What a weird season. Not so much the shows, but rather how I feel about them. Some of the ones I adored at the start have faltered on me, while shows that left me a little cold in the beginning I’ve fallen in love with over the course of the season. Let’s break them down, shall we?
Free! Iwatobi Swim Club
I was not impressed by the first episode of Free! and was certain I fell outside of the target audience. However something clicked for me beginning with the second episode. I think it’s because the show slowed down a little and gave us a bit more to each boys’ personalities than the caricatures we got in the first episode. Also the art didn’t feel as blurry either (I wonder if there was some trouble with the stream initially) so it started feeling like what I expected it to be: cute boys doing cutely sporting things! One of my favorite things about the show is how it makes it clear how absurd certain character types are. I feel like I’ve been programmed to not even notice the girl with a vapidly one-track mind, but having a boy with that same attitude stands out and has made me stop and think a bit. The parody and campy elements are working much better for me as well. It also helps that with the exception of Rin, I love all the characters. Sure, Haruka, Rei, and Nagisa make me cringe occasionally from the more extreme parts of their personalities, but I’m learning to embrace them.
Secret admission: Makoto is my first (male) anime crush since I was about 17 years old. I think it’s because he reminds me of all of my favorite female characters. He’s the strong, dependable one in the group. Good with kids, gentle, but probably pretty awesome in a fight, too. Paradox was out of town most of this past week, so the loneliness might have made the Makoto crush a little stronger.
Worth continuing? Absolutely! It may have started a little rocky for me, but now I found myself switching between cracking up and cooing over their adorable antics. They’ll make a fujoshi out of me yet, I’d say.
This show keeps hitting all the right notes for me when it comes to farming nostalgia. It’s not particularly funny or anything, really, and yet I find it rather fulfilling to watch. I like that there is a lot of fact behind what is shown and that viewers are made to think about where their food comes from. Still, I can certainly understand why some folks would find it boring. Honestly, I can’t imagine why anyone but I would want to watch it.
Worth continuing? Still not my favorite show, but it gives me such warm, fuzzy feelings each week that I look forward to each episode. The art’s ugly, but the life is beautiful.
Watamote had so much promise in the first episode or two. After being pulled in so completely, so certain I would get to see something special, I’ve become less and less enamored as the show has progressed (same for Paradox, if you read his Midterm Review). There doesn’t seem to be any growth in Tomoko (well, episode 6 she seems to finally realize there might be a problem, at least) and each episode is just becoming “how will she screw up this time?” The discomfort of familiarity is going away and now I’m getting a little frustrated with the show spinning its wheels.
Worth continuing? I’m still holding out hope that there will be something more to this series, so I definitely want to continue. However, it’s definitely dropping away from the quality of show I thought it was going to be.
Servant x Service
I keep dropping this show and then I keep watching the next episode. It’s boring, and yet I know that if they have much Hasabe in an episode I’ll be amused. This leads me to watch “just one more” and then groaning in frustration when yet another boring episode ends. Between Lucy’s stupid cowlick and the constant focus on her breasts, it makes me want to scream. But then Hasabe doesn’t something that cracks me up for some reason, and I don’t want to say goodbye to him (it’s worth noting he has the same seiyuu as Free‘s Makoto so there might be something more going on in my head).
Worth continuing? No! And I swear the 6th episode was my last. Probably. The execution of the comedy is terrible, the characters are flat, and the script isn’t actually funny at all. And yet…I might still end up watching episode 7 (even if I have marked it as “will not finish” on MAL and ANN).
Redundant as it is, this show really is eccentric. I feel like I don’t truly understand what’s going on, even though the premise is simple enough. I’m just perplexed by the concept of the Friday Fellows who eat tanuki. Do they not realize they can also turn into people? It’s just so odd to me and feels like there’s something more sinister, except the other Fellows are pretty sweet old men. Only Benten is an enigma. She’s what I really don’t understand, and yet without her I think the show would be lacking.
Worth continuing? Most certainly. It’s odd and I don’t know what to make of it, but I like it quite a bit (except for the ears!)
That’s all I’ve got for now. I’m hoping to reach the halfway point of a few more series soon so Part 2 can (perhaps) go up next Friday.