Summer 2016

I was going to add some pictures, but after three weeks, I think it’s fair to say “I’m lazy.” So here you go.

Despite the wailing and gnashing of teeth, it’s not the worst season ever. Maybe. Come to think of it, two of the three shows I’m watching are holdovers from last season. Ugh. At least I do have a few that I can watch without reaching for a truckload of brain bleach. (I’m talking about you HxH… not that I’m watching it.)

Here’s my trio, upon which I rely for my fix.

Re: Zero – Starting Life in a New World — It seems to be designed specifically to break Natsuki

, the hero — and has succeeded. He got better. Unfortunately, it’s draggy as a result of the hero not making any progress, and resetting by death constantly. Episode 16 was a bit much to take. Fifteen-plus minutes of mind-broken Natsuki trying to convince Rem to elope with him and then Rem talks him off the ledge, only to be terminally friend-zoned. He got an inspiration to play the other Royal Candidates, but frankly, that last bit from Puck should have been impossible to overcome. His situation is a form of hell, from which he can’t even escape by dying. He’s doomed to fight an uphill battle out of love for Lia, but can’t explain anything about his situation to anyone. More coverage of the early (interesting) episodes here.

Alderamin on the Sky is the only new show I can stand. — The first arc had its problems, what with the obvious “destined to be the super-team” comes together, meets adversity, and then gets out of it through an absolutely absurd piece of chutzpah (no way that plan to cross the border should have worked). But now it’s starting to gain speed. The central trio is Ikta Sorlok, lazy genius, Yatorishino Igsem, flame-haired swordswoman, and the Princess, who is neither arrogant, spoiled or competing against Yatorishino in a harem. In fact, although Igsem and Sorlok are childhood friends, they’re not an item either. More like siblings, but she’s got a heroic career ahead of her, and he’s happy to just screw around (literally), and goof off.

Despite the poor resolution to the first arc, there’s a lot going for this series. First, the lack of romance. Second, the tech level is roughly American Civil War, but with magic. Third, Sorlok is… essentially, a heretic. His mentor was chased out of the country for his heresy, and now works for a rival country that they’re at war with. He is really big on science and “scientific thinking” — but that’s not opposition to magic. It’s more like “systemization and the scientific method” is what he believes in. Which leads to the fourth twist… arguably, the main character and supports are on the objectively wrong side. Why do I say that? Well, unfortunately, the some parts aren’t obvious in the anime until the later episodes.

  • They’re a theocracy.
  • They chase (and would have killed, if caught) non-believers like Sorkok’s mentor
  • The leadership sacrifices soldiers and good generals for political expediency.
  • Generals can also be executed for losing.
  • The empire starts wars it can’t win.
  • The empire is corrupt.

So far, only one of the two major hooks for the story has been set, and that was at the end of the first arc — Sorlok is not Ikta’s real name. He’s actually the son of a brilliant general, who was executed for — you guessed it — political expedience. The other hook should have shown up at the end of the second arc — yes, the author actually held it back until the second novel. The princess, though she’s somewhat obsessed with him, is only about thirteen, and isn’t chasing him in the romantic sense. She knows her government is corrupt and worthless — what she wants from him is to overthrow it. In five years she’ll reach her majority, at which time she’ll be pawned off in a political marriage. She gives Sorlok until them to go from cadet to supreme command of the army — and overthrow her father to put her on the throne.

The fact that this isn’t in the anime is a huge loss, almost as inexplicable as the outdoor bookshelf in the last episode.

The final entry (and the other holdover) is Twin Star Exorcists Not entirely serious, it’s all about two young (14?) super-powered exorcists that are either super-awesome or absolute trash, depending on what the story needs them to be at the moment. The deal is there’s a prophesied SUPER-exorcist, and the crazy boss priest has figured out that it will be the child of the two protagonists. Of course they hate each other on sight. The comedic hook is that they’re both tsunderes. Aside from that, and the silly title screens for every named attack (shades of Yu-Yu Hakasho), it’s remarkably grim and soap-operaish. The art style is a bit off-putting, and it’s also displaying the typical two-cour failing of having a bunch of wasted episodes in the lower-teens. If, that is, its planned as a two-cour. I’m thinking they might try to make a long run out of this. I’ve actually fallen behind on this series, thanks to the overwrought tragedy.

Some other stuff….

I’ve also watched Taboo Tatoo, but it’s gotten to the point that I started losing interest in the manga. The villains are either “bad girls of moe” or utterly evil, there’s nothing special about the hero, and trashy, two-dimensional women keep showing up. Nothing to see here but fighting, move along.

I tried one episode of Qualidea Code, but the hero is an ass, the primary female is an airhead, and the adults need to quit letting the kids run the show, because they’re all stupid. Also I tagged the primary female as “destined to be cause of protagonist angst due to a severe case of death real soon now.” By reading the episode summaries, I was spot on. Dropped after one.

Morose Monokean was not bad, but didn’t appeal to me. Pastiche of “spirits are just misunderstood” with “main character afflicted by and slave to secondary character’s greed. Likewise, one and out.

Re-write was… um, what was it about again? Oh yeah I watched two episodes. Too random. Boy haunted by invisible girl, tormented by a witch who doesn’t even believe in her own powers, and occasionally falls into pocket dimensions with monsters. I don’t get it either. I have a feeling it may be one of those “reality isn’t what you think it is” shows.

Mob Psycho 100 — I haven’t watched it, but Dr. Heinous is liking it.

Beserk — never watched the original, but hey, if it was good lucrative enough for a remake…

Ok, more when I get around to it. Maybe when Fall starts?

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2 Responses to Summer 2016

  1. GreyDuck says:

    Alderamin’s the only non-sequel/non-continuation I’ve been able to stand out of the current run. It’s a bit absurd and you have to handwave a lot, but at least the characterization is good and the writing’s moderately snappy. I tried to like Taboo Tattoo and just… no. Too ridiculous and too grimdark-y (and trying to do grimdark AND comedy at the same time).

    Bring on Fall, and not just because I hate the summer heat…

  2. topmaker says:

    Qualidea code does indeed seem to have that “established cast goes poof” to it. It worked the first time, but it won’t any more. I think another one is coming up soon.

    Alderamin is one that I look for. Thanks for the missing info. That helps a bit.

    The others I take as I can. Twin Stars being the one I least worry about.
    The manga for TS has fallen into the “too many power ups and last minute upgrades spoil the show” bit. Blondie with the corroded fringes is the latest. Because I know this, it hurts the drive to watch.

    I am so far behind on Re Zero I may as well chalk it up to losing interest.

    I have never seen any of the Tales of.. before and Zestria started off – no wait, episode three started off a decent story, but they just promoed what looks like a different game/story, so I may stop just for spite.

    Searvamp is getting mired in it’s own story.

    Rinne is still telling the same joke it did 40 something episodes ago.

    There is a short format show about a kid with psychic powers. It has some humor to it, but it is blessed in its truncated time frame.

    Three Sacred Stars is very uneven, and very angsty. You have no sympathy for the main duo because of it.

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