Spring Anime 2015 Review (Part 3/3)

Did you enjoy yesterday’s review? Here’s another packed post reviewing this past season’s anime!

Euphonium

Sound! Euphonium
Hibike! Euphonium

stardf29 – 10/10

Yes, you read that right; I am giving this show a perfect score. And this show most definitely deserves it. This show has everything I could ask for in a concert band-themed anime. The characters are all very strong, as both main and side characters get great development individually and relationally, coming off as very realistic and multidimensional. The overall storyline does a great job of exploring the concert band experience, and many times I could really relate to the show because it reminded me so much of my own school concert band experience. At the same time, the concepts of participating in an activity seriously or not, and being inspired by and having to compete with others pursuing a shared goal, are things anyone can relate to. Kyoto Animation brings incredible production values to the show as expected, with the music being an especially strong point as the band sounds very authentic, even when they are not playing very well. Though when they do play well, it is some of the best music I have ever heard in anime. Oh, and there’s plenty of great comedy amidst all the drama, too! Any flaws with this show are just nitpicks that are up to personal preference, and the only “problem” with this show is that I want more than just the thirteen episodes we got. This show has definitely earned its spot among my all-time favorite anime (my 5th favorite, specifically), and it is a show I would wholeheartedly recommend to any anime fan.

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Re-Kan!
Re-Kan!

Medieval Otaku – 7/10

Re-kan! is a great success as a character driven show.  Practically all the characters are likable, even the more goofy and perverted ones.  The episode plots are as humorous as they are sentimental.  A yuri element definitely features in this show, but it essentially kept to the level of intimate friendship.  I find it rather hard to describe in more detail why I like this show so much.  I will add that the supernatural element became more relevant as the show went on, which made it rise in my estimation.

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Plastic Memories
Plastic Memories

Japesland – 6/10

Easily the biggest disappointment of the season, for me. After episode one, I had Plastic Memories pegged as anime of the season, but boy was I disappointed with each and every passing episode. Every week I was disappointed as the show continued to abuse trope after trope, not really trying to do anything that hasn’t been done a million times already. With that said, a 6/10 is not a poor score by any means, but definitely not high enough for me to recommend checking out the series when there are so many better ways to spend your time. If you’d like a smart, funny, and touching anime about the interaction of robots and humans, you’d be better off checking out Time of Eve.

oremonogatari

My Love Story!!
Ore Monogatari!!

Zeroe4 – 9/10

I really enjoy this show. It is beautiful and hilarious. I normally don’t get into romantic comedies, but I love how abstract this one is. Instead of treating love as a popularity contest, it shows the beauty of relationships through the light of how people really interact. With some crazy stunts to top it off. My only issue with the show so far, is that it reminds me of my own loneliness. I really recommend this one to those of you who are romantics at heart.

Jojo Stardust Crusaders

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders 2nd Season
Jojo no Kimyou na Bouken: Stardust Crusaders 2nd Season

Kaze – 8/10

The continuation of part 3 of Jojo takes place in the protagonists’ destination: Egypt. This 2nd season continued the previous trend of “monster of the week,” for the majority, but the battles continued to be witty, amusing, and each with their own unique spin. Sometimes I wasn’t too enthusiastic, but other times the villain had just the right amount of charm in a character. Some parts had great comedy while other parts had great tension. I still wouldn’t say it was that amazing, despite it being entertaining every week, but the climax was incredibly well done and was one of the best finales I’ve seen in awhile. Also, Koyasu’s voice acting was brilliantly on point in the penultimate episode, alongside the thrilling climax, making it one of the few times I actually just wanted to go back and re-watch the episode (I didn’t). That said, Jojo does tend to have its share of plot holes, but it’s the kind of show where you don’t mind all that much because the battles are fun enough to keep watching. In the end, it was one of the only shows of the season I was excited to watch the next episode of, and I look forward to part 4’s anime adaptation.

Show-By-Rock

Show by Rock!!
Show by Rock!!

stardf29- 7/10

This show was the “breakout hit” of the season for me, in that I did not expect to enjoy it as much as I did going into it, knowing it as only an adaptation of a music mobile game made by Sanrio (makers of Hello Kitty). It does have its issues, though, mainly with the plotting, which takes on a bit more than it can chew; expect coherency problems if you are trying to make sense of the show. If you can put that aside, what you have is a fun, music-inspired show with both cute girls and some really fun guys (seriously, SHINGANCRIMSONZ is full of awesomeness), with surprisingly good CGI music/battle scenes and some moments of depth as the various characters bond, grow, and deal with the darkness in their hearts. If you are up for a musical show that’s good, rockin’ fun with just enough seriousness to support the fun without overwhelming it, this show can be worth a shot.

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Ace of Diamond 2nd Season
Daiya no Ace 2nd Season

Annalyn – 8/10

Daiya no Ace 2nd Season got off to a rocky start: three re-cap episodes that didn’t even cover the important psychological developments of the first seventy-five episodes. But it’s gotten better since then. There are multiple levels of conflict: The psychological conflict with Sawamura’s yips, for starters—when will he throw to the inside again? Then there’s the continuing rivalry with Furuya for the Ace position. And the new coach, who plans to replace the current head coach, values, coaching style, and all. Plus, of course, the basic tournament conflict, which also includes the fate of rival teams. A new season of the anime begins, yes, but the baseball teams are in a transition period themselves. Their senpai have moved on, new leadership is being established, and the Fall Tournament has begun. The mood can be tense, especially when Sawamura is struggling too much to provide comic relief. But there are also causes for joy, celebration, anticipation, and confidence. Yes, this season began with a weak set of recaps. Fortunately, it’s only gained strength from there.

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Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works 2nd Season
Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works 2nd Season

Japesland – 7/10

Sorry anime fans everywhere, but I just cannot get myself under the Nasu (writer of Fate/Stay Night) banner. As much as I want to love his works, I can really never get anywhere beyond the “liking” stage. Sure, Ufotable animated some stellar action scenes (a couple of which I had re-watched a few times!), and Nasu managed to introduce some very interesting and likable characters, but, man, I don’t think things get much more pretentious than the Nasu-verse. Having read the original visual novel, I had high hopes that the anime would cut out the overly-long monologues and the talking head syndrome that plagues visual novels (due to the medium’s inability to visually present battles, while still being locked in to showing some sort of visual)… but I was disappointed to see my hopes let down. Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works 2nd Season, I thought, was going to be nothing but glorious non-stop action and plot development, but just like the 1st season, it was constantly bogged down by boring, overdramatic, and (I’ll say it again) pretentious dialogue. But, you know what, I still gave it a solid 7/10. My stream of complaints mostly come from the fact that I had very high hopes, that were let down not because the was awful, but because it wasn’t as good as my expectations had led me to believe. So, all in all, it’s probably worth checking out if you like Nasu’s other works, but I probably won’t be giving it a re-watch any time soon.

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Knights of Sidonia: Battle for Planet Nine
Sidonia no Kishi: Daikyuu Wakusei Seneki

Medieval Otaku – 8/10

The second season of Knights of Sidonia is not nearly as dark as the first.  This season features more slice of life and humor, which are not the strong suits of Knights of Sidonia.  Curiously, the non-essential, character-building episodes tossed in the middle made me much more invested in the final battle.  I was at the edge of my seat for the finale!  A part of me wants to give this show 9/10, but the less action-packed middle hurts it.  I can’t wait to see where the fight against the Gauna goes in the next season.  If you like sci-fi stories with great action and intrigue on the side, this show’s for you!

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We hope you enjoyed our lengthiest anime season review yet, and look forward to tomorrow as we dabble into the upcoming summer season!

7 thoughts on “Spring Anime 2015 Review (Part 3/3)

  1. Sound! Euphonium deserves that score! That show blew my mind and is in my top four favorites of the spring season! Just wow! I really enjoyed Re-Kan! as well, it was sweet and funny; I loved how the MC was not a victim for having a sixth sense and most of her friends were really chill with all the ghosts–that was refreshing! I actually enjoyed Plastic Memories, though it got harder to watch as the show went on–the final episode was very touching, though, for me. And Ore Monogatari is my show of the season–I haven’t laughed nor cried so hard so often for a show as I have for this one, at least not in a long time! 😀

    ~Jamie

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  2. Time for my last couple of second opinions and personal scores!

    Sound! Euphonium: On the one hand, I’ve said pretty much everything I’d have wanted to say for a review of the show in my review… but on the other hand, I have said nowhere near everything I could say about this show. There’s just so much I’d love to talk about, with each and every episode… this show is really just incredible. Personal score: 9.9/10.0

    Re-kan!: This show also ended up being one of my favorites this season. At first it was trying to find its voice, so the first couple of episodes were only okay, but once the core characters got some basic development and the show understood how it could use the deceased spirits for emotional stories, it started throwing some incredibly powerful and heartfelt episodes; episodes 6 and 11, in particular, are some of my favorite episodes of the entire season. The show could do goofy fun, too, leading to a show that overall rightly takes its place as the biggest pleasant surprise of the season. Review score: 8/10, Personal score: 9.2/10.0

    My love Story: The funny thing is, this show feels like one of the cutesy slice-of-life shows that are my bread and butter of every season. Obviously, there’s more romance and a greater male/female ratio of characters than, say, Kinmoza, but there’s still that overall cheerful, positive atmosphere, great comedy, a solid focus on (male) friendship, and Rinko can give any cute-girls-doing-cute-things show a run for their money in adorableness. (Takeo is also adorable in his own way.) There are definitely more serious moments, which work well with the show by all means. All in all, this is definitely shaping up to be a great show and I’m definitely looking forward to the second half. Review score: 8/10, Personal score: 9.0/10.0

    (For the record, if a show has not finished airing, I round my personal scores down to the nearest 0.5.)

    Show by Rock: Yeah, pretty much what I said in the review. Also worth noting that this was based on a mobile rhythm game, which would surprise me more in how this show turned out as good as it did, except apparently Rage of Bahamut turned out pretty well, so… yay for good mobile game adaptations? Personal score: 8.3/10.0

    All in all, this was definitely a great season of anime. A new personal favorite, several pleasant surprises, and just great shows all around.

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  3. As someone who played euphonium for a time back in high school (though most of the time I played clarinet), something tells me I’d appreciate Sound! Euphonium. I’ll definitely check it out.

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  4. After successfully telling myself i wouldn’t like euphonium and that i shouldn’t get another music anime back to back (your lie in april last season) you broke down my resolve now i have to watch it.

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  5. Sound! Euphonium was very definitely a beautiful anime. I liked the bit in Ep. 8 where they worked in the legend of the Snow Woman, a beautiful black haired girl dressed in white who would lead the unwary to their doom.

    Knights of Sidonia was awesome, as expected.

    Arslan is a show both my wife and I are sharing. We really like the characters, their development thus far, and the writing in the show.

    The ferris wheel scene at the end of Plastic Memories is a little hard to watch but well worth it. Imagine the love of your life asking you not only to end their life, but smiling as they hand you the means to do so. He kept it together, even though he was coming apart at the seams, and did what was needed, in love, for her sake. Talk about Christian parallels.

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