Yamada and the Seven Witches: Familiarity with the story – current with the manga
The animation was not as good as I would have liked, the first episode tried to cover a bit much, but I still enjoyed it. I am concerned about how they are going to try to fit the entire first arc into 12 episodes. I like the voice actors though. No manga that I have ever read has screamed “make me into an anime!” more than this one. It would take complete incompetence to mess this up.
Sound! Euphonium: Familiarity with the story – none
Well, that was pretty boring. I hope it improves fast or it will be dropped. Not a whole lot to say because nothing much happened.
Heroic Legend of Arslan: Familiarity with the story – none, but I remember good buzz back in the 90’s
Interesting. Perhaps it was the Full Metal Alchemist animation style, but the action adventure elements of the show have me intrigued. It doesn’t look ground breaking, but it appears competent. Since it is really hard to find an action oriented show that doesn’t bog down with romance and harem antics.
Triage X: Familiarity with the story – some manga chapters
Triage ups the antics in the anime a bit, but those fan service and evil caricatures are already so overplayed in the manga that it is hard to notice. That’s not really a criticism though. I see Triage as a fun, somewhat offensive show with a likeable protagonist and plenty of action. As long as I am not bored, I will keep watching. This will be an interesting show to monitor the reviews for. No one could possibly watch this and not know what was coming, yet I suspect I will see a lot of complaints. Stupid people are amusing.
Nisekoi 2: Familiarity with the story – current with the manga
The most frustrating thing about Komi Naoshi is that, when he puts his mind to it, he can actually write some really good stuff. The problem with season two is that season one has already covered most of the stuff that he wrote with his mind to it. There are some great story arcs left, but there is also a ton of dross. How good this season will be depends on which episodes are selected to be animated. The first episode, while perhaps necessary, was not a great choice. Hopefully, with a reintroduction of sorts out of the way, we can move on to the good stuff. If the anime ends up following the manga’s tendency to alternate the focus of each arc to a different character while not progressing the story, I may lose my mind. This is quite a test for Shaft. Hopefully they will get it right.
The second episode showed us that our protag is diligent, and drops the bomb that you had to know was coming. Isla life is almost over. The chemistry between the two partners is delicious enough for me to overlook the hints of unnecessary harem elements. This show is all set up to take on some very heavy stuff here. From traditional Sci-Fi themes regarding AI and humanity to the painfully relevant issue of how to deal with dementia. Japan has one of the longest life expectancies in the world and a population is going to trend older and older in the coming years. There is also the idea of how death awaits all of us. This would be my favorite anime this season if not for SNAFU.
My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU Too:
This is being handled pretty well so far. The subtle touches are great, and will be necessary later in the season. Story wise, this was more Hachiman being Hachiman. The difference is, there are now people who he actually cares what they think about him. They don’t like they way he sacrifices himself so readily. It is also nice that the series starts showing us more of the surrounding cast, with Miura, Hayama, and Ebina all getting some needed character development. Still my favorite show, and likely to remain that way. Plastic Memories is nipping at it’s heels though.
Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma:
It’s never good when I dread watching a second episode, and that’s how I was feeling going in into this one. I was right. The script is bad, the voice acting is bad, and the fan service… Ah, the fan service. I’m no prude, but there is something slightly disquieting about seeing so many supposed 15 year olds in the buff. Between that and the “O” faces, I’m going to have to give this one a pass. Not even my beloved Megumi showing up in the next episode can make me sit through more of that. It’s too bad, the manga is pretty good, if prone to bouts over excessive shonen-ness. Apparently the thought process for some studios now runs like this: Is it a little too shonen? MAKE IT MORE SHONEN! Is it a little uncomfortably ecchi? MAKE IT MORE ECCHI! This show is aimed squarely at boys in puberty, and anyone past that should give it a pass.
Is it Wrong to Pick Up girls in a Dungeon?:
So if Arlsan is n show that isn’t bogged down with harem elements, this is a harem show not bogged down with action elements. Hestia’s frustration with being exposed to evidence of Bell’s crush, and the insecurities that result are the good of the series so far. The action sequences that far too reminiscent of RPG style grind is the bad. I can’t get a read on whether or not Bell’s goddess is supposed to be legitimate contender for his affections or not. My guess is not, and if so the show’s harem schtick will soon be as stale as it’s action. I’ll give it some more time, but it could get cut if it doesn’t manage to be more engaging.
I said at the end of Fate/Stay’s last season that it seemed like the show was being drawn out deliberately. This issue showed up again in this episode. Although we learned a bit from the back stories, there doesn’t really seem like there was a full episode of content in there. Still, it wasn’t awful, just not that satisfying.