New year, new season of anime, and a new group of finished series that people will either quickly forget having existed (Juuni Taisen) or will be relieved are finally done (Children of the Whales) so they can finish wasting their time waiting for these series to “get good” or were part of the select few that were good enough people will spend the upcoming months/years hoping for a sequel to be made (Houseki no Kuni). I hope to get to a proper look back at the best anime of 2017 soon; for today, we are focusing on the new anime that began airing for the Winter 2018 season.
Traditionally, the winter and summer seasons are considered the weaker seasons of the year with winter being the weakest overall. Outside of a couple obvious must-watch series it looked like the Winter 2018 season was going to follow the narrative and I would be able to do some catching up on my anime backlog. Then, as it has often occurred in the past, when I started watching the series I thought I would be able to write off, I discovered many of these series could not be so easily dismissed.
I don’t think I’ll find the time this season to tackle my anime backlog and I have the feeling that I still am missing a series from this season I should be watching. So, instead of asking the people reading this to recommend an old show, I’ll be asking which series I should be watching this season. Read on to see which three series the potential pick-ups.
Continue reading The Anime Recap Episode – # 6: January 2018
As the last bits of summer gave way to the falling leaves, October saw the ending of the summer season of anime and the start of the fall season of anime. I intended to be a proper anime blogger this month; I was going to watch as many of the new shows as possible and write first impression posts of them. It’s been a long time since I last tried to watch more than a cherry-picked group of new shows at the start of a new season and I kinda missed that feeling one gets when realizing they’d stumbled upon a terrible new anime series. I was only partially successful, as the almost month long lack of posts can attest to. I did get to watch a large number of the new series – I’m currently watching 22 – but, the time to write about these series dried up this month as I discovered that rereading the first two books of Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive was as engrossing as the first time I read them. I thought knowing what happens would have allowed this second time through to be a more relaxed reading experience but I was wrong. There were a long string of days that I lost 1 – 2 hours of sleep a night because I couldn’t stop turning the pages. Oh well, maybe next time.
So, this is my first chance to talk about the new season of anime and I have a lot of ground to cover.
Continue reading The Anime Recap Episode – # 5: October 2017
If asked, that would be how I would characterize this season so far. Look at this line-up: Noragami Aragoto, Haikyuu Season 2, Owarimonogatari, and One Punch Man – aka sequel to my #11 anime of 2014, sequel to my #5 anime of 2014, sequel to my #2 anime of 2009 ~ #7 anime of 2012 ~ #7 anime of 2013, and an anime that seems destined to finish at least in my top 10, if not higher for 2015. Sequels can be a bit touchy but all of these three sequels have started very strongly and seem set to be worthy additions to their respected franchises. Or looked at from another direction we have series from Bones, Production IG, Shaft, and Madhouse; we’re short just Kyoto Animation from being able to say this season has basically all the established top quality animation studios. (Waiting for the Sunrise fans to say something 🙂 .)
Continue reading This Might Be the Strongest Anime Season in a Long Time
Seven layer cookies, aka Magic Bars, are traditionally made up of seven ingredients that are laid down one at time into a cooking pan before being baked. The result is not a cookie with seven layers, but, if properly done, a cookie that has melded together into a very delicious treat. A good season of anime offers up many different types of shows that, when combined, sort of melt together and provide a satisfying experience to the viewer.
With the remaining series I’ve yet to cover, I thought I’d try to build a seven layer cookie of anime series and hope it would blend together into a first-rate treat. Of course, this wouldn’t be the best seven layer cookie that could be made with this season’s series because I’ve already covered many fine ingredients in earlier posts; but, I think there’s still plenty of noteworthy series left to choose from.
So let’s move to the first ingredient.
Continue reading Early Season Impressions: Spring 2015 – Seven Layer Cookies
People seem to have a love/hate relationship with sequels. Chances are if the sequel is to a show they watched and liked then the sequel is looked at with either happiness or cautious hope. If the sequel is to a show they did not like they complain about how sequels are killing creativity and anime in general. I think anime, as a whole, is better off that sequels are made over not having sequels; I just wish we’d get more complete stories as a result.
Sequels don’t normally rate too much attention in these impression posts because people pretty much know if they’re in or out by the time the sequel comes out; however, this season features a pair of sequels that are clearly outperforming their predecessors and I wanted to make sure I mentioned them. This also gives me a chance to cover a significant chunk of the series I’m watching this season.
Continue reading Early Season Impressions: Spring 2015 – The Revenge of the Sequels
I’ve over extended myself this season; there’s too many watchable anime series to catch that promise, minimally, that they will be worth the time invested. Of the 23 new series that I’ve watched, there is only one – Gunslinger Stratos: The Animation – who has earned enough enmity from me through it’s own incompetence that I’ve dropped it (gladly so, btw). At the same time, there seems to be only a few series with the chops to even attempt attaining the level of being “great” or the slightly lower “very good”. Further, there are only two series that have even a remote chance of pushing themselves up to the “exceptional” category.
Another aspect of this season is how few the number of surprises (good or bad) there have been. The last time I tried to predict which series were going to be the top series of the season (Summer 2014) I was only about half right and made several glaring mistakes. For this season I attempted the same thing and the list I drew up before the season started looks, four weeks in, to be very spot on. Yeah for me, but, boo for this season being so predictable. The high number of sequels, 8 out of the 22 non-dropped series, does play into this lack of surprises. (If the Lupin series does actually air starting in May the sequel number will be bumped to 9/23 or ~39% of the series for the season.)
That’s not to say there hasn’t been any surprises; there has been a few moderate ones and that might be the best place to start.
Continue reading Early Season Impressions: Spring 2015 – The Surprises