Winter 2015 Watch List

I’m watching a couple things from winter, for anyone curious about stuff like that.

The Maybe-Imports:

Koufuku Graffiti
Yoru no Yatterman
Cinderella Girls

Rock-Solid:

Shonen Hollywood
Assassination Classroom
Akatsuki no Yona
Shirobako
Dog Days
Reco-G
Stardust Crusaders
Ace of the Diamond

Depends on Free Time:

Junketsu no Maria
Kuroko’s Basketball
Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso

Some Notes:

-The majority of shows I’m following right now are carry-overs from a previous season in one form or another; there’s only 5 newcomers on the list.

-This feels like a really strong season, mostly because what is good makes me feel secure enough to drop some shows I felt had decent promise. Can’t complain.

-I’m four for five on shows I had high hopes for in the preseason, though the order is a bit different. The odd one out is the desperate homonym, which I have zero intention of ever watching more of.

-I’ve let myself fall behind on pretty much every continued show except Dog Days, Stardust Crusaders, and Shirobako. The rest are really good mini-marathon material, each in their own way. Plus, I got more heavy into marathoning in general lately after the CFB playoffs ended, cause I realized it was a lot of fun to have solid fuel on the back burner all go off at once. Currently I’m shunting between Milky Holmes, Geneshaft, and old seasons of sneaky-great Korean gameshow The Genius. Also, I’m being reminded by the grapevine every week that I should revisit Kamisama Hajimemashita – Daichi’s always been a treat, and the fashion in that new OP is super-fresh.

-Shirobako might not be as commercially viable without it, but you could totally tell that story without any of the anime and still be left with something unique. Workplace politics/career issues are rarely so well-integrated into a story; even the characters who started out as one-note plot devices have evolved into real personalities in a way that makes the whole office feel constantly organic. I have to go back and remember Dai-Guard to really get something that doesn’t obviously lose out to it as a workplace-based show.

-Importing is going to be super-hard if all 3 at the top keep up their nasty streaks. Each has had nothing but godly-tier episodes really since mid-January, moments that kept me rewatching over and over again. A little mini-list ranking the episodes by what I remember most about them:

1. Paper Library Cards (Koufuku 4)
2. Banzai! (Yatterman 4)
3. Fried Chicken! (Cinderella Girls 3)
4. Raining Cakes (Koufuku 5)
5. Omaetachi wa Seigi jya Nai! (Yatterman 3)
6. Dino-Kirari (Cinderella Girls 4)
7. “Pancakes count as cakes too!” (Koufuku 3)

Koufuku has a paper-thin edge right now primarily because the Ryou solo episode was beyond amazing between the depiction of the library, the stuff with her grandma learning to cook, and the convenience store lunch nostalgia angle. That, and they stuck the Brave Man Road into the ED. It feels like the most likely one to pull of a streak of unparalleled creativity the way ShoHolly locked up my import by rattling off the Air Boys/Street Performance/Talk Show threesome in a five-week stretch over the summer. Yatterman and Cinderella are super-tight, though – the latter dances its robust character settings onto every floor and the former comes out each week with a flurry of Scratch J-esque haymakers (both emotional and spectacular). I’m predicting a crazy run from one of them to create some gap between weeks 7 and 10.

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