Looking back at the Spring 2015 anime season
Once again it's time for my usual look back at the shows I watched this season to see how my early impressions and my midway views stacked up in the end.
- Sound! Euphonium: This stayed excellent right through the end,
although much of the real emotional climax was in the second last
episode. I said a lot in my midway commentary
and recently wrote some more about Euphonium and sports shows. There's so much to praise here that
it's a bit daunting; the show pleasantly surprised me repeatedly.
(Sound! Euphonium will not be to everyone's tastes because it is a character drama and as such it can be cruel from time to time in the way that real life is. Sometimes good people lose out.)
I wouldn't mind more Euphonium but at the same time I don't think it's necessary. There is more story that could be told but this season has reached a satisfying conclusion on its own in emotional and character terms.
Hard to rate:
- Ghost in the Shell Arise - Alternative Architecture: I think that
you should watch the OVAs instead (in order) and then
watch the last two episodes, but if you don't the TV series version is
a perfectly good way to absorb what is a decent iteration of GitS. I
was less enthused about the two new for TV episodes than I expected but I'm
still mulling over my overall views (and even what they are).
On the whole this is no GitS SAC and the last two episodes are not particularly outstanding or up to the standard of the earlier OVA episodes.
- Blood Blockade Battlefront: I was partly holding this writeup back
in the hopes that BBB's final episode would come out, but not so far.
In the end that delay is a decent metaphor for what's happened with
the whole show; it's pleasant and stylish enough but in the end it has
not delivered anything substantial. Basically everything we've gotten
is a stylish slice of life action show; this is not terrible, really,
but it's unambitious. I suppose there's only so much you can do with an
Yes, I wound up disappointed in BBB. It's okay but not outstanding.
- Knights of Sidonia - The Ninth Planet Crusade: This had a decided
dip in the middle for a long run of harem antics and fanservice where
nothing very much happened, but the start and the end were the great
Sidonia I'm used to. The final episode gave us a solid capstone to
the whole show; they could make more (the manga is ongoing), but if
they don't the show ended on a solidly triumphant note that feels right.
(As far as the harem antics, well, I have to accept that the show is what it is and live with it.)
Sidonia once again took home the prize for what was clearly the best OP of the season.
- Punchline: In the end this ended well and I'm happier with it than I was midway and I expected to be. It wisely didn't try to fully explain things and it never hit the crazed heights of the first few episodes, but the whole thing was pretty fun and managed to be reasonably touching by the end.
I finished it:
- Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works: Sometimes this show could be quite good. But too much of the time this season it was terrible, including a long run of episodes just before the climax where too many people spent too much time spouting stupid philosophy at each other. The movie is unquestionably better just because the scriptwriters had to have the characters shut up; watch it instead.
Overall I think of this as a good season, but that's pulled up by the outstanding performance of Sound! Euphonium. Outside of that there's nothing I feel deeply inspired by on a consistent basis, since I've already seen the GitS Arise OVAs. The other shows I watched were either uneven (Sidonia veered between great and making me sigh) or merely decent.
(And then there was Unlimited Blade Works. Let's not go there.)