Summer Season 2016 Review - Part 2

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So that's what suffering from a painful debilitating disease feels like.
Sorry I'm late, like really really late but since I made part 1, gotta finish what I started. So, here we are with the rest of my picks from the summer season. Honestly, this season wasn't really all that exciting (despite the painful experience). There were a couple of 'good' shows, but unlike last year, there wasn't anything too out of the ordinary. Anyways, here it is.

Kono Bijutsubu ni wa Mondai ga Aru

Studio : Feel.
Genre : Comedy, Romance, School
Episodes : 12
Status : Finished. Somehow.

Quick, 2D or 3D, which one do you prefer?
If you ask our protagonist here, he would answer 2D in a hearbeat. Highschooler Uchimaki Subaru is a 2D worshipper through and through. His hobbies include watching anime, reading manga and drawing his own waifus. To further cultivate his passion and love for "art", he joins the art club of his school, with one ultimate goal in mind - to draw a perfect waifu.
Enter, Usami Mizuki, embodiment of what the "normal high school girl" in anime should be like - kind, caring and friendly, with a touch of tsundere and a crush on our protagonist. And like any normal girl, she doesn't approve of our protagonist's infatuation with 2D. Which leads to sarcastic remarks and tiny farces between the two. But sadly, the main focus of the dynamic is the romance (mainly Usami's inner conflict, and by conflict I mean the tsundere part of her) and not the comedy routine that they go through, the occurrence of which gets rarer as the show goes on.

At least, that was how I pictured this show. But as the name says, the show is about the art clubroom and the things that the characters do there. Things like characters goofing around, people sleeping, people passing out, budding romances, jealousy, chuunibyou and whatnot. It's about the members of the art club (official and unofficial), and all the events that happen in any other slice of life setup. You know the whole yearlong routine of events like the cultural festival, sports festival, tests, valentines and whatnot (I wish I had a link for the whole compendium). Basically, it's not that different from any other slice of life show out there. If you've seen one, you'll know how things will progress, and all that's left is the question whether or not the comedy (or a character) is amusing. For me, there wasn't anything that interesting. I liked Usami at first but as the show went on, she turned into just another one of those thirsty tsunderes that I don't like watching.

Now, for a show like this, the enjoyment depends upon one's sense of humour, so if you are interested, I'd say give it a shot. I, didn't like it, so I am not recommending it. Well, at least it doesn't look ugly and there are few good puns... and apples.

Mob Psycho 100

Studio : Bones
Genre : Action, Comedy, Slice of Life, Supernatural
Episodes : 12
Status : Did you seriously think I wouldn't watch this? Finished.

A lazy unmotivated egghead with immense power. I think I've seen this before.
Mob Psycho 100 features Kageyama Shigeo aka Mob, a shy anxious grade schooler with low self esteem, an inferiority complex and very strong psychic powers. He goes about his life disjointed because he can't figure out how to deal with the powers that he has. One day, he meets Reigen Arataka, a con artist who claims to be a psychic. And after 'plot' plays out, Reigen ends up as Mob's mentor. And his 'training' involves him exorcising evil spirits around town while Reigen rakes in the cash. Now this goes on for a while until other psychics show up and from there on out its just a big mess.
Basically, you have your 12 year old kid running around town, with a grown up, playing ghostbusters until your usual evil organisation enters the scene and now you're trying to stop world domination. It's like watching a magical girl series except its not a magical girl and there's a little bit of symbolism thrown into the mix. And did I mention the "Psycho" and the "100" part?

Since our main character is a little slow on the uptake and he can't really deal with his emotions or people, he bottles it all up. And thanks to ONE, we have a nice little numerical counter for measuring that, which goes from 0 to 100. So when Mob has had enough, the counter hits 100 and he "snaps". The subsequent outrage is determined by the dominating emotion at the time of the outrage. Basically, the guy loses control and shit goes down.
But there's another side to Mob's personality. He believes that having supernatural powers doesn't make you "special" or "better" than anyone, you're still a normal person. He also doesn't want to hurt another human being with his psychic powers and truly believes that psychic powers are unnecessary, that they aren't required for him to live a normal life. The guy is an anxious dimwitted socially awkward saint.

The point is, the show is full of events and dialogues which point to a greater meaning to this mess (particularly, a moral lesson of sorts). Now, you can happily indulge yourselves into it and love it or you can just totally ignore it. Either way, the show is above average, and you will probably like it. Just try not to think that the animation is ugly and you'll be fine.

Alderamin on the Sky

Studio : Mahouse
Genre : Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Military
Episodes : 13
Status : Watched. Not sure why.

So, another one of those lazy geniuses huh?
Studio "Season Two? What's that?" brings us the origin story of the "lazy invincible" General Ikta Solork, in a light novel adaptation by the name of Alderamin on the Sky. You have your usual medieval era military setup - two empires that are at war with each other. A main character, who detests war, and is accompanied by a red haired woman who bears the mighty family name of "Igsem", a classmate by the name of Matthew, the rifleman Torway Remion, and the medic Haroma Becker. While on their way to the preliminary exams, they encounter a storm, due to which their ship sinks and they find themselves behind enemy lines with their Empire's Princess in their custody. With the help of his remarkable "intelligence" and allies, Ikta Solork gets them out of there without a scratch. Impressed by this extraordinary feat, the Emperor bestows upon them the title of Imperial Knights. And so, "unwillingly", our protagonist gets himself involved with the military affairs of the Empire.
From here on out, the show is about how situations between the two Empires escalate and how our protagonist makes a name for himself through his accomplishments on the battlefield.

To be honest, I'm not completely sold on Alderamin. I mean it does a lot of things right - like how Ikta isn't a total hax, and that the "if you follow this guy, nothing is going to happen to you" strategy doesn't always work, or how the show doesn't make a total mockery out of war and shows us the aspects of controversial decisions and whatnot. It still isn't enough for me. You see, in terms of characters, the show isn't all that great. Take the main character for example. His whole "I'm lazy but when the time comes, I'll come through" routine is nothing new. And besides his dynamic with Yatori (that's the redhead Igsem), there isn't much to build upon. Not to mention, the fact that the guy is lazy and detests war, doesn't agree with the whole "invincible general" act (or maybe that irony is the punchline).
But that's not all, the show throws out a lot of terms for it's world, but it never gets to the worldbuilding part. It shows us that all soldiers have a "spirit" as a partner, but it never tells us anything about those beings. Same goes for the political situation of the empire. We're told that the Kioka Empire is the only enemy but out of nowhere... well you can guess where I'm getting at. And that's the thing with light novel adaptations, A LOT of the info is left out. And as a result of that, the show feels rushed, incomplete and lacking.

So, should you pick this up? Well, if you want to see the lazy clever bastard doing his thing on the battlefield, sure. There's some good action to go with that as well (courtesy of the badass redhead). If you want to see those fantasy wars with guns and swords and cannons with all the bloodbath, then you should check this out. But if you're looking for a story, with character development and everything, then don't bother.

New Game!

Studio : Doga Kobo
Genre : Comedy, Slice of Life
Episodes : 12
Status : Dropped on episode 4. My expectations were too damn high.

"Hey look, an anime about making video games. That sounds interesting..."
Anime that focus on behind the scenes portion of an industry, whether it be the animation, sound, compositing, manga etc, tend to feature characters with a lot of passion, creativity and heart, in an environment that nurtures those qualities by providing adequate challenges. Different character roles are established and we're shown how all those roles contribute to the whole thing (for a simple example, take the mangaka, the assistants and the editor) We see the little subtleties and the tricks of the trade, and that makes us feel that we're a little more intimate with the thing that we love. Now, I love playing video games, and I would love to know what goes into creating those awesome games. So, when I heard about a show that focused on game production, I was really excited. I was expecting to see a lot of cool stuff, the creator's thought process and how they approach the whole "we're gonna make a game" situation, softwares and whatnot. But then I watched the first episode... and there were grown up lolis, one of them in her panties. Now, I don't mind moe and all the other cutesy stuff that comes with it, but I was appalled. Still, I thought it would get better, so I kept on watching. But the moe train never stopped.

New Game is NOT an inside look into the gaming industry, it's more like one of those high school slice of life shows that feature a club. Name it game creation club (or something like that) and you're good to go. The cast is all female, the character designs are noway near the age of the characters and they fight over food.
Thing is, I went into it without checking anything about its source material. So when I found out later that the show is adapted from a 4-koma manga, I realised I was expecting to see a tiger jump at me while it really was just a little kitten hiding in a box (I hope that makes sense). Point is, it was never about the gaming industry, they just wanted to give you a few laughs and giggles and have a relaxing time. And that's what the show tries to deliver with its "misleading" premise and characters.
Now the question is, do you like the cute girls doing cute things premise? If yes, then you might wanna check this out. But don't trust me, I dropped it at the 4th episode.

Orange Anime

Studio : TMS Entertainment
Genre : Drama, Romance, School, Sci-Fi, Shoujo
Episodes : 13
Status : This is why I have lost faith in Shoujo genre. Finished.

What if one day, you wake up and find your future self standing before you with a letter. A letter that contains a list of all the bad decisions you'll make, ones that you will regret later on. Telling you exactly what happened and all the do's and don'ts about that particular situation. What will you do if you received such a letter? You'll probably punch yourself in the face first and ask where the lottery numbers are, but since you'll see that coming (cuz you came from the future), you won't deliver the letter personally. So, you'll mail it. But seriously, what will you do? You already know that if you don't follow the letter, something bad will happen. But if you do follow it, there's this discontent that you're not your own master anymore. Especially when you're in the hormone-induced-rebellious-teenager phase. But then again, who doesn't make bad decisions? So, what's the point?

Orange is a story about a shy, timid highschool girl Naho Takamiya, who, one day receives a letter from her future self saying something along the lines of "listen to me, you're terrible at making decisions, so from now on, do what I tell you or you'll regret it later". Actually she sent herself a detailed account of everything major that was going to happen in highschool involving the death of a boy she had a crush on. Anyways, the letter's purpose is to save that guy from dying, and fall in love with him and have little babies and stuff. Sounds like the kind of stuff a 12 year old girl would fantasize about during a boring history class. But meh, lets go on. So, in order to save that guy from dying, the letter describes certain events that need to be changed. And that's what the show is about. Naho and company, trying their best to prevent Naho's crush from dying.

Doesn't sound too bad, right? Then why did I "lose faith" in the genre?
Let's start with Naho, the saviour. Have you ever been in one of those moments where you're watching a character do something stupid, which they know is stupid, but they do it anyway? The excruciating feeling and the irresistible urge to punch them in the face which magnifies exponentially with every passing moment? That stupid character is Naho, in a nutshell. She knows that her actions determine whether Kakeru lives or dies, but she still remains indecisive, inattentive and runs away from circumstances. And I'm not even going to talk about her "crush" and other characters. Not to mention the "time travel" theory they throw at you.

To me, this whole thing was sloppy, immature and at times, a pain to watch. Even the romance wasn't interesting. So, no, don't watch this.

Saiki Kusou no Psi-nan

Studio : J.C. Staff, Egg Firm
Genre : Comedy, School, Shounen, Supernatural
Episodes : So good, I lost count.
Status : Anime of the Season my friends. It's still airing though.

Just your everyday psychic with god-like powers trying to live a normal life... but something always goes wrong.
Saiki Kusou no Psi-nan is a story about a guy who has incredibly strong supernatural powers since birth. He can teleport, move things with his mind, fly, change gender/species, hypnotise anyone, read people's mind... and any other insane psychic power you can imagine. But unlike most "ordinary" people, he finds these powers to be a pain in the ass. So, he tries his best to hide them and live like a normal person. He always ranks in the middle in whichever competition he participates in, be it the academic tests or sporting events, never tries to get attention, etc. But sadly for him, blending in the crowd is not an easy task. Thanks to the people around him - mom, dad, friends, classmates, strangers, cats etc, he can never find peace. The show is about him trying to deal with all of this.

Since we're talking about a guy with crazy powers, people around him can never be normal. I don't mean everyone else has superpowers, they are just... crazy. The show features a cast that is full of weird stereotypes with the crazy meter cranked up to 11. They range from the idiot gorilla to guy with extreme chuunibyou to the popular princess/angel to a cat who thinks he can subdue any human with its cuteness. Heck, even his parents are weird, especially the dad. Add your usual high school events - tests, sports festival, cultural festival, trips, vacation, new year, christmas etc, and you have one hell of a show. In short, the cast is very unique and their interactions with Saiki are hilarious. And that's all there is to it.
In the end, I'd say this is a must watch for this season. Of course with the usual warning. The one about comedies and sense of humour. You know what I'm talking about.

Tales of Zestiria the X

Studio : ufotable
Genre : Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Episodes : 12
Status : Well, that was a really long promotional video. Finished.

Anime about video games. I've talked about this before on why it's usually a terrible idea to make an anime based on a video game, and it looks like even the mighty ufotable can't make it happen, not even in round 2.
Tales of Zestiria the X is just a 4 hour long promotional video to a game which is the fifteenth instalment in a series of role playing games, a series that started in 1995, 20 years ago. Now, I don't mind the celebration but to think that for a game to last this long, it must have one hell of a story, characters and gameplay. But then again, you know how RPGs are. They can be very demanding and long. So to compress a game whose playtime is around 43 something hours (story only) into 12 20 minute long episodes isn't a great idea to begin with (shut up, I know about the 2nd season). So, how does this disastrous idea play itself out?

The story is a bit too much to explain so I'll give you the short short version. It's your classic good vs evil story. In ancient times, Seraphim and Humans used to live together and everyone was happy, but then man started to do what they do - lie, cheat, get violent and greedy etc. This pissed off the Seraphim and they started living away from the humans. Now, out of all the hate and the malevolence, these evil entities called Hellions were born. Stronger the malevolence, the stronger the Hellion. Their forms range from a simple possession to a dragon, with the final dark lord in command. So, to stop these evil creatures, a Seraph is 'chosen', who can combine with a Seraphim and use their power to get rid of/purify the dark forces. And our story is about one such Seraph by the name of Sorey and the other Seraphim around him.

It's your usual cut-and-dried story where most of the characters are stereotypical. The "I'm nice to a fault" main character is a perfect example. Though I did like the character of Alisha, I still wouldn't give it too much credit. The only thing that was left to hook me up were the eye candy visuals. And ufotable did what they do best - gorgeous visuals and fight scenes. I would have preferred more close quarters combat but I am still okay with what I got. So, if you're here for the visuals, you'll get them. As for the story, characters and whatnot, try the game.
And that is all for this Summer Season review post. And since we're already this late, I'm thinking of picking up a handful of shows from the Fall Season and do a separate first impression for each. So, any suggestions?

Summer Season 2016 Review - Part 1

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Summer, is the season of suffering...[Obligatory Re:Zero joke]
Okay, maybe not. But the heat sure as hell can be annoying. So, to escape from the scorching sun you can either go to the beach and get a tan or if you're like me who lives thousands of kilometres away from the coastline, you can enjoy the comfort of staying at home, lying under the fan, half-naked, with your tongue out like a dog, munching on some ice cream from time to time.

So, while I was busy being sloth reincarnate (okay, that's the last one), I decided to check out the summer anime line-up, and oh my! So many hopes and dreams were right before my eyes, in the form of posters and promotional videos. Mafias, time-travellers, veteran cooks, amateur cooks, divers, exorcists, espers, wannabe kings, wannabe baseball players, otakus; and Handa - Sounds like one hell of a party doesn't it? Let's find out. Starting with Studio Shuka's mafia drama, 91 days.

91 Days

Studio : Shuka
Genre : Drama, Crime
Episodes Watched : 7
Status : Watching

The whole genre of Mafia dramas is something that is alien to anime. It's not that there haven't been any anime which focus on the mafia, it's just that these kind of settings (the serious kind) heavily depend on the character's expressions and the subtle mannerisms of the characters (Now that's just my opinion). How the head of the family, the Don, carries himself, the environment his presence creates and the pressure a subtle change in his expression generates (not to mention the direction); there are things that are best expressed by a human actor playing the role. And while the anime medium is really good at expressing a lot of things, I feel that this is an area where it lacks severely. Still, they gotta start somewhere, right?

So, Studio Shuka brings us 91 Days. A mafia drama setup in the prohibition era, featuring the three families - the Orco, the Vanetti and the Glassasians. The first two are at war with each other while the latter one intervenes to stop the feud. And amongst all the chaos, our main protagonist is out to exact revenge on the Vanettis for killing his family. And the story follows him as he worms his way into the company of Nero Vanetti - the son of Don Vanetti, and cleverly manipulates him to get close to his goal of annihilating the Vanetti family.

Since revenge stories are the norm for mafia dramas, I don't see anything special worth mentioning here. Besides the main character, and the ruthless way he carries out his plans, the other characters haven't left much of an impression. Nero is just getting thrown around all over the place like a ping pong ball, Fango is just crazy for the sake of being crazy, the Dons of both the families seem more like corporate VPs than Dons, protagonist's friend seems like he is just going to be bait later on, and there is no female character for any romance angle (which is a good thing... maybe?). The tone is serious, accompanied by the dull washed out vintage look thanks to the animation, which builds up a nice atmosphere. There are no unnecessary comedy skits or any funny faces. And the characters' wardrobe suit the show and the era it's setup in. But all things considered, it's far from being extraordinary.

Still, the show isn't a bad watch. Sure, if you're expecting a Hollywood level experience, then this would be utterly disappointing. But from an anime only perspective, this is something you should be a able to stomach.

Amaama to Inazuma

Studio : TMS Entertainment
Genre : Comedy, Seinen, Slice of Life
Episodes : 7
Status : Watching

“The soul is healed by being with children.”
This quote by Fyodor Dostoyevsky pretty much sums up what this show is about. At least, what it's trying to show us (in my opinion).
After losing his wife, high-school teacher Inuzuka Kouhei is trying his best to bring up his little daughter. With the absence of the mother, "What's for dinner?" is now a dreadful question as daddy doesn't know the first thing about cooking. But as any other brave man, he tries, and fails miserably. So, in the end, packaged meals from the convenience store save the day. But, how long does a child last on those meals before they go from "this" good to "maybe this" good? Fortunately, Kohei meets a high-school student from his school, who invites him and his daughter Tsumugi to her family restaurant. After a moment of hesitation; motivated by the desire to provide his daughter with some good home-cooked meals (and to bond with her), Kohei takes up the offer. But, instead of walking in and ordering, the father-daughter duo ends up in a situation where they have to cook their meals. And from there on out, the duo, with the student Iida Kotori, often get together to enjoy the act of cooking.

Now, while this setting sounds terrific, there is a big hurdle that comes with a child as a protagonist. Depicting children is never easy, you can't project calculated fantasies and mindsets onto them. Not to mention their wacky activities and the amusing things they often say.
For the most part, Amaama to Inazuma has done a splendid job with their child protagonist. Tsumugi is quite the adorable ball of cuteness. And since they got an 11 year old to voice her, she seems even more like a real kid. That being said, the next hard part is to fit her into the cooking activity. "Kitchen and children don't mix", would be one way of putting it (if it makes any sense). I mean, no parent would allow their child in the vicinity of sharp objects, not to mention the flames, boiling liquids splattering everywhere and a multitude of other potential hazards associated with cooking. And even if you do get them in there, what does a child understand about the complexities that go into the art of making delicious food? In the end, you can maybe get her to roll the dough, or do the fillings, or some other mundane task. And there lies the problem. It gets old pretty fast. While all the other activities involving Tsumugi are nothing short of delightful, when it comes to cooking with her father, the show gets boring after episode 4. I'll say it again, everything else is lovely and I immensely enjoy Tsumugi playing out her fantasies, or learning how to make friends or whatnot, but the cooking part is a little underwhelming.

Now, that does not mean that you shouldn't watch this show. Even if you are very sceptical about this kind of setting, I'll still urge you to give this a shot. It's not extraordinary, but it's not everyday that you get to see such an adorable character.


Studio : J.C. Staff
Genre : Comedy, School, Slice of Life
Episodes : 8
Status : Watching

J.C. Staff, doing a slice of life, about scuba diving, setup in a coast-town. Sounds like a treat, right?
After their superb performance last season (in Flying Witch), J.C. Staff decided to take things to the next level with Amanchu! Created by Kozue Amano (the same guy who created Aria), with Kenichi Kasai (Director of Bakuman, Hachimitsu to Clover, Nodame Cantabile, etc.) and Junichi Satou (Director of Tamayura, Princess Tutu, Aria, etc.) in charge of directing, the studio is pouring a lot of resources into this one (I think so..?). Then, where's the popularity? Why isn't everyone talking about this?

Amanchu! is a story about a girl who moves into a coast town from the city, where she finds one heck of an eccentric oddball as a friend, who drags her around and gets her interested into scuba diving. And so, with the start of their first year of high school, they join the diving club and our main character starts her journey to become a professional scuba diver, so she could go diving with her buddy. It's a simple concept, and it works, in theory.
The first few episodes of the show are little slow and thanks to the rather unusual funny faces of the characters, it takes a while for you to get used to it. On top of that, the oddball Pikari's eccentricity can be little too much. Not only does she do "Whoop!" way too much, her funny face can be straight up creepy sometimes. Thankfully, with the introduction of three more characters later on, the show picks up momentum and starts getting better.

The animation quality of the show is superb, with everything looking nice and bright and pristine. The character designs are something that I prefer (they have the similar tall slender build from Aria). Also, there is no in-your-face fanservice, there are no giant boobies dangling in front you, everything is kept PG as far as I know. And most importantly, it's fun to watch. Even though I wasn't sold after watching the first 3-4 episodes, I'm glad I kept watching because the show grew on me slowly. There are some good moments in the show, some genuinely hilarious situations and in the recent episodes, we also get other characters' point of view and their monologues. Heck, even Pikari isn't so creepy anymore.
So, if you love slice of life, superb production quality and you don't mind a largely female cast, this show is for you.

Arslan Senki

Genre : Action, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, Historical, Supernatural
Episodes : 8
Status : Done

"I have an army."
"We have a Daryun."
Continuing it's physics defying stunts from last season, Arslan Senki enters into season two with our fabulous "Denka!!" moving forward in his journey and encountering some unexpected circumstances. The story continues with Arslan and company stationed at the Peshawar Fortress, where they are suddenly assaulted by the Turan Kingdom. After preventing that assault, they are barely able to catch their breath before an even bigger problem comes knocking on their door. Once again, Arslan must set out with his brigade and gather an army to take back his kingdom. On the other hand, in the Lusitanian camp, a different kind of trouble is brewing, in the form of inner conflict and a power struggle. Not to mention, our "Silver Mask" Hermes has finally kick-started his own agenda into full gear. Now, where does it all lead to?

While reading the announcement that Arslan Senki was getting another season, I was pretty excited, but after they made it clear that it was only gonna have 8 episodes, those expectations changed drastically. Given where the story ended in season one, mere 8 episodes weren't enough to wrap it up, and it seems like Lidenfilms made the right call here. The main focus isn't on the main story. I don't mean this is just one long OVA, the main story (regarding the status of the Pars Kingdom) does move forward, it's just that Arslan and company "have to" take a detour and fight the pirates in a coast town, which lasts for a majority of those 8 episodes. So, if you were looking for a face-off between Daryun and Hermes or Pars vs Lusitania, you'll be disappointed.

Now, that doesn't mean that these 8 episodes are bad. They do offer something. Arslan seems to be slowly growing out of his naivete and moving towards maturity. On the other hand, we see a side to Hermes which pushes his character outside the "mad dog out for revenge" stereotype (though he's as angry as ever). Also, Etoile is now pushed pretty close to Arslan *eyebrow raise*.
Point is, the show is still interesting, though I think it would be fair to say that it's a downgrade from season one in terms of the content of the story. And to top that, it ends on a cliffhanger, with no guarantee that we'll be seeing a season three. So, if you're looking to get into the Aslan Senki 'series', I'd tell you that this isn't the best time to do that, unless you are dying to see a medieval era war setup.

Fukigen na Mononokean

Studio : Pierrot Plus
Genre : Comedy, Supernatural
Episodes : 9
Status : Watching

Ghosts, youkai, and the supernatural. There are multiple ways of approaching a setting involving them, and anime, mostly tends to be on the lighter side. Often presenting the youkai as an existence that is a part of the huge circle of life. Next, you have a character that can interact with the youkai and already has or grows the feelings of compassion and love towards them. He then goes on to help people who are 'troubled' by those youkai and helps the youkai pass on to the underworld (basically, exorcism, but without any of the scary bits). Our character grows in this process, learning tiny life lessons with every encounter and the show usually goes on like this with an episodic format. Several characters make occasional appearances, or maybe a youkai sticks around till the end as either a mascot or a teacher.
If you are familiar with the above formula, and it is something that you fancy, then Fukigen na Mononokean would be a nice little treat for you. And if you're not. Well, read on(?).

So, on the evening before the start of high-school, our main character Ashiya, encounters a strage white creature on his way home. Thinking that it is a lost stuffed animal, he picks it up, puts it in a plastic bag and ties it to a pole on the side of the road. Just as he was about to leave, the creature comes to life and laches onto his back. And that starts a whole slew of problems for Ashiya. He feels drained, nauseated, dizzy and pained with a pulsing headache. So much so, that he couldn't even make it to the school gates on his first day. This goes on for a week after which he ends up consulting a "Mononokean" who is looking for exorcists. And from here on out, he gets involved into the world of supernatural and gets "hired" by the Mononokean's owner as an assistant.

That's basically your first episode, and from there it's more or less an episodic/youkai of the week scenario. There's no overarching plot as of now (though there are a few interesting facts which point towards one). The relationship between Ashiya and Abeno is interesting, though I must say that not every youkai scenario is likeable. Some of them do come off as boring and uninteresting (maybe it's the cultural gap). What I'm interested in, is the Underworld. I think they presented it in an interesting way (with the artstyle and everything) and I would like to see more of it.
My recommendation for this, is a maybe. I don't hate this show but I won't give it a definitive "good" either. At least not yet. So, I'd say check out a couple episodes to see if it's your thing.


Studio : Diomedea
Genre : Comedy, Shounen, Slice of Life
Episodes : 9
Status : Watching

Misunderstandings, could be a pain to deal with. Especially when they don't work in your favor. Comedy gags involving misunderstandings are a recurring event in most comedy harem anime. Generally, the extent of those misunderstandings is kept to a minimum. But, what happens when you have a whole show centred around nothing but misunderstandings? How far can you push it before it loses it's flair and you start breaking your characters?
Handa-kun features the high school life of Seishuu Handa, the protagonist of the famous slice of life anime Barakamon. Reading that name, you might be wondering if this is going to have similar themes. But sadly, the protagonists' name is the only thing that's common here. Handa-kun has absolutely nothing to do with Barakamon.

For a moment, let us consider that Barakamon never existed. Now, with that perspective, the show Handa-kun is about a high school student and an aspiring calligrapher Seishuu Handa, who, is vastly misunderstood by everyone at school (except a couple or so people). While Handa might just be your ordinary high school guy with a passion for calligraphy, everyone else believes that he is this great benevolent wise cool "man" who has graced them with his presence (basically they think he's Sakamoto). On the other hand, Handa believes that the whole school hates him and all of their acts of praise/worship look like bullying to him. So, the gag goes like this : Something happens, Handa reacts according to his perspective (that everyone hates him), and then that reaction is misinterpreted by everyone else in a way that ends up putting Handa on a pedestal. And at the end of every gag, usually more and more fanboys/fangirls get added into the Handa fandom. While poor Handa remains lonely and scared.

The thing with the gags in Handa-kun is that they are just your usual hit or miss type. Nothing that will get you rolling over the floor with laughter, but there are some which might get a good chuckle out of you, while the rest will just be "meh" and will leave you feeling sorry for Handa. That's about all there is to it.
So, I'd say you should check out at least 3 or 4 episodes to see if this kind of comedy is your thing. Also, don't be fooled by the weird first segment of the first episode, just skip the whole diomedea handa-force anime stuff at the beginning. Only Gintama can pull off something like that.
And with that, I end part 1 of this Summer Season 2016 First Impression cum Review post here. I wasn't planning on being this late but life just kinda happened and I had to devote my time elsewhere. Not to mention, this time I'm doing a total of 18 shows. That's the most I've ever done for a first impression. Anyways, part 2 is going to cover Alderamin on the Sky, Battery, Kono Bijutsubu ni wa Mondai ga aru, Mob Psycho 100, New Game and Orange. So, look forward to it. And lastly, thank you for reading this post.