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Hey Spitz, What’ve You Been Watching? October 2016

November 6, 2016

(I dove deep and didn’t find any spoilers!)

Hey folks! Did you have a safe and entertaining Halloween?
This month’s article will be shorter and sweeter than usual. Shooter season hit like a sack of bricks and has been selfishly gobbling away at my free time (reviews for Titanfall 2 and CoD:IW/MWR are forthcoming), so I didn’t find opportunity to whittle away at the anime backlog at all.
Rather than have no anime monthly for October, I’ve decided to instead jot down some thoughts about the currently airing anime series I’ve picked up for the Fall season. The series which follow are still midway to their conclusions, and opinions may change come the end of the season, so judge my words accordingly.
Here they are:

 

Anime de Training Xx!-
The exercise veneer from the first season is just as loosely utilized this time around. I still love the idea of a series in which the viewer is spoken to and “interacted with” as a character, but the series isn’t strict enough with it. I’m confident it could be done better elsewhere, especially considering this is a service series and if it weren’t for the camera cuts, the ogling would make the viewer character seem like even more of a pervert than he or she already is.

Mahou Shoujo Nante Mou Ii Desu Kara Second Season-
It’s a good season for Magical Girls, and I was completely surprised by this second season to Nante. I had no idea it was coming, and since I enjoyed the first season (wishing it were a full length series even), I was happy to see more of these characters. Episodes are super short, but there is plenty of relentless Familiar torture and plenty of creative(?) Magical Girl outfits to be had thus far.

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Nobunaga no Shinobi-
I don’t know as much as I wish I did about Japanese history. Names pop up here or there that I recognize, but when a series such as this comes along with names like Oda Nobunaga, I’m at a loss as to whether or not I should take it as loosely based on real life events or not.
Regardless, I love the art style and the snappy comedic writing of this series. Each episode is short, and it has produced numerous hearty chuckles out of me in the first half of the season.

3-gatsu no Lion-
Another finely crafted Shaft series. Rei is clearly a troubled person, and it’s been interesting to see the living breathing world around him glow and thrive while he’s stuck in the middle of it and clearly suffering.
This series has much to do with Shogi, and I do not know the game at all, but where something like Saki requires at least a loose understanding of the rules of Riichi Mahjong, 3-gatsu no Lion seems to be a drama series first and a Shogi series second, which is welcome.

Shakunetsu no Takkyuu Musume-
Oh man. You should be watching this.
I would have never thought to have been so grabbed by a series based on ping pong, but the characters in this series are terrific and the matches they play are intense.
I’ll reference Saki again, because I feel like that series is the best comparison I have for Takkyuu Musume. Much like with that particular series, each character here has a specialty and a drive all their own, and thanks to some superb musical choices and over the top animation, they have taken something low key and made it feel as though the world is shattering.
Terrific.

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Kaijuu Girls: Ultra Kaijuu Gijinka Keikaku-
More shorts! (I hear they’re comfy and easy to wear.) This one I’m not so sure about. The art style is great, with nice thick lines and chibi characters, but the writing hasn’t been especially entertaining or witty so far. The episodes last a couple of minutes, and after they’ve finished I sort of have a bad time recollecting what just happened.

Brave Witches-
I am tremendously torn about this series. Coming off of that first episode super high on it thanks to a great new protagonist perfectly on par with Miyafuji from Strike Witches, I was immediately taken aback by the inclusion of CG character art for action scenes.
I don’t understand it… The series is coming from Silver Link who produced Non Non Biyori and the first season of Prisma Illya, so I know they can handle gorgeous 2d art and action scenes, but both the 2d character animation as well as the inclusion (and seeming dependence) on CG screams of cut corners.
The characters and narrative seem fine so far, but where Strike Witches had production quality, this follow-up is gravely lacking.

Shuumatsu no Izetta-
Alternate histories are hit or miss. Sometimes I think I’d prefer if the clearly German armies could just be Germans, but I suppose I understand why it’s done.
Izetta has been strong thus far. Izetta and Fine are both terrific characters, and their history and interactions have been well done.
The action is also great. Izetta wrecks people, and I really appreciate the choice of music during the action scenes. It isn’t typical, and presentational stylings like that draw my attention to the screen just as much as the action does.

Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku-
The more I think about it, Mahoiku is the most conflicted I’ve felt over a series in a long time.
I think it’s safe to say that this series couldn’t have existed if it weren’t for Madoka (and that’s a whole different can of worms to contend with), but without being a jerk and pointing fingers and shouting “unoriginal!”, I think this is a very solid Magical Girl series which, much like with Madoka, is growing on me more and more as time goes by.
The high production values help it a great deal of course – it’s an incredibly slick looking and sounding series (I especially love both the OP and ED songs) but the rest of my love for this series so far has been thanks to its characters. They’re all so diverse and so larger than life, but even the characters who are clearly just terrible people are likable and relatable, and that’s something that countless series struggle with.
Thanks to its tone it’s an underdog, but I’ll happily root for it.

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And that’s it. I also picked up Mahoutsukai no Yome: Hoshi Matsu Hito, but after viewing the first episode, which was terrific, and left me wanting more, I have come to discover that the series is to consist of three parts, and the next part isn’t scheduled for release until early next year (!), so I have chosen to omit it from the list until it has completed.
I have a little more work to do on the Titanfall 2 review, so that’ll be up sometime soon, and Infinite Warfare (as well as Modern Warfare Remastered) still need some time to sink in. If I had more time… if I had more time…
The rest is just the looming threat of Wintertime and all of the hassle it represents. Long live the Summer!
(Keep those stories unspoiled!)
じゃね

From → Anime

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