Roving Thoughts archives


Brief 'early' impressions of the Spring 2015 anime season so far

It's time for my usual early impressions post for this season (as before). Every season I seem to be optimistic (I called last season 'strong' in my early impressions post, for example), but this time I think I might really be right. Which would be nice, because I'm enjoying everything I'm still watching (okay, almost everything).

Clear winners:

  • Knights of Sidonia - The Ninth Planet Crusade: This is more of the same thing as we got a year ago and it's just as good as before (cf). Things from the manga are definitely getting chopped up and shuffled around, which is great to see; anime is not manga. Sidonia continues to nail real tension.

  • Sound! Euphonium (aka Hibike! Euphonium): I didn't expect to enjoy this and in fact only picked it up late after it got a lot of praise. Now it's neck and neck with Sidonia in my regard this season. I called it well observed and I'll stand by that. KyoAni is really on their game here, including showing us things in piles of little moments and gestures (see also my APR comment here).

  • Blood Blockade Battlefront aka Kekkai Sensen: This is pretty great for a big action show. Everyone is fun to watch, the whole show is fun to watch (it's directed by the director of Kyousougiga), and it's just plain enjoyable.

  • Punchline: This is a polarizing show but I'm enjoying it, partly because of its continual mania and wild ride. The fanservice is becoming more and more perfunctory every week, the jokes are still funny, and I'm interested in what's going on. It's not particularly deep but I am finding it to be quite good simple entertainment.

  • Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works: This is what it is. If I was smart I would drop it, but it's just pretty enough and I'm just invested enough in the characters to follow it through to the bitter end. It doesn't help that I know too much about what's going on, in part from having seen the movie version of UBW.

Cannot rate:

  • Ghost in the Shell Arise - Alternative Architecture: My overall reaction to Arise is somewhere between liking it and loving it depending on the OVA episode, so the problem with this is that so far none of it is actually new. I'm seeing some of it for the third time and some for the second, and that inevitably robs it of excitement (and it's not so good that it's massively thrilling to rewatch it so soon). It is more than interesting enough to get me to rewatch it, but it's not something I'm on the edge of my seat to see the next episode.


  • Show By Rock!!: It's okay but it's not anything particularly special, and I feel that I'm watching enough really good stuff this season that I don't need padding.

  • Arslan Senki aka The Heroic Legend of Arslan: After three episodes this was slow moving, bland, and relatively generic fantasy. There's nothing wrong with this as such, but I've already read a lot of relatively generic fantasy novels (much of them better written than Arslan). It doesn't help that the Arslan books still aren't finished yet, so the odds of this show having an actual conclusion are basically nil.

  • Gunslinger Stratos: This is your typical light novel anime and as such I decided I had better things to do with my time.

  • Etotama: This show is neither as funny nor as interesting as it thinks it is. The fourth wall humour didn't help; a show has to be much better than Etotama is in order for that to come off as funny instead of desperate and sad. (From twitter.)

Special down in flames award:

  • Plastic Memories: The first episode was impressive, barring one little bit. The second episode was less so and then the third episode went down in flames. Evirus called it 'hot garbage' and I'm not going to disagree, although officially I have no opinion since I didn't even finish the episode.

    Since the show has flushed all of my goodwill down the drain, I am completely uninterested in what it does next even if that turns out to be great (which seems unlikely, to be honest). Episode 3 forever stains Plastic Memories beyond recovery for me.

Nothing else this season has seemed attractive enough to be worth checking out (at least among non-sequel series), and frankly I'm satisfied with my top five (I count Arise AA as one of them). All of them are at least solidly enjoyable shows, with some being excellent ones. It's nice not to be following a massive lot of shows this season, even if it leaves me permuting my top five for APR votes.

On a side note, Knights of Sidonia has clearly the best OP of the season based on my standard metric.

anime/Spring2015Brief written at 23:55:11; Add Comment

By day for May 2015: 3; before May; after May.

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