Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Anime Summer 2016 Season Wrap Up


During the past anime season, Summer 2016, I watched a total of 7 new shows.

5 - Season Ones
2 - Anime Shorts
1 - Abandoned Show

All seven shows are listed below in rank order from my favorite watch of the season, Fukigen na Mononokean, to Ozmafia!!, which I enjoyed least.

Fukigen na Mononokean, The Morose Mononokean


5/5 Stars
Summer 2016 Season
Episodes: 13
Genres: Supernatural, Comedy, School
Studio: Pierrot Plus

In this supernatural, comedy, slice of life, two high school boys work to exorcise Yokai to the underworld.  The show is very episodic with only a few major plot points running through the whole season.  The bulk of the episodes were lighthearted and heartwarming.

Yokai cannot be seen by most humans, so to exist on the human plane as a Yokai is to live in isolation. Therefore, it is the wish of most Yokai to go to the underworld.

Ashiya, whose strength comes from his empathy, gets caught up in the world of Yokai when he see's one for the first time lying limp on the sidewalk.  This Yokai ends up latching onto him, making him sick to the point that he seeks an exorcism.  This brings him to Abeno.

Abeno is the Master of the Mononokean, giving him the ability to open a door to the underworld, through which he can send Yokai to a better home.  He also happens to be Ashiya's classmate.

The series follows these two, and three other major characters.  As the story progresses you get a sense that Abeno is fearful of becoming too attached to any Yokai, or to his work as the Master.

This aloofness is very curious, and large driving factor for the show.  I was very invested in figuring out why Abeno was so jaded, and whether or not Ashiya's assistance would help or hurt him.

I NEED another season of this.

** Side note: I have not watched any other yokai anime series (Like Mushishi or Natsume Yuujinchou) but my assumption is that this show is much more lighthearted, and funnier.

  

Fudanshi Koukou Seikatsu, The Highschool Life of a Fudanshi


5/5 Stars
Summer 2016 Season
Episodes: Short Series, 12
Genres: Comedy, School, Slice of Life
Studio: EMT2

This is an anime short series with each of the episodes being only 3 minutes long.  Episodes mostly take place in school and surround the main character Ryou, and the various situations he runs into because he is a fudanshi.

For example, his difficulty buying BL at the bookstore.  His friend assuming that he liked guys.  And what happens when he connects with a fellow fudanshi in real life.

I liked the characters in this short series and felt they could have supported a regular 12 episode season.  Especially after that hint of potential romance between two characters!


New Game!


5/5 Stars
Summer 2016 Season
Episodes: 12
Genres: Comedy, Slice of Life, Moe
Studio:  Doga Kobo

 New Game! is a super cute comedy, slice of life, set in the office of an all female gaming company.  The main character Aoba has just graduated from high school and come on board the character design team.

The entire show follows this office as they finish up their latest game, Fairies Story 3, a super cute fantasy RPG that looks quite similar to Fantasy Life or Popolocrois for the Nintendo 3DS.

This is a character focused anime, so viewers should focus their attention on the character relations and must simply ignore the fact that the portrayal of how one begins working in a game design company is an extremely lax interpretation of reality.

Aoba, being new, wants to find her place in the company.  She needs to prove her skills, while learning as much as she can about character design, and her coworkers.

I feel bad admitting this, but for me, this show was largely forgettable.  If I did not track my anime on Animetrakr I might have forgot I was watching it at all.  So while I did enjoy it every time I sat down to watch another cluster of episodes, I am afraid that this show might not stick with me long term.

I think the reason for this was the lack of memorable music, or scenes that really struck an emotional chord for me.


Amaama to Inazuma, Sweetness and Lightning


5/5 Stars
Summer 2016 Season
Episodes: 12
Genres: Comedy, Food, Slice of Life
Studio: TMS Entertainment

Sweetness and Lightning is a story about a widower with a young daughter who has an epiphany one night that it is time he learned to cook.  Kohei wants to make sure his daughter Tsumugi eats correctly, but you can tell that he is also ready to create new family traditions and memories now that his wife has been dead for nearly a year.

As the result of this decision, Kohei and Tsumugi create an unlikely friendship with one of his students, Kotori, who is often left alone by her celebrity chef mother.  After a little pushing from Kototi, the three of them agree to learn to cook together.

This show was very slow to start for me.  In the beginning the characters are so polite to each other that it almost made the show boring.  At that point the entertainment sources were only the little girl, Tsumugi, doing silly things, and the food looking super appetizing.  But if you're anything like me, you will need more than that.

And you get more in the second half.  The characters have grown familiar by the second half of the show and have come to really value their time together.  The story lines also get more heavy in the emotional department.

And it was at that point that I cast two ships out to sea...and I am not normally a big shipper.  Somehow, this show has me hoping that both the student Kotori, and her teacher Kohei, find happiness together.  As well as, their two blonde haired friends, Shinobu and Yusuke.

Yes!  You read correctly, I am greedily Captaining both of these ships!
 

Hatsukoi Monster, First Love Monster


2/5 Stars
Summer 2016 Season
Episodes: 12
Genres: Comedy, Shoujo, Romance, School
Studio: Studio Deen

I have an entire first reaction post for Hatsuko Monster.

This has to be one of the weirdest anime I have ever bothered to finish.  In the past, I would have abandoned this series, but this time I was so curious to see if it could pull a 180 and end up being great.  It didn't.  Overall, I was expecting more parody of the romance genre, and less dick jokes.

There is no solution reached at the end of this series.  I had hoped that at least one of the ridiculous characters would reach the point of having had enough and tell the rest of them that they were crazy.  Something to sympathize with the feelings instilled in me as the viewer.  And while Kaho does eventually have a satisfactory outburst, she still has feelings for the man-child at the end...and I just cannot...

I'm sure it is futile to expect reason from such a bizarre story, but I believe strongly that adding a logical explanation for Kaho's feelings would have made this story better, not worse.  The lack of reason ruined my enjoyment, because I kept waiting for an incredibly clever explanation that never came.  At the end I was left thinking, "Wait, that's really it?"

 

Ozmafia!!


2/5 Stars
Summer 2016 Season
Episodes: Short Series, 12
Genres: Visual Novel, Harem, Romance, Shoujo
Studio: Creators in Pact

This short anime follows a young boy who has just enrolled in a new school.  The teachers are loosely based off of the characters from the Wizard of Oz.

The things that happen in each episode are completely random.  For example, one episode chronicles what the cafeteria is like and in another enemies of the school attack it in all out warfare.  Each episode includes an afterward, after the credits, which introduces the characters of the visual novel game.

I assume that the only point of this show was to introduce the characters of the game.


Kono Kijutsubu ni wa Monodai ga Aru! This Art Club has a Problem!


Abandoned
Summer 2016 Season
Episodes: 12
Genres: Comedy, Romance, School
Studio: feel.

I ended up abandoning this show after the fifth episode.  It surrounds a small art club where one of the members is very serious about art and another member is just interested in drawing himself two dimensional waifus.  From what I saw, I liked that the president of the club was completely useless and that the main girl wanted to both grow the club and gain the attention of the uninterested boy, but I quickly lost interest in the plot.

It might be a very cute show, with endearing characters, but I have other shows I would rather devote my time to (I ditched it to watch both seasons of Hakuoki 2010 and Chihayafuru 2011).

Until the next one!

Thanks for reading!
Amanda