Final Thoughts on Anime Winter 2017

Scum’s Wish

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A very steamy show that handles things of the sexual variety with sensitivity and nonchalance, Scum’s Wish takes a much more serious approach to high school and the intimidating, confusing relationships that form within it. Diving into the depths of conscious vs subconscious decision, characters of the show struggle with the metaphorical demons inside them as they continue to strive for someone that they know they can’t have.

The plot develops through interesting and usually unfortunate advancements in the spider web of relationships that holds the show together. Most of the “bombshell” moments come from certain characters hooking up, bringing on the dismay of other characters, or the unease of the audience knowing something some characters do not.

Drama is the load-bearing beam to this structure of merely sex and emotions. While the house looks neat from the outside, it lacks a lot of interior décor to make for an enjoyable time once we’re in. Most characters haven’t stuck in my mind for very long. While the aesthetics for the show make their problems out to be something dark and desperate, I still find it all too easy shrug them off and move on.

Masamune-kun’s Revenge

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For the long version of my thoughts on this show, I suggest reading my Why Masamune is a Fairly Unique Protagonist that I posted a couple weeks back. As for my quick thoughts, Masamune-kun’s Revenge is good. It’s not great, but it’s certainly not bad. Much like its protagonist, the premise of the show is fairly unique, and the directions of which the plot goes are fresh. This season utilized tired tropes sparingly, and doesn’t string its audience along with a forced harem.

It’s not a question of who Masamune is going to end up with, but what he’s going to do when he ends up with who he’s going to end up with, which will be Aki.

Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid

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Funny, stylish, and shameless—Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid really pulls out all the stops to deliver a hilarious comedy with loveable characters that don’t (for the most part) don’t conform to cliché blush and overreaction comedy. The show’s characters consist of levelheaded adults, careless/unapologetic dragons, and a couple of children that exists as delightful, over-the-top parodies of certain trends in the industry. The small mage boy paired with the large-breasted dragon woman is literally named Shouta. Oh, and Elma sucks, but she barely has any lines so it’s no big deal.

The ending of the season was a little undesirable, as it was just a hackneyed out-of-the-blue plot development into a climax that only exists so the characters could have a stage to express their feelings. Considering almost the entirety of the show has been incredibly laid back, this ending felt almost like an antithesis of what the show had been built up to be until that point. I would’ve preferred less drama, and ending on a subtle joke rather than a final frontier leading into a heartfelt speech. Not that it wasn’t nice, mind you, but comedy should never be sacrificed for emotional resonance. Those two things can always work hand in hand.

March Comes in like a Lion

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Amazing slice of life, one that carried itself on the strength of its characters and nothing more. March Comes in like a Lion never promises a conclusion in the beginning, in a way so many other stories feel like they need to. Masamune-kun’s Revenge is all about achieving his revenge, Konosuba has the final goal of defeating the Demon King, and Scum’s Wish leans so hard on “what happens next” that it can barely support itself.

March Comes in like a Lion has no end in sight, and even in its short game the show never strings you along like a shounen style duel, the outcome of each game always just revealed through quick voiceover rather than trying to deliver any sort of intense, emotional play-by-play. I really just want to see Rei grow and find his way in life. I also want to see more of the Kawamotos, Nikaido, and of course Kyouko.

Konosuba

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Incredibly funny season, plays off its first one well. I need to rewatch the series, because I am almost certain season 2 is leaps and bounds funnier than the first. Until then, I’ll just give mention to its incredibly fluid and unique animation style, it takes to comedy well while at the same time probably not stressing their budget much, budget which is saved for glorious explosions and fighting spectacles.

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