Final Thoughts on Anime Winter 2015/16

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Here we are folks, the end of another season. I can’t say it was better than the last season, nor that it was worse than the next season, and don’t even get me started on how it compares to the season before that season before this season’s season. But I think I had a good time.


Well, that sure was…something. Honestly, I can’t say I’m not at least a little disappointed with how this season wrapped up, and I’ll get to that later. First I want to talk about the characters. Specifically, how many there are. I mean, there were already a lot, and then the show just kept dumping more and more on us, to the point where I would have to actually take notes just to try and understand what the hell is even going on (I didn’t actually take notes, and so I was extremely confused). What’s really bad is how poorly/under-used some of the characters are, to the point where it would’ve been better off not introducing them in the first place. Then there are these villainous plots that seem to lack any rhyme or reason, but perhaps they do and the show just presents itself so poorly that you can’t possibly understand why some characters do what they do. Now back to the ending *spoilers-move onto next paragraph if you don’t want to be spoiled*, Durarara!!x2 committed a most vile cliché, one so off-putting that some might consider it a storytelling sin. A gun is put to Mikado’s head, the trigger is pulled, cut to credits, come back next week, he’s not dead, and I shake my head. No, Durarara!!x2. That is a cheap, no-good, dirty, rotten, obvious, terrible low-hanging fruit that no one in the right mind should pick. But I don’t know, I just really hate it when characters are killed only to not be killed. And then Mikado gets stabbed in the streets later for no apparent reason and still doesn’t die. Okay.


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Ooh! I liked this show! A lot! It starts off in dangerously generic territory, only to become refreshing and original, as well as charming and satirical. The animation is cute and derpy sometimes, swift and action-y at other times, and overall pretty engaging. The characters are likable and the way they interact with each other is even more enjoyable. It’s a fun show and I’m definitely looking forward to season 2.


Erased started off as an incredibly promising show, so much so that there was almost no way it could deliver an astonishing ending worthy of it’s amazing setup and premise. Sadly, it doesn’t, at least not for me. The killer wasn’t a very shocking reveal as there were really no clues leading to him being the killer in the first place. He revealed himself, rather than Satou uncovering him. And that in itself, is fine. I won’t knock a show for taking a different approach to certain things. What I will say however, is that the killer was not a very interesting villain. Sure, he was maniacal and had a cunning plan as to how to kill and frame all these people, but the reason for doing those things just wasn’t there. He did it just because he could, and the show doesn’t really get into what was really in it for him. Some sort of satisfaction, I assume, but can’t really say for certain. Perhaps I’m just asking for too much out of our fictional serial killers. You do you, psychopaths. Oh, and a 15 year coma is a ridiculous amount of time.

GATE (season 2)

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I feel like I might be coming off this Winter season a little negative. Also, this show was awful. There’s nothing interesting about Zolzal as a villain. He is very much a brash, idiot rapist that has more power than he know what to do with, with no secret plan or chance in hell to take down the SDF, and his sex slave bunny lady easily manipulates him only to accomplish even more of nothing. She wanted to take down the empire, and then didn’t? Doesn’t she want to kill this dude that keeps raping her or something? No? And then there’s the SDF, who are even less compelling to watch. They trample over everything in their way with their superior might and technology. Fin. Oh, and then Itami goes back to being an otaku, because that’s his only defining characteristic that the show just completely ignores until the very end. And although I kinda like Rory, she was definitely created to cater to gothic lolita loving weirdos like myself, and I take full responsibility for her existence. And even then, I didn’t really care for the over sexualization of her.

Myriad Colors Phantom World

I’m not going to get too much into this show here, as I have written every episode review so far and plan to do a complete review once the show is completed (so come back next week for that ^-^). What I will say is that it’s my favorite of the Winter 2015/16 anime season. So uh, check out my reviews.

And what did you think about this winter anime season? What were your favorite shows? And what do you plan to do about the upcoming spring season? I plan to try and watch more shows outside of Crunchyroll, because as you can see, I’ve missed out on a lot. Thanks for reading! Hope to see you next week!

Problems With Erased, Episode 9

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I’ll first start this off with a simple *SPOILER ALERT*. I don’t know why you’re even here if you didn’t want to be spoiled before watching, but I figured I should give the common courtesy of a warning. Now, as to why I’m reviewing this episode, I just found the latest episode worthy of a review. That’s all. It’s not like I’m running out of ideas for weekly posts or anything. Heheh…

In all seriousness, I found episode 9 of Erased to be quite lackluster, and possibly the lowest point in the entire series. It came as quite a disappointment too, as I was having such an enjoyable time with the show prior to this point. But that’s not to say that this episode ruined it. The episode just didn’t shine as brightly in almost any aspect.

Starting with the beginning, we pick up where we left off from last episode, in front of Hinazuki’s house. Kayo, Satoru and his mother confront the abusive parent at her doorstep. The thing is, she’s fucking crazy. Kayo’s mom shoves Kayo to the ground and swings a shovel at Satoru’s mom. She dodges it, then the action stops as the teacher and the child protection agency (or whatever they’re called). But then they don’t do anything and Kayo’s mom threatens to go to the police. Finally Kayo’s grandmother inexplicably shows up and defuses the situation.

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This. Was. Awful. There’s a number of reasons why this scene is terrible, like how their plan to confront the mother could’ve completely back fired. She could’ve put a shovel through Kayo’s head and that would’ve been the end of it. I don’t understand why these characters thought this approach would be safe? Kayo got shoved and Sachiko was nearly decapitated, not to mention the only back up they had was a protection agency that ultimately did nothing.

Then they brought in this grandma in some sort of an empty to make Kayo’s mom seem more human, more understandable. Flashbacks show of her getting beaten by her old husband or boyfriend or whoever, and that’s what caused her to beat her child. Makes sense. Wait, no it doesn’t. I still don’t empathize with this horrible character at all. What’s worse is that Kayo’s being separated from her anyway, so what was the point of the flashbacks? The show had already established her as this villain without a reason, and she served her purpose well. But then they gave her a reason after the fact, and it just wasn’t good enough to be worth anything.

The worst thing that comes from this is that Kayo is being taken away. From her mother, from Satoru and friends, from the town, from the story and from us. Kayo’s gone now, and that’s a bit of a letdown considering the amount of time the show focused on her, making us get to know and eventually care for her. Of course I wanted a happy end for Kayo, but was this really it? Would she really be happy away from Satoru? I’m just disappointed because the show spent so much time developing this character, and the bonds between the characters. I like Kayo, and her being taken from the plot is basically the same her being dead. This might’ve been fine had this been the actual end, but there’s still a mystery to be solved. Wouldn’t Kayo be better kept still in the story? She’s the most well established character by far, and also the most beloved. But perhaps this isn’t the last we see of Kayo, as there are still 3 episodes left.

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In fact, it feels almost impossible for this to be the last of Kayo. She was the first of three murder victims, and it took three quarters of the show just to save her. With that much time dedicated to one character, it seems almost counter intuitive not to use her. Or maybe I just don’t want Kayo to leave. ;-;

After that beginning, the show doesn’t really go anywhere. There’s a nice moment shared with Satoru and his teacher in the car, but not much else really happens. And then the episode ends with a pathetically weak cliffhanger. Like, it’s just that one girl from class looking like she’s about to pull something. Is she the killer? Unlikely, but who really knows? You’ll have to tune back in next week to find out!

Oh, and I will say that up until this point, I was really having a blast. Erased did so many things right, and looked so very good through and through, but this episode has left me a little skeptical. There were even noticeable dips in the animation this time, mainly a conversation in the bus with no cuts for what felt like a whole minute (I’m exaggerating, but it was long, and two characters had their back turned so they only had to animate one mouth). I was really loving the show up until this point, but now I’m feeling uneasy. I’ve watched through at least one poorly ending mystery show for each of the last two seasons, please don’t make it three.

If you want to know what those shitty mystery shows I watched were, please leave me a comment. Also, tell me what you think about Erased so far. Feel free to follow me here or on Twitter @crispyn64, and thanks for reading!

The Joy of Anime Openings

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I love watching anime openings (OP). Call me old fashion, but I almost never skip them to get directly into the story. It’s rare that I ever find one OP that I dislike, so much so that I would skip past it. To me, OPs are very much part of the experience, something that’s feels essential to the way I enjoy anime. Truth be told, I feel a little empty inside whenever an episode starts without it, usually due to picking up where a very important cliff hanger left off.

Openings can be used for so many things, whether just being a cool animated music video or being implemented a little more practically, each complementing the show in their own ways. Openings can set the mood, or purposefully do the opposite. Not only that, they work great for marketing and publicity. Just as one music video might convince you to check out the entire album, one anime OP could sway you to try out the series.

Anime OPs can be absolutely wonderful, and here are some fantastic examples:

Anything from the Monogatari Series

If you couldn’t tell by Araragi being my avatar for every account I’ve ever made, I’m a huge fan of the Monogatari Series. It’s my favorite series of all time, and quite possibly my favorite thing to ever exist in this world. So obviously, I’m incredibly biased. That being said, everything about Monogatari is positively perfect, and their OPs are no exception. SHAFT shows off their mastery of animation and cinematics to delivery stunning visuals and sequences, queued expertly to catchy and sometimes hauntingly beautiful music tracks. What’s even better is that the OPs are crafted to individual characters during their story arcs, leaving much more to be enjoyed than just the standard “one OP per season” approach.


Erased has a truly well-made OP, one that brings back an awesome song to accompany a darker setting. It also does some cool little things that make it that much more admirable, such as placing these three in front of a projector, with the film actually being projected onto their bodies. Just something nifty that was brought to my attention.


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Durarara!! gives a little more than just a catchy tune and exciting visuals. In fact, there’s actually a practical use to the show (and to the audience) that might not be immediately apparent. Well, two practical uses. Firstly, the recap tucked into every OP. A simple implementation, but nonetheless useful to an audience member that doesn’t quite remember exactly what was going on, and for Durarara!!, that’s incredibly important considering the amount of stuff going on in its plot. To further lighten that burden, the Opening gives a still frame with a name tag to every key character in the show. There are a lot of characters to keep track of in this show, and I probably wouldn’t have remembered half their names had it not been for this frequent reminder. These are aspects that could be easily overlooked by binge watchers, but for weekly consumption it’s nice that the show offers a helping hand.

I could probably write an entire series of novels about the anime Opening I like, but when it comes to OPs I dislike…well, none really come to mind. Even the worst shows I’ve watched seem to have semi-redeemable OPs. Or perhaps I’m just too lenient. Still, there are some things I find in OPs that mildly irk me. So here are some examples of anime OPs that did something they shouldn’t have:


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Dagashi Kashi

The song is catchy, but the visuals were pretty lackluster. What disappointed me the most about this Opening was the re-use of clips from the actual show. While I am not against re-using assets, I felt Dagashi Kashi relied on them entirely too much, leaving little originality and ultimately accomplishing nothing remotely unique or interesting. But then again, the song is catchy.

Parasyte –the maxim- and Mirai Nikki (OP 2)

I actually found both of these OPs to be very entertaining, and I was lucky enough not to notice the problem they had while watching the show. For the sake of spoilers, here is your warning. *SPOILERS ABOUT POTENTIAL SPOILERS, SKIP THIS PARAGRAPH* Well now that that’s out of the way, here’s the problem that both these Openings have. The lyrics spoil the plot/plot twists of the show. Thanks to the auto-tuning and weird pronunciation during the song, it’s hard to notice that the lyrics are actually in English. Similar to how Hollywood trailers often spoil entire movies, these OPs literally read off what happens in the show, and that’s kinda not a good thing.

Well, I’m glad I got to talk about anime OPs this week, because I love them so gosh darn much. But how do you feel about Openings? What are your favorite anime OPs? Are you one of those monsters that skips past them every time? Tell me in the comments or tweet @crispyn64, then come back next week for my post about anime EDs. Thanks for reading, have a wonderful day!


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