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
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.
Award: Best Gyoza
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.
Award: Most informative about Japanese culture
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)
Award: 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.
Award: 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’.
Award: 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.
Award: 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.
Award: 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).
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.