November 2, 2015

MANGA MONDAYS | Better Than Expected

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A few weeks ago I wrote a post covering this season’s anime and what I thought looked good. My overall impression basically boiled down to “It’s all sequels plus a few interesting shows. But not as good as last season.” Having just caught up on some shows from this season, I need to revisit that opinion. Because there is some pretty awesome stuff coming out right now. Remember how I said not to judge a book by its cover in that post? I kind of did, and I was very, very, wonderfully wrong.

As it happens, I haven’t even started to catch up on the sequels I plan to watch from this season. Heck, I haven’t even caught up on last season’s sequels. Forget sequels, I’m not even caught up on homework. I have, however, watched the first few episodes of three shows: One Punch Man, Utawaremono, and Concrete Revolutio (no, there’s no n). And they are all awesome. Maybe this is just my overly excitable inner otaku talking, but I’m in love. Which is problematic because I’ve barely scraped the surface of the things I was in love with from the previous season.

I could spend the entire post gushing about why I love all these shows, but I’ll try to stay away from just launching on a recommendation spree. There are a few more specific things I want to mention. First up, One Punch Man. Last week I wrote a post about overpowered characters. One Punch Man is a perfect example of how to make an absurdly strong character extremely interesting. I wish I’d seen the first few episodes before writing that post. What I like the most is the way that the show sets up so many powerful heroes and villains, but then uses Saito’s power to completely trivialize them. The satire is beautiful.

Concrete Revolutio is doing a very similar thing, actually, though it’s definitely less satirical. Instead, we get something I can best describe as a mix between Durarara, Hamatora, and One Punch Man. Which is weird because I’ve always described Hamatora as Durarara on acid. The comparison between these two vaguely reminds me of a more lighthearted version of when Tokyo Ghoul and Parasyte were both doing the “monsters that look like people eat people, but the monsters really aren’t the bad guys” thing. I’m interested to see which show is the Parasyte this time and which one is the Tokyo Ghoul. In other words, which one has an awesome ending and which one falls flat on its face in the second season (and at this point I’d better start running before the Tokyo Ghoul Root A fans try to eat me). Also, I know I said that I would try to avoid this, but I can’t help it. Concrete Revolutio’s animation and soundtrack are crazy good.

Photo Courtesy of White Fox

Photo Courtesy of White Fox

Lastly we have Utawaremono. This one is interesting to me because it seems to be the sequel to an older show, but if I hadn’t looked it up I’d never have known. I think it’s admirable that this show can stand on its own so well. It vaguely reminds me of Aquarion Evol. There’s enough world building and interesting characters to explain and draw me into the show’s world, but I’m also getting more and more curious about the rest of the franchise. Did I mention that the female lead is adorable? Because her character design is fantastic.

I’ll say it once again, ladies and gentlemen: Don’t judge a book by its cover. It’s always a good idea to keep your eyes peeled on your social network of choice for recommendations. That’s how I found these shows, after all. Someone posted a gif and I checked it out. Simple as that. On that note, if you have a show you know is good, tell me! I’d love to take a look at it and bring some attention to lesser known shows with this blog.

Michael Mauer is a sophomore in the college of Arts and Sciences majoring in Computer Science. His favorite anime is Neon Genesis Evangelion and he never leaves home without his Homura Akemi necklace. He can be reached at [email protected]. Alternatively, just hunt him down on Facebook or Google+.