Here I am again, doing first impressions after a one-season break. I picked up way too many shows again, but it’s summer, so I have the time to write about them. Maybe. We’ll see. Anyway, here’s the first one… derwall.
Yet another sequel, but this is one that I looked forward to greatly, because Natsume Yuujinchou is one of my favourite series of all time. It was, however, at its time of announcement, quite a surprise to me that Season 6 would air only 3 months after Season 5 ended, considering there were 4.5 years between Seasons 4 and 5. The dramatic change in scheduling is probably related to the fact that Seasons 5 and 6 are handled by a different studio than the first 4 seasons, but in any case, I’m extremely happy to have more Natsume to watch.
I’m also surprised by how different Season 6 feels compared to Season 5. While Season 5 felt more like a continuation of the worldbuilding established in Seasons 3 and 4 where many of the stories connected to each other, Season 6 has so far been much more similar to Seasons 1 and 2, that is to say it has consisted mostly of episodic stories. And I really prefer it this way. Season 6 feels like the show is returning to its roots, and that’s wonderful.
Well, it hasn’t even been 2 weeks since my final regular post was published, and already I’ve come crawling back to the world of blogging. I really have no self-control, do I…
Just kidding, I do this because I love it and, to be honest, I’ve really wanted to write about this new anime season, but I unfortunately didn’t have time to stop writing lab reports. Now, however, I’m basically free for the summer (though I should also be working on my bachelor’s thesis, and people keep telling me to get a job), so I have all the time in the world to write about new and old anime alike.
For now, though, I’ll focus on the newer stuff:
Which is apparently a prequel, originally written by Makoto Tezuka, to Osamu Tezuka’s Astro Boy. I don’t know much about Astro Boy so this connection doesn’t have much significance for me, but I really appreciate it as its own thing. Some of the story and visual elements feel pretty archaic compared to other contemporary anime – some of the character names seem unusual, one of the main characters has a comically sized nose, and the romance element feels pretty blatant – but as a whole it’s definitely a show that functions in the modern world of anime.
It looks great (not just the OP), and the themes surrounding intelligence in robots are interesting. The (literal) little sister character, Ran, is also a great touch. As a storyteller she’s much more engaging than the two main boys. In some ways she, and some other elements, make Atom the Beginning feel like a children’s show, but I mean that as a compliment. It’s really fun to watch, even though the story may not be the most interesting thing ever.
Like most, if not all, of the shows Shinichiro Watanabe has been involved in, Zankyou no Terror has an air of quality and refinement to it that to some extent sets it apart from other shows, and definitely from most of the other shows airing in the same season that ZnT aired in (Summer 2014) – I’m looking at you Aldnoah.Zero. To use some ambiguous terminology that I’m not overly fond of, I’d say that Zankyou no Terror looked more “adult” than most anime nowadays.
I must make a confession, a confession that might make me unpopular: I didn’t actually like Yuyushiki that much. I watched it all when it aired, but I haven’t touched it since July 2013. I wasn’t very excited when I heard there was going to be an OVA many years later (I was more interested in the Kiniro Mosaic OVA), and I’m not even a big fan of all the fan art.
When Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru aired, it had already been almost 4 years since Madoka Magica. At that point I think it was no longer constructive or interesting to try to compare every magical girl show to Madoka, but in this case the similarities were too numerous to ignore. That’s not to say Yuuki Yuuna wasn’t interesting at all in its own right, but I feel like the comparison had to be made.
The first season of Yuru Yuri was one of the first anime I watched. I was enthralled. I didn’t realise there were shows out there with cute girls doing cute things of very little significance. Because that’s basically the essence of Yuru Yuri, and it rarely tries to do anything else, for better or for worse. But I loved it a lot.