Winter Season 2017 First Impressions

 

The winter season is about a week underway, and all the new anime have finally premiered! Below is a list of the anime I’m watching this season and my first impressions of each. This anime season has some great pinch hitters, and some- not so great additions to the anime universe.

All the below mentioned anime are available for streaming on Crunchyroll, so you can get started today if anything piqued your interest by clicking the hyperlinks on the show titles.


b65412c28f6781d1d05b8378f0c2c1391484084470_fullACCA 13

Based on the show description, I was very much not at all interested in ACCA 13. It sounded boring and drab. I’m pleased to say that while ACCA 13 isn’t a powerhouse of constant action, it’s actually pretty interesting and I will certainly be keeping up with it this season.

ACCA 13 takes place in a nation made of 13 districts with our prospective character, Jean AKA Jean the Cigarette Peddler, working as an agent in the inspection department of ACCA 13. Jean basically just weeds out corruption with his good eye and quick wit. He’s very good at his job, so much so, that in the first episode he ends up saving his department by finding and destroying a minor black market deal through the agency. Though Jean didn’t want to save his department, he did, and now he will be visiting all 13 districts to conduct inspections for corruption and subterfuge by order of his higher ups.

The pacing is great and sets up the mystery-spy style story I’m sure we are going to get as the season progresses. I’m curious to see how they animate fighting scenes, which I’m sure they will have at least a few of, and why exactly cigarettes are so expensive in this world.


ec2174d3d3bbbaf89b9befe47e9883ad1483520772_fullAkiba’s Trip

If you don’t know anything about Akiba’s Trip the game, don’t worry.  I don’t, either, though I do own the game (I’ve just never played it-). The show does a great job of introducing you into the idea of the world with a few fast-paced battles and asides.

First of all, Akiba’s Trip is about a legion of vampires AKA “Bugged Ones” who are attempting to take over Akihabara. So, like the game, the main characters will work to destroy these vampires to prevent their anime mecca from falling.

The Bugged Ones are not vampires in the traditional sense in that when you expose them to air a purple smoke exudes from their bodies and the virus is destroyed leaving the original person alive. To get a Bugged One properly exposed to air, you must disrobe them to their underwear. Hence, Akiba… Stip. Funny, right?

That’s the basic idea behind the show and that’s all it is and it’s great. Hot cosplay vampire girls are attacking, strip them, and save the day.

If the first episode is any indication of what we can expect animation-wise then I’m very excited to see all the battles to come. We get a dirty, fast-paced battle style that lends itself to the wackiness of the plot. It’s a ton a fun to watch.

Since a lot of the first episode was establishment of the premise and character introductions, there isn’t much to say on the people involved in the plot themselves. However, some mysteries are left open to be explained as Akiba’s Trip evolves like who Matome is and what her power is exactly.

I’m personally very excited for this show, and it’s making me want to actually pick up the game. Which I probably will to better compare the two.


3b86bbf3ad40f36f86df634e138837ca1484112439_fullFuuka

Did you know that Fuuka is the daughter of the main characters in Suzuka? I didn’t until my friend informed me when I was having a crisis trying to understand why Fuuka seems so familiar. It was the main character was a girl with blue hair who was terribly athletic that clued me into pulling out my Suzuka DVD. I was convinced that this anime already came out and that I owned the first DVD, and as it turns out this is just a continuation of that story- featuring the daughter, of course.

Fuuka is a romance story namely about a boy named Yuu helping a girl named Fuuka attain her dream of creating music. Of course, Yuu is also childhood friends with a famous singer, Koyuki, who is still in love with him. As the season progresses I’m sure we will see a culmination of these two relationships where Yuu falls in love with Fuuka and Koyuki has to come to terms with a lost, unrequited love.

That’s speculations of course.

This show is relatively good so far; however, there are points of off-putting fanservice that break the storytelling rhythm- which can prove distracting at times. I am hoping that Fuuka can work past the panty shots and becomes a show doesn’t think it needs to rely on them.

Fuuka is definitely a one to watch this season because the drama is bound to be high with an energetic girl like Fuuka around.


361c7be62685d032771ebde63c53f2381483178237_fullGabriel Dropout

From the first time I heard Gabriel Dropout’s announcement, I’ve been very interested. The top student of an angel academy discovering the joys of gaming and thus becoming a fallen angel is the comedic genius I need in my life. It definitely lives up to the hype I created in my head, too.

Gabriel Dropout is a simple comedy that takes place largely at the high school where two demons and angels, including Gabriel, attend. Both demons and angels are required to visit the human world as a part of their education to learn more about humans. It’s a form of immersive training meant to strengthen and teach the kids about the race they subjugate.

Gabriel Dropout is a very cute show with nothing particularly standout, but the very entertaining use of character tropes in the guise of angels and demons is a lot of fun. The comedy in the show isn’t over the top or too loud like some anime- which is wonderful. I’m looking forward to see if Gabriel Dropout decides to have more of a plot line or if it will continue on it’s episodic path. Either way, I know I’m going to enjoy this show quite a bit this season.


032245ab62bb06c16aa8a789f5e3c0a01483481129_fullHand Shakers

This is most beautiful show in the season, and possibly the most beautiful show I’ve seen in a long time. The anime is very smooth, and the mixed CG works very well with the art style of show. The camera moves like one would in a live-action feature, and it seems like every person who gets on screen is unique.

I can see the almost constant motion of the camera causing some motion sickness with viewers since even I find the movement almost gratuitous at points. However, I do love it so much and it helps make up for the muddled introduction we have been given into this world.

Hand Shakers is about a boy, Tazuna, who is mechanically inclined and meets a girl about his age, Koyori. After she wakes up and touches his hand, Tazuna learns that they are Hand Shakers and if he lets go of Koyori’s hand she will die. Then, the two are thrust into a battle for their lives against another couple who shed little to no light on the situation.

Right now the story leaves much to be desired with a confusing, muddled first episode that doesn’t teach you anything about the world besides Tazuna’s love of gears. Normally I would be fine with a fair bit of mystery, but the lack of understanding on anyone’s front is rather frustrating. I hope the next episode provides some reprieve from this.

Overall, Hand Shakers is seriously very pretty, and if you watch it for any reason the moment- watch it for that. The story will hopefully flush itself out as we continue down the line.


f755a0289e0cee6e8a6af63ab1329bf11483655599_fullIdol Incidents

So. This is a show that actually had me confused at one point. Not because the story is difficult to follow, but because the story is just plain strange. Idol Incidents is about a political party dubbed the Heroine Party that is running for diet member positions. These party members are idols that sing and bring happiness to their regions, and thus Japan, through magical auras.

I would like to say that this show isn’t very good, but it’s not bad, either. Here’s what I mean. Girls working their hardest to bring happiness and understanding to their nation is a very heartwarming tale. However, I feel like this story would better be told as a series of shorts. The first episode seemed to drag while explaining the world and introducing the perspective character, Natsuki. Furthermore, the characters introduced insofar are not compelling or interesting as idols, in my opinion.

That being said, this is only episode one. I plan on keeping with Idol Incidents for a few more episodes, and if there isn’t any improvement in the pacing I’ll drop it. I suggest you do the same and give this show a try. There’s nothing inherently wrong with Idol Incidents, it’s just not my cup of tea as it stands.


bf00bb9314272a29b058894cf331d6ed1483790667_fullInterviews with Monster Girls

I haven’t been able to get on the monster girl train since no show has really been able to catch my attention. From what I’ve seen, all the monster girl shows are either heavy on fanservice or too cutesy. However, Interviews with Monster Girls is different and I’m hoping it sets a new trend with the monster girl genre.

The basic story of the show is that a biology teacher, Tetsuo, who is working on his thesis about Demihumans. Demihumans are people with monster qualities or powers, and they are not terribly common or open with their lives. Tetsuo’s dream is to interview Demihumans, and his dream comes true when a Demihuman is hired as a new teacher and three more Demis are introduced as students. From here, Tetsuo will begin learning about demihumans and experiencing crazy antics every day.

Overall, the show is quite good, and while there is some light fanservice- it’s nothing overpowering or oversaturated. I’m excited to see each monster’s interactions with Tetsuo, and I can’t wait to hear some of the lore they have about themselves. This is likely going to continue as a simple slice-of-life-like show featuring monster girls and I highly recommend it. I love slice of life, but I do understand that the standard school setting it often overused. Interviews with Monster Girls breaks the monotony of a typical school anime with cute monster girls and a great biology teacher who just wants to learn about Demihumans.


7ba81b1709a87f5ca8930229b10029a61484092235_fullKonosuba Season Two

If you didn’t catch the first season of Konosuba, but want to jump in now I don’t think it’s going to be much of a learning curve. This first episode does a great job of reminding us who each character is a person and reminds us of the world they live in.

Konosuba is about a boy, Kazuma, who is killed in a tractor accident and given the chance to live again in a fantasy-RPG-type world. He takes the goddess who grants his wish, Aqua, with him and meets some very strange women who become a part of his party. It’s a hilarious show that demonstrates how difficult it would be to actually be transported to a fantasy world, and offers some great commentary on the I’ve-Been-Transported-To-Another-World genre as a whole.

Season two of Konosuba starts out very strong with a branch from the previous season that leads to a look into the law and court system of the world. The coloring and animation seem to be up to standard from last season, and I can only expect that the studio will be able to create yet another very funny season of this tongue-in-cheek show. I really can’t stress this show’s genius enough, and as a lover of this genre I find it a perfect comedy.


ffa692e515077369d17480ff259d7d5e1483617006_fullMasamune-kun’s Revenge

I’d like to start by saying the premise for this show isn’t new, but it’s a ton of fun. It’s very 80 teen flick. Masamune-kun’s Revenge is about a boy who was once a little tubby as a child and was called a “Pig’s Foot” by the beautiful girl he liked at the time. Makabe, the previously tubby child, is now insanely fit and wants his revenge. His plan is make Aki, the aggressor in the relationship, fall in love him so he can reject her.

Nothing really stands out about this show other than its obvious modern art style comparable across most school anime nowadays, but I have a feeling it’s going to be a series I enjoy. Masamune-kun will not reach deep levels of understanding and self-worth, but it’s sure to have a few lessons learned along it’s season.

At the end of the day, Masamune-kun is going to be a very fun show, and I’m looking forward to what the story can bring to the table.


642b043fc0e0fecd7f301ce0725bc0971483178985_fullMinami Kamakura High School Girls Cycling Club

I like to try and watch everything once in a season just in case there is a hidden gem in a genre of anime that I don’t typically delve into. Typically, I don’t like sports anime, but I loved Free! and Yuri on Ice. I do not, however, love Minami Kamakura High School Girls Cycling Club. In fact, this show brought out a pure hatred that I didn’t think I could have in a school-based show.

Minami Kamakura is a show about a girls cycling club that hasn’t been started in world, yet- I assume it will be created in the following episodes. Minami Kamakura was also made to sell Bridgestone products and encourage tourism to Kamakura. If you didn’t know by the title that the show takes place in Kamakura, you certainly will by the halfway mark since the town’s name is mentioned almost every sentence.

I understand that some anime is made to sell thing, but a show that uses the region as a crutch and mentions the name of the town ten times a minute needs to chill out. There is even a segment that discusses the common bird in the area, a black kite, that has nothing to do with the story. It’s too long to be a quite aside- it’s very obviously a selling point for the town.

Putting aside the in-your-face Kamakura advertisements doesn’t help the show any. The main character, Hiromi, lacks all versions of intelligence or common sense. She can’t ride a bike because she refuses to pedal, and after being told that birds will steal her food- she takes out a sandwich.

Tomo, Hiromi’s new friend, puts an enormous amount of effort to teach Hiromi how to ride a bike even though Hiromi cannot understand how a bike is propelled.  Tomo has attached herself rather quickly to Hiromi after only running into this new girl the morning of the entrance ceremony, and it’s terribly hard to believe that Tomo is any more intelligent than Hiromi since she is still attempting to teach cycling at the end of the episode.

I’m sure that Hiromi will get better at riding a bike, and I am going to keep up with this show because I have to see how bad it can get.

If you liked this episode, please tell me why. I have to understand because I can find nothing I liked in it. I’d love to hear the opinion of someone who enjoyed this.


c0a05f5fc7c935111a02e0d8f011916f1483619715_fullMiss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid

This show is a legitimate treat. Right off the bat we get to a the beautiful colored pencil-style artwork, and I can’t get enough. I was very skeptical of this show when I first read the description, but I’m very glad I tried it out.

Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid is about a dragon, Tohru, who comes to live with Kobayashi in her small apartment. Tohru was invited to live in the city by Kobayashi who had wandered into the mountain, drunk, one evening. Tohru was also educated on maids by Kobayashi, drunk, and decides that if she comes to live with Kobayashi she would have to be her maid. It’s a pretty silly idea, but it’s adorably executed and the show is just filled with Tohru’s pure love to Kobayashi.

We are largely going to be treated to Tohru adapting to blending in with humans and Kobayashi learning to live with another person. The colored pencil sketchiness of the show only adds what I believe will be the cutest show of the season.


769a9f1493a19fa441bc156e5fac74d11467144284_fullRewrite Season Two

Like most Key animation stories Rewrite is based on a computer game, and has multiple routes in the adapted anime. Here in season two, Rewrite will be following a new untold route that will discuss Kagiri’s story.

I wasn’t terribly impressed or interested in Rewrite’s first season which I find sad since I love most Key animation works. I expect the second season to be similar to the first, so if you weren’t already watching- I don’t suggest you pop in at this point. I don’t personally suggest Rewrite as a show, though, I do enjoy it for what it is.


b6cb5d2061b72df2e04e6b9678acfa631483619277_fullSaga of Tanya the Evil

One of the more interesting entries in this season is Saga of Tanya the Evil. The setting seems to be an alternate universe where the Great War never ended, and mages are a sort of air-cavalry. We are led to believe that most, if not all, nations have this mage air-cav. Tanya is our prospective character, and the show will be about her exploits as an “evil” lieutenant of the German army.

The battle animation is fast, quick, and explosive to say the least. I think we are also looking at some genius coloring work with muted battlefields that are only lit by bright red blood, fire, and the blue glow of mage magic. It’s very shocking to see either blue or red vibrantly splash in frame with such dull backdrops- and this works to put you on edge during the battles. It makes you uncomfortable and repulsed, just like you should be while watching people die.

Red is a very dominate color in this episode, and considering the battlefield dominance, World War I backdrop with a German as our main character- it’s easy to understand why.

Saga of Tanya seems like the war anime of the season, and though it has some quirks (like the largeness of the young girl’s’ eyes) I consider this as my standout pick of favorites so far. The first episode has really sold me on content, and I’m truly excited to see what Tanya accomplishes during her reign of evil.


234634f92d5388850e4b9328bc90b7541483654581_fullSchoolgirl Strikers

I had some ideas as to what to expect from Schoolgirl Strikers before I the play button, and I can safely say that all expectations were met. This is a very lackluster addition to the magical girl genre.

The show is about a school that acts a front for an organization that is built to destroy monsters which are attacking from the fifth dimension on a parallel world to our own – imagine a closed space from Haruhi Suzumiya. There are multiple quads of girls who all hunt and kill these monsters in their assigned districts.

The school part of the show doesn’t hold up well as it should considering most of the first episode takes place in the school. It’s very boring, and the characters don’t have much capacity to keep your interest or delve away from the typical generic magical girl trope personalities.

As for the execution of the magical side of the story- it’s not very enticing. These monsters are not special and all look the same, and the point of contention in the story is that our main cast is a group of newbies who just started this monster hunting.

I don’t see anything special about this show, and I may end up dropping it after episode four if nothing catches my interest. Give it try if you are into magical girls, and maybe you’ll enjoy yourself!


6de10ecb62b191e4ab2ef0927eec2db81483710188_fullSeiren

I’m the kind of pervert who loved Amigami, so I was very excited when Seiren was announced since it’s been billed as a sort of sequel to Amigami. If you’ve never seen an omnibus anime, I’ll explain real quick.

Most omnibus anime are based off of dating sims like Amigami, Kanon, Clannad, etc., and feature the male protagonist pursuing a romantic relationship with each girl through different story arcs. These arcs can either sync together, or they can take place in different timelines where the protag doesn’t remember previous events with the other girls. It maybe sounds complicated, but it’s the easiest way for creators to please everyone since we all have different dreamgirls.

Seiren is a school-based romantic comedy about Kamita, who over the course of the season, will meet three girls and engage in some sort of romantic relationship with each. It’s very simple.

If you don’t like fanservice, then I wouldn’t suggest this show. Seiren is going to have plenty of it- it actually already does. The art and animation are similar to Amigami, but obviously a lot better since it’s got a few years on that show. It’s very smooth.

I think that the male character,Kamita, in this is given enough personality to help us sympathize and enjoy his company, much like Key animation stories. There is enough focus on Kamita being a person which means that the show isn’t going to force almost-sex down our throats too quickly. Kamita being a person means that he will have reservations, and that means that the relationships will be cute and heart fluttery- until the almost-sex portions.

Watch Seiren. You’ll love this bubblegum flavor of a romance show.


Again, all the abovementioned anime are available for streaming on Crunchyroll, so you can get started today if anything piqued your interest by clicking the hyperlinks on the show titles.

I will be covering Minami Kamakura High School Girls Cycling Club and Saga of Tanya the Evil in my “Thoughts and Feelings Column “this season, so look forward to a look at episode one of each this week!

Please comment with any questions, or if you just want to discuss.

Thank you for reading!

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