! My only complaint ? (which I now feel awkward making after the first part of the episode being yelled at about how difficult anime is to make, heh) is that Handa’s voice is Daisuke Ono to me and having it be not him…took some getting used to. Kawafuji having a different voice will be jarring as well.

hitorinoshita – The Outcast

I really liked the look of this and thought it would be interesting. I don’t know if it’s really not that interesting or if I’m just suffering First Episode Burnout at this point.

Whew! If you read this far, let me know what you think! What shows are you excited about? What shows have you already dropped? Is there a series not on this list that I absolutely must see?

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Spring 2016 Wrap-Up

I don’t usually drop a lot of shows but due to travels and life and all that, I ended up finishing far fewer shows than I started. So what the heck did I watch?

My Top 3
In no particular order, I felt the best shows of the Spring 2016 Season were…drumroll, please:

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure (Diamond Is Unbreakable)JotaroI’d never be disappointed in you, Jotaro

I feel the same as Josuke’s mom on this one; I loved loved loved loved loved this show. (Or love love love love love, I guess, since it’s ongoing, not ended.) My criteria for the Top 3 Category was simply, “What shows do I look forward to every week? Which new episodes am I excited to watch?” I’ve absolutely loved every episode of Diamond Is Unbreakable so far and can’t wait for more…in fact, at the time of this post, I just finished episode 14 and in the famous words of Joseph Joestar: “OH MY GOD!”

Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamotosakamotodesuga.jpgIt was. It always is.

Seriously, haven’t you heard? This show is hilarious! I picked up the manga a while back and so was super excited when the anime was announced. It did not disappoint! The show reminds me a lot of the endearing absurdity of Cromartie High School. While JoJo’s is sometimes hard to recommend to people because it’s, well, BIZARRE…I feel like even though it’s outrageous, Sakamoto is more readily appealing. Though if listening to guys talk for minutes while nothing is really happening on screen (a la Gintama) isn’t something you can handle then maybe you’re not funny enough for this show.

My Hero Academiaaizawa.jpgI know, I know, we’re all saying the same thing: My Hero Academia was too good.

 Again, this was one where I picked up the manga first and…was way excited about the anime. Guess what–I’m still WAY EXCITED ABOUT THE ANIME. The manga is fantastic and of course I recommend reading it but I felt the anime did a fantastic job of bringing it all to life. This happens to be my brother’s #1 pick of the season and he won’t shut up about how the story took a very overused concept and made it totally fresh and exciting. Plus Ultra!

Okay, so not everyone can be a winner. Aside from my Top 3, here are my other shows that I enjoyed…

Joker Gamejokergame.jpgQuite possibly my favorite line of the whole series.

I set the bar pretty high for this one. I loved the premise and the way it looked and the assortment of characters so I couldn’t wait to watch it. The first two episodes were great. I think I was just perpetually conflicted because I wanted to “get to know” the characters…but by the very nature of the show and the fact they’re spies and don’t even know each other, we can’t expect to get to know them. Their personalities are fluid and backgrounds contrived. I think that’s why I enjoyed the final episode so much and felt like that’s the episode I’d been after the whole time–because we finally got to see “inside” the character. But I also think that’s why it was chosen as the final episode. Despite my “desire for more while simultaneously realizing that would compromise the whole premise of the show itself”…I did enjoy it, would watch more of it, and would recommend it.

Tanaka-kun is Always Listlesstanakakun.jpgOf course it is.

I knew nothing going into this show aside from the pretty self-explanatory title. Yeah, I enjoyed the first episode but it is pretty sleepy, so I figured it’d be one of those “put on while trying to fall asleep” shows.  The problem with that was I didn’t fall asleep at all–I stayed awake just to watch it! It was such a goofy, simple, drowsy show but I ended up loving it. The pacing and dare I say boring? premise might not be for everyone but it really clicked with me. Okay, sure, the adorable bromance between Ohta and Tanaka didn’t hurt. I could probably watch another twelve episodes of Ohta taking care of Tanaka and packing him around.

Bungo Stray Dogsstraydogs.jpg

Like Joker Game, I was really excited about this one. I realized almost immediately that it was way goofier than I’d anticipated (I know we all associate Osamu Dazai with hilarity, right? …Right?) Kunikida immediately became my favorite simply by being one of my favorite voices (ahem, Ohta, above) but sometimes I had a hard time paying attention. I’m not sure I would’ve stuck with it except for I WANTED TO LIKE IT. I did enjoy the series, especially in the last couple episodes, and I think the next season with even more characters will be something to look forward to.

Assassination Classroom

It’s been a long haul for the octopus teacher assassin and those of us watching. It was nice to see a series that actually has a conclusion. And yes, I cried the last episode.

Super Lovers

I went from thinking this was incredibly stupid to can’t stand waiting for more all within the first episode. However, since I couldn’t wait for more, I ended up reading the manga and after that the anime wasn’t as interesting. I wanted to love it but I just didn’t care as much since I spoiled it for myself. But hey, it’s BL; I’ll take it.

I also finished The Lost Village because I kept expecting some bombshell or some deep revelation that would make the show worth watching. Didn’t happen. I want my time and brain cells back.

So that’s my spring! I have a ton of “wanna watch” shows on my list so my Summer 2016 post could be HUGE. Or I might have to whittle things down from the start…

What shows did you love? Which ones wasted your time? Are you excited about anything coming this summer? (ahem, BERSERK, ahem)