Autumn 2016 Week 13

This is my last overview for Autumn. Though I don’t think many of the Winter shows are starting straight up so not sure what next week will bring yet. Anyway, this is my final list and tomorrow I’ve got my reflection post with the best and worst for the year as well as the result of the reader poll coming out.

Feel free to share your thoughts on this season in the comments below.
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I Must Keep Watching

  • Yuri on Ice (Ep 12 – Finished)
  • Natsume Yuujinchou Go (Ep 11 – Finished)
  • March Comes in Like a Lion (Ep 11)

March Comes in Like a Lion is odd. Not that the show itself is odd but it is more the enjoyment I get from watching it is odd. When  I step back I have to wonder why it has taken me in the way it has and while I am loving it, it is a show I will really have to think about and probably rewtach before I can really explain what’s actually good or not about it. Still wondering how it is going to stretch content for another 12 episodes but looking forward to what it does.

 

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Still On My Radar

  • Lostorage Incited WIXOSS (Ep 12 – Finished)
  • Days (Ep 24 – Finished)
  • Iron Blooded Orphans (Ep 37)
  • Bungo Stray Dogs (Ep 24 – Finished)
  • Flip Flappers (Ep 13 – Finished)
  • Izetta: the Last Witch (Ep 12 – Finished)

Lostorage Incited WIXOSS was never really brilliant but it has been consistent in its narrative and after 12 episodes I can honestly say I’m glad I watched it. Certainly there are better shows and this isn’t one I’d say was  must watch, but it was certainly worth the time this season.

This far in to Iron Blooded Orphans I’m unlikely to drop it but the last two episodes have definitely been less fun to watch and I’m currently really disengaging from the viewing experience. I’m hoping it picks back up soon.

Flip Flappers left off without really ever giving me much satisfaction. It is kind of fun to watch and visually it is gorgeous but the characters and story just never quite accomplish anything so while I liked this more than Izetta in the end it is still a series that I wish could have been better.

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Not Dropped But Not Sold On These

  • Kiss Him, Not Me (Ep 12 – Finished)
  • Trickster (Ep 12 – No episode this week)
  • Bloodivores (Ep 12 – Finished)
  • Nazotokine (Ep 12 – Finished)

Another one I am glad to see finished. Kiss Him, Not Me is probably not a terrible anime but I was never the right audience for it and watching it was more of an endurance test than anything else. Well, done now and just have to review.

 

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Dropped

  • Cheating Craft (Ep 4 – Dropped)
  • Girlish Number (Ep 1 – Dropped)
  • Nanbaka (Ep 2 – Dropped)
  • Magical Girl Raising Project (Ep 2 – Dropped)
  • Matoi the Sacred Slayer (Ep 2 – Dropped)
  • Touken Ranbu – Hanmaru (Ep 1 – Dropped)
  • To Be Hero (Ep 1 – Dropped)
  • Occult;Nine (Ep 1 – Dropped)
  • Dream Festival (Ep 1 – Dropped)

Autumn 2016 finished!

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Autumn 2016 Week 12

This is pretty much it. Some shows have wrapped and others are on their way to final episodes. A handful of shows will continue on. I’ll have one more Autumn overview and then I’ll start thinking about my final thoughts on the season and what I’m going to watch next.

Feel free to share your thoughts on this season in the comments below.

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I Must Keep Watching

  • Yuri on Ice (Ep 12 – Finished)
  • Natsume Yuujinchou Go (Ep 11 – Finished)
  • March Comes in Like a Lion (Ep 10)

Yuri on Ice – wow!

Natsume delivered a fairly ordinary last episode but ordinary for Natsume is still actually pretty good so while it is not going to be my favourite episode of the series or even the season it was a nice close to the fifth season. Glad we got a season six announcement for 2017 though.

Fortunately March Comes in Like a Lion moved away from dancing cats and slice of life antics and dove back to Rei’s emotional journey which is where the show really shines (for me at least). Honestly, at this point if I could trim this series down to just the serious parts this would be a near perfect series, however the slice of life and comedic moments do serve a purpose even if I don’t find them as compelling.

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Still On My Radar

  • Lostorage Incited WIXOSS (Ep 11)
  • Days (Ep 24 – Finished)
  • Iron Blooded Orphans (Ep 36)
  • Bungo Stray Dogs (Ep 24 – Finished)
  • Izetta: the Last Witch (Ep 12 – Finished)
  • Flip Flappers (Ep 12)

WIXOSS is going well and while this is never going to be one of my must watches (it just isn’t the kind of show that I get super into) this has been a really pleasurable watch this season. Looking forward to how it ends.

I really enjoyed this final installment of Days season 1. Definitely not my usual thing but its been a real joy following this even while I can openly acknowledge this is not the greatest anime ever and it has some glaring flaws at times particularly with pacing. That said, it is just fun to watch and spend time with the characters. Of course, zero resolution because why not wait for season 2.

Iron Blooded Orphans feels a bit like it is losing its way now. Season 2 has lacked a lot of the oomph of season 1 and now it feels like we’re just throwing big things around so that there is someone or something to fight against. Hopefully it pulls itself back together but I see this getting worse before it gets better. I’d be happy to eat those words later though.

At least Bungo is finished now and can’t drop further but really these last three episodes have been pretty bad. And then we set up for a continuation that I just don’t know if I really care to watch. I might. I am a glutton for watching things that annoy me and there has been just enough good in this show to keep stringing me along.

Izetta had such a promising start and I guess it never really got dreadful but it wasn’t good. Perfectly watchable, yet without substance or feeling by the end really. Okay, Sophie was dreadful.

Flip Flappers has kind of left me feeling a bit disappointed and I’m really not looking forward to the final episode. It all just feels kind of messy and like there was a lot of build up for not very much. Still, it isn’t finished yet so maybe it can pull something off.

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Not Dropped But Not Sold On These

  • Kiss Him, Not Me (Ep 11)
  • Trickster (Ep 12)
  • Bloodivores (Ep 12 – Finished)
  • Nazotokine (Ep 12 – Finished)

Kiss Him, Not Me continues to be pleasant enough but continues to skirt just this side of inappropriate in terms of its set ups with a dash of making me feel uncomfortable even while I’m kind of enjoying it.

I’m seriously hoping for some decent Winter shows so I can justify dropping Trickster mid-season at this point. I just don’t see me making it through 24 episodes of mediocrity.

The only reason Bloodivores isn’t last on this list is it at least pretended it was going to go somewhere and while it made me face palm a number of times it didn’t bore me like Nazotokine. Still, not good. Not good at all.

Nazotokine is the show I definitely should have dropped. It isn’t dysfunction like Bloodivores but it is incredibly repetitive and dull. Seriously, even Taboo Tattoo was more interesting than this.

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Dropped

  • Cheating Craft (Ep 4 – Dropped)
  • Girlish Number (Ep 1 – Dropped)
  • Nanbaka (Ep 2 – Dropped)
  • Magical Girl Raising Project (Ep 2 – Dropped)
  • Matoi the Sacred Slayer (Ep 2 – Dropped)
  • Touken Ranbu – Hanmaru (Ep 1 – Dropped)
  • To Be Hero (Ep 1 – Dropped)
  • Occult;Nine (Ep 1 – Dropped)
  • Dream Festival (Ep 1 – Dropped)

Question this week, which show do you think won my reader’s poll for best anime of 2016?

Autumn 2016 Week 11

Week 11 some shows are wrapping up, others are getting ready to go into their second half, and all of them are still clamoring for our attention. It’s been a really mixed week and there’s been some movement in the list.

As always, please feel free to tell me what you think about the season in the comments below.

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I Must Keep Watching

  • Yuri on Ice (Ep 11)
  • Natsume Yuujinchou Go (Ep 10)
  • March Comes in Like a Lion (Ep 9)

Yuri on Ice, I don’t think I’ve ever been wanting the next episode of a show so badly as I want the next episode of this. I am way too invested in the characters at this point and that final line from Yuri just stunned me. Okay, let’s hope Yuri on Ice can stick its landing and truly be brilliant.

There’s not a lot more to say about Natsume. We’re five seasons in, it knows how to deliver an enjoyable story and it is continuing to do so.

March Comes in Like a Lion offered only reasonable fare this week continuing the general slow down and stalling this series has had issues with for awhile now. I’m hoping it finds its feet again soon because there is a lot to like but if it doesn’t I will drop this one down to the category below.

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Still On My Radar

  • Bungo Stray Dogs (Ep 23)
  • Lostorage Incited WIXOSS (Ep 10)
  • Iron Blooded Orphans (Ep 35)
  • Days (Ep 23)
  • Izetta: the Last Witch (Ep 11)
  • Flip Flappers (Ep 11)

Yep, Bungo dropped down here. Those first four episodes from this season really helped carry it for a lot but objectively this just has not been very good for over the half the season.

Last week WIXOSS gave me hope it was going to start bringing things together. This week just went for the emotional punch and world building and answers were put back on the backseat. Given there are only two episodes left it seems unlikely this is going to manage to bring all the final players to some sort of resolution that is satisfying without really cramming in the information.

Iron Blooded Orphans was interesting this week. We still seem to be in a bit of a lull but it looks like we’re about to gear up for some more action. Overall, this series remains engaging and fairly consistent even if some parts aren’t quite as interesting as others.

Days continues to be pleasant enough and the final leg of that game was actually kind of tense. That said, as a series it has its flaws so while I’ve enjoyed the watch and look forward to next week, it isn’t moving on the list.

Izetta wasn’t too bad this week. my feelings about the series overall I pretty much still full of disappointment that this show wasn’t… more than it became, but this week was pretty cool. I’ll see how I feel after the last episode.

Flip Flappers has started to come apart at the seams as it is now forced to rush toward what looks like it won’t be a particularly interesting resolution. That was always the danger with the show and why I’ve held this at the middle of the list just waiting to see which way it would tip. Episode 11 isn’t promising so I’m thinking my final judgement on this series as a whole is going to end up being fairly harsh.

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Not Dropped But Not Sold On These

  • Kiss Him, Not Me (Ep 10)
  • Trickster (Ep 11)
  • Bloodivores (Ep 11)
  • Nazotokine (Ep 11)

So, Kiss Him, Not Me seems to be making a late comeback in that I honestly would have to say I  actually enjoyed the last episode. If I remove the few things that have really pushed my buttons, the series is actually pretty good as a high school romantic comedy, but the things that push my buttons are kind of central to the narrative so I just can’t justify moving this series any higher on my list.

To say that the follow up to Hanasaki’s kidnapping wasn’t interesting would be a lie, however Trickster as a show remains consistently unimpressive. We’re left on a cliffhanger this week and in honesty I don’t really care if any of them make it out of the current situation (though  I assume we are still too early in this series to actually kill off the main characters).

Bloodivores is down to one episode to go and we know pretty much nothing. Seems like blowing up the building is the last hurrah for the season and I know that even if it exists I will never watch another season of this. Then again, maybe they’ll just rush the ending and dump some explanation on us at the last minute. Either way, this series has been pretty bad.

Nazotokine has not changed tone or pattern once this entire season and as a result watching has become challenging as I find my attention increasingly wavering as we are forced through yet another episode of Tokine and her friends doing not much before she enters the quiz world again.

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Dropped

  • Cheating Craft (Ep 4 – Dropped)
  • Girlish Number (Ep 1 – Dropped)
  • Nanbaka (Ep 2 – Dropped)
  • Magical Girl Raising Project (Ep 2 – Dropped)
  • Matoi the Sacred Slayer (Ep 2 – Dropped)
  • Touken Ranbu – Hanmaru (Ep 1 – Dropped)
  • To Be Hero (Ep 1 – Dropped)
  • Occult;Nine (Ep 1 – Dropped)
  • Dream Festival (Ep 1 – Dropped)

Question this week, which shows are you starting to get excited for next season?

Autumn 2016 Week 10

Week 10 has been interesting. Some things got better, some got worse, many shows shifted their character focus this week and some really showed us they were getting ready for their climax. I know some people have been fairly indifferent to the anime this season but this has actually been my favourite season so far in 2016. Most of the ‘still on my radar’ shows would have been must watch shows in other seasons this year so even though they have issues I’m actually enjoying most of them (with the possible exception of Izetta but that started as a must watch in its first episodes and has been sliding ever since).

As always, please feel free to tell me what you think about the season in the comments below.

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I Must Keep Watching

  • Yuri on Ice (Ep 10)
  • Natsume Yuujinchou Go (Ep 9)
  • March Comes in Like a Lion (Ep 8)
  • Bungo Stray Dogs (Ep 22)

Do I have a higher category than this? Why not? Yuri on Ice… wow. Just wow. You know, it isn’t a perfect anime and we can critically tear it to pieces if we’d like but there are few anime that make me feel so much while watching them. This week was truly amazing and left me smiling for hours.

Natsume continues to be charming and just a very relaxing viewing experience. Watching an episode is like checking in on old friends and you don’t really need to do anything, its fun just being there.

Glad we had an episode of March Comes in Like a Lion this week.  I just get more and more drawn into Rei’s life with every episode and the whole experience has been wonderful. I’m kind of glad this show has more than 12 episodes though because it really feels like things are really just getting going.

And just when I considered dropping Bungo out of this category they give Rampo a few moments to shine. That alone was enough to sell this episode to me. This show is still highly reliant on coincidence and narrative convenience but this season is entertaining.

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Still On My Radar

  • Lostorage Incited WIXOSS (Ep 9)
  • Iron Blooded Orphans (Ep 34)
  • Days (Ep 22)
  • Flip Flappers (Ep 10)
  • Izetta: the Last Witch (Ep 10)

WIXOSS brings us a new level of dark this week with crushing depression and suicide. That said, this series is playing on its strengths and seems to be bringing things nicely together even linking in to the previous seasons without being too hard to follow for newcomers to the franchise. Looking forward to how this will end now.

Iron Blooded Orphans dropped a bit this week. Not because it got worse but because it is at the mid-season point and the story is kind of in a lull whereas WIXOSS is going full steam ahead into its climax. I think Orphans might be suffering from its own run-time. Season 2 just hasn’t been as compelling as season 1 and while there are still plenty of points of interest I’m starting to get distracted.

Days is coming to the end of its run (though it kind of feels like a season 2 will be needed at this point – unless they actually do stuff up and get eliminated) and the quality of the animation has just not held up leading to my dropping it down the list this week. At times it was outright disruptive to the viewing this week. While normally I wouldn’t knock a show down for this, Days has had consistency problems from the start and this dive in quality this close to the end is just one more thing to take into account when weighing up how good Days has been as a series.

Flip Flappers continues to bewilder but we do seem closer again to an answer. The problem is every time they explain something you realise they haven’t explained anything and they only have a couple more episodes to really wrap things up. Here’s hoping they can resolve things.

Seems like Izetta has decided to take war reasonably seriously as we close in on the final episodes. Certainly the characters are hurting this week and there was definitely none of the silly asides or playing dress up that has filled so many earlier episodes. I may not be thrilled with how this series has played out but I’d like a solid ending to it at least.

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Not Dropped But Not Sold On These

  • Bloodivores (Ep 10)
  • Trickster (Ep 10)
  • Kiss Him, Not Me (Ep 9)
  • Nazotokine (Ep 10)

Bloodivores ran around a lot this week so points for energy but minus a whole bunch for actual narrative and characterisation. Honestly, this show just doesn’t get any better but it hasn’t noticeably gotten worse but its kind of like trying to eat most healthy cereals for breakfast. You know it won’t hurt you but it doesn’t taste great so you have no enthusiasm for the consumption.

In fairness to Trickster, it actually is better than Bloodivores and yet knowing that Bloodivores will be done in 2 more episodes made the mess of an episode this week actually tolerable, while Trickster could drag out this mediocrity for another 14 episodes. Seriously hoping that Winter’s line up is good so that I can give Trickster a sound kick out of my list.

Kiss Him, Not Me delivered a generic and cliché filled summer episode but was back to being inoffensive and vaguely amusing so I put the terminally boring Nazotokine back beneath it on the list.

Nazotokine is living up to my lack of expectations at this point and continues to give us formulaic and relatively flat episodes where there doesn’t really seem to be any reason to care whether they solve the riddle or not. Admittedly, we haven’t actually seen the consequences of failure because it hasn’t happened yet, but it seems unlikely this show is going to bother upping the stakes at this point.

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Dropped

  • Cheating Craft (Ep 4 – Dropped)
  • Girlish Number (Ep 1 – Dropped)
  • Nanbaka (Ep 2 – Dropped)
  • Magical Girl Raising Project (Ep 2 – Dropped)
  • Matoi the Sacred Slayer (Ep 2 – Dropped)
  • Touken Ranbu – Hanmaru (Ep 1 – Dropped)
  • To Be Hero (Ep 1 – Dropped)
  • Occult;Nine (Ep 1 – Dropped)
  • Dream Festival (Ep 1 – Dropped)

Alright, which character journey have you been most impressed with this season?

Autumn 2016 Week 9

Week 9 has come and I am getting really excited about the ends of some shows. Flip Flappers because I may eventually find out if there has been a point to anything. WIXOSS because I’d love to see just how much pain they are going to bring for the finale. Izetta because I’ve liked it a little less each week. And Natsume and Yuri on Ice because they have been such great shows that while I’d like them to never end seeing some sort of resolution will be immensely satisfying.

As always, I would love to hear your thoughts on the season below, and if you haven’t already voted jump on over to this post and take part in the poll. Let me know what you think the best show of 2016 was.

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I Must Keep Watching

  • Yuri on Ice (Ep 9)
  • Natsume Yuujinchou Go (Ep 8)
  • March Comes in Like a Lion (Ep 7)
  • Bungo Stray Dogs (Ep 21)

Yuri on Ice delivered another great week of character development and then gave us such a beautifully touching reunion at the airport. I’m just loving this show, rough edges and all and occasional awkward moment of dialogue or comedy. The characters and the emotions just sell it so well and at this point it would have to actively work at repelling me to make me not like this show.

Natsume delivered a strong episode but probably only because I really loved the focus characters this week (otherwise it was much the same as every other episode). Still loving this return to Natsume.

Bungo Stray Dogs gave us a much better episode than last week (again with the absence of Atsushi). This show has definitely found a more level tone this season than season 1, though still has a few slip-ups from time to time.

No episode of March Comes in Like a Lion this week.

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Still On My Radar

  • Days (Ep 21)
  • Iron Blooded Orphans (Ep 33)
  • Lostorage Incited WIXOSS (Ep 8)
  • Flip Flappers (Ep 9)
  • Izetta: the Last Witch (Ep 9)

Days managed to really keep me interested this week even though the entire episode was a play of part of a game of soccer. Some good character interactions and developments as well as some light humour and drama just kept it moving. This was Days when it gets it right and that makes it really enjoyable. Even the low moments of the series are more a bit dull than actually bad.

Iron Blooded Orphans was pretty ho-hum this week but the show has been consistently okay so I’m not moving it. That said, if WIXOSS continues to build to a decent ending it may cause Orphans to slide down the list a bit.

Lostorage Incited WIXOSS  feels now like we are genuinely building toward something. What that something is remains to be seen but it kind of feels like we are close and I’m genuinely excited to see what happens next.

Flip Flappers also gave me the feeling like things might come together this week and that we’re going somewhere. I still don’t know how they are going to explain everything but there is a definite sense of forward motion in the story at this point.

Izetta might be heading for a decent finish after a mediocre middle if this episode can be believed. I’m not entirely convinced that we won’t go back to pointless fan service next week and let any tension drop out of the plot, but at least we have a good set-up for a final conflict after the events this week. If it plays out well, this might even move back up the list a bit after its free-fall over the last few weeks.

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Not Dropped But Not Sold On These

  • Trickster (Ep 9)
  • Bloodivores (Ep 9)
  • Nazotokine (Ep 9)
  • Kiss Him, Not Me (Ep 8)

Trickster continues to take a fairly interesting concept and deliver it in the most boring and lacklustre way possible (bright colours and a fast paced sound-track do not exciting viewing make). Anyway, I’m really thinking that 12 episodes of this will be enough (unless I don’t find enough shows to watch next season), so my plan at this point is to watch until the new shows are released and then let this go.

Bloodivores is just a mess of a show. There is no nicer way to describe it than that. It just has no idea what it wants to be or how to deliver that story so we just keep slinging ideas around that kind of look interesting but lack any kind of cohesion.

Nazotokine continues to be pretty pointless and this episode (with the exception of a reveal at the end) is probably the most pointless of all so far. While it isn’t painful to watch it also isn’t fun and it isn’t really doing much of anything. Once this is done odds are I won’t even remember watching it.

To be absolutely fair, Kiss Him, Not Me is a better anime than any of the other three in this category and yet it is going to be the next one I drop because it is back to actively offending me. That said, for those who’ve been enjoying it and are happy to take the relationships in the story the way they are intended without trying to impose real world morals onto them, it’s probably not that bad of a story. For me, after this week  I am really struggling to see the relationships as anything other than problematic which kind of ruins any immersion in the show.

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Dropped

  • Cheating Craft (Ep 4 – Dropped)
  • Girlish Number (Ep 1 – Dropped)
  • Nanbaka (Ep 2 – Dropped)
  • Magical Girl Raising Project (Ep 2 – Dropped)
  • Matoi the Sacred Slayer (Ep 2 – Dropped)
  • Touken Ranbu – Hanmaru (Ep 1 – Dropped)
  • To Be Hero (Ep 1 – Dropped)
  • Occult;Nine (Ep 1 – Dropped)
  • Dream Festival (Ep 1 – Dropped)

And the question this, which show are you still watching that you wish you had dropped?

Autumn 2016 Week 8

Well, the end of week 8 and that week sure was something. Not really sure what I expected but some of these episodes really didn’t deliver (in both good and bad ways). Some shows clearly demonstrated they were ramping things up while others feel a little bit lost. All and all though, I’m still enjoying the season.

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

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I Must Keep Watching

  • Yuri on Ice (Ep 8)
  • Natsume Yuujinchou Go (Ep 7)
  • March Comes in Like a Lion (Ep 7)
  • Bungo Stray Dogs (Ep 20)

Yuri on Ice delivered a fine episode 8. It wasn’t as breathtaking as 7 (few things are), but it was a good follow on and since episode 7 finally sold me on the characters I was happy to watch them going back to ice skating while noticing the changes that have occurred and stuck with Yuri. I think that is what I will remember the most about this series. That Yuri’s character transformation has happened in small, logical steps over the course of the whole series.

Natsume Yuujinchou Go gave us a new episode and it works well enough but it wasn’t a particularly exciting episode. All and all, this show has maintained consistent quality since season 1 and it still is delivering great stories but if you’ve watched all 5 seasons up to this point there isn’t anything in this episode that is going to stand out as particularly noteworthy.

March Comes in Like a Lion remains consistently good and we’re now starting to see Rei change in response to the people who have entered his life. While there isn’t much plot to speak of, the characters and visuals are definitely carrying this show and what plot there is supports the characters and their development.

Alright, by slightly more rational standards, Bungo should have moved back down to the On My Radar list, but I can’t help myself. I love a good bit of mayhem in a story and while it makes no sense at all and this series is clearly being written by the process of ‘and then this happened’ I’ve actually really enjoyed season 2. That said, it still has a few episodes to disappoint me in and maybe I’ll come back to my senses on this one.

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Still On My Radar

  • Iron Blooded Orphans (Ep 31)
  • Days (Ep 20)
  • Flip Flappers (Ep 8)
  • Lostorage Incited WIXOSS (Ep 7)
  • Izetta: the Last Witch (Ep 8)

Iron Blooded Orphans finally climbed above Days because it finally resolved this ongoing wait and see that we’d been sitting through for weeks and it made it feel worth it. This is the problem with episodic reviewing. The lull in this show would never have felt so long if you’d just been watching episodes back to back and then this pay off would have taken the edge off of any impatience. Week to week though, it has taken this long for it to feel like we are getting anywhere.

Days continues to be what it is and this episode didn’t really change my impression of it at this point. Wondering what they will do for the series final though.

Flip Flappers continues to be an intriguing bit of viewing but I still don’t think I’m sold on the series for the simple reason that I still don’t know what the point of it is. Someone asked me this week what Flip Flappers was about and literally all I had was some girls can travel to some other reality (that changes based on when and where they travel to it) and they are collecting shards. Why? Don’t know. What do the shard do? Don’t really know, something about a wish. Is that it? No, some other group is also trying to collect them. Why? Don’t know. None of that makes this a bad show, but it does make it one that is impossible to judge at this point.

Lostorage Incited WIXOSS just didn’t hit the right notes this week and with it already suffering from story issues (due to no end game and no real explanations of the game), it really couldn’t afford to let its atmosphere and tension slip because that was almost all that was holding the show afloat. Hopefully this is a minor set back and we’ll be back on track next week.

Izetta: the Last Witch gave us some fairly interesting plot developments but it may be a case of too little too late as I found myself rather disengaged this week. The up and down tone of the show has really caused me to disconnect from the characters and the plot so even when they are doing something potentially interesting I’m just not that interested anymore. Mostly, just watching this through to see the end and maybe it will manage to re-engage me but this episode did not.

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Not Dropped But Not Sold On These

  • Trickster (Ep 8)
  • Kiss Him, Not Me (Ep 7)
  • Bloodivores (Ep 8)
  • Nazotokine (Ep 8)

Trickster just can’t make me care about the characters. It’s a shame because I really like certain ideas in it but the show itself is kind of blah. I keep hoping it will improve or find its rhythm but its just not exciting and there’s not enough else going on to really sell me on this show.

I get that Kiss Him, Not Me is supposed to be a comedy so we aren’t supposed to take events all that seriously but this week felt more like an episode of Scooby Doo than anything else. Given my general lacklustre impression of the series this didn’t really help its standings.

The only reason Bloodivores is not the bottom of the list is because I haven’t dropped Nazotokine when I really should have. Everytime you think maybe this show is going to get moving and actually do something with its premise it goes out of its way to disappoint and continues to make survival in a prison that is probably a parallel dimension (with vampires – though the fact that they are Bloodivores is said a lot but plays very little role in any of the actions) boring.

Nazotokine continues to be a bland bit of nothing each week and doesn’t look to be changing that formula anytime soon.

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Dropped

  • Cheating Craft (Ep 4 – Dropped)
  • Girlish Number (Ep 1 – Dropped)
  • Nanbaka (Ep 2 – Dropped)
  • Magical Girl Raising Project (Ep 2 – Dropped)
  • Matoi the Sacred Slayer (Ep 2 – Dropped)
  • Touken Ranbu – Hanmaru (Ep 1 – Dropped)
  • To Be Hero (Ep 1 – Dropped)
  • Occult;Nine (Ep 1 – Dropped)
  • Dream Festival (Ep 1 – Dropped)

And the question this week is the opposite of last week due to my sudden disdain for Chinatsu in WIXOSS: Which character are you hating the most this season?

Autumn 2016 Week 7

At the end of week 7 of Autumn 2016 and the anime are really working hard now to either keep our attention or just ensure they don’t fall apart toward the end. For the shorter shows we’re about to hit the final sprint to the finish. That said there are plenty of shows going beyond that this time so it will be interesting to see what the next few weeks bring us but the real winner this week was Yuri on Ice.

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

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I Must Keep Watching

  • Yuri on Ice (Ep 7)
  • Natsume Yuujinchou Go (Ep 6)
  • March Comes in Like a Lion (Ep 6)
  • Bungo Stray Dogs (Ep 19)

Yuri on Ice finally managed to break through any reservations I still had about the show and proved it wasn’t just cute guys ice skating with some BL fan-bait. Episode 7 literally took my breath away and I did an instant rewatch of the episode. That said, everything in episode 7 was built on the previous six episodes so this is a series that is really bringing everything together and doing it with style and sparkly costumes. There’s still some flaws but right now if I had to pick a best show of the season, Yuri has taken that spot.

March Comes in Like a Lion continues to be an excellent character piece. It does feel like there is plot progression but it is fairly slow and for the most part inconsequential to the character journey. It will be interesting to see whether this continues to be as engaging as it has been.

Bungo Stray Dogs is starting a downward slide now that we’re back with the old crew. It isn’t that it is bad, it is just that I never found them that compelling. Interesting enough but without that flash back that ran for four episodes this show would pretty much have stayed in the On My Radar category which is where it will go back to soon if it doesn’t pick up.

Natsume gave us a special this week rather than an episode so no movement on that one (other than Yuri knocking it out of first place).

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Still On My Radar

  • Days (Ep 19)
  • Iron Blooded Orphans (Ep 31)
  • Flip Flappers (Ep 7)
  • Lostorage Incited WIXOSS (Ep 6)
  • Izetta: the Last Witch (Ep 7)

Days moved us from the camp to the next tournament and continued to help the characters find ways to get better. This show just keeps rolling along with occasional sparks of amazing followed by pleasant nothingness.

Not much new to report with Iron Blooded Orphans. If you’ve made it through 30 episodes then you already know exactly what to expect. This show has been pretty even in its delivery right from the word go. There are some issues but mostly its a stable and enjoyable anime.

Flip Flappers feels like its starting to get ready to reveal something and in terms of potential payoff I’m looking forward to how it all comes together. That said, it could just fall apart still. However, Cocona and Papika have been an interesting pair to follow around and that relationship continues to grow (even if the foundation of it is a little shaky) which is why I’ve moved Flip Flappers up the list this week. If it can bring things together it will become a must watch series.

Lostorage Incited WIXOSS continues to see just how mean you can be to two characters while still hasn’t revealed anything about its end game. And maybe that doesn’t matter as the story focus is very clearly on how these two characters are changed by events, not in whatever the grand scheme is. But until we know where it ends this one is just staying on my radar and isn’t a must watch. I may change my mind at seasons end.

Izetta picks up a bit this week with less down time and more focus on the war and recruiting allies, though a large chunk of the episode is devoted to a single battle. Overall, this series continues to have some really good moments but just isn’t consistent enough in its tone or pacing.

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Not Dropped But Not Sold On These

  • Trickster (Ep 7)
  • Kiss Him, Not Me (Ep 6)
  • Bloodivores (Ep 7)
  • Nazotokine (Ep 7)

Trickster I could watch or not at this point. It isn’t bad. It isn’t. The story rolls along nicely and the characters each play their part. I’m just not finding myself connecting with anything in it and find myself mildly interested in the episode but mostly just wanting to get on to the next thing. This week’s episode didn’t change that impression.

Kiss Him, Not Me is definitely consistent. If you like what you are getting than there is no reason to stop liking it. For those us who aren’t fussed but aren’t dropping it, we’re getting exactly what we expect when we rock up for an episode of this.

Bloodivores doesn’t seem like it will get worse and might even manage to improve if they actually start explaining things (but I’m not going to hold my breath). That said, IF we get something resembling an explanation that is satisfying it may make me re-evaluate the whole series.

Nazotokine is just being watched at this point because if I drop it I’ll have to catch up on another show and that seems like too much effort. It isn’t horrible, it’s just increbily dull and isn’t doing anything to change that.

nyanko1

Watching and Will Review Occasionally

  • Cheating Craft (Ep 4)

Still didn’t watch the next episodes of this and it’s getting to a point where I will declare dropped if I don’t pick it back up soon.

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Dropped

  • Girlish Number (Ep 1 – Dropped)
  • Nanbaka (Ep 2 – Dropped)
  • Magical Girl Raising Project (Ep 2 – Dropped)
  • Matoi the Sacred Slayer (Ep 2 – Dropped)
  • Touken Ranbu – Hanmaru (Ep 1 – Dropped)
  • To Be Hero (Ep 1 – Dropped)
  • Occult;Nine (Ep 1 – Dropped)
  • Dream Festival (Ep 1 – Dropped)

Question this week: which character are you liking the most this season?

Autumn 2016 Week 6

Week 6, here we are. Halfway for 12 episode shows. My honest opinion of Autumn so far is that I’m actually really enjoying this season. There’s a number of dropped shows (or unwatched shows) that I’m interested in and am enjoying reading the reviews of others and the shows I’m watching have been highly entertaining (while some are not actually good). Of course there’s also a group of shows that make me wonder what I’m basing my original judgements on because they’ve just never lifted their game. Oh well, my thoughts on week 6 are below.

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

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I Must Keep Watching

  • Natsume Yuujinchou Go (Ep 6)
  • March Comes in Like a Lion (Ep 5)
  • Bungo Stray Dogs (Ep 18)
  • Yuri on Ice (Ep 6)

I’m kind of torn this week about Natsume having the top spot. On the one hand it is consistently entertaining and the quality of the story and presentation isn’t up, down and all over the place. On the other hand, March Comes in Like a Lion had a much stronger episode this week and overall is leaving a bigger impression this season. That said, consistency is winning at the moment and we’ll see how things go next week.

March Comes in Like a Lion felt a bit better this week with a return to Rei at the centre however there is still the issue of where this story will go or whether it will just become a slice of life style show. Not that there’s anything wrong with that but I kind of need a bit more direction in the story to stay interested over a longer period.

Bungo Stray Dogs is still feeling a bit stronger than last season and I’m quite enjoying season 2 but I’m still struggling with why I should care about any of the conflicts that have cropped up. Definitely keeping an eye on this one.

Yuri on Ice moved down a little this week. Not because of lack of personal enjoyment (I’m really loving it) but because looking at the last two episodes realistically we have no story going on here other than the competition. Character focus is fine and all but could we have something in the plot other than skate good?

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Still On My Radar

  • Days (Ep 18)
  • Iron Blooded Orphans (Ep 30)
  • Lostorage Incited WIXOSS (Ep 5)
  • Izetta: the Last Witch (Ep 6)
  • Flip Flappers (Ep 6)

Days continued to give us a solid reminder about what it has done best for its run time and that is deal with the characters’ emotions. The soccer is okay, the pacing questionable, the animation all over the place, but the characters continue to grow and when they are allowed to take centre stage something quite wonderful happens. That said, there are too many issues with this show to make it a must watch again even though I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the last two weeks.

Iron Blooded Orpahns didn’t noticably improve from the rest of this season but it has maintained consistency which is more than some of the other shows. This second season is definitely different from season 1 and yet feels like a very logical progression on the events so it is hard to be annoyed about the change in tone, though it looks like things are about to get very messy again.

Lostorage Incited WIXOSS kind of flattened out this episode and that’s because we’ve got our characters into this horrible situation but this episode doesn’t progress the situation or their development as characters. The show instead ops to have them go through the motions as if they are uncertain that the audience are ready to move on and that kind of killed the tension this week. Of course, that’s just my opinion.

Izetta is continuing it’s downward plunge as it just can’t seem to decide if it is going to be serious or just have cute girls prance around a war setting. If it could figure that out it might be able to make a decent story but so far it hasn’t so after initially being quite interesting I am finding myself more and more distracted during episodes to the point where I miss actual bits of story and then have to go back and watch the last few minutes.

From a visual point of view, Flip Flappers is better than most of the other shows in this section. The problem is from an episode to episode point of view, the story is a complete mystery that may or may not play out. This is definitely one of those shows that will either have a great ending and force a total rewatch to pick up all the missed pieces or it will end as incoherently as it began and disappear as a cute but odd viewing experience. Guess we’ll find out in a few weeks.

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Not Dropped But Not Sold On These

  • Trickster (Ep 6)
  • Kiss Him, Not Me (Ep 5)
  • Bloodivores (Ep 6)
  • Nazotokine (Ep 6)

Trickster remains the most consistent of this group of shows but hasn’t done anything that would make me consider moving it up to the next category. It remains not good but not terrible and they might eventually get around to actually making it more than just a colourful piece of fluff with a few darker overtones at some point.

Kiss Him, Not Me continues to drag us through the bottom of the highschool dating cliches but with its own bit of a twist and just enough charm that I haven’t flung this one off my watch list. I’d be lying if I said I got no enjoyment from the episodes but I’d also be lying if I said that this suited my tastes or that it is particularly good or compelling. Points though to whats-her-name for calling the boys out on being completely shallow.

I didn’t think Bloodivores would fall back below Kiss Him given that I’m a lot more interested in vampire/prison survival stories than in teen romance and yet this episode proves that Bloodivores is just not very good. It isn’t a matter of personal preference for topic anymore. Objectively, Bloodivores got worse and it was already pretty bad.

Nazotokine is actually a piece of fairly forgettable anime. The short episodes make it bearable but it would be difficult to argue that any aspect of the show is particularly good. Of course it is equally hard to complain about anything other than it being boring which is more than enough of a complaint when discussing a piece of entertainment.

nyanko1

Watching and Will Review Occasionally

  • Cheating Craft (Ep 4)

So far I’ve put off the next episodes of this but I may still pick it up. My review of episode 4 will come up in the next couple of days.

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Dropped

  • Girlish Number (Ep 1 – Yeah, I dropped this, I just never got back to another episode so clearly wasn’t that interested.)
  • Nanbaka (Ep 2 – Dropped)
  • Magical Girl Raising Project (Ep 2 – Dropped)
  • Matoi the Sacred Slayer (Ep 2 – Dropped)
  • Touken Ranbu – Hanmaru (Ep 1 – Dropped)
  • To Be Hero (Ep 1 – Dropped)
  • Occult;Nine (Ep 1 – Dropped)
  • Dream Festival (Ep 1 – Dropped)

This was the halfway point so the question is which shows are you most looking forward to seeing end (either because you want to know what happens or because you are over them but haven’t dropped them)?

Autumn 2016 Week 5

Okay, week 5 and I’m finding that this season is a little bit strange in that other than the handful of must watch shows, the others are all a bit hit and miss from episode to episode. There are some great ideas out there this season but some of the delivery has just been a little hard to get into. That said, there is still plenty of fun things to watch so let’s look at where they are sitting on the list.

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

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I Must Keep Watching

  • Natsume Yuujinchou Go (Ep 5)
  • Bungo Stray Dogs (Ep 17)
  • March Comes in Like a Lion (Ep 4)
  • Yuri on Ice (Ep 5)

Natsume was superb this week exhibiting everything I love about the series. Overall season 5 is definitely delivering (though as it maintains much the same tone every single episode, there is a chance that if the other shows managed a rally they would knock this off the number 1 spot).

Bungo Stray Dogs actually managed a reasonable transition back to the present day and while I can see this dropping down the list over the next couple of episodes, this second season on balance is still pretty strong.

March Comes in Like a Lion has moved down this week as this episode kind of gave hints that this series, while visually impressive, may end up just kind of following characters doing very little. There is still some hints at the darker issues underlying things but this week was definitely an unimpressive episode from a story point of view.

Yuri on Ice may be my next one to drop down to the still on my radar. It’s beautiful, the theme song steals my heart from the first beat, the characters are fun to watch, and there’s a lot of positives about this show. However, from a story point of view we aren’t going anywhere quickly and where we are going isn’t anywhere new. And while the characters are fun to watch, other than Yuri himself, the others are either undeveloped or at times inconsistent (except Victor who probably also needs to grow up a bit). While I’m loving this and am definitely watching through to the end, as a series I don’t know that it is a must watch.

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Still On My Radar

  • Izetta: the Last Witch (Ep 5)
  • Lostorage Incited WIXOSS (Ep 4)
  • Days (Ep 17)
  • Iron Blooded Orphans (Ep 29)
  • Flip Flappers (Ep 5)

Izetta worked hard to redeem itself this week after the last episode and honestly I was hooked again but the issues with the show in terms of knowing whether this is serious or just a piece of friendship fluff set in a tragic background remain. Hopefully episode 4 was the low point and with episode 5 we are returning onward and upward, but  I worry about whether this show can remain consistently interesting for the duration. That said, so far it has been pretty good despite some quibbles.

Lostorage Incited WIXOSS finds new ways to emotionally cripple its characters while still giving us a fairly interesting story. If only the end goal of the entire system had ever made sense in this series, WIXOSS remains an odd entertainment. I’ve moved it up in this category mostly because this is close to being a must watch for me. After each episode I’m left wanting to see more and wanting to know what happens next.

Days also bounced back a bit this week but the inconsistencies in this series mean that it just isn’t going to move back up to a must watch. Certainly I’ve enjoyed the journey so far and I look forward to the final leg of this series but I somehow doubt I’ll be returning to this series for another watch.

Iron Blooded Orphans isn’t grabbing me this season the way season 1 did. Maybe it was the break inbetween but more likely it is just that we’ve watched the orphans fight to run their own company and now we’re playing politics and I know which story was more interesting. I still want to know what will happen to these characters but it is becoming increasingly clear that this story is going to get messy.

Flip Flappers may well go back to the not sold on category if it persists in this way. I don’t think anything meaningful was gained from episode 5 and to be honest, just being cute and weird isn’t enough to fascinate me if the story isn’t going to progress. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I just missed what was meant to be plot progression this week and I’ll realise that next time. That said, I was pretty unimpressed this week.

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Not Dropped But Not Sold On These

  • Trickster (Ep 5)
  • Bloodivores (Ep 5)
  • Kiss Him, Not Me (Ep 4)
  • Nazotokine (Ep 5)

Trickster is remaining functional but not exceptional or even particularly interesting. It hasn’t got worse but it isn’t making me care anymore about most of the cast even though it seems desperately trying to make me care about someone in the show. Oh well. Hopefully they can bring some more excitement in soon.

Bloodivores continues to be pretty ordinary. That said, now that we’ve spent the last 4 episodes running away from monsters I’m kind of at least wanting to find out why the monsters exist and what is going on. Lack of explanation may actually work in this show’s favour.

I would hesitate to say that Kiss Him, Not Me is actually a worse show than Trickster or Bloodivores but the other two have fairly interesting premises even if they aren’t doing much with them, and they both seem to be developing. Kiss Him seems content to roll out the same tired material each week with a few gimmicks thrown over the top in the hope that you won’t notice that this episode plays out exactly the same way as the last.

Lastly, Nazotokine remains mostly pointless and pretty bland. I just don’t see who the intended audience actually would be because none of it is interesting enough. Whether you like characters, story, fan service, puzzles, etc, there just isn’t enough of anything to salvage enjoyment from the seven minutes a week of mundane.

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Watching and Will Review Occasionally

  • Girlish Number (Ep 1 – still on hold, may need to just drop)
  • Cheating Craft (Ep 4)

Cheating Craft has kind of settled into a pattern and it isn’t a particularly good one. The jokes aren’t landing now that the initial wow factor for how over the top the cheating was going to get has passed and what we are left with is a cast of idiot boys chasing after manipulative girls and very little plot to speak of.

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Dropped

  • Nanbaka (Ep 2 – Dropped)
  • Magical Girl Raising Project (Ep 2 – Dropped)
  • Matoi the Sacred Slayer (Ep 2 – Dropped)
  • Touken Ranbu – Hanmaru (Ep 1 – Dropped)
  • To Be Hero (Ep 1 – Dropped)
  • Occult;Nine (Ep 1 – Dropped)
  • Dream Festival (Ep 1 – Dropped)

Another week and once again looking over the list and wondering what I should have dropped and what I will need to go back and do a catch up viewing of after the season is done.

What’s been your favourite so far?

Autumn 2016 Week 4

Week 4 and hasn’t this been fun? And look, Bungo Stray Dogs gave us a series final 4 weeks in. Not really, but it felt that way while watching it. Anyway, some shows have delivered and others have simply spat out another episode, but here are my thoughts on what I’m watching.

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

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I Must Keep Watching

  • March Comes in Like a Lion (Ep 3)
  • Natsume Yuujinchou Go (Ep 4)
  • Bungo Stray Dogs (Ep 16)
  • Yuri on Ice (Ep 4)
  • Izetta: the Last Witch (Ep 4)

March Comes In continued to deliver an interesting experience though now that we’ve gotten used to the visuals and we’ve met the core group of characters there wasn’t really anything new presented this week. As I’m not the biggest slice of life fan, even though this still has excellent quality, there is a good chance of me getting bored with it if the next couple of episodes don’t deliver a bit more meat.

While Natsume Yuujinchou Go is every bit as amazing as I wanted it to be objectively the two part episode didn’t deliver quite enough meat and overall this season it is still feeling like it is setting things up. This means most of the individual stories (because it is usually pretty episodic in nature) have felt incomplete as they all seem to be laying groundwork for something else. That’s kind of a new feel for the show as previous seasons have made the individual stories more or less independent with only a few overall connections. This isn’t a bad thing by any means but it is an adjustment to make while watching.

Bungo Stray Dogs… I hope you are not peaking early and I hope that the time jump next week doesn’t mean everything we’ve been watching is just going to get swept away. First four episodes this season were amazing. Really worried about what comes next.

Yuri on Ice really impressed me with episode 4. From an event point of view not a lot happened because we were prepping for future events. We can compare this to Izetta’s episode 4 which was doing much the same thing only Yuri on Ice did it in a much more fluid and entertaining fashion while making us love the characters more.

Izetta: The Lasst Witch gave us a fairly ordinary episode but it did finally provide some much needed explanation about how magic is going to work or not in this story and a lot of this was set up for future events. That said, next week will need to do some serious work or this one is going to drop to just on my radar rather than a must watch.

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Still On My Radar

  • Days (Ep 16)
  • Iron Blooded Orphans (Ep 28)
  • Lostorage Incited WIXOSS (Ep 3)
  • Flip Flappers (Ep 4)

Days delivered a significantly more interesting episode this week with some real tension within the team and between teams. That and Tsukamoto has finally developed something resembling a style for playing soccer. Maybe this can recover from the mid-season low and return to a must watch.

Iron Blooded Orphans has not changed. It’s just doing what it does. This week was all fight sequence and that’s okay but it isn’t going to improve my opinion of the series and it was done well enough to not damage my opinion.

Lostorage Incited WIXOSS didn’t pack quite the punch this week but did reveal the end (or what it means to disappear) to Suzuko. Overall, this series has been entertaining but without knowing the end game or being particularly invested in the card matches themselves, it isn’t going to become a must watch.

I’ve moved Flip Flappers up this week. While the story is still a little lacking in cohesion and explanations, I’ve decided there’s enough substance and enough consistency thematically in this show to make it worth the gamble and besides it’s really pretty and kind of fun to watch. If it actually manages to nail an ending I may move this up to a must watch but from an episode point of view its still a bit lacking.

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Not Dropped But Not Sold On These

  • Trickster (Ep 4)
  • Kiss Him, Not Me (Ep 3)
  • Bloodivores (Ep 4)
  • Nazotokine (Ep 4)

Trickster isn’t getting any better. It isn’t getting worse either but it is giving me no reason to care about the events. Its kind of the pleasant diversion for when you aren’t really in the mood to do anything. It isn’t bad by any means but neither is it particularly interesting and even leaving us in a cliff hanger situation didn’t really make me overly excited for next week.

Kiss Him, Not Me is about at generic as it comes while putting a reverse harem front and centre with a female who isn’t interested in any of the guys but won’t just tell them to go away. That said, I doubt I’ll drop it but neither am I particularly entertained by it.

Bloodivores continues to make what seems like it would be exciting on paper feel like a drag to watch. That said, it isn’t getting any worse and it is actually developing some plot points.

Nazotokine continues to stumble along. It is kind of just doing exactly what it started doing so you can’t really complain but it isn’t exactly compelling viewing and even the 7 minute run time is beginning to feel like a drag.

nyanko1

Watching and Will Review Occasionally

  • Girlish Number (Ep 1)
  • Cheating Craft (Ep 3)

Haven’t made any progress with Girlish Number this week but will catch up sooner or later. Or maybe not. We’ll see what happens.

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Dropped

  • Nanbaka (Ep 2 – Dropped)
  • Magical Girl Raising Project (Ep 2 – Dropped)
  • Matoi the Sacred Slayer (Ep 2 – Dropped)
  • Touken Ranbu – Hanmaru (Ep 1 – Dropped)
  • To Be Hero (Ep 1 – Dropped)
  • Occult;Nine (Ep 1 – Dropped)
  • Dream Festival (Ep 1 – Dropped)

Okay, for some shows we are a third of the way in and I’m not certain that any of them are really not showing us sufficient progress for that. That said, it looks like a number of shows this Autumn are running for 23 – 25 episodes, which will make deciding what to watch next season all the harder.

What grabbed you this week?