Anime Winter 2017 Mid-Season Review

After dropping KonoSuba, I realized that I was only keeping up with four shows this season.  Usually, I manage seven or eight.  Revisiting an earlier post made me remember that I had not yet tried out Little Witch Academia TV or Onihei.  Having watched the first episode of both series, those two are now on my watch list, and I hope to review them later.  I can already say that the animation of these two does not impress me that much, especially Onihei‘s reliance on CGI for figures in the background.  At the moment, I can say little more than that.

Why did I drop KonoSuba?  I’ve always felt on the fence with this show, though I enjoyed the first season well enough (7/10).  The comedy requires me to be in a peculiar certain mood, and the fanservice proves distracting.  The more these two drawbacks bothered me, the less inclined I was to enjoy KonoSuba‘s humor.  So, I washed my hands of it.  All the same, may those of you who enjoy the show enjoy it still more!

I’ll miss Megumin for sure.

On to the mid-season reviews.

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Chaos; Head Revisited

The thought occurred to me that some time has passed since my little article on Gokudo.  A blog named Medieval Otaku ought to have more anime posts; so, dear readers, this post will consist of some thoughts about Chaos; Head, which I’m enjoying for a second time.  Only the last two episodes containing the amazing finale separate me from finishing it.  Watching it again makes me wonder why such great enthusiasm for it filled me the first time around.  I do believe one of my friends considers this show to be among his top ten, but the show only performs at an above average level.

Having said that, I’m still rather fond of Chaos; Head.  The main character, Takumi Nishijou, lives the life of a reclusive otaku–almost a hikikomori, which allows me to identify with him quite easily–though less so than formerly.  In a critical situation, he says perhaps the most endearing line ever uttered by an anime character: “I knew that I should have stayed home, watched anime, and played video games!”  To tell you the truth, he’s almost Shinji-esque, but the fact that he’s a more active character (How amazing to think that a reclusive anime junkie should have more drive than a giant robot pilot!) and that he’s not motivated by other people’s praise make him much more sympathetic.  The harem aspect also appealed to me on my first viewing, though my present age made this less of a factor the second time.

The plot begins with a series of bizarre murders with which our hero becomes unwittingly involved.  He chats with the wrong person online, finds himself at the site of one of these murders, unthinkingly flees the scene with one of the murder weapons, soon winds up associating with people possessing the power of making “delusions” reality, and catches the attention of the evil corporation hoping to make us of this power.  The show goes on to give a philosophical/pseudo-scientific explanation of how this works, which I then found rather deep and now consider trite; but, it still bolsters this show with enough substance to make it more enjoyable.

My cutthroat description of the plot might have turned many of you away.  But, this show still has many enjoyable aspects.  The show opens powerfully before episodes 5-8 plunge us into a sagging middle, but episodes 9 and 10 begin a crescendo leading into the fantastic finale of the last two episodes.  These two episodes stand as one of the most enjoyable finales in anime, packed with great action and we cheer Takumi on as he overcomes his limitations and gains the courage to stand against the ringleader of the villains.  The profusion of “anime lines” (You know what I mean; e.g. “Are you a member of the Church of Natural Divine Light?”) and awkward scenes make this an especially great show to watch with friends.  Nevertheless, I can still only consider it above average.

Now, a related anime which you may prefer to watch is Steins; Gate, a masterpiece which I’ll await another time to describe.  Let me just say that one Crunchyroll viewer claimed that he’s seen it seven times.  I cannot blame him in the least: the anime studio even seems to have taken pains in order to make the audience learn new things with each viewing, and the plot and characters are outstanding.