Kuromukuro and Koutetsujou no Kabaneri have proven their worth and shall be adopted into my hall of fame rankings at #179 and #180. I'll finally be back to a nice round number for my rankings again.
It won't last long, because Planetarian and Rewrite come out this summer, but at least for now I'm back to a multiple of ten rankings, like I used to have all the time.
Kuromukuro has heart, humor, action, and wonderful art/animation, creating a full package experience. The animators seem to delight in showing off the superbly expressive and normally hilarious facial expressions of the main heroine, and her little sister exudes a joy de vivre that only perfect animation could express. At this point the fight with the demon mechas is just an excuse to get the cast to interact, and it's those interactions which are the true comedy gold. This show reminds me a lot of Full Metal Panic.
Koutetsujou no Kabaneri is great in a different way. The amazing art and animation of the action sequences propels it to unheard of levels of quality. These fight scenes look better than Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works. How do you even do that? The budget for this series must be insane. The upbeat music works perfectly for the knife-edge fights full of blood and death. It's a huge adrenaline rush that unapologetically delights in being an action packed thriller with little interest in anything else. If you aren't dying or killing someone you just aren't cool enough to merit time on the screen. But the action isn't mindless, either. It's obvious the heroes are fighting with great tactics and skill, even cooperating well with each other and utilizing teamwork to win. Each hero has their own advantages and drawbacks that have to be weighed when writing up a plan for how to win each battle. The characters are cool in three different ways, their decisiveness of action, their strength, and their skill. It's very easy to root for heroes like that.
These two shows are the highlight of the spring season, making the season a resounding success. This means there are now 11 shows out of the 18 I'm currently watching that qualify as must-see great anime. Not bad.
Captain America: Civil War lives up to all the hype. It was an enormous movie full of characters, but there wasn't a single boring beat or unwelcome line of dialogue. Everything kept you at the edge of your seat and fully engaged with the story. I lost all track of time and just enjoyed the movie like a gutter taking in the rain. Despite the Avengers fighting each other, they all came off as likable and reasonable people. Masterful writing to achieve something like that. This really is the best superhero film ever made. The airport fight was so dynamic and fluid and intelligently fought that all you can do is sit back in awe. It's impossible to take it all in, but so deliciously delightful to try.
If Marvel continues to make movies on this level, it could well surpass Star Wars in overall quality. Civil War was better than any of the prequels, and probably better than Return of the Jedi as well. Star Wars is adding new films to its repertoire, but then again so is Marvel, and at an even faster rate. I've watched A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back hundreds of times, which certainly isn't the case for Marvel Superhero films, but if these Marvel films produce hundreds of sequels well then, it all evens out now doesn't it?
The Bolt manga has started coming out. It's a shame though, because it's spoiling the movie, which no one in the west has seen yet. Maybe it would be best not to read the manga for now. The movie comes out in July, so waiting a bit wouldn't be amiss.
Once I watch Kuromukuro and Koutetsujou no Kabaneri in full I'll have a better grasp of where they should rank in the end. For now they'll sit at the bottom but don't be surprised if they shoot up from there in the future.