Winter 2016 Standings

Musaigen no Phantom WorldHow does the winter selection stack up?

The heat of the beginning of the season has cooled off a bit by now. Boku dake ga Inai Machi remains popular but has lost some of its tense moments. All in all its still pretty steady. I remember the previous season being full of crap, so to top that doesn’t take much of an effort.

Boku dake ga Inai MachiThe first few episodes of Boku dake ga Inai Machi were really keeping the viewer at the edge of their seat, but are becoming more laid back while further into the show. Don’t get me wrong this is still one of the best shows of the season, but it really needs some twists and turns to keep it fresh until the end of its run.

The visuals are good, but not as good as in Musaigen no Phantom World. The show’s plot is maturing with the most important characters set in place. Some are more well fleshed out, while others could need some background development. Not all victims, for example, really resonate with the audience. Perhaps this will be more explicit coming episodes so we can see a more common pattern with the actual killer. I would also like more time skipping, that brought the interesting dynamic to the story. The moment Boku dake ga Inai Machi decided to move back to the present, I felt it lost some of its charm.

Musaigen no Phantom WorldFrom the shows I’ve watched from Kyoto Animation, I dare to say that Musaigen no Phantom World is the weakest of all. The horror begins with the upward lift of the boobs in the opening sequence. Really? This is just teasing, or pampering, of the viewer with constant fan service. The only thing that gets the show going are the great visuals.

The story itself is vague and what does it even matter? The whole goal of Musaigen no Phantom World seems to be the display of Mai’s boobs flapping every which way(Futurama reference). This story is so inherently stupid and vague, it really makes me question why this show has been brought into existence in the first place. A wild guess would be that KyoAni wanted to make a quick buck and focus on an upcoming show with more substance.

HaruChikaAnother terrible entry is HaruChika. I’ve said it many times before and I’ll say it again, it has become apparent that P.A. Works has an ups and downs line-up. Sometimes it becomes a hit such as Angel Beats and Hanasaku Iroha or a miss such as Red Data Girl or Tari Tari.

I really don’t get what HaruChika is trying to be. Does it try to be mystery? Does it try be music? When following the pattern it seems to be a season too late for everything. Mystery was big the previous season and music about two seasons ago. It missed the boat and is drowning in its own drunk confusion. Plus Haruta is a piece of shit. Shame he had to dirty the show with its annoying attitude.

Dagashi KashiI don’t know if all the brands in Dagashi Kashi are real, but if they are, they’ve certainly nailed down one of the best commercials in anime history. I mean twenty minutes of advertisement with a sort of story behind it, with people watching it till the end credits! The creator must be a genius. No Joke.

I’ll be honest, watching this show during morning commutes to work is kind of awkward. Oh well, my time. It’s not like I watch full blown hardcore porno. Studio Feel can’t resist filling this show with the necessary fanservice, which was to be expected. Nonetheless, I find the show refreshing and the visual appearance is quite welcome. Though, I find the facial impressions a tad off.

Hai to Gensou no GrimgarHai to Gensou no Grimgar seems to be a more serious take on shows such as Sword Art Online and Log Horizon, despite its fanservice sprinkled along the road. The visuals are more restraint and try to resemble a painting.

Hai to Gensou no Grimgar tries to be overly serious when it’s trying to dramatize unfortunate events happening to its characters. Its rushing through the stages of character development, making it unable for me to bond with the characters, letting me shrug away what were supposed to be milestone events for the story.

Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo!Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! is one of the best shows in the line-up with its funny gags, diverse character set and setting. I almost want to label KonoSuba as the comedy of the year already. It’s such a great satire on the genre with jokes that are well timed and really drive the show forward.

The visuals aren’t as flamboyant as the overall comedic factor that gives the show its satirical touch. The design is fairly one dimensional and doesn’t really bring out the best of the characters. There is much more to be explored when the graphics team would put their best effort into the costumes. Yet, this is not the main focus of the show. It’s the comedy that sticks.


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