Doesn’t it seem odd to have multiple parts of final thoughts? To me finality implies a definite ending. But it’s a necessity to keep the post length down and get some content out. Some shows are easy peasy to wrap up, others not so much. Today, I’m going to tackle the easy ones.
That being said, let’s hit the jump and talk about this first batch!
First, a note about ratings – I use a five point scale to match my ratings on Anime Planet. (http://www.anime-planet.com/users/DerekL) I’m not all that consistent about my scale though, but I am slowly getting more consistent and editing my ratings. A numerical scale doesn’t really convey all the nuances though… a 2.5 can mean very different things between different shows. One 2.5 might suck balls, another might be worth watching if you have the time to spare. Thus most ratings are accompanied by a clarifying comment.
Just for reference, here’s my Summer 2017 anticipation post.
Love & Lies Season Review
Love & Lies started out strongly enough. Two young lovers fated to be torn about through intervention by a paternalistic government. The first few episodes gave us a number of interesting hints and raised some provocative questions… Based on the first four episodes, we were in for a hell of a ride. And then it all came to a screeching halt mid season. The back half was repetitive drek limping painfully back and forth over the same ground. The finale didn’t provide much in the way of closure because it emphatically repetitious.
I’ve seen it argued that we shouldn’t expect much more because it’s an ongoing manga, but I don’t buy it. We’ve all seen plenty of anime from ongoing series that still manage to have character growth and some sense of plot progression. Many of those same shows still manage to reach some kind of end point (even if that ending is a setup for the next manga arc).
Shortly after the finale aired, Harubruh of For Great Justice asked if he should check out the show…
I couldn’t agree more.
Final Ranking: 1.0 – Only saved from a damming .5 by the provocative questions raised early on.
Sakura Quest (2nd cour, carryover from Spring 2017) Season Review
Young women at work – a formula P.A. Works has struck gold with twice before with Hanasaku Iroha and Shirobako. Sakura Quest was marketed as part of of thematic trilogy with those, but did it succeed?
Sakura excelled at illustrating the problems a dying town faces. Because I live in a small city that had its commercial heart ripped out and moved to a mall outside of town, the issues the shopping district faced really resonated. As you may have seen in some of the links I posted, it showcased the issues facing an aging community equally well.
The plot did a very good job of building on itself. With the annoying exception of the wood carving display, past actions had an influence on current events. In the same way, many of the side characters grew beyond tropes and their distinct personalities and behaviors had an influence on the course of events.
But characters were also the problem. The Queen’s Court were all interesting and mostly changed and grew over the course of the series. Maki and Ririko and their character arcs were particularly well done and enjoyable. Shiori and Sanae, not so much. Despite her brief moment of glory early on and the amount of character time she received overall… Shiori remained pretty much a one-note character throughout the run of the series. Sanae, while an interesting character in her own right, never really completely emerged out of the background. As the other ‘outsider’ in the core cast, they blew a big chance to compare-and-contrast the older experienced woman with the younger and more naive Yoshino.
And speaking of the Queen… The great strength of both Hanasaku Iroha and Shirobako were their strong central characters. The great failure of Sakura Quest was this essential weakness at it’s core. Until the almost the very end, Yoshino kept making the same basic mistakes – not learning from her past actions, leaping before looking, and presuming she knew better. While her eternal enthusiasm and optimism are to be commended, they’re no substitute for growth.
Ultimately, that leaves Sakura a distant third to it’s thematic predecessors and stablemates.
I wanted to like Sakura Quest. Heck, I wanted to love Sakura Quest. But in the end, all I can say is that I didn’t dislike it.
But at least it was better than Glasslip.
Final ranking: 2.5 Not bad per se, but painfully average.
Tsuredure Children Season Review
Honestly, I just kind of stumbled onto/in to watching Tsuredere Children – and I’m glad as hell I did. In some ways though, it’s a rough show to write a full review of, there was a lot going on despite the brief length of the individual segments and episodes.
I guess if I had to summarize it however, I’d say “all the best parts of all the romance anime you’ve ever seen or ever will see”. Most romance anime include a lot of what could be called filler (for lack of a better term) in between the actual romance bits, and Children leaves all that out. But that doesn’t mean the character growth and other elements of a romantic anime are left out – far, far from it. Children manages to skilfully weave all that into it’s condensed version.
I think my favorite part was the wide variety of couples and relationships portrayed. Kamine and Gouda’s exploration of the boundaries of their relationship and what each wanted from it. Chizuru and Takurou’s tentative and halting steps from childhood friends into adolescent romance. And my favorite, Chiaki and Kana’s deep connection and rocky road was impressively well done.
I’m trying not to slight anyone, but I really can’t cover all the couples because there was a ton of them. If anything, that was the show’s one glaring flaw – even though each segment was mostly self contained, there was a lot going on and a lot to keep track of. Children is enjoyable without all the effort, but I think I missed some subtle bits on couples I wasn’t watching closely.
Children also starkly shows the failures of Love & Lies (above). It too is an ongoing series, yet it’s characters manage to grow and change. It reaches a comfortable ending that both leaves the viewer satisfied and leaves open questions. It leaves you wanting to read the source material, but neither demands it of you nor begs for a second season.
Final Ranking: 3.5 – Among the top shows. (4.0 and above are the stratospheric “best of the best” territory, 3.5 is no shameful place to be.)
Not all dropped shows have a tag page, because they got the hot potato treatment without ever having had a full formal write up.
That covers the ‘easy’ reviews… Shows that are simple(r) to talk about, and which I don’t have an episode to cover before diving into the season review. Left to cover: Konbini Kareshi, Made in Abyss, My Hero Academia, Princess Principal, and Re: Creators. One post, maybe two. The goal is to have it all done by Friday.
So what do you think of the shows above? Or shows that I didn’t watch? Drop us a line down in comments and share your thoughts!