Panning the Stream, Sequel Edition: Chaika the Coffin Princess, Yowamushi Pedal, Psycho-Pass

Reunited – and it feels so good.

I was going to knock out all my sequels in one fell swoop, but since the new Mushishi doesn’t air for another week, it made more sense to go ahead and get these (re)Meet ‘n’ Greets out now. I’ve changed up the formatting to include a little information about the first season for the sake of any newcomers. I’m also keeping my overall opinions fairly short to avoid spoilers (and because I’m guessing that most of you already know what to expect). Hit the jump to reacquaint yourself with some old friends and to see if the spark is still there.

Chaika -The Coffin Princess- AVENGING BATTLE (Hitsugi no Chaika)

Studio: BONES
Based On:
The light novel series by Sakaki Ichirou (Scrapped Princess, Outbreak Company)
Sequel To:
Chaika -The Coffin Princess- (12 episodes)
Streaming On:
Crunchyroll (the list of regions is too long to include, so here’s a link) (listed as “Chaika -The Coffin Princess-”)

In a Sentence: Chaika, daughter to the deposed Emperor Gaz, enlists the help of two former specialized soldiers called “saboteurs” to help her gather the scattered remains of her deceased father.

How was it? As always, I surprised myself with how much I enjoyed it.

Overall
Chaika is an old-school high fantasy series that’s just different enough to keep from feeling stale, although it took me a few episodes to appreciate its charms. The first season struggled at times due to poor pacing and/or lackluster mini-story arcs, but an increasingly complex central storyline, a group of likable characters (all of whom, like the fantasy world itself, are both familiar and new, archetypes with a spark of wit and originality), and a strong final arc made the first season well worth the watch. Season 2 looks to be much of the same, a winning blend of gradual world-building, well-animated action, cuteness, and humor, and as long as we can focus on the main story and less on the side ones, I’ll be just fine with that.

Did it make the watchlist? Yeah, I’m with this one to the end.

Yowamushi Pedal: Grande Road

Studio: TMS Entertainment
Based On: 
The manga by Watanabe Wataru (Magimoji Rurumo)
Sequel To: Yowamushi Pedal (38 episodes)
Streaming On: 
Crunchyroll (United States, Canada, Caribbean, South Africa, and Central and South America) (listed as “Yowapeda”)

In a Sentence: High school freshman (and total otaku) Sakamichi Onoda finds himself drawn into the world of road racing when his climbing skills catch the eye of the school’s competitive cycling team.

How was it? As wonderful as I remembered.

Overall
After a quick recap, Yowapeda picks up right where the last season left off, barreling towards the finish line of Day 2 of the Inter-High with its usual blend of humor, heart, and tension. I already pitched this one during Day One of my Seven Days of Summer posts, so I won’t say too much else here except that it’s great and I love it and if you’re not watching this show then I feel bad for you, because your life could have so much more magic in it and it doesn’t.

Did it make the watchlist? No question.

Psycho-Pass 2

Studio: Tatsunoko Production
Original Series:
Written by Ubukata Tow (Le Chevalier D’Eon, Mardock Scramble) and directed by Shiotani Naoyoshi
Sequel To: Psycho-Pass (22 episodes)
Streaming On:
Funimation (U.S./Canada)

In a Sentence: Inspector Akane Tsunemori and her team keep the peace in a near-future Tokyo where mental health is closely monitored and most criminals are caught before they ever commit a crime.

How was it? The tone matches that of the first season – a little dark, a little tense, a little monologue-heavy, a little detached – which, depending on your point of view, is either a good or bad thing.

Overall
Unlike Yowapeda and Chaika, which had additional source material to adapt, Psycho-Pass 2 is the sequel to an original anime from Production I.G. that was penned by Urobochi Gen (Madoka Magica, Fate/Zero). Neither of those names are anywhere near this sequel, and there was nothing about that first season that begged for more material. While I enjoyed this premiere well enough, I’m not really sure why it’s happening.

That said, there is some potential here, particularly in the slick, dark SF universe, the returning cast (who have ample room to develop), and in the new head writer. I found the first season of P-P interesting enough and occasionally very good (if not a bit predictable), but I probably would have skipped out on P-P2 if Ubukata’s name wasn’t attached to the project. Le Chevalier D’Eon would make a lot of my Top 10 lists, and I quite liked the few volumes of Pilgrim Jager that made it stateside, so I’m cautiously optimistic, here.

Did it make the watchlist? I’m still on the fence, but this sequel gets at least a couple episodes to justify its existence. We’ll see how it goes.

Not Watching

A quick list of the sequels and carryovers I will not be reviewing, either because I never got around to watching the first season or because I actively disliked the show:

  • Selector Spread Wixoss
  • Log Horizon 2nd Series
  • SAO2
  • Akame ga Kill!
  • Gundam Build Fighters Try
  • Argevollen
  • Aikatsu
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