It’s that time of the year again, so enjoy our final thoughts on the winter anime season that just came to an end~
This whodunit murder mystery was easily my favorite show of the season, and it wasn’t even close. Thanks to some great storytelling that’s full of tension and intrigue, I was basically glued to the screen, eagerly awaiting what would happen next. From the first episode, this anime gets you hooked by throwing a plot twist at you that really sets the stage for what’s to come. Ultimately, suspense is the name of the game here, and I was very surprised at how well it comes across in this series.
Since they both revolve around time travel, it’s only natural to compare this to Steins;Gate, and even though I wouldn’t quite regard Bokumachi as highly as that all-time classic, I don’t think it’s a bad comparison at all. For me, this is as compelling an anime as there has been in recent memory, and in an anime season that was full of style but not so much substance, this provided all the substance you’d ever need.
Basing an entire anime around candy/snacks seems kind of crazy, and at times, I found Dagashi Kashi to be a little boring. Matters are helped tremendously by Hotaru, who I feel is not only the best character in the show, but the most entertaining character of the entire winter season. Collectively, the cast of characters are an entertaining group that take what at first might seem like mundane situations and help make them somewhat enjoyable. As stated earlier, there are times when things become sort of sluggish, but with a less interesting cast, it probably would’ve been much worse.
Occasionally, the show feels a lot like an infomercial for a particular kind of candy/snack, which would sort of make Hotaru the Billy Mays (R.I.P.) of the anime world. Nevertheless, she’s a great saleswoman, and after watching, I want to try many of the snacks shown. Lastly, you can’t watch this show and not hope for some yuri moments between Hotaru and Saya, but sadly, nothing like that happens over the course of the series. In an anime full of sweets, that truly would’ve been the sweetest thing of all.
Dimension W is set in a really interesting sci-fi universe, but for my taste, there wasn’t nearly enough action transpiring. Besides being an awesome dancer, Kyouma is just too badass of a character to sit on the sidelines for extended periods of time. As far as atmosphere goes, this show reminded me a little bit of Darker Than Black, and considering I was a fan of both seasons, it’s not much of a surprise that I like this, too. Kyouma, Mira, and Loser were some nice characters, though I felt that some of the others could’ve been more memorable. So despite being a solid anime, this is far from perfect, so I’d very much like to see a second season get greenlit.
I remember watching the short this series is based on and enjoying it, so I was pretty happy to see it made into a four-episode series. The basic premise deals with the relationship between a cat and his owner, the latter of which is going through growing pains and dealing with the challenges of life. I know that that probably doesn’t sound like the most entertaining thing to watch, but it’s actually handled in a heartfelt way that shows the sweet and symbiotic nature of their relationship.
In addition to only being four episodes, each episode is only 8 minutes, so there unfortunately wasn’t a ton of material to digest. Nevertheless, this was a delightful little show, and I think anyone that owns/has owned a cat can appreciate and relate to the loving bond that the two main characters share.
KyoAni shows always look spectacular, so Musaigen no Phantom World has that going for it, but the plot isn’t up to par with the visuals. Fighting phantoms isn’t the most original thing in the anime world, but MnPW handles it in an way that brings some freshness and comedy, but it’s also rather inconsistent in its overall entertainment value.
When it’s on its game, MnPW is a fun and amusing show, however, too often it drags its feet and makes it easy to quickly lose interest in what’s happening. I wouldn’t necessarily hate the idea of a second season, though some improvements would certainly need to be made in order to smooth things over better.
The fact that this anime is based on a Minase Ruruu manga probably makes me like it more than I normally would. Every two-minute episode passed by in a flash, and despite a few amusing moments, I didn’t take away very much from this show. Chie was cute and her relationship with Maeda provided an interesting dynamic, but the episodes were just too short to really sit back and enjoy.
Good on Minase Ruruu for getting one of her works adapted as an anime, but I think Inugami-san to Nekoyama-san showed how entertaining a short-form yuri anime can be, so I’m still holding out hope that we’ll see another one in the not-too-distant future.
Since the dawn of civilization, there have been many questions that have befuddled mankind… “What is the meaning of life?”, “What came first, the chicken or the egg?”… “Is it true that really big boobs will float in water?”. Yeah, Oshiete! Galko-chan deals with all sorts of questions similar to this, and despite not much else happening, it was better than I would have guessed.
That can probably be attributed to Galko-chan, whose gullibility concerning myths surrounding the female body produces a majority of the humor found in this series. Her giant boobs often serve as comedic fodder, and altogether, the three girls have nice chemistry that provides some watchability. I can imagine some people thinking this show is terrible, but in a relatively weak anime season, I think there are far worse things that people could’ve been watching.
Coming into this, I don’t think I had even heard of rakugo, so needless to say, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. There’s a lot of backstory exposition involving the main characters, but their complexities are what make this anime interesting. Starting at a young age, we see the two main characters grow up together, butt heads, and share their love of rakugo, all the while having very different personalities that strain their brotherly bonds, but never manages to break them.
It’s not for everyone, but there’s a certain charm here that’s pleasant to see. That said, this series was a tad bit uneventful for me, hence the slightly above-average score. If you can tolerate the slow-burning narrative, there’s a character-driven tale that’s rewarding, yet somewhat sluggish. And now there’s news of a second season, but I’m unsure if I’ll watch that.
A horror anime during the winter season seems strange, yet it’s still not as strange as Yami Shibai. The low-budget horror series seems like the anime equivalent of short Z movies, and there’s the same strange novelty you’d find in those flicks. It’s obviously not much to look at, and I think it’s more funny than scary, so I’m actually really surprised it managed to get three seasons. The budget must be even smaller than I imagine, which seems nearly impossible.
Regardless, this is an odd little time waster that doesn’t take up too much of your time, but also doesn’t provide all that much entertainment in return. If you’re in the mood for a short-form anime, you can probably find several better options than this.
Shows dropped: Ajin, Koukaku no Pandora, Shoujo-tachi wa Kouya wo Mezasu