Sorry it’s late, subs for Gakkou Gurashi! were delayed on Thursday, and I was away all weekend… but finally, it’s time for my end of season post. Not quite as long as I had expected, with a lot of series continuing on for 13 episodes, or skipping a week and still being on 11 episodes, but as usual feel free to ask my opinions on any of the shows not covered in this post, and I’ll get back to you when I’ve finished them. 😀
After the usual weekly rankings and final episode thoughts, I’ll also be including my average rankings over the whole season, which usually makes for an interesting comparison. Have good shows been held back by slow buildups or weak first impressions? Have disappointing endings resulted in big upsets? Not even I know yet as I type this, so I should probably work that all out next…
2 – Arslan Senki ep 24 (↑ 5)
3 – Senki Zesshou Symphogear GX ep 12 (↑ 3)
4 – Gakkou Gurashi! ep 12 (↓ 2)
5 – Gangsta ep 11 (↓ 1)
6 – Gatchaman Crowds Insight ep 11 (↓ 3)
7 – Overlord ep 12 (↑ 1)
8 – Durarara!! x2 Ten ep 11 (↑ 2)
9 – Jitsu wa Watashi wa ep 12 (↓ 4)
10 – Chaos Dragon: Sekiryu Seneki ep 12 (↑ 6)
11 – Classroom Crisis ep 12 (↑ 4)
12 – Tide-Line Blue ep 12 (↑ 2)
15 – Non Non Biyori Repeat ep 12 (↓ 2)
16 – Aoharu x Kikanjuu ep 12 (↓ 5)
17 – Shokugeki no Souma ep 24 (↓ 5)
19 – Ushio to Tora ep 12
One ending that thankfully did not disappoint was that of Rokka no Yuusha. The signs were there, and spoilers were everywhere, but despite that I made it to the final episode with no real idea about who the impostor was, and I think I enjoyed it all the more for that. And then came the even bigger twist at the end! I keep saying ‘the end’, but as with so many series adapted from ongoing novels or manga, there’s still so much of this story yet to be told… I won’t stop hoping for another anime adaptation despite the woeful sales figures, but failing that an English language release of the novels would be brilliant.
The only other final episode in my Top 5 is Gakkou Gurashi!, which was very bittersweet. The most peaceful ending to a zombie apocalypse I’ve ever seen! 😛 But damage from the storm and the zombies have left the school uninhabitable, so after a lovely graduation ceremony, the School Life Club head off in search of another shelter. What will happen to them next, we don’t know, but unlike with Rokka no Yuusha there’s a definite sense of closure. Some endings are best left to the imagination, and this is one of them. Once again, I’m glad I gave this show a chance despite my poor first impressions.
It doesn’t bode well for the endings yet to be discussed when we’ve already dropped into double figures. All the moreso when it’s Chaos Dragon: Sekiryu Seneki that’s beaten them! But like the series as a whole, episode 12 was very entertaining despite its flaws. It had some great action scenes, my favourite characters Sweallow and Lou really shone (and survived, which is always nice!), and there was a really nicely designed airship. Ibuki and the whole Red Dragon contract thing (you know, the main character and premise) were less fun, but I’ve seen worse conclusions to worse plots. Overall, Chaos Dragon didn’t live up to my high expectations, and I’m not sure I could recommend it to anyone, but as a guilty pleasure show along the lines of Symphogear, it’s alright!
It doesn’t say much for the Summer 2015 endings yet to be discussed that guest anime Tide-Line Blue beat them, either. 😛 No offence to the show, of course – I didn’t expect much from a low-rated series from 10 years ago that I’d never heard of in all that time, but it held its own admirably in a strong season. I really liked the characters and setting; for me its main flaw was the rather cliche ‘peace through war’ vs ‘peace through negotiation’ plotline, I’d have liked to have seen more of the world and its regular inhabitants, as those short moments we did get to see really interested me. Still, the twist in this final episode caught me by surprise, it earned a lot of points for that!
I quite liked the final episode of Ore Monogatari!!. I’m not sure exactly why, since it went pretty much as I expected, with Yamato and Takeo becoming closer while avoiding conflict with each other and even with the patissier… largely the same formula as every other arc. I suppose it’s because I still like the characters, and their interactions (as well as Takeo’s solo actions, and Sunakawa’s reactions) are always fun to watch. These main characters got a lot more development over two slow-paced seasons than the casts of other series I rated lower this week, so I guess even a predictable ending had more impact as a result. Would I watch a second series if it gets one? Depends what’s on offer that season, as I like variation, and this series doesn’t deliver much of that.
I wasn’t expecting to be covering Gate: Jieitai Kanochi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri in this post… I had been lead to believe it was continuing uninterrupted for 24 episodes. But while a continuation is happening, it’s not until January, leaving me with virtually nothing to carry over into the uninspiring Autumn season. Thanks Gate! The episode itself was alright, very funny in places, but was very much building up for an arc yet to come, so not a great place to leave things (even temporarily) IMO. A cliffhanger would have been fine, but otherwise I’d have preferred if they’d somehow held off on introducing Yao Ha Ducy and her plight until the second half. Needless to say I’ll be continuing with Gate in the Winter. 🙂
Episode 12 of Non Non Biyori Repeat was about what I’ve come to expect from the final episodes of slice of life shows. Comedy (while still present – I loved Renge’s fears about picking bamboo shoots in case of disturbing Princess Kaguya!) took a back seat, and instead the focus was on looking back over the year since Hotaru moved to their village, and Renge started at school. Lots of nice scenery, heartwarming moments, and nostalgia… but it felt even slower than usual as a result. Still, overall I think I preferred Repeat to the original series of Non Non Biyori, and while I feel another series is unlikely, I would happily watch one.
Aoharu x Kikanjuu‘s final episode was predictable and cliche, as with that of Ore Monogatari!!, but while the casts of both shows are equally wacky (and if anything, the personalities in Aoharu are more to my tastes), this series just didn’t have the time to develop them as much, so I found myself caring less. For me, the drama felt a bit weak, and as it came to the forefront more and more in latter episodes, I started to lose interest. I feel it would have worked better as a full action/comedy series, or at least would have benefited from more episodes or better writing. The biggest disappointment was that we didn’t get to see Matsuoka and (especially) Yukimura’s reactions to Tachibana admitting she’s a girl, which could have been amusing. Meh, I still liked it overall.
And finally, Shokugeki no Souma. This didn’t air in Week 12, but since I somehow found time to watch it over the weekend before writing this, I figured I’d throw it in anyway. Again, this was an enjoyable enough episode, that’s only rated as low as it is because it was predictable, formulaic, and didn’t provide any closure. No surprise to see Souma and Hayama go through, no surprise that it was close, but (with the finals yet to come) still undecided who was the better of the two. I’ve said it before, but I prefer eating food to watching it. The food reactions were less crazy this week too. It just didn’t stand out for me, and keeping the main tournament for another series is just mean, now I feel almost obliged to watch the sequel if it gets one!
And as promised, here’s my average (mean) rankings for this season:
1 – Rokka no Yuusha (1.67)
2 – Gangsta (3.54)
3 – Durarara!!x2 Ten (3.63)
4 – Arslan Senki ep 21 (4.00)
5 – Senki Zesshou Symphogear GX (4.75)
6 – Gatchaman Crowds Insight (6.09)
7 – Gakkou Gurashi! (8.58)
8 – Gate: Jieitai Kanochi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri (9.14)
9 – Overlord (9.17)
10 – Jitsu wa Watashi wa (9.71)
11 – Tide-Line Blue (10.25)
12 – Aoharu x Kikanjuu (10.50)
13 – Chaos Dragon: Sekiryu Seneki (11.50)
14 – Non Non Biyori Repeat (12.00)
15 – Shokugeki no Souma (13.55)
16 – Classroom Crisis (13.67)
17 – Ore Monogatari!! (14.36)
18 – Ranpo Kitan: Game of Laplace (14.91)
19 – Tribe Cool Crew (17.45)
20 – Ushio to Tora (18.08)
A strong #1, and a strong Top 5, though Gatchaman Crowds and Gakkou Gurashi! did well considering their Red Zone beginnings! Still, even in the red, average scores are high – Tribe Cool Crew and Ushio to Tora took bore the brunt most weeks, and a lot of highly rated series ended up in their at one point or another. Late additions Gate and Jitsu wa Watashi wa proved they deserved to be in the list. Yep, this lineup of series was probably one of my best ever.