Time is seriously going by so fast lately. I feel like it was just yesterday when we did our last round of First Impressions for the summer season.
Well, no point in complaining, since I feel like this season surpasses the last one by far, especially in the yuri department! So here are our first impressions on some of the shows of this current anime season. Enjoy~
Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka??
Genre: Comedy, Slice of Life
Yes, yes, YES! I was waiting for this one for a long while, and it’s finally here!
Time to enjoy watching the daily lives of our favorite group of adorable cafe waitresses. The first episode alone already made me realize how much I was actually missing this show. It’s not only the characters, but the whole feeling that this one gives you while watching. Also, did I mention that I love their cute outfits and the whole town they live in. It’s so peaceful, it’s just calms me down.
Valkyrie Drive: Mermaid
Genre: Action, Ecchi, Fantasy
In great contrast, we have this show that I’m quite sure you all already know about.
Since I already wrote about my first encounter with this show, you can read the full version by clicking here.
Yuru Yuri San☆Hai!
Genre: Comedy, School, Slice of Life, Yuri
Awww, this season is quite something, don’t you think? We get a full yuri show, followed by a second season of Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka??, as well as another season of Yuru Yuri. Out of all shows I’ve started watching, this one is definitely my top pick when it comes to comedy. Screw One Punch Man, this one is true comedy gold in my eyes!
Well, maybe I’m a bit or quite a lot biased, thanks to the fact that I already love the characters, and especially the yuri subtext of this show. But anyway, the first few episodes were already pretty damn awesome. More please!
Hidan no Aria AA
Genre: Action, Adventure
I only picked this one up due to the yuri rumors surrounding it. Through two episodes, the rumors have largely proven to be true, yet I’m still underwhelmed by this show. Being a girls with guns anime, you’d hope the action would be really good, but compared to some of the other shows from this season, it seems average at best. As for the yuri, the main character idolizes Aria, her high school’s top butei (armed detective), and aims to be her protege.
That looks like it’ll be the eye of the yuri storm, going forward. There’s also been a yandere sighting, so that’s another positive. You can sense more yuri potential in this one, so it’ll be interesting to see how things unfold. Out of all the normal-length anime I’ve picked up this season, I have to admit that this is my least favorite thus far. If it didn’t have any yuri, I would definitely drop it, but early on, this looks like a mediocre anime with yuri being it’s saving grace.
Genre: Mystery, Supernatural
I grew up loving cryptozoology, so stuff like this is right in my wheelhouse. Kagewani is a lot like Yami Shibai, another short-form horror series that features kamishibai-style animation. Well, I wasn’t a fan of that one, and Kagewani doesn’t seem to be a huge improvement. Each episode features its own individual story, usually with some sort of creature terrorizing people. I say story, but how much can you really detail in 8 minutes time? The stories may be simple, but at least the settings have been diverse and have ranged from forests, to snowy mountaintops, to the sea. Overall, this isn’t that great, but I still like the subject matter, so I’ll see it through till the end.
Much like how Kagewani uses kamishibai, Kowabon uses a animation technique called rotoscoping to try to add to the spooky atmosphere. Personally, I’m not a real big fan of the implementation here. Sure, it looks different, but compared to Aku no Hana—another rotoscope anime—it just looks poor. Here, it looks hastily put together and as if someone just quickly used Mocha and After Effects to achieve the effect. The episodes are only 3 minutes long, so story is nonexistent, for all intents and purposes. And aside from the animation and duration, the scare tactics used are old and unoriginal. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve likely seen the same techniques used in horror films, and used much more effectively. Horror anime are pretty rare, but I don’t think the two airing this season are really going to contribute much to the genre, unfortunately.
Genre: Action, Adventure, Supernatural
Season one of Noragami was one of my favorites back in the winter of 2014, and this season already looks to be every bit as good as that one, if not better. Yato is still an incompetent badass and is entertaining as ever, Yukino doesn’t have the same amount of screen time so far (which is a great thing), and Hiyori remains a good foil for Yato. Bishamon is a major focus, and having an attractive war god voiced by Miyuki Sawashiro play such a big role is predictably awesome. Story-wise, things are shaping up nicely, so let’s hope Aragoto can keep it going.
If you’re wanting an anime with a really good mix of action, comedy, and drama; this is a nice choice.
One Punch Man
Genre: Action, Comedy, Parody, Sci-Fi, Super Power, Supernatural
He’s the hero anime deserves, AND the one it needs right now. One Punch Man is one of those shows that comes along every now and then that just kind of knocks your socks off. The show is basically about an overpowered superhero who literally defeats his enemies with a single punch. Whether it’s the high-octane action, that despite ultimately being anticlimactic, doesn’t disappoint at all, or the dry humor from main character Saitama that fits him perfectly, there’s a whole lot to like about this anime. There are several pretty good shows this season, but this one has to be my favorite. As an action anime and comedy, I think One Punch Man has passed with flying colors so far. If it can maintain the same level of crazy action and deadpan comedy over the remaining episodes, there’s no telling how high it could climb up my list of all-time favorite anime.
Owari no Seraph: Nagoya Kessen-hen
Genre: Action, Drama, Supernatural, Vampire
Owari no Seraph was a pleasant surprise from earlier in the year, so it’s nice to have it back for another season. Well, things have started a little slowly for my liking, but I remain hopeful that business will pick up soon. This series shares some themes with Noragami Aragoto, but I’d have to give Noragami the edge in just about every category.
That said, I think the best is yet to come for this season of OnS. So until that arrives, I’ll be on the lookout for more of what made the first season so enjoyable, human on vampire violence and the familial drama between Yuu and Mika.
Sakurako-san no Ashimoto ni wa Shitai ga Umatteiru
The description of this one didn’t sound that great to me, but I’m surprised by how much I like it so far. I don’t know how many of you are familar with the American TV series Bones, but this is a tiny bit like that. The two main characters (Sakurako, the eccentric bone-loving genius and her high schooler comrade, Shoutaro) somehow get involved in situations that require Sakurako’s quick-thinking and knowledge to get to the bottom of, which has given her plenty of time to shine as one of my favorite characters of the season. However, one thing I’m not a huge fan of so far is the fact that early on, the series has been episodic. As a result, while the cases have been good and interesting, they haven’t quite been great. Having only twenty-something minutes to build and solve a great mystery is practically impossible, but Sakurako-san does an admirable job, nevertheless.
Shingeki! Kyojin Chuugakkou
Genre: Comedy, Parody, School
When I first heard the premise for this show, I thought it was going to be terrible, but this is actually one of my favorites of the season so far. Everyone from SnK is back, but they’re all caricatures of themselves and have been moe-ified. For all the action and drama normally present in SnK, it’s nice to just relax and enjoy the personalities of the characters. Krista & Ymir have had a few nice moments in the first three episodes, so props to the creators for making it obvious to everyone else what we already knew about. Let’s hope for much more of them when season two arrives in 2016.
If you’ve seen Shingeki no Kyojin (and weren’t solely watching for the action/drama), you might find something to like here, especially if you’re into comedies. It’s not quite season two, but hey, it’s something.