(For reasons that elude me, the makers of this show have decided to release the entire 13-episode run on Crunchyroll in one go, which means I’m probably going to watch the whole thing in a day or two. But just so I don’t overwhelm everyone with stuff on a single show, I’ll archive my reactions to each episode separately, and add one to the review each week.)
I guess it’s mildly comforting to see that the job market is just as needlessly nitpicky in Japan as it is in the States. Having just turned 23 myself, I’m definitely getting some resonation with Arata, though whether that’ll be a good thing or not remains to be seen. I like the way the other students were portrayed; they had a youthful air about them without being overly cartoony. I’m looking forward to learning more about these characters.
Food Wars: The Second Plate
(Because this show started on 7/2, there’s two episodes worth of reviews here.)
Well, that’s one way to start a new season. No frills or flashbacks, just straight into the kitchen. I can appreciate this. Food Wars has always been a series of spectacle over story. It’s no Citizen Kane, but the fun reactions and tasty food make it fun to watch, kinda like an anime version of a Food Network show (actually, I wonder if they could show this on Food Network). Soma’s his usual confident self, not backing down or losing confidence no matter how stacked the odds are against him. Sadly, my bad habit has reared its ugly head again, and I’m well ahead in the manga, so I know what’ll happen this season, but seeing the cooking and such in motion could still make it just as interesting. We’ll see.
Ha, JoJo reference. Always fun. It’s strange; in real life, a competition like this wouldn’t be that interesting unless you’re invested in the cooking world, but adding lots of effects and little explanations makes it seem like real shounen-style fight. You also learn a few things here and there; I had no idea what umami was before I started watching this show, and they certainly say it enough to drill it into your head. It also makes me really hungry. Seriously, I don’t even like seafood, and I’d love to try some of Kurokiba’s ramen. Megumi’s, too.
Tales of Zestiria: The X
Ep 0 (Age of Chaos Special)
Having already played Tales of Zestiria, I know where the story’s going to go, so for this to be a good series, I’m gonna need some good character and action scenes, basically moments that couldn’t be portrayed through the game, like general traveling and random encounters and whatnot. So far, I’m not sure giving Alisha so much screentime is such a good idea. I like her as a character just fine, but if this anime goes anything like the game, she’s just gonna get unceremoniously dumped halfway through the story. Who knows, though, maybe they’ve written her a little better this time around. Tell you one thing, that crazy tornado business definitely helped give a little more weight to the whole malevolence situation. I also noticed Velvet from Tales of Berseria during the opening, which was surprising; I know Berseria takes place in the same universe as Zestiria, but like, a thousand years prior, so if Velvet’s gonna show up, I’m curious as to in what capacity.
The Morose Mononokean
Y’know, you’d think after collapsing seven days in a row and being unconscious for the entirety of those days, the school nurse would send Hanae to a hospital or something. Anyways, this show kind of feels like a more serious version of Yo-kai Watch, though thankfully not too much more serious, as there was plenty of lightheartedness to keep things fun for me, also helped by the fact that I just generally like mythology-based stuff like youkai. I’m guessing Fuzzy will be returning at some point, since he gets top billing along with Hanae in the opening. I’m also kind of curious as to who else was on Abeno’s waiting list, especially considering the crazy rates he charges.
Re:Zero: Starting Life in a New World
Subaru’s going down a bad path here, and honestly, it’s kind of unpleasant to watch. He’s showing a combination of signs of a hero complex and stalker tendencies. I get that he’s in a delicate place right now, but he keeps disregarding the advice of almost everyone he speaks to and ends up in more bad situations. These continued misfortunes were tragic at first, but I feel like if this goes on, he’s going to snap and become a supervillain or something. I don’t know, maybe that’s the intention, especially considering the bowing cloak guys, but it’s not exactly fun to watch.
Show By Rock!! Short!!
Okay, let’s be real here: Show By Rock!! was pretty much just straight moe trash, backed by surprisingly good music and CG (not saying I disliked it, just putting the facts on the table). That being said, I’m oddly happy to see Plasmagica again, even in a reduced capacity. I’m guessing story won’t be at the forefront of these shorts, since Cyan is just inexplicably back in the band. The girls are cute and all, but hopefully we can clear the way soon for the real stars of Show By Rock!!: Shingan Crimsonz. Don’t deny it, they’re the reason we’re all here.
Sweetness and Lightning
Wow, the season just started, and we already have a contender for the Comfy Award. Tsumugi is just… unfalteringly adorable. She reminds me of Naru from Barakamon, but a little less rambunctious (actually, she kind of looks like a tiny version of Yang Xiao Long from RWBY). Upon some research, I’ve discovered that her voice actress is, in fact, a child; 10-year-old Rina Endo. This kid’s talented, gotta say. Her voice is distinctly childish, but not, like, to the point of being obnoxious. I just hope Inuzuka and Iida don’t go any further than being friends. I don’t want this to turn into a weird teacher romance thing.
Another “industry anime”, as I like to call them, along the lines of Seiyuu’s Life and Shirobako, though with games this time instead of anime. I kinda doubt that a game company’s art department is actually like this, but it is nice to see a friendly work environment (especially after watching ReLIFE…). The characters haven’t been fleshed out too much yet, obviously, but just from a preliminary glance, I think I’m going to like them, Aoba especially. I’ve noticed a bit of cartoony motion effects, kind of like Three Leaves, Three Colors from last season, which I like, since it helps reinforce a comical, relaxed atmosphere to the show.
This Art Club Has a Problem!
As someone who has been a member of a lazy-minded school club in the past, let me be the one to tell you that it’s nowhere near as entertaining as anime would lead you to believe. Anyway, the art club is an odd, yet entertaining bunch, though there’s one thing that’s kind of nagging at me: I can’t really figure out why Usami seems to like Uchimaki. Much as I can respect the pursuit of a hand-made 2D waifu, she sure doesn’t, yet she seems to blush constantly whenever he talks to her. It can’t just be because he’s talented, that’s too simple. Maybe there was some kind of instigating event that we’ll see in a future episode.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 4: Diamond is Unbreakable
Ooh, new opening. A bit more modern rock-y than I would expect from a JoJo opening. If Rohan read Koichi’s memories, he really should’ve known that insulting Josuke’s hair is a bad idea. I mean, I guess there’s no way he really could’ve known he’d go literally blind with rage, but the bottom line is when you insult Josuke’s hair, bad things happen. I think that’s one of the fun things about JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: it’s one thing when the JoJo of the hour devises a solution based on their own cunning, but it’s kind of amazing when a Stand battle completely turns on its head due to a minor miscalculation.
Time Travel Girl
It feels like it’s been a king’s age since I’ve seen a traditional time travel story. I’m glad they touched on the fact that Gilbert was speaking Japanese, even if it was just a throwaway line, otherwise that would’ve driven me crazy. I do feel, though, that he bought the fact that Mari was from the future a little too easily. Regardless, this looks like it could be a fun little show, with some mildly interesting scientific tidbits for the curious minded. I just hope Mari exercises some time-travel etiquette; there’s no easier way to bork the universe than mucking about in the time stream.
I loved Barakamon. In fact, I would go as far as to call it one of my most beloved anime of all time. It was a heartwarming, emotional tale of both youth and adulthood. So… I’m a little confused as to why they would take the protagonist of a show like that, and make him the protagonist of a gag anime. That’s not to say I disliked the first episode. On the contrary, I laughed out loud several times; Handa’s antisocial-ness creates almost Sakamoto-levels of spectacle. It was a little weird that they used the entire A-part on a sustained meta-joke, but again, it worked, in a strange, roundabout way. I don’t claim to understand the intent behind Handa-kun, but I think I’ll enjoy it regardless.
It seems like the common character trait for all of the villains in this show is “vindictive idiot”; Renge, Masato, Kain, they all pursue grudges relentlessly for no real reason. The only real antagonist who isn’t a vindictive idiot is Sabato, and that’s just because he’s a plain ol’ scumbag. If this were a serious show, that would be kind of annoying, but as a humor-oriented show, I suppose it’s okay. I’m not really sure why Rinne and Jumonji are just letting Renge attend their school, though; you’d think they’d try to drive her out, lest she cause more problems.
(The rest of the shows I’m watching start next week, so expect more stuff here next Saturday.)