This is part 2 of my Summer 2015 anime season impressions; read the first part if you haven’t already here!

Part 3 is here!

So here, I’ll be discussing another 6 anime, which are again, mostly great! Keep in mind these are only thoughts on the FIRST episode, without any influence from other sources, such as the manga or LNs.

Akagami no Shirayuki-hime

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A retelling of the classic Snow White (supposedly), does Red Hair make a good twist on this fairytale?

Yes. Yes it does. Let me start off by being clear. Saori Hayami is no doubt my favorite seiyuu, and as she’s the voice of the main character, Shirayuki, I can’t help but be biased. I was prepared to suffer through a bad anime just to listen to that voice, but Akagami no Shirayuki-hime totally manages to clinch that fleeting feeling of a good romance anime. Yes, this anime seems to be waiting to jump into a quagmire of cliche and tropes, but I’ll definitely hop on for the ride.

A herbalist, Shirayuki is forced into leaving her home country, Tanbarun, when the pretentious Prince Raj demands her as his concubine. Along the way, she meets Zen, later revealed as the second Prince of Clarines, a neighbouring country, and things start rolling. How will their encounter play out?

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I can’t wait to find out either.

First Impression: Good Watch, not if you hate cliche moments and the like.

Gate: Jietai Kanochi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri

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A huge gate springs out of the ground in Tokyo, and monsters spill forth. Brave soldiers must sally forth, into the gate, in order to protect their country.

Gate is interesting, to say in the least. But there are also numerous concerns I have about it, mainly about whether or not most of the actions undertaken by the Government in Gate would also be done by their counterparts in real life. Annexation of an unknown state is clearly something that will have wide-spread repercussions, within and without. It’s also something that should/would cause concerns globally, seeing as militarization for a punitive purpose is clearly a drastic measure.

I have already read pages upon pages of arguments in the Ani-TAY chat, discussing various issues that would arise, though the final argument against both sides would be to ask: how true to life do you think this is, and why? Gate is an anime. As serious as it tries to be, it should still be taken with a pinch of salt. It’s all a work of fiction anyway, so should it be criticized as much as if it were a real-life event?

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Gate is an enigma for me as of right now, so I’ll still watch it, in hopes of getting the answers I want.

First Impression: Mixed, worth watching though.

Kangoku Gakuen

Being the few solitary males in a female dominated school could only be a good thing, right?

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The first and most important thing to say: this anime is gorgeous. The art is something I could go on and on about. The characters are lovingly hand-drawn to near perfection, with art more suitable for a still than an anime. And it’s also animated amazingly! I would ask nearly anyone to take the time to look at the beautiful art....

But of course, this is Prison School we’re talking about. The first episode already demonstrates its clear lack of self-restraint. Graphic violence is pushed to absurd limits, and there’s plenty of fanservice. Lots of it.

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It’s difficult to order any thoughts you might have on this anime, for many reasons. Sometimes, you’ll see it as a comedy, and it does well. Then it’ll pull a heavily ecchi act, which it handles well too. Then it throws in the first few straws of a romance, and again. It’s great. But the overall package is wrapped in a heavy coat of insanity, which will pretty much drive anyone away.

First Impression: I like it, though it may be way too extreme for most.

Jistu wa Watashi wa....

Asking someone to keep your secret is always a difficult thing to do. Especially if you’re a vampire.

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Kogamine Asahi, our protagonist, cannot keep secrets, no matter how hard he tries. One day, he finds out that his crush, Shiragami Youko, is actually a vampire. (No, she doesn’t sparkle.) How will he manage to keep her true identity a secret?!

Entertaining is the key word here. No. I don’t care. Yet. But maybe I will, because for all intents and purposes, this anime is so heavily entrenched in cliche that it’ll be difficult for anything to happen that’s overly shocking or surprising. However, it did manage to fill my 20+ minutes with some fun, so I guess that’s a win.

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Hopefully it only gets better, because I’m really hoping for a good rom-com, after being disappointed a few times.

First Impression: Actually, I think this anime could be great!

God Eater

The world has been razed by giant monsters, and humanity must hide behind giant walls and monster-powered humans to defend themselves.

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No, I didn’t describe Shingeki no Kyojin, though I might as well have did that. God Eater was an anime I was heavily hyped for. Why? Ufotable, that’s why. And they manage to impress, again.

The art, which is something I expect to be good, is definitely something I’ve never seen before, seemingly cel-shaded in 3D. That’s a weird but good-looking combo. But what doesn’t help is how obvious its use of CGI is. If you’ve read my other stuff, you’ll know I personally dislike CGI in anime, especially when it’s so obvious. But nonetheless, the designs of the characters and world are beautiful, each a work of art on their own.

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The main character is a brash young boy who’s seemingly good at destroying them monsters, and seems to have revenge as a motive. He has monster ‘blood’ in him, which allows him to fight the monsters better. He also has a ‘hidden ability’ which allows him to do stuff others can’t, such as turning into a Titan shifting his sword into a gun. His name is Eren Yaeger Utsugi Lenka.

I believe I’ve made my point.

First Impression: I think I’ve seen this before? But I’ll watch it anyway.

Gangsta.

In a city where the bad rule, the baddest will of course come out on top. But is there more than ‘bad’ to our protagonists in Gangsta?

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Gangsta is set in brutal and gritty Ergastulum, a city ruled by Mafia families, and follows the ‘Handymen’, currently composed of Nicolas and Worick, our protagonists.

The first episode doesn’t achieve too much story-wise, mainly painting in the world and the characters in it. But it does that well. Nicolas and Worick are both still mostly unknown, though we can see that they’re mercenaries, and good at what they do. They also seem to have a sense of right and wrong, though that doesn’t mean that they are soft. They’re pretty interesting as protagonists, being experienced in the brutal ways of life, which makes this all the more interesting.

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It’s like watching Durarara mainly focused on the mafia, with the brutality multiplied by a factor of maybe 10. The first episode clearly shows that Gangsta isn’t afraid of showing violence and blood, which is great, though that means its audience will be somewhat restricted. but it’s definitely an interesting show I’ll be watching every week.

First Impression: Great, but violent.


So that’s it for the second part of my Summer 2015 anime impressions! The third and final one should be up by next week, though that’s up to my schedule. (So much to doooooo >.<)

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You’re reading Ani-TAY, the anime-focused portion of Kotaku’s community-run blog, Talk Amongst Yourselves. Ani-TAY is a non-professional blog whose writers love everything anime related. Click here to check us out.

This article was written by the Ascendant - Izanagi, who uses TAY as an excuse to read too many books and play too many games, and Ani-TAY as an excuse to watch too much anime. Check out his other works here.