Haven’t done one of these in a while, so here we go… I’ll be looking at 9 shows this time around (it would have been 10 with Joker Game, but it was so tedious to watch that I gave up on it…), all from the recently completed 2016 spring anime season. Overall, I enjoyed this season a lot while it was happening, but I have doubts that many will have any real staying power.
So, what did you think of spring anime season? What shows did you most enjoy or hate? And, is there anything I missed that I definitely have to check out? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below!
Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon Crystal Season III
Finally, Sailor Moon Crystal is getting more of an adaptation it truly deserves. If you were disappointed by the first 2 seasons (I certainly was!) then season 3 will be a welcome breath of fresh air. The new transformations look great, the outer senshi add a new dynamic, and the animation is much smoother and consistent. Of course, it’s not totally perfect, but I have been really enjoying it. Definitely looking forward to seeing what season 4 has in store for us.
Final impressions: A world of a difference from season 1 and 2.
Verdict: Watch it – The Sailor Moon magic is back.
Boku no Hero Academia
There’s not really anything new going on in Boku no Hero Academia, which presents a fairly standard hero origin story in a school setting. While I didn’t find anything particularly outstanding about the story or characters, the fight scenes were fun and there were small moments that did give the anime a nice bit of charm and kept me watching.
Unfortunately, the anime is paced pretty slowly, and I often found myself predicting the next set of events long before they even occurred. This slow pace lead to me waiting impatiently for the story to hurry along. The series is also very clearly only an introduction to the world and story of Boku no Hero Academia, and the characters so far have little depth. But, luckily a second season has already be confirmed, so there is hope for the future.
Despite the shortcomings of this anime, I would strongly consider watching a second season, if only because this first season barely scratched the surface of the story and its characters, and I feel like there is potential for the anime to improve. Also, All Might’s use of English always made me chuckle a bit.
Final impressions: Nothing too new, but has its small moments of charm.
Verdict: Worth a look – There’s potential here. (And, a second season)
Bungou Stray Dogs
Bungou Stray Dogs was entertaining enough for a casual watch, but was often repetitive and episodic, especially in the first half. And, while the comedy was flat and the “quirky” characters largely bored me, I will say that it certainly gets better as the series goes on and the main storyline comes to the surface.
However, despite the improvement in the second half, it honestly never really hooked me in any real way. I just didn’t really care about any of the cases or personal issues the detectives dealt with, there was never any sense of danger or urgency in any of their predicaments, and I felt largely apathetic towards the characters, who felt more like caricatures defined by their weird habits and traits than actual people.
In the end, this anime was really just a light introduction to a bigger story, which was teased in the final arc but ultimately failed to interest me (why does America always have to be the big bad?). If there happens to be a second season, I doubt I’ll be spending the time to watch it.
Final impressions: The second half was better, but the series still wasn’t exactly good.
Verdict: Forget it – For all the quirkyness, it sure was forgettable.
Concrete Revolutio: Choujin Gensou – The Last Song
While I loved the first season of Concrete Revolutio, I am far less sure about its second and final season. Maybe I had just forgotten too much of the first season, but I found it difficult to get into and a bit tedious to follow. I liked a lot of aspects of the show, such as the themes, the retro feel, the action, character designs etc. but I found the story and how it was presented generally a chaotic mess.
The first season was certainly much better in my mind, especially when it came to the main female characters, Kikko and Emi, both who turned into one-note “I love Jiro” fangirls in this season. I felt most of the character development in this season happened rather suddenly in the final episode. While I didn’t love this anime, I do think it warrants a rewatch, if only because there is certainly a lot to take in. I found the episodes quite disjointed (even compared to season 1), especially when watched week to week, so watching the entire series in succession might help a bit.
Final impressions: Well, that was more chaotic and tedious than necessary.
Verdict: Worth a look – Comes together in the end, but could have been much better. A must watch if you saw the first season.
I have some mixed feelings about Flying Witch: On one hand, I found it charming, cute, and relaxing; on the other hand, I honestly found it a bit boring. Because of these conflicting emotions, I just can’t give it a definite “watch it” verdict, but will say that if you like very laid-back slice-of-life shows with an adorable, friendly cast, then you’ll probably like it. It’s completely inoffensive, very easy going, and there’s a surprising amount of yummy food featured. Also, Chito-san is boss.
Final impressions: Cute and charming, but a little boring.
Verdict: Worth a look – Perfect for those days when you just want to relax.
Angsty teenagers with their angsty romantic problems collide in Kiznaiver, which was very pretty to watch, but not nearly as emotionally charged as I had hoped. None of the forced drama really made me shed any tears, and I never felt too invested in any of the characters because I didn’t relate much to any of them. The whole “understanding through shared pain” and other themes of the show did not resonate with me, and most of the time I found the symbolism, drama, and themes rather forced and simple rather than “deep” or thoughtful.
That said, it was reasonably fun to watch, despite the slow opening episodes. The later episodes with the mystery past of Katsuhira and Sonozaki were enjoyable, but perhaps the greatest highlight was the opening song by Boom Boom Satellites. Overall, I found Kiznaiver borderline entertaining to watch once, but since the characters and themes made very little impact on me, probably never again.
Final impressions: Angsty teenagers and their angsty problems: entertaining enough but forgettable.
Verdict: Worth a look – Maybe worth one look, but certainly not two.
Koutetsujou no Kabaneri
I really enjoyed the first episode, but honestly, that was the high point of the entire series, and it was all downhill from there on out. Characters are bland and very one note, the conflict feels stale, the plot progression follows the same old formula, and game-changing plot points seem to randomly occur out of the blue.
Sure, it blends some disparate elements together (trains + steampunk + zombies), but simply overlaying it over a generic cast and story is simply not enough to make a particularly exciting or interesting anime. That said, it wasn’t the absolute worst thing I watched this season, and if you just want something mindless to watch without thinking deeply at all, then this might be a fun watch for you.
Final impressions: Nothing in this show makes any sense.
Verdict: Forget it – Try not to think too hard while watching it or else you’ll ruin the illusion.
I wanted to like this cute little show about an ultra shy shrine maiden and her talking bear, but I really wasn’t terribly captured by anything in this anime. Most of the comedy wasn’t very funny to me, and I especially did not like how mean, negative, pushy, and generally unsupportive almost everyone was towards Machi and her rather extreme social anxiety. It often felt like characters were bullying or making fun of Machi instead of supporting and encouraging her, and it simply left a bad taste in my mouth.
I might have had slightly more mild feelings towards this anime if the final few minutes of the last episode had not occurred, but they did, and I really cannot agree with or forgive the conclusion that was presented to the audience at the end of the series…
Final impressions: Unless you like watching little girls being bullied, this anime was an utter waste of time.
Verdict: Forget it – How unbearable.
I was not expecting much from this show, which I picked up on a total whim, but I think this was actually one of my favorites of the spring anime season. For a half-length episode series, Nijiiro Days was adorable, sweet, and funny. I found myself rooting for many of the romantic relationships, and I especially loved the great friendship of the male cast. Damn, they were all just such bros to each other, it was perfect.
The only thing that didn’t sit well with me was how they treated Mari, her love for Anna, and her (potential) romance with Matsunaga. And, while not all the episodes were equally interesting, the main romance did make me smile.
Final impressions: Surprisingly cute with some great male friendships.
Verdict: Worth a look – An easy, breezy romantic comedy.