Looking back at the Summer 2016 anime season
Once again it's time for my usual look back at what I watched this past season, to follow up on my early impressions and my midway views. This one has turned out a lot shorter than it is in many seasons, because, well, let's run down the shows:
- Thunderbolt Fantasy: Puppets and all, this remained very strong all
the way through. We had twists and turns and revelations and surprises,
even things that pleasantly surprised me. This was over the top wuxia,
but I like that, and I happen to feel it was pretty darn good over the
Thunderbolt Fantasy did not necessarily aim high, but (like Flying Witch) it's a show that absolutely delivered perfectly on what it aimed for. It had very sharp genre writing and it hit every beat you could want, including quite clever revelations and explanations in the last two episodes. It is one of my favorite shows of the year and I'm happy that we're apparently getting a sequel (even though I don't expect it to be quite as dramatic).
I finished it:
- Qualidea Code: The animation quality clearly dropped off at the end (and when I can notice, you know it really went) and things got a bit silly, but on the whole QC delivered what I expected and wanted from the whole experience. It even threw in a few surprises and unexplained things.
I sort of continued watching it:
- Twin Star Exorcists: I watched this all the way or almost all of
the way to the end of the season and enjoyed it, but I've now dropped
it. The show has apparently entered a filler arc that I'm not too
enthused about (and added a kid character, although it's doing okay
at handling her), but the real failing in my eyes is that it skipped
forward two years and nothing particularly changed in terms of character
relationships. If the show hadn't explicitly said 'we skipped forward
two years', I wouldn't have noticed. Given how fast things were moving
in character relationships before then, I find that this totally blew
away my suspension of disbelief.
More fundamentally, while the character interplay between the protagonists was cute and okay, it just feels played out. I'm not really going to see anything new and something just felt played out about the whole thing. I don't need to see these characters repeat their same nice patterns over and over again; I've already seen it enough times.
(I'm writing so much here because there's part of me that wants to keep on watching TSE because it's a perfectly decent show. But my gut has told me that I'm not particularly interested in watching episodes, so. On Twitter.)
I wound up dropping Fate Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya 3rei!!. I'm neither surprised nor particularly sad; I honestly expected it from the start. I probably won't give any future PI series a chance, because I keep getting burned out on it.
On the one hand, this was not a very good or very active season overall. On the other hand, Thunderbolt Fantasy was amazing and I feel fully satisfied about having watched it. On the whole I'll take this season over one where there's a bunch of okay shows but nothing that stands out in the way TF does.
(And in things that I keep omitting, Active Raid S2 aired this season but in contrast to my earlier guess I didn't watch it and in fact ignored it so thoroughly that I kept forgetting to mention it in these entries.)
Written on 16 October 2016.