Frankly, those 12 episodes don’t deserve to be called a “season”. Initially Gainax announced 24 episodes but for some reasons the second part will be aired on the Winter 2019 season. However, this decision might’ve been a little spontaneous and by the end of the first half we don’t come to any conclusion and just have to be patient and hope that next year we’ll be able to remember the characters.
Despite the fact that I like musical anime in general the most important thing about this show for me personally was that it’d be the first Gainax anime in a few years. Yeah, they made a couple of shorts; yeah, this is a recently created Fakushima Gainax branch, not the main studio — still, it’s very important that Gainax is still alive and doing good TV shows. And Piano No Mori is good. Even though sometimes it demonstrated absolutely awful 3D scenes (I understand that it’s virtually impossible to make detailed piano scenes in 2D, but c’mon guys, Nodame Cantabile managed to find the right balance so could you). Even though the characters in this anime don’t have believable background and motivation and, honestly, it’s very difficult to make myself care about any of them. Even though this is a
fucking shounen with all its typical attributes such as competitions, overcomings and other things showing how strong your spirit is and how concentrated on the victory you are.
But again — I’m complaining because A) we set the bar for musical anime very high. Nodame Cantabile and Your Lie in April (although the existence of the second one is dedicated to making the audience cry and only then it’s about music) are a proof. And B) Gainax itself is to blame — year after year they’d been doing shows, which inevitably ended up on my “Top” list. Looking at how other studious and genres are doing — Piano No Mori may be claimed a success. Moreover, music in this anime atones for many for its sins.
According to the Wiki page Gainax are going to release two more anime this year so we’ll get another chance to see whether Piano No Mori is a single act or things are actually getting better. Fingers crossed.
One of those anime that I sort of liked but barely can find enough words to describe, because, well, it’s a slice of life anime without any plot or other things I could’ve complained about. Characters? They are okay, I guess — with an exception, Hitomi is amazing and
a single one of the main reasons to watch this show. Hina is very irritating, so it’s perfectly understandable when Nitta celebrates when she finally left =) The plot… well, in the best case scenario it can be described in a single sentence but with a lot of repetitive phrases like “and then she arrives”, “and then another she arrives” and so on. Jokes and visual are good and as a comedy Hinamatsuri is a fine addition to the season that ended up with two or three unexpectedly good and addicting shows (WotaKoi and Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu, yeah sorry, I’m going to promote them every time). I even regret not saving screenshots from some moments like, for instance, when the whole gang went to the “girly club”. It’s not the best comedy in the world but I’m definitely going to watch next seasons and fear not — they will be made! The manga is still running and apparently Hinamatsuri found its way to the audience’ collective heart, I hear only positive things about it.
Easily the best anime of the spring season — relaxing, calm and about adults. Love is Hard for Otaku represents that part of life many of use would like to have, an opportunity to share your addiction with a person you love and with friends. Drinking together after work discussing your first 2D love (no one but Asuka!), playing games on weekends, visiting manga stores to buy new books. Let’s just say no to outdoors activities and those stupid movie theatres!
In addition to all that adult otaku romantics WotaKoi contains tons of jokes and references. And many, many awkward situations, this is an anime about love after all. Wouldn’t say that the romance is the strongest selling point of this show but it’s okay I guess. A little too innocent, a little too pointless — but who knows, maybe that aimlessness was meant to show that life is about small things? (Who am I trying to convince?)
This anime wasn’t all roses, unicorns and other beautiful things, for sure. The plot line with a shy girl who was befriended by Hirotaka’s brother was slightly off. To be honest, pretty much all scenes with Nao-chan weren’t necessary — every time “I looked into his big dumb eyes” (c) I couldn’t get rid of a feeling that I want to fast-forward to the next part.
Anyway, I looked forward to watching WotaKoi and it lived up to my expectations. A super-nice daily life story about otaku, that kind of says that “yeah guys, even if all these Japanese cartoons are trash it’s a cool trash and, more importantly, it’s a cool trash that you like, so keep on!” Need to buy a new Asuka figure.
One of the main (and pleasant) surprises of this spring season. Despite its ordinary description (a girl became a magical girl that looks like a boy and there’s actually no reason to call him a magical girl but all this doesn’t matter because Super Power Of Love) Magical Girl Ore is a very funny show where authors made an attempt to create something new in the established genre dedicated to a bunch of girls fighting big evil. Oh, and two main heroines are idols (we should be trendy, shouldn’t we?) and the guy whom Saki loves, all of a sudden is very gentle towards her but when she’s a magical, khm, girl and the monsters in this show suspiciously resemble Puchu and bloody fights are actually bloody and Kokoro-chan looks and acts like a yakuza and so on, and so forth — I don’t know how to describe all that madness, honestly.
The anime is not as insane as Pani Poni Dash but it did the most important job it had — it managed to keep the necessary degree of craziness during all 12 episodes. Neither mahou shoujo shows could escape some questionable parodies, nor comedies (running in the morning with ramen, anyone?) — but to be fair Mahou Shoujo Ore wasn’t serious about itself as well. No one is forgotten.
Persona 5 The Animation
Despite the fact that I enjoyed the game a lot the same plot in animation format looks rather silly. For people who haven’t played Persona 5 this anime’s description unlikely will be especially tempting — a bunch of school students led by a guy whose parents don’t care for him at all trying to change the “rotten world built by corrupt adults”. Those damn adults, they always corrupt everything! Out of curiosity we checked out the first episode, saw that it wasn’t filmed any better than in-game animated cutscenes and dropped it.
I don’t watch sports anime but visual of Megalo Box is so old-school that I couldn’t resist. However, other than unusual graphics it’s very difficult to find any reasons to keep on watching this show. (Note for the future self — megalo box is just like regular box but when sportsmen wear exoskeletons).
3D Kanojo: Real Girl
An otaku falls in love with a girl who supposedly does this and that with anyone who’s closer than 5 meters to her. To add up, the first episode was rather poorly animated. I might’ve continued watching this anime if we didn’t have a better one about otaku-in-love this season. To drop without a trace of remorse.
We’re going to watch how an “immortal” Japanese deserter accompanied by an ainu girl is looking for stolen gold, killing humans (decently drawn) and 3D bears (they look terrible). Interesting character design and unbeaten period of time but somehow this anime didn’t impress me much, maybe because of that war-and-prison vibes it has.
I think that this anime is going to be covered in bad reviews and eventually forgotten. For sports anime fans (and baseball fans in particular) it’s too slow and too concentrated on everything except actually matches and characters who, hm, overbear all the time. For others — it has too much baseball in it. But again — character design is really nice.
Survived so far:
Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii
Tada-kun wa Koi wo Shinai
Mahou Shoujo Ore
Comic Girls (actually, this one can be considered pretty much as dropped)
Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu: Die Neue These – Kaikou
Piano No Mori
Akkun to Kanojo
Hisone to Maso-tan
Cutie Honey Universe
Space Battleship Tiramisu
I wrote that a couple of times before and I’m ready to write this again but Violet Evergarden is beautiful. It basically yells at you “Look, I’m not your typical low-budget TV garbage”. The only downside of the anime’s visual is sometimes questionable rim light but it’s bearable. However, if you removed that great appearance you’d be left with nothing. Primitive story that can be described in one sentence. Bland characters doing useless things. Shallow and laughable sometimes world (yep, of course we need Dolls to write the declaration of peace). And on top of everything is Violet herself who evolves at a pace even Bulbasaur would be proud of, jumps from planes and has eyes as sharp as a hawk’s. Oh, I forgot to mention that you’re supposed to wring out streams, rivers and sometimes even oceans of tears during every episode. I wish Violet Evergarden wasn’t that gorgeous and I would’ve dropped it instead of cursing during all 13 episodes.
Fate Extra Last Encore
Well, sometimes even Shaft makes mediocre anime. To be honest, all Fate shows so far have been rather boring to me (I watched the original Fate Stay Night and Zero) but Extra turned out to be not only boring but also lacking a logical plot. All those SE.RAPHs, Angelic Cages — I honestly couldn’t get what’s going on. The strongest Shaft’s selling points, animation and direction, also were not the top notch this time. Either the studio didn’t have enough money or they were too concentrated on finishing “March Comes In Like a Lion” — anyways, first 5 episodes looked cheap. I had a feeling that before episode 6 the team had changed and the second part of Fate Extra was almost flawless in terms of direction — however, it was too late (not all people are patient Shaft fans) and, what’s more important, the plot hadn’t become more sensible. Obviously, this anime’s going to have a second season because the last episode finished abruptly, with bare minimum of explanations, I’m not sure though that Shaft will be the studio filming the second one.
The ending in the anime is really good though.