Styles keep a-changin’, the world’s rearrangin’, but some shows are timeless to me.
As is custom, I’m popping in to let everyone know the sequels and carryovers on my calendar. We’ve got (re)meet ‘n’ greets for those who’ve returned to the anime schedule (some from a very long absence), and a quick blurb for the rest. Hit the jump to welcome them all back.
Gatchaman Crowds insight
Studio: Tatsunoko Production
Original Series: Directed by Nakamura Kenji (Mononoke, tsuritama) and written by Ono Toshiya (tsuritama)
Sequel To: Gatchaman Crowds
Streaming On: Crunchyroll (click here for the full list of regions)
In a Sentence: Hajime and her “Gatchaman” superhero squad work together with everyday civilians to keep the peace from threats mundane and alien alike.
How was it? It’s still Crowds, with all the pluses and minuses that entails.
I liked the first season of Gatchaman Crowds, although never as much as I wanted to. The production (from writing to animation) frequently felt like the first draft of a clever idea, ambitious but messy, and while the (in)famously polarizing protagonist Hajime never really bothered me, her primary function as a mouthpiece for the show’s ideas meant I couldn’t get invested in her story or arc since she wasn’t so much a character as a thematic device.
Nevertheless, the art design was striking, the music fabulous, and the central ideas (about the role of both superheroes and technology in the modern world) compelling, so I figured I’d give the second season and try and see if the two-year gap might help clean up the first season’s more frustrating blemishes.
And we’re… about where we were last time, actually. The art and music are colorful and distinctive and the story hooks me intellectually, but I find the main characters and overall tone of Crowds aggressively cheerful, like a friendly bully, and always right on the edge of insufferable. I spent the first half of the episode gritting my teeth but had settled into the world and central conflicts during the second, so this may work better as a binge watch. There’s a small chance I won’t pick this one up, but I’ll give it at least three episodes to see how the story and new characters come together.
Wagnaria – Season 3 (Working’!!!)
Studio: A-1 Pictures
Based On: The manga by Takatsu Karino (Servant x Service)
Streaming On: Crunchyroll (click here for the list of regions)
In a Sentence: A sitcom following the eccentric staff who work at the Denny’s-like family restaurant, Wagnaria.
How was it? Silly and infectiously likable as ever.
Wagnaria returns with a third season nearly four years after the second one, and with a new showrunner to boot (Kamakura Yumi, long-time storyboarder but first-time series director), but you’d never guess it from this first episode. After checking in with everyone on the Wagnaria staff to remind the audience who’s who and what’s what, we slide right back into coworker shenanigans, and even threaten to move some of the major story lines forward (we don’t, of course, but the attempt leads to some great comedy even so).
If you’ve seen the early seasons of this or the one season of Servant x Service, you’ll know that Takatsu’s sense of humor is character-driven, absurd, and occasionally quite understated or deadpan, less about belly laughs as it is about just keeping a constant smile on the viewer’s face. It’s a silly story about silly people who (mostly) really care about each other, and I’m happy we get to spend more time with them and see how their stories end. It’s always nice to have a plain old enjoyable comedy on the watch list.
Durarara!! x2 – Part Two
Based On: The light novel series by Narita Ryohgo (Baccano!, Fate/strange fake)
Streaming On: Crunchyroll (North America, Central America, South America, Ireland, and the United Kingdom)
In a Sentence: A diverse cast populates this fantastical reimagining of Ikebukuro, where headless riders roam the streets, “color gangs” vie for power, and no one is who they say they are.
How was it? Actually I haven’t watched it yet. But I will, I swear! Durarara works better as a binge watch for me, so I’m going to wait and knock out the whole season in 1-2 sittings at the end of the season. Look for it in the summer retrospective.
Carryovers I’m Watching
No need to review these since I talked about them in my Spring 2015 Retrospective, but I’m still watching a couple other shows:
- Baby Steps
- My Love Story!! (Ore Monogatari)
Sequels I’m Not Watching
The following are airing this season, but I won’t be watching them because I’ve never seen the originals:
- Aquarion Logos
- Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya 2wei Herz!
- Junjou Romantica 3
- Non Non Biyori Repeat
- Senki Zesshou Symphogear GX
- THE iDOLM@STER: Cinderella Girls 2nd Season
- To LOVE-Ru Darkness 2nd