Top Summer 2015 Anime: Final Ratings

Another season has passed. Despite being a rather slow season and mostly lacking in shows I would consider worthy of serious superlatives, I was generally amused, entertained, and engaged by the stuff I ended up watching all the way to the end. As always, there were some up weeks and some down weeks, but on the whole I’m pretty happy with the way this season ended up. It certainly won’t go down as one of the best in anime history—but when you come away from a season with an episode of a bubble dropping on Lelei’s head, how can you really complain?

GATE

[If you want to recap the entire summer season, from my first impressions all the way through the penultimate week, you can hit up everything I’ve written in the Summer 2015 tag!]

9. Charlotte (3/10)

This is not a good show. I’m not surprised that this was what the writer of Angel Beats! came up with, but Charlotte shares basically all of the same characteristics of composition that Angel Beats! does while managing to be much, much worse. I don’t really mind Jun Maeda’s tendency to parcel out individual scenes (and scenes within scenes!) without any kind of coherent connection between them, but when he tries to apply that to a plot that ends up crossing the entire world in a single episode…well, it just doesn’t work. Happily, Charlotte really only got vomit-inducing bad in episode 11, but the majority of the material after episode six’s revelations was pointless and detached from the first half’s few charms that the show ceased to be amusing in any kind of way. Had I not been watching with a friend, I almost certainly would not have finished this. So, as it stands, Charlotte is the first anime I’ve rated this low for simple execution reasons since Wizard Barristers. So, yeah. There’s that. At least there was Nao (until the show ruined her, too).

Awards: (Honorable Mention: Best OP—”Bravely You” by Lia)

Charlotte

8. GATE (5/10)

If GATE were a worse show, it would truly be doomed. That may sound obvious, but the real point here is that GATE is filled with attitudes I find irritating, irking, and downright troublesome (more on that coming, I swear!). However, GATE is not a terrible show, unlike its political cousin, Mahouka. Whatever your feelings about GATE‘s politics, there’s no denying this is a show with spunk—an energy carried through its distinctive and fun-to-watch characters. You can probably guess from the opening gif who my favorite of the bunch is, but GATE is one of those not-great shows redeemed by a comfortably inspired set of archetypal character you just can’t help but like and want to watch. And, you know what? I’ll forgive GATE a lot for that. I don’t demand greatness out of every show I watch—things that were fun to watch are just as important to me. So while GATE sits here at the bottom of the seasonal list, I assure it deserve as least one self-serious JSDF salute for the important duty it dispatched in my seasonal anime diet. Here’s to you, GATE.

Awards: Best Fantasy, Best Action, Best Harem (Honorable Mention: Best Male Character—Itami)

GATE

7. Miss Mononchrome S2 (5/10)

Miss Monochrome isn’t a show packed full of gags. No, it’s a show built on the inherent absurdity of an android that wishes to be a top idol—and it just kind of runs with things from there. I won’t say it’s the perfect show for the short anime format as others have certainly been more evocative in this particular form of the medium, but Miss Monochrome really is a show after the spirit of Miss Monochrome herself: quirky, offbeat, a little behind the times, and intensely entertaining because of all that. “Good chrome-ing,” indeed.

Awards: Pet Show of the Season, Best Short Series (Honorable Mention: Best ED—”Step by Step!” by Miss Monochrome)

6. Durarara!!! x2-2 (6/10)

Although better than its immediate predecessor, this iteration of Durarara!! never quite hit the high points it needed in order to surpass x2-1 in score. Rather, most of the gains came in places where the first cour ought to have succeeded and instead cruised by on sheer character power. x2-2, on the other hand, avoided production collapses and kept the primary actors moving around more, but failed to really close the deal. The season felt more like an elaborate, if generally engaging, set-up for the coming season—but you can only finish an episode so many times thinking, “Oh, man, next episode is gonna be crazy,” only to find that next episode just teasing that feeling out longer before you start to get a tad cynical. All I’ll say at this point is that x2-3 better have some pretty fantastic payoffs to all the positioning work x2-2 did. Durarara!! is about the chaos of its characters clashing with each other—it’s about time to let them do just that.

Durarara!! x2

5. Gakkou Gurashi (6/10)

Without question, Gakkou Gurashi was the surprise of the season. Having gone into the show without any knowledge of the big twist (and what a twist it was!) and expecting my normal ration of moegirls, Yuki and co’s adventures in life, living, and staying alive turned out to be far more than I had ever anticipated. Although the show peaked with the Megu-nee highlight in episode three, Gakkou Gurashi continued to punch far above its emotional weight class. Although horror is most certainly not a genre I have much appreciation for—and there were definitely times during Gakkou Gurashi when I was Ready To Be Done—the combination of moe and fear somehow ended up being a…deadly…combination. In the end, I wanted a bit more in a few departments than Gakkou Gurashi was willing to give me (more Megu-nee could have really enhanced the show) and a bit less in others (fanservice, my old enemy…), but on the whole it was a surprisingly solid ride.

Awards: Best Drama (Honorable Mentions: Best Story, Best OST, Best Female Character—Megu-nee)

Gakkou Gurashi

4. Working!!! (7/10)

Third seasons are dangerous for most anime. Not for Working!!!, which somehow managed to not only preserve everything about the first two seasons that made them charming and delightful, but also turned long-standing jokes into valid plot events and emotional pivot points. The dirty little secret about Working!!! is that it’s quietly a comedy with a seriously dark edge when you stop to think about some of the things it’s riffing on. Some might see that as a crass appeal to comedy, but I see it more as one approach to dealing with the painful parts of our past lives. That’s not to say I think Working!!! is some grand thesis on overcoming our childhood trauma; it’s merely to say that I don’t think Working!!! is unaware of the territory on which it treads. Rather, it simply continues to be its lighthearted, kindhearted, joyful self. It’s a dish best served up warm.

Awards: Best ED—”Matsuge ni Lock” by Jun Fukuyama, Daisuke Ono, and Hiroshi Kamiya; Best Comedy; Best Slice of Life

Working!!!

3. Classroom☆Crisis (7/10)

Had Classroom☆Crisis (Seekirasee) been the show I thought it was and wanted it to be after the first episode, I have no doubt it would be topping this list. But, we don’t always get what we want, and so it was with Seekirasee. Post-premiere, I was expecting a concrete discussion via story of the themes and attitudes exemplified by director Kenji Nagasaki’s earlier efforts with Gundam Build Fighters—I suppose you could say I wanted a show that was pure frontier spirit. Instead, we ended up with a likable show with a likable cast that was even charming at points. It was a more traditional story, I suppose you could say. However, despite never quite putting it all together in the way I’d hoped, there were many individual parts of Seekirasee that resonated with me—Mizuki, Mizuki and Nagisa, Nagisa and Kaitou, the struggle between corporation and creativity, conceptions of loyalty, and the joy of camaraderie. It never quite all came together in a cohesive package, but Classroom☆Crisis will remain a fondly-remembered show nonetheless.

  • Potential Essay: “Standing by: What it Means to Be Loyal in Classroom Crisis

Awards: Best OP—”Cobalt” by Trysail, Best Adventure, Best Sci-fi, Best Male Character: Fake Nagisa (Honorable Mentions: Best Story, Best OST)

Classroom Crisis

2. Akagami no Shirayuki-hime (8/10) 

Masahiro Ando returns to making anime. To be specific, he returns (along with Michiru Oshima) to making really, really, really good anime. There’s a ton to be said about Shirayuki-hime‘s story content, and I will say it, but for me the characters and narrative of this show are inextricably tied to the way their tale was told by Ando, Oshima, and Hitomi Mieno (series composition). This includes Ando’s measured directorial touch, Mieno’s frequently bell-like composition, and Oshima’s divine score. Shirayuki-hime truly was a triumph of some extremely talented people taking excellent base material and elevating it. Nowhere was this more evident than in the number of times Oshima’s music (guided by Ando’s hand) swept into a good scene and made it a transcendent one. It was frequently magical, and always inspiring.

Of course, all this would have gone to waste without something worthwhile for the staff to expend their talents on, and Shirayuki-hime had that, too. It’s not so much a story as it is a simple celebration of the beautiful intimacy born of a true and honest friendship. Amidst all the squealing at how darn cute Zen and Shirayuki are together lies the quiet calm of the storm that says, “This is how you can truly be present to another person. This is how to be a good human being in relationship with other human beings.” And that’s pretty cool.

Awards: Best Visual Aesthetic, Best OST, Best Romance (Honorable Mention: Best Female Character—Shirayuki, Best Male Character—Zen)

Akagami no Shirayuki-hime

1. Gatchaman Crowds insight (9/10)

Much like the season itself, Crowds‘ second season was a bit of an up and down ride, but the highs the show reached—episode 3 and episode 12, in particular—were more than enough to make this my favorite show of the season, as well as the show I think is of most import. Crowds is, and always has been, a show about ideas enacted via a story. I don’t thank that makes Crowds inhuman, even if its characters sometimes feel more like incarnations of the philosophies they espouse than they feel like people. After all, these philosophies and ideologies and ways of seeing the world are all born of us humans.

But that doesn’t quite do Crowds justice, as its also a show willing to let its characters grow and change, even as they continue to embody the ideas that make the show what it is. Tsubasa, Gelsadra, Rizumu, and the rest of the Gatchaman—they’re all still people. And then, there’s Hajime, a character who has become one of my all-time favorites. I liked Hajime a lot in the Gatchaman Crowds, but in a post-insight world…I love Hajime. I love who she is. I love what she represents. She’s the mirror that reflects humanity—a little bit cold, but still incredibly warm. Just like, I think, Gatchaman Crowds insight itself.

  • Planned Essay: “Hajime Ichinose, The Cracked Mirror”

Awards: Best Story, Best Female Character—Hajime Ichinose (Honorable Mentions: Best Visual Aesthetic, Best OP—”insight” by White Ash, Best ED—”60 Oku no Tsubasa” by ANGRY FROG REBIRTH)

Gatchaman Crowds insight Episode 13 Hero Hajime

Dropped

  • Aquarion Logos (0 eps, 0 min)
  • Aoharu x Machinegun (1 ep)
  • Chaos Dragon (1 ep)
  • Gangsta (1 ep)
  • Prison School (1 ep)
  • Ranpo Kittan (2 eps)
  • Danchigai (3 eps)
  • Castle Town Dandelion (5 eps)
  • Overlord (5 eps)
  • Rokka no Yuusha (8 eps)
  • Ushio to Tora (13 eps)

Ongoing

Non Non Biyori Repeat (4/12, still delightful).

Unawarded

  • Honorable Mention: Best Visual Aesthetic
  • Best Sports

And that’s all Summer 2015 wrote. On to the fall season! As always, thank you all so much for reading, commenting, and otherwise being a great audience. In the middle of the season, I really started dragging and even wondered if it was time to give up the whole aniblogging thing—but it was just a temporary phase and now I’m back and excited to continue on writing with all the great people around me. Here’s to hoping for a fantastic fall season of anime~

32 thoughts on “Top Summer 2015 Anime: Final Ratings

    • As much as I loved Prison School, I think bless was right to drop it early. Based on many mentions of disliking fanservice in his posts, I really don’t think it’s a show that would appeal to him. Personally, I give Prison School 8/10. I subtract 2 pts because I really hated the Vice President. She was just vulgar and disgusting. If her over the top fan service had been toned down the show would have been a lot better, imo.

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      • Tsutomu Mizushima directed Prison School, and in many of his shows the female characters are either placed in more traditionally masculine roles of soldier, conqueror, and/or protector, or else are the show’s much more dangerous/aggressive characters next to the more nebbish (and often perverted) male leads. Some of his other directing credits include Girls und Panzer, Magical Witch Punie-Chan, Blood C, Squid Girl, Bludgeoning Angel Dokuro-chan, and Witch Craft Works, all of which have one or both of those elements in common.

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        • It has nothing to do with her role. It has everything to do with the fact that she sweats literal puddles of sweat and her ass is constantly in the viewer’s face.

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          • Oh, I was just making a general observation about his portfolio and the fact that a series like Prison School would seem to be right up his alley; I wasn’t replying specifically to your comment about the veep. Although that doesn’t surprise me either, because pushing the envelope of grossness has also been one of Mizushima’s stocks-in-trade over the years (seriously, Dokuro-chan is one of those shows I’d just like to forget I ever watched, it was so tasteless).

            Of course, to be fair, he also directed Genshiken, Shirobako, and Big Windup too, so it’s not like he’s just a one-trick pony.

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  1. This season was interesting.

    The shows I’ve finished so far:

    GATE: 6/10 I found this to be a very enjoyable show with likable characters. I look forward to watching the second half. Itami was easily my favorite part of the show. I liked that he was an otaku. It made him easy to relate to. I like that he put more value on doing the right thing than following orders. And I liked that this generally works out for him instead of ruining his career. I liked the focus on the conflict between the big picture and the little picture, between large forces and smaller players. I can see this story going in very interesting directions in the future. It certainly has the potential and I hope it will.

    Rokka: 6/10 There were a lot of things I really loved about this show. The artwork was gorgeous. The characters were interesting and I really love both Fremy and Adlet. I like the idea of a fantasy story with a group of heroes vs. the Big Bad that focuses more on inter-group interaction and conflict than on the actual fight with the Demon King, but the anime and what I’ve read of the Light Novels (which I don’t think I’ll keep reading) have left me very disappointed with the execution. The writing is seriously flawed and so the story inevitably suffers.

    Castle Town Dandelion: 7/10 I’m really glad that I came back to this show to finish it because there was so much good stuff in the later episodes. Akane getting up in costume to become the magical girl superhero Scarlett Bloom and being totally convinced that no one recognizes her because of the “jamming glasses” Kanade gives her, Shu and Kanade reconciling the incident from their past that Kanade can’t let go (and Kanade subsequently admitting she’d like to become a dictator), Aoi finally telling her parents she wants to withdraw from the election because of her power (and because being King won’t make her happy), a little backstroy episode about the father and mother that was really adorable, everyone’s last minute election efforts, the final episode where it becomes clear that Soichiro set up this whole election thing to help his children discover what paths they want to take in life. And of course cheering on the new King at the end. It was all very heartwarming and the big family vibes were so great.

    Charlotte: 4/10 Yeah, this show was a mess. It seems to me that there were about 4 or 5 distinct shows trying to fit themselves into those 13 episodes, all with a very different feel. And it just couldn’t be done. Though, honestly, I think every single one of them could have been a very good show if they were given the focus and the time that they needed. Charlotte could have been an awesome long running franchise exploring different aspects of the many teenage power users tropes, instead of being a confused jumble of episodes that don’t feel like they belong in the same series.

    OreMonogatari: 10/10 I LOVED this show to death. There was not a single thing I didn’t like about it. It was just about as close to perfect as it could get, from my point of view. I can’t say much more about it because it will just turn into incoherent gushing. This show is going right onto my all time favorites list and I will be eagerly watching for a dvd release.

    Working!!!: 8/10 All right, I’m going to admit it. I don’t like Yamada that much. That is, I like her, but in smaller doses. For me, there was just a little too much Yamada in this season. I’m glad she reunited with her family, but can’t she stay home now? Also, the last episode just left things way too open ended without any real indication of when we are going to be closure on the Takanashi/Inami relationship. It set up a conflict with the Takanashi Matriarch, but now what? I’m confused about the announcement of the special. Is it actually going to be a Working/RPG parody/mashup? I mean, that’s awesome. But I’d rather have some real world resolution first. On the other hand, the resolution of the Sato/Yachiyo relationship was absolutely perfect. I am so happy about that. So, overall, great season, but come on, give me some closure!

    Shows with just one episode to go: (I may come back and update once I watch these)

    Overlord
    Actually, I Am
    Gangsta.
    Prison School

    Shows with 2+ episodes to go:

    Food Wars
    Rinne
    Arslan Senki

    Ongoing:

    Fairy Tail- I’m glad I added this back into my weekly schedule after the filler arc concluded. I know it’s mindless action shonen, but I still love it and it makes me happy. Also, it’s great for those days when I’m exhausted and want to watch something that won’t require me to think.

    Backlog:

    We finished Trinity Blood. It was awesome up until the final episode. The last episode was just…. really confusing. In fairness, it seems the anime was made after the author died while the LNs were still open ended. But I’m not sure that’s an excuse for such a very confusing, ambiguous final episode. Still, up until that point it was a great series with brilliant worldbuilding (post apocalyptic world with humans in conflict with vampire-like mutated humans and the Catholic Church trying to preserve peace at all costs) and really interesting characters (the MC, Abel Nightroad, was Vash the Stampede levels of awesome). So I give it 8/10.

    We started watching Mushi shi which is utterly captivating. I don’t even know what to say about it. I feel this might be one of those rare shows that are transformative to me as a viewer and as a storyteller.

    I’m also rewatching Black Butler because it’s been a really long time since I watched it and I want to refresh my memory before finally watching the ovas. And as you know I’ve started watching Hyouka. It’s so good I’m definitely going to have to go ahead and race ahead of your posts. 🙂

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    • Frankly, I would’ve liked to see Charlotte‘s final episode turned into an entire show. The seeds of a really interesting show are there! It just was too busy doing too many things to really make the most out of anything that it did. Unlike Angel Beats!, which was much more limited in what it could do because of the closed system setting, Charlotte had a wide-open world…and it seems Maeda’s not to be trusted with those.

      Since a lot of people seem to have really enjoyed Castle Town Dandelion‘s later episodes, perhaps I’ll make my way back to it at some point. It’s not like I dropped it because I didn’t like it—I just didn’t really feel like I had time for it.

      Like you, I’m also pretty excited for the next season of GATE. Should be fun. ^_^

      And yay!! More people on the Hyouka train! Looking forward to seeing you in the comments there, too!

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  2. As seasons go, this one was neither particularly good, nor particularly bad. And that’s OK. Not every season has a Yuu Yuu Yuu, Saekano, or Euph. It’s their scarcity that makes such gems so valuable after all. Overall I was entertained week on week, and at the end that’s what matters.

    Before building the weekly wall, a couple of notes;

    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. I’ll note those with the ratings.

    Second, there are no midseason rankings this time around… midseason coincided with Bless’s brief break and I missed noting that it was midseason.

    Lastly, if there’s no final ep review, look to last weeks post.

    With all the preparatory work out of the way, this season’s final wall o’ text.

    Akagami no Shirayukihime Season review; I really struggled to rank this show. I enjoyed it after a bit of trepidation at the start, but… there’s just something I can’t put my finger on. There’s certainly a lot to enjoy, especially in the animation and the characters, but it just seems to be lacking something overall. Too many episodes centering around Shirayuki and her (often over)competence would be my main complaint. It’s good that they didn’t go with the overused trope of the girl having to be constantly rescued, but the pendulum can swing too far the other way. The real strength of the series was it’s character development, with the aforementioned flaws in Shirayuki’s character. She was simply too good.

    Final ranking: 3/5 Good, but not great.
    Awards: Best Male Lead (Prince Zen), Best Male Supporting Character (Mitsuhide).

    Gangsta ep 12; A real mess, jumping from character to event to place with no real rhyme or reason and only the lightest connection to the poorly explained larger arcs.

    Season Review; Sigh. This show could have been so much more. It started out as a character driven drama, but quickly fizzled when it shifted to being more about the politics and background. Not helping matters was that said politics and background were poorly thought out and only partially explained as the series progressed. I stuck with it because it kept showing signs of returning to it’s original and most promising premise, but it never did. If I could send one message back to myself in July about this season, it would be “drop Gangsta“.

    Final ranking: 2/5 A below average hot mess.
    Special award; Silver Raspberry for the show that most wasted it’s initial premise.

    Gate Season review; Not bad, not great, but not bad. Decent enough characterization (even if trope heavy, and with the MC being a Gary Stu), and decent animation… but in the end, not as good as it could have been. Like so many shows this season, it could not decide what it wanted to be – an action drama or a political drama. Whatever it turned it’s attention to was handled well, but the whipsawing tone got to be a bit wearying.

    Final ranking; 3/5 Decent enough, but mostly an extended setup for the second cour.
    Special Award; The character most otaku will want to see cosplayed (Rory Mercury).

    The IDOLM@STER: Cinderella Girls Second Series; No ep this week, and it’s finale won’t air for another two weeks due to the insertion of two special eps.

    Million Doll; I sit corrected – last week wasn’t a setup for the end of season, it was the end of the season.

    Season review; That the show ended abruptly with episode 11 is emblematic of it’s problems… the set up a premise, but then just didn’t know where to go with it. Several of the individual episodes were quite good (others not so much), but they never quite managed to string together a coherent story arc. Any of the four main threads could have made a decent short format season on their own, but taken together there just wasn’t enough time to do all of them credit.

    Final Ranking: 2.5/5 They tried mightily hard, but fell short.

    Miss Monochrome 2 ep13; Mostly a recap-wrapup of the season, not much good to say and not much bad either.

    Season Review; Outstanding – until the last couple of episodes. I loved the concept of building each episode around a central pun or joke, and was amazed they managed to pull it off week after week. The last couple of weeks were a bit of a fizzle though, as they started to take the ‘plot’ too seriously and left off the laughs.

    Final Ranking: 3.5/5 Simply good.

    My Love Story ep 24; Takeo once again shows us what a stand up guy he is – his rival is in trouble, and when Yamato calls for his help, he’s endlessly willing to support the guy she’s supporting. In the end though, she chooses Takeo over Ichinose – and doesn’t even let the other guy down lightly. Probably the most trope ridden episode of the series, but it’s all tropes they’ve established within the series.

    Season review; Wow… it’s hard to believe twenty four episodes have gone by. In some ways, it’s been wearying due to the sheer weight of numnbers. In others, energizing because they so neatly lampshaded so many of the tropes endemic to the rom-com genre. (Though OreMono flirted as much with drama as with comedy, so simply calling it a rom-com does it a disservice.) Overall, a good series that I’m glad I watched, one of the few bright spots this season.

    Final ranking: 3/5 A fun romp.
    Special Award; Most outrageous male lead (Gouda Takeo)

    Non Non Byori Repeat Season review; I really don’t know what to say for a season review… after week after week of heaping on the superlatives, the well has run dry. This emphatically isn’t damming with faint praise, I truly just can’t think of anything more to say. I’d almost go so far as to say this was THE shining light of the season.

    Final Ranking: 4/5 In a rarity – a sequel beats out the original, which I ranked at 3.5/5
    Awards; Best Female Lead (Renge), Best Female Supporting Character (Candy Store/Kaede), Best Animation, Best Cinematography.
    Special Award; Best character with no lines (Suguru).

    Overlord ep 13; More boring talk/talk/talk.

    Season review; Sigh I really wanted to like this show more than I did in the end. It kept my attention week to week… but in the end it was just wearying. Despite a decent concept and some good lines and good scenes, the endless exposition and monologing and the glacially slow pacing pulls it down. The final nail in the coffin was the increasingly self aware game world intrusions.

    Final ranking: 2.5/5 Painfully average.
    Special Award; Gold Raspberry for pacing.

    Sore ga Seiyuu! ep13; A very interesting finale, and a last look at the various facets of the lives and the stories behind the shows. It’s evaluation time for Futaba, her probationary period is over and now her bosses have to decide her future with the agency based on her performance over the last two years… They (the show runners) played it safe, and extended her probation another year. (Which actually fits the overall themes of the show and her characterization.)

    Season Review; Though the individual episodes were a bit formulaic (character has a fear or a mental block, famous and experienced seiyuu shows up and dispenses the wisdom needed to get past it), overall the show was actually pretty good. Though not nearly as good as Shirobako, it also gives us a peek behind the curtain and does a decent job of it.

    Final ranking: 3/5 Pulled up from it where it might otherwise be mainly on the strength of the execution of it’s concept.
    Awards; Best OP, Best ED.

    Wakaba Girl ep 13; I was wrong, the zing! at the end of ep 12 wasn’t a season ender, it was a cliffhanger. But, as usual, the power of friendship corrects the misunderstanding.

    Season review; Pretty much your average CGDCT/moe short. Not sad I watched it, but there’s no value to be had in a re-watch either.

    Final ranking: 2.5/5 Not bad, but mostly cotton candy (sweet and fluffy with no lasting substance).

    Wakako-zake Season review; Another show where I don’t really know what to say… week to week, it was just quietly excellent. It stuck to it’s basic premise and left me with a smile and a desire for more as the credits rolled. (This is especially surprising given the ludicrous simplicity of the premise.) They managed just enough character development to make Wakako interesting, without shoving our noses in it or detracting from the flow of the show.

    Final ranking: 3.5/5 Simply excellent.
    Award: Best Short, Best Sound Effect (“Pshuuu”).

    Working!!! ep 13; Another episode I don’t know what to say about – and not in a good way. It was all @!#% filler and wasted time. The first third to dragging in a character that appeared once, in the first season no less, to hammer home a point already hammered home. The second third to dragging out and beating to death bits already done. And then, most infuriatingly, the real resolution was put off indefinitely to a “special episode”. (The effort switching to the production of which probably explains the marked drop in animation quality over the last few episodes.)

    Season review; Honestly, the season started out strong… it’s amazing how well they could take the same material they’ve covered before and still get us to watch and laugh. But as it swung into the second half, it got weaker as it departed from the slice-of–life format in favor of actual strong character progression and closing out character arcs.

    Final Ranking: 3/5 The same as the preceding two seasons, though I’m still not sure it deserves it.

    Dropped: Aoharu x Machinegun (1 ep), Bikini Warriors (1 ep), Classroom Crisis (5 eps), Danchigai (3 eps), Castle Town Dandelion (5 eps), Venus Project: Climax (2 eps).

    Overall, a fair to middlin’ season. Some gems, some duds, no real standout or breakout show (though Wakako-zake came pretty close). In reviewing my awards though, one thing stands out – no Best Girl. That’s pretty unusual for me.

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    • I’d add Best Voice Acting for Miyuki Sawashiro’s Wakako there, such a virtuoso one-woman performance and the most memorable ever since… Izumi Kitta in Watamote, I think.

      Wakako’s such a great show. The character herself is someone I’d love to sit and eat together with, even if she’d call me a piranha and silently judging my selection :p

      Glad that I’m apparently not just being dumb and there’s someone else confused by Gangsta’s editing job. Someone mentioned that Hunter X Hunter’s Yorksin arc did the whole multi-faction Mafia thriller + shounen combat thing way better than the entirety of Gangsta, and I agree. It had its moments, but even during its better parts, I think I wanted to like it more than I actually like it.

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    • Not going to argue your take in Summer 2015 Everybody looks at anime different

      For Myself I thought it was like Summer 2013 which was one of my favorites if not better ! Yes there are plenty of ups and downs !

      MY Top 3 anime could serve as models for most of Anime !

      1 Non Non Biyori Repeat Almost had an Episode of the Week Each week Everybody was highlighted but Renge / Natusumi ( The Tadpoles) and Candy Store / Renge( Learning to Ride a Bike ) segments just floored me ! How did they keep up the level! There was a lot of really good anime to overcome ! EOW

      2 Gakkou Gurashi! School Live [purple]READING MANGA[/purple] A Well Deserved 2nd Place Just the way it was presented / the swings / All the different OP’s Ed’s even hints in each episode ! A great rewrite with some changes but reading and watching was done nicely! EOW

      3 Working!!! 3 / Wagnaria!! 3 Almost 2nd But Bravo! / Really the Top 3 are so close it’s on the Podium Great job of almost wrapping things up ! 1 HOUR Final coming EOW

      Now on to GANGSTA / I really liked it ! / I like Crime Drama action / Maybe Manglobe going bankrupt today affected things . But I am reading the manga and the orequel and it made sense why they stopped ! I am reposting my take on it!

      5 Gangsta. / Last EP Lots of material / felt rushed and incomplete but still compelling! Some complaints about being unfinished but there is enot enough material to go on and thewhat there is would be unfair to leave even more od a cliffhangar ! BTW the author is a she and as an illnees from cranking out new CHPS ! EOW

      SPECIAL ? MANGLOBE OUT of Business ! Quire Shocking / I wonder if caused the rush?

      Nice you liked Wakako-zake / so informative yet relaxing

      Also Sore ga Seiyuu! Just checking the Guest VA’s resumes makes say I am Not Worthy

      Like

  3. I’m actually just starting Gatchaman Crowds (season one) upon suggestion of a friend, and I am fairy blown away so far, so I have studiously skipped that bit. in your posts.

    Non-Non Byori is a delight. I hope that kids in the countryside in Japan actually get to run wild like that.

    One not on your list, or below your radar was Seiyu’s Life, which I quite enjoyed. You could almost consider it a scompanion piece to Shirobako with the added suspense and heartbreak of auditions. Again, trigger alerts should be posted for Show Folk. 🙂

    Like

    • Oh, you dropped Ushio. I thought you loved the show; must be the repetitive structure and all the damsels in distress, I presumed?

      I also rated Gakkou 6/10 and agreed with practically everything you’ve said there (*although I personally liked horror a lot and appreciated the cute Stephen King and George Romero references the show had early). Megu-nee’s by far the strongest element of the show, indeed. Besides the fanservice (which the manga I heard has a lot less of, which probably makes it the superior material), I also still can’t get over the fact that none of the kids thought/worried much about their home and family situation.

      My biggest takeaway at this point is that I’m going to miss OreMono. The only series this past two seasons that I’d definitely watch a second season of/pick up the manga if they ever got licensed in my country. I knew you eventually soured on it, but I’m also glad that looking for the series discussion eventually led me to this blog. Really enjoyed our discussion back then.

      “I really started dragging and even wondered if it was time to give up the whole aniblogging thing…”

      Glad you didn’t. The longer I read this blog the more I realized your taste didn’t overlap much with mine, but honestly it hardly matters as you offered a very distinct voice in the aniblogging sphere as well as nuanced takes that I found really refreshing. Keep on chugging, take care, and here’s for many more productive anime seasons~

      Like

      • Yup, the repetitive structure of Ushio to Tora really wore me out after a while. I also just never found the characters compelling after we got out of the initial, introductory stages where everyone was just being a jerk to everyone else. Those were good times. The damsels in distress was also a bothersome thing, although I wouldn’t say it was really a contributing factor in dropping the show. I just tired of it.

        Megu-nee ;-; The best, or close to it haha.

        And thank you for the encouragement! Every time I think about quitting, I think about all you guys who comment on basically everything I write and I just can’t go away haha!

        Like

    • Glad you’re liking Crowds so far! I happen to like S2 a lot more than S1, but S1 is still quite good.

      I actually did watch Yui Horie’s feature episode of Seiyu’s Life, but I’m frankly far more interested in idols than seiyu, so yeah….

      Like

  4. So here’s the final headcount of what I finished during my summer of (mostly) no-streaming and back-cataloging. Since I already talked about most of these when I finished them, I’ll mainly just stick to running down the list here.

    TV Series:
    Yuki Yuna is a Hero (3rd re-watch): 9/10 (this wasn’t a planned rewatch, but since I don’t have a Blu-Ray player and the people I was housesitting for last week do, I decided to take full advantage of that and bring the BDs from the combo pack with me)
    Cardcaptor Sakura: 9/10
    Gunslinger Girl (2nd re-watch): 8/10
    Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha S1 (4th re-watch): 8/10
    Food Wars: 8/10 (I’m so in if there’s ever a second season…)
    Love Live! Season 2: 7/10
    Love Live! Season 1: 7/10
    Amagi Brilliant Park: 7/10
    Sakura Wars: 6/10
    Hanayamata: 6/10
    Wakakozake: 6/10
    Air (2nd re-watch): 5/10
    The Disappearance of Yuki Nagato: 4/10

    Feature Films:
    A Letter to Momo: 8/10
    The K-On! Movie: 8/10
    The Love Live! Movie: 8/10
    Summer Wars: 7/10

    OVA/ONAs and Short Films:
    La Maison en Petits Cubes: 10/10
    Pale Cocoon: 9/10
    Fumiko’s Confession: 9/10
    Little Witch Academia: 8/10
    Furiko: 8/10
    Hiyokoi: 8/10
    Iblard Jikan: 7/10
    Mudai: 7/10
    Cross Road: 7/10
    She and Her Cat – Their Standing Points: 6/10
    Egomama: 5/10
    Houkago no Pleiades (2011 ONA): 5/10
    Ai Mai! Moe Can Change: 5/10
    Quiz Magic Academy: 4/10

    13 TV series, 4 films, and 14 shorts makes for a pretty successful season of back-cataloging, IMO!

    As far as the summer shows that will now be added to my back catalog, I still intend to finish Charlotte very soon despite the beating it’s taken from almost everyone here, I definitely want to watch Classroom Crisis eventually, and I’m curious enough about Shirayuki and Dandelion that I might give them a try at some point.

    Like

    • Dang, you really chugged through some stuff, huh? Amazing what you can get done when you’re not waiting a week in between each episode.

      Looooooooooove Liiiiiiiiiiiiivuuuuu!!!!

      Also, get a BD player! They are cool and good! I’m very happy with having one, personally.

      Like

      • I’m actually planning to get a Playstation 4 sometime in the next 12 months – with Disgaea 5 coming out this month, and Persona 5 and Dragon Quest XI both on the way next year, I suddenly have three very good reasons to get one. And that’ll take care of getting me a BD player at the same time (just like my PS2 was my first DVD player way back when).

        Incidentally, for my short anime feature this week I wrote a joint review of the first two Love Live music videos from 2010 (“Bokura no Live” and “Snow Halation”). Something I didn’t know until I did some research for those reviews was that the lyricist for those songs, Aki Hata, also wrote the lyrics for all four of Haruhi Suzumiya’s openings and endings, too.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Split out just to give these episodes their due! Shocking news about MANGLOBE

    EPISODES of the WEEK / FINAL SUMMER 2015

    WEEK 12 / 13 SPLIT

    Not as many shows to pick from but all my top shows will have Finals Actually turned out quite well!

    Non Non Biyori Repeat EP 12 Final / “A Year Passed”

    How do you finish an already great season ? By actually havinf a more relaxed episode where everybody is together to go pick Bamboo shoots and have an outing by the infamous cherry tree. It’s the real quiet moments that highlight the true nature od this anime > Playing slaphand is as fun as a video game ! But it’s when evetbody is gone for like a minitue do get where they are and the life they lead ! Just tranquiltily ! Peopple complaied aboutthe going back bit it worked great ! We got to see each part of the cast ore in-depth!

    Seiyu’s Life! EP 12 / “Concert” With Ichigo injured and saying she is OK Futuba knows better and actually pushhes her to see how hurt she is and it’s not good ! Futuba insists they change the concert performance but Ichigo is still stubborn and Futuba storms off ! Finally after prodding by Rin too she agrees to changes but Futuba comes up with a plan that will let then sing all the songs and let Ichigodance with mininmum movement even singing sittng on chairs ! Whilethe cocert is a success and Ichigo could ance freely for the last song ! The big thing Futuba has grown up andeven took harge ! I a kinda proud of her ! There are lot of Idol episodes with problems but to see it handled this episode was nice !

    Yui horie makes another cameo !

    Seiyu’s Life! EP 13 / “Assessment”‘

    Futuba is nervous about her upcoming evaluation at Aozora Productions knowing she hasnt had a major role in anime ! Her first year was alomost blank. She meets up with 3 ex Aozora who went through the training and left and only one is stiil a VA at a smaller company . Futuba has to face the staff but says with determination she wants to make a VA career for life ! It looked bad but she got a another year in fact Konno hands her what looks like a big role . Nice flashbecaks to the all the Great Guest VA”S on this show !

    GUEST VA / Masumi Asano / a Couple of Highlights

    Ikki Tousen – Hakufu Sonsaku/ Hakufu one of favorites
    SoltyRei – Rose Anderson
    Hayate the Combat Butler – Risa Asakaze / Os Course The Hayate Homage (Author)

    School-Live! EP 12 FINAL / “Graduation”

    Yuki came through and actually a quieter episode but still emotional Some nice momenys on the rooftop saying goodbye to Megumi / Taroumaru . And they graduated !

    Was an an excellent series overall !

    I read the manga and think they did an excellent job of the rewrite. The original author was hands on for the anime ! Now we should get more chps!

    The last EP changed up events quite a bit ! I kinda wonder why !

    The OP segment with all of Yuki’s flashbacks was kinda sad especially her close friends(classmates) who really liked her !

    The zombies went home after Yuki said schhol was closed

    Welcome back Kurumi she was saved !

    So sad Taroumaru had to die

    Megumi was thinking of the students all along especially with that map !
    So it is kinda obvious where they are heading to !

    Kei walking when they were leaving the school

    Food Wars! EP 24 Final / “The Banquet of Warriors”

    A nice finish

    Classroom Crisis EP 13 Final / The Greatest Presentation in History

    That was brilliant Nagisa Kiryu / Kaito’s Plan to Toy with Kirishina Corp ( before Kiryu
    was kidnapped ) only to annouce a new A-Tec even with Kirishina owning the X2 / X3 engines Kaito is the brains behind the engine and has new ideas already ! Angelina(Hanako) laid the plans and got investors as A-Tec Launched the 2nd rocket with Iris / Mizuki to rescue Kiryu ! All turms out well for now with a hint of a sequel

    Durarara!!×2 (TEN) EP12 FINAL / “It Takes A Thief To Catch A Thief”

    As always everything crosses paths ! Mikado is in everybody’s cross hairs and even diagrees with Celty ! Meanwhile Izaya is trying to find Namie Kasane Kujiragi has him kidnapped ! Vorona has feelings?? for Shizuo (whereabouts unknown) Then a lot of the factions are at Shina’s place much to Celty’s surprise ! Quite a cliifhangar for PART 3

    Gatchaman Crowds insight EP 12 FINAL / insight

    The aftermath of Hajime injured / the Gatchaman tell the public what happened and leave it to public to vote on Gels future except they have a month this time to think it over carefully ! They vote and want Gel to stay ! Tsubasa.sets off Fireworks to help Hajime wake up ! BTW Hajime took quite the wounds she had to be wounded to make thev plan look real! Slowly all the Kuu-Sama disappear as they are longer a factor !

    Senki Zesshō Symphogear GX EP 13 Final / “Believe in Justice and Hold It Close”

    Nothing can touch the action in this show as they wenmt OP ! Quite a battle as Carol usses the last of her memories to destroy the world with a beast that is basically a sun . But Hibiki goes OP with her fist and complete support from her friends just as the beast is to explode Biki pulls Carol out but is not to ne found after ! Meanwhile Carol is quite ill and Hibiki feels sad she cant do anything ! But Carol wanting now to remember her father and to live ( Her Father’s words) comes to Elfnein and merge as one ! Hibiki brings her father to her moms and they become a family which was really hurting Hibiki previously !

    Working!!! EP 13 / “Midday Duel”

    Just another good episode with Sota / Inami going on their date only to put her dad in his place finally by hitting him Meanwhile Yamada is just a joy to watch as always ! Soma doesnt want his picture taken but gets done when Yachiyo annouces she is leaving ! Popura is stiil worried taking over but Sota confirms she is more than ready At the end when he is going to go home with Inami he gets kidnapped ! Oh you thoght this was the final we have a Special 1 HOUR EP 14 “Lord of the Takanashi” Kinda of a final tribute as there is now new manga at all!

    The Heroic Legend of Arslan EP 25 FINAL / “The Highway of Blood and Sweat”

    A nice follow up to the battle ! Again the survivors are treated well and cared for ! Etoile / Estelle learns it was true that Barcacion did kill himself but still is wary of Arslan but is curious as he does not seem to be a normal de-facto King . In fact he asks her yo do a prayer for those who died and doesshow up ! A decision is made to destroy Keep of Saint-Emmanuel and take the survivors with them as most are civilians / wounded and would have a hard time by themselves ! Even though Narsus knows supplies are low he goes by Arslan’s wish as he knows it is better ! Estelle tries to to help the survivors but Elam has to shw ger to do first -aid even after wounding him badly ! Is there a spark there ! Alfrred helps with a newborn after Estelle doesnt know how ! Then Farangis helps her carry water and she expains how Arslan would be a better ruler ! Estelle is amazed Arslan would come to the survivors camp to return her book ! Meanwhile Guiscard is visited by Hermes after he is consisdered a failure but is wiilling to form an alliance after learning Hermes is the Heir to the Throne ! A very uneasy feeling with Hermes ! And we have the return of Gieve who is still on an unknowm mission to prove Arslan should be King ! We need more !

    Gangsta. EP 12 FINAL / “Odds and Ends”

    SPECIAL ? MANGLOBE OUT of Business ! Quire Shocking / I wonder if caused the rush?

    It was an fully packed episode with lots of highkights / almost too much and left with no conclusions ! Felt rushed and incomplete but still compelling! Some complaints about being unfinished but there is not enough material to go on and that there is would be unfair to leave even more of a cliffhangar ! BTW the author is a she and as an illness from cranking out new CHPS ! EOW

    The Nic / Alex segment with Alex havimg a bad dream but Nic is there but is summoned by the Cristano’s after Galahad hasnt come back !

    Joel ( Constances grandmother ) beats Marco with a cane becuse of his affair with Constance who has been kidapped !

    Loretta changing into ( Gunslinger Girl ) attire to go look for Constance as she wants to repay Marco for protecting her !

    Delico / Yang / Heather looking for Erica and Delico are close as he sees her leaping roof to roof !

    The big battle is when Striker shows up at the Monroe camp amd tales down most of the bodyguatds but come up againsy Miles ( long time elder Monroe body guard ) who give Striker a handful ! Looks like Striker won butWorwick attacks one more time gets stabbed but inject Striker with a TranQ shot but gets thrown out of the window !

    BTW before being attacked Miles and Worick think Ivan is A traitor He is quite evil according to sources!

    And what is Monroe up to!

    I guess I Have to read the manga / and the Hunter spinoff ! ** I did and S1 looks like pre-school with whats happens next

    Yona of the Dawn OAD

    They are at a Hot Spring which has comedy but the main story is How Kija has those Scars on his back ! Actually quite a compellibg backstory between him and his dad!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. VERY SAD TO SAY GOODBYE to Summer 2015 / WOW MANGLOBE IS GONE see Gangsta

    Well most of the final ***episodes were fair to good ! A lot of the best Episodes were the week before or earlier such as Non-Non Biyori

    A new trend ( Not too happy with ) God Eater to Jan EPS 10-13 / Working EP 14 / To Love Ru-Darkness EPS 13 to an hour in OCT / of course BBB coming in OCT / Why al these delays / but if look at Charlotte may be they shuld have done the same!

    NOTE I am still not a big fan of the 12 ( One Cour seasons ) It caused a lot of problems for some!

    Now if is this my favorite season so far ?/ Non-Non-Biyori might be one of favorite anime of all-time / School Live broke the rules how canime could be done with a rewtite and just compelling episodes / Working a lot of animes could learn from this ! So those 3 added with others make this a very sdtrong reason to be the best / if not it is on equal footimg with summer 2013 !

    A SPECIAL thought(s) Knights of Sidonia Manga finished with many surprises almost astounding probally could have another CHP but the author hints rwo wiil meet later ( A Spinoff ) Sad to see it finish as it was great sci-fi / space

    With the slow week I got to start Dimension W Sci-fi / action manga soon to be an anime with homage to Tesla ! Think Cowboy Bebop meets Solty Rei ( Two of my older favorite animes (2005 SR is old oh my! ) Interesting to see with Funimation on the Production comittee .

    SUMMER 2015 FAVORITES

    EPISODE(S) of the WEEK / EOW

    Seperate Post This Week / See Above

    TIER 1 Top Favorites

    Weeks 12 / 13 Split

    FINAL No Ties after last EP(s)

    1 Non Non Biyori Repeat Almost had an Episode of the Week Each week Everybody was highlighted but Renge / Natusumi ( The Tadpoles) and Candy Store / Renge( Learning to Ride a Bike ) segments just floored me ! How did they keep up the level! There was a lot of really good anime to overcome ! EOW

    2 Gakkou Gurashi! School Live [purple]READING MANGA[/purple] A Well Deserved 2nd Place Just the way it was presented / the swings / All the different OP’s Ed’s even hints in each episode ! A great rewrite with some changes but reading and watching was done nicely! EOW

    3 Working!!! 3 / Wagnaria!! 3 Almost 2nd But Bravo! / Really the Top 3 are so close it’s on the Podium Great job of almost wrapping things up ! 1 HOUR Final coming EOW

    4 The Heroic Legend of Arslan A Nice stong Finish ! They had to do OAD the last couple of episodes but did a good job! EOW

    5 Gangsta. / Last EP Lots of material / felt rushed and incomplete but still compelling! Some complaints about being unfinished but there is enot enough material to go on and thewhat there is would be unfair to leave even more od a cliffhangar ! BTW the author is a she and as an illnees from cranking out new CHPS ! EOW

    SPECIAL ? MANGLOBE OUT of Business ! Quire Shocking / I wonder if caused the rush?

    6 Senki Zesshou Symphogear GX / S3 Great Finish / a basic story line but the cast is niclely potrrayed. ? Probally more action in some episodes than most show’s for the entire season ! The last EP was so OP but some nice life lessons too ! I dont think no anorher anime has as many songs as S3 Does the list is astounding ! EOW

    7 Gate READING MANGA More To Come Despite different ways of looking at it was had action tragedy / comedy and quite ythe unique cast which they gave a lot of attention yo!
    8 Jokamachi no Dandelion / Castle Town Dandelion A Nice Slice of life / great family / some weak segments but I enjoyed very much / King just wanted his children to pursue their wishes which he could not !

    9 Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma READING MANGA Great series and the Manga is real good the newest Arc is really intense EOW

    10 Durarara!!×2 Ten A lot of new cast made it hard to follow but had some good EPS set up the last cour nicely BTW It might be the craziest showdown(s) yet! EOW

    11 Gatchaman Crowds Insight Good finish felt off now and then but finished very strong EOW

    12 Akagami no Shirayuki Hime / Snow White with the Red Hair Not bad but was up against a strong set of shows A little tweak here and there would make this easily ain m,y Top 10More to come

    13 Sore ga Seiyuu! / Seiyu’s Life Was fun and interesting / great VA guests You could easily an foundation of anime to watch with the Guests / A Hint for more?? EOW

    14 Baby Steps 2 READING MANGA Stuck to the manga which made long matches ! Buy was still a favorite but had great shows ahead of it

    15 World Trigger still an EP left but was steady all along which was a good thing no wild swings New Spinoff coming
    16 Himouto! Umaru-chan Very funny thanks ! I laughed hard each week

    17 Ranpo Kitan: Game of Laplace had its ups and downs but was unique
    18 Ultimate Otaku Teacher A nice conclusion he stayed a teacher but Options let him run the curriculum anyway he wants/ in other words let the students pursue their ambitions with that in mind
    19 Rin-ne [red] This was a fun watch each week ! New SPRING 2016 Cour
    20 Aoharu x Kikanju (Aoharu x Machinegun) [Was interesting to watch More Dynamic and deep than you would think!

    Like

    • Can’t argue with that top three. I’m still chugging through Non Non Biyori myself and, of course, enjoying it a lot along the way.

      Obviously, we differed a bit in our placements for Insight and Shirayuki, but that’s okay. We do have to see somewhat different interests and like with anime, but at the very least I’m glad you were able to enjoy the stuff I liked most this season. 🙂

      Like

  7. SUMMER 2015 / extras

    OVA’S In Order Watched / Some AVG but some good ****

    Haiyore! Nyaruko-san F WATCHED 6 / 4 ****
    Bandit Ban Speicial 1 ****
    Etotama Specials 1 – 4
    Gatchaman Crowds insight EP 0 “Inbound” ****
    Aquarion EVOL OVA / or EP 0 Aquarion Logos
    Sound! Euphonium / Part One Cleaning Instruments
    Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet / Special # 2The Ocean Routes Are Lost In The Distance ****
    Sora no Method/Celestial Method / “Aru Shoujo no Kyujitsu” (A Girl’s Holiday) OVA ****
    Shirobako / “The Third Girls Aerial Squad Episode 1″****
    OverLoad Special (s)
    Strike Witches Operation Victory Arrow Vol. 3: Arnhem no Hashi / A great homage To A Bridge Too Far and the actual WWII Battle ! ****
    Rolling Girls Special Chibi Rolling Girls Korokoro Gekijou Episodes 1-6 Very funny ! ****
    Kamisama Hajimemashita OVA # 1 “Kamisama, Kako ni Tobu” (God, Leaps Into the Past), ****
    Yona of the Dawn OAD ****

    MOVIES

    Psycho-Pass Movie ****
    Taifu no Naruda (Typhoon Noruda)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I watched so many more OVAs this season than normal for me! In particular, the EVOL OVA stood out as a huge love letter to the series—and of course Nyaruko-san F was delightful.

      Also haven’t seen Typhoon Noruda yet, but would really like to.

      Like

  8. Looking forward to more! Glad that you continue with Aniblogging, else I would have no where to look for best girl candidates.

    New anime season is coming and this time I’ll be here to see it from the start.

    Like

  9. I am still looking forward to your planned essay. It’s been some time since I’ve read an essay from an intellectual of some caliber, and it’d do this poor idiot some good to the soul to read.

    I do agree with Gate, while I think I let the reading of the manga color my perceptions of the anime a bit, the series was alright. I would’ve rated it higher but it’s mainly because I had a bit of a nerdgasm as I saw the military hardware in use. Story wise, it SHOULD pick up in the second cour, as the last of the main girls finally appeared. It’s sticking pretty close to the previous media, and to be fair to it, as much as the Japan arc was very cringe-worthy, it wasn’t as annoying as the manga version.

    Again, I’m really looking forward to your essay, and thanks for this, I can’t do aniblogging in the same league you can. Due to your effort and boundless energy, I put you up for two peer-nominated awards. Keep up the work, on to get to my backlog.

    Like

    • Essay’s been backburnered a bit because of the new season, but I’ve already got it outlined and started, so it’ll show up eventually, I’m sure!

      And thank you for reading (and commenting)! Wouldn’t be worth it to me I didn’t have this great handful of people who read all my stuff.

      Like

  10. Everything I watched ranked. As always the list represents personal enjoyment and fondness, and ranks aren’t set in stone.

    Gakkou Gurashi: This season had no masterpiece, but GG came pretty close. The show was at its best in its quiet moments, but the action was generally suspensful. I was curious and took a look at the manga: They reduced the SF content and action/suspense in favour of a more prominent meta aspect (the genre clash comes out better in the anime) and for more sentimentality. On the whole, I thought that was a good choice, but they occassionally overdid it on both counts. However, those were some of the creepiest zombies I’ve seen to date; and a lot of it is that you see their effects far more often than you actually see them. The show did a good job focussing on what the zombie apocalypse would do to your head.

    Non Non Biyori Repeat: Like last season, only better. It’s just so relaxing to watch, and sometimes it’s surprisingly poignant. The relationship between Renge and Candy Store remains the series highlight.

    Working!!!: It’s Working, one of my favourite anime comedies. It’s exactly what you’d expect, if you’ve seen the others.

    Shimoneta: I loved the first episode, and around episode 4 there was an awesome turning point for the show. Unfortunetely, the show turned in the wrong direction, undermining its satire in favour of silly serial jokes. Pity about the wasted potential, but I don’t care too much. I had lots of fun with this one (though there were some “dirty jokes” I could have done without).

    Monster Musume: The show that gives monster of the week a new meaning. It’s an ecchi comedy full of shameless fanservice. Unlike Shimoneta, it’s not really clever either. So how come it’s one of the shows I enjoyed the most this season? They really, really, really make the monster part count. Nyaruko isn’t about Lovecraft. Monster Musume is about Monsters. And they’re just misunderstood (unless they’re male; then they’re villains).

    Jitsu wa Watashi Wa: It’s a bit like last seasons Yamada, except with slapstick instead of wit. It’s not as good as Yamada, and it’s certainly not as consistent, but when it’s good it’s just as adorable. I have a soft spot for this show. The trio of the main character’s friends were an excellent addition: they struck the right balance between teasing and support.

    Rokka no Yuusha: Servicable plot to support a stylish fantasy show. I’d definitely watch a second season, even though I’m not sure how to take that ending (I imagine a never-ending line of sevenths; the hero production line is running unmanned…)

    Symphogear: The show gets both shallower and better each season. Embrace the campiness. The less genuine the emotions the better. Stlyish pictures, passionate signing, and a plot like a domino chain reaction. This one’s a winner.

    Durarara!!: It’s Durarara. Also, I only recently realised this: Line up the tags of the various cours of the second season and you get: shou-ten-ketsu. So the first season is “Ki”? Google “Kishotenketsu”, if you don’t know what I mean (because I don’t know how to provide links). Basically, kishoutenketsu is a four-part narrative structure originating in China; would be interesting to see if the seasons actually line up like that.

    Classroom Crisis: The sum is more than its parts (even when some parts – the sf-trappings mostly – are tacked on for style). Distinct character design and secure writing kept all the characters distinct and recognisable, even if they didn’t have much of a role. I found the political back-and-forth sometimes hard to follow, but that’s okay. I could have done without psycho-brother, and none of the romance worked for me at all. And despite all that I’m quite fond of the show. Also: Angelina: best ninja fight scenes in a while.

    Himouto Umaru Chan: It’s consistently funny: a show full of one-trick-ponies playing off each other well. There’s nothing whatsoever special about this one, but it’s good straight-forward fun.

    Jokumachi no Dandelion: Fun fluff, with some touching moments standing out. I really, really like the show’s character design. Random anecdote: I really didn’t care who would become King. I wasn’t actually sure they’d be getting to the election, so I started taking notice when they were suddenly saying “one month to go”. At the beginning of the final episode, I knew who would be King. It wasn’t a guess; it was certainty. I could have been wrong, but I wasn’t. People who paid more attention probably guessed it earlier; there’s a point in the story where the narrative logic falls into place. The point of saying this? The show’s better written than I initially gave it credit for. Also, this show had one of the season’s most satisfying finales. In the end, instead of being about the election, it’s really a feel-good show about family being nice to each other. (Definitely worth picking up again, I’d say.)

    Ushio to Tora: Tora is the tsundere of the season. This is good old-fashioned anime. It’s backwards in just about every way imaginable. And for some reason that turns out well. Once upon a time a lot of anime were like this. Oh the nostalgia. Heh.

    Akagami no Shirayuki Hime: Trapped in their ideals, the main characters fail to be interesting. Luckily, they’re likable, nonetheless. It’s one of the prettiest anime of the season, but I don’t like the deliberate disney-fairy-tale feel. I’d have liked the show more had it been about how to be a court herbalist rather than how about to be in love with a prince. The basics are there; there’s just not arranged in a manner I find compelling.

    Ore Monogatari: Oh you frustrating show you. There’s a certain stereotypical masculinity running through the show that I don’t really like, and it’s not only Takeo, but also Suna. I actually like them both individually, but in the show they create a trend that’s sort of… pushing me away. The show keeps setting up common pitfalls of the shoujo genre, only to avoid them. And occasionally it’s really great while doing so. Surprisingly, I find myself sort of missing the show, even though I never fully enjoyed it. Up to the end, this show confuses me.

    Gangsta: The first episode didn’t convince me, but I expected worse. Noir feel and anime usually don’t go together too well for me. The coming episodes convinced me. I actually appreciate the way the expended the setting. The best thing about the show are the quiet character moments; this is not an anime that talks feelings too death, but they come across well enough. Sadly, I’ll remember this as the anime that didn’t end, just stop.

    Idolmaster Cinderella Girls: The second season of the show, and I actually quite like it. This time round, the producer is actually a character in his own right (by being professionally competent, but socially awkward and chronically incapable of expressing himself), and I found they did a good job with cross-generation idol interaction. I only wish the shows big antagonist weren’t such an awful caricature of a “career woman”. Oh, well.

    Gate: Otaku soldier: lo and behold, a world to cater to your fetish. A power fantasy to replenish your ego. A cosy frontier. And it’s mostly pleasently entertaining, too. This is a split cour, right?

    Wakaba Girl: Watch, enjoy, forget. The short format works charms for this one. I didn’t have time to grow tired of it, and I’m sort of fond of the show, mostly for the titular character.

    Overlord: Started out interesting, but didn’t stay so for very long. Still, the melancholy mood of the show remains. I’d probably watch a second season, but if they never make one that’s okay, too.

    Venus Project Climax: They didn’t have a great budget and it shows, but it’s actually decently entertaining.

    Aoharu x Kikanjuu: Now here’s an odd one. I went into this show fully expecting to drop it. I’ve seen too many “survival game” shows lately (and only really enjoyed Sabagebu, because it was a spoof), and this one didn’t seem to stand out. Did I like it? Not much. Did I dislike it? No. My overall feeling is one of indifference. And, yet, every other episode there would be that one moment that makes watching the show worthwhile, and so you don’t drop it just yet, and next thing you know the show is over. I’ll remember it as a dull show with excellent moments. The biggest oddity is that the show has one of my favourite male characters this season: Yukimura, delightfully performed by Matsuoka Yoshitsugu. I pretty much liked every scene he was in. This show would be much, much lower on this list without him.

    Chaos Dragon: Everything about the show was bad. The story was bad. The characters were bad. There was awful GCI, and the non-CGI bits looked silly, too. No, wait, the ED wasn’t bad. I liked the ending. And yet… the show was so consistently bad that pushed out the other side and kind of worked, like an Ed Wood film. This is entertaining trash. It’s bad, but I don’t care.

    Miss Monochrome the Animation: I was surprised to find how much I liked the first season, so this season decided to balance things out by surprising me by how little I enjoyed it. There was one stand-out episode, though: Battery Bishounen. That’s what the show does best.

    Okusama ga Seitou Kaichou!: Too porny for me, which is why I initially dropped it. After a recommendation from an online friend who likes ecchi, I picked it up again. I did enjoy it more than I expected to, but in this case that only means I didn’t hate it. Some of the humour was actually funny, and Taketatsu Ayana did great in the leading role (I can never recognise her; Asebi in Ben-to, Sawatari Fu in Tamayura…) Good enough for a short, nothing to write home about.

    Dropped:

    Aquarion Logos: Boring.

    Charlotte: Congratulations: the first PA Works show I dropped.

    Gatchaman Crowds Insight: Lost good-will from the first season and then a series of irritations reached critical mass around the time Gelsadera (sp?) announced that s/he’d like to become prime minister. Everyone seemed to like the show, so I read summaries and watched the finale to see whether I should pick it up again. No, sorry. Fingernails on blackboard, this show.

    Million Doll: Meh.

    Sore ga Seiyuu: Wasn’t bad, wasn’t good, wasn’t much of anything.

    Danchigai: So forgettable that I almost forgot I dropped it.

    Prison School: I lasted about 10 minutes. Not my thing.

    Makura no Danshi: You have to see an episode of this…

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    • Gakkou Gurashi‘s zombies really were creepy! They did a nice job of using the naturally jerky CG to create an unnerving effect, particularly when there were crowds of the things around.

      And yup, GATE‘s split cour. Will be back in the winter.

      I do agree that the battery episode was Miss Monochome‘s best this season—although obviously I enjoyed it on the whole more than you did.

      Bummer about insight, but yeah, it’s not for everyone. If you ask me, it does a lot of preaching to the choir. It’s just that kind of show.

      Like

  11. Final scores for the shows I have watched this season:

    Cream of the crops:

    School-live!: 9/10. The best anime of the season. From the story to characters, animation to soundtrack and voice acting, this one is the closest to being perfect this season. It is both intense and emotional, backed up by strong writing even if sometimes I feel the zombie element should be focused on more.

    Snow White with Red Hair: 8/10. A very lovely and relaxing anime. Animation is gorgeous and music is excellent. A bit boring at times, but development are great and believable. Snow White is without a doubt, best female character of the season.

    Prison School: 7/10. It’s raw and unsettling to watch. However, the story and characters are surprisingly charming. The fan service is lame and repetitive, though, and the inconsistent animation makes some scenes difficult for me to get through.

    Good but not that great:

    Gate: 6/10. It blends military and fan service in a not-so-well manner. All battles so far are one-sided. The JDSF has not lost a single person in combat and they have killed like thousands enemies or so. The real life politics are bullshit level, with Rory being a weapon into the court room.

    Charlotte: 6/10. The first half is too slow. The last 3 episodes are rushed as hell. One of the poorest writing I have even seen. This anime is specifically made for no-brainers because it literally throws an onion at us just to make us cry. A shame because the animation and sound are very solid.

    Castletown Dandelion: 6/10. I don’t find a lot of awful things about this show, but at the same time, nothing really stands out. Not enough fan service and family issues.

    Overlord: 6/10. Some people say it is rushed, but if that is the case, I wonder what would happen if the anime followed the LN more closely, since it is painfully slow as it is right now. Main character is way too OP and I just stopped caring about him halfway through.

    Average to poor:

    Gangsta: 5/10. Started well but WTF is that ending? Since Manglobe went bankrupt, I have to take this as the permanent ending without any prospect of a season 2. Animation is a disaster.

    Rokka: Braves of the Six Flower: 3/10. Again, shit ending. No final fight scene. I will maintain this rating until the next season arrives. Bad animation and poor characterization. I only care about Adlet throughout the whole anime. The rest can get raped and die.

    Ranpo: Game of Laplace: 4/10. I don’t understand the meaning of this anime, nor what it is trying to do. It’s not plot heavy and it’s not mystery or anything. Why was this even made?

    Aoharu x Machine Gun: 4/10. Stopped being funny after 2 episodes. Again, what is the point of this anime again?

    Actually, I am a Vampire: 4/10. What is up with vampires this day? I can’t stand watching another movie or anime where vampires don’t burn and die under sunlight, or suck blood, or fear crosses and garlic. The comedy is a hit or miss. I rate this lower than average because I would rather watch Chibi Vampire than this.

    Bottom of the barrel:

    Monster Girl: 0/10. Sexism and racism are two of things I abhor the most. Unfortunately, this anime has both of them. Monster Girl puts the harem genre back at least a decade.

    Shimoneta: -10/10. During the Holocaust, some people also liked to wear a jacket saying “I am a Jew and I am proud of it” out in the street of Berlin. They were never seen again. History continues to deny their existence.

    Overall, an okayish season. No guilty pleasure this time around, but Fall seems to be packed with it.

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