The 2016 Spring Season has officially begun! This season I am going to be trying out some new writing styles and testing different organizations of the blogs. For now, I am going to introduce and give my thoughts in the most eloquent way possible. This time around I am going to abstain from including numerical ratings of the shows, since they don’t add much and usually end up sparking conflict. Let’s Begin.
First up we have the classic Ushio and Tora (second season). If you don’t know, I am a rather large fan of an older style of anime. production. As an anime, Ushio and Tora gives off an old school feel with the thick line art, super heroic characters, and fairly straightforward plot. Though not the best old manga adaptation I have seen, Ushio and Tora does a fairly good job at balancing modern audience needs and honoring the original story.
This episode starts with a brand new downgrade of an opening. I see the point of an opening to get you excited to watch the rest of the episode. This opening sounds like band members tuning their instruments before the song begins. Next we get introduced to a fairly pretty scene with Asano, which reestablishes their emotional tie. Of course, the only right thing to do then would be have every character forget Ushio and Tora exist. Granted, this is the kind of anime that needs conflict to push the plot, I feel like the presentation lack excitement, and didn’t have enough emotion to connect with. This show wouldn’t be itself if we didn’t see Tora go totally Tsundere in Ushio’s presence. Ushio and Tora is not very subtle, and without character development, it is pretty lack luster. I expect the series to improve in the following weeks, but highly doubt the series will achieve a very memorable status.
The next anime I looked at is Mayoiga, or rather creepily translated to The Lost Village. I don’t know much about the series other than it is about 30 (relatively) young people who take a bus to join a supposedly “perfect” society. There is no doubt in my mind that there will be a prominent lesson like “utopias look better on paper” or something along those lines.
The episode starts with plot building. Although it doesn’t make for the strongest hook, we do get a decent sense for what the anime is going to be about. I like how the series took some time to introduce members of the cast that will (hopefully) be receiving some good character development later on. With such a large cast I find it unlikely that the series would focus on the plot rather than character relationships. Before the opening song, there is no designated main character. The opening didn’t do much for this anime. It’s not beautiful or rad rock n’ roll, but it also isn’t nails on the chalk board. After watching the opening, it appears that the two teenage boys and the young girl with the bob haircut are the stars of this show, but the side characters will not be ignored. I’m going to throw out a guess that the unlucky hippopotamus song is foreshadowing the experience as a whole. I’m starting to really feel the dark undertones of this series. You get it a little bit from the color palette, but Mitsumune’s delusions and Misaki’s bipolar symptoms have clarified the underlining mood. Also, way to end on a really creepy note. Singing morbid lyrics with a straight face and entering the abysmal-looking village always brings out the smiles. Anyways, this is looking to be an interesting anime with pretty high production value.
Now let’s look at Ace Attorney. This anime is based off a popular game. From what I have heard, the game is pretty complete/well rounded so the adaptation should be solid. It seems to be taking the angle of “extremely talented/gifted man in a field,” which gives me major Back Jack feels. This time around, our main man is a lawyer.
The episode opens up with a murder and a seemingly uncreative villain. Next we skip to a typical high school boy narration opening. Well the first minute hasn’t left me impressed in the slightest. I think I need a moment to take in how weird (not in a good way) the opening is. It was actually hilarious just how stupid it came off. The main guy is obviously going to have a rival who is a prosecutor (“attack” lawyer). Oh my god the main character is named Naruhodo (“I see [understand]” in Japanese). Naruhodo. On the plus side the art looks pretty solid. I think the following ridiculousness just crushed the positive statement about art. Practice of law (specifically homicide) is not to be taken so lightly. Instead of creating humorous contrast in that area, this anime is just off-putting. Also, holy shit his friend’s name is Yahari (“I knew it” in Jap). This anime is kind of a mess. Naruhodo gets up to defend his friend’s future and cracks a fucking joke. Well apparently the show is actually taking a reasonable legal route when it fully disproves the witness testimony. The childhood flashbacks are really bizarre and come with close to no explanation. Apparently when you lose, you are hit with an immense physical blow via wind power. Well there are some things this show has to offer, but it fails in other respects. I like how aspects of the game are incorporated into the adaptation, but the general lack of seriousness/sanity is a little obnoxious. Overall it made for an entertaining episode, but not in the right way. I think this will be a fun one to critic.
Side note: In the game, Naruhodo translates to Mr. Wright. There is an option on Crunchy roll subs to change it if you right click.
Moving on to The Asterisk War, which produced an underwhelming season last fall. The lovely pastel colors, decent soundtrack, and fairly developed characters make up for what would be a generic harem anime. You have the pink haired tsundere lead, boring overpowered male lead, childhood friend, sexy girl in charge of things, and random cute girl. The gang’s all here! This season picks up right where it left off in the tournament.
The episode starts with a tiny annoying girl who zips around the room with a bunch of guys chasing her. Oh wait that is the girl who gives an evil smile in the last opening. Nice “big bang opening” with the animation work featuring her flying around the room. Shockingly enough she is another random chic interested in Ayato. This opening has better imagery than the previous season, but the song itself is underwhelming. Next we skip to a relatively meaningless scene where Ayato and Julis strategize and remind the audience how battered Ayato is. To catch us up even more and to widen the cast, we get a reminder from the announcer girls. This episode has pretty much amounted to a large info dump. Julis and Ayato face off against respectable people for a change, now isn’t that nice? I like how they incorporate strategy instead of relying on blind luck. We also meet the typical villainous twins that seem to have no dimension to their character at all. The conversation between our start duo/otp was progress, and the animation done suited the scene well. We also meet the strange little maid cat girl. Overall it was a fine return for an average series.
Next up we have the highly anticipated My Hero Academia. I started reading the manga a while ago and fell in love with the constant action and interesting characters. The premise is one that aligns itself with the “young boy wants power and the unbelievable happens, which allows him to get powerful” story. Basically, the story is a heartfelt twist on an otherwise dry story.
We start the episode with a short introduction to the main rivalry. Deku (Izuku) is a scaredy-cat, but not a coward, while Kacchan (Katsuki) is a hot head. We quickly flow into what seems to be a rather standard start to Deku’s day. I wish the put the opening somewhere else because it felt a little out of place right there. The opening itself is the best I’ve seen this season, which is not saying much. It is pretty catchy and all the characters get a little screen time. Deku does us a solid by explaining a bit of background for the “superhero society” and we get a sample of the local superheros. Deku fanboys all over them, which is more important than it seems. He is unable to have super powers (at this time anyways), but has not given up on or rejected the superhero culture he is surrounded with, which speaks to his determination and inner-strength. We then skip to school where Kacchan and Deku get into conflict and we see the extent of Kacchan’s bombastic personality. The classroom scene also supplied a fair amount of animation that is fitting for the story, such as thick lines, bold colors, and ample exaggeration. The main character wouldn’t be complete without some sort or tragedy! We see the root of Deku’s infatuation with heros (specifically All Might), and then whallla! All Might comes to the rescue and Deku asks the question on his mind. So far this has been a pretty typical hero series run down. Granted, this series really shines just a little later, so the start is to be taken lightly. Overall, I thought it was a solid start to a series that will no doubt be one of the best this season (if it sticks to the source material).
Next, we have a cute pick called Kuma Miko. The story seems to be that the little girl is a shrine maiden who is not ready for the real world, and this bear is somehow going to prepare her to face reality. Maybe it’s just how I explained it but this may be an ironic seres.
Our journey starts with a typical school girl traveling through the woods. We then pan around to various bear warnings, as well as a bear with spooky red eyes. Of course there is ominous music to go along with it. Oh well that was a quick turn of events. Very expected and very speedy. The opening is adorable and perfect for the series, excluding the spoken/rap beginning. So basically the cute little girl Machi doesn’t want to live in the middle of nowhere, and the bear Natsu (aka dad) doesn’t think she is ready for the city. Machi and Natsu have a very bizarre relationship (for anime that is) and I’m caught trying to decide whether or not it is cute. I really do not understand the context as to why Machi’s cousin (the random adult) brought the three random kids into the forest. And oh my he told them a slutty story, which is obviously contrasting or foreshadowing the relationship between Natsu and Machi. Note how great that little girl’s english is. The bear tried to serve them tea; this anime may be too much for me. The episode ends with a misconstrued question and a misunderstanding. Overall, I think this series will be decent in terms of humor, but I don’t think it has much of anything else to offer.
Almost done with my first anime taste test! The next episode I watched was Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures: Diamond is Unbreakable. I haven’t actually finished Stardust Crusaders yet, but I figured I know enough information (and read enough spoilers) to understand this series. JoJo’s is a lot of fun, and people really like Josuke, and apparently Joseph (my favorite) is still in it. This time around Josuke and crew will be trying to solve local murders.
We start off with a very ominous scene depicting typical suburbia, except someone has presumably been murdered. We also get a little blip of grown Jotaro coming to meet the to be star. Jotaro runs into a tiny man, who seems to be narrating the episode, but nothing is discovered, except that Jotaro’s hat and hair are still one being. Oh wait, the thugs are relavent because they then mess with Josuke, who apparently is afraid of reptiles. I guess the future JoJos aren’t blood related? Josuke has a stand, and I guess some sort of healing energy. I can’t wait to see Jotaro and Josuke chat it out. Oh just kidding they are related. Josuke is Joseph’s love baby. Hopefully Josuke inherited Joseph’s sense of humor because Jotaro is a piece of stale bread compared to Joseph. I like Josuke. He is more outwardly kind than Jotaro, and has manners. Like the JoJos before him, he is a gentleman, unless you insult his hair. I tip my hat to the info dumps that aren’t annoying and endless. Tomoko (Josuke’s mother) seems like a pretty cool chic. I guess the tiny guy Koichi has become somewhat of a Smokey-like sidekick to Josuke. I guess the crazy guy was being controlled by a stand (similar to Anubis in Stardust Crusaders) who is intent on stalking Josuke. Maybe it’s just me, but this more modern context is not as appealing. I really like when things go crazy out of hand and ridiculousness is the context, but this season seems very tame in comparison to the others. Where are the extravagant posses, battle cries, and miscellaneous battle strategy? I’m hoping the show picks up on it’s past a little bit.
The final anime this time is Re:ZERO. I have heard bad things about this series, such as it is from a light novel that one a contest. I have also heard that the author is widely renowned for their sadistic humor, which is a positive for me. The premise is something along the lines of time travel and saving pretty girls. This is going to be longer since I am watching both 1A and 1B.
The episode creates a creepy atmosphere right off the bat, switching between an ominous death scene and our boring looking main character with background music that is a little too happy. Whoa, it appears this anime has some pretty great cinematic value! Although the parallel world stuff is cliche, I do like the transition; it wasted none of our time. Honestly, the CGI leaves much to be desired, but the sound effects add a lot to the anime. I like the humor in the anime. It is dropped in, but doesn’t force you to laugh. I still support my first sentence: this anime creates atmosphere. It reminds me of Konosuba a little bit, but I don’t see that as a bad thing. When that guy pulled out the knives I felt the dark humor surging forward. I predict this is going to be a pretty fun anime to watch. I can’t tell if the white haired girl is actually a tsundere, or just a really nice person. I like the MC’s (what is his name?) sensitive, yet dense personality. This anime is losing me a little bit with the helping the lost child. I guess you could say the looming darkness has disappeared, so the show is not as gripping. I guess helping the little girl makes for good karma coming their way. The first part ends with a magical feeling, and the ominous atmosphere emerges yet again
On to the second episode. Oh shit a murder scene. Oh shit he got stabbed. Oh shit she got stabbed. Well now we know what that ominous death scene in the very beginning was. I had my suspicions, but that was surprising. I love the music here when he comes back. Again, its refreshing how this anime doesn’t waste our time on pointless drama. Subaru (vroom vroom) wastes no time going back to the murder scene, but it appears he forgot all about Satella (that’s a fake name I guarantee). I like the light hearted banter between the old man and Subaru, as well as between the old man and Felt. Again, the show creates an atmosphere around the characters that really sucks you into the story. It appears the witch lady that walked is super fishy. The resistance in the camera angles to show her face gives off a very villainous vibe in this scenario. Oh wow that biding game didn’t end well. RIP ROP OJIII!! I have to tip my hat to the dazzling animation. The incorporation of dark themes is really giving this anime a massive leg up in the competition. The psychedelic flashback really sealed the deal for me. I deem this anime one to watch this season. So far it seems to mix elements from Konosuba with darker themes (and time travel), such as the ones present in Erased. Overall I really enjoyed the premier and I have a good feeling about this.
Thank you for reading my thoughts and I hope you enjoyed my first impressions. There is still a huge wave of anime that has yet to air, so I will surely be making a couple more of these “Taste Testing” blogs.