Spring 2017 – Premieres II

More premieres under my belt, including two of the most anticipated and one dud.   Also, a first look at my watching and blogging schedule after the jump.

Totally not Aoi-chan.  We swear.

Just as a reminder, shows that I am watching are in bold, shows my wife and I are watching together are in bold italics.

Sakura Quest

One of the most anticipated premieres of the season, PA Works Sakura Quest – back to the well again with a new story about girls at work.  (And in a small town to boot, all right smack in their wheelhouse.)  Sadly, it’s off to a very rough start.

We get a quick introduction to Aoi-chan Yoshino, a country girl and recent college graduate who isn’t making it in the Big City…  When she does get a job offer, it’s right back in the country she’s trying to escape from!  Then we get a whirlwind introduction to the town’s dramatis personae, the back story, and setting.  The back half of the show is dedicated to Yoshino’s attempts to escape her stifling prison and return to the city – closing with a reveal meant to be dramatic and to convey that This Is Meant To Be.

When Sakura is supposed to be dramatic, it falls flat.  When it’s supposed to be funny, it falls flatter.  It does succeed in invoking its older step sisters (Hanasaku Iroha and Shirobako), but mostly this serves to highlight how much it lacks compared to them.  Overall, it tended to be a bit on the rote side and the characters are kinda one-dimensional.  (And the country folk are pretty trope-ish.)

Don’t get me wrong, even though the execution was lacking, there’s some very good bones underneath and it wouldn’t take much to right the ship,   While PA Works has earned more latitude than most, it also has enough recent disasters and near-misses to give me pause.  So, color me cautiously optimistic…

Verdict:  Keeper with reservations


Why, yes – I did reuse a picture.  Who doesn’t need some Megumi in their day?

It looks like Saekano is taking the same route it took the first season – a ‘special episode’ for the premiere and then the actual season begins the next week, which makes it kinda hard to actually review the premiere…  That being said, they dive right in with the same formula, snappy writing, sharp animation, and lots and lots of fanservice.  If they stay true to form, the latter will be toned way down (though it never goes entirely away) and they’ll concentrate more on plot and less on “plot” once the actual season begins.

Overall, it looks like they’re picking up right where they left off, and that’s a good thing.  (And Yay!  More Megumi!)

Verdict: Keeper

Clockwork Planet

Decided to check this one out as I had some spare time yesterday, and already I’m regretting it.  The characters are tropes (and their designs awful), the worldbuilding sparse, and the animation is…  well, let’s just say not quite up to par.  I’m not even sure why I’m supposed to care about what’s going on.  (And of the ecchi bits, the less said the better.)  Even though it airs on a slow day, I’m not even going to give it a tag because I suspect it won’t survive next week, if I even bother to watch it.

Verdict: Clinging to the cliff by its fingernails.

And there you have it…  Even with a number of premieres to come, Spring 2017 is shaping up to not entirely suck.  That being said, here’s the first cut at my schedule this season:

Shows my lovely wife and I are both watching are Bolded, my shows are in Italics.  Question marks are shows that are yet to premiere or that I haven’t watched yet.

  • Monday
  • Tuesday
    • Anonymous Noise? (premieres April 11th)
  • Wednesday
    • Sagrada Reset?
    • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (For the next few weeks anyway.)
    • Saekano
    • Sakura Quest
  • Thursday
    • Clockwork Planet?
    • Tsukigakirei?

  • Friday
    • Hinako Note?
  • Saturday
    • My Hero Academia
    • Attack on Titan
    • Eromanga Sensei? (Premieres April 8th)
    • Atom The Beginning (Premieres April 11th)
  • Sunday
    • Alice & Zoroku

Assuming no drops and no other shiny catches my eye, eleven shows.  On the low side of my average.  But drops and shiny things are inevitable…

Given that it looks like Crunchy will be regularly keeling over on Saturday nights (AoT, MHA, plus Dragonball and bunch of other popular shows…) I think I’m going to shoot for Tuesday for my weekly posts because that gives us Sunday and Monday night to catch up.  I’ll end up a week out of sync from some other bloggers because I have a regular meeting on Tuesday (pushing some of Tuesday’s show into Wednesday), but so it goes.

10 thoughts on “Spring 2017 – Premieres II”

  1. I actually quite enjoyed Sakura Quest. Permier-wise, I liked it better than Shirobako, but I feel it’s gots less potential overall. (Shirobako didn’t really pick up for me until late into the first cour.) Sakura Quest is great fun, but it feels a little like best-of PA Works sampler. If anyone ever asks you what PA Works is like, this episode provides a good cross-section of their strengths. It’s entirely unexceptional but competent and fun.

    I really wish Saekano hadn’t pulled the episode 0 nonsense again. I didn’t like it much the first time, and its no better this time round. They did show some of the shows strength, but not enough to outweigh the eye-roll-inducing fanservice. Looking forward to episode 1.

    Once you get around to Sagrada Reset I’m curious to hear your take. People seem devided between extreme boredom and intrigue. Some, like me, experienced both at the same time. Let me say it like this: it’s hard to believe this is the same director of Tanaka kun and Non Non Biyori, but it’s easy to believe it’s the same director as Kokoro Connect. Cautiously curious.

    Hinako Note is pretty much exactly what you’d expect.

    Clockwork Planet… Well, I watched a few minutes. There was nothing that turned me off, and nothing that attracted me. I skipped forward a bit for sample scenes: same. Unless I hear really good things later, I’ll skip this one. (So far, what I’ve heard is mostly discouraging.)

    Tsuki ga Kirei is my favourite premiere so far. About the only complaint I have is that sometimes the characters don’t integrate well with the backgrounds, and while the backgrounds look stunning as static images, they’re not well animated (at one time, they had a completely static image of a person in motion in the background – it looked like a time-freeze). Other than that, this episode really shows what Seiji Kishi is capable of when he gets the right material. It’s charming and somehow ended up calming me, despite being mostly about shy teenagers being awkward. High recommendation.

    Renai Boukun, the ecchi rom-com inspired by Death Note, is hilariously dumb. The things that annoyed me in the preview didn’t annoy me in the show, mostly because I didn’t have time for that. The comedic pacing is quick, somewhere between Sabagebu and Teekyu. The show won’t leave you the time to think, which is a good thing, as the show would fall apart in seconds. The female main character has a mind-control device: the solve-it-skillfully shark. I suppose she used it on me, too. I’m not complaining. It’s dumb, offensive, and fun.

    One more thing: Sekai Suru Kado is a show entirely made in CGI, but if it’s CGI like that, I can take it. It still wins no visual prizes from me (I just don’t click with it), but if it’s like that I don’t mind much. Still, an extended period of visuals like that would result in me drifting towards a new hobby. I just don’t connect with CGI. With the recent onslaught of horrible CGI, I thought that worth pointing out.


    1. We watched Tsuki ga Kirei over the weekend, and like it. It’s one of the most realistic romance anime (at least in the first ep) we’ve seen in a long time. (Though Seiren tried so very hard…) Despite the glitches, I loved the animation style, very reminiscent of both Wandering Son (a good series in it’s own right) and somehow also of Grimgar. It would be nice if it picked up the pace some, but it it wants to amble along at a iyashikei/slice-of-life pace, that could work too.

      Sabagebu is one of my favorites… So if Renai Boukun is in the same ballpark, now I really want to see it. I haven’t so far as it’s tagged a ‘me’ show rather than a ‘we’ show and we had a moderately busy weekend. Hopefully today (after I finish my housework) I’ll get to it and the other premieres.

      Sekai Suru Kado isn’t even on my radar… which is probably a good thing, as I’m pretty annoyed at the quality of CGI this season. Maybe it’s just me, but there’s a lot more dodgy CGI than I’ve ever seen before.


      1. I’m not sure how much Renai Boukun has in common with Sabagebu; I just used it as of two pillars with respect to comedic pacing. Teekyu, the other, is a short, and I pity the voice actors of that show, because they even talk extremely quickly and get not break at all. Basically, what I was saying is it’s a very fast-paced comedy. It is irreverent and it does have a sense for the absurd, and it wastes absolutely no time on anything resembling emotional depth.


  2. Someone uploaded the new Saekano prologue to YouTube, so I was actually able to watch it tonight before it (inevitably) gets taken down. Even though it’s been two years since I watched that show, I got caught up in it again right away, like taking a favorite old sweater out of the closet and finding it still fits you as comfortably as ever. Megumi’s lost none of her awesomeness, either (the way she actually succeeded at getting under Utaha’s skin in the phone scene – something Eriri’s never been able to accomplish – was fantastic).


    1. “Favorite old sweater” – perfect simile, it fits. :)

      Anything else on your radar this season? (You mentioned a couple over at the Barrel, but I don’t recall what they were.)


      1. Actually, I think it was further down in one of your other posts. :) But anyway, I’ve only watched one other premiere so far: it wasn’t on my initial list, but my anime club kids wanted to watch the first episode of Granblue Fantasy at our last meeting, and that was reasonably enjoyable. Not sure yet if I’m going to carry on with it or not, but I feel confident saying that in the “meeting magical girlfriend launches hero on adventure” fantasy subgenre, it’s at least going to be a much better series than Comet Lucifer was (not like that’s a high bar to clear).

        The only other premiere I still intend to watch but haven’t started yet is Sakura Quest. And before you ask, Angel Beats is the only PA Works show I’ve watched from start to finish, so I’m not really coming into it with any preconceived notions about the studio or anything. I just want to see it because it looks like the type of show that’s usually my jam.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Was Sakura Quest most anticipated? It wasn’t really on my radar while I’m a P. A. Works fanboy:p perhaps because they’ve let me down many times over the years, being unable to reproduce the greatness of Angel Beats, Hanasaku Iroha and Charlotte. I didn’t fancy Shirobako as much as the community did. I think Attack on Titan was the one almost all anime fans were looking forward to.


    1. Yeah, despite their foul ups (cough Glasslip cough), I can’t help checking a PA Works production out if the description sounds at all interesting to me. Since Sakura was advertised as being in the same family as Hanasaku Iroha and Shirobako (two of my all time favorite PA Works productions), it was right at the top of my list.

      Looking at the whole community though, you’re probably right – Titan (and My Hero Academia ) would be much higher on the list.


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