Anime Summary – Summer 2015

Slightly behind the eight-ball on getting this one up, but better late than never!

The fall season of anime is now well under way, but for a moment lets step back to the summer season and have a talk about the shows that have recently finished. I didn’t get around to watching every anime that aired last season, but I did watch what is in my opinion a decent portion of it. I’m still only a relative newbie when it comes to anime, having only about 200 in completed on My Anime List. So my opinion on a few of these shows may be a bit less well established as someone who has seen a wider variety of anime. However, I felt like sharing my thoughts anyway. Now onto the discussion!

Gakkougurashi!

If you have yet to watch this show, then I suggest you don’t look up anything about it and just dive right into episode one. After the first episode you will be able to tell if it’s for you or not. But pay close attention to it because once you’ve finished you’ll be glad you did!

Spoilers

After the plot twist in the first episode, this show set a high standard of delivery. Which I feel like it met quite well with the reveal of Megune’s death and the tense situations that the girls found themselves in.

There was of course an obligatory swimsuit episode, which didn’t really add anything to the story. But in my opinion it did help as a momentary break from the situation they were in, which served to increase the impact of the remaining episodes.

I highly recommend this show. It was one of my favourites from this season and it always had me wanting to know what happened next.

Non Non Biyori Repeat

You don’t know what it means to be truly happy in this world until you have woken up in the morning and watched the antics of Ren-chon and her friends.
For an anime without an overarching storyline, non non Biyori has it all. It’s cute, it’s funny, it’s pretty, it’s relaxing and it’s interesting.

If you haven’t already, go watch season one and then follow it up with season two of Non Non Biyori. Because of the shows relaxing pace it’s probably be a good idea to spread out your watching of it. A good show, but could potentially get slow if you were to marathon it.

Monster Musume no Iru Nichijou

To be honest, monster girls didn’t really have much going for it. Having said that I did end up watching it. If you’re into ecchi-harems with not a lot of story and want to watch one with girls of different shapes and sizes, then monster girls is probably a safe bet.

Spoilers

One thing that really bothered me about this anime was that darling-kun was basically almost killed by the girls at least once an episode. Whether it be being crushed as Miia wraps around in a loving embrace. Getting a concussion from Centorea’s giant breasts. Or even drowning inside Suu. He always seemed to be physically injured in one scene and then make a miraculous recovery in the next. Sasuga anime! Not to mention that it almost seemed like he was enjoying it. Surely he would have said something, anything! Maybe even just a “can you please stop trying to kill me” would have been better than him just being totally cool with it. I guess it’s a possibility that he’s a masochist, but I don’t recall them calling him out on that, and I would have expected them to if he was.

The other thing that I didn’t like about this show, is perhaps the more obvious reason. After he had started his journey as a monster master and begun catching them all. At some point it was decided by Sumisu that he would be used as an example by marrying one of the monster girls. If it wasn’t already objectifying women enough, it then went one step further. Now basically you have a harem setup where several girls like the main character. Not only that, but he basically gets to just sit back while they all fight for his love and then he gets to pick one whenever he feels like it. And the girls were all fine with it and still seem to find him a viable love interest. Makes sense right? Nope.

I 100% watched this show for the ED. In the ED for this show there’s a bit where the girls shout out “Oi! Oi! Oi! Hey Sumisu!”. In my Japanese classes we often use Smith as an example name and we are encouraged to read it as it’s written: Sumisu (スミス). For some reason when I first heard them shout out “hey Sumisu” while jumping up and shaking their hands, I just found it so abnormally hilarious.

If the idea of a harem show with literally no plot other than to collect monster girls doesn’t appeal to you. Then I’d probably give this one a miss.

Jitsu wa Watashi wa

Another harem show. Unlike monster girls which was a typical ecchi-harem. Jitsu wa was a typical romantic comedy type harem. I started this show late in the season but I found it easy to watch and caught up quite quickly. It’s not got anything particularly unique about it, but I found it enjoyable to watch.

Spoilers

Jitsu wa watashi wa introduces the protagonist as someone who can’t keep a secret if he tried. It then uses this setup by letting him stumble across his crush’s secret. She’s a vampire. Despite his nickname of “leaky basket”, he manages to keep her secret safe from at least his closest friends. The secret remains secret for the entirety of the season. In fact he almost does a better job of it than his crush does. Because each time she gets startled or stops paying attention her wings appear and he promptly tells her to hide them.

I enjoyed this show more than I expected. I’d recommend it if you like watching romantic comedies.

Sore ga Seiyuu!

After enjoying Shirobako from a recent season. When I heard from a friend that there was a show that was similarly about aspects of the anime industry, I was intrigued. Sore ga Seiyuu follows a group of voice actresses as they try to survive in the industry. The show provided an interesting and probably romanticised look into some of the challenges and rewards of working as a seiyuu.

The characters were cute. There were a few insert songs that I’ll be adding to my playlist. And the characters did show some growth throughout the show. So all up I’d say its worth a watch. Especially if you enjoyed Shirobako.

Denpa Kyoushi

The kind of anime that leaves you with a smile on your face, in a cliche kinda way.
When I first started watching Denpa Kyoshi I had fears that it would be some kind of teacher-student harem show. With the first few students that Kagami helped being cute girls, it seemed like that was the direction it was heading. But thankfully it didn’t. Despite the fact that at least two of the girls did have feelings for their “ultimate teacher”, it didn’t feel like the focus of the show. What was more prominent for me was the idea that he was able to help them all overcome their difficulties within school, society, or just life in general.

Wakaba*Girl

Perhaps best described as “short and sweet”. This anime features a group of young girls, one of which is incredibly rich but a bit air-headed. The series follows the every day lives of these girls as they do the kind of things you’d expect from a slice of life. And as Wakaba-chan strives to be more like a “gaaru” (ガール) or, in English, a girl.

Since episodes of this show are only about 5 minutes long, it s a nice one to watch between other things or when you don’t have much time. There’s not a lot too it other than cuteness and some comedy, but there really doesn’t need to be.

Charlotte

A show with a lot of potential. Charlotte was talked about a lot amongst my friends in the Adelaide University Anime Club, but for all the wrong reasons. So much so that I don’t really want to say much about it. What I will say is that later in the season I feel like the author expected to invoke certain emotions based on your attachments to the characters, however I just didn’t feel them. It just was kind of like “meh” when I knew I should have been feeling something more.

Dragon Ball Super

Having watched Dragon Ball Z a every morning before school as a kid, this show is super nostalgic. It feels just like I’m back at primary school watching Dragon Ball Z on Cheese TV before school. Especially when I watch it on the bus on my way to work!

For me there was something very different this time round, I’m actually watching it in Japanese! I’ve finally been introduced to the amazing voice of Masako Nozawa as Gokuu. But another voice that really stood out to me was North Kaio. As I remember him in the English dub, he had a very lively old man voice with a heavy-man kinda accent. Yet in Dragon Ball Super he sounds like a very calm, relaxed old man. I don’t dislike it, but I certainly notice it every time North Kaio talks.

If all you expect is a nostalgic trip with the kind of humour and fighting you enjoyed way back when, then I recommend watching this show and reliving those feelings.

Himouto! Umaru-chan

With the story focusing on a bishoujou imouto (beautiful young little sister) living with her kind and loving onii-san (big brother). Himouto was dangerously close to falling into that category of incest anime that seems popular in Japan at the moment. However, the show didn’t make that it’s focus thankfully!

Himouto is a good mix of funny and cute. It’s also pretty relatable if you’ve grown up as the kind of person who likes eating snacks and playing video games. It’s worth a watch when you want something that’s a bit lighter.

Shimoneta to Iu Gainen ga Sonzai Shinai Taikutsu na Sekai

So much lewdness. So much! But presented in a funny way, similar to Seitokai Yakuindomo. If you have a bit of an open mind about things and can handle a bit of inappropriately silly ecchi, then you’ll probably enjoy this show. But it’s certainly not for everyone. It’s probably best to look up a few reviews, or if you’re not sure, watch something else that you know you’ll enjoy.

Working!!!

Our favourites (and not so favourites) from Wagnaria are back!

Spoilers

This season focuses on some well-needed development in the characters and relationships between them. I very much enjoyed watching the relationship between Satou and Todoroki blossom. Yamada-chan also sorted out her family problems (somewhat) which was something that I found unexpectedly nice. But what they did at the end. Oh my gosh! What they did with the end! I think it’s safe to say that after the OVA that the show will have tied off all of it’s loose ends. It will be nice if the OVA can see the relationship between Inami and Takanashi reach a good point before it ends.

If you’re interested in this show, then definitely watch the first two seasons of Working before watching this one.

Wakako-zake

A super short anime about eating food and drinking alcohol. I found the style of animation a bit different and unexpectedly cute. This show introduces a lot of different Japanese dishes and complementing beverages. If you’re a bit of a foodie, then this anime will probably give you some hints on what to look for on the menu next time you’re in a Japanese restaurant. Even if you don’t enjoy this anime you’ve only spent like 30 minutes watching it, so it’s not so bad, right?

Ore Monogatari!!

Kawaii! This show is so cute! It’s funny in cute way and it’s all dere-dere lovey-dovey in a cute way. It’s just a cute love story between a mountain of a boy and a tiny girl (around the same age, so nothing illegal, just cuteness). The animation in this show is what makes it so good. The various expression of the characters have been animated in the most hilarious ways. It’s common for the art style to completely switch to better convey the characters feelings and it just works so well towards the overall feeling of the show.

Spoilers

Despite being very dere-dere lovey-dovey all the time. This show also does address some of the things that would actually happen in normal relationships. Themes such as jealousy, unrequited love and romantic closure were explored and the characters handled them in ways that weren’t unrealistic.

I’d recommend watching this show with your special someone (if you have one). But even if you don’t it’s still a nice, heart-warming story.

Ranpo Kitan: Game of Laplace

I’ve only managed to watch 4 episodes of this series so far, but what I’ve seen, I’ve liked. It’s pretty edgy, a tad dark and fairly interesting. Without having seen much of it, I can’t say much more. Ranpo Kitan is a show for those who enjoy a bit of mystery.

Akagami no Shirayuki-hime

I managed to only watch 3 episodes of this show before setting it aside. There were a lot of things I liked about this show when I first saw it. I sort of expected it to be the next Akatsuki no Yona for me, but it wasn’t.

Spoilers

After three episodes you can start to see a repeating pattern of the female main character getting into some kind of trouble. Followed by the main love interest guy coming in to save her. There was a moment where I thought she’d be able to actually overcome something by herself, but her efforts were fruitless and she ended up being saved again. If someone were to mention to me that the main character started portraying actual strength in a way where she was able to do things herself, without needing prince-handsome-dude to come save her, then I’d probably continue watching the show.