Winter 2018 Anime Roundup

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Winter 2018 Anime Roundup

Post by Kiskaloo on Fri 23 Mar 2018 - 14:40

Laid-Back Camp
Grade: B+
Rin enjoys camping by the lakeshore, Mt. Fuji in view. Nadeshiko rides her bike to see Mt. Fuji, too. As the two eat cup noodles together, they behold the beautiful scenery around them.

Winter 2018 was stuffed full of "slice of life" / iyashikei shows and "Laid Back Camp" executed on these tropes well, highlighting an easygoing vibe that presented it's subject matter - winter camping - in an easily-accessible and entertaining form. There was character growth, but it was very subtle. In general, this was a show you watched to just look at serene vistas around lakes and mountains with some cute girl antics. I took down the names of some of the campsites as I think I might like to give it a try some time when in Japan.

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What? I like donuts! - Betty Suarez
If I die before my time, go on Oprah and tell the world 'I liked kittens'. - Veronica Mars
Scissors of victory! - Yui Hirasawa
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Re: Winter 2018 Anime Roundup

Post by Kiskaloo on Sun 25 Mar 2018 - 14:12

KOKKOKU
Grade: C
In order to save her brother and nephew who have been kidnapped by a mysterious religious group known as the Genuine Love Society, Juri and her family cast a spell using a stone hidden by her grandfather to enter the world of stopped time known as Stasis. However, when they infiltrate the kidnapper's base, they're met by other people who can also move about freely.
Yeah, so that is four hours of my life I won’t be getting back. I stuck with it as long as I did because the story premise seemed like it could be interesting, but once it finally did reveal itself in the final arc, it was a complete let-down. Add in poor production quality and wooden characters and you end up with an all-around dissapointment not worth the time I invested in it.

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What? I like donuts! - Betty Suarez
If I die before my time, go on Oprah and tell the world 'I liked kittens'. - Veronica Mars
Scissors of victory! - Yui Hirasawa
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Re: Winter 2018 Anime Roundup

Post by Kiskaloo on Sun 25 Mar 2018 - 14:16

The Ancient Magus' Bride
Grade: A
Chise Hatori is 15-year-old orphan. She has no relatives, means, or hopes when a demonic sorcerer who can't become human buys her. He states that Chise will now be his apprentice and bride.
The second cour was not quite as strong as the first and the ending was far too rushed (it was the weakest episode, IMO), but the production quality maintained it's high standards throughout the run and the characters showed real growth. Totally lived up to the hype.


Last edited by Kiskaloo on Mon 26 Mar 2018 - 14:16; edited 1 time in total

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What? I like donuts! - Betty Suarez
If I die before my time, go on Oprah and tell the world 'I liked kittens'. - Veronica Mars
Scissors of victory! - Yui Hirasawa
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Re: Winter 2018 Anime Roundup

Post by Kiskaloo on Sun 25 Mar 2018 - 16:15

School Babysitters
Grade: B+
Ryūichi and Kotarō Kashima are brothers. Ryūichi is in high school and Kotarō is still a toddler. After their parents are killed in a plane crash, the two brothers find themselves living with the chairwoman of the Morinomiya Academy, who herself lost her son and daughter-in-law in the same accident. The chairwoman, however, has one stipulation for the brothers in order to live with her: Ryūichi has to work at the academy's daycare center as a babysitter.
Only gave this one a look because of ANN's initial review and very glad I did. I am not a fan of small kids, but when this show clicked with them - and it so often did - it was so good. All the characters were great in their own way and the story was a great mix of family, drama and just fun. And Kotaro is the best little brother ever (he crushed it in a recent poll on "Best Anime Brother"). Strongly recommended.

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What? I like donuts! - Betty Suarez
If I die before my time, go on Oprah and tell the world 'I liked kittens'. - Veronica Mars
Scissors of victory! - Yui Hirasawa
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Re: Winter 2018 Anime Roundup

Post by Kiskaloo on Mon 26 Mar 2018 - 14:15

Mitsuboshi Colors
Grade: B
In a certain corner of a certain park in a certain Ueno area of Tokyo exists the secret base of the "justice organization" called "Colors." A group of three elementary school girls lead Colors, and the members of the group roam the park day and night (actually just until evening) to protect the peace of the park.

A pleasant, serviceable "cute girls doing cute things" show. Definitely the "lightest" iyashikei show I saw in terms of content as in it seldom tried to be ambitious, but the girls personalities and how they interact with the world around them often helped raise the show's impact.

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What? I like donuts! - Betty Suarez
If I die before my time, go on Oprah and tell the world 'I liked kittens'. - Veronica Mars
Scissors of victory! - Yui Hirasawa
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Re: Winter 2018 Anime Roundup

Post by Kiskaloo on Tue 27 Mar 2018 - 14:02

A Place Further Than the Universe
Grade: A
Mari Tamaki is in her second year of high school and wants to start something. It's then that she meets Shirase, a girl with few friends who's considered weirdo by the rest of the class and nicknamed "Antarctic" since it's all she ever talks about. Unlike her peers, Mari is moved by Shirase's dedication and decides that even though it's unlikely that high school girls will ever go to Antarctica, she's going to try to go with Shirase.

So instead of “cute girls doing cute things” we have “cute girls going on a great adventure”. Seriously, it’s more youth drama / Coming of Age story than iyashikei show and it is much the better for it. Never less than very good, often excellent and absolutely brilliant for it’s final two episodes. Most Recommended.

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What? I like donuts! - Betty Suarez
If I die before my time, go on Oprah and tell the world 'I liked kittens'. - Veronica Mars
Scissors of victory! - Yui Hirasawa
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Re: Winter 2018 Anime Roundup

Post by Kiskaloo on Thu 29 Mar 2018 - 13:49

After the Rain
Grade: A
17-year-old high school student Akira Tachibana is a girl who barely expresses herself. She harbors a secret crush on Masami Kondō, the 45-year-old manager of the family restaurant she works at part-time.

So yeah, with a premise like that, this show could have gone so, so wrong. Instead, it went so, so right. A compelling story arc presented by compelling characters rendered in compelling art design. As much as I enjoyed A Place Farther than the Universe, this one never had an episode less than great so it wins my Best Of the Season award.

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What? I like donuts! - Betty Suarez
If I die before my time, go on Oprah and tell the world 'I liked kittens'. - Veronica Mars
Scissors of victory! - Yui Hirasawa
avatar
Kiskaloo
A Cat of Many Talents

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Forum Posts : 10934

Location : Seattle / Tokyo / Milan

Fan of : Angelica's Smile

Original Characters : Kara Michelle

Comments : The community's international man of mystery.

Registration date : 2008-09-11

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Re: Winter 2018 Anime Roundup

Post by Kiskaloo on Thu 5 Apr 2018 - 14:55

Violet Evergarden
Grade: B
A certain point in time, in the continent of Telesis. The great war which divided the continent into North and South has ended after four years, and the people are welcoming a new generation. Violet Evergarden, a young girl formerly known as “the weapon”, has left the battlefield to start a new life at CH Postal Service. There, she is deeply moved by the work of “Auto Memories Dolls”, who carry people's thoughts and convert them into words. Violet begins her journey as an Auto Memories Doll, and comes face to face with various people's emotions and differing shapes of love. There are words Violet heard on the battlefield, which she cannot forget. These words were given to her by someone she holds dear, more than anyone else. She does not yet know their meaning but she searches to find it.

Netflix finally dropped this show in the US on the day of the worldwide release of the 13th and final episode so while I have been following it week to week via rips of the Netflix UK stream, I watched the finale on US Netflix.

If graded only on it's looks, this would be an easy "A". Give Kyoto Animation a movie budget to do a television series and it's going to look amazing. It's the best-looking show to come from that studio since Hyōka.

But we're not just grading on the look, but also the narrative and characters and it is there that this show falters. Not severely, but as ANN weekly reviewer Kim Morrissy noted, the show has very narrow and specific strengths and when it played to them - mostly in the latter third - it was really good (Episodes 10 and 11, especially). And the recurring cast ended up mostly irrelevant since so many of the episodes focused on Violet meeting a new character and interacting with them.

Another issue I had was with Violet herself. She started out as your typical "tragic girl" - a teenage soldier who seemed to be the only teenage soldier in the Army, but whom nobody was surprised that she was a soldier. She also appears to be some kind of "super soldier", even though she's a regular girl. 

For us Gunslinger Girl fans, the dynamic between Violet and Major Gilbert is very similar to the dynamic between a handler and cyborg. And Violet herself is a cyborg (she has prosthetic arms to replace losing her real ones during the War).

The anime was evidently better than the light novel it was based on thanks to the writers taking significant, but positive, liberties with that narrative. And while I do find Netflix's policy of releasing weekly internationally and all-at-once in the US somewhat annoying, I think it might help here because you can power through the weaker episodes without having to wait for those that showcase the show's narrative strengths.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------


What? I like donuts! - Betty Suarez
If I die before my time, go on Oprah and tell the world 'I liked kittens'. - Veronica Mars
Scissors of victory! - Yui Hirasawa
avatar
Kiskaloo
A Cat of Many Talents

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Forum Posts : 10934

Location : Seattle / Tokyo / Milan

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Original Characters : Kara Michelle

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