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[In Which I Review] New anime, Spring 2016


Unrepentant Froggie
RPGnet Member
Validated User
It's nearly April, and you all know what this means : a batch of new anime series start airing in Japan. In this thread, I will be reviewing the first episodes of each new series as they come out. At least, that's the plan ; but hey, I've managed to do it for more than five years without burning out, so let's push our luck.

As usual, note that I shall be skipping :
- Most sequel and continuation series, and there's a decent number of them this season. This means no full-length reviews of the new JoJo, Concrete Revolutio - the Last Song or the back third of Ushio & Tora, for example. There's no real point in reviewing them, you already know whether you're part of the audience or not (or if you don't, you probably want to check the original out instead). However, I do plan on covering spin-offs that look distinctive or noteworthy enough... but not Macross Delta, because I already reviewed it three months ago.
- The few kids' show and shorts I just can't get any access to. (However, I WILL be reviewing any kids' show and short I can lay my hands on.)
- Most OVAs, especially "extra episodes". Also, most movies released this Spring won't be on DVD/Blu-Ray for ages, so no dice for them either.
- Also, most short programs will probably get abbreviated reviews, as there's rarely much to talk about.

Please do remember that series premieres will be spaced out all along the next week and more (some even don't start until the 15th) ; don't write off the season merely because the first few are uninspiring.

Now, the first few actual TV series don't start airing until tomorrow, but there's still the one web-thingie I can cover to start this thread off...

Brotherhood - Final Fantasy XV
(5 11-minute episodes released on the web on an unknown but presumably monthly schedule)

What's it about ?

A glorified trailer for the next Final Fantasy game ; it won't be out until September, so in the meantime SquareEnix starts hyping it up with this prologue broadcast on their Youtube channel.


Noctis is the (adopted ?) son/heir of the Lucis kingdom. He was on a road trip to his marriage when the nearby rival Empire invaded and conquered the kingdom. Since he has no real news about his family in the capital and wouldn't be able to do much there anyway, he decided to keep on with his road trip to check on his fiancée.

Fortunately, he's not alone, as he's with three friends with more street smarts than him : Ignis the serious mother hen, Gladiolus the big guy who's always mouthing off at the latter, and Prompto the hyper, younger one. And since they're a FF hero party, the four of them are plenty enough to handle the dozens of robotic Empire shock troups on their way (although they'd rather avoid them as much as possible to get to their destination quickly).

Production Values

The bland competence that you're used to see studio A1-Pictures bring to the table when they're not particularly inspired. And of course the character designs are the kind of over-designed nonsense you get in FF games these days.

I really hope that the hordes of identical robots are supposed to barely react to our heroes and politely attack them one by one, because their behaviour certainly looks laughable.

What did I think of it ?

It's utterly inoffensive, and instantly forgettable : the platonic ideal of the skippable prelude for hardcore completists of the franchise only. It does a decent job of sketching out the main characters and their quest, but not to the point of selling me on actually buying the game. It's also doomed by the foreknowledge that it can't resolve anything major, as that's presumably the game's job. (Especially as all I've heard about it is that it is wholly about those dudes' road trip.)

I may get around to eventually watching the next few instalments of this... or just completely forget about it by the time they do come out.


Building something out of Scrap
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Subbed, as ever. Hopefully there will be a couple of good shows this spring, Winter was a bit mediocre aside from Grimgar and Assassination Classroom S2.


Professional Game Convention Drunk
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Well, that was the wrong thread.

Instead, I'll simply say "Subbed" and "Added the link to my doc for the new Spring 2016 discussion thread". :)
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Rabbit Éclair

high in vital bunnytonium
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Subbed, as ever. Hopefully there will be a couple of good shows this spring, Winter was a bit mediocre aside from Grimgar and Assassination Classroom S2.
Winter was the first season in a year or two where there wasn't a single show that I was really interested in following.


Almost determinedly non-useful
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Interesting how tastes differ. I found quite a lot to be of interest in Winter; ERASED, KonoSuba, not to mention Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu which was quite a departure from the stuff I usually watch. I even liked Dimension W, though by the end that was mostly being carried by the cuteness of the robot girl.

Oh well - de gustibus and all that.


Unrepentant Froggie
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Yeah, I don't get it either. Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju was the best show nearly nobody watched, and made the season worthwhile by its lonesome. The finale for Durarara!!x2 was a hoot too. I was unimpressed by some of ERASED's resolution, but it still had some very good bits. KonoSuba was comedy gold, Grimgar offered a nice counterpoint to it, and we had two fine shojo romance shows with Snow White with the Red Hair & Rainbow Days. And of course there were the numerous gag shorts that turned out to be funnier than average (chief of which, Galko-chan & Sculpture Boys).

Speaking of which, it's Ultra Super Anime Time Block time again !

In case you don't remember last quarter's explanation, USATB is basically a standard-sized time-slot shared by three different (and mostly unrelated) series of 8-minute shorts. It's a nice idea to fit into the schedule some gimmick shows that benefit from having enough room to breathe without overstaying their welcome.

So this Spring, our three shows are... Oh, wait. Rage of Bahamut - Manaria Friends, a random magic-school spin-off from the same videogame franchise that gave us a surprisingly good adventure romp show a year and a half ago, was for some reason pulled from the schedule at the last minute without any explanation ; and I have no clue what, if anything, is supposed to replace it. So we only have two USATB shows this quarter.

Kagewani is returning after a first season last Fall ; I didn't care much for this rotoscoped horror show, but if you enjoyed it, there's more of it.

The true star of the timeblock, though, is Space Patrol Luluco, studio Trigger's latest offering ; it's created, directed and written by Hiroyuki Imaishi himself (unlike the other Trigger show this season). And it's really an excuse for him to go nuts and produce the kind of random nonsense that wouldn't be out of place on Adult Swim.

The series follows the titular Luluco, who aspires to be a normal middle-school girl despite (1) attending school in a middle of the Alien Coexistence Zone (so everyone else there are aliens), (2) having Dad working at the Space Police, and (3) being forced into becoming an "undercover" agent by said Space Police because of reasons.

It's unashamedly stupid, but the kind of endearing rapid-fire nonsense we've all come to love from Imaishi. His style works well with the limited budget here, of course. And the key point : it's actually quite funny. It's got tons of cute visual gags, from the Space Police Chief being on loan from a different show, to Luluco's outrageous gun, and it's just a joy to watch.


Feeling kinda smurfy
Validated User
Yeah, I don't get it either. Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju was the best show nearly nobody watched, and made the season worthwhile by its lonesome.
Have to admit after just one episode I knew this would be in my top 5 for the year. In a way its like Shirobako from last year, except that had subject matter that attracted more people.


Registered User
Validated User
Subbed. I was drifting away from anime, but KonoSuba and ERASED drew me back in.
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