Winter 2017 viewing update #1

Winter is complete! Feels like it went by pretty quickly. I expected a terrible season, started to get a pretty strong season, and then after some setbacks got an “okay” season with just two clear stand-outs, but that includes an AOTY contender. Better than I expected, but less than I’d hoped at the peak of my expectations. All in all, not bad!

[ Standard disclaimer: Not spoiler free! ]

All of the following are loosely grouped by color: Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 3, Tier 4. Click on a title to jump to the comments.

Completed or Airing
01. Urara Meirochou [ 9.5 / 10 ]
02. Gabriel Dropout [ 8.5 / 10 ]
03. Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu: Sukeroku Futatabi-hen [ 8.0 / 10 ]
04. Minami Kamakura Koukou Joshi Jitensha-bu [ 7.0 / 10 ]
05. Schoolgirl Strikers Animation Channel [ 6.0 / 10 ]

Shorts
01. Nyanko Days [ 7.5 / 10 ]

Dropped
Little Witch Academia [10 eps] – It’s not just that it introduced a male love interest (though that certainly is a negative), it’s that it was *so boring* about it. And his episodes weren’t the only boring ones either. Being directionless isn’t inherently bad, but LWA wasn’t paced or executed like a slice of life show either, so it wasn’t directionless in a good way. Akko’s admiration for Chariot and her own quest to become better at magic were worthy themes, but very little was done to make it feel like she was getting anywhere. Combine an aimless approach and a few real dud episodes with the incredibly obnoxious Andrew-focused endgame and I’m. Just. Done. ::sigh::

Top Characters
Kurumizawa Satanichia McDowell – Gabriel DropOut
Chiya – Urara Meirochou
Tsukinose Vignette April – Gabriel DropOut
Koume – Urara Meirochou
Kon – Urara Meirochou
Konatsu – Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu: Sukeroku Futatabi-hen
Nono – Urara Meirochou
Kamikura Fuyune – Minami Kamakura Koukou Joshi Jitensha-bu
Yaginuma Io – Schoolgirl Strikers

Top Pairings
Chiya / Kon / Koume / Nono – Urara Meirochou
Chiya / Kon – Urara Meirochou
Koume / Nono – Urara Meirochou
Yaginuma Io / Namori Mana – Schoolgirl Strikers
Konatsu / Yotarou – Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu: Sukeroku Futatabi-hen
Konagai Yuuko / Shiratori Azumi – Nyanko Days

Top OPs
Minami Kamakura Koukou Joshi Jitensha-bu – “Jitenshi ni Hana wa Mau”
Urara Meirochou – “Yumeji Labyrinth”
Gabriel Dropout – “Gabriel Dropkick”

Top EDs
Gabriel Dropout – “Hallelujah☆Essaim”
Urara Meirochou – “go to Romance>>>>>”
Minami Kamakura Koukou Joshi Jitensha-bu – “Nijiyume Road”
Nyanko Days – “Nyanko Is Love”


Urara Meirochou Imported!
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I didn’t need an urara to divine that Urara Meirochou would be my kind of show, that much was a given. But the difference between what I feel are merely “passable” slice of life shows like Stella or Sansan or Minakama, and the more deeply affecting ones like Koufuku or Manabi or Flying Witch, is never something I can see ahead of time. It makes sense though – we’re talking about shows that are explicitly attempting to extract something special from the deliberately mundane. Everything is nuance, and that’s something you can’t judge until you’re well into the show.

Urara is a bit more fantastical than most slice of life shows due to its setting, and unlike many it has a fairly concrete goal in mind (advance up the tiers of urara, find Chiya’s mother). But that’s still (mostly) window dressing for the compelling relationships that form among the apprentice urara at Natsume-ya: Koume, Nono, Kon, and Chiya.

And those relationships are beautiful and delightful. As far away as Urara is from Yuyushiki on the slice of life spectrum in many ways, it really nails the latter’s understanding of group intimacy. While they sort of pair off naturally (Chiya/Kon, Koume/Nono) in a way the Yuyushikis didn’t given their odd number, fundamentally the Urara dynamic is a foursome.

It’s unmistakably a group effort. We see it in Nono’s worries that the “calamity” divined to befall her will hurt the others, to which Koume replies that’ll just split it four ways. We see it in Chiya’s declaration that she’ll challenge the gods themselves if they dare to take Kon’s power away, and Koume and Nono’s reminder that they’re always by Kon’s side too. We see it in the urara rank advancement exam being a team effort, rather than the triumph of an individual.

Having to share both feelings and living arrangements with girls their age is a new experience for the young urara of Natsume-ya. It seems quite deliberate that they all come from lives of relative isolation: Chiya is literally a feral girl from the mountains, Koume grew up a wealthy and sheltered only child, Nono has rarely strayed far from her older sister Nina’s side, and Kon has spent years studying alone with only divination texts for company. Maybe it’s no wonder that once they were thrown together as apprentices with the same aim, they immediately took to each other despite their clashing personalities and styles. Without realizing it, without thinking they needed it, they craved this camaraderie.

It wasn’t always easy, and they each have their doubts. This is particularly evident in Kon’s conflicted feelings towards Chiya. It’s fair to say Kon has studied the hardest, and Chiya the least (as in not at all), before they met. And yet Chiya’s ease of access into the world of the gods puts Kon’s admiration for her in opposition to her sense of what’s fair. What she doesn’t know is that this ease of access is a mortal danger to Chiya, but nonetheless Kon puts these doubts aside with the help of Nina and the other girls. She realizes that an individual’s strength is everyone’s strength at Natsume-ya.

And as they grow closer, we see one of the show’s core strengths: the way it normalizes the intimacy between the girls – and between girls in general. I already wrote at length about episode six in the mid-season post and everything I felt then still applies. That one slightly awkward instance ends up being a strong message in favor of how normal it should be for Saku to be Nina’s soulmate. It’s expressed in the loving smile Koume gives a flirty Chiya and Kon, while leaning her head so casually against Nono’s.

And these are some very touchy-feely girls. Rubbing bellies and faces, casually using hair as a blanket, licking and licking some more, holding hands, feeding each other, sleeping and bathing together, being there to catch each other when they fall, and of course lots of hugging and hugging and hugging and hugging.

That’s not to say that skinship is inherently meaningful. There’s no lack of throwaway girl/girl fanservice even in het harem anime (cue onsen boob groping), so that alone doesn’t do it. But while Urara has some fanservice that exists more or less for its own sake – which I don’t object to, for the record – it directs far more effort to building up the sense of intimacy among the girls, and the reassuring sense of comfort they develop towards one another.

It’s this comfort that elevates Urara above the usual baseline shippiness of slice of life subtext. Urara isn’t a romance per se, and doesn’t depict a “falling in love” story. But it relies so much on romantic coding that I’d definitely put it at a pretty good spot along the yuri spectrum. While I think only so much can be read into OP or ED lyrics, the ED is very explicitly mirroring the themes of the show. It’s titled go to Romance>>>>> and the visuals are all about Chiya, Kon, Koume, and Nono trying to find one another as the lyrics sing about falling in love, searching for your soulmate, imagining kissing them. And then it quite literally ends with the girls finding each other!

Urara’s ability to convey a sense of intimacy within a group really is exceptional. Most anime struggles with a single pair, but Urara pulls it off effortlessly with four.

It’s well and good that the girls share such strong bonds, because there’s no end of external challenges to face down, particularly when the gods get involved. The forays into the supernatural show us a mix of aesthetics that Urara handles very well. While it’s mostly lighthearted slice of life, there are moments that quietly challenge our perception of Meirochou. Urara juxtaposes the cute and the creepy, the mundane and the supernatural. Divination rituals lead the urara down twisted corridors towards hidden alcoves in which a strange new reality lurks. You can’t get there normally, but with the incantations of an urara, those secrets can be unlocked.

Sometimes these secrets may have been better left alone. Chiya and Kon’s taboo underwater divination turns downright disturbing. But it’s Chiya who has the most intense run-ins with the gods as the object of both their protection and loathing.

As the anime leaves off, we still don’t know why these beings hate Chiya, except that her mother is the ultimate source of their rage. It’s a tantalizing glimpse into future conflicts, and I’m impressed at how well the serious aspects of the story meshed with its slice of life aspects. Many shows have trouble pulling that off, but Urara builds up to it by weaving it in along the way. Divination does not all of a sudden develop a darker side when the ending requires it. There was always something unknowable and overwhelming about it, and urara have always felt vulnerable and small in comparison to the powers they’re harnessing. Additionally, situating Chiya’s run-in with the resentful spirits within the Urara rank-up examination prevented it from coming off as disappointingly incomplete. Even if we don’t know where that story will lead, we were still invested in seeing them become 9th ranks, and that’s a fitting climax.

Urara’s visual style deserves special recognition because I was in love with its look from the first moments. The character designs are hugely appealing in the, for lack of a better word, punipuni fuwafuwa way that made me such a huge fan of Namori’s designs for Yuru Yuri. The animation designs nicely capture the original Harikamo designs in a way better suited to animation, mostly by simplifying the shading (Urara is unusually visually intricate for a 4koma). The anime also accentuates each of its characters with floral motifs which afford the already distinct designs even more unique personality.

Where the anime shines even more than the appealing designs is in its colors and lighting. It’s not just the vibrancy of it, because even scenes with minimal colors look great. It’s the way all of these elements combine to create variety, yet consistency.

Meirochou itself manages to feel claustrophobic and dizzying while also inviting and alive. The town’s most recognizable landmark is its enormous tower, perpetually surrounded in a swirling mist and located in the heart of the 1st District where the most accomplished urara live. It’s a looming mystery, a guidepost by which to orient yourself, and a goal to reach.

I love Meirochou’s architecture and atmosphere, I love its challenges and opportunities. It earns its name of “Labyrinth Town”, but it’s a maze in which getting lost for a while really doesn’t seem so bad. You’re like as not to encounter something or someone special along the way, just as the Natsume-ya girls have. Meirochou is a wonderful case study of place informing the mood and message of a story.

The more I write about this the more it reinforces for me just how special a show Urara was. While the absolute highest tier of Kirara adaptations remains Sakura Trick, Hidamari and Yuyushiki, Urara ends up alongside Koufuku Graffiti and Gakkou Gurashi among the best slice of life shows in recent years. With the girls having successfully secured their 9th rank advancement, the scale of the journey ahead of them only seems bigger. Unfortunately the manga is the only place their story will continue… but wherever and however that goes, we know they’ll be doing it together.

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Gabriel Dropout Imported!
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Eschewing emotional sincerity in favor of maximizing punchline density is a trap I prefer my comedies avoid. It’s precisely those moments without a punchline that get me invested in a show, regardless of how good the humor is. A huge part of why Gabdro works is that it gives itself permission to pause the gags from time to time.

The coffee shop skits are an excellent case in point. Their humor was spot on, but the two most memorable moments in the coffee shop are Vigne sincerely complimenting the coffee, and the shop owner revealing that Gab pleaded with him to allow Satania to keep a pet familiar. Neither of these scenes pull their emotional punches, and they achieve it by pulling their punchlines out. The point of Vigne’s scene is that she’s a genuinely nice demon and she genuinely enjoys the guy’s coffee and he’s genuinely moved by this. When the jokes are a dime a dozen, a change of pace turns a scene from a throwaway gag to one that’s stuck with me all season. We’re given a moment to appreciate that the characters are more than their gag archetypes.

Not to make this sound deep or anything – its still a totally goofy show and it embraces that from head to toe. Audience laughter is the end goal of every episode. I just want to stress how little is really needed to make your comedy multi-dimensional. All you have to do is give your characters a moment to stop delivering jokes and take a breath.

Comedy also avoids becoming stale by letting its characters break out of their established joke archetypes. Gab is the worthless NEET, Vigne is the responsible and long-suffering friend, Raphi is the problematic stalker, and Satania is the damedame chuuni wannabe villain, sort of like an even more ineffectual Ikamusume. Raphi and Gab are angels but terrible people, Vigne is a demon but is the nicest person you’ll ever meet. Only Satania actually plays the role she was supposedly born to play, although the show’s theology has a pretty chill relationship between heaven and hell so her efforts are rarely rewarded. This is an amusing and smartly executed premise, even if it’s built on simplistic “betrayal of expectations” gags. Gabdro sticks to this script more often than not.

Not always though, and it’s those exceptions that keep things spicy and fun. It’s Satania finding out Raphi’s weakness for frogs. It’s Gab putting her shitty attitude (mostly) aside to play with her little sister. It’s Vigne really losing her patience at the Christmas party. It’s Raphi’s undergarment troubles putting her at a disadvantage, for once unable to execute her schemes against Satania.

Satania embodies the best of both points. She’s the character the show loves to dunk on, but it does it out of love. And to be fair, she sets herself up for it all the time. Because the show loves her it makes sure that she occasionally gets the upper hand. The truly great damedame characters are like this: Natsume in Hidamari Sketch, Rin in Bakuon, Hibiki in Anne Happy, Steph in No Game No Life, Akari/Ayano in Yuru Yuri.

Gabdro could have turned every Satania scene into “Raphi ruins Satania’s day for her own perverse satisfaction” and I’m sure I would have still enjoyed it. And while that’s how it usually went, every time Satania arrived at the end credits relatively intact I smiled harder than I did at any of the jokes. The show played on these expectations really well, putting Satania in a situation where she fears the worst and then turning it around at the end. We see Satania come out on top, we see Raphi actually has a weakness, and and we get a break from the normal joke structure.

Even when Satania isn’t getting quite the unqualified win she thinks she is, I still can’t help but feel legitimately happy for her. Sure her epic struggle with Tapris was little more than fetish material for Raphi, but Satania was proud of her victory. And it’s debatable who the pet really is in her relationship with the melonpan-stealing mutt, but the twist of fate that brought them together was still strangely moving. In the end, Satania felt good about herself, and y’know what, that’s what matters.

Gabriel Dropout is an incredibly smart comedy that balances its moods as well as it times its jokes. I’d love for more slice of life comedies to knock it out of the park like this one did, week after week.

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Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu: Sukeroku Futatabi-hen
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I’ve said before that Rakugo [s1 comments] was I show towards which I felt respect rather than emotion, hence my lukewarm feelings about season one. I had higher hopes for season two for a number of reasons, above all that we left the past behind and finally had a chance to see the characters’ futures. Flashbacks carry an air of inevitability which tends to dull my emotional reaction to what’s happening. Futatabi-hen’s shift to focus on the present offered much sharper emotions, and a sense of anticipation divorced from a predetermined outcome.

Futatabi-hen built upon and found new significance in everything that season one established. Yota and Yakumo’s struggle over the future of rakugo felt more poignant than Yakumo and Sukeroku’s clash over the nature of the art. Konatsu’s struggles and triumphs were far more emotionally satisfying than the caged, tragic life led by her mother. New chapters were written for rakugo’s future, rather than telling a tale of inexorable decline.

Given she was my favorite character in the first season despite her limited role, it’s no surprise Konatsu was my emotional anchor into the show this time. Nearly every scene that resonated with me involved her in some way: doing Jugem in her first public rakugo performance, her role in the truth behind her parents’ death, her final reconciliation with Yakumo in his last moments, her growing comfort in her relationship with Yota.

Konatsu and Miyokichi are mirrors that reflect their respective seasons’ deeper natures. Miyokichi, as headstrong and proud as she was, lived in a time and place that would never acknowledge her full worth and humanity. She lashed out by defying social convention, but in the process hurt those around her and left behind a motherless child. The inevitability of her fate reflects the inevitability of the whole first season.

It’s not that Konatsu has it easy, but society had nonetheless changed. Her debut as the first woman in the history of professional rakugo is only the capstone on all this. Konatsu has all of her mother’s pride, but none of the inescapable tragedy. She’s able to obtain both love and a happy ending, largely on her own terms. While she too has to contend with the desires of demands of men, and owes much to both Yakumo and Yotarou, she is not irreversibly trapped by her womanhood in the way her mother was. She has the opportunity to assert herself in ways that aren’t completely self-destructive. Both Konatsu and Miyokichi are strong women, but while Miyokichi’s strength raged hopelessly against the walls of her prison, Konatsu’s strength shouldered a career and a family and a personal passion.

Being strong does not mean being solitary. Yotarou awkwardly charms his way into her life not because she can’t handle being a single mother, but because she shouldn’t have to. He loves her, and she him (when she cares to show it), and he loves her child – whoever its father may be. Together they are a charming, funny, eccentric couple brimming with life.

You could contrast Yotarou with Sukeroku in similar ways to Konatsu and Miyokichi, but I think the biggest difference is that Yotarou’s carefree personality was ultimately grounded in a stronger sense of direction than Sukeroku’s. The both loved rakugo deeply, but Yota could always look towards Konatsu, Shinnosuke, and Yakumo to keep him grounded when he walked off the stage.

Futatabi-hen is a story about storytelling, and it metacomments on its own structure by revealing, in its most shocking moment, that the climax of the first season was a complete fabrication. It was an incredible moment to realize that Yakumo was lying, and so many of us (myself included) never stopped to question the truth of a tale woven by a man who assumed fictional identifies for a living.

Perhaps it’s the specific nature of rakugo, wherein the same classics are memorized, told, passed down, and retold word for word that made me accept every word of Yakumo’s story. But despite his distaste for introducing new stories to the canon, he’s rewritten his own story for Konatsu’s sake. A rakugo performer trains for years to embody the characters he portrays, but when the curtain goes down and the lights come back on he’s able to return to himself.

Yakumo never allowed himself that luxury. Every second of every day he played the villain in a tale of his own making, and the weight was unbearable. It’s a mercy that he was able to find peace with Konatsu before the end.

I didn’t find every episode of Futatabi-hen equally engaging, and a lot of it still wasn’t really My Thing. But when it was good, it soared to some of the most impressive and unforgettable heights of the season.

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Nyanko Days Imported!
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Sadly there’s not much I can say about a show that ran for roughly 20 minutes all told, except that I think it’s regrettable such an adorable show was so short. That just ain’t right. We need so much more time to see Yuuko and Azumi’s love blossom. ;_; Shout-out to the mangaka for drawing most of the good Sakura Trick fanart available on Pixiv too. How can I not support someone enlightened like that?

NYANKO ♥
IS ♥
LOVE ♥

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Minami Kamakura Koukou Joshi Jitensha-bu
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Girls’ club-based slice of life shows typically manage at least a respectable minimum threshold of charm, and Minakama is no different. It is charming, but like Stella no Mahou last season it’s a thoroughly unambitious sort of charm. That’s well and good for this kind of show, but shows that try a little harder (Flying Witch, Urara, New Game, Amanchu, etc) are inevitably more memorable. Even when Minakama does shake up the status quo with a late addition to the cast (Sandy), she ends up being one of the more flat and predictable gaijin stereotypes out there. I don’t dislike her per se, but compare her to Karen and Alice in Kinmosa, or even Kate in Sketchbook, and she just feels inadequate as a character.

But the recipe for a more memorable Minakama doesn’t even require a new ingredient. It just needs an extra helping of Fuyune thrown in.

Fuyune is far and away my favorite part of Minakama, and I’d love an alternate take where she’s the protagonist. Like many good characters before her, she scratches a “down to earth ojou” itch for me, but she’s also the only character with a particularly interesting backstory and motivation. Hiromi is the “genki newcomer”, Tomoe is the “reliable meganekko”, Sandy is the “gaijin stereotype”, but none of them really bring any sort of history to the show. Natsumi has a short arc about picking the biking club over others trying to recruit her, and it actually undermines the silly “compete to decide who she joins” stereotype pretty cleverly, which was great. But it’s nothing you can build a show around.

Fuyune is totally a character you build a show around, though! First you’ve got how physically and emotionally unsuited she initially is to long-distance biking, so there’s a clear path for character growth. And then you’ve got her motivation, which is to travel around Japan using her own two feet and document life for a bed-ridden older sister she admires.

I wouldn’t say the show wastes this. Some of my favorite little touches involve Fuyune stopping to take a picture while the girls are touring. I admire how gracefully Minakama weaves these scenes in, and I felt genuinely happy every time Fuyune smiled after finding the right angle for a shot. But I wanted more. I wish Minakama went all-in with Fuyune as the lead.

I don’t mean to play this up like it’s some disastrous failing of the show. I’m super chill about the content of my slice of life anime, and it’d be absurd to demand a motivation or history for every character, as if it were a tragic drama. But a story like Fuyune’s feels like such a juicy emotional hook that it’s a shame it wasn’t front and center.

The show had bigger failings anyway, particularly in its production. Filtered photographs for backgrounds aren’t something I’m necessarily against, because it looks great when it’s done well. But even under good circumstances it can be hard to get the characters to look natural in it, and if production starts to slip, you get sheer nonsense like this. Between the backgrounds, 2D characters and 3D bikes, that may as well be three separate shows – all of them fairly ugly.

And of course the CG for biking scenes was just awful. While in theory something that’s part 2D and part 3D is better than something that’s all 3D (the less 3D the better), it’s small consolation when you get a 2D head on a 3D body that looks and particularly moves like some alien abomination. It’s for this reason that I’m not importing the show. Normally I’d say it just barely qualifies for an import due to my strong desire to do what I can to support slice of life anime. But I’m applying a CG penalty and dropping it from my imports. I’ve compromised and imported the manga instead.

I guess I had more to say about Minakama than I expected, even if a lot of it was complaining! But it’s a solid slice of life club show, with a relaxing atmosphere, at least one pretty great character, and a few moments like the night-time race where the whole cast displayed some good chemistry.

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Schoolgirl Strikers Animation Channel
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Io-chin, banzai!

Schoolgirl Strikers is about fighting generic looking interdimensional monsters or whatever but none of that is it’s not as important as Io and Mana, who are probably going to be one of my favorite ships of the year. (Also Io is Sawashiro Miyuki, instant points in my book.) That they’re trapped within one of the most paint-by-numbers mobage adaptations is unfortunate, but the show isn’t completely without merit.

Merits like Io and Mana getting oh so close to kissing. Or Io’s and Mana’s butts. Or Io and Mana exercising together. Or Mana being extremely happy about Io in a bikini. Or Mana clinging to Io.

I guess there were some pretty fun episodes in there too, particularly the Procyon Pudding episode with Amane getting super tsundere for Io. Though the following episode with the giant fish was good too. And the character designs (in spite of, or because of? the sometimes ridiculous outfits) were really nice, when the show kept them on model.

But for the most part it was really about Io and Mana being together. As Mana so eloquently puts it:

So one good ship aside, SGS was watchable but forgettable. Ange Vierge, Sengoku Collection, or even Zettai Bouei Leviathan it is not. I didn’t dislike it, but I also have a hard time drumming up any significant opinions about it at all. As a test, I’m writing this before I even see the last two episodes. If I leave these last few sentences in, it means the finale elicited no reaction worthy of editing the post. We’ll see!

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Spring 2017 Plans

Planned
01. Hinako Note
02. Cinderella Girls Gekijou
03. Natsume Yuujin-chou Roku
04. Shingeki no Kyojin Season 2

Potential
05. Alice to Zouroku
06. Twin Angel Break
07. Sakura Quest

These aren’t necessarily listed in most-least wanted, more like “safest to riskiest”. As in, I’m most likely to enjoy the ones at the top just based on the premise and genre, or being familiar with a previous season.

Hinako Note of course takes #1 most anticipated because it’s the cute girls slice of life show of the season. It’s not a Houbunsha title, but hopefully it’ll be as good as the Kirara adaptations.

Then it’s sequels: Deremas Gekijou is a short but it’s Imas so like Puchimas it should be good. Natsume will probbaly be just like all the previous seasons, and that’s good enough. Shingeki… well I liked season one, quite a lot actually, but I’m worried this season might turn Eren into a more typical shounen protagonist, which would kill a lot of its dumb charm. We’ll see.

After that, we have the wild cards this season, the ones that will determine if it’s got anything new to bring to the table besides Hinako Note. Of these, Alice to Zouroku is the one I’m by far the most interested in. After Usagi Drop, Barakamon, and Amaama I’m positive towards shows about adult men having to struggle with cute daughters. Now this one appears to be a bit less grounded than those (there’s like, secret organizations and esper kids and stuff, so it probably wont be slice of life). Still tho, a grumpy old dude taking care of some weird psychic girl sounds great. Oh, and the director did Flying Witch, so that’s good. As for Twin Angel Break and Sakura Quest, that’s just me giving anything with an all-female main cast a try and hoping it’s good. Twin Angel has a cute enough OP but I don’t know anything else about it. As for Sakura Quest, my expectations are limited since I just don’t like PA Works’ original shows very often, but I’ll give it a try.

All that said, this season has a lot more potential than I had initially expected! It looked absolutely dire at first, but as more shows got solicited and I gave the anime calendar sites a closer look, there’s potentially a strong season here. If it all pans out, anyway.

Since this post took longer than expected, Shingeki and Alice are already out. I might be giving them a go today.

12 Responses to “Winter 2017 viewing update #2 (final), Spring viewing plans”

  1. derpinat0r says:

    Kon, Tier 2 character.

    Fix that shit or Fight me.

    • something something says:

      How I rate single characters and how I rate pairs (or in their case a foursome) differ. The Urara girls are great on their own but so much more together.

  2. BlackPoint says:

    Well for LWA in the next episodes the story finnaly progress and kinda got that feeling when i finnaly look forward to the next episode so ye personnaly i think you can give it another try till the latest 13th episode and see if its it also better for your taste. Cuz as said in my opinion they stepped up their game and it finnaly got interesting.

    • atala says:

      I’d agree, I was growing concerned with all the padding and one-off episodes (although the Sucy-episode was pure genius imho, Sucy’s best girl by a landslide) but the last three episodes have picked up on the plot and actually shown Akko developping her magic and doing awesome things

      • something something says:

        Eh, I had heard that, but still feels like too little too late for me. 10 episodes was a more than fair trial period, and no matter what they do the awful character that is Andrew looms over it all like the blade of a guillotine. Maybe if he weren’t in it I’d stick it out, but I have no faith in the show anymore.

        • BlackPoint says:

          Well andrew doesnt make appearance anymore, think he appeard only in 2episodes, as for now its all about character growth with Akko and Diana realizing that Akko aint just some idiot that does all sort of trouble.

          • something something says:

            Him not being in the last couple episodes doesn’t mean he’s wiped from the show unfortunately. They’re clearly setting up some kind of romance/love triangle stuff and it’s going to be terrible, based on what they’ve done with it so far.

            • BlackPoint says:

              Maybe though i dont see him playing any major role in this since it isnt tagged as a romance anime. It will be more about Akko and her friends and the whole thing about the shining rod that will be the main focus in this 2nd half of the season.

            • rederoin says:

              I’m hoping not, but sadly he makes a minor appearnce in the new OP… even if it a KlK style OP with Diana/Akko.

  3. AholePony says:

    Nice impressions/reviews as always something. I ended up feeling pretty let down by SG Strikers, it had a weird meandering feel or lack of focus about it, and the cast was too big so the development wasn;t there for me. Oh well. I’m also interested in the new Twin Angel series this season, the old ones were pretty fun if you are ok with mahou shoujo series or something like nurse witch komugi-chan.

    • something something says:

      I feel like SGS would have benefitted from a whole lot less focus in the end. Either tell a good story, or just go batshit with dumb but funny scenarios. Instead if attempted an odd balance of getting really goofy at times, but still trying to take itself…. mostly??… seriously.

      And it just didn’t have the, um, *anything* to pull it off.

  4. […] hard to know what to say about Urara. I could just link you to Something’s end of season write-up, and say “read that”, but that’s a cop-out. (but do read […]

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