Seasonal Anime Reviews: Summer 2015

IwataBananasWhen you realize you’ll never see Satoru Iwata holding bananas again.

Uh, excuse me one moment.

giphy

 

Ok, I’m done.

Seasonal Thoughts: This season had all three of the current trends that I cannot stand in anime: the “OW THE EDGE” anime, the “Humanity Fights For Survival” anime, and the “You’re trapped in the video game” anime. And what’d you expect, I disliked all three of them. Honestly, even though this season is an improvement over Spring (and last year Summer), this season was just decent, but could not pass the bar set by Winter. Yeah, Winter is best season of 2015.

August was kinda a shitty month for movies aside from Straight Outta Compton and Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’, I suppose. How the heck did Fox go from fixing X-Men to fucking up Fantastic Four? I mean I haven’t seen it myself (I almost did), but the 8% on Rotten Tomatoes speaks for itself. It made the previous three Fantastic Four movies look better in comparison. Yeah, bet you didn’t know there was a Fantastic Four film that came 11 years before Fox’s first go at it. Although I’m sure they can’t blow Deadpool even more than the time they sewed his mouth shut. At least Ant-Man was good, but like Avengers: Age of Ultron, it was overshadowed by excitement for Captain America: Civil War.

“Thank you for visiting meow.com”

Sailor Moon Crystal
Since last year, I found myself becoming an even bigger fan of Sailor Moon than when I was just a young boy. So you can expect that when news about Sailor Moon Crystal started rolling out, I got excited. So excited that I had no problems with waking up early in the morning just to watch the new episode. “Yeah, I lost a few hours of sleep, but it was worth it.” is what I thought at first. But as time went on, I just decided it isn’t worth losing a few hours of sleep for utterly sloppy animation quality, piss-poor execution, and lifeless spirit. I’m not sure if this was the fault of either the original manga or Toei just being lazy. They did try to add a bit a humor to it during the Black Moon arc, but by that time it was already too little too late. You get two to three weeks between episodes to brush them up, and this is what you deliver, Toei? No wonder why no one likes you anymore. Remember when the first key image and the character designs were released? They sure looked fantastic. Not so much in animated form. I would just easily recommend the original series over Crystal. And even despite all of my harsh words, do you want to know the real reason why I endured Sailor Moon Crystal through to the end? Because unlike all the garbage that came out during its 379 days of airing, this one at least tried. [Score: 5]


Yeah, I know. Watching Mahouka and Aldnoah.Zero aren't good for your health.

Yeah, I know. Watching Mahouka and Aldnoah.Zero aren’t good for your health.

Durarara!!×2
After the uneven, boring first part of Durarara!!×2, I wasn’t exactly looking forward to Part 2 with open arms. At least not at first, because this part had far less uninteresting episodes, and even if there were one, there is at least one or two interesting episodes that follow after it to balance it out. I guess maybe the first part was just Shuka having an off day, but I’m satisfied with what I saw out of Part 2, so it looks like Shuka might be getting the hang of it. Perhaps the third and final part can keep up this stride when it airs next Winter. Durarara!!×2‘s not quite there yet, but it’s getting there one small step at a time. [Score: 7]


Milk does a body good, especially if the milk is just too delicious, then it really does the body good.

Milk does a body good, especially if the milk is just too delicious, then it really does the body good.

Gatchaman Crowds insight
Gatchaman Crowds is some strange amalgation of superhero, magical girl, tokusatsu and social commentary and what have you. Yeah, Crowds does it all, yet doesn’t really fail at anything. So how does insight fare? Well, even though my opinion on the first season had went down some due to its incomplete ending and its social commentary aspect not being very clear to me, however I found insight to be just as good as the first, probably better than the first season, and that’s a good thing. In fact, the social commentary is a well-done aspect and it shows how smart of a show Gatchaman Crowds is. And I know that alot of people don’t like Tsubasa at first. I didn’t, not really. I think a second season needed a character like Tsubasa to contrast with Hajime, even though is that she’s too naïve for her own good, and naiveté tends to lead to disaster. To be fair, she doesn’t have that “I’m right, you’re wrong, fuck you” attitude that Mika had in Psycho-Pass 2, thank God. Oh, and thank God that the last episode was actually complete, with no Director’s Cut episode of anything in sight. Hooray, Tatsunoko’s learning to complete their episodes on time! [Score: 8.5]


You know, even the strongest man in the world needs to fight hunger at some point. Seriously, kid, eat a damn sandwich!

You know, even the strongest man in the world needs to fight hunger at some point. Seriously, kid, eat a damn sandwich!

Rokka: Braves of the Six Flowers (Rokka no Yuusha)
I feel as though Rokka started out fairly good in its first episode and it set its bar high. So high that every subsequent episodes felt even more underwhelming. Like, damn it! When you deliver a good first impression, you gotta follow up with the same momentum. That’s how that works. You can’t just throw your all in the first episode and sit back and let the rest write itself. That’s not how that works. The problem is that I expected this to be an action-adventure title, and while it does mostly fit the bill, it moves too slow for my tastes, and I think the anime only covering the first volume of the novel might be the reason. Although that’s not a bad thing considering the focus is on the mystery around who the Seventh Brave is, because they just can’t up and reveal who he or she is right off the bat. Still, I didn’t think Rokka was a terrible show, but I get the feeling that it could’ve been able to flesh things out even more and maybe be an overall better show if only it had another season or more than 12 episodes, because the ending raised more questions than it did answer. And I’m not gonna hold my breath for another season since the chances of that are pretty slim. [Score: 7]


Remember that episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force where Frylock threatened to put a cigarette out in someone's eye? After seeing the same thing happen to Worick, it's more scarier in hindsight.

Remember that episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force where Frylock threatened to put a cigarette out in someone’s eye? After seeing the same thing happen to Worick, it’s more scarier in hindsight.

Gangsta.
Likewise, Gangsta. shares the same main issue as Rokka: Good first episode that set the bar high but then follow up with underwhelming subsequent episodes. Although Gangsta.‘s weren’t as disappointing as Rokka‘s, I still felt that it threw its all in the first episode and then sat back and let the rest write itself. And because of that I thought it had a pretty rough first half, in terms of story and character. However, I felt that Gangsta. was showing some signs of improvement. Honestly, even though I would like to see more serious, gritty crime drama movie style anime, I feel like I should’ve liked Gangsta. more than I should. The problem is shows like this will often be compared to Black Lagoon, and I bet if I ran into Gangsta. first before Black Lagoon or Michiko & Hatchin (which I’m watching on Toonami as of this writing), I would’ve been very much impressed by it. Unfortunately, aside from all the decent character writing, Gangsta.‘s biggest issue is that it came too little too late for me to give it any real value. Not to mention that freaking “ending” which reminded me of Magical Warfare‘s poor excuse of an ending. But then again, Gangsta. was actaully decent all the way through. [Score: 7]


Wow, Hamtaro really let himself go these past years.

Wow, Hamtaro really let himself go these past years.

Overlord
I think I’m understanding why modern anime fans always end up levitating towards these “You’re trapped in the video game” anime like Overlord, and why I’ve grown to dislike them. It’s because the basic premise is “MC PLAYZ TEH VIDYA GAME!!” and nothing else. All you need to do is to have some male social outcast who is tired of the hardships of reality get stuck in a video game world, add girls with big boobs, and everything writes itself. Well, guess what? Not only has that formula grown trite, but it never works because none of them has done anything that makes itself different from the rest of the trash, and Overlord is no different. If it was similar to Log Horizon, where all the characters form a civilized community under Momonga’s rule, then maybe it would be interesting. But instead we have our discount Skeletor groping boobs and literally being the strongest, most unstoppable character in the game. Hell, shows like these are basically flat-out telling you to reject your crappy reality in favor for their awesome fantasy. If you ask me, that message is a load of bullshit and it shows that people who actually falls for this are in desperate need of a reality check. It’s not so fun when there’s only one person trapped in the game. Unlike Sword Art Online, which wasn’t obvious about it at first, Overlord is nothing but a blatant power fantasy, and if this kind of crap is what’s to come from this particular genre, then I’m better off just sticking witn .hack// and Log Horizon. Madhouse, you are better than this. Why couldn’t you have done Gangsta. instead of this? [Score: 3]


 

This is what I've wanted: To see the damsel-in-distress become the damsel that gets herself out of distress and turns the tables on her captors and go all like "Who's the damsel-in-distress now, bitch?!"

This is what I’ve wanted: To see the damsel-in-distress become the damsel that gets herself out of distress and turns the tables on her captors and go all like “Who’s the damsel-in-distress now, bitch?!”

Snow White with the Red Hair (Akagami no Shirayuki-hime)
Shoujo romance fantasy anime aren’t exactly my cup of tea, so any shows that are in the same genre as Snow White with the Red Hair are pretty much not what I would find myself watching. And yet, what I got out of a show that I wouldn’t be caught dead watching had so much to offer compared to other shows this season that if only it didn’t have a second half airing next year Winter, it would’ve definitely earned a spot on my Top 5 favorites of this year. It’s not often you see an actual strong female character, and honestly, since I felt that term had its misuse, I’ve developed a different meaning to that recently. Basically, a really complex, compelling female character, badass not required. Anyhoo, see you next Winter, Snow White[Score: 8.5]


"I tried so hard. And got so far. But in the end, it doesn't even matter." "I had to fall. To lose it all. But in the end. It doesn't even matter."

“I tried so hard. And got so far. But in the end, it doesn’t even matter.”
“I had to fall. To lose it all. But in the end. It doesn’t even matter.”

Chaos Dragon
I take back what I orignally said about Prison School being OW THE EDGE, because it’s clear to me that Chaos Dragon is the OW THE EDGE show this season, and a very terrible one, at that; and you know how I feel about OW THE EDGE. And unlike Akame ga Kill!, where all the sloppy writing underneath the edginess eventually became evident as the series went on (or as early as when it first started, now that I think of it), here in Chaos Dragon, the sloppy writing is already evident from the first episode. This idea of “sacrificing one life to save many” aspect is not a good idea at all, not even on a moral standpoint. It’s only there to create senseless angst and overblown drama. It doesn’t help that there’s no emotional attachment to these characters before they end up dead. Heck, they could’ve sent them all to death if they feel like it and I wouldn’t even give a crap. The fact that this came from a tabletop RPG played by seven writers is utterly baffling. This show is so incompentently executed to the point that it’s up there with A-1 Pictures’ worst works, and they’ve done their fair amount of incompetent crap recently, so that’s an rather big achievement. Like I said before, edginess is not a excuse for sloppy writing, and Chaos Dragon is just another example of taking itself way too seriously only to end up making itself look even more worse.  [Score: 2.5]


Oh so that explains why all our dicks get hard when you look at Hana's junk.

Oh so that explains why all our dicks get hard when you look at Hana’s junk.

Prison School (Kangoku Gakuen)
Prison School is not for the weak of heart. It is a horribly juvenille, utterly disgusting and absolutely appalling misandristic piece of trash. So why don’t I hate this show’s guts? I didn’t let Cross Ange get away with its vileness, yet I didn’t bat an eye when Prison School does the exact same thing. The answer is simple. Unlike most fanservice shows, Prison School is fully aware that it’s trash to the point that it’s tongue-in-cheek and just runs with it, and you know what? That is what makes this show fucking genius. The nigh-realistic character art, the over-the-top comedy, and all the ridiculously trashy fanservice blends together. Oh, yes, Prison School is a rare breed of ecchi actually working effectively. To think that the chances of a second season of Shirobako would be lost when I leaned that most of the staff would be working on Prison School. I guess it was worth it, mostly.  [Score: 8]


I'm definitely sure Alisa's hat and clothes should be falling off with her hanging upside-down at an altitude of tens of thousand of feet. But what is gravity, really? I guess that force that keeps us on the ground doesn't apply to clothing.

I’m definitely sure Alisa’s hat and clothes should be falling off with her hanging upside-down at an altitude of tens of thousand of feet. But what is gravity, really? I guess that force that keeps us on the ground doesn’t apply to clothing.

God Eater
[Dropped at 8 of 13] Apparently all you need for “Humanity Fights For Survival”-style anime a la Attack on Titan nowadays is giant man-eating monsters and humans fighting them, and everything writes itself. And the 12-year old kids will eat it up. God Eater is basically a cookie-cutter idea of a premise that’s starting to grow trite rather quickly. And just like Black Bullet and Seraph of the End, it has none of the same substance, none of the character, and none of the excitement. Also, while the ultra-high detailed artstyle isn’t exactly a bad-looking one, it’s just really oft-putting to see it in motion. And all the high production values isn’t even worth the production being a complete mess. And ufotable is a pretty top-notch animation studio, so this kind of thing shouldn’t have happened to them. It’s eating something, alright, and it certainly ain’t gods. God Eater is not the next Attack on Titan; it’s a mistake of ufotable biting off far more than they can chew. All the production valuies and high-octane action is worth dick if there’s no substance to it, and I honestly have no reason to continue watching God Eater If they can’t deliver their episodes on time. All the constant delays have destroyed what interest I’ve had in watching it. I can hardly wait for Attack on Titan Season 2 to air already because I for one am getting really tired of all these cheap imitations… [Score: 3]


That look on Carol's face is the face that says either "What do you mean, I'm not the villain anymore?" or "I've been upstaged by Dr. Ver?"

That look on Carol’s face is the face that says either “What do you mean, I’m not the villain anymore?” or “I’ve been upstaged by Dr. Ver?”

Symphogear GX
Action anime that take themselves way too seriously always tend to fall flat because they end up trying to be too serious to the point that it stops being fun. So how do you fix this problem? Make an action anime that’s so awesome it’s ridiculous, and then the viewers just sit back and let the show do whatever the hell it wants. And the previous season of Symphogear made me realize that it can be considered a popcorn anime. It’s not trying to shove some intellectual, philosophical message down your throat. It’s just being straight-up mindless fun, and I’ll take mindless fun over overly serious any day of the week. So how does GX fare? Well, it’s still a popcorn anime, and that’s not a bad thing. You can tell that the folks that worked on Symphogear put alot of spirit into it. And you know what I actually wish there was more action anime like Symphogear, that doesn’t lose sight of what’s entertaining.  [Score: 7.5]


Evil spirits? In MY lunchbox? It's more likely than you think.

Evil spirits? In MY lunchbox?
It’s more likely than you think.

Rin-Ne
Besides Nagato Yuki-chan, Rin-Ne was yet another dud in a season full of duds. I’ve read several of the manga volumes and found it a decent read. The anime however is one of the most boring, trite, uninteresting, and completely dull shows I’ve seen this year. I’m not sure if the adaptation was poorly done or I’ve just grown out of these kinds of shows, which is odd because I’ve finished InuYasha some months back and I enjoyed it, so perhaps Brains Base is the one at fault. It’s definitely not the manga, because I found it decently paced. The adaptation’s pacing is essentially a black hole; a void that sucks all of its enjoyment while you’re watching it to the point that there’s nothing but emptiness. Just watch Ushio and Tora instead. It has similarites to Rin-Ne, only if it wasn’t trying to be a piss-poor waste of time romcom that does nothing but bore everyone to death. Please make next season at least somewhat interesting, for the love of all that is holy. [Score: 4]


Oh. That explains why Michael Bay movies are always successful despite being trash.

Oh. That explains why Michael Bay movies are always successful despite being trash.

Ninja Slayer From Animation
Anime of the YEEART!! [Score: 10] Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system. The same thing I said about Sailor Moon Crystal applies to Ninja Slayer as well. I enjoyed Ninja Slayer more than I should because it was better than the rest of the tryhard garbage that came out of these past few years. Yeah, and maybe Ninja Slayer‘s only half animated, and the other half is Inferno Cop, but I’ve learned to accept that even if the animation quality is crap, as long as it at least tries to be entertaining enough, it’s instantly has something of value over, say Akame ga Kill Everyone, or Super AIDS Online, or Aldnoah.Zero Effort, or any other light novel crap. Heck, I think anyone giving Ninja Slayer crap clearly doesn’t even get it and haven’t even seen what the worst really is *cough*Chaos Dragon*. I mean yeah, the plot could’ve been better, and all the attempted rape, while mostly played tongue-in-cheek among other things, got gratuitous after awhile. Let’s say everything above Ninja Slayer From Animation was entertaining, and everything below Sailor Moon Crystal didn’t even try, and everything in between weren’t that remarkable. [Score: 7.5]


Summer 2015 Season APR
1: Snow White with the Red Hair (2nd Half in Winter 2016)
2: Gatchaman Crowds insight
3: Prison School
4: Symphogear GX
5: Ushio and Tora (ongoing)
6: Ninja Slayer From Animation
7: Gangsta.
8: Durarara!!x2 (Part 3 in Winter 2016)
9: Rokka: Braves of the Six Flowers
10: Sailor Moon Crystal
11: Rin-Ne
12: God Eater
13: Overlord
14: Chaos Dragon


Favorite Theme Songs

  • “Fantastic Magic” by TK from Ling Tosite Sigure (Ninja Slayer Episode 15 Ending Theme)
  • “Renegade” by Stereo Dive Foundation (Gangsta. Opening Theme)
  • “Insight” by White Ash (Gatchaman Crowds Insight Opening Theme)
  • “Exterminate” by Nana Mizuki (Symphogear GX Opening Theme)
  • “Black Swallowtail” by UROBOROS (Rokka Opening Theme 2)

Next Season Preview: Ushio and Tora will continue next season, while I plan to watch One-Punch Man, Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans, Comet Lucifer, Attack on Titan: Junior High, Concrete Revolutio, Subete ga F ni Naru: The Perfect Insider, Beautiful Bones: Sakurako’s Investigation as well as a few shitstains in the form of K: Return of Kings, Aria the Scarlet Ammo AA, the second half of Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign, and The Asterisk War: The Academy City on the Water. Yeah, out of this upcoming season, those four I absolutely do not expect to be any good. Not that it makes any difference. If you ask me (and I think I really mean it this time), this next season looks horrible. It’s full of light novel trash. I thought we were supposed to have less of that shit, not more. Well, if worse come to worse, I guess I could watch Bob’s Burgers. Oh, and the last episode of Blood Blockade Battlefront is dated for October 3rd! The long wait is finally over. At least there’s something to look forward to.

One thought on “Seasonal Anime Reviews: Summer 2015

  1. Pingback: 2015 Anime Year in Review | [the jinxed darkstar blog]

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