Winter 2015 Midseason Report (Week 7)

But iblessall, you’re a week late! Hush, hush, I can do my midseason report whenever I feel like it! Also, shows are all over the place in terms of episode count this season, so this is as good a time as any (plus 13 doesn’t divide in half evenly anyways). Anyways, there are the anime I’m watching and what I think about them so far. Scores are a projected range for the final score of the show.

Shirobako

#1. Shirobako (8-9/10)

Man, this is a good show. Not a lot has changed with Shirobako since I wrote up my thoughts on the show midway through the first cour, but nothing really needed to change. This is just a show that lives in the perfect spot between realism and optimism for me. Frankly, if Shirobako was preaching the hopelessness of adult life, I would have quit it long ago—and I think I would have been equally disillusioned with the show if it was unflinchingly positive at all times. Instead, primarily through the lens of the ethereally, transcendently grounded Aoi Miyamori (but also through the rest of the cast), Shirobako tackles the real world with a can-do attitude that accepts the difficulties of life without ever fully caving to them. I really couldn’t ask for anything more.

Episode 19: Ookura-san provided the knockout moment in an episode filled with them (like the creators of Andes Chucky speaking about the future through the characters of their show), with his incredibly sage advice—advice it wouldn’t go amiss for any young, aspiring professional to hear: just moving forward can be a good thing on its own.

#2. Death Parade (6-8/10)

While Death Parade definitely will need to have a strong finale to make its way up to an 8/10, the impressive diversity of its episodes is certainly a huge mark in its favor. Death Parade certainly has some interesting things to say about death and judgement and how we assess the lives of human beings, but it’s tough to say at this point what its final statements will be—in fact, given the ambiguity we’re often dealing with during the judgements, who knows if Death Parade will make take a definitive stance at all? I suspect it will, though. Decim and Kurokami have both proved to be very likable leads (especially Kurokami—I have a weak spot for cheerful people with a strong sense of fairness), but the rest of the cast is varied and fun to watch on their own terms.

Death Parade

Episode 7: More interesting world building, but of most interest to me is the fact that the Kurokami x Decim ship has somehow morphed into a Dead Girl x Doll Imbued with Human Emotions ship. It also seems like Nona’s dissatisfied with the way the “business” of judging the dead is run—and it is a business, from exhausted grunts doing a half-hearted job to an annoying CEO unwilling to change his business model.

#3. Akatsuki no Yona (6-8/10)

It was only a few weeks back that I thought Akatsuki no Yona was pretty much a lock for an 8/10, but I can’t really say it’s had a truly good episode since the end of the Blue Dragon arc, which has been about five episodes—and 8/10 shows just don’t have droughts like that. This isn’t to say that recent episodes have been entirely terrible or that the prior material wasn’t actually all that good, but I had some serious expectations for the quality of Yona after I started blogging it in earnest and those expectations haven’t been meet as consistently as I would’ve liked. I still think Yona is a much better show that people give it credit for, but I’m not quite as high on it as I used to be. But we’ll see how the final four episodes go. There’s plenty of time for a spectacular finale to bring Yona back into my good graces.

Akatsuki no Yona

Episode 20: Here’s this week’s post on the episode.

#4. Garo the Animation (6-7/10)

It’s had some crazy ups and some disappointing downs, but Garo‘s last three episodes have probably been the best run the show has had over the course of its entire run. And that’s not to say that Garo hasn’t had other great moments (it certainly has). It’s just that the show has occasionally gotten bogged down in slower side-stories that didn’t seem to make much of a difference on the overall movement of the narrative. But, really, thinking back on the show as a whole, Garo‘s had a lot more great moments than average moments and very few actively bad moments. Plus, with MAPPA displaying an unprecedented variation of craft, Garo has one of the best dark visual aesthetics I’ve ever seen and makes brilliant use of it.

Garo

Episode 19: Lacked the sheer sakuga power of last episode, but made up for it with beautiful color work, intentional cinematography, and a story about Ema that paralleled Leon’s own journey. The final scene of the episode is unquestionably the outcome of two deeply wounded people seeking solace in the other’s pain—it’s not a healthy way to deal with your hurt, but it’s certainly understandable in a sad way. (See this tweet and that tweet for more gushing.)

#5. Durarara!! x2 (6-8/10)

Very much the same kind of show it was five years ago, although Durarara!! x2 feels a bit like it has started to carve out its own path as of late. While the original series was certainly no example of how to tell a tightly focused story, the current iteration feels like it’s expanding out even further than before, with touch points in Russia, with the Ikebukuro gangs, and media conglomerates. So far it hasn’t been a problem, but I do somewhat fear that the vastness of the impending conflicts might have the potential to swallow up Durarara!!‘s greatest assets: it’s characters. The cast we grew to love in the first season was big enough that we never really got to explore any of them fully, so I’d prefer Durarara!! x2 to spend more time with the characters we already know than with the new ones.

Durarara!! x2

Episode 7: Yes, the animation was atrocious (a real shame given the first season’s generally solid production values), but there are still interesting things going on here—most notably Izaya’s manipulation of the ever-naive Mikado. Also glad to see Anri back in action and at Celty’s side. They make a good team.

#6. Your Lie in April (6-8/10)

Wildly, frustratingly, gloriously inconsistent and a whole heckuva a lot of fun to write about every week. Without fail, KimiUso gives me something to rant about each week and something to love each week. It’s certainly not the show I had hoped it would be, but I think it’s evolved in some interesting ways since I wrote my post on whether or not it was okay to like the show. By this point in the game, I’m committed to seeing this thing through, no matter how much pain or frustration it may cause me. The Good Things about KimiUso are very good indeed; it’s just a same the show’s overall craftsmanship can’t keep things rolling along well in between the big moments.

Your Lie in April

Episode 18: Here’s this week’s post on KimiUso.

#7. Log Horizon 2 (6/10)

Basically the exact same show it was in the first season, which is truly all I wanted it to be. It has its great moments and its very, very average moments, but overall I think I’ve maybe liked Log Horizon 2 a little bit more than its predecessor? The biggest fault of the first season was the absolute bog that was the political “games” arc, but Log Horizon 2 has generally kept its arcs shorter (or at least has done a nice job of keeping multiple arcs running at the same time). Plus, the expanding experiences of the world and the increasing contact with forces outside of Akihabara have given the show a sense of scale I somewhat felt it lacked before.

Log Horizon 2

Episode 20: Nice to see Nyanta in action and actually get to hear more from him than we normally do in his supporting character role. It can be easy to forget how well-connected the adult members of Shiroe’s guild are, which makes the contrast between the Tea Party members’ respective responses to the world all the more interesting.

#8. Rolling☆Girls (5-6/10)

When it’s good, it’s so good and so fun! But it’s not always that, and therein lies the rub. Back in the good old days when I was first getting into anime, things were either so new and excited that I didn’t notice or I was just getting lucky by hitting a lot of good shows, but ever since I started watching simulcasted shows I’ve come to realize that consistency is the long-lost prize that most anime struggle with. And I don’t mean animation quality (although Rolling☆Girls certainly has its issues with consistency there, but that’s more to be expected). Rather, I’m referring to how engaging the story is. Rolling☆Girls has proven, especially with its latest episode, that it’s capable of doing the itinerant moegirls bit effectively, but the fact is that it doesn’t actually do that every episode. Which is a shame. I’d love to love this show, but facts are that I just kind of like it right now.

Rolling☆Girls

Episode 7: Probably the best episode we’ve gotten from the show since episode 2. There was some comedy, some character work (finally) with our four leads, more zany action and cool colors. Even a bit of conflict that has some teeth to it. Yay, yay, yay! Very excited for the next episode!

#9. Assassination Classroom (5/10)

Has had some really solid episodes (1, 3) and some not very good episodes (2, 4), but the sum total of Assassination Classroom is that it is a very, very likable show. This is essentially just an underdog story, although who exactly the underdog is feels like a bit of an unanswered question due to the general lack of depth for the students of the E-Class. Koro-sensei, of course, is a magnetic presence and even Irina and Karasuma fit in nicely to the cast. I just wish we were getting more about the students themselves than half-episode side-stories, but I guess that’s to be expected when the real draw of the show is obviously supposed to be the tentacled alien.

Assassination Classroom

Episode 6: So, we get a different kind of antagonist to play games with and it actually does a whole lot of good for Assassination Classroom. I like have an oppositional force from outside the classroom around the increase E-Class unity. Also very much appreciated the depiction of the test questions as monsters—it was both true to life and quite funny.

#10. Absolute Duo (4-5/10)

This is pretty much classic 5/10 territory that Absolute Duo is running in: archetypal characters with just enough energy to make them enjoyable, some silliness to the plot, a surprisingly decent sense of humor on the good side—some inherent sexism and crass fanservice on the bad side. As weird as it might sound, this is the kind of show I watched a lot of when I was first getting into anime, so Absolute Duo is working on an odd level of nostalgia for me. There’s nothing particularly great about the show to recommend it, but all of its problems seems to derive from generally benevolent intentions, which I can appreciate. It also has never failed to generate at least one genuine laugh for me an episode, something I deeply appreciate and something many actual comedies have failed to do.

Absolute Duo

Episode 8: Probably the most ambivalent I’ve felt about an Absolute Duo episode yet, thanks to the copious, unrestained fanservice and the surprisingly well-managed scenes between Miyabi and Thor. Godkiller Unit Rebels (whaaaaat) next episode!


Dropped: Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE!, Maria the Virgin Witch, Isuca, World Break, Koufuku Graffiti, Aldnoah.Zero 2, Fafner Exodus, Saekano, Military!

16 thoughts on “Winter 2015 Midseason Report (Week 7)

  1. Not a lot has changed with Shirobako since I wrote up my thoughts on the show midway through the first cour,

    He says, neglecting the fact that he has since fallen in love with Myaamori. 😛

    Yeah it’s a weird thing with Rolling☆Girls. Surprising no one I absolutely adore the show for it’s cuddle-fuzziness and its adorable little visual gags (like Chihaya staring at everything in wonder this week). Also love the derpiness, I think it fits well into that ‘pet show’ of the season mold. Even then I tune out during a lot of the plot-explaining parts. Excluding the first, I think that each vignette has been an improvement over the last, which is a comforting thought going forward.

    I don’t know if you saw this, but look: https://twitter.com/anime_garo/status/570213617448022017
    Just look at those faces. My god that is the Garo spin-off we need. Maybe at the end it turns out that all the stagecraft we’ve seen was very clever foreshadowing for it being an actual play. And then we can still get the Lèon/Lara ending we earned
    And yeah, if THAT scene between turns out to be something other than what you’ve described above, I’ll be surprised. It’s definitely not a healthy thing if it goes beyond this one night. And let’s face it, the world Garo is set in is an absolutely horrible place to live. If ever I’ve seen a world where sex and drinking seem like pretty understandable ways to cope with your problems, it’s this one.

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    • The screencaps speak for themselves, no? And the coming banner will, as well…

      I think Rolling☆Girls would unquestionably have been my pet show of the season if it had been full of episodes like last week and this week, but I sort of feel like I’m still warming back up to it after a couple episodes of feeling rather disengaged. I do agree that it is constantly improving, which perhaps foreshadows an amazing conclusion?

      OMG TOO MUCH GARO MOE. I feel like Alfonso and Lara would have got along really, really well—in a super adorably platonic way. Leon x Lara, the ship we deserved but didn’t really get.
      I do think they need to address THAT scene, but I’m not sure how they’ll do it. If they just ignore it, I’m going to be very frustrated.

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  2. For Log Horizon, I have the feeling that S2 would have made a great 13 episode season. I like all the arcs and themes, even the kids and the singing. But everything feels about twice as long as it needs to be.

    A shorter, more rigorously edited series would have been much better.

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    • “More rigorously edited” is probably a critique that could be applied to 90% anime haha.

      I guess I’d actually probably disagree with this season of Log Horizon needing to be half as short. While it certainly has dragged on in places, in my estimation it’s nowhere as bad as some of the arcs in the first season were.

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      • I’m surprised that you think the second season is better – it’s definitely a minority opinion, and while I don’t think the second season is that bad, it’s definitely not as good as the first one.

        Making it a 13 ep season would be cutting too much, but ti can certainly have some of its content cut out and still be fine, if not better – making it 2/3 or 3/4 of how it is now seems better. The problem to me isn’t really a lack of focus though, as I discover it actually do have one if less tightly executed than the first season. While the first season is about life, living in a new world and a growing community (Shiroe -> Susukino party -> Log Horizon -> Round Table -> PotL alliance), the second season explores death and the full implication of being stuck as an immortal in an unknown world (Shiroe & Akatsuki dies for the first time, Odyssey Knight, etc).

        The problem in the 2nd season I feel is that the resolution lacks immediate impact, it feels like too much set-up and not enough payoff overall. For example, Akatsuki got a character development and a cool new gear, but we never really saw it in action after. Shiroe got all those gold, but he pretty much ‘just’ sets back the status quo with it. Isuzu’s new song is important for many reasons, but doesn’t really solve or have anything to do with the Minami and Odyssey Knights plot.

        To be fair, most of these are done deliberately, especially things like Shiroe’s action with gold. Yet, in comparison on the first season pretty much every new character they saved joins the guild immediately, the Round Table is formed, the goblin invasion is vanquished and an alliance is brokered, Rudy is saved and become an adventurer. These things have bigger, immediate impact and thus feels more satisfying for the viewers.

        So, when you have that to compare against, while having an extra time devoted to things that ‘doesn’t really matter’, it does feel like filler things. Sometimes you do need setups for great things in the future, but right now it seems like having too many questions and not enough answer. Many blamed the change to DEEN, and while they’re not entirely blameless (the even lower budget certainly doesn’t help at all) part of the blame might lie in the author Mamare. It feels like he has great things in store for the future, but struggles to transition from the setups to the payoff naturally. He might be able to do so given time, but the popularity of the first season backfires and I feel they might do it a bit too soon. Sure, there might be enough material to do the full season, but not enough buffer to know where exactly the story will be going and how best to transition this to the anime.

        Or maybe all this is just me trying to justify why I don’t like the new season as much as the first, and doesn’t actually make sense at all. It’s not really that bad, it still ahve cool things and ideas, but it’s no longer ‘urgent appointment’ material that S1 was. Oh, and only giving one ep for the Kanami arc is a huge, huge blunder. It’s way too rushed and can easily fit for two episodes, if not three – the characters are cool enough that they can carry an episode of doing nothing but talking or some cute/cool things.

        Midseason ratings: If S1 was a 8/10 bumped up to 9/10 due to bias and really high highs, this feels like a 7/10 bumped down to 6/10 because of all the subjective things I ranted about.

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  3. Aaand… here we go.

    First, a note about ratings – I use a five point scale to match my ratings on Anime Planet. (http://www.anime-planet.com/users/DerekL) I’m not all that consistent about my scale though, but I am slowly getting more consistent and editing my ratings. A numerical scale doesn’t really convey all the nuances though… a 2.5 can mean very different things between different shows. One 2.5 might suck balls, another might be worth watching if you have the time to spare.

    Aldnoah Zero ep 7; Count Troyard (even his enemies have dropper the Saazbaum) has really dug himself into a hole… and he’s starting to wake up to how wrong things are going despite his apparent success. Sooner or later the two princesses are going to figure out what’s going on and then he’s toast.

    Midseason rating – cruising in to a solid 2-2.5, just a little below average. It’s got some great bits, but it’s inability to avoid ass pulls brings it way down.

    Kan Colle ep 8; A pleasant slice of life this week with a modest amount of character development.

    Midseason rating – on pace for a solid 2-2.5, around average. Individual episodes are not so bad, but the series overall is very uneven in pacing and marred by clumsy gameplay references. And today… I finally realized the show’s deepest flaw, the shipgirls aren’t human. Unlike SAO or Arpeggio, the main characters are caricatures and that makes them very hard to sympathize with. From the point of view of a fan of the game, this isn’t a flaw… it’s right in line with their ingame portrayals near as I can tell. Really, I shouldn’t have expected much more though… The gamers, not the average anime fan, are the target audience here.

    KimiUso ep 18; I said most of what I had to say in the comments on your post this week.

    Midseason rating – It’s looking like it will settle out about a 3, solidly above average… but it’s pulled way down from where it could be by the inconsistent pacing and inability to get out of it’s own way.

    Koufuku Graffiti ep 7; Back to solid slice-of-life and character development this week, a quietly competent episode of the type that has typified the show to date.

    Midseason ratings – 2.5-3, right in the middle of the pack. Not great, but not bad either.

    Saekano ep 6; Wow… this weeks ep was something of a surprise. We finally learn Utaha and Tomoya’s backstory, and it’s anything but what I expected. Very much in line with the characterizations established to date, but unexpected none the less. As it has in very episode, while it flirts with tropes and meta – Saekano refuses to give in to them. The last scene with Megumi… well, I’ll leave that as a surprise worth waiting for.

    Midseason rating – 3-3.5, solidly above average with real potential to go higher. Much will depend on how Tomoya’s relationships with the other girls are handled. (And one of them hasn’t even appeared onscreen yet other than in ep 0.)

    Barring a stumble in the second half of the season, I’m tentatively tagging Saekano as the unexpected delight of the season.

    Sailor Moon Crystal ep 16; Finally, Best Girl and Favorite Senshi Ami gets her moment in the sun… a rare moment of character development.

    Midseaon rating (tenative since we don’t know how far they intend to take the show) – a solid 2, below average. Simply put, the show is rushed – both in production leading to poor production values, and in execution leaving little time for character development. If it weren’t Sailor Moon, I wouldn’t be watching it and it never would have got the ratings sufficient for a second cour.

    Shirobako ep 19; I was actually a little disappointed in this weeks ep. It felt like filler, and the show can ill afford it at this point – as cool as it was to get more backstory, there’s a lot of threads to clean up and diminishing time let to do so in.

    Midseason rating – A solid above average 3.5, but barring surprises in the final arcs, it’s tapped out. It’s been an amazing show taken as a whole, not the least because of Aoi’s ongoing growth, but they’ve reached for the monster-of-the-week and the pat After School Special resolution too many times. Not that 3.5 is a bad rating mind you… above that is Barakamon, Cowboy Bebop, Studio Ghibli and classics for the ages territory. It’s still a great show and very likely one I’ll recommend many times in the future.

    The IDOLM@STER: Cinderella Girls ep 7; Pretty much as expected, all the idols got back on the bus and are moving forward. Not as expected, the Producer took all the heat and blamed himself – and seemed serious about it, rather than the rote cultural expectation of taking the blame. Unlike the original series, the Producer is much more a character (on par with the girls) and much less of a “man behind the curtain”.

    Midseason rating – a solid 2.5, just a touch below average. Too many characters, too many tropes, too little focus.

    And in other news…

    Barakamon; Kinda sorta rewatched. I.E. my lovely lady marathoned it over the weekend, and I caught various bits as I was doing other things. (Saturday was bright and clear, and my Big Green Egg was due for it’s annual spring overhaul.) I did keep track of the time and managed to catch my favorites eps and bits though.

    __The Tale of the Princess Kaguya_; WOW.

    Watch this movie as soon as you can manage if not sooner. There’s little more I can say or higher praise I can offer. Seriously, it’s that damn good. Head over to Amazon or to Netflix if you have a DVD subscription and you’ll have in it hand by Friday if you hurry.

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    • More voices for Kaguya, huh? Can’t say I’m surprised.

      I’ve long since dropped Crystal, but it did get me interested enough to go and check out the original series. I have it on hold right now, but it’s definitely something I’d like to get back to.

      KanColle and Koufuku Graffiti both still sound like shows I’d enjoy if I had the time to pick them up. KanColle is a Wednesday show, which maybe puts it in line for a late season marathon to catch up.

      And ahahaha Slaine still screwing things up in A/Z? What else is new…

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      • Those who know me well know that “run, don’t walk” is a recommendation I don’t give often or lightly. 🙂

        I still think that you should consider Saekano for marathoning at some point.

        Yeah, Slaine… but he keeps finding new and more creative ways to screw up. But, the more I watch, if season 1 was Inaho’s story, the second season is Slaine’s. And as a standalone, written better, it could be an awesome story…

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        • I put my name on the waiting list for Princess Kaguya at the library a few weeks ago, and the computer says there’s a copy on its way for me now. Don’t know if it’ll get here today or Monday, but either way I’m looking forward to seeing it.

          No anime tonight, though. Tonight is reserved for a Leonard Nimoy Memorial Star Trek marathon.

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  4. My midseason ratings:

    (First, a very quick general explanation of my 10-point scale: 9 or 10 is something really special, 8 is something I will definitely buy for my collection if possible, 7 is something I might consider buying but not at full price, 5 or 6 is stream-worthy but not something I’d ever see myself buying, 3 or 4 is something that didn’t appeal to me, but I could see some appeal for its target audience, 1 or 2 is just plain bad. Like everything else there are occasional exceptions, but those are my general guidelines)

    Saekano (7/10, trending up). It looks like I’m not the only one who thinks this keeps getting better. It’s the only new show of the season whose MAL score hasn’t dropped at all since week 1 (started at 7.44, now up to 7.62). And I agree with Derek, Kato’s scene at the end of episode 6 was all kinds of win. I screencapped that closing shot as soon as I could.

    KimiUso (7/10, stable). Could still drop to a 6 if the ending totally screws up; not likely to go higher.

    Rolling Girls (Wavering between 6/10 and 7/10). It’s still not sure if it wants to earn my money or not.

    Assassination Classroom (6/10, stable). Still has plenty of room to grow, but solidly stream-worthy at the moment.

    Koufuku Graffiti (5/10, could still go up to 6). Pleasant, relaxing SOL fare, but not too much more. I like my SOL to have something more going for it than just the SOL, but still a nice way to unwind after the weekly KimiUso angst-fest.

    KanColle (5/10, unlikely to change). A thoroughly entertaining, chaotic mess of a series. I can’t call it good, but the fun factor makes most of its other shortcomings forgivable. Besides, now I’ve seen what a truly awful adaptation looks like (more on that in a sec).

    Dropped: Sailor Moon Crystal (3/10), Military (2/10)

    Other recent completions:
    Trigun (8/10, may bump to a 9 after I’m through digesting this latest re-watch – it gave me some new things to chew on)
    Yama no Susume season 2 (8/10, exactly the kind of show I mean when I’m talking about an SOL with “something more” to it)
    Keitai Shoujo (2/10, horrible adaptation of a browser dating sim that will make absolutely no sense to anyone, like me, who hasn’t played the game. It’s so heavily slanted towards fans of the game that it doesn’t even bother properly introducing the characters, assuming you already know them. Sadly, that was also about the least of its problems)

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    • Yama no Susume 2!! Yes, such a nice show! Top tier slice-of-life stuff!

      I’d really like Rolling Girls to make me want to spend money on it, but I’m just not sure if it’s actually going to happen or not…I’d love to see it in BD quality, but thus far it’s only shown hints of being worth a buy, which just isn’t enough.

      Saekano still trending up, huh? If it didn’t air on Thursdays I’d probably think about picking it up again…

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  5. Because all the other cool kids are doing it, I’ll follow suit and do some midseason ratings on my own, with my personal justifications for it too.

    1-2: just plain awful, I must have lost a bet or something if I complete this
    3-4: Have too much against it not to avoid being dropped
    5-6: A mix of good or bad things means it’s just average
    7-8: Nothing spectacular, but it does the things it wants to do pretty well. Probably won’t rewatch but is fun while it’s airing.
    9-10: AOTS/AOTY contender, an anime to remember, rewatch and definitely recommend to others. 10 is reserved for the classics, the best of the best.

    In retrospect it seems like a very generous system which I’ll follow loosely anyway, but that’s what happens when you have poor taste in anime like me.

    Shirobako:
    There’s a saying: “a smart person can solve a difficult problem, but a genius makes that difficult problem looks simple.” Shirobako is definitely the latter, sometimes it feels like I’m taking for granted how effortlessly and consistently it delivers good episodes week in and week out. Sure it doesn’t hit the highs that often, but there’s something to be said about how rare this consistency is in other anime.

    Grade: 9/10 easy, and top contender for my AOTY so far.

    Durarara!!
    Production issues and somewhat uneven pacing means it doesn’t reach the heights of the 1st season 1st cour, but it’s still Durarara doing what Durarara does best. It’s great to see a sequel delivering what makes it great in the first place, and the new characters are a bunch of fun too.

    Grade: 8/10 and rising

    AssClass:
    Like iblessall said, this is really just an old underdog movie in anime form. An eccentric teacher takes a bunch of outcasts and teach them in strange but effective ways to be able to fight back against the oppressive more successful rivals. The whole assassination part gives it a certain interesting twist and the humor usually hits the mark for me, but it seems like some of the shonen trappings keeps it from being really spectacular. I’ve always been a sucker for underdog movies though, so this is really fun to watch for me.

    Grade: 7/10

    Saekano:
    Four letters, three words: Need. More. Kato. Seriously, not only is she the best girl, she really elevates whatever scene she’s in. MC-kun is at this best during the date episode, her dry deadpan is the most effective part of the humor and the (thankfully decreasing) meta jokes, she pretty much carries the series and my only reason to watch it. The other girls aren’t so bad, but they’re just typical harem girls that’s nowhere as good as undisputably best girl Kato.

    Another problem I have with the series (and this is a typical complaint against harem series) is that I really don’t care about the plot to make the game. I just can’t get invested to it, which kills my enjoyment of the characters, and the appearance of the rival/antagonist falls flat for that reason.

    Grade: 6/10, if only due to the grace of Kato.

    Rolling Girls:
    After forcing myself through that dreadful Always Comima arc (thankfully the next arc is the best part of the series) I think I have a better grasp of what the series is and what it’s trying to do. This allows me to adjust my expectations for it and helps me enjoy it more as well. That being said, as iblessall said it’s still a very uneven show, and the cast and conflicts are still isn’t that engaging for me. Still, it has plenty of style, and recent episodes seems to suggest an upward trend.

    Grade: 6/10 and rising if they can keep the trend

    Junketsu no Maria:
    Still can’t figure out what the show is about, and whether I really enjoys it or not. In any case, it’s a good thing that they finally stop spinning their wheels and repeating some thing, and give us some good progression in the final episode. Now to see if they can handle the drastic change that’s sure to come out of this…

    Grade: 6/10

    Dog Days:
    It’s still fun so the pleasure is there, but the extra dose of lewd in the current season makes my guilty pleasure of the season feels even guiltier. This will probably be the last season regardless, and it’s been a pretty fun ride.

    Grade 5/10

    Damn, that was way longer than I thought it would be. Should have used some 0.5 too, the shows may be graded the same but I definitely ranked it from best to worst. Oh well, the paragraphs are what really matters anyway and it’ll probably be changed again at the end of the season.

    Like

    • I found out earlier this week that Yui Horie voices one of the leads in Dog Days, which made me much more interested in actually checking it out.

      Can’t argue with Shirobako (obviously) or Durarara!!, and I’m happy to see others are enjoying Assassination Classroom. It does strike me as a somewhat childish show, but in a mostly benign way that allows me to enjoy it nonetheless.

      Rolling Girls is probably the biggest “aww, that’s a shame” show I’ve had in a while. After the first two episodes, I was really hoping it would be another new favorite of mine, but it just hasn’t held up, sadly. Ah, well. In Shirobako we trust.

      Like

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