The Half Time Show, Winter 2015

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The smell of hot dogs, the noise of conversation and the occasional person dancing past in a shark costume. That’s right, it’s the half time show! The Glorio Rabble have put their heads together to let you know what’s worth your valuable time, in a world where first episodes are high budget and mid-season turns filler if left out in the sun too long. Want something cool to watch? Pick something from near the top, simple as that. Disagree? Fight us in the comments!

These shows are worth your time

It takes that special something to keep us coming back for more, and few anime pass that test each season. After six or so episodes, it’s these shows that we can wholeheartedly recommend to you.

Death Parade

Anime Original by Madhouse
Fridays 1:30 pm EST on Funimation
Read our continued coverage.
Artemis: In a season that feels like it has even more inane fanservicey titles than usual, Death Parade is a breath of fresh air. Normally such a melodramatic and theatrical series probably wouldn’t be up my alley – I tend to prefer my anime with a bit more subtlety than that – but in this case, ostentatious does not equal cheap. Also somewhat surprising from an episodic show like this is that Death Parade is not only consistently entertaining but also always a little unexpected; just when you think you have it pinned down, it goes and does something counter to that. At times dark and intensely cynical, at others silly and charmingly irreverent, Death Parade packs a decent punch while maintaining its sense of humour, and I can’t think of many other anime titles that manage to balance the two.

Durarara!! x2

Light Novel Adaptation by Shuka
Saturdays 12:00 pm EST on Crunchyroll
Read our continued coverage.
Aqua: If you didn’t know there was a second season to one of the best anime of the decade airing as we speak, you’ve probably been living under a rock. If you have never seen Durarara!! at all, I implore you to fix your grave mistake as soon as possible. Season two picks up right where the 2010 original left off, supplementing the original cast of adorable nut jobs with Russian assassins, fedora-wearing gang leaders and incestuous twins aplenty, for another chaotic ride through the ever-thrilling violence shaking up the two-faced city of Ikebukero. Using clever nonlinear storytelling and a unique visual flair to flaunt its Tarantinesque eccentricity, Durarara!! is as endearing was it was five years ago, and a ride no self-respecting anime fan should miss.

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders Part 2

Manga Adaptation by David Production
Fridays 12:30 pm EST on Crunchyroll
Read our continued coverage.
Iro: Wait, should this be on here? It’s the second half of Stardust Crusaders! If you were watching the first half last year, you should already be watching this. If you weren’t, you should start there and then watch this, seeing as how it’s the most famous portion of all-time great shonen manga classic JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. It’s got clever fights, stupid comedy, and a lot of guys punching each other via psychic powers. Get going!

Lily Bear Storm

Yuri Kuma Arashi

Anime Original by Silverlink
Mondays 1:30 am EST on Funimation
Read our continued coverage.
colons: I was worried after the first two episodes that Yuri Kuma was going to be little more than beautifully presented impenetrable symbolism. I didn’t have a problem with that, necessarily, but it also didn’t strike me as the kind of thing I would be able to get all the way through. Somewhere around episode four, though, a plot emerges. One with interesting characters, many surprising developments, and a deceptively realised setting. That’s not to say that there isn’t a whole boatload of beautifully presented impenetrable symbolism; if you’re watching this show on your lunch hour at work, be prepared to answer some pretty awkward questions from your colleagues, especially for the first two or three episodes. It’s also not to say that the version of the plot that exists in my head has anything to do with the intent of the author. I don’t care, though; I’m enjoying it. Also, hearing Toccata and Fugue in D minor sung in slightly off-key ‘shabada~’s is truly a delight.tumblr_nilc92EMSw1td3k3fo1_250

The Rolling Girls

Anime Original by Wit Studio
Saturdays 12:58 pm EST on Funimation
Read our continued coverage.
Marlin: The Rolling Girls has been a fun and silly show, improving on the tired idea of dumb girls doing cute things by having them also go on a sweet cross-country road trip. The style is undeniable as every environment pops with color and every nation is replete with unique and interesting characters. Not all of the main characters have lived up to their more colorful counterparts in the Bests, people given stones that hold special powers, but as their journey continues there’s reason to believe they will prove themselves in their own right.

Yatterman Night

Yoru no Yatterman

Anime Original by Tatsunoko Production
Sundays 10:30 am EST on Funimation
Read our continued coverage.
Gee: Following the trail set by Casshern Sins and Gatchaman Crowds, the lack of promotion meant there were only so many things we could discern about Yatterman Night prior to its debut. Portraying itself as yet another thematically radical remake of an old anime property, the question that lied in everyone’s head at the time was whether it would hedge closer to the bleak grimness of Sins or the frantic maniacal energy of Crowds.In perhaps the best outcome, Yatterman Night manages to blaze its own path, free of the trappings of either. While undeniably a distinctly bleak setting with some truly soul-crushing moments, it’s offset by a kind of dynamic optimism that redeems its universe. The villains are bad and the the world they rule is a sad and downtrodden one, where the plucky good guys lose more often than not. And yet, it’s a world where good guys exist in the first place. They never give up and and at the end of the day, that is the single most important trait a hero can possess. It may be too early to start making declarations, but so far Yatterman Night is the anime with the most heart this season. It’s one of the biggest stand-outs in a season full of surprises and I think it deserves an honest shot from everyone.

These shows require further testing

Sometimes, not even six episodes is enough. Maybe there’s a slow build-up, or perhaps there’s something objectionable in an otherwise fun show. These recommendations come with minor warnings, so watch out!

Assassination Classroom

Ansatsu Kyoushitsu

Manga Adaptation by Lerche
Fridays 12:20 am EST on Funimation
Read our continued coverage.
Euri: Fukuyama Jun is at his best when he’s voicing goofy non-humans, and he’s doing a fantastic job bringing the unpredictable Koro-sensei to life. Not only is the alien acting like a good role model to his students (if you ignore that he blew up half of the moon and threatens the destruction of Earth) but he adds a lot of comic relief by way of sheer unpredictability. There are a few things holding this show back, such as the stale episode formula and the introduction of a big-breasted blonde foreigner who exists because this is a shonen show, but honestly, it’s still worth your time.

Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE!

Anime Original by Diomedéa
Tuesdays 11:40 am EST on Funimation
Read our continued coverage.
Jel: Earth Defense Club is really close to the edge of the “not worth your time” category, and yet I can’t deny it’s charming enough to at least take a look and judge for yourself. It’s self aware enough to parody Super Sentai and Magical Girl clichés yet bizarre and colorful enough to kind of work as both of those things in an un-ironic way. Personally I tapped out half way as some of the jokes got repetitive and less creative, but if you’re the type where cute anime boys are a nice added bonus then that might be the little extra push needed to move this onto your “watch” list.

Maria the Virgin Witch

Junketsu no Maria

Manga Adaptation by Production I.G.
Sundays 9:30 am EST on Funimation
Read our continued coverage.
Marlin: Maria occupies a bit of a sore spot for me. I’ll admit it’s hard to divorce my feelings from my thoughts in its portrayal of the history of the Church. Still, outside of it Maria has had a hard time defining what it wants to do with its story. Is it simply a historic tale with a magical twist? Is it trying to tell a story in the vein of courtly love? Is it trying to make statements on the nature of religion today? It could be all of these and more, but it splits up its topics in such a way that it never seems to be able to focus. In a season replete with interesting and engaging shows, if you’re still trying to figure out what to watch I would say think about what you want out of a show before jumping on Maria. It just hasn’t proved itself to be worth the investment quite yet.

These shows are not worth your time

No season is complete without a selection of sub-par anime, and we’ve watched them so that you don’t have to. If you’re thinking about starting one of these shows, check out our First Look posts to make sure you really want to watch it.

2 thoughts on “The Half Time Show, Winter 2015

  1. Thankfully i’m not watching anything on the “not worth your time” list. As for the rest I think the second half of jojo Stardust is really taking off. I was slogging through the first half but now that they are in Egypt the enemies are on another level and the battles more interesting.

    I’m pretty much watching the rest except Lily Bear Storm

    • Yeah I’m not gonna lie, the last half of Stardust Crusader’s first season was a slog for me, but the egyptian gods battles have been well worth sticking with it.

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