We've hit the half-way point in this season, more or less and I'd like to share my thoughts on the season overall so far. First let's crunch the numbers and see what is this season made up of. (That I'm watching at least)
- 31 Series All together
- 11 Series carrying over from last season
- 14 New Adaptations
- 6 New Originals
- 4 Sequels Overall inside(2 of which from last season)
I know we're not here to read statistics but it will help visualize my opinion, so please, hear me out. The majority of the series that crossed over to this season are these animes with ambitious plot and story to tell. Resulting in most of these anime is either action/fantasy/drama or sport. Due to the fact that these series have gotten 12 episodes already aired, they're trying to now show the finale arc/s of the series. That's 35% this season where the shows are delving into heavy or serious tones and emotions/adrenaline levels are high. Then out of the 20 new series this season, 70% are comedy centric, with lots of laughs and joy to be had everywhere. From this I conclude that, the high volume of new comedy this season is to compensate the lack there of last season, and to give breathing space for viewers who might be watching multiple series. Without these comedies, slice of life and light hearted romances; it would be a rather, in my opinion, grim season, also the industry loves and demands moe, so we get a lot of that. With the last 16% of series that aren't in the mentioned categories are trying to fill in new demand of a genre which can generally be quite exciting. Overall this means, I believe, we have a really delicate balance of high octane and emotional moments, with the other side being relaxing series with merriment to bring us back down: Notwithstanding any diamonds in the rough.
Now with that out the way, I want to highlight some of the more outstanding and most interesting shows this season that could be worth your time. For sequels and series that are still airing from last season, won't be mentioned because should already been spoken before.
On the surface this series might not look like anything new or remarkable, but what makes this series so wonderful are the characters who breathe life into it. This story is about wannabe God who's trying to make it to the "big time" by taking any and all requests for just a meagre 5 Yen, and a girl in an extraordinary circumstance whom also comes with a refreshingly forward personality. The way these characters are portrayed is magical and the chemistry between them is exciting. While the series does inject itself with lots of comedy and humour, it has the ability to simply cast a dark and serious tone over the entire episode leaving a lasting impression. You could say the series is putting up a façade of comedy to hide the darker elements of the show till it's necessary, and that I can applaud how easily it naturally switches between these contrasting moods.
Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta / A Pilot's Love Song
This is a series which raised my expectation as we progressed forward, without the usual prior hype before it had started. This means that my expectations have come from only what I've seen so far and haven't let myself get hyped. Saying that, what I've seen so far, it's very promising and has the ingredients it needs to become something special. The series establishes a really strong foundation with a great cast and interesting backgrounds and setting. The way the plot unfolds while building our understanding of the world and the characters which inhibit it, which has been thoroughly entertaining and gripping. Personally I also love how we get to know each character slowly one by one, since we're dealing with a sizeable cast, it hasn't been rushed nor seemed pointless. As we progress it has been building scope while still maintaining the original goal, making it a spellbinding watch. The show just has so much potential that it can either leave us poorly disappointed or extremely satisfied. I just hope this series has more than 12 episodes, and will air the rest next season after taking a (small) break.
Inari Konkon, Koi Iroha
What isn't broken doesn't need fixing. Shrine gods and humans with their antics are always going to work it seems, and this has been executed perfectly in Inari. With a nice spin on the Japanese deities by downplaying the usual portrayal of divine gods, to be almost human in nature. The notion of a deity playing a dating VN and being flustered when being discovered, for me was and quite frankly: brilliant. The way they represented gods in such a human manner was both fascinating and hilarious, not placing the gods on their divine pedestal that made them relatable to us as an audience. Which I thought it was a wonderful idea and I look forward to seeing where this direction takes us. The relationship that is building between these deities with humans has been both eccentric and humorous. Heart-warming and funny, is everything a slice of life should be and is resulting in a relaxing and smile inducing series.
Wake Up Girls!
This isn't another flavourless idol series where the cast is too huge or in my opinion bland. Here we're grounded by the reality of how hard it is to become an idol and everything that comes with the pursuit. Which is exactly what I've looking for, though maybe this is just a personal gripe I have against the idol genre at the moment; but that's for another time and place. The series depiction is still rather light hearted, but shows the grittier side of the industry which is what has been propelling the series forward in my mind. How each girl is from a different background, reasons and desire for becoming an idol, while they try to accomplish the same goal. This has been something fascinating to watch. The adversity they encounter and create within themselves lends its self perfectly to the drama of the series and is a building for the characters to deepen their relationships. On this we have been able to explore the full depth of each character. All this is differentiating the series from the other idol shows we've had.
Nobunaga the Fool
Firstly this, in my opinion, has been the better Nobunaga themed anime this season. I always have fun when anime tells twisted tales of real historical figures. The audacity of having your prominent characters sharing the same name as past figures almost everyone has heard of, Joan of Arc, Nobunaga, Da Vinci and King Arthur, makes for outrageous entertainment. Throw in mechs, spaceships and magical themes; we've got ourselves one hell of a cocktail. And let's not forget the unusual personalities and are innate to our acclaimed characters, it's like playing Civilization 5 with Ghandi as a warlord. By recreate the Edo history with these explosive components and its own special ending it is creating a truly surreal and inexplicable yet entertaining sci-fi action show. It has shown so much promise and it has been delivering at every stage so far. What a remarkable series this season has given us.
Of course there's so many series have not been mentioned here that are all of which many can great to watch becoming an emphatically satisfying season so far. While we may not have the same quantity of series as last season, I don't believe the quality across the season has lowered at all, but in fact has arguably raised the level. Given a huge following of some series I don't really require me to highlight them here. While last season might have had something for everyone, this season seems to be more focused, which in my opinion lends itself to debatably more entertaining and rounded season.