REVIEW: Spring 2017 Anime Wrap Up

In my quest to watch as much new anime as possible this year I bring you lovely readers my Spring 2017 Anime Recap! I aim to watch 4 episodes of most shows that either are highly anticipated, or if the synopsis peaks my interest. If you missed my Winter 2017 reviews you can find those here.

A gentle reminder before we get in to it: I only watched series that you can stream legally on sites such as Crunchyroll, Anime Strike, Funimation, HIDIVE, etc. I also didn’t watch the 2nd season for series that I have not seen season 1 as a result there won’t be a write up for Natsume’s Book of Friends and The Eccentric Family. As of now I was still in the process of jumping in to My Hero Academia so I’ll save my thoughts on the series for my summer reviews. This also applies to Little Witch Academia which was only recently set free on Netflix.


COMPLETED

Anonymous Noise (覆面系ノイズ)

Studio: Brain’s Base
Genre: Music | School | Drama | Shoujo

Nino has an amazing voice. Two of her musically inclined childhood friends, Momo then Yuzu leave when they’re young. Nino and Yuzu reunite in high school through a band performance and Nino is determined to find Momo through her singing. Sounds intriguing enough, right? It was but the level of cringe during most of the big dramatic musical/singing scenes was unbearable at times. Yuzu is supposed to be SO awe struck by how beautiful Nino’s voice is that he wants to replaces his band’s current singer with Nino. At first her amateur “la la la” performances were endearing because she hasn’t had any vocal training. However through out the show her voice quality doesn’t improve and any “OMG her voice is SO enchanting” moments gradually became more and more laughable instead of having any meaningful impact.

The voice actress isn’t the worst singer but for how much the plot rides on this character having uniquely stunning voice, her voice doesn’t strike the viewer as anything special. I definitely feel like this is one of those cases where the show would’ve greatly benefitted from having a designated voice actress for speaking and another for singing segments. This has been done many times before but one example done to great success is Nana Osaki being voiced by Romi Park and Anna Tsuchiya provided her singing voice in Nana.

So while that’s all distracting I felt like the tone of the series was in line with other melodramatic high school romance series so it’s a lot of conflicts arising because of teenage naiveté and lack of communication skills. So it’s exhausting to see them making the same mistakes… but why do I gobble this type of stuff up?? It’s annoying but highly addictive because I have a bad habit of rooting for the second lead (Yuzu) in these type of series when it’ll clearly end with the Nino ending up with Momo at some point. I also found myself not liking Momo at all? He’s the worst kind of overprotective jealous guy, but also isn’t clear about his intentions with Nino. He loves her but his pride is preventing him from just explaining why his family disappeared. He’s very much the “If I can’t have her then no one can,” but also “I love her but I hate myself so I’ll tear her down so she still wants me.” Momo is like the result of those toxic how to pick up women by demeaning them seminars. So yeah… Team Yuzu!

I won’t spoil the ending of this season, for those curious, but they definitely left it wide open for a second season even though there’s no confirmation of one happening anytime soon.

Rating: 6/10
Would I recommend?: This is a tough one to recommend because I feel like you can get much more out of Nana if you REALLY crave a music themed drama/romance. But I still had fun watching it, and would watch a second season without hesitation.

Available on Anime Strike

Attack On Titan (進撃の巨人) Season 2

Studio: Wit Studio
Genre: Action | Drama | Shonen

I, along with many others, have been waiting years for this 2nd season of Attack On Titan. As a result this was pretty much the only show I actually kept up to date with on a weekly basis. I’ve avoided reading the manga for this series because I wanted to see big reveals fully animated because the art style in the manga is a big deterrent for me. I’m glad I did though because this season had a handful of twists that I didn’t see coming.

Now I know Attack On Titan isn’t the best show and it is pretty hyped up, but I appreciate the things that they do do well. There have been parallels in how the story is told to that of The Walking Dead which I was a huge fan for 4 or 5 years. Everything that Walking Dead did well is what Attack on Titan does well. Great action sequences that get you hyped but then equally devastating when a character you care about dies which happens so frequently you wonder how you still have a soul. This is probably to my advantage as I don’t really have a favorite in Attack On Titan and just hope for the best. But when they aren’t flying around taking down titans, characters tend to talk in circles for dramatic effect (to try and drag out the plot reveals).

So while it can be frustrating to sit through shouting match episodes those stressful climatic sequences are fantastic eye treats. The season finale was a highlight for the season and series as a whole.

Rating: 7/10
Would I recommend?: Yes, it was a entertaining and gave me that melodramatic mixed with horror fix I apparently need every few months.

Available on Crunchyroll

Granblue Fantasy The Animation

Studio: A-1 Pictures
Genre: Fantasy | Magic | Adventure

I don’t really seek out medieval fantasy themed anime series. It’s generally not my cup of tea so this was the last series I started watching of the spring season. That being said I’m not familiar with a lot of nuances to this for that genre so it was semi-fresh to me while watching it. I was pleased to see Lyria’s guardian, Katalina, was a woman and that pretty much all of the female characters had a certain agency to them. They were competent even when they hesitated or faltered their team backed them up. The “quirk” of the Gran and Lyria not being tied together because she gave Gran half of her life force was enough to keep me interested the first half of the series. Then introduction of the Black Knight character/villain (I’m assuming they’re female based being voiced by Romi Park & it’d make for an interesting reveal) kept be going when I felt like dropping it but they unfortunately didn’t go anywhere with that plot point.

However, 12 episodes of a fairly vanilla plot with beautiful animation and likable characters with pleasing designs were completely undone by the 13th completely unnecessary fan service episode. The series is based on a video game and there’s an option to play as a female character so this had great potential to show Djeeta leading her team and doing some badass fights scenes instead of Gran but no. Not only do they open the new story with Djeeta doing laundry (why???) but the crew goes on vacation to save the island resort from their crisis of … having no ice for their mixed drinks. Naturally all the women and random scantily clad girls that made two second appearances in the 12th episode are thrown into revealing swimsuits. Katalina is suddenly not confident and overly shy because swimsuits are embarrassing I guess. Also the fact that a tropical island resort with modern bathing suits existing in a heavily European influenced medieval fantasy world? Ugh. I can’t really describe the level of my disappointment for an otherwise pleasant series being ruined by this episode.

Rating: 5/10
Would I recommend?: The only thing that I’d recommend this to is maybe a younger audience as it’s fairly tame in violence and fanservice (omitting episode 13 obviously). I feel you could get more enjoyment from series and characters more fleshed out like Magic Knight Rayearth or Vision of Escaflowne if you really need to scratch that magical medieval fantasy itch.

Available on Crunchyroll & Anime Strike

Kabuki-bu! (カブキブ!)

Studio: Studio Deen
Genre: School | Drama

Nothing can be quite as pure as Tsuki ga Kirei but this was a close second. Kabuki-bu follows Kurogo as he struggles to bring his passion for the art of Kabuki to younger people by starting his own Kabuki club. I was pretty excited for this series as I’m extremely thirsty for sparkly new CLAMP media and they provided the character designs for this show. Unlike Hinako Note which felt tedious when the characters were being recruited for their school club, Kabuki-bu was able to do brief character introductions for most of their characters in episode 1 then tackled one to two characters’ motivations and personalities in the following two episodes. They were fully recruited and working on their first performance by episode 3, that’s good pacing. While the show was fairly vanilla in it’s plot, it did explore different means of gender expression not only in breaking tradition of Kabuki consisting of only male actors but masculinity as a whole.

As far as characters go I took a liking to Kaoru mostly because I got strong Haruka Tenoh/Sailor Uranus vibes from her and I loooove me some Haruka. She had a couple problematic manipulative points when tricking the “overweight” otaku character, Maruko, into working on the club’s costumes but it seemed to be a one off instance. The only character I sort of wish they gave a little more depth to was Kurogo’s best friend, Tonbo. He more or less was just a constant support system which was nice, but he didn’t really show any personal goals outside of playing second banana to Kurogu’s dreams. But that’s just me being SUPER nit-picky considering it’s a 12 episode series with pretty fleshed out characters.

A lot of people are comparing this show to Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu because of the show revolving around a traditional form of performance and storytelling. I haven’t seen Rakugo so I can’t speak to any similarities it might have but it’s a completely different genre so it’s more or less in a different realm when it comes to plot.

Rating: 7/10
Would I recommend?: Yes, I knew next to nothing about Kabuki other than it being a form of stage performance. So not only was it educational for me but it had some really great character moments sprinkled through out the show.

Available on Anime Strike

KADO: The Right Answer (正解するカド)

Studio: Toei Animation
Genre: Drama | Sci-fi

Kado immediately made me think of Arrival but with more outside perspective. There were a lot of mixed feelings regarding Episode 0 in that it was seen as either a bait ’n switch or just a complete waste of time. I didn’t mind because it gives you the opportunity to get to know or get attached to Shindou and Hanamori before the main plot of alien contact with human kind completely obliterates the business themed slice of life set up. I’m usually not too fond of anime series that are heavily 3D animated as it can feel really stiff especially when it comes to the expressions. However the sci-fi focus and stoic personalities of the main characters lent itself well to the medium. Kado is a good example of having main characters with minimal expressive-ness due to their either job, upbringing or being an Alien that doesn’t know what emotions are and caring about them even if it’s just to see what happens (Sakurada Reset is an example of what not to do with bland robotic characters, but I’ll get in to that later). The show also does a great job of introducing some really thought provoking concepts such what would humanity do if they were provided with a source of unlimited energy? What would we do if something unleashed a portion of our mind that allowed us to no longer require sleep to function properly? What would happen if we had the ability to transport objects any where or change the mass of that object on a whim? Yahakui made these things a reality in this world. However it fell flat when trying to push those concepts past their initial introductions.

I honestly started to lose interest about 7 episodes in because they weren’t doing anything with these concepts. Then there was a reveal that threw the thoughtful-ness of the series out the window with a grandiose carpe diem plot twist. Most people HATED the ending because it was so forced and out of character and it was. So why was I completely on board with it? I was 100% back in due to the sheer and utter ridiculous of those turn of events. For the lack of direction that Kado had it made up for in shock value. Crunchyroll did an utterly hilarious hot take on how Kado: The Right Answer should have been a dating game, because by the end of the show EVERYONE loves Shindou and I agree. Lastly this was one of those cases where I’m increasingly frustrated with how difficult it is to obtain legal copies of Japanese music because the music is AMAZING and I can’t find it anywhere.

Rating: 6.5/10
Would I recommend?: Yes, it’s almost like they mashed two different series together but it was a great slow burn that turned in to a fun chaotic save the world romance. Yahakui is my new favorite Yandere and I don’t even like that trope.

Available on Crunchyroll

Kenka Bancho Otome -Girl Beats Boys- ( 喧嘩番長 乙女 -GIRL BEATS BOYS-)

Studio: Project No. 9
Genre: Fighting | Action | School | Shoujo

Hinako switches places with Hikaru to attend an all boys school and follows her accelerated journey to dominate the school yard to save her brother. The show was colorful and had plenty of fight scenes thanks to the main girl training in martial arts because her brother said he wouldn’t be around to protect her all the time. Neat! The overall tone reminded me of Hanakimi in that there’s tension surrounding Hinako trying to keep her identity under wraps while she poses as Hikaru. Each episode introduces a new guy Hinako must defeat and in the process befriends them. It gets a little muddled during the last 2 episodes but there’s only so much you can do with such a condensed run time.

This was a super casual watch as each episode was roughly 7-8 minutes long. With the limited amount of time they had to create a compelling story, it wasn’t too bad. There weren’t any huge glaring issues other than suspending your disbelief for that initial plot intro. I’ll just say that I’ve suspended it for less. I must say that I was cackling at the idol fighter getting emotional during his concert because his friends fought in place of him so it wouldn’t damage his idol reputation.

Rating: 5.5/10
Would I recommend?: Sure. It’s harmless fluff with a couple rough edges considering it’s a bunch of pretty boys fighting.

Available on Crunchyroll

The Laughing Salesman (笑ゥせぇるすまんNEW)

Studio: Shin-Ei Animation
Genre: Supernatural | Comedy | Drama | Seinen

This series is pretty much a sequel/reboot to an older series by the same name. It’s in the same vein as Osomatsu-san’s 2015 reboot as far as character designs and animation go. I LOVE shows that concepts that play with the idea of “be careful what you wish for” so I was all in from the beginning. The salesman himself is highly disturbing and I had hoped they go in to his backstory a little but they stuck to the two 10 min stories with an episode. Most stories revolved around people getting to indulge in their primal desires. Unsurprisingly older men being seduced by young attractive women only to find out the women weren’t actually attractive was the most common trope. Which is pretty sexist and horrible but why did I enjoy it?? However I particularly enjoyed episode 12 where they tackle the topic of cyberbullying in chat rooms or trolling online in general. It captured that image well and it was extremely satisfying to see the character(s) get their comeuppance.

That being said the OP theme “Don’t” by Nakamura Emi, which I think is a play on words as the salesman proclaims DON (BOOM) when he enacts the punishment on his victim each episode, is probably my favorite OP of the season. It’s insanely catchy.

Rating: 5.5/10
Would I recommend?: I’m a little hesitant to say yes, but it was definitely my guilty pleasure for the season. The portrayal of ugly women as punishments for men was off putting at times but it played to my horror loving tendencies by exploring body horror.

Available on Crunchyroll

Room Mate

Studio: TYPHOON GRAPHICS
Genre: Slice of Life | Romance | Harem

Oof I do not think this was intended for me. It’s a mini series where a new manager moves in to an apartment complex that is occupied by attractive young men. It’s a framed in a way to where the viewer/audience is supposed to be the new manager so that “character” never speaks and the boys talk at the camera. I was aware of the genre but this was my first time seeing one. I finished it simply because each episode was 3 minutes long and I was curious how these types of shows play out. It is… not for me.

The ending credits also really uncomfortable. It’s a well illustrated image of the 3 housemates and as sparkles gradually spread across the screen it reveals the same image but with them nearly naked (pictured above). So… yeah.

Rating: 3/10
Would I recommend?: Meh. It’s harmless but has little to no substance.

Available on Crunchyroll

The Royal Tutor (王室教師ハイネ)

Studio: Bridge
Genre: Comedy | Drama | Historical Fiction

The royal family is in need of a teacher to whip the four rebellious princes in to shape in order to inherit the throne. However all previous tutors have quit abruptly due to how difficult it was to manage the boys. Enter Heine, an exceptionally short man who is constantly mistaken as a child. Despite his pokerface and monotone voice he approaches each prince thoughtfully and opens up to learning their strengths and weaknesses in order to adapt his teaching styles to each young man. The series touches on not only class discrimination, inherited responsibilities, and dealing with emotional stress. But it mainly reiterates the importance of not judging a person based on their appearance along with actively pursuing means of improving ones self whether it be through communication, being less critical of your failures or simply asking for help.

While the series maintains a lighthearted atmosphere (emphasized by excessive use of chibi versions of the characters to cut the tension or simply heighten a joke) it has moments of deeper conflicts. This series took me by surprise with how beautifully animated it was and I’m obsessed with the character designs. I’m a sucker for short gradients in hair. Not to mention episode 6 had a random live action music video of the ED theme complete with choreography (I’m assuming it was to promote the stage play for the series.) Either way it had me rolling. This was the only show of the season that motivated me to pick up the first volume of the manga because I didn’t want to say goodbye to the characters.

Rating: 7/10
Would I recommend?: Yes, this was essentially my Dragon Maid of the season. It was funny, gorgeous, addicting and good hearted. It won me over right out of the gate.

Available on Crunchyroll

Tsuki ga Kirei (月がきれい)

Studio: feel.
Genre: School | Romance

I initially wasn’t going to even watch this show but I saw someone tweet out some screen caps of a group of young girls comforting a heartbroken friend and I thought that it’s rare to see that type of interaction depicted so thoughtfully in an anime. Tsuki ga Kirei is about middle schoolers Kotaro and Akane experiencing young love. Unlike most romance series the characters actually get together around episode 6 so you get to watch as they navigate through the trial and errors of dating. The episodes leading up to them officially starting to go out was some of the most precious moments I’d seen play out in a series in a while. It also wasn’t a case of one being more infatuated with the other. They glanced longingly at each other but still competed and worked hard at their own personal goals of improving, Akane had her track and field team while Kotaro aspired to be a writer and is active in his neighborhood Shinto shrine. Akane also seems to suffer for a social anxiety as she constantly comforts herself by squeezing a radish plushie to keeps on hand which comes in to play numerous times in the series.

The level of maturity shown by the characters never felt forced as they were just kids expressed their emotions and frustrations. What they felt was genuine and they tried to communicate it even though they didn’t understand why they were upset. You got to see them stumble but also learn from their mistakes with honesty. I won’t spoil anything but the ending sequence to the finale episode was handled SO beautifully that it had me tearing up well after it ended. This show has potentially ruined all future romance anime by setting that bar so high.

SIDE NOTE: Akane handled her home wrecker friend 1000x more gracefully than I would have.

Rating: 8.5/10
Would I recommend?: YES. It’s a slow burn but it’s so pure and satisfying story about a middle school first love.

Available on Crunchyroll

The World YAMIZUKAN (世界の闇図鑑)

Studio: ILCA
Genre: Horror | Supernatural

I’m always on the hunt for new and entertaining horror series so I was happy to stumble upon this one. These were 3-4 min animatic shorts (storyboards or illustrations with minimal animation applied to them). It looks like they used 4-5 different artists to showcase varying art styles that fit each short story. It’s in the vein of Twilight Zone twists where the story starts on mostly normal then reveals the gruesome truth. Tales range from alien abductions, giant blob beach monsters, man eating snowmen, and cyborg colonization.

Rating: 6/10
Would I recommend?: Yes. The eerily unsettling narration made it really enjoyable to binge in under an hour.

Available on Crunchyroll

ON GOING

Re:CREATORS (レクリエイターズ)

Studio: TROYCA
Genre: Action | Magic | Fantasy | Sci-fi

I’d put off watching this series because any promo art I’d come across was exactly the opposite of what I’d usually look for in a series (Granblue as well). I was so wrong. I blazed through the first 12 episodes in a little over 24 hours. To sum it up, something happens in a world that’s similar to ours where characters from different forms of media/content (anime series, manga, books, games, etc) are coming to life and crossing over to the real world. It seems to all be related to the main character Shouta but him and his backstory more or less sit on the sidelines (until latter half of the season). But as more pop culture characters are introduced and they attempt to unravel why they are existing outside their realms, how they can get back to their respective worlds while trying to not kill each other due to misunderstandings brought on by the villain.

This series hit pretty close to home as it delves in to Shouta’s recent past and his struggle to create art while constantly comparing his skills to not only other artists on social media but even his friend. There’s a scene with him staring at blank document in a painting program and him struggling to make that first stroke and then just getting discouraged when browsing popular pieces on an art sharing site. RELATABLE. Then in a flashback reveal, it touches on how powerful social media can be to cultivate a community but also how devastating it can be dealing with call out culture and cyberbullying. I’m excited to see where the series goes from here.

Would I recommend?: Yes! Didn’t expect this to be one of my season favorites. As an artist this is REALLY engaging and thought provoking when it comes to how creators feel about their work/characters.

Available on Anime Strike

Sakura Quest (サクラクエスト)

Studio: P.A. Works
Genre: Slice of Life | Comedy

I’m not sure exactly what I was expecting with this show but this was a pleasant surprise for me this season. It’s very rare to have a series featuring older female characters that doesn’t revolve around boy melodrama. So to have a team of women in their late 20’s supporting each other, and working towards a goal was really refreshing. It cute, sweet and light hearted country side life style propaganda and I’m in it for the long haul. Bonus points for such fun catchy OP/ED themes!

I’ve heard great things about Shirobako (another series by P.A. Works featuring a female coworkers) so while I haven’t seen it, it’s definitely on my radar and I look forward to checking it out in the near future.

Would I recommend?: Yes. It’s a slow burn but the characters are genuine, motivated and are a joy to watch interact. Looking forward to finishing the rest during the summer season.

Available on Crunchyroll

Sakurada Reset (サクラダリセット)

Studio: David Production
Genre: Drama | Supernatural | School | Mystery

I really want to like this series as it has a ton of elements that I love to see in not just anime but stories as a whole. People living in Sakurada have special abilities that are catalogued and regulated by an agency. Misora can reset a timeline within a certain time frame but can’t recall when/why she ever does do a reset. Kei’s ability is having a strong memory and is able to remember everything even when Misora does resets. Interesting concept, right? It’s akin to X-Men and is essentially a superhero genre without the standard beats of one. Too bad these main characters are about as interesting as a damp cloth. Both are extremely robotic in their mannerisms, which would make sense if everyone in Sakurada was like that due to their abilities, but they aren’t. Once Kei befriends Misora he uses her for her reset power and she becomes a little lap dog to Kei doing whatever he wants her to do. He says she should cut his hair because she’s too otherworldly and she shows up with a bob. He mentions he likes mini skirts she asks if she should start wearing them.

Also my main pet peeve is they successfully are able to resurrect a dead friend via the combined effort of other people’s abilities and the very next episode is dedicated to Misora’s slice of life and her struggle on how to act when Kei has fallen ill. While it wasn’t entirely pointless as it lent to getting to know Misora’s “personality” and thought process. But it was better suited as lets say episode 6 instead of a follow up episode to RIGHT after they bring a friend back from the dead.

I’m pretty only watching to see what happens with Eri Oka cause once she showed up she’s like “Kei, you’re an asshole and I’m here to be a villain to your bullshit.” Soooo I support her.

Would I recommend?: Given all the frustrations it’s caused me as of episode 12 I wouldn’t recommend it. There’s JUST enough where I’m going to give it a couple more episodes so final verdict will come in my Summer season reviews to see if it redeems itself.

Available on Anime Strike

DROPPED

Akashic Records of Bastard Magic Instructor (ロクでなし魔術講師と禁忌教典)

Studio: LIDENFILMS
Genre: Action | Magic | Fantasy | School
Episode dropped: 3
While not the worst show in the bunch this is the series that made me cut down my episode “taste testing” down to 3 instead of 4. The girls’ school uniforms aren’t the only problem with this show (seriously?? Garter belts and skirt suspenders for 15 yr olds?). I wanted to give it some credit because I hated Glenn, the substitute teacher, from the moment he was introduced but you’re supposed to, right? He’s lazy, rude, cocky, and exceptionally inappropriate with the students. But it’s okay, according to the show, Glenn’s really good at magic so we’re supposed to forgive his lackadaisical teaching method and pedophilia tendencies.

Oh also the one student that tries to make him accountable for his lack of responsibilities in teaching the class? Terrorists show up in the 2nd episode and she’s sexually assaulted and nearly raped. But LOL the teacher was going to leave her there when he walked in on the situation which is hilarious, right?? Do you get the joke?? This show is awful.

Rating: 3/10

Available on Crunchyroll

Alice & Zoroku (アリスと蔵六)

Studio: Artland TNK
Genre: Action | Magic
Episode dropped: 4
This series started off fairly intriguing with a young girl with strange power escaping from a facility then finding a safe haven with a cranky old man when they try to take her back. It had a weird shift in genre from action/drama with a spritzing of comedy to almost a slice of life vibe which is when I lost interest. I can get my girl with crazy powers escaping from captors from Stranger Things or even The OA.

Rating: 4.5/10

Available on Crunchyroll

Armed Girl’s Machiavellism (武装少女マキャヴェリズム)

Studio: Silver Link & Connect
Genre: Action | School | Shonen
Episode dropped: 3

I was necessarily looking forward to this show but I wasn’t dreading it either. Promo art lead me to believe it could be a fun fighting/action centered school anime. Well… it IS a fighting school anime, but not fun in the least for me. We have yet another main male character that is set up to be unlikeable but also has to defeat a band of highly armed and skilled girls acting as essentially the bodyguards of the school. It had potential to discuss some reoccurring harassment issues that girls and women face on a daily basis, but quickly makes it a women are the villain and need to be put in their place kind of story arc. But lets also make it obvious that as he defeats each girl that they become attracted to him. Hard pass on this garbage heap.

Rating: 1.5/10

Available on Anime Strike

Clockwork Planet (クロックワーク・プラネット)

Studio: Xebec
Genre: Sci-fi | Fantasy
Episode dropped: 3
This… was not for me. Story takes place in a future where the planet is made of gears and the main character is a technical genius when it comes to mechanics and I guess he can save the world. He activates a robot and she initiates what is essentially a slave contract by… sucking his finger. This isn’t explained. I was intrigued by Marie, the president’s daughter, but not enough to make it past the 3rd episode.

Rating: 3/10

Available on Crunchyroll

Eromanga Sensei (エロマンガ先生)

Studio: A-1 Pictures
Genre: Comedy | Drama | Romance | Incest
Episode dropped: 4
I don’t think I’ve ever watched an anime show made me so uncomfortable so fast. Long story short the plot revolves around this brother and stepsister where he’s in love with her. She’s also 12. This is important because the show is CONSTANTLY doing fan service of her.. like shots of her crotch, butt, chest and weird close ups of her mouth. SHE’S TWELVE. What’s more disturbing is people seem to think this is okay because it’s presented with smooth animation, and good character design. Just NO. It’s really disheartening that so many people are normalizing a show that sexualizes underaged kids under the guise of moe.

Next time Japan wants to do a little sister-incest story I propose the following: Boy writes a popular bro/sis series. His actual sister is not about it. The story is about him reflecting on his life choices and making amends with his family; realizing he’s gross for doing bro/sis content.

Rating: 1/10

Available on Crunchyroll & Anime Strike

Hinako Note (ひなこのーと)

Studio: Artland TNK
Genre: Slice of Life | Comedy
Episode dropped: 5
I wanted to like this. It’s very much a cute girls doing cute things show that’s fish out of water coupled with drama club. I usually HATE overly shy characters but I was charmed by Hinako and her lil quirks (maybe it was her character design). However I wish the actual show had half the amount of energy that the OP & ED served up. It took them 4 episodes to introduce all the characters and for them to actually start doing the drama club. Then by the time they started training/dance practice the fan service went from tolerable to painfully distracting. I’ll stick with Sakura Quest for my cute girls working together needs.

Rating: 4/10

Available on Crunchyroll

Love Tyrant (風夏)

Studio: EMT²
Genre: Comedy | Seinen | Ecchi
Episode dropped: 4
The premise for this series sounded like a bad Death Note fanfiction; instead of someone dying when you write a name(s) in this notebook, they become a couple/kiss/date/whatever. I did appreciate that the show acknowledged how dumb this one within a few mins. However this show was insufferable. They took almost every annoying anime trope that you can think of and smashed it in thinking this would be a good show. Perverted fujoshi love interest with magical powers, excessively large breasted rival who is also a yandere, younger sister character existing so incest ships can be a thing, scantily clad sociopath and of course all these girls serve as a harem for the boy version of Bella. Besides all that the character design is terrible and the stylized gray outlines were unappealing.

This show tries so hard to be funny but fails tremendously while trying to make a premise of nonconsensual relationships a punchline. I thought this would be my least liked show of the season but silly me I hadn’t watched Eromanga Sensei yet.

Rating: 2/10

Available on Crunchyroll

Seven Mortal Sins (sin 七つの大罪)

Studio: Artland TNK
Genre: Ecchi | Fantasy
Episode dropped: 4
I’ve only seen a handful of shows that are intentionally just meant as fapping material. So this was a little out of my comfort zone. But knowing that this was hentai going in I was oddly intrigued by it. Most likely because I’m fascinated by the seven deadly sins theme in general. It was almost laughable at how ridiculous the censorship was with these giant spinning pentagrams. I honestly was curious at how the show would play out. Each episode was pretty much Lucifer (as a recently fallen angel in hell) confronting each sin. She then “saves/defeats” them by convincing them they aren’t actually sins and that’s just who they are. My curiosity halted after I picked up on the formula.

Rating: 3.5/10

Available on Crunchyroll

Twin Angels Break

Studio: J.C. Staff
Genre: Magical Girl | Fantasy
Episode dropped: 4
I wanted to like this because it’s been a bit since I’ve gotten in to a new magical girl show (that wasn’t in the dark magical girl genre). However you can tell that the show was not intended for me. The writing style is childish which is fine if the show were intended for children. The amount of ass and boob shots makes me think otherwise.

Rating: 4/10

Available on Crunchyroll


FINAL THOUGHTS

As I’ve mentioned before this project is exhausting to keep up with on my own but it’s a good kind of exhausting. I’m loving all the little hidden gem series that I wouldn’t have stumbled upon unless I’d decided to challenge myself in fully immersing myself in current seasonal shows. It’s brought on a whole new set of frustrations as far as the sheer volume, and then sifting through the bad shows but also the headaches that come with trying to watch currently airing shows with the mess that is Netflix withholding series and Anime Strike’s lack of accessibility for non-Prime members.

Anywho here’s the TL;DR cheat sheet for what I loved, hated along with my guilty pleasures of the season.

RECOMMEND

  • Kabukibu!
  • Re:Creators
  • Royal Tutor
  • Sakura Quest
  • Tsuki ga Kirei

GUILTY PLEASURES

  • Anonymous Noise
  • Kado: The Right Answer
  • The Laughing Salesman

PASS

  • Akashic Records of Bastard Magic Instructor
  • Armed Girl’s Machiavellism
  • Eromanga Sensei
  • Love Tyrant

Be on the look out for my summer reviews!


What was your favorite series from the spring 2017 anime season?

What are you enjoying in the summer season so far?

Let me know below or tweet @teriarchibbles.

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