Every season, we here at AniTAY do a list of Anime that You Should be Watching around the middle of the season, an article type that we blatantly stole from Richard Eisenbeis. While this article is an awesome collaboration and it’s a great help for those people interested in the currently airing anime season, it’s not perfect. Welcome to the AniTAY Spring 2015 Seasonal Overview, the article series that is here to help those who don’t watch seasonally see what’s worth their time. If you want to see our past Seasonal Overviews, you can find them here.
If available, show names are linked to the Ani-TAY Review. Shows on this list aired between April and June 2015.
Shows: Denpa Kyoushi (Ultimate Otaku Teacher); Gunslinger Stratos: The Animation
Description: Should you watch these shows? No. Don’t bother. Even if you are a fan of the genre they are in, there is almost nothing to recommend them. Whether it’s laughably poor writing, inexcusable plot holes, eye-gouging animation or a combination of these and other problems, they are shows it is best to avoid.
Justification & Thoughts: Denpa Kyoushi (Ultimate Otaku Teacher) was an anime that was supposed to be good. It still is, in some ways. The premise, mixing elements from The World God Only Knows and Great Teacher Onizuka, and the studio behind it, A-1 Pictures, only made a promise of a good show. One look at the first episode will make you gag. The art is near kindergarten level, with the episode playing out as simplistic and childish as you can get. A better way to utilize precious time would be to go and read the manga, which is decent.
Going into this season, the only thing Gunslinger Stratos really had going for it was a tangential connection to famed writer Gen Urobuchi. As an action series about two mirror worlds forced to fight to the death, the setting harbored some potential, but what we eventually got was a jumbled mess of a show, one which hit the trifecta of a nonsensical narrative, a stable of underdeveloped characters, and all-around poor animation. Unless you’re an absolute diehard fan of the video game on which the series is based, there’s zero reason to look into this catastrophe.
Shows: High School DxD BorN; Triage X
Description: Anybody who’s watched anime for an extended period of time should be well aware of these shows; the ones whose most notable parts are how much much skin they can display. Sometimes, they can be decent shows that are ruined by this; other times, they are just shows that are made for it specifically.
Justification & Thoughts: What would you expect from High School DxD BorN? Nothing but boobs, right? Well, you’re WRONG! The show tries repeatedly to make viewers care for anything besides the boobs. The recurring
boobs characters will mostly be the only reason for people to watch, and they’re very prevalent. If you like seeing more than is necessary, High School DxD BorN is definitely for you. There isn’t any reason to watch the past seasons though. The oppai are all that matter. Check out this article too!
Do you like boobs with a side of action? Well I have a show for you! Triage X is a new week, new bad guy, type of show and though it plays this role out decently, every female cast member has a rack that’s half the size of your computer screen. Of course, this is a plus for some people, and I’m not judging you for it, I’m just warning everyone who’d be afraid of boobs that reach this size.
Shows: Hello!! Kiniro Mosaic; Ninja Slayer
Description: Every now and then you’ll run into these shows that are so stupid and insane that the only purpose they have to exist is to be absolutely ridiculous. These are they types of shows you show to your friend to get the WTF JAPAN?!?! reaction, the shows that you can’t help but wonder what they were on when they made it…
Justification & Thoughts: Hello!! Kiniro Mosaic continues the nonsensical, but oh-so-cute daily adventures of Alice Cartelet as she studies abroad in Japan with her childhood Japanese friend Shinobu Omiya. This season has the girls a year older and adds a few characters to the main cast with the standout new addition being the new teacher Akari Kuzehashi. Kuzehashi is in fact a very nice and caring teacher who loves cute things and who wants to get along with her students, but her intimidating natural expression and speech pattern often scares them instead. Though this season may lack any episodes that truly stand out like the first season had, it is still a massive cuteness overload and is a nice, calming comedy to unwind to.
The studio Trigger has sold its soul to the devil. The evidence? Ninja Slayer. There is no other way that something so cheaply made and cheap looking can be this entertaining, it is just not possible. Ninja Slayer looks like something that a second year art student with a C average could whip up over a long weekend fueled by nothing but energy drinks and corn chips. We are talking MS Paint levels of animation here and yet I cannot stop watching it, like some curse grafting my eyes to the 4:3 aspect ratio of yesteryear. Just as Inferno Cop before it, Ninja Slayer once again shows that you can do everything ‘wrong’ in making your anime and still have it come out oh-so-right.
Shows: Houkago no Pleiades; Ghost in the Shell: Arise - Alternative Architecture; Mikagura Gakuen Kumikyoku; Plastic Memories; Show By Rock!!
Description: These are shows that while enjoyable, have flaws that keep them from being good. Sometimes it is because of a mixture of both great moments and really bad moments, and other times they’re just unremarkable overall. If you are a fan of the genre they are in, you will probably like these shows.
Justification & Thoughts: Houkago no Pleiades - School is generally a normal place, that is, until you go to the rooftop only to find yourself in an atrium that seemingly appeared out of nowhere. This place is as mystic as it seems, and you can feel the magical powers flowing within it. Yes, you are now a magical girl. Bad news, your magical girl powers suck and your broomstick runs on diesel. Good news, you can now breath in space. Bad news, some evil chick is trying to destroy the world. Good news, her magic sucks. Bad news, I’m not sure, I fell asleep trying to watch the same episode on three separate occasions.
Ghost in the Shell: Arise - Alternative Architecture is a strange beast (as well as a mouthful to say). The Arise series is a major reboot of the Ghost in the Shell story, redesigning many of the characters and crafting a whole new storyline. The first eight episodes are an out-of-sequence and pared down (if serviceable) retelling of the previously released Arise theatrical OVAs, while the final two episodes feature original content that serves to bridge the Arise series to this year’s new Ghost in the Shell film. Alternative Architecture itself isn’t bad per se, but there’s no good reason to watch it when a superior version of the exact same events is readily (and legally) available online. For that reason, it’s recommended to catch up with the OVAs and afterwards only check out Alternative Architecture’s last two episodes, rather than the entirety of its ten episode run.
Mikagura Gakuen Kumikyoku: Eruna Ichinomiya does not know what high school to attend, so she is convinced to join Mikagura Private Academy, a weird magical place where there are only “cultural clubs” like arts, gardening and drama. Although no sports clubs exists, all they ever do is participate in super-powered battles, which gives them points that power their sakura seizures of “schoolness” life. The show features some great battle scenes, with fantastic animation, similar in style to Kill la Kill or Rolling Girls. However, everything else is subpar. The creators made a stylistic choice to only draw outlines for the extras in the background which starts as a cool joke, but then becomes a little grating. The humor is great, mostly focusing on the absolutely insane lesbian inclinations of our main heroine, which would put Roshi or Yokoshima to shame. If she were allowed, she’d like to dry hump every female student of this school, but especially her A+ crush Seisa Mikagura, descendant of the school founders, who is permanently depressed and hides a dark secret.
Most anime would bother with a dramatic structure, to build tension into a climax, but having been based on a light novel series, which in turn is based on vocaloid lyrics, this series’ plot is kind of a mess. Stuff gets meta, and jokes fly all the time. Some of them land safely, others crash and burn. By the end you’ll be left feeling like you have no idea what you just watched, but still have some fun times. As I said the battle scenes were great and some of the jokes are fantastic. Both openings and endings were great fun too.
Tsukasa Mizugaki has just got himself a job at the SAI Corp’s Terminal Services. His new job involves deactivating personal androids called Giftia before they reach the end of their 81,920 hour lifespan, and is partnered with a Giftia named Isla to do just that. We follow the pair and the other members of the Terminal Services as they collect Giftia that are reaching the end of their lifespan from their owners, each dealing with their loss in different ways. Unfortunately the show does suffers from frequent mood shifts, which are jarring at the very least as the show tries to juggle tragedy, comedy, romance and drama, succeeding in some aspects more than others. Although Plastic Memories is a flawed show, its heart is in the right place and if you want a show that will give you all those good “feels” you can do a lot worse.
A shy girl named Cyan, who loves playing guitar, is transported to a world where music reigns supreme when she picks a heart shaped guitar as a bonus prize in a rhythm game. Unfortunately this new world is under attack by dark monsters who suck the power of music from artists for an evil record exec who wants to control all the music in the world. Cyan, along with her bandmates in Plasmagica, need to defeat the dark monsters and the evil record exec to return home. If you like J-rock and cute moe animal girls then Show By Rock!! will likely strike a chord with you. It’s got some good music and nice comedic touches as well. The glam metal band, Shingan Crimsonz, that shares practice space with Plasmagica, is certainly a trip to watch. It’s not a must see show by any stretch, but entertaining if you like rock music, moe, and some tropey comedy.
Description: When half of the community says it’s shit and the other half sings its praises, we know we have a divisive show on our plate. These are the ones we tend to discuss the most because our opinions of them vary so widely. Often, they are some of the most popular shows of the season.
Justification & Thoughts: Is it Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? is decisively not related to its title at all. The tale of coming-of-age tinged with harem elements is definitely one fraught with many perils, such as large monsters, huge breasts on lolis, and anything but picking up girls in dungeons. It’s similar to Sword Art Online in quite a few ways, such as the way it manages to garner just as much love as it does hate. Hate on the fact that the main character, Bell, has everything so easy, despite the fact that he’s a complete dweeb. Love it on account of the same thing, but DanMachi appears to lack the “emotional substance” that SAO had, unbelievably, though that’s probably due to how short it is in comparison. TL;DR, If you liked SAO, you’ll probably like this. I don’t think any other two shows are that similar, honestly.
Hoo boy, Nisekoi. This show is actually divisive on two fronts. Being a harem rom-com, it’s actually got a very fervent Waifu Wars aspect that’s drawn lines in the proverbial sand of Ani-TAY. On a more macro scale, the show and series itself pisses a bunch of people off because it never actually does anything. The title means “false love”, and many of us refer to it only half-jokingly as “NiseProgress.” Nothing seems to have any permanent effect on the quantum relationships between Raku, the protagonist, and the crap-ton of beautiful girls he may or may not have promised to marry as a child. Each episode and arc is great fun on its own, but nothing major ever gets fully resolved, and longtime fan of the series have long since sunk into despair, believing that it never will.
Seraph of the End is the latest project to come from the acclaimed Wit Studio, the creators of the popular series Attack on Titan. It follows Yu Hyakuya, whose family was slain by vampires and who has since promised to get revenge. He escapes from the city that he is held captive in and joins the Moon Demon Company, an elite human force that utilizes demon weapons to combat the vampires. This premise does sound interesting, and to a certain degree it does deliver for many people. However, the opinions on the quality of the writing are quite divisive, as the story often has numerous plot holes that detract heavily from many viewers’ enjoyment of the show. Those that are able to look past some poor writing do enjoy the action and overarching story, but the series as a whole has been debated frequently this season.
Shows: Baby Steps 2; Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works; Grisaia no Rakuen; Kyoukai no Rin-ne; The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan; Re-Kan!; Knights of Sidonia: Battle for Planet Nine; I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying - Second Thread; Code Geass: Akito the Exiled
Description: These are enjoyable shows that were pretty solid, and may have had some issues, but were still good all around. There’s nothing particularly horrible about them, as they generally are good the whole way through, but there’s just something that keeps them from being great, something that prevents them from going to the next level.
Justification & Thoughts: Baby Steps 2 picks up almost exactly where the first season left off, and keeps going with exactly the same charm and vigor. Maruo Eiichiro continues to be the same awkward but dedicated rising star of tennis, and the excellent supporting cast continues to expand, with Eiichiro training in America for the first few episodes, followed by the usual procession of new opponents afterward. It’s definitely more of the same, but it’s a completely faithful adaptation of a damned good sports manga, so more of the same is more than welcome.
Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works is absolutely amazing. The latter half of the UBW route was just as amazing as the first, fraught with intense fights between beings with the power of gods, overwhelming evil, and don’t forget insane megalomaniacs. Shirou, lacking a Servant, still kicks ass, though it’s in a shounen-esque way, with all the theatrics and awesome pew-pew any person would want. Hey, it’s well explained, but give it just a look-over and it’s pretty similar to many shounen style shows/manga. There are also a few hitches, especially if you’ve read the visual novel, though it’s a pretty faithful adaptation. The OP is also the best OP of the season, both for the song and the animation. It’s beautiful.
The first half of the sequel Grisaia no Rakuen is solely focused on the main character’s origin. Now, if you have a sensitive heart or simply like things to be happy, you should look elsewhere. Yuuji’s childhood is like none other and all the questions about his personality make sense after seeing it. He goes through suicide, abuse, abduction, rape, psychological distortion, murder, war, and simply hell incarnate. Anyone who saw the first series and thought to stop there, please continue because its sequel holds a story you can’t miss.
Kyoukai no Rin-ne is a story about helping ghosts reach the afterlife. Some simply need to see their significant other one more time, while others are possessed and need purification before anything else. Despite what might seem like a serious or haunting synopsis, this anime is elegantly silly. The protagonist is a human that assists in the ghosts’ passing, which becomes much easier with money, but he’s broke. There are certain instances where the show is dull, but the self-aware comedy always hits the spot; in one instance the main character comments on how he’s hesitant to waste money on such a poorly drawn ghost. All in all, it’s worth a watch if you want something light, or playing in the background, but it’s too stale to binge through what’s available.
In an alternate version of Haruhi Suzumiya’s world, we find Yuki Nagato once again in need of saving her Literature Club from being dissolved. The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan may first come across as yet another by the numbers rom-com, just with Haruhi thrown into the mix, but Nagato Yuki-chan succeeds in being a spin-off of a much beloved series, while standing as a story all its own. What really makes the show stand out is the ‘disappearance’ itself, it is not what you will be expecting and you should be pleasantly surprised when it happens. With a proper dose of well-timed comedy, visuals that range from good to great and an excellent soundtrack, Nagato Yuki-chan should sate your appetite for drama and existentialism.
Re-Kan! is a fun little show about Amami Hibiki, a girl that can see dead people!!! Seriously though, it’s a slice of life sitcom that shows Amami and her interactions with the supernatural played for laughs, and it’s pretty funny. It’s virtually the same joke over and over again, but it’s still entertaining nonetheless, and if the premise sounds fun to you, check it out.
Knights of Sidonia: Battle for Planet Nine is just solid. While Season 1 was amazing, KoS 2 isn’t that Sidonia, the one that really captured the “coolness” of Japanese SciFi. While many admired Sidonia S1 for what it did with its realistic and serious execution, the brilliant and extremely interesting world, the gripping narrative, and an awesome tone that keeps you interested in a story, S2 replaced it with an out of place rom-com in space, with a more fitting title being “I Can’t Believe My Giant Half-Monster Mecha Girlfriend Is This Cute.” (Something else blatantly stolen from Richard Eisenbeis.)
It has issues. While a lot of the issues it has are issues with the manga, like being too information light (which was made worse due to it being an anime) and not really having a solid direction for this aspect, the real thing that caused the fall from grace was too much extremely out of place romance that detracted from the show, and not enough of the SciFi it did so well. It lost everything Season 1 had, losing all sorts of seriousness, tension, world building and Hard SciFi realism that this show did so well... leaving us with... a romance... that... doesn’t... fit. That being said, it’s not a bad show by any means, still being entertaining and it still has its moments, but it just can’t compare and it just wasn’t an amazing show like Sidonia S1 was.
A fluffy and lighthearted short-form rom-com series, DannaNani or I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying continues its run with 2-sure-me, a 2ch term roughly meaning ‘second thread’ as in a forum. The name makes sense in-universe, being about an otaku husband, who could very well have written the title himself, and his completely normal wife, who as usual has no damn idea what he’s talking about on his wild tangents. It’s an interesting paired perspective on just normal relationship issues, spiced up with some wacky side characters and garnished with otaku-culture references.
Set between R1 and R2, Code Geass: Akito the Exiled is a
4 5 part OVA series, that’s taken forever to come out, about the European Union, more specifically the W-0 unit, a unit consisted of Japanese Elevens that have to fight in situations with next to no survival rates. In this season, episodes 3 and 4 came out, but only episode 3 has been released on Blu-ray so far, thus the only one you can see if you’re outside of Japan. That being said, it’s pretty much everything you think of when you hear the words Code Geass, with tight pacing, an amazing and well executed world, great sound design, etc, but the deus ex machinas it has and CLAMP, so your thoughts on if it’s great or not depends on your thoughts of Code Geass overall.
Description: These are shows that are great, full stop. They are always entertaining, have fantastic writing, and execute their goals extremely well, leaving fans satisfied with what they’ve just seen. They may not be appealing to everyone, so they aren’t must watches, but if you’re into the genre, you really can’t go wrong.
Justification & Thoughts: It’s not that Arslan Senki is offering anything groundbreaking or surprising as much as it fills a hole for the classic fantasy hero’s journey and provides a lot of Lodoss War style goodness. Arslan is the titular prince of the flourishing and militaristically powerful nation of Pars. When Pars is threatened by neighboring countries, namely the religious zealots of Lusitania, Arslan is thrust into danger and must figure out who he is as a person and future ruler with the help of his comrades. The main strength of Arslan is not just the political intrigue, but the motley band of fighters and adventurers that accompany our hero. From the badass Daryun to the conniving and sassy Gieve, there’s a character for everyone here. The setting, inspired by Persian geography and architecture, is also a nice change of pace from the usual Western European fare.
What if a seemingly unstoppable creature appeared and destroyed 70% of our moon, and claims he will destroy the earth within one year? What if the entire fate of the world was left up to one class of students being trained to assassinate the creature... who has now become their teacher. This is the basic premise of Assassination Classroom and a large cast of students, teachers and assassins, each with their own skills and all trying to assassinate Koro-sensei for a 10 Billion Yen reward, makes for a thoroughly entertaining experience. Among all the cast, Koro-sensei steals the show using his range of powers to both improve the grades of his students and dodge their constant assassination attempts at Mach 20. The show has a good balance of comedy and action and is definitely one of the most fun shows this season. With a second season already confirmed, it is definitely worth the watch.
Ace of the Diamond: Second Season got off to a rocky start. The first three episodes of the season were recap episodes that made it a tough slog in the early goings for fans, but thankfully the show quickly kicked things into high gear once the season properly got started.
The second season of Ace of the Diamond follows Seidou as they enter the Fall tournament, now with the senior players retired from the team to focus on graduating high school. As a result, the team ends up in a state of flux as they try to find their new identity. To make it worse, they draw many of the high profile teams from the Summer on their side of the bracket. Luckily for Seidou, all of these teams went through the same kind of turnover as they did, losing many key players and leaving them as shells of their former selves.
This season of Ace of the Diamond is one filled with more tension and uncertainty, and is on a more personal level than it was in the first season. Ace of the Diamond was already a really good series, but it is this season that is starting to push it into greatness.
2000 years have past since the Chinese Zodiac was determined and Nya-tan, our protagonist and the cat eto-musume, wants in. To do this she must defeat each of the current 12 members of the Zodiac in a battle of their choosing. The set-up may seem straightforward, but the execution is anything but. Prepare yourself for one of the biggest assholes of a protagonist you have seen in quite a while, know that the fourth wall will die a thousand deaths and accept that you will be pandered to. Etotama throws you into the deep end of the pool from the get go, so the first few episodes may leave you confused and disoriented, but keep going and you will discover the best and brightest hidden gem of the season. Arguably the most under-watched and under-rated show of the season, it is a blast to watch with a balance of comedy and action that is just right.
Several years post-alien invasion, a down on his luck, former revolutionary samurai (and friends) makes a living running the Odd Jobs in 19th century Japan, interacting with a colorful cast of characters including an anpan crazed police officer, a clueless terrorist, a warrior courtesan, a homeless kook, a gender-confused swordsman and a handful of stalkers. The premise doesn’t do the show justice, because Gintama° is all that and much more. Managing to excel at both comedy and drama, with a clearly memorable cast and propensity for ignoring the fourth wall, the only real barrier to entry is Gintama’s length of nearly three hundred episodes. By no means are all those episodes required viewing to make sense of the series, but you might find yourself looking back for more after just a taste of the current season.
Sound! Euphonium follows Kumiko Omae, a euphonium player who is unwittingly drawn into band once again in high school. The band of her school, Kitauji High, has performed poorly before and the general lack of effort has caused many good players to quit. However, this is a new year and there is a new teacher who pushes the group to perform at the national level. Sound! Euphonium has been consistently considered one of the better shows this past season because of the generally high production values, as the quality of writing and animation are both spot-on. Both beautifully drawn characters and wonderfully animated instruments accentuate the writing, which is what really pushes the show to the forefront of popularity. The slice-of-life examination captures wonderfully for viewers the daily lives and interactions of students in a high school concert band.
Punch Line is a show that starts with a ludicrous premise. If the main character Yuta sees panties twice in a row then the world will be destroyed by a meteor. Fortunately, as a spirit, he can travel back in time and do his best to avoid seeing the panties he saw before. While this opening premise may have you think it’s just another silly fanservice show, you wouldn’t be further from the truth. Punch Line starts with this premise, but then moves to a complex plot involving time travel, friendship, special powers, and saving the world. And it manages to weave this complex plot into a cohesive story while delivering some of the best comedy of the season.
The show’s comedy is mainly driven by its great characters. You have an exorcist who doesn’t believe in spirits, a genius inventor landlady, a girl who’s secretly the great hero of justice Strange Juice, and a perverted cat spirit that acts as a guide to the main character Yuta when he is a spirit. While this cast delivers some great comedy, the show has its dark moments as well. Enough dark moments to give some seriousness to its plot and make you care for the characters If you can get past Punch Line’s initial premise, you’ll find a humorous and complex show that will keep you entertained. And if you are worried about the fan service, it is surprisingly low given the opening premise.
Shokugeki no Souma (Food Wars!) is a show that revels in extremities; be it going to them or exploding clothes off them. Our main character, Souma, has a singular goal in life of surpassing his father’s culinary abilities, either with good food or culinary travesties. But just after he graduates from middle school and anticipates focusing full-time on this pursuit, his father decides to go on a cooking trip and enrolls him in a prestigious academy for the food world’s elite; where only 10% graduate, the best students have more influence than the teachers and disputes are settled by cooking duels, the titular Shokugeki. If Souma can’t survive, any hope of surpassing his father is forlorn.
The show is hilarious, similar in concept to Yakitate! Japan with its insane reactions to food and eccentric cast of personalities, yet even greater in scope. The people are crazier, the reactions are more intense (though also less flagrantly ludicrous) and the focus itself is not limited to only bread, but rather any and all foodstuffs are liable to be imaginatively weaponised.
Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches was arguably one of the best comedies this season, or really any season in recent memory. The protagonist Ryu Yamada is a tough guy who, when attempting to teach an honors student a lesson, accidentally pushes her down the stairs and wakes up inside her body. This strange event leads to the discovery of magical powers and the formation of the Supernatural Studies Club, whose members’ quirky behaviors as they search for the seven witches of the school are absolutely hilarious both because of the well-executed premise and the charisma of the cast. Each of the witches’ powers only add to the freshness of the comedy, and keep the series feeling new and clever for its entire duration, while landing it solidly in the list of greats for the Spring of 2015.
Shows: Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders - Battle in Egypt; Kekkai Sensen; Ore Monogatari!!; My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU TOO!
Description: Every season, there are shows that blow you away, the ones that make you go and tell all your friends to watch them immediately, because they’re that good. These are the must watch of the season, the shows that people hype up and really love. These are the ones that will be remembered fondly by fans long after the season passes, and are pretty accessible to most people.
Justification & Thoughts: Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders - Battle in Egypt, the third season of David Production’s ongoing adaption of Hirohiko Araki decade spanning manga. Having beaten all the enemy Stand users on their way to Egypt, Jotaro Kujo, his grandfather Joseph Joestar and their team of allies must now battle DIO’s strongest forces as they approach the climactic battle in Egypt. Each season of Jojo’s is packed full of action, supernatural powers and a diverse cast of characters (both heroes and villains). The show moves forward at such a rapid pace it leaves all of its shounen competition under the sand and does this while preserving the spirit of the source material perfectly, right down to sound effects lifted directly from the manga. Being a sequel, this does mean that there is some catching up to do to experience the whole story, with 50 episodes covering Parts 1, 2 and the first half of Part 3. However, this is definitely a worthwhile undertaking to plunge into the world of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure.
Rie Matsumoto, director of Kyousogiga, proves she has a knack for fantastical, parallel versions of real cities. This time, it’s not Kyoto, but New York City. Kekkai Sensen (aka Blood Blockade Battlefront) follows the lives of characters living in Hellsalem’s Lot - formerly New York - after a portal to the “beyond” opens up, creating a city full of humans and otherworldly creatures that is both paranormal and mundane. We follow Leonardo Watch, a regular dude except for the fact that he has all-seeing eyes, as he navigates life in the city as part of Libra, a secret organization that solves the strangest mysteries and the most otherworldly crimes. What makes Kekkai Sensen such a joy to watch is how fully realized its bizarre version of NYC is. The characters and events that pepper its world are both surprisingly and oddly familiar, making Hellsalem’s Lot a beautifully real place. There is an overarching plot, but the show is also episodic, providing a nice balance of large and small-scale drama. There’s also the music, from the jazzy and crooning in-show tunes to the frenetic, endlessly dance-able ending by Unison Square Garden.
Ore Monogatari!! (or My Love Story!!) is a shoujo romcom featuring the manliest man you will ever see, the super girly girl that’s head-over-heels for him, and the ultimate bro, ideal wingman and best bud rolled into one pretty-boy. Somehow they take what, by all rights, should have been an extremely vanilla and boring premise, and turn it into the funniest show in years, appealing to all ages and genders. Gouda Takeo and Yamato Rinko are an insanely cute couple, and Sunakawa Makoto is in the all-time hall of fame for Best Bro. The antics of Gouda - an enormous bear of a high-schooler who can suplex wild boars and punch out fire but doesn’t lie and couldn’t think his way out of a cardboard box - never fail to amuse, and it’s kind of amazing to see the world, and his friends, react to him. The supporting cast is amazing too, but the three main characters have unbeatable chemistry that takes OreMono to the top of the charts.
It is uncommon for a great show to have an even better sequel, but luckily for us that is the case with My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU TOO!. Although the change in artstyle and studio may feel off at first, the new studio does a great job in animating the show (as shown in XepherLord’s article), and adds a lot of detail and nuance to the character’s movements. This season also differs from the first, in that it focuses more on the struggles of our characters, while still managing to keep the great balance of comedy, romance, and drama that SNAFU has always had and we love. Regardless of what some fans may say about how this adaptation compares to its source material, specifically about skipping certain scenes, we here at Ani-TAY think it is a must watch and one of the four best shows of the season.
It’s a very solid season overall. It simultaneously could have used both more and less fanservice - more overall, and less specifically in DanMachi. Luckily, the Summer 2015 season has me covered (and plenty of people less covered). -Raitzeno
Really Good Season, lots of must watch shows, specially Kekkai Sensen/Punchline were fantastic, but beyond that there were stuff for everyone My favorite was Arslan Senki, whichs got great characters, and near flawless execution - RyomaNagare
This season was full of pleasant surprises. Sure, everyone knew going in that Fate/stay night would go out with a bang and Hachiman’s speeches in SNAFU 2 would keep us interested. But then Takeo came along and stole our hearts in Ore Monogatari. Leo Watch showed us that something as mundane as eating hamburgers can be fascinating in Kekkai Sensen. Arlsan gave us epic medieval battles. And we found out that it is definitely a good idea to try and pick up girls in a dungeon.
Spring 2015 was fun. It had heart, humor, and badass fights. This season saw the continuation of Gintama, the end of Kuroko (for now), and the beginning of Food Wars. While it’s sad to see Spring go, it’s good to know there are shows that will stay with you long after the season is over. - EvenSteven
Put simply, a solid season with a lot to offer. My personal favorites were Fate/stay night, Assassination Classroom, Stardust Crusaders, Ore Monogatari and Gintama, but even beyond that you had a ton of really solid shows like Food Wars, Blood Blockade Battlefront, Euphonium, Arslan and Yamada-kun. Hell, I even ended up enjoying Seraph, as weak as it was at times (though I can’t say I cared for Dungeon). In short, I was very pleased with this season, and think there’s something here for everyone to appreciate. (My only regret is not having seen the first season of SNAFU, which barred me from keeping up with the second.) - Grex
Spring 2015 wasn’t quite to the level of Winter 2015 for me, but it was still one hell of a good time. I was able to find a couple of hidden gems that I will talk up to anyone interested in anime, Re-Kan! and Etotama, and what is probably my favorite studio, Madhouse, was able to blow me away one more time with Ore Monogatari!!. - Kristof
I came into the Spring 2015 with a lot of high expectations, and came out not sure what to think. While there were some shows that did their fair share of disappointing (Fate, KoS, Punchline, I’m looking at you), a lot of the season was solid and we had amazing works like Kekkai Sensen that really impressed me. In comparison to winter, it seems kinda lackluster, but overall, I have to say it was pretty solid. - Rockmandash
Meh. - Stranger
The Spring 2015 season, like most anime seasons, offered numerous quality shows that fulfilled a variety of tastes. Arguments of ‘season x’ being better relative to ‘season y’ aside, this season had a large volume of series that I personally enjoyed, and I chalk it all up to being time well spent. My favorite show this season was definitely Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches. - Protonstorm
Shows: Battle Spirits: Burning Soul; Duel Masters VSR; Eikoku Ikke, Nihon o Taberu; Future Card Buddyfight 100; Jewelpet Magical Change; Kaitou Joker 2; Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha ViVid; PriPara 2; Tesagure! Bukatsu-mono: Spin-off Puru Purun Sharumu Asohou; Uta no☆Prince-sama♪ Maji Love Revolutions
Description: Either because it was not simulcast or simply that no one in the Ani-TAY Collab group watched it, there are always several shows that aired in the previous season that we cannot place on this list. Whether the show was good or bad has no bearing on this, we just don’t have an opinion. So, did you watch any of these shows and would like to tell us about it? Please comment below.
This article was written by Members of the Ani-TAY community. Here’s a full list of the contributors, and what they did:
Ascendant-Izanagi - Denpa Kyoushi (Ultimate Otaku Teacher); Is it Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?; Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works; High School DxD BorN
Exile - Shokugeki no Souma
Grex - Gunslinger Stratos: The Animation; Ghost in the Shell: Arise - Alternative Architecture; Gintama°
Kinksy - Assassination Classroom; Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders - Battle in Egypt; Plastic Memories
Koda - Ace of the Diamond: Second Season; Hello!! Kiniro Mosaic
Krakken - Image Roundup
Kristof - Etotama; The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan; Ninja Slayer
Meph - Punch Line; Show by Rock!!
Morie - Kekkai Sensen; Arslan Senki
Protonstorm - Sound! Euphonium; Seraph of the End; Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches
Raitzeno - Baby Steps 2; I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying - Second Thread; Nisekoi; Ore Monogatari!!
Rockmandash - Code Geass: Akito the Exiled; Re-Kan!; Knights of Sidonia: Battle for Planet Nine
Ryoman_Nagare - Mikagura Gakuen Kumikyoku
Stanlick - Header Image; Grisaia no Rakuen; Houkago no Pleiades; Kyoukai no Rin-ne; Triage X
Stranger - My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU TOO!
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