Sorry for the late post people. I wanted to push this one back for my ‘Your Name’ one and then I was busy the next day. But it’s here now!
So we’re about a week into the season and a whole bunch of premieres have come and gone! As I promised in my winter wrap-up post, I will once again be going through and talking about the premieres that I got around to watching. There’s still a couple shows that haven’t started yet and there’s a few that I’ve been meaning to get to but haven’t, so this’ll likely be the first of two impressions posts. With all that happened last season, I’ve dialed back my expectations so hopefully I’ll find more than two shows that I’ll enjoy.
Any who, let’s talk anime.
My Hero Academia Season 2
My Hero Academia returns this season, and now with even more MHA! Season two has been confirmed to be two cour, or 24-ish episodes meaning that there’ll be much more time for developments – and boy does the show know it. The first episode felt very much like recap with a big part of the episode devoted to characters discussing the events of the last season. Otherwise, there were really only two things introduced during the episode that were important for the story. The first was the introduction of the next arc, the sports festival, and second being Ochako’s reason for joining U.A.
Although the amount time dedicated to recap was a little disappointing, I still quite liked the episode. I really enjoyed the first season for a lot of reasons and many of these things reappeared in this one. The lovable characters, their natural interactions, and the overwhelmingly fun and positive atmosphere was retained through to the second season and this was great to see. Although the episode was a little slow, this season of MHA is looking to be very much like the first and with all the hype around this arc and the next one, I’m expecting a lot. Given its track record, I’m sure MHA will meet and more than likely exceed my expectations. Plus ultra.
Attack on Titan Season 2
My experience with the first season Attack on Titan was less than great. Morbid curiosity fueled my desire to follow the show and by the second half, I was running on empty. The latter parts of the show had slower pacing and an ever-present dreary atmosphere which turned me off the show almost completely. I did eventually finish the show but not without a lot of trying. So you could say that I was less than enthusiastic going into this season, but this episode was honestly pretty engaging. Four years is a long time and I’m not super surprised that this time around, I’m a little more receptive to the show.
The episode’s developments in the plot, the action sequences, and horrifying ending were honestly pretty interesting. The shorter length of this season may actually benefit the show in eliminating the pacing issues of the first. It’s weird for me to say but I’m actually looking forward to seeing what happens next in the series.
Sakura Quest tells the story of Koharu Yoshino, a college graduate fresh out of school. With her attempts at securing a full time job unsuccessful, Koharu happens upon an opportunity to be the Queen! …Of a far off town in the sticks. Her job as the ‘Queen’ of the ‘kingdom’ is to revive the town with the help of its wacky denizens and bring back the town’s past popularity. Now if this didn’t sound terribly interesting to you I don’t blame you.
Sakura Quest is the latest entry in PA Works’ original anime projects. For PA Works, these anime are usually hit or miss, but of course this is highly dependent on the staff. The notable members of the staff like the director (Chaika) and series composer (Re:Zero, Free!, All Out!!) didn’t excite me very much, so I was going in with few expectations. Luckily for me, the episode turned out just fine. If I was asked to describe Sakura Quest in a sentence, I would call it, “Hanasaku Iroha with the plot of Amagi Brilliant Park.” (And yes I realized how unhelpful this would be for anyone that hasn’t seen both these shows.)
The show’s set up brings a familiar feeling of ‘anime reality’ with relatable situations and characters joined with an eccentric and colorful cast of clearly fictional characters. I felt this feeling from other PA Works anime like Hanasaku Iroha and Shirobako, both of these being shows that I really enjoyed. And with a main plot similar to Amagi Brilliant Park, I can see a lot of potential in this series. I found myself laughing a lot more from this episode than in other pure comedy anime and I think that’s because Sakura Quest’s brand of comedy isn’t the same as those other shows. The comedy in the show came not from explicit jokes but from absurdity and the subsequent reactions. Stuff like the random town bard on the bus and the old man’s plan to keep Koharu in the town were strangely hilarious.
I do hope that the show hits a more serious tone at some point in the series, since the serious moments were what made Shirobako and Hanasaku Iroha so successful, but I get the feeling that staff knows what they’re doing. I’d recommend anyone to check out Sakura Quest, it’s certainly been one of the better shows airing this season (so far).
Seriously, who is this guy?
Tsuki ga Kirei
Tsuki ga Kirei wasn’t a show that I intended to watch, going into the season. I remember thinking that the art style looked neat from the key visual and thought nothing else of it. I picked it up on a whim after seeing it pop up on Crunchyroll and I was, and still am, very surprised at how much I ended up enjoying it. In a nutshell, Tsuki ga Kirei is a slice of life, romance anime set in middle school – with no caveats or twists. I’ll be the first to admit that the premise of the show sound uninteresting as hell. It’s just another entry in its genre but featuring middle schoolers – which means that all the troupes and plot twists that you’d expect from the genre will likely be present.
With this expectation, along with the very vanilla introduction and horrifying CG, I was about ready to drop the series halfway through. But that’s when the episode started to pick up. It began with the scene at the family diner. The families of both main characters decided to go out for dinner at the same restaurant which meant that the two would inevitably meet and speak for the first time, face to face. But their meeting wouldn’t be the “love at first sight” shoujo-manga meeting that I expected.
We’re first introduced to their respective family dynamics – Akane’s family, being larger was a little more boisterous while Kotarou’s smaller family felt more reserved. The two teens notice each other almost immediately and spend a good amount of time being painfully aware of each other and embarrassed about their respective families. The two jump at the opportunity to escape the embarrassing situation, but then meet at the drink bar where, in a moment of pure middle school bravado, Kotarou decides to grab some ice coffee instead of the usual soda. They briefly acknowledge each other and then part ways. This is when Akane’s sister learns that they are classmates and decides to screw with her sister by telling her parents. And this is the part where it gets a little painfully relatable. Akane’s parents introduce themselves (to the dismay of their awkward teens) and the two families chat – the worst imaginable scenario for our two main characters.
What grabbed me about the show was how much it understood and was able to display these horrifyingly awkward and embarrassing moments from the perspective of the main characters, and in a pretty entertaining way. I’m sure that the show will fall into some of the same troupes that plague the slice-of-life, romance genre, but if it can continue to show off a good understanding of its characters with some interesting developments, I’ll be willing to continue watching it.
Love Tyrant’s one of those shows that work for some people, but not me. It’s a hyperactive parody-based comedy, probably romance, most likely harem anime with a lot of slapstick. I don’t feel the need to give a synopsis of it since I don’t think that it’s humanly possible to encapsulate the whole episode in a short sentence and I don’t really care. This style of ‘loud comedy’ is something that I’m vaguely familiar with from D-frag, but unlike D-frag there isn’t very much keeping me interested in the show. The absurdity and crazy comedy is funny at times but it’s mostly overbearing. When the show hit a break near its middle, I thought to myself, “It has to be done now, right?” But it continued! And for painfully long. If you’re a fan of hyperactive comedies then this one is for you. As for me, I think I’ll take a pass on Love Tyrant.
…I honestly don’t know how to explain this.
And that does it for this week! So it looks like I’ll be sticking with Sakura Quest, Tsuki ga Kirei, MHA Season 2, and AoT Season 2 – which is way more than in the first week of last season. There’s still quite a few premieres left and I haven’t gotten around to some shows so I might still pick up a couple, but it’s looking good so far for this season. And I’m looking forward to some more good shows. As always, thanks for reading and I’ll catch you next time.