Final Thoughts – Spring 2015 Anime

The spring season has come to a close, with a generally “okay” conclusion. At least there wasn’t anything abysmal that I dragged myself through.

It’s just a coincidence that so many things ended up as 6/10.

Yahari Ore No Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru Zoku / I Wish I Could Have This Type of Creative Liberty With Localized Titles TOO!

at the same time
“At the same time?”

Just like the first season, this was kind of meh. There are definitely many parts I enjoyed, but there were just as many where I was left face-palming. The general chemistry of the main characters was always a bit weird, and Hachiman’s decisions always seemed to elicit the same reactions from the girls. Hachiman’s character development seemed rather abrupt, like he just started this season a bit different from the first, without it being a gradual change. His little outburst in episode 9-ish seemed really out of character too. And those assholes from the other school doing their stupid handwaving at every utterance of BS that dribbled out of their mouths…

Yanagi Nagi’s OP is still the best part of the show.

Final rating – 6/10

Recommendation – If you liked the first season, this will give you more of Hachiman and crew.

Hibike! Euphonium / Sound! Euphonium

[HorribleSubs] Hibike! Euphonium - 10 [720p].mkv_snapshot_07.00_[2015.06.09_21.40.04]

This is tied as one of my favorites of the season. Up until episode 8 or so, I would have probably said it was my favorite, but bow girl (whatever her name is) is the spawn of Satan, and the whole back-and forth between “It’s yuri!” and “jk no yuri” was  enough to give someone whiplash.

Even after taking those issues into consideration, the show is excellent. It looks great (a la KyoAni), the characters and their interactions liven up every episode, and there are oodles of ponytailed pretty young anime girls. From time to time. For being main characters, Hazuki and Midori never seemed to add too much, but the relationship between Kumiko and Reina, even if it is strictly platonic, is the backbone of the show by the conclusion. Add in other best girls Natsuki and Asuka, and the characters really are the centers of attention. Add in a more serious approach to music than you’d see in most shows and a generally light and realistic approach to drama, and I couldn’t help enjoying every episode.

Final rating – 9/10

Recommendation – This could appeal to pretty much anyone, so I’d just say to watch it.

Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works

Screenshot 2015-05-17 21

Let me start off with the inevitable comparison – as a whole, I absolutely prefer Fate/Zero. I really got the impression that Ufotable sort of geared this series towards people who watched Fate/Zero more than fans of the original Fate/Stay Night visual novel, but the shows are still very different. Fate/Zero’s focus on a wider cast and their roles in the war was more interesting than the tunnel vision focus on Shirou and Rin, the general progression of the story was more enjoyable, the soundtrack played a much better role and was actually noticeable, the animation was more consistent (although UBW definitely had better high points), and it never dragged its feet with pointless and unfunny school life/SOL.

While I enjoyed the show, both halves had several issues. For the second, the most obvious would be the conflict with Archer and Shirou being drawn out way too long, Shirou admitting he was wrong making his stubborn idealism more obnoxious (especially considering the inevitable result, which he reaffirms will happen over and over), and the pacing was pretty wonky from one point to another. To add on to that, Kotomine and Gilgamesh’s roles felt so bland in the grand scheme of things when compared to Fate/Zero. They came across as evil for the sake of evil, and being undermined by the generic too nice for his own good protagonist was lame. Saber’s role in the second half was basically just to watch Archer and Shirou fight, but I can sort of see why she didn’t have a bigger role since UBW is Rin’s route from the VN.

The last episode was also a complete waste of time besides the cameo from Waver (admittedly, I didn’t realize it was him until someone pointed it out) and Rin in spats with a ponytail. Brave Shine is one of my favorite OPs in a while though, there’s no doubt about that.

Final rating – 6/10

Recommendation – Watch Fate/Zero, then watch this if you enjoy that. Pretend the other Fate/Stay Night series and the Unlimited Blade Works movie don’t exist. If you prefer visual novels over anime, read the Fate/Stay Night VN instead. That will keep you occupied for a long time.

A lot of people will tell you to not watch Fate/Zero first, but as far as I’m aware, that will only “spoil” things for the Heaven’s Feel route, which Ufotable are going to be doing as a film series at some point. Of course, just like UBW, it will likely be aimed mainly at fans of the Fate/Zero anime and those new to the franchise, so I doubt it will matter too much in the long-run which you view first.

Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken 2 Sure-me / I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying Second Season

Screenshot 2015-06-30 22

There’s not much to add about this short compared to the first season. It’s basically just a bit more of the same, still an enjoyable tale of a couple and their friends and family, along with the strange antics of their daily lives. There was definitely less of a focus on the comedy though, and more attention placed on their family life – not exactly surprising considering that they’re preparing to have a kid.

Final rating – 6/10

Recommendation – If you enjoyed the first season, this will offer a bit more of the same. Plus it’s really short.

Arslan Senki / The Heroic Legend of Arslan

I’m not caught up, but it’s airing through the summer so I’m in no hurry.

Nagato Yuki-chan no Shoushitsu / The Disappearance of Yuki Nagato-chan

[HorribleSubs] The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan - 08 [720p].mkv_snapshot_00.50_[2015.05.30_22.40.50]

The season’s not actually over for a few more episodes, but there’s enough for me to talk about at this point. I’ll update it at the end if necessary.

Obviously, based on my first two posts for this season, you’d notice that I was not enjoying this show at all. That changed a bit around episode 10. While the show initially presented itself as a half-assed slice of fanservice spinoff of The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya, it’s eventually established that that is not entirely the case – and that’s when the show finally becomes interesting. Everything shifts to a completely different tone, and the name “The Disappearance of Yuki Nagato-chan” comes to have a surprising and unexpected relevance to the plot. It’s like a completely different (and better) show.

Having said that, you can’t simply overlook the first nine episodes of crap. At least Endless Eight looked good and had the girls in different swimsuits each episode. And just like Endless Eight, you can skip most of the episodes and not miss out on anything. The first chunk of this show has too many failed jokes and an annoying protagonist, and falls flat as a spinoff besides some banal references to the original material.

Final rating – 3/10

Recommendation – At this point, I would say don’t bother unless you’re a big fan of the Haruhi series. Until the last third, it fails to add anything worthwhile.

Update – The show’s over. It’s still crap. Don’t watch it.

Plastic Memories

Screenshot 2015-06-11 22

Conceptually, this was iffy from day one. It had an interesting concept, but the way that would be utilized for drama seemed pretty obvious right off the bat. And, unsurprisingly, it had some annoying drama working off of this. However, with some events in the latter half, the potential of the core concept was a bit better utilized for the story by not aiming to elicit a typical “IT’S SAD, NOW CRY” reaction. Beyond this, the characters were all pretty uninteresting, the humor was hit-or-miss, and the tone was all over the place.

On the ending – I think they did a decent job with the what of the conclusion, but not so much the how. You know it’s going to happen, but when the time comes, it feels like it’s missing the impact that the situation requires. Despite all my bitching about the crybabies in AnoHana, I actually feel like this was a situation that wouldn’t have felt out of place with a lot of bawling and more exaggeration on what was happening.

Final rating – 6/10

Recommendation – If you like drama with some corny comedy, this will be right up your alley.

Shokugeki no Souma / Food Wars!

[HorribleSubs] Shokugeki no Soma - 12 [720p].mkv_snapshot_24.53_[2015.06.28_01.59.34]
I’d buy them.

Along with Hibike! Euphonium, this is one of my favorites of the season. It’s a show about cooking food, but it’s awesome. It’s a lot like your typical shounen battle/sports anime, but the absolute over-the-top nature of every reaction to every dish is incredible (especially when Tadokoro is the one tasting it), and the concoction of every plate is perplexingly gripping. This is what cooking shows should be like. The show is also about food, so that’s good. It’s basically Koufuku Graffiti on speed.

Current rating – 9/10

Recommendation – There is food and pretty young anime girls.

Ore Monogatari / My LOVE Story

At this point, the show has the makings of something I’ll never drop, but drag my feet on finishing. So we’ll see how that goes. As with Arslan Senki, it’s airing through the summer, so I’ll maybe catch up at some point.

Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru no Darou ka / Is It Wrong to Try and Pick up Girls in a Dungeon?

The title of this show is stupid. Not only is it far too many syllables, but at no point does anyone try to pick up girls in a dungeon. In fact, when the protagonist fails like a loser, someone picks his sorry ass up and drags him outside.

The setting is a game-like world where gods of varying mythologies have “familias” that do stuff around town for them and explore the local dungeon for some reason. Protagonist-kun, by complete coincidence, manages to have some completely overpowered skill that has the side effect of attracting girls like flies to shit, and through this he keeps exploring, drawing the attention of more women to his ineptitude, and repeating ad nauseum.

Also, big-boobed twin-tailed loli Hestia and her stupid outfit need to go away forever.

Final rating – 4/10

Recommendation – If you’re in the mood for something mediocre, this will work.

Ansatsu Kyoushitsu / Assassination Classroom

[FFF] Assassination Classroom - 17 [BAE93530].mkv_snapshot_06.50_[2015.06.08_00.29.00]

My opinion on this hasn’t changed too much since the halfway point. It’s silly, but doesn’t hold back, and it’s easy to get caught up with Koro-sensei’s bizarre approach to teaching and the general ludicrousness of the story. My only huge complaints would be that a lot of it ended up being really cheesy life lessons, Koro-sensei’s backstory has still only been hinted at, and the cast was far too large. In the end, only about 5ish students actually mattered consistently, and two in particular had most of the focus. Regardless, I’m definitely looking forward to the second season, although I don’t believe it’s been announced when it’s airing yet.

Final rating – 7/10

Recommendation – For a show that’s easy to sit back and enjoy despite its zany story, watch this.


Screenshot 2015-06-28 00

So, the story never progressed, but I more or less enjoyed it. The two new girls (and Marika) were annoying and failed to add much to the cast, whereas the other three definitely had their chances to shine. However, of particular note is episode 10, which actually focused on Shu (side character Glasses-kun in case you forgot which you probably did). It was a situation that’s been done a hundred times before in movies and shows, but it was handled very well and was definitely a nice change of pace from the general approach to romance in the show, providing a more serious and realistic situation compared to the cliched events you’d be able to see in any other harem rom-com.

But really, everything is too sparkly. And to put the debate to rest, Chitoge’s mom is best girl.

Final rating – 6/10

Recommendation – If you liked the first season, follow it up with this. Just don’t expect any concrete progression in the story.

The two shows I dropped this season were Ninja Slayer From Animation and Owari no Seraph / Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign. Also, I know I said about 18 times that I would finish Kuroko no Basket and JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure shortly after they finished, but… it will be a while.

Next season I’m only planning to watch a few airing shows so that I can catch up on other stuff and marathon miscellaneous shows (which I generally prefer to watching things weekly). So I’m expecting 7 shows at the most.

2 thoughts on “Final Thoughts – Spring 2015 Anime

  1. Sounds like it was a disappointing season for you. I’m halfway through Unlimited Blade Works and am enjoying it.

    1. I wouldn’t say it was disappointing, just a bit lukewarm. The only shows that I had any expectations for were Fate/Stay Night and The Monotony of Yuki Nagato-chan, and both of those were established pretty quickly as distinct entities from other parts of the franchises.

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