I had really high hopes for Spring 2015 that were more-or-less crushed by the second month of the season. Quite a lot of the shows I was following turned out to be crud, and in the last month I more or less fell behind everything except JoJo and Blood Blockade Battlefront. Oh well. At least it’s better than Winter.
5. Sound! Euphonium
There’s probably an audience out there that enjoyed Sound! Euphonium, and for better or worse I’m not that a member of that audience. I didn’t find the drama or the characters very compelling nor did I derive much entertainment from anything in this, except that I mentally pronounce the series by excitedly shouting the first word and then unenthusiastically mumbling the second.
Still, I finished this whole series, and it was decent. It’s here because this season was not a very good one and this was decent enough to be #5. So, congratulations, Sound! Euphonium, that Spring 2015 was not very good.
4. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders
For better or worse, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders was indeed, JoJo. It really dragged on some parts during the first half and some battles really didn’t have a lot of tension to them; I’m pretty sure Araki was still experimenting during that period. However, it does get pretty good during the latter parts of the first half and the Egypt Arc is a blast.
And it still had a lot of the substance that made the first JoJo quite good; the characters are entertaining, the fights are quite clever even if the sheer amount of them somewhat got on my nervers, the humor works of course, that ending. Now, it’s not nearly as strong as the first part, but one can only hope for Diamond is Unbreakable to be adapted so we can watch the adventures of best guy Josuke Higashikata (a less realistic prospect is for JoJolion to be adapted, so we can watch the adventures of the real best guy Gappy and his four testicles).
Best OP: JoJo Sono Chi no Kioku ~end of ZA WARUDO
If only because all three previous OP singers joined to sing this.
Honestly, I didn’t expect to actually like this show as much as I did. Goddamned be me if I didn’t actively tried to not like this show.
And then, Punch-Line turned out to be both exactly what I expected it to be and, simultaneously, a the completely opposite of the thing that I was expecting it to be. What I expected to be a mindless and silly fanservicey show turned out to be a thrilling mystery with an incredibly complex plot involving time travel, ghosts, body surfing and, yes, panties that ultimately blows the fuck up at the end.
It does have the Kotaro Uchikoshi flair, and viewers familiars with the rest of his material may find some of the twists predictable, given his usual tropes. And I ask: don’t we love Uchikoshi because of those usual tropes? Yes. Yes we do.
Best Guy: DIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
DIO is truly one of the most enjoyable villains of all time. He’s so incredibly villanous and so cartoonish in his villainy, he somehow manages to be entertaining again. If nothing else, he reminded us that to be a great villain, one does not need to be sympathetic or ambiguous, as it seems to be the trend now; one just needs style and flash and lots and lots of PERSONALITY and also Takehito Koyasu shouting every line. I bet Koyasu’s throat lozenge expenses quadrupled Vicks’ profits this year.
2. Knights of Sidonia: Battle for Planet Nine
Or: Reason #2 this season roundup was delayed because Netflix cannot into simulcasts and I really wanted to hear Lelouch piloting a robot in space, Knights of Sidonia: Battle for Planet Nine has everything I loved about the first one and then some more. The battles are still well-directed and tense, the atmosphere is still gripping and the setting and world-building (the series’ main strengths) are still top-notch.
What stands out about this second season is the focus on the small character moments between Nagate and his rapidly growing out of control harem. While Sidonia was never about the small character moments (it’s about Nihei drawing bears and mas architecture), I find them more than compelling enough. Also, it has Tsumugi, which is more or less the actual reason I rated this ahead of PUNCH-LINE.
Best Girl: Tsumugi
Tsumugi is really fucking adorable holy shit. Even being a half-abomination half-human giant mecha… um… thing, she manages to out-moe any girl from any Manga Time Kirara 4-koma despite appearing mostly as a bizarre one-eyed appendage that spawns tentacles. And not only that, but she has quite some depth to her, to boot. Despite all the girls being fleshed out this season, she still stood out as the best member of Tanikaze’s ever-growing harem.
You know what? I’m rooting for Nagate/Tsumugi, biology be damned. It certainly doesn’t matter to Daily Life with Monster Girl, why should it matter here?
Spring 2015’s Anime of Summer 2015: The Heroic Legend of Arslan
Which would be even better if it were in the hands of a half-competent studio. Fuck you, LIDEN FILMS.
1. Blood Blockade Battlefront
Or: Reason #1 I took so damn long to publish this. I was going to not put it here since nobody knows when the finale will air, but fuck it, I’m putting this show here, indefinite delays pf the finale be damned.
Blood Blockade Battlefront is quite a lot of things. It’s interesting; it gives some interesting insight as to how is life in an eldritch land where humans and aliens from another dimension coexist. It’s entertaining; the antics of the bizarre nutcases who live in said eldritch land are an endless parade of excellent dialogue and interactions. It’s gorgeous; BONES and Rie Matsumoto are a match made in heaven, and it’s present in the delightfully surreal visuals.
But above all, Blood Blockade Battlefront is cool. It has the most compelling take on vampires I’ve seen in quite a long time, what’s with them being invisible freaky things that can take over dead bodies. It has with some over-dramatizations that are almost JoJo-worthy (like, say, the chess match between Klaus and the alien). More importantly, it has a werewolf whose power is to invoke elaborate cool-looking crosses to smash motherfuckers with. It’s style over substance, but in a way that it serves the underlying narrative about the fragile balance between two worlds and the struggles to keep it. And for that, it is the best anime of Spring 2015.