Anime 1st episodes 2016: R
Including: Ragnastrike Angels, Rainbow Days, Rainy Cocoa in Hawaii, Regalia: The Three Sacred Stars, Reikenzan Hoshikuzu-tachi no Utage, ReLIFE (2016 anime TV series), Re:Zero: Starting Life in Another World, Rewrite Season 1, Rilu Rilu Fairilu Yousei no Door
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2016
Series: << Anime 1st episodes 2016 >>
Keywords: Re:Zero, anime, SF, fantasy, mecha
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 9 first episodes
Website category: Anime 2016
Review date: 5 February 2018
It's a film, but I've watched it anyway: The Red Turtle
Ragnastrike Angels
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 30 seconds
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: huh?
It's not an episode. It claims to be, but it's not. It's a trailer or an advert or something.
Comets fill the sky in what's apparently the end of the world, according to trailer-like dialogue voiceover snippets. We're then invited to register to play a video game of the same name that's available for iOS, Android and PC.
Wikipedia tells me that according to the series as a whole, giant monsters called Fiarem have appeared on Earth and that six girls will be grown to giant size to fight them. Hmm. Not sure how much storytelling they'll be able to fit into in a total of six minutes.
Nijiiro Days
Rainbow Days
Nijiiro Days
Season 1
Episodes: 24 x 13 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: four boys, one of whom likes a girl
It's a shoujo anime about four boys. One of them (Natsuki) likes an emotionless girl (Anna) and hardly dares talk to her. The other three (Tomoya, Keiichi, Tsuyoshi) tease him about it. I actually liked Natsuki and Anna and I'd have happily watched a series about them, but unfortunately there are also the three pointless bastards. I don't see the point in them. I got the impression that that four-man band was the point of the series, in which case I'm not interested.
There were also two eye-rolling moments, which is a lot in a thirteen-minute episode.
1. Natsuki finds Anna lying down in a teacher's classroom and decides that this means she's that teacher's girlfriend. Eh?
2. The scene where he "rescues" her from those two punks is cringe comedy. In fairness, though, that means that the show's doing it deliberately. If I'd been better disposed towards the episode as a whole, I wouldn't even have mentioned this.
Natsuki is a crybaby and a wimp, but I'm fine with that. As I said, I liked him. He also made me laugh with his "no, that's completely wrong". In fairness, also, the closing credits suggest that all the boys will get paired up with girls as the series goes on, which might make them more palatable by giving them a story function beyond "annoy Finn". I'm still not watching it, though.
Ame-iro Cocoa
Rainy Cocoa in Hawaii
Ame-iro Cocoa in Hawaii
Season 3
Episodes: 12 x 2 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: boys in Hawaii
It's a series about pretty boys in a coffee shop. This year, they're going to Hawaii. Look, it's Hawaii. Aloha. They're going to inherit a coffee shop.
That was a plot summary.
Regalia Three Sacred Stars
Regalia: The Three Sacred Stars
Season 1
Episodes: 13 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: uh, ummmm, okay
One-line summary: girls and giant robot battles
I've since finished it and... the writing's sloppy, but it's solid with its emotional story arc. I enjoyed it.
I'll watch this, but I had to think about that.
BAD: it's a giant robot anime. Two robots have a fight and the episode thinks I care. Unfortunately, though, despite some not dishonourable story efforts, this is as pointless as usual.
GOOD: no arrogant male robot pilots. In fact, no males. (Well, except for the baddie.) Every named character is female, up to and including the Empress. Our heroines are a girl who looks about ten (Rena) and her buxom younger sister who looks like an adult, or at a minimum high school age (Yui). They love each other very much, but they're not blood relatives and instead they wear matching rings and go out together on dates. They call themselves a family, anyway. "Just the two of us."
This links into giant robots. I won't spoil how.
I'd have definitely watched a series about Rena and Yui, but unfortunately this one also has giant robot battles. I have a bad feeling about it... but yeah, I'll keep watching.
Congqian Youzuo Lingjianshan
Reikenzan Hoshikuzu-tachi no Utage
Congqian Youzuo Lingjianshan
There was once a Spirit Blade Mountain
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: I didn't even make it through this first episode
One-line summary: unfunny fantasy comedy
It's another Chinese anime, but despite this I wasn't writing it off immediately. It's already had two seasons. What made me write it off was watching the thing, or more precisely its attempted comedy.
The show's joke goes as follows. It'll appear to be telling a straight fantasy story, but then the art will go all ugly-silly and the characters will shout at each other. It looks cheap, like an eight-year-old's drawings. It's the kind of anti-funny that makes you run away, on top of looking horrible. I couldn't concentrate on the main plot, although admittedly it didn't help that that was forgettable. There was a scene about trying to claim the VIP room at a hotel. Someone else was selling daikon (a vegetable).
I couldn't take it. No plot or characters worthy of the name, punctuated by non-comedy. Ugh.
Re Life
Season 1
Episodes: 13 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: 27-year-old goes back to school
I've since finished it and... I loved it!
Arata Kaizaki (age 27) quit his job after only three months. That's seen as really bad in Japan and he's been unemployed ever since, apart from temporary and part-time work to tide himself over. He's thunderstruck when his mother tells him that they're going to stop sending him money.
Ryou Yoake is a cheerful, upbeat individual who always smiles at you, no matter how rude the conversation is getting. He also has a job offer for Arata! He approaches him with it late at night, in an alley, while Arata is drunk. All you have to do to accept is to swallow a pill!
Arata wakes up, having allegedly swallowed the pill. Job begins.
It's an odd one.
Arata is now 17 years old and his "job" is to relive a year at high school. Time hasn't rewound, mind you. His mind's still 27 and he hasn't forgotten anything, beyond obvious stuff like all the schoolwork he used to be able to do ten years ago. It's just his body that appears to have lost a decade. This begs some questions that Arata frustratingly doesn't ask, e.g. "is this permanent?", "what will happen in a year's time?", "will this bring any other surprises, side-effects, etc.?", "is this real or just some kind of mass hypnosis and/or illusion?", "am I now living in a 17-year-old body, or in a 27-year-old body that merely looks as if it's 17?"
Arata's got his work cut out for him. This show looks great.
Re Zero
Re:Zero: Starting Life in Another World
Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu
Two back-to-back seasons
Episodes: 26 x 24 minutes, although the first two are really one double-length episode
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: genre-aware but likeable boy in fantasy world
I've since finished it and... it's one of the strongest anime of 2016. It does indeed gets dark, though.
I've heard that this one gets darker. I can imagine that. It starts out with a deconstruction of its genre's convenient cliches, showing that in reality our hero doesn't have heroic story immunity and is instead in trouble. However so far I like the characters, I like their interactions and I'm looking forward to spending more time with them.
Subaru Natsuki is a hikikomori gamer from Japan who gets transported to a fantasy world. We've seen this before. Well, so has he. Initially he assumes that he can now use magic. Nope. Sorry, mate. He then discovers that he can't read the local alphabet (although he can speak their language). He also can't spend any of his money, can't get a signal on his mobile phone and can't tell until too late that he's walking into the ladies' lavatory.
Not long after that, he discovers that it's a bad idea to: (a) fall in a river, and (b) pick a fight with thugs in a back alley.
He thought he'd be the hero. Effectively he'd been assuming that this world existed only to make him look good. "Where'd my protagonist status go?"
A girl shows up! She'll help him, won't she? Alas, no. The thugs continue giving Subaru a kicking.
Another girl shows up! This one's a bit weird, actually. This goes a bit better than last time and the two of them end up going around town together. Her name's Emilia and she seems to have been expecting some kind of reaction when she says she's a half-elf. There's going to be something underneath that. She can also talk to things that haven't become spirits yet, which is cool (and looks beautiful). Subaru and Emilia are nice, if a bit odd. I was enjoying the episode a good deal when suddenly it stopped as suddenly as if the script had run into a wall. This will be because it's half of a double-episode. I wanted to watch the other half immediately, but unfortunately I didn't have time because I had to go out.
I'll be watching the whole show, of course.
Season 1
Episodes: 13 x 24 minutes (except that ep.1 is double-length)
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: that was weird
I've since finished it and... my head exploded. It makes odd and sometimes unsuccessful decisions, but I was amazed.
It's another "what on Earth did I just watch?" anime and I was in two minds about continuing until I saw "Visual Arts/Key" in the end credits. I like them. I might regret it, but I'll continue.
A boy (Kotarou Tennouji) gets stabbed in the chest by a girl's prehensile red ribbon. This might have been a dream. Kotarou later meets something that I can only liken to a Pokemon monster. He calls it a mammoth. He also goes to school in what appears to be the real world. The girls' uniforms are vaguely reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland, except for the strategically placed nipple ribbons that look indecent until you remember that they're also wearing white dresses.
The supporting cast are weird. I don't just mean "eccentric", but "oddly and perhaps badly written, nearly making you wonder whether or not they're some kind of alien duplicate pretending to be human".
This episode also contains: (a) a girl hiding in Kotarou's bed and chomping on his arm, (b) plant fairies born from dumped garbage, (c) a nightmare chase from stabby ribbons down an elongating corridor, (d) more dreams, (e) a sleeping dragon crab lobster octopus squid thing, (f) a witch with unusual light switches, (g) a forest.
If nothing else, it's mental. I like mental. I'll report back.
Rilu Rilu Fairilu
Rilu Rilu Fairilu Yousei no Door
Season 1
Episodes: 59 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: children's show about fairies
Its focus is a bit broader than I'd expected, but it's still very much a kiddie show. Fairilu are like fairies, but different. Somehow. (Clue: "fairy" can't be turned into a toy franchise.) Fairilu live in a world that can be reached through a magical door, but I'm not sure how you'd get through since the door's only about 20 cm tall.
Each Fairilu embodies something. There are mushroom, mermaid, insect, vegetable, weather and flower Fairilu. My favourite were the self-styled Beautiful Fairilu, who are all grotesquely freak-ugly. That was actually quite funny.
There's also an arrogant rival character, who's obnoxious enough to add a bit of spice.
The most important characters all have toddler proportions, but surprisingly there are some adults too. There's a man in the real world who establishes some sort of psychic link with the show's heroine while she's still being born from a Fairilu Seed. There are also two adults running Fairilu School and they're not above flirting with each other.
The show looks okay, actually. The Beautiful Fairilu and the preening rival make it a bit more palatable than you'd expect of an anime with My Little Pony look-a-likes and a talking magical pine cone who says his name at the end of every sentence. I'm still not watching any more of it, though.