Oigakkosan’s Winter 2016 Rundown


I’m only following Erased, IBO, Grimgar, Konosuba, Dagashi and Haikyuu this time around (but too busy until after April to write reviews for any of them).


ERASED is by far the best show. The narration has a very specific pacing and language. The occasional spoken narration and moments of sincere humor keep it fun and lite. (without resorting to anthro-character/boob jokes most shows would use and ruin the atmosphere) – it may be worthy of the heritage list because I suspect it would be worth watching again.


Grimgar is lovely. It’s oddly unique in its treatment of a completely generic topic. The final 4 eps will make or break being a classic because the plot may sputter out OR try to pack too much in. Either way, it’s my second pick of the season.


IBO is everything that Gundam Zeta, Double Zeta and Req-G were not: a retread of Gundam but with better graphics, contemporary/more believable characters, and a twist of expectations. Being semi-outside UC’s setting, it also escapes the mire of cameos and baggage narrative that choked Unicorn to death. I would argue that War in the Pocket tells a more original, complete and more compact Gundam story and that Thunderbolt may eventually do similar, but I’ll agree with Hannah that IBO deserves a top 5 slot in the franchise*.


KonoSuba is great wife & popcorn watching. Like Coffin Princess and Dungeon Dating in seasons past, the colorful cast, action, and RPG setting are easy to get into. Unlike those shows, this is a comedy and side steps any plot building issues because the plot, ultimately, doesn’t matter. More impressively, it uses the harem structure, without the protagonist wanting any of the women nor feeling like a spoiled jerk for not wanting them. “Life in an RPG would be annoying and sacks of loot largely worthless!” “A Harem would be annoying and largely worthless!” great twists on convention — certainly not enough to be a classic but a very clever show all the same.


Dagashi’s novelty as a history/cultural lesson and a soft romance side plot were fun for a while but there’s just not enough there. The characters are simple, not designed to develop, and the humor wears thin. Last weeks festival episode demonstrated this clearly: dagashi was barely in it as a topic, there was little context given for the non-dagashi items/food and festival, and the romance part that occupied the majority of the run time was generic. Nothing offensive but watch and forget to be sure.


Haikyuu S2 has dragged its heels from summer training to 2-episode mini arcs of Korasuno beating another good volleyball team in the prefecture’s high school tournament. Giving 2 episodes to each team the Crows defeat lets the show explore different group dynamics, motivations for playing, and responses to challenge (and losing) but it also introduces 2-5 new characters every 2 episodes (and then shelves them forever, presumably) which just feels distracting. This season was always about the Crows finding their feet as a team, rounding out the second string players backgrounds, and having revenge on the Emperor of the Court. The middle games don’t need to be here at all, let alone as 2-episode arcs. It just distracts from the central cast’s growth and makes the viewer feel like he’s wasting half an hour each week/could just binge the whole thing at the end.

*We disagree over Macross Frontier for the exact same reason. Like IBO, Frontier is a solid ‘new take’ on the franchise formula but the full series length and some of the cast-size and drama bloat that entails, makes it less impactful than tighter (and shorter) narrative of Macross Plus. (M+ having the best music and visual styling of the entire franchise) In nerd-war terms, the question is more ‘is IBO superior to 00’ (aka is Macross Frontier superior to Macross Zero) in a battle for 2nd-3rd place ;-)