1. One Punch Man
Aw yeahhh, it’s One Punch Man, the show everyone has been waiting for! Well, everyone except me, since I’m the only person on earth who hasn’t read the manga. I can see why it was hotly anticipated though. It’s an original concept, it’s pretty clever, and for a show about a guy who can defeat anyone in one punch it has some really good action scenes and nice animation.
I’m just wondering where it’ll be going with this premise? But since the rest of you already know, I’ll just keep watching it to find out.
2. Mobile Suit Gundam – Iron-Blooded Orphans
How many characters can you introduce in one episode before I start losing track? Whatever the answer is, it’s fewer than the number in Gundam Orphans. Halfway through, I’ve seen about a dozen different people come and go, and I’m getting that “wait, have I seen this guy before?” feeling. Thankfully you don’t have to remember every one of them to follow what’s going on.
Overall, I kinda liked it. I wasn’t blown away, but it’s good enough to make me want to watch more. Given the shit I’ve had to wade through this season, it’s nice to see a princess-type character who isn’t a bipolar psychopath. Her development so far is fairly predictable, but we’ll see how it pans out.
3. Garo The Animation 2
The first season of Garo was surprisingly good. At least, until after the mid-season climax when it lost its way and became aimless and boring. I gave up a few episodes before the end because I’d just stopped caring entirely. So in that sense, it’s a good thing that this is a whole new show with no connection beyond having the same premise.
Compared to the introductory episode of the first season, this one didn’t have as much bad CG animation, but also seemed to lack the strong 2D animation it had. I guess that makes it a little more consistent overall, but it also made it stand out less strongly. In terms of characters, I liked Herman and Leon a bit more right out of the gate, but the ones in season 2 are by no means bad.
Basically, it’s the same thing in different packaging, but just slightly less good. That might still be good enough. We’ll see.
4. Concrete Revolutio
I can see what they were thinking at Bones. We’ve made some duds, but people liked Kekkai Sensen, right? So what if we just made that show… again?
I mean really, even the opening shot at the diner is the same.
That said, it’s not nearly as good as Kekkai Sensen. The colours are garish, the girl is sorta annoying (magical girls in non-magical girl settings are practically a cliche by now), and there’s some weird flash-forwards that don’t really add much other than being confusing.
Then again, being worse than Kekkai Sensen is no shame. It’s still pretty decent. It’s all going to come down to the next few episodes, and how well it’s going make use of its setting.
5. Utawarerumono – Itsuwari no Kamen
Nice try, Utawarerumono. Yeah I see what you’re doing. Trying to lure me in again with a decent first episode. Not this time. You know what they say: fool me once, can’t get fooled again.
It’s been years since the first Utawarerumono, so my memory is hazy, but I’m pretty sure I liked it until about halfway through, when the fantasy adventure got rudely interrupted by the stupid plot.
On its own merits though, the first episode is fine. If it weren’t for occasionally lapsing into full anime mode (iyaa you grabbed my tail, my sensitive spot!) and stretching out certain jokes beyond their limit, it was solid. The guy isn’t a complete potato, and the girl has a lot more personality to her than that bore Eruru did.
But I won’t be around to see it devolve into melodramatic mech battles by episode 16.
6. Subete ga F ni Naru: The Perfect Insider
On one hand, F has a different kind of tone than most other shows. The characters aren’t cookie cutter anime trash, and it’s trying to be a bit more intelligent.
On the other hand, trying seems to be the key word. The dialogue is pretentious, and some of it sounds clever until you think about it and it actually isn’t. On top of that, while it was nice to see it focus more on the characters and their reactions to things, there was a weird lack of establishing any setting. Who are these characters? Apparently they’re in academia, but I have no idea what field they’re even in. There’s a woman who’s a mysterious award-winning programming genius, which might be the least interesting area to be a genius in. I don’t need to have everything spelled out, but I feel like there was a important bit of context missing.
If I hadn’t already read a plot summary, I’d have no clue what this show would even end up being about. You certainly can’t tell from the first episode.
7. Comet Lucifer
Ah, the classic “boy meets mysterious girl and her pet mech and they have adventures together” story. The setup is all right and it’s mostly entertaining, but it didn’t quite pull me in. The first half was pretty good, but it slowly but surely gets stupider as it goes along. The fiancee dude is annoying and he seems to be a major character, so that’s a point of concern.
Also, the two kids drive into an open pit but somehow end up inside a cave (?), and act like they will be left there to die even though they’re right next to the city and people saw them fall in. Yadda yadda, mysterious girl, mysterious connection to the mysterious stone, the end. It’s another one of those shows that might be good, but it would definitely have to step up its game.
There’s this trend in anime that really bothers me, and it’s girls who are obsessed with some particular thing, be it tanks or guns or, in this case, bones. Usually they seem to be targeted at people who are really into some nerd hobby, so they wish there was a cute girl who was also really into said nerd hobby. More generally though, it seems to tie into the whole “girls doing their best” thing, where people like to see anime girls be excited about something. Wow, she hugged her model train and smiled. So cute!
That said, Sakurako-San isn’t anywhere as pandering as, say, Girls und Panzer. But Sakurako’s bone obsession still borders on unbelievable, and when she starts blushing and acting cutesy over a human skull it makes my eyes roll so far back I can see my own.
All in all it just seems sorta okay. The premise is novel but a little implausible. The kid is a typical annoying high school boy. If they’re going to be solving murders that’d be all right, but I hope they don’t solve every mystery by having Sakurako take one look at the scene and then tell everyone the answer.
I generally have a strong distaste for anime comedy, so when a show makes me sort of smile once that’s already a major achievement. Hackadoll is also only 8 minutes long, so short enough that it doesn’t start grating. It’s passable, but I might get sick of it by the second episode.
10. Dance with Devils
From reading the plot summary I thought this was going to be another Diabolik Lovers. Thankfully there’s a lot less pseudo-rape and no one calls the girl ‘bitch-chan’. In fact, contrary to my expectations, it was actually… kind of okay? I mean it’s still about a girl surrounded by a bunch of handsome yet dangerous demon boys, but she actually has some sort of agency and there’s kind of a story.
Also, people break out in songs at random points, which improves the show a lot.
11. Young Black Jack
I don’t get it. What is this show trying to be? I admit I’ve never read the original Black Jack so I can’t tell if it’s the adaptation’s fault or if this is just what Black Jack is like, but it’s just really confused. Is it a medical drama? Clearly not, since Jack himself can successfully perform complicated surgery during his first operation ever and pulls the medical equivalent of special moves out of his ass. So is it an over-the-top action show in a hospital setting? No, because it’s actually pretty serious about everything. Is it a character drama then? Since most of the episode is focused on details of the operation, I guess not. So what about this episode is supposed to make me want to watch more of it?
12. High School Star Musical – StarMyu
Just because you call it a musical club doesn’t mean this isn’t basically an idol show with men. From what I can tell, the premise of this show is that one of the top musical stars at the school who looks like a Final Fantasy villain is trolling the other members of the star team by putting everyone who flunked out of their audition into one group.
In the course of the episode we see all the familiar stereotypes passing by: the ambitious yet unskilled protagonist, the shy guy who can’t perform well in public, the arrogant famous guy who considers himself above everyone else. All of them lack any sort of subtlety, so that bodes well.
This show is pretty much the definition of mediocrity this season. It’s not even bad, just kind of there. Maybe if you’re into men and idols this is the show for you.
I put these two together since they’re practically the same thing. Ugly, low framerate ‘horror’ shorts. Kagewani attempts to create tension, but fails miserably because the animation resembles the moving cutouts from Ninja Slayer. Kowabon is a 5 minute rotoscoped Skype call and is about as scary as a man wearing a white sheet.
15. Heavy Object
“As you know, Dave, we have to wait for a green light before crossing the street.” “Yes, John, this traffic light was installed in order to provide a safe crossing for pedestrians.”
Could this show just stop fucking explaining things for one second? Five minutes of narration about the setting, followed by the main character talking to another guy about the setting, followed by him talking to a pilot about the setting, followed by him talking to his CO about the setting. I know the setting is convoluted enough that it takes a lot of effort to justify it, but I really don’t need to have it explained to me that a specialized weapon would outperform an all-purpose one in its area of specialization.
Oh, and the main character lets a girl choke to death because saving her would involve touching her chest. Better to die pure than live as a defiled woman. I wish I was making this up.
16. JK Meshi
Hey everyone, you know what’s really funny? Being random!! *holds up spork*
This might be one of the least funny shows I’ve ever seen. On top of that, it was advertised as being about cooking, but the recipe in the first episode is literally how to leftover miso soup eatable.
17. AntiMagic Academy 35th Test Platoon
Any time people call an light novel protagonist weak or say his power is useless, you can be sure of one thing: that he’s actually the strongest person ever. And I mean, that could work, if the character actually was hiding his power. But in these shows, it’s always blatantly obvious and everyone could’ve already known. They did it in Cavalry, and they do it again in 35th. This time, it opens with some generic dudes mocking him for using a sword.
So you might think, okay, if everyone uses guns and/or magic and swords are obsolete, making fun of someone using a sword isn’t that weird, right? Well yeah, but not if he can literally cut bullets mid-flight.
This show is just embarassingly stupid. The characters are annoying, and the setting makes no sense and is really poorly conveyed. It’s ostensibly about hunting witches, but all we see is men in suits with guns. The only instance of magic we get is someone summoning an armored suit. Like, a realistic one. The only thing that actually looks like magic is the protagonist’s swordsmanship. The whole point is that their platoon consists of a bunch of losers, but when the girl with the tragic past calls them out on it, it tries to make her look like the bad guy. Thankfully, all she really needed was the gentle touch of a brave young man. On her breast. After he tripped and fell on her. God damnit Japan.
18. Lance N’ Masques
Lance N’ Masques gave me a feeling I haven’t had since I tried watching Dog Days: that the author is a huge manchild. The main character goes around calling little girls ‘milady’ and complains that he has White Knight Syndrome. Seriously, he actually says that. Then a little girl he saves invites him to her home and makes him stay overnight, which is totally not creepy and weird.
Aside from coming across as the fantasy of someone with a mental age in the single digits who wants to protect little girls, the writing just doesn’t make sense. It’s like every time he finished writing a scene, he thought about what he wanted to happen next and just had it happen. Oh, the little girl is important and lives alone and unprotected? And only when the hero is with her do a bunch of goons appear to kidnap her? Sure is convenient.
Generally, Light Novels read like they’re written by people whose only contact with humanity is through watching anime. Asterisk takes it one step further; I’m pretty sure the author was locked in a room for the first 20 years of his life with nothing but Light Novels to read. It happily moves from one trope to the next, with not a single original thought involved.
Asterisk might also set a new record for the most made-up terms in one episode. There’s an actual bit of dialogue that goes like this:
“It’s the Ogre Lux owned by Seidokan… Ser Veresta.”
“Ogre Lux? You mean…”
“Yes, an extremely powerful weapon with a core of Urm Manadite.”
I don’t even have to add anything.
But even stupider than that has to be that the princess girl has a handkerchief that is super important to her, but she almost loses it twice in just the first episode. Don’t you think you should keep it somewhere safe instead of waving it around all the time?
Otherwise: see Cavalry, the same show, except worse.
20. Shomin Sample
This show is anime cancer. The setting is dumb beyond belief, and only an anime protagonist could go along with it without saying “fuck you” to everyone involved. On top of that, there’s a hilarious misunderstanding where they think he’s gay. This is surely going to lead to funny jokes that are in no way offensive.
I’m sure some people will be moved to tears by the sad dumb girl who can’t talk to anyone and needs the boy’s gentle wisdom to grow up. Me, I’m only shedding a tear over the state of anime.
21. Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry – A Tale of Worst One
A non-descript boy enrolls in Magic School, walks in on an ambitious tsundere red-haired princess (who is super talented at fire magic) in her underwear, who then challenges him to a duel where if he loses he becomes her servant for life. Wait, didn’t I already watch this show?
I could go on about how mindblowing it that two shows in one season follow this description to a T, but then I wouldn’t have time to talk about how much I hated Cavalry. First of all, the whole “walking in on girl changing” is based on a wacky misunderstanding where they’re roommates without knowing it. They take it all the way to the principal, and they argue about it for literally three minutes before she clears things up, which she could’ve done at any moment. Maybe this is tolerable if you’re a masochist, and not just because the princess spends that whole time telling him to stop breathing and die.
The main character has terrible grades and is known by everyone as “Worst One”. They actually say it in English. He’s so bad he’s not even allowed into fighting classes. So of course, he wins the duel. Not because he outsmarted her or anything. That would actually be interesting. No, it just turns out he has bullshit powers that the school can’t even measure. They literally come out and say that. Everyone knows he’s basically undefeatable, but they still call him a loser and bar him from fighting classes. It’s like they wanted to give him a tragic flaw, and the flaw is that he is misunderstood.
So, predictably, after he wins and she’s forced to become her slave for life (since that’s how anime societies work), she goes through the whole “F-Fine do whatever you want to me you pervert *blush* *blush*” routine. That’s standard. But what wasn’t standard was her finding him asleep, touching his naked back, and going “So this is the back of a man…”, and basically orgasming from touching his abs.
But the worst thing is this theme about practice vs talent, where we’re constantly told by the protagonist that he had to work hard instead of being talented. Not that we really see any evidence of this, but okay, a story about hard work paying off is common enough. Buuut as it turns out, the princess also worked very hard on top of having talent. So him beating her didn’t even prove anything, other than that girls in anime can never beat men.
Fuck you, Cavalry. Fuck you. You truly are the Worst One.