Random Thoughts on the Anime of Spring 2016

The past couple of years have introduced us to one solid season after another.  (It reminds me of the days where I despaired of the anime industry, which lead to posts like “Anime Spring Season 2012: Only Two Worthy Shows?“. Click on that if you want to read a really old post!) This season was no exception.  So, I limited myself to seven regular length shows lest I become overburdened.  (I’m not concerned about shorts taking up too much time.) See below for the shows which made the cut.  The shows are in no particular order.

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1) Space Patrol Luluco

The first two episodes greatly amused me, and I found myself surprised by the serious turn taken in the third episode.  Trigger is nothing if not creative, and I can’t wait to see how they meld the insane antics of this show with the more serious elements.  Fans of Kill la Kill will no doubt see similarities between Luluco and Mako Mankanshoku.  Having a Mako-ish character as the heroine ought to make for a very memorable short.

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2) Usakame

Hilarious is the only word to describe this short about the crazy members of a tennis club.  Well, that’s the way shorts should be, and I’m looking for more creative gags from this show.

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3) Mayoiga, aka The Lost Village

Here is an interesting work of suspense.  I suppose it’s supposed to be in the horror genre, and horrible things may yet occur (Yottsun’s death was not that horrific); but, the lack of revelation is the main draw of the show.  One simply wants to know what’s going on with this abandoned and forgotten village.  Most of the characters strike one as more like caricatures, and I would have dropped the show had not the anime added some depth to certain characters in episode three, especially Valkana.  Still, suspense is the show’s main draw.  This is a perfect show for a marathon.

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4) Ushio to Tora

This show is a must for any lover of Shonen.  And, season two started with a bang!  The stakes were increased in record time and the evil Hakumen no Mono is wasting no time throwing his proxies against Ushio and company.  (Did you know that Megumi Hayashibara voices Hakumen no Mono?  I never would have known had I not stumbled upon that just now!) Anyway, the second season had a very strong and exciting start, and your humble blogger is looking forward to more.

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5) The Flying Witch

Perhaps the most relaxing and beautiful show of the season, this show takes place in the northerly Aomori prefecture.  The characters are all likable (the adorable little sister Chinatsu holds first place), and some of its scenes number among this season’s funniest, especially the harvesting of the mandrake.  The series immerses our heroine, a journeying witch à la Kiki’s Delivery Service, in the culture of Aomori bit by bit.  As I said, a fun and relaxing show.

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6) Kiznaiver

I’m not sold on this show yet, but, as an avid fan of studio Trigger, I’m sticking with it.  The first two episodes almost caused me to drop the show.  Certain of the female characters are interesting–can’t say much more in its favor.

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7) Bungo Stray Dogs

Kiznaiver, this show, and the following rather reveal how whimsical my choices in anime can be.  I swear that there are better shows this season, but I’m not going to watch them.  I’m going to watch Bungo Stray Dogs, which is about as well put together as a Yugo. The show features the journey of an orphan who has been expelled from his orphanage and is trying to find his way in the world.  Unfortunately for him, he has the ability to transform into a tiger and gets enlisted in the ranks of an organization dealing with the supernatural.  His new friend, Dazai, has a great propensity for trying to commit suicide–since the author for whom he is named died in just that manner.  All the other characters with supernatural abilities are also named after authors.  Mainly, I decided to watch this show for its unique setting and quirky characters, in which fields it does not disappoint.

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8) Twin Star Exorcists

Yes, I know that a show where a boy and girl team up to fight demons and fall in love on the way has been done a million times.  But, the reason this story has been told a million times is because it’s a good story.  Yours truly has not seen it for a while and for that reason will pick it up.  The action is good, the female lead amusing, and our reluctant, angsty hero not unpalatable.

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9) Haifuri

I used to be a huge fan of the U. S. Navy in grade and high school and still am.  There are few memoirs of WWII submariners I have not read, and so this show, which strikes most bloggers as a Girls und Panzer on the high seas, was irresistible.  Most of you already know that the show starts with our heroines being accused of mutiny, and it has been enjoyable so far.

So, what are my dear readers watching?  What strikes them as the best shows this season?  (In my case, Ushio to Tora, Flying Witch, and Mayoiga in that order.)

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13 comments on “Random Thoughts on the Anime of Spring 2016

  1. Reticent says:

    I have the same feelings about Mayoiga. It reminds me of LOST in some ways (though I only watched a few seasons) in that it keeps hinting at bizarre things while holding back on the reveal. For now at least. Once all is revealed, I wonder if Mayoiga will surprise us and do something cool/entertaining or if it will lose its main asset and drive itself off a cliff.

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    • LOST is a good show to compare Mayoiga to. I might become greatly annoyed if they don’t reveal anything by episode 6. But, it is very intriguing for now.

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      • Reticent says:

        Right? Large cast? Check. Supernatural-ish element? Check. Secluded, inescapable setting? Check. Atmosphere of unease? Check.

        I’m having fun watching it, so I’ll be along for the ride… at least for a while.

        Honestly though, I half-jokingly think it’s all a dream one of the character’s is having because it really does feel dreamlike – from the character’s interactions to the bizarre stuff going down. (Outlandish show theories? Check. lol)

        Liked by 1 person

      • Let’s just wait and see whether it will be as successful. A few bloggers are annoyed that little has happened in five episodes. But, I’m still curious–especially with how episode 5 ended.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve been following Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress — sadly only available on Amazon Instant Video, but it is a simulcast at least. Very reminiscent of Attack on Titan, but I like it a lot more — the start of Attack on Titan just felt too … “Here’s people to be interested in, NOW WATCH THEM ALL DIE HORRIBLY” — the opening few episodes of Kabaneri feels a lot more better paced.

    My Hero Academia is also pretty fun — that’s available over on Hulu.

    Other ones I’m following this season: Joker Game, Flying Witch, Big Order, Twin Star Exorcists, and Re:ZERO — which is slowly growing on me.

    At first, Re:ZERO felt very much like a rehashing of old concepts (SAO, Log Horizon, KonoSuba) but the main character’s mechanic feels like it could open up some interesting logic and replays as the show progresses.

    We’ll see how they shape up!

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    • I’ll keep Kabaneri in mind then, if it’s a better rendition of AoT. I watched 9 episodes of that show before I decided it did not have what I look for in anime. Watching so many possibly great characters die was the worst part of it. Then again, I am a fan of the show Akame ga Kiru, which is almost like AoT in that regard. Surprisingly, less people die in the manga.

      I almost selected My Hero Academia and will probably go to that one if I drop any of the shows I’m watching.

      I read part of the manga of RE:Zero and should get back to it. You see, having read some of the manga made me overcritical of the anime. I think the story works much better as a manga–especially for some of the darker scenes, but RE:Zero is another anime I may go back to.

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  3. Paul says:

    I also so far enjoyed High School Fleet. It does feel like Girls und Panzer on the high seas.

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  4. MIB says:

    From your list I’m watching Mayoiga, Haifuri, Bungou Stray Dogs and Flying Witch.

    However there are two great shows you are missing out on – “Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge” and “Sakamoto desu ga?”. Both are very funny, the former working so well due to the apropos lazy and cute artwork, the latter for its silliness. 🙂

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  5. Always good to see Usakame on people’s lists! Did you watch Teekyuu!!, the series from which Usakame is a spin-off? It’s more or less the same thing, but twice as fast. 😛 I need to get around to Luluco, it seems to be getting plenty of good reviews.

    Regarding the full-length shows, Ushio to Tora’s second half has definitely impressed me more than its first series so far, now that we’re into the main plot instead of the generic ‘monster of the week’ battles. Glad to hear you picked up Haifuri in the end, too! Bungou Stray Dogs and Mayoiga are quickly dropping down my rankings as they don’t feel like they’re going anywhere, but they do have good settings.

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    • I haven’t seen Teekyuu!! But the title is familiar. Usakame offers some great hilarity each week. Luluco does what Trigger excels at: crazy gags within a crazy plot.

      I know what you mean by Bungo and Mayoiga not seeming to go anywhere. But, I like the feel of the former, and I hope the latter might become more interesting.

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