Wow, it feels like a lifetime since I last wrote a Monthly Impression post. A lot of readers have been asking about where they’ve been, and I stopped posting them last season due to a long list of reasons, but it mainly piles up to – ”I was busy.” The other writers agreed that it was best that we take a break after running for a full year because these posts aren’t easy to compile, and they’re time-consuming. However! With that all said, Stilts and I love you guys so we brought them back and it also keeps our butts updated with anime. Hopefully you’ll get a good glance at what we’re watching this season and what you should pick up if you haven’t already and what you can keep on passing up. If there’s anything missing from this list that you think we should hop on, let us know too.
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:
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.
|Gundam: Tekketsu no Orphans
17:00 MBS (10/4)
|Yuru Yuri San☆Hai!
26:05 TX (10/5)
|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)
24:30 MX (10/2)
|Gochuumon wa Usagi Desuka??
21:30 AT-X (10/10)
|Komori-san wa Kotowarenai!
22:27 MX (10/4)
|Dance with Devils
23:30 MX (10/7)
25:05 MX (10/2)
|Owari no Seraph 2nd Season
22:00 MX (10/10)
22:30 MX (10/4)
|DIABOLIK LOVERS MORE, BLOOD
24:30 AT-X (9/23)
|Shinmai Maou no Testament BURST
25:40 MX (10/9)
|Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry
23:00 AT-X (10/3)
25:05 TX (10/4)
|Sakurako-san no Ashimoto ni wa Shitai ga Umatteiru
24:30 MX (10/7)
|Utawarerumono: Itsuwari no Kamen
25:00 MX (10/3)
|Taimadou Gakuen 35 Shiken Shoutai
25:05 MX (10/7)
|Shingeki! Kyojin Chuugakkou
25:58 MBS (10/3)
|Gundam: Tekketsu no Orphans
Stilts: I always keep my ears open when a new Gundam premieres, but unless there’s a hook that grabs me, I probably won’t bother. This one had such a hook: Orphans. Pain makes for interesting characters, and this show is full of ’em. Chief among them are world-on-his-shoulders Orga and dangerously codependent Mikazuki, but even supporting characters like Biscuit, Akihiro, and Eugene are standing out. Much has been made of Okada Mari writing this show, and if we’re in for some typical Okada-isms, I’m all for it. But for now, she’s showing that she’s damn good at the nuts and bolts of storytelling, and director Nagai Tatsuyuki and his team are realizing her scripts well. Tekketsu no Orphans is just being done well overall, with exposition coming as a natural consequence of conversation, character development shown rather than told, and the events moving fast enough to never leave us bored, but slow enough to not feel rushed. In the first five episodes we have an attack by Gjallarhorn, a coup by Orga’s company, a fatal duel vs Crank, and now they’re in space—and all this buttressed by the story of a struggling new business which feels more like Ghostbusters than Gundam (think about it..). It’s exciting, it’s interesting, and it feels effortless. Even if you don’t typically watch Gundam, watch this.
|Komori-san wa Kotowarenai!
Stilts: From the author of Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken, Komori-san wa Kotowarenai! has the same hallmark humor in the same short-form package. The humor is undeniably character-derived, with the titular Komori-san being the impetus for most of it. I feel like this has a less enticing premise than Danna, but its comedic beats are stronger. Mangaka Cool-kyou Shinja is just damn good at telling a joke, aided in the anime by excellent comedic delivery, particularly by Ozawa Ari, who’s just as good as when she was voicing Chiyo in Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun. But the secret sauce is in the series’ heart. Each episode is suffused with such a heartwarming feeling of friendship, and there’s these occasional moments that are touching and deep to the point of profundity. It’s a little series with a lot of heart, and it’s funny too. I just wish each episode was longer.
Stilts: Comet Lucifer is an utter mess. After a first episode that came alive in the final scene, it’s been a slow descent into mediocrity. Scattershot tone, flat characters, and plot events that feel unhinged from the character’s actions are the name of the game. I decided to blog this, so I have every incentive to sugarcoat it so I don’t look so damn wrong, but I’m not going to, because I can only lie for so long before I start feeling I should get paid for it, or at least get elected to public office for it (topical humor!). Comet Lucifer can’t decide whether it wants to be a slice-of-life or an action mecha show, and it’s failing at both. The antagonists keep intruding on a barely functioning slice-of-life, until this latest episode, when the serious plotline took over—which is something no one was hoping for. The one shining light has been Koan, the childhood friend who seemed destined to be unlucky, until it started to seem like she might win the Sougo prize. But then Felia grew up because magic, so it feels like we’re back on the train to mediocre town. If you want to know how to not tell a story, tune in. As a storyteller, this is probably the series I’m learning the most from this season. As a viewer, I’m disappointed.
Cherrie: Above all else, One-Punch Man is meant to be a comedy or parody of what superhero stories are all about – at least, that’s how I see it. Personally, it’s not an anime that makes me laugh out loud (like seriously LOL) all the time, but it gets the point across. There’s this one, incredibly strong man who has no ambitions in life anymore because he’s already reached his highest potential. Being able to defeat all monsters with a single punch? What more could you ask for? Plus he has a hilarious sidekick whom I love even more. One-Punch Man isn’t what I was expecting when I came into this season, but I think it accomplishes what Samurai Flamenco was aiming for in terms of that superhero parody genre. There’s continuity (unlike the latter anime) and it makes sense while still providing entertainment to the viewer. The irony and sarcasm in this series are probably the highlights for me; so if you were expecting more from the character development department (like I was), I don’t think you’ll find it here. Just trying to ground fellows on what to expect. BUT! If you’re looking for a good laugh from people with a**-shaped chins, this is for you!
|Yuru Yuri San☆Hai!
Stilts: Yuru Yuri hasn’t changed. Not a bit. This is one of the most seamless continuations from season to season I’ve seen. Maybe it helps that I watched the OVAs right before this season started, but it really feels like the cast was never gone. We start the first episode with the Goraku-bu lazing around, and we’re instantly back. Which is good for what Yuru Yuri is—light, carefree, low-calorie fun. It also means that, as I sat down to write this paragraph, I had trouble recalling precisely what happened in the past four episodes. The king game, cooking, yuri between Akari’s and Chinatsu’s sisters, yuri between Akari and her own sister, yuri between Kyouko and Ayano, yuri between Sakurako and Himawari, yuri between Kyouko and Yui—there’s been a lot of yuri, now that I think of it. But it’s the trademark lightly-tinged yuri of Yuru Yuri, rather than the full-throttle yuri of Sakura Trick or Prisma Illya. And in this day and age, is that enough for the modern consumer? Yeah, probably. Because Yuru Yuri is still, above all else, a comedy, and it’s still good at being funny. It hasn’t changed, but that means they haven’t screwed up a good formula. I appreciate that.
|Hidan no Aria AA
Stilts: I wasn’t very ebullient about the original Hidan no Aria in the preview. It was a bottom-tier action/harem series led by a bargain bin Kugimiya Rie wrathful loli. So it is to my surprise (and pleasure) that I found that Hidan no Aria AA is quite a bit better than its predecessor. The continuity issues remains strange—I confirmed that this takes place during the events of the first season, which means all the new characters have been retconned (trope!) in—but everything else is a solid yuri-tinged action show. The weakest elements are probably the titular Aria and main character Akari, though to be fair to Aria, she works much better as a wise sempai than a shrill tsundere. The real fun is in the rest of the cast, and all the yuri-tinged fun they get up to. My favorites: Shino the hyper-genki (and occasionally yandere) perverted nutcase; Raika the “boyish” (which I don’t buy for a second, even if the characters insist she is) badass who gets easily embarrassed; and Kirin-chan, who excels at embarrassing her “Raika-oneesama.” (Shipping furiously!!) The first four episodes are mainly about collecting the cast, but I like the cast, and the old Hidan no Aria characters work fine as supporting sempai. If this series continues as it’s started, I’ll be pleased.
|DIABOLIK LOVERS MORE, BLOOD
Cherrie: I’m pretty certain that it goes without saying – but I feel like the only person in the world that’s watching this anime. And I think the first question is ”But why?! It’s so bad!” and it is bad. I’m not denying that it’s anything more or relatively substantial. Watching this anime does not require thinking, it does not make you a better person, nor is it even a huge time sink (only 12 minute episodes). However, it does reach a niche audience that boarder well-accepted anime does not. If the premise and synopsis do not interest you, I highly don’t recommend you try it anyway; but like I said in my intro post, if Fifty Shades of Grey and Vampire Knight are your thing, then this might be your anime equivalent. I did finish the first series and I’ll admit that after doing so, I went ahead to read up the spoilers of the game. The brothers aren’t just “bad” for the sake of being the antagonists, they each have deeply rooted psychological issues. Like really deep issues and albeit, it doesn’t make up for the anime entirely, just knowing that it’s for good reason makes the story feel more worthwhile.
|Sakurako-san no Ashimoto ni wa Shitai ga Umatteiru
Cherrie: Last season it was GANGSTA. and this season it’s Sakurako-san no Ashimoto ni wa Shitai ga Umatteiru so I’ve come to the conclusion that hump days are my calling! Sakurako-san no Ashimoto ni wa Shitai ga Umatteiru is a great pick-me-up in the middle of the week and I genuinely love it from beginning to end. The premiere was the weakest episode so far but everything proceeding it has been a hit for me. The character dynamics are interesting (although not completely original) and reminds me of GOSICK and Hyouka with a strong dominating female and a sidekick. Episodic mystery series aren’t normally my thing because they remind me too much of American crime dramas, but Sakurako-san no Ashimoto ni wa Shitai ga Umatteiru does it well. I find myself attached to each new character introduced, and each episode gives just enough information about all the involved parties that makes you connect with them. The episodes talk about a dead/missing body and although it’s not realistic how anyone could come to the conclusion that Sakurako does, it’s part of the magic of television. You just believe that someone is that great at analyzing the situation and circumstantial evidence. The animation and soundtrack have also impressed me given how little I was expecting in that department. The artwork is ten steps better than I was anticipating from a smaller studio so great work there.
|Subete ga F ni Naru: The Perfect Insider
Cherrie: One of the more highly anticipated series this season was Subete ga F ni Naru: The Perfect Insider and does it deliver? Well it’s certainly not what I expected but in a good way. Compared to Sakurako-san no Ashimoto ni wa Shitai ga Umatteiru (which is another mystery series this season), the exposition and setting for Subete ga F ni Naru: The Perfect Insider is not bad, but different. The atmosphere for the murders, the reaction from all the characters and the overall tone of the anime does not give me that thrilling anxious chill that you normally get from closed-room cases. A lot of the story and context is actually not in the present, but told through flashbacks, conversations and reports from past encounters. What I noticed about Subete ga F ni Naru: The Perfect Insider though, is that it’s not necessarily the plot or characters that drives interest, but the storytelling. Normally in a mystery, you want to know the basics – the who, what, where, how and why. In this series, I find myself not really caring about the characters or all that other stuff, it’s just the why. And the way they format the sequence of events and unveil information is what pulls me into this anime.
Stilts: Heavy Object is not an objectively good series, but that doesn’t stop it from being a lot of fun. Let me explain. The whole series sits on a shaky foundations in the areas you’d think a sci-fi war series needs to be rock solid—military tactics/strategy, geopolitics, sci-fi worldbuilding, and basic understanding of human nature. Original creator Kamachi Kazuma (Index, Railgun) just does not understand science or war. The idea that Objects—which are basically glorified tanks—would alter war to the point that people would forget that saboteurs are useful or the enemies aren’t always honorable betrays a fundamental lack of understanding about why war has become like it is. And yet, I’m enjoying this series. I’ve been referring it to a B movie, because that’s what it feels like. It’s not good, but it is fun, and in an age when Superman and the Fantastic Four have to be gritty and real, and so lose any enjoyment to be derived from their goofy premises, one of the things I love about anime is that it’s so often fun. In Heavy Object it all comes from the interplay between Qwenthur and Havia, our snarky, perverted, put-upon heroes, with frequent additions from flirty Frolaytia and eager-to-please Milinda. It’s all about the banter, baby, and as long as you don’t think about the bullshit setting and science too much, it’s fun. I just don’t know how long that can hold up the entire series. Hopefully November will see some meatier fare.
Cherrie: I’ll admit that even though I blogged the first season of Noragami and it was well-received, I wasn’t expecting a second season; especially with the anime original character thrown at the end. Noragami ARAGOTO has blown my expectations out of the water by diving right back into it and following more closely to the manga now. On top of that, the story has flowed seamlessly from this anime-original ending to the second arc featuring Bishamon and her vendetta against Yato so if you’ve seen the first season, I highly – almost begging- that you watch this second season. It’s amazing just how well it builds off of the character development from the first season. No more angst from Yukine, all returning characters and a new reason to love Yato and Hiyori even more. We even talk about Yato’s past (finally!) and Kazuma’s relationship with Bishamon and it’s all just full of action and great unveils. I was nearly in tears at the end of the latest episode so I can’t say enough great things about Noragami ARAGOTO. Definitely the best sequel this season that I’ve seen and it has me hooked.
|Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry
Stilts: Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry isn’t what you think it is. Remember, tropes are not bad (trope!). Rakudai is good not because it avoids tropes, but because it consciously uses them. It starts with easily identifiable magical-fantasy-action-harem tropes as a commonly understood vocabulary, but improves on them by either: (1) subverting our trope-based expectations, or (2) playing those tropes to the hilt, and doing it better. For the former, understand that this isn’t really a harem anime. It’s a romance between Ikki and Stella, and their relationship is just as adorable and squee-inducing as any shoujo romance or romcom—only it’s progressing faster. Other tropes are subverted as well, such as bullies who turned into disciples instead of running off with a cliché. But other characters are bullies to the core, such Kirihara. It’s at times like these that Rakudai plays its tropes straight, with a thoroughly detestable bully who torments the main character to no end … and when the tables are turned, it feels so damn good. The main characters are endearing, the action is top-notch, and the show has exceeded every expectation I had—and I went in pretty hyped after Takkun talked it up in the preview. Stories don’t have to be groundbreaking to be amazing. This anime might not seem like anything grand, but what it is, above all else, is fun. It’s damn, damn good. Seriously.
|Utawarerumono: Itsuwari no Kamen
Stilts: Utawarerumono: Itsuwari no Kamen is off to a slow start. I’ve been marathoning the original as I watch the sequel (it’s not necessary to see the original, but it’s good, so I suggest it), and there are notable differences. While the original started off as a much more typical story, Itsuwari no Kamen is telling a story with so little structure it still doesn’t feel like there’s a plot at all. Which was fine for the first four episodes, but it’s beginning to wear. Mostly what we’ve gotten are a lot of character introductions, which is fine and all, but I prefer character introductions and development to happen while the plot is going on, not to have them cordoned off from one another. As one reader wisely put it, it’s inefficient. But the world is still vibrant and interesting, and I’d damn near watch anything Kuon is in. Itsuwari no Kamen needs to get off its arse and earn our viewership, lest the goodwill the original earned it not last long enough to get us to the good parts. I’m still enjoying it though, so it’s got a little more time at least.
|Shingeki! Kyojin Chuugakkou
Stilts: These are 15-minute spoofs on the Shingeki no Kyojin series, and you probably need to have watched and enjoyed that to get much from this. It subscribes to the Carnival Phantasm and Evangelion: Angelic Days school of thought, which is: When you’ve put your characters through hell, it’s nice to take them out of that hell for some non-canon happy-happy fun times. It’s just nice to see Eren, Mikasa, Armin and the rest in a silly school comedy where the worst the titans do is steal their lunches. My favorite episode was undoubtedly the dodgeball episode that ended with hints at a OT3 (trope!) between Mikasa x Eren x Annie, because who wouldn’t want that? This show is funny and light, but I’ll freely admit that the humor comes primarily from seeing formerly tortured characters engaging in such frivolous activities, which means the humor is by definition partially referential—if you renamed the characters and tweaked the setting, it wouldn’t be that good. But hey, that’s a hypothetical, and instead we get to see Mikasa trying to run into Eren on the way to school, Mikasa running low on energy when Eren isn’t around, Mikasa fighting over Eren with Annie, and presumably other characters doing things as well. (#Mikasafan4lyfe) If you’re a Shingeki no Kyojin fan, I suggest it.
Awesome but nothing regarding asterisk?
I probably ought to be watching it since takkun was right about Rakudai, and he ended up picking up Asterisk too, but I’m not. Hadn’t heard of anything that especially suggested it, so I didn’t ever start it. I’m a bit overloaded with shows as is, lol
Rakudai has one upped Asterisk in almost all aspects so far. Though Asterisk tried to compensate for its lackluster episode 4 (compared to Rakudai) to a well animated fight of MC vs. #1 rank in the school haremette #4.
I think both studios had done a decent job bringing the anime to life, just that the quality of the source material(novel) heavily influenced the overall quality of the anime.
In terms of light novel, I will rate Rakudai>Taimadou> Asterisk.
Asterisk will have to prove itself through smooth visuals and animation, given the source story is so-so.
Rakudai’s story may be better, but it has a lower budget and rougher animation to deal with.
Hopefully the Bluray releases will fix up the rougher parts.
Rakudai works because as mentioned it’s using its tropey nature to its advantage. From what I’ve watched of Asterisk it simply jumps head first into the tropes and doesn’t look back so you’re going to have a lot of “are you kidding me” moments that end up being played in all seriousness rather than for the humor.
Same here. I keep hearing that Asterisk is Rakudai done better and vice versa. Anyone want to pitch in their opinion?
Myself: I watch both episodes back to back, and treat it as one giant show, lol! It’s an interesting meta game with the anime. One of my friends is dropping one (I think Cavalry) because he feels he MUST support one over the other.
As for me, I continue to watch both. I actually think I’ll think more fondly of the shows, as my remembrance will likely be the best parts of each! If Testament were still in Season 1, I would watch all 3 weekly and feel even more gloriously confused, hahaha!
As always, great impressions!
Asterisk is just another in the long list of battle-school/harem series that most of us will forget about in a year like Magical Warfare or, god help us, World Break. It doesn’t do anything bad, it just isn’t memorable. Rakudai actually having someone win the romance sets it apart, and thankfully it doesn’t take 2 seasons.
Nothing on Fafner? Disliked and unsubscribed…
Jokes, but seriously, ain’t anybody watching it at all?
Like I keep telling everyone who asks, I haven’t watched it, nor have any of the other writers. And since we would apparently need to start from the very beginning of the original series, and none of us have gots time for that, I don’t see that changing anytime soon, alas.
Sorry, but until I figure out how to get paid to write about anime, I’ve got to keep writing books and doing other work to pay rent and afford sandwiches. It cuts into the anime time a bit.
Ever thought of Patreon? Although I guess it’s probably less about money and more that your schedule is probably full as is.
No pressure Stilts, I’d just ask you don’t take it to the grave with you, at least.
I’ve considered patreon and other funding vehicles for my fiction work, and I think they’re wonderful tools. However, I don’t think they’re appropriate for blogging at my level.
I feel that an artist needs to deliver something of disproportionate value to ask for money in that manner. I don’t see it as any different from selling a book. If I sell a novel for $3.99, you only buy it if you feel it’s worth $4 (or preferably more) in entertainment value.
If I were a better critic, and able to enrich reader’s experiences through storytelling knowledge 10x with every blog post, I’d consider putting up a patreon. Sometimes I feel like I do that. A lot of the time I feel like I only do 2x or 3x, and occasionally I screw up and hurt people’s enjoyment. So I don’t think it’s appropriate. I try to only sell things when I feel like the price is fair.
Probably an overly serious answer to your question, but I have thought about it a lot, so thought I’d elaborate : ) Danke!
Well, looking back on your Kyoukaisen posts… That was a real life-saver and probably was the most well structured anime blog/summaries/restrospective I’ve ever seen. Hell, when people ask about the anime, I don’t direct them to Wiki, MAL or other sites, I just link your posts.
If you had the time to do posts like that at least once a year, I’d sure throw something your way on Patreon.
Thank you. Those are definitely one of the times I felt I provided 10x or more value, though in exchange I had to put in 100x effort, haha! Most shows don’t require (or even allow) for that kind of depth, though. Plus, you know, time and all that. Regardless, I appreciate the compliment, and I’ll try to give some more content of equal (or greater! If I can manage that, nyahaha) value.
I agree. To people out there. Please watch Noragami Aragoto.
Even though I already read the manga. I almost shed tears in three out of five episodes.
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It’s surprisingly much better than I anticipated and I hope they continue on this track. I’m not a manga reader so I have no idea what’s coming up so I only pray that they don’t introduce another anime-original ending.
I think the anime’s fitting in 2 manga arcs this season. So no anime-original material this time.
Gundam: Tekketsu no Orphans is definitely my most anticipated show. It’s got action, drama, brutalism and promising characters. I haven’t really looked forward to the next week since KnB.
Since there is no Fafner love, I’ll provide it:
Fafner: Exodus continues to be the best mecha series this year no one is watching. Yes its better than any recent Gundam. Yes, its better than ALDNOAH. Its a series that knows how to balance tense, exciting action and character development and it knows how to raise the stakes properly. The music is eccellent and despite the large cast, they all continue to get their own moments to shine and be properly developed.
This month also significant development for Fafner. One of its most enduring (and most popular) characters has died. After said character has spent the first series and a movie being a total badass its hard see to that character go out with a smile. It was beautiful, moving, tear jerking moment that you almost forget this was the same writer who wrote that awful PSYCHO PASS Season 2.
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Yea, amazing story writing as always, hands down to Ubukata. I know its a little too much to hope for happy ending, BUT… Show Spoiler ▼
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That new Fafner opening as well… Damn, Angela knows how to psych you up, and the potential revelations in the trailer. Really makes me wonder how they will wrap things up as it is only now that they are showing the 2nd opening.
I like Fafner too and its very interesting and exciting but its also very bleak. Characters just keep dying left and right. If ever there was a series where the bad guys might kill off everyone in the series its this one.
I kind of disagree on that. Fafner strikes me more as “Everything will get worse before it gets better” kind of show. Despite the all the deaths, the first season ended with a very hopeful tone.
The movie was a shock to the fans because there were Show Spoiler ▼
and it still ended in a hopeful tone.
And even then I find that deaths were well done. They actually drive the story and characters. Most importantly the dead are NEVER forgotten, and are always referred back by the story.
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Its why I hated PSYCHO PASS Season 2. All the deaths were cheap shock value and never mentioned again. With how well its handled on Fafner you’d think Ubukata would know better.
+1 to Fafner love and thumbs-up. There are times when I feel the interactions are kinda stiff (especially in season 1 and whenever Soushi’s around) but a good deal of that has pretty much improved in Exodus.
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Ha, I admit I laughed when I read “All according to keikakku”. So true XD
All according to keikakku as well, muahaha!
Wow, the author explains so many things to me about Komori-san. I had no idea. XD
I’m a manga reader for Onepunch Man, so I’ll just add from that angle that the anime has been very pleasing for me so far. Madhouse clearly recognizes a golden egg when they see one, and I’m quite happy that they’re sparing no expense on it. Past that I’m only keeping up with Gundam, Noragami, Haikyu, and Rakudai, all of which have been solid so far (Samu was clearly unavailable for this post, per the lack of Haikyu hyping).
I’m curious myself how they’re going to pace OPM. The world opens up a lot now that Saitama’s in the Hero Association, and if they keep the current anime pace of 3-ish manga chapters per episode, they’re going to end right in the middle of a big story arc, which would be a shame.
Enjoyed the reviews.
I find Asterisk is so similar (in some ways) to Cavalry Radish that I get confused watching it because I mix the characters up from the two shows and wonder why Stella isn’t in it.
I forgot about Komori-san! I need to watch that.
– Gundam: Tekketsu no Orphans — I believe most of my comments about the show (when I’m not asking who this guy or that guy is and their relevance to the plot) speak for themselves. But TL;DR: I’m loving how the show is going so far. (And please don’t fail just to make the upcoming Gundam Thunderbolt anime look good.)
– Heavy Object — Comedy in the middle of dangerous situations (read: facing off against big-ass war machines)? Sure, I can go with that. I guess I don’t mind waiting a while longer for Index season 3.
– Shomin Sample — The (formerly) two-member (read: Kimito and Aika) Commoners Club just became the discount Neighbors Club with Reiko, Hakua and Karen joining in. And just like the guy with a monstergirl harem, poor Kimito has to resist the urge to fall for any of the girls (as they are starting to fall for him). His situation is still amusing to watch, even though I do feel sorry for the guy.
– Shinmai Maou no Testament BURST (albeit reluctantly) — Still “a touch lazy in presenting plot points” (ya hit the nail in the head on that, Stilts)–to the extent that whenever a new character appears on the scene, I would constantly wonder what would be his or her relevance to the story later on. I mean, I want to enjoy the anime on its own merits (and not just for the ecchi), but I’m constantly annoyed by this nagging feeling that I would understand/enjoy the story better if I’ve already read the light novels or manga.
Probably can’t catch up on anymore, but looks interesting enough to marathon later:
– Gochuumon wa Usagi Desuka?? — Well, that one fansub group I’ve been waiting on already finished the S1 Blu-Rays (Good job!) and I’ve started to watch that season…
“What is this warm feeling?” (Not to mention I have this urge to have a cup of coffee after watching an episode of the show…)
Dropped for various reasons (may or may not pick back up in the future):
– Hidan no Aria AA – Mediocre subs for the first episode. Until I find a better sub, it’s dropped.
– Yuru Yuri San☆Hai! – Couldn’t watch the Nachuyachumi! OAVs in time. *sighs* Although I do wonder whether this season had both Kyouko and Ayano’s eye catches shown back to back… (Yes, I ship those two.)
Here’s my opinion, RandomC should replace the person who doing reviews for “Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans” with someone else. I get that the current one on the job dislikes Okada for a number of concrete reasons, but mentioning said person per blog post is quickly getting tiring.
Guardian Enzo likes to analyse how the characteristics of the people behind a show applies to the dynamics of the story, which can get tiring to read since it’s pretty repetitive for every episode post. This is because instead of getting an “episode” review, we get a “studio” review. There is very little mention and analysis on the characters, the story and the development. It’s like if he likes the show (HXH), praises rain from the sky for the studio and not what makes the episode great. And if he doesn’t like it (Iron-blooded Orphans), he criticizes the studio and not say what makes it bad. I know that everyone has their own “personal” style to their writing. But I feel bringing in external factors (like the writers/studio) of a story doesnt contribute much to the story construction itself. I’m not trying to put down a writer (since he’s my fav after Stilts), but we would like to hear insights of the “story”
Whosoever fails to include Haikyuu!! in the monthly roundup deserves a “nice serve” right to the back of their head. :p
Samu is still blogging it on a weekly basis. Check out his posts!
Seraph 2nd Season: Most of the worldbuilding comes from the LN spinoffs. Seraph’s author will be writing a new LN series covering both Mikaela’s past and the origins of the vampires, releasing this December.
The novels also explain the history of Mahiru and Shinoa.
Show Spoiler ▼
Hopefully this renews your interest in the anime, Cherrie!
I don’t like how a lot of the “important” side stories and world-building is done in a separate series or manga or spinoff. I mean, I should be able to watch Owari no Seraph as a standalone anime and enjoy it for what it is without hunting for all the additional “stuff” that answers my questions. I’m not bashing on the series because I still enjoy it (except Mika… that kid just, isn’t rubbing me the right way =S), I just wish it would get to the main point faster. There’s a lot of time spent on teenage angst and internal mental issues that’s all great and peachy, but gets repetitive and unnecessary when it’s not being resolved.
i totally feel you about this second season. Lots of immature fights, and the plot is dragging so slowly, it feels like they’re wasting this season. Let’s hope it picks up going forward.
Perhaps Seraph’s author is not confident he can fit in all his backstory in the manga, given its monthly release.
Or he’s finding an excuse to sell more merchandise. (If you liked the main story, buy my side materials to find out what happened behind the scenes!)
I find the second season to be more briskly paced then the first, so I’m not complaining. And some the manga readers are upset the anime adaptation apparently cut out chunks of content.
I haven’t read the manga, but I have been spoiled on a few fronts, so all I can say that the stakes will be upped, on on both Yu and Mika’s sides (and by extension, the army and the vampires’ sides).
And Cherrie, this might be a rather broad generalisation to make, but I take that you’re not fond of passive characters?
I think Seraph being a monthly series does factor into the number of spinoffs it has. You can only cram so much into forty pages.
More important, I think, is that Takaya Kagami LOVES a good complex (sometimes to the point of being needlessly convoluted) conspiracy. You’ve both sides engaging in questionable activities, secrets within secrets, and deception all over the place. Well, that’s the impression I get from his previous series, anyway, and to some extent in Seraph (no, I’m not a manga reader).
So I think it’ll probably be a while before we get to the “true” main point in the story. For now it’s buildup and gradual escalation.
@N: I don’t MIND passive characters. However, in an action/supernatural series, I like things being done and for that to happen, characters need to do stuff rather than just wait around for things to happen to them. I like decisiveness and if the character has flaws, there has to be good reason or some development to make up for it. I feel like Yuu has done a lot already to try and improve himself (although still immature sometimes) but Mika is just… a poor puppy that keeps getting kicked when it’s down and at some point, if he’s not helping himself, what more can you expect?
To be fair, and though I never bothered with Owari no Seraph, I know that most people prefer active characters to passive characters. Passive characters can be useful in some story situations, but in most it’s preferable to have active characters—even if they’re also reacting to others’ actions, ala your typical superhero—take things in their own hands and actually do something (and make mistakes, and save the day, etc).
Noragami is something else for me this season that I can’t put into words and saying ‘epic’ just feels too mainstream! I didn’t realize the ending of season 1 was anime original, now I have to read into that..
Ty for the monthly impressions. Though I’ve spent an unhealthy, emphasis on ‘unhealthy’, time watching Gintama and Naruto (the 300+700 episodes marathon) lately, so I’m waiting for each of those anime to have at least 5 episodes to watch them. Though that image made me download Owari no Seraph, have to pick up where I left!
If you’re loving Noragami, I can’t say that Owari no Seraph is going to give you the same feeling =(
It’s a lot slower in the development front and it’s taking a while to get to the thrilling and more action-packed moments, but I’m sure it will by the end =X I’m glad my screencaps are able to pull people in haha!
I’ve watched season 1 of owari no seraph but unlike my case with Noragami, getting into season 2 is one I can wait for (hence 5 episodes lol), it is nice but like I said, Noragami is on a different level :p I think i’m more of an M, I like the tortrure of having to wait weekly for Noragami T__T….
Taimadou: Taimadou’s author writes the craziest afterwords. Here’s one where he discusses the steamcloud and lightbeam method of anime censorship:
“There’s no way a small amount of (steam) could hide the appearance of wonderful boobies…but I think it’s…wonderful how (it also) stimulates one’s imagination.
Steam isn’t hiding the wonderfulness of boobs from us, (but provides us the hard to obtain erotic imaginations.)
Mr. Steam… thank you. You read the mood, actually, you create the mood.
I accept you. I respect you for making the wonderful boobies even more attractive.
But your relative (Mr. Lightbeam), is absolutely unacceptable. He has no artistic quality and cuts in places he absolutely shouldn’t be in… (that) bastard’s so damn far-fetched it’s impossible for me to ever forgive (him)”.
Utawarerumono: Gameplayers say the anime’s already rushing the plot by introducing the new characters now. They say the anime would be 50+ episodes if it followed the game structure slavishly.
50+ episodes? Ugh. I’m glad it’s rushing the plot, then. Ain’t nobody here have the time for a 50+ episode slog (unless it packs a ton of story into those episodes, but given what we’re getting so far, I doubt it).
It’s true that Lightbeam-san is unacceptable, and Steam-san is fine in certain situations (e.g. bath scenes). Not always, though! Not always.
The thing about Utawarerumono is that it’s always had its visual novel roots, and it follows what I would like to call the visual novel formula, starting slow with emphasis on slice-of-life and then suddenly! Plot! The reason to do this is two-fold: doing a lot of slice-of-life (effectively character development first) makes the later drama more effective (cashing the development investment, so to speak), and the drama also has a stronger initial impression if it ‘surprises’ the reader (not in that the reader did not expect something was coming, but how it comes).
This formula is, however, difficult to translate to anime, because visual novels, like normal novels, have an element of self-pacing, in that the reader can blow through a lot of material at a time as they desire, as opposed to the rigid weekly schedules of anime. And a videogame like Utawarerumono: Itsuwari no Kamen has the advantage of gameplay elements, shots of action that keep its audiences from feeling too impatient about the slow start (like how Little Busters the VN had battles and baseball with cats to tide us over the common route). A tactical RPG like Itsuwari no Kamen has a double advantage, because new characters are also new units, so the slow, steady introduction of new characters may not advance the narrative (as is the case in the anime), but it does advance the gameplay, which is of equal standing in a videogame.
Yar. Which harkens back to how the Little Busters! anime was kind of shit up until all the cast was introduced, then it swiftly got awesome and went straight into heart destroying. The wind up was rough, but the punch was devastating.
It’s understandable about the coverage of Fafner, but it’s also unfortunate. In my opinion, it’s one of the most underrated sci-fi/mecha series. It’s so rare to find a show where the characters you grow to like can bite the dust at any moment. Thanks for the coverage!
Hidan No Aria – after the 1st season I’m quite surprised this one is so good.
Sakurako-San – It has been quite good and the 2 main characters interest me.
Subete ga F ni Naru – This is the other mystery series this season and its good, just not as good as Sakurako-San. Its like dry toast with no butter on it.
Noragami ARAGOTO – I liked the 1st season, but this one has blown me away with how good it is. This arc has been exciting and I can’t wait to see what will happen next. Always a good sign in an anime.
Gochuumon wa Usagi Desuka?? – love this series and yet I can’t explain why. I guess it reminds me of other laid back series like Aria, Non Non Biyouri, Tamayura, etc…
Subete ga F is a waaaaay better mystery than Sakurako-san, which is typical Light novel storytelling. Sakurako is portrayed as a genius, but to me just comes across a smug person who loves to hear themselves talk. At least with Subete ga F, the show doesn’t try to paint anyone in a positive light, you take everything at face value.
I guess it all depends on the age of the viewer though. I think the light novel structure is easier to digest so it’s a good way to introduce younger viewers into looking at “better” (imo) stories within the same genre
WI’m someone that prefers Sakurako-san and that’s not because I’m not old enough to enjoy Subete ga F ni Naru. Contrary to my impressions above, I liked the first episode of Subete ga F A LOT more than Sakurako-san… it’s only its follow-up episodes that had me disappointed.
In 4 episodes, nothing has really happened to advance the case, and the character interactions and emotions just don’t feel very realistic to me. So I went and looked for the novel which it’s based off of… and then I watched the Jdrama because my Japanese isn’t advanced enough to read the novel T_T The drama literally solves this case in 2 episodes… that’s 40 mins x 2 = 4 episodes of anime max. The fact that the anime takes its time to lengthen the story and show different angles/sides to the characters is fine… but the case is actually not THAT complicated. And I think the added mins that they’re throwing into the anime don’t bring added value to the extent I’d like. The actors in the Jdrama protrayed more realistic emotions from characters that just literally saw a dead corpse coming out of a supposedly locked room! That’s crazy! WHY is no one suffering from post-trauma or anxiety?!
Anyway… in comparison, I think Sakurako-san is definitely a lot less convoluted and “less mature” in terms of topics and conversation… but in my opinion, entertainment doesn’t have to be complicated to have an audience. Sakurako-san doesn’t take itself as seriously as Subete ga F (I mean, she has a actual “musical sequence” when she puts on gloves!) so what’s wrong with a super smart person that just knows everything? That’s the magic of fiction. I think their characterizations are also done much better. I feel so much more for a single extra that was in only one ep than I do for the entire cast of Subete ga F o_o Keep in mind though, I did like the Jdrama so I actually recommend that for anyone who can’t be patient like me… >_>
Stilts, I’m glad someone is as enamored with Rokudai as I am. I never thought I’d say the anime I look forward to most each week is a school magical battle fantasy, but it TOTALLY is this season
I know, right!? I mean, it’s not like the genre is bad. It’s popular for a reason. It just takes someone doing it well instead of mailing it in to make the series shine.
This are on my Watchlist this Season:
In no order:
– Hacka Doll THE Animation
– Ushio to Tora (It’s on his Finale)
– Heavy Object (When i think back into my FMP times, i began to love it)
– Norgami Aragoto (even if this Evil Whistle blower arc pains me)
– Gakusen Toshi Asterisk
– Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry
– Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka?? (like Season 1, a Cup of Coffee and Sweets)
– Utawarerumono: Itsuwari no Kamen (I like it, this is NOT a remake V2.0 of the first one)
– Gundam Tekketsu no Orphans
– Taimadou Gakuen 35 Shiken Shoutai
I forgot my Short ones:
– JK Meshi!
– Onsen Yousei Hakone-chan
All the moeshit and ecchishit of the season. Good job.
And this reminds me again why RC always was and still is in my top tier of anime blogs: Because people are here who are actually ENJOYING watching shows and writing about them. Which seems to become more and more rare nowadays. Thanks to everyone at RC, and with this posting in particular Cherrie and Stilts (whose taste seems to match mine 90%) for their efforts!
Dohoho *scratches back of head bashfully* Oh yoooou
Awwww…. and we do all this for people like you that share our passion for anime =)
This season is one of the weakest in years, in my opinion – it’s pretty damn rare the amount of shows I’m watching drops below ten. I guess it’s good for getting rid of my backlog?
Shomin Sample is probably the weakest one I’m still watching. It’s not…terrible, but not particularly interesting either. The show lacks comedic timing and good writing, and it’s just kind of bland, really. The other harems I’ve watched this year all stand out in some way, either by being actually good (Monster Musume), by hilariously taking refuge in audacity (To Love-Ru Darkness) or just being interesting complete trainwrecks (Mayoi Neko Overrun), but this one is completely forgettable. Doubt I’ll finish it at this rate.
Subete ga F ni Naru isn’t high on my list either – it has some nice ideas and good ingredients for an interesting mystery, but it’s spoiled by lackluster execution and characters that never seem to hold my interest. Unsure if I finish this one too.
I kind of watched Rakudai no Cavalry too, but I don’t see what’s so special about it. It’s not as terrible as some of its peers, that’s for sure, but that seems like damning it by faint praise. Maybe I just don’t like the genre.
Osomatsu-san is a mixed bag so far, but I kind of like the experimentation inherent in its very nature. Never became as good as the first episode again though.
Utawarerumono is kind of okay, I guess? I hope the plot finally gets going, because so far, the first one is still way better. At least it has 25 episodes, so it has plenty of time to redeem itself. Owari no Seraph doesn’t have that luxury though, so I hope the big stuff will start happening soon.
As for the top-rate stuff this season, Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans has surprised me. Gundam has never interested me this far, but this is the first show (not counting the Build Fighters ones) that has really managed to grab me. Interesting characters, strong pacing and good action combine to make one of the best action series this season. Me like.
Noragami has a really strong season so far as well, delivering one hard hitting episode after another. Just hoping it can keep it up in the second half. The same goes for Owarimonogatari, as Sodachi’s story is genuinely interesting and the show’s as strong as ever.
And finally One Punch Man, which is the best over-de-top edge-of-your-seat show this season. Studio Madhouse delivers again, watching this show is a riot.
The old adage of ‘even bad seasons have good shows’ luckily proves true again, but at the same time, I doubt anything I’m not watching will end up in my backlog. Thanks for the write-ups, anyway, makes it easier to filter them out.
Oh well. Next season will be better, I suppose.
Throwing out a 2010 show (Mayoi Neko Overrun!) into your harem-com discussion? Gasp!
Yeah yeah, I know you said “[that] I’ve watched this year”, it just struck me as funny to have a half-a-decade-old series crop up in the discussion all of a sudden ^^
Gotta respect the old classics!
Not that that show was classic, it was pretty bad, but…
I’m unsure where I was going with this.
Let me rank the shows that I am watching this season:
1. Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans – Whether we like it or not, Okada’s style really helped this series in terms of character development. There are no forced relationships, side characters stand out and we are given a protagonists that swing between cold and caring. The pacing is great too. As Stilts said, it is not too slow to bore the viewers but not too fast to leave important things which flew all over the viewer’s head. At the same time, I also like to commend this show for having well choreographed fights and well drawn non CGI Gundams. I have no reservation to say that this one is the best show in this season so far.
2. Noragami Aragoto – While the last few episodes of the first season left me in the cold, this sequel blew all my expectations for episodes three to five. The artwork and the animation remain gorgeous, thanks to Bones and Bishamon’s arc was really explored which give depth to her character. And oh, prepare for a mood whipdash for episodes four and five, because these are really devastating which contrast with Noragami’s usual lighthearted approach.
3. Owarimonogatari – If you think this series has ran out of things to say, then you’re wrong. Araragi’s the center of this latest Monogatari series and it’s quite fascinating to see why he became the Araragi we knew in the series. Although Ougi is the least interesting character (which is an irony given that this should be her arc), Araragi and Sodachi carried this series like a boss. The visuals remained great (Shaft’s doing their darndest to entertain its viewers) and their banters (especially Araragi’s and Ougi’s) are really satisfying which is a tall task when all these characters are just talking and striking weird poses. The absence of the supernatural also made Owarimonogatari refreshing. All in all, this is a well executed series which is a reminiscent of what Monogatari can offer in its prime.
4. Lupin III (2015) – What’s not to love in this series? It may lack the grit of its 2012 predecessor but it’s twice the fun since we are now in Italy. We also get a capable antagonist and a femme fatale aside from Fujiko and the lack of Zenigata (so far) elevated Lupin III (2015) from meh to something fun. Lupin remains a smart goofball here.
5. One Punch Man – If there is a reason for me to put this one in the fifth place is because it’s visually stunning. I think whoever funds Madhouse are really praying right now that this series would sell loads of BDs (which I think will really happen given the love it receives right now) because all episodes are full of sakuga scenes. Now, why is it now ranked higher? I thought the comedy cannot keep up with the fantastic animation. Look, I like Saitama and his brand of satire but I cannot see it work in the long run. I began to feel the repetitiveness of some themes used in episode 3 but who cares? The fight scenes are really good. IMO, this one is the equivalent of Kyoto Animation’s Nichijou where the animators are given liberty to do art but the jokes are hit or miss.
6. Concrete Revolution – This show did not make sense in the first episode but it warmed to me after some time. I quite like Concrete Revolutio’s presentation of random events which eventually make a greater whole approach of this show and the melancholic vibe it gives every after the end of an episode. This is not perfect though, the time skips are jarring, it looks like it has limited budget (the animation remains cool) and the events may look like a string of nonsense to an unsuspecting viewer. For me, it looks like Charlotte being really hyperactive.
As for others…
7. High School Star Musical – Out of the three bishounen bait series which are airing this season, I picked this one and I did not regret it. The characters are humanized, there are no overly BL scenes and the plot is decent (with loads of cheese). There is also no fanservice which at times makes a story murky. What made me like it (and the reason it is ranked high) is the effort put by the staff in the character’s music videos which appear randomly in StarMyu. The visuals are really good given the budget it has. And who does not like flying dolphins?
8. Sakurako-san – I am torn with this series. The mysteries are never intriguing ala Un-Go but Sakurako-san still manages to give a bit of itself for every episode. The titular character is an interesting being in itself. The visuals are pretty but the overuse of filters made this one too bright at times and the characters do not mesh with the background at times. Also, why the policemen are also portrayed as dumb in this series?
I cannot say that these shows below are good but they are entertaining in its own. So…
9. Kagewani – This is an example of how terrible animation can ruin the decent atmosphere of a show. The horror stories are compelling but I can’t stand seeing moving cardboards which look like cutouts from a manga drawing.
10. Comet Lucifer – This one shows premise in the first episode but quickly devolved into meh once Felia woke up (the dancing vegetables killed me in the fourth episode). Also, it uses too much anime physics. Nonetheless, it features good fight scenes and lovely CGI robots which blend in the background naturally. I also like its raw attitude.
11. Young Black Jack – The anti-left wing in this show left a bitter taste in my mouth. Hazama’s characterization is quite inconsistent too. I would’ve ranked this higher if not for these two.
12. Attack on Titan Junior High – This spinoff is actually funny if it deviates from the Attack on Titan series since it tickles my funny fanfiction bones but is actually dry when it tries to insert references from the original anime. I want to take home Eren’s and Annie’s version of this anime and make them my keychain. They’re just that cute.
13. Osomatsu-san – I did not find it funny or entertaining but I am going to watch it until the end since I don’t drop animes as my usual policy. The first episode was a riot but the second one’s a chore to watch.
14. Heavy Object – I hope I can enjoy this series as much as Stilts did. As of now, I am near dropping this show.
All in all, I like Fall 2015 better than the tepid Summer 2015.