Seasonal Anime Reviews: Summer 2016

v-a7f-k-rfuglnibktkxquysfcgodrilxhdfxtczui8Seasonal Thoughts: Man, this season was kind of a chore. Honestly, I was about ready to skip this season. Basically a standard Summer anime season.

Y’all spent eight months expecting the new Ghostbusters film to be terrible only for it to actually not be terrible. Turns out the real thing you should’ve been pointing fingers at was Sony’s shitty marketing. As for Suicide Squad, I guess it wasn’t the movie that will save the DC Extended Universe from critics and reviews after all. I guess it’s up to Wonder Woman. If it bombs with the reviewers, this movieverse is screwed. And don’t even get me started on The Killing Joke! I thought I could trust WB Animation with this, but they add some pointless scene with Batman and Batgirl having sex and… URGH!!!

You know what? Go watch Kubo and the Two Strings instead. Oh, and Thunderbolt Fantasy. Watch that too.

Meanwhile in theatres on the opposite side of the globe: I had no intention to watch the Accel World movie, but… Honestly, you can’t even call it a movie, considering it’s actually a 40-minute recap of the TV series and a 40-minute OVA falsely advertised as a full-length movie, therefore ripping off moviegoers expecting to watch a movie. I should be pointing fingers at Sunrise, but, considering that this was penned by Kawahara himself, that can probably mean he must’ve wrote 40 minutes worth of story… If this doesn’t prove that Kawahara has your dick, I don’t know what does.

So I guess August 18, 2016 will be a day that will live in anime infamy as the day a LOT of hopes and dreams of Ash winning a Pokemon League were crushed… Oh, and I guess Bleach ended, or rather it got cancelled… and good riddance! Honestly, everything after Chapter 423/Episode 342 are nothing but Tite Kubo’s drunken fantasies.

Makeups are the bane of schoolwork, because that means you failed so much that you gotta take another.

Makeups are the bane of schoolwork, because that means you failed so much that you gotta take another.

ReLIFE
Throughout this whole summer season, ReLIFE was nothing more than a thought in the back of my head. And that was because all 13 episodes were available to watch Day 1, so you could potentially marathon though the whole show if you wanted to. When I first read the synopsis for ReLIFE, I immediately thought that with a premise like this it would be very likely for them to potentially screw this up big time. But honestly, they did a fairly good job at this whole 17 Again concept. This was a concept that I related to alot, which is why I was interested in the show to begin with. Heck, I actually kind of wish there was a ReLIFE program so I could redo my senior year. [Score: 8]


We get it, you're an adaptation of a video game. No need to remind us.

We get it, you’re an adaptation of a video game. No need to remind us.

Tales of Zestiria the X
Do I pronounce it like “the X” or “the Cross”? Both sound strange to me. What does that even mean? Is it the button on the PS4 or PS3 or Steam controller that I have to press in order to make this anime not make me want to play the game instead? I bet it is. Honestly, the story here is nothing I’ve haven’t seen in most JRPGs I’ve played or anime I’ve watched. At least the Tales of Berseria episodes were pretty nice, even though they were essentially the equivalent of Wonder Woman in Batman v. Superman: The coolest moments that felt tacked on and out of place with the rest of the narrative, and have zero purpose other than to promote the next entry in the franchise. Still was a nice distraction. Probably won’t expect to see any more of that when the continuation airs next Winter… [Score: 6]


Wait... Is this true? Because if so, I'm probably screwed since I started working full-time.

Wait… Is this true? Because if so, I’m probably screwed since I started working full-time.

New Game!
At first, I wasn’t too gravy on this. I walked into New Game! expecting it to be to video games what Shirobako is to animation: A workcom about developing video games. But honestly, it was a fairly harmless, cute, and fun little comedy, and it was something that I didn’t really expect to enjoy. Although my only major gripe, and it’s only enough of a gripe that I had to deduct a point off, was that it never sets its own ambitions high enough. Part of why I enjoyed Shirobako so much was that it was a fun workcom that gave its characters obstacles and challenges to overcome. New Game! didn’t really do that much. I still enjoyed it and wouldn’t mind another season; maybe Eagle Jump will develop a Fairies Story spinoff in that one. [Score: 7.5]


Look, I'm laughing my ass off here at this line, and this totally explains abusive bitches to a T, but just because you point it out doesn't exactly excuse it either.

Look, I’m laughing my ass off here at this line, and this totally explains abusive bitches to a T, but just because you point it out doesn’t exactly excuse it either.

Hybrid × Heart Magias Academy Ataraxia (Masou Gakuen H×H)
[Dropped, 4 of 12] Why is it that every Summer since 2014 we get a show that must be designed for the sole purpose of destroying humanity, if not making it believe anime was a mistake? 2014 had Sword Art Online II, Akame ga Kill!, and Glasslip. Last year had Chaos Dragon. This year, its Hybrid Heart whatever the hell yet another Magic Academy bullshit. It being yet another generic magical high school battle harem anime is the least of its problems. The people that made this show looked at the most trashiest of fanservice anime and said “Hold my beer, motherfuckers” and ended up making a softcore hentai that somehow is okay enough to air on Japanese televisions. This is not okay. This show is a sickening, disgusting, horrible waste of airtime that makes me wanna vomit just looking at a second of it. It is trashier than trash, up there with Cross Ange, only this didn’t make me wish every single shitbag in that show died a horrible, bloody death. It’s not even good for a guilty pleasure because that would imply that there was something remotely good about it. The only reason it’s not a 1/10 because the number of episodes I watched only filled out half my bingo list. [Score: 2]


See, this is why you ask questions before you buy art products. Now you can't return it.

See, this is why you ask questions before you buy art products. Now you can’t return it.

This Art Club Has a Problem! (Kono Bijutsu-bu ni wa Mondai ga Aru!)
You know how Art Club and New Game! had the same first opinions? While I eventually warmed up to New Game!, I didn’t like Art Club as much as I thought I would. I didn’t warm up to this as much as I honestly wanted to. Although both tend to be the same strengths and weaknesses in my eyes: A harmless, cute, and fun little comedy that keeps its own ambitions modest but not high enough and it just feels like it’s not aiming for something higher. Funny thing about that is both series centered around a hobby that I enjoy doing. It was good for laughs, although I doubt that I’ll give it another viewing unless I’m feeling generous. And we never did find out what sorta problem that art club had anyway, did we…? [Score: 7]


I swear they're talking about volleyballs, not those other kind of balls.

I swear they’re talking about volleyballs, not those other kind of balls.

Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE! LOVE! (Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu LOVE! LOVE!)
There really is nothing new for me to say about Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE!‘s second season. It was basically the same as the first, and that’s really not a bad thing. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is what I always say. But since I gotta fill up some space, might as well shoot the breeze about the show. So who’s everyone’s favorite boy? Mine is Ryuu, kinda. It’s the pink hair, I guess. And didn’t I tell ya that intergalactic TV show was still a thing? Yeah, I got nothing else to talk about. On to the next show. [Score: 7.5]


That's it! You just summed up this entire series in one sentence.

That’s it! You just summed up this entire series in one sentence.

Thunderbolt Fantasy
I was going back and forth on whether or not I should include Thunderbolt Fantasy in this writeup since it’s not really anime so much as it is Taiwanese wuxia, but it’s produced by names in anime, and it’s cool like anime, so why not? Because Thunderbolt Fantasy somehow manages to top itself with each passing episode, and just when you think it has reached a ceiling, it tops that too. The fight chorepography is unbelievably solid. A dude ends up blowing a mook’s ribcage out through his back with merely a stick powered by ki. Is that not awesome shit? And the dialogue is perfection in every line uttered without it sounding like purple prose-y. Whoever wrote this dialogue should get a bonus. Think of Thunderbolt Fantasy like… Wulin Warriors, but y’know, good and lasted more than two epi– Let me just stop right there, lest I want my tongue ripped out for daring to make such a comparison. It looks like Gen Urobuchi has found the key to success, it’s in badass magical swordfighting puppets. Gimme the next season, please! [Score: 8.5]


"FREEZE! INTERNET POLICE!

“FREEZE! INTERNET POLICE!

Active Raid 2nd
With Active Raid fully finished, I think the real problem was that it had no focus. It was just one episode does one thing, another episode does a completely different thing. I pretty much gave up on wanting this show to be better than its extremely shaky first part and just went along for the bumpy ride. Even though there were a few episodes that I enjoyed in the second half, I still felt like Active Raid as a whole was kind of a letdown. I’m used to disappointment, so this affects me none. I don’t regret watching it, I certainly enjoyed my time with it, even though I was ultimately disappointed by the whole thing… [Score: 6.5]


Josuke made his way into Mob Psycho 100 too? Well, that's just GUREETO.

Josuke made his way into Mob Psycho 100 too? Well, that’s just GUREETO.

Mob Psycho 100
Hot off the heels of 2015’s smash hit One-Punch Man, Mob Psycho 100 became something to look forward to this summer, and while it doesn’t reach the same pedigree as its sibling series, it’s still one of the better watches of the season. I watched One-Punch Man for the big spectacle, and while I got a great spectacle from its psychadelic animation, and yeah, this is one of the better looking shows this year, it’s got something that One-Punch Man lacked: Strong character writing. I think it spells the whole damn thing out in its opening theme: “If everyone is not special, maybe you can be what you want to be.” We have a main character who has great powers that others see as utterly unremarkable. Granted, this didn’t blow my socks that often, but it was definitely a fun ride. And on the plus side, it looks like we’ve haven’t seen the last of ONE, as One-Punch Man Season 2 is across the horizon. [Score: 8]


Three years ago, I would've never have considered that Danganronpa would have a robot girl who can turn her wheelchair into a battle robot

Three years ago, I would’ve never have considered that Danganronpa would have a robot girl who can turn her wheelchair into a battle robot

Well, bananas and donuts are ruined forever...

Well, bananas and donuts are ruined forever…

Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope’s Peak Academy
Side:Future: So let me start off that saying Side:Future is the culmination of EVERYTHING in the Danganronpa series up to this point. Anyone who is not up to date with everything Danganronpa-related is gonna be lost. Anyway, I saw Side:Future to be the main part of Danganronpa 3 since this is the endgame. Now here the major issue: All but a few of the Branch Leaders are assholes, whether they be assholes from the very start or end up becoming assholes out of their own good intentions. I had more of a connection to the surviving cast of the first game since I saw that anime, which is why I tend to have very little reaction to what happened to anyone else. I still enjoyed it nonetheless.
Side:Despair: The above said, I did find Side:Despair, which is essentially a companion piece to Side:Future, more accessible since it was a prequel and all. And let’s be real, the cast of Danganronpa 2 look like a really colorful bunch to be around. I mean, there’s a dude named Gundam, for crying out loud! My only complaint is that they go out of focus as Side:Despair goes on as it starts tying into Side:Future, which is mostly fine because alot of things wouldn’t have made sense otherwise.
Side:Hope: For a series that I did not expect any sort of ending above bittersweet. the ending was surprisingly happy. Everything worked out for mostly everyone that survived in the end. Although I can’t believe I was fooled three times with the fake kill scares… Well played, Kazutaka Kodaka. Well played, you motherfucker. [Score: 8]


Oh, look at that. The first spoken lines reference real life, just like Flying Witch did. Anime is becoming too real.

Oh, look at that. The first spoken lines reference real life, just like Flying Witch did. Anime is becoming too real.

Battery the Animation
[Dropped, 4 of 11] You’re probably wondering why I didn’t do a first impression post on Battery, even though I said I planned to watch it. Besides lack of time, the reason was that it had a good first episode, but every subsequent episode got worse that it completely invalidated my initial thoughts. And the reason was the main character himself. He’s a massive prick to everyone that it turned me off of the show. Now maybe he gets better over the course of the series, I don’t know; but I just don’t care enough about Battery to find out whether he does. [Score: 5.5]


To anyone not familiar with the games: Yes, this actually happens!! Phoenix actually cross-examines a parrot. It's a crazy idea, but it works! And then, he'll cross-examine an orca much later.

To anyone not familiar with the games: Yes, this actually happens!! Phoenix actually cross-examines a parrot. It’s a crazy idea, but it works! And then, he’ll cross-examine an orca much later.

Ace Attorney (Gyakuten Saiban: Sono “Shinjitsu”, Igi Ari!)
I love the Ace Attorney series. I’ve played every game available to me, except for Ace Attorney Investigations 2 and Dai Gyakuten Saiban, because friggin’ Capcom won’t bring them over. And I haven’t actually started the crossover game with Professor Layton, but whatever. And no one was probably more excited for an Ace Attorney anime as much as I was. Hell, I didn’t think I wanted an Ace Attorney anime until it was announced. But everything about this adaptation makes me wish they haven’t bothered or, at the very least, kept A-1’s grimy hands as far away from it as possible. It looks half-assed, sounds half-assed, and feels half-assed, because it is half-assed. I don’t feel like I’m watching an adaptation of a video game. I feel like I’m watching a phoned-in product. In fact, this is probably one of the weakest game-to-anime adaptations I’ve seen in a while. It doesn’t help that it shared about the same staff as last year’s Gunslinger Stratos, a show that was equally as phoned in and had zero quality to it. It’s obvious that no one involved in this didn’t care about the aspects of the game at all. Maybe if it was handled by a studio that has a much better track record, it would’ve been a much better product, but as far as this goes, it’s doesn’t feel right at all. It feels wrong. I don’t blame anyone for dropping this after the first episode, because if you honestly expected anything of quality from A-1 at this point, then you’ve set your expectations much too high. Honestly, this adaptation is clearly for no one (fans and newcomers to Ace Attorney alike), which is why I will tell you not to bother with this and just play the games if you haven’t instead. You should be able to find the DS games online for around $20 each, or download the entire trilogy from the Nintendo 3DS eShop for $30. They are much more worthwhile than this objectionable adaptation. [Score: 4]


I mean, sure, show us a new Super Fumina, which I'm not enturely sure exists in real life. Still not selling me on this OVA.

I mean, sure, show us a new Super Fumina, which I’m not enturely sure exists in real life. Still not selling me on this OVA.

Gundam Build Fighters Try: Island Wars
Island Wars served as a reminder why I thought Build Fighters Try was inferior to the first series. I don’t know about any of you guys, but I did not find this OVA good or any enjoyable. And I think I realized that when the plot basically became a rehash of the exact same plot as the last episodes of the first series. Plavsky particles going out of control, causing the Gunpla to appear in the real world. Yep, exact same plot. I’m sure the first series’ OVA will be much better than this. Then again, the first season as whole was much better than Try[Score: 6.5]


No, Agumon. Reboots are what Hollywood decides to do because they've run out of original ideas for movies.

No, Agumon. Reboots are what Hollywood decides to do because they’ve run out of original ideas for movies.

Digimon Adventure tri.: Confession
We have reached the halfway point of Digimon Adventure tri., and, boy, has things gone straight to Hell quickly. The plot continues to thicken as a number of revelations come to light, therefore leaving more questions to ask. Y’know, I feel like problems could be resolved a lot more efficiently if someone would speak up. That said, I was pretty excited to see another Digimon (Tentomon this time) reach his Mega forms. And even though Seraphimon wasn’t on the cover, I was kinda hoping he’d show up again since Patamon went Mega once before (and did jackshit). Maybe in a later movie. Right now, I’ve come to the conclusion that believe it’s the same with the Star Wars sequel trilogy, in which each individual film’s actual quality will ultimately be determined once all of them are released. In the next movie, Hououmon against Machinedramon. Oh, boy… [Score: 8]


Summer 2016 Season APR
1: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable (ongoing)
2: Thunderbolt Fantasy
3: Mob Psycho 100
4: ReLIFE
5: Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope’s Peak Academy
6: New Game!
7: Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE! LOVE!
8: This Art Club Has a Problem!
9: Active Raid 2nd
10: Tales of Zestiria the X (To be continued Winter 2017)
11: Battery the Animation
12: Ace Attorney
13: Hybrid × Heart Magias Academy Ataraxia


Favorite Themes
“Hot Limit” by T.M. Revolution (ReLIFE Episode 2 Ending)
“Kaze no Uta” by FLOW (Tales of Zestiria the X Opening 1)
“99” by Mob Choir (Mob Psycho 100 Opening)
“Pikachu’s Song” by Ikue Ohtani (Pokémon XY & Z Ending 2)


Next Season Preview: Aside from Diamond is Unbreakable concluding, this Fall, there will be to look forward to: Izetta the Last Witch, Lostorage Incited WIXOSS, Time Bokan 24, Drifters, Occultic;Nine, Matoi the Sacred Slayer, Yuri!!! on Ice, All Out!!, Nanbaka, Magical Girl Raising Project as well as the second seasons of Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans and Ajin: Demi-Human.  As per usual, I don’t really expect much of anything to come out of this season. I’m really only looking forward to Iron-Blooded Orphans, really. Still, I would like to see the year close on a good note, at the very least.

One thought on “Seasonal Anime Reviews: Summer 2016

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

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