Friday, April 3, 2015

Winter 2015 Anime Season Wrap-up

Winter 2015 Anime Season Wrap-up

Warning: The following post may contain spoilers from the shows I watched from the Winter 2015 anime season. If you wish not to know some events that take place, or simply don't wish to find out what happens in the series, please leave the page, since I don't want to damage a watching experience for you.

Also, the pictures for my special posts are chosen at random. Whenever people think of Winter, people think of Christmas. So, lucky I had this Code Geass picture on standby.

Let's get this post started. shall we?

So, for the new year, I decided on doing a special post to wrap up each anime season. I will be talking about the shows of my interest that I followed during the season. Some were dropped, some were kept with, and others still have yet to be completed. As of this review, I have watched 5 anime shows that premiered in the season, and have only finished 2.

Overall, this season of following anime was a little weaker for me. In the Fall, I only really followed 2 shows, as most of them weren't really interesting. Others I saved for later, such as Trinity Seven, and I still have a couple I want to watch. Same goes for the Summer 2014 season, which has been probably my favorite thus far since I started following new shows. And, it was also the 1st.

So, keep in mind that these are my own opinions. You're welcome to like any shows that I didn't. So with that said, let's start with the bottom of the pile. My Dropped shows.

My main rule for animes that I don't complete is to watch it halfway, and see if it gets better. But, there were some exceptions to the rule with this season.


Absolute Duo.

First thing to mention, the opening for this show is kick-ass. It's very edgy, is nice to jam out too, and Konomi Suzuki's voice has always managed to steal the show for me. But in the end, the show itself wasn't as strong as I hoped.

When this anime was first announced, I was kind of excited about it. Not only did this show sound promising, I thought this could be fun to watch. When PV's starting coming out, I was looking forward to it. Not as strong as others from previous seasons, such as DRAMAtical Murder, Gugure Kokkuri San, and Madan no Ou to Vanadis, but I was still looking forward to it.

After the 1st episode, I felt a little underwhelmed. Some of the events that happened were a little interesting, sure, but I wasn't invested into the entire episode. The next episode was fine, but it didn't really do anything again. Episode 3 was a slight improvement, while Episode 4 downgraded. And then, the next 2 convinced me to just drop this show, and go do something else.

Also, besides being the only show I dropped halfway, this is also the 1st show in which I've ever yelled at my computer. It's hard not to get vocal when you notice far too many cliches.

The 1st thing that should be brought up is that Absolute Duo doesn't really bring anything new to the table. Its story is pretty much piled with overdone tropes that you've seen in countless other anime, except done better in said other anime. We have zero to no development on the actual plot, the main male being a special snowflake, what else is new?

And to also have this face most of the time while watching this anime is a pretty bad sign:

Now onto Absolute Duo's 2nd problem. The characters. Besides 2 characters that I managed to like, the other characters really don't do anything for me. Most of them have less depth than wooden signs.

Tor is pretty much your stereotypical main male protagonist that has a special ability, girls fall in love with him, and blah blah end of story. He does have some interesting qualities, yeah, but it's not a lot to make him stand out. Tomoe only has 2 filters, one being boring as f**k, and the other yelling "You pervert!" at the top of her lungs whenever Tor gets in a misunderstanding. Miyabi is there only for her ginormous tits, and literally nothing else. Tora is there just to fill in childhood friend territory, and is just as pleasing as watching paint dry. Julie and Rito are the only 2 characters I cared for, and that's pretty sad.

Lilith on the other hand, is a special case.  Because she is the worst character of this anime IMO, and that's because she doesn't know the word no. The only reason why she transfers to the academy in the first place is for Tor to be in her Duo, as he is an Irregular, and she is an Exception, and he refuses the first time. Well that worked great! Because, man! This bitch is desperate! She even goes to great lengths to take him from school to go to an amusement park, and he STILL refuses due to being in a Duo with her. So, she decides to throw a competition named Survive. She not surprisingly loses the battle due to a interesting strategy.

To be honest, Lilith just got SO intolerable in the 5th episode. Look, I understand that you and Tor could both work well together, as you both have unique Blazes. HOWEVER, when he already has a Duo, you can't just think he's going to open arms and run over to you. That's against the rules, and just because it doesn't apply to you, that should not mean you keep asking him about it. And don 't declare him your fiancee either!

When she got shot in the arm in the 6th episode, I was overjoyed. Yeah, overjoyed. And I shouldn't feel that way unless the character is a villain.  But Lilith deserved it because she was annoying to the nth degree, and constantly got on my nerves. This anime ranks with Trinity Seven on how a harem can go wrong, though this managed to top it in annoyances.

Also, the Broadcast Dub for this series is also a little disappointing. Though we have some great voices, the dub overall is mainly average, with a couple of miscast people. 

Okay, done with my rant. Overall, I'm giving the first half of Absolute Duo a 4.5 out of 10. It was originally a 3.5, but I decided to bump it up 1 because there were some moments I enjoyed. However, other anime viewers, including me, are getting fed up with these light novel adaptions which bring nothing creative. Though Bladedance had some tropes, it was still highly enjoyable. And while there were some here, it was just average overall. Moving on.


Sengoku Musou.

Well, here goes to show that I now know  how some people feel when first episodes get confusing. This is another one of those re imagining shows of famous Japanese samurai warriors. Sengoku Basara is another example of this, and one that is highly praised. This show seemed interesting for me off the bat because of the reason listed above. Also, the story seemed at least a bit informative, even though it's nothing original in the slightest. Also, Daisuke Ono.

So, when I actually started watching this show, imagine my surprise when the 1st episode started with something totally random. And no, not in a comedy regard, but in a mission regard. This mission had my eyes wide the entire time it was on, even though some moments were enjoyable. The second episode, on the other hand, had me doing this:


So yeah. This is a bad example of a show that just jumps into a story headfirst, leaving you no time to react. Another show that managed to tweak history a bit that I watched was The Ambition of Oda Nobuna. Even though I knew almost nothing of the show when I first started watching it, I was at least still able to understand what was going on, and the story moved smoothly. This series, on the other hand, just gave me a mind f**k. So much so that I stopped after 16 minutes of Episode 2.

Overall, I'm giving Sengoku Musou based on its first 1 and 1/2 episodes a 3.5 out of 10.

Alright, now on to my least favorite series that I viewed during the Winter season:


The Testament of Sister New Devil.

First thing to start off with, this anime set a record for me, as this is the 1st ever anime I've ever dropped after 1 episode, and that's something I don't ever do. However, the 1st episode of this anime was pretty awful, but I'll explain that later.

Back when the first PV debuted of this show, and I saw it after a cross country practice, I was pretty hyped for this show. I knew that it was going to have fanservice, since the person who wrote the light novels also wrote the LN series Aesthetica of a Rough Hero, This series also is known for being very fanservicey, and was also adapted into an anime in the summer of 2012. From what I have seen from the show, it does look good beyond the fanservice, but I'm worried it's going to suffer from Ikki Tousen Great Guardians syndrome, where the story isn't going to get good until about halfway in. Also, Akatsuki kind of sounds like a d**k.

And hey, the opening is perhaps one of my favorites of the season. Besides the nudity in the actual one, but the song is pretty good.

So, even with some precaution, I managed to enter the 1st episode with a clean state. And for a 1st episode, this anime pretty much fell flat on its face.

For the 1st half of the episode, it's pretty much Basara meeting his new "stepsisters", with Mio being somehow in middle school, and having boobs that are actually bigger then her head. And they move on their own! Because f**k psychics, am I right? 

The next morning, Mio wakes Basara up? How? By grinding on him on top of his bedsheets of course! But why? Because hey, who wouldn't want a hot stepsister waking you up by grinding on you? Right? Right? *gags* Then, when she finds one of Maria's erotic games bashed in the covers, and then while trying to get it back, Basara falls on Mio, and they land of the floor. She slaps him and calls him a pervert. Because anime cliches, yeah, that's why! After saving Mio from those stereotypical background guy creeps, Basrara's dad leaves on a business trip. Plot convenience! And now, it's time for the dramatic reveal! DUN DUN DUN!

Part 2 is the reveal of Mio and Maria's identities, with the former actually being the daughter of a demon lord, and the latter being a succubus, and her guardian. And this is where the episode starts going downhill. Not because of this reveal, but what happens after it.

So, Maria casts a spell on Basara to try and make him leave the house, and to forget about what just happened. And this is where I'm going, "HA! This isn't going to work. Because DUH!" And it doesn't, to the surprise of no one. But why it didn't work is the thing that really set me off.

The reason why the spell didn't work on Basara is because he actually has Hero powers. So that's why he wasn't affected by the spell.


In my opinion, this felt VERY anti-climatic. Yet again, we're faced with a very stereotypical main male lead, and he has a special snowflake ability. Well, that's just dandy. And it's announced just right out of the blue. At least with Tor, we had some sort of an idea before we came in. In here, it's just thrown at us, and we're supposed to accept it just like that.

So after this, Mio and Maria escape from the house to reevaluate their plan. Pretty soon, a monster comes after than, and sooner or later, Basara comes to their rescue. Because, they're family.

And looking later on into the series, I'm super happy that I dropped it. While this show could be interesting, it's all washed away by some pretty disgusting scenes I've read about, and seen. For example, there's this scene in the bath where Maria asks Mio to give Basara a back rub, with boobs included. Apparently, there was cake involved, and Maria somehow dropped it on the floor. It also got on Basara, so how do we clean it off him? Do we use water? OF COURSE NOT! What were expecting, a cute boding moment? Instead, Maria and Mio LICK it off, which causes Basara's inner sex drive to come out. At the end of it, it is revealed to all be a dream.

I'm sorry, but HOW IS THIS FUNNY? This is more disgusting than anything. Just, blech. I would rather see Asia in a naked apron, Jonah in his bathing suit from Jormungand Episode 9. Heck, even a yaoi fanfiction with a Fairy Tail male o**y would sound much more satisfying then the fanservice that this anime has. IT'S ALMOST A HENTAI! 

Oh, and I did this when I found out it was getting a second season:

It's fine if you're a fan of this series. I don't have anything against you. But seriously, there are more shows that need second seasons rather than this one. But then again, considering the very high preorder sales, there's a reason why. But still, what about a season 2 of Karneval or Blood Lad?

Rant mood off now. Overall, I give the 1st episode of this anime a 3.5 out of 10.

Now, onto the shows I finished:

Death Parade and Kamisama Kiss 2.

How's this for ironic? These shows actually had little to no problems. Both of them were really enjoyable, and I would recommend them to everyone. Well, you probably would want to watch Kamisama Kiss season 1 first.

Death Parade manages to be very interesting. At first, the game concept may seem a little repetitive, but later on, character interactions, and some pretty interesting twists help set the stage for a dramatic finale.

Kamisama Kiss Season 2 is just as good as the first, so yay for no second season slump. Even though one arc's pacing was a little too slow for my liking, we get some new character development to characters that needed it.

Also, both of these shows are a part of FUNimation's Broadcast Dubs, and both dubs are impressing me so far. I still need to see more of Kamisama Kiss's though.

These two series will also be my next 2 reviews, so stay tuned. ;)

Let's move on to the show I'm interested in watching:

Cute High Earth Defense Club Love!

You know, this show just sounds like a ball. It mainly focuses on magical boys, which I haven't seen before, and there are promises of yaoi jokes and what not. These sound super entertaining, so let's hope they don't get old.

And also, it's another parody anime. So let's see all of those magical girl series parodies come to life! I'm not expecting anything remarkable out of the character (the pink haired one's my favorite so far based on looks alone) But hey, comedy!

Maria the Virgin Witch.

To be honest, I don't really know what interested me into this show. I also have no clue on what this show's about, but what I do know is that it's historical, and has comedy. So overall, another interesting show to add to the lineup. I'm watching this next, alongside with Cute High Earth Defense Clue Love, and Kuroko no Basuke, which is my first 12+ episode series in a while that's not airing, AKA Sailor Moon Crystal.

And it's another Broadcast Dub title too. It's not as good quality wise, but some of Artemis's lines are hilarious. "There's no more battle in the south now that I've pleased their southern battlefields." *giggles*

World Break (Seikan Tsukai no World Break).

Despite Ayana Taketatsu having one of her worst voices yet based on the PV alone (her screeches sound like nails on a chalkboard, it's that bad),  I'm looking forward to watching this. Well, only the 1st episode as of now, since I've heard this anime isn't really special.

This also had a Broadcast Dub, and it is directed by Tyler Walker, AKA the director of Fairy Tail. Let's just hope the staff puts in more effort into this then in the last half arc of Fairy Tail, plus some horrendous clips I've seen on Youtube. Which includes one of the worst background voices I've ever heard in a dub.

But still, hoping for the best, and the worst.

Yurikuma Arashi.

Besides the show's very odd opening, I've been interested in watching it ever since the Life Bears seiyuus were announced. Also, this show actually manages to look very interesting, and the director has been praised a lot for his work, so why not start with his latest?

Even though there's yuri in this show, and I'm not that big of a fan of yuri, I'm still going to give this show a chance. After all, it isn't fair just to judge a show based on one element, right?

So, looking forward to watching this, and interested to see what path it takes. Also interested in the Broadcast Dub, since the voice of Panty & Stocking are the voices of the bears in English.

The Rolling Girls.

The main reason why I want to watch this series is because it's a anime original story. Anime original stories often are pretty good adaptions, and they can be pretty unique compared to most LN adaptions we get nearly every season. Also, this comes from a highly praised studio known as Wit Studio, who also did Attack on Titan.

I'd watch Attack on Titan, but considering how overrated it is over here with Sword Art Online, I'm not going to be watching it any time soon. Also, I'm not a big fan of gore, and people are calling it the best anime ever made, though that's the only series they watched. *shakes head*

But regardless, it sounds pretty enjoyable, and the voice of Chiyo is the main character. So, why not, right?

And like some of the other shows, this also has a Broadcast Dub. So, looking forward to check that out as well.

Alright, that wraps up my Winter 2015 Anime Season Wrap-up. What were some of your favorite shows this season? Any shows you disliked? Every season this year will have a wrap-up, so let's see what animes some of us have in common, shall we?

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