Winter 2018 Week 6

Welcome to week 6 where we start getting serious about whether or not I made wise choices earlier in the season with what to watch and what to drop. The answer, as it is most seasons, is a little bit of both. Some shows have far exceeded expectations while others are just kind of plodding along. I am happy that this is the first season since I made the category that nothing has ended up in the ‘They Made This?’ category, though Death March is starting to tempt me. So nothing to rival the worst anime I’ve ever watched in my line up this season.

On that note, we are at the half-way point of the season (depending on when the show started and how many episodes it has) and so I’ll ask for predictions about what the anime of the season is going to be. What is your pick?

NatsumeS6E2c

Must Watch

March Comes in Like a Lion Season 2 (Episode 38)

No new episode.

Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens (Episode 5)

Yes, this show has managed a nice transition from its first arc and now I’m pretty hopeful that it will manage to maintain its standing on the list for the season. I’m really enjoying this show. It is funny and energetic and a little bit dark without getting too depressing and while a narrative about hitmen won’t suit everyone, I’m being highly entertained by this show this season.

marksman4

Usually Entertaining

The Ancient Magus’ Bride (Episode 18)

Okay, after asking for more progress, we kind of got it. This episode just kind of packed so many different points in. I wonder if this is a sign of things to come or whether it will calm back down to its usual slow pace next week. Still, it was nice to see some of these developments and I am looking forward to how some of these plot points play out.

DARLING in the FRANXX (Episode 5)

A very nice follow up in this show and the story gets more interesting as do the character interactions. A reminder that the reviews for this one are password protected for patrons.

Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card (Episode 6)

Another fairly flat episode with Sakura really just going about her daily routine with a capture thrown in at the episode’s end for good measure. While there are some character moments in this episode that might become important later, another episode like this one and I will have to move this show down to the just okay. As pretty as it is and as strong as the nostalgia for these characters is, this show really is just kind of going through the motions.

bungo24

Okay, I Guess

Kokkoku (Episode 6)

Okay, while the character situation didn’t improve this week, the plot kind of tried kicking it up a notch and it managed it quite well. The mystery here is interesting, even if the players aren’t. Hopefully it all comes together. I would really like it to because there’s definitely some good ideas on display even if the execution has been a little rocky so far.

School Babysitters (Episode 6)

Back to business as usual and once again the relationship between the brothers shines in the overly sweet story. While I do feel there were certain elements in this episode that needed a bit more depth, overall, it was a pretty good recovery for the show after episode 5.

DamePri Anime Caravan (Episode 6)

And again, this show continues to be consistently watchable enough with just enough ridiculous antics to keep being entertaining but still not much in the way of a plot. The Princes’ and their personalities remain the make or break point of this show as they all border on annoying and yet somehow they balance each other out.

How to Keep A Mummy (Episode 5)

The cute dragon added into the cast kind of compels me to say this was a better episode. And yet, this show has definitely shown that in the absence of cute there’s really nothing else going on. Cute is enough to keep me watching, but not enough for a recommendation.

Record of Grancrest War (Episode 6)

This story is just determined to shoot itself in the foot. After the sharp turn in the story last week with the introduction of werewolves, this week we essentially don’t care about that and go back to fighting other lords, after a dance party of course. It is so frustrating because I really just want a decent fantasy story and this show is determined to withhold any possibility of getting to one.

Junji Ito Collection (Episode 6)

No change at all. First story was okay but unresolved and the second story was pretty ordinary. Art and style remain much the same. Watchable but nothing more.

Sanrio Boys (Episode 6)

This and Death March just keep competing to see which show I am feeling most indifferent towards. Sanrio comes out on top of the two this week because it did resolve the current conflict between the boys. Basically, this show just kind of exists.

Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody (Episode 5)

And nothing happened. He bought the new slaves, they went back to the inn and they shopped. That’s it for an episode minus some exposition. Really not enough to justify twenty minutes of time though.

Tattoo5

They Made This?

Nothing yet.

Wizard1a

Tried and Dropped (or on hold)

  • Maerchen Maedchen (Episode 3)
  • Hakyuu Houshin Engi (Episode 2)
  • A Place Further Than The Universe (Episode 1)
  • Hakumei and Mikochi (Episode 1)
  • Katana Maidens ~Toji no Miko (Episode 2)
  • Laid-Back Camp (Episode 1)
  • Ms Koizumi Loves Ramen Noodles (Episode 1)
  • Citrus (Episode 1)
  • Mitsuboshi Colors (Episode 1)
  • Slow Start (Episode 1)
  • The Ryou’s Work is Never Done (Episode 1)
  • Working Buddies! (Episode 1)
  • Karakai Jozu no Takagi-San (Episode 1)
  • Mitchiri Neko (Episode 1)
  • Pop Team Epic (Episode 1)

Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

avatar

If you enjoyed this post and would like to see Patreon2more great content on this blog, consider becoming a patron for as little as $1 a month.

Thoughts on Anime.jpg

Another way you can support the content here is by buying a copy of ‘Thoughts on Anime 2017‘ as an ebook. It contains a selection of reviews, features and top 5 lists from 2017 and while the content is available free on the site, this is a great way to give a one off show of support for the blog. It is available for $3.99.

 

Advertisements

Winter 2018 Week 5

Week 5 and I suffered from hearing the news that March Comes in Like a Lion is apparently not airing while the Winter Olympics are on. That is not good news. However, otherwise the season seems to be rolling along more or less as expected. Curious this week as to who is shaping up to be everyone’s favourite character this season. Share your thoughts in the comments below.

And for those who missed the announcement last week you can check it out here. Thanks to everyone for helping share the word. I really appreciate it.

NatsumeS6E2c

Must Watch

March Comes in Like a Lion Season 2 (Episode 38)

Another good episode though this one definitely felt like a transition. So while some story threads were coming to a close, some older ideas were getting picked up again and all in all, it was a fun episode to watch but there isn’t that much to say about it as a stand alone episode. Very much looking forward to this show returning in a few weeks.

Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens (Episode 4)

While I was surprised that they wrapped up the end of the that story so neatly in episode 4, I’m kind of happy they didn’t drag things out. This felt like a satisfying conclusion. Now it just remains to be seen whether they can launch into an equally entertaining tale or whether this show has used all its charm already.

marksman4

Usually Entertaining

The Ancient Magus’ Bride (Episode 16)

The main story line of this show continues to be fairly much a matter of one step forward and then freeze right there while we deal with all the emotions of everyone and get some back story. It isn’t bad but after 16 episodes, I kind of feel like their just needs to be more progress so despite enjoying most episodes, I’m finding the series overall just a little bit lacking at this point.

Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card (Episode 5)

Last week I called it business as usual and this week I’ll reiterate that point. Sakura with friends, card appears, Sakura deals with it, back to friends. The feel good nature of the show and the attention to details are what manage to pull it up from being just an average show but really there isn’t a lot of plot to speak of in this episode.

DARLING in the FRANXX (Episode 4)

Episode 4 seemed to push things that little bit further as we see an act of defiance (which leads to a rescue and a successful mission) but I have to wonder what the fallout might be. For a mecha show, this one isn’t too bad and if they flesh out the world and characters it might even become something quite good. Reminder that the reviews for this one are password protected for patrons this season.

bungo24

Okay, I Guess

Kokkoku (Episode 5)

As much as I want to see this improve, this one is possibly facing sliding further down the list as at episode 5 I still have no characters that I care about in the slightest and the mystery part is starting to look like it is either going to be really overly complicated or just full of holes. I’m still crossing my fingers and hoping but I’m not convinced this show can turn things around (I’ll happily retract that in a few weeks if this gets better because that would be the best outcome).

School Babysitters (Episode 5)

Not the best episode, in fact I’d say one of the weaker ones this show has offered up this week. Both mini-stories felt decidedly pointless and there didn’t appear to be a great deal of character work with the main two. Overall, a little disappointing and I hope this bounces back next week.

Record of Grancrest War (Episode 5)

I think I want to like this show more than the show is allowing me to at this point and time. Poor writing and jarring transitions between events were way too present in this most recent episode and there’s still so much that doesn’t really make sense and the audience either needs to just accept it or this is overall going to just be a dissatisfying watch. There are still some positives coming out of the show, and I really do want to enjoy this fantasy tale, I just wish it didn’t make it so hard to enjoy without being critical.

DamePri Anime Caravan (Episode 5)

This show is oddly consistent in being pretty average but entertaining enough (assuming you don’t despise the Prince’s and their completely over the top nature). I actually quite liked some of the character work this week and given How To Keep a Mummy wasn’t up to its usual adorable standards, this one actually rose in the ranks this week.

How to Keep A Mummy (Episode 4)

A slightly less enjoyable episode with the diminished presence of the mummy this week. Not bad by any means but the real appeal of the show kind of faded without Mii-kun gracing the screen every other moment.

Junji Ito Collection (Episode 5)

The animation and visual elements of this show remain decidedly unimpressive and the second story this week was probably the low point for the series so far, but I didn’t mind the first story and overall, this series is still perfectly watchable as long as you go in with fairly low expectations.

Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody (Episode 4)

The new characters are kind of interesting, but really that’s only in comparison to the characters that already existed in this series. The actual episode was pretty flat as we walked through a dungeon and then beat up a demon (and the fact that they made that pretty flat concerns me). All and all, no real improvement on this show but it didn’t get any worse.

Sanrio Boys (Episode 5)

Well, I didn’t drop it, though somehow I don’t think that actually makes it any better. We spent most of this episode with the two newer characters and we ended on a cliff-hanger. The fact that one of these characters is almost as annoying as the sister that was introduced earlier certainly didn’t help this show’s case at all.

Tattoo5

They Made This?

Nothing yet.

Wizard1a

Tried and Dropped (or on hold)

  • Maerchen Maedchen (Episode 3)
  • Hakyuu Houshin Engi (Episode 2)
  • A Place Further Than The Universe (Episode 1)
  • Hakumei and Mikochi (Episode 1)
  • Katana Maidens ~Toji no Miko (Episode 2)
  • Laid-Back Camp (Episode 1)
  • Ms Koizumi Loves Ramen Noodles (Episode 1)
  • Citrus (Episode 1)
  • Mitsuboshi Colors (Episode 1)
  • Slow Start (Episode 1)
  • The Ryou’s Work is Never Done (Episode 1)
  • Working Buddies! (Episode 1)
  • Karakai Jozu no Takagi-San (Episode 1)
  • Mitchiri Neko (Episode 1)
  • Pop Team Epic (Episode 1)

Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

avatar

If you enjoyed this post and would like to see Patreon2more great content on this blog, consider becoming a patron for as little as $1 a month.

Thoughts on Anime.jpg

Another way you can support the content here is by buying a copy of ‘Thoughts on Anime 2017‘ as an ebook. It contains a selection of reviews, features and top 5 lists from 2017 and while the content is available free on the site, this is a great way to give a one off show of support for the blog. It is available for $3.99.

 

Winter 2018 Week 4

We are now at the end of week 4 which for some shows means the first third has already passed. This has been an interesting season in that I’ve tried quite a range of shows. Ultimately, a lot haven’t really worked out for me but there are still enough shows holding my interest. Besides, March Comes in Like a Lion is still airing and that by itself is enough to make me appreciate a season.

So, of the shows you have given a go to, what is your current pick for favourite of the season?

And in case you missed it, the ongoing count down finally came to an end. You can check out the announcement here.

NatsumeS6E2c

Must Watch

March Comes in Like a Lion Season 2 (Episode 37)

This episode gave me what I asked for. Rei may not have stupidly won (and let’s be honest, he really shouldn’t beat the master the first time he plays them) but he did put on a great show of how far he has come both personally and as a professional over the course of this series. Very low key episode but deeply satisfying.

Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens (Episode 3)

I’m not going to argue that this is a technically perfect show by any means, but it is really fun watching so far (with the small caution that you can’t be squeamish about murder given almost every character is a hired killer of some sort). After episode 3, I’m moving this to my must watch list because for me if I get busy and can only watch a couple of shows, this is going to be one of them.

marksman4

Usually Entertaining

The Ancient Magus’ Bride (Episode 16)

The main story line of this show continues to be fairly much a matter of one step forward and then freeze right there while we deal with all the emotions of everyone and get some back story. It isn’t bad but after 16 episodes, I kind of feel like their just needs to be more progress so despite enjoying most episodes, I’m finding the series overall just a little bit lacking at this point.

Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card (Episode 4)

Still good fun as Sakura goes about capturing cards meanwhile everyone else seems to have some kind of hidden agenda. So business as usual really with much better animation given they have definitely updated this show’s look while managing to capture the spirit of the original.

DARLING in the FRANXX (Episode 3)

This continues to be a fairly good watch. It isn’t exactly blowing me away but I am interested in learning more about this world and seeing more robots fighting whatever those things are supposed to be (I’m sure they will tell us clearly at some point). Anyway, the reviews for this one are password protected for patrons this season.

bungo24

Okay, I Guess

Kokkoku (Episode 4)

The mystery continues to develop and I’m curious about where this is going. I’d love it to continue to build and rise into usually entertaining, and yet unless the characters get some real development I don’t see this really rising in the list at this point. There’s some interesting concepts at play, but unless I can care about the cast I’m not going to get overly invested in this one.

Record of Grancrest War (Episode 4)

There was definitely an improvement this week in the narrative with some actual set-backs befalling our heroes and this show may yet claw its way back to usually entertaining. We’ll wait and see because Theo, as nice as he is, really does need to develop a little bit more personality if this show is going to end up anything but forgettable.

School Babysitters (Episode 4)

We had a small punch to the emotional gut during this episode but otherwise it continued being its adorable self. I’m kind of glad I’m sticking with this despite it being full of overly cute toddlers. So far it has managed to balanced its sickly sweet moments with some genuine human drama and the mix has worked well.

How to Keep A Mummy (Episode 3)

Cute, cute, cute! Okay, there’s really nothing else to say about this. You are either in it for the cute mummy or you are probably going to be bored silly. But that mummy is cute.

DamePri Anime Caravan (Episode 4)

Watchable but not particularly good remains a good description of this. It actually is pretty funny, in a weird and over the top manner, and I kind of like the characters despite them all being really annoying people. It is odd given this show is full of things I usually find truly irritating and yet I usually end up smiling while watching.

Junji Ito Collection (Episode 4)

Another two stories of weirdness maintaining the same iffy quality and average delivery. This show is consistent at least though it would be lovely if it could see some improvement.

Sanrio Boys (Episode 4)

I’m actually wondering if this one is better than Death March at this point. First two episodes were better than expected from advertising disguised as anime but episodes 3 and 4 have taken a definite downward turn. Episode 5 will be the decider, I guess.

Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody (Episode 3)

A small improvement over last week’s effort but episode 3 wasn’t any more exciting, it just had more stuff happen in that the character acted indifferently too. Some of the new characters are kind of interesting though so might managed to make the next episode kind of okay.

Tattoo5

They Made This?

Nothing yet.

Wizard1a

Tried and Dropped (or on hold)

  • Maerchen Maedchen (Episode 3)
  • Hakyuu Houshin Engi (Episode 2)
  • A Place Further Than The Universe (Episode 1)
  • Hakumei and Mikochi (Episode 1)
  • Katana Maidens ~Toji no Miko (Episode 2)
  • Laid-Back Camp (Episode 1)
  • Ms Koizumi Loves Ramen Noodles (Episode 1)
  • Citrus (Episode 1)
  • Mitsuboshi Colors (Episode 1)
  • Slow Start (Episode 1)
  • The Ryou’s Work is Never Done (Episode 1)
  • Working Buddies! (Episode 1)
  • Karakai Jozu no Takagi-San (Episode 1)
  • Mitchiri Neko (Episode 1)
  • Pop Team Epic (Episode 1)

Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

avatar

If you enjoyed this post and would like to see Patreon2more great content on this blog, consider becoming a patron for as little as $1 a month.

Thoughts on Anime.jpg

Another way you can support the content here is by buying a copy of ‘Thoughts on Anime 2017‘ as an ebook. It contains a selection of reviews, features and top 5 lists from 2017 and while the content is available free on the site, this is a great way to give a one off show of support for the blog. It is available for $3.99.

 

Winter 2018 Week 3

Week 3 and it is crunch time. For some shows I’m almost at that crucial point where I decide whether I am going to stick out the season or whether I try and cut my losses and there’s a couple where that is a tempting proposition (too tempting in the case of Hakyuu Houshin Engi which I dropped from my watch list). Still, there’s plenty of interesting shows and I’ve been having fun enough.

As always, I’d love to know what you have decided to watch for the season and which shows really impressed you during the week so leave me a comment below.

NatsumeS6E2c

Must Watch

March Comes in Like a Lion Season 2 (Episode 36)

Rei and Souya in a match, finally. Okay, the match didn’t start this week but the set up was here and the tension of waiting for what might happen is kind of fantastic. I can kind of see this being a fizzle of a match with Rei choking but I’d love it if he could at least make a showing in the match to show how much he has grown. Either way, this episode has got me on the edge of my seat and desperately waiting for the next one as this series continues to impress. That and episode 36 is probably the first in a long time that didn’t make me cry but still felt fantastic to watch.

marksman4

Usually Entertaining

The Ancient Magus’ Bride (Episode 15)

Visually this was a really interesting episode, however the main storyline seems to be kind of stalling at the moment. We did learn some interesting history on Silky though at that was pretty great. Overall, the experience of watching this is pretty good but there are definitely a few cracks in its finish. On that note though, I had to move this out of the Must Watch. I’ve been having minor issues with this show for awhile and when thinking about it compared to March or Natsume or any of the shows that have remained Must Watch’s it just isn’t quite holding up. Still highly enjoyable and quite beautiful but I’m not quite getting the same impact from it that I do from some other shows.

Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens (Episode 2)

If episode 3 manages to be as interesting as this episode, I’ll be moving this anime up to the Must Watch category. This is probably the title I am enjoying the most that started in winter and it kind of came out of nowhere. Fingers crossed it can remain intriguing and they can continue to do world and character development that works as well as it did in this episode.

Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card (Episode 3)

This one moving down in no way implies that this show isn’t every bit as good as people were hoping it would be. It looks fantastic and the characters are still doing what they have always done and doing it very well. The reason this is no longer a ‘Must Watch’ for me is because I’ve simply outgrown it. There’s still plenty of fun to be had in the episode here but I’m not as caught up in this story as I may have been fifteen or so years ago.

DARLING in the FRANXX (Episode 2)

Episode 2 remained entertaining though I am definitely curious as to how this world actually functions given there are some questionable and illogical choices on display. Still, the characters, while still pretty standard, as interesting enough, it looks good, and there’s giant robots with the chance of the giant robots fighting giant monsters so there isn’t really a lot to complain about at this stage.

bungo24

Okay, I Guess

Kokkoku (Episode 3)

Another one that has had to get dropped down from usually entertaining. While its core ideas are fundamentally quite interesting, the delivery so far is only working for me at all because I’m naturally very curious about where stories and mysteries will go. It would be lovely to see this show do more with its cast but I’m not seeing it at this stage.

Record of Grancrest War (Episode 3)

Standard sword and sorcery seems to be the way this is continuing. However I’ve had to move it out of ‘usually entertaining’. As much as I’m personally enjoying a pretty straight forward fantasy, this show is pretty average. I’ve given it time to settle in and step up but so far it just hasn’t gone beyond being pretty standard (which is still fairly entertaining if you like this sort of thing).

School Babysitters (Episode 3)

This one is definitely just a chill out session each week and to be honest I’m happy enough to go for that. It doesn’t annoy, it doesn’t challenge, it doesn’t really stand out, but it passes by like a happy floating cloud and leaves a nice feeling in its wake. The kids might get borderline annoying at times but the story is balancing the kids with the teens and the adults fairly well so far.

How to Keep A Mummy (Episode 2)

Alright, still really silly and fairly pointless but cute counts and this show is all kinds of cute. I think provided they keep thinking up new situations for the mummy to be adorable in I will probably stick the season out with this just because it is fairly relaxing to watch.

DamePri Anime Caravan (Episode 3)

Not quite as silly this week and I kind of like the new Prince introduced during this episode. While this one probably isn’t moving up the list, it seems like it has settled nicely into watchable but not particularly good.

Junji Ito Collection (Episode 3)

Well, I’m not going to say much because it feels like each week will be much the same. The show continues to be interesting and delivering strange and twisted tales even if the animation and the rest isn’t quite up to really delivering the feeling to the audience.

Sanrio Boys (Episode 3)

This third episode was a turn for the worse and to be honest this one is on drop notice. Next week may be my last episode if it doesn’t show a major improvement over this episode.

Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody (Episode 2)

Alright, episode 2 of this was actually pretty dreadful as an episode. It does follow the source really accurately but that doesn’t mean it was actually compelling viewing. This is a case where something just won’t be entertaining in the adapted form unless you actually adapt it and so far they haven’t seemed willing to change a thing to make it more interesting as an anime. Not to mention, the animation itself is pretty ordinary to bad depending on the scene.

Maerchen Maedchen (Episode 2)

This is a case of they kept the generic and the parts that were pretty flat in the first episode and ran with it. The interesting ideas with the books just kind of sit there waiting to be actually explored while we get an incredibly ordinary induction into magic school. This one is on notice and if next episode doesn’t improve I’m going to drop this from the list.

Tattoo5

They Made This?

Nothing yet.

Wizard1a

Tried and Dropped (or on hold)

  • Hakyuu Houshin Engi (Episode 2 – I waited to make a judgement after ep 1, but this isn’t really going to work so I’m letting it go now.)
  • A Place Further Than The Universe (Episode 1)
  • Hakumei and Mikochi (Episode 1)
  • Katana Maidens ~Toji no Miko (Episode 2)
  • Laid-Back Camp (Episode 1)
  • Ms Koizumi Loves Ramen Noodles (Episode 1)
  • Citrus (Episode 1)
  • Mitsuboshi Colors (Episode 1)
  • Slow Start (Episode 1)
  • The Ryou’s Work is Never Done (Episode 1)
  • Working Buddies! (Episode 1)
  • Karakai Jozu no Takagi-San (Episode 1)
  • Mitchiri Neko (Episode 1)
  • Pop Team Epic (Episode 1)

Thanks for reading.

If you enjoyed this post and like the blog, consider becoming a patron to support further growth and future content.

Patreon2

Thanks,

Karandi James.

avatar

Winter 2018 Week 2

Week 2 and I am getting closer to a finalised watch list. There were a number of shows that I thought I’d give them a second episode and then I didn’t really want to watch a second episode. While these might get another look later in the season, for now they are on hold and that includes A Place Further Than The Universe. I’m just not in the mood for it at this point and don’t really want to push myself to watch it because I’ll just end up resenting it.

That said, I’ve found quite a few shows that while technically not so great are kind of fun and I’m hopeful that I will enjoy this season. I do think my list is going to be a bit more fluid this season with shows rising and falling and I also think I may change shows out mid-season if some of my picks don’t end up working out. Still, it should be a fun season and as always, I’d love to know your thoughts on the shows so far.

A note for patrons, while there is still a little time to vote, it kind of looks like the show that will be reviewed for patrons only from episode 3 will be DARLING in the FRANXX. While there is still a day or so to go before the vote closes and whichever title it ends up being, reviews will be password protected. I will send out the password via patreon so that you can access this content. For everyone else, all other episode reviews and posts will remain freely accessible (with the exception of one other patron only post that will be new content in February).

NatsumeS6E2c

Must Watch

March Comes in Like a Lion Season 2 (Episode 35)

This show just keeps getting better and better at what it does. This isn’t a show that deals with an emotional situation and then moves on and deals with the next one. We are continuously dealing with issues and while particular events are moved on from, the emotional impact ripples on and continues to shape the characters as they live their lives. Very good episode this week and really looking forward to what comes next.

The Ancient Magus’ Bride (Episode 14)

And another cliffhanger ending. This show is really starting to grow some cracks in amongst the pretty shiny. As magical an experience as it might be, I’m very tempted to move this down to just usually entertaining because the narrative and the execution of the story just haven’t been strong enough even if visually and thematically it works really well.

Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card (Episode 2)

I hate to say it, but I may have gotten too old for this. As much as there were moments of adorable nostalgia, and the magic was as fun as ever, there was just too much down time in this episode and I found the nostalgia wearing thin. While I’m not dropping this down a category yet, I may end up moving this down to just usually entertaining unless the next episode or two manage to convince me there is something more than just the standard formula at play here.

marksman4

Usually Entertaining

Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens (Episode 1)

It is always kind of fun when a show I had heard absolutely nothing about turns out to be pleasantly enjoyable. And that is a really weird descriptor for a show about hitmen but it was probably the best way to explain the feeling while watching the large cast of characters go through their introductions and set ups. This could be quite a nice show once it gets going or it could fall apart but this was a fun first episode.

DARLING in the FRANXX (Episode 1)

Don’t ask me why ‘darling’ is in all capitals, this is another anime title punctuation mystery that will just never be solved. Outside of that, this looks to be a pretty standard mecha anime and the first episode was decent enough so it should be a reasonable ride. Time will tell though so I’m tentatively placing it here for now.

Record of Grancrest War (Episode 2)

Well, episode 2 leaves me to believe I was right in hoping for some entertainment from this show. It isn’t blowing me away amazing or doing anything we haven’t seen before, but if you like a standard sword and sorcery kind of story you’ll probably get some fun out of this show.

Kokkoku (Episode 2)

While this is probably a bit better than Record of Grancrest War my concerns that this may not give me a reasonable explanation are kind of making me keep it at arm’s length at the moment. As much as I’d like to just get on board with the mystery and wait for a solution, already this has the trappings of an incomplete or inconclusive mystery.

bungo24

Okay, I Guess

Hakyuu Houshin Engi (Episode 1)

Fairly standard and generic action/fantasy set up but the first episode did have some promise in the second half. However, I may change my opinion if the show focuses on the lighter side rather than what could be a fairly serious and decent plot. This is definitely a wait and see but I’m interested.

How to Keep A Mummy (Episode 1)

Unexpectedly adorable is about the only way to describe this first episode. While I’m not sure about the ongoing longevity of this in my watch list, if it keeps to the enjoyment level of this first episode, this show should sit in the Usually Entertaining category. I’ll give it another couple of episodes and see what it decides to do.

Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody (Episode 1)

If I’m honest, the only reason this wasn’t a one episode drop is because I am curious about how watching an anime I’ve read the source material for goes. It is a first for me having read the source before the anime so it was a different experience. Too bad this first episode was lackluster at best.

Maerchen Maedchen (Episode 1)

Okay, the naked chase sequence we probably could have lived without, but there was actually a lot to like in the first episode. Unfortunately, where the episode ended and the plot description makes it sound like this story is heading to a very generic place, but the first episode made me want to watch more so I can’t really complain about that.

DamePri Anime Caravan (Episode 2)

Yep. This one is confirmed as ridiculous. No doubt about it. However, it is so far managing to be more entertaining than eye-roll worthy (okay, there is a lot of eye-roll worthy moments but there are also genuinely funny moments) and the characters have been interesting enough in their own weird ways. I think I’ll stick with this one for something I don’t have to think too hard about.

Junji Ito Collection (Episode 2)

This one seems determined to be fairly average at best for the season but that might work well enough. Both tales this week were enjoyable in their own way even if they were mostly unremarkable. True horror it isn’t but interesting enough.

Sanrio Boys (Episode 2)

I still don’t know if I am making it through the whole series of this given it clearly is twenty minutes of thinly disguised advertising. Still, they are at least working hard on making the disguise entertaining even if it does look like it will become fairly formulaic. This one is still a wait and see if the guys actually get some development as characters or if what we’ve seen is what we are getting for the season.

School Babysitters (Episode 2)

Alright, so this one stayed on the list but I’m still not sure about it long term. It is really cute and I kind of like the relationship between the brother’s and the chairwoman, but I’m still not sure I’ll make it through a season of it. Fairly relaxed viewing if nothing else.

Tattoo5

They Made This?

Nothing yet.

Wizard1a

Tried and Dropped (or on hold)

  • A Place Further Than The Universe (Episode 1)
  • Hakumei and Mikochi (Episode 1)
  • Katana Maidens ~Toji no Miko (Episode 2)
  • Laid-Back Camp (Episode 1)
  • Ms Koizumi Loves Ramen Noodles (Episode 1)
  • Citrus (Episode 1)
  • Mitsuboshi Colors (Episode 1)
  • Slow Start (Episode 1)
  • The Ryou’s Work is Never Done (Episode 1)
  • Working Buddies! (Episode 1)
  • Karakai Jozu no Takagi-San (Episode 1)
  • Mitchiri Neko (Episode 1)
  • Pop Team Epic (Episode 1)

Thanks for reading.

If you enjoyed this post and like the blog, consider becoming a patron to support further growth and future content.

Patreon2

Thanks,

Karandi James.

avatar

Winter 2018 Week 1

Right, so welcome to the first official week of the winter season, though there are some shows still to come. We are getting closer to the end of the count down so stay tuned for that one and next week I’ll be contacting patrons to choose the show that will end up being a patron only review for the season.

Otherwise, business as usual. I’m not quite as thrilled about this season as I was about Autumn 2017 but there’s still some interesting titles about and hopefully it will be a fun season by the end. There are a few sequels that I’m just not touching such as Overlord (I didn’t finish season 1), Hitori no Shita (didn’t like season 1), and Basilisk (never watched season 1). As always though, I would love to know your thoughts so far on the season. What has caught your eye?

NatsumeS6E2c

Must Watch

March Comes in Like a Lion Season 2 (Episode 34)

No Rei this week but the return of this series after the week break was definitely strong as we got hit with Hina and Akari dealing with the ongoing bullying subplot head on. An emotionally powerful episode to kick off the second half and this series is showing no signs of slowing down.

Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card (Episode 1)

The nostalgia is running strong with this one and the similarities between this opening episode and the original series certainly helped kick that into full gear. Add in some touchingly adorable moments between one of the cutest couples ever and any objectivity I may have had on this show went out the window. Realistically, this may move down to ‘usually entertaining’ but for now it is a solid ‘must watch’.

The Ancient Magus’ Bride (Episode 13)

If I’m honest, a couple more episodes this average and I will have to move this show out of the Must Watch category. While I am really enjoying this, episode 13 was fairly bland in the end and offered very little development for the story or the characters. Certainly there were hints of progress on both but nothing that felt like it made up for the rest of the episode just kind of crawling along. Then, we of course get a cliffhanger ending because why use the episode to tell the interesting part of the story when you can introduce it minutes before the credits.

marksman4

Usually Entertaining

Record of Grancrest War (Episode 1)

I’m not going to make any promises on this one because it could quickly become a train wreck but I had a lot of fun with this first episode and kind of like the two main characters. It looks like a fairly standard fantasy offering so as long as it doesn’t make too many missteps it should be entertaining.

bungo24

Okay, I Guess

How to Keep A Mummy (Episode 1 – to be reviewed next week)

Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody (Episode 1 – to be reviewed next week)

Maerchen Maedchen (Episode 1 – to be reviewed next week)

DamePri Anime Caravan (Episode 1)

Clearly not intended to be taken seriously, this show just kind of goes with being over the top and it kind of works. The Princes all kind of remind me of Kurama from Kamisama Kiss in that every time he entered a room there would be a theme song and smoke machine. Well, these princes strike poses and one has his own group of helpers to assist with wind, light, and even glitter. It is a little ridiculous but actually kind of okay. I’ll see if I feel the same way after a second episode.

A Place Further Than The Universe (Episode 1)

This one might be really good but I kind of suspect I’m going to get bored with it fairly quickly so I may end up dropping it. I’ll give it another episode or two before I decide. Still, it is pretty charming so far even if it isn’t really the kind of thing that appeals to me.

Sanrio Boys (Episode 1)

Kind of a male version of cute girls doing cute things. Really, this one will depend on what the characters do next week as to whether I keep watching it or not.

Junji Ito Collection (Episode 1)

I actually enjoyed this more than A Place Further Than the Universe, though objectively this was only kind of passable. Episodic horror story, though not really horrific so much as just kind of weird. The very short story told at the end was actually pretty interesting though. I think I’m going to enjoy this series though it could end up becoming a bit to repetitive. We’ll see how it goes.

School Babysitters (Episode 1 – Review next week with episode 2)

Definitely not my kind of thing and not doing anything really out of the ordinary, and yet oddly watchable. I’ll see how I feel after a second round of middle-school boy looks after kids in daycare.

Katana Maidens ~Toji no Miko (Episode 1)

A fairly ordinary beginning but there’s enough potential for this to get interesting that I’m going to stick with it for the time being. I may change my mind after the next episode but I’d like to see what the show’s intentions are.

Laid-Back Camp (Episode 1)

This is a good candidate to be moved to tried and dropped if anything else comes out. While I enjoyed the characters in this enough and there was nothing wrong with the episode, I just didn’t find it particularly interesting either.

Ms Koizumi Loves Ramen Noodles (Episode 1)

I’m probably going to move this to the tried and dropped once anything else comes out. This first episode is fine if you are okay with the repeated gag of girl getting rejected in her friendship attempts and then watching girls slurp ramen. There may be some appeal I was missing but basically I was bored while watching this one. Otherwise, it is functional enough as a first episode.

Tattoo5

They Made This?

Nothing yet.

Wizard1a

Tried and Dropped

Citrus (Episode 1)

Mitsuboshi Colors (Episode 1)

Slow Start (Episode 1)

The Ryou’s Work is Never Done (Episode 1 – not reviewed)

Working Buddies! (Episode 1)

Karakai Jozu no Takagi-San (Episode 1 – not reviewed)

Mitchiri Neko (Episode 1)

Pop Team Epic (Episode 1)


Thanks for reading.

If you enjoyed this post and like the blog, consider becoming a patron to support further growth and future content.

Patreon2

Thanks,

Karandi James.

avatar

Reflections on Anime in 2017 – The Best and The Worst of the Year (in my opinion and the reader’s choice)

No feature this week because it is time to announce the winner of the reader’s choice for Best Anime of 2017. Still, first I’ll share my personal picks now that I’ve had a couple of weeks to think, consider, weigh up and re-evaluate. I even had time for a binge of one or two of these shows just to double check that my opinion hadn’t changed. And now it is time. Time to announce the shows I felt were the best and worst of the year that was. I’m giving my lists of top 10 best and worst for 2017 and finally the results from the reader’s poll.

My rules:

  • I need to have watched the whole series (or as much as has aired in 2017 – I know some of these are continuing on).
  • My judgement is entirely based on the entertainment I got out of watching the anime (so I already know some shows are actually objectively not very good but I enjoyed them – or they are on the worst list even though they are pretty quality but they didn’t appeal to me).
  • Feel free to suggest your own top 10 best or worst in the comments.

Starting from the best.

  1. March Comes in Like a Lion (Season 2)
  2. My Hero Academia (Season 2)
  3. Natsume Yuujinchou (Season 6)
  4. March Comes in Like a Lion (Season 1)
  5. Girls’ Last Tour
  6. Land of the Lustrous
  7. Princess Principal
  8. ACCA
  9. The Ancient Magus’ Bride
  10. The Eccentric Family (Season 2)

March Comes in Like a Lion made the list twice due to the first season finishing in the Winter season and the second season starting in the Autumn season, however the show just continues getting better and better. While I feel bad that Natsume is only sitting in third place, that is probably a sign of just how much I enjoyed some of the shows this year and I couldn’t drop My Hero Academia season 2 any lower because it blew any expectations I had away and delivered a very solid season.

Some surprises on the list include Girls’ Last Tour and Land of the Lustrous. Both of these came out in the Autumn season and I was very surprised by how attached I became to these shows given neither really fits my usual style. Princess Principal was another surprising show that kind of won me over earlier in the year. Meanwhile, I’m kind of happy that ACCA held out out because I genuinely loved watching it even though I know it isn’t the kind of show everyone will like. I feel it really deserves a place on this list and I’m glad it didn’t get bumped off. I also feel bad that KADO did get bumped off. If I was judging these shows based on their first halves only it would have been number 1, but then it all just went so wrong.

Starting from the worst.

  1. Hand Shakers
  2. Dies Irae
  3. The Silver Guardian
  4. Chronos Ruler
  5. Knight’s & Magic
  6. Clean Freak Aoyama-Kun
  7. Katsugeki Touken Ranbu
  8. Tales of Zestiria the X (Season 2)
  9. Akashic Records of a Bastard Magical Instructor
  10. Granblue Fantasy

No surprises that Hand Shakers stayed at the top of the worst list, though Dies Irae was definitely fighting for a chance at the top spot for worst anime of the year.

The Silver Guardian and Chronos Ruler both ended up being fairly pointless with every little positive (they weren’t trainwrecks by any means but they aren’t exactly good). But, given I have to have watched the show for it to find a place on my list even though there are worse anime out there they don’t get on the final list.

From Knight’s & Magic on, the main criticism I would give all these shows is that by the end of the season I wasn’t enjoying them and was pretty bored. While they all had something that could have been really good and a lot of potential, they just never delivered an overall satisfying viewing experience.

The Reader’s Poll

This has been a twisty ride though the leader did keep its lead throughout. At one point there were only 4 points between the top 5 anime on this list but then a couple of shows got a boost in the last few days.

Right, no further delay.

The winner of the reader’s poll is…

Best2017

There it is: Made in Abyss.

Abyss3

It definitely got a surge toward the end and I think people being able to access in on Amazon probably helped it along in the last couple of days. Still, My Hero Academia and The Ancient Magus Bride did fairly well for themselves. Poor Princess Principal kind of got overlooked for most of the poll and March Comes in Like a Lion and Girls’ Last Tour didn’t make a lot of headway.

Still, the reader’s have spoken and this poll received the most votes so far with 155 people participating. Compare that to last years best of 2016 which received only 55 votes and this one is probably starting to be a bit more reflective of the community. Thanks to everyone who voted and left comments and hopefully your choice came out on top but if it didn’t, there’s always next time.

With that I will say goodbye to 2017, but as you’ve probably noticed, my top 5 lists at the moment are covering some of my favourite characters, themes and visuals from 2017. This will continue until the first week of February and then I’ll finally come up with some new content and stop milking 2017 for every post I can get out of it.

Over to you: Which anime was your favourite or most hated from 2017?


Thanks for reading.

If you enjoyed this post and like the blog, consider becoming a patron to support further growth and future content.

Patreon2

Thanks,

Karandi James.

avatar

Winter 2018 Week 0

Another season in anime has begun. It is odd that I am starting to get used to writing about Winter in the middle of Summer and at times I forget it isn’t actually Winter but just the Winter anime season. Still, a few changes for Winter 2018. Firstly, my overview post will now come out Saturday morning instead of Sunday night. Basically nothing I watched over the weekend ever made it onto the list anyway and had to wait for the next week and as the majority of the shows I end up watching air over the weekend it just kind of makes sense to make Saturday the first day of my week and do the weekly wrap up then. Okay, I’ll probably move it again next season but we’ll try it here.

The other change for Winter that I’ve previously announced is that one of the shows airing will end up being reviewed for patrons only. Once I know what I have access to patrons will get a change to vote for the show they want and after episode three all future posts about that show will be password protected. The show will still appear on the list here but even the full series review when it is done will only be available to patrons. While I am committed to keeping the majority of my content available for all, I do want my patrons to feel they are getting something back for the support they are offering me as I continue to work towards making blogging more than just a hobby. Insert shameless self promotion here where I ask you to consider becoming a patron and supporting this site if you enjoy my content.

Right, with that out of the way onto the Winter 2018 season. Not much is out yet (understatement) but as shows become available I’ll be giving them a go. By week three I will have my final watch list (but I will probably end up changing it).

NatsumeS6E2c

Must Watch

March Comes in Like a Lion Season 2 (Continuing)

The Ancient Magus’ Bride (Continuing)

marksman4

Usually Entertaining

Nothing yet.

bungo24

Okay, I Guess

A Place Further Than The Universe (Episode 1)

This one might be really good but I kind of suspect I’m going to get bored with it fairly quickly so I may end up dropping it. I’ll give it another episode or two before I decide. Still, it is pretty charming so far even if it isn’t really the kind of thing that appeals to me.

Laid-Back Camp (Episode 1)

This is a good candidate to be moved to tried and dropped if anything else comes out. While I enjoyed the characters in this enough and there was nothing wrong with the episode, I just didn’t find it particularly interesting either.

Ms Koizumi Loves Ramen Noodles (Episode 1)

I’m probably going to move this to the tried and dropped once anything else comes out. This first episode is fine if you are okay with the repeated gag of girl getting rejected in her friendship attempts and then watching girls slurp ramen. There may be some appeal I was missing but basically I was bored while watching this one. Otherwise, it is functional enough as a first episode.

Tattoo5

They Made This?

Nothing yet.

Wizard1a

Tried and Dropped

Nothing yet.


Thanks for reading.

If you enjoyed this post and like the blog, consider becoming a patron to support further growth and future content.

Patreon2

Thanks,

Karandi James.

avatar

The Best of Autumn 2017

And the Autumn Season has come to a close bringing an end to the 2017 year in anime. While the poll for best of the year will get going tomorrow, for now it is time to reflect on the final anime season that 2017 had to offer. Starting with my picks, we’ll then look at the results of the reader poll. This was incredibly close this time with three titles changing back and forth with barely a vote in it for the entire duration of the poll.

My Favourite Show

Well, if you’ve followed my weekly season overviews you know season 2 of March Comes in Like a Lion has been on top every single week. However, it isn’t finished yet so it isn’t taking this out (though it so should by a million miles as I’m completely obsessed with it at this point). Yes, I rewatched season one and all episodes of season 2 that were out over the Christmas break and no I didn’t get around to watching Full Metal Panic for a review so, whoops.

With that one ruled out though, what took it’s place?

It came down to Land of the Lustrous and Girls’ Last Tour. I loved both shows but considering the final episodes and which one gave me a greater sense of completion and I have to give favourite show of the Autumn 2017 season to Girls’ Last Tour.

GLT8e

My Favourite Character

This was super, super tough as there were so many great characters this season. It finally came down to two and I have to give it to Phos from Land of the Lustrous. I didn’t much like Phos when I first met them but over the course of the series and following along with Phos’ transformation as a character, they really captured me. However, other great characters from Autumn included Rei from March Comes in Like a Lion, Chito from Girls’ Last Tour, Morioka from MMO Junkie (okay, I just loved her), and Ena from Just Because.

Lustrous11b

My Favourite Story

My favourite story was absolutely Land of the Lustrous, but for that whole slightly unfinished feeling. I still think it was the best story of the season. March and GLT are both more slice of life and drama driven than story driven. That said, I personally loved King’s Game because it is a completely terrible story delivered in a fairly terrible way. So, personal enjoyment fairly high but quality pretty low on that one.

Lustrous4c

My Favourite Opening Theme

So many great ones this season. I mean I loved the King’s Game opening as it fit the trashy feel of the show, Juni Taisen was amazing with Rapture (my favourite thing about the show), MMO Junkie was just upbeat fun as was Girls’ Last Tour. However, my favourite for the season needs to go to March Comes in Like a Lion. I loved how the opening theme really captured the progress Rei has made in his journey over the course of the first season and where he is now. And, once again it beautifully matched the visuals to the lyrics and tone. Still, this one was incredibly close this season.

March28a

My Favourite Visuals

No competition at all here. As much as March remained on point with its visuals (and is glorious as always) Land of the Lustrous was truly exceptional at showing us all what CG could do when handled well and not making our eyes bleed.

Lustrous9a

Reader’s Choice – Best Anime of Autumn 2017

Here it is:

Best of Autumn

Yep, the Ancient Magus’ Bride stole it in the last couple of days thought early on it looked like Girls’ Last Tour would take the lead before March Comes in Like a Lion managed to pull ahead. For so much of the vote these anime were within one vote of each other and the lead swapped a number of times.

Featured Image -- 39888

That of course brings us to the end of the best of Autumn 2017. Get ready to vote for best of the year with the top 3 titles from each season going head to head and that poll should be open tomorrow.

As always, I’d love to know what you thought about the season so please share your thoughts on the poll and any of the other shows in the comments below.


Thanks for reading.

If you enjoyed this post and like the blog, consider becoming a patron to support further growth and future content.

Patreon2

Thanks,

Karandi James.

avatar

The Worst of Autumn 2017

Something different this season, I’m starting with the worst so that the best can follow. I will admit, this season the poll had the most votes for worst anime of the season and there was a clear winner fairly early on. So, first I’ll share my picks for worst of the season (keeping in mind these are the shows I watched and not the ones I dropped) and then I’ll share the result of the reader’s poll. Be sure to check back later for the best of Autumn.

My Least Favourite Show

Despite a number of shows managing to disappoint or not live up to their potential this season (and yes there were a lot of amazing shows too but that means very few ended up in the middle either being fantastic or meh, dull or just painful), a clear winner for my least favourite show still emerged. Yes, it was the show I should have dropped after that train wreck of a prologue and I certainly shouldn’t have continued beyond episode 3 and yet I’m just not very good at knowing when to admit defeat. You guessed it, Dies Irae. A horrible mess of a show that never got any better and after watching a prologue and 11 episodes I’m still not really sure if there is any point other than crazy characters with super powers being crazy.

Dies6e

My Least Favourite Character

This is actually kind of hard because there were a lot of very bland characters out there this season. I’d nominate most of the cast of Juni Taisen but none of them hung around long enough for me to really care enough about to say they were my least favourite character. And Asta (Black Clover), as much as he would win for most annoying voice of the season, hasn’t actually done enough of anything for me to care about him either. So, sorry to say but the character who I liked the least even though he is kind of important to the story was Koiwai from Recovery of an MMO Junkie. If I knew him in real life I would genuinely despise this guy. Regardless of his intentions, his actions are at times highly questionable and he has way too much fun stirring up Sakurai.

MMO4d

My Least Favourite Story

Unquestionably Juni Taisen. I think what makes this worst is the advertising that insists on twists and turns in a plot that is utterly devoid of anything resembling a twist (unless a lack of twist is a twist these days). And really, where is the story. They fight, they die, we still don’t know what impact that had and we never had any reason to care about them. The few interesting elements of this show can’t save a plot that marches through the process of knocking off its cast without bothering to give us a reason why or making us care.

Juni12a

My Least Favourite Opening Theme

Sengoku Night Blood, oddly enough. It isn’t that it is terrible but it is just painfully generic and unremarkable in any sense of the word. I guess it matches most of what the show delivers but to be honest this was the opening I skipped the most during Autumn.

Sengoku1a

 

My Least Favourite Visuals

I have to give it to King’s Game. As much as I quite liked this story, the terrible depiction of deaths (heads getting screwed off, bleeding, severed limbs etc) just come off as incredibly laughable when they aren’t completely lame. While the rest of the show is just kind of average, for a horror that takes pride in knocking off its cast with alarming regularity they never really did manage to make even one death look in any way cool, interesting, or even just impressively real. For instance, in the image below, the guy is bleeding from the neck and his head is about to fall off. While censorship could be blamed a little, even that isn’t enough to account for how poor some of the visuals are in this anime.

King9d

Reader’s Choice – Worst Anime of Autumn 2017

Well, here it is. I’m going to be honest in that I was hoping that Dies Irae would take over the lead but I guess I always knew what the majority of people would vote for. Thanks to everyone who participated in the vote this time round.

Worst of Autumn

Yes, King’s Game had an early lead and never really relinquished it. Clearly, bad horror left a bad taste in many viewers mouths.

King9a

That’s it for the worst of Autumn 2017. Be sure to check back later for the best of Autumn post and remember the best of the year poll will open tomorrow with results to go out next week. As always, I would love to know your final thoughts on the season, so what did you vote for and which shows do you think deserved the title worst of the season?


Thanks for reading.

If you enjoyed this post and like the blog, consider becoming a patron to support further growth and future content.

Patreon2

Thanks,

Karandi James.

avatar