Anime Winter Season 2015 – Final Thoughts

Well here we are again. It’s always such a pleasure.

Sorry, I don’t get to make references very often. But yes! Time to do the wrap-up for the winter season of anime 2015. I won’t claim it’s been the most exciting season since I started doing this, but we’ve had some good ones.

Now since I posted my mid-season thoughts, there hasn’t been any new anime that I’ve caught, and you can still go to my early impressions to get a more complete list of everything that’s been running this season, so let’s just get into this.

Edit: Idolm@ster Cinderella Girls has now wrapped up, and I have added my thoughts on it.

Dropped Shows:

Since the mid-season post, I have only dropped a single show of the ones I was still watching then:

A crystal!

Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon: Crystal

While the first story arc did lose its lustre towards the end, the second story arc has really trumped it in being just utterly bad. I can’t stand watching this any longer. Even as a hate-watch it’s too much. It inspires more sadness and despair than it does anger.

Ongoing Shows:

It seems like most of the stuff I was still watching has wrapped up now, with a few exceptions.

I don't even know.

Anime de Wakaru Shinryounaika

This is still a really, really daft show. And I do sometimes question the veracity of some of their claims. But all in all, it still does a fairly good job as a PSA. Better than I expected, at least. And it really helps that it’s just five minutes long. It’s become a bit of a “what are they going to bring up this week” kind of deal.

Tentacles!

Ansatsu Kyoushitsu (TV)

This show has grown on me, honestly. Though it’s ostensibly about training high-schoolers to be assassins, it has a lot of heart. I still don’t really know where they’re going with it, but for now I’m interested enough to just go along with it.

I am not sure if all the “new assassin of the week” episodes are strictly necessary, and it’s certainly becoming a bit of a shtick, but they do use them well, for the most part.

Magical princesses are magical.

Go! Princess Precure

There is something almost refreshing about how guileless and non-complicated this show is. Puff is still the cutest thing ever, the three princesses are now united, and they’re all working on achieving their dreams. Haruka seems to work the hardest of them all, but honestly she also has the furthest to go. Though as she puts in the work and gets results, I feel like that’s a very positive message to send. Maybe they go a little overboard sometimes, but it’s a kiddie show.

I have since gathered that Pretty Cure is a very big franchise, with lots of shows aimed at kids, with lots of tie-in toys. I guess that explains why they basically have their own airing schedule. This stuff is worth billions of yen. But so long as the shows are as solid and positive as this one has been, I don’t really see the problem. Heck, I’d buy a plush Puff.

Finished Shows:

Matter-of-fact princess.

Akatsuki no Yona

Completed at 24 episodes.

While the end of the season definitely felt more like a “To Be Continued” than a proper wrap-up, I enjoyed my time with Yona and the gang. It doesn’t particularly stand out that much, but it’s a solid show.

As far as pseudo-historical dramas from a distant China goes, it’s probably the best I’ve seen. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it also being a harem show for a lady protagonist. I believe I’ve mentioned before that those tend to be significantly better than harems centred around a male protagonist.

Eeheeheeheehee! :D

Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu Love!

Completed at 12 episodes.

I really loved this show. In the end it wasn’t quite my favourite of the season, but it was still really good. The final episode was outright mind-blowing. Recommended if you want a bit of a riff on the magical girl genre, or you just like watching boys be kinda gay and dress in fabulous outfits. ❤

Definitely noms.

Bonjour♪ Koiaji Pâtisserie

Completed at 24 episodes.

Now that I’m done with the show, I do have to wonder if there was actually anything of any real substance in here. Maybe fitting that the show is about making sweets. It’s cute and harmless, and feels like it really wanted to be a 20-min show, but only got a 5-min slot. So it tries to pack all sorts of things into it, and it ends up feeling a bit rushed.

Still, it did seem like she got the true harem ending. 😉

All the death.

Death Parade

Completed at 12 episodes.

I can’t say that everything made sense by the end of the series, but this show was great. Excellent writing, great timing, lots of beautifully human moments, and in the end a rather powerful and different piece of work. This is all sounding really artsy and pretentious, I  realise that, but I don’t want to give too much away. It’s one to check out, but you will probably need a handful of episodes before you get a good feel for it.

One wolf, two wolf.

Garo: Honoo no Kokuin

Completed at 24 episodes.

Oh man, this show. Second half of the series went pretty much everywhere, and the final episode got so ridiculous it was hilarious.

Still, I didn’t have a bad time with it at all. It did a decent job at world-building, the action was usually easy to follow even when it went for spectacle, and the CG was… okay, at least. Okay enough action-romp with a couple of stand-out moments.

That's a lot of girls.

The iDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls

Completed at 13 episodes.

I will grant I have not watched a lot of idol shows. Basically only Love Live and Locodol. So I don’t have a lot to compare it to.

Even so, I had a good time with Cinderella Girls. I won’t say it had quite the same impact as Love Live, possibly because it had more characters to spread the screen-time over, but it was still well-done. Very down to earth, very heart-felt, maybe a few stumbles here and there, but all in all a solid delivery.

I enjoyed following the stories and trials of these girls as they’re aiming for their dreams. Though I do still think it might have been better with a slightly smaller cast, as some of the girls really didn’t get much development.

Fight-boats!

Kantai Collection: KanColle

Completed at 12 episodes.

Considering how little I’ve talked about what actually happens in this show, you would be excused for thinking I didn’t much care for it. However, it actually became one of my season favourites.

The Fight-boat war against the Abyssals is interesting enough and all, but what really held my attention was how gay it all was. In this world entirely comprised of girls, most of whom are also fight-boats, the show is quite open in showing that many of them are really gay for one-another. Open romantic interest, and the show isn’t shy about admitting it. And I just love it so much.

Series 1 ended with a message that series 2 is already in production, and I’m glad. While the story wasn’t the main draw for me, I do want to see where it’s going, and I’ll never pass up an opportunity to see more of the girls. Also, I think I’ve fallen for Yamato-san. Love at first sight, essentially. I am hopeless. She is so dreamy though…

Monsters everywhere!

Kiseijuu: Sei no Kakuritsu aka Parasyte: The Maxim

Completed at 24 episodes.

This show took a strange environmental bent at the end, and the final episode just felt like a weird sort of epilogue that you usually don’t get in anime. It kinda got a bit incoherent and seemed like it tried to overreach in its philosophy.

But it was still a pretty good show overall, so long as you don’t mind the gore and blood. I do wonder if they’re aiming for a sequel at all? They didn’t really leave any hooks in the finale that I noticed, and instead just wrapped things up fairly well. Even narrating things I don’t think Shinichi should have been able to know, but that’s okay. Giving the audience some closure isn’t a bad thing usually.

I’ve heard there’s more to the manga, but I don’t really see where things could go from here (at least not while staying good), and the show is definitely watchable as its own stand-alone thing.

Food lesbians.

Koufuku Graffiti

Completed at 12 episodes.

This show I also liked a lot, but in contrast to KanColle, I felt Koufuku Graffiti was not quite gay enough. Don’t get me wrong, I wish all the best for Tiny-chan and Ryou, and I think it’s virtually guaranteed that they’ll be getting married at some point, but when it came to the show itself, it seemed like it was afraid to actually go the distance. To hold back and just tease, instead of committing to the story it seemed to want to tell.

However, it’s still a very enjoyable watch, presuming that the odd camera angles and art direction don’t put you off. And be aware that the show is very good at making you hungry.

More Akatsuki, pls.

Log Horizon 2

Completed at 25 episodes.

I enjoyed series 2 a lot. There were a lot of curveballs thrown at us in terms of revealing bits of how the world worked, and learning who Roe 2 was was probably my favourite revelation. Again, like with series 1, the finale basically seems like a set-up for the next series rather than a wrapping up of the story, especially with how Shiroe just accepted that “quest”.

Biggest complaint: Still no big progress in the romance between Akatsuki and Shiroe. You are cruel to leave me hanging, Log Horizon! I’ll watch series 3 though, if it comes out.

More girls.

Rolling☆Girls

Completed at 12 episodes.

Strange from start to finish. I am not entirely convinced that they had the story-layout for the finale done by the time they started making the show, and it probably became a bit of “making it up as we go along”, yet they did manage to mostly tie everything together. I think. As I said, it was a bit confusing, and I am not entirely sure I got it. It might be a show that does better with repeat viewings. As it was, it felt a bit like a mix between Kyousougiga and Kino no Tabi, and that’s certainly not bad shows to be compared to.

Worth giving a look, but no guarantee you’ll like it. It has the raddest OP of the whole season, though.

The family.

Sanzoku no Musume Ronja

Completed at 26 episodes.

While as a whole the show had its ups and downs, I still think it was really interesting to see a Studio Ghibli adaptation of a Swedish book series for children. Plus it was nice to see the characters grow from start to finish. Not everyone grew as much, admittedly, and there was that really dark thing that happened just past the half-way point, but overall a fairly nice and relaxed show.

Also fairly good as a bit of insight into the sort of stories kids in Scandinavia grew up with some decades ago. It felt like a fairly true adaptation in that respect. I feel like there aren’t as many things like this any longer, but maybe that’s because I’m well into adulthood now.

Yap.

Sengoku Musou

Completed at 12 episodes.

I’ll admit I was amused at the start, but damn if this show doesn’t start dragging on. I do think it was worse after I learned how the actual history had gone, and I just had to sit through watching it play out. Unless you’re a Samurai Warriors fan, or really, really into the Sengoku Jidai part of Japanese history, it’s probably not worth watching.

Play that music!

Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso

Completed at 22 episodes.

I don’t think I have the words, really. This show is so good and so beautiful, and the ending was so heart-rending and so soul-shattering. I needed a whole day to recover afterwards, and I can still feel the ache.

If you want something emotional and great about the feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt that a lot of us struggle with, I don’t think you could do better. This is going to sound cliché, but it played me like a musical instrument, knew my every string and when to pluck them, knew which keys to press when. A masterpiece, and one I hope will be remembered.

Frantic!

SHIROBAKO

Completed at 24 episodes.

Best show. Hands down, best show. I know I just called Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso a masterpiece, and it is, but Shirobako is the best show.

If you have any interest in anime and how it’s made, you should watch it. If you have any interest in cute people, you should watch it. If you have any interest in things that are good, you should watch it. Bottom line, you should just watch it. Best show.

Girl detectives!

Tantei Kageki Milky Holmes TD

Completed at 12 episodes.

I don’t know. I don’t know how to describe this show. It is bizarre. I mean, looking it up now, apparently it’s a sort-of-sequel to a show called Tantei Opera Milky Holmes. Maybe that show explains more about what Toys are, because this show certainly doesn’t. I’m going to guess they’re like some sort of superpower. That seems the most logical conclusion.

This has been an absolute delight to watch though. The weird way in which it managed to string a curious “mystery of the week” series into an overall narrative while being incredibly weird, and still remain somewhat internally consistent, is commendable. Helped by the occasional knowing winks at the camera.

Also it made the penultimate episode feel like a finale, and then the actual finale was just bonkers, and I can’t confidently tell you what happened, because I’m not sure. But I was moved, and I’m glad I watched it. If you’re fine with things that don’t necessarily make sense, you might enjoy this show.

Skully!

Yoru no Yatterman

Completed at 12 episodes.

Man, I thought Yuri Kuma Arashi would easily stand uncontested as the biggest disappointment of the season, but then bloody Yoru no Yatterman sweeps in at episode 10 with the most inane plot twist that just kills every interesting prospect the show had going for it.

To its credit, it did a fair job in the finale of wrapping up the story it wanted to tell, it’s just that the story it wanted to tell was not very good. Especially not after the build-up it had been doing until then. Probably worth skipping.

And with that, we can put the winter season of 2015 to a rest. Next week I’ll have to start working on my first impressions for the spring season, after all. I’ve looked a bit at the blurbs, and I think we’re in for a couple of real stinkers, and I’m almost a little excited to see what sort of trash we’re getting. Something to really hate, that would be nice. To stir the passion of rage, rather than just make you feel sad and uncomfortable.

We’ll see! Take care, everyone.

~Wulf

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Posted on April 4, 2015, in Cartoons and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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