Glancing Upstream: Fall 2015 Retrospective and Review

The autumn colors were certainly on display, I’ll give Fall that, at least.

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This was a slim season for me in terms of overall series completed, and would have been a pretty disappointing one if not for a couple happy surprises and a pair of standout shows from the ever-reliable Studio BONES. Still, there’s good variety here, with a strong focus on action/adventure titles, so there’s a pretty good chance something out there will speak to everyone’s tastes.

One thing Fall did have in droves was plenty of style. From the jaw-droppingly dynamic animation of One Punch Man, to the ’60s comic book-inspired design of Concrete Revolutio, to the painted landscapes of Seraph, the glowing monsters of Noragami, and even the washed-out color scheme and bursts of acid-trip weirdness in Perfect Insider, a lot of creative teams threw themselves into making the shows this season visually striking, and they by-and-large succeeded.

While ultimately I’m the kind of viewer who needs a developed set of characters and a meaningful (or at least entertaining) narrative to keep me invested in a story, that should by no means take away from the sheer amount of hard work and talent on display this Fall. Animation is art, and (narrative content notwithstanding), these creators have made that abundantly clear.

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Rule of Three Review, Superhero Digest: Concrete Revolutio, One Punch Man

Can these do-gooders power their way onto the watchlist?

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If mecha is a taste I’ve never quite acquired, then superhero is one that I find myself enjoying more with each year. Give the MCU ample credit for that, as well as new western lady-led comics like Ms. Marvel or The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, for sure, but magical girls and powered rangers have had a place in my heart for a while now, too, and that place grows a little warmer all the time. So it’s no wonder that both of these shows received glowing premiere reviews not too long ago. As for whether or not that glow has worn off… well, that requires a few more paragraphs than this one.

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Panning the Stream: Iron-Blooded Orphans, Concrete Revolutio, One Punch Man

After an early stumble, Fall may be climbing up again.

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The anime gods heard our complaints yesterday and saw fit to grace us with three series that are a vast improvement over the majority of the others I’ve watched thus far, packed with great animation, distinctive characters, and competent (or at least passionate) writing. In truth, these were the three I pegged as potential goodies going into the season, so it’s mostly just a relief that they weren’t total clunkers. Hit the jump for all the exciting details.

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