Seasonal Sawce: Fall Back Into Anime 2016, Part 2

Can you believe it?  I’m actually making another post.

This Seasonal Sawce is a bit later than the others have been (but not as late as another article I plan on writing!), and there’s no real reason for that.  Well, kinda.  I did something stupid and started watching even more anime that started airing in the fall season (March Comes in Like a Lion and All Out!!) because I wasn’t watching too many already!  Seriously, though, I’m cutting down next season.  Especially since the DC shows are coming back.

Anyhoo, as it has been every other time, I will now rank every anime that I watched that began and ended in the fall season from my least favorite to my most favorite.  I just want everyone to know that Diamond Is Unbreakable is probably my favorite anime from 2016.  Although it does have competition, but I might talk about that some other time.

Izetta:  The Last Witch

izetta-the-last-witch

Izetta flew on a broom this time to sweep Fine off her feet.

Yeah, I hate to say it, but Izetta was consistently my least favorite anime for the fall season.  I know this is true because it is the only one I fell behind on and had to make myself finish.  I don’t know what happened.  Everything was there!  Cute redhead lesbian witch flying around on a rifle wooing a princess and winning WWII for the good guys!  Her powers always look cool, and her fights against the cloned OG White Witch are pretty good and brutal.  For some reason, though, nothing else stuck.

I honestly can’t put my finger on it.  Maybe the story wasn’t anywhere near as compelling as it should’ve been.  Maybe the side characters didn’t get enough to them.  Maybe the world was fantasized but still too real to be enjoyable fantasy.  It’s hard to say, but I’m giving this one a 6.  Because a 6 on MAL is “Fine”…get it?  The princess is Fine, and the anime is fine.  Get it?  But really, the anime is just okay.

Occultic;Nine

occultic-nine

Hey, he did the thing!

Steins;Gate is amazing.  It is one of my favorite anime.  It’s one of my top ten–maybe even top five.  Occultic;Nine is none of those.  Not even slightly.  Now, I don’t want to say Occultic is bad.  I did enjoy it every time I tuned in.  The more I learned about the main character, the more I liked him.  The mysteries were set up as big, and even though the answers were a little dumb sometimes, I was still happy to get what answers the show gave.  I just wish this show would’ve been longer.

I feel like Occultic would be viewed as an entirely different show if it had had two cours instead of one.  More time to breathe, more time to give all of the characters all of the time they deserve, and more time to build the mysteries surrounding the city.  Also would have meant more time for them to talk, which I can only dream would’ve meant everyone talked slower!  Lordamercy, these people were hard to follow.  Especially when their absurdly fast monologues and dialogues were revealing key plot points.  I enjoyed Occultic;Nine for the most part, but I’m only giving it a 6.5.  It’s too difficult to follow, the characters don’t get near enough to them to make them memorable, and answers to the various mysteries felt fairly underwhelming.

The OP is great, though.

Drifters

drifters

Best character.

Drifters is a darn good prologue.

Okay, so I enjoyed this quite a bit.  The Drifters, the Octobrists, the Ends, and all the races caught in the middle of these factions drew me into this fantasy world.  I’m really eager to see where the story goes.  And that’s the biggest problem of Drifters for me.  It feels like the story hasn’t actually started yet.  The season ends with not all of the Drifters having met and the Ends rallying their troops to continue their conquest.  It’s an enjoyable prologue, but it’s still just a prologue.

I mentioned in the last Seasonal Sawce post that the art shifts from serious to comedic can get really jarring, and that stays true for the entire season.  I’m a fan of the art, and I also like when shows have different styles depending on the tone, but Drifters can get a bit ridiculous jumping from one to the other.  All that said, it feels like a solid 7.5 to me.  I love the characters, look, concept, and action, but the obvious feeling of prologue and never-ending style shifts left me a smidgen disappointed.

Girlish Number

girlish-number

Bada boom!  Realest guy in the room!  How you doin’?!

I enjoyed the heck out of Girlish Number.  I actually found myself cheering for Chitose and hoping she’d come to her senses (which she might have), and that surprised me.  Don’t get me wrong, Koto Katakura and Kazuha Shibasaki are still best characters, but I’m genuinely glad I wound up invested in Chitose’s arc.  She started off as a lazy, terrible person, and by the end she’s…a slightly less lazy, terrible person, but she learns!  Good for her!  The other seemingly main character Kuzu-P, the producer, can go straight to hell, though.

As much as I liked Chitose, it did kinda feel like the show shone brightest when the focus wasn’t on her.  The episode where Momoka and Kazuha go to Kazuha’s hometown was probably my favorite single episode, and I loved whenever Koto’s conversations with the other characters were shown.  In terms of problems, the show probably isn’t as funny as it wanted to be, and I do wish all of the main girls got as much development as Chitose.  I’ll still give it an 8.

WWW.Wagnaria!!

www-wagnaria

Should we call him Die-suke?  Eh?  EH?

As much as I love the parent anime, I gotta give credit to WWW.Wagnaria!! for wrapping up its three romantic pairings in one season.  Should I be proud of that?  I guess that’s how it’s supposed to be, but regular Wagnaria!! took three seasons and a special to get its two couples to hook up.  So, kudos for doing that in one season!

I love the characters in this show.  All six of the individuals involved in the three romantic pairings, St. Valentine, the Japanese kid who doesn’t speak Japanese, the truant who always hangs out at the restaurant…I love these characters.  My favorites who were always there but didn’t get to do too terribly much are Kisaki Kondou and her daughter.  Yeah, they probably work best as supporting characters, but I kinda want an OVA focusing on them.

Not that many jokes made me laugh out loud and the breakneck pacing threw me for a loop every now and then, but the charm of the characters and the feeling of coming home leads me to give this a firm 8.

Flip Flappers

flip-flappers

No, this is the other anime about a redhead lesbian that aired fall season.

Talk about movement on the board!  In my last post, Flip Flappers was almost at the very bottom of my list.  It was that low because it confused me and I didn’t really know what to make of it.  Now that I’ve watched all 13 episodes…it confuses me and I don’t really know what to make of it.  I’m positive there is meaning to all the weird worlds, beings, and various things that are seen and happen throughout the series, but without a re-watch and a lot of thinking, I haven’t the foggiest what most of it represents.  By golly, the show is pretty, though!

I don’t think Flip Flappers handled all of its characters or answered all of its questions well, but the ones they did handle and answer well were handled and answered extremely well (that was fun to type).  It almost seemed like every episode ended with me channeling Papika and going, “Cocona!”  The girl goes through so much, and when you find out everything that led to where she is, you kinda understand why.  I also tended to mark out whenever Yayaka showed up, and I was surprised by how invested I became in the sullen Salt.

This show was a legit surprise.  I may not have fully understood everything that happened, but I genuinely loved the look and feel of the worlds and characters, the story knew how to keep me interested, and the ED is fantastic.  Giving it an 8.5.

Keijo!!!!!!!!

keijo

Best timeline.

Anime is saved.

So, Keijo isn’t necessarily better than Flip Flappers, but every week I watched this first.  I watched this first because I just had to see what more they would do–what more they could do.  Yes, the opening episodes can drag a smidgen, but the way this show revels in its premise kept me watching, and I’m glad I did.  In terms of martial arts and sports anime tropes, Keijo doesn’t veer much from the norm.  You got your determined protagonist, allies, rivals, teachers, betters, etc.  Keijo‘s strength is in how it embraces these character types and molds them to fit its absurd world.

People, there’s a part where a girl uses her nipple to judo flip another girl in order to win her match.  There’s one girl who can access the powers of any butt she’s previously touched.  There’s another who channels her ki/chi/qi into her breasts and buttocks, and that’s her own form of kung fu.  This is just some of the outlandish stuff that’s played completely straight throughout this first season.  And I sincerely hope we are in store for more seasons.

Keijo may not have done all it could to capitalize on its premise, but it still did quite a lot and I’m positive future seasons will correct that.  Despite being mostly standard archetypes, I still found the characters pretty likable.  Gotta love those techniques, too.  Keijo gets an 8.5 from me.

Yuri!!! On Ice

yuri-on-ice

They were born to make history.

Times sure have changed, haven’t they?  I’m gonna let you kids in on a little secret:  I didn’t know this show went full gay.  Yeah.  I actually thought the show was still teasing the audience with the possibility of Yuri and Victor entering into a relationship.  It wasn’t until they bought the rings that I went, “Ohhhhhhh,” and that was followed by, “I’m so happy for them.”  I think it’s a testament to the world and all of us today that a figure skating show about two men falling in love is one of the most well received anime of 2016.  And the best thing about it?  It’s not just a gimmick.  The show is legitimately good.

Yes, the routines did fall off a bit near the end, and I was kinda underwhelmed by the ending.  All of the characters are great, though, and it was a treat seeing them express themselves in their various routines.  I was also pretty invested in their individual stories–as it should be with any sports series worth its salt.  The show has some great comedic moments, a beautiful soundtrack, and the art fits the series incredibly well.

I’m giving Yuri!!! On Ice a 9.  Only one other anime that started last season had me looking forward to it more every week.

Haikyuu!! Third Season

haikyuu-third-season

Shiratorizawa ain’t nuthing ta f*ck wit.

It gets a 10.  Yeah, spoiler alert or whatever.  I’m giving it a 10.  I lost my sh*t multiple times every episode.  I just…I love it so much.

I honestly don’t know what to say about Haikyuu!! Third Season.  The match surpassed my expectations in every way, and that’s saying a lot since the buildup was fantastic.  The art, animation, action, characters, comedy, and every other aspect was done impeccably.  It might be unfair for me to put this above the other shows since it’s the third season of a show I love, but hey, it’s my blog.  I make the rules!

That’ll do it for this Seasonal Sawce.  Fall 2016 might be one of my favorite seasons for anime in quite sometime.  I really liked and loved most of I watched, and I’m really enjoying the three I started that are still airing.

All in all, I think 2016 was a pretty awesome year for anime.  Had a few that could possibly go down as classics, and we may even have some game-changers on our hands.  I’m honestly pretty stoked for what 2017 could bring us.  I don’t plan on watching anywhere near as many as I did in 2016 (I always say that, don’t I?), but this will hopefully be a damn good year for anime.

As long as we get Vento Aureo.  We don’t get that, 2017 sucks.

Peace out, and stay bizarre.

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