Anime Discovery – TIME OF THE SEASON Winter 2016 Wrap-Up

The end of winter is neigh……or it’s already here down where I’m at.

Once again, we have reached the end of the Winter anime season and from what we experienced for the last 3 months, it was……serviceable.

OK, for one thing, I didn’t have much bad anime to watch (well, one title and another I dropped) but there was mostly underwhelming anime that started strong but faltered in the near end and of course, titles that everyone else praises but I felt completely dull and not worth it.

However, things are going to be different from last year, starting with me not talking about the shows that are going to continue into spring like Assassination Classroom Season 2 since this isn’t going to end until June.

Anyway, on to these shows…..

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MYRIAD COLORS PHANTOM WORLD (dropped at 3 episodes)
(animated by KYOTO ANIMATION; unlicensed at the time of this review)

You know, I dropped this show after episode 3 after how bland, moronic and asinine this is. But I feel like this pic pretty much sums my feelings on this:

And the thing is, this isn’t a real quote, it’s from an anime satire site called AnimeMaru and even if it is, there is some truth in there. I said it before and I’ll say it again, if KyoAni wasn’t doing animating this, all of you would trash it anyway. It’s your typical generic pretty looking anime that otaku will instantly fap to and it’s about as unfunny, soulless, and a major bore to watch. Hell, I didn’t finish it and yet I couldn’t take it anymore. It’s one of the worst anime of the season….or yet the year if other crappy stuff doesn’t come first. (2/10 – CLOWNSHOES)

Pandora in the Crimson Shell Anime

PANDORA IN THE CRIMSON SHELL GHOST URN
(animated by STUDIO GOKUMI/AXsiZ; licensed by FUNimation Entertainment)

I see a lot of people dropping this show after 3 episodes and while I see why some of the reasons, it’s not as bad as people make it out to be. Coming from both minds of Ghost in the Shell and Excel Saga, it has a good balance of cyberpunk element along with the Excel Saga-type humor although most of the time we can’t tell if the show has a plot or not. Characters were fine and the animation style is mostly meh but efficient enough for it. It’s not a gem but I wouldn’t write it off that fast. It’s fine if you stream it then forget about it. (6/10 – OK.)

SekkoBoys

SEKKO BOYS
(animated by LIDEN FILMS; unlicensed at the time of this review)

It’s a show about Greek statue idols?………OK, once again, it’s an alright watch if you have nothing to do at home. Some of the jokes do stick and others leave you having your head scratching for a minute or two. Some comedy anime fans may like this and as far as I’m concerned, they might watch it again….because the shorts are 8 minutes each. (6/10 – OK.)

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GRIMGAR OF FANTASY AND ASH
(animated by A-1 Pictures; licensed by FUNimation Entertainment)

Once again, some anime that I saw a lot of people praise is something I find completely mundane and dull. No, really, this show really isn’t that great from my eyes. OK, it’s not insulting or objectively bad like some video game anime out there although at a few times it felt like a generic JRPG anime with characters that aren’t fascinating, not to mention never feeling emotionally invested in most of them (yeah, that guy dying in episode 4 or 5; could not care less about him or that new girl or any girl in here besides Barbara.) and it’s not immersive as people say it is. It’s basically watching someone else playing the game while you watch. Oh, and before you rage-type, I don’t hate the show, I think it’s just average and also, if video game anime is going to continue, choose something else to put in there besides JRPGs. They are easily getting to be predictable and dull. (5.5/10 – VANILLA)

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DIMENSION W
(animated by STUDIO 3HZ/ORANGE; licensed by FUNimation Entertainment)

Oh, and spoiler: I think this is better than Grimgar.

Granted, this show isn’t exactly the most original but then again, I was actually entertained with what went on during the course of the series although Mira being used as nothing more than fan service does hinder the quality of the show even though you can admit, she is a cute and likable character. Kyoma’s story is basically something you expect from a character like him but I was compelled to see how it goes and thankfully, the show made its way on Toonami because the show is mainly geared to that audience and it shows. Plus, the English dub so far is good, especially from leads Chris Sabat and Jad Sexton. The show may not be top-tier but it’s still a watchable series. (7/10 – High OK)

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GARO: CRIMSON MOON
(animated by MAPPA; licensed by FUNimation Entertainment)

Yeah, yeah, yeah, the show wasn’t exactly as good as the first one as most people said and I know most people dropped it or forgot about it but then again, I’m the few that didn’t mind this one because I thought the first series wasn’t all that special or that good as they make it out to be but it still manages to be serviceable with its solid action and its characters and I can say the same for this one. Yes, it’s not the tone of the first series but to me, it’s a good thing. That could get easily tired and rundown later on and yet the tone wasn’t as bad but felt Saturday Morning-ish and good thing for those that liked the first season that this is not related to that so you’re good. (6/10 – OK)

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DIVINE GATE
(animated by STUDIO PIERROT; licensed by FUNimation Entertainment)

I have only one thing to say about this show: “WHAT THE HELL IS THIS SHIT!?”

No, really, I watched all of this and I still can’t figure out what is this about. It’s either about some whiny emo kid or this two red and green-hair main characters or some other fuckers because this show has a large cast and yet I don’t know or care to be concerned about everyone in here. Not to mention, the plot is a complete mess along with its animation. Hell, I only watched this because this was my bad series du jour since I dropped Phantom World but with everything here is incoherent and tedious that I stopped caring halfway through or even a fourth. Yeah, forget this. (3/10 – NOT FEELING THIS)

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ACTIVE RAID
(animated by PRODUCTION IMS; currently unlicensed)

I thought the show works as an OK action mecha series and yet again, lots of people seemed to be dismissive of it. I thought the series has some good mecha action thrown in there and I’ll admit I thought some of the characters were forgettable because I did forget most of the characters’ names in there and whatever story line or plot they have going on. Of course, there is another cour coming in the summer and maybe we could see some improvement of it but other than that, it’s another watchable series. (6/10 – Low OK)

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DAGASHI KASHI
(animated by STUDIO FEEL; licensed by FUNimation Entertainment)

At first, I wasn’t feeling this show at much in the beginning but further on, I am really enjoying the show. It’s practically my second favorite comedic anime series that aired next to AssClass. I liked the balance of learning info about cheap Japanese snacks and the comedy/development among its characters, especially one particular character and yes, it is Hotaru as she really makes the show more enjoyable as this eccentric food otaku. In fact, the show would’ve been dull without her because any other character isn’t exactly all that interesting. TEAM HOTARU! (8/10 – Solid B.)

LUPIN THE 3rd Part IV
(animated by Telecom Animation Film; currently unlicensed)

So, if you probably seen Lupin before and you’re familiar with the formula, chances are you’re going to like or love this part. Like some people said, if the formula isn’t broke and it still works to be a competent fun adventure series, then don’t fix it. There isn’t really much to say about this except I can’t wait until the English dub for it. (8/10 – Solid B.)

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ERASED
(animated by A-1 Pictures; licensed by ANIPLEX OF AMERICA)

No surprise, I liked Erased and I think this could be a contender for Anime of the Year for me as not only it’s well-directed, animated beautifully and has a story that you would want to follow episode by episode. The mystery and characters in it are always intriguing by the week along with some minor issues in it but nothing to deem it awful. While this title has been hyped for since it premiered, it wasn’t up to that level for me in the beginning and now that its finished, it still holds to be a good title. (8.5/10 – Low FIRST CLASS)

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SNOW WHITE WITH THE RED HAIR (2nd Cour)
(animated by BONES; licensed by FUNimation Entertainment)

Another surprise…or not. The 2nd half of this holds up well and I’m pretty much saying what I have said about the first cour of this. It’s something that blends action, drama and romance into an enchanting tale only this time, we got the relationship building done and expand into what goes on into Shirayuki and Zen’s relationship, seeing what obstacles they need to overcome and man, there was some obstacles to overcome here. For me, I don’t think highly of most romantic anime but this one is definitely something worth watching and even owning. (9/10 – FIRST CLASS)

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DURARARA!!x2 KETSU
(animated by Shuka; licensed by ANIPLEX OF AMERICA)

Yeah, this is no surprise that I have enjoyed all parts of Durarara!!x2 as I think the show gets better arc after arc and it gets more compelling by the episode and I’m not sad that its ending as some good things should come to an end as they deliberately went their way to conclude the various plots they started with and judging by the way things ended here, there’s no going back for them. Durarara was been one of my favorite anime and to see it back on has been an enjoyable ride from start to finish. On another note, I’m interested to see Shuka’s next project after this and from what I saw….it looks good. (9/10 – First Class)

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MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM: IRON-BLOODED ORPHANS
(animated by SUNRISE)

Granted I haven’t seen a lot of Gundam shows but when it comes to action anime this and the past season, this one earns it being on my top 10 list of last year. From the incredible mecha action to the gripping dialogue and character interaction, this is definitely a show that has emotional resonance with its characters and situations they are in after you watch an episode (something Grimgar did not have at all) and while we did since what might happen to a certain character, it wasn’t less emotional or compelling when something happened to them and not to mention in here I do find the character interaction and emotional development more compelling than the action sequences. I will say for a minus……the opening and ending theme for this 2nd half sucks but at least they played Orphans’ Tears once again in a certain episode I won’t spoil. (9/10 – FIRST CLASS)

Welp, winter is now over and we can at least say we had some good ones that debuted and fortunately, only 2 POS anime I’ve watched (or attempted to watch).

RANKING (FOR 2016 Debuting series)

  1. SNOW WHITE WITH THE RED HAIR (2nd Cour) – Highest
  2. DURARARA!!X2 KETSU
  3. ERASED
  4. ASSASSINATION CLASSROOM Season 2
  5. DAGASHI KASHI
  6. DIMENSION W
  7. PANDORA OF THE CRIMSON SHELL GHOST URN
  8. ACTIVE RAID
  9. SEKKO BOYS
  10. GRIMGAR OF FANTASY AND ASH
  11. DIVINE GATE
  12. MYRIAD COLORS PHANTOM WORLD – Lowest

And I can’t believe I’m saying this but SPRING LOOKS AWESOME!!!

Jojo is coming back, TRIGGER coming back with TWO new shows (yes, I know one is a short but who cares? More TRIGGER shows are amazing!!), the word on shows like My Hero Academia, Bungo Stray Dogs, Joker Game, Ace Attorney among others looks amazing and could finally be the spring season that I might like or even love. I mean, I can’t think of one bad show on this rost–

Oh, fuck. I forgot about this show. Well, A-1, it’s been real liking ERASED and now back to this horseshit.

Hell, compared to this, TerraFormars don’t look so bad.

I’m MAK2.0 aka The Blue Hybrid and hey, here’s hoping spring ends up being a great season.

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