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Currently Watching (Fall 2017 Edition)

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  • #16
    Fall 2017 Simulcast Rankings: December

    Here is the final leader board for the Fall 2017 season. There's still one more episode of Yuki Yuna left that due to production delays and time slot unavailability this week that the finale is a week later than all other shows. But in any case, here is the final leader board for the season.

    Touchdown
    The Ancient Magus' Bride
    Food Wars! The Third Plate
    March Comes in Like a Lion 2nd Season
    Welcome to the Ballroom
    Inuyashiki Last Hero

    Field Goal
    Blood Blockade Battlefront and Beyond
    Girls' Last Tour
    Recovery of an MMO Junkie
    Blend S
    Himouto! Umaru-chan R
    Our love has always been 10 centimeters apart. (Promoted)
    Yuki Yuna is a Hero Washio Sumi/Hero Chapters (Promoted)

    Kino's Journey: The Beautiful World -The Animated Series-

    First Down
    Konohana Kitan
    Just Because!

    Altair: A Record of Battles
    Anime-gataris
    Code:Realize
    Love is Like a Cocktail

    Punt
    Cinderella Girls Theater 2nd Season
    UQ Holder!

    Fumble
    ​​​​​​Taishou Mebiusline: Chicchai-san
    Onyankapon

    And here are three shows that have gotten better and worse since last month.

    Rising

    Konohana Kitan - This show has gotten much better after a lackluster beginning as character development begins and the adventures become amusing. It has settled into a groove, which is exactly what this show needed in order to become really good as while it has been enjoyable, it was missing something.

    Just Because! - While the show made a solid first impression, the show had just been going all over the place. But these last few episodes things are well focused on the matter at hand and not doing anything to stray from that path.

    Yuki Yuna is a Hero Season 2 - The show goes onto the true sequel of the first season, and boy what a difference it makes not knowing what exactly is going to happen unlike with the Washio Sumi chapter. The drama simply is great down the stretch, and that's making all the difference.

    Falling

    UQ Holder! - The last arc was just an adaptational mess cramming in everything it could possibly do so that it would make substantial progress into the manga. It should have been a two cour series given how comprehensive the manga is, but it's simply an advertisement more than anything.

    Code:Realize - While this show has the style, something that had been lacking in shows like this, its substance begins to falter late in the series as it rushes through the ending all while lacking the comprehension and development that the first half has.

    Anime-gataris - This has more to do with the fact that it leaves a bunch of stones unturned in the end more than the content being bad itself. Nevertheless, it's an entertaining show, just one that is nothing more than a wall-breaking comedy.
    MyAnimeList | Avatar: Lecia Ivyred, The Rising of the Shield Hero
    Watching: Kyo Kara Maoh, Pokemon Sun and Moon, Toonami Stuff
    Simulcasts: FTL, DRO, CQK, RSH, AOT, BSD, FRB, OPM, KYB, FGN, SKS, MLA, SMT, HBS, KOT, MIX, WNL, KMA, FIL, IDM, ISQ, SRG, STW
    The only thing better than anime is sports. Get hit hard and you got JACKED UP! Or else it's a C'mon Man!

    Comment


    • #17
      Top Anime of 2017

      My Top Anime mentioned throughout this post is updated at the time of this posting and linked in my signature.

      01. Made in Abyss (A) It's a good sign when I have to start comparing something to Hunter x Hunter. The initial premises don't necessarily sound that similar, but they both introduce you to a richly detailed original world full of potential for the greatest sense of adventure that the bright-eyed children in the leading roles could hope for. And in both cases, all preconceptions are utterly shattered by the most brutally unforgiving realities that await them behind every corner. It even stars a boundlessly optimistic protagonist excitedly leading the charge into the increasingly bleaker darkness that constantly tests the psychological breaking point, alongside a boy who operates more as a realist and is powerful enough to save the day in many situations, voiced by Mariya Ise no less. The key animation is spectacular enough when it wants to be, but the backgrounds are truly in a league of their own, capturing the intense wonder of this well-realized world in breathtaking beauty. Kinema Citrus had Barakamon and that was a good show, but this is on a completely different level. Surprisingly, the music from Kevin Penkin, an Australian composer younger than me, is one of the highlights of the series, so haunting it's powerful and so powerful it's haunting. The writing is always chilling, often poignant, and occasionally profound. With essentially fourteen tightly-packed (but never rushed) episodes and a second season on the way, this is easily the greatest and therefore the most unfortunate Anime Strike exclusive. My #18 anime of all time.

      02. Gintama. (A) It's hard to believe an entire season of Gintama covered only a single arc, and a very serious and intense one at that. There is always some comedy, but to go through a new season of Gintama with no episodes primarily focused on it does feel a bit wrong. Fortunately, everything is still top-notch, regardless of where on this vast spectrum it falls. If the final arc is similar, I hope at least it's so incredible that the lack of any comedic focus isn't an issue, but considering how long it's been going for in the manga, I bet it has a bit more of that iconic comedy to help close it out. For the last real arc that isn't extremely long, Gintama still manages to be the best shounen action show around, despite its position as a comedy first. My #27 anime of all time.

      03. Owarimonogatari 2nd Season (A) Of course there's more coming. It's clear at this point that the Monogatari Series will never end, and considering how successful the anime is, I can't blame Shaft for continuing to adapt every bit of it that NisiOisiN endlessly puts out. But this is all the ending we need. As the series grew longer and longer, the idea of an ending that felt properly conclusive seemed impossible. One that tied together every seemingly independent thread strewn across this mess of a series wasn't even something I had considered. And yet, in only a few episodes, this accomplishes that unimaginable feat deftly and absolutely. I don't really care what comes after this. I'll certainly be watching it, it will probably be fun, and perhaps some of it will even enter greatness. But this is the ending I didn't think I'd ever get, and I don't see myself accepting anything else as one in the same way. Please prove me wrong again! My #28 anime of all time.

      04. Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu: Sukeroku Futatabi-hen (A) Any fears I may have had that this season would merely be very good and not on the level of the first season now seem laughable as the sequel has blown away not only all expectations but its predecessor as well. The life we followed the first time around is still extremely relevant the entire time, and as different as Yotaro is, he is more than worthy to star as his student, truly living up to the name of Sukeroku and combining his own master's teachings with all of his other influences and life experiences to transcend any box that he had been put in. Seki's performance is one of the finest of any seiyuu in any anime. The final two episodes are wonderfully bold and unexpected in completely different ways from each other, with the finale ultimately tying everything up so perfectly that I almost can't believe it. And while the OP of the first season was unique and great in many ways, this one's is so brilliantly haunting that I could've gotten my expectations for the season up just from seeing that. As it turns out, it's just as indicative of the story's direction as my highest hopes would've guessed. My #31 anime of all time.

      05. Boku no Hero Academia 2nd Season (A) The heights that this season reached are so far beyond what seemed possible from its predecessor that it was a thrilling couple of cours to experience, and makes the fact that this one also ended with an announcement for the next one infinitely more exciting than it was last time. I love how quickly we keep getting seasons, especially since it hasn't seemed to compromise any of the fantastic pacing or production quality so far. This season speeds through several arcs packed with juicy content, with no single development lasting more than an episode but plenty of time to create immense growth for so many members of the enormous cast. This usually coincides with wonderfully choreographed animated action sequences, displaying the best work of Bones since the two Fullmetal Alchemist adaptations. Hayashi's powerful score combines with his previous work to quickly move him up the list of best anime composers. This season also builds on the antagonistic side and the larger overarching plots enough to finally paint the picture of how it will be able to last hundreds of installments without seeming protracted. Now that it's moved from just a good show to one of the current shounen greats, I look forward to seeing how that all progresses in these seasons that we thankfully keep getting for now. My #33 anime of all time.

      06. Kizumonogatari III: Reiketsu-hen (A) While the Monogatari Series concluded its main story a little over halfway through the year, 2017 also began with the final piece of the origin story that we had been waiting the better part of a decade to see animated. Since Aniplex was able to release the US Blu-ray by the end of the year, I got to see it and include it in its rightful place on this list. As long as the wait was, this movie series has a level of animation beyond anything Shaft has accomplished on a TV anime schedule, and they get creative with their artistry in a way that actually feels fresh, unlike the standard style that has become a little tired as they've continued to churn out countless shows that look and feel virtually the same. This particularly inspired and beautifully executed visual style and spectacular direction finish one of the best stories from the series to give 2017 the two best pieces of the franchise yet. My #34 anime of all time.

      07. Natsume Yuujinchou Roku (A-) As has been the trend with Shuka seasons, this season once again starts to slip as it goes on, but in the end it's still Natsume, which has had such strong material to work with for so long that even a slightly less ideal adaptation isn't enough to keep it from being one of the best things airing all year. Its seasons tend to come in pairs (and I believe the second of at least some pairs have been announced at the conclusion of the first), so this will probably be the last one for a while, but every time it seems like the Natsume anime is over, it comes back after a few more years to top the seasons yet again. This season ends on a note that works as a strong enough conclusion to get through the next few years or so. My #41 anime of all time.

      08. Gintama.: Porori-hen (A-) Although it's the second new Gintama season we've gotten this year, the two could hardly be more different while still being distinctively Gintama. Not only the entire previous season but the last four months of its predecessor were focused entirely on big plot arcs building up to the final arc. Instead of continuing on the path that had been laid out, this one goes back to round up some forgotten stories that hadn't made it into the adaptation yet. This means stories lasting two episodes, and sometimes even single- or half-episodes, a focus on comedy, and some tender moments, but certainly nothing important enough to have been included before now. This was Gintama's bread and butter for hundreds of episodes when serious arcs were few and far between, and we need a little more variety than constant shounen battle antics provide. But as discussed above, even in its "serious arcs" Gintama always finds at least a few chances per episode to be hilarious like nothing else can even attempt, and even its more formulaic shounen action is still leagues above most series for which that has always been the bread and butter, so this breather full of inconsequential entertainment isn't as enjoyable as the heavy stuff of late. This is easily the worst season of Gintama. But it's still Gintama through and through, so while retrospection may reveal a sense of relative disappointment, the experience of watching it is still a great time. My #44 anime of all time.

      09. 3-gatsu no Lion 2nd Season (A-) Only halfway through its run, this sequel has already obliterated the highest expectations I had from the first season. Suddenly its explorations of depression are immensely more effective, and the growth of Rei's character is already one of the most rewarding character arcs in recent memory, despite still having such a long road before him. But Rei isn't even the emotional center anymore; this season introduces a bullying plot that hits harder and with more painful realism than anything it has covered before, and every moment is more poignant than the one before it. The story has more moving parts than ever, but it weaves them together effortlessly, even making the shogi-focused bits thoroughly engrossing. I couldn't be happier to have another cour of this series, and I look forward to it continuing to pull no punches. Who would've guessed that my top 10 of the year would have three Shaft productions? My #62 anime of all time.

      10. Natsume Yuujinchou Roku Specials (A-) I love that Crunchyroll has been getting more of the specials for its series lately, and just the first of these episodes is among the finest in the Natsume series, especially appreciated with no idea of when we'll get the next season. There's not much to say about it, because this is a particularly iyashikei installment of a show already known for that style.
      My #65 anime of all time.

      So yeah, 2017 didn't have a new #3 and a new #7 like 2016 did. Its highest was #18, which is below not only those two from 2016 but anime from 2015 and 2014 as well. But what it lacks in a list-topping hit it makes up for in quantity of excellent additions, not only the first year I've been able to fill up a top 10 with anime that I added to my Top Anime list but one with a few more than would've extended it past 10 titles, including Shokugeki no Souma: San no Sara and Mahoutsukai no Yome.
      Had it been licensed alongside its five-year-old predecessor so I could watch it, Uchuu Senkan Yamato 2202: Ai no Senshi-tachi probably would've been on there as well.

      And even for comparing it to 2016, those two anime that were far above everything else from 2016 were both movies, which means most of their release history occurred the next year anyway. Your Name premiered at Anime Expo 2016 well before any Japanese premiere, but got its main North American theater run in 2017, both in Japanese and English, premiering the dub that I got to review in probably the best thing I've ever written. It also got Blu-ray releases in not only Japan but most other regions with major anime markets, gorgeous both in video quality and collector's packaging, especially the Japanese release with one of the only 4K anime releases, and certainly the one that makes the most of its HDR. Koe no Katachi should've followed the same pattern, but for some reason it still remains unlicensed in North America, despite being released on Blu-ray elsewhere with another English dub from NYAV Post, and getting its own theatrical runs in the US and Canada. So even if all the proper 2017 premieres weren't enough, it was also the year that everyone finally got to experience Your Name and confirm that it is, in fact, that good.

      Oh, and 2017 does still have one list-topper; Forest Fairy Five is still absolutely the worst TV anime ever made.

      But what actually makes 2017 the most special for the history of anime is that the industry officially hit its centennial this year. There are seconds of Japanese animation that are believed to go back another ten years, but for professional productions, 1917 was the first year, and there were actually a great deal of titles released in just that one year. Some Japanese companies did celebrate appropriately, even setting up a streaming portal for the oldest surviving anime. Speaking of streaming, 2017 did introduce Amazon's unwelcome advance onto the territory that Crunchyroll treats with much greater care, leaving Fall 2016 the closest season to the ideal of having everything under one room, but by Fall of this year, Crunchyroll had regained most of its lost ground, thanks in no small part to its place on many production committees. If Sentai went back to simulcasting on Crunchyroll instead of Anime Strike (or HIDIVE), things would mostly be back to the best possibility, especially without Daisuki to worry about anymore. How that landscape will continue to change is anyone's guess, but I'll still voice my support for what Crunchyroll is doing above all else.

      Look forward to further discussions of these topics on the next episode of Fandom Post Radio (see links in my signature)!
      My Top Anime | Manga
      My Collection 1 | 2 | 3
      My FP Reviews | Twitter
      FPR Episodes | iTunes

      Comment


      • #18
        Post-Simulcast Report: December 16-31

        Here is the final Post-simulcast report of 2017, and while that is wrapped up, unfortunately the season has not thanks to production delays and the New Year's holiday that pushed the finale of the second Yuki Yuna season to this Friday. As usual, I will list simulcasts as completed here since they are now post-simulcast stuff, but I will put my evaluations for that show in a different post. In any case, I'll be getting to my usual end-of-the-year evaluations soon, though I'll admit it will take quite a lot of time to do since I have lots on my hands.

        Note that even though One Piece is still going on, I decided that since I finished the first half up until the time skip that I'll go ahead and do an evaluation for the series up through that point.

        Completed

        Sword Art Online the Movie: Ordinal Scale (and Offline): A-
        This is a well-done movie that does everything that made the Sword Art Online franchise popular without any of the major problems the TV series has. Reki Kawahara did an excellent job creating an anime-original story that fills in the gap nicely from the end of the second season, and it shows just how much effort and dedication he put into it. The movie has top-of-the-line animation, the story is nicely-constructed, the bad guys are an complex characters and not one-dimensional like in the ALO and GGO arcs, and the show has lots of surprising twists and turns that make it go. That said, it's not perfect as this show is more about those guys and not so much about Kirito and company, all while there is a lot of unsettling things at the end. But in all, it's a must-see movie for SAO fans.

        Hiiro no Kakera (1-12): C+
        With this show's roots of an otome game, not much was expected. However, this show manages to keep my interest as the characters are interesting, an intriguing story is being built up, and the show adds some really nice elements such as the first person segment in the episode previews. That said, the plot's execution is terribly off in several places in this season, especially in the beginning where so much doesn't get explained and things get thrown right into the middle of the conflict, all while the animation is off. That said, this show does what an otome game adaptation is supposed to do in building the MC the right way.

        Future Card Buddyfight DDD (47-51): C-
        The first two seasons were very good, but this season is a huge step down for a number of reasons. First of all, Drum is gone, and he was such a great characters and a huge part for the show. Second of all, the new characters are just downright annoying, especially Drum's replacement Bal, Ozon B, and Dai. The only worthwhile new character is Gaito as he adds quite a lot to this series. And then there's the overall story that just doesn't have far-reaching implications as the first two seasons. That said, there were some things I like from this season in that Kyoya is back as the main villain, and Tasuku plays a much bigger role this season, all while the new game mechanics are really interesting.

        Gatchaman Crowds (1-12): B
        This is a solid twist on the famed Tatsunoko franchise as while it has the Gatchaman name, it's more of a comedy than it is an action show. The characters are really lively, especially the MC, the animation is nice, and the antics are really amusing. That said, this show has some problems with the story as it just wasn't clear what was going on most of the time, all while there was just way too much focus on the MC and the villains that the rest of the cast didn't get a good chance to stand out. In all, it's a fun adventure show, and while being familiar with the Gatchaman series is a plus, it's not required.

        Wakaba Girl OVA: B-

        Waiting in the Summer OVA: B


        Chaika: The Coffin Princess (1-12): B-
        This show is by the same guy who did Scrapped Princess, and while the adventure part is nicely done with the twists and turns, this one is just an inferior imitation. The show does a nice job with the action, while the storywriting has a number of interesting twists and turns in it, but in the end it's just making itself look like Scrapped Princess more than anything.

        One Piece (493-516): A (thoughts apply to the series up through the time skip)
        This is just an amazing show that has everything that a Shonen Jump show is supposed to have, and it's no wonder why this show has lasted for 20 years with no signs of slowing down anytime soon. It has interesting characters, great humor, a well-told story, and pretty much does everything right to be captivating.

        Ongoing

        [GCM-C2] Gatacham Crowds Insight (0)
        [NAR-S] Naruto Shippuden (182-184)
        [PKM-SM] Pokemon Sun and Moon (32-35)
        [RAN-O] Ranma 1/2 OVA (1-3)
        MyAnimeList | Avatar: Lecia Ivyred, The Rising of the Shield Hero
        Watching: Kyo Kara Maoh, Pokemon Sun and Moon, Toonami Stuff
        Simulcasts: FTL, DRO, CQK, RSH, AOT, BSD, FRB, OPM, KYB, FGN, SKS, MLA, SMT, HBS, KOT, MIX, WNL, KMA, FIL, IDM, ISQ, SRG, STW
        The only thing better than anime is sports. Get hit hard and you got JACKED UP! Or else it's a C'mon Man!

        Comment


        • #19
          Fall 2017 Simulcast Reviews

          Now that I have finally watched the end of the last remaining simulcast of the season (which is unusual for the fall season, but three shows ended up having their final episodes air in the new year, of which I watched one of them), here are my reviews from the season. I am essentially cutting and pasting my final thoughts in the series threads, editing them to remove potential spoilers.

          Completed

          Recovery of an MMO Junkie: B+
          This show is a pleasant surprise as coming in, I was expecting it to just be another one of those MMO shows, but never did I think that it would involved the real world so much. That made it worthwhile as it's all about tying everything that happens IRL together and developing character relationships both in the game and outside. So the story concept and entertainment value is what makes this show such a pleasure to watch. That said, this show has some pretty big problems with the biggest ones being the animation quality and the fact that so many character relations that were started didn't exactly go far enough to be worthwhile. In the end, it was a great joy to watch.

          Welcome to the Ballroom: A-
          This show is a pleasure to watch with a nice story, strong character development, and excellent dancing action that is well-animated by IG. The chemistry and buildup are nicely done to go hand-in-hand with the dancing action. Just about the only major gripe about this show is the pacing as there are times it goes too fast, but in particular it dragged out during the two dancing competition arcs. In the end, it's a highly recommended show and a welcomed addition to the long line of great sports shows.

          UQ Holder!: C-
          This show is pretty much something that only Negima fans would appreciate as this show has a laundry list of problems that have dogged the Negima anime series as Ken Akamatsu can't seem to get something faithfully adapted. While closer to its original source than either of the Negima series, it still doesn't capture the full intent of the manga. Anyway, this show does have its great points as the animation quality is nice, the action is great, the story has lots of intrigue, and of course, the characters as they are an interesting bunch. But at the same time, this show has its fair share of problems with the biggest ones being the corner-cutting of the story, the amount of attention to fanservice, and the rushed pacing. It was a big mistake to have this done in only one cour given the way things play out in the manga, but they did make do with the limited real estate the show had and unfortunately, it meant not being able to tap into its full potential.

          Konohana Kitan: B-
          This is a solid feel-good show, not so much as something story-driven as the whole guests-of-the-week format really felt repetitive and stale. That said, the show was enjoyable for the cute characters, the antics, and the mysteries surrounding the guests, while the artwork was gorgeous to support the tone of the show. But at the same time, I was hoping for some character growth, but there wasn't a whole lot to go on, all while some of the main cast just were there and didn't really get any attention. In the end, it's a show that was well worth my time.

          Inuyashiki Last Hero: A-
          This is a show with some very high production values that make it great. The animation and action are great, all while the drama is what really stands out. But above all, it's the character portrayals where this show makes the grade as they are very interesting and complex, much more so than what is usually seen in anime. While great, it's not perfect as the one aspect where this show doesn't do so well is the plot progression as it does one thing, but seemingly forget about it the rest of the way. In any case, it's a show that was constructed very nicely to make for a quality time.

          Kino's Journey: The Beautiful World -The Animated Series-: B
          This remake has some pretty big flaws that make it an inferior product to the original series. This show does some great things much like the original series in that the atmosphere is nice and the stories that are all self-contained do a great job in the adventure aspect. And then the animation quality is a nice upgrade from the original. That said, the one thing this show does that waters it down is that it gets away from Kino too much to focus on other characters and while that is fine for an episode or two, it does this way too much. Other problems is that the storytelling just isn't as strong and that the order of the episodes could have been changed up. But in the end, it's a solid product that does an excellent job in capturing the nostalgia of this series, just not a desirable one given the bar the original series set.

          Altair: A Record of Battles: B-
          This show was a mixed bag as some parts of the manga were well-adapted while other parts, not so much. The middle part of the series is especially well done, but the ending felt really rushed. There were plenty of good things about this show while others not so good. It has a strong MC, great animation, a story concept full of intrigue, and excellent drama that made this worth watching. However, the biggest problems are the pacing and the way the show handles the large cast as characters were being introduced too fast to keep up with them while a number of characters that are supposed to be relevant were seemingly forgotten. And on top of that, the show got way too comprehensive to be easily understood. That said, it's a solid show with some great storytelling, but not one that's for everybody.

          Code:Realize: C+
          This show was better than I was expecting for something adapted from an otome game that usually ends up being a mess more often times than not. While it was watchable, it still has lots of flaws that are typically associated with this kind of show. As for the good things about this show, it does a great job with the setup, and it is full of intrigue and complexity that makes this something to keep on watching, the character designs are great, and the characters are an interesting bunch. That said, this show does a subpar job in execution of the story, all while the MC starts going down the path that's the biggest problem with otome game adaptations, and not to mention some of the supporting characters barely get any attention and development. In the end, this show would have been better if it got two cours, but it had to compromise to get everything to fit into a one cour show as the game was well-received, but adapting it into this anime was going to be extremely tough with only one cour to work with.

          Blend S: B
          This show is a whole lot of fun to watch as the comedy is great, the characters are nice, and the slapstick humor really works for the most part. The animation is another great job by A-1 as they deliver on their reputation once again. The show was not without its faults with the biggest ones being the tendency for the humor to get repetitive, and that some of the characters get largely ignored (more specially, Miu and Hideri), while the stuff between Maika and Dino got pretty old. In any case, it was a superb time watching this.

          Blood Blockade Battlefront and Beyond: B+
          This season is more of the same from the first season, which is a great thing. The entertainment value is greater than the first due largely to the Libra guys getting a lot more focus to showcase how awesome they are, but at the same time the storytelling takes a hit as there's very little upwards movement. So those two things pretty much counteract each other putting this on par with the first season. Other than that, this season continues to do what the first season did so well with the amazing action courtesy of the reliable Studio Bones, a great soundtrack, and a goofy atmosphere that made it such a pleasure to watch.

          Girls' Last Tour: B+
          This is a fun and amusing show that hits all the right buttons, and doing all this in a desolate environment just adds to the atmosphere of the show in a unique way. There was never a dull moment in this show as the two girls find amusing ways to do stuff in a place that's otherwise depressing. The animation is nice to go along with everything. Just about the only major issues are the show's tendency to be repetitive, and the fact that a story was established and never seemed to be moving forward. In any case, it was a nice show to watch in the end.

          Anime-gataris: C+
          This is quite a fun show that is best enjoyed not expecting anything groundbreaking out of it because it sure did deliver on the comedy, and not much else. There's interesting characters, amusing references, wall-breaking, and lots of crazy humor that carry this show, but that's essentially the show in a nutshell as there's just nothing about it that makes it more than a feel-good show. In any case, it was a fun ride to be had.

          Himouto! Umaru-chan R: B
          This show continues to be funny and a great pleasure to watch. The humor isn't as good as the first season, but to make up for it the season is more focused on the characters rather than focusing on Umaru's otaku habits. That made for a richer story that isn't so one-dimensional like the first season is, and as such it works out better than in the first season. Other than that, it pretty much retains all the good and not-so-good things from the first season in that the characters are great and the humor is awesome, while things can get really cringeworthy at times.

          Taishou Meibusline Chicchai-san: D
          There were amusing moments to be found in this short, all while the guys are pretty interesting characters themselves. That said, it tried to craft some sort of a story, and with the short runtime that's impossible to do, thus it predictably fails. The animation quality is also as expected out of shorts all while some episodes were just lacking. But in all, the characters were the main draw and this show at least does a nice job in making them interesting.

          Onyankopon: F
          Simply put, everything was simply abysmal in this short with terrible animation quality, and all sorts of nonsensical and nauseating stuff going on that's repetitive. Just about the only thing worth watching are the dances as those are nice to listen to. But other than that, there's nothing worthwhile.

          The Idolm@ster: Cinderella Girls Theater season 2: C
          This season pretty much is the same as the first season in terms of what's great and what's not. The characters are cute, the humor is nice and sometimes it's not, and it is something that those who enjoy the franchise will appreciate while others, not so much. Being a short makes it worthwhile to watch.

          Love is Like a Cocktail: C+
          Given the short runtime this show has, it gets the job done being amusing in all sorts of ways. Chisato's antics are cute and amusing, all while it changes things up with different situations and stuff. That said, the humor is mostly repetitive, all while the supporting characters don't really get as much focus as I would have liked. But in all, it's worthwhile spending a few minutes watching this every week.

          Just Because!: B-
          This show was a solid romantic drama that has a nice premise, solid animation, and an amazing soundtrack. It does a great job in giving characters depth, all while the drama was nice to watch. That said, this show took quite awhile to get itself established as there were too many characters to keep track off, all while it the lack of clarity made it hard to get into at the beginning. It started out being way to complex for its own good, but midway through things get simplified in a big way as it was clear what each character was dealing with at that point. In all, it's a solid show, but one that could have certainly been written better, especially at the beginning.

          Our love is always 10cm apart.: B
          This is a straightforward romantic drama that does a nice job in telling a story by getting straight to the point and never getting too overly complicated. Character development is pretty good al while the show accomplishes what it set out to do. That said, this show pretty much doesn't do anything that's over-the-top to stand out against several other slice of life shows, all while the story is pretty predictable and not exactly doing much outside the box. In all, it's a nice show, and certainly one where if you enjoyed the other stuff in the HoneyWorks series, then this one is another show worth watching.

          Yuki Yuna is a Hero season 2: B
          This show has a pretty good story to follow up a great first season, but the execution just felt off as it did a rather poor job mixing in the happy times with the more serious ones. This season has more serious moments, and too many of those happy time antics just felt out of place. Not to mention, here wasn't as much action aside from the end and the Washio Sumi stuff, which is what really carried the first season. That said, the drama is great, the visuals are nice considering Gokumi's less-than-stellar reputation, while the story couldn't have been more appropriate to follow up something that seemingly ended in a way where there couldn't possibly be any more, but the execution was something that could have been handled better.

          Ongoing

          The Ancient Magus' Bride: A+
          This show does just about everything right as the story is well laid-out, character development is tremendous, animation is top-notch, the soundtrack is great, and the adventures are all well-laid out. Everything is clicking on all cylinders as it sets the foundation in a great way.

          Food Wars! The Third Plate: A+
          This show continues to do everything that makes Food Wars so amazing in that Soma continues to always come up with a way out of a bad situation. But this season changes that in a big way as there's a big evil menace out there, and that sets up the stage for lots of character development to happen. So far, it has been the spark for some major development, all while the action and visuals continue to be top notch heading into the second half this spring.

          March Comes in Like a Lion season 2: A
          The story picks up very nicely from where the first season ends. This season, the focus is more on Hina rather than Rei as while his character development is the main draw of the series, the side characters needed some more attention as well, and this does a tremendous job at that. The drama continues to be off the charts as well.
          MyAnimeList | Avatar: Lecia Ivyred, The Rising of the Shield Hero
          Watching: Kyo Kara Maoh, Pokemon Sun and Moon, Toonami Stuff
          Simulcasts: FTL, DRO, CQK, RSH, AOT, BSD, FRB, OPM, KYB, FGN, SKS, MLA, SMT, HBS, KOT, MIX, WNL, KMA, FIL, IDM, ISQ, SRG, STW
          The only thing better than anime is sports. Get hit hard and you got JACKED UP! Or else it's a C'mon Man!

          Comment


          • #20
            Reviews of Ongoing Shows: End of 2017

            This past spring season, I decided to end the final review post which looks at shows that are ongoing. Part of the reason is because I got too lazy and found it too much work. But above all, I was finding myself writing these reviews for long-running shows that I only watched a few episodes for, and I found that to be too tedious. Not to mention, there are several other shows that I would write a proper review for in the following season. So I decided that I would write a review for ongoing shows at the end of the year instead. There are only six such shows that are ongoing post-simulcast shows or long series that I haven't written reviews for at any point since the end of the winter 2017 season, and that saves quite a lot of trouble for me. So with that, here are my ongoing shows that I am writing reviews for. The grades are only applicable for the episodes that are covered and not for the entire show as a whole.

            ​​​​​​Dragon Ball Z Kai: The Final Chapters (1-38): A-
            This is the Buu saga, and watching Kai is a much better alternative to watching the dragged-out DBZ show with upgraded animation quality and proper pacing. The Buu Saga has been slow to develop, but nevertheless it's a pretty intense story going on with great action to support the strong story.

            Fate/Apocrypha (1-12): B-
            So far, this show has some great things going for it with interesting characters, a curious setup with two factions battling each other, solid animation as while A-1 is not as in-tune to the franchise as Ufotable they are reliable, and lots of mystery to build the intrigue. That said, this show has some major flaws with the direction of the story being the biggest problem. It seems to me that they are letting stuff happen without sufficiently building things up. And the other problem is that some of the characters are so unlikable that they ruin the enjoyment of the show, and while having bad master-servant pairings are common in this franchise, this season takes things to the extreme and not in a good way. In any case, I'm going to continue this show once the second half comes out on Netflix.

            Hunter x Hunter (2011) (33-76): A+
            This show has been absolutely perfect as it's all about an adventure with a long-standing goal, and the show has not strayed from its endgame of Gon reuniting with his father. Along the way, the show has had some tremendous character development, none more in these episodes as Kurapika during the Yorknew City arc. It helped that it's a remake that came out after the manga was completed, and it made for the show to reach its full potential. These episodes cover the Yorknew City and Greed Island arcs.

            Naruto Shippuden (134-184): B+
            These episodes cover up until the end of the Pain arc and into the filler arc taking place during the original series. The overall story continues to be tremendous, but the show's pacing has been painstakingly slow that gets exacerbated with the amount of filler content. That said, the canonical material is nicely written and while it would have helped if it moved faster, the impact is tremendous.

            One Piece (1-516): A
            This is show is simply amazing as it does a lot of things right to make this show such an enjoyable experience. The characters are a fun bunch, the action is great, and the story is full of quirkiness, and the show has some tremendous character development going on. But above all (at least for the pre-time skip parts), the story keeps on moving while keeping fillers to a minimum. In all, this is a show where I just want to keep on pressing forward as the production is well-done. These episodes cover the entire story up until the time skip.

            Pokemon Sun and Moon (1-35): C-
            This season of Pokemon has been pretty bad largely because the animation quality takes a huge hit after it peaked for the XY series. The format has changed where instead of Ash going around the land and challenging gym battles to get into the region's league, Ash is going to school and staying pretty much at school and going on field trips. This show just changed way too many things that made Pokemon what it has always been and for the most part I didn't like what came from them.
            MyAnimeList | Avatar: Lecia Ivyred, The Rising of the Shield Hero
            Watching: Kyo Kara Maoh, Pokemon Sun and Moon, Toonami Stuff
            Simulcasts: FTL, DRO, CQK, RSH, AOT, BSD, FRB, OPM, KYB, FGN, SKS, MLA, SMT, HBS, KOT, MIX, WNL, KMA, FIL, IDM, ISQ, SRG, STW
            The only thing better than anime is sports. Get hit hard and you got JACKED UP! Or else it's a C'mon Man!

            Comment

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