Okay, so for those who missed it: I am not going to review Fumoffu because I don’t want to sit through a comedy I don’t enjoy. I do want to say a bit about why I didn’t like it, because the comedic moments of The Second Raid also turned me off for the same reason. For me, the creators took Sagara’s antics way over the top. In the first season he was a bright kid, who just had trouble adjusting in normal society. In the subsequent series, the creators try to make use of every light-hearted moment in order for him to do something outrageously stupid, only for Chidori to smack him in an over the top fashion. My biggest problem was that it wasn’t just not funny, but it also turned Sagara into an idiot and this plagues him throughout nearly the entire Second Raid.
As for the rest of this series… I’m really troubled judging it. During the middle part, I was really ready to label this series as superior to the first season. Even though Gonzo’s version of Sousuke was superior, Kyoani added a lot of extra things. The animation was far superior and the visual direction, and the small details within the storytelling were great to watch.
However, as the series drew near its finale, and Sousuke and especially his angst got more and more screentime… something just didn’t work for me. There was so much potential for this storyline and yet the creators waste so much time on Sousuke angsting over and over. It goes up to the point where his angst gets in the way of just about everything, preventing the minor characters from really shining.
And then came the ending. Seriously, what is it with Kyoani and Deus ex Machina endings? I’m trying not to spoil it, but the final episode was poorly built up, tried to do way too much character-development in way too little time, tried to wrap up its patiently built-up storyline way too fast. It felt way too convenient. A huge shame, considering how much potential there was in this series. It would even have been better if the creators just left a few more plotholes open, perhaps for a potential fourth season to address.
So yes. I may be the only one in this, but I actually enjoyed the Gonzo version more. With all the hype that surrounds it, I really expected something more from Kyoani’s version. It was undoubtedly more refined and superior in technical terms, but I just never liked Kyoani’s sense of humour, and this series misses the charms that made me enjoy the first season so much. This mostly is due to Sagara’s “derailment”, but also the villains themselves were surprisingly disappointing: none of them really matched the Gauron of the first season. They were all just too busy with their own quirks to really make an impact on me.
|Storytelling:||8/10 – Excellent in technical terms; very creative, but the overall plot fails to make use of this potential.|
|Characters:||7/10 – Disappointing lead character and villains, though some of the side-characters have their moments of greatness.|
|Production-Values:||9/10 – Very highly detailed, very smooth animated. No complaints whatsoever.|
|Setting:||8/10 – Detailed military background forms a pretty solid base for this series to work with.|