Four midterms later and I have yet to fail one! At least school and work have not overwhelmed me yet. To celebrate I am going to review the Fall anime season. Instead of analyzing everything that is coming out this season, I am just going to pick out the ones I think are interesting.
Amagi Brilliant Park
The “slapstick drama” begins with Seiya Kanie, a high school boy who is invited on a date in an amusement park by a mysterious beautiful transfer student named Isuzu Sento. He is introduced to Ratifa, a “real” princess and the park’s manager, and is asked to be the acting manager of this “disappointing amusement park in the Tokyo suburbs.”
I watched the PV and saw Fumoffu from Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu a different show that Kyoto Animation has created. The Full metal Panic ? Fumoffu was a show that focused on romantic comedy aspects that had some funniest moments involving guns and bear costumes. Full Metal Panic was what first got me into romantic comedies and I definitely watched quite a few since. Though I have gained a dislike of them over the years, one can only hope that this one could be a little better. It was interesting to find that Kyoto Animation has changed their animation style for this particular work. The animation doesn’t look as childish like most of their shows that have been out recently (Kyoukai no Kanata, Chuunibyou, etc.) and is reverting back to the way it looked in the Haruhi days. Kyoto Ani still has their trademark consistent quality animation that always impresses and Amagi Brilliant Park is no exception. This is the first work since Hyouka that they have taken material from someone else rather than their light novel contests. I have yet to read the Amagi Brilliant Park light novel so we will see where it goes together.
Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works
Fate and Ufotable, do I need to even say that I am hyped and will be watching this? Fate/Stay Night is one of my favorite visual novels yet it has one of the worst adaptions of a visual novel I have ever seen. Studio Deen did a terrible job because they tried to combine parts of each of the three routs in Fate/Stay Night. It left everything mixed up and did not correctly pose questions about heroism like the visual novel did. The visual novel was broken into three different routes not only because their were three different girls to woo, but also because it would show Shirou’s choice of ideals in heroism in each of them. In the Fate route Shirou holds onto his ideal of being the superhero and saving everyone yet in that route he has the least strength and effects battles the least. In the Unlimited Blade Works route the idea of projecting your ideals into the real world is very relevant. Here he tries to project ideals onto the world and physically tries to become a super hero as well. In the last route, Heaven’s Feel, he abandons his naive ideal in return for gaining something else. I could go on and on about my ideas on Fate/Stay Night, but we are getting off topic here.
Unlimited Bladeworks has the most action out of any route and because Ufotable is doing it, I am sure the fight scenes will be amazing. I mean just look at this PV! I really hope they stick to how the route was written this time. There will also be a movie adaption of Heaven’s Feel that will be made later by Ufotable. now who do we pay for them to remake the Fate route? Also, to my surprise Yuki Kajiura will not be composing the music for this anime. Instead we will have Hideyuki Fukasawa who is a video game composer whose previous relation with Type-Moon is that he composed for Mahoutsukai no Yoru (Witch on the Holy Night). I haven’t played that particular visual novel, but I listened to some parts of their OST and it sounded pretty good so we are covered there. Even if you are not a huge fan of Fate universe like me, I recommend you still pick this one up because it will definitely have the best animation this season if not the best animation in anime ever.
Garo: Honoo no Kokuin and Shingeki no Bahamut Genesis
I grouped these two together because I do not know much either of them and have no idea what to expect. The last thing that MAPPA created was Zankyou no Terror with Shinichiro Watanabe as the director. That was pretty impressive being one of the highlights of the season for sure, but it also had Watanabe leading it. Garo: Honoo no Kokuin and Shingeki no Bahamut Genesis do not have the masterful direction of Watanabe. Another surprising thing I noticed was the jarring difference between these shows and Zankyou no Terror. Terror in Resonance had a very photo realistic approach to accent the gravity of the issue they were addressing and how those issues effected our world. While these two shows couldn’t be any farther than realistic.
Shingeki no Bahamut Genesis is based off of a social card game. How does that even work? I don’t know what narrative they can build out of a social card game but I am interested to see how well it works. One thing I was impressed by when watching the PV was that Japanese CG animation integration with anime is getting a lot better. In the past it was painfully obvious when computer graphics were used and it usually clashed with the normal animation style. Nowadays a lot more people are using it and they are improving leaps and bounds in integrating it with their own style. I will probably wait to hear from others before trying it out though.
On the other hand Garo: Honoo no Kokuin is based on the Garo Tokusatso drama series. I have heard from a couple people that have watched the source material that it is quite good if MAPPA adapts it correctly. Other than that, I don’t know anything about it so I will just leave you the synopsis and let you decide whether or not to watch it. I for one will be waiting for the considerations of others before picking it up.
The Garo drama franchise has a dark story that revolves around humans that have the job of “Makai Knights,” people who fight against demonic beings called Horrors. The first television series in the franchise revolves around Makai Knight Kōga Saejima, who tries to save a girl named Kaoru from her fate of death after being tainted by demon blood.
Gundam: G no Reconguisa
It has been a long time since the last flagship Gundam series. Gundam 00 was the last show of this kind and for Gundam it was quite unimpressive. Luckily in between then we had Gundam Unicorn and Build fighters which I had heard have been quite good, but I did not take the time to watch them. For this particular Gundam the famous director of many of the more well known Gundam’s such as Gundam Seed is back. Yoshiyuki Tomino’s gundam shows in particular have been very popular with the fanbase and with him back in the lead, many are thinking this to be the best Gundam yet. But for me Gundam is still just Gundam. Many of my friends obsess over Gundam and mecha, but it does not appeal to me as much as some other genres.
The preview for the show did not release too much information, primarily because I don’t understand Japanese. Hopefully the latter part will change soon since I am taking a Japanese class. Anyways, the main thing I pulled from the PV was that they significantly changed the Gundam design. I kind of like how they look now. They are more rounded, modern, and sleek, much like today’s real world technology. I will pick this up if I have the time to but otherwise, I will be crying as I study for tests.
Log Horizon 2nd Series
I ended up watching the whole first season of Log Horizon and like every other anime with the stuck in a video game premise it ended up being quite average. They had a couple of more interesting things, such as talking about video game communities and economies, but when it came to the action it just fell short. During all of the actions scenes they used exposition to explain what was happening, and their was a whole tutorial episodes on basics of MMO games. Maybe for those who haven’t played much MMO’s it is needed, but most people I know that watch anime also understand the basics of how MMORPGs work.
I probably will end up watching the 2nd season of Log Horizon anyways, even with the flaws present in the first season. I desperately wish for a good anime with this video game premise that everyone loves. Its double the escapism with lots of fun aspects such as monsters, dungeons, and loot. If it fixes some of its flaws for this season it will be a solid show, but I doubt it could ever be great. Watch at your own risk.
Mushishi Zoku Shou 2
More Mushishi, more happiness. At the ending of the first half of Mushishi Zoku Shou, I left a little disappointed. It was amazing, but it left me a little hollow that it didn’t end as well as I thought it would, and at the time I thought those were the last Mushishi episodes I would ever see. When I found out that there was going to be a 2nd cour after a break I was ecstatic, and here it is in all its glory. If you couldn’t tell by my tone, I fucking love this show. It has some of the strongest narrative experiences that just compels me to care for each and every character we encounter. It is calming, yet exciting and never ceases to remind me how mysterious and beautiful our world really is. Everything is very stylized, from the elegant visuals to the mellow background music. All of these stylized elements really come together to create an experience that is impossible to replicate. Artland has really hit the jackpot with Mushishi and for Mushishi Zoku Shou part 1 it continued the trend. My hope is that they stick to the formula and continue on with the tradition. Needless to say, if you haven’t seen any of Mushishi yet, I highly recommend you to start watching. Because of the episodic nature of Mushishi you can even just pick it up here on the second part of the second season and not miss a beat.
Ready for some more dystopian society anime? I am with the second season of Psycho-Pass. The first season of Psycho-Pass had the problem of being a little pretentious. It brought up a lot of ideas that were never expanded on just to sound smarter, but it that doesn’t mean some of the ideas weren’t expanded on. The primary idea of the few for the many in a utopia was explored thoroughly and was fascinating to think about as I watched. The action definitely was a bonus too! It was exciting and over the top on purpose I think.
This particular season of Psycho-Pass 2 does not have the writing of the Urobutcher, so I have no idea what quality of writing we should be expecting this time, but since last season was quite enjoyable I will be checking out a couple episodes at least. There will also be a Psycho-Pass movie that will be out with Urobuchi being a part of the team, though it won’t be a part of this season. I don’t know how any of this will turn out so I have to watch to find out.
Sanzoku no Musume Ronja
Yes you read that right. Studio Ghibli is making an anime that is not a movie. I am just as surprised as you are, but with their skills I am sure it will be pretty good. Miyazaki’s eldest son, Goro, will be directing it, and I am sure his father might help out as well. Here is the synopsis.
The story is about a girl named Ronja who is the daughter of a chief of a tribe of bandits and lives in a huge castle in the forest with the bandits. The story follows Ronja as she encounters mystical creatures, makes friends with another young child like herself, and experiences life in the forest.
The synopsis and the cover art reminds me of a mix between Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away. This anime is based off of of a Swedish book called Ronja Daughter of Thieves. I have never even heard of that book until now so I can’t say much about it. But what I can say is that the PV was not as hype as I hoped. The computer graphics they are using is not even on par with graphics used in Shingeki no Bahamut Genesis, and you would think with the money and brand that Ghibli has established the quality of their animation would be much higher than MAPPA. I feel like they are too scared to throw money into a risk like this which is surprising since they are the most well known studio around the world. Perhaps without the master’s guidance they are afraid it won’t succeed. Either way I definitely want to check out what Studio Ghibli can do with 22 minutes a week instead of an hour and a half feature film.
And those are all the shows that are on my radar this season. Overall I feel the season is very average, a couple shows that stand out, a couple somewhat interesting shows, the rest seem boring. I really wish for another gem to pop out to me like Ping Pong in the summer season. If there is any anime I missed that you feel I should watch, feel free to send me a message and I will probably check it out.
Oh and also, I want to apologize for the delay for the Hanamonogatari episodics. I haven’t had the time to be able to watch an episode and type up a my response on it. I may pick one of these series to do episodics on as well, but I don’t know where I will find the time. I am a super slow writer so it takes a while for me to think up what I need to say.