Seasonal Anime Reviews: Fall 2015

Deck the halls with boughs of TRAITOR!, Fa la la la la la la la!

Seasonal Thoughts: My goodness, I don’t think I’ve seen a season this bad in a long while. Like the only things worth watching this season in my eyes were One-Punch Man and Gundam. If it were up to me, I’d have dropped everything that started in this season except for those two. It’s no longer OK for me to say Fall 2013 was the worst anime season, especially since this season and every season of 2014 except Fall happened.

And let me tell you something: These generic harem/magic high school junk needs to have a moratorium on them, alongside “OW THE EDGE” and “You’re in the game!” anime. Asterisk War, World Break, Chivalry of a Failed Knight, Absolute Duo, Sky Wizards Academy, Infinite Stratos, and what have you. You’ve seen any one of these, you’ve seen all of them. You have hundred of other possible settings yet you choose a school because how else will the teenage males insert themselves onto the brain-dead protagonists? You get two or three of these per season. Stop it.

And what else should stop is showing the spoiler-y parts of the film in movie trailers? Batman v. Superman, I’m looking directly at you. If there was a trailer that derailed even the slightest interest I’ve had in this movie, it was definitely this one. Terminator: Genisys did the same thing, and that was a deal-killer. And don’t even get me started on Batman having a gun. Yeah, at this point, I’m not regretting my choice in only sticking with Marvel Cinematic Universe and X-Men movies, so that leaves me with 4 superhero films in 2016, 5 if Gambit is still on track.

So what did I think of The Force Awakens? Well, there won’t be any sugarcoating here; I’m going to be blunt about it. IT WAS AMAZE-BALLS! J.J. FOUND A WAY!!!

Oh, believe you me, I got a shit-ton of complaints. Mainly referring to all this blue.

Oh, believe you me, I got a shit-ton of complaints. Mainly referring to all this blue.

K: Return of Kings
Can I ask the incompetent idiots at Studio GoHands a few questions? Why do you see the need to make your already terrible-looking animation and oft-putting CGI even more horrible on the eyes with your randomly colored Instagram filters? I feel like I’m going to go blind watching this show. Why do you feel the need to include unnecessary fanservice-y shots in at least every serious moment? It is a constant nuisance if someone’s flashing their unmentionables in what is supposed to be a serious scene. Are you that into your own flashy animation that you forget what is really important, the actual story? It’s all talking and what have you. I’m asking too many questions, aren’t I? Anyhoo, K: Return of Kings is merely more of the same as the first season: All style, no substance, still Krap. Honestly, this season was a massive waste. Whatever potential K as a whole had to be something decent (as if it had any to begin with) is pretty much in the toilet at this point. Screw you, Studio GoHands. When will you make an actually decent show, for once? “Animation entertainment to advance,” my big toe. [Score: 3]


...like how Asterisk War got 24 episodes and yet One-Punch Man got 12. Or how Disney/Lucasfilms haven't sued the pants off Aniplex and A-1. Or better yet, this crap's very existence.

…like how Asterisk War got 24 episodes and yet One-Punch Man got 12. Or how Disney/Lucasfilms haven’t sued the pants off Aniplex and A-1. Or better yet, this crap’s very existence.

The Asterisk War: The Academy City on the Water (Gakusen Toshi Asterisk)
If there was a checklist of generic light novel sins, I can assure you the first part of Asterisk War alone would’ve marked off at least 75 to 80% of it. Let’s point them out, shall we? Overpowered male self-insert blank slate protagonist: Check. MC gets a harem: Check. Tsundere bitch: Check. MC walks in on girl while dressing/undressing: Check. Boring exposition: Check. School setting: Check. Obligatory loli: Check. Accidental boob-groping: Check. Asspulls: Check. Plagiarism of Star Wars: Boy howdy, does Aniplex and A-1 love ripping off Star Wars every chance they get. One wonders why Lucasfilms haven’t sued their pants off yet. All this crap needs is a hint of incest and one order of a villainous rapist to get to 90%. Just you wait until next year Spring, Asterisk War. Your ass is grass, and I’m gonna mow it. [Score: 3]


Sasha, even in Junior High School, you don't know what half is? How can we expect you to fight Titans if you can't even know what half an onigiri looks like?

Sasha, even in Junior High School, you don’t know what half is? How can we expect you to fight Titans if you can’t even know what half an onigiri looks like?

Attack on Titan: Junior High (Shingeki! Kyojin Chugakkou)
Attack on Titan: Junior High is a rather harmless and humorous little show. Yet, it’s mostly watchable for the humor that mainly stems from using Attack on Titan‘s dramatic moments and making them as ridiculous, over-the-top, and mundane as possible, that you just can’t not laugh at it. The soundtrack recycled from the main series certainly helps set the mood as well. Unfortunately, there really isn’t much to see here. For all it’s worth, Attack on Titan: Junior High is merely the kind of show that, while it will give you a good laugh, it’s just one and done, and you’ll pretty much forget about it after it finishes. [Score: 7]


No wonder why Twitter had to change the stars to hearts. Saitama punched them all out! What an asshole.

No wonder why Twitter had to change the stars to hearts. Saitama punched them all out! What an asshole.

One-Punch Man
As much as I tend to avoid all hype for anything as much as possible, and that includes One-Punch Man, the show that was hyped to Hell before the season even started, and more often than not, hyped shows tend to shoot themselves in the foot about halfway through its run. I gotta admit, One-Punch Man was probably one of the most kickass shows of the year. I couldn’t imagine any studio other than Madhouse to handle this show, because it is just awesome to look at. I never expected to actually find an overpowered protagonist fun to watch, especially considering a certain few overpowered protagonists (Kirito and Tatsuya Shiba, I’m looking straight at you.) tend to merely be blank slates meant for self-insertion, even though Saitama being overpowered is the point of the entire series! I mean, why else would the show be called One-Punch Man? I mean, seriously, come on… Let’s be real here: One-Punch Man was probably the only good thing to come out of this season and probably one out of a rather minuscule number that actually does live up to its hype.  [Score: 8.5]


Didn't I just get enough of out-of-context quotes from Captain Earth?

Didn’t I just get enough of out-of-context quotes from Captain Earth?

Comet Lucifer
The biggest issue that weighs down Comet Lucifer is that it is basically a discount Eureka Seven. Yeah, I did enjoy this to an extent, but I’m not gonna sugarcoat what I honestly think of this: If you’ve seen Eureka Seven, you’ve seen everything that Comet Lucifer has to offer. That doesn’t make it terrible. I mean, it has some good aspects that makes it at least watchable and worthwhile, like the characters are colorful and likable, and the mecha designs are fairly cool, The plot, however, leaves alot to be desired. It also doesn’t help that with a show that has a plot like this, 12 episodes seems like too little episodes to flesh things out. A show like Comet Lucifer has alot of potential, but the lack of originality in its premise (not even a surprising, out-of-nowhere twist on the formula nor any attempt to make it any different) and a really hit-or-miss execution in the story isn’t gonna win it any awards. [Score: 6]


Aw, man. A discount Optimus Prime? That's probably the one thing that makes the most sense in this show.

Aw, man. A discount Optimus Prime? That’s probably the one thing that makes the most sense in this show.

Concrete Revolutio
Series with standalone episode plots can only really work if the individual plot itself is interesting enough. That’s the reason why I gave Death Parade and Blood Blockade high points. However, Concrete Revolutio‘s episodes doesn’t work because there so much happening all at once, and I can’t keep up with it. It doesn’t help that the show functions on some kind of anachronic order, which is basically the episodes in which the story is told is not the order in which its events took place. I know, it’s weird. Haruhi Suzumiya and Humanity has Declined has done the same, but the difference is that anyone watching those shows can easily pinpoint  where the actual starting point of the series is. Not so much in Concrete Revolutio. There’s so much going on that I don’t think there is a starting point. This could’ve been an actually interesting show with interesting ideas and concepts, but all the aimless direction is shooting its own potential in the foot. But I’m not gonna give up on Concrete Revolutio just yet. Let’s hope it get its shit together next spring.  [Score: 5.5]


Considering Shirayuki's Amica training consists of "Kill the pink-haired twintail bitch", I'd have her as my Amica.

Considering Shirayuki’s Amica training consists of “Kill the pink-haired twintail bitch”, I’d have her as my Amica.

Aria the Scarlet Ammo AA (Hidan no Aria AA)
To the surprise of, well, no one, Aria AA wasn’t any better than the original series. And even though Aria acts less of a bitch here, she still makes me want to stab the screen every time the little shit rears her ugly head. Aside from that, the rest of the show isn’t even the least bit interesting. The show is so boring, plotless and unwatchable-bad that it makes you wonder what was even the point of this spinoff to even exist. Was it only for the sake of keeping the name Aria the Scarlet Ammo relevant? Because it really didn’t. It’s not like anyone liked Aria the Scarlet Ammo, and after it ended, it was forgotten by all, and for good reason. And this spinoff hasn’t doing anything to change that. Let’s be honest, the second I read the words Aria the Scarlet Ammo, I instantly began to expect absolutely nothing, and ultimately got nothing that’s even worth the time or effort. [Score: 3]


I know it's Shoutaro's role to talk and stuff, but Sakurako's got a point. A little too much talking can cause distraction.

I know it’s Shoutaro’s role to talk and stuff, but Sakurako’s got a point. A little too much talking can cause distraction.

Beautiful Bones: Sakurako’s Investigation (Sakurako-san no Ashimoto ni wa Shitai ga Umatteiru)
Much like 2014 was a bad year for mecha anime, 2015 wasn’t fairly kind to the mystery genre, and Beautiful Bones sadly did not capture my interest enough. The individual episodes are a good change of pace from your usual mystery series, with each one being a mystery plot of the week-sort of thing, and I do like how the show manages to toss it up a bit with a couple of multi-episode mysteries. But, the problem is that there’s not much there tying them all together. Just a high school student accompanying a bone-enthusiast as the go on skeleton-related sleuths and what have you. It seems to have a really lack of any particular direction that hampers the show. I bet if this came out a few years ago, I would’ve liked this. It’s a shame, because this one had a few good ideas up its sleeve. One thing is sure: This year hasn’t been great for mystery anime, but I can give Beautiful Bones a pass because, unlike the next one, it doesn’t give me a headache trying to wrap my head about it… [Score: 6]


Thanks, Moe. You just summed up my thoughts exactly.

Thanks, Moe. You just summed up my thoughts exactly.

The Perfect Insider (Subete ga F ni Naru)
No matter what they do, no matter how hard they try, A-1 Pictures seems to always turn everything they touch to crap in my book. But to be fair, I’m not sure if I should pin the blame of my disdain of Perfect Insider on them or the source material. It’s hard for me to sympathize with anyone when there are very few characters that act human. Not to mention that the dialogue consists of either whatever pertains to the mystery or overly complex, pretentious, psuedo-profound intellectual dialogue crap that’s only really there to impress anyone who likes hearing that and doesn’t really serve much as a purpose other than show how dumb it really is; the latter part is essentially 75% of the dialogue. Everytime Saikawa opens his mouth, I get the urge to put a cork in that pretentious mouth of his. And don’t even get me started on the seven-minute ear-rape known as that Engrish conversation. And it all culminates in an uninteresting and poorly thought-out murder mystery that only really makes sense in the writers’ heads and not ours. Just because it sounds smart doesn’t mean that it is, folks. [Score: 5]


Thank God Mitsuba didn't cook for Thanksgiving. If she burned an omelette of all things, how can anyone expect her to help around the kittchen?

Thank God Mitsuba didn’t cook for Thanksgiving. If she burned an omelette of all things, how can anyone expect her to help around the kitchen?

Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign (Owari no Seraph)
After the first half of Seraph of the End was plagued with idiotic characters that would much rather fight each other more than they do the vampires, sluggish pacing, and poor production, I wasn’t exactly looking forward to the second half with open arms. but to my surprise, the second half actually more or less improved most of the issues I had. It still had some stupid moments, and some stupid good moments, particularly Shinoa and that Tiger Gun thing, so it kinda balances out. But let’s be honest here: vampires make for really shitty villains, but I’ll give you another point for having a vampire with the voice of DIO. I’d never thought I’d be saying this, but I gotta give some credit where credit is due. Seraph of the Blatantly Obvious Homoerotic Subtext isn’t what I’d call good, but I’ll be damned if it wasn’t entertaining as a popcorn anime. As for the show itself, it was a not too shabby improvement over its first half. Not a big one, but it’s fine enough for me. [Score: 5.5]


Man, I know I always see JoJo everywhere and stuff, but this time, it's missing the "ORA"s and the "MUDA"s

Man, I know I always see JoJo everywhere and stuff, but this time, it’s missing the “ORA”s and the “MUDA”s

Ushio and Tora
If InuYasha did a fusion dance with Bleach, back when it was still good and not oozing with obvious lack of originality every unending second of it, it would be Ushio and Tora. This is a show that, although I think it’s too early to say since it has one more part to air, has the ability to withstand the test of time. The nostalgic art direction and good execution allows Ushio and Tora to breathe some life into a genre that is getting rather stale as of recently. I’m crossing my fingers that it can continue this momentum when the second part airs next spring, because I think it’s certainly looking good. [Score: 8]


Man, they really played up the Tai/Matt for the fujoshi crowd as much as possible in this movie. I mean, they shared a ferris wheel car together. This never happened in the first series, I tell you what.

Man, they really played up the Tai/Matt for the fujoshi crowd as much as possible in this movie. I mean, they shared a ferris wheel car together. This never happened in the first series, I tell you what.

Digimon Adventure tri.: Reunion
Revisiting Digimon 15 years later, this new entry seems a bit more grounded in reality than the two that came before it. It’s like the creators of Digimon knew we grew up and probably saw The Avengers. For one, there is worries about domestic destruction. Our heroes are concerned about civilian casualties. Also, there are some MiB government dudes that actually know who the Chosen Children are, kinda like the Hypnos from Digimon Tamers. Aside from that, it was a decent start to the series that left me looking forward to the next movie. So long as Toei doesn’t blow this, I think we’ll be fine. [Score: 7.5]


I'd like some of whatever mushroom spores these guys had.

I’d like some of whatever mushroom spores these guys had.

Little Witch Academia: The Enchanted Parade
The sequel to Little Witch Academia is essentially twice of everything that the original offered. Twice the length, twice the fun and colorful characters. Yeah, even though the same issues are still present; honestly, I had even more fun with Enchanted Parade than the first one that I can sweep all that under the bridge. Plus, that Gurren Lagann-style finale was something that could blow someone’s socks off. You know what? If Trigger decides they want to do a third Little Witch Academia and crowdfund it on Kickstarter, I would be more than happy to pledge money towards it. Whatever is necessary to support anything that isn’t afraid to kick back and enjoy itself every once in a while. [Score: 8.5]


 

Fall 2015 Season APR
1: One-Punch Man
2: Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans (ongoing)
3: Ushio and Tora (2nd Part in Spring 2016)
4: Attack on Titan: Junior High
5: Comet Lucifer
6: Beautiful Bones: Sakurako’s Investigation
7: Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign
8: Concrete Revolutio (2nd Part in Spring 2016)
9: The Perfect Insider
10: K: Return of Kings
11: Aria the Scarlet Ammo AA
12: The Asterisk War (2nd Part in Spring 2016)


Favorite Theme Songs

  • “Raise Your Flag” by MAN WITH A MISSION (Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans Opening Theme 1)
  • “Orphans no Namida” by Misia (Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans Ending Theme 1)
  • “THE HERO!! ~Okoreru Kobushi ni Hi wo Tsukero~” by JAM Project (One-Punch Man Opening Theme)
  • “Seishun wa Hanabi no You ni” by Linked Horizon (Attack on Titan: Junior High Opening Theme)

Next Season Preview: Into the trash this season goes. Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans will continue next season. Meanwhile we have Phantasy Star Online 2 the Animation, Active Raid: Mobile Assault Division, Unit 8, Divine Gate, Undefeated Bahamut Chronicle, Dimension W, Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash, Erased (Boku dake ga Inai Machi), the second season of Assassination Classroom, the second part of Snow White and the Red Hair, the third and final part of Durarara!!×2, and the second Digimon Adventure tri. movie. This next season looks like trash too, and you know how I know this? Because this season was trash. I can always gauge how Winter season will be by how the Fall season was, and since this season stunk, I’m gonna have to say the same. Honestly, next Spring looks better than this. To be fair, I’m only really looking forward to Active Raid, Snow White and Durarara!!. That’s about it. As per usual, expectations are low, but open. …Gee, I’ve been saying that a lot, huh?

One thought on “Seasonal Anime Reviews: Fall 2015

  1. GoodbyeNavi

    Haha. I loved this post. I did not watch half of what was on your list mainly because I assumed it would be full of everything you harped about. I did finally get on the One-Punch Man bandwagon after 7 episodes and it was great! Absolutely enjoyed it. Tried to get back into Seraph of the End but after the first three episodes of the second half, I got so bored and stopped watching. I, too, am quite tired of the harem and high school tropes but it seems the anime industry is pandering to a specific sort that spends a lot more than I can. Thanks for reminding me about Little Witch Academia: The Enchanted Parade. I had forgotten about it.

    Reply

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