Summer 2016 – Previews (Part 2)

It took a while for the next batch of shows to air — or at least those that were on my list. So far, the season has been okay, but nothing really grand enough to phone home mom about. For this preview, we’ve got sluggers, video game junkies, gun fights, and shipwrecks. It’s quite the slew of genres, so let’s get cracking!

 

Taboo Tattoo

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A show about overpowered teenagers getting involved in top secret government programs is the stuff of shounen fantasy, and is basically what litters the first episode of Taboo Tattoo. If the opening sequence of over-the-top/overused anime tropes wasn’t enough to give you an idea of what this show was about, think Kurokami meets Shakugan no Shana. Not surprising, either, that this show was directed by none other than Takashi Watanabe, himself. I’ll give him props though for impressive animation feats, including 3D motion tricks that remind one of scenes from The Matrix. This type of fluff is make or break though, as some scenes have a weird, plasticky feel to them. Otherwise, this is just one of those run-off-the-mill beat ’em ups that I don’t think will be high on my list of things to look out for. But I’m sure some people will like this stuff, nonetheless.

Initial Rating: 6/10

 

New Game!

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I’m not sure when was the last time I saw a company run completely by girls, but Anime Law dictates that every profession should at least have an obligatory “cute girls doing cute things in corporate attire” shtick. Now I can bitch all I want, but when they start throwing pitches close to home, all I can do is eat my own words and shut up. Indeed, New Game! doesn’t reinvent the wheel with its comedy or cute girl antics, but it sure is a treat to see a show that takes on the perspective of corporate optimism from the view of a girl whose passion drives her to do the best in everything she does. It’s this sort of optimism that is refreshing compared to the droll reality that is portrayed in shows like Shirobako. True, realism and believability make for an engaging show, but there are times we watch anime to simply relax and unwind. That is this show. Plus, there’s the fun in discovering all sorts of easter eggs that are sure to get the giggles out of gaming fans, alike. I know I had my fair share of laughs in this pilot episode, alone.

Initial Rating: 8/10

 

91 Days

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Early on, 91 Days establishes a pretty grim atmosphere for itself, literally painting on a canvas of washed out colors with the occasional splatter of blood. This first episode uses a good mix of incidental framing and low-angle shots, which effectively portrays drama and tension with minimal dialogue. It’s this smart sense of story telling that allows for a somber tone and seriousness that works quite nicely with a story of “revenge in the making”. Now, the last time I watched a mafia story, I was rewarded with the wishy washy droll that was GANGSTA. Oh well, let’s hope for something a lot more substantial for this production.

Initial Rating: 7.5/10

 

Alderamin on the Sky

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This is one of those rare moments where I actually find the MC’s antics amusing. Ikta is definitely an asshole, but he doesn’t cross the boundary that makes him the abomination that is Subaru. But I digress. There was quite a bit of a ruckus when Madhouse premiered the first shots of the anime adaptation of the light novel, but look beyond the character designs and you’ll see a pretty well-paced, reasonably engaging pilot episode. It just works, okay? Though this is coming from first time director Tetsuo Ichimura, I must say that this is one of those underdog light novel stories that just might get a proper anime adaptation. I’m definitely looking forward to this.

Initial Rating: 8/10

 

Still a couple of shows to go. We haven’t even hit it up yet with the highly anticipated Mob Psycho 100 and the questionable Qualidea Code. Truth be told, a lot of the shows this season are wild cards for me, so let’s see if there’s anything still worth watching.

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