Since many anime viewers are implementing the three-episode rule, I am going to tweak my usual groupings this week. Shall we start?
This remains a very solid week in Summer 2016 because there’s no ‘Eh?’ show in this group. It seems like this season has both the strengths of Winter 2016 (strong highlights) and Spring 2016 (solid shows). Could it be possible that the once worst part of an anime year is actually the strongest this year?
Just Watch It!
What I liked: Kakeru has done nothing beyond being a plot device but the consequence of Naho’s choices is now showing its ugly head. The serene yet uneasy atmosphere still looms in its third episode but color me heartbroken with Naho being a bit too late to change things, and some realization about Kakeru’s circumstances 10 years later. What’s worse in this episode? You got a very happy (and upbeat) first half only to hit you with feels no one expects to survive after. This is the show from shoujo demographic we are wishing for a long time.
What I did not: Perhaps the direction still distracts me but this is a very minor nitpick. The last three minutes were also a bit too dramatic but I might never know since I was also crying that time.
Amaama to Inazuma
What I liked: Holy cow! Who says shows without plot are bad? I was reminded of the elegant Usagi Drop when this episode focused on Tsumugi and her trouble in the school. Man, this is how a child thinks in real life! This show pretty much nailed it in my opinion. This is also the first show this season which left me to a bawling mess. The outcome after we saw Tsumugi ate that hamburger steak was poignant that even the coldest will be moved by that scene.
What I did not: The predictable cooking fest could use a bit more creativity as it can be stale in the long run.
What I liked: The straightforward plot and the atmospheric soundtrack just keep on drawing me in to appreciate this series more. Well, the cuteness of Amaama to Inazuma aside, this is my OP of the season sans some questionable visual choices. Angelo remains a strong lead despite these side characters are doing nothing for me at this point. For the episode itself, well, it’s a typical 91 Days episode, which means a compliment?
What I did not: Some off character models and bland use of flashbacks prevented this from being a legitimate winner this week. I cringed when I remembered this is the studio that botched Durarara!! so expectations for the upcoming episodes may go down. Also, Nero’s breakdown in the funeral could be a bit more dramatic because the emotional punch is just… well, none. Why am I going to care for Vanetti if I met him just an episode before?
What I liked: Key loves to kill characters with distinct personality and planetarian seems to follow this pattern. Unlike most Key shows, the raise of Yumemi’s death flag is much, much more handled carefully that you won’t feel being emotionally manipulated. The pacing is really okay even if it will run for mere 5 episodes and it accomplished more of what Plastic Memories could ever have at this point. We also got meaningful characterization for the Junker and Yumemi, despite the latter being a robot. Darn it, I need tissues in this.
What I did not: God. Just watch this episode because I have nothing major to hate in this one.
What I liked: Mizuki is my new favorite thing after this episode. You just defrosted a serious captain to a soccer loving idiot. That aside, DAYS won’t stop messing with my feelings from legit sad to sufficiently happy for the team. I am glad I am caring for Tsukamoto’s progress (as well as Seisaki’s) and the sports in question also gets emphasis despite DAYS centered with characters.
What I did not: Tsukamoto is awesome. We get it! Well, that was a minor quip since I am more concerned with the less than graceful transitions of this episode. Kazama got an instant character development and that dude suddenly became fond of Tsukamoto as a teammate. Lastly, Mizuki’s past was thrown as if it was some kind of a normal fact. Also do not expect anything original in DAYS since this is just a very good derivative of other works.
What I liked: Again, the somber approach of Cheer Danshi to a rather outlandish theme is commendable. Mizogichi aside, everyone acts like humans and we are learning cheerleading basics bit by bit. I am happy to report that I expected trash from this but I got a decent flair about making a club trying to be recognized in school. Ahh… Sho is basically the romantic equivalent of Tengenji. Another ikemen who is also a lovable dork.
What I did not: Now that we are complete collecting the cheerleading team, can we now start to the main point? Why the heck did this episode start with an onsen scene? Fan pandering much?
Fukigen no Mononokean
What I liked: It seems like this show is going to do a story of the week theme while laying important plot points along the way. I do not mind since these tales are thematically strong on their own and we got some yokais which are humanized. We also got hints why Abeno is a sour person and why Ashiya seems to be a dangerous person as far as yokais are concerned.
What I did not: While the humor is tolerable, color me cold with Abeno and Ashiya interaction. Man… the two are just stiff when they are together.
May Not Sustain My Interest
What I liked: Momo is trying his best to develop his relationship with Kuri to a more genuine one. Kuri is doing her part too, realizing that her boyfriend is more than just a cute thing and is really a boy. The comedy remains potent as far as bullying the poor guy goes.
What I did not: Sakaki is bringing the show down and Kuri’s brand of yandere is starting to wear down as far as its comedic effect is concerned. Lastly, we get it. Momo is darn cute! Then?
What I liked: I can understand as to why this is picked as a noitamina show this season. Takumi is an interesting lead as we see portions of him cracked by Go and Seiha. His cool demeanor is actually a façade to pre-teen trying to come up to his own resolve. Go is your stereotypical genki lead but color me happy that it is not overdone. Seiha is not irritating so I am okay with that. The sub improved a lot this time (the grandpa’s lines, are… uhm) and I got used with the voice acting so I can call this a good episode. The drama is also fine, granted that this is coming from kids trying to do what they want but their parents aren’t exactly hot with it.
What I did not: This is a baseball show. When will these kids play baseball?
Fudanshi Koukousei no Seikatsu
What I liked: I smirked when I saw Guchi fooling around whenever he sees anything BL related. Darn this boy resembling me in real life.
What I did not: The spitfire of jokes aren’t making sense and I was left down by Guchi’s discovery of a fujoshi. I remembered laughing a lot when I read the manga but the anime kind of lost its magic.