Spring 2016 Anime in review: Flying Witch and Kiznaiver

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Flying Witch:

This anime is just a pure shot of joy.  The characters are so happy and the series is just fluffy that you can’t help but smile while watching it.  The characters are also surprisingly layered and feel very true to life.  They have faults, ambition, things they are interested in doing.   Flying Witch just has a fantastic and joyful cast.  It’s very much a slice of life series where high school does play a part in it sometimes, but it’s never a focus.  So yes, another positive.

You know what, this is probably the best slice of life ever because this is what it would be like if Kiki’s Delivery Service was turned into an anime.  Flying Witch is very Miyazaki like in the way it’s characters are presented, the god-like characters that control one aspect of nature or another, mystical and magically unexplained phenomenon, along other aspects that can fit into a Miyazaki movie.  And for those wondering, anything that is compared to Miyazaki like this is a very good thing.

The magic is a very interesting aspect of the series.  I really like how grounded it was and how just simple spells took a long time.  Also, the familiars.  I like how they are very intelligent creatures, but they still have a lot of the aspects of what kind of animal they are.  Cat familiars are still like cats.  Bird familiars are still birds.  Everything just seems to fit in the world they present and somehow makes everything more believable.

So yes, mostly positives at the moment, but I don’t think this is a series that aims to be ambitious.  It’s not complex in any sort of way nor does it try to be complex, and that’s just fine.  The series accomplishes what it wants to do and it’s just solid.

Kiznaiver:

I’ve tried to put some solid thoughts about this series since I watched its finale and I think that finally happened.  Maybe.  I’m not sure if my thoughts can be considered complex, but they are definitely mixed.  Let’s see if I can get them out of my head in a while that actually seems somewhat coherent.

For start, I really did like the concept of this show.  Putting teenagers together through pain is something that I haven’t seen before.  That being said, I don’t think the show ever truly escaped the exposition that is necessary for this concept.  Kiznaiver started with a ton of information about the concept and it carried on through to the final episode.  This is a bad thing because it takes away time from developing the characters more.  On the positive side of that, the characters might be the weakest part of this series.

Now before getting into this, I don’t think the characters are completely terrible.  The characterization between each was pretty solid, but the interactions between each was very mixed.  There were some genuine moments, but at the same, the show had to use a diagram to show you who was attracted to who.  Also, I know that the best of friends usually same some truthful and mean things to each other, but this show’s writing took that aspect up to eleven.  In the end, I still can’t believe that they are friends.  Maybe that’s okay because they are still teenagers and have only met a short time ago, but it still bothers me.

Art and animation are something that I definitely feel one hundred percent solid on.  For Trigger, I think this is the best work that they’ve ever done.  A lot of scenery shots just sell what goes on in the show.  Especially the ending scene where Sonozaki was covered with red when she was on top of the bridge and Kacchon talking to her while he was covered in blue scenery.  Absolutely gorgeous.  Combine this with the mind bending opening, and I have zero complaints about this part.

So yes, a lot of mixed thoughts on this show, but was it worth it?  Oh yeah it was.  This series is so much different from almost all other Studio Trigger works.  Also, the concept is interesting and the animation and art are gorgeous, so the show is worth watching for that alone.  Just go in expecting some disappointments on the writing front.  It’s an ambitious show, but it fell on its face a lot.

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