I have been having an unusual week and forgot to blog last week. I finally watched my BD's of Attack on Titan. I still think that it is a work with a lot of potential, and I hope this upcoming new season starts delivering with that potential. I have not rewatched any other titles, but I am close to finish watching the original Rurouni Kenshin anime series. I might post a new post in two weeks.
I look forward to new episodes
1. Shōwa Genroku Rakugo Shinju 2, episodes 5-8 (Good) - It keeps getting better.
2. Scum's Wish, episodes 4-7 (Good) - Still compelling, but it seems to be evolving.
3. Fuuka, episodes 6-9 (Decent) - Still enjoyable to watch.
Enjoyment varies week to week
4. Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid, episodes 4-7 (Good) - Still cute and occasionally heart warming.
5. Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Impure King Arc, episodes 5-8 (Good) - Still solid, but my enthusiasm is decreasing.
Do not like much but can tolerate
6. Twin Stars Exorcists, episodes 42-45 (So-so) - The climax continues to be solid.
7. March Comes in Like a Lion, episodes 16-19 (Good) - I am so ready for it to end.
This week I rewatched Robotics;Notes, which has become one of my favorite anime series because its a simple and fun show that lets me relax and take it easy. I also had time to rewatch The Eccentric Family in large part in preparation for the upcoming second season, but it is a nice anime that I like.
This week on a sort of a whim I decided to rewatch the first season of Full Metal Panic! I suppose that the upcoming new series made up want to appraise this franchise. I had the intention of rewatching Fumoffu, but that show is too dumb and not really funny. I, however, had fun rewatching The Second Raid. My opinion on the FMP anime franchise has not changed much, but the first season is better than I remember.
I then watched two anime movies for the first time. I first watched Paprika, and it is definitely a weird Satoshi Kon film, but it is not that good. I then watched Summer Wars; it has an exciting and strong first half, but the rest of the movie is weakened by the cyber technology angle that never seems to fit with the humanistic themes of this film. Finally I watched Akame ga KILL!; it is a strong and highly digestible show even with all the bloody violence and simple premise.
This week I finally got around to watching RahXephon. And it indeed has similarities with Evangelion, which is disappointing because I feel that the unique parts of RahXephon's premise would have been enough to sustain the show. Still, watching RahXephon was worth it. I also had time to watch No. 6, which is a solid show. I finally watched the entertaining but mediocre Triage X.
This was another busy week of anime watching. I first rewatched ERASED, and found it to be of better quality in this revisit. I then rewatched Amagi Brilliant Park in large part to check out the dub Sentai produced. The show is very good, and the dub is nice. I finally watched both seasons of Bungo Stray Dogs, and it is a decent show with weird stuff and some nice moments.
I look forward to new episodes
1. Shōwa Genroku Rakugo Shinju 2, episodes 1-4 (Good) - Bit of a rocky start but still good.
2. Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Impure King Arc, episodes 1-4 (Good) - Powerfully emotional for me.
3. Scum's Wish, episodes 1-3 (Good) - Intriguing, a little disturbing and erotic.
Enjoyment varies week to week
4. Fuuka, episodes 1-5 (Decent) - A cliche romance still but music makes it compelling.
5. Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid, episodes 1-3 (Good) - It continues to be charming.
6. March Comes in Like a Lion, episodes 12-15 (Good) - This show is losing me.
7. Twin Stars Exorcists, episodes 38-41 (So-so) - Things are happening but are kind of predictable.
This week I watched Girlish Number for the first time. It is a solid show that takes a cynic look at the anime industry through the eyes of six voice actresses. It was a fun experience, but I am not sure I would want to revisit it in the future. I also rewatched Death Parade, and I really enjoyed it and still consider it a fantastic anime that should be experienced by everyone.
1. The Great Passage - I will start by saying that this series might be the purest slice of life anime I have ever watched. This is a story basically about living and overcoming challenges. The characters are very realistic and feel like real life people. This show was great because of the quality of the writing, but the above average visuals and satisfying conclusion elevate it to being the number one show of 2016.
2. Flip Flappers - This anime is a very special experience that combines surreal elements, magical girls, drama and moe to produce a winning formula. Like other surreal shows the writing in Flip Flappers was sometimes vague and confusing, but to me the best aspect of this series is the superb production values that inform the actions of the characters and transmits lots of emotion.
3. Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju - This is an adult drama with complex characters. This anime does several things right ranging from the subtle but powerful soundtrack to camera angles that convey complex messages, but what I found the best is how captivating and heart wrenching the scenes could be. For almost a year I considered this show the best from 2016.
4. Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress - Anime is a visual medium, but beyond theatrical films and OVA's it is rare to find tv series that make you admire in awe amazing production values. Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress is one of those rare examples. This is an action series with mostly forgettable writing, but its tremendous production values are enough to make it a top 5 title in this list.
5. ERASED - This is a well directed thriller with emotional drama that started very strong, but its writing started to atrophy in the second half. Despite that ERASED is a pretty solid title because its tense atmosphere and drama were engaging throughout. If this 12 episodes series had been a 2 hours movie, it could have been a better anime, but the show we got is still a very solid effort.
6. Flying Witch - This is a healing show with a great atmosphere and likable characters. There is not really much to say about this show writing wise because the characters develop little and not much happens plot wise. This is the reason why I did not rate this show that high, but Flying Witch is very enjoyable healing and slice of life anime that any fan of those genres should enjoy.
7. Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash - This was my surprise anime series of 2016 because of how much I enjoyed it. This show is an adventure series with a very simple story and likable but kind of cliche characters. The best thing about this show is its subdued atmosphere and very pretty backgrounds and art style. This is not an easy title to recommend because the writing is simple, but its atmosphere is pretty nice.
8. Girlish Number - Two years ago we got the wonderful Shirobako, which took a look at the anime industry in an optimistic way through the eyes of five likable and hard working young women. Unlike its predecessor Girlish Number offers a more cynic look at the anime industry through female voice actresses with some attitude problems. Girlish number is a solid show, but it needed more consistent good writing.
9. Re:Zero - This otaku fantasy show shares some similarities with fan favorite Sword Art Online, but Re:Zero feels more emotionally honest. This anime definitely panders toward the otaku crowd, but there are moments that stand out because they are well crafted. Its writing can be hit or miss, but the passion for this show was present throughout. Re:Zero is not a great show, but it is definitely compelling.
10. Izetta: The Last Witch - This action and adventure series with fantasy element set in an alternative WWII setting is the definition of a good, consistent but unremarkable show. From the very first episode it was clear that Izetta was going to be an entertaining show with a solid but not very original story. The production values were also solid but unremarkable. This title is simply very consistent.
* This list might be adjusted at the end of March.
This week I returned to my routine and watched a lot of anime. I first watched my recently purchased BD's of Gurren Lagann. I do not love this show as I used to, but I still really like it; I especially like its energy. I then rewatched SNAFU TOO!, but I did not like it as much this time around. Finally, I had time to watch The Great Passage, which to me is now the best anime series from 2016.