…Hi. When was the last time I talked about actual anime? I think it’s been a while, so I present you proudly: A post talking about actual anime! To be specific the anime of the Fall Season 2016, with my impressions of episode 1 of each anime I watch!
The Fall Season 2016 has been an odd one to me. For me, it went from “This is the Fall Season of Fall Seasons” to “Actually, that doesn’t look all that good” to “Oh, I think I’m actually pretty hyped..?”. In the end I wandered into this season with very unclear expectations. Part of this is probably because anime lately wasn’t able to do anything for me, especially in the Summer Season. Macross Delta, Tales of Zestiria the X and even Mob Psycho 100 had a very disappointing final and my favourite show (and pretty much the only show which I constantly enjoyed throughout the whole season) of the Summer Season was not even an anime but instead a puppetplay called Thunderbolt Fantasy. Now, I’m standing here with rather odd feeling in front of the Fall Season, knowing that the Summer Season didn’t look that good in the end.
So, let’s begin, shall we?
When Flip Flappers got announced, I took a look at some Key Visual and knew directly: This show is absolutely not up my alley, so I decided to ignore it. However, after getting quite a lot of praise from the Sakuga Community, I decided that I want to check it out. The trailer then changed my expectations to “It’s going to be a brilliant showcase of animation, but nothing else” (Yeah, I’m not someone who likes to have high expectations). So how does my impression of episode 1 look?
Let’s start off with the most obvious praise I can give.
The Animation of Flip Flappers looks fantastic! This scene was animated by Shun Enokido, who I mainly know through his work at the Fate/Grand Order CMs and has been on my eye ever since. And what can I say, this scene has a great sense of charging up from 0:00-0:10, notice how the effects around the character swirl around faster with every cut.
This creates a great sense of charge and launch. Like pinging a rubber band before shooting, only that the girl shooting onto the icelake influences the entire environment around her, causing a great feel of impact. The shot composition is also interesting to observe here.
Overall, great sequence, loved this cut! But that was of course not the only animation highlight. (I will not analyze the second half of the cut above, because I do not want to stretch this out too long)
This is a fantastic showcase of character animation. Papika, the girl in that cut, is a very childish person. This cut completely embraces that, from the way she walks and dives into snow to the very end where she hug tackles Cocona. Expression of Joy and Fun are brought over almost perfectly, and the Animator “Naoya Wada” seems to be an animator rookie which makes this cut even more impressive.
So yeah, the animation in Flip Flappers is fantastic, but what about everything else? To be honest, I was not sure how to answer this question. As already mentioned I went with very unclear expectations in this season, but Flip Flappers was the only anime which episode left me with a very unclear impression as well (except for the animation). So after discussing things with a friend of mine, Eyebrowscar, I was able to clear up my view of Flip Flappers.
This show has a very childish environment. After Papika encounters Cocona in the “real world”, they get drawn by some kind of robot into a different world. This world of “Pure Illusion” is a winter wonderland, a childhood fantasy which I bet that at least some people can relate to. A world which Papika completely embraces (as seen in the cut above) while Cocona tries to get back into her normal life (in a scene, we can see her trying to use her phone and she is generally rather uninterested in exploring the world itself). As mentioned, Papika is very childish and is someone who is out for adventures, ignoring a lot of dangers in Pure Illusion, for example how she prioritizes picking up Cocona’s glasses over everything else, ignoring that she gets attacked while doing so.
In generally I expect all “Pure” worlds in this anime (the next episode has also “Pure” in its title) to be some kind of childhood fantasy, who are mainly “caused” by Papika. So it is not to ignore that there is some evil organization trying to kidnap her at the end of episode 1, not to mention that the organization Papika seems to belong to seems kind of shady as well. I think one can expect this story to go down a darker route than some people might expect.
Some questions I still have for Flip Flappers are still open, What caused Cocona’s outburst in power when she saved Papika from the drowning in the Icelake? What is the evil organisation which looks an awful lot like the KKK? What is the crystal that fell from Papika in the Post-Credits scene? This is only the first episode, so I am pretty sure those are questions that will still be answered.
Overall, Flip Flappers is very interesting and is honestly unlike every show I watched so far. It’s theme is spun around childhood fantasies and wonders with the one or another darker and mature element coming in. I look forward to what this anime can accomplish.
Impression: Pretty damn good. well animated and very interesting theme of the world.
Expectations: More Child and Pain incoming, looking forward to this! Oh, and Sakuga!
Yuri!!! On Ice
If you think that 3 exclamation marks in the title are already too much, just you wait.
Yuri on Ice was a show that stood out because of mainly one thing. “Yuri” in the title but no “Yuri” in the show. The Yuri in the title was instead referring to the Protagonist with the name “Yuri”. However, when I started watching this show, I was in outrage, because the Yuri expected to be in this show wasn’t there!
Ok, jokes aside for now. Yuri on Ice caused a little bit of Outrage among people who expect “Yuri” to be in the show. For the ones who are still confused, “Yuri” is also a genre among anime which depicts romantic relationship between girls. Yuri on Ice has a cast which consists of almost only male characters, so I’m pretty sure you can imagine what happened. But before I complain about the anime community, I shall now give my impressions of this show.
Let’s start of again with the most obvious praise I can give.
This show looks amazing! The choreographies of the performances are amazingly animated and are the clear highlight of the first episode. Look at how elegant the movements are, so smooths, so wonderful! This choreography is in the middle part of the first episode and is by far the strongest part of this episode. Next to the aesthetic was also the soundtrack and a general feel, that was superb and created a great atmosphere around this performence, great stuff! However, following right up is also by far the weakest point of this show.
What is up with all this cartoony comedy in Yuri on Ice? The screen above comes almost directly after the performance is finished, with the atmosphere still intact. It should have been faded out by for example the audience applauding on the big stage, synchronizing with eventual applaud from the girl on the small stage (similar to the synchronic performance of the 2 on the stage) who watched Yuri all along. But instead, these 3 fucking characters come in, do some “comical” stuff and ruin the whole aftertaste of this scene. In a sense, a lot of good scenes are followed up by bad timed comedy, which really pushed down my impressions of this episode.
On the other hand, we have a story that revolves about passion. Yuri has a bit slacked off in terms of ice-skating when he travels back home, clearly visible on the fact that he has gained quite some weight. However, after the performance from above has been secretely filmed and uploaded into the internet, his very own Idol, Viktor Nikiforov (the other person in the cut from above) visits his home and decides to become his coach. Now the interesting thing is, that Viktor is not only the coach of the Protagonist Yuri now, but also of another Yuri who harassed the Protagonist at the beginning of the episode.
2 contrasting characters are introduced now under the same coach, what happens between them, might (most likely will) be a big plot point for the story of Yuri on Ice and could proof to be interesting. I’m also looking forward to more of those amazing performances from above!
Impression: Good, very promising, Performances are great, characters seem interesting but the comedy is rather hit-or-miss and sometimes badly timed.
From one sports anime into the next one. All Out! is Sports Anime about rugby and got on my watchlist since I wanted to watch a good sports anime again, and this anime is off to a solid start.
Let’s start once again with the most obvious praise I can give!…. Just kidding, the animation is solid but compared to the two anime before it does not even come close.
Instead we get introduced to characters who seemingly contrast each other in a rather odd way. Sumiaki Iwashimizu is a blonde guy with a rather tall build, with which he stands out a lot among people, but this is paired with very low self-esteem, especially when it comes to Rugby, which is caused by an accident in middle school which is revealed later in this episode. In other words, he has the right body for Rugby but at the time not the right mindset. Completely opposing this character, we have Kenji Gion, who has a small body, but a very aggressive and self-confident mindset. In other words, not the ideal body but a the perfect mindset for Rugby.
Overall, everything seems promising,but I am in a situation where I can barely say something about this show, as probably more characters will probably get introduced in the next episodes and we did not get to see much of the actual sport. What’s interesting though is that the main characters of this show have all different body builds, next to the mentioned giant Sumiaki and the small Kenji we have the very muscular Takuya Sekizan and the chubby Mutsumi Hachiouji.I like that this show doesn’t go for completely idea bodytypes for it’s sport and could lead to an interesting dynamic in the story, but we’ll have to see.
Impression: Solid, but we didn’t get to see a whole lot.
Expectations: More Rugby, more conflicts and hopefully some rivalries
You thought 3 exclamation marks were intense? Check out Keijo who has 8 of them!…!!!…!!!!
Keijo had before airing the image of a very fanservice-focused funfest of ridiculousness and everyone kind of expected that. However, the producers of Keijo wanted to ensure before it aired that people did not go into Keijo with the wrong expectations and so they stated that Keijo has not its focus on fanservice but instead is about passionate sports . A statement which basically gave of a sarcastic “Yeah, Yeah, we know” from most people. However, after episode 1 aired, I can say for certain: These guys were not lying.
Outside of the battles, the amount of butt and boobs is very low and even in the battles, the scenes are barely out to show the characters in a “sexy” manner or something like that. Instead the battle scenes of Keijo really do concentrate on the sport, a really ridiculous sport, but it’s a sport nonetheless. It is also to notice that the sport of Keijo is a completely normal event in the world of the show. This also goes for (most of) the characters, who want to participate in the world of Keijo with the desire to win. If this show was a “usual” Ecchi show, I would suspect the protagonist to be drawn in by coincidence and being completely embarrassed by everything she has to show. This is not the case, we have very self-confident characters, who connect very well with the nature of the sport itself.
Yes, I’m not even kidding, the battles got my hyped and it builts up a first foundation of a potentially great rivalry between two characters. The ridiculousness of the battles surprisingly add to that and ties in perfectly with the hype of the sport itself. Yes, “Hype”, again I’m not kidding. Overall it was an incredibly fun first episode, and a show I first thought would be “110% golden trash” surprised with great character, fun battles and very “unusual” Ecchi. Great stuff and I am looking forward to more of this show!
Impression: Really good, strongest first episode of the season. Fun battles, good characters, overall very entertaining!
Expectations: More Ridiculousness and more Fun! Also, Butts shall conquer all the Boobs!
Yeah, I’m not even kidding (again), Keijo had the strongest first episode of the season….
Now, those four shows are pretty much the spotlight of this season for me, so I will go through the other shows (+ the dropped ones) quickly.
Tiger Mask W
I’m getting more and more into “Manly Series”. Lots of characters with muscles and protagonist who get shit done. Tiger Mask W leaves a similar impression. The way, Tiger Mask and Tiger the Dark are build up is pretty interesting as they both have the same enemy, “Yellow Devil”, but try to pursue him on different ways.While Tiger Mask seems to confront the organisation “Tiger Den”, which is connected to Yellow Devil, head on, Tiger the Dark joined the organisation to search him from the inside.
I should mention that this is a Remake of a Wrestling Anime from 1969. Yes, a Wrestling Anime, and the fights show that, lots of grappling, some Suplexes and so on. Overall, While I did not feel a big intensity compared to Keijo, I can see myself getting pretty hyped for more battles, the first episode is, after all, only introduction to the story.
Overall the whole idea has something great. The way the two Tigers are pursuing Yellow Devil is founded on a grudge rivalry, as they had to see how their Senior was injured heavily by him and wanted to take revenge on them. However, with both Tigers going on different paths, they now stand in the ring and thanks to the masks they’re wearing they do not realize who each other is, which might turn out really interesting.
Impression: Very solid, not as intensive battles as other anime this season, but still entartaining
Expectations: More Manliness and more Wrestling. I hope it turns out awesome!
Tiger Mask W has the only Ending which appealed to me this season, while the Openings were all rather disappointing.
And now, let’s get to the droplist of the Season:
Hibike Euphonium Season 2
I actually did not want to cover second season shows here, but I felt like Hibike Euphonium should be mentioned. I complain a lot about KyoAni’s fanbase and how overpraised their anime are. That did not change, I still do complain, but this is not what I want to discuss here, this is instead more of a clarification.
First, I dropped Hibike Euphonium Season 2 after around 12 minutes after I realized that I could not answer the question on why I am watching this show.
However, Kyoto Animation has a rather.. odd position for me. Let me give you my view of KyoAni in a single sentence: “They’re one of the best but I do not like their shows”. Now, what do I mean with that? As I am more or less part of the Sakuga Community, the Industry is also quite a bit on my watch. With that I got to know that ufotable (my favourite studio) collapsed a bit at Tales of Zestiria the X, the name of geniuses behind some of my favourite scenes in anime and that KyoAni has in terms of production one of the highest standards of the Industry.
So I have to take a defender position for the Sakugablog as they got repeatedly criticized for covering a show that consists of “cute girl doing cute things”. The Sakugablog covers a lot of the industry, and KyoAni is one of the most important factors in that industry. Wether you like their shows or not doesn’t change that, not to mention that the people of the Sakugablog are mostly enjoying Hibike Euphonium. So, get into that blog and read their weekly coverage of this show if you want to know more about Anime Industry! (They’re covering Flip Flappers, too!)
Trickster: Edogawa Ranpo “Shounen Tanteidan” yori
After “Game of Laplace” who also has connections to mystery writer Edogawa Ranpo, finished off in a very interesting way (leaving me rather happy), I decided to check out the new anime who also has connections to this writer.
However, after this episode I was left unimpressed. Unfortunately the whole “Mystery” Aspect was almost completely left out. No criminal cases of the like and that one case with the robot which went amok in the city just lacked any real depth, there were no hints or trails the detective followed and he just.. finds out it was Twenty faces and also where he is. Also, that Kobayashi, the white haired guy can not die, while everything around him dies, is more of a fantasy aspect than a mystery aspect (unless Trickster goes for an Umineko kind of storytelling, which I HIHGLY DOUBT), and somehow, the fact that it kind of seemed natural to him that the protagonist Kensuke could get through him in the second half of the first episode is weird (after failing on his first try). I’m pretty sure it would be explained at some point in the later episodes, but unfortunately this episode just wasn’t interesting enough to continue watching…
Later in the story, there is an accident where some kind of facility burns down and Kensuke runs to save the people. However, he gets stuck under steel debris with the one of the victims, and after Kobayashi, who followed Kensuke, saw them and refuses to help them (because everything near him dies), the victim completely freaks out and throws a tool at him. A tool which gets picked apart by Kobayashi’s Aura, which causes the worker to completely freak out, call him a monster etc.
The problem with that scene is, that it seems like the worker completely forgot that his life is in danger and mainly concentrates on calling Kobayashi a monster even though he clearly wanted to help him (but couldn’t). However, even after getting saved, the guy runs away freaked out and… well, yeah you get the point. I did not like the scene because the guy did not behave very logical considering his situation. He just got saved from a deathtrap, and Kobayashi clearly has no ill intentions towards him, I think I would be pretty about this situation.
However, at this point I talked way too much about this show, so let’s wrap this up.
Impression: Barely any real “mystery”, I don’t like that considering what Ranpo Edogawa is.
Expectation: Dropped, maybe I’ll pick this show up at some point again, if the mystery aspects gets better or other good things happen.
And we’re done!
Yeah, so this is my impression of this Fall Season. Overall, some damn good shows, but after the first episodes of every show, I’m sure that my Anime of the Year will stay in the Summer Season. With that…
See ya, Bye Bye then~