So we’re a quarter of the way in to the summer season, and I have to say, the strong start has pretty much fizzled out into the lukewarm pace I got from last season. Fall cannot get here soon enough and save us from our misery with thy glorious Log Horizon.
But I’ve found enough fun in at least watching some of this season’s wreckage, and that is mainly Akame ga KILL!, Aldnoah.Zero, Jinsei, Rail Wars, Rokujouma no Shinryakusha, Shirogane no Ishi Argevollen, and Tokyo ESP. The rest are continuing to float on the bottom until I get tired of bothering, or jettison it for something else. If you got a suggestion, let’s hear it.
“Boy, I say Boy, you dun goofed.”
I had started to construct a post breaking down the similarities and differences between Aldnoah and Valvrave, and found myself bored and unable to really conjure up enough to warrant a post. The TLDR of that is Aldnoah does a much better job removing the SPACE VAMPIRE bullshit from the mix and giving us a much better show when it comes to the male MC and his friends defending everyone and fighting back against THE ENEMY. Parts of it are not perfect, regrettably the animation could have been polished a bit, but the real test will be to see what happened when the MC meets the defector Terran other-MC and/or ends up in control of his own Aldnoah-powered suit. We know damn well this show won’t simply end on the princess fixing everything by sending a message home saying “Sup guys, still alive?” She ain’t Chell after all. Jinsei
“You can advise me any time.”
Jinsei safely remains my favorite show of the season, placating my need for girls with glasses alongside cute girls doing cute things. It continues to validate my stance on male MC’s done right, where they contribute to the show, aren’t weak whiny crybabies, aren’t overpowering the rest of the cast, and not subject to a one-minute-harem before the show’s first episode ends.
But really, it’s all about Rino.Akame ga KILL!
Akame ga Kill likes to remind me of an old show I rather quite liked, King of Bandits Jing. Sadly, Jing is much, much better than anything this show could output, but can you imagine that it’d be like if they applied even a quarter of that show’s effort? That said, it’s still not a bad show altogether, and I find I quit enjoy its various character personalities. But the killing-of-the-week can only go so far. I’m waiting for the promised steak dinner here, and I have the feeling I am not going to like what they serve instead. Rail Wars
“All tracks connect to someone’s tits.”
Okay, so, compared to Working!! and Servant x Service, Rail Wars may not be up there in terms of overall quality, but damn man, trains and tits. You just keep repeating that to yourself. We’re four episodes in, and so far no large-scale terrorism attacks on trains, but plenty of fanservice and suggestive poses keep this show worth watching. The main male MC isn’t a complete idiot either. Always a bonus. Argevollen
“Chin up Shinji, you’re still a whiner.”
After three episodes of running and gunning with their new suit, Argevollen steps back this episode to frame the rest of the series. Thank fucking god they all decided to keep the band together.
Truth be told though, for a show that is showing signs of trying to break into FMP’s thunder, it isn’t terrible. Aside from your plucky female engineer having to deal with the unlikable emo hot-headed pilot, the rest of the cast includes stoic leader, stoic leader’s female XO, a number of female engineers, a few male drivers, and some ACE pilots. What a team. I imagine this one is going to play out under the lights, a cut-and-dry theater of war until whatever TWIST in store from us is sprang. That is likely what is keeping me watching.Tokyo ESP
“A rich man’s Mahou Sensou.”
Tokyo ESP is probably my second-strongest pick this season, because it is not only hitting my expectations, it’s honestly exceeding them. It’s the esper fights I loved about Raildex without the bullshit Raildex stuck in-between the fights. That strong first-episode start followed by a backtrack to understanding where they got their powers and how they came to be so far has been going pretty well. Admittingly I was confused at first, but it’s slowly shaping up into something fun. Hopefully it will keep it up. Rokujouma no Shinryakusha
“The acceptable harem.”
I know I often rail against the harem, but it’s really more the obvious harem that bothers me. The subverted harem, where you know it’s there, but the show makes little attempt to move towards it, those end up being much better in the long run because they aren’t jumping to the conclusion on the mat. Rokujouma ends up being quite fun to watch, and that might just be because otherworld harems are better than the plebeian earthy kind. It’s still not coming close to the goodness that is the Monster Girls manga, but we’d only be so lucky if the same people who did DxD could do that for an anime adaptation. This’ll do until then.