One thing that makes Winter 2016 better than this is the presence of shows people can talk about.
I know you already noticed my posts are dwindling in this blog, and this is because I have a less than positive reception with this season. No new show hooked me as much as Rakugo did, and most of these can induce lulls that put me in my drowsy mode. Where the hell is ERASED when we need it most? I kept 11 shows (that’s really few for me who loves anime) at this point and I pray that my anime dry spell ends come Spring 2017.
Without further ado, let us rank these shows like I always do.
1. Descending Stories: Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu
Descending Stories: Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu is the runaway winner of Winter 2017 and most likely this year as well. I do not have much to say at this show at this point without spoiling things. I will just tell you to watch this and be amazed on how anime can bring such grace and class that will stand against time. Oh, there’s one thing actually. My huge crush for Yotaro has grown into respect and I hope he and Konatsu won’t end like the tragedy Yakumo has faced and has carried for decades.
2. Scum’s Wish
Scum’s Wish is a show that should be remembered more than just its shamelessness and the R-18 scenes. Man, I say watch this series if you are up for some well-written characters but are seriously scum. Scum’s Wish also touches interesting topics on the human psyche and we can write a character study about Akane. The other characters are damn interesting too, but I guess the males (Sensei and Mugi) are tad passé when compared with the complexities of the female leads.
Well, Hanabi is the main reason I love this show though. Perhaps I see myself in her actions back when my first real heartbreak happened. Her selfish wishes, her brokenness and her desperation to get at the same footing with her love interest pains me in a good way. Then I ended up throwing people here and there as a result. Oops. That’s way too personal.
3. Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans
Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans has somehow become a series that does all the great things but stumbles in terms of pacing and character writing. Hence, it ends up just well, instead of great. So I love how Tekkadan got their revenge for Naze but I hate how the show wrote off the poor ladies’ man and Lafter. I love how McGillis is taking his move against Gaelio but I hate the show’s predictability when it pulls plot twists. Yeah, I love this show but I am also creating arguments in myself as to why I shouldn’t be carried over by my admiration for it.
4. Kobayashi-san’s Maid Dragon
Knowing how I was bored with Lucky Star and K-On!, Kobayashi-san’s Maid Dragon’s brand of cute dragons doing cute things hooked me more than I expected. Perhaps it is Kyoto Animation’s focus on the warmness of having a family, and the melancholy of being left out (or branded as the weird one) that gave me high regard to this show. There’s the effective comedic gag here and there, but the heartwarming scenes were the reason I stick with it. Fafnir’s monologue sealed the deal for me that Maid Dragon might be something more than just moe and cute things. Moreover, its fanservice elements are not as jarring as with Interviews with Monster Girls, so I can sit all day and watch this without feeling uncomfortable.
5. Little Witch Academia
Little Witch Academia’s last two episodes are also its best so far, hence, giving me a reason to believe that this will deliver something whimsical again. In fairness to whoever does the character writing, I like that what they did to Akko and her role as the main lead. She has wide-eyed innocence but is also aware of her damning limitations as a neophyte witch. This week’s episode finally gave her a wake-up call that what she wants might take a little longer to reach. On the other hand, I have also taken a liking to Little Witch Academia’s self-contained episodic format. It’s just that some are erring towards the cliché.
6. Kono Subarashi Sekai ni Seifuku wo! 2
Kono Subarashi Sekai ni Seifuku wo! 2 is weird. The animation has gone beyond abominable and the characters now look like GIFs or lousy screen savers when they move. However, there are times when I think the show gives damn sakugas that rival Maid Dragon’s fight scenes. The humor is just as inconsistent as the animation. Aqua and Kazuma are still the show’s tour-de-force, Megumi is still great as hell but Darkness is just… ugh. The episode dedicated to her fell flat big time and emphasized the weakness of this series. You know, jokes that dragged for so long even after its death.
7. Ao no Exorcist: Kyoto Saga
Meanwhile, Ao no Exorcist: Kyoto Saga is technically the best show in this list if we are basing on its production values. A-1 Pictures is putting its A-game here and makes sure everything is perfect. However, it might just be its biggest weakness so far. Granted that the manga is too faithfully adapted, the slow pacing sucks the life out of this sequel. Man, I’ll even say the recent developments feel drab even when we just got the big reveal regarding the Impure King and the Myoudo Temple.
8. Interviews with Monster Girls
I love the half of Interviews with Monster Girls as much as Scum’s Wish but I loathed the harem elements as much as Fuuka’s. Hence, this show falls below in the middle of my watchlist. I guess the comedy is good enough and it also pulls Maid Dragon’s theme of acceptance despite the weirdness. Hikari and Takahashi-sensei’s interaction is just as funny as Aqua and Kazuma’s so Monster Girls has a lot of good things for it.
However, the harem elements destroy the fun big time since the other girls (Machi and Satou) are not as good as Hikari and the snow woman. I personally wouldn’t mind a harem in this show if and only if, Machi and Satou have more than just one note characters.
9. March Comes in Like a Lion
March Comes in Like a Lion is just okay but I am wondering where Shaft intends to end this. Unlike Honey and Clover’s first season, I still cannot see an end to Rei’s depression soon and how is he going to take an active role in the scenes happening right before his eyes. The drama has gone way too repetitive for me to enjoy, and probably I am still there because of Kyoko and Akari’s involvement to the story. Hey, at least they are providing some good support to Rei.
10. ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Department
ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Department keeps on alluring us in its world and I am getting impatient at this point. I get it, you need some good world-building and we have to explore all of ACCA’s district but for the expense of plot or character development. Nino aside, who else got his fair share of development here? It feels like I am watching snippets of strangers talking to each other, and left me wondering why I should care at this point. Yet then again, the brewing talks about a coup de etat are simply intriguing. I am wondering how the show can pull off the chaos given the peace the first six episodes gave. I just pray it won’t be Norn 9 all over again.
Fuuka’s last two episodes are barely passable and these are actually the show at its best. Hence, I guess I have given up hope Fuuka will be at least worth 20 minutes of one’s time. Hey, the childhood friend is okay and the shift to her development might turn this show to something interesting. I think.
Then that’s it. See you in my end of season post! I’ll probably drop a Valentine’s Day article in the blog tomorrow!