Summer Roundup or What I Watched This Summer (2016)

91 Days: Twelve episodes of why did I watch this. When I finally got to the end, I asked myself: WHY? Why did I bother watching? Why did Hiro Kaburagi bother to create this series? I love the logo for this series. But I need more than just a logo. The music was okay, the visuals were okay, but the story was just not there. I don’t care that it has a revenge plot-line. It just was not executed (you decide if the pun was intended) very well. When I got to the end, I had the feeling I had just watched a rehash of “Cowboy Bebop”. It was obvious that Angelo Lagusa was not going to make out alive at the end of the series. In “Cowboy Bebop” Spike’s death comes as a complete surprise. Of course Bebop had 26 episodes to flesh out the characters. “91 Days” did not have that luxury. But still if you know how the series is going to end, give it better character development.

Amaama to Inazuma: Twelve episodes of foodie bliss! The major problem with this series is that it gave me the munchies! Everyone was cute, friendly and maybe someone I would like to know. Though I have to admit they made the preparation of the food look easier than it probably is. Father and daughter come across as believable. If I read the manga I should get more Yusuke Yagi. I wish he had been used more in the series. He works at a restaurant. He could have been a real help to Kohei Insuzuka, the father. Yusuke knows the family history about the death of the mother. Why didn’t he step in and show dad some cooking techniques? It was a missed opportunity. There could have been some nice interaction between Tsumugi and Yusuke like we see in “Yotsuba & !” with Yotsuba not really liking Yanda. Amaama to Inazuma has a similar vibe to “Yotsuba & !”

Berserk 2016: I have already said just about everything I want to say about this series. I know it is coming back next year. The projected date for the next season is the Spring of 2017. I am hoping for better art when it comes back. And maybe it will feature Griffith next season.

Binan Koukou Chikyuu Boueibu: Wow! I LOVE THIS SERIES. I hope they come back for a third season. While I didn’t think the writers could improve on the first season. I want to shout it from the rooftops that they did. In the beginning of the season it felt as if the writers were just rehashing last season. When it got to the half way point, the writers were unleashed to write some wonderful new monsters. I prefer to call the monsters just troubled souls who are cured in a shower of love. I don’t know how popular this series is in Japan. I have my fingers crossed that there is a third season. If you plan to check out this series, see the first season before the second season. I don’t have a favorite in this group of love heroes.

Fukigen na Mononokean: I do enjoy a youkai-based series. This one had some comedy and a whole bunch of supernatural. The English title for the series is the Morose Mononokean. Abeno, the title character, kind of starts out appearing to be morose. But I would say that he is grumpy rather morose. This series has me looking into the manga it is based on. The studio is Pierrot Plus which is a subsidiary of studio Pierrot. The character designs have a very familiar. Hence this is why I liked the look of the series. The character designs reminded me of “Fushigi Yuugi”. This is a series that I hope gets a second season. A very enjoyable series. And I want a Fuzzy (aka hairball)!

Orange: This was another series that I really enjoyed this summer. I guess I am a sucker for slice-of-life high school drama. The series brings up some interesting question and does try to solve them in an intellectually honest way. While I am happy that they were able to save Kakeru Naruse, what happens to Suwa and Naho’s relationship? They have a child after all. Kakeru is a nice enough boy, but he is no Suwa. Of all the characters, Suwa Hiroto is my favorite. He is such a stand-up guy. Naho should marry him even if the group is able to save Kakeru. The series did take come twists and turns in the story which was appreciated. It is not just a straight up save the boy from suicide. Now I read that there is a sequel coming – “Orange: Mirai”. I also have the live action movie in my viewing queue. That queue is getting really long. I would recommend checking it out. Each episode always managed to lift my spirit.