Random Curiosity

Monthly Impressions – November 2014 »« Monthly Impressions – September 2014

Monthly Impressions – October 2014

Another season, another monthly impressions. This season offers us a wide selection of sci-fi, fantasy and comedy series coupled with carryovers from the summer so there’s bound to be something that catches your eye. This post brings you our initial impressions of shows that we’ve been following for the past several weeks (plus any summer carryovers). If you’re wondering which shows have passed the three-episode rule or which ones you’re missing out on, give this a read through. On the other hand, there may be shows that haven’t met our expectations and you’ll hear about them here as well. We would love to hear your thoughts on shows as well so if there’s anything that we could have missed, feel free to discuss it here.

This post could not be completed without the help of a few awesome individuals. The impressions below are brought to you by Divine, Enzo, Stilts, and myself. Each of the shows include our impressions of the episodes that have aired this month (the episode count is indicated). Please note that this not representative of all the writers on RC but only those participating. This also means that each of us are not necessarily blogging each of the shows that we’re writing about below. The post is not comprehensive of what each of us are watching but highlights a good selection of shows that are currently airing. If you would like to hear our daily impressions of shows, we all update regularly on twitter:

  • Cherrie@RCCherrie
  • Guardian Enzo@GuardianEnzo
  • Stilts@StiltsOutLoud
  • As always, this new concept is a work-in-progress and any suggestions are welcome. Please let me know what you’re liking, disliking, and hopefully I can make accommodations for it next month.

    Housekeeping Notes:

  • Please be considerate of others who may be interested in picking up a series after reading about it here by placing discussion of any major spoilers in <spoiler></spoiler> tags.
  • Just like the season previews, the list is ordered by the day of the week and time that the shows air.
  • For your convenience, the header for a series links to its post archive if it’s being covered. Simply mouseover the title to see if it’s clickable.
  • For a schedule of all the shows that were being covered this season, click on the Fall 2014 schedule.
  •  

    Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
    Nanatsu no Taizai
    17:00 MBS (10/5)
    Shingeki no Bahamut GENESIS
    22:30 SUN (10/6)
    Akatsuki no Yona
    23:00 AT-X (10/7)
    Hitsugi no Chaika: Avenging Battle
    25:05 MX (10/8)
    Denki-gai no Honya-san
    22:30 MX (10/2)
    Selector Spread WIXOSS
    25:05 MX (10/3)
    Log Horizon 2
    17:30 NHK (10/4)
    Grisaia no Kajitsu
    20:30 AT-X (10/5)
    Inou Battle wa Nichijou-kei no Naka de
    26:05 TX (10/6)
    Trinity Seven
    25:40 TV (10/7)
    Kiseijuu: Sei no Kakuritsu
    25:29 NTV (10/8)
    Shirogane no Ishi Argevollen
    23:00 MX (7/3)
    Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon: Crystal
    19:00 Niconico (7/5)
    Ookami Shoujo to Kuro Ouji
    22:00 MX (10/5)
    SHIROBAKO
    23:30 MX (10/9)
    Madan no Ou to Vanadis
    20:00 AT-X (10/4)
    Sora no Method
    22:30 MX (10/5)
    PSYCHO-PASS 2
    24:50 CX (10/9)
    Ushinawareta Mirai wo Motomete
    20:30 AT-X (10/4)
    Akame ga Kill
    24:00 MX (7/6)
    Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken
    25:00 TVS (10/2)
    Sword Art Online II
    23:30 MX (7/5)
    Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso
    25:20 CX (10/9)
    Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works
    24:00 MX (10/4)
    Amagi Brilliant Park
    26:03 TBS (10/2)
    Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru
    26:34 MBS (10/16)

     

    Nanatsu no Taizai
    Episodes 01-04

    Stilts: Takkun called it in the preview—this is some good shounen action. It employs the classic tropes, but not in an entirely typical manner. For one, our heroes, the Seven Deadly Sins, all start out as badasses—it’s not about them leveling up, but finding each other again. That means that as soon as there are battles to be fought, they’re awesome. I was impressed with how powerful the Seven Deadly Sins are, but also how vulnerable—their enemies are so tough that, no matter their strength, our heroes are in legitimate danger of injury or death. The captain of the Seven Deadly Sins, Meliodas, is a bit gropey (to put it lightly), but he’s level-headed and doesn’t get rattled, which is such a refreshing change. Add in a good adaptation from A-1 Pictures so far, and I’m enjoying this one a lot. It does indeed have the potential to become a popular shounen anime, and so far, it deserves it.

    Grisaia no Kajitsu
    Episodes 01-04

    Cherrie: Like all harems… this story starts off with our main character, Kazumi, looking for the “ordinary school life” within an all-girls school. And as far as the first three episodes are concerned, the introduction is exactly what I would expect out of your typical harem anime. The 5 girls all represent the different personalities that you’d expect to see in a visual novel, and of course, Kazumi also happens to be the only male visible in the entire anime. If it wasn’t for episode 4, I honestly wouldn’t have given it anymore thought but this was the turning point for me. It was hinted at in the last few seconds of the first episode, but it’s clear now that each of the girls are being held in this isolated school for a reason. Their distinctive personalities are not just because they’re built that way for a game, but they each have their own traumatic pasts that shaped their lives today. I won’t say any more than that to avoid spoilers, but the dark history and serious tone of the anime is what I’m looking forward to most in future episode.

    Ookami Shoujo to Kuro Ouji
    Episodes 01-04

    Cherrie: I’ve said it time and time again, but this show is my guilty pleasure of the week. It’s a show that I will shamelessly continue to spread love towards – but I’ll admit that it is not an anime for everyone. I don’t try and pigeonhole myself into any specific genres of anime, but if I had to pick one, romantic comedy was the genre that got me addicted to anime to begin with. Stories like Ookami Shoujo to Kuro Ouji are the reason my expectations for men are so unrealistic and my idea of romance is so twisted! But in all seriousness, I just happen to fall into that bucket of women that like knowing that they can break down the tough exterior of men and… feel special. Hence why I love repeatedly watching shows like Ookami Shoujo to Kuro Ouji. I won’t say that the anime is completely original (because it’s not), but it reminds me of anime that I’ve enjoyed in the past like Itazura na Kiss and Kaichou wa Maid-sama. If you enjoyed those, I would definitely recommend Ookami Shoujo next!

    Sora no Method
    Episodes 01-04

    Cherrie: A show that I watched – only because I previewed it… but it turns out to be quite a gem amongst all the other hyped up series this season. Sora no Method is the first production by a new animation company, Studio 3Hz and I am completely blown away at the animation quality so far. The character designs are your typical big-eyed, glossy, water-colored girls, but it fits the mood of the show quite well. The plot is simply about a group of friends who once wished for a flying saucer and since then, a saucer has situated itself above the town’s lake. Our main character comes back to the town years later, only to learn that some of her friends have forgotten her, and resent her for leaving. It’s a story about friendships, but it’s not filled with unnecessary drama for the sake of drama. Sora no Method is probably what I wished Glasslip could’ve been ex. the romance and I recommend it to people looking for something with high potential and great character development.

    Akame ga Kill
    Episodes 14-17

    Cherrie: After a month of setups and what I define as the “cooldown period”, Akame ga Kill comes back with a bang. Finally we get a showdown between the Jaegers and the Night Raid members; and the deaths that result are a shocker. It’s not unwarranted, but it’s still devastating to suffer such losses only after connecting with some of the characters. To keep with the spoiler-free impressions, I won’t give away who passes, but there’s one particular one that I felt was truly a redeemable person. This month has also focused more time on each of the Night Raid members’ backgrounds (and even some of the Jaegers) and the flashbacks are helpful to depict their influences in the past. Unfortunately, this also raises some death flags and as the possible list of suspects dwindles down, it’s only time before another pivotal character dies. Akame ga Kill has turned into an anime that I watch… just to see who will come out alive.

    Shinegeki no Bahamut GENESIS
    Episodes 01-03

    Cherrie: Shingeki no Bahamut GENESIS is this season’s original fantasy anime that I recommend everyone give the 3-episode rule. It has a unique setting that revolves around the world of gods, demons and humans and follows the story of three individuals with three different agendas. What draws me to watch Shingeki no Bahamut GENESIS every week is not the fact that it’s just another adventure story, but it’s reminiscent to me of older anime that features “different” cast members and character designs that aren’t just cute girls with massive eyes. I see this anime as something that’s intended for more mature audiences because it’s not just another show that you can tune out and watch some fanservice flash across your scene. The jokes are well thought out and fit the role of a lying, bounty-hunting player; but on the other hand, we have a fallen knight who has a tragic family history. These two men are not your ideal main characters, yet they get fleshed out a little more each week and build up their story. This is what draws me in every week and you’ll see what I mean after watching the premiere.

    Inou Battle wa Nichijou-kei no Naka de
    Episodes 01-03

    Stilts: What drew me to this show was the premise—I’m sure most of us have indulged that idle wish, and wondered what it would be like to have superpowers. There’s something delicious about five friends actually getting superpowers … only for their everyday lives to continue unabated. I love me that situational irony. This is Trigger’s second anime, and it shows on occasion, when they add just a little extra flair to the animation to breathe extra life into the characters. This is a comedy with a harem flavor, though it definitely leans comedy—more Denki-gai, less Trinity Seven. For me it went from “This is pretty good, I’ll keep watching,” to “OMG this is great!” during the second episode, when a misunderstanding led to one hell of a misunderstanding with Student Council President Kudou Mirei. For a supposed supporting character, she totally stole the show! Comedy, fantasy, tsundere harem romance … if you like any of these, give this a shot. It’s hitting the right notes, and I’m always quick to watch it when I need a pick-me-up.

    Akatsuki no Yona
    Episodes 01-03

    Enzo: Akatsuki no Yona was a series I called a sleeper going into this season, but truthfully is was solidly in my top 5 in terms of expectations. And it hasn’t disappointed. Whether you call it a sleeper or not, Akatsuki no Yona is one of the best series of the season. Unapologetically reminiscent of the likes of Juuni Kokuki (not least because of Kunohiko Ryo’s music) and Romance of the Three Kingdoms, this is a show that gives its audience enough credit not to explain everything up front, and to offer subtle character nuances that don’t immediately jibe with what we’ve seen.  There’s a growing sense of a Rashomon Effect at play here, where the perspectives of the cast are coloring the interpretation of events we see on-screen. Bringing strong characters and a fascinating premise to the table, this series has all the makings of a classic of its genre.

    Trinity Seven
    Episodes 01-03

    Stilts: I watch Trinity Seven for the quirky heroines and the main character who actually has a spine and a sex drive. (I will never get over how rare that is.) The plot is not without its interest, but it’s been oscillating between Arata being overpowered and a lot of technobabble so far. I appreciate that they’re putting effort into the plot, because while the comedy and the harem antics are great, that’s what will keep me watching in the long haul. For the short term though, the girls are great. The ninja Levi is still me favorite, in the way she teases the girls right alongside Arata, though none of it would work without Lilith to tsukkomi and blush for the entire world. And Arata, who took the third option and once famously forgot his pants, can hold his own among interesting personalities. The plot needs to kick it up a notch soon to maintain my interest, but for now its comedy and harem bona fides are carrying the show.

    Hitsugi no Chaika: Avenging Battle
    Episodes 01-03

    Stilts: Things are definitely on pace to finish the main plot by season’s end. Between White Chaika and Red Chaika, they have all but one of the remains, so it’s going to be time for a fight soon, and the fruition of Emperor Gaz’s plan shortly thereafter. I enjoy how they’re not wasting time, even if the rapid pacing (two episodes per light novel, I believe, which is faster than I would ever suggest) has made the occasional problem appear. It was nice seeing the team take on Claudia, the first hero who hasn’t been greedy, batty, evil, or dead, because … I’m not sure I need to justify that one. It’s nice to see nice, honorable people, antagonists or otherwise. Now they’re taking a detour to check out Emperor Gaz’s fortune, which could reveal the secret of the Chaikas. Good! That’s one of the top three things I’ve wondered about the most. The other two are what Emperor Gaz’s grand plan entails, and anything to do with Vivi. Vivi is a Chaika for sure, but she’s still Vivi. Now all that remains for her is to finish Gillette’s job—and hopefully, meet Gillette himself once again. I’m rooting for you, Vivi!

    Kiseijuu: Sei no Kakuritsu
    Episodes 01-03

    Cherrie: If you’re looking for something different this season, look no further than Kiseijuu. It’s an anime based off its decade-old manga source that features a teenage boy with a parasite as a hand. Sounds simple – but these parasites are actually flesh-eating monsters that feed on live humans after inhabiting the minds of regular humans. *shivers Although this show is labeled as horror, I wouldn’t define the series as “scary” so much as “creepy”. It’s the type of show that will make your skin crawl after you think about the implications that it has the world (not just in anime too). It’s a show recommended to those that don’t just want to watch cute girls doing cute things; however, I won’t say that it’s completely original either in the world of sci-fi. In case you’re wondering, there’s a lot of potential character development for our MC, but also Migi (his hand) who also learns what it means to live as a human. I can’t end my thoughts without giving mention to the amazing soundtrack – from the OP to the ED and the intense soundtrack in-between, I love it. It gets me so pumped up for the battle scenes that follow.

    Denki-gai no Honya-san
    Episodes 01-04

    Stilts: I watch Denki-gai for two reasons: comedy, and shipping. At its base it’s a solid otaku comedy about characters working in a bookstore, and while some of the characters aren’t terribly well fleshed out—one likes zombies, another likes cameras—there’s a large enough cast that their personalities clash in amusing ways. The character designs might turn off some because the girls all look really young, even though they’re all old enough to work in a store that sells pervy doujins. To me though, if this was just about the comedy, I wouldn’t devour each episode as soon as it comes out. It’s about the couples’ baby, the couples. Unlike the temperamentally similar Inou Battle, this isn’t a harem, and all the girls and/or boys have a crush on someone of their own. And they’re adorable! Sensei-chan is my favorite, followed by Hio-tan or Sommelier, but you can’t go wrong. I want them all to be happy, but watching these goofy otaku fumble their way toward first loves is a simple pleasure I cherish. Plus that ero manga loving G-Man played by Kobayashi Yuu makes my day every time!

    Shirogane no Ishi Argevollen
    Episodes 13-16

    Divine: Halfway through the series, the story takes a surprising turn by introducing a new character—Namie Portman—to the main cast and slots her in a talented yet inexperienced pilot. While her inclusion adds a third-wheel dynamic to the Tokimune x Jamie pairing, it doesn’t culminate to much when romance isn’t the focus of this series. The recent development that’s been much more entertaining to watch is the introduction of Sturm Alpha—a prototype Trail Krieger that finally puts Richthofen’s rivalry with Tokimune front and center. It also furthers the conspiracy aspect with the recently revealed “NR Syndrome” that the manufacturers of Argevollen and Sturm Alpha don’t want Arandas or Ingelmia to know about. Compared to how the series started, things have definitely gotten a lot better with various subplots getting traction and characters getting fleshed out. Now all that remains to be seen is if XEBEC can take what’s been a fairly underwhelming original series and make it much more than that.

    SHIROBAKO
    Episodes 01-03

    Cherrie: It’s an anime about making anime – seriously. SHIROBAKO is centered around an animation company in their first production run and the struggles of what it’s actually like to produce an anime from start to finish. If you’ve ever been curious about what the employees are doing to deliver us weekly anime, this is one to watch. The thing is, I’d believe it if this was a realistic representation because as a working full-time employee, I also have the same problems with deadlines, upper management changing their minds and also the never-ending piles of work. This is a show that is teaching me a lot more about the “anime industry” every week. The array of characters in this one is like none I’ve ever seen and there is such an abundance of different personalities they have to label all of them each week to remind the viewers who they are. It’s not even about their names anymore, just the position and role they play producing the anime. Of course, it’s all said and done in a fun and amusing manner and it reminds me of Bakuman (an anime about writing manga) ex. the slice-of-life and romantic aspects.

    PSYCHO-PASS 2
    Episodes 01-03

    Cherrie: I bet everyone’s dead tired of hearing about how much I loved the original PSYCHO-PASS but how about PSYCHO-PASS 2? How is it comparing against its processor? PSYCHO-PASS 2 throws us right back into the world of PSYCHO-PASS without time to waste and reintroduces us to old and new faces. What I love about it so far is that it’s practically a new show without giving away too much of what happened in the previous season – in fact, they’ve barely mentioned Kogami at all! Instead, we have a new villain and everyone’s beloved Akane is back more kicka** than before. Not that I don’t miss Kogami (trust me, I do!), but I appreciate how they try to tell a different story with the same setting and characters now that branches away from the original. There’s potential to expand on the world that they’ve built and I think PSYCHO-PASS 2 accomplishes that. Only time will tell if this second season is worth doing and given that we’re only going to get a one-cour production, I hope it lives up to the hype. There will be a movie that follows and as long as the anime doesn’t end up a cliffhanger, I’ll be satisfied.

    Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken
    Episodes 01-04

    Stilts: I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying is about an otaku husband and a non-otaku wife, and every episode makes me feel warm and fuzzy. This is one of those 5-minute shorts from studio Seven that feels like a promising animation student’s final project, with its quick scene transitions and short comedic bits that still usually seem to work. As the work of a professional studio it seems like they could aspire to more, but the source material shines through. We get so many anime about the beginning of a relationship, and precious few about relationships already in progress, much less married couples. I think the level-headed wife makes this show—she’s never angry with her otaku husband, never. She just doesn’t always understand. But there’s definite love in this marriage, a comfortable love, and it does my heart good to see it every week.

    Shigatsu ga Kimi no Uso
    Episodes 01-03

    Cherrie: I’ll admit that Shigatsu ga Kimi no Uso wasn’t a show that I was too anxious to watch from the get-go. First of all, it’s a music themed anime about Kousei’s struggles to play the piano and I’m skeptical when it comes to drama heavy romance anime. Second of all, I’ve seen Nodame Cantabile and I hold this anime very highly in my mind so I would hate to compare the two. However, with all that said, Shigatsu ga Kimi no Uso has surprised me so far with the natural progression of its story and how quickly everything is moving along. I’m not terribly attached to any of the characters, but I appreciate how there’s no teenage angst or overdramatized childhood traumas that make me roll my eyes. It is a music-focused anime so there is obviously going to be long segments of performances and songs, so if that’s not your jam, you’d probably get bored. My only gripe about these scenes is the animation of it; I wish A-1 Pictures would just put a little more effort into actually animating the movements a player makes when performing.

    Amagi Brilliant Park
    Episodes 01-04

    Cherrie: If I had a top three list of my much-watch shows this season, Amagi Brilliant Park is right up there. It’s a show that I needed a good two episodes to warm up to, but shortly after, I got hooked. I wouldn’t say that the show is groundbreaking for KyoAni or even that original at all, but I do think it’s fun to watch and it makes me “Aww” nearly every week. I have three favorite characters whom I think particularly standout, but Moffle wins by a landslide. I imagine him to be this stubborn old man who just has all the right intentions but gets carried away and it’s just so hilarious but sad. Amagi Brilliant Park hides itself with a different premise, but underneath, it’s still a story about striving to accomplish your goals through sweet, blood and tears. I love the timer at the end of each episode that depicts the countdown and the number of visitors… I think that really nails home the effort that Seiya, Isuzu and Moffle are making to save their home. On top of all that, it’s well animated and you’ll get a good laugh so you have nothing to lose by watching it.

    Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru
    Episodes 01-03

    Stilts: This is one of the surprises of the season. Rather than being the fluffy slice-of-life I was expecting, it’s something more. Oh, it’s that too—the everyday friendship vibes are strong, and done well. There’s a definite sense of camaraderie among the Yuusha-bu that I always love seeing in fiction, because a group of friends this good is something you don’t see in real life, or if you do, not for long. But it’s the surprise shift in the first episode that revealed what this show really is—a hero show. (I feel like the title should have been a tip, but I wasn’t the only one surprised.) This is an original series, and it shows in the pacing, which is just perfect for an anime (no squeezing or expanding source material). But director Kishi Seiji and Studio Gokumi are knocking this one out of the park so far. Best of all, it’s not predictable—not just because it’s an original, but because it’s not playing by the usual monster-of-the-week magical girl rules. It could stay light or it could go dark, but either way, I’m excited to see where it goes, because I have no idea where that will be.

    Selector Spread WIXOSS
    Episodes 01-04

    Cherrie: We are back with a direct sequel to the original series, Selector Infected WIXOSS and with last season’s cliffhanger, I was excited to see this one pop up again so soon. What happened to Tama? Is Ru going to start playing again? Why is Akira so crazy? All these important questions come up and the characters are again, the same ones we knew in the previous season. I love that the story actually flows seamlessly and there’s so much more depth to each of the selectors that I don’t mind the same cast. Each of them have so much more to offer than what’s being shown in the first season. For all those that haven’t seen the original, it’s definitely a new twist to the average card game anime that you see out there. A lot of people compare it to Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica but I think that’s because both anime make an attempt to change your perception of that genre. Selector Spread WIXOSS is unlike anything I’ve seen in a while and it makes me think and shiver, but all in an entertaining way. Go ahead and catch up with the first one before starting this sequel – you won’t regret it.

    Log Horizon 2
    Episodes 01-04

    Stilts: Log Horizon is continuing like the first season ended. The only gripe that most people have is that the studio changed from Satelight to Studio DEEN, and the character designs changed. I understand, really I do. I prefer the first seasons. But Log Horizon never had the biggest budget, and I don’t watch it for the kawaii girls. It’s all about Shiroe’s machinations, and the way the adventurers are reacting and changing their new world, and that’s continuing as before. I supremely enjoyed the in depth look at raiding, which was a pitch perfect echo of my own experiences. (Wipe, restrategize, try again. I’ve done that so many times.) The stronger focus on Akatsuki is appreciated, because she hasn’t received the development a main character should, even if her current angst is still centered to Shiroe. (I prefer my women independent, but this is fine.) Plus, Naotsugu is knocking it out of the park with his new shoulder cleric Tetora, all while flirting with Marie back home. Way to go, Naotsugu! A good tank is a healer’s best friend. Going for more with Marie just sends my romantic heart a-skittering. Keep it up.

    Sailor Moon Crystal
    Episodes 07-08

    Cherrie: It’s no secret that Sailor Moon Crystal has been an uphill climb for me ever since I started blogging it. I am grateful to say that after all these weeks with painful animation, voice acting and mediocre plot, we have made it! Sailor Moon Crystal has finally started showing off its true colors and potential. The plot has advanced so far along that it’s nearly impossible to keep comparing it to the original series. Sailor Moon Crystal has made a new name for itself because it’s delivering what it promised – an anime closer to the manga that’s focused more on the original story. The primary focus this past month has been Tuxedo Mask and Sailor Venus and I love it! They add a different dimension to the show that indicates that the anime isn’t linear; in fact, everyone has a goal that they want to accomplish. The story is starting to speed up and before we know it, we’ll reach the end of the Dark Kingdom arc so prepare to finally see the Legendary Silver Crystal and the identity of Princess Serenity revealed!… You know, just in case you’re new to the show.

    Madan no Ou to Vandis
    Episodes 01-04

    Stilts: This is one of the most medieval fantsy stories I’ve seen in a while. Not “we want an excuse to have sword fights” medieval, I mean “constant war over territory and succession with convuluted politics that serve no one but the powerful” medieval. Which is nice, because there’s something refreshing about a story where war is a fact of life, not a thing to be moralized over. There are still good guys and bad guys—Tigre, Ellen, and their allies are firmly rooted in the good guy camp, while the bastard Duke Thernardier and his son are definitely bad—but most of the others sides, of which there are many, are just trying to get the best deal for themselves. The pacing of this adaptation is brisk, and I hear they’re cutting a lot of material, but it’s still working as a stand-alone story so far. Four episodes in and two major battle has already been fought, with the next one winding up. This is a stalwart story—not revolutionary, but damn solid. If you like fantasy or war stories, this one may scratch your itch.

    Ushinwareta Mirai wo Motomete
    Episodes 01-04

    Cherrie: Compared to Grisaia no Kajitsu, I won’t lie… I’m a little disappointed by Ushinwareta Mirai wo Motomete’s performance so far. As the only other harem that I’m following this season (except SAO II), I admit that I had much higher hopes for this one; and it’s fallen extremely flat. Asides from the gripping ending to the first episode, the follow-up episodes have been mediocre and don’t dive into the heart of the story. How does the time skip work? Who is Yui? Does Kaori die? All I’m seeing so far is the “Astronomy Club” doing the job of the Student Council and none of it seems to matter. The animation is also sadly not up the standards that I’m used to (being spoiled by Fate/Stay Night UBW does that to you) and that only makes the episodes harder to get through. Sadly, this is probably one of the only shows that have fell short of my expectations this season thus far but I’ll stick around to see if it stands a chance to improve itself.

    Sword Art Online II
    Episodes 14-16

    Cherrie: This has been an exciting month for Sword Art Online II because it marks the end of the GGO arc and the beginning of Mother’s Rosario. I wouldn’t say that GGO was unpredictable, but it was not quite what I expected out of a FPS game. The psychological aspects of the arc were well done though because I felt like it thoroughly explored the mental state that Shion was in (as well as Death Gun himself). It also helped resolve and tie off all the loose ends before carrying on with a new story. The return to ALO has definitely been more up my alley though and it brings back the aspects of SAO that I enjoyed in the first season. Playing MMORPGs is something that I can easily relate to and although the story is still not perfect nor terribly exciting, it’s something that I find much more enjoyable to watch. I hear that next arc will also focus more on Asuna (my favorite girl!) so that’s double points from me.

    Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works
    Episodes 00-03

    Cherrie: What can I say about Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works that hasn’t already been said? It’s blown my expectations completely out of the water – mainly due to the orgasms my eyes experience each time it plays on the screen. I’m just so awestruck by the quality of this production that almost everything else feels secondary when watching this show. However, the thing is, I actually really enjoy the actual plot and characters within Fate/stay night as well. I even went as far as to rewatch Fate/Zero in order to remind myself of all the events in the prequel; but I honestly don’t think it’ll take away from the experience of a new viewer if you haven’t seen Fate/Zero. Unlimited Blade Works is by far my favorite path and even though I know what’s going to happen, seeing ufotable throw in anime-original scenes just makes it all the more worthwhile. Not only does my favorite girl win, but I think this path has a richer story that dives deeper into the meaning of being a hero as well as Archer’s backstory. It’s a pleasure to watch and with a wide audience appeal, I’d definitely recommend it to everyone – it’s never too late to join the bandwagon.

    October 29, 2014 at 10:57 pm
    108 comments »
    • October 29, 2014 at 11:22 pmBroxis

      Watch bahamut, people. If there’s an anime that turned about to be WAY better than expected, its that one.

      • October 29, 2014 at 11:40 pmMormegil

        I still can’t believe it’s based on a card game.

        • October 30, 2014 at 12:42 amGuardian Enzo

          I get the impression that this is one of the least-faithful adaptations since True Tears – by necessity, it’s almost an entirely new animal.

      • October 30, 2014 at 12:44 amThe Story You Don’t Know

        Genesis blew my mind, I knew it was gonna be fun when I saw the trailer but I didn’t think I’d get hooked up like this. It’s like watching Cowboy Bebop and Lupin the Third, both shows that I love, in an old school fantasy setting. It may be too early and I may be biased but I’m calling this the hidden gem of the season. I hope someone picks this up.

        • November 4, 2014 at 11:30 pmDangerMouse

          Totally agree. And the animation is godly.

      • October 30, 2014 at 12:51 amKirigiri

        I agree, I think this anime can only match-up with FSN Unlimited Blade Works in terms of the animation, and the story, but that’s just my opinion.

        • October 30, 2014 at 1:29 amLonghaul

          Is the game this is based on popular?, because the budget for the animation is far above the average.

      • October 30, 2014 at 12:55 amword.

        I watched the first episode and thought mehhhh it’s ok, it’s a little different. By episode 3 I was feelin’ the love. Watch it! Ep 4 had a few unexpected twists too.

        • October 30, 2014 at 1:13 amdaikama

          Agree, this show needs 3 episodes if one tries it. I was sufficiently intrigued by EP 01 to watch Ep. 02, but I wasn’t sure if I’d stick with it. Ep. 02… OK, we may have something here. EP 03… when’s episode 04 out again? I’m ready for it now.

        • October 30, 2014 at 7:17 amCherrie

          Episode 3 definitely changed things around for me… up until then, I wasn’t fully captivated by any of the characters yet. I’m hesitant to give it too much praise for now because you never know how these things will end, but definitely great potential and I’ll keep watching as long as it holds my interest =)

      • October 30, 2014 at 2:48 amJason Isenberg

        That opening, holy crap. I never liked that kind of punk music style but I’m not going to lie, I was headbanging pretty intensely and that’s saying a lot coming from me lol. The show in general is almost giving me a bit of Pirates of the Caribbean to it as well, don’t get me wrong I love that stuff LOL. Great show period and yes I played the card game and it was enjoyable for a bit :P

        • November 4, 2014 at 11:33 pmDangerMouse

          Yeah, that opening fight definitely gave off plenty of Pirates of the Caribbean, hehe. In both tone and ofcourse one part in particular too.

          Also, the music during that fight was great and kinda made think of Zorro.

      • October 30, 2014 at 6:21 amSK

        While there are some extended storylines and recurring characters in the game, the anime is almost entirely original material. AFAIK, all three main characters are anime original, as is the loli-necromancer, though she might be based on a quest. The demons we’ve seen are cards from the game, as are Jeanne D’Arc, Hamsa, and Bahamut itself, but these side characters are about the only thing I can see with a direct relationship to the game.

        As far as the popularity of the game, its iTunes description says over 8 million for the non-Japanese version (i’m assuming number of times downloaded), though a large chunk of these are alt/farm accounts. They seem to make a decent amount of money off in-app purchases; at the very least, enough to be self-sustaining. Given the budget this anime seems to have, I’d imagine the Japanese version is doing very well for itself.

        Regardless, I’m loving the show so far and I hope it keeps going strong.

    • October 29, 2014 at 11:43 pmM

      No love for Garo? What a shame.

      • October 30, 2014 at 12:14 amStilts

        In before more “No love for ______?” comments:

        It’s not that we hate those shows. It’s not that we don’t think they might be good. The four of us just aren’t watching them. If you want to talk about them, go ahead! But instead of “What a shame” or “I’m disappointed” (a pet peeve of mine), I suggest “I’m really enjoying _______ because …”. It we’re not getting the conversation started, by all means, give us a hand and do it yourself.

        By the way, that’s nothing against M or Tarage or anyone else. I just see this a lot. We would love to cover everything, but more writers means more organizational overhead, so we’re deliberately keeping the monthlies small. Feel free to help us out by leading the conversation on the shows we miss. <3

      • October 30, 2014 at 5:22 amSamu

        I’m loving Garo! I think MAPPA are doing a fantastic job with both of their fantasy anime this season. Bahamut is most definitely going to appeal to more people, but Garo has a different type of flair that I’m really digging. It’s one of the top of the season for me so far.

        • November 4, 2014 at 11:36 pmDangerMouse

          Yeah, I’ve been enjoying it and I like the art style a lot.

          Leon’s cool, and the dad’s so much fun lol.

      • October 30, 2014 at 10:36 amJohn Hunt

        Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

        • October 30, 2014 at 1:38 pmStilts

          Don’t be rude. It’s just not something Cherrie or I are watching. Samu is on the RC staff as well and he just said he’s watching it.

      • November 1, 2014 at 5:38 pmRick Anime

        Yeah was disappointed to not see Garo and Bahamut coverage. But wasn’t surprised seeing as how during their Fall season preview I believe they rated both shows as “Moderate Low” expectation. I was like wtf? I could tell by looking at the screenshot of Bahamut it was going to at least attempt to be fresh, original, and creative

    • October 29, 2014 at 11:46 pmRalicht

      Shinegeki no Bahamut GENESIS and Akatsuki no Yona are my season favorites so far. I love anime of all shapes and sizes, but I feel like it has changed so much over the years. These series have definitely reminded me of what I consider to be “classic” anime. Several of this season’s entries are a breath of fresh air from the kawaii moe harem shows that have taken a stronghold (I am not criticizing people who love these types of shows, I have plenty of favorites that fall in this category as well. I just feel like it represents too much of new content these days). Kiseijuu is also a pretty unique contender that I didn’t expect to see animated ever but is definitely worth a try.

    • October 29, 2014 at 11:55 pmTarage

      No love for Gundam Build Fighters Try?

      Such a good show…

      • October 30, 2014 at 12:38 amGuardian Enzo

        A very good show indeed, but IMO not so easy to blog about.

        Hell, I think Tribe Cool Crew is way underrated – very fun and infectious. But as per Stilts’ comment, there’s just no way to talk about everything. Cherrie does an amazing job covering as many shows as she does in these posts.

      • October 30, 2014 at 10:33 amJohn Hunt

        RC doesn’t blog about shows like Gundam anymore I’ve kind of noticed. The current staff mainly just seems into the most hyped shows and harem comedies for the most part. Indeed though Gundam BF is absolutely fantastic. A shame todays anime audience would never give something like it a real chance and probably just label it kiddie fare.

      • October 30, 2014 at 10:50 amFlame-X

        If you want Gundam coverage, go to MAHQ.net or listen to the Gundamn podcast once they review 5 eps increments.

        • October 30, 2014 at 2:29 pmJohn Hunt

          I do and it’s fantastic coverage too from people that actually know what they’re talking about and appreciate the genre as opposed to just trying to do smear job reviews and calling them trainwrecks etc. Thank god for that website otherwise I’d have no opinions to consider about currently airing mecha shows that I’d consider remotely respectable, insightful or even fair really.

    • October 30, 2014 at 12:46 amdaikama

      First and foremost, second what Broxis said about about Shinegeki no Bahamut. IDK if it’s because I had no expectations before watching, that I’m not spoiled and can’t compare the anime to the original source material, or a combination of the two, but this surprised me – in a good way. Visually it’s quite good (assuming one doesn’t watch UBW right before) as is the overall execution. Plot is interesting IMO – it’s just a solid show. There’s definitely some depth here. It took a little getting used to some of the character designs and there’s a bit of odd fantasy (demons, dragons, undead) meets Don Quixote/Spanish Renaissance era mix, but once I got used to it, I liked the show more and more. Agree with Cherrie here – this one is worth a 3 Episode Rule test.

      Nanatsu no Taizai
      Gave the source material a good test read before watching, and agree with Stilts that this is a good adaptation. Another show that IMO has pretty good visual quality as well. It’s quite good for its genre – shounen… very, very shounen. So far it hasn’t breached shounen tolerance limit, and I’m enjoying it as a fun, light watch.

      Shirogane no Ishi Argevollen
      I’ll be honest, I’ve fallen behind a couple episodes behind on this show and IDK if I have the motivation to catch up (though I do read Divine’s weekly reviews) There are other factors involved (e.g not watching as much anime in general this season as I’m doing other things with my free time), but also things specific to the show to the point I’ve lost interest. For one, the “‘NR Syndrome’ that the manufacturers of Argevollen and Sturm Alpha don’t want Arandas or Ingelmia to know about” plot line. I posted the middle of Season 1 that I hoped this all didn’t end up as evil greedy executives doing evil things to make money. Looks like that’s exactly where this is headed. >_> After a very tepid first half, Argevollen needed to start strong out of the gate for the second half. IMO it failed to do that.

      Madan no Ou to Vandis
      Like the LN’s a lot (vol 10 is out BTW and TL has started), anime “adaptation”… not so much. It may be working well enough for some, but personally, I’m tired of sub-par, “good enough” (if that) adaptations, especially for series I like, when it could have been good or *gasp* very good. Let’s raise the bar here – especially when other adaptations such as Nanatsu no Taizai practically fly off the source material pages. A one-cour run didn’t help by any means (a LOT of material cut), but it goes beyond that. UBW had an anime-only moment that worked. Here IMO, whether small or not, deviations from the source material have been uniformly for the worse and with no apparent reason for the changes made. If one likes the anime, I’d be surprised if they didn’t like the LN more, possibly much more.

      Satou Tatsuo’s responsible for Argevollen’s series composition. I’m not impressed with Argevollen’s story (see above), but I give him some slack because I imagine that writing an original story is significantly harder than adapting one. With Vanadis I’m nothing short of disappointed with his efforts, and while not every LN reader may agree, I know from posts elsewhere that I’m not the only one who is. Sadly, 99.99% sure I’ll be dropping this one.

      • October 30, 2014 at 1:21 amRalicht

        I totally agree about Nanatsu. It’s not revolutionary by any stretch, and it’s as shounen as it comes. However, there’s something really enjoyable about this series. I haven’t personally read the manga so I’m afraid that later chapters might become tedious or the story might degrade like many shonen series tend to do. But, for now as an anime-only viewer, it’s a fun little show that touches on all the right notes of the genre.

      • October 30, 2014 at 1:34 amStilts

        I’m glad to hear that Nanatsu no Taizai really is being adapted well, because I was just guessing, nyahaha! Haven’t read the manga, so was just using my “missing story bits” sense.

        • October 30, 2014 at 2:04 amPasserby

          I know I mention this at every opportunity, but Nanatsu no Taizai is directed by Okamura Tensai, who made Darker than BLACK. He does seem adept at putting together anime about ridiculous superhumans.

      • October 30, 2014 at 9:42 ammasterjaw

        Agree on Madan no Ou. Quite disappointed on how it turned out since I really loved the LNs. They shouldn’t have cramped the material. Stick to how the story unfold and maybe they’ll capture the interest of people rather than skipping stuff which only makes the characters shallow. A pity adaptation for a great source material.

      • October 30, 2014 at 6:11 pmdaikama

        First, sorry about the typos. XD

        @Ralicht: Agree and well stated regarding Nanatsu. As for how the story progresses, hard to say. I think it’s one of those YMMV situations. For now, I plan to stick with the anime as long as my shounen tolerance limit isn’t breached.

        ——-

        @Stilts: “I’m glad to hear that Nanatsu no Taizai really is being adapted well, because I was just guessing, nyahaha!”

        O.o… Well, as noted I’d say you guessed right in this case, but TBH I’m surprised you’d post that a show is a “good adaptation” without reading at least part of the source material first. That’s pretty much a prerequisite from my perspective. Your post/comments so your call.

        ——–

        @Passerby: While no doubt direction is a critical element in anime production, Even for adaptations IMO series composition is also a critical element. Suga Shoutarou (series composition for Nanatsu) along with Okamura Tensai are both doing good job with Nanatsu IMO.

        ——–

        @masterjaw: 100% agree – it is a shame and the adaptation falls far short of the source material. As I posted above, no doubt this needed a 2-cour run. That being said, I’ll be blunt. From what I’ve watched so far, I don’t think all the problems with this adaptation would be solved simply by a 2-cour run. Material cuts are bad enough, but what proverbially rubs salt in the wounds for me are all the unnecessary, detrimental (IMO) and nonsensical changes, small or otherwise, Satou Tatsuo makes for what actually is left in the anime. I’d probably stick with the show if not for the anime-only changes.

        • October 30, 2014 at 8:47 pmStilts

          Oh, I was joking around. I actually meant it was a “good [show that was an] adaptation”, not that it was a “good adaptation [of the source material]“. Shouldn’t have phrased it that way in the paragraph since it’s confusing, but I have a policy of not editing things unless they’re super wrong, and I got lucky and was right in both ways this time anyway~

        • October 30, 2014 at 9:42 pmdaikama

          @Stilts: I actually meant it was a “good [show that was an] adaptation”, not that it was a “good adaptation [of the source material]“. Shouldn’t have phrased it that way in the paragraph since it’s confusing…

          Thanks for clarifying that. I think you raise an interesting point – how one defines “adaptation quality” since the term can be ambiguous as you note. I take a more literal view when it comes to assessing adaptation quality (i.e. adaptation = transferring the source material to a different type of media) rather than “Is this a good anime?” viewpoint. Two separate issues for me. The former highly relative to the source material (of course) while the other is essentially independent of the source material.

      • November 1, 2014 at 9:50 amBear

        @daikama
        there’s a bit of odd fantasy (demons, dragons, undead) meets Don Quixote/Spanish Renaissance era mix…

        So we can expect this?

    • October 30, 2014 at 12:54 amgawrshness

      I retract my statement before about Inou Battle wa Nichijou-kei no Naka de, it appears that it’s not about to spawn any actual super powered villain and as it promised it is about the ordinary life of a bunch of kids who gain powers. Though with only 4 episodes in I guess it may still be too early to guess which direction the show is headed.

      As someone who has played the original Fate Stay Night I am also enjoying this in-depth detailed story of the Unlimited Blade Works route and I am still hoping they go for the other ending since they’ve already used the original in the movie (the alternate ending is my favorite!) though my heart also aches knowing I have to watch what happens to our favorite murderous magus and her big baddie again. Knowing that the final route is also getting a movie I am reminded that there is no route to explores Caster and her group, every time she is simply used to advance the plot and while she is by no means a favorite of mine (aside from her Carnival Phantasm iteration – I love her there!) I do often wonder what would have happened in her story.

      Grisaia no Kajitsu – Yep I was right, darkness inbound! It’s been quite a long time since I actually watched something that can go dark, there past few years I’ve mostly watched comedy anime as a source of stress relief, and now this one will probably cause stress before any relief.

      And of course Sora no Method, that poor mc sure gets slapped a lot. While I don’t expect anything dark to happen here I feel like this is one show which would make you feel as though a heavy burden has been lifted from your heart once it ends.

    • October 30, 2014 at 12:54 amzztop

      No impressions on Kokkuri-san?

      • October 30, 2014 at 1:35 amStilts

        See above. takkun mentioned to both Cherrie and me on the latest podcast that it was good, so I was thinking about giving it a shot, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet, and might not for a while. Sometimes there’s just not the time, alas.

      • October 30, 2014 at 3:06 ammac65

        My only thing with Gugure! Kokkuri-san is that I think
        it could’ve been a good warm-hearted show akin to Barakamon.
        It is not. It’s turning into a silly slapstick show with
        little depth. It’s funny now, but I don’t think it’ll last.

        Lovin’ Nanatsu no Taizai!

        • October 30, 2014 at 11:35 amPasserby

          I think what Kukkuri-san ‘should be’ is a much darker comedy than what we have now. It certainly has the potential to be. But, of course, it’s under no obligation to be.

    • October 30, 2014 at 2:03 amChloesong

      WOW. Thanks so much Randomc for the hard work! I almost regret reading the whole thing because it sounds like there are a lot of good shows I’m missing. Ahh so many shows, so little time. Right now I’m watching Akatsuki, SAO, and *cough* Korra. But it sounds like Amabri, Fate/stay, Seven Deadly, Grisaia, Inou Battle, and Kiseijuu are at the least really interesting. Ugh that’s too many… T_T I’ll definitely be checking out Shirobako since I loved Bakuman and probably read Seven Deadly instead. I’m still following Psychopass 2 via Cherrie’s posts.

      Speaking of Cherrie, wow, you really outdid yourself in covering so many impressions! Stilts as well! Geez I’m alway amazed at the throughness and dedication of the staff at RC. Ty to Enzo and Divine too! It’s fun to read down and then suddenly heard other voices/styles/opinions.

      Gah seriously, I’m really impresseed. ^^ Thank you!! I personally don’t have any suggestions for improving the monthly impressions. I like the format and amount just as it is now. :)

      • October 30, 2014 at 7:21 amCherrie

        Thank you for reading! We struggle to put these impressions together every month, but I think it’s good for the readers who enjoy it and also ourselves – because it forces us to keep up with shows haha =P
        Silts and I have a habit of backlogging our shows so this keeps us in line. ^^

        I’m not watching Korra this season… although I think Enzo and Kairi are. I stopped watching after the horrendous season 2 =S like what happened there? o_O But I hear season 3 is better so maybe I’ll find the time to catch up ^^

        • October 30, 2014 at 2:56 pmStilts

          Yeeeah, forcing me to stay more or less current on shows is my favorite part about these posts, lol. Though Cherr always seems to be blogging the best shows. I guess I’ll have to keep up with Grisaia and Shigatsu on my own.

        • October 30, 2014 at 8:32 pmGuardian Enzo

          Indeed, Kairi and myself are both watching Korra. And I can say IMHO S3 and 4 are a marked improvement from the first two. I would still rank the original ATLA higher, but we’re starting to see Korra achieve some of the goals it was clearly setting out to achieve in pursuing subtler and darker themes.

      • November 1, 2014 at 7:30 amStöt

        If you only have time for one more anime this season and want a stranger’s subjective opinion:
        Kiseijuu is without a doubt the best anime this season. Great pacing, believable characters, super exciting and FUN.

      • November 1, 2014 at 7:44 amStöt

        These monthly impressions are quickly becoming one of my favourite things about randomc. Thank you!

    • October 30, 2014 at 2:55 amJason Isenberg

      Okay first off UBW, as much as I love the animations ufotable as put…on the table…(insert random “YEAAAAAA” here) I find that the movie version slightly superior. For terms of how they’ve been dealing in episodes though, it actually feels enjoyable since there’s more hanging out with the characters rather than an hour and a half to two hour movie restriction. Vandis is refreshing to me, the MC is an amazing guy love his bow skills haha.

      Shirobako, oh man I get this family vibe and the feeling of stress in this show that makes it that more interesting to watch hands down, the Bakuman vibe that I’ve been wanting for more of we get this as a substitute and I don’t mind that one bit. Also Shigatsu ga Kimi no Uso reminds me of Sakuresou no pet na kanojo (which I am dieing for a second season) and that’s again not a bad thing, the show is honestly a masterpiece and if Makoto Shinkai was doing the artwork I’d probably say this would be his kind of thing then it would be sheer perfection.

      Anyway that’s what I’ve been watching mostly off that list, Akame Ga Kill is solid as always lots of good out of that for sure. Grisaia no Kajitsu enjoying the crap out of that too, honestly this is a good season all around. Really happy! :D

    • October 30, 2014 at 3:05 amNothingLess

      I will say without seeing the other anime that Fate Stay Night UBW is the best.

    • October 30, 2014 at 3:29 amCarVac

      Nobody’s watching Twintails?

      I am disappointed. (sorry for being a broken record, but it’s simply hilarious and at least Stilts should be watching.)

      • October 30, 2014 at 10:38 amJohn Hunt

        That one I admit I’m actually surprised that not even that Stilts guy is watching. It seems like it would be really easy to blog about and like something at least one of them would want to pick up.

      • October 30, 2014 at 4:52 pmTitanAnteus

        Gender-Bender is hard to get into, I personally think the only think interesting about that is the weirdness of the premise… The characters aren’t all that interesting, and since I generally dont like gender bender, I can’t even stick around to like the fanservice.

        • October 30, 2014 at 8:49 pmCarVac

          It doesn’t feel at all like a gender-bender, none of the weirdness. Souji just happens to turn into a little girl with an epic hairdo, and the focus is the twintails to the exclusion of basically everything else. (and that’s literally quite true on his part)

    • October 30, 2014 at 3:33 amromcomgod

      Thank you for doing this once again RandomC. It gives me and my cousins more anime to watch that we haven’t considered at first. Though to be fair, it’s both a good and a bad thing (my time, where art thou?). I have nine shows plus one left-over and a giant backlog to finish up over a one-week semestral break.

      And so, Nanatsu no Taizai, Shinegeki no Bahamut GENESIS, Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken and SHIROBAKO are the top candidates that I’ll be catching up for. And I’m glad to see my top three shows Parasyte, Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso and Akatsuki no Yona were mentioned here. I was a bit disheartened that they weren’t in the podcast (but it was still good tho <3, maybe on the next one?).

      IIRC multi-cour shows ending next year are not gonna be up for consideration for AotY, right? If so, I think this year will be pretty weak, despite the fact that I consider this season to be the strongest so far. What do you guys think?

      Anyway keep up the good work RandomC, cheers ^^

      • October 30, 2014 at 7:33 amCherrie

        To answer your question – Yes, you are correct. Shows like Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works, Kiseijuu or Log Horizon 2 will not be up for this year’s AOTY. That will be next year! =)

        I would agree that this year doesn’t seem like that’s a “clear winner” for AOTY so far… >_> You never know though until the polls come up and the writers start talking ahaha! I would say that there were a lot of shows that excelled in genres other than action – lots of great comedies come to mind and even thrillers so I’d definitely want to highlight those on the AOTY post.

        • October 30, 2014 at 8:34 pmromcomgod

          And so those shows (along with Shigastu and Yona) might just probably lose a little steam they’ve built-up by the time of the 2015 AotY post ._. oh well

          On a side note: I hope you and a couple other writers will participate more in this year’s AotY post than in last year’s Cherrie, just for more variety of tastes. No offense to Stilts and Zephyr though, because I quite enjoyed and agreed with most of their choices last year too :)

        • October 30, 2014 at 8:51 pmStilts

          To be fair, Log Horizon 1 is eligible for this year’s Best of post! :D Any yeah, it’s a shame when shows that end in Winter lose some of their steam and don’t rank as high as Fall shows because those are new and fresh, but that’s the name of the game. The idea of judging and ranking shows based on an arbitrary metric like “the year they were released” is ridiculous anyway, so some inefficiencies are part and parcel of the whole thing.

          As for more writers contributing, we’re not planning to change things up for the same reason only a few people contribute to this—it’s a giant pain in the ass to coordinate everything. So I would expect more or less the same thing, with perhaps some slight changes.

        • October 31, 2014 at 6:05 amromcomgod

          Aye Stilts, redemption is possible with Log Horizon S1 (aw yeah!). It’s in my top five this year and when I seriously consider the top contenders, it might even compete for the top three. Still have to mull over the other good ones tho (No Game No Life, Haikyuu!!, etc.)

          After thinking about what you’ve said, I think I now see how judging anime by the year they aired could be little ridiculous as most of the enjoyment happen on the moments (season) you’ve watched it. Then the feelings for it slowly dwindles away, not to be forgotten entirely, only subdued little by little.

          Oh and you’re right, it is a giant pain to put together. Considering the variety of tastes from the writers. Hell, even knife fights happen on season blogging schedules, how much more for the AOTY post? LoL! Anyway, I’m gonna hold you to those slight changes Stilts! Hah :D

    • October 30, 2014 at 4:32 amlegwkio

      Inou Battle is like a cross between Seitokai no Ichizon and Suzumiya Haruhi. The cast is really strong and Andou Jurai is one of the best male protagonists the genre has had in a long time. He is kinda like Sugisaki Ken (Seitokai no Ichizon), just swap out “I want to make harem” with “I have chuunibyou”.

      Probably the best show RandomC is not blogging right now and one of the top 3 anime for me this season.

      • October 30, 2014 at 4:54 pmTitanAnteus

        Have you seen the recent episode where he says he’s a lolicon out to an elementary schooler. He’s not competent… just a good looking chunni… I really expected him to solve the problem by talking it out…

        That show is ok. It’d be better if the protagonist was different.

    • October 30, 2014 at 6:51 amDvalinn

      I’m watching a whole bunch of shows this season again (more than I was expecting, in fact), but Bahamut is definitely the sleeper hit among them. Because the show just oozes fun, and it rivals shows like No Game No Life in that regard. It’s a swashbuckling adventure with interesting characters, plenty of action, a plot that’s actually progressing at a quick pace and a fun hodgepodge of every mythology out there – not bad, for something based on a cardgame. Hell, that might even be the reason it works, as there’s no original story they have to rush through, they can just do whatever they feel works. Certainly in my top three this season.

      And there’s more really good stuff out there this season as well. Sequels like Log Horizon and Mushishi are as strong as ever (and Wixoss and Psycho-Pass also kinda count), and the new Fate adaptation is both gorgeous and engaging. Parasyte is a really cool horror series that has plenty of funny lighter moments as well, with top-notch animation and music. Amagi Brilliant Park is a return to form for Kyoani (as it’s the first real adaptation in a while) and it shows – it’s a really interesting and engaging story, filled with eccentric characters (that are named after rappers, for some reason).

      We got entertaining shonens with Akame ga Kill and Nanatsu no Taizai. Solid fantasy with Chaika and (in a flawed way) Vanadis. Intriguing VN-adaptations with Grisaia. Interesting original shows with Sora no Method (though I’m really getting tired of Yuzuki) and Shirobako. Even funny shorts like I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying. And then there’s the shows I don’t watch (Inou Battle didn’t make it past my three-episode rule, for one) but can still provide some sort of entertainment – and maybe I’ll pick some of them up later. Plenty for all!

      Man, this season rocks.

    • October 30, 2014 at 6:57 amHochmeister

      To echo others here, watch Shingeki no Bahamut. If you don’t like Bahamut, you don’t like fun. Do these look like the eyes of a liar to you?

      Garo is another excellent show which I’m very disappointed is not getting more attention. It’s sort of a cross between Game of Thrones, Supernatural, and Power Rangers, and boy does it work. The main characters are basically Jiraiya and Sasuke who travel around hunting monsters, and there’s also a big political conspiracy sub-plot running in the background. The characters are engaging, and it’s beautifully animated and directed with some of the best use of CG i’ve seen to date. Check it out and give it a few episodes.

      And how can we have monthly impressions without talking about the anime of the season, no year, Ore Twintail ni Narimasu?! Still the stupidest thing I’ve seen all year, and still a ton of fun. This show manages to shamelessly pander to otaku while simultaneously making fun of them with the zany lizardmen villains. It knows what it is, and outright revels in its lunacy. If you enjoy the wacky Japanese style humor found in Haiyore! Nyaruko-san or Kore wa Zombie Desu Ka? you’ll love this.

      Grisaia no Kajitsu has been good so far, but the last episode raised a lot of red flags for me with how insanely fast it went through certain events. There’s a good chance it could trainwreck from trying to adapt five insanely long and mutually exclusive VN routes in ten episodes. If you haven’t started watching it yet I’d wait until it’s over to check and see if it’s worth your time.

      .

      There’s a lot of great shows this season, definitely more than usual. Also a lot of western style adventure/fantasy, which is awesome for me because that’s an itch of mine that’s needed scratching for a long while. The only genre that doesn’t have a strong showing this season is Sci-fi space opera (a ‘la Sidonia), but with so many other great shows it’s hard to notice. However, despite its overall excellence, there were some rather… disappointing offerings this season as well.

      .

      Terraformars takes itself too seriously. The premise and setting are ludicrous and implausible, but instead of reveling in it and having fun, TerraforMars tries to play the humans vs. mutant roaches conflict completely seriously and it just doesn’t work. The only thing worthwhile would be the ultraviolet gory fight scenes, except that they’re very poorly censored. Wait for the blue-rays to watch, if at all.

      Cross Ange… dear God, Cross Ange. To think I was looking forward to this! This is straight up softcore lesbian torture/rape porn set against a backdrop of mecha vs dragons and “Nazi finds out she’s Jewish; gets set to concentration camp.” One of these things ruins the show for me, and it ain’t the mecha vs dragons. Any appreciation I have for the plot is subverted when the show itself treats it as something to arouse me rather than the horrifying brutality it is. Instead of making me angry at the system or sympathetic for the princess, I’m angry at the people making this for blatantly trying to pander to me with fanservice I don’t like. The hell is wrong with you Sunrise? If you want to make hentai, just make a freaking hentai!

      Trinity Seven started off pretty good, but failed completely at worldbuilding. By the third episode I still had practically no idea how the magic system works, what’s so special about our MC, or how this magic school thing is set up. Things just… happened and I had no idea why, how, or what they meant. Couple that with some rather underwhelming cliche characters (aggressive harem leads seem to be rather common these days) and a strippy/gropey/excretory style of humor that just didn’t work for me and I was out.

      Madan no Ou to Vanadis was was very disapointing. I’d heard good things about the source material, but here it tries to jam a stereotypical fanservice harem into a political/military thriller and fails miserably at both. All the characters are completely and utterly bland and cliche, and since it spends so much time on the harem elements it skimps on the sociopolitical setting and battles. It was already on thin ice with me after the second episode which introduced a villain who was practically Sugou from SAO’s direct ancestor (stupid rapey foaming at the mouth evulz), but after the miserably animated and directed battle in the third episode I was through. It’s not just the recycled footage of horses’ feet and “chessboard” view that did it in, Legend of the Galactic Heroes had battles which were literally orange and blue polygons humping each other and I loved every second of them. The problem was that the outcome was obvious from the start, and I simply didn’t care about either side winning. Plus, when the heroes can perform ludicrous magical feats such as as casting a dragon-splitting rasenshuriken (which she wouldn’t use on people because it’s “too violent”) there’s just no tension in the battle between the mooks. Not even the Teutonic Order suddenly showing up in all their bling to crusade the shit out of this alt-Europe’s ridiculous names could save this show for me (seriously though, Zchted? Tigrevurmud Vorn?!?).

      • October 30, 2014 at 5:04 pmTitanAnteus

        I pretty much agree with everything you’ve said except twintails. Twintails isn’t fun it’s just plain dumb imo, but that’s a subjective opinion since comedy is subjective. Madan was a disappointment.

    • October 30, 2014 at 8:09 amKraft

      Ah man, I understand there’s constraints to making such a lengthy monthly impressions, but I think it would be better if you got the writers who are blogging the show to say their impressions.

      I really like Shigatsu, and Kairi’s been doing a good job with it. I think she could’ve sold the show a lot more if she wrote the monthly impression. You know, the excitement people have for the shows they love is contagious! I understand Cherrie has more of a mainstream taste, but I just don’t think this monthly impression did the show justice.

      • October 30, 2014 at 9:45 amCherrie

        Yes, you’re right, there are limitations to these posts. However, I think people need to understand the intentions of these posts are not to rain praise on everything that we’re watching – it might only seem that way because we’re 4 weeks into a new season. This post is for people to engage in discussions that were missed because we’re not blogging something (like Bahamut), or if you too want to summarize your two cents somewhere (like Hochmeister) then go for it. If you think that Shigatsu is worth more praise and recognition, then please, feel free to talk about it and tell others why.

        I’m going to rant a little here…
        Show Spoiler ▼

        Rant over.

        So I hope you understand a little more about why we don’t involve all 10 writers in this process. Unfortunately that will not change for the foreseeable future until we can streamline our methods or just scrap one project for another. Kairi is still going to be posting about Shigatsu so you can catch her weekly impressions there.

        • October 30, 2014 at 10:31 amKraft

          No I understand, and I appreciate your work at RC (I thought the podcast was wonderful btw)! I’m just salty because Cherrie-sama didn’t like my fav show lol :P

        • October 30, 2014 at 2:26 pmCherrie

          @Kraft:
          Sorry, that wasn’t a direct hit at you, just speaking generally because you know… I’ve got a lot of built up steam lol >_< Thanks for reading anyway =) Every reader makes us feel like what we’re doing is worthwhile.

        • October 30, 2014 at 8:59 pmStilts

          For anyone curious for more on this:

          When we started these things again, Div actually suggested we have a dedicated writer for the monthlies. We’ve gone off that a little by having a few help out, but the monthlies (since their return) have always been 80+% Cherrie, save for this one (because I’m being a maso too), which is still like 65+% Cherrie.

          Think of these, the Best of post, and the podcasts the same way … while they’re the only ones RandomC does, they’re basically personal projects (myself & Zephy for the Best or, Zanibas for the podcasts, Cherrie for the monthlies), not full-site collaborations. Because the overhead for that would be punishing.

        • October 31, 2014 at 9:33 amlytterbug

          That’s some quality Shirobako material right there. Though seriously, keep up the good work!

    • October 30, 2014 at 8:49 amMgMaster

      As usual,thanks for your hard work RC crew.

      This has been an excellent season so far for me where I can’t believe I’m still following 16 shows,with another 3-4 that I could potentially watch when they finish airing because I’m more than happy with what I have now(I’m usually content to 8-12 anime per season). It’s not just quantity though,as we have some great series(many of which are 2-cours even <3) that should satisfy most people's tastes,some of which will surely end up being AOTY for some people.

      FSN:UBudgetW is excellent as expected and either and I’ll gladly jump on the hype train,even if I’m not a hardcore fan of the Fate franchise(I know enough about it though and F/Z is one of my all-time favorites). This one is already getting all the praise it possibly could have so I’ll refrain from doing the same but I just want to say that I really appreciate the little treats it gives to those who watched F/Z every once in a while,like Kiritsugu shown picking up Shirou at the hospital or Illya’s magic in her fight against Rin.

      Shingeki no Bahamut was the biggest surprise this season. I barely decided try it out when I read that it was based on a card game but holy Tatsuya,what a treat this is. It’s constantly competing with UBW for AOTS. It’s also a top contender for my AOTY,especially since UBW will basically end in 2015. In terms of pacing,I’m gonna say it has one up over UBW since it manages to tell it’s story & reveal more about it’s characters without resorting to info dumb episodes. That might be both a strength & a weakness though,as UBW might benefit more in the long run due to that.

      Parasite is another excellent show to add to the top list,although it fall’s into my 2nd favorite tier as I’m usually not that much into gore,the dynamics between Migi & Shinichi are undoubtedly one of the main reasons why this is so much more enjoyable than if it were just a story where parasitic aliens arrive on earth and humanity must get rid of them. Granted,I am a bit worried about what some manga readers keep saying it becoming too shounen-ish later on,which wouldn’t sit too well with me.

      Psycho Pass 2 is clearly not on par with the 1st season,mainly due to the lack of Kougami & Makishima but the direction it took is understandable(even more so if we’re to look at this short season as a lead-up to the upcoming movie),or at mostly anyway…More importantly than being annoying,I rather think that Mika takes up valuable screentime from other,more interesting characters when time is something this season of PP doesn’t have. The cases the detectives go through are still interesting,albeit without something to tie them together they’ll inevitably fall flat.

      Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso is another one that will probably end up as AOTS for some. So far,it’s shown some of the best(in ep2) and worst(in 3) it can offer so like with others,this might end up being a mixed bag for me if I’m to look at it as a potentially great anime. The less manic pixie dream girl trope usage the better. Kousei’s trauma need’s to be taken seriously and that “comedy” needs to be seriously toned down.

      Those are my favorites so far anyway or more like,favorites that are also very well received objectively. I’m getting a ton of enjoyment from the shows below as well.

      Akatsuki no Yona is getting closer & closer to being a favorite. I might even like it more Shigatsu,PP2 and Parasite,depending on what direction they take.

      Cross Ange is a guilty pleasure. It’ll either be a glorious trainwreck or a genuinely good show. It’s a fast food type of show with tons of unnecessary fanservice – a trash show many would say. But it’s female protagonist is one of a rare breed and her downfall & development have been handled reasonably well so far. All I’ll say for now is…Thank you based Sunrise for this anime! I’d take this & Valvrave over something like Buddy Complex any day.

      S2 of Chaika – Dem Chaika brows are still going strong,the plot thickens and the battle are as entertaining as usual.

      Grisaia could’ve probably been significantly better if it didn’t decide to try & adapt all routes in 13 eps…

      Madan no Ou to Vanadis needs to tone it down on the CGI + narration large scale battles,otherwise it’s quite a fun show.

      Ore, Twintails ni Narimasu – You know,one could say that this is a bigger surprise than Bahamut…What can I say other than twintails are love,twintails are life? But even such a ridiculous premise,it wouldn’t be ridiculously awesome without Thouars and those villains. Thoaurs or Twirl as I sometimes call her basically steal’s the show for me.

      Amagi Brilliant Park – KyoAni finally found a way! Sure took them a while though…The whole park issue is fine & all but Kanye & 50 Sento are what give this show life. I totally ship them btw.

      The moderately enjoyable ones:

      SAO II – I actually enjoyed GGO a lot but we just had to return to ALO…Understandable from a storytelling point of view I guess,although I wish we could’ve stayed more in GGO and learn more about it.

      Ushinawareta Mirai wo Motomete

      Trinity 7

      Gugure! Kokkuri-san

      The ones I might watch when they finish airing:

      TERRAFORMARS – hated to do this but I had to drop it because of the censorship. Just look at this shit! Will wait for BDs…

      Garo

      • October 30, 2014 at 6:15 pmHochmeister

        I’d probably be enjoying Cross Ange too if I didn’t find its combination of rapeyness with extreme fanservice so distasteful. But if you’re able to look past/handle/ignore it the underlying plot is rather interesting. TBH though I far preferred Buddy Complex, while the plot wasn’t as interesting the characters were better and it was far less fanservicey. Which is probably why it didn’t sell well and Sunrise is now doing this.

        • October 31, 2014 at 5:07 amMgMaster

          But if you’re able to look past/handle/ignore it.

          Yea,pretty much. Ange’s downfall & development has me interested enough that I can enjoy it despite all the tasteless fanservice. As long as that’s handled well,I’ll continue to enjoy the show and it better continue to be handled well,else there won’t be much left to enjoy even for me.

          Also,the fact that she’s a princess might also bring some interesting political implications down the line,which I’m very much hoping for.

    • October 30, 2014 at 8:58 amDrasca

      Cherrie and other lovers of Fantasy Korean Dramas, aka if you liked Akatsuki No Yona,

      I recommend the 2007 live action “The Legend” / “Taewangsashingi” (Story of the First King’s Four Gods). It is the loosely mythological story of Korea’s founding and first great king– effectively their own King Arthur– and all the drama with his childhood and trials as an adult.

      High production values, lots of plot and tension between characters, partly due to misunderstandings (it is a korean drama after all), but fantasy up the wazoo.

      Strong Rivalry and Character relations. Cherrie, you’ll feel right at home with the plot and character relationships.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Legend_%28TV_series%29

      The wiki entry only really covers exposition, not spoiling too much. All the main fun is in the drama, the character interaction and the fighting action itself.

    • October 30, 2014 at 9:06 amKirigiri

      Thank you Randomc for blogging some of the shows that are not covered in a weekly basis and I like how you express your opinions in some of the shows especially Cherrie when she reacted on F/SN, good for your eyes indeed.

      Anyway more power to the Authors of Randomc in the future and do your best in blogging.

    • October 30, 2014 at 9:16 amBoo

      I’m actually rather shocked people talk more about Build Fighters Try than G no Reconguista. I feel that Build Fighters Try is currently a bit lacking, it doesn’t feel as fun as the original Build Fighters(probably because it’s trying to be a romcom). As for G no Reconguista, even though it is currently really confusing, I find it intriguing since it really shows how a lot of thoughts were put into making it with all the implications here and there.

      I’m really hoping G no Reconguista gets covered here since I’d surely love to hear all your opinions on it since it’s currently rather vague and up to interpretation as to what is exactly happening on the screen.

      • October 30, 2014 at 10:47 amJohn Hunt

        Pretty sure the current establishment has absolutely zero interest in anything Gundam related. I remember the time when 00 and Geass were airing though and Omni was covering it and some of the biggest conversation happened over those shows. Mecha anime hadn’t had a very good run since then though and seems to have picked up even more of a stigma than it already had to the point where unless it’s something mega-hyped and advertised with tons of popular staffers like Aldnoah.Zero it’s like the shows don’t even exist. I mean yeah you had Divine covering Argevollen (very well I might add) but without him the genre would have absolutely zero presence around these parts. It’s just not a genre that seems to get any consideration anymore.

        • October 30, 2014 at 6:30 pmHochmeister

          To be blunt, from what I’ve heard about Reconguista the difference between it and 00 is that 00 was actually good. When a good mecha show is airing it’s usually covered pretty well here such as Sidonia, Aldnoah, Majestic Prince, and Valvrave. The problem is more that there are so few good mecha these days compared to all the other good shows, not some innate bias against it. Heck, even though I enjoy Argevollen, in all honesty Divine’s (presumably limited) time would probably be better spent covering something more exciting and popular.

        • October 31, 2014 at 1:37 amSK

          Seriously dude, get over yourself. We get it, you really like Gundam and mecha shows, you don’t need to repeat yourself in 5 separate posts crying about the downfall of RandomC in quality and how the writers (and today’s anime viewers) have poor taste. There has been some coverage of various mecha shows in recent seasons, and the ones I’ve seen (Nobunaga the Fool comes to mind) haven’t been all that great. I’m not a huge mecha anime fan, but I did enjoy Code Geass and Gundam 00, as they were good shows; you said yourself that mecha hasn’t had a good run since then, how much can you really talk about shows that are mediocre? Someone above suggested a site for Gundam coverage, which you say you enjoyed, so why don’t you get your Gundam fix there and come here for shows that are actually covered here, instead of complaining about how they aren’t covering your favorite show. Or in the case of these monthly impressions, talk a bit about the shows you feel need some more love to jump-start a discussion, like several others have done in the comments. Instead of whining, why don’t you provide some commentary or insight on these shows; I guarantee you aren’t the only person here who is watching them, so maybe there would be a discussion if you brought forth some interesting points to talk about. You don’t need the writers here to bring a show up, I’ve had conversations with others in previous monthly impressions about shows that weren’t covered at all.

          From the intro paragraph:

          We would love to hear your thoughts on shows as well so if there’s anything that we could have missed, feel free to discuss it here.

          I don’t even get why you’re complaining about how Gundam isn’t being covered here anyway, given how you seem to view the writers here as incapable of doing a good job covering mecha shows even if they did. Or, you know, instead of crying about it, why don’t you start your own blog to gather opinions on mecha shows that you consider “remotely respectable, insightful, or fair” in their coverage? Become the beacon of light leading today’s anime viewers towards the Holy Grail that is Gundam, enlighten the ignorant masses overlooking your favorite shows, and may we all watch shows bestowed with your blessing.

      • October 31, 2014 at 1:33 amLonghaul

        As for G no Reconguista, even though it is currently really confusing I find it intriguing since it really shows how a lot of thoughts were put into making it with all the implications here and there.

        Personally I like it when a show does not spoonfeed you the plot, but still gives you enough information to figure out what is going on.

    • October 30, 2014 at 11:05 amErimaki

      Definitely huge thanks to everyone contributing to these awesome monthlies! Especially Cherrie who’s putting in huge effort on top of everything else she’s doing. That rant above made my jaw drop, just saying. I don’t know how you manage.

      Not going to go into all the shows I’m watching, but brief comments on some not covered weekly on RandomC:
      Kokkuri-san: For me, this would probably (can’t be too sure until the show ends) be the comedy of the year if not for the awesomeness that is Nozaki-kun.
      Vadanis: It’s doing enough to keep me interested, but that’s about it. It has good ingredients but the result isn’t too good. At least it convinced me to check out the LN after I catch up to the ones I’m already reading.
      Nanatsu no Taizai: Uses all the typical shounen materials to create a surprisingly enjoyable show. It does the “already plenty strong” protagonist better than many.
      Shirobako: It’s a fun show, the first episodes seem more documentary than actual anime. The self-aware jokes and references are great (“I’m sorry about the recap episode!”). First show in ages that I don’t remember the names of at least half the characters. Also, SOMEONE PUNCH THAT BASTARD TAROU ALREADY! Preferably so that he flies at the director.
      Yuuki Yuuna: A fun and working combination of Slice of Life and Mahou Shoujo, with fun twist of hero show elements. The way they use the opening to not spoil everything is simple but awesome.
      OrenchiFuro: I didn’t think I was going to watch it. Yet I’m watching it, five minutes of ridiculous mermen in a bathtub is just enough to give me mid-week laughs. The comedy is so character-driven I doubt it would last long though.

      • October 30, 2014 at 2:49 pmCherrie

        Thanks for reading ^^
        I don’t manage very well, that’s why I need to rant once in a while lol

    • October 30, 2014 at 1:17 pmYanDaMan

      At least Cherrie knows what we want to see, with her selection of the thumb for SAO2 and all :3

    • October 30, 2014 at 4:10 pmMatroid

      Nanatsu no Taizai has all the fairy tale elements of a good “kid” show: A boy traveling with a pig met a princess and agreed to restore her kingdom. Then he went to round up his friends: a giant girl, a crazy man, and a flying toddler… so on and so forth. All these would have been great except for the “adult elements” (e.g., suggestive jokes). Almost the best show of the season after Psycho PASS 2.

      • October 31, 2014 at 4:17 amHunter-Wolf

        Nanatsu can be called a kid’s show for adults, the basic concepts are those of fairy-tales and children’s stories, but the actual events have a lot of mature moments and brutal fights (not just Meliodas’s perverted antics), i can say it has best of both worlds, nothing to complain about (in a way it reminds me of Avatar:The Last Air Bender) ;)

    • October 30, 2014 at 6:52 pmSweetCoconut

      @Cherrie regarding your Ushinawareta Mirai wo Motomete post, I have to correct you that it was Nagisa, but rather Kaori ^^

      Anyways, good work! I always look forward in your monthly impression.

      • October 30, 2014 at 6:58 pmCherrie

        Woops =X Fixed!

    • October 30, 2014 at 8:08 pmDave

      Re: Shigatsu ga Kimi no Uso: I’m willing to give them a pass on the recital animations because they’re absolutely nailing the character moments; this show is a master class in using the camera to show and not tell; from nervous tics to positioning to imply intent or mood they’ve done it all and done it well. It’s still tropey as hell, and they’ve lots of episodes to change my mind, but at this point it’s only the second show of this year I actually want a hard copy of in my Library after Noragami

    • October 30, 2014 at 9:38 pmYukie

      Haven’t started on this seasons’ shows due to real life obligations, so this monthly impressions post definitely makes it tempting to start.

    • October 30, 2014 at 10:13 pmCorin

      Mmh. I think I must be one of the few people who isn’t effusively gushing over Shingeki no Bahamut. It’s very different, yes, which I like – but there’s a lot about it that reminds me of a Hollywood blockbuster movie. Which is to say, very exciting… very fun to watch… and ultimately very shallow. It is fun to watch, and hasn’t outright pulled anything that makes me throw up my hands in disgust at the narrative clumsiness, so I’m following it, but the way it introduced a potentially highly interesting shared history and conflict in episode 4 only to almost immediately say it was 90% a demon’s fault isn’t promising.

      Cross Ange has issues. Many issues, from lazy direction to reused openings to very familiar mech parts. But I do feel it’s getting a frankly ridiculous amount of flak for fanservice and sexual assault, especially when the latter at least isn’t actually anything terribly unusual for every third prison/concentration camp. In fact, given the narrative’s constant refrain about Norma being ‘base and violent beings’ and how the picture perfect societies that have supposedly gotten rid of such base and violent impulses are in fact (as usual) false utopias, I half suspect that the whole shebang is a broadside aimed at the audience that decries any hint of gore and fanservice…. but that being said, the staff really should have known what kind of reception that would receive, so eh.

      Surprisingly, Sora no Method is so far the most subtle and expressive of what I’ve seen this season. Unlike many other shows in its genre, it doesn’t spoonfeed you with what characters and thinking and motivated by, but instead gives hints and invites you to understand the characters yourselves. Characters are largely believable in their complexes and actually feel their age. Very much a so far so good.

      Gundam Reconguista just makes me think the world 1000 years after UC is…. a very strange place. And so far the character writing is almost worse than SAO, which is very, very, uninspiring.

      As for Psycho-Pass 2… I might comment more when the episode 4 post goes up, but suffice it to say that by episode 4 I feel that it might be decent on its own, but otherwise feels like a poor follow-up to the first season. The first Psycho-Pass felt like it was asking questions that didn’t necessarily have any good answers, and inviting you to think on them – this one feels like it’s pushing it’s own answer in your face, and not in the most adept of fashions.

      • October 31, 2014 at 6:57 amHochmeister

        But I do feel it’s getting a frankly ridiculous amount of flak for fanservice and sexual assault, especially when the latter at least isn’t actually anything terribly unusual for every third prison/concentration camp.

        The problem as I see it isn’t that Cross Ange has fanservice and sexual assault, but rather that it uses sexual assault as fanservice. Since that’s the most blatant and offensive of its issues it’s what people tend to latch on to.

        • October 31, 2014 at 3:32 pmanon

          What’s offensive about using sexual assault as fanservice?Or fanservice in general for that matter?For me it was one of the plus points of the show.

    • October 30, 2014 at 11:12 pms_w

      What Cherrie said about Sora no Method:That was what I was hoping Glasslip would be. It’s a solid show so far.

      PA Works’ Shirbako has turned out to be really good, so they’ve made up for last season already. (Even if I can’t get anyone’s names straight.) Feels like SportsNight a bit with the pacing (my favorite Aaron Sorkin series.)

      Denki-Gai is fluffy. Good kind of fluffy. There’s nothing here to ruin your day. I’m digging this adaptation a LOT. Lots of couples, which is a nice change of pace. Also, KAMEKO IS BEST GIRL.

      Yuki Yuuna… I don’t know what to think about this show. I keep waiting for Something Terrible to happen. And it’s not like they don’t hold back on the constant foreshadowing… and then we get fluff. It’s stripping my gears. I’m sure there’ll be a body count soon enough.

      Yama no Susume! It’s STILL AIRING! Just enough normal-real-life tension and drama to keep me interested, plus enough fluffy moments to keep me happy.

      Twintails: lol. (No, really, what else is there to say? It’s off the hook nuts.)

      Ushinawareta Mirai: It’s okay. Things were interesting right off the bat, then kind of ground to a halt. I’m hoping we start getting something resembling action or plot movement soon. Weak/cheap art is perfectly fine if the story is strong. This show needs better storytelling ASAP.

      Garo: It’s good! (Okay, some of it is total Cheezeball, but it’s good Cheezeball!)

      LH2: Other than Lenesia’s eyes, I don’t care about the new artwork. (But Lenesia’s eyes are weird.) Season 1 had crappy art, too. I remember Rudy’s nose disappeared in an argument with Minori, and some charas had no necks, or no lower halves of their heads. Both studios have dropped the ball at times. So *other than Lenesia’s cold, dead eyes*, I have no problems with the season 2 art. But who cares about the art? The story is incredible.

      Dating Sim Section:

      Daitoshokan: The MC is moderately interesting, and he’s slowly developing a personality… but generally we don’t care about that guy. It’s about the girls who keep showing up in his club room.

      Girlfriend (Beta): A large feeling of “WTF is this???” when I started watching it. I continue to watch because I want to see if a dude of any sort will ever show up in this. (I doubt it!) But that’s just weird… unless they’re going the yuri route? Nah.

      Grisaia: Enjoying it… kinda? I don’t like the feeling that we’re being rushed through it, but there are some good scenes, and I like the characters. But it does feel like vast chunks of plot are missing.

      Still, a solid season so far. There are other, better shows, but these are the ones that haven’t been talked about much, and stick out in my mind because of it.

    • October 31, 2014 at 1:42 amOwaranai

      I’m going to try out on Shingeki Bahamut since I’ve heard many good things about it, despite the source material it comes from.

      In any case, I’m glad to see you guys bringing out the good and not so good points in some of the shows you are watching and covering. This is a damn good season to be watching anime with the likes of Fate/Stay, Psycho-Pass 2 and Log Horizon 2. The newcomers Amaburi, Madan no Ou and Shigatsu are the ones I really look forward to every week.

      Sadly SAO II has lost a little of its luster for me since the new fantasy shows came out, but I hear the Rosario arc to be pretty entertaining so I’m keeping a lookout. Aside from that, I personally feel Inou Battle could be a dark horse for the season, while Grisaia looks like it will take some time before building up on the meatier plot developments. Nanatsu is fun to watch, as is the other show with allusions to the Seven Sins (Trinity Seven)

      Thanks for blogging so many shows RandomC team. Keep up the good work!

    • October 31, 2014 at 3:35 amHunter-Wolf

      Ok, let’s start

      1-Shinegeki no Bahamut GENESIS:
      Don’t want to sound haughty or anything, but Shinegeki no Bahamut didn’t surprise me when it turned out to be this good, just watching the trailer blew my mind, then watching the first episode confirmed my suspicion that this is going to be a fantastic ride, it’s not just the insane production values, unique detailed character designs and intricate direction work, but it’s that swashbuckling feeling of adventure that’s lacking in many new anime (but i also found it in Nanatsu no Taizai, more on that below), it’s also the three main character being so dramatically different from each other (which makes watching them interact a true joy), we get Leone .. the sly smart-ass rouge who doesn’t mind using underhanded dirty tactics to get his way, he is funny but also very smart and a combatant fighter (despite the crazy odds against him sometimes), he can be despicable at times and downright ridiculous but you still can’t hate him XD .. he reminds me of Lupin and Jin from Outlawstar combined, we also have Lidfort .. the noble prince who fell from grace, righteous and naive and actually has a grudge against Leone for causing him a lot of misery .. but despite his code of honor and naivety he is also a skilled fighter but one whose naivety always gets the best of him,(that said seeing him in ep3 was a proof that he has a lot of room for growth), then we have the innocent but extremely overpowered demon (half-demon ?) girl Amira (an Arabic name that means princess, that’s strange !!! XD), she is even more naive than Lidfort but her single-minded goal and determination to reach Helhime (and her mother) along with her demonic powers (which she uses so well and with almost childish glee) makes her a really interesting character .. putting all three together in the same story is truly why Bahamut shines so much .. add epic set-pieces and crazy fantastically choreographed action to the mix (name how many shows start with a fight on horse back on pitched rooftops) .. long story short … GO WATCH IT NOW.

      2-Nanatsu no Taizai:
      Again, expected it to be pretty damn good and i’m glad it matched my expectations, i did read some chapters of the manga (and the original one-shot which is quite different from the actual final version) and i enjoyed it a lot, the character designs and personalities are all so endearing and lovely .. even Meliodas’s groping antics are offset by his level-headed attitude and fighting prowess .. he feels like a perverted experienced old man in a child’s body (this mix of perverseness and combat ability reminds me of Jiraiya from Naruto, whom i miss a lot XD), the series also has that sense of swashbuckling adventure found in Bahamut, that feeling of going on an epic journey with a clear determined goal and meeting all sorts of interesting people and seeing all sorts of interesting places on the way .. but also knowing very well that after all that adventuring you will reach that goal in the end not stretch things out until it all becomes diluted and meaningless (i’m looking at you One Piece, grrr), i’m also glad the character designs from the manga are intact and i love the color palette for the show, it’s very vibrant but also very well coordinated, simply pure eye-candy … so anyone who likes to watch a very well made shonen show (kinda like Full Metal Alchemist) and an epic adventure .. tune in .. watch Nanatsu right now ;) Show Spoiler ▼

      2-Psycho Pass 2:
      Need i say much, i had very high expectations for the 2nd season of Psycho Pass after the stellar first season and i have to say they have been met, the unsettling atmosphere and intrigue are really high right fron the start of the show (as it doesn’t need to spend any time to world-build or introduce the main characters like season 1), Akane has become quite the mentor and the badass while still retaining the core of her pure innocent soul and her lovable personality, she stands firm in the face of mindless blind application of justice and follows her own code of morals, seeing her confront the new villain will be very interesting (as seeing her interact with Sybil on equal terms as she knows its secrets and Sybil still needs her), the new characters present a breath of fresh air and also possibilities for plot twists and differing points of view on every situation (something PP season 1 did very well), every episode leaves me on the edge of my seat thrilled to know what happens in the next episode and to unravel the new mystery, not to mention the interesting discussions each episode sparks .. great show for anyone who enjoys a mature futuristic cop-thriller with interesting characters, some real depth and equal amounts of intrigue and action.

      2-Parasyte:
      Another amazing series that met the expectations, based on the famous classic manga of the same name Parasyte had a lot to live up to .. i had some doubts when i saw the changed character designs but after seeing the actual show (and the lack of cencorship) i was 100% sure they are on the right track and it didn’t matter if they changed/modernized the character designs a little bit or changed some little things here and there, it all worked out in the end, the adaption is brilliant in every way possible, the interactions between our main character and his Parasite arm are fantastic to watch becasue they are both hilarious and yet also deep and well-thought (as they show the interactions between two creatures with extremely differing points of view and contrasting moral systems who have to cooperate together and protect each other as they share the same body), Parasyte is truly creepy, very unsettling and tense when it wants to and very funny when it wants to .. and there are very few shows that can pull that off without runing the overall atmosphere, Parasyte does it like a boss, and for that it’s really worth watching (but be careful if you are kind squeamish, it has a lot of body-horror and mutilated humans both alive and dead, and there is no censorship).

      Gundam: G no Reconguista:
      Well, it’s strange it didn’t make any appearance here, something as major as a new Gundam show and by the original creator of Gundam of all people should have had more coverage, anyways .. i have to say it’s not what i really expected, while i enjoyed the really old-school feel of the show and the throwbacks to older Gundam shows, but something is off, i can’t put my finger on it (kind like the uncanny valley) but i know it’s there .. maybe it’s how some characters act in strange ways without explanation Show Spoiler ▼

      Show Spoiler ▼

    • October 31, 2014 at 10:10 amtheirs

      Shirobako, now this is an anime I will recommend to others. Having just watched the 4th episode, I really can’t see anything wrong with it. Sure it has a lot of characters and admittedly I did rewatch previous episodes just to see who is who and who screwed up, but boy was it fun. An anime about a certain industry, kinda like Servant x Service but with a slightly different mood.

      Amagi Brilliant Park is also a must watch for me. I don’t know why, maybe it’s Seiya, maybe it’s the Elemntario girls, maybe it’s just cause I haven’t been to a theme park for a while. Something just keeps pulling me to this show. Mismanagement is fun to watch, but there’s more to it than that. It still feels strange hearing Bonta-kunMoffle talk though.

      Sadly, I really couldn’t recommend Madan no Ou to Vandis. This has everything I was looking for in an anime right now. Setting, characters, plot, politics, all of them I like. But it’s the execution that ruins it. I haven’t read any LNs or mangas of this show, so I don’t have a bias to a particular version. The last two episodes just leaves me with an unsatisfied feeling and after watching shirobako, I think I know who to blame.

    • October 31, 2014 at 10:50 amCBSmith

      @Cherrie – Somehow, I’ve missed the ‘Fate’ wagon all this time, though I kept hearing about the character ‘Saber’. What’s a good sequence of previous shows to watch to lay the groundwork for UBW?

      • October 31, 2014 at 11:38 amKuroYume

        It is never too late to join. I will say that Unlimited Blade Works was meant to be watched first then the prequel “Fate/Zero” after. Fate Zero will spoil some things coming up and especially spoil things in the upcoming movie(s) Fate Stay/Night Heavens Feel. I recommend holding off on Fate Zero until at least the end of the first and second seasons of UBW.

        • October 31, 2014 at 12:20 pms_w

          You could also dig up the original Fate/Stay Night somewhere, too. It’s a little long in the tooth for an anime, but it was good for its time.

        • October 31, 2014 at 1:48 pmKuroYume

          Good for its time, and good for butchering the story. If you really want the full experience, go for the Visual Novel. Just be prepared for a good, long story.

        • October 31, 2014 at 4:33 pmdaikama

          @KuroYume: Of course reading/playing/watching the original source material is going to be the best method for fully understanding the story. I don’t think anyone here is suggesting otherwise. Certainly not me. That being said, overall, I think “butcher” is a bit extreme.

          I’ll put the rest in a spoiler just to be safe Show Spoiler ▼

          @s_w – Agree. FSN is clearly showing it’s age and would substantially benefit from a Ufotable produced reboot, but I thought it was a pretty good watch overall for its day as you note. Certainly watched worse shows.

      • October 31, 2014 at 2:25 pmCherrie

        Honestly, I would’ve missed the wagon too if it wasn’t for a friend that recommended the series to me when I FIRST started watching anime religiously… probably around 2008 =X

        Personally speaking, I don’t think you need to watch the original Fate/stay night because it’s pretty dated now and it doesn’t do the story justice at the end. Fate/zero is a great companion to the story but it’s not “necessary” to watch it prior to this series because Fate/stay night UBW is like a whole other story on its own. I do recommend watching Fate/Zero sometime before or after though because it’s a great anime ^^ won 2012 AOTY on RC!
        So with all that said, just watch Fate/stay night UBW NOW and enjoy the fun with us =) There may be foreshadowing and hints that you miss, but that’s part of the experience and you get more of the “omg” and “wow” factor that everyone would see coming (because we already know what’s going to happen). If you hate spoilers (and I’m sure a lot of people do), I’d definitely avoid Wikipedia and reading too many comments because you just never know what you might not want to read… =X
        However if you don’t mind spoilers, and you start watching and get confused, the staff and readers on the site are great at explaining things =) This is a show that’s not short on details if you ask for it.

      • October 31, 2014 at 3:58 pmdaikama

        CBSmith: “What’s a good sequence of previous shows to watch to lay the groundwork for UBW?”

        This was my reply (slightly modified) to the same question another person asked in the EP 02 comments.

        – “Good” or “Best” is subjective. IMO the “best” order to watch is the VN order = FSN -> UBW -> HF (when Heaven’s Feel movie is out). However, that is if: (a) you want to get the most complete overall picture of the story without playing the actual VN (it’s an 18+ eroge BTW), (b) have the time to marathon FSN and/or just don’t mind putting off UBW for awhile until you finish FSN, and (c) temper expectations appropriately for FSN (see below).

        Note Regarding FSN Anime: Many people have issues with the FSN anime. I don’t think it’s as bad/abysmal as others, but to be fair it does have issues and there is room for improvement for sure. For one, the visual quality alone is MUCH worse than UBW (movie or TV anime). The fights are more “VNish”. They are not nearly as dynamic and exciting as with UBW. Then again, that could be said for a number of shows. UBW TV is simply on a different level in that regard. Unlimited Budget Works is only partly a joke.

        There are some other issues with FSN (e.g. terrible CGI in one scene), but it is the default/first route for the story. There are some things in FSN that are not in UBW (or HF for that matter) – including details about Saber. FSN is the “Saber Route” while UBW is the “Rin Route” and HF the “Sakura Route” to use VN terms.

        IMO Fate/Zero can be watched at any time as it’s a prequel to the above three. There are some relevant aspects to FSN/UBW/HF of course, but nothing major. Depending upon your free-time, you can watch it now or after UBW. Won’t matter.

        – If your primary concern is “Do I need to watch FSN or Fate/Zero to understand UBW TV anime?”, then IMO no. So far this looks to be a very comprehensive telling of the second (Rin) route and should function perfectly fine as a stand alone story.

        Hope this helps.

    • October 31, 2014 at 11:30 amkondee

      I gotta say, this season is pretty strong. Been following Fate/Stay:UBW, Mushishi Zoku Shou, Parasyte, and Psycho-Pass 2 and I’m pretty sure there are a couple of shows that are good that I haven’t touched yet (like Bahamut).

      Great stuff! Once JJBA: Stardust Crusader comes back in winter, my mind will officially be blown.

    • October 31, 2014 at 2:04 pmmokha

      What About Cross Ange ? :(

    • October 31, 2014 at 6:52 pmTripleSRank

      Sora no Method seems needlessly melodramatic as of episode 4, in my opinion. Show Spoiler ▼

      I still haven’t watched the fourth episode of Ushinawareta Mirai wo Motomete, but the anime has been pretty weak so far, disappointingly. I figured it would be a surprise hit since the director was also in charge of Mirai Nikki and Shuffle!, which are both quite popular in their genres. I don’t see myself continuing to watch much longer.

    • October 31, 2014 at 7:26 pmanimeshape

      Thanks, Sailor Moon Crystal i love that anime

    • November 1, 2014 at 7:45 amStöt

      These monthly impressions are quickly becoming one of my favourite things about randomc. Thank you!

      • November 3, 2014 at 6:52 amCherrie

        I’m glad we started it up again then =) Thanks for reading!

    • November 10, 2014 at 6:16 pmDafuq

      Shirobako should be an anime about making an anime about making an anime, instead of of making a moe anime.