So, guys, it’s been awhile. … Well, not all that long, but it’s been too much time to feel comfortable about not writing. SO. Here we are with a brand new season of anime that’s sprouting like the Flowers of Evil, and I already feel overwhelmed by the amount of options: options of awesome content and absolute garbage–unsurprisingly, they’re about 50/50, if not more on the disappointing side.
There’s always the silver lining at the top of the atomic bomb’s mushroom! … (That’s how that saying goes, right?)
Anyway. The plan here is simply to list off all the anime I’ve watched up to this point for the new season, give my first impressions of the shows, and reveal to you which shows I’ll be covering with reviews.
Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu:
Ya like stories, kid?
I have to say that this show absolutely shocked me. Well, more accurately stated, I was completely shocked that I enjoyed it so much. This kind of show, being all about the art of rakugo, the ancient Japanese art of storytelling, wouldn’t usually seem to be the most exciting thing in the world. For obvious reasons. However, I actually found myself laughing at the jokes the guy was making in his little performances and whatnot.
Anyway, the characters are absolutely captivating. The story is mainly just about a mafia guy who recently got out of prison and tracked down a famous rakugo storyteller to beg him to let him become his disciple. The kind of individuals that those two are, however, don’t necessarily mesh in the best way possible, which is exactly why I find it enjoyable to watch.
Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu is not a show for those who aren’t into anime. I repeat. THIS IS NOT FOR NEWBS. Unless, of course, they enjoy an adult-like storyline (not meaning sexual or nasty) with good character development and lifelike situations. The first episode itself is the length of two regular shows, so that in itself goes to show that this isn’t some little sit-down-watch-and-leave kind of deal. This is a journey where the viewers get to make a connection with the characters, watching a young man (and young woman) try his best to become a professional in the field of rakugo, along with the struggles of trying to make his storytelling his own. This is not some kids’ show. It’s meant for a select, mature audience who enjoys well-developed humor and difficult life situations.
Episode Rating: B+ – I wasn’t expecting a lot from this show, so what I saw outright surprised me. It taught me that even seemingly boring content can have some good to it if the viewer is just will to give it a go. This episode only got a B+, though, because it wasn’t perfect.
Well. This is… a show.
If you didn’t know, this show is ALL about candy shops. Well… sort of. This show revolves around the concept of a girl trying to buy out a guy’s confectionary shop (hence the Japanese word, kashi) that the owner is trying to have his manga-drawing son to take over. The thing is, the son has no desire to take over, but he is exceptional at selling candy and producing ideas for new types.
This show is a slice of life with eccentric characters, which is exactly why I was interested in it in the first place. I mean, just LOOK at that picture. She’s drooling just from imagining grilling a certain food item. She’s absolutely crazy about sweets and in-your-face about everything that pertains to them.
The animation, artwork, and character designs are all on point. Just by looking at the character’s eyes, you can typically tell what’s gonna go down with their personalities and situations. That is speaking toward a very broad generality, of course. All of the motions and actions of the characters fit what they look like extremely well. There was no waste of expense here for this show. Even the voice acting is on point. That’s not really all that surprising, though. A lot of shows seem to always get JUST the right person for the job when it comes to voice acting. I digress.
So, did I have a problem?
Yes. I did. Thanks for asking.
I had a huge problem with the nudity. I’ll just finish my rant below about that, though.
Until that time, I do want to also say that the storyline is going to be quite a fun procession to watch. The girl enters this rundown town to get this confectionary shop to work with her, but she decides that she will stay put there until she gets him to agree to her terms. This can only lead to hilarious and questionable situations that will make me wonder if I should have even continued watching in the first place.
Episode Rating: B- – Look, I was really, REALLY looking forward to this show. I had started reading the manga at one point, got a few pages into it, and dropped it because I was busy with something else. So, I got the gist of it and was super pumped to see it in action. Everything would have been fine and dandy IF ONLY SHE WOULDN’T HAVE BEEN NEKKED. Like, why is it absolutely necessary to show a naked woman’s body in television? I don’t freaking care if it’s “just her butt,” it’s her privacy and no one else’s. In television with real actors, that is how I feel, and I often feel as though anime should abide by those same, wholesome standards because it already has a bad rep for being All. About. Porn. Which it’s not. I understand it was probably in the manga. I understand it was “just sticking to the original story.” But there is a difference between manga and anime, and they could have just as easily made the same scene with some kind of censorship AT LEAST. Tch. I’m done now.
ERASED (Boku Dake ga Inai Machi):
My #1 for this season.
You know when you look at an anime’s promo cover and you just know that you’re going to love it even though you have no idea what it’s about? Well, that’s EXACTLY how I felt about this show when I first saw a picture of it.
Out of all the shows thus far, ERASED has been my favorite. The plot and storyline of this supernatural/suspense/I’MSTUCKINTHEPASTHALPPLZ is something that is WAY TOO COOL. The thing is, this show just SUCKS you in. I can very easily focus on the anime that I’m watching at almost any given time. I love anime so much that it’s easy for me to just lock in right away. However, there are times where I have to force myself to stay attentive. This wasn’t the case for ERASED. It made me WANT to continue watching, and even more than that, it wouldn’t let go.
As far as the plot goes, I’m quite looking forward to where this show will take us all. I’ve never seen a show with a concept like this before: the fact that the guy can briefly go back in time to stop death; the fact that the guy gets stuck in his childhood past (after hitting 29 years of age). If there is such a show, let me know. I’d love to see it. The characters in it are SO enjoyable to watch. I found myself telling other people to watch the show with me, and when they did, I kept nagging them about how good the voice acting was and how perfect the characters’ personalities were. They’re so normal–so very normal, but so intriguing at the same time.
While looking at the picture above of the show, I would also like to point out how on point the animation is. I am a big fan of the character design and they did a great job of making me feel like I was in some town with the setting design as well. Often times you just feel like you’re in some random city, but for some reason the art of the backgrounds made me feel a little… Comfortable. Even though I knew the show wasn’t going to head in that direction. It was a really cool.
Episode Rating: A+ – I gave it an A+ because I have absolutely nothing bad to say about this show. This is going to be my most absolute FAVORITE show of this season. No doubt. Hands down. 100%, yo. After I finished that first episode, I was like, “IS THAT IT?! NOOOOOOO!!!” It is SO worth the watch. It has blood and is very descriptive in showing a knife being plunged into someone’s body, but if that doesn’t bother you, GO. WATCH. IT. NOW. Totes mah goats, worth it.
I saw this on the upcoming list and thought, “Meh.” Well, I was wrong.
I don’t know where to begin. Actually, let’s start with the story. If I’m not mistaken, the story takes place in somewhere around 2079, so pretty dumping far into the future, but not too far out of the foreseeable future. A single company provides power to the entire world for free (I could be wrong about that part), and apparently 1. there are these cells that are used to power stuff, and 2. there are illegal versions of these cells that the company doesn’t want to exist. So, with that said, the guy pictured above is kind of like a hitman for those cells.
So, I have no idea where this show is going to go. I suppose it’s going to end up like every other Shounen-type of show where there’s a bunch of random action until something randomly kind of converges. I like those kinds of shows just fine, but I think I prefer something that I can see the end goal of the show before it gets too far. For example, in The Perfect Insider we knew what the end goal was: to find out whodunit. So, again, for this show, I don’t see anything being incredibly drawing in regards to plot.
I will say that even though the plot may be a tad bit messy, the content of the first episode is quite appealing. The situations, the circumstances, the setting; I mean, I quite enjoyed getting to see how some people in that kind of society were operating personally. I love getting to see into the lives of characters, and learning about them and their pasts and experiences is always fulfilling for me.
I absolutely LOVE the character design. I mean, LOOK at that guy’s face! IT’S. SO. SHARP. The sharpness of the character design really gives to the edginess of the show. It’s symbolic in its simplest form, and I love it. And there’s no way I could forget the robot girl. SHE’S SO CUUUUUTE. But she’s also super deadly. But she’s also a girl. Sort of. It makes for an interesting mix when the main guy and robot girl are in the same room and creates humorous material (so much smacking, guys).
Episode Rating: A – Talk about a trip, though. This show blew me away. I mean, I could NOT believe what I had just watched. This show is going to be filled with so much excitement, I can already taste the blood. … I mean… What? AAAANYWAY. You guys should definitely go check it out. It’s my #2 for the new season, and I’m so ready for more.
Girls Beyond the Wasteland (Shoujo-tachi wa Kouya wo Mezasu):
Would you like to play a game?
Or would you rather make one? Well, the latter is the whole premise of this show, and so far, I like it quite a bit (a lot better than Saekano, which was fairly ecchi).
Just to start, the main characters are so likeable. I like them a lot. Like, a lot, a lot. The main female character is cute and mysterious as can be, which puts a pressure on the viewers to continue watching. Her objective, to have a fellow high school student who had recently written the script for a school play write the script for her game, was revealed at the end of the episode. Until that point she had stared at him intently from a distance and had also pretty much gone on a date with the boy to ensure his idea of a date was good (I personally believe it will probably be a romance simulator game–that makes the most sense why she would choose to go on a date with the boy to figure out what he’s made of). The main guy in question smoothly handled the situations that were thrown at him, and easily conquered all the expectations of the girl. I love characters like this guy, though, because he’s super relatable. Not because he’s a boss at dating chicks, but because there’s nothing special about him. For that reason alone do I find him so fun to watch. Totally worth seeing just for their interactions.
For whatever reason, this show is ONLY on Hulu. I’m not quite sure why, but it is a little frustrating simply because I can’t watch the show in 1080p. I probably could if I were subscribed to Hulu, but I don’t want to spend even more money just to watch a show in 1080p rather than 480p, ya know? So, that is a little frustrating, which is why the picture above will not do it justice when I say that the animation looks absolutely beautiful. It’s got really sharp artwork that just put other Shoujo shows to shame. Project No. 9, the animation studio that is developing this show, did an episode of Sword Art Online (this episode specifically), and did some of the animation (2nd key animation) for A Lull in the Sea (which is some of the most beautiful work on the anime market, in my humble opinion).
Episode Rating: A- – There were some moments in this episode that I felt a little bored. It wasn’t terrible by any means, but it didn’t just invite me into the world like other shows have this season. So, that’s the main reason why this scored lower than the rest. The plot just wasn’t as engaging as some other shows are, and if the plot isn’t incredibly in yo’ face, then you have a hard time getting drawn in by the anime spirits.
Ojisan and Marshmallow (Ojisan to Marshmallow):
This short is dumping hilarious.
Guys, I have seen quite a few anime shorts in the past, but this show probably takes the cake. … I mean, marshmallow LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL (great joke, I know).
If you take any time out of your busy schedule to watch a short, it’s GOTTA BE THIS ONE. I did not expect it to be fun or anything; in fact, when I saw the first scene of the show I was quite concerned because of the title of the show. “Ojisan” usually means “uncle” in Japanese, so I was quickly under the impression that this was some twisted incest short. But nope. Not one bit. It’s just a fat guy who is loved incredibly deeply by some chick who is dying to have his baby. And he doesn’t realize it. It’s too perfect.
I’m a big fan of the character designs in this short as well. The big guy is being relentlessly pursued by a rather thin, very cute-faced woman, so this contrast adds a lot to the dynamic of the show in regards to physical ability, how the audience perceives the characters (you WILL look at people differently based on their weight–it’s almost impossible not to), and to the silliness that is their relationship.
Episode Rating: A- – This was a fantastic short. I didn’t feel bored at all when watching it, and it felt like every moment was used to get the feel of the show across to the audience. It was really well done! I look forward to seeing the rest of the show. HOWEVER. The reason why this didn’t get an A+ is because I felt like the art could have been a little tighter. For example, look up above at the picture of the fat guy. Look at how the lines are drawn on his shirt. There’s a lot of messiness and not a lot of crispness that high-quality shows bear. It’s little stuff like that that keeps certain anime from being the absolute top in it category. Of course, this isn’t NEARLY as bad as Magical Somera-chan, so I really can’t complain too much.
So, here’s a list of the other shows that I watched but will not be reviewing:
- Active Raid (Kiddou Kyoushyuushitsu Dai Hakkei)
- AOKANA: Four Rhythm Across the Blue (Ao no Katana no Four Rhythm)
- *Bubuki Buranki (BBK/BRNK)
- Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash (Hai to Gensou no Grimgar) <–MUST have a subscription to Funimation or Hulu to watch LEGALLY.
- Haruchika – Haruta & Chika (Haruchika: Haruto to Chika wa Seishun Suru) <–MUST have a subscription to Funimation or Hulu to watch LEGALLY. However, episode 1 is available for free on Hulu at time of writing.
- *Luck & Logic <–MUST have a subscription to Funimation or Hulu to watch LEGALLY.
- Myriad Colors Phantom World (Musaigen no Phantom World)
- Norn9 (Norn9: Norn+Nonet) <–At time of writing, episode 1 is available for free on Hulu.
- Prince of Stride: Alternative <–MUST have a subscription to Funimation or Hulu to watch LEGALLY. However, episode 1 is available for free on Hulu at time of writing.
- *Ooya-san wa Shishunki! <–Anime short
- *Sekkou Boys <–Anime short
- Tabimachi Late Show <–Anime short
As you can see, there are some of these shows with an asterisk by their names. That simply means that they are truly honorable mentions, quite worthy of being seen. Of all the honorable mentions, I would like to point out one show and one short in particular. Luck & Logic is most certainly one of my favorites from this list, as is Sekkou Boys. They both just made me sit back and enjoy the ride, even though the atmosphere of either show was COMPLETELY different. As for BBK/BRNK, I will say that I was impressed. That kind of animation style is difficult to achieve with continuously flowing animated movements. I look forward to seeing the rest of the show however, the storyline might end up being a little bland
I would also like to say that I also hope to cover Ajin, a horror anime that will be released about a week after the majority of the rest of the shows in the Winter 2016 season. Because it hasn’t been released at the time of writing, I will write a separate Episode 1 review for it. With that said, because of giving my impressions for the shows I will review thus far, I will start with Episode 2 reviews and continue from there.
To add on to what I’ve said thus far, I want to say something about the other shows that I have not listed in this article but have come out during this season of new anime; I won’t be reviewing things like Assassination Classroom Season 2 or Fairy Tail Zero or Snow White with the Red Hair Season 2 because of a few reasons: 1. I have not personally caught up in those shows, and 2. I’m not necessarily a big fan of reviewing shows that aren’t brand new material. For example, I reviewed (or tried to) OWARIMONOGATARI this last season, and it just felt awkward. For those who haven’t seen any of the Monogatari series, those articles don’t really make much sense. So, as a general rule, I try to avoid shows that are running consecutive seasons.
Lastly, as a general update we have changed our rating categories up a little bit so that we will no longer be treating Character Developments and Interactivity as separate entities. They will just be under the category of “Character Developments”
Keep in touch with us:
ありがとうございます for reading and stay silly :3
~The One About Anime
- Winter Season 2016 Calendar
- Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu Episode 1
- Dagashi Kashi Episode 1 <–MUST have a subscription to Funimation or Hulu to watch LEGALLY.
- ERASED (Boku Dake ga Inai Machi) Episode 1
- Dimension W Episode 1 <–MUST have a subscription to Funimation or Hulu to watch LEGALLY.
- Girls Beyond the Wasteland (Shoujo-tachi wa Kouya wa Mezasu) Episode 1
- Ojisan and Marshmallow (Ojisan to Marshmallow) Episode 1