Anime Roundup — Week 11 of Spring 2016

A few shows wrapped up this week. Did they end well? Did they…I’m not British enough to pull the word “bollocks” off.

Boku no Hero Academia

This episode was an improvement over the last few because it actually gave the characters something to do, even if the stylization of their introductions was kinda corny and not really worth the buildup it took to get there. We’ll have to wait and see whether a sequel is announced sometime down the road, but as is, this show isn’t getting anything but an “average” score from me. Which is fine in a way. Noragami’s first season was only average and when it came back, it came back pretty big. There’s definitely plenty of things about this show that are still keeping my attention, so whilst I can’t quite say I like Academia as of yet, I’m going to miss it when it ends. Sort of.

Big Order

I’ll give Big Order some credit in that despite the production team being saddled with a bad deal combined with their lackluster anime-making skills, they at least tried to make this lame finale interesting. The whole grainy black-and-white thing did a good job at compensating for the limited animation and almost made me forget that everything was being resolved with lame “power-of-friendship” crap up until the last few minutes revealed that nothing important happened as a result of all this “destroy the world” nonsense other than Eiji getting a bunch of females lusting after him. Very disappointingly simple resolution, I must say. Anyways, the show wasn’t good, but I don’t understand why people hate this (and Future Diary for that matter) so much. I’ve seen way worse.

The Lost Village

Like this. Dear god was this anime a boring sack of shit. It wasn’t scary. It wasn’t funny. The CG monsters are horrendous. The characters are forgettable. No one died. The mystery behind the village was an anticlimactic load of balls. Is there anyone who thought this show was worth watching that didn’t know beforehand who the writer/director was? Because quite frankly, the reaction this show got makes me want to never look up the staff to an anime beforehand ever again. Enough with judging an anime by the people who made it, guys. Judge it for what it actually is.

Kiznaiver

For example, my judgment of Kiznaiver based solely on what I’m seeing is that it sucks. At this point, my heart is closed to this show’s frankly ludicrous plotting to tug at the viewer’s emotional heartstrings, and no amount of Trigger’s great visual direction is going to re-open it. This whole final arc reminds me of the structure of Haibane Renmei’s last few episodes with its focus away from the main group and onto the “caretaker” whose arc was sort of hinted at through everything that came before, except it’s being executed like the last few episodes of Anohana or Kuragehime because Noriko’s issues are not substantial enough for my taste and they’re barely connected to what’s happened previously to begin with. Yes, I understand the Kizna experiment was meant to connect humans and that Noriko is an unfortunate product of what happens when said experiment goes horribly wrong and all that, but what exactly does that have to do with all the teenage stuff that came beforehand? When did the show suddenly turn into a cheap sci-fi thriller?

And as I said before, the answers we’re learning as a result of this Kizna experiment aren’t satisfying me because it’s typical “power of friendship” stuff except rushed and with a little angst to it. Even real-life medical professionals would have a hard time diagnosing these characters’ issues.

JJBA: Diamond is Unbreakable

It was a slow Friday last week, so out of curiosity I watched the latest episode of Diamond is Unbreakable to see what all the hubbub was about. As someone who knows nothing about this iteration of Jojo apart from my online friends telling me it’s the best yet whilst my real life friends say it has even less stakes than Stardust Crusaders because there’s no main villain or real reason for the characters to be on whatever journey they’re currently on right now, I couldn’t tell you how this episode benefitted the plot. Come to think of, I don’t even know what the story of DiU is. All the praise I notice is centered on the fights and the animation style.

As for the episode itself, all I understood was that the yellow Stand who had his dick removed is named Chili Pepper and his user is Demyx from Kingdom Hearts II. Fundamentally, nothing’s changed about the series. It’s still a bunch of muscle men (and a little kid) shouting out the obvious, saying lines that are probably cooler in your head than they are out of your mouth (“I was going to punch both of you. I’m not that smart”), and action that was as lame as this week’s Ushio & Tora. Meh.

Ushio & Tora

Speaking of Ushio & Tora, whilst the narrative remains fine shonen action camp, the lack of actual animation in the action during the penultimate episode annoyed me. Just a bunch of quick cuts to the results of the blows without actually showing said blows. Lame.

Bungo Stray Dogs

But even that’s preferable to the action in Bungo Stray Dogs. Seriously, I haven’t seen gun-play action this bad since Jormungand. The characters just stood still from twenty feet away and shot about three-hundred rounds of machine gun fire with each other, and it’s only after three seconds of this that someone actually hits. And there’s no fucking way you’d only get away with a shoulder wound from that. The rest of the episode wasn’t very good either as it fell back on Bungo’s usual problem of pausing the plot to focus on characterization that doesn’t really add to anything. No, I don’t care about Kenji and how he’s basically Shizuo from Durarara when he’s hungry.

Re:Zero

Wait a fucking minute! You’re telling me that Roswaal could have just barbecued the entire mess away this whole time, but you never thought to ask him for help? I don’t care if he was away on business. He never went away during the previous timelines, so I think he could have easily scheduled a rain check from whatever he was doing to help out if you had just informed him that his precious maids were being threatened. Anyways, I’ve been told the show gets more violent (and repetitive) from here and all I can think is “oh boy, it’s Now and Then, Here and There all over again, isn’t it?”

And don’t kid yourselves, guys. Now and Then, Here and There is utter shit.

Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress

No! Not the fat kid! He was my favorite character!

Okay not really, but I was saddened that he took one for the team.

Concrete Revolutio

Still not paying attention to the reception this episode got and still don’t care. It had its faults, but a finale that’s missing a few details is much more preferable to a finale that just flat-out went in a bad direction. Overall, I’d say this second season is on par with the first in terms of quality, which is a bit of a shame since I wanted it to be better. Still though, this final episode really stuck with me and I’m going to be thinking about it for a long time.

Minor Quips

  • My top five episodes of the week:
    • 1. Concrete Revolutio
    • 2. Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress
    • 3. Ushio & Tora
    • 4. Boku no Hero Academia
    • 5. Nothing
  • So what Spring anime should I review first?

18 responses to “Anime Roundup — Week 11 of Spring 2016

  1. What you felt about Kiznaiver is basically my emotions about Kabaneri at this point. Other than that, I am not happy on how this season turned out.

    • Where the comparison between Kabaneri’s and Kiznaiver’s faults falls short is that the former’s plot has always been B-movie action stuff run through an anime filter.

      • I don’t mind personally. You can’t really expect a bunch of nameless zombies with no particular charisma with our protagonists to function as a credible threat forever. Even The Walking Dead (well, the video game. I haven’t seen the show) knew that.

        Also, Gai was awesome, man.

  2. Concrete Revolutio: The Last Song would’ve greatly benefitted from the same episode count as the first season. As is, the nature of the conflict changed drastically a bit too close to the ending for my liking.

    “I don’t even know what the story of DiU is”

    Your not alone. Judging by only these episodes alone, I’m not sure how anyone could see what the big picture is supposed to look asides from the plot Macguffin still being unaccounted for.

    • Concrete Revolutio: The Last Song would’ve greatly benefitted from the same episode count as the first season. As is, the nature of the conflict changed drastically a bit too close to the ending for my liking.

      Reminds me of the finale to the second season of Darker than Black when it sped through all that alternate reality stuff (amongst other things). Bones just can’t stop being Bones now can they?

      Judging by only these episodes alone, I’m not sure how anyone could see what the big picture is supposed to look asides from the plot Macguffin still being unaccounted for.

      Is there even a main villain in this new iteration? I mean I know Battle Tendency didn’t introduce Crash and his bros until a ways in, but now that we’re at the 1/3 mark, you’d think the major force that Josuke and Jotaro have to face would have shown up by now.

      • It should be soonish. There are two main goals for Joseph and Jotaro in this arc. The first is the stand creating arrow, which caused DIO to be such a nuisance. The other shows up a bit later. It’s been subtly referenced a few times already.

        It’s, in my opinion, the best arc of the series so far. Phantom Blood and Battle Tendency were kinda weak in comparison, and Stardust Crusaders suffered from being too much of a product of its time. DiU is far stronger, overall.

      • As far as superficial compromises I’d liken Concrevo’s late twists more to Fullmetal Alchemist’s ending, but yeah, that only further proves that point. Pretty sure that trope reared up in Eureka Seven Ao as well.

      • As far as superficial compromises I’d liken Concrevo’s late twists more to Fullmetal Alchemist’s ending

        You mean the part where it was revealed that the source of alchemy comes from the deaths in our world (or the existence of said world in general)? Yeah that was weird.

    • Actually, the more I think about it, the more Last Song’s finale reminds me of Kaiba’s or Paprika’s rather than your typical Bones show. Both products have great ideas and make sense when you think about it, but (as is unfortunately common for anime) the execution is a bit off. For the first two-thirds of their runtime, I found them amazing in terms of tone and pacing, only for the last third to somewhat unravel and let me down in the end. And all either product needed to fix that was an extra half-hour or two.

  3. DiU starts kinda casual in tone, so obviously it’s not the kinda series you’d like to watch. There is a threat in this, and said threat has been shown, but never outright acknowledged. As it is right now, it’s just kinda quirky and goofy, which is perfectly fine.

    Definitely stay far away from Part 5 whenever that comes out. If you thought Stardust Crusaders was weak, then you’ll hate part 5. The protagonist is less interesting than Jotaro, and while the fights are a bit zany, it feels a bit generic overall. I like it, regardless, but I admit that it’s probably the worst in the series. The last fight is just so super dumb, and I love it for that.

    • There is a threat in this, and said threat has been shown, but never outright acknowledged. As it is right now, it’s just kinda quirky and goofy

      Sounds like the live-action Preacher adaptation.

      • I wouldn’t know. I’m not watching that. If Preacher as likable characters, decent pacing, and weird fights like DiU does then I might.

      • It’s not the type of anime that you would like. The first half of Diu is more like Scooby Doo with Stands. You have the main characters in a town, that have many unknowns stand users that are doing evil things and the heroes have to discover who are the stand users in the town.

        The main story in the second half consist in a mytery related to a serial killer that is killing women. The killer and main antagonist of this season is a creepy blond dude that have a sexual fetish with female hands and for that reason he is killing women(he only wants their hands). It sound stupid(it is), but that arc is actually cool, because that blond dude is actually a cool and charismatic villain(he is like a better version of Dio) and he has a weird freudian excuse. Still, I don’t think that it is the type of story that you would like.

        Something interesting of DIU is that this part of Jojo was the one that inspired Atlus to create the Persona games.

        The worst part of Jojo is the next one(Part 5).

  4. Jojo is very inconsistent.

    1-st chapter (season 1, episodes 1-10) is standard dragonball-ish shounen. With very dull characters (except for first 2 and last episode). Jonathan tries to beat Dio and more or less succeed.

    2-nd (season 1, episodes 10-24). My favorite. Best JoJo and best battles in whole series. Battles now all about tactics, similar to hunterxhunter in some way. Characters way more interesting. There is actually adventure going on. Villains not as one-sided as Dio was. Noble and serious hero was replaced with strategic thinker, who will cheat and lie if it will bring him victory + he is way funnier than the first hero. Secondary characters are interesting too (but they don’t get much of a screen time). I think you should watch this even if you dislike all other chapters.

    3-rd (season 2-3). Monster of the week show. Go from A to B and slay bad guy, beating other enemies on the way. I don’t really like this one.

    4-th (season 4+). Feels more like slice of life. Small town. Bunch of good or bad stand users appear here and there. Characterwise this season is the best (when it’s not about pure-evil vilians ). Yes it does have main bad-guy. And it was implied multiple times. You will recognize him when he appers.

    5-th. Worst (and favorite in Japan). 3-rd season with OP and smart main hero.

    • Also, I have seen the first two arcs. I liked them back when Jojo was fresh and I was still fitting in with the blogging community but they don’t appeal to me anymore.