/ First Impressions

First Impressions: Anime Summer 2016

Hey anime peeps! I feel like I’m repeating apologies here, but we’ve gone without posting any content at all for two months (almost 3?). The summer has been uniquely busy for all of us: Addmanrcace and Krogoth22 were both involved in running the Grand Rapids-based anime convention, JAFAX, while I was busy working 40+ hours a week and running around like a chicken with my head cut off. However, with all of the Traverse City-based festivals coming to an end (fuckin’ finally) and Addmanrcace finally getting his internet back, content SHOULD be more frequent in the coming months. However, it’s time to stop giving explanations on why we’re bad at putting out content and to start actually putting stuff out…’cause we all like people that put out, right? Okay. I’m finished with the shitty puns. On to my first impressions: summer 2016!

**Are you ready for summer??**
Well, the spring season of anime has come to close. Some anime rose above the competition ([*Boku no Hero Academia*](http://myanimelist.net/anime/31964/Boku_no_Hero_Academia?q=boku%20no)) while other shows crashed and burned ([*Mayoiga*](http://myanimelist.net/anime/32438/Mayoiga?q=mayoiga)). I can say without qualms that, in my opinion, the spring season was considerably better than the winter season was. But how will the summer season hold up? Will it soar above both of its 2016 predecessors or will it shoot itself in the foot?  Let us take a look shall we?

Like my last “First Impressions” list, this article will be looking at the series that I chose to watch this season. I know that there will be a ton of shows that are currently airing that I won’t be covering in this, but bare with me. This will be the impressions that I have received out of the five shows that I have chosen to watch this season. In the comments below, feel free to share what you thought of the first several episodes of the series that I put on this list. If you are currently watching a series that I am not, feel free to recommend trying it out in the comments also. Without further a due, here are my First Impressions: Summer 2016

91 Days

Here’s a good way to start a list off! 91 Days is an anime set in the prohibition-era USA with a plot that revolves around a moonshine-selling main protagonist in his plan to join up with a resident mafia family in order to kill the three people responsible for the death of his family when he was a child. Now if that doesn’t sound like an intriguing plot to you, I don’t know what does. This series has a lot of promise and seems to be following its plot line fairly well. I hope for a little more character clarification later on in the series and I hope for it to wrap up all of the plot points it brings up, but I think it will seeing that the director is Hiro Kaburaki. He’s directed two successful shoujo anime, Kimi no Todokeand Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun (My Little Monster) and has worked on anime such as Le Chevalier D’Eon and Welcome to the NHK. The studio behind this series is Studio Shuka, who if you don’t know is the studio behind the entire second installment of Durarara!!. So as it stands now, this series not only shows immense promise, but has also captivated me completely with its unique story and setting and gritty nature. I’m excited to see the rest and I believe if you haven’t started it, you probably should…unless you’re squeamish when it comes to violence and such.


Aside from having the least creative title in the history of anime, I feel like that this series has already been either forgotten about, overlooked, or branded as a generic sports anime with a useless main protagonist. Sure, the main protagonist may be a clumsy whiner, but he becomes way less shitty by episode 3 and gets more likable by the episode. I mean, yeah, he’s not who I would pick as my favorite character, but he’s not the Shu Ouma or Shinji Ikari of sports anime that people like to pin him as being. To answer another question, yes, this is your stereotypical underdog story with pretty cliche characters. However, like another recent anime (Boku no Hero Academia), being cliche to an extent doesn’t mean it will be awful as long as it’s executed correctly, which I think Days will be. I mean, it’s being produced by one of my personal favorite studios, MAPPA, which is the studio behind gems such as Punchline, Terror in Resonance, and Sakamichi no Apollon (Kids on the Slope). It’s even being directed by Uda Kounosuke who has been involved with the direction of Sailor Moon R and has directed shows such as Lovely Complex and a little known anime called One Piece. Honestly, I think this series will be an enjoyable one and I think it has a few too many critics already. I’d say to at least give it a chance. The production value is there and so is the potential for great execution.

Amaama to Inazuma (Sweetness and Lightning)

I am always one to watch a series just to chill out and decompress from the other anime I’m watching in a season. This is that series for me this season. This is a sweet and sugary slice-of-life anime about a widower and his young daughter and their adventures of learning to make delicious food with a female student at the school of our main protagonist. If you want something easy to digest (pun completely intended) and that will light your heart up, this is a great series for you. It’s very episodic so far (as I expect all of it to be) and the characters, while fairly generic, are lovable and do the series justice. The young daughter is also just wonderful. She’s adorable, yet realistic in terms of how a young child would act which I really appreciate. If you’re into the sweet and innocent shows or just slice-of-life in general, I suggest giving this one a test run.

Mob Psycho 100

Unless you’ve been hiding under a fucking rock for the past few months, you’ve most likely heard of this one by now. Mob Psycho 100 is about a psychic nicknamed Mob who is extremely powerful and can banish malevolent spirits (among other things). He works for a con man named Reigen and hilarity ensues. This series is pretty fantastic so far. It seems to be episodic in nature, highlighting how bland Mob is and counting down until his emotional level hits 100%. If you somehow didn’t know, this is an adaptation of a web comic done by none other than One, the creator of One Punch Man. Considering the creator of the source material and the fact that the studio handling it is Bones (Ouran High School Host Club, Fullmetal Alchemist/Brotherhood, Darker Than Black, Wolf’s Rain, etc.), I can feel confident about this series being amazing, or at least considerably enjoyable. What I like that Bones did with this series is that it kept the original, lackluster art style and its borderline oil painting look, yet still managed to animate it beautifully when need be. I know some people are worried about it having a cruddy ending, but I don’t think it will taking into account the type of anime it is. I know most of you probably have already, but check this series out.  It’ll be worth your time.

Tales of Zestiria the X

This series to me is the wild card of the season. It could be seriously above average or it could bomb spectacularly. I’m happy to say though that as of right now, this series is carrying remarkably well considering that it is a video game adaptation. Although the first episode was a tad convoluted and left a few things unexplained, I expect those events to be resolved by the end. The plot, while not anything we haven’t seen before, seems to be holding up alright and should have a solid ending as long as it follows the source material. Ufotable is the studio producing this series and THANK GOD, they’re not using 98% CG this time. The last time they used almost exclusively CG animation on a video game adaptation was with God Eater which in my book was a complete and utter disaster. Luckily, the director and head of animation had nothing to do with God Eater and were involved instead with stuff like Fate/Zero. This means Tales of Zestiria the X looks downright gorgeous just like some of Ufotable’s previous works. The OST is also surprisingly good which made me happy. It’s unsurprisingly composed by Motoi Sakuraba in conjunction with Go Shiina who also composed the music for all of the Tales games and other games such as the Golden Sun and Dark Souls franchises. If you’re in the mood for a beautifully-animated, fantasy-action series, you should give this a shot. However, this is the only series on this list that cannot be found on Crunchyroll.com. Instead, you can find it on Daisuke.net.

So that’s all for this first impressions article. Hope you all enjoyed it! Overall, this season looks like it has the potential to be the strongest of the year, but that’s just my opinion. Tell me your first impressions of the season in the comments below and feel free to suggest any other anime that are airing this season that you think are worth checking out. And with that…

Keep watching anime!


Greg is a 23 year-old from Traverse City, Michigan. He likes catching frisbees, drinking coffee, and driving over the speed limit. His favorite anime is definitely not School Days.

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