Good Bye summer 2016

 

Three months… it sounds like it’s very long time but when you actually live through it you feel like there isn’t just enough time in the world to do everything you want, especially when that thing you want to do is watching anime and indulge yourself in otaku lifestyle. Even though university left me with near 4 months of holiday I ended up being too busy with various events during summer to properly indulge myself in anime, but at the same time I also think this season was one of the most lukewarm season in a long time for me so I guess I didn’t miss much at all. There were many shows that made me curious such as Mob Psycho 100, but for some reason and another I wasn’t able to get to that show. I mean, I still need to watch Re:Zero that I promised to marathon when It finish, then again it could be that I’m mostly interested in Slice of Life shows nowadays. Oh well, let’s see what happens. On the subject of anime and such, it seems like two of the most prominent Shounen Jump manga Bleach and Nisekoi has finally ended… Wow I thought I would never say that in my life time, yes Bleach has ENDED! What gives? Now we just wait for One piece to finish… in probably 40 years’ time with Fairy Tail ending just before then. Oh course I’m exaggerating a bit but it was real shocker that now only 1 out of the Big Three remains; and now we wait patiently for even that to finish.

Seasonal Anime

 

91 Days (MAL, Crunchyroll)

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A revenge story of a young man, whose family has been victim of mafia killing 7 years prior. Now he’s back in town for his long awaited revenge on mafia family that calimed lives of his mother, father and his younger brother…

Dark, edgy shows with hint of violence such as Elfen Lied and Akame ga Kill! are my guilty pleasures, and 91 Days is no exception. The show is set during Prohibition period in Lawless, Illinois. Mafia is running the town’s alcohol supply and steadily growing in power. Our main character, Angelo Lagusa, now goes by the name of Avilio Bruno, is out for revenge and he won’t stop at much to achieve his goal. To kill those that killed his entire family 7 years ago he got closer to those who killed his family sending them false sense of security.

I must say, I have enjoyed this show. Story is very interesting, combining real life aspects such as prohibition and mafia in fictional setting, many things that mafia has done to each other is also present in this show such as alcohol trafficking, backstabbing, family feud and whole lot of violence. Oh yeah, it won’t be a story about mafia if there aren’t any good ol’ tommy guns involved. You can assume from the start that our main character will back stab and con his way through his revenge and the show delivers it through his prospective, he cons, backstabs and brute force his way into mafia life slowly and steadily.

Also I got to say I really liked the characters in this show. First we are introduced to Angelo and his childhood friend Cerotto, after coming back to Lawless after 7 years, Angelo asks Cerotto for his help due to quality of his moonshine. At first glance we were made to symphonize with both of them due to their tragic past, however after the first run in with mafia at the bar we get to know more about the mafia. We learn that mafia are not just heartless demon who cares nothing but money, but instead we see human side of them as they just want best for their families. So now it’s Angelo who looks like heartless demon, going as far as to kill off people he made friends with, or even going as far as trying to kill innocent, becoming the demon that he detested himself. It really blurs the line of who’s wrong and who’s right, of course there are main antagonists in this show but they are used to deepen the bonding between the main cast of characters, the ones who tritely matter.

Overall I’d say give this show a try. Knowing this is an anime the historical fact won’t be very accurate but who cares about that really. Saying that, ending of this show is something to be desired.

 

Amaama to Inazuma (Sweetness and Lightning) (MAL, Crunchyroll)

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Well to start things off, as the name suggest we’ve got diabetes inducing Sweetness and Lightning, where Father who just lost his wife tries his hands on cooking that he’s never done before for his daughter with help from one of his students whose family runs a restaurant, oh and that student of his doesn’t know anything about cooking either so yeah…

So then, show’s story revolves around the fact that main characters have never tried cooking before at all, with comedic scenes coming from their lack of knowledge in cooking. However, this show is more than comedy; rather this show is more like heart-warming than anything. You feel the warmth as you see them, figuring out what to do, making mistakes and learning from it. Oh and especially Tsumugi. Everything she does is cute and funny; her interaction with her friends, her dad and everyone around her is just too cute and sweet. And unlike many children in other anime she tends to act like her age as well without being a brat, she’s innocent, active, occasionaly fight with her friends over trivial stuffs and many other things, how nice.

I personally really enjoyed watching this how. Its welcome break from normal Slice of Life show with High School as main focus, the characters are cute and witty which is positive for me, story can also be funny and witty except few scenes here and there that pulls my heartstring. Overall, I’d say if you are into Slice of Life then you won’t be disappointed with this show.

 

Amanchu! (MAL, Crunchyroll)

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Calm, soothing anime with slight bit of weirdness to it. Story revolves around two girls, Hikari “Pikari” Kohinata, energetic and slightly weird girl who’s into scuba diving, and Futaba “Teko” Ooki, a shy girl that just got transferred from city, influenced by Pikari to join Scuba club with her.

This is a weird one; from the opening you get beautiful scenery with calming OST. And to be fair this show has amazing scenery and stunning art works that plays well with this show, but I have to say that character design is… questionable. Don’t get me wrong majority of times the character design is fantastic and fits this show really well, it’s just that for comedic purposed the characters become… let’s say they become less detailed… I mean I understand that it’s all for comic relief that they purposely make their face less detailed but it’s still jarring.

In terms of story, there’s not much to say really. It is mostly Teko trying her hardest to make herself feel better and less shy, and small step she took in order to achieve that was to join Scuba club and learning to Scuba dive. Her friend Pikari is mostly there for her encouragement but many times it turns out as comic relief character. Show itself can be boring at times but the artwork and soundtrack makes up for the story to an extent. Do I recommend this series though? Not really. Story can get boring and bland quickly and even if artwork is really good, it can only do much to save the show. But I must admit though, it’s hella beautiful show in terms of artwork.

 

Kono Bijutsubu ni wa Mondai ga Aru! (This Art Club has a Problem!) (MAL, Crunchyroll)

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Another Slice of Life show that has High School as background, oh and this time everyone’s in Art club, unlike literature club, light music club or any other club. Not that it matters anyway, it’s another Slice of Life show that revolves around quirky students in one club. Oh and the opening is weird as hell.

As I said above, this time it’s Slice of Life show (oh my, it’s like only thing I watched so far is slice of life) but in more familiar setting of High School club. We get our fair share of characters, Usami a hard working student in the art club who likes to draw apples for some reason, oh and she’s got crush on Uchimaki, an open otaku who only joined art club so he can draw his ultimate waifu (man, don’t you guys wish you had guts like him.) and club president, who just sleeps. Then there is Collette the transfer student from overseas and Imari who gets along with Uchimaki since they are both otakus. There aren’t much to say about story since it follows typical Slice of Life plot, they draw in their club room, and then they talk about something, argue, make up, then go home. This is a comedic show with comic relief character Collette doing her job very well, not to mention Usami’s interaction with her crush Uchimaki also providing funny moments. But that’s all to the show.

If you watched other slice of life show with High School club as the base then you’ve basically seen this anime. Characters are stereotypical and there isn’t much to say about the story. There aren’t distinctive feature that defines this show and makes it memorable, it’s just another school life story. However having said that, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. There are many shows like this because it’s been shown that people will watch it, and honestly I did enjoy odd bits of this show and managed to chuckle time to time. Would I recommend this show? Only if you know you like Slice of Life show.

 

Masou Gakuen HxH (Hybrid x Heart Magias Academy) [On Hold] (MAL, Crunchyroll)

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I’ll just say this now. I got in without any expectation, but this show still managed to not impress me. Saying that, Light Novel is actually not bad even if it’s not up to the standard of DxD (I may be biased here.)

This is an extremely ecchi show that even puts Shinmai to shame, with whole premise of story being that our male MC has been summoned by his older sister to become part of this organisation that fights against the other world entities. His job? Basically make the fighters (all female) climax to replenish their magic ability. Yes that’s right, he saves the world by making these girls climax allowing them to continue fighting.

Okay, that might have made it sound way worse than what it really is but I can’t help it when the story is really just that. Our male MC Kizuna’s job is to do Heart Hybrid with these girls and that basically means he makes them climax in various ways. Another harem anime mixed with battle shounen, but the difference between other ecchi shows such as DxD and Shinmai is the extent that this show will go to show this “Heart Hybrid” scene without being labelled as Hentai, and after reading the original Light Novel I have to say that they toned it down hell a lot in anime. Yes that’s right, anime TONED down the ecchiness, that’s what we are dealing with over here. Now enough with complaining about ecchiness of this show, is story actually good? Sadly, no. in my opinion, story is quite bland with characters that aren’t anything out of ordinary, what this show gives is generic “Let’s all fight against this threat that nearly destroyed the mankind” story that we’ve seen more than hundred times before in a setting that could have worked if they haven’t made the story so predictable. I was genuinely disappointed in this show that I went and read all currently translated Light Novel volumes available on Baka Tsuki (BTW shoutout to Bakapervert, translator for this LN and bloody quick one at that) and I have to say that LN, although being better in some ways, still suffers from similar problem with anime in that story is essentially the same (take away some anime original content here and there), so how is LN better? Since the source is from LN we get more explanation of the world of HxH, more about the characters and much, much more ecchi.

Overall, I feel like if we take away the main appeal of this show (Ecchiness) then we get something not even remotely close to quality, and I have to say I never thought there would be a show that was more disappointing then Shinmai Burst this quickly after Shinmai ended.

As a side note here, if you are into straight, lesbian, S&M, mind control, NTR bait, incest, lesbian incest, tentacles and loli then you will enjoy the Light Novel, mind you no sex happens between characters (yet.)

 

Momokuri [Dropped] (MAL, Crunchyroll)

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It seems like my tolerance to weird show has gone down significantly, or maybe I’m not into RomCom like I was before.

Short synopsis of the show is that you have these two characters, Yuki and Shinya a.k.a Momo, they are going out with each other with what it seems like innocent love. Well except that Momo is always conscious about his height and how he doesn’t look manly enough, meanwhile Yuki is massive pervert who stalks her boyfriend before and after confessing and collects his used straws. Yup, this show is another weird one.

Not a whole lot to say about this. It wasn’t fun to me at all, maybe RomCom lost its appeal to me.

 

New Game! (MAL, Crunchyroll)

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Aaand we’ve got this season’s yuri OTP and Best Girl (Umiko) material in one show.

Show revolves around group of people in game production studio where they are currently in the process of making latest instalment of their best series Fairy’s Tail. Story is told by Aoba, High School graduate who recently got hired as in character design department of the company. Little shenanigans happen all the time around her, will she and the team meet the deadline in time? (Spoiler, yes they do.)

This is a fun little show, a perfect replacement for Three Leaves Three Colours from last season. It’s hyper, cute, witty and best of all; it has yuri ship of the season. Okay, with all the joking aside, it’s a cute and fun little show that makes you relaxed while watching and will make you laugh if you are into Slice of Life genre. The setting of the show is in company so it’s not filled with High School girls at least, although I don’t think that’ll make much difference even if it’s set in high school. One thing to note is that even if the setting of the show is in Video Game Company you shouldn’t expect Shirobako kind of show, as Gigguk said, think of it as K-On! But in game production company instead.

 

Non-seasonal Anime

 

Date a Live (Season 1) (MAL, FUNimation (US Only))

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Ok, I’ll confess. I initially watched this a year ago but I dropped it after getting through half of ep3, and the reason for dropping it is quite shallow. I didn’t like Kotori (Younger sister of MC.) but recently I had a chance to watch season 1 of Date a Live with some guys over at Highschool DxD Discord and I must say, I really enjoyed the series (Kotori still annoys me though.)

The premise of the show is (in case you have never heard of it before) is that 30 years ago there was massive explosion, now known as spacequack, happened at the border between Mongol and China, killing at least 150 million. Now modern-day Japan these girls, called Spirits, appear randomly and cause these spacequacks, and only was to stop them is to either kill them or seal their powers. And how you seal their powers? Date them and make them fall in love with you.

My initial reaction? What an annoying and bratty little sister. Yup I know it’s not something that should bother me but man, it annoys me. But apart from that problem, I was surprised how much I enjoyed this series; especially when the premise of the show sounded like generic harem anime so I didn’t have many expectations. What I liked about this series in particular is that it had good balance of both comedy scene, romance scene and serious battle scene where transition from one part of the story to another happened naturally most of the time. Characters themselves are very interesting, at first we get Kotori, seemingly innocent little sister of out MC who happens to be commander of organisation, Shidou our MC who didn’t want to be part of this initially but gets very involved in it, Origami who probably will kill just about anyone if they were involved in her parent’s death, Tooka who I thought have cool personality but turns out she’s massive Tsundere with varying personality, Yoshino who is just a cute little girl bait of the show and then we get Kurumi, the one that everyone heard of, the batshit crazy. With mix of characters like that in one series it wasn’t hard to keep me entertained for entirety of the show.

Well if you managed to read through that mess of a paragraph then congratulation, here’s the TL:DR of what you just read anyway. Date a Live is good, I like the story, characters and will be watching season 2 and read the light novels very soon. Overall I liked many aspects of the show, from characters, story and the soundtracks.

 

Inou-Battle wa Nichijou-kei no Naka de (When Supernatural Battles become Commonplace.) (MAL, Crunchyroll)

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You have your normal High School literature club; all members are friends and get along nicely. We’ve got chunnibyou male MC, his childhood friend who happens to be slight airhead, one of her classmate who can be massive tsundere at times, club president who oversees everything and club advisor’s niece who comes around all the time. Except, things are never that simple are they? Since they have special powers.

This was a weird one since I haven’t yet watched many shows that blends both fantasy and Slice of Life so it was interesting to watch how things unfolds. Normally when I watch SoL show based in High School I expect to see light hearted show with story consisting about the characters primary instead of focusing on overarching arc, few dramas here and there may be and so on.  However when I watched this show it felt like I was more alert about drama surrounding the characters compared to other shows I watched. Especially after the introduction of more characters with special powers I began to realise that focus of this show isn’t on the Slice of Life aspect, but rather more focused on fantasy and supernatural aspect of the show. Now that’s not a bad thing really, I fact I enjoyed this show because of it but I have to say there was small part of me that was disappointed when realising that. Another aspect of this show surrounding the drama was that it had similar problem with Shoujo-tachi where many drama and problems that characters faced normally ended up getting resolved within an episode or at max two, however this wasn’t much problem with this show since the context of drama in this show is different to that of shoujo-tachi and that made it more forgivable in my mind. That is to say, I still would have enjoyed more if there was less drama since I was expecting some events to occur due to drama surrounding the characters that never happened in the end, maybe I was just too alert when watching this show.

Overall I enjoyed this show, but it also has its own flaws. Character backgrounds and their developments have been nicely done but I think events in the show escalated quite too quickly if I’m honest about it.

 

Shokugenki no Souma Season 1 [Dropped] (MAL, Crunchyroll)

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Simplest way to summarising this show is that this show is basically shounen battle show but they fight using food instead of punching each other. Oh yeah, and they have massive foodgasm when they eat them. Well then again, if you consider that Tosh is the one who’s drawing the manga then it really shouldn’t be surprising.

I don’t’ know why but I just didn’t enjoyed this show as much as I thought I would. Animation is good and very well done, story seems to be interesting and characters are also intriguing (except for Erina. I don’t care if she gets better in the manga, I just don’t like her even if she’s a massive tsundere.) but in the end, the execution of the story that kinda got me. I mean, it’s nice and all but what’s the point of all these tension if we know that our main MC is going to win at the end? I realise that main attraction of this kind of show isn’t about the winning or losing of the battles, but rather the process in order to get to that win, all the character development between the battle should be the heart of the show but… I just didn’t like the way that was done. Maybe I’m missing something, or maybe I no longer have interest in such show. Either way, I had to drop this series after 9 episodes or so.

One thought on “Good Bye summer 2016”

  1. Glad to see that you finished Date A Live and liked it. It was also one of the series that I found most enjoyable when I got back into anime. There is enough variety in the characters to make you like something about the whole series.

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