Saturday, April 16, 2016

First Impressions - Spring 2016

Written by Shiggins

I couldn't think up a witty title. Sorry.

Spring is here and as always, there's a slew of new anime to check out. Of course, we can't fully review them since they've only just started, but I thought it might be worth a try to give an opinion on how each "opening episode" is like, and what they could give in the future. So if you're looking for a new anime to check out, or have an anime you want to recommend, why not try coming here?

Yes. Yes, Spring 2016 can get this awesome.

Bungou Stray Dogs

We're fans of Blood Blockade Battlefront, as you know. It was number 1 in our Top 10 2015 Anime list, and we stand by that. So any anime that wants to follow that same tune deserves at least a notice, and Bungou Stray Dogs definitely has that comedic spark we thoroughly enjoyed from BBB. It's almost like a writer from BBB watched the first episode of Psycho Pass, got drunk and tried to remember what it was like... except he was too wasted to remember most of the important details so he just made that stuff up, kept the very few similarities his messed-up brain did remember, and we ended up with this instead.

I don't know which design I like more. Detective Gin, Ponytail Secretary, or Kind Hillbilly .
The story is about a homeless guy named Nakajima Atsushi, who has been kicked out of an orphanage due to unknown circumstances. After saving a suicidal idiot known as Dazai Osamu from drowning, he unwillingly gets involved with Dazai's supernatural organisation of colourful characters and mysterious cases. 

...I wanna flick his hair.
The jokes are funny, fast and furious, which is greatly helped by the lovely animation and the unique characters that quickly endear themselves to the audience. Dazai and his friend Kunikida are the highlight, as they go back-and-forth with either a calm attitude or intense frustration. The action isn't much of a selling point, but it's not meant to be. And thanks to the series being focused on an organisation that deals with magic and monsters, there's tons of pathways the future can go.

My Hero Academia

As I've said before, I love Hero Academia. It's not the most unique series out there, but it's gotten a lot of attention recently due to many citing it as "the next Naruto". I personally don't agree with that since I think Hero Academia has the classic Shonen feel that many manga, Naruto included, have incorporated over the years. Thanks to Hero Academia's superhero spin however, it does manage to have a somewhat unique feel to it.

My past and my future.
The story is set in a world where superheroes are normal, and the protagonist Izuku Midoriya has not got one, despite growing up in worship of the greatest superhero ever, All Might! Although he gets bullied in school by his superpowered classmates, Midoriya still wants to be a hero and his chance to become one may occur when he finally meets All Might face-to-face. 

Words cannot express my jealousy of this world.
Bright colours, fast action and a few surprisingly tearjerking scenes definitely make this series compelling enough to recommend. Everything in this first episode is just so vibrant and instantly recognisable, which makes it a shame when some of the background characters look surprisingly unpolished. Honestly though, the series had already gripped fans without having even finished the first chapter in the first episode, so chances are that there will be plenty for you to enjoy as well. If you're missing Naruto and are disgusted at Bleach's asspulling recently, this one is good for you.

Koutetsujou no Kabaneri

From the studio that brought you Attack on Titan comes... Attack on Titan again! Except instead of giant humans looking like a baby chewed them up first, we have glowing magma zombies. Yay? Surprisingly, this is a lot better than I'm making it out to be. And why? One simple word that makes my knees buckle: Steampunk!

It's nice to finally see trains get the attention they deserve.
Set in the future... past... on an island called Hinomoto, Ikoma wants to do his part to never run away by creating weapons that can destroy the "Kabane", which are just a cute nickname for these super-zombies. Whilst working hard, he notices an eccentric girl not needing to be inspected for Kabane bites, and he later achieves a massive scientific breakthrough before heading to the large steam locomotive, Hayajiro.

It's actually a shame this series came out after Attack on Titan, or else I would be able to appreciate this series a lot more. Zombies are overused to buggery of course, but in a world with steampunk gadgets, locomotives and a character who actually has a brain, there is still potential. I also saw a girl roundhouse kick a zombie's head off, so I can't exactly hate it. It's got a very epic feel to it, but I'm not sold just yet. Then again, I'm not torn away either so I just have to hope we get better and the series manages to find it's own identity.


After the shockingly amazing Kill la Kill, Studio Trigger finally return with Kiznaiver, a series that takes a very surprising turn for the studio as it has none of the insanity and nutjob expressions that Kill la Kill or Gurren Lagann have. In fact, it's surprisingly grounded... by anime standards, I mean.

*adds protagonist to my "Cute girl... oh wait, the protagonist is male" list*
This story follows Katsuhira Agata, a student who appears to feel no pain whatsoever, as he is made to join a group and become a "Kiznaiver". The other Kiznaivers all seem to represent stereotypes, such as the eccentric little girl or the friendly but stupid violent guy, and this small group of stereotypes are all now connected together. To put it simply, if one feels pain, they all feel pain.

Ok so there is SOME weirdness...
What's immediately interesting about this story, other than the brilliant opening theme, is the potential and possibility of where this could go. This anime could easily turn this simple premise into something hilarious, or it could go the exact opposite route and come out with something dark and tragic. It's also great to see Trigger's animation put to good use yet again, although I do kinda wish we could see more of their Kill la Kill craziness again. So I definitely recommend this series, if only because I am utterly clueless about what comes next.

Gyakuten Saiban: Sono "Shinjitsu", Igi Ari!

Ace Attorney?! No seriously, this is Ace Attorney. It is the anime based on the game series for handheld consoles, and I can't think why they even bothered to give this game an anime. I'm not saying the anime is bad, but surely there must be better games for Capcom to have as the focus for an anime. Like Street Fighter or Monster Hunter. As for the anime itself however, it's okay.

He is the man who points... for you!
The anime follows the games to the letter, focusing on the adventures of Ryuuichi Naruhodou as he starts his first case as a defender of justice and truth by being a lawyer under the guidance of his mentor Chihiro Ayasato. He has to prove his own friend's innocence and solve the murder of a poor woman who was killed in her home. And no, it's not as dark as it sounds.

I hope they don't fuck up my mistress in season 2.
I'd be quite shocked if you saw this and didn't immediately feel like you were watching a tutorial of a video game. The way Chihiro speaks to Ryuuichi is nothing short of "tutorial guide" levels of obvious, and the way the analysis is done feels exactly like how a player (with admittedly fast reflexes) would play the game. If that doesn't cause you to lose immersion, then you should find something to enjoy. For me though, I had trouble getting invested. Some of the characters look awkward compared to their game counterparts (including Gumshoe who looks exactly like Professor Oak for some reason) and there's nothing on the technical side that makes this stand out. It feels like advertisement for a product that came out years ago. Not awful, but not perfect either. 

Were your first impressions any different? What other anime that started this season should be checked out? Let me know in the comments below!

Shiggins:[Admin]   .
Born under the stars of the Dark Gods, Shiggins owns the power of the Great Eye and is utterly magnificent in his omniscience. If you dare to discover more about someone as great as him, then go ahead. And to all my friends and family members, YOU are wrong and I should be disappointed! Not the other way round!,. You can find out about him or ask him stuff on or go to his tumblr page


  1. The Ace Attorney anime really is bafflingly timed, isn't it? There isn't even a new game coming out, as far as I know.

    I've only had time to check out Mayoiga this season, and so far I'm enjoying the slow build of mystery and melodrama. As a Little Witch Academia and Kill la Kill groupie, though, I definitely plan to watch Kiznaiver once it's finished!

    1. Their is a game coming out in Japan on June 9th, so this could potentially be related to that. However, we're not approaching an anniversary, and the anime released months before the game is so the timing is still off either way.

      And would you recommend Mayoiga and Little Witch Academia? What are they like?

  2. It's probably too early to really recommend Mayoiga, but I am liking the atmosphere and potential for a murder mystery plot (deep down, I think I'll be disappointed). I definitely recommend Little Witch Academia, though! There's not much of a time investment, and it's fun, light, and well-executed. A "for General Audiences" kind of anime, in the best sense.