Glancing Upstream: Winter 2016 Retrospective and Review

Something something “the winter of our discontent.”

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This is my shortest retrospective to date, thanks to a pretty dismal season in terms of incoming series. Some of that had to do with my own time constraints and self-imposed ranking rules (there are four shows in the “unranked” category this season, three of which I’d happily recommend to others), but some of it had to do with there just not being a lot that caught my eye this time around. Still, the top two were pretty special, and if an anime season can give you even one incredible series, then it’s hard to call it a true disappointment, I s’pose.

If there’s one positive trend to take from this season, it’s that we’ve got some good artists and directors in the business: people able to take into account all elements of a production and elevate the source material, whether that’s from “meh” to “good” or “good” to “great.” So take heart! The blueprints may be rough at times, but at least they’re in the hands of skilled builders.

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Panning the Stream: Winter 2016 Midseason Review

The party is shrinking faster than expected.

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While it’s not unheard-of for me to drop shows between the third and sixth episode, my retention rate is something like 80 percent. Basically, if you can hook me after three, I’m usually invested enough to stick around through the whole cour even if I wind up with a negative opinion of the show.

This season, though? This season there was enough mildly entertaining mid-range stuff that I threw it all at the wall and waited to see what would stick. Not much of it did, and some of the results surprised even me. Hit the jump to see where we stand halfway through this chilly season.

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Rule of Three Review: Winter 2016 Anime Digest

I’m not as cold about this winter season as I worried I’d be, but…

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You may have noticed the distinct lack of “Rule of Three” posts over the last week, and there’s an odd reason for that. While I’m still watching way too many shows, and still enjoying them for the most part, there’s surprisingly little to actually say about them. With a few exceptions, this is a fluffy (or maybe “trashy”) kind of season, more entertaining than expected but difficult to review because a lot of it boils down to “it’s fun and I kinda like it.”

So rather than force myself to find 2-4 paragraphs worth of things to say about 10 new series (sequels don’t get Rule of Three Reviews), I figured I’d just write 1-2 about each of them. Digest post, go!

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Panning the Stream: Dimension W, Grimgar, Schwarzesmarken

Winter may not be bright, but things are looking up a little.

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The weekend premiere deluge is at last at an end, so Panning posts should come a little slower and less frantically for the next couple days. It was a matter of quantity over quality, that’s for darn sure, but out of the muddy stream comes, if not a pile of gold nuggets, then at least an edible fish or two. Hit the jump for a trio whose caliber varies as wildly as their settings.

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