Looking back at the Fall 2016 anime season
Once again it's time for my traditional look back at what I watched this past season, to follow up on my early impressions and my midway views. My overall summary is that this season was good but thin, with great highs but not much depth on the bench.
- Flip Flappers: Beyond everything else about it, this is very
much my kind of show and so I was
never really going to be able to judge it completely objectively. But
even so, I loved Flip Flappers, not just the way it told its story
but the story itself. It was a great ride and a lot of fun and I fully
endorse it, although how it told its story and how it ended will irritate
a certain number of people.
(I think it ended great, but then I have odd tastes.)
- March comes in like a Lion: This started off slow and quiet and then just built and built, creeping into my heart at every step. I can't say why specifically, but the whole of it very much works for me (and in a way that shows like this generally don't). Now that the show has started actively developing Rei's character and moving forward with him, it's become genuinely thrilling and suspenseful.
- Sound! Euphonium second season: I want to love this more than I do,
but in the end it doesn't feel either necessary or vitally important to
see these additional stories about the cast. They're very nice stories,
make no mistake, and generally quite affecting, and they add depth to
several characters. The last episode is beautiful and touching. But
the second season never felt on fire to me in the way that the first
season's overarching story about competition did.
(My views are undoubtedly influenced here because the show spent an entire episode on Reina's stupid crush on Taki-sense, which could have been great if it had been about her renouncing said crush but it turned out that it wasn't. I do not like that crush, and do not want the show to spend time paying attention to it, and I am a bit disgruntled here.)
- BBK/BRNK: The show didn't do anything deeply surprising in its overall plot and climax; it is the genre story it appears to be. But it gave us a fun ride on the way there, with plenty of nice moments and good action sequences (and a certain amount of more or less expected cheese and hand waving explanations). The final episode was an interesting coda, especially in light of some things Guy said in the second-last episode, but I suspect that some of the things I could read into it weren't intended by the creators.
- Brave Witches: This delivered the popcorn entertainment that I wanted
and very little more.
- Long Riders: I watched parts of this for the biking. The show loved biking and I like biking too,
so I enjoyed those bits. The other parts of the show were nothing
special and I mostly skipped them.
(Long Riders is technically not over yet; production issues mean that the final two episodes have been delayed until February.)
Towards the end of the season I got around to checking out some other shows, none of which really clicked with me.
- Vivid Strike: This is a perfectly decent 'fighting girls' show that
sometimes annoys me by teasing its connection to the much more
interesting Nanoha franchise that is just offscreen. It's a perfectly
acceptable and inoffensive thing to watch, but I don't feel the need
to see any more of it at the moment.
- Nobunaga no Shinobi: I checked out two episodes of this short for
reasons beyond the scope of this entry and they were okay children's
fare but not particularly compelling.
- Fune wo Amu aka The Great Passage: This is a perfectly good and perhaps great adult drama that I don't really feel any attraction to (cf). This is what I always expected but I felt like confirming that. So it goes.
Although the season felt a little bit lacking in how many shows I was interest in watching (as shown by how I wound up looking at Long Riders and others), the highs were excellent. Flip Flappers and March comes in like a Lion are both amazing shows, and Sound! Euphonium's second season is perfectly good in that KyoAni high quality way (and many people really loved it much more than I did).
Written on 21 January 2017.