Glancing Upstream: Spring 2015 Retrospective and Review

Well, that was certainly a season of anime.


Okay, maybe I’m being too hard here. Winter 2015 was a nigh impossible act to follow in terms of sheer depth and breadth, and it’s not like Spring didn’t have its fair share of light, fun series. Plus there were a few clear standouts along the way as well, particularly if you enjoy more realistic YA-style fiction. Still, I’m finding that, while last season I was recommending just about everything to just about everyone, this season is a lot more about “Well, if you like {Genre}, you’ll probably enjoy {Title}.”

Weaker seasons tend to tell you more about your own tastes than the stronger ones, and now that I’ve officially blogged a full year’s worth of anime seasons, I think it’s safe to say that I have a wide range of genre and story interests and will watch just about anything so long as I can get halfway invested in the characters, whether that’s through humor or emotional drama. There are some definite clumsy and/or questionable shows on this list, but I stuck around largely because I liked hanging out with at least a portion of the cast and wanted to see what became of them. So, really, this season’s list is as much about who I liked as it is about what I liked.

Hit the jump for the best characters of the season (and their corresponding series).

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Rule of Three Review, Doga Kobo Digest: Plastic Memories, Mikagura School Suite – Episodes 2-3

Sometimes execution just isn’t enough.

Studio Doga Kobo is trying their damnedest with both of these shows, filling them with expressive faces, lots of motion both in terms of animation and shot selection, and energetic vocal performances. And that would probably be enough to sell me on both these series—if only the writing were even a little bit better. One of these series fritters its fascinating premise away on cliche interactions, while the other juggles a large, likable cast but struggles with a generic premise and shallow conflicts. And man, are they both trying real hard to be funny and doing a realmediocre job at it.

So yeah, this digest post ain’t the most positive thing I’ve written, but you’re welcome to hit the jump for specifics on what worked, what didn’t, and whether either of these shows will get a chance to prove themselves next week.

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Panning the Stream: Mikagura School Suite, Triage X, Wish Upon the Pleiades, Etotama

Must’ve been a hard winter, given how puny this spring crop looks.

We’re getting dangerously close to the end of the licensed spring premieres, and pickins remain slim. It’s not even that most of them are terrible (although Triage X very much is)—they’re just run-of-the-mill, safe, and uninspired. Still, we’ve got one that’s a little off the beaten path, so we can talk about that in some detail, at least. Hit the jump for some light potential and a trio of “no, thank you”s.

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