Category: Anime

Summer 2017 Simulcast Wrap-Up

Summer 2017 Simulcast Wrap-Up

It’s that time again! So what survived the cut? What did I stick with until THE END?!

Restaurant to Another World I had kind of a love-hate relationship with this show–probably because I have a love-hate relationship with the restaurant business. However, it did forever change my life in that whenever I eat fried shrimp, in my head I will always hear Sugita-san’s voice being really, really excited about it. And we can’t forget the universally valuable lesson RTAW taught us all:

No matter what world they’re from, vegans are condescending and think they’re better than everyone else.

Aho-Girl The name says it all. And maybe I’m also an aho-girl for watching (and loving) it. But this show was just refreshing and hilarious to me.

Yep. That’s all you can do. Good luck, guys–you’ll get there someday. Maybe. Or, uh, it’s not the destination, but the journey..? Probably?

Saiyuki Reload Blast Did we actually make any progress? No. Did I care? No. Because this was pure Saiyuki goodness and totally gave me something I didn’t even know I’d been missing. I know this sounds odd to say about a show with frequent blood splatter on the screen but for me, Reload Blast was just like a fuzzy warm blanket.

Ikemen Sengoku: Bromances Across Time This was just pure dumb fun. I could watch this forever.

My First Girlfriend is a Gal I just about dropped this one several times but I’m actually glad I finished it. It was uncomfortably ecchi at times (most of the time) but it was also, despite its over-the-top delivery, very “real life.” My brother loved this show and we ended up talking about it quite a bit; he said he believed the reason people hated this show was because no one wants to face the fact that it told the truth of how the male brain works.

Same.

Katsugeki Touken Ranbu OMG this show was so much better than it had any right to be. I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to scream, “I can’t believe I’m crying at freakin’ Touken Ranbu!” I loved the crap out of the Ryoma episode and thought that gave me everything I wanted and more than I ever expected…but then…we got…*tries to breathe*…Hijikata

I was a goner. Touken Ranbu, I can’t quit you.

Knight’s & Magic No aspect of this show should have appealed to me but I kept coming back to it and loving it. It was entertaining, smoothly-paced, and just generally well-done.

Clean Freak! Aoyama-kun Nothing too serious–just fun and cute every week. Silly and easy to watch.

Re:Creators I don’t even know where to start. One of my favorite shows of the year. I was blown away constantly by this series. I think I must’ve teared up at least once every episode. Hell, I think during the final episode I just cried the entire time because it was that good and that beautiful and that amazing. I cannot say enough about how brilliant this was. I know some parts seemed a bit long-winded but it was all so, so important. PLEASE WATCH THIS.

Dive!! I had very high expectations for this show. Once I realized it was going to fall drastically short and just accepted that, then I actually enjoyed it. This show actually had some really great humorous parts that I didn’t expect but overall, I’ll admit, I was disappointed. But once I quit caring and resenting the fact it wasn’t as good as I thought it should be, then I really liked the last few episodes. Minimize your expectations (and speedos) to avoid disappointment, I guess.

Princess Principal Now I had no expectations for this one going in other than it sounded “kinda interesting.” I loved it. Cute girls, especially in this art style, really aren’t my thing at all. So I hope that illustrates how strong the story is, that a show I normally wouldn’t even try ended up being one of the best of the season.

Made in Abyss Where do I even start… If you like great art, quirky characters, adorable children, and fun, light-hearted romps through adventureland, you should totally watch—hahahahaha. Just kidding. I mean, yeah, it has great art, quirky characters, and I guess the children are kind of adorable when they aren’t talking about robot penises and maybe bleeding out their eyeballs…have I said too much? Seriously, though, this show kicked my ass in all the best ways. Visually it was amazing. Everything was put together so well it just sucked me right in and I had that feeling in my bones: “this is gonna be good.” And it was. Totally one of my top shows of the season, maybe the year.

Vatican Miracle Examiner This wasn’t anything like what I expected but I loved it anyway. Heck, maybe I loved it more for being totally…whatever it was. The word “campy” comes to mind even though I don’t think (?) that’s really what they were going for. Would I have stuck with this show if Junichi Suwabe hadn’t voiced the lead? The world may never know. But I’m glad I kept with it, diving into the seriously absurd (or absurdly serious?) world of the Vatican…

Hitorijime My Hero C’mon, people. You know me. Of course I loved the shit out of this.

Like Bakugo here, I love this show so much I could puke.

My Hero Academia What is left to say about this show–it’s always perfect all the time. Every week I just wanted more. I wanted to just watch hours of it. Consistently incredible.

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Summer Anime Explosion!

Summer Anime Explosion!

It’s Summerrrrrr! We’re out of the spring anime slog and there are a ton of shows on my summer simulcast list. So what’s good?

Knight’s & Magic this was not on my list at all. This show benefited from the fact it was one of the earliest to hit the simulcast schedule so I watched it because I’m waiting for other shows. But I loved it! The characters were oddly endearing even though they weren’t particularly unique. Maybe Ernesti’s enthusiasm and passion is just that infectious? I think I liked the fact that things moved at a decent pace and weren’t too drawn out. The show is a combination of concepts I’ve already seen done other places but it was really enjoyable all the same. I don’t know if it’s sustainable or if it just had a decent first episode, but I guess we’ll find out.

Fox Spirit Matchmaker I guess I’m just going to have to give up on Haoliners. Everything I’ve tried watching from them just seems a little “off.” The humor should be funny, but it’s not; the plot should be interesting, but it’s not; the characters should be entertaining…but they’re not.

Katsugeki Touken Ranbu I made a comment to a friend that you could probably put a poop emoji in Shinsengumi blues and I’d watch it. However, thankfully, Touken Ranbu is better than that. I enjoyed Hanamaru but this series is more battle-centric, which is fine with me. I thought the first episode was a pretty solid combination of action, plot explanation, and personal drama. I’m in.

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Clean Freak! Aoyama-kun I’d been looking forward to this one because hey, I love sports even if it’s more of a comedy that a sports anime. I am the opposite of a germaphobe so I sympathized more with the captain than with Aoyama-kun, but the episode was entertaining all the same. There were actually a couple funny surprises that made the episode memorable for me…and Takehito Koyasu as Akira Takechi stole the show.

Elegant Yokai Apartment Life This was one I’d been waiting for as cute boys and yokai are totally my thing. This show won me over probably within the first five minutes; I was sold. The first episode was pretty cute, mostly predictable, but I liked it anyway. I’m betting this is a series with a safe intro that will get better as it progresses.

Restaurant to Another World I was kind of lukewarm when I first read about this one, mostly because restaurant anime/manga easily rub me the wrong way. However, after seeing the voice cast, I decided to give it a shot. I knew when the very first words were Junichi Suwabe’s that this show was a winner. Episode one started off pretty strong up until that demon girl had to give us her life story…and I got a bit bored. But I’ve seen how funny and neat this show can be and I hope we see more of that in the next episode.

AHO-GIRL In the interest of full disclosure, the other voice that will automatically get me to watch a show is Tomokazu Sugita’s. And that brings us to Aho-Girl. This show should be stupid and offensive but I found it to be stupid and hilarious. I couldn’t help it; I laughed out loud several times. This is the type of show that definitely isn’t for everyone but I’m actually looking forward to the next episode.

Tsuredure Children  I read the first volume of manga out of curiosity before the anime aired and…I think the manga might be better. I originally thought it would make a decent anime and have the characters in color and voiced would really add something but I think I’d rather have the ability to get through the scenes at my own pace. Even though it’s a short, it still felt like each scene was a little too long.

Fastest Finger First I can’t help it; every time I read this title I snort immaturely. It sounds like hentai to me. But ANYWAY, it’s totally not. It’s a cute (?) high school anime about a quiz club. This actually held my attention more or less and even though our protagonist is the same first-year nerd we’ve seen in countless anime before, he still managed to be kind of cute. The quiz scene was actually more interesting/exciting than I expected.

Love & Lies I actually thought the premise of a government-mandated eharmony to raise the birth rate was interesting. Then the opening theme started and I lost interest. It all looked so boring and the characters were more boring and I try to be flexible about animation styles but their eyes made me secretly wonder if they’re actually supposed to be people or if they’re robots who think they’re people and hopefully this anime will take a really dramatic turn mid-season… But I won’t be around to find out. It’s hard for me to take a couple of 16-year-olds seriously about how dramatically-forever-in-love they are when they’d only spoken once in the last…five years? I think is what they said. If some guy came up to me and said, “You’ve only spoken to me once five years ago, but I’m madly in love with you” I’d tell him the fantasy exceeds reality and please don’t talk to me for another five years at least. Unless that person happened to be Junichi Suwabe in which case I’d say, “Actually, I’ve never spoken to you but hey, I LOVE YOU TOO.”

Netsuzou Trap -NTR- After reading the first volume of the manga, I don’t know why I tried watching the anime. I guess I thought I’d give it a try in case the anime was better? I was wrong; I think it’s actually worse seeing it animated. I hope the target demographic loves the crap out of this show because I do not.

DIVE!! Speaking of target demographic, ever since the PV I thought, “Oh, someone made an anime for me. How nice.” Because of the speedos and one-word title with exclamation marks, this show is drawing similar comparisons to Free!. However, the atmosphere of the show feels very different to me. It feels a bit more sporty and less emo, though I’m sure that boy drama will surface soon enough. I am looking forward to future episodes and seeing some of the other characters from the opening theme…

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“If we keep up with a certain pattern over and over again, it becomes our own style.”

Saiyuki Reload Blast  The band’s back together! And the first episode of Saiyuki Reload Blast felt like…most other episodes of Saiyuki I’ve ever watched, many years ago. So the little tongue-in-cheek commentary at the end of the episode made me laugh. There’s something very comforting about starting an anime and having it be exactly what you expected.

Hitorijime My Hero I love BL. That aside, the first episode was really cute. I had read a bit of the manga so I knew what to expect but I was still pleasantly surprised with how endearing the anime seems to be. I liked it even more than I thought I would. And when I heard Kosuke’s voice all I could think was, “Ah, Maeno-san, the eternal seme.”

Welcome to the Ballroom Talk about expectations, this was one of my top anticipated anime for the summer season. I’m totally addicted to the manga so I couldn’t wait to see how the anime turned out. Well…I love it. LOVE IT. I felt like I could just watch the opening theme over and over but then as the episode got underway…sometimes you can just tell in the first minutes an anime will be great and you kind of start drooling. Or maybe that’s just me? Regardless, even with my incredibly high expectations, Welcome to the Ballroom blew me away.

Vatican Miracle Examiner After watching the first episode, one thing is for sure: Junichi Suwabe’s voice is a verfied God-granted miracle. As far as the show itself, just from the looks and description it kind of reminded me of Trinity Blood and in a way, the comparison proved somewhat accurate. They’re both kind of sleepy and full of dialogue and intrigue and bad shit going down in church. Vatican Miracle Examiner wasn’t quite as engaging as I’d hoped but it’s good enough to keep me watching.

Altair: A Record of Battles I started reading the first volume of manga a while back but didn’t make it through so I really hoped animation would make the story more dynamic and engaging. It’s still pretty sleepy, I think because it hops around between political intrigue and moodiness and repetitive flashbacks feeling a bit unstable all the while. So I’m hoping that now we’ve gotten the first episode and its exposition out of the way, the story can find its footing and be more focused and interesting.

What have been your favorites so far? What was your biggest disappointment? Or, better yet, biggest surprise?

Winter 2017 Simulcasts

Winter 2017 Simulcasts

Bleeeeeehhhhhh…I know it’s a few weeks late but I was hoping things would get better. They didn’t. So, let’s talk about the latest simulcasts!

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All Out!! is a continuation from the fall and while it kind of got obscured by the abundance of strong shows in the fall season, All Out is stealing the spotlight for the winter. It seemed like it took a while for this show to pick up speed but now we’re really into the “good stuff.” I realllly hope people give this one a chance.

Akiba’s Trip I really had no reference for this going in but I thought I’d give it a try. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t keep it either. I just didn’t care enough.

Blue Exorcist We’re three weeks into this one and it keeps getting better. It was a little hard getting back into things since it’s been so long since the anime ended and the manga is in a completely different place but it’s been worth it. I love the depth of the characters.

Masamune-kun’s Revenge unlike Blue Exorcist, has no depth to the characters. I had read the first volume of manga when I’d heard this would be getting an anime and I didn’t hate it as much as I hate this. Three episodes in I feel more strongly about that than ever.

Saga of Tanya the Evil I actually had pretty high hopes for this one because I thought the premise was really interesting. I don’t want to say it’s “disappointing” but every time I have a “this is great” moment, it’s followed by half an episode of “I’m bored; I wonder what I have for snacks.” I’m still holding out hope that as the series progresses we get more substance.

IMG_0643.PNGSeiren This might have been one of the most boring first episodes of my life. So much so that I thought, “Nothing can be this boring, there has to be some twist or catch coming up.” I can put up with a lot of lousy shows but after finishing the third episode…I hate it. There was one good line in episode three: “Do all girls lie through their teeth?” My answer: Yes. Now move on, no need to finish the series. I’ve solved the mystery of life for you.

IMG_0576.PNGShowa Genroku Rakugo Shinju thank all that is good and bright and holy in the universe for this show. Especially in a season where I find myself getting increasingly pissed off slogging through shows, the return of SGRS was a godsend. The series came back with a vengeance, episode one as strong and amazing and perfect as if it had never left. The first series was one of my favorites in its season and now this is one of my favorites of the winter. I CANNOT SAY ENOUGH ABOUT HOW TOTALLY PERFECT AND AMAZING THIS IS.

Interviews with Monster Girls I did not expect this to be good. I LOVE IT. Episode one snagged me, episode two was cute, and I just finished episode three where I laughed my ass off. This one kind of came out of nowhere for me but I’m so glad I gave it a try; it’s one of the few I look forward to every week. Thank you, Junichi Suwabe, for convincing me to watch this.

IMG_0615.PNGGabriel Dropout This is the opposite of Monster Girls for me in that I had actually looked forward to it but it’s not living up to my expectations. It can be really cute/funny at times but for the most part I get bored.

Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid First episode followed the manga pretty closely. I think it does benefit from being animated; everything is pretty cute. This show is nothing amazing but it’s entertaining enough.

Hand Shakers Seeing the character designs and voice casting, I was actually really excited about this. And then I watched the first episode…and tried not to puke. I don’t know why this is so excruciatingly painful to watch or why the story is pretty close to nonsensical or worse, why no one noticed that and turned this thing loose into the wild. I have actually watched two episodes so far and the whole time I think, “How did this get made..?”

IMG_0601.PNGelDLIVE We got a few chapters of this in JUMP and never saw it again so I was pretty stoked that we’d get an anime. I loved Reborn so I wanted to see more of elDLIVE. It’s…been a pretty slow start. But I try to remember that Reborn took seasons to really get good so I’m giving elDLIVE the benefit of the doubt.

Yowamushi Pedal New Generation I’m just gonna say: I miss the old generation. These first two episodes have been kind of a bummer. I joked on the podcast that the title of this season should be YowaPeda: Mourning Makishima by the depressing tone and theme of the first two eps. I want to love it but so far the new characters are rubbing me the wrong way.

Chiruran 1/2 Anyone who’s followed me at all knows I’ll watch pretty much anything Shinsengumi related. This is no exception. While Chiruran 1/2 is funny in its short-form way, I would reallllly love the actual Chiruran manga to get an anime adaptation. *fingers crossed*

ACCA I was super stoked for this one and after a couple episodes…I don’t really know how I feel. I “like” it plenty; I just hope it does something soon that makes me LOVE it. Besides cast Junichi Suwabe and Kenjiro Tsuda, I mean.

Super Lovers ah, BL with your complicated yeah-we’re-brothers-but-not-by-blood-and-we-sleep-in-the-same-bed-and-none-of-us-can-communicate-for-shit-so-it’s-week-after-week-of-misunderstandings. Welcome back.

Onihei This is a much-needed show this season. It scratches a certain manly itch.

Tiger Mask W Also manly and also a carry-over from the previous season. Just a couple episodes into the second cour it appears that Tiger Mask W is getting more ridiculous by the week. I want to call it “mindless fun” without sounding insulting.

GINTAMA this is in caps for obvious reasons. Because it is the best. Picking up after the Shogun Assassination & Farewell Shinsengumi arcs, we’re still in the thick of “serious stuff” and every week my heart is broken and put back together. I don’t know if there is anything in this world more perfect than Gintama.

 

Bye, Fall 2016

Bye, Fall 2016

Fall 2016 Simulcast season is over…so who were the winners and losers? Due to time constraints I dropped a lot more shows than I usually do…which means this post is mostly about the winners (or what I liked the most). In no particular order…

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable

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One of my absolute favorite shows of the season. And I lost my shit when, in JoJo’s of all places, Rohan dares to say that the key to a great manga is “reality.” I still haven’t gotten over it (obviously). This one got a lot of discussion on the podcast and what we say often is that this is JoJo’s hitting its stride; a JoJo’s that’s at its best, most comfortable, and most outrageous and owning every minute of it.

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DAYS

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I don’t give two whits about soccer but Days won me over from the first episode and NEVER let up. Every week I was amazed at how invested I was in this show and how it sucked me in. The pacing was excellent and it had a great balance of drama/comedy/intensity/man-tears. And I will never get over the power of Daisuke Ono’s voice to score a goal. I feel like I should say more about it, about how great it is, how fun it is, how sporty it is…but just watch it!

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Haikyu!!

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Speaking of magnificent sports anime with perfect pacing, there’s Haikyu!!. This third series was a bit shorter at only 10 episodes but those ten episodes were packed with…everything. I don’t think I’ve held my breath so much in my life. I might’ve teared up every episode. I’ve said since the beginning (and when recommending this show to people) that this is one of the most perfect sports anime I’ve ever seen…and I stick to that. It’s absolutely amazing. You can’t go wrong with this, unless you hate boys, awesome, and feelings.

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Uta no Prince-sama: Legend Star

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Well, it was very UtaPri. And apparently we’re getting yet another season of it..?

Magic-kyun Renaissance

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A bit sleepy at times but I felt like Magic-kyun did some new, twisty things with a generally trope-y genre. Of the idol/reverse-harem style anime this season, I think this was my favorite. I had several genuine laugh-out-loud moments and I really enjoyed how ridiculous it got at times.

Yuri!!! on Ice

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WHAT IS THERE TO EVEN SAY ABOUT THIS SHOW?! If you’ve watched it, you know it’s amazing. If you haven’t watched it, well, I’m sure you’ve heard it’s amazing and I can’t imagine what you’re waiting for. I loved a lot of shows this season and rewatched many, many episodes…but this is the show I rewatched the most. I have lost count at how many times I’ve seen each episode. I can’t talk about this anymore or I’ll cry.

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Drifters

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And for another show that I watched repeatedly…DRIFTERS. Because the manga comes out on a pretty slow schedule we were cautiously optimistic…and blown away. Drifters was absolute perfection, every episode, and I can’t wait for it to return…whenever that is…

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Keijo!!!!!!!!

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For a show that looks built on fanservice, Keijo!!!!!!!! was totally worth the watch. It was hilarious, over the top, and very well done and savvy all the way.

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It was fast-paced with a feeling of chaos but everything seemed to fall in place at the end. I wasn’t as invested/involved in this series and was a bit relieved when it wrapped up.

Kiss Him, Not Me

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As a fan of the manga, I had high hopes for this one. However, like the manga…it had its ups and downs, its hilarious episodes and its kinda slooooow episodes. But I felt like the final episode ended on a high note reminiscent of the humor in the first few episodes and felt very true to the essence of the show.

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Poco’s Udon World

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How can something be so heartwarming and yet heartbreaking all at the same time?! Although I was looking forward to this one, it was kind of a surprise for me. It was way better than I’d anticipated and I found myself looking forward to it every week. I thought it would be one of those “background shows” and instead I fell in love with it.

Touken Ranbu: Hanamaru

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Naturally, I loved the Shinsengumi episodes/lean of Touken Ranbu. Since I don’t know anything about the game except its general premise, I wasn’t sure how much I’d like the anime. But it was a lot of fun and now I wish I could play the game. And name-dropping Hijikata will always pique my interest.

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So that’s what ENDED this season…but don’t forget we have a few that are marching on, like:

Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans

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All Out!!

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Nanbaka

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So there you have it! Pretty pared down from how I started the season…but now it’s time to make my picks for winter and overload my schedule once again!

What were your fall favorites? What did you drop, what did you keep? …And what can’t you wait to see this winter?

 

Hey, It’s Fall 2016!

Hey, It’s Fall 2016!

It is Faaaaaallllllll Anime Season and that means several shows I’m super excited about are finally here! So let’s get started…

Most Anticipated Shows these are ones I’d been anxiously waiting for, reading all the updates, keeping close track of…so how did they do?

All Out!!

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I should be classier about this but straight up, I saw these butts in the opening and was filled with joy at the thought, “All Out!! is finally here!” That said, if you’re a person who isn’t thrilled at rugby butts, hear me out: the first episode was totally…normal. Gion is a short, fiery first year who runs into Iwashimizu, a very big but docile first-year. Iwashimizu’s senpai from middle school encourages them both to watch rugby practice but while Gion is excited about joining the rugby team, Iwashimizu swears he’ll never play rugby again. Blood, sweat, and tears full speed ahead.

Yuri!!! on Ice

Yuri is in a losing slump and debates quitting figure skating while his idol is considering retiring on a high note after a winning streak.

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It’s a season of exclamation marks and Yuri!!! on Ice merits every last one. Before you get the wrong impression from my screenshot (heh) I want to say that this show was actually a lot goofier than I expected. Being about men’s figure skating I expected it to take itself (too?) seriously but there was a lot of humor in this first episode. And we were treated to a beautiful sequence on ice (which almost made me cry because I thought of that scene in Death Parade).

Haikyu!!

The boys are getting fired up to play Shiratorizawa; the winning team goes to Nationals.

haikyu.PNGYes, I love sports anime. And Haikyu!! deserves love; it’s consistently perfect. Sooo excited that it’s back.

Drifters

Kurt Cobain once sang, “Where do bad folks go when they die?” Well, apparently they go to a hallway and end up in a mystical land with other bad folks and become Drifters.

Yes, finally one in my Most Anticipated category that isn’t a sports anime or riddled with exclamation marks. I love the mangaka and love the manga so I couldn’t wait to actually see this. I laughed a lot more than I expected at the dorkiness and honesty of it. Nobunaga asking about his son surprised me; I didn’t remember that from the manga and I felt that scene was done very well.

All in all, super happy with my top four.

Also Excited About… this category is for those shows I felt were a safe bet. I knew I’d love them, either because they were returning series, I was familiar with the source material, or I…just knew.

Tiger Mask W

A pair of pro wrestlers are out to avenge their master; one chooses to be the small-time rebel Tiger Mask and the other attempts to take the organization down from the inside as Tiger the Dark.

tiger mask.PNGThis one’s in the category of “just knew.” It has a great, manly feel to it. The art style and character design remind me of Toriko and every time I see Tiger the Dark I think, “Oh, it’s so good to see Starjun again.” If you like muscles, pro wrestling, and an old-school feel then check this one out.

Nanbaka

Four inmates have fun trying to escape the world’s most inescapable prison.

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I read the manga via crunchyroll and knew this had to be good. It’s colorful, crazy, and fun. It’s just a good time.

Kiss Him, Not Me

A chubby fujoshi loses a ton of weight after being despondent for a week due to an anime tragedy. Now that she’s cute, she’s become popular and her life has turned into an otome game but she’d rather the boys love each other instead.

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Another one from crunchyroll manga that’s been dear to my heart ever since I started reading it. I really hope more guys give this one a try because it’s truly funny and well-done. Part of me feels like I should be offended that the basic moral of the story is, “If you’re cute, people will like you no matter how nerdy your hobbies.” But I give this show a pass because it is genuinely funny and entertaining.

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Poco’s Udon World

A young man returns to his hometown after his father’s death and finds a kid with ears and a tail in his father’s closed noodle restaurant.

udon.PNGThis one…just looked so cute that from the time I saw the news about it, I wanted to watch it. Watching the first episode all I could think was, “This is Barakamon crossed with Sweetness & Lightning with a bit of the supernatural mixed in.” Which sounds great, right?!

Natsume Yujin-cho 5

Natsume is back hanging out with Nyanko-sensei trying to uncover the history of his grandmother and return names to yokai.

I know a lot of people who were crazy excited that this show had returned. While I’m not as huge of a fan, I do enjoy it and was fairly sure what to expect. As soon as the opening theme started I kind of laughed to myself and thought, “Yep, this is soothing, sleepy Natsume, same as always.” That said, I think the first episode was a great return.

Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans

Tekkadan is now famous but their work is just beginning as the political stakes are higher than ever and new recruits join the organization.

I didn’t really feel like I needed another season of this…until I watched the first episode and got goosebumps. I hadn’t realized how much I’d missed Iron-Blooded Orphans.

Enter the Idols we have a few idol shows to choose from this season so they get their own segment.

Uta no Prince-sama Legend Star

Starish, Quartet Night, and Heavens are gearing up to compete; Nanami is composing songs for all three groups.

utapri.PNGThey knew exactly who their audience is and exactly what they wanted with this first episode. Two episodes in we’re seeing the typical UtaPri formula. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.

Dream Festival!

Fans shoot Cards to their idol on stage and that powers them up and determines their outfits.

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We all know the idol character stereotypes and the general plot of most idol shows (to compete in some idol competition and win) but what’s different about Dream Fes is the Cards.

Magic-kyun! Renaissance

A girl struggles to follower in her mother’s footsteps learning magic at an academy with a variety of talented & hot guys.

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Be prepared to hear “kira kira!” a lot because Magic-kyun Renaissance is about…magic. And magic means sparkles! As with UtaPri and DreamFes, the first episode is mostly running around, coincidentally bumping into all the characters and getting an explanation of their skills and personalities. Magic-kyun has some dramatic elements and semi-random in-episode songs that reminded me a bit of Dance With Devils…which is actually a good thing.

Touken Ranbu-Hanamaru

Sword-boys hang out and do sword-boy things.

Yeah, I know that Touken Ranbu is sword-boys, not idols. However, after reading some comments about people upset about “yaoi” and “more effeminate men in anime” I decided to put Touken Ranbu-Hanamaru in this category. Cute boys hanging out doing cute boy things. It’s a thing, get over it. For anyone reading unfamiliar with the premise of Touken Ranbu, think KanColle but instead of ship-girls we have sword-boys.

Shorts we seem to have a lot of these this season, ranging from about 2-3 minutes to 10-12 minutes.

Gakuen Handsome

A BL parody based on the game of the same name.

I just recently started watching Gakuen Heaven so the first episode of Gakuen Handsome was hilarious to me. It’s not for everyone but it’s short and funny.

Ninja Girl & Samurai Master

A goofy, cute ninja goes to work for Nobunaga.

This exceeded my expectations. The first episode was funny and cute.

Kiitaro’s Yokai Picture Diary

… I watched this but can’t really think of a synopsis. It’s about a boy and a zashikiwarashi? “This is the story of precious days spent with our yokai friends..” Yeah, that’s what it’s about.

Cheating Craft

A person’s life is determined entirely by a test; in this world there are learning types and cheating types.

I loved the look of the show but the first episode fell flat for me. I’ll give it another episode but I don’t know what it would take to make me care here.

Sengokuchojyugiga

History jokes abound with a unique art style.

I really liked this one. It was short but I really enjoyed the humor and look forward to more.

Miss Bernard Said

Miss Bernard likes to talk about books…without actually having read them.

Again, short & cute. I look forward to learning more about the characters.

To Be Hero

A playboy toilet seat designer gets turned into a slobbish hero.

I didn’t know anything about this going in but I loved the beginning. I cooled off a bit toward the end but I’ll give it another episode or two.

Gambles These were shows I felt tentatively excited about but didn’t have the confidence they’d be keepers. Some are types/genres that I don’t dabble in much but decided to go for it this season.

Izetta: the Last Witch

A young witch saves a princess of a tiny country held captive by Germans. Germanians?

I really liked this one. I liked the historical meets magical feel and I enjoyed the reunion of the girls. I had to laugh at the vision of two girls riding around on a giant rifle but I feel the show is so much more than that image. I’m excited about this series and feel like it has a lot of promise.

Trickster

It’s a detective agency (?) with a young adrenaline junkie and a kid who can’t die.

This one sounded interesting coming in but I felt the first episode was just so-so. I do think that this could be a show that picks up steam as it goes.

Magical Girl Raising Project

Girls (and a few boys) play a phone game that ultimately allows them to become magical girls. However, too many people have now become magical girls and it’s time for them to battle it out and whittle down the numbers.

What can I say? Don’t trust adorable little alien things! Or little black & white things! They may be cute but they’re wicked, wicked creatures. That aside, I really liked this one. It reminded me of Madoka Magica except that I actually like this.

Bloodivores

A bunch of criminals are in a survival game against weird monsters.

The second episode was better than the first but I’m not sure that’s saying much. It has a vampire meets Battle Royale feel and that’s not something I think I needed.

March Comes in Like a Lion

A professional shogi player has trauma but he’s friends with three sisters who try to make him less lonely.

I have high hopes for this one. The first episode was pretty artsy but that’s not exactly a bad thing.

Occultic;Nine

A guy wants more blog hits and weird shit is going down.

This was way goofier and erratic than I expected. The first episode didn’t exactly grab me but I’ll see what episode two brings. It reminded me somewhat of Durarara! so I’m hoping this show surprises me in a similar fashion.

Flip Flappers

A girl can’t decide what school she wants to go to and encounters another girl; together they end up in another dimension (?).

This was oddly fun. The dynamic reminded me of Pikari and Teko from Amanchu.

Classicaloid

Classical composers are presented with a new twist and crazy music powers.

classicaloid.PNG

Okay, I picked this up because of Sugita-san’s role as Beethoven and actually enjoyed it more than I thought I would. It’s not deep or genius but it’s fun and I love Sugita-san’s voice.

Matoi the Sacred Slayer

A girl at a shrine gains magical power.

I’m interested in seeing where this goes. I’m not sure the first episode gave us enough of a taste.

Keijo!!!!!!!!

Girls compete for big money in a sport where they knock each other off of floating platforms using only their boobs or butts.

keijo.PNG

I should make fun of this but I actually loved it. It was interesting that the girls are older (which I guess they have to be or this would be borderline illegal). The premise was interesting and hilarious and I actually really liked the characters. You can’t beat a battle between boobs & butts.

So that’s it for new simulcasts! What are you watching? What do you love? What do you hate?

Summer 2016 Wrap-Up

Summer 2016 Wrap-Up

I swear, these seasons are going by faster and faster all the time…

Berserk

img_0320These girls can’t figure out why they look drawn and poor Isidro is CG

If you’ve listened to the podcast at all, you know that my brother despises the animation and that I love Berserk no matter how much they try to screw it up. I will say that I was surprised by how far we…didn’t…make it in this season. When the voice cast and character designs were announced I assumed we’d see Schierke in some capacity other than a blip of a teaser at the end of the final episode. It may be futile but I’m looking forward to the return of the show this spring and hoping that maybe they cut back a bit on the CG and make Berserk beautiful again.

First Love Monster

This show was so incredibly stupid and that’s what made it great. The final episode exceeded my expectations by cranking the ridiculous up to 11 and just going for max absurdity. Don’t think too much, don’t care too much, just kick back and be entertained.

img_0319img_0318

Re:ZERO

I fell in and out of love with this show. The premise really drew me in but then Subaru’s repeated screaming turned me off. But I’d already put in the time and the old swordsman’s backstory kept me hanging on. All in all, I’m glad I stuck with it.

Taboo Tattoo

I can’t say the same for this series, however. I don’t know if the hype was too great or if the adaptation is to blame (I’m not familiar with the manga) or…what. I really wanted to love it and be blown away by it all; instead, I kept asking, “Why are you trying so hard to make me not care about anything that happens?”

Servamp

It was great to see this animated. I especially enjoyed the last few episodes and got sucked in (no vampire pun intended) for the final fight. If you’re reading the manga, you should love this. And if you’re not reading the manga, you can enjoy this anyway–in a time where there is a gross overabundance of vampire fiction, Servamp keeps it original and interesting.

D.Gray-man HALLOW

I didn’t realize this run of D.Gray-man would be so short but I guess it makes sense since we’re kind of running out of story to animate. HALLOW covered my favorite part of the manga so I really enjoyed it.

Morose Mononokean

mononokean.PNGThis describes exactly how this show made me feel.

I loved this one. It was one of my anticipated shows going into the season and I felt it consistently delivered every week. (And if you loved it too, remember you can continue on by reading the manga via crunchyroll!)

B-Project

bpro.PNGThe whole time I considered this show to be one of those guilty pleasures–stupid, simple, fanservice-y, but lovable regardless. The final episode, however, went places I didn’t expect and I almost choked from trying to eat and scream at the same time. One thing I enjoyed compared to most reverse-harem shows is that while Tsubasa is, of course, lovable and endearing to all who know her, I never got the impression that all the boys were in love with her. Heck, half the time I was pretty sure that most of the boys were in love with each other (which was fine with me!). I think B-Project did a good job of taking something very typical and trope-y and flipping things around a bit…while still keeping those fantastic end cards.

Cute Earth High Defense Club LOVE! LOVE!

I was a huge fan of the first season but this second season is incredible and perfect. It went above and beyond my expectations and the final episode…I just can’t even find the words. I wanted to just screenshot the entire episode for the blog but instead I picked the two shots I felt conveyed my feelings the best:

wombat.PNGTruer words were never spoken.

gora.PNGYes, please, just give it a try. Watch it now. PLEASE.

91 Days

empty shell.PNGMuch like this show itself.

Instead of going above and beyond my expectations, 91 Days was horribly disappointing. I admit the bar was high; I was soooo looking forward to this series and I thought it HAD to be amazing. I was wrong. It had the potential to be superb but instead of a tight, well-paced, complex and intriguing mafia show, it felt like a haphazard incoherent homage to mafia shows. It was like all your favorite scenes from mafia movies were cobbled together without any sort of regard to a sensible plot. It pains me to say this because I really wanted so badly to love it…but maybe that’s why I feel all the more let down by the fact it just didn’t deliver. I do think the final episode was the best episode. Watching it I couldn’t help but wonder if the story didn’t actually start with the final episode and episodes 1-11 weren’t just written as some sort of random vehicle to get to that final act.

duh.PNGGood fucking question. I’d been wondering that the whole series.

Cheer Boys!!

smile.jpgMission totally accomplished.

On a lighter, less-critical note…OMG Cheer Boys!!. I really loved this one. It wasn’t perfect or serious or a particular masterpiece but it gave me exactly what I wanted and even surprised me on occasion with some twists (no cheerleading pun intended) and insights. I laughed out loud more than I expected and the conflicts seemed realistic despite the situation itself being a bit ridiculous. Having just watched the final episode I feel the need to ask: isn’t the coach the real hero here? Am I the only one thinking, “That woman is amazing!”

Handa-kun

Soooo good. I might’ve even gotten used to the voice acting by the time it was all over. 😉 Seriously, if you’re a fan of Barakamon, watch this. If you’ve never even heard of Barakamon, watch this.

Bananya

Such a cute little show. Pure fun and sweetness.

Alderamin on the Sky

I almost dropped this one several times but kept it as a “something on in the background” or “something on while I’m going to bed” show. And now here we are at the end of it. I love all the tactics and strategy but I hate all the talk about tactics and strategy. Lots and lots of talking. It wasn’t a bad show; I just don’t know if it was ultimately worth watching.

Mob Psycho 100

Loved the visuals of the opening theme. I was really excited about this show but I have to admit I kind of phased in and out. However, the last episode was pretty brilliant.

I’m sure there’s something I’ve forgotten, especially considering how many shows I started for the summer. What were your favorites of the Summer 2016 season? What Fall 2016 shows are you looking forward to?

Spring 2016 Extravaganza

It’s that time again! After gorging myself on the season’s new shows, here’s what I came up with…

LOVE LOVE LOVE:

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable I was soooo excited for this one and it did not disappoint. At the time of this post we’re 3 episodes in and every time I get to the end I wish I could just watch the whole series.

Joker Game This is another of my highly-anticipated shows and I try to not just grin through the whole episode. I love the intellectual/espionage/historical aspects of it all; you want to pay attention to every little detail.

Bungo Stray Dogs While I thought this would be a bit more serious (I mean, I’ve never found Osamu Dazai to be particularly humorous) I’m pleasantly surprised with the goofy twist. I’d been really looking forward to this series and now that it’s here, I love it.

Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto Having read the manga, I couldn’t wait for this anime. Yes, it’s so stupid but so GREAT. It has kind of a Cromartie High School feel that I really love.

My Hero Academia I read the manga and love it but the hype for this show was nuts. However…it’s all good! The anime has done an excellent job so far. This is another one of those shows that makes me want to just watch more, more, more! after the episode ends.

Super Lovers My guilty pleasure. A few minutes into the first episode I really thought I wasn’t going to like it but now I’m addicted.

Okay, I’ll Probably Keep:

Kiznaiver This show also got quite a bit of hype…to the extent I almost didn’t watch it. But I liked it more than I thought I would so I’m hoping it surprises me/grows on me/something.

Ace Attorney I have never played these games but decided to watch the show anyway. Turns out, I really like it! I don’t even know why. This show may not qualify as one I “love love love” and I don’t feel compelled to pay attention the entire time, but it’s fun and easy and heck, now I’m thinking about trying the game(s).

Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn RE:0096 It’s…a Gundam series. And as such, seems to take itself pretty seriously. But since Iron Blooded Orphans is over (for now?) I might as well fill the Gundam gap with this.

Twin Star Exorcists I tried getting into the manga and just…couldn’t. I thought maybe the anime would be better but it turns out I’m pretty bored with that too. I don’t know why this series doesn’t click with me; I usually enjoy this general premise. But for some reason I feel compelled to stick with it.

Tanaka-kun is Always Listless This one came out of nowhere (for me) and I thought it would be way too boring but for some reason…I really like it. Admittedly, I’m only through the first episode so the premise might get old pretty fast but for now, I’m really liking Tanaka-kun…’s friend.

And you thought there is never a girl online? I thought the concept was great but simultaneously expected this to be really disappointing. Instead, the first episode was pretty funny to me. I’m still wary and expect it to go downhill quickly but for now I’ll just let it be what it is and enjoy it.

Endride I’ll admit that I was excited for this even though I expected it to be pretty dumb. And it is pretty dumb but I still kinda like it. Though I’m perpetually distracted by the fact that one guy is apparently missing the lower half of his shirt while the other guy always looks like his pants are on backwards.

Shonen Maid Judge all you want, I was looking forward to this one. It’s actually a lot cuter than I expected, even if it’s not as interesting as I’d hoped. I don’t mean that in any BL/pervy way (for once).

Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress This show is…cinematic. It had a very “movie” feel to it. It also felt like a movie in terms of pacing, like it had plenty of time to explore the plot. Which is probably why it felt kind of boring to me at first –plus zombies aren’t really my thing– but by the end, I wanted to know what happened to the main dude and thought, “This might be pretty good.”

Maybe I Will, Maybe I Won’t…

Kumamiko I don’t know why but I thought this would be great. What’s not to love about a girl and a talking bear? Unfortunately it’s kind of boring so far. A girl and a talking bear…I feel like there’s so much wasted potential for hilarity…

Big Order Why did I pick this up? I feel like it should be better than it is. The premise/plot seemed interesting but the protagonist…comes off as kind of whiny and makes me want to hit him (and his sister). However, I did fall asleep before the end of the first episode so maybe I missed something that would actually make me like anyone in the show.

Hundred I was going to drop this but I keep watching it even though the princess-character’s boobs are horribly distracting in their weird defiance of gravity. Actually, I think the only reason I still watch is because of Emile.

The Lost Village I didn’t really know what to expect but the premise sounded interesting. Unfortunately I’m already to the phase of not liking/caring about any of the characters and being perfectly content if they all just kind of died. But maybe that’s what’s going to happen so I’ll keep going.

Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World- I picked this up out of curiosity and ended up liking it more than I thought I would. Then I fell asleep in the second episode. The main character (I think he’s the main character–unless he perma-died while I was sleeping) was actually kind of endearing to me, which I didn’t expect. But I don’t know if I’ll see this one through to the end.

Flying Witch I don’t actually know why I picked this one up. But it’s kind of cute and sleepy and simple so far so I guess I’ll keep at it.

Dropped:

Bakuon!! I don’t know why but I actually feel a bit guilty for dropping it. There is nothing that interests me –cute girls or bikes– so I don’t know why I even watched the first episode.

Cerberus After two episodes I don’t even remember what this was about or why I thought I should watch it. Apparently I make impulsive random queue decisions.

There you have it…my too-long Spring Anime Evaluation. *collapses*