Summer Anime 2016:
New Anime That To Help Beat the Heat!
By: Head Writer – J.R Tafoya
Staff Writer – David Thomson
Hello again my Giga-Landers! It’s J.R here again with another of my amazing and patented(?) anime reviews! Maybe a day or two late, but who’s counting!? Not me, because you can’t quantify love! Or, your love for me, anyway.
Either way, welcome to another of our coveted Anime-Outlooks! Were you disappointed by last season’s anime as many of us were? Did Kabaneri leave you feeling nearly undead? Did Kiznaiver not live up to your emotional expectations? Well . . . me too . . . But, the new anime season is here and we can rejoice that we have some swell anime to beat the sweltering heat! If anyone’s counting, my favorite is still Amaama to Inazuma! Ya’ know . . . if it matters. . .
Are you the kind of person who likes to wait for a few episodes to air to pick out all the good anime? Are you the one who likes to skip the anime that look like garbage to try and pick out all the gems in the rough? Well, look no further as I’m sure my
late right on time anime review is here to help you find the best so you can weed out the rest!
As the wind beneath your wings and air in your lungs, you’re welcome!
Outlook: Not Having Alcohol Makes Americans Really Mad –
Avilio, a spritely young child, lived with his mother, father, and younger brother in a small house nestled away in a forest. Playing with his friend Corteo before his father got home, it seemed like just another peaceful day to him. It was on this very night that Avilio would see his family murdered in cold blood by the mafia. His father, his mother, and even his younger brother shot and killed before his very eyes while he hid to save his own life.
Several years later, thirsting for revenge every single day of his life, Avilio once again meets up with Corteo who now runs his own “in-home” moonshine brewery. His one goal is to ingratiate himself to one of the Mafia families in the city – The Vanettis. Using illegally brewed alcohol and “Speakeasies” to garner a relationship with the Vanetti family, Avilio sets out on a path to find the murderers who destroyed his life.
91 Days is an interesting anime set during the ‘20s active Prohibition Era where Speakeasies were deep in the pockets of rich Mafioso and “moonshine” was what kept the money flowing like water in the ocean. Much like 2007’s Baccano, this show revolves very heavily around a mafia family turf war. But, much unlike Baccano, there is almost no comedy to be found here. This is primarily about Avilio’s revenge and his involvement in the fight really shows how -er . . . “resourceful” the mobsters were back in the day.
This show is handled very delicately, from the city structures to the cars and right down to their clothing, 91 Days takes special care to make you feel like you’re watching a regular show pulled straight from the ‘20s . . . except for the lingo which the translators try their hardest to pin down, but don’t particularly pull off like Baccano’s American (and preferred) version. But, the seriousness of the show, and the colors they use to depict a more lawless time in American history really make you pay attention to how ruthless a money-hungry gangster can be.
The dialogue and voice acting should be taken note of as well. Some conversations in particular take very special care to leave hints on who the murderers are but are very subtle at the same time. Hell, one extremely important piece of information went right over my dumb head. Though, it couldn’t get by my co-writer David’s senses quite as easily. The body language and how each character talks, speaks volumes for the show’s writers and it does the show a great service by doing so.
If you’re looking for a very dark mystery/thriller this season, 91 Days is a very good choice. The animation, the setting, and the language are all pieced together extremely well. Plus, we haven’t had a good Mafioso story in a while. Give it about two episodes and you’ll know exactly where you stand.
Nejimaki Seirei Senki – Tenkyou no Alderamin
(Alderamin on the Sky)
Outlook: Adorable Little Spirits Help Kill People in a War –
Based on the Light Novel of the same name, Nejimaki takes place during a war between the Katjvarna Empire and the Kiorka Republic. Our hero, Ikta, is a young man who is being forced coerced into taking the officer’s exam for the Empire. Yatori, a noble girl of the same age, has promised that if Ikta can pass the exam, while making her look good, she would put in a good word for him. Though, being the slothful man he is, Ikta only wants to be stationed in the capital so he can waste his days away on sleeping – particularly with women.
While on their way to the exams by nothing but the safest of boats, of course, Ikta and Yatori meet other recruits whom they are to be competing with. But, their joy ride doesn’t last long as a terrible storm capsizes the boat taking a young girl with it. Ikta, being the “slothful” hero he is, jumps in to save this little girl who would turn out to be none other than the princess of his Empire. *queue gasps* Now, the group must survive in the wild as the only survivors of the wreck. Oh, and being behind enemy lines doesn’t help much either.
Much like Arslan Senki, Nejimaki makes sure to let us know that Ikta is destined for great things. A lot. Ikta, although incredibly intelligent and annoyingly sharp, has an explosive temperament that Yatori knows gets him into hot water. Thankfully, they have a tsun-tsun relationship to keep him on a short leash. The other characters, sans for the princess, have had much less screen time and thus much less development. At this point, they’re just bodies to fill roles like: Medic, Sniper, and fat guy.
The world they’ve built is interesting as well. It seems that all humans have a partner spirit, a tiny helper, of a certain element. Each element can be used to help push the all-too-important war effort. For instance, the Sniper’s wind-element sprite could be used for his rifle, the fire ones to help propel air balloons. The spirits provide a bit of cuteness to an otherwise very human show which works oddly well in its favor. When Ikta finally has to kill someone, the soldiers’ spirits are left grief stricken while trying to wake the dead bodies. It’s a little horrifying and a little cruel, but what can you expect from a war?
That aside, the political and wartime tension between the two nations is handled slightly better (so far) than anime like GATE. His nation has been on the losing end of every defensive fight and Ikta knows just how futile those fights are. After all, when a General (or Emperor in this instance) is knowingly defending a garrison that will obviously be destroyed, it makes him just as much responsible for those deaths as the opposing faction, or so Ikta thinks. Ikta, as the perceptive man he is, knows exactly how the Brass thinks and why they treat him and his comrades the way they do. But, being treated like an expendable resource or even a card to be played at the right time doesn’t sit well with our hero. Though, with the way the show shoves his legendary title in our faces, I’m sure he’ll have something to say about it in the end.
Amaama to Inazuma
(Sweetness and Lightning)
Outlook: So Sweet That I Might Already Have Diabetes With a Case of “HNNNNG!” –
I very rarely talk about how great Slice-of-Life anime is-. . . No, scratch that. Well, I don’t usually gush about how cute they a- . . . Nope. Guilty of that too. Well . . . I’ve never put one in my top “anime to watch” list before! HA!
Amaama to Inazuma is about a father, Kouhei Inuzuka, who has been looking after his preschooler daughter, Tsumugi, by himself following his wife’s recent death. Though somewhat clueless, Kouhei has done everything he can to be a good father to his daughter and a good teacher for the new high school class he is teaching. One of his glaring flaws as a human is his inability to eat more than a few bites of food and more obviously, cooking. One day, Kouhei comes across a young girl who (more importantly) is also one of his students, at a Flower Viewing Festival. The girl invites them to her mother’s restaurant which she claims is the best around. Reluctant to go, Kouhei finally decides to visit because of Tsumugi’s unbridled excitement at the prospect of new delicious food.
When they arrive, it turns out only his student was around to cook and though she hit a few snags, she makes a meal that makes little Tsumugi smile from the depths of her heart. Determined now, more than ever, to be a good father, Kouhei wants to learn to cook so he can make his little miracle smile like that every day of her life.
This. Anime. This anime. It almost made me cry, twice. In two episodes. I’ve often stated two things on my reviews, aside from my hate of SAO: 1) I am a total hardass and I don’t cry. Ever. 2) I absolutely adore familial stories. These two things are now conflicting and causing an inner chaos the likes of which I’ve never felt. This anime reaches for a new style of slice-of-life about a single father trying the be the best he can be for his one and only daughter, but it also uses Tsumugi’s antics to make the show not only hilarious, but absolutely charming as well.
Oddly enough, the artwork isn’t anything spectacular in this show. SoL shows have often been a source of amazing background art or even still shots that had me stunned in awe. What sets this show apart is the facial expressions. We have on one side, Kouhei, who experiences a range of emotions from a proud father crying at his daughter’s happiness, to a concerned father who realizes he had mis-spoke to a child who is often more intelligent than she appears. On the other side we have Tsumugi who makes the most absolutely ridiculous faces on several occasions. The two styles meld incredibly well together that make a show that’s both heart-warming and funny at the same time.
This is an anime about a father trying his hardest to do good by his daughter, even without the love of his life by his side; and it’s about how food, however good or bad, can bring a family together. This show is definitely a slice-of-life/comedy and it doesn’t really delve too deeply into any emotions of solidarity that Kouhei feels or even if Tsumugi knows that her mother is gone. But, it provides the familial story capable of touching even my stone cold heart, which speaks volumes for its writing. If any of this sounds like it might appeal to you, I highly suggest checking out this show, if anything just for the cuteness alone. If you’re more of an action or drama person, you’d likely not want anything to do with this show. Either way, I really love this show, and I hope you do too.
P.S Momoya-Sensei is the best Bro of the season.
Outlook: You Get a Yuri! And YOU Get a Yuri! And EVERYONE Gets a Yuri! –
Point 1) Yuri. Point 2) Waifus. Point 3) Yuri Waifus.
Suzukaze Aoba had been entranced by a certain game called “Fairies Story” at a young tender age. Inspired by this game, Aoba dedicated her talents to becoming a character designer so she could influence people the way she was by that one amazing game. After she graduated high school, Aoba’s dreams came true in more than one way. She is immediately recruited, right out of high school, by a gaming company as a character designer . . . which I’m sure tons of companies do. . . This company, Eagle Jump, also just happened to create her favorite game.
On her first day, Aoba runs into a woman who had just pulled an all-nighter and fallen asleep under her desk . . . in her underwear. . . Not as “uncouth” as she claims it to be, Aoba falls straight in lesbians with her. Denoted by the long imaginary display of affection and hearts surrounding them both. This underwear-showing streaker, Yagami Kou, would introduce herself as the Team Lead and Art Director for their new and upcoming game, “Fairies Story 3”.
Though comedic in nature, New Game! Is about Aoba dealing with her zany new co-workers and learning to create characters for a game she’s dreamt about being a part of. Though, with Kou’s strict teaching methods, you can bet she has a long road ahead of her. Because love is like that, right? Long and hard? *rimshot*
I joke a lot about this anime, but it’s really interesting when you get past the copious amounts of yuri-bait. Much like how Shirobako introduced us to the ins and outs of creating anime and the problems that came with it, New Game! Is about the small details that in video games that create a big masterpiece. Though, I can’t say it will be quite as . . . detailed as Shirobako was, it’s definitely interesting. I’ll give it that!
With her new neighbors: a (Japanese) Goth-loli enthusiast, a bashful cosplayer, and an over-active Toku lover, Aoba learns not only how to create beautiful characters, but how to live and learn like an adult. If you’re looking for a fun comedy this season that also gives you a bit of learning on the side, this show will definitely fit your palette. Also, yuri. Lots, and lots of yuri-bait. It has that too, wasn’t sure if I mentioned it or not.