I was initially drawn to this show by the energetic tone of the show (with matching designs and animation), interesting characters, and the world they populated. The first half of the show was simple: introduce the three main players in the Mirror Capital, and how they came to be. Structured and to the point. The three's somewhat dark pasts were nicely offset by the happy-go-lucky attitude of Koto and her two familiars. Unfortunately, even long past the halfway mark they failed to develop the characters or the world in any meaningful way, and the pacing ground to a halt. The last three episodes were simply tragic.
With the show ending and no conclusion in sight, they hastily (re-)introduce a character and shoehorned him into the role of the primary antagonist. Except he isn't even a real villain. He actually doesn't do anything beyond disagree. In hindsight, the true villains here were the children's parents. Why would they leave their children alone for so long and not even send a postcard? So inconsiderate.
Worse parents than Gendo Ikari
It didn't help that the animation quality also dropped like a rock, with slow, multi-minute pans with a few frames of looped filler animation becoming the norm. These scenes were of course coupled with painfully long-winded expositions that frantically try to explain what’s going on to little or no effect.
Kyousougiga started with interesting characters and a world built so they could literally do anything. Unfortunately, this was coupled with an overarching plot that was handled as poorly as possible, no antagonist, and a really lame conclusion to a problem that didn’t exist until the last three episodes. Maybe an extra episode or two might've helped. Then again, I think all the little problems that cropped up might be indicative of problems that additional time couldn't fix.
I give it a 6/10.
I picked this series up halfway through after frantically catching up on Nisemonogatari and Nekomonogatari. The first four arcs were nothing too amazing: Tsubasa is boring in her entirety (her cat form helps slightly), Shinobu and Mayoi okay whatever, Nadeko is insane, and RIP Mayoi (I will miss your crazy encounters with Araragi). Done. Whatever. I don’t care. The only thing of note was the disturbing lack of the Fire Sisters and Suruga.
Best girls with the most borderline mental issues
Thankfully, Kaiki arrives in all his glory to take the show out in a bang. What a great character. Conniving and cynical to the core, Kaiki’s calculated views were a nice contrast to Araragi and Co.’s general idiocy. His interactions with the odd personalities of Senjougahara and (God-)Nadeko were entertaining, to say the least. He even saves the day! What a hero. Kaiki Number One. I can only hope that he didn’t actually kick the bucket at the end there. Given how little we know about his relationship with Suruga and even Senjougahara, I doubt it, but I could be wrong. Please don't let me be wrong.
Good night, sweet prince
Either way, Monogatari S2 not only sustained my interest in the franchise, but succeeded in getting me to forward to the next installment as well. Makes it a winner in my book!
Gave it an 8/10.
Yozakura Quartet: Hana no Uta
I picked this series up after the final episode aired but managed finished it in three days. I don't know much about the 'world' of Yozakura Quartet (haven't watched the other series/OVAs, haven't read the manga) but I enjoyed the entire cast of characters and their boundless energy. Except for Akina. I guess he has his moments, but he's such a downer compared to everyone else. Fantastic animation, interesting characters with (shallow but) fun personalities and cute designs. Great sound work, too The music's not bad, but the sound effects in Yozakura Quartet really add to the show, especially during the fight scenes which would be awfully generic otherwise. Also, panty shots.
Episode 01 - 00 minutes and 23 seconds
I have to admit, they're really well animated, but I think there are at least a dozen per episode. Sometimes they throw in one frame of underwear in a really dynamic scene, and as the frames flashes by you're left wondering ‘Was that a panty shot? I think I saw stripes. Pretty sure that was a panty shot.’ Or maybe that’s just me. At least these aren't the lazy panty shots with the viewpoint fixed directly under the skirt all that happens in the scene is the camera slowly panning up. Again, really well animated. The story arcs aren't too bad, and they manage to develop the characters and the world decently well, unlike Kyousougiga. Also unlike Kyousougiga, they took the fact that they could do practically anything they wanted in the world they built and actually used it effectively and consistently. That said, most of the 'fights' are pretty darn silly.
It's a gigantic bouncing goldfish!
The final arc did have a few lame expositions and fights, but nothing too bad. I definitely did end up liking the show more than I expected to. I went into the show thinking that it was going to be a shounen action show, but it ended up being more of a slice of life comedy. I'm not going to complain. Sure, the characters are fairly one-dimensional individually, but they supplemented each other fairly well. It was their funny little interactions during their every day lives that really made the show for me. The conclusion was sort of happy and lame, but I’m hoping there will be one more season to wrap things up nicely with a ribbon on top. Too bad that's not going to happen.
Ongoing: Kill la Kill
Let me preface this by saying that I really enjoyed Tengen Toppa Gurran Lagan. That show definitely had its ups and downs, but it had a lot of character and spunk that made it memorable. So you tell me that the director and writer for TTGL are working on a new show together? All aboard the hype train. But now, with Kill la Kill half over, I can say that I've lost 95% of my interest in it. The show certainly has its own unique flair, but it’s been overused to death at this point. The main character who is confident yet next to useless on her own doesn’t help, either. In TTGL, Simon was pretty useless but he eventually found it in himself to become a badass. What is Matoi going to do in KLK? Find it in herself to wear even more revealing variations of Senketsu? Senketsu is clearly doing all the heavy lifting, while Matoi just acts as a blood-circulating sack of meat for the former to cling on to. I guess there’s another seasons worth of episodes left, so maybe it'll turn around and become awesome. Spoiler: I'm not holding my breath.
Dropped: Non Non Biyori
I wanted to like this show. I’ve made my peace with slice of life shows featuring an all-female cast doing nothing but act cute before. I wanted Non Non Biyori to fill that role on my watch-list, but alas. Generic characters and slow pacing? That’s fine. It’s par for the course as far as I’m concerned. It’s the nature of the genre. For NNB it was instead the god-awfully slow pacing of the joke delivery that killed me. The shorter jokes felt like they dragged on for half a minute too long, and the longer ones I just sat waiting for 10 agonizing minutes for that dumb punchline. I got to three episodes. On that third ep I found myself pressing that Fast Forward key every other second, and I knew I had to drop it. Slice of life is usually my cup of tea, but man, watching NNB was like Chinese water torture.
All in all, not a bad season. I've certainly done worse than finding two enjoyable shows in a season before. The next season looks pretty grim, but I'm sure there will be something that will surprise me. I hope.