Summer 2016 Week 13

This is my last overview for Summer 2016. I know some shows still haven’t finished but next week I’ll be posting my first thoughts on the Autumn season shows as they start rolling out (though from the looks of Crunchyroll and AnimeLab I may be a little short of shows this season – I say that now but will have to reconsider once I see what actually gets released). That said, I will begin whole season reviews of the Summer shows in a few weeks (once I’ve had some time to gather my overall thoughts).

No real surprises in the order this week but some interesting conclusions (and non-conclusions) to some highly entertaining shows. I think that’s my main take-away from Summer. I enjoyed watching more shows than I did during the Spring season.

As always, I would love to hear your thoughts on the season below.

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I Must Keep Watching

  • D.Gray-Man Hallow (Ep 13)
  • Alderamin on the Sky (Ep 12)
  • Tales of Zestiria (Ep 12)
  • Days (Ep 12 – No episode this week)

And D Gray Man was awesome until the end. I’ve loved being back in this world and now all I can say is I want more because we are still left without resolution. Let’s hope it isn’t 8 years this time.

Alderamin was not finished yet but with one episode to go it is fairly safe to say that this series needs a follow up. While watching Ikta manage a tactical retreat has been fun, it would be excellent to see how he follows this up. Admittedly they could still kill him off but that would seem to defy any of the narration we’ve had throughout the series about how amazing he was going to become.

Tales of Zestiria the X delivered a stunning lack of resolution but did bring the current battle to an end (of sorts). Objectively I know there are a lot of issues with this show however, I am really enjoying watching it week to week even when I’m being critical. I’m actually kind of looking forward to another season with these characters.

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Still On My Radar

  • The Morose Mononokean (Ep 13)
  • Momokuri (Ep 26)
  • 91 Days (Ep 11)
  • Food Wars (Ep 13)
  • Cheer Boys (Ep 12)
  • Orange (Ep 13)

The Morose Mononokean continued right to the end at showing us an alright show but never tipped the scales toward becoming a great show. And while not every show needs to be great, this one just continued to feel lacking even while what it delivered was perfectly watchable entertainment.

Momokuri finished the way it started. Creepy but adorable simultaneously. This one is going to be hard to write a full review about but I’m kind of looking forward to reading over my impressions from the season and finalising my thoughts.

91 Days gave us a great second last episode. If the series had maintained its momentum from start to finish it would have been a must watch. Unfortunately all the ending is doing is making me wonder why it took so long for them to kick the story into gear.

Food Wars gave us a conclusion to the placement and all the characters came back to school but really this whole series has just been a bit of a let down after the manic energy of season 1. Still, it was worth watching the continuation of the cooking journey.

Cheer Boys left us on a fairly flat note but the series as a whole has been a delightfully empty piece of entertainment and other than an episode 5 recap I haven’t really got any complaints.

At last Orange is done. I feel this show would fair better with a binge watch rather than week to week, though even that may not remove some of the more frustrating aspects of watching the show. I guess the real issue is I’m not much for touching emotional teen drama and that is what this show drips with from start to finish.

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Not Dropped But Close

  • Hitorinoshita (Ep 12)
  • Taboo Tattoo (Ep 12 – Finished last week)

MAL tells me Hitorinoshita is finished but you wouldn’t know it from watching the episode. After leaving us with questions all series they are going to finish it without really revealing anything (odd after two episodes of nearly continuous flashback that we still know almost nothing that we couldn’t have kind of figured out).

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Dropped

  • Cute High Earth Defence Club Love (Dropped at Ep 4)
  • The Highschool Life of a Fudanshi (Dropped at Ep 4)
  • Sweetness and Lightning (Dropped at Ep 4)
  • Danganronpa 3 (Dropped at Ep 1)
  • Mob Psycho 100 (Dropped at Ep 1 – Revisited to Ep 3)
  • Servamp (Dropped at Ep 2 – Revisited to Ep 3)
  • Rewrite (Dropped at Ep 2)
  • The Disasterous Life of Saiki K (Dropped at Ep 1)
  • Ozmafia (Dropped at Ep 1)
  • Scar-red Riders XechS (Dropped at Ep 1)
  • Qualidea Code (Dropped at Ep 1)
  • First Love Monster (Dropped at Ep 1)

And now we’re done with Summer. Bring on Autumn and let’s hope we find some more shows worth watching.

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Alderamin on the Sky Episode 12

Review:

With one episode to go there weren’t any surprises this week but that didn’t stop this episode from being dramatic and engaging. It was excellent to see Ikta and Yattori’s relationship continue to be a pertinent motivator even amongst the crisis. It was also great to see Torway not just be involved in the battle but actually making some decisions about how to deal with a situation on his own (with only a little prompting). Possibly the weakest aspect of the episode was Ikta’s inability to figure out what the enemy was up to (given some of the insights he’s had previously it just seemed plot convenience for him to get stumped now). That said, I’m really looking forward to the last two days of this retreat to see how they handle things.

Alderamin on the Sky is available on Crunchyroll.

Summer 2016 Week 12

So here we are in the last weeks of the summer anime season. Some shows will be wrapping and others still have a week or two to go. That said, I am starting to check out the upcoming shows to see what I’ll be following in the Autumn Season (it is still weird reversing the seasons given Australia is heading into Spring).

As always, I would love to hear your thoughts on the season below.

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I Must Keep Watching

  • D.Gray-Man Hallow (Ep 12)
  • Alderamin on the Sky (Ep 11)
  • Tales of Zestiria (Ep 11)
  • Days (Ep 12)

I’m still finding D Gray Man highly entertaining though a lot of what happened this episode was definitely only for the people who have a strong nostalgia lens on this series. People new to the show will probably just find it a set up for a future episode and miss a lot of the emotions that should be attached to this episode.

Alderamin was a little slower this week but we’ve got a clear path for the final few episodes to follow. I’m still genuinely loving this show but this episode, while necessary, was not the best.

Tales of Zestiria the X delivered a good lead up to a season finish but the whole affair has felt unnecessarily rushed. It really feels like the story and characters would have been better served with a less chaotic schedule as they went about saving the world.

Days was excessively slow this week but it kind of felt needed after the ongoing soccer game and it was nice to just focus on the characters and where they are sitting now. I’m still honestly surprised by how much I am enjoying this when realistically I should be over this by now.

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Still On My Radar

  • The Morose Mononokean (Ep 12)
  • Momokuri (Ep 24)
  • 91 Days (Ep 10)
  • Food Wars (Ep 12)
  • Cheer Boys (Ep 11)
  • Orange (Ep 12)

I really enjoyed the Morose Mononokean this week. I still think this show could be better than it is but as a relaxing watch it has succeeded quite well.

The episodes of Momokuri this week weren’t as strong as the last two (given the story felt like a rerun) but the series as a whole has continued to surprise me given its slow and cutesy nature. I don’t know why this particular series of blushing teens has caught my fancy but I know it continues to amuse and entertain and I genuinely want the characters to continue to move on with their lives.

91 Days on the other hand made a strong come back this week after a middle of the season that was alright. That said, it doesn’t change my overall impression of the series. Strong start but then kind of ambled. I’m not really keen to rewatch this but I am looking forward to the final episode.

Food Wars was really enjoyable this week. It isn’t quite enough as I think back on the whole season to really move it up my list though. At no point in season 2 have I had even half the fun while watching season 1. A better character episode this week and enjoyable enough but this isn’t the must watch that the first season produced.

Cheer Boys continues its trend of feel good nonsense as we wrap up all remaining issues so now we can go to the competition and give it are all. Cue heavy amounts of it’s good to be in a team and working toward a goal is awesome mentality. I’m not actually criticising given that is what the show has been from the beginning, but it really did feel like they were bringing everything to a close this week.

If Orange wasn’t about to end I’d be more or less ready to let it go anyway. I really don’t care if they save Kakeru or not at this point and honestly Naho is such a nothing character it really does not matter who she ends up with or why. Now that any hope of a decent time travel explanation has been dashed and all we are left with is a very ordinary teen drama I’m done. Last episode here we come and then move on.

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Not Dropped But Close

  • Hitorinoshita (Ep 11)
  • Taboo Tattoo (Ep 12)

Just please tell me Hitorinoshita is ending next week. We won’t have even half the answers we need for this to be¬†even pleasantly odd, it’s just going to¬†continue to be painful, but I’d really like it to end. If not, I’m pretty sure next week will be my last week doing a write up on it regardless.

And is Taboo Tattoo finished? MAL says yes but what’s with the preview for future events? Anyway, it was a disaster of a show and whether it is finished or not, I’m done.

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Dropped

  • Cute High Earth Defence Club Love (Dropped at Ep 4)
  • The Highschool Life of a Fudanshi (Dropped at Ep 4)
  • Sweetness and Lightning (Dropped at Ep 4)
  • Danganronpa 3 (Dropped at Ep 1)
  • Mob Psycho 100 (Dropped at Ep 1 – Revisited to Ep 3)
  • Servamp (Dropped at Ep 2 – Revisited to Ep 3)
  • Rewrite (Dropped at Ep 2)
  • The Disasterous Life of Saiki K (Dropped at Ep 1)
  • Ozmafia (Dropped at Ep 1)
  • Scar-red Riders XechS (Dropped at Ep 1)
  • Qualidea Code (Dropped at Ep 1)
  • First Love Monster (Dropped at Ep 1)

I’ve really enjoyed the Summer Season (much more than Spring this year). Looking forward to the last episodes of these shows.

 

Alderamin on the Sky Episode 11

Review:

After setting up a conflict between two geniuses last week, this episode really just had the two of them testing the other out. As a result, we had a skirmish with some loss of lives but nothing really decisive. Everything really feels like it is just waiting for the real show to begin.

With that said, I’d like to criticise the main theme of the second half this week, where Ikta’s second in command and Matthew both came to the realisation that people are going to die in the rear guard action. I really hate this in stories about the military where people in the military suddenly realise they might die. It always leaves me thinking ‘what did you think was going to happen when people stood and shot at each other?’.

That said, it looks like we have 2 episodes to go and I’m fairly curious as to how this will actually end.

Alderamin on the Sky is available on Crunchyroll.

Alderamin on the Sky Episode 10

Review:

After last week’s rather ordinary episode, this one seemed to go out of its way to hit us hard with some of the best things about Alderamin. First we re-established why Ikta and Yatori are actually still the heroes of the story even though they are officers in an army that pretty much sucks. We then get a very humanizing moment for Ikta that works quite effectively as he apologies to someone (for something he didn’t do) and bears the consequences (which will be permanent). What I liked most about this moment was his explanation afterwards where he points out he didn’t have time to win with words. Seeing him forced into unfavourable action really helps make his character believable when so many times he seems to breeze through situations unscathed. The core group all renew their resolve and have a bit of a pep-talk before we’re back to business (I wonder if they’ll bring the Princess back or if she’s just stuck narrating for the rest of the battle). We’ve also established a new enemy and this one seems like it will be a challenge to fight. They may have taken binary opposition a bit too far in the strategist from the opposing army but it looks like we are in for an entertaining battle.

Alderamin on the Sky is available on Crunchyroll.

Summer 2016 Week 10

Are you excited for the end of the season? So I know Days is continuing on, haven’t heard about the others but most things should start wrapping up soon. Let’s see what they can deliver in their final episodes.

Meanwhile, most of the shows I’ve been enjoying throughout this season delivered okay but not awesome episodes which meant viewing this week was a bit of a downer. Hoping they all pull up again next week and don’t crash and burn in the final.

As always, I would love to hear your thoughts on the season below.

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I Must Keep Watching

  • D.Gray-Man Hallow (Ep 10)
  • Alderamin on the Sky (Ep 9)
  • Tales of Zestiria (Ep 9)
  • Days (Ep 10)

D Gray Man Hallow has continued to work really well for me. I know that some fans of the original have been disappointed and while there are changes (particularly in appearance) this show has consistently delivered a story that hits the right notes and reminds me why I loved this series in the first place. This week was no exception.

Alderamin actually wasn’t that great this week. Overall, the sereis is still quite strong but this last episode left me fairly indifferent. Hoping it picks up again next episode or I may need to start re-evaluating where it is sitting in the list.

Tales of Zestiria the X was okay but I just kept feeling like they wanted me to be more excited about the battles this week than I was. This wasn’t a bad episode by any means, but it just wasn’t amazing.

Days also delivered a ho-hum kind of episode as we continue the final game between Seiseki and Saku. Not enough to drop categories but enough that I’m putting it on notice. I don’t much like sports anime in the first place so I’m really not going to leave this in the must keep watching category if we are going to watch a single game over multiple episodes.

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Still On My Radar

  • The Morose Mononokean (Ep 10)
  • Momokuri (Ep 20)
  • Cheer Boys (Ep 9)
  • Orange (Ep 10)
  • Food Wars (Ep 10)
  • 91 Days (Ep 8)

While the Morose Mononokean was a bit stronger this week, the plot is definitely not in a hurry to go anywhere. Which is fine and all but it means it is becoming one of those shows I can watch or not. This would definitely probably go better as a binge watch on a rainy afternoon than in week to week increments.

Momokuri seems to be getting serious about the main relationship and managed to pull of a fairly decent episode. While the series as a whole has a lot of padding, it’s those touching moments, or the moments when the characters respond genuinely to a situation, that keep drawing me back into this show.

Cheer Boys got around to Kazu’s inner pain, only we saw that one coming a mile away so it didn’t quite have the impact they might have wanted. It was a very ordinary kind of episode really.

At last Orange got to the relay but now it really feels like they are setting up the happiness before the disaster. I think I really disengaged from caring about the characters about four episodes ago and since then it’s been hard to really care about where they are going.

Food Wars finally completed the Autumn Election and it is about time. Now I’m hoping we can get some more screen time with some of the less talented but more interesting cast members.

91 Days wasn’t bad this week, and the end of the episode was kind of awesome, but I just can’t help thinking that the show is lacking something.

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Not Dropped But Close

  • Hitorinoshita (Ep 9)
  • Taboo Tattoo (Ep 10)

Hitorinoshita delivered another fairly ordinary episode this week. Mostly because we spent the entire time still trying to rescue Soran who was more or less on his way out the door anyway. Oh well.

And Taboo Tattoo has officially become the train wreck I just haven’t stopped watching for this season. There is always one show I hold onto for too long, hoping it get’s better.

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Dropped

  • Cute High Earth Defence Club Love (Dropped at Ep 4)
  • The Highschool Life of a Fudanshi (Dropped at Ep 4)
  • Sweetness and Lightning (Dropped at Ep 4)
  • Danganronpa 3 (Dropped at Ep 1)
  • Mob Psycho 100 (Dropped at Ep 1 – Revisited to Ep 3)
  • Servamp (Dropped at Ep 2 – Revisited to Ep 3)
  • Rewrite (Dropped at Ep 2)
  • The Disasterous Life of Saiki K (Dropped at Ep 1)
  • Ozmafia (Dropped at Ep 1)
  • Scar-red Riders XechS (Dropped at Ep 1)
  • Qualidea Code (Dropped at Ep 1)
  • First Love Monster (Dropped at Ep 1)

Wow, so close now. I still haven’t tried some of the shows this season. Your opinion: New Game or Amanchu? I get the feeling neither is right for me but I should probably give one or the other a shot.

Alderamin on the Sky Episode 9

Review:

It feels now like this battle is getting stretched out for the sake of it. While there are some very cool moments in the battle and Ikta has a few moments of self-reflection, overall nothing really progresses. The military are still trampling through the mountains, blindly trying to fight an enemy that knows the terrain and is really, really ticked off. One character who raised a death flag during an early conversation somehow managed to avoid it whereas another character walked straight into his death trap. Unfortunately, I didn’t care enough about either of those characters to be really affected by it.

Alderamin is still my surprise favourite for the season (in terms of new shows), but this episode was so-so.

Alderamin on the Sky is available on Crunchyroll.