Pasta-chan Check! Anime Fashions of Summer 2017

This name of this blog feature was inspired by my husband, the lovely @nth_sheep on Twitter. While there are many blog posts which give you first impressions on shows in general, this post will give you some impressions of the anime fashions which I have seen in this Summer season. I’ve only highlighted shows I’ve checked out where the clothing is interesting, this is not complete coverage of all series I have sampled. It’s time for the Pasta-chan Check!Leave it to Kero title card from Card Captor Sakura Continue reading

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First Impressions of Winter

While there are a few straggling shows, I’ve had a look at everything which I think that I would be interested in which is readily available, and a few things which I didn’t really expect to be interested in which were readily available, and I’ve put together a few thoughts on each show. This post does contain a brief synopsis of each first episode, which could possibly be considered spoilers for some people, so please be aware of that prior to reading the post! I’ve organised the titles of what I’ve seen alphabetically.
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Fall 2016 Reflections

This is the conclusion of my first anime season as a blogger, and the seasonal anime thing has been kind of fun! I’ve wound up watching quite a few more airing shows than I expected. This will be just some brief thoughts on them. I’ve done, and linked to, a full review of the shows which are finished, though a few things I’m watching are ongoing. As a way to get some insight into what stood out in a series for me, I’m offering dumb awards to each show.

I ended up watching

Classicaloid
This is the show which I really like and I know a lot of other people really aren’t into it. Trying to break down the reasons behind this has proven to be a bit of a challenge, but I’m sure there’s an interesting blog post in there somewhere! It’s wacky, colourful, and has great remixes of Classical music. This show is going to be ongoing into next season.

classicaloid04Award: Best Gyoza

Flip Flappers
I ended up not feeling super keen on Flip Flappers overall owing to the series trying to cram 13 episodes of plot into 3 episodes, and lacing the rest with mostly unanswered vague questions and symbolism. I’m a pretty straightforward person in some ways and if Flip Flappers was a straightforward magical girl story with monsters of the week and lessons about the power of friendship combined with the stunning world-building and animation, I would perhaps have warmed to it a lot more. I think that it’s still a good series in many ways, but it wasn’t super enjoyable for me.

Award: Flip Flap! (The ED is really good)

Izetta the Last Witch (Shuumatsu No Izetta)
Watching anime original shows is always a risk, and Izetta had a really interesting concept but struggled to deliver a strong story. The world of alternate WWII was built up with some lovely touches, but it wasn’t followed through with storytelling to match. I didn’t hate watching it, but if the series was complete and I knew more about it, I probably wouldn’t have bothered.

Award: Most indefensible castle*

*Neuschwanstein has very much become the poster child of fantasy castles, but in terms of defense, it’s truly terrible. Castles were traditionally built in order to have a strong place to defend the owners, and all of the necessary defensible features are totally missing. Small windows, moats, thick walls, these are all there for a reason in the traditional castle. The history of the real Neuschwanstein castle is rather interesting, but I can’t buy that a small European country would have continuously have experienced such peace and prosperity they didn’t have to worry about defending their country’s leaders for hundreds of years.

Kiitaro’s Yokai Picture Diary
I watched this on a whim just after it had finished airing. It’s not an amazing series but it was still a fun watch and there were plenty of interesting snippets about youkai. I’m always keen to learn more about Japanese myth and culture, and learning via fiction is one of my great passions. Folktales from Japan actually keeps calling my name but I don’t know if I can commit to over 200 episodes of an ongoing series.
kiitaro0306Award: Most informative about Japanese culture

Long Riders
This is the show I’ve been blogging about each week. It turns out the people in the blog community who have been the most interested in my posts are people with cycling blogs or who have an existing interest in cycling. As someone who is interested in both cycling and slice-of-life, it’s been a very charming show. If you are not interested in cycling, I’m not sure that the show has much to offer you, except learning more about cycling so that you can become interested in cycling. Owing to production issues, the last two episodes will be released in February this year so I can’t review the series yet (I plan to write about these and some overall thoughts on the series after they’re available)
longriders0407Award: Most beautiful bikes

Miss Bernard Said (Bernard-jou Iwaku)
As an avid reader, I found the humour in here to be relatable, and I also discovered some possible interesting future reads. The jokes are mainly about reading culture and there’s not too much referential humour about books, so it should be accessible without being a hardened bookworm.
missbernard05Award: Most books (always a good thing)

Monster Hunter Stories – Ride On!
This is very much a typical kids’ shounen show. With an announced 48 episode length, it’s been a very easy-going pace, and while it’s pretty much the epitome of average or competent, my inner child is happily along for the ride. I rather wish the game that it is based on would receive a release for the European market (I’d actually import it and attempt playing it in Japanese except that the 3DS is region-locked and I really don’t need 2 of them), what with it being my dream of ‘Monster Hunter but cuter’.
MonsterHunterDoughnuts.jpgAward: Tastiest doughnuts

Ninja Girl and Samurai Master (Nobunaga No Shinobi)
Japan loves their Sengoku (Warring States) era shows. I’m not as familiar with the history of this area as I would like to be, but this is comedy shorts, so despite not understanding all the references, I’ve still been having fun! This show is going to be ongoing into next season.
nobunagaAward: Most Nobunaga

Scorching Ping Pong Girls (Shakunetsu Takyuu Musume)

I picked this up as a recommendation from a friend and it’s official; I think I may like sports anime. Or at least sports anime with cute girls. I have to start somewhere right? The thing which makes this series stand out is the use of high-paced electronic music during the ping pong matches in contrast to the more easy-going tones outside of matches.
pingpong10Award: Surprisingly good soundtrack

I would perhaps like to watch these later

Crane Game Galaxy

I watched Crane Game Girls and so I’m keen to see the sequel, but as I know this sort of comedy short will take a bit less than an hour to watch the whole series, I figured I may as well do it all in one go. I’m hoping for more comedy and more intriguingly minimal animation (I’m not saying that Crane Game Girls was arty by any means but I found it oddly fascinating how they did so much visual storytelling with such basic animation).

“www.working!!!” (www.wagnaria!!!)

For some reason, WordPress seems determined to turn this title into a web address. It seems like people who liked Working also liked this and it brought enough unique things to the table that it could be fun to watch on its own, and not feel like too much of the same thing. I plan to check it out at some point.

Fune wo Amu (The Great Crossing)

Making a dictionary to me is a super interesting topic (what does this tell you about me?), and the few people I’ve heard speaking about the series say that the human interaction between the characters is fairly realistic which is what I like in a drama series. I’d definitely like to see this when I’m in the mood for something a bit slower paced.

That pretty much wraps up the Fall 2016 season for me. There were things I watched which I loved, things which caught me by surprise, and things which disappointed, but overall, I’m quite happy with the things I’ve picked. I’m hoping that Winter 2017 will prove to be just as enjoyable.

Seasonal Thoughts Winter 2016/2017

Once again, shows are wrapping up and new shows are coming out. Once again being in the southern hemisphere my seasons are actually the reverse of the majority of the world’s population and it’s summer here, but if I call it the summer season everyone will be confused, so winter it is!

I don’t plan to use this post as a comprehensive list of everything which is coming out. There’s lots of good resources with fairly updated information on all the shows which are being released (I’d suggest Livechart or Anichart or if you’re super keen, you can look at both, they sometimes have slightly different info). I’m not in a place where I can really comment on studios or staff for projects, or know much about the source material, so I’m just going to use this to showcase a few titles which grabbed my eye. Everything is organised alphabetically as this seems like as good a way to sort things as any other.

Gabriel Dropout
gabriel-dropoutThis show is about an angel who is the top of her class but when she comes to earth in pursuit of knowledge turns into a lazy dropout and spends all day lazing around. While lazy people can be really infuriating in real life, they can definitely be funny in comedy if the show is written well. I’m definitely planning to watch this one.

Hand Shakers
hand-shakersI actually feel like the title should be in all caps for even more dramatic impact; HAND SHAKERS. It’s about pairs of people with special powers who are battling towards a supreme goal. It’s an anime original series with action and some sci-fi or supernatural themes. As an anime original, I’ll probably check out at least an episode or two, as I like action and sci-fi. If nothing else, it will let me write HAND SHAKERS on Twitter a few times.

Kobayashi San Chi No Maidragon
maidragonThis show is about a regular office lady who one day helps a dragon in distress and the dragon decides she’s going to become Kobayashi’s maid in order to pay off her debt of gratitude. It seems like it’s going to be the sort of comedy where there’s one totally grounded person reacting to everyone else being absurd and over the top. Judging by the character designs which have been released related to the show there’s going to be some more supernatural beings who end up in the mix. The manga this is based on was written by the same author as ‘I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying’, and I very much enjoyed the anime adaptation of that. It had a great mixture of comedy and heartwarming moments. Hopefully this will be just as fun to watch.

Minami Kamakura Kokou Joshi Jitensha-bu
minami-jitensha-buMore cute girls riding more cute bikes? Sign me up. I don’t know if it’s going to be my pick for blogging episodically this season, but you can bet I’m along for the ride.

Nyanko Days
nyanko-daysIt’s a comedy series about a girl and her anthropomorphic cats. I’m not big on real cats, but I loved Bananya so anime cats are a bit different. It’s not a top priority with all the other cute slice-of-life shows which are coming out this season but I’ll maybe check it out.

Piace Watashi No Italian
piaceA high school girl starts working part time at an Italian restaurant and learns more about cuisine and herself. It has the magical pair of tags; comedy and slice of life which pretty much guarantee that I’ll at least give the show a look. The show has Italian food in it so I feel it is my duty to see if the pasta is up to scratch.

Reikenzan
Reikenzan.jpgI was weirdly disappointed as more news has gradually shown up about this show and it turns out that it is a second season and that the first season was not picked up by any official English sources. Comedy, fantasy, and action are all genres I like, and the fact that it’s based on a Chinese webnovel meant that I was curious to see how the storytelling differed from the usual anime tropes. The lack of first season availability gives me low hope for the second season becoming available.

Urara Meirochou
urara-no-meirochouIt’s a comedy series about a group of girls who are learning to be fortune tellers. It looks like it has the usual things of each girl having a different personality and them spending time together doing fun things. I’m hoping to watch this show.

Yowamushi Pedal: New Generation
yowapedalIt does have cycling in it, and I like cycling, but I actually haven’t watched the first series of Yowamushi Pedal. I think I’m going to have to edge myself into boys in sports anime by watching some more cute girls in sports anime first.

Continuing
These are shows which are ongoing and I’ve been watching from last season. You’ll probably already know about if you’re interested in them or not.

Classicaloidclassicaloid

Monster Hunter Stories – Ride On!monster-hunter-stories

Ninja Girl and Samurai Masternobunaga

I’ll chat a bit about my thoughts on these series so far in my season wrap-up, which will be coming up in a couple of weeks.

Of course, this is all totally subject to change and I may decide to not watch things I’ve mentioned at all, or end up watching some totally different shows. It also depends on what ends up being available in Australia. I haven’t got a clear pick for my episodic posts, so I think that will depend on how I feel about the first episodes of what I watch. I’m still planning to blog about one ongoing series next season. I feel like I wouldn’t mind watching something which isn’t just the magical pair of tags ‘comedy’ and ‘slice-of-life’, but these are invariably the things that grab my attention, and the shows which I consistently like watching. Hopefully by seeing some other people’s opinions, I may be able to find some other shows I’ll like as the new season progresses.

What’s on this season?

The start of this blog coincides with the beginning of the Fall 2016 anime season so I thought I’d do a quick overview of some of the shows on this season. I’m not going to do a complete list and review because I think that there are far better lists out there (livechart.me has comprehensive updated info, and I love the Cart Driver’s season previews though I miss the dumb fake charts). I’m not especially knowledgeable about things like studios and production staff, I just watch what I like to watch and I’m still working on articulating why, plus this preview is kind of a bit late as a few shows have already started airing. I’ll just list some of the things which have caught my attention and say if I’m keen on watching them, or alternatively if I think that they are to be avoided but I noticed them anyway.

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