Anime of Summer 2015: Final Thoughts

So, a couple months ago, I aired my first impressions of the latest crop of anime. Or, at least, those that got past my policy of watching the first episode. Now that the Summer Season is ending, and we’re entering the Fall Season, I thought I might as well follow up on that. Things went mostly as I expected, but there were a few surprises.

Actually, I Am…

The humor was pretty good at times, but they tried a little too hard with it, not to mention the obligatory misunderstandings, and the girls liking the guy… and when at least four separate people are all too spineless to just come out and say, “I like you,” it gets a bit frustrating.

If they make a second season of this, I really hope that at least one person can display some actual backbone at some point.

joukamachi_no_dandelionCastle Town Dandelion

I ended up following this one every week. Not only was it cute and funny, but heart-warming and surprisingly deep as well.

Through their various ordeals, each of the super-powered royal children grow and become better, stronger people than they were before. I’ll give it a proper review sometime, but I generally just like this one.

Charlotte

My thoughts as I watched this show:
Mildly intriguing.
Boring.
Tragic.
Boring.
Convoluted.
Boring.
Terrible romance.
Boring.
…wait, what? I don’t like this show much at all, so why am I crying at the end? How’d they do that?

Basically, it leaves much to be desired, all throughout, but man, did they nail those last two minutes!

Classroom Crisis

I was right about not really feeling it. When I thought about watching more, I just felt too bored to bother with it.

Gangsta

Turns out, I didn’t need to binge-watch it in order to make my decision. Whenever I contemplated watching it, I felt way too depressed, so I didn’t watch it. It’s just not for me, ya know?

Gatchaman Crowds Insight

This one, I did need to binge-watch to fully appreciate. Several of the middle episodes just reek of outright stupidity on the part of the characters, but, much like the first season, it turned out to be a fairly potent social commentary about the pressures we unconsciously put on each other without taking the time to consider the validity of other perspectives or even think for ourselves, and how that is just a bad thing all around for everyone.

Lots of strange things, like looking into an eccentric mind, but it was all right. Not great, but ok.

gate_jieitai_kanochi_nite_kaku_tatakaeriGate: Jieitai Kanochi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri

I officially love Gate!

Not only do we have an impressive clash between goblins (and other fantasy creatures) and tanks, but an intriguing interaction between two very different cultures. I absolutely loved the episode where the princess is trying so desperately to smooth things over with the SDF (not knowing she does not really need to) and somehow it always backfires (except, not really, because the SDF isn’t from the same culture as she is).

My single favorite moment, though, had to be when a demigod chewed out a politician for trying to undermine the SDF through subversive questioning. “ARE YOU AN IDIOT?!” Ah! Music to my ears! 😀

I really enjoy this anime. So, of course, they aren’t airing the next section of it until January. And they ended with, “The year the Empire was brought to ruin was only half over.”

I’ve said this before, and it was pointed out by someone more experienced than myself: we storytellers are sadists. 😉

overlord2Overlord

This is an interesting anime! It’s also very distinct, in pretty much every way.

Going into every bit of that would take up an entire review, which I shall most certainly give this at some point, along with Gate. For one small contrast, however, anyone who’s watched Fullmetal Alchemist or One Piece knows that perfectly expressionless things, like armor or skulls, are often animated to be more expressive. Overlord does not do that. Ever. Little differences like that give Overlord a very unique sort of style, which I can go into some other time.

But I think what I like most about this anime is that the story is told from the perspective of what would usually be the villain of the story: an undead overlord. He’s an intriguing mixture of good and evil and everything else, including a bit lonely without all of his old friends.

Rokka: Braves of the Six Flowers

Rokka‘s first season turned out to center around a thrilling mystery. It would have worked out a bit better, though, if they hadn’t telegraphed at least part of the answer too early on. That’s a small shame, especially when they otherwise did such a good job making it hinge on the details that were slowly built up into a cohesive plot.

However, and here I confess having looked ahead at spoilers once I realized the answer to the mystery, it seems that this series goes on for quite awhile, growing more and more convoluted. That could easily implode on itself, so the future has me a bit hesitant, but for what we’ve had thus far, I’ll call it good for now.

akagami_no_shirayuki-hime2Snow White with the Red Hair

I’ve said before, I’m typically not one for love stories, but this one was pretty good.

Two flaws:
1) There was a dance scene in the intro. Everything else in the intro, they showed in the show. But they did not show the dance scene. I wanted to see the dance scene. (this speaks volumes, when a love story has me actually wanting a dance scene)
2) They didn’t really manage to end the season (I am awaiting another season, I hope!) on quite a perfect note. The lead characters acknowledged that they are in love with each other, but they don’t have their happy ending just yet. (the dance scene would have helped with that…)

Outside those, I am surprised just how much I like this anime. If they continue it and finish the story, it just might enter my pantheon of favorites.

Ushio and Tora 2015

Most shows involving partnerships between humans and demons offer relatively little in the way of an entertaining dynamic between the characters as specific representatives of their race and culture. But Ushio and Tora is different. Ushio may still be a boy, and Tora is a ravening monster, yet both are men of pride and principle. Lock two such men together for awhile, and they may likely kill each other, but they will learn to respect one another as well.

Working Season 3

Ah! All the frustrations of the first two seasons are being resolved! I can feel my brain healing! Depending on the finale, this one may have just increased it’s rating and grade in my book! 🙂

Summary:
I dropped Classroom Crisis and Gangsta just by thinking about them.
Charlotte was not my cup of tea, but they crafted a fantastic ending that took me completely by surprise.
I liked/enjoyed Actually I Am, Gatchaman Crowds, Rokka, Ushio and Tora, and Working.
Gate and Overlord are easily the strongest contenders to be among my absolute favorites, though Castle Town Dandelion would be just one tier below them.
And, surprisingly, Snow White could give them competition, if it continues for another season.
Nine good hits, altogether, with a couple of them rising above. Not a bad haul for any given season.

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