Summer 2016 Anime Launchpad

The way this blog has been lately, you’d almost think I wasn’t even watching any anime this season (that would be false).

Konobi

Here’s a secret: I’m still not caught up on all the shows I want to be watching this season. After some liberal cutting that pretty much purged everything I found disposable from my schedule, I wound up with a grand total of eleven (11) shows I’m following this season. Whether or not I actually finish all of them remains to be seen, but past trends considered this seems to be the range I’m most comfortable in nowadays. I’m also kind of enjoying being behind, as practical limitations to burning through huge numbers of episodes has generally meant that catching right away was impossible—which has sort of freed me from the feeling that I have to be caught up. It’s a nice place to be, as I’ve been fitting in a lot of backlog shows around weekly episodes and enjoying longer marathons of this season’s offerings.

So, what I am watching and enjoying this season?

Well, without a doubt my favorite thing airing right now is (still) Macross Delta. I’ve been watching the episodes raw each Sunday, but even for this I haven’t been watching the subs immediately after they come out—a testament to how completely my need to be caught up right away has been broken. Volume 1 of the Japanese BDs (here’s a Storify of the unboxing if you’d like to see it) and the first Walkure album both arrived recently, so I’ve been drowning in Delta related merchandise as the show continues to move forward and generally be amazing. As much as I’m enjoying it, I don’t actually have too many in-depth thoughts to share—although I expect, as with Macross generally, I’ll have many things to say about it for a long time after it’s finished airing. But for now, I’m just enjoying the ride.

With Delta being in a league of its own, the proper first-tier of this seasons shows was made up of Regalia: The Three Sacred StarsAmanchu!orange, and 91 Days. I use the past tense, though, as Regalia‘s broadcast was sadly canceled until it resumes in September due to production issues (a very weird thing). I don’t list Regalia first on accident—the combination of well-animated 2D robots, cool fights, and a surprisingly familiar and solid-feeling narrative and cast quickly endeared the show to me. It’s the very definitino of a pet show for me; I don’t think there was anything I was looking forward to more each week than Regalia. I’ll miss it a great deal while it’s gone, but thankfully it’s coming back (hopefully looking good!).

Amanchu!, which I’ve already written about once this season, has been another favorite, not least because of how completely its visual (and audio, I suppose) aesthetics appeal to me. While Pikari is great, it’s really Teko who is making the show what it is from a character standpoint, bringing her relatable anxiety (filtered through her cute mannerisms) out for us to witness and empathize with. That Amanchu! is able to do that within a thematic context that embraces the sea and through Junichi Satou’s unique kind of execution makes it stand out all the more for me. It’s not just a fluffy show, but man does it feel nice to watch. [Sidenote: I’ve been teaching myself to draw and wowow has that given me a huge appreciation for how pretty the drawings in this show are.]

I haven’t watched orange since its premiere, but I don’t have any issues with being behind on it. I’m certain it will be good, so all that’s waiting for me there is the joy of getting to watch it be good multiple episodes in a row.

Amanchu!

91 Days was not a show I expected to be up there among my favorite for the season, but here we are and it’s put itself in good company with an odd blend of punchy comedy (reaction face dog, anyone?), solid character work (really excellent use of the OP for characterization, anybody?), great visual direction (earth tones, guys?), and, of course, a great grasp of its Prohibition Era setting. The fundamentals are really strong here; you can tell this is an experienced staff at work. Who knows if the show will actually end up offering the real sort of weight necessary to make it memorable long after it’s aired, but for now it’s very good fun. Personally, I don’t have much expectation of the former happening, but you never know and it’s fun to hope.

The next level of shows (these are levels by enjoyment, not my normal “value” judgements, by the way) includes Love Live! SunshineNew Game!Mob Psycho 100, and Sweetness and Lightning. It’s an interesting batch, primarily because the strengths here are so different. With Sunshine we’re getting more of the polished Love Live! formula in a way that I think is very good. I don’t understand the complaints that have been leveled at it for referencing the original in structure, cute callbacks, and tone—but then again, I’m a fan of the franchise that basically pioneered this sort of stuff (Macross). So maybe I’m not the best person to ask about it, but apparently it really rubs some people the wrong way. If that’s you, please explain in the comments why this is so—I’m curious! [Sidenote: Hanamaru best girl, zura~]

 

To continue the pattern I started but got distracted in the middle of… with New Game! we’re getting a solid cute slice-of-life with a setting that allows for just enough adult reliability to feel relatable, but not so much that it gets heavy. With Mob Psycho 100 we’re getting a sakuga feast that also has a (hallelujah!) solid emotional base to it. And with Sweetness and Lightning we’re getting a frequently touching depiction of unconditional parental love and a whole lot of inspiration to mix our normally kind of plain and rote diets. At least, that very last part is relevant to me.

This is an interesting tier of shows, because while I’m enjoying all of them a great deal, it’s not been in the kind of way that would make me want to call them “favorites,” per se. I know that’s a rather finicky and subjective and ill-defined idea (I continue to maintain that people always underestimate how much of my anime-watching, at least in terms of picking what to view, is driven by whims), but I’m starting to suspect there’s an element of wanting the shows that I consider favorites to be my favorites in play here. Or, perhaps it’s just that the things I like about my favorites I happen to value more than the things I like about the shows in this second tier. In other words, I have no idea, really. Go watch Regalia or something.

Mob Psycho 100

So, what’s left after that? Well, there’s Konobi, which has thankfully turned out far cuter than I expected given the first episode. There’s D. Gray Man, which I fell behind on to great benefit since it’s really better marathoned in chunks than watched weekly. And there’s the Show by Rock! shortswhich I never fell behind on despite forgetting them every week. Of these, Konobi‘s probably the most notable, as it’s recovered from a first episode I found kind of yucky when it wasn’t behind super well-executed. In-love Ari Ozawa characters are basically always a joy, and she’s in prime form here, although Mizuki not being quite as delusional as Chiyo means her range has been limited somewhat. Oh well.

And that’s it for airing stuff! Elsewhere, I’m alternating between Eureka 7 (30/50 episodes done), Martian Successor Nadesico (10/26),  Kuromukuro (9/12), and rewatching Gundam Build Fighters (12/25). They are, respectively: classic BONES stuff, an absolute riot, super solid from top to bottom, and just as fun as I remembered. Yes, indeed my friends, the robots have well and truly captured my heart. And it feels good. It feels good.

So, what have you guys been watching this season—currently airing or otherwise! Let’s have at it down in the comments!

Martian Successor Nadesico

12 thoughts on “Summer 2016 Anime Launchpad

  1. I’ve also been watching 11 shows this season, but I’m finding it a bit more overwhelming than it seems like you are, largely because I’m not used to keeping up with everything I want to watch in any given season. It’s been a surprisingly good season overall though–wasn’t expecting that.

    91 Days – I’m enjoying it for pretty much the same reasons you are, with the added benefit for me that the Prohibition era is pretty much my favorite historical setting. Major potential.

    Sweetness & Lightning – Adorable and surprisingly relatable, especially given that I really don’t like children. I do hope they develop the characters a bit more and move the plot forward beyond just episodic meal prep and cute fluff, but even if that’s all it is I think I’ll like it. I do think there’s some potential to delve into what Kotori is to Kouhei, what he and Tsumugi are to her, and how their respective backstories led them to where they are in greater detail, but I’m almost not expecting the show to do that, unfortunately. Seems like too much potential for drama, and it’s leaning into the iyashikei spectrum a little too hard for that.

    Amanchu! – Unexpected favorite of the season, tied with Mob Psycho 100. Fills the gap in my heart left behind by Flying Witch, though I daresay I almost think it’s better. Also love the muppet faces. All hail the muppet faces.

    Konobi – Actually better than I expected. Story and characters aren’t great, except for Mizuki and Collette, but the animation is surprisingly good when it wants to be. Also the shoe sakuga was great.

    Mob Psycho 100 – The combination of animation and artwork are obviously superlative and very distinctive, but Mob as a character is really compelling, which is surprising because he doesn’t seem like he should be. The direction is really solid too. Episode 3 completely blew me away–was not expecting that, but I cannot wait for more now.

    Momokuri – Picked it up for the delicious trope subversion, stayed for the fun character interactions and relatable supporting cast (Norika is the Japanese schoolgirl version of me in so many ways). I’m pretty sure I’m the only one that likes this show though.

    New Game! – First couple episodes were great as they kept a large part of the focus on actual work-related things, which was interesting. The bit about Aoba designing her first character and the drinking party were both excellent. But the last episode strayed from that, which has been my fear with this show all along–that the interesting setting would fade into the background and the show would devolve into pure moefloof. It hasn’t happened yet, but if it goes three or four episodes in that vein I’m going to be tempted to drop it, even though I really want the management game they announced to come West regardless.

    Orange – One of the few instances where I think the anime is hands-down better than the manga–it’s almost a shot for shot adaptation, but each shot is fleshed out, the artwork is considerably better in the anime, the music does so much to enhance the emotions of each scene, and the seiyuu have been really solid at communicating how each character is feeling along with what they say, which gets a bit lost in the manga’s muddy artwork.

    ReLIFE – Expected to drop this one early, but the premise hooked me since I have a thing for plots that explore the whole “what would you do if you could go back and redo your past” thing. While that’s not strictly what happens in the show, it’s close enough, and the characters and their interactions are fun enough, and there’s been just enough drama and mystery about the nature of the ReLIFE experiment to keep me engaged.

    The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. – Pretty sure I’m the only person I know of watching this one, but I find it to be raucously hilarious. Feels a lot like School Rumble if it had shades of Gintama’s absurdity. It’s easily my favorite comedy this season.

    Taboo Tattoo – It’s terrible, and the very worst side of me loves it for how much it glories in its own crassness. The character designs also pander pretty hardcore to my tastes. I loathe it, but I’m still enjoying it and I have no excuse whatsoever for doing so.

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  2. Yay, you’re back!

    I am all over the place this season too, staying right on top of some shows and letting others slide. It’s all good, though, since I’m still watching plenty of stuff, just not all the seasonal stuff.

    So I ultimately picked up six new shows for this season. In order of favorites thus far:

    Sweetness & Lightning. Thoroughly and unabashedly my kind of series. Good characters, an enjoyable and heartwarming story, and it’s going to be a massive upset if anyone else dethrones Tsumugi as my favorite character of the season. I took advantage of a recent RightStuf sale to buy the first volume of the manga, and I suspect the anime is also going to be a “buy” once it comes out.

    Food Wars 2. Not as crisp and well-paced as the first season, and it feels like the animation budget’s been cut. But it’s still Food Wars, and Food Wars is still really good stuff, even if it’s being adapted on the cheap(er).

    Amanchu. Already talked about this a little in the other post. I am getting used to the muppet faces now after a few more episodes of them, so that’s less of an issue, and everything else about it is still as strong as ever.

    Orange. Have only watched the first episode so far, but I really liked it.

    Love Live Sunshine. Have also only watched the first episode so far (thanks a lot, Funi. grumble, grumble…) Haven’t really seen enough of it yet to address your question about callbacks, but knowing myself I doubt I’ll have a major issue with that.

    Rewrite. If a VN adaptation is supposed to make you want to buy the visual novel, then Rewrite’s doing its job. Not because the anime version is amazing, but because it’s so stunningly mediocre that it’s hard to believe it’s supposed to be adapting the best VN Key ever made (and this coming from someone who LIKES Key’s stuff). So now I’m curious to play it just to know why it’s so popular. I finally had a chance to show all of Kanon to my Mom during my vacation a few weeks ago (she loved it, BTW), and watching Rewrite right after Kanon just makes the gap in quality between their respective anime versions painfully obvious.

    Carryovers (two from Spring):

    I haven’t gotten to any new episodes of Macross Delta since the Summer season began, but I WILL catch up eventually. I was enjoying it too much not to.

    Twin Star Exorcists. I do like the art style and the story, but 90% of the reason I started this show in the first place was for Rokuro & Benio, and the whole premise that they were destined to end up together even though they don’t initially like each other. “Hate or indifference growing slowly into love” are some of my favorite romances when they’re done well. And whatever other faults the show has, I have zero complaints about the way it’s developed Rokuro & Benio’s relationship. The two have great chemistry, they play off each other beautifully, and the pace and progression of their partnership so far has been entirely believable. As long as TSE keeps getting that right, I’ll gladly go right on watching.

    Other stuff I’ve watched lately:

    Since my parents have a Blu-Ray player and I still don’t yet (though I do plan to buy a PS4 in the next few months), I took full advantage of my vacation time to watch some of the Blu-Rays I’ve picked up recently:
    *Kiki’s Delivery Service. Still one of my favorite Ghibli movies. Another one I showed my Mom, and she thoroughly enjoyed it too.
    *Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha the Movie 1st. Imported from Japan last fall, was very happy to finally be able to watch my own copy and not the fansub (and it looks gorgeous on BD!)
    *Persona 4 The Animation, part 1 (eps. 1-12). Great adaptation of one of my favorite games; bought it blind, and ended up blowing through it in about two days. Now I’m just waiting on RightStuf’s next Sentai sale so I can pick up the rest of the series.
    *Paprika. Borrowed from a friend and watched on DVD back in April, and wasted no time picking up a BD copy for myself. Enjoyed it just as much on the re-watch. Great movie!

    Along with those, I snuck in a short 3-episode OVA, Hori-san to Miyamura-kun. Good little slice-of-life romance series with a very likeable pair of lead characters, two really nice kids with great chemistry together. I found out Yen Press is releasing the manga in the US under the title “Horimiya,” and I’ve requested the first 2 volumes through the library so I can read it.

    I also just borrowed the rest of Fullmetal Alchemist 2003 from one of my friends, so I’m ready to get back to watching that again, after being stuck at episode 17 for the last couple of months.

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  3. Orange and 91 Days are both at the top of my list this season, but I’m also enjoying Amaama to Inazuma and Cheer Danshi – the latter of which, wonder of wonders, actually showcases decent writing and zero fanservice. In fact, it seems to be a sports anime that doesn’t pander to any gender, and with its college rather than high school setting on top of that, I feel like I can’t not support it.

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  4. Welcome back!

    This season has been a lot slow… not watching many shows, but we’ve been moving and summer is busy as usual. The summers here in the Pacific Northwet are brief, but we make the most of them! 🙂

    Anyhow, off to the Wall!

    (Except for the stalls and Love Live!, my lady and I are watching all of these together.)

    Battery; Isn’t generating much buzz, probably because it’s over on Amazon Prime… but is shaping up as an excellent sports anime. And by excellent I mean it’s spending a lot of time and energy on the characterizations rather than just filling screentime with game play. (It’s very reminiscent of Aokana in that respect.) Three episodes in, and they’ve only just now taken the field in uniform and that just for practice. This works for me because what happened there built so naturally from the first two episodes. If you have an Amazon subscription, check it out.

    Handa-Kun; We’re a week behind, but so far, but I dunno. It’s not a bad show per se, it’s just kinda there. I think that now all the characters are on the board, it might start ramping up. I also think that if it weren’t associated with Barakamon, I might have dropped it already. Mostly because coming on the heels of Sakamoto, it doesn’t stand up well on it’s own.

    Love Live! Sunshine!!; I’m in the “the callbacks are [censored] annoying camp”. It’s not the existence of the callbacks and references… they make sense in-universe where the Love Live! contest and μ’s are Really Big Deals and are widely known. But too many of the callbacks and references rely on things we the omniscient viewer know that Chika could not (or should not) know in-universe and this keeps ripping me out of the show.

    Aside from that, and disregarding the “putting the band together” tropes (because without a band, there’s no show), it’s actually not bad. There’s a nice assortment of characters, and they (mostly) aren’t μ’s clones. (Though, thinking about, it’s not so much cloning μ’s as it is idol anime tropes.) The plot, aside from the aforementioned tropes, is actually fairly well done. If they’d just back off the callbacks and let it stand on it’s own two feet, Sunshine!! could be a decent show in it’s own right. Instead, it’s just mediocre.

    I’m withholding committing to Best Girl until Kanan gets some screentime. Until then, Riko will do.

    Momokuri; Serious trope subversion and lampshading on the scale of OreMono. It does lean a little on a couple of running gags, but they’ve become less prevalent and the show more enjoyable now that they’re introducing the supporting cast and expanding the plotline rather than relying just on the two MC’s.

    Naria Girls; Hideous animation and worse dialog… dropped thirty seconds after the end of the OP. Not an all time record, but probably no further down than second or third place.

    New Game! ; Stalled after ep2. Too many caricatures err… characters thrown at us all at once, resulting in a muddled and not all that attractive mess.

    orange; [fanboy swoon] Everything I’d hoped for in an anime adaption (I’ve read the manga) and more. I’ve been mostly following in the fora rather than commenting, and it’s been interesting watching people, like the blind men and the elephant, trying a figure out what’s going on. In the next episode or two, the Big Reveal should happen – will they see it coming or no? It has been hinted at… (Sometimes the fora are amazingly prescient, others they have the attention span of a hyperactive hamster – the orange fora threads tend somewhat towards the latter because they’re concentrating on Naho and missing the forest for the trees.) My only real concern is pacing – we’re up to episode 5, and with only 8 episodes left fitting in the two remaining arcs plus the finale and subsidiary material is going to be tight. Something is going to end up being cut, and I don’t envy the director that decision.

    Planetarian; Simple awesome… Funimation’s tagline is spot on in that respect – you should be watching. Slowly, episode by episode, it’s been gathering steam – and the finale next week should be a feels train of massive proportions. I’m both dreading it and looking forward to it.

    That being said, I’d love to see more shows like this – short seasons saying what needs to be said and doing what needs to be done without any filler.

    Sweetness and Lightning; Another standout this season… A nearly pitch perfect adaption of the manga. No, there’s not much drama, but I don’t find that to be a problem. It’s a slice-of-life show more like Gourmet Girl Graffiti and less like Bunny Drop. (And the sooner people stop trying to shoehorn it into Drop‘s mold, the happier I’ll be.) Kotori’s characterization is a bit weak, but Tsumugi’s is turned up to a wonderful eleven.

    This Art Club Has a Problem; Stalled after episode 2. Not because the show is particularly bad, but because when I’m pressed for time it’s not particularly attractive to spend time on.

    Time Travel Girl; Stalled after episode 1, probable drop.

    In other news… We watched the Euph and Locodol OVA’s on Crunchy, and both were excellent. I really recommend the Euph OVA as it tells the tale of the band members, particularly Hazuki, who didn’t make the cut and who virtually disappeared from the main show after episode 9. This lead me to rewatch Euph itself, which I still love. I’m so stoked for season two.

    Speaking of rewatches, I also rewatched Aokana: Four Rhythm Across the Blue. Didn’t mean to, but I watched a couple of eps and before I knew it I’d watched the whole thing again. I also rewatched most of Yama no Susume while we were moving (a perfect stress reliever), and really should pick up and finish it.

    Watched the first ep of Kuromukuro, and we’re both intrigued. Our schedule has been a bit busy to watch more though…

    And there you have it… this weeks Wall, looking forward to next week!

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    • I can’t tell you how much I wish that Eupho had been licensed by ANYONE other than Pony Canyon. Even at Aniplex standard edition prices I would’ve bought it with no hesitation. Well as long as it stays up for streaming for a good long time, that’s goo enough. I hope I can find time to watch it again myself before S2 comes out…that and Saekano, I’d like to rewatch both.

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    • Thanks to Dawnstorm’s reminder, after watching today’s ep of Sweetness and Lightning we checked out Bananya. My lovely lady said it best – “cute, weird but cute”.

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  5. This is the season where I’m getting a bit tired of watching a lot of anime, so I’ve dropped stuff I’d probably have kept only last season. An example would be Regalia which I found slightly cute and mildly entertaining, but I’m cutting down on anime time, and so this is one of the casualies. Similarly, Taboo Tattoo which wasn’t actually that bad, and I liked the characters, but the ecchi designs/camera was too annoying, so – bye. There are a couple of shows I might have watched earlier, but don’t this season.

    This is a strange season for me in another respect. Re:Life was great, and it’s part of this season, but because they released it all at once, I’ve finished it weeks ago, and it doesn’t feel part of this season. I’m similarly confused about Momokuri, as I’ve been watching the web-version, and now it’s part of this TV season…

    Both these shows are excellent:

    Re:Life is, above all, a meditation of what you can do to help people, and when you’re going too far and should leave them to figure out stuff for their own. This works across multiple relationship-types: the staff of the Re:Life project wonder about how much they should interfere (and struggle with too much/too little). Our Re:Life protagonist struggles with passing on advice from his life experience, or leaving them to it (and he has personal baggage that also concerns this question). Pretty much everything I thought would be a gimmick to give us yet another high-school comedy was actually there for a point. Mediocre visual, but pretty much everything else is spot on. Every ending has a different song, and while I’m not expert, I think the music style reflects the age of the protagonist. I heartily recommend the show. It’s among the season’s best.

    Momokuri gets another vote. The show uses the main girl’s stalker gimmick as a spring board for the usual it’s-okay-to-be-yourself message that anime does exceedingly well. It’s not that you don’t have flaws, or that you shouldn’t learn to cut down on them. But your flaws also don’t make you a bad person, and your friends are there for you to compensate. There’s no magical chemistry between the main characters, in the sense that they immediately understand each other. They just build their relationship day by day – both them jumping into it for – initially – silly reasons. And none of that would work if the support cast weren’t so stellar. Everyone of their friends has their own personality. Kuri has a single best friend, while Momo is part of a circle of friends. And the group dynamics that engenders are excellent and believable. Momokuri doesn’t beat you over the head with its strength, so it’s easy to underestimate the show early on. I know I did.

    I absolutely second what Derek said about Planetarian. Don’t miss this one. It’s that rare bird, a slow, poetic post-apocalyptic show. It’s just beautiful. I’m not kidding when I say that this is probably the best thing I’ve seen from Key, which means it beats Clannad Afterstory. It’s that good. The mood, the pacing… everything is perfect. I, too, am equally dreading and looking forward to the finale.

    Sweetness and Lightning is better than I thought it would be. I wasn’t fond of Tsumugi’s design, when I saw the promo art. The round eyes, the wild hair… it felt like stale, calculated cuteness and didn’t really get to me. But in animated form? Man, is she adorable. Her movements and voice give her sense of authenticity that the design doesn’t have. The result is a best-of-both-worlds effects: you get calculated cuteness that’s actually extremely cute. Meanwhile, the background story and the cooking angle give it a sense of… texture that’s really good for the show. A winner, too.

    Mob Psycho 100 didn’t strike as me as very good at the first episode. Sure the animation was excellent, but story seemed… meh. However, since then every episode’s been better than the one before, and now I’m actually looking forward to it each week. I wasn’t expecting much, because I found One Punch Man a one-trick pony. This one isn’t.

    91 Days would be much higher on my list if it were my genre (the order in this post isn’t a ranking; it’s just the order I think of the shows). I love the visuals, and I definitely love the direction (I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve ever seen from Kaburagi). A good example would be scene where the kids throw stuff into the offered caps. Some give them candy, other candy wrappers. There’s a rubber band. And then one of the kids throws a grasshopper into the cap which immediately leaps away. There’s so much to take in during the scene, and the timing leaves you just with a sense of it – a rich moment gone before you could appreciate it all properly. The show walks the line between emotional poignancy and unashamed camp very well. Oh, and it’s so pretty, too.

    New Game is cute, and I’m growing fonder of it each week (pretty much a staple with this director: the same thing happened with GJ Bu and Mikakunin de Shinkoukei – though not with Plastic Memories, which was a roller coaster of affection and annoyance from start to finish).

    Art Club is getting better as the rest of the cast comes in.

    Battery was my pick for anime of the season and… it’s been a let down. The story is good, and the characters are interesting. But it just feels… off? I thought the previews looked really good, but the anime itself… didn’t? Did I fool myself? I’m mostly confused, since sports isn’t my genre, so I have little reason. I thought this would be the baseball version of Kids on the Slope. Well, it’s not. Don’t get me wrong. I’m sounding negative, but that’s just because I’m expressing my disappointment, and I’m baffled what went wrong. The show’s actually still good, and I am looking forward to it each week.

    Speaking of sports, had you told me last season that I’ll enjoy Cheer Danshi more than Battery I’d have given you a strange look and said, “Maybe.” But that’s how it turned out: Cheer Danshi is a legitimately good sports show. It’s not perfect, but it’s got a cast of varied and likable characters, and a background story that makes sense. It’s got good humour and the occasional spot of weirdness. It’s a well-balanced, fun sports show.

    I’m in two minds about Orange. It’s good, but the core of the show just doesn’t appeal to me. It’s… I’m not sure what it is. I don’t much like the cast, for starters. I wouldn’t want to be in their circle of friends. I definitely don’t like Kakeru. If that was all, I wouldn’t watch the show, especially not this season where I drop things left and right. But they’re interesting, all of them, and the show’s good at portraying their emotions. Everyone makes sense. Now, I don’t have to like the characters to enjoy the show, but the problem is that I get the sense I’m meant to like them. There’s a rift – maybe a life-style incompatibility? – between me an the show, a sense that it’s not for me. It’s a feeling particular to romance shows: I’ve had it for Bokura ga Ita (which I’ve dropped with no regrets), and to a lesser extent with Paradise Kiss (which I keep meaning to come back to, because it’s really good once I forget about that feeling). It’s also present in Ao Haru Ride and others. It’s related to the treatment of jealousy and bento-making, among other things. If I had a blog, exploring this might be worth a post. It bothers me because it keeps me from fully enjoying otherwise great shows. But it’s complex and I don’t have good handle on it. Hm…

    Time Travel Girl is a cute kids show. I’m sticking with it for now, because I find it charming. The teaching-kids-science angle, though, has made me check out Mari + Galli, an isekai show where a goth loli who thinks science is boring gets trapped in Galihabara until she learns to love science. It’s completely wacky: Charles Darwin has evolved into a robot and is responsible for a plague of robot bunnies, which breed during a thunderstorm because lightning is power. Watch this one instead. It’s hilarious. (Do I need to say that humour is subjective? No, I don’t.)

    I’m watching some others, too, but I think I should have covered the most important things this season. Oh, and one thing that’s better about this season than the last: the distribution of shows I watch across the week. Last season I had lots of shows to watch on the weekend, and little during the week. It’s a much better spread this time round. I don’t get hungry, and I don’t get overwhelmed.

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    • People keep talking about re:Life, and I keep reminding myself that it is one of the shows I wanted to check out. Then they talk about it more, and I berate myself for not getting to it.

      I have occasionally thought of running my own blog… but it’s so much work to maintain a presence, and I have so many demands on my time. (My current obsession – making ice cream. The latest version of my Chocolate Madness just came out of the churn a little bit ago, and will be dessert tonight.) But I wonder about moderating a blog where the Usual Suspects here could expand or expound on topics of their choosing… Apprentice Mages? Mages in a Bucket?

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      • I’ve never seriously thought about having an anime blog of my own. I’m bad at taking screen shots, and I don’t like the clutter that would entail. And a text-only anime blog sounds… incomplete. But I do occasionally have topics that might make good posts (one that keeps nagging me is about the pre-credits scene of A-channel, episode 10 – but that one, especially, needs screen shots – lots of them.)

        Also, how could I have forgotten to talk about the anime of the season: Bananya. In the latest riveting instalment, bananya-tachi are playing in the fridge. Then they are cold and lie down in front of the window to catch the (afternoon?) sun. Even the narrator is excited. Bananya: anime of the season. (This is hyperbole, not sarcasm. It’s really, really cute. Yuki Kaji playing multiple banana cats alone is worth it, and then there’s the enthusiastic narrator, and the cute kitties. At three minutes it won’t overstay its welcome.)

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        • Quick tip for screenshots–if you have multiple monitors like I do, this is especially useful. Alt+PrintScreen will take a screenshot of only the monitor that has focus – so if you have a video maximized, it will take a screenshot of the video (though you still have to paste it in Paint or something to save it, I think). It made things so much easier for me, although I guess for timing them it’s just a matter of practice or pausing the video at the right time.

          (Though if screenshots are your biggest concern, you shouldn’t let that stop you from writing, especially if you have stuff you want to write about! Let your voice be heard!)

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          • On Windows 7+ computers there’s also the snipping tool, which let’s you precisely select what to select for your screenshot.

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