Winter 2015: Some end of season thoughts

Hello, since my opinions on anime are always in demand, I figured I’d jot down a few. Winter 2015 was actually a very good season for anime, but unfortunately, I only finished a very small number of anime. I didn’t have much time and a general sense of doom and gloom occupied my mind these past few months. Oh well. Let’s see what we can talk about.

Related post you may like : Winter 2015 OTPs

Completed

Shirobako

Shirobako 1

Shirobako was really, really good. I don’t quite think it was the classic everyone thought it was (not sure if it will be my AOTY even, though it may come close), but it was still great. I feel like I have little to say here that hasn’t already been said, but I might make a short post on it when I get the chance.

Watch Shirobako. I think it is pretty worthwhile. It gives you a little peek into the anime industry and more importantly it has excellent character drama and growth. It is also very relatable as many of us understand the suffering that comes with working.

As a related aside, I wouldn’t mind a season 2 (would be cool to see more of the characters), but I don’t really think it is all that necessary and the anime did exactly what it needed to do.

Garo

Garo 927

Garo is excellent. It has high class action, some wonderful choreography, some lovely backgrounds and scene composition and the atmosphere is amazing. The comments in my previous 12 Day post on Garo still hold true and if anything, the second half of Garo is even better than the first. Leon really comes into his own as a character and seeing him go from a brash kid to a serious, stoic badass is one amazing journey. That is not a mark against the rest of the cast mind you since all of the important characters were very well fleshed out.

Moe Alfonso

Moe Alfonso

World Break

World Break 14

This was the classy watch for Winter 2015.

Bad things:

  • Terrible, terrible animation especially during fights (though you could laugh at it).
  • Satsuki was annoying.
  • Some of the humor was meh.
  • Harem antics got in the way of my OTP.
  • Silly plot, but I doubt you’d care about that.
  • The Savior Vice President.

Good things:

  • I had a genuine OTP in Urushibara x Moroha. Like I shipped them so hard.
  • Trashy and kind of funny sometimes.
  • The Savior Vice President. (Note: she does a lot of sexual embarrassment….I hate to admit it, but she has made me laugh often.)

Not a bad watch if you can stomach (or laugh) at the terrible fights.

World Break 27

Akatsuki no Yona

Akatsuki no Yona 1618

I have already made it pretty clear that I am a big fan of the manga. The anime is really good. The backgrounds, the music, the voice acting (Jae-ha’s voice is so so sexy), the fight scenes and the overall animation have all been very good (or at least good enough). I do hope there is a second season. The anime ended at arguably the only point it could have, but it was still not a good point to end at. I am sure many will want some form of closure.

Akatsuki no Yona 1590

Gundam Build Fighters Try

Gundam Build Fighters Try 500

GBF Try tried (heh), but didn’t quite hit the level its predecessor set. I personally think its biggest flaws were the switch to overly magical powerup moments done by the Build Burning. It really took some of the intensity of the fights out. Shipping wasn’t anywhere near as good either. I might wanna make a post on this, but GBF Try was still a very good anime. If you watched the first season, Try is definitely worth watching.

Log Horizon S2

Rudy was amazing this season.

Rudy was amazing this season.

Log Horizon’s second season was in my opinion slightly less consistent than the first. The lows were lower, but the highs were also higher. It averaged out to be a fairly nice show. I liked how it recognized the weirdness of the world. Weirdness being the ugly mixture of game mechanics (leveling up, stats…) with realistic physics (cooking etc..). Even though we still don’t have a clear explanation for how the world ending up becoming what it did, the show acknowledged it and was slowly building towards revealing the true nature of everything (but then it ran out of material -_-‘).

I liked how Log Horizon explored both the effect the adventurers had on the Elder Tale world and the effect the world had on them. I like how the show did its best to try and explore what happens when people can’t die. What happens when they are pulled away from their homes against their will. What happens when even in a game world, a class hierarchy begins to form. What happens to music when the game mechanics limit the number of songs you can play (this one honestly made me really sad in a good way).

I can’t claim that Log Horizon did a particularly good job of exploring any of its themes, but I thought it did an amiable job at least and more importantly it tried. It tried really hard and I honestly appreciate that. It would have been really easy for Log Horizon to fall back on MMO anime tried and true tropes or to go full harem, but it tried to be ambitious and I liked it for that. Sure, I didn’t quite get to see as much of Log Horizon goofiness as I’d have liked, but well, it was a trade off I suppose.

Having said all of that, it is a shame that the second part of Log Horizon Season 2 had to air in an otherwise blockbuster season. When people will talk about Winter 2015, the first anime the vast majority of people (those that I know of) will mention will be Shirobako. Then maybe Death Parade, Garo or Maria. Then maybe Yona, GBF, JoJo, Yatterman, YuriKuma, Rolling Girls and then finally they will name drop Log Horizon.

I don’t think most people even think Log Horizon was worse than all of those, but it was definitely overshadowed by them (at least at the beginning of the season when it counted the most).  Heck, even just looking at the carry overs from Fall 14, Shirobako, Garo, GBF and Yona are all likely talked about more than Log Horizon. It is a bit of a shame since I consider this show to be a rewarding anime to watch. It is not worth going out of your way for, but it probably deserves significantly more lasting power then it will get.

I hope you get the chance to do glasses fix again sometime, Shiroe.

I hope you get the chance to do glasses fix again sometime, Shiroe.

Not finished

The Testament of Sister New Devil

Shinmai Maou no Testament 43

One of the few anime that become more perverted with censorship than without.

One of the few anime that becomes more perverted with censorship than without.

I actually enjoyed what I saw of this trashy anime (6 or so episodes)! It was pretty funny and the cast wasn’t deplorable. Unfortunately, I kinda just stopped bothering to watch it. There were other anime that were higher priority. If you are curious and watch to watch this, do keep in mind that this is very, very perverted. Like, this is more than just boy falls and gropes boobes. It is basically heavily censored soft porn.

Shinmai Maou no Testament 31

Death Parade

I liked the third episode a lot. It was very sweet.

I liked the third episode. It was very sweet.

I watched 4 episodes and sorta liked what I saw. To be honest, shows like this aren’t really my thing. Seeing humans act the way they did in DP makes me a little queasy I suppose? Death Parade generally received a pretty good welcome, but some folk such as Scamp claimed it was another show that tried to yell away all of its problems. I am not sure if I want to watch all of Death Parade, but the 11th episode was so well received, I want to watch it. That ice skating scene spawned many gifs and I think many would consider it one of the most beautiful scenes this season (my own interpretation of the options spewed out on twitter).

Maria the Virgin Witch

Maria the Virgin Witch 3

I only saw one episode. This is one show I really should finish someday because it is generally well received. It didn’t spark massive fanfare, but from I heard, it was a consistent performer. The only real complaints I have seen against it either involve the dumb title or dissatisfaction with Maria’s depiction of Christianity.

Not going to lie, I love that burn. It is so good.

Not going to lie, I love that burn. It is so good.

Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu Love!

Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu Love! 4Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu Love! 6

Probably one of the funnier anime this season. It is a shame I fell behind and couldn’t be bothered to catch up. I rather liked the flamboyance of it all. Some of the humor got old, but I thought the anime was doing a reasonable enough job of staying funny.

Ansatsu Kyoushitsu (Assassination Classroom)

Assassination Classroom 38

I am up to date with the manga and I watched a bit of the anime. I love the colors in the anime and it feels like a reasonable package all in all.

Assassination Classroom 46 Assassination Classroom 47

Juuou Mujin no Fafnir

Unlimited Fafnir 9

I watched 3 episodes of this, left it alone for a while then made the terrible mistake of watching the fourth. Fafnir (what I saw of it anyway) is crap. I liked Iris a bit and was fond of how assertive she was in her pursuit of a relationship. Had the anime ended after 3 episodes with her going out with MC, I might have been okay giving this a passing grade, but it didn’t. It instead expected me to sit through the same thing repeated for each of the other girls and that was not an enticing thought. Also the leviathan’s are really bad CG.

Unlimited Fafnir 15

But hey at least, the opening was really nice.

Isuca

Isuca 6

I watched one episode, but then couldn’t be bothered to watch any more after that. It is like one of those early 2000’s anime with the frequent cloth ripping and in fight panty shots. I didn’t find it totally deplorable, but I did think it was very boring. It is a shame really, I kind of wanted a nice throwback anime to that era (also a shame the animation was on par with what you’d find back then…). I tried watching a little bit of episode 2 in preparation for this post and ughh, it was just terrible.

Saenai Heroine no Sodate-kata

Saekano's Senpai Step on me please.

Senpai Step on me please.

I have a few quips with Saekano. Actually I have just one big quip and that is the main character. He is annoying, kinda boring and quite frankly embarrassing to watch. The girls on the other hand are great. I want senpai to step on me and Katou is my waifu. I have seen 3 episodes thus far and am  planning on slowly catching up. I heard really bad things about episode 0, so I skipped it all together. You don’t need to watch it at all. In fact, please don’t since some people can’t stand the rest of the show cause of it.

Not really related aside: I do have some history with Saekano. I have read a bit of the manga as well as the spin-off Egoistical Lily, which centers around Eriri. I thought that Egoistical Lily, while being a bit too much about otaku culture at times, had a very interesting childhood friend relationship. The two (MC and Eriri) wanted to be more than just friends, but past history kept getting in their way. It was a painful read and I guess it was the good kind of painful? At the very least, it was different.

Waifu

Waifu

Rolling☆Girls

Rolling Girls 33

I watched a bit and sorta didn’t mind Rolling☆Girls, but felt it was empty. I liked the statue/motorbike arc, but then I stopped watching it. I think the consensus I had reached at that point was that the setting is really cool. The fights are interesting-ish (especially the one in the first episode), and while I liked the side characters (e.g. motorbike dude, statue making girl..), the main characters were boring. I could neither relate or come to care for the main cast in my short tenure with them.

Rolling Girls 147

Yoru no Yatterman

Yoru no Yatterman 35

I think I watched two episodes, but then stopped. Opinions on Yatterman appear mixed with most singing high praises about the 1st episode and a few episodes here and there, but plenty of “mehs about a lot of it”. I hear the ending was especially bad due to a production breakdown, but that is supposed to be fixed in the Blu-Ray release.

Damn everything about this scene. It made Yatterman's 1st episode one of the season's best episodes.

Damn everything about this scene. It made Yatterman’s 1st episode one of this season’s best episodes.

THE iDOLM@STER: Cinderella Girls

As a practitioner of good taste, I joined the large group of people who liked Shiburin..a lot.

As a practitioner of good taste, I joined the large group of people who liked Shiburin.

I watched 3 episodes and didn’t really feel like watching more, so I stopped there. Apart from the main trio, the rest of the characters felt flat and overall it just didn’t feel anywhere near as good an introduction into anime as 2011’s idolm@ster was.

Parasyte

Parasyte 538I think I watched maybe half of Parasyte. I liked what I saw, but then fell behind and just couldn’t bother catching back up. Parasyte tries too hard sometimes. Some of the “edginess”, deaths and drama were not really required in my opinion. Maybe someday, I will watch some more because I hear good things happened with that parasyte teacher lady.

Parasyte 796

Didn’t try, but maybe should

Yuri Kuma Arashi

I am not really interested in a show that has lots of symbolism and little else, but I hear really good things about the ending, so that alone makes me want to try this someday. Maybe, someday…

Koufuku Graffiti

Cute food porn apparently. Not really my thing, but maybe if I am feeling bored, have lots of time and don’t really want to think very hard about something, I will give it a shot for the cute girls and well done visuals.

Kamisama Hajimemashita

I used to read the manga a lot time back, but I have forgotten a lot of it and I didn’t watch the previous couple of seasons, so I’d have to do that before I could watch this one.

Absolute Duo

I have read a bit of the manga and didn’t hate it. Maybe I should try the anime someday, especially since well reputed anime critic bless likes it.

Cross Ange

Highway has been egging me to try Cross Ange. Mira and Draggle as well as a few other people with good taste liked it, so clearly there is something here. I will put some time aside and try it out sometime soon.

Carry Overs To Spring 2015

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders Part 2

JoJo 1

Still awesome. Actually it is getting a fair bit better. D’arby’s arc was fantastic. I liked the recent Hol Horse and Boingo arc a lot as well! It was very amusing.

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  1. #1 by Highway on April 5, 2015 - 5:05 pm

    My thoughts on your thoughts…🙂

    First, you should watch SaeKano Episode 0. Unfortunately, it kind of set a tone and expectations that the rest of the show couldn’t keep up with for me. I, like you, find Tomoya to be pretty annoying, and the anchor that keeps this show from flying, but the girls, particularly Kato and Utaha, were great.

    We did a Fantasy Harem Ranking on Metaverse, since three of us watched all of Isuca, Fafnir, ShinMaou, World Break, and Absolute Duo. World Break (rightly) came out on top, and ShinMaou was up there as well, but got hosed in the rankings because of a lack of beach episode. Personally, I really liked World Break because it had such an awareness of what it was and where it was going. Like you, I really saw that OTP in the show, and that helped a lot. The monsters were terrible, but somehow less terrible than Duo’s.

    I enjoyed most of the shows this season, and watched pretty much everything you list here (except JoJo, GBF Try, Garo, and haven’t finished Maria because I was afraid they were going for a Bad End). Shirobako was definitely good, and the shows I think you should prioritize over others to finish are Shinmaou and Death Parade.

    The big thing you’re missing out on is Cross Ange. Most polarizing show since Glasslip. If you see low ratings, it’s because the show wasn’t what those people wanted it to be, not because it was bad. If you see high ratings, it’s because people accepted what the show is. And what it is is almost awesome. Yeah, it’s “shocking” at times, but I found that even those parts were authentic. Yeah it’s all over the place. There’s no way to describe the show, at all (it’s a perfect example of my idea of trying to describe anime to ‘regular’ people making you sound like a pervert or an idiot). But it’s just this wave that swept me up and said “We’re going here, like it or not.” I’ve described it as the perfect medium between Valvrave (which I thought was just stupid, inauthentic, too complicated, and had terrible bad guys) and Buddy Complex (which was stodgy, boring, and relied too much on Aoba yelling “HIIIINAAAAAA” because he couldn’t get through his thick skull that people in the future might not be the same as people in his time). I highly recommend it.

    You also might have liked Parasyte. Didn’t get too gory, didn’t spend too much time on fighting. Had good thought-provoking storylines and well-developed characters.

    • #2 by Reiseng on April 5, 2015 - 7:19 pm

      Ack, totally forgot about Cross Ange and Parasyte. Added them in, thanks.😛 No worries, you have already sold me on Cross Ange. Once I get the time for its 20 odd episodes, I will check it out. Maybe in a day or two. Someday, I will think of finishing Parasyte, but I have seen half or so of it, so I don’t feel a desperate need to do so.

      I will also consider finishing ShinMaou and Death Parade, but this Spring season looks pretty good so far, so I will probably be kept busy with it. Haha.

      Thanks again Highway.🙂

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