Spring 2015 anime review

Spring 2015 anime review

spring2015With the Spring 2015 line-up now at a close, I thought I would take a quick look back over the anime I have reviewed this season and do a swift summary and conclusion on them all. Many of my reviews were written only a few episodes in, and some of my opinions may have changed since all those months ago. Besides, one of the things that I think makes a good anime (or book, film or game, for that matter) is how good the ending is. Here I will take a look at those very important endings and rate them, in reverse order. Since these are ending reviews, there will be spoilers!

15. Takamiya Nasuno Desu!
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Not much of an ending at all. To be honest, I couldn’t follow this one. Though I’ve said before that anime shorts get a bum deal as far as ending reviews go, this one could have definitely been improved. By making just a modicum of sense. I guess I should have listened to those that said “Don’t watch this one unless you’ve seen Teekyuu“, and so this is the advice that I’m passing down to you. Unless you like being totally confused from beginning to end.

14. Urawa no Usagi-chan
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Again, this is another anime short that suffered from having very little identity or objective. The only indication I had to know that I was watching the last episode was a vague reference about it being the summer holidays and the protagonist looking wistfully into the sky. It could have ended with a little celebration, action, poignant scene… anything! But no, it just fizzled out. Very quietly. Why did I watch this, again?

13. Triage X
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I had high hopes for Triage X. The concept was something that generally interested me and I was looking forward to the things it was beginning to explore. This was before everything took a nosedive and I realised that, towards the end, all I had to look forward to was gratuitous violence and fanservice with no real purpose. It was shorter than most anime this season which, sadly, turned out to be a blessing in disguise. To add insult to injury, the last episode was a notorious hot springs episode, which just cheapened the whole thing. Too bad, since everything started off so promising.

12. Wish Upon the Pleiades
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I’m going to be honest here, I lost interest in Subaru and chums toward the end. The last few episodes went nowhere. There was a bit about Minato’s backstory, but by then I had already given up. The ‘twists’ were predictable and the protagonist’s inner turmoil was practically a fistful of non-issues. Things started to get back on track by the final episode, but at that point I just couldn’t summon enough effort to care. I’m sure they tried to wrap things up and have it make as much sense as possible. Mildly interesting magical girl concept with wishy-washy characters and no real peril. Poor effort, Subaru.

11. Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?
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I’m just going to come out and say it: why was everyone raving about this one? Sure, it had promise and conviction at the start… but then where did it go? The struggling, mooning protagonist suddenly became crazy powerful (even though he was only level 2?!) and nerfed every monster in sight. And where did the Sword Princess he was besotted with disappear to? By the last episode, I couldn’t even bear to look at ‘Little Rookie Bell-kun’. Frighteningly enough, things were left to make you feel there might be a second season in the works. Please, no. I don’t want to see the return of what is best described as the ‘disappointing offspring of SAO and Log Horizon‘.

10. I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying
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What is quickly becoming one of my favourite anime shorts of all time, I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying goes from strength to strength. For something that’s only a few minutes long, it tells such a great story with convincing characters and a real beginning and end. This is what an anime short should really be like and I hope that there’s more to come from Kaoru and Hajime.

9. Sound! Euphonium
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Kumiko and company worked/played hard to get to where they wanted to be. After much hardship, the band’s hard work and co-operation paid off and they got through to the next round. Sound! Euphonium, for what it is, was perfectly acceptable, if not a little predictable. This is an anime that’s all about the journey, not the destination, which is absolutely fine, but it got a little… boring, I guess. It wasn’t until the last episode that I realised we never really got to hear everyone play together. Maybe that’s what was missing, or maybe my expectations were too high. Perhaps I was expecting another Your Lie in April when I should have been thinking more along the lines of K-ON.

8. Etotama

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Fun, colourful and full of action, Etotama promised early and delivered consistently. For an anime with such a large cast, it did well to separate them all into individual characters in a short amount of time. It also gave a lot of focus to the chibi battles, which was the best part of the whole story. There was even some surprisingly shocking and tender moments that I wasn’t expecting, assuming (wrongly) that this was an anthropomorphised Chinese Zodiac duking it out for giggles. The fight scenes were enjoyable and impressive and helped to give the characters a platform to develop their personalities. Simple plot, but well-executed.

7. Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches
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The more I watched Yamada, the more I enjoyed it. I was reading the manga alongside it and really got to appreciate the storyline and the ever-growing cast of characters. Yamada himself was a good protagonist and, whilst the ending was similar to the one I anticipated, it happened in a very different way. There were some generally funny and touching moments and I liked watching Yamada’s relationship with Shiraishi develop. What I first thought would be a two-dimensional school harem anime turned out to be a lot more. I like it when anime plots prove me wrong like this!

6. The Eden of Grisaia

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I had high hopes for Eden, particularly after the success of Fruit and Labyrinth, and it did deliver – on most levels at least. It was deliciously dark, intriguing, mysterious and action-packed up until the very last episode. Not sure what happened at the end, though. Somewhat out of character, the cast retired to a desert island, rebuilt their school and lived happily ever after? What was that in-keeping with? Oh, and then Kazuki’s metal pincer hand turns out to be just a prop. Why? Up until then, I really approved. Could have done with a couple more episodes to really flesh supporting characters and antagonists out, too.

5. Uta no Prince-sama
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Starish deliver yet again on their third season. This veritable smorgasbord of bishounen bring their best songs and smouldering looks to keep the masses entertained. Every season invites more beautiful men posing and singing. And I admit – I’m a sucker for it. After flagging a little in the middle, the boys come back from it with a powerful ending song and cliffhanger to make the competition to open the Triple S a memorable one indeed. Visually and audibly fantastic and nearly always had me tapping a foot to the beat.

4. Hello!! Kiniro Mosaic
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A successful second season for the Kinmoza crew. I really enjoyed their situational comedy and schoolgirl humour. Despite being an easy-going, wandering slice-of-life anime, nothing ever got stale or boring and I became really invested in the characters. Towards the end, as Alice comes back from a stay in England, we see how much she and Shinobu really missed each other and how strong their bonds have become since that first homestay many years before. A great feel-good anime that I’m going to miss watching every week.

3. Plastic Memories
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This one surprised me! Plastic Memories was full of ups and downs. First starting off strong, it grabbed everyone’s attention with a interesting concept and quickly setting itself up for a tragic ending. When things started slowing down, I was beginning to find myself disinterested. I wanted more of the earlier Giftia recollections and not this awkward blush-fest that was supposed to be the beginning of a relationship between the two main characters. After that hurdle had been climbed, however, it was time to ramp up the emotions with that inevitable final episode. There was some discussion as to whether there would be a way around the inevitable conclusion for the two lovers, but this was sadly not the case. Instead we saw something beautiful and touching, though very emotional. The ending did credit to the anime overall. Well done, Plastic Memories, I’m sorry to have doubted you.

2. Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Bladeworks
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I knew this one was always going to be a main contender on this list. Unlimited Bladeworks is everything that I wanted the original Fate/Stay Night to be. Rin was great, Shiro was less of an idiot (not completely) and Saber was more a king rather than an innocent girl (and Shiro didn’t try to be weird and date her). The fight scenes were simply stunning and I really felt for most of the mages and their heroes. Even Shinji was made to be a sympathetic character. The final battle with Gilgamesh lived up to my expectations and there was a fitting epilogue depicting what was left for Shiro and Rin after the Fourth Holy Grail War (with a surprising cameo from Waver!). A great story that is well-matched for Fate/Zero.

1. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders
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It’s no secret that I’m a massive JJBA fangirl, but I was very impressed with the way this show kept bringing the action, raising the stakes, cracking the jokes and throwing the curveballs. Since it’s been doing this from the start, I can’t believe it was still hitting as strong and hard as it did in the beginning. Entering Dio’s mansion was the peak and there we saw the most intense battles, raw emotions and awesome power. The fight-ridden journey to Egypt ends with a climactic showdown between the immortal vampire Dio, scourge of the Joestar dynasty and Jotaro. Star Platinum going toe-to-toe (or is it fist-to-fist?) against The World was a fantastic and intriguing battle that kept my eyes glued and my mouth hanging to the very last moments.

Ongoing series’
Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma
My Love Story!!
World Trigger
Tribe Cool Crew