The Worst of Summer 2017

And now we’ve reached the Worst of Summer for 2017. Earlier today the post for Best of Summer 2017 came out so be sure to check it out if you missed it. In the meantime, below are my least favourite shows and moments followed by the results of the reader’s poll. Be sure to leave a comment below about your least favourite show of the season.

My Least Favourite Show

This one is actually nearly a tie. Katsugeki Touken Ranbu, Chronos Ruler and Knight’s & Magic have all very clearly managed to annoy me this season but which is the least of these three?

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Yep, Chronos Ruler managed to be my least favourite show for the season. The charactes are shallow and basically pointless, the plot goes nowhere in the entire season as not one thing the characters set out to achieve is actually achieved, we know nothing about the villains, and they essentially gain nothing and learn nothing. Oh, we do get a power of friendship kind of ending but even then a minute later the character who kind of learned that lesson is his usual obnoxious self, so no progress.

My Least Favourite Character

So many choices this season. I think I’m settling on Ernesti though. Early in the season, Ernesti was actually kind of okay in Knight’s & Magic with infectious enthusiasm. That was because he was starting his journey and was a young kid with big dreams.

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Then we skip over time, a lot of it. Ernesti is getting older, more experienced, and he’s still a giggling maniac. Amazingly a trait charming in a novice isn’t as charming in someone after they’ve already made good progress. More importantly, the more power Ernesti got, the more obnoxious he became. In the end, I really did want someone to shoot him out of the sky.

My Least Favourite Story

Elegant Yokai Apartment Life without question. I’ll never get to review it because I’ve now done a mid-season drop, but it was the worst of all the stories I watched this season and that’s in a season where I sat through Chronos Ruler and Knight’s & Magic.

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The issue isn’t that there are some heavy slice of life elements. Natsume Yuujinchou has heavy slice of life elements and still manages a satisfying overall narrative. The issue is that the characters are too stupid for words and do stupid things. One minute the character is worried about people finding out about the supernatural, the next minute he openly uses magic at school. One minute he’s trying to defend his teacher, the next he’s just writing him off. A friend randomly picks a fight with a group of bikers while taking a walk because, reasons? None of the conflicts make sense because they are usually just randomly dropped in when the writers got too bored with having characters react to food. It was painful to watch and I’m happier and happier about my decision to drop.

My Least Favourite Opening Theme

This one has to go to Knight’s & Magic. The song is actually not that bad and the visuals are okay, but neither are particularly good. What makes this the choice for worst of the season is the break in the music for the characters to shout dialogue from the upcoming episode. That is jarring.

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While other shows have done this before to some effect, in this show that I was already sruggling with, seeing upcoming dialogue and scenes from the episode was just one more irritation that the show did not need to throw my way.

My Least Favourite Visuals

So many choices this season and yet I think for most consistently ugly to look I’d have to go with Vatican Miracle Examiner. It is just so dull to look at most of the time. The colour scheme could be forgiven if there were something else interesting, but really, it is just black and gray dullness for most of the viewing time.

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I get they were going for mysterious and the like but mostly this just ended up being unbelievably hard to distinguish anything in a lot of the scenes as characters blended into backgrounds.

Reader’s Choice – Worst Anime of Summer 2017

This vote was very strange this time around with write in votes for Netsuzou Trap very nearly catching up with the lead choices. In the end Knight’s & Magic and Gamers came neck and neck for worst of the season. Still hardly conclusive and the vote here is so scattered I think the main conclusion we can draw is that there was a lot of ho-hum shows this season.

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Thanks to everyone who participated in the vote this time round.

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Summer 2017 is done and we are officially into the Autumn season. If you missed it, be sure to check out the best of post that came out earlier today and please leave your choices for worst of the season in the comments below.


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The Best of Summer 2017

Okay, we have made it to the announcement for the best of Summer 2017. Starting with my favourites of the season and then the reader’s poll results. With over 100 votes again, and a few more than Spring, I am hoping that the poll is becoming more reflective of the feelings of the community, however nearly 50% of the votes were split between three titles. Read on and all will be revealed.

My Favourite Show

My Hero Academia has sat at the top of my list each and every week and looking back over the season, I don’t see any reason to change it. If Princess Principal had wrapped up its story, it may have pushed past My Hero Academia, but without a full conclusion, it just couldn’t beat the ongoing story of the high school wannabe super heroes.

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I’ve really enjoyed this show over the last two seasons and I’m glad there’s been an announcement of a season 3. It isn’t the most amazing anime ever, but it is good fun and I could certainly stand more shows that I just enjoy watching because they are fun.

My Favourite Character

Uraraka from My Hero Academia. She’s adorable but really got to shine at times during the second season of My Hero Academia.

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Admittedly though, she did not have a lot of competition this season as a number of shows saw me struggling to even remember character names because I was that disinterested in remembering them.

My Favourite Story

This is actually really tricky because honestly the stories this season were… bland (well, quite a few were broken but I was trying not to be too critical). Princess Principal left itself wide open for a sequel as did My Hero Academia. Gamers and Fastest Finger First weren’t overly concerned with telling a story. A lot of the other shows the story was just complete rubbish when you broke it down (at least the ones I was watching). So… Okay, I’m going to give this one to Sagrada Reset.

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I absolutely loved the way this story brought everything together in the end. The presentation of the story might be questionable, but the narrative itself is pretty amazing once you get to the end of it and realise how cohesive they manage to make it.

My Favourite Opening Theme

Very easy choice. Princess Principal was by far the best theme of the season for me (though I kind of liked 18if as well but for a very different reason).

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The opening of Princess Principal just captured the feeling of the show beautifully and I loved the visuals that went with it. I really enjoyed listening to and watching the opening theme each week.

My Favourite Visuals

Relatively easy choice this season. As fun and colourful as My Hero Academia is, it is pretty standard from a visual point of view. Most of the shows I watched this season were a bit hit and miss. Knight’s & Magic had pretty fights and not a lot else, same as Katsugeki/Touken Ranbu. Ultimately, my favourite overall visuals had to be from 18if.

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That was also hit and miss from a quality point of view but each week was interesting to see what style we were going to get.

Favourite Screen Capture

I haven’t had this category before but I just had to share this one. It is going to be my favourite for awhile.

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I quite like it visually but the quote is kind of priceless and I really want that on a book mark.

Reader’s Choice – Best Anime of Summer 2017

Here it is:

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For the second season in a row, My Hero Academia snuck in a win. It was losing to Made in Abyss for a lot of the voting period and Princess Principal was a close third for most of the vote. However, in the home stretch, My Hero Academia bounced into the lead position. I’m glad it won this time given the season is now finished. I really had a lot of fun with this one and from some of the posts I’ve read on other blogs it is pretty clear that a lot of people have enjoyed following Midoriya’s journey.

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That is officially the end of the Summer 2017 anime season for me though most of the full series reviews are still to be posted. As always I’d love to know your favourites so please leave a comment below. Also, later today the worst of Summer post will come out so be sure to check it out.


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18if Episode 13: We Came, We Saw, We Drank Tea and Ate Cake

Review – With Spoilers:

While I’ve enjoyed 18if all the way along, what this show really needed to lift it to something I would actually enjoy rewatching was a strong conclusion that really brought all those weird elements together. While they certainly brought back all the characters this episode, what we didn’t get was anything particularly satisfying about this conclusion.

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The revelation that Lily is Eve even though Lily wants Haruto to kill Eve (kill turning out later in the episode to mean sully her purity, as in kiss her, which doesn’t happen either mind you so seems like an incredibly pointless part of the narrative) was pretty obvious when you sat and thought about it and again, does it matter? They don’t do anything with this idea of Lily representing Eve before and Eve being who she was after so is it necessary at all?

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On the other hand, Eve has the incredibly clichéd motivation of being annoyed at god and clearly that means you should hate men and destroy the world. I really find this kind of motive for a bad guy dull. And even the writers must have realised how petty Eve was being given they appeased her by throwing a tea party. Not even joking. The witches all come back and eat cake and drink tea and that more or less stops Eve from destroying the world.

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And then we finally get to Haruto, the one character the audience have had a chance to actually connect with. We know he’s in hospital in a coma and then… Then he decides to go with Eve through some door to someplace humans can’t go but says he’ll come back. Cut to scene in hospital where essentially he flat lines. No more from Haruto.  I’m not entirely convinced that this is in anyway a satisfying way to wrap up this show. Basically, I’m still glad I watched it because it has been visually interesting each week and some of the dreams have been quite fun, but the overall narrative has falled pretty flat in the end.

I’ll do a full review soon.


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My Hero Academia Episode 38: Setting The Stage

Review:

It is odd where I don’t mind a final episode that so clearly is nothing but set up for future engagements, but with a future series already announced and knowing it is very likely to actually be delivered I found myself pretty hooked by this story. So far, the visible leader of the villains has been individually unimpressive and his taking steps this week to find some conviction really does up the tension a notch in the series.

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Midoriya’s face after he realises he may have just insulted someone who can disintigrate him.

Once again this story questions the idea of heroes, villains, morals and justice and it does it in a fairly non-preachy manner that seems to just make this universe far richer and more believable. However, the episode itself doesn’t really deliver anything. It is a transition with the students finishing their first semester at UA (all of this and we’re only one semester along) and preparing for the training camp. But with the villain recruitment underway by the end of the episode it certainly suggests big things are coming.

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I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this season of My Hero Academia and I’ll be doing a full review soon.


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Chronos Ruler Episode 13: At Last The End

Review:

As the final episode comes around I wonder if this show has accomplished anything? Victo/Victor (subtitles changed mid-series) still hasn’t got his time back and in point of fact now knows it should be impossible to ever do so and yet apparently feels it could still happen. Kiri is still trailing after his useless amnesiac of a father and enduring the absurdity of being put down for not being able to eat pasta through his nose. The only real change is they now have Mina and Blaze also tagging along, whenever the writers remember they should be relevant.

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This wasn’t a satisfying final fight. Last week the horologue revealed his true form and this week unleashed a barrage of attacks that really should have just annihilated the team. However, Victo then decides he can work with the others and trust them in order to achieve victory and for some reason this also means he doesn’t die when he very clearly should have.

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Honestly, this was no worse than any other episode in this show but all and all the writing and characters have been terrible and literally the only reason I’ve stuck with it was I was kind of interested in the time manipulation element. Too bad they never did anything with that. Will write a final review soon.


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Gamers Episode 12: Interesting Choices

Review:

One thing Gamers has been consistent about is going in a different direction to what I have expected to the point where I stopped trying to make predictions for this show many episodes ago. This final episode is no exception.

The introduction sequence where we are reunited with the other guy Tendou recruited into the gaming club, who we pretty much haven’t seen since the first couple of episodes, narrates his own back story. Why this is suddenly needed, I’m not sure, but as usual with this show it managed to be just silly enough to make me smile. We then get our usual opening before we get back to our usual group of 5 casual gamers going to a hot spring for a gaming meet because… reasons?

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However, here is where you could pretty much turn the visuals off and just listen to the dialogue, or read the subs, as the visuals more or less add nothing for the remainder of the episode. The dialogue however is like listening to a heated debate on the radio and is at times quite entertaining as Aguri challenges the gaming fanatics on the cost of their games and on having to buy DLC.

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There’s one scene where the three girls end up in the hot spring, because anime, and while they are having a fairly serious conversation about what sort of DLC they prefer in games the visuals just show various suggestive shots of the girls in the water. Really adding absolutely nothing to anything and quite boring given other the occasional slow pan these shots may as well be still images and do not relate to the conversation you are trying to follow. I’m not anti-fan service but I had to wonder why this was included.

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So this final episode added nothing to the resolution of the various characters relationship issues although it did confirm that the two couples were still couples and hadn’t disintegrated from all the misunderstandings earlier in the series. And other than the intro where we got some back ground on one member of the gaming club, the gaming club made no appearance. Essentially, this was a group of gamers discussing gaming and defending their positions. That’s all it was. For me it worked and I left this series with a smile, but really if someone were to say this episode was pointless I wouldn’t have much leg to stand on to argue against that view point.

Full series review coming soon.


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In Another World With My Smartphone Episode 12: They Actually Did It

Review:

Wow. I did not see that ending coming even when last week seemed like this show was actually going to address the harem issue (where so few shows ever just admit that there is a harem even when it is obvious). Taking it straight and just having the girls outright ask Touya to make them all his wife is a refreshing change from the usual outcome where the protagonist remains oblivious or really only has one girl they are interested in leaving the others hanging without resolution.

Touya though is still a slow protagonist cliché and of course asks the girls for time to think about it and ends up consulting the god who sent him into this world in the first place. I hadn’t really realised that the Gate power technically made that possible, but that of course raises the question of whether Touya can gate back to the real world or not… But even if he did would he then be stuck because magic doesn’t work in our world? That’s a whole other line of thinking so moving on.

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That god passes Touya on to the god of love who points out she’s responsible for setting up clichés (so there’s our lame excuse for the show having Touya walking in on the girls in the bath earlier in the season). It is kind of amusing because as always the show delivers this absurdity as if it is the most natural thing in the world and then moves on. I like the way this show just sets up its jokes, delivers them with conviction and then continues on playing it straight. It’s a refreshing change from self-aware shows that feel the need to celebrate their own cleverness.

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At the end of this episode Touya makes his decision (though still asks the girls to wait until they are all older which to be honest is also kind of nice). I do like that the group outside who discuss Touya and point out that it has been predicted he’s going to end up with 9 wives. Poor Touya, he can barely handle the four girls he is now engaged to.

They then give us so post credit sequel bait so it would be nice to know if this will ever continue on. As much as this show is a stupid comedy full of clichés and tropes that we’ve seen a million times before, it just clicked for me so I’d kind of like some more of it even if I’m not exactly going to highly recommend it. I will get around to a full series review of this at some point.


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Elegant Yokai Apartment Life Episode 13: This May Be The End

Review:

Not of the anime, because tragically that has more to come so it kind of looks like it is just going to continue into the next season (I can’t actually find an episode count anywhere though). However, I am pretty sure this will be my last post on this. Hopefully. If I have any sense at all I will drop this for real.

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I just want to know why every character who meets Inaba thinks anything of him? Seriously, what are they seeing that the audience isn’t? They all sit around and give him advice and pep talks. That is literally their entire interaction with this kid and yet they all speak so incredibly highly of him. Yet, everything he has done and his internal dialogues just make him look and sound like an idiot.

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I hate this main character, I hate that all the other characters seem to think he’s amazing, and I hate that nothing ever seems to happen in this show. Okay, I think I just made my mind up and I’ll be dropping this.


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Princess Principal Episode 12: Everyone Wants To Go To Casablanca

Review – Some Spoilers:

It is no surprise that Ange returns this episode, though the sheer length of time it takes her to come to that decision and act is a little questionable. Once she’s in motion though it is hard to imagine she was ever going to fail.

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This episode takes us back to the feeling we had back in episode 1. Things are moving along at a good clip with car chases, gun battles, a plot to kill the Queen, and Ange desperate to save her friend. It is good fun even while the show hits some of its darker moments.

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I still feel Zelda’s character would have worked better in this final arc if we’d met her earlier and had a bit more time to care about her character. Instead she comes off as a fairly ordinary villain which makes the reveal about who she is really working for seem a little last minute rather than intriguing. Also, her grand escape sequence would be cooler if I cared about her or if we knew there was going to be a second season for her to return in.

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But what really shines this episode are the main characters as they reunite and save the day before heading off to Casablanca… Wait, didn’t Princess reject that idea? Why did they end up there. Just one of many questions to be asked about the ending of this show given the various groups and plots still exist, the issues in the Kingdom haven’t been resolved, the Princess still isn’t going to become Queen, and I’m not sure the spies actually accomplished anything of significance. How can a show be so fun and yet so full of holes?

Anyway, I will get around to a full series review of this show, but in the meantime, go listen to the theme song again because that can have you smiling for half a day.


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Knight’s & Magic Episode 13: Some People Are Just Sore Losers

Review:

Well, this ended pretty much the way everyone predicted and managed to be pretty pointless right to the end. Ernesti fights the drake and shows off a few new tricks (though I’m not certain splattering it with oil and setting it on fire counts as a new trick).

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We then get the engineer from the otherside (name has totally escaped me at this point) and Ernesti having an argument which may have only been occurring in their heads or may have been broadcast, I don’t know as it was unclear, about the aesthetics of robot design. Because that’s super important in a life or death battle.

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All of this is interspersed with the side characters storming the fortress below and one final fight with the sword mecha which ends as expected before the captain of the drake decides to ram the Princess. This is where my mild irritation with the generally stupid writing decisions in this show blew up into full of rage as the Princess stubbornly insisted she wouldn’t move because she believed that she would be protected. Lady, there’s a giant robot dragon falling out of the sky about to land on you. Would it kill you to take three steps to the right? No, instead Kid has to have a moment to jump from one airship to the drake to fight the captain and then jump out of his mecha and into Ernesti’s hand because I guess Kid hadn’t done anything useful in a few episodes because wasn’t his mecha powering the airship? Oh yeah, his mecha was powering the airship. His and Ady. So why is it still flying given he’s just abandoned ship? So frustrating.

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Anyway the war wraps up, we get some more Kid and Princess stuff before they all head home. But this is my favourite part of the episode. The Smiths that actually build the machines that have made everything possible finally get official recognition for their effort. Then Ernesti begins plotting his next steps and we end the show. Of course nothing is resolved because opposing designer guy survived and is looking for a new hire, the King or whatever of the country that started the war hasn’t been defeated, the sword guy is still alive and heading home, and there’s new tech coming out everywhere changing political and economic landscapes, but sure, let’s just end the story here. Why not at this point?

I’m kind of looking forward to a full series review of this show. I think it is going to be fun to write.


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