I decided instead of just caps and exclamation marks I was going to try to be a bit more “technical” and informative with my first impressions of the Winter 2016 Anime Season. So please bear with me…
Prince of Stride: Alternative
Funimation’s Description: From MADHOUSE, the studio behind Death Note and One-Punch Man, comes a fast-paced sports anime about Stride—competitive city-wide relay races. Nana and her classmate, Takeru, are desperate to resurrect their school’s Stride Club, but will they be able to get the prickly Riku, who insists he hates Stride, to join the team?
Ryota Kise Riku Yagami is recruited by a guy who looks like Haru-from-Free!-but-wears-glasses for the Stride Club. Daisuke Ono has cool hair and a beauty mark under his left eye. A taller-version-of-Nagisa-from-Free! and a shorter-more-hyper-guy-that-looks-like-Midorima-from-KnB are also on the team. A nice generic girl named Nana Sakurai wants to be manager and Relationer (I think this is the person who coordinates when the boys high-five to relay, instead of passing a baton).
Verdict: It’s a sports anime with cute guys and some missing emotionally-damaged other cute guys and the token boring otome-game-like-girl in the middle. Of course I’m going to watch it. Boys running and high-fiving and figuring out their feelings has to be a great combination.
Durarara X2 The Third Arc
Crunchyroll’s Description: Mikado Ryugamine is a young man who yearns for the city like no other. At the invitation of his childhood friend, Masaomi Kida, he moves to Ikebukuro, Tokyo and enters school there. My edit: (MOST MISLEADING DESCRIPTION EVER?!)
Verdict: This episode was awesome and this series is awesome. I ended up laughing so hard at this episode. If you aren’t watching Durarara you are really missing out.
Crunchyroll’s Description: Set in a futuristic Tokyo, Active Raid tells the story of “The Eighth,” a rash and careless unit of power-armored police called the “5th Special Public Security Section’s Mobile Assault Division.” After the Third Quicksand Disaster sinks Tokyo into a quagmire, the city’s reconstruction efforts are carried out using high-output, reinforced exoskeletons called Willwears. But they can also be misused, and to combat the crimes involving them, the National Police Agency establishes at its Kichioji Branch the Special Public Security Fifth Division Third Mobile Assault Eighth Unit, AKA Unit 8.
My description: Psycho-Pass, Tiger & Bunny, and Rail Wars had a baby and that’s Active Raid. Beautiful people in futuristic suits fight criminals in futuristic suits and there’s lots of computery-things and holoscreens and data. A new investigator lady joins the group and she’s a real stick-in-the-mud and in the first half of the episode she uses random English.
Verdict: I fell in love with this guy’s face so I kept watching. And thanks to his face, I’ll watch the next episode. But if the story doesn’t pick up I doubt his face will convince me to watch the whole series.
Crunchyroll’s Description: Satoru Fujinuma is a young manga artist struggling to make a name for himself following his debut. But, that was not the only thing in his life that Satoru was feeling frustrated about…he was also living with a strange condition only he was able to experience. – REVIVAL A strange phenomenon where one is transferred back to the moment right before something life-threatening occurs. This continues to happen until the cause of the threat is erased. It is as if somebody is forcing Satoru to stop it from happening.
My description: A guy with glasses has this experience he calls “Revival” where he relives a few minutes of time before a tragedy occurs in order to prevent it. Then some stuff happens that I don’t want to spoil…and anyway, things kinda get out of control and just maybe the dude is going to go wayyy back to his childhood to prevent a tragedy that’s haunted him his whole life.
Verdict: I honestly thought this was going to be pretty boring and predictable and then I went, “Holy shit!” and THEN I was like, “I can’t wait for the next episode.” I’m curious how they’re going to maintain the suspense through an entire cour but I really hope it continues and doesn’t fizzle out.
Ojisan and Marshmallow
Crunchyroll’s Description: None (?!?!?!)
My description: A short about an office lady who has a crush on her chubby mustachioed co-worker and he has no idea and they fight over marshmallows.
Verdict: Pretty ridiculous so I’ll keep watching.
Please Tell Me! Galko-chan
Crunchyroll’s Description: Galko, Otako and Ojou are a trio of unlikely friends in high school with three very different perspectives. Each episode embarks on a day in the life of a trendy girl, an otaku, and a lady, as they discuss their “girl problems.”
My description: This is another short one about high school girls talking about goofy stuff. Oddly realistic, as in I could see people I know having these conversations.
Verdict: This pretty much sums it up. Of course I’ll keep watching:
Crunchyroll’s Description: None
My description: A short about a girl who got tired of drawing sculptures in art school and became a showbiz manager instead…except she’s managing an idol group made up of four sculptures.
Verdict: Tomokazu Sugita + Daisuke Ono + absolutely ridiculous premise + singing/idols = HELL YEAH I’LL WATCH THIS I LOVE IT.
Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju
Crunchyroll’s Description: None!
My description: A guy gets out of prison and wants to apprentice to a storyteller who had performed for the prisoners. He’s not very good but he’s very enthusiastic and the storyteller takes him in.
My verdict: I loved the shit out of this. From the beginning I thought it was beautiful. And Akira Ishida’s voice…he is so perfect for this. (Yu Kobayashi sounds extra-wonderful too.) At certain points in the episode I was legitimately enthralled and felt like I was inside the show, watching the performance with the people in the crowd. Super excited for episode two.
Crunchyroll’s Description: On August 20XX, a gate suddenly appears in Tokyo’s Ginza district, unleashing a portal where monsters, medieval knights and other fantasy beings come from another world and wreak havoc on Tokyo. The Japanese Defense Force take action against these monsters and push them back into the “Gate”. Third Reconnaissance Team is dispatched to the “Special Region” lead by officer (and otaku) Youji Itami. On their travels, they are joined by a beautiful elf girl who is a survivor from the dragon’s rampage and guide the group across the dangerous new world.
My description: In this second season, negotiations are kind of underway and there’s an earthquake and whores and Pina’s brother abuses rabbit girls. Things seemed a bit darker right off the bat; I wasn’t really prepared.
Verdict: I’m glad GATE is back. I really do enjoy Itami as a character (and I love his voice). I plan on seeing this one through to the end.
Hulu’s Description: A nameless girl with a mysterious past is chosen to join the crew of Norn: a flying ship whose mission is to maintain peace throughout their world. As she adjusts to the wonders aboard the ship, with its tiered gardens, crystal waters, and highly-gifted crew, she finds that each discovery seems to yield more questions than answers. Even more mysterious, she learns that each member aboard Norn has one thing in common: they wield otherworldly “special abilities” similar to her own powers.
My description: A pink-haired girl doesn’t know her name but has some powers and ends up on a giant ship with cute boys who also have powers. There are a couple girls there too, a tsundere and a Rei Ayanami clone. At least, I think they’re girls. Pink-Girl falls while picking peaches and sees her life flash before her eyes but she ends up in a lake all wet with her blond guy friend and remembers her name.
Verdict: I’m a sucker for otome-games-turned-anime so yes, I’ll keep watching. Besides, Tomokazu Sugita’s character hasn’t shown up yet and I have to see/hear him. Though I will say that I was excited for this show and now I’m…a bit disappointed.
So that’s it for now. What did I miss? What are you watching that I’m not?
So I wasn’t going to include Haikyu!!
because it’s not new to this season but starting its second cour. But about three seconds into the new opening theme I started slobbering so…
Verdict: Haikyu!! is still perfect. Watch it!