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Spring Anime Season 2017 – Review July 4, 2017

Posted by coolmikeol in Seasonal Anime Reviews.
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This season had a pretty good mix of animes. 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:

Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka Gaiden: Sword Oratoria

Eromanga-sensei

Hinako Note

Little Witch Academia (TV)

Re:Creators

Rokudenashi Majutsu Koushi to Akashic Records

Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata ♭

Sakura Quest

Shingeki no Kyojin Season 2

Shuumatsu Nani Shitemasu ka? Isogashii desu ka? Sukutte Moratte Ii desu ka?

Remember, these reviews assume that you have watched the series, which means SPOILERS will be few but imminent. You have been warned.


Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka Gaiden: Sword Oratoria

In this side story spin-off of Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?, Sword Oratoria focuses on Ais Wallenstein and her Familia under the Goddess Loki. The story runs parallel in timeline to Bell Cranel’s one, so we see scenes from the original series when they intertwine.

At first I thought that this was going to be more of a slice-of-life series than the original series was going to be, however now that this season is over, I feel that both series hold their own well. In the original series, Ais was seen as more of a boring character; powerful but lacking much emotion. By having a series about her, it helped to flesh out her character more, by showing her backstory up to the present. I’m hoping that both this spin-off series and the main will mix more in a similar fashion to how the To Aru Majutsu series has with its separate story focuses on Misaka and Accelerator.

Eromanga-sensei

A spiritual successor to Oreimo as it and this series was both created by the same person, Eromanga-sensei is about light novel writer and “protagonist” Izumi Masamune and his little step sister Sagiri who is known by her online alias Eromanga-sensei for her erotic illustrations. A shut-in since her mother died about a year ago, Sagiri is slowly acclimated to coming out of her room by her older brother Masamune, who learns is the author of the book she illustrates for. They create and share a dream of making a successful LN/anime series together.

I was attracted to this series mainly for its closeness with the Oreimo series, as well as for what the name of the series has to offer. Even though Sagiri is only 13, her ability to draw ero-art was top notch. It was later shown that her skill and habits comes from her late mother who seemed to work as a illustrator as well. Her older step brother Masamune, a self proclaimed genius of light novels, started writing when he was very young. With encouragement from fans of his work, his goal was to become a professional for his fans and career.

This anime series was slow but not in a bad way. While not much as changed, we can see that both Sagiri and Masamune are making headway towards their dream. They both have made new friends and are enjoying the road ahead of them. Even if times were bad in the past, things change and the only direction left will be the future. Sure Sagiri may not have left the house, but at least she has left her room right? I also enjoyed the other characters as well, Yamada Elf and her outward personality, and Senju Muramasa with her absolute adoration for Masamune’s LN work and admiration for him.

It was an enjoyable series overall. Some fan service parts were cringe worthy for characters clearly too young, but if you try to put yourself in their position, I guess it makes sense for why it’s normal for them.

Hinako Note

The cutesy anime of the season, Hinako Note is about a country girl who is bad at speaking with others. In order to improve this part of her, she decides to move to Tokyo and joins the drama club in high school. She moves in to a boarding house/used bookstore/cafe that houses a colorful cast of people that becomes her friends. Together they help Hinako overcome her fear of interacting with others by starting a theater troupe.

I guess I started watching this one because well it looks cute. It’s pretty much an anime about friendship and getting over the little hurdles in life. One thing I do need to mention is how the fan service was served in this anime. For one, there wasn’t any during most of the first half of the season, and it definitely wasn’t expected in this kind of show. When it did show itself it was quite blatant, and felt a little forced and unnatural for how innocent it generally projected itself overall. I’m not saying it was outright bad to have it, but rather it should of been done in a soft cutesy way rather than straight up bunny suit / skimpy outfits. Besides that, it was an OK casual anime to watch.

Little Witch Academia (TV)

I binge watched Little Witch Academia (TV) as I didn’t have time to watch it when it started at the beginning of the year. I remember when this series was created from the 2012 Young Animator Training Project, a government program to train young animators on-the-job. Studio Trigger was part of this program and created LWA from it, gaining praise from viewers of the first short movie of this series. A Kickstarter was run to produce a sequel short movie which surpassed its funding goal, and was premiered at Anime Expo back in 2015. I got to see that when I went and it was awesome, showcasing itself in a classic Trigger fashion.

The TV anime version of LWA was announced in a clever way, through one of Trigger’s other series, Space Patrol Luluco. Space Patrol Luluco is chock full of references to Trigger’s other works such as Infernal Cop, Kill La Kill, and LWA. At the very end of the last episode of Space Patrol Luluco, you see Luluco essentially pass the baton to Akko of LWA, a nice touch to give it good luck in its future.

The Little Witch Academia TV anime was a blast to watch. Spanning 25 episodes, it tells the story of a girl named Atsuko Kagari aka Akko who dreams to become a witch like Shiny Chariot, a magic performer who taught her that “A believing heart is your magic”. She enrolls in the same school that Chariot went to, Luna Nova, to study magic to eventually reach her role model. There she befriends all sorts of people, and learns what magic can do, for others and for herself.

The anime was done in two segments; The first half of the season shows Akko struggling but slowly learning the basics of magic. A bunch of random events happen to our overly energetic main character who does whatever she thinks is right. Even if she doesn’t think things through, it seems to work out in the end. The second half starts with the introduction of an antagonist of sorts, and Akko learning about the true purpose of the Shiny Rod. The Shiny Rod is revealed to be the key to break the seal of Grand Triskellion, an magic with tremendous power that can change the world. The Nine Olde Witches sealed it within Arcturus Forest due to dangers that it posed if fell to the wrong hands. And thus, the Shiny Rod (Claiomh Solais) exist as the only key to unlock it, if its wielder is able to revive the Seven Words of Arcturus. I won’t spoil much more than this, but this definitely adds solid context to Akko’s actions and the world around her.

I really enjoyed all that Little Witch Academia had to offer. Action/comedy moments that bewitch your heart. Near the end of the series, upon reviving the final Word, I had goosebumps all throughout that scene, as if the magic within my heart was reacting to it. Trigger knows how to build up to a great ending, and I’m glad that I got myself to finally sit down and watch this fantastic series. The only nitpick worth mentioning was the sometimes cheap animation look. It’s not really a complaint, but rather noticing an art style that has charm. (Probably done for a more comedic look, and budget saving tactics.) I will look forward to Trigger’s next anime for sure. You can count on it!

Re:Creators

My favorite anime of the season, and a while actually. Re:CREATORS is an anime where genres fight against each other knowing that their worlds are a creation by people in the real world. Created by studio TROYCA, and music by Sawano Hiroyuki, the duo who also created Aldnoah.Zero what it was, this series was something I was excited for hearing that these two were working together again. The first synopsis I read for this anime was a bit confusing:

Humans have created many stories. Joy, sadness, anger, deep emotion. Stories shake our emotions, and fascinate us. However, these are only the thoughts of bystanders. But what if the characters in the story have “intentions”? To them, are we god-like existences for bringing their story into the world? Our world is changed. Mete out punishment upon the realm of the gods. In Re:CREATORS, everyone becomes a Creator.

(Source: ANN)

This gave me a vague idea what it was about, but luckily it looks that MAL.net got it much better:

Humans have designed countless worlds—each one born from the unique imagination of its creator. Souta Mizushino is a high school student who aspires to be such a creator by writing and illustrating his own light novel. One day, while watching anime for inspiration, he is briefly transported into a fierce fight scene. When he returns to the real world, he realizes something is amiss: the anime’s headstrong heroine, Celestia Yupitilia, has somehow returned with him.

Before long, other fictional characters appear in the world, carrying the hopes and scars of their home. A princely knight, a magical girl, a ruthless brawler, and many others now crowd the streets of Japan. However, the most mysterious one is a woman in full military regalia, dubbed “Gunpuku no Himegimi,” who knows far more than she should about the creators’ world. Despite this, no one knows her true name or the world she is from.

Meanwhile, Souta and Celestia work together with Meteora Österreich, a calm and composed librarian NPC, to uncover the meaning behind these unnatural events. With powerful forces at play, the once clear line between reality and imagination continues to blur, leading to a fateful meeting between creators and those they created.

This synopsis nails down what it’s about more directly. What’s also awesome about this season is that it runs for 22 episodes, a better way to flush out the story. So far it’s about half way done, and it has been an up and down ride. The first few episodes were wordy in describing the series’s universe, but that’s because this is a relatively new project as the manga looks to only have started a couple of months ago. Whether or not the anime version is following the current manga, is on an original storyline, or is parallel to the manga but ahead of it, I’m not sure.

I’m definitely enjoying most of this anime, but it’s not without things that bug me. First off the main character: Enter Souta, a weak sounding guy who is emotionally scarred after indirectly causing a friend’s death. To me he got on my nerves because he looks like he was going to cry every so often. At this point in the anime it looks like he’s finally soaking up his tears to do his part in being helpful. I hope to see him grow out of his depression to not bring the rest of the cast down.

The second irritation is Magane, a character who talks too much, enjoys causing chaos and killing, and has an ability that I still have a hard time trying to understand. Here’s her ability description courtesy of MAL.net: “She possesses an ability called “Infinite Deception of Words” that allows her to bend reality through lies and deception; by telling a lie and manipulating somebody into rejecting that claim it creates a “lie of a lie” which by proxy makes the initial claim become real.” Can someone tell me how this works? I’m running this example in my head: Say something is blue, but she says it’s yellow. I reject that it’s yellow, so…. huh? I can’t even run a simulation in my head for this. The anime examples don’t help either. Let’s just say she plays mind games and whatever she wants to become a reality happens.

The scene where Selesia gets a power up in Ep. 10 is one of those moments where everything comes together. The atmosphere of the battle, Sawano music doing its thing, and the transitions, pacing, and emotions. It’s those rare amazing anime moments that stay in my mind, leaving me to constantly think of the show and what to expect in its future.

I really wish that this anime had more exposure. It’s not available on Crunchyroll or Funimation, only Anime Strike (Amazon) as far as I know. There also isn’t much advertising for it that I’ve seen. Maybe it’s because it’s a new IP, that it’s not an established series, that advertisers don’t want to take a risk with it. Maybe if it does well enough, and the story demands it, another season can be made with a potential for more viewers.

We’re only halfway done with the series, so I’ll have my full review of Re:CREATORS in a couple months. I’m enjoying it, you should try watching too. If you enjoy anime in general, and like to see swordwomen, magical girls, tough guys wielding personas, floating gunmen, giant mechas, and a crazy psychotic high school girl duke it out for the entertainment of a dark version of Hatsune Miku who uses an endless array of floating swords, then please take a look for yourself.

Rokudenashi Majutsu Koushi to Akashic Records

I wasn’t originally planning to watch this series because it looked like another one of those magical academy type of shows, but after seeing some clips on social media, I decided to give it a try. The difference between this anime and others like it is that that main character isn’t some student, but rather a new teacher named Glenn Radars. He’s quite simply put, a bastard who seems to be a selfish, laid-back, full-of-himself kind of guy. (The English name of this series is Akashic Records of Bastard Magic Instructor.) While that is what he projects on the outside, there is more to him than meets the eye. He was formally part of an elite magic military group, where he was known for his killer instinct. During this time, he lost someone that he cared for that he was trying to protect. After abruptly leaving the military, he became a teacher under orders from Celica Arfonia, his adopted guardian who taught him magic at a young age after losing his family. As a teacher, he learned again what it means to be responsible, and to care for his students, especially because one of them looks like the one he lost in the past.

The show itself was entertaining, especially with Glenn in the driver’s seat. He may not have been a particular powerhouse of magic, but he made up with his intellect, physical strength, and charisma. One of the minor things that detracted my liking of the anime was the pacing. If you look at the anime based on its main conflicts, then you might notice a trend. Every few episodes is like a mini story in itself surrounding Glenn and one of the other main characters. It was almost like every 3 episodes that it was focused on a character; Glenn, Glenn and Rumia, Glenn and Re=L, Glenn and Sistine. While in hindsight this pacing structure is solid, it also made it a little predictable for how the anime was going to proceed story wise once noticed. This may not be a bad thing all things considered, but its just something that I thought I should mention as part of my review.

Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata ♭

In this second season of Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend .flat, we finally see much more advancement of character development, as well as cute moments from most of our female main characters surrounding Aki Tomoya.

I am glad that things moved forward in a consistent way. There was much more drama surrounding their relationships, and the more or less realistic ending of moving toward new opportunities. Katou Megumi really shined when she showed her emotions. What made her “unique” was her boringness, because whenever she would express her happiness or sadness it had more weight than someone who was emotional all the time. Utaha and Eriri also became bolder in their approach to Tomoya, and also towards their careers. As for Tomoya himself, while he learned valuable lessons from his peers about game and friend development, he doesn’t change all that much, especially the dense protagonist part of him. Overall I enjoyed this second season of an anime, definitely better than the first. If anything more I want see from this series, is the game that Tomoya and Megumi make together, the game that Tomoya wanted to make from the start. That would more or less bring it full circle in my opinion.

Sakura Quest

This anime will be a 25 episode season, and at this point it is half over so I’ll just jot down some of my current impressions of it. Here’s the quick synopsis from MAL.net:

“In the wake of a nationwide movement during the Bubble economy period, a small town in the countryside has revived its “mini-nation” tourism program; hiring five girls as travel ambassadors. The series will follow a year’s time of the five girls as they work in the tourism agency of a small failing town in an effort to reinvigorate it.”

This is a very laid-back and slow series that is interesting enough to watch if you are into slice-of-life. It can get boring sometimes, as I think I’ve fallen asleep a couple of times while watching, but that’s more because I watch anime late at night. I’ll give a full review at the end of the season, but for now it’s just another casual anime to watch.

Shingeki no Kyojin Season 2

Most of everyone’s favorite anime comes back in this Season 2, and boy was it slow. My first and main complaint when watching the first few episodes: The constant backtracking. While watching the beginning of the first few episodes, I just wanted the story to move forward. Can’t do that when a few minutes in we get a “12 hours earlier” scene that seems to last for the rest of the episode. I know that it’s trying to build context towards the ending of this season, but I just wish that it could of done that through linear storytelling rather through throwing us back and forth in the timeline. I’ve been hearing about the lack of animators in the anime industry, so that’s probably why they couldn’t run another 25 episode season so soon. That’s probably also why not much time in story was passed, as they focused on using big story elements to shrink the amount of episodes needed to engage viewers. For the record, I have not read the manga, so I’m not to say whether or not they are following the source material. If the anime version runs parallel to it’s manga counterpart, then probably my complaints are invalid. But either way these are my sole opinions as one who only watches the anime.

Besides my main issues, the season was solid in doing what it needed to do. The revealing of plot altering events were done well, though to me the impact of it was more like a “Huhhh…” than a “Huh?!” I don’t know, I wasn’t thrown aback by it at all. Maybe because the who-is-a-titan thing is starting to become all more common than it was back in season 1.

Season 3 has already been announced for 2018, so we won’t get a wait time as long as we did for the second. I plan to watch it as I’d like a conclusion to this series’s mystery of the titans, but I’m not even sure a third season can end it, unless they bring it back to a 24-25 episode season. We’ll have to wait and see once again.

Shuumatsu Nani Shitemasu ka? Isogashii desu ka? Sukutte Moratte Ii desu ka?

This was another don’t judge a book by it’s cover anime. In WorldEnd: What do you do at the end of the world? Are you busy? Will you save us?, it takes place far in the future where humans have become instinct at the hands of “Beasts” roaming the planet. New races arose and now live on floating islands that are out of reach of all but the most mobile of Beasts. (The following is the rest of the synopsis via MAL.net):

“Only a small group of young girls, the Leprechauns, can wield the ancient weapons needed to fend off invasions from these creatures. Into the girls’ unstable and fleeting lives, where a call to certain death could come at any moment, enters an unlikely character: a young man who lost everything in his final battle five hundred years ago, the last living human awakened from a long, icy slumber.

Unable to fight any longer, Willem becomes the father that the girls never had, caring for and nurturing them even as he struggles to come to terms with his new life, in which he feels the pain of helplessly waiting for his loved ones to return home from battle that his ‘Daughter’ once felt for him so long ago. Together, Willem and the girls gradually come to understand what family means and what is truly worth protecting.”

At first, it looked like it was a slice-of-life type of anime based on the later part of the synopsis and main image that was used on its MAL.net page. Turns out its more of an drama/action/romance genre, and it does so quite well. What I liked about the main character Willem was his attitude. He wasn’t an annoying shy guy, like we’ve seen in other world animes. He’s a smart, strong character with a tragic backstory. He may have been a hero before, but that time has gone and passed. Even then his motivation to protect what he cares about has not dimmed, rather he found new reasons to live through it. Every so often he may show vulnerability from his emotions, as a man out of time who lost everything, but that makes him relatable.

As for the girls, they’re a cute bunch but learning what they really are and what they’re for makes it bittersweet. I wonder how similar a Leprechaun and a human like Willem are, as there doesn’t seem to be much of a difference. They both even have some extra power, the flying/self-destruct ability for the Leprechauns and Willem’s super sprint/strength (though for Willem that could be because he was a hero in the past).

It concluded as you would expect when things continually fall apart. I was a little confused for what happened at the end, my question: Who survived? While the final scene hints at a rebirth of sorts, the whole ending makes me feel that at the very least happiness was held on until the very end. It gives us viewers hope that they found what they were looking for. I definitely hope that’s what happened.

Winter Anime Season 2017 – Review April 10, 2017

Posted by coolmikeol in Seasonal Anime Reviews.
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This anime season was one of the weaker ones I’ve probably watched. Minus Gundam Orphans, I initially started watching a few of the several shows airing, only adding Masamune-kun no Revenge and Seiren mid season to the list. I also had a lot of things going on IRL that kept me from watching consistently each episode every week as I usually do. 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:

Demi-chan wa Kataritai

Gabriel DropOut

Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon

Masamune-kun no Revenge

Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans 2nd Season

Seiren

Remember, these reviews assume that you have watched the series, which means SPOILERS will be few but imminent. You have been warned.


Demi-chan wa Kataritai

From a first glance, this anime doesn’t seem to be anything too special besides the “Monster Girls” aspect. However, instead of the “monster” being the main focus, the anime explores the themes of understanding and inclusion of different people into a normal modern society.

The main character Takahashi-sensei is a biology high school teacher who has an interest in studying and understanding demi-humans. Luckily for him, there are three students and a teacher who are different demis. Through certain events, he finds himself helping the Demis by helping them understand their own nature though science and logic, and in turn gets to interview them for information that sometimes breaks stereotypes of their kinds. In short, he lowers the wall that may keep normal humans and demi-humans from interacting normally, possibly from assumptions made based on fear or rumors.

I like how this anime stayed on focus with this theme, as well as keeping a light atmosphere even when dealing with sometimes sensitive issues. A lot of what is discussed in this show regarding the differences in people and how they should be seen by others can be used in real life. In essence, don’t judge a person based on rumors or stereotypes, try and get to know them personally and understand who and where they’re coming from. Your opinions about them can come after, but only after you attempted to have some dialogue.

——

Gabriel DropOut

This anime was my typical “slice-of-life school comedy” of the season. The show is basically about the life of an angel named Gabriel who has transferred to an Earth High School as part of her angel training. Originally a textbook example of a perfect angel, during her early days on Earth she discovered video games which quickly took over her life. She became a “fallen angel” of sorts, now being a stereotypical hikikomori. With her at the Earth school is Vignette, a very responsible and nice person, contrary to her actual role as a demon; Raphiel, a fellow angel who tends to enjoy teasing her friends, especially Satania, self-proclaimed future ruler of the underworld who tends to run into back luck with her schemes as a demon.

It was an alright series, entertaining in it’s own right about how modern day angels and demons would interact with each other and the world between them. One thing I’d like to mention, I noticed a reoccurring theme going on with some its dialogue scenes, using just a character head in a bubble while they’re talking off screen. While that’s nothing new in anime shows, the abundance of its use here made it stand out to me. Whether or not it was to save on the animation budget, or if it was actually following how the original material looked (I’ve only seen the anime), I don’t know. It may sound like I’m saying this was a negative aspect, but I don’t think that way. The humor was enjoyable, and the characters were unique in their own ways. Not a standout anime, but at least one that I don’t fall asleep to.

——

Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon

Another KyoAni classic, Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid may sound like a comedy fan-service anime, but it’s actually much more than that. First thing that came to mind when I first saw this series, was Lucky Star, because of how Kobayashi resembled the character design from that show, at least in my opinion. I’ll leave a synopsis from MAL that will do better justice than I can write up at this point:

As Kobayashi sets off for another day at work, she opens her apartment door only to be met by an unusually frightening sight—the head of a dragon, staring at her from across the balcony. The dragon immediately transforms into a cute, busty, and energetic young girl dressed in a maid outfit, introducing herself as Tooru.

It turns out that the stoic programmer had come across the dragon the previous night on a drunken excursion to the mountains, and since the mythical beast had nowhere else to go, she had offered the creature a place to stay in her home. Thus, Tooru had arrived to cash in on the offer, ready to repay her savior’s kindness by working as her personal maidservant. Though deeply regretful of her words and hesitant to follow through on her promise, a mix of guilt and Tooru’s incredible dragon abilities convinces Kobayashi to take the girl in.

Despite being extremely efficient at her job, the maid’s unorthodox methods of housekeeping often end up horrifying Kobayashi and at times bring more trouble than help. Furthermore, the circumstances behind the dragon’s arrival on Earth seem to be much more complicated than at first glance, as Tooru bears some heavy emotions and painful memories. To top it all off, Tooru’s presence ends up attracting several other mythical beings to her new home, bringing in a host of eccentric personalities. Although Kobayashi makes her best effort to handle the crazy situation that she has found herself in, nothing has prepared her for this new life with a dragon maid.

What I liked about the series, besides the obvious adorableness of Kanna, and the awkward naiveté that is Elma, was the interactions between Tooru and Kobayashi. Focusing on the main internal conflict Tooru has with herself about humans and the world she comes from, you can see that she has had a hard life. Whether it coming from her upbringing from her parents, to the constant human raids attacking her when resting, or the wars between the dragon factions, she has been fighting for a long time during which materialized and cemented her hatred for humans. Only on the verge of death did she find one human who would not only listen to her, but save her life as well. You could say that Kobayashi was totally drunk, which seemed to be the case, but even after meeting Tooru and listening to her stories about her past, she still listens, understands, and accepts her for who she is despite her differences. They are both able to live together, even if the laws of the universe are against it. Tooru learns to treasure those special fleeting moments, rather than having doubts about the future, because they may be more valuable than a lifetime of memories.

——

Masamune-kun no Revenge

I started watching this anime a bit late in the season, as it did not have my initial interest at the beginning. I eventually decided to watch it because of video clips I saw on social media. This anime is about a guy who was rejected by a girl when he was younger. During his young days, he was fat and a bit snobby, gaining the nickname “Pig’s Foot”. Due to this, he decided to change himself by working out into a handsome young man, to shed his former image. Upon entering high school, he finds himself in the presence of the girl that rejected him all those years ago. This time though, he plans to get revenge on her; by dumping her as bad as she did to him. However for this plan to work, he has to make her fall for him. This is where the story starts and gets interesting, sort of.

The anime for the most part was alright, getting a laugh or two every time a part of Makabe’s plans fall though. But that was more of less the bulk of the anime, the tug of war between progress with his plan, and her tsundereness kicking him away when he makes a critical mistake. What I didn’t like was the wrench in all of this, Gasou Kanetsugu, the proclaimed Masamune of Adagaki Aki’s past. I knew that he was going to play some sort of role towards the second half, due to him appearing in the opening sequence looking against Makabe, though at the time not sure how. I at first thought that he was a younger middle school version of Makabe, staring back at him as a reflection of some sort. First off, Kanetsugu doesn’t seem to be a mean person at all. He’s nice to everyone, including Makabe, and even volunteers himself to help Makabe’s class when he did the same for his. He seems to be playing the Masamune role under someone else’s instructions, possibly for financial reasons as he would be marrying into Adagaki’s rich family. He’s not unlikable, but because he’s tricking Adagaki he’s framed in that negative way to the audience.

Overall, the ending of this season ended with a number of questions, as well as a hint of a future season. I do hope that more of the story of the past can connect with the present, because we are still more or less running with the basic facts of girl dumped boy, boy seeks revenge by doing the same to her, an eye for an eye. There must be more than meets the eye, more facts to the story that can explain everyone’s actions both then and now. I will look forward to a new season if it can clarify and progress its plot line.

——

Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans 2nd Season

Gundam Orphans is finally over, a what a roller coaster it has been. Spanning two seasons with 25 episodes each, I felt that we went a full circle in terms of the story. Struggling at the beginning to create a name for themselves, to the edge of glory at the end of the first season/start of second season, to the fall and destruction of Tekkadan, I feel more or less satisfied with the ending, even if it was bittersweet. At least it wasn’t predictable or cliche like them getting all the way to the top, as they were always the underdogs who just got by. Their luck wasn’t always going to hold, especially with their small group size and resources against Gjallarhorn, a full military might that spans multiple regions of the solar system.

As for the second season’s main plot dilemma, it was McGillis Fareed versus Rustal Elion for who should rule Gjallarhorn in their own way. Because McGillis allied himself with Tekkadan and vice versa, we more or less viewed Rustal as the bad guy of the show as he was the one who always tried to plot their demise. As Rustal was the cold and calculating type, it was easily assumed that he had larger ambitions for ruling Gjallarhorn than McGillis, who proclaimed that he would destroy the corruption that had grew within it since its beginnings. However, when McGillis sought power from the original founder of Gjallarhorn, Agnika Kaieru’s Gundam Bael, things wern’t so clear as to who was right and wrong anymore. McGillis’s grab for power from a relic of the Calamity War was seen as nothing more than a coup d’etat for greedy reasons. Tekkadan’s decision to pair up with McGillis did not happen easily, nor did it seem likely that at that point that things would end well for them in the end, seeing as what happened to the Turbines who were destroyed by Rustal’s Arianrhod Fleet prior to McGillis obtaining Bael. As the end grew closer in this season, the odds were becoming more and more stacked against Tekkadan and McGillis, to a point where winning a battle against Rustal was out of the question. Surviving was all they could try to do, reminding us of Tekkadan’s beginnings of being human debris. Slowly the footprints left behind by McGillis and Tekkadan were wiped out under the rule of destroying out of control elements.

With their total destruction, things moved forward in a way that was quite unexpected; Rustal became the leader of Gjallarhorn, reforming it into a more democratic organization than one that was once ruled by the Seven Stars families. He downsized the Gjallarhorn Mars branch giving the people there the independence they always wanted, and finally worked together with the Martian Union to create the Human Debris Abolishment Treaty in order to prevent further exploitation of children as soldiers. He also meets with now Chairwoman Kudelia Aina Bernstein and promises to support her endeavors. In the end, everything is settled in the way mostly everyone wanted by one man, a man that was the antagonist for the entire series that won a decisive victory over the protagonists, as ironic as it seems.

When you think about it, there may have been a way that this all could of happened without the loss of McGillis and Tekkadan. Each side wanted more or less the same thing in the end, but what differed was their methods, both seemingly extreme. The main difference that separated Rustal and McGillis/Tekkadan was that the rebel duo were both people who were treated as disposable individuals; Long ago McGillis was a kid on the streets who learned the hard way that power was the only way he could survive, and once adopted into the Fareed family, learned of Agnika Kaieru and the power he possessed. From then on his goal has always been to become the ruler of Gjallarhorn and finally have the power he always craved. Tekkadan, being an organization consisting mostly of kids without a home, their goal was loosely to find a place for themselves without having to fight anymore, to live a life they feel they deserve. While they may have gotten lost along the way a few times, their end lead to their future, not just for them but for the future kids that would be saved from becoming human debris. While not much is known about Rustal Elion’s past, his actions seemed to be shrouded in vagueness as he always took the opposite stance against out protagonists, basically looking like a villain. Because of this it was automatically assumed that he wanted power for his own reasons. However, seeing what he does during the epilogue conflicts with the feelings I had (or probably most of us did). Whether or not there was a chance for any type of dialogue between the two without it blowing up, I’m not sure, but it was their means that created the war, not the shared end everyone wanted.

I enjoyed this series from start to end. It was my first Gundam series that I watched. I liked that this series is independent from the other Gundam series, so that I didn’t really need to know history or terminology of the series to understand and enjoy. It definitely didn’t feel like 50 episodes, and that’s a good thing as there wasn’t much fillers for the story. Interesting how the “bad” guy won, but at the same time things end on a high note with no loose ends. I’d probably like to try watching future Gundam series, but probably ones that are independent from its parent story like how Gundam Orphans was.

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Seiren

Synopsis via MAL:

“Shoichi Kamita is an ordinary high school boy, who is faced with the university entrance exam and worried about his future. This campus romantic comedy, “Seiren”, which means honest in Japanese, depicts his pure relationship with three different heroines. Each story is the unique and mutual memory between him and the heroine.”

This series was a nice casual watch about anime romance. Out of the three heroines, I thought Kyouko Touno’s was the cutest and sweetest, though Hikari Tsuneki was the most complex, and I like how she was still somewhat involved in the other characters’ routes.

Fall Anime Season 2016 – Review January 16, 2017

Posted by coolmikeol in Anime, Otaku, Seasonal Anime Reviews.
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For this season, I didn’t have a lot of time to watch as I used to, mainly due to work and other personal priorities. This actually caused me to stop watching some of the listed animes half way throughout the Fall season. By the time was free to watch, my reduced interest for a couple of them made me drop them. I probably won’t have as much to say about these animes of the season, but I’ll put my two cents in 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:

Getsuyoubi no Tawawa

Hibike! Euphonium 2

Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans 2nd Season

Okusama ga Seitokaichou!+!

Shuumatsu no Izetta

Watashi ga Motete Dousunda (Dropped at Ep. 6)

WWW.Working!! (Dropped at Ep. 5)

Remember, these reviews assume that you have watched the series, which means SPOILERS will be few but imminent. You have been warned.


Getsuyoubi no Tawawa

getsuyoubi-no-tawawa

This anime short series is such a tease. Tawawa on Monday is a series of short stories about various well endowed women during their usual weekday lives. Mostly seen from the perspective of a male companion, it combines cute and innocent with innuendo like speech and actions, whether or not the women are aware of it or not themselves. The fan service comes not in the visual form, but rather in the imaginative one. It’s one that I’ll admit I liked watching, as many would say, maybe because these kinds of situations are somewhat feasible in real life, not that I’m hoping for anyways…

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Hibike! Euphonium 2

sound-euphonium-2

This anime was one that I stopped watching around midway, mainly due to not having time to watch, but got back to it and finished before writing this post. I had stopped watching right up to when they won their place in the Nationals, so continuing from there was not confusing for me, as there wasn’t any mid story I had to remember.

All the way through, this anime is solid in its art and animation, character development, music, and story. It all culminates to a very good drama anime that very much feels real. As I mentioned in my review of the first season, when I was in high school, I was part of choir. Maybe not exactly the same as a band or orchestra, but I could still relate to the ups and downs that the characters faced when dealing with a competition, because just like them we also competed in choir competition festivals in trips that took us hundreds of miles away from home against other schools of the country. Feeling nervous or doubt as the stage grew nearer, is something I remember feeling, though in the end we did what we practiced over and over again, during actual class or lunch break. And when it came to the hearing the results, the fruits of our labor bore fruit in the form of 1st Gold place. An absolute dream come true, as I felt at the time. Let it be known that I had no intention of pursuing music in college, or for anything professional in my future. I just enjoyed singing in school choir.

I enjoyed this anime because of how relatable it was for me and my past. As for someone who did not experience something similar, I don’t know how well they would connect with the characters and story, but I think that they would still be able to grasp the feeling enough to understand and enjoy some good storytelling.

This anime series ended on a very nice note, as it cleared most if not all the drama that the band faced throughout the year. I like how in the anime, the teachers of the band mentioned that with the coming of a new year, they can start from scratch. With all the drama that happens within their school band, it comes off as a positive thing. Instead of dragging the negatives and positives around of the past, they can continue to learn from them and move forward into the future. I think that’s also good advise in general for how we should live, and how we should thrive towards our own goals in life.

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Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans 2nd Season

gundam-barbartos-s2

An ongoing series into the winter season, it continues from where we left off in the first season. I’ll just mention some of the differences I noticed between this season so far and the last. First off, Mikazuki is now more monotone and fiercer in battle than ever before. Of course its because he’s getting more experience with Barbatos, but it also seems to be taking a part of him every time there’s a huge battle where Mika calls upon it. At the end of the first season, he lost his sight in his right eye and use of his right arm. When connected to Barbatos however, he regains full control of his body again. More recently though, in the battle with the Mobile Armor, he ended up losing the ability to use his legs. He’s slowly becoming dependent on Barbatos, as with it allows him to use his full body at will, at the cost of not being able to disconnected from it. Besides that, Mika also seems to be losing his emotions, not that he ever was that emotional to begin with. An example of this was when back in the first season, in the scene right as Orga and Biscuit were attacked by Carta Issue, Mika calls out Orga’s name in a way that almost seems unlike his usual self. He also at least showed more facial expressions in the first season than the second. Maybe in part it has to do with what happened to him in the final battle in Edmonton, I’m not sure.

I’m looking forward to see how this all plays out: The merging of man and machine, and the stabilization of politics of the solar system. Whether or not Tekkadan will be triumphant or crash and burn, we’ll just have to wait and watch.

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Okusama ga Seitokaichou!+!

okusama-ga-seitokaichou-s2

In this anime short series second season, we find our hero creating a larger harem by interacting with more of his classmates. Fan service ensues. Yeah not much more I can say about this one.

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Shuumatsu no Izetta

shuumatsu-no-izetta

Advertised as an anime by some people who worked on other animes such as Code Geass, Izetta the Last Witch takes place in a world war where a small country called Elystadt finds itself under attack by the large nation of Germania. Elystadt discovers and rescues the last witch Izetta from Germania, and with her power turns the tide of battle into their favor. With magic used as a deterrent in the war, how will it affect the world? What consequences will it have for victory between all the warring nations? That’s what this anime more or less illustrates and answers in its own way.

I originally was not interested in watching this series, but decided to give it a shot after seeing a bit of it through social media. It was sort of cool watching actual military based weaponry being taken down quite easily by Izetta’s magic, even if it was simple in the extreme. It’s basically the opposite of the anime GATE where modern military might dominated almost medieval level weapons. Towards the second half of the series however, with the introduction of the cloned witch Sophie, it became clear that the end would be a battle between the two; It became predictable. While the ending was positive, it didn’t feel all the satisfying as the buildup throughout the series dropped off when it became clear that this series was just going to be a classic good versus evil thing, with nothing making it interesting in the middle. Overall it was an OK anime, but the battles and story became stale in my opinion.

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Watashi ga Motete Dousunda

kiss-him-not-me

I dropped this series midway as it didn’t interest me much anymore, mainly with it’s characters. I know that this anime is catered more to females, but I was originally attracted to it by scenes I saw on social media. What annoyed me was how you could tell that some of the guys were seemingly attracted to her mainly because of her looks and not for her personality.

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WWW.Working!!

www-working

In this spin off of the Working! series, we find ourselves at another branch of Wagnaria with a new cast of characters. These characters though I felt were random and didn’t mix very well. Because of this, I tended to fall asleep while watching this anime because everyone felt mad or gloomy or superficial. I did not feel like a workplace I’d want to work in.

I was attracted to the original Working! series before I started working at the retail store five years ago, because I wanted to see and feel what it was sort of like to work and interact with co-workers. Mind you of course this is an anime which cannot be applied to real life, but that’s how I wanted to see this anime series back then.