Anime Spring Season 2015 – Early Impressions

Spring season is upon us, and as I am starting this post, most shows have aired their first episode, and I’ve gotten to watch most of them.

While this doesn’t seem to be the most exciting season, things are a little complicated with how I’ve found a handful of shows that although I am not going to watch them, I can see how they could hold merit to someone else. So I will try to convey that as best I can.

Now as of this writing, I believe I’m only missing Grisaia no Meikyuu and Grisaia no Rakuen, the follow-ups to Grisaia no Kajitsu ( I got through the first show, so I’m damn well going to try here too ), and Yamadakun to Nananin no Majo. ( And anything that might pop up partway into the season.) I will edit those in once they’re out.

Update: Apparently the second season of Knights of Sidonia is starting this weekend. Guess I’ll have to look at that eventually.

Edit: I believe I have now watched everything, and can finalise this post. If I haven’t, I’m saving anything else for the mid-season update. Added: Grisaia no Meikyuu / Grisaia no Rakuen, Ninja Slayer, Knights of Sidonia S2, and Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches.

Nothing I really feel the need to explicitly warn people away from this time, so at least that’s something. Let’s just get to the list.

Five guys and a dog.

Ame-iro Cocoa

At only two minutes per episode length, and the first half-minute being taken up by the OP, there’s really not a lot of impression to get from just one episode. I mean, it seems cute and harmless enough, so I’ll probably keep watching.

As far as I can tell, that blond guy got hired to work at this café because everyone thought he looked like a girl. I don’t know. Will need more episodes to figure this one out.

Doom and gloom.

Arslan Senki [Dropped]

Basically nothing much happens in the first episode. It’s very dull. I can see how this might have potential to grow into something interesting, as it follows the life of Prince Arslan from a young age, and then time-skips forward to see how he’s doing every so often.

But right now I just have to confess that it didn’t grab me, and there’s enough shows that were more immediately interesting that I don’t feel any great need to stick with shows that *might* become good.

Cuties.

Danna ga Nani o Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken 2-sure-me

It’s back! The weird little anime about two married dorks just figuring out life together. They’re still married, and they’re still dorks. The show is still cute.

If you liked the first season, you’ll probably like this one, though they seem to changed their art-style a bit. If you haven’t watched the first season, it won’t take you long. It’s only five minutes per episode.

Baka.

Denpa Kyoushi [Dropped]

This is the first of the shows I felt rather conflicted about. I don’t want to watch this. That’s simple enough.

But I can also see how people without my particular hang-ups might really like this show. A smart, but unmotivated (and insufferable) guy is pressured into becoming a teacher, ends up helping a student, finds he has a liking for teaching anyway.

Personally I don’t really like the methods this show uses, even if I have some sympathy for the message. And the main character just really grates on me, and I was hoping it would be about him learning to be less of a prick, but instead it seems like he’s being lauded for it.

Granted, maybe he mellows in later episodes, but it was such a pain getting through the first one, that I just don’t want to put in the effort. Maybe if there was absolutely nothing else to watch.

I tried...

Dungeon ni Deai o Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka? [Dropped]

Aka Danmachi, aka Is It Wrong To Try To Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon.

Though I was fairly sure by the title alone that this would be trash, I did try my best to give it a chance. But with about five minutes left on the episode, I couldn’t any longer. It’s garbage.

Almost. So very close.

Etotama [Dropped]

It is possible that I lost my patience too early with this one.

Apparently it’s about the anime-girl versions of constellations from the Chinese Zodiac, and the Cat, who was denied by the Rat, but is still trying to join to this day.

So… she pops up through the main-guy’s floor and licks his face, and continues to harass him for no stated reason, and I just got the feeling of “this is going to be a harem show, and I just don’t care any longer”.

I did notice it was not tagged with “harem”, but it’s one guy and many girls. I don’t feel like it’s an entirely unfair conclusion to jump to. I figured miss Cat would be the main character, but nope, it’s a random guy, and that says all I need to know, really.

Trying so hard to be fierce.

Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works 2nd Season

Right. I said I would watch this, and I am going to try my best. You probably shouldn’t. It’s not that good.

I am mostly watching for comparison purposes with the original show, which was dreadful. Yet I got through it during a bored weekend (it got better once the first half was done). And on that basis, it is going in vastly different directions from the first one. I have not played the VN, nor do I plan to, even though I’m sure it’s better than any of the animes.

Guns.And girls.

Grisaia no Meikyuu/Grisaia no Rakuen [Dropped]

I had every intention of watching my way through both the Meikyuu special and the second series Rakuen, but when it was pissing about with Yuuji’s memories of how his sister wanted to fuck him, I just felt I couldn’t take this. I am even questioning how I lasted through series 1 of this. I must have been in a different mind-space.

Maybe this is still a thing for you, and that’s okay. But as I am currently, I can’t deal with this.

Lotsa people! How many will die, I wonder?

Gunslinger Stratos: The Animation

This one has my interest, I’ll say.

While the first episode was mainly about establishing the setting and getting some introductions out of the way, it does veer into a weird place in the final minutes which hints that there’s more going on than meets the eye. So I’m interested to see where it’s going with it.

A friend referred to this as Trumpet Lesbians.

Hibike! Euphonium

Aka Sound Euphonium.

Look, it’s an anime about music and cute girls who may or may not be gay. That basically ticks all the boxes for me, and the first episode showed that blend of cuteness and true human vulnerability that tickles many of my fancies. So it’s going to take something extraordinarily dreadful for me to stop watching this one.

Hats!

Houkago no Pleiades

It’s a magical girl show themed around the car manufacturer Subaru. What else can I say?

Okay okay, it’s not that simple, I know. First episode was… strange. There was a scene that made me laugh so hard I hurt my throat (even though it wasn’t that funny), there might be some gayness between Subaru and Aoi, they have magical sticks that make vroom vroom noises when they fly, their boss is an alien blob, and a villainous type of a guy who seems more gruff than actually evil showed up.

I don’t know, but for now I’m on board.

Crazy eyes.

Kekkai Sensen

Comedy of the season. Unintentional comedy, yes, but it’s damn funny nonetheless.

Ostensibly a supernatural action show where New York has become a border-zone between Earth and some Cthulhian dimension, it presents itself so over-the-top that I can’t help but laugh. It’s amazing. I really hope it keeps it up.

Goast.

Koukaku Kidoutai Arise: Alternative Architecture

Goast.

Aka Ghost In The Shell Arise: Alternative Architecture.

It’s been so many years since I saw the GitS movie, that I remember very little. I gather this takes place before the original movie. I think this is set in 2027, while the movie is 2029.

It’s the cyber-future, and people seem to have gotten a distinction between their self ‘the Ghost’ and their body/bodies ‘the Machine’. At least that’s how I understand it. Cyber-terrorists are using hacks and viruses to alter people’s memories and perceptions, and it’s up to the heroes to stop them. Knowing this sort of thing, it’s going to get real complicated real fast.

Goast.

Is that a vampire?

Kyoukai no Rinne

My initial instinct is to describe this as “what if Bleach was less serious and more colourful”.

Main girl Sakura has had the power to see ghosts since she was a child, and in her class she runs into Rinne. Rinne is a Shinigami, whose job it is to help wayward spirits cross over and join the wheel of reincarnation. He has a cape that turns him into a spirit, but Rinne can still see him, of course. They end up entangled in the supernatural business together, partly because while he has the skills, she has the money needed for the various supernatural implements.

I’m not sure what the show is trying to say by putting a monetary value on the peace of the afterlife, but maybe that will become clearer later. It seems heartfelt and harmless enough that I’m willing to see where it’s going.

*shiver*

Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha ViVid [Dropped]

Yes, I am aware that this is a sequel show. The fourth in line, even. But a friend told me it seemed like it had enough exposition that it was fine to just jump into things.

And I am sure that this is a fine show, except… I really can’t get over how it sexualises 10-year-olds. Seriously, Vivio’s transformation into her “grown-up form” was thoroughly disturbing. She’s still 10! Giving her a body fit for an 18-20-year-old just makes it worse!

Again, if you don’t have this particular hang-up for whatever reason (I won’t judge), I’m sure it’s a perfectly good show to watch. But I can’t. I just can’t.

People!

Mikagura Gakuen Kumikyoku

Oh wow, is this show gay. Well, specifically its protagonist. Which is actually a little strange to me, regarding the general Japanese attitude to homosexuality. It’s a mixed-gender show, seeming to have a fairly equal representation of male and female main characters, yet Eruna is so overwhelmingly gay it’s amazing. She is all about the ladies. All about them. All day. Every day.

Sure, she might have been allowed into Xavier’s School for Gifted Mutants or something, but she’s not going to stop chasing that booty, oh no. In fact, she wants to hoard them all.

Biggest problem to her ambitions is that her general attitude towards schoolwork (and possibly any work) is the same as that of Konata from Lucky Star. She’s rather play videogames, slack off and be a pervert.

So yeah, I’m on board, if only to see if Eruna actually manages to get a date with anyone. While she’s a wizard at dating sims, she seems less apt when it comes to dealing with actual human beings.

Cuties.

Nagato Yuki-chan no Shoushitsu

Aka The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan.

Yes, this is a spin-off of Haruhi. No, it’s not really similar. It’s more or less the same characters. In this world I believe they’re all regular human beings, like in that movie they did.

And it’s 100% adorable. Nagato is so cute and adorable, and Asakura is like her big sister/mother, and Kyon is just there being himself, basically. I’d say he’s the one who’s changed the least. (Other characters have only made token appearances so far.)

It might not be the revival of the Suzumiya Haruhi series that some people were hoping for, but I’m happy with all these cutiepies.

Ninjas! Ninjas everywhere!

Ninja Slayer

This didn’t even appear on any of my lists, but it does have the Studio Trigger name attached to it, so of course it still reached me.

Now, I went into this basically having heard only bad things. Nothing specific, just that it wasn’t supposed to be very good. And I could immediately see why people would have a WTF reaction to it.

They decided to do it in a 4:3 aspect ratio. In 2015. Most of it is barely animated, either with what looks like cardboard cut-outs being moved across a background, or a few repeating stills being shot such that they appear to have movement. And the explosion effect (fairly certain there is only one) looks like stock footage from the 90s.

The story is laughably simple, with a man who has his family killed by ninjas being saved from death by a mysterious anti-ninja, who grants the man a chance at revenge by becoming Ninja Slayer, the ninja who kills ninjas!

Yet for all that… there is something charmingly earnest about it. It’s like someone wanted to do an anime inspired by the original Mortal Kombat from 1992, and dialed the ham up to 11. I think I like it.

So many feels.

Ore Monogatari!!

I don’t know what I expected from this, but it was certainly not what I got.

Takeo is a freshman in high school, but he’s a giant. At least 2 metres tall, and wide as a door, he has a frightful appearance, but a heart of gold. And he’s used to most of the girls he has a crush on falling for his best friend Sunakawa, who in turn isn’t really interested in returning anyone’s feelings.

Then Takeo stops a molester on a train, which is how they run into Yamato, a tiny girl who also has a heart of gold, and who clearly gets a crush on poor Takeo. Who unfortunately is so dense, and used to all attention going to Sunakawa, that he fails to pick up on it. And Sunakawa also seems like he might be noticing this one girl in particular.

This could go either way, depending on how far they plan to stretch the love triangle, but I have a dear friend who’s a big fan of the manga, so I’m allowing myself to be hopeful. I will save the manga for now. I’d like to be surprised by the anime.

Vampires everywhere!

Owari no Seraph

This might be the darkest show of the season. We will see.

A virus kills every human on Earth above the age of 13, and vampires secure all the children under their ‘protection’. They keep them in underground cities, where the kids essentially function as cattle.

A group of kids try to escape, but most of them are killed in the process. Only one escapes, and is met by other humans on the outside (maybe the vampires lied!), who say they want to train him as a vampire hunter. Then there’s a 4-year time-skip, and the episode ends. So I’m not sure where exactly it’s going from here. The preview for episode 2 was… odd.

I guess I’ll give it a few more episodes before I decide if it’s worth following to the end.

I don't know.

Plastic Memories

It’s half past the future, and androids are now being made so well that they basically look and function like humans. It’s a bit like a less dark and dystopian Blade Runner.

The one major thing left separating androids from humans is that they have a set shelf life. Their “artificial souls” start to disappear after 81 920 hours, or roughly 9 years and 4 months. After that their memories and personality disintegrate, and things get ugly (apparently).

With that in mind a reclamation agency called the Terminal Service has been established, in which humans and androids work together to collect androids near their expiration date.

Okay enough set-up, but I remain highly sceptical, mainly for two reasons. 1) The show starts with the main guy saying he had a ‘love at first sight’ experience with the main android girl. 2) The show has a serious problem with tone, not really knowing how to transition between serious time, slap-stick humour, heart-felt moments and pee jokes. Unless the creators learn quickly, I’m not sure I’ll be sticking around until the end of this one.

No.

Punch Line [Dropped]

No. Just… no. I made it to the OP. There’s a 6-7 minute long segment before that. During which I had lost all heart.

The main gimmick seems to be that main guy gets superpowers when he sees a girl’s underwear. So there are a lot of panty shots here. And the description says something about how if he sees too many panties, humanity will be destroyed… I just… I can’t. I can’t deal with this. I don’t find this kind of thing funny in the least.

If you do, or if you are willing/able to overlook all the daft panty-shot stuff, this might be a cool show. I am fine with never finding out.

Cuties.

Re-Kan!

If I understood the first episode right, this is about a budding romance between a kind girl who can see ghosts, and a tsundere girl who doesn’t want to believe in this stuff. But she’s already developed a crush, so she finds it hard to stay away from ghost-girl.

At least that’s my interpretation. Maybe it’s not as gay as I’m hoping, but you can’t kill that hope!

Nope.

Shokugeki no Souma [Dropped]

Hahahahahahaha, no. Nope nope nope. Nooooooo. Definitely not.

I nope’d out at the implied tentacle rape. This is like if someone made a not-good version of Koufuku Graffiti, and look, they did it by turning it hetero rather than homo. I don’t know why, but anime seems to have this problem when it comes to portraying hetero desires vs homo desires, where it often makes the hetero stuff really creepy, while the homo stuff is much more relatable and heart-felt, it’s just that they tend to hold back since Japan’s attitudes towards homosexuality aren’t great.

On that tangent, I’ve yet to see a single hint of boy-on-boy romance for this season. (I mean, maybe Ame-iro Cocoa will go there?) But yeah, don’t watch this show.

Pink space princess.

Sidonia no Kishi: Daikyuu Wakusei Seneki

Aka Knights of Sidonia S2.

I swear it hasn’t been that long since I watched series 1, and yet I was still surprised by how this show looks. It did slowly come back to me. The nearly robotic way their mouths move when they’re talking. The weird way their skin looks so pristine when everything else looks appropriately worn.

And then I had to slowly remember just what had been going on and who was who while I was watching the episode, and I started to remember why I thought this setting was kinda neat the first time around. Like, people can just choose to be biologically gender-neutral in this future. And to conserve resources, they mutated to be able to photosynthesise.

And then the pink space princess with the energy lance shows up, and now everything seems turned upside down!

Cuties.

Show By Rock!!

I have this show on my gay list for the season, but I will admit it’s the best candidate for that being entirely hopeful.

But yeah, cute girls, music, and possible gayness. All the boxes ticked. It helps that the show is just amazing. It’s probably the one I’ll be bugging most people to watch this season.

At first I thought it was just going to be like a more rock version of K-On, but then it ended up taking a sharp left at the corner of Strangeness and Anthropomorphic Animals.

Please watch, for me. ❤

I knew it.

Triage X [Dropped]

Oh for fuck’s sake…

I mean, I had a pretty good idea this was going to be trash from the promo image alone, but it seems entirely obsessed with the molestation of women. I highly doubt this is worth your time, no matter what you’re into.

Cute girls.

Urawa no Usagi-chan

It’s a five-minute show, and there really wasn’t much of an impression to get from episode 1. There are cute girls, they go to school.

Out of curiosity I looked at the synopsis, and it says: “An original anime to advertise Urawa City in Saitama, Japan.” So it’s a thing to boost tourism? Get people to move there?

It’s only five minutes, so I’ll probably keep watching just because the girls are cute.

Dull dull dull.

Vampire Holmes [Dropped]

It’s about a useless version of Sherlock Holmes who still somehow solves cases, and it’s so absolutely, dreadfully boring. It’s so dull. Even though it’s just 5-min episodes, I don’t want to. I don’t want to see a single one more. Not a one. Just… throw it on the trash heap.

Poor Yamada-kun, pushed all the way to the back.

Yamadakun to Nananin no Majo

Aka Yamada-Kun and the Seven Witches.

My stance on harem shows should be well-established by now, so I went into this fully expecting it to be awful. Or at least that I’d hate it, which for me would be the same thing. And when it was introducing the main character in the first few minutes, it really did seem like it was going that way. Based on his first impression, I really hated him and his attitude.

But then… but then… I don’t even know. The conceit of the show is that some people have magical powers based on kissing. Yamada’s power is switching bodies. And by accident of falling down some stairs, he accidentally touches lips with Shiraishi, a calm and pretty girl who’s an honour student at the school, and they swap bodies. And then it kinda… just… gets good.

I am not yet at the point where I can really say why it’s good. It’s taken something I typically dislike, and made it into something I ended up liking a lot. There’s a panty-shot when Yamada as Shiraishi round-house kicks some idiots, and I don’t mind. Yamada at one point goes into the bathroom to get a better look, and… I don’t mind. Yamada being a really bad actor. Shiraishi taking everything with remarkable calm.

I’m sure part of the reason is that the characters feel pretty strong straight out the gate. There aren’t really any blank slates for people to project themselves into. The facial animation is amazing. Yamada is especially emotive and expressive, even when he’s in Shiraishi’s body. Neither of them really decides to mishandle the other, even though they both admit they couldn’t help take a look.

I think that for all the anime tropes, they feel like people, and decent people at that. The show is well-acted, well-drawn, and well-directed. It also helps that we get to see boys kissing, twice, in the first episode. Thank you, anime, I’ve been waiting for this for years.

Sequel Shows I Don’t Plan To Watch

I will admit I’m unsure of some of these, but unless anyone convinces me otherwise, I’m not going to plan to see them on my own.

Baby Steps 2

Diamond no Ace: Second Season

Digimon Adventure tri.

Duel Masters VSR

Gintama°

Hello!! Kiniro Mosaic

High School DxD BorN

Kaitou Joker 2

Lupin III (2015)

Nisekoi:

Nyuru Nyuru!! Kakusen-kun 2

Takamiya Nasuno Desu!

Teekyuu 4

Tesagure! Bukatsu-mono: Spin-off Puru Purun Sharumu to Asobou

Uta no☆Prince-sama♪ Maji Love Revolutions

Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru. Zoku

And there we go! That should be it, for now. Still a few things to edit in later, and hopefully I won’t forget to delete this sentence when I do. :3

I do feel kinda regretful about dropping Etotama, because I really wanted to like that show. Maybe I’ll give it another shot at a later date. Maybe…

~Wulf

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Posted on April 11, 2015, in Cartoons and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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