Anime Summer Season 2016 – Early Impressions

The Summer season has started, and I believe I have watched everything that’s coming out. More or less. I might have missed something, especially among the shorts, but I did my best to compare the release list with what I actually watched.

My general impression so far: Not as strong as Spring, but definitely not as weak as I thought it might be. A lot of stuff that seems to be at least alright, if not necessarily good. I’m sure it’ll have its audience.

I’ve fallen into the habit of mentally dividing the shows into Yes, No, and Maybe, so I figured I’m going to reflect that more clearly this time. At least as a trial thing. Anything I mark as Maybe is something I might look more into if I have the time or hear good things, even if they technically count as dropped right now. The list will likely feature a lot of Maybes.

Oh, and as a heads-up! This season seems to be really gay. Seems to be a lot of shows that involve boy-boy or girl-girl. Personally I consider this a good thing, but your mileage may vary. How much of it is just baiting/teasing is hard to say yet.

Starting Up

Drama!

91 Days

This is the third season in a row we’ve had an interesting period-piece in the roster.

The setting is Italy (I think) during prohibition. Which I believe means it’s set in the 1920s, though if an exact year was stated, I missed it. The mafia control more or less everything, and the main character, Avilio, has his family killed due to the power-struggle after the Don at the time is killed. Avilio barely manages to escape, and leaves town.

7 years later he receives a letter containing a photo of his younger brother who died alongside his parents. This prompts Avilio to return to his hometown in order to exact revenge, and he turns to his old friend Colteo for help.

I’m really digging the set-up for this, and I hope it manages to stay interesting!

Gah, too cute!

Amaama to Inazuma

Aka Sweetness and Lightning.

This is the sweetest thing, I swear. This might genuinely kill me.

Kouhei is a single dad looking after his daughter Tsumugi, who I think is still in preschool. She is certainly quite young. Tsumugi’s mother died six months prior, and Kouhei hasn’t found a way of breaking the news to his daughter. She just thinks her mother is away on a trip.

Damn it, I can’t even write about this without starting to cry. Even with the tragedy of this set-up, Kouhei is doing his best, and the bond between him and Tsumugi is deep and strong. It is so cute and sweet, and my heart can’t handle this, but I’m going to keep watching. This could be how I die.

Merlesbians.

Amanchu!

Hikari is an energetic girl who loves scuba diving, and is about to start high school. Futaba is a shy girl who has just moved to the area, and she is also about to start high school. The two have a girl-meets-girl moment on the first day of school, and based on the OP I assume Hikari is going to introduce Futaba to scuba-diving.

It is really cute and funny ( those faces they pull ), and it promises lesbians, so it’s already hitting most of my buttons.

Eehh?

Ange Vierge [Maybe]

I was genuinely hoping this would be better.

In an alternate world clearly based on Norse myth, the Rainbow Bridge- excuse me, that Halo went haywire and connected all five worlds directly, with no easy option available to close the connection again. A force known as Ouroboros seems to be the culprit, and is trying to draw all five worlds together so they will destroy each other.

After the connection is established, girls from all five worlds start to discover that special powers dubbed Exceed are awakening within them, and they are recruited to become Progress agents to fight the Ouroboros and prevent the five worlds from merging.

The show has ecchi elements in that the girls are often shown in various states of undress, but with conveniently placed steam clouds and light beams obscuring their busts and crotches. Being the pervert that I am, I did try to see if an uncensored version was available, but that might be reserved for the later disc release in a cynical bid to sell more copies.

I like the set-up, and the characters seem fun enough. I also like nude girls. And I like the idea that the reason the main girl has a lightsabre as her weapon is because her power is to control light, and she’s just such a big nerd. She doesn’t exactly have a winning personality, though.

My problem with the first episode was that somehow they managed to make it not that interesting to watch. A bit lacking in execution. The fight at the start was decent enough, maybe a little hard to follow, but after that they were just hanging around in the baths and talking for quite a while. I get the titillation factor of it, but beyond that it was not a very interesting thing to watch, and the conversations were mostly fluff. The only thing really established is that the main girl wants to get stronger and go up in rank, and she thinks the rest of her team doesn’t.

My problem with the fight scenes they showed is that they feel like they focus on spectacle over clarity, which can make it a little hard to tell what is actually going on. Not very hard, but it could use some improvement.

I was kinda hoping that it would be good enough to give me a proper reason to keep watching it beyond just titillation. As it is, I merely thought it was alright. I might still go back to it later. I am easy enough to manipulate that this is near the very top of my maybe pile, and it’s likely to be among the first I pick back up if I get the time.

Before you ask: Yes, I’m largely shameless.

I think they have a vampire.

B-Project: Kodou*Ambitious

I admit: As soon as I realised what this was, I became immediately sceptical. I’ve not really been impressed with male idol shows so far, so I didn’t expect much from this one. But it won me over.

The protagonist here is Tsubasa: a girl who has been more or less scouted by the talent company behind these idol groups to become their new A&R. I forget what A&R stands for, but I believe her job is to manage the groups, help them grow their potential and careers, and be a middle-man between the artists and the company.

Tsubasa’s problem is that this is her first day, she doesn’t really know the relevant technical terms for the job, her previous job was working at a music store, and everyone seems to just expect her to learn on the job. She does display a certain something that I feel is probably the reason she was hired, but she is in over her head here. Still, her first day somehow works out, so maybe it’s not all hopeless?

I was worried when we were immediately introduced to 10 idols, but helpfully they’re divided into three groups who only occasionally perform together. So while Tsubasa is the A&R for all of them, it seems like at least to begin with she is only going to be dealing with one group at a time. Which will help us viewers get to learn to know the characters gradually.

I also just think Tsubasa is a very compelling and relatable character, and I want to cheer for her.

Please to not eat.

Bananya

A cute, short show about cats that are also bananas. Or bananas that are also cats. I’m not sure what more there is to say aside from: Of course I’m going to watch it.

Awful.

Berserk [Dropped]

I’m not sure it’s entirely fair to label this as “generic dark fantasy” considering that the manga was probably one of the originators of that genre, but by today’s standards it really is generic dark fantasy.

It’s a dark, dark world, so grim and edgy, where almost everyone is an amoral asshole, monsters can be found everywhere, and death is frequent and abrupt. Rape is just an everyday occurrence. You can really tell it’s from the late-80s/early-90s. Very of its time. Which I don’t feel translates that well into today’s culture.

Though I’m sure that if it was competently handled, they might have made a decent adaptation. However, there are two further problems. One I’ve seen, and one I’ve been told about.

The latter is that apparently they’re trying to condense the story too much, putting too much of the manga into one episode, and making a mess of it. Having not read the manga, I can only rely on the word of those who have.

The former and more evident problem is that the animation is shit. It’s some sort of ugly CG animation that flows about as smoothly as a rock-slide. It looks like it’s running at 12 FPS rather than 24. It’s a little nauseating, to be honest. Really undermining the whole artstyle the manga got known for. Sucks for Berserk fans, I’m sure.

Grimdark has seen enough of a resurgence that I’m sure this thing will still find an audience, but I’m not going to be watching any more of it. And personally I’m glad Dark Souls only took visual inspiration from Berserk. Popular culture from the early 90s is something best left alone. I grew up with that shit. I learned better.

They're back!

Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu LOVE! LOVE!

Aka Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE! LOVE!

I am still a little unsure about a second season of Magical Boys. It feels like S1 ended pretty definitively, and there wasn’t really much more to milk out of the idea.

Yet it’s back. The old antagonists are now friends, but they’re leaving the country to… I believe it was they were going to study abroad for a year or so.

A couple of new antagonists are quick on the scene, and the first thing the first new monster does is destroy the boys’ transformation bracelets. However, Wombat returns just in time to give them all new bracelets, which feature new transformation sequences and slightly updated costumes. Wombat also claims they’re more powerful, but I assume the monsters will have grown to match, so we won’t really notice a difference.

It does seem like there’s still some meat on the bone here, so I’m willing to keep watching for now. I did grow quite fond of S1 after all, and it doesn’t seem to be taking itself any more seriously this time around.

Could be good.

Cheer Danshi!!

Aka Cheer Boys.

Haruki used to be a judo practitioner alongside his sister Haruko until he hurt his shoulder. They come from a family that own a judo dojo, so naturally the parents signed up both of their kids for it. Until Haruki hurts his shoulder and has to sit on the sideline.

It turns out that Haruki was actually relieved to be injured, because he didn’t really want to do judo. He just felt it was expected of him. While he holds a lot of admiration for his sister and her skill, he doesn’t think it’s something for him.

When Haruki finally works up the courage to go quit the judo club, it turns out his friend Kazumi had just done the same. Kazumi says he quit because the only reason he joined was due to Haruki inviting him, and now he has a different plan in mind. They’re going to become cheerleaders! Kazumi wants to form an all-male cheerleading team for their school, and almost immediately they manage to recruit a slightly strange boy called Wataru. Whom I think I love already, help.

I enjoyed the first episode a lot, and I hope the show keeps it up!

I think they also have a vampire.

D.Gray-man Hallow [Dropped]

This is quite good actually.

It’s set in what I assume is the 1800s in England. A bunch of people with supernatural powers are fighting against a force of evil out to destroy humanity.

I thought it was a pretty good episode, but the reason I dropped it is that I learned shortly after watching that it’s a sequel. I have not watched the original D.Gray-man, and I don’t really have time to catch up now, especially since it’s 103 episodes. I’m not sure it’s 100% necessary to have watched it, since they do seem to be trying to fill in the gaps a bit, but to me it doesn’t feel right to watch just the sequel.

If you have watched the prequel, or you don’t care about that, then I’d say it’s probably worth checking out.

So dull.

Days (TV) [Dropped]

Aka DAYS.

It’s a sports anime about football, where the main dude is drawn in a way that makes it look like he’s from a different anime. He knows nothing about how to play football, but he gets invited to do so anyway, and dear gods is it boring.

I got about halfway into the episode before I was so bored out of my mind that I couldn’t watch any more. I couldn’t find anything that engaged me. Maybe it’ll work better on you, but I can’t recommend this one.

Definitely gay.

Fudanshi Koukou Seikatsu

Aka The Highschool Life of a Fudanshi.

A short show about a guy who describes himself as a fudanshi. Which apparently means a boy who likes boy/boy romance stories, also known as yaoi or BL. The male counterpart to fujoshi, which apparently is the term for girls who like yaoi/BL.

He says this doesn’t make him gay, which I admit confuses me. This could be cultural ignorance, as I don’t really know the full context of fudanshi or fujoshi. I know someone once told me that it doesn’t really fit into our western view of straight/gay/bi/etc, and I know that I’m pan and like both boy/boy and girl/girl stories when they’re done well.

It’s only 3 mins long though, and it’s intriguing enough that I don’t mind watching more of it. Maybe I’ll learn something.

The fuzzball is cute.

Fukigen ga Monokean

Aka The Morose Mononokean.

Ashiya is a kid with a kind heart who picks up a youkai he thinks is a stuffed toy, and it ends up attaching itself to him. Whatever he tries, he can’t get it to detach from him, and he quickly realises that no one else can see it. It’s also draining him of his energy as it gradually grows bigger. If it hadn’t been for what we saw in the OP, I would have thought the thing was slowly trying to kill him like some sort of energy vampire.

Ashiya ends up spending the first week of his high school life in the nurse’s office, as the youkai drains all energy from him by the time he reaches school. He ends up stumbling across a spirit medium called Abeno, and after butting heads a bit, they manage to sort out the misunderstanding. The fuzzball of a youkai was just really lonely, and when it realised that Ashiya could see it, it immediately glomped onto him, desperate for any attention, even if it was Ashiya trying to fight it off.

Still having a kind heart, Ashiya makes up with the fuzzball, and helps Abeno get it ready to be sent into the afterlife where it can meet other youkai and no longer be lonely. Then Abeno hands him the bill, which of course Ashiya can’t afford, so he’ll have to work it off as Abeno’s assistant.

Judging by the OP, there’s going to be a fair bit of the story set in the afterlife where Ashiya reunites with the fuzzball. I suppose we’ll just have to see how accurate that is. It seems cute and fun, and possibly a bit heart-breaking, so I’m going to stick with at least a little bit longer. Hard to fully judge on just one episode.

Meta'd itself into the ground.

Handa-kun [Dropped]

It seems to be an anime about an anime? Kinda? It’s weird. It’s weird, and not as funny or interesting as it thinks it is.

Apparently the titular Handa-kun is the same Handa from Barakamon, only back when he was in high school. I liked Barakamon. I do not particularly like this.

As I recall, it did take me a few episodes to get into Barakamon, but I don’t feel like extending the same courtesy to this, because Handa is so dense it’s not funny. And his fan-club is exasperating.

Whyyyyyyyyy

Hatsukoi Monster [Dropped]

Aka First Love Monster.

Why? Why did they make this? Why did they think it was a good idea?

That girl there is the main character. She’s in high school. She experiences her first love when the guy in front saves her from being run over. The problem is that this tall bishounen with his tall bishounen friends… they’re in elementary school. 5th grade. She still says yes to being his girlfriend. Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

Definitely has zombies.

Hitori no Shita: The Outcast [Maybe]

So there’s zombies, and superpowers, and grave robbers, and occult shit, and a main character who goes to college, and a strange girl who behaves like emotions and morals only apply to other people.

To be honest, the first episode was a tad overwhelming, and as such failed to be truly engaging, which is why I’m putting it in the maybe pile. I guess it’s interesting that it’s based in China and based on Chinese mythology. It’s probably one of those that has to grow on you a bit, but as I keep saying I don’t really have the time to spare right now.

nonononononopenopenopenope

Kono Bijutsubu ni wa Mondai ga Aru! [DROPPED]

Aka This Art Club Has a Problem!

A very apt title, though I’m not sure it was intended in the way I’m thinking. This whole show has problems.

It started off innocently enough, with a girl and a boy who are members of an art club, but it slowly escalated into creepy territory. I hit my limit when they showed a close-up of a zoomed-in photo of the girl’s panties in all its “glory”. 1) It was taken against her will. 2) She’s in middle school, you fucks! 3) Fuck you.

Just… no. Fuck off. The whole anime industry has problems.

New cuties!

Love Live! Sunshine!!

There is a new Love Live, and I am so hyped! I loved the first show through S1 and S2, and adored the movie.

This time there’s a new school, new girls, and a new motivation, but basically the same set-up otherwise. It’s again nine girls, and the main girl Chika ( who looks enough like Honoka ) is trying hard to get the idol club going while butting heads with the student council president who is not in favour of the idea. Though we know from the OP that the SCP is going to join in on the idoling as well.

Having just seen one episode it’s hard to say for sure, but it seems like the girls roughly fit into the same roles as the μ’s girls, but they aren’t just the same personalities in new bodies. Even from the little I’ve seen they already feel distinct. Everyone seems to love Yohane, and it’s not hard to see why, but personally I was more taken with Ruby. And there’s still two I haven’t even seen anything of yet!

It’s cute, funny, and charming, and the few songs I’ve heard so far seem pretty good! So I’m expecting a lot of feelings to happen.

Least sexy porn.

Masou Gakuen HxH [Dropped]

Aka Hybrid x Heart Magias Academy Ataraxia.

This is ostensibly an erotic show in the vein of Valkyrie Drive, only here it’s a guy who has to make the girls climax to charge up their battle power. There is of course both a censored and an uncensored version, and I opted to look at the latter.

I say ostensibly because this is the least erotic and least sexy thing pretending to be porn I have seen in a long time. There is no excitement here, the guy doesn’t seem into it in the least, his inner monologue is not helping, and the girls’ acting seems forced. I’ll grant it’s been a while since I’ve watched much vanilla straight porn, but surely it’s not always this un-sexy? And it’s not like the non-porn bits make for worth-while watching either.

I do my best to refrain from kink-shaming anyone so long as they’re not hurting anyone, but if this is the sort of thing you’re into, I have to question your level of imagination. There is far better stuff out there.

Not my thing.

Mob Psycho 100 [Dropped]

Curious show about a psychic kid called Mob, and the fake psychic who has taken the role of his sensei to help further his own business.

The show clearly has some admiration for One Punch Man. Fake-sensei has Saitama as his phone wallpaper, Mob kinda looks like if you put hair on Saitama, and he “kills” spirits in a single psychic blow.

It seems fine. It’s not really my kind of thing, but if it’s yours I’m sure you’ll have a decent time with it.

Cuter than it has any right to be.

Momokuri

Apparently this was a 26-episode ONA with 12 min episodes that is now being rebroadcast as a “regular show” with two episodes melded together per new episode. I know, I was confused at first too.

I feel a little bad for how much I already like this show, because the plot here is that the girl ended up stalking the boy after having a love-at-first-sight moment with him. She is a year older, I think, and she now knows basically everything about him. She is clearly obsessive. The show starts with her confessing to him and asking for them to go out, which he accepts, though in subsequent flashbacks it turns out she had been stalking him for quite a while before that.

Even when they’re together she can’t really stop her stalker behaviour, even though she doesn’t want him to find out. She claims she can’t help herself because he is too cute.

As stalking is an inherently creepy and bad thing, I do feel a bit bad that I still think this whole thing is really cute. She is just so shy, and he is so sweet, and despite what she’s doing she manages to pull off seeming quite innocent in her own way at the same time.

I know it’s in part because of context and traditional societal roles, because if the roles were reversed I know I would feel very differently. I have also accepted that in spite of my mixed feelings, I’m just going to end up watching this anyway. I am bad.

Nope.

Nejimaki Seirei Senki: Tenkyou no Alderamin [Dropped]

Aka Alderamin on the Sky.

I watched up until there was an extended scene of our “hero” inappropriately touching a woman he had just met. It just went on and on and on, until I refused to watch a second longer.

I don’t care if the rest of the anime turns out to be the greatest work ever produced; I refuse to watch any more of this shit. “It gets better later” is only a valid argument if it never gets too bad to begin with.

Cute lesbian devs.

New Game!

Oh my sweet bbs, my precious daughters, my adorable lesbian game devs, I love you all. This is a good show. Full of goodness. And lesbians.

Somehow time travel?

Orange

The show opens with some friends from high school 10 years later digging up a time capsule they buried back in school.

Then the show hops back to those school days, except somehow one of the girls, Naho, has received a letter from herself 10 years into the future. Clearly some shenanigans are afoot, but Naho is quickly convinced of the letter’s veracity as it accurately describes the events unfolding as she would have written them in her diary herself. Only with some minor deviations, and certain advice added on, because her future self says she has so many regrets. “Please don’t do as I did.”

She receives this letter on the same day as an exchange student arrives, a boy named Kakeru, who is assigned the seat next to her. There seems to be an immediate spark between the two of them, even if neither necessarily notices at the time. She neglects to follow the first piece of advice, and as events then play out exactly as described, she decides to try to follow the other advice. Even though it turns out to be easier said than done.

In spite of the fantastical nature of a letter from the future, this seems like the most grounded show this season. Things play out in what I would call a fairly realistic manner. While I have no idea how the letter got sent, I do feel like I have sussed out the “twist” of why it was sent. Though it wasn’t exactly that subtle, so maybe it’s not fair to call it a twist. I shall be more surprised if I’m wrong than if I’m right.

Might also have a vampire?

Ozmafia!! [Dropped]

This is a weird short show about an ostensibly normal kid who transfers to a weird school with weird teachers. One of whom accuses him of being a spy and tries to kill him, while another might be a vampire. And the weird art does not make it look like they are adults. It’s all weird, and I don’t like it.

My heart.

Planetarian: Chiisana Hoshi no Yume

Aka Planetarian: The Reverie of a Little Planet.

I think this is an OVA or ONA or whatever the correct term might be, so I don’t know what the release schedule will be for this one.

But the first episode I thought was really good. It’s set 30 years after humanity failed to start the space age, and a war broke out that has left humanity in tatters. Biological weapons left cities dead and abandoned, and only scavengers go into the Sarcophagus Cities now, looking for any sealed rations, weapons, ammunition, or anything else worth taking for the sake of survival.

One of the scavengers is being hunted through the city by the roaming military robots who long ago were set to guard the city against intruders. He manages to hide in a department store. There is not much worth scavenging, but he comes across a robot girl named Yumemi. She was made over 30 years ago to help run the planetarium on the top floor, but her creators had to abandon her when the city got targeted for attack.

She seems to be oblivious to what has happened, and she still believes her creators and the others who worked in the building will come back as they promised. She doesn’t know why everyone has gone, and I’m not sure she understands enough to even be worried. She has just been doing her job diligently, waiting for someone to come. And then someone did.

Almost like Pokemon, I guess.

Puzzle and Dragons Cross [Maybe]

I have not played Puzzle and Dragons, so I have no idea if this accurately represents the game in any way. I mean, they still match balls. It gives their dragons power boosts.

And I think these Dragon Callers ( I think that was the name ) can fuse with their dragon companions to wear them as dragon armour? That wasn’t actually shown in the first ep, only in the OP they played at the end. I know, I know, it’s a first episode thing. Lots of animes like doing it that way.

Anyways, it seems okay enough. There’s dragons in all sorts of shapes and sizes, there’s a kid who seems like he might be the very best, like no one ever was. It’s just that it’s clearly aimed at the 10-13 year-old demographic, so I don’t really feel a huge drive to watch more of it. But it’s also pleasant enough that I wouldn’t really mind watching more. Which is why I gave it a tentative maybe. It’s not my first choice if I was to pick anything from the pile.

Not quite what I expected.

Qualidea Code [Maybe]

Okay, the first episode didn’t really explain too much about what has happened, but here’s what I pieced together from what was shown and inferred, mixed with some guesswork and speculation.

Aliens came and made a solid attempt at wiping out humanity, so the humans put all the children they could into cryosleep to hopefully wake up in a world where we won, or where they could at least rebuild.

Fast-forward to at least a decade after the kids woke up, and the world is a very different place. First off, a lot of the kids have acquired a power they simply call The World, which is essentially superpowers. They use these both to fight off incursions by the “Unknown” as they’ve come to call them, and to rebuild as best they can.

They are split into three cities in terms of defence: Tokyo handles the air, Kanagawa handles the sea, and Chiba handles the ground. Any one of them can deal with small incursions, but for the big ones they have to cooperate. Which is easier said than done. There’s a lot of rivalry between the three cities, especially since those who take part in the fighting are ranked based on their results in battle. In-fighting in order to steal kills and such is not uncommon.

It is also not helped by the fact that the head of Tokyo, our “hero” Ichiya, as an absolute asshole who can’t get along with anyone, and doesn’t really care about anyone except his childhood friend Canaria. He keeps insisting that “I’m all we need”, and spares little thought or civility for any of the people from the other cities, and even tries to discourage his own citizens from joining the fight, because “I’m all we need”. Thankfully Canaria is more diplomatic, but she is only second-in-command, and I think she’s too loyal to usurp Ichiya.

What I expected from this: more or less by-the-book teen-wank. What I got: not that. In fact, it has yet to show any signs of being a teen-wank beyond how big of an asshole the protagonist is. It should not be understated that he is a monumental asshole and a jerk.

But I still found myself really liking the dynamic between him and Canaria. He is a bit gruff in how he talks to her, but it’s blindingly obvious that he really cares about her. And not in a romantic way, I think. He’s not creeping on her or anything. He just seems to have gotten really good at anticipating what she needs even before she knows it herself. When she starts coughing because she ate something too hot, he has a bottle of water ready for her right away. When she can’t find something, he knows where she left it, or he has a replacement ready. He knows her. She knows him. At times they nearly seem to function as one, and I don’t think I’ve seen its like in anime.

There are also other characters who seem pretty cool, like the head of Kanagawa. She is small in stature, but she is wearing what is probably the absolutely biggest admiral’s jacket she could find as a cloak.

Unfortunately main jerk’s attitude towards anyone else does get rather grating. In retrospect I think I see his motivations, but he is such an absolute ass that I just want to shake some sense into him. It overwhelms the rest of the episode, which is why I ended up putting it in the maybe pile. I kinda want to see more, but I’m not going to make it the highest priority right now.

Cute, gay, and a little awesome.

Regalia – The Three Sacred Stars

I ended up really liking this one, but when I try to think of how to describe it, I’m not sure where to start.

I guess where the show starts: The country of Rimguard. Some shit is going down as mechs ( known here as Regalia Gear ) battle each other. One of them seems like it is possessed by demons, and inside shots show that the mechs are all piloted by little girls. Which is curious, and stuff later in the episode does seem to say that being a little girl is not necessary for being a mech pilot. So I’m still not really sure what was going on at the start.

Shit ends up really going down, and a curious shockwave spreads out over the whole city, and in its wake it turns out that all the people have vanished. Nothing is damaged: the buildings, machines, items, food, and so on, they’re all left behind intact. There’s just no people left.

Then we cut to 12 years later, in the Enestrea Empire, where sisters Rena and Yui are living together, and seeming a bit closer than you might expect from sisters. They’re getting ready in the morning, as Yui has to go to school. While Rena is a lot smaller than Yui, she is still the older sister.  I’d say more or less all of this is explained later in the episode. Except perhaps what school Yui goes to.

I’m not going to say much more except that I thought it was really cool when mechs showed up again. Perhaps I’m just easy to please. Looking forward to seeing more of this one.

I can't

ReLIFE [Dropped]

ReLIFE is a weird one, because it dropped all 13 episodes of the series in one batch onto Crunchy. I don’t know why.

So there’s this guy who is 27 years old who can’t find a job, and is facing having to become homeless. It’s not really for lack of trying, he apparently regularly has interviews, he just has no luck with them, in part because he quit his first job after three months. I know enough about Japan’s job culture and the idea of company loyalty that even I understand that’s basically career suicide.

Being at the end of his rope, and his parents just having cut him off ( which I believe is their way of making him work harder, fucking baby-boomers ), a strange man suddenly approaches him. The man clearly knows too much about him, but the offer of a year of all expenses paid, with a possible permanent job afterwards, all for just taking part in an experiment… it becomes too much to outright say no to in his current situation.

Turns out the experiment is that they want him to take a pill that will make him look 17 again, and then attend high school for a year. This is where I started getting really weirded out. He’s still 27! He just looks 17! It’s too weird! I don’t like it! I lasted a few minutes into his first day of school before I nope’d out. I can’t deal with this.

Possibly has vampires.

Rewrite

Okay, to begin with I was quite sceptical of Rewrite. I mean, you have one guy, many girls, all of whom seem to fall into some familiar archetype. At that point you do start to feel like you know what is coming.

But it had already started a bit strange, with him dreaming that he found a goth girl from the moon underneath a large tree, and she murdered him with her magical ribbons. I think of her as the Goth Senshi. It seems she has the power to turn invisible and to an extent control reality, and she keeps coming into his bedroom at night in order to bite him on the arm. He thinks he’s being haunted. It’s all really weird.

Then there’s his childhood friend Kotori, who is amazing, and I wish she was actually the main character instead. The two of them have a curious relationship, though it does seem like they’re just friends, and there’s no unrequited love or anything there. I hope.

And more girls show up, all of which seem to be strange in some manner. And it turns out the guy might not be completely normal himself. And there are garbage fairies. I got so pulled in by everything that I honestly didn’t even notice it was a double-length episode.

I should have noticed, considering so much stuff happened, but afterwards I honestly thought I had just watched a regular 24-min episode. I didn’t notice until I saw someone talking about it being double-length, and then I went back to check. So I’m going to watch some more of this, if only to try to get some answers. Maybe this will turn into just some bullshit harem or teen-wank soon, but for now it has my attention.

What are those things on his head?

Saiki Kusuo no Ψ-nan [Maybe]

Aka The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.

Okay. Saiki is a psychic, with a vast array of special powers. This has not really made his life easy, because it took him a while to understand he shouldn’t use his powers openly. So his childhood was fraught with misunderstandings and incidents. It doesn’t help that his parents are weird.

So now he’s trying his best to just live a normal life, at school and outside school, but the world is not making it easy for him.

I liked the first episode. Especially the bit with Teruhashi was amazing. I love her. I want her to be my friend. The reason I ended up listing it as a maybe is that I don’t know if this joke has any more legs to stand on. As a one-off thing, this was funny. As a whole series I don’t know. So I’m putting this as maybe, for now.

I think they misspelled 'Scarred'.

Scared Rider Xechs [Dropped]

This title really confused me, until I heard them pronounce it as “Scarred”. And the red ranger guy has a scar on his hand. I genuinely think they misspelled the title. Because I didn’t see any evidence that any of the characters are scared of anything, not even the main guy.

I probably tipped my hand when I said “red ranger”, because I feel like this is heavily inspired by the Super Sentai/Power Rangers franchise.

They have a blue one, a yellow one, a pink one, a purple one, and of course a red one. With the future promise of a white one. They have almost identical suits. Their weapons are very sentai-like. They were fighting mud monsters before a bigger threat arrived. There was no giant robot summoning though. At least, not quite.

So the story goes that this girl, who is possibly the most patriotic Dutch citizen, arrives at the base where they have these Riders as they’re called ( they do have motorbikes ), and she’s supposed to be their new instructor. That’s the first half of the episode more or less. The second half is about how there might be an attack, but that one guy can’t be part of the standby, because he isn’t able to transform like the others. Then the attack happens, and he charges in anyway, and manages to transform when he finds a girl he wants to protect.

It might sound okay when I describe it, but my immediate reaction after watching this was “that was bad”. And it was bad. It just felt like it was all over the place, I hate the purple guy, things didn’t make sense, any conflict between characters felt pointless, I really hate the purple guy, why was red’s inability to transform even a plot point, and I just… struggle to find the right words. It was a mess. And I hate the purple guy.

Definitely has vampires!

Servamp [Maybe]

This one definitely has vampires. Quite a lot of them, I think. Vampires that transform into largely harmless things when too weak or exposed to the sun.

Right, so we have the main dude. Mahiru I think. He says he likes simple things, and hates troublesome things. Though his idea of what is simple and what is troublesome seems to me a little… unorthodox.

Regardless, he ends up picking up a stray cat he finds and bringing it home. As it’s a black cat, he decides to name it Kuro. I guess he has a simple imagination as well.

Kid goes to school, then comes back to find a catboy watching his TV and eating his snacks. Kid freaks out, and it’s soon shown that the catboy is actually the cat, but in vampire form. Who could have guessed, huh? They accidentally form a contract ( that’s why the show is called Servamp, get it? Don’t worry, they’ll spell it out later if you don’t ), but Kuro says it’s only for 24 hours so long as he doesn’t drink the kid’s blood. Kuro has no intention of doing this, since that would only lead to trouble he doesn’t want.

Not long after they run into a rather ostentatious vampire who starts attacking people because 1) he wants attention, 2) he wants to kill the kittypire, and 3) he just likes killing in general. Kid forces kittypire to drink his blood in order to power him up enough to fight the pinkpire, and they make short work of him. At which point pinkpire turns into a stuffed toy, does some exposition, and the kid passes out.

It seems alright, but nothing I have a particular urge to watch more of.

Yes.

Show By Rock!! Short!!

Even with the lacklustre final couple of episodes, I really liked Show By Rock, and I’m up for some silly shorts about the girls.

By the numbers.

Taboo Tattoo [Maybe]

I feel like I can already see exactly where this is going.

There’s the heroic kid with a streak of justice. There’s his childhood friend what has big boobs that the animators like to make bounce. Heroic kid gets granted a special power. He is found by a bad-ass action girl that also has power like his. She is a super-trained military officer who knows the ins and outs of using her powers. Heroic kid is a complete noob. But! Heroic kid has a potential beyond anyone else! So bad-ass action girl has to train him to be better than her, so he can save the world or whatever. Because it’s definitely not a task she could handle.

It also can’t decide on a tone, hopping between life-or-death hardcore action, silly comedy, and cutesy appeal with only awkward transitions at best. Which I feel just turns it into one of those jack-of-all-trades situations where it does none of it particularly well. Character motivations seem to largely work on the “what the plot needs” level rather than any sense of consistency.

This could be the most by-the-book show this season. Unless it somehow mixes things up in the following episodes. I gave it a tentative maybe, as I kinda want to see whether or not I’m right, but it’s more or less at the bottom of the pile.

Who knows.

Tales of Zestiria the X

Shortly before I started writing this, I noticed they had changed the numbering on the episodes for this, and what I watched was the ep 00 Prologue. So maybe I should have watched the actual ep 01 before writing my impressions, but I feel like the prologue did a good enough job of establishing the setting. Heck, it made me want to watch more, so that’s a point in its favour.

The prologue focuses on the Princess of the realm: Alisha. A dark and ominous mist has appeared on the outskirts of the realm, and she sends one of her trusted knights, Clemm, to investigate the area. The Princess has to prepare for the Holy Sword Festival, where attendants can apply for the Holy Sword Trial, to try to pull a sword granted from the Lady of the Lake out of the stone it’s stuck in. This might sound familiar to you.

When a couple of weeks pass without word from Clemm, the Princess leaves the festival in the hands of advisor Maltran, and rides out with two knights to check up on Clemm. Shit goes down, and an evil dragon is woken from its slumber.

I have not played the game, but the way it’s laying things out I don’t feel like I have to. It seems able to stand on its own. While I am a little disappointed that neither Alisha nor Clemm are the actual main character, I’d like to see a bit more of this.

I think that's the pendant from Bravely Default/Second.

Time Travel Shoujo: Mari Waka to 8-nin no Kagakusha-tachi [Maybe]

Aka Time Travel Girl.

Mari is an upbeat girl who has a father who is absent a lot. It turns out this is because he’s a Time Traveller­™, ooooOOOOooo. Mari’s mother seems to be fine with this, and says she’s used to him being away for extended periods, even though it’s been years this time.

Mari was entrusted with a compass pendant before her father left, and he told her it would always point her towards him. Naturally it’s a time travel catalyst, and through an unfortunate event Mari is sent to London in the year 1600. There she meets doctor and scientist William Gilbert, who seems to accept her time travel story both quickly and gracefully. As far as we were shown, no one demanded she be burned for being a witch.

I was really only left with the feeling of “eh, it’s alright”. The high school drama in the first half of the episode wasn’t exactly compelling, the characters haven’t really spread their wings yet, Mari doesn’t seem like the sharpest knife in the drawer, no one really knows what is going on, but at least the time travel itself was interesting. So the best I can give it is a maybe. The first episode didn’t really inspire much of anything, but it’s possible it just needs time to grow.

Better than expected.

Tsukiuta. The Animation [Maybe]

The first 10 minutes of this was really boring. I ended up taking a break to go do something else for a while.

See, we’re immediately introduced to 12 idol characters, none of which they really have time to explore, before they cut to a brother and sister watching the talk show the idols were on at home. Well, she was watching, as she’s a big fan of one of the groups. Her younger brother is not really fussed, and actually finds his sister’s obsession with these things annoying.

But there’s a meet-and-greet event for both idol groups that day, with some unique merch that she really wants. Only she’s gotten sick and can’t go outside, so she begs her brother to go in her stead. He eventually relents due to bribery, and heads off with a map and some instructions she prepared for him.

The kid ends up heading into an “Authorised Personnel Only” area, and literally runs into a trio of the idols. As he doesn’t know any of them by sight, he assumes they’re staff. After asking about why he’s there, they decide to keep quiet about who they are, and shortly after sneak out to hang out with the kid for a while, since it’s not often they meet people who don’t even know who they are.

Once it got to that bit, the show did start winning me over. It still only went up to maybe, though. B-project was a lot more compelling, and more effective at hooking me in.

Not Watching

Active Raid S2: I never finished S1.

Arslan Senki S2: Never finished S1.

Danganronpa 3: All I know of Danganronpa is what I’ve seen other people say, so I’m not going to start at #3.

Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA☆ILLYA 3: Have not seen 1 and 2, and I’m highly sceptical of anything with “Fate” attached to it.

Shokugeki no Soma S2: No! Why does this even exist!

There was some bad timing this year as the new season started just as Summer Games Done Quick also got going, so I am honestly a bit behind on everything now. Anime, games, etc.

But at least now I’m done with this list, and I can see about catching up on things. First being Re: Zero. I have episodes 14 and 15 to watch. I have tried my best to avoid spoilers, but a few comments have gotten through, and they’ve been positive. Still trying to keep my expectations not too high.

I’ll see you again at the mid-season update to see what has changed!

~Wulf

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Posted on July 14, 2016, in Cartoons and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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