Summer 2016 – First Impressions (Overall)

Here’s my tradition of grouping these shows to GREAT, ALMOST THERE, JUST DECENT and EH?

First, I want to say that I am more enthusiastic with these shows than in their respective counterparts last season. However, Spring 2016 series were solid from the beginning to end with few hiccups in between. Let us see how far these offerings can go. Lastly, if you want some meaty descriptions about these premiere episodes, I believe these first impressions (Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3) posts will help you think whether to follow these shows or not.

GREAT

1. orange

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Let us be clear in this case. I could not care less about the scientific whatnots of orange. I am more keen as to how Naho ten years prior will do her best to save Kakeru and how things will go dark from there. Again, it’s my bias but the central concept of orange is overcoming regret so… my appraisal will be based on how these character interactions work.

2. 91 Days

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The story has been done quite a multiple times but 91 Days managed to pull me to its atmosphere judging this premiere. The soundtrack is spot-on, the characters are plain nuts and color me happy with its bleak take of Prohibition Era in the Americas.

3. Amaama to Inazuma

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I am a sucker for cute shows with melancholic undertones so Amaama to Inazuma garnered a ranking this high on the list. Tsumugi is an adorable kid voiced by a real child so it felt really natural to see her being animated in the screen. Not to mention the fangs of sadness she induces whenever she remembers how her mother cooks or her want of good food. I sincerely hope it won’t go south by pairing sensei and his student though.

ALMOST THERE

4. Shokugeki no Souma S2

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This remains as fun as the first season. I hoped we get some judges criticizing Souma’s food or his preparation just to see something different. Just to echo Flawfinder, the series feels like it is showing off with these cool kids doing cool food tricks.

5. DAYS

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Let’s bring this old school soccer show in the screen! I do not get the hate about DAYS because it is never boring. The show also tries to change tropes by putting the setting in a place where the sport in question has a good reputation. Yet man, why not remove the two big dots on the MC’s face?

6. Momokuri

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Pardon me but I can never hate a shoujo show because this is my comfort food. In case of Momukuri, I got heartstruck by our budding yandere and this show’s tendency to lampoon and glorify shoujo tropes at the same time. The side leads are also working towards the comedic success of Momokuri too!

7. Honobono Log

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Perhaps an additional minute per episode could have put Honobono Log to the level of She and Her Cat but I am ultimately okay with it. The conversation between these lovers felt really real and I am happy to report that it boasts one of the best artworks this season.

JUST DECENT

8. Cheer Danshi

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Its grounded approach in cheerleading is quite atypical for sports based anime series and color me glad with it. The pacing is quite relaxed and there is the absence of an overly genki lead. However, the artwork is merely average and I am not that keen with the animation. Nonetheless, the characters (Haru, Kazu and that dork) are endearing and they laid their motivation as to why they proceeded with cheerleading.

9. Fudanshi Koukou no Seikatsu

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I wished it ran for about 5 minutes per episode but I am ultimately glad that this series didn’t get a full length. Well, there’s no way that these repetitive jokes can make me laugh again and again unless they’re executed akin to Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun. Hey, the relatively high placement of this series is partly due to my personal circumstances. 🙂

10. Planetarian

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Now this is a Key show in terms of setting up the atmosphere and instilling imminent sadness looming in its 18 minute run. Honestly, this is how Plastic Memories should have been done from the start. Remove those filler-ish nonsense humor and go straight ahead with some convincing drama!

11. Rewrite

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I still have no idea as to how this series goes but the intrigue within me just cannot dismiss it as a botched adaptation. Sure, there are parts which feel bloated (Seriously, introducing all these moe girls is a chore) and plain weird (Kotarou and that crab) but Rewrite feels surreal (that moe girl who keeps on biting him) and it feels new coming from someone who eats and adores Key shows.

12. ReLIFE

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ReLIFE’s serious moments are truly great. I only hoped to get more from Arata and his gradual change from his usual hikikomori lifestyle. The jokes, however, are not for me and it kinda feels sleepy at some point. The production values are meh but are not that worse for you to deem ReLIFE as not good.

13. The Morose Mononokean

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This is the staple example of a competent show that gives what it promised but did not veer off to something special. Of course, humanizing these yokais felt a genuine (and a heartfelt) gesture coming from this show but… Abeno and Ashiya are stock characters I have seen before. Their interaction is a bit fun though.

14. Kuromokuro

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Someone hire an internal editor of PA Works and edit the disproportionate amount of filler from this otherwise decent show! Darn it, the thirteenth episode was the epitome of meh-ness in Kuromukuro but the next one was… near great. Get on with your time travel premise and save the princess you moe samurai! Well, the robot fights are quite nice though.

EH?

15. Tales of Zestiria the X

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Sadly, Zestiria landed this low because this is how not to do a prologue. I couldn’t care less about Alisha’s circumstance nor the chaos that destroyed the town. On the other hand, I think it’s quite commendable for this series to have a relatively sane opening granted it’s a video game adaptation but… we need to be awake when you present things! I was sadly bored with it.

16. Handa-kun

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Thank you for making Handa to a generic lead with no redeeming value whatsoever. If you are a fan of Barakamon, I think it’s best to go and read the manga (or the spinoff) than to suffer from the fourth wall jokes that do not make sense or its failures to make jokes from misunderstandings work. Dropped.

I wished to include Mob Psycho and Battery in the list but… well, it will not be out until the 11th and 15th, respectively. I cannot afford to make this post outdated. I also had to bid farewell to Danganronpa because my Summer 2016 schedule is already full. Any thoughts? Violent reactions?

EDIT: Perhaps I will add Mob Psycho 100 and Battery to this post once they I watch them. Thanks!

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