Spring 2016 Season Wrap – Part 1

These past couple of weeks have brought about so many changes! First and foremost: I just turned 30. Happy birthday to me ūüôā KWoo and I went on a very short trip up to Alaska for a belated engagement party and to celebrate both my parents’ wedding anniversary and my birthday. Second is the wrapping up of this spring season, which I have surprisingly kept current week to week. I think I cut out way more at the start than I have in previous years, so the marginally smaller number of shows was much more manageable. Third, I’m now less than two months from the big wedding date, so I’m eyeballing the new summer season with a wary eye. I know I’ll be way too busy in the upcoming weeks to keep up with as many as I would like, but I promise to backlog anything that looks interesting and to chat with you a bit throughout the summer about the few I will watch.

This particular spring, I had a handful of great, a decent amount of pretty good, and sadly too many of the mid-range. I probably could have cut out more, but I’m still too forgiving on the flags that raise in the opening episodes. Now, on to the first part of my season review!

  • Bakuon!!
  • Joker Game
  • Kuma Miko
  • Anne Happy‚ô™
  • Bungou Stray Dogs
  • Flying Witch
  • Sansha Sanyou

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Ainu Culture in Kuma Miko

This season’s Kuma Miko is a delightfully light-hearted comedy following a middle school girl. This sounds pretty generic at the get go, but the show brings in some unique flavors in a few¬†different ways:

  • Machi is also a priestess¬†for a shrine devoted to the god of the mountain, thought to be a bear
  • The current bear is tame, named “Natsu”, lives with Machi, and talks like a human
  • Machi’s shrine garb is influenced by Ainu culture that is visually and verbally referenced

Shintoism is frequently used in anime, and I’ve become accustomed to its influences on various¬†worlds and characters. This is actually the first series I’ve seen that brings up the Ainu people and their culture, which like Shintoism is animistic (think Pocahontas and the spirits in all things) . The next closest suggestion are¬†the Emishi people¬†of Mononke Hime, who were¬†banished and thought lost by most¬†of the country. There are arguments in many of the sources I’ve read, but the general consensus is that the Emishi and Ainu are both¬†hunter-gatherers indigenous to Japan, and descendants of the prehistoric Jomon people.

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Spring 2016 Set Menu

This is essentially my face right now as I realize that I am once again biting off way more than I can possibly¬†chew through the spring season. To make it even more difficult, the good majority of them are new series, not continuations or spin-offs. We’re already into week two or three for the season, though I’ve mostly only seen one each of the twenty shows I’ll be talking about. As usual, please do let me know if I’m overlooking something you’re loving!

  • Anne Happy‚ô™
  • Bakuon!!
  • Boku no Hero Academia
  • Bungou Stray Dogs
  • Endride
  • Flying Witch
  • High School Fleet
  • Joker Game
  • Kiznaiver
  • Koutetsujou no Kabaneri
  • Kuma Miko
  • Kuromukuro
  • Kyoukai no Rinne 2nd Season
  • Macross őĒ
  • Mayoiga
  • Netoge no Yome wa Onnanoko ja Nai to Omotta?
  • Sansha Sanyou
  • Shounen Maid
  • Sousei no Onmyouji
  • Ushio to Tora 2nd Season

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