Anime Summer Season 2016 – Final Thoughts

Summer has been quite a ride. Both good and bad.

We’ll get to the good once we start talking about the shows, so I’ll lay out the bad first: I am starting to feel burnout.

The gradual increase in difficulty of getting through certain shows, along with my eroding patience and tolerance, can’t all be blamed on growing cynicism. I’ve taken on too much for too long, and if I don’t dial it back I might go off a cliff.

I have abandoned anime completely for years before, but I don’t want to go quite that far. I simply need a new plan, or at the very least a break. I’ll talk more about what I have in mind in the ending paragraphs.

For now, on with the shows! Early impressions can be found here, and mid-season thoughts are here.

Dropped Shows

Was pretty good.

Cheer Danshi!!

Aka Cheer Boys.

I didn’t drop this one because it was bad. It was simply a matter of it taking too much out of me to stick with the drama of it.

While the second half has not been as engaging as the first half, it has still done a good job of addressing and dealing with the subjects it brings up, which is mostly the various hang-ups the different members have to break out of. It’s why they’re called the Breakers, you see.

But there was some awkward drama attached to all that, especially between Haru and his sister. With the burnout weighing down on me, I couldn’t see this one through to the end. I had to stick with stuff I found easy to watch.

If you’re interested in it, I hope you check it out. Disregarding my personal energy levels, I think this is one of the good ones.

Heavy and heartfelt.

Orange

Speaking of not easy to watch.

Orange is a really great show that sometimes delves pretty deep into the subjects of depression, suicide and suicidal thoughts, and the feelings of helplessness from the people who love them.

Which is why I couldn’t keep up with it. The main reason I couldn’t keep up with it, at least. As good as it is, it can be very emotionally draining to watch, especially as someone who deals with depression myself.

I genuinely wish I could have seen this one through to the end, but after weeks of trying I’ve now accepted that it’s not happening. It didn’t help that Naho is still so bloody dense. It’s exasperating. It became another factor keeping me from going back, as I didn’t want to put up with her being so immensely blind to the most obvious things.

However, if you want a heartfelt anime about serious things portrayed in a mature way with characters that feel like real people (Naho’s density notwithstanding), Orange might be exactly what you’re looking for.

Who knows.

Tales of Zestiria the X

Unfortunately I can’t really offer anything similar for Tales of Zestiria.

I was enjoying it up to a point. It was definitely part of the “easy to watch” list up until episode 10. But not long into episode 10 I started getting really bored. I tried pushing through, but I do not exactly have a lot of patience these days. So I decided it wasn’t worth keeping.

Oh! Yes. I did bring up last time that in episode 5 it switched over to Velvet Crowe, and she and her slowly growing group got both episodes 5 and 6 before it switched back to Sorey and co in episode 7.

Which makes me wonder even more how much story they were actually able to fit into those 10 episodes that Sorey got. Considering how slowly things were progressing, I’m guessing not a lot.

It’s a show with many good sides and neat characters, but ultimately it failed to keep me engaged all the way through. I hope other people who watch it don’t suffer the same.

Ongoing Shows

Haa-chan is cute!

Mahou Tsukai Precure! [?]

Aka Maho Girls Precure!

I have to put a question-mark to this one, as I’ve not seen any new episodes for months. Basically none since the mid-season post. And the last two times new eps have been put out, it’s been in batches of two and three at once.

So I don’t know if the sub-group have given up on subbing this show, either because they had to, or they lost interest. I’ll have to look into that later.

Still cute, gay, and a little awesome.

Regalia – The Three Sacred Stars

It’s back. This wasn’t supposed to go into the autumn season, but with the weird restart business, that’s where we’re at.

The four redone episodes are out, and I know at least one new episode has been released as well. I have watched the four redone eps, but held off on the new eps for now. I did a synced side-by-side viewing of the original and the redone episodes to see what they had changed. Overall it’s not a huge amount, and the story is still the same, but I’ll go more into that in a separate post. I’ve never heard of anything like this happening before, so I have an urge to document it.

Completed Shows

Thrilling!

91 Days

Concluded at 12 episodes.

Even though it’s a serious drama-thriller, I never had any problems with watching 91 Days. It was dramatic, but not in a draining sense, I guess. Kept itself on the “easy to watch” list.

It’s a very, very good show. I enjoyed it from start to finish. It threw in twists and turns fairly often. Just enough to keep us guessing, I presume.

And it ended pretty much as it had to. Maybe even say that is saying too much.

Very enjoyable and thrilling period drama about gangsters in the US in the 1920s. Would highly recommend.

Gah, too cute!

Amaama to Inazuma

Concluded at 12 episodes.

Aka Sweetness and Lightning.

I kept going on cooking tangents in basically every episode. Watching these two newbie nerds was fun like that.

It also brought back the heart-wrenching a bit. Not every episode, not all the time, but it reminded us that these people have lives and stuff they’ve gone through. They’re still processing that.

They’re working through things, and learning along the way, about cooking, life, and each other. The finale was very sweet and understated. Another high recommendation without any reservations.

Merlesbians.

Amanchu!

Concluded at 12 episodes.

For all the problems I acknowledged last time, this is an incredibly sweet and earnest show. In fact, it had lulled me into forgetting those issues until I read what I had written last time, and had to acknowledge that some of those still applied.

But these people are so sweet, and Pikari and Teko go so well together, and I cried so much at the finale. We still have one season to go, but so far this is definitely one of my favourites of this year.

My recommendation comes with the caveats that if you’re not into cute stuff, high-school anime, and/or girl-on-girl romance, it could well fall flat for you.

It’s so gay!

wtf was that finale

B-Project: Kodou*Ambitious

Concluded at 12 episodes.

I stuck with this to the end! It probably says a lot about me, but I kept expecting this to start boring me or to turn me off at some point in some way. Yet it didn’t.

I had a lot of fun with B-Project. And with how it seemed to find any possible excuse for the boys to take their shirts off. And those end-slates… this show knew exactly what audience it was aiming at, and I’m not ashamed to be part of it.

It helps that it also has a lot of heart and character, and the writing is decent. It’s not just fan-service. There is fan-service too, but that’s not all they have.

That final episode came out of left field though. I still don’t understand what that was about. I mean, it was kinda built up to… kinda. But also… not. Not really.

In a way it felt like they had wanted this finale to be two episodes, but they couldn’t get the green light to do more than one. It was really rushed towards the end. The entire third act of that episode happened in the last three minutes or so. “Fuck, we really have to wrap up in this episode? Um… er… everything’s resolved now! Like magic! Hurrah!”

That final episode left me with so many questions and not a lot of answers. Setting that aside, it’s a fun show for people who like pretty boys.

Please to not eat.

Bananya

Concluded at 13 episodes.

This never stopped being weird. Fascinating.

Too precious.

Love Live! Sunshine!!

Concluded at 13 episodes.

Aaaaahhhhh they are so cute and precious I can’t stand it! I will protect and cherish them all forever. Especially Ruby. Did I mention she’s my daughter now? I had to adopt her. I approve of her relationship with Hanamaru.

They did it. They did a new Love Live. It’s cuter, gayer, and better realised. At least, in my opinion. While I love Honoka and all the others, I do feel like they did a better job this time. That they made a group of better characters in a better show. I would assume they took a hard look at what worked and what didn’t last time to make sure that at the very least they wouldn’t make anything worse than that.

Have they announced S2 yet? Because there is no way this isn’t getting an S2.

This is probably going to be a matter of contention among the fanbase while arguing over which Acquors member is the best (and worst): While I do not dislike any of them, I would say that Kanan is probably the one who got the least amount of development and consequently felt like she had the least character. She made the least impression on me. I still love her, though. Hugs are good.

I fully understand this is going to vary wildly between people. I’m sure there’re plenty others with a completely different impression from mine. And that’s fair. Just don’t talk shit about Ruby to me, or I will have to fight (or more likely block) you.

Sing your song!

Macross Δ

Aka Macross Delta.

Concluded at 26 episodes.

Well, wasn’t this something. I have not watched a lot of Macross before. I believe I’ve already said that. I have certainly never taken Macross seriously before.

I do feel a little bit of regret about that now, because Macross Delta was great. Outside of the one previously mentioned episode that tried my patience, I enjoyed all of it. Sure, the love triangle might have felt a bit unnecessary, and some characters were frustratingly shallow, but as a whole this was quite a good show.

And I was never not amazed at how that one guy, Bogue (I looked it up), kept up being the worst possible asshole throughout the entire show. He never let up for even a moment. That’s true dedication for you.

Though that did remind me that I have a bone to pick with the writers here. The whole thing with the Windermerians and their reason for the war and all that, I get that. What was done to them was atrocious, and it can’t be made right. They deserve some compensation, justice, for that. I can see how they’d be blinded by the wrong did to them, and not realise/consider what they were doing to other worlds and other people with their crusade. There is historical precedent for that.

But why was no one else willing to point it out to them? When they went on another rant about “see what happened here, how many people died, we demand justice!”, why did not a single person point out to them how many deaths they’ve caused, how many lives they had ruined via the Var, how many families they’d shattered, the amount of destruction they’d brought down. Not one person made any comment to that effect. Our heroes would either just look guilty, or try to say that “we don’t know the whole story”. Point out the Windermerian hypocrisy and lay bare that their moral high ground is not as high as they think it is.

Ugh, sorry about that. It really is a good show, and I really like it. Which is why I get so annoyed at the things it does wrong.

Cuter than it has any right to be.

Momokuri

Concluded at 13 episodes.

This is so cute and weird. I’m not entirely sure I can recommend it.

I mean, Kurihara never fully stops being a stalker, even though she calms down her antics a little. While also somehow roping more and more people into her schemes. And Momo has some issues of his own to work through, especially regarding his view on masculinity and what a man’s supposed to be. Not to mention his jealousy.

But somehow it is still really cute, sweet, and funny. I had a really good time with it, and I think it ended well. I can’t guarantee anyone else’s mileage with the show, but for what it’s worth it’s one of the very few het romances I’ve been interested in this year.

By which I mean, I have liked other stuff with het romance shoved into it, but here I actually liked the romance itself. Perhaps it helped that it’s a bit out of the ordinary.

Cute lesbian devs.

New Game!

Concluded at 12 episodes.

It is really hard to pick between Amanchu, LL Sunshine, and New Game. I’ve thought “this is my favourite” about all three of them at various points during the season. But I think the final ranking is 1) Amanchu, 2) New Game, 3) LL Sunshine. It’s not very far between them, though.

I had a really good time with New Game. Of course getting an insight into at least one side of game development was interesting, but I will confess I was mostly there for the cuties, the moe, and the gayness. While I don’t claim to fully understand the official metric, I’d go out on a limb and say this was the most moe show this season.

Just a bunch of girls working on a game and being gay, then finally getting to see the fruit of their labour.

The biggest caveat to a recommendation here would be the fan-service. It’s not all over all the time, but there’s a fair amount of it, and it can be quite blatant. So if you’re going to watch you have to be okay with, or at least tolerate, that.

sigh

Show By Rock!! Short!!

Concluded at 12 episodes.

Ultimately disappointing. I mean, I get what they were going for. Show more of the non-Plasmagica characters in preparation for the second series.

But what is even the point if not at least half the episodes have Retoree being gay for Cyan?

Oh yeah, there’s going to be an S2. I’m not sure how much hope I dare to hold out for it.

Bonus

This show is still wild.

Sakamoto desu ga?

Aka Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto.

Bonus 13. episode!

Oh yes. It’s true. They did one more. It’s utter delicious nonsense.

In part it’s a flashback of scenes from the show, but there’s also some “what if” shenanigans in there, fourth-wall breaking, and other weird stuff. It’s all very Sakamoto, and I loved it.

There, I can finally lay the summer season to rest. I feel like I need some rest, too. Very good season for cute, gay stuff. If you’re not into that, then maybe not so good a season.

For the next season, I have laid out a plan. I will still do my early impressions post. I think it’s exciting to go through all the new stuff blind, and discover what’s on offer. And to subsequently write about it. But after that I’m done for the year. No mid-season post, no final thoughts. Even if I want to write, I’m forcing myself to take a break here.

I do still intend to do a “top of the year” post during Christmas or early January, so if anything’s worthy from the autumn season it might show up there.

As for watching stuff, I don’t want to completely give up there. I’ll be sticking with Regalia, and watching Sound Euphonium S2 is a given. I’ll look into more Precure. Apart from those three, I’m allowing myself up to three other shows. The three I want to watch the most after my early impressions are complete. No more. If something changes so I end up throwing one of those shows out, I might replace it with something else that looked promising. But never more than three at a time.

Especially with the big game release season coming up, I won’t have the time to watch over a dozen shows.

~Wulf

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Posted on October 6, 2016, in Cartoons and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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