Fall 2016 Final Thoughts

This was a pretty good anime season for me. I watched 26 shows and didn’t drop a single one (though I did consider it for a couple). My seasonal average score was a 6, just slightly lower than for the summer season. I gave out two 9’s, one 8, and five 7’s, and Udon even managed to squeeze into my #10 spot overall, edging out New Game! from last season. Below you’ll find my scores for each show and brief comments.

If you prefer to look through images, here’s a slideshow of a picture from each show arranged from best to worst (the same order as below). I apologize for not captioning the images, but the captions were blocking some of the subtitles. If you hold your cursor over an image, it should indicate the show title and episode number.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

1. Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari (Poco’s Udon World) – 9
Heartwarming story with great characters (likeable, decent depth and development, very cute interactions)

2. Keijo!!!!!!!! (Hip Whip Girl) – 9
Ecchi comedy done right, consistently funny and surprisingly engaging

3. Fune wo Amu (The Great Passage) – 8
Wonderful story, cute character interactions, realistic relationships, touching ending

4. Shakunetsu no Takkyuu Musume (Scorching Ping Pong Girls) – 7
Fun sports action, some humor, engaging, cute characters

5. Nobunaga no Shinobi (Ninja Girl & Samurai Master) – 7 (ongoing)
Cute and funny shorts

6. Gi(a)rlish Number (Girlish Number) – 7
Refreshing candor, good character growth

7. Natsume Yuujinchou Go (Natsume’s Book of Friends Season 5) – 7
Enjoyable like all seasons of Natsume, but my least favorite season because I didn’t find it as engaging as previous ones; too much focus on side characters, not enough Nyanko-sensei; the Touko and Shigeru episode was my favorite

8. ViVid Strike! – 7
Solid show, good character growth, gritty and enjoyable fights, consistent action

9. Brave Witches – 6
Watchable, relatively enjoyable to see the MC prove herself

10. Shuumatsu no Izetta (Izetta: The Last Witch) – 6
Rather average show, fairly engaging, ridiculous ending

11. WWW.Working!! – 6
Boring to watch but good character development and pleasant ending along with frequent but mostly dull comedy

12. Hagane Orchestra – 6
Charmingly straightforward advertisement for a mobile game, frequent comedy

13. Soushin Shoujo Matoi (Matoi the Sacred Slayer) – 6
Slow start but somewhat fun to watch; plot is very contrived and predictable, especially the ending; the music is nice though whenever the MC uses her powers

14. Flip Flappers – 6
Great visuals and enjoyed watching Papika but the story was haphazard and clichéd

15. Stella no Mahou (Magic of Stella) – 6
Kind of boring but some of the characters are cute; I particularly liked the club president; some comedy but could have been much funnier

16. Long Riders! – 5 (two episodes left)
Very slow-paced, inconsistent and low quality animation, but some decent character growth

17. To Be Hero – 5
Very weird show all around but consistently humorous; unsatisfying ending

18. Mahou Shoujo Nante Mou Ii Desukara. 2nd Season (I’ve Had Enough of Being a Magical Girl 2nd Season) – 5
Mostly boring but has some humor; I particularly enjoyed the 9th episode

19. Kiitarou Shounen no Youkai Enikki (Kiitaro’s Yokai Picture Diary) – 5
Boring but has some cute characters and moments

20. Getsuyoubi no Tawawa (Tawawa on Monday) – 5
Excessive fanservice, all females look the same so I can’t tell them apart, men don’t have faces; however, there are some cute (albeit sketchy) character interactions

21. 3-gatsu no Lion (March comes in like a lion) – 5 (ongoing)
Too much drama for me (the MC’s sister especially), slow-paced, too big of a focus on shogi, frequently rather depressing

22. Watashi ga Motete Dousunda (Kiss Him, Not Me) – 5
The senpai is the best character, every other character (including the MC) is terrible; some decent moments but the end was awful (though predictable)

23. Show By Rock!! # – 5
Not as engaging as the first season, too many characters, inconsistent pacing, contrived plot

24. Hibike! Euphonium 2 (Sound! Euphonium 2) – 5
Too much side character drama, missing performances, slow-paced, character interactions are often frustrating; I particularly enjoyed the 5th episode though

25. Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku (Magical Girl Raising Project) – 4
Pretty much just meaningless suffering but some of the deaths were entertaining; terrible ending

26. Nazotokine – 4
Boring, puzzles are impossible to solve, unclear plot, repetitive; that said, characters are okay and there is occasional humor

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Fall 2016 First Impressions

So far it’s been a decent season for me overall. I’m watching a lot more shows than usual, and I’m pretty surprised I haven’t dropped anything yet. And yes, I chose to watch most of these because of the cute girls.

stellanomahou-ep2-cute
Anime: Stella no Mahou (Magic of Stella) | Episode: 2

Here is a list of the anime I’m watching along with comments and scores. I’m sure the scores will vary quite a bit by the end, but this is how the shows compare for me at the moment.

1. Shakunetsu no Takkyuu Musume (Ping Pong Girls) – 8
As a lover of cute girl, school club comedies, this show is right up my alley. The superhuman sports abilities, character interactions, and comedy remind me of Saki, which I also enjoyed quite a bit, though it had more yuri undertones.

2. Keijo!!!!!!!! – 7
I was skeptical going in to Keijo, but I was pleasantly surprised. So far it’s one of the best ecchi comedies I’ve seen.

3. Nobunaga no Shinobi (Ninja Girl & Samurai Master) – 7
A funny and cute short, what more can you ask for?

4. Stella no Mahou (Magic of Stella) – 7
I thought the first episode was rather boring, but the second episode kept me laughing. 

5. Gi(a)rlish Number – 7
I like the skepticism of the industry and two-faced ladies, particularly the MC. It’s an interesting change from the always cute and mostly pleasant girls I’m used to.

6. Fune wo Amu (The Great Passage) – 7
This is the most mature seeming show I’m watching this season. It has some serious josei vibes though it’s not tagged as such (or anything yet) on MAL, and as josei is my highest rated genre (unweighted), I think I’ll enjoy it.

7. Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari (Poco’s Udon World) – 7
I enjoy heartwarming shows about single fathers, so I’ll probably enjoy Udon. That said, the first episode was rather predictable and contrived. I’m also not a big fan of the kid’s character design, particularly his mouth and eyes. And as everyone knows, little girls are better than little boys. Also I don’t like the implication that the kid can never grow up, making it less about raising a child and more like taking care of a pet.

8. Show By Rock!! # – 7
The first episode was just okay, but now that the MC has returned, it is back to about the same level of fun as the first season. It looks like they have toned down the amount of time in the weird CG mode too, which I’m all for.

9. Shuumatsu no Izetta (Izetta: The Last Witch) – 7
Seems decent, but I hope it holds up. I like the yuri moments. It is a bit contrived, though, which makes me feel somewhat detached while watching it.

10. Flip Flappers – 7
It’s fun to watch and I like the characters, but I’m a bit worried about consistency issues. The art/animation is fantastic.

11. Brave Witches – 7
Better than I expected. It’s entertaining to watch, though there’s not a whole lot to it so far. It’s very focused on the MC’s “stamina.”

12. Mahou Shoujo Nante Mou Ii Desukara. 2nd Season (I’ve Had Enough of Being a Magical Girl) – 6
It’s alright so far, watchable.

13. Soushin Shoujo Matoi (Matoi the Sacred Slayer) – 6
I’m not the biggest fan of this show so far, but I do like the blue-haired girl and some of the comedy.

14. Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku (Magical Girl Raising Project) – 6
The concept is interesting, but I haven’t been very impressed so far. I don’t like the character designs, particularly the eyes. It’s also been pretty predictable and tamer than I was expecting.

15. To Be Hero – 6
A weird show but it has a lot of decent humor and I like the ED.

16. ViVid Strike! – 6
This seems okay so far, not great but not terrible either. It’s watchable at least. I kind of wish it didn’t have the magical girl element because loli boxing would be entertaining.

17. Long Riders! – 5
It’s a bit boring so far, but I tend to like cute girl, school club stuff, so I may get into it more later. It needs more comedy and more engaging characters. Also, the CG parts look pretty bad.

18. WWW.Working!! – 5
As a fan of the original Working!!, I was hoping I would enjoy this one as well. However, the characters have not been nearly as good as the ones in the original. I feel like they are trying too hard to make each character unique. It does have okay comedy though.

19. Nazotokine – 5
I wasn’t sure what to expect with this one. So far it hasn’t been great. I don’t like the animation, and the first puzzle was too easy (although I realize these things generally get harder as you go). The MC is okay.

20. Hibike! Euphonium 2 (Sound! Euphonium) – 5
I’m a bit surprised this one is so low on my list as I did give the first season a 7. I’m not a huge fan of the dramatic parts this season as you might guess. It’s also pretty slow and I don’t particularly care about the new side characters. I realize that the first season also had drama (which I wasn’t too thrilled about then either), but now that it’s less focused on the main characters, I just don’t care. Nothing happening right now affects the main characters at all aside from them being annoyed that they don’t know what happened last year. I still like the yuri-bait moments this season, but it’s starting to get to me that it’s just bait.

21. Getsuyoubi no Tawawa (Tawawa on Monday) – 4
I did not particularly like the first episode as I found it a bit creepy. It’s way too focused on the MC’s boobs. I keep waiting for the classic bus groping. It might improve in later episodes, but I’m not holding my breath.

22. Kiitarou Shounen no Youkai Enikki (Young Kiitarou and His Youkai Picture Diary) – 4
I wasn’t sure about it after the first episode, but the second episode was even worse. I have a small hope that the show will focus more on the relationship between the guy and the girl in his new home, but it seems to mostly be centering on comedy that doesn’t work for me.

Summer 2016 Final Thoughts

This was a good season for me. My average score for the season was 5.9, compared to 5.1 for the winter and 5.4 for the spring. I gave out my first 9 to a seasonal, which made it into my top 10, and three 8s that I really looked forward to watching each week.

Game Ep4 Free
How can you not love her? (New Game!)

New Game! – 9
New Game! is a fairly typical, cute girl, dramaless, slice-of-life comedy, but its execution is impressive. As my favorite genre, this show gets top marks from me. It’s about on par with GochiUsa (another show about cute girls in a work setting), and as that show is among my favorites, it’s no surprise that this one is as well. Yagami is my favorite character, and she is also the character with the most developed backstory and growth. The other characters are also very enjoyable to watch. Most importantly for a comedy, the show provided consistent laughs every week.

Saiki Kusuo no Ψ-nan – 8
Still ongoing, but the show keeps me laughing and the character interactions are great.

Amaama to Inazuma – 8
I was expecting this one to be my AOTS, since I love watching heartwarming shows about single fathers, but the repetitive nature of the show eventually got a bit boring even for me. I still found the interactions cute.

Amaama Ep5 Eat
K-Kawaii! (Amaama to Inazuma)

Fukigen na Mononokean – 8
Another heartwarming show. The character interactions were great, and it was nice watching Abeno’s character growth. I have since watched Natsume Yuujinchou, and I found the two shows to be very similar. One thing I liked more about Fukigen na Mononokean was that the characters maintained their presences throughout the show, while in the first season of Natsume Yuujinchou, pretty much only Natsume and Nyanko-sensei were present in all the episodes. The characters are more consistently present in later seasons of Natsume Yuujinchou though.

Amanchu! – 7
This was a pleasant show to watch. Hikari in particular was a fun character. However, I felt like the show was trying to be relaxing but Hikari was too energetic to ever let that happen. For those who have seen both Aoi Hana and the Aria series (other works by the co-directors), this show is pretty much a direct mashup of the two.

Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu – 6
I have a lot of issues with this show and hate the MC, but it kept me watching every week. In addition to the legitimate problems with the show and the lack of depth of most of the characters (so far at least), I also just don’t enjoy watching suffering so it’s no surprise this isn’t my favorite show.

Love Live! Sunshine!! – 6
Pretty much a direct copy of the original Love Live but at least the characters admit it and the end was okay. I like some of the original characters more than the characters in this one, but I also dislike more of them too. For an idol anime, they really should have performed more.

Show By Rock!! Short!! – 5
A few of the episodes were funny, but overall the show was just okay. It’s basically just a filler before the second season airing now.

Bananya – 5
It was cute in the beginning, but it got boring fast. It could have used more consistent humor.

Ange Ep6 Taste
When all the ladies love you (Ange Vierge)

Ange Vierge – 4
Watchable but really contrived, predictable, and full of fanservice. Pretty much a lesbian harem, though, if you’re interested in that.

Dropped
Handa-kun – 3
I dropped Handa-kun after forcing myself to watch the second episode. It’s basically like Sakamoto desu ga? but with an MC who’s a jerk to everyone and thinks they hate him while they actually all love him. I like him much better in Barakamon because of the character growth due to his interactions with the islanders.

Mahou Shoujo? Naria☆Girls – 2
Absolutely terrible. It was entirely CGI, and the characters were moving way too much. It was like when someone is being filmed and doesn’t know what to do with their hands.

Screenshot Stats
Just for fun, I tallied up all the screenshots I took of funny moments in the shows this season, ranked from most to least:

New Game! – 55
Saiki Kusuo no Ψ-nan – 54 (ongoing)
Amaama to Inazuma – 39
Bananya – 9
Love Live! Sunshine!! – 6
Show By Rock!! Short!! – 4
Fukigen na Mononokean – 3
Amanchu! – 3
Ange Vierge – 2
Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu
– 0 (I watched through the more comedic early episodes too quickly and forgot to take screenshots. There were a number of funny moments though.)
Handa-kun – 0 (dropped)
Mahou Shoujo? Naria☆Girls – 0 (dropped)

Spring 2016 Final Thoughts

I was going to post my thoughts on the summer season, but then I realized I never commented on the spring shows. I guess I was being lazy.

xx-tanaka-ep1-lazy
Anime: Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge | Episode: 1

Okay, I didn’t exactly want this to happen, but I do enjoy being lazy. Anyway, here are my thoughts on the shows I watched from best to worst.

Flying Witch – 8
Good: Comfy (the atmosphere reminds me of Aria), cute characters
Bad: Could use more humor like Non Non Biyori, characters could use more depth

Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge – 7
Good: Decent comedy, relatable MC, cute character interactions
Bad: Too many characters were introduced, some inconsistencies

Sansha Sanyou – 7
Good: Mostly cute characters and situations, some good humor
Bad: Artwork is too bright (distracts from the show), many of the jokes are repeated so much that they get boring

Bakuon!! – 7
Good: Decent comedy, good character growth
Bad: Character designs are not cute but they do grow on you, first few episodes aren’t great, lots of fanservice (but most is used for humor)

Haifuri – 7
Good: Nice tension in the first few episodes, some comedy, ending is all right
Bad: Loses tension quickly, plot is very contrived, too many characters so many have minimal personality

Uchuu Patrol Luluco – 6
Good: Decent comedy, fun ride, nice moral (including sarcasm), Trigger tie-ins
Bad: Contrived plot, several characters could use more development, need to see other Trigger shows to get many references

Pan de Peace! – 6
Good: Cute characters, pleasant
Bad: Not enough comedy, characters need more depth, often boring

Ansatsu Kyoushitsu 2nd Season – 6
Good: A few episodes are decent, liked some of the characters, good character growth
Bad: Too many characters (many of whom received little to no development and yet were named in the finale, hurting a scene that should have been emotional but instead was spent questioning who these people were), inconsistent pacing, many boring moments/whole episodes

Anne Happy – 5
Good: General positivity, overcoming obstacles, side characters are decent
Bad: Main characters are fairly plain and rather unlikable, very little humor

Onigiri – 5
Good: Occasional humor, some cute character designs, one or two decent episodes
Bad: Characters have almost no personality, often boring, no substance

Kuma Miko – 4 (Special first episode, though – 7)
Good: MC and bear are cute, good first episode, special is cute
Bad: MC is traumatized the entire show, no character growth, plot falls flat

Ragnastrike Angels – 3
Good: Some cute episodes
Bad: Little continuity, attempts to have plot but never gets anywhere, no character depth at all, blatant advertisements

Dropped
Sakamoto desu ga? – 4
Good: Decent animation
Bad: Not funny or “cool,” actively annoyed me

Aikatsu Stars! – 3
Good: Plot or characters might be interesting(?), had some desire to watch more
Bad: Terrible CG for performances

Bishoujo Yuugi Unit Crane Game Girls – 1
Good: Nothing
Bad: Awful animation, uninteresting characters and plot

Winter 2016 Final Thoughts

This season was a mix of good and bad, but the only shows really worth watching are ERASED and Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu. I’ll describe my ratings below in more detail along with an amusing screenshot I took of each while watching (where applicable). I use a weighted system to calculate scores. Usually I just round, but I’m going to include decimals this time since it helps to differentiate the shows (particularly those 5 shows that round to a 6 rating) and gives a better idea of my true thoughts on them.

ERASED Ep7 Abduct

Boku dake ga Inai Machi (ERASED): 8.20
I personally really enjoyed ERASED. It had good tension, was engaging throughout, and had some really great characters, most notably Satoru’s mother. Yes, it was extremely predictable (I guessed the killer on the second episode), but in my opinion this actually added to the tension whenever the characters interacted with him. My main complaint would be a lack of detail in several areas including the killer’s motive and linking the last few episodes together. Also, after finishing the show, I’ve decided that it works best as a thriller for kids (thinks Steins;Gate aimed at a younger crowd) rather than as a murder mystery for adults. As I’m partial to cute and heartwarming stories about friendship, this worked for me, but it may be off-putting for those who expect serious drama.

Rakugo Ep12 Pain

Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu: 7.41
I had mixed feelings while watching Rakugo. I particularly liked the characters in the first episode, but then all the following episodes were backstory before these characters entered the scene. Not realizing that this would be the case, I started to get bored and wanted to return to the present. However, this “backstory” turned out to be the entire anime. Once I came to terms with that, I enjoyed the anime much more rather than simply waiting to get back to a present that would never come (although it does return to the present in the last episode). There is a lot of detail in this anime and well-developed characters. Personally I didn’t really care for many of the characters, the MC especially, but I did enjoy learning more about them and how they grew over time, as the anime spans almost their entire lives. The story is also quite interesting and managed to keep me entertained despite knowing vaguely how it would end since the beginning. I look forward to the second season.

Marshmallow Ep5 Belly

Ojisan to Marshmallow: 6.38
This was a cute anime. It’s short and sweet. The ending was decent but could have been better. It did get a bit repetitive and some of the characters are annoying, but overall it was entertaining for 3 minutes a week.

xx Logic Ep1 Mighty Lead
Luck & Logic: 6.28
It wasn’t particularly great, and it wasn’t particularly bad. Most of the characters are likable. It’s definitely cheesy and cliched, but at least the anime admits that and just rolls with it. The ending was a bit of a cliffhanger, but it looks like there will be a second season.

Dagashi Ep4 Mouth

Dagashi Kashi: 6.25
This is basically just advertising for dagashi (cheap candy) with some sexually suggestive jokes thrown in. There are some cute moments though with Saya particularly.

Ooyasan Ep5 Sparkly

Ooyasan wa Shishunki!: 6.14
Originally I didn’t think this was going to be good, but it got better. It’s only 2 minutes per episode, but they try to squeeze a lot in, resulting in everything feeling quite rushed. It would have been much better with full length episodes. Regardless, it’s a cute show.

Kono Ep6 Big

Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo!: 5.74
This was humorous in the beginning, but the humor decreased and it became blatant fanservice in the last couple episodes. I also personally find the ending to be majorly flawed, though no one else seems to care. The art and animation are very inconsistent until the last episode. I used to like the MC because he seemed to be witty and kept the anime from devolving into a typical harem show, but his common sense vanished towards the end. I did enjoy watching Megumin and Darkness, though. Aqua’s the worst girl by far.

Phantom Ep5 Hot
Musaigen no Phantom World: 4.31
So Phantom World began as practically 100% fanservice. The fanservice decreased as the anime progressed, but honestly I didn’t really care about the characters and there was no real plot, though they seemed to want it to have a plot. The MC’s pretty useless, but at least the animation is well-done. The ending was bad all around, though I guess maybe it was supposed to be cute? Not impressed.

Sekkou Ep7 Nobody

Sekkou Boys: 2.75
Maybe my expectations were too high, but Sekkou Boys really let me down. It was rarely funny, the characters were terrible, and the idols barely did any idol-related things. If you want to see statues arguing with a woman over and over, feel free to watch it. The only redeeming feature was the amusing concept, and they did not make use of it as well as they could have.

Divine Gate: 2.74
Divine Gate was just absolutely terrible. The entire anime is completely pointless, and the characters don’t make up for the awful plot. The narrator is probably the worst character, unless you count the pointless mascot. Every moment is cheesy, and almost nothing is accomplished at all. The anime does make an attempt to go into the backstories of the characters, but this doesn’t succeed in making them any more likable or adding much to the plot. The pacing is also horrible. I should have dropped it early on. I would strongly advise against watching this.

Dropped (score estimates based on the little I saw)
Ajin: 4
The story may be interesting, but the animation is awful. I had to stop watching it because the terrible CG was giving me a headache.

Hai to Gensou no Grimgar: 3
With ridiculously bad pacing, weak characters, and excessive fanservice, I knew early on that this anime was not for me.

Winter 2016 Brief First Impressions

xx ERASED Ep1 Girl in Snow
Anime: Boku dake ga Inai Machi | Episode: 1

Boku dake ga Inai Machi: (8) – very interesting so far, I liked the characters and the idea
Dagashi Kashi: (8) – enjoyed this one a lot, best comedy of the season in my opinion
Ojisan to Marshmallow: (7) – cute and somewhat amusing
Luck & Logic: (6) – liked the MC, somewhat humorous, but a bit rushed
Sekkou Boys: (6) – mildly funny, will probably get better
Divine Gate: (5) – interesting backstory, potentially too many characters
Musaigen no Phantom World: (5) – pretty much all fanservice
Hai to Gensou no Grimgar: (5) – too many weak characters, not enough action
Ooyasan wa Shishunki!: (4) – not cute enough, nothing happened

What are your thoughts on the new shows so far?