It’s that time of month again! And I’m proud to release the second Monthly Impressions post since we started up this category again. These have gotten a fair amount of positive reviews so far so we intend to keep on delivering as long as readers find value in them. It’s incredible how fast a month flies by and in another month, we’ll already be at our season finales!

Similar to last time, this post could not be completed without the help of a few individuals. The impressions below are brought to you by Divine, Enzo, Stilts, Zephyr and myself. Love you guys! 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
  • Zephyr@ZephyrRC
  • 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. This month, I’ve decided to include a hyper-linked calendar for those that want to quickly jump to specific shows rather than scroll all the way down. This also helps organize the order of the shows.

    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 are being covered on a weekly basis, click on the Summer 2014 schedule. RC blogs 18 shows every week so be sure to check back regularly!

    Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
    17:00 MBS (4/6)
    Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance
    20:30 AT-X (7/14)
    Momo Kyun Sword
    24:30 MX (7/8)
    Majimoji Rurumo
    21:00 AT-X (7/9)
    22:30 MX (7/3)
    Tokyo ESP
    25:35 MX (7/11)
    Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon: Crystal
    19:00 Niconico (7/5)
    22:30 MX (7/6)
    Ao Haru Ride
    24:00 MX (7/7)
    Yama no Susume: Second Season
    22:00 MX (7/9)
    Shirogane no Ishi Argevollen
    23:00 MX (7/3)
    Nobunaga Concerto
    25:50 CX (7/11)
    Sword Art Online II
    23:30 MX (7/5)
    23:00 MX (7/6)
    25:35 TX (7/7)
    Free! -Eternal Summer-
    24:00 MX (7/2)
    Tokyo Ghoul
    24:00 MX (7/3)
    24:00 MX (7/5)
    Akame ga Kill
    24:00 MX (7/6)
    M3: Sono Kuroki Hagane
    25:35 MX (4/21)
    Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya 2wei!
    25:35 MX (7/9)
    Zankyou no Terror
    24:50 CX (7/10)
    Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei
    24:30 MX (4/5)
    Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun
    25:05 TX (7/6)
    PSYCHO-PASS (New Edit)
    25:20 CX (7/10)
    26:20 ntv (7/5)
    25:46 TBS (7/3)


    Episodes 18 – 22

    Divine: Another month, another five amazing episodes. The adrenaline-filled action, the related characters, and the spirit of competition are taking to another level in Karasuno’s match against Aoba Jousai, but what’s impressed me the most is how Haikyuu manages to weave subplots together. The story just seems to flow seamlessly and the pacing is just perfect. Flashbacks are short and to the point, allowing us to quickly return to the volleyball action and all the quirky character interactions. As a volleyball fan, I continue to enjoy all the attention to detail about the sport–from all the plays to all the thoughts running through the players’ heads. That, in conjunction with the conclusion of Karasuno and Aoba Jousai’s match, should result in an exciting finish to this adaptation. It’ll be a shame once this roller coaster ride of emotions ends, but I hear there’s a good chance that it gets a sequel. For my sake and all others watching, I sure hope that it does.

    Episodes 05 – 09

    Stilts: Sabagebu is a pure comedy, so it lives or dies by the jokes it tells. And most of the time, Sabagebu is still a lot of fun! My favorites this month were Urara’s embarrassing crisis, the Devil Momoka vs Angel Momoka battle, pretty-boy Momoka, Maya’s perverted yuri stalkers, and the badass geezers. I’m also enjoying how Lemon has become a recurring character, because he’s a surefire sign that Momoka is about to lose her shit. My favorite bit was probably the Student Council President and her rabu-rabu misunderstandings with Miou, while the biggest flop was the 10-minute infomercial for the Japanese Hunting Association. An anime should never waste its audience’s time, and that bit resulted in 10 unfunny minutes I wish I had back. But other than that, Sabagebu has been bringing the laughs consistently every week. Some of the glow has worn off now that I understand what kind of show this is, but it’s still funny. That’s a win in my book.

    Episodes 05 – 09

    Enzo: With three episodes to go, I’m ready to confirm my earlier suspicion that the second season of Space Dandy has been an improvement on the very good first. It’s been more consistent, with only one episode that didn’t really click, and Episode 8 – Yakura Nasuhiro’s sublime and surrealistic take on life and death – is a strong contender for best anime episode of the year (and one of the most visually stunning ever). Space Dandy has been pretty successful ratings-wise on Cartoon Network, so even with modest disc sales on-tap another sequel isn’t out of the question. But even if this is it, the show has certainly left a mark – Watanabe Shinichirou has turned it into a showcase for some of the best writers, directors and animators in anime history. It would be nice to think the series has been successful enough to encourage other studios (and BONES itself) to try new approaches in making anime profitable, ones that don’t rely on appealing to the same tiny niche audiences that make up today’s disc-buying public. But the realist in me says that’s probably unlikely, and that Space Dandy is likely to be a one-off or at the very least an aberration rather than a trail-blazer.

    Akame ga Kill
    Episodes 05 – 09

    Cherrie: Akame ga Kill has taken a huge leap forwards this past month and it’s the epitome of “anyone can die”. It’s honestly such a thrill ride to be watching this show because anything can happen to anyone and although things are not completely unexpected, they have a strong impact. The speed of this show is unlike anything else and it resembles a roller coaster ride that only gives you one episode to cooldown before it ramps back up again to another climax. I wish I could say more, but without any spoilers (because everything is practically a spoiler), all I can say is, this is a must watch for the season. If you like action and a fast-paced plot, this is it. I should also mention that anyone new to the anime should avoid as much commentary as possible to make the most of their experience. Trust me, this is not one you want to be spoiled for. The shock and awe factor is probably what you’re going for watching a show like this and it truly delivers on that point.

    Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun
    Episodes 05 – 09

    Cherrie: Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun keeps up the funnies every week and this show seems to push all the right buttons with me. The characters have this hilarious chemistry that’s mixed with both misunderstandings and miscommunication. I love how it’s all taken lightheartedly and between all the other action, serious series that I’m watching lately, it’s a good breather. The recent episode when Nozaki got sick were probably my favorite to date because it goes to show how the secondary characters can bring value to the table as well. I’m sure eventually the stereotypes with characters will get old, but for now, I still love Sakura and Nozaki and their interactions. It’s hard to say that each individual makes me laugh, but for the most part, Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun is a show that easily makes me smile every week. It continues to consistently deliver even after two months and I think that says a lot.

    Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance
    Episodes 03 – 07

    Stilts: I’m enjoying Blade Dance more than I expected. Most of the characters are still stereotypical and/or flat (character-wise … don’t worry Claire, a flat chest is a status symbol! A rarity! That means you’re valuable!), but the plot itself isn’t bad. It reminds me of what I’ve been saying about Prisma Illya – while it’s taking time to indulge in harem antics, it’s always going somewhere, and the mystery surrounding Ren Ashbell and the successor to the Demon Lord is intriguing enough to keep me watching. I also like how everything about the girls isn’t centered around Kamito – they have their own goals and desires, which just so happen to intersect with Kamito in some way. Their feelings for him, fledgling or otherwise, are a single facet of their lives, not the totality of it, and that’s not always the case with harem shows. All in all, Blade Dance is on the rise. It’s still not the top fantasy harem anime I’ve ever seen, but it’s solid and advancing, and that’s a good place to be.

    Ao Haru Ride
    Episodes 04 – 08

    Cherrie: It’s been a while since I’ve been so excited every week for a pure shoujo romance. The story has taken a while to ramp up, but now that it is, it’s no surprise that Futaba has fallen for Kou all over again. What I love is that the story actually explores her feelings and how she interacts with Kou as a result. It brings me directly back to high school and everything that gets thrown in Futuba’s path, I want to scream – That’s how I felt too! The anime makes it very easy to empathize with Futaba and it gives me the same butterlies whenever she gets close to Kou or whenever he does something nice for her. The cast is also likeable and I appreciate how Futaba isn’t an indecisive protagonist; it helps progress the plot faster and things actually happen between her and Kou! All I have to say is – Girl, when I like a boy, it’s so obvious! She hides it d*mn well.

    Episodes 04 – 08

    Stilts: Perhaps the most surprising thing about Hanayamata is that we’re eight episodes in, and Ma (Machi) hasn’t joined the Yosakoi-bu yet. That’s good though. The Yosakoi-bu’s growth has been organic – the blindingly predictable events surrounding Yaya’s band aside – and is mirrored by the growth in all the girls, especially Naru. She’s so different than she was in the first episode, and yet fundamentally the same – she’s still a wallflower, but she’s trying to bloom, in fits and starts. This is a series I began watching expressly because Ishizuka Atsuko was directing, and from animation, pacing, character development, comedy, and charm, it never disappoints. The girls are cute, but they’re more than that. The story is funny, but it’s deeper than that. This series is a feast not only for the eyes, but for the soul as well. It’s a heartfelt story of growing up, and it never misses a beat … even when the girls stumble, as growing kids should.

    M3: Sono Kuroki Hagane
    Episodes 15 – 19

    Zephyr: Through its first nineteen episodes, M3: Sono Kuroki Hagane comes in as a show that has all the hallmarks of a cult classic. It’s hardly popular and extremely polarizing, but there are people that swear by this series and I can see why. It’s slow paced (deliberately at times) and the cast isn’t particularly special, but it does a great job with its dark gritty atmosphere—one which sets the tone for a solid story about characters both trapped by their past and held down by the stigma of being Lightless Realm’s survivors. Put it all together and potential’s always been the name of the game here. The question was whether or not the series would fulfill it, and after a few plot twists throughout and some sudden revelations in a bombshell of a sixteenth episode that gave me chills, it’s starting to look like I made the right choice in sticking with the series. It remains to be seen whether or not it’ll carry over this recent uptick in enjoyability to the end, but this could easily be the most underrated show of the year, even if it’s far from a show for everyone considering its exceptionally unique style and Okada Mari’s involvement.

    Momo Kyun Sword
    Episodes 04 – 08

    Stilts: So as before, so as now. Momo Kyun Sword is doing the same things it did during its first few episodes, with minor variations. And those variations aren’t always good. An idol episode? And a panty thief one? Really? This is pure monster-of-the-week, with each episode introducing a cheesy, aesop-laden conflict that you know is going to be resolved by the end of the episode, so it lacks any punch. I still wonder who this show is made for, with its bouncy heroine and its plot that’s too simplistic even for most children. And of course it’s only Kijigami who transforms into a human! (For the obligitory swimsuit and onsen episodes, naturally.) They appear to be setting up some kind of “Are humans worse than the oni?” aesop, but yawn~. As far as oni go, this lot are a bunch of pleasant chaps. Maybe humans are more evil, but that’s only because the oni really aren’t. At all.

    Majimoji Rurumo
    Episodes 04 – 08

    Enzo: Every season, you hope to have at least a couple of series that exceed expectations, and since Summer has seen a few of the shows at the top of my list not quite live up to their billing, a gem like Majimoji Rurumo is even more welcome. Given how much I enjoy Watanabe Wataru’s Yowamushi Pedal I shouldn’t be as surprised as I am, but I really expected something more generic with this series. It’s a show whose looks are deceiving – it may resemble a formula ecchi comedy, but it’s much more dignified and character-driven than you’d expect. Very funny and quite moving when it wants to be, Majimoji Rurumo has definitely graduated from my “Sleeper” list to my favorites list for summer. I’d advise new viewers to give this one at least three episodes, as it gets off to a relatively slow start, but once you’re hooked there’s no escaping its charms.

    Yama no Susume: Second Season
    Episodes 04 – 08

    Stilts: One mountain down, and another in their sights. The Mitsutoge climb ended as I expected, with plenty of warm-and-fuzzy feelings and a lesson for Aoi in hard work and the benefits thereof. While I prefer a cold beer after a hard workout, an onsen sounds pretty nice too! I think the 15-minute format suits Yama no Susume well, because it allows it to tell a meatier story without stretching things out. Whether it’s a fight between friends or Aoi worrying about finding a sexy swimsuit, the episodes are admirably focused. The biggest surprise to me is their next target. I thought they would push the big one off until later, but nope! Like Hanayamata, it’s amazing how much Aoi has grown since we first met her. I look forward to that continuing as the ascent of Mount Fuji begins.

    Free! -Eternal Summer-
    Episodes 05 – 09

    Cherrie: Oh Free! has never amused me more. This season has focused more on the individual characters and I love that it shows the challenges that each of them face beyond swimming. The anime dedicates an episode to each of the main cast members and how each of them have problems with school, post-education and ultimately, how it impacts their performance in the pool. The show is less about swimming as it is about friendships and internal struggles and I like how it balances that out with the latest episode on Haru. Although the team finally makes it to regionals, Haru (being the star of the team) doesn’t have the same dreams as Rin. He doesn’t want to be scouted and that goes against everything I hear about building a career out of something you enjoy. You would think it’s the dream to do something well and make money out of it. I’m enjoying the journey from start to end though and I’m actually genuinely curious who will come out on top. It’d be nice to see a race between Rin and Haru again, but more interestingly enough, would be what comes out of it.

    Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya 2wei!
    Episodes 04 – 08

    Stilts: The Kuro saga has been an interesting one. Prisma Illya continues to balance comedy, action, and character development fairly well, though some viewers have taken issues with Kuro’s development, and her apparent lack of remorse (or at least, lack of an apology) for her past transgressions. But there’s no doubt she’s an excellent addition to the cast, both in combat and comedy; Archer Kuro vs Saber Miyu was great, but it’s in the comedic hijinks where Kuro really shines. And so does Illya’s whole group of friends! I’ll say it again: I would watch an entire series of just Illya, her friends, her family, and the hinjiks they get into. I love Prisma Illya when it’s silly, but it’s great when it’s serious too, which is good because the stakes are climbing as a certain powerful enforcer steps onto the stage. Miyu thought Kuro was a tough opponent. I can’t wait to see how she reacts to their latest foe.

    Episodes 05 – 09

    Cherrie: What can I say about dear ol’ Glasslip besides… it’s not what I expected it to be. In fact, the animation is probably the only thing that has met my expectations. The characters are borderline boring and behave “out of character” sometimes; whereas other times, I don’t really know what they’re trying to achieve. It seems like the show had a very simple premise and it’s almost too simple that there’s nothing else to keep progressing the plot. It’s reached a point that the characters are spinning in circles and the romance, is not even romantic. There’s not really a love triangle/square or even much a line so it makes me wonder what’s going to happen at all in the finale. Definitely wasted potential here but I’ll continue to plow through it and hope that it lands somewhere half-decent. The only character I can stand now is Yuki and don’t even get me started on Kakeru. He is someone that I wish I liked… turned into someone weird and now, I just wish he’d go away.

    Shirogane no Ishi Argevollen
    Episodes 05 – 09

    Divine: To put it bluntly, Argevollen is a series that seems to have too many episodes to work with and failing to draw viewers into the story. While these past five episodes have made some strides towards rectifying that with the conspiracy behind the death of Tokimune’s sister Reika, the series still suffers from delving into too many small subplots at once and not generating enough traction on any of them. In short, I’m not feeling the gravity of the war between Arandas and Ingelmia, despite all the small skirmishes that they get into. I’m also having difficulty finding Jamie’s purpose in the overall story, other than serving as the key to Argevollen for Tokimune. On the plus side, the recent revelation that there’s a group of capitalist with a monetary interest in prolonging wars puts an interesting perspective on things. It makes me wonder if they’ll secretly supply Ingelmia with a prototype Trail Krieger to balance things out. If they do, it should help build up towards the Tokimune x Richthofen rivalry that I’m hoping to see more of.

    Tokyo Ghoul
    Episodes 05 – 09

    Cherrie: This show is still fun and exciting to watch every week despite all censorship and angst. The thing I like about Tokyo Ghoul is that they’ve painted a good picture of what life as a ghoul is like and how everyone lives in a modern society while feeding on humans. Then there are the exceptions – ghouls that feed on each other and ghouls that fall in love. The episodes focused on Nishiki and Hinami were great examples of what I like most about Tokyo Ghoul. There’s some action, there’s some drama and most of all, I think it really develops their characters and brings the audience full circle. At first, Tokyo Ghoul speeds though a lot of the introductions, but as this society of ghouls is built up, you see how everyone is interconnected. I hear a lot of complaints about the adaptation so far, but honestly, as someone who hasn’t read the manga, I’m enjoying it. It’s much less horror than I anticipated.

    Zankyou no Terror
    Episodes 04 – 07

    Cherrie: This was one anime that I was extremely excited about last month and probably amongst the top of my must-watch list. After this month, it’s pretty much toned down in terms of excitement level, but not boring by any means. The psychological aspect of the games is no longer as thrilling as they once was, and definitely less guessing from the audience. As such, I feel much more removed from the story and now I’m just watching to see what happens to Nine and Twelve. They have a new opponent which adds a different dimension to the game of cat and mouse, but the old police detective is still kicking around trying to find the real terrorist. That girl that did nothing in the first several episodes… is still doing nothing in these next few episodes. Honestly, her existence might as well be mute. What I’m waiting for is to hear what happened to Nine and Twelve that made them this way. What kind of institution were they placed in and what do they want?

    PSYCHO-PASS (New Edit)
    Episodes 04 – 08

    Zephyr: PSYCHO-PASS New Edit’s recent episodes only serve to highlight the same impressions as last time. Basically, the series continues its recipe of recapping the original series in its entirety, combining two episodes into one 45 minute episode. In lieu of repeating the opening theme for the second half however, the few minutes saved are used for additional footage at the beginning of each recapped episode. The overall story doesn’t change, but the scenes do add extra context to the series and its characters, and have included tidbits about Makishima, Kougami, and Nobuchika’s respective pasts. Needless to say, they’re great additions for fans of the original series who wanted a little more detail about things prior to the series itself, and I’ll say it again. This is the definitive version of PSYCHO-PASS, and it’s a great setup for the sequel airing next season.

    Episodes 05 – 09

    Zephyr: What do you get when you mix trains, terrorists, and fan-service? Well, you get Rail Wars. What you see is what you get with this series, and it’s all about the weekly battle between our cast and terrorists seeking to wreak havoc on the Japan’s railway lines (with the occasional natural disaster coming into play). In the meanwhile, viewers get treated to some gratuitous camera pans and blatant fan-service, and it’s all about the over the top nature of a series clearly not intended to be taken seriously. The whole terrorist angle is nothing short of ridiculous in terms of how it’s depicted and how they end up being thwarted, the scenarios presented likely won’t happen in most people’s lifetimes, and that’s the name of the game here. The events in this series are all in good fun, and if you’re in the mood for something where you can relax and watch without having to use your brain, Rail Wars could be the show that fulfills that need. It wouldn’t be my personal first choice considering the plentiful amount of comedy this season, but there’s certainly some entertainment to be had here.

    Tokyo ESP
    Episodes 04 – 08

    Cherrie: I had a lot of high hopes for Tokyo ESP when it first started. I love Rinka and her personality and I think the cast is fun and interesting as well. The chemistry between the characters also works so I’m sad to say that this show doesn’t attract me the same way that the manga did. It’s missing a pull factor and I can’t put my finger on it, but perhaps it’s because I just don’t feel a connection to any of the characters or their cause. The action is alright, but there could be so much more out of it – almost like the anime needs more theatrics or something. Asides from that, I wonder when they’ll finally bring the story full circle to that first episode. All this anticipation will hopefully lead to a worthy conclusion for us because I’d hate to see it end with a cliffhanger or an anime-original ending. The source material deserves better than that.

    Nobunaga Concerto
    Episodes 04 – 08

    Zephyr: If there’s a moral to this story, it’s that one should always pay attention in class. Granted, It’s not every day you get tossed back in time and end up taking the place of a key historical figure, but you never know when a little bit of extra knowledge could save your life. Nobunaga Concerto comes in a series where this exact scenario happens to a high school student named Saburou, and it’s a story about him realizing he has no choice but to pick up the role of Oda Nobunaga, lest he risk changing history. Mixed within the story are some hilarious moments relating to the culture shock he and his subordinates experience upon his arrival (BOW DOWN TO MOSQUITO REPELLANT!) and while it may not be the most novel of stories, it’s a fun series to watch and see how it develops. You know, since Saburou’s relying on a textbook to try and guide him to victory. That said, Miyano Mamoru does a fabulous job in the MC role as usual, and although some may dislike the 3D animation used here, I’d say there’s a measure of under appreciation for this show in general.

    Sailor Moon Crystal
    Episodes 03 – 04

    Cherrie: It’s hard to summarize Sailor Moon Crystal every month because on average, I’m only watching two more episodes since the last update. My opinions of the show hasn’t changed much – the animation is still bad, the story is still quite fast-paced and the characters are all the same as you would remember them. However, the story has quickly deviated itself from the original anime and even though you think you know what’s coming, the subtle differences keep me interested. Overall, there’s not a huge attachment that I feel towards the characters, but I know now that that wasn’t the focus of the original manga. While it has taken me a while to adjust to the new image of Sailor Moon Crystal, the show still sticks very well to the core definition of a magical girl shoujo. I think it fits well to its demographic and as an adult watching this show, I have to keep in mind that I am not its target market.

    Sword Art Online II
    Episodes 05 – 09

    Cherrie: So it’s been a challenge for me to try and love Sword Art Online II every week as much as I loved the first season. The first arc of the first season honestly had me glued to my seat as I marathoned almost the entire 14-ish episodes. GGO is a bit slow, and I’m not a fan of Shinon (don’t hurt me!). I don’t find her character that appealing in terms of personality, and even Kirito’s OP speed and abilities can’t keep my attention for too long before it gets old. It’s not that the anime is bad, but the pacing doesn’t suit the urgency of the show. Rather than focusing on side characters, the plot could definitely advance further in terms of unveiling Death Gun’s identity. Surprisingly though, his identity doesn’t excite me as much as his potential demise and I’d like to know how Kirito defeats a gun that could literally kill him. I hear some great things about the next arc so that will be what keeps me going for the next while. Don’t get me wrong – I still think Kirito is my favorite bada** protagonist; I’m just waiting for Asuna’s turn to shine again.

    Episodes 05 – 09

    Enzo: Whatever you think of it, there’s no denying that Aldnoah.Zero has emerged as one of the most talked-about shows of the Summer. There’s a lot we don’t know about this series, such as how much involvement Gen Urobuchi has had in shaping the direction of the story after the first three episodes, not to mention when the much-referenced but never confirmed second cour will air. I’m pretty confident that will happen – stalker numbers predict decent sales, and director Aoki Ei has already confirmed that the first cour will end on a cliffhanger. From my perspective this is a flawed but vastly entertaining show, a big-budget popcorn flick with a fair amount of wit and intelligence in the writing. There are a few elements that didn’t click for me – Slaine’s torture porn episode was a misstep, and I don’t feel the shocking end of Episode 9 was properly built up to. Generally speaking, though, Aldnoah-Zero is a well-paced and smartly directed series with an interesting premise and strong cast of characters.

    Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei
    Episodes 18 – 21

    Stilts: The Nine Schools Competition arc ended with Tatsuya stomping on a bunch of nameless, uninteresting enemies, and then we’re on to the Yokohama arc. At least now the enemies are a little interesting and I almost remember some of their names, though I can’t imagine how they’re going to stand up to the living god that is Tatsuya. Yes, that’s what I’m calling him now – rather than a Gary Stu, Tatsuya has moved straight past that into something different altogether, and it’s still not exactly compelling to watch since his opponents, with rare exceptions, have been getting steamrolled. My favorite parts of the last few episodes were undoubtedly those that focused on Erika x Leo or Mikihisa x Mizuki. Can we transform this into a fuwa fuwa romance anime please? Because that would be great. The dialogue and supporting cast are still great, but they’re sadly underutilized. Tatsuya and Miyuki are – at least as they’re painted in the anime – the least interesting characters here, and there’s still not enough Saegusa-sempai for my tastes. I’ve heard good things about the Yokohama arc … but then again, I heard good things about the Nine Schools Competition arc, and it underwhelmed. I can believe they were both better in the light novels, but I have a hard time believing the anime is going to right the boat now. Hopefully it will at least end with a bang rather than a whimper.

    Episodes 05 – 08

    Cherrie: Oh the feels for this show! If I could pick a favorite for this season early on, Barakamon is it. I am not kidding when I say that this show makes me feel happy when I’m down, it makes me cry with (not at!) the characters, and it’s a great laugh when you need it. There’s nearly no negatives that I have for Naru and company because they’re honestly all just a lot of fun. Watching them do simple everyday things, makes me want to do everyday things with them. Every episode is full of laughter and jokes, but asides from the comedy, there’s also a great lesson that’s cheesy on the outside, but really touches my heart. I can’t help but admire all the things that the villagers do for each other and the latest episode which focused on Naru’s grandmother hits close to home. It made me cry and not just because I sympathized Naru, but because I was also happy for her to be surrounded by these amazing people. You know a show is gold when you cry – not tears of laughter or sadness – but joy.


    1. These are the ones im watching

      Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei- Stilts took the words right of my brain. Good animation and production quality will not save a badly written storyline.

      Sword Art Online 2- I think the only reason why Cherrie isnt enjoying the series is because it isnt concentrated on Gary Kirito, which doesnt seem to bode too well with the female fans. I, on the otherhand, watched SAO (both the 1st and 2nd season) for 3 main reasons= Sinon, Sinon and Sinon Ass Online. It’s a guy thing ^.^

      Aldnoah.Zero- If Gen Urobutcher is involved (no matter how small it is), it will always be a must see in my book

      Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya 2wei!- I’ve been watching anime for more than half of my lifetime, but it was the Fate Series that shoved me down the otaku edge. It goes without saying that my fanboyness has been going crazy every episode.

      Barakamon- Im ashamed to say that I nearly missed out on this gem. A comedic masterpiece that gives a lot of food for thought. I marathoned all 8 episodes in one siting and i was happy.

      Tokyo Ghoul- never seen the source material before but this one pretty much grabbed my by the balls and refused to let go. Would have been perfect if it wasnt for the damn censorship.

      Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance- Since i’m a fan of the Light Novels, I am pleased to see that Blade Dance in animation. It aint SAO2 or Aldnoah level of production value, so I can forgive some unsatisfactory animations.

      Shirogane no Ishi Argevollen- just like all men, i love robots as much as i love well executed stories. That’s why i am very critical on the mech animes of this season. Aldnoah pulled it off, but Argevollen simple failed to tickle my mecha love…. On the other hand, it does have a Mahou Sensou level consistency… in short it has consistently succeeded on failing my expectations with every episode.

      All in all, this month is filled with the good, the bad and the facepalming disappointments. I, for one, am satisfied

    2. Need to really stop checking RC before going to bed, you guys always post something interesting 😛

      IMO it’s been a strong season overall, not too many flops or utter catastrophes. Not sure there is a “best” show this season, but for me Aldnoah.Zero, Zankyou no Terror, and Space Dandy are leading the pack whether due to sheer entertainment (Aldnoah) suspense (Zankyou), or imagination (Dandy). Agree especially with your opinion of Dandy, Enzo, the show has provided the single best episode so far (the one about death) and also played with some viewer hypotheses by teasing points of continuity. It’s not perfect, but what Dandy is doing for plot in 30 minutes other shows cannot do with multiple cours (ahem, Argevollen).

      Just behind these three are Tokyo Ghoul and Majimoji Rurumo. Ghoul is obviously being rushed and chopped, but IMO shows how to properly execute an adaptation on a timer without sacrificing character development, plot progression, and viewer interest (if messing up with the damn censoring). Would not mind at all if Ghoul gets a second season in the future. Majimoji caught my attention thoroughly with the episode involving the abandoned kittens. For a distinctively ecchi show (almost wonder if it’s tongue in cheek at this point) it certainly knows how to be cute, warm, and emotional. Characters drive Majimoji, especially the development given to our male MC in his daily dealings with Rurumo. Without a doubt I’d say Majimoji is the sleeper of this season.

      Flops are easy to point out: Mahouka, Tokyo ESP, Argevollen, and Sailor Moon. ESP is the Black Bullet/Brynhildr of this season, the adaptation that has cut too much and been shoved into too small a time frame. There just isn’t any teeth to its characters, events, or major reveals. Argevollen is the opposite end, it simply has too much time on its hands and would have been better served either being cut down or fleshed out. Sailor Moon of course features sloppy animation and a ridiculous biweekly schedule not helping in its storytelling. And as for Mahouka only one word needs to be said: Tatsuya. People thought Kirito was bad in terms of power, they have not seen Tatsuya in action yet.

    3. Thanks for the monthly impressions. Now I know what other shows to check out. It was also nice to get a short overall impression of most shows even though the shows have not ended yet. I’d love to see if there will be any huge changes to the overall impression when these series end.

    4. This is nice to read through.

      I watched Hanamonogatari in one sitting and gave it a high rating. As for the other titles that started this season, I’m finicky and only ended up sticking with Tokyo Ghoul and Persona 4 the Golden. The former is just unpredictable, thematically existential, power level-y, and suspenseful enough to keep my attention, and the latter has been hit-or-miss but I gave Persona 4 a high rating so I doubt I’ll drop it. Looking forward to next season already, though.

    5. Shows I’m eager to watch every week:
      Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun (Can’t get enough of this)
      Aldnoah.Zero (The next Code Geass?)
      Tokyo Ghouls

      Shows I watch when I have free time:
      SAO 2 (Sinon Ass Online)
      Rail Wars (I like… “trains”)

      Shows I watch when I have too much free time:
      Argevollen (I hope this gets more interesting sooner than later)

      What else:
      Somehow I knew right off the bat that Mahouka will be a massive flop due to how the story was poorly written. I was able to read the source material even before the manga got popular and I was very surprised on how much hype it got when an anime was announced for it. Sure, the first arc was interesting enough. A boy who can’t use magic in a magic school, very good shounen type story.

      I wish they would have animated (or continued) the Mx0 manga (non-magician boy without any special powers or skills gets mistaken as the best magician in a secret magic school and he has to live up to the title due to certain circumstances) because it’s a lot more interesting than Mahouka and its pretty boy and too perfect MC.

      The Story You Don't Know
      1. Oh God, where’s that Edit Button

        I forgot to thank you guys and gal for the monthly impression. I might pick up Barakamon and finally drop Argevollen (to be fair I haven’t watched the last 2 episodes) because of this.

        The Story You Don't Know
    6. For me this season definitely has many interesting anime and many genre. It’s Funtastic. :v
      Joke aside here is my summary.

      Most Anticipated Shows to watch every week:
      Tokyo Ghoul
      Nobunaga Concerto, and last
      Space Dandy.

      For me Nobunaga Concerto is a new experience, it’s a rich anime with unique storyline and astounding execution. It’s just that good. 🙂

      And Haikyuu is just awesome. Even though i’m not a fan of volleyball. But i can enjoy the show like i enjoy EPL. 😀

      Anticipated Shows to watch every week:

      Sword Art Online 2. Because i have watch the season 1, well it’s not hurt to watch the new season. 🙂

      Zankyou no Terror is just epic. I love how it’s mindf*cked me in the last episode.

      Sabagebu!. a good comedy

      Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun. It’s easily surpass the manga with a good execution.

      Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya 2wei! A good continuation of the first season.

      Ao Haru Ride. i’m not a fan of shojo anime, but this show is just good. without many cliche and over the top main male character. it’s enjoyable.

      Shows if i am really bored to watch every week (:P) :

      Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei. Mahouka is just terrible, if my bestfriend never like this show, maybe i am going to drop this serial long time ago. Tatsuya is just a bad gary stu in my opinion. 😛

      Tokyo ESP. the first episode is just to fast i can’t even understand this show. But the second episode is make me want to watch this show albeit not to excited to wait every week. but hey it’s a good show to kill time.

      Akame ga Kill. not so good not so bad. a thriling anime with some setback in the story.

      Momo Kyun Sword. 2 out of 5 star. it’s below average

      Majimoji Rurumo 3 out of 5 star. it’s average show.

      RAIL WARS!. What the F*ck is this shit.

    7. For this season, the only anime I’m looking forward to is Fate/Kaleid Liner, Bakaramon and Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure. There are actually so many characters that I like and enjoy their interaction.

      I do like Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki Kun but some of the humour I find it hit and miss. Maybe there’s less build up to humour than the earlier episodes. I guess I’m just gonna go ahead and say I like the episodes every time it introduces new characters like Kashima and Yuzuki because there were interesting dynamics going on.

      That really showed how extremely picky I am and general lack of sense of humour, I’m afraid.

    8. Regarding Sabagebu!, I don’t know what was up with that infomercial part either. Who thought that was a good idea? Did they have a Maeno-like editor? Luckily the show has three parts per episode, because an entire ep full of that would’ve been the worst episode of any show this season. Oh well. Regardless, this week’s episode, especially the geezer part, proved it still knows how to tickle the funny bone. Sabagebu! might not be perfect and it doesn’t reach the lofty heights of Nozaki-kun, but it’s a worthy watch regardless. And Momoka is certainly one of my favourite characters this season.

      Good impressions for the rest of them, and I agree with most of them (all except SAO II, really). My top three of the season would probably include Nozaki-kun, Space Dandy and Aldnoah:Zero (not counting Jojo or HxH). The first is one of the best comedies this year, Dandy has a masterful and creative second season to a show I already liked and Aldnoah is a tremendously entertaining summer blockbuster. The second tier would consist of other solid shows like Prisma Illya, Hanayamata, Tokyo Ghoul and Barakamon, shows that despite some troubles in terms of execution (Ghoul, Barakamon) or tiny naggling issues (Illya and Hanayamata) are still pretty damn good. The third tier would be for somewhat more flawed of fluffy shows like Akame ga Kill, Yama no Susume, Sabagebu! and Zankou no Terror (this show is losing me), and the last for Sailor Moon (loads of issues) and Tokyo ESP (bad execution). And, well, let us not talk of SAO.

      Also, hearing all the comments about Glasslip makes me feel I made the right choice in dropping it after three episodes – hell, I should’ve ditched it after one and given Majimoji Rurumo that honor. Maybe I’ll pick up the latter one after I finish some backlog shows.

    9. So I’m watching a lot of anime for this season (as per every season) even though I end up saying “ohh,I’ll only watch these ones” and then end up watching a ton Orz
      I have to say, all the ones I’m watching are really good!!
      All of, SAO II, Mahouka, Tokyo Ghoul, Akame ga Kill, Rail Wars, Glasslip (however I’m kinda confused, but I love P.A works anime), Baby Steps, Seirei no Blade Dance, Gekkan-shoujo Nozaki Kun, Sailor Moon Crystal (feeling like it’s a bit on the slow side though),Love Stage, and Free.

      THEYRE SO GOOD, I can’t stop waiting for the next episode every week <3

    10. @Zephyr: I’m surprised someone is still watching M3! I’ve looked around on the net and it’s so hard to find anyone who has been continuously reviewing it. I actually lost interest after the first few episodes (the characters were bland to me), but I have been wondering if it gets better. Appreciate your thoughts!

      @Cherrie: I love that you picked a photo of Makoto for your Free! impressions. Makoto is the best, I love how nice he is :3

      Thanks everyone for their impressions!

      1. I put it on hold early to give it some episodes before I watched it consecutively, finally got to it recently. It was always a show that interested me for one reason for another and so I went in hoping it’d reward my patience a bit. Episode 16 hit that point for me, so I’ll stick with it until it’s done in a few weeks. See how it goes.

        1. Speaking of M3,Zephyr,think there’s any chance of you doing a review on it when it’s over if it manages to keep delivering ’till the end? People give this show way too much heat and admittedly,I kind of did too during those Sasame,Sasame & more Sasame-focused episodes(damn it Okada),which are probably commonly agreed to be the weakest episodes of the show but it definitely started to pick up afterwards.

      2. I think people get this impression that Free! is all about swimming and racing, but it’s not. I wanted to provide an image that showcases another side to the story =) Plus, Makoto and Rin are my favorites ^^ They have great development this season.

    11. There are a lot of good shows this season, but unfortunately none of them go above and beyond into “exceptional” territory for me. Akame ga Kill, Aldnoah.Zero and Tokyo Ghoul would be my top picks for this season, for the reasons ya’ll outlined above. Despite it’s excellent art and directing I dropped Zankyou no Terror fairly early on. I was hoping for an anime version of 24, but instead it seemed to mix together the most tiresome tropes from anime and western police dramas. Couldn’t stand its “Oedipus complex” either. I’d also disagree with your opinion on Blade Dance. While the MC and plot are better than most harems(which isn’t saying much), I thought that the art style was very poor (angular and too CG-ish, especially with the characters) and that the female characters were terrible. The relationship between Kamito and Clair was especially annoying, Kamito’s never been depicted as an “M” (opposite if anything) yet he’s all too acquiescent to this ridiculous and awkward “master/servant” relationship she’s trying to push on him. And then there’s the fact that every single girl in this series is a tsundere! Dropped it 5 episodes in after I got feed up with this tsundereception.

      Aside from those, looks like I’ll have to check out Sabagebu! and SAO2 when I’ve got time. There were also some other shows I liked which weren’t discussed here: Jinsei! is a romcom/SOL about a school club which actually focuses on their club activities and has somehow resisted becoming a harem. Pretty funny antics and cute characters, worth a shot IMO. Rokujouma no Shinryakusha!? is the other harem this season with only one tsundere character. The relationships between the characters are developed quite well, and the plot has been getting better as it goes along and actually looks like it could wrap everything together at the end. And finally, as I suspected at the start of this season Momo Kyun Sword is my “so bad it’s hilarious to watch when drunk” guilty pleasure show this season. Its sole redeeming feature is Onihime, who is best girl this season.

    12. Some trivia on your monthly impressions:
      1)Psycho-Pass New Edit: Ep 4 of New Edit was cancelled from broadcast in Japan, due to a recent murder case there where a troubled high school girl beheaded her classmate.

      2)Rail Wars: LN source readers say the anime is cherry-picking and altering scenarios and plotlines from the source novels while disregarding continuity. For example, the main antagonist terrorists from the novel have not even appeared yet.
      Th author has lambasted the production staff for being unfaithful, they insulted him back saying an adaptation gives them freedom on how they want to handle the story.

      3)Free!: The Kisumi character from episode 8 comes from the prequel source novel, High Speed! Vol. 2. (He looks like a shoujo manga boyfriend character who wandered into the wrong show, though. The feathery hair, the cheeky smile.)

    13., haikyuu and barakamon are my fav this season, just can’t wait to watch more.

      Shirogane is just a watch for mecha and hopeful rivalry between the advance mecha and ace pilot. It has stepped up a bit but just not enough especially being 9 eps in.

      Ao Haru Ride, M3 and Hanayamata are nice and all have been slow burn so far but it really makes the characters shine.

      Rail wars is rail wars, sucks that it’s getting butchered, I expected more galaxy railways kinda stuff instead it’s more comedic and fanservicy then expected, still enjoyable.

      Zankyou, tokyo ghoul and glass lip are not what I expected ep 4 and up and lost my interest. Seems like these shows changed a lot then their first explosive outings. Especially ghoul first 3 eps were phenomenal but just seems like loosing interest as it goes. I will leave it to RC final impressions to see if I should continue any of these.

    14. I still can’t decide which one is the best comedy for this season. While Barakamon is very funny, thoughtful and heartwarming in the same time (The latest episode is one of my most favorite episode for this season), Dogakobo should get a medal for their adaptation of Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-Kun. It’s basically a perfect adaptation, never miss the funny beat and incredibly charming.

      There are several other good series too in this season, but I think this season the one who takes the cake for my personal AOTS would be a comedy series.

    15. I think my tastes are changing. I started out watching 15 shows. I’m now down to 3 and it has been that way for several weeks. It was even worse last season, I ended up only watching 1 show.

      Hoping the next season turns out better.

    16. Fans complain that SAO Season 1 is too fast-paced and flip-floppy with the storylines!

      Fans complain that SAO Season 2 is too slow-paced and completely straight-forward!


    17. This season turned into one of my busiest seasons ever (I usually watch 3-4 series/season, but this season I’m actually watching more than 10). This is probably due to the carry-overs from last season (Haikyuu, Daiya no Ace, HxH, and Fairy Tail), but I also surprised myself by watching shows I normally wouldn’t watch and actually liking them (Aldnoah Zero and Psycho-Pass: New Edit).

      As someone who dozes off the minute the pilot enters the cockpit, Aldnoah Zero is actually the first mecha anime I’ve sat through w/o feeling a shred of boredom at all. I initially watched it for the music (same reason why I watched Guilty Crown), but I ended up marathoning the rest of the episodes available. I think the reason why I enjoyed it despite it being a not-so-original mecha anime is because the fight scenes are not your generic whose-mecha-is-better-at-shooting-laser-beams but rather that the protag has a brain and knows how to use it to outmaneuver his opponents.

      Psycho-Pass..I’m glad I’m watching the New Edit version, because although the violence sometimes makes the viewing experience torturous, I imagine the weekly waiting between 25 minutes of straight-up suspense is even worse.

      I don’t find either of these shows exceptional, but their plots keep me on the edge of my seat each week and their stories are fairly interesting in their own right.

      Then there’s also the large number of anime I picked up this season like Barakamon, Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun, Love Stage, SAO II, Persona 4 Golden, Kuroshitsuji, and Nobunaga Concerto.
      I’m kind of sad Kuroshitsuji: Circus hen is not that popular in the west, because I think the new director made the perfect adaptation of the best arc of the original series. I thought the previous adaptations painted Kuroshitsuji into something it was not and had strong fanfiction undertones that I did not appreciate.

    18. Don’t get me wrong – I still think Kirito is my favorite bada** protagonist; I’m just waiting for Asuna’s turn to shine again.

      Then you are going to love the second half of this season, when they cover the Mother’s Rosario arc.

      It is by far my favorite arc, with tons of character development, a fantastic new co-protagonist, and great focus on Asuna. It also has lots of heart-wrenching moments at the end, so have your tissues ready.

    19. Aldnoah Zero is the most interesting *new* show this season for me, but I’m not sure if it’s good. It’s entertaining for sure.

      Sengoku Basara has been fun to watch, but like Aldnoah you need to turn your brain off.

      When you include continuing series, undeniably the best show this season for me is Space Dandy. JoJo’s Part 3 has been entertaining, but Part 2 was much better. That said, I expect great things from the next half of Part 3 after the break. (diooooooo)

    20. Mine :
      Aldnoah Zero ( next cour officially confirmed, +1000 hype on this )
      Gekkan Shoujo ( because it’s good yeah )
      Bakaramon ( hidden gem )
      Akame ga kill ( so – so , not good not bad )

      Dropped List :
      SAO 2 ( boring, Sinon Ass mostly, SAO fags spoiler everywhere, here even in this-monthly impression post we can see dat ppl, i really hate it )
      Tokyo “Censorship” Ghoul LOL

    21. My fav animes this season so far are Tokyo Ghoul, Zankyou No Terror, Barakamon, and Kuroshitsuji: Book of Circus (Seriously feels like barely anyone is watching this awesome anime…). People keep telling me that Akame Ga Kill is so great but I don’t really feel much for it. Maybe it’s the art style, or maybe because people talk too much between fights… I don’t know. And they keep bringing up a bunch of cliches that I just seem to find annoying, like I could almost call it Generic Fantasy Anime: Game of Thrones Addition. Anyways, I’ve been watching Sword Ass Online 2 every week so far but I just can’t take it seriously. I need keep to reminding myself that they’re supposed to be in a game, because Kirito and harem barely treat games like games. And it just doesn’t have the pizzazz season 1 had in its first few episodes. At least I can treat it like a comedy. The conveniently forced ptsd that is obviously there for convenient character development gave me a good laugh. Aldnoah Zero is obviously better than your average anime, but every other episode it comes up with something cliche. I can’t help but be bothered by the fact that most of the Martian Royalty are your typical stupid enemies that have the most idiotic reasons to start wars. Not to mention they form these reasons based off of the most vague evidence ever.

      1. Yes! Kuroshitsuji:Book of Circus has been soooo good. I really didn’t expect to love it as much as I am. Last week’s episode left me stunned at the end seriously. I wonder if Enzo’s still watching it?

      2. Not that I think about it,I just noticed that Book of Circus isn’t on the list – it’s definitely one of the best of the season. I’m surprised Enzo didn’t mention it since he’s blogging it on LiA.

    22. No idea why Jojo’s Bizzare Adventure isn’t covered. It doesn’t seem to get much love here.

      Well, like most seasons, I am going to pick Hunter X Hunter as the winner with Jojo’s trailing right behind. But perhaps right alongside it I think Sword Art 2 has been strong. Was really loving Tokyo Ghoul but got behind (I’m not a big fan of gore so I drag my feet watching that type of show).

      Tokyo ESP has been a bit… strange. Aldonah Zero has grown on me. Lots of good shows this season though. So much better than Winter!!! Lots of good stuff to watch

      Rick Anime
      1. Sorry, we just can’t cover everything, even if it’s something worthy of coverage. I know Zephy is watching Jojo intermittently, but I’m not sure he’s current on it. (Probably not, since the Zephster is pretty slammed lately.) And it’s on my backlog, but then again, what isn’t ;_;

    23. I feel like I’m the only person in the world watching (and enjoying) Locodol. It’s cute, funny, and very Slice-Of-Life. (And I don’t like idol shows as a rule.)

      I’m not the only one, am I?

      Am I?

      (Did they make an anime just for me, that only I can see?)

      1. I’m behind an episode or two, but I also enjoy watching Locodol. I lol’d when they covered Uogokoro-kun’s backstory, didn’t think the government would put that much thought into a mascot character.

    24. what’s Guardian Enzo’s opinion on the animation for Sailor Moon crystal so far? Reason is because he replied to my “challenge” to state what Toei Animation series looks decent. comment log here : Show Spoiler ▼

      And judging from the screencaps for the impressions for the series, while it looks meh, this again is another reason why i am very skeptical at anything Toei produces nowadays. They had about a year or so for delays to hopefully polish the production yet it looks like this. But to be fair its still pretty early in its running so with its biweekly schedule hopefully the later episodes of its 26 episode running with be of great quality.

    25. Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei was such a bad adaption when I finally dropped it. I mean, I didn’t have high hopes, but I had at least hoped it would be better than the sludge that was gotten. I’m even more disappointed to hear that it has not in fact gotten any better, for those people who had the stomach to watch it.

      1. To me, it’s revealing that both times I’ve contributed to the monthly impressions so far, I’ve had to marathon a month of Mahouka right beforehand. The first one, sure, I was a little burnt out from blogging it full-time, but this past month I told myself I would stay current…and then the weekend before I had four episodes to watch.

        If it weren’t for my stubbornness and my latent guilt at dropping a show, I’d have probably dropped it too.

      2. No worries, my Fire i had at the beginning of this Show, has gotten even smaller then a campfire now. But, i burned so much Wood on this show, and had hopping they would change something after this “Seed and Bloomers” arc. But nothing really changed so far. only our MC as Seed get the attention. I dont saw really and change with the other Seeds so far. It all focus now on these Powerful Clan offsprings, well it was on this School duel Arc. right now we archive the Past of our MC at War. Now we have Spy playing things with Blood and deaths.. Serious, thats all because their final work for the school can change the “World!!!”. OMG, this School has so many Smart peoples that can resolve anything…

        in short, the Show was good on the ground at the beginning, but now it is flying above the clouds and i have problems to see through the clouds fog

        1. they even forgot a time these Sisters loves Oni-chan things, in this Spy action arc. But with the last episode we got some seconds back of this service for us. They show the Sister in her underwear, too (nothing serious here)… smell like a apologize for me. Did someone lose the overview?

      3. I was planning on dropping Mahouka about 14 episodes in but me & a friend decided to watch it together in hopes that we could entertain ourselves by constantly pointing out Tatsuya’s OPness – not like there’s anything else to look forward to. But even then,we’re barely managing to find any enjoyment in it,constantly checking how much more ’till the episode’s over. However,I’m actually grateful to Mahouka,because it made me realize just how much fun SAO is in comparison and I’m not talking just about the superior 2nd season here,but the 1st one too.

      4. I’m probably one of the few anime only viewers who has stuck with Mahouka every week, largely to see just how bad the show can get. Even that pledge has been sorely tested following SAO’s return as barring a few annoyances SAO crushes Mahouka in every way.

        The turning point in Mahouka IMO came with the conclusion of the Nine Schools Arc where the show abandoned all pretenses of Tatsuya being anything but invincible. Gone is his magic “weakness”, in its place emerging regeneration, OP as f*ck spells, unstoppable physical combat skills, and now what is quickly spiraling into an incestuous romance subplot. Stilts was correct in calling Tatsuya a god because in terms of the adaptation he has no weakness nor difficulty. There is no struggle, no conflict, no suspense; Tatsuya for all intents and purposes transcends the Mary Sue definition. Kirito, the go to example of a Mary Sue, has nothing on this monster and ironically (barring the PTSD issue) is an overall better written character because of one thing: he is shown to struggle! More and more Tatsuya reminds me of those characters featured in underground webcomics by novice writers who haven’t yet learned how to write characters. Many are fill ins for themselves, always getting the girl, beating everyone, and never having a challenge. When the author gives them a problem to handle often something else is invented which the character possesses to handle the issue, which then conveniently reverts back into another “snap the fingers and problem goes away” scene.

        Now a Mary Sue by itself isn’t bad and can be entertaining (i.e. the GGO arc in SAO currently), but when the key components needed for entertainment (i.e. supsense, struggle, challenge) are missing it becomes an effort in futility to watch. It simply grows boring watching a Mary Sue beat everyone at everything without breaking a sweat. Mahouka IMO remains fully deserving of the biggest disappointment of the year because of its inability to properly adapt its source material into a enjoyable show.

    26. Shows I’m currently watching and their 2-liner summaries, sorted by air times:
      -Shirogane no Ishi Argevollen – like I’ve said the last time, IT’S A WAR DRAMA! It’s should be less action-y than the others. That said, it’s (still) barely holding my interest, especially how they have now drawn a line on a map summarizing where they actually were during the last few episodes.

      – PSYCHO-PASS (New Edit) – I don’t know why, but I did not watch the original TV airings for this twisted utopia. At least I’m feeling the same feelings as the folks that have watched it before (or have the same opinions).
      Side note: I bought EGOIST’s PSYCHO-PASS EDs and their album CD…and I’m still listening to them.

      -Sword Art Online II – I feel like I’m re-reading the novel while I’m watching this arc (without SOME of the monologues). And I have no idea if it’s a good thing or not. At least the 1v1 action sequences are still good (no comment for the zoomed out view of the LC battle, it’s real bad…)

      -ALDNOAH.ZERO – Oh, gosh, Ep 8 AND 9, what should I even say. Some of the true hallmarks of Urobuchi’s influence really seeped into these 2 episodes, with the extreme flip-flops of 2 different circumstances through out the 8th, and then the cliffhangers on both episodes. It really made a lot of the commenters cringe (at least I did) amidst of all the comment-captionings that we all enjoyed from 4th episode onward…
      Side note2: I bought OP/EDs for this show…OP’s real nice, having the Kalafina’s singing styles that also match Sawano’s OST style…

      -Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei – Oh Stilts, continuing to dig his own hole with his writing and tempting us to bury him…Anyway, the problem of adapting a monologue heavy novels continue to haunt this show. Which makes this show a tad harder to watch than normal, as you either don’t know what have just happened even when you rewatched it, or you deadpan it (as a LN reader). Me? I’ll keep my thumb sideways for this show.

      -Captain Earth – (Plz write something for this) – the Plot is moving, but at a glacial pace. It’s not great, but it’s tolerable in a similar fashion to Argevollen. Still, what the show’s going to do for this final 3 episodes will make or break everything it has set up over the entire series. What deja vu…star driver, I’m looking at you.

      1. Tokyo ESP for me. That was so disappointingly mediocre… and the manga was so good. Ugh.

        Glasslip is a close second. I wasn’t expecting that kind of train wreck, but the mess is somewhat entertaining in and of itself. The writing is absolutely atrocious. It jumps all over the place like a 5 year old hopped up on sugar and caffeine, and can’t settle down on what the heck it’s supposed to be.

        Rail Wars is only disappointing if you read the books. As a standalone, it’s just “meh,” but if I were a LN reader, I’d be chewing the carpet.

        Momo Kyun… at least it’s honest about being bad? It never had any pretentions about being good, deep, or… well… intelligent.

      2. My thoughts:

        Tokyo ESP:
        Well, Tokyo ESP made a small error here. We saw Episode 1, and see how is fighting there with what ESP powers they have. So this MCs was no surprises anymore when they began to introduce them. We already was spoiled inside our Minds, what kind of powers they have.
        If i would made the script. i would really soon catch this backdrop Story telling fast to episode 1, and then continue to the Finals.

        let me explain it better. In Episode 1+2 we saw the present time. With episode 3 we moved in the Past, also some kind of Flashbacks

        right now we have arrived at episode 9. But we still in the past time line.

        What i mean, is that the Show would catch fast now up with the present time line, to have some episodes for a future Finale

        Hope you got my gist. But it looks like the show like to deep his fingers on the dark side

        Rail Wars:
        Well, the show was surly made for Train fans. But in some episodes they trow in to much ecchi fan-service, to hold how? the Train fans? to catch the Ecchi fans?
        With episode 8+9 they really let me hope of a silver stripe on a horizon. Team D4 risk Danger to save some Life. in between the episodes there where not a constant path, in what direction they want to go. Bombing defusing mission, hunting the helper of the Bomb from episode earlier, Slapstick mission of a wrong read letter, team working train camp with bloomers tight ecchi pictures.. i miss an constant life line. but seems to me, they finaly calm down, and doing it right

        Slice of Life. Love and their ways to fallen in love. But this “i can see the future” was for me a bit irritating. if you just take this out, the show would run with it, too. Btw, where in the World can Girls hide a Batteries Hair dryer, when they dont have any bags with them? 🙂

        Momo Kuyn:
        Not on my Watch list

      3. Oh c’mon,as rushed as it is,calling Tokyo ESP one of the worst shows of the season too much. Sure enough,I find the manga to be pretty awesome and the anime significantly inferior as well now but it can still stand on it’s own at least as a relatively fun show that parodies a few western characters & with a good female protagonist. Yea,it’s disappointing when compared to the manga(if you didn’t already guess by my avatar,I really like the manga) and it’s a damn shame but that doesn’t mean it’s one of the worst of the season.

      4. I agree ESP isn’t the worst show this season, but it’s still down there. Western references and humour can only salvage so much from source material chopped, cleaved, condensed, and forcefully rammed into 12 episodes. ESP’s problems are entirely structural, with the show being one more example in the stream of adaptations we’re getting which fail to adapt a written storyline into an animated one. The show overall may not be the worst of the season, but it should be considered one of the worst adaptations of the season IMO.

    27. Regarding Aldnoah.Zero I’ll never cease to be amazed by the sheer number of people that are absolutely 100% convinced that the whole protagonist that thinks things through in the cockpit and comes up with counter measures is somehow a brand new thing as far as the mecha genre goes. It just really shows how little mecha anime most people have actually seen to think that. One thing I’m wondering is how the character even has that much time realistically to just mutter over all these things and then pretty much instantly find answers where nobody else can. I guess it helps his case that a lot of the time his opponents just sort of stand there for him (Inaho that is) for long stretches of time despite mowing through the lesser mooks of the Earth army pretty much instantly when with a little pressing of their advantage they could likely easily overwhelm the Earth mecha with their technological advantages. It makes it feel rather convenient at times and like their basically just giving him a chance to win. This to me is where the whole action hero popcorn entertainment blockbuster thing comes in which I totally agree is what Aldnoah.Zero is up to this point. A show designed to hype people up for 12 weeks and then go on hiatus, but really provide little more memorable other than that.

      Personally I’m just enjoying it as the lead up to G-Reco in the fall at this point which I have a feeling is going to be much more of what I’m looking for out of the mecha genre and something I haven’t seen in quite a while if ever. Fingers crossed.

      John Hunt
      1. I’m not sure about the “100% convinced that the protagonist being a tactician is brand new” thing. From what I see, people like Inaho because he was not simply handed over an Over Powered Mecha without having any skill set to fully utilize it.

        Of course, it’s very convenient how skilled he is for a student with just basic training from school, making the military look like canon fodders. Aside from that, all of the enemies he defeated so far were very over confident which caused them their demise.

        Overall, I believe most people like Aldnoah.Zero because of how Urobutcher was associated with the first few episodes and it was enough to completely draw them in.

        The Story You Don't Know
        1. Shallow and non-committal it may be, believe it or not, there are lots of people who initially watch new shows not because of the story but rather because of the cast and staff. One good example is the massive flop ‘Guilty Crown’. The teaser showed us a typical boy-meets-girl story and was given a super power shounen story. But what made people hype for it was because the cast and staff of GC were all-stars.

          It turned out to be a massive flop, there’s not much a good cast of VA’s can do to poorly written characters and plot. The scriptwriters didn’t live up to the expectation, it’s nothing like Code Geass’ story in which they used to be part of. It’s the same way with Aldnoah.Zero but the story and characters were good enough, definitely better than GC, to keep people craving for it.

          The Story You Don't Know
        2. On the other hand, people expected something better than CODE GEASS, which GC failed epicly to do.

          ALDNOAH.ZERO? I’d dare to say it’s still trying, and to me it still haven’t flopped yet (A good thing imo).

          Still, I can see your point there. (Urobuchi has enormous influence over the viewers’ choice no matter how much of a hand he still has in the storyline)

    28. I’m pretty busy this season watching sooo many great animes <3

      I agree, Cherrie, Barakamon is my favorite too! It has a warm storyline w/ awesome characters and great laugh at same time. Free! is amazing too & Gekkan shoujo Nozaki-kun, ok I'm gonna stop…lol The thumbnail u used for Glasslip….LOL Kakeru,you deserve it. Gooo Yuki!!ahaha

      Thanks for the Reviews!Really enjoy this site and appreciate the writers hard work <3 We love you too XD

    29. I’m really enjoying sword arts online. It’s much better than I expected. And I’m always finishing an episode with a huge thirst for more. Which surprised me.

      Aldnoah has some really good moments, but something feels off. I can’t really place what. I’m not enjoying this as much as I should be. I like it. But something is off. The character chemistry feels off too. The captain mentions she is Humeray’s sister, but there is no other scenes with her reacting with any emotion about her brother. The students lost one of their own who died heroically but now he seems forgotten by the story. No one feels anything now. It’s like Calm, he was feeling huge grief and anger now it’s like he flipped a switch and it’s gone.

      The Pointman
    30. Oh, Mahouka. I had such high hopes. ;_; I’m still watching it out of sheer blind stubbornness, if not for more side characters interaction! Stilts; is pretty much spot on- ANYONE and EVERYONE else proves to be more interesting than the Shiba siblings- because I can’t bring myself to even care for either of them. Woo-hoo for side characters ship though- sail on, Mizuki/Miki and Erika/Leo!

      Have now officially picked up Barakamon because if Cherrie’s gushing about it, then it must be pretty darn good. Will probably cry so much after marathoning it, amrite? Gekkan and Zankyou were the standouts for me this season though; one hit all the funny spots and destroyed a thesis because coffee went flying; I really should’ve known better after 8 episodes, and the other just turned out to be an unexpected dark horse. Aldnoah Zero… will probably marathon the whole thing after it’s finished. Knowing Urobutcher, the damn thing will have a cliffhanger that’ll drive me nuts.

      Dropped Ao Haru Ride, Hanayamata, Glasslip and Tokyo ESP because the sheer amount of ridiculousness and drama just lost me. I really, really wanted to love Tokyo Ghoul because the first few episodes was amazing, but I somehow lost the stomach for it after the Tsukiyama arc. Watching SAO II, on the other hand, seems to be more of an obligation now because Sinon, Sinon, Sinon. What? A girl can’t like another kickass female character with hips? THAT’S SEXIST. (Kidding XD)

      To all RandomC writers, thank you for the amazing coverage every week! It’d be really nice to have more monthly impressions and hear (well, read) the everyone on the site. I kinda wish you did this for the last season beause Tokyo Ravens was unexpectedly good, coughcough.

      1. We made sure to give Tokyo Ravens a send off at least!

        Funny you mention it, though; I’ve been thinking about Tokyo Ravens lately. With how much Tokyo ESP is flopping, I was considering how, of the three “Tokyo _____” series lately (Ravens, Ghoul, & ESP), we didn’t cover the one that ended up being my favorite :X If only it hadn’t been so sneaky good… Though that’s part of what made it so great.

    31. As always,thanks for your hard work RC team! Let’s see now:


      – Kuroshitsuji: Book of Circus

      – Tokyo Ghoul

      – Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun

      Quite enjoyable

      – SAO II

      – Tokyo ESP

      – M3: Sono Kuroki Hagane

      – Space Dandy 2

      Moderately entertaining:

      – Zankyou no Terror

      – Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance

      – Rokujouma no Shinryakusha

      – Jinsei

      Then there’s Mahouka which I’m struggling to finish for some reason despite not enjoying it one bit. Aldoah Zero seemd like an anime that might be more fun when marathoned so I’m waiting for it to end. I dropped Argevollen after 3 episodes although I might consider marathoning it too – not very interested in it so I’ll probably check what people will have to say about it.

    32. If anyone of you guys dropped M3: Sono Kuroki Hagane, PICK IT UP AGAIN. Pick it up again NOW. The slow start to the story is its only sin. This show is Okada Mari at her best. It’s brilliant. Go, watch it now.

    33. While momo-kyun is probably one of the worst shows this season, it wouldn’t suprise me if people expected something different from this show.
      Just turn of your brains and watch onihime be tsundere to the rest ^_^

      Fate on the other hand…
      While there is no doubt that it is damned good, it seems weird that they don’t use all of the cards like assasin or berserker for example for include and install, not to mention it would appear as if they’ve forgotten how they used the saber card to beat berserker. (Please don’t hurt me >.< )


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