Checking in on the Summer 2015 anime season most of the way through
I almost decided to not write a 'midway' update since I'd delayed it so long and I felt I didn't have anything really to say, but I've abruptly changed my mind. So now it's time to update my early impressions.
Based on my Twitter reading, some people have been feeling that this is a weak season. I don't feel that myself; I've been watching about my typical number of shows and I've been about as enthused for them as usual. But this season has felt slower than usual for one reason, which is that everything I'm watching comes out from Friday through Sunday (and these days I'm watching shows promptly due to APR voting). That leaves the rest of the week basically empty, making the whole thing feel slow.
- Gatchaman Crowds Insight: This show is saying so much and in such
a complex way that I don't really have anything to say
about it, not with better thinkers and writers than I doing
writeups. After I read their work, anything I have left
to say feels relatively obvious (although I did blurt out some
at one point).
- Senki Zesshou Symphogear GX: This continues to be very Symphogear, which makes it great for people who like that. Which I do. The latest episodes make it clear that we're going to get a very Symphogear finish too.
- Rokka no Yuusha: This turned into a mystery show and I've been
enjoying it on that basis (including trying to outguess it). Some people
would call it a psychological study of the characters but I don't feel
that's really right; we haven't been inside the heads of most of the
characters, in part because the show needed to keep the mystery going.
- GOD EATER: This is my nominee for underappreciated show of the season.
Yes, it's basically standard shonen jive (tm Evirus) and the art style's unusual, but I've been
finding it quite well directed and put together.
(Unfortunately it seems to have been plagued by production problems and has already missed a number of episodes.)
Things I'm still watching:
- Ushio to Tora: This has remained the distilled essence of 90s shonen,
which has both good and bad sides. I'm not sure I'm a sufficient fan of
90s shonen to stick with it all of the way, especially since it's often
a 'monster of the week' show.
- GATE: This is not a well written or well made show; the writing is
often cringe-worthy and the production is clearly trying to save
money. Why I'm still watching is that it's been pretty good popcorn
entertainment, at least most of the time. Setting aside the show's
questionable politics, it's still kind of amusing to watch the JSDF
go to town on bad guys and impress (and scare) people.
(I cannot watch GATE without thinking of Japan's nasty pre-WWII history in Korea and Manchuria. The show is not directly attempting to whitewash it, but one can draw implications.)
- Gangsta: This is technically well made but the more I watched the less
actually engaged I've felt. At this point I basically don't care about
what happens to the characters, especially since I don't think anything
deeply interesting is going to happen in the remaining two episodes.
(It's interesting to think about how this contrasts with Black Lagoon, but that's an entry for another time. One obvious difference is that Black Lagoon was smart enough to never put forward an existential crisis for its setting.)
I've also sort of started watching Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya 2wei Herz! because it started this season's big fight. I didn't bother watching the early episodes, I just dropped straight into the fight.
(I regret to report that I haven't been using the slow midweek time to do anything particularly worthwhile as far as anime watching goes.)