Summer 2016 anime review

Summer 2016 anime review

With the Summer 2016 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!

14. Taboo Tattoo
…Eh. This one peaked and troughs for me. Then got confusing. Then troughed some more. I think it was the time jump and the fact that I couldn’t really understand where Seigi was coming from with all of his convictions and weird criteria to get his revenge. More to the point, was he an experiment? What was with his powers? I suddenly became quite disconnected to all the characters and lost interest towards the last few episodes, when it should have held my attention rapt. And those beast things at the end? Were they Seigi and Arya’s egos? Too much of a metaphorical turn at this late stage. The manga is still ongoing and a second anime series was hinted. I will not be watching.

13. Ange Vierge
This one was really touch and go unfortunately, since I really thought I’d like it. In some parts of it I’d be really engaged and at others I just felt like it was the same story, just from a slightly different perspective five times. “Oh, this is how I met Amane and how I got so close to her.” So what? Wasn’t the reason why she’s encased in dark crystal because you doubted her capabilities and all your senpai got drawn into the ‘dark side’? (Way to name it originally, by the way. The Force is strong in this one). Though the fight scenes and creative attacks were good at points, it just wasn’t enough to keep my attention in the end. By the time it all came to a close, I couldn’t give a crap whether they saved Amane or not. And for a single team that the fate of five worlds rested on, they took an awful lot of relaxing baths. Just saying.

12. The Highschool Life of a Fudanshi
A typical anime short that doesn’t really have a conclusive ending because the episodes have all just been snapshots of different situations and scenarios. I have found this one quite amusing though, especially when Gucci’s friends find themselves unwittingly drawn into the bizarre realm of BL and their friend’s obsession. It was good to hear about how the characters got into BL, as it’s not the most advertised manga genre, for obvious reasons. On the whole, this one was worth the watch if only for the regular smile it brought to my face.

11. ReLIFE
I really enjoyed this one. Such an interesting concept. The only real flaw in this one is I didn’t agree with the way it ended. Things didn’t come to a definite conclusion for me. I know they wanted to leave things open for a second season of if that’s on the cards, because the web comic it’s based on is ongoing, but it would have been nice to have something more than “Right, that’s the summer over with. You take over from here. Kaizaki’s really fitting in and bringing everyone together, huh?” Still, I loved the characters and the overall plot, even if I quickly predicted what the ‘mysteries’ were that were being held back for later revelations. This one really needs a second series, if only to show if the year of ReLIFE really worked for Kaizaki and if any of his school friends realised how old he actually was.

10. Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya 3drei
I think this season has been my most favourite up until now. The fight scenes were brilliant, and actually made sense and there seemed to be something substantial at stake this time (i.e. Miyu’s freedom) that made the fighting worth it. Everyone got involved and had their part to play and there were a lot of revelations around Miyu and her life that we’ve been waiting for since the start. The way it ended made it seem that there might be even more yet to come. The Ainsworth’s weren’t completely defeated and there’s still a few mysteries surrounding Tanaka, so I hope that this one will continue.

9. Ace Attorney
I am such a fangirl of Phoenix Wright, so I’m afraid that this review may be a little biased. Even though I have played through the games many times and new the storylines, the settings and the twists and turns, it didn’t make watching this anime any less enjoyable. The nostalgia element was great and I enjoyed seeing all the characters, hear them actually have voices put to their personas and watch all the special elements that made this franchise so memorable to me. The last turnabout, without giving anything away, was as complex as I remember it and the music and the pacing really ramped up the tension. They even managed to sneak in a small show of the ‘locks’ you sometimes used to see around witnesses that indicated that you had to break through their lies. Another one of my favourites, I can only hope that they make another Phoenix Wright anime in this style. Maybe one focusing on Edgeworth?

8. Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma
Another one of my favourites. Though I’ve already read far ahead in the manga, the anime has its own charm and style that makes it seem like something new and fresh. The ending came at such a good point as things are going to get even more complex for Soma and the other residents at Polar Star Academy. There were so many good shows this season that I find that I’m putting shows I really enjoyed further down the bottom of the list. I had to go for ending impact rather than overall enjoyment, as I really couldn’t decide. Even so, I am more than eager to see the next season of Shokugeki no Soma given that I know what’s coming. I can’t wait to see certain characters start causing chaos…

7. New Game!
Such a satisfying end to a great series. We got to see some good promotional footage, the day of the game’s release and also got an insight into the work wrap party that went on afterwards. Lots of fun to be had with plenty of humour and excitement. The characters were great (even Nene stopped being annoying towards the end) and things have conveniently been set up for a possible second season. Being an interesting mix of real and surreal, this one really grabbed me and held me to the very last episode!

6. Love Live! Sunshine!!
Wow, this one was a bit of a surprise. I’m not going to lie, I was enjoying the ride along with Aqours, but I did feel like thy were too much of a deliberate carbon copy of µ’s with a bit more struggle thrown in. I did t think there was anything too deep in this school idol anime. However, that last song they sang… Mirai Ticket, was it? Not only was that a good idol song that gets stuck in your head, but their little skit depicting their journey to the audience beforehand really gave me a bad case of the feels. Maybe I’d had a long week or something but it really affected me. Quite a moving performance and so this one gets bonus points for being something more than I ever expected it to be.

5. Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE!
A perfectly wacky and ridiculous ending to close on a series that has been nothing short of hilarious. It manages to poke fun at everything typically magical girl whilst establishing its own cast of characters and bringing them to life through mockery. The showdown between the Battle Lovers and The VEPPer was great, with some zany powers and attacks to satisfy even the most die-hard fan. We got new powered up costumes in the last episode (complete with wings) and we even saw Yumoto strike some uncanny Sailormoon poses before unleashing a devastating attack. It’s unknown whether there will be a third series, but a girl can only hope.

4. Amanchu!
Such a lovely way to end such a beautiful anime. They certainly saved the best episode until last. As Teko took her first exam in the ocean it was the perfect surroundings in which to have the final episode. The animation as the characters swam, the way the fish were rendered, air bubbles, what the characters saw when they looked up to the surface and saw the reflection of the sun shining on the water… it was all spectacular. It was almost cuteness overload towards the end with the kitten rescue and the episode where Teko was struggling to replace old memories in her phone with new ones is a modern day dilemma something that anyone who moves locations and schools can identify with. It really brought a new dimension to her character and Pikari, of course, was an absolutely joy throughout. Can’t really fault this one – it’s one of my highlights of the season.

3. Sweetness & Lightning
Such a touching story with some very real and sympathetic characters! Tsumugi’s relationship with her dad is realistic and adorable and I love the way they bonded through the two of them learning to cook. Tsumugi is such a sweet child and we can see how much she has learned and grown since the beginning. Ending the series on the one year anniversary of her mother’s death was bittersweet but really have the last episode significance – particularly as we finally see Kotori’s mother and she joins the group for a sit-down meal of okonomiyaki.

2. Orange
Such a beautiful story from beginning to end! A really moving, well-thought-out and touching story of love, friendship, tragedy and regret. I knew this one was going to get emotional, but even so I couldn’t predict what was going to happen until the very end. Things were full of uncertainty even though the group starting changing Kakeru’s future. They had their doubts about if they were making things better for him, what would be changed as a result of their varying actions, who would be hurt instead of Kakeru and whether this meant that Naho ended up with someone else ten years into the future. The fact the future group didn’t even know if their messages reached their intended destination, but tried to against all sense just shows the depth of their regret in not saving their friend. And we got to see the younger group finally deliver their letters straight to Kakeru after he survived the time he was meant to die. A wonderful ending to a sad, yet realistic story that demonstrated the small things people can do to have a positive, lasting impact on people’s lives.

1. 91 Days
I almost couldn’t bear waiting one more week than the rest of  the anime this season to finish up this one! It was one of the most understated anime of the season. The relationship between Avilio and Nero was more complicated than first appeared, and a lot of things came to light in the last episode. I found it unexpected and yet fitting, but I wasn’t too sure about the slightly open ending. What happened to Avilio? After everything being matter of fact up until this point, the ending seemed a little… dare I say it? Wishy-washy? Or was this the best way of ending the cycle of death? This one kept me thinking long after I’d watched the final episode.

Continuing series’