Seasonal Anime Reviews: Spring 2016

$4 Million, down the toilet. And the end result was a game that is "better than nothing." I doubt Inafuune will be trusted with a Kickstarter-backed video game ever again.

$4 Million, down the toilet. And the end result was a game that is “better than nothing.”
I doubt Inafune will be trusted with a Kickstarter-backed video game ever again.

Seasonal Thoughts: This was a good season, way better than the last two Spring season. Like, the weakest show this season (Kabaneri) was still fairly decent, and the least worst show (Ace Attorney) has merits in that the source material is not a pile of shit. Can’t say the same about the adaptation, but I’ll get to that another time. You know, I’ll be surprised that we’ll see a season as good as this before, say…, Fall 2017.

In case you’re wondering where Rin-Ne Season 2 was… I decided not to watch it. If I wanted to be put to sleep watching something, I’d watch the 2003 Hulk film.

Anyway, let’s talk Arrow Season 4 *crickets chirping* …Or let’s not.

So Captain America: Civil War… I pretty much walked into this movie knowing it’s gonna fuck me up emotionally. And it did, Black Panther was badass and I’m super-excited for his solo movie. But damn, why I gotta wait 4 more movies for it? Oh, and Spider-Man was awesome too that I’m actually excited for a Spider-Man movie for the first time in 10 years. That should tide me over until Black Panther.

As for X-Men: Apocalypse: Well, I walked into this movie not expecting it to top X-Men: Days of Future Past or Deadpool, but personally, I liked it. I mean, yeah, it had its issues, like the Quicksilver scene, awesome as that was, happening at literally the most inappropriate moment possible in the film, but it’s a bit of a stretch to say it’s worse than X-Men: The Last Stand. But that’s just my opinion, y’know.

Honestly, as long as any superhero film has nothing as braindead as a jar of piss labeled “Granny’s Peach Tea” or anything as contrived as two guys’ moms sharing the same first name, they can’t be all that terrible.

So E3 was the same ol’ from last year: A bunch of all-CG trailers for more grimdark first-person shooters, AAA games that will be glitchy messes and look worse than their E3 demos *cough*Watch_Dogs 2* when they release this holiday season, and Virtual Reality bullshit that I don’t believe will ever catch on. Stop trying to make VR a thing, gaming industry. And yet The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, a game that is coming to consoles, one that is on its last legs and the other hasn’t even been revealed yet, the only game Nintendo showcased at E3, won best of show. What does that tell you about the current state of the gaming industry?

This should be every Twitter user's worst fears.

This should be every Twitter user’s worst fears.

Space Patrol Luluco (Uchuu Patrol Luluco)
Space Patrol Luluco is what happens when you throw in some of Gainax/Trigger’s best shows in a blender, and served into 7-minute portions. And honestly, this is one of the more funnest shows this year. It was fairly standard Trigger-ness for the first several episodes, but when it started doing crossovers into other series, the episodes got even better. Speaking of which, considering that Space Patrol Luluco is confirmed to share universe with Kill la Kill, Little Witch Academia, Inferno Cop, Sex & Violence with Machspeed, and Kiznaiver, I’m willing to bet that we’re probably getting an Avengers-style crossover movie in two or three years. But until then, at least we have the Little Witch Academia TV series to look forward to. [Score: 8]

Well, Hakumen no Mono is definitely screwed when you give your superweapon a name like Trump..

Well, Hakumen no Mono is definitely screwed when you give your superweapon a name like Trump..

Ushio and Tora
I suppose shows like Ushio and Tora, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure and Sailor Moon Crystal are in its own trend of new nostalgic manga adaptations, but that is a trend that is the most likely to succeed in my eyes. I’ll take this over generic school battle harem or “YOU’RE IN THE GAME!” any day of the week. That said, Ushio and Tora helps to bring a reminder of modern anime that there was a time, before Bleach and Naruto existed, when shonen action anime were great and awesome, and didn’t run for hundreds and hundreds of chapters, and had some thought-out stories and characters that were given time to develop properly. Yeah, it’s safe to say that all but a few modern shonen action anime are in the toilet now, because the old guys show them how it’s really done, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Ushio and Tora started out great, had a great run, and ended great, and I’d say modern shonen action anime can take a few pointers from it. Otherwise, they’re gonna have a hard time toping this one. [Score: 8]

For the record, this is the VERY FIRST line of this half of the show. This should've raised a few red flags when the show blatantly gives its audience the middle finger in its opening minutes.

For the record, this is the VERY FIRST line said in this part of the show. This should’ve raised a few red flags when the show blatantly gives its audience the middle finger in its opening minutes.

The Asterisk War (Gakusen Toshii Asterisk)
At this point, it’s no longer possible for me to say that Infinite Stratos (and because it’s a literal copy of that show, Undefeated Bahamut Chronicle) is the most generic battle harem light novel anime out there, especially since Asterisk War is a thing that apparently exists, and it’s so generic that it makes even the most generic battle harem anime look less generic in comparison. Really, the only reason why this seems different from all the others in its genre is because Aniplex has your dick. And the second half brings what has got to be the most boring and uninspired tournament arc I’ve ever seen in an anime. It’s boring because purple Kirito cannot, or rather, shouldn’t lose because that’d completely ruin the idea of our overpowered self-insert light novel main character. That kinda goes against the point of a tournament arc, especially considering the main characters doesn’t use anything resembling a strategy; instead using deus ex machina powers. Not only that, but it doesn’t even bother to show one of the other harem members lose. Really, when you fail at the most basic rule of storytelling that is “Show, Don’t Tell,” you are an absolute failure of an anime. And then there is Flora, the most annoying voice in all of anime, who made even the obnoxious bitch Julis and the lolicon fapbait Kirin actually tolerable. And there’s the obviously rushed at the last-minute subplots. There’s absolutely zero things that is even remotely redeemable about Asterisk War. The characters are nothing but walking clichés of actual character archetypes. Everything about this has been done to death that pretty much any other show has executed its ideas much better. The art is nothing but generic light novel designs and the action is a bunch of random movements incoherently thrown together. There are better shows to watch this year, let alone in this season, which is virtually everything that isn’t Asterisk War. Unless you enjoy harem anime with clichés instead of characters, this absolute failure is not worth your time at all. Fuck you, Asterisk War[Score: 1]

Really? Because you don't look very "calm and rational" to me.

Really? Because you don’t look very “calm and rational” to me.

My Hero Academia (Boku no Hero Academia)
Amidst all these generic school battle harem being every-damn-where, My Hero Academia ends up a show that even though its main setting is a school, at least it has more spirit and charisma. However, despite all the colorful cast of characters and spirit behind the entire show making it so much fun to watch, the pacing is pretty slow, and it definitely shows. Not as unbearably slow as a certain number of shows, *cough*Rin-Ne*, but still slow enough for me to take notice. I would prefer a show like this to step up the pace. I mean, yeah, Hero Academia certainly likes to take its sweet time with stuff. The way this show is paced, you’d think this is just the first half of its run. To its credit, a second season is coming soon, but even so, maybe the slow pacing works to Hero Academia‘s advantage [Score: 8]

In case you need a reminder that they're lesbians, not cousins. I know it's been 25 years, but theyre's no way you guys could've forgotten.

In case you need a reminder that they’re lesbians, not cousins. I know it’s been 25 years, but theyre’s no way you guys could’ve forgotten.

Sailor Moon Crystal Season III
I know that some of you, (actually, a lot of you, let’s not sugarcoat here) were understandably let down by the first two seasons of Sailor Moon Crystal and immediately turned the other way and assumed the worst when a third season was announced. So I implore you: Come back. This season is so much better. It’s completely baffling how the previous two seasons, being a biweekly web series, ended up a total production disaster, but It pays homage to the 90’s anime season of the Infinity arc while still keeping it fresh, and honestly, some visual shots seem like it’s influenced by Ikuhara. I mean yeah, we’re missing some really great moments, such as the Witches 5 playing Twister, and I can probably blame that on how dated the manga is in comparison to the 90’s anime. The third time’s a charm, and I tell you Sailor Moon Crystal Season III is indeed a charm. I’d still recommend the 90’s anime version of the Infinity arc, but this is a good effort. [Score: 8.5]

Look who's talking. If anything, Claire should be detained for not only illegal trespassing, but for being yet another insufferable tsundere bitch.

Look who’s talking. If anything, Claire should be detained for not only illegal trespassing, but for being yet another insufferable, obnoxious bitch.

To the surprise of literally no one, Hundred is yet another one of those damned generic school battle harem anime that constantly rears its ugly head every season, and that is never a good thing. That said, it is at least more watchable then Infinite Bahamut or Ass War ever will. But that’s not saying a whole lot since it still sucks, because it lives and breathes on the typical light novel clichés. Can we please stop with all the accidental boob-groping? It was never funny to begin with. I’m willing to bet the reason why it’s called Hundred is because there were 99 other shows just like it. Seriously, the main issue of these is that the more interesting plot of the show is the B-plot. That’s always how it is in these generic school battle harem anime. Maybe if the war against the Savage came first before stupid harem, then maybe this show could hold my attention for awhile, but since that is not the case, I don’t really give a care. A Savage attack could be happening in some other part of the world, but that’s not important. We need to see Hayato groping them big-ass titties. As far as I’m concerned, all these school battle harem anime needs to stop like right now. [Score: 3.5]

I usually don't go for girls with ripped bods, but for Yukina, I'll make an exception. Mikasa could never. Oh yeah, I went there.

I usually don’t go for girls with ripped bods, but for Yukina, I’ll make an exception. Mikasa could never.
Oh yeah, I went there.

Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress (Koutetsujo no Kabaneri)
Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress became a glorious crazy trainwreck of a show, and I can’t say I didn’t see this coming because I did. I mean, it’s the same staff behind Guilty Crown, for crying out loud! That should’ve been a dead giveaway. It had a really cool ideas with the Attack on Titan premise, which made it more watchable than most of these wannabes, but then it started going off the rails, and not in a good way. And the one thing that derails it is that same thing that killed Terror in Resonance‘s momentum: You introduce a new character that hurts the show more than it helps with his very existence. The show goes from being about fighting zombies with human-zombie hybrid badasses and their steampunk trains to the villain’s revenge plot, and they just don’t transition well. I would be more invested in the former plot. It would still be popcorn anime either way, but the zombie fighting plot would have less burnt popcorn. In case you don’t know, burnt popcorn smells horrendous. [Score: 7.5]

Is that a rhetorical question? Because I can give an answer to that question.

Is that a rhetorical question? Because I can give an answer to that question.

Joker Game
After all that is said and done, Joker Game became a show that didn’t pull any punches when it came to its subject material. At the same time, it delivered some solid and well-written single episodes with varying levels and intrigue and suspense. But it won’t be winning any awards in the character department. The show is clearly intent on story first and let nothing else matter, which is probably Joker Game‘s most weakest point, and probably the reason why I’m giving it a score of 8 instead of an 8.5. The characters don’t exactly feel human, Instead they feel like near-perfect, Japanese James Bonds. Even so, they appear human enough that I don’t consider them complete robots, which is decent enough. Also, the last episode leaves you hanging (the image above is the exact closing moment of the entire show). I’d say if you’re into spy vs.spy thrillers and espionage dramas or what have you, Joker Game‘s right up your alley so long as you’re not expecting a character-driven narrative. [Score: 7.5]

...unless you're a Zack Snyder-directed superhero; then you bring about nihilism, murder, and destruction in a hopeless world.

…unless you’re a Zack Snyder-directed superhero; then you bring about nihilism, murder, and destruction in a hopeless world.

Concrete Revolutio
Studio Bones has alot of work cut out for them. What with this, My Hero Academia, and several others, they’re gonna be one of the most busiest anime studios this year. Aside from that, you know how the previous part of Concrete Revolutio was like around 10 episode of some of the weirdest plots ever, and all the time-jumps didn’t exactly help its case either? Well I felt like things started to slow down a bit the second half, which is good, because it gives the show some more coherency. It helped my opinion on Concrete Revolutio to go from “This show is kinda cool, but I don’t really get it” to This show is kinda cool and I’m mildly entertained.” It still suffered from the same overstuffed with craziness from the last season, but this time around it’s not as bad. I’m glad it improved when it did, enough for me to be satisfied and say that it is worth taking one watch or two… or three, or whatever number of times. [Score: 7.5]

We get it, Sakamoto. You vape.

We get it, Sakamoto. You vape.

Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto (Sakamoto desu ga?)
I was mostly expecting Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto to get rather stale after several episodes, but to my surprise, it somehow managed to keep its humor good to last its 12-episode run. Not once was I bored or thought the show had run its course. Although it makes me wonder a few things about why Sakamoto is so cool and stylish: Is he actually Bayonetta’s son? Or is he a misplaced JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure character? Is he the very reason why this Spring season was good? All of these assumptions are correct, and yet it’s part of what makes me interested in watching him. And yet somehow he’s actually an anti-Gary Stu, or, if you will, a Parody Sue, which is, basically a Gary Stu played for laughs; because you just can’t not laugh at Sakamoto for being perfection incarnate. [Score: 7.5]

Caught ridin' dirty. In a grocery store, no less.

Caught ridin’ dirty. In a grocery store, no less.

Hot off the heels of Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans (which I enjoyed alot), I was pretty much on board for whatever Mari Okada is attached to. If she can deliver characters and drama as strong as that, then maybe Kiznaiver would be just as good. That was not the case. I’m glad I didn’t watch Rin-Ne 2 (although Kiznaiver would’ve still been more enjoyable than that snoozefest) for my slowly-paced show of the season. Not sure why anyone would complain about pacing too fast when pacing too slow is worse. At least something’s happening every few minutes. The problem with Kiznaiver is that the visual direction and the ideas behind the show; they’re there and they’re all great, but the story does very little to make up for it. I don’t regret watching it; I certainly enjoyed some of it; but I doubt my opinion of it would change one way or the other should I choose to rewatch it.  [Score: 7.5]

And here I thought foxes make sounds like "FIYAH!!" and "TORYAH!!" and blip sounds. I guess not...

And here I thought foxes make sounds like “FIYAH!!” and “TORYAH!!” and blip sounds. I guess not…

Flying Witch
I didn’t expect much from Flying Witch. Slice-of-life anime isn’t a genre that I tend to be fond of very much, mainly because there’s not much going on, so I don’t watch it often. So it’s a surprise that I find one that I end up really liking a lot. However, Flying Witch was much more than that. All of the components that make anime like this very good are all here. Good characters, funny and cute moments, pleasant atmosphere, and strong art direction. Every so often, the show takes its time to just focus on its well-designed rural environments, almost as if the show is well-aware that its well-produced. And yeah, the pacing is par for the course for slice-of-life shows, but when everything else is so much fun, I can look the other way. found this to be one of the most charming and relaxing shows of this season. The show that I didn’t expect much out of has a very good chance of staying in my Top 10 of this year, and that’s a very good thing when the underdog succeeds. [Score: 8]

Pretty sure Nagisa's going for the Ultra Combo of kissing.

Pretty sure Nagisa’s going for the Ultra Combo of kissing.

Assassination Classroom (Ansatsu Kyoushitsu), 2nd Season
So with Assassination Classroom having wrapped up its final season and completed adapting the manga (You don’t see those often), and even though I’m not a fan of it, mainly because the premise does not make much sense, I will admit that it does some things right that most shonen anime nowadays get wrong. But I actually found myself enjoying this season more than the first season because it delivered some much needed backstory. The reason why I didn’t enjoy Season 1 as much as I did was because I kept asking myself “Why?” Rule of thumb: If you keep asking yourself why something is happening, then you’re not into the show. Overall, Assassination Classroom was a really weird show, but it was not without its merits. I probably won’t remember this as often ans anyone else, but I will say that I’m glad I watched it to the end and see everything come together and wrap up in a satisfying conclusion. [Score: 7.5]

So people are speculating that Nintendo might have stealth-revealed the NX controller in the Star Fox Zero anime. Let's throw a little fuel into the fire and say the scouter is part of the NX too. Hey, I'd rather take seeing half-green over nauseating VR crap.

So people are speculating that Nintendo might have stealth-revealed the NX controller in the Star Fox Zero anime. Let’s throw a little fuel into the fire and say the scouter is part of the NX too. Hey, I’d rather take seeing half-green over nauseating VR crap.

Star Fox Zero: The Battle Begins
I didn’t expect much of anything from a 15-minute CG anime promotion for Star Fox Zero‘s release. But I was actually pretty impressed by it. It had the same quirkiness and epicness I’d come to expect from the series and it serves its purpose well: To get fans excited for the game. It got me excited, even though I’m willing to bet you all liked this CG anime short more than you did the actual game. Now I’m kinda wishing Nintendo would commission Production I.G and Wit Studio (oh, and Orange too, but they’re not worthy of promotion. Sorry, but attracting the Attack on Titan crowd is top-priority), to do a full-length anime movie. [Score: 7.5]

Spring 2016 Season APR
1: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable (ongoing)
2: Sailor Moon Crystal Season III
3: My Hero Academia
4: Ushio and Tora
5: Flying Witch
6: Space Patrol Luluco
7: Joker Game
8: Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto
9: Concrete Revolutio
10: Kiznaiver
11: Assassination Classroom, 2nd Season
12: Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress
13: Ace Attorney (ongoing)
14: Hundred
15: The Asterisk War

Favorite Theme Songs

  • “Crazy Noisy Bizarre Town” by THE DU (Diamond is Unbreakable Opening Theme)
  • “I Want You” by Savage Garden (Diamond is Unbreakable Ending Theme)
  • “Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress” by Egoist (Kabaneri Opening Theme)
  • “ninelie” by Aimer with chelly (Kabaneri Ending Theme)
  • “Through My Blood <AM>” by Aimer (Kabaneri Ending Theme Episode 11)
  • “Lay your Hands on Me” by Boom Boom Satellites (Kiznaiver Opening Theme)
  • “Shanranran feat. 96 Neko” by miwa (Flying Witch Opening Theme)
  • “Bye-Bye, Yesterday” by Mai Fuchigami, Aya Suzaki, Nobuhiko Okamoto, Ryota Ohsaka, and Shintaro Asanuma (Assassination Classroom, 2nd Season Opening Theme 2)

Next Season Preview: Aside from Diamond is Unbreakable and Ace Attorney continuing into next season, there will be to look forward to: Mob Psycho 100, Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope’s Peak Academy (Future Arc and Despair Arc), ReLIFE, Kono Bijutsu-bu ni wa Mondai ga Aru!, Tales of Zestiria the XNew Game!, Masou Gakuen HxH, Battery, and the second season of Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE!. Also, Active Raid returns for its second half. Yeah, next anime season has some really slim pickings, even for a summer season. It’s the price to pay for having a good spring season. Summer season is always lackluster, so I probably will just cut down on shows. Looks like it’s gonna be a Summer of backlog and gaming.

One thought on “Seasonal Anime Reviews: Spring 2016

  1. Pingback: 2016 Anime Year in Review | [the jinxed darkstar blog]

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