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Hey Spitz, What’ve You Been Watching? September 2015 (part one?)

October 2, 2015

(This article will be spoiler-free!)

Hello folks! September has been a busy month!
My favorite season has hit, but the arrival of Autumn of course means Winter is right around the corner as well… quite depressing.
The changing of the seasons brings with it a changing of currently airing anime, and while I was unable to finish up everything in time for this article, I did close up my personal favorites over the past few months.
I might make an additional article later, when I’ve caught up on the rest, or I may save them for next month. It depends on how difficult it will be to wrestle time away from other things.
Regardless, here were my favorites over the Summer season:

 

Charlotte_animeCharlotte- 
Otosaka Yuu is a young man who has discovered he has the supernatural ability to take command over an individual’s body, though only for a short time.
While the potential of such an ability is lost on Yuu, being a somewhat mischievous high school student, he soon comes to find that there are others like him out there with amazing, though limited, supernatural abilities.
He is recruited into Hoshinoumi Academy by way of the manipulative Tomori Nao, and begrudgingly convinced to help seek out ability-wielders.

What I thought- “Excellent start. Rushed ending.”
Charlotte promised to be somewhat of a dream project between the superb production stylings of P.A. Works and the memorable characters and heartfelt narrative found in Key stories, and while I was on board from the get-go and still consider Charlotte one of the shows to watch out of the Summer season, it isn’t perfect (though admittedly, no one thing is), and in some ways felt perhaps poorly planned or rushed near the end.
The Angel Beats! connection is evident between the mixed serious and comedic tone, as well as the excellent soundtrack (and the adorable Tachibana Kanade even makes a cameo appearance in one of the episodes). I would even go as far as to say that the plot as a whole was stronger here, but even still I enjoyed Angel Beats! more at the end of the day, because while it had its own issues, they tried to do less with the plot there, and that made the path to the conclusion less contrived and muddled.
Charlotte isn’t a bad series – not at all – but it could have benefited from better pacing in its closing hours. The journey is greater than the destination.
Charlotte is a great series in its own right, though flawed. It’s only when you compare it to prior works of P.A. Works and Key that the shine begins to tarnish. Sometimes you don’t need to tie everything up with a neat little bow.

 

d15019030693a25416542e1402ea2b96Gakkou Gurashi-
Takeya Yuki is an irresistibly bright and high in energy (though somewhat short in stature…) student of Megurigaoka High.
She is a member of the School Life Club, whose members, while few in number, live their everyday lives within the school’s walls.
Happy faces and bright smiles come and go, but Yuki and her fellow club members do their best to survive their school lives with high spirits.

What I thought- “More than meets the eye.”
One of my favorite things is to go into something with a generally solid assumption of what you’ll be getting, only to have the rug pulled out from under you.
This can be a problem when the thing you didn’t expect isn’t handled properly, but it pleases me to say that Gakkou Gurashi excels at what it’s going for.
This is a series that benefits greatly from the viewer’s lack of knowledge prior to its viewing, and if you manage to get through the first episode without sneaking a peek at the hand of cards it’s holding, the places it goes are both surprising and uniquely handled.
I urge anyone who is reading this to at least give this series an episode.
The stealth hit of the Summer season, Gakkou Gurashi takes arguably overused tropes and spins them into something exciting. This one is a winner.

 

20150511_summer01Wakaba Girl-
Based on the 4-koma, Wakaba Girl is a series of slice of life shorts which centers around the daughter of a well-along family, Kohashi Wakaba, as she does her best to fit into school while dreaming to achieve “Gyaru”ness.

What I thought- “Short, cute,
and wonderfully endearing.”
Wakaba Girl is the perfect “filler series”, which is wonderful for filling a couple of free minutes here or there with bright, funny moe antics.
The character designs are terrific, the characters are likable and distinct, and while the run time of each episode doesn’t offer much room for an overarching plot, the slice-of-life comedy is great.
Continuing the tradition of the moe espresso shot, Wakaba Girl is a series of comedy shorts done right. It doesn’t overstay its welcome, and while I may forget I’ve watched it in the months to come, it was a gas while it lasted.

 

We’re coming up on video game season, with several of the big releases having already been released. Then there’s the Fall anime season to contend with… There aren’t many standouts as of right now, but as long as someone gets Yuru Yuri’s third season simulcasting I’ll be a happy camper.
Either way, as far as escapism is concerned, personally I think I’m set. The days keep getting shorter and in more ways than one.
It’s a good thing too, with the bitter weather hovering on the horizon.
あとでね。
(Keep those stories unspoiled. And do check out Gakkou Gurashi.)

From → Anime

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