Final Summer 2015 Anime Rankings

Let’s wrap this up, shall we?

Here’s the order in which I’d watch this summer’s anime again if I ever had to for some reason. All of them I’ve finished, bar Monster Musume and God Eater due to lack of interest plus scheduling conflicts, as well as Ushio and Tora since it’s still going on for another cour…and then a third cour next year. Gangsta and Overlord also won’t finish until next week, but judging by their current directions (aka they don’t look to be aiming for conclusive endings), it’s very unlikely my final opinion on them will change at this point.

  1. Ushio and Tora
  2. Gangsta
  3. Red Haired Snow White
  4. Gatchaman Crowds Insight
  5. Charlotte
  6. Shimoneta (Dirty Jokes)
  7. Rokka no Yuusha
  8. Ranpo Kitan
  9. Monster Musume
  10. Prison School
  11. Durarara!!xTen
  12. God Eater
  13. Classroom Crisis
  14. Overlord
  15. Chaos Dragon

We all said this season would be crap early on, but I didn’t expect it to be this disappointing. I found everything under Ushio and Tora to be “take it or leave it” at best, and it’s not like that show didn’t have its share of dud episodes throughout its run either. But on the bright side, I now have more than enough review material to get me by next season, which I’ll start working on as soon as I recover from the massive headache that sitting through all this crap has given me!

I thought about including Gate on here, but I decided two episodes I barely remember and the suffering my colleagues have gone through in regards to the Call of Duty-like Japanese nationalism on display in said show isn’t enough of a qualification to do so. On a side note, I recently learned it’s a split-cour series and now I’m tempted to catch up to it before the second half airs just to see what all the hubbub is about.

As I said, I won’t be watching any of Fall’s anime for a while bar the second cour of Ushio and Tora and whatever Lupin/Teekyu episodes I can find. Don’t worry though. I’ll catch up to that dreck we humans know as Seraph of the End 2 soon enough.

24 responses to “Final Summer 2015 Anime Rankings

  1. GATE is pretty fun if you don’t take it seriously. That or you can nit-pick the JSDF’s portrayal for any sign of weakness, like I have. By now I pretty much always disagree whenever someone argues that the show makes them look ‘perfect’ – I think it’s more that the narrative embodies the ideal that an ideal JSDF soldier or supporter would see the military as, while showing at even a dream like that can have some cracks.

    Whether that makes the show ‘good’ or ‘bad’, and whether it’s intended, aren’t things I care about; I just enjoy the show’s madcap approach to interracial relations. The general reaction of most critics of the show is a good reminder that offence is taken, not given.

    On another note, I’m surprised how high you’re rating Charlotte. I haven’t seen the finale yet, but the lead up to it has made the series drop from one of my favourites to one of the most boring things I’ve had to sit through for a few weeks. I’ve usually hated the word ‘trainwreck’ being applied to shows, but this is the first time I’ve wanted to use it. It’s not like I’m not a fan of the style, either – Angel Beats! is my favourite show and will probably always be. I just don’t think it’s anywhere near what Maeda usually delivers.

    Gakkou Gurashi! is my Anime of the Season, I should add. Both Charlotte’s moe parts and darker elements have fallen flat in comparison to what Lerche have done with that manga. Sore ga Seiyuu is my second biggest highlight.

    • GATE is pretty fun if you don’t take it seriously.

      Great recommendation dude.

      I’m surprised how high you’re rating Charlotte.

      Charlotte’s moe parts and darker elements have fallen flat in comparison to what Lerche have done with that manga.

      I pay more attention to what the elements are used for first and how they’re executed second (ex. Baccano’s chaotic energy is very well-executed, but it’s all in service of a really inconsequential series of events with poorly developed characters). And Charlotte’s mostly that high because stuff actually happens in that anime (only about a third of the runtime admittedly, but compared to everything below it…). I don’t think the dark stuff was implemented all that well, but at least there was progress when it was occurring (unlike Classroom Crisis, where it just distracted from the narrative). Yu actually had a somewhat interesting character arc where had to face real struggles that affected his behavior. I’m sure my fondness for stories where characters at their most desperate and unlikeable have to redeem themselves through small steps has been well-established in the past.

      one of the most boring things I’ve had to sit through for a few weeks

      You obviously have not seen any of the shows below Charlotte. Mind you, Rokka would have gone higher if its ending didn’t suck balls. And I don’t care what people say. Prison School is not the least bit funny.

      • Yeah, I don’t have time to watch anything that bores me, and I got bored of many other shows quite quickly (aside from Durarara!!, but I know that’s not for everyone). But Charlotte has become even more boring than trying to wade through the introductory reading to Old English literature I’m having to subject myself to.

        Yuu, for me, was being awesomely developed until recently. The penultimate episode, for instance, just reeked of stupidity and superficial pseudo-heroism. Here’s a guy who just had his ass handed to him by just a small syndicate, not all of them power users, and now he’s going to go to conquer the world. It. Makes. No. Sense. And what about his development being towards a nicer guy – how does that work when you consider he’s known his plunder ability for a while but never cured his friends of this ‘disease’ of having an ability?

        I think Yuu’s brother, Shun, was the biggest downer for me though. His characterization, and what followed from his time-leap power, rendered the two biggest conflict of the show – the scientists and Ayumi’s death – as feeling pretty weak in the end. They had to bring in a whole new villain after that, and even he was dealt with in one episode.

        The lattermost third of the show just hasn’t been using what the rest of the series has built up. I can’t stand the fact that Yuu and Nao’s relationship has been completely boiled down to the kind of ‘I’m the girl you win if you save the day’ cliche that I thought Maeda’s work had always been an opponent of; that or she doesn’t believe in him and is using the promise as a means of never having to have a relationship with him, which is a horrible note to end their relationship on. Agreed, stuff happens in Charlotte, but the stuff that’s happened has flown in the face of what I was hoping for this cast.

        But yeah, I suppose everything below it on your list has fared even worse.

        And I mean what I say about GATE. It obviously doesn’t take itself seriously.

    • It. Makes. No. Sense.

      Have to disagree with that. It wasn’t well-implemented, but it makes perfect sense on paper.

      His characterization, and what followed from his time-leap power, rendered the two biggest conflict of the show – the scientists and Ayumi’s death – as feeling pretty weak in the end.

      I didn’t like how those plot points were dealt with, but I gave it a little bit of leeway because they were all in service of Yu’s personal growth, which I always felt was the main draw of the show. And I liked how the finale made him realize that he can’t rely on time travel anymore, even when he’s given the option to get that power back.

      Agreed, stuff happens in Charlotte, but the stuff that’s happened has flown in the face of what I was hoping for this cast.

      I only praised Yu. Honestly, I can’t stand the characters surrounding him and feel they’re the reason the show dragged as much as it did. And whilst I think there’s more to Nao than what you’ve said, I’m not a fan of where the show went with her story. Felt barely connected to Yu’s.

      aside from Durarara!!, but I know that’s not for everyone

      I don’t know who that show is for anymore, aside from bishie-lovers, and even they aren’t enough if the poor Blu-ray sales are anything to go by. Durarara has never been good with story, but this latest season really pushed my button regarding how much it refused to move things forward.

      • Durarara!! is a weird world for me that doesn’t go ‘forward’ – it goes round and round, in and out, making knots and untying them to make more knots than before without leaving the same place in physical and narrative terms. It’s a niche approach to storytelling that’s not for many people’s tastes, but I think the writing is good at the very alternative style the author is always going for.

        Could you please explain how Yuu’s plan makes sense on paper? I similarly found the saving grace of most issues to be pertaining to his growth – his reaction in episode 11 to Shun doing the ‘you’re our only hope’ routine was fantastically honest. But after his failure with that, it doesn’t make sense to me how he can have the confidence to approach a challenge a million times bigger. He couldn’t save Nao – his loss of control during the fight nearly killed her, and would have if not for Kuragame’s sacrifice. How am I supposed to connect with him believing he can save the world?

        I’ve picked up on the allusion to The Last Supper in all the food and farewells, but even that felt contrived and ill-fitted with the rest of the show’s use of the abilities for themes. Yuu certainly hasn’t developed into a Christ figure, and yet the ending feels like it’s trying to portray him as one.

        I’m honestly really hoping there’s something I’m not considering properly – anything that makes me enjoy the final episode more, which I’m watching tomorrow, will be a blessing.

    • Save the world? That’s a little overdramatic. He’s just going to get the drop on the super powered people before they get the drop on him. Admittedly, turning him into Madoka-Christ is a little much, but eh. I never said the show was good.

      • Maybe ‘save the world’ is the wrong way to term it, but he still has to cover a ridiculous amount of unknown ground. The fact that the main source for information we have on international power users bested him the previous week doesn’t give me any hope going forward.

        I just don’t know how the episode can end with a ‘lets cheer him on guys’ note. Some kind of ‘this is a suicide mission’ feeling in the cinematography would have been far more fitting.

    • Some kind of ‘this is a suicide mission’ feeling in the cinematography would have been far more fitting.

      Nao did say it was dangerous. Not going to clarify more than that.

      It’s a niche approach to storytelling that’s not for many people’s tastes, but I think the writing is good at the very alternative style the author is always going for.

      Couldn’t disagree more. Even the good spirograph plots hit new themes and stories in their circling. Durarara just bangs on the same stuff over and over except with twice the bullshit each time. Gatchaman Crowds Insight would be a much better example of that style succeeding (and it doesn’t exactly pull it off all that well either).

      • The sameness of Durarara!!, as I’ve been saying, is a quality loved by some and hated by others. It’s definitely intentional given the second season’s opening episode, and it’s hardly worth arguing whether it’s ‘good’ or ‘bad’. I’m certainly naturally enjoying it, but I know many wouldn’t. That’s all there really is to say.

        The biggest problem with Yuu’s quest is that it’s preparation didn’t involve any acknowledgement of what Yuu had just failed at. All we get are abstract notions of ‘danger’ without any internal recognition of Yuu’s weaknesses, which the show had done before to great effect. I just feel so far from his character as he goes off into this doomed adventure.

    • I’d say his journey is more a “result” of what he’s gone through personally. Anyways, I’m done with this conversation. Not interested anymore in defending a show I don’t even think is good.

  2. Gangsta was my favourite because there were some interesting characters and the setting was cool. That being said, I was still a bit disappointed with it because the plot development was really slow and the animation was awful.
    I actually quite liked Charlotte’s second half because there were less cheap jokes and things got serious, but the first half was enough for me to dislike the whole show. Overall, this season was disappointing.
    On another note, the Rewrite anime adaptation is going to suck.

    • I was still a bit disappointed with it because the plot development was really slow and the animation was awful.

      Yeah, the show’s been getting backlashed for that, and it doesn’t help that its final arc hasn’t had much involvement with its main characters. Wonder how the dub is like?

      I actually quite liked Charlotte’s second half because there were less cheap jokes and things got serious, but the first half was enough for me to dislike the whole show.

      I wouldn’t say I dislike the show. More like the lower end of the middle-of-the-road. At least Maeda’s getting better in places, although I honestly hope he never writes again, because I think he’s run out of ideas.

      On another note, the Rewrite anime adaptation is going to suck.

      Yeah, I don’t think I’m going to find a visual novel anime that’s going to impress me anytime soon. The transition between mediums would be too much for Naughty Dog.

    • Just finished Gangsta myself. Pity the story wasn’t very good because like you, I thought the characterization was decent. Still keeps its second-place ranking.

  3. I don’t know if I will be happy or not since we are of the same page with your ranking. I’ll only switch Snow White with Red Hair with Gangsta. and Charlotte with Rokka no Yuusha. I watched 10 shows this summer and darn, I wished I picked Ushio and Tora because that might be well, really good.

    A serious question, why did you not pick School Live!? While the moe element in this show distracts me at times, it is really smarter than it looks because the psychological aspect was handled decently.

    • Snow White and Gangsta were kinda interchangeable really, but I figured I might like the latter more if I watched it dubbed. I originally planned for Rokka to be higher, but those last seven minutes soured my mood on it.

      why did you not pick School Live!?

      I don’t want to watch a show about little girls.

      • I really agree with Rokka. I regretted watching the last moments of that freakin’ show.

        Okay. I see your point in it. It’s not like you missed a lot by not watching that show because it was tolerable at best. By the way, kudos for watching these shows until the end. I did not even bother touching durarara! because of its.. well… below underwhelming first cour. I might watch Classroom Crisis, Monster Musume, Gate and Overlord later.

  4. What was your final opinion on Gatchaman Crowds, anyways? I liked it a lot, even though some of its thematic message went over my head at times (guess I’m an ape then).

      • She was the one trying the hardest to get Tsubasa and Gelsadra to see sense though, and then there’s her big choice in the final two episodes- the result of her witnessing the effects of the “atmosphere” throughout the whole second season.

      • Those events you bring up only take up a small portion of her actual screen time. The rest of it was basically her usual logic except with a severe reduction in pushing things forward.