I usually wrap up my impression about animes at the end of each quarter. But in 2017, I couldn’t do that well due to my health condition – although the primary cause must be my laziness. So I’m going to wrap up my report this time. This article is my log about animes of the second half of 2017 (C3, C4) that I’ve watched (not on-aired).
Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend b (冴えない彼女ヒロインの育てかた b)
This was not my best until two weeks ago, but it comes to my best at the last minute. I’m the fan of the 1st season of this show and ‘Kimiiro Signal (君色シグナル)’ – the OP of the 1st season – is still one of my favorite numbers. But I thought it just as a trite love-comedy and its selling point was just awkward eye-line that lands around the absolute-territory. I should’ve been ashamed to pick this one but this second season got out of my secret closet and became the best.
Why? It touched my inside as a creator. It tells what is to be a creator and what is creating something we really love. We usually create something just for a living, and in many cases, we should consider the return on investment; there is always a moment of ‘enough.’ However, rarely we have a time that we should invest everything we have in something, and that’s the moment we break out of our own cell, achieve something and grow up. The agony and passion of characters were real, and it reminded me of my own days as a creator. This season presented the moment ideally. So, I cannot but choosing this one.
Princess Principal (プリンセス・プリンシパル)
The imaginary early 20th century of London themed with a magical sense and… spies; it must be my favorite setting. And the studio is ‘Actas’ of ‘Girls und Panzer,’ which should be a certified check that the characters of this show are attractive and have their own personalities. It was my best of this time until I’ve seen ‘Saekano b.’
The organization of episodes is brilliant. The first episode shows its maximum charm of this show: the perfect characters, the team, and twists of the story at the end. From the second episode, it showed the background of each character one by one with unordered episodes; much like the organization of the 1st season of ‘The Melancholy Haruhi Suzumiya.’
But I have a regret that the atmosphere of the show is a little lighter than I expected. I’m not sure about the reason. I think the words and settings are comprehensive and well written. Although the character design is cute, their inside is profound, and there is nothing short in the presentation of this. Maybe it is because the motion of characters is limited; although the directing of battle/action scene is great. Or, it might be the limitation of the TV anime.
I want to suggest you that watch this show in a row: from ep. 1 to 12 without rest. It must be a great journey with adorable characters; I bet it will not disappoint you. I really want to see another season. This show and those girls deserve more than 12 episodes.
Land of the Lustrous (Houseki no Kuni / 宝石の国)
I didn’t have any information about this show before I started; I had no idea about the original comics. But the casting couldn’t be better. Kurosawa, Tomoyo acts for Phosphophyllite (Phos for short) – the main heroine and the others are all with the AAA voice actresses and an actor of these days.
The first 3 episodes were disappointing. The 3D graphics (yes, this is an almost full 3D animation) looked like out of date. Sometimes, the voice of Phos was floating; it didn’t sound like an anime character’s voice. However, Phos is growing up as the episodes go. Her quivering voice is the hint of her complicated character. The over-simplified 3D graphics make us more immersed in the story, and it enables the fantastic action scenes; the camera movement and the motion of characters in the battle scene are marvelous.
This show is a greedy queen; it doesn’t give up either of characters and storyline. There are tens of various jewel characters who have their own personality (and hardness). With getting an exciting story, I cannot wait for the next season, or I might grab the original comics.
Girl’s Last Tour (少女終末旅行)
I always love to watch a road-movie of girls (e.g., The Rolling Girls). It would be hard to imagine the apocalyptic setting of this show if you see those lovely two heroines. Chito and Yuuri are on their journey to survive. Although the environment is desperate (lack of food, water, and fuels), they are not frustrated. But it is not a kind of an iron will. It is compliance and sympathy with the world.
Sympathy is the central theme of this show, and it makes this show great to me. It is different from Kino’s Journey which has only cynical and depreciatory stance to others.
There have been many animes telling about anime (and otaku) itself in these days. I thought that it is just another. The storyline is typical and (frankly) a little annoying. But from episode 11, everything is changing. I believe that if it is the real story the production team wants to tell, it should come earlier (maybe around episode 3 or 4).
Even in those first 10 episodes, it is fun. The humor codes are good overall, and the service scenes of Yui (c.v. Takahashi, Rie) are severe than just great; it might be an antithesis of the rhetorics in anime.
The character design and drawing are great. I could hardly imagine this quality from an unfamiliar studio – WAO World. But it made sense to me when I got to know that it is the studio of ‘Time Travel Girl.’
Wake Up, Girls! New Chapter (Wake Up, Girls！ 新章)
I love WUG more than Lo… Anyway, there were 2 cancelations, and I don’t like the character design of this season. There were some still to be desired.
However, this season shows the growth of the franchise: it does not rely on funny service scenes anymore. Drawings are stable over the whole season – the age of Tange-san looks… consistent now anyway, and the lives are now 3D (although this is not my preference) and smooth. I can see the growth of characters and the real girls (voice actresses). That’s the reason that I always cannot but supporting them.
Himouto! Umaru-chan R (干物妹!うまるちゃん R)
Umaru was the Umaru. I think this season more concentrated on the growth of characters than the comedy part. Depending on only the himouto concept must be difficult. But I don’t have any objection to it. I’m just happy to watch them. Hope Ebina win her love.
My Girlfriend is Shobitch (僕の彼女がマジメ過ぎる処女ビッチな件)
Recently, Yuuki-san (one of my favorite voice actress these days) seems to try an image change. I think it is smart movement because it will expand her coverage a lot. However, it is hard for me to stick with this show. Partly because it is hard to accept her change, but more was just it was not fun. The setting was unique, but characters were a little rhetoric. However, the radio show of this anime on Onsen site is worth for listening. (http://www.onsen.ag/program/majimesugiru/ )