February 1, 2016

MANGA MONDAYS | The Winter 2016 Hype Train

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I’ve written posts like this one for the last few seasons, so I figure I ought to keep up with the trend. Of course, I’ve also been horribly wrong about the things I say in them and had to post revisions to my hype train.

So this could be a terrible idea, but I think it’s always good to let people know what’s out there. Speaking of which, I want to point readers to a handy site: Anichart. This is the site that I’ve been using ever since I began watching seasonal anime, and I find the layout super convenient. With that out of the way, on to business.

Photo courtesy of A-1 Pictures

First off, the show that everyone is talking about: Boku Dake ga Inai Machi. Or, perhaps better known by its English title, Erased (I have no idea why the title was changed so drastically). To be honest, I haven’t started watching it yet. However, for all the time that I spend on anime forums, I’ve heard almost nothing bad about it – everyone seems to love this show. And honestly, it doesn’t surprise me that much. The show is by A-1 Pictures, which has a pretty good track record (in my opinion), and it has music by both Asian Kung Fu Generation (theme song) and Yuki Kajura (who is kind of a big deal). If you want to feel sad this season, this show is for you.

Photo Courtesy of Studio Deen

Another show that gets people talking is Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shufuku wo! (or just Konosuba because that’s a mouthful). I’m not sure if I want to recommend this one though, because I almost asphyxiated from laughter while watching, and I don’t want to be responsible for anyone’s death via anime. Seriously though, it’s a great take on what I feel is a rather stale genre, and the cast is incredibly vibrant. The best way I can explain it is to imagine some sort of fantasy/RPG show like SAO, but all the characters suck at the game. Also, Aqua is infinitely better than a certain other goddess I could mention. Incidentally, the show Hai to Gensou no Grimgar does something quite similar, but with less comedy and more of a Madoka Magica/deconstruction feel to it.

Photo Courtesy of Studio 3Hz

I’d also like to mention Dimension W. I don’t often find an anime outside a school setting and with an actual adult as the protagonist, so I’m thoroughly enjoying this show. The action is solid (the CGI is integrated seamlessly into the animation), and the characters become more intriguing as they develop. Overall, Dimension W’s aesthetics remind me of those in Darker than Black, which is a very, very good thing. I’m curious to see where this anime is headed, because the end of the last episode that I watched (No spoilers please!) hinted that things could be headed down a dark and grotesque route. Which is exactly what I’d expect from a darker, mature anime like this. And I mean actually dark and mature, not the “tries desperately to be edgy but ultimately falls flat” type.

Photo Courtesy of Bones

Finally, I want to give a shout-out to the sequels this season, because they’re pretty great, especially the new seasons of Assassination Classroom, Akagami no Shirayuki-hime, Durarara, and Gate. These are all stellar shows, and I’m ecstatic about the release of new episodes. Of this group, though, I have to say that I’m especially happy to watch more Akagami no Shirayuki-hime. The show is impossibly adorable, and has one of my favorite female leads in recent memory. You don’t find much better shoujo anime than this, folks. On that note, I’m going to go catch up on the latest episodes.


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+.