Winter 2017: mid-season update


It’s already been a month since my what I’m watching in Winter 2017 post and many of this season’s anime are at their 9th episode by the end of this week. It’s crazy to think that I’ve only started to watch anime regularly since last September, and this season is the first time I’m taking part to watch anime as they air and talk about it with the community.

Much of my views and perspectives have shifted since the beginning of the season. Although this was probably expected, I think I now have a better understanding of the culture around anime and what I can expect to enjoy in the future. Moreover, I think I have a better sense of what’s normal and what’s exceptional.

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I had mentioned that Urara was my favourite at the time. While it’s definitely what I look forward to on Friday mornings, its quirky blend of cute, spiritual, dark, and sexual themes are not exactly what I had expected. While there are still heartfelt moments and is enjoyable to watch, the driving narrative can be rather stagnant at times. A casual 7/10 (previously a strong 7/10).

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Konosuba is going so strong. The humor has become more character based and it works so well. It never takes itself seriously and is often outrageously funny. Not much more needs to be said. A very strong 7/10 (a solid 7/10).

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For a while, my favourite from this season has been Dropout. The character combinations of lazy deadpan, troll, nice and dependable, and hopelessly inept has been one of the best things I’ve ever seen. And its portrayal of Christianity as a religion from a non-Western perspective has been surprisingly thought provoking. A solid 8/10 (a solid 7/10).

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What kept surprising me in terms of enjoyment was Maid Dragon. I guess it’s the KyoAni slice of life magic. It always manages to highlight the struggles and the joys of life in a way you don’t expect. And it’s heartwarming. The characters feel very real after establishing who they are as characters. A solid 7/10 (no change).

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I dropped Seiren after its 2nd arc which was episode 8. It just got worse and worse as it went on. There was absolutely no realism in the characters and there was nothing to feel or enjoy from watching them. The first arc was okay. A light 6/10 (a light 7/10).

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I’m not exactly sure what’s happening in Chaos;Child, but it works pretty well as a thriller. Even though the pacing is the same episode to episode, it never fails to get me when its tone shifts from casual to anxious. Apart from its thriller component, the characters are quite generic and boring. a strong 6/10 (a strong 6 to a light 7/10).

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From just the first few episodes, I had agreed that Little Witch Academia was superb. Right now, not so much. Perhaps it’s the expectations. While certainly not a bad anime, it doesn’t follow up to the thrill and the pacing of the first few episodes. An 8/10 (a solid 8/10).

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Although perhaps undignified, I started watching One Room. But I don’t think I can really call this action ‘watching’ (at least in the same context as the other anime) when it’s only 3 minutes per episode (w/o the ED). It’s kind of interesting that this the first POV style anime. It’s certainly pandering to a certain male audience, and it’s transparently indicative of how anime culture likes to portray girls. First arc was about your simple and airheaded girl next door who thinks you’re super nice the second arc was about your cute little sister who deeply cares for you. No rating.

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Lastly, I had also started watching Masamune-kun no Revenge. I did a fairly lengthy analysis on the first 4 episodes because I felt strongly compelled to express the dichotomy of my enjoyment and frustration with the series. The anime has since changed direction a little bit, proving to be less of a harem anime, but it still keeping trope traits such as having the main heroin be underdeveloped and have a bad personality. The Pedantic Romantic has a fantastic mid-series review (albeit having a lot of filler rant), and articulates my frustrations succinctly: lot of artificial conflict and characters are actually socially inept.

Well, that’s it for now, maybe I’ll see you at the season end review.


Screenshot is from 3-gatsu no Lion


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