So we’ve reached the end of another season and it’s time for me to look back at what I watched and give my final impressions along with a rating. If you’ve read any of my season wrap up posts in the past then you already know how this goes. So without anymore intro, let’s start.
The latest show from Polygon Pictures, Ajin was one of those anime that flew under the radar for various reasons, but man was it a thrilling show if you were able to watch it. Honestly it reminder me a lot of Parasyte, except actually good this time. I found myself really getting into each ep and eagerly awaiting the next one once it ended. As with the previous two Polygon Pictures anime, Ajin is a fully CGi show so if that bothers you then you’ll probably not like it regardless of how good it is. I still don’t see why people hate CG shows so much, sure they’re different but after 1 or 2 eps you barely notice it anymore as you’re too caught up in the story. Knights of Sidonia looked absolutely stunning with its CG animation, it worked perfect as the whole anime was based in space so you got that depth that couldn’t be done using conventional means.
In terms of story I really liked what Ajin did, giving us a main character that did what he wanted and put others in harms way to achieve his goals. His quest to live a normal life was always the main focus and he never stopped at trying to reach that goal, even if it meant throwing that guy into the container truck to keep him from giving away his location. While I’m not saying I like Kei, rather I like how this isn’t a story about Kei driven to protect someone close to him or something. They repeatedly mention how he little he values other and we see that throughout the show. It’s a nice change given how we’re always shown characters with morals, so having a change in that pace can be nice. Obviously he’s not a role model though, so don’t try to look up to him in these regards.
So at the end of the day Ajin really was something I liked but it leaves you hanging at ep 13 as the story isn’t finished. Will we get another season or something? I certainly hope so as the fight it far from over. Satou showed that he’s not one to joke around and his threat to keep killing people until things change is one you can count on him doing. That’s also another point I liked about this show, Satou being a complete savage of a bad guy. Ep 11 stunned me when his plan unfolded and you see just how far he’s willing to go to prove his point. He’s one of those bad guys I do like as he’s got no limit to how far he’ll go. But tying this all up, Ajin really needs another season to complete the story properly and not in a rushed fashion.
If you’re looking for a sci-fi/action/mystery/thriller show then by all means check out Ajin. The CG really makes it look nice and adds to the overall feel of it, I can’t imagine this any other way. So looking back at this one I’ve gotta give Ajin a solid 8.5/10. Polygon Pictures nails it once again, excellent work.
EDIT: A second cour has been announced for this October! Hype!
Akagami no Shirayuki-hime 2nd Season
The classic fairy tale comes to a close. Ah this is one really solid anime, one of my favorite romance shows too, granted I don’t watch many romance anime but this was a rare exception. The fact it was based around a girl voiced by Saori Hayami who also happened to have red hair was probably the main reason I decided to watch this show. Nevertheless I stuck with this show since the beginning, way back in the summer of 2015 (yes it’s been that long) and man it was worth it. Sure it might not have ended exactly how I was hoping it would but by the time it reached the final ep I was pleased with how far Shirayuki and Zen had come as a couple.
I should also mention how much I loved Shirayuki as a character too. She was such a strong female lead and I really liked that about her. She didn’t just sit back and watch as problems unfolded around her, rather she took charge of the situation and did what she could to come away victorious. In line with what I wrote about S1, Shirayuki wasn’t a damsel in distress all the time. Sure she got captured a couple times and things looked dire, but she never just sat down and gave up all hope. Yes she cried but it wasn’t some self pity woe is me situation, she thought hard and came up with a plan to get out of her tough situation. That’s the type of female lead I like seeing, one that’s strong and determined and one that’s not some cut and paste that we’ve seen so many times before.
The plot felt better through the back half, really tested the relationship of the two lovers many times, and it might not have ended with the grand wedding like I was hoping for (why are weddings in anime so elusive?) but the progress they made was visible. All in all this show nailed the romance aspect and it really delivered in showing the lengths each of them would go to for the person they loved. Other aspects I enjoyed about this show were the lovely visuals and music too, both were a strong point to this show and really captured the emotions well.
So looking back at this show I really had a great time watching it. If romance anime are your thing I recommend taking a look at this one as it’ll surely please you. With that said, I’m giving Akagami no Shirayuki-hime S2 a solid 8.5/10. And they all lived happily ever after.
Ao no Kanata no Four Rhythm
Four Rhythm is one of those shows I kinda forgot about as it just wasn’t the most memorable show of the season. To be honest the strongest part of the show was the actually Flying Circus part, everything else felt extremely weak and like the usual visual novel adaption stuff you come to expect from these type shows. One thing that really baffled me was actually how the main guy and his apparent tragic back story was pretty much nonexistent for most of the anime. I mean we learn precious little about him and his deal for the longest time, then even once we finally learn about it, it has absolutely no bearing on the anime going forward. Same with the teacher, her whole character didn’t do much or add much to the show. By the end of the anime the main guy, I can’t even remember his name as he was always called ‘Coach’, doesn’t really bring anything to the story so I’m wondering if this was just a bad adaptation or they really just didn’t write this character properly.
Characters and story aside, the music and animation was alright, nothing outstanding by any accounts but fitting I guess. I took a look at the original art from the game and I wish they kept it looking more like that as it really did look nice in the game. On the animation front, things looked best during the Flying Circus parts as expected as that’s the main focus of the anime. Aside from that the character designs were okay, Gonzo isn’t exactly my favorite studio out there, aside from their work on Strike Witches, but they did an okay job in this department. The backgrounds and stuff were probably the best looking thing in this anime; these visual novels usually have nice backgrounds and the setting for this anime gave ample opportunities for nice scenery shots, so I’m glad they took advantage of that.
But overall looking back at this show I can only say that it’s best parts were the FC battles. I haven’t seen many visual novels adaptations before, but the ones I have seen aren’t usually my favorites. The only exception being Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai which I found out much later was an adaption from a visual novel. Had I known that going in that might have changed my views on it, but going into that one completely blind, I was pleasantly surprised by what I got. Anyways, back to this show. Tallying things all up I’m giving Ao no Kanata no Four Rhythm a 5/10. Not enough good things about it to really enjoy.
Boku dake ga Inai Machi
To be honest I don’t even want to say much about this show as it’s by far among the most thrilling I’ve seen in a long time. Every week I was on the edge of my seat as I had no idea where things would go, and the endings! Holy shit the cliffhanger endings each week were taking years off my life with how they’d leave the ep for the week. By far this is among the best shows of the season, but after thinking about it for a long while, Konosuba would end up being my Anime of the Season. Don’t get my wrong Erased is still an extremely solid anime and I highly recommend it if you want a thrilling story that will have you on the edge of your seat from ep 1 to 12, but Konosuba just pushed all the right buttons for me so that’s why it got the title. Nevertheless I’m still giving Erased a solid 9.5/10. I wish more anime were this thrilling.
I’ve already written my final thoughts for this in the ep 12 review, so I’ll direct you to that post if you’d like to read them. Also be sure to take a look at my full episode by episode review of this show too.
And that’s all for this first part.
If you watched any of the above mentioned shows this past season, let me know your thoughts on them in the comments below!
See you in part 2!
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