So, as some people have pointed out this season has been perceived to be slow or worse compared to others, I don't know if that's necessarily true, but I found my weekly watching habits in a bit of a lull this season. So, to make up for that and fill my anime addiction, I binge watched a whole bunch of shows in my backlog! I bring to you a bunch of mini-reviews from my adventures in binge watching: Trainime Caboose Edition!
As some people around TAY know, I'm no stranger to sports anime, and as such I'm a little harsher on this genre. That being said, I absolutely LOVE Haikyuu! It nails a balance of humor, action, and drama that is so rare in most shows these days. I actually went from laughing, to having the hair on my arms stand on end, to tearing up in a single episode. The character design was initially something that bothered me, but by the second or third episode I no longer cared, I was too invested in the characters themselves. The main character while being important and our lens to the action in the series, is portrayed as one of the team, rather than carrying the team on his back and it really strengthens the cast as a whole. It's also nice to see that the show deals with the bench players as much as the regular starters.
Verdict: 5/5 trains
Yeah, Yeah I hear you, "But Sylver, Grande Road isn't finished yet, you can't review it!" We're now sixty episodes into the show, I'd say that's enough to have a good grasp on what the show is and what the show isn't. Yowamushi Pedal is a fairly standard sports anime, based around a fairly non-standard sport. That's not a criticism by the way, sometimes a predictable show can be a good thing. I equate Yowamushi Pedal to a good popcorn flick, you know what's going to happen in the end, but you still enjoy the ride to get there. Yowamushi Pedal succeeds on the backs of it's ensemble cast, each and every member of Sohoku and Hakogaku are memorable and entertaining. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Midousuji as well, he's one of the more wacky "villains" to star in a sports anime and he fills his role beautifully.
Verdict: 4/5 trains
The show starts as a fantasy slice of life, and gets increasingly dark and brutal as each episode progresses. I probably should have realized the turn it would take as soon as the unsettling little girl did her thing in episode one, but I guess it just didn't click until around episode three, when Touka does something that made me just drop my jaw and go "OH SHIT, DID THAT JUST HAPPEN?!" granted, the event was reversed by the end of the episode, but it signaled a change in the tone of the show that never quite went ALL the way back to a happy slice of life show. It gets a few knocks on it for treading some overdone themes such as racism (in this case against demons) and inter racial relationships (again with demons), but overall handles them fairly well. The show is also brilliantly animated with some of the more eye pleasing character designs and fluid motion of recent years.
Verdict: 4/5 Trains