mechaGundamAssassination ClassroomKyoukai no Rinne
Anime 1st episodes 2016: K
Including: Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress, Kagewani II, Kaijuu Girls, Kamiwaza Wanda, Keijo!!!!!!!!, Kindaichi Case Files R, Kiss Him Not Me, Kitaro's Yokai Picture Diary, Kiznaiver, KonoSuba: God's Blessing on this Wonderful World! Season 1, Koro-sensei Q!, Kuma Miko: Girl meets Bear, Kuromukuro, Kyoukai no Rinne: Season 2
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2016
Series: << Anime 1st episodes 2016 >>
Keywords: Assassination Classroom, Gundam, Kagewani, Kyoukai no Rinne, anime, SF, fantasy, horror, mecha
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 14 first episodes
Website category: Anime 1st eps
Review date: 7 October 2017
Listed under "B": Kuroshitsuji - Book of Circus, aka. Black Butler: Book of Circus
Listed under "M": Kaitou Joker, aka. Mysterious Joker
Listed under "M": Kidou Senshi Gundam Unicorn RE:0096, aka. Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn RE 0096
Listed under "M": Kidou Senshi Gundam: Tekketsu no Orphans Second Season, aka. Mobile Suit Gundam - Iron-Blooded Orphans
Listed under "P": Koukaku no Pandora, aka. Pandora in the Crimson Shell: Ghost Urn
Listed under "S": Kanojo to Kanojo no Neko: Everything Flows, aka. She and Her Cat - Everything Flows
Listed under "S": Ketsuekigata-kun! 4, aka. A Simple Thinking About Blood Type
Listed under "T": Kono Bijutsubu ni wa Mondai ga Aru!, aka. This Art Club Has a Problem!
Listed under "T": Kono Danshi, Mahou ga Oshigoto Desu, aka. This Boy is a Professional Wizard
It's a film: KanColle
It's a film: Kaze no You ni
It's a film: Kidou Senshi Gundam Thunderbolt: December Sky
It's a film: Kizumonogatari 1: Tekketsu-hen
It's a film: Kizumonogatari II: Nekketsu-hen
It's a film: Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV
It's a film: Kimi no Na wa., aka. your name. (although I certainly will watch it eventually)
It's a film: Kiniro Mosaic: Pretty Days
It's a film: Koe no Katachi, aka. A Silent Voice
It's a film: Kono Sekai no Katasumi ni, aka. In This Corner of the World
It's a film: Kuroko no Basuke: Winter Cup Soushuuhen: Kage to Hikari
It's a film: Kuroko no Basuke: Winter Cup Soushuuhen: Namida no Saki e
It's a film: King of Prism by PrettyRhythm
Koutetsujou no Kabaneri
Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress
Koutetsujou no Kabaneri
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: steampunk superhuman zombie apocalypse
I've since finished it and... it's lots of dark fun! Looking forward to Season 2.
I'd heard a fair amount of negativity about this one, often from people calling it an Attack on Titan clone. The latter comment is fair. The two shows are indeed similar. The human race's last remnants live in a walled city, besieged by superhuman man-eating undead! The difference is that this show's Kabane aren't giants, but instead more or less Zombie Spider-Man. They're almost unkillable, with glowing "heart cages", and they can swarm all over a speeding armoured train and punch huge dents in it. Oh, and their bite turns people into more Kabane.
I quite liked the show. It has absolutely no sense of humour, but it does have...
1. flamboyant Kabane action, some of which is gross and/or apocalyptic.
2. a fairly nasty social order, with "bushi" (i.e. samurai) who'll have you thrown in jail for saying inconvenient truths, on the obviously absurd grounds that you might be a Kabane. "Maintaining order is part of a bushi's duty." Theoretically there are rigid rules to protect against Kabane infection, but these might get ignored if a mob or a jobsworth is feeling selfish. Lynch mobs! (They're not actually going to hang you, but only because they have rifles instead.) Bastards might want you to submit to a strip search to prove that you haven't been bitten, even when you're fleeing from a Kabane horde!
3. speeding armoured trains. These are always cool.
4. an intriguing girl called Mumei.
There's one goofy-looking bit with a neck tourniquet. (No, it's not a murder attempt. It's self-administered and it's a medical triumph.) You could make your friends die laughing at that. Otherwise, though, I'm happy to see where this goes.
kage.wani
Kagewani II
Kagewani: Shou
Season 2
Episodes: 13 x 8 minutes
Keep watching: I suppose so
One-line summary: horror anthology
I've since finished it and... it's okay. On a par with Season 1.
Season 1 was okay. Not too bad. Ugly animation and a fairly anonymous main character, but it had some decent horror stories. Also, surprisingly, it ended up having a season arc, which seems to be being continued underneath the show's format of lots of little one-off monster movies.
This episode bounces about a bit. We start with a journalist who's investigating Season 1's finale and trying to ignore his arsehole editor. After that, we switch. It's a bit like 'Nightmare at 20,000 Feet', that The Twilight Zone episode where William Shatner keeps seeing a gremlin through his plane window. However there are two differences: 1. the main character's a stewardess, and 2. the body count.
After that, we return to the journalist. (I think it's the same one.) We then end with a glimpse of Prisoner No. 44 in jail, who I'm tentatively assuming is Sousuke Banba from Season 1.
I'm not too fussed, but I'll continue. They're only eight-minute episodes.
kaiju musume
Kaijuu Girls
Kaiju Girls
Kaijuu Musume
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 5 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: Ultraman monsters turned into girls
I've since finished it and... it wasn't bad, but I'm not convinced the series really has a point.
It's a short-form gag series in which Ultraman's enemies have been reincarnated as human-ish girls. They can transform back, a bit, maybe. However they're still girls, whereas a Google image search for the kaijuu they're based on will make you laugh a lot.
They're going to Kaijuu Girl School. At one point, another Kaijuu Girl stops a building from burning down with her superpowers, including teleportation. The art's chibi-style, by the way, so everyone's a tiny, mushroom-shaped gnome and it's all silly and kiddie-friendly. I'm not expecting the show to be as funny as it sounds, but these are only five-minute episodes and I'm going to watch them all anyway.
Miracle Wanda
Kamiwaza Wanda
Miracle Wanda
Season 1
Episodes: 47 x 25 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: children's anime about boy collecting monsters with a console and cards
We begin with talking dog aliens. Their planet gets frozen.
The title sequence then has a skateboarding boy and a little alien dog sidekick. I don't think I'm the target audience.
We're on Earth now. That boy (Yuuta) is looking for his little sister (Yui), who's looking for their dog. (The dog's dead, but she refuses to accept this. That was a surprisingly meaningful moment in what's otherwise gaudy kiddie fare.) Then a tiny space pod turns the road into a crater and that dog-alien jumps out! Yui thinks she's found her lost pet.
The real business of the episode, though, is catching Bugmin! These are little monsters and you chase them with a games console, then turn them into cards that will let you catch other Bugmin. Or something. If this show isn't basically an advertisement for spin-off merchandise, then I'm Ming the Merciless. The show itself looks okay, as far as it goes, but if I was in the mood for this kind of thing, I'd watch more Pokemon.
keijo
Keijo!!!!!!!!
Hip Whip Girl
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: bum-and-boob swimsuit gladiator battles
I've since finished it and... underneath, it's a surprisingly solid, well-told show.
It's notorious even by the standards of "only in Japan" anime. It's hilariously silly. Keijo!!!!!!!! is about a sport called keijo, which is one of the most ludicrous things you've ever seen. Women in swimsuits try to knock each other into the water, using only their bums and boobs.
Imagine what this looks like. Also bear in mind that the animators have no shame, except that (so far) there's no nudity. It's a family-friendly sport, supposedly broadcast on national TV. The fanservice is being played for laughs, basically... but the sport's taken deadly seriously in-universe, with massive cash prizes and fans of both genders who don't think it's dubious at all. Women rave about it and aspire to playing keijo themselves. On that level it's just another sports anime, played surprisingly straight. Everyone's been accepted into Setouchi Keijo Training School and this episode is mostly about getting to know them. We have the gung-ho newbie protagonist, her sardonic roommate, a clumsy country girl, a big English-speaking lesbian, etc.
The keijo battles we see are surprisingly well done, incidentally. There are various battle styles (no, really) and a threatening battleground of circular floats and narrow walkways between them.
Is it exploitative? Well, d'oh. However it's taking refuge in audacity, while the fanservice is so silly that it's hard to call it sexual. Would you call it sexy to have a huge (clothed) bottom slamming into the camera at top speed? Apparently this show has a sizeable female fanbase. I'll be watching it all, obviously. It's got a cast full of action girls and no harem hero, while furthermore the episode made me laugh.
Kiitarou Shounen no Youkai Enikki
Kitaro's Yokai Picture Diary
Kiitarou Shounen no Youkai Enikki
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 4 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: silly yokai
I've since finished this and... it's fun.
I love yokai. They're freaky. Imagine them as demons invented by Hieronymus Bosch after he'd been commissioned to do some children's book illustrations. You can use them in light-hearted kiddie stories, but also in gruesome flesh-eating horror.
This episode starts with the Great Yokai War. Crazy combatants have a wacky battle. It then turns out that the two sides' leaders were actually children, probably siblings, who'd been annoyed at each other for trivial stuff like leaving the loo seat up and not putting used tissues in the bin. They then look at the battle and realise that everyone's taken it a bit more seriously than they'd intended.
They're friends at the end, though, agreeing that there's nothing better than being at peace. Looks good so far.
Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo Returns
Kindaichi Case Files R
The File of Young Kindaichi Returns
Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo R
Season 2
Episode 38 (from the start of Season 1)
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: teenage detective
It's a fairly run-of-the-mill instalment. Kindaichi does more teenage detecting, but before that he gets the plot role of comedy idiot skivvy. Everyone's at a ski resort. We're introduced to a bunch of suspects-in-waiting, complete with on-screen captions with everyone's age in brackets. None of the cast are memorable except for Obnoxious Internet Troll Man. There's some backstory about a Snow Demon killing everyone in a village fifty years ago with a meat cleaver, but not a lot happens in this episode except for a girl going missing. It's part one of a four-parter.
I think this story might have been adapted twice. This is the second anime adaptation of the Kindaichi manga, with the first one running 148 episodes from 1997-2000. This story arc is called "Snow Goblin Legend Murder Case File" (eps.38-41), but the first series had an arc called "Legend of Snow Demon Murder Case File" (eps.37-39).
It's okay. Nothing wrong with it. I'm sure it's perfectly watchable, but this show only has one character I'd go out of my way to watch (Yoichi Takato, aka. Hell's Puppeteer) and he's not here. He's in the title sequence, though, looking as if he wants to be Kindaichi's boyfriend. 2015's first Kindaichi episode tempted me to continue, but this didn't really.
Watashi ga Motete Dousunda
Kiss Him Not Me
Watashi ga Motete Dousunda
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: I didn't even finish this episode
One-line summary: fujoshi comedy
Everything I'd heard about this is true. The manga's been recommended to me so strongly that I'm planning to buy it, but everyone hates the Fat Voice in the anime. (That's only the Japanese dub, by the way. The English dub uses a normal voice throughout, but that's the English dub.)
It's about a fujoshi who loves reading Boys' Love manga and fantasising about her hot classmates. Her name's Kae Serinuma and she's fat. I can't vouch for what comes next personally, but apparently she's about to lock herself in her room for a week because one of her favourite anime characters got killed off. This makes her lose weight and become attractive, after which the series becomes a reverse-harem comedy in which Kae's bemused by men coming on to her and instead wants them all to start snogging each other.
I've been told that this is killingly funny. I don't doubt that for a moment. However I only lasted five minutes of the anime because Kana Hanazawa's doing an Anime Fat Voice. Presumably she won't be doing it once the character's lost weight (i.e. most of the show), but I've got better things to do than fight through this. I'll be buying the manga.
kizunaiivaa
Kiznaiver
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: ...yes
One-line summary: Studio Trigger doing something that's not straightforward to process
I've since finished it and... it's one of the most important anime of 2016.
I like Studio Trigger. Kill la Kill was magnificent and I'm also a fan of Little Witch Academia. (Let's forget Ninja Slayer From Animation.) I'm thus inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt, which is admittedly needed here.
I'll summarise the plot. A boy with white hair (Katsuhira) is being bullied by boys who shake him down for money and beat him up. He doesn't object (or indeed react much to anything) because he doesn't really feel pain. Another boy (Hajime) comes and beats up the bullies, but then later a mysterious lady (Noriko) analyses Katsuhira's personality and talks about the Seven Deadly Sins in modern Japan before pushing him down some stairs. Later, people get taken away by bobble-heads. (These look weird.) Noriko gathers these six people (one of whom is Katsuhira) and tells them that she's done something sinister to them, called the Kizuna System. They will share their pain. No one believes her, but they're so wrong. We also see weird glowing patterns on people's wrists.
It's not clear where this is going, or indeed what the hell's going on.
There are very few normal, nice people in this episode. We see visions of syringes and scalpels. There's an introductory bit of a young girl possibly falling to her death twelve years ago, although I'm not sure about that. It's different, I suppose. I've come to be a bit nervous of anime episodes that seem to lack narrative focus, because in practice this is liable to indicate a lack of narrative focus. (D'oh.) Nonetheless I'll tentatively give this a go.
kono suba
KonoSuba: God's Blessing on this Wonderful World!
KonoSuba
Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo!
Season 1
Episodes: 10 x 24 minutes + an 11th OVA
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: comedy take on fantasy RPG worlds
I've since finished it and... it's fantastic! Very funny indeed.
Kazuma Satou is a shut-in who has to go into the real world! He needs to buy a limited-edition computer game that's only available in a certain store, which is a five-hour round trip.
On the way home, he gets himself killed. D'oh. He thought he was being heroic. However that's not the end. The Grim Reaper is actually a goddess called Aqua in a distracting skirt and no knickers. She also laughs at him a lot for his embarrassing death, which hadn't been as heroic as he thought.
What comes next is a choice. It would be nice if the real afterlife were like this. Kazuma can either: (a) go to heaven, which Aqua says is boring and has no computer games, or (b) go to a fantasy world and fight the Demon King! I'd be tempted by heaven, personally. Kazuma though picks the fantasy world, partly because Aqua says he's allowed to take any one item of his choice. This really can be anything. The sky's the limit. Magic sword! Spellcasting powers! Invulnerable armour! What will Kazuma choose?
He chooses Aqua. She's horrified, but the rules are the rules. (She's not very bright, by the way. It also turns out that she's not very useful.)
The story seems fine. The parody elements so far aren't actually that funny, but it's still early days. (Kazuma and Aqua become adventurers, but there aren't any monsters left nearby and so they end up working on a building site.) The fanservice might be a problem, with a cleavage-flashing guild receptionist as well as Aqua's barely-counts-as-a-skirt, but it's being undercut by the wonky art style. Looks like a laugh.
"The mage class, which requires intelligence, is out of the question."
koro sensei quest!
Koro-sensei Q!
Koro-Sensei Quest!
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 10 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: Assassination Classroom reinvented in a fantasy RPG world
I've since finished this and... it's okay. Non-essential. Nowhere near as good as the original.
Calling this a 2016 series would be dodgy. This episode was broadcast on 23 December 2016 and the series ran weekly until March. That said, though...
It's exactly the same as Assassination Classroom, but a bit lighter and sillier. Nothing meaningful has changed. It's still the same characters in the same classroom, which is still the deadbeat reject pit of a much more prestigious school. The only difference is that we're now in a fantasy RPG setting, which is mildly interesting because this episode seemed to be playing with the reality-fantasy boundary. The title sequence has the "real" versions of these character going "poof" into their magical fantasy versions, while at one point one of the girls calls a teacher by his regular name before correcting herself and using his fantasy one instead.
I'm working on the theory that this is actually a video game being played by everyone in Koro-sensei's class. This is backed up by this being specifically a computer game version of fantasy RPGs, although admittedly that seems to be the default for fantasy anime these days. Some of the students' characters have bugs. Isogai's has given him only half a suit of armour (specifically the front), while Nagisa has a "Random Bug" that turns him into Kenshiro from Fist of the North Star. Oh, and the show has 1980s video game end credits.
The episode's plot is about Koro-sensei helping the students beat up slimes. That's the weakest monster in fantasy RPGs these days, so it's a bit embarrassing for our low-level heroes to have slimes as their archenemies. It's fairly dispensable, but it's also Assassination Classroom, so I'll be watching it very happily.
kumamiko
Kuma Miko: Girl meets Bear
Kuma Miko
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes + two OVAs
Keep watching: maybe
One-line summary: a schoolgirl and a talking bear in the mountains
I've since finished this and... I thought it was very nice, although Machi's issues are controversial in some quarters.
It really doesn't seem like anything special. So far it's just slice-of-life conversations, with some dubious dirty jokes that may or may not indicate the show's future direction. However I've been wanting to watch this show ever since I first saw its poster, which is lovely. It's a girl and a bear! In a Shinto shrine in the mountains! That poster just looked... nice.
Other reviews I've seen of the whole show have been very mixed, though. Some people think it's terrible and have a particular problem with the ending.
The girl is Machi Amayadori. She's fourteen and a shrine maiden (Miko), although she wants to move to the big city. She's always lived in this insignificant flyspeck of a village and she's never had any human friends her own age.
The bear is Natsu Kumai and he can talk. If you have a problem with that, you'd better not watch this show. Physically he's a completely normal (and huge) bear, but it seems that bears in this village can speak and have promised not to eat anyone. He's always lived here and indeed grew up with Machi, so I'm not sure how he's come to know much more than her about the outside world. He gives her a quiz on city life, which she fails pathetically.
There are three children running around. Machi also has a 25-year-old cousin who's the officer of something or other. He tells the children a dodgy story because it's traditional. There's absolutely no plot. The outlook for this show looks to be somewhere between "relaxing and perhaps sometimes amusing" (best case scenario) to "empty waste of time with annoying pointless conversations that are sometimes inappropriate". You'd probably destroy your brain if you watched two shows like this at once, but maybe I'll watch it as a break from Berserk and Joker Game.
kuro mu kuro
Kuromukuro
Two 13-episode seasons
Episodes: 26 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: schoolgirl show turns into alien mecha invasion
I've since finished this and... it's very good. Not mecha-heavy. Solid, entertaining and I liked the characters.
I enjoyed it. I have a mild tendency to avoid mecha anime, but this got me watching.
It starts with a micro-scene of giant robots fighting with lightsabres. This has no context and only lasts a few seconds, presumably being there simply to reassure the hardcore mecha fanboys that this isn't really a schoolgirl show and they'll need to hang in there for ten minutes.
We then meet Yukina, a schoolgirl with bad grades who wrote "Mars, Mercury, Jupiter" as her first, second and third-choice careers. Sounds ambitious. Her pushy mother (Hiromi) is shouting at Yukina's unimpressed teacher in a careers guidance meeting, because she wants him to do more to help Yukina achieve this goal. This doesn't get anywhere. The teacher thinks they're both being silly, even though Hiromi is the chief of a UN research facility and the kind of person who takes an official helicopter to visit her daughter's school.
Yukina's energetic but equally underachieving friend Mika thinks Hiromi is awesome. Yukina regards her as the exact opposite of what you'd want in a mother, but they go to visit her at work anyway because they need to return the official UN mobile phone that Hiromi left at Yukina's school.
All this is great. Yukina, Mika and Hiromi are all fun to watch, while I can't think of a better way of introducing funky military technology than having two schoolgirls wandering through it, only intermittently paying attention as they discuss their mothers. It grounds it. It makes the world feel real. Mika loves all that mecha stuff, but Yukina gets a bigger thrill from admiring canals, dams and pretty scenery.
That's the first half, before the aliens attack. Well, I presume they're aliens. They could be time travellers, a lost civilisation or whatever, but they seem to have come from space and they've got gigantic war mecha with force fields. (One of them walks on water, which is a neat trick.) The mecha action's pretty good, but it's not all mecha vs. mecha. A naked swordsman appears in a wave of green gloop and has a one-on-one fight with a giant killer war robot. He does all this in front of an understandably flustered Yukina.
So far, it's looking good. Cool mecha action (even for someone like me who basically doesn't care about mecha), top-quality animation and a lively cast who aren't just Hot-Blooded Heroes. It drew me in with entertaining characters, getting my attention before the fight scenes started. Happy to continue with this.
rinne
Kyoukai no Rinne
Rin-ne
Season 2
Episodes: 25 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: comedy about a girl with the second sight and a shinigami
I've since finished this and... it was indeed better than Season 1. I'm looking forward with interest to Season 3.
That's more like it! I'd been on the fence about Season 1, finding it slightly weak and distant for Rumiko Takahashi, but that was a thoroughly entertaining episode. It's a laugh. I'd watch a series like that.
Importantly it introduces a new character (Oboro) who's an obnoxious jerk and foil for Ageha, which improves her character no end. She now has an enemy! (And a servant. It's complicated.) Was antagonism what I'd been missing in Season 1? We'd had villains, but that's different. Jumonji and Ageha had seen Rinne and Sakura as their respective love rivals, but broadly speaking the gang had got on tolerably well and tackled most problems in a sensible fashion. However that's clearly not true with Oboro, who's trouble on legs and gets Ageha to remind us that she's pretty appalling too.
Suddenly I'm looking forward to this. The opening credits have lots of new characters, which gives me hope. Admittedly you'd expect a new season to kick off with a stronger episode, but I'm still happy and optimistic.