Monday, May 9, 2016

2016 Spring Anime 1st Half Review-Bakuon Ep 1 to 5, Macross Delta Ep 1 to 6, Sakamoto Desu Ga Ep 1 to 4, Kotetujo no Kabaneri Ep 1 to 4 and some Honorable Mentions

Hi everyone! I know I haven't been doing reviews of other shows due to my personal commitment and the only series you see in my blog currently is Maho Tsukai Precure. I have been actually watching quite a number of shows this season and there are some good or at least decent ones (In my opinion) so without further ado, let's get started! (Spoilers included!)

Bakuon Ep 1 to 5: I used to ride a motorbike when I was younger and for a show that introduce the world of motorcycles, it brought back memories of me having the same experiences as the characters in Bakuon.

Basically, it is K-On with Motorcycles in it. We have Sakura who was impressed by her classmate, Onsa who is riding a Yamaha Scramble bike to school which if there was a school in Japan that actually allowed students to ride motorcycles then sign me up! But anyway, Sakura decided to join the bike club in school and signed up for bike lessons.

The scenes where Sakura is learning her lessons was very nostalgic for me since I too had to learn from scratch on riding a bike except the whole Sakura talking to her training bike "Baita" but I kinda of understand when Baita taught Sakura how to move off from a stationary position because that is actually one of the two most important things in operating a vehicle. (The other is how to stop your vehicle in time)

So Rin's Stand is the Oni Mask Swordman...

The rest of the cast were funny like hardcore Suzuki fangirl, Rin who is the group's Tsundere who ride a Suzuki Katana and goes to rage mode whoever anyone talk back about Suzuki bikes in general. Onsa who is a bit of a tomboy and was so embarrassed when Sakura went to her family's bike shop to buy her Honda Super 4 which personally it is one of the best bikes for long distances.

Hijiri who is the only one without a license is accompanied by her Butler, Hayakawa which I felt her character doesn't really contribute much other claiming that riding bikes is a "delinquent" attitude. Finally, the enigma Raimu Senpai who always wear her helmet every where she goes and never said a word. (Although you do find out why Raimu remained in the bike club despite being way over age)

The show also pick up when Sakura got her bike and they went on a road trip to Hokkaido. With the girls being late for the ferry and had to take the long ride to Hokkaido, Rin finding the Katana mini figure in a mini mart, Sakura meeting a biker who looked like Jesus after running out of fuel and meeting their heartbroken class teacher who is half drunk and started sexually teasing them.

Overall, it might not be as intense like most racing shows, this show will bring back some memories and the good old days of riding in the wind with your bike.

Macross Delta Ep 1 to 6: The Macross series has always one thing in common which is continuity and this new literation is no exception however one thing struck out which might alienate hardcore fans and casual fans alike.

The first was unlike the last two series (Macross 7 and Frontier), the two main enemies is a virus known as Var Syndrome which turned anyone (human or aliens) into crazed raging creatures. The other main antagonists are the Aerial Knights of Windermere who declared war against the UN Spacy claiming they invaded their solar system and planned to drive them out.

To counter the Vars Syndrome, Macross most famous plot point come in the form of a Singing Idol group named Walkure and given the Idol craze in Japan and around the world, the Walkure group sing along with the Delta Squad and even provide support in their combat to suppress the Var victims.

To me personally, I have no problem with the singers teaming up with the Valkyrie pilots. I mean, all these while, every Macross Idol singer with the exception of Fire Bomber is just standing at the safe zone to sing but now the singers are doing something too. (Except episode 6 which is understandable since it is a space battle with asteroids and stuffs)

Looking at the title which is called Macross Delta, I am suggesting it could mean our three protagonists-Hayate, a wanderer who has talents in flying, Freyja, a Windermere who aim to be the latest member of Walkure and could be hiding a secret that she might not even be aware of and Mirage who is the grand daughter of Max and Milia from the original series and trying to live up to her family name.

So far, the first four episode was more of introducing Hayate and Freyja as they both work towards their goal to become a pilot and a singer respectively. Hayate was too much of a carefree spirt and was at odds with Mirage as his instructor. But soon, he leaned the hard way after being outclassed by the team's Ace pilot, Messar who is nicknamed "Death Reaper" and Hayate start to begin taking his training seriously.

Freyja on the other hand is full of spunk despite being the weakest is full of positive energy. She never failed to pull a smile even when the odds are against her. Although her race has been suspected of having a short life span (which doesn't make any sense) and I suspecting that it has something to do with the Windermere planet eternal cold weather and a giant crater being blasted opened on the ground as seen in the latest episode.

Hayate also suffered a bit of PTSD as he has to take a life to save Mirage but he picked himself up thanks to Mirage's pep talk which I am guessing that they might be a pairing later since Macross had a tendency to put odd couples together.

Overall, the show is still taking it's own time to establish so let's hope it will get better as it goes on like how I enjoyed Macross Frontier (except the movies) in all.

Sakamoto Desu Ga Ep 1 to 4: If there is one word to describe the main character, Sakamoto is OP. (Over Powered) One moment, he could be creating a cocktail out of vending machine, taking out a bee with a ruler or in the latest episode, doing a parachute dive during a fire drill and winning the hearts of everyone.

But who is Sakamoto? No one really know only that everyone, men and women, old and young were infatuated by his cool demeanour and providing solutions in style. From the first episode where the "delinquents" tried to set him up but instead were outsmarted by Sakamoto and even win the heart of their leader, Acchan. (He is a guy!)

Even Aina who is the hottest girl in class tried to seduce him but instead learn ed a lesson of interacting with her female classmates who originally resent her. A senior student tried to make Sakamoto his personal lap dog but instead got more than he bargained for when Sakamoto acted like a stalker where ever the senior goes which result him in learning to be less dependent on others.

Overall, if last season's Konosuba was taking a stab on the whole fantasy genre then Sakamoto Desu Ga will make you laugh and amazed every moment of the way. I can't tell more of this show as it wlll spoil the jokes so go ahead and laugh yourself out silly.

Kotetsujo no Kabaneri Ep 1 to 4: In 2013, a show called Attack on Titans took the whole world by storm and brought the crazed world of humans verses giants called Titans. For me personally, I didn't went all hardcore since the story still revolve around how the humans are selfish and incompetent to work together and if you replace the Titans with zombies, the story is still the same.

So while hardcore AOT fans are waiting for the next season which I am not, the anime director of the series decided to give a warm up show and that is Kotetsujo no Kabaneri or Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress. After watching the first episode, I am pretty pumped up for the next one. One is because it is an original series with no manga adaptation before so we won't know how things will progress unlike AOT that I spolit myself before the series started airing.

The show also begin with a viral outbreak that turned humans into Kabane who are zombies with super strength and it has been going on for ten years already. The surviving humans lived in large stations that acted like a colony and the only way around the country is by heavy armored trains since the Kabane are roaring freely in the open.

Ikoma who worked as a steamsmith was trying to create a better weapon to kill the Kabane since their weakness is either decapitating or destroying their lead protected heart. Soon the station was being attacked by a Kabane infested train and Ikoma managed to kill one of the Kabane with his new weapon but was bitten in the process. To save himself, he attempted a craze experiment and managed to supress the virus from entering his brain and becoming a Kabaneri. (A hybrid of Human and Kabane)

As this was going on, a mysterious young girl named Mumei who is also a Kabaneri led the survivors to the only functioning train with her almost inhuman strength and abilities. Ikoma was left out of the train despite helping the survivors but was reunited again before the train reached certain death. Mumei and Ikoma were isolated in the last carriage as the elders pressured Ayame, the former head's daughter to rid the two Kabaneri.

We do find out that unlike Kabane who feed on flesh, Kabaneri need human blood to maintain their rational or risk becoming a threat to everyone as shown by Ikoma who pound on Ayame to the ground but was saved by Ayame's loyal and slightly overprotective bodyguard, Kusru. Mumei also showed her human side since she liked children but when a pregnant woman became a Kabane on the train, Mumei showed no hesitation to kill her and her unborn child. Basically Mumei is Mikasa without the emotionless trait.

As seen in the latest episode, not all Kabane behave the same as we are introduced a sword welding Kabane called Wazatori which invaded the running train. Ikoma and Mumei rushed to save Ayame and the others but Mumei lacked human blood to feed on and entrusted Ikoma to take down the Wazatori.

Ayame who spent the last three episodes being an indecisive leader finally show off her steam powered bow and arrows and let Ikoma feed on her blood from her hand to save everyone. After that, the survivors agreed to let Ikoma and Mumei to stay on the train with the humans supplying blood for the Kabaneri. With that, the train now move forward to the Kongokaku station which is the stronghold of the Shogun.

Overall, I am intrigued to find out where the Kabane virus come from and how the survivors overcome in their Iron Fortress (Train) and what dangers await them. A definitive contender for best series for the 2016 line up!

Honorable Mentions:

Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: I really enjoyed the game series of the same name (Better get started with the fifth sequel on my 3DS soon) so how the show is compared to it's game counterpart? Pros is we do see the various characters movement and personality shine out since there was no voice acting in the early games. Cons is if you played the game, it is an abridged version of it since Phoenix and his sidekick, Maya find clues like finding coins on the ground. Also, there isn't seem to be a version of the "Cornered" theme being played when the game is up for the main culprit. Hopefully we get it somehow or another. I will still follow this series despite knowing the whole plot of the first game.

This is not how you learn history...

Kuromuroko: Predicted to be a sleeper hit since it take it's own time to show how Kennosuke, a Samurai from a different time era who is now a fish out of water in Modern times. Other than some funny moments of Kennosuke figuring out modern cultural, there isn't much mecha fights despite being labeled a mecha show. But since it has two cours to show, I am sure it will get better as the story progress.

Give me back my money or my friends will kill you...

Kiznaiver: From the people who gave you Kill La Kill two years ago which I really enjoyed it come an interesting concept with a play of the words "Bonds or Kizuna"and Scars or Kizu." Katsuhira is unable to feel pain since young and has been bullied all his life. An encounter with the mysterious Sonozaki and an experiment that involved six of his classmates bind them together and they now shared physical and mental pain whenever one suffered it.

There were some dark moments but yet some wacky stuff happened and the show shifted to dark comedy but still an interesting look on how bonds between people can really affect on a physical and mental level. Good show and hopefully we get to know why such an experiment was created or a major plot twist like Kill La Kill mid season finale.

Well, these are some of the shows that I felt are good in general. I know I left out some titles but if you like these shows, go and watch it. For me, if I have the time, I might do another post again in the future. Until then, See you in the next post!

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