Summer 2015 anime review

Summer 2015 anime review

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With the Summer 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!

16. Million Doll
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An interesting concept, but so badly executed that it really wasn’t worth my time in the end. The animation was quite sub-par and all the idol characters (and non-idol characters, really) may as well have been the same person for all the personality they had. There was so much potential here that was just ignored in favour of uninteresting dialogue and had no real conviction. If this had been a longer anime, I would have dropped it a long time ago.

15. makuranodanshi
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A little bit of a disadvantage here, since it didn’t really have an ‘ending’ to speak of, but makuranodanshi kind of creeped me out a bit. Sure, some episodes were mildly amusing and the idea behind was certainly different, but perhaps the concept didn’t translate well overseas. Maybe my british stiff upper-lip was keeping me from smiling, but the dead silences and staring eyes were a little uncomfortable. Can you imagine if I actually watched this before going to bed? Some peculiar dreams might be had, indeed.

14. Danchigai
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An amusing little anime short. Not the best one this season, but certainly not the worst. The characters were super cute and it really felt that the siblings were a real family and all had their own personalities, which I appreciate is difficult to achieve within an anime short. Again, this one is set at a disadvantage due to the limited amount of content. Sadly, the strange fanservice did keep reappearing and marred the overall humour for me.

13. Classroom☆Crisis
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This is probably one of the biggest disappointments of the season for me. For a futurisitc ‘genius academy’ on Mars that had young students building rockets, nothing was taken advantage of to make things more interesting or exciting. By the time any build-up was created it was a case of ‘too little, too late’. I didn’t care about Iris overcoming her fear, Kaito’s achievements or Nagisa’s case of mistaken identity with another member of A-TEC. The most consistently boring anime I’ve watched in a long time.

12. Wakaba*Girl
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Absolutely my favourite anime short of this season. Great to watch, generally funny and sometimes downright adorable. Wakaba and her friends were very cute, all having their little quirks, and I always looked forward to the next episode of inoffensive school hijinks. It was almost heartwarming to see Wakaba adjust to live in a public school and make her very first friendships. With catchy opening and closing songs, I was entertained from beginning to end.

11. Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya 2wei Herz
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This was one of the slowest starters of the season. We got given a lot of empty episodes of nothing before we finally get around to some serious magical girl action. Though when we finally got around to seeing some action it was relatively high-octane it definitely could have done with cropping up at bit earlier. To begin with, it was almost like watching filler interspersed with very noisy make-out sessions. I hear that there’s the potential for another season. Now that things have officially kicked off, let’s hope this means less ‘nothing’ episodes in future.

10. Symphogear GX
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I  enjoyed Symphogear GX (once I finally understood enough of it to know what was going on). I was so pleased to hear that the previous two seasons are now available to watch on Crunchyroll, but I would have liked the opportunity to watch this one from the very beginning first. I believe that the ending of GX would have had much more of an impact if I had fully understood the background of all the characters and what drives them.

9. GATE
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GATE lost out on points in my scoring system just because, towards the end, I wasn’t sure where it was going. I’m not sure if another season is on the cards, but the last couple of episodes just fizzled out into nothingness. Some new threat was on the horizon and nothing was really done about it. There wasn’t any real conclusion to the first plot and things just seemed to drift ever since the rather early battle with the dragon. I wasn’t ever really sure where the storyline was going.

8. Non Non Biyori Repeat
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Non Non Biyori came back to my screen with more adorable slice-of-life hijinks with fun and touching scenes in abundance. It was everything that I had wanted it to be, but sometimes… it felt like something was missing. I’m not sure if it was the time setting (I would have liked the story to continue from where it left off in the first season, not more episodes dotted in and around the same time), but I didn’t quite enjoy this one as much as I thought I would – it’s lack of any real progression. And this is what let it down in the face of the more eye-catching, action-packed anime this season.

7. Himouto! Umaru-chan
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Umaru and pals were favourites of mine from the very beginning. I enjoyed all the characters and their interactions. Umaru herself was downright hilarious, trying to juggle the relationships forming with other people in both her perfect ‘outside’ appearance and her true, hamster-costume-clad ‘inner’ self. Her obsessive behaviour around anime and games sometimes reminded me of myself when I was younger and, even though things were exaggerated for comic effect, I could still identify with her and her long-suffering brother. Consistently funny and a joy to watch.

6. Rokka -Braves of the Six Flowers-
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Rokka really knew how to ramp up the dramatic intrigue! It had the anime community abuzz with who the seventh brave could be from beginning to end – people constructing theories, picking out ‘clues’ and using them to try and justify their choice on imposter. Couldn’t fault the steady stream of action, either, especially as it always ran parallel to the ever-twisting-and-turning narrative of deepening suspicion and the clever tactics the Braves employed to find ways in which to trust one another and finally discover the fake. I never thought it would end up being…! Nah, I’m not that cruel. Go watch it yourself.

5. Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma
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I have to applaud Food Wars on its ability to continue to keep upping the ante at every episode. They have a sizeable cast of young chefs all with their own techniques, specialities and personalities. The Autumn Elections was the most nail-biting, clever competition to date and I can’t get enough of marvelling at all the delicious-looking anime food. Ever since the first episode, Soma has been moving from strength to strength. I’m hoping for a third series in the near future as I can’t go too long without my Shokugeki fix!

4. Tribe Cool Crew
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his ending was everything I hoped – and expected – it to be. A great and positive ending with some seriously cool dance moves and a funny, feel-good ending that neatly wrapped up all the characters’ endings. We see Jey coming out of his coma and helping the Tribe to out-dance the Crowd High movement and everyones dreams coming true in being able to dance on the same stage as the king of dance. There’s a nice section at the end of the final episode dedicated to wrapping things up and showing how everyone’s been getting after the dramatic events of dance road and what their future holds – including the hinting that Haneru and Kanon starting dating! Of course, it wouldn’t be Tribe Cool Crew without it ending with the group stretching and preparing for a final dance together before they go their separate ways. I’m going to miss this anime.

3. School-Live!
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School-Live was such a surprise. What I initially thought was some cheesy slice-of-life suddenly took a darker turn and walked a fine line between real and surreal. I felt like I could identify with all the characters and the last few episodes were fraught with physical and psychological peril and had some tough choices for every member of the School Living Club. Being both funny and heart-breaking in places takes some doing in a 12-episode anime, but this one really hit the nail on the head. I know the manga continues further into the story, so all I can hope for is another season.

2. Charlotte
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Charlotte was a very clever anime that gave a whole new look to the ‘teenagers with special abilities’ theme. Yu went from being an arrogant student with no motivation to taking on an epic mission to save young people from all over the world with similar afflictions to himself. His group of friends aren’t all-powerful superheroes but just well-meaning people wanting to find others like themselves before their powers get out of hand. To see Yu’s transformation after the death of his sister, finding his older brother and realising that he’s the only one with the power to rid those affected by comet Charlotte of the abilities that might soon kill them is well-executed and fascinating. Of all the ‘final episodes’ of this season, I’d say Charlotte‘s was the most fascinating.

1. My Love Story!!
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I’m so sad that this one’s wrapped up now – I feel like I could never get tired of Takeo and Yamato and their relationship. It’s adolescent romance with a bit more realism than usual. Sure, all the usual trials and insecurities are there, but it’s a real feel-good vibe that comes through when there’s no drama to get in the way. When Yamato has to choose between Ichinose and Takeo, there is no contest, but instead of feeling cheated, I feel satisfied. The female lead doesn’t always have to be torn between two men. Like they say, sometimes the choice is just so simple. My Love Story!! has restored my faith in romantic comedy.

Ongoing series’
World Trigger