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

Gakusen Toshi Asterisk

Yes, I really am starting here, not only because I finished it first, but also because I’d like to get the tasteless out of the way as soon as possible. I’m really not sure why I stuck with this show, other than a slight interest in the opening scene featuring a girl and a weapon. Unfortunately, she doesn’t show up again for the rest of the series and we are instead saddled with her younger brother whose name I have a difficult time remembering.

From the opening introduction of Ayato and Julis, I repeatedly found myself distracted by poor production quality in plot, characters, art, and animation. Strangely enough, the music, alone, redeemed itself in a tasteful ending. It felt as if no one really cared about the cohesion of all the pieces. Scenes popped in and out disjointed from one another and the overall story and characters formed bonds with no development actually being shown to the viewer. The fights were flashy and the weapons mildly interesting, but a lack of theory and proper execution hacked away at any sense of reality.

Rating: 0 dango

Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry

The doppelganger of Asterisk, Cavalry follows almost the exact same format of story, setting, tone, and characters. And like the other, I could never really remember any of the names of the cast–I frequently confused the two with one another, even to the end. Dull male (except in battle) pairs up with a fiery (literally) tsundere at a high school centered on magical battles and aims to dominate a tournament between students of different schools. We don’t need names of characters or schools since everything is just rinse and repeat!

Okay, to be less cynical, this show was bad, but not so bad that I would drop it. I wanted to see Ikki one-up his jerk of a father, and I thought it was nice for him to have supporting friends after a childhood devoid of compassion. Although his romance with Stella came out of nowhere and had all the depth of a kiddy pool, I always wish the joy of love for others. I very likely will not be on board for a sequel whenever it airs, but I’m sure it will be just as predictable as this season was.

Rating: 0 dango

One Punch Man

Having stolen the #1 slot in my 2015 12 Days of Anime, One Punch Man strutted its style and substance across the screen and my affections. I welcome any imitations that may arise over the following years–the best form of flattery. Maybe others will do even better, or maybe they’ll just highlight everything that OPM did extremely well. From its lead characters to its setting and dialogue, the anime took a popular genre and played on its conventions in creative and memorable ways. I mostly discussed the main characters, Saitama and Genos, in my 12 Days post, and didn’t touch upon the other areas. But I do want to call attention to the Hero Association and its questionable Hero Rating system.

I found it interesting that though we were shown Saitama’s physical exam, we were never shown in detail his verbal test; we are just informed that his poor rating in one eclipsed his record-setting rating in the other enough to knock him down to C status. Genos, in turn, immediately receives an S rank due to high scores in both areas–yet he, and we, can attest to the fact of Saitama’s superiority in field. Even after many following battles demonstrate Saitama’s unlimited abilities, he only makes incremental movements upward in the system. As the manga is still ongoing and this anime season did not address the mysteries of Metal Knight and Amai Mask, I’m certain we’ll receive a continuation.

Rating: 2 dango

Kekkai Sensen

Another entry for my 2015 12 Days, Kekkai Sensen (or Blood Blockade Battlefront) was hands down the most stylish show of the year. My approval of this show was strong enough to almost completely forgive them not making their expected air date for the last episode. So here it is, now, in my fall round-up instead of summer’s covered in tears, snot, and slight bewilderment.

If I told you I totally understood the show’s ending, I’d be a liar. From what I remember of the penultimate episode compared to the first half of the last, I am nonplussed on how in the world Leo escaped alive and somehow still saved the world. Boredom on Femt’s part, perhaps, but it comes across as awfully convenient. The following lead-up of Leo’s confrontation of the King of Despair reunited us with the Libra members whom I had semi-forgotten in the three-month wait to this finale. If the last episode had aired on schedule with the rest of the season, I probably would have found the greetings overly long and cheesy, so here’s one area at least where the delay helped my interpretation of events.

Rating: 2 dango

Subete ga F ni Naru: The Perfect Insider

My feelings on Subete ga F ni Naru are mixed–on one hand, I was quickly enthralled in the thrilling mysteries of the seemingly closed complex murders and Dr. Magata’s strange life and, on the other hand, I frequently tired at the drawn-out dialogue between Saikawa-sensei and Moe and at Magata Shiki’s preaching. I frequently struggled between boredom and irritation in each episode. The one area in which I found Subete ga F ni Naru continually impressed were its demonstrations of human emotions, namely through Nishinosono Moe.

For the majority of the series, I thought the relationship between Moe and Saikawa odd. Other than the connection of her father, I didn’t understand how two such seemingly different people kept connected. The two reminded me of those couples where one person puts in all the effort and the other just accepts without any return of action or heart. It took multiple almost yawn-inducing conversations between them for me to start picking up on Saikawa’s muted ways of showing his feelings. Moe stands completely opposite him with an open heart and mind; she is just the type of girl I’d want to befriend with her sharp wit and honest interactions. I can see why “Magata” took such an interest in her during the interview and why Saikawa goes along with her whims.

Rating: 1 dango

Owari no Seraph: Nagoya Kessen-hen

NOT ANOTHER ONE!!!!!!!! ACKKK!!! And here I thought Seraph would wrap up in this second season…

Regardless of my irritation, I’ll likely sign-up for subsequent installments since hardly anything found resolution by the end of the the battle for Nagoya. In fact, even more threads grew from the already tangled nest of lines: Guren’s dual identities and similarity to Yuu; the angels of the apocalypse in Yuu, Mirai, and likely others; Hiiragi Kureto’s motivations and intentions for seeking control of the Seraph of the End; Mitsuba’s sister Aoi and her bond to Kureto; vampire politics and Krul’s deal with Hiiragi Mahiru; and the list goes on.

On top of the never-ending directions and sequels, another source of irritation was the change in Shinoa’s character. She was the sole reason I stuck with the first season and moved on to this second one. Yet the writers saw fit to suck her dry of her sly humor and mischief and turn her into a wet nurse for Yuu and wet blanket on the team. Come back to me, Shinoa-dear!

Rating: 0 dango

Working!!! Lord of the Takanashi

Like with Kekkai Sensen, Lord of Takanashi makes it onto this list with its single episode wrapping up the events of the main series. As a standalone episode, there’s obviously a strangeness in trying to reconnect with all the characters; however, the ease of immersing myself into this sitcom is much easier than when I attempted to get back into the correct frame of mind for Kekkai Sensen. The comedy was solid as usual, and with our matured (a bit) characters and developing relationships, this final episode was exactly what I needed to wrap up Working!!! Never mind that I actually believed the initial teaser that this would be some fantastical RPG adventure😉

Rating: 1 dango

Onsen Yousei Hakone-chan

With the trend in super-short duration series, I’ve found my lists these past couple of years littered with two to three per season. Thankfully, I only had one this time around with Hakone-chan, and adorable hot spring spirit hailing back to the Edo period. Her most commonly seen form is what you see above, that of a little girl. But when she channels the full strength of the spring, she suddenly transforms into an adult version of herself. The three-minute episodes follow mostly an episodic format with individual cuts in the lives of Hakone and the modern-era humans whom she befriends. It’s only really at the end where a couple episodes here and there connect in an attempt of closure for the fall season. Hakone-chan was altogether forgettable, but in a childhood daydream kind of way.

Rating: 0 dango

Noragami Aragoto

The second season of Noragami surprised me in airing as soon as it did; I had no idea the show had enough backing to continue only a little over a year later. The first season was for the most part lighthearted, with only a couple of serious subplots added in for substance in each half of the show.

Aragoto took notes from its predecessor and immediately confronted the strained relationship between Yato and Bishamon. Instead of focusing more on our main god to explain the reason for their enmity, we were instead treated to a delightful background exploration and present conspiracy revolving on Bishamon the War God. Everything we learned about regalias through Yukine from the first season came into great use when evaluating the huge numbers in Bishamon’s house. The danger of just one regalia gone astray magnifies untold amounts with larger households, and Bishamon struggles with health and pride to maintain appearances. She was a fascinating character to get behind and the perfect place to open the sequel.

Then the second half of Aragoto took the burdens of godhood several more steps by questioning Yato’s identity, in turn questioning the importance of each god’s individual reincarnation. Yato and Ebisu pushed off beautifully from one another. I would like to see more of this world and further test Hiyori’s connection to it.

Rating: 1 dango

Sakurako-san no Ashimoto ni wa Shitai ga Umatteiru

Beautiful characters, bones, and mysteries came together in Sakurako-san in a manner most intriguing to this blogger. I’m certain there’s much more to come for this series given the revealed mastermind behind many of Sakurako’s discoveries and that final scene post closing credits. The show may have ended on a hopeful note with Shoutarou’s declaration of continued friendship, but I’m betting a sequel will bring Sakurako’s fears to light.

I actually thought this series would have more of an overarching conflict apparent right from the beginning. The deceptively episodic nature of Sakurako and Shoutarou’s findings didn’t bother me in the least–it just wasn’t what I had expected. But my early assumptions finally found fruit once Sakurako started piecing together the past several incidents into one disturbing trend. I’ve always been a fan of eerie, uncanny settings and events, and I’m wishing that any continuation will bring more horror along with it.

Rating: 1 dango

Ushio to Tora (TV)

Ushio to Tora leaped onto my list two seasons ago full of a youthful energy that reminded me a bit of my beloved HxH series. Japanese folklore? Check. Promised adventure? Check. It didn’t take long for me to invest myself in Ushio and Tora’s strange relationship and the ensuing battles against other youkai. I am not at all familiar with the source material or the OVAs from the early 90s, but I was curious about the strange power of the spear and its origins.

With the early episodes, I didn’t tune in regularly each week since the tone was still light and full of cheesy banter between characters we were just starting to get to know. But as stakes were raised and goals were set–finding Ushio’s mother, learning about Hakumen no Mono–I started to push Ushio to Tora higher and higher on my priority list. I particularly enjoyed the various female characters, like Ushio’s close friends Mayuko and Asako, as well as the main villain who most frequently appeared as a fox-eyed woman. Each played her part in revealing Ushio’s many weaknesses, as well as his unlimited potential.

I’ll see you next spring, Tora!

Rating: 1 dango

Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka??

Is anyone else with me in hoping to see Chino travel to Cocoa’s home for a brief visit? The first season of GochiUsa was an immediate hit in my books, and picking up this sequel was a given. What differentiated this season from the previous was that we focused a lot more on the younger generation of Chino and her elementary school friends, Maya and Megu. There was still plenty of screen time for my favorite trio of Rabbit House, but I was very happy that this season wasn’t just a rinse and repeat of the original.

The series ended on a note that really aligned with my own holiday season–Chino found a hobby in photography, and spent the last couple of episodes flitting around taking pictures of her surroundings. I, too, spent the majority of my Christmas in New York playing with the new Sony camera KWoo gifted me shortly before our trip. While I do enjoy the goofier type of posed shots of which Cocoa is so fond, I much prefer cameo shots like what Chino was attempting to capture for Mocha. This is actually also how I chose my wedding photographer, someone who prides himself on cameo and photo-journalistic shots. I love photos that tell stories even at just a glance.

Rating: 1 dango

Starmyu

This all-male cast show could honestly have been instead all females, and it wouldn’t have made a difference. It would’ve instead been more appropriate since I cannot even begin to imagine real human guys talking to each other the way Hoshitani and his friends do in every episode. Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like there’s been a dry spell for guy-centric series–other decent recent examples include Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu LOVE!, which worked much better with its aims, as well as Kimi to Boku., which similarly suffered from dialogue better suited for the opposite sex. It’s not that I think guys shouldn’t talk the way these shows portray; I just never, ever hear genuine examples of it.

Regardless, I did enjoy Starmyu from start to finish since it exceeded the expectations I had for it. I’m usually a big fan of the fine arts settings, particularly featuring music. UtaPri was a pretty big disappointment when it first aired, and I was scared I would think the same of Starmyu. Happily, the cheese factor only overwhelmed me during the short musical moments–the rest of the time, I was invested in seeing Otori’s team prove their determination and skills on stage.

Rating: 0 dango

Owarimonogatari

Owarimonogatari very nearly got dropped due to my own negligence and distaste for a couple of its prequels. Thankfully, due to the flattering comments I read by fellow bloggers, I kept it on the list and charged past my initial two-episode stall and finished the show last of all my fall series. I am so, so glad I kept with it, because Owarimonogatari was solid in story, characters, and dialogue.

My biggest beef with almost all of the individual series in the Monogatari Series are its inclinations for over-complicated discourse and visual symbolism, both of which in moderation are also its strengths. I always find myself teetering on fascination and boredom, and have fallen asleep at least once per season. Then there’s the sexualized nature of almost all of Araragi’s encounters with his 99.9%-female cast members. Most of the time, I find them extremely comfortable. Pretty much the only times where I don’t mind, and even take pleasure in the clever banter, are when Senjougahara, Hanekawa, or Kanbaru are the ones taking part. Innuendos and blatant invitations abound with Kanbaru this time around, and, surprisingly, I looked forward to it. Her and Araragi’s relationship became my favorite of Owarimonogatari, and is now second in the overall franchise only to Senjougahara.

Rating: 2 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.

17 thoughts on “Fall 2015 Season Wrap

  1. Hmm … for me I would have rated GochUsa s2 a little higher and OPM a little lower, but just personal taste, I guess.

    In terms of “super hero’ish” themed series I preferred Concrete Revolutio a bit more than OPM – not to take away from OPM, mind you. The latter was very well done and I appreciated the love and effort Madhouse put into it! But even so – well … I just enjoyed and anticipated Concrete Revolutio’s eps more.

    Always enjoy reading people’s thoughts about a season – thank you very much. ^^

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have a hard time rating sequels too highly since I see them as offshoots from earlier seasons. I loved, loved GochiUsa’s 2nd season, but already knew what to expect from it. OPM, on the other hand, was a complete surprise and had more of an immediate impact.

      I actually did try Concrete Revolutio, but dropped it after I think 2 or 3 episodes. I liked the first episode, but lost direction with the couple following. Is it pretty much the same throughout the season, or is there a shift?

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      • I am not surprised you lost direction. I did too, and got annoyed with it as I felt it was being unnecessarily obscure. But after getting used to the way it insisted on singing its song I came to really appreciate what it seemed to be singing about. A lot. (Both Enzo from Lost in Anime and Dee from Joseinextdoor both had some pretty good wrap up reviews of the series if interested.) Even so, I would not be hard on anyone who found it’s voice an impediment to the series itself.

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      • I absolutely love reading Enzo’s reviews of shows I’m on the fence about, so I’ll go ahead and take a look at what he says. Maybe I’ll re-try Concrete when I have a dry spell or another vacation!

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  2. This may be one of the areas where my tastes differ significantly from yours. I tend to like Magical School Battle Romance shows, although so many of them are terrible (such as the Winter 2015 season with 6 of them, all pretty bad). But this season, I thought that Asterisk and Cavalry were actually two of the better examples of this type of show, especially Cavalry, which has risen to pretty much the top of the category in my mind. I’m surprised you found problems with Asterisk’s animation, that was the part I thought that it did pretty well with. I don’t disagree about the straight-arrow trope characters, and the fact that the show never missed a chance to with a cliche. Too many things happened because the writer wanted them to happen, and because “that’s what is done.” But besides that, it was a competent effort, even with a boring tournament (I’ve come to really dislike tournaments).

    But then there was Cavalry. While I understand that a lot of people think these two shows were very similar, I just didn’t see much in common besides the bones of the setup and the fact that the two main characters had pink hair. I thought that Cavalry really broke the mold with this kind of show for a few reasons. One was that it felt much less written than any of these shows. The characters were much more like real people to me, and reacted the way people would, not just the way the script forced them to. The connection between Stella and Ikki felt very good to me, and the fact that the show made them a couple immediately and stuck with it, even though secretive, was something that really appealed to me. I also really liked how the show minimized the tournament, making it be something that was going on at the same time, not the main focus of the show. That main focus never wavered off Ikki and Stella. I also thought that it did an excellent job visually, without the flash and sizzle of A-1 Pictures. In fact, it was probably the best show that Silver Link had this season, far better than the not-even-good-enough-to-be-a-train-wreck Shomin Sample and the Let’s-provide-an-outline-of-the-show 35th Shoutai. I also find that the director of Cavalry, Shin Oonuma, has done a lot of shows that I just like for how they entertained me: Rokujouma no Shinryakusha?!, Prisma Illya, Tasogare Otome x Amnesia.

    Of the rest of your shows, my favorites were Sakurako-san and Everything is F’d. I absolutely adore Shizuka Itou’s work, and to get her in a great leading role was wonderful. I also liked the semi-procedural style of Sakurako-san, although Shoutarou did tend to get on my nerves. For Subete ga F ninaru, I really did like the way it presented itself, and I didn’t mind the way it ended (some of the people at our blog didn’t care for it). I also didn’t mind the interplay between Saikawa and both Nishinosono and Magata.

    Owarimonogatari was generally disappointing for me, because when there’s no Hitagi or Tsubasa, my interest fades fast. Like you, I thought that Kanbaru improved a lot in this series, but unfortunately much of it was dominated by Ougi, whom I loathe as a character. I also have a general dislike for the style of *monogatari, with the dense, nearly entirely pointless conversation (But you better pay attention because we’ll throw in something super important, but not tell you about it until later!) going on constantly underneath highly distracting visuals, made worse by Shinbou’s Shaft Schtick (do we need to see the tower of horns again? really? Thanks). There are really compelling characters in the Monogatari series. Too bad they’re not the ones mostly shown.

    One show you didn’t mention (and this didn’t seem to be a #1 of 3 post like last season) was Yuru Yuri. I don’t know if you’ve watched any of the series previously, but the shift in studios really helped this third series. The show relied much less on slapstick comedy and over-the-top reactions, dialed everything back by about 25%, and was about 50% better because of it. It really let the personalities of the characters come through, rather than only their quirks, which was what the previous seasons leaned heavily on. Quieter, more reflective, and really much better, it was really enjoyable to watch.

    I dumped Owari no Seraph like the smelly ooze it is after that ridiculous helicopter and airplane Vampire attack 2/3 through the first series, and everything I’ve heard about the show is that it just gets worse and worse. Pointless characters doing… nothing. And as you said, completely ruining the one good character that was in the show. I really suggest cutting your losses on it.🙂

    As for shorts, I found that I really liked Komori-san Kotowarenai (Komori Can’t Refuse). It had the right number of nice characters for that kind of show.

    Thanks for posting!

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    • I thought Komori-san was frustratingly short length wise, though plenty fine for a short series (though I prefer the manga tbh).

      As far as short series, though, I enjoyed Tantei team kz the most of them.

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      • Hmmm, I recall trying the first ep. of Komori-san, then dropping it. But for the life of me, I no longer remember why…was it a short? If so, that’s likely why.

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    • I may or may not have been influenced in my shitty opinion of Asterisk by some other critiques, namely Digibro’s YT video series about the show. I didn’t love the show before that point and was purposefully overlooking some of the questionable animation, but after I just couldn’t make any further excuses. I’m curious what you’d think of his review.

      The shift from Stella loathing Ikki to suddenly blushing with every conversation happened in a blink and with no explanation or transition. For me to believe the depth of their feelings for one another after being shown an immediate crush worthy of middle school romance is beyond the capabilities of my cynical heart. If the show could have worked in a few extra scenes and a bit more show of time passing where we actually see the gradual growth of understanding and connection between the two, I would have been more approving of the later show of love between the two.

      I didn’t say it here, but I did try both Shomin and 35th Shoutai and immediately dropped them. I backlogged them for KWoo, though, so I’ll see how he likes them!

      Ougi’s character in Owarimonogatari is an interesting one since I tend to see polar opposites of opinions on her. People seem to love or hate the girl; I, on the other hand, am just distrustful. I found her mildly entertaining in her disputes with Hanekawa, but just couldn’t get over her shift appearance and manner of speaking.

      I never picked Yuru Yuri back up after attempting the first season and quickly dropping it. Do I need to have seen the first two seasons to understand the third?

      I’m a bit roped into continuing Seraph since KWoo likes it and I have a struggling hope that Shinoa’s snarky attitude will return! Sigh.

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      • Actually, I felt that Stella’s change to liking Ikki was handled pretty well. There was an explanation, during their initial fight, in that he was the first person to acknowledge the fact that she worked as hard as others, and didn’t just dismiss her success as innate talent that she’s coasting on. Combined with his earnestness and honesty, and his proven ability to make himself better, she came to admire him. I thought that worked pretty well in giving an actual reason to like a guy. And I think that a major thing was that he actually liked her back. It was the exclusive pairing that I think went a long way in establishing that rapport between them. I thought the length of time, show-wise, was about right. It’s also hard to overlook her self-admitted “ecchi” nature, which I thought they did a good job backfilling in to explain her first episode curiosity. So the relationship really worked for me, much better than the entirely unexplained ones in most of these shows.

        For Yuru Yuri, you could go ahead and watch the third season, and at most you’d miss having a deeper knowledge of some of the relationships. They really didn’t do much recapping of things like the frenemy nature of Himawari and Sakurako, or the depth of Chinatsu’s crush on Yui, or the truly frightening nature of Chinatsu’s art. So you might miss some of the jokes, but you’d probably like the show. And even if you wanted to watch some of the previous work first, you’d only need to watch the first season. There’s no continuity you’d miss, and the second season really was a lot of piling on to the same character quirks, to a degree that got kinda boring.

        Ougi bugs me because she’s too smart for the show. It just feels like it changes the show completely when she is just leading Koyomi on, feeding him answers to regurgitate back at her. The conversation just breaks down, and it just feels like parroting. And my dislike of the character is separate from what I think her place in the show is, which is that she’s some sort of apparition that would end up being the big boss or something.

        I doubt you’ll make it very far with either 35th or Shomin. 35th was like the outline storyboards of a show all crammed together. They got through something like 7 LN volumes in one series, it was at a breakneck pace, and suffered mightily for it. Shomin was the opposite way: They didn’t know when to let a joke go, and did just a terrible job with all of it, so it ended up draggy, unfunny, and just pointless. It was a shame, because I know people who love the manga, and you can see that maybe there’s a lot of fun in the characters, but it was just squashed.

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  3. I was going to joke about how I have the worst taste in the aniblogosphere since I actually really liked Rakudai quite a bit, but seeing as Highway liked it too that means we actually have amazing taste and everyone else is just clearly wrong, so hah.
    Seriously though, there were lots of directing bits in Rakudai I liked. A few still fresh in my mind are the black bars being disintegrated by Raikiri, slightly breaking the fourth wall; and the entirety of the eleventh episode with its playing around with filters. Kotaro Nakagawa’s music also helped a lot (I mean come on: Code Geass, Gosick, Prison School, the dude knows how to hype you up with dramatic, tension-filled tracks). I mentioned it on twitter but it’s the kind of show that I feel could have easily been a boring and forgettable show (like Asterisk) but had the right staff behind it to give it some life and passion in areas to make it engaging.

    I’m kind of sad I dropped Subete ga F since Inio Asano did the character designs for the show and he’s a really interesting dude. Though I guess it doesn’t matter much since he didn’t write it. Wish we could actually get some of his stuff adapted into anime.

    Agree with pretty much every other show’s thoughts, though I do still like Seraph, even if Shinoa’s “maturing” they’re going for bothers me just as much as you. I miss having a Shinoa screencap each episode to post.

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    • I’m going to have to stomp on yours and Highway’s opinions regarding Cavalry :p To be serious, though, I must’ve liked it enough to finish it. Like I mentioned to Flower, I still rated it around a 6 as “fine”–I always like magical schools in concept since who doesn’t wish they could’ve gone to one? Alice as a transgender character was also a great addition I wish we could’ve learned more about.

      I’m so bad about paying attention to staff. Very rarely do I remember director, producer, writer, VA names. I need people like you to keep me on point for when promising things come out! :p

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  4. For myself I must admit that I first came across the Rakudai series in the manga adaptation format; that is, I have not read the LN source material. But even with being “limited” to that I preferred the manga over the anime. I disliked some of the ways they handled things and felt them unnecessary.

    For me this season’s three “high school battle series” rate, from top to bottom: Rakudai, Asterisk and then Antimagic. I finished the first two, but not the third. Out of ten, I would probably rate them something around the lines of a 6.5/10, a 6/10 and a 4/10 respectively. No great shakes, but at least the first two were watchable, though not very memorable.

    Honestly, of the three the best part of them all for me was Asterisk’d gorgeous ED by Rasmus Faber: “Waiting for the Rain”. I think it is a downright beautiful song.

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    • I think Asterisk’s ED was the second of my two points of praise on the series. I agree with you, the singing is lovely!

      I don’t think I even heard of Antimagic. But your ratings on the other two are pretty on par with my own. I almost never watching a series anymore without rating it 6 at the lowest. If I rate lower, I probably should have dropped it.

      I admit I never read light novels, which is interesting because I’m actually a huge fan of western young adult novels. Maybe it’s the fact that I have no idea really where to start and where to obtain light novels just for trying out.

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      • I have the same kind of rating bias, although I’ve been thinking about changing that, since I get things shoved up to the top too much. But currently I’d rate Cavalry at more like an 8 or 9.🙂 I liked the show and the characters quite a bit.

        The quality of light novels varies tremendously. I’ve read a few, and have found that the ones I’ve enjoyed most are Maria-sama ga Miteru (I don’t know if you’ve ever seen or heard of Maria-sama ga miteru, but it’s one of my very favorite shows) and High School DxD. The DxD books are pretty good, and the translations are not too bad. Since I’m not at the point of being able to read books in Japanese (I can muddle through manga and VNs), it’s kind of at the mercy of the translations. But there is also only so much a translator can do. Many of the light novels are just atrocious. Hidan no Aria and Infinite Stratos come to mind, they were just bad.

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  5. For the record, Maria sama ga Miteru is my fave light novel series ever, so yes – yes I have read it, and on that note I should applaud your taste. ^^

    I like the four seasons of anime adaptation too, and am among those infamously waiting (and waiting, and waiting) for season five, where things will likely (?) be wrapped up, as the novels were.

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      • Heh…its even been a joke made in anime as well. The otaku friend of the male lead in the Nogizaki Haruka series goes to the shrine on New Years day and prays for “the fifth season of Marimite” (among other things) in one of the eps iirc. I enjoyed reading your write up btw – thanks. ^^

        Sorry for derailing the comments here btw Marina!

        As for your mentioning of Antimagic…well…my first exposure to it was in manga adaptation. I have not read the novel. (Same pattern I mentioned in Rakudai’s case above.) After a few chapters I thought it wasn’t bad, per se, but rather not my thing. For me the anime adaptation was much less interesting than the manga attempt…again, a similar pattern for me as Rakudai, but with Antimagic getting the worst end of the comparison in my opinion.

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