Season’s Greetings: Spring 2016 Follow-up

Hello everyone!  As I described in the first seasonal first impressions post this is a good season, lots of good shows to go around.  So now that almost every show has 3-4 episodes out, I’ll tell you a bit about the shows I’ve been watching.

Bakuon:  I initially didn’t pick this one up because it was just a “cute girl on motorcycles” moe show, and moe shows generally aren’t my thing.  But after being persuaded to watch it, I can wholeheartedly say that you, out there on the internet, show watch this show.  Bakuon is still a moe show and but it’s a really funny show, it’s full of wacky shit like a motocycle club senpai who just wears a helmet with a ribbon on it all the time, or how the main character’s training motorcycle straight up talks and she’s super dirty because “she’s been ridden by so many men” by her own admission.  This show will never be great but it will likely be entertaining if the current episodes are anything to go by, and I’m fine with that.  Seriously give this one a try.

Big Order:  This is a steaming pile of shit that I didn’t talk about in the prior first impression’s post because it hadn’t come out yet.  It has a main girl that looks like Gasai Yuno from Mirai Nikki, this show is written by the same author who did Mirai Nikki, but don’t let that fool you, it’s shit.  It has some of the worst CG I’ve ever seen, weird considering how much CG has advanced as shown last season.  The characters are boring as fuck and the main guy brings the term OP male lead to a whole new level.  And if that wasn’t bad enough the show is terrible with it’s music, like it has this upbeat shounen music during a scene that was supposed to be this big dramatic reveal, and it makes the scene look stupidly bad.  Literally the only cool thing about this show was the idea that the main guy caused the apocalypse when he was a kid and hasn’t really mentally recovered from that.  Skip this one.

Boku no Hero Academia: This already one of the biggest shows of the season and for good reason, it’s really good.  Sure, it’s a pretty typical shounen story but it’s the best kind of shounen there is.  The animation and character designs are great, and there’s tons of different super powers.  All Might is the most American anime character of all time and he’s cool, I like how he has a super skinny, sickly body when he isn’t using his powers.  And because this season is only supposed to be 13 episodes, there is no way it will run the risk of getting drawn out and boring like so many shounen shows eventually do.  Anyway, it’s been very impressive thus far and if for some reason you aren’t watching it already, start watching now.

Bungo Stray Dogs: This show is really picking up.  The first episode was fun but not all that impressive and same goes for the second episode, but episode three was a lot better.  We got to see more superpowers, met what looks like the main villain, and he’s pretty good, and we learned more character and plot details that will dictate the next few episodes and maybe even the entire show.  It’s certainly picking up and I see some major action in the show’s future, which I know I’m looking forward to.  I also love the way they animate the various superpowers and just the variety of power’s they’ve shown already.  Bungo Stray Dogs may have gotten off to weak start compared to the big name shows of the season, but it looks like it will only get better from here, you should probably watch this one.

Concrete Revolutio Season 2:  I’m honestly a little bummed by this show so far.  The first episode was fucking amazing, easily one of the best episodes of anything airing this season.  However the episodes that have followed have been a bit more middle of the road.  It’s still good, but episodes two and three felt very episodic which was weird since the first was clearly narrative driven.  In the first season the episodes started episodic and then were tied together in a larger narrative and it was awesome, so I’m a bit confused as to why episodes two and three did away with that for the most part.  The show is still good but I feel like it has a vision when it’s working on the narrative and it’s got a lot less vision, or maybe drive is the better word, when it does the episodic stuff.  I hope it gets back to the narrative and picks up again.

Endride:  This is truly god awful and for a while I didn’t know why.  See on anime charts this was categorized as an original show and it technically is, but it’s basically a tie in for some cheap, free to play iPhone game that came out at the same time.  Do Not Watch This Fucking Car Crash.

Joker Game: This has been one of major disappointments of the season.  It looked like it could been a smarter, more nuanced and more mature anime show but that’s not what we got.  What we got was a super heavy handed, bland, not at all mature or smart show about how spies are total badasses, except that they haven’t showed us how they guys are badasses at all.  I think I might give this show an episode or two more to pull itself together because I like the time period and the 1930’s look of the setting and characters, but thus far it has been boring.  I’d say skip this one, you aren’t missing much so far.

Kiznaiver: I just can’t get a read on this show at all.  The first episode was weirdly like a random Bakemonogatari OVA, the second was funnier but still a bit heavy on the drama, and the third was mostly boring until they revealed that the last guy was a masochist, which was funny considering all the characters have to share their pain.  It looks great, very good animation, decent character designs and the dialogue is pretty good too.  But the story just hasn’t coalesced into something at all so far, it just seems kind of aimless even though it clearly isn’t supposed to be.  Watch it if you want, but if it doesn’t get some direction soon I have a hard time seeing it get good.

Koutetsujou no Kabaneri:  This show is one the main contenders for show of the season and boy has it earned it.  The animation is super detailed, the overall look the of show is gorgeous.  The steampunk tech combined with feudal Japan was a great idea, and add a super zombie apocalypse and it’s great.  Beyond the visuals the show has a lot going for it premise-wise, the main guy is a much better version of Shingeki no Kyojin’s Eren Jaeger, and the super zombies are scarier than most of the titans ever were.  The only thing about this show that might bug people is how it starts with the drama and tension through the fucking roof, which is stylistic choice Tetsurou Araki, the director, seems to use a lot.  In case you don’t know Tetsurou Araki has directed Shingeki no Kyojin, Death Note and High School of the Dead, and all of those were jumped started to hook everyone early, and it usually hurt the show down the road.  I’m a bit worried that trend will hurt this show too, but so far it hasn’t happened.

Maiyoiga:  Maiyoiga is one of my favorite shows of the season.  It had a bit of a slow start but as of episode four it has gotten really good.  It will likely get super violent and gory, the director tends to  do that, it’s directed by the same guy who did Another.  It has a ton of characters and some of are way more insane than they appear.  In addition the hidden village the show takes place on is fucking with people’s heads and terrorizing people with these thunderous roars.  It looks set to be an exciting and messy show, do pick this one up if you haven’t watched it yet.

Sousei no Onmyouji:  You know most people this season will say Boku no Hero Academia or Koutetsujou no Kabaneri is the best show of the season and that’s totally fair, both are great.  But for my money, Sousei no Onmyouji is set to be my favorite show of the season.  Bear with me here.  It does have more potential to suck than the shows I just mentioned, and the third episode sort of shows how that could happen, it wasn’t very good, but the first two episodes were my favorite first two episodes of the season.  It does a lot of visual tricks, maybe too many flashbacks, but it makes the show look cool.  Like the outlines of the characters are black in the normal world, but they get same kind of red outlines the characters in No Game No Life had when they go to the demon world, and then the demons, holy shit they look hideous between the grainy texturing and the scratchy, jagged outlines they have.  Plus I just love the obscure and unusual lore and powers of onmyouji, and the show delivered there.  Plus they’ve done a great job of making the main characters similar enough to understand each other, and eventually get it on as prophesied, and still opposite enough to totally hate each other at the moment, they have similar power levels, undergo similar tragedies and had similar goals.  But then they react to trauma in opposite ways, Benio gets driven while Rokuro says fuck it I’m done, they’ve got the speed vs strength dichotomy down pat, and stuff like that.  I think they did a great job with action so far and while it has plenty of weak points, what it does well, it did so well that it won me over, even though I wasn’t even going to watch it first.  Watch this show.

 

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