You never know what you're going to get in the winter anime season. Is it going to be a hot few months, or will it leave you cold? I think the upcoming spring season is going to be way hotter, but some of this winter's offerings are worth watching, and telling your friends about.
With the moves Netflix is making in the Anime industry, a new category has to be made for all the anime I am unable to watch during their actual season. There are two anime that have debuted on Netflix that are airing at their proper time; they are true Netflix Originals that were produced specifically for the streaming service. You can't see them anywhere else, but at least you don't have to wait months to see them. What you do have to wait for are these shows.
Every time you turn your back, another Fate show has come out! What's this new Fate about? This time, the protagonist is someone who has lost his memory, and he's been caught up in the Grail War. Last Encore will be ending in April, and all I've sene is a trailer for it.
Violet Evergarden IS available on Netflix- just not in the United States. SIGH. Praised for its beauty, Violet Evergarden is a sci-fi story about a woman getting in touch with her humanity after being given cybernetic prosthetics. I hear mixed criticism about it. What I know is that a) it looks spectacular and b) It may be boring. By the time Evergarden comes to US Netflix, the Winter season will be over.
As Lion has continued, there are less moments of depression and more happiness, but the drama still carries a lot of weight. Looking at the series so far, I think it's best that we don't have a character who's wallowing in pity and dark feelings every episode. We have a lot of characters and issues that can be tackled, so a smart show like Lion can still entertain and touch your soul without focusing on tragedy.
Another fall season has crept up on us, with a lot of brand new anime to sample. The anime landscape has changed so much, even since last season. There are so many choices for official streams. Daisuki is no more, but other streamers have risen up in place of it. Even though people felt sour about Netflix of Amazon's stranglehold on exclusive content, there is still a lot of choice around the internet. Let's see what made the cut this season!
There is one undeniable fact about the Fate series: it's beautiful. As someone who doesn't follow the various Fate anime, I still know that the animation is top notch. I don't know if the writing for the Fate shows is as strong as the fighting. I only ever watched 2 episodes of Fate/Stay Night and one episode of Fate Zero, so the most I know about Fate is that the action is great. Fate/Apocrypha is astounding, as far as visuals go. I haven't watched many episodes, but I'm not at all disappointed so far. In thids Fate, we have twice the servants, so the action may be more satisfying than all Fate shows that have come before.
Masterpiece. Is it too much to say that March Comes in Like a Lion is a Masterpiece? I'll take the shot to give this series the highest praise I possibly can. March Comes in Like a Lion is an utterly powetic bowl full of heartbreaking drama combined with adorable comedy and pro sports action. Hey, board games are sports of a sort! Our protagonist, Rei Kiriyama, is a young pro shogi player, and he's really good at it. In his personal life, there have been tremendous struggles. He's dealing with depression, and he doesn't have any family to turn to. That's where an adorable family of sisters comes in. Rei transforms professionally- and I'd say spiritually- in the first season. His transformation and growth continues with season 2. If you were to just stop reading this to go watch March Comes in Like a Lion, I wouldn't be mad.
Food Wars! is going though some growing pains. Season 3 looks (there was a lot of chibi) and sounds (Erina Nakiri's voice actor had to be replaces) different now, and there has been less food porn. Why so few foodgasms? Regardless of that, I still love Shokugeki no Soma. We still have the eclectic characters, fun moments, and new threats to the Polar Star gang. It might be slow to start, but Food Wars catches fire soon enough!
Some people have no tolerance for wackiness; I have too much. I liked Blood Blockade Battlefront, but I won't portray it as a show that tells a great narrative. Mostly, B3 is about a supernatural transformation of New York being destroyed countless times, and the heroes looking badass with their blood-based abilities. Why does blood allow you to fly or encase people in ice? I don't know, but it looks awesome. I expect even less of a narrative to occur in Blood Blockade Battlefront & Beyond, but I never needed a central antagonist in B3.
Garo: The Animation was my first Garo series. I didn't watch any of the live action shows because I'm more into streaming than watching blu rays at this point. I loved the first Garo anime, so, naturally, I watched the second series, Garo: Crimson Moon. That made me less of a fan of Garo. Crimson Moon was not a failure, but it had big shoes to fill. Garo is back for a third time, and this time it's in America, and in the present. I love Garo again! Garo: Vanishing Line is not a deep and thoughtful series. It's meat-headed and has a thing for women's curves.
The stereotypically meat-headded attitude is represented in Vanishing Line's Garo, named Sword. He looks like a character straight out of the game Gears of War, but he doesn't need a gun to fight horrors. Sometimes, he'll straight up punch demons in the face, or chase them with his bike. I know not everyone's into the tokusatsu stuff, but Garo Vanishing Line has entertained me with every episode.
I don't know what to call this. Is this a Negima sequel? There are a lot of moments in the show that connect directly to Negima, but this show takes its focus away from Negi and introduces us to a world that has discovered the reality of magic. One student has a very unfortunate introduction to magic and the supernatural. I typically give a show one episode to impress me, and UQ Holder's pilot episode definitely did. I expected a Naruto-like tale of a jolly kid who becomes powerful, but UQ Holder decided to tell a somewhat different hero origin. If you don't know Negima, it's one of those classic ecchi shows. So expect lots of awkward sexual situations in UQ Holder.
What would you get if you combined Hurricane Polymar, Gatchaman, Tekknoman, and Casshern? A kick-ass TV show! A girl named Emi Kaido becomes a central figure in this battle for multiple universes, even though she has little idea what's going on. Dark forces are attempting to destroy universes in order to create a single, supreme universe. That doesn't sit well with these four heroes, who have been taken from their native worlds.
I think I haven't ever gotten over Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, because I have never lost love for tokusatsu. I love any kind of superhero, so shows like Infini-T Force suit me well. If you want to just watch superheroes attack with cool moves, you have to check out Infini-T Force. If you've never seen any of the Tatsunoko hero shows, consider this an anime history lesson.
I have found it hard to like anime adapted from otome (reverse harem) games. It's not that they are terrible, but they all follow the same formula, as dictated by the game genre they originate from. Code: Realize is a bit different. First off, they have a corgi with a steampunk prosthetic leg and a top hat! Job done! Oh, and they also have a cast of characters who come from all over classic fiction. So you have Lupin, Dracula's kid, Van Helsing, and more. The fantasy and steampunk mingling with each other is my main draw to Code: Realize. It's definitely not the animation or the lead character, Cardia, whose dialogue is interchangeable with most females in otome anime.
Kowabon is another anime short with a horror theme. Think Yamishibi, Kagawani, or The World Yamizukan. These are all short shows, with an incredibly low budget. Maybe Kowabon has the highest budget, because it uses rotoscope, a form of animation using real human acting. The difference between this show and all the other ghost stories is that these are modern ghost stories, having to do often with technology. Also, there is no narration. The only "storyteller" is the camera (web camera, security camera, phone camera) we see the action through. It's not Black Mirror level creepy; it's more like The Grudge.
I think that my record for finishing slice-of-life shows is pretty poor, but I think I could finish watching Just Because! There's nothing too special about it, but I think that an adorable series about young love and relationships is soothing to peek at every now and again.
This was a late entry in the fall calendar, and I just happened to see that it came out by coincidence. Lucky me, because this is a cute tale of high school romance. The aspect of these characters that appeals to me is that they are both creative people: one is a videographer and the other is an artist. These are minor details, but when you've seen so many romance shows, it benefits the viewer if the characters don't feel similar from show to show.
Anime fans and CG have not gotten along well. Even in 2017, people are still CG averse. I dare anyone to tell me that the CG animation of Land of the Lustrous is not comparable to 2D animation. It's a beautiful series, and the fluidity of the animation allows it to blur the lines between whag we expect from 3DCG and what 3DCG can accomplish. I won't act like there's a marvelous, deep story to go with the great animation, but at least we get to look at sparkly haired people run really fast.
Sometimes, you can just have simple fun with anime. Love is Like a Cocktail is a short anime, and it's only about one topic: adult beverages. A woman is married to the most wonderful husband ever: a guy who not only loves her, but also makes the perfect drink for her! If you liked Wakako-zake or I Can't Understand What My Husband is Saying, you would be punishing yourself if you don't watch Love is Like a Cocktail.
We always get one of these shows: an anime about anime. Previous to Anime-Gataris, we had Shirobako, and before that was Genshiken. The industry likes to take a look at itself every once in a while, sometimes with hilarious results. Anime-Gataris is for people who love references to all sorts of anime, from the recent to the obscure.
Kino's Journey: The Beautiful World
I never got to see Kino's Journey when the first anime rolled around, but I heard praise for it, and the images kept my interest. Anime always surprises, and so a new Kino anime popped up this season. I felt apprehensive , because I knew that this was an older Kino. Should I hop in, or wait for some far off day when the original series is streamed? I learned that it doesn't matter too much that you jump into Kino's Journey with this series. The nature of the tales in Kino's Journey are episodic, so the amount of previous history Kino has is not crucial.
The story is basically this: Kino, a person who does not ascribe to any gender (Kino is just "Kino") travels from country to country, staying for a few days and then continuing to the next country. The twist is that every one of these countries follows their own distinct laws. So in the first episode, murder is allowed in one country. In another country, you fight to the death to become the leader. So Kino's Journey was a shock. I didn't know that these crazy things happened, or that Kino's bike is actually sentient . All I knew was that Kino...went on a journey, and had two guns. Talk about avoiding spoilers! For a decade and a half, I had no idea how surreal Kino's Journey really was. A beautiful world, indeed.
Damn, it's hot! I have to go out in the sun every once in a while, but I spent a lot of time watching every anime I could.
We're now in the middle of a tournament arc- one that will decide the fate of many universes! I love Dragon Ball, and the Universe Survival arc is incredibly satisfying to me. I don't know how the wider Dragon Ball Z fandom feels about the tone of Super, but I appreciate that the series is more light and fun. I don't think you can have the tone of Dragon Ball Z these days; the 90s was all about EDGE and EXTREME moments! Dragon Ball Super is like a teenager who has grown up and now has a kid of her own. We can have the awesome fights, but let's not be so serious, okay?
I can't believe it, but I am nearly caught up with One Piece. I've taken time off of it, because an arc has been slow, or there's too much too watch. Since it looks like they may be catching up to the manga, One Piece seems to be slowing down. I think the current arc, where the Straw Hats fight a gigantic, ruthless pirate and her scores of children, is pretty good so far.
Rage of Bahamut is a delightful action adventure series that continues to deliver. While we don't follow the characters from the first series anymore, the new characters are delightful in their own way. There are certain characters who return from the original Rage of Bahamut, but this is all about Nina, a girl who is also part dragon. She gets tangled up in the mess that the humans, angels, and demons have started, yet again.
The Eccentric Family could've stopped with one season, and it would have been more than enough. The Eccentric Family is a wonderful light-hearted drama that just happens to be about magical tanuki and tengu living in modern human society. It's risky to continue the story, bring in new characters, and introduce new storylines. After watching the news season, I can say that I am overjoyed that I could have one more experience with this wonderful show. There are few anime that are as great as The Eccentric Family are.
Kakegurui, or Kakegurui- Compulsive Gambler, is about crazy gambling and the obsessed gamblers who love it. Thanks to Netflix' release scheme, people who are waiting for a legal stream will have to wait until 2018 to see it. Meanwhile, pirate streams are happily taking advantage. I want to see this crazy, over-the-top series right now, and I have to wait while Netflix dubs Kakegurui into like 10 different languages.
Spring has sprung! I don't think the winter anime season was all that great, but we've got big name shows returning, and new shows to dig into. I'm satisfied with what we've gotten, and what's come back. Something of note this season is that Anime Strike, Amazon's exclusive anime channel, has snagged a few good exclusives, forcing yours truly to purchase a subscription. As a cord cutter, I'm still paying way less for my entertainment than cable subscribers. I just hope that I'm not forced to sign up for yet another anime site in the future.
There's no way to avoid the return of Attack on Titan, and I don't know why you would want to. Sure, AoT is more driven by its awe-inspiring moments and twists, but there are few who are uninterested in what happens to Eren and the Survey Corps. In the few episodes shown this season, I think my jaw has dropped further down than it did during Season 1. It's so good!
The one-two punch of One Punch Man and My Hero Academia stunned me. It was anime's commentary on superheroes, in two distinct styles. That was a lot of awesome to take in. One Punch will come when it comes, but My Hero Academia is back! The students have survived their first super villain attack, but they still have to prove they have what it takes to be superheroes. The first arc has them competing against each other in a super-powered sports festival.
I dearly love The Eccentric Family. The first season was a spectacular story of tanuki and tengu who coexist with humans in modern times. I don't think there is one character who I liked less than the others. Each character has a personality and role to play that feels necessary to the world. The new season introduces a new character, and he's a great addition. He is a tanuki, and tanuki are very powerful in this world. I cannot wait for the conflict- and the fun!
The new Berserk series is an incredible example of something deserving of a second chance. I can understand that people gave up on 2016's Berserk simply because they hate 3D CG, didn't like the poor level of animation, or both. The story is still great, and that's why I want to support the new Berserk for as long as possible.
Adulting is rough. Sometimes you might find yourself taking jobs that you don't fit with. That's part of Sakura Quest's premise. At first, Koharu Yoshino is in this predicament, where she's being rejected for all the jobs she wants to have. Then she, through error, gets hired to be the queen of a town who want to revitalize their tourism economy. I may watch more of this, but it's hard for me to finish a slice of life show if it doesn't have a strong emotional thrust.
Little Witch Academia has gone from short film to series, but it's a Netflix exclusive overseas. While Japan enjoys the further adventures of three young witches, I'll have to wait a few months. In the final episode of Space Patrol Luluco, another Studio Trigger joint, the Little Witch series was announced, and it was damn adorable. I hope that the TV show maintains the quality-and cuteness- of the film.
Dragon Ball Super, being the shounen show that it is, is hard to catch up on, especially if you actually want to watch all the new series. I started from the very beginning, and I really got into it with the Future Trunks arc. It's definitely the high point of the show so far. It feels like the 90s again for me!
What can a great show do to top its first excellent season? Nothing, really, but Descending Stories does not lazily coast on the success of its flashback season. I thought that this modern day story would be much lighter hearted, since the focus is on Yotarou, and not on the old master Yakumo. Nope, I'm still crying every episode. Rakugo Shinju still has legs, and I have to watch every episode almost as soon as it comes out. This is an incredibly strong anime.
This is the type of anime that even anime fans scratch their head at. It's a short form comedy, and it's entirely bizarre. Go ahead, ask me what it's about...
I DON"T KNOW! Yes, it is about school girls going about their daily life, but it's not a slice-of-life show. Suddenly one of the girls is taken over by a malevolent entity. Someone pisses themselves. One of the girls has a hidden origin where she was really an orphan warrior. There is a talking llama. Why is the new season called Surgical Friends? Again, I have no idea. That title has nothing to do with anything. Just-just go with it.
New Ao no Exorcist? It took a long time! I did want to see more about this show, and once I had watched a couple episodes, I had felt like I was home again. I rediscovered the worth of Ao no Exorcist, why I got caught up in it the first time around. Ao no Exorcist is like anime's version of Hellboy. It's about a boy with the powers of his father, who also happens to be Satan. Many people lost their lives to the dark lord, and they aren't happy to work with this demon child. In the new season, Rin Okamura is still on unsteady ground with the people he works beside, since they got a grand demonstration of his powers.
I don't know how long it will take me to catch up with this season, but every episode I have seen has been a pleasure.
I've seen many "stuck in a fantasy world" anime in just the last 5 years, but Konosuba has a twist, just like Re: Zero does. Konosuba's twist is that it's a comedy rather than a serious shounen action series. Also, the lead character is somewhat despicable. He is our protagonist, but Kauma's not exactly a hero. Konosuba is absolutely hilarious. I liken it to Seinfeld or It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, where these characters act unlike how you expect rational people to behave. On top of that, they have their quirks and shortcomings. It makes for a pleasant watch, especially if you're watching as many serious, heartbreaking shows as I do.
It's nearly the end of 2016, and we're nearing the end of another anime season. I feel that anime should end strong towards the end of the year, but it didn't happen this time. This was a strong year for anime, just not ending on a high note. So what's the last season of the year have to offer us?
The bizarre don't stop, and I'll never stop watching! The battles of Josuke Higashikata and his friends vs a serial murder continues to put me on the edge of my chair. When it's not surprising me with crazy plot points, it cracks me up with weird and outright funny moments.
Even more orphans for your viewing pleasure! While the show's focus has shifted a bit onto new Human Debris kids, it still maintains the quality of the first season. I absolutely miss the OP and ED songs from the original season, but Mika and the gang are still here. You aren't ever sure if everyone's going to make it through the conflict, especially with how many losses Tekkadan have taken. I haven't been excited about a Gundam show in more than a decade, and I wonder if another Gundam will be as special to me as this one has been.
Bungo Stray Dogs started its return with a pivot from the tone it had initially, before returning to the present timeline's story. It was unexpected and very welcome to have this flashback arc, which takes it self a lot more seriously than the present timeline's gang. I'm not one of the people who hated the comedic shifts in tone, but I didn't think Stray Dogs had the ability to keep a straight face for so long.
It's no secret that One Piece is a massive phenomenon over in Japan and within the worldwide anime community. Over 800 manga chapters, 770 episodes, a dozen films, theme park attractions, and even stage adaptations have kept the adventures of
It's time to go back to school, and there's no more time for vacation. Summer is at an end! I hope you've had time for anime, between going to the pool or visiting your relatives. Even if you haven't, I have some anime you might want to catch up on.
Arslan is no less heroic in the new season. I love The Heroic Legend of Arslan, but its one problem is that Arslan and his forces are too superior to their enemies. I'm glad that there are some new surprises in the plot to keep the show fresh.
Foodgasms are back! Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma continues its tournament arc, and its as weird and wacky as ever. Where else are you going to get a JoJo's Bizarre Adventure-meets-food reference? Speaking of JoJos...
The 4th JoJo's team is back, and crazy stuff continues to happen in a small town. I loved the Jotaro Kujo era, but Josuke and his allies come close to beating them. Shocking, funny, and...bizarre, Diamond is Unbreakable is still appointment television.
I'm glad that I try sports anime out. DAYS is the story of a high school student who isn't a gifted athlete, but he has the heart to persevere. I'm a sucker for these kinds of stories, whether they're sports-related or not. I liked the first episode, but I haven't included this in my rotation of anime.
At first, I was very interested in Servamp. It felt a little fresh, creating a world where humans and vampires have a unique relationship. Then I gradually felt like Servamp was going nowhere. There are times when I watch a show and I realize that the action may have been an afterthought, and the primary genre is something else. Anime News Network only calls it an action show, but My Anime List has josei (young women) as one of its categories. I think Servamp's real purpose is to allow girls to watch a bunch of vampire guys deal with their drama.
I don't know what it is that attracts me about Amanchu! Maybe it's the laid back pace, or the peppy, positive Hikari. Whatever it is, it has led me to catch up to the most recent episode. Amanchu! is not for everyone. I can see people getting tired of Hikari saying "Peu peu peu!" all the time. If you have a bucket list, and you want to check "watched an anime about diving" off it, then you should watch this show regardless.