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.
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.
The Magic of Art and other feel-good lessons from the best show nobody’s watching.
Magic-Kyun Renaissance is an adaptation of an otome game (basically a dating sim marketed towards girls) that follows Kohana, a second-year student transferring to the prestigious Hoshinomori School of Magical Arts. Once there, she quickly winds up on the school’s festival committee along with a bunch of cute boys specializing in various arts, from calligraphy to dancing to sculpting. Sparkles, flowers, and musical numbers ensue.
While the premise is pretty standard harem fare, it’s charmed me with its cast of likable (if not a bit one-note) art dorks, silly sense of humor and willingness to poke fun at itself, and some impressive cinematography thanks in large part to Yamazaki Mitsue’s direction and storyboards. I also find myself both fascinated and inspired by the way it uses its world of “magical arts” to address the struggles of young artists. And since no one else is talking about it, I figured now was a good time for a li’l mini-essay!
Here there be spoilers: General discussion of the first three episodes below.
I thought spring was the rainy season, so why am I drowning in shows in October?
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.
We’re roughly halfway through the Fall premieres, so now’s as good a time as any to compile a shortlist and talk about ’em. As usual, I’m watching all licensed new shows and any relevant sequels and giving you at least a few thoughts on each of them. The Josei Next Door: Sitting through everything, so you don’t have to!
I’ve divided them into three categories: “Guaranteed Three Episodes,” “On the Fence,” and “Slush Pile.” Actually, make that four categories–I’m rolling some sequels/spin-offs into this one, too. There’s a fair amount in that fence-sitting group because, while there haven’t been a ton of out-and-out awful shows, outside of Yuri on Ice there wasn’t anything that really “wowed” me, either. Some solid foundations and a fair amount of variety, though, so hopefully it’ll build well on itself, and you’ll all be able to find something that catches your eye, too.