Tag: haikyu!!

Today’s Tub Manga: Haikyu!! (volume 14)

In the interest of full disclosure, I actually read most of this volume while on the stairstepper and not in the tub. I found this to be a pretty efficient way to make a wonderful manga not really enjoyable and do not advise it.

Volume 14 picks up with Daichi on the floor…and soon Daichi spitting out a tooth. As a result, our steadfast captain has to go to the infirmary, leaving a gap in on the court bigger than the one in his mouth…

So this is the volume where we reallllly get to know Chikara and he’s given his chance to shine. We get a better feel for his character and a peek into his history, as well as insight into what his teammates think of him. All of this hits us in the middle of a game against the wanna-be Little Giant of Wakunan–a game that Karasuno has to win to give Daichi a chance to come back. Who wants to end their high school volleyball career in the infirmary?!

This volume is full of intense action and dare-I-say cute exchanges. I couldn’t help but smirk at Asahi’s & Tanaka’s exchange after Nishinoya compliments Chikara on a save. Asahi saying, “Yeah, a compliment from Nishinoya on a save will get anyone pumped” while drawn with that goofy (lovey?) expression warms my heart every time. As does Noya chopping Asahi in the ribs. One of my other Top Ten Heartwarming Scenes in this volume is Suga’s enthusiasm when he sees Daichi is alive and intact…

We also get a bit more Yamaguchi in this volume and at the risk of killing poor Yamaguchi, I love what the mangaka does with him. He gets a bit of spotlight and then ends up tormented again, but I really enjoy his path of personal growth. I also enjoy him announcing he’s going to the bathroom and Hinata’s troubled comment of, “Wow, he sure looked serious about going to the bathroom.” Tsukki’s expression in that panel is priceless.

A couple other notables: Volume 14 contains the results of the Second Annual Character Popularity Poll. Anyone who watches Gintama knows how important these polls are. Anyway, Tanaka’s older sister isn’t happy with her brother’s standing in the rankings. Also, at the end of this volume, we get the cute Nisekoi x Haikyu “Nisekyu” chapter.

Haikyu!! is always great. It’s just better in the tub and not on the stairstepper.

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Today’s Tub Manga: Haikyu!! (volume 13)

I LOVE HAIKYU!!.

Every volume I marvel at its tight-knit perfection. Every volume I open the cover with great anticipation just to read the author’s note at the beginning.

The Johzenji game takes up most of the volume with the last quarter of the book covering the beginning of the Wakutani game. (Volume 14 might be a bit rough; the Wakutani game makes me nervous every time I watch it.)

I think most volumes of Haikyu!! contain the same basic elements: Hinata doing something superhuman; Tanaka being goofy; Asahi busting out an awe-inspiring spike; Tsukishima smirking; the opposing team flashbacking to the words of their senpai; Kageyama being sassy; Noya getting a killer dig; Daichi lying crumpled on the court, dead…

Wait, wut? Hehe…Okay, so he’s not dead. But what a cliffhanger! If didn’t already know what happens from watching the anime, I’d be screaming.

Today’s Tub Manga: Haikyu!! (volume 12)

I LOVE “Haikyu!!”. I totally have a soft spot for sports manga but I especially have a cozy place in my heart for great sports manga. I don’t think I’ve converted a single person but I keep preaching, trying to get people to read “Haikyu!!”.

Volume 12 takes us to the Miyagi prelims where those Karasuno boys have to win, win, and win some more. (The anime is ahead of the English version of the manga at this point, so you can probably guess the outcome.)

In the prelims we get more of what “Haikyu!!” does so well–fleshing out the opposing team, building a quick but touching backstory, and making us feel maybe just a little bad that we’re rooting for them to lose. But then it does that other thing it does so well–those moments of ramped up intensity where Karasuno’s fire is lit and their victory feels like your victory.

I’ve said here and on the podcast and who knows were else that “Haikyu!!” is one of the tightest, purest, most perfectly distilled sports anime/manga I’ve ever seen. It’s all the best aspects of sports action combined with unique but lovable characters and the perfect ratio of humor to drama.

Also: the bonus story at the end of volume 12 was perfect and wonderful and Asahi’s panel just made me want to hug him and Noya both.

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.

Occultic;nine

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?

Farewell, Winter 2016; Farewell, “Farewell, Shinsengumi”

It’s that time again…the end of a season. What did we love? What did we hate? What made us cry? I’ll give you a guess on that last one…

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Gintama I feel like between the anime and manga I’ve spent the last year crying at Gintama. Everything was just so perfect. PERFECT. And beautiful.

Speaking of perfect, Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju was one of my favorites of the season. It entranced me from the very beginning and was one of the shows I looked forward to the most week after week. Episode 11 about did me in, though; I just wanted to live in that episode forever.

Fairy Tail has ended (again). I should be sad but I think it’ll be back once the manga gets a little further ahead. If you can’t wait then I strongly suggest the manga; the pacing is actually much better than it has been in the second season of the anime.

Ace of the Diamond So glad Coach Kataoka got his moment. My brother said, “What’s the big deal. Haven’t you seen this already?” I said, “No, it’s the end. It’s the culmination of two and half years of watching Ace of the Diamond.”

Durarara I love the insane acceleration at the end and the feeling that everything is just totally irreparably out of control. I also love Shizuo throwing heavy objects. The end of the series felt very satisfying to me.

Erased This was another favorite of the season. I actually ended up dreaming about the final episode. This is the type of show I might recommend to people who don’t generally watch anime; I think it’s capable of crossing that boundary.

Haikyu!! This whole season felt very well-paced and tightly constructed to me. I ended up losing myself in fanfic as a result because every time I watched the latest episode, I just wanted MORE. The good news is, we already know another anime season is coming soon for our volleyball boys.

Mr. Osomatsu I have to wonder if the people responsible for this show are laughing their way to the bank since I can’t imagine anyone anticipating the way this show would explode. And yes, I’m as guilty as anyone; I have plenty of Osomatsu-san merchandise and I’ve already preordered my pillow covers. I was actually surprised by how much I loved this series.

GATE This second series felt a lot darker/more intense than the first but I might have enjoyed it more because it made things more complicated. Sometimes the plot felt a bit bogged down and I might not have paid as much attention as I should have…but that didn’t stop me from pleading with Sugawara to save Sherry.

Sekko Boys I loved this. A lot. The premise was absolutely ridiculous, the voice actors my favorites, and it was all short enough to be funny without being “too much.”

Ojisan and Marshmallow I found this oddly endearing even if it made me kind of hungry whenever I watched.

Dimension W When I saw Kyoma’s dance in the opening theme of the first episode I made the statement that this anime would be a winner. I ended up really getting hooked on it. At 12 episodes it’s compact and moves along swiftly. The characters were fun and Daisuke Ono sounded great. Especially recommend if you enjoy sci-fi themes.

Prince of Stride I kinda forgot I even watched this until I was looking through my queues for this post. It was all very…predictable. But I suppose it was okay for what it was.

There are a few shows I’m sad to see end (GINTAMA!!!!!!) but I’m really excited about the Spring 2016 lineup. (Ahem…Diamond is Unbreakable.)

Fall 2015, You Will Be Missed

My guilty pleasure STARMYU is over for now. This show was ridiculous to the umpteenth power and I loved every minute of it. If you love singing/dancing boys doing nonsensical things and being often stupid and angsty, this is the show for you! My dog, however, is quite relieved that it’s all over since this show definitely won the award for “Waking Up The Dog By Screaming at the Television.” And I mean that in the best of ways.

Young Black Jack was fantastic. I’m not just saying that because of the gratuitous abs (although I really loved that too). Especially in the later episodes I felt like even though the visuals had been spruced up, the story itself oozed that classic Tezuka darkness.

Beautiful Bones I totally want more of this. Sakurako was enjoyable (to me) as a main character; her eccentricity was endearing. But there’s so much left hanging…need more…

Osomatsu-san is supposed to be returning for another cour. I don’t know if I’ve ever laughed so hard as during the first episode (which has been pulled due to controversy) and year-end commentary (12A) episode. At first I didn’t know what to think about the style but because of the voice cast, I gave Osomatsu-san a try. Soooo glad I did. Wonderfully funny.

Haikyu!! brings me so much joy. Every time I watch it I get the urge to just drown in Haikyu fanfic. I hope you keep playing forever, volleyball boys.

Fairy Tail is always a favorite. I felt like there were some pacing…issues…but all the greatness by far outweighed any issues. And I totally cried through the whole Tartaros Arc Epilogue. I cried through it when I read the manga and it turns out the anime got me just as much.

Speaking of crying…omg GINTAMA. For a “comedy”…have I EVER SHED MORE TEARS?! I can never get enough of this show. It’s absolutely fucking amazing. When just the freakin’ *ending theme* can make a person tear up, I think you’re onto something. I love you, Sorachi!

Yes, I’m still watching Ace of the Diamond. The boys are still playing baseball. That’s about it. Though I did lose my cool a bit screaming at the tv when Miyuki took the tackle at home plate. I love the whole “freight train into the catcher who’s badass and still held onto the ball” thing. Then again, I kind of love Miyuki doing anything.

One Punch Man I absolutely loved this. As a fan of the manga I was so excited to see it get an anime. It was just a lot of fun to watch every week. All the characters are just fabulous…and the opening theme gets stuck in my head so easily.

Noragami I loved the first season but I think the second season (Aragoto) was even better. The characters are strong, the pacing is good, and the music is fantastic; if you haven’t checked this out I reallllly recommend it. It’s an “accessible” show-doesn’t take a while to get into and has a limited number of episodes.

Dance with Devils was absolutely ridiculous every step of the way. I’m pretty sure I laughed out loud at least once per episode. And I have no doubt those singing pomeranians will live on in my memory forever.

K: Return of Kings So beautiful.

MSG: Iron-Blooded Orphans I’ve been on a real Gundam kick lately (thanks to The Origin manga series) so I was more excited about this show than I normally would be. However, I’ve really been enjoying it! The characters are a lot of fun and the fact that Orga is voiced by my #4 favorite voice actor only sweetens the deal.

So there it is…the stuff I watched from/through the Fall 2015 season. Several shows I started I ended up dropping (which is a bit unusual for me) due to time constraints. Is there anything I missed out on? Anything you totally loved?