Summer 2014 Final Impressions

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Late is the trend, late is the word, late late late. Let’s get rolling.

Space Dandy S2: As with the first season, it was definitely an experience. Episode by episode, we got a new Dandy story, with plenty of variation in style and theme. By the end, they attempted to make sense of it all and tie everything together. It sort of worked and it sort of didn’t. In the end, I didn’t see much need to try and tie everything together because there wasn’t much that needed tying together in the first place. But it looks like they left the series open for more, so hopefully we’ll be seeing more of Space Dandy and his brave space crew… in space. Bottom line: If you didn’t like S1, don’t bother picking up here, but if you haven’t given it a shot yet, please do. It was a wonderful show. If you liked S1, you’ll almost certainly like S2 as well.

Futsuu no Joshikousei ga [Locodol] Yattemita.: This wasn’t too bad. It was a lighter take at an idol show, sort of along the lines of Love Live. Instead of being super famous idols with grand ambitions and tons of idol work, they’re more localized idols with specific tasks at hand. If you want an idol-lite show, this isn’t a bad contender (though Love Live is still way, way better). The characters were fun, too. I found myself attached to the show and looking forward to it every week. Bottom line: Light, enjoyable, fun, silly, and charming. If you want something like this, or are itching for anything and everything with idols, go for it.

Aldnoah.Zero: Things happen. The plot was outlined by Urobuchi. You should know what you’re in for if you know that name. If not, expect everything to go poorly for everyone with plenty of suffering all around. Unfortunately, he only wrote the script for the first episode, so things become kind of a mess after that in terms of storytelling, but there’s yet another season left, so there’s time for them to get everything on the right track and come together cleanly. Putting that aside, it was still interesting, with some cool, strategic fights and some interesting plot twists. Bottom line: Give this one a shot. It was pretty damn good.

Himegoto: Just a short series about traps. Lots and lots of traps. Pretty good, pretty funny, more bulges than you can shake a stick at (please don’t shake a stick at the bulges), and… some unnecessary drama at the end. Oh well. If nothing else, it was a wacky watch every week. I wouldn’t mind a second season. Bottom line: Like traps? Watch it. Hate traps? Don’t watch it. Don’t know what traps are? …You should probably steer clear for now.

Glasslip: This show gets a lot of flak from people. I won’t say it’s one of PA Works’s best series or that it’s a marvel of anime or anything. It’s just okay, but it’s definitely not the crap-fest that so many would have you believe. I will say, though, that it can be unnecessarily dramatic and that it’s a convoluted and confusing mess. If you’re able to keep up with it, though, it tells an interesting story with a light supernatural element (though it’s still largely a character piece). Bottom line: If you like PA Works original series, give it a shot. You may like it. If you don’t care, then there’s probably not much here for you otherwise.

Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Ilya 2wei!: Essentially more of the same from the first season, but it steers away form the Monster of the Week style of the first season and toward a heavier plot. The animation still remains excellent (in a few uhh… surprising places and ways) and there are still tons of Fate characters thrown at you in several different scenarios from what you’ve seen before (unless you’ve read the manga). Overall, I’d say it’s better than the first season. Definitely check it out if you’re a Fate fan and especially if you’re an Illya fan, but if you haven’t seen the first season yet, definitely don’t skip it for this one. Bottom line: Great show, but check out the first season first.

Hanayamata: You know, it was practically love at first sight when this show first started airing. I absolutely loved it and adored everything about it. It was fun, it was cute, Hana was adorable and pretty much contender for best girl of the season (I’ll still say that she was best girl of the season, probably, though it would be a tough call), and it seemed to be doing everything right. After a certain point, though, drama reared its ugly head and things started to get kind of crappy for the series. It made a recovery every time, but the roller coaster of pointless drama started to wear on me and I felt like the show lost something over time. I still ended up pre-ordering the upcoming Vita game, at least. Bottom line: If you want a good cute show, go for it. Be ready for drama, though. If that turns you away, don’t bother.

Hanamonogatari: As with all Monogatari series projects, it was excellent. It was a superb arc with great characterization and an awesome follow-up to everything that happened in the second season. If you’re a fan of the series, you’ve probably already watched it, because most fans tend to be fairly obsessive about it, but if you haven’t for some reason, catch up on anything you may be missing and get on it. I’d easily consider it one of the best arcs in the series. Bottom line: If you haven’t tried the Monogatari series yet, start from the beginning and give it a shot. If you have and you like it, you’ll probably love this, but make sure you’re caught up prior as this does take place after everything else that’s been animated so far.

I do have one ongoing series for this season, which is Yama no Susume S2. I’ll make sure to cover it when it’s over at the end of the Fall season. (Holy crap, Crunchy literally just got the streaming rights back on track for this like a week ago despite starting in the Summer.)

Pick for Show of the Season: This season’s pick goes to Aldnoah.Zero. I have to say that despite whatever problems I felt like it may have had, it was an exciting show with some cool fights, and every episode seemed to top itself. It did take me a few episodes to get into it because I could feel the cliches stacking on top of each other, but once it came down to the strategic fights, everything changed. I can’t wait for the second season.

Now, since Fall has been in full swing for like a month now, I’ll get to the Fall initial impressions as I’m able. It may be today, and it may not. It depends on what I can get done given that I’ll need to scavenge some pictures and such, too. If not today, then maybe I’ll get it done Friday. Don’t get your hopes up, nameless, faceless, nonexistent person who reads this blog (no one does). We’ve all seen where my claims get me in the past.

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