This season was pretty good. Ignoring the two shows I dropped.
At the very least, none of these were really disappointments.
Non Non Biyori Repeat
It never really dawned on me how much I enjoyed Non Non Biyori until I rewatched it, but I can safely say that this season is even better than the first. It takes the serene setting and heightens the relaxing effect, it adds a great dose of unpredictability to the comedy, and the characters are able to shine more than ever before. This is everything a sequel should be and more.
The only bad thing about this show is that there might not be a third season. While this season didn’t provide a definitive conclusion, it did come full circle, wrapping up the girls’ school year. So unless they decide to move forward into the future, or create Non Non Biyori Repeat2, I won’t expect any follow-up. As much as I would like one.
Final rating – 9/10
Recommendation – If you’re looking for a cute and super light-hearted slice-of-life show, start off with the first season. Or if you’re just looking for something to help you relax, give the show a shot.
Here are the questions I posed after the first episode:
Will Otoo-san ever find his wife?
Will Yamada ever be found by her brother?
Will Satou ever confess his feelings?
Will Inami ever confess her feelings?
Will Todoroki ever explain why she carries a katana?
Will Souma continue to blackmail everyone?
Will Popura’s ponytail always be perfect?
Will Takanashi ever be arrested for pedophilia?
Without spoiling specifics, I can say that all but two of these may or may not have happened. And in that regard, I am very happy with this season of the show. Actual development in the relationships of the characters was necessary to pull things along without stagnation, and most loose ends were covered. As a conclusion to the series, this was great!
Or that’s what I would say, but there’s going to be a one hour special to wrap up whatever the hell happened in the post-credits scene.
Final rating – 8/10
Recommendation – If you enjoyed the first two seasons, definitely watch it. If you thought the first two were getting stale, this one should spice things up a bit for you.
Gakkou Gurashi / School-Live
This was an interesting show. The first episode set everything up perfectly, lulling in viewers with a false sense of security as it delivered a mediocre slice-of-life show. But by the end of the episode, it was made starkly clear that all was far from how it seemed. And that’s where the show succeeded.
By showing the girls and Taroumaru living “normal” lives in a situation that was far from normal, it was effectively unsettling and the juxtaposition helped the tension of each episode max out. But the main issue with the show was when it deviated from this. “Last episode we had plot development, so instead of advancing with that, we’ll throw in a pool episode, because why not?” Besides when it was trying to be deceptively peaceful, this is a pretty serious show. So throwing in a lighthearted episode like that without any greater purpose to it is really disappointing. Even beyond that specific episode, the SOL moments of the show were monotonous, the characters themselves weren’t particularly interesting, and the pacing between serious and “comical” events was extremely inconsistent.
Despite all this, the show certainly succeeded with its main purpose. The ending was a bit disappointing, but at least provided some sort of conclusion to the season.
Final rating – 6/10
Recommendation – Watch the first episode from beginning to end. If that catches your attention, stick with the show until the end. Otherwise, you probably won’t want to bother.
Himouto! Umaru-chan / My Two-Faced Little Sister
This is a goofy show. While mostly focused on the contrast between Umaru’s at-home state of being and her public persona, it managed to deliver quite a bit more through the other characters and actual heartfelt moments. Quite simply, it was consistently funny, but never overwhelmingly weird. It just works.
Final rating – 7/10
Recommendation – For a good goofy comedy, give it a shot.
Shimoneta to Iu Gainen ga Sonzai Shinai Taikutsu na Sekai / SHIMONETA: A Boring World Where the Concept of Dirty Jokes Doesn’t Exist
The good: When it’s funny, it’s very funny. The jokes that land aren’t the type that just make you smirk, but actually laugh at.
The bad: Anna, with her “righteousness,” is just obnoxious. The general concept is stupid. Most of the jokes are hit-or-miss, which seems to always be the case with shows like this.
The ???: There is a tutorial on how to make lubricant at the end of one episode.
So overall, I’m glad I picked it up. I was very iffy about watching it in the first place, so it didn’t blow my mind but still managed to be better than I expected.
Final rating – 6/10
Recommendation – If you like shows overloaded with perverted humor a la Seitokai Yakuindomo, you’ll probably love this.
Shokugeki no Souma / Food Wars!
Compared to watching Gordon Ramsey’s expletive-littered bashing of terrible cooks, or even simple informational cooking programs, this show takes things to new levels. It’s essentially your typical battle shounen, but instead of characters actually fighting each other, they’re competing through their cooking. I never knew that cooking could be so badass. The cast is large but pretty consistently interesting, the presentation is mouth-watering, and the general story just leaves you craving more. It left off at a bit of an inconclusive point, so they better continue it!
Obviously a lot of the innuendo is completely intentional, but sometimes it’s just brought to silly extremes – as a recent example, Nikumi’s boobs jiggle for about 10 seconds straight for no real purpose during episode 23. She’s standing still, but breast physics are in full action for some reason.
Also, Megumi best grill.
Final rating – 9/10
Recommendation – There is food. Delicious looking food. There are also plenty of pretty young anime girls. There may or may not be multiple points where they are (mostly) nude.
If you do watch it (which you should), have food nearby. Because you will become hungry.
Update: I just finished this show, so I’ll include it.
Two things made me pick up this show: opinions were split about 50/50 on whether it was worth watching, and I was very much in the mood to marathon something. So shortly after it had finished and I had worked through the shows I needed to wrap up for the season, I decided to watch it.
Compared to something like Angel Beats, from the same writer and studio, this is far better as a whole. The story and characters were set up well from the beginning and never fell too far to the background, the pacing only fell short in the final two episodes, and while not exactly disappointing, the ending left a bit to be desired, mostly as a result of being too straightforward for such an undertaking. But compared to some other Key/Maeda Jun works, what this did well was set up the supernatural elements from episode 1 instead of jamming them into the ending. So that’s good.
Despite some minor issues, the show was certainly worth picking up, and much better than I expected based on the split consensus on teh interwebz. The music was also pretty cool, so I’m looking forward to picking up the soundtrack and insert songs.
Final rating – 7/10
Recommendation – This is the kind of thing that I feel most people have the potential to enjoy. So give it a shot and see where it goes for you.
Ore Monogatari / My LOVE Story and Durarara!!x2 Ten are still on hold, I’ll be waiting until The iDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls is over to watch that, and the two shows I dropped this season were God Eater and Arslan Senki / The Heroic Legend of Arslan.
At this point I’m only planning on watching five shows next season – One Punch Man, Owarimonogatari, Yuru Yuri San☆Hai!, Noragami Aragoto, and Sakurako-san no Ashimoto ni wa Shitai ga Umatteiru. At the very most, I’ll only watch around seven shows.