Quick Spring 2015 Impressions Part1

Spring in Eastern Canada comes in two parts. The first part is a brief glimpse of warm weather before Winter comes back for one last face punch. The second part of Spring comes right after as a prelude to Summer.

Anime seasons don’t work like that. But for the sake of convenience I am going to make a post on the Spring anime I have seen thus far and perhaps a second when I have seen more. That said, I think most of the anime I will be sticking with are in this list.

Side note: Cocoa Fujiwara, the author of Inu x Boku SS, passed away at the age of 31. She was a very talented mangaka and it is very sad to see her leave us so soon.

Arslan Senki

Arslan Senki 348

I am a big fan of the manga and I was very happy with the first episode. There were many complaints about the terrible CG soldiers and while certainly true, I thought it wasn’t a major setback for my enjoyment of the episode.

Arslan Senki 149

The rest of the episode looked all right and there was some nice camera work going on. The music was lovely and the pacing was perfect. This was a very good opening episode and it did a fine job of establishing the conflict, Arslan as a character and some of the other important characters as well. We only got to see a bit of Daryun for example, but some of the basis of his character, such as his loyalty for Arslan, were nicely hinted at.

Dat ponytail

Dat ponytail

I say I am a big fan of the manga and while I can’t claim it is the best thing ever, as you are reading it, it feels like you reading a classic in the making. It is generally a really good sign when you feel like that. I hope the anime can capture the feeling. The first episode was great, but some of the “anime experts” are skeptical because of the staff and related production news. Here is to hoping for the best!

Someday, I should properly look into Arslan and figure out what if any historic Persian events Arslan carries references to (it is set in something like Persia).

Denpa Kyoushi

Denpa Kyoushi 261

Pretty solid-ish. I really liked the character designs and the nice look the anime had…when it was well done. It wasn’t very consistently animated(or drawn or something) because sometimes they just fell flat. Oh well, I am hoping we get less of that as the anime goes on because I think this is going to be a reasonably nice, simple watch.

Face punch is adorable. I don't remember the other girls, so for now I am declaring her as best girl.

Face punch is adorable. I don’t remember the other girls, so for now I am declaring her best girl.

I have read a bit of the manga and I did like it if my memory is correct.

Dungeon ni Deai o Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka?

Dungeon ni Deai o Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru no Darou ka 63

Surprisingly good first episode. Apart from that one bar scene, I had no troubles with the episode as a whole and I am looking forward to seeing more as it airs. Hestia is a cute godess and MC-kun is pretty cute as well. I don’t care for the other characters yet, but hopefully that should come with time. I am looking forward to seeing backpack girl and tough looking guy from the OP joining MC’s party. From what little I sampled of the manga, backpack girl should be interesting (didn’t get far enough to see tough looking guy).

The art and animation all seemed well done. I love some of the backdrops.

The art and animation all seemed well done. I love some of the backdrops.

I will probably end up sticking with this for a while since it is hopefully going to be a nice lighthearted thing I can watch.

Dungeon ni Deai o Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru no Darou ka 131

Yo, that boob string though. It has become a meme and everyone today (technically yesterday) was just retweeting art work that employs it in one way or another.

Dungeon ni Deai o Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru no Darou ka 185

Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works 2nd Season (more accurately F/SN UBW part 2)

Fate Stay Night UBW p2 105

If I haven’t already made it clear, I am a big Fate fanboy. I loved the first half of UBW, so it is almost a given that I will love the second as well. The first episode was kind of weak. We got a “slightly” creepy shot of Saber and a lot of talking (which I don’t normally mind, but I WAS SO HYPED FOR GIANT BATTLES!). We did, however, get some very nice Rin faces and some excellent relationship initiative by our resident carrot head.

Fate Stay Night UBW p2 19 Fate Stay Night UBW p2 71

I liked how in the opening song, Archer is sitting down and doing nothing right at the beginning, but at the end of it, he gets up and you know, SHIT IS GOING TO GO DOWN THIS TIME AROUND. I have heard this second part of UBW described as “Archer finally doing his thing” and since I love Archer, I can’t wait for him to do his thing! The ending song is very nice. Based Kalafina!

I am expecting a lot from future episodes, but to be honest even if they are sub-par, I will watch them anyway. I am too deep in this rabbit hole to escape now.

Gunslinger Stratos: The Animation

Gunslinger Stratos 9

The first episode was ehhh? Like, ehhh? The first think that irked me was the character design, especially the design for the MC. I don’t know it just seemed  different in a slightly bad way? I didn’t mind it as much when I skimmed through the episode a second time, so maybe you just have to get used to it.

Gunslinger Stratos 13

There is some cool contrast thing in the opening with our MC and MC's doppelganger (or other me if you will).

There is some cool contrast thing in the opening with the two main characters and their doppelgangers.

I am glad the anime didn’t try to explain everything to us, but for some reason, the plot felt all over the place. I am not really sure what I should think about this anime, so I will probably give it another episode. I do like the main girl though and especially like the ship with her and MC. If this anime has some nice romance, then maybe it is worth watching.

Gunslinger Stratos 64

Hibike! Euphonium

That Bokeh

That Bokeh and those soft edges. Urgh, too good.

I went in expecting to not like this show. Actually, to be honest, I wanted to hate it. I couldn’t though. I really couldn’t. Euphonium is gorgeous and incredibly well made. The lighting, the animation, the pacing, the little character touches, everything is perfect. The phrase “cute girls in a band” along with the initial promo art really didn’t sell the anime to me, but this was perfect proof that even mundane stories can be made great with proper attention.

So very pretty...

So very pretty…

As for why I wanted to hate it, well it is partly because cute girls playing in a concert band sounds boring, partly because concert bands themselves sound boring, and partly because I don’t want to be confronted with the thought that I wasted my high school life by never joining a music band and never learned how to play music. Well, that got personal fast.

I am looking forward to the second episode. If the remaining episodes are as well done as the first, then I think I will end up enjoying this anime a lot. Oh, but the lack of cute boys really hurts this show. I want my moe music playing boys. ;_;

Kekkai Sensen

Kekkai Sensen 110

Kekkai Sensen, also known as Blood Blockade Battlefront (BBB for short), had a really good first episode. It was bursting with energy and some of the visual transitions and what not were very creative and lovely. I also like the plot and setting. The MC is quite likable. He looks like the kind of character who will get a lot of development over this series (heck he claimed as much right at the beginning).

This is probably the show I am going to hype myself the most about, but I do recognize that this is also the kind of anime that is most likely to fall off a cliff and become terrible real fast.

Nagato Yuki-chan no Shoushitsu

The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan 34

Very cute, but unfortunately little more. Not going to lie, Nagato felt a little flat here. In particular, I don’t really see much reasoning behind why she fell for Kyon. He helped her in the library once? That is a pretty boring reason to fall for someone and I expected something slightly better here.

I feel I am being a bit too harsh here though. A lot of the Haruhi elements I liked in the original series are still here, so I like that and I am especially happy because I get to see Kyon in all his glorious sass once more (though to be honest, Kyon sass is so much less obvious without Haruhi roping it out of him). Also that sexy Kyon voice. So good.

Owari no Seraph

Seraph of the End 183

I liked Seraph’s first episode a lot. The backgrounds were very pretty. The animation was lovely and I liked the bright clean character designs. This series could have gone with a very boring, overly dark and gloomy look, but I am glad it didn’t.

Seraph of the End 35 Seraph of the End 88

The sadism present here normally would have turned me off, but I have read a good portion of the manga, so I knew exactly what to expect. I am looking forward to seeing the next couple of episodes, but this is probably one of those shows that I will skip one week (either because I am too scared to watch an episode or am just not up for it) and will never catch up to again.

WARNING: Episode contains a fair bit of blood, so if you absolutely can’t stand blood, you might want to avoid.

Plastic Memories

Plastic Memories 220

nhm. The first episode was reasonably done and it flowed pretty well, I guess? I laughed at a lot of the funny scenes involving the veteran collector doing dumb things. I thought the “sad” overtone was a bit too strong though, so I am not sure if I am going to keep watching this. Normally shows like this either drown you in fake sorrow or entice fake tears from your eyes. The latter of those is generally not a bad thing for anime to do, but I have a hard time keeping up with obviously sad stories and often end up “accidentally” forgetting about them at some point in the season.

Re-Kan!

Just look at that EYE catching character design, yo

Just look at that EYE catching character design, yo

This was probably the biggest disappointment for me this season. I appreciate the happy, joyous tone the anime went with (instead of the sad “OH NO I AM DIFFERENT” approach), but it was so boring. I thought the scene at the end with the children was fairly cute, but if I have to sit through 20 minutes of this to get like 2 minutes of decent material, then I probably won’t bother.

I don’t think I will watch the second episode unless I am really bored when it comes out, or maybe if people on twitter start singing praises for it.

Shokugeki no Souma

Shokugeki no Soma 48

One of my favorite manga got an anime! Yay! I feel kinda bad that a good portion of people got turned off by the first episode. That squid scene was especially controversial. The beginning of the manga, as nicely demonstrated by this episode, is also a bit weak. I think the anime should really have run through this first little bit much faster. The squid scene was unnecessary, as was most of the buildup to the land shark foodgasm. There is nothing wrong with omitting a bit of material if it makes your adaptation better!

Continuing with that thought the manga is well known for its foodgasms, but those reaction faces are probably hard to do well in an anime, at least without a lot of talent, thought and maybe money. The food they showed off this first episode didn’t really look all that appetizing either. So, the anime should try and focus on the other good parts of Soma (yes, there are a few…). The competitions are intense and some of the rivalries the chefs build with one another are really cool, so maybe try to better develop those somehow?

(That said, I thought the final reaction with the muscle men was fairly well done.)

Anyway, I will keep watching this and I am hopeful it ends up being a good adaptation in the end.

Show By Rock!!

Cyan is so so adorable.

Cyan is so very cute.

Amazing. I loved Show by Rock. The energy, the absurd jumps from one thing to another and the all around fluff and heart the anime presented was all great. The background music was also appropriately good for a show about Rock and Roll. And, best of all, the episode was cute as fuck.

I am looking forward to more, but I get the dreadful feeling that this joyous feeling will go away, perhaps as soon as next episode. That is to say, I don’t know if SbR can keep it up. If it can keep up and be this great the whole season, it will probably end up one of my favorites this season and maybe even be in the running for AOTY.

Oh and the first episode had the absolute best transition into the opening song this season. You can’t beat it. That transition was amazing.

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  1. #1 by Highway on April 8, 2015 - 8:28 pm

    You are a bad person for never having been in band, and you shall regret it all the rest of your days! 😉

    Best show so far for me is DxD. I’m not a huge fan of some of the ones you liked here: Arslan Senki, Owari no Seraph, Shokugeki no Souma (the part of Koufuku Graffiti I liked the least, ramped up to 14, if it drops the reaction stuff way down I’d like it better). We’ll see if I stick with them. I think that Gunslinger Stratos is already dropped, because the character designs are so blah.

    I agree with you about Re-Kan. It could have been a lot more charming, but was more of a chore than it should have been. Danmachi was good as well, but I’d really prefer that Hestia be more straightforward with Bell. My favorite of your list was Euphonium, which had a really nice feel, more subdued than most of the KyoAni openers have been lately. And of course, having been in school wind ensembles, it brought back nice memories.

    Quite a few more shows to go, tho. One first ep I think deserves some mention is Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha ViVid. They made an opening episode that a complete newbie (me) to the ficton could easily watch and enjoy and understand, and it had a good foundation for the characters, I thought.

    • #2 by Reiseng on April 9, 2015 - 10:10 pm

      I will watch DxD after I have finished or err started Season 2. Actually we are probably going to watch DxD S3 in the Classy Skype calls, so I am probably going to end up having seen it one way or another by season end.

      I can totally see people being turned off by Souma and Seraph. Arslan, I thought was pretty decent, but I guess it is not for everyone.

      I bet even if Hestia was more straight forward, she wouldn’t get anywhere…she seems to have been god friend-zoned if you will. Euphonium did have a very nice feel to it. I agree in that it was very subdued and not in your face. Quite nice.

      I had no intention of trying Nanoha having seen none of it before, but I guess if I don’t need to have seen anything before, then it might be worth a shot.

      Bunch of other good shows have popped up since I wrote this: Mikagura Gakuen Kumikyoku was pretty great and I liked Kyoukai no Rinne as well (new avatar. 😛 ). Ore Monogatari!! had a very strong opening episode. I am a big fan of the manga, and I thought the anime did very well. You will probably like it. Punchline was…interesting to say the least. Not sure if it is worth sticking with, but it looks nice at least.

  1. Quick Spring 2015 Impressions Part 2 | Toxic Muffin

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