KADO: The Right Answer Series Review: The Higher They Rise, The Further To Fall

Overview:

One day a giant cube appears off the coast of Japan, swallowing a passenger plane. Turns out a visitor from the anisotropic (or outside of the known universe) has come to Earth to give us some gifts. One of the passengers on the plane is a negotiator and he begins the process of communicating with and negotiating with zaShunina as the world is inevitably changed.

I reviewed KADO week to week so if you are interested in my individual episode thoughts, click here.

Heavy spoiler warning on the following review.

Review:

Two thirds of this show is absolutely brilliant science-fiction. There’s no excess, no silliness, no teenagers in giant robots, no random power ups for the sake of it, no actual fighting, but just new ideas and humanity reacting to those ideas. Here’s an unlimited power source. Okay, who is going to control it? What are the economic implications particularly for countries that rely on the export of fossil fuels? Are there any risks? It’s smart and incredibly thought provoking and while it may not be the most exciting thing to ever grace your screen, it is compelling and it was distinguishable from so many other first encounter stories. Yes, we’ve had peaceful first encounters before, but they are few and far between. Even with the nagging feeling that the benevolent zaShunina was up to something, and even if he had turned out to be evil, this show could still have maintained the tone that had really set it apart from the other anime in the Spring season.

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Alas, it was not to be. The final third of the story plunges us headlong into conflict, introducing a second anisotropic being, before going into a finale that really just needs to be scrapped and rewritten (more on that later, be warned about heavy spoilers coming). Previously, I wrote a feature about anime that end badly and some of the ways that anime manage to stuff up their endings. It is a frequent problem with anime in that resolutions seem to be really hard for them to get right. I’m not expecting a happily ever after for all involved but I would like my endings to make sense and that is where KADO failed completely. Somehow I left that option off the list of ways endings annoy me but KADO has definitely made it clear that this is worse than pulling a power of friendship card.

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However, I shouldn’t start by reviewing the end of the anime. Despite the appalling conclusion we arrive at, there is plenty to admire about this show and I would still argue that for avid anime fans it is worth the watch. At the very least, the first two thirds are quite compelling and even when it falls apart, it is more the disappointment of it that hurts rather than the story itself. There are plenty of worse endings out there. While the disappointment you feel as the show veers away from being that must watch, must talk about show of the year to something far more average is palpable, overall the show remains above average as a viewing experience because even at its lowest point it is still perfectly watchable (just no longer brilliant).This one just feels much worse because of how much better it could have been and that’s really an unfair scale to judge it on (though it doesn’t take away that bitter taste in your mouth after you watch it).

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Visually KADO is impressive. I know some people hated the look of it and that’s fine. And yes, there are some scenes where the CG doesn’t sit quite right particularly in some character movements, though fortunately they don’t move a lot because there’s a lot of standing or sitting and talking (it was a show about negotiation for the most part). There are some really beautiful sequences and moments and at the very least it is visually striking. The characters are easily distinguished and the settings are appealing to look at. Overall, it is a visual feast for the eyes and while it won’t be to everyones’ tastes, it certainly worked for me.

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The music is equally grandiose and memorable. The opening theme is one of my favourite for the year (not sure if it is my favourite yet but it is certainly a contender) and throughout episodes the background music is suitably subtle or dramatic depending on the requirement. I really enjoyed the music in this series and felt it really added to the overall tone.

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For the first two thirds, I really liked the characters. I liked how the different representatives in the government and on the UN council were portrayed. I liked how average citizens, reporters, the military, scientists, and a whole range of people and their reactions came across as the world essentially changed after the arrival of the cube. Other than a small group, very few of these characters progress beyond being a stand in for a larger section of society but that is the role they’ve been given and they do it well. Shindo and zaShunina and their interactions were thought provoking and occasionally even amusing. As the central characters they really had a lot of work pulling us along through what was an otherwise fairly dry first encounter portrayal and they did it really well.

I also liked the themes and questions this show raised. The discussion about the wam being a gift to humanity and not countries was clever and thought provoking as were many of the observations by characters in the early stages of this anime.

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And then it all went wrong.

Keep in mind, that up until episode 12, they hadn’t done anything that could not be salvaged but a lot of eyebrows were raised when they revealed that one of the human negotiators was actually also an anisotropic being and wanted to send zaShunina away because she didn’t like him messing with the world. Then they had a fight between the two anisotropic beings that ended with Shindo getting severely injured and a really cliché anime encounter as the female anisotropic being first healed him and then got really embarrassed because she wasn’t wearing clothes. This was not good. First we’d moved away from negotiations to combat, we’d introduced another super being so they could have a fight sequence (no human could have) and then we went smack into teen drama territory. Where did the clever and intriguing writing go during this phase?

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Episode 11 tried to raise our hopes. Shindo had a plan. He reconnected with various characters who had assisted him throughout the series and humans worked on a solution to the problem. Okay, so we’re not just going to leave it to the super beings? Awesome. We might get back on track.

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Turns out, no (Final Warning – MAJOR SPOILERS BELOW).

The final episode delivers a mind-numbingly stupid twist.

In addition to the plan that the audience were let in on, a plan Shindo clearly knew was absolutely going to fail given the actual reveal, Shindo and anisotropic being number 2 hatch a second plan. Manipulate time, have a daughter, and have her deal with the problem.

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What?

Are you kidding me?

Now I could break into a rant here about feeling betrayed and all the rest but here’s the thing, just because this didn’t end the way I wanted it to or thought it might doesn’t actually make it bad. Certainly we’re left with questions and there’s a lot of logical gaps in how this concluded, and most certainly this isn’t exactly a satisfying ending when those of us who followed the show from the beginning followed it because of the different approach it was taking and not because we wanted to see super power beings babble at each other and then just end the fight. But, it does resolve the overall plot and given events in the final four episodes and zaShunina’s increasingly erratic behaviour in the final episode it kind of forced itself into this kind of conclusion.

I still think though if you are going to bring in time manipulation have the future daughter show up about twenty minutes earlier so that Shindo doesn’t die a completely pointless death. That wouldn’t make this ending any easier to swallow but at least wouldn’t make it a complete waste of space.

The show is actually a victim of its own earlier episodes. It set a tone and standard for its plot that the second half utterly failed to live up to. Most of us went in expecting nothing because we hadn’t even heard of the show until it started, and then it was amazing. It was well written and interesting and seemed to be heading somewhere a bit different. It just couldn’t hold onto that for a full 12 episodes. Pretty much everything after the introduction of the Sansa is questionable as to where this started going wrong. But, if I take away the expectations I gained from those first episodes and just look at the second half, this is still one of the better shows I watched this season. So for all that I want to rant and cry foul at such a travesty of an ending, stepping back I realised that while I am hoping for a fan-fiction ending that actually does the show justice, this is still not the absolute piece of dribble it could have been. It isn’t as though it all becomes a pointless dream sequence.

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But that then makes me wonder what the point of the ending was. Was that supposed to be a touching ending?

We had an incredibly pointless and avoidable death, followed by a dull and pointless chase and fight sequence, followed by dialogue that did nothing to answer any of the actual questions that people are sitting there thinking about. Where did the clever and thought provoking writing go? Where did an emphasis on dialogue and negotiation go? Hey, here’s a plan. It still sucks but might have worked a bit better. Why doesn’t future daughter actually try talking to zaShunina rather than turning him into pretty coloured lights? I might have believed her as Shindo’s daughter or legacy then. Some sort of compromise could have been reached once she showed up given zaShunina finally had someone who could stop him. Of course, future daughter is really an incredibly stupid plot device in the first place so it would have been better if Shindo had just figured out how to actually get zaShunina talking again given that would have actually fit the tone of the show.

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Basically, I’m annoyed because this show got my hopes up. It was so good. It was great. And then, it wasn’t. It doesn’t invalidate the good things earlier in the series. It doesn’t mean that this is a show that should be avoided at all costs. What it does mean is that you have to go in knowing that the ending won’t be as satisfying as you would like and just accept it for what it is. It is a science fiction that almost got it right but, despite its name, ultimately missed being the right answer.

Sorry that this review kind of flip flops around. I kept having to delete sections as I just went in to full rant territory because I was so disappointed by that ending.


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The Worst of Spring 2017

Yesterday I posted the results of The Best of Spring 2017 poll, so if you missed the post be sure to check it out and let me know what your favourite show was. Here though, we celebrate those lesser titles that just didn’t quite hit the mark.

My Least Favourite Show

Chosen only from shows that I watched from beginning to end during the Spring 2017 season, this show gets the title of worst (even though there were worse shows, I just didn’t finish watching them). I’m giving it to Akashic Records of a Bastard Magical Instructor.

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I might point out that there were actually some good moments and ideas in this show, however it was more I tolerated watching the rest to get to those points rather than actually enjoying watching the show. I’d love to give the title to something like Sword Oratoria, but I dropped it.

My Least Favourite Character

It has to be Glenn Radar. I genuinely hated him from start to finish in his series and any time it looked like maybe they might help him turn around and become somewhat decent, he would do something so scummy that it would make me despise him yet again.

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Glenn actively makes you hate him in the first episode. He does after all have to live up to the title of Bastard Magical Instructor, the issue is that after they’ve established that he then see-saws from caring mentor to scummy drop kick in the space o two lines of dialogue for the rest of the series and you just cannot take him seriously as an instructor.

My Least Favourite Story

This one goes to The Silver Guardian. There were a few moments where it looked like this show would get itself together but it really was just a mess of ideas that never really seemed to progress sensibly.

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By the end of this season we still don’t know the villain’s motive for kidnapping Riku Rei or why she’s suddenly donning a Princess Leia rip-off costume and seemingly joining them. Nor do we have any idea how Suigin is going to become that amazing fighter we saw in episode one given he still hasn’t actually done anything in the game of note. Basically, things happen and we keep moving forward but the reason for anything is unclear so you really don’t have any reason to care.

My Least Favourite Opening Theme

Early in the season I’d have given this to Attack on Titan but that theme actually grew on me by the end of the series so now I’m kind of stumped as to what my least favourite opening theme was. I’m going to give it to Sagrada Reset because I basically end up skipping it most weeks because I’m just not interested in it.

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Though, I think if this was finished the whole show might have gotten nominated for my least favourite of the season.

My Least Favourite Visuals

Another tough one and I’m going to have to give it to Granblue Fantasy. I know lots of people really liked how this looked but I found it really unappealing to look at and I really didn’t like how the characters moved a lot of the time. Admittedly, The Silver Guardian is probably uglier to look at and I know The Laughing Salesman is, but with both of those I kind of felt the visuals added something to the overall feel of the show, whereas Granblue was just kind of there.

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Again, there were some good moments in the series but overall I think it was the show that appealed least visually to me.

Reader’s Choice – Worst Anime of Spring 2017

Here it is:

This one was never close. Clockwork Planet was leading from beginning to end and to be honest, given I dropped it during the first episode, I was not in any way surprised by this result (other than apparently 13 people who voted actually watched it through to the end).

Okay, your turn to tell us what you thought the worst of the season was and why.


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The Best of Spring 2017

Finally here, the Best of Spring 2017. Here I give my favourites for the season and the result of the Spring poll that I ran. This one is great because there were over 100 votes so there was actually some tight competition for best show of the season. I will point out I accidentally left Re:Creators off the poll so almost all of the write in votes were for Re:Creators. It might have even given the top contenders a run for their money if I’d remembered to include it on the poll. Sorry about that.

My Favourite Show

This one is really hard this season because there were so many shows I enjoyed. Realistically, I should give it to My Hero Academia, but it isn’t actually finished yet, so I am holding off on that. I would love to say KADO finished as my favourite but the ending just didn’t manage to hold things together and the disappointment from that is still leaving a sour taste in my mouth. With those two shows taken out of the running, that leaves Natsume Yuujinchou Roku as my favourite show this season.

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As always, season 6 delivered a relaxing and fun viewing experience. While it isn’t going to revolutionise anything it does what it does very well and the consistency in its delivery is definitely the strong point for the season where so many other shows had brilliant moments but failed to consistently deliver their story.

My Favourite Character

For this one I am going to have to go to Yasaburo from The Eccentric Family. Okay, he’s basically an idiot and a fool, but he’s one who knows how to land on his feet and he’s genuinely entertaining to watch as he stirs up trouble and then has to find his way out of it. There’s just something a bit charming about him.

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Realistically though, if I had to deal with Yasaburo in real life I would find him pretty tiresome, however I enjoy watching his adventures and his loyalty to his family is commendable.

My Favourite Story

Probably contentious but I am still going to put KADO as my favourite story. Admittedly, they didn’t land the ending or take it in any of the directions they might have to make it as good as early episodes kind of promised it could be, but I really liked the set up for this story even if it didn’t go where I wanted it to. The idea was great.

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Basically I liked how this story made me think and consider the world and as a direct result it is the story that occupied my thoughts the majority of my time while watching the Spring season.

My Favourite Opening Theme

This one is a bit of a tie between The Laughing Salesman and KADO. Both have really great themes that are quite striking and thematically relevant to the show.

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Basically, these are the two openings I would never skip because they are just fun to listen to and visually they are interesting to watch. If you haven’t seen them, definitely check them out.

My Favourite Visuals

There were quite a number of ‘pretty’ shows during the Spring season but probably the show that I consistently liked the look of (even as the characters and plot left me underwhelmed) was Grimoire of Zero.

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This was such a pretty show to watch and while I can’t help but want better internet so I could watch in better quality, even with my connection it was a really nice looking show.

Reader’s Choice – Best Anime of Spring 2017

Here it is:

Best Spring 2017

My Hero Academia snuck in the win. This was actually incredibly tight and Tsuki ga Kirei was leading the run for a lot of the vote period. After the final episode of Attack on Titan, it had a bit of a run where it caught up to both Tsuki ga Kirei and My Hero Academia, but then My Hero Academia pulled ahead of the pack.

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So that’s the list for Spring 2017. I’d love to know what your favourites were and why so please leave a comment below. Also, tomorrow I’ll have the Worst of Spring 2017 poll results to share so make sure you check out the post.

Finally, Spring 2017 is done and I am ready to move fully into Summer viewing.


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Final Vote Reminder for Best and Worst Anime of Spring 2017

The Poll is closing this Sunday so this is your last chance to vote. Shows have either finished or moved into the new season and people have had some time to finish up what they are going to watch. I will point out that the Worst anime of the season has more or less been decided as it seems people agreed on that. Best anime however has been interesting. At first there was a clear winner and then not one, but two other titles caught up. Last I checked, there were only a few votes in it so now is the time to have your say.

Poll Information (for those who missed it): This is the reader’s poll and the winning anime will be announced late in July (poll closes July 9 to give the last few shows that are ending a chance to wrap up). Yes this poll includes shows that are continuing onto the next season and sequels and pretty much everything else. For the first time I’ve also allowed you multiple choices and a write your own title because I can’t remember every show that came out nor do I really want to write all those options into the poll.

For best of Spring 2017, please vote on the show you found the most entertaining to watch or had the most fun with this season. If you want to share your reasons, please comment below.

For worst of Spring 2017, please vote for a show you watched (or watched at least half of) that you found tiresome, painful or boring to watch.

Thanks for your votes and please remember to share this post.


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Spring 2017 – Best and Worst Vote Reminder

Last week I asked what you thought the best and worst of the spring season was. If you haven’t cast your vote yet, or if you are still waiting on shows to finish, here’s the poll again. Please share it as the more votes the better for knowing what the readers are really thinking.

 

Poll Information (for those who missed it): This is the reader’s poll and the winning anime will be announced late in July (poll closes July 9 to give the last few shows that are ending a chance to wrap up). Yes this poll includes shows that are continuing onto the next season and sequels and pretty much everything else. For the first time I’ve also allowed you multiple choices and a write your own title because I can’t remember every show that came out nor do I really want to write all those options into the poll.

For best of Spring 2017, please vote on the show you found the most entertaining to watch or had the most fun with this season. If you want to share your reasons, please comment below.

For worst of Spring 2017, please vote for a show you watched (or watched at least half of) that you found tiresome, painful or boring to watch.

Thanks for your votes and please remember to share this post.


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Spring 2017 Week 11

This is my final Spring List though I will be posting the results of my polls when I get back at the end of July. If you haven’t voted yet for what you think the best and worst of the season have been, the links are at the bottom of this post. The vote for best is pretty close so far though worst seems to already have a clear winner. As always, I’d love to know your thoughts on the season so please feel free to comment below on any of the currently airing shows.

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Must Watch

My Hero Academia Season 2 (Episode 25)

Okay, this one doesn’t make me think and wonder about the nature of the universe but it has certainly made me sit up and take notice (and eat my words – not literally – about a tournament arc being boring). That was completely amazing as a finishing touch to that story arc and we are already moving into the next one so no down time or filler (or at least it doesn’t look like we’re setting up for that). My review for this episode once again went well over the 100 words and I do not regret even one word I spent gushing over this episode or this series at this point.

Kado: The Right Answer (Episode 10)

My review of this week’s episode is going to be far longer than my usual 100 words (hoping to cut down my initial rant a bit). It isn’t that anything that happened this episode was particularly bad. This show is still an absolute must watch. However, for the first time, even while watching the episode there were parts where the shiny coating seemed to be flaking off just a little bit. Just hoping this show can hold out until the end of the season and not fall apart too soon.

Natsume Yuujinchou 6 (Episode 10)

I’d love to be able to put this and My Hero Academia on an even level I think after this week. My Hero Academia is exciting, but Natsume always plays to its strengths and season 6 has been exceptional at spinning a good story and drawing the audience into Natsume’s world. The conclusion to this season looks like its going to be pretty solid too so really looking forward to the next episode.

The Eccentric Family Season 2 (Episode 10)

Benten backed down from a confrontation with Nidaime and the only other appearance of Benten this episode turned out to be a dream sequence but she still manages to have massive presence even when she isn’t on screen. This episode really kicks things into high gear and suddenly the stakes are much higher than before. You would think Yasaburo would learn to stop stirring trouble but I guess the show wouldn’t be half as interesting without him sticking his nose into things without thinking it through.

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Usually Entertaining

Attack on Titan Season 2 (Finished)

Full season review coming shortly. The last episode was actually kind of decent and did reveal something so at least it gave us that and didn’t just have a smack down for the whole episode. There are still so many questions but it did feel like it made some progress.

The Royal Tutor (Episode 10)

This week we finally get to the episode we’ve been waiting for and the reveal about Heine’s past. While nothing revealed here is mind blowing or changes your whole perception of the show, it is a nice reward after the build up and it fits in with the audience’s knowledge of the world. Also, some really great character moments fill this episode so it is kind of a delight to watch. Overall, this show is probably my biggest surprise from this season given how much I’ve been enjoying it.

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Okay, I Guess

The Laughing Salesman (Episode 11)

Business as usual here. Two people introduced and both get their five minutes of tragedy. I’d really like there to be just one story that went a different way just for the novelty factor but I’m still enjoying this easy going and formulaic show. The no surprises means it is fairly restful viewing.

Granblue Fantasy (Episode 12)

Despite this show having another episode, the preview has made it pretty clear next week is just an extra and that was the feeling I got the whole way through this episode. It felt like a finale. It didn’t answer a lot of questions, but we had all these characters come back, random new characters running into the fray, and a big boss fight. Pretty much a season end.

Grimoire of Zero (Episode 10)

Grimoire and Granblue are kind of battling it out to see which one is going to be the most mediocre fantasy show this season. Both have good ingredients and ho-hum execution. Granblue is losing at being more mediocre than Grimoire though because I actually kind of like the characters in Granblue. Then again, the magic in Grimoire is kind of cool, if only they spent more time on that.

WorldEnd (Episode 10)

Yep, this show has officially made me accept that it just isn’t going to be very good. The first episode is interesting enough and makes excellent use of music and visuals to draw you in to what should be a very interesting world and narrative. However, the rest of the series just hasn’t been able to match the emotional feel of that or actually make use of the interesting setting and plot that has been dropped on it. It all feels like we are going through the motions at this point and while this show remains pretty that’s about all I can say it has going for it at this point.

Akashic Records of Bastard Magical Instructor (Episode 11)

The show worked hard this week to pack some sort of punch but it just isn’t working on me given I’m really in a state of indifference toward the entire cast at this point. Possibly this episode will play out a bit better for those who have formed some sort of connection with the main characters but for me this was mostly just watching them build up to a series end and wondering if they’d be nice enough to actually kill off the main character.

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They Made This

Sagrada Reset (Episode 11)

I had to drop this show here. This show is on absolute notice given I spent almost all of this episode thinking I was done and that I was finally dropping it. I had no reason to want to continue. If not for the preview I would be finished with it. It is a sad state of affairs where I’m only continuing to watch because of thirty seconds of preview.

The Silver Guardian (Finished)

Apparently a second season of this is coming out next year (according to MAL at least) but to be perfectly honest I won’t be watching. This is an unresolved meander and a mess of ideas. It still could have been okay if it had managed to tie up any of its plot elements but it steadfastly ignored the actual plot right until the end and its final episode focussed on poor comedy instead of story. Oh well.

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Tried and Dropped

Alice & Zoroku (Episode 6)

Sword Oratoria (Episode 5)

Tsukigakirei (Episode 2)

Eromanga Sensei (Episode 2)

Armed Girls Machiavellism (Episode 2)

Sakura Quest (Episode 1)

Love Tyrant (Episode 1)

Clockwork Planet (Episode 1)

Time to start choosing the best and worst shows of the season. If you haven’t voted in my poll yet, please click the links above and have your say.


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Let the Voting Begin for Spring 2017

It’s been a season of sequels and some surprisingly pleasant anime that seemed to come out of nowhere as well as some incredibly generic fantasy but as we close in on the end of the season it is time to decide which anime have been the best and the worst of the season.

 

This is the reader’s poll and the winning anime will be announced late in July (poll closes July 9 to give the last few shows that are ending a chance to wrap up). Yes this poll includes shows that are continuing onto the next season and sequels and pretty much everything else. For the first time I’ve also allowed you multiple choices and a write your own title because I can’t remember every show that came out nor do I really want to write all those options into the poll.

First up, the best of spring 2017. Now this is not about technical best of anything like that. This vote is based on pure entertainment and enjoyment. So you, as the viewer, decide which anime you had the most fun watching this season and vote for them. If you’d like to explain your choice, please share in the comments.

And now, the worst of spring 2017. Once again, this isn’t about the technical proficiency of the animation or anything like that. Just which anime did you actually watch that you really wish you hadn’t. Please do not just vote for a title that has been given a lot of grief. You need to have watched the anime to know how bad it is and how painful it is to watch in order to vote for it here (though if you got half-way and gave up that’s a reasonable effort).

Thanks for your votes and please remember to share this post.


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Spring 2017 Week 10

We’re getting close to the end for some of these shows and I’d love to know which ending you are most looking forward to. For me, I’m actually just kind of sad that I’m going to have to wait on some of the endings because I may or may not get to see them while travelling. That said, the ending will make or break a few of these in terms of where they end up in my final list for the season so let’s hope they end well. Please share your thoughts on the season in the comments.

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Must Watch

Kado: The Right Answer (Episode 9)

I suggested that this show needed to be in a higher category last week (not that I have one) and after episode 9 I firmly believe this anime really is in a category of its own. The enjoyment is different from something like My Hero Academia and Natsume Yuujinchou. It is telling a story and there are characters (and these are both very good), but it is the ideas behind the story and the characters that make it utterly compelling.

My Hero Academia Season 2 (Episode 24)

Another rapid fire series of clashes and we’re heading for the final of the tournament next week. Probably just as well, as they’ve probably milked as much development out of these match ups as possible and while its been amazing I’m glad they aren’t stretching the friendship. Even as the tournament wraps up though this show presents a new conflict incoming so at least we won’t be left at a loose end once the tournament ends. My Hero Academia showing it is keenly aware of the short attention span of most of us these days and is happy to keep us entertained.

Natsume Yuujinchou 6 (Episode 9)

Natsume did not get any worse, it’s just My Hero Academia has been getting stronger and stronger and Natsume is more of a consistent and relaxing joy. Comparing the two shows is insane given how vastly different they are in tone and style and yet I’d have to admit that right now I am definitely more eagerly anticipating the next episode of My Hero Academia, even while I’m convinced that long term Natsume will be the show I come back to more often for re-watching. This week’s episode was back to Natsume episodic formula and it worked well.

The Eccentric Family Season 2 (Episode 9)

Seems my wish for more Benten and Nidaime will be answered with where this seems to be heading. Episode 9 was fantastic and we see a lot of the story lines starting to converge in a fairly intriguing manner which may or may not explode next week depending on how they choose to handle this current situation. All and all, I’m hooked and can’t wait for the next episode.

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Usually Entertaining

Attack on Titan Season 2 (Episode 11)

Attack on Titan is only still this high in the list because of how much I enjoyed the first half of this season. This second half belongs in the ‘Okay, I Guess’ section and this last episode doesn’t even make it that high with a lot of issues in both narrative and delivery. On balance, I’m thinking I’m going to end up feeling much the same about season 2 of Attack on Titan as I did about season 1. Wow, there’s some great visuals and emotions and some scenes are done superb, and wow, this story gets derailed pretty quick and they don’t know how to do pacing or characterisation.

The Royal Tutor (Episode 9)

I was less sold on this episode but this series has still be fairly entertaining on the whole. It wasn’t as though this episode was bad, more it just felt a little bit like they were purposefully delaying any kind of serious dive into Heine’s past. Possibly the events in this episode are more significant than that but it really felt kind of like a throw-away villain for the sake of having one more episode.

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Okay, I Guess

Sagrada Reset (Episode 10)

Much like Kado I’m starting to think this show needs its own category but it wouldn’t be above must watch. This one would be more out to the side of the list in a pile of shows where I have no actual opinion about whether they are good or bad until they finish because they might still go somewhere but meanwhile I’m hopelessly frustrated by it. Sagrada Reset, the show to watch if you like things that go around in circles and offer analogies in place of explanations.

The Laughing Salesman (Episode 10)

Another two stories and another two hearts… well I won’t say they’ve been healed but they’ve certainly been changed by the events that have befallen their owners. Moguro continues to dish out some interesting consequences to the deserving and undeserving alike and this story continues to be a bit of an oddity but kind of enjoyable for it.

Grimoire of Zero (Episode 9)

Grimoire of Zero is probably going to end up on my list for a show that wasted a lot of its potential. There are good moments and the world itself is fascinating but the story just doesn’t know what it wants to do and there’s too many ideas that just get shafted. I would like this show to be better than it is but while pretty it has rarely been above ordinary in terms of character or plot and unfortunately I’d rather watch something inconsistent than something I find kind of dull with occasional moments of entertainment.

Granblue Fantasy (Episode 11)

I’m no wiser as to what this show’s end goal is going to be, but this episode spends a great deal of time trying to make us care about Lyria and the bond between her and Gran, so maybe that’s actually important. As always, this show is watchable, pretty enough, stuff happens, but I’m not overly invested.

WorldEnd (Episode 9)

WorldEnd started so much higher on this list and now it seems to be in free-fall. the inconsistencies, the wasted time in each episode, the scattered focus, it is all starting to wear on me as a viewer so that even the moments that should hit the mark are starting to miss more often than not. I’m gradually losing my care factor about any of the characters in  this show and that is definitely not something that the show can afford given the story has been a meandering mess with a lack of clear direction.

Akashic Records of Bastard Magical Instructor (Episode 10)

What little goodwill this show had gained in the mid-season is rapidly fading as we’re regressing to cheap comedy and stereotypical character reactions. That’s not to say it still couldn’t work, but this episode was completely unappealing to me after two fairly ordinary episodes.

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They Made This

The Silver Guardian (Episode 11)

Not regretting the decision to move this down to this category. Episode 11 is just as much of a mess as the last four episodes have now been. That’s almost half a season of mess and if you count the first episode as well, we’ve had more mess than decent content and that is never a good sign for a series. To be honest I don’t even care anymore whether Suigin ever finds Riku Rei.

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Tried and Dropped

Alice & Zoroku (Episode 6)

Sword Oratoria (Episode 5)

Tsukigakirei (Episode 2)

Eromanga Sensei (Episode 2)

Armed Girls Machiavellism (Episode 2)

Sakura Quest (Episode 1)

Love Tyrant (Episode 1)

Clockwork Planet (Episode 1)

Which ending are you most looking forward to?


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If you like this site and you like what I do, consider becoming a patron.

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Thanks,

Karandi James.

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Spring 2017 Week 9

Alright, I wasn’t crazily looking forward to all the sequel seasons that came out this Spring but most of these have actually turned out to be pretty cool so it has made this season of sequels actually pretty fun to watch. I can’t say the same this week for a lot of the shows in the ‘Okay, I Guess’ category as a lot of them gave some fairly luke warm episodes this week. They were watchable, to be sure, but they didn’t do much else.  Let me know your current thoughts on the season below.

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Must Watch

Kado: The Right Answer (Episode 8)

Do I need a category above Must Watch? This show is making me consider that a possibility at this point in time. Episode 8 was fantastic, even the low point of the episode where we had some slightly off comedy contributed to the overall narrative and to be honest I’m just completely hooked on this. Must have the next episode.

Natsume Yuujinchou 6 (Episode 8)

That was so adorable. It’s been awhile since we’ve had a new yokai of the week with the last few episodes all bringing back a focus on already known characters. I really had a lot of fun with this episode and I’m kind of hoping  Aoi does come back in future episodes but its always hard to know which characters will return and which have come and gone. Anyway, Natsume continues to be utterly adorable.

My Hero Academia Season 2 (Episode 23)

Okay, one more episode like these last two and I may even move this above Natsume. This show continues to prove it knows exactly what its audience wants and it delivers it with gusto. It isn’t ashamed of its superhero and shonen tropes but fully embraces them and because of that it continues to be pure fun and builds on its strengths rather than trying to apologise for its own origin.

The Eccentric Family Season 2 (Episode 8)

Can Benten and Nidaime get their own show because I’d happily watch those two forever? Of course, Kaisei also made a great showing this week. Basically, I still love all these characters and they continue to be highly entertaining even as there seems to be no real point to anything that is going on. Maybe it will all come together, but even if it doesn’t, this one is more about the journey than the destination.

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Usually Entertaining

Attack on Titan Season 2 (Episode 10)

And down it comes again. This is more or less what happened with season 1. I got into it and really got swept away early on and then the story kind of suffered from pacing issues, lack of reveals, and problematic characters. Season 2 has not escaped any of these issues in its second half. Still very entertaining viewing, but it just doesn’t stand up next to something like My Hero Academia that goes from strength to strength with its characters. I won’t compare this to Natsume or KADO because that would be ridiculous but I know which next episode I’m more looking forward to.

The Royal Tutor (Episode 9)

I was less sold on this episode but this series has still be fairly entertaining on the whole. It wasn’t as though this episode was bad, more it just felt a little bit like they were purposefully delaying any kind of serious dive into Heine’s past. Possibly the events in this episode are more significant than that but it really felt kind of like a throw-away villain for the sake of having one more episode.

Sagrada Reset (Episode 9)

I’m thinking I’m going to have to move this further down. Entertaining isn’t quite the right word for it. Personally, I’m enjoying picking it apart and looking for clues and double meanings, but from an actual narrative point of view we’ve seen enough now to know it is kind of failing as a story. Plot, characters, and pacing are all full of issues and while the concept is kind of cool there’s only so long that will keep your story afloat.

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Okay, I Guess

The Laughing Salesman (Episode 9)

This week I wasn’t quite so caught up in  The Laughing Salesman, though whether that was because the stories lacked bite or because I just wasn’t in the mood I’m not sure. Overall though, this series is pretty consistent so still happily following along with this one.

WorldEnd (Episode 8)

There’s only so many shopping trips I can take watching in one series and WorldEnd has already exceeded its quota. For all the good ideas that keep me watching the show it has spent far too much time just waffling around and showing us cute girls being kids. I get that there’s meant to be a contrast for emotional affect but to be honest it just keeps dragging the pace down.

Akashic Records of Bastard Magical Instructor (Episode 9)

First inconsistent, now rushing through what feels like it should be a range of more significant plot points. This remains watchable and has some good ideas but I can’t say I’m overly enjoying the viewing experience at this point.

Grimoire of Zero (Episode 8)

Send out the assassins, I want them all alive. That kind of seems contradictory to me but I guess that’s more or less standard for this show at this point. I am actually enjoying this show but the plot is so incredibly contrived and the reveals are pretty much obvious so I’m struggling a little bit to take it seriously.

Granblue Fantasy (Episode 10)

Granblue continues its trend of watchable but not good. It would be really nice if I actually knew what the characters wanted to achieve for this series. Are we collecting pieces of the sky map, running from the empire, getting Gran to the island of the astrals where his father is, randomly helping random people, or is it all about saving Lyria? I don’t know and I don’t think the show does either.

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They Made This

The Silver Guardian (Episode 10)

There we go, it finally made it into this category. Each week for about three weeks I’ve been wondering what the writers were actually trying to do and now I’m more or less convinced that they’ve decided just to pull random actions and characters out of a hat and that’s the focus for the week. Okay, it isn’t that bad, but Suigin was barely on screen this week, Riku made no appearance but was mentioned, and we spent most of the episode with the random players we met a few episodes ago first mugging other new players and then being the victims of a mugging. I’m not sure what that contributes to the overall plot and to be honest I wasn’t that interested.

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Tried and Dropped

Alice & Zoroku (Episode 6)

Sword Oratoria (Episode 5)

Tsukigakirei (Episode 2)

Eromanga Sensei (Episode 2)

Armed Girls Machiavellism (Episode 2)

Sakura Quest (Episode 1)

Love Tyrant (Episode 1)

Clockwork Planet (Episode 1)

Which ending are you most looking forward to?


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If you like this site and you like what I do, consider becoming a patron.

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Thanks,

Karandi James.

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Spring 2017 Week 8

This week kind of didn’t go to plan in the real world at all so I’m thinking a lot of episodes this week will need a rewatch when I’m a little less distracted. That said, the Spring season is still going strong and I’m enjoying the shows I’ve stuck with. While the usually entertaining category has shrunk, mostly that’s because I currently have five must watch shows which is actually a record. Normally I have two or three shows that I am literally counting down the minutes to release and watching as soon as possible so having five in one season is pretty amazing.  Let me know your current thoughts on the season below.

yuri10d

Must Watch

Kado: The Right Answer (Episode 7)

That was a great follow up to episode 6 (I wish I hadn’t had to wait two weeks for it but it was pretty much worth it). This show continues to climb from strength to strength, introducing new ideas as needed and building on what has already been established. It all feels very logical and cohesive so far and hopefully they manage that through to the end.

Natsume Yuujinchou 6 (Episode 7)

With Eccentric Family picking up its game in this second half, Natsume might need to watch out. As much as I am in love with this series, not every episode is a gem, and this week’s offering was kind of average. Not the worst Natsume has offered in six seasons, but not exceptional either. While I still feel season 6 has overall been one of the better seasons of this show, going from strength to strength, it would be a shame to see the second half of the season to not finish on a high note.

My Hero Academia Season 2 (Episode 22)

Blown away this week. Literally. Just blown away. My review for episode 22 comes out tomorrow. I didn’t bother trying to cut it down. It’s 1000 words of gush. I loved this episode and following a couple of very good character episodes (even if we are watching a tournament fight that I don’t care who wins), this series is just getting better.

The Eccentric Family Season 2 (Episode 7)

That slightly more serious tone shift from episode 6 continued and this episode got dark. For a show about the daily life of a Tanuki just kind of seeking interesting experiences, this show really knows how to transition from those lighter moments to the more serious and it all makes the world these characters are living in feel a bit more grounded in reality even as they interact with supernatural creatures and use all manner of magical objects.

Attack on Titan Season 2 (Episode 9)

Attack on Titan this week delivered quite a lot of dialogue and yet so many characters were saying so many of the things I’ve wanted people to say to Eren for a long time, I just kind of loved it. Then again, on reflection, we know nothing new about anyone at the end of the episode other than the fact that Reiner’s grip on reality has really slipped and that Ymir has decided that teaming up with Eren is not in her best interest. Amazing how they managed to drag that out for twenty minutes without actually saying anything.

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Usually Entertaining

Sagrada Reset (Episode 8)

It is amazing how fun it is when you’ve felt like you’ve been kept in the dark and you’ve come up with all those possible theories and one of them turns out to be true. That doesn’t actually improve this show overall given there’s still a lot of issues, but that moment of satisfaction feels totally worth it right now and will keep me going a couple more weeks.

The Royal Tutor (Episode 8)

Kai’s episode is pretty slow and not overly great but continues the general tone and flow of this show so overall this show has been pretty entertaining this season. I’m really glad I started it and stuck with it after the first episode. I was very iffy about whether I’d enjoy this at all.

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Okay, I Guess

Akashic Records of Bastard Magical Instructor (Episode 8)

Inconsistent is probably going to be my major criticism of this show when I finally review it in full. It has its moments of greatness and pure entertainment but they are sandwiched inbetween some really ordinary to poorly executed ones. This most recent episode hit a bit of both and really just made it clear why this series isn’t exactly thrilling me despite having some half decent ideas.

WorldEnd (Episode 7)

And another show that inconsistent is probably the best description I can give it. The great moments are there but then there’s a lot of down time inbetween and I’m just not sure that overall this is entertaining so much as frustrating.

The Laughing Salesman (Episode 8)

This has continued on with pretty much the same tone. I’m enjoying the watch through of it and it is different from the other shows I’m still following so I quite look forward to each new episode. That said, it isn’t exactly going out of its way to be amazing. It’s just doing its thing.

Grimoire of Zero (Episode 7)

Episode 6 of this was quite interesting and episode 7 continues that interesting trend. I may even need to start moving this up the list if Granblue and The Silver Guardian don’t do something in the next episode or two. It would be nice if this show could have a strong finish. It still won’t be my favourite ever but it could certainly be entertaining enough if it goes somewhere interesting.

Granblue Fantasy (Episode 9)

The only reason Granblue Fantasy isn’t at the bottom of this list is because I like the characters more in this than the ones in The Silver Guardian. They don’t have all that much personality, but they are more likeable. Basically, this show continues to be watchable but pretty ordinary in every respect.

The Silver Guardian (Episode 9)

The downward slide of this show continues. That’s three episodes in a row that have been barely watchable. Any remaining curiosity I had about how we get to what we saw in the first episode has pretty much been killed off. If this doesn’t do something interesting next week I’m almost positive I’ll have reached my limit on this one.

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They Made This

Nothing this week.

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Tried and Dropped

Alice & Zoroku (Episode 6)

Sword Oratoria (Episode 5)

Tsukigakirei (Episode 2)

Eromanga Sensei (Episode 2)

Armed Girls Machiavellism (Episode 2)

Sakura Quest (Episode 1)

Love Tyrant (Episode 1)

Clockwork Planet (Episode 1)

Which ending are you most looking forward to?


Are you a fan of 100WordAnime.blog?

If you like this site and you like what I do, consider becoming a patron.

patreon

Thanks,

Karandi James.

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