Summer 2015 Season Wrap, Part 3

I completely lied to you. There’s no way I’m writing about 9 different shows in this post. Please expect just one more after this one, promise!

  • Joukamachi no Dandelion
  • Junjou Romantica 3
  • Rokka no Yuusha
  • Durarara!!x2 Ten
  • Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya 2wei Herz!

Joukamachi no Dandelion

Though simple in concept and conventional in most parts, Joukamachi no Dandelion still pleased with its good hearted characters and clear direction. The Dandelion family is Royal, though you wouldn’t really expect it upon meeting any one of them in the normal, every day encounters. They look and act for the most part like normal citizens, except for those random powers of theirs! Unique to the royals are their individual abilities that range from gravity manipulation to teleportation. There are even weirder ones like the ability to communicate with objects and creatures other than humans, and self-duplication. Instead of the expected violent tussle for the crown, this family cares for one another and opts to hold an election. This combination of monarchy and democracy is odd and completely unrealistic in real life, but it works really well here for the story. Being the fantasy that it is, my belief is already suspended–the stretch to a democratic monarchy wasn’t all that difficult to include.

The episodes follow a predictable format that focuses on one or two of the siblings in their pursuit, or lack of it, for the public’s approval. There is a clear favorite in Akari, the middle child with a crippling fear of publicity and lovable twin tails. Her constant whining about the cameras placed around town and the family’s required appearances gets tiring fast, but I still can’t help but like her desire to help others. That fan club is gold! Each of the siblings share their parts of strengths and weaknesses, and I was surprised that even the youngest members received the time they did. The ending was not quite what I had predicted, but I wasn’t all together surprised after we received their parents’ back story. Rating: 0 dango

Junjou Romantica 3

I must admit that this Junjou Romantica sequel did not earn my full attention. I only felt prompted to watch it in the background as accompaniment to cooking, or proofing work. When I did try to focus, I found the interactions incredibly awkward, even creepy at times, and the plot meaningless. Very little of the emotions resonated with me, yet I clung on in hopes of a revival of the silly spirit I had experienced with the previous seasons. Watching this made me actually start to doubt myself–maybe the prequels weren’t actually that different, and it was just my own expectations that had changed. I can’t really tell without going back and re-experiencing them, and this addition did nothing to bring back my former affections.

The 2 or 3 relationships we witness are already in motion, with none of the single pining or uncertain dating. There are two previous seasons and a couple specials pre-dating this third season, but I had forgotten much of what had occurred in the past, so the jump directly into the dramas of already established relationships was a rough one. I would suggest sampling the first two series before attempting this third. Rating: 0 dango

Rokka no Yuusha

I nearly dropped this show after the first episode since I found it reminded me of other recently aired fantasies with shitty stories, shallow characters, and uninspired art and animation. Even after a few episodes, I wasn’t fully hooked–the bunny girl’s appearance had zero explanation or relevance, and the overall cast had flat personalities. Once our heroes made it to the temple, I became intrigued in the mystery of the extra hero/impostor. I figured the confusion would be cleared up in a few weeks, but the twists kept coming. The entire rest of the show was dedicated to clearing Adlet Myers’ nameand determining the seventh hero. A part of me was afraid we’d spend the episodes inside the temple, but I didn’t even suspect we’d never make it out the barrier and on to the land of the demons. Instead of a fantasy adventure, this was a full blown mystery thriller.

What worked so well for this series once the genre was clear was that I never knew who to blame. None of the heroes were very likable, not even the protagonist. The show did a great job of shifting my suspicion to whomever it wanted. As soon as I was almost certain, I would be proven wrong. Not even the ending was safe–after a seeming perfect answer, we were once again thrown to the start of all our theorizing. I really hope to get a sequel as they finally move into fresh hostile territory, since we now have both the reborn mystery and Flamie’s half-demon heritage in play. Rating: 1 dango

Durarara!!x2 Ten

Somehow over the course of these seasons, Durarara!! went from trendy and clever to faded and predictable. I was never a fan to begin with–I begrudged its existence in place of a Baccano! continuation. A key set of characters saved the series from my complete disdain; however, time and old material stagnated what made many of them memorable. On top of previous liked characters losing place in my heart, the constant influx of new cast members made it almost overwhelming to remember the most frequent, much less all of them, for their personalities and factions. The depressing feeling I got was that the series didn’t even really care about the cast–they could almost be pure filler for the show’s love affair with Lady Tokyo and all her fickle desires.

The even more annoying rub is that this second part to a second season isn’t the last. Trilogies have extended from our movie theaters to our season anime. There are some shows suitable for this broken structure, but Durarara!! isn’t one of them. Airing parts of seasons: “Ten” “Shou,” “Ken,” just puts me in mind of a stammering speech uncertain and impractical. Rating: 0 dango

Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya 2wei Herz!

The second part of the second season draws to a close, and instead of the conclusion I had desired, we have a third season on the horizon ready to slap the faces of our girls who have more than earned their rest. I’ve been a fan of Prisma Illya from its first episode, even preferring it many a time to the redone series FS/N which took itself much too seriously. The Tohsaka Rin of this magical girl rendition is pure gold, and Illya here lives a delightfully full life with friends and family surrounding her in ways she was never able to really experience in the main series.

In this continuation, we face the curious addition of another Servant card that should not exist. We’ve been with them through the collection of the rest, yet somehow a new one, much more powerful than any other, defies capture. I could anticipate its identity, so was disappointed being proven correct. Surprising was the almost chibi display of Gilgamesh–his good looks could almost pass as a romantic interest for Illya if not for his thorough corruption, or her eternal yuri pairings. Then there was Miyu’s big reveal as a traveler across parallel worlds. Again, I anticipated the truth given the many hints the series bashed us with over the previous episodes. Her parallels to Illya’s and Shirou’s lives in FS/N are almost a perfect melding of both misfortunes. We didn’t delve too deep into her past, but I’m certain the bulk of 3rei!! will focus on Miyu. Rating: 1 dango

*Rating system:

  • 0 dango – average and forgettable.
  • 1 dango – very good in its category.
  • 2 dango – excellent show that is worth a try.
  • 3 dango – exceptional show one must watch.

4 thoughts on “Summer 2015 Season Wrap, Part 3

  1. I liked Dandelion as well, and thought they did a really good job formatting it with the short stories within continuity. Having the clean breaks on things helped keep the stories clear, but you could tell it was still connected. I was worried at the beginning that Akane’s obsessive worry about the cameras would make the show unwatchable, but they barely kept it in check enough to make sure it didn’t ruin the show. Personally, I liked Aoi’s and Kanade’s shifts through the series, especially Aoi’s storyline where they inverted the “We’ll always be your friend” concept. I liked that twist on the “other characters hanging around the anime main character”, with Aoi worried that her friends were moving on from her and reflecting on whether she needed to change.

    Rokka no Yuusha was a bit of a different story. I never got into the ‘mystery’. It seemed to me like it was just a tease the whole way, and they decided to end it just by pulling something out of their butt when everyone else was “exonerated”, which meant just convincing Adlet. I mean, what would they have done had Nachetania come up with some alibi that couldn’t be checked, just like every other character, instead of folding and admitting it? Look, back to square one again. I liked a lot of the characters, and having them do something different could have been a fun and exciting show. But the weak tea ‘mystery’ was a waste of the characters, and having them bumble around in the fog for 10 episodes was very disappointing.

    Durrrrrrrrr for me is something that lives or dies on the characters that are being talked about: Mikado and Izaya, and now Aoba, are all screen poison. Mikado’s self-serving whinging about his purpose and all is just intolerable. And I just don’t like that Izaya is always the guy on top, always the guy 5 steps ahead of everyone else. It’s just too convenient (much like Gilgamesh in Fate stuff). The parts I liked this series were actually the mob parts, which is weird because usually I don’t like that. But those stories were pulled off well. Unfortunately, it looks like the continuation is going to be mostly Blue Square / Yellow Scarf crap.

    And Prisma Illya I feel much the same way about as you: It’s the best incarnation of anything related to Fate or Type-Moon. So much better than the tedious F/SN UBW anime, and I only got 3 episodes in to Fate/Zero before I turned it off for being interminable. I liked Rin more in the UBW series, but that’s because she was more of a main character, but I think that they really did well with Illya, Kuro, and Miyu this series. Perhaps there was a bit too much of Tatsuko tho. She’s a character that wears out fast.

    Thanks for more, and I’ll be waiting to see the rest!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aoi’s character really was a gem for Dandelion, and as much as I liked her, I was glad the show didn’t put too much spotlight on her as a character because it would’ve probably skewed the balance of the series. I would’ve hands down wanted her as the ruler given her refusal to exercise her power of absolute obedience.

      I can definitely see what you’re saying about Rokka no Yuusha’s tease–I certainly felt surprised and disgruntled at the end of each episode and we still didn’t move forward. Though, even if Nachetanya didn’t openly admit her guilt, I found the evidence stacked against her enough to hand down judgement. Weren’t the hidden tablets and Adlet’s realization about her sending him first into the temple and her later stabbing the tablet enough? I also found her statement about Flamie appealing to his need to protect odd since she perfectly fills that role herself.

      Unless the season is completely dry, I’ll likely skip the continuation to Durarara!! when it airs.

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      • Well, I have to admit that a lot of my thoughts were tuning out when they were talking about the broken tablet. I couldn’t see how Nachetania had anything to do with the tablets being hidden, they seemed like spares that were there to be used. And using her sending him to the temple as evidence against her just felt like a post-hoc justification, since it was an entirely consistent action with what she’d done before.

        I also found it hard to believe the things anyone was saying after they talked about how awesome the Saint of Seals was, yet Adlet managed to “open” the door using, essentially, a firecracker. And it didn’t even blow up the stone of the door, it just broke this supposedly great seal? It just felt like too much conspiracy and making stuff up.

        I could see Durrrrr going in a great direction, and I can see it going in a terrible direction. And it’s interesting that how people interpret the direction is entirely based on which characters they follow.

        Liked by 1 person

      • The firecracker entrance was definitely extremely odd to me, for the same reason you give about the Saint of Seals. I shrugged it off fairly quickly, but never felt right about it. I’m not in tune with disc sales or manga sales, so have no clue what the chances are for this getting a sequel, but I would definitely be down for a continuation. It only feels right to finally see some forward movement after being stuck for so long in the one place!🙂

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