There are a ton of new animes this winter season and rather than just reviewing a few I decided to do a quick review of all of them. Well, not all of them. Just the ones that were new or weren’t continuing a new season. I’ll be honest I think I skipped one or two that I just knew absolutely weren’t for me. After watching over twenty episodes… well there were a few more I wish I had outright skipped. More than likely I will check in with these reviews narrowing down my list because watching twenty plus animes is really time-consuming just for these small reviews. Though a few of the better series may actually get full episode reviews in the near future. At any rate, I will also be adding whether or not I plan on continuing with the series or not. Enjoy and please leave a comment letting us know what you’re watching or not watching.
ACTIVE RAID – Maybe
It wasn’t the worst show I watched, but it seemed fairly obvious with its formula. Mech suits and bureaucracy. The humor comes from the bureaucracy and the red tape that the team has to cut through in order to get the job done. They bend rules, blackmail and really a bunch of non-morally questionable stuff that of course goes against the rules and shit. Frankly it wasn’t very interesting and it’s pretty predictable as to what’s going to happen. The only reason I would check it out is to see if there’s any real meat to the story or if it’s just formulaic shit.
AJIN – No
I hate the art style. It’s that’s cell-shaded CGI stuff and while this is probably one of the better looking series to use it, the story wasn’t there. Ajin are basically immortals that just showed up a few years ago on everyone’s radar and now I’m to believe that they teach about them in grade school even though no one knows dick about them. Big old pass for me. Especially since it’s the whinny crybaby lead, “I don’t know why life is like this!” Yeah… me either.
FOUR RHYTHM ACROSS THE BLUE – No
Four Rhythm Across the Blue is a harem comedy of sorts. It’s about an island with flying shoes and they race calling it a fucking circus or some shit. I could actually tell you what it is, but it’s just dumb. There’s a boy that doesn’t like to use the flying tech, obviously there’s something tragic tied to his past, but a new girl will bring him out of it. I was bored with just how typical and average this was. I’m also really tired of thinking I’ve found a show without a male lead only to be duped by the art.
ERASED – Yes… hell yes.
Erased was one of three shows that I enjoyed the ever-loving shit out of from the beginning to end. The concept behind this show is kind of like the movie the Butterfly Effect, but our main character gets “Revival’s” that Groundhog Day him a few minutes into the past. After a big event happens he finds himself transported back to his childhood. Fan-fucking-tastic.
BUBUKI BURANKI – Yes
This is a very soft yes. I loved the opening and the concept there, but then it moved settings and picked up a lot of tropes that are a bit overdone now thanks to Attack on Titan. It has the potential to be good, but it depends on how revealing it’s going to be. The opening saw a father and his two kids shot back down to earth in a mech suit. The government used the crash to cause drama and basic magic users are hunted and imprisoned. There’s more, but it would take a full review. The art is great and again, there’s potential, but the main character is a bit of a crybaby and there’s a large cast of supporting characters.
DAGASHI KASHI – Yes
I expect nothing from this show. It’s about a candy shop owner who’s been recruited by a candy company heir to work for her. The catch is that he wants his son to take over their candy shop and he wants to be a manga artist. It’s weird and funny and that’s about all there is to it. It could get really typical, but for now it’s enjoyable and has great animation.
DIMENSION W – Maybe
The world has clean and free energy being pumped to it from another dimension… go ahead and guess which one. There’s a collector dude that chases down illegal “Tesla Cells” in exchange for gas for his classic car. He loves blades and runs into an android girl that’s a bit more than she appears. It was okay. I doubt very much that it has anything to offer in the way of surprises that I couldn’t already figure out for myself and may give it one more episode.
DIVINE GATE – No
Divine Gate has a tragic hero who can use water powers. Why? Because certain people can use elements and via a device and such. Our main character is literally always crying either inside or out. His parents suck and his brother probably killed them, but he took the blame because they served him cold food and made him live in the shed. It was real whatever and quickly became a chore to get through. The art was good and that was about all.
GRIMGAR OF FANTASY AND ASH – Yes
Basically a bunch of high school kids are transported to another land in which they get to live like RPG characters. It’s some real D&D type stuff and its pretty damn cool, even if they don’t know they’re living like that. I’m curious about why they’re there and if they can be successful. That and one of them actually got to pick to be a thief and join a guild. It’s cool stuff and the animation is very different. It’s like a water painting a lot of times. Hopefully it continues to be just as good as the series goes on.
HARUTA & CHIKA – No
I actually gave this one two episodes because I wasn’t quite sure after the first. It’s a solid “No” now. I love stories about musical instruments, but this one… well it could be anything. It could be a fucking kickball team because the music really doesn’t matter that much. There’s a of research, but it doesn’t seem genuine. It comes across more like someone watched Kids on the Slope and thought, I can do a story with musical instruments. That and the main character knows way too much for his age making him a very Sherlock-lite type of character, but twice as annoying. I honestly hope to never think about it again.
GIVE BLESSING TO THIS WONDERFUL WORLD – Yes
At first this seems a little like How To Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon, but then it got strangely good. An otaku dies saving a girl only to learn that he died of shock and the girl would have been fine. The goddess that’s in charge of his afterlife assignment entices him to pick another dimension to go to. He’ll be able to keep living there rather than be reborn or go to heaven. He’s allowed to pick one item to bring with him and he picks her. They bond in the first episode and it’s pretty deep and quite good. I really enjoyed this one and the art was of course really detailed and colorful.
KOUKAKU NO PANDORA – No
This is one of those that I should have trusted my gut about and skipped. The concept is okay. A girl has been put in an android body because of an accident or medical reason. A crime lord runs into her and befriends her, manipulates her and uses her. It’s pretty obvious where it’s going. I might end up giving it one more episode to see if I’m correct, but I won’t lose sleep over it. Great animation because it’s 100% women, I think maybe one dude might have been accidentally animated.
SHOUWA GENROKU RAKUGO SHINJUU – Yes, Fuck Yes!
This might end up being the crown jewel of the season. The first episode is the length of two normal episodes and it was incredibly good. The animation has the production value of a movie rather than a weekly TV series. The story, well that’s hard to explain. It’s about the dying art of Rakugo and it will make you want to revive it yourself. The characters are complex, the stories they tell are fitting and match what they’re going through in life, it’s by far one of the most impressive animations I’ve seen in years. Watch it!
GIRLS BEYOND THE WASTELAND – Maybe
I’m getting a little tired of the Otaku harem genre. This one almost seemed interesting because I didn’t read the synopsis beforehand, but then when the swerve came at the end I sighed a lot. Let’s make a dating sim… oh well. The animation was actually really good, mostly it was the coloring and I enjoyed how it started off just showing this dude’s life and how he was a bit different from everyone else. Then it went typical and that sucks.
SCHWARZESMARKEN – No, Hell No
Schwarzesmarken is the result of combining Attack on Titan with the mech suit genre and some weird fascination with Germany post World War II. If you know your history you should be a little concerned about this fascination because the creators are trying to basically make a new Nazi empire, but they’re doing it subtly. It’s not great. It’s pretty bad. The characters suck. The world sucks. The CGI on the aliens suck. It’s not a good story and you really could have played another angle with another country and maybe been fine. Instead it went risqué and it didn’t pay off in my book. Instead it raised some flags.
UNDEFEATED BAHAMUT CHRONICLE – No
Let me get this straight… you have a school of elite soldiers, all of which are women, but when a real attack comes they all run and leave the one dude on campus to do most of the work in defeating it? Now that doesn’t unempower the entire school now does it. This story has one and only one interesting thing going for it: the former royalty has to wear collars as punishment. That’s it. The rest is so typical fan service, with mech’s as the added element. Lots of mech stories this season, not a lot of fan service shows and even less that are actually good.
PHANTASY STAR ONLINE 2: THE ANIMATION – No
This is a commercial for the game right? The game that you can’t play because Sega is a shell of its former self. The story is about a high school boy picked at random to be the student council vice president and his only job is to play Phantasy Star Online… 2. It’s terrible. It’s predictable. It made me want to play the game, but I know it’s so far past its prime that it’s not worth it. It brought back some good memories and for that I thank it, but I will bow out before it ruins said memories.
PLEASE TELL ME! GALKO-CHAN – Yes
This is one of those really mature short animations. There’s not really a story, just a big boobed blonde and her know-it-all friend. They’re all sexual or weird questions that are asked and then answered and then somewhat acted out by the blonde… because she’s dumb. It’s okay, for 8 minutes I can keep watching it and hope for a few laughs.
NURSE WITCH KOMUGI-CHAN R – No
This was another show I knew wasn’t for me. What I didn’t know was that it was for kids. It’s basically just the magic girl genre mixed with the new idol genre that seems to be growing and growing. Sorry, but cartoon idols aren’t interesting to me and so I don’t watch any show with idols in it. Also, no idea where the name comes from. Must have missed it when I started zoning the fuck out.
NORN 9: NORN + NONET
Everyone’s got powers, the time line is wrong, they’re on some kind of fucking space ship and one of them is a traitor. That’s all I got from this show. I could again tell that it wasn’t for me, but I tried. I hated it. The story was intentionally confusing which isn’t the sign of complex storytelling, but rather people who think they’re being complex. It came across as a show that was trying to give people characters to cosplay rather than characters to care about.
RAINBOW DAYS – Maybe
I didn’t expect much from this one since I usually would have passed on it. An emotional teen boy has found his dream girl, but she’s weird and sleeps a lot. She also works at a karaoke club and sleeps on a teacher’s couch a lot. It was okay, but only because of the supporting cast. I would give it another few episodes before I decided to drop it completely. After all, it’s rare to find an anime about one boy and one girl.
MYRIAD COLORS PHANTOM WORLD – Maybe
Fan service and yokais. That’s basically all there is to this. I’m not joking. I have nothing else to say about it. It could get decent, but considering the main female character must rub her breasts to use her magic… well that says it all.
MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM THUNDERBOLT – Yes
You cannot like the mech/Gundam genre, but you’d be hard pressed not to like this series. It’s mature, its animated like a movie and the jazz is great. It’s Gundam through and through, but there’s just something really gritty about this iteration. The story is pretty typical at the moment, but it’s clearly going to follow two soldiers, one in the Gundam and one in whatever they’ll deck him out with. But it’s an interesting look at war and reminds me of World War II dog fight pilots. Good stuff.
LUCK & LOGIC – No
I’ve seen enough magic harem comedy/actions to know that Luck & Logic isn’t anything special. It’s trying to be, but it introduced all the tropes for this hodgepodge genre in the first episode. It also took forever to get rolling and even longer to make sense of what the timeline was. It was really whatever and I didn’t even care to finish the last few minutes it was that redundant of a show.
Well there you have it. Since the second episodes for most or all of these shows are already out, more than likely I’ll jump back on with the third episodes for my review, but you can expect at least three individual series reviews in the future as well. I’d love to hear what others are watching or not watching.