“Procrastination is my sin. It brings me naught but sorrow. I know that I should stop it. In fact, I will--tomorrow.”   ~ Gloria Pitzer
I wonder if it's just me but whenever I sit down and try to write something, I end up spending hours upon hours not writing and doing something else, whether it be watching youtube videos or anime or reading or thinking about stuff. I can never force myself to write. It's weird, and whenever I do try to force myself, I get nothing. Just when writing this final piece, I ended up watching an old British man play with toys on youtube for the past week (Grand Illusions is the channel's name. It's somehow very pleasing to watch an old man with a British accent talk about and play with all kinds of toys... Extraordinary! And Oh My God the comment section!).
Luckily, I made it before the season end. So, here we are at the final part of my Spring Season 2016 First Impressions, and we've saved the best for last. Here we go -
Studio : Project No.9
Genre : Comedy, Ecchi, Romance, School
How do I explain this...
You see, when I had already compiled the list of all the anime I was going to cover in this Spring Season First Impression post, I still had a spot left. So, my genius brain decided to select the first anime that showed up on my facebook news feed. And voila! here we are. And what a title we have chosen!
Netoge no Yome wa Onnanoko ja Nai to Omotta or "And you thought there is never a girl online?" is part relatable, part fun and part cringefest (and part memefest, if that makes sense).
So, our protagonist Hideki Nishimura (IGN : Rusian), an avid MMORPG player, one day decides to do the unthinkable unwritten taboo of online gaming - proposing to a female character in game. And as expected, the girl char turns out to be a guy. With a broken heart and shattered pride, Rusian decides to never commit the same sin again. Fast forward two years into the future and now, a girl from his 4 member guild is pestering him to become her husband in game. Powerless against the girl's persistence, he gives in. But little did he know that this girl character would later turn out to be an actual girl - a pretty, nice, socially awkward girl. Not only that, the rest of the club members turn out to be girls too. AND they all go to same school (mother of coincidence right there).
Anyways, the show is about their adventures in-game and in real life as they form their own school club. With the goal of getting the socially awkward Ako to stop confusing games with reality and deal with the not-so-complex(?) problem of how an in-game relationship translates into real life, we get to see a variety of interesting and sometimes cringeworthy situations. The amount of fun you will get from these situations depends on your affinity with the MMORPGs as the characters often use the MMO slang and discuss general situations that you might find in an MMO. As a sort of a rookie MMO player myself, I had fun watching it. But there were times where I was questioning my judgement. So my final recommendation is a maybe. I'd say try a couple episodes to see if it is your thing.
Studio : White Fox
Genre : Drama, Fantasy, Thriller
Now here's a take on how being the main character of a video game would feel like. A one difficult video game where you have no powers but everything around you could probably kill you in a matter of seconds (sounds like Dark Souls). But it's not about all the physical damage you take from dying, because you can always respawn at the last checkpoint, it's the memories you shared with the people around you from that point on that get wiped everytime you die (and you have to go through it all over again). You see, video games, from the character's point of view, are nothing more than a torture fest, especially when there's a noob sitting behind the screen.
So, one day, on his way back home from a convenience store, our main character Natsuki Subaru gets transported to a fantasy world, literally, in the blink of an eye. He finds himself standing in the middle of a shopping district with no sign whatsoever of the person who summoned him. While trying to gather information and making snarky remarks on how this was a lame video game setup and why he doesn't have any superpowers, he finds himself in a back alley with a couple of thugs. And after more snarky rpg remarks, he gets his ass handed to him. Enter the silver haired half-elf goody-two-shoes female lead Emilia, who seems to be running after a thief, but stops to save our poor little miserable MC. She is cute, kind hearted, generous, and oblivious when it comes to certain kind of events. Basically your cardboard cut-out of a rich sheltered damsel in distress.
So what makes this show interesting? Well, after our silver haired goddess (from Subaru's perspective), saves him, they decide to look for her stolen insignia together. After spending a whole day chasing leads all over town, they finally stumble upon an old warehouse deep in the city slums, which seems to be a loot house where they can 'negotiate' to get back the stolen insignia. They go in and... BAM! They're dead. And so begins Subaru's tragic journey into this fantasy world where the only power he possesses is to Return by Death to a certain point in time.
The show makes excellent use of the contrast that arises due to this situation by splitting the first episode in two parts. One with a light cheerful tone and the other with the dark tone. And this is expressed very well by the change in animation style as well. It is this shock, that gripped me. And throughout the series, the suspense and the thrill associated with this shock and Subaru's eventual death and reset is what makes the series enjoyable. Poor Subaru enjoys the displeasure of dying in various ways - sliced, stabbed in the gut, poisoned, mauled, decapitated; you name it. And we haven't even started talking about the emotional damage he experiences from having to realise that all the bonds he formed were shattered.
This does a marvellous job at distracting you from the issues that the series has. Instead of going further into it and making the post even longer, I'll tell you this -
This series is amazing, as long as you don't start thinking in a logical and rational way. Because if you do, you will find quite a bit of questionable instances and several of our main characters' motivations and actions will make no sense to you. On top of it, you might also find the excessive amount of lolis to be a bit displeasing (unless that's your thing, then rejoice!). So, try not to analyse everything too much when you start this show, let yourself get carried away in the direction the series is going and you will have a blast watching this fantasy thriller. My recommendation is a yes!
P.S. Don't take that first paragraph too seriously, it was just a random idea. Actually, don't take anything written here too seriously.
Studio : Studio Deen
Genre : Comedy, School, Seinen
Step out of the way everyone, Swagamoto is here!!
Usui Takumi ain't got shit on this guy!
After getting tired of having fun with all the 72 virgins in swag-heaven, the swag-Jesus Swagamoto decided to descend to Earth to let all the puny swagless humans gawk on his almighty holy swag. The swag-god enrolls himself into the class 1-2 of the Gakubun Prefectural High School, and from day one becomes the most popular kid in school. And we witness the everyday tasks performed by the God of Swag in a way so stylish that no mere human can ever hope to fully comprehend the swag level of these miracles. Forget the ice cold coolness, this is absolute zero level of coolness, a level of coolness so cool that even the subatomic particles stop in awe of all the swag phenomenon that Swagamoto causes.
All the excessive exaggerations aside, this is actually a pretty nice show. But a lot of it depends on whether or not suave humour (or Mary Sue MCs) suits yours fancy. Basically, we have a main character who is charming, confident, elegant, cool and whatever pretty adjectives you can find in the dictionary. And he often finds himself in situations that would be too difficult, if not impossible to get out of, for a normal person. And he gets out of those situations in a very graceful, cool, and probably impossible ways. Granted that not every escape is legendary, there are quite a few times where the subtlety of his actions is amusing. And that's the whole zist of the show, Sakamoto dealing with all kinds of high school anime cliche events and more, in a way that is in no way realistic but ends up being delightful.
My recommendation is a yes, but with a warning. Just like any other comedy show out there, you will only like it if it is compatible with your sense of humour. And if that's not the case... Swagamoto's almighty swiggity swagger will fix it for ye! (I'm sorry. Had to do it.)
Studio : Silver Link
Genre : Comedy, School, Slice of Life
“Whenever I feel the need to exercise, I lie down until it goes away.”
Listlessness, laziness, laxness, leisureliness, sluggishness, drowsiness - there's so many words for it, I wonder if those guys really understood the essence of that feeling.
A nice spring breeze when you're sitting outside on the porch, or when lovely rain comes down after the scorching summers and you can smell the earth, or during those slightly cold autumn mornings, or when you're snuggled under the covers during those snowy winter days and it's really warm and comfy inside - we've all had one of those moments where we feel so pleasant, blissful and peaceful that the last thing to do would be to think of doing something. Mind you, this is different than being bored, like how you get during one of those boring lectures in class that you start falling asleep. True listlessness is an art that happens by itself, that requires letting go - like how you "fall" asleep.
Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge, as it's english translation says, is all about a guy named Tanaka being listless all the time. He is lathargic when he's at home, he's lathargic at school, he's lethargic when he's eating, writing, studying... the guy just has no will to be active, unless it comes to finding ways to save energy. Then he can come up with rather interesting ideas. Enter, the best friend Ohta, not exactly a polar opposite but he's someone who always takes care of our lazy log Tanaka, in ways which by normal logic, would seem nothing short of 'unusual'. He literally carries him around - across corridors, from class to class, and to even his home when needed. He is the ultimate caretaker Tanaka needs.
The highlight of the show is mostly the lovely bond of friendship between these two and how they deal with the bizarre things that Tanaka's listlessness gets them into. On top of that, several characters make their way in and create a charming environment. This includes the tiny hyperactive Miyano; Echizen or Ecchan, the tsundere-san, who also happens to be a childhood friend of Ohta (there's a bit of a chemistry there that needs some spotlight); Shiraishi, the kind & beautiful popular girl with a quirky secret; and last but not the least - the sisters of our two main characters, one of which needs further exploration.
The show gives you quite a relaxing experience, there's some chuckles and giggles here and there, the voice actors have done an amazing job, the characters are lovely and charming - it's an excellent remedy if you're looking for stress-relief. So, go watch it.
P.S. While I may have praised this show a lot, I would still urge you to take my advice with a grain of salt.
And with that my friends, I wrap up my First Impressions on the Spring Season 2016. Looking at the lineup of the Summer Season, I think we are going to have a blast. There are so many series that are making a return, some really good works are getting an adaptation. I'm really excited to see how it will go. I don't know, maybe I'll do one of those "Anime to look out for in the upcoming season" post. I've never done those before. Should I?
Anyways, thank you for reading.
Also, because I can--