Anime Lookout | Spring 2017

Yikes, it’s been a while! Hey everyone. I know that I usually release at least one post in between these big seasonal preview guides, but, as you can probably tell, that plan hasn’t been working out recently. I’m currently in the middle of a big semester at school, and I’ve been swamped with a large project that’s still hanging over my shoulder. That being said, I’m nothing if not consistent (at least with this series), so even though I’m way behind on all my winter shows, I’m going to watch a bunch of spring premieres anyways!

As I’ve said in previous Anime Lookout rambles, spring seasons tend to be my least favorite anime wise. Even though a lot of anime is released during this time of the year, I’ve never found it to be particularly interesting. Occasionally there will be something really outstanding in the mix, but for the most part, I find that I tend to lay low during this time of the year. However, there are a lot of high profile shows this season, from long awaited sequels to shows like Attack on Titan, to more prestige titles like the Eccentric Family. If nothing else this season is packed, so if it seems like I’m covering more shows than usual, that’s probably why.

Anyways, let’s not waste any more time with this preamble and get on with the show!

Anonymous Noise:

If there’s one thing I secretly love about shoujo, it’s the genre’s tendency to be melodramatic. As much as I would like to deny it, part of what I like about these shows is their booming emotions and intense theatrics. Sure I prefer the series which can manage a balance of both quiet contemplative moments and bombastic sentimentality, but if you give me a good shout into the wind scene I’ll likely be hooked. That being said, there are exceptions.

Anonymous Noise’s first episode feels like a good shoujo hampered by some incredibly clunky scripting. The core ideas of the package here are pretty standard (young girl stuck in a love triangle, has social problems due to sad backstory), but nothing about that means the show would necessarily have to be bad. In fact, I find a lot of the scenes in this episode to be quite effective, at least in theory. But damn, the show is going way too fast for anything to land!

This premiere just rushes through material, desperately trying to push all the drama to the forefront before the episode’s climactic performance. The result is that nothing makes a lot of sense, motivations are vague, and everything just feels off. Everything, from Nino’s strange personality, to the band club’s potential closure, is brushed over as quickly as it appears, and boy oh boy, that does not help improve the cast’s likability. Throughout the episode I kept trying to latch onto something, any kind of motivation to get me truly invested in the emotional rollercoaster on screen, but instead I ended up being bored.

It also doesn’t help that this show looks, oh what’s the word… Bad. Yeah, the show looks bad. Look everyone has different opinions on what makes an anime look good, but besides something just looking outright unfinished or slapped together, nothing makes me more annoyed than a show that looks bland. Despite having some great original designs at its disposal, the show’s adapted character designs and backgrounds look copy and pasted, while being just on model enough to keep the show at least somewhat technically proficient. Still, the ugliest scenes here have got to be the concert scenes. The CGI is already a pretty big turn off, but combining that with overdone color filters was just an awful decision; who let that get through the finishing process?

However, I will say that there’s definitely room for improvement. Like I said before, all the elements for a good shoujo are here, they’re just buried underneath an incredibly slapdash script. If the pacing can improve and the show starts explaining itself better, then maybe this anime can rise from its mediocre beginnings and become something truly compelling. But as it stand, I’m not sure I’m going to keep watching this thing. There are so many other better shows out there.

Rating: 2/5

Anonymous Noise is available for paid streaming on Amazon Video’s Anime Strike Service

ATOM: The Beginning:

When it came to prestige projects this season, ATOM: The Beginning was pretty high on my speculation list. Not only is this show based off a property related to the Tezuka classic Astro Boy, but it’s the first TV production including Signal MD, Production IG’s new all digital subsidiary. And yet, besides the striking OP directed by Bahi JD, this anime is shockingly uninteresting.

Now that isn’t to say ATOM: The Beginning is a bad anime. Far from it in fact. The show has a relatively solid set up, with Umataro Tenshi and other classic characters appearing in revised and intriguing roles, and it manages to be an entertaining experience throughout. The animation, while not amazing, is solid enough, and I get the feeling it could become something really good in future episodes. But I guess my main problem with this premiere is that it’s so pedestrian. It moves through events at a reasonable pace, with a reasonably good execution, and reasonably good writing. There just aren’t a whole lot of outstanding elements here.

I guess the best thing I can compare it to is a slightly above average Saturday morning cartoon. The stuff on display here is just compelling enough to keep you watching the airing episode, but not truly exceptional enough to hook the audience. I mean I like how the scientists here are essentially broke college kids, but for the most part it’s just flavorless and inoffensive. Everything is just fun enough, and that isn’t the kind of description a first episode should have. I doubt this thing will be a trainwreck, but it didn’t really grab my attention.

Rating: 3/5

ATOM: The Beginning is available for paid streaming on Amazon Video’s Anime Strike Service

Attack on Titan 2:

Attack on Titan is one of those anime juggernauts that’s very hard to ignore. Even though my opinion of its first season has corroded over my past few years, I can’t deny that it was one of the reasons I decided to stick with anime for the long haul. If it weren’t for such an obvious mainstream hit, maybe I wouldn’t have kept watching TV anime when I started getting into it back in 2013.

Still, I’m not the biggest fan of the show. I rewatched the first few episodes a year or two ago with my sister, and while I found it to be entertaining. It was nowhere near the amazing spectacle I remembered it being. My taste has changed quite a bit since I first watched it, and Tetsuro Araki’s bombastic, over the top direction just doesn’t really work for me like it did back then (also I read ahead in the manga and thought it was kind of garbage, but that’s a story for another day). So I went into this premiere with moderate expectations.

Luckily I wasn’t to disappointed, Attack on Titan season two is off to a pretty solid start, easily edging back into its old territory without a lot of unwanted changes. If you’re a huge fan, you’ll likely feel right at home. In fact, that’s probably my favorite thing about the episode! It wastes no time getting to the meat of the material, quickly recapping the first season in a 90 second montage, before moving into that sweet new Linked Horizon OP and only going upwards from there. I was kind of worried this episode was going to bore people, since a lot of the material that’s going to be covered in this second season isn’t particularly action packed, but I was surprised by how well it balanced things. The premiere spends a lot of time on quiet moments, but it manages to squeeze in some nice action toward the end. That’s a lot more tonal variation than one would expect from a Tetsuro Araki production (though that might be because he’s no longer the sole director).

Speaking of the production, the show looks pretty dang good. It’s clear the staff are really using their build up of resources here, with a ton of great action cuts and even some nice character art here and there. A lot of people are complaining about this season’s twelve episode length, but if studio Wit can keep producing it at this level of quality, I can see why they made that decision. It also implements some of the nice shading techniques used in Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress, which is always a plus in my book.

Overall though, I can’t say I loved this opening episode. My core opinion of Attack on Titan being a fun, but not very complex watch remains mostly intact. The show is a consistently bingeable and entertaining experience, but there isn’t a whole of lot of thematic or character stuff to chew on. That’s definitely not a bad thing, but when it comes to my personal wants, it sadly doesn’t accomplish much. Even with these complaints though, I’m still going to watch all 12 episodes. The series may be heading closer and closer to the dry political stuff that made me drop the manga, but that won’t stop me from marathoning it a few months down the line.

Rating: 3.5/5

Attack on Titan Season 2 is available for free streaming on Crunchyroll & Funimation.com

BORUTO: NARUTO NEXT GENERATIONS:

Disclaimer: I have not watched or a read a single piece of media from the Naruto franchise before seeing this premiere. The extent of my knowledge is basically a few plot spoilers I’ve seen on Twitter, as well as some lame anime Youtube videos. To say I should not be watching this series may be a bit of understatement. And yet here I am, watching this sequel series blind and on a whim just because I felt like trying something new. Even though it’s a pretty commonly accepted franchise rule that you should start from the beginning, I’ve decided to jump straight into the thick of things, because who needs logic?

On a more serious note, the main reason I decided to check out this premiere is mostly because I wanted to get a taste of what the Naruto experience is really about. I mean, I could have probably gotten that from just watching one of the series’ many filler movies, but I figured this would be a more convenient way to jump on board. After all, even though this is technically a sequel to the decade spanning shonen hit, its focus is decidedly different. As the title implies this is the next generation of shinobi, and as such isn’t really about the previous series in a direct way.

In fact, I found that even with the bare minimum knowledge I had of the Naruto franchise, Boruto was still a pretty enjoyable watch. While the plot is mostly a pretty generic shonen schoolboy piece, the execution and general character dynamics are already pretty fun. Boruto may be a bit of an archetype, but his desire to follow his own path is pretty compelling right off the bat. I also like how even though his relationship with his dad is strained, it never paints Naruto as an outright bad father. It’s clear he’s doing important work, and he does seem to care about his son.

Of course, I’m not going to lie when I say the best part of this episode was the animation and direction. Sure the story of Denki overcoming his fears is engaging enough, but the character animation and action on display here is quite nice. Characters move with distinct energy, facial expressions are fun, and the whole package is an eye pleasing experience. Its definitely good popcorn material if nothing else.

In the end, I found Boruto to be pretty dang good. If you’re Naruto fan, you’re probably already watching this, but if you aren’t experienced with this franchise, I recommend researching a basic plot synopsis and jumping in. The series writing is may be generic shonen de jour, but its sleek and polished enough to at least be worth a try. I’m not sure how long I’ll stick with this thing, but for now, I think I’ll enjoy the ride.

Rating: 4/5

BORUTO: NARUTO NEXT GENERATIONS is available for free streaming on Crunchyroll

GRANBLUE FANTASY: The Animation:

People have complained a lot over the past few years about terrible light novel adaptations. Hell, I’ve complained about plenty in my day, but if I had to be honest I find the trend toward mobile game adaptations to be far more annoying. Seriously how many good mobile game adaptations can you name? The only ones that come to my mind are Rage of Bahamut and maybe Kemono Friends (I say maybe because I haven’t watched any of it, so I wouldn’t know). That’s not a very extensive list, and yet according to the Blu Ray pre order charts, Granblue Fantasy is likely going to be a complete success.

Which is bizarre to me, because this first episode is anything but impressive. That isn’t to say there isn’t anything noteworthy about Granblue’s premiere, but for the most part this show is already the most generic fantasy loaf imaginable, both in terms of premise and execution. The story starts with a rehash of Castle in the Sky (complete with a shiny amulet and a mysterious girl falling from the sky), and then quickly moves into typical genre territory. Gran is a normal boy living on a secluded island, until one day he meets up the mysterious maiden named Lyria who is on the run from the Empire.

Right off the bat, this show is pretty uninteresting. It would be one thing if the script was good, but it really isn’t. Oh it’s not bad, but it mostly occupies that weird place where it’s not terrible enough to hurt, but not good enough to leave any sort of lasting impression. It just kind of exists for 23 minutes before disappearing in a puff of smoke, leaving you with a next episode preview and a void in your heart. None of this is helped by the material’s lack of complexity. There’s only so much you can do to flesh out the villain of a gatcha game, as exemplified by the scene where Empire soldiers kidnap a girl from her father to force him to help with their search. Yep, even the soldiers of the Empire are that evil (with a capital e).

Of course, this maybe could have been saved by exceptional production values, but despite this series’ three month delay to improve quality, it doesn’t look spectacular. While the lineart and character designs are somewhat striking (though I do question the designer’s decision to have Gran wear a modern day blue hoody covered by armor attachments), the actual animation is fairly stiff and plagued with poor background compositing. Characters run over the ground like it doesn’t exist, action scenes have this bizarre blur effect, and sometimes (as seen in the screenshot above) the characters look like they were smudged with a filter and then photoshopped into place. It isn’t an outright hideous looking show, but it certainly isn’t A1’s best, nor does it seem particularly well directed.

And yet once again, I have to remind myself that this is probably going to be one of the best selling anime this season… What a weird world we live in.

Rating: 2.5/5

Granblue Fantasy: The Animation is available for free streaming on Crunchyroll

Grimoire of Zero:

Moving beyond Granblue Fantasy’s painfully generic fantasy experience, we have Grimoire of Zero, a fantasy anime that actually has interesting worldbuilding and characters. From the very beginning of the episode, this show wastes no time establishing some good fundamentals about its world and our beastman mercenary protagonist. It isn’t anything groundbreaking mind you, but it still manages to instantly create a sense of intrigue.

However, the best part of this premiere has got to be the chemistry between Mercenary and Zero. Their interactions are witty and fun, while also fitting the tone of the setting and story. I like the hidden sadness behind the Mercenary’s backstory, and the reveal about Zero at the end instantly raises the stakes. It’s certainly better than a couple of blank slates just wandering around learning about the generic evil empire chasing them.

Really if I have one major complaint about this series, its that the production values are pretty mediocre. The character designs have some charm to them, but for the most part everything just looks kind of bland. Backgrounds aren’t spectacular, and there aren’t a lot of jaw dropping moments  here. Still, it’s not terrible, and presentation squabbles aren’t really that big of deal in the face of writing this solid. Like Granblue Fantasy, this show isn’t offering anything revolutionary, but it is way more compelling on a basic narrative level. It turns out having good characters really does make a difference.

Rating: 3.5/5

Grimoire of Zero is available for paid streaming on Amazon Video’s Anime Strike Service

 

Kabukibu!:

Kabukibu is a show I feel sad for in the sense that it’s going to get a lot of flack for a pretty arbitrary comparison. Though this show does focus on a traditional form of Japanese theatre like Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju, Kabukibu’s style and goals are incredibly different. While Rakugo Shinju was an examination of the art of Rakugo and the show’s cast of characters, Kabukibu is a much more straightforward club story with a few educational bits here and there. As such, I want to make it clear the reason I wasn’t in love with this first episode was not because it wasn’t like Rakugo Shinju, it’s because it’s just not very good.

Most of this premiere is set up, and while it moves through it all pretty quickly, that doesn’t change the fact that it doesn’t really have a whole lot to offer. The characters are standard archetypes: you’ve got the passionate protagonist, the emotionless best friend, the punk, the pretty girl; there’s nothing spectacular about them so far. There are a few nice moments here and there, the opening scene in particular was a good tone setter, but for the most part it’s just functional. The same can be said of the animation, which has a few good cuts in the OP, but is otherwise just passable. Not ugly, but also not amazing either.

In the end, that’s kind of the problem with Kabukibu. It has an interesting subject matter and occasionally dives into facts about it, but that doesn’t stop everything else from passing by in a blur. It will certainly keep you entertained for 24 minutes, but that’s about it. I will admit that the kabuki scenes did have some striking color design, and I can see this show improving in future episodes if it plays its cards right, but for now I think I’ll give it a pass. Kabukibu isn’t terrible, but it also isn’t very noteworthy.

Rating: 2.5/5

Kabukibu! is available for paid streaming on Amazon Prime’s Anime Strike service

My Hero Academia 2:

Even though I’m not a big shonen fan, I really enjoyed the first season of My Hero Academia. Sure the pacing wasn’t great and the production values started to falter in the latter half, but to me the core optimism of the show’s attitude toward heroism made it an incredibly enjoyable watch. In a world where darker and more satirical interpretations of the genre are the norm, My Hero Academia’s pure sugar coated justice was a breath of fresh air. Of course it certainly didn’t hurt that the character designs from Yoshihiko Umakoshi were excellent, and the series had a level of animation polish generally not seen in most Shonen Jump adaptations.

And so far, the second season continues a lot of the upsides of that first season, though they come with some pre-existing flaws. For one thing, the show’s pacing has not improved at all between the break. The entire first third of this episode is dedicated to recapping the events of the first season, which is fine I guess, but considering Attack on Titan did all of its recapping in 90 seconds, My Hero Academia’s intro comes across as a little bloated. It doesn’t help that thing’s don’t really pick up in the second half. While there are quite a few good character moments with Uraraka and the rest of Midoriya’s classmates, for the most part there isn’t a lot of interesting stuff happening in this episode. Instead we get a lot of repeated setup for the UA tournament, and a few hints at the episodes to come.

That being said, production wise it’s clear the year long break has only further improved an already damn good looking show. Character art is crisp, the animation is lively, and the color design in colorful comic book fun. If nothing else the show manages to nail the tone and look of the original manga with stunning accuracy. Really it’s not the overall visual execution that’s the problem with My Hero Academia, it’s the scripting. While the greatness of the source material still shines through, the way it rolls through plot points at a snail’s pace just does not do the series any favors. My Hero Academia is still a good show, but if it quickens its plot in future episodes it could become something truly special.

Rating: 4/5

My Hero Academia Season 2 is available for free streaming on Crunchyroll & Funimation.com

The Royal Tutor:

When it comes to reverse harems, I can’t say I’m much of a connoisseur. Most of them fall out of my typical genre wheelhouse, and even when they do manage to interest me, the reverse harem elements are so slight that it’s hard to even really criticize them. Basically what I’m trying to say is that I am no way an authoritative voice on what makes a reverse harem good or bad. That being said, if you’re fan of these types of anime, I would highly recommend The Royal Tutor.

It’s pretty rare that a show of this ilk impresses me, but The Royal Tutor’s premiere is a surprisingly slick and well crafted experience. Part of that comes down to the base material, which manages to be both fun and frothy, while also delivering some nice moments of pathos. For one thing, the four princes being watched over by the titular tutor Heine are already pretty compelling. Although they fit into standard archetypes, their actions are easy to understand from the get go. This is especially true of Leonhard, who gets some nice character development in the latter half of the episode. It isn’t anything particularly complex mind you, but the fact that the anime showcases the reasons behind his standoffish attitude is impressive to say the least.

Of course, I would be lying if I didn’t admit the main reason I found this episode to be such a breeze to watch is because of Heine himself. Everything about him from his bishi design, to his serious disposition make him an instant standout as a main lead, while his dry wit and humor that make him a lot of fun to watch. Whoever casted his voice actor made a great decision in making his voice mismatch his design, because it creates a fun dissonance which only further enhances his dialogue’s comedic tone.

Production wise, this show is not amazing, but it manages to get by on some relatively limited resources. There isn’t a whole lot of movement in this episode, but the art remains consistently well drawn and detailed, adding to the aristocratic setting. Like the show proper, it comes off as very polished. The Royal Tutor may not offer anything groundbreaking in terms of genre conventions, but it more than manages to be entertaining for 23 minutes. It’s an incredibly solid genre exercise, and one I’d recommend for anyone looking to have a fun time watching some hot anime boys.

Rating: 3.5/5

The Royal Tutor is available for free streaming on Crunchyroll

Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend ♭:

I have a love hate relationship with Saekano… Okay, it’s mostly hate, but I still have mixed feelings on the anime in general. The first season was a bizarre combination of compelling character moments and the most lazy trope ridden writing I’ve ever witnessed. It’s clear the writer Fumiaki Maruto has a lot of talent (I mean just watch any of his other work), but even when he reaches the heights of his other series, he quickly brushes it all off to make lame otaku jokes.

And yet, apparently the first season made a baffling amount of money in Japan, so here we are! Saekano Flat opens up in much the same way as season one, giving us a terrible, almost but not quite satirical T&A episode meant to set the general tone of the season to follow. And also like season one’s episode zero, it’s pretty painful to sit through.

Look if there’s one big problem I had with Saekano’s first season, it was its sense of humor. Comedy is subjective of course, but to me Saekano’s “satire” represents some of anime’s worst trends. Self aware humor can be great, but there’s a limit to how far that can get you. Just acknowledging your writing is shitty doesn’t make it not shit anymore. That’s not how it works! In the end, these light novel comedies end up looking smug and hypocritical in the laziest, most mastubatory way possible. “Ooh look at me, I know what tropes I’m using, aren’t I so cool?” The answer is no Saekano, not at all.

Still, even at its lowest points, Saekano Flat does have more going for it than most low bar schlock. Although its comedy has not been expanded upon in any way, shape, or form, the cast isn’t awf– Okay Michiru and the new girl don’t really add anything to the show to be honest, but the three other mains are pretty solid. Though Utaha and Eri fit pretty well into pre established genre archetypes, their backstories and motivations are clear and well developed enough to the point where I can’t just call them cardboard cutouts. It certainly helps that they’re actually active in trying to win Tomoya’s affection, which helps make their sexualization a little more consensual. That doesn’t make it better mind you (the creators have a choice in sexualizing these characters after all), but at least they aren’t passive ladies who just happen to fall in love with the main hero. Of course, Megumi is still the stand out of the entire cast, breaking traditional genre standards while also maintaining some rather solid chemistry with our male protagonist. Their relationship feels like comes from a much better show, and that’s a good thing, especially in an episode as a vapid as this one.

Overall though, none of this excuses Saekano Flat for continuing with its brand of lazy self aware otaku jokes. I want to say you shouldn’t judge this show off this episode, since the content of the main series is not going to be anywhere as intense with its fanservice as this premiere, but considering past trends I know it isn’t going to improve much. To be clear, even though I bash it, Saekano is not the worst thing ever. The production values are solid and I wouldn’t necessarily dissuade anyone from watching it if they were interested, but wow, it could be so much better if it just tried a little harder.

Rating: 2/5

Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend♭ is available for paid streaming on Amazon Video’s Anime Strike Service

Sakura Quest:

Sakura Quest feels like a show manufactured to appeal to Shirobako fans. Everything about it, from the dry humor, to the realistic workplace premise and setting make it an ideal candidate for a Shirobako 2.0. Normally I wouldn’t be fond a show deliberately trying to capitalize on such a specific and unique property, but honestly who doesn’t want more shows like Shirobako!? The more optimistic yet depressingly relatable workplace dramas I can get, the happier I’ll be.

Of course it helps that Sakura Quest is a legitimately good show, even with all the Hanasaku Iroha and Shirobako successor baggage. It may not have the unique spark of its inspirations, but it definitely nails the fundamentals and sets itself apart in a few unique ways. For one thing, I really like Yoshino as a protagonist. This may partly be because she’s essentially relatable millennial.txt, but she also just works really well with the tone the show’s going for. She’s both down to earth, and funny enough to carry the audience through the surprisingly effective comedy.

And honestly that’s probably my favorite part about this episode in general. Though a lot of the jokes are typical urban vs rural contrast, it manages to keep the premiere light while not taking away from its slow and deliberate atmosphere. Manoyama really does look and feel like a declining rural town, complete with all the quaint charm and worn down shopping centers one would expect. PA Works’ backgrounds may not be fantastic, but they still convey a nice sense of personality, while the character animation keeps the action on screen lively and engaging. It all works in tandem to sell the premise of small tourism board struggling to revive their town against ridiculous odds.

Still, this premiere won’t be for everyone. If you thought the first few episodes of Shirobako were 7/10 at best, this will likely give you the same overall experience. However, for those looking for a calm and endearing show about hard working adults, this show is definitely for you. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it certainly is mine.

Rating: 4/5

Sakura Quest is available for free streaming on Crunchyroll

SukaSuka:

Yes, I know the actual title of this show is much longer. No, I will not write it all out.

Anyways out of all the shows I watched this season, SukaSuka was probably the most surprisingly good. Everything about this show screamed trashy dark fantasy light novel, but right off the bat I was struck by how subtle this episode was. While the episode does indeed open up with a gritty flash forward, the content is mostly quiet and focused on tone rather than getting you straight into the action. It’s also pretty brief, quickly funneling viewers into a half episode long worldbuilding spectacle that relies almost entirely on visuals. The show never has to tell you that this is a society comprised of floating islands populated by mostly non-human races, with just a few text prompts, montages, and pieces of naturalistic dialogue you get almost the full scope of the world at hand without any overt exposition. And that’s pretty impressive for an anime that got little to no promotion before airing.

That being said, it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. The post credits scene indulges in some cringeworthy light novelisms and kind of drops the ball when it comes to blatant exposition dumping, but I think the fact that this show seems to be focused on telling a good fantasy story is a great sign. The central concept, while somewhat predictable, provides a simple compelling set up that has a lot of potential. It of course helps that so far the characters, child weapons included, are likable from the outset. The kids are just the right balance of realistic and cute, the protagonist isn’t too bland, and the other cast members have their own little charms. Honestly the only exception I can think of is the troll maid Nyggtholo, but that’s mostly just because her joke is one note and not very funny.

In general, this premiere was a very pleasant watch. The animation from studio Satelight features some great character art and animation, the setting design is unique and densely packed, and it was an overall calm and relaxing experience. This show has a lot of promise, which is more than I can say for other light novel premieres that have aired this season (oh Eromanga-sensei, I will never watch you). It’s a solid, albeit not spectacular opener, and one that will keep me hooked for the episodes to come.

Rating: 3.5/5

SukaSuka is available for free streaming on Crunchyroll

Tsuki ga Kirei:

Closing this post off on a bit of an understated note we have Tsuki ga Kirei: a show I can see many people getting bored with. Tsuki ga Kirei is a show that rewards patience and observation, with very little happening throughout its runtime. The characters occasionally talk to each other, make a few glances here and there, and generally just go about their day to day lives in a quiet and normal manner. But that’s kind of the appeal! If you’re a fan of pure saccharine romance, where everything is about feelings and blushing kids from across the room, then this show will likely make you a very happy camper.

Everything about this anime is designed to be cute. Its watercolor-esque color design, the intense amount of sakura trees, the way its main leads awkwardly avoid each other all episode while accidently listening in on each other’s conversations; the whole thing is just the embodiment of a middle school romance. Luckily, it’s all pretty well executed and written for the most part. Seiji Kishi isn’t a great director, but he works pretty well with the material here, and the production values are rather nice. There are some bad CGI moments here and there, but for the most part it’s pretty inviting. Character wise there’s less to go on, but there’s still some nice groundwork being set up here. Akane and Kotaro don’t have a ton of personality, but they have enough quirks and specificities that make them feel like real middle schoolers.

And that little setting detail is what makes this romance work for me. If these characters were in high school, I’d probably just scoff and move along, but setting this in the protagonists’ senior year of middle school make their actions all the more believable. Instead of them being horny teenagers acting unrealistically innocent, they’re middle schoolers who are just starting to feel attraction to one another for the first time. It may not be groundbreaking material, but it’s sweet and grounded enough to keep me invested. I’ll likely enjoy this one all the way through.

Rating: 3.5/5

Tsuki ga Kirei is available for free streaming on Crunchyroll

————-

And that’s a wrap! Overall, this season turned out to be way better than I expected it to be. While some of the premieres I watched this season were pretty mediocre, for the most part everything was surprisingly above average. In case you’re wondering why there are shows listed in my watch list below that aren’t featured in the write up proper, that’s mostly because I just couldn’t find any motivation to write about them. After not writing about anime for so long, I have to admit my skills are quite rusty. As such I inclined to skip write ups for works I’d rather save until the end of the season (cough cough, The Eccentric Family 2, cough cough). Either way, I hope you enjoyed this post and I’ll see you next season.

Current Watch List:

  • Attack on Titan 2
  • BORUTO: NARUTO NEXT GENERATIONS
  • The Eccentric Family 2
  • Grimoire of Zero
  • My Hero Academia 2
  • Rage of Bahamut: Virgin Soul
  • Sakura Quest
  • SukaSuka
  • Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend ♭
  • Tsuki ga Kirei

Advertisements

One thought on “Anime Lookout | Spring 2017

  1. Tsuki ga Kirei is the only brand new show that’s going on my weekly watch list after that batch of premieres. Other than that, it’s a sequels party for me: Bahamut Virgin Soul, Eccentric Family, and of course Natsume Yuujinchou. A quiet season indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s