I made a lot of people mad a little while ago. Angry forum threads, capslock responses filling up my ask.fm inbox, the whole nine yards. I even heard people were planning on emailing my editor! It was an exciting time for everyone, but I can’t say I didn’t deserve it. I did something that, if you’re truly, deeply attached to your experience of a media object, can be absolutely unforgivable.
It’s time at last. Time to run down all the highlights and lowlights, time to reflect on what was and what’s yet to come, time to talk about way too many god damn anime. As expected, this season’s new crop isn’t really able to measure up to the departing set – but when we’re losing Shirobako, Death Parade, Yurikuma, and Maria all at the same time, that’s probably to be expected. There are still new gems to enjoy, and new could-be heroes to watch with shining eyes as they rise only to incinerate in a cloud of their own wasted potential. The season’s beginning is always a fraught time, but don’t worry, I’ve got quick blurbs and links to all my friggin’ ANN reviews to guide you through it. Shows run from most loved to most reviled, with general categories of watchability marking each group as it arrives. And incidentally, the three I’ll be covering for ANN this season are going to be: SNAFU, Sound! Euphonium, and Nagato Yuki-chan. Alright, enough preamble, LET’S RUN DOWN SOME ANIME.
It’s that time once again! With three weeks of the winter season to go, it’s time for me to start feeling existential dread at the thought of one more preview guide, and time for you all to get some uselessly vague predictions about how this whole spring season’s gonna go down. As per the usual, I’ll just be covering stuff that actually looks interesting to me – if you want the full list, head on over to anichart to check it out. Normally, this is a time of celebration – it’s the end of winter doldrums, and spring is generally a pretty stacked lineup. But between Shirobako and a few intrepid newbies, this winter season has actually been perfectly respectable, so let’s try and approach the upcoming shows with a bit less desperate of a look in our eyes. It’s just another anime season, you guys. No need to get excited.
Awww yeah, let’s start some fires. Yep, reviewed the newest Fate series for ANN, which has already sparked several pages of Type Moon-flavored forum shenanigans. Honestly, I don’t think my actual piece is controversial in the slightest, but you can’t really talk about Fate without making fans mad. As for the show itself, it’s a fun ride! I like how the character work builds off what we know from Fate/Zero, and the action scenes are goddamn fantastic. Hope you enjoy the review!
We got a few show endings this week, which were scattered between great and mediocre. Amagi’s real ending was last week, which allowed this episode to be… well, a kind of lukewarm one-off. But Bahamut ended well, and Fate Stay Night at least had good scenes within a weaker overall episode. So I guess what I’m saying is Shirobako saved Christmas, like we always knew it would. Let’s run ’em down!
We’re nearing the end of the year, and I’ve got presents to wrap, so I hope you’ll forgive me if I keep this brief. Not many surprises to speak of this week, outside of SAO somehow ending on… uh, maybe the highest note it’s ever reached? Normally when SAO is okay, it’s because it leans totally on its fight animation – but this week didn’t even have a fight. Instead, it just ended the arc in a way that satisfyingly ties up the thematic lines and character journeys of this story. Huh. Funny thing. Maybe try that more often next time, SAO!
Anyway, enough praise for my nemesis. Let’s run ‘em all down!
This was a somewhat hit or miss week in animeland, with the usual top tier turning in great episodes, but everyone else varying from solid to blargh. Amagi Brilliant Park, Chaika, and Bahamut are looking like they’ll fall somewhere under my initial expectations, the top four of Shirobako, KimiUso, Parasyte, and FSN are all keeping it together in solid form, and the MMO contingent are both doing their best to end the season on a high note. Let’s see what we got!
Pretty killer episodes this week, at least from the top shelf. KimiUso, Shirobako, and Parasyte all turned in stellar performances, Chaika kept up the dramatic intensity from last week, and Log Horizon suddenly decided to toss off one of the best speeches I’ve seen. The other episodes were middling, but the season’s looking strong as we move into the endgame. Look forward to a pretty stupid amount of content over these next couple weeks – I’m planning on participating in the 12 Days of Anime posts (one post a day for the twelve days leading up to the 25th) along with all my usual review shenanigans, my top shows of the year post will follow that, and even ANN might have some kind of bonus piece to contribute. I hope this is what you want, internet. This is all the blood I have!
Alright, enough of that. Let’s run down some cartoons.
This was kind of a slow week overall, outside of nuts-good episodes from usual highlights Shirobako and KimiUso. Although both Chaika and Fate Stay Night also pulled out very fun episodes, Rage of Bahamut and Amagi were kind of subdued, and the bottom tier of Log Horizon and SAO both fell below average. But I mean, I’ve had seasons where I was happy to see one show keeping it together… I should probably be able to take it in stride when only four of the six shows I really like put out top-notch episodes. And this was the first great Chaika in a while, a very important Chaika in fact, so let’s start right there. Running it down!
Anime got pretty heavy this week, you guys. Between Shirobako and KimiUso, things were altogether a little too real in the land of Japanese cartoons. That’s how I like it, though – the sharp stuff is what I watch media for, and you can’t depict earnest triumph if you’re not willing to accept the possibility of failure. Pretty much everything else is holding steady, but my favorites are actively climbing at the moment, and it feels pretty goddamn great. Here’s hoping they both turn out to be as good as this week would promise.