Posted by AidanAK47 on 15 February 2016 with categories: Yearly Summaries

2015 from what I have been hearing has been a good year for music and games but that’s not what we are assessing here. The true question is, was it a good year for anime? In truth it may depend on your tastes and this year was divisive to say the least. The best anime tended to be love it or hate it affairs but at least there was some interesting things at work. Personally I consider it the year of strong starts with weak finishes. There were plenty of anime whose first episodes held light of a new potential greats but it never quite managed to reach that level.

So Aidan, what made you late this time you ask?(You likely didn’t ask but please, humor me) Well when gearing up to write this summary I came to the shocking conclusion that I just plain forgot to watch some standout titles this year. Putting them on the backlog while I get though my ever expanding pile of steam games. It would be a shame to leave up potential candidates for the top ten simply because I neglected to watch them. That said there were sacrifices, I never got around to watching “Arslan Senki” after all. I also still remain halfway through Jojo stardust crusaders. So I ask for mercy should your favorite show not end up on the list below and keep in mind that top tens are ridiculously arbitrary. I don’t even consider the order to have any meaning as plenty of these can change places. I would say the list below is just ten interesting anime this year listed in no particular order.

So without further ado, the 2015 summary.

 

Worst series

Chaos Dragon: Sekiryuu Seneki

I could have went the easy route and stuck something like Punchline or Lances du Mask but anime such as these you just expect to be bad. When I ask myself on just what this year really made me regret anticipating it was most certainly this. Bad anime which are expected to be bad don’t hurt anyone but a bad anime that could have been something great is something to mourn. Chaos Dragon was based on a tabletop role playing session which featured three of the best writers in the industry. It could have been a great experiment to see what improv storytelling these people could dream up. Sadly by based on, they mean they took the setting and characters and pretty much nothing else. For someone seemed to think that they could make a better story and proceed to turn the thing into a Akame no Kill knockoff with poor pacing, inconsistent animation with bad CGI and a plot that just doesn’t make sense. It could have been something great but sadly now it never will be.

Worst First episode

K Return of Kings

Sometimes during the first impressions of an anime seas I feel like a judge on one of those music talent shows. I watch acts come and go till eventually I get some cocky person so convinced that they will blow me away with their performance. In the end they present a sub-par no effort show and yet still hold a ego more obnoxious than my own. Well that’s this show’s first episode for me. A story that’s making no effort to explain itself to the viewer, fanservice that has no idea which target market to aim for, dialogue so obtuse that it might as well be replaced with foghorns for what little it provides and visual so shaded under a blue gradient that just annoys without end once noticed. Was I interested in seeing what the rest of the show had to offer? No, no I was not.

Best Opening

Death Parade

One would think that a show about life and death would have a much more somber piece for its opening animation. But Death Parade threw that all out the window and decided to have an opening with the cast getting together and having a great time. Tonally the opening is a complete opposite of the show with its peppy catchy tune and fast beat that can make you tap along. Accompanied but visuals of dancing and messing around, it really hard to skip when you turn on a episode. A complete contrast to the grim subject matter of the series but perhaps that’s the point. The business of death need not be a somber one and if you are getting sent to either heaven or hell, at least you can be sent off with a party.

Biggest disappointment

Subete ga F ni Naru: The Perfect Insider

Death Parade was also a disappointment but it didn’t quite let me down as bad as Subete did. Personally, I love the murder mystery genre and wish I had more anime to sate that thirst. Plenty have tried the mystery angle but often resorted to stories that require little thought and are mainly spectacle. Then here comes Subete promising me exactly what I wanted and getting me fully on board for an exciting tale. However Subete ultimately played its cards too early and left the majority of the series attempting to stretch out the paper thin plot to fit the runtime. Enduring its tedium rewards watchers with a conclusion that’s obvious, nonsensical and overall pretentious. So once again I sit with an itch for some great murder mystery and wondering if I should replay Umineko no naku koro ni when it is released on steam.

Most pleasant surprise

Gakkou Gurashi!

Gakkou was a show that truly surprised me, not because of the shows hidden nature as I was already clued into that aspect, but rather how well directed it was. On all accounts Gakkou lives and dies on a gimmick, that being Moe slice of life mixed with a zombie apocalypse. Both are tired concepts yet this show managed to make both feel fresh by using the discrepancy between the genres. It has a rather predictable ending and one or two unnecessary filler episodes however it makes up for its shortcomings through some fantastic execution.

Best animation studio

Lerche

This was a pretty good year for Lerche, having a pretty consistent track record throughout the year with at least an interesting or entertaining show each season. Monster musume remains one of the most enjoyable harems I have seen in years and Gakkou was a pleasant surprise. Even Ronpa was at least an interesting experiment and Assassination classroom is a fun show. As a studio my opinion of them has gone up as they managed to not only adapt source material well but elevate it. (With the exception of Ronpa which disregarded it completely.) I look forward to their future projects and I hope they can keep up the good work.

Best Guilty Pleasure

Shimoneta to Iu Gainen ga Sonzai Shinai Taikutsu na Sekai

Monster Musume also deserves a mention for doing something different with the tired old fanservice harem but Shimoneta wins with just pure vile creativity. Taking place in a dystopian society that embodies censorship taken to its logical extreme, you could think that this is a commentary on the nature of repression. However whatever commentary Shimoneta provides is either in your face or accidental. No, the real goal of Shimoneta is to make as many sex jokes as humanly possible. The story manages to break expectations as things happen like the shows most boring Mary Sue character becoming the primary show stealer and the utter ludicrous as one episode features a tutorial on how to make a homemade onahole. It does have its weaknesses such as a villain introduced in its later episodes but manages to entertain regardless.

Best animation

One Punch Man

A no brainer without doubt. Fate/unlimited bladeworks second half did air this year but its splendor did not match its first series. Even if it did I think I would give the award to One Punch Man regardless as the animation here truly had heart and passion. The final bout in the final episode is worty of this title alone but the series managed to keep a relatively high quality of animation throughout with some of the best talent in the industry working on it. The result is a jaw dropping portfolio of visual glory, even if there were times were the art lacked consistency. There are those who truly dislike this show but I think few would discredit its animated feats.

Worst character

Magata Shiki

Let me say this, teenagers are irritating creatures. At one point we were all one and chances are you hated the person you were then. Because teenage years are when you think you have figured out the world and believe that you are somehow special in some unspecified way. There are those of us who outgrew this phase and learned to deal with simple truth. The only way to get acknowledgement for being special is to prove you are special through hard work and dedication. Some never outgrew this however and that brings me to Magata Shiki. Magata is the teenage mindset on full display. She thinks she’s figured out life, thinks she is special and therefore makes some of the most idiotic decisions possible. The problem is that the series treats her like she is special, that her mindset is new and oh so deep. No one attempts to challenge her mindset or more importantly, point out how utterly juvenile it is. Magata Shiki is the result of what happens when you isolate a egotistical teenager and allow them to fester in their own flawed logic. The result is an ignorant child who is under the impression that they are a genius. Even if the show demands to see her as some visionary philosopher, she remains proof that just because someone is smart, does not mean they are wise.

Best character

Saitama

With the soaring popularity of One Punch Man, Saitama is becoming a bit of an anime icon. With fanart of him taking on Superman and Batman, as well as a Fallout 4 parody. All that’s really needed for his popularity to skyrocket is an English dub, which should come any day now. But what exactly makes Saitama’s character so special. Well it could be because if his very nature being a parody of the overpowered Shounen protagonist or his personality that walks the tightrope between badass and goofy. Previously only handled by Eikichi Onizuka. But personally I believe his loveabity comes from the fact that dispute his overwhelming power, Saitama’s greatest challenges are the everyday tasks everyone needs to face. Where all is his power is worthless. Non the less it will always be fun to see him respond to the greatest threats to humanity with bored disinterest.

Top 10 anime of the year

10: Kekkai Sensen(Blood Blockade Battlefront)

Remember when I said it was a love it or hate it year? Well this anime is the representative of that view. To those of you who disagree with my number one pick, let it be known that I know how you feel. For Kekkai Sensen was that anime for me. On a technical level I can see how Kekkai can be a good show. I can even see greatness and creatively in its premise and some episodes. Yet despite all this I find it quite mediocre. Kekkai Sensen is very much style over substance and if you are looking for something with a deep plot I suggest looking elsewhere. The plot is a thinly tied thread that goes through a series of episodic adventures introducing characters and then proceeding to use them for absolutely nothing. All to end with an underwhelming conclusion which is open for a potential sequel. This anime holds the number ten spot for one reason, because I know there are those who could truly love this show. Particularly if you are a big fan of Durarara this will be right up your alley. I give it this spot because I admit it has merit for others, just none for me.

9: Death Parade

In my review I stated that Death Parade is a show that is half great. I still stand by that though in retrospect I may have been a bit harsh on it. The premise of Death Parade is deliciously novel and filled to the brim with potential. Half the series capitalized on that potential. The other half didn’t. Regardless this series truly did have some fantastic moments and should Madhouse take up the unlikely chance of creating a sequel I would be on board for a second visit to Quindecim. If we were given a sequel that took the best parts of this series and made the entire season of that then it would certainly make it into the top five.

8: Gate: Jieitai Kanochi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri

In any story when humanity meets beings from another world, we are generally the technologically inferior. Gate is here to shown that we humans have made some impressive killing machines and if faced with a RPG fantasy world we will certainly give them a run for their money. I will be the first to admit that gate isn’t perfect. It’s comedy is bad, the pacing is a slow burn with no real climax in sight and its missing something to truly make it great. But the story does work with some great ideas and how it deals with the issues that arise with the appearance of another world. Countries hungry to mine it for resources, the difference in political structures, the technological gape in power, culture shock…there are a lot of great things to work with here and the story does make some use of it. It will be the conclusion of the second season that ultimately decides the quality of the show so for now I believe this spot is earned.

7: Ushio to Tora

In truth Ushio to Tora never surpassed exceptions or provided anything besides what was promised. But it did deliver on what was promised. A fun Shounen adventure about a boy and his demon tiger. This title will have viewers filled with that nostalgic feeling previously brought by the likes of Dragonball or Yu Yu Hakuso. Bundled together with an opening that never fails to get me in the mood for some Shounen battle action. It’s a pity the show itself never quite lives up to the battle scale presented in the opening but even that is reminiscent of old style Shounen. This anime managed to keep me constantly entertained throughout and prevented it from getting stale by changing up the formula before it runs out of steam. It’s the anime of yesteryear, today!

6: Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works second season

Yes, I am well aware that my old bias is at work here but it would betray my love for the franchise to not have this here. At least take solace in the fact that it is not in the top five and I certainly would be willing to put it lower. This season was much weaker than the first and suffered from too much filler and a dragged pacing. That said it did have a great conclusion, it still is the best adaption of the route to date and its still a beautiful series to look at. I just pray that Ufotable can bring the brilliance of Heavens feel out with the film without the weaknesses displayed in this second season.

5: Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru. Zoku

In the middle of this list seems an appropriate place for this as the story did deal with characters being in the middle of someone else’s conflict. SNAFU didn’t quite excel its previous season, instead providing more of the same which in SNAFUs case is not a bad thing. In a medium filled with rosy depictions of school life and all its wonders, SNAFU is the show to tell it like it is and present a more realistic depiction of school life. The protagonists brand of cynicism never gets old though the fact that he has a harem is always a mystery. In guise of school events, SNAFU shows you many future troubles that those of us in the workforce are all too familiar with. In particular the school planning meetings are so true to life that it’s rather scary. That said this season was bogged down a bit with a ongoing plot about the characters relationships that borders on over melodramatic. That and a ending which is sort of cliffhanger that outright demands a third season.

4: Kidou Senshi Gundam: Tekketsu no Orphans

Mari Okada and Gundam is a match that would make anyone raise an eyebrow, yet it has produced one of the better Gundams in recent years. I would hesitate to call myself a Gundam fan, quite the opposite actually. But Orphans has a quality that I like a lot. There’s something engrossing about a bunch of underdog slaves revolting and becoming a significant power. Perhaps it’s because the politics of this series gas been put more to the background or simplified. I was never fond of Gundams nature to get too caught up in politics and even less so when it starts preaching about how war is bad. Orphans does have cartoonist aspects to it and a love triangle it would be better without but makes up for it with some fine Mecha action and a glorious soundtrack.Wherever you stand on this, at least we can argee its better than Reconguista.

3: Junketsu no Maria(Maria the virgin witch)

A while back I remember doing a first episode impression on Junketsu no Maria and being surprised at how good it was. So I made a note to watch it some time later and went on. Now with writing this summary I thought it was the perfect time to go back and watch it. I thought I might find it to be something worthwhile. What I was astonished to find was an absolute gem of an anime. I didn’t just like this anime, I loved it. The moral quandaries, setting, themes, really this anime was everything I originally expected from Young Blackjack. So much so that I regret not blogging it when it was airing. The parallels to Joan of Arc are pretty obvious.The villains have great character arcs and I love how it shows the dangers of blind faith as well as the negatives of refuting god without picking a clear side. That’s this shows strength, there isn’t a good or evil here. Maria may stop war temporarily but she’s called into question plenty about whether what she’s doing is truly helping in the long run. Of course the show isn’t without negatives, the ending for one is suitable but very cheesy. It does tie up all the loose ends of the series nicely though so that there is no need for a sequel. The art can have a few hiccups now and then and I feel that one character wasn’t really given the time to make use of his full potential. There’s plenty of sex jokes as well and Maria is pretty much mocked for her virginity all the time. But in my time watching this show made me remember just why I love anime so much.

2: Gakkou Gurashi!

Breathing life into two overdone genres is already worthy of merit. Being genuinely good is all the better. Gakkou is just a really well done series that exemplifies that a good idea can become a great one with creative direction and smart adaption. The balancing act between soft Moe fluff and grim zombie apocalypse is a recipe that doesn’t always work but when it does, it heightens the effect of both. Watching Gakkou is akin to watching puppies play in a house slowly getting filled with toxic gas. You know the tragedy is coming and the tension carries throughout the series as you wait for it all to come tumbling down. In the hands of another it would be an unremarkable series but here it happens to be one of the most visually arresting things I have seen all year.

1: One Punch Man

Was there any doubt? One Punch Man is one of the most impressive feats of animation made in recent times. The comedy of each episode just makes you smile and Saitama is a loveable goofy superhuman who can turn any threat into a joke. It’s a series that genuinely has more action in the show than it does in the opening. I do admit that this show isn’t for everyone. Truly it’s something that thrives on its cool factor. It doesn’t present any considerable deconstruction of Shounen tropes and its storyline does hit the same beats of a threat showing up each episode for Saitama to one punch it to death. However if One Punch Man is to your tastes then you are bound to love it. If not, at least you saw a display of some of the best animation the industry has to offer.

26 Responses

  1. El Goopo says:

    Sigh. Our standards really have hit rock bottom when the likes of One Punch Man takes the anime fandom by storm like this. Take away the pretty animation in the set-piece fights and I doubt it would even be a footnote. But whatever. It’s not like 2015 had any remarkable anime, so OPM might as well stand on top to remind us of that fact.

    • Spike says:

      Post above is exactly an example of the blowback anything with mainstream appeal in anime experiences. God forbid anything be popular and expand fandom outside it’s hipster niche, gotta hate on it with no valid points.

    • YotaruVegeta says:

      No. It’s also funny! Sorry, dude, but as someone who didn’t read OPM to be hyped up for the anime, I found it entertaining on many levels.

    • YotaruVegeta says:

      Also, there were many remarkable anime in 2015. That’s, uh, kind of the point of this post.

      What’s your top 5 of 2015, critic?

    • SwordsmanK says:

      I like One Punch Man beyond the pretty animation. In fact, I caught up on the manga and original webcomic recently. The thing I like about One Punch Man have to be Saitama. He is a hero we don’t see a lot of and more relatable than a lot of protagonists in anime.

  2. YotaruVegeta says:

    I don’t feel guilty about Shimoneta. Not one bit.

  3. Jedman says:

    One punch man, noooooooooo.

    Thought it was good, but nothing more.

  4. halka says:

    Well this list is almost completely different than mine, but everyone has different tastes I guess.
    My definite favorite of 2015 was Akatsuki no Yona it has the best character development of a female main character…in years. Other shows I would rank highly (no order) would be Noragami Aragoto, Rokka no Yuusha, Arslan Senki, Junketsu no Maria, Ore Monogatari!! and Yahari Ore no (etc) Honorable Mentions: Shirobako and Shokugeki no Souma.

    • AidanAK47 AidanAK47 says:

      Akatsuki no Yona aired in fall of 2014. With a 24 episode cour it likely was still airing at the beginning of the year but I am not sure if that should really count. Shirobako is the same case and was on last year’s summery.
      As for the others if this was a top fifteen then chances are they would be below ten but I would need to finish watching the shows to justify its position.
      Well excluding Shokugeki no Souma as if that was going anywhere in this list, it would be the guilty pleasure option. Can’t say it took my fancy.

      • halka says:

        Well, I personally only rank shows that ended in the year I’m ranking, because you can’t fully judge a show with only knowing a part of it, in my opinion. Those 2 shows aired 1/2 in 2014 and 1/2 in 2015. For example for Yona the best part of the series aired in 2015. Especially since the series is a really slow starter (I mean it takes about 6 episodes, for the viewer to actually know what it’s going to be about…vaguely. And then what follows is a prologueish story of gathering companions until it actually pays off. Oh and it pays off. And this series is in dire need of a second season because the REALLY good stuff only comes after what the anime covered. And it’s sooo so good. I’d rank it on par with FMA(which is my favorite manga ever))
        As for Souma, it’s more or less a guilty pleasure for me, however it had its moments and while I’m always a bit appalled by fanservice, it was actually handled rather tastefully (pun not intended, but very welcome) as the men got their clothes ripped off equally as much as the women and only when they did taste the food, so *shrugs*. But, as I said tastes are different for everyone. I think I understand why people would dislike the series.

  5. anonzi says:

    It was not a year of masterpieces but at least there were some nice things.
    First place goes to Hibike! Euphonium.
    At first i disliked it a bit but in the end realized how much i loved the thing. It sports some semi-realistic depiction of a small school brass band, believable drama and slice-of-highschoolers-life, passion for music and characters one can relate to. And let’s not forget some seriously rad animation efforts here.
    Then there were Houkago no Pleiades – this little gem was supposed to be your average school club mahoushoujo feel-good bullshit, but turned out to be much better albeit still flawed. Not sure about astronomy and physics here, but it surely was a nice kind of a nostalgic emotional rollercoaster with some surprising twists along the way. And while it was not terrific, it still made me feel and sympathize with the characters in a good way.
    One Punch Man was good but manga was even better, and after reading the thing anime ain’t feel as fresh, even a tad boring at times. The same joke(s) aren’t really funny anymore and Tatsumaki’s introduction (let alone trying to squeeze her in somehow) was rather clumsy. But eyecandy was here and people obviously loved what they were doing so i can’t really judge it harshly.
    Classroom Crisis were both terribly flawed and darn good at times, the same goes for Rokka no Yuusha/Rakudai Kishi and for a lesser extent to Gangsta and Kekkai Sensen.
    Iron-Blooded Orphans were nice, but they still go on and i got behind on them terribly (hope they haven’t got worse).
    Honorable mention goes to Little Witch Academia: The Enchanted Parade.

    • anonzi says:

      Now for the disappointments and letdowns. Some “good” things will go there too.
      Danmachi – while it weren’t that bad everything good it had still went down the drain quite quickly in the end.
      Kekkai Sensen – While animation was nice and stylish sometimes, it sill lacked direction, most characters were ridiculous (in a bad way unfortunately) and plot were kind of a lets-have-some-drama-here-guys thingy.
      It had some strong points and nice direction at times, but it’s still a letdown and wasted potential all the way down.
      Punch Line – i dropped the thing so i am not sure if it ever gets good at all, but what i have seen was quite laughable mess of a thing with overblown drama, failed attempts in joke-makery and obtuse characters. While it still made me laugh and feel for characters occasionally, direction were both bad and heavyhanded. Maybe it just didn’t struck my fancy or something but i surely feel it might have been done better.
      Charlotte – dropped, but i had at least some hopes for this. Turns out all was in vain. Cliched and whimsical without any reason characters really killed this. Also scientists are all jerks, apparently. And that lil sister, let her rest in pizza sauce forever, please…
      Gangsta – some things were cool, some heavyhanded and some quite stupid. Dropped it since i mostly lost interest in where this trainwreck will go, what breed of puppies characters will eat for breakfast or what cruel fate awaits everybody in the end.
      Overlord – it’s really damn nice to be op rpg character, isn’t it? End game content is quite boring though, i did not make my way through this meaningless power fantasy i-am-not-good-but-not-bad-too hell. I am tempted to ask whoever saw this to the end did it have any plot at all, but it surely won’t change it’s mediocrity. Even the slow things like Log Horizon at least had something interesting in them from the start, but this one was truly an exercise in tediousness.
      Rokka no Yuusha – Adlet vs Fremy tension, some characters and mind exercises were nice. It’s truly too bad almost everything else were an exercise in authors self-admiration. Also i heard rumors that in lns nearly everyone aside from Adlet ended up being a fiend. Nice try, mr. Yamagata.
      Ranpo Kitan – i don’t want any “mystery” like this anymore, thank you very much. If it had a good story it might go along well with goreness and crazyness of some characters, but apparently nobody gave a half crap about the thing at all. Dropped for lack of anything interesting or barely alive here.
      Classroom Crisis – while i consider this as not completely ruined, too much buzzword and business talk went here. I nearly felt asleep at first six or so eps, it surely looked like some kind of bad commercial. Afterwards it were occasionally strong but lacked consistency severely. Also the little things like “characters furiously typing on keyboard pretending they are working really hard” and “we don’t know jackshit about rocket science so let’s give everyone a wrench” etc has gotten old really fast.
      Sakurako-san – while i did not had very high hopes for this, characters were really stupid and obnoxious, to the point when i started to wonder how much effort to make this as unbearable as possible has gone here. Not sure it’s intentionally though, some people seemed to genuinely enjoy the thing.
      Comet Lucifer – it tried to ripoff some successful shounenish sci-fi adventures like Eureka 7 to no avail. Dropped for reasons like stupid, boring and totally uninteresting characters and seemingly absent coherent plot.
      Utawarerumono – i heard the game was nice, anime – not so much. Basically it’s a Filler The Animation, some may find it entertaining but trying to appeal to everyone with different kinds of fanservice and nothing else really is a tad too much for me.
      Concrete Revolutio – episodic overblown future superhuman drama, maybe it gets better but i am not very inclined to check on this.
      Since you have already done a nice writeup on Chaos Dragon and Subete i am not going to repeat mostly the same points, it has gotten really big already.

  6. mezzoguitar says:

    Gakkou Gurashi was insultingly bad, most disappointing anime of the year and worst show I watched the whole way through.

    (GG SPOILERS)

    Utterly shit mascot dog eating away scenery and screentime that could be used on quality character interaction.
    Undeveloped, shitty characters who revolve around said mascot dog like he’s the center of the universe.
    Said mascot dog gets a tragic death but is brought back to life in the finale just to die again because the writers thought anything to do with a dog will automatically make everyone cry.
    Stupid pacing and story decisions like making episodes 3-6 a long series of flashbacks and putting a random pool episode in the middle of a serious arc.
    Character successfully tells zombies to go home.

    (GG SPOILERS end)

    As for what I liked, Shirobako was anime of the year (yes I know it started in 2014) followed by Houkago no Pleiades (best mahou shoujo nobody watched), Rokka no Yuusha, and Hibike Euphonium.

    • AidanAK47 AidanAK47 says:

      You seem to really hate that dog.
      Well I argee with two of your points, as for the rest well it’s its simply a matter of opinion.

    • YotaruVegeta says:

      I couldn’t disagree more.

      You’re really hung up on that dog. Dogs are cute. In real life, if a puppy’s in the room, it’s the center of attention, too. If they got rid of the dog, you still wouldn’t like the show.

      • mezzoguitar says:

        “If they got rid of the dog, you still wouldn’t like the show.”

        I don’t know if I would end up liking the show still since there are other flaws, but it definitely would have been better than what we have.

        My issue with Taroumaru is that he’s a 99% anime original character that contributes almost nothing good, and his inclusion came with the removal of many great aspects of the story. Significant amounts of character development for Yuki, Rii and Miki were thrown out of the plot in order to focus on him. I don’t have an issue with dogs per say if they’re a vital part of a story, but Taroumaru’s role in the anime was little more than a poorly executed marketing grab aimed at dog lovers, which left the unfortunate implication that someone in the staff thought that the audience would eat up any poorly done story as long as it involved a dog.

        Please try reading chapters 1-30 of the manga, basically the arc that the anime covers. Hopefully you’ll understand where I’m coming from. I actually love Gakkou Gurashi, the art is gorgeous, the characters have excellent chemistry together without Taroumaru around, and there are a ton of memorable, heartwrenching moments that are unique to the manga.

        • AidanAK47 AidanAK47 says:

          I have read the manga and it is true there are things in the manga that I think would be great to have in the anime.(Like Yuuri’s reaction when she realized they couldn’t live at the school anymore. Or how Miki was trying to get Yuki to accept reality at the beginning. It mainly seems parts that could make the characters look bad were removed.) However I also think the anime does some things better than the manga. For example, one of the biggest threats in the finale of the anime series is resolved pretty much immediately without issue in the manga. I prefer how the anime made it into a much bigger ordeal than how it was anticlimactically resolved in the manga.

          • mezzoguitar says:

            Ah, if you read it then that’s cool. A lot of people tend to dismiss the show as just a seasonal anime that’s somewhat good or somewhat bad without ever looking at the manga, but I’m glad some people give the manga a chance.

            As for the threat in the climax, I much preferred the manga’s climatic arc that resulting in them leaving the school. It was just (I’ll avoid going into detail) spectacular and emotional compared to the anime climax. But I wouldn’t have minded the anime dramatizing some aspects like it did, as long as it didn’t result in the unnecessary loss of content (and it’s not like there was a ton of content to adapt to necessitate skipping things in the first place). The story decisions behind this show are strange indeed.

          • AidanAK47 AidanAK47 says:

            @mezzoguitar, When I do a preview for an anime season I make it a point to check out every source I can find. So I check out the manga’s and Light novels of each show. I enjoyed Gakkou quite a bit so I checked out more of the manga than I usually do after the season finished.

            Pandering I say was at fault. I didn’t dislike the show as much as you did but yeah, that pool episode just didn’t need to be there. The time devoted to that could have been used to flesh out the finale more.

        • YotaruVegeta says:

          This is why I almost never read the book first, because it gets people all irritated about the adaptation. Look, a dog’s a dog. Taromaru’s a puppy, in fact. I don’t know how much you expect any dog to contribute to the story.

          I would agree that the dog did not contribute much, but I don’t think the dog took away from the story, either. I think you give Taromaru’s role and focus in the story way more spotlight than it actually had.

          I’m not much of a dog lover; I don’t own one and never did. I still felt attached to him when he ended up dying.

          No, I’m probably not going to read 30 chapters of the manga, but thanks.

        • YotaruVegeta says:

          We can all agree that the pool scene was unnecessary.

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SuperMario
and this week's Sakura Quest is damn great as well... This backstory of Chitose and Kadota rocks
SuperMario
Just watching the 2nd episode of Gamers, It was actually pretty good. I can't believe they fleshing out that annoying hot guy into such a relatable guy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I recall the extent of my interest in Linkin park in my early teens was strictly the breaking the habit video and that was it.
SuperMario
The frontman of Linkin Park commited suicide by hanging himself... sad news. Never been his fan but I feel sad nonetheless
AidanAK47
Actually forgot with all the impressions and whatnot but I do believe we said we would review the Castlevania Netflix series. Now that everything has calmed down I will see if I can do a write up next week.
AidanAK47
I was busy trying to discern whether the story had any point besides "Life is shit"
Kaiser-Eoghan
Again, while I enjoyed punpun, the excessive internal narration, when marathoned, I had to take a break.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Come to think of it, I don't even have a phone that does that, haven't bought a new one since 2004.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, you see I could never force myself to browse/type/use the internet on a phone, too used to using a desktop exclusively for that.
AidanAK47
Oh bloody hell. Stupid phone autocorrect. Yeah I meant Punpun.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Read Freesia.
Kaiser-Eoghan
umi no onnanoko is probably the exact thing ninjarealist would be interested in.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*oyasumi punpun
I found it alot more accessible than nijigahara holograph. deded-demon-destruction while enjoyable, is beneath him. Solanin is probably his easiest work.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I assume you man oyasui punpun. Its been about five years since I read in, the final couple of volumes stay in my mind the most, all the stuff with him, the girl and his uncle also, I love Asano Inios art and the surreal elements but I got lost/bored somewhere in the middle and most of the other side characters and the cult thing I didn't really care about.
AidanAK47
Finished reading Goodnight Pumping. Really not sure on what to think of it. The story kept me reading but it just felt really empty.
Anonymous1276500
There are 2 Nyaa's now. This one is considered the 'real' one: https://nyaa.si
Kaiser-Eoghan
Looks like anirena is down for me. Although it looks like nyaa went back up as this: https://nyaa.pantsu.cat/
SuperMario
Aidan: Fate/Apocrypha, Made in Abyss, Kakegurui
Mario: Princess Principal, 18if, Youkoso
Lenlo: Touken Ranbu, The Reflection
Wooper: Ballroom, Shoukoku no Altair
Helghast: Re:Creators
SuperMario
Note: I'm deciding to take Classroom of the Elite as my third show to cover. So, for this season we are covering 11 shows.
Vonter
Just to end, it kind of shows than even if a story is predictable on where it is going. Characters can make up for that, if they're funny, interesting, and perhaps not agreeing all the time and having different agendas and points of view despite all sharing the same boat.
Vonter
Yet as a game Tales hasn't felt deep since Symphonia, (at least from the ones I've played). I'm wondering if it'll leave me wanting check the anime of Zestiria, since apparently Berseria is a prequel to that game. And many say the anime is better than the game. (I can see why).
Vonter
I also like the reused Tales beats from Phantasia and Berseria. It those have moments like when Lloyd was exiled and Cless had his village attacked. It has clear antagonists unlike Vesperia, and trying harder than the cartoony villains of Graces.
Vonter
I've been playing Tales of Berseria, and it seems to be the anti Tales of Graces. In which I'm caring about the story and characters, but the gameplay is a drag. This is the first time I've been autoplaying an JRPG. But unlike Gravity Rush 2, I'm not dropping it because I'm liking the interactions of these characters even if it gets, campy, overdramatic, or edgy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I mean I watch anime and films subtitled but sometimes my reading speed can be slow if theres a lot of dialogue.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh, I do that sometimes, mostly to check for message updates or on occasion to read reviews of what I am watching or to download more/check downloads.
SuperMario
For instance, I watched Okja yesterday and I had to take 15', 20' minute break in between for snack, surfing webs and playing mobile games...
SuperMario
I watched Fanny and Alexander... don't really remember which version I watched thou. I think it's a TV version since it divides into 4 separate parts
SuperMario
@Kaiser: it just that... my attention span has shortened greatly and I just can't stay focus on movies over an hour mark. In cinema, it's alright since you can't move anywhere but now it's abig task to finish a 2 hour and a half movie for me
Kaiser-Eoghan
And is good enough to keep up the quality for that long.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'll say this, for every medium, to me the length of something isn't so much the issue, if you have a writer good enough to keep something going for ages then the length shouldn't be an issue.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: If something goes over three hours I treat it as a miniseries and watch one hour or two a day.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: lol if you thought thats long, have you seen the extended versions of scenes from a marriage and fanny & alexander by Bergman? I can't wait to get my hands on the tv versions I hear they're completely different.
SuperMario
Okja is pretty entertaining with pointed social commentary. I don't really feel Tilda Swinton's double roles add up much but everything else is great. Bong has never disappointed me
SuperMario
@Kaiser: good luck with Satantango then. I guess now if I watch an 8-hour long film it would take me a whole week to finish it :/
Kaiser-Eoghan
Made in abyss and vatican keep staring at me. Although I'm not chancing them yet or anything else until I hear a bit more.
Kaiser-Eoghan
My once massive film backlog is nearly cleared. I can try watching stuff this season hopefully.
K-Off
Same boat here. For the first time in a long time I spent almost half the day catching up on all of my manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I'll have two weeks leave, I will finally watch Satantango, all eight hours of that film.
AidanAK47
I did a double take when I saw this. One of these things is not like the other.... http://gematsu.com/2017/07/blazblue-cross-tag-battle-announced
SuperMario
Well, finally have a bit of precious free time to watch something else and I have too much things to watch. Castlevania, the final Kizumonogatari movie, live-action Okja and some books planned to read... I guess I'll go with Okja today
Ninja
Looking forward to that Dies review
Lenlo
Yaaay! Time to enjoy your blogging time
AidanAK47
And now we are up to date. Just need to finally get that Dies Irae Review posted.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Then again I'll watch almost every horror film I can, don't even mind the awful acting most have.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Pet cemetary was a guilty pleasure of mine when I was a teenager.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't know how I'd feel if I rewatched salems lot, although a positive is that it did have James Mason in it and it was done in that 70s style of slow burn horror that I love.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The IT film has aged horribly and thats one case where I would advocate a remake.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Stand by me was a perftly watchable coming of age film and it surprised me, seeing a non-horror King story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Okay theres one way to settle this =P Lovecraft > all of them ;) I have actually enjoyed some King adaptations even though I know the Shining took liberties , I also enjoyed Carrie and Apt Pupil.
Lenlo
@Kaiser, please. Early King > Richard Matheson > Modern King. Kings early works were good.
Lenlo
@Aidan, its true that Monty was the mind behind the fights. Sad, but I think the other directors are starting to come into their own instead of trying to copy Monty.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But we all know Richard Matheson > King.
Kaiser-Eoghan
He did some collabs with Stephen King I believe.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Like the dead films he's trying to be thematic, although this one is clumsily put together, I kind of like how it hybridizes the 50s with 70s style exploitation, it has its moments.
Kaiser-Eoghan
hmmm the only non Dead trilogy film I've seen by Romero is the Crazies, feels like he's still finding his voice with it.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, Part of the reason is that they started using better animation software. But despite that there was a downgrade in fight chorgraphy when Monty died. Though the story I find is getting better.
AidanAK47
@Kinseryu, I think it's ridiculous to everyone but there are those that choose to ignore it.
@Anon, That's a bit harsh. It is true that his later works never truly panned out but he did pretty much popularise the zombie apoc. Even if Day of the Triffids did it before him.
Lenlo
Every season RWBY gets just a little bit prettier. Rooster Teeth really does have some of the better 3D animation skills out there.
Anonymous1272531
goerge romero was a hack trying desperate to stay relevant.
Kinseryu
Tenshi3P... I thought it was just me that this show was just ridiculous by putting three ten years old girl that knows how to play electrical instruments. They are insulting the people who plays these. But good thing I found this site with your first impression. I laughed and I feel better. Lol.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: he passed away? damn. He was the Father of Zombie genre. So like him or hate him, he was influential to say the least. RIP.
Kaiser_Eoghan
...holy shit George A Romero died? Now I have to watch the rest of his films.
Kaiser_Eoghan
Rei Hiroe is really dicking around with black lagoon lately, he's still releasing wasted chapters, just like re:creators, the most recent chapter of black lagoon was a slog.
Kaiser_Eoghan
Maybe the conversation and lives of others could sort of count as espionage stories to an extent.
Kaiser_Eoghan
If you're interested in spy fiction, Spy who came in from the cold, most wanted man, Smiley's people, deadly affair and tinker tailor soldier spy are your best bet.
SuperMario
@Travlos (regarding yoir earlier comment): yeah, it hit me as well that most of regular readers have been here even longer than myself. So thanks for sticking around mates
SuperMario
@Travlos: playing catch up with both Re:Creators and Virgin Soul yesterday. Agreed that last week's Re:Creators was weak because it focused on the Creators (they're not good) but last episode was on par again. Virgin Soul, I loved that episode that the girls go bacl to Nina's hometown
SuperMario
@anon1272074: I still haven't had the time to watch Pripri yet (probably in few more hours), but you bet I'm looking forward to it
Anonymous1272074
Then again, James Bond does count as a spy. I meant not a realistic one.
Anonymous1272074
Princess Principal 2 was pretty good. Still more James Bond via little girls than spies, but this episode was more about intrigue and stuff than action.
Lenlo
Started catching up with Kakegurui. The OP is the sort of mind games I remember from Mob Psycho. Dunno what that means for the show, but I like it.
KTravlos
Quite happy with this week's RE:Creators. Blitz is cool, Aliceteria looked so scary. It washed out the taste of last week's episode.

Bahamut is going interesting places.
BTW. Speaking of spies from Princess Principal. I watch TURN. That is a good spy show.
KTravlos
I mean you see the use of those heavy revolvers as clubs in westerns. Mythbusters did a experiment, and being hit by one could kill you just fine. But in anime, I do not remember seeing it often
AidanAK47
Homura used Gun-kata in the fight against Mami in Rebellion. Can't think of anyone who exclusively uses it though. After all Gun-Kata is more or less a flashy art that has no real benefit.
Anonymous1270604
amazing!
Vonter
Is Gun Kata the fighting style of Noel Vermillion from BlazBlue? I suppose I'm mainly thinking about how guns are handled in fighting games. Where the shots are mainly concussive. I suppose those are mainly energy blasts.
Lenlo
Ranbu took a step in the right direction I feel. Used the morals of whether or not to change history and it focused in on one of its characters.
Lenlo
Final Fantasy has had some gun swords. Cant think of any with guns in melee though. There are some with gun-kata like cowboy bebop though
Vonter
Just for curiosity, have anyone watched an anime, movie or game that uses a gun as a melee weapon. Or one in which the gun is mainly concussive but still has impact?
Spike
18if ep2 was a bit wacky... main character seems to be off his rocker.
AidanAK47
Alright. Time to finally play catch up with those series I need to blog.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But at the same time acknowledging love for creativity is more important in the end than making a profit.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think I was using death of artist/deceased artist as a term to suggest peoples careers in the area are too often killed before they get a chance.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Moreso also to save the guy the embarrassment of misinterpreting it so awkwardly.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Puran: Nothing too extreme , moreso that the piece itself feels inappropriate/tainted to have up/leave around/submit. Ended up taking it down out of taste.
Puran
Did that change how you feel about your writing? I had a somewhat similar experience, where something I was writing was similar to a real situation some I knew was going through. After I found out I stopped writing it. Not sure why.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wasn't all that close to either of them much but yeah, weird coincidence.
Kaiser-Eoghan
He thought I already knew the guy was dead.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*earlier
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its all okay now...but fuck that was was awkward.
Kaiser-Eoghan
....Oh jesus christ...oh christ this is a creepy creepy coincidence...I showed an acquaintance a bit of writing I did early, it mentions death of an artist, thing is I was writing something based on a conversation with my editor friend, turns out said acquaintance's artist friend died (who he knows that I've spoken to in the past) and he thought the piece I showed him was about the dead guy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I believe I began visiting this site in 2008.
As for humanity has declined, I found it bizzare and darkly funny for a while but felt it ran dry in its second half and I kind of fell out of following it.
KTravlos
You know it hit me. I think I have been following this blog for a decade now, perhaps more. Cool that it is still around.
Lenlo
I do agree it had alot more western influence than eastern though
Lenlo
Eh nothing wrong with that I think. Astro boy was very much the same after all
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, I personally saw it as more of a Saturday morning cartoon than an anime.
Lenlo
@Masky, Heroman was a decent giant robot show. It looked and sounded good, though the acting was off in places. Alot of people panned it thinking it was the West invading the east when really it was trying to bridge that gap
SuperWooper
@Kaiser: Hey, Humanity Has Declined was great.
KTravlos
need not be

not

need to be
KTravlos
Masky it was not an issue of writing about politics. It is an issue of writing just about your preferred politics. A good political work need to be politicized if you understand what I mean.
Kaiser-Eoghan
...what the hell tsuki ga kirei was directed by Seiji Kishi? He was actually capable of making a good anime?
Masky
Anyhoo, lol. Haven't mentioned Jitsu wa watashi wa in long time, but I really find it hilarious that its only actually evil character's competence is just "they aren't a idiot" xD As in, they don't even seem that diabolically intelligent, they just don't get wrapped into hijinxs.
Masky
@KTravlos: Well, depends on your views. Some people think artists should have their work speak about politics and world instead of just good stories. I'm kinda neutral about that since while stories about nature of world can be great, most of them don't really teach anyone anything new or change anyone
Masky
Huh, another anime work with Stan Lee being involved? I wonder how well Heroman did
KTravlos
Yup. A mangaka that could had been another Urasaw imho is Kawaguchi Kaiji. I really like his art, and it evokes some of the elements that I love in Urasawa. He also has interesting stories. But I fear he has let his political and ideological prejudices get the better of him. Which is a pity. Definitely a missed chance.
Masky
Did Urasawa do that billy bat manga?
SuperMario
As for Urasawa, I mentioned here before but I read 20th Century Boys few months ago and the manga was a straight out masterpiece. Fillers, yes but they are still in service for the main plot. Although out of his work my favorite's still Monster
AidanAK47
Alright. Only one more. Though the two superhero shows won't air for another week. Seeing as one is reflectiona nd the other is that marvel kids show maybe we shouldn't bother covering them in the impressions.
SuperMario
@Amagi: agree with you on the Friday's anime (well, for me it's technically Saturday) but Kakegurui, Fate and Princess Principal are worth following as well
SuperMario
@Kaiser: if you're still deciding if you should check out the manga or novel then I say novel since it's the novel that was influential, not the manga
Kaiser-Eoghan
So based on that fantasy itch I had thought about Altair, but hesitated because it was labeled as a shounen action show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There was a time where I was hugely into the shoujo fantasy/historical thing. I've actually been thinking of out of curiousity looking into some old obscure ovas such as Books of Y and Crystania.
Amagi
Man as much as I love the Friday's anime this time, and whenever Altair airs, but the rest of the working-week is weak as hell. At least now I will finally have more time for games, VNs and creative stuff I guess.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It was kind of nice to hear an announcer coming in before Genocidal organ started, mentioning that for a few months their cinema will be playing anime and Japanese films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Surprised to see an anime reference Kafka and Katyn.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have not yet checked out empire of corpses.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now, I'll have to consider the manga or the novel as I heard some of the philosophical stuff got chopped. This was however a more successful and accessible film for me than Harmony.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Manglobe was always a bit mediocre when it came to animation and voice actor direction, but this wasn’t a bad film for them to go out on.
It lives up to its name, it gets quite visceral with the action that’s there, if you don’t like seeing child soldiers getting slaughtered there’s your warning, but I appreciated getting this kind of violence I want to see more of again in anime/manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I just got back from my local arthouse cinema, from watching a special screening of that anime film, Genocidal organ, this is the sort of thing where you do wish that it had more time to explore its thematics but they at least offer a good enough flavouring to a solid man on a mission scifi thriller.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Just to state I don't hate Urasawa's work, rather I find it sort of difficult , I could say the same about Asano Inio regarding oyasumi punpun.
KTravlos
Urasawa is supposed to be working on Master Keaton Remastered. But it seems to be on hiatus. A pity because I loved Master Keaton (I adore Monster)-in general I love this person's work.
Amagi
20thCB would be my favorite Urasawa I think but I can't imagine it as an adaption. Kinda want to know what Urasawa will do next. He already announced that he's working on a new series months ago.
Amagi
I am really looking forward to the Pluto anime. I wanted this one the most, there is a serious lack of good sci-fi anime out there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
...billy bat is....scattered and directionaless fro what I read but shows interesting historical scenarios.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Pluto was reasonably short, so this wasn't much of a problem.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And while from the film adaptations I could tell that the original manga for 20th century boys likely had a very good storyline , I couldn't get through the manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Despite watching monster a few times I feel I've missed or forgotten things about it, largely because although I understand its importance and did like it, its length and pace always made me watch it on and off with gaps in between.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was surprised by how attached I got to Grimmer.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Monster is a good example of slow burn tension done right and has one of the most memorable villains out there. Though it isn't without its fillers.
Lenlo
You want a mystery, I heartily recommend Monster.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I also sometimes write impressions/reviews in my spare time, its hard.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although the first season probably did have just that bit better atmosphere.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think I may have been one of the few who enjoyed true detective season 2 as much as the first however.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm not sure anymore if I'm entirely happy or not with having less time now , yes I can see the frustration, but at the same time it stops me from filling in dead moments with terrible shows/films when there ends up being literally nothing else to do.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Then again I can only enjoy a select crime/mystery things .
Kaiser-Eoghan
It would take a very good writer to make case of the week episodes work, a mystery wrapped up in one or two episodes can just stop it from unfolding naturally or organically.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As I've probably mentioned a few times, I pretty much go by what I'm told to watch and not watch , mostly to play it safe.
Amagi
@Aidan: Same here. If the supernatural feeling is part of a series it's better if it's rather just hinted at to retain the aura of mystery but that the actual cases are just involving "normal" crimes that get resolved by detective work. Something like True Detective or Name of the Rose.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, that's good. I love a good mystery and hate it when it's ruined with magical wizard space ghosts.
Amagi
@Aidan: If people who know the original were telling the truth explanations will be rational and the series is rather an actual mystery instead of anything supernatural.
AidanAK47
@Mario, I haven't even watched the second episode of Apocrypha yet. Also behind on Re:Creators. Wonder if I will leave it. So far planning to get two more impressions out by end of day. Got one wrote up and just need to work on the other. Next up Tenshi no 3P...this is going to be painful.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, truly appreciate it. If Vatican can slow down it could really be something else. But I wonder how much of a supernatural element is going to be present in the series.
SuperMario
And now after I've watched all new shows save Gamers, I'll blog Princess Principal and 18if this season. I will watch second episode of Vatican and Centaur to decide the third choice, if I'm unconvinced by both I'll blog Tsurezure Children
SuperMario
@Amagi: Thanks, it's our pleasures. I like checking out new shows myself buy gosh it's time consuming. Have been behind on both Re:Creators, Virgin Soul because of this.
Amagi
Speaking of it, I also really hope that the pacing of the Vatican's series will slow down. Maybe they wanted to shove in as much as possible for episode 1 to attract more viewers. Love this dark and sacral atmosphere, it would be some wasted potential if they'd kill it by speeding through the story. Music is good as well.
Amagi
Don't blame yourself, your're doing this for free and there are a ton of new series. I also think that most people rather read impressions to know how others felt about the episodes and not in order to decide which series they should check out. You two are usually better at pointing out flaws than me, which is why I quite enjoy reading the reviews.
AidanAK47
Thing is that our impressions are usually late. Purely my fault of course as Mario does his write ups quickly. I am usually late with mine due to a lack of time to check shows out.
Amagi
I am usually fair and watch every first episode but sometimes I just stop after the fifth school series of the same anime season.
Amagi
I like how much Aidan's and Mario's first impressions match my own. This saves me quite some time since I don't even have to check the series that didn't look interesting to begin with.
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I remember back in the first impression of last Winter season, I regarded Demi-chan as a better Monster Girls slice of life subgenre over this one. But as the season progressed, while Demi-chan run out of its steam quickly, this one picked up its pace after an underwhelming first episode to become a much more […]

Scum’s Wish (Winter 2017) Review – 80/100

I remember after watched a movie called “Requiem for a Dream” a few years back, I felt devastated for an entire week. The ending hit me so hard that after finished that movie I had to walk around my area for 2 hours in the middle of night to settle my feeling and I thought […]