Anime Autumn Season 2015 – Early Impressions
The time has come for the final anime season of 2015: Autumn. Unlike Summer, there’s nothing to really indicate this will be as interesting a season as Summer was ( I said before I actually had watched that much ). The one stand-out is probably One Punch Man, which looks absolutely amazing so far.
Still, having a look-see at everything coming out tends to be an interesting adventure in and of itself, so here we are. For Summer I forgot to list the shows I wouldn’t be checking out, like sequels to stuff I hadn’t seen, but I’ll include a brief list of that for this season at the end.
Now as far as I know, the only thing launching later than the rest this season is the Pokémon XYZ anime, and I haven’t really decided yet whether I can even be arsed looking at that. I’m so far out of the age range of the Pokémon shows by now that I don’t really think they have anything for me any longer, so my opinion would be largely useless.
Note: I’ve not been able to find subs for Hidan no Aria AA or Kamisama Minarai: Himitsu no Cocotama. If that changes, I’ll add them to the list.
Edit: Hidan no Aria AA suddenly showed up, and I got to watch the first episode. Added impressions below.
Before we actually get into the list, I wanted to bring up a topic. There’s a certain type of anime that I’ve started to feel is almost its own genre, due to how many very similar ones there are of this type. I am talking about the kind of anime where the first episode typically includes a guy accidentally walking in on a girl in only her underwear, and it turns into an incident. Most likely there will also be an accidental boob grab somewhere in the episode. It’s usually in a school for super-powered/gifted teenagers of some sort. You probably have at least some idea of what I’m talking about.
While these shows vary in their depictions/tone from “haha, ecchi” to outright vile, there is a significant amount of shows that seem to follow this same template to a greater or lesser extent. Just while looking at the first dozen animes this season I ran into two of these things. I have no idea if this is an officially named genre, but I feel that it would be helpful to come up with a name for future reference. I was thinking something like: Teen-Wank. Yeah, that’ll do.
And also I should add: This season has had more shows than I expected to that fall into the “decent and/or interesting” category that makes me want to see a bit more. So I might have to be a bit harsher in my cuts than usual. We’ll see how much I feel I can manage.
Concluded at 12 episodes.
If we’re being perfectly honest, Kekkai Sensen has been a bit of a mess from start to finish. But personally I thought it was an entertaining mess.
The finale sheds some light on certain issues, and tries to wrap things up as best it can, while also leaving room for a sequel that honestly might never happen. There are plot threads that maybe should have been resolved here, but even though they extended the length to 46 minutes, there’s only so much they had time for. And they also had to tie it back into how the first episode opened, which I wonder if they now regret.
Still! The show has finally wrapped up its first series. Do I think it was worth three months of waiting? Not especially, but for those who didn’t follow along when it was airing, now might be a good time to give it a look. I’d say you need at least two episodes to get a proper feel for the show, but of course that’s ultimately up to you.
Ani Tore! EX [Dropped]
In a similar way to the pretty boys speaking softly to you to help you sleep from last season, this season has a short-form show where an anime girl talks directly to you and tries to teach you how to properly exercise. While also giving you a bit of a sexy display, and trying to insert some slice of life stuff.
It’s kinda cute, but I don’t think I’m gonna watch any more of it.
It’s a show about an alien robot that comes to Earth to learn how to dance better, where he meets a guy who doesn’t really care about dancing, but becomes a Magical Dancer ( like a Magical Girl, only with dance powers ) in union with the robot to solve cr- actually, to save his friend and collect… was it Dance Balls they called it? They look like small Dragon Balls, and have a chance of possessing people.
Obviously aimed at a pretty young demographic, I honestly didn’t expect to get much out of it, but ended up finding myself quite entertained. It’s a bit like Beyblade, but with dancing.
I think the best way to sum this one up is “better than I honestly expected”, but that seems to be a bit of a running theme this season.
In some fantasy future land, gem ores called Giftdium are the MacGuffin of the day, and everyone wants it. Main character gets hit by a pink comet that turns into a gem in his hand, which then combines with a bigger gem to form a little girl who can summon big robots. At least, that’s how I understood things.
I am interested in seeing a bit more.
Concrete Revolutio: Choujin Gensou
Aka Concrete Revolutio.
Clear front-runner for most bizarre anime this season. I kinda feel like this is trying to be the most anime of all anime, by including magical girls, superhumans, kaiju, aliens, robots, transforming robots, secret agencies, non-linear story-telling, etc and so on.
Even with hind-sight and reflection, I can’t confidently tell you what happened in the first episode. They kept flashing the date of incidents while hopping back and forth, maybe to try to lessen confusion, but they had made up their own calendar system that I had no context for understanding, so I was still lost.
I am not sure if I’ll stay with this one to the end, but I have a slight weakness for bizarre stuff, so I want to see a bit more, at least.
And before you ask, I have no idea where the N went.
Dance With Devils
I watched this one after High School Star Musical, which you’ll find further down the list, so I was even more surprised to find a second musical this season. I think there were three musical numbers in the first 10 minutes.
Now unlike High School Star Musical, this show has a much darker tone, and seems to involve black magic, vampires, cultists, vampire cultists, and possibly the literal devil. And outside of our main character and her friends, they all seem to be really pretty boys, so I have a feeling this might become somewhat of a reverse harem. I’m in for now.
Fushigi na Somera-chan [Dropped]
Aka Magical Somera-chan.
Gakusen Toshi Asterisk [Dropped]
Aka The Asterisk War: The Academy City on the Water.
The first of the Teen-Wank shows I ran into this season.
The story doesn’t really matter, does it? It’s about a school where super-powered teenagers go to learn, and to fight, and be an excuse for the show to do ecchi stuff with them. I nope’d out at the point where the accidental boob grab happened, a few minutes after the “walk in on girl in her underwear” scene had occurred.
If you like the Teen-Wank genre, it might be worth checking out, but maybe not.
Garo: Guren no Tsuki
Aka Garo: The Crimson Moon.
The second series of Garo, which seems only vaguely related to the first. Instead of being set in Unspecifiedistan, Europe, this one is set in historical Japan.
It’s the same premise with the Makai Knights and the Horrors, and I think there might be a couple of returning characters, but otherwise it’s a new cast in a new location. First episode was promising, though, and I liked the first series well enough. And there’s a really pretty lady in it.
Hacka Doll the Animation [Dropped]
Some absolute nonsense about personified AIs called “Hacka Dolls”, based on an app that helps you search for things and make recommendations, in the same vein as iOS’ Siri I suppose. The show revolves around three incompetent Hacka Dolls trying to prove themselves, and in the first episode they manifest into some poor woman’s home and make her life a living hell for a day.
I get this is probably going for the “clumsy humour” kind of thing, but personally I don’t find it funny in the least. Not gonna keep watching this one.
This is one of the few shows I actually made a note of when I was looking through the promos on the release list. It looked like it could actually be interesting.
Unfortunately that didn’t quite turn out to be true. I got really hung up in all the inaccuracies about how army life actually works, to a distracting degree. And how it insisted that a moose was a deer really annoyed me. And the pilot girl was walking around in the snow in her skin-tight pilot suit, which the show claimed had a system to regulate body temperature. Bullshit, if you ask me.
It doesn’t help that the design of the Objects is fairly unimpressive. They look more like weaponised bowling balls than anything. It also doesn’t help that the show is really insistent on making sure you notice the boobs of the women.
And since it is based on a light novel, the first episode is really exposition-heavy, and not in a particularly good way. I also noticed that Kadokawa were part of the opening credits, and with the exception of Overlord I have not ended up with a good impression of any shows they’ve backed. I believe I called it the “Kadokawa curse” last season. They have an astounding track record of backing shows that have interesting premises, but fall short on the execution.
With all that said, I am willing to give the show another episode or two to see how it develops. It might just have had a rough start due to needing to fit so much into the opening episode, and maybe it will turn into the GATE of this season or something. At least we can hope.
Hidan no Aria AA
Aka Aria the Scarlet Ammo Double A.
I will admit that when looking at the promo stuff for this show, my initial thought was “is this going to be a crime drama version of Madoka Magica?” After looking at the first episode, I am not so sure about the crime drama part.
Hidan no Aria AA is set in a world where young girls and boys ( let’s be honest here, the show is likely going to be 99% about the girls ) are trained to be “butei”, which apparently means “armed detectives”. So they’re sent to a school where they wear bullet-proof uniforms, and always carry guns. Insert your own thoughts about all the ways this could go wrong.
The main character is a young girl called Akari who’s in the first year at Butei High. She absolutely idolises Aria, a second-year who’s one of the best in the school ( there was a show called just Hidan no Aria 4 years back, but this is more of a side story than a sequel ), and Akari wants to become exactly like Aria. To the point where she applies to be Aria’s amica, which seems to be a sort of understudy/apprentice/assistant kind of deal.
I really can’t shake the feeling that this is going to turn really dark at some unspecified point. The first episode was fairly tame with regards to tone. Aria was in several gunfights, and while she did indeed seem to shoot a man at some point, every on-screen shot always seemed to hit their weapons. But I’m suspicious, thinking that the show might be luring me into a false sense of security. Eventually, maybe even starting in the next episode, I’m expecting young girls to get murdered, and deep trauma all around. I guess we’ll see whether I’m worried about nothing or not. I’d like to hope so. I really would.
High School Star Musical
No relation to the Disney thing.
This is looking like it might be the most yaoi-prone show this season. It seems like it’s an all-boys school, and there’s so much gay tension between certain characters that I’ll be more surprised if they don’t end up banging.
In spite of the name, I didn’t actually expect this to be a musical. I’ve not really heard of anime musicals, unless you count idol shows. But this, this is a musical. People are liable to break out in song and dance at the slightest provocation. And the first episode was just amazing. Unless it completely falls apart later on, I have a feeling I’ll be sticking with this one to the end.
Hokuto no Ken – Ichigo Aji [Dropped]
Aka Fist of the North Star – Strawberry Flavoured.
A strange comedic spin-off of Fist of the North Star, where everyone goes to a high school where no fun is allowed. I don’t even know. I’m going to gently put this in the “not for me” bin, and hope it doesn’t explode or anything.
Itoshi no Muco
Aka Lovely Muco.
Muco is a dog. Muco is not terribly bright, but she’s very cute. She lives in the middle of nowhere with her owner Komatsu-san, who is a glass-blower.
While the art-style is a little weird, this seems like a nice, relaxing show to keep on your list, and the episodes are only half the length of those of a regular show.
JK Meshi [Dropped]
Short-form show with bad animation that looks like the sort of puppet-like stuff you’d get in Flash animation. It’s also really dull. No point wasting your time with.
K – Return of Kings [Dropped]
This purports to be a modern-day Japan where history turned out a bit different, and now seven super-powered Kings exist with their respective clans of more or less super-powered members.
Considering almost all the guys are really bishounen, I expect this show to generate quite a lot of yaoi fan-art. I was actually thinking this could be an interesting one for a few minutes, but then… well…
The art-style of the show is rather messy, making it hard to follow what is going on in the fight scenes, and it seems like the fight scenes are going to be a big part of the show, so that’s a bit unfortunate.
Now, the bigger problem for me, and I admit this is entirely subjective, is that while there are countless guys in these clans, we have seen a total of three women. One of which is a little girl. The other prominent woman in the first episode is really treated like eye-candy by the camera angles. Focusing on her butt, knickers, the exaggerated bounce of her boobs, and a scene of ripping her clothes so that almost everything spills out. Why would a big-boobed woman wear a bra, eh? I think her butt got more screen-time than her face. Her boobs definitely did. I’m not interested in watching stuff for that, so I’ll leave this one be.
A curious horror mystery show about strange monsters that appear and attack people in present day. I thought maybe it would be something like a Japanese X-Files, and that might not be too far from the mark. We’ll see as it goes on.
This is another short show, with 8-min episodes. The art-style is peculiar, but works well with the tone of the show. It was a lot more suspenseful and tense than I had honestly expected. Will be interested to see how this one develops, and what the deal with Professor Banba is.
Kido Senshi Gundam: Tekketsu no Orphans
Aka Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans.
Since I started doing this last year, this is actually the fourth Gundam show I’ve given a punt. The first was Build Fighters Try, which I think is still the most boring anime I’ve ever tried watching. Second we had Reconquista in G, or something like that, which was just… meh. Third was Gundam Origins, I think they called it? From which I walked away going “did I just watch a feature about how Space-Hitler was right?”
So what about Iron-Blooded Orphans, then? It’s all right. It’s definitely the most appealing one of these I’ve seen so far, so I’d like to check out a couple more episodes to get a better feel for it.
We’re again at half past the future, and Mars has been terraformed and colonised. There is now a push for Mars to gain independence from the Earth Sphere, since the Earth rule is kinda harsh towards them. And of course there’s push-back from people who’d rather all this talk of independence would just go away. So conflict ensues! Because the story demands it.
Komori-san wa Kotowarenai [Dropped]
Komori-san is a cute girl who everyone turns to for help, and she can’t say no to any of their requests.
It is super short-form though, only two mins per episode, so the first episode was only barely able to establish the premise, and that Komori-san two most prominent features besides her helpfulness is: 1) Is really tall, and 2) Has huge boobs.
Even with its shortness, I don’t think I’ll bother keeping up with this one. Too much more interesting stuff.
Lance N’ Masques [Dropped]
Right, so there’s some tit who’s an aspiring knight. He goes around rescuing girls and women from various dangers while wielding a lance and wearing a mask, hence the title. After he’s rescued them he goes into this really awkward spiel that includes calling the girl/woman “my lady” and kissing the back of her hand. Even if she’s a very young girl. I only lasted until the second time he started doing this. I really don’t have time for this sort of nonsense.
One Punch Man
Excellent adaptation of the anime, well worth watching.
For those who have never heard about One Punch Man, it started as a manga about a guy who trained himself up to become the strongest human in the world, and now he can just end every fight with a single punch. Hence the title. He finds this really boring. There’s nothing to be afraid of, and nothing more to strive for, and aside from ending the occasional threat that ends up in his neighbourhood, he’s not sure what to do with his life now. So he starts looking for something to make him excited again. Or at least something that will put up a good fight.
The other side of things is that practically no one really knows just how strong he is. He doesn’t care about being in the spotlight, and often he’s gone before people even realise he was there. He doesn’t care about building a reputation, or anything like that. And whenever someone does discover how strong he is, and asks how he became that way, they don’t believe him when he tells them he just trained intensively for three years.
I don’t think you need to have read the manga to watch the anime, far from it. The art is clean, it tells the story as well as the manga did, the fight-scenes are spectacular and easy to follow. Very easy recommendation for this season.
Onsen Yousei Hakone-chan
Short-form show about a cute little spirit who’s the master/guardian of a hot spring. While she’s actually quite old, she has lain dormant for so long that her powers have been reduced to the point where she can only appear as a little girl.
Seems like it could be a cute one, but it also has certain indications it might be pushing the ecchi a little hard. Though since it’s so short, maybe I’ll be able to put up with it.
Ore ga Ojousama Gakkou ni “Shomin Sample” Toshite Gets♥Sareta Ken [Dropped]
Aka Shomin Sample.
Fuck this show. Seriously. A guy is kidnapped by a squad of muscle men and brought to an all-girls school where he’s told he’ll be attending from now on to help the girls be better prepared for life outside school. It’s a secret school for noble girls, and apparently a lot of the girls experience something like culture shock when exposed to daily life after graduating.
One guy in an all-girls school. Yeah. But it’s okay! Or so they think. See, one of his childhood friends, when interviewed, thought it would be funny to tell the people from the school that he’s gay, and has a muscle fetish. To which the guy replies “no no, I’m normal”. Screw this show. At which point he’s told that if he’s not gay, they’ll have to make him a eunuch to let him stay in school, to protect the girls’ purity, or he’ll have to move somewhere remote so he can’t give up the secret of the school.
So he quickly decides that it would be best to pretend he’s gay. That’s as far as I got.
They had a chance here. If they had truly made it a gay male protagonist, this could have turned into an interesting deconstruction or something like that. But no. Just another Teen-Wank, and this one more despicable than most.
Owari no Seraph: Nagoya Kessen-hen
Aka Seraph of the End: Battle in Nagoya.
The second series has started already, and I have a feeling I’ll stay with it. At least for a while. I’m really just here for Shinoa. She’s still my favourite character of 2015. She deserves a better show. At least the first episode had several good Shinoa scenes.
Unfortunately the rest of the show is not as interesting as it wants to be. I mean… maybe S2 will improve on S1, but with them releasing so closely to one another, I’m not going to hold my breath.
I clued in a little too late that this was part of -Monogatari series, as I haven’t actually watched Bakemonogatari or Nisemongatari or so on. Though even without having seen those, I found the first episode of Owarimonogatari thoroughly fascinating and intriguing, if a little confusing. I still want to keep watching, and I’ll try to fit in time to watch the earlier shows as well for more context.
A big part of why I enjoyed this show even without the context of the earlier shows is that Ougi seems amazing. I have no idea what she actually is, but I do know that she seems quite inhuman. At a guess, I’d say something like a snake god or spider god. I’m sure -Monogatari fans are snickering at me.
Peeping Life TV: S1 [Dropped]
The OP for this show is pretty wild, actually. It made me hyped. Then she show started in earnest, and it turned out to be really boring. Just two badly animated characters having a dull conversation. Someone said it’s an improv comedy kinda thing, but it wasn’t actually funny, in my opinion. Your mileage may vary.
Rakudai Kishi no Eiyuutan [Dropped]
The second Teen-Wank show I ran into. This one seems to revolve around an exceptionally skilled foreign exchange princess, and a guy known at the school as the Worst One.
Though… and it might sound weird coming from me… as far as these shows go, this one actually seems like one of the better examples? Okay, it had the “accidental walk in on girl in underwear” thing early on, and the “you must die now” follow-up, but outside of that it seemed to be pretty good, for a Teen-Wank show.
I mean, it’s still a Teen-Wank show, so I’m not going to watch it, but if you do like this genre, then this seems like a pretty solid entry.
Sakurako-san no Ashimoto ni wa Shitai ga Umatteiru
Aka Beautiful Bones – Sakurako’s Investigation.
This is… have you seen the TV show Bones? This is pretty much that, only anime-fied. A woman completely uninterested in social interaction has a real appreciation, you might even say love, for all sorts of bones. Together with her friend/pupil/assistant/whatever Shoutarou she regularly goes on trips to look for skeletal remains, and the two of them have a knack for finding human remains on pretty all of their expeditions.
Sakurako does bear a lot of similarities to Brennan from Bones, and there’s even been official crossover art between the two shows, so I have a feeling the similarities are deliberate.
I really enjoy mystery shows, so I hope I continue to like this one.
Shin Atashin’chi [Dropped]
Cute little slice of life show about fish-mom and her family. Though personally I never really felt it got beyond “it’s okay”, and with so much else to watch, I’m cutting this from my line-up. I do think it’s worth giving a look, though. If you like that kind of thing.
Shingeki! Kyojin Chuugakkou [Dropped]
Aka Attack on Titan: Junior High
What can I even say about this one? It’s a chibi version of Attack on Titan, where everyone goes to Junior High. Even the Titans. And instead of eating people, the Titans steal their lunchboxes and eat those.
It’s nonsense, it’s not as funny as it thinks it is, and it feels like fanfiction. While I am slightly tempted to keep watching just to see what they’ll do with it, I think I’m better off leaving it alone.
Subete ga F ni Naru
Aka Everything Becomes F: The Perfect Insider.
A very philosophical show that seems to want to tackle the intricacies of humanity and existence. Who am I? Where am I from? Where am I going? Feels far more high-brow than your average anime, I’ll say that. Seems actually mature. So far.
See, this is another noitaminA show. And of the ones I’ve seen so far from these guys, they have an interesting premise, work it well for a while, then fall apart somewhere at the mid-point and spiral into mediocrity.
It’s also interesting to see how similar the art-style is to Zankyuu no Terror, even if it makes total sense. The main guy looks a lot like one of the main guys from ZnT. We’ll see how this one turns out. While it raises interesting topics, I wouldn’t say the execution of their exploration was quite nailed in the first episode.
Taimadou Gakuen 35 Shiken Shoutai [Dropped]
Aka AntiMagic Academy 35th Test Platoon.
In a world where regular people and magic users fight a war with extermination at stake, anime found fit to make another Teen-Wank show. I feel the tags say it all: Action, Ecchi, Fantasy, Harem, Military, Romance, Supernatural.
I don’t think I even lasted five minutes. I stopped at the point where one girl was dressed like a playboy bunny on a table, while another girl was filming her, and the guy walked in on them and his reaction was “not this again”, then the bunny started assaulting him, so he felt forced to compliment her body.
Tantei Team KZ Jiken Note
It’s not as good as Milky Holmes, though what could be? Milky Holmes set a new standard for detective shows for me.
Still, the first episode was pretty cute, and it is a short-form show, so I’d like another couple of episodes before I decide.
Utawarerumono: Itsuwari no Kamen
Aka Utawarerumono: The False Faces.
A man walks out into a snow-covered mountain-scape wearing only what looks like hospital clothes. After walking in a daze for a bit, he regains his senses, just in time to start running from a giant centipede monster. He’s rescued by cat-girl Kuon, and when she asks for his name, he realises he doesn’t actually remember anything at all, not even his name. She takes him to a nearby village where they try to figure out what to do with him.
I read beforehand that this was based on a visual novel, so I honestly wasn’t expecting much of anything from this. But it caught my attention. It has enough interesting spins on things, and the characters seem decent enough, so I’m willing to keep watching this one for now. It helps that Kuon is adorable, as well. She may be smol, but she’s quite strong.
Valkyrie Drive: Mermaid
Considering how much I tend to tear into ecchi shows, it seems people are getting the impression that I just don’t like sexual stuff. Which really isn’t true. What I object to is the clumsy, immature way in which most anime handles “sexy” stuff. Accidentally walking in on someone in their underwear, accidentally walking into the wrong bath, accidental boob-gropings, the way the camera and characters leer at the women in the show, how rape is often treated as “funny”, all under the pretence of not being about that at all.
Along comes Valkyrie Drive, which doesn’t bother having any pretence. It is quite upfront about how it’s a softcore porn show in which gay girls are all over eachother. And it’s actually consensual couples that perform sex acts. Which makes a big difference.
The conceit is that special girls find eachother, and become a couple consisting of one Liberator and one Ecsta. I’m not sure which is which yet, but one turns into a weapon for the other when brought to orgasm. It does stick to softcore, or it probably wouldn’t be part of the official release line-up. It has no problem showing boobs, butts, or the heavy petting that’s part of sex acts, but it makes sure to always leave crotches covered no matter the situation, and I don’t think actual touching of the crotch is shown either, even on the outside of clothes.
I found the whole show pretty cute, actually. While obviously a bit silly, it’s just harmless, fun, sexy times. I didn’t get that awkward, cringy feeling that I get from most ecchi shows. There’s a whole different attitude and tone to the entire thing, and it’s honestly pretty damn sexy.
Young Black Jack [Dropped]
A story about an unlicensed surgeon who’s exceptionally skilled. I’ve always been iffy on doctor/hospital shows, as I can’t stand to watch people get operated on. Especially watching a scalpel cut into flesh *shudder*
Still, as this was animated, I figured maybe I could put up with it. However, as the episode went on, I could feel my interest gradually draining. At the point where he said he could save a boy, but demanded five million in payment for it was the point where I didn’t care about going on. I’m not particularly interested in super-greedy and cocky protagonists. Capitalism can go fuck itself.
Aikatsu! 4: Sequel.
Ame-Iro Cocoa: Rainy Color e Youkoso!: While I watched the first series, I didn’t like it enough to care about the sequel.
Cardfight!! Vanguard G: Gears Crisis-Hen: Sequel to Cardfight!! Vanguard G.
Diabolik Lovers More,Blood: Sequel to Diabolik Lovers.
Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka??: Sequel to Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka? Yes, they just added another question mark.
Haikyuu!! 2: Sequel.
Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo R 2: Sequel.
Miss Monochrome: The Animation 3: Sequel.
Noragami Aragato: Sequel to Noragami.
Pokémon XY & Z: Can’t be arsed.
Osomatsu-san: Sequel to a manga I haven’t read.
Shinmai Maou no Testament BURST: S2 of Shinmai Maou no Testament, to which I say: Nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope.
Soukyuu no Fafner: Exodus 2: Sequel.
Teekyuu 6: Sequel.
World Trigger: Isekai Kara no Toubousha: Sequel (?) to World Trigger.
Yuru Yuri S3: Not watched the first two series yet. Might pick up later.
I think that’s it for this season’s first impressions. I have probably missed something. Now to see what I’ll actually be sticking with. You’ll get that update when we reach the mid-season thoughts. For now! I hope this will prove helpful to you.