Anime of Winter 2016: Parting Thoughts

gate_jieitai_kanochi_nite_kaku_tatakaeri_2nd_seasonI am going to be blunt – not like I’ve ever been that 😉 – this anime season was disappointing to me.

Though there was a record number of anime that passed muster, some very thinly, as something I would be willing to watch, there were only three that excited me. All three were returning shows, nothing new, and two of those eventually lost my excitement.

Some felt formulaic. Some felt drawn out. Some just felt dull, barely interesting enough to notice, maybe file away for later, but not really demanding my attention. And some started out strong, but lost momentum, or tripped at the finish line.

Out of the crop that made it past my one-episode rule and then made it long enough for me to comment on:
Active Raid was never a priority, so I haven’t watched it.
Dimension W is the same.
Divine Gate was one of those “barely interesting enough to notice” titles.
Erased started out strong but then lost momentum, and my interest.
Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash felt a bit dull with an option on horrific, so I haven’t followed it.
KonoSuba made it difficult to take any of the characters seriously.
Myriad Colors Phantom World, I haven’t followed because it failed to hook me.
Phantasy Star Online 2 seems to have taken an unexpected turn, but I’m still not excited about it, so I haven’t really followed it.
Prince of Stride: Alternative still has my interest, based on what I remember about the first episode, so I’ll binge it sometime soon.
Rainbow Days may not have repelled me, but it didn’t excite me either, so I didn’t follow it.
Schwarzesmarken, haven’t followed.

That leaves the three returning shows I did follow.

Gate did fairly well, and had some most gratifying moments. There are really only two or three points against it now. 1) The idea of the modern military absolutely annihilating the primitive enemy can only be played out so many times in so many ways before it gets repetitive. 2) They tripped at this season’s finish line, rushing too many things, yet leaving the story unresolved in ways which were not satisfying. 3) Some of those loose threads felt pretty significant, yet the show felt like it had reached its conclusion.

So, I’d be interested if the show returns for another season.

By contrast, Snow White with the Red Hair has lost me. Between the prince having to save his romantic interest again, the action being pretty lackluster, and the plot losing whatever tension it had, well, it’s a nice enough anime, but no longer a contender for my eventual Top Ten list. The first season was better than the second.

Not really interested in any follow-up seasons.


Easily this season’s best.

Now, the one that’s still got me, and is only halfway through its second season, is Assassination Classroom. It’s just so much fun, so smart, I love the characters, the tension is great, the humor is hilarious, the action, when there is action, is entertaining, the themes are riveting… basically, I’m loving this show! I am excited for each new episode! 😀

So, in summary, this was a fairly disappointing season, especially in regards to brand new releases, but I did enjoy some returning titles.

Still, in the end, this was all rather illuminating. Hindsight being 20/20, I’ve learned that I need to strike a balance between being open-minded and being all-inclusive. There are a lot of anime shows on my very-extended “To Watch” list. But for a large number of them, I can’t really say I’m excited for the experience. I can say I’d be willing to watch them, but that is not the same thing as wanting to watch them. Giving something a chance when it seems really different and maybe not your usual thing, that is being open-minded. But to be so inclusive as to automatically give anything and everything a good chunk of your time just because it exists and happens to not repel you at first glance, that is taking a virtue so far that it becomes a vice.

Our time in life is precious beyond words, so it should be spent a bit more wisely than, I believe, I have been. That applies to balancing my entertainment with the rest of my life, but also in choosing what entertainment I give my time to. In short… after spending so much time trying to be more open and accepting, now I need to be more choosy. It’s all about finding the right balance! 🙂

So, I’m taking things from the top, starting over. I’ll take my list of anime to watch and go over it again, judge things much more harshly by asking, “How much do I really want to watch this one?” If I do this right, I’ll be cutting huge swathes out of my “To Watch” list, bringing it down to something more manageable and exciting. Or, at least, exciting for me. 😉

Basically, from here on out, if they want me to watch their show, they need to really hook me, not just leave me mildly open to the possibility. 😉

As disappointing as this crop of anime was, I’m actually grateful for it. It helped me realize I need to reevaluate my priorities and reorganize a few things in my life, especially what I spend it on.


“You really did gain something good out of something boring…”

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