Minor spoilers follow for GATE, Konosuba!, ERASED, and Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash.
My schedule for watching and reviewing anime has been in a bit of flux since I moved two weeks ago, so there’s still at least one review from the Fall 2015 season incoming. But in the meantime, new anime stops for no one, so without further ado…
GATE (Season 2)
I was quite excited over the last season, and although Season 2 had a couple of hiccups at the beginning that gave me some pause, I continue to be impressed by how enjoyable it is. Even if it was a run-of-the-mill action-adventure (which it isn’t), the characters make it more than worthwhile. But the political side of the show continues to be interesting, and gives GATE some much-appreciated additional depth.
I’ve enjoyed the development given to Lt. Yanagida and the other returning characters, but Kuribayashi is probably the stand-out of the season so far. She has no chill. (Probably because Lelei has all of the chill.)
Konosuba: God’s Blessing on this Wonderful World!
This one reminds me a lot of DanMachi: awkward male protagonist, energetic goddess sidekick, and a bunch of colorful side characters with various eccentricities. Unfortunately, it falls victim to a few of the same flaws as DanMachi–namely, a tendency to overemphasize fanservice in a variety of situations. I’m hoping that as the show goes on, there will be more focus on the comedic aspects, which are its main strength. It certainly doesn’t lack for funny moments–my favorite bit so far was Megumin’s introduction in the second episode. She tries so hard to be cool…
Boku dake ga Inai Machi (ERASED)
Before I start talking about the show itself, I need a moment to geek out about the title. The official translation is “The Town Without Me,” but if you take it literally, it comes out to “the town where [I alone/only I] am not.” The “am not” in this context is the negative case of “to be”–in other words, it’s a rather melancholy reflection on the pointlessness of existence. (That, or I am a pretentious snob who took Japanese classes and is reading into this way too much. Both are possibilities.)
My linguistic navel-gazing notwithstanding, this is an excellent show. The premise–a man sent back to his childhood to attempt to save a classmate’s life–is interesting to begin with, and the show balances out the bittersweet nostalgia and quiet desperation with an even hand. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing how this one ends.
Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash
On the surface, very similar to Sword Art Online, but with amnesia and possible dimension-hopping. Deeper down, pretty much the same thing, but with more friendship and a rather slower start. I don’t see Grimgar as being particularly stand-out as far as plot or characters go, but there is one thing I can say for it with confidence: it is gorgeous. The scenery has the look of a beautiful watercolor painting, and the episodes are more than willing to spend plenty of time showing that off. At the very least, I’ve enjoyed watching it so far.
That’s it for this week! If you have any other currently-running series that you think I’d enjoy (or that you think I’d hate, and would love to see me eviscerate), feel free to let me know!