Tag: simulcasts

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.

aoyama kun

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…

saiyuki

“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?

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.

nanbaka

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.

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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?