Final Thoughts – Winter 2015 Anime

Here we are at the end of the winter season! As a whole, it’s been pretty good, and fortunately there’s one standout that is definitely taking a spot in my favorites.

There are four fewer shows here than originally intended, but you’ll see why.

Koufuku Graffiti / Gourmet Girl Graffiti

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As soon as this show was announced, I was pretty sure that I would enjoy it. It’s about pretty young anime girls eating food, so what’s not to love? The show doesn’t break boundaries, but it’s very relaxing, has cute characters, and has plenty of erotic food consumption. And there’s so much food porn, it’s amazing.

Final rating – 7/10

Recommendation – Do you like food or pretty young anime girls? Then watch it. If you don’t like either of those, then what’s wrong with you?


Kantai Collection

This is still on hold for the time being. Since there’s going to be a second season, I probably won’t wait too long to jump back in.


Durarara!!x2 Shou

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There’s a story here, but it’s hidden beneath an annoying non-linear and constant back-and-forth presentation. The characters never shined the same way that they did in the first season, and a lot of the plot developments were just plain uninteresting. And around episode 7, they completely forgot what in-between animation is. I’d need to rewatch the first season to judge whether it was better than this, but at least it left me with a better impression. The ending does leave me curious as to what happens next though.

Also, regarding the first season – the entire ordeal surrounding Celty and what she was searching for vanished completely from the story. I don’t know if it will pop back in during the second half or not, but it’s strange how it went from being the focal point to not even being mentioned.

Current rating – 4/10

Recommendation – If you enjoyed the first season, follow up with this (although you may want to wait for the second half in the summer). Otherwise, don’t bother.


Death Parade

[FFF] Death Parade - 12 [1A87D450].mkv_snapshot_19.08_[2015.03.29_02.06.33]

Honestly, I’m still not quite sure what I think about this show as a whole. It was certainly enjoyable, but once I start thinking about the underlying story, I’m not really decided on whether I liked it or am indifferent to it. My main issue isn’t the stuff with Chiyuki, which I think was handled pretty well (despite its predictability), or the more standalone episodes focusing on the games, but rather with the whole “purpose of the arbiters” subplot, which never quite went anywhere.

So basically, I’m planning on rewatching this within a month or two to see if my opinion changes much. For now, I can say that I do like that they didn’t take a completely episodic approach focusing just on the games, even if they didn’t capitalize on the story’s potential.

Final rating – 7/10

Recommendation – If you’re interested in an anime that does things a bit different from the norm in the “psychological” genre, this is definitely worth checking out (but watch Death Billiards first).


The iDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls

This ends two weeks later than everything else, so I’ll update this once it’s over.


Ansatsu Kyoushitsu / Assassination Classroom

[HorribleSubs] Assassination Classroom - 09 [720p].mkv_snapshot_13.44_[2015.03.21_22.24.24]

Normally I prefer marathoning shows rather than watching once a week, but this show is a bit of an exception. Seeing the antics of the class in their attempts to murder their noodly-appendaged teacher each week is always an enjoyable time. New characters introduced as the story progresses always add a nice bit of variety, but even without them the story seems to progress without actually going anywhere. It’s a weird middle ground that works because the show isn’t remotely serious but still has an overarching story.

I was happy to hear that this will continue into the spring, so hopefully it will remain consistent for the next few months!

Current rating – 7/10

Recommendation – As long as you’re not opposed to ludicrous silliness, it’s worth a watch.


Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei Bu Love! / Handsome High School Earth Defense Club Love!

On hold.


The Rolling Girls

From the beginning, the main impression that I had of this show was that it was weird. And it’s still weird, but frankly, there’s not much else going for it.

Dropped.


Kiseijuu / Parasyte

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When this show first started, it looked promising, but I wasn’t sure how it might turn out. Once the protagonist entered alpha male mode, things started to clearly improve, but there were still plenty of hiccups along the way. There were many plot points that I felt weren’t adequately explored, and several parts of the second half felt inconsistently paced. Episode 22 in particular shoved a lot of material into the first half and then spent the second half doing nothing important. And the soundtrack was odd – there were plenty of tracks that were used effectively, but most of the dubstep stuff just felt out of place.

It also got a bit thematically heavy towards the end, the last few episodes in particular, with the “are humans the real parasites?” mindset. While I’m a bit iffy on the conclusion this led to, I enjoyed the story altogether, and I’ll probably end up reading the manga before too long.

Final rating – 7/10

Recommendation – If you’re not opposed to a fairly large dose of blood and guts, give it a watch.


Akatsuki no Yona / Yona of the Dawn

After hearing good things about it, I decided to pick this show up right before it ended. The first few episodes bounced around too much with flashbacks and flashforwards and what-not, but once it got rolling, it was far more enjoyable. The general story about Yona and her companions traveling the kingdom is fun to follow, especially as the cast slowly grows. While nothing extraordinary, I’m very glad that I watched this.

It left off at one of those “our journey has only just begun” points, so I’m hopeful for a second season where the full story can play out.

Final rating – 7/10

Recommendation – For an enjoyable adventure, this is definitely a great option.


Shirobako

I’ll keep this short – I absolutely loved this show. The characters were great, it was always funny, the story left me waiting impatiently for more, and I even want Aerial Girls and Andes Chucky to be real shows! Each episode was better than the last, and I’m seriously fighting back the urge to watch it all over again right now.

And episode 23. People always talk about AnoHana, and KimiUso and blah blah blah the feels, but all those shows really have is overblown melodrama. Episode 23 of Shirobako has to have the most natural, fulfilling, and idealistic “feels”-inducing moment I have ever seen, and sort of acts as both the culmination of everything that came before and the absolute climax, without relying on over-exaggerated crybaby drama. Basically, the scene at the end was perfect and seriously made me tear up in an “I’m so happy” kind of way. The episode also made up for my main grievance from the prior one – rehashing a past conflict – by absolutely nailing the execution of the solution.

You can expect a review of this in the relatively near future.

Final rating – 10/10

Recommendation – Watch it.


The shows that I dropped this season were Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso / Your Lie in April (AKA waaah waaah I’m a big baby) and Yuri Kuma Arashi / Lesbian Bear Storm (AKA BUT IT’S SYMBOLIC DON’T YOU SEE THE SYMBOLISM? And lesbians).

I should be watching Stardust Crusaders and Kuroko no Basket 3 once they’re done, so they’ll show up on my “final thoughts” post for the spring season.


I would’ve posted more stuff recently, but Bloodborne happened. You can expect a review of that once I’m done.

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10 thoughts on “Final Thoughts – Winter 2015 Anime

    • I feel like the story itself isn’t the main issue, just how the presentation is all over the place because of the massive cast and miscellaneous intertwined events. But the animation was definitely pretty bad this time around.

  1. Aoi (Oi)’s head joins Umi Sonoda and Ohana Matsumae in a special pantheon of “best anime girl heads” in anime history. All the facial expressions these ladies could show the world…amazing.

    But yeah I to think very highly of SHIROBAKO and am so glad I marathoned it and caught up before it’s conclusion. I would love a second season but if this is it I would not be upset because it ended on a positive note showing viewers that the Donut Gang are on the right track and will one day make their dream anime.

    • As much as I’d love to see more of these characters, I think they should leave it at this. This was an excellent conclusion, and I don’t think that extending the story would feel justified, regardless of what they do next. Aerial Girls needs to be a real show though.

  2. Rai says:

    While still an interesting and entertaining show overall, Parasyte was hurt by the thematic heaviness and poor pacing of the second half.

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