Food Wars: The Second Plate (2016) | Rating: 4/5
They gave us a second plate, guys! And I was very happy about that, since I really enjoyed the first season and I'm currently enjoying the manga as it is being published in America. The second season immediately picks up where the first season left off with the Fall Classic, which is pretty intense and well adapted from its source material. This second season stays consistent by being entertaining, funny, and a bit tense at times. The story also surprisingly doesn't become predictable for our main characters either, which is a nice change of pace. It still makes you want to root for the good guys and let the bad ones learn from their mistakes. Lastly, the character development is very steady as well, since I know some people feared that certain characters' growth would be stunted. I'm looking forward to delving more into the OVA, whenever they become available with subtitles, and hopefully a third plate.
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (2016) | Rating: 3.5/5
Sadly, I have not had the pleasure of playing this mystery solving game, but I really want to at some point. I know when this show was airing, people had mixed opinions on it. Fans of the game felt like the anime was a bit of a disservice to the processing of investigating and interrogating and others, like myself, enjoyed following our main character from case to case. Sure, it felt like certain elements were kinda missing or weren't explained as well as it would in a video game, but I still found it amusing and entertaining to see the resolution of each case. As someone who relies on subtitles, I had issues with certain translations concerning character names. Sometimes the subtitles matched what was spoken when they needed Naruhodou and other times it was changed to Phoenix (or Nick). I know both names are right, but it annoyed me when it kept switching. Personally, I prefer the original Japanese names, but I guess the English names fit in with the comical aspects of the show as well. This show was fun, I was entertained, despite its imperfections, and it did make me want to play the game even more.
Death Parade (2015) | Rating: 4.5/5
Somehow I missed this gem in 2015, but I'm glad I added it to my list after hearing some reliable praises from a couple of my favorite YouTubers. I have not watched the short that it originated from, but I'm glad this has become the beauty of a series that it is. Without graphic imagery or excessive profanity, this is a series you can say isn't for children. It is a very mature and almost oddly colorful show that explores the life, death, and afterlife. You know, really deep subjects that'll keep you contemplating for a few hours. Of course the show and its characters keep you involved and invested in what's going on. Almost every episode explores a different pair of characters trying to figure out where they are and why they are there. It's an interesting character study of sorts that makes you self reflect on your own life. The story is really topnotch and handled the subject matter very well without giving one definite answer to their situation. Lastly, the animation is stunning and vibrate with just enough darkness. I love the various characters we meet and the spaces they occupy. I must admit it was really hard to finish the show because I enjoyed everything so much and that's saying something!
Cheer Danshi!! (2016) | Rating: 3/5
If you were ever wondering if I'm still watching sports anime, I'm sure this post would answer your question. I was a little skeptical about this one, much like a lot of characters in the show, but it ended up being fairly entertaining. Of course, in my top five list of sports anime, I don't think this would quite make it, but it wasn't terrible. This group of young men had a big obstacle to get over and the show focused more on their journey to become a strong team as opposed to working up to a tournament like Haikyuu!!, Kuroko no Basket, or the series below, Yowamushi Pedal. No, this show is about finding enough young men that are interested in and dedicated to all things cheerleading. There are plenty of ups and downs with this new bunch and it was fun watching each member grow and overcome their own obstacles. Although the team does participate in a tournament, it's kind of an afterthought in the end as their routine begins to fade into the credits.
Yowamushi Pedal: Grande Road (2014) | Rating: 4/5
Since I enjoyed the first season so much, it was obvious I was going to jump into the second season. This show remains intense and entertaining. I love cheering on Souhoku and watching each member struggle through the long treacherous road together. Even though the race is stretched out for more than 30 episodes, the story and tension keeps things interesting by not always letting the main characters win. This factor also keeps the viewer on their toes and waiting to see what the final outcome of stage three may be. Aside from the story, the characters remain great and fleshed out. The story takes its time giving us background on everyone that matters and giving us enough information to work with for the viewer to gather opinions on them. I was surprised to see that there is a third season airing around this time and of course I'm going to be checking that out. I'm currently reading the manga and I must say that so far it's pretty faithful to the source material, granted I'm not as far as season two.
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