Week 4 of Fall 2019 Anime In Review

All the new anime episodes I watched in Week 4 of the Fall 2019 season ranked and reviewed!

fall19w4

All the seasonal anime I watched in the fourth week of Fall 2019!

Case File nº221: Kabukicho – Episode 3

76/100 (DOWN 1 point from previous episode)

I’ll take your word for it.

This episode definitely amped up the overall comedy of the show (not that it wasn’t funny before but this one seemed to relish in it) and most of it was a hit–though the broken English jokes got a bit repetitive after a while. Not much else to say as this show seems to have found a formula that more or less works for it and will probably keep at the ‘case of the week’ format until the Jack the Ripper case rears its head again or it finds a new long-running arc to tackle in the meantime.

Val x Love – Episode 4

80/100 (DOWN 2 points from previous episode)

Cream is always so messy.

This episode was cute from beginning to end while just being naughty enough to warrant this show’s ‘ecchi’ genre brand. Narratively speaking though this episode felt more like a midway point between story points and as such was a little underwhelming in that respect.

After School Dice Club – Episode 4

84/100 (UP 1 point from previous episode)

Exactly, so be nice everyone!

I was reminded of ‘Anima Yell’ a bit in this episode as we have a brightly haired know-it-all new character who interjects herself into the life of our three characters, thinking she knows best but is actually just incredibly annoying. Thankfully the show takes her to task and doesn’t let her ruin the balance between our three protagonists and unlike ‘Anima Yell’ this new girl isn’t going to be anything more than just a minor supporting character. Also, the game they play in this episode was probably the most interesting and strategic of all and learning a bit about how Germany implemented the title of “authors” for individual games was pretty cool too…

The Hero Is Overpowered but Overly Cautious – Episode 3

86/100 (UP 3 points from previous episode)

Anime out of context images like this are the best.

An improvement over last week in at least one substantial regard in that all of the comedy lands a lot more satisfyingly than the previous–aligning it more with the first episode in terms of overall quality. Our hero protagonist is still a douche, by design, but he’s at least got some recurring jokes, such as the holy water, that had me laughing out loud every time.

My Hero Academia – Episode 66

87/100 (DOWN 3 points from previous episode)

*yoroshiku onegaishimasu intensifies*

The most interesting thing about this episode was the final few minutes back at the dorm as, like always, I’ve always thought the side-characters in this show were far more interesting than Midoriya’s story. That’s not to say Midoriya’s ‘test’ with Sir Nighteye wasn’t worthwhile to watch, it was a dynamic and well-written set piece that’s clearly an important part in his journey, I just kind of wish we didn’t spend so much time on it. 

High School Prodigies Have It Easy Even In Another World – Episode 4

88/100 (UP 3 points from previous episode)

Lyrule really is stunning, shame this outfit wasn’t adorned under happier circumstances.

Things escalate dramatically with this episode with Tsukasa announcing nothing less than the destruction of the “old world” and for the society of this world to advance 500 years forward; socially, technologically and politically. It’s big talk that’s backed up by big action as Elm Village attacks, seeking to rescue Lyrule from a lecherous lord and in the process begin the dismantling of the caste system itself. An extremely solid episode with great character moments for everyone (even the side characters) as well as just a lot of cool moments that will no doubt lead to bigger and better(?) things going forward!

Z/X: Code Reunion – Episode 3

89/100 (UP 3 points from previous episode)

The body proportions in this image get weirder the longer I look at it.

At several moments during this episode I had to wonder “are we sure this wasn’t meant to be an ecchi series?” because in addition to multiple changing scenes and a lengthy bathing sequence there was comedic panty-shots and boob-jiggles to rival even ‘Val x Love’–a show that’s supposed to be an ecchi. Aside from that the rest of the episode was–well it was more of this show explaining a lot of stuff in preparation for coming battles… I guess that explains why they went so heavy on the fan-service… not that I’m complaining!

Rifle Is Beautiful (Chidori RSC) – Episode 2

90/100 (DOWN 4 points from previous episode)

Some things never change…

If the first episode broke some of the long-standing rules on cute girl shows and club based school anime (and did it in all the right ways) then this episode is more about settling into a rhythm–not one worlds aways from the various tropes of the genre–but likewise one different enough to distinguish itself. The girls are still cute, the comedy still fun and their passion for rifle shooting is still high but it’s going to take seeing more episodes to see if this show is going to progress more in a ‘sports anime’ direction than a ‘club anime’ direction.

Fate/Grand Order Absolute Demonic Front: Babylonia – Episode 4

91/100 (UP 1 point from previous episode)

Jaguarman is a god in a onesie. What anime is this again?!

I loved how unexpected and seemingly out of place the appearance of the goddess “Jaguarman” was in this episode, everything from her personality, her movements and even her visual style seemed like it was from a different anime–and it absolutely worked in creating a sense of both unease and comedy–which I feel is rare for an anime like this which can occasionally be guilty of being a bit rigid. Aside from that an otherwise expectedly intriguing and entertaining installment of this show.

Kandagawa Jet Girls – Episode 3

91/100 (EVEN with previous episode)

Hard to disagree with this kind of culture!

The first half of the episode gets a lot of club forming related shenanigans out of the way so as to have our latter half be devoted to what can only be described as ‘look at these ridiculous gaijin girls’ related shenanigans. We’re properly introduced to our Western jet-racing pair Emily Orange and Jennifer Peach who, despite their names are not strippers (well not that kind anyway). These girls bring a lot of energy to the show but really are only here so that a silly rivalry can form between Jennifer and Aoi so that they can settle it with a jet-race next episode!

Food Wars! The Fourth Plate – Episode 3

92/100 (EVEN with previous episode)

Suffice to say she gave everyone a nickname this day.

Short of breaking up the already tried and true format of these ‘team Shokugeki’ episodes there’s going to be little movement in the way of scores and likewise little to say in these individual episode reviews. This episode is more or less a precursor for the next round and sets itself up as some tense battles to come. On a side note, I’m glad they gave Momo more to say and do in this episode, she’s very cute but also surprisingly intimidating hopefully she can live up to both of these qualities in her upcoming battle!

AZUR LANE – Episode 4

94/100 (UP 3 points from previous episode)

These girls are too damn cute.

This episode gave us more of a closer look at the Sakura Empire and the various factions at work within which goes to show that this ‘war’ is far more multifaceted and less black and white than we previously were led to believe. Likewise the visuals are gorgeous throughout and the girls are just an absolute joy to watch. Perhaps I should start a petition for a Sakura Empire themed Slice of Life anime series…

Psycho Pass 3 – Episode 1

93/100 (NEW entry)

I’m not sure what’s going on here but it sure is intricate and impressive looking!

If you haven’t seen so already, Irina and I discussed this episode plenty in our collaborative review. But if you’re too lazy to click a link–or just want a shorter version of my thoughts–I thought this was an excellent sequel slash soft reboot of the ‘Psycho Pass’ franchise that introduces interesting new characters a compelling beginning to a narrative all against a familiar and intoxicating world with impressive visuals and design. 

Didn’t I Say To Make My Abilities Average In The Next Life?! – Episode 3

95/100 (UP 3 points from previous episode)

I think this’ll be a recurring theme.

There were so many wonderfully unexpected things about this show that defied my expectations–but likewise did everything I was hoping it would do, in regard to its excellent characterisation and the progression of the narrative (we have a 6 month time jump as well which helps keep things fresh and fast paced). Honestly though I’m just loving this series, its world and most of all its characters who I’m especially endeared to and can’t wait to see what they all do next!

We Never Learn Season 2 – Episode 4

96/100 (UP 2 points from previous episode)

Ogata’s makeover made her look like a whole new character.

An honestly hilarious episode from beginning to end with so many laugh-out-loud moments, awkwards situations and silly set-pieces. From Ogata’s stunning transformation into a bishoujo and Nariyuki’s clueless realisation of her identity to the second-part of the episode with Nariyuki and Uruka exclusively speaking English to each other for an entire day and the shenanigans that ensue–all absolutely wonderful.

Fire Force – Episode 14

96/100 (UP 2 points from previous episode)

I always enjoy his little name’s he gives himself.

Wow! What a visually striking and emotionally satisfying conclusion to the Asukasa arc! In earlier episodes of the show a complaint could have been made that the length of the various arcs were too short, and I was almost on the verge of saying that this one–in contrast–was too long but this episode wrapped up everything nicely and showed that this series when it’s firing on all cylinders is a force to be reckoned with!


Previous Fall 2019 Anime In Review Posts:

Week 1
Week 2
Week 3


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Week 3 of Fall 2019 Anime In Review

All the new anime episodes I watched in Week 3 of the Fall 2019 season ranked and reviewed!

fall19w3

All the seasonal anime I watched in the third week of Fall 2019!

Case File nº221: Kabukicho – Episode 2

77/100 (UP 2 points from previous episode)

Best character so far. More please!

Minor overall improvements and a general sense of settling into a comfortable routine makes for a predictable but nevertheless enjoyable episode. Also, I’m glad that amongst our group of male detectives we are given not one but two female detectives added to the cast even if they were sorely underutilised, but there’s still time as it’s only early on and this is a 24 episode long season.

Val x Love – Episode 3

82/100 (UP 2 points from previous episode)

I can think of a couple things I want…

The week-to-week improvements for this show are minor but cumulative and help further endear us to our fundamentally flawed protagonist and likewise the various girls who are entering his circle. While narratively not much happens in this episode it feels like a step in the right direction to making this a more substantive experience and adaptation of the original manga as the fan service is improved (though still lacking as we’re left with a censored version that promises more for the uncensored blu-ray)!

After School Dice Club – Episode 3

83/100 (UP 7 points from previous episode)

These ladies are totally doin’ it.

After last week’s fall in the rankings things are more or less back on track with how they were in the first episode which is great, wonderful even. Though this episode isn’t anything remarkable its at least comfortable and has our shy protagonist Miki learning not to judge a book by its cover and more importantly the value in the good in every bad situation–no matter how much our memory may skew things to the negative. Also, Aya’s sister Hana and the ‘tough girl’ Maki are totally a couple, no amount of calling them “best friends” will make me believe they aren’t an item. #justsaying

High School Prodigies Have It Easy Even In Another World – Episode 3

85/100 (DOWN 2 points from previous episode)

I also see.

There were a lot of strong moments in this episode and some not so, while I appreciated the fleshing out of Roo’s motivations and backstory and the conclusion to the merchant business it lead to a somewhat cliche introduction of a new villain who treats peasants like trash and is so much of a cartoon villain that he even kidnaps the busty elf girl to do unspeakable things to her. These elements felt less inspired against a backdrop of otherwise interesting and unique characters… oh and the hot springs scene was pretty excellent as well!

Z/X: Code Reunion – Episode 2

86/100 (DOWN 2 points from previous episode)

Dragons and loli’s, what a winning combination (apparently).

I’m glad this show is taking its time with introducing just exactly what kind of show this is because a more impatient series would have crammed all this into a single episode and left the audience reeling from the info-dump. Things are still unclear (like who were the mystery loli’s and their giant red dragon who came in at the last minute to save the day) but it’s the good kind of confusion that leaves you wanting more rather than being frustrated.

My Hero Academia – Episode 65

90/100 (UP 3 points from previous episode)

Bubble girl is best girl.

With the third season of this show I was worried the series was stagnating–spinning its wheels as it focused on the petty squabbling between Bakugo and Midoriya. Thankfully this new episode (after last week’s recap) shows that the series is not only willing to take some risks (we get two character deaths–albeit on the villain side of things) which considerably ups the ante for the future of the league of villains but also the episode show’s that isn’t afraid to show off its comedic chops and ‘quirkiness’ with Midoriya attempting an internship with Sir Nighteye. Also, Bubble Girl, a.k.a best girl, gets a re-introduction, I look forward to seeing more of her!

Fate/Grand Order Absolute Demonic Front: Babylonia – Episode 3

90/100 (UP 1 point from previous episode)

Best desserts for a best girl.

Another incredibly solid installment of this series that’s taking its time as far as its central narrative goes but is all the more compelling because of it. I enjoyed the more slice of life-esque elements of this show as our core characters settled down into the daily grind but still enjoyed the minutiae of the everyday regardless. Also, Ishtar (a.k.a. Sexy Rin) makes her second appearance and it was undoubtedly a highlight as was pretty much anything with Ana, she’s the best!

AZUR LANE – Episode 3

91/100 (DOWN 1 point from previous episode)

Standard beach episode fare, right?

Surprise beach episode! I say “surprise” because it seemed like even the characters involved were taken aback by having the chance to frolic in the sea, and the sea–and its ties to war and what that meant to each of the girls was the theme of this episode and the drama ran high as Enterprise continued to push herself beyond the barriers of her own well-being. Likewise, the light-hearted shenanigans worked well as a counterpoint to the more serious scenes and the introduction of a fifth faction of battleships on the Chinese side only seeks to expand this already jam-packed cast of cute girls.

Kandagawa Jet Girls – Episode 2

91/100 (DOWN 3 points from previous episode)

THICC.

This episode is front loaded (pun intended) with a lot of exposition about the ins and outs of jet racing and while absolutely essential to the understanding of the sport and its various concepts it made for a little dry viewing with only the high quality 3D animation of the race itself and the smattering of fan service to keep the audience’s attention. The race itself was still interesting and fast paced but it lacked any real stakes as it was quite literally a tutorial race for the viewers. Things pick up afterwards as we’re afforded a double shower scene as well as some gym scenes to amp up the quantity and quality of the service. The episode also has its fair share of genuine laugh-out-loud moments which is also appreciated and shows this series knows exactly what it is and isn’t afraid to be cheeky about it.

Food Wars! The Fourth Plate – Episode 2

92/100 (UP 2 points from previous episode)

Lol.

Shonen anime are always so hard to talk about on a weekly basis, especially one’s so deep into their run like we have here. It’s more of the same great entertainment that leaves me grinning from beginning to end but little in the way of overall development as we’re well in the middle of a tournament arc and with no signs of it ending any time soon. Subaru’s ‘imitations’ of his Elite 10 competitors were an undoubted comedic highlight as were the fan-service heavy tasting scenes involving the emcee.

Didn’t I Say To Make My Abilities Average In The Next Life?! – Episode 2

92/100 (DOWN 4 points from previous episode)

Totally not a Nendoroid, right?

A minor drop but a drop nonetheless, with our characters starting life at ‘adventuring school’ I was reminded of the weaker aspects of the anime ‘Endro’ but thankfully the laughs are still plentiful, as are the references and meta-humour. Plus our characters are just such a joy to watch that any shortcomings are easily overlooked.

Fire Force – Episode 13

94/100 (UP 1 point from previous episode)

Sometimes you just gotta throw a little girl against a wall. Wait, what?!

The action from the previous episodes continues to build and build as the Asukasa district is beset upon by the enemy and Company 7 and 8 have to work together to beat back the enemy that has infested the former’s territory. There’s some incredibly cool action moments interspersed between character moments and much needed comedy that all add up to an excellent episode that promises even more greatness going forward!

We Never Learn Season 2 – Episode 3

94/100 (UP 2 points from previous episode)

I ship these two. Also Ogata eating ice-cream is adorable.

The first half of this episode with Ogata accidentally cutting her bangs and Nariyuki not noticing any difference was ‘business as usual’ as far as this show is concerned (which is to say, absolutely wonderful but somewhat predictable). The second half however, still mostly focused on Ogata managed to be surprising in all kinds of ways with side-character Sawako getting some more focus which is intriguing because I have to wonder what purpose she’s going to have going forward and whether she’s going to be a romantic interest or not.

Rifle Is Beautiful (Chidori RSC) – Episode 1

94/100 (NEW entry)

Getting the important details out of the way in the first episode, obviously!

As many of you might be aware, cute girls doing cute things shows are among my favourite, however there are many tropes of the genre that are inescapable and as such it can make watching new CGDCT shows initially predictable as you’re introduced to characters who fit into various familiar tropes and watch a show eke out it’s identity among countless other shows doing similar things. So why do I specifically bring this up? Well, because almost every thing I thought was going to happen from plot developments to character tropes were subverted. That’s not to say that this show is a total subversion on the CGDCT genre but it was honestly refreshing to have a show skipping past the whole ‘making a club’, ‘recruiting members’ malarkey in a matter of minutes that in some shows lasts multiple episodes. But aside from all that the show is wonderfully fun, hilarious at times with a bunch of girls I’m already wholly invested in spending more time with. Honestly a wonderful first episode from beginning to end and if things continue at this quality this could truly become one of the greats of the genre!


Previous Fall 2019 Anime In Review Posts:

Week 1
Week 2


If you liked my post and want to support my content, please consider supporting my Patreon page, or donating by buying me a coffee on Ko-fi!

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Week 2 of Fall 2019 Anime In Review

All the new anime episodes I watched in Week 2 of the Fall 2019 season ranked and reviewed!

fall19w2

All the seasonal anime I watched in the second week of Fall 2019!

Case File nº221: Kabukicho – Episode 1

75/100 (NEW entry)

Yep.

This show wasn’t on my watch list initially, but after dropping ‘Ascendance of a Bookworm’ I figured I’d give something completely different from my usual genre preference a chance. And while the lack of female characters (so far) is inherently a negative the show itself is a pretty interesting and entertaining take on the ‘Sherlock Holmes’ story, our titular Sherlock is undoubtedly the highlight of the episode especially his use of traditional Rakugo performances as his version of a ‘mind palace’ in order to work out whodunnit. Not the best premiere this season but still intriguing enough to keep going with it for the time being.

After School Dice Club – Episode 2

76/100 (DOWN 9 points from previous episode)

Go home, Yugioh!

So this episode kind of breaks one of my unwritten rules about ‘cute girls doing cute things’ shows and introduces a male character–not that men can’t exist as characters in these shows, after all the game shop owner is a dude–but having one feature so prominently and with so much overbearing inner-monologue about his crush on Aya was endlessly frustrating to an otherwise ~very good~ episode of this show. The game they played was interesting and tactical and when it wasn’t interrupted by the annoying boy it was a good time. Thankfully the preview for the next episode shows no sign of him and so hopefully can return to how it was in episode one.

Val x Love – Episode 2

80/100 (UP 7 points from previous episode)

Hardly seems like a difficult thing considering…

While a noticeable improvement over the first episode (thanks to a more thoughtful narrative pacing) some of the problems still persist, namely in the fan-service department as things feel very chaste and ordinary considering the subject matter–which is absolutely not the way an adaptation of ‘Val x Love’ should feel. That said the inevitable blu-ray (might, hopefully) have some more sexy times content to improve things but only time will tell. There’s some decent character development here and even the action is pretty well done so hopefully things progress in this upward trajectory going forward.

The Hero Is Overpowered but Overly Cautious – Episode 2

83/100 (DOWN 6 points from previous episode)

Some striking imagery in this episode though.

So, our “hero” was a bit of a douche in this episode now, wasn’t he? Which I mean I guess is the point but when the comedy is at the expense of other people, it kind of puts a bit of a sour taste in the mouth. Granted that’s only a minor part of the episode and Ristarte (and others) call him out on his ‘douchebaggery’ so it’s not like the show isn’t aware of it, it was just something that made an otherwise great episode a little bit less.

High School Prodigies Have It Easy Even In Another World – Episode 2

87/100 (DOWN 4 points from previous episode)

Nice to meet Roo!

This episode spends the majority of its time with just one of our prodigies which is absolutely necessary not only because it helps develop the character but intrinsic that it’s this character–the entrepreneurial Masato–as his was probably (on the surface) the least likeable character. And while the show still paints him as a ruthless, money hungry business man he’s at least savvy enough to know that you can’t win over the common-folk by screwing them over. Plus he unintentionally acquires a cute little fox loli companion along the way that does a great service to soften his image and make the many scenes with him throughout this episode all the more entertaining and enjoyable to watch.

My Hero Academia – Episode 64

87/100 (NEW entry)

Don’t you hate it when you get your finger tips in the photo frame!

As far as recap episodes you could go far worse than this, in-fact the framing device of a reporter investigating UA High to find the identity of All Might’s successor (and the various little twists that this plot point employs) is both a smart way to re-introduce all our characters and where the world itself is at this point in the narrative. Also for a recap episode there’s honestly not that much reused footage that at no point did it feel like a chore to sit through, it was honestly a great episode in-of-itself with a few laughs and even some emotional moments thrown in.

Z/X: Code Reunion – Episode 1

88/100 (NEW entry)

And war never changes. Oh wait, that’s the other anime this season…

I didn’t know what to expect from this show other than what the poster provided (aka cute girls) and so watching the episode not only did it provide cute girls (positively the cutest) but it also provided an unexpected edge as well as considerable production values and an excess of intrigue. This isn’t your ‘run of the mill’ cute girls in peril show, this seems like a series that knows what it’s doing and does it well… If this vague-ish review doesn’t make much sense but likewise piques your interest then do yourself a favour and watch the damn show! 

Fate/Grand Order Absolute Demonic Front: Babylonia – Episode 2

89/100 (DOWN 1 point from previous episode)

Not sure who has the better hair…

I don’t know if I’ll ever get tired of simply looking at this show because the production values in this series are out of this world and honestly breathtaking. Though, aside from an early action scene, this episode prioritises dialogue, exposition and world-building which while still interesting does slow things down a bit. The introduction of Merlin and Ana however elevates what could have been dry and stuffy expositional dialogue into downright compelling television.

Food Wars! The Fourth Plate – Episode 1

90/100 (NEW entry)

Please, crush me Rindo!

High, unrelenting energy is the best way to describe this fourth season premiere, indeed it’s sort of a dizzying, breathless 24 minutes of anime that it’s almost hard to take it all in. And yet it doesn’t feel rushed at all, if anything re-introducing so many characters and backstories and new cooking challenges to be faced in such a fast-paced fashion just makes me even more eager for the subsequent episodes to come! ‘Food Wars!’ is back and I almost forgot how much I missed it!

AZUR LANE – Episode 2

92/100 (DOWN 1 point from previous episode)

I’ll avoid the obvious crass joke and just go “mood”.

A part of me was afraid that lightning wouldn’t strike twice and the over-the-top action and fan service-y shenanigans of the first episode would be left by the wayside in favour of something more slow paced and low-budget but thankfully this show has (seemingly) no end of money or characters as it once again delivers an action packed spectacle filled to the brim with all the cute girls you could ever need!

We Never Learn Season 2 – Episode 2

92/100 (DOWN 4 points from previous episode)

Sensei gives good face. Don’t get on her bad side!

Obviously a ‘92 out of 100’ isn’t by any stretch of the imagination a significant downgrade but there was a bit of repetition to the scenarios here that if I were to nitpick was a little bit annoying but even a lesser episode of this show still makes for a hilarious and worthwhile experience.

Fire Force – Episode 12

93/100 (DOWN 2 points from previous episode)

These girls are just too cute.

Another excellent episode of ‘Fire Force’ that hits all the strong points it’s been hitting since its debut while building towards expanding the world and a larger plot. If I have one minor complaint is that the circumstances leading to this episode’s confrontation felt rushed and kind of flimsy but the subsequent action and drama that resulted from it was top class.

Kandagawa Jet Girls – Episode 1

94/100 (NEW entry)

Can you guess who the villain is?

The thing this episode does so brilliantly is how it so effortlessly brings you into a world where this two person jet racing sport–where one person drives and the other person attempts to shoot the rival jet racers clothes off–not only seems like a high-stakes sport but that it’s so serious about it too. Which you would think would be at odds with the overall ridiculousness of the concept and the outlandish and colourful characters who participate in this sport but that’s the thing this series seems to understand about sport in general is that to the people involved it’s the most important thing in the world. Also, did I mention all the thicc fan-service you could ever want? (Note: this score is representative of the uncensored version of the episode, not the censored version found on streaming services.)

Didn’t I Say To Make My Abilities Average In The Next Life? – Episode 1

96/100 (NEW entry)

Literally average.

The highest debut episode of the season comes in an unassuming form, I mean sure it was my most anticipated anime of the season but the fact that it not only lived up to those high expectations but exceed them is something very rare indeed. Mile/Adele/whatever name she’s going by at this point in the story is a joy to watch and her meta-commentary on the isekai genre brought some of the strongest laughs of the season so far. I can’t wait to continue this journey with her and her new companions and see what comes from this interesting take on the isekai genre. Also, while we’re on the subject, more female isekai protagonists please!

Arifureta: From Commonplace to World’s Strongest – Episode 13 (Finale)

100/100 (UP 6 points from previous episode)

The harem expands!

Did someone say ‘perfect season finale’ because that’s damn well what we’ve got here. Okay, by now you know already that I’m biased AF towards this wonderful series but what else am I to do? There’s high stakes drama, there’s affable comedy, there’s brutal comeuppance, there’s harem shenanigans and there’s fantastical resolutions all jam packed into 24 minutes and also there’s a satisfying sense of closure to the proceedings which is something particularly rare as so many shows vie for a second season. But the jokes on them because ‘Arifureta’ is getting a second season and all the pieces are in-line for a monumental continuation of the various plot lines that this season finale either invokes or continues.


Previous Fall 2019 Anime In Review Posts:

Week 1


If you liked my post and want to support my content, please consider supporting my Patreon page, or donating by buying me a coffee on Ko-fi!

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Summer 2019 Anime In Review

A look back at all the Summer 2019 Anime I Watched , Ranked from Least to Most favourite with scores and mini-reviews for each

summer19review

Summer is done and now comes the task of ranking all the shows I watched. Overall it was a great season, not the strongest I’ve ever watched but by no means the weakest. In total I watched 20 shows, 18 new ones and two hold-overs from the Spring 2019 season which I’ll be listing from least favourite to most favourite, also I’ll be giving my quick overall thoughts on each one. Anyway, let’s get to it!

Iskeai Cheat Magician

68/100

For those following my seasonal anime reviews, you may remember I straight up dropped this show ‘round Episode 7 for the crimes of being tone-deaf, generic and kinda sexist (yeah, I know) but guess what I binge watched the remaining 5 episodes after the season was over and… yeah, this show still is overwhelmingly disappointing because it never did anything outside of the expected ‘isekai’ genre despite having honestly fun, charismatic and enjoyable characters who frankly deserved to be in a better show.

If It’s for My Daughter, I’d Even Defeat a Demon Lord

77/100

I couldn’t really pinpoint anything really negative about this show at all but likewise nothing particularly remarkable either. Dale was the show’s weak point, likewise his overacting and overreactions while Latina was the undoubted bright spot, everything else was window dressing to an entertaining but otherwise uneventful series.

Demon Lord, Retry

80/100

This show had a rough journey but ultimately ended up a very positive experience not the least because of how unexpected and unconventional so many of its elements were–especially in comparison to other isekai series. There was something fluid and improvisational about this show’s narrative that could easily be mistaken for laziness or unfocused narrative stylings but I found it consistently refreshing in its inconsistencies. Also it was damn funny at times too, which counts for more than you might expect at least in my estimations.

Do You Love Your Mom And Her Two-Hit Multi-Target Attacks?

81/100

Despite some early signs that this series would veer into ecchi territory, it became evident by the midway mark that this show was more interested in telling a story about familial bonds and the importance of connecting and understanding one another rather than MILF’s and big boobs. And I mean take that as you will, it at least was very good at one thing (even if it’s not the thing I had a preference for) and that’s probably something worth recommending.

Magical Sempai

81/100

The titular (pun intended) Magical Sempai of this series was this shows massive (pun–again–intended) saving grace as, while a funny series on the whole, it was kind of ~slight~ in almost every other regard (pacing, character development, narrative structure). There were moments of true excellence that showed this series had the potential to be more than just a gag anime, but there were far more moments were it was clear that was the extent of its ambitions.

Are You Lost?

82/100

At its best, ‘Are You Lost?’ managed to flawlessly fuse together ecchi comedy with genuine survival techniques and a palpable sense of danger about these girls’ situation. And while the show remains frustratingly unresolved at this point, it was still a really enjoyable experience to undertake. Like ‘Survivor’ only you actually like all the characters involved.

given

82/100

I couldn’t help but be deterred by this show’s slow initial pace and frustrating characterisation around Mafuyu, I knew it was leading somewhere deeper and darker but that doesn’t excuse such a dragging narrative development. Thankfully every other character more than carried the series throughout its rough points and once it finally hit its emotional stride it was a pretty compelling and honestly touching romance series that presented a same sex relationship as natural and beautiful as any other–exactly as it should be!

Cop Craft

83/100

An anime cop procedural is such an obvious fit and adding in the fantastical element of a gate to another world into the mix and the various dramas that arise of two different species interacting not only on the societal level but on the personal level as our Earth based detective is partnered with an “alien” from this other world and they solve crimes together and learn to accept each other is a recipe for a damn good TV show. And that’s exactly what this is, it’s not without its hiccups, and the overarching plot is less interesting than the individual stories but it’s easily an anime I could recommend to almost anyone just because of how competently entertaining it is.

How Heavy Are The Dumbbells You Lift?

85/100

An anime about exercising seems like a ludicrous idea, until you realise there’s already been several previous to this one, but none of them were full length anime and that’s indeed one of the most interesting and impressive things about this series is its near fearless commitment to its general conceit and making it not only interesting but downright compelling at times. At times an uneven experience, with some episodes being less interesting due to their focus away from our main girls but for the most part it’s a tremendously fun show with a terrific sense of humour.

Are You Willing To Fall In Love With A Pervert, As Long As She’s a Cutie?

85/100

The title kind of says it all, and yet this show surprised again and again by being so sincere with its seemingly jokey premise. In a lot of ways this series was reminiscent more of 80’s Hollywood teen romantic comedies by the likes of John Hughes, than any specific anime which lent the series a refreshing framing that a lot of harem anime lack. I’m not saying this is preferable to the norm, just that it was different enough to be compelling by itself. 

Re:Stage! Dream Days

86/100

I have a patchy (at best) history with ‘idol’ anime, so imagine my surprise when an unassuming series like this manages to connect so immediately with me. I think a part of the appeal of this series in general was how earnest it was while never taking itself too seriously–it struck the right balance throughout and delivered a surprisingly emotional story but with plenty of laughs and silliness that made the dramatic moments hit harder.

Fruits Basket (2019) (Episodes 13-25)

86/100

At this point there’s not much more that needs to be said in favour of this wonderful reboot as its garnered acclaim and fanfare across all corners of the internet. And even from someone as sceptical and disconnected from both the original anime and manga source material I eventually found myself spellbound by this series. It wasn’t ‘love at first sight’ though, as I reiterate that the series’ first cour was slow and occasionally annoying to the point of distraction but the amount of sheer ‘hits’ among the ‘misses’ was well in favour of the positive as it wrapped up its second cour. Believe the hype, ‘Fruits Basket’ is truly a great series once you get past its early problems.

YU-NO: A Girl Who Chants Love At The Bound of This World (Episodes 13-26)

87/100

Based on a visual novel from the early nineties its evident the mark this property has played in so many subsequent VN’s and likewise anime, especially the likes of ‘Steins;Gate’–which was heavily influenced by this story. So with that in mind its kind of surprising more people aren’t treating this anime adaptation with the reverence it deserves, sure it’s not perfect but its indelible mark means its worthy of praise in just how well it executes such a complex and high-concept story with dozens of characters and just as many convolutions throughout.

Wasteful Days of High School Girl

87/100

As far as outright ‘comedies’ go, nothing made me laugh like ‘Wasteful Days of High School Girl’ did this season. With the absurdity and inanity pushed to eleven the comedy was a given but this show managed to back up its gut-busting comedic stylings with more than a few genuinely compelling character turns and significant development of likewise to prove itself as an anime to be reckoned with!

Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san 2

88/100

The only way is up, and that’s true enough for many sequels but especially one where its slow but steady escalation of romantic intimacy between its two leads means eventual but substantial development is made. Truthfully a lot of this second season feels frustratingly similar to the first but that only seeks to heighten the brief but impactful moments where Takagi and Nishikta’s relationship evolves into something more.

Is It Wrong To Try and Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon? II

89/100

While on the subject of sequels (see previous entry) the second season of ‘Is It Wrong To Try and Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon’ improves on a lot of what made the first season great while also doing something unexpected in the grand scheme of things by having almost all of the series take place outside of the titular ‘dungeon’ that served so much of a setting for the first season. As a result, the world feels bigger, the stakes feel more real and the series in-of-itself feels more liberated which is only a good thing for this show going forward.

The Demon Girl Next Door

91/100

I love this show, but more than that I adore our titular demon girl Yuuko who is one of anime’s perfect characters–and that’s not a statement I make lightly knowing the sheer calibre of characters that exist out there. Aside from Yuuko’s distracting brilliance this show excels in being the kind of endearing buddy comedy ‘Odd Couple’-esque that so many shows aim for but fall short of. Not here though as the magical girl x demon girl interactions between Momo and Yuuko are absolutely flawless.


Fire Force (Episodes 1-11)

92/100

‘Fire Force’ is the kind of show I want to run forever the same way that ‘One Piece’ seemingly exists in perpetuity, I know that’s an unlikely dream but there’s something that’s so indelibly compelling about every single part of this show–from its visual styling, to its characterisation, to its personality, to its fan-service–that makes me want more.

O Maidens In Your Savage Season

95/100

This series managed and almost flawless run from beginning to end, only tripped up in its penultimate episode by racing a hairsbreadth from jumping the proverbial shark. That mild fumble aside ‘O Maidens’ sold the complexities and intricacies and intimacies of the modern high-school relationship in such a wonderfully messy and unflinching way that it was kind of a wonder to behold–even if the climax was never quite as strong as the build-up.

Arifureta: From Commonplace To World’s Strongest

97/100

So, there’s a lot I could talk about this show, about how fans in the West completely and unjustifiably overreacted to its significant first episode deviation from the source material and decided to make it the whipping boy for the season–picking apart everything it did wrong and ignoring everything it did right. I could spend pages comparing it to other shows that didn’t get anywhere near as much hate, showing examples of how it’s far more unique and compelling than almost every other isekai out there. But now’s not really the time, simply put I love this show–I love its characters and their interactions with each other, I love the world and story-telling, I love it’s quirky sense of humour and unpredictable nature. Maybe I’ll write up a full post about this series in the future because it’s genuinely stolen my heart and mind and not only is it my anime of the season but it’s also in my Top 5 anime of all time.

***

And that’s what I thought of all the anime I watched in the Summer 2019 anime season! Let me know what your favourites were and thank you for reading!


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Week 1 of Fall 2019 Anime In Review

All the new anime episodes I watched in Week 1 of the Fall 2019 season ranked and reviewed!

fall19w1

Fall has, err, fallen and so begins the new anime of the season (with of course a few stragglers from the previous season who are still going for various reasons), anyway I was absurdly excited for the new anime to begin and for the most part it lived up to or exceeded expectations! Let’s dive in!

Ascendance of a Bookworm – Episode 1

58/100 (NEW entry) [Dropped]

I’d make a rude joke here but she’s like 5 years old and even have standards…

I generally don’t like to drop any anime after only watching a single episode (the last time that happened was over a year ago) but ‘Ascendance of a Bookworm’ just failed for me in almost every regard. The pacing was at a snail’s pace, the main character was annoying and difficult to relate to (I mean she literally just died and was reincarnated in a fantasy world and the only thing she ever talks about is books, where are your priorities?!), the setting was dull and ugly, the overall concept was flawed and its execution even more so. Also, throughout the episode I got the feeling like I was watching a kids show from the West and distinctly not an anime, which I mean as far as an anime is concerned is the biggest crime imaginable! Right?!

Val x Love – Episode 1

73/100 (NEW entry)

Chalk this one up to my expectations from the quality of the manga not being met by the adaptation–at least as far as the first episode goes–because this was kind of a rough sit… Though in the episode’s defence it did fair better after a second viewing where my expectations were more tempered but it’s hard to deny that things were rushed, confusingly executed and not anywhere near the quality of the manga. Also on the fan-service front things were disappointingly tame. I’m not completely writing off this series as there’s still a chance both the pace and the quality could arguably improve with subsequent episodes but I’m still cautious…

After School Dice Club – Episode 1

85/100 (NEW entry)

Protect this smile!

I’ve never been the biggest fan of board games (mostly because I have no friends) but I’ve always appreciated the tactile aesthetic of them and likewise the relaxing amiable culture around board game playing in general. So obviously a CGDCT slice of life anime is the perfect fit for such a laid back past time, and indeed this first episode shows tremendous promise not only with its aforementioned relaxed vibe but with characters who are interesting and occasionally complex and comedy that’s subtle but fun. I doubt this series will reach the heights of other “relaxing” anime such as ‘Non Non Biyori’ and ‘Laid Back Camp’ but it’s set itself up to enjoyable nonetheless.

Cop Craft – Episode 12 (Finale)

87/100 (UP 1 point from previous episode)

I’m gonna miss this spunky little “alien”.

Undeniably, ‘Cop Craft’ ends its run on a high and absolutely leaves me wanting more but at the same time is wrapped up with the kind of confidence of writing that leaves me absolutely okay with the fact that we’ll likely never see Kei and Tilarna again. This show is just a solid example of a series that knew exactly what it was and did it well from beginning to end with only the most minor of hiccups along the way.

The Hero Is Overpowered but Overly Cautious – Episode 1

89/100 (NEW entry)

In her dreams maybe!

The absolute best thing about this isekai–which based off the premise alone could be accused of being somewhat derivative–is that this entire first episode (and presumably the rest of the show) is told from the perspective of the person doing the isekai-ing, i.e. a goddess by the name of Ristarte who’s just trying to do her best against while having to deal with the fact that she summoned a way too cautious ‘hero’ to help her defeat a demon lord. And aside from the setting, this feels more like a comedy in line with the likes of ‘Konosuba’ than it does your bog-standard isekai, which certainly makes for a more immediately enjoyable experience. Also, Ristarte is wonderfully over-the-top and her line deliveries and facial expressions make for comedic joy.

Fate/Grand Order Absolute Demonic Front: Babylonia – Episode 1

90/100 (NEW entry)

I like what you’ve done with yourself, Rin.

As I said in my pre-season watch list post, my experience with the ‘Fate’ series is pretty minimal compared to the breadth of content out there, I’ve watched the original ‘Fate/Stay Night’ anime as well as all of the ‘Fate/Kaleid Prisma Illya’ series but it’s only peripherally helpful in a series as dense as this one. And even though this episode is pretty confusing with regard to the amount of information and characters it seeks to impart, it’s just so gorgeous to look at and well made and paced that it’s easy to overlook the feeling that I’m in over my head. And while it might seem shallow to recommend something because of the size of its budget there’s to denying a lot of money has been put into this production and it’s all the more compelling and desirable for it. #justsayin…

High School Prodigies Have It Easy Even In Another World – Episode 1

91/100 (NEW entry)

Neither of these are main characters, I just like blonde elves with big boobs.

I did not expect a show with such a seemingly ordinary premise “high school prodigies being isekai’d” to not only be refreshingly fun but to have so much character and energy too. The introduction to our characters is something straight out of a slick Hollywood movie, with characters too impossibly young and talented and influential to actually exist and yet it pulls it off with effortless confidence. Who knew watching a bunch of spoilt high school prodigies being swept off to another world could be so compelling and dynamic?!

Re:Stage! Dream Days♪ – Episode 12 (Finale)

92/100 (UP 5 points from previous episode)

Me, at the end of most season finales.

Talk about your roller coaster of emotions! This finale did pretty much everything right, by being both emotionally satisfying, dramatically unexpected and brutally honest–the latter of which I was not expecting but was absolutely glad for. I won’t spoil it for the whole two of you reading who may end up taking up this series but rest assured if you’re looking for an idol anime that doesn’t play it safe with expectations and isn’t afraid to wring a few tears than this show has proven itself a worthy entrant in the genre.

AZUR LANE – Episode 1

93/100 (NEW entry)

It may look ridiculous (and it is) but it’s still cool as heck.

Just so you all know I’m not someone who plays the mobile game ‘Azur Lane’ on which this anime is based–I played it once, wasn’t really interested in the gameplay and never played it again. So it’s with this caveat in mind that you should realise how unexpected that a show like this gets such a high score in its debut–it’s not that this show does anything unique or revelatory or emotional–it’s simply that it delivers a purely entertaining kinetic experience filled to the brim with personality, action, humour and light-fan service that makes it a near peerless experience. You shouldn’t go in expecting anything other than an over-the-top, highly polished, ridiculous good time and as long as you’re willing to accept it in all its forms then you should at least appreciate the brilliance of this cute girl action madness.

Arifureta: From Commonplace to World’s Strongest – Episode 12

94/100 (DOWN 6 points from previous episode)

Hajime confirmed number one dad.

When I saw that this episode would focus on a reunion of sorts between Hajime and his old classmates a part of me was dreading it because I honestly couldn’t care less about any of them and yet true to the stellar writing of this series this episode did, in fact, make me care about their current plight. Still, every scene with Hajime and his ever expanding harem was an absolute delight and the fact he’s now practically adopted the kawaii mermaid girl from last episode and is referring to her as his daughter is just all kinds of adorable and wonderful. 

YU-NO: A Girl Who Chants Love At The Bound Of This World – Episode 26 (Finale)

95/100 (UP 11 points from previous episode)

Nude in spaaaaaace.

As far as this show is concerned this finale is functionally perfect, it not only has the audacity to wrap up at least half a dozen plot threads from the previous 25 episodes but do it in a satisfying and emotionally charged way without seeming contrived or cheap. The various call-backs to previous moments from all the way back to Episode 1 make this feel like a complete story in the way few time-travel centric shows do. And while my sole gripe with the finale is that it deserved at least 5 or so more minutes to elaborate and expand upon the more heady concepts that befall its protagonist, I’m still just kind of in awe that they went for an ending as ephemeral and mysterious that they did–big kudos on that front!

We Never Learn Season 2 – Episode 1

96/100 (NEW entry)

When cup-size conversations get confused with grades.

 

For those who don’t remember Season 1 of ‘We Never Learn’ was my Number 1 show of Spring 2019 so fair warning there’s a possibility that this show will remain unseated from the ‘favourite’ spot going forward. Though that said, I’d argue that the strength of this return is less informed by a general bias in favour of this series specifically and more down to the fact that this is honestly a frequently hilarious, occasionally heartfelt and all round entertaining episode of an anime that may well be the single best ‘Hot Springs’ episode of any anime I’ve ever seen–and that’s not something I say half-heartedly!

***

And that’s what I thought of Week 1 of Fall some 1st episodes and some last episodes! There’s still a bunch new shows starting next week as well as ‘Arifureta’s season finale to come so look forward to that. Let me know your thoughts on the week and as always thanks for reading!


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Week 13 of Summer 2019 Anime In Review

All the new anime episodes I watched in Week 13 of Summer 2019 ranked and reviewed!

summer19w13

It’s the final week of Summer (though not for seasonal anime of Summer as some shows are still continuing into next week). So let’s see what I thought of this week’s batch of episodes, including some season finales!

YU-NO: A Girl Who Chants Love At The Bound Of This World – Episode 25

84/100 (DOWN 2 points from previous episode)

I’d like to see someone cosplay as this! Actually, I take that back.

There’s no denying the epic nature of this final showdown and penultimate episode, the fact it spends so much time on its final confrontation and still doesn’t resolve anything is a testament to how high the stakes are and how important it wants to be and that’s kind of a part of the problem because save for a few moments the rest of the episode feels a bit lacking.

Do You Love Your Mom And Her Two-Hit Multi-Target Attacks? – Episode 12 (Finale)

85/100 (EVEN with previous episode)

That’s some weapons grade denial right there.

While not the best season finale and not even the best this show has had to offer during its run, it’s still a fun, funny and even occasionally touching finale. Plus Amante made for a surprisingly entertaining villain–perhaps the best the show has had–and so the fact that her plotline remains tantalisingly unresolved is as much a promise for more as it is disappointing as it’s very unlikely this series will get a second season.

Cop Craft – Episode 11

86/100 (UP 2 points from previous episode)

Sounds like ‘fake news’ to me.

Almost everything is improved upon with this penultimate episode although the allusions to contemporary politics (especially US politics) feel uncomfortably close to home–which is probably the point–but doesn’t exactly make for the most enjoyable viewing experiences. Nevertheless, ‘Cop Craft’ as a series probably has never been stronger than right now and that in of itself makes the potential for the finale all the more enticing! 

Re:Stage! Dream Days♪ – Episode 11

87/100 (UP 1 point from previous episode)

Mana’s line-reading on this was just so adorably sincere.

One of my favourite things about this series is how it straddles the line between semi-serious idol stuff and borderline kids show shenanigans. This episode started with brainiac idol Kae inventing a computer program to discern their chance of winning the upcoming ‘Prism Stage’ competition and it kind of snowballed from there. It was a fun episode and harked back to some of the best moments of the season while setting the stage (pun intended) for the climax.

Hensuki: Are you willing to fall in love with a pervert, as long as she’s a cutie? – Episode 12 (Finale)

91/100 (UP 1 point from previous episode)

I wouldn’t be complaining…

As far as mature resolutions to harem narratives go this one ranks pretty high–not that there’s a specific actual choice made by Keiki as to who of his perverted partners he’ll end up with–but the fact that the series spends as much time agonising of the specific details of his love confession from his (adopted) sister is much appreciated. Plus just the general editing, writing and composition of the entire episode is expertly put together that it’s kind of hard to fault it. It’s not the perfect episode or perfect finale my any measure, but it’s the best episode of this show and that’s kind of all you need at this point.

Is It Wrong To Try And Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon? II – Episode 12 (Finale)

92/100 (UP 6 points from previous episode)

And she means it.

Last week I complained that things seemed a bit too light-hearted and comical for what looked like the beginning of a two-episode arc and the second season’s final hurrah but boy was I wrong! And never before have I been so glad to be wrong as this finale is a wonderfully touching, emotional and more importantly narratively satisfying conclusion–while also opening so many doors to comes. I think I cried more in this episode than any other season finale this anime season (maybe) and while not a strict designator of quality it should certainly speak to the effectiveness of this particular episodes heart.

The Demon Girl Next Door – Episode 12 (Finale)

93/100 (UP 1 point from previous episode)

Sign me up!

If it wasn’t already abundantly clear from my previous episodic reviews of this show the absolute best thing about this show has always been our Demon Girl Yuko and her ‘relationship’ with magical girl Momo and that’s more or less the focus of this episode (with some necessary attention given to Yuko’s father which anchors the episode–and indeed the series–with a touching revelation come the final minutes). This episode is every bit as funny and enjoyable as this show has been at it’s best, and while I arguably would have prefered if Momo became Yuko’s vassal like Lilith was planning, what we got was almost as good. I’m really going to miss this show… okay I’m just going to miss Yuko, she is honestly one of the best things to happen to anime in a long while.

Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san 2 – Episode 12 (Finale)

94/100 (DOWN 2 points from previous episode)

I mean sure, it’s a cliche rom-com trope but I still cried like a baby.

All things considered there would have to have been some pretty sizeable developments vis-a-vis the ‘relationship’ between Nishikata and Takagi for things to improve from last week’s near perfect emotional masterpiece and here’s the thing–from a singular episodic standpoint this episode is arguably better. It’s a beautifully put-together 23 minutes that hits all the emotional beats of the best rom-coms (only better because it’s an anime) but I’d be lying if I said my expectations were met because they weren’t. We didn’t get a kiss or a confession and we didn’t get a flash-forward scene–any of which would have made this episode absolutely perfect.

Arifureta: From Commonplace to World’s Strongest – Episode 11

100/100 (UP 12 points from previous episode)

I agree.

At this point most of my reviews for ‘Arifureta’ should come with the note that I am extremely biased and love this show—and more specifically our core cast of Hajime, Yue and Shea. But that 100/100 perfect score doesn’t come lightly or easily—even with my extreme bias. Because this show has slipped up before, but this episode genuinely felt like the ‘perfect’ episode of this series. It had a self contained story, it was brimming with brilliant character moments, the comedy, drama and action were all pitch perfect and we were introduced to a cute little mermaid who ranks as one of anime’s all time most adorable characters. Simply put, it was flawless and something this good only deserves the highest of possible scores.

***

And with that Summer anime is (technically) over. The shows that are continuing into Fall will be covered in the respective Fall editions of these posts which will start the same time next week so look forward to that! Also, once all the episodes are done for this seasons ending shows I’ll do a round-up of all the shows from this season ranked from least favourite to most favourite but as ‘Arifureta’ is still going for two more weeks it’ll be a little while before that post comes out. Anyway, thank you all for reading!


Previous Summer 2019 Weekly Anime Review Posts:

Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Week 5
Week 6
Week 7
Week 8
Week 9
Week 10
Week 11
Week 12


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Week 12 of Summer 2019 Anime In Review

All the new anime episodes I watched in Week 12 of Summer 2019 ranked and reviewed!

Summer19W12

Week 12 has come and gone, and with it a bunch of shows having their season finale! Let’s not waste any time and get straight to it!

If It’s For My Daughter, I’d Even Defeat The Demon Lord – Episode 12 (Finale)

79/100 (DOWN 1 point from previous episode)

This is practically half of Latina’s dialogue this episode…

I probably built up my expectations too much for this episode because it was a rather standard episode of the show and didn’t really offer anything groundbreaking in the way of character development nor moving the ‘relationship’ between Latina and Dale forward. If this show gets a second season I can see how this episode might be more necessary as it lays a lot of emotional groundwork for Latina’s feelings towards Dale but if it doesn’t get a second season then it kind of fell a little flat as far as a ‘finale’ goes.

Are You Lost? – Episode 12 (Finale)

82/100 (DOWN 1 point from previous episode)

Itadakimasu!

While this was a surprisingly emotionally satisfying ‘conclusion’ of sorts I did take issue with one part of the episode and probably not for the reason other people did. Spoilers incoming, Homare and Shion are on the raft returning to the island and facing serious dehydration, with their only source of water being contaminated water that would probably kill them if they drank it orally Homare insists they ingest it through the anus so as to get hydrated without getting sick. Fair enough, but the way they do it is by tonguing the liquid into each other assholes. Subversive content is one of my favourite things in anime and so the action itself doesn’t bother me at all but the fact of the matter is they had PET bottles that were holding the liquid, why couldn’t they have used them to more effectively ‘deliver’ the liquids into their bodies? This show prides itself on its realism when it comes to survival advice but this felt kinda dumb. 

Cop Craft – Episode 10

84/100 (DOWN 2 points from previous episode)

As much as I hate to mention it (because it doesn’t usually factor at all into my scoring of an episode) the production values took a bit of a hit this week, which was expected since it was delayed for those very reasons the previous week but it’s something to consider all the same. As for the actual plot of the episode things are moving along pretty quickly and the whole ‘racism’ aspect of this particular arc remains the most interesting thing about it.

Do You Love Your Mom And Her Two-Hit Multi-Target Attacks? – Episode 11

85/100 (UP 1 point from previous episode)

Wholesome mother/son bonding.

There’s plenty of good in this episode (namely most of our female cast appearing in their lingerie) but the antics of the mothers are still a bit one-note. Thankfully though their part in the arc is resolved towards the end of the episode and in a way that was emotionally satisfying (even if I didn’t at all care about the characters involved) leaving us with plenty of room for a final showdown next episode!

Magical Sempai – Episode 12 (Finale)

85/100 (EVEN with previous episode)

I’ll leave the innuendo to the show.

‘Magical Sempai’ ended its run with two of its strongest episodes with both the comedy and the fan-service hitting all the right notes as well as some surprisingly endearing character moments. This show has definitely left me wanting more!

Is It Wrong To Try And Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon? II – Episode 11

86/100 (DOWN 8 points from previous episode)

This was my favourite scene of the episode. And there wasn’t even any fan service in it!

Things take a turn for the more light-hearted and comedic with this final arc of the season and while I’m certainly no opponent of levity in any show and it is undoubtedly a funny episode I can’t help but think the penultimate episode of a series that’s had so many strong character and narrative moments deserves a more ‘epic’ conclusion. That said, I absolutely loved the few moments that dealt with all the different kinds of relationships between mortals and deities and if the focus of the final episode is more on that than goofy kidnapping plots then it’ll be all good.

Demon Lord, Retry! – Episode 12 (Finale)

86/100 (UP 4 points from previous episode)

I mean, why bother with sleep at this point!

One of my absolute favourite things about this finale is just how absurd it is that a fantasy isekai series has its ‘antagonist’ defeated by our protagonist demon lord by showing her the pleasures of hot springs. Also the fact that this episode is like 99% talking and has the gall to end on a cliffhanger too (and a pretty intriguing and hilarious one too) makes me just love this series all the more. This show was so unexpectedly off-kilter and haphazard and the final episode is just an embodiment of that too. 

YU-NO: A Girl Who Chants Love At The Bound Of This World – Episode 24

86/100 (UP 4 points from previous episode)

Genki exposition AI girl is new best girl.

Its exposition overload in this episode as Takuya and the others get pretty much everything explained to them over the course of more than half the episode. And while that probably sounds boring and lazy (you know, the whole ‘show don’t tell’ criticism) I honestly think it works. A part of why it works so well is just how compelling it is, how easy and satisfying the pieces fit into place and how the information is imparted by two different people, to two different groups simultaneously, cutting between the two just enough to make it feel like it’s more action-packed than it really is. Just damn good anime exposition in a nutshell.

Fruits Basket – Episode 25 (Finale)

87/100 (DOWN 6 points from previous episode)

I look forward to Kyo becoming a better man, he’s well on the way.

Given how strong some of the later episodes of ‘Fruits Basket’ have been it’s kind of expected that its season finale would be something of a quieter affair, that’s not to say it’s an episode without emotion or interesting character and plot moments–the scene early on with Kyo confronting his Shisho was excellent for example–but this episode feels like its more keeping things warm until events can truly escalate in the upcoming second season.

given – Episode 11 (Finale)

87/100 (UP 1 point from previous episode)

Being in love for the first time is a big deal, for every part of a person.

The opening minutes of this episode was all sorts of adorable and hilarious but with a necessary bittersweet edge. The rest of the episode—while entertaining—didn’t carry the same kind of urgency or intrigue that I was hoping for. Nor did it really ‘end’ at all, which makes sense as there’s a movie continuation slated for next year but it kinda felt like they were holding off a bit too much in order to save big events for the aforementioned movie.

Wasteful Days of High School Girl – Episode 12 (Finale)

88/100 (DOWN 5 points from previous episode)

Pfft, who needs context for an image!

There was really only two ways this show could take a season finale considering this show has two modes; sincere or silly. And while I kinda prefer this show when it’s being sincere (it had a couple of episodes doing that–both of which were season highlights) our finale firmly landed in ‘silly’ territory and while it’s not as memorable because of it it’s at the very least frequently hilarious and expectedly ridiculous. I’m going to miss these girls…

Arifureta: From Commonplace to World’s Strongest – Episode 10

88/100 (DOWN 6 points from previous episode)

Are you talking to me? Oh, right, her.

Much as I love ‘Arifureta’ I have to be honest and say this episode had some problems–nothing egregious as to ruin an episode of course, but problems all the same. And most of them came from the editing which felt hurried and made scenes more confusing than they needed to be. That said the action was a lot of ridiculous fun, the character interactions were flawless (as has come to be expected) and the story is progressing along in a compelling manner. 

How Heavy Are The Dumbbells You Lift? – Episode 12 (Finale)

89/100 (UP 2 points from previous episode)

Is that a Jojo reference?!

I complained about Episode 4’s truncated beach episode in my seasonal review of it but the show makes up for it by giving us another beach episode and it being not only more sexy but also a lot more entertaining all round. And aside from the shenanigans involved in the talent show which are a lot of fun, the episode surprises by giving us a touching ending and a very interesting insert song.

Hensuki: Are you willing to fall in love with a pervert, as long as she’s a cutie? – Episode 11

90/100 (UP 3 points from previous episode)

Score!

Well as far as “saw that coming” moments this episode delivered to expectations by (lots of spoilers for the rest of the episode incoming) revealing that Keiki’s ‘Cinderella’ was his younger sister all along but despite this revelation being something of a foregone conclusion this episode still managed to awe and surprise by not only having their relationship be that of a non-blood relation (it’s cliche but it was delivered in a fun way) but also by the two of them sharing a kiss which felt like a much needed escalation in activities given what’s come in the show so far. All the pieces are in place for next week’s finale to be a truly dramatic episode… or just entirely unresolved, either is possible at this point.

The Demon Girl Next Door – Episode 11

92/100 (UP 1 point from previous episode)

It’s pretty good.

Say what you want about ‘dream episodes’ but I personally love them and this episode is no different. Surreal imagery, nonsensical logic, personal comedy and deep revelations it’s all here and it’s all fantastic. And what’s not in the dream, the comedic misunderstanding at Yuuko’s front door and the ensuing plot revelation delivered by her mother that’s both deep and surprising and adds a lot of depth to the overall story going into the finale.

O Maidens In Your Savage Season – Episode 12 (Finale)

95/100 (UP 7 points from previous episode)

Forehead kisses are important.

Last week, ‘O Maidens’ fumbled its near flawless run of episodes by almost “jumping the shark” in search of higher stakes and fever-pitch drama, and while I don’t think this episode justifies the overall silliness of the ‘siege‘ ploy that ended the previous episode it at least manages to back up its actions with serious introspective character development and emotionally charged moments for all of our characters which is all I ever wanted from this show anyway. I’m glad the show ended strongly and more in line with what came from the show at its height.

Fire Force – Episode 11

95/100 (EVEN with previous episode)

Nobody needs to go through this.

This episode gives us a flashback to the formation of Fire Company 8 as well as a bit of backstory for Obi, Hinawa and Maki. It’s specifically Hinawa who benefits from the time spent delving into his past as the straight-laced, by-the-books lieutenant is stripped back to reveal the tragedy he endured in the military and how it shaped him as a person. Everything else is just the high quality content we’ve come to expect from the series to this point so there’s not really much else to add.

Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san 2 – Episode 11

96/100 (UP 7 points from previous episode)

She blushed! She is human!

Much as I love this show (Takagi specifically) I can’t say I ever expected an episode of this show to be my favourite of any given week, that alone should be proof enough of the sheer power of this episode. And it’s kind of hard to put into words what makes this episode so special but basically we’re afforded the first kind of real step into Nishikata realising his true feelings for Takagi but it’s how much it affects her that brought so many happy tears to my eyes. This Summer season of anime has brought a lot of tears to my eyes, but none felt as powerful or long-earned as seeing Takagi’s shaky smile as she accepted Nishikata’s nervous invitation to the summer festival. This show is truly a masterpiece in subtle but meaningful character moments.

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And that’s Week 12 done with, sad to say goodbye to most of these shows but we’ve still got content to come as there’s still a couple of stragglers who aren’t ending ’til next week (and some even later). Absent from this week’s list is ‘Re:Stage! Dream Days’ which had the week off. Thanks for reading!


Previous Summer 2019 Weekly Anime Review Posts:

Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Week 5
Week 6
Week 7
Week 8
Week 9
Week 10
Week 11


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5 Worst Complaints People Have About New Seasonal Anime Before The Shows Even Aired

5 Worst Complaints People Have About New Seasonal Anime Before The Shows Even Aired

5sesonalcomplaints

Wow, that’s some heck of a long post title, huh? This post is something of a longstanding reaction to some of the most egregious continual and consistent complaints that come around at the start of every new anime season and with a new anime season on the horizon what better time than now to bring up these “terrible” complaints people have and offer my strong-worded rebuttals!

5. “It’s A Short Anime So It Won’t Be As Good As A Full Length One”

You know what, this is sadly a view I used to share, I used to flat-out refuse to watch short anime because I assumed it being short meant less money and time and care was put into the show’s production and would reflect in the finished product. That’s simply false though, while certainly some shows might have suffered as an adaption by being made into a short anime, the vast majority of short anime have just as much care put into them as their longer brothers and sisters. From 12 minute anime all the way down to the bite sized 2 minute anime, every length of anime has merit!

4. “Based On The Art/Trailer This Looks Nothing Like The Source Material So I’m Not Watching It!”

Absolute adherence to source material is not only short-changing the complex and multi-faceted elements that go into an animation project but also suggests that there’s only one way to tell a story and I’m sorry but that’s a pretty dim and narrow mind-set to have. So your favourite manga/game/whatever is getting an anime adaptation and the art is different or they seem to have cut some things out, that’s no reason to decry something’s existence–and on so little information too. You can be disappointed after you’ve watched it that they missed something or it’s not up to the same standards of the source material, but refusing to watch something off mere teases and trailers is almost the same as judging a book by its cover.

3. “It’s Got 3D CGI In It So It’s Going To Suck!”

Aside from the fact that every new anime uses some element of 3D CGI (usually in subtle ways that most people don’t notice) the idea that using a different animation medium for part or even all of an anime is somehow going to be a detriment to an anime’s overall quality is ridiculous. If there’s a CGI component it’s there for a reason, either because it involves complex movements that would have cost too much/taken too much animation time to have been done traditionally or it was simply the intent of the artists and/or director. Either way stop being so childish and judging CGI like it’s a plague when it’s actually incredibly necessary in the high turnover world in which seasonal anime is made.

2. “It’s Based On A Visual Novel/Smartphone Game/Whatever So It Can’t Be Good!”

Not all source material is created equal–just because there’s “bad” visual novels and likewise adaptations doesn’t mean that whatever new show is coming out will be the same. Also, as far as smartphone game adaptations go some of them are produced by legitimately excellent studios with highly competent writers and directors behind them and a far cry from being “lazy cash-in’s”, some multimedia projects even have the anime being produced alongside the smartphone game to synergise both products rather than just boosting one off the name recognition of another.

1. “It’s Produced By JC-Staff So It’s Going To Be Rushed/Bad!”

I originally had the ‘complaint’ written as “It’s Produced By [Insert Studio Everyone Hates] So It’s Going To Be Bad”, but let’s face it when it comes to the anime communities whipping boy it’s (sadly) JC-Staff. And I honestly don’t get it, I may have only been watching seasonal anime for a couple of years now but nearly every JC-Staff anime I watch is more than competent in almost every technical and artistic aspect. Maybe it’s just the ‘normies’ out there who only watch big-budget-studio shonen anime coming to shit on an easy target but I can name more than a dozen anime from the last couple of years from wildly different studios with shoddier production values that don’t get 1% of the shit that JC Staff gets. All I can say is JC Staff is one of my favourite studios and they deserve better treatment by the anime community that’s decided to make their name a punchline.


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Fall 2019 Anime Watch List

An overview of the Fall 2019 Anime shows that I’m watching

fall2019

Can you believe it’s almost Fall already? Well not in Australia of course, it’s the opposite here but in the world of anime (also everywhere else in the Northern Hemisphere) it’s about to be ‘Fall’ and with that comes a whole host of new anime to watch and revel in! In this post I’ll be listing all the show’s I’m personally interested in and will most likely watch to completion–barring of course that a show ~triggers~ me in some specific way and I can’t watch it (don’t laugh, it’s happened before!). I’ll also be adding the official synopsis for each show as well as a little bit about the reason I’ve chosen to watch something. Let’s begin, shall we?

(The shows are listed in order of personal hype from least hyped about watching to most. Also there’s 16 shows on this list so be prepared for a lot of reading–or quick skimming through whatever suits you!)


Ascendance of a Bookworm (Honzuki no Gekokujou)

What they say: “Motosu Urano, a book-loving college student who just got her Librarian certification and was supposed to enter the job of her dreams after graduation, was killed during a massive earthquake crushing her underneath a pile of her own massive collection of books. Wishing for reincarnation in order to read even more, she got reincarnated to a world with a low literacy level and very few books, limited only to the nobility of the world. As she reincarnated as 5-year-old daughter of a lowly soldier, Maine, no matter how much she wants to read, there is no way there are any books around. If there are no books then what do you do? You make them yourself of course… What her goal is, to become a librarian no matter what, and to live a life surrounded by books. For starters she begins from making them..”

What I say: This was a borderline watch decision, mostly because it sounded a little bit weird to have an isekai where the person is reincarnated in another world and there goal is to write books. Doesn’t really sound like it’ll make for the most riveting viewing. That said, the fact the show has a female protagonist being isekai’d is a welcome change for the genre and that alone means I want to watch it.

High School Prodigies Have It Easy Even in Another World! (Choujin Koukousei-tachi wa Isekai demo Yoyuu de Ikinuku you desu!)

What they say: “In Japan, there are seven superhuman highschoolers who are world-class geniuses in various fields ranging from governance to economics and beyond. On one fateful day, these seven wind up in a plane accident and wake up only to find themselves in another world. Finding themselves in a foreign place where magic and beast-people are real, they immediately proceed to panic-or at least that’s what would’ve happened if they were some run of the mill students!! If anything, these seven are actually using their talents to do absolutely ludicrous things so they can go home… “Let’s take it easy, because if we really let loose, I’m pretty sure we’ll end up destroying this world.””

What I say: Absurdly long title, yep it’s gotta be an isekai, I don’t have any particular problem with overpowered isekai protagonists (some of my favourite ones are indeed stupidly overpowered) and the concept sounds like fun, but I guess the reason I’m not that hyped for it is more the fact that I worry about how interesting a cast of characters all being high-school prodigies will be but I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt.

Tenka Hyakken: Welcome to Meiji Hall!

What they say: “The Tenka Hyakken franchise centers around the “Mitsurugi,” maidens who are physical incarnations of ancient swords. They have pledged to live peaceful lives after the era of warfare, but are now returning to battle to fight a new foe that has arisen during an alternate version of the Meiji Era, three hundred years after the Battle of Sekigahara.”

What I say: Two reasons this is on my watch-list and they’re both attached to that girl on the right of the poster. Not even joking, that’s all that interests me about the little I know about this anime. Plus it’s only 5 minutes long per episode so even if the plot doesn’t interest me I’m sure I’ll find something to keep me entertained throughout.

Z/X: Code Reunion

What they say: “The story is set in the future where humanity and the Z/X has entered a treaty and headed towards moment of peace. Azumi Kagamihara—a girl affiliated with the Blue World—is chosen together with her Partner Z/X Rigel to enroll in Fujimisaki Gakuen, a school established to gather girls that was partnered with Z/X from all over Japan.”

What I say: I’m just here for the cute girls on the poster to be honest…

My Hero Academia 4th Season

What they say: “The fourth season of Boku no Hero Academia.”

What I say: Maybe it’s surprising to some of you to see this show so far down the list considering how far I’ve come with this series but for me the 3rd season was somewhat lacking in some areas–mainly the Midoriya/Bakugo pissing contest that took up way too much screen time and was honestly a chore to get through. It’s the rest of the cast–particularly the underutilised female heroes–that are going to keep me coming back to this series forever even if the show itself has problems.

Fate/Grand Order – Absolute Demonic Front: Babylonia

What they say: “Following the success in the Camelot Singularity, Ritsuka Fujimaru and Mash Kyrielight are assigned to the last Singularity in the Grand Order initiative. In Ancient Babylonia, 2500 BCE, they embark on a mission to secure humanity’s survival. Upon arrival, they learn that three gods have threatened Uruk, the Babylonian city ruled by King Gilgamesh. Ritsuka and Mash must work together to fend off the invasion of mysterious beasts in Uruk under Gilgamesh’s orders while investigating the true nature of the three gods’ actions against humanity; but unknown to Ritsuka, an ancient entity is slowly rising from its slumber.”

What I say: I haven’t watched Episode 0 yet (which apparently serves as a decent introduction) and my knowledge of the Fate series is follows: watched Fate/Stay Night and thought it was very good but not remarkable, watched all of ‘Fate/Kaleid Prisma Illya’ and absolutely adore it. I don’t know how much knowing those two shows will help in getting into this series but I just really felt like watching this show, maybe it’s all the FGO doujins I saw in Japan…

Azur Lane

What they say: “Grotesque, strong enemy called Siren has suddenly appeared from the sea. In order to fight against them, a group of army Azure Lane has formed. They were successful in stopping the attack from Siren for a moment using warships, the different ideals from the people who formed it has shown. The story is about girls fight the strong enemies that they never face while dealing with the trouble in each camp.

What I say: I tried playing the Azur Lane mobile game but it wasn’t my thing, that said the girls were absolutely gorgeous and well that’s all I need sometimes (this reason will be a recurring theme throughout this post… sorry not sorry).

Cautious Hero: The Hero is Overpowered but Overly Cautious (Kono Yuusha ga Ore Tueee Kuse ni Shinchou Sugiru)

What they say: “The goddess Rista summons a hero to help her hard mode video game-like world. The hero, Seiya, is exceptional in every way, but he is incredibly cautious to the point of buying three sets of armor (one to wear, a spare, and a spare for the spare) and going full power against weak slimes (just in case).”

What I say: Isekai, check. Overpowered protagonist, check. A bevvy of beautiful and scantily clad girls, check. My tastes being entirely predictable, check check check.

Psycho Pass 3

What they say: “The third season of the PSYCHO-PASS TV anime.”

What I say: The first season of ‘Psycho Pass’ was fantastic, a true classic anime that I’d recommend to almost anyone. The second season on the other hand was hurried, messy and very disappointing by comparison. I’m cautiously optimistic about this third season, not because of anything I’ve heard or seen but just because this world and its lore is so exciting and interesting that I desperately want more and am just hopeful for something better than season two…

Rifle Is Beautiful

What they say: “Kokura Hikari is a first-year high school girl who loves rifle shooting. She entered Chidori High School because it had a shooting club, but finds that the club had been disbanded. She had only one day to find enough members to reform the club, but luckily was able to find three other first-year girls who she had met at a competition in middle school. Thus begins the daily activities of the Chidori High Shooting Club.”

What I say: CGDGT; cute girls doing gun things. I love me a school club based slice of life comedy so of course I’m keen for this show!

Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma: The Fourth Plate

What they say: “The 4th season of Shokugeki no Souma.”

What I say: I really miss this show, I think about it a lot and honestly it’s probably one of my favourite shonen series, but I can’t help but be worried about some of the things I’ve seen online (mostly in my comments from manga readers when I reviewed season 3 episodically) about the direction of this show going forward. I don’t think this show could do anything to make me outright dislike it and I am happy it’s coming back for a new season but that wariness still pervades…

Houkago Saikoro Club

What they say: “Kyoto in Spring. Aya is a high school girl who’s just moved to a new town. Miki is her shy classmate, and her first friend. One day after school Aya and Miki follow the committee president Midori to a specialty board games store. The Dice Club. Without thinking they try out a German board game together. These girls, who are searching for fun, soon fall into the exciting world of games.”

What I say: Another club anime with cute high school girls, but unlike the gun one this one looks like it has more of an emphasis on comedy, plus it being about dice games is a bit more palatable than guns–at least for my pacifist self…

We Never Learn! 2nd Season

What they say: Second season of Boku-tachi wa Benkyou ga Dekinai.”

What I say: For those of you who don’t remember ‘We Never Learn!’ was my Number 1 anime of the Spring 2019 Anime season, I gave it 94/100 and I absolutely adore it! So why isn’t it my number one most anticipated anime of Fall 2019 then? Well for me it’s simple, I’ll always be more excited about something new and shiny then something I’ve already seen before. Don’t get me wrong I am fully hyped for more ‘We Never Learn!’ and more of the best girls this show provides but there’s three more anime I’m looking forward to just a little more.

Didn’t I Say to Make My Abilities Average in the Next Life?! (Watashi, Nouryoku wa Heikinchi de tte Itta yo ne!)

What they say: “When she turns ten years old, Adele von Ascham is hit with a horrible headache–and memories of her previous life as an eighteen-year-old Japanese girl named Kurihara Misato. That life changed abruptly, however, when Misato died trying to aid a little girl and met god. During that meeting, she made an odd request and asked for average abilities in her next life. But few things–especially wishes–ever go quite as planned.”

What I say: It’s a loli-centric isekai by animation studio Project No 9 with one of the cutest protagonists I’ve seen in a long time (far right on the poster). Sign me the hell up!

Kandagawa Jet Girls

What they say: “Project centering on girls who compete in jet ski races.”

What I say: Talk about your minimalist plot synopsis, this show was sitting around the middle point of my hype ranking until I bothered to watch the PV (promotional video) that came out for this series… My god the character designs and outfits for all the girls in this show are absolutely amazing! While I have no expectations for the overall quality of the narrative I can say the non-nude fan-service has big potential

Val x Love

What they say: “High-schooler Akutsu Takuma has learned to accept his lonely lot in life and is content surrounded by his studies, but when the god Odin taps him to save the world alongside nine Valkyries fueled by intimacy, Takuma can say good-bye to his solitary existence!”

What I say: I’ve read the manga and all I can say is I hope this show does the fan-service justice… err, I mean I hope it does the storyline justice! In all seriousness this is a great series and I’m very excited for it to get an anime adaptation from a studio with a decent reputation, let’s hope it lives up to the hype as it is my most hyped anime of Fall 2019!

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And those are all the shows I plan on watching this season (in addition to the second cour of ‘Fire Force’ of course). Let me know what show’s your most interested in for Fall 2019 in the comments below and thank you all for reading.


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