Fall 2016: MidSeason Report

Sadly, no new show will enter in my year-end ranking this season.

Yeah, my affairs in real life last week was hectic so I won’t be able to fully explain my reason for this ranking. All I feel is Fall 2016 offers a whole lot of decent (but not great) new shows and Sound Euphonium S2. Yet I think that’s also for the better. I can’t say I hated most of these with all my heart (except Occultic;Nine) and I am only willing to drop Shuumatsu no Izetta if it keeps on getting duller. In fact, you can check any of these shows in my list and say you killed good thirty minutes of your life in a nice way.

NEW SHOWS

    1. Fune Wo Amu
    2. Flip Flappers
    3. Girlish Numbers
    4. Drifters
    5. Yuri on Ice
    6. Sangatsu No Lion
    7. Poco’s Udon World
    8. Kiss Him, Not Me
    9. Keijo!!!!!!!!
    10. Shuumatsu no Izetta
    11. Classicaloid
    12. Occultic;Nine

Random Thoughts: I guess I already warmed up to Flip Flappers‘ abstract storytelling and fully enjoyed the visually enthralling universes it gives every episode. However, I am still not sold by its tendency to be cryptic and leaving the audience half-confused and half-amazed for the most of its run. The characters also remain awfully 2D except for Cocona (thank God) and our best girl Yayaka. Nonetheless, I have no doubts with Flip Flappers becoming my favorite new show for this season. That is, if its quality until the end is akin with the last three (great) episodes.

Meanwhile, Girlish Numbers might as well be renamed as CRINGE: The Animation for good reasons. It paints cynical outlook in the anime industry, we also get a delusional lead and god damn this Kuzu-P. I also like to commend the way it portrays the conflict of the other leads (even if I can’t remember their names actually). Well, my major complaint with Girlish Numbers is I cannot pinpoint a strong word for it. I know, Fune wo Amu is calm but boring and Flip Flappers is visually good but has cluttered storytelling. The same can’t be said with this. It’s like I am entertained while I am watching an episode but tends to forget what happened after an hour. I guess Girlish Numbers needs to ramp OreGairu style to make itself more memorable, I think.

Well, Drifters  is a show I don’t normally watch as I am afraid of shounen tropes. Then bam! Toyohisa and his gang make my experience very enjoyable. This series is kind of fun when it goes serious and chops human bodies like crab sticks, and when it delves to some underhanded tricks thanks to Oda. The multi-layered plot is converging as of episode 7 and I can say that it’s cleanly done.

Now to my concerns. The amount of comedy in Drifters is inversely proportional to my enjoyment. The humor sucks, and Youichi feels like an afterthought as his personality is overpowered by Oda and Toyohisa. Well – I got an awesome lead named Toyohisa so… I guess that works fine?

Yuri on Ice is the gayest show of the year (Sorry Flip Flappers and Sound! Euphonium) but it does not feel that the gay element is out of place. In fact, it complements Yuri’s motivation to skate! Episode 7 in particular is simply one of the best episodes in 2016 all thanks its harmony of animation, dialogue and sheer emotional prowess. To be honest, I am much willing to put this in my year-end rankings if not for its lows that really blow.

The show is suffering from production issues (unfortunately) and some animation clips were repeatedly used for God knows why. Also, the humor sucks half the time. I am not that irked with the numerous characters though. It’s a skating competition and we only got 12 episodes. At least this show knows who to develop most. (Also, there’s Phichit who is just… a precious child we need to protect!)

For the others:

  • My assessment for Fune wo Amu remains the same. It’s my most favorite new show this season but it needs some engaging conflict to push itself from a pleasant watch to a great one. Well, the love story angle is great but where’s the sea of words you promised earlier? Boo.
  • I have the opposite problem for Sangatsu no Lion. I loved the content and is probably the most emotionally charged series this season, but man, the production… it really distracts my experience to be honest! If it’s done a la Fune wo Amu or even Girlish Numbers, I think it’s a surefire contender for my most favorites this year. Too bad, it got shafted by Shaft which decided to animate every little thing in the manga – even the jokes! Oh. Also remove the Monogatari style of production because Sangatsu no Lion only requires fluid and normal animation! Ugh.
  • Poco’s Udon World needs more Nakajima. Period. I love what I am seeing at the moment though. There’s nothing great but its refreshing way to open young adult issues and wounds is commendable.
  • On the other hand, Kiss Him, Not Me thrives on shallowness and I still love the heck of it. Keijo is still flirting with meh to okay and I think I’ll stop expecting something crazier at this point. However, the two shows show on how you do anime with crazy premise and make these watchable.
  • Shuumatsu no Izetta and Classicaloid? Zzzzz… It’s a feat you make a yuri bait series boring (Izetta) and an outlandish premise really tame in execution (Classicaloid).
  • Lastly, Occultic;Nine is a hot mess I don’t want to meet again after its airing. UGH.

SEQUELS

  1. Sound! Euphonium
  2. Ajin
  3. Mobile Gundam Suit: Iron Blooded Orphans
  4. DAYS

Random Thoughts: The stronger set to be honest. Yet these are also my favorites from their respective first cour (or seasons). Sound! Euphonium and Ajin held its own, delivering episodes at par (or even greater) from its previous seasons. Well, Gundam: IBO and Days felt like they fizzled somewhere in the middle though.

For Gundam: IBO, I am not really enticed by the new (and a lot!) of subplots and I think Aston’s death is pointless aside from making us suffer. DAYS, on the other hand, is just awful in terms of production. It seems like Yuri on Ice gets everything from MAPPA. Poor show.

I will create another anime related post next week. I am still thinking of the theme though.

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4 thoughts on “Fall 2016: MidSeason Report

  1. I’ve not caught up with Euphonium, but I more-or-less agree with your Flip Flappers, Girlish Number, Lion and Ice conclusions. However, this seems more like a season where nothing quite reached excellence than… Summer 2015 0_0!

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  2. Very interesting season. I don’t think any of these is ever going to be a personal favorite of mine too (except Natsume, which earned its goodwill through its previous for seasons), but the variety in narrative and visual style is outstanding.

    I’m actually more bothered by the direction style in Yuri rather than Lion; a bit too hyper for me, and the constant comedic exaggeration is worse there. Had to drop it after just 2 eps… I’ll probably just look up the performance clips later (*what episode does the production value started to drop off, by the way?). Lion can also come off as over-stylized, as you pointed out, but the character work are more than good enough for me.

    FF is the kind of show that I can appreciate, but I can never truly love, for almost the exact reason you said.

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    1. I hope these shows won’t fall towards EH? because I don’t want to experience Summer 2015 all over again. By the way, Yuri on Ice’s production started to downgrade starting on episode 3 and hit its nadir on episode 5.

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