Now that we are at the halfway point of the fall 2015 anime season, I thought it would be a good point to take stock of the anime scene such as it is. This will be a good way for you to see which shows have impressed since the first episode, and which might not be worth your time. I’ll also be telling you which ones I dropped and why, but I’m pretty sure you can guess the “why” on some of them. Like my first impressions these are simply my opinions as a fan, and I encourage you to add your voice to the comments below whether you agree or not. With all that out of the way let’s jump into the middle point of the season shall we?
Well the good news about the the bad parts of this season is that I’ve only dropped two shows. “Attack on Titan Junior High” and “Dance with Devils” were expected drops if you read my first impressions on them though. I really couldn’t deal with the reverse harem of “Dance with Devils”, but I’m sure there are fans out there that dig that kind of story. It’s not for me though. I can’t be as forgiving towards “Attack on Titan Junior High” though. Here was the clearest, laziest, and most poorly written cash grab from a popular series I have seen. It was after a couple episodes of this that I officially decided that I’m finished with AoT all together. I’m sorry if any of my readers are fans of the series, but if you can stay a fan of the franchise that handed you this show rather than a the next season then more power to you for being such a trooper.
There’s quite a bit of “meh” this season, but not for lack of trying. “Comet Lucifer” for example was a show I praised to the heavens for it’s animation and interesting characters. I specifically said that I was happy that the story was “slowly unraveling”, but now that we’re six episodes in I feel like maybe they’re going too slow. Then again I could just be spoiled by the break-neck pacing of “Noragami”, more on that one later. Still “Comet Lucifer” feels like it’s trying to be too many types of anime, and that leaves the experience rather jarring at times. I’m really not a fan of the incredibly one-dimensional villains in the show too, with their ability to be so evil they’d make a a career criminal blush. I’m sticking with this anime because I’m too far in to quit, and maybe in the next few episodes the story’s pace will pick up.
“Lance N’ Masques” lands itself in my meh category for similar reasons to “Comet Lucifer”. I enjoy the characters well enough, and I even find Yotarou’s “white knight syndrome” amusing. The problem lies in a slightly convoluted story. New characters are introduced at a whim, and the main villain seems to be a seriously misguided Chinese kid. After the first major storyline was over, the story seemed to peter out in terms of urgency. Now the greatest issue facing Knight Lancer is dealing with crazy Chinese kids, and maintaining the his disguise for Makoi. There’s still a whole half of a season left to go though, so there’s plenty of time for one last arc to round out the show. One last point of interest is, what is the deal with the horse (Shirohime)? Can she change to a girl at will? Why don’t the other characters seem to react when she does change on screen? Can the other character understand her when she speaks? It’s the Stewie from “Family Guy” questions all over again.
Last is “Heavy Object”, but don’t get me wrong I’m really enjoying this one. I like the Object battles, and the fan service isn’t so bad either (mini-skirt santa anyone?). The problem I’m having is in the plot repetitiveness, and all the ridiculous character exposition in the show. The first arc was fresh with Qwenthur and Havia going to save Milinda out of the kindness of their hearts, but since then their assignments have been ridiculous. Why send just two of them after a sea object? Why not send a couple teams with Qwenthur for direction, since he’s an engineer? Why send an engineering student, and a regular ground soldier to scout an entire forest? Do they not have scouts in their military? I know it’s silly to pick at anime logic, but if you don’t call a spade a spade (so to speak) you end up with lazy writing. The afore mentioned exposition by the characters (especially Qwenthur) is more of a mild annoyance.
The first show on this side of the season has to be “Noragami Aragoto”. I look forward to every episode of this show, though I also dread every ending since it usually ends on a cliffhanger. From episode one this show wasted no time in continuing the story from the first season, and it wasn’t long before this show had its first shocking death. This season of Noragami kept the contrasting art style, and it still looks fantastic. I was also impressed with the theme songs for this season, but then the first season also had an excellent soundtrack. The first arc seems to have concluded in these first six episodes, which does make me curious as to where it’s going from here. If the second half is as good as the first one though, then it’s a shoe in for my favorite show of the season. Now if they can just stop with the cliffhangers it would do my poor heart a world of good!
Next up is “OWARIMONOGATARI” part of the every growing Monogatari series. This is another season of mystery, and dialogue so heavy you can cut it with a knife. Why do I like it despite the heavy emphasis on dialogue with little action? It’s really the nature of the discussions in the show that keeps me interested. They’re witty, comical at times, and engaging in a way that’s hard to explain. At times I do have to pause to catch every word, since some lines are delivered quite rapidly. Still the slow revelation of new information through character discussions keeps me glued to the screen like every other Monogatari show I’ve watched. There’s also the added intrigue as a member of the audience of trying to solve the mystery before Araragi does. After this last mystery wrapped up in episode six, I’m pretty excited to see what the second one of the season will be.
Last (for now) is “Utawarerumono: The False Faces” which I started watching not realizing it was a sequel season. Even though it is the sequel to another anime I never really felt like I was missing too much to enjoy the show. Some things do feel like a nod and a wink towards fans, but honestly I’m fine watching the show as is. The world is interesting, and the “fish out of water” storyline is intriguing enough to keep me coming back for more. Each episode I learn a little more about this kemonomimi world, and hopefully we’ll also learn more about the mystery surrounding Haku in the near future. While I would enjoy a bit more action in this show, I do still enjoy the slice-of-life feeling that some of the less intense episodes provide. It’s like Utawarerumono has found a balance between serious and relaxed anime. Honestly though I could watch this entire anime just for Kuon’s expressions.
Thus ends part one of the State of the Season Address. Did your show not make the list? Stick around because the next one is part of this is coming soon, and it might be in that post. If you have an opinion on my ordering of these shows write me a comment below, or drop me a line on my social media pages. It’s hard to believe the season is just about halfway through. At this point people are settling into their favorite shows, and debating whether or not to let one or two weeks pass on shows they’re not too fond of. Trust me, I’m playing the catch up game myself! We’re nearing the part of the season where a lot of show really show their metal, and hopefully they’ll all finish strong. Still as of right now this is where I stand on these shows.
Arigatō my fellow BrOtaku!