Season’s Greetings: Winter 2016 Follow-up

Ok so I didn’t bother to watch too many shows this season, which means I had no idea just how many CG only, or CG heavy shows came this season.  Usually I think only 1 or 2 shows per season will go for the only CG look, but this season has least 4 I can think of at the moment and I’m probably forgetting a couple more.  So not only does this season not have many original series that sounded interesting, it has a lot of shows that look awful.  Also the show that most of the anime reviewers I like think is the best show of the season, Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu, doesn’t interest me in the slightest, but you might want to check it out.  Anyway let’s run down the shows I actually watched and see hoe they did in their first three episodes.

Ajin:  Ajin only has two episodes out but it’s been pretty interesting so far.  I’m not a fan of it being all CG, but I will concede that the CG is better than most CG I have seen, so it’s a bit more bearable.  The characters are in dire need of development at the moment but at least the show has been compelling after the main character is revealed to be an Ajin.  The special effects have mostly looked like shit due to the CG but I kind of like the way the weird shadow form of the Ajin looks.  So far it hasn’t been great but it has the most potential to be great of anything this season.

Boku Dake ga Inai Machi:  Boku Dake ga Inai Machi, or Erased, is arguably the best show of the season.  The story is interesting, the dialogue is solid, and so far the character interactions bring a lot of life to the story.  Since the story is mystery in genre not a lot has happened in the first few episodes, but it has not been boring the slightest because even if the action on screen is slow the main character’s mind is always racing and I commend the voice actor’s performance because he really does convey the blistering speed of the main character’s thoughts with his narration.  I have hopes for this show and so far it has not disappointed.

Dimension W: Dimension W is the other contender for top show of the season.  The scifi tech is mostly nonsense so far but it doesn’t really matter since the main character is the one mostly carrying the show so far and he doesn’t like the newfangled gadgets.  Mabuchi Kyouma, the main character, is amazing so far, he’s basically a mishmash of Jet, Hei and Kogami.  It has been a while since I’ve seen good “grizzled veteran” type of character so I’m happy with this guy.  The action is very fast paced and engaging, while the mysteries of New Tesla and the robot girl, hint a much bigger story than we’ve seen so far.  It’s a bit too early to say if this show will congeal into a compelling narrative or not, but either way it has my attention.

Divine Gate:  This show sucks.  I made it through three episodes because I liked the character designs, but I’m just fucking done with this show.  The all CG environments look fucking atrocious and when the characters use their powers they also go full CG, which looks hilarious because their movements are way too stiff and robotic to look natural.  The characters are boring, the supernatural elements are a nonsensical mess of mythology and random stories like the Wizard of OZ.  Normally I would find that interesting but it has no coherence at all and no overarching explanation that makes me buy into it.  And last but definitely not least is the sheer abundant edginess that makes the whole thing so unrelatable.  I mean for fuck’s sake I liked Akame ga Kill, which a ton of people hated for being too edgy, and this show is too edgy for me.  Do not pick this one up if haven’t started watching already.

Gate Season 2:  I initially said that this season of Gate was just like the first season and I hate myself for doing so.  So far this season has pissed me off more so than entertained me, and some of the new characters are such one-note stereotypes it fucking hurts to watch.  Granted Gate was never exactly a high quality show but at least it used to be consistently entertaining, now it’s trying to add more dark and gritty elements to the story and it’s almost hilarious how badly they fit into this show.  If the show doesn’t improve a lot int he few episodes then I will drop it

Luck & Logic:  Luck & Logic will not be a great show.  Unless it has some serious tricks up it’s sleeves, I doubt this show will become anything noteworthy.  That said it is one of the more entertaining shows of the season and I have no plans to drop this one.  It should also be noted that this show has possibly the best CG in TV anime, and it’s not super heavy on the CG anyway.  The story leaves needs to start going somewhere soon because if we spend more episodes developing characters without moving he narrative forward, it could get boring.  I do have to congratulate the creator though for at least making the invincible main character a defensive type instead having him go full on Kirito style and just overwhelming all his enemies with swords.  I don’t expect much from this show but I don’t expect it to ever get really bad either.

Musaigen no Phantom World:  This show worries me a bit.  On the one hand the first two episodes were entertaining, and while I still don’t think the show will ever be great it looked it was going to be fun.  Episode three though was mostly pretty boring because even though it brought up an interesting concept, the character interaction just wasn’t there, the weren’t enough gags or character development to justify dedicating an entire episode to the concept of memories and how they define us and change.  Now I can see this show either trying to congeal into a narrative or just sticking to an episodic adventure and working either way.  That said I can see it failing either way too.  If the episodic episodes are not consistently funny/good, like episode 3 wasn’t, then this show will fall apart.  If, on the other hand, the show tries to tell an engaging story I would hard pressed to imagine the story would anything other than generic slice of life romcom with a supernatural slant because that’s what the show looks like.  I’m not saying it can’t be done, this is the same studio that did Kyoukai no Kanata, which looked roughly the similar to this show and still had an engaging story, but my gut says this story should stay away from any kind of serious narrative if it wants to succeed.



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