Picking up from last time, here’s how this season’s anime are holding up. Spoiler alert: they’re pretty okay.
Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works
It is very clear that this is a different entity from Fate/Zero, but that doesn’t seem to be a problem at this point. Rather than the emphasis being on the individual character and their lives and wishes, the focus is on the battles and Grail War themselves, along with setting up exactly why war even exists and how it functions. Obviously, this will change as the series progresses, but it’s working so far.
And it goes without saying that this is leagues better than the 2006 series and UBW movie. Not only does it look exponentially better, but the story isn’t a crammed cluster of turds with a whiny protagonist. So far, so good.
I’m still very iffy about this season. Whereas the first season had a great antagonist (Makishima), this season’s is overwhelmingly underwhelming – he seems to have all the qualities that make a character annoying rather than interesting. Not to mention that red flags started going off as soon as it was revealed that his name is Kirito. While the story hasn’t gone in any particularly interesting directions yet, the characters do have two advantages and one huge setback. First off, Akane is pretty great this season, filling the void left by Kougami (who is still being ignored by the story) and improving substantially from the first. The new enforcers are a great addition to the team, filling in the gaps pretty well – one in particular seems like he could be a better antagonist than the actual one. Unfortunately, the new inspector is one of the most useless characters I have ever seen, and the anime would be far better without her.
For the more superficial details, animation consistency seems to have dropped substantially from the first season, and the only music I’ve really noticed is a remix of the first season’s main theme. So hopefully that stuff improves as the show moves along.
Kiseijuu / Parasyte
My opinion on this show hasn’t changed much since the first episode. It looks great, the soundtrack sounds completely out of place, and the concept is whack. There’s a lot of room for the story to advance, so I’m looking forward to where it heads.
Amagi Brilliant Park
While it has been extremely corny, this is actually a lot more enjoyable than I expected. The main character
Kanye West Kanie Seiya (Seiya includes the kanji for “west,” by the way), is an arrogant prick who still manages to do a good job at being not completely hatable. Main female character Isuzu looks like a typical KyoAni pretty young anime girl (except with far larger boobs than the average), but the entire setting and her personality make things a bit different, even if she is halfway to being a Senjougahara clone. Altogether it’s at least better than Kyoukai no Kanata and Tamako Market (and the movie), so that’s good.
Grisaia no Kajitsu / The Fruit of Grisaia
Yuuji is a total bro. Besides the common route, I can’t comment on how well this adapts things, but it seems solid so far. The only route I’ve actually completed in the VN is Yumiko’s, and I imagine that will be last in the anime, so… yeah.
My issues so far are all with the visuals – the character movement is very awkward at times, and the red tint on the corners of the girls’ eyes is distracting and ugly. And there are far too many panty-shots, even in scenes where they take away from what’s happening. It’s not even like they’re included for eroticism or anything, they are literally just jammed in wherever possible for the sake of panty-shots. These people need to watch Denki-gai’s episode on the topic for some relevant education.
Inou-Battle wa Nichijou-kei no Naka de / When Supernatural Battles Become Commonplace
Since I didn’t get very far into the second episode, I don’t have much to add since last time. Basically, this was really boring – nowhere near as bad as the Girlfriend (Kari) snorefest, but still. Nothing really grabbed my attention in the first episode, and the second didn’t seem to do any better, so I just decided to cut the cord now rather than dragging it along to the end.
Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken / I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying
While the first episode was just weird, this short got much better as it went along. For being only a few minutes long, they manage to shove in a lot of successful jokes, and they are all equally bizarre. Especially when they concern the husband’s trap brother.
Magic Kaito 1412
I haven’t watched past the first episode yet, so this one’s on hold for the time being.
This show is very weird, yet consistently funny. The cast includes some of the weirdest characters I’ve ever seen, most notably a Persona 3 protagonist clone who is also a dog ghost, can change into a girl or weird stuffed animal type thing (see above), and has a rather uncomfortable adoration for cute little protagonist Kohina. Overall, it’s a good show, even if some of the joke’s setups are extremely odd.
Ore, Twintails ni Narimasu. / Gonna be the Twin-Tails!!
The show with the strangest concept got even stranger, but that’s not a problem. This show falls into the “so bad/stupid it’s good” category, so attempting to take this seriously would likely result in an aneurysm. Even so, it can be plenty of fun. I mean, any anime about a twintails-adoring guy who turns into a twintailed girl to fight evil baddies isn’t going to have a very serious story.
Denki-gai no Honya-san
Based on the first episode alone, I figured this would be more slice-of-life than comedy, with a bit of a focus on some quirky Akihabara-related humor. Well, after the first episode things went full lewd, and I did not expect that considering the rather cutesy character designs. The change in tone works in a very awkward way, as it at least delivered effectively. To some extent it could be compared to Seitokai Yakuindomo, but Denki-gai seems much better so far – instead of relying on characters deadpanning unfunny jokes, there’s actually development, variety, and consistency here, which is good. It’s nothing amazing, but it’s definitely enjoyable.
Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso / Your Lie in April
Of all the shows I didn’t have particular expectations for, this is probably the okayest. The music (and focus on it in the story) is the best part for me, as it’s a treat to listen and watch the characters perform. The drama’s not too bad at this point, and it fortunately looks like they aren’t going to drag it out too long. Overall, an okay addition to the season.
Shingeki no Bahamut: Genesis / Rage of Bahamut: Genesis and Sora no Method / Celestial Method are still on-hold. I’m hoping to get to them before the end of the season.
The shows I dropped after the first episode were Cross Ange, Ushinawareta Mirai wo Mitomete / In Search of Lost Future, Girlfriend (Kari) / Girl Friend BETA, and Trinity Seven.
The Rail Wars game for the Vita has been delayed indefinitely. If I don’t post anything in the near future, that’s why.