It’s that time of the year again, so enjoy our Final Thoughts of the spring anime season that just came to an end~
Everything’s better down where it’s wetter. The first season of Amanchu! was a sweet and easygoing anime that was easy to like, and I found this second season to be nearly as enjoyable. Futaba is much better acquainted with the world of diving, yet there’s still a lot for her to learn and experience—both in and out of the water—so it’s a good thing that she has people like Hikari and the rest of the gang there to help her every step of the way~
All the characters that we got to know in season one are back, as are a few new faces. You know, after seeing one of the key visuals, part of me was a little worried that the new characters might disrupt the great chemistry between Futaba and Hikari, but that was much ado about nothing. Kokoro (an introverted young
girl boy that Hikari meets) and Kodama (Hikari’s little sister) play fairly minor roles, though Kokoro and Futaba do form a sort of rivalry over their shared interest in Hikari. The new season didn’t suddenly get rid of the subtext, with my favorite moment being the Halloween race where the winner gets a kiss from the prince, which just so happens to be Hikari. Futaba and Kokoro battle it out for Hikari’s lips (and a giant octopus plushie), and since it ends up being a tie, they both get a kiss… just not on the lips. Dman! Ultimately, this episode ended in a scene depicting Futaba and Hikari and as a prince and princess, so, yeah, this season still has a few gayer moments (even though this particular scene was just a dream). 😛
There was less time spent under the sea this season, which is a little disappointing, since that’s one of the things I enjoyed most about the first season. And I could’ve done without that entire Peter story arc, though, I guess it was a little nice to get something a bit different, even if it was at the expense of seeing more of Pikari and Teko. Also, once Futaba learns that Kokoro is a boy, she acknowledges that his love for Hikari is different than hers and that she’s rooting for him… *insert sad trombone sound effect*
Anyway, if you want to kick back and unwind and just watch something light and fluffy, this is as good a choice as you’re likely to find right now. Similar to its predecessor and the recent (and excellent) Yuru Camp△, Amanchu! Advance is a leisurely-paced slice of life that might not be for everyone, but the end result is still a very watchable show that’s simply pleasant to watch. I don’t think it’s actually as good as Yuru Camp△, and I felt like some of the Futaba x Hikari charm from season one was missing, however, this was still a solid follow-up.
It’s probably due to the studio involved, but when I first picked up this anime, I wasn’t expecting much. Twelve episodes later, I can say that it was my surprise of the season. The daily lives of high school mangakas. It’s a concept that’s familiar yet different at the same time, and even though this wrinkle doesn’t mean that this show is all that different from most other cute girls doing cute things anime, it still manages to succeed at many of the different aspects that make these types of shows appealing to so many.
One of those aspects is the characters, and it didn’t take me long to realize that I really liked these girls. All four are familiar character archetypes that we’ve seen a million times by now, yet they pull it off so well that I don’t even mind. Kaos in particular was the one that I enjoyed most, and she definitely gets my vote for the most adorable character of the year, so far. The other characters are also entertaining in their own right, and their chemistry and charisma shine through as well. When it comes to the comedy, this show always seemed to amuse me with its gags. I wouldn’t rate it up there with something like Yuru Yuri, but to me at least, I think this may be funnier than most other slice of life anime. And on top of all this, for a slice of life, Comic Girls looks surprisingly good.
The closest this anime comes to a yuri pairing has to be Koyume and Tsubasa, who eventually go on a date to an amusement park. It’s not exactly the most romantic of trips—since Tsubasa doesn’t realize that Koyume has taken a liking to her—but it’s still super cute, and seeing Tsubasa’s reassuring words of encouragement was one of the most heartfelt moments you’ll find in this show. Aside from Koyume’s crush on Tsubasa, this show has the occasional yuri moment, but that’s not its main focus, and that’s okay. In some ways, this anime reminded me a bit of GochiUsa, except it’s a bit more active. If you like cute girls doing cute things or just slice of life in general, I think there’s a really good chance that you’ll like this one.
And the award for the strangest show I watched this season goes to… Hinamatsuri. Fortunately, that’s not a bad thing, as this was definitely one of the more entertaining anime of the season, I’d say. Centered around a yakuza member who’s pretty much forced to take in a strange girl with supernatural powers, this was a really fun oddball comedy that felt like a breath of fresh air. Surprisingly, those supernatural powers of Hina’s (and Anzu and Mao) don’t play much of a factor for most of the season, so this was more about the peculiar situations that these colorful characters find themselves in.
Aside from the comedy—which was pretty great—this show had a really good cast of characters. The previously mentioned Nitta and Hina get top billing, but there are so many good characters that it’s hard to pick a favorite. Anzu, a rival-turned-friend of Hina’s who also has supernatural powers but is fortunate enough to not have someone as ill-equiipped as Nitta to look after her, would be a great choice, then there’s also Hitomi. She’s a middle-school classmate of Hina’s who unwillingly takes up a job as a bartender, and between her, Hina, Anzu, and even Mao, this show far exceeded it’s quota for cute girls. For all four of these characters, and Nitta as well, this was all about being put in odd situations, so more or less, Hinamatsuri is pretty much just a big fish out of water story, but a really entertaining one.
For me, it’s a close call as to what my favorite show that aired this season was (it’s actually Steins;Gate 0, but that’s still on-going), though, this one might get the nod. Sometimes, you just want something funny and different, and I feel like that describes Hinamatsuri really well. But it also had a softer side that occasionally reared its head, right before taking things back to a lighter mood that wound up being a great sweet spot to settle in. So this is another anime that I hope gets a second season, but even if it doesn’t, I can see myself watching this again sometime in the future~
First impressions are everything, and the first episode of this show left a REALLY bad taste in my mouth after teasing everything from bullying to rape to suicide. I could’ve easily dropped it after that, but I soldiered on, and while the rest of the season never quite hit lows that low, the overall quality of this anime didn’t really get that much better.
Built around the novel idea of unfortunate girls getting magical “sticks” by visiting a special website, this was more or less another uninspired magical girl anime that tried pretty hard to be overly dark and brooding, yet, for me at least, it felt like just another in a long line of generic magical girl anime. Whether good (and I use that term loosely) or evil, it’s hard to like any of these characters, and I didn’t find them to be all that memorable either. Even the group of villains seem half-hearted and forgettable, regardless of whether we’re talking about the deranged older brother or the mysterious administrators. And amidst all the doom and gloom, it’s nice that the creators were able to fit in a beach episode, which still managed to include some good, old-fashioned death, so it wasn’t a total time waster. Sadly, that might’ve been this anime’s greatest accomplishment… 😛
I remember hearing somewhere that the manga had some yuri in it, but then another person commented on here that it didn’t, so, being the intrepid guinea pig I am, I had to see for myself which side was actually right. Well, two of the main characters—Aya and Tsuyuno—do eventually get pretty friendly (and Tsuyuno even tells Aya she loves her at one point), so I guess you could say that there is a degree of subtext involved. But what magical girl anime doesn’t have at least a little yuri subtext? It’s practically par for the course, and I highly doubt it’s enough to persuade those who’ve already formed a negative opinion of this to watch. Simply put, Mahou Shoujo Site makes most magical girl anime look much better in comparison, and I think those interested in this would be better off watching Madoka★Magica for the fourteenth time.
At only three-and-a-half minutes per episode, you should be well aware of what you’re getting yourself into if you watch this. You got yourself some cute girls doing lewd things, and that pretty much sums up this entire anime. It’s honestly not that great a show, but it is mindless fun, and with yuri anime like Citrus, Asagao to Kase-san., and this fall’s Bloom Into You anime taking up our time, sometimes it’s nice to have something short and to-the-point. Think something along the lines of Yuru Yuri but without the great characters or comedy and with plenty of (censored) nudity.
Actually, I thought that the characters weren’t that bad, and for a show so short, that’s kinda surprising to me. At least half the cast seems to be openly gay, and even the ones who aren’t usually seem to find themselves in some sort of compromising position that makes you wonder about their sexuality. Obviously, the yuri levels are really high with this one, and that’s one of its biggest selling points. And a damn good selling point it is! Like most other slice of life anime, there’s not much of a story, but when you’ve got several cute girls that are all over each other, who needs a story, right? 😛
If you’re one of those people who are looking for something yuri and ecchi like Valkyrie Drive or Sin: Nanatsu no Taizai but without the long-winded and bad story, this will probably be right up your alley. You’ll still have to endure a few minutes of a lame slice of life, but that’s a small price to pay for some simple and lewd yuri action. As a full-length anime, I don’t think this wouldn’t have worked very well and all its flaws would’ve been more pronounced, but as a simple time waster? It’s not half bad. If you’ve got thirty-something minutes to spare and don’t mind a lot of fanservice and some suggestive comedy, this is mildly entertaining stuff.
With all the comparisons to Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun, this anime had some high expectations to live up to, and even though I certainly don’t think it did live up to those lofty expectations, I can’t deny that this was still a fun time. While fun, this seemed a little too much like your standard anime romcom. I don’t think that the characters—nor the situations they found themselves in—were interesting enough to elevate this show beyond “above average”, and with another similar show (WotaKoi) seeming to do just about everything a little bit better, it kind of cemented this show’s status.
Teresa (the show’s main love interest) was as cute as can be, if a little too cliche (other than the love for Rainbow Shogun), but it was Tada-kun that ended up being overly bland. When the show’s resident cat is more entertaining than the main character, it’s not a good look. For me, you can add most of the supporting characters to the list of characters that were more entertaining than Tada-kun. My inner hopeless romantic wanted Tada and Teresa to get together, though, Tada’s extended lack of interest doesn’t help matters at all. Being that dense might have worked for Nozaki, but Tada is no Nozaki. As for those supporting characters? Alec, Kaoru, Hinako, and Hajime were all nice additions that added some much needed personality into the mix, and the side pairings were really cute and had me rooting for them as well~
But no matter how good the other pairings are, it all comes back to the main pairing, and I feel like this is where Tada-kun could’ve been a bit better. What’s a romcom without romance? For nearly the entire first half of the season, there’s little in the way of signals being sent that those two are somewhat interested in one another, and only when Teresa’s fiance shows up does Tada show signs of life. And in case you haven’t figured it out by now, there’s no yuri in this one, even though it almost seems like Alec and Teresa would make a better couple than Tada and Teresa. You’d think I would’ve figured this out from the title, but I guess Tada and Nozaki aren’t the only ones who’re dense. Anyway, this show had its moments, but I like a little more courtship in my romcom anime. If you’re a fan of the genre, you can probably do a lot worse than this, just don’t expect this to be the next great romcom.
Okay, I stand corrected. this was actually the weirdest anime I saw this season. Similar to how KanColle had ship girls, Uma Musume takes things even further and introduces us to horse girls. Horse girls that race… and sing… and dance. Actually, if you can get over the fact that the girls are of the equine variety, this still vaguely resembles your standard sports anime, with all the ups and downs that come with competition. Slice of life is also one of the genres listed, but I think, first and foremost, this is a sports anime through and through.
With a goal of being the best horse girl in Japan, we see the protagonist, Special Week, join a prestigious academy in order to try and make it happen. What follows is the journey to the top for her and many, many other horse girls, and to be honest, I thought that several of those girls were pretty unremarkable. There are some girls on the team that we don’t see hit the track often, and I would’ve liked to have seen more of the top-tier girls like El Condor Pasa, for example. Regardless of whether the show was going for comedy or one of those rare instances in which they sought a more emotional response, I don’t think that the slice of life segments were anything to write home about, so most of the entertainment factor for me came from the races themselves and the rivalries formed amongst the top horse girls.
Early on, I was thinking that a close friendship could possibly develop between Special Week and Silence Suzuka and result in some subtext for us, and while that did happen to some degree, it wasn’t quite as much as I was expecting. Although there are a number of pairings to ship, we don’t really see too much horseplay (hehe) among the girls (yet there was a kiss on the cheek). This might have to do with many of these horse girls being based on real Japanese racehorses, so the creators might’ve tried to be careful and avoid portraying them in a negative light, though, some fans haven’t been as compliant…
Even though the synopsis might not suggest it, Uma Musume tries to come across as a legitimate sports anime, and I think it kind of succeeded in that regard. It doesn’t resort to a lot of fanservice à la Free!, Keijo!!!!!!!!, or the upcoming Harukana Receive, so there’s that. In my opinion, some elements like the overall quality of the characters and comedy may have been average at best, but that doesn’t mean that this anime deserves to be sent to the glue factory, so if you like sports anime, this is a competent one that might interest you.
Double the pleasure, double the fun. A second romcom was added to our viewing ledger this past season, and while Tada-kun was a slow starter that took forever for the main characters to show interest in each other, WotaKoi has the main pairing getting together in the very first episode. For this show, the characters are all young adults and the setting is an office environment, so it’s a welcome change from all the shows that take place amongst high school students. Another welcome change is that all four of the main characters are otaku. Rejoice, fellow nerds! 😛
Being able to relate to the characters a little better is pretty nice, but I liked how this anime struck a great balance between romance and comedy and how it occasionally melded the two into one. Things aren’t overly lovey-dovey, with Kabakura and Hanako always bickering like an old married couple, and then there’s Hirotaka and Narumi, who sometimes barely even resemble a couple at all. Those two may be dating, but video games and yaoi are still their first loves, respectively. Tada-kun may have had a couple of underwhelming main characters, yet WotaKoi shines in this regard, and the same can be said of the comedy, which really caters to fellow otaku out there and features plenty of references to various game and anime franchises. Yuru Yuri even gets more than one nod, so obviously Fujita (the creator of the web manga this is adapted from) is a man or woman of culture as well~
The worst thing that I can say about this anime is that it’s only eleven episodes. It’s one of those shows that I could probably binge watch for hours and not get tired of, so missing out on the standard twelve (or even thirteen) episodes is unfortunate. Still, this was about as good a time as I had with any anime this season, and I don’t know if it’s even possible, but I’d definitely be interested in another season. I’m all for ilyllic romance, though, things like this are also very welcome in my book. If I could, I’d probably score this more like an 8.25, but our scoring system doesn’t take into account quarter-points, so it’ll have to settle for an 8.
Shows dropped: Caligula, Cutie Honey Universe, Lostorage Conflated WIXOSS, Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online