Musaigen no Phantom World is Kyoto Animation’s first show of 2016 following their last show of 2015, Hibike! Euphonium. If I were to have no information about KyoAni and their past work, Phantom World would seem pretty decent and a fair demonstration of a studio’s ability, but knowing what this studio is capable of, I can’t help but be disappointed in this show. Not even the cute girls or the endless amounts of fan-service could make me see this show in a good light.
Boku Machi showed high promise in its previews and being somewhat of an A-1 Pictures fan, I was very excited for this show. The title in itself was intriguing enough, “The town where only I am missing”. It sounds like a line of a really pretentious poem and it clearly distinguished itself from the rest of the shows in the season.
With every season, a selection of “timewaster” anime is released alongside the “real” anime. Despite what you would think, not all of these shows are worthless and I make an effort every season to try as many short episode anime as I can. This season I watched three shows with episode lengths less than 20 minutes and here are my thoughts on them.
Bubuki Buranki is not the kind of show I would usually watch. The only real “mecha” show I’ve watched which is worthy of note is Code Geass which isn’t going to be very useful in terms of a comparison. Like most people, the reason this show caught my eye was due to its 100% 3DCG animation. That’s right, the whole show is animated with 3D models and none of the show is actually hand drawn. The PV looked very promising which was imperative seeing as the show is a complete original with no manga source material to adapt from. Produced by Studio SANZIGEN, it was clear that if there’s any genre they could handle, it’s a science fiction action hybrid. As of today, the show is receiving average reviews and to my disappointment, I completely understand why.
Breaking away from the traditional and expected genre pairings is an incredibly hit or miss strategy. Although some shows have flourished in its innovation to present a fresh idea to its audiences, Haruchika fell flat on so many levels that it was upsetting to watch. Giving praise where it’s due, creating a mystery/romance narrative is quite complex and the show’s ability to juggle these themes is still quite commendable. However, when assessed as a whole series, not only were its characters unlikable and its soundtrack underwhelming, but its impact as a mystery series was so lacklustre that I doubt anyone will even remember this show in a couple of months.
Kono Suba is the amalgamation of a concept so tiresome and overdone that viewers groan at the mere mention, while retaining an impressive level of effective comedy. At its core, people have regarded this show as a parody on the typical video game world trope. However, to undersell this incredible gag comedy in such a way is treason. With its lovable characters, beautiful visuals and effortless presentation of humour, this show goes the extra mile to bring something fresh to the new year.