Summer Season 2015 Final Impressions - Part 2

Summer Season 2015 Final Impressions - Part 2

As I was waiting for Delay Sensen's delayed final episode to air, I had a whole post about part 2 ready with Delay Sensen in it. But since Delay Sensen is always delayed, I have to publish part 3 instead. So, yeah, this is part 3 of Summer Season 2015 Final Impressions which is titled part 2.
The original part 2 which is part 3 will be published whenever Funimation decides to release the dubbed version of Delay Sensen which is already delayed considering the raw version has already aired. Man, this season was officially the messiest season of the year, unless an even greater fuck up happens in the fall and winter season. Okay, that's enough whining, let's get into the list for part two. We're covering some of the two cour series here as well. Here's the list :

            • Gakkou Gurashi!
            • Ore Monogatari!!
            • Overlord
            • Prison School
            • Shimoneta
            • Shokugeki no Souma

Let's start with the Studio Lerche's unorthodox approach towards moe, incorporating horror and dark elements in the mix : Gakkou Gurashi!

Gakkou Gurashi




Gakkou Gurashi! was the most well rounded show out of all the anime that aired in this mess of a summer season. Produced by Studio Lerche, the anime takes two rather immiscible elements - moe and horror, blends them together and tries to present it to us. And surprisingly, this emulsion was rather delicious. A bunch of highschool girls acting all cute in a zombie apocalypse sounds quite absurd when you first think about it but the way the writing goes about approaching this idea, makes it believable (at least for the most part). At first, all the moe comes off as really obnoxious but the dark elements are there to balance it and to an extent, they even rationalise these quirky behaviours of the characters. And now suddenly everything isn't looking all happy and cheery. The feeling heavily gravitates towards pity and sadness when these elements are first introduced and they also surprise the viewer as new facts are revealed every other episode.


The overall pacing of the show is great as well. They take their time to show us the backstories of the characters and how they got caught up in this mess while they slowly reveal what the real situation is. And while there are a couple characters who needed a little more attention, the overall development remains somewhat balanced. The real issue I have is with Yuuri (aka Rii-san), as she is somewhat ignored throughout the series but except that, everyone got a good share of that spotlight.

Production wise, the whole thing was on point - no delays, no sudden drops in animation quality or anything of sorts. The animation is pretty good. It's light and cheery for the most part and takes the appropriate measures whenever the dark side takes over. Though it might have needed a little more gore but that's just me. And one thing that really stood out to me was how they made subtle changes in the opening as the plot progressed and more and more secrets were revealed (that's something I've seen in other anime as well). Overall, this is an excellent pick. At least when you consider what they were trying to achieve here. So, you can definitely try this one out.
Gakkou Gurashi Rating

Ore Monogatari!!




Ore Monogatari!! I had really high hopes for this series back when it aired in the spring season. I even gave it a really good first look/review. But as the series went on and more and more episodes came out, I saw a pattern being repeated. They were just using the same formula over and over. They recycled the same "Takeo is big" gag to a point that it just wasn't funny anymore. Not only that, the romance got stale too 4-5 episodes after the confession. Instead of getting some friction or drama in the relationship, they just did what a successful couple does - go on dates; Yamato bakes something for Takeo, he eates it, says "I love her" in his head and then we revert to Yamato and the whole process repeats itself with the occasional Suna being the best bro. Look, I was all hyped for the different approach they took by not dancing around the misunderstanding all day but not really moving the whole dynamic forward until the last couple episodes was a real bummer for me.


I know what you're probably thinking, Oh come on! It wasn't that bad seeing the cute couple once a week doing cute things. In my defense, I'll quote the final episode of Tatami Galaxy here : "Nothing is as boring to tell as a story of successful love." And like it or not, Ore Monogatari!! is just that, right from episode 1. Not only that, the series does a terrible job with it's side characters. Relevant situations just pop in every episode and the characters are just forced to act that way. New characters are introduced with a good motive (like jealousy) but they just don't do anything after the initial situation is resolved. A character like Suna, who has a lot of potential, does nothing other than be there to look cool; no relevant backstories, no development as an individual. He's just there as this cool friend Takeo has.

Overall, this series was a big disappointment for me. If they would have kept it a one cour series and moved the relationship between Takeo and Yamato at that pace, I might have been able to call this a good series. But seeing how they ignored all that on top of the lacklustre character development, I can't give this anything higher than a Silver - II. I might be a little harsh here but that's because I had high expectations and the show didn't measure up to that.
Ore Monogatari!! Rating

Overlord




The best pick from this season for me. Now, before you start raging about how this is just another shounen, let me tell you why it is awesome (biased opinion incoming). Look, I'm tired of seeing the same underdog protagonists who get ridiculous powerups later on or protagonists who start off as a normal guy in the first episode and then the next episode, they're OP. Yeah, the slow transition in the first situation (with the underdog) is what works best as we see in the popular shounen. But there are a plethora of shows out there who use the same formula, so it has become pretty boring now. This is where Overlord comes in.


Overlord takes his protagonist and makes him super OP right from the beginning. That takes out the usual "struggle to get stronger" routine out of the picture right away and gives me just what I want - the MC giving a good hard stomping to all the enemies. It is a power fantasy through and through. And it does it's job perfectly.So, a guy get's transported from an RPG into another world alongwith his whole guild building and all the NPCs in it and now he must find if there are any other players in this world or not. And what better way is there to let everyone know your name than to conquer the world. World domination, super OP main character, vampires, elves, succubus, undead and all kinds of ass kicking. How can you possibly say no to that?

The best thing that I liked about Overlord, was how it handled the main character and the battles. Since, the guy is literally a supreme being and is treated as a God by his followers, he behaves accordingly in front of them but his internal monologues prevent him from being a total plastic cocky douche bag of a character. That is to say, there's still a part of him that is still human despite his outer appearance of a lich or how he doesn't feel anything when killing someone. And the battles were just amazingly satisfying. I love to see a good stomping and I got just that out of it. That's it.Look, I can go on and on about how this show is the best anime of the messy summer season because of my bias towards power fantasies. So, just go try it out if you want to calm down your sadistic urges by seeing some vermin get stomped by a God in a very satisfying way. Here, I'll slap a nice rating for ye as well. 
Overlord Rating

Prison School




The most hilarious show of the season. At the beginning, I thought Shimoneta might come close to this, but Gakutou's determination and wits just outmatched all the competition. Though that did come at the cost of his school life and the destruction of his own precious figurines, not to mention all the sweat and blood, nonetheless, it was one hell of a ride. I know that the premise, the character designs (females) and the camera angles scream that this is just fap material and I won't really defend that because it is, to a degree, just that; I found the dirty comedy to be hilarious. It is the kind of insane comedy that is very hard to find and it may not relate to every one out there, but to people who possess that sense of humour, this is gold.


The whole concept of locking students in a school prison is outrageous and throughout the show, almost nothing follows common sense. It's all just one ridiculous thing one after the other. From giant tits to brotherhood to romance to a tits or ass debate, this show has every possible ridiculous scenario you can imagine, and it executes them perfectly. Now, I might be giving it more than enough praise, but it's only because this show made me laugh really hard. It is the kind of comedy which doesn't get too awkward for me (that's where Shimoneta lost it's edge). Also, the characters' ridiculousness is quite amusing. On top of that, the animation is top notch and the overly detailed expressions that sometime pop up out of nowhere are a nice touch.

Overall, the show is a really nice package full of laughs. The characters are good, the comedy and the punchlines are on point and then there's Gakutou. I would definitely give this my recommendation but with a little warning. If you don't like dirty comedy, the lewd ones, then don't watch it. Else, give it a try.
Prison School Rating

Shimoneta




Shimoneta is one of those shows which make an impact by being satirical and funny at the same time. And it did make an impact by it's ridiculous premise but somewhere along the way, it lost that edge it had and started going downhill. See, that start with the introduction to this ridiculous world was really good and I was excited to see how they were going to resolve the whole situation and at the same time develop the dynamic between the two main characters. And the introduction of the crazy Anna with her love nector made the situation even more hilarious and exciting. But after that, the anime took off in a totally different direction. A new sub plot was introduced and the main plot was just ignored. And it really pissed me off when this sub plot took up the whole anime to the very end and we were left with no development in the situation whatsoever.


No significant character development happens after the point where this sub plot shows up. I really wanted to see how the dynamic between Anna, Okuma and Kajo was gonna develop but they never touch on that. That sudden break in the consistency of the show because of the introduction of those "panty thieves" just ruined the whole show for me. The funny relationship between Anna and Okuma just came to standstill and it was only used as a plot device until the very end. Also the new "dick-head" character didn't really fit into the whole mix. And this downward spiral continues till the very end with the conclusion of this subplot ruining the overall experience for me. 

Now, while the series wasn't THAT bad, I don't see myself recommending this anytime soon, so watch it if you're interested some comedy but don't expect anything great.
Shimoneta Rating

Shokugeki no Souma




These pretzels are making me thirsty hungry!! This show makes me hungry... for food.
Shokugeki no Souma aka Food Wars was a surprisingly good anime. At least for what it was - a straight up food porno which overly exaggerated every little thing like a shounen battle manga. Well, Shokugeki no Souma is a battle shounen by all means, except that all the swords, blades, spells & chakra or whatnot are replaced by kitchen utensils and the dishes they make are their ultimate techniques. The protagonist is bursting with the "I want to get stronger"/"I'll beat everyone else" attitude. There are plenty of rivals, a damsel in distress, friends, family, super strong daddies; every possible ingredient for a battle shounen are present here. And like any other battle shounen, the show follows a simple formula :Someone makes a dish as part of a challenge/test > Someone tastes it > they are struck by it's flavour > their clothes come off and they transcend into some scenery > they analyse the dish for the viewer and list all the ingredients > either they or someone from the audience explains how the flavours/ingredients blend in > some more exaggerated reactions > the result. And repeat.


And surprisingly, this works. For someone who has absolutely no knowledge of cooking, I enjoyed it. It's probably because of the light nature of the show and how every character is having fun. Also, when all that info about food is being thrown at you along with the exaggerated reactions, you can't help but agree that this must be something awesome. And how action focused every episode is along with the fast pace, makes the whole thing very engaging. And last but not the least, the show is about the most relatable thing in the world - food.

While the show is very engaging and quite well executed, it does butcher it's characters as most of them are limited to mere stereotypes. Their backstories are all the same - everyone loves cooking and wants to be the best in the world. There is practically no story either, its a tournament setting, that's it. If you were to look at it from a critical point of view, this is nothing but cheap entertainment fodder. But I'm not a critic, and I enjoyed the heck out of this show. So, screw it, here's a high rating. Go and immerse yourself into the savoury goodness of all the delicious and beautiful dishes. Bon Appetit.
Shokugeki no Souma Rating

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