Fall 2016 Anime Midseason Musings

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All of the anime shows that are currently airing this season have reached at least episode 6 by now (save a few late starters), which marks this week as the midway point (roughly) of the season. How do the shows I review on a weekly basis stand?

(Spoilers in this post)

Well, I think the seven shows I’m writing about every week are all currently at different places, so I couldn’t really summarize the entire season thus far with a single sentence. However, I did notice that several shows have had developments occur unexpectedly early, which makes for a nice surprise.

Before I jump into what I think of each show as of now, however, I want to point out that I couldn’t review several shows that I probably should be watching because I never got to watch their first season. Jumping straight to the second season would be doing the franchise a disservice. I’m talking about Show by Rock!! S2Hibike! Euphonium S2; and Mahou Shoujo Nante Mou Ii Desukara S2 (short anime needs love, too). Rest assured, I will try to binge watch the original series of each and review the ones that aired this season before the end of this year.

The same probably can’t be said about Brave Witches and Vivid Strike. I have several seasons of several series to go through if I want to start from the top (and I do). I’ll get to them in due time.

I dropped the ball when it came to Shuumatsu no Izetta since I didn’t think to start watching the series until several weeks went by yet I didn’t want to write a post talking about several episode all at once. Regalia: The Three Sacred Stars was disappointing when it first aired (and then stopped) in Summer 2016, so I didn’t bother picking it back up when it returned this season. However, I’m actually curious about exactly how bad it is, so that’s on the binge list, too.  As for Keijo!!!!!!!! …a show which relies that much on fanservice isn’t my cup of tea. But I’ll have to force myself to watch it later.

And now, without further ado:

The Shows I’m Watching As Of Week 6

1. Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku

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It definitely was a slow starter and initially seemed to be overshadowed by Puella Magi Madoka Magica, which  caused a lot of people to be turned off by episode 3 or so. However, it picking up steam shortly afterwards and now viewers are worrying about their favorite characters every week since they can die at any time.

Every in-story event happens for a reason, which makes for refined storytelling (as well as a lot of backtracking to previous episodes). Viewers who have read the original source material may complain that certain scenes or details have been cut in order to streamline the plot, but the studio has been been mostly faithful (while adding a few original scenes that only help the story). The battles are both bloody and uncensored. Several of the girls are also a bit slow since they have yet to fully realize that there’s an underlying plot, however. I look forward to watching this show the most every week.

2. Shakunetsu no Takkyuu Musume

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The animation is subpar and the series has fallen into a two-episode rhythm starting from episode two (as in they use an episode to hype up a match and then deliever said match the following episode). But it isn’t lacking at all in the action, emotion, and funniness departments. The characterization isn’t actually deep, but no one is completely flat, either (as characters! Get your minds out of the gutter!) Probably the most underrated show that I’m currently watching.

3. Flip Flappers

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We’re six episodes in and we’re still not getting answers about the big picture. Why is FlipFlap collecting fragments? What do the fragments exactly do? What is Pure Illusion? What do they mean when they say Yayaka and the twins are built differently? However, Studio 3Hz has deliberately choosen to make the show tell a story that heavily relies on imagery, colors, and flashiness. As a result, viewers are left confused yet amazed until they take a closer look. Regardless of your positon in regards to its storytelling (it’s unique vs it’s insubstantial), I think all viewers are waiting to see how Flip Flappers develops with bated breath.

4. Girlish Number

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Chitose, our adorable yet cocky heroine, has firmly secured her position as queen of memefaces for this season. Yet she refuses to learn her lesson and hasn’t realized her own shortcomings as of yet, which may irk some viewers. The first season of the anime that’s discussed in the premesis (the one in which she’s a voice actress along with four other female co-workers) already ended by episode 6, which surprised me. I guess Chitose might come to understand her inability before (or even during) the voice recording sessions for the second season of said anime, which is also scheduled to air in-universe after a short break.

It’s an anime you watch if you want to see everything go wrong as the producers and the people with authority seen in this show are almost all terrible people. My only hang-up is the possibility of Chitose never wisening up. She’ll be no better than the oblivious male leads in harem rom-com shows if she keep this up, which would be even more frustrating than how she currently is.

5. Lostorage Incited WIXOSS

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It’s a WIXOSS series, so expect the rules of the game to be thrown to the wayside (so new developments can happen in later episodes as needed!) while the show focuses on characterization. That being said, Suzuko hasn’t really done anything besides react or run away whereas her childhood friend, Chinatsu, seems to be trying very hard to treat Suzuko poorly in order to hide her own disgusting feelings. The jury is still out as to why Chinatsu is acting this way, however. Expect to see twisted people (the worst one isn’t even a Selector), desperate people, and suffering.

6. Stella no Mahou

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The selling point of this show is the characters of the show – if you like one because you can relate to her (or because you think she’s cute hehehe), you’ll probably stick around. However, I can’t really say it’s done anything special to make it different from any other schoolgirl series. I will admit that I’m curious as to where the show will go from here now that the club finished the titular game, Stella no Mahou, and managed to sell some copies at a convention. More slice-of-life incoming? Are they going to make more games? Stay tuned!

7. Long Riders!

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It’s even less noteworthy than Stella no Mahou. Granted, we’re only on episode 4 (episode 5 review should be out sooner but most probably later), but it really feels like most episodes are about biking and food. It’s kind of educational if you wanted to learn a bit about bikes, but is watching an anime what you’re really going to do in order to learn about a new pasttime you’re interested in?

I can’t really find any of the characters to be interesting aside for Hinako, either. Maybe things will pick up once they have enough members to do a five-member long-distance bicycle trip since that’s clearly what the series is going to end up revolving around.


I guess that’s all for now, folks. What do you think about what I said for these shows? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section!

 

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10 comments on “Fall 2016 Anime Midseason Musings”

  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
    Flip Flappers is either going to be amazing or a nice little distraction that will quickly be forgotten and it all depends on how (or if) they actually bring everything together at season’s end. While the visuals are nice enough, without something more concrete in the plot it just isn’t going to have any rewatch value. But, if they actually know where this is all going and it makes sense, it is going to be a really good anime to talk about after the season ends.
    The only other show on your list I’m still watching is WIXOSS and yep they are hitting all the right notes in terms of showing us how horrible people can be and how to break a person. The game still doesn’t make sense and it still doesn’t really matter because we’re just too caught up in these characters, though it makes it hard to know if a character is getting better at the game or making a good move when the rules of the game are so muddled.
    Sorry about the long reply, thanks again for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with your assessments of both Flip Flappers and WIXOSS. They definitely are doing some things right or are grabbing viewers’ attention as of right now, but they can’t just keep things as it is.
      Maybe Suzuko can actually do something soon! There’s basically no chance we’ll ever get the rules cleanly laid out so some things will always remain murky.
      Flip Flappers on the other hand can really go anywhere from here – as long as it’s not six more episodes of Pure Illusion and no explanations.

      No, I enjoyed reading your reply. You’re much better at being critical and decisive so I appreciate your input. Thank you.
      Thanks for dropping by and weighing in!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I (eventually) plan to watch Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku, Flip Flappers and WIXOSS, so it’s nice to see your positive reviews of them. The rest I’ll pass. Girlish Number in particular sounds like it’ll have me tearing my hair out in about 90 seconds. I don’t have much hair to spare y’know…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel you. The anime-to-watch list just keeps piling uppp.
      It can be frustrating, yeah. The memefaces can only do so much to alleviate the stress. I find myself pausing an episode during particular scenes in order to prepare myself…
      Oh, I feel you. Anime is fine and all but hair is a precious resource!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Lesbians playing card games makes for a strong incentive to watch! There /are/ male Selectors this time around, however, but we are still primarily focusing on the ladies and their issues. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m not sure if you watched the original two seasons, but the inclusion of a penalty against waiting around and doing nothing makes for a much more tense situations since the characters can’t just run away.

      Flip Flappers is very pretty. I’m still screaming at my screen demanding answers, but I think I’ll try sitting down and trying to interpret what they’ve shown us thus far. I need to keep my voice, after all!

      Thanks for dropping by, maengune!

      Like

  3. I think Flip Flapper’s charm comes in its refusal to elaborate on its plot, focusing more on the experience of entering the headspace of Cocona in order for us to decipher the meaning behind the bizarre events in the show. That isn’t to say that it isn’t necessary to have a point (i.e. reasonable conclusion), but I guess you can say that the show isn’t really concerned about that — and once you’ve come to accept the fact that there probably won’t be any major resolution in the end, you end up discovering deeper messages about adolescence and coming of age hidden in the story. So though the narrative is a little shoddy, the underlying message — of how growing up and the search of identity and purpose can be as terrifying yet as exciting as a bedtime story — is just so vividly clear. Regardless of the outcome, I doubt Flip Flappers will be a show that I will forget for a long time.

    As for Girlish Number, I trust Wataru Watari won’t allow Chitose’s character to degenerate into an unchanging male harem-esque archetype, as you mentioned. There’s a certain authenticity in how Chitose’s obnoxiousness is portrayed, and I appreciate how the show allows her to realize her own shortcomings only for her to revert back to her silly ways. In many ways, we are all like that, and I think that if Chitose annoys you more and more, then she’s doing a good job at being an ACTUAL character. If and when she finally develops and learns from all of this, that really will be the day.

    Thanks for the insights on the shows, and sorry that I don’t drop by as regularly as you do. But I’ll be sure to leave my thoughts every now on then on your blog. 🙂 Take care!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It can be a charm or it could be an annoyance. I think it depends on the viewer. But now that you mention it, the show is more interesting if you think of it as exploring Cocona’s head space.
      If those are the sort of themes the show is going for, then you’re right about it being exciting. Coming of age stories always enthrall me. That being said, I am worried about the conclusion. And as you mentioned, the narrative isn’t the best. Flip Flappers does stand out, I admit.
      Mmm I have faith she won’t devolve into that sort of tiresome archetype, too, but I figured it was worth pointing out. It’s definitely a credit to Wataru Watari to write her like this to the point I get annoyed by her yet still find her endearing. She’s certainly relatable.
      You’re welcome and thank you for dropping by! No worries, we are all busy folk, right? I do enjoy reading your posts, too.

      Take care! c:

      Like

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