Good Bye, Winter 2016

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THIS IS MY OPINIONS AND MY OPINIONS ONLY!

Well well well, looks like it’s that time of the year again. Spring is nearly upon us, while the weather in England refuses to let us have nice warm sunny day. It’s been busy months, exam after exam after exam, and then I have finally finished translating DxD DX! Well, that was a fun ride.

But this isn’t a post about that! I already made a post about translation months ago! and as usual, I will be listing anime that I’ve been (barely) keeping up with this season where many shows I watched because I was bored, and unlike last time, I have decided to add anime that I’ve watched this season that is not airing, so some of you can laugh at me for not watching them sooner, oh well…. (And before anyone ask, yes I haven’t watched KonoSuba, and it’s high on my list to watch. So knock it off.)

Well, without further ado, let’s get going.

 

Airing this season

Ao no Kanata no Four Rhythm (MAL, Crunchyroll)

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(Image is from VN, not anime)

Brief synopsis is that in the future, <anti—gravity matter> has been discovered and they started to use that to fly everywhere using shoes called Grav-shoes, even a sport has been invented called Flying Circus (FC for short) that take advantage of this technology. Story is about this guy <insert his name here> who quit FC as child met this energetic and somewhat weird girl who take fancy of this new sport, convinces him to coach her and rest of FC club at his school. Now shenanigan ensues to get them to the national competition.

I’ll be honest; I wasn’t sure about this show at the beginning. I read the synopsis on MAL and I wasn’t very impressed. I only started watching it since Crunchyroll had it and I had nothing better to do (well, that was a lie. I was bored.) And to be honest again, I enjoyed it more than expected, but I feel like I wouldn’t have missed it if I didn’t watch it either. It feels like this type of genre has been done time and time again, with similar execution. Without spoiling too much, these are tropes I spotted. A person with unbelievable talent just comes out of nowhere? Check. She convinces a person who doesn’t want to be associated with said sport to join as coach? Check. They meet a seemingly unbeatable foe and promise to beat him/her and get to nationals? Check. One person starts doubt him/herself and decides to quit because it makes her sad? Check. Said person re-joins after having second though and encouragement from his/her friends? Check. An annoying, full-of-her-self, b**** of a character arrives and ruins the experience? Check (F*** you Irina). It’s just that I can’t pin point where all these tropes are done before.

Saying all that, I did enjoy the series, especially some of the characters I find very enjoyable. Not only that, FC match scenes are always the best part of the show, full of action and emotions. I ended to rooting for main characters at the end, I don’t think I’ve been in this mood in awhile. Would I recommend? That’s bit hard. I mean, I will certainly say give this a go, but that also comes with a warning, I feel bored after watching few episodes in, only to get to interesting part then gets boring again.

P.S: Can I use this chance to give rant about Irina? Because she is half the reason why I did not enjoy this show. Really, that kind of character seriously gives me cringe. Personal preference, and I know many shows has this type of character, but really.

 

Boku dake ga Inai Machi (Erased) (MAL, Crunchyroll)

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This, meanwhile, made me go and read the rest of the manga after watching first 2 episodes. Yes, that’s how high I put this show at.

Brief synopsis is that Satoru has an ability to go back in time when there’s going to be a disaster or something bad is about to happen. One day, (spoilers!) his mother got murdered and he is sent back 18 years ago to fix the problem that started everything, serial murder of three local kids.

Right, hopefully I haven’t spoiled too much of the show, because it is probably going to be my favourite anime of the year so far. As I’ve said before, reading the original source doesn’t deter me from enjoying the series at all, but I only do so if a show is so good that I can’t wait for new episodes to be released. Did you get tired of me praising this show? I hope not, because I don’t think I can stop.

Characters in this show are interesting to watch, trying his hardest to prevent whatever event that he know is going to happen unless future is changed, his circle of friends helping him out without knowing much but only with promise that they are doing something good. Keep guessing who the murderer is. Is that person someone they know? Should they start suspecting people close to them? What about Satoru’s future? How would that turn out? It’s quite a mystery and I enjoy the hell out of it. Talking about the character, Kenya is a character I find is most interesting in this show. He’s only 11 years old but the things that he can deduce show that not only he’s clever, it shows that he knows his friends very well. He’s witty, has strong sense of justice and cares for his friends dearly. Fitting for his future job I guess.

One problem, and massive problem at that, is the fact that there are only 12 episodes. Yes, this show is too short and manga readers who also watch anime would know what I mean. They are finishing the series by skipping AN ENTIRE ARC about saving another person to get to finale. I mean, manga has finished its run so there should be enough materials to go on for another season if not 24 episodes of it but nope, they are skipping another interesting arc because they’ve only got 12 episodes to work on, not only that, they tried to fit 12 chapters of manga into final two episodes of anime…. DAMN IT!

P.S: The main character looks like 11, but his mental age is 29 and from the series, he’s quite close to some of his friends … let that sink in for a bit…

 

Dagashi Kashi (MAL, Funimation)

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Okay… where to being with this one…

Brief synopsis is that our main character Kokonotsu, aspiring magaka and son of Dagashi shop owner in rural countryside, meets this strange city girl who came to his family shop. It turns out that she is from a famous dagashi company and wants to hire shop’s owner (main character’s dad) into her family company, in quite comical way as well. He accept with condition that she convince Kokonotsu to take over his family business much to his reluctance. And thus hilarity ensue between Kokonotsu, Hotaru, Saya and Tou.

This show… is weird. Well, more specifically, one of the character is weird and in turn, she makes the show weird, I’ll let you guess who that is… and she makes the whole show that much more interesting, mainly because I like to see her just go full on crazy about some dagashi she wants to talk about, with Kokonotsu’s dad helping her along the way since he want his son to take over his business, Kokonotsu’s childhood friends playing along to Hotaru’s shenanigans as well. It’s just pick ‘n mix bag of craziness over some snacks.

The thing is that I feel like this show was made entirely for Japanese people. They’ve got connection that they can make toward this anime since they are either young enough to eat these things all the time, or old enough to remember eating them as a child. But for many people outside of Japan, they won’t be able to make this type of connection to childhood snacks. I mean, snacks they talk about is reason why people would watch this show, apart from crazy Hotaru. So I have trouble recommending this show to people. It’s entertaining, but you’ll miss what more than half of what this show is about. If you can get past the fact that this show will talk about things that you won’t be able to relate to, then you will be greeted with a show where half the comedy will come out from Hotaru herself.

 

HaruChika: Haruta to Chika wa Seishun Suru (MAL, Funimation)

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Apparently the official genre is “Mystery” and although that is correct, it’s probably more fitting to say it’s more about detective than mystery. I don’t know, that’s my feeling anyway.

Light hearted (mostly) show about a girl who joins High School orchestra band without knowing anything about playing musical instrument. She meets various people along the way and tries to recruit more people to join the band, and with help from her childhood friend (who has same crush as her) solves various mysteries and by solving them, they gain more and more members into the club.

Maybe I’m in musical genre mood right now, and maybe that was the reason why I started this and what I’ve got was something completely different, but at the same time, this was intriguing show. It’s a show where music and being part of the band is just a background reason for characters to be bonded with; this show focuses more on detective work and mystery solving aspect. So if you wanted to watch this show expecting something similar to Hibike! Euphonium, yeah this is defiantly not for you. What I find interesting about this show is how they recruit band members, they somehow find someone who’s genius at their respective instrument, but refuses to play them because of personal reasons. Our main character duo then solves their problem and magically they join the club! How convenient that we’ve got our self a teen detective. Probably too good of a detective, to a point where even though this is an anime, I would have suspect the age of the characters if they didn’t acted like teenagers (Case Closed much?)

Would I recommend this? That’s tough. If you are looking for a show about band playing together and getting better, sorry this show is not for you. It’s half-decent detective show, with orchestra twist on it. Show is primary about making friends and solving mystery, thus show gets boring sometimes and some characters aren’t that great IMO. But this show isn’t so bad that I dropped it like some shows this season. There are better shows to watch so I won’t recommend this show, but it’s enjoyable enough to finish the series once you start. That’s about it.

 

Ojisan to Marshmallow (MAL, Crunchyroll)

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Very random but very satisfying comedy is how I describe this show.

Short is about Ojji-san and his obsession of marshmallows, well obsession make it sound like he’s got problem. He’s very fond of marshmallows, but’s not where comedy starts. You see, this girl has crush on this guy and keep trying to get her feeling across and… well, I feel sorry for her sometimes. She does try her hardest though.

I don’t know how to describe this short, honestly, I think above statement explained whole premise of the show quite nicely so there isn’t anything else to add to that. Is it entertaining? Hell yes, and since this is short, you can watch the whole thing in a day easy.

 

Ooya-san wa Shishunki! (MAL, Crunchyroll)

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Another short from this season and another difficult one to describe.

Basically, this guy, Maeda, moved into new flat and it happens to be that the landlady is middle school girl, and his next door neighbour happens to be bit of a lolicon of herself…

As the series goes one, the focused shift from flat and people living there to Chie and her normal (?) life more than anything. It’s still very interesting and funny to watch tough. And again, since this show is short, you can also watch this within a day so why not? Unless you don’t like Slice of Life that is….

 

Oshiete! Galko-chan (MAL, Crunchyroll)

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“Is it true that people with big boobs have big areolas, as well?”

Yes, that line is how this show has started. No I’m not joking; this is THE first line of the show. And I think this line sums up what the rest of the show is going to be like.

This is bit longer short, but oh boy is it worth it. This is basically what (from what I’ve heard from friends) girls talk to each other about in real life, and honestly, I think I’m incline to believe them. I mean, come on, things they say on the show is something that aren’t normally said in anime at all, probably outrageously too close maybe.

You know what? It’s quite hard talking about this show without spoiling much about so just go and watch the show. Just do it.

 

Shoujo-tachi wa Kouya wo Mazasu (MAL, Hulu)

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Just a warning here, I am going to be ruthless toward this show. I’ll try not to spoil much but honestly, I don’t know how much I can hold back.

Group of friends (?) come together and tries to make a gal game (VN targeted for girls) and their miscellaneous adventure along the way. They miss the deadline, they have fight about how the game should be, they have writer’s block, etc. but I guess that’s part of the job.

I’m going to describe this show with one word. Melodramatic. I’m not sure if that is correct use of this word but this show is full of needless drama and solution that are just way too convenient, honestly I’m surprised that I haven’t dropped it at all. I wasn’t sure about this show from the beginning, and really, this feeling solidified into frustration as the series continued. I am not exaggerating when I say there are some sort of drama between characters at all time of the show, and every time there were some sort of bad feeling between friends, don’t worry! I’m sure they are going to work something out in the end… Honestly, one crucial character (Andou, programmer) quitted THREE SEPERATE OCCASION for various reasons and at the end, still came back to their group to finish the game… with every break ups and make ups all happening in ONE episode or at max, two. Not even that, the reason why she left for the third time is legitimately a reason why anyone who works professionally should quit their work. Heck, everyone left the god damn “company” and came back by the end of the episode!

To be perfectly honest, the show would have been tolerable. Yes, things happen. People won’t be able to work in group for long time in harmony, there will be falling out between members and sometimes, they won’t be able to fix their relationship. These things happen, I should know, these kind of things happened to me and I’m only a university student! But the way they keep people on edge of frustration is just unnecessary, and you expect to make me believe that High school students are capable of this kind of emotional control?

My feeling? It was something I thought I was going to enjoy. When I heard of this show I thought of a show that is very similar in premise. Saekano (Which, btw has been confirmed season 2 for April 2017 J) and I have to say that I was thoroughly unimpressed.

 

Aired previous seasons

Hayate no Gotoku! (Hayate the Combat Butler) – Season 1, 2 (MAL, Crunchyroll)

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Oh God, that was a long show to watch, and I’m glad I watched it, even though it took me more than 3 months to actually finish both seasons.

Premise of this show is our protagonist, Hayate, is riddled with bad luck from getting s***** parent to his circumstances. He get sold to yakuza for 150 million Yen, and to pay off, he tried to kidnap some rich looking girl and ask for ransom. But since this is an anime, that’s not going to go as planned and him kidnapping make it sound like he has confessed to our heroin, Nagi. After many things happened, she hires him as butler with misunderstanding still there.

This show was something my entire anime watching friend has recommended, heck my brother recommended it as well. Only reason why I haven’t committed was the length of the show, and seriously, if crunchyroll didn’t have it, I wouldn’t have watched it. Given that background, I am surely surprised that all these hype actually lived up to the show (Huh, it’s been awhile eh?)

I guess my favourite part of this show was the constant fourth wall breaking. It’s not deadpool level but way it does it is very entertaining and it gets the timing just right all the time, quite funny show this is. Character are funny and has variety to it. No one character is boring and they bring their unique quirks to the show. For me, this show feels like where you really can’t have side characters since all these so called “side characters” brings their own humour, their own unique quirks, and brings their own side of story that makes the show as it is. These characters doesn’t show up as much as main trio, but when they show up, man they are so refreshing to watch every time.

One thing about characters is that they are very well defined from the start of their introduction. You get the gist of their characteristic and their trope from the time they are introduced and they keep to those tropes faithfully. Obviously as the series moves on, you get more background information about certain characters, but apart from that, 52 episodes of first season and 24 episodes of second season might bore you with little to no major character development between each other apart from few different cases. Not that I cared too much.

One more thing, since quite a number of female protagonist are interested in our main male protagonist Hayate, this show is technically a Harem anime, but seriously it doesn’t really feel like it, which is massive plus. It’s obvious that Nagi likes Hayate, but as the series goes on you get introduced to other characters who also have interest in him. This however doesn’t led to stereotypical all-out battle for one guy…

 

Hibike! Euphonium (Sound! Euphonium) (MAL, Crunchyroll)

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Now, this is a proper show about people fighting for their passion, orchestra band.

Hibike, our main heroin, has been playing euphonium for longest time, and when she became high school student, she’s debating whether if she should join band again. Not only that, someone she has unset back in middle school is there as well… what will happen to her life at school?

I have a confession, one reason and only reason why I didn’t watch this when it aired is because I had enough. I watched too many these kind of show back then and I didn’t know if I could handle another show like this. Why I thought like that I do not know, but I think I made that assumption that Hibike! might be too similar to K-On (which I very much adore) and  since they are done by same studios, I thought it was reasonable assumption. But honestly, they can’t be any more different.

The art is something Kyoto does VERY well and this show is no exception. I don’t normally comment of the show unless it’s either really bad that it ruins the experience, or really good that you cannot not mention. Just watching the opening once will show that they probably spent quite a lot of money on it. Character interaction between casts are also very intriguing. Without spoiling much, you get these circle of friends around our main heroin who gets along very well, that’s normal in these kind of anime. Then you get rest of the cast, most prominently trumpet player Reina. Reina is interesting character in the way that she went to same middle school as Hibike, and for reason that will spoil the show, Hibike is initially reluctant to approach her at the beginning. Then we get their seniors where some are enthusiastic with their band and some who are… not so enthusiastic. The interaction between all these characters makes it interesting to watch and how their characters change as the show progresses. I also liked the nice little twist that I didn’t expected at the beginning, maybe many others guessed it, but I sure didn’t.

 

Joukamachi no Dandelion (Castle town Dandelion) (MAL, Funimation)

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I like this show, I’m just gonna put it out there. I really like this show just for being Slice of Life show.

In some country that is not Japan (but still uses their language like many other “countries” in anime J) the king has decided to make his family of 7 children live like a normal family or their sake, and so the citizens can vote on their next king/queen. The story revolves around this family of royalty with super power, and their little adventure. The show is mainly narrated by their 3rd eldest daughter Akane.

It’s slice of life show that actually is not about bunch of High school girls! Well, mostly anyway. And the super powers they’ve got? That actually deterred me from watching it the first time, since I thought these “powers” might get in the way of the story and shadows the plot too much (I was stupid, thinking SoL having deep story behind them…) Nope, not happening. The special power they’ve got has its quirks and actually makes story interesting, but it’s not too profound so you forget that they can do such things until they end up using them, but its necessary plot device to tell the viewer more about the characters and their background.

So, why did I watch this show in the end? I saw this gif on reddit. Yes, that is the reason why I watched this show, don’t judge me.

 

Sketchbook: Full Colour’s (MAL)

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Boring, just boring.

Seriously, only reason why I finished this show is because I was extremely bored, and I marathoner this in two days. I’ll spoil the show in one go. Nothing happens, seriously, It’s Glasslip nothing happens type of a show. Honestly, I can’t write anything more than that.

Brief synopsis (which will basically tell the whole story of entire show) is this story is about one girl who just want to draw. She just wants to draw and she’s part of modern arts club at her school, at there, she draws anything that interests her with her friends, but mainly a cats. Oh yeah, cats also talk to themselves so we can understand them

There are two shows about drawing and art that I enjoy, one is Hidamari Sketch, and other is GA. Hidamari sketch is more generic Slice of Life show with art as a background to bring all the characters together, meanwhile GA is actually about art and drawing and culture. I feel like Sketchbook: Full Colour’s is mix of two shows is most generic way, and made it much more boring. From GA, we get some characters, especially the one that has some obsession with cats, and some seriousness about art. Then we get generic SoL trope from Hidamari Sketch with art as just a background to bind all the characters together. In a sense this mix should work, and according to many people on MAL, yes this show does work for people. It’s just… not for me I guess, its normal length 12 episode show that took month to finish because I got bored of it. Maybe I just hate dropping series, or I’m just masochist. Regardless, I probably watch this to make myself to fall asleep (I think I actually did that once.)

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5 thoughts on “Good Bye, Winter 2016”

    1. As I explained before, yes I am thinking of translating DX2 as well. In terms of date, it’s whenever I can get hold of Korean version & when I’ve got time. Right now, zx-zx-zx is translating one short story from DX2 as well.

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