Spring 2017 anime review

Spring17
With the Spring 2017 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!

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17. Love Rice
Not going to lie, I completely lost track of what was going on here. I imagine what I saw in the final episode was the Love Rice guys going up against the current leaders of the Harvest Festival, but then their clothes started to melt and then everything got a bit magical girl and then some kind of… combo, maybe, happened and everyone seemed to be happy with it. The result was that the audience received some normal bread, but on closer inspection realised that it was rice bread. I imagine this is to say that bread and rice can live side-by-side in harmony? Suffice to say I think I wasted my time on this one.

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16. Room Mate
No real conclusion on this one. You still have the three one-sided conversations with the room mates and they all decide, for one reason or another, to leave the dorm house. After they all declare their love for the manager/viewer, they leave. It seems like it’s meant to imply that a deal of time has passed before they all return, but they all look exactly the same. They’re even wearing the same clothes which they did when they left (I don’t understand why some anime characters never change their clothes. Not even once). So that’s basically it. They make to leave and then suddenly, they’re back. Unless you’re really into your otome games, I wouldn’t think it was worth watching this one. I will miss the hilarious endings where all their clothes melt away in a variety of ways, though.

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15. Hinako Note
As much as I liked Hinako as a protagonist, I was a bit disappointed how we saw less character development and more shots of her legs and chest as this one went on. There was a real chance for a satisfying ending in this rather ‘slice of life’ and ‘cute girls doing cute things’ storyline. There wasn’t enough focus on how Hinako, with crippling shyness and social anxiety manages to overcome it by becoming part of a theatre troupe in Tokyo. Things started looking up in the last few episodes but I didn’t feel that there was much of an ending to speak of. It was a nice episode to finish on, but nothing struck me as final about it, nothing summed up and nothing particularly satisfying. I was rather disappointed.

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14. Clockwork Planet
Is it me, or did Clockwork Planet just kind of… fizzle out? Towards the end I felt like I couldn’t really follow things anymore. I didn’t really understand what was going on and for what purpose. I don’t think the concept of ‘Y’ was really explained very well and it left me feeling that the antagonist of the whole anime wasn’t really much of a threat after all. Things were left open-ended, with the group on a round the world trip to fix the planet whilst being chased and branded as outlaws, but honestly I wouldn’t watch any more of this if another season was on the cards. I wouldn’t say that watching this was a waste of time, but things started to go a bit off-track towards the end and it started to lose its charm.

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13. The Silver Guardian
I certainly hoped that more things would happen in The Silver Guardian. Suigin only managed to get into one fight whilst playing Grave Buster and that was at the very last episode. There were some storylines that were set to play out a little longer, so I’m certainly hoping that they’ll be a second series. Not because it was one of my favourites this season, but it’s pretty lousy to end it where it did if there’s not going to be any follow-up. What is Suigin doing now? And what of his high-level familiar? Just what is happening to Riku Rei? This one raised more questions and didn’t seem to be in any rush to answer them. You can only hope that there will be more to follow because the pacing here was quite terrible for a 12-episode anime.

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12. Twin Angels BREAK
Twin Angels BREAK was ticking all the boxes of magical girl-dom towards the end. Internal struggles with darkness, check. Antagonist planning on raising big bad to wreak havoc, check. Girls believing in themselves in order to overcome and undo all that the enemies have done, check. Careering into space and unleashing a new power in order to save the day, you bet your ass that was a check. But all through I didn’t really feel any peril. Everything just felt a little safe. I don’t know whether this is from Madoka and similar magical girl fare recently that has made me desensitised to the old ways of mahou shoujo, but if an anime of this genre doesn’t genuinely have mortal peril, it has to have some truly fantastic characters or a deeper message to convey. And Twin Angels BREAK just didn’t. General middle-of-the-road stuff.

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11. Granblue Fantasy: The Animation
I’m glad Granblue Fantasy peaked again at the end. We had some believable turmoil from Lyria to a fantastic all-out battle against Leviathan on a city on the ocean (did anyone else think that this was dangerously close to the kind of thing that happened in Final Fantasy XV?). I assume that the wide range of character that jumped in at the end were characters from the game, which took me a minute to realise. I guess if you know the game then it’s good to see cameos from recognisable characters. There was also the potential for another series, which I might be tempted to pick up in the future. Not sure what the ‘extra special’ thirteenth episode was, though. It looked like they turned Gran into a cute female character and then they all decided to go to the beach and put on bikinis. I couldn’t help but laugh. Why is there so much anime that feels the need to stick a (in this case, gender-bending) beach episode randomly in the timeline?

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10. Eromanga Sensei
Eromanga Sensei had a bit of controversy about it, but for the most part it didn’t bother me. Amongst all the dodgy ero/moe situations, there were some genuinely heartwarming moments between Masamune and Sagiri. Especially when the first volume of their new romantic comedy was published, Sagiri managed to actually leave her room and make it all the way down the stairs, and Masamune was overcome with emotion at the efforts she was making. Then they had a ‘brother/sister’ date where Masamune went to Akihabara and took his laptop with him on video chat so that Sagiri could enjoy the city too. There they learn that, when they lived apart, they managed to anonymously urge one another on to become professionals in their relative fields from such a young age. But then the final episode was basically all about doujinshi porn and all extra credibility was lost.

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9. Kenka Bancho Otome -Girl Beats Boys-
As you can expect, word got out that Hikaru is a girl and the students at Shishiku aren’t happy about it. Tough fighters from other schools hear the rumour and interpret it as Shishiku going soft and go over to cause havok. They demand that Hikaru strip to reveal once and for all whether she is a man or not, but her friends come to her aid. Whilst defending their school, the students realise that it doesn’t actually matter whether or not Hikaru is male or female – Hikaru is Hikaru. And by the time she arranges a big reveal with her twin brother, no one actually cares anymore. I thought it was a good ending for a short anime, as those with decent endings are often few and far between. Great fun, great fight scenes and the animation was pretty good too.

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8. Akashic Records of Bastard Magical Instructor
The ending was okay, but I felt that things fell a little flat towards the end. Especially if there’s not a second season. We only got vague mentions of the mysterious Akashic Records, and most of them were from the bad guy during the final episode (honestly, where did he come from and who exactly was he). All the while he was pretending to be Sistine’s childhood friend that she was engaged to, so we even had a rather dramatic “I object to this wedding” scene, where all of Glenn’s students started cheering. Things did get a bit cheesy towards the end (even though I had to admit that Sistine looked awesome in her wedding dress) and things do seem to be relying heavily on a second season, but for the most part this was an entertaining magic fantasy in an academy setting.

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7. Love Tyrant
I really enjoyed Love Tyrant. In the last few episodes, Guri finds herself becoming confused at her feelings for Seiji and Shikimi sees her chance to upset the perfect balance the group has built. She manipulated Guri so she seems to think that Seiji doesn’t want her in her life, and her demon side takes over. Instead of putting couples together, she is set on destroying them. In order to save her the gang go to hell and try to talk some sense into her. Seems pretty straight forward and not anything we’ve not seen before in similar anime, but what I liked about this one was that, even though Guri is in love with Seiji, she understands that Seiji is with Akane and isn’t looking to break them up (because, after all, that’s not what she’s about). She says she’ll “wait for Seiji” and seems to currently be happy running with the gang as friends. Standard ending, but one that appealed to me.

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6. WorldEnd: What do you do at the end of the world? Are you busy? Will you save us?
As I expected this one really bought the feels towards the end. Ctholly realised that the happiness she found with Willem was the happiest she could be and sought to protect him and the other fairies when the beasts became overwhelming, even if it meant the destruction of her body and her memories. The music really suited the scene and it was good to hear the somewhat haunting rendition of Scarborough Fair again. Have to give SukaSuka it’s due, it was great to see an ending that didn’t provide a happy ending for everyone. Ctholly sacrificed herself to save Willem and Ren from being eaten by beasts, but they still died and the fairies were still required to fight. At best, it was a temporary solution, but nonetheless a satisfying one.

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5. Alice & Zorouku
A lovely ending to a lovely series. When Sana and Hatori find themselves stuck in Wonderland, they have to work together to find their way out. Meanwhile, Zouroku and Sanae are lured into Wonderland themselves by the white rabbit and are on a quest to find the two girls. My particular favourite part it, when Wonderland starts to expand and poses a danger to the real world, Zouroku yells at Wonderland like it’s a naughty child. And for a moment, it’s like it actually listens and gives pause. Such is the might of a stern telling-off from Zouroku! The satisfying ending comes when Hatori returns to her distressed parents and the government acknowledge that there are people carrying these ‘Gift of Alice’ and that initiatives are beginning to help them cope.

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4. The Royal Tutor
I loved The Royal Tutor. I loved the princes and their wayward characters and I loved Heine and his deadpan expression. Though the revelation wasn’t as scandalous as everyone made it out to be (Heine had a criminal record due to some misinterpretation of him trying to kill the king) it was still a great show. And what made it great was that we got to see some real development from the four princes. At the end, where they stood up to the court to defend Heine when he was dismissed from the royal palace was where we could truly see all they learned. And when Heine was telling them why they would all make great kings it was actually rather emotional. And when they left things open, indicating that there was going to be a fight about who became the next king…! Very exciting. Here’s hoping we get a second season – and soon!

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3. Attack on Titan – Season 2
You can always rely on Attack on Titan to not pull its punches. Especially towards the end when the stakes are raised. I was saving these episodes to watch after I finished getting married, and as soon as I settled down to watch them it was just a mass binge. I literally couldn’t wait to see what happened next so I think it would have ben torture if I’d have had to wait every week for the next little bit. After some incredible fight scenes and heaps of drama, we discover the reason that Reiner and Bertholt wanted to keep Eren so much. He discovers a new power to help control the titans and the scouts also find out the horrifying origins of the titans. Eren’s resolve has further increased to do all he can to rid the world of titans and defend his city. Even if I have to wait another few years for the next instalment again, it’ll be worth the wait.

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2. KADO: The Right Answer
I was really impressed with the execution of ideas in KADO. I could always tell that there was something not quite right about Yaha-kui zaShunina and wondered if his turning on humanity was going to be the big shocker. If it was, it was quite the predictable denouement. Thankfully I had sold this anime a little short in its potential and I loved how the storyline came to an end. On the way, there were some fascinating concepts and twists and reveals that I just didn’t see coming and the process that Shindo went through in order to find a way to defeat a powerful anisotropic being was very clever. Even though the disappearance of zaShunina from the planet meant that everything he gave humanity stopped working, humans were able to plough ahead with the knowledge that the anisotropic exists. An intricate and visually stunning ending.

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1. Anonymous Noise
When In NO Hurry climbed the stage at Rock Horizon and Nino just let rip… wow! The songs that they had been practising throughout this anime suddenly came alive. It was practically electrifying watching them play and sing, and to see Nino performing ‘Noise’ for the first time was brilliant. The love triangle between her, Momo and Yuzu sort of came to a head, with the viewers finding out that Momo’s mom is behind him leaving and staying away from Nino, but I still can’t believe that she is so dense that she doesn’t see that Yuzu is in love with her. This has been a good anime throughout, but the last couple of episodes were amazing. If this doesn’t come back with a second season, I’m going straight onto the manga for my Anonymous Noise fix.

Continuing series’

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