Personal Best: Laid-Back Camp (ゆるキャン△)
This is my personal best of this cour. It was a close competition with my runner-up (as always), but one made me smile at the end, and one made me cry. So, I choose the one make me happy at last.
It’s been three years since I started camping (with an accidental purchase of a tent), This anime gives me a new motivation to my camping life; and with a side-effect, I began to buy a lot of new camping gadgets…
This show reminds me of Kei-on, but… it is fun; it does not mean that Kei-on is not fun. While the fun-factor of Kei-on is making us immersed in its warmth, we can feel not only the warmth/comfortability but also the direct fun from the comedy codes in Laid-Back Camp. The comedy plots have a perfect tempo, and the ping-pongs of mentions are excellent.
The opening theme – Shiny Days – is also a perfect match. It makes me hum the song to myself in many times, and it always makes me happy. The only thing I regret is that it would take some time to see the sequel because this first season consumed almost all story of the original works. But I’m sure that we will see it someday while we enjoy the other excellent shows that we don’t know yet.
The runner up: A Place Further than the Universe (宇宙よりも遠い場所)
This show is my runner-up, and the one made me cry at the end (and always). The first time I saw the casting, I thought that it should be the most expensive casting of the four female voice actresses in these days. It should be tough to adjust the schedule for them, and it was said that (in a related radio show) they actually recorded independently many times.
I might mention it before that I like the road movie, and especially the road movie of girls with the growth of girls. This one is the perfect match, and it is about Antartic this time; although I thought that it is an SF story when I see the title the first time.
The most considerable part of this show is the characters. The four girls (and… maybe the one more querulent girl) have perfect settings. Each one has her own story, weakness, and strength, and they support each other. They are finding her-selves and the true meaning of the friendship.
It always makes me happy to watch this story in an anime, but the ending is a little… a very little weak to me. I wanted to cry more.
Karakai Jozu no Takagi-san (からかい上手の高木さん)
When I watched the first episode, it reminds me of ‘My neighbor Seki (となりの関くん).’ And I got to realize that actually, the production studio is same: SHIN-EI.
It is a warm and comfortable love comedy. And it reminds me of my old school days although the stage is set to nowadays (even there is a smart-phone). However, the tempo is a little monotonous to me; I prefer some up and downs in the comedy works.
The most impressive part was the ending; especially the first ending. There are 7 ending songs that are covered by Rie Takahashi (acts for Takagi-san), and the songs are famous old(?) numbers in Japan. When I listened to the first theme ‘Kimagure Romantic’ (the original song is from Ikimonogakari), it really thrilled me. It was my heavy rotation in these days.
Spoiler alert! They will get married. Because there is a sequel (or a spin-off) original comics: Karakai Jozu no ‘Moto’ Takagi-san.
Overlord 2 (オーバーロード 2)
To tell the truth, it was not so fun to me than the first season. But it should be because I have already read the original works until vol. 10.
It was my pleasure was to see the ‘Evileye’ – my favorite character in the original work. And the voice is Yumiri Hanamori who also performed ‘Nadesico’ – the main heroine of Laid-Back Camp.
The most impressive part was that the ending of the first episode – the acknowledgment about all the effort for the establishment of this second season. I was able to know that it was not a just saying. And we will happily enjoy the next (already announced) third season.
The Ryuo’s Work is Never Done! (りゅうおうのおしごと!)
I like (don’t reluctant at least) erotic animes and I also enjoy loli works… but I cannot stand for an erotic-loli one.
Personally, I like the works of Shirou Shiratori, who is the author of the original novel. His novels have a robust erotic code, but the theme is always the real matter. However, this anime show reduced the portion of the shogi (the subject) a lot, and the loli-erotic codes are too emphasized; which makes me uncomfortable.
However, the opening is an excellent one. I think it is the best opening of this cour regarding the traditional anime opening.