This is a good-looking show, and one with an interesting setting. The premise of an island floating around in an endless sea reminds me of Suisei no Gargantia, as does the plot point of a mysterious newcomer. These could be very good things, I guess. Unfortunately, that’s about as far as the good things go. Not that the rest of the show is bad, but… it didn’t wow me either. I was barely able to concentrate on watching most parts of the episode.
Today is my birthday. No, really, it is. I want to make it absolutely clear that I’m not trying to fool you, because Kekkai Sensen, aka Blood Blockade Battlefront, is a show that I’m really not sure about. It definitely was one of the most noteworthy shows of 2015, but I can’t decide whether that’s a bad or a good thing. It could be good-looking, but was that enough? It occasionally had some interesting themes, but did those really carry the show? It had some great character moments, but did those actually elevate the show to a higher level?
Oh dear… This is going to be difficult, isn’t it? I could sing this show’s praises for days on end, so I really don’t know where to start. Well, I guess I could start by mentioning the things I didn’t like, which is going to be a pretty short list, but whatever. I felt the pacing was a bit erratic, especially in the episodes around the Festival, and in the finale. Sure, the performance in the final episode was wonderful, but I felt like the show ended too suddenly after that.
Winter 2015 was a good season for theme songs. Yuri Kuma Arashi had a novel-sounding OP and a very catch ED, Rolling Girls used old songs by a non-anison band for both its OP and ED, Koufuku Graffiti had an OP written by Swedish house musician Rasmus Faber and sung by Maaya Sakamoto(one of my favourite anison singers), and the OP of Death Parade was, well, different. I’m also a fan of ZAQ, so the OP of Junketsu no Maria was totally my thing.
In comparison, Spring 2015 is not nearly as interesting. I’d like to say that it’s because all the theme songs sound exactly the same this season, but there is actually a nice amount of variety. The new Kiniro Mosaic OP is much like the one from the first season, so it feels different from all other cute OPs this season. Similarly, the OP of Yuki-chan evokes memories of Hare Hare Yukai, which makes it stand out. The singing in the OP of Shokugeki no Soma sounds like its sped up, which in my opinion is an example of uniqueness not being an inherently good thing. The OP of Knights of Sidonia S2 is painfully obviously trying to replicate the OP of the first season. It totally fails at doing that, but I kind of like it anyway.
That said, none of songs are sticking with me. I remember the ED of Kekkai Sensen standing out in some way, but I can’t for the life of me remember what it sounds like. The same goes for the ED of Punchline. And I remember that the OP of Yamada-kun has a really nice art style, but I can’t even name the genre of its music. In reality there’s only a handful of theme songs that have actually made a lasting impression.
I’m still watching 17 of this season’s shows. That’s quite a few if I may say so myself. And they’re not all perfect. Punchline is confusing and lacks direction. Kekkai Sensen has wonderful direction but so far lacks any meaningful substance. Re-Kan flip flops between loud comedy(including a perverted cat) and more serious drama, which feels a bit jarring at times. Yuki-chan is cute and all, but Haruhi is actually making it more boring somehow. And, finally, Arslan just kind of feels underwhelming. The visuals simply can’t keep up with the action that is going on. It’s almost painful to watch.
But none of these shows are disappointing, because I had many expectations or hopes regarding them. There is one show, however, that I did have high hopes for.
Watching the first episode is probably the easiest legitimate way to judge a show. Just 24 short minutes and you’re an expert on the story, the cast and the staff. It backfires often and fans of the source material will not be happy(frankly, when are they ever happy?), but at least you can say you watched it. Right?
Right. I picked up a ridiculous amount of shows this season. 15 so far, and I’ll be adding many more if they actually ever start airing. I won’t write about all of them, unless someone explicitly demands something, but I’ve tried to get a good spread of older and newer franchises, serious shows and fluffy stuff.