Monday, May 23, 2016

Spring 2016 Mid-Season Anime Round-UP

While I may have been behind on nearly every post in the past fortnight (um, extenuating circumstances?) this one actually isn't! I know that most folks put these mid-season reviews out last week but I wanted to make sure that every show I was watching had a full seven episodes out so here I am and here's what's made it along with me!

Falling into the "unceremoniously dropped" category we have quite a few shows this season. The Bungo Stray Dogs drop was expected (since the manga hadn't really been my thing) but I also ended up dropping Kumamiko, Haven't You Heard? I'm Sakamoto, and Joker Game. Kumamiko and Sakamoto turned out to have a real mean streak running through them, almost all of the Kumamiko jokes were "look at this country bumpkin!" and Sakamoto felt like he was both conscientiously (okay) and meanly fucking with everyone which left a bad taste in my mouth (plus, there was a static quality to a lot of the work and it was to the point where even I could tell that it must be copying the manga almost panel for panel). Joker Game just wasn't interested in fleshing out it's characters at all and so between that and plots that were only one episode long (it's pretty hard to have a full, tense story in just 22 minutes) I just didn't engage with it.

In a state of limbo is Twin Star Exorcists (there are rumors that it will be a full year and the manga doesn't have nearly the material for it so I've backed off from the show for right now), and both Ushio and Tora and my backlogged shows since I just haven't had the energy to watch anime during the week. 

For "much better than expected, no really this is good!" I have two of the more popular shows of the season, Kiznaiver and My Hero Academia. I actually expected MHA to be a bit mean-spirited so I'm happy that I was wrong there, although by now it's painfully obvious to this anime-only viewer that the story is stalling so that it can end in a good place and the pacing is getting really really slow. It makes me wonder if the show had been approved for two-cour if it could have gone a little faster, as it stands the pacing is starting to kill the tension in some points. Kiznaiver is still a bit of a weird beast, a misfit teen comedy that openly acknowledges and embraces some of it's own cliches and yet still continues to use more cliches than new ideas, but now that the cast has started to gel together I'm really starting to like it. I also picked up Tanaka-kun is always listless, after not even touching on it for my seasonal round-up, but that show has grown on me too. I was told that the first episode wasn't the strongest and I'm glad I heard that and tried the second as well since the cast is mostly charming, although the romance/lack of serious romance is a little odd.

Finally, in the "I feel vindicated that these shows turned out great" section, Concrete Revolutio and flying witch are both as great as I hoped! ConRevo hasn't played out quite teh way I hoped (it is drawing some of it's threads together but it's had more episodic stories than I expected, I didn't realize there were going to be so many guest writers this season) but it's still been great and flying witch certainly makes me want to visit the Japanese mountains in the springtime, it's a lovely little show and I feel like it's jokes have gotten stronger over time.

Oh I suppose there is one more category, dammit I still can't watch this yet, for both Kumokuro and Macross Delta which continue to sound like shows I would enjoy. I'm wondering if the fact that Kumokuro is two cour will delay the Netflix release (I suspect so since they always drop a full season at once, I'm so tempted to try out a Japanese VPN and watch it on Japanese Netflix since I know it has English subs) and at this point I'm just trying to motor through my backlog first before adding Macross Delta into the mix. And as it stands this is a pretty full viewing schedule for me, sure there's nothign Monday-Thursday but I'm just so stressed on work nights that I don't really have a chance to watch anything anyway. One Friday, three Saturday, and one Sunday show isn't ideal but it's at least on days when I have a chance to sit down and enjoy stuff. 

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