Spring 2016 – Mid Season Report

Thank God for the holidays so I was able to come up with a new post. Think of me parroting some aniblogs by giving these shows grades but I honestly think it’s their ranking that matters.

Similar to spring, this is a collection of shows that are pleasant but not emotionally resonant nor thought provoking. As I said before, this season looks like a bunch of KonoSuba and Grimgar being thrown altogether and labelled it Spring 2016. Yet again, nothing comes close to Dimension W as my personal worst show so far in 2016. Let’s start, shall we?

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That’s a weird line, Kuromukuro.

15. Bungou Stray Dogs (My personal worst this season)

Grade: D

Episodes Seen: 5

Impressions: I will be forever puzzled as to why Bones adapted this manga because I honestly feel this is their worst anime adaptation to date. The combination of awful humor, aimless story and one note characters sucks out the enjoyment I wished to have in this otherwise stylish show. Sure, the artwork is eye candy, the concept is cool and the usual outstanding Bones’ soundtrack is here but it can use a little more of cohesion in telling a story.

14. Kuma Miko 

Grade: D+

Episodes Seen: 5

Impressions: Kuma Miko borders on being cute and annoyingly sexual depending on the episode you are in. If you are okay with a 14-year old teen being subjected to suggestive positions or being fantasized by older dudes (Natsu included), I think this show will work wonders. Natsu is the main reason I still stick with this show because of his dry humor which clicks for me most of the time.

13. Sakamoto Desu Ga?

Grade: C

Episodes Seen: 4

Impressions: Unfortunately, the slick style of Sakamoto Desu Ga? is its biggest strength that elevates it from being a total borefest. This is unfortunate granted that Deen is pulling all its cards in animating this show. It is well-directed to be fair and the jazzy background music is a pleasure to hear. Perhaps the humor is too Japanese for me to appreciate so the best thing it can do for now is to make me smirk.

12. Kuromukuro

Grade: C

Episodes Seen: 5

Impressions: This is a very pleasant diversion from PA Work’s usual high school romance stuff and proves this studio can prepare a decent mecha flick. Now, to my main concern. The CG robots do not mesh well with the background, Yukina is a carbon copy of previous PA Works girls and Kennosuke’s fish out of water jokes are starting to irritate me. For a show that has a cool premise on paper (mecha and time travel folks), it looks like we are stuck with these filler episodes in a long while. Nonetheless, I find it good when it starts utilizing these robots in action.

11. Kagewani, Season 2

Grade: C+

Episodes Seen: 6

Impressions: I do not like the direction this series is taking right now. I am fine with the Kagewani of the week formula with the show since it instills horror with these ugly monsters. The bigger plot, however, makes me cringe how trope-y the antagonists are.

10. Joker Game

Grade: C+

Episodes Seen: 5

Impressions: Joker Game has the opposite problem of Sakamoto Desu Ga? in a way that this lacks a central character for me to root on. This is quite sad because it has an intricate premise and it had the potential to be this season’s dark horse. Again, the story of the week it presents is really good – it’s just that we need recurring (and active) characters to appreciate this show more. If you are more keen with the overall theme over focusing on the leads, I am sure you will really love Joker Game.

9. Rainbow Days

Grade: B-

Episodes Seen: 17

Impressions: My stance about Rainbow Days remains the same. It is a well-done albeit generic romcom that works because of the characters.

8. Kotetsujou no Kabaneri

Grade: B-

Episodes Seen: 5

Impressions: This is the definition of popcorn entertainment with a flavor of Attack on Titan. To be fair, I quite like this better than the latter because it zings really fast. The action sequences are on point, the show looks pretty and the soundtrack is perhaps the best this season. Now, the major flaw of Kabaneri is seen when it tries to slow down things because some random information show up which I think, are lol-worthy at worst. The kabaneris themselves get ridiculous power ups without prior explanation and so with Mumei and Ikoma’s vampire-like tendencies. Why the heck? Can I just.. get.. an… explanation?

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Thankfully, Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress is a sufficient popcorn entertainment courtesy of Araki.

7. Mayoiga

Grade: A- to F, depending on your sanity when you watch an episode

Episodes Seen: 6

Impressions: So Okada can write comedy? Okay. I’ll eat this up. If taken seriously, I give this show a big fat F for everything is just plain awful. Taken differently, the director cannot be this incompetent, isn’t it? Okada has a tendency to go overboard with her stories but this is not her usual crazy tone. Darn, if this is intentional, they are doing a good job for making me laugh. The key to watch this show is to treat it like a bad B-movie shot in the 1980s. There you have it, my guilty pleasure this season.

6. Tanaka-kun is Always Listless

Grade: B-

Episodes Seen: 5

Impressions: Sakamoto Desu Ga? and Tanaka-kun is Always Listless are twins which decided to implement a one note joke differently. If the former relies too much on Sakamoto, the latter utilizes its side characters to successfully deliver a joke. Man, it really works for most of the time. The worst thing I get from Tanaka-kun is a smirk but it means that I am already comfortable with this show. A big bonus? Look at those freakin’ gorgeous background art.

5. Flying Witch

Grade: B

Episodes Seen: 5

Impressions: I am particularly lenient with well done Slice of Life series and Flying Witch demonstrated that it can be consistent with delivering good episodes. The naturalistic approach in witchcraft remains the main selling point of the show. The animation is good, the background music fits just right in the series and these characters are darn likable. I am more interested on how Chinatsu reacts whenever she sees the absurdity of witches though. This is also not for everyone granted that nothing much happens every episode and the plot (is there a plot?) moves glacially.

4. Kiznaiver

Grade: B

Episodes Seen: 5

Impressions: I am a bit disappointed with Kiznaiver’s rather tame approach to its grand premise. Episodes 3 and 4 halted the development of the plot and we are just given a better version of Kokoro Connect. Nonetheless, it is fun when it tries to be funny and the concept of kiznaiver remains intriguing. How I wish we can now see the real outcome of having these bonds as opposed to your typical teenage flicks reminiscent of other Okada titles.

3. Boku No Hero Academia

Grade: B

Episodes Seen: 5

Impressions: This show needs to speed things up and I am getting bored. Otherwise, I am ultimately happy with what Bones is giving right now. It wears the underdog trope well and Deku is a good lead. Is it too much to ask if I want Kacchan to be tamed, even for a bit? Lastly, there’s nothing much to say about this show aside from being feels-y and straightforward fun.

2. Assassination Classroom – Final Season

Grade: B

Episodes Seen: 17

Impressions: I don’t know if Winter 2016 was a strong season or the second half of Assassination Classroom ramped up and delivered perhaps the best arc I witnessed in mainstream shows since Noragami Aragoto. Either way, Koro-sensei is given much flesh in his character. The Civil War Arc is also tastefully done in a way that the ideas presented are neither black nor white. Nagisa and Karma have their own compelling reasons to do what they think. For the class as a whole? They are one note characters and this series is aware of that fact.

1. Concrete Revolutio, Season 2

Grade: B+

Episodes Seen: 5

Impressions:  The hipster’s show this season is also my most favorite so far. Everything that makes the first season a gem is carried over with this sequel and I am ultimately glad that the jarring time skips are now gone. That doesn’t mean it is not dense anymore though. Well, I only hope we can now have a glimpse of a bigger plot in exchange for these (rather excellent) episodic offerings.

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5 thoughts on “Spring 2016 – Mid Season Report

  1. Damn, things look bad. I guess I’ll have the check of Mayoiga with your recommendation. I wonder if Mari Okada really did intend this to be a comedy? Her work tends to be all over the spectrum in terms of quality. Of course, Academia and Kiznaiver were on my radar to begin with, but since I’m checking out older series at the moment (Seirei no Moribito, Nodame Cantabile, Rainbow) I’ll probably rush for Berserk first and foremost when I return home.

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    1. Nodame Cantabile is in my backlog. Nothing’s bad with this season to be fair (I think original shows this season are better than that of Winter 2016’s sans Rakugo and Ajin). Even Bungou Stray Dogs is watchable but darn that show’s listlessness.

      Overall, it’s what you said before in your MAL comment – a collection of strong titles that do not hog much attention (or hype).

      Be careful with Kiznaiver though, it is a very inconsistent show. One minute it’s great, the next episode is meh. As for Mayoiga, ahhh… stop analyzing that show and enjoy it for the lulz. Intentional or not, this has got to be a delicious trainwreck.

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