I missed my chance to share what I watched during the winter season, though to be honest the only two shows that stood out were Haikyuu!! season 2 and, unsurprising to many, Boku Dake ga Inai Machi (or simply, Erased). The first was a continuation of a past favourite, and the latter was picked up because I read the synopsis on Anichart.net.
It probably goes without saying that Erased was probably one of the best – if not the best – series of the season. I read somewhere that it was basically Detective Conan’s time-travelling cousin. While that’s funny to some degree, the 12-episode series kept my suspense long enough for me to enjoy it right up to the very end, although the ending is very different from the manga (which hasn’t ended yet). The soundtracks and theme songs were also very memorable.
It makes me wonder about the “stickiness” of anime. How many of us can name anime series that have the same sticky factor as Sailormoon or Ranma 1/2 or Dragonball, shows that stay in our memories for many years?
Anyway, enough babble. Here’s what I’ve picked up for this season, in order of their air dates.
I expected something borderline BL when I first saw the poster. I wasn’t sure what to make of it, really. What else besides suspense and thriller should I expect?
Turned out, I didn’t need to worry so much. The series revolves around 9 young spies in the 1930’s, when the world was on the brink of another global war. Nothing is said of their background; even their names aren’t real. But these young men were trained to be sent overseas to be spies and set the stage to reveal some underlying forms of corruption and greed in the Japanese military.
It was refreshing to listen to seiyuus such as Yuki Kaji and Hiro Shimono in more serious, sober roles. I have higher expectations of this show now with every episode.
Bungou Stray Dogs 文豪ストレイドッグス
There’s nothing refreshing about featuring the literary works of past novelists into television or film. But who would have thought of taking the names of actual authors and making them characters of an animation?
These characters in Bungou Stray Dogs are merely shadows of the actual people they represent. Nonetheless, a story about a group of people with supernatural powers working in a detective agency against a port mafia in Yokohama is still pretty interesting. The slapstick humour on this one is a little over the top for my liking, but it balances nicely with the heavier tones and themes of Joker Game.
Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress 甲鉄城のカバネリ
Steampunk’s response to Attack on Titan. Feudal era Japan is overrun by zombies known as kabane, and the only thing that protects local civilians against them are fortresses made out of pure iron.
A young man, haunted by his sister’s death during his childhood, finds a way to beat the kabane, but as a result, turns into a half-kabane himself – also known as kabaneri.
Similar storyline aside, the soundtrack is composed by Hiroyuki Sawano, and the theme songs sung by EGOIST (supercell) and Aimer.
This all sounds very familiar. I’m not a big fan of zombies, but the animation is quite beautiful.
Kyoukai no Rinne Season 2 境界のRINNE
After the successes of Ranman 1/2 and Inuyasha, one wonders if there’s anything new in Rumiko Takahashi’s sleeves given the more competitive animation climate.
I guess that hasn’t stopped her from producing this new series. A young man, Rinne, is a half shinigami with a human grandfather and shinigami grandmother. Because of his corrupt father (who is voiced by Keppei Yamaguchi), he lives frugally and takes on jobs that help him earn a living.
Just like Ranma 1/2, there is no real storyline, just episode after episode of slapstick comedy and a little touch of sarcasm once in a while. It’s not bad when you need a show that doesn’t requires you to think.