Winter 2016 – Virtually Every First Episode Retrospective

All of our new shows have turned in their final assignments, and the testing period is over. Who will rise, who will fall, who will entertain us mightily for a few weeks only to slowly sink into a mire of mediocrity and disappointment – all these questions lie ahead, but for now, we can already viciously judge the labor of thousands of animators based on our first impressions of their new creations. I knew from before this season even began that it would be a relatively light one, but with that in mind, the haul here is actually pretty solid. We had a couple truly great premieres, a few more shows that demonstrate either potential or reasonable genre chops, and The Rest. There’s always going to be a The Rest, but as long as anime continues to produce just a couple shows that justify our nostalgic Stockholm Syndrome every season, this unhealthy relationship can keep chugging merrily along. Let’s start right at the top of the list and RUN ‘EM DOWN!

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Winter 2016 – First Impressions, Part Two

The week keeps chugging along, and mediocre shows keep piling up one by one. It seems this really will be a light season, but I don’t really need that many airing shows to feel content, and it’s looking like we’ll just about manage that. To accompany ERASED’s excellent premiere, Showa Genroku Rakujo Shinji turns in perhaps my favorite first episode so far, and BBK/BRNK pulls off a classic action-adventure opening strong enough to almost make up for its hideous, soul-breaking CG characters. I’m guessing we’ll only get one or two more watchable shows out of the remaining picks, but if that just means more time for Hyouka, I’m perfectly okay with that. Anime may be mostly bad, but “mostly bad” spread out across several decades of releases means we’ve still got plenty of backlog to get through.

Luck & Logic

You can check out the overall list of shows over at ANN, or scroll on down for my new scores and links to individual reviews. Anime ho!

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