First Impressions: Spring 2015 Anime (Part 1)

It’s spring, the season of rebirth and new life and new anime! Due to the whole Easter weekend thing (HAPPY EASTER BY THE WAY!!! AND TO YOU HEATHENS YOU DON’T DO EASTER, I LOVE YOU ANYWAYS :D) this has been kind of a scattershot first impressions—I didn’t go in order and, in places, picked up either the show I was most excited for or the show I thought would fill out the post the best. In any case, I’ve generally been delighted by the season so far, primarily because my chosen shows—DanmachiShow by Rock!, and Blood Blockade Battlefront—all had great premieres! You won’t find BBB in this post, though, because it is totally episodic post material, so look for that post soon!

Still to Watch: Re-Kan!, Owari no Seraph, Plastic Memories, The Heroic Legend of Arslan, Hello!! Kinmoza, Mikagura Gakuen, Euphonium, Pleiades, Ore Monogatari!!, Punchline, Urawa no Usagi-chan, Ninja Slayer, The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan, Kyoukai no Rinne, Yamada-kun, Nisekoi

Show by Rock!

Too Cute to Be True: Danmachi, Show by Rock!

Danmachi: Also known as Is it Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?  (yeah, right, like I’m going to type that out every time), Danmachi was one of my most anticipated titles for this season, mostly due to the fact that I reviewed the first volume of the light novel for Otaku Review a while back and was excited to see how the things I liked about the LN translated to the anime. Well, the pacing is a heckuva a lot better, Yoshiki Yamakawa’s (Kill Me Baby) talent for building affectionate comedic chemistry between duos was on full display, J.C. Staff’s production looks good but not exceptional, the reaction faces were stellar, and the nastier elements (mostly involving the costuming of the female characters) weren’t as pervasive as I was expecting them to be. Overall, it was a really charming premiere and I’m excited for the rest of the show. I expect the first volume’s material to be burned up by the end of episode 3, so stuff I’m unfamiliar with is on the horizon soon. And, of course, Yoshitsugu Matsuoka voicing a moe shota is pretty much the best thing ever, so decision: keeping this one until it lets me down (hopefully never).

Show by Rock!: I knew this would be cute. I didn’t know it would be this cute, nor this awesome. Show by Rock!‘s premiere was basically everything I ever wanted from this show, including the surprisingly excellent CGI (don’t quote me on this, but it looks to me like BONES has entirely outsourced the CGI to a different studio—probably a great idea for production purposes). It was energetic, funny in places, had adorable faces, lots of music, and just enough of a touch of zaniness to make the whole thing shine. And I’ll admit it, the unabashedly moe furry designs have crashed through my normal dislike of furries and hit me right in the cute nerve. Part of that, I think, is due to the CGI versions looking mostly like animals and the animated versions actually being a bit subdued in their animal influences. In short, it was a great premiere, leaving BONES with the top two premiers of the season so far. Decision: Too cute to let go.

Inappropriate Stuff(ing): Shokugeki no Soma

Whew, that was some raunchy stuff—and I don’t mean like the salad dressing! …sorry… Anyways, Shokugeki no Soma was just as over the top as I’d been promised (including Soma’s dad just going for the, “Yeah, sorry son, I’m out” exit) and, well…I’m not entirely sure how much I liked it. Unlike the other J.C. Staff show on the docket (Danmachi), Shokugeki no Soma‘s charm lies entirely in its flash factor and appeals to awesomeness. The thing is, when that’s all Soma shows off in its first episode (and in large quantities), it worries me that the show might ultimately end up being a one trick pony. Can Shokugeki no Soma be more than just a flash in the pan? Will it have nutrients to balance out the calorie-heavy fair it seems to be dishing up? Are there any more food-related puns I can put through my mental blender before I finish writing this blurb? Decision: Waiter, hold the seconds until I see what else is on the Friday menu for this season.

Sequel Land, Part 1: Oregairu 2

So, I remember liking Oregairu quite a bit when I marathoned it towards the beginning of last year (I don’t just hand out 8’s on a whim, but Oregairu was a really easy choice), but the fact is that I don’t remember a whole lot about what actually happened in Oregairu. Beyond the characters’ base personalities, I seem to have forgotten most all of the main drama that occurred, including the basic pillars of Yukinon, Yui, and Hachiman’s relationships. The fault there is obviously on my bad memory, but the fact is that Oregairu 2‘s premiere felt a bit…weird to me as a result. Without remembering why I liked this show or why I liked the characters, seeing their story move on like this (thankfully, with only an improved concert scene by way of recap) left me feeling like I was missing all sorts of stuff. Oregairu 2 certainly has last none of its quality from the first season, it’s just that it’s been so long that I can’t fully appreciate it. Hopefully other people remember better than me, because decision: I’m a bit unsure what to do with Oregairu 2 from here. Rewatch S1? Just go with it and hope it sticks? Just rewatch the episode again?

Oregairu 2

Bad Stuff: Gunslinger Stratos

Gunslinger Stratos: Phew, that was bad. I never thought I’d think of last season’s World Break ever again, but Gunslinger Stratos was bad enough through the first half of the episode that I almost missed World Break‘s chunni skywriting spellcasting. Then I took a break for dinner, came back, and Gunslinger Stratos suddenly seemed less bad. Turns out, not being hungry can really help your impressions of a show, even if that show’s art is horrendous, writing is abysmal and boring, music is absent for long stretches, and actual animation is limited or poor. The twist at the end—the hero finds himself face to face with an alternate, much cooler version of himself threatening the one person who has ever been nice to him—actually did introduce an element of interest to the final seconds of the episode, but all the parts of my brain that aren’t stupid are telling me to rid my schedule from this show. Sorry, pink-haired girl who was a bit interesting, your show sucks and decision: it’s dropped.

Gunslinger Stratos

Denpa Kyoushi: Denpa Kyoushi rounds out A-1 Pictures’ dominance of the very crappiest of the crap show this season, gaining the the dubious honor of joining the very small number of shows who have had a first episode not even worth finish. I didn’t have a lot of prior goodwill to give to a show about an otaku teacher (NEET/otaku protagonists have never gone over well with me thanks to the self-congratulatory vibe they give me—”Aren’t I awesome for being a YD?!”), and Denpa Kyoushi rand out of the rest of my tolerances halfway through the episode courtesy of a terribly written bully story, the main character’s general obnoxiousness being framed as either awesome or funny, and the tasteless use of a stalker trying to grope a high school girl. Naw, I’m good. Maybe this could turn out charming or at least entertaining later on, but there’s far too much gold already in this season (with plenty more to sample) to put up with junk like this. Decision: dropped.

Denpa Kyoushi

EDIT: To my lovely commentors—for my own sake and the sake of other readers who might be behind, please try your best to limit your own discussion of premieres to the shows addressed in the post. I promise I’ll get to everything on my list eventually, so be patient with me, please!

54 thoughts on “First Impressions: Spring 2015 Anime (Part 1)

  1. I have the same problem for Oregairu 2. I do not remember anything from season one and I was thinking of going back and watching it simultaneously. That is a problem when there is over a two year difference between seasons and seen several hundred titles in between.

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    • I definitely haven’t seen as many shows in the interim as you have, but is hard to fall back into the rhythm of a show after a while away! I think the artstyle change has thrown me a bit more than I expected, too.

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      • I am just going by MAL which counts individual seasons. But either way there has been seemingly that much since I watch a lot when a new season starts. At the same time I do remember a lot of shows. I remember the fact I struggled with that series. At the same time watching this episode I am not sure why. Since the first season aired I have seen a lot more and got used to different types. I think if I go back to season 1 I would like it a lot more.

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  2. Here’s how I rank the premieres I’ve seen so far.

    BEST PREMIERE OF THE WEEKEND
    1. Plastic Memories – If you’re a brand new original anime series trying to make an impression on people, this is the way to do it. I just hope it can maintain after such a strong start and doesn’t turn into another bottle rocket series like Rolling Girls.

    OLD FAVORITES, STRONG STARTS
    2. Nanoha Vivid – Pretty much exactly the kind of intro episode I wanted to see from our first new Nanoha series in 8 years. And I’m a total Nanoha fanboy, so this is not an objective ranking.
    3. F/SN: UBW – I’m an F/SN fanboy too, though hopefully not one of the obnoxious ones.
    4. Can’t Understand/Husband 2 – Probably the funniest three minutes of anime I saw all week.

    BETTER THAN I EXPECTED
    5. Food Wars – Thought this might be a quick drop for me. Instead its shounen hamminess was so gloriously, ridiculously over-the-top that I’m actually looking forward to next week’s episode now. Probably helps that I’m a bit of a foodie too – that bacon roast looked good!

    GOOD, BUT I NEED TO ADJUST MY EXPECTATIONS
    6. Danmachi – Good show, but there was a lot more drama and a lot less ecchi comedy than what I was anticipating. That’s not a bad thing at all, I just need to watch it in a different frame of mind.
    7. Yuki Nagato – I did like it, but there were a lot of changes from the old, familiar Haruhi that I’m going to have to get used to (art style, setting, etc.). I expect this will start to climb the list after I’ve spent a few weeks with the “new” Nagato.

    CLOSE TO THE CUT LINE
    8. Gunslinger Stratos – Most interesting thing to me was the mystery of the little girl, and it started losing me when it went into the contemporary world. I’ll give it another week or two, but right now this is definitely the first cut if I start dropping shows.

    Four more premieres left: Kaitou Joker 2, Euphonium, Ore Monogatari, and Pleiades.

    For the first time in ages I’m falling back on fansubs for a couple of these, because it looks like no one’s licensing Nanoha Vivid and I’m not willing to wait for delaycasts to watch Yuki Nagato.

    I’m also in a bit of trouble, because I don’t have the time to keep up with 13 shows (including my carryover of Assassination Classroom), but so far 7 of the first 8 have been definite keepers. Stratos is the only one that’s even remotely close to droppable right now, and I’m sure at least 3 of the remaining 4 are going to be really good too (Pleiades is the only one I have some doubts about). Can I somehow manage to carry 11? I may end up having to test that out.

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    • About Plastic Memories, I see this show being put as one of the highlights of the first episode but I actually have some reservations against it. I mean, the directing and production values are great, and the drama works in the end, but the source of conflict seems a bit obvious.

      I feel this is going to be the opposite of Rolling Girls – whereas that one shows off a new interesting setting in the first ep that’s ultimately failed to be lived pu to its potential, for this one the direction of the story seems obvious. The comic relief moments doesn’t really work between all the drama for me as well. I don’t know, maybe I should have more faith in the writer (he did write Steins;Gate, one of my favorite anime) that he can bring this to some more interesting direction than just the obvious one, because I don’t feel it can sustain 12-13 episodes.

      In fact, the show that I’m worried about ending up like Rolling Girls is Show by Rock: for now it’s very different and fun (that 3D nendoroid will take a long time to get used to though) but I wonder if the novelty wears off, whether it has enough substance to still make it interesting. Consider me hooked for the time being though.

      Oh, and I actually haven’t watched Gunslinger Stratos yet, but reviews around the net doesn’t exactly fill me with hope. I probably should at least try one episode and decide for myself, I suppose.

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      • My apologies to Bless – I didn’t see your comment about limiting comments, or else my comment prompted it in the first place. In either case, I’ll definitely remember that for future posts of this type.

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    • I got the impression the little girl in Gunslinger Stratos was like…a trap used to draw people into the alternate world. Like, she might be responsible for all the other disappearances? Maybe?

      F/SN: Well, I saw the screens from Saber’s part in this episode… >_> But it’s not like I ever had the intention of picking up Fate anyways! I think you’re too good a person to be one of the obnoxious fans! 😉

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  3. Away at con, so didn’t hear any announcements or see but one premiere… going to be playing catch-up for the next week.

    I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying Thread 2; Well, the “is-she-isn’t-she” question seems to be answered in the positive… and they’re headed into the new season with all the quiet charm that I loved in the first.

    Will drop other comments as the week progresses.

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      • Yeah, Otaku Husband is a fun thing to watch, and it’ll take you less than an hour to get completely up to speed. I actually think it’s better if it’s a 8-10 minutes series, as it actually has a lot of meat in there to be explored more, and they have to cram a ton stuff in a confusingly fast way to fit the 3-min limit. It’s still good though, and we need more shows about adult anime couples, especially married ones.

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        • IMO, Otaku Husband crams more character and development into it’s (accumulated total of an) half hour or so than many shows cram into entire arcs. And yeah, we got into the habit of watching it with the remote control in hand because some shows need a second run through to grasp it all.

          But it was entirely worth it.

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      • Con was awesome. Today, less so… laundry, shopping, housework… 🙂

        Plus there is sorting through, processing, and posting the 500 pictures I took. Not all will end up being processed and posted, but all have to be examined. I’m a photographer, and photography at con is a huge part of why I go. I’ve also got a self imposed deadline of Friday to get it all done. (I hate to be that guy and take pictures and vanish into the mists never to be seen again.)

        The English dub of Yuuki Yuuna was abysmal, but the panel afterwards with the producer and Yuuki’s seiyu was awesome beyond words. (If you didn’t watch Yuuki Yuna, I recommend it highly.)

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        • I just got an e-mail from RightStuf over the weekend that my copy of YuYuYu v1 is on its way (I pre-ordered that back in January). Too bad about the dub, but not that big a deal since the Japanese cast is wonderful anyway. I’ll still at least try it, though – I’ve never been that fond of Xanthe Huynh (too many bad memories of K-On’s atrocious dub), but I really liked Erika Harlacher’s performance as Ami in Toradora’s dub, so I was kind of looking forward to seeing her take a crack at Togo.

          I don’t suppose you remember any of the questions they got asked at the panel?

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          • No, I don’t remember many. They figured out pretty early on that most of that audience hadn’t actually seen the series, so they avoided anything spoilerish in their answers.

            The Big Question (aside from “what they hell were you thinking with the ending”, which wasn’t asked) was about comparisons with Madoka. Producer Kinoshita, after laying some background as to how they expected (and got) such comparisons stated that they stopped after episode eight “when it became obvious we were going in a different direction”.

            He (and the Ponycanyon staff) also stated that the series (LN’s, anime, manga, and games) was doing very well in Japan and that while discussions of a second season were happening, it was still very much an open question.

            Of the anime they cited as favorites when growing up, Patlabor (Kinoshita) was the only one I recognized.

            When asked to perform her favorite lines from the show, Haruka (after some thought) launched into Yuuki’s passionate monologue that accompanied her first henshin. Then Producer Kinoshita talked a bit about how much work they put into that scene and monologue because they intended it to set the tone for both Yuuki’s characterization and for the show as a whole. (Which they succeed at quite well IMO.) After some private (I.E. untranslated) discussion, they declined to do the second on the basis that it was a spoiler.

            My lady and I discussed doing our part and buying the DVD, but we just thought it was too expensive.

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        • Thanks for the report! Very interesting. I liked Haruka Terui a lot in that role, so she’s one I’m going to keep an eye on.

          I generally keep a rough budget in my head of how much I’m willing to spend on any given series (DVDs, manga/novels, CDs, etc.), and with Yuki Yuna my budget for it was high enough that I could still afford the DVDs – I just had to cut way back on the amount of other merchandise I was planning to buy. I don’t fault anyone who isn’t inclined to drop $200 on a one-cour series, though – it’s something you have to really, really love to spend that kind of money.

          As for the set itself, which came yesterday, it’s really nice. The key frame drawings I got for pre-ordering are really sweet, but the best part of the bonus materials for a YuYuYu fan is the booklet, which has character profiles for Yuna and Togo and fairly in-depth interviews with Haruka Terui, Mimori Suzuka, Seiji Kishi, and the main scriptwriter. I gotta be honest with you, I don’t mind the dub either, although it took a few episodes to get used to it. The acid test for me was episode 4, since that was the singing test/karaoke episode, and most dubs don’t handle singing scenes well at all. Even for Haruhi’s dub, which I otherwise love, I always switch back to Japanese for the concert scene. But Yuki Yuna’s dub actually did a really good job with that episode. I’ll still stick to the Japanese for my own viewing, but I’d have no problem with screening Yuki Yuna for my dub-watching friends.

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          • If Netflix picks it up, I’ll check out the rest of the eps and see if I get used to it. Plus, non anime viewers tend to be more forgiving of dubs than most anime viewers and particularly sub fans of a particular series.

            Yeah, budget played a role… She decided to start buying the Usagi Drop manga, and I discovered that I managed to completely miss that Wake Up Girls! figures were available, and those took and will take a good chunk of our discretionary anime budget.

            Plus, we’re really not in the habit of buying DVD’s for series, just for movies. We’ve got shelves full of ones (no anime though) that we’ve never really watched. Other than my collection of Avenger’s tapes… now that we no longer have a VCR I’m really tempted to pick those up. Near to fifty years on, and the stories still generally hold up. I weep that the movie was so horrifically bad.

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            • Nothing blows a budget faster than figurines. That was the main thing I gave up to cover the extra DVD cost – I had wanted to buy that Yuna figurine that Bless linked on his twitter feed earlier (not the nendoroid, the other one), and I was hoping they’d eventually make one for Karin too, but oh well. I still bought the soundtrack CD (which hasn’t left my car for three months), the OP single and a few other miscellaneous (cheap) things; I’m satisfied with that.

              And yeah, I hear you about not watching DVDs. My Mom’s really good at that too. Generally with anime, I actually tend to only buy the shows that I’ve already seen and want to share with other people, whether it’s taking them home to show my mom (who usually enjoys the ones I pick out for her), or introducing my friends to them, or screening them for the local anime club that I run. That really helps with the “replay value” of my collection.

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  4. Most Important I hope you had a nice Easter!

    I will respect your wishes / and stick to the new shows you watched ! I will omit the ongoing / and returning shows. So far any show on my watchlist that was on CR / Funi I watched. Because of websites problems and shows not on time other means were also employed!

    My personal bests are not on your list yet so I will compare your shows !A ndi fyo udo ntwa tchmy to ps howsth eyw illb epo stedl ater!

    Show by Rock! At First I thought K-on then Mongolian Chop Squad(Beck) and wait More Stones Color Explosions etc!( Rolling Girls ) Then Tron CG ! That is a brave animation! But wait the situation reminded me of SAO / Log Horizon! Now to the story an crazy over the top look at the music industry but kinda true!So far 2 reviews like it! Myself IDK about the CG but the music is awesome. It might be a Top 10 after the dust settles!

    Danmachi avg for me would in the 10 to 20 rank after the dust settles. I need at least 3 EPS

    Shokugeki no Soma/ Yes another cooking anime an school . Actually I like this has Kill La Kill school setup and the animation pushes the food visuals even higher than Gourmet Grafetti

    Oregairu 2 / The club room scenes just felt flat! To be honest after S1 thos aired it was like at the end of my top ten or 12 , It needs to stir things up! Too much dialouge ruins a show!

    Gunslinger Stratos: It was interesting enough to keep ongoing ! It wiil be at mid or bottom probally. BTW I try to stick to my 3 EP rule! I can tell you one anime I glad I did . World Trigger Its just so good right now more later!

    Denpa Kyoushi: Another I will keep watching I compare more To Asassian Classroom (Koro Sensei) as in a teacher who is brilliant and dies care whats going on!

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    • Thanks and Happy Easter to you, as well! (Although I guess I already said that…)

      In the final first impressions post, I’ll give people free reign to talk about anything they want, so save all your comments on other shows for that! Should be a party! 😀 I’m just trying to avoid spoilers at this point since it’s been a bit of a crapshoot trying to get to everything so far!

      Yeah, I think Assassination Classroom is the obvious comparison point for Denpa Kyoushi; unfortunately from Denpa Kyoushi, Assassination Classroom is much better on all fronts and I don’t really need two shows about exceptional teachers.

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  5. I had the opposite problem you had with Oregairu. I was working on the light novel translation until literally the day before S2 even aired. Far from forgetting all the characters and events in the two-year break, I knew everything inside out. As a result, I was kinda burnt out on the series and didn’t appreciate the S2 premier as much as I could have. I’ve spent too much time with this material to have any perspective anymore, I think ^___^”

    Anyway, yes yes yessssssss Danmachi! I hope it remains adorable. As cute as all the girls are, I’m not gonna lie – MC-kun is the moe-est character in the show.

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    • So, are you gonna just let Oregairu 2 air out and then come back to it in a few months once you have some distance from the material and all the episodes out?

      Agreed—Bell for Moe Character President, Spring 2015.

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  6. And a happy Easter to you too iblessall! As you said, I try to limit my response to the shows you watched.

    Oregairu:
    I’ll be honest, I might have commited blog NTR – I was so excited about Oregairu that I commented in other blogs first because I can’t wait here. In fact, this is just copy-paste from a comment I already posted.

    Yeah, I’m a novel reader, and I love the episode too. It carries the same feeling that the first season has, and that’s a good thing since the first season is fantastic. Of course, it carries the same pacing too, and that’s what makes some people complain (especially since they can read the source material now).

    I really think they’re making a good decision in what to left out (mostly inner thoughts, extra dialogues and side character stuff) and what to keep in (it might be more subtle without Hachiman’s narration, but trust me, it’ll become apparent in hindsight later on). That being said, there’s less available material for season 2 compared to season 1, so that does worry me a bit. That’s for the future though, and for the time being, the episode we have is great – especially with the extra budget (the character design change is just cosmetic, it doesn’t bother me at all).
    That being said, I think one part that’s especially jarring is the ramen part. They actually kept the important dialogues in (which is good, it makes Hiratsuka-sensei more like an actual adult instead of just an old spinster joke) though I don’t know why they move it to the cab instead of the ramen shop. Harder to draw or something?

    I’m kinda surprised some of the people here wasn’t really feeling it for the second season, because (for better or worse) I think it did very well to carry the same feeling Season 1 had on me. Maybe it is because of the season 1 being long ago, since I watched it in preparation (and it really holds up). So yeah, I do think it’s worth it to rewatch season 1 again – if nothing else, just because it’s a fantastic season of anime. I understand there’s a ton of new anime coming up though – maybe just half a season from ep 7 is enough?

    Shokugeki no Soma:
    Well, this is a shonen manga after all, so intense passionate feelings are guaranteed to be there. You’d think cooking not being a life or death matter, and carrying even less stake than a sport competition would mean that they’d tone it down, but no – if anything they just double up in how seriously they take this. And yeah, exaggerated reactions to good food are also a staple – and honestly, anything short of history-changing time travel pales in comparison, imo.

    As a manga reader, I can assure that (for better or worse) the literal food porn will decrease a bit as they writer gets more fans and confidence in the story itself and doesn’t need to depend on the artists’ previous job specialty to hook in readers.

    Still though, I’m not sure I’ll follow this anime. Not that it’s bad, I actually like the manga, but honestly the adaptation is the other side of the coin from Oregairu – it’s pretty much just the manga pages given color and voices plus maybe a bit more. Which is fine, they’re doing a good job at it and I’m sure plenty manga fans are happy it’s not butchered, but I think the manga is doing a good job on its own, especially as neither of the production quality, soundtrack or voice-acting are really that spectacular. Then again, despite the weekend being stacked none of the first ep are really that amazing for me so this might just fit in my schedule anyway.

    Danmachi
    This feels like it’s going to be for me what Absolute Duo was to you last season. Yeah, it’s generic harem fantasy LN anime, but it’s kinda charming for me. I actually like the protagonist –like you said, with him being a moe shota it gives his whole ‘wanting to get stronger’ a more innocent feeling. Instead of doing it to avenge his family or anything, it feels like a teenager doing his best for his puppy love, which is adorable.

    I still don’t understand fully how the world works, but most are just basic video game stuff and I hope that they will explain more as things go along in the future anyway. Especially the part of how exactly the rules work there, which one is ‘JRPG rule’ and which one isn’t. Also, another part that really bothers me is the antagonistic wolf guy at the end. Being that stupid can be excused for being drunk, but the writing there is very clumsy and forced to move the plot, I think. Even for a harem fantasy LN the writing needs to be better than that.

    Denpa Kyoushi

    Read a few chapters of the manga a while back and dropped it, won’t even bother with the anime.

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    • Thanks for the Easter wishes! ^_^

      No worries about heading elsewhere for your Oregairu commenting! I know I was behind the curve getting to it (thanks, CR :P). Glad to see you back, though, of course! Half a season might be just what I need, honestly (and is probably more feasible than marathoning an entire series right now).

      I think Danmachi might be for me what Absolute Duo was for me last season, too! Very likable, a bit clumsy in places, but generally kind of fun. It helps that Danmachi has far better production values that Absolute Duo ever did. The scene in the bar with the wolf guy was actually much more sympathetic for Bell in the novels, but eh—I’m coming to this for cuteness, not big drama.

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  7. A belated happy Easter to you too!

    I actually decided to put myself through watching every non-sequel first episode this season (which has been telling about the quality of most anime…), but to follow your request and stick with what you covered…

    Danmachi was very cute and looks very nice. It’s not exactly a unique premise for an anime, but nothing put me off from continuing. I’ll just be happy if it stays entertaining and doesn’t delve into the off-putting/offensive territory. Speaking of off-putting territory, no mention of the ridiculously stupid tentacle scene in Soma? I’ll give it more episodes to see what a normal episode will be like since I did enjoy the over-the-top presentation, but I really hope that scene was just dialing up the ecchi in the first episode to sell.

    I hit my limit with the moe/cute factor on Show By Rock!, which I didn’t think would ever happen considering K-On!! (which you should watch, especially since you liked Love Live, which borrows heavily from K-On) is one of my favorite anime and I’ve watched plenty of moe shows, but apparently it did. Not a bad first episode and it has some of the better CG I’ve seen in an anime, but I don’t think I could last through 12 episodes of this.

    I wasn’t going to bother with Oregairu but I’ve read enough good things from people I follow that I might have to go check out season one. Is it worth it?

    My first impression of Gunslinger Stratos was that the character designs looked like the generic character design A-1 Pictures uses in a bunch of their shows but with all of the good things about that design taken out, and the not terrible but passable rest of the episode didn’t do much to improve on it. I apparently wasn’t as put off by the first episode of Denpa Kyoushi as you were (the tentacle scene in Soma actually bothered me a lot more than the scene you mentioned), but this teacher setup has been done before and, from what I understand, much better sans the harem in GTO (which I actually haven’t seen but is in my backlog). Probably will skip.

    Also, if you consider adding shows this season I’d suggest Danna ga Nani (after watching season one, of course) and Plastic Memories.

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    • Sorry about limiting the comments! I’m just trying to avoid spoilers for the time being until I get through this initial rush of episodes! There’ll be an invitation in the last first impressions post for everyone to go ham with everything I haven’t talked about, so look forward to that! ^_^

      Yeah, I didn’t really feel like talking any more about all the fanservice in Soma. The tentacle thing was especially gross, but the tone of the rest of it was…pretty nasty, too. It really is on the bubble right now, especially since I have so much other fun stuff on Fridays.

      And yes! K-On is definitely in my backlog! I expect I’ll really like it when I get to it!

      I would definitely say that Oregairu S1 is worth watching for S2. S1 is very good just on its own merits and is certainly necessary to get into S2. I gave it an 8/10, which is “almost one of my all-time favorites” territory.

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  8. Looks like I missed pretty hard when I said you might like Denpa Kyoushi a while back. That was a blind recommendation based entirely on me seeing one key visual of a cute looking character design, so at least you know my heart was in the right place!

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    • Haha, yeah, I was watching and wondering, “What the heck did whem think I’d like about this?” But yeah, the character designs were cute (until animated), but the actual material was pretty…well, you know.

      I know you would never deliberately recommend me something you knew was terrible!

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      • It was the blonde girl and it was literally one single angle, and it lied to me! I’m sorry, I’ll only hype good shows like Mikakura Gakuen that I KNOW will be good from now on

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  9. But bless, Gunslinger Stratos is filled with the greatness of Urobutcher. You sure you don’t wanna keep on going just to see how much a butcher can butch the meat? :3

    Denpa Kyoushi. Made by A-1. Boy, I’d say though, from the art alone, it looks like A-1 is kinda tired over here, especially after they’ve made an adaptation about that certain anime revolving around a sick girl and a traumatic boy… what’s that show called again? 😛

    On a more serious note, take a good break, A-1. You deserved it. Kinda.

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    • Well, I’m not watching either of these, but reports say that A-1’s two other show (UtaPri and Nanoha do look pretty good). So we just had the misfortune to watch their two worst shows this season. ^_^”

      And I don’t even like Urobuchi… >_>

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      • I’ve heard from UtaPri fans that the animation quality is down from the first two seasons, although it sounds like it may partly depend on your tolerance for CG – apparently this season has a lot more of it. I don’t watch that series, though, so I don’t know.

        Now I think ViVid does look pretty good (unless you’re one of those hardcore fans who nitpicks over things like them giving Nanoha’s eyes a different shade of blue than her Seven Arcs version), so maybe it got assigned the “A” animation team this season. Nanoha’s still a very profitable franchise in Japan (the two recent movies both did really well) and this is A-1’s first crack at it, so it stands to reason that they’d want to prioritize it.

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  10. This one would be the season without shows portraying various (popular) sins in a good way? finally a season without fanservice shows?

    No.

    Still, there are various interesting shows.

    Now, speaking of some of the ones mentioned here:

    Danmachi, Surprisingly interesting, it wasn’t as bad as I expected, and the reviews didn’t mentioned many (relatively outrageous) things, so I watched the first ep.

    The world there has some videogame-like system at work, even with graphical interfaces for upgrading points, etc.

    The main character, seems like a typical shone portagonist, of the “Charles Atlas powers” type, with some clumsiness and questionable decision making abilities.

    The goddess, what a “strange” character design. A developed body, but with a childish face and (some) attitude.

    Finally, the bad parts. The clothing design for the majority of the women and girls presented, some of the advances made by the goddess towards the protagonist, and the framing of certain scenes highlighting body parts. That fanservice can be ignored, but I guess for other people would be more difficult, or an ocassion of sin.

    Show by Rock! , haven’t watched that one yet.

    Shokugeki no Soma, some time ago, when the season previews appeared, I was reading about that one. From what is been said about that episode, it was as I expected. A show exagerating the worst parts of Koufuku Graffiti. Not watching that one.

    Oregairu 2, I don’t remember many things from that show, besides having a likable female protagonist, the girly guy, a otaku style character, the orange haired girl, and that main character that was well liked in 2012 and treated like the best character form the shows of that year.

    It would be better without the girly guy, but I don’t remember how that topic was approached or if was some fetishistic “trap” character.

    Denpa Kyoushi, I went to tvtropes to read about that one recently. I like stories about teachers helping students with various situation that go outside academic topics, but this one is some type of otaku or neet, and it seems that the story is one of these were they are presented as fantastic characters, with an idealized depiction of the flaws associated with that lifestye. In the article they mentioned fanservice, and a truant character that is a crossdresser guy that develops feelings for the teacher. Not watching that show.

    Kekkai Sensen, very interesting first episode, with many interesting characters.

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    • Yeah, I figured Soma would definitely not be your kind of show, but I’m pleasantly surprised you took as well as you did to Danmachi. The fanservice clothing is definitely annoying, but I am kind of hoping that it eases off (at least in terms of shot framing) as the show gets into its groove.

      Kekkai Sensen looks like it might have some interesting thematic bits in there with the Femt’s whole thing about being the King of Depravity and talking about “pursuing their own desires.” Wondering if his role might be that of a tempter or something similar.

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      • I hope the eventually leave these shots too. The solution for the clothing, would be having them more in their combat uniforms (unless these are they armors [!]).

        Yes, I think is very interesting regarding themes. The name of the city gives some clues for possible Christian themes. The villain seems like a tempter figure, plus the name could be an indication of a virtue vs. sin theme.

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  11. Danmachi – Ugh, looks like another terrible harem.

    Shokugeki no Soma – So apparently Koufuku Graffiti was being subtle. Who knew? Also, ugh, looks like another terrible harem.

    Oregairu 2 – Like you, I don’t remember the details of Oregairu all that well. However, something felt off to me. Maybe it was the pacing of Hiki’s dialogue. Or maybe it was that Yukino was lacking her usual bite.

    Gunslinger Stratos – I found this kind of interesting, in a “what in the world is going on?” sort of way. I also liked a lot of the small sci-fi touches in the first part. I don’t have super-high hopes, but it might turn out well.

    Denpa Kyoushi – Heh, I think this just hit a lot of the wrong buttons for you with its genius NEET main character. For example, that stalker wasn’t random, and was part of the plot. Admittedly though, I was afraid it was going to be another terrible harem. I may be awarding it undeserved points just because it wasn’t a harem. (At least not after the first episode.)

    Overall, I wasn’t terribly impressed with any of these shows, and I haven’t gotten around to seeing Show By Rock. But I’ll give them all a second chance.

    Off-topic, but here’s another recommendation, since you liked Akatsuki no Yona. Try Saiunkoku Monogatari. It’s a similar historical fantasy, with a female main character and reverse harem, but focused less on fighting and more on palace intrigue.

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    • It seems you’re a bit more tired of harems than I am, heh. Or at least just that there are a few more other factors that can pull me into show. I see you’re giving them all a second chance, though, which is more than I can say for the ones I’ve dropped. ^_^”

      Thanks for the recommendation! I’ll check it out.

      Like

      • For me, the problem with harems is that 80% of them end up being rubbish. 20% are good (stuff like Bakemonogatari, Inou-Battle, Rouykojima, Saekano). But the ratio of bad:good is pretty high. Even worse, more and more of them are being made each season.

        Simply having a balanced cast (or even a reverse harem) is becoming a sign that the show is better than average.

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  12. Now, to me, production quality for Oregairu 2 seems to have fallen off a fair chunk. The character designs have lost their edge, and the animation was workmanlike at best.

    Shokugeki no Soma made me miss Gourmet Girl Graffiti.

    And happy Easter from this heathen who is keeping Eostre in Easter 🙂

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    • While I do think the animation itself is better (especially that concert scene) (although that’s not saying much considering how limited the animation was in the first season), the character designs themselves are really throwing me for a loop. Overall, they don’t feel like the characters I once knew, which is a pretty disconcerting feeling to have coming back to a fondly remembered show like this.

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      • Sure, I can point out some problems with the character designs, but to be honest if it’s flipped the other way around, I’m sure I’ll be complaining even more about how the budget is totally gone and the character designs look like total crap now. That is, most of the problems to me is mostly (though not all) because it’s so different, but not necessarily that it’s worse. I’m sure I’ll get over it as the season go along, and probably pretty soon as I often glaze over these kind of stuff, unless it was an extremely unusual design (‘sup, Show by Rock).

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  13. So, caught up on the rest of the “allowed” 🙂 shows in this post….

    Show By Rock!!; Dropped three quarters of the way through the first ep. Normally I’m a sucker for idol/music anime, but this one just pushed all the wrong buttons for me. I loath that style of CGI, and I’m not generally fond of the “trapped in a world they never made” trope to start with. (It’s rarely done decently, let alone well.) The talking guitar was the straw that broke the camel’s back, if the MC doesn’t have a spine I’m generally outta there.

    Shokugeki no Souma; Dropped at the mention of strawberry jam and dried sardines (as if the tentacle scene wasn’t bad enough). The MC being something of an unlikable ass with no apparent redeeming qualities didn’t help any.

    Denpa Kyoushi; This one… This one I’m going to keep for a bit and see how it fits. Something about the premise intrigues me, though if you didn’t make it past the groping scene you missed the hook.

    Annoyingly, many of the shows we want to watch this season turned out to be second or third seasons, which I don’t quite know what to do about yet.

    Like

    • “Allowed” 😛 There will be a free-for-all in the final first impressions post! Look forward to it!

      Aww man, having Tarou’s voice in a guitar didn’t work for you? I actually screamed when I heard it haha.

      Aha, so I missed the hook of Denpa Kyoushi because it annoyed me too much? Good episode structuring haha…Soma is definitely on the edge for me, too. At least partially due to the fact that it is an inferior (if potentially entertaining) show airing on an already packed day.

      Which shows that are sequels are you considering watching? I’d be happy to help advise if you’d like!

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      • You’ve got to bait the hook before the target will bite… Denpa Kyoushi just took longer than most.

        Anyhow, Nisekoi, My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU, and KINMOZA! are all sequels and all shows which have been on my radar. We’re thinking of just assigning them to a night and watching an episode of each on said night until we finish or drop the show.

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  14. Show by Rock! , is from a line aimed to adults, instead of the products for children from that company.

    Visually, is very similar to recent children shows. The character designs, the plot, the props and scenery… but, the similarities end when some camera shots focusing on certain body parts appear. Or with characters like the woman with the cleavage.

    The cellphone part was very unexpected. The 3d was very good, considering other cgi offerings in anime, still, normal chibis would have been better.

    Overall, the tone of the show leaves much to be desired, it feels like they are pandering to certain public (the camera shots, some characters, the blonde tsundere that could or not be infatuated with the protagonist [today has become more difficult to guess what something simple like blushing means! – maybe she likes cat related things])

    Like

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