This Fall pretty much dropped off a cliff for me, entirely due to personal time-based reasons. Plus I just swapped up one of my imports, so it’s worth talking about why.
Yuki Yuna wa Yusha de Aru
Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken
Akatsuki no Yona
Hitsugi no Chaika s2
Unlimited Blade Works
Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai
Shingeki no Bahamut
Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso
-Shingeki no Bahamut’s not an import-quality show for me any more. Keeps focusing on dramatic elements of the story, which is really, really basic and uninteresting. Hasn’t had a swashbuckler Favaro moment of the kind that made me fall in love with the show early for weeks.
-I’m giving my money to trips-Yu instead. At least, hedging my bets by preordering 1 and 2 so I can cancel later if 11-12 somehow fall flat. Don’t think they will, though – it’s one of those things where even though it could see the bottom fall out, I just don’t believe it will. I trust this show a lot at this point. It’s been come-home-early-to-watch great throughout the season, and the overall product really feels like it’s optimizing the talent of everyone involved. Plus, the box is physically large and if there’s even a small chance of getting cast commentary on later episodes, I want to be on that train. A good portion of why I like post-2010 Kishi Seiji is that he’s carried off a lot of shows that use lighter moments to make characters likable before tossing them into serious dramatic situations, and this is probably the show with the best buildup/payoff ratio from that out of anything he’s done thus far.* Likeable characters are literally the most important and transient part of any really good story in any medium – you can leave stories unfinished, half-ass animation, and market poorly, but if you’ve built a really strong cast, they drag that thing across the finish line.
-That said, I’m hedging my best by preordering v1 and v2 simultaneously, so I can keep the v1 discount and still be able to cancel if I want to.
-Unlimited Blade Works keeps me coming back every week primarily because I like the fashion sense of the cast. Not that the action is unfun, just that that’s what stands out the most about the series to me at this point.
-Odds are I find time for one or two shows in the might-finish category. Really liked lots of shows this season that I haven’t been able to keep up with, and for some reason I suck at staying current when not watching an episode the day it comes out.
-I’m beginning to regret importing s1 of Chaika. The powerful ending sold me on what had been a solid show based around a classic adventure party setup, but s2 switched up the formula and spent a lot of time explaining mythology and backstory and such that I never really care for. I hate how this sometimes feels like an obligatory part of fantasy nowadays.
*Even if it’s not the best period. I’ve slapped a personal 10/10 on 3 of his shows so far – Jinrui, Kamisama Dolls, and Angel Beats. Jinrui doesn’t really fall into this category – was pure force-of-will comedy slam-dunking. Angel Beats grew on me the more I watched it and tended to focus on the insane high-point episodes (soccer, baseball, graduation, and high-tension especially). Kamisama Dolls, incomplete plot and all, puts the Kyohei/Aki and Kyohei/Shiba arcs at center stage and sticks them every time. The way the finale wrapped both those two up was everything I ever could have asked for.
This is also fun because I pointed out how his resume gets misinterpreted a lot before the season, back when plenty of people were writing Yuna’s premature obituary, just like they’re doing for Assassination Classroom now.