Hey guys, I know I’ve basically disappeared after I got seriously ill in February. It took me around two weeks to fully recover, after which I was unmotivated to do any reviews because I had so much schoolwork to catch up on. Nonetheless, I still watched a few anime this season so I’ll do an overall review of them here now that the winter anime season is finally over.

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Osomatsu-san:

Despite having such a promising start in the first cour, I ended up becoming extremely burnt out on the show by the second cour. Perhaps the series should have taken a season off to write up some better material; or perhaps the fandom simply exploded in size too quickly, because I just suddenly lost a lot of interest in the series. With new Osomatsu-san merch appearing nearly every day now on Amiami, it was just too much too quickly. I probably could have attempted to do catch-up reviews on this series, but I was already so reluctant to keep up with new episodes that that would have made me stop watching completely.

I can’t say anything about Osomatsu-san’s second cour without first mentioning my thoughts on the finale episode. It was honestly the most disappointing final episode of any anime series I had ever watched. Perhaps I was expecting too much? Episode 24 was probably the most serious, realistic, and emotional episode we’ve gotten out of the entire series; so everyone was expecting episode 25 to deliver a great ending. Instead, we got; well… whatever episode 25 was, and people did not react favorably. While I do not completely hate episode 25, it did leave a bad taste in my mouth for the entire second cour of the series.

Barring the last episode, the second cour of Osomatsu-san isn’t that bad, but I feel like it didn’t match the quality of the first cour. The jokes felt less clever, and the brothers’ personalities felt exaggerated to the extreme. The only saving grace of the second cour is probably just episodes 15 (Chibita’s Fairy) and episode 18 (aka the Mario Kart parody); because all the other episodes were honestly just so forgettable to me.

As a whole, Osomatsu-san is still one of the more unique anime you’ll find, and despite some hit-and-miss episodes, it’s pretty good at making you laugh. Having watched the entire series, I stand by my initial opinion that the producers really should have ended off the series on episode 18.

Out of five for the second cour:

precure heart2precure heart2 and a 1/2

Out of five for the series as a whole:

precure heart2precure heart2precure heart2 and 1/2

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Mahou Shoujo Nante Mouiidesukara:

While I didn’t blog this anime, I did end up keeping up with it after my initial FI. As a long-time magical girl anime fan, I cannot tell you how refreshing it is to see common magical girl anime tropes utterly dissected. In this anime, Yuzuka (the MC) never once fights a monster of the week. Instead, each episode is focused upon her experimenting with her powers and trying to figure out exactly how it all works. This is something I really wish more magical girl anime would do, instead of just shoving their protagonists into fights and letting them magically become experts at using their powers.

The premise of this series is pretty clever, but I wish the jokes focused more on this instead of… the typical running gag of 1) Miton (the mascot char) getting physically abused and 2) Yuzuka being uncomfortable with the swim suit outfit/a lot of creepy fanservice centered on Yuzuka. Come on, she’s like 14?! Anyway, if you can stand the bits of fanservice scattered throughout the series, then it’s not that bad a watch. It’s not an amazing series by any means but I found it entertaining enough.

Out of five for the series as a whole:

precure heart2precure heart2precure heart2

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Please Tell Me! Galko-chan:

Even though Junko already FI’d this and panned it, I was still curious enough to check it out. And it ended up being sort of a guilty pleasure anime for me. Yes, this series is gross. Yes, this series is crass. But at the same time it’s extremely refreshing to see an anime about school girls that isn’t just “cute girls doing cute things.” Girls can be just as rude, crass, and gross as boys can be—we are after all, human beings as well. Of course, probably not to the extent of the characters in this anime, but anime tends to exaggerate things anyway.

One of the things I’d have to criticize is that Otako’s teasing of Galko is sometimes extremely cruel. I’m also sad that so much of the fanservice is focused on Galko (just because she has a big chest???) because Galko became my favorite character of the series. But, barring those things, this series manages to be surprisingly heartwarming at times. There’s not much deep plot here; it’s just a couple of friends hanging out and enjoying each other’s company. If you want a series about girls being crass, then congrats; this is the anime for you. On the other hand, if you can’t stand that kind of stuff, then just run far, far away in the other direction.

Out of five for this series:

precure heart2precure heart2precure heart2 and 1/2

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She and Her Cat – Everything Flows:

This is an anime… about a girl and her cat. That’s it. That’s the series. It is only four episodes long (and an anime short at that) but its story is one of the stronger ones I’ve seen in anime–proving that length doesn’t matter if you can tell a good story.

The series is mostly told through the perspective of the cat, named Daru. I don’t use the “term” beautiful to describe anime very often, but this is a very beautiful anime. And I don’t just mean visually—this anime’s story is beautiful. Daru’s love for his owner (named Miyu) is heartwarming to see, and the struggles that Miyu goes through growing up is portrayed in a very realistic way. Each episode ends on a somewhat bittersweet note—the last episode especially. Despite this, I can’t think of a more relaxing anime to watch from this winter season. (Just be warned… you probably will cry at the last episode.)

Out of five for this series:

precure heart2precure heart2precure heart2precure heart2

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Sekko Boys:

One of my two favorite anime of this season. Any other anime would have just stopped at having a wacky premise, but Sekko Boys actually went through the effort of being genuinely funny. Beyond the wackiness, there is some pretty clever humor to be found here; and also some (surprisingly) heavy critiques on the Japanese idol industry. I suppose what makes this series so good is how well the characters play off one another, even though 4/5 of the cast are just marble busts.

My only criticism of the anime is that the “story arc” of the last 2-3 episodes of the anime feels kind of like the writers threw it in there just because the series was ending. It felt a little out of place with the rest of the series (tone-wise), but at least still manages to keep up its charm and humor.

Anyway, this is really something one has to experience on their own. Watch it yourself—if you like the first two episodes, keep watching. And if not, then don’t. Each episode is only 7 minutes long so it’s not going to eat up too much of your time.

Out of five for this series:

precure heart2precure heart2precure heart2precure heart2

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Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju:

This became my favorite anime of the winter season, and will probably be nominated for “best anime of the year” when that post eventually comes around. This show was just that good. It was just so… mature when compared to a majority of anime that gets aired. Everything is handled so realistically. Characters are hurt, and feelings are hurt, but is not because of any villain or antagonist. Rather, it’s because life is messy; and relationships are messy. Because of how realistic the conflicts are, it’s very easy to relate to the characters’ angst. Even the most “despicable” person in this series is actually a rather tragic character.

Despite the sad ending to Kikuhiko’s story being revealed in the first episode, one still holds onto some sort of hope that everyone involved can somehow get a happy ending. But alas… life is not a fairy tale. This was such an amazing series from start to finish, and I looked forward to every episode every week. The series ultimately ends on a cliffhanger of sorts. The anime has only covered Yakumo/Kikuhiko’s story; so next up is Yotaro’s story. It appears that this anime will get a second season, which I’ll gleefully look forward to.

While not everyone’s cup of tea, I would highly recommend this anime to anyone who wants something a bit different than the typical anime season offerings. You won’t find lots of action here, nor will you find constant laugh-out-loud comedy. But what you will find is a very lovely anime with great characters and absolutely wonderful storytelling.

Out of five for this series:

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