Midway Autumn Anime Look

24 Nov , 2014,
Panther
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Diane

Diane, so far the most interesting of the Seven Deadly Sins.

I must apologize for the lateness of this post. I had planned to do it last week, which was the time when Terra Formars episode 7 aired. I took that episode to be the half-way point for the season, as the show itself had started airing earlier compared to the others. Without further adieu, let us proceed to how I believe the shows have been doing thus far into this season.

Note that it is of course, all my own personal opinion, and that you might find a show I decided to be distasteful an appealing one for you.

For this review, the start of the week begins with Terra Formars and ends on Friday before the next Terra Formars episode airs. Some of these shows have thus already aired yet another episode, but I have deliberately held off on watching them so as to give a better view of how I feel the shows have been doing up to this point. Shows that have already had another episode aired will be denoted with a “+1” behind the episode number.

Dropped Shows: Sanzoku no Musume Ronja

Better known as Ronja Rövardotter, its Swedish name, this is the one that is being done by Studio Ghibli. While, as expected, the show features quality animation akin to what some have compared to Ni no Kuni, Ghibli’s foray last year into games, the other expectation I had coming into the show killed it for me. Ghibli is not well-known for doing shows that have a lot of action, and Ronja is no exception. It was meant for a younger audience. Despite that, I still lasted 5 episodes in before I decided to quit, because the quality was indeed great. Ghibli shows are meant to be experienced, and if you are looking for that experience, then Ronja still has it. I just did not find it captivating enough to continue, that was all.

As before, shows are represented based on a tier system that uses grades C through S.

*****

C Tier

Salia

Most people’s reactions when watching this show are not as moderate as Salia’s here.

Cross Ange: Tenshi to Ryuu no Rondou
Alternative name: Cross Ange: Rondo of Angels and Dragons
Current episode: 7 (+1)
Grade: C-

While I was hopeful going into this series because Sunrise is behind it and there is mecha, I was also given a stark reminder that I have never watched a Gundam show, nor do I intend to start. Apparently, people who have already knew that the show would have some…let us just say, awful things. As I am not versed in the Gundam universe or its director, I will just drop the names that I have heard mentioned regarding why the show could be something you do not want to start on – “Fukuda” and “Gundam SEED Destiny“.

As for my part, I am still enjoying certain parts of the show, largely the cast of female characters and their wonderful seiyuu. However, the plot and the animation is certainly not something you would be going for in this, and perhaps part of the reason why I am continuing is to see where this trainwreck might end up. It might still have a decent ending, but no one is holding their breath for that.

Bahamut

Bahamut, the Destroyer of Worlds.

Shingeki no Bahamut: GENESIS
Alternative name: Rage of Bahamut GENESIS
Current episode: 6 (+1)
Grade: C

Rage of Bahamut, or as often abbreviated, RoB, was based off the mobile game of the same name. The story seems to follow its own path though in the anime; the only link it has to RoB thus far that I know of is Bahamut itself. For a game-to-anime adaptation, I must admit that it has exceed expectations, but even so, the final overall quality of the show itself is not as engaging as other shows this season. Praise can be given indeed to the studio for having pulled this off in a decent way, but if you are not even remotely interested in fantasy or the game itself, I would say it is something you can skip out on.

Tougou Mimori

The hashtag for this show, “yuyuyu”, seems to be something Mimorin is doing here.

Yuki Yuna wa Yuusha de Aru
Alternative name: Yuki Yuna is a Hero
Current episode: 7
Grade: C+

I found it difficult after a while to decide how I felt about this show. In my previous post, I mentioned that this was the show I was most likely to drop first, and yet, till now, I have not found any good reason to leave it hanging. It seems like a small cross between Puella Magi Madoka Magica and Vividred Operation. There is a transformation scene for all of the girls, and some hint of a dark possible future for them now that they have taken their new hero powers to new depths. I for one still expect all of them to die at some point, which is more than even what Madoka managed, but it does seem as though this show is not exactly going that way…for now at least.

As a series, it scores rather low because it seems to lack impact. I am unable to pinpoint the exact problem, but it could also be very well due to the possible influence that Vividred had on me, and that was definitely not a positive one. If you are into middle school girls becoming superheroes all of a sudden and all that magical girl stuff, this one could be something you can still watch on the side.

*****

B Tier

Terra Formars

“I’m sexy and I know it.”

Terraformars
Current episode: 8 (+1)
Grade: B-

I was sure that this would be something like Attack on Titan – less plot, more action. I have been more or less right throughout the series, but at least, they have been using some rather nice diversionary content. For example, in one of the episodes, there is some science used in explaining how they beat the Terraformars in some battles. There is even a background story for quite a few of them. The censorship has been somewhat lifted, but it remains a problem unless you watch the uncensored version, which is airing a little slower than the normal one.

Overall my expectations for the show were largely met and well understood beforehand to be something that was going to be below average in terms of plot development, but even then, the action scenes have been, as Attack on Titan was as well, pretty fulfilling. If you are still fine with the possible squeamish scenes that you will see in the show, or with the humanoid bugs in general or even the lack of content, this show is still something one would be able to finish, and enjoying it to some degree at that.

Sensei

Sensei-chan cosplaying as an idol. One of the many peculiarities in Denki-gai no Honya-san.

Denkigai no Honya-san
Current episode: 8
Grade: B-

“The Bookstore in Electric City” would be a good translation for the name, but no alternative name has yet been listed for the series so I will just refer to it as Denkigai, which is its hashtag as well. This was a show I was originally not going to pick up, but after seeing some comments, I did just that. So far, if you are an avid manga reader or know quite a lot of memes and culture relating to the anime/otaku world, you would likely enjoy this show. It goes without saying that many of the references are things that could just as well pass over the heads of those who have not read or seen enough, but even so, the series remains enjoyable and amusing.

Still, and perhaps because of these references and the overall quality, Denkigai is not meant for everyone. It certainly can be said that if you were looking for a fun time, Denkigai might still be pushing it. The jokes are definitely material you need to be familiar with, though not all the time. I would say that if you have been watching anime or reading manga for some time now, feel free to give this one a try and watch how it goes. An amusing slice-of-life show, Denkigai still fails to be that hilarious. Do not let that stop you though, if you want to take a look.

Suzushiro Saori

Still the best girl in all of Argevollen.

Shirogane no Ishi: Argevollen
Alternative name: Silver Will: Argevollen
Current episode: 20
Grade: B

As the series draws to a close, we come to a possible conclusion whereby our protagonist may have to face his now-former commander. As for how the show itself has moved along, answers were given around the middle of the series regarding Susumu Tokimune’s sister and her past with Captain Samonji. As we moved further, further questions were answered, though the biggest one of the show remains, which even Jamie Hazaford, Argevollen’s engineer, asked herself – just what is Argevollen?

In spite of a perhaps questionable storyline, Argevollen has proven to be rather average and decent in mecha action and the like, and one would be hard-pressed to say that it would get any better, or worse, as it winds down towards its conclusion. If you have followed the show for this long, then finishing it is definitely not a problem. I would recommend against picking it up at this point however, especially if you are not interested in what might be a slower pace, or in mecha action.

Chaika Trabant

Chaika, back. Hold towel. Wipe face.

Hitsugi no Chaika Avenging Battle
Alternative name: Chaika the Coffin Princess Avenging Battle
Current episode: 7
Grade: B

Chaika’s return hardly spoils anything from the first season. It has continued its average ranking among the shows I follow, and is unlikely to finish strong in terms of quality. Still, there is much to be said in the number of Chaika’s that have now appeared in the show, alongside plot developments that, if described from the point of view of the show, would be major advancements in the story. Yet if placed alongside other shows, Chaika has always been…for lack of easier words to use, so-so.

Of course, no one can deny that Chaika’s broken speech makes her really cute, and there are other perks such as the yandere brocon Akari Acura, as well as the dragoon Fredrica in the form of a little girl. All in all, if you liked the first season, the second season does nothing to change what made the first season liked by many, and even adds in plot development that might move towards a decisive conclusion for the series.

Esdeath

Esdeath remains the most interesting and beguiling character of the series at the same time.

Akame ga KILL!
Current episode: 20 (+1)
Grade: B+

While slightly dropping in overall quality after the initial rush, Akame ga KILL! remains one of the better action series of the season. There is next to no real censorship; blood and gore go everywhere. And, unlike what one might dub the general shounen series logic, many of the major characters do die in this one. It has been a never-ending journey of ups and downs for our protagonist, and I have been informed that the latest episode, as well as the previous two, have begun deviating from the manga series. This has, understandably, caused quite an outcry from the manga fans.

I guess the major advantage of not having read the manga beforehand is that you actually still get to enjoy the series as it moves on, without any former prejudice that might hinder you from doing so otherwise. Still, quality must remain at least consistent for that to happen, and at the moment, Akame ga KILL! definitely has that quality. We will see how it ends up with just 4 episodes to go (3 by now, including the one that has aired). I expect a big bang, though it will likely be different from anything in the manga.

*****

A-Tier

Akatsuki

They might as well rename this season to Akatsuki Horizon.

Log Horizon S2
Current episode: 7 (+1)
Grade: A-

Since the switch to Studio DEEN as its main animation studio, there have been countless complaints regarding the drop in the quality of the show, and not just in the animation. The story this season has been focused almost solely on Akatsuki. It can be debated of course as to whether that is a good or bad thing, and by far, I found that most of what made Log Horizon very enjoyable in the first season, such as the information and content regarding raids and MMOs, have been lacking in this season to a marked degree. That is not to say they are non-existent; they just show much less of it compared to the first season.

Despite this, the show remains enjoyable for me, and when the MMO elements do come up, they still do them well. I, too, balk at the DEEN choice, but that is not within our powers to control or to even really say anything about. So long as the show remains heavily content-based, that is good enough for me. And there is no lack of that, nor is there any sign yet that the show will move away from its primary draw. If you have not watched the first season, please do, and then start on the second. I guarantee that it will be at least enjoyable, if not more.

Meliodas

A midget that hardly looks like much is the actual Captain of the Seven Deadly Sins, and if necessary, he does show why he is likely the strongest of them all.

Nanatsu no Taizai
Alternative name: The Seven Deadly Sins
Current episode: 7
Grade: A

The Seven Deadly Sins were a late pick-up compared to the rest of the shows, but it has been a very fun ride thus far, even more so than Akame ga KILL! when that first started. It gives off the same vibes and yet somehow manages to do better. The action is definitely not lacking, and the plot itself is also simple yet endearing. The characters are unique in themselves indeed, each representing one of the seven deadly sins, though you would, at first, be hard-pressed as to understand how Meliodas, shown above, could possibly be the Dragon’s Sin of Wrath, and the Captain of the seven.

Regardless, the show definitely has more ups than downs, and it stands to reason that, with its execution thus far with regards to the story and its action, it scores higher than Akame ga KILL!. This is a show I would recommend you pick up if you are interested in some fantasy action that remains both amusing and entertaining throughout, and with great action to boot.

Tsunemori Akane

Akane has gotten a lot more badass since the first season.

Psycho-Pass 2
Current episode: 7
Grade: A+

Psycho-Pass continues what it does well from the first season as we see Tsunemori Akane as the new main inspector of the 1st Division. Along with her new junior Shimotsuki Mika, and two new Enforcers, Togane Sakuya and Hinakawa Sho, she continues taking on crime even with the full knowledge of what Sibyl really is. This time round however, her adversary is something even more sinister and unique than Makishima was.

There really is nothing much else to say about PP2. Its reputation speaks for itself. There is not just the main story revolving around our antagonist this time round either, but one on the side involving one of the new Enforcers. Shimotsuki is also displeased with the way things are done in the 1st Division, and that leads to some friction along the road for the two Inspectors. Ultimately however, as Shimotsuki is definitely learning, there is no set manual in which you can solve everything. The antagonist this time round certainly demands a very different resolution compared to even the criminally asymptomatic, and as the series powers itself towards its conclusion, one can only hope that Akane will somehow be able to reconcile her beliefs and still remain clear in her Psycho-Pass color as she deals with him.

*****

S-Tier

Izumi Shinichi

Our protagonist had a huge change by the end of the latest episode in appearance, noticeably looking “cooler” than his previous self.

Kiseijuu: Sei no Kakuritsu
Alternative name: Parasyte -the maxim-
Current episode: 7
Grade: S

While Aldnoah.ZERO started out strong and ended up worse than one would have expected for its first season, the main difference between the start of that show and the start of this one would be that Aldnoah was an original series, with no previous background information to back it up. Parasyte -the maxim-, though, comes from an old manga that is only getting animated now, and the manga is nothing short of amazing, from what I am told. Much of that has been justifiably animated and little has been missed out, according to manga readers, and that has continued to leave this series in the forefront of the season for me.

Shinichi is forced to co-exist with his new partner, who calls himself Migi (“right” in Japanese, because he matured by eating Shinichi’s right arm), and has to deal with all the issues of death, gore, as well as other parasites that continue to disturb his daily life. Compellingly, there is no compassion from Migi or from the series itself with respect to characters or the way the story is portrayed. There is definitely no censorship in this one, or at least, anything that might be too noticeable to ignore. Without spoiling too much, I can only say that, if you are ok with the squeamish side of anime, and can deal with the darkness that Shinichi must come to hold within himself to avoid falling apart, this will definitely be one of the shows I would recommend for the season.