Wanted to just jot down my ranks for various anime this season, since I’m watching a ton of series. Not going to put much detail into any of these…
- Hinamatsuri (3 eps): 9/10
Biased from my love for this series. I’m just as excited about the recently-announced US release of the manga, though!
- Hisone to Maso-tan (2 eps): 9/10
This has been the shock of the season for me. What an amazing first two episodes. Bravo, Bones. Also, the best ED this season.
- Tadakoi (3 eps): 9/10
Despite an overdone premise and characters that are far too over-the-top, it’s so creative with its storytelling, legitimately funny with its parodies and execution of even telegraphed jokes (Nyanko Big’s face gets me every time), and really sweet when it comes to romance.
- Saiki Kusuo S2 (14 eps): 9/10
- Megalo Box (3 eps): 8/10
It’s been great so far, but only 1 cour for a sports anime is pretty rough.
- My Hero Academia S3 (3 eps): 8/10
This is gonna go up. There’s no way this season can be bad with the content it’s going to cover.
- Legend of the Galactic Heroes: Die Neue These – Encounter (3 eps): 7/10
- Wotakoi (2 eps): 6/10
- Golden Kamuy (3 eps): 6/10
A 9/10 story meets a 1/10 animation studio. The worst part is seeing people defending the CG fire and bears. Go see your optometrist. Good lord.
- Izekaya Nobu (2 eps): 6/10
Can’t tell if this is better in anime or manga form. Pretty average either way, though.
- Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory (2 eps): 5/10
It’s been a long, long time. The whole feel of this show seems… retro and behind the times. It doesn’t seem like such an old formula will be able to stand with the heavy hitters this season.
- Darling in the FranXX (15 eps): 4/10
The characters of this show piss me off to no end. It’s a crappy knock-off of Eureka Seven with unlikeable characters, uninteresting world building, and a feeling that everything that happens is utterly pointless. Just sticking with it because it’s the most popular thing right now.
Mahou Shoujo Site (3 eps): 4/10(dropped) Mahou Shoujo Ore (3 eps): 4/10(dropped)
Still need to watch:
- Steins;Gate 0
- Gegege no Kitaro
- Sword Art Online – Gun Gale Online
- Lupin III: Part 5
I was going to write a “Winter 2017 wrapup” post, but then I realized that it would be almost entirely about Sora Yori mo Tooi Basho. This show has been unexpectedly good, refining the “genre” of cute-girls-do-cute-things to focus solely on the characters, making it seem a hell of a lot more meaningful than all of its otaku-pandering peers. Its depiction of a growing friendship was very heavy-handed at times, but never pointless. From the girls running in Shibuya to overcoming their past regrets in Antarctica, every moment felt like a tangible increase in their friendship levels.
At the start of this episode, I was planning on giving the show a 9/10. I kept thinking about the quick resolution to Shirase’s plot in the last episode, and it just felt so jarring compared to the incredible amount of time they spent saying goodbye in this one. Yet I felt emotions welling up as the episode went on, and I realized that I would be missing this show dearly. I’m not going to remember the plot of A Place Further Than The Universe (in true CGDCT spirit, there wasn’t much), but the characters are going to stick around in my memory for years to come.
Last time, I said Antarctic Girls was obviously going downhill, and with good reason! The episodes of the trip to Antarctica (Ep 6-9) were a lot weaker than the first third of the series introducing the girls (Ep 1-5). The conflicts either felt petty and small or were getting resolved too quickly.
In contrast, episodes 10 and 11 were the best we’ve seen so far.
So some of the concerns I had in my last post are getting worse. The conflicts in each episode feel more and more fake and contrived, to the point where the (forced) sense of closure doesn’t really satisfy me. Instead, it feels like everything is getting trivialized. The girls’ feelings of uselessness on the ship? Bam. Resolved. Shirase’s lifelong awkward relationship with the expedition leader? Bam. Resolved. (sort of)
Related to this is how besides the main conflict of each episode, everything else is pushed aside. In episode 9, Shirase took center stage while the other three girls melded into one emotionless unit, with no personality to speak of. Instead of showing the fun and varied personalities of the girls (like in the OP and in the first 4-5 episodes), the show has basically made them act and talk the same.
For example, maybe instead of focusing on Shirase’s reaction on getting to Antarctica, there could have been some inner dialogue from each girl. Nothing much, maybe just 5 seconds/one line for each of the three. Mari could have touched on how she’s finally doing something cool. Yuzuki could say how glad she is to have made it with her new friends. And Hina could say… something? I dunno. But instead, we got:
Mari: We’re here!
Yuzuki: We made it!
It’s the same damn thing! Even though the episode focused on Shirase, it doesn’t have to be all Shirase all the time. In such an overdone genre, it was the small refinements that made the girls so likeable and unique early on in the show, and that’s slowly getting sucked out.
Anyway, it’s still a 9/10 for me overall. These last few episodes have lost the magic that made it a 10/10, but it’s still great.