Saturday 31 December 2016

Streaming: Autumn 2016 anime final impressions

I've been trying to take it easy this season since I came in so late that it was tough to get caught up on everything. Still, there were quite a few good shows which prevented me from watching as little as possible and easing myself in gently. It helped that I was able to watch absolutely everything I wanted on Crunchyroll alone (for once), avoiding the hassle of juggling half a dozen different streaming services with their own unique annoyances.

Although they started out reasonably strong I ended up dropping Touken Ranbu: Hanamaru and Magic-kyun! Renaissance due to time constraints; neither really succeeded in keeping my attention. And I wonder what happened to the promised Watashi Ga Motete Dousunda (Kiss Him, Not Me) simulcast? It never turned up. UK license-holders Anime Limited say the signed paperwork was turned over to Crunchyroll but the show remained region locked away from the UK right until the end. A pity.

It's difficult to rank individual shows for this post-season ranking. There were a lot of titles I enjoyed but my favourites changed week by week!

1. JoJo's Bizarre Adventure
2. Yuuri!!! On Ice
3. Drifters

Yuuri!!! On Ice was amazing, a real surprise bursting with idealism and elegance. On the other hand, this year's long-running JoJo's Bizarre Adventure saga somehow kept things bonkers from start to finish and was like nothing else I've watched all year. Then there was Drifters, which I'd been looking forward to for ages and found even better than the manga. They're all completely different shows and incomparable, so the ranking is even more meaningless than usual.

Thursday 1 December 2016

Streaming: Autumn 2016 anime first impressions

I've finally caught up with the start of the current anime season, less than a month before it's scheduled to end. Taking back control of my life is a slow process! Everything changed once again this season, as Funimation have turned their new service into a dub-focused portal while letting Crunchyroll have the rights to their subtitled anime. It saves me some money as I no longer require two subscriptions. Meanwhile, however, The Anime Network has made another attempt to lock content to their own home-grown service to tempt people away from the market leaders, but it's a poor value proposition with only one exclusive show streaming to the UK. No thanks. I'll stick with Crunchyroll and pass on that one show. Animax UK have no acquisitions at all (hurrah!) but Daisuki and Amazon Prime have a couple. I've also had the good fortune to be able to see a few films in the cinema across the UK recently, including Your Name. (Kimi No Na Ha.), La Tortue Rouge and the first two parts of Kizumonogatari. All were great.

The excellent JoJo's Bizarre Adventure was my only ongoing commitment so I would normally have avoided picking up too much this season, except that a whole bunch of titles I was previously following have returned with sequels. So there hasn't been all that much room for completely new shows in my weekly schedule.

So without further ado - I need to start work on my final impressions post soon - here's the current rundown of UK simulcasts!