Here are this week’s anime thoughts, now featuring my entire Summer 2016 selection!
Did I miss a step, or was that whole “no one will remember you” thing not covered in the first episode? Seems like kind of an important detail. Well, whatever. I like that Arata’s already making friends, and he seems to have a chummy rapport with them, especially An. Hishiro’s definitely an odd duck, but I’m glad Arata’s mature enough to see past her overt awkwardness (though I suppose he should be, since, y’know, 27).
Tales of Zestiria: The X
Wow, poor Alisha just can’t catch a break. Showing her little journey into the ruins certainly helps build up her unfortunate circumstance, as opposed to just starting us off from when Sorey and Mikleo found her. Speaking of which, glad to have our protagonist finally on deck. He seems a bit more subdued compared to the game; less of a ruin maniac and more of a ruin enthusiast, though that could change over time. Something I’m a little curious about: that Normin that tried to help Alisha, why was he speaking gibberish? Normin can talk just fine, even if she couldn’t hear him. Strange.
The Morose Mononokean
Looks like Abeno is a very economically conscious sort, though I have a feeling he’ll be compromising on his “no money, no exorcism” policy more frequently in the near future. Hanae is a bit on the whiny side, and it feels like he relented a little too quickly on trying to find a solution for the big shrub guy, but I suppose, like Abeno said, if he hadn’t tried to make that little push, they wouldn’t have solved anything. That medicine, though… I think I smell a plot device.
Active Raid Second
I’ve always liked the concept of super hero cops. It combines the fast action of a super hero with the bureaucracy navigation and deductive reasoning of law enforcement. The first season of Active Raid did a pretty good job of this, highlighting Unit 8’s clever bending of the rules to get the results they needed in a dire situation. Honestly, if you took out the super suits, it’d almost be a regular cop show. I’m a little unsure where the plot’s going to go, since it seemed like things wrapped up pretty nicely at the end of the first season, but I guess now we’re going from evil geniuses to straight-up terrorism, so we’re raising the stakes, if nothing else. I hope we get to see those new cadets in Willwears soon…
Re:Zero – Starting Life in a New World
I guess we all go a little mad sometimes. Hopefully, that little nugget of crazy was enough of a shock for Subaru to start getting his act together. It’s time to stop acting like a jester, and start being the knight you claimed to be. Speaking of crazy, though, I’ve gotta say, Betelgeuse might be the best thing that’s happened to this show. He’s like The Joker if he was a religious figure; he’s just so gleefully evil that I can’t help but laugh at him and everything he does. I have to keep watching this show, for him, if nothing else.
The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.
(For some reason, they’ve been releasing this show as five-minute shorts over the course of a week, and then on Sunday it’s all condensed into a single episode. Seems kind of dumb, but hey, it’s not my show.)
Ep 1 (Shorts 1-5)
I think Saiki might be a contender for “most stonefaced protagonist”. It actually makes him kind of fun, in a weird way, since he can solve just about any problem that comes his way without saying a single line of verbal dialogue, compounded by the silly nature of his powers. It’s kind of like if JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure were a comedy series, it’d be like this. His… I hesitate to call them friends, so let’s say “acquaintances” are all rather bizarre in their own right. Nendou is interesting in particular to me; being completely brainless, and therefore immune to Saiki’s mind-reading, makes him a pretty good unpredictable foil to Saiki’s meticulous nature.
Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope’s Peak – Future
The problem with the first Danganronpa anime was that it was tied down to the story of the game, and a lot of cuts had to be made in order to fit the thirteen episode series, so naturally it ended up being a little disappointing. Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope’s Peak – Future (wow, that’s a mouthful, let’s just call it Future-Side from now on) is under no such obligation, so hopefully, that’ll play to its favor. I’m a little lukewarm on the Future Foundation members, save for a couple of the standouts like Bandai and Great Gozu (unfortunately, being a standout character in Danganronpa is basically a death sentence, so I’m not going to get too attached to them). I’m a little surprised Yukizome was the first one to eat it; since she narrated the show’s trailer, I figured she’d have a bigger role, but I guess that’s just Danganronpa playing with my expectations, as usual.
Show by Rock!! Short!!
Ah, there’s my boys. The amazing thing about Shingan Crimsonz is their ability to make anything they do seem manly and action packed, no matter how mundane said thing actually is. I still stand by my assertion that these guys need their own show. Seriously. Even if it’s just more shorts, I would totally watch it.
Mob Psycho 100
Being from the same nut that brought us One Punch Man, Mob Psycho 100’s definitely got some big shoes to fill. Reigen is kind of irritating, since his whole con artist shtick is kind of one-note; hopefully he’ll just kind of… phase out as the series goes. I like Mob, though. Even if his psychic attacks don’t have that same visceral impact as Saitama’s punches, he seems like a genuine kid with his own baggage. I’m definitely a lot more interested in him than Reigen. Hopefully, he also showcases some more powers besides funky rainbow blasts.
Sweetness and Lightning
I hope Iida’s fear of knives is just a normal phobia, and isn’t tied to some kind of tragedy. I don’t think my poor heart would be able to take it. But I suppose any tragedy that comes our way will be counterbalanced by Tsumugi’s infallible cuteness. It’s also nice to see Kohei making a genuine effort at cooking for her, even if he’s not that good at it. The best thing about homemade food is the knowledge that someone made it for you, with love. Hopefully he’ll be able to phase out more of the prepackaged stuff as the show goes on and go full homemade.
This is looking like it’s going to be a pretty slow-go show. Not that I mind; I think everyone knows my stance on comfy anime at this point. Though, maybe it’s a Japanese thing, but Aoba seems a little immature for someone who just graduated high school. I mean, granted, high schoolers are basically children, but it feels like she should know a smidge more about working etiquette and such. I think my favorite character so far is Shinoda, since I am also a collector of tokusatsu toys (yes, I know they’re for kids, but they’re so cool and flashy…).
Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope’s Peak – Despair
It’s nice to see the DR2 cast again, especially in a lighter setting (not to mention funnier), though knowing how it’s all going to end leaves a bittersweet taste in my mouth. I do admit, however, to being morbidly curious about how each student went all despair-y. I was also a little surprised to see Yukizome again, in an almost protagonist role, no less. I’m gonna be mad if Despair-Side makes me like her, because then I’m going to be retroactively upset about what happened in Future-Side. Also, just throwing this out there, the fact that Nanami, y’know, exists bodes rather poorly for her, considering what we know of her in DR2.
This Art Club Has a Problem!
Alright, so Usami likes Uchimaki because… he was nice to a kid once. Hmm. Well, it’s no suspension bridge effect, but I guess I’ve seen anime characters develop crushes for dumber reasons. I think. If nothing else, Usami’s one-sided affections make for entertaining comedy. I kinda wish we could have a little more interaction between Uchimaki and the president, they seem like a fun duo, and we still haven’t seen the mysterious Collette, at least not without a knock-off Ultraman mask on.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 4: Diamond is Unbreakable
Wow, Jotaro’s throwing down some Batman-level detective work there, though I’m glad Josuke skill got a chance to shine in the end. It pays to remember that he is just a high schooler, so he’s no world expert. Though, on the other hand, Jotaro was a high schooler during Stardust Crusaders and he was crazy savvy. Maybe that’s just another Joestar Line ability, going beyond what people expect of you when it really counts. On a separate note, I wonder if development of human-level intelligence is a side effect of Stand powers in animals. Iggy had it, Petshop had it, and Bug-Eaten’s got it. Animals can be naturally cunning, sure, but I would think it takes human-level problem solving to do things like ricocheting shots or setting traps. I dunno, I’m no zoologist.
Time Travel Girl
I’m noticing a weird quirk of the dialogue in this show: characters will frequently pause for an entire beat between sentences. Not sure why they’re doing that. Anyways, you know what this show reminds me of? The educational shows I watched when I was a kid. Like Bill Nye the Science Guy, but with a plot. Of course, I imagine this show’s plot, whatever it may be, won’t be anything Earth shattering, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t learning stuff, and honestly, learning is fun (at least through an animated medium).
I remember I said last week that Handa’s antisocial-ness was almost Sakamoto levels, but I think I’ve really figured it out: he’s literally the bizarro Sakamoto. He’s not a particularly talented or competent person (calligraphy notwithstanding), but by sheer chance, he still makes all the right moves to make people love him. It’s just as funny as Sakamoto’s intentional coolness. Also, as a side note, I’m kind of relieved they didn’t use up half the episode on a meta-joke again. I was kind of worried that was going to be a regular thing.
I’m running out of things to say about this show. Its quality is so consistently middle-of-the-road, that there’s just not a whole lot I can elaborate on. I like the rabbit twins, I suppose; they’re the personification of a crappy infomercial. That’s… really about it.
Food Wars: The Second Plate
Y’know, call me old fashioned, but I don’t think I’d call either Hisako or Hayama’s dishes “burgers”. They looked tasty, sure, but a burger is a beef patty on a bun, not a turtle patty or a pita pocket. Oh well, I guess taste is what matters in the end. Meanwhile, Mimasaka’s being a huge creep and Takumi’s throwing up flags left and right. He should really know better; re-affirming a relationship with a rival before a separate fight is a surefire loss flag.