The final five is here huzzah! This is my top five of the Spring anime season and some may come as a shock. Well it was a shock to me as only one of my originally predicted top five is actually in my top five. I didn’t think I’d end up liking some of these series as much as I did, especially since some have their fair share of flaws. Though not many series on this list will be memorable in the long term (looking at you Seisen Cerberus), I’ve certainly had more or less fun with most. Well I want to say most. Let’s finally put this undertaking to rest and go onwards and upwards…FOR JUSTICE!
Ushio to Tora (TV) 2nd Season
First off let me say that this series is terrible with McGuffin for how much they are used or even deus ex machina tactics. The writing has a hard time keeping up with the overpowered antics and thus most of the time it is very lazy with closing itself neatly. As someone who finds themselves constantly surprised by Shounen works, Ushio to Tora’s 2nd Season is an absolute pleasure to watch with both its visuals (thank you MAPPA) and how well it managed to make us care for characters. You want to see Ushio and Tora succeed and defeat the evil that is Hakumen no Mono and watching everyone struggle to achieve this goal is kind of heartwarming and brings a tear to my eye.
What made me like this one more than the first season, were how grand the moments were and how memorable it was since it wasn’t relegated to a more monster of the week format. This was the final stretch and I couldn’t be happier with the result, despite how clumsily the source material uses McGuffins/deus ex machinas everywhere. This is a story about a boy and his best friend who is a monster and how they save the world from something that wishes pain upon everything. And I’m a sucker for this kind of thing, but I can say for certain that this series is certainly not for everyone. It is a classical shounen, and a refreshing watch I think.
Assassination Classroom 2nd Season
This image sums up my feelings towards the second season of Assassination Classroom. The final section of this show does have arguably the most problems especially with how far-fetched the ending is. The funny part is it actually fully surprised me with how well sections were adapted, and I’m usually not a person who complements studio Lerche. It has a well camouflaged secret that shocked me, and how they recreated it still gave me goosebumps. To say that Assassination Classroom is not affecting, would be me lying to myself. I felt the pain of its characters as they developed, yes some through over the top antics, but it still worked. It just had to constantly up the ante and I would say, while that does make for some memorable moments it lost itself in trying to make intense sequences which were dispelled quite fast. The best and most memorable moments are within this second season, especially with the principal on the ethics of teaching and learning (yes it is melodramatic but the themes and messages do still ring true). It deserves props for managing to have a more lasting effect than the first season.
This show is certainly schmaltzier in its execution as it often relies on its humour and kind-hearted tone for the most part which breaks the immersion in moments. The ending itself is a tad bit too much (even though it had me in tears), and I found myself really having to suspend my disbelief for some of its moments especially in the second half. It resolves things too cleanly and quickly, not allowing us enough time in moments to feel the tension it finally built up. While I did have problems with execution I couldn’t help, but still feel like it achieved its intended goal with revitalized vigor and far surpassed its beginning season.
Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable
Stylistic and era-specific, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure manages to create yet another captivating watch. Diamond is Unbreakable shifts the focus of the stalwart Jotaro to a more goofy and stereotypical high school thug design in Josuke. What we get is a more urban adventure than the world trips done in previous series. Thus the issues dealt with in Diamond is Unbreakable’s first cour is more domestic than world changing. This isn’t a tale about defeating an immortal vampire hell-bent on ruling the world, but rather maintaining a peaceful urban existence in a world bereft with more realistic problems. I use the term realistic very loosely.
Broken families, money problems, murder, are some of the central plots that happen episodically as they discover a problem left behind from the past season has risen yet again. All of these core problems seem more personal than the previous adventures of the Joestar family and I enjoyed its themes helping to create a community that has hidden secrets. Don’t you worry though as the signature campy horror style and intelligent battles are back with a vengeance. This series still screams Jojo even if the animation style has a different colour palette to better represent the time period (and the animation seems a bit less detailed and shaded). The change of pace and tone from the previous world-breaking dilemmas is refreshing for the series and you can tell that it will only get even crazier from the first twelve episodes on.
Uchuu Patrol Luluco
Trigger is at it again, two in one season? That is crazy talk! The funny thing is that I thought Kiznaiver would be my knight in shining armor this season, yet that role was delegated to Luluco instead. I have never been one to enjoy shorts. I find them lesser than full-length shows and thus cannot effectively create a cohesive narrative for the most part as effectively or is often rushing the joke or has one joke an episode in order to keep the pacing feasible. Luluco on the other hand managed to be an absolute treat, and an ego-trip from Trigger that I had never seen before. A studio of its short lifespan manages to create a show that references all their material in such a way as to make it unique and mesh together well for comedic effect is surprising to me especially with the short eight minute run time which has both an ending and opening tacked on.
It kept its narrative referential while also having rapid-fire comedy thrown at you with a theme that is both easy to understand when you look at it, while also contradictory due to its nature allowing for discussion to ensue after. This is smart allowing their theme to ultimately be flawed within its narrative and to allow the series to have fun no matter the circumstance of utilizing their own material. I have to say that is surprisingly intriguing and exciting to watch even if it doesn’t have the same luster as other Trigger works do.
Sakamoto desu ga?
Now this may seem a bit hypocritical to most, but yes I think Sakamoto is the best executed series of the season even though I said Tanaka, which is arguably doing the same thing, was not that funny to me. Now the difference between Tanaka and Sakamoto as characters is how much they are on the opposite ends of the spectrum. Tanaka is overtly lazy, while Sakamoto does things in a more clever and unique way in order to achieve perfection. The thing that makes Sakamoto stand out though is how you can utilize his character in more scenarios due to how absurd it is. It is more like the perception of the cast consistently views Sakamoto as perfection and thus will always do something nobody thought of in the coolest way possible. Though there is always a method to the madness of Sakamoto and a change to the cast due to his efforts.
Tanaka does not have an emotional center and that is where Sakamoto stands out to me. While they start off absurd like Sakamoto flying through a storm with an umbrella (MARY POPPINS STYLE!) to save a bird, they ease it down nearing the end. They still allow you to see his coolness, but they have eased you enough into the characters to allow the emotional lessons it is trying to teach to impact you. Albeit it does slow down comedically in its final episodes, the power of both its messages and its ending episode does bring up questions I never asked myself in Tanaka. Sakamoto not only is a weird/absurd comedy, but also one that uses its caricature to deal with some tough lessons in over dramatic ways. This is how a caricature should be used and how it can benefit the narrative. It has layers to its narrative and its comedy allowing for it to continually shock and surprise you with what he will do next all the while being quite clever implementing its messages. Sakamoto desu ga is by far my favourite show of this season and Studio Deen has once again swept me off my feet this year.
I’ll say this…Summer will be a much longer time in between segments but also a far shorter list. My classes at university are giving me some heavy readings and I won’t be able to continually keep up with anime so I won’t be finishing any other anime from Summer besides the ones I am already watching. Doing this list has been a blast and hope people enjoyed reading my weird ramblings. Maybe you might want to try out something new? Maybe I might’ve interested you in something or warn you about something? Maybe you think I have no idea what I am talking about? All of those are probably true to some extent (I would agree with you on the last one as well of course), but it certainly has been fun writing for this blog again. Maybe get back into some themed months and weeks especially with October coming up (Gotta do some horror!). That being said, if you guys want to comment please do down below and have yourself a great day!