Anime Taste Testing: Winter 2016

anime erased
Because I’ve had more time up my sleeve these past few days than anticipated (and because I’m allergic to the cold and am thus spending more time in my room with the heat blasting), I watched several more shows than originally planned. Best go for that toilet break now, this is going to take longer than usual. As always, shows are in order of worst to best and ratings are based on only the first episode of each.

Divine Gate
Score: 3/10 (Dropped)

divine gate

The boy stared emotionlessly out at the world with unseeing eyes. The unceasing rain should have chilled him to the bone, yet he did not feel the cold; he had long grown numb to it, for it did not come close to the coldness in his heart. It was as cold as ice iced ramen, which he ate only to remind himself of who, or rather what, he truly was. He did not deserve warm food. He did not deserve anything. Tilting his head towards the sky, the boy allowed droplets to trickle like tears down his face, from loose stands of golden hair down sharp, pale cheekbones. Around him, he could hear the accusatory whispers of the faceless crowd, though not the words – the roaring of the exposition rain drowned them out. He only wished it would drown out the pain of his soul along with it, wash away the agony of existing in a world which had never wanted him to begin with. [Note: best read while listening to Mozart’s Moonlight Sonata]

Active Raid
Score: 4/10 (Dropped)

active raid

I admit that I didn’t even make it through the whole first episode of this. While I don’t think Active Raid committed any grievous sins, the score mostly reflects my utter boredom with this show. The OP is gratingly perky, the technobabble is stupid, the character designs are generic, and the English (What? Excuse me, boss) is so random and pointless it’s not even laughable. Not even the above screencap (objectively the best scene of the show, amirite?) was enough to pique my rapidly flagging interest. Taking a 20-minute nap would have been a better use of my time.

Sekkou Boys
Score: 4/10 (Dropped)

sekkou boys

I feel like I’m meant to be entertained by the sheer absurdity of the premise here, but I’m not. No, I don’t think there’s a deeper meaning to this and I don’t think it’s especially funny – I just think it’s anime attempting to be witty and ‘alternative’ by shoving a ludicrous concept in our faces and hoping people will a) read more into it than what’s actually there, and/or b) wildly applaud its originality. I can’t be bothered doing either.

Norn9: Norn+Nonet
Score: 4/10 (Likely Dropped)

norn9

I have questions. Questions such as: Why is everyone on a ship? Is the ship going anywhere in particular? Is it the only place they can survive now that terrible things have happened to the earth? Are we even on earth? Do the characters have any kind of ultimate goal? I’m vaguely curious, but mostly I have no idea what the heck’s going on and what’s worse, I can’t actually bring myself to care all that much. It’s like Norn9 is trying really, really hard to be all Deep and Mysterious but went waaay too far in the process. That said, I might have overlooked this gaping problem were it not for the myriad of others. The cast, for example, is much too big, and since everyone was introduced within the span of about two minutes, I no longer remember anyone’s name. The rather pretty artwork is undermined by the noticeably poor animation, and the dreamily emotive music would’ve been great had I had still been awake enough to appreciate it by that point. Unfortunately, this single standout scene didn’t come until towards the very end of the episode, by which time it was too little, too late. I may give this one more episode to try and prove itself but I’m hardly holding my breath.

Dagashi Kashi
Score: 5/10 (Dropped)

dagashi kashi

This show is nowhere near as skeevy as I thought it’d be, thank god. I mean, it’s still slightly skeevy – this is still an anime romcom aimed primarily at young Japanese males, after all – but the odd shower scene and b00b jiggle aside, it looks to be fairly clean. The bad news is that I honestly don’t think the comedy packs much of a punch; it’s mostly just mildly amusing reaction shots and the occasional witty one-liner. Also, the artwork is about as ugly as it looks on the tin – seriously, those eyes kinda creep me out. But hey, I get that dumb comedy is sometimes all people are looking for in a show, and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s not my thing, but there are certainly far worse pickings to be had this season.

HaruChika
Score: 5/10 (Likely Dropped)

haruchika

I’m just here for the endearing Haruta/sensei angle. Not that I think this pairing actually will (or should) become A Thing mind you, because ew, but the idea is played off in an innocent and thankfully completely not-creepy kind of way, so huzzah for a character who’s sexuality isn’t just something to be made fun of or used as yaoi-bait. However, I can also see myself dropping this if it doesn’t work harder to impress me over the next episode or so, because I like almost nothing about HaruChika otherwise. Haruta is an insensitive know-it-all, Chika is immature and has hair that looks like it’d be more at home in a Gundam show, and frankly, P.A.Works has produced a grand total of two TV shows to date that I’ve wholeheartedly liked (those being Angel Beats! and Uchouten Kazoku). Hardly a great track record there.

Durarara!!x2 Ketsu
Score: 6/10

durarara x2ketsu

Welp, this opening episode was a big hot mess. Hey, remember when this show had a manageably-sized cast and you could remember everybody’s names? Or when the majority of jokes did not pertain to everyone’s weird fetishes? Or when the OP was actually good? Yeah, me too. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still far too attached to this franchise to drop it now, but sadly my love for Durarara!! is dwindling as we speak.

Prince of Stride: Alternative
Score: 6/10

prince of stride anime

I’m not much of a sports anime fan, and the last reverse-harem I liked without reservation was Ouran High School Host Club back in 2006 (crap, was that really a whole decade ago?), but this doesn’t seem half-bad. Yes, I would have preferred an anime about actual parkour rather than one about a fictional sport that mixes parkour with relay, and yes, I can draw so many parallels to Free! that it’s not even funny, but I found myself enjoying this nonetheless. The brisk pacing suits the tone of the show, the humour is light-hearted and delivered well, and MC-chan is not a moeblob. It would have been nice to her actively involved in the sport beyond just speaking into an earpiece, but I suppose this could still come later? Also,  bit of a sidenote but it’s good to see Ishizuka Atsuko back in the director’s chair. I’ll be honest, I didn’t care much for No Game No Life and I never even got around to watching either Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo or Hanayamata, but it’s always great to see more ladies at the helm.

Nijiiro Days/Rainbow Days
Score: 6/10

nijiiro days

Would you look at that, another anime that’s turning out to be surprisingly decent. I hadn’t expected much out of a 15-minute episode show, but this is… nice. Not mind-blowingly awesome, but nice. The characters seem genuinely cute and likeable, the humour, as with Prince of Stride, is light and bouncy, and the artwork is bright and cheery. Assuming it doesn’t get too bogged down in shoujo cliché, I think Nijiiro Days will be a lovely little addition to my weekly watch-list.

Dimension W
Score: 6/10

dimension w

Despite one or two annoyances involving unnecessary technobabble and equally as unnecessary fanservice (look Japan, you do know that excessively training the camera on breasts and ass is still creepy even when the loli is a robot, right?), I’m pretty eager to watch more of this. The main character (an honest-to-god adult!) is immediately likeable, said character is played by one of my all-time favourite Japanese voice actors, and if Dimension W is going to primarily be an action/adventure-style series featuring an unlikely pair of crime-friendly accomplices then I’d be more than okay with that. Add to this the fun and distinctive artwork, the top-notch animation, and the best OP I’ve seen this season and we have ourselves what will hopefully turn out to be a very solid show overall.

Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu
Score: 7/10

rakugo shinjuu

If I’m not as effusive with my praise as many other bloggers are, it’s not because I think Rakugo Shinjuu doesn’t deserve it. Because believe me, it does – I’m a bit of a Showa-era fangirl so I love the setting, the characters are all adults who are either very likeable or very compelling, the voice acting is A-list stuff (I adore Ishida Akira, right up there with Ono Daisuke for me), and the atmosphere is both subtle and sophisticated. In short, this is one classy anime. However (and this is with the greatest of respect to traditional methods of storytelling), I’m not a fan of rakugo. I’m just not. I know what rakugo is, and I’ve even had the opportunity to see some for myself while in Japan, but I can’t pretend enthusiasm for something that I don’t have. Luckily, the restrained drama and extremely character-driven narrative will probably ensure that I don’t get bored… and even if it doesn’t, I can still squee over that glorious setting.

Hai to Gensou no Grimgar/Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash
Score: 7/10

anime grimgar

Aaand we’re backing to the fanservice problems. I suppose this is a bit of a backhanded compliment actually, because even with one of my anime pet peeves, I still had to give Grimgar a pretty good score. For the time being, I will attempt to overlook an overlong conversation about a character’s breast size that goes on right in front of her like she’s quite literally an object, complete with bonus girl-on-girl fondling just to wrap things up, because this was almost the only sour note in an otherwise excellent premiere. First off, that art style oh my gosh YES. I will take more of those backgrounds please – many, many more. I can also very much get behind the down-to-earth, slice-of-life feel of the show, which is greatly helped along by the inclusion of a whole lot of practical little details that make me think the staff actually put some serious thought into making this scenario somewhat realistic. I also like the amnesia twist that adds another layer to the basic plot, and that the exposition is kept fairly minimal but leaves me in no confusion as to what’s going on. In short, and despite all my earlier misgivings, this may well turn out to be one of the best shows of the season for me.

Akagami no Shirayuki-hime/Snow White with the Red Hair 2nd Season
Score: 8/10

shirayuki-hime 2nd season

… I had a big dopey grin on my face the entire time. If this episode is any indication of what the rest of season two will be like (and if Obi and especially Kiki get more any character development this time around), then I may have to pronounce it even better than the first. ASDFHJKL BE STILL MY BEATING HEART.

Boku Dake ga Inai Machi/ERASED
Score: 8/10

anime erased

Assuming this stays consistent (and I’d like to think it will), Erased will more than likely be the best overall title of the season as far as I’m concerned. The pacing is good so far, the exposition deftly handled, and the characters not only likeable but more importantly interesting. The final third of the episode acted as a really great hook that came totally out of left field while still managing to feel natural in terms of execution – and it’s been a long time since an anime’s surprised me (in a good way) like that. This includes the sudden transition in POV, from Satoru to Satoru’s mother, which should have felt jarring but mostly just left me impressed. She better be revealed as a lawyer or detective or something along those lines, because her thought process would be pretty damn weird if this wasn’t the case, but Erased doesn’t seem like the kind of show that would be dumb enough to overlook such a gaping detail, so I have faith that this will be addressed later on. Other than that, great stuff.

So there you go, a significantly fuller weekly viewing schedule than expected, especially considering I still have three ongoing shows from the fall (Iron-Blooded Orphans, Lupin III, and Osomatsu-san). Fingers crossed I can keep up!

Question of the post: You know the drill – what do you like, what don’t you like, and what were you surprised by, either for better or for worse?

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52 thoughts on “Anime Taste Testing: Winter 2016

  1. It’s a surprisingly strong season overall. I only just saw the Akagami no Shirayuki-hime (still home sick with a summer cold) and oh my stars it was ADORABLE.

    And the opening: I didn’t think it was possible to emphasise Shirayuki’s independence more than it was in the original OP but they managed it. I am impressed.

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  2. Durarara!!x2 Ketsu: Oh man. You said it all. I actually haven’t moved pass x2 Ten. ;; I’m not sure if this feeling was because of the change of studios, but who knows. I still consider Durarara!! one of my fav anime though.

    Boku Machi: I was actually 50/50 on sudden vs subtle transition in POV. I think it was nicely done. I thought her mom would just be that “kinda there” supporting character, but I guess she is somehow vital in that pilot ep. One would also didn’t think that the plot was already being introduced by that grocery scene.

    I know Ajin isn’t out yet, but I heard it was highly anticipated by some of the Japanese netizens(?). Are you considering in watching it?

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    • I still count Durarara!! (the very first series that is) as being among one of my all-time favourite anime as well. To be clear, I don’t think the new stuff is awful – just not up to the same standard as the original. In part this may well be to the change in studios (and I preferred the older art style as well), but mostly I think the cast has become so crowded that the show simply doesn’t have the same kind of focus it used to.

      I’ll most likely end up giving Ajin a go. I know next to nothing about it mind you (which is typically how I prefer to go into my anime), but it seems like it might be interesting enough.

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  3. I’ve just noticed the increasing prevalence of very sporadic “fanservice” shots in the first episodes of otherwise non-juvenile shows. Like, man, they feel really obligatory, out of place, and practically disappear later on, as if the director of these shows went, “hey, this premiere doesn’t have a totally random boob/thigh/butt shot yet, we need that before we can be approved to air”. Or something like that. I do get that they may need to front-load the fanservice to trick many anime fans into watching stuff they normally wouldn’t, but they’re mostly too brief and sporadic to satisfy that kind of fans anyway, and may turn off people who can’t tolerate that stuff at the slightest. I dunno, just feels counter intuitive to me.

    On topic, I love Rakugo (always a big fan of story-telling art in general) and Erased. I’m amused by Sekou Boys too, although more b/c of the girl MC’s mannerism rather than the premise itself. I tried Dagashi and Haruchika, but the former’s humor and sweets nostalgia don’t do much for me, and I’m in agreement with everything you said on the latter.

    And… that’s it? Sure looks like a bunch of mediocre (at best) action/fantasy/procedural stuff otherwise. I think I’m pretty content with story-teller drama, time travel boy, and idol-or-bust in addition to the continuing stuff (Gundam, Oso, Shirayuki, Haikyuu, Garo). Your Grimgar blurb (and very interesting-looking screenies) makes me interested in it though; I don’t have much faith with this kind of plot/characters, but I’ll check back by the end of season to see if I may want to pick it up.

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    • The fanservice seems counter-intuitive to me as well, and then I’m forced to remember that a) the anime is most likely targeted primarily towards young Japanese males, and b) young Japanese males still make up the majority of the anime audience in Japan. Not that this knowledge does anything to make me feel less creeped out, mind you.

      It’s good that you’ve found at least a couple of shows you can get behind this season. Quality over quantity is best. 🙂

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      • Have you seen my tweets on the topic yesterday? It’s quite dire 😦

        Going by MAL categories:
        Shounen: 1698 entries.
        Shoujo: 573.
        Seinen: 486.
        Josei: 36.

        anidb split:
        Shounen: 1317
        Shoujo: 456
        Seinen: 1392
        Josei: 80

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  4. You know, I never actually finished the first Durarara series – completely forgot about it, but I did enjoy the tension building up around Celty and her struggle with restoring her identity. Then again, I do enjoy analyzing things in depth, coming from a film study background. ^.^;; As for Erased, I thoroughly enjoyed the first episode; the idea of subconscious time travel reminds me of Philip K. Dick, perhaps his novel “Martian Time Slip,” since it shows that you’re not always in control of a power you may have.

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    • I adored the very first Durarara series. I’m not saying it was without its faults, but in terms of sheer personal enjoyment, it was a 10 for me and is still right up there among my top anime favourites. I’m still enjoying Durarara now, don’t get me wrong, but it’s just not the same.

      You’re definitely not the first blogger to mention Philip K. Dick in relation to Erased. I haven’t read Martian Time Slip though, so I’m afraid I can’t comment on that particular point.

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  5. Erased and Akagami are my two favourite shows this season. The first was just too intense and interesting and I love, love the plot. And I too had a big goofy grin on my face while watching Akagami. xD

    Norn9 came off as VERY annoying. I might check out the next episode, but going through just one episode was a chore so I’m not sure.

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    • Agreed, absolutely – at this point, they’re easily my two favourites of the season as well. Here’s hoping they stay consistently great. 🙂

      I’ll try one more episode of Norn9, but I don’t have a lot of faith that things will get significantly better. Besides, it’s not as though I’m lacking in other shows to watch.

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  6. It seems our taste is a bit similar. ^^ I was curious if Norn9 offers something more than nice graphics but apparently it’s as shallow as most of the stories these days. I have high expectations of Prince of Stride and Erased. If the first one has so much in common with Free! I think I should be satisfied. ^^ Erased is really intriguing, I hope the end of the story will be as interesting as the beginning.

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    • I don’t think I’ll end up liking Prince of Stride as much as I enjoyed Free – I’m a competitive swimmer myself, and hot damn but those visuals in Free were unparalleled – but it seems like it’s going to be a decent enough show.

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  7. Yeah…The fan service has been a bit thick and a lot of shows haven’t captured my attention too much I had watched Musaigen no Phantom World last night, and while the premise seemed alright the fan service was very annoying. The first episode of Erased was pretty good. Could be the stand out of the season for me.

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    • Yeah, Erased is one of the only brand new shows of the winter season I’ve seen that has no fanservice whatsoever. It’s probably a sad commentary on anime in general that this fact alone is enough to endear me to the series – although of course, it’s certainly not its only good point.

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  8. Rakugo Shinju

    Man, Artemis, I thought we had something going, and then the Fire Nation attacked! you gave Rakugo Shinju a 7/10.

    Ok, more seriously, I get where you’re coming from. I had no real idea what rakugo is before watching this episode, and once I found out, I was more like, “I hope we’ll focus on the drama, because my experience with “Japanese humor” is dire,” and then the 10 minute performance started, and to begin with I wasn’t happy about it, then as it kept going I was a tad worried. But then I started smiling, and then laughing.

    So, I definitely understand where you’re coming from, and am sad to hear you didn’t derive as much pleasure from it as I did, while I’m happy my reservations about it didn’t come true. Though they did hold true while Ishida Akira “performed”. And that’s a place we’ll have to disagree. Ishida is typecast to perform a certain role, which he does very well, and he performed well within the drama part of the show, but he just has no presence to sell his role as the Rakugo Master :-/

    Sekkou Boys is an example of “The humor of absurdity” style of comedy, also practiced by Osomatsu-san and Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei, that left me cold.

    Divine Gate

    You have a future writing bad fanfic. Honestly, some people who came to my post on Light Novels and asked me to read over their LNs actually wrote like that ;_;

    Active Raid and Prince of Stride

    We’re in opposite places regarding those two. Prince of Stride wasn’t bad, it just completely failed to interest me. Well, it also wasn’t good, being shouty and bland at the same time, but it did some plot-construction work, and I just could tell it’d bore me completely. Active Raid, well, I think it’s going in a direction I like. Though yes, the random English outbursts were completely random. Though, it’s sometimes like that in Israel too, where you’d suddenly tell someone “I’m not shitting you,” in English, breaking the Hebrew, which at times can make one side raise an eyebrow, heh.

    By the by, MC Heroine’s monologue as Prince of Stride opened was Divine Gate fanfic-level bad.

    (Nitpick, ‘pique’)

    Grimgar

    I think Grimgar had the worst premiere this season. No, not the worst episode, but the worst premiere, in terms of providing a hook, a situation, and introducing its cast. Well, maybe Phantom World was as bad, but that show also had other issues that took center-stage. But, I did like it as an episode, and am curious to see where they go with it. It actually has a really high ceiling.

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    • I derived plenty of pleasure from Rakugo Shinjuu – 7 out of 10 is definitely not a bad score. It’s just that I’d prefer character drama over seeing an actual rakugo performance on screen. As for Ishida Akira, I just really, really like his voice. He could be talking utter nonsense and I’d probably still be happy just listening to it.

      I get that Sekkou Boys is meant to be absurd, but even though I really like Osomatsu-san and mostly liked Zetsubou Sensei well enough, Sekkou Boys just seems stupid to me – and not in the fun, humorous kind of way.

      … Wait, are you insulting my incredibly awesome writing? I’ll have you know I slaved over that masterpiece of a paragraph for days. The nuance, the subtext. MY TORTURED SOUL – it’s all there just waiting for someone to fully appreciate it.

      Yeah, seems like we had pretty opposite reactions to Prince of Stride and Active Raid. But that’s okay – right now, I’m more appalled that I actually wrote ‘peaked’ instead of ‘piqued’. Either I wasn’t paying proper attention or my English is slipping by the day. Or both.

      I didn’t watch Phantom World (not going near that one), but I thought Grimgar had one of the best premiere’s of the season. I think it did very well introducing its main cast (that one unfortunate scene aside) and in providing the audience with the plot and hooking them in. That said, I watched alone so I can really only speak for myself – if you say it was one of the worst premieres, I can hardly disagree with you.

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      • I know you used to spend time on LJ, so… 😉

        As for Grimgar, well, I’m just giving my opinion, of course. I’m no actually saying it’s any more correct than yours. Except, that being mine, it must be (jk). I just make a distinction between “good episode” and “good premiere” that most people probably don’t, so it might be a definition game.

        And yeah, 7/10 isn’t bad. It’s just internet hyperbole. Blame The Fire Nation’s attack. Sorry, I’m in a silly mood. “And then The Fire Nation attacked” just makes me start chuckle.

        I sometimes think of how you don’t count as a native language speaker if you don’t live where it’s used for a decade, for linguists’ research, and of how much time I spend online, distanced from Hebrew…

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        • This blog is an extremely Avatar-friendly place. I encourage general silliness where that’s involved. ❤

          I feel ya. Depending on what kind of work I'm doing here, sometimes I'll speak only Japanese for days, and sometimes I'm not officially supposed to use any Japanese at all. Both my English and my Japanese fluctuate accordingly.

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    • I’m kinda hoping the whole fanservice thing was mainly just a “show it off for the first episode to help reel people in then put it away” sort of deal. I’m not counting on it mind you, but I am still hoping for it. Because that aside, I thought it was an incredibly solid opening episode.

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  9. Interesting choices for your 2016 viewlist! 🙂
    Just some extra info/trivia on your picks:-

    Boku Dake: The anime director tweeted the anime will use the manga’s original ending, and will be 12 episodes long.
    http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/daily-briefs/2016-01-08/erased-boku-dake-ga-inai-machi-anime-to-portray-ending-of-original-manga/.97329
    Some viewers think this means the manga will be ending with the anime, although nothing’s been confirmed yet. Ep 1 also blazed through 6 manga chapters, removing segments of character development. This may be a good thing, since the manga could be very slow-paced.

    Prince of Stride: Like Norn, Stride’s based on an otome game. Story-wise, Stride isn’t as romance-focused, so the story reads more like a sports anime’s. Hopefully the plot won’t devolve ino a mashup of different romance routes. Plus, the dark-haired Stride boy is like a more intense, running-focused version of Free!’s Nanase Haruka. 😉

    Showa Genroku: I hope the anime gets to showcase the sights and sounds of 1930s Tokyo, considering so few buildings and landmarks survived WW2 (and subsequent developments).

    Grimgar: The original author states Grimgar’s setting was based on online and console RPGs he so passionately loves. This same love also drove him to become a light novel author. He also claims to be rather reclusive and antisocial, and was addicted to online games at one point.(I used solely to think about games…I lived in the world of games and games kept me alive.”)
    The full afterwords, if you’re interested:
    https://grimgalthetranslation.wordpress.com/volume-1/afterword/

    Active Raid:I’ve heard Raid’s supposed to be a take on cheesy 80’s sentai police shows. Director Taniguchi Goro of Code Geass fame claims it’s supposed to be a fun, wacky series, so maybe he flubbed up somewhere in execution. Oh, and character designs are by the same artist as the Sokugeki no Souma manga, BTW.

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    • Thanks for the extra info! Some of it I already know, and some I don’t – I don’t read manga at all for instance, so whether or not the Boku Dake manga will be ending with the anime is of little concern to me.

      I think you’ll be disappointed if you’re looking for 1930s sights in Rakugo Shinjuu though; it takes place in post-War Showa period, and is set during the 1960s and/or 70s.

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      • Knowing the Boku Dake anime plans to adapt the manga ending is still worth noting, given the majority of anime always adapt ongoing source material. This means either a sudden stop in the story, or an anime-original ending that may not coincide with the source material.

        If Rakugo has any flashbacks, they could cover at least the 40s or 50s; the Showa was a pretty long period. Besides, so very few Japanese period series cover the prewar days (for obvious socio-political reasons).

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  10. I’m quite happy to have my favorite romance show from the last year back. Relaxing after getting home from work last summer to watch Shirayuki was pretty much the highlight of my week, especially since Summer season was slimmer pickings. Sometimes you just need a good shoujo to bring that warm fuzzy feeling to your heart.

    As for everything else, I’m starting to feel like my old self this season. I’ve been watching nearly everything and liking way more than I thought possible. Luck and Logic is certainly not the kind of premise I thought would have proper execution, and man Grimgar is just an absolute blindside. Either I have lowered the bar, or anime is actually decent for once? Only time will tell.

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    • And does Shirayuki-hime ever bring the warm fuzzies. I don’t know the last time I’ve felt so content just sitting back and watching.

      I haven’t watched Luck and Logic, but yeah. I had the same thoughts about Grimgar. Like did my taste get completely warped overnight, is it genuinely… g-good? It could totally drop the ball at any time of course, but I guess so could just about anything. (And even if it does, I’d still consider staying for those backgrounds.)

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      • For the most part L&L actually makes the “Main Character is really good at fantasy fighting” work by making him actually be the most experienced person fighting instead of some wish fulfillment newbie. I guess I did kinda turn a blind eye to the fact that the main duo have to kiss to activate the powers, but that was kinda par for the anime course. I was really enjoying it up until the last like thirty seconds, where the implication the show can still turn into a dumb harem any minute rears its ugly head. Still has potential, though.

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        • I think I might just wait til it’s finished airing and hear some comments about the overall title before deciding whether or not I feel like watching it. I’ve got more than enough on my weekly watchlist as it is…

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  11. Great post! And I never did say a proper thanks to you for liking my Wolf Children review! I definitely feel like that sort of thing would be up your alley. I hope and pray you are doing well, friend! Happy new year.

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  12. Season is looking to be a pretty even split between crap and pretty good for me. I have only dropped Reikenzan at this point (follower of the 3 episode rule), but I have a feeling my shows will start dropping like flies. Divine Gate and Schwarzesmarken will be the first ones to go.

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  13. And then Grimgar also had some weird fatshaming (? I think?) mixed into that breast-comparison/lesbian-for-straight-dudes-bs. I quit the episode at that point and I don’t really think I can expect anything good coming from writers (etc.) that think something like that is okay. But let’s see how episode 2 goes.

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    • Episode 2 was a little better, I thought. There were a couple of skeevy shots, and frankly I have no idea why anyone is tolerating Ranta (seriously, why don’t they just kick him off the team?), but thankfully no degrading conversations this time around.

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      • Yeah, second episode had this „fun“, um murdering of a goblin* (I seriously don’t understand why they don’t just become merchants or work in a bakery or whatever, even in an MMO that should be possible ^ _ ^ What’s that pink guy gonna do if they just quit and become farmers?) … and then for a surprising long time nothing much was happening. This is a weird show.

        +1 for kicking out Rakka, he can murder with the other, cooler group, if he’s so keen on it.

        *which is a fantasy stand-in for minorities btw: http://nkjemisin.com/2013/02/from-the-mailbag-the-unbearable-baggage-of-orcing/

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  14. How would I rank the shows so far?
    1. Rakugo
    2. Erased
    3. Akagami no Shirayuki hime

    I am loving this season primarily because I have three (or possible more) gems that I might carry ’till the yearend.

    Like

    • Looks like we have fairly similar tastes then. Two or three episodes in and I’d rank Erased first, Rakugo second, and Shirayuki-hime third (followed by Grimgar). It’s definitely looking like a real gem of a season. 🙂

      Like

      • I haven’t seen Grimgar (I have a lot to watch this season) but I will definitely watch that after these shows I am watching finished their airing.

        Rakugo is becoming Kids on the Slope 2.0 and I love it while Erased is becoming a proper mystery series.

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  15. Some titles you mentioned I didn’t even notice were airing, but they still don’t pique my interest.
    It’s interesting to see certain titles like Norn+Nonet being dropped by you because I took one look at the plot and was like “What? Is anything going to happen? I doubt it” and so didn’t even watch it. I suspect it is just a shoujo anime for the sake of being a shoujo anime.
    Active Raid is probably an anime that’s watchable and entertaining enough but I think the villain playing around with the police force will aggravate me the more I watch the series.
    I totally agree that Erased will likely be the best anime of the season. The anime does well to get your blood boiling and gets you attached to the characters. It’s playing out really well so far.
    Some titles you haven’t mentioned but are nice to watch are Musaigen no Phantom World, Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo!, Ajin and Reikenzan: Hoshikuzu-tachi no Utage. There’s also Sushi Police but those are like anime shorts with each episode being like 3 minutes.
    Ajin is another good story and a bit better than Grimgar in terms of story and pacing. Kono is another rpg style anime that is mainly comedic and the first episode cracked me up so much so it’s definitely worth watching.
    Another anime that is out but I think it’s not very interestinf is Luck&Logic.
    What do you think of the animes so far now that more episodes are out? And have you seen the other animes I’ve mentioned?

    Like

    • I’ve seen all of Ajin that’s been released so far. At the time of this post it hadn’t been released yet, but I’ll be writing about that one shortly in part 2 of my anime taste testing.

      I’ve seen tiny snippets of some of those other shows you mentioned – Sushi Police, Phantom World, Konosuba – and they were enough to know I wasn’t interested in watching more. That’s fine though, I already have more than enough to be getting on with this season.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ah there’s no such thing as more than enough 😉
        Since these anime are released over the course of the week there will always be something to watch on any given day.
        Konosuba has cliche characters with one of the characters (Drakness, a female Knight) being a massive masochist, so I imagine you will dislike her. There is an odd detail which I’ve personally notice is that the characters’ figures aren’t unrealistic (I’ve noticed this with the Goddess Aqua).
        Phantom world is obviously just about a group of high school kids fighting phantoms and we might get some extra story on top. If we don’t then it will be very disappointing. I like the fact that the guy is a total knowledge nerd and bookworm so he gets points from me.
        How about Assassination Classroom? The 2nd season is shaping to be better than the 1st so far.

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          • For me it was personally interesting because I’m going into the teaching profession so it was nice to watch an anime which is really about school life but with the added plot elements which made it interesting. There’s another anime about teaching with the Physics teacher. But I dropped that one, because for some reason being a genius in Physics apparently just means being good with computers and programming, so I felt the story was a bit wrong because I wanted to see real clever schemes, not technowizardry.

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  16. Pingback: Anime Taste Testing: Winter 2016 (Part II) | OTAKU LOUNGE

  17. Pingback: Anime Taste Testing: Fall 2016 (Part I) | OTAKU LOUNGE

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