Musings and Reflections – end of Winter 2017

     Probably a bit late because I was completely immersed into that huge triple post about Inio Asano, but anyway. Somehow I ended up watching way more series this season than usually mainly because there was so many second seasons. And more times than not everything went as expected – dull series remained dull, great ones continued to impress. Out of unwatched stuff Maidragon found a way into my watchlist rather quickly, Demi-chan also might be a mild slice of life fun. And I still can’t fathom how it’s possible that more people watched Hand Shakers than Rakugo

Tales of Zestiria the X (2017)

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     It’s not even over yet, but I guess I can at least partially wrap everything up since huge changes are very unlikely . I can call Zestiria one word – mediocre. The first season at least introduced the world and began the journey, but here the story at first didn’t even move and ultimately reached the final battle in a more or less bland way. Rose and Alisha kinda got their developments but in the grand scale of things it hasn’t been important. Who liked them from the start will still like them and vice versa. Sorey remains a protag-kun with an idea that you absolutely mustn’t kill regardless of the circumstances. I guess he’s just been lucky enough not to become burned because of his ideals. Yet. The world sometimes looks interesting and there are hints of mythology and other stuff but that just either is constructed not that firmly or (which is more likely) the show just doesn’t have the will and time to dig deeper and explore the themes that would certainly have enriched the story. Visuals are the part where I can ramble the least, but in the end I don’t think the super clean and almost sterile artstyle with lots and lots of CG (that actually improved over time) is my favorite. The “X” in the title didn’t have any meaning this season, but knowing what was done in the first one, it’s for the better. So yeah, pretty disappointing, though not unexpected.

Tales of Zestiria the X (2017) receives the award of the most impressive scenery of the season because 3-gatsu got it last time and LWA doesn’t have Studio Pablo on board.

Little Witch Academia

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     Well, for starters the charm of the original LWA, although still present in the very first episodes, didn’t need much time to pretty much dissipate. It’s not a bad show, but having such strong predecessor isn’t working well for the TV series. You can do only so much with limited resources, pressing timetables and other projects in mind. LWA delved too often for my liking into rather unimportant fairy tale material. Character development (of sorts) is there, there are countless shows with way worse animation, the story now also seems to be starting off, but sadly it’s just incomparable with the original OVA. After the first cour it still feels like we have got hardly anywhere from the very start. I don’t know, it’s a good thing we have something like this, but maybe creating something similar and not trying to recapture the same success would have been a better idea after all.

LWA receives the random award of The Best Thing That Happened Though Probably Shouldn’t Have.

ACCA: 13-ku Kansatsu-ka

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     Ultimately I’m glad that I decided to stick around. Just as expected Acca provided an interesting character drama and even if in the end all those rumors, speeches and whisperings about the coup lead to nothing spectacular, the interactions between the characters and opportunities for the story to go one way or another proved to be enjoyable enough. Pretty much every character had his/hers own motives and ways of achieving something as well as interplay between so different personalities that weren’t the most predictable was fun to watch.  Only Jean, the titular character in the end still looked emotionless and too stoic to be likable enough. Yes, he’s not a bad dude, but you could as well have a cupboard as a main character. I guess the story not always went in the most logical and expected ways but that created opportunities to more entertaining character interactions and wonderings what will happen next, so in the end I can say I wasn’t astounded by Acca but left satisfied enough.

ACCA: 13-ku Kansatsu-ka receives the random award of But It Was Me, The Show About Bread!!

Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! 2

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     Nothing new compared to the first season. Well, nothing new that’s worth much. As a positive point character animation may have been even more of the rails than last year, but apart from that nothing really stood out. As I wasn’t particularly impressed by the first season, and this one also leaves the same impression. The incompetence of the characters feels more annoying than funny, there’s no story to speak about, fanservice again is overstretched too long. Basically the show tried to repeat itself, and it doesn’t even feel novel (maybe except the first few episodes). Even the ending song is almost exactly the same as the last time. Yes, it’s nice, but not as nice as its predecessor.

Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! 2 receives the random award of Being Both The Best And The Worst Comedy Of The Season Because It’s The Only Comedy I Watched.

Kuzu no Honkai

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    I knew from the start what I was getting into because of the manga, so I can’t say there were many unexpected turns. During the later episodes the story might have gone a bit differently, as it felt a bit exhausted because compared to its unconventional start. Moca after all wasn’t as important as she could’ve been, so maybe a little less convoluted emotional dodecahedrons would’ve been a little more elegant. On the other hand, I couldn’t have asked for a better ending, so the overall experience was definitely satisfying. Not to mention that the tackled themes are rather scarce among other shows, so bringing some food for thought to the mainstream audience is an admirable thing. The choice of VA’s and the artstyle was also a big plus – despite lacking heavily animated scenes the show managed to have it’s own identity, and a pleasant one.

Kuzu no Honkai receives the award of the favorite OST of the season. LWA and 3-gatsu also had their moments but both of these didn’t do anything new that they haven’t done before, and Kuzu no Honkai managed to offer a decent score to accompany the misdeeds of its characters. Also the show gets the award of the most memorable character, that being Akane. She’s probably the worst person not only in the show but also in the season but despite of that her manipulations and general character were somehow very enjoyable to watch.

Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu: Sukeroku Futatabi-hen

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    Oh, Rakugo, dramatical life at its best. Just watch it and there’ll be no need for any words to describe the greatness of it. The first season had its ending revealed right from the start, but now there was no way to guess what will happen. The characters that already last year were very dear and exceptionally humane, upon the reappearance could develop further, and they certainly did. Seeing relationship grow between Konatsu and Yotaro (among other ones) provided an endless supply of joy, Yakumo looked like he was really loosing his way of living, and, well, pretty much everything was outstanding. I can’t say I particularly enjoyed the after-death episode, but even with that I guess Rakugo rightfully deserves a place among the best of anime. And not only of this season.

Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu: Sukeroku Futatabi-hen without a doubt receives the award of the favorite show of the season.

3-gatsu no Lion

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     It ended, but not quite. The second season will probably bring joy to many people, but I feel mainly indifferent. Yes, Rei’s journey was well portrayed, but it wouldn’t be worse without countless meanderings aside and mood-breaking jokes. I can agree that the second cour handles everything way better than the first one (for example the hideous lips), but the show remains the same. I can value the experience of having watched it, but I can’t say I particularly well connected with the characters or enjoyed every last bit of that weird shogi-cat dance. Many things were left hanging, and even if it’s understandable with another season announced, but the closure wasn’t that satisfying, especially given so much stuff that could’ve been removed. I guess I’m just on a different wavelength compared to the show. On a side note, what does the title exactly mean?

3-gatsu no Lion receives the random award of The Most Improved Continuing Show Of The Season.

     …And there’s Hand Shakers. Yes, I endured it and was awarded with some good laughs, but apart from that I can only name the show as having won the award of Being Worst At Pretty Much Everything.

     Favourite OP of the season after some thought should be that of KonoSuba. The song is not that memorable, but it matches the little story that the characters embark on well enough. It’s more cohesive and all out in terms of the animation, and that proved to be enough to best Kuzu no Honkai (despite its song) and Rakugo (despite its symbols). I guess LWA and Zestiria also deserve a sub-honorable mention, but they are just enjoyable, but apparently not enough.

     Favourite ED was more difficult to choose, but Acca came out on top. Izumi Murakami  (who also had some part in that beautiful skating scene in Death Parade) did an amazing job soloing the animation, and the song itself matched the collected mood of the show. Probably not the most memorable of EDs, but it somehow won over the psychedelic ornamentation of Kuzu no Honkai, and everything else was rather forgettable.

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3 Comments

  1. “Well, for starters the charm of the original LWA, although still present in the very first episodes, didn’t need much time to pretty much dissipate.”

    Couldn’t agree more, LWA has really started to sink since its start

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
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