We’re back for another one!
I didn’t know a whole lot beforehand this time, and have been going in more or less blind on most of this stuff. Which has been a bit of a roller coaster, let me tell you.
Nothing for the Actively Avoiding column this time, since I didn’t have enough information to base such a decision on.
Blimey, it feels like there’s a lot this season, though. I’ve been extra delayed for various reasons, so this has taken extra long to get through, but even so it feels like there’s a bit too much. Not to mention that most of it is not terribly exciting. While there’s been a few nice surprises, there’s really nothing that’s blown me away this season. At least not to the extent of last season.
I have also decided to keep my watch list pretty sparse this season. So my mid-season and final posts won’t have a lot on them. I’m thinking of starting with five, plus… two shorts. I have some candidates that might get added if I have time, but for now those five will have to do. Maybe I can do something about my backlog instead.
Let’s just get into it, then. As usual this is just a master-post with a quick summary, while the full impressions are in the links below.
The first season of 2018 is wrapped up, at least for my part. It feels like a lot has happened in the month and a half since I last posted about this, and a lot of that has been not anime. I had to tear myself away from BanG Dream: Girls Band Party to actually finish this. The original plan had been to put this out on the day Overlord finished, but that didn’t happen, and then it kept being put off.
Though I whittled my list down to 8 shows (and 3 shorts) by mid-season, it turns out only five of those I actually kept up with regularly. Of the remaining three I watched two of them in a big catch-up at the end, one of them had its production break down in a very public spectacle.
See, I took it upon myself to start a large self-indulgent writing project, which ate a lot of my time, and I didn’t really want to set aside time for other things. Though with Overlord’s finale being a week after just about everything else, it gave me some extra time to get caught up with the rest, but I still didn’t quite get there by that time.
Minor notes: I’ve heard Violet Evergarden and Toji no Miko actually got quite good past the point where I left them behind, so those might still be worth a look. And I assume Kokkoku and Mitsuboshi Colors stayed good as well.
This mid-season snuck up on me, as I’ve had a lot to do lately. Let’s get through it, and then think about what’s next.
Something I noticed this time is that I ended up giving several of the Maybe shows more of a chance, at least going to the three-episode rule to get a better feel for them. Then I stuck with some of them, and left behind others. And realised that even with all the ones that fell to the side I was watching 12 shows.
That was fine back in January, as I had very little to do, and had no problem keeping up with everything I had just kept watching without thinking it over. Now I have other things to do. Games have come out, I’ve started reading again, not to mention I’ve been getting more writing ideas. So some of these shows have to go, even if I like them.
Ideally I’d like to get the number down to 8. MahoYome, Precure, and 6 from this season. At most 7 from this season. That’s a number I think I can manage. There was a reason I made the “only 10 shows” rule to begin with, and it also came with the understanding that at least 2 shows would fall off the list during the season. I’ve fallen into this trap before. So who’s going on the chopping block?
I really wasn’t sure before today if I was going to do a post on the Fate/Extra anime: Last Encore. Yet here we are.
I knew I was going to look at the first episode, as Nero is my favourite Fate/ servant, and among my favourite fictional women of all. But I honestly wasn’t expecting much, and figured it would be fairly bland and not really worth talking about. After all, they had gone with the boring choice of using the male Hakuno as the protagonist, so the chances of it being any interesting were low indeed. I just wanted to catch a glimpse of Umu.
Then it managed to be so much worse than I imagined, which I find incredible enough that I need to get it out of my system.
With me trying my best to catch up on KiraKira Precure a la Mode before the release of Hugtto Precure, I wanted to write a bit about it along the way. I watched the first cour before I went on my over half a year long break from the show, so now I figured I’d do a 3-part series of short posts, where I write down my feelings on how things are progressing after each cour.
So part 1 is going to be about episodes 13-25, part 2 will be episodes 26-37, and part 3 will be the rest: episodes 38-50. Warning: Will contain spoilers, though I’ll try to keep them light.
Last time I wrote about this show was back in my Spring mid-season post, meaning the middle of May. The sum up my thoughts as I just re-read them: A good show that feels like it’s missing something that holds it back from being a great show, and that keeps it lagging behind Go Princess and Maho Girls. That’s a decent summation of my thoughts on the first cour. Have my feelings changed after the second cour? Well…
New year, new animes! We’ve finally put 2017 behind us, though there is of course no guarantee 2018 will be any kinder to us. I feel like we’ve said “surely it can’t get worse” for quite a lot of years in a row now.
But at least in terms of entertainment media we’ve been doing alright, and 2018 seems to be off to a strong start with its anime line-up. While it is far too early to declare that any of the new offerings are definitely better than the best of last Winter, it does seem like there’s a larger number of good shows this time. Who knows, maybe a significant number of them will turn out to be absolute bunk by the halfway mark, but I’m at least allowing myself a bit of hope. It wouldn’t do to become completely jaded.
Maybe among this season’s collection the Anime of the Year lurks. There’s certainly a few that have the potential to be strong contenders.
Let’s get the early impressions going then. As a reminder: All of these comments are from only watching the first episode of each show. That’s how I’ve done it in the past 3.5 years, and I’m not about to stop yet. I’m still keeping the recent segmented structure, with only a summary in this post, and links to pages that contain the full text.
But before all that, let’s start with what ended up on my ban list for this season.
I promised I’d do this post, so here it is.
Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru, or Yuki Yuna is a Hero, came out in 2014, and was my anime of the year back then. Not the first deconstruction of the magical girl genre, but personally my favourite. I have watched Madoka, shortly before I started Yuuki Yuuna actually, but it didn’t grab me in the same way. And the way Yuyuyu wrapped up was beautiful, and left everything on a note of hope.
So when official talk of the second season surfaced, I feel like I can claim with some certainty that the general reaction was: “What, why?” That was every reaction I saw, at least. Including my own. Sure, the ending hinted at a few mysteries still remaining, but how do you follow up something so expertly put together? Everything in the original fit together amazingly well to create the full picture of the narrative that would unfold. Everything that happened was in service of the greater whole, including what the “camera” would focus on during otherwise hectic scenes.
Following that up would be a daunting task regardless. So how did they do? Eehhh… I will try to not go into too many spoilers, but I might not be able to avoid it entirely. So consider yourselves warned.
Disclaimer: I’m sorry for how long this got. You may want to take a few breaks if you want to get through it all.
Well, this has been a hell of a year. In a lot of ways regarding a lot of things, but in terms of anime it’s (mostly) not meant in a negative way. There’s been a lot of good stuff out this year, and it was harder to decide what wasn’t worth bringing up, rather than what to include. There’s still a lot I can’t in good conscience leave out though. Last year’s post was long, and this one is unfortunately not any shorter.
It’s not all been good though. This is the anime industry we’re talking about, and like any entertainment industry, there will be some absolute garbage. The difference this year is that some of it was so bad that it made me change my rules for how I engage with a new season. I allow myself a small ban list now, when it’s things I’ve heard enough about to not even want to attempt to look at. Heck, sometimes seeing the title is enough. But we’ll get to the reason for that soon enough.
I’ve also become more open to doing separate posts detailing something for a single anime, like if I want to get into something spoilery, or there’s something special I want to highlight. Instead of just shoving it all into the lists. That trend might continue going forward.
It’s the end of the season, and also the end of the year, but as per tradition that means two separate posts rather than one collected one. So we’ll start with the season wrap-up. Considering LL Sunshine ended the day before New Year’s Eve, I barely managed to get this one out before the end of the year. The best of the year list is coming a few days into the new year.
Though with Yuyuyu getting delayed a week, I’ll make a small separate post with my final thoughts on that. So it won’t be appearing on the end of year list either. Heck, depending on how it wraps up, maybe it wouldn’t have made the cut even if it finished on time.
I would say there was another surprisingly strong lineup this season like the one before, which is going to make said end of year list a pain to put together with all that good stuff to consider. But for now let’s just give this season its send-off.
I guess that’s all the lead-in I’ve got. You can check out the season’s early impressions here, and my mid-season thoughts here. I know a lot of you wait until a season is done so you can watch the shows without having to wait for the next episode to release.
So back in 2014 a little show called Futsuu no Joshikousei ga [Locodol] Yattemita, or just Locodol for short, aired. Highly underrated show, and one of the first darlings I came across when I first started doing this anime shenanigans “full time”. While a second season is (most likely) never happening, they managed to make two excellent OVAs that aired in 2015 and 2016.
Why are we talking about this? Well, I decided to re-watch the show earlier this month. In part to prepare for a fic I wanted to write, and in part because I was curious to see if it held up. Three years could be enough to give me some rose-tinted glasses about the whole thing, and I kept unfavourably comparing Action Heroine Cheer Fruits from earlier this year to it. After the fact I wondered if that was unfair, since the two were probably about as good, and I just had big nostalgia for Locodol.
But after re-watching the whole show and the OVAs, the conclusion I came to is that Locodol is just that good. I enjoyed myself so much that I feel confident in saying it’s even better than I remember.