There are various reasons that can convince me to try a new anime. Probably one of the most dubious reasons is because I picked it for my team for MAL’s Fantasy Anime League competition; I learned long ago that my tastes in anime don’t often jive with the best scoring series. I picked Mahou Shoujo Site for my team this season based on it’s high plan-to-watch number, did the numerous MAL users steer me to a good series or not?
The Spring 2018 season is here and there are plenty of anime series vying for attention. I’m not sure how many I can get to, but, there are a number of interesting (both in a positive and in a negative sense) new shows that I’d like to cover. The first is Gegege no Kitarou, a supernatural comedy shounen series produced by Toei Animation.
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.
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.
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.
You’ll have to forgive me if I’m a touch brief today, I got press-ganged into creating a holiday themed Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition module to play with my family tomorrow for our pre-Christmas party and I’m up to the point where representations of the three ghosts from A Christmas Carol ambush the party.
I’ve been looking over which anime series I’ve mentioned already and which ones I’d like to mention. One series that I’ve overlooked so far is the currently airing Shingeki no Bahamut – Genesis (Rage of Bahamut – Genesis).