Anime Fall Season: Top Picks

In which I attmept to Legitimise my Weebiness

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Being one of those people with a shiny Crunchyroll subscription means I now actually pay attention to what anime is being released when. For those that don’t know anime is released in a quarterly format with new seasons popping up during each of the standard seasons. So Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. This means that I will always have a guaranteed dump of new shows just in time for when my old ones run out, works out pretty well. However with so many new things dropping (roughly 60 shows by my brief count) it means I have to make decisions on what I want to focus on and seeing as I have a blog now I figure I should share my opinions with the world.

Let’s start with the obvious ones I know I will be sticking with, the sequel series’

MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM IRON BLOODED ORPHAN

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I absolutely loved the first season when it released and will undoubtedly get around to writing a comparison between it and 00 GUNDAM. But just briefly this is probably the most visceral GUNDAM I’ve seen, whilst most stuck with lasers and guns this show decided to feature close combat heavily which means the fights are turned up to 11. With great characters and a new setting it makes for a good underdog story. I would definitely recommend the first series (and 00 GUNDAM whilst I’m at it, that’s a really good one)

Its first episode is set to air on October 2nd                       

HIBIKE! EUPHONIUM 2

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Otherwise known as Sound! Euphonium is a slice of life show about an orchestra club which transitioned from a fairly standard example of the genre to a nicely developed romance between the main protagonist Kumiko and a band mate. Featuring some very nice music and great animation it was a nice show to chill out too. It’ll be interesting to see where the series goes though as it could quite easily be a rehash of the first season given how they ended it. The original is on my list to watch next in preparation for the sequel so I’ll probably have more musings on it in the future.

Its first episode will air on October 6th

WWW.WORKING!!

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The last of the sequels I plan on watching is one that isn’t technically a sequel. It’s a spin-off of one of my favourite anime that I discovered over the summer called WORKING (or Waganaria in the eastern tongue) which centres on the staff of a family restaurant all with over the top personalities. It’s a great example of Slice of Life and also comes with the perk that it tells a complete story with an ending thanks to having three seasons. This means I’m more motivated to see this show as it’s based on the spin off webcomic the creator made. Flags have already been raised however with some of the character designs looking eerily similar to characters in WORKING although hopefully it won’t work out like a re-hash.

Its first episode is set to air on October 1st

Now to get into the thick of it with the brand new stuff and thus maybe some actual reasons other than dedication to the show can be made to explain why I’m picking it up.

MARCH COMES IN LIKE A LION

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And now I say that above statement I confess I chose this one simply because I recognised one of the previous things the creator worked on, HONEY AND CLOVER, a show I didn’t really get hooked on. But this seems exactly like my cup of tea, a slice of life focusing on the interactions between a reserved teenager on the cusp of adulthood and a set of 3 siblings he crosses paths with. It has slight wiffs of being this seasons “The One Everyone Should Watch” so it might be nice to get on that bandwagon first and act smug later seeing as I was slow to the ball with both One Punch Man and Re:Zero from the past to seasons.

Its first episode is set to air on October 8th

UDON NO KUNI NO KINIRO KEMARI

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Okay, now the actual opinions can start, sort of. This anime (I won’t keep writing out the name) focuses on a web designer that adopts a young boy and raises him. As a big fan of Usagi Drop (not the manga. That can burn) and Sweetness and Lightning its main plot thread already has my attention. Also from the trailer the little boy appears to turn into some sort of cute animal so hey, there’s a mystery there. Also it’s slice of life, and literally anything with that tag line I’ll take a look at just for curiosities sake.

Its first episode is set to air on October 9th

MONSTER HUNTER STORIES: RIDE ON

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And now we’re instantly back to flimsy reasoning. I just really like the Monster Hunter series of games, so an anime seems like a no brainer. Although it appears to be a lot more kid friendly, focusing on people that tame the monsters not kill them, so I might just get bored of it and go back to playing the game. Might be nice to switch off too however.

Its first episode is set to air on October 2nd

VIVID STRIKE!

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Okay, this one is a weird one and looks like it walks that thin line between possibly being really good or god awful. It seems to belong to that sub-genre of “Cute High School Girls Do….” Except in this case its street fighting guys three times their size. Note I’ve only watched the trailer for this show, done no other research but the fight scene they show is pretty good, so maybe it’ll have a story to back it up. I really only chose this one because the poster looked stupid and the lack of description peaked my interest. Should be good for a laugh if nothing else.

Its first episode is set to air on October 2nd

BERNARD-JOU IWAKA

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And finally we get to the last show I have picked out. It centres on a main character that really likes old literature but has never actually read them. Her two friends are set to be massive bookworms so I can already envision it putting a silly spin on them explaining books to her. At least I hope that’s the show I get, it definitely seems like it will be a comedy centric anime so fingers crossed for that.

Its first episode is set to air on October 7th

Well that’s it, out of the 60 or so shows I have chosen just 8, although I’m sure a few shows will squeak their way onto this list and others will disappear once things start to roll out. But for now this is it. My top picks for the season. I’ll do a follow up post next week to discuss what I thought and if anything else ended up here.

All information and pictures sourced from: https://myanimelist.net/anime/season
Header Sourced from: http://wallpapercave.com/my-neighbor-totoro-wallpaper
Hopefully all these shows will be made available on Crunchyroll and thus I can advertise some legal streaming of these shows here, but at the time of writing only WWW.Working is being made available with several shows still to be announced though I am optimistic.

A Pickle of A Peanut

“The Next Episode will be better” – Pickle and Peanut S1E1

First Impressions of Pickle and Peanut

Pickle and Peanut is a currently airing show on the Disney ‘XD’ channel about two “Small town teenage boys and best friends Pickle and Peanut” created by Noah Z. Jones and developed by Joel Trussel. Each episode is 11 minutes in length and broadcast in pairs, so nothing out of the ordinary there, and for the purposes of this I sat through the first 4 episodes, ‘Greg’, ‘Gramma Jail’, ‘Cart Rustlers’ and ‘Swim lessons’.

I’m going to get this out of the way very quickly (although I can guarantee i’ll return to this notion later on) Pickle and Peanut desperately wants to be Regular Show. This is clear  from the very first moments of the opening episode as the two leads, Pickle and Peanut are slacking off of work and messing around.. The setting, mirrors REgular Shows as well as it is a vague representation of a normal world but with anthropomorphised characters in the form of walking food and animals. The show also seems to emulate the same story trends of setting up standard characters and putting them in very out of the ordinary situations. But it does a terrible job at this.

This is a bad cartoon, a very very bad cartoon, and it is for several reasons and it took all of about 2 seconds into the first episode before warning bells went off in my head and the first consistent issue rears its hideous peanutty head. The show lacks any form of focus and the opening theme displays this point wonderfully. It is one of the worst things I have ever heard with the visuals to match (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRlKrlB0Pq8) go ahead and listen to it (a fun exercise I found was to play just the audio and then show the visuals to accompany it)The lyrics are entirely the things Pickle and PEanut like set to a beat and just comes off as trying to hard to grab a young audience. The phrase “Hip to the kids” came to mind as soon as I saw this.

The next massive problem with it is that I find Pickle and Peanut interchangeable. Over the course of four episodes I learnt the following things about them, presented in a handy table:

Pickle Both Peanut
Is a pickle They Rap/beatbox Is a peanut
Is nicer The ideas one

Pickle seems to be presented as the stupider one in the partnership, not knowing how to swim and being distracted easily when guarding a shopping cart. Peanut is also just as reliable, seen though falling asleep when he was supposed to be watching the shopping carts. My point here being that a good dynamic duo relies upon the two leads having chemistry together often created through their differences. The only difference I can garner between these two characters is there I.Q, other than that they seem almost identical and their lines could easily be interchanged with little impact to their characterisations.

The other giant issue with this cartoon is that it doesn’t know when to stop a joke. A consistent thing seen throughout the first 4 episodes is single word narration that appears on the screen to match with various buzzwords coupled with slow motion. I presume it’s supposed to be amusing but more comes off as distracted and stale after the second or third use. Partly because it is used far more than once in each episode.

I suppose i should atleast try to find a positive in this mess though……

Hm…. There’s Wayne, Waynes great. A side character seen in the 4th episode who is a young boy taking part in the swimming lesson with Pickle and Peanut. His parents leave him at the pool every summer to give themselves time off. Looking like something out of a tim Burton illustration and never blinking, his appearances on screen are emphasised with a narrow close up of his giant’s eyes. For some absurd reason i found this funny enough to laugh out loud at the first 4 or so times it happened…… although then they kept doing it, bearing in mind these episodes are 11 minutes long i thing it becomes clear this cartoon feels the need to use the same punch line to pad out it’s run time and I’m already back to grumbling about this show……

wayne
This is Wayne, I shared that same expression whilst watching this show

Hm, another good point…..

It gave Brad Breeck more money, so i guess that’s good, although that fact does tear me up inside due to his previous work on Gravity Falls, We Bare Bears and Star vs the forces of evil (all of which i will undoubtedly discuss in a later post), having compused Openings of all and in the case of we Bare Bears a large chunk of the score all of which are great, making this opening an odd decision and a disappointment on his record.

So in conclusion, don’t watch this show, watch regular show instead. It does everything this show tried to do but actually succeeded at it thanks to great characters and good writing. It’s an incredibly enjoyable watch from the very beginning and I can’t think of any part in its 7 season run (with an 8th on the way) that struck me as showing fatigue via a drop in quality, if anything it improves with age as these consistent characters grow and form meaningful and positive relationships in there little soap opera of a life.

And now if you excuse me I need to go watch the season premier of Star vs the Forces of Evil to remind myself that disney’s animated television excursions have not died with the end of Gravity Falls.