Winter 2016 Set Menu

It feels like the start of 2016 has been a mad rush of post-holiday preparations, with people jumping on resolutions and starting projects they should’ve begun before the festivities. With all of our new winter shows finally out, below are the ones that I’ve decided to stick with for now–as you know, the list is subject to changes. I’m always more than happy to try out something new recommended by a reader. This season is one heck of an addition to my plate since there are so many more pleasurable surprises than originally expected from glancing at the line-up. This just validates me giving at least every one of the new releases a try, no matter how much I think I’ll hate it.

  • Musaigen no Phantom World
  • Prince of Stride: Alternative
  • Boku dake ga Inai Machi
  • Gate: Jieitai Kanochi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri – Enryuu-hen
  • Bubuki Buranki
  • Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu
  • Dimension W
  • Hai to Gensou no Grimgar
  • Akagami no Shirayuki-hime 2nd Season
  • Ao no Kanata no Four Rhythm
  • Dagashi Kashi
  • Ojisan to Marshmallow
  • Nijiiro Days
  • Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo!
  • Shoujo-tachi wa Kouya wo Mezasu
  • Tabi Machi Late Show
  • Durarara!!x2 Ketsu

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Aria the Avvenire OVA 1: Bittersweet Reunion

Earlier last year, the second-to-best announcement I could have hoped for was made: an OVA for my favorite anime series of all time would be produced. Then came even better news! We would receive three OVAs in the Avvenire story line. The only way they could have improved my already sunny mood would be to announce a full season.

But then, I forgot all about it. My excitement lasted all of a month, then vanished in the face of an already full plate. I was reminded once again of Avvenire with the release of the first OVA, “For You, Whom I Longed to Meet.”

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Fall 2015 Season Wrap

Happy 2016, Year of the Monkey! The 2015 anime season ended on an exhaustively long, yet exhilarating run, launching us into a new year full of hopeful anticipation. I completed 14 shows this fall, and retained 6 ongoing series. It was a whirlwind, so hop on and let me know what you thought of both this past season and the year as a whole. Cheers!

  • Gakusen Toshi Asterisk
  • Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry
  • One Punch Man
  • Kekkai Sensen
  • Subete ga F ni Naru: The Perfect Insider
  • Owari no Seraph: Nagoya Kessen-hen
  • Working!!! Lord of the Takanashi
  • Onsen Yousei Hakone-chan
  • Noragami Aragoto
  • Sakurako-san no Ashimoto ni wa Shitai ga Umatteiru
  • Ushio to Tora (TV)
  • Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka??
  • Starmyu
  • Owarimonogatari

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12 Days of Anime – [1] One Punch Man

Superheroes have been a hot topic for several years now, from the U.S.’s several comics turned films, to the various superhero anime series in recent seasons. For the most part, they’ve all been predictable in format and body, and based off of One Punch Man’s promotional artwork, I assumed it, too, would follow suit. The first episode very quickly proved the OPM would be a conversation starter for weeks to come.

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2015 Anime Secret Santa – Omoide no Marnie

My last of the three Secret Santa recommendations, Omoide no Marnie (or, When Marnie Was There) is a Studio Ghibli film detailing the story of a young girl who leaves the city for the country and stumbles across a very special mansion. Directed by Yonebayashi Hiromasa, who also directed the lovely Karigurashi no Arietti, Marnie has a distinctly melancholic air. The protagonist’s ever expressionless face and the still waters that surround the Marsh House smother the viewer. When it seems like the somber atmosphere might spread, we are instead refreshed by the brightness of the Oiwa family and magical encounters with Marnie. Like Anna, we are tossed back and forth between reality and the inexplicable, with each trade resulting in livelier and more colorful reactions.

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2015 Anime Secret Santa – Tamako Love Story

“The present will always be different from the past. That’s what makes life good and at the same time sad. That sadness in turn gives our everyday life some flavor. Just like coffee.” -Yaobi Kunio

“How bitter! Milk, please!” -Kitashirakawa Tamako

As much as I adored the television series, Tamako Market, I could not deny the many flaws the show maintained to the end: Dera and the royals, the stagnant relationship between Tamako and Mochizou, and the death of Tamako’s mother. The main attraction of the show was the daily life of Tamako and her friends in and around her neighborhood market, yet the other three factors kept popping up fighting for attention. The most out of place of them all was Dera, the single supernatural addition to TM. Tamako Love Story removes the magic and focuses in on the two aspects I care most about–the love, and the future.

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12 Days of Anime – [2] Hibike! Euphonium

The audition: terrifying, exhilarating, and honest. You face the judges, but most of all, you face yourself–your progress and shortcomings. Most musicians undergo countless number of auditions. I auditioned in high school, several times in college, and in competition. In Hibike! Euphonium, Reina and Kaori must audition for the solo part for their band’s competition performance. The first trial is closed, with student and instructor alone behind the door. With the rumors that crop up after Reina’s win, a second trial is then held on stage before the entire group.

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2015 Anime Secret Santa – No Game No Life

For the first year, Anime B&B is participating in Reverse Thieves’ Anime Secret Santa project. Traditionally, each participant receives another member’s name, Twitter/blog link, and full anime list, and must recommend three different single-cours shows, specials, or movies to be watched and reviewed by Christmas Eve. Once you receive your own Secret Santa picks, you must watch at least one of them—you need not apply yourself to all three. Then when Christmas Day rolls around, you find out the name of your Santa.

My gifts this year were all wonderful choices, and particularly well thought out due to my already heavy schedule. The only series was a short twelve episodes, while the other two were movies. All were works I had already had my eyes on, but for some reason or another had not yet begun. Given my attraction to all three and the ease of adding them into my line-up, I’ll be reviewing each of them in separate posts.

  • No Game No Life
  • Omoide no Marnie
  • Tamako Love Story

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12 Days of Anime – [4] Kekkai Sensen

Burger, please?

Only the second of Matsumoto Rie’s head director series, Kekkai Sensen (or Blood Blockade Battlefront) danced onto the stage with flair. The setting, style, script, and music all contributed to an alluring world between life and hell. Of the many episodic stories told in this too-short series, the one featuring the unexpected friendship between Leo and Nej over a mutual love for Jack & Rocket’s hamburger stayed with me the most.

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