Winter 2015 Reviews at the Halfway Point

Trying to judge an unfinished work is almost always a pointless endeavor, but this is a blog after all. I’m pretty sure that this format is tailor-made for pointless endeavors.  I will not assign a score to Testament, KanColle, or Isuca, as I dropped those shows.  It was fairly clear that Testament and Isuca were merely fan service vehicles, which was disappointing.  I felt that the material being adapted had more potential.  KanColle was too serious to make the “cute girls doing…” work and too frivolous to make a story out of a conflict and it’s participants.  I am ranking Shirobako and Your Lie in April at their halfway points instead of where they currently are.  I haven’t seen either show past episode 12.  I am not ranking Assassination Classroom because the show is only 1/4 of the way through it’s run and I feel that is too early to make a judgement on the show.  All shows are ranked on a 10 point scale, with 1-2 being utter trash, 3-4 is bad, 5-6 is watchable but average, 7-8 is good, and 9-10 is reserved for the very best.

 

Shirobako:  Halfway Score – 7, Projected Finish – between 7 and 8

Shirobako is informative and entertaining, but is missing the drama needed to really make it great.  Perhaps that will change in the second half, but I can’t see how.  I also don’t see Shirobako collapsing on itself either.  Slow and steady seems to be the show’s mantra, and I expect to finish well.  However, I can’t imagine ever re-watching the show and I can’t imagine recommending the show to someone unless they request an anime about making anime.

 

Your Lie in April: Halfway Score – 6, Projected Finish – between 4 and 7

I can tell where this is headed and it’s dragging on my enjoyment of the series like an anchor.  Kaori is flying enough death flags for a plague ship (I’m apparently feeling nautical today).  The wonderful music is this show’s saving grace, and it makes up for a number of the show’s faults.  So far, I feel the show is spending too much time on Kosei’s piano troubles and not enough on everyone else’s issues,  particularly Kaori’s.  The melodrama that the show seems to be holding in reserve and it’s tendency to hyper focus so far makes me worry about where the show is headed in the second half.  The foreshadowing has set up a difficult trick for any story to pull off, a satisfying unhappy ending.  It is possible for the show to manage it, but I can’t say from what we’ve seen so far that I expect that it will.

 

Durarara! x2: Halfway Score – 7, Projected Finish – between 6 and 9

Madcap as ever, Durarara! is chugging along.  The interweaving stories and characters make this a difficult show to quantify, but so far it seems to be going as expected.  I do think that the quality is slightly behind the first season, but unless the show fails to tie up the loose ends, I think it will still be pretty good by the end of the season.

 

Saekano: Halfway Score – 6, Projected Finish – between 4 and 9

My enjoyment of this show is lessened by the feeling that this could have been done better.  The show is hitting it’s stride now, but the first half has been all over the place.  I can see the screenwriter using the same tricks  employed in White Album 2.  I didn’t like them then and I don’t like them now.  We are being kept in the dark as to why Utaha and Eriri have feelings for the protagonist.  This is similar to how WA2 kept Kazusa Touma’s side of the love story hidden from the audience.  It’s dramatic to drop that all on us at once, but I think it is a cheap literary trick.  With only 11 episodes and it’s fan service special to tell the story, getting halfway through without giving us the back story doesn’t bode well for a complete and coherent ending.  I’m also a little annoyed that the cousin, who was the only character that I found interesting in the hot springs episode, has yet to appear.  She plays pretty prominently in both the opening and ending, why has she not been introduced yet?

My opinions are not all negative. I like Megumi, she is a refreshing character, and I feel that the story here still has potential.  Seeing Aki unwittingly romance Megumi has been entertaining and even sweet at moments.  The snarky dialogue has been pretty good too.  This show is the one that is hardest to predict out of the shows I am watching this season.  It could crash and burn or fly magnificently.  If it is going to do the latter, the next several episodes will have to be very good indeed.

 

 

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