Glancing Upstream: Fall 2016 Retrospective and Review

It’s the most overworked time of the year~

yoi2-5-41

In the next couple weeks I’ll be hitting you with final Flip Flappers commentary, my Top 10 Anime of 2016, maybe a short essay or two, and then we turn around and start all over again with the winter premieres, including the much-anticipated return of Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju (and my lengthy commentary about it)! A blogger’s work is never done.

So you’d think that would mean I’d have kept my Fall retrospective thoughts short and sweet, right? Wrong! This season was a cornucopia of strong comedy, positive queer representation, diverse female leads, and geeky premises. And you know I can’t shut up about stuff like that. Hit the jump for too many words about too many shows.

Continue reading

Panning the Stream: Fall 2016 Midseason Review

Peeking in on the autumn lineup.

classic6-4

I’m writing this from a hotel room in New York, which both explains why it’s a bit late (some of these shows have already moved past their halfway point) and why this introduction is going to be brief. My Fall anime bloc continues to either hold steady or improve each week, depending on the show, which is always a promising sign at the halfway mark. There’s good variety too, so whether you’re looking for something to soothe or something to pump you up, you should be able to find a much-needed break from reality below.

Continue reading

Rule of Three Review: Fall 2016 Anime Digest

I thought spring was the rainy season, so why am I drowning in shows in October?

poco2-7

There are far too many shows on this list, but I can’t bear to cut any others at this point. It’s too early to say this is the strongest season of the year, but it sure is looking promising. Some are artistic marvels, some compelling character studies, some soothing balls of cuteness, some just plain fun, and some are…er, Keijo (look, I don’t feel great admitting that either, okay?). Hit the jump for both my pride and my shame.

Continue reading

Panning the Stream: Fall 2016 Premieres, Round 2

Lions and udon and Motes, oh my!

flip2

The deluge is more-or-less over and it’s left me swimming in a massive watch list. I’m excited for what looks to be a strong fall season, but also a bit overwhelmed. In order to keep myself from drowning in titles, there’s no “On the Fence” category this time–if I’m not actively excited for the next episode, then it’s almost certainly not getting a second look.

The wild part is this isn’t even everything! Girlish Number won’t air in the U.S. until Wednesday, and The Great Passage (Fune wo Amu) premieres Thursday. I didn’t want to sit on this post for that long, though, so we won’t worry about them for now. If either is worth mentioning (and I suspect at least The Great Passage will be), I’ll roll them into my “Rule of Three” digest. For now, hit the jump for a group of new series that I can’t wait to see more of.

Continue reading

Glancing Upstream: Spring 2016 Retrospective and Review

Gold and silver and bronze and on.

Luluco (9)

Spring might have been lacking the standout masterpiece and shoujo gem that Winter had (Shouwa Genroku and Snow White, respectively), but it more than made up for it in sheer quantity, offering up a variety of lively, stylish, and just downright fun series. In that respect, this season feels a little like last summer: I’m not sure how many of these shows are gonna make my 2016 Top 10 list, but I enjoyed watching just about all of them.

In other news, I think this is the last time you’ll see my Totally Arbitrary Rankings used in a season retrospective. More and more I’m realizing I don’t love the ranking system–it forces me to list shows one after the other even if I think multiple shows may have all been equally worthwhile for very different reasons. It’s reductive and misleading but, more to the point, not that fun. So enjoy the numbers for today, bid them a fond (or not) farewell, and look forward to a new format from here on out.

For now, though…

Continue reading

Panning the Stream: Spring 2016 Midseason Review

Pick a show, any show.

fw4 (2)

We’ve reached the midway point and Spring shows no sign of slowing down or dropping off. From calming comedies to urban fantasies to action-packed (melo)dramas to whatever-the-hell The Lost Village is supposed to be, there’s a lot of variety and remarkable quality, with most shows building on themselves nicely or, at the very least, maintaining a steady course.

While I wouldn’t say there’s a ton in the way of jaw-dropping creative ambition at this point (aside from Concrete Revolutio anyway), if you’re in the mood for entertainment, Spring 2016 has got you thoroughly covered. Hit the jump to check in with our motley crew of anime titles.

Continue reading

Rule of Three Review: Spring 2016 Anime Digest

Don’t mind me, I just fell over under the weight of my watch list.

bungo3-1

I hemmed and hawed about exactly when I should post this sucker. Due to a combination of already offset premiere dates and delays caused by the Kumamoto Earthquake (a list of ways you can help here, if you’re interested), some of these are into their fourth episode while a couple have only aired two. So consider this more a rule of three-ish review, I s’pose.

The number of shows that made it this far is, uh… not insignificant, with a good mix of comedy and drama (or at least loud glorious trashy action) to offer a little something for everyone. Even the stuff on the bubble is pretty solid, and would have been a lock during last season’s sparser schedule. I’m going to try to be brief here so as not to overload you on word count, but let’s see if I can’t praise some favorites and maybe point you towards your next favorite along the way.

Continue reading