Roving Thoughts archives


My (Twitter) reactions to the first episodes of the Fall 2017 season

As before I'm collecting here all of my tweeted reactions to the first episodes I've seen (in the order that I saw them).

  • Kino's Journey episode 1: That was solid as an exercise in setting and philosophy, with a reasonably appealing viewpoint character.

  • Girls' Last Tour episode 1: That was a nice mood piece, full of great little moments & willing to be quiet. Slice of post-apocalyptic life.

  • Land of the Lustrous ep 1: That was a solid and interesting start, even if I don't entirely like one of the character archetypes on display.

  • The Ancient Magus' Bride ep 1: A good solid adaptation of a marvelous manga. It's not as exceptional as the original but it does a good job.

  • BBB & Beyond episode 1: That was a perfectly okay adventure story that said little beyond itself. Basically a reintroduction of everyone.

  • Garo - Vanishing Line episode 1: This was decent popcorn action, with some nice touches, some teeth-grinding bits, and not the best fights.

  • Code Realize episode 1: An unexceptional implementation that doesn't exceed its genre and thus is not for me.

  • Children of the Whales ep 1: That was reasonably nice and reasonably pretty, but it sure had a lot of exposition narration & infodumping.

  • Recovery of an MMO Junkie episode 1: That was okay, but probably not good enough to get me to watch what's going to be a romance show.

  • March comes in like a Lion episode 23: A solid restart, emphasizing the positive growth in Rei's situation and probably setting things up.

I've decided to skip Inuyashiki for various reasons (and Crunchyroll has the manga if I feel interested in skimming at some point). This season is probably too busy for me to look into Just Because!, since I've mostly sworn off shows set in high school, although it's getting good reviews. Finally, Juni Taisen is just not my kind of show.

(High schools and especially high school romances are basically played out for me at this point; I've seen so many that a show has to be exceptional to keep my interest. March comes in like a Lion is an exception (in the non-romance category); Toradora was an exception in the romance category.)

anime/Fall2017FirstEpisodes written at 18:30:54; Add Comment


Looking back at the Summer 2017 anime season

Once again it's time for my traditional look back at what I watched in this past Summer season, to follow up on my early impressions and my midway views. Overall I would call this a decent season with one clear stand-out show that is far ahead of everything else I watched.

Excellent with an amazing finish:

  • Made in Abyss: While the show wasn't flawless, it was always beautiful and full of the strangeness of the Abyss (and often tense), and it built up to a jaw-droppingly stunning and emotional final episode. I have no words. The last track of Kevin Penkin's beautiful soundtrack is going to stay with me for a long time.

    (In both its last episode and an earlier episode, Made in Abyss managed to achieve the kind of genuine emotional power and impact that very few shows can even approach.)

    I would love to see a second season of Made in Abyss that was as well-made as this one, but if we never get any more, the send-off we got was everything I could have asked for. It is and feels like a real turning point and transition point in the story, and that's a good place to stop.

Pretty good once the dust settled:

  • Princess Principal: The show's overall execution was very good, but in the end I stand by my view that it's more of a prequel than a story, and that somewhat lessens the impact. It's not as simple as there not being enough story and plot; the very short version is that while everyone is a dramatic character and they all had character development, none of them went through a full character arc.

    (The character who comes closest to having no development is Beatrice, but the show goes out of its way to show that she's working to change herself.)

  • Senki Zesshou Symphogear AXZ: By now you're either on board for the Symphogear experience or you're not. If you are, this was a fine installment, full of all of the elements that make the show itself. I liked how the show was spared the need to give things a big ending and wrapup due to there already being a fifth season on the way. See also Evirus's writeup.


  • My Hero Academia: I enjoyed the show overall and I do generally like hanging around with the characters; I'll probably miss them while they're gone (there's yet another season coming, of course). I'm not really happy about the cast being pulled into epic, world-spanning plots and stories; I would rather see them living a high school life and occasionally being on the periphery of greater events. But this is a Shonen Jump title, so we get what we get.

    (I continue to be happy that MHA didn't try to give Bakugo any sort of tragic backstory.)

Fine popcorn watching:

  • Knight's & Magic: It was very earnest and did what it set out to do pretty well. It was also surprisingly forthright about the fundamental irrationality and unreality of giant robots, and in the context of the show I don't object that romanticism won out because the thumb of the plot was clearly on its side; the plot has been on Ernesti's side all along.

Survived to the end of the season by the skin of its teeth and then dropped:

  • Fate/Apocrypha: I finished out the nominal season and turning point (episode 12) and then stopped because there was very little about the show that I was interested in. I think I may finally be done with the Fate ride as a whole; it basically always ends the same way and I can read about the plot twists and the spoilers on my own if I want to.

By the end of the show, Made in Abyss single-handedly justified this season (to the extent that seasons of anime need any justification). I'm generally happy with everything else that I watched except Fate/Apocrypha, and continuing to watch that past the first episode is my own fault. I knew what F/A was from the start, but I let myself be talked into continuing with it for the splashy animation; by now I should know that that doesn't work for me.

anime/Summer2017Retrospective written at 23:15:06; Add Comment

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