Welp, Charlotte’s second half was just as ridiculous as advertised. This was one of the least coherently constructed shows I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen more than my share of extremely shitty anime. Even shows that are worse than this one in terms of moment-to-moment writing at least tend to have a narrative arc – Charlotte doesn’t really have anything resembling a narrative, and is more just a series of disjointed and ridiculous actions. Congrats Maeda, you are still the writer I’ve always known you to be.
So yeah, it seems I’ve found myself reviewing Jun Maeda’s latest production. And so far, Charlotte has proven to be… well, Jun Maeda’s latest production. The same broad character roles, the same hysterical dramatic peaks, the same fundamental lack of narrative foundation. Charlotte is far from the worst show, but it certainly isn’t a good one, and Maeda really does seem to be one of the least talented superstar writers out there. That said, Charlotte actually seemed to be getting more entertaining as it fell off the rails, so here’s hoping the second half is a beautiful disaster.
Here we go again. With preview week basically over (I’ll add the last couple if/when they show up), it’s time to run down every last goddamn show I’ve watched, including basically every full-length non-sequel premier of the season. That is a disturbing amount of anime, and so today you will be receiving a disturbing amount of High Quality Content. Not high quality anime, mind you, but certainly plenty of Content. Although actually, this season’s premiers largely turned out much less disappointing than I’d expected – there were disappointments and surprises, but the overall crop was fairly reasonable. That comes with a couple caveats, of course. First, there’s the plain that that first episodes lie – they trick you and torture you, stringing you along with one good idea and then collapsing into mediocrity. And second, while there were plenty of “good enough” shows, there were basically no highlights, and many of the reasonable shows are just “good for this genre.” So, like, I gave a three to Monster Musume and Actually, I Am…, but that’s a three harem and a three harem-romcom. Plenty of the shows I think are “generally fine” I will not actually be following – in fact, there’s a decent chance I only stick with the top three.
Anyway! I’ll run things down by broad category, and you can make your own judgments from there. LET’S GET TO IT.
The preview guide has begun! The first couple days were a little slow, but we’re really in the thick of it now, with shows coming out way too fast for me to actually review everything goddamnit how am I gonna do this what the hell I quit anime forever.
ANYWAY. I’m a good eight or so shows in at this point, so it seems like as good a time as any to take stock of what we’ve run through to date. The season has actually been vastly outperforming my expectations so far, offering a few shows I’m likely to keep watching and a number of others that keep up some level of respectability regardless. I was expecting both GATE and Charlotte to be the Worst Things Ever, and at least their first episodes were only Bad and Pretty Alright I Guess. Things could very, very easily be worse!
What, you guys want MORE anime? There’s plenty of good anime still sitting there on your table! There’s Euphonium and Oregairu and BBB, and I hear people over on twitter are even watching Legend of the Galactic Heroes! There’s good shows from the last few years and good shows from before Ghibli was even a thing, and you’re here complaining that you need something new? Typical. Just friggin’ typical. You know, this is the problem with anime fans these days – the second you have something good, it’s already old news. There’s no pleasing you!
Well, I for one have had enough, and in light of my disgust with your attitude, I’ve been talking with the heads of anime, and they’ve all agreed. You guys don’t deserve more anime, and so this summer, you’re going to have to survive on like 2.5 new shows worth watching. We’ll see how much you clamor for new toys when the season lineup is Gatchaman Crowds and then Six Days Without Gatchaman Crowds. Have fun.
Alright, let’s run down what shows seem at least moderately tolerable. And remember, this is on you.
(also, as always, you can check out the full list at anichart, where you can also get synopses if you want them. I’m just going to be running down why I’m compelled to highlight any of these shows)