Welcome back for the final taste testing of Spring 2016! Come Wednesday or so, I will begin releasing weekly blogs for Mayoiga, JoJo’s, Cerberus, and Kabaneri. Re: Zero is somewhat on my radar, but I have cut it from the program, for now. I am looking for one or two more to pick up so I hope the final animes this season do not disappoint.
Let’s start with an anime we already know is fantastic: Concrete Revolutio. The bold animation, unique characters, and complex plot all come together to make Concrete Revolutio a fantastic watch. I would recommend the first season to watch if you are interested!
The episode begins with a focus on the robot detective, Shiba. Judging from his appearance, this scene is taking place later in the timeline. Our main character Jiro finally makes his appearance, confirming the timeline location. Timeline: two weeks after Shiba fought the robot and Jiro interrupted him. Their conversation also reveals the current conflict: super humans turning on each other. The opening is meh, but the imagery is rich, which excited me for what this season has to offer. We then skip to another time, where the robot loving boy has grown up, and for some reason unknown, Shiba is in a giant robot suite. Okay, so at this time (which is prior to when he wears the white coat and is friends with Jiro), Shiba is working with the military. Effectively, this training is going to nullify violence over super humans in the area. After a little spat between Shiba and the military general, a space android named Washizu comes and breaks them up. The issue Washizu brings up has ties regarding the first episode of the series: the giant S Planetarian. Flash back to when Kikko and Fuurota chased Jiro around the train; Jiro had a smaller S Planetarian with him! Switch back to Shibuya Park and we have a clashing of ideals between Shiba and Washizu. Perhaps this is related to why Shiba and Jiro were “friends” at the beginning of the episode. Oh jeez the protesting students brought a giant dinosaur. Low and behold, Jiro and the S Planetarian synchronizer are laying low at the protest. Emi and Jiro cross paths, then the S Planetarian, who is actually Gross Augen, is trapped by Shiba, who is the one disguised as the dinosaur. Jiro flees, leaving Shiba even more mentally unstable and doubting the Superhuman Bureau. Switch back again to where we find another conflict between the ideals belonging to Shiba and Washizu. Shiba is faced with the reality of a choice, which Washizu doesn’t even consider to be an option. Interesting; Shiba sees his old self in Washizu, and rebels against his former ideals. Washizu’s sense of justice is very black and white, similar to Earth-chan, but other Bureau members do not have as clear-cute ideals. Kikko then has a confrontation with Gross Augen, in which she is given the chance to meet with Jiro. Oh shit Jiro played her so hard. Jiro now has the ability to control his flames, which is probably going to anger Emi, sine she no longer has control over him. Shiba quickly takes action, but quickly is overcome with conflict from Jiro’s words, and Washizu takes over. Shiba has switched over to the side of Jiro! After having a break to correct his insanity, Shiba corrects his course and joins Jiro’s cause. Jiro and Gross Augen break away. Skipping back the the time period of the episode’s start, Shiba has regained his state of mental clarity.
Sorry I wrote a lot, but this series is truly a cut above the rest. The episode thew us right back into the Concrete Revolutio we know and love. I’m extremely excited for what is to come!
Moving on to a less substantial show, Kyoukai no Rinne is next up on the list! Shroud in ridiculousness and an old style way of doing things, Rinne is a very odd anime. Although I would not deem it to be a must-watch like Concrete Revolutio, it is entertaining to a certain degree. If you didn’t know, Rinne is by the same mangaka as Ranma 1/2 (which is great) and Inayusha.
After a glimpse of a cat girl, the much improved opening starts right up. From the looks of things, the cast is expanding much more this season. The soundtrack is pretty hilarious, and I forgot how much I missed it. Basically, the issue is that a large influx of snakes has escaped, and all the young shinigami have been called out to catch them. After dumping a bunch of snakes on Ageha, the black cat makes a break for it, and Rinne chases him. After breaking Rinne’s $5 catching net, the black cat, Oboro is brought down with ease. “I can’t sympathize with either of them,” yeah that is relatable. Basically, Oboro is probably a tsundere who actually liked Ageha, even though she abuses him. Oh dear, Oboro keeps costing rinne so much money. If he doesn’t stop, Rinne is going to slaughter him. Awe, a cute flashback reveals that Ageha and Oboro are pretty close, regardless of how they act. Oh man, Ageha bought the “vacation” shelter for 38,000 yen, which effectively kills Rinne. Rinne revives to drop some wicked, and very touching, realizations. Well, I am glad that this ridiculous series as made a comeback, but that being said, I can’t bring myself to ay this is good anime.
Next up is Flying Witch. The story is about a young girl who moves out into the country to live with her relatives. I have been eying this for months, relying on the visual for excitement. There are a number of people already comparing the series to Kiki’s Delivery Service.
The episode starts with a young girl traveling by train, set to happy, calming music. She jumps on a bus continues to go further and further away from the city. I have to take a moment and commemorate the art; it is calming and detailed. Thus far, the anime has a very solid slice of life feel. Swept up in the rural excitement, our protagonist Makoto, and her cat, begin to express their personalities. The music and visuals create a relaxing, yet very cheerful atmosphere. The little girl, Chinatsu doesn’t remember Makoto, which is a testament to the amount of time that has past since all of them have been together. “This is normal for girls,” as Makoto stands in a huge room full of boxes. Chinatsu decides to listen in on Makoto’s room, only to find that Makoto is talking to her cat? Interesting (and realistic) dynamic that is building around Chinatsu and Makoto. I like how this series is building relationships: it doesn’t rush or juggle around with flashback or forced character development. Instead, flying witch allows character relationships to set a medium, which allows the audience to connect with the characters. And then she was flying! I guess that had to come out sooner or later. Chinatsu’s reaction is priceless. Nao also has a fantastic impression of Makoto. Skipping to the next day, Makoto begins her first day of school, along with Kei and Chinatsu. Poor Makoto starts the day rough, since she has poor memory. Quickly, Nao begins to get over her “fear” of Makoto after learning more about her. It appears Kei and Makoto are strangely similar, despite not having too much exposure to each other. What the heck? Are we in harry potter? Where did the screaming radish come from? Nao’s expressions are priceless. This show is subtly hilarious and adorable. I like it, but it’s one of those animes that is meant to watch and enjoy.
Might as well try and speed things up with another highly anticipated anime; Kiznaiver. From what I know, the series is another spin on a seven deadly sins story (even though there are eight characters on the cover). This time, the people are bound by words. Cruncyroll has released a multitude of videos meant to hype the series. It looks interesting enough!
We start off with images of a young boy running through saturated red scenery. A little girl jumps off a building and the boy is left screaming alone. We skip to a modern-looking scene (12 years later). The animation is very compelling and well executed. “One for all, and all for one”. I’m willing to stake a bet that that will be a common theme throughout the production. The opening is very mellow, and a quite like the song. My only qualm about the opening is whether or not it fits the feel of the anime. We open to a scene with white-haired guy and best friend girl, who are going back and forth about cicada life cycle. It appears that Katsuhira (white hair) likes to avoid conflict at all cost, even if he gets beat up and robbed in the process. Chidori (best friend) opposes his way of doing things, and wants him to stand up for himself. Katsuhira is cornered and beat up. The rambunctious Tenga comes to Katsu’s rescue. Apparently, ever since Katsu’s odd experience (seen in the beginning of the episode) he has had a high tolerance for pain. Oh dear, Tenga strangled him into passing out. The blue haired lady from the past has returned! After a chaotic classroom scene, we skip to some creepy flashbacks. Thus far, the art has been fantastic, and incredibly helpful in building the atmosphere. Katsu wakes up to find Sonozaki, who is well prepared for the info drop. We quickly rush through the premise of the story: these are the new forms of the seven deadly sins. Katsuhira is a “sin” because he doesn’t express fear or need. Aka, he is pride. To prove her point, Sonozaki shoves Katsu down/off a staircase, resulting in some fantastic imagery with (no doubt) religious ties. Just like that, we are brought to a room full of “sins”. More info drop via Sonozaki; they are all connected, so pain is shared.”One for all, All for victory,” just became so real. I really like where this series is heading. It built a solid foundation in this episode to build upon, although the origin of Kiznaivers s very unknown.
(Almost) Last, we have Tanaka-kun is always Listless. Total snooze-fest if you ask me. Literally. Apparently, it is about a boy, Tanaka, who is always tired and unconcerned. The series chronicles his high school life.
The episode starts out with a cute little anime boy laying out in the grass on a beautiful day. Immediately, you get a feel for what the anime is going to be like: gentle, soft, graceful. Our seme, Ohta comes to wake up baby Tanaka, and brings him to the classroom, where everyone knows their drill. We then slide into a very forgettable opening song. Basically, Tanaka uses all his free time to sleep. The proportions seems really off sometimes. Yep, he is pretty much just an extremely useless guy. If you think about it, Tanaka-kun is similar to Sakamoto-san. Both shows feature main characters with odd quirks, and rely on repeated gags for audience attention. Sakamoto-san just does it better. There are a lot of freeze frames in this anime, which slows the product down considerably, but not for the better. Ohta is super cool and Tanaka is pretty pitiful. Tanaka does have a redeeming factor: he can play piano. I’m still waiting to see the red-head’s eyes. There they are! Okay the dentist thing was kind of funny. And a high school show wouldn’t be complete without a love interest! Overall, I thought the show was pretty bland.
Yay! Those were the last of my first impressions! I am going to write about Concrete Revolutio, but that is the only additional anime I am picking up (in terms of writing). Happy anime hunting!