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 Anime topic 4.0... U

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Anubis
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PostSubject: Re: Anime topic 4.0... U   Sun Mar 27, 2016 12:26 pm

Wow...it really has been ages since the anime thread has seen any attention.

Lol, well, I guess now is about the right time for an update. Plus, most shows are nearly finished or have just wrapped up for the season, so I can actually highlight what I've been watching somewhat comprehensively. That said, for now I'm going to focus mainly on shows that are still relatively ~fresh~, since I don't quite feel like going over an extensive list of every show I've watched since June aside from a few particularly obvious mentions that I can think of off the top of my head without consulting a list.

So, first thing's first, to briefly revisit the last update and get it out of the way:
All of the shows I listed last time and kept up with on my regular watchlist were great. Additonally, Arslan Senki was excellent, and Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma turned out to be one of my favorite shows and became a mainstay on my current watchlist as soon as I caught up. Likewise, GITS Arise AA was pretty great all around, although still not my favorite GITS.

The other shows in purgatory were just kinda abandoned. Consider them effectively dropped, and even though the Grisaia series was actually pretty funny and great for what it was, I think I'd rather play the VNs than watch an anime adaptation, so pretty much dropped that too without much intention of getting back to the anime for now.

Off the top of my head, some other awesome shows that might be worth checking out are:
One-Punch Man
Subete ga F ni Naru: The Perfect Insider
Charlotte
Fate/kaleid liner Prisma*Illya (finally caught up completely)

All of the above are pretty self-explanatory and you can probably get an idea of whether they'll interest you by watching a single episode or reading a blurb.

Now for the more current and relevant shows. Even though it's not the most accurate way to do things, I'm going to go ahead and keep anime that have recently finished on the "current" watchlist to reflect the fact that they are/were keeping up with on a regular basis.

Current/Regular Watchlist

World Trigger
This show has been going strong and continued to improve imo. They keep on expanding on their foundation of solid sci-fi combat-focused drama, and they never spend too much time getting carried away with slice-of-life episodes despite the fact that there is a lot of character-building and peripheral drama. Even when they took a break from the manga and started doing filler episodes, they kept it interesting and maintained the characterization. I'd still recommend this show to a complete newcomer, although there is a lot to catch up on now. Unfortunately, all of that kind of goes out the window given the fact that the show's flaws seem to have caught up with it, and it might be cancelled. I've got pretty mixed feelings about this, since I actually liked the concept and the cast, but I can also see why it has been critically panned and more or less tripped over itself completely. At least the manga is still ongoing. I might actually get into that, since I'm already fairly invested in the series.

Durarara!!
Wow. It's actually finished after all this time. It's been a wild ride - excellent stuff without a single wasted episode. I feel like they could have done a lot more with the show and characters, but all things considered, it's still a masterpiece. A Dullahan in Japan. That really was all that needed to be said. On a sidenote, I think now I can say that Erika Karisawa surely warrants consideration as a Best Girl candidate, although Celty is probably Best Girl by default.

GATE: Jieitai Kare no Chi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri
Definitely a personal favorite, even though the series conclusion felt a bit rushed. I hope to see a lot more of this show, but in any case, pretty much an instant classic in my books. Great mix of historical fantasy and modern subject matter, and it never gets old seeing the tables turned in a setting where the two worlds collide. I've also been pretty impressed by how this show handles its politics and relationships, and it just about has something for everyone. I pity the fool who doesn't enjoy this show.

Mobile Suit GUNDAM: Iron Blooded Orphans
Awesome stuff all around. There were a few times when I lagged behind because of my schedule, but it was still worth keeping up with regularly. I never could quite shake the Aldnoah.Zero clone impression given the similar scenario, but this show has enough of its own identity to overcome that. Meanwhile, it's a Gundam series that doesn't **** around; don't need to say much more than that.

Heavy Object
Although the mechas in this show might seem (deceptively) generic and the cast and characterization are pretty limited, this has still been a fairly great series all-around. It also has some of the best underdog tactics I've seen used in an anime since Aldnoah.Zero, and it has a surprising amount of technical depth. I'd even go so far as to say that it rivals the new Gundam in a lot of areas.

And that...is actually it for the current/regular watchlist. Every other show worth noting has either gotten ahead of me to the point where I am only just now catching up or otherwise remains outside of regular watching. I haven't even started half of the new anime I've meant to check out this year. However...

Other anime I've caught up on, would recommend, and would have watched regularly if I had the time:

Hai to Gensou no Grimgar
This show has been spectacular in just about every way. At first glance it just seems like it might be another SAO/DanMachi clone with an elite protagonist and friends winding up in a video game/fantasy world. However, it's actually more along the lines of a deconstruction of the very genre since it turns out to be much more brutal and clever in handling the scenario. No overpowered characters to start with, and everyone's practically playing on Nightmare mode. On a sidenote, I also really like the overall aesthetic of this show. It has some great background scenery with a soft watercolor and pastel look that blends incredibly well with the crisp character art, and the atmosphere and total visual impact benefit from this enormously.

Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku o! (KonoSuba)
Basically like DanMachi with the comedy/satire factor turned up to 11. In fact, I'd even go so far as to say that this is as much of a comedic deconstruction of its kind as Grimgar is a dramatic deconstruction of the (sub)genre/scenario. This has been a great little fantasy show with the usual ~hero gets transported to RPG-esque world~ setup, except pretty much every established trope is subverted or otherwise twisted around on its head. All of the characters are wonderfully dysfunctional, and the world is so ****ed up that it really slaps the hero right in the face with the differences compared to the mundane world he left behind.

Digimon Adventure Tri
I don't think I need to say much here. Digimon is still going strong and the second set of episodes were great. Every episode has been excellent, although the staggered releases and plodding pace of the plot sort of seem at odds with the fact that there is so much to catch up on and the new series is actually packed full of new developments and material.

Boku Dake ga Inai Machi (ERASED)
Funnily enough, I caught up on this show just in time to catch the last episode on its ~regular~ schedule. One more instant classic in my books and one of my favorite shows of the season. I'll probably even re-watch it and/or check out the manga and live-action material. This show was a great surprise in so many ways. I initially made a note of it simply because its premise of revival-style time-travel was a cool idea that I myself have written about, but the mystery crime-thriller elements that are involved add so much more depth to the show than I expected. The ~superpower~ element is just the tip of the iceberg, and the scenario, cast, and drama really carry through brilliantly. Another thing I really liked about this show is that it almost served as a kind of "feel-good" anime, except in a dark, inverted kind of way. This is one of those shows that gave me a lot of reasons to have faith in humanity and be glad to care about people - without beating me over the head with the usual saccharine and superficial elements of "feel-good" shows, and without leaning on nauseating levels of human exceptionalism. On that note, I think perhaps instead of calling it a "feel-good" anime, it might be more appropriate to call it a "git gud" anime, because it ultimately proves to be more about fighting for a better outcome and earning a satisfying ending than simply pursuing and finding happiness.



Aaaaand...I'll leave it at that for now. There are a few other shows that I'm just starting to check out, and some titles that I keep on neglecting to keep up with, but still have some interest in getting back to. However, I think I'll end this update with the focus on recommended anime instead of diluting it with purgatory-tier items...

So, last but not least, some simple shortlists with my watchlist anime very roughly ranked in order with most-recommended items at the top of each list.

2015/Leftover Recommendations Shortlist:
Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma
One-Punch Man
Subete ga F ni Naru: The Perfect Insider
Arslan Senki
Charlotte
Fate/kaleid liner Prisma*Illya


2016/Primary Recommendations Shortlist:
Durarara!!
Boku Dake ga Inai Machi (ERASED)
GATE: Jieitai Kare no Chi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri
Digimon Adventure Tri
Hai to Gensou no Grimgar
Heavy Object
Mobile Suit GUNDAM: Iron Blooded Orphans
Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku o! (KonoSuba)

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PostSubject: Re: Anime topic 4.0... U   Sun Apr 03, 2016 12:52 pm

Things I have since watched:
Durarara!!x2 up to around episode 30, decided to let it finish first at that point because things were super ramping up. Also, you're welcome for introducing it to you.

JoJo Part 3, got through all of Jotaro's arc last night. I am hype for what looks like a pompadour on Josuke. Josuke for best JoJo and best Girl/Grill

Death Parade, watched the first 9 episodes so far. Pretty weird but also very very clever. Really plays with what comes after death, and morality. (I'm still confused as all hell by one episode though...) Either way, the one big twist I can see there is was spoiled by the opening, and if the last 3 episodes have any further twists, I don't know what they are. Though I've seen your point of it needing to be a short lived series, because the gimmick can only be pushed so far.

One Punch Man, ONE PAWWWWWWWWWWWWWWNCH!! ONE PAWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWNCH!!!

Aldnoah: Zero: Seen a few episodes of it because of college friend wanting to kill time. Pretty interesting, and the scene of "weak character pointing a weapon at super evil dude" for once ended with the weak character killing the evil guy, and not succumbing to "Yes, my lord." Show has other tropes to a T, but I was so hype when that trope got destroyed.

Ones I really should have on my list:

Food Wars
Erased
The Perfect Insider
Diamond is Unbreakable (since you know... only just started)
One I know I am missing

Not much else on my side for anime. Though apparently it might be worth checking the FFXV anime and seeing Sasuke... I mean Noctis do all the things that he does.

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PostSubject: Re: Anime topic 4.0... U   Sun Apr 03, 2016 6:25 pm

Dat Durarara!! Now I'm going to have to find some other wicked ensemble cast anime, or rewatch Baccano!

One of these days I will get back to JoJo, but those have been on the backburner for ages now.

Death Parade was pretty cool stuff. Yeah, the twist(s) are a bit predictable, but the execution is still great in general. I wouldn't mind seeing a spin-off series or similar, but I think wrapping up that story in a short season really was the best call.

Heh - I don't know if you've ever seen it, but someone on Youtube made a compilation video of Xenoblade Chronicles X servant sacrificing to the One Punch Man theme song. Great stuff at least in concept, although they heavily distorted the song to bypass copyright filters so the actual result is ****. C- for effort though?

Yeah, Aldnoah.Zero is pretty awesome at throwing a wrench in some of the usual ~just ****ing no; stop it~ trappings. I really liked the anime, although it is one of several weird cases when Gen Urobuchi was involved just enough to leave his mark on the show, but actually wound up mostly going with a hands-off approach and letting others carry it away.

I haven't checked out the FFXV anime, but I probably will soon since Crunchyroll has it, so I don't really have any excuse not to.

Meanwhile, I've checked out a few other ~Q1~ anime since my last post:

Ajin
This show has actually been pretty great. It reminds me a lot of Tokyo Ghoul, except it delivers in pretty much every area that Tokyo Ghoul drops the ball. They've done some interesting things with what would have otherwise been a pretty cut-and-dry immortality power, so it's almost worth it just for the twist and more sci-fi > fantasy aspects of how the power actually functions. Meanwhile, there are a number of other pretty refreshing elements in the show, perhaps most notably being the fact that the main character is pretty cold and calculating with blatant psychopathic tendencies before the traditional ~realization that they aren't quite human~/transformation actually hits them. Completely caught up on this show now.

Dimension W
Worth watching at least one episode just for the intro animation. Still haven't caught up, but I'll probably keep up with this for a while unless it plummets in quality. Characters and premise work well together, even though the basic concept of technology that taps into another dimension for energy seems kind of limited and shallow at this point. They've been expanding on it bit by bit, so it could get a lot more interesting, and if nothing else, we at least have a dynamic bounty hunter duo of an old war horse who distrusts the suspiciously advanced tech and the outrageously advanced robot girl partner who crashed into his life.

Divine Gate
I sort of want to like this anime and keep watching it to give it a chance, but I'm not actually particularly interested in it. I think this show has been way too ambitious and tripped over itself trying to be deeper than the execution actually allows for, and the characters and plot all suffer for it. The annoying thing about this show is that it almost seems like it could be one of those shows that doesn't really have anything going for it at first, but brings everything together in the end to make it all worthwhile...but I don't trust that it actually is one of those shows.

Musaigen no Phantom World (Myriad Colors Phantom World)
This is a pretty amusing little show that I've only seen a few episodes of so far. It has a quirky take on the ~otherworld spirits~ scenario that tries to shift the balance a little more into the sci-fi than fantasy domain, but otherwise it's basically another ~students form teams and battle supernatural entities~ show. It's actually fairly great overall, but I'm not sure I can really recommend it as anything more than a ~filler~ anime.

Meanwhile, beyond the ~leftovers~, the next ~Q2~ season is pretty much already here without pause just as the other shows are wrapping up.

Gakusen Toshi Asterisk (The Asterisk Wars) and Terraformars are resuming, so I'll be keeping up with those for a while, although they're both kind of struggling to be worthwhile, so I might drop them if they don't get better soon.

As for the even newer stuff:

Mayoiga (The Lost Village)
First episode was excellent and I think there is enough potential here for it to be a top-shelf anime, but if it's handled poorly it could just as easily be one of the worst and most forgettable. Probably take a few more episodes to really see.

Other anime I've made a note of/added to the queue to check out:
Ace Attorney
Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu (Re:Zero Starting Life in Another World)
Kiznaiver
Brotherhood Final Fantasy XV
Boku no Hero Academia (My Hero Academia)
Endride
Sousei no Onmyouji
Hundred
Koutetsujou no Kabaneri
Macross Delta

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PostSubject: Re: Anime topic 4.0... U   Tue Apr 05, 2016 6:56 pm

Still gotta do the DRRR finish and continue Aldnoah.

I finished Death Parade... and the ending confuses me. 4. They cannot work with life... or it will ruin them... But Decim is still at the bar with a smile because of Chiyuki? If he's so ruined, wouldn't he just be removed from judging, join Quin in the bureau? Or is that just because the flower dude is just so stuck in his ways that he said it, and he has no say in it?

I started Food Wars and got to like episode 18 already... It had so much promise, but much like I hate that SAO went harem... why the hell is this going harem too? There's a very obvious love interest character, just like Asuna was super obvious. At least Soma isn't a Gary Stu like Kirito. He actually has an arc of losing 3 times in a row! Also, best rival character.
Rival: "Next time I see you, I'll destroy you."
*5 minutes later on a boss*
Soma: "We're seeing each other again so soon! So you're gonna destroy me?"

10/10 would rival again. Otherwise... it had a lot of promise but yeah...

Aww, if it wasn't distorted, I'd go see that. Would be fun to watch anyway.

Other than that, I really have nothing else to say, your list of stuff, I'm not sure on. Though it reminded me I need to watch Tokyo Ghoul season 2 still.

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PostSubject: Re: Anime topic 4.0... U   Wed Apr 06, 2016 11:46 pm

I think Death Parade's ending could go a number of different ways, but yeah, probably leaning more toward the ~flower head is just stuck in his ways and doesn't appreciate the need for a new overhauled system~. I'll probably give it a year or so before I rewatch it. As much as I liked Death Parade, I think I'd rather rewatch some other shows or of course try to stay current with the new stuff.

Lol, nice to hear that you're off to a strong start with Food Wars, although I think you're being a bit heavy-handed or overreacting with the harem anxiety. I mean, I get the concern and I can kind of see why you might be bothered, but Food Wars never really goes harem, and it's a gross oversimplification to say otherwise. Meanwhile, it's not like any of the girls in the show are just blatant +1s, and even Nikumi has a strong enough backstory and presence of character on her own that it negates writing her off as just another girl for the hypothetical harem even though you probably could make a strong case for her being a ~secondary/alternative girlfriend~ type on a silver platter. Likewise, part of the joke is that Erina Nakiri isn't anywhere near dere enough to even count as a tsundere +1 or established foundation for any hypothetical harem, and Megumi and Mayumi are such ~classic~ plausible romantic interests that they are pretty much anti-harem characters.

There's actually a kind of funny irony in calling Food Wars a harem anime, because there isn't enough substantive romance or polyamorous relationship building shallow or otherwise to warrant calling it a harem show without conflating ecchi with romance and similarly treating platonic relationships as completely interchangeable with decidedly sexual prospects. There isn't even really enough of a balance in favor of Soma or outnumbering of female to male cast to back up the more basic format. That is to say, you're not necessarily wrong that the show has ~harem potential~, but it's a self-defeating argument since it's only a harem show inasmuch as every show with characters who might have overlapping interests is a shippingfest/headcanon harem show. In any case, I'll definitely take Food Wars becoming a full-blown harem comedy over accepting Kirito & Asuna as a top-shelf romantic couple. At least Food Wars has the material to back it up if it does go in either direction. All of that said, Isshiki might have better chances with Soma than most of the girls lol. Obligatory mere-exposure effect joke.

Anyways, the other obvious joke is that Soma's dad is probably more likely to end up with a harem than Soma is. In other news, Alice is best girl.

Yeah, Soma's rivalries are always great, and there's a lot of great trolling and (relatively) balanced competition in the show. Glad they aren't trying to overpower Soma too much, or at least have the sense to bring his dad in long enough to remind him that he still has a lot of room for improvement.

I finished watching Dimension W. It actually turned out alright, but it did kind of seem like they gave up on doing anything too exceptional with it, although I guess that's better than being too ambitious and letting it become a superficial bog of 2deep4u nonsense.

As for the other anime, I'm actually making steady progress checking out pretty much everything I listed as it comes out, but I'll probably give it another 2-3 episodes before I rank them or otherwise bother to write up the new season's offerings. Re:Zero and Sousei no Onmyouji seem very promising though, and Ace Attorney is almost definitely going to be plenty of fun in general.

I'm not sure if you really need to watch Tokyo Ghoul Season 2 anytime soon. It doesn't really go anywhere, and it's not going anywhere. Tbh, I'd wait for a season 3 or even season 4 announcement before even bothering to get caught up.

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PostSubject: Re: Anime topic 4.0... U   Tue Apr 26, 2016 7:45 pm

My watching of Food Wars completely fell off. Instead, I went back to Durarara this week and finished it. I was not expecting a lot of that, and the ending was pretty damn epic. Though, some disappointments. Part of the issue is that they introduced way too many characters that never come back. Like, Hollywood. She runs off with Shizuo's brother in Cour 1... then comes back for 30 seconds in the ending. I thought it was a cool moment, but a moment that made me have a doubt about that little arc.

Also, the mafia boss's daughter. "I must kill Shizuo!" (like everyone else apparently) "I will now disappear after Cour 2!" She only served to introduce the dojo, which only served to introduce the red head who joins up with Izaya. But Izaya's sisters also went to the dojo, so they could have handled it. Durarara has always been a "pay a lot of attention and watch it all at once" show, but Season 2 handles that pretty poorly. Overall still a great show.

Also, "I'm about to become a Villain" is the best moment of any anime ever.

Also, watched the rest of Season 1 of Aldnoah... That ending came out of nowhere! Like what?! Sucks that I'm only ever watching it with my friend because he wanted to, so I'm not gonna continue without him.

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PostSubject: Re: Anime topic 4.0... U   Thu May 05, 2016 3:24 am

DRRR is one of the few recent shows that I cannot fault you at all for prioritizing over Food Wars, so it's all cool. And that ending. Yeah, they had so many characters that they couldn't really keep up with them all, and yet the show as a whole still kept up pretty strong characterization for the screentime they did get. If nothing else, at least it leaves lots of room for plenty of headcanon right?

Finally got around to Aldnoah.Zero? Great stuff all-around. It'll be interesting to hear your thoughts when/if you finish the whole series.

And with those responses taken care of, I think I'll jump right into my ~Q2~ 2016 Spring anime season highlights. I'm not going to aim for anything even close to a full overview since this is more of a preliminary roundup now that I've seen at least 3 episodes of each show and checked out most of the main shows that caught my attention, although there are probably a couple of shows I've missed one way or another.

{You can probably skip this next paragraph if you're pressed for time.}
As usual, I have a main watchlist of the shows I am most actively watching and regularly keeping up with and would recommend since I am more or less committed to seeing them through to the end. Then I have a backburner list of shows that are alright enough that they probably won't get dropped completely even if I do lag behind since I'm in no hurry to watch them. Of course, there's also purgatory for a few shows that just are keeping me just interested enough that I'll keep watching them as ~background entertainment~ while I do something else since they might have a few moments worth my attention or potential for redemption keeping me from dropping them. Meanwhile, dropped category is self-explanatory, and reserves are shows that I either have not checked out yet but intend to, or shows that I have decided to delay watching, but not dropped.

Main Watchlist:
Bungou Stray Dogs
Detective Izaya Orihara Ranpo Edogawa is awesome. Cool show with some interesting superpowers and fun characters so far. Only real issue is that the plot doesn't really seem to be going anywhere at the moment, and it's almost strictly episodic in that regard despite clearly trying to build up a higher-order narrative. Still, the characters seem to be the focus of the show, and that's just fine for now.

Boku no Hero Academia (My Hero Academia)
This show has been consistently great with every episode building up to make the overall story that much better. At first glance it seems like just a by-the-numbers superhero origin story, but it's so well-executed and delivers on just about everything it sets out to that it's actually pretty refreshing. Nice balance of drama, action, and backstory too.

Flying Witch
Surprisingly compelling slice-of-life show with just enough of a supernatural fantasy element to keep things unique and a gradually growing cast of more or less immediately likeable or otherwise interesting characters. This is an incredibly relaxing and laid-back show with an understated but amusing approach to the magic that makes the fantasy elements require almost no suspension of disbelief whatsoever, and the show as a whole carries on remarkably well. That said, it still comes across as a somewhat aimless slice-of-life show that borders on being trivial at times.

Kiznaiver
Fix some people up so that the pain experienced by any of them is redistributed evenly across the group, and then run them through social experiments for graet justice. What could go wrong? Pretty much sold on this show from the start just on the basis of the premise alone, and I'm glad to say that the characters are all fairly interesting so far. Might turn out to be one of the best shows of the season, and so far the plot seems to be moving along fairly well.

Koutetsujou no Kabaneri (Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress)
Almost instantly a strong contender for one of my favorite shows of the season. It's very reminiscent of Attack on Titan, and has similar themes, commentary, and setup, except this time we have a show that dives right into the deep end with its characters and scenario. Plus, we've got steampunk awesomeness all around and a great take on relatively unique zombies/cursed beings that seem to have a lot of hidden lore that the show is only just starting to scratch the surface of. This series looks like it has a lot of potential, and it also introduces us to Mumei, a key contender for one of the coolest characters of the season.

Mayoiga (The Lost Village)
I've said it before and I still think this show has a big chance to be incredible, or a complete flop. So far it has been fairly well-delivered and played with plenty of thriller, mystery, and drama elements. It has been working strong with the premise of a group of people abandoning their lives to start over in a hidden village, only to be faced with increasingly surreal and borderline horrific circumstances. Meanwhile, the cast is also handled pretty well, and there are plenty of characters to get to know with some intriguing developments and fragments of backstory. Likeability is highly variable and subjective for a cast like this though.

Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu (Re:Zero Starting Life in Another World)
Guy gets transported to a fantasy world and finds out the hard way that he revives back at the beginning of his day if he dies. Almost like a comedic twist on Dark Souls so far, with just enough brutality and lighthearted sobriety to stay on the casual side. This show in general is a great watch, and the main character is genre savvy and self-aware enough that his commentary alone almost makes up for the pitfalls of the story that become increasingly apparent as the story goes on. That said, there is also a somewhat frustrating element to this show, because despite the fact that the main character seems on top of the game, he's actually bloody terrible at the time travel and actual gameplay, so to speak. As much as I like the show and its characters in general so far, its best ideas bring down the pace and plot just as much as they help move things along and develop, and every episode is just as much of a tedious exercise in futility as it is a genuinely interesting story.

Backburner
Ace Attorney
It's Ace Attorney. I don't even think I need to explain this one. Fairly well-executed so far, and almost makes me want to pick up the games and play through them in full before I watch much more of the series, but I'm just not quite up to that right now.

Big Order
This show has quickly gone from interesting to mediocre. It's not terrible, but it's more of a novelty filler show that could go either way very easily on the scale of boring and awful to compelling and enjoyable. Everyone in this show seems a bit stupid, to put it bluntly, and the superpowers vary pretty widely in terms of cool factor so far. On a similar note, this show seems to have a habit of teasing with just enough superpowers and plot to make it seem like something really awesome could happen right in the next scene, but it rarely delivers on that. I'm still enjoying this show for the most part, but it doesn't seem to know how to handle its backstory or present plot, and I wouldn't exactly say that it is particularly promising.

Sakamoto desuga? (Haven't You Heard? I'm Sakamoto.)
Started watching this just because it struck me as H.B.'s highschool days origin story, even though the setting and circumstances are very far off from our most superior partner in Xenoblade Chronicles X. This is actually a pretty great show if you go into it for the sheer over-the-top comedy and novelty factor. It's pretty bare-bones aside from that central element of showcasing Sakamoto's superiority and excellence in everything.

Sousei no Onmyouji (Twin Star Exorcists)
This show seemed to have so much promise, and then quickly went downhill and continues to do so. That said, it had a strong enough start that it still has quite a way to fall before it's down with the worst of what I could be watching, and I am interested in the plot and potential shenanigans and drama that could develop from the rather amusing situation the show puts its main characters in. Meanwhile, the otherworld demon-slaying at least makes for some moderately cool action and the constant looming threat of evil helps to add enough weight to the show for its otherwise shallow plot to seem like it could have a little more depth in the future. Pretty neutral about the show at this point, and apparently the annoying as **** spirit familiar is an anime-original character they decided on a whim to include, presumably because merchandising.

Terraformars Revenge
This series had a shaky start that seemed way off-base from the previous episodes, but it's moved along into much better territory. The plot, characters, and concepts are all more or less just as strong as before now, and if nothing else, this series still finds some great ways to incorporate relatively unique and novel abilities derived from insects and other animals to deliver on the many sci-fi superpowers the show has been playing around with. Also, the threat of the roaches and infighting among sociopolitically fragmented humans has made for plenty of great plot advancements.

Purgatory (Probation-tier)
Hundred
I don't have much to say about this show at this point aside from the fact that it is an increasingly generic show with people who use powersuits to fight the alien/monster/whatever menace. On a sidenote, as usual, I won't fault fanservice in and of itself, but this does seem like the sort of show that might get carried away with making excuses to use fanservice as filler in all the ways that give both fanservice and the show a bad reputation. The stereotypical not-really-academic-school setting and harem-by-numbers plot pattern also don't really help the case much. That said, the weapons and enemies featured in this show are actually pretty cool, and the characters are likeable enough that it could easily prove to be better than some of the other ~junkfood anime~ I might watch.

Seisen Cerberus
So we started off with a show that is basically Dragonheart, if the main character shared a link with an evil tyrannical dragon that nearly killed him and almost successfully genocided his people. Cool enough premise to give a chance, but the show has failed to really do anything noteworthy with it at this point, and the characters are mediocre at best. Pretty much the best thing this show has going for it is an airheaded cutie who seems to have some unexplained but blatantly important affinity with dragons, and that's just about it. Everyone else in this show seems incompetent or awkwardly unimportant-but-present, including the bloody main character. Still, I think some interesting things might happen, and I'm sort of holding out for the possibility that the big bad evil dragon will actually be successful in wreaking whatever havoc it might.

Dropped
Endride
Boring story that would have been better if they had just ripped off of Shakespeare's Hamlet and called it a day. Wasted concepts and history all around, and nothing particularly interesting going on with the characters or plot of the present. Difficult to care about anything going on in this show, and even the superpowers and fantasy/sci-fi are about as lazy and simplistic as you can get.

Gakusen Toshi Asterisk (The Asterisk Wars)
Meh. I think I gave this show more than its fair share of chances. Decided to drop it for being generic mediocre-at-best indecisively sci-fantasy tripe for the most part. Another weak wannabe harem show with a contrived school setting for the youths to be all angsty and stuff. Meanwhile, this show has a terrible grasp of its own politics, characters, relationships, storylines, and the list goes on. At this point it is essentially just an ongoing exercise in modern anime cliches and squandered tropes that would almost be better if they were shameless cliches, and not just poorly-utilized literary elements.

Reserves
JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken: Diamond wa Kudakenai (JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable)

I'll probably go back and watch JoJo from the start before I try to jump into any particular recent series.

Kuromukuro
Seems cool from the blurbs, but I simply haven't gotten around to checking it out, and I have this nagging impression that it might be better to just wait until it's finished and binge-stream it.

Macross Delta
Another show that caught my interest just before I remembered that I hadn't seen the last series or specific continuity it follows. Meh, one of these days I will probably try to hit up more recent Macross shows, or maybe even start from the top, but I won't be putting time into this right now.

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PostSubject: Re: Anime topic 4.0... U   Wed May 25, 2016 1:53 pm

Aldnoah Zero ended in the weirdest way, and wtf with all of season 2. Like, that was Deus Ex Machina the season, as if the first season wasn't enough of that. I mean, it was good enough, but really? Also my friend I watched it with was upset Inaho and the Princess didn't get together.

JoJo really is a show that you should watch from the start. Besides the fact that each JoJo has things about them that makes them great (well first JoJo the only good part is Dio). Anyway, you won't miss too much story that you can't easily piece together by what Part 4 tells you, but still better to start from go.

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PostSubject: Re: Anime topic 4.0... U   Thu May 26, 2016 2:28 am

Lol, I liked the ending of Aldnoah.Zero, including the spoilers that apparently upset your friend. Season 2 was all over the place though, I won't deny that, and the fact that its entire purpose is to basically retcon Season 1's plotholes by digging even more plotholes...yeah. But the overall experience? I still say top-shelf. At its very worst, Aldnoah.Zero was gratifying junk-food anime, and more often than not, it was much better than that imo.

Aldnoah Zero Sum Spoilers:
 

Yeah, when I do get around to watching JoJo, I'm going to make sure I can dedicate the time needed to appreciate it and have the series fresh in my mind.

Meanwhile, my impressions haven't changed much for most of the current shows I highlighted in my last post. I will note, however, that Re:Zero has been steadily improving. During those first few episodes, I found it pretty frustrating how the MC was not moving along with the story and time-travel/revival anywhere near as effectively as he could have, but I decided to give the show (and him) the benefit of the doubt since it seemed like the show was possibly setting things up for a bit more psychological depth. So far it's actually doing pretty bloody well exploring the impact those kinds of powers and experiences might have on a person.

And with that said, just to reiterate and keep track of how things are moving along:

Main Watchlist:
Bungou Stray Dogs
Boku no Hero Academia (My Hero Academia)
Flying Witch
Kiznaiver
Koutetsujou no Kabaneri (Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress)
Mayoiga (The Lost Village)
Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu (Re:Zero Starting Life in Another World)


Backburner
Big Order
Sakamoto desuga? (Haven't You Heard? I'm Sakamoto.)
Terraformars Revenge


Purgatory (Probation-tier)
Ace Attorney
Hundred
Seisen Cerberus
Sousei no Onmyouji (Twin Star Exorcists)


Dropped
Endride
Gakusen Toshi Asterisk (The Asterisk Wars)


Reserves
JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken: Diamond wa Kudakenai (JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable)
Kuma Miko
Kuromukuro
Macross Delta
Space Patrol Luluco


---

Beyond that, I also have two shows to note as ~leftovers~ that I finally got around to checking out or completing after some free time invested in binge-streaming.

God Eater
All things considered, this anime actually turned out to be pretty incredible, especially for having so much packed into 13 episodes. Character development is steady, world-building was surprisingly competent, and the pacing worked well with the drama/action balance. Won't say much more aside from pointing out that it's a God Eater anime that doesn't detract from the franchise and in fact maintains a pretty strong hype factor. If you like God Eater or have some interest in it, check it out.

Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu
This is a very tricky anime to review or even talk about, in part because I don't want to get carried away mixing my metacriticism with direct criticism too much. And with that said, I'm not actually going to criticize the show for now, because I'd rather someone check it out and form their own opinions without having their experience colored by even so much as a descriptive recommendation from someone else, let alone a critical appraisal of it. So, I guess I'll say that it is worth checking out one or two episodes of this show, ideally without reading anything about it or listening to any reviews of it...and for now I'll more or less leave it at that.

It is tempting to flesh out my thoughts beyond that in some spoilers or something, but I'll refrain from even doing that for now. However, if it is too late and you have already read/heard/watched a review of Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu, I guess I might make a point of sharing my thoughts in greater detail without ~holding back~.

---

Update

On a sidenote, the Ride On anime based on Monster Hunter Stories actually looks like it could be a fun watch, although it definitely seems aimed at a much younger audience than I imagine the core of the MH playerbase to be.

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x4cragl_monster-hunter-stories-ride-on-pv_tv

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