Anime Roundup — Week 9 of Spring 2016

A-kon was cool. But who cares about that? Let’s talk about anime, as well as some non-anime shows.

Ushio & Tora

It’s kind of funny how this unlikeable actress/mother has more character development in half an episode than most anime characters get in one series. When we’re first introduced to her, we learn that she dismisses her daughter and drinks away her problems – not helped by the fact that her husband was one of the many casualties on the island explosion a few episodes back – to the point that it’s a wonder her dear daughter still likes her. Then when the monster battles move into her backyard and she starts freaking out, the show somehow manages to make me care for her by tying in her situation to Hyou’s, which admittedly only works because Hyou himself has been developed previously. Still, nothing wrong with using another character as a crutch for your own development as long as said crutch is stable.

Re:Zero

I wish this arc would move on from portraying Subaru as some martyr who loves everyone and their dog so we can focus on a story that’s actually interesting. I mean let’s think about this logically for a minute. Say Subaru actually does save everyone at the end of the day, what happens then? What would come from it as a result besides more plot elements that serve no purpose other than to “look cool”? Will any actual character arcs form, let alone end? Will Subaru actually go back to the real world? Will we get some context for him besides the fact that he’s a hikkomori with a bad sense of humor? Also, how many times is this show going to make me watch Subaru get turned into a human chew toy?

My Hero Academia

Just to show that my bias is not strictly contained to just light novel anime, Hero Academia has been boring me as of late for similar reasons to Re:Zero: a lack of personal stakes in what’s been happening. Deku hasn’t had much to do ever since his latest training arc, and we don’t know anything about the other characters so they can’t pick up the slack when the show isn’t focusing on him. All-Might comes close, but he’s nothing more than a supporting character at best. Even when the action films of the 80s and 90s were all about being manly, they (well, the good ones) always kept things personal as teeth flew. Most shonen action anime suck because they don’t do that, and whilst no super moves have been shown yet, Academia is starting to slip into their territory.

Game of Thrones

Every time I watch an episode of this show, I immediately forget about half the subplots. I know it’s epic fantasy and all, but the problem I’ve always had with Game of Thrones is that it spends way too much time on exposition and setup in regards to a story that isn’t really that complicated. And now that we’re on the sixth season, it’s just getting wearisome.

Joker Game

I’m not really sure how it was possible to make game-changing twists like the one in this week’s Joker Game completely boring, but lo and behold the show found a way.

The Americans

A lot of people say this is one of the best shows on TV, as well as basically being Breaking Bad if it was more underrated. I guess there are some similarities to the latter, even if The Americans is more about the protagonists wrestling with whether they’re doing the right thing as opposed to getting worse as time goes on – which incidentally is why I prefer it. Still, whilst I enjoy when Paige has to deal with the realization that her parents can kill people with little hesitation and all that, I don’t understand what’s so amazing about it.

Kiznaiver

While certainly not the worst example out there, Kiznaiver’s execution is very awkward. The show still can’t keep a consistent tone. Like most people, I don’t buy Nico’s attraction to Tenga since it was never hinted at till now, despite what the other characters say. The big reveal regarding Katsuhira’s and Sonozaki’s relationship was both extremely predictable and doesn’t really further any of the character’s development so much as gives an excuse for them to wind up as a big mess in the rain. And most of all, nothing all that interesting is resulting from this Kizna experiment but typical teenage angst except dialed up to cartoonish proportions. I’m sorry, but I (and most of the world) have seen Inside Out. It may have been one of Pixar’s weaker films, but it still made a mature point regarding what teens go through and it made it well. You need to be at that level, Kiznaiver.

Big Order

This show feels like one big advertisement for the manga rather than something that can stand on its own. I just recently saw the new Ninja Turtles movie and Big Order has most of the same problems: crowbarred-in humor that isn’t funny, keeping the energy high and constant to overcome its lack of an engaging end-goal, rushing through a lot of crazy plot points without clarifying anything, and reminding me of much better products (in this anime’s case, Ajin) in the process. The fact that it only got saddled with ten episodes didn’t help, although that’s probably a blessing for most of you guys.

Concrete Revolutio

I don’t understand what is up with people not being able to remember the characters or wanting them to get more developed. First off, if you can’t remember the big cast, that’s your fault. Was it really that hard to remember the brother/sister robots who combine from Episode 3 aka the episode that caused me to take this show seriously? Second, why is it so important that all these characters get more personal story/individual moments if it doesn’t add anything to the overall narrative? I didn’t care for Jiro’s realization that he was a raging hypocrite this week because it finally put a stop sign on how one-sided his morality was starting to get, Okabe from Steins;Gate-style (well, not just because of that anyways). I cared about it because it furthered the story regarding him being the atomic bomb and how justice is a very complicated term. For all you people crying about how Emi hasn’t gotten developed, please inform me why the show should go out of the way to do that for a supporting character who’s main role is to further Jiro’s development, and how you can do that without pausing the story? A story that only has two more episodes left to tell it, I should point out – bar the news I’ve read of its length being a lie.

Also, the mecha fights in this episode ruled.

Minor Quips

  • My APR this week:
    • 1. Concrete Revolutio
    • 2. Ushio and Tora
    • 3. Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress
    • 4. Nothing
    • 5. Nothing

10 responses to “Anime Roundup — Week 9 of Spring 2016

  1. Yeah. My Hero Academia is flipping towards the meh. Darn it. I had high hopes in the first episodes.

    As for Kiznaiver, I found the awkward execution works in its favor granted the disturbing result of the experiment. Yet I agree with you that Sonozaki and Katsuhira are the deadweights despite the fact they SHOULD be the most important leads in this show. Well, Maki, Hisomu and Yuta work as characters for me so I am giving this episode a pass.

    • My problem though is that the results of this experiment haven’t been satisfying me. It’s been nothing but teens experiencing ANGST! I expect more from a fucked up experiment than that, especially this late into the show.

      • I remember an episode of Kino’s Journey and the result was sort of the same. The couple broke up and never spoke again with each other because they’re now too afraid to know what the other one thinks.

        … and yeah, that’s the main reason why I am fascinated with it in an intellectual level. I am not invested with Kiznaiver’s gimmick this time.

  2. Joker Game really did just kind of flop. It isn’t that anything in it got worse, it’s just that it keeps doing the same thing over and over and they’ve given the audience no reason to care.
    Thanks for sharing.

  3. I LOVE how you’ve added GoT and The Americans to this.

    This season of GoT is interesting because people who don’t read the books are loving it, but the book people hate it. But I think the pace is faster now so that’s a good thing.

    I quite like The Americans so I’ll be a little sad to see it go (next week is the series finale) but at least there’s awesome stuff like Rick and Morty, South Park and Black Mirror to look forward to.

    I agree that Academia is getting boring – it’s reminding me of One Punch Man and that’s never a good thing.

    I had a look at the Summer 2016 anime and there isn’t one anime I’m a little excited about.

    • I quite like The Americans so I’ll be a little sad to see it go (next week is the series finale)

      Isn’t it running for two more seasons? Last I checked, next week is the season finale.

      I had a look at the Summer 2016 anime and there isn’t one anime I’m a little excited about.

      I’ve got the preview ready for tomorrow. It’s not the most positive thing I’ve written either.

      I agree that Academia is getting boring – it’s reminding me of One Punch Man and that’s never a good thing.

      I thought the latest episode was a bit of an improvement but still not good enough to get it out of the rut it sunk itself into lately due to the obvious padding. Not to mention, I know Tsuyu (the frog girl) is popular and all, but I don’t really understand what she did to become everyone’s favorite.

  4. This week’s mecha transformation in Concrete Revolutio was just sad. I mean, it was awesomely designed and all (as shown by the OP) but they put NO effort into the actual scene here whatsoever- and Bone did nonstop mecha anime for about a half-dozen years until 2015! Somebody at Sunrise is laughing at this, for sure.

    I haven’t watched any of MHA after episode 7, because the pacing was /just/ too slow for me to have any sort of interest in it. Partially because I’ve read the manga, again, but it really feels like the pacing’s been dragged out here in the latest few anime episodes. Can’t stand it (though I get that why, but that doesn’t really make it better).