And here we are at the end of another season! We’ve had several unexpected breakouts and a few casualties, but all in all it was a very successful season.
Alice to Zouroku
Wow. Who would have expected. After a first half that basically went through all the major plot beats of a “kids with superpowers and the secret agency that wants to control them”, there was a real question of where this show was going to go. Well, it turns out it decided to be the best show of the season. Instead of bringing in some new existential threat to Sana and the other Dreams of Alice users, it decided to focus on Sana’s integration into “normal” life, as well as the tribulations of another Alice user.
Hatori was the most surprising character of the second half. She served, in a way, as a reflection for Sana. A way for Sana to work out some of the emotions she didn’t understand, but had been struggling with. Thats not say she wasn’t a compelling character in her own right, her relationships with Ayumu and her parents were compelling and engaging, making her conflict and then resolution along with Sana all the more fulfilling.
The show itself summed up why this show is so much better than any of the shows it seems to be on first glance. “If the kids are happy and healthy, that makes it a good world.”
Shuumatsu Nani Shitemasu ka? Isogashii desu ka? Sukutte Moratte Ii desu ka
So. Honestly the number one spot was a tossup, between this and Alice to Zouroku. I gave Alizou the top because I prefer happier endings. Yeah this ended kinda how you probably figured by the last stretch. That being said, it was still an amazing show, far better than it would appear at first. It reminds me a bit of Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon, where a unique, powerful show is hidden beneath a seemingly generic exterior.
Willem and Chtholly are one of the best hetero couples in a long time. Their relationship was believable and sold fantastically. Hetero romance isn’t inherently bad, its just so few shows really go to the effort of selling it, instead of just riding on the assumption that the two characters will get together because one is a boy and the other is a girl.
The ending left a lot of room for followups, and apparently there are two more unadapted novels. Hopefully we’ll get a sequel because the ending, while powerful, definitely didn’t answer many of the bigger questions raised over the course of the series.
Frame Arms Girl
This show would have had to do a lot of things wrong for me to actually dislike it, but it went above and beyond my expectations. Its hard to really explain why a half-dozen sentient plastic models living with a somewhat ditzy girl ended up being so good, but it was. It really embraced its fundamental ridiculousness and didn’t let minor things like the absurdity of its premise keep it down. It made precisely zero attempts at being realistic, and that left it free to indulge.
Not every joke was on target, but more were than weren’t. And it even took a couple of characters who could have been completely terrible, the Materia sisters, and made them a lot of fun. Mostly by knowing when they needed a good comeuppance. Aoi and Gourai are a top tier ship, even though one is a human and one is an 8 inch tall sentient plastic model. But hey, whatever works right?
Re:Creators (12 Episodes)
Re:Creators is continuing into next season, but its had its major mid-series climax. All in all, the show continues to be far better than it really has any right to be. The combination of people involved should have led to something very loud and obnoxious but has turned out to be very thoughtful and compelling.
Mamika’s death is a sore spot, but hopefully she’ll make a grand return, somehow. The plan to create a huge crossover story between the world’s the various creations are from is a neat idea, basically Super Robot Wars but for Manga and Light Novels. Will be cool to see how it works out.
Zero Kara Hajimeru Mahou no Sho
Zero no Sho is probably the most solid show of the season. It was never absolutely exceptional, but it was also never bad. It was just, solid. This is actually quite the achievement, if you think about it! Anyway, there isn’t much else to say. It was a fairly standard fantasy series that hit all the expected notes, but did so effectively and with just enough of its own twists to keep it interesting.
One reveal towards the end was very well executed, as was the sudden change in sides of a certain character in the second to last episode. These twists were forshadowed just enough to not be total surprises, but not so obviously that they became so blatant that you got tired of waiting for the show to admit it. Also, Zero is one of the best characters of the season, by far.
As Cute Girls Doing Cute Things shows go, Hinako Note is at best a completely average entry in the genre. But it was what we had to work with this season. Its not bad, by any means, but it also doesn’t really excel in any particular area. It just sorta…exists. The main cast is pleasant enough, with the titular Hinako being a very strong central character. The other main girls were generally ok, the strongest being Yua and the weakest probably Chiaki.
The show’s biggest flaw is probably its somewhat excessive fanservice. Its not like, Seven Deadly Sins, but as CGDCT shows go, its definitely a lot more focused on the service than most. The biggest contributor is Chiaki, who is also unfortunately the most boring of the cast. Hinako’s tits come in a close second though, even if the show could never quite settle on how big they actually are. Also the decision to make Ruriko an 11 year old teacher with F-cups is highly questionable on every level.
Sakura Quest (13 Episodes)
Fell behind for a while but caught up in a marathon! The show has continued to be solid, it spent some time giving each of the girls other than Yoshino an episode or two in the spotlight, some of which worked better than others. The focus on romance between various side characters wasn’t particularly astounding, but it worked. The cour-ending two-parter with the Founder’s Festival was well done, and left off on a decent cliffhanger of sorts for the second half.
Yoshino continues to be lovely, and her relationship with Shiori is a highlight. Ririko has also come into her own, in her own strange and idiosyncratic way. Very interested in seeing where they take it in the second half. The fundamental conflict at the core of the show is virtually unresolvable in any realistic manner, as Yoshino seems to have realized. But thats life, isn’t it?
SIN: Seven Deadly Sins
Twin Angel Break
The iDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls Theater