Spring 2016 – First Impressions (Part 2)

mobile_suit_gundam_unicorn_re_0096-01-unicorn_gundam-rx_0-activated-light_up-smokeThis post reviews: Kuma Miko, Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu, Macross Delta, Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn RE:0096, Bakuon!!, and Hundred.

With every day, I am making progress on catching up and am almost up-to-date.  My impressions on the season thus far are that it is vastly, vastly superior to Winter 2016, a season which ended up the lowest scoring season since I began blogging in 2011.  Fortunately, Spring 2016 doesn’t seem to be suffering the same fate as Winter 2016 did.

 

Watching:

Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn RE:0096

mobile_suit_gundam_unicorn_re_0096-01-audrey-bangher-cockpit-alarm-dangerSo this is an interesting decision to make.  I originally anticipated this to be a follow-up to the Gundam Unicorn OVA that aired from 2010 to 2014 and for me to just skip the series.  Then, after trying an episode of RE:0096 and comparing it to the first OVA, I found out that they are 99% identical.  Yes, there are a few small changes besides the addition of an OP and ED, but this is just Gundam Unicorn all over again.  So really, the question is, do I go with the TV or the OVA?

Considering my appalling history of watching OVAs and movies, something I’ve never quite been able to master, I think it may be best to stick for me to stick with the TV series.  Additionally, there is the possibility that the TV series might include some new content somewhere, especially since the TV series is scheduled to conclude in September.  As for the anime itself, I really couldn’t ask for anything more.  It has movie-quality art and animation, evident both in the action sequences and ordinary, everyday shots.  I am intrigued with where the story is heading, and considering how popular and acclaimed the OVA is, this is an easy decision to pick up.

mobile_suit_gundam_unicorn_re_0096-01-marida-pilot-cockpit-helmet-cold_stare mobile_suit_gundam_unicorn_re_0096-01-banagher-dramatic-stare-looking_up

 

Undecided:

Kuma Miko

kuma_miko-01-machi-natsu-angry-fume-yellingComedies like this can be difficult to evaluate after one episode since the humor really depends on the relationships of the characters and the content for that episode.  For Kuma Miko, the relationship between the Bear (Natsu) and Shrine Maiden (Machi) is the foundation for which this anime is to grow.  The two have decent chemistry together, which is essential for me to keep, though they are both rather tame and calm as characters.  The primary issue with Kuma Miko is content moving forward.  Fortunately for me, the content will change every episode, so there is a good chance the second episode will be funnier than the first.  However, I don’t much care for shows that are hit-or-miss, especially when they’re more miss than hit.  Another potential issue with this series versus other comedies is the amount of fanservice and sexualization present in the first episode.  Whereas I enjoy fanservice in other types of comedies (see Bakuon!! below), it feels a bit out of place here.  It wouldn’t be reason enough for me to drop it alone, but I do worry that the show will rely a bit too much on trying to make humor out of the bear-girl relationship.  It’ll get another episode, but it’s already behind a number of other comedies this season.

kuma_miko-01-natsu-bear-tears-comedy-reaction kuma_miko-01-machi-shrine_maiden-pointing_finger-blush

 

Macross Delta

macross_delta-01-freyja-stowaway-happy-joy-robes-rags-sunsetAs I mentioned previously, this is my first Macross anime.  Now, after just one episode, I do have a favorable impression of the franchise and this anime, but I do wonder if maybe I should start off with something else.  I mean, Macross Delta is fine as an anime, but I wonder if I should be spending my time on some of the more established, more renowned, and quite frankly better Macross shows.  To be honest, I didn’t exactly love the first episode of Macross Delta, and I began to wonder if or how I would enjoy the other anime in the Macross universe.  I think I’ll need some time, as well as a few more episodes of Delta, to better understand whether this is the right anime for me or whether I want to go back and try the original Macross (from 1982) or Macross F or something.  So, for now, Macross Delta is undecided.

macross_delta-01-hayate-looking_back-pilot macross_delta-01-reina-reirei-walkure-idol-green_hair-headphones-quiet_personality

 

Bakuon!!

bakuon-01-hane-motorbike-helmet-headlight-happy-drivers_educationAlthough Bakuon!! is here in the undecided category, I am strongly contemplating and believing I’ll keep it.  Thus far, Bakuon!! has been the best comedy, both in terms of content and delivery, in a rather disappointing season for comedies.  Another positive for this series is it has some of the greatest promise and potential for a comedy considering its characters, their chemistry, and the theme of motorcycles and motorbikes.  The art and animation serve Bakuon!! well, especially in the dynamic riding shots (where the camera is static and the girls/bike are moving).  I don’t mind the ecchi fanservice in this anime considering that it’s mainly subtle (not in your face, except for a few instances) and there are no dudes around to ruin the joke or scene.  I don’t mind the blatant advertisements either, primarily because of how the girls criticize and mock the other brands and companies that appear in the anime.  Honestly, there really isn’t much wrong with this anime except that I didn’t care much for the OVA that aired back in March.  That and I do wonder how the series will progress, with competitive races or slice-of-life scenes, which would ultimately dictate where the comedy goes and, with it, my enjoyment.  Still, I am planning on keeping this series, but I want to give it one more episode to make sure it’s the right choice.

bakuon-01-raimu-helmet-silent-comedy-sparkle-visor bakuon-01-onsa-shock-reaction-comedy-black_curly_hair

 

Dropped:

Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu

re_zero_kara_hajimeru_isekai_seikatsu-01-natsuki-teenager_in_fantasy_worldRe:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu debuted with two episodes, primarily because the first half establishes itself up as a generic teenager-in-fantasy-world anime and the second half introduces the Groundhog Day gimmick that distinguishes it apart from the other generic teenager-in-fantasy-world anime.  Still, it’s a generic teenager-in-fantasy-world anime, even with the death-and-revival gimmick, and it really failed to demonstrate enough material and potential to make me think that this would turn into anything special.  The one unique trait this anime has is fine, but it doesn’t make up for everything else being mediocre at best.  I didn’t ever enjoy myself watching the “first” episode of Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu, even after the death-and-revival aspect was revealed, so there’s really no point in continuing if that’s what the series is about.

re_zero_kara_hajimeru_isekai_seikatsu-01-natsuki-paw_print-punch_mark re_zero_kara_hajimeru_isekai_seikatsu-01-emilia

 

Hundred

hundred-01-charlotte-scientist-candy-happy-lab_coat-glassesCuriosity got the best of me, and I watched the first episode of Hundred.  I understand that the series is named because it is the combined product of 100 different anime.  Or, if not, it certainly felt that way since nothing in Hundred seemed even remotely original or interesting.  But, because everything was so plagiaristic and unoriginal, I did find the episode hilarious in how predictable and awful it would be… so I guess it does have one positive.  Still, it has a hundred negatives, and so that’s a pretty easy decision to make with this anime.

hundred-01-emile-blush-embarrassed hundred-01-claire-class_president-twindrills-ojousama

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