Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Spring anime review 2014

My thoughts on the spring anime season so far for 2014

This season turned out a lot differently than I expected. Thought it looked like shit save for Jojo and Mushishi. Nothing else looked particularly interesting at first glance though I was gonna check out love live for sure, just wasn't flipping my shit over it or anything. Please keep in mind at the time of posting this I'm just around half way into the shows I'll be going into.

I was kind of looking forward to Inugami-san to Nekoyama-san in the wake of sakura trick, but was disappointed by it's run time. I suppose I should have seen it coming, I've had it happen so many times now. Just for the hell of it I checked up on the staff behind it before watching it, something I don't usually do. found it very interesting to see that the director had directed nothing but pornography before hand, and lots of it. Kinda shows too. not that I minded, just made me think it'd be a yuri anime that would go even further than sakura trick did and that show was already pushing the soft core porn mark.

I was on the fence about Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka and hesitantly picked it up. I love sol and kawaii shows about kawaii girls doing kawaii things but as silly as it may sound I couldn't shake the feeling this was gonna be a deceptively cute show that was actually edgy and dark. In retrospect it may have been the military otaku that sort of lead me to believe that. I was presently surprised by how cute and charming it was. It's a very simple and straight forward anime that's a relaxing pleasure to watch. It's nothing groundbreaking or original but I don't expect it to be. There's honestly not much else I can really say about it, it's cute for the sake of cute and I'm glad they're still making such shows. one can never have enough sol, even if some really ignorant people think sol is ruining anime when in reality we get like one or two slice of life shows a season with the other 30+ shows being completely different genres.

Was really surprised when I saw Mushishi was scheduled for another season. I really thought it was a joke. feels like forever ago that I saw the original, which was unarguably good damn stuff. I'm not sure what it is though but the show just isn't doing it for me like I thought it would. Maybe it's due to impossible expectations or maybe I've just become more cynical since then but some of the stories in it so far have come across feeling like rejected material that wasn't good enough for the first season. I mainly felt that way becuase two of the first four ep kinda sucked I thought. specifically the one dealing with the red tide, and the other with the snow problems. I guess you can't expect them all to be gold. Over all I guess I'm kinda so-so on it so far, but it does feel like it's been slightly better with the latter eps.

Jojo was something I was really looking forward to. but after actually seeing it it hit me that it's all gonna be content I've already seen before when I saw the old ova. It's something I knew going in of course, but it wasn't really driven home till I was watching it and knew everything that was about to happen. I've never read the manga but it still feels like I ruined it for myself a bit, even if it's obviously not about the plot. Now I can related to why no one really wants to talk much about the show when they've all already read the manga. That stuff aside it does seem to be well done. everything looks nice with some decent enough animation, although I'm not really sold on the almost random color pallet shifts. I get they're trying to be stylistic but it just comes off as weird when all the colors change for no discernible reason. I also wish there wasn't so much censoring. I actually busted out laughing when they censored the area around jojo's mouth when he started smoking. 

Don't really have much to say on Love live 2, pretty much what I was expecting. I know some people are insane about it but I'm not that crazy about idols. To me the series is kinda just whatever. has some nice music and likeable characters with more depth to them than you'd find in other idol anime. Can't really say I have any complaints about it for the most part. It's decent enough... maybe I should be on some antidepressants to enjoy stuff like this more.

Hitsugi no Chaika was something I only checked out becuase my quota of anime for the season was too low. The description I read for it gave me a slightly different expectation than what was received but whatever. I know a lot of people checked it out becuase of the female lead character and her eyebrows but what sold it for me was the coffin, What can I say I really liked gungrave. That said the character design was still interesting enough, even if it became less so with every new image I saw leading up to the series. Anyways, I got some mixed feelings on the show, It has some neat things going for it. The monsters for insistence I think were well done and have a real menacing feeling to them. The prospect of the main characters being villains evading the law also seems interesting. It's just so unfortunate the protag comes across as being so generic, almost like he was ripped from a random harem anime. At least there's none of that self righteous moral supremacy stuff... yet. as for those good guys in pursuit, I'm not sure how to put it exactly but their group comes across like a bunch of fruitcakes. Maybe it's intentional but something about them makes it feel like they part time as a traveling circus. Maybe I'm too dumb to see where it's going but I kind of like the air of mystery around eyebrows and why she's collecting these body parts. just when I thought I had things figured out the character pops up with a bunch of clones. Not saying the show is great but it's got my interest for the time being.

No game, no life was another show I reluctantly picked up becuase I wasn't following enough this season. Something about the description had me say to myself "fuck it what the hell I'll give it a shot". Held off on watching it for a few weeks while the first eps sat on my HDD since it just didn't seem too interesting. I had second thoughts about even watching it since I half expected to just end up dropping the show anyway. Little did I know it'd end up becoming my favorite of the season and one of the most truly enjoyable anime I've seen in a while. I legitimately look forward to the show every week, where as others shows this season it's just "whatever" when the rss feed lets me know they've downloaded. I've tried getting people I know to watch it but -everyone- just ends up hating it for some reason, that includes this board. It's a shame people here hate it so much, but I found it has some unusually high praise and scores on mal. It was kinda strange to see a place that gives straight 7s to everything give this 9s and 10s. I've tried explaining in it's thread why I think it's a good show but it just comes down to it being really entertaining and fun to watch. It's strange becuase the more people ask me whats so great about it the harder it becomes to tell them. The plot isn't deep, the characters aren't complex, The designs aren't exactly anything special and the color design style could be construed as gimmicky... I really don't know what it is that makes it so good, but it just... is. Without much of a doubt this is my top pick of this season.

On-going anime
 The following are shows from last season or before that which have continued into this season.

my feelings on aikatsu are kinda 'meh' as of late, it's more or less just something to watch at this point. The first season was a fair bit better than this one becuase you had all these characters aspiring to be idols, and the show followed them during their rigorous training as you watched them grow and gradually get better. Now with season two all the characters are pros so there's no where for the show to go. It almost comes off like the creators don't know what to do with the characters anymore now that they're all been explored and developed. So they toss in some new characters, and they don't really seem to do anything with them. That aside the outfit designs seem really halveassed this season. last season the outfits were so varied in design, some were hit or miss but there were so many it didn't matter. This season however everyone has different colors of the same basic pastry chef style outfits that look like they were ripped right out of Mayoi Neko Overrun. I also think the music was a bit better for the first season, but not by much so whatever. I miss the holiday themed episodes they had for the first season, and considering their lack of ideas for what to do with the show it's just that more odd they'd get rid of them this year. I should also point out that some of the crack pairings as of late have really made the show feel like a chore to watch, and I hope they move past them as quick as possible.

Nobunaga the fool
Ended up droping this one around 10 ep from the end. The show started out so great but gradually and sedately got worse and worse with each ep.  At first I couldn't tell if the slow pacing was there to build up to something big or if the whole anime was going to be like that... and it turned to be the latter. How they can possibly take the idea of Nobunaga teaming up with joan of arc and leonardo da vinci to fight Julius Caesar and the knights of the round table across different planets using mecha and make it this boring is kind of impressive . I wanted to like this show but the creators made it so hard... I can deal with stupidity and non sensical themes if the show is at least entertaining but this takes it self too seriously for it's own good. A show with a giant high heeled meca piloted by someone pretending to be a man is something I'd expect from a more light hearted show. here on the other hand it feels like parts of the production team don't know what the other are doing. In any other show I could easily over look things like a world were high tech mechanized battle machines are a thing, but loud speakers are a new and strange technology, or when a character blindly steals a completely random mecha just for it to match his character design perfectly. The show simply got more boring and idiotic every week. I reached a point where I didn't really give a crap about anything going on in the show, be it the thin plot or the uninteresting characters and just walked away from it... literately, I got up and left while it was on to browse the interwebs instead.
The original OP/ED gave the false impression this show would be a lot more fun and cool than it turned out to be. I'm glad they changed them for the second half, the second ones seem to more accurately represent how dumb and boring the show is.

Happiness Charge
After dropping doki I wasn't really planing on watching any new seasons of the series, but was convinced to do so anyways. So for this season they have an outfit changing gimmick using cards that kind of rips off aikatsu. While aikatsu wasn't the first to do it, Aikatsu has however been one of pretty cure's biggest competitor for their target demographic and has recently passed up pretty cure in popularity. The show doesn't really do anything new besides that, and really it's not like the series has been known for being ground breaking anyways. hell the second series was just a rehash of the first with rehashed characters. At any rate this season just feels kinda bland is all. Some of the characters aren't particularity interesting and the plot is mostly the same but does incorporate the idea of there being pretty cure all around the world, although they're all horrible stereotypes of whatever country they're from and don't seem like much attention was given to their creation. The art and character designs for the most part are okay, but can at times drop heavily in quality I've noticed. Many of the monsters of the week have already been done before. It's all just meh.
This season has also left me wondering. If they're gonna incorporate a story that involves precure around the world, and have a random precure from the past do an intro thing every ep, and have a character from a past season make a guest appearance in multiple episodes... why not just go all the way and just include past precure in the story? Sure it would destroy the novelty of those DX movies, but it'd make for a pretty cool season. Besides, there's way to many characters at this point for them to each have any remotely decent screen on the silver screen.
Seems the fad may be dying out all the same. When heartcatch aired tons of otaku took interest in pretty cure, but lately I haven't notice many following up with it anymore. I dunno I might join them soon.

Tonari no Seki-kun
Surprising nice anime. I didn't expect much from it, thought it's be a generic low budget web anime. The type where every tiny little episode is centered around a single joke and the credits role as soon as the punchline hits. Instead I'm greeted by a show that while simple in concept and design manages to stay interesting and fresh with each ep. even when they do repeat an ep theme, like with shogi, they still take it in a different enough direction that it's okay. I'm also surprised to see the characters grow and change over the course of the show. It started off with Yokoi not knowing or caring about seki, then finding him to be a nuisance, then struggling to keep herself from joining in his antics., but the end I could see them forming a legitimate and natural feeling relationship.


  1. I haven't been paying attention much to series off this season, but No Game No Life is something that I haven't heard much mentioning from the people I know. Guess I'll watch a bit of it to know how it fares. Also, didn't really thought of Gungrave when one mention of Chaika - the former is a really good series, mm.

    Are you interested in slice and life series? 'cause Isshuukan Friends is something that I'd recommend off this season. Ping Pong is another one tha I'd recommend, really enjoyed that one.

    1. yes I'm a fan of the slice and life genre. I might give Isshuukan Friends a try someday. as for Ping Pong, call me petty but the art style is just too ugly for my tastes, reminds me too much of that eye sour Aku no hana.