Vox Artes’ Fall 2016 Overview

Vox Artes’ Fall 2016 Overview

Welcome, readers of Vox Artes, to the latest edition of our now traditional Overview! As always, we’ll cover shows that have ended along with the past anime season; in this case, Fall 2016.

Although it may mostly be remembered for giving us one of 2016’s most successful series in the form of Yuri!!! On ICE, it was still filled with shows worth reminiscing upon. it was notably a season of shows that stood for different reasons: Flip Flappers impressed with its peculiar visual style, while Fune wo Amu garnered plaudits for its naturalistic brand of storytelling. It was also a season of returns: Hibike! Euphonium came back to our screens and made a lasting impression on ours minds, while Gi(a)rlish Number marked the return of Watari Wataru writing to animation. Ultimately, it’s probably a good sign that a brief introduction leaves no space to mention Fall 2016’s many good series which simply couldn’t stand out in such an environment.

Before letting you go, it’s important to mention that this new Overview is a little changed from past ones. In fact, you may notice all contributions are titled. That’s because the new format emphasizes contrasting opinions. In fact, the submission process was also changed to make sure all write-ups would contribute to this goal. What we hope with this is to make this tradition Overview more enriching, but also to let you to consider different perspective on each show, maybe adjust your opinions, or find more arguments to support your idea of a show.

Having said all this, we’ll let you discover what were our thoughts on all the shows mentioned above and many more! As always, you can navigate this post using the menu below. I, daysofsummer, as admin of Vox Artes, would like to thank all those who contributed to this new overview: Cacherow, KawaiDespair, samui, Tsukelhm, and Yamada II. We all hope you enjoy reading it!

Ajin Second Season

Cacherow: A Powerfully Exciting Show From Beginning To End

Ajin’s CGI is either hit or miss depending on the viewer, because of the low framerates and rough animation. But the rest of it is pretty much a perfect Hollywood-like action thriller in anime form.

Continuing from season one, we see Nagai on the run, after his peace is disrupted and he’s forced to fight against Satou. Speaking of Satou, how can you not like the guy? He’s the ultimate badass and a gamer, raising the stakes at every moment for his own amusement, using the Ajin’s rights as an excuse to fight and he always has a card up his sleeve to get out the most extreme situations. Every character has their own motivation to fight him. Kei, who only wants a peaceful life and doesn’t care enough about humans to fight for them, but is forced to face his own contradictions when his lifestyle or sister are in danger. Tosaki, who is a government agent working for money to save his wife, and goes to such lengths as to save an Ajin girl and make her protect him, as she ultimately sees him with respect. And even one of the goons who works for Tosaki serves as a supporting character to motivate Nagai.

The pacing of this second season is great, nothing feels rushed or slow and every character has enough development and a moment to shine. Each episode raises the tension, leaving you wanting to see more. The exposition is done in small amounts, most of the time when they execute a plan and explain it briefly to then go straight into the action, which contains some brutal scenes, and is always well-choreographed with great camerawork.

The soundtrack features low or almost inaudible ambient tracks, smooth guitar mixed with electronic instruments for the less intensive parts, while the tranquil moments are accompanied by piano and violin. The intense action scenes are supported by the iconic pipe organ combined with string instruments culminating in bombastic orchestra with percussion. Overall the music makes the scenes much more exciting and gives a boost to their tones.

The story leaves nothing to be desired, not because it is complex, but rather straightforward, with the characters acting believably and always consistent with their motivations. All the events are nicely knitted together, too. The conflict brought up in season one about the philosophy of being human or Ajin and the latter’s implications in society are briefly touched upon, and the focus is on the battle against Satou this time.

Bungou Stray Dogs 2

daysofsummer: Dumb Ideas, But In A Fun Package Unlike Season One

Bungou Stray Dogs had a lot of worked ahead if it wanted to convince the audience of its disappointing first season. Starting this second half with a flashback wasn’t a reassuring sign, given the first season’s tendency to waste time on all sorts of things unrelated to the main story line.

Thankfully, this trip to the past not only benefited from a memorable atmosphere, but its always tense mystery was helped the surprisingly engaging Ango and Oda. And to cap it all off, the ending was a memorable lesson from Oda to Dazai that was only kept from brilliance by a few awkward missteps in writing (specifically, the insistence on the shoddy concept of a “good man”). The jump back to the present, while not blessed with the same sense of mystery and impending tragedy, does away with the lightheartedness which ruined the first season. Atsushi finally breaks out of his shell to propose a few bold plans, while Kyouka saves herself. Everyone progresses. Furthermore, the Guild’s characters are all engaging with their touching backstories; though the time is short, Bungou Stray Dogs uses it wisely to bring all of its cast to life (although Kunikida’s secondary role is to be regretted). The action scenes are good as ever, and they take center stage much more consistently than they did in the past, making for a very exciting show even when its flaws start to show. The animation surely helped, as the action scenes (and especially the last one) were always memorably fluid, filled with impactful character acting. It was also this same Igarashi directing which so beautifully set the flashback’s atmosphere.

Speaking of flaws, a major one remains the unfaithfulness in how the authors are represented: Dazai’s “conversion” into a good man is glaringly inappropriate given the life and writings of a man who is considered part of Japan’s Buraiha movement, which can be associated to what we call Decadence in the West. Furthermore, the basicness of the ideas at the foundation of the show tends to show, especially when Akutagawa and Atsushi team up to repel the danger of Fitzgerald, as if the show intended to reject the Westernization which occurred at the time during which these authors lived.

In the end Bungou Stray Dogs wasn’t a memorable affair, but unlike its first season, a largely pleasant one; it may not be the first show you’ll recommend from 2016, but proved a fun watch for those who want to have fun with an action series, by the end.

Another Take: Tsukelhm: A Very Pleasant Experience And A Big Improvement From Season One

The second season of Bones’ Bungou Stray Dogs manga adaptation improved a whole lot compared to its first season. Starting with a brilliant flashback that explores Dazai’s past the show then picks up from where the first season ended, this time the action scenes and the story progression are upgraded and the show as a whole certainly feels more consistent as well.

While the flashback story itself was a pretty interesting and enjoyable part of it, this season framed the conflict between the Guild, the Port Mafia and the Detective Agency well. There were many face-offs between members of each organization, and each of their abilities was given enough screen time. The action scenes were nicely directed, with many shots that accentuated the skills and stakes of every fighter. The voice acting was again amazing, with Mamoru Miyano being clearly the best one out of all the cast, followed closely by Junichi Suwabe’s performance. The opening was engaging and the ending, despite not being as good as the one in the first season, was a really nice one to hear.

With all that being said, it is worth noting that not everyone in this season was well treated. Doppo Kunikida’s role in the story, as well as Kirako Haruno’s and Naomi Tanizaki’s, were downgraded horribly as if they were never intended to be important in the first place. Kunikida’s duo with Dazai was pretty much replaced by the latter battling alongside Nakahara Chuuya, and the girls were pushed off as mere damsels in distress. Even if the story is developing fast and many new characters are introduced, the use of characters that were considered part of the main cast at first as simple plot tools is not a good choice. The characters’ personalities differ a whole lot, much more than in season 1, to the actual real life authors from whom they borrow their names; said discrepancies may be not that bothersome for the common viewer, unless they have read any of the books from some of them (like Poe’s or even Osamu Dazai himself).

Bungou Stray Dogs 2 is a really fun and entertaining experience, which even with its downsides and flaws, manages to almost excel in everything else and proves to be a good show to remember from 2016.

Another Take: samui: A Slight But Insufficient Improvement Over Season One

The first season of Bungou Stray Dogs was marred by filler episodes and by prioritizing style over substance. It seems like its second season realized it needed a plot to keep going. Did the show improve this time? Yes, but not so much.

Bungou Stray Dogs’ recurring problem of putting style over substance remains apparent in the second season. You get a parade of characters (who are admittedly cool) in exchange of tension and plot intricacy. New characters piled one after another until it became impossible to track each one of them. Worse, it seems like the side characters were written off in the story (or relegated to the sidelines) after their respective arcs. Say, when was Odasaku mentioned again after dedicating four episodes worth of content to him? Lord Francis remained an enigma until the show’s sudden decision to bring up his past. Who was Lovecraft in the end anyway? Bungou Stray Dogs struggled in these aspects. In addition, the arcs per se are good enough but do not mesh well as a whole. Transitions between events (and episodes) are so disjointed, you wonder you missed prior events. You get there’s an ongoing war, but the progress was not smoothly presented.

However, the action scenes are really cool courtesy of Bones’ prowess in hand-drawn animation. The music was a massive improvement in the way its climatic moments can have you on the edge of your seat. Moreover, you cannot fault any of the major characters since they grew in one way or another as compared to the last season. Lastly, the fillers that destroyed last season’s mood were mostly absent, giving this sequel a coherent feel.

In the end, the second season of Bungou Stray Dogs took two steps forward and one step back. It’s hardly a bad thing but do not expect massive improvement from the first season’s listless offering.


Tsukelhm: An Engaging, Straightforward Sports Series

DAYS is a football anime by the hands of MAPPA and it aired from summer 2016 until fall of that same year. Like many other team-based sport anime, it centers around the main character’s relationships with his teammates as they grow and become better at the sport; Tsukamoto Tsukushi is teenager who just entered the Seiseki Highschool because of his childhood friend and after a series of events ends up joining the soccer team, which has a long history of success and recently consecutive defeats. The story follows Tsukushi as he becomes a core part of the Seiseki team and his new friend Kazama Jin, as they both get better at both the sport and making friends with their teammates.

There isn’t anything groundbreaking about this show, the animation is average and the direction enjoyable enough despite falling into the frequent ‘soccer anime’ problem, with many still frames, some weird looking shots perspective-wise and time frames of the matches. However, DAYS excels at being engaging without resorting to exaggerated ‘techniques’ or super powerful shots, focusing instead on the characters’ drama and how their lives are tied to the sport they practice. While the twists and quirks of the story are, for the most part, predictable and straightforward; it is this straightforwardness that helps the show deliver what it really is about, the growth and learning of the protagonist and his role within the team he now is a part of.

With all that being said, the voice acting and sound direction is great and the show is filled with many nice scenes that showcase the characters being portrayed really well by the voice cast. The opening and ending are nothing special, but they are by no means bad pieces and convey the vibe the show has really well. DAYS isn’t more than a straightforward, down to earth, football anime; It does what it promises: a nice story with interesting characters and a believable protagonist that struggles to become better at what he just recently discovered he loves, soccer.


samui: “Style Over Substance” Taken A Little Too Far

Drifters equated edge with violence but the latter’s novelty ran out after a few episodes. Hence, they had to resort to other gimmicks to keep the show going. That’s where the Fate/Stay Night character style was sort of introduced in Driters. Hellsing it is not, because the characters do not have much gravitas to stand out.

However, seeing how the show bastardized these historical figures is amusing at the very least. At best, it is sinister to know Jesus actually wanted the world to end, or Hitler built a lasting empire. Perhaps the writer’s take on Oda Nobunaga’s character is his biggest success. The show revolved around his amused stance on modern technologies he did not witness in his lifetime, or his wicked strategies which brought victory to the Drifters. Some characters fell flat though. Olminu looks and feels like the inferior carbon copy of Seras Victoria.

The visuals are unique, in a way that it looks like an old show even when it is not. For better or worse, the caricature-ish nature of the background music fits Drifters. The sound effects complimented the nature of the characters, and so with their fights. Moreover, the opening sequence reeks of awesomeness that prepares the audience to see what’s next.

Is Drifters a fun flair after all? Yes, but we honestly did not get much from its 12-episode run. This is because the show moved too leisurely in its first half. World-building was prioritized instead of plot progression so it felt like an exhibition of Drifters and Ends rather than a complete show. Worse, the godawful humor eats about a quarter of each episode. These questionable jokes are even inserted in the middle of serious scenes, hence destroying the mood it presented just earlier. There were times Drifters felt simply like a parade of characters without giving much thought to their later involvement.

In the end, it’s hard complain about a show which just finished introducing itself. The characters alone are larger than life, making you stick with it until the end. Oda is one of 2016’s most fascinating characters, and Toyohisa is the show’s mascot many will adore. With the second season in the works, we can hope for more substance in Drifters rather than style.

Another Take: Yamada II: The Style Worked

Drifters is a show about different historical figures sent to another dimension. They are divided into two groups based on their lives in the real world. There are the good guys who want to save the world and the bad guys who want to destroy the world. It’s not as simple as that, but that’s the gist of things.

Coming from the author known for Hellsing, one can expect that the same kind of coolness will be here in Drifters. And this show does not fall short at all in the badass department. Almost every character in this anime shows off at some point. The word “badass” has been used too much by now, but that’s basically what this show is all about: manly men showing off how cool they are by acting brutal and heartless. Hellsing was also this in a nutshell so it’s no surprise Hirano-sensei’s second big work is more or less the same.

Those familiar with Hellsing are probably aware of the comedy it had. The same kind is here and it tends to ruin the moments when it’s used because of how unfunny it is. The artwork Drifters has, with all the dark colors and the overall serious environment, doesn’t really allow the kind of comedic scenes they go for to work well. It does help increase the swank and is brilliant for the brutal nature of this show, but for comedy, not so much. Despite having generally good and consistent artwork, the fight scenes aren’t up to par. Some deserve good animation but don’t get that—likely because the studio in charge isn’t that big. They do well with their still frames, but disappoint when it comes to scenes which are supposed to be action heavy.

Drifters is surely a treat when it goes full badass; it ranks first in that department for the past season. But if you want an intricate storyline, then this isn’t really going to satisfy you. It’s only good for some mindless, head slicing, limb chopping, blood spilling action.

Flip Flappers

samui: Sacrifices Were Made, But They Were Worth It

Flip Flappers mostly gets everything right in its run. It handled multiple themes and presented these without feeling heavy-handed. The power of friendship might have diluted the sinister story a little, but darn this show’s way of pulling things off when you think it has become convoluted. For example, magical girls and mecha do not normally mesh well but Flip Flappers seamlessly weaved the two (totally) unrelated themes.

It also excelled in world building. Every episode featured a unique world in Pure Illusion, making the show a gem from an animator’s point of view. One cannot help but be awed by the production staff’s creativity to make these settings distinct from one another. While it may not surpass Kyoto Animation’s keen attention to details, Flip Flappers had expertise in using shades to convey identity and mood. For instance, the fifth episode was outright sinister all thanks to the drab palettes. Meanwhile, the sixth episode posed strong emotions by contrasting warm and cold colors.

However, Flip Flappers sacrificed character writing for world building. You may watch this show for the amazing visuals, but it can be a little hard to care for the characters. Cocona and Papika are mostly two-dimensional probably due to the limitations of anime as a medium. This is a shame since they are the leads in the show. Worse, the episode dedicated to fan service was totally flat until the characters went back to Pure Illusion. In its defense, they were given their respective arcs to develop, thereby making them average at worst. Mimi has her (terrifying) subconscious, Salt wants to atone for his sins while not forgetting everyone and Papika set her priorities right in choosing between the past and the present. Cocona’s development might be a tad too simplistic, but Flip Flappers somehow made her circumstances believable.

If you do not mind wobbly character writing in exchange for 2016’s highlight in terms of animation, Flip Flappers is for you.

Another Take: Yamada II: A Confusing But Beautiful Experience

Summer 2016 gave us some sakuga in the form of Mob Psycho 100 and Tales of Zestiria the X. Fall 2016 fills that gap in the form of Studio 3Hz’s Flip Flappers.

The show is a treat to look at with its jaw dropping action sequences and lush backgrounds. Being a new studio with only two other titles under their belt doesn’t mean Studio 3Hz can’t have such awesome animation. They got some serious talent on their side (some of it coming from Kinema Citrus following its breakup) and dished out these 13 episodes of almost mind-blowing sakuga. They also got some known names in the animation world on board, but there were quite a lot of new animators who worked on this and they’ve managed to give us quite the animated surprise. Even if nothing else is worthwhile here, the sheer quality of the animation may just be enough to make this worth the watch.

But sakuga isn’t the only thing Flip Flappers has to offer. “Good looking” and “confusing” are two words which best describe it. A look at the first couple of episodes is enough to tell you that you’d have to watch till the end to make sense of what’s going on. Each episode starts off very confusing, but as the story progresses, its themes become clear. The episodes are individually good with some nicely expressed subjects. They give hints throughout and then connect them towards the end. The character development is pretty slow but definitely there. The show is supposedly a magical girl show, but there are some episodes which would make you want to reconsider that.

Story-wise, Flip Flappers really isn’t the strongest out there; the show’s more thematically driven with smaller topics in each episode and one big talking point the show wants to drive home. The story is nice, but it’s not the only thing here. The ending does feel slightly rushed, as if they wasted too much time in between and then ran out of episodes towards the end, but it is satisfying enough regardless.

Overall, if it’s sakuga you want then look no further as Flip Flappers is one of the best animated shows of 2016. There’s also a more than decent story to boot which just adds to its other good points.

Fune wo Amu (The Great Passage)

KawaiDespair: Occasional Brilliance Shattered By Recurring Mundanity

Fune wo Amu is an unfortunate case of a show with solid themes, characters, interactions, and even spectacles mired in a pool of weak symbolism and overall boringness.

It is a slice of life story about young to old adults trying to make dictionaries. Although it is true that it is not right to judge every book by its cover, or synopsis in this case, it’s hard to not follow that guideline when shows such as this retain the mundanity of such a straightforward premise. There are some interesting parts here and there in the story, especially if one were an avid Japanophile who would like to embrace the intricacies of Japanese symbols and how different it is to our own alphabet, but at the mellow pace at which this story moves it is hard to not get stranded in the sea of words ourselves and want to break free. Even during the time skip and the new introductions of somewhat livelier characters, the show still manages to be banal, which is both baffling and impressive.

The cast of the show fares out a bit better, although not that much. The main character can be a pain to follow, given how mundane he is. He is an introvert, true, and the show accentuates his gradual to slow changes, but even when he finally gets past most of his struggles it is a struggle in and of itself to be interested in his mannerisms and repeated dictionary word descriptions. Nishioka, on the other hand, is a fantastic character who contrasts the otherwise pedestrianism of all the tasks that take place in the show, and makes it even sadder that the rest of the series did not live up to his overall feats. Not only did he fit well with the solidarity and following your dreams themes, but he also brought a lot of the great struggles and interactions that could have made this show more than just average if he would’ve been its centerpiece. The rest of the cast are also a fair bit better than our main hero, but unfortunately not enough to take into consideration, especially the newcomer after the time skip, whose development felt samey from Majime’s own.

The visuals, while impressive at times, leave a lot to be desired. One of the main weaknesses of the show is its sparse and negligent use of symbolism. To further elaborate, there are times where the “Sea of Words” visual metaphors will show up to represent Majime’s dreams or struggles, and at other moments when it would be useful to use these, they are nowhere to be seen. It is puzzling to say the least, making us question why the anime would go all out in some instances only to be strangely conservative in others.

The sound department is decent.

Overall, Fune wo Amu is a show with so many nitpicked instances of perceived greatness, unfortunately suffocated by others of complete nothingness.

Gi(a)rlish Number

Tsukelhm: A Show That Lost Its Charm

Written by Wataru Watari and animated by Diomedea, Girlish Number follows Karasuma Chitose as she struggles to become a famous voice actress in the harsh industry of Japanese animation. She is aided by her older brother, former voice actor and now manager, Karasuma Goujo, and her co-workers Kugayama Yae, Katakura Koto, Kazuha Shibasaki and Sonou Momoka as she discovers that not only is the industry itself rotten and unfair, but that so is herself and the way she lives.

Wataru Watari being the writer, it’s logical to expect something good even if it isn’t as good as his previous LN anime adaptation (Oregairu), but Girlish Number isn’t anything special after all. The story has a steady introduction with the first episodes being actually good at showing the cast and their personalities; we get a glimpse of Chitose’s narcissistic persona as her brother usually reminds her of, we get to know Yae’s cutesy unaware rudeness, Koto’s motherly kindness, Shibasaki’s unfriendly behavior and Momoka’s family problems. The show is filled with sarcastic exchanges and that bring out the hypocrisy which exists within the industry itself, but instead of focusing on how those problems further affect the voice actresses’ careers and lives, it decides to develop the supporting girls’ family backgrounds. Girlish Number starts losing its charm as it changes the only thing that made it different from any other “cute girl’s lives” show: the context of these girls’ lives, aka voice acting. By the end of the run, the story comes back slightly with the Chitose-centric arc and a few nice scenes, but all while putting aside the characters it tried so hard to develop in the first place.

Aside from the plot, the animation is average at most; the character designs are nice to the eye and the OP and ED are fine too. However, the voice acting doesn’t live up to the expectations that a voice acting-centered anime leaves, since even the supposedly experienced seiyuus’ performance and non-performance scenes feel forced and sometimes off pace. Sayaka Senbongi’s lines were spot on most of the time, while Yui Ishikawa and Kaede Hondo were actually pretty great, but Eri Suzuki and Saori Ounishi made their characters feel out of place and thus the time the show spends on them seem like a waste. As for the rest of the music, it’s kind of… there.

Overall, Girlish Number is a fine show if one is expecting nothing more than a bunch of girls pretending to be good at what they do, with their only appealing quality is their uncommon-in-SoL anime comedy and conversations. The wasted potential is evident, as the show made clear what it could’ve been about instead of the mess it actually was.

Another Take: daysofsummer: A Show That Recovered Its Footing Just In Time

Girlish Number started with the promise of a good laugh about the seiyuu industry’s many woes; whether it managed to fulfill it is more doubtful, however (which is just a euphemistic way of saying it wasn’t at all fulfilled). Although many expected serious criticism, they were deceived by their hope as this newest adaptation of a Watari Wataru light novel series never crossed the line of a lighthearted parody. From the early episodes, there were signs that this show would turn out character-centric: Karasuma Chitose was always presented as the show’s be all and end all.

When everyone in the room felt the parody had ran too thin to continue carrying the show, it turned to the theme of family. The move seemed to betray to story’s first goal, and at this point everyone’s doubts were only amplified; but thankfully, the arc ended up satisfying by focusing on the right characters (mainly Momoka, daughter of a renowned director and a famed voice actress), and Girlish Number then managed to link this new subject matter with its original purpose to create a pleasant ending that culminated in a powerful breakdown from Chitose (and her eventual reconciliation with her brother Gojou).

Its midlife struggles combined with generally low production values (the director is a first timer) made Girlish Number unable to live up to the grandeur of its promise, but it was still an amusing and enjoyable ride all along.

Hibike! Euphonium 2 (Sound! Euphonium 2)

daysofsummer’s corny expert love letter review

Hibike! Euphonium’s first season was good. It was, however, difficult to call “spectacular”: the very word which is first to come to mind when reminiscing on the second season.

The core remained largely the same – it is no more and no less than the story of a few youngsters in love with their instruments who strive to take this romance as far as they can. And yet, there is something about this show – something essential that one will remember even after they forget all the names and story elements – that makes it something of a pure beauty, like snow as it gradually melts under the midwinter sun.

Kyoto Animation’s talents maximize each part of this otherwise minimal essence – script, animation, soundtrack, and much more – to create a perfect harmony. As everything melts together, a single picture slowly takes shape. It is full of the most vivid colors. One finds themselves gazing and senses a feeling of pure romance welling up, one of these rare sentiments that seem to irresistibly push us forward.

The completed picture appears perfect down to the last stroke – and flawlessness in execution is what brings out all the beauty hidden within simplicity. Hibike! Euphonium’s second season is a story in which lies an all-important something, one which we were all made to notice thanks to the artistry of all those involved in the exacting process of birthing something beautiful. It is, by all means, a work to be cherished.


Yamada II: A Ridiculous But Fun Ride

Keijo!!!!!!!! is one of the four sports anime of the Fall season. It’s about the fictional sport of keijo where girls stand on a platform floating on water and have to push the other girls off with a lot of money and betting involved. But there’s a catch: they can only use their breasts and buttocks to accomplish this. Yes, you heard it right. Hands, feet or any other body part cannot be used at all.

Keijo!!!!!!! takes this immensely absurd premise and goes all out with it. It has all the excitement and intensity expected from your regular sports series to go with all that nonsense. What makes this concept work is how they take things seriously and give us a sports anime instead of an ecchi extravaganza. There are bath scenes, clothes ripping, and other typical ecchi moments, but they aren’t enough to take the focus away from the sport aspect; some of them are even made out to be important to the game in some silly way. The whole thing’s as ridiculous as it gets especially with all the innovative ways to use a girl’s mammary glands and gluteal region as weapons and the names the moves get.

There are some nicely animated parts but most of them are in the initial and final episodes because Xebec probably didn’t have the resources or skills to make this a sakuga festival. One thing here is that the characters are no different from any other sports anime i.e. they come off as real players. The effect is even greater after seeing that they are all adults aiming to become full-fledged professionals in the sport. Then there’s also this sense of sportsmanship seen throughout which gives this an ever greater sports anime feel.

Overall, Keijo!!!!!!! is a fun show which derives its enjoyment from being over the top, taking its ridiculous game seriously, delivering some humor and a whole lot of excitement.

Another Take: KawaiDespair: Fun? Not Fun.

Another fun sports anime that twists the concept on its head by adding fanservice and not taking itself to seriou – etc, etc, etc, the usual thing people say about these shows.

It seems like being fun, or appearing to be mindless fun, is all it takes to get people to praise a show for being unique and fun. However it is hard to find fun in something that is not original or breathtaking to begin with, especially when other shows like Gurren Lagann, Kill la Kill, and other Imaishi shows, which also indulge in ridiculousness, have something that shows like Keijo!!!!!!!! don’t – talent behind it. Just like the viewers trying to get through a repeated word in an article that is not replaced by synonyms, this fun ride lacks anything to make it stand out, besides the premise of being dumb and fun. The story is not even compelling, or unique, or even a twist on the usual; adding boobs and butts to make otherwise 101 sports anime characters/stories does not really change them that much, and doesn’t make them that much fun.

Overall, not fun.

Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku (Magical Girl Raising Project)

Tsukelhm: Some Wasted Potential, But An Otherwise Solid Series

Judging by the Wikipedia page cover and the title, it’s easy to take Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku as a Madoka Magica wannabe, as their art and genres are strikingly similar. While they both share similar story points, 3 episodes of Mahoiku make it easy to see why it is different, as it develops into a mahou shoujo battle royale.

The story follows Himekawa Koyuki as she becomes a magical girl after leveling up enough in a free-to-play mobile game about said entities. She becomes Snow white, a gentle and powerful girl with the ability to listen to the minds of people in danger, and she uses said power to help everyone within her reach. As the show goes, many other magical girls who live in the same town are introduced and the true nature of the game is exposed, as the girls are forced to battle against each other for survival. What makes this show different is that there aren’t any pre-requisites for becoming a magical girl: the selection process is just playing a mobile game, which makes the twists in the show more interesting. The happy-looking art style contrasts nicely with the gory nature of the plot, and the unpredictability of the story twists and character deaths make it an enjoyable ride, because the magical girls are given enough ‘development’ while still remaining mysterious.

However, the world is definitely way bigger than what the show does with it, and thus one ends up feeling like huge potential was wasted by the end of everything. Despite that, it is easy to say that nice animation, good OP and ED, an entertaining story, a good enough cast with a really good voice cast behind it make Mahoiku an enjoyable anime to watch.

Another Take: Yamada II: More Than A Madoka Wannabe

Mahoiku is a show about magical girls, but contrary to what its name and key visuals might suggest, this is no ordinary magical girl tale. This is, in fact, one of the most brutal anime of the past season.

It tells the story of sixteen magical girls who are given powers through a mobile phone game but now their numbers have to be halved. One can imagine that such a premise won’t have a happy ending. And, well, it doesn’t. Mahoiku depicts the inhumanity, the despair, the madness, and everything associated with a dark magical girl outing almost perfectly. It doesn’t hold back its punches when dealing with these girls. If brutality is what this show was aiming for, then, without a doubt, it has succeeded.

Mahoiku does ride a bit on the popularity of dark mahou shoujo shows following Madoka Magica, but it does things differently. For starters, Mahoiku, unlike the famous SHAFT production, isn’t thematically strong. Then, the wide variety of mahou shoujo show how different kinds of people would act in a grim situation like this. Mahoiku also takes the form of a battle royale which obviously didn’t apply to the 2011 phenomenon. These differences are enough to set it apart from Madoka Magica.

Of course, with more characters and not enough episodes comes the unavoidable “lack of development” issue. There’s also an issue with the fight scenes, probably because Lerche couldn’t get their hands on talented animators. But even so, the cruelty these girls face and the darkness and despair Mahoiku shows through its use of a dark palette (everything takes place at night for added darkness and to give the magical girls the image of vigilantes), is enough to sell this anime. Depicting a brutal situation seems to be up Lerche’s alley and that’s exactly what they’ve done here. This is a thriller to behold as each episode has you on the edge of your seat with some unpredictable plot movements to boot.

Mahoiku could have done better with more episodes and better animation for the fights, but even then, it managed to make a fair success of itself by putting its cast through all that fiendishness.

Another Take: KawaiDespair: Not Exactly Bad, But No More Than Mindless Torture

Another dark mahou shoujo show that although promising at the beginning and fun at times, unfortunately stumbles along the way by neglecting many of its characters and surviving on its twisty premise alone.

The story is quite interesting at face value. Magical girls are pitted against each other in a battle royale scenario, each having their own special abilities and designs that wildly distinguish them from each other. The problem is … that’s all the show really is. It is entertaining as a mindless guro fest, given how gruesome the deaths are and the hints of strategy spread throughout, but other than that there is not much to it. There are several hints at lore, leaving room for expansion which is what other LNs and manga of the franchise are doing per research, but unfortunately this introductory piece just feels like a rusty step ladder. Although to add something positive, the criteria to becoming a mahou shoujo is interesting, that being anyone can be it: little boys, older women, toddlers, etc.

The characters seem to do a better job, although they also have their jarring mishaps. Snow White, although nuanced and sometimes interesting in the way she reacts to things, just feels odd at moments, showing random outbursts of emotions that can only be explained by the plot needing them. The rest are also mixed, due to many of them dying in an anticlimactic way, with only a lazy backstory to emphasize their relevancy. That said, Swim Swim is a major stand out character, given the circumstances of her actions and how believable and eerie her whole ordeal is, though unfortunately the way she meets her demise leaves a lot to be desired, as well as the overall development that also hinders the rest of the cast.

In addition, an aspect that really suffers is the animation. The movements feel slow and clunky at times, and foregrounds and backgrounds are indistinguishable at random instances. Sure, the rest of it does not look awful, but the crucial fight scenes should look better than this.

Overall, Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku is wasted potential. It can serve as morbid entertainment just fine, but even in that department there are many other better contenders.

Mahou Shoujo Nante Mou Ii Desukara. Second Season

Yamada II: A Fun Parody

Mahoii is the story of Yuzuka, a girl who becomes a mahou shoujo in a world where such people are no longer needed. The show is a parody of the mahou shoujo genre; starting from the mysterious, suspicious mascot character giving magical powers, to the outfits being revealing, they touch upon a lot of things seen in such anime.

The first season was about Yuzuka getting used to being a mahou shoujo, and this sequel continues from that point. Yuzuka is trying to get more used to this seemingly useless power and by the end of it all, she comes to terms with her feelings regarding the job. The show superficially touches things but never goes too deep. It also seems that Pine Jam either got more budget or more talent for this season as there is an obvious jump in quality visible right from the opening sequence.

Mahoii may have worked equally well if it had gone deeper into some of the topics they lightly present in this season, but that would have gone against its nature as a lighthearted mahou shoujo series.


Tsukelhm: A Fun Ride Ruined By A Terrible Ending

Occultic;Nine is the anime adaptation of a light novel of the same name, written by Chiyomaru Sakura (Steins;Gate) and animated by A-1 pictures. It tells the story of a high school boy named Gamon Yuuta who runs a paranormal activity blog and through a series of events comes to know seven other individuals as he searches news for his website with his friend Narusawa Ryouka. The nine people find themselves involved a big conspiracy that might change their worldviews and their lives with it.

This anime is quite different from its author’s previous work, despite both having a big conspiracy and a seemingly disconnected bunch of people that achieve something bigger, as the story this time focuses on a scientific approach to paranormal and occult events. The show also has a weird fast-paced conversation model, and much of the screen time revolves around the characters discussing the mystery and discovering how they got involved in it in the first place; with few action-driven scenes and some uncommon direction, the first half works well at establishing a thriller aura and mystery vibe around the cast. However, the character designs were a bit off for the most part, having one of the main characters have ridiculously huge breasts and be pointlessly younger in appearance contributed to the eerie feeling that rose as the show progressed. While some of the characters didn’t get over four scenes on screen, the ones that did were the most likeable of the bunch, but that contributed to the uselessness of the other four characters that weren’t that prominent throughout the show.

The story developed slowly but steadily, with minor twists and tweaks that made it engaging overall. The direction went for some weird shots like a free rotating camera scene in ep 5 that emphasized the mood of the conversation between the two characters in said scene, or a thrilling first-person hallway scene latter on that created the uneasiness wanted for that part of the show. The background music was spot-on for the most part, with slow and low pieces that avoided scare jumps and high pitches for the most part. The OP and the ED were average, but the voice acting was really good and what made the conversations a lot more enjoyable as the characters felt engaged in the mystery and truly worried for their well-being. Sadly, the plot couldn’t handle its own ridiculousness as the last episodes threw everything away and even introduced deus ex machina to get a happy ending; it was so stupid that in fact it would’ve probably been better if they’d just killed the main cast all at once instead.

While it might seem a serious show, Occultic;Nine is nothing but an entertaining story that tries to connect the paranormal with some science background. For the most part of its run it manages to be as fun as it should. The last parts are awfully done and tore down all it had built, which was a shame due to how nice it could’ve been if they had used the wasted parts of the cast instead of trying to pull off a lame hero moment. It was a nice try, and an engaging one as well, but let’s just avoid the finale and if you’re not a fan of conversation filled anime, the whole show then.

Another Take: samui: A Premise Entirely Ruined By Too Many Mistakes

Occultic;Nine is the sad casualty of spending early episodes mostly on talking then kicking the plot in full speed in the most crucial moments. You got messy resolutions (what was Minase’s incestuous backstory all about in the end? Or Rizono’s ability to have astral projections?), rushed execution (what the hell happened to the emperor’s grand scheme?) and half-baked drama (the bawlfest when they realized Gamotan wouldn’t make it). The pacing got too fast just for the sake of crudely finishing the story. Worse, the villains got nothing more than their ‘we want to make the emperor live forever’. They’re caricatures who want to dominate the world just because they need a reason to exist in the story.

Another aspect that makes this show really frustrating is the questionable directional choices A-1 pulled in the adaptation. Dutch camera angles are cool until you rotate the screen every freaking minute. The playful dialogue worked in the -monogatari series but Occultic;Nine has an intricate plot that demands time for exploration. Perhaps they could have cut 50% of the dialogue and this been a better show.

The last-minute time travel element made the denouement sour. Yeah, the series went for a happy ending because of a dodgy scientific explanation. Well, Gamotan is a tad unlucky, but got his father back so I guess it’s a yay? For such a gritty premise, the deus ex machina was too apparent to take the show seriously. To be honest, it turned into an unintentional comedy in the end because it drowned itself in too much plot and wobbly dialogue.

Yes. It is high time to stop believing semi-colon series will produce anything worthwhile at this point. Hence, do yourself a favor and skip Occultic;Nine if you want to watch 2016 shows.

Shakunetsu no Takkyuu Musume (Scorching Ping Pong Girls)

Yamada II: An Exciting, If Flawed, Sports Series

Shakunetsu no Takkyuu Musume is one of fall 2016’s four sports anime and for fans of the sport, it is quite the treat. It focuses on a bunch of middle school girls aiming for the national tournament and shows them as they grow stronger.

When it comes to sports anime, the one thing most people would want is some excitement. Shakunetsu doesn’t fail in delivering that at all; each match, regardless of its importance, has the flare and intensity one would expect from a sports anime. Despite most of the matches having an abundance of still frames, they’re all exciting to watch. The animation department at Kinema Citrus seems to be lacking quite a bit, but whenever they use the few means they have available, we’re in for a treat. The short bursts of sakuga we get from time to time can be mind-blowing. And these expertly animated cuts are added during the right moments of the games to increase the excitement levels.

As far as other aspects of the show go, there is some failed comedy, some boring characters, and not-so-cute character designs. But there are a few heartwarming character interactions thrown in for good measure here and there. Seeing these girls practicing and improving also gives a nice feeling.

Shakunetsu no Takkyuu Musume might be a pain to watch if one only wants to see some sakuga, but whatever it has to offer besides that can be enough to seal the deal. Though, with the dearth of interesting characters, it probably won’t remain as a memorable experience.

Shuumatsu no Izetta (Izetta: The Last Witch)

Yamada II: A Somewhat Slow But Ultimately Satisfying Experience

The Fall 2016 season might be remembered as the season full of gayness and magic. Shuumatsu no Izetta stands out for having both in ample amounts.

It takes place in a parallel universe in a World War II era, where there are rumors of the existence of witches. The focus is on the princess of a tiny little European country next to the totally-not-Switzerland state, who has befriended a witch, who happens to be the last of her kind. The story shows how Princess Finé tries to turn the tables on the invading Germanian Empire.

The show manages to nicely depict the state of war the world is in. While the story staggers a bit and takes some time to really get going, the depiction of the war zone and the associated despair when a plan miserably fails, for example, is done pretty well. The environment it establishes is very good and it manages to capture a bit of a warlike feel. There are also a few plot twists which give a bad end-like feeling and make us hope we don’t get some full-blown despair.

The first half or so is pretty slow as it establishes the characters, their relationships, and the overall environment, before entering the climax. Some might feel these episodes are a bit too weary and things should have been sped up a bit. But they are what help create the overwhelming sense of despair towards the end. If it weren’t for all the time we’d spent seeing Izetta and Finé together, the final episodes might not have had the impact they had.

Shuumatsu no Izetta is really good when it is in the battlefield; the intensity it captures there is exceptional. Aija-do’s visuals help a lot here as we get quite some sakuga. Apart from the aforementioned stuff, there is a whole lot of yuri here as we see Finé and Izetta getting closer and getting on equal terms. One can’t help but ship the two especially when there are scenes of Finé in Izetta’s arms flying off into the night sky and Izetta going red when Finé gets too close to her… anyway, Shuumatsu no Izetta has ended up being an interesting story for all the politics, war games and the sakuga.

Another Take: Tsukelhm: Some Wasted Potential, But Still Fun

Shuumatsu no Izetta is a World War centered anime that revolves on a young witch, who is the last of her kind, as she vows to protect her best friend Ortfine F. von Eylstadt; Finé is the princess of the fictional nation of Eylstadt (sharing borders with the fictional Germany and Switzerland) and she struggles to defend her country from the tides of war that the political landscape displays.

Izetta’s setting is one of the most interesting WWII adaptations in anime, as it showcases and hints known battles but uses Germany’s Great War structure. The show never goes deep into explanations on war concepts or strategies, but for anyone who knows a bit about the both world wars in history the references are easy to spot. The main cast isn’t anything too special however, with a shy yet powerful main heroine with origins tied to the nation’s legends who gives her all for the sake of her childhood friend. It’d make sense for these two to be the most memorable characters in the whole show… but they’re not. Izetta has a medium sized cast with many interesting personalities and roles in the story, they don’t always behave in a linear way (unlike the main pair) and show some depth and intriguing background stories that sadly go unexplored. For example, the Eylstadt counselor Sieghart Muller displays his determination to perform good and bad deeds through the show with a fiery devotion to his nation and the royal family, while being hurt inside by those same decisions he feels forced to take; Arnold Berkmann, the egocentric and cynical mastermind behind Germany’s military investigation prowess, is also one of the most interesting characters in the show that is never explored rightfully. Even the USA reporter Elvira Friedmann’s reasons to assist the small nation’s royal family despite the high risks could’ve been delved into, as her nation taking part in the war was such a big plot point of the show.

Aside from the lost potential, the animation in this anime was average at most and the OP and ED weren’t that special either. The voice acting on the other hand was really good; Himika Akaneya’s and Saori Hayami’s performances truly showed how much love was between Finé and Izetta, and Sora Amamiya’s role as the evil Weiss Hexe clone was absolutely amazing. The voice work for the secondary characters being so good may be one of the reasons why their roles in the story felt so downgraded, as their actors did a really nice job with their lines and scenes. The background music was nicely composed, nothing too spectacular, but a good OST overall.

Shuumatsu no Izetta was an entertaining watch overall; despite the plot flaws and the loss potential with its cast, it remained an enjoyable story that kept us coming back each week. Nothing as big as other shows aired in the same season, but not as awful as some others in the same timeframe.

Soushin Shoujo Matoi (Matoi the Sacred Slayer)

Yamada II: A Ruinous First Half

With the likes of Mahoiku, Mahoii and Flip Flappers having aired this past season, Soushin Shoujo Matoi “stands out” as a rather typical mahou shoujo entry. Nothing too dark, no parodies, and no inclusion of any other thing which would turn this into a unique show.

It follows a middle school girl, Matoi, living with her dad after a long time since her mother went missing. Through some turn of events, she ended up getting magical powers and became a magical girl, even though she just wanted to live a normal life. She has impressive powers and it looks like the demonic forces are targeting her due to the caliber of her magic. The fate of the planet ends up resting in her hands and she has to save the world from the evil Nights. Standard stuff.

This is White Fox’s first original anime and it seems like they’re not yet used to it. The story is rather mediocre. It takes them little over half of the show to get their direction straight; before that it feels like they’re just doing whatever comes to mind. When they make their direction clear, the predictable ending comes to light. But this is also the time when the show starts getting better.

The first half or so has some unfunny comedy, annoying Yuma, and simply boring happenings. The second half takes a relatively serious turn as Matoi starts getting into this exorcism business. The one good thing this managed to get through was the development of the relationship between Matoi and her father. Matoi and Shingo have a distant relationship but they start to get closer as Shingo shows his concern for his daughter’s wellbeing. The result is a happy ending where Matoi has the peaceful and somewhat normal life she wanted.

Matoi the Sacred Slayer took some time to up its quality. But even after getting somewhat better towards the end, it couldn’t make up for its rather dull first half.

Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari (Poco’s Udon World)

samui: A Poignant Story Of Regrets

Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari joins Barakamon and Amaama to Inazuma as shows that involve young adults finding solace by taking care of kids. Middling is the best way to describe this show whenever Tawara acts like a father figure to Poco. These were its least interesting parts because there is nothing new with the way they were presented. Barakamon has the heartwarming fun and Sweetness and Lightning’s brand of fluff is sickeningly cute. What does Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari offer then?

One can also say the supernatural element is a refreshing twist, but that is just a vignette that does not contribute much to the show’s worth.

It becomes a poignant reflection on the regrets of grown-ups and redemption if we look beyond Tawara and Poco’s father-and-child relationship. What sets the show apart from its peers is the way it handles adult issues head-on. Every character has a palpable dilemma in life and the show is not shy in showing how their past affects their actions today. Of course, each episode ends on a happy note but the sting of melancholy in every adult issue it handles lasts. Another aspect that makes Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari beyond mediocre is the ending. Most shows settle on a deus ex machina just to force a happy conclusion. This show did not. Moving ahead of regret is its ultimate message, and it was delivered in a bittersweet manner.

Yet do not expect anything grand in terms of production values. The animation and the background music are drab. Its opening sequence, which is supposed to give us a first taste of the show, was musically misplaced. Worst, the Gao Gao segment really killed the emotional punch of the show should you decide to watch an episode after the ending sequence. Hence, the show lives until the end thanks to the strength of source material.

Aesthetically, this series will not hook you at first glance but it gave the most beautiful ending in Fall 2016. Good luck stopping your tear ducts when the show dials up the drama. It may not end up on most yearend lists but Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari is worth remembering.

Another Take: Yamada II: A Beautiful Family-Themed Show

With the word “udon” in the title and a little kid and an adult among the main characters, one would think that this is the Fall season’s Amaama to Inazuma. But that is not the case. Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari is more about Tawara Souta than about Poco or udon. The show isn’t about parenting or getting together over a nice meal like Amaama to Inazuma; this is a story of regrets and family.

After his father’s death, Souta comes back to his hometown to sell his father’s house and restaurant. He meets a kid who turns out to be a shape-shifting tanuki. Through Poco, Souta has tons of flashbacks and starts regretting not having had a good relationship with his father. The show’s main theme is the importance of family, and they treat this beautifully over the course of 12 episodes. You can see the truck full of feels ready to smash you in the face as Souta gets closer to his roots and learns the story’s lesson.

Apart from focusing on Souta to get its point through, Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari has some light shone on other characters, Nakajima being the most prominent of them. There are also some brilliant interactions among the majorly adult cast.

Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari may be a bit misleading based during the first few episodes, but that is nothing bad at all. It’s also good that we don’t get another Amaama to Inazuma for the second season in a row. The way the show pulls off its themes and packs its emotional punches is nothing short of greatness.


Yamada II: Alright, But Far Short Of The Original’s Standards

With the original Working!! series having worked out quite well, a spin-off manga of the series got an adaptation. The story takes place in the same Wagnaria, except with different characters. The formula is more or less the same: eccentric characters working in a family restaurant with some romance added amongst them. It worked well with Working!!, so why not here?

The aim was probably to capture the same feel the original had, but it didn’t quite succeed in that. WWW.Working!! is a fun show, but it’s nowhere near as good as the original. The characters here are fun and mostly different from Katanashi and friends, but they lack the charm those weird balls of fun had. There are some nice character interactions and amusing romantic developments, and the comedy is pretty much consistently on spot in its timing, save for a handful of scenes. There is a lack of a Taneshima-level cutie but that shouldn’t be too much of a problem to many.

In the end, it mostly comes down to how similar WWW.Working!! feels to the original to most. Many fans of the original might be disappointed by this series since it falls short of the quality standard set by Working!!; but as a stand-alone, WWW.Working!! is quite an amusing show.

Watashi ga Motete Dousunda (Kiss Him, Not Me!)

samui: A Flawed But Ultimately Fun Time

Perhaps Kiss Him, Not Me! generated negative buzz when a fat high school girl turned to a bishoujo by not eating for a week. Then suddenly, she has hordes of hot admirers when she attends school again. That alone must have piqued angry feminists, but one must note even Kiss Him, Not Me! is totally trolling its own premise. Loaded with anime references and fujoshi antics, the show was consistently funny throughout its run. In fact, it is one of the genuinely funny series in 2016 if you can relate to BL shipping. The otome portion is its weakest component but is rarely brought up. What you get are different kinds of jokes whose potency depends on your knowledge of the subject matter.

You also get interesting tidbits with the otaku universe. Anime conventions are quite scary for newcomers, shipping characters are the big deal and you can never go wrong with BL doujinshi. There are moments of seriousness, yet these are shoved for blissful jokes later on.

Thankfully, the source material was not that hard to adapt. Brains Base was able to give the show a decent look from beginning to end. Opposed to the aesthetically poor Cheer Danshi last Summer 2016, the character models here remained intact for most of the time. However, the problem lies with the sound work. The voice acting is a tad too silent to emphasize the comedic punch, and the background music is your generic J-Pop flair. Do not worry though. The source material was funny enough to garner laughs whenever it pulls a joke.

The ending painfully adhered to generic reverse harems though, with the main lead being indecisive as to who she will choose. Well, in fairness to the series, Kae didn’t show anything to make us think she’d settle with one of them.

The rearrangement of the chapters in the anime ruined the overall effect of this adaptation to be honest. Moreover, the anime ending didn’t give the feeling that Kae improved as a person, much less as a competent shoujo lead. Nonetheless, it still registered high on the lol-meter thanks to the lovable set of characters. Kiss Him, Not Me! has some good shippable characters so the show was enjoyable up to that point.

Yuri!!! on ICE

samui: A Wonderfully Fun Ride Despite A Few Imperfections

For better or for worse, there’s no denying Yuri!!! On Ice is the anime that defined 2016. Original shows normally sell poorly but the anime shattered records by the time sales data were released. Fortunately, it is also easy to see why.

Yuri!!! On Ice is probably the most fun show to watch last year but was not necessarily the best. Who would have thought a straightforward story about figure skating would work big time? The plot is nothing special but the show’s consistently peppy presentation is. We were also given a clear picture as to what would happen to the story without straying with too much predictability. The finale, in particular, was a purely enjoyable ride thanks to us anxiously waiting for the Yuuris to perform their free skate program.

Who would have thought gay romance could be handled without the usual comedic tropes? While Yuri!!! On Ice is not the first non-BL anime to do this, it was the first time a series with same-sex romance was largely accepted in the community. It seems like the staff also kew what to do to make us believe in its pairing. Episode 10, in particular, pulled a smart twist which answered most questions about Victor. Lastly, the savvy use of social media also added to its charm. Durarara!!! and Gatchaman Crowds utilized internet forums to make a statement but still felt a bit too niche. Yes, Yuri!!! On Ice went beyond the norms and delivered what we rarely see in the medium. Who says Instagram can’t be entertaining too? The production staff was able to keep in touch on what’s hip today. Hence, the relatability of this show across all people.

With all the high praises given to Yuri!!! On Ice, it also has massive lows. The TV version has some wobbly moments and the use repeated animation sequences can be boring. Art quality started to dip at episode three, and hit its nadir right before the final episode. This shortcoming would have been forgiven if not the fact that it is a sports series. Fluid movements are prioritized along with the plot, and Yuri!!! On Ice seriously failed in that regard. Just note that the series can be damn beautiful at times.

The humor is also crap but was thankfully placed where it wouldn’t destroy the show’s highest moments. Character writing is also meh beyond Victor and the two Yuuris. However, they were not deterrent to the Yuri!!! On Ice’s success because the writers gave them enough personality to be remembered.

Ultimately, Yuri!!! On Ice may not deserve some of its accolades but there is no point denying that it is a fun show to watch.

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Admin, Editor, Writer at Vox Artes
19-year-old French dude. I may or may not run this place. I'm a Love Liver who's obsessed with Kousaka Honoka. I also like to talk about pretentious books so I can pretend I'm an intellectual or something like that.
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