Savour this variety of anime featured in What’s Hot, because this is the last time you’ll see it. For the next 6 months all you will be seeing are endless streams of MUSHISHI JOJO MUSHISHI JOJO MUSHISHI JOJO MUSHISHI JOJO MUSHISHI JOJO MUSHISI JOJO MUSHISHI JOJO MUSHISHI JOJO MUSHISHI JOJO MUSHISI JOJO MUSHISHI JOJO MUSHISHI JOJO MUSHISHI JOJO MUSHISI JOJO MUSHISHI JOJO MUSHISHI JOJO MUSHISHI JOJO MUSHISI.
Scamp: Silver Spoon
Was tempted to give this to Space Dandy two months in a row, but I want to sing a little bit of praise for Silver Spoon. Particularly because it pulled the same damn trick on me two seasons in a row. It starts off a bit weak where the characters faff about doing agricultural stuff that isn’t quite as funny as it probably should be. I start wondering whether this show will live up to expectations. And then it sneaks up on you and gets real in a truly alarming, hard-hitting yet balanced fashion. This time it was the story of chasing your dreams and the barriers preventing you from doing so. Not just things like your own inhibitions, but things like crushing family debt and your own lack of talent. Then there’s Hachiken’s ever complicated relationship with his arsehole father, which makes every scene suddenly tense up like someone just shoved a wooden pole up your backside. Silver Spoon is a show that really sticks with me, even if there are other anime that I may enjoy watching more at the time.
Shinmaru: Kill la Kill
I am a simple man with simple tastes. I enjoy seeing characters I like beating the absolute dogshit out of each other in increasingly crazy ways. After all the twists and turns, all that’s left in the series is for everyone to blow each other to hell. The final two episodes are wonderful on this front. I loved everyone getting their big moments, with Mako donning her bancho outfit once more and the Elite Four getting their strongest outfits and toughing their way through every alien. I loved Ryuuko and Satsuki working together and the development of Satsuki accepting the second fiddle role because beating the crap out of alien clothing is that important. I loved Ragyo’s “LOL NOPE” every time it seemed as if she were defeated. I loved the show going TO SPACE!! (Only a few episodes behind Samurai Flamenco!) I loved Ryuuko riding Senketsu back down to Earth and Senketsu burning away with a tearful goodbye. And I also loved that date, because they really earned it. Hell, eat all the cake, drink all the tea and do all the shopping you want after wrecking all those aliens and evil fashionistas. Also, for the record: I am heavily pro-Satsuki haircut. Too cute.
Inushinde: Witch Craft Works
This sure is the season that managed to make the most of practically nonexistent expectations. Super Sonico was surprisingly not total shit, Sekai Seifuku turned out way better than expected, and Witch Craft Works has managed to pull through an extremely banal plot with the help of excellent comedic sensibilities, and distinctive, likable antagonists that are as liable to attack you with automaton rabbits as they are to whittle away the time being adorably irrelevant on any scale. Coupled with being surprisingly progressive for an anime (non-whites can own llamas too! What an age we live in) without said progressiveness becoming a crutch, Witch Craft Works made for a consistently entertaining viewing week to week, penguin tumbleweeds or no.
What’s not so Hot
Since I dropped everything I wasn’t really enjoying incredibly early on, the only show I’m left with as something I didn’t enjoy was the one I was forced to watch. Nisekoi is bland, boring and cliche, but what makes it truly irritable is that it is the safest anime ever. What’s that, plot development? Character development? Any change in the story whatsoever? No we can’t have that. Somebody might get annoyed. Let’s give absolutely equal time to both girls without ever resolving anything either way. I don’t mind romances where the characters can’t confess, but it’s how weak-willed the creators are that annoy me. Not the characters. Let’s rehash the same scenarios forever and forever, lest our cash cow dies. God forbid we get a bit of meat out of this cow rather than stale samey milk over and over again.
LOL that ending. Now, there could be some deeper metaphorical meaning I’m missing because I stopped caring about the story long ago. Or maybe there’s some context from the manga missing because every episode feels like a couple of minutes ripped randomly from a much longer episode of anime. But this series about a pair of siblings infected by a virus that turns one into a flesh-eating monster and gives the other regenerative powers so that his sister can eternally snack on him without guilt ends with a flashback (I think?) involving the two at a carnival winning a stuffed bear and making new friends. I guess. That’s definitely the way you want to conclude your gore series! Boy Pupa sure did save (Studio Deen a crapload of money by making a barely-animated short series rather than a full-length) anime.
Inushinde: Saki: Zenkoku-hen
Again, I’m not particularly down on any show from this season that I’ve continued watching. Hell, even Saki, in all of its glorious idiocy and sapphism, is consistent enough that I don’t really dislike it in any notable capacity. Disliking Saki for not being an accurate depiction of Mahjong, or focusing too much on developing characters that drop off the face of the earth into the lesbian dimension a mere few episodes later, is like disliking JoJo for gratuitous classic rock references or bulging muscles. But since I’ve already covered why I’m not terribly fond of Nisekoi, fuck Saki for continuing to give Achiga plot armor. It means that we’ll have more of that god-awful team in the future, and nobody wants that.