Roving Thoughts archives


Looking back at the Fall 2015 anime season

Once again it's time for my usual look back at the shows I watched this season in order to see how my early impressions and my midway views have held up. While I do these writeups partly to be honest about how things came out, I've also found them useful for looking back at what my past views were, to see what I thought about shows more or less at the time.

Fully enjoyable:

  • Concrete Revolutio: In some ways this was not subtle and in others it was hard to follow (to get the most of it you had to keep track of what had happened when in the timeline, which GuyShalev's Concrete Revolutio episodes posts help with). But as the show went on, I became more and more taken with all of the various things it was doing and the story it was telling and, yes, the characters involved. The whole thing has wound up as a quite enjoyable show and I'm looking forward to the continuation in the spring.

    Concrete Revolutio has a relatively distinctive animation style and aesthetic, which I enjoyed but other people may not. I think that it fit the story it was telling and it was probably chosen for that reason.

  • One-Punch Man: This is here not because it's a great show but because I consistently found it funny and enjoyable. I'm aware that finding OPM funny is a minority position (at least in the Twitter anime circles I follow), but then anime humour rarely works for me in the first place. In addition to being funny, OPM also had some decent storytelling in spots; it pulled off one reasonably dramatic storyline involving Mumen Rider and a few other nice dramatic moments. I did some OPM takes on Twitter.

    A lot of people love OPM for its fight animation, but I'm more ambivalent. A fair number of its fights were visually spectacular without being what I consider good fights, including the climactic fight in the last episode.

  • Gakusen Toshi Asterisk: This remained a well constructed and well made show all the way through to the resolution of the first cour's plotline (it continues in the spring season). It's not exactly deep, since this is a LN action show, but it's well done with surprisingly good writing and a good couple. I'm really looking forward to the next season.

    (Apparently some people think that Asterisk is a harem show. I disagree with that; Ayato and Julis are a clear couple and almost no one else is particularly trying to horn in on that.)


  • Subete ga F ni Naru - The Perfect Insider: The great thing about the show was Moe and her interactions with everyone, especially Saikawa. The mystery was okay and the process of revealing it was interesting and often very tense, atmospheric, and quietly horrific. Where the show falls down badly is that it fails to challenge the absurd character positions and philosophy that get espoused throughout and especially at the ending. Since all of them are basically garbage, this lack of challenge makes much of the ending into an eye-rolling experience where I had no investment in any of the events and characters.

    (See also, which has some spoilers.)

    In short, when the show was good it was great, with Moe sparking off people, things about her history and Saikawa being revealed, and so on. But when it was not good it was pretty much a disappointing more or less stinker, and the ending was a serious letdown; the last episode was basically worthless apart from a few bits with Moe.

  • K - Return of Kings: I have a great deal of affection for K as a result of the first season but this season tried my patience by being kind of slow. In the end it came through with some great final episodes, character bits, and a definite resolution (even if it was a bit hokey). I enjoyed the whole thing but mostly not anywhere near as much as the first season. In my view, Fushimi really stole the season from everyone else by being clearly the best and most interesting character.

    The conclusion to this season basically rules out any further K, and I find that I'm perfectly okay with that. K has had its run and told its stories, and I'm content to stop there (although I might be a bit sad if this season had been stronger; this season and the movie make it look like the first season was pretty much a fluke where everything clicked just right).

I finished it:

  • Owarimonogatari: As I put it on Twitter, people who are into Monogatari probably loved the resolution to the Shinobu Mail storyline. I liked some aspects of it and some moments in it, but on the whole I wasn't really set on fire by anything in this season the way I loved, say, Hanamonogatari.

  • Utawarerumono - Itsuwari no Kamen: The show has spent almost all of this season derping around. Its only saving grace is that it manages to be very, very charming during this derping around, charming enough that I've kept watching when I would have dropped any other show that pulled this stuff off.

    (Every so often the show made legitimate dramatic points, but they were undercut by the derping.)


I fully enjoyed three shows this season and was reasonably fond of everything else I watched, even if Perfect Insider wound up letting me down after a very strong start (and really, it was pretty strong for most of its run; only the ending was a real nose dive).

anime/Fall2015Retrospective written at 19:37:55; Add Comment

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