Previous update!

4-5 eps into everything now, but I haven’t done this since ep 1, oops.

[Standard disclaimer: I do try to avoid BIG spoilers, or be vague about them, but if you’re more behind on a show than I am, maybe avoid the comments for that one.]

Full Series
1. Koufuku Graffiti [▲0▼] – 5 eps, 9/10 – [99% import] Every week this pulls farther ahead of everything else. From the opening scenes of episode one until now, Koufuku hasn’t wavered for a second regarding the kind of show it wants to be. Cute, kind, heartwarming. Exploring the power of cooking and eating to bring people together. Forging unexpected relationships. Shaft’s visual flair is here, but in a subdued way. It’s still clearly them, but with much less abstraction, more character art. And delicious looking food! Ryou and Kirin keep growing closer together, and by episode five they’re completely natural around each other. Shiina is a perfect complement to the other two as well.

I always end my weekends with this, because every Sunday is an exercise in increasing anxiety over the coming frustrating week of work and nothing calms me down the way this show can. In every way, truly a worthy successor to Hidamari Sketch. Such a tragedy that it’ll never get a second season (let alone become the sprawling franchise Hidamari is) at this rate. A predictable tragedy, sadly.

2. The Idolm@ster Cinderella Girls [▲1] – 5 eps, 8/10 – [90% import] – This one keeps picking up steam! I was never particularly worried about its ability to handle this number of characters (most people seemed concerned, even though original Animas did it perfectly fine!) but by episode 5 those concerns should be long dead and buried. The character that’s made the strongest impression in these early episodes is the great Maekawa Miku, who also provided the first really great emotional moment of the show in episode 5. I really think this focus on Miku was an intentional and pretty brilliant move. Mio, Shiburin and Shimamu are always going to be on our minds, but letting Miku steal so much attention early on was a great way to highlight characters outside the core trio. Character relationships/cliques have been established (Miku/Rika/Miria, Anya/Minami, Kanako/Chieri, Mio/Shiburin/Shimamu, Anzu/Kirari, with Ranko and Riina as the lone wolves at the moment), and the interactions between those groupings have been a delight. Now we just settle in and watch them grow over the next cour and a half. Can’t wait.

3. Dog Days” [▼1] – 5 eps, 8/10 – [98% import] – For the first three episodes it was a contender for #1, but eps 4-5 have been less great. Still great, just less. My only real complaint is that it feels like it’s pushing the fanservice harder than I remember in seasons 1-2, but it’s still pretty harmless. And most importantly, still a ton of fun. I do hope the stellar animation of eps 1-3 gets to return at some point, at least later in the show. But I don’t expect them to keep up material like this or this at all times. I think the show would benefit from the next few episodes not being one-offs. The show does juuuuust fine without a big central plot (though it can do that too) but it’s the exciting wargames that let it shine more so than episodic stories.

T4. Durarara!! x2 Shou [▲0▼] – 5 eps, 8/10 – [50% import] – The introductory arc wrapped up nicely. Mairu and Kururi stole the show in the first arc hands down, and I hope they continue to play a major role going forward because they’re the goddamn best. But in the meantime, we just met this cutie and I can’t wait to see what happens with her. Focus does seem to be shifting back to the Masaomi/Anri/Mikado trio now, and while they’re all alright they’ll never compete with the sheer insanity of the rest of the cast.

Not as much of a sure lead over Yurikuma due to the three cour investment. That may end its chances with me, plus Yurikuma has other things going for it that I may need to support!

T4. Yuri Kuma Arashi [▲1]- 5 eps, 7/10 – [50% import] – Either episode 3 or 5 has been the best so far, and I think I lean towards five. We’re delving more into the characters as characters versus vehicles for delivering abstract and repetitive metaphors, and the show benefits tremendously from this. Ginko fared especially well in the latest episode, and while the first half of Lulu’s ep 4 got a little tiring, the rest was great. I’m growing increasingly confident in this show’s chances of pulling it all together in the end. Fingers still crossed tho!

Yeah it’s tied despite being scored lower, don’t try to make sense of rankings! Ranking is more influenced by recent episodes than my x/10 scores are. Expect it to go up soon, now that I’m having a much easier time connecting emotionally with the characters, something I couldn’t figure out how to do early on.

6. Jojo no Kimyou na Bouken Stardust Crusaders Egypt-hen [▲0▼] – 4 eps, 6/10 – I don’t find Iggy remotely amusing, but otherwise it’s continuing on alright.

 

Short Series
None this season!

 

Pre-Winter Series
Log Horizon17 eps – Hey, I caught up. There were some duds after the first half, especially the Valentine’s ep. But I’m pleasantly surprised that the low level kids’ arc has started out this well. I guess Minori being one of my favorites and Isuzu quickly climbing the ranks doesn’t hurt. Serara is great too and I quite like Touya. He and Minori are one of the better pairs of siblings. I have trouble warming to Rudy but his relationship with Isuzu is kinda cute. One of the big plot points now seems to be dealing with income inequality and social welfare projects… now there’s a topic you wouldn’t expect in an MMO anime. It’s interesting to see the elites in the Round Table poo-poo the “lazy” poor for “not working hard enough”. Too real, Log Horizon. Hopefully it’s all handled in an interesting way, nothing overly simplistic.

Fairy Tail32 eps – I’m falling dangerously behind. Maybe I’ll just skip this arc and pick it back up afterward since it got bogged down so quickly.

 

Dropped Series
n/a, expecting none

 

Still no questions about the first three imports but I’m really leaning Yurikuma over Drrr, even if I may end up liking Drrr more in the end. Length hurts Drrr and yuri helps Yurikuma and that can be enough to tip the scales.

5 Responses to “Winter 2015 viewing update #2”

  1. Avatar Jim says:

    My list:

    1. Saekano
    2. Rolling Girls
    3. Your Lie in April (carryover)
    4. Assassination Classroom
    5. Koufuku Graffiti
    6. KanColle

    The only show I’ve dropped was the execrable Military – I’m enjoying all six of these enough that I don’t expect to drop anything else. Overall it’s a solidly entertaining crop of shows; nothing I’ve totally fallen in love with yet, but they still have time to raise their “buy” potential if they keep improving. I didn’t think Yuki Yuna was going to end up being my biggest “must buy” of last season after its fourth episode either.

  2. Avatar moodie says:

    when u say Koufuku Graffiti might not get a second season because of poor sales, arent these stalkers mainly from amazon? isnt there hope for it to sell well in stores?

    • something something says:

      Stalker is based on Amazon, yes, but its rankings at DMM/Rakuten/Animate/Gamers/HMV/Softmap are pretty bad too. I expect it to beat the Stalker estimate, but not by much.

      It would need to more than triple its Stalker estimate to be even “decent” and without ranking #1 at Animate every day, there’s literally zero chance of that happening.

      It’s dead. ;_;

  3. Avatar Siliziumleben says:

    I won’t list everything I watch, but everything that has an import chance, which also depends largely on the BD release (cover, only slipcase or digipack, artbox, complete boxset etc.).

    Locked Imports (100%):
    -Tokyo Ghoul Season 2
    I have to admit I was not really impressed with the on disc content of the first season…still some strange censorship on disc 1 and a big one frame fail “improvement” on disc 3, but I want season 2 nevertheless to see the different storyline from the manga.
    I hope that the BD release will be the same style as season 1 and maybe include a boxset without the whole application ticket nonsense…but as animate got a whole volume purchase box, I fear I won’t get one.

    -Death Parade
    A comparable cheap boxset sealed the deal.

    Pretty high chance (90%):
    -Durarara2
    I own the season 1 boxset, so I would like to own season 2, but the volume count……if they stick with 2 episodes per disc and it really gets 36 episodes that will be 18 volumes. The BD release itself seems to be okay, but I am not a big fan of the first cover art.
    I still think I will invest my money in it, with a sparkle of hope that Baccano will come back too.

    High chance (70-80%)
    -Yatterman
    At the moment I assume it will get a boxset. If it is in the price range of Death Parade it is a locked import. If it costs more or comes in singles I need to watch a few more episodes to make a final decision.

    -Rolling Girls
    I was really really impressed with the first 2 episodes. I thought it would be an instant buy, especially because the action scenes looked extremely awesome. The next few episodes did not really impress me that much, including some ugly character art. I hope they dedicate a little bit more time on character interactions between the 4 girls in the next episodes. One big advantage is the artbox which comes with Vol.1 and the cover design, because I really like it.

    Good chance (60%)
    -Yuri Kuma Arashi
    I like the bears and character design, so cute. Not really sure what to think about everything else. I hope everything falls in place in the end.
    BD release looks nice. I would have preferred more bears on the cover, but maybe I get my bears on a later volume

    Not sure (40%)
    -Koufuku Graffiti
    Funny and cute, but it is Shaft and I am a little bit afraid of their BD changes. I did not really like their changes on Nisekoi.
    I will at least hold off until the first BD is released and see some comparison pics.

    Probably not (20-30%):
    -Maria the Virgin Witch
    Really like the character design and the stupid humor, but the BD release is kind of a turn off for me. As far as I know no slipcase and the artbox is animate exclusive. Maybe I will try to get this series later on yahoo auction japan with the box.

    -How to raise a boring girlfriend
    Has only an import chance if Rolling Girls, Yatterman, Graffiti and Yuri Kuma really disappoint in the next 2 episodes. And even then I am not really sure if I would import it as the spring season looks very promising.

  4. Avatar Mr. Peter says:

    You will like episode 6 especially it delves into Sumika, and Ginko being a more awesome dedicated criminal bear girlfriend (though that ending is a doozy)!

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