Monday 23 October 2017

Streaming: Autumn 2017 anime first impressions

Whew. There are a lot of heavy-hitting sequels this season, and also quite a few cases of series changing streaming services in between seasons, so putting this first impressions post has taken absolutely ages. Shoukoku No Altair, Ballroom He Youkoso are both continuing from the Summer season and on top of that my schedule is already pre-filled with a staggering number of follow-ups to beloved titles, which means that anything brand new has a harder job than usual to get my attention. I also decided to try out a HIDIVE subscription since it isn't all that pricey and they snagged a couple of titles I wanted to see; the lack of apps is still disappointing. I can't get the service running on any of my usual devices at all. Please hurry up with a solution, HIDIVE, or stop enforcing exclusivity!

I don't have much time to moan about the state of streaming in the UK this time, partly because I want to go and clear New Danganronpa V3 as soon as I finish this post and partly because actually, we're in a very fortunate position now. Animax UK is as good as dead, Viewster gave up on simulcasting, and the US anime distributors finally remembered that we exist. If HIDIVE sorted out the app issue and Netflix would just stop blocking legal simulcasting from titles which would otherwise have appeared on Crunchyroll, everything would be close to perfect.

So with all of that said and done, I'll move on to the first impressions of all of the new anime content!

Saturday 21 October 2017

Streaming: Summer 2017 anime final impressions

Another season has come and gone. Summer 2017 wasn't the strongest season of anime I've followed; in fact, it was rather weak overall, which is probably for the best as there are suddenly plenty of interesting games I want to play! I'm currently working through New Danganronpa V3 and the mobile port of Gyakuten Saiban 6 (or Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Spirit of Justice, to use its long-winded localised name). Both are fantastic and titles I have been looking forward to for a long time, so it's going to be tough going to tear myself away and watch all of the first episodes for the upcoming season in between gaming sessions!

A final impressions post requires the usual completely arbitrary top three, and accordingly here it is.

1. Tsuredure Children
2. Owarimonogatari second season
3. Saiyuuki Reload Blast

Tsuredure Children was simply the best. I looked forward to it every week despite it being different to my usual favourites in every conceivable way. Owarimonogatari was its usual self and worthy of a spot despite having a short run. And Saiyuuki was sort of average except I needed a third series for the list and it felt good to revisit the past every week.

One notable omission from the full list below is Hajimete No Gal (My First Girlfriend Is A Gal), which I finally dropped two thirds of the way through the season for being persisently mediocre after all. I had hoped for something better; instead, it got worse, and there wasn't even any worthwhile fan service to make the plot feel less awful. I also discovered later on that all of the creepy child molester jokes were actually added for the anime, a fact that is probably going to haunt me for life. I'm not easily offended but they weren't even slightly funny and just added an awkward atmosphere to something which wasn't good enough to rise above the poor taste; what on earth was the team thinking?