Fall Anime 2015: The College Try

12:04 AM


I initially had a poor outlook of this season. I ran down the list, and was only interested in one or two things. Turns out that the season has brought more of a bounty than I expected, and I'm here to share what I've found.

In this post I cover. Bolded titles are what I'd consider the more universally anticipated series.

  • Beautiful Bones: Sakurako's Investigations
  • Chivalry of a Failed Knight
  • UTAWARERUMONO - False Faces
  • Heavy Object
  • Yuru Yuri 3
  • Is the Order a Rabbit? 2
  • GARO: Crimson Moon
  • Owarimonogatari
  • GUNDAM: Iron Blooded Orphans
  • ONE PUNCH MAN




Beautiful Bones: Sakurako's Investigation (2 episodes)

A new "mystery" series centered around a high school boy and an eccentric osteologist. The first episode sets up the premise to be something like an anime version of Bones, being an episodic forensic investigative series. That would actually have been pretty cool, but that's not what it is. While the series features the crime and forensics, the real story is the "mystery" behind the titular, Sakurako. The crime scenes the pair run into are basically just a vehicle to explore Sakurako's character - her past, motives, and how she views her younger friend.

The forensic aspect of the series is woefully undervalued, with the crime scene usually being revealed and "solved" in one big expository scene. It doesn't give you clues or hints as to what may have happened until it's time for Sakurako to solve the crime, which is a real shame for fans of mystery.

For the time being, I'm remaining cautiously optimistic about this series. I don't think that everything should become a procedural drama, like we see on network TV (Bones, CSI, all those Chinese cop dramas), but this is certainly one that could have bridged that kind of thing into anime.




Chivalry of a Failed Knight (3 Episodes)

Continuing in a long line of series with comically similar plots, Chivalry of Failed Knight begins very much the same way. The one differentiating factor for this one is that it's not actually a harem series. It might have all the building blocks for one, and even goes so far as to bill itself as one, but signs are beginning to show development between the main two characters. Prior knowledge of the series also helps.

This series is really fighting an uphill battle to distance itself from the slew of mediocre, similar series. I don't expect it to subvert the genre it very clearly is, but I hope that it does something to make itself stand out from the crowd.

I can't recommend this one at the moment, but I'll stick to it for a bit longer.



Utawarerumono: False Faces / うたわれるもの 偽りの仮面  (3 episodes)

The sort-of sequel to the now ancient 2006 anime. The big draw for this one are the characters. The rapport between the newly named Haku and his guardian, Kuon is by far the most entertaining aspect of the series. Haku's lazy and witty sarcasm is pitted against Kuon's almost mischievous, go-getter personality compliment and clash to produce some amazingly entertaining dialogue.

While I've forgotten the entirety of the first season, I do find that this new season looks fabulous. It doesn't have a Madhouse or UFOtable budget thrown at it, but the washes of verdant forests capped with a bit of snow and fog, and the vibrant colour palette make this series pleasing to the eyes.

I'm remaining optimistic about this one. The first 3 episodes have been fun, and the story's only just gotten started.



Heavy Object (3 episodes)

A utilitarian take on the mecha series, where the mechs in question are huge, bulky and about as sexy as a kettle. This is a series where suspending your disbelief will greatly enhance your experience, because hiding under a pile of steel won't protect you from a thermonuclear explosion happening maybe 500 meters away/ It's also really, really heavy on both exposition and dialogue - even when they're in a tense, time restricted situation, the series finds a way to have the characters talk through the scenes. A big knock against the series is absolutely out of place-ness of the boob jokes. Episode 1 had Qwenthar, our main hero, deciding whether touching a girl's boobs is too much of a risk, even if her life is at stake. Episode 2 has him quipping about her size when she conveniently falls on top of him while running from a giant killing machine that just decimated their base

Every episode always presents something that breaks the whole situation, which could really hurt the series in the long run, but should it keep the boob jokes to an inivisible minimum, I think this one should be an enjoyable run.


YuruYuri 3 (3 episodes)

Have you watched the first 2 seasons? Did you like them? Well, this season really is just more of the same thing. You'll know if you want more. Each season the cast expands, with this one seemingly featuring a bit more of the outer generations (younger siblings and older siblings).



Is the Order a Rabbit? /  ご注文はうさぎですか? (1 episode)

Did you enjoy the heart palpitation inducing cute of the first season? Well, here's the second season, delivering very much the same dose of sugary sweetness. Keep your insulin handy, because this series is sure to deliver even more cute, sweet moe hijinks straight into your eye holes.



Garo: Crimson Moon / 紅蓮ノ月 (3 episodes)

Garo, but in the Japan of long past. It's also possibly the first Garo series to star a non-Makai knight as it's protagonist. Centered around the main duo, Senmei and her pseudo-adopted son, Raikou, the Makai Alchemist and fledgling successor of the Golden Armour fight off the Horrors (demons) plaguing the land. I'm hoping that Senmei is done justice. So far she's been the focus. but as Raikou comes into his own as a character, I'm hoping he doesn't end up outshining her. Its interesting to note that in the promotional materials, Raikou is front and center, rather than the billed protagonist, Senmei. It also doesn't look nearly as good as the first season, so be prepared for a possible disappointment.

The CG armour still bugs me. It's not done particularly well (from my viewer perspective), and just looks kind of bad.

I wouldn't recommend this one just yet. We'll have to see how it pans out.


Owarimonogatari /  終物語 (3 episodes)

Monogatari is back with another season centered entirely around Koyomi as he begins the transition from high school to post secondary, perhaps also symbolic of the transition to adulthood. It's been a reflective first few episodes, with the story delving into his forgotten past, giving light to what's shaped him into the self-sacrificing person we saw in the first season. Joining us on the mystery tour of Koyomi is Oshino Ougi, the niece to Koyomi's advisor, and the second major character for the series. She creeps me out, with her oversized sleeves, pitch black eyes, and how she somehow always knows everything. For all we know, she could very well be another apparition haunting Koyomi, forcing him to remember where's he's been and how he's gotten to where he is now.

You'll need to be up to date with the previous Monogatari series for this one, but if you are, I definitely recommend it.


Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans (3 episodes)

Holy crap. This entry into the long and storied Gundam franchise might be the most gripping one of recent entries. With Mari Okada at the helm of the story, this series has made it very clear that it's striking out in a different direction than Gundam typical takes. It's gritty. It's dark. It's intense. It's made for some real good anime time.

I also like the fact that the series opens by posing almost the same initial plot as A-1's questionable Aldnoah Zero. I'm sure it's just coincidental, but the similarities of the set up can't be missed.

A strong recommendation from me, even if you're not a big fan of other Gundam series.



One Punch Man (3 episodes)

This one is the other heavy hitter this season. Highly anticipated since it was announced, this series delivered one hell of a first episdoe, breaking out all the big guns. Gloriously animated long fight scenes coupled with the comedic dead pan delivery of Saitama's disappointment in his sheer over-powering strength. The quality from episode to episode is fairly stable, though, if you're paying attention, the first extended fight scene was animated better than any of the scenes to date.

If you were looking for an action series, you might be mildly disappointed as they often end quickly, and are accompanied by the "usual" Saitama, and not "serious" Saitama.

I'd strongly recommend this one to anyone looking for a fun series to watch.

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