Anime Winter Season 2015 – Early Impressions
Yes, I am still watching more animes! Animus! Something.
Winter season 2015 doesn’t seem to contain the sheer amount of shows that Autumn season 2014 had, so it should be easier to keep up with things this time. Hopefully. There’s also a considerable amount of sequel shows this time, and I am not going to be following any of them. Mostly because I haven’t watched their earlier series, but although I did watch Aldnoah.Zero S1 and Tokyo Ghoul S1, I just have no interest in seeing any follow-up to either of those. I’ve already heard that Aldnoah S2 is really bad, especially if you didn’t like how S1 ended. I hated how S1 ended, so there.
Before I dive in, let me talk about the 3 S-words I use. I figured I had to set some rules for myself and try to be consistent. When I say ‘season’, I am talking about the whole thing. The Winter season, and all the shows contained within. I will try to not use ‘season’ for an individual show, but rather use ‘series’ like in British television. So S1 of a show is Series 1 rather than Season 1, for me. And finally of course there’s ‘show’, which is what I use to refer any individual title. Example: Series 3 of the show Dog Days runs this anime season. I will probably end up messing this up and using season and series interchangeably, but I will really try not to.
It feels unfortunate that after Cross Ange in last season, I also have to start my impressions of this season by warning people to stay away from a show for similar reasons.
Shinmai Maou no Testament [Stay Away From This One]
It takes this show only 2 minutes to initiate a scene so unfortunately framed and shot that I can only imagine it being triggering for rape survivors, and possibly other assault and abuse survivors. I will not describe it in case that could also count as triggering. So I say in all seriousness: If you are a survivor, you should stay away from this show. And even if you are not, then I’d say that a show that thinks such things are worth playing for laughs is probably not worth your time. I nope’d straight out after those 2 minutes.
From here on out I’ll just be going through my initial impressions in alphabetical order.
Absolute Duo [Dropped]
This is just… this isn’t very good, in my opinion. In fact, I felt it was straight garbage. The characters are dull, the story isn’t particularly grabbing, and the animators are all too fond of making all the boobs jiggle and bounce at the slightest motion from any of the girls. I really didn’t see any redeeming features in the first episode, and I have no interest in looking any further. Maybe it will be a thing for you, and I mean, the whole Blaze thing is rife for 420 jokes, but yeah, not for me.
Ansatsu Kyoushitsu (TV)
I don’t get this one. Not really. That yellow guy is some sort of engineered super-lifeform that can fly at Mach 20, and who shattered the moon to… state his intent? In one year from that day he says he’s going to do the same to the Earth, but until then he will act as a teacher for a class of misfits, and try to train them in how to assassinate him along with just being a general teacher. If they manage to kill him before the year is over, he naturally won’t be able to destroy the Earth. He’s too fast, agile and strong for anyone else to be able to do it, so…
I don’t know. The first episode had good bits and bad bits (arguably more bad than good), and it’s another show where I will probably need a few more episodes to get a better picture of it.
Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu Love!
This is so amazing. I can’t remember the last time I watched anything and just felt such a pure sense of utter happiness because of it. The name is too long though, and I tend to just refer to it as the Magical Boys show.
So yes, this is a show about Magical Boys in the style of magical girls. Their transformation sequence is called, and I swear I’m not making this up, “Love-making into Battle Lovers”. It doesn’t take itself seriously at all, and I love it so, so much. Pretty boys in pretty outfits. Their mentor is a pink wombat! This is so far my favourite show of this season.
With a name like Death Parade I really wasn’t sure what to expect. Then the OP started, and the OP made the whole thing seem very cheerful and light. And then we got into the show proper, and it turned really, really dark, really, really fast. I will need another couple of episodes to judge this one, but the premise seems interesting enough. I’m just not sure if it’s something that can carry any entire show. It seemed better suited for a one-shot kind of deal.
The iDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls
I have not really seen or touched anything Idolm@ster before this, but I understand it’s a thing. As a show, it comes off as very cute and earnest and I kinda adore it. It’s not a top-contender, at least not yet, but I like cute things, and maybe it will have some of that Love Live magic, as both are about idols.
Apparently there will be a lot of main characters eventually, but the first episode focuses on Uzuki and Rin, and the antics of Producer-san, a rather intimidating and awkward, but ultimately very sweet man. I’m not expecting the moon from this, but it seems like a nice palate cleanser if nothing else.
Junketsu no Maria
This is supposedly set in France during the middle ages, when witches were common, as everyone knows. One super-powerful witch called Maria really hates war, and though the English are currently invading France, she tends to show up at every battle and force them to stop fighting.
It’s an interesting premise, and I look forward to seeing more, but this is one of those shows that comes with a caveat. Like: If you can get over the costumes (like Maria’s succubus being dressed entirely in belts) it seems like it could be a good show. I am not quite sure yet of why they make such a big deal of her being a virgin, but I must admit I don’t really expect her to lose it in a non-hentai anime.
Juuou Mujin no Fafnir
This one seems like it could be trash. The premise is that large creatures/monsters/kaiju have shown up, then suddenly people starting being born with dragon-like powers. These people are called D. And they’re all girls. Until there’s suddenly one guy. Who gets brought to where they’re training all the girls. Hundreds of girls. One guy. He gets to see one naked right away. So yeah, I can basically see where this is probably going. I am willing to give it one more episode to see, but in all likelihood this one is going to get dropped. All those D jokes though…
Kantai Collection: KanColle
Apparently the browser game this is based on is really, really popular. I have never played it, but I liked the idea of girls as battleships.
Still, I don’t even know if the browser game has any lore as such, so I wasn’t sure what to expect from an anime based on it.
Good news: It actually seems to be quite good! Either my second or third favourite so far. Main girl Fubuki is assigned to a military base, and everyone seems hyped because she is a Special Destroyer. The girls who are battleships (or at least possess the souls of battleships, I think is how the show phrased it) are basically the world’s only hope for reclaiming the seas from the Abyssals that rose up from the depths of the oceans and took over everywhere. I am especially a fan of the carriers who are essentially archers that fire arrows that turn into squads of aircraft. No confirmation yet on whether they turn back into arrows if they come back and land.
I should also mention that I thought the gear-up sequences were really cool. So yeah, I’ll be staying with this one, I think, unless it suddenly turns awful during later in.
This is a somewhat strange one. Apparently it’s a cooking anime, and I can see that, but there’s also other stuff going on. Ryou is apparently the main character, and she likes cooking, and also tends to get a bit… ahm… orgasmic whenever she eats something she really likes. She has been living on her own for a while and lost touch with her cooking skills, but then her cousin Kirin, whom I have dubbed Tiny-chan, comes over to stay for the weekend, and Ryou finds joy in cooking again.
There have been some hints that this show might be planning on a bit of lesbian romance, or at least romantic tension, but it’s too early to say for sure yet. I have definitely fallen for Tiny-chan myself, and wish her all the best. No clue when the third girl comes into it yet, but she did make a couple of short appearances in episode 1.
This is kind the kind of utter nonsense that you can often expect from 5-min shows, and I honestly have no idea what the plot is yet. If there is a plot. But it’s fairly entertaining, and at a 5-min length I don’t mind keeping up with it.
I wish I could give you a plot summary here, but I really don’t know. A thing happened. I think that was actually straight what they said in the opening narration. A lot of people vanished, and the world has been split, and there are certain people with special powers or excessive abilities called the Best, while everyone else is referred to as the Rest.
I did wonder for a several minutes if this was a Studio Trigger show, because of its aesthetic, odd art-style, general feel and extreme characters, so I had to look it up. It’s not. It’s from the guys who made the Attack on Titan anime adaptation. But it really does invoke feelings of Kill la Kill. And to an extent Kyousogiga with the exuberant use of colour and world not quite seeming to follow established laws of nature. I am not sure if it’s going to turn out to be good, but I’m willing to watch a bit more of it, at least.
Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata [Dropped]
There has really only been a prologue out for this as of yet, and I don’t know. The prologue makes it seem like an annoying harem show that tries to be meta while doing the exact same things it pretends to criticise. And on that basis I wouldn’t watch this show, personally. But there is also the issue of never being sure whether a prologue actually represents the rest of the show. So I’ll probably have to check out the first episode just so I have a better idea. It might mix things up somehow! I will hopefully do that before I publish this, and write some on that, but I’ll leave this paragraph as it is, to give you a comparison between then and now.
Update: I don’t know what I was expecting. Of course he’s the protagonist. Of course it’s just another harem show with a thin premise. Well… the 8 minutes I managed to last all pointed in that direction, at least. If this is actually good, if it has any twists to the formula that make it worth watching… well, I’m not going to find out. But it will be nice for those who actually stick with watching it, I suppose.
Seiken Tsukai no World Break [Dropped]
More garbage. Absolute trash. Which it now occurs to me would have been a great descriptor for Absolute Duo. There’s some gaff about people who have magical superpowers because they can remember their past lives, which isn’t really a problem in and of itself, but it manifests in main-dude being on the one hand pursued by a girl who was his sister in a previous life because “now their love won’t be taboo”, and on the other hand a more distant, secretive girl who sleeps too much and kissed main-dude first time they met because they were probably married in a previous life or something that she won’t tell about. Conveniently main-dude doesn’t actually remember much of anything from his previous lives…
I’m probably making it sound better than it actually is. It’s just bad. Just bad.
I think this is just a Samurai Warriors anime as interpreted by someone who has watched too much Naruto. It deals with the Sengoku Warring States period of Japanese history, and seems to assume that anyone watching is already quite familiar with the subject. As someone who has really only heard the name Oda Nobunaga mentioned here and there, I admit to being quite confused. I also question how historically accurate any of this is. I suspect a generous helping of creative license was poured on top of this, along with a checklist of stuff to put in. There was stuff that showed up where I could just hear some producer going “checkbox ticked”.
That might make it sound like I’m really down on it, but honestly I was quite entertained by it. Nothing wrong with a bit of patently ridiculous interpretation of history so long as it’s not trying to pass itself off as accurate.
Tantei Kageki Milky Holmes TD
Girl detectives! That is really all you needed to sell me on this. It is super-cute! But also slightly terrifying, in that everyone seems to take everything these girls say at face value, and they imprison a probably innocent girl in the first episode, and then taunt us at the end by going “No, we didn’t forget about her, we just purposefully left her in jail, muahahaha!”
Buuuuuut, it is super-cute. Everyone in this show is super-cute. So even if it is set in some sort of cutesy dystopian future where nothing makes sense, the police are all chibis riding segways, and voices can be stolen, I will keep watching and enjoy the girl detectives of Milky Holmes!
Yoru no Yatterman
Someone broke the moon (it just really can’t catch a break), which caused a meteor shower of demon summoning, or something like that, and the world went to shit. Now it’s some time past that, and the heroes known as Yatterman, credited with vanquishing the demons and securing peace once more, have established the Yatter Kingdom, an area of prosperity and progress.
At least, that’s how everyone not living in Yatter Kingdom believes it to be. Everywhere else is basically living in poverty, and the first episode focuses on a little girl named Leopard, and an abbreviated version of the first nine years of her life as she dreams about moving to the Yatter Kingdom and never dealing with poverty or starvation again. When she’s nine, her mother becomes sick, and there really isn’t much if any medicine to be found in the poor areas. So Leopard gets the help of her neighbours and babysitters Voltkatze and Elephantus to head over to the Yatter Kingdom and ask for the Yatterman to save her mother. But you know they say you should never meet your heroes…
I am quite fascinated to see where this is going. The first episode was great, and a real tear-jerker, but considering what they’ve set out to do, I’m not sure if the show can keep a similar style? We will see.
Yuri Kuma Arashi [Dropped]
I read the first two chapters of the manga before I started the anime, and while I had heard that the anime and manga had completely different stories, I still wasn’t prepared for this.
Yuri Kuma Arashi is a very confusing show. There was a meteor shower, all the bears in the world suddenly became intelligent, and started eating people. A barrier has been set up between the bear world and the human world, but two bears have infiltrated the human world in disguise, and are looking for lesbians to eat, because lesbians apparently taste better? I don’t even know.
I will try to give it another episode or two to see if I understand it better, but first off this isn’t really as cute as the manga was, and secondly I’ve never liked the concept of sentient beings eating other sentient beings. No matter how cute either of them are.
Update: Having now looked at episode 2, I feel safe in saying this show is not for me, so I won’t be keeping up with it.
That should be it for the new shows. Not too bad of a crop, as there were only three shows I felt like I immediately had to drop after or during the first episode. I have a feeling things will be trimmed down further before the end though.
For the sake of completion, I will just quickly list all the sequel shows running this season.
- Aldnoah.Zero 2
- Dog Days 3
- Durarara!!x2 Shou
- JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken: Stardust Crusaders 2
- Kamisama Hajimemashita◎ 2
- Kuroko no Basket 3
- Shounen Hollywood: Holly Stage for 50
- Soukyuu no Fafner: Dead Aggressor – Exodus
- Tokyo Ghoul √A
There we go. Now I no longer feel like I’ve missed anything. Hopefully this whole mess is helpful to you in some way.