Something told me in my brain that it made sense to talk about the Fall anime season at it’s halfway point. Then that same something told me maybe I should go talk to people within the Kokidokom framework. That led to me chatting with Nabe’s admin, Iso, and Chris, who runs Through The Looking Glass, over the weekend about the anime season, and trust me when I say this, it led to many, many derps and a valiant excuse to make fun of our taste in anime.
But ignore us and share what’s been your favorite anime, and your biggest surprise and disappointment this season in the comments section. Or not ignore us and laugh at how hard we try to talk to each other. You cruel, cruel people…
…Oh right, this party involves the Fall season.
Chris: A massive mixed bag it is too…
Justin: Yep, it’s been a weird season. Way too many anime this time!
Chris: It’s Autumn/Fall so a lot of the shows turn up around now.
Iso: Yeah, there’s a lot of stuff I’m not watching but have heard are good.
Chris: Well, I have a blanket ban on sports anime so that cut out quite a few–
Iso: OH MY! Someone else shares a no-sports-anime view!
Justin:…So disappointed. I guess I’m the only one guy keeping up with all the sports anime this season…well, almost every sports anime *looks at Wanna Be The Strongest*
Chris: Wanna Be The Strongest isn’t a sports anime. It’s sports entertainment and a trainwreck at that. *everyone laughs*
Justin: Anyways, let’s get this started. What are you guys watching? I’ve basically been an observer this season, as my watch list has been light. I’ve only kept up with Kill la Kill, Kyousougiga, Daiya no Ace (Ace of Diamond) and Yowamushi Pedal. That’s it.
Iso: The 7 shows I’m following are Unbreakable Machine Doll, Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio, Tokyo Ravens, Kyoukai no Kanata, Samurai Flamenco, Log Horizon and White Album 2.
Chris: I’ve been heavy on the shows but ended up being a couple of eps behind. But since I’m read up on a few of the big ones, I know what’s going to happen anyway. On my watchlist are Unbreakable Machine-doll, Infinite Stratos 2, Gunpla Builders, Valvrave 2, Coppelion, Galilei Donna, Kill la Kill, Walkure Romanze, Little Busters Refrain, Golden Time, Kyokai no Kanata, Outbreak Company, Strike the blood, Blazblue, Freezing and I Wanna Be The Strongest…I think that’s all of them.
Iso: Thats…quite the list–
Justin: That’s generally the amount I average in a normal season.
Iso: H-how do you guys find the time to watch so many shows? This is the most number of shows I’ve followed in a season.
Justin: Cheating of course Iso, cheating. Well, out of all of them, which has been a favorite for you guys?
Iso: For me, definitely White Album 2.
Justin: Yeah, I’ve seen a ton of praise over White Album 2.
Chris: So I’m guessing White Album 2 is leagues ahead of its predecessor? Because WA1 was bad…not so much the show itself but the scenario and the characters.
Iso: Well, I didn’t watch the first White Album. Personally I like romance-themed shows and well WA2 just hit the right spot. I’m a sucker for the romance genre actually so that’s another reason there. But I do like the way the girls interact in WA2.
Chris: Do you know if WA2 is going to follow the rule of firsts?
Iso: What’s that?
Chris: You don’t know? The rule of firsts is something which applies to almost every anime show which is based off an eroge where you need to choose who you end up with. It basically states that, in the anime, whoever the MC meets and converses with first will be the girl he gets together with in the end. There have only been a handful of exceptions to this rule (Amagami, Photo Kano and Yosuga no Sora). It’s usually set pretty quick tho’.
Iso: Ah. Well I haven’t watched the latest episode, but I suspect so. Well, he might go out with her, but who knows, there might be some drama and things might turn out differently.
Justin: …So we managed to sneak a anime lesson in a talk about the Fall season. Wait what?!?
Iso: Haha, I don’t know a lot about these “rules”.
Chris: So Walkure Romanze will be the Goddamn Mio route and the best girl (Celia) gets shafted. My poor Celia…
Iso: OH! I noticed watching the first episode of Walkure Romanze that it seemed to be going directly onto Mio’s route.
Iso: I was wondering if they were going to approach each girl in arcs, but apparently not since you’ve already put it that way.
Chris: Anyways, back to the anime season…
Justin: So ok, Chris, how is Gallei Donna? I’ve seen some uh…not so good talk about it. Well, the start of it was fine, but around the middle it’s been mixed.
Chris: I like it cos it’s fresh more than anything. It’s not particularly standout but when I know what’s going to happen in IS2 and Machine-doll, it’s a big deal.
Iso: To be honest, Galilei Donna didn’t interest me that much… I gave it an episode but the story setting and concept just didn’t hit it off too well with me.
Chris: Anything with mecha pretty much guarantees a space in my watchlist.
Iso: I see. But yeah, the 3DCG was pretty good.
Chris: True. But yeah, it might implode but I don’t see it going down in flames like Code Geass or Guilty Crown (or what Valvrave probably will).
Justin: Are you sure Valvrave hasn’t already gone down in flames, rose out of the flames, then went down in the flames again?
Chris: No, it’s been skirting for a while.
Iso: Speaking of which, 3DCG usage has been pretty rampant this season. I mean, just look at this (from Tokyo Ravens). 3D is used entirely (or almost entirely) for Arpeggio, but actually it’s pretty good once you get used to it. Especially in the battles.
Chris: I think people are just getting wise to it all.
Justin: Yeah, from what I’ve heard a good amount of shows have used it. From Arpeggio to Kill la Kill to an extent, it’s been interesting to hear and see that since 3D in Japan is generally not a good thing for the most part. Anyways since you guys have banned sports shows from viewing…I guess I’ll have to take Yowamushi Pedal as a favorite. That’s mostly because I had low expectations. But so far, and despite the CG it’s using, it’s a very fresh take for me involving sports: an otaku turning into a cycling fiend.
Chris: Next thing you know, he’ll be buying the anime cycling gear from AmiAmi. *Everyone laughs*
Iso: Well, I think the part about cycling to Akihabara was just to show off his potential for biking at the start? And…oh. YowaPeda is quite popular in Japan I think.
Chris: I believe so, the manga has been going for a bit now.
Iso: When I was surfing Pixiv at the start of the season most anime only had a few pages of art. There was A LOT of Yowapeda art though. In fact, YowaPeda and Gingitsune had the most art.
Justin: Whoa Gingitsune?
Iso: Yeah. It came as a surprise to me too but I guess both have quite a strong fanbase given that their manga has been serializing for a while.
Justin: I guess that makes more sense, Gingitsune’s heavily rooted in Japanese culture. But I don’t see a lot of people talking about it though.
Iso: By the way, this is assuming the amount of fanart on pixiv is representative of the popularity in Japan though.
Justin: Yeah true about that Iso. So, out of all the anime you’re watching, what’s been your biggest surprise this season? Note: It’s definitely not Wanna be The Strongest for me!
Iso: Samurai Flamenco was quite the surprise for me.
Justin: Wait, I said surprise! Not DISAPPOINTMENT!!!
Chris: It’s not the worst show tho.
Justin: But fine, we’ll go with that. I’ve heard not so good things about Coppelion after it’s first episode. What the hell’s goin on?
Chris: I dunno, I nearly fell asleep during Ep 2.
Iso: Haha, I actually gave up on it after Episode 1. The character art isn’t really my taste, and the story is really pretty boring…
Chris: I guess I Wanna Be The Strongest is also a surprise. I knew it was going to be bad but it’s so bad, I can’t help but look at it.
Justin: I tapped out of Wanna be The Strongest in 4 episodes. I gave it 2 more episodes it didn’t deserve. Ep 3 messed with my head and my used to love of wrestling. How does someone lose their matches 50 times? How many times by the same move? How is this possible? And no, “it’s anime” is not a good reason!
Chris: Kinda reminds me of Virgil, a wrestler in the WWF in the 90s. I don’t remember him ever winning a match but the crowd loved him anyway.
Justin: …Damn, your wrestling knowledge is well superior to mine. Never even heard of him!
Well, I’m actually terrified to ask since you’ve already mixed surprises with disappointments, but what has been that anime you had high hopes for…and has instead disappointed you–
Iso: Unbreakable Machine Doll.
Chris: Walkure Romanze. I really wanted a Celia route.
Iso: Have you played the VN?
Chris: Nope, but read the manga adaptations of the Mio and Celia routes. Celia is way more interesting.
But other than that (super controversial here), I’m also going to say Kill la Kill.
Chris: Hey, it’s decent but nowhere near as good as people have said. Also, the animation is actually kinda cheap but hidden well to give the illusion of high quality. KyoAni are masters of this.
Justin: Well lol Kill la Kill getting a high budget. But that said, I had no expectations for Kill la Kill until I finally did research on it. The only other thing I knew before I researched it was that it was by Trigger and it would pay homage to a bunch of shows before it.
Chris: I knew it was by Trigger and had lots of ex-Gainax staff on it.
Iso: Yeah, and Gainax stuff is usually hit-or-miss.
Chris: Was also interested in how Trigger could manage the jump from a good 10 minute short to a full series and it’s OK but flaky. Also the Gainax rule is basically, if it’s a complete original, it’ll probably be good. If its an adaptation, it’ll be shit. Like how I gave C3-bu too much credit and how it collapsed in the last 1/3rd.
Justin: Well, it’s been great to me. Can’t help but have a smile on my face after the episode. But I do understand how hype can lessen things a bit *Thinks of Attack on Titan, Valvrave, SAO, Psycho Pass, the list goes on*
Chris: Should have remembered the Gainax rule.
Justin: Haha, I didn’t actually know of that rule.
Iso: Chris, you need to tell us where you learn of these rules.
Justin: Wait, no, no Chris, you don’t have to tell us where you learned these rules honest–
Chris: The anime production rules? You kinda pick them up as you watch lots of the same type of shows. Oh and I’ll point out that Blazblue did not break the Fighting game anime curse, no matter how much Tomokazu Sugita wanted it to.
Justin: Sugita is awesome. But Sugita is only one man, and he also doesn’t write the scripts.
Chris: He wrote the script for that new arc system works game about you investigating your own death, but he’s probably to busy flirting with his Love Plus girl.
So all right, I would reveal my own disappointment…But I don’t have one really. I guess, if there is something to be disappointed by, is the fact that I half took this season off to catch up to my backlog, but predictably I have not gotten to my backlog; I’ve only been watching Detective Conan.
Chris: Old school!
Justin: I guess before we end, we should mention a title that people should be watching this season or should attempt to watch at some point. I already know my answer and it’s easy: Kyousougiga. It’s pretty good.
Chris: Strike the Blood has impressed me so far, and I don’t see anybody talking about Gundam Build Fighters. It’s early still but it’s gotten off to a better start than Gundam Age cos it doesn’t take itself so seriously.
Iso: Oh, I have a friend raving about Gundam Build Fighters!
Chris: That’s actually good to hear!
Iso: Samurai Flamenco would be a title people should be watching for me.
Justin: Yeah, those two shows, Samurai Flamenco and Gundam Build Fighters have looked to be works people should check out. I know I’ll definitely check them out based on reaction.
Chris: Oh, and everyone should be watching Infinite Stratos cos it’s just that damn awesome!
Iso: …I need to get to the first season first.
Justin: …Sorry Chris, I’ve been warned not to lol
Chris: DO IT!! DO IT NOW!!!
Justin: I…I think we need to end this before all hell breaks loose…