Winter Anime 2017 Review (Part 1/3)

Part 1 of our winter anime 2017 reviews!

Demi-chan wa Kataritai
Interviews with Monster Girls

stardf29 – 8/10

One of my favorite shows this season, Demi-chan took the ever-popular subject of monster girls and approached it with plenty of heart. On a surface level, the show explores some of the interesting specifics on how the demis’ monster-like traits work, why they came about, and other details on how they adapt to society. On a deeper level, the show hits straight with themes about how to treat people who are different from us. The show never gets too serious, and it avoids going too close to being a harem romance as the teacher makes sure to keep his relationship with the girls within teacher-student boundaries. As such, the overall tone of this show is lighthearted and positive, working in its more serious moments naturally while still making for a show that works as a charming slice-of-life. I definitely recommend this show for its thematic elements as well as being a fun time with monster girls.

Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon
Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid

Kaze – 7/10 

I have slightly conflicted feelings about the show, but overall, I enjoyed it a lot. It does a great job of mixing in good comedy with cute characters and KyoAni’s trademark animation all with an occasional dose of seriousness to get the viewer thinking about something a little deeper than jokes. That said, some of the characters and skits I found to be more boring and uninteresting, making each segment very hit or miss, but I suppose it was a hit more often than a miss. It was definitely a quality anime to sit back and enjoy after a tiring day, and I somehow managed to keep up with it even during my busiest part of the winter season, so that honestly says a lot about how much I looked forward to each episode, even if some parts tended to disappoint me.

Onihei
Onihei

Medieval Otaku – 9/10 

I haven’t watched an episodic samurai anime set in the Tokugawa Era this good since Carried by the Wind: Tsukikage RanOnihei might be called a samurai police drama, since it follows Heizo Hasegawa, the Chief of Arson Theft Control.  The stories concern his efforts to bring thieves to justice and the moral dilemmas faced by people on the other side of the law.  The fights and characters stand as the two best aspects of the show.  Some might have qualms with the bland CG, which is used for all background figures; but, this allows the show to focus more on the backgrounds and animating central characters.  The other drawback is the occasional use of brief sex scenes, but this is used to bring out the ribald character of the period rather than for the purpose of being gratuitous.  (A search through Edo period art would bring up a fair amount of inaccrocable paintings.)  Good samurai anime are hard to find, and a fan of the genre must give Onihei a try.

Nyanbo!
Nyanbo!

MRNewman – 7/10 

Nyanbo! at its core is about family. Let me take a step back, though. Nyanbo! is a partially animated, partially live action Japanese short-form series about a group of anthropomorphic cardboard box cats based on the character Danbo from the manga Yotsuba&!. That was a lot of words to say that Nyanbo! is a series about anthropomorphic box cats trying to build a UFO to get home, while simultaneously trying to live in our world as normal. They encounter animals and the normal issues we encounter. They try out schooling. They fall in love. They argue. They deal with friendships and issues of trust. One of the running themes in the series, however, is that of family. The Nyanbo are a family, whether they would admit it to each other or not. They live together and hope to fly home together. Wherever home may be. The show is short, approachable, and the interface between live action with the computer animated box kitties is well done. I watched a lot of this with my kids and the content is appropriate enough that my young children were able to watch it with me. It’s not perfect, it’s not even great, but the sense of family the Nyanbo display for each other and the silliness kept me coming back for more. I’d recommend it. You can stream the series legally on Crunchyroll.

Gabriel DropOut
Gabriel DropOut

Kaze – 5/10

I’m not sure if I felt Gabriel DropOut was worse because the competition was so much better, but if nothing else, this anime was definitely lacking. It started out moderately entertaining and had plenty of passable jokes, but as the season dragged on, I found myself wanting to watch it less and less. The jokes eventually got stale, and it had a hard time coming up with new skits that were entertaining. The premise itself doesn’t seem to have been utilized all that well as aside from the backgrounds of the characters being angels or demons and countless bland references to such a setting, the character interactions could be replaced with any normal high school students and end up with the same show. The last few episodes felt like more of a chore to watch, and that’s never a good sign when it comes to a comedy.

Idol Jihen
Idol Incidents

stardf29 – 4/10

With the current political climate being as toxic as it is, I could really use a show that combined politics with the smiles, cuteness, and cheeriness of Japanese pop idols, and just had fun with how ridiculously absurd such a concept was. At first, Idol Incidents was exactly that kind of show: one that knew how silly the whole thing was and just ran with it with a big smile on its face. It was stupid and unrealistic but it was true to its own stupidity, and as a break from what real-life politics were like, I could appreciate that bit of stupid fun. Unfortunately, the latter half of the show takes a far more serious turn than the show’s concept could support, undermining its earlier appeals and turning into a show whose unrealism works against it too much to be taken seriously. This loss of identity and direction is why I cannot recommend this show to anyone. At least the girls are likable enough (though the show spends too little time on the more interesting ones) and the music is pretty good.

Chaos;Child
Chaos;Child

R86- 7/10

The latest installment in what I like to call the “Semicolon;Series” is set in Shibuya six years after the events in the first installment, Chaos;Head. As the series begins, increasingly odd events in Shibuya culminate in grotesque murders occurring one by one on the anniversary of each murder in Chaos;Head. And only partly by choice, Miyashiro Takuru gets involved with these murders, along with several of his school friends and acquaintances.

Fans of psychological/supernatural horror will find a great deal of tension in Chaos;Child, though without spoiling too much, I would warn potential viewers that the show is often difficult to watch. I also have to give the disclaimer that, unlike for every other anime fan with whom I’ve spoken, Chaos;Head was my favorite of the “Semicolon;Series” so far.

If you didn’t care for Chaos;Head, or don’t care for psychological horror, then I cannot recommend this series. But if you liked Chaos;Head enough to be interested in what happens next, and if you can withstand an anime series that goes full Higurashi one or more times, then you should probably give the series a try. My only advice is not to begin to like any of the characters too much.


Look forward to our upcoming reviews tomorrow and Friday!

Kaze is graduate from the University of Tokyo. He currently works in the U.S. working on HIV drug testing and development. In contrast, he is a huge fan of the anime culture, including the visual novel medium. He is also a dedicated and loyal fan of the voice actress and singer Nana Mizuki.
3 Comments on this post.

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  • medievalotaku
    5 April 2017 at 4:45 pm

    I gave Chaos; Child a 5/10 myself, but that’s because it’s not nearly as good as Chaos; Head. The characters struck me as pretty bland and the murders as very sadistic indeed. The murders were pretty gruesome in Chaos; Head too, but the more lighthearted aspects of the show helped its overall mood. The last episode stood out to me as one of the best this season though.

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  • BnT’s Winter 2017 Reviews « Medieval Otaku
    14 April 2017 at 9:46 am

    […] Winter Anime 2017 Review (Part 1/3) – Onihei […]

    Leave a Reply
  • BnT’s Winter 2017 Reviews « Medieval Otaku
    14 April 2017 at 9:46 am

    […] Winter Anime 2017 Review (Part 1/3) – Onihei […]

    Leave a Reply
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