WINTER 2017 ANIME PREVIEW

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:Resources:
Anichart, ANN, CR, LiveChart, MAL

:Excluded Titles:
Sentai Heroes SUKIYAKI FORCE; Yami Shibai 4

:Continuing Titles:
Sangatsu no Lion; ALL OUT!!; ClassicaLoid; Kidou Senshi Gundam: Tekk?etsu no Orphans 2; Monster Hunter Stories: RIDE ON; Pokemon Generations; Tiger Mask W; TRICKSTER: Edogawa Rampo “Shounen Tantei-dan” Yori; Yasamura Yasashi no Yasashii Seikai, Yu-Gi-Oh ARC-V

Last Updated: 20/12/2016


Hiatus Announcement from Eva

Today I will be announcing my indefinite hiatus. I am saying indefinite because I have no idea what the future holds for me, and I have yet to determine whether or not I just need a break and a change of pace. I have been managing and writing on this website for seven years now, and I have noticed as early as the end of the summer season that just how burnt out I was, and how sorely lacking the enthusiasm to participate in the upcoming seasons. The reason why I stuck around was because of two specific reasons: Finish covering Yu-Gi-Oh ARC-V and cover the second season of Gundam Tekketsu. At the time I thought my sheer determination to do so would allow me to persevere and cover some other shows along the way, but between now and then, a lot of things has happened in my life and my stamina and enthusiasm had virtually diminished. The only show that I know in my heart that I have the determination the finish covering for the sake of closure is Yu-Gi-Oh ARC-V. But it’s not only because I have invested three years of my life covering and being a passionate fan of this show, but to avoid the same fate which had befallen onto Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds no thanks to my health condition at resulted a mandatory 9 months hiatus.

I poured my entire soul into building this website, and passionately written over one thousand four hundred (and counting) entries. It is time to try something new and when life is not as havoc and my passion and interest in anime reignites, perhaps I will make a return. But until then my friends, I hope you continue to support our amazing writers who will be now taking care of the blog in my stead, and I thank you for the bottom of my heart for your love and support you have given us. It is exactly why I hope to one day be back with refreshed and ready to start again! <3

Inb4 I cover the next YGO Series 😉 Like seriously, if it looks good, that’s going to be hard to keep away from me.


Vantage: My reign of terror begins here! From today, this blog shall be known as the CuteAnimeLolis Anime Blog Eva has put in a tremendous amount of effort and hard work into AAB over the years. I’m sure I speak for all of the writers in saying that she’s been a great inspiration and that we’re very unfortunate to have her leave us for now. I hope you’ll join us, either in the comments section below or in the formal Hiatus Announcement post that will follow separately, in thanking her for all of her work and wishing her the best for the future!

There are two more changes to our line-up of writers to announce. Charibo will also be taking a hiatus for the time being to focus on her studies, but please welcome Sidekick back, who will be returning for the season!


193363ACCA: 13-ku Kansatsu-ka

Animation Company: Madhouse
Website: http://acca-anime.com
Genre: Drama, Police
Airing Date: 10 January 2017
Summary: The kingdom of Dowa, which is subdivided into 13 states, is celebrating its monarch’s 99th birthday. These 13 states have many agencies that are controlled by the giant organization known as ACCA. Within ACCA, Jean Otis is the second-in-command of the inspection agency. His agency has ten people placed in each of the 13 states, with a central office in the capital city. They keep track of all the activities of ACCA across the kingdom, and keep data on each state’s ACCA office flowing toward the central office. Jean also often has business trips from the capital to the other districts to check on the situation and personnel there.
Trailer: PV 1 | PV 2

Team Impression

Vantage: Apparently this will be quite good. I’ve noticed a lot of interest in it.

Berry: Yeah, this looks like it’ll be good. I wasn’t sure at first but the PVs helped.

Nikolita: Meeeh.

Oki: I love the premise of this show, based on the pv.

Sidekick: Really hoping this one will be good, the original creator Natsume Ono made some pretty neat stuff (eg. House of Five Leaves) but I will say the PVs have left me a bit cold. Art direction is a bit on the flat side, not much showy animation which I was expecting…but given that there really isn’t much this season I’m more than willing to at least give it a chance. Seems like it’ll have a good OP too.

Possible Bloggers
Sidekick


2AKIBA’S TRIP: THE ANIMATION

Animation Company: Gonzo
Website: http://akibastrip-anime.com
Genre: Action, Adventure, Ecchi, Supernatural
Airing Date: 4 January 2017
Summary: Akihabara, a broad-minded neighborhood where everyone from beginners to masters are welcomed. Even when you’re alone, if you go to Akiba, you’ll find someone who understands you. It’s a neighborhood where anything is possible, where anyone can do seemingly anything; a place where you can lay bare your body and soul. In this neighborhood of Akiba, which has everything including anime, games, maids, idols, secondhand parts, and cheap food, battles are fought against the “Bagurimono,” and a steadfast “boy meets girl” story begins!

The Akiba’s Trip games take place in a reproduction of Tokyo’s Akihabara district, where the player must fight vampires by tearing off their clothes and exposing them to the sunlight.
Trailer: PV 1 | PV 2

Team Impression

Vantage: I know it’s supposed to be Akiba’s Trip, but it might as well be titled Akiba Strip as far as the PV is concerned. Not very interested in this at all, although oddly the art style feels like a toned-down version of the in-house style used at Trigger.

Berry: As long as their skin is touching the sunlight, it’s unnecessary to rip off their clothes. Nope!

Nikolita: No interest.

Oki: I am beyond sick of this premise in anime.

Sidekick: The games aren’t terrible but there’s nothing about it there’s going to be worth watching.


3Ao no Exorcist: Kyoto Fujouou-hen

Animation Company: A-1 Pictures
Website: http://www.ao-ex.com
Genre: Action, Fantasy, Shounen, Supernatural
Airing Date: 7 January 2017
Summary: Second season of Ao no Exorcist. In the late Edo Period, a demon known as the Impure King killed thousands of people. After defeating the demon, the Knights of the True Cross kept its left eye safely sealed away on Academy grounds – but now someone has stolen it! Hearing the thief has taken a child hostage, Yukio and Rin go to help. The investigation and pursuit will lead Rin and his friends to Kyoto and involve them even deeper in a sinister plot! But will his friends’ knowledge that Rin is the son of Satan drive a wedge between them?
Trailer: PV 1 | PV 2

Team Impression

Vantage: It’s been quite a few years since I first watched Ao no Exorcist. My memory is really, really fuzzy, and all I can recall these days is that it became something of an entry-level series. I guess I’ll continue with it if the first episode can remind me enough of what happened last season and it’s still as interesting as it was back then.

Berry: I plan to watch the first season someday.

Nikolita: Not a fan, pass.

Oki: I wish I was up-to-date on the anime but I will have to pass.

Sidekick: I’m excited! I know a lot of fans didn’t like the anime original content from season 1 but I thought it was pretty serviceable. Blue Exorcist in general has a bit of a soft spot for me since I’m just a big fan of stories about familial bonds. That, and the Blue Exorcist movie released a few years back was just stunning. There’s a lot to like here, and people I know that’ve read the manga are saying this is a great arc, so I’ve got my fingers crossed it’ll be a fun watch.

Possible Bloggers
Sidekick


4BanG Dream!

Animation Company: Xebec
Website: http://bang-dream.com
Genre: Music
Airing Date: 21 January 2017
Summary: A next generation Girls Band Project which links characters with real live performances! BanG Dream! is a media mix project featuring animation music videos, comics, song releases, and many more. What’s more, the voice cast for the characters of BanG Dream! will also hold real live performances as the Girls Band, “Poppin’Party”.

Kasumi Toyama felt a fateful meeting with a star-shaped guitar in a pawnshop one day. There are four girls who, like Kasumi, have a dream of looking for a place that can spark them.
Trailer: PV 1 | PV 2

Team Impression

Vantage: I have to say, I thought this looked really endearing and sparkly until I realised that they were being quite literal about it being a multimedia project with live-action performances embedded into the anime.

Berry: The actual show itself looks fine. If it weren’t for the live-action performances randomly thrown in, I think I would consider blogging it.

Nikolita: It looks fun but generally speaking unless it seems like something really special, I avoid idol shows because I figure I’ll lost interest.

Oki: This looks so generic to me…

Sidekick: There’s not much about the promotional content that stands out, and the whole live-action footage thing doesn’t sit right with me. Feels kinda lazy.


5Chaos;Child

Animation Company: Silver Link
Website: http://chaoschildanime.com
Genre: Harem, Mystery, Psychological, Supernatural, Sci-Fi
Airing Date: 11 January 2017
Summary: In the original visual novel, after a magnitude-7.8 earthquake hits Tokyo’s Shibuya ward on November 6, 2009, a black fire spreads and causes mass panic on the day of the earthquake. The sudden disaster that becomes known as the “Shibuya Earthquake” kills 3,851 people and injures 30,927 more.

ChaoS;Child takes place in October 2015, in a reconstructed Shibuya district six years after the events of ChaoS;HEAd. A string of mysterious deaths occurs in Shibuya amidst the reconstruction. People begin to take notice as the strange events start on the same day that chaos broke out in Shibuya with a certain incident six years earlier. The events are called the “Return of the New Generation Madness.”
Trailer: PV 1 | PV 2

Team Impression

Vantage: I’ve never watched or played Chaos;HEAd, but I believe the general consensus was that the anime wasn’t all that great. Silver Link isn’t particularly renowned for saving adaptations, so I haven’t exactly got my hopes up that this will be any better. Not that I can even watch it without being confused.

Berry: Chaos;HEAd literally killed me. No way.

Nikolita: Curious, but not enough to try.

Oki: I think I’ve heard enough about how weird this show was to pass.

Sidekick: Chaos;HEAd was terrible. Pass.


6Chiruran: Nibun no Ichi

Animation Company: LandQ Studios
Website: http://www.chiruran.jp
Genre: Action, Historical
Airing Date: 10 January 2017
Summary: Adaptation of the spin off manga, Chiruran: Nibun no Ichi. It follows the everyday lives of the members of the Shinsengumi, who are depicted in SD form.
Trailer: PV 1 | PV 2

Team Impression

Vantage: Not interested. But at least it’s got nothing to do with the Sengoku period, right?

Berry: No thanks.

Nikolita: Art style is a huge turnoff, so pass.

Oki: Hahah no.

Sidekick: I don’t know anything about this and the promotional art isn’t really doing anything to get me interested.


7Demi-chan wa Kataritai

Animation Company: A-1 Pictures
Website: http://demichan.com
Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Slice-of-Life, Supernatural
Airing Date: 8 January 2017
Summary: Succubus, Dullahan and Vampire. They are known as Ajin, or “demi”s and are slightly different than the average human. They have lived alongside humans for ages under persecution. However, in recent years, they have become accepted as members of society. This manga follows a high school biology teacher who has a great interest in demis and his interaction with the various demis in his school, each with their own cute problems.
Trailer: PV 1 | PV 2

Team Impression

Vantage: I really like the blonde vampire. I have no idea whether I’ll even have time to watch this, but my best girl senses are tingling. Come to think of it, this is also pretty unusual fare as far as A-1 is concerned.

Berry: Looks harmless enough but this show isn’t for me.

Nikolita: You know what? It looks cute and it’s a supernatural show, so I’ll give it a try.

Oki: Cute? Ugh….

Sidekick: Maaaaaybe…? I dunno. I’ll give the first episode a try at least, could be charming.

Possible Bloggers
Nikolita


10Fuuka

Animation Company: Diomedia
Website: http://fuuka.tv
Genre: Drama, Ecchi, Music, Romance
Airing Date: 6 January 2017
Summary: The story centers on a young man named Yuu Haruna who has just switched schools. He’s a bit shy, and he’s constantly glued to his smartphone so he can check Twitter. He meets a girl named Fuuka Akitsuki, who doesn’t even have a cell phone, is free-spirited, and naturally fascinates others. Yuu recently has been getting back in touch via Twitter with his childhood friend Koyuki Hinashi, who is now a popular singer. One day Yuu invites Fuuka to one of Koyuki’s concerts, and there the three meet for the first time. The story follows the love triangle between a love that started through electronics, and a love that didn’t start through electronics.
Trailer: PV 1 | PV 2

Team Impression

Vantage: Fuuka makes me angry. If you’re familiar with the manga, you will know why. Even if you’re unfamiliar with it, it’s not all that unlikely that you’ve independently heard about a certain truck-related plot twist that occurred in it, because at the time it all but caused an internet meltdown. I can’t remember the last time I got so pissed at a manga. Oh wait, I do. It was only the entirety of Kimi no Iru Machi, not-coincidentally also by the same mangaka. When I was compiling this preview I actually saw one source tagging this as a comedy. Maybe it’s a comedy if you find suffering funny.

Berry: I literally know nothing about this but Vantage mentions suffering and plot twists…so I don’t know?

Nikolita: I don’t find suffering funny, I have enough drama in my life. Pass! o_O

Oki: I know the spoiler and let me say, hell no.

Sidekick: I hate everything written by Seo Kouji.

Possible Bloggers
Vantage


11Gabriel Dropout

Animation Company: Dogakobo
Website: http://gabdro.com
Genre: Comedy, Supernatural
Airing Date: 9 January 2017
Summary: The comedy follows Gabriel White, who graduated at the top of the class at angel school and attends a human school on earth in pursuit of knowledge, but then gets engrossed in a web game and decides its too much trouble to go anywhere.
Trailer: PV 1 | PV 2

Team Impression

Vantage: Wait, based Kirara made Archangel Gabriel a cute loli? Starring in her very own CGDCT? I’m in!

Berry: No no no

Nikolita: The summary made me lol. I might watch this.

Oki: I don’t like loli shows.

Sidekick: Dogakobo make decent comedies. I’m willing to give it a shot, but I doubt I’ll be blogging it.


12Gintama. (2017)

Animation Company: BN Pictures
Website: http://www.tv-tokyo.co.jp/anime/gintama/index2.html
Genre: Action, Comedy, Historical, Parody, Samurai, Sci-Fi, Shounen
Airing Date: 9 January 2017
Summary: New season of Gintama.
Trailer: PV 1 | PV 2

Team Impression

Vantage: I’ve never watched or read Gintama, I’m afraid.

Berry: The more seasons of Gintama they make, the farther I will be and will never catch up. ;_;

Nikolita: I know nothing about Gintama, so pass.

Oki: I’m not up to date ;_;

Sidekick: I’m in the same boat as Vantage. At this point the series is a tad too long for me to ever be willing to give it a shot.


13GRANBLUE FANTASY The Animation

Animation Company: A-1 Pictures
Website: http://anime.granbluefantasy.jp
Genre: Fantasy
Airing Date: January 2017
Summary: Video game developer Cygames announced during the Tokyo Game Show event on Thursday that its Granblue Fantasy smartphone game will receive an anime adaptation.
Trailer: PV 1 | PV 2

Team Impression

Vantage: I think I’d be a lot more interested in this if I played the mobage. Unfortunately, I’ve already sold my soul to a certain rhythm game and I don’t think KLab accepts refunds. We hope you continue to enjoy Love Live! School Idol Festival.

Berry: Oh no, this is a definite pass.

Nikolita: Paaaaaass.

Oki: I pass.

Sidekick: IT’S HERE. I’ve been a massive fan of the game for months now and it’s pretty much consumed my life. Granblue Fantasy has a great story…. when you’re 40 chapters in. Everything about the beginning is a huge snooze fest until the crew reaches…I dunno…Amalthea Island? Which would take at least 20-24 episodes. That said, I’m somewhat hoping the fact that I’m already invested in the characters (Lyria is an angel and I will not accept any other opinion about her) will help me sit through the not so fantastic beginning arcs.

Possible Bloggers
Sidekick


14Hand Shakers

Animation Company: GoHands
Website: http://project-hs.net
Genre: Action
Airing Date: 11 January 2017
Summary: The anime takes place in Osaka in “AD20XX,” and revolves around the Hand Shakers — partners who can summon “Nimrodes,” weapons born from their deep psyche by joining hands. In order to grant the pair’s wish, the Hand Shakers compete with and fight other Hand Shaker pairs. The top pair will then meet and challenge “God.”

“They, the receivers of the Revelation of Babel. They, the challengers to God. They, who inevitably throw themselves into battle with their partners. What does God want from them? And did they want powers exceeding that of Gods? The chosen ones, their souls linked, join hands and head for the Ziggurat where the fighting shall ensue.”
Trailer: PV 1 | PV 2

Team Impression

Vantage: This screams GoHands. Or maybe, going by everything from the eclectic colour schemes to the albino female lead and deadly competitions between various factions, some sort of weird mash-up between K and Guilty Crown. Hahahaha, remember Guilty Crown?

Berry: The summary literally makes no sense and the PV didn’t help either. No thanks.

Nikolita: Errr…. what?

Oki: The art, the studio, the plot…AND the weapons are one letter from being called nimrods? Sounds like that’s what the creator is.

Sidekick: GoHands consists of people that never ever learned about color theory and love blindly clicking on random photoshop filters. That and they make bad anime.


15Idol Jihen

Animation Company: MAPPA
Website: http://idoljihen.jp/anime/
Genre: Music
Airing Date: 8 January 2017
Summary: Part of MAGES’ multimedia “Idol Jihen” project. The story follows 47 idol members of the seven parties in the Japanese Diet elected from each prefectures and focuses on their efforts to change Japan with their dance and songs and to give smile to everyone in the country.
Trailer: PV 1 | PV 2

Team Impression

Vantage: Wait, let me get this straight. Japanese political parties, as entities, are being personified as idols? And they’re planning to make Japan great again through aikatsu? I’m sure I’d find it hilarious if I knew enough about Japanese politics to understand it properly.

Berry: What the actual fuck.

Nikolita: Nope nope!

Oki: I think this oversimplifies the entire concept of how to bring peace.

Sidekick: This could be really funny if they somehow….nah. Who am I kidding.


16Kemono Friends

Animation Company: Yaoyorozu
Website: http://kemono-friends.jp
Genre: Comedy, Action, Fantasy
Airing Date: 11 January 2017
Summary: The anime’s story takes place in Japari Park, a “gigantic integrated zoo.” In the zoo, due to the mysterious “sand star” substance, the animals start turning into human-shaped creatures called Animal Girls. Japari Park is a place where many people visit and have fun at, but one day a lost child wanders into the park. The lost child starts a journey to return, but because so many Animal Girls join in on the quest it becomes an unexpected grand adventure.
Trailer: PV 1 | PV 2

Team Impression

Vantage: It’s like someone took a safari park landscape and crudely stuck an anime girl with ears and a tail on top of it using MS Paint. I have to say though, Yaoyorozu sounds like the comfiest studio ever.

Berry: God no

Nikolita: Way too cutesy for me.

Oki: No thanks ugh!

Sidekick: I don’t really like the zoo.


17Kirakira?Precure A La Mode

Animation Company: TBC
Website: http://www.toei-anim.co.jp/tv/precure_alamode/
Genre: Fantasy, Magic, Slice-of-Life
Airing Date: 5 February 2017
Summary: The website teases the premise: “Make food! Eat! Fight!”
Trailer: PV 1 | PV 2

Team Impression

Vantage: That feel when you suddenly realise that there’s no-one more capable of filling Eva’s shoes than Eva herself.

Berry: I watched some of Go! Princess Precure and was really enjoying it but then I fell behind like I always do with kid shows. This Precure sounds adorable because it sounds like desserts will be involved but…I’m scared. Eva literally has a Precure following and I’m afraid that if I decide to blog this show and screw up, Eva’s fans will come into my house and kill me. Ok maybe I’m exaggerating…maybe. I’d maybe be willing to cover it.

Nikolita: Never seen anything Precure.

Oki: I think only Eva can do Precure justice.

Sidekick: I’ve tried getting into Precure tons of times but it’s just not really for me. I do hope the fans find this new series enjoyable though.


18Kobayashi-san Chi no Maidragon

Animation Company: Kyoto Animation
Website: http://maidragon.jp
Genre: Comedy, Shoujo-Ai, Slice-of-Life, Supernatural
Airing Date: 12 January 2017
Summary: Miss Kobayashi is your average office worker who lives a boring life, alone in her small apartment-until she saves the life of a female dragon in distress. The dragon, named Tohru, has the ability to magically transform into an adorable human girl (albeit with horns and a long tail!), who will do anything to pay off her debt of gratitude, whether Miss Kobayashi likes it or not. With a very persistent and amorous dragon as a roommate, nothing comes easy, and Miss Kobayashi’s normal life is about to go off the deep end!
Trailer: PV 1 | PV 2

Team Impression

Vantage: I have no idea why Kyoani have decided to abandon all recent precedent and adapt something as unusual as a supernatural slice-of-life comedy (cf. Lucky Star). Kyoani will still probably find a way, as always, but I have no doubt that this would get almost zero attention without their brand attached to it. As far as I’m concerned, I’m just counting down the days until Violet Evergarden saves anime.

Berry: Sorry but this sounds really dumb. Also that girl is definitely not a D-Cup.

Nikolita: Not interested in shoujo-ai, so pass.

Oki: They made everyone look too young for me to be cool with this.

Sidekick: I’ve developed a soft spot for Kyoani comedies over the years. They’re nice and pleasant. This should prove to at least be watchable.


19Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! 2

Animation Company: Studio DEEN
Website: http://konosuba.com
Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Romance
Airing Date: 12 January 2017
Summary: The second season of Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo!

The popular “alternate world home comedy” centers around Kazuma Satou, a hikikomori (shut-in) die-hard fan of games, anime, and manga. A traffic accident brings his disappointingly brief life to an end … or it should have, but he wakes up and sees a beautiful girl who introduces herself as a goddess. “Hey, I have some good news — would you like to go to an alternate world? You may only bring one thing you like with you.”

He responds, “…So, I’ll bring you.” With that, he is transported to another world and his great adventure subjugating the demon king begins … but first the hard work of finding food, clothing, and shelter begins. Kazuma wants to live in peace, but the goddess raises one problem after another, and then the demon king’s army has its eyes set on him.
Trailer: PV 1 | PV 2

Team Impression

Vantage: Exactly this time last year, a legend was born. Despite the shoestring budget allocated to it by Studio DEEN, Konosuba created a sales phenomenon out of nowhere. It was a commercial success. It made Amamiya Sora relevant after Sony stopped feeding her sometime last year. It introduced me to my one true goddess, Megumin. In other words, it made anime great again. You could even say it won bigly. And it’s going to keep winning. It’s going to win so much, you may even get tired of winning. And when you tell Studio DEEN that you can’t take it any more, that all this is too much winning, they’ll say no! Konosuba must win some more!

Berry: I know for a fact that this show’s comedy is not my taste. Nope.

Nikolita: Vantage wins the internet today.

Oki: I love how much Vantage loves this.

Sidekick: Haven’t seen the first season, but good for the fansVantage.

Possible Blogger
Vantage


20Kuzu no Honkai

Animation Company: Lerche
Website: http://www.kuzunohonkai.com
Genre: Drama, Romance, School, Seinen
Airing Date: 13 January 2017
Summary: 17-year-old Awaya Mugi and Yasuraoka Hanabi appear to be the ideal couple. They are both pretty popular, and they seem to suit each other well. However, outsiders don’t know of the secret they share. Both Mugi and Hanabi have hopeless crushes on someone else, and they are only dating each other to soothe their loneliness. Mugi is in love with Minagawa Akane, a young teacher who used to be his home tutor. Hanabi is also in love with a teacher, a young man who has been a family friend since she was little. In each other, they find a place where they can grieve for the ones they cannot have, and they share a loneliness-driven physical intimacy. Will things stay like this for them forever?
Trailer: PV 1 | PV 2

Team Impression

Vantage: Is this the next iteration of Keit-Ai? While the two chase their respective loved ones, will DRAMA ensue as they begin to fall in love with each other instead and question the NATURE of LOVE? In all seriousness, this looks really good. I haven’t come across it before, but I’m feeling a sense of impending angst. Also tears everywhere. And Hanabi is super cute.

Berry: Hey it’s something I’m actually interested in. Sounds like lots of drama and I like me some drama. Interesting how it’s both of them in love with someone else and not just one. Hoping this will be a good watch.

Nikolita: Is the ending as predictable as it sounds from the summary?

Oki: I like the premise and the pervert in me is interested.

Sidekick: I read the manga a few months back and honestly? It’s just an average teenage drama that tries a little bit too hard. Characters are so immature they hate themselves over nothing, and the entire story is revolved around that. It also has this really….infantile view of the adult world in general. I don’t hate it, but it’s not very good. If you want a manga where the characters really are scum and really screw themselves over go read Himegoto: 19sai no Seifuku instead.

Possible Bloggers
Berry, Oki


21Little Witch Academia (TV)

Animation Company: Trigger
Website: http://tv.littlewitchacademia.jp
Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy
Airing Date: 9 January 2017
Summary: TV series of Little Witch Academia. The story revolves around Akko, who as a child watched the witch Shiny Chariot perform a show, and from then on dreamed of becoming a witch. She enters the Luna Nova Academy, a school for witches that Shiny Chariot attended. In this new town she meets new friends and starts a new school life. At the school she has lessons on riding brooms and the wonder of magic, but Akko and her friends Lotte and Sucy keep getting wrapped up in tumultuous events.
Trailer: PV 1 | PV 2

Team Impression

Vantage: I have a confession to make. I’ve never seen the original animated short for Little Witch Academia. But I do know that it’s supposed to be amazing, and that a full-length TV series may well have the potential to save anime before Violet Evergarden ever gets round to doing so.

Berry: And the other thing I’m interested in! I’ve waited a thousand years for this show to finally get a proper TV anime. If the anime is going to be as good as the movies then I’m all in.

Nikolita: Another big no. I’m not a huge Trigger fan either.

Oki: This sounds like pure joy.

Sidekick: Little Witch Academia is the formula for pure joy. If there’s anything to look forward to this season, it’s this. A shame the art direction took a huge step down from the specials but I guess it’s to be expected.

Possible Bloggers
Sidekick, Berry


22Marginal!#4 KISS Kara Tsukuru Big Bang

Animation Company: J.C. Staff
Website: http://marginal4-anime.com
Genre: Music
Airing Date: January 2017
Summary: The anime follows the Marginal#4 idol unit, who made their debut at Pythagoras Production on February 13. The members give their all for their fans in their idol activities, but they are also normal high school students. The anime will follow both their everyday lives as high school students and their lives as idols.
Trailer: PV 1 | PV 2

Team Impression

Vantage: Why separate the two occupations? Wouldn’t it be more convenient to become, for example, a school idol?

Berry: They’re cute but I hate their hair colors.

Nikolita: Idol? Pass!

Oki: Nope. No thanks.

Sidekick: I’ve kind of grown out of my otoge and male idol loving phase, sadly. The character designs look nice, at least.


23Masamune-kun no Revenge

Animation Company: Silver Link
Website: http://masamune-tv.com
Genre: Comedy, Ecchi, Harem, Romance, Slice-of-Life
Airing Date: 5 January 2017
Summary: As an overweight child, Makabe Masamune was mercilessly teased and bullied by one particular girl, Adagaki Aki. Determined to one day exact his revenge upon her, Makabe begins a rigorous regimen of self-improvement and personal transformation. Years later, Masamune re-emerges as a new man. Handsome, popular, with perfect grades and good at sports, Masamune-kun transfers to Aki’s school, and is unrecognizable to her. Now, Masamune-kun is ready to confront the girl who bullied him so many years ago and humiliate her at last. But will revenge be as sweet as he thought?
Trailer: PV 1 | PV 2

Team Impression

Vantage: I remember reading this manga quite a while ago. It’s a perfect fit for Silver Link! Will definitely watch it if I can find the time to.

Berry: The main dude has the most generic anime guy appearance holy shit. I hate the premise too.

Nikolita: I don’t like the concept, so pass.

Oki: I would like this more if his harem didn’t exist and this was a story about forgiveness and growth.

Sidekick: Friends that’ve read the original material have told me it gets kinda nasty and misogynistic, and based off the summary I think it’s quite evident. Pass.


24Minami Kamakura Koukou Joshi Jitensha-Bu

Animation Company: J.C. Staff
Website: http://minakama-anime.jp
Genre: Sports
Airing Date: 7 January 2017
Summary: The story begins with Hiromi Maiharu, a girl who moved from Nagasaki to Kamakura. She begins her new life in Kamakura and her first day in high school by bicycling to her school, but she has not ridden a bicycle since she was young. On the way to the ceremony for the first day, she meets Tomoe Akitsuki, and Tomoe helps her train to be better at bicycling.
Trailer: PV 1 | PV 2

Team Impression

Vantage: I remember looking at Shakunetsu Takkyuu no Musume during the Fall season preview with amusement and thinking it might be fun since I enjoyed Ping Pong. I sure didn’t expect to get a sweat-filled, sports-oriented version of Saki with copious amounts of yuri. I’m going to try this hoping for something similar.

Berry: There’s a better cycling anime this season, no thanks.

Nikolita: Also still not a fan of sports shows. I know I know, I’m so boring!

Oki: I hate sports.

Sidekick: Could be somewhat pleasant, and I’m always up for good shipping. More likely to be kind of bland but there’s not enough anime this season for me to be picky.


25Onihei

Animation Company: Studio M2
Website: http://onihei-anime.com
Genre: Historical, Seinen
Airing Date: 10 January 2017
Summary: The historical novel series depicts Heizo Hasegawa, who metes justice on wrongdoers and supervises the crackdown on arsonists and robbers in Japan’s Edo period (1603-1868).
Trailer: PV 1 | PV 2

Team Impression

Vantage: Again, I’m not too interested but anything other than Nobunaga must be a welcome change of pace for any fans of historical Japan.

Berry: I usually don’t watch historical stuff so no.

Nikolita: Historical is not generally a genre I frequent.

Oki: I DO love history.

Sidekick: I do like me some historical anime, and this one’s based off a novel so it could be decent. Will give it a shot.


26Reikenzan: Eichi e no Shikaku

Animation Company: Studio DEEN
Website: http://reikenzan.net
Genre: Comedy, Fantasy
Airing Date: 8 January 2017
Summary: The second season of Reikenzan: Hoshikuzu-tachi no Utage. In the story, a comet falling will bring about a great calamity, and in order to choose a child fated by the falling comet, the family of the “Reiken” clan with a long storied history is once again resuming its entrance examination process to find disciples. The protagonist Oriku (Lu Wang in the original novel), who possesses a special soul that is only available once in a thousand years, decides to take the exam, and he starts down the path toward becoming an exceptional sage. Studio DEEN notes that the anime will be full of gags.
Trailer: PV 1 | PV 2

Team Impression

Vantage: I didn’t know that anime series based on Chinese web novels were even a thing. When are we getting an adaptation of I Shall Seal the Heavens?

Berry: Don’t know how the first season did so idk about this.

Nikolita: Say what?

Oki: I think that a premise this serious deserves having gags means I will hate it.

Sidekick: I’ve never heard of this in my life?


27Rewrite 2nd Season: Moon-hen/Terra-hen

Animation Company: 8bit
Website: http://www.rewrite-anime.tv
Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Mystery, Supernatural
Airing Date: January 2017
Summary: Second season of Rewrite. It will cover the Moon and Terra routes of the original game by Key. Moon is the penultimate route of the visual novel, which unlocks after the five heroine routes are finished. Moon gives focus on the mysterious Moon Kagari, her relationship with Kotarou, the nature of Aurora and the Theory of Life. Terra is the final route which unlocks after Moon is finished. The route focuses on Kotarou’s struggle to belong, while shedding some light on the personality of Earth Kagari and giving an answer to what the ‘good memory’ she has been looking for is. “In this dark world, you were the only thing that ever seemed truly bright to me.”
Trailer: PV 1 | PV 2

Team Impression

Vantage: Meet Bond. Kazamatsuri Bond. The legendary spy, UMA-hunter and saviour of the Earth. When he’s not fighting in Middle Eastern civil wars or stopping Greenpeace terrorists from committing genocide with their army of dinosaurs, he goes to bed at 9 PM every night. In the future, he’d like to become a civil servant and get married. His hobbies include knitting on weekends, bullying little girls and making case-by-case decisions. Join Bond as he tries to save the world by turning into a tree, building a canoe using his wood, flying to the Moon and terraforming it! It’ll be fun. I promise.

Berry: Nopey nope no.

Nikolita: Have fun Vantage!

Oki: God speed Vantage.

Sidekick: Didn’t see the first season and don’t intend to. That said, good for the fans.

Possible Blogger
Vantage


28SCHOOLGIRL STRIKERS Animation Channel

Animation Company: J.C. Staff
Website: http://sgs-anime.com
Genre: Action, School
Airing Date: 6 January 2017
Summary: An adaptation of Square Enix’s smartphone “light novel-style RPG” app Schoolgirl Strikers. The game is set in Goryokan Academy, a new private senior/junior high school for girls with a vast downtown campus. This highly popular school has “another face” — a secret hidden side. It organizes and trains the special unit Fifth Force to protect the world from invisble supernatural entities known as “Oburi” that are devouring the world. A team of five trained with powers against the Oburi is to be chosen from the student body to perform missions. A new team leader has been appointed to assenble the five students.
Trailer: PV 1 | PV 2

Team Impression

Vantage: Why does that synopsis feel so much more substantial than the key visual? If I were made to guess what this was about based solely on the latter, I’d have said it was something like a CGDCT about five girls in an art club.

Berry: I’m so bored.

Nikolita: Animation looks ok, but I have no interest in the premise.

Oki: I like school girls doing cool things, but I’m not sold.

Sidekick: Wow. What a ground-breaking, unique concept. Schoolgirls…that fight! Wow!!


29Seiren

Animation Company: Studio Gokumi
Website: http://www.tbs.co.jp/anime/seiren/
Genre: Romance
Airing Date: 6 January 2017
Summary: An original TV animation. The anime is an omnibus work that will consist of four-episode arcs focusing on each of the main heroines. The three planned story arcs will focus on Hikari Tsuneki, Touru Miyamae, and Kyouko Touno. The love stories take place in the summer of the main characters’ second year of high school. The protagonist Shouichi is anxious about growing up, and his homeroom teacher calls him to talk about his career plans. Shouichi meets various girls and heads to an unknown future.
Trailer: PV 1 | PV 2

Team Impression

Vantage: If it looks like Amagami, sounds like Amagami and tastes like Amagami, is it Amagami? I know this is supposed to be its spiritual successor in all but name, but it’s so eerily similar that I’m not sure how to react. The only differences appear to be that the main character now looks like the male lead in a Korean drama and that there’s no best girl Ai-chan.

Berry: Not for me.

Nikolita: This was one of the shows I was interested in. I do not know what Amagami is, but I’m curious about this one.

Oki: I will pass for I do not like school girl stories.

Sidekick: I dunno, this kind of stuff is usually not my thing.

Possible Bloggers
Vantage, Nikolita


30Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu: Sukeroku Futatabi-hen

Animation Company: Studio DEEN
Website: http://rakugo-shinju-anime.jp
Genre: Drama, Historical, Josei
Airing Date: 7 January 2017
Summary: Second season of Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu.
Trailer: PV 1 | PV 2

Team Impression

Vantage: I haven’t watched the first season, but I’ve heard very, very good things about this from a friend whose judgment I respect a lot.

Berry: I watched the hour long first episode and loved every second of it. I’m definitely going to catch up so I can watch this!

Nikolita: I know nothing about this series, so pass.

Oki: No.

Sidekick: OH BOY, OH BOY IT’S HERE. THE SAVIOR OF THE SEASON. Rakugo Shinjuu is such an incredible series, and season 1 is easily my favourite anime of 2016. While the focus will be shifting from Yakumo (such a fantastic character, excuse me while I cry a bit) to Yotarou, I’m confident it’ll ride on all of season 1’s buildup perfectly. A guaranteed watch from me, and what I’ll most likely be blogging this season.

Possible Bloggers
Sidekick


31SUPER LOVERS 2

Animation Company: Studio DEEN
Website: http://superlovers-anime.com
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance, Shounen-Ai, Slice-of-Life
Airing Date: 12 January 2017
Summary: Second season of SUPER LOVERS.
Trailer: PV 1 | PV 2

Team Impression

Vantage: I remember this! It’s that shounen-ai about the dude who fell in love with a little boy, right?

Berry: I was hoping that the main guy wouldn’t fall in love with his adoptive little brother. WELL GUESS WHAT HAPPENED? I didn’t watch it, I just heard. Why did this get another season? ;_;

Nikolita: WHY DOES THIS HAVE A SECOND SEASON?? >:( You know what would be an awesome BL adaption? That manga I covered awhile back, The Rule of Standing on Tiptoe.

Oki: NOPE.

Sidekick: When are we going to get the good BL adaptations? Where’s my Dear Mr Hatter anime?


32Tales of Zestiria the X 2

Animation Company: ufotable
Website: http://toz-thex-anime.tales-ch.jp
Genre: Action, Fantasy, Supernatural
Airing Date: 8 January 2017
Summary: The second season of Tales of Zestiria the X.

Sorey is a human youth who grew up among the seraphim, spiritual beings not visible to humans. Sorey believes in the folklore that says “long ago, every human was able to see the seraphim” and dreams of unraveling the ancient mystery to make the world a place where people and seraphim can live together in peace.

One day, Sorey visits the human capital for the very first time. He becomes embroiled in an incident during which he pulls out a holy sword embedded in a rock and ends up becoming a Shepherd, one who casts away calamity from the world. He begins to realize the gravity of his mission, and his dream of coexistence between mankind and the seraphim becomes more intense–

And thus, the Shepherd embarks on a journey with his companions.
Trailer: PV 1 | PV 2

Team Impression

Vantage: I need to watch this. I’m sure I would have loved playing through it if I had the hardware to.

Berry: Haven’t played the game or watched the first season.

Nikolita: I’m in the same boat as sidekick, so pass.

Oki: Is it good? I’ll never know.

Sidekick: I didn’t watch the first season and haven’t played the game, so I’ll have to pass.


33Urara Meirochou

Animation Company: J.C. Staff
Website: http://www.tbs.co.jp/anime/urara/
Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Historical, Slice-of-Life
Airing Date: 6 January 2017
Summary: The story is set in Meiro-chou, a town where all-female diviners (uranaishi) live and where girls from all over the country yearn to become the top diviner — “Urara.” Today, a solitary girl named Chiya enters the town’s gates. However, she has another purpose coming here, besides becoming the Urara. Chiya’s days as an apprentice diviner begin as she meets three friends — the earnest Kon, Koume who is a fan of Western culture, and the shy Nono.
Trailer: PV 1 | PV 2

Team Impression

Vantage: I’m getting serious Aria vibes from this. Replace the word ‘diviner’ with ‘undine’. In fact, it feels like a comfy blend of Aria and Kiniro Mosaic with maybe a touch of Gochiusa. It’s even a serialisation in Manga Time Kirara. By definition, that would make this the cutest and the best. If this is what I think it is, I may not be able to physically live without it this season.

Berry: P A S S

Nikolita: Looks cute, but pass.

Oki: Nope.

Sidekick: It could be cute and pleasant I guess. I realize I’ve said this for like 3 anime now but honestly there’s not much to go by with series like these.

Possible Bloggers
Vantage


34Youjo Senki

Animation Company: NUT
Website: http://youjo-senki.jp
Genre: Magic, Military
Airing Date: 6 January 2017
Summary: The novel series centers on a young girl who fights on the frontlines in war. She has blonde hair, blue eyes, and nearly transparent white skin, and she flies through the air and mercilessly strikes down her opponents. Her name is Tanya Degurechaff, and she speaks with a young girl’s lisp and commands the army. Tanya used to be one of Japan’s elite office workers, but because of a wrathful god, was reborn as a little girl. Tanya prioritizes optimization and career advancement above all, and she will become the most dangerous entity among the Imperial Army’s sorcerers.
Trailer: PV 1 | PV 2

Team Impression

Vantage: This loli scares me. But I tried out the few chapters of the light novels that have been translated, and really enjoyed what I read!

Berry: This actually slipped past my radar. Kinda hard to take seriously because a little girl is taking charge, but this sounds creepy and just something I’d watch. I’ll check it out.

Nikolita: The key visual for this show legit scares me. O_O

Oki: I am terrified of this little girl.

Sidekick: The key visual’s interesting but I’m worried it’ll be kind of creepy and perverse.

Possible Bloggers
Berry


35Yowamushi Pedal: NEW GENERATION

Animation Company: TMS Entertainment
Website: http://yowapeda.com
Genre: Drama, Sports, Shounen
Airing Date: 10 January 2017
Summary: The third season of Yowamushi Pedal. Sakamichi Onoda is a rather timid, anime-loving first-year student at Sohoku High School. Since the fourth grade, he had been riding his commuter bicycle 90-kilometers to and from Tokyo’s otaku hot spot, Akihabara after school. Upon entering high school, he tried to join the anime research club, after meeting Imaizumi Shunsuke, a renowned cyclist since middle school, and Naruko Shoukichi, who swept the Kansai cycling championship, he ended up joining the competitive cycling club. All kinds of trials and rigorous training awaited Onoda, but with the support of his many friends and upperclassmen, the talented road racer inside him began to awaken!
Trailer: PV 1 | PV 2

Team Impression

Vantage: What the fuck happened to Izumida’s hair? I’m definitely watching (but not blogging) this, Yowapeda is super exciting. I stopped following the manga scanlation since its translation speed slowed to a crawl once the first Inter-High was over, so I know pretty much nothing about any events past that point.

Berry: Love Yowapeda but I’m not blogging this. Some episodes go slow and I know I’d have a hard time.

Nikolita: Didn’t watch the first season and have no interest, so pass.

Oki: I haven’t read or seen any of it.

Sidekick: I never finished season 1 of Yowapeda.


8elDLIVE

Animation Company: Studio Pierrot
Website: http://eldlive.tv
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi, Shounen, Space
Airing Date: 8 January 2017
Summary: Chuuta Kokonose is an orphan who lives with his aunt. For as long as he can remember he’s had a voice in his head, but other than that he’s a normal boy – right until the day when a strangely-looking thing follows him home and teleports him to a place filled with more fantastic creatures. It’s a space police station, and Rein Brickke, the Chief of Solar System Department, tells him that he’s been chosen by the computer as a possible candidate to join the police force, although Misuzu Sonokata, a girl from Chuuta’s school with an angelic face and ill temper who turns out to be one of Rein Brickke’s subordinates, doesn’t think him suitable for such a job. Chuuta, who was shocked at first, decides to take aptitude test after being urged by the voice in his head and to prove Misuzu wrong.
Trailer: PV 1 | PV 2

Team Impression

Vantage: I might give the first episode a go, but honestly this doesn’t really interest me.

Berry: Not interested.

Nikolita: Doesn’t really interest me either.

Oki: I feel bored by this premise.

Sidekick: Woah, it’s like we’re back to 2006 with this! Has a real old-school shounen vibe, which may not be a bad thing. I’m long past my Reborn phase but I’m hoping this will at least be mildly entertaining.


194175Ai Mai Mi: Surgical Friends (TV Short)

Animation Company: Seven
Website: http://www.dreamcreation.co.jp/aimaimi3/
Genre: Comedy, Slice-of-Life
Airing Date: January 2017
Summary: Third season of Ai Mai Mi.
Trailer: PV 1 | PV 2

Team Impression

Vantage: What a wholesome Christian anime. How has this escaped my attention for so long now?

Berry: Why are they naked?

Nikolita: …?

Oki: I love the boobs but I’ll pass.

Sidekick: I’ve never seen Ai Mai Mi but it seems pretty bonkers.


195130nyanko-days (TV Short)

Animation Company: EMT Squared
Website: http://nyanko-days.com
Genre: Slice-of-Life, Comedy
Airing Date: 8 January 2017
Summary: The four-panel manga follows a shy girl named Tomoko who comes home from school and is greeted by her three (personified) cats.
Trailer: PV 1 | PV 2

Team Impression

Vantage: Could be cute. But not as cute as Urara Meirochou.

Berry: Sounds cute but nah.

Nikolita: I love cats, but no.

Oki: I have literally no interest!

Sidekick: No thanks.


194781One Room (TV Short)

Animation Company: Typhoon Graphics
Website: http://oneroom-anime.com
Genre: TBC
Airing Date: January 2017
Summary: The series will tell “three stories raised in your (one) room”.
Trailer: PV 1 | PV 2

Team Impression

Vantage: This looks lewd. It kind of reminds me of Tawawa on Monday from last season.

Berry: No…

Nikolita: One of the shows I was interested in. Will give it a try at least.

Oki: I …. no.

Sidekick: Pass.

Possible Bloggers
Nikolita


195487Piace: Watashi no Italian (TV Short)

Animation Company: Zero-G
Website: http://piace-anime.com
Genre: Comedy, Slice-of-Life
Airing Date: 11 January 2017
Summary: High schooler Morina Nanase starts work at Trattoria Festa, an Italian restaurant filled with various and sundry quirky characters…and where through its unique cuisine, she will begin to mature as a person.
Trailer: PV 1 | PV 2

Team Impression

Vantage: Cute. If this ever gets subbed (it’s certainly not getting picked up by the Crunchyroll machine) I’d like to watch it.

Berry: I might watch it because it sounds sweet.

Nikolita: Pass.

Oki: Much comic such slice.

Sidekick: Ehhh. It seems harmless enough, but I almost never watch shorts unless they’re Teekyu.


9Fate/Grand Order: First Order (TV Special)

Animation Company: Lay-Duce
Website: http://anime.fate-go.jp
Genre: Magic
Airing Date: 31 Dec 2016
Summary: The story is set in the year 2015, during the final era over which magic still held sway. The humanity survival and security organization Caldea was established to observe the world that can only be seen by magic and the world that can only be measured by science — as well as to prevent the final extinction of mankind.

Thanks to the efforts of many researchers, the path of human history has been ensured for 100 years into the future. However, without warning, the realm of the future that was under constant observation by Caldea vanished. The extinction of humanity in 2017 was observed — no, confirmed.

The apparent cause of the extinction was in the Japanese city of Fuyuki in 2004. In that city, there was an “unobservable realm” which had never existed until now.

Caldea issued the Grand Order for a “Holy Grail Expedition,” to investigate, uncover, and possibly destroy the singularity that apparently will cause the extinction of humanity.
Trailer: PV 1 | PV 2

Team Impression

Vantage: I’ll watch this since it’s part of the Fate franchise, but I know nothing about the game.

Berry: So this is separate from the main Fate story? UBW was okay, Fate/Zero was great, I’ll probably check this out.

Nikolita: Never seen anything from the Fate franchise, so pass.

Oki: FINALLY SOMETHING I WANT TO COVER! In fact, shotgun.

Sidekick: I hate this game, but I adore Nobunaga Shimazaki and will watch this for him. Just for him.

Possible Blogger
Oki


Overall Thoughts

Vantage: Looks like it’ll be a dry season. Winter has always traditionally been quite dry, but recently there hasn’t been enough tanoshii in anime. I’m probably most interested in blogging Konosuba and Rewrite, but both of those are sequels. To be honest, almost everything worth watching this season is probably a sequel. There’s hardly any new stuff that genuinely excites me, with the few exceptions being Little Witch Academia (if that even counts as new), Youjo Senki and possibly Seiren (if it ever manages to stop being compared to Amagami) and Kuzu no Honkai. Urara Meirochou will also be my much-needed IV drip of CGDCT that will drag me through the next three months. And it’ll be entertaining to watch people reacting to Fuuka. I’m just hoping that the airing dates for Violet Evergarden will be announced soon. I don’t think I can take it much longer.

Berry: This season is poop. The winter season is always poop. I’ve never been so uninterested in so many shows before. For I really only care for Kuzu no Honkai, Little Witch Academia, and maybe even Youjo Senki. Other than those, I don’t think I’m going to watch many shows. I might check out the first episodes of some shows but I think I’m going to use this season to catch up on shows I fell behind in summer and this past fall because of work and school. Good job Winter season for always being poop.

Nikolita: There are a couple of shows I’m curious about enough to try blogging, but the only show that’s really got me captivated is the next season of Berserk, which airs in the spring. In the meantime I think two main shows and one short should be enough to fill my days and entertain me, providing I like them enough to keep blogging them. I don’t know, maybe I’m just too picky? As for which show in the winter season that has me the most curious, I’d have to say honestly it’s One Room, despite being a short.

Oki: This season sucks so hard. I honestly went through the catalogue and almost picked nothing. Thank God for Fate or I’d be stuck with cat girl shit and 50 slice of life’s.

Sidekick: I picked a bad season to get back into blogging but eh. Aside from Rakugo S2 and Little Witch Academia there isn’t much. I’m trying my best to stay optimistic about the Granblue Fantasy anime but I get the feeling I’ll most likely just…go back to playing the game instead of actually watching it. Also hoping ACCA and Kobayashi-san will be good.

ViVid Strike! Episode 12: Within Clasped Hands [Final Impression]

All’s well that ends well.

screen-shot-2016-12-20-at-00-07-22

Impression

screen-shot-2016-12-20-at-00-03-53A cute and comfy ending. I don’t think there’s actually much for me to say. I probably smiled more throughout that one episode than I did over the rest of the series combined. Fuuka really is amazing, she managed to protect my smile as well! The lewd hand-holding with Fuu-chan and close physical contact were really sweet and yuritastic. It was all I could have asked for, although some nose-bumping as Rinne and Fuuka stared into each other’s eyes would have been nice as well. Surprisingly, Carrie and the rest of Rinne’s victims made an appearance after having been inspired by her bout with Fuuka. I’m not sure exactly how much of the inter-match conversation they heard (to some extent they should already know of her history if Yumina was able to find it) but it’s great that no-one seems to have any hard feelings towards her. Well, no-one except Sara and the other two. Whichever one Sara was. It’s probably for the best that those bullies weren’t featured, assuming they’re not dead or severely handicapped. They’re sort of like the Quattro and Scaglietti of Strike. The cast are willing to let bygones be bygones for most of the Combat Cyborgs, but Scaglietti is a different issue. And Fuuka might have asked what the bullies were called, and all based Rinne could have said was that one of them was Sara but she didn’t know which.

screen-shot-2016-12-20-at-00-05-31Einhart is really strong. I honestly don’t remember Sieg ever having been shown fighting in the ViVid anime (all she did was jog and eat popcorn cutely) so it was really nice to see her actually do something here, if only for a few seconds. With there being no Hayate in Strike, I’ve also been suffering from a severe lack of comfy Kansai accents this season. I’m just wondering whether Sieg got tired out because Einhart managed to push her that far, or because she had to hold back too much for fear of killing Einhart. As expected, though, the results of the Winter Cup don’t really matter. We came to realise halfway through the series that they never did. Still, I thought it’d be nice to try to figure out who won, but unlike Rinne’s trophies the inscription on the cup just says ‘Winter Cup’ and not the name of the winner. Nove is holding it in their commemoration photo, which further adds to the uncertainty. But given that Fuuka looks a lot more scratched and torn up than Einhart, I think the implication is that the latter won. As expected of Haru-nyan.

screen-shot-2016-12-20-at-00-07-56

Overall Thoughts

screen-shot-2016-12-20-at-00-06-47So after all those months of silence in the wake of the ViVid anime, the next entry in the Nanoha franchise was Strike. Who’d have guessed? I do think it’s served its purpose of re-igniting interest in all things Nanoha, however. The irony, of course, being that it wasn’t marketed as having anything to do with two particular ‘elite government officials’ at all. Further adding to its unusual nature was the drift away from the traditional focus on magical combat that’s come to be so definitive of Nanoha over the years.

Will the franchise continue developing down this sort of path? I’m not sure. ViVid was only ever a spin-off to begin with. You might argue that the same could be said of the first Nanoha, but the issue with focusing on martial arts as a sport is that there aren’t really any possible plot lines beyond tournament arcs. Strike was pretty innovative in that respect, in that in reality it had its Rinne-centric plot dressed up in the language of the Winter Cup without the tournament itself actually mattering much at all. And I’ll never forget Episode 4. That was, without doubt, the most memorable moment of the entire season to me. But even then, none of its characters had their lives threatened by deadly combat in the same way as Nanoha, Fate or Hayate did as children, even though they have their own very real struggles and issues. It’s a different genre, ultimately. And I don’t know whether I’d like to see the Nanoha franchise expand under this genre after the precedent it has set with the first series, A’s and StrikerS.

In truth, I think I would have been quite happy if StrikerS ended up being the last TV series. There wasn’t much Nanoha-related noise in the years after that ended, and we could all enjoy the two movies and chapters of the ViVid manga whenever those turned up. And Force was also a thing, although as I understand it, the consensus on that is mixed at best. It’s sort of like how I loved Code Geass, and enjoyed its spin-offs, but thought it didn’t really need any sort of sequel (for those who are unaware, a third season has now been announced). That said, I’d be lying if I claimed to not be excited for Reflection, especially since it appears to be a step back in the direction of A’s, which is what I and many others believe to be the pinnacle of the franchise. I’m also glad it’s not dead in the water entirely, which is what literally everyone assumed after it was announced, given a title and then seemingly abandoned. Reflection also means another prominent role for Yukarin, which is good news. I think she’s getting TV anime roles again as well, like Seiren next season, so I hope her wellbeing is improving.

I’ll be back for Reflection. Until then, I would like to reiterate that Rinne is the cutest and the best.

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Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku Episode 12: File not found (Final Impression)

“They all started saying, “Magical girls are for little children.” Still, I never stopped dreaming. Even now, I still secretly dream of that.”

I’m glad I became I magical girl!”

As Ripple and Swim Swim fight each other, Fav reveals to Koyuki the true reason for the Magical Girl Raising Project. Her books and magical girl magazines thrown about, her room a total mess. She cries to herself and says she can’t be a magical girl anymore. As Fav pops up from her phone, she says she’ll quit. But Fav stops her and then tells her what the point of everything was.

horriblesubs-mahou-shoujo-ikusei-keikaku-12-1080p-mkv0001The Magical Girl Raising Project is a selection exam that chooses a magical girl from a group to be part of the World of Magic…for some reason, or as a Master like Cranberry was. I’m not sure what that girl would do while joining the World of Magic since we didn’t get a full explanation, or of the World of Magic itself. But as we saw, the Master would be the one that would oversee these selection exams with their familiar, who in this case is Fav. And how these exams go are dependant on the Master. Fav described exams being different, like one where the girls are sweet and help each other out, while another is the magical girls fighting off monsters the World of Magic send. It was also revealed that if a magical girl failed, her memories would be wiped and she’d forget that she ever was a magical girl, and that’t is. It was Cranberry who turned these selection exams into battle royales, and she killed all the girls in every exam. Because the past exams were so boring, she turned them into a blood bath and the stakes were raised. Fav admits to Koyuki that Swim is a skilled killer, but she’s a horrible Master, so he purposely made Ripple and Swim face off so they could kill each other, and Koyuki could become his Master because he wants her.

horriblesubs-mahou-shoujo-ikusei-keikaku-12-1080p-mkv0027Of course, remembering all the girls and women that have been killed over this exam, Koyuki is devastated and angry. She tells Fav off and destroys her phone and then goes off to try to stop the fight. We saw a very different Koyuki this episode. All the innocence and happiness we saw in the first episode? Gone. I actually found it quite funny when Fav mentioned how crazy it was that Koyuki would be the sole survivor when she never dirtied her hands or did anything, because that’s kind of how I feel about her. Not the getting her hands dirty part, that’s fine. But really, what exactly has she done? Maybe it’s not totally her fault because the show focused on all the other characters except her, but Koyuki didn’t really do anything until this very last episode. I also found it surprising that Koyuki would be the sole survivor when she’s done pretty much nothing, but I also found it ironic.

Koyuki believed that magical girls were pure, sweet, nice, and helpful. Koyuki never got her hands dirty by killing anyone or playing tricks or backstabbing anyone. She stayed true to who she wanted to be, to who she always dreamed of being, and she stuck to what she believed magical girls to be. She survived until the very end as a true magical girl.

horriblesubs-mahou-shoujo-ikusei-keikaku-12-1080p-mkv0051Except she wasn’t the sole survivor. Like I’ve said before, some deaths are quick and anticlimactic. I wanted to really savor and enjoy Swim’s death. I didn’t really get that other than just the general happy feeling of seeing her die. Which is a little messed up to say because she was a little girl with “a few screws loose” as Fav said. I also wanted to learn why Swim was like that. What kind of little girl is okay with killing so many people? In the end, I expected both Swim and Ripple to die like Fav planned, and Koyuki would be forced to live a life with Fav by her side and she would slowly lose her mind. I did not expect Ripple to survive and I was overjoyed that she did. I also did not expect Fav to die! That made me really happy. When I heard his little laugh towards Snow I really was about to lose it, until Ripple came from behind to break the device with the halberd. With Fav gone, these exams are done now as we see later on.

The very last bit was a little confusing though. Apparently Koyuki ran away from home, and I guess she’s living with Ripple now, who now only has one eye and arm. I wasn’t sure what to make of the ending. We see reports of magical girl sightings, who of course are Ripple and Snow White. But they seem to be taking on dangerous tasks, with some deaths mentioned. Snow mentions nothing will change without things set in motion and she’s practicing her combat with Ripple after saying she got hit with three bullets. We then get a monologue from Koyuki saying that she still dreams of becoming a magical girl, insinuating that she doesn’t see herself as one right now?

And that’s what we’re left with. It’s obviously the end of one story, and the beginning of another. I’m not sure what Koyuki and Ripple are doing. We see a new Koyuki, who looks more determined and combative. I’m glad she has Ripple on her side, but I just have to wonder what they’redoing that Koyuki had to run away from home and drop school altogether for.

The ending wasn’t too satisfactory. There were details that still needed to be fleshed out, like the World of Magic. And I’m also not a fan of open-ended finales. I know there’s more story, but that just makes me more curious. So, how did I feel about this show?


Final Impression

I’ve seen all kinds of opinions of this show, but personally I still liked it. Of course I admitted near the end that I was getting a little frustrated with the show. I had wanted to know what was the point, the real point, of the Magical Girl Raising Project. Yes, I know it was a selection exam of some sort because the World of Magic needed talent. But what for? Are they raising an army? Are there terrifying forces out there? What exactly is the World of Magic anyway and how does it work? How big is it and who runs it? I got one answer from one question I asked last week: What was the point of making this exam a battle royale?

Cranberry and Fav were literally bored and bloodthirsty so they changed it. That’s it. I hate them. We’ve had characters like them before and they’re nothing special. I also want to know what kind of people are in the World of Magic to be 100% okay with this.

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But I was left wanting more. Especially with the very end with Snow and Ripple but I know that would mean making another season to continue the story, and that just means we’ll have to wait and see.

horriblesubs-mahou-shoujo-ikusei-keikaku-12-1080p-mkv0021When it comes to the plot, after all that we “learned” in the last episode, it was lacking. It started off fine. 16 girls having to compete against one another to continue being magical girls while the one that failed would have to quit. But then it’s revealed that they were killed. What started off as innocently gathering Magical Candies ended up turning into a battle to the death. The show started off sweet and lighthearted, but it quickly went dark in the second episode with its first death. It didn’t start off gory. For awhile it was mostly mind games and strategic moves that we saw, and it wasn’t until the show reached its halfway point that things started to turn sour. The fights were great to watch though the quality of them dipped after awhile and they became more rushed and anticlimactic. The show became a little predictable when they would insert a character’s backstory, only to have them killed off in that same episode. So when the show would do that again with another character, you knew what to expect. Still, there were some twists that had me shocked. The plot itself is simple and I was waiting for a big reveal at the end, so I was left a bit disappointed. It was a battle royal show, so you were bound to get frustrated anyway. One thing I did like were the connections, such as the girl who Snow helped who lost her key being Alice, and the little girl in the last dream Nemurin visited being Swim were twists that I liked.

horriblesubs-mahou-shoujo-ikusei-keikaku-08-1080p-mkv0036The characters are a hit or miss. Some had more love than others, and when it comes to our surviving girls, only Top Speed, La Pucelle, and Alice had an impact on them. Top Speed (the best one) was Ripple’s friend, and even now Ripple still wears her cape. Sou-chan and Alice were obviously very important to Snow so these three were really the only ones to have a lasting effect. As for everyone else, we got to know some more than others, but compared to the three I just listed, most of them aren’t very important. Sure some of us may have gotten attached to Sister Nana, Winterprison, etc. But if these girls had been replaced with other girls, it wouldn’t have made a difference to the story or the “main” characters. We learned their backstories and we even saw some flashbacks of some that were already killed, so at least some of them got depth. But some like Nemurin and Magicaloid got the short end of the stick, and we learned almost nothing about them. A lot of the good ones got killed and after awhile it got frustrating too. But because some characters were so likeable, you would really become absorbed into the show.

Studio Lerche took on this show, and they’ve also produced some shows I absolutely loved like Assassination Classroom and Gakkou Gurashi, another show that’s sort of similar to this one. Since I haven’t read the light novels and I don’t even know if there are translations of it around, I can’t say how they did with the adaptation. I know from some comments I’ve seen that they made some changes but I don’t know if it was for the better or worse. Animation itself looked fine. Sometimes in the fights it would look off, and while the art style itself isn’t my favorite, it still looked pretty nice. Music was fine as well, the opening was great, but the ending DREAMCATCHER by Nano was godly. It’s honestly one of my favorite anime endings I’ve heard, but really Nano is just a great band so it’s no surprise. Also, watching the ending of all the girls laying peacefully kind of breaks my heart, especially after this final episode. The lyrics of the song really get to me too.

The more I try to beat reality
The more I’m losing to the weakness in me escaping
I couldn’t see where the today would take me
Just waiting for tomorrow to ease the pain

I’ve heard many people say that this arc was the least interesting and that the story of Magical Girl Raising Project only gets much better. But will we get another season? I’m going to remain hopeful. Another dark magical girl show I really loved, Yuuki Yuuna is a Hero, is actually going to get a sequel covering events prior to the main story. That show ended almost exactly two years ago and it’s going to get its sequel sometime in 2017, and I’m so excited! So I’m going to believe that Magical Girl Raising Project will get another season and continue its story, because while this season had its problems that I’ve mentioned, I still really liked it (not as much as Yuuki Yuuna but still!). So let’s all be hopeful.

7/10

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Lostorage incited WIXOSS Episode 1: Memories / Front and Back [First Impression]

Are you ready for the suffering?

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Impression

Are you ready for the suffering? I guess the first matter to address is that you probably weren’t expecting me to put out a post on this. Nor did I initially have much interest in doing so – it’s supposed to be Berry who does WIXOSS, and I was perfectly content with just following the series and discussing it online. But Berry is a little short on time this season, and because I feel that this deserves blogging I decided to step in. Asenshi only released their version on Sunday anyway, so if you’re a particularly selective person and decided to wait for them, then from your perspective this post isn’t even that late! Hooray! I should be able to do weekends this season too – it would be a different story if this aired on Wednesdays. So unfortunately, instead of Berry’s insightful commentary you’ll have to put up with my waifu chat and regular best girl discussions. I’m not sorry at all.

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In terms of my familiarity with the franchise, I wouldn’t say I know a lot about it at all. I mean, I’ve diligently followed the first two seasons, and I remember doing a quick post when the first season first aired a few years ago, but given that I don’t know much about the plethora of other material that’s now out there (including a movie, several spin-off serialisations and an entire collectable card game) I’d say I’m only barely qualified to discuss this to the depth that I’d like to. I’m marginally acquainted with Peeping Analyze, and I want to watch the movie at some point, but that’s about it. I do have opinions though! Now’s not the best time to elaborate too much on them, but as far as a quick rundown is concerned – I loved the first season, thought the second one could have tied up its loose ends better (not least of all the stuff surrounding the town being destroyed and Ruu’s suspicious grandma) and haven’t seen the movie (yet). I think Ruu is very cute, I think Piruluk is cuter and Aki-lucky was my secret guilty pleasure. Hanayo did nothing wrong, and Chiyori was far too noisy for far too much of the time she spent on screen.

wixoss-1-img016All that… probably doesn’t matter, in all honesty. It’s not like Lostorage is unwatchable if you haven’t seen the two seasons of the original anime. Even after all this time I legitimately have not the slightest clue how WIXOSS is even played. I’m not joking. I know the aim is to destroy the opponent’s Life Cloth and that you grow your LRIGs and that there are SIGNI cards and that’s about it. I’m certain this was the intention of the creators too (speaking of creators, I don’t think Okada Mari is on this anymore) because if they’d spent precious airing time on explaining how the game works, the anime would have been nowhere near as good as it was. As I said two years ago during the first impression post, it’s not actually about card games. It’s about sinking cute girls into the depths of despair using a mechanism disguised as a card game. But anyway, given that Ruu basically solved everything where we last left off, I’m pretty sure this is a separate continuity or a completely different Selector battle entirely, and all we’ve seen so far with regards to the rules and the concept of coins and what’s at stake seems to confirm that. That, or it’s all Piruluk’s fault because for some reason she’s back.

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wixoss-1-img014If you put together everything you learn from the episode, you come to some interesting conclusions. For one, the LRIGs aren’t hiding anything from the Selectors this time – or at least, they don’t seem to be. Instead, everything’s been placed up front on the table and the Selectors are aware that it’s not some sort of benevolent opportunity. Yet at the same time, I’m getting this nagging feeling at the back of my mind that there is something Suzu has not been told, and that this something is going to ruin her. Unlike with Tama, Ril isn’t Suzu’s friend. She’s supposedly part of Suzu, but her relationship with her is more like an administrator of the Selector battles and an occasional guide who will help her past her initial stage of refusal and confusion. I’m already kind of biased against all LRIGs because of the Yuzuki and Hanayo thing during the original series (although as I mentioned above, I don’t think she did anything wrong given the position she was in) and so I simply can’t discard my wariness towards Ril.

It also seems like LRIGs themselves could be slightly different entities this time. Instead of being passed around between Selectors and battling to switch places with their owners in order to escape being a LRIG, a Selector’s LRIG in Lostorage seems to be a representation of the Selector created from a blank slate LRIG who reminds me of Mayu for some reason. In fact, the process Suzu went through when she first met that blank LRIG was very similar to what Yuzuki experienced when she first became an Eternal Girl. It’s all very unclear at the moment – are the LRIGs formed from detached aspects of the Selector’s personality? Is that why that random fodder guy who lost to Suzu this episode had such a shy and kind LRIG? You know, if I became a Selector and got a LRIG, I think she would be a cute loli. Just saying.

wixoss-1-img008It’s worth noting that Suzu’s dementia is already happening, and has happened. For every moment she spends not battling, her memories are being eroded. It’s not that a chunk of her memories gets carved away with the corrosion of one coin – it’s a gradual thing. The mere fact that so many coins turned black before her first Selector battle implies that something irreparable has happened to Suzu, and Ril’s words later on confirmed exactly that. I don’t know if you noticed, but ‘Suzu, ganba’ was not what Chinatsu said to Suzu in that flashback. She said ‘ganbatte’ instead. ‘Ganba’ is super cute, but it’s different. And I think that is really, really important, because it’s simply not what loli Chinatsu said. In other words, her memories have now been falsified. I’m pretty sure this isn’t just an oversight or something. Memories are basically the central theme of Lostorage, and here the implication is that after becoming a Selector, Suzu can no longer be sure that her memories are accurate – are what she thinks they are. And the worst thing is that she has absolutely no clue. I can already see it now. Suzu finally meets with her precious Chii-chan after so many years of being apart, but one or both of them no longer recognise each other or have twisted their memories of the other irreparably.

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wixoss-1-img018If there’s anything I can predict about this season of WIXOSS it’s that a happy ending is very unlikely. I don’t know about you, but thrusting estranged childhood friends together in a high-stakes supernatural card game in order to reverse your forced gradual onset of dementia doesn’t seem very cheerful to me. That opening scene of Suzu and Chinatsu playing together is probably the happiest this anime is ever going to get. I’m actually not sure what the plot twist this time will be, because I don’t think they’re going to be reusing the whole concept of successful Selectors being cruelly denied their wishes and turning into LRIGs – with the end of the OP showing all the Selectors inside cards, it’s almost as if they’re telling us that they know we know, and that as a result they won’t be trying that again.

At the same time, there is absolutely no way that everything will end happily ever after if all five of a Selector’s (very beautiful) coins turn gold. If you seriously entertained that thought for even a second, you haven’t watched the first two seasons properly. It’s a lose-lose situation for poor Suzu, we just don’t know exactly how she’ll despair the moment she thinks she’s won. If turning all coins gold really was a goal to aspire to, then why have that random draw at the start where your LRIG assigns you a number of coins to start off with? It’d make things ridiculously easy for some Selectors. And there’s not even an incentive like there was with the first Selector battoru – if you win you just get to leave with your life and memories intact, from how things currently seem. Nothing’s been mentioned about getting a wish granted or becoming an Eternal Girl, although I do accept that the threat of losing all your memories in itself is likely to be a good enough incentive to make you keep on participating.

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wixoss-1-img021Apart from the coin system, there have been some other changes as well. The most obvious of them is that there are now male Selectors, which further reinforces the idea that the Eternal Girl mechanism isn’t coming back. We won’t be getting YOBs any time soon, in other words. I know there are some who will be rather disgruntled by this, but I don’t really mind. Piruluk has lots of more important things to justify first, like why she’s doing what she’s doing (if it’s her fault at all). As for the new LRIGs, I’ll have to get used to them but they seem cute. I think Nanashi is an absolute semen demon, and I hope to see lots and lots of her especially if the Selector girl in her school ends up befriending her like the preview suggests. Mel is cute, Ril is cuter. Guzuko is a waste of a design, and I mean that in the best way possible. She’s great, but I just can’t see that dude being very relevant in the story at all, and so nothing good will happen to Guzuko nor will she be around for very long. If anything, they’ll be used as an example to show Suzu (and us) exactly what happens when your five coins all turn gold or black. Poor Guzuko.

Shit, this got quite long. But yes. I’m quite excited. It’ll be hard to properly compare this to the original two seasons until we’ve seen more of both the format of the current Selector battoru and the wider plot, but there seems to be lots of potential and lots of suffering. I don’t know whether I’ll ever come to like Suzu as much as I did Ruu, but only time will tell. Pick a best girl and a best LRIG, and let’s see whether either of them still have their smiles protected by the end of the series. If that’s even possible.

Possibility of Watching: Guaranteed
Possibility of Blogging: High

Kiss Him, Not Me Episode 1: A Prince with a Prince [First Impression]

When the anime adaptation of Watashi ga Motete Dousunda, or Kiss Him Not Me, was first announced I anticipated it would be difficult for it to be done justice. A controversial manga in itself Kissmotetedousunda8 Him Not Me succeeds by constantly throwing the story on its head. An otaku, specifically a fujoshi, finds out her favorite character dies in an anime and doesn’t eat for a week. Due to the trauma and stress Kae Serinuma loses all the excess weight on her and becomes one of the most attractive girls in the school. This premise sets up a lot of questions immediately: how will the anime handle the weight topic, are the guys only shallow, what message does it send to people who struggle with their weight?

That is why I think it is important I am covering this show. I read a good portion of the manga and while the anime’s beginning might deceive you, this show has no intention of forgetting that Kae was overweight and no intention of forgiving every love interest for their issues with her before she lost the weight. As long as the anime keeps the touch of the manga that it was written from, the show will be a much more interesting surprise than the summary alone gives.

this is the winner of the show

this is the winner of the show

I was worried from the start because shoujo anime tend to get weird adaptations. Orange changed a lot about the art style for some characters and had moments of genuine breath taking animation followed by some serious let downs. Kiss Him Not Me offers stunning animation and really good seiyuu work: hearing Kae freak out about yaoi in both her heavier self and her stereotypical shoujo self were absolute treats. What will sell you on this anime in the first episode has very little to do with what will come and all to do with the fact that Kae is one of the most relatable and interesting shoujo protagonists ever written. She’s nice, sure, she’s not mean to anyone, sure, but deep down her most defining feature is blogging about anime and obsessing over characters. (I am not self inserting here, nope!)

I give this anime my current recommendation both because I know what is coming and because what we already have is good. Even if you decide all the motetedousunda9guys who originally rejected her don’t deserve her there is still one OTP in the show that works the entire course: Asuma Mutsumi. Asuma knows it’s Kae immediately, barely notices she lost weight, and likes her either way just fine. So that being said if you hate the shallow characters just stick it out for how amazing both Kae and Asuma are. He literally has a scene where he comes to talk to her at the same time all the guys come to ask out her out, only he just came to borrow a book and gave in to peer pressure because he didn’t want to be left out.

Kae is my spirit animal. Join me, animu fangirls, we must unite in celebration. (Look, I owned a Makishima body pillow before. I buy custom plush dolls of everything. She is my spirit animal.)

Possibility of Watching: Yas plz, slay

Oki

Bernard-Jou Iwaku – Episode 1 [Miss Bernard Said] [First Impression]

Sawako Machida, aka “Miss Bernard”, likes to call herself an avid reader. However as her friend Endou-kun points out, someone who complains about the work it takes to actually read a book cannot call themselves an avid reader.

Sawako likes the concept of books more than she actually likes to read. She enjoys the feel of paper and the smell of the ink, and she muses about her bookwormish appearance when she’s reading – all of these are more important to her than reading the book itself.

Another girl in the library also notices these idiosyncrasies, and they piss her off. Her name is Shiori Kanbayashi, and today’s the day she decides to confront vlcsnap-00002Sawako. However she gets caught up in telling Sawako and Endou about the differences between different book revisions, and the episode devolves into a long monologue about book editions and translations.

At the end of the episode, Shiori is embarrassed at having gotten so off-track when she was supposed to be berating Sawako. Sawako asks Shiori if she actually reads these books whose covers and titles she adores, resulting in Shiori gettomg pissed and decking Sawako in the face. Pot calling the kettle black, no?

Miss Bernard Said is a cute short, I’ll give it that. And I really like the bits of trivia that are shown when the characters are discussing an important book. Most importantly I feel like I can relate to both Sawako and Shiori in terms of being a dedicated bibliophile (a person who collects or who has a great love of books).

The music’s relatively engaging, and I don’t have an issue with the style of animation. However Sawako’s voice is slightly irritating, and I’m not sure if the comedic value will be enough to fuel my interest in this show. I’ll give it three episodes for sure. It’s not often I see aspects of myself reflected in an anime character, and I feel like this short has the potential to be a really neat gag series. I’m definitely interested to see which famous literary works will be discussed by these characters, too.

P.S – anyone else enjoy the nod to Neon Genesis Evangelion?

Possibility of Watching: Moderate
Possibility of Blogging: Moderate

Brave Witches Episode 1: The Witch of Sasebo? [First Impression]

Hikari a cute.

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Impression

How fascinating. I haven’t been keeping up with the Strike Witches franchise ever since I watched the movie several years ago, so I was looking forward to finding out how they would handle this spin-off, especially since my traditional stance is that I’m quite averse to this sort of new production arising out of an existing series. My enjoyment of Strike Witches primarily derived from not the setting, but rather the cast of characters and my familiarity with them. You could make me watch Sky Girls or anything where humanity develops new technology powered by cute girls while under threat from an alien species impossible to communicate with, and it wouldn’t be the same because Erica or Sanya or Yoshika aren’t in any of those. So, like with Love Live Sunshine, you can imagine that my initial reaction wasn’t great the very first time I heard about this. I’m attached to the characters in the 501st, and all of a sudden there’s this new anime featuring girls who look awfully similar to those in the 501st but with changed personalities and edited designs. Apart from Not!Yoshika there’s a more serious version of Shirley, an untanned Lucchini, and so on. I think I can see Eila and Lynette in some of the others, too. That being said, the last time I reacted like this was with Sunshine, and over the summer I watched it nonetheless and fell in love with Aqours. I decided to therefore begin this with a different mindset – I’m not attached to any of these characters, but that may change in the future and the important thing is to keep an open mind for now.

bw-1-img003Not!Yoshika is a more fitting name for Hikari than I expected. I intended to use it in jest, but she really is not Yoshika yet a a lot like her. It’s probably the case that Hikari’s talent is buried a bit deeper in her than Yoshika’s was, possibly due to Hikari having lived in the shadow of her sister for her entire life. But both are energetic little girls from Not!Japan with short brown hair and cute tails who will end up somewhere in Europe in a Witch unit together with other girls from countries like Not!Germany, Not!Finland and Not!Russia. I actually really liked how they’re portraying Hikari as the underdog – it’s a nice change from Yoshika, who although was inexperienced had a habit of pulling miracles out of her panties. In contrast, Hikari is clumsy, is struggling to achieve as much as her sister and doesn’t particularly stand out in school. I’m sure she’ll still end up saving the day somehow when she’s with the 502nd, but the way that’ll happen may not be as we expect. Speaking of her school actually, I’m surprised Witch schools are a thing. As I understand, Brave Witches takes place around the same time as Strike Witches, right? That must be the case if Yoshika is with Sakamoto-san, but no-one from Fuso has ever heard of her – it means that all her achievements haven’t happened at this point. So schools existed, but they were never really featured in Strike Witches. It might just be because Yoshika got into the 501st through unorthodox means instead of properly enlisting into the military like Takami did.

bw-1-img006I also enjoyed the relationship between Hikari and Takami. You’d almost expect Hikari to be bitter about the disparity between her and her sister, but I’m glad there’s none of that sort of drama. Takami is also a nice girl, which is not what I’ve come to expect from series featuring a high-achieving onee-chan. I almost expected her to treat Hikari like Maho treated Miho, or like Teru still treats Saki. Both sisters are now heading to Europe, but they’ve made it unclear whether they’ll both join the 502nd – I’ve fallen out of touch with all sorts of Strike Witches-related content, so I have no idea. I do think it’ll be harder for Hikari to grow as a character if Takami is always around, however. A related issue I’m interested in is Takami’s age. As you might expect from a series like this, one of the significant characteristics of Witches they made sure to highlight in the original anime was that they lose their magic as they get older. Sakamoto Mio suffered from this exact problem as the anime progressed. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a mini-arc revolving around Takami and her magic deteriorating, which would explain why she’s only standing on the deck of a ship in the OP and not flying through the sky with Hikari.

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bw-1-img010I do have a small gripe with how Hikari even has this opportunity to be deployed to Europe in the first place – what can she possibly do there? She’ll do something major because she’s the protagonist, but what were the top brass thinking in asking for a single student to be deployed to Europe? And the school decided to select people by asking for ad-hoc volunteers? I can see that they do genuinely need reinforcements, which explains why Takami was immediately sent out so soon after returning to Fuso. But if they want to make a real difference, then either send all vaguely competent students or no students and find other girls. Hikari going to Europe almost feels like an exchange program in disguise. Oh, and for what it’s worth (because I doubt she will be very relevant) it was nice that Hikari sort of became friends with Misumi after saving her. I kind of expected Misumi to be less grateful than she was, so her thanks was a pleasant surprise.

bw-1-img005As you might expect, just like with its predecessor Brave Witches is likely to have a couple of lewd scenes. I loved the scar scene, and I’ve always been a fan of how the girls wear nothing but bloomers (which effectively function as panties) when putting on Striker Units. And you can stare at them all the time, because Gonzo went out of their way to animate lots of close-up shots (like with Perrine) and I’m sure Silver Link will do the same. At other times they look like they’re not wearing any because of the length of their other clothes or the camera angle at which they’re being depicted. Truly a work of art, this series is. I’m neutral about the kemonomimi ears and tails. They’re cute, but they’re not really my thing and so I don’t really care either way.

I hope to have the time to cover this. I can’t guarantee it, because Hibikek comes out on the same day and my love for that is greater than my love for this, not going to lie. But this is interesting, and the aerial combat scenes get really exhilarating so it’s worth a watch for sure. The animation quality is also noticeably higher now that almost a decade has passed since it first aired. I’ll have to see what my schedule is like on Wednesdays and see if I can fit in two posts a day, although at first blush that seems unlikely. Maybe I’ll defer posts to Thursday?

Possibility of Watching: Guaranteed
Possibility of Blogging: High

Hibike! Euphonium 2 Episode 1 [First Impression]

Yuri is the purest form of love.

Impression

I would like to remind you all that I’m going to marry Natsuki-senpai. You’re all cordially invited to the wedding. Yes, even Yuuko. I gave some thought to marrying Reina, but she’s already in a loving relationship with Kumiko. I wouldn’t want to intrude. Look at them h-holding hands! How lewd! Think of the children!

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It’s been about a year and a half since we were treated to this beautiful orchestra drama, right? It feels like a lot longer than that, especially since their last production was the unfortunate dud that was Phantom World. So in essence, Kyoani haven’t produced anything noteworthy since the first season of Hibikek! Yuriphonium. All is well, however! It’s now back, and hopefully gayer than ever. Strangely enough, it was an hour-long special, but who cares why it was so long? They have money! Whoever it was who said that money can buy a watch but not time was simply wrong. Kyoani can buy time. Kyoani finds a way. But remember, everything they’re doing now and have done over the past few years is essentially a gradual build-up to the moment when they proudly present their magnum opus, Violet Evergarden, next year. And then anime will be saved.

hibikek-img013Okay, I’m done with my obligatory Kyoani dick sucking. In all seriousness, this pilot episode was as good as I remember the first season being, if not even better. Although there were a few flashbacks (which they probably had the luxury to insert given the episode length) I felt like it was the kind of second season that you could jump right into without having to refresh yourself of the finer details beforehand. Even if the original season didn’t leave a big enough impression for you to remember what happened during it (in which case you weren’t watching it properly) it all almost immediately comes back from the way everyone acted and how much of a contrast that was to the very start of the story. Remember when there were so many beginners, and now the quality of their playing is such that even Team Monaka have gotten good? Remember when no-one had any motivation, and now random background characters are taking the initiative to practice by themselves even when the school is being closed and even when Taki-sensei is giving them a rare break?

hibikek-img048I’m not sure whether the overall indication is that things are getting better for Kitauji, however. Instead of motivational issues, there’s now something else that’s rearing its ugly head – the drama surrounding the current second-years was never properly alluded to in the first season, and the fallout from that is being re-ignited once more. It seems to have a lot to do with Nozomi, who was apparently a former flautist in the concert band. I assume she quit along with half of the other first-years (as they were at the time) who did, but there must have been more to her involvement than just that. Yoroizuka Mizore, who it seems has been elevated from being a generic background character to someone significant, was most likely okay up until now because Nozomi wasn’t around. All we can do is speculate at this point – but it’s interesting that all of the girls the current drama revolves around went to the same middle school. It’s also worth noting that Kumiko saw fear in Mizore when Yuuko told her about Nozomi wanting to return, which surprised me a bit as I only saw shock. As close as they seemed to be during that middle school flashback, it’s likely that Mizore wants nothing to do with Nozomi now – and actually, that flashback tells a lot about what the drama could potentially be about.

I want to be wrong – I love to be wrong when speculating, because that indicates that a series is being innovative enough to go against my expectations. But here’s what I’ve come up with for now. If Minami Middle School was at the standard of a top-tier, gold-winning school, it’s understandable that they would be disappointed about not getting the gold during that one year. It also makes sense for them to resolve to work extra hard and win gold once with their concert band in high school. My idea is that their problems all started with the fact that the high school they all went to was Kitauji and not a place like Rikka. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to learn that, when they arrived, they found a sub-par band which was not as prestigious or famous, with people who couldn’t really care less about going to Nationals or winning gold. And so they quit. If this is true, it would make Mizore one of the formerly frustrated girls who didn’t quit, and would explain the grudge she holds towards Nozomi for breaking their promise together, if any.

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hibikek-img042Under this scenario, Asuka would have many reasons to withhold her approval for Nozomi to rejoin. Aside from any issues as to her technical ability (of which I kind of doubt there are any) her presence could potentially cause a lot of havoc amongst the upper years that they really could do without for now. And there’d be a nagging feeling at the back of everyone’s minds that Nozomi only wants in on the bandwagon because Kitauji have won the prefectural competition and are going to the Kansai regionals. It doesn’t, however, explain fully why Mizore reacted like that when hearing Nozomi’s flute playing. If she wants to throw up, it sounds like there’s more to it all than just some regular drama, not least off all because she seems oblivious to everything that the band went through last season. It’s to do with Nozomi in particular. I guess one solution would be to have Nozomi play with Team Monaka, but I suspect Asuka is rejecting her out of principle more than anything else. Nozomi re-entering the club itself, even if she doesn’t play in the competition, is tantamount to her running away and successfully coming back afterwards. Asuka is most likely as enthusiastic as Reina about the idea of her doing that.

It’s good that new characters are being introduced, though. It’s great to see more of the band, the second-years especially. There’s still a lot of development to be had with them. Both Mizore and Nozomi are cute, but it’s hard to come to any conclusions about them as we hardly know a thing at this point. Nozomi is hotter, I think? There’s something about her that makes her really attractive, I’m not sure what it is.

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hibikek-img053Either way, as characters they can’t hold a candle to Natsuki-senpai or even Yuuko. By the way, is it just me, or does Yuuko actually have a really sexy voice when she’s not screaming like a whiny bitch? That sarcastic exchange between her and Reina was probably my favourite scene of the entire one-hour special. I wonder whether it was intentional to make her more erotic now that she’s a frenemy instead of an annoyance. I will admit that she’s growing on me slightly now, and if nothing else she’s an easy character to figure out because she always wears her heart on her sleeve. Certainly didn’t expect her to be as good friends with Mizore as she is – both her and Natsuki-senpai will be pretty involved this season if the drama revolves around Mizore and Nozomi purely due to the relationships the two have with them.

hibikek-img050Finally, I just wanted to say that Reina a cute! A CUTE! Anzai Chika really has the best voices. Who else thought that she would want to go up another mountain when she awkwardly invited Kumiko to the festival? As ever, it’s ridiculously hard to let go of the notion that all this is just yuri bait and that Reina is in love with Taki-sensei. I know she’s said it multiple times. I know that. But they’re sending incredibly mixed messages here you know – all the hand-holding, the snuggling into each other while sleeping, the intimacy and change of mood when it’s just them alone on the train after Hazuki and Midori have left. And the very moment Shuichi tries to get close to Kumiko, Reina blows him out of the water. It’s not just me, right? Someone tell me it’s not just me. It wasn’t as evident last season amidst all the drama, but Kumiko has been a good influence on Reina. She’s smiling more, and making friends with people other than just Kumiko. I liked the cold, indifferent Reina, but this Reina is cute too. I should also, of course, confirm that I will indeed be covering this as you might expect. Not just for Natsuki-senpai, and not just for more gay orchestra drama, but also because if Kyoani can put this much effort into it every week to the point that even their freaking sinks look real, the least I can do is to acknowledge that they did good. So, without further ado – you did good, guys. I don’t know why this was necessary, but I remember that button from the first season. It was almost as good as this sink.

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Possibility of Watching: Guaranteed
Possibility of Blogging: Guaranteed

Yuri!!! On Ice Episode 1: [The Grand Prix Final of Tears][First Impressions]

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vlcsnap-2016-10-06-12h33m17s039Aaaaah! It’s there! The show I was the more hyped about! When I first saw the trailer I thought “oh boi, this one looks awesome, better shotgun it“. And I don’t regret my choice! So let’s find out if Yuri!!! On Ice is worth all the hype that surrounds it.

What happens during this episode remains fairly simple and is some really basic expository stuff. Yuuri, our young hero does figure skating but is kind of losing every championship in participates in. Therefore he decides to stop doing competitions, takes a break and goes back to the familial Onsen for the first time in five years. After meeting with his family and relatives again, he goes to an Ice ring and stakes in front on his childhood friend, a girl whom he might have feelings for before. So Yuuri reproduces the choreography of his idol Victor Nikiforov, the really hot champion of everything. Without telling Yuuri, the kids of that girl post the video on youtube and it’s a hit, everyone sees it, even Victor who decides to go to Japan in order to train Yuuri, since he probably sees potential in this kiddo. So from now on, they’ll live together and there’s some high changes, the other Yuri (the angry one) will show up and the three of them will train together.

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Charibo’s first Impressions:

vlcsnap-2016-10-06-12h33m40s095OH MAMA THIS OPENING! It reminds me a bit of the Subete ga F ni Naru The Perfect Insider opening. Just a succession of dance moves but still, there’s something fascinating about it. The use of the instagram feed in the ending is quite inventive too. The songs used in the OP and ED are both really good but the OP one is the best. At least for me.

The animation is stellar, I think we can all agree on this one. I don’t really know how to describe the backgrounds but they look like a mix between traditional art and digital at the same time. AND THE FACES OF THE CHARACTERS! AAAHN! THEY ARE LOVELY! I mean his show is something else, everything in it is beautiful. At least for the moment, we’ll see if the same care and budget will be put in every episodes.

vlcsnap-2016-10-06-12h32m36s744The comedy is on point, the introduction of those chibi characters surprised me a bit. For the moment, all side characters, expect Victor and Yuri are used as comic reliefs but they remain attaching so I’m hoping their role will evolve later on.

Everything in this episode was very dynamic, which is why the figure skating performance at the middle of the episode had such an impact on me. After witnessing more than 12 minutes of characters constantly talking quickly, moving a lot and almost screaming, that figure skating scene was relaxing. I know nothing about Figure Skating in general so I can’t judge the quality of the performance but I do like to watch some performances, especially during the winter Olympics. Anyway, I liked it, that’s what matters. I do hope there’ll be a lot of those performances, but I fear once again, the show will take a more “Slice of Life” approach than a “Sports” one. A bit like Cheer Danshi!! and Free! for example. Now that I think of it, they all contain exclamations marks in their title… Coincidence? I think not.

vlcsnap-2016-10-06-12h40m52s031Yuuri is quite and in interesting character, he has a lot of contradictory feelings and sometimes does some stupid things without any reasons but heh, that’s what I call being normal. Especially the scene in the toilets when he called his family and lied to them in order to reassure them while trying to comfort himself at the same time. Without any success because even if you try, you can’t really fool yourself. I also liked the fact Yuri is a huge fanboy. Copying Victor’s skating moves, buying the same pet as his and naming it Victor, watching all his shows with stars in his eyes and having posters of him everywhere in his room. I can’t wait to see Victor and Yuuri interacting more, I bet there’s going to be a loooot of blushing, especially if Victor continues to do his little wink and smile… Yeah…
Speaking of Victor, sweet mother hell of bananas, he’s hot. It’s like everything about him is perfect, his looks, the way he treats his fans, his Figure skating performances and even his abs and butt… That’s why I’d like to see the guy in the private sphere, see his weaknesses and maybe the deconstruction of the myth.

So overall: Interesting main character, nice supporting cast, Gold Opening and Ending, amazing animation, what could go wrong?

vlcsnap-2016-10-06-12h41m43s158Well, let’s talk about Victor’s butt. Although I do appreciate butts once in a while, I’m a bit concerned about the nature of this show’s content. I’m almost sure there’ll be more “sexy” scenes like that. I don’t deal very well with Ecchi type of shows, I do enjoy fan service a bit but I grow quickly bored of it and I’m even pissed off if it’s used too often. So yeah, I’m a bit worried Yuri!!! on Ice will rely a bit too much on fan service. That’ll be a shame if they did, they have figure skating, no need for fan service when you are a show about such a cool sports!
Furthermore based on what I saw from the preview, Victor looks like the flirty type. And that’s fine by me, however, if the anime chose to go full “Shounen Ai” way, I want the show to assume it and develop a possible romance between the characters. Not just putting random awkward situations as a bait to attract a certain audience. In other words, if it’s gay, make it gayer.

Finally,+1 for having nipples Victor, that is a rare quality that not every bishounen has nowadays, props to you Vicky.

Natsume Yuujinchou Go Episode 1: [Unchanging Form][First Impressions]

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I’m quite a new addition to the Natsume fanbase so I did not have to wait for very long to get this fifth season. Indeed, it’s when I finished Natsume Yuujinchou Shi that the announcement for season five was made. So I did not wait very long but it did seem like five years to me. So of course I’m extremely happy to get the show back! It’s the perfect series to enjoy with a cup of tea, in your bed, under a huge pile of warm blankets, and that’s exactly what I’m doing right now.

At the beginning of the episode, Natsume whises to learn more about his grandmother Reiko. In town he sees a woman he knew when he was a kid and even if talking to her brings back some painful memories he decides to go and ask her if she knows something about his familly. We can clearly see that Natsume is still deeply affected by his childhood trauma but now, instead of keeping everything to himself hevlcsnap-2016-10-05-16h46m57s425 accepts to open his heart and to talk about his problems.

This episode also offered us anothershort story about yokais. This time, some sort of pot monster comes to Natsume, mistaking him for Reiko and asks him to return the thing he stole. After asking a few nice yokais, Natsume learns Reiko supposedly stole a doll from that yokai. Although Natsume and Nyan Goro don’t really believe Reiko would have stolen anything without a good reason, they go look after the doll. When the pot monster runs away in order to steal his treasure, Natsume is grabbed by a bigger yokai that somehow allows him to see his memories of Reiko. In that sort of flash back, Reiko mentions she met a guy who is nice with her, so I guess it’s probably the father of one of Natsume’s parent.
Finally, Natsume with the help of Touko and Nyan Goro manage to repair the doll and the pot monster is happy.

What made me laugh a bit was when Natsume talked about his treasures, he was envisioning,the Yuujinchou, his foster family and Tanuma. Yup, not his friends, not that girl whom I forgot the name but who can feel the yokais’ presence, nope, Tanuma, the one and only. I’d like to shout “AHN GAY!” but I’ve decided that for this series, I’ll behave myself. I have all the opportunities to make this kind of jokes with Gakuen Handsome. sans-titre-3

Charibo’s first Impressions:

vlcsnap-2016-10-05-16h42m25s791Wow, what a great first episode. It wasn’t great because it surprised me and ended on a giant cliffhanger that leaves you excited for the next episode but it was exactly what I’ve been hoping for. I wanted to get my Natsume Yuujinchou back, true to itself, without adding some unnecessary drama or other features.
I’m also super happy to see Natsume again <3. You can throw rocks at me for saying that but Natsume is clearly the nicest animu guy ever. If I had to pick one guy to be my "husbando" ( I really hate that term), that would be him, he's so realistically perfect that it hurts. He's such a nice guy that I couldn't dream of a nicest personality, and yes, I prefer the nice guy over all your tsunderes, kuudere and other guys with some issues. ALL HAIL NICE GUYS!

The opening and ending are both really nice songs, they are quite relaxing so it fits the show perfectly. The opening in particular reused the same elements than all the previous ones, Natsume riding on Nyan Goro’s back, a shot putting Reiko and Natsume back to back, the nice yokais doing nice youkai things and finally Natsume’s friends putting on a nice and welcoming face. As for the sound, I recognized some tracks of the mythic tracks of the show that were used in this episode.

vlcsnap-2016-10-05-16h42m20s663I would really like the show to take the “trying to discover more things about my past” route. I’d like to know more about Reiko but also about Natsume’s parents and I have the feeling that by doing this search, Natsume will probably continue to heal his own wounds. So that’s a win-win situation. Also, maybe by knowing his grandmother better, he will manage to differentiate himself from her. Since everyone, both yokais and humans do not make any difference between him and his grandmother, maybe knowing her past will help him do so.

The last frame of the opening shows the Yuujinchou, which is a bit dirty, being left off on a table as Natsume goes to meet with his friends. It can indicates that in this season we will witness the beginning of the end of Natsume’s job. Now, he has his friends so he doesn’t really need the book of friends anymore. We’ll see, we’ll see…

There’s a lot of elements that make me believe the show wanted to give an impression of continuity, to serve the fans the same old recipe that everyone loves without changing anything. It’s like the long break did not affect the show and that nothing as changed. It’s even funnier when you know the title of the episode is [Unchanging form]. Natsume Yuujinchou has truly returned, unchanged but still as good as ever.

Also dat blushing Natsume: 10/10

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Watching: You bet I will!

Covering: I’ll try a bit