Highlight: Summer 2016 anime season

“I’ll leave the small fries to you” — Arataka Reigen

Oh I felt cheated alright. I felt the dire lack of witch show this season and the nauseous Re-something naming trend.

In the case of Rewrite, it was a huge train-wreck expected. I have yet to hear any decent novel from Key since Little Busters! (last time I heard, even the novel adaptation of Angel Beats! was a train-wreck!) so I was positive that disaster of a visual novel had no hope from the start. Planetarian was pretty decent, if anything, so I’m leaving here a positive note for that old Key show.

ReLIFE is the second Re-something show this season. It’s a webcomic on my read list and I rate the story highly. Perhaps, I would have liked it better had I not known all the spoilers before the show even began. And the fact that it was a marathon release and not a weekly made reviewing ReLIFE a little bit awkward.

Finally, aboard the hype train Re:Zero! Regardless of what fans of the series might say, I personally think Re:Zero was a massive shipwreck. The first ten episodes were alright, they were quite amusing to watch and they did kinda remind me of Steins;Gate. But then came the courtroom scene during which every character in the show took a minus 100 IQ penalty. The author, clearly not knowing where to get his plot from next, fell back on the classic idiot ball. Once the idiot ball was set rolling, damn with plot, down with the show!

As for the other disappointments this season, Amaama to Inazuma ended up being a cooking show. I suppose it was quite educational but not fun at all to watch. New Game! and Handa-kun turned out alright but since I’ve already read the manga, I’m bored by these shows quite easily.

91 Days pulled a commendable attempt to be entertaining. However, the entire premise failed to entice me and the actions were quite predictable. They got me with the same art style last season with Joker Game! but mediocre plot only works in episodic format. Gangsters are not at all hip without any evil mastermind scheming the shootings so things in 91 Days fell apart easily and all events seemed so random in hindsight.

Seasonal Selection

Show Expectation Rating
Mob Psycho 100 Star Highlight (1)
Saiki Kusuo no Psi-nan Question mark Highlight (2)
ReLIFE Star Decent
Kono Bijutsubu ni wa Mondai ga Aru! Star Decent
Planetarian Old Dog Decent
Handa-kun Star Decent
New Game! Star Decent
Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu Star Mediocre
91 Days Question mark Mediocre
Amaama to Inazuma Question mark Mediocre
Tales of Zestiria Question mark Mediocre
Rewrite Old Dog Trash
Qualidea Code Question mark Trash

Highlight: Mob Psycho 100

Mob Psycho 100 was the show that ended up on top of my list this season. The show didn’t roll any idiot ball in my face, or hand-wave its way out of sheer genre blindness (I’m looking at you, Rewrite, I’m looking at you!) and for that I’m grateful. This season had been plagued with no plots and bad plots and I’m starting to get cancer watching shows like Qualidea Code trying to be the cool kid Shinsekai Yori.

Mob Psycho 100 got it rough. Just imagine how difficult it was to get out of the overwhelming shadow of One Punch Man. Frankly, I didn’t think ONE (artist) could pull it off. His original art was no where as good as Murata-sensei and his art style got on my nerves initially (it still does). It sucks being compared to One Punch Man all the time and that was just the kind of superstar older brother Mob Psycho 100 had.

Yes, Mob. FML moment indeed!

What ONE lacked in art department was made up by his writing. I have to give it to him. He knows his stuffs. His storytelling, albeit nonsensical at times, is solid, compelling and meaningful. When played for gags, he made it clear that he was playing for gags and when things got serious, they got dead serious. Characters were gradually introduced into the story, woven into the world naturally. One plot point led to the next and what came up at the climax was the accumulation of the actions the characters had taken; which sounded straightforward enough but damn me I haven’t seen anything else this entire season with a better plot than Mob Psycho 100. It was great! It was so simple, nothing was convoluted about the writing and yet at the end of the day, there was still moral lessons to be taught. Be it the consequences of greed, the responsibility of great power, or the value of humility.

Really now, either ONE has been too awesome with his simplicity or every other writers have done goof. I strongly suspect it was the latter but, just to stay on the optimistic side, I will say ONE is just that great of a writer. With his level of cohesive storytelling, I could care a bit less about the studio that made this show, or the animation. But, alas Mob Psycho 100 had been in good care. Being a BONES studio production kinda guarantee its animation quality to be top notch. The sound quality was also great, I love the opening sequence and the ominous battle music. Still, ugh, the art style was so different. It’s like every unimportant character that’s not named underwent plastic surgery from hell. They looked so bad…it hurt to watch them on screen.

One thing I particularly love about Mob Psycho 100 was the “shisou” character Arataka Reigen. The guy was a fraud but he was a respectable fraud, a glorious bastard one couldn’t help but look up to. He led admirable ways of life and he had his monkey’s ways out of unbelievable situations. He had never failed to put a smile on my face throughout the show. I just love this character and how he was depicted. Knowing just how difficult it is to design a street-smart character without overdosing the viewer on expositions and informed abilities, I’m all the more respectful towards ONE’s writing. “Wow, I cannot hate Reigen at all,” was how I felt at the end of the series.

Runner-up: Saiki Kusuo no Psi-nan

Davids and Goliath

The runner up this season is a show about another psychic. I was recommended to the show by a friend of mine three weeks into the season. He was right, Saiki Kusou no Psi-nan was worth the time. The show was about the daily life of a powerful psychic. Having psychic power didn’t make life any easier, if anything, it made life complicated. The show at its heart was a simple slice-of-life comedy with some supernatural elements. It didn’t take itself too seriously and it played its satire cards right.

There wasn’t any plot to discuss here. The art and sound were just right; production wasn’t stellar but it was good enough. J.C. Staff took the helm of this show so I didn’t expect much in the animation quality anyways. The show was cut into episodic shorts that unfolded and wrapped up a situation in a few minutes (kinda like the old-school Doraemon show). Overall, I like the comedy and I can’t recommend this show enough. Comedy fans should definitely check this bite-size humor gem out!

1 thought on “Highlight: Summer 2016 anime season”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s