Summer 2017 First Impressions: Part 3

Senki Zesshou Symphogear AXZ

Well, it took a while to get subtitles (Crunchyroll please license this), but I can finally write about this sequel that I was highly excited for. Symphogear is one of my favourite series of all time (even though GX was lacking in some respects), so I’d been looking forward to AXZ for quite some time.

Summer 2017 Symphogear

This is new!

And the first episode of AXZ was… ok? I found the plot and the storytelling of the first episode very confusing and disconnected, to the point where I don’t really understand what kinds of themes and points the show is trying to go for. I did not have this problem with G or GX, so it’s kind of disappointing. Hopefully the show gets more straightforward from here on, because its strengths are kind of dependent on that.

Visually, though, the first episode looked fantastic. It compared favourably even to the first episode of GX, which was a very fun flashy action sequence. I’m not sold on the songs yet, but it always takes some time for me, so I’m not worried. This is probably going to be a very entertaining season of Symphogear.

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Going Down The List: Senki Zesshou Symphogear

(MAL LINK)

It’s not a big secret that I love Symphogear a whole lot. If you follow me on twitter, you’ll know that for over a year now (with a few ceremonial exceptions here and there), my avatar has been one or other picture of Yukine Chris, one of the main characters of Symphogear. When I started jogging last year (a routine I unfortunately quit in early 2016), the first songs in my running playlist were songs from Symphogear. Symphogear Summer was a real thing for me, and I will forever cherish the memories of that time.

GDTL Symphogear 1

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Spring 2016 Spotlight: Surprise and Disappointment of the Season

There’s no Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu this season. There’s no one new series that has blown my mind in ways that I would never have imagined. There was, however, an announcement that Rakugo Shinjuu would be getting a sequel, which is nice, but I must digress because it has nothing to do with this particular anime season. But, while the Spring 2016 anime season has not been mind-blowing, at least not yet, it has been surprisingly solid. There are several shows that I think are quite good, and a few that I outright love.

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2015 In Hindsight: Most interesting shows of the Year

I’ve wanted to do a post like this for a long time, ever since 2014 actually, and I’ve started writing one many times, but for one reason or another I scrapped them all after a few paragraphs or so. The first few times were on New Year’s Eve 2014, when I decided to write a retrospective about the anime that aired in 2014. That time, the problem was that I set an unnecessarily brutal deadline: I wanted to get all the research and several thousands of words done in one evening so I could get the post out just as 2015 began. I failed, and I felt bad about it. I scrapped my first draft and started again, but this time I failed even sooner. That was a dark moment for me, because it was the first time in a long time that I had felt motivated to do something, but I ended up being unable to do it.

The next time I started was around September or October 2015, when I started writing a similar retrospective post for 2015. This time I didn’t scrap the draft, but I stalled and just kind of forgot about it. When I started this attempt, I thought I had fixed my deadline problem by starting the project 4-5 months before New Year’s. It sounded like a smart idea at the time, but it ended up spawning 3 new problems: First of all, the Fall season hadn’t started yet, so I couldn’t write about it at all. I had to leave gaps that I could fill in with comments about the Fall season. Secondly, because of the difficulties caused by the first problem, I didn’t feel motivated at all. And finally, I had no idea how to explain which shows I thought were “interesting” or why.

The first two of those problems are the reason why I stalled and forgot about the pre-Fall 2015 attempt. They’re no longer relevant problems, but the third and final problem definitely is. What is “interesting”? How do I select a list of shows to write about and then justify why I picked only those shows and no others while simultaneously making sure that the list doesn’t get too long(what’s the point of writing about it then) or too short(not enough reason to write the post in the first place)? Now, however, I realise that this doesn’t have to be a problem at all. I don’t need to conform to any a priori definition of the word “interesting”, I can just write about a bunch of shows and then describe them as “interesting enough to write about”. Clever, huh? You hear me, Nasu? Write me into the next installment of the Fate universe! I want to give long pseudo-philosophical monologues like Kirei!

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2015 In Hindsight: OPs and EDs of the Year

I know, I know, I said I wasn’t going to write something like this, but screw it. It’s not like retrospective posts have to come out either on January 1st or never.

Note: I’ve tried to link to as many as possible of the songs I mention, but some of them may be unavailable, of bad quality or had their pitch changed. But I tried my best.

It’s not like I hadn’t been paying attention to OPs and EDs in 2013 and 2014, but I really only started taking my internal rankings of them seriously in early 2015. The reason for this was probably that Winter 2015 featured so many good OPs that I had a very difficult time trying to decide which one I liked the most. And, because I had not yet started blogging at that point, the decision was left unmade. It also doesn’t help that since Winter 2015 ended I’ve listened to and really liked a few more of the OPs from that season. And when it comes to the EDs, you guessed it, most of the shows with good OPs also have good EDs, at least in my opinion. But, maybe saying what I actually think out loud(or on paper, or on a blog) will help me make a decision, so let’s try that.

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Valkyrie Drive: Mermaid – A review

I’ve seen my fair share of ecchi shows. I haven’t seen many ecchi action shows, though. Most of the ones I’ve seen have been set in high school or been otherwise harem- or romcom-centric, like Oniichan dakedo Ai Sae Areba Kankeinai yo ne!  and Oniichan no Koto Nanka Zenzen Suki Janain Dakara ne!!(A pattern? What pattern?!). This is kind of surprising when I think about it, because there are a bunch of ecchi action shows out there, like Seikon no Qwaser and Maken-ki. But the only one I’ve seen is Hyakka Ryouran: Samurai Girls, which I wasn’t very fond of. I didn’t even bother watching the second season. The reason I haven’t been interested in these shows is that it seems that they all basically use the same formula: The girls, many of whom are very… well-endowed, either get their powers by taking off their clothes or their clothes fly off when they use their powers, and that’s basically all that the shows have in terms of writing.

One of the early opponents.

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Going Down The List: Classroom☆Crisis

(MAL LINK)

Another show that aired recently! Apparently giving shows names that start with C is popular nowadays. Moving on, Classroom Crisis is one of my fondest memories from the Summer 2015 season, even more so than the adaptations that I had been looking forward to a lot(Shokugeki and Prison School) or the sequels to shows that I really enjoyed(Non Non Biyori and Symphogear). And why was that? It’s difficult for me to put it into words, which is an issue I had with expressing my feelings about the show from the very beginning.

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