Sunday, 23 July 2017

Summer 2017! Which Anime to watch and which to avoid!

We are a few weeks into the new Anime season, Summer 2017! And not to sound like a negative nancy...it's not a good one. Yes there are quite a few new shows season. Quite a few with interesting premises but so far execution has been lacklustre, luckily there are a few good sequels as well. So to get the ball running, I'm going to first off state the 5 most worth following anime this season. And then follow up with the rest of the anime and lastly I'll list the anime you should avoid.

Kakegurui

Synopsis : Hyakkaou Private Academy. An institution for the privileged with a very peculiar curriculum. You see, when you're the sons and daughters of the wealthiest of the wealthy, it's not athletic prowess or book smarts that keep you ahead. It's reading your opponent, the art of the deal. What better way to hone those skills than with a rigorous curriculum of gambling?

At Hyakkaou Private Academy, the winners live like kings, and the losers are put through the wringer. But when Jabami Yumeko enrolls, she's gonna teach these kids what a high roller really looks like!
Thoughts : I'm a big fan of high stakes gambling anime like Akagi and Kaiji so obviously I was interested in Kakegurui from the get go. But the insanity of the setting and the varied characters has me hooked for now. It does feature a fair bit of fanservice so be warned if that's not your thing.

Ballroom e Youkoso

Synopsis : Feckless high school student Fujita Tatara wants to be good at something - anything. Unfortunately, he's about as average as a slouchy teen can be. The local bullies know this and make it a habit to hit him up for cash, but all that changes when the debonair Sengoku Kaname sends them packing. Sengoku's not the neighborhood watch, though. He's a professional ballroom dancer. And once Fujita Tatara gets pulled into the world of the ballroom, his life will never be the same.
Thoughts : A big thing I've always loved about Anime as a whole, is how sometimes people can make the most entertaining shows around topics I would normally not be interested in, like bread battles and boxing for example. In this case Ballroom dancing is the topic and other than the weird facial expressions from time to time. I have to admit Ballroom e Youkoso is pretty darn funny so far.

Youkoso Jitsuryoku Shijou Shugi no Kyoushitsu e

Synopsis : Koudo Ikusei Senior High School is a leading prestigious school with state-of-the-art facilities where nearly 100% of students go on to university or find employment. The students there have the freedom to wear any hairstyle and bring any personal effects they desire. Koudo Ikusei is a paradise-like school, but the truth is that only the most superior of students receive favorable treatment.

Ayanokouji Kiyotaka is a student of D-class, which is where the school dumps its "inferior" students in order to ridicule them. For a certain reason, Kiyotaka was careless on his entrance examination, and was put in D-class. After meeting Horikita Suzune and Kushida Kikyou, two other students in his class, Kiyotaka's situation begins to change.
Thoughts : Youjitsu is one of the very few new anime this season that has made me curious as to how it's going to progress. Especially as more is shown of the main character that does seem a bit...lackluster at first. Most definately one of the anime to watch this season.

Princess Principal

Synopsis : At the end of the 19th century, London, the Kingdom of Albion has been split into East and West sides by a giant wall. Five girls attend Queen's Mayfaire, a conventional and prestigious school. Under the guise of regular high school girls, they act as spies under cover. Disguise, reconnaissance, infiltration, car chases... Each girl uses their own set of special skills to dart around the world of shadow.
Thoughts : I'll admit the setting of Princess Principal which reminds me of the east vs west germany to some extent, with the added allure of cute girls, spies and fantasy-like powers is what mostly has me interested in Princess Principal, Hopefully it continues being good but only time will tell.

Keppeki Danshi! Aoyama-kun

Synopsis : Aoyama is a handsome young soccer genius who is a Japan representative. His play style is cleanliness. He doesn't tackle and doesn't head the ball. If he's doing a throw-in, he'll only do it if he's wearing gloves.
Thoughts : Keppeki Danshi! Aoyama-kun brings the same kind of humor that Sakamoto ga desu had, but just in a more enjoyable sports setting, namely soccer. If laughs after a hard day at work/school is what you need. This is what you should watch.

That concludes the list of anime I think are must see this season, Like I said earlier, the general quality of the season feels lacking compared to previous ones. Luckily we still have Boku no Hero 2 and Shingeki no Bahamut Virgin from last season airing as well as the fantastic Re-Creators! Now to talk about the rest of the anime that might be worth following this season, and lastly the anime to avoid completely.

Made in Abyss : So far has a very interesting setting, but there isn't much more to it currently. From the few episodes that have aired thus far it's still hard to place. It's enjoyable but not great.

Jikan no Shihaisha : Is one of the more promising anime this season, with the entire premise of time demons and all, though it does feel very episodic which might be it's downfall.

Shoukoku no Altair : Mostly watching it for the historic warfare setting and has a kind of Arslan vibe to it, but not nearly as epic

Katsugeki Touken Ranbu : A visual treat from UFOTable as always, but so far it's hard to discern if it's more than just something nice to look at, as to date it's mostly been episodes with no real depth.

Hina Logi - From Luck & Logic : Hina Logi is a much more palatable spinoff anime from the Luck and Logic franchise. That being said, currently it's not much more than magical cute girls doing cute things.

Jigoku Shoujo - Yoi no Togi : HELLGIRL is back! Only reason it didn't make the "top 5" list is due to it being a sequel, or rather the 4th season in the Hell Girl Franchise..

Centaur no Nayami : Second episode was a huge improvement over the first, quite a few good laughs in this anime thus far, but still not sold on it.

Knight's & Magic : Mecha Otaku reincarnated into a cute boy aside(for fanservice to the ladies out there) Knight & Magic seems pretty interesting thus far, my only gripe is, things are going too smoothly

Battle Girl High School : Cute girls transforming and going into battle with monsters, not really a new idea nor is this a great execution of it. It has it's moments but at best this anime is average currently.

Fate Apocrypha : The latest in the Fate franchise, and even though the battles are well animated, The premise seems even more far fetched than the Fate/Stay Night and Fate/Zero arcs. I don't have high expectations

Isekai Shokudou : BEST OPENING SONG OF THE SEASON, anime itself is fun to watch, nice relaxing anime with people from other worlds eating good food.

Youkai Apartment no Yuuga na Nichijou : A twist on the whole "guy moves into dorm full of crazy people" trope with using yokai. I'm sure it should be fun to watch as a whole. But nothing from the few episodes that have been out really stood out to me.

Isekai wa Smartphone to Tomo ni : As much as I love the whole guy being reincarnated in a different world trope, it just feels that the main character is so overpowered it's boring.

Koi to Uso : Most probably the best drama series this season, and a possible contender for one of the best anime this season, depending on how it progresses. The relationship dynamics in the anime are quite curious.

Aho Girl : Eh, it has it's funny moments, But as a whole thus far it's nothing to write home about. Might drop it after a few more episodes.

Nana Maru San Batsu : This quiz game anime might be a dark horse this season, but remains to be seen. So far it's been fairly enjoyable, even though the main character is a bit daft.

Tenshi no 3P! : If musical lolis are what you were looking for, then this has exactly what you need. I'm just curious as to why the main character avoids people in general, feels like there might be some deep placed trauma there.

New Game!! : The cute game dev girls are back! And it seems like they have quite a few new challenges ahead of them with their new project.

Nora to Oujo no Noraneko Heart : 3 minute episodes of slapstick comedy. Short enough to make it worth it for a quick watch

Hajimete no Gal : I do feel that this anime might end up surprising us with some very emotional scenes, I'm just hoping the main character stops being an idiot.

Action Heroine Cheer Fruits : Kind of has a locodols vibe to it, without the adorable girls...but somehow I kind of want them to succeed!

Gamers! : A certain popular early access game in the Opening scene of episode 2 aside~ Gamers seems to be an enjoyable watch with a lot of laughs included!

Senki Zesshou Symphogear AXZ : Hibike and the gang are back! To fight against Alca-noise and whatever new threat to the world the latest evil organization has on their mind

Netsuzou TRap - NTR : Nothing, absolutely nothing, is worse than NTR, but somehow I'm not minding the fact that it's Yuri...It does seem like the relationships are fairly complicated in this anime so I'm hoping for it to be good.

18if : I'll admit I initially thought this anime would mostly just be weird episodic tales of  murderous witches and the guy trying to safe them, but episode three had some surprise feels. So now I'm kinda intrigued

And now onto the anime to avoid this season.
Dive!! : Other than the fluffy dog, and if you want to see washboard abs. This is so far the most dull "sports" anime I've seen thus far. Rather try out Free if you want boycandy swimming.

The Reflection : The premise is...boring and the animation is half assed. It doesn't feel like the creators of it even want people to watch it.

Enmusubi no Youko-chan : Apparently the original chinese version is pretty good for a chinese production, that being said. It feels like another terrible anime from Tencent.
Hitorijime My Hero : If bad yaoi anime is your game, by all means go ahead. But for everyone else avoid!
Vatican Kiseki Chousakan : The premise of this anime sounded so cool, and yet the reality is something far more dull than anyone can ever stomach. apparently the manga is fairly popular though I can't figure out why.
Tsurezure Children : 4koma romance does not work in anime form, sure it might be sweet in print. But this just feels jumbled up.
Clione no Akari : The premise behind this anime isn't bad, it's just the execution that terrible. And after Koe no Katachi my hopes were high as this shares a similar theme.

And that concludes me thoughts on the Summer 2017 anime season as a whole. the possibility exists that quite a few more shows will be dropped. And as usual it's hard to say for sure which will be the best anime of the season until it actually ends! Feel free to share your thoughts as not everyone's tastes are the same!

Thursday, 13 July 2017

The Best Anime from Spring 2017 and the rest

I know, I know...Spring 2017 ended a few weeks ago...it took quite a bit of time to decide on which of the many anime I watched from the previous season was the best.  That and being bombarded with all the new shows from the Summer 2017 season. On which I'll do a post as soon as everything has aired. As usual what follows is a list of Anime I think were the best from Spring 2017, followed by my thoughts on the rest of the anime that finished. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below, or on facebook/twitter.

Seikai Suru Kado

Synopsis : Shindou Koujirou is a highly-skilled negotiator working for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. As his plane at Haneda airport prepares to take off, a huge mysterious cube appears from the sky. "It" expands rapidly, and absorbs the passenger plane and its 252 passengers.

The cube's name is "Kado".

A strange being called Yaha-kui Zashunina appears from within Kado and tries to make contact with humanity. Shindou, who was been absorbed by Kado, ends up taking on the role of mediator between Yaha-kui zaShunina and humanity. The Japanese government sends its own negotiator, Tsukai Saraka. Who is Yaha-kui zaShunina? What does he want?
Thoughts : I'll admit the first few episodes of Kado left my quite confused. But this was the first anime in a very long time to really surprise me on almost every episode. I loved how they focused on a premise not really used much these days.  The characters were really well thought out, the animation was on point and the music was stellar. A must see if you haven't already

Fukumenkei Noise

Synopsis : The anime tells a romance story with the themes of "music x one-sided love." Nino, a girl who loves singing, made a childhood promise with her first crush Momo and song-composing Yuzu to someday find her voice. The three went their separate ways, but Nino kept her promise and continued to sing. Years later, the three are now high school students, and Nino is drawn into the world of band clubs.
Thoughts :  I'm sure some of you expected me to mention Fukumenkei Noise on this list. Even though it initially gave me Nana vibes, it wasn't just a highschool "poormans" clone of Nana, Luckily it evolved into something completely different. The last concert scene was amazingly well done. I really enjoyed the raw depiction of emotions in this anime, even though some of the characters were annoyingly stupid...still well worth the watch if you are looking for some drama.

Little Witch Academia

Synopsis : Akko Kagari is an ordinary girl who joins the renowned witch academy for witch girls, Luna Nova Academy. When she was younger, she went to Magical Festa, a magic show hosted by a witch named Shiny Chariot. Akko was so mesmerized and inspired by Shiny Chariot's performance that she dreamed to someday be a "cool" witch like her. This young and impressionable Akko takes Shiny Chariot's words as her own motto: "Never forget, a believing heart is your magic.“ As part of a class, Akko and her classmates go into a labyrinth under the Tower of Luna Nova. There, a sealed ancient dragon was unleashed by one of her classmates. Akko tries to stop the dragon, but…
Thoughts : Little Witch Academia was everything I hoped for and more. Studio Trigger has once again outdone themselves in expanding the story of what was initially a one of short animation, It features just the right mix of fun, adventure, comedy and suspense. Let the colourful cast of Little Witch Academia entertain you.

Yowamushi Pedal: New Generation

Synopsis : With the team's combined strength, the Sohoku High bicycle racing club beat reigning champions Hakone Academy at the Interhigh national race and achieved an impressive overall victory. Now that their hot summer has ended and third-years Kinjou, Makishima, and Tadokoro have retired from the team, first-year participants in the Interhigh Onoda Sakamichi, Imaizumi Shunsuke, and Naruko Shoukichi, along with their new captain second-year Teshima Junta and vice-captain Aoyagi Hajime begin preparing as a "new team" for their second consecutive championship at the next Interhigh.
Thoughts : Yowamushi Pedal : New Generation still shows that the Yowamushi Pedal series has no sign of losing steam. Starting quite early with the new InterHigh cycling competition with tons of new characters. My only misgiving is the season was a bit short. That being said Yowamushi Pedal is a fantastic sports anime that is well worth your time.

Zero kara Hajimeru Mahou no Sho

Synopsis : The grimoire fantasy series follows a witch named Zero who is ignorant of the world and a half-beast half-human mercenary who longs to be human. Witches who practice sorcery exist in the world, however, in this era no one knows how about the art and study of witchcraft. Zero is going on a journey to search for a magical tome called The Book of Zero that hides a power that can destroy the world. The mercenary travels with her as her guard.
Thoughts : Zero kara Hajimeru Mahou no Sho gave me everything I wanted in a fantasy anime and more. Not all of the characters you meet in the anime are what they seem at first. Fanservice was kept to a minimum and I did enjoy how much focus was put into the world of Zero kara Hajimeru Mahou no Sho. I highly recommend it.

And now on to "the rest". Do note that some shows didn't make the list as they are still airing. like Boku no Hero Academy 2. And just because some were mentioned above, doesn't make them bad. Read on to find out why they didn't make the cut.

Granblue Fantasy the Animation : This was an anime I thoroughly enjoyed. Even though I have never played the game it is  based on, which also left me utterly confused in the last episode when they just swopped the main character out and "rewrote" the story. I did later do some research as to what was  going on, but still it was a pretty dick move to do.

ID-0 : ID-0 is one of those Scifi stories you just can't help but enjoy. Even though it's nothing great. It is at the very least entertaining. A shame as I do feel they could have fleshed it out a bit more.

DanMachi Gaiden Sword Oratoria : The Spinoff to the highly popular DanMachi. I quite enjoyed the anime, especially as it filled up a lot of holes left by the original anime and gave a lot more character development on characters that were in the main story, but didn't get too much screentime. Luckily Hestia has very little screentime in the spinoff. Remember Hestia is wurst grill.

Kenka Banchou Otome : This anime had a stupidly weird premise, but it was entertaining at least. Though I can't say I approve of how the story unfolded or how the characters treat each other...

Hinako Note : Cute girls do stage plays! That's pretty much it, the show is cute with funny moments. Not the best example of it's sort but not terrible.

Eromanga-Sensei : I'll be blunt, I honestly enjoyed Oreimo a lot more than this. Yes it has it's moments, But sagiri just isn't cute.

Berserk 2017 : I so wish they would stop with the horrible animation on Berserk, a lot better story arc than in Berserk 2016 ruined by subpar animation and horrible cgi.

Clockwork Planet : Clockwork Planet was actually quite good. And if it wasn't for Yowamushi Pedal it most probably would have made the cut for the best of the season. 

Frame Arms Girl : Wasn't exactly the Angelic Layer meets Busou Shinki I hoped for. But it was fun. except for the weird hot springs fanservice episode were all the toys were had no joints for some reason.

Attack on Titan 2 : Oh yes I'm using the "incorrect" english name and I don't really care. The second season went in the route exactly I was fearing this show would go in from the first season. It's no secret that I'm not a fan of the franchise. The premise to me seems stupid to be frank. Though I'm most probably going to get hate for that.

Alice to Zouroku : If you want to get lost in a fantastic setting where magic is real and things happen that you could only imagine. Alice to Zouroku is definitely for you. Though some episode do feel a bit disjointed as there doesn't seem to be a single story being followed. I kind of expected the "evil" government conspiracy to continue but it just kind of vanished.

Uchouten Kazoku 2 : Was everything I hoped for and more. Continuing the setting and tales from the brilliant first season. A must see look into the lives of Tanuki, Tengu and Humans in Kyoto...obviously based on mythology and fantasy.

Oushitsu Kyoushi Haine : What is it about anime with mysterious teacher type characters and trouble students? They almost always end up being enjoyable to watch. Even though Oushitsu Kyoushi Haine features mostly bishounen. I am happy to report that there are almost no Yaoi undertones...though I'm sure that won't stop fujoshi from shipping anything and everything. 

Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata Flat : Saekano season 2 was partly a joy to watch, but also hard emotionally. There were a lot of events in the second season that does not  bode well with ones heart, but still highly worth the watch.

Busou Shoujo Machiavellianism : Busou Shoujo Machiavellianism had quite a bit of fanservice(not that I'm complaining) and a fun mix of comedy and martial arts action. If you want to watch something where you can just switch off your brain and enjoy, this would be it.

Rokudenashi Majutsu Koushi to Akashic Records : Another anime with a mysterious teacher. This time the teacher is the "problem child" and the students are mostly good. Parts of the anime reminded me of Gate, especially with how Glenn was revealed to be a lot higher spec than he was initially presented to be. Which is something that also happened with Itami in Gate. Either way this anime features a fair amount of conspiracies, cute girls, magical battles, bloodshed and fanservice. Go ahead....I know you want to watch it.

Shuumatsu Nani Shitemasuka Isogashii Desuka Sukutte Moratte Ii Desuka :

And that wraps up my thoughts on the Spring 2017 season. All in all a pretty good season of anime. Which so far seems a whole lot better than what Summer 2017 is going to be.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Promising New Anime from Spring 2017

The spring 2017 anime season is in full swing and even though there is a multitude of long awaited sequels(Boku no Hero Academia, Uchouten Kazoku and Saekano to name a few) and a spinoff(Sword Oratoria) I'm once again making a list of the NEW anime out there that is well worth your time to watch. Keeping in mind that this list of anime is in no way a representation of the "best anime of the season" in any way, shape or form. With that behind us let's dig in!

Fukumenkei Noise

Synopsis : The anime tells a romance story with the themes of "music x one-sided love." Nino, a girl who loves singing, made a childhood promise with her first crush Momo and song-composing Yuzu to someday find her voice. The three went their separate ways, but Nino kept her promise and continued to sing. Years later, the three are now high school students, and Nino is drawn into the world of band clubs.
Thoughts :  Fukumenkei Noise gave me instant "Nana" vibes even though it's not nearly as dramatic, and the music isn't on nearly the same level. From the first four episodes I've seen I can see that this anime has quite a bit of promise, though shoujo romance isn't for everyone.

Roku de Nashi Majutsu Koushi to Akashic Records

Synopsis : The Alzano Imperial Magic Academy is located in the southern part of the Alzano Empire,and is among most prominent magic schools in the world, where students can learn the highest forms of magic. All those who strive to learn magic dream of studying at this academy, and its students as well as its teachers are proud to be a part of its 400-year history. Glenn Radars is a new instructor who has suddenly been appointed to teach part-time at this highly respected academy. The previously unheard-of lessons of this man known as a good-for-nothing bastard are about to begin.
Thoughts : Make no mistake, Roku de Nashi Majutsu Koushi to Akashic Records isn't a "fresh" concept, or one that hasn't been almost done to death already. But even though it is predictable it is still fun to watch.

Seikai Suru Kado

Synopsis : Shindou Koujirou is a highly-skilled negotiator working for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. As his plane at Haneda airport prepares to take off, a huge mysterious cube appears from the sky. "It" expands rapidly, and absorbs the passenger plane and its 252 passengers.

The cube's name is "Kado".

A strange being called Yaha-kui Zashunina appears from within Kado and tries to make contact with humanity. Shindou, who was been absorbed by Kado, ends up taking on the role of mediator between Yaha-kui zaShunina and humanity. The Japanese government sends its own negotiator, Tsukai Saraka. Who is Yaha-kui zaShunina? What does he want?
Thoughts : KADO : The Right Answer is still taking me by surprise with every episode. I was initially unsure what this anime was about to be honest. But things are starting to fall into place and I'll be honest. I like what I'm seeing :D

Zero kara Hajimeru Mahou no Sho

Synopsis : The grimoire fantasy series follows a witch named Zero who is ignorant of the world and a half-beast half-human mercenary who longs to be human. Witches who practice sorcery exist in the world, however, in this era no one knows how about the art and study of witchcraft. Zero is going on a journey to search for a magical tome called The Book of Zero that hides a power that can destroy the world. The mercenary travels with her as her guard.
Thoughts : Everyone loves a good adventure set in a fantasy world right? Well okay...everyone excluding boring people. Grimoire of Zero luckily has no relation to "zero no tsukaima" and it's all the better for it, though be warned it might include a certain skyrim joke.

Re-Creators

Synopsis : People have created many stories. Joy, sadness, anger, deep emotion. Stories stir up emotion and captivate. However, those emotions are nothing more than the feelings of a spectator. What if the characters in the stories had their own will. In their eyes, are we, the creators of the stories, like gods? Revolution for our world. Punishment for the land of the gods. Re:CREATORS. Everyone becomes a Creator.
Thoughts : Re-Creators puts a spin on the whole Average guy gets transported to magical world and becomes a hero trope by making an average guy's life get invaded by Heroes! Or rather fictional characters. I'm enjoying Re-Creators so far, though I have a fair idea on what's really going on here..

Eromanga-sensei

Synopsis : Izumi Masamune is a high school student who loves writing light novels. Having no artistic skill himself, Masamune always gets his novels illustrated by an anonymous partner using the pen name Eromanga Sensei who, like the name suggests, draws questionably perverted images despite being extremely reliable. In addition to balancing his passion and school, Masamune is also stuck with taking care of his only family member, his younger sister Izumi Sagiri. A hikikomori by nature, Sagiri shut herself in her room for over a year and constantly bosses Masamune around despite his attempts to get her to leave her room. However, when Masamune inadvertently discovers that his anonymous partner has been Sagiri all along, their sibling relationship quickly leaps to new levels of excitement, especially when a beautiful best-selling shoujo mangaka enters the fray.
Thoughts : First things first. Kanna > Sagiri. With that out of the way Eromanga-sensei so far has provided viewers with a lot of laughs and what I also really enjoyed is how accurate the depiction of streaming artists are. On the why they do it and the joy they get from it part. Not the cute girls drawing lewd things part.

This is just a short list of promising new anime form the season. Which shows are you following each week? For a full list of Anime I'm currently following, though some might get dropped in future.. See below!

Alice to Zouroku
Attack on titan 2
Berserk 2017
Boku no Hero Academia 2
Busou Shoujo Machiavellianism
Clockwork Planet
DanMachi Gaiden - Sword Oratoria
Eromanga-Sensei
Frame Arms Girl
Fukumenkei Noise
Granblue Fantasy The Animation
Hinako note
Kenka Banchou Otome - Girl Beats Boys
Little Witch Academia
One Piece
Oushitsu Kyoushi Haine
Re-Creators
Renai Boukun
Rokudenashi Majutsu Koushi to Akashic Records
Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata Flat
Sagrada Reset
Sakura Quest
Seikaisuru Kado
Shingeki no Bahamut - Virgin Soul
Shuumatsu Nani Shitemasuka Isogashii Desuka Sukutte Moratte Ii Desuka
Sin - Nanatsu no Taizai
Tsugumomo
Tsuki ga Kirei
Uchouten Kazoku S2
Yowamushi Pedal - New Generation
Zero kara Hajimeru Mahou no Sho