Saturday, August 2, 2014

Lilac's Summer 2014 Impressions (Week 4)


Well, folks. We’ve made it! The last installment of my Summer 2014 Impressions! We’re down to the final three who have made it into their third episode! But, before I hand out the last grades of the season, I wanted to talk about the shows that I haven’t mentioned. Well, some of them I have, but others I haven’t. Here’s a quick run down of my other summer series as well as a few season leftovers!

Ace of the Diamond
40 Episodes Watched

I bet you didn’t think this series would come up again. This one has been the longest ongoing series that I’ve been following, since it began back in October. And several episodes later, it’s still a rather fun series. Though baseball still isn’t my thing, the characters are what make this series enjoyable. Eijun is still a rather dumb character at points, but I can’t fault him for being so determined and so pure of heart. And as for the many many other characters, they each bring something to the table that I can respect and get behind. Which makes sense seeing as how the majority of them are second and third year students. Ace of the Diamond gives baseball such intensity that I am drawn in so easily, and the humor that pops in every so often will have me laughing like crazy. Even though Ace of Diamond will be ending its run once summer is over, I kind of do hope there will be more. The series has been oddly enjoyable and I wouldn’t mind seeing much much more. Maybe it’ll get another season like Yowapeda is going to! Then again... I would be replacing Ace of Diamond with Yowapeda’s second season once fall hits, so I wouldn’t be missing out on sports anime!


Black Butler: Book of Circus
4 Episodes Watched

I’ll be honest, I was confused when I started Book of Circus. Mainly because I was trying to figure out where the hell it fit into the Black Butler story line. It doesn’t fit directly in the middle of seasons one and two, so where does it go? Aw well, I’ll ignore it for now and just watch the thing. This season is a little interesting for me because this is my first time watching it in Japanese. So, aside from the odd transition I had to make, I found it rather fun! Diasuke Ono as Sebastian is pretty awesome and I now understand why that is the case. The story has been moving at a decent pace, so far, with Ciel and Sebastian investigating a traveling circus in order to find missing children. I’ve heard by some people that this was an amazing arc in the manga and that they were excited to see it animated. Though I have not read the manga, what I have seen so far makes me rather happy. I can’t wait to see where this season plans to take me. Now if only it could have retconned that season two...





Captain Earth
16 Episodes Watched

Because I don’t want to tread into spoiler territory, I’ll just leave this one as it’s still great! The story and the character development are coming along rather nicely with many sides of the story coming through at a decent pace. There isn’t really a lot to talk about here since I did talk about Captain Earth several weeks back in an edition of Life and Times. Everything is moving along well, and I am excited to see how it all ends since I’m only less than ten episodes away from finishing the series. As long as it doesn’t do something really stupid, then there shouldn’t be a problem.









Fairy Tail (2014)
17 Episodes Watched

When I started the new series of Fairy Tail out, I had seen very little of the first one. Throughout the summer, I’ve been marathoning it when I’m not working on Impressions or reviews and I’m really appreciating  and understanding the newer series much more. I’m able to see where it came from much more clearly, making following it a breeze! So far, this series of Fairy Tail has been shaping up to be something massive! What with ten thousand dragons about to rain down on Fiore. The fun and appeal is just overwhelming that it makes me wonder why I hadn’t jumped onto the band wagon ages ago! The relationships between our main cast of characters is rather well done and you can tell there’s a deep friendship and a deep respect between them. I’ll feel extremely accomplished once I finish getting through the original series. Though that may take a little while because I want to at least finish the dub for the original, but, as of posting this, it may be a while until that happens. Aw well!

Free! Eternal Summer
5 Episodes Watched

One of my favorite series from last year was Free! Iwatobi Swim Club. And, just like many others, I was thrilled to hear about a second season coming in 2014. Not only that, but now FUNimation has picked up the rights to Eternal Summer. Believe me when I say I was among the people who tried guessing at a dub cast (I say Micah Solusod as Haru, Eric Vale as Rin, Josh Grelle as Nagisa, and Ian Sinclair as Rei. Makoto is a hell of a tough one though...). The story has been pretty decent so far, with the main cast just doing what they’re doing as we get another major character Sosuke to come in and pretty much try to cause trouble. It’s actually a lot nicer looking of a series than I remember! Might be because of the fan base the first season managed to get. All I can say is, I am happy to see this series growing at a natural pace and I am glad I get to have more fun times with Haru and the guys! Also, a dancing Rin and a firefighter Makoto isn’t too bad either.
Haikyuu! 
16 Episodes Watched

Just like Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun, Haikyuu has always been a fun series I can enjoy and laugh at like crazy! At the same time, this series still has that heart and charm that made me fall in love with it in the first place. After months of training, and after regaining a couple members, the guys are headed for their first tournament together. The growth this series has seen is just outstanding, and it makes me so sad to see this one also go at the end of the summer season. The story and characters are just amazing and I couldn’t have asked for a better series to keep watching these past few months! Out of everything that I’ve been keeping up with, this is the series that I most want another season of! At the rate it’s going, it’s possible that may happen. It just all depends on how this one ends in a couple months.







Re: Hamatora
3 Episodes Watched

One of the more oddly interesting series from this past winter season, I found, was Hamatora. It was like this weird ball of awkward energy, and it didn’t know what to do with itself early on. But, somehow, I found it amusing and watched the first season. Here we are now, months later, and season two is currently under way! The difference here, though, is that this season knows what it wants to be. After taking some time to sort itself out, the second is certainly more satirical and parodying quite a few things. Just watch the first episode alone and you see a BUNCH of odd and hilarious things happen. The story has picked up a little bit too, with the only question on my mind being, in simple terms, “Art. The f**k, bro?!” Hamatora is still able to take me on this fun and crazy ride, and it’s something I can really enjoy about this series! But seriously, “THE F**K, ART?!?!”


Sailor Moon Crystal
2 Episodes Watched

So, as of writing this, only two episodes have been released with the third coming out today. As someone who has been watching the original series alongside the new one, I have to say it’s an interesting change. There are some moments that are different between the two, but, at the same time, some of those changes are actually rather good such as the introduction to Ami’s character. I know this plans to follow the manga more closely, and since I haven’t read it it’ll be an interesting time. I can see why Crystal has fans of the original going crazy, it’s a nice piece of nostalgia. As someone witnessing this for the first time on different levels, I’m more curious as to what people love about this franchise. I said this before, I never grew up with Sailor Moon. Instead, I was among the Pokemon/Digimon/YuGiOh kids that would watch every Saturday morning. Sailor Moon Crystal has been rather interesting so far, and I can’t wait to see where my thoughts land as I watch both this and the original.

Space Dandy season 2
4 Episodes Watched

Here’s another semi oldy but goodie! Just so you know, yes I’m keeping up with the dub and not the Japanese. A) Because the dialogue in the dub can be the most random thing in the world, and it’s awesome (for example, J. Michael Tatum saying the words “Hey, Sexy” made me laugh for 20 minutes). B) Ian Sinclair as Dandy makes me squee as it is just friggin AMAZING!! Other wise than that, the second season doesn't make any major changes in story since it’s still an episodic series overall. There has been, at least, one episode where animation budget just sucked but they used it in a rather amusing way. Everything about this series is still amazing and fun and I just wish there would be news of a DVD release so I can have it. Though, more than likely, it won’t happen until season two is done. I be is a sad panda.




Sword Art Online II
3 Episodes Watched

When I spoke with my good buddy Matt (formerly known as MadShadow), we talked about the likelihood of a second season of this series. What I believed was that it wrapped itself up as well as it could and that the only way more SAO would happen would be as a spin off or a prequel. BOY WAS I WRONG! Somehow, some way, they managed to create a second season of this series! I don’t know whether to kill it with fire or just.... Yeah, I just wanna kill it with fire. At this moment, the series is taking a decent amount of cues from the second arc of the first season, mostly in the companion department. Not only that, but apparently Kirito has forgotten his time in SAO cause he is in disbelief that video games kill people. I just... Wow... I don’t know what to do with this series aside from the whole killing it with fire.... I did watch the first three episodes and I just can’t take anymore of this... I decided to drop this one after finishing episode three. I can’t. Seriously, guys, I just can’t...

And now, the moment you’ve been waiting for! The final three!!


Gang's all here!
Blue Spring Ride
Episode 3


Remember how I’ve been saying that Blue Spring Ride reminds me a lot of Say I love you? This is one of the first times it’s drifted away from that comparison and I am very happy about that! As their second year of high school start, Futaba now has the chance to start all over. With some encouraging words from Kou, as well as his older brother, she is the first to volunteer as a class representative followed by Kou, Makita, Murao, and Kominato. It’s clear that this group of rag tag loners will become close over the course of the series (openings make me feel like it’s cheating), and each of these characters are fairly different in personality but are connected to each other because of the whole loner thing. At least except for Kominato. Seeing this series progress the way it is makes me very happy and wishes for me to see the story continue to unravel. I’m always itching for a god love story every once in a while and Blue Spring Ride will fit the bill just nicely! Therefore, I’m giving the series a Passing grade this season. It’s actually been rather strong since the beginning and it’s only getting stronger by the episode! I’m excited to see where it takes me next!

Final Grade: Pass

HaNaYaMaTa
Episode 3


This is one of the tougher ones I’ve had to grade this season. Since the start, this series has been wonderful and charming with the makings of something special on the horizon. The problem is, I’m not as excited as I have been about this series. Maybe it’s because I’m running out of steam this season or maybe it’s because there have been so many wonderful and amazing series that it makes picking the ones I want to keep up with rather difficult. It’s really hard to tell. The story is easy to follow and the characters have been enjoyable, with their relationships to each other being a joy to watch. It may just be that I’m not as fond of this series as I am with many other summer series. It’s certainly a tough call to make here, but I’m giving HaNaYaMaTa a Tentative Fail (On-Hold) grade. This one is interesting, not gonna lie there. However, this is just one of those cases where I’ve lost some interest and need to think about what I would like to keep up with over the course of a few months. More than likely, I’ll pick it up again later.

Final Grade: Tentative Fail (On-Hold)

Please let this be a running gag! This is AMAZING!
Love Stage!!
Episode 3


Well that progressed rather quickly! Looks like your plan to get those feelings out of your head just up and failed, Ryoma. What I’m actually rather glad for was how that particular scene was handled. There was still some humor throughout and the animation actually worked in the show’s favor. Though it still made me feel weird and not just because this is the first BL series I’m watching. Let’s just say, I’m not that much of a sexual person, so anything like this makes me feel really weird... I guess this could be one way to get over that little bit of squeamish in me. Anyways, Love Stage is still oddly amusing because the humor has been a lot of fun. Actually, it’s what’s helping me keep this series around! It’s kind of like laughing like crazy and yet you forget what kind of show this is. It’s kept me at ease, in a sense. Still, the relationship between Izumi and Ryoma has been rather chaotic right now with some rather humorous results. And now, Ryoma seems to be so confused and coming apart in a funny way that he refers to Izumi’s older brother as his own older brother. Yeah, this series is fun. Love Stage is getting a Passing grade from me! This is an interesting experiment I’ve thrown myself into. Let’s see where this will go!

Final Grade: Pass

And now, the final grades!!

BIG FREAKING PASS
Barakamon
Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun
Terror in Resonance


Pass
Aldnoah.Zero
Blue Spring Ride
Love Stage!!
Tokyo Ghoul


Tentative Pass
Shonen Hollywood -Holly Stage for 49-

Tentative Fail (On-Hold)
Akame ga Kill
Glasslip
HaNaYaMaTa
Tokyo ESP


Fail
Samurai Jam-Bakumatsu Rock

Previously Dropped (Ep.):
Argevollen (1)
DRAMAtical Murder
(2)
Jinsei
(1)
Locodol
(2)
Majimoji Rurumo
(2)
Rail Wars!
(1)
Sabagebu! -Survival Game Club-
(1)

Series Not Covered/Season Leftovers (Ep.):
Ace of the Diamond (40)
Black Butler: Book of Circus
(4)
Captain Earth
(16)
Fairy Tail (2014)
(17)
Free! Eternal Summer
(5)
Haikyu!
(16)
Persona 4: The Golden Animation
(1) (Dropped)
Re: Hamatora
(3)
Sailor Moon Crystal
(2)
Space Dandy s2
(4)
Sword Art Online II
(3) (Dropped)

That’s it for me this season! I hope you all had as much fun as I did! And believe me, this was one of the most difficult season’s I’ve ever had! There were so many fun and interesting shows that it wasn’t easy to narrow it down to a tolerable amount! And I hear next season may be just as fun! Though I may be done with the summer season here, you can still catch myself and the guys at Infinite Rainy Day talk about these series all summer long! So if you’re interested in more of my thoughts on Barakamon, Sailor Moon Crystal, Shonen Hollywood, Terror in Resonance, Tokyo ESP, and Tokyo Ghoul then head on over now! Until next season, otaku on my friends!

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