First Impressions: Winter 2018 Season | Dullahan Club
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First Impressions: Winter 2018 Season

First Impression

Happy delayed new year! I’m still here and the blog too. I have worked in the past three weeks to make some small but significant changes to the blog. And now that those small details are sort out and all the shows have reached their third episode it’s time to evaluate the first impressions of the Winter 2018’ season. For what is worth, this seems to be a wholesome season.

Shows I like

Sora yori mo Tooi Basho

Winter season started strong with a show about the youthful aspirations of girls trying to arrive at a place that is beyond your imagination: Antarctica. At first the synopsis sounded silly but the show has managed to captivate my attention and root for the characters and their success. Wonderful writing, direction, art style and I’m excited to see where this show goes.

Yuru Camp △

This is more than Cute Girls Doing Camp Things, and probably undersells the show. While it follows your usual outsider who gets to know someone passionate about an activity (camping) and gathers others to learn and enjoy this activity, it makes it in a way that is different to others. We have two different points of view, the solitaire and group camping which results in different and enjoyable experiences.

Cardcaptor Sakura Clear Card

My main drive towards this show was nostalgia, Cardcaptor Sakura was one of those shows that transcended the anime label and became a staple of popular culture. And in contrast with Sailor Moon Crystal, this is “soft-reboot” done right. The creative team knows what made this show great and builds upon that to present us the continuation of Sakura’s adventures. My only concern is that the CLAMP multiverse shit could be lurking behind the scenes, hopefully it doesn’t ruin the show.

Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san

Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san is one of the cutest shows I have seen in recent years. The chemistry between the two main characters is perfect since the first scene. The tone of the show does not deviate to a standard comedy or cheesy love story but a cute tale of two people who like each other and express those feelings teasing (or attempt at) each other.

Overlord II

Ains-sama is back but this time we get lizards who learn to work as a team and overcome their previous prejudices and hatred to fight a common enemy. And it’s fucking good, I did not expect the show to shuffle to this direction and even when it’s obvious why, what could have been a terrible shift from the previous season it becomes an interesting tale of the mindset of Ainz Ooal Gown and what he tries to achieve. Overlord is so well written that you almost forget this is an Isekai.

Violet Evergarden

One of the most hyped shows of the season, with Kyoani’s A team behind is kind of boring. I would not blame this show for taking a different approach to the stoic girl who with the help of others will learn what feelings and empathy are, but Violet is not an interesting character. It is almost frustrating seeing her interactions in the show. Still gonna give a chance to this show until the end.

Koi wa Ameagari no You ni

Noitamina seems to like stories or adaptations of works where taboo relationships are the main topic and this show is no exception. I don’t mind the age gap because from what I’ve gathered during these last episodes is that it won’t be a 17 years old lusting for 45 years old man and he will take advantage of that. This is a story of broken people who have lost something and this will bring them together to fix and recover the things that are important to them.

Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens

A cast as diverse as the killing methods presented in the story, this is the surprise show of the season. A combination of the plot of Durarara with the characters of Baccano makes an interesting premise and you will want to know how deep the rabbit hole goes.

Killing Bites

The show with the schlockiest plot wins, that’s what Killing Bites is. Unashamed of its simple story, proud of the monster girl exploitation and gratuitous shots of the girls this is the most entertaining and surprisingly educative show of the season. There has not been an episode where I did not laugh and encouraged the characters to win. Maybe what Kemono Friends needed to survive was more schlock.

Dagashi Kashi S2

The sexiest Japanese candy ad is back and it was not as bad as the previews led us to believe. With a new character design and with a reduced time slot, the pace of the show feels more appropriate to the subject matter. Sometimes you don’t want a 20 minute lecture about a confectionery even if the narrator is Hotaru.

Takunomi

The cutest Japanese beer ad is airing right now. Four girls living together and sharing the delights of Japanese brewery and bar food. I don’t drink but I like the interactions between the characters. This post was not sponsored by Sapporo Beer.

Darling in the FranXX

Sex, done the Trigger way. This show is as subtle with its allegory of sexual intercourse as the contestant who lost in a subtlety contest. Darling in the FranXX shares a similar problem that Violet Evergarden has, but here the main girl character is the most interesting one, and the ones are charisma vacuums, I don’t care for them yet. Maybe, just like most Trigger works, it would get better in the next episodes.

Pop Team Epic

Have you ever gazed up into the night sky and wondered just what is out there and if there’s something out there, does it have giant rayguns. Pop Team Epic is the long awaited adaptation of bkub’s 4-panel manga about the adventures of Pipimi and Popuko. Pop Team Epic is a show that ventures into the fabric of pop culture and tears it apart, burns the pieces and sniffs the ashes and later coughs it in your face. There has not been a greater shitpost force as this show. An unstoppable mass of irreverence that despite its use of references establishes its own style and presence.

Pop Team Epic

Have you ever gazed up into the night sky and wondered just what is out there and if there’s something out there, does it have giant laser guns. Pop Team Epic is the long awaited adaptation of bkub’s 4-panel manga about the adventures of Pipimi and Popuko. Pop Team Epic is a show that ventures into the fabric of pop culture and tears it apart, burns the pieces, sniffs the ashes and later coughs it in your face. There has not been a greater shitpost force as this show. An unstoppable mass of irreverence that despite its use of references establishes its own style and presence.

Dropped

Slow Start

The title speaks for itself, but it was also one of the victims of too many cute shows for one season.

Märchen Mädchen

I like when shows do not take itself seriously, but you have to commit yourself to that kind of tone. And this show was moving towards something gritty and did not feel right.

Hakyuu Houshin Engi

A reboot done wrong. The first adaptation took its time to establish the beginnings of the conflict but here it’s like they compressed an entire volume in two episodes.

Hakumei to Mikochi

Another victim of too many cute shows, not as relatable as the others. Probably would watch at the end of the year.

Death March kara Hajimaru Isekai Kyousoukyoku

In a season where Overlord is airing, you cannot repeat the same Isekai tropes and shine for that. My only positive reaction is that the show is not as bad the one with the smartphone.

Soon to be dropped

Ito Junji Collection

Hopefully this is not a secret anymore, but I despise most of the works of Ito Junji and find its popular appeal unfunded. I thought that this adaptation was going to take some of its stories and create its own thing. Take the interesting settings he has, rework the flaws and present an enjoyable horror anthology. But this a carbon copy of them, and my gripes with his writing is multiplied when is transformed to anime form. We need more horror anime, but not like this.

Mitsuboshi Colors

I am kind of enjoying the show, it’s another CGDCT with its wacky premise and presenting the everyday life in a Japanese shopping district. But I want more than that, for now its over the top comedy is what keeps me watching it.

Kokkoku

Solid first episode, a different approach to a urban fantastic setting with an old man and his family engulfed in a battle with a crazy religious cult. Sounds fine but every episode seems like they cut important aspects of who these people are and why they matter to the plot. A new guy shows up and he seems to be an important member of another sect but we are never told or shown why he is so important. This a detriment to the whole series.

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