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« Monthly Impressions – November 2015

Monthly Impressions – December 2015

Happy New Year! We hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season with friends and family! We’ve been busy preparing for our routine beginning-of-the-year posts and we’re starting off with our last Monthly Impressions. If you haven’t already read our November Monthly Impression, I give a much more detailed explanation there. We hope you enjoyed these Monthly Impressions which we’ve been carrying on for more than a year now. We hope to use up this time to give you guys bigger and better things in the future. Anyway, here’s a quick peek of how the fall season ended and surprisingly, it was much better than I anticipated. With a ton of sequels and what people thought was going to be a mediocre season, it ended up exceeding my expectations. I hope you all found a little bit to enjoy as well and get ready for next season!

This post could not be completed without Stilts’ help! Please give him a round of applause. 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 mine and Stilts’. This also means that we are not necessarily blogging each of the shows that we’re writing about below. The post is not comprehensive of all the shows on our preview, 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
  • Stilts@StiltsOutLoud
  • As always, feel free to leave any comments or suggestions of what you’d like to see. 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.
  • Refer to our Winter 2016 preview for a list of all the shows that will be airing this upcoming season. We haven’t posted a schedule yet but keep an eye out for it.
  •  

    Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
    Gundam: Tekketsu no Orphans
    17:00 MBS (10/4)
    Hidan no Aria AA
    23:00 AT-X (10/6)
    Ore ga Ojou-sama Gakkou ni “Shomin Sample” Toshite Gets♥Sareta Ken
    23:30 AT-X (10/7)
    Subete ga F ni Naru
    24:55 CX (10/8)
    Heavy Object
    24:30 MX (10/2)
    Gochuumon wa Usagi Desuka??
    21:30 AT-X (10/10)
    Komori-san wa Kotowarenai!
    22:27 MX (10/4)
    DIABOLIK LOVERS MORE, BLOOD
    24:30 AT-X (9/23)
    Noragami ARAGOTO
    25:05 MX (10/2)
    Owari no Seraph 2nd Season
    22:00 MX (10/10)
    Comet Lucifer
    22:30 MX (10/4)
    Sakurako-san no Ashimoto ni wa Shitai ga Umatteiru
    24:30 MX (10/7)
    Shinmai Maou no Testament BURST
    25:40 MX (10/9)
    Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry
    23:00 AT-X (10/3)
    One-Punch Man
    25:05 TX (10/4)
    Taimadou Gakuen 35 Shiken Shoutai
    25:05 MX (10/7)
    Utawarerumono: Itsuwari no Kamen
    25:00 MX (10/3)
    Shingeki! Kyojin Chuugakkou
    25:58 MBS (10/3)

     

    Gundam: Tekketsu no Orphans
    Episodes 10-13

    Stilts: Character deaths are endlessly fascinating. They’re one of the trickiest tools in the storyteller’s toolbox. Used well, they can elevate a series above nearly everything a viewer has seen, but used coarsely and the viewer will emotionally distance themselves to protect against the pain. What Gundam: Tekketsu no Orphans is doing so well is managing the bloodletting—in that it hasn’t happened in earnest yet. First Crank, and now the death of Masahiro clearly paint this as a series where characters can, and will, die, but the named protagonists aren’t so far. It constantly feels like we’re walking on the edge of a knife, but they keep dodging the bullet. It makes it increasingly feel like our heroes always will survive, like this isn’t the kind of series where our heroes die—even though, in the back of our minds, we have every reason to suspect that’s not true. What Tekketsu no Orphans is doing is building up for the heavier punch, by making us hope. Masahiro and the Tekkadan dead are there to remind us of what kind of series this is … probably. The uncertainty remains. And then they throw out a left hook like Mikazuki kissing Kudelia? I don’t even know how to process that! Combined with awesome, gritty space battles and a multifaceted antagonist in McGillis, and I’m both enjoying this series, and optimistic about where it’s going.

    Komori-san wa Kotowarenai!
    Episodes 10-12 (END)

    Stilts: Nothing new to report with Komori-san wa Kotowarenai!. It was reliably enjoyable throughout its criminally short 12-episode run. (And only two minutes each. Only 24 minutes of Komori-san? Truly, this world isn’t fair.) The episode where everyone got colds was adorable, especially when Shuri wanted to hug Megumi (who was sick at the time) for trying so hard to get into the same school as her and Masako. That and when Shuri fainted upon seeing Ootani-kun’s boxers, hah! The last episode tied everything up, with some musing on why Shuri likes to be depended on, and … that’s it. That’s all she wrote. (Nooo!) After Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken, I planned to watch any anime adapted from a manga Cool-kyou Shinja-sensei wrote, but Komori-san proves that the former wasn’t a fluke. Watch out for that name, and watch anything it’s attached to. I think you’ll find it worth your time.

    Comet Lucifer
    Episodes 10-12 (END)

    Stilts: What can I say about Comet Lucifer? When a series makes me wonder whether it’s the worst series I’ve ever blogged, and when I’ve blogged some serious duds before, that’s not a good sign. That was also an understatement. Nothing about this show worked, ever. None of the characters worked, with the best of the worst, Kaon, getting married off to jerk-with-a-heart-of-gold-more-jerk Roman in a slideshow epilogue. Oh, and there was Do Mon too, but he died. Sougo was the least interesting protagonist I can think of, the real villain revealed herself and her stupid plan in the last two episodes, and then she revealed that she was a #@%&($ magical trilobite. Oh, and the gravity of that other planet (Earth, of course) should have shredded Gift apart since they were, you know, close enough to touch. I only suggest this show to aspiring storytellers, as a twelve episode long lesson in how not to do it. To everyone else, stay away. Unless you already watched it, in which case it’s probably time to start drinking to forget.

    One-Punch Man
    Episodes 10-12 (END)

    Cherrie: If you haven’t seen One-Punch Man by now, I highly recommend that you jump aboard this train. A strong contender for anime-of-the-year with a different spin to the average superhero anime, One-Punch Man delivers more in its second half this season. I came into this anime with an open eye and I’ll admit that the first few episodes were a bit slow and episodic for me. As it turns out, there’s a lot more to the world of City A-Z than you would expect. The side characters alongside Saitama are hilarious, fun and just different. Saitama himself, plays the ironic character who drips of sarcasm. Together, you get a beautifully animated action anime about superheroes just… being superheroes but with a lot of personality. There’s not a ton of plot and continuity every week, but it’s guaranteed that you’ll see Saitama kick some a**. The show even throws in some sentimental moments that touch you more than you’d expect. So if you want to see what all the hype is about, hurry up and check out One-Punch Man. I promise that you won’t be disappointed.

    Hidan no Aria AA
    Episodes 09-12 (END)

    Stilts: This was the month Hidan no Aria AA finally got serious. It was not to its benefit. I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating—as a high school gun-totting action thing, Hidan no Aria has always been sub-par, and this spin-off is no exception. It was at its best when it was being silly, which begs the question: Why were they bothering with all the action? Other than banking on those big Hidan no Aria audiences, which is a lie because they don’t exist. Anyway, the final arc showed Kyochikutou, hereafter referred to as Poison-chan, finally making her move. The protagonists pursued her in the dumbest way possible. You’re going against a poison user, and no one brings gas masks or protective clothing? And they attacked her one at a time. I found myself hoping the protagonists would lose, just so the universe wouldn’t encourage such stupidity. That’s not a reaction you want. Then Poison-chan’s “big” sister, who I will refer to as Psycho Swimsuit Loli, shows up in a mech. Oh yes, a last minute antagonist we’ve never seen before. I officially give up. The middle episodes of Hidan no Aria AA were fun, but in the end, it continued the tradition of its illustrious parent. It was underwhelming.

    Ore ga Ojou-sama Gakkou ni “Shomin Sample” Toshite Gets♥Sareta Ken
    Episodes 09-12 (END)

    Stilts: In the final accounting, this adaptation wasn’t all that good. Part of it is certainly weakness in the source, which is … a novel premise for a harem romcom, granted, but not especially inspired past the central “Guy in an all-girl’s school has to pretend he’s gay, lol” gag. The characters remained largely one-dimensional, with the only one I feel like I really got to know being Kimito; between his thigh fetish, his legitimately nice personality, and his teasing of Aika, he’s the only character that extends much past his tropes. When the haremettes aren’t as interesting as the harem lead, there’s a problem. But the adaptation didn’t do it any favors. These last few episodes were especially lackluster, feeling even more scattershot than previous ones (the Gets/muscle suit one in particular). As for the Reiko Rescue arc, I only half enjoyed it, as it vacillated between ridiculous funny (bunny swordsman Karen) and ridiculous stupid (overwrought drama, more Gets). The seiyuu performances were passable but uninspired, there were strange pacing and overlong pauses in many episodes, and the script writing needed work. Only the mystery of the kissing meido had my interest, and maybe some rumors I heard about Kimito’s seiyuu osananajimi, but she never showed up for more than a cameo. I didn’t go in expecting much, but I did hope for competence, and it underperformed that. Somehow that’s even more frustrating than a Comet Lucifer-level failure.

    DIABOLIK LOVERS MORE, BLOOD
    Episodes 11-12 (END)

    Cherrie: For a short series (about 12 mins long), DIABOLIK LOVERS crams a lot into each episode. It gets a lot of hate and judgment for what it is, but once you get past the shallow, visual novel exterior, the story almost makes up for it. I didn’t enjoy this sequel as much as I enjoyed the original, but the additional brothers do open up the harem possibility for Yui (plus other supernatural elements). Ultimately the ending leaves us with a very open-ended finale so I can’t say that I was thoroughly satisfied with what the sequel had to offer. The new personalities and characters are interesting, but I’m still stuck on the original cast as the true “canon” couples. Ayato is particularly my favorite (*wink wink). If we’re talking about the new brothers, Ruki isn’t bad… but their experiences don’t compare to the psychologically damaging ones of the Sakamaki brothers. Disclaimer: In no way do I think their behaviors are justified though. With that all said, here’s to another season of DIABOLIK LOVERS and hopefully it’ll bring some closure to the mysterious “Founders”. And perhaps Yui may find herself in the hands of two new characters…

    Sakurako-san no Ashimoto ni wa Shitai ga Umatteiru
    Episodes 09-12 (END)

    Cherrie: In the end, what Sakurako-san no Ashimoto ni wa Shitai ga Umatteiru excels at best, isn’t its mystery aspects but it’s slice-of-life. If you’re looking for a true mystery series that keeps you on your toes, I probably wouldn’t recommend this one. However, if you’re looking for a bit of mystery, slice-of-life and drama, this show delivers on all these points. The characters in this series really hit home and the things they do out of fear, and love are all relatable to me. I love that each arc is solved in a few episodes, but the true human emotions that come out of it are all realistic. What most people would find disappointing about this ending though, is that there’s a bigger picture that we can’t see yet and this first season barely scratches the surface. With Sakurako’s archenemy revealed only at the end, it’s hard to deduce just how much more this series has to offer or the direction for it. I’d love to see a second season and see the development between Sakurako and Shoutaro. The finale was a nice touch and I liked the past/present representation of it, but I need more!

    Taimadou Gakuen 35 Shiken Shoutai
    Episodes 09-12 (END)

    Stilts: For all this adaptation has been sketchy, the last four episodes have been really good. First was episode nine, a two-parter of short adventures—first the drunk magical artifact, then the advent of the Mini 35th. I have a soft spot for one-off adventures, but they were both fun, funny, and character building. It goes to show what I’ve said before—what some people think of as unimportant, even “filler,” is often essential to connecting with the characters. Then was the Kusanagi Kiseki arc—Takeru’s mysterious little sister, revealed at last. It can be tricky to introduce a tragic character so late in the game, but thanks in part to the foreshadowing, they did fairly well in making the viewer feel bad for the lot Kiseki drew in life. An immortal, out of control magical monster, who just wants to see her onii-chan … yup, you got me right in the feels. It suffered from the out-of-left-field power-up to give Takeru the tools to win the day, and there are plenty of unanswered questions about Kiseki, Takeru’s soul, and the 35th—but doesn’t that just make you want to pick up the source material? Clever bastards. Though it had a shaky start, at least Taimadou Gakuen 35 Shiken Shoutai ended strong.

    Subete ga F ni Naru: The Perfect Insider
    Episodes 09-11 (END)

    Cherrie: Whether you called it or not, Subete ga F ni Naru revealed just enough in the last few episodes for you to piece the pieces together. Having seen the drama, the anime adaptation is pretty much spot-on when it comes to the ending. The epilogue and ending were all fairly satisfactory given how it literally ties up all loose ends. The closed-case is solved, Moe and Souhei get their own closure and the rest is pretty much up to your interpretation of what happens to Magata. Now, did I like the anime? Honestly, the adaptation was certainly not delivered the way I would’ve liked. It was slow for the greater part of the season and when it finally hands you the answer on a platter, it lacks impact. The anime would have benefited if it were faster-paced or had a more interesting cast. Unfortunately as main characters, Moe and Souhei both didn’t live up to my expectations of them. Moe got more annoying as the episodes aired and Souhei seemed more bored than bothered by the murder. Ultimately I had a lot of hope for this series and it didn’t deliver on a lot of points. Not the fault of the story or plot itself, but all the in the execution.

    Heavy Object
    Episodes 10-12

    Stilts: The Iguazu Mountains was the best arc Heavy Object has given us so far. Where previous arcs were hampered by stupid tactics, stupid science, and frequently stupid antagonists (and even protagonists), all spackled together with plenty of banter and a lot of bullshit, this arc was surprisingly solid. The Mass Driver Conglomerate were legitimately dangerous, taking out the Bright Hopper in one blast, but they themselves were backed into a corner as well, making both sides desperate and scrappy. Frolaytia’s magic uterus was … odd, and a brief return to Heavy Object’s signature shifty sci-fi, but it did set up the hilarious groping (for freedom!) incident that might be leading to a love triangle centered on Qwenthur. Which I’m okay with. But the most important part was that the action was good, from Havia holding off Bilany Saronna to Qwenthur’s plan to take out the enemy Object, which relied less on luck and more on quick thinking and nearly-suicidal heroics. One solid arc does not a pattern make, but Heavy Object has a chance to build a pattern going forward.

    Noragami ARAGOTO
    Episodes 10-13 (END)

    Cherrie: I never expected Noragami ARAGOTO to be the series that I ultimately loved the most this season, but it was! When I first blogged Noragami, I didn’t think it did well enough to warrant a second season but it was just alright for me. Decent and great characters, but not outstanding. This second season of Noragami though was incredible. It took the first season and completely blew it out of the water with a great continuation of character development and taking all the side characters to a whole new level. I loved the Bishamon focus more but both arcs were a great way to bring in new characters while still revealing more of Yato’s background. I was never much of a Yukine-fan, but he’s grown on me in the past season and I can’t wait to see what Hiyori, Yato and Yukine do in the next season. Crossing my toes and my fingers for a hopes of a third season now; especially with the “Father” teaser at the end. Highly recommend this sequel to anyone who even saw the first season. It’s leaps and bounds better and only makes you more hyped for the rest of the story.

    Shinmai Maou no Testament BURST
    Episodes 09-10 (END)

    Stilts: The finale of this arc was an orgy of light, sound, and violence. (Instead of the usual Shinmai Maou orgy of … well, you know.) This season featured increased political intrigue and plot complexity, and in some ways, it was impressive how well Basara’s plan came together, in that it felt foreshadowed enough to not seem like a total asspull (trope). Mostly though, these last two episodes were a continuous bout of mindless flash and bang. The usual magical-fantasy-action-harem power-up was trotted out so that Basara could compete, though this time he removed his limiters by eating valentine’s candy hearts, which is a plot element I’m just going to lay out here for your perusal. I don’t think the wider, more “epic” plot was to Shinmai Maou no Testament’s benefit, when its strengths lie more in being as perverted as a teenage boy in the presence of a willing female, and/or an ostensibly willing dakimakura. (Can’t prove it’s not.) What BURST did well was in adding more awesome ladies to Basara’s harem, and in getting even more shameless with the implied orgies. (Just bang already.) Cutting that with some magical-fantasy action does enhance the story, but the mix was off. Keep it tight and character-driven, and the action will enhance the story. Which I can say for the ladies as well, ba-zing!

    Gochuumon wa Usagi Desuka??
    Episodes 09-12 (END)

    Stilts: If I had to pick a favorite from December’s episodes, it would be all of them. I loved the uniform shenanigans in episode nine, where the younger girls were working at each cafe for a day, and Chiya was angsting (adorably) over wanting to work with Syaro. Fluffy friendship feelings and three girls in Fleur’s zettai ryouiki uniform? Yespls. But episode ten is not to be outdone, especially the first half—Syaro turning into Rize’s sket manager, and the mystery of Midori (Aoyama-san, of course). Shipping everyone!! The camping, too, was fun for how much fun they had despite the difficulties Rize’s father hoisted on them (always double-check the cooler, Rize), and the treasure hunt in the last episode was full of fuwa-fuwa. I don’t know what it is, but whereas the first season of GochiUsa left me thinking of it as a solid but unremarkable cute-girls-doing-cute-things slice-of-life, this season elevated it. Not by doing anything different, but by doing all of it, more, and better. More of Chino’s friends, more heart-warming bits, and more time with everybody to make it obvious how much fun they are. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see more of this anime in the future.

    Owari no Seraph 2nd Season
    Episodes 21-24 (END)

    Cherrie: And all the hype that I had for this second season goes down the drain… because this finale just made me go “What did I just watch?”. It’s not as bad as other series I’ve seen and even blogged, but it’s definitely an eyebrow-raiser. There are things that I thought the second-cour did well, and there are things that I thought the series totally dropped the ball on. Starting with the positive, I thought the story was very solid – there’s a lot of great development between Yuu and Mika which makes me believe that they’ve grown up (as they should). The idea of “family” rather than “love conquers all” is a message that you don’t see often these days so I endorse that. Then there’s the whole struggle of vampires vs. humans and demons which begins to feel lost to me. I understand what the humans were trying to do but how? Why? What does destroying mankind do for humanity (or vampires)? All these questions are barely answered before everything goes up in flames and poof! Four months later… The finale was not the series’ strong point and if it’s meant to encourage more readers/viewers, I’m afraid it failed there. It leaves more questions than answers and I’m worried that at this state, we might never get those answers animated.

    Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry
    Episodes 10-12 (END)

    Stilts: The Touka vs Shizuku fight was one of the most well-animated, well-written, and unabashedly stirring battles I’ve seen. It’s everything I love about Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry. Then came the final arc, which was deeply discomfiting. I still don’t know how I feel about it. The staff used colors and a grainy filter to good effect, to tell a story without words. But the events the last two episodes depicted were too much. The deck was stacked too far against Ikki, and in frustrating ways. What’s a student supposed to do when a powerful multi-national organization is bending all its might to destroy him personally? Ikki’s father even gave me the same feeling as the principal in Ansatsu Kyoushitsu, but without a Koro-sensei to back Ikki up, and give him a chance to fight back on his own terms. As a way to expound on the theme of Ikki triumphing over ceaseless adversity through hard work rather than talent, the last arc undeniably drove the point home. But it drove it home with a sledgehammer, and made for a frustrating watch. Compared to previous battles, I can’t even say the resolution was as satisfying, because it didn’t feel earned so much as owed (the world owed Ikki a happy ending after this shit). The kiss and proposal at the end were especially nice, though. One heavy-handed arc aside, Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry was one of my favorite series of the season. I hope we get more someday.

    Utawarerumono: Itsuwari no Kamen
    Episodes 10-12

    Stilts: It finally feels like Itsuwari no Kamen is getting somewhere. Anju’s crush on Oshutoru led to the first interesting development in a while, where Oshutoru seriously fought Haku, and then delivered a crushing lesson to Anju in the weight of her actions. Then came the twins, who are kamunagi (priestesses) given to Haku as rewards, and who are willing to do anything for their new master, and don’t run away! It’s not as bad as it sounds. Or it might be, but we don’t know yet. Though I would be surprised if an Utawarerumono story left characters in its main cast so thinly developed and easily fetishizable (shut up, that’s now a word), so give it time. The most important thing that happened was in the closing moments of episode twelve, where it was mentioned that an enemy nation is invading Yamato, and hooray! Things are happening! Now we’ll get to see if all the introduction, fumbled character development, and faffing about were worth it. Hopefully they were.

    Shingeki! Kyojin Chuugakkou
    Episodes 10-12 (END)

    Stilts: I really enjoyed the last few episodes of Kyojinchu. The student council president election was just roundly funny, and it was nice seeing Marco, a nice guy who is easy to miss in all the shuffle, get the recognition that he deserves, and would never seek out. Then came the school festival, and the titan attack that led to the finale. It’s hard to do both goofy and epic at the same time, but this series managed to do it, though it certainly benefited from being able to lean on (and parody) the original series. It was all a perfect storm of referential humor, goofy characters, and surprisingly epic callbacks, especially to the big rock scene back in the original—you know the one. I wouldn’t suggest this to people who haven’t seen (and enjoyed) Shingeki no Kyojin, but to those who have, and who enjoy a good parody, I would recommend it immediately. It starts out slow, but once it gets up to speed, it delivers some hilarious episodes in short, 15-minute bites.

    January 2, 2016 at 5:57 pm
    43 comments »
    • January 2, 2016 at 6:32 pmOne Pinch Man

      Thank you Cherrie and Stilts for this amazing monthly impression! I’m waiting for Winter 2016 Schedule and Best of Anime 2015.

      • January 2, 2016 at 8:45 pmOne Inch Man

        Ya, thank you thank you

    • January 2, 2016 at 6:47 pmGouka Ryuu

      Some nice thoughts on a mixed bag of shows.

      I’m glad you liked Calvary Stilts. I really liked it too.

    • January 2, 2016 at 7:14 pmSmokex365

      Taimadou Gakuen 35 Shiken Shoutai: Enjoyed but I think it would of been better suited to a 2-cour run. The pacing felt off and I would of like more exploration of the world and characters. They also supposedly left it on a original ending so they would either need to redo it, do a lot of retcon or so a complete refresh. It’s annoying that there’s very little translated source material so you’re kind of screwed if you want to continue the story.

      Shinmai Maou no Testament BURST: Wish they would focus on the story more than the ecchi. They’ve barely explained Basara’s lineage (2 mothers, one of which is apparently a god; nothing about the other). I like ecchi as much as the next guy but when you it has a higher priority than the story (especially one that’s decent) then it sucks.

      Hidan no Aria AA: Decent but I would of rather gotten a proper continuation of the original story with some proper attention.

      Comet Lucifer: I’ll admit I watched it the whole way through but it was mostly out of morbid curiosity after the midpoint. They seemed to have good material but just….wow.

      Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry, Gochuumon wa Usagi Desuka??, Sakurako-san and Noragami: Better get another season!

      • January 2, 2016 at 8:33 pmStilts

        Taimadou’s ending was anime original? That explains the unanswered questions from the cliffhanger, but as far as anime original endings go, it was a good one, since I didn’t even realize it was one. Also, compelling and not rushed and all that.

        • January 3, 2016 at 11:09 pmSmokex365

          They cut out so much stuff from the few translations I can find. A lot of the characterization was cut, entire plot points and motivations and enemy encounters. The actual story is way better than what we got.

          Hopefully the manga and novels will get some translation sometime this decade. They just rushed the adaption into the ground and non-Japanese speaking fans pretty much got left with a smoldering bomb.

      • January 3, 2016 at 9:21 amzztop

        There was a very up to date English fantranslation of the Taimadou novels, hosted on the translator’s website. However, it’s already been taken down.
        A DMCA copyright act was issued by Antimagic’s publishers, Kadokawa, against the French fantranslation. The English translator took theirs down to avoid being targeted by the DMCA.

        I’ve heard the Japanese viewers consider the Taimadou anime as a joke and mockery of the novels, given how much details were cut and excised for the anime. For example, the Kiseki-Takeru adventure was supposed to end with Takeru going with Valhalla in exchange for Kiseki staying with the Inquisition. In addition, their world’s devastated by magical pollution caused by the last Witchhunt War; Sougetsu was manipulating everyone to restart it again.
        Show Spoiler ▼

    • January 2, 2016 at 8:08 pmWanderer

      I tried giving Hidan no Aria: AA a chance, both due to several points in the manga that I thought were good, and because I thought there were things in the anime that had potential. There was something there, something that could have turned into a decent and moderately interesting story. Unfortunately, almost every time they tried to handle anything other than comedy they fumbled terribly. Also WTF random boss fight out of nowhere with someone you’ve never heard of before who has no relevance to the rest of the series. Come on, guys, you could have done better than that.

      Komori-san: D’aaaaw! *tries to hug. Hits the ground facefirst* Wait, where’d it go? Come back! :(

      Gochi-usa: I can has moar bunnies nao pls? I would like more seasons of this. As many as possible. This is the most enjoyable fuwa fuwa series I’ve watched in a long time.

      Rakudai: It’s a good adaptation. They pushed Shizuku’s bro-con-ness more than she did in the novels, either to keep her relevant or because someone on staff has an imouto fetish, but still, on a whole this was well done. And it got me reading the LNs. I don’t like to read LNs. This series, however, has managed to interest me.

      • January 2, 2016 at 8:10 pmWanderer

        PS: Thank you all for your hard work with these monthly impressions. They have more than once helped me discover a series I otherwise would have missed. While I’m sad they’re going to end here, I look forward to whatever you may be able to do in the future.

        • January 2, 2016 at 8:35 pmStilts

          *bows* Thank you, Wanderer-chan. We’ll do our best!

        • January 3, 2016 at 9:27 amzztop

          Re Rakudai: I’ve heard Shizuku’s brocon-ness is still present in later novels, but not as pronounced as the anime.
          Show Spoiler ▼

    • January 2, 2016 at 9:06 pmsealouse

      I couldn’t believe that non-ending of Owari no Seraph. It’s not that I didn’t like it. It’s just that I couldn’t believe they would end it at that point. I really hope they eventually come out with a third season.

      • January 3, 2016 at 9:05 amzztop

        They had to end Seraph that way, there’s no more manga material left to adapt. The 2nd half of the finale’s anime original, adapted from the writer’s drafts for the next chapter.

        • January 3, 2016 at 9:04 pmBlackBriar

          Hence the news that was announced in one of ANN’s articles before the first season of the anime even began:

          Article: Seraph of the End’s Additional Cast, Creator’s Direct Involvement Revealed

          Quote:

          “The website also announced that the original manga’s writer, Takaya Kagami, is personally drafting the original story for story episodes not yet serialized in the manga version. He is also supervising all aspects of the scripts until the anime’s 24th and final episode.”

          Most of that quote can be found in the anime section of Seraph’s Wikipedia page. So it’s solidified proof and the chapter that covers the remainder of the second season’s final episode is supposed to be released this month. That and the previous chapter are part of the 11th volume of the manga set to be released in Japan in May 2016, bundled with the OVA Owari no Seraph: Kyuuketsuki Shahar.

      • January 5, 2016 at 6:14 amCherrie

        If it’s true that there isn’t any more content to animate, we’re in a for LONG wait and explanation as to what happened. It’s a bad way for the series to end but maybe this will entice others to read the manga now =P Personally I will not be reading it… if we’re going to start wandering into the realm of angels/demons/vampires and all other supernatural beings, I think it requires more than an explanation for me to be on board again =( Seems like the humans want to be God or something.

        • January 5, 2016 at 8:10 pmBlackBriar

          Shinoa already mentioned in the first season that the Japanese Imperial Demon Army’s primary goal was world domination. Dealing with the vampires only became necessary because they’re an obstacle to that goal.

          Even in the second season’s third episode, Kureto told to Guren’s face that once he’s dealt with the vampires, his next move is to re-establish Japan’s communications with the rest of the world, find surviving human organizations, crush them and put them under the Demon Army’s control.

          Not to mention the world is in the sorry state it’s in because of a virus that was born from the backfiring of a forbidden experiment on the Seraph of the End due to the human nature’s insatiable lust for power. Of which 9/10 of the human population had to pay the consequences with their lives. So as you see, although the vampires are worthy of contempt, the humans are no saints either. In some ways, they’re worse than vampires. As Ashuramaru told Yuu the day they first met.

          And just so you know, a “Seraph” is an angel. Tradition places seraphs in the highest rank in the Christian angelic hierarchy and in the fifth rank of ten in the Jewish angelic hierarchy. Described as a six-winged being that flies around the Throne of God.

    • January 2, 2016 at 9:25 pmIndigo

      I really enjoy these summaries.

    • January 2, 2016 at 10:30 pmMX3

      I share the same sentiment with Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry. Unfortunately, the way it ended and even the way the series was handled as a whole didn’t find me wanting for a second season. As soon as the end came and I finally came to digest the series as a whole, I found the lack of ambition for a very promising anime so disappointing that I doubt they could make a come back with another season. But I could be wrong, but should a second season come, I wouldn’t jump right into it and wait for a while as to how others would digest it’s second coming.

      Also, one punch man, it’s a technical marvel, but now when I look back to it, it isn’t as memorable as I had hoped it would be. And as blistering the animation was during the last episodes, I forgot all about it the next day. Not a good sign for an anime which promises so much more. Should a second season come (I hope it does), I hope the series would be given the much needed depth even if it thinks it doesn’t need it.

      • January 2, 2016 at 11:48 pmStilts

        I did enjoy Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry, and would like more of it. However, you’re certainly right in a way—it doesn’t need another season. There’s that whole tournament thing coming, but the theme of the story was Ikki triumphing over all of the obstacles placed in front of him, and after beating a widely-acknowledged fighter and then proposing to a godsdamned princess on live television, he’s got that. The arc can be considered fulfilled, though I’m sure they’ll reveal that it’s actually not if we get another season. Still, we got more closure than most adaptations, which is nice.

        I would counsel against dinging a series for a lack of ambition. That’s projecting your own desires onto a story, and speaking as a storyteller, we don’t (necessarily) give a damn what kind of story people want us to tell. We tell the stories we want to read (or watch, or listen to, or whatever), and hope they find an audience … save for those storytellers who are obsessed with sales, but they’ll have problems if they continue with that. I try to judge a story based on how well it tried to do what it tried to do. And in that, Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry did well.

        Agreed on One Punch Man. I could name many series like that, ones I enjoyed but which have ultimately faded. Sometimes that’s fine, because they had the decency to wrap everything up well, and when I do think of them, I think of them fondly—not entirely forgotten, but not so close to the front of the mind. Others I do forget about, though. I wouldn’t be surprised if One Punch Man ends up being one of those.

        • January 3, 2016 at 1:02 amWarriorsHeart

          That’s exactly my impression of One Punch Man, while the fights are well animated, they’re not very memorable or have a long lasting impression. I can remember the sequences in my favourite fight scenes from YuYu Hakusho and Rurouni Kenshin which I haven’t watched for years better than in OPM.

        • January 3, 2016 at 8:04 amMX3

          Of course, I will gladly take your counsel to heart. It is an intriguing yet sound point of view from a storyteller. But for Rakudai Kishi, I am of the opinion that the premise and the first episode itself led me to believe it had grand ambitions. The setup was there: an unfair world that needed change, a flawed character which could shake the foundations of said world, an interesting set of supporting characters which would play a part in the revolution that was to follow. Even the succeeding episodes showed some promise of something grand with politics and intrigue thrown into the mix, but alas it devolved into a somewhat typical one on one shounen style battle. That’s not to say Rakudai was a bad anime. There were good parts and not so good parts (the penultimate episode was pointless and felt out of place). I just thought it was worthy of having ambition given the premise, the world, and all.

        • January 3, 2016 at 8:59 amzztop

          The Rakudai LNs are currently being translated at Bakatsuki; the translation’s just starting on Vol 5.
          https://www.baka-tsuki.org/project/index.php?title=Rakudai_Kishi_no_Eiyuutan

          The new arc’s plot structure is similar to Asterisk War’s Phoenix Festa, but the fights are 1v1

        • January 3, 2016 at 9:00 amzztop

          The Rakudai LNs are currently being translated at Bakatsuki; the translation’s just starting on Vol 5.
          https://www.baka-tsuki.org/project/index.php?title=Rakudai_Kishi_no_Eiyuutan

          The new arc’s plot structure is similar to Asterisk War’s Phoenix Festa, but the fights are all 1 v 1 eliminations.
          Vol 10′s slated to revolve around Vermilion, Stella’s homeland (per the author’s afterwords.)

    • January 2, 2016 at 10:42 pmfragb85

      Well since there is STILL no love for Fafner: Exodus, I guess I’ll give my impressions

      The final arc felt a bit rushed (what is with Mecha shows and rushed endings?) but it still left a very satisfying conclusion. My only real complaint that it pretty much ended on the same note as the first series, a lot of death, a major crisis averted but the war with the Festum is not over. And as always it ends on a hopeful tone that humanity will pull through.

      What it did it well though, is wrap up its characters properly with their arcs reaching a natural conclusion. It did feel like a proper sendoff the its primary cast, especially for the First Generation who were built up from the series before it. It was great to watch how much they developed since that original series. If there will ever be a follow-up as the ending implies would likely be with an entirely new cast of characters.

      Fafner is a truly an underrated series, able to balance a large cast, tell a good story (without resorting to dumb plot twists) and still have great music and well choreographed, exciting action.

      • January 2, 2016 at 11:10 pmMX3

        Fafner viewer here. While I’ve also noticed the absence of coverage for Fafner anywhere in the web, I understand it all too well the apprehension of bloggers to cover this series. It is very hard to get into. I was lucky enough to have seen the Dead Aggressor years ago, and despite the rough first half (too much brooding), I thoroughly enjoyed the second half right down to the epic two episode finale. Heaven and Earth was also exceptional, but was hostile to those new to the series so I understood why a lot of people hated it.

        Also, the character designs. I went into Exodus without having rewatched Dead Aggressor, Heaven and Earth and the first episode confused me to high heavens who was who. I always hated the character designs but the world building, and the storyline eventually won me out. They also start spewing out “MIR” “core” “assimilate” without having a care for those new to the series, and even someone like me who watched the whole Fafner shebang got confused quite easily. During the first series I’ve always thought core=mir, then during the final episodes of Dead Aggressor realized that it was not. That also held true to this season, so I was confused as hell.

        ANyway, now that the season has ended, yes it was rushed. The final 5 episodes felt rushed, everything happened in a flash and they didn’t even give time for the viewers to digest everything before moving on to the next plot point. I felt quite cheated as I expected the finale to be similar to the epic 2 episode finale of Dead Aggressor. But still I felt satisfied despite more questions than answers delivered. I’m hoping for a 3rd season to resolve just about EVERYTHING in this series. I refuse to let this story die into nothingness.

      • January 2, 2016 at 11:32 pmMX3

        PS. The show is not without its faults. I always had problems with some of its plot twists and characters: Kasugai Koyou deux-ex-machina-ing for the nth time to save Tatsumiyajima kind of got predictable and somewhat irritating-he should just stay in D island for all I care. There was a part in Exodus when everyone was in a pinch and I told myself, don’t worry Koyou will come and save the day, and lo and behold, he did. What the hell is he anyway, he was never fully explored in Exodus and it disappointed me. I liked how Soushi and Kazuki was given closure. Even the other characters were given closure. Wearing the goubain mask is a death wish, they should just get rid of it. A lot of the closures were sad but satisfying. But now with this ending, more questions regarding each faction’s motivations are raised. Neo-UN’s goals now seem more puzzling than ever. The remaining Festum, having failed to acquire Altair are at a loss but doesn’t seem to have given up eradicating humanity. D island’s residents, now live with a new core and mir but can they coexist (a lot of character’s were sick but were sustained by the mir-Chief Makabe for one, I wonder if he will survive with the new mir), but what’s their goal now? Too many questions indeed.

      • January 3, 2016 at 6:28 amNex

        I’m surprised to see some Fafner discussion here, guess I should have paid more attention to comments in these monthly impressions.

        But yeah I can’t blame anyone here for not watching the show, there’s so much anime as it is, and Dead Aggressor wasn’t the most popular show even a decade ago. It’s a shame, but the site has so much quality coverage still.

        On to Fafner itself, it really is an interesting situation, even with a satisfying ending I still want more because it was so great. It FELT like a very definitive ending, and I’ve accepted that it probably is, but if they announce even something as minor as an extended finale, I’ll be fully hyped and ready to go. Honestly I’d even like just some sort of epilogue for all the surviving characters, to see how couples and such are doing, Exodus was really good at those slice-of-life type scenes.

        @MX3, on the topic of Kouyo (MAJOR spoilers for anyone else planning to watch any Fafner, be warned)
        Show Spoiler ▼

        Apologies for the wall of text too, for anyone scrolling by.

        • January 3, 2016 at 7:59 amMX3

          Oh yes, I think I’ve forgot a lot of important details in DA. Thanks for the refresher. I think I remember some details a bit now. I even forgot Kanon and other supporting characters were part of the invading Neo-UN in DA until they mentioned it somewhere in the middle of Exodus (which had me pausing and saying “awwww”. I’d like to see a follow-up epilogue movie but I hope it won’t turn out to be something like Heaven and Earth which set itself up for the second series. I just hope Fafner would definitively end so i won’t have my heart tearing apart for every remaining character assimilated.

      • January 4, 2016 at 4:00 amInclemens

        The lack of love for Fafner is the worst thing there is. It’s an amazingly good series and Exodus was easily the best mecha to come out in the last couple years.

        The world building, the chracters and most of all the dedication by it’s staff are tremendous. Couple that with gorgeous animation, the best CGI produced in an anime (seriously Orange, how the hell did you do it with the budget of a mere series?) and a truly interesting and emotionnal story and you get a true masterpiece.

        Exodus was not without flaws, but they were so insignificant compared to the full product that they don’t degrade it. The ending felt rushed, yes, but it also left open the possibility for another series or a movie to truly wrap up the story. And I’m not yet ready for the ride to end.

        I truly wish it would have gotten some (dare I say any?) coverage on RC because a site like this has the potential to influence a lot of viewers. Fafner (which is hugely popular in Japan) has very few followers here in the west and could have used the boost of viewers to reach the awareness it deserves. Sure you can’t just jump into Exodus, you need to watch the first series, the ova and the movie, but dammit is that worth the time.

        I just hope some people here read this and decide to give it a go. If you do remember the following: Watch series 1 first (it takes a while to get going, but there was a writer change and that made it GOD-tier), watch the OVA, watch the movie and THEN watch Exodus. Also prepair for feels…. lots and lots of feels.

      • January 6, 2016 at 1:33 amRaiu

        Alright boys and girls, let our little Fafner ship continue its humble voyage in RC to enlighten the bloggers and readers alike.

        But boy, the 2-episode season finale was really a killer. Hopefully it gets an extended version similar to episode 1 especially the last final episode.

        This is probably the last topic that Fafner will be ever mentioned in this site until something happens this coming Spring.

        • January 6, 2016 at 3:31 amInclemens

          Maybe one of the RC writers will become a convert and write something about it…. We can only hope.

    • January 2, 2016 at 11:11 pminfo600

      This cour has had me laughing very hard (Heavy Object, Working!!!), wondering who is chopping an onion (Working!!!, GundamIBO, I think?), roll my eyes VERY HARD and tempted me to go buy a 6-bottle pack of beer (Comet Lucifer), gasp in awe – at verious things (Fafner: Exodus – storyline, Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry – story/characterization/animation, Gakusen Toshi Asterisk – animation/shock factor), and made me wish I was younger again so I can enjoy it properly (World Trigger).

      So…What would I change if I can redo watching this cour? Skip Comet Lucifer and replace it with One Punch Man. End of story.

      Thanks for the summaries, Cherrie (and Stilts – want a cat push you a glass? :D ), I’ll miss this little section so I can ponder my mind about the series that just can’t be blogged for various reasons.

      • January 5, 2016 at 6:18 amCherrie

        We say it all the time, but in a perfect world (or if I made money from blogging on RC), this could be a FT job and I would blog everything ^^ Too bad that isn’t the case and for a “volunteer” position, we all do as much as we can while balancing out the rest of our lives. We appreciate you for reading though! And we promise to be back with new/more stuff… as soon as we figure out what that is!

    • January 3, 2016 at 1:16 amSK

      Need more GochiUsa! For real, though, more of the ChiMaMe-tai, individually or together, added another element to the mix. Not sure if there’s anything next season to provide the dose of CGDCT that this provided.

      I feel like Shomin Sample could be more interesting if we found out what was up with the maid and the osananajimi, but ultimately I agree that this is a forgettable entry in the genre.

      And of course, that screenshot for Heavy Object is exactly the one I expected from Stilts.

      • January 3, 2016 at 2:34 amStilts

        Nyahaha! I aim to please. (And isn’t the Shinmai Maou screenshot nice as well? >:3)

        • January 6, 2016 at 1:37 amRaiu

          Dude, with that screenshot alone, I will pick up Heavy Object once again. Bravo Stilts.

    • January 3, 2016 at 8:19 amzztop

      http://randomc.net/image/Retrospective%20Look/Owari2%20-%202015-12.jpg

      Seraph’s finale caught up to the latest manga chapter for its 1st half. The 2nd half and ending is anime-original, likely adapted author Kagami Takaya’s story drafts.
      There’s no more manga left to adapt, so it’ll be a while until enough material can be produced for another season.

      Summaries of the Seraph light novel spinoffs indicate the author’s envisioning a grandiose narrative of a story he can’t compress into a monthly 40 pg manga, so he’s got to put it into side materials instead. It’s his style of writing; his previous work, The Legend of the Legendary Heroes, has a sprawling plot and nearly all characters are connected to the central mythology.

      For example, the light novel spinoffs reveal many interesting facts.
      -the vampire race came into existence the same time after the angel Michaela fell to Earth 2000 years ago. The Hyakuya cult worshipped this fallen angel, and Mika’s convert mother named him after said angel, ”a special name”.
      -Ferid was once called Michaela by his ex-master, and a then-human Crowley (previously a medieval-era Knight Templar who fought in the Crusades) was spared by attacking vampires “because he’s a Michaela too”. The novel’s setting up how Ferid and Crowley became friends.
      -only the children survived the Seraph’s wraths because of their innocence; they were untainted with the sin of desire and ambition the adults had.
      -Hiiragi Shinya was sold by his parents to the Hiiragis in exchange for money and power within the Hiiragi-led Emperor’s Demon cult. He was placed in a ruthless candidate program with other boys, designed to train a suitable breeding partner for Hiiragi Mahiru to create a strong generation of descendants for the family. Anyone not making the cut is executed.

      • January 5, 2016 at 6:37 amCherrie

        Thanks for all the extra tidbits. I haven’t read (or feel a need to read) the manga but I’ve heard that there’s a lot of extras in the side stories being written. The problem I have with that though is that for someone like me who may or may not read all the supplementary stuff, I don’t get that added value. And if it’s for the sake of understanding the original story a little better, why not put that into the actual story? The side stories shouldn’t be “must-reads” but rather “nice-to-read” and therefore I should be able to get the original story but strictly reading the original manga. Something like the Michaela bit… I feel like that should’ve been info they included in the anime. That’s kinda important to know? Otherwise I’m left with the “What?! When did ANGELS become involved?! WHAT?!” O_o

    • January 3, 2016 at 8:49 amFelina

      Have Ever Just Walked Into A Wall And Appeared In Another Room

    • January 3, 2016 at 9:12 pmstarss

      I should really express more often how much I appreciate what you do on the site. Thanks so much for taking the free time to spend on us!

      • January 3, 2016 at 9:50 pmStilts

        Thank you for your kind words, and for putting up with us *bows*

    • January 6, 2016 at 5:08 amIncognito

      Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans – I’m still loving how it’s going (and a death flag is played straight), though a small part of me still remains cautious on whether it will fumble or not.

      Heavy Object – Morse Code gunshots. Totally enjoyed that ploy. (And Qwenthur still having the energy to grope Frolaytia afterwards despite his injuries–never mind that Milinda will be jealous when she hears of it. Also, H-doujin ideas…)

      Aquarion Logos – That was a strange entry in the Aquarion franchise… Stranger than the previous two installments, if I may add. Thank goodness that preview episode of Macross Delta provided a much-needed comedown (though the strangeness of the whole Logos experience still remains).

      Shomin Sample – Fairly novel premise, mediocre execution (as expected). And with a very widgety reference (Dandy Sakano and his “Gets” catchphrase) to boot. A shame, since I actually liked Reiko (although her arranged marriage arc reminded me of Rinka Kunitachi from NakaImo). And they didn’t even reveal why Miyuki Kujou works as a maid. Or why she kisses Kimito awake every morning. As much as I wanted to see those mysteries answered, the anime just banked on those (and the childhood friend) as sequel hooks instead of, I dunno, something involving the other characters I didn’t mention? (Hakua, Karen, or Aika.) It would give them some depth as characters, too.

      Shinmai Maou no Testament BURST – I’m just gonna paraphrase part of Shia LaBeouf’s (in)famous motivational speech here:

      “DO IT, BASARA! JUST! DO IT!”

      Well, I’m gonna miss these monthly impressions, as it was good to hear some thoughts on shows that aren’t covered.

    • March 18, 2016 at 11:29 amStanley

      I noticed that there hasn’t been any Monthly Impressions for 2016, was it mentioned anywhere that there will never be new entries? Or it was just temporary on hold? Or it was listed elsewhere? Just curious, cause I really enjoyed these