Anime First Impressions of Spring 2016

So, right on the heels of last season’s most disappointing lineup, and my miniature epiphany that I can afford to be a bit more discriminating in my tastes, comes a much more promising lineup this season. There are no less than eleven anime that have not only passed my one-episode rule, but they’ve each solidly hooked me, practically demanding my attention.

I am no stranger to eating my words! 🙂

And you thought there is never a girl onlineAnd you thought there is never a girl online?

Of course, going alphabetically through all these anime that have me excited, the first one up is the one which, out of this set, is probably the weakest.

We have a main character, a high school boy, who got obsessed with a game and actually used his character to propose to another character, only for that character’s player to say that “she” was actually an old man. I have my suspicions about whether or not that was actually true, but the experience left the boy a bit traumatized, to the point he actually believes girls don’t play online games. At all. It’s all just men, boys, and old men, some of them with cute avatars. That is his belief until he meets his adventuring party in real life, and not only are they all gorgeous girls his own age, it’s the typical cast: a buxom, overzealous student council president, a spunky tsundere who pretends to hate gaming in public, and an introverted bookworm that is actually an air-headed ditz.

Oh, and that last one, having worn down his refusals, has gotten their characters married in the game, and is so incapable of distinguishing between real life and fiction that she believes they are husband and wife in real life.

…a touch disturbing, that.

So, outside the possibility of his “wife” going crazy as her delusions are shattered, it’s not a very exciting anime, per se. It looks to have the typical harem setup, too, with one guy and many girls who want him. Points for the unique use of gaming, but not very original, thus far. However, it does look to be fairly amusing! 🙂 For awhile, anyway.

big_order_tvBig Order

This one also has a few weak spots. The very first opening sequence, for instance, felt like a cross between a climax, a lecture, and a seizure. But that passed.

There are apparently these beings, no name for them yet, which go around giving people the power to realize their wishes in some form or another, by giving them super powers. The main character seems to have once wished for the world’s destruction, but he is misremembering that. His real wish was to conquer the world, but something about that caused a national, possible international or even global, catastrophe. There was a great deal of destruction, and he has kept his head down ever since, as pretty much everyone would love the chance to find and kill the person who took their homes and loved ones from them. It’s a fairly convoluted setup, and, right on cue, right at the end of the first episode, the first mystery is solved, and he saves himself and his sister with an awakened super power: to control everything that goes on within a certain proximity to himself.

That’s a fairly unique super power, I have to say, and for the main character to be out to conquer the world? Interesting.

I’m not completely sold on this one yet, but it has just enough potential to keep my attention for the time being

bungou-stray-dogsBungou Stray Dogs

This one’s a bit stronger than the first two I’ve mentioned.

The premise is that there are people with supernatural abilities, and a collection of these have been gathered up in a “detective” agency of sorts. They face the things that common authorities, meaning the cops, are not prepared to face. They’re a sort of buffer, as they can easily handle things which would leave piles of cops and citizens either badly hurt or dead. Oh, and they’re all eccentrics.

That’s sort of par for the course with anime: the main characters are all crazy. 🙂

It doesn’t seem especially original, and there hasn’t been much action as of yet, but it still seems highly amusing! Right from that opening scene, where they set up a strange and riveting tension (will this young man die or turn to thievery to survive?) only to deflate it with hilarity (not-so-possible potential mugging victims, and then this guy floating upside-down in the river, and the crows pecking at him!), I could not stop laughing!

Their creed seems to be: “This is a very tense moment… let’s tell a joke!” And there’s nothing wrong with that! 😀

flying-witchFlying Witch

First, let me just say: there does not seem to be any tension in Flying Witch. At least, not in the first episode.

So what is it that hooked me?

Well, it seems to be sort of a slice of life anime, but with the addition of the existence of witches.

The main character seems to be a fifteen-year-old witch who, due to custom, is sent away from home but also, due to her parents not wanting to just throw her out on her ear, is staying with some family friends in a small, rural town. She seems really sweet and genuine, if also ditzy and naïve. A steel trap, her mind is most certainly not. 😛

I have no idea what sort of story they intend to tell, but seeing her take flight that first time felt really endearing somehow. And the shocked reactions of certain bystanders was priceless! Haha!

At a guess, I’m thinking this one will be filed under “hilarious and heart-warming” in the end. 🙂

sakamoto-desu-gaHaven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto

One word: hilarious!

This one had me howling with laughter!

Sakamoto is the titular character who manages to do everything “with style.” By that, I mean he has this way about him, where nothing can truly ruffle him or diminish his dignity. It doesn’t seem to be a vanity thing. It’s just something he does.

Set an eraser trap at the door? He catches it and gleams. Throw water into the bathroom stall he’s using (the local delinquents get jealous and lash out)? He has an umbrella. Remove his desk? He sits on the window sill, gleaming and glowing. Remove his chair? He sits on thin air. A hornet invades the class? He duels it with a pen before catching it and letting it outside.

My favorite was in the intermission between the first and second halves of the episode, where he’s walking home in a severe storm, perfectly dry because he has his umbrella perfectly positioned. He gets into a race of sorts with a bird, but the bird gets blown away, so he chases it, falls gracefully into the river to land on a convenient wooden board, then uses his umbrella to fly up into the storm, catch the beleaguered bird, and shelter it as the sun comes out and he floats down like Mary Poppins. The entire scenario is so beyond ridiculous, yet so perfectly in sync with this character and how others see him, that I couldn’t stop laughing!

I worry that it might get a bit repetitive and boring, as there doesn’t seem to be any actual story that they mean to tell, but, at least for the moment, I am quite happy with sitting back and laughing at the absurdity Sakamoto introduces into real life! 😀

joker-gameJoker Game

Set just before World War II breaks out, Joker Game follows a military man as serves as a liaison between the imperial army’s headquarters and an organization dedicated to creating spies that can go overseas and infiltrate other countries. There are eight men, generally very nondescript in appearance, who are completing their training, an old man who founded the organization, and our main character, the aforementioned military man.

This is one of those times where I have no idea where the story can or will go, but it’s easy to see the journey of the main character, even at the beginning. He’s enduring some culture shock, being amongst all these spies, and there’s a bit of friction between him, a man who’s had the word “honor” drilled into his very soul, and these duplicitous agents. But the experience is has already proven to be enlightening, as his worldviews are challenged, and begins to become not just a rigid soldier, but an entirely different creature, far more cunning and dangerous than he once was.

It’s one of those shows where I must watch, partially out of psychological fascination, partially out of delight at seeing someone wrestle with new ideas and grow as a result, and partially out of morbid curiosity. Where will this story go? What will the characters do? Who will they become?

Oh, and the title refers to a variant of poker the spies play.

Kabaneri of the Iron FortressKabaneri of the Iron Fortress

A friend of mine once said, “If you’re going to steal, steal flagrantly.”

Man-eating monsters? Check.
The monsters roaming the world and driving humanity towards extinction? Check.
The monsters possessing some odd sort of intelligence behind their savagery? Check.
Humanity barely surviving, or at least prolonging its demise, by hiding within walled cities? Check.
Technology that combines medieval with steampunk weaponry of some sort? Check.
Seeing humanity at its best and worst at the same time? Check.
A main character who is driven to stand against everything he sees wrong with the world? Check.
He’s part human and part man-eating monster? Check.
A devoutly loyal best friend? Check.
A strong female character who is a one-woman army? Check.
Awesome music for kicking ass? Check.

Amount of surprise that this apparently comes from the same people who brought Attack on Titan to life? None whatsoever.

Yeah, they steal from themselves, flagrantly, but I don’t care. So far, it rocks!

😀

my-hero-academiaMy Hero Academia

So, some ridiculous number of people, like four out of every five, have super powers of some sort. They call it a “quirk.” The main character does not have super powers. He has wits and will, though he also has dreadfully little practice in using them. He dreams of being a superhero, like so many others, but he has no powers, and he’s been bullied for it his entire life. Yet, some corner of him can’t just give up, and it’s a good thing too, because so many of these superheroes seem to be barely above incompetent at times. Still, it seems hopeless.

Then he meets the world’s number one superhero, who turns out to be terribly disappointing, but not in any moral sense. He’s just succeeded in hiding how he’s been withering away for a few years now. He’s barely functional, let alone so mighty as he pretends to be. Still, he carries on, and at first he can’t give his young admirer the support he needs. Then, at a moment where he’s given in to his weakness, the boy rushes into danger without a thought for himself, or much thought at all, just a panicked half-idea forming amidst the desperate need to help, and the hero is able to rally himself and save the day. Humbled and enlightened, he is not only able to support the boy, but also decides to make him his successor.

Aside from the twisted hilarity of seeing the typical titanic hero actually be some scrawny fellow barely clinging to life, I like how this story is addressing heroes and heroism. It’s a bit on the nose, of course, and it will probably annoy me to no end how so many people, especially heroes, don’t see how it’s one’s will and mental capacity, not one’s superpowers, which make one a proper hero. Still, the juxtaposition of all these super-people with one another, with the civilians, with the main character, and with what is supposed to be the strongest man in the world, well, it’s intriguing and entertaining. I think I’m going to enjoy this! 🙂

shounen-maidShōnen Maid

This one firmly promises to be something one watches when one needs to laugh.

The main character is a young boy who has a tendency, and the skills, and the veritable compulsion to keep house. He’s a robot maid that happens to be a living person. 😛 Recently, his mother passed away, and his obscenely-rich uncle took him in. Thing is, said uncle has completely failed to keep the mansion he lives in tidy, so the boy… well, I’m sure you can guess where that is going, LOL.

Plot-wise, this doesn’t promise much, like most of the comedies I’ve mentioned. But it does promise to keep me laughing, and maybe pull at my heartstrings every so often. 🙂

That seems to the winning formula for a comedy, doesn’t it?

twin exorcistsTwin Star Exorcists

So, we have two exorcists, which are “priests” of a sort who protect people by combating and dispeling evil spirits.

One is a boy, a teenager, who wields a truly overwhelming power in his hand. He suffered a truly traumatic experience two years ago, one which resulted in the deaths of many of his childhood friends. The loss and horror broke his will to fight, and now he wants nothing to do with exorcism or exorcists, though he does take action when someone is in serious danger right in front of him.

The other is a girl, proud and ambitious, crafty and resourceful, disciplined and strong. She lives for exorcism, and wants to be the very strongest of them all. But upon her first meeting with the boy, she loses to him, as he eliminates an enemy that she was struggling with. Her pride is wounded and she is angry, yearning to challenge and defeat him.

Needless to say, these two do not get along right away. It does not help when a highly-eccentric man, chief leader of Japan’s exorcists, announces that their prophesied hero, the one who shall be the strongest of all exorcists and wipe out the evil spirits, is soon to make their debut. He has the two of them fight, and they nearly kill each other. Most of the observers thought that one of them would be their figure of prophecy, but not so. No… their prophesied savior will be their baby. Meaning the two of them are involuntarily engaged to each other.

…LOL!

Yeah, not particularly subtle, but, hey, it looks like it’ll be a fun ride seeing these two possible kill each other, be it before or after they fall in love. 😛

Ushio-to-Tora-2nd-Season-Visual-RevealedUshio and Tora

Now, here’s where I’m really glad about this season. Ushio and Tora is the first and last title on this list that is returning. All the rest are new. That’s ten anime, brand new, which have hooked me! 🙂

But as for Ushio and Tora, it’s basically more of the same: grudging respect born of their unlikely partnership, slaying evil demons, preparing to slay the greatest of all demons, etc., etc., etc. Entertaining, but it’s getting a bit long at this point, ya know? Last season practically thrust us towards the conclusion, but then side-stepped around the entire thing! Sheesh! I’ll probably let most of this season build up and binge it all at once. I already know it can entertain me for quite awhile! 🙂

In Summary:
All of these are in, and, with exception to that last, likely to be followed every week if at all possible. 🙂

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2 Responses to Anime First Impressions of Spring 2016

  1. masterleiaofasgard says:

    Nice! Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress sounds an awful lot like Attack on Titan though…xD

    Liked by 1 person

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