Summer Anime Season 2015 – Review October 10, 2015Posted by coolmikeol in Anime, Otaku, Seasonal Anime Reviews.
Tags: Anime, Coolmikeol, Summer Anime Season 2015
Continuing the theme from the last review post I did, watched a bunch of animes, but nothing really standing out. Sure I liked a couple more than others, but overall I haven’t had that hyped up feel each time I start up an episode since a while ago. Maybe it’s just me, maybe I’m starting to faze out of anime a bit. (Can’t believe I just said that.) Either way, animes these days to me are just like watching regular programs on TV now, something that I watch for entertainment, but nothing more. I used to deleve into different anime universes because of how cool each were, but now we’re really getting a bunch of cookie cutter animes, which I do avoid. What also didn’t help was that since the animes of this season were not as engaging, I held off on watching some animes once I missed a couple episodes, which led me to only catch up near the end of the season. This was mainly because I reserved my time for working at my part time job and resting. Anyways, if you want to see a full list of what animes I’ve watched, you can always check out My Anime List. Here is a list of animes that I watched from this season:
As usual, SPOILERS will be avoided as much as possible, but sometimes may pop up through my writing if I think it’s not too much of a SPOILER.
Mostly heard of this series from when I went to Anime Expo this year, as it was being promoted by it’s own booth almost. As it sounds and looks, it’s an ecchi show that’s about a party of heroes who tries and fights to save the world from evil, though it seems that’s the least of their worries. Running out of gold, having bad luck at opening chests, and losing their bikini armor is just a few problems these characters face while being heroes. This is a anime short series, meaning that each episode is only a few minutes long, so the plotlines of each episode is kept short and segmented. Overall, it’s fanservice at it’s core, marketed as such, but it was funny to see what highjinx our heros would find themselves in.
When an anime makes you think a bunch about it after it ends, about the many possible ways it could have gone, about the setting and the universe of the series itself, you know it’s good. This feeling reminds me a bit of how I felt after finishing Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica.
(I’m writing this right after finishing the season, so my thoughts are fresh at the moment, something I should do on a regular basis. It would be easier to put my thoughts on “paper” right away, and overall, get these Anime Review posts done faster as I tend to wait until almost all of the animes I’m watching from the season are done before writing anything.)
The aesthetics of this anime are very reminiscent of another popular Key (visual novel brand) anime Angel Beats!, mainly because it’s produced by the same studio, P.A. Works, and written by the same guy who also created helped Clannad, Maeda Jun. Even the soundtrack and sound effects are pretty much the same as well, which I guess is a signature of Key. The anime looks fantastic, and the characters are interesting as well. I just can’t help but look and admire the eyes.
SUMMARY SPOILER ALERT: In this show, a small percentage of children manifest superhuman abilities upon reaching puberty. For the first half of the season, the viewer is introduced into the series by showing our main character, Otosaka Yuu who has the ability to possess a person for 5 seconds, join and help the student council of Hoshinoumi Academy, a special academy to protect ability users in Japan. With Tomori Nao (Invisible to one person at a time), Takajo Jojiro (Teleport, but actually high uncontrollable speed), and Yusa/Misa Kurobane (Medium Channeling/Pyrokinesis), they work together to deal with people who abuse their powers in order to protect them from others who would capture them for study. During those episodes, the council deals with an ability user located by Kumagami, who has the ability to find said ability users and identify the ability as well. The plan to deal with ability users during this time was for Otosaka to possess the ability user, during which Takajo would knock them out by using his ability. Unknowingly, there was another plan in the works that would become the solution for all ability users in the world. Otosaka thought that his ability was the incomplete ability of possessing a person for a short amount of time, but actually is a side effect of the main ability, Looting. As it sounds, it is an ability to steal another’s ability for his own use. By doing so, every person with an ability he has possessed makes him stronger, but at the same time makes him a valuable target for people capturing ability users. However, he is not aware of his true ability quite yet. After an incident that claims his little sister’s life (Ayumi), he gets depressed, and goes off on his own. On the verge of mentally losing it, Tomori reveals herself to him, tracking him by his side all that time with her ability. She is able to bring him back to his senses, and he tries to return to everyday life. He is invited to see a ZHIEND concert by Tomori (after the others decline the offer), which during the event triggers memories from the past (a past from a different timeline). These memories makes him aware of his true ability, and that he has an older brother which was erased from his memories, and goes to see him to get the whole backstory. It is revealed that his brother Otosaka Shunsuke, has the ability of time travel, and used it to create a place to protect ability users from others who would abuse them. Shunsuke’s time travel ability’s had the side effect of slowly affecting his eyesight, to the point of total blindness. Because eyesight was the condition to make time jumps, he could not use his ability anymore, and allows Yuu to take it from him. Having this new power, he goes back in time to save Ayumi, and afterwards goes to see Shunsuke again to explain what’s happened in the the now alternate future. It’s explained that these abilities come from particles of the comet Charlotte, and that abilities are actually diseases. Because of the dangerous implications of being able to harbor and use nearly limitless abilities, he is asked by Shunsuke to stay at his research facility that has been looking for a vaccine to prevent future ability users. An organization that knows about Yuu’s abilities takes Kumagami and Tomori hostage, and hence goes to try and save them, after being convinced by Shunsuke. In the end, Kumagami is killed protecting Tomori from falling debris after Yuu uses his Collapse ability (taken from Ayumi) to destroy the building after being attacked and losing an eye to another ability user, which disabled his Time Jump ability. Waking up a couple days later, he learns of Kumagami’s death. Eventually a recovered Tomori visits him and suggests that he could protect all of the ability users around the world by simply stealing their abilities. Yuu accepts and then confesses his feelings to Nao, who tells him she will be waiting until he succeeds, giving him flashcards to help him speak English before taking her ability, along with Takajo’s and the Kurobanes’. He flies off around the world, Looting and gaining abilities that enables him to locate and steal abilities easily. Each power taxes on his mental health, slowly claiming his memory of his life in Japan, though Tomori’s flashcards reminds him of why he’s doing this. He becomes almost invincible during his travels, notably gaining the ability to see ability users on a map, to generate an energy shield, to heal, to freeze, to name a few of the known ones of the thousands he accumulates. While looking for the last ability user, he is critically injured, but manages to take the last power from the world, Courage. Luckily Shunsuke comes to rescue him and brings him home. Waking up at a hospital back in Japan, Yuu is left with no past memories. Tomori tells him she is his girlfriend and expresses gratitude that he kept the flashcards after all this time. With no other abilities present in the world, Yuu, Nao, and the others look forward to the memories they will make from now on.
(While this is pretty much just a summary of the entire story of the anime, I tend to do this to present the story though my own eyes. It’s more for me to express my thoughts of the story. If you want a more detailed and/or non skewed story of the show, please check Wikipedia or other sources. I do make sure my summary is fairly accurate, but I do skip some details that are not detrimental to the main plot.)
Overall, I think this was a great anime, better than Angel Beats! even, though both suffer from the fact that they are restricted to 13 episodes. The major events of the story were not as impactful as I think they could have been if more time was allowed for them to develop. As sad as some of the scenes in the show were, I didn’t cry at all like I did with Angel Beats!. I suppose it’s because of the fast pacing and thus lack of impact. Ayumi’s death was so swift, that it didn’t feel real, or rather something more was going to happen in regards to Ayumi, which it did. I think it would’ve worked better if more time was used during that event so that we would of thought that Ayumi’s death was truly fate, than by mistake. The same can go for the world travel of Otosaka Yuu. He had to go all around the world within one episode, only having us see a few scenes of him collecting or using the most useful powers, and his struggles of all the stress affecting him mentally and physically. While I can understand that it would not be good to have this part go on for too long, I wouldn’t have minded two or three episodes dedicated to his mission to save the ability users of the world. In the end though, I’m glad that things worked out, and that Tomori has welcomed back Yuu with open arms, something he’ll need to recover after all he has done. There is one more special episode to air in March of next year, so I’ll be looking forward to that.
Classroom☆Crisis was the underrated show this season storywise. Visually the anime is clean but nothing too special in my opinion. I did notice that the character art was similar to Oreimo, and sure enough both anime’s character designs was done by the same guy, Kanzaki Hiro. The show starts off slow, with the first half about the clashing relationship between Nagisa Kiryuu and A-TEC, the Advanced Technological Development Department, Educational Development Class of Kirishina Corporation that he works for. The aim of A-TEC is the development of new rocket development technology, the same group that helped create the company with its invention of high power and efficient space rockets. As Nagisa is the younger brother of both Director Kiryuu and the CEO of Kirishina Corp., he is tasked by them with the dismantlement of A-TEC, for reasons later given. Nagisa, Chief of A-TEC and also a transfer student of the group had a hard time dealing with A-TEC as he was readying for the shutdown of it, but in actuality, was making plans to save it, to bring it back it it’s former glory as it had when it was first formed by his predecessors.
There’s a lot of details that makes it hard for me to explain this anime properly in brief terms. Basically, the drama in this show comes from not full scale battles or wars, but through business and politics, which can be just as satisfying to watch when done right. The second half of the show is when things start to ramp up, and true intentions are revealed. The reason why this show is underrated is because most would judge a book by it’s cover, but that’s something never to really go by.
An anime short series about Haruki and his four sisters. It focuses on his everyday life with them, short and simply put. Enjoyable to watch, though quite typical of a “harem” setting. Nothing too risqué or too plain in terms of fanservice, just a nice casual watch. And oh yeah, I think of the main character as Kamijou Touma, as he has the same seiyuu. (Lol)
This was a leftover from the Spring Anime season, and the last time I talked about this series, I didn’t think too highly of it. After finishing the whole 24 episode season, I felt it improved if only slightly. The animation is still as lackluster as ever, though what still drew me to watch was the different characters that Kagami continued to encounter and help. Like I mentioned before, each and every one of them have specific quirks that makes them unique, so the circumstances to help them can go from one extreme to the next. I can’t really pin down the exact reason why I stuck with the series as I did, but at least it kept me amused to the end at the very least.
My favorite anime of this season, GATE’s start sounds like a couple of animes of the past, like Zero no Tsukaima and Outbreak Company. All share the main plotline that a fantasy world exists parallel to our own modern world, a way between the two is found, and we bring modern weapons into these medieval era worlds. While Zero no Tsukaima and Outbreak Company tend to be harem focused animes, GATE seemed more to promote the SDF and their ability to help others and defend themselves whenever necessary.
What I mainly liked about GATE was the characters and how helpful and productive they were to Itami and the SDF, even though they were once thought of as enemies. Lelei, with her passion for learning combined with her talent for magic, Tuka and her ability to speak well in front of audiences such as the National Diet of Japan, and Rory with her invincible combat ability and way with words and seduction. I also noticed that misunderstandings between our main characters and others were solved much more quickly and reasonably than a standard harem show would like to, which was fresh for me. For example, when Itami and co. were attacked by the Princess’s knights, Itami was captured and brought to the Princess, who had just recently thanked him and the SDF for their help and signed a Peace Treaty with them too. Itami’s squad who fled during the attack by order of Itami, came to try and secretly rescue him, unknowing of Itami’s current status, who was actually being treated very well. The maids who were looking after him sensed them nearby and led them to him, quickly finding out that he was OK and that the misunderstanding was resolved. All of this was done in a relatively short amount of time within the episode.
Originally on My Anime List, the anime was to be a straight 24 episode season. However it was changed to 12 episodes, intending there to be a second cour airing in January of 2016. I wasn’t too upset by this news, because at the time I had only watched the first three episodes due to available time, even though the first season was at least halfway done at the time. I wasn’t too invested in the series to be alarmed just yet, even though from what I watched so far it was good, and hearing good things about the series onwards.
Things are clearly ramping up with the foreshadowed battle with the injured Fire Dragon, political issues with other countries trying to gain some control of the GATE, and the ongoing waging war between the SDF and the Empire. How things turn out, will be known once the second cour starts in a couple months. I’m just hoping that it doesn’t end with the closure of the GATE, but I have a feeling that may happen if things spiral out of control as a last resort. I’m excited for January for the second season of GATE. These days there just aren’t many good animes, this year especially, so at least I have one to look forward to in the new year.
Himouto! Umaru-chan is a slice-of-life show about a girl named Umaru who at school and in public has the appearance of a perfect person: Beauty, intelligence and popularity, who everybody admires. However this ends when she’s at home where she transforms into the definition of a couch potato. Watching TV, playing games, eating junk food, staying indoors and lazing around all day is who Umaru truly is. It’s a cute little show that shows two opposite sides of a person in and out of the public eye. We all have that public/private side of ourselfes where we unwind and relax, and watching Umaru trying to balance the two without them clashing is entertaining.
In this second season of Miss Monochrome, she is still on track to become an idol her way. She gains a promoter from a record company, a group that has kouhai idols as backup dancers, and continued will to rival top idol Kikuko. There was some progression in the story in terms of helping Miss Monochrome’s brand, but nothing more from that. Right after this ended, I found out that the first episode of a third season of this anime short was already out, making it the first anime I’m starting from the Fall Anime Season 2015. The Miss Monochrome series is pretty random at times, and at times I got a bit annoyed with the randomness, but watching Miss Monochrome (aka Yui Horie) become an eternal idol is what makes me watch it. I think I mentioned this before, but I believe that the Miss Monochrome project is a way to market Yui Horie as a kind of Vocaloid, as her voice in the anime is altered as such. As digital voices will never deteriorate, this would definitely help her career if there was a reason her real voice started to falter. That’s what I think anyways.
This is probably one of the weirder harem shows you’ve probably heard of. As its English title says, this anime is about your day to day life with monster girls. Our main cast of monster girls consists of a Snake, Bird, Centaur, Slime, Mermaid, Spider, and Dullahan/Psychopomp. Other monsters include Zombies, Cyclops, Orge, Shapeshifter, Dragon, Orcs, Devil, Dryad, and more. Kurusu Kimihito is our main male protagonist in this monster girl harem series, and like other harem shows, he tries to avoid any seductive moves made by our loving heroines, more so because the law forbids him to. He is nice to all of them and has taken in almost every single monster girl that falls unexpectedly into his care at his house, that conveniently has been modified to house them all. While he has compassion for his housemates, he also shown unbelievable strength when defending them from harm, as seen from his punches. He has also shown that he is almost invincible to any injuries that he receives from the monster girls, to the watchers amusement.
Of the monster girls, I tended to like Centorea the Centaur and Miia the Lamia, as well as Rachnera (though my fear of spiders would unfortunately get in the way of fully appreciating her). Centorea is the most level headed person in the group, tending to be the one trying to establish order among the chaos, though she still becomes flustered when it comes to embarrassing things. As a centaur, she was raised as a warrior, and once she became familiar with Kimihito, acts as a knight protecting him when she can from impending dangers. I like her because within all the random bouts that occur with the other girls to show their affection to Kimihito, she tends to try and deescalate whatever’s going on. I do like some order when love and affection is rampaging about, especially from our neighborhood lamia Miia. I also like the fact that while she tries to do as much as she can for him, she also realizes that there are some things she just can’t do, which Kimihito assures her that he will help her in those regards.
Miia is your standard super lovable acting-wife character. She loves Kimihito and calls him darling, has tried to seduce him on multiple occasions, and tends to also accidentally hurt him, usually through strangulation due to her tail. While she can get jealous quite easily, especially after girls start moving into their house one after the other, she supports Kimihito throughout and eventually warms up to having housemates, though still will try to hog him whenever possible.
As for Rachnera, she tended to be another of the monster girls who is more mature, though she has had a bad history with other humans prior to meeting Kimihito. She was initially distrustful of humans after her first host family was scared of her spider body and the second (illegal) host abused her ability to create silk. After her encounter with Kimihito who changed her mind about humans by charming her, she moved into his house. While she can be annoying to her housemates by setting web traps everywhere, she’s more of a misunderstood being, who has experienced sadness from being judged from her appearance. While I’ve mentioned before that I don’t like spiders, it’s more because of that creepy look aspect. If you can get to know someone through communication, then I believe we can bridge the gap between them, whether them being human or not.
Overall I think it’s a good harem based show because of a couple of things that makes it stand out from others: 1) There are lovable monster girls, a clear unique trait of this show, and 2) No tsundere characters, which I only realized now that I think about it. Everyone is open to liking our main protagonist in some sort of way. Monster Musume wins my unique harem series award, though please be aware that it’s a NSFW show so watch wisely.
Non Non Biyori is THE definition of a slice of life anime, taking place in a rural area of Japan. It has that soothing charm of the country life that a lot of us don’t experience in the city. Non Non Biyori Repeat is somewhat a second season, second only by that it is a second season, not by timeline though. Repeat takes place almost parallel with the first season, but shows different events during this time frame.
The only main difference I saw between the first and second season was that they toned down Hotaru’s obvious affection for Komari. It’s still there as seen from the still massive amounts of Komari dolls she has in her room, but it’s not a focus of her character that I felt it was in the first season. Everything else though seems to be the same, which is nice because this anime has good chemistry with it being quite slow yet enjoyable and heartwarming. Renge is still the best of the group, as while she acts her age most of the time, she sometimes shows wisdom beyond her years which makes her more interesting to watch, especially trying to justify said wisdom with her young mind. She’s just a ball of fun, eager to explore and learn with her friends in the quaint countryside of Japan.
I’d definitely watch more of this series if more was made, though I don’t think that will be the case. Maybe they could make a series where the characters are a little more grown up, and finally get to see a city like Tokyo, but that would kill the main charm of the series. Either way, I’m a fan and I hope to see more of Non Non Biyori in the future.
Okusama ga Seitokaichou is another anime short series, that’s about newly elected Student Council President Ui Wakana who announces to Izumi Hayato (who lost the position to her and became Vice President) that she is to become his wife thanks to an agreement made between their parents when they were young. With this said, ecchi scenes ensue between Izumi and Ui, and the other girls he encounters thanks to him being in the Student Council. The show itself is pretty standard for what you’d expect with the setting. I’ve gotten used to Ui’s seiyuu Ayana Taketatsu playing characters in these kinds of shows, Kiss x Sis being another ecchi show where she’s one of the main heroines. The fanservice is tame but very suggestive in most cases, definitely a NSFW show.
Winner of the best cooking anime out there (only this and Koufuku Graffiti this year notably anyways), Shokugeki no Souma was pretty awesome for it’s cooking action and detail that only experienced chefs would fully understand. As a person who can’t cook, I enjoyed it more for Souma’s rise through the ranks of Tootsuki Culinary Academy. Since I already wrote about the first half of the anime in the Spring Anime Review, I’ll just be talking about the second half of the season which focused on the Autumn Elections.
The build up to the Autumn Elections, and the first round of it was done pretty slowly. It allowed us to immerse ourselves in the small aspects of cooking. Since the theme of the first round of the elections is curry, Yukihira goes to see Professor Shiomi, whose area of study deals with spices and herbs, a staple of curry. There he also meets Hayama Akira, a master user of spices in his cooking. Once Yukihira learns of the gap between himself and Hayama in this regard, he experiments with different combinations of herbs and spices in preparation for the elections. It’s not just Yukihira, but almost everyone in Polar Star has been chosen to be in the elections, so everyone prepares by perfecting their own specialty craft. The last few episodes focused on specific characters judging to highlight their skills, with some surprising winners that hid from the spotlight throughout the series. Yukihira came out almost on top, just scored under Hayama, but none the less moving on in the elections. As the anime ended with the eight selected to move on in the elections, it looks to be a foreshadowing to a future season in order to conclude this arc and more. You know I’ll be watching the second season of Shokugeki no Souma once it comes out, definitely looking forward to it.
Just like how we had Shirobako that focused on how anime is made from start to finish in a relatively realistic way, Sore ga Seiyuu looks into a Seiyuu’s (voice actor in Japan) life and work. Created by seiyuu Asano Masumi, I found this anime pretty amusing, much more than Shirobako which was popular, but a bit off putting for me because of the overload of terms I did not understand in that show. Because Sore ga Seiyuu focused primarily on Seiyuu and the different kinds of voice work they do, it was easier to understand and thus more enjoyable to watch. I loved the cameos by real Seiyuus such as Horie Yui, Kamiya Hiroshi, Kugimiya Rie, Shiraishi Ryoko, etc. who played themselves which is rare in animes for one to play themselves. (Of course that would be the case in an anime about Seiyuus.) I also liked the cover songs the main characters would sing as part of the closing credits, like songs such as “A Cruel Angel’s Thesis” from Neon Genesis Evangelion, and”Happy Material” from Negima. One other cameo that you don’t see directly is Hata Kenjirou, the original creator of the series Hayate no Gotoku!, who provides his talents in this anime as character designer. All these real life cameos is reminiscent of Hayate no Gotoku! which was filled with cameos and parodies that made me laugh and enjoy the series so much. I do hope for more of this series, but I don’t think that will happen. Definitely a recommended watch for people who want to see into a Seiyuu’s life.
Season not over yet, will write a post about this anime once it has concluded.
To LOVE-Ru Darkness 2nd caught me off guard as I didn’t know a new season was airing until the start of the Summer Season. It continues from the first season of the Darkness series of To LOVE-Ru, where Momo is continuing to work on her harem plan for Rito. But the appearance of Nemesis has thrown a wrench into the plan, as she plans to unleash the “Darkness” within Yami aka Golden Darkness. It’s up to Rito and company to find out how and why Nemesis plans to do this, but as always he does it in his remarkably clumsy way of touching every girl accidentally in inappropriate ways, complete with the shining light of censorship.
I do enjoy the Darkness series more than the original series of To LOVE-Ru, because it actually has some direction than just daily life stuff. It has action and darker themes, but still with the exit strategy of ecchi and fanservice. Darkness 2nd officially ended in the middle of a story arc, but that’s to be concluded with the special episodes 13 and 14 that will air later this month as a combined one-hour broadcast.
Working!!! (The third season) has definitely worked the plot lines forward, much more than the previous seasons ever did. You can tell by that fact that this season is intended to be the last because of how so many things were tied up. Here’s a bunch of SPOILERS: Yamada was finally reunited with her family, Satou and Todoroki have become an item, with Todoroki announcing her resignation from the restaurant to explore other opportunities in the world, Otoo is reunited with his long lost wife, and of course Takanashi and Inami have confessed to each other. Did I also forget to mention that at the end of the last episode, Takanashi mysteriously disappeared? There is a special episode announced called Working!!! Lord of the Takanashi, that will answer this question, and presumably conclude the series. What will happen, no one knows, but it was hinted that his mother has something to do with his disappearance. Will definitely watch it when it comes out. Overall I liked the accelerated pace of the series after being at almost a stalemate for all the characters’ developments for the longest time. Most animes have the development happen over time, but this anime did it in a course of one season, which in its case, works because Working!!! would not have been the same if each of the main issues were resolved throughout the seasons. It built up the audience’s wanting of something to finally happen, and gave it to us almost all at once. I started watching working partly because at the time I did not have a job yet, so watching an anime about working at a part time job was interesting and gave me a small taste of what I’d expect from a real part time job. For an anime series that has been running for five years, it has been a good run and I truly enjoyed watching its development, run in parallel with myself once I started working as well.