Hey guys! Sloaner here with some of my thoughts on the Winter 2016 season! I have rounded up all the episodes from this week (organized by day they aired). This week I again debated whether or not to drop a couple titles, maybe they won’t appear here next week!
Top 5 Most Improved from Last Week
5 | Heavy Object
4 | Ooya-san
3 | Prince of Stride
2 | Assassination Classroom 2nd Season
1 | Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu
Top 5 Biggest Fails of the week
5 | Konosuba
4 | Shoujo-tachi wa Kouya wo Mezasu
3 | HaruChika
2 | Aokana
1 | Saijaku Muhai no Bahamut
Top 5 Male Characters of the week
5 | Chikage Rokujou | Durarara
4 | Asano Gakushuu | Assassination Classroom
3 | Chikara Ennoshita | Haikyuu!
2 | Kei Nagai | Ajin
1 | Yakumo Yuurakutei | Rakugo
Top 5 Female Characters of the week
5 | Madoka Amano | Active Raid
4 | Hotaru Shidare | Dagashi Kashi
3 | Lelei la Lalena | GATE
2 | Mana Asuha | Luck & Logic
1 | Yume | Grimgar
Top 5 Anime Recommendations of the week
5 | Durarara!!
4 | Haikyuu!!
3 | Ajin
2 | Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu
1 | Assassination Classroom
Below, you will find my notes on each of the series this week. My notes are just little things about the series that I keep track of. Any good notes, or problems will be noted below. The information will be marked [G] for good/improved, [N] for neutral/no change, or [B] for bad/got worse. If they are mixed like [B/N] or [G/N], that means they are a mix, or I am unsure. The letter that comes first is the feeling I am more inclined to.
Ace of the Diamond 2nd Season (ep 43) – [N] Nice low-key episode this week. I actually really love Nori and he does not get nearly as much credit as he deserves. This episode wasn’t the strongest, but it wasn’t bad. On the other hand, I very much appreciated that this episode took the time to introduce us to some players that will be joining the teams next season. One of the things I like best about this show is how it allows time to pass, and doesn’t try to force all of the characters to stay forever.
Osomatsu-san (ep 17) – [N] Jyushimatsu gets an episode to shine. It was not as enjoyable as I would have liked it to be, but there were still some pretty funny moments. I thought last week was much better because we could hear Ichimatsu’s inner thoughts, while Jyushimatsu doesn’t seem to think much. I think my favorite little bit was at at the end of the episode, when the brothers are looking through the photo album trying to figure out when Jyushimatsu got weird.
Shiraiyuki-hime 2nd Season (ep 4) – [N] Nice way to draw up some major hype at the end there. It pains me so much that Obi is sure to lose this sub-plot battle for Shiraiyuki. Raji kind of flatlined for me this week. He didn’t bring anything new to the table. Actually nothing really new was introduced, with the exception on elaborating on the little blonde kid. This week kind of fell short, but at the same time it wasn’t necessarily bad. I have a feeling next week will be better.
Saijaku Muhai no Bahamut (ep 4) – [B] Well I thought this show couldn’t get much worse, and it blew away my expectations: it indeed did get worse. I actually closed my eyes towards the end, and then woke up two hours later. This show is so cliche, it even works as a sleeping pill! Anyways, this show is either predictable, or random conflicts come out of thin air. I am think dropping this would be the best use of my time, so off it goes. [Dropped for now]
Aokana (ep 4) – [N] I think I might just put this series on hold and watch it another time. Right now, Aokana is really not doing it for me. The series is predictable and the characters aren’t very unique, nor are they intelligent. I even got bored in the middle of the episode and started to clean my room. While, Aokana isn’t necessarily bad, it is by no means good. I might find interest in it later, but for not now. [Dropped/On Hold]
Prince of Stride (ep 5) – [G/N] What surprised me most about this episode was how shockingly good it was. I have a newfound liking to pretty much all the upperclassmen and I feel like they are the strongest part of the show. The three freshies have a long way to go. Ayumu (he has graduated from Shogi guy) is wonderful, as is Heath, and Kuga is also kind of great. I don’t like Hozumi as much, but I do know where he is coming from. Overall it was a great improvement!
HaruChika (ep 5) – [N] Wow guess what! Haruta’s detective agency is well know among high schoolers! I actually laughed out loud when the little Goto kid said that. This show actually makes me laugh when it’s not supposed to. This episode wasn’t really all that bad, in comparison to the previous episodes, but HaruChika as a series continues to disappoint me in that Chika, who is actually somewhat interesting, is completely bulldozed by Haruta’s unbelievable conclusions.
Musaigen no Phantom World (ep 5) – [N] Hmm… Not bad, but also not amazing. I think Minase is just way too unlikable and the development didn’t do very much in that area. On the other hand, I liked seeing Haruhiko in a different light. He makes more sense to me as a character now. The teacher is starting to piss me off a bit; she does a lot to mess them up. I also really liked the introduction of Kurumi. She is adorable and I know like 6 kids that are exactly like her.
Tantei Team KZ – NO EPISODE THIS WEEK [?]
Konosuba (ep 4) – [N] What this show basically does is take the pits of America humor and rework it into a Japanese anime context. What I mean by American humor: bad things happen to terrible people who do awful things. Working that into an overused “trapped in a game” context, this series actually makes out to be a pretty good parody, although as a serious series, it fails. This episode just felt very anticlimactic, and it lacked the gags this show needs to survive.
Erased (ep 5) – [N] Good. Something about this episode felt very dramatic and derailed the series from the previous pace a bit. On the other hand, we did get to see some great development. People around Satoru aren’t as great as we might have thought they were. Airi has a complex with trust and misunderstanding consequence, while the manager wavers in his promises and constitution. Also interesting to note how the adults deal with Hinazuki’s (and the other kids’) disappearance.
Active Raid (ep 5) – [N] I wasn’t a huge fan of this episode, but it was kind of nice to see another side of Madoka. At the same time, the episode was very predictable and didn’t actually tell us very much about Madoka as a character. Active Raid should stick to the quirky action, because when this show slows down it doesn’t have much going for it. Active Raid had me going for a couple weeks there, but the upward trend seems to have completely disappeared.
Assassination Classroom 2nd Season (ep 5) – [G] That was kind of a fantastic episode. Whey are the foreigners so large and angry? How did this guy become a school principle? Can we rename koro-sensei and karasuma mom and dad? Although we didn’t get very much information, other than Asano’s dad being freaking insane, I felt like this episode really captured the feeling of the series quite well. I love how this show doesn’t need massive plot drops to stay interesting.
Shoujo-tachi wa Kouya wo Mezasu (ep 5) – [N/B] This series is not what I expected it to be, and I can no longer lie and say is it is better than average. With a mix of plain jane characters, pretty cliche scenarios, and lack of pull, this series is solidly average. For this week I also have to add that Andou is a bitch, and trying to contrast her terrible personality (as shown by the first half of the episode) with how she is around Bunta (second half and in previous episodes) failed to make her any more likable.
Dagashi Kashi (ep 5) – [N] Nice episode, but not amazing by any means. Whenever the dad appears he kind of steals the show. Overall Dagashi Kashi doesn’t have me captivated, but it does leave me a little bit entertained. I also appreciate that the candy shown in this show has a not at all uncanny resemblance to the real thing. You can tell a lot of effort went into making the candy super accurate. Being a fan of large casts, I also did not expect myself to deeply enjoy the tiny cast at 5 members total
GATE 2nd Season (ep 5) – [N/G] Granted this show is fiction so the military and political details may be a little off, I quite enjoy watching this. Again we see the impact and contrast of modern militarism to that of ancient civilization, displayed on a very fantastical stage. I felt like Tuka’s disorder was fixed all too quickly for how much hype was put into it. It kind of pissed me off that no one really mourned the death of all the warriors from Yao’s tribe, but maybe that is for next week.
Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu (ep 5) – [G/N] Wow… The Rakugo in this show is just so stunning, it captivates me. If you dropped this show on the premise that it was too boring.. Shit what are you doing?! The play went beautifully and it was really nice seeing Bon’s affection for Rakugo grow even more. I also loved the moment when Bon let himself be more open with Miyokichi and opened up to her. She has grown on me much more since last episode.
Heavy Object (ep 5) – [N/G] Shit man Quenther always gets the short end of the stick. Havia’s group of awesome: the girls are strong willed and the other guy (Cookman) is like a camp counselor. I really hope Charles is okay because he is actually adorable, and I thought from the start that Nutley is a total asshole. For those who don’t realize, Nutley is a freaking spy and he literally shot everyone in Quenther’s group, including Quenther. It’s nice to see this show pick up and do drama.
Divine Gate (ep 5) – [N/B] As bad as this show is, I really want to like in. I feel like Divine Gate is trying to achomplish something, but just goes wrong at every turn. In this episode, the whole point of the training camp was obscured by the over explanation of the characters. It pissed me off a little bit that there is a gap in Aota’s character development (becoming more open and expressing his feelings). I fell like Akane is a bit too overdone as a character, but this episode was a nice showing for him.
Galko-chan (ep 5) – [N] Just an average episode of Galko-chan I guess. We saw some of the guys make up a quiz and go then to infer what the answers mean. Also lol at Galko’s sister, who after seeing her, makes Galko seem much more reasonable as a character with such a contrasting personality and image. After all, younger siblings tend to take after the stylistic aspects of the older ones, even if their personality is completely different.
Sekkou Boys (ep 5) – [N/G] First of all: Athena-neechan!! Great episode for Mars. We got to see/hear Daisuki Ono get slammed by a talk show lady. This episode had some pretty well times gags, and it seems that Mars is the easiest to make fun of. Also notes of historical context (reference of other greco-roman gods) made for a nice addition.
Ajin (ep 4) – [G/N] Kei is found by Satou and Tanaka, but what are their plans for him? Remember that Kaneki torture scene? Well brace for much worse next week. I am so pumped up for Kei’s mental breakdown. His sister introduced up to Kei’s dark side, regarding Kai and his moral reasoning. After he is tortured, Kei loses all sympathy for humans, and scenes in this episode laid the foundation for us to realize that he had this way of thinking for a long time.
Durarara!!x2 Ketsu (ep 5) – [N/G] Well I can’t say that the opening is not growing on me. This was a pretty solid episode, specifically regarding Shizuo, since he is the best. I actually really like Chikage and it is fun to finally get to see him more, since he wasn’t around so much in the last seasons. I think this show suffers a bit from having such an enormous cast. Previously it was quite manageable, but now people weave in and out so often I forget their context and who they are.
Haikyuu!! 2nd Season (ep 18) – [N/G] Although it was a bit predictable, I liked the end to this weeks episode. It made me especially aware of Daichi’s impact on the team bot defensively and mentally. I also ended up loving Wakunan. Hinata also shined for me this week. I feel like his funny little antics were lost when the show focused more on the opposing team, and it is nice to have his “I want to figure this tough situation out” from an idiot approach back.
Luck & Logic (ep 5) – [N] Nice. This show reminds me of Phantom World, but it is doing all the right things that PW does not. Mana is much more likable than Minase, and the storytelling for Mana does a better job at making it seem like it wasn’t her choice these things happened to her. Luck & Logic is somewhat cliche at times, but since someone always points it out, I feel like something about it is forgivable. My only concern is that Yoshichika doesn’t have an interesting enough personality to hold the show together.
Utawarerumono (ep 18) – [B] After all that conflict buildup last week, this one just completely face planted. The episode name was “Invasion”, but they should have called it “Packing” or “Kuon Disappears”. I also really dislike how they are somehow making Tuskuru out to be the bad guys this time around. The Tuskuro cast is significantly more likable and well rounded in comparison to the Yamato cast. I also only have like half an idea where this war is actually coming from.
Dimension W (ep 5) – [N/G] I’m currently undecided about this episode. In part because this conflict was fairly confusing to me, but also because Mira was sexualized again. Overall I thought the resolution was fine, and we got more hints about the oh-so-mysterious Mabuchi. It really kind of makes me angry that Mabuchi treats Mira like an object, granted she is a robot and he hates coils, punching her seemed a little bit violent for my tastes. Gintoki does it better.
Hai to Gensou no Grimgar (ep 5) – [N/G] That was a really nice episode just to see how the group deals with loss. I found it to be quite accurate: everyone puts on a strong face, then something breaks the tension and emotions fly. The scene with Yume and Haruhiro was really nice, and I like how sexual enduendos and such were cast away for that scene. I really miss Manato, butit seems Moguzo is stepping up more in conversations to fill in the gaps. Mary interests me, but I am not sure how I feel about her yet.
Nijiiro Days (ep 5) – [N/G] – I actually really like this show without the girls in it, for they are no longer undermined. Surprisingly, I also like this show because it avoids any heavy gay notes between the guys. This episode was a really nice spotlight on Natsuki’s past as a tiny tennis baby who is friends with lots of girls. Also, shit that girl was really savage when she turned down Nat’s senpai. This show should be kept to guys, because whenever girls come in, it gets a little messy.
Ooya-san (ep 5) – [G] In comparison to past episodes, this one was like a home run. We have a real arc introduced with a problem and call to action. I actually am looking forward to next time. I also appreciate that this episode did not contain any weird moments between the old guy and Chie.