Toasters! I was busy with real world stuff last week and didn’t have time to write up a season wrap up, so without further adieu, here are my thoughts on the shows I finished from the Spring 2016 anime season.
Boku no Hero Academia/My Hero Academia
• Definitely one of my top picks for the season, My Hero Academia continued to impress with every episode. Funimation beautifully adapted the already exceedingly popular shōnen manga. Sporting a very clean and well done animation style, My Hero Academia boasted some wonderful character designs, particularly All Might’s character design, which was very reminiscent of silver age American style comics along with the impressive voice acting performances from the entire cast. Undeniably one of the better recent shōnen series, you can’t help but get hyped up after each marvelously animated fight scene. If you haven’t watched it yet, definitely check it out. Personally, I can’t wait for My Hero Academia season 2! Also go check out my episode by episode review on mouthfuloftoast.com if you want some more in depth information.
Bungou Stray Dogs
• Despite some problems, I ended up enjoying Bungou Stray Dogs. BSD presents a unique cast of characters with a wacky assortment of powers inspired by classic Japanese literature. Additionally, BSD presented some very clean animation and a fairly interesting story. My biggest complaint with the series was the weird pacing that threw off the flow of the story along with the laughably incompetent villains, but the action and the main characters kept me interested. Also, if we had to see that damn orphanage scene one more god damn time I was going to rage quit the series. All in all, I would say check it out if you have a chance, but don’t go out of your way to see it.
Concrete Revolutio: Season 2
• A follow up to an underrated series from the winter 2016 season, Concrete Revolutio was definitely an enjoyable second season. While I enjoyed the series, it definitely has it faults. The main fault I had with the series was the hard to follow plot, due to the story jumping around to various points in the time line. Furthermore, Concrete Revolutio ties in closely to historical events in Japan’s history, so if you don’t know Japanese history (which I don’t), the story may lose some of its oomf. Despite that, Concrete Revolutio brought a very unique animation style to the table and really tackled some moral issues that other seinen series shy away from, particularly the idea of gray morality and what it takes to be a hero. I would recommend this series to anyone who likes super hero series, but also wants a deeper plot beyond “beat up the bad guy.” I would also recommend following along with the reddit discussion threads to help keep the plot straight.
• One of the most relaxing series I’ve ever watch, I thoroughly enjoyed Flying Witch. Between the laid back characters and the laid back story, Flying Witch definitely fell into my comfy series slot for the season. Flying Witch showed some wonderful and gorgeous animation, along with some strong voice acting performances from the actors involved. I challenge you to watch this series and not feel at least a little relaxed afterwards. Lastly, as I mentioned in our podcast episode on Flying Witch, I vastly enjoyed how the series handles magic, namely how chill and down to earth they portrayed it. If you’re looking for a relaxing series, definitely check out Flying Witch.
Jojo Part 4: Diamond is Unbreakable
• Another season, another part of Jojo. Continuing on with the impressive adaptations we’ve seen so far with Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures, part 4 does not disappoint. Finding a happen medium between the character designs of the beginning and end of part 4, Jojo delivers what Araki does best, over the top character designs and poses. If you like crazy fashion, then you will love Jojo Part 4 (or any of the parts for that matter). Another series that boasts a unique animation style, Jojo is plentiful with bright colors and a style that is suggestive of a manga panel. One thing that does annoy me with the Jojo series (that I have come to accept) is the over-explanation that is present in every fight, but even then it’s a minor complaint and actually one of the selling points of Jojo. Despite the fact that the anime is just coming out and may seem trope-y at times, you have to remember that Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure was written since the 80’s and helped set many of today’s popular tropes. If you haven’t checked out Jojo’s bizarre adventure, definitely give it a look, as you can expect much more from this series as it progresses.
Koutetsujou no Kabaneri/Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress
• While having the highly detailed animation that we’ve come to expect from Studio Wit, Kabaneri seems to lose its way about halfway through the series. I tried to like Kabaneri and I initially did, but quickly became disillusioned by the series. It had an interest take on the zombie survival trope and sported some non-generic characters that I started to like. However, as soon as that pinked hair fuck Biba showed up, Kabaneri started to go for a generic evil guy plot and the main characters became one dimensional generic protagonists ultimately leading up to a disappointing ending that spoiled the rest of the series for me. At this point I don’t recommend Kabaneri, but if you want to go check it out, don’t let me stop you.
Mayoiga/The Lost Village
• Definitely one of the let downs of the season for me, if it wasn’t for the short episode count of Mayoiga, I definitely would not have finished it. The series started off strong with some mystery and intrigue for the mystifying Nanaki village, along with a huge array of characters, too huge in my opinion for a 12 episode series as 60% of the characters are left by the wayside about halfway through the series. Mayoiga does deliver some very clean animation, despite it giving me some of the worst CGI I’ve seen in a while. The bigger thing that annoyed me with the series was the plot. While the plot didn’t go in the direction that I expected it to, which is fine if it goes in a direction that interests me, Mayoiga’s plot just got dumber and dumber as it went on and ultimately bored me and left a bad taste in my mouth. While I didn’t enjoy it and don’t recommend you waste your time on it, some people I’ve talked to have enjoyed it so to each their own.
Re: Zero – Starting Life in Another World
• Re: Zero started off as a silly “geek trapped in a fantasy world” series, but quickly evolved into one of the more heart wrenching series I’ve seen in a while. The series shows some rapid and deep character development in a short span and quickly negates it with each reset as all of Subaru’s hard work becomes undone with each death and as it clearly starts taking a toll of the mental sanity of our main character. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed Re: Zero from the crisp animation to the wonderful characters. People complain about how cringe-y Subaru has become, but I believe it is a logical character progression as he keeps getting close to his goal only for it to be snatched from his grasp. Go catch up on Re: Zero while you can, because we’re only half way finished with Subaru’s mental breakdown.