Alyssa: Winter 2016: Week 1

Assassination Classroom S.2, Ep. 1:

I cannot express my joy for having Assassination Classroom back in my life. About half of 2015 was spent with the series – and the rest of 2015 was spent either reading it or re-watching it. Needless to say, I am ecstatic to have the series back in my life.

I greatly enjoy the fact that this season picks up where the other left off. It is clear that this season (with its 3 extra episodes) will be more intense than the last. We finally see a glimpse of The Reaper, who ends up stabbing a kind of important character. We also learn that if a group should kill Koro-sensei, they will receive 30 billion yen, rather than only 10 billion. My only real complaint about this season so far is the attempt at a romantic sub-plot between Kurasama and Irina. My dislike doesn’t stem just from my annoyance at Irina but moreso from the fact that I just wanted ready for such a thing in my action-packed anime. I do, however, enjoy how oblivious Kurasama is.

Prince of Stride: Alternative Ep. 1:

I honest to god thought that Prince of Stride was just going to be about track. But instead, it’s about some sort of Parkour-track hybrid known as Stride. The series, based on a dating sim, focuses on female protagonist Nana Sakurai, who came to her new high school because of her love for the previous years’ Stride club. Honestly, this is a pretty stereotypical plot of someone attending a school based on an athletic club. Nonetheless, the characters of Prince of Stride are enjoyable enough. The art is unique and almost reminiscent of Meganebu in the way it is colored. Prince of Stride is eye-catching and interesting for those who are interested in a sports anime that appears to be more slice of life.

HaruChika: Haruta and Chika Ep. 1:

I’m not really sure where to begin with my love of HaruChika. The animation and artwork by P.A. Works (Angel Beats, Charlotte) is as stunning as ever. I absolutely adore the way the eyes are colored – especially Chika’s.

I instantly fell in love with this show because it was a comedy-mystery. The art is stunning and the female protagonist, Chika, is relatable. When I was in band, I was a flutist (because my sister before me was) and I couldn’t play or read music very well at all. Likewise, Chika is just as terrible at flute as I was. I also adore a particular twist at the end of this episode involving Haruta’s affections for a certain character. I was really happy by this show, despite the basic mystery elements. HaruChika is a fun show and I cannot wait for more.

Erased (Boku dake ga Inai Machi) Ep. 1:

Have you ever watched the first episode of an anime and fallen in love instantly? This happened with both HaruChika and ERASED this week. This series centers on a struggling mangaka, Satoru Fujinuma, who has the ability to go back in time and change certain events before they happen. The main premise revolves around him being sent back to a time when he was 9 years old, in order to deal with a disappearance of a girl in his past and the murder of his mother in the present timeline.

One of my favorite things about this series, aside from the beautiful mystery element and fascinating animation, is the fact that this series has a date in which it takes place – and this date is in the past (2006). I also really enjoy Satoru’s mother. She is wonderfully kind but also sassy and she doesn’t appear to be ashamed of her son’s career choice. For those who do not know – a profession as a mangaka is severely frowned upon in Japan.

ERASED has a wonderful first episode that gives me a great deal of hope. The past two seasons, we have watched mystery shows. Ranpo was…OK and Sakurako had a disappointing ending. I am truly hoping that ERASED turns out to be the mystery show we have truly waited for.

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