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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Spring 2019 Anime In Review

A look back at all the Spring 2019 Anime I Watched With Scores And Mini-Reviews For Each Show

spring2019review

So the Spring 2019 Anime season has come and gone and in its wake a bunch of shows and many more opinions on them! Overall it wasn’t the strongest or most memorable season in recent memory, but the highs certainly were high! I watched 16 shows in Spring and I’ll be ranking them from best to worst with a score and a little review for each too!

BOKUBEN: We Never Learn
(94/100)

There’s so many good faces in this show it was hard to chose just one!

Oh boy, do I have so much to talk about regarding this show but then again most of it will be me complaining about “people” who compare this show to last seasons’ ‘The Quintessential Quintuplets’ despite the fact that ‘We Never Learn’ came first (as a manga) and is infinitely superior! Okay I’ll stop with the mini-rant and just say that seldom do I see a harem anime with such a commitment to fully developing its female characters and making the audience not only want each of the girls to end up with the male lead but also give them personal and unique journeys that make all these characters feel real. I really love this show and I’m so glad it’s getting a second season in October of this year!

Hitoribocchi no Marumaru Seikatsu
(91/100)

Don’t be shy, Bocchi, you have people who like you!

Shows like this are especially hard to review because the journey of the anime is less about a definite ‘beginning’, ‘middle’ and ‘endpoint’ narratively speaking but rather just watching characters find one another, grow closer and develop as people in their own right. Likewise the amount you’re going to get out of a series like this is directly proportional to how much you can be brought into their world and sympathise/empathise with the characters in it. Bocchi and her cohorts remained like friends I never knew I needed right up until the end and I’ll forever appreciate them for letting me be privy to their journey, this show was wonderful.

Why the Hell are You Here, Teacher!?
(90/100)

Boing!

A show as shamelessly ecchi as this one deserves kudos for fully committing to its ridiculous premise alone. But what was more surprising than the myriad ways it managed to push together a female teacher and a male student in compromising situations was the honest to goodness heart, character development and how well it tied it all together. Sometimes a show can be sexy and sweet.

Wise Man’s Grandchild
(88/100)

She’s too precious.

I went into great detail (and defense) about this series in my episode 1 & 2 review but my thoughts on the series as a whole remain more or less the same. ‘Wise Man’s Grandchild’ is an isekai that knows it’s an isekai, embraces the tropes of its genre but is still wise (heh) enough to do things differently when it needs to. Its sense of humour remains its greatest strength though and made every single episode an absolute joy to watch.

YU-NO: A Girl Who Chants Love at the Bound of this World
(86/100) [ongoing series Episodes 1 to 13 watched]

Okay, so sometimes our protagonist can be a gentlemen…

Here’s a series that gets more interesting, more complex and more narratively satisfying the longer it goes on and the fact we’re only halfway through its planned 26 (plus 1 OVA) episode at the time of writing this makes things all the more exciting. This show feels fresh despite being based on a Visual Novel from the 90’s and whats more its just entertaining as heck. Yes it’s got some issues (mostly to do with its sometimes sexist protagonist) but the good far outweighs the bad in this particular anime!

Ao-chan Can’t Study!
(85/100)

She loves it.

I haven’t watched that many strictly romantic comedy anime (harem’s usually don’t count as such) likewise even less with a female lead but not only was the titular Ao-chan an adorable neurotic and refreshingly frank character but the show itself was as funny as it was endearing.

Yatogame-chan Kansatsu Nikki
(84/100)

She’s a high energy individual that Yatogame-chan…

When’s a 2 minute anime better than half the anime you watch in a particular season? When it’s ‘Yagogame-chan Kanatsu Nikki’! Food anime are often a favourite of mine, and what’s better than a food anime? A food anime filled with comedy and niche references to very specific parts of Japanese culture (in this case the Nagoya region of Japan). As you’d (hopefully) expect for an anime this short not a second is wasted and the result is a fun and frenetic, but still surprisingly laid back anime that I’m very glad is getting a 2nd season next year!

Isekai Quartet
(83/100)

I can literally hear the theme song in my head just by looking at this gif.

Bringing together characters from four different popular isekai anime and smashing them together could have been a recipe for disaster–or at least a recipe for a messy anime but the team responsible for this crossover handled it (almost) perfectly and gave us fun and entertaining experience. Even if you’re only familiar with half the shows being referenced it’s still a worthwhile experience if you’re into seeing crazy characters interact with each other with often hilarious results!

AMAZING STRANGER
(83/100)

I watched it for the plot, I swear!

The otaku references in ‘AMAZING STRANGER’ were an endless source of comedic delight as were the marital shenanigans between our protagonist and 1/6 scale bishojou figure but it was the commitment to its world building, the connections between the characters and the surprising amount of drama that ended up making this anime such a rewarding (if still inherently silly) experience.

The Helpful Fox Senko-san
(82/100)

She is pretty damn adorable (and don’t forget 800 years old, so it’s legal!)

Despite seemingly being an anime that’s exactly in my wheelhouse (a.k.a. it’s about a cute loli fox girl in a Slice of Life setting) there were certain things about this anime that I wasn’t exactly a fan of and hence prevented me falling in love with the show like so many others did. Having an adult male protagonist felt like it was pandering to a different demographic entirely (I wrote a whole rant-y post about it which I never ended up posting) but external factors should seldom detract from a show’s enjoyment factor. Also the fact the show felt the need to mention that the loli fox girl is actually 800 years old in every episode (sometimes multiple times) felt like the writer was embarrassed by his very own premise–which sucked a lot of the joy out of the show. Regardless of my issues it was still a wholesome, comfortable and well-made anime.

Fruits Basket 1st Season
(81/100) [ongoing series 13 Episodes watched so far]

*kick*

As someone who’s never seen the ‘original’  Fruits Basket, read the manga nor is particularly a fan of this genre of anime (whatever genre that is) I’m still yet to see the monumental appeal of this series–however its characters, its overall emotional impact and the promise of something bigger and more serious behind the scenes means I’m more than happy to keep watching the show and see where it goes.

Nobunaga teacher’s young bride
(74/100)

The face of all the ‘normies’ who stumbled upon this show.

There’s a lot of promise in this anime’s premise but unfortunately not a lot of care in its overall execution. It’s clumsy, occasionally ugly and extremely problematic. But it’s also fun, amusing and occasionally inspired. Also kudos for being one of the only ecchi harem anime I’ve ever seen to have a “trap” character get further sexually with the main (male) character than any of the girls did! I’ll remember that about this series if nothing else…

Joshi Kausei
(71/100)

Literally the best moment in the whole series and it happens two minutes into Episode 1.

An interesting premise and some wholly likeable characters are the highlight of this short anime that never does anything particular inventive with its ‘no dialogue’ premise but is still a pleasant and entertaining diversion.

Cinderella Nine
(62/100)

Do they have ‘yellow cards’ in baseball?

As of the writing of this I’m only 11 out of 12 episodes (due to a broadcast delay) but ‘Cinderella Nine’ is an example of a sports anime without the budget to wholly execute its sport in any satisfying way, with characters who amount to little more than single sentence cliches and nothing in the way of a gimmick to spice up the proceedings.

Han-Gyakuisei Million Arthur 2nd Season [on hold at Episode 3]

So, this show is great, probably with a score around the mid 80’s, but I had to stop it at Episode 3 because Funimation being the incompetent twats that they are decided to cut out the post-credit gag scenes which were a source of so much joy in the 1st season. Maybe it seems weird to put a show on hold because of such a (seemingly) minor reason but its a matter of principal, you know?! I’ll probably get back to watching this just… not on Funimation…

AFTERLOST [on hold at Episode 7]

*sigh* This show… is so frustrating, there’s so much good about it and almost in equal measure so much bad about it. I haven’t considered this ~officially~ dropped but at the same time I don’t know if I want to ever go back to it so consider this in the limbo between on hold and dropped–whatever that might be called… okay let’s call it ‘Lost’!

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And that’s the Anime of Spring 2019 that I watched reviewed! What are your thoughts? What are your thoughts on my thoughts? Drop a comment below if you have something to say! Thanks for reading!


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Spring 2019 Anime – Midseason Review

A Rundown of my thoughts on the Spring 2019 Anime at the Midseason point

Spring2019Midseason

Hello everyone, hope you’re all doing well. Firstly, apologies for the lack of content on the blog recently. The reason for the lack of content, well it’s mostly general annoyance with WordPress as a platform–as well as being banned from gaining revenue from Google AdSense because apparently my site is “adult”. The latter of which I felt particularly angered about as I’d just renewed my domain plan with WordPress when I found out about the ban and so now am $144 out of pocket and stuck with a site that can’t earn me any money back to pay for the hosting fees! Anyway, that’s not really what this post is about… despite the lack of blogging activity I am still watching anime and for those interested I thought I’d share my thoughts with the shows so far since we’re halfway through the season!

The Anime I’m Liking Way More Than I Thought I Would

😮

‘Wise Man’s Grandchild’ on the surface looks like a rather ordinary isekai but where this show succeeds above other similar shows is its levity, it’s almost parody-level awareness of the genre’s tropes, while still retaining a compelling plot and charismatic characters both main and side.

The Anime That’s Taking Its Time And That’s Probably A Good Thing?

Shit gets real, it just takes a while.

It has a long title and a 26 episode stint and while we’re only at Episode 6 (as the time of writing this) ‘YU-NO: A Girl Who Chants Love At The Bound Of This World’ isn’t rushing its story. Good thing too since it’s based on an apparently complex and lengthy visual novel. While the show remains strong, interesting and at times even agonisingly dramatic and risk-taking–it also seems like the kind of show that would benefit from a binge-watch rather than the trickle of information each weekly instalment gives us.

The Anime That Is Pure Fanservice (And Not The Sexual Kind)

You better believe Darkness likes being called “that thing there”.

Bringing together characters from four different, already popular isekai anime could be a recipe for laziness but thankfully ‘Isekai Quartet’ is funny and savvy. And even though I’ve only watched two of the shows whose characters feature (Re:Zero and Konosuba) the show still is a whole lot of fun and occasionally laugh-out-loud hilarious. But it’s strictly for fans of the shows its characters are from.

The Anime That Seems To Benefit From A Nostalgic Perspective

#notallmen

I never watched the original ‘Fruits Basket’ or read the manga so I had nothing to go-on going into this remake. And while it certainly has a lot going for it (emotional mother-daughter backstory to wring emotion from, interesting premise, large cast of colourful characters) it also has a lot that I dislike about it (problematic male characters, problematic gender roles, and other various issues that stem from both its genre and the source material’s age). Some people can overlook these issues and that’s fine, but I’ll always be kept at an arms length because of them–still it’s an enjoyable enough experience for me to keep watching till the end.

The Anime That’s Pure Fluff

Kawaii desu~!

Nothing wrong with a bit of comfy, fluff and this season’s “comfy fluff” comes in the form of ‘The Helpful Fox Senko-san’. Admittedly I’m not nearly as enamoured as a lot of people are (as evidenced by the crazy-high–for a show of this genre–MAL score) but it’s adorable and peaceful and sometimes that’s enough.

The Anime That’s Got Its Heart In Its Pants

#internet

Too often romantic-centric anime are either all horny or all emotion. Chalk that up to their intended audience perhaps but it’s refreshing to see a show like ‘Ao-chan Can’t Study!’ which balances these elements pretty deftly to deliver a show that’s both saucy and sweet.

The Anime That People Need To Stop Comparing To ‘The Quintessential Quintuplets’!

I love these girls!

Like clockwork, nearly every anime season there’s a show that comes out and then the following season another show comes out with similar themes or concepts and everyone hurries to compare it to the show that came previously. Yes, ‘We Never Learn’ is a harem romantic comedy with a male student from a poor family tutoring a group of girls like last seasons’ ‘The Quintessential Quintuplets’. But that’s where the similarities end, not only is ‘We Never Learn’ more charming and intimate but it’s also got a far more interesting female cast, oh and the manga came out 6 months before ‘The Quintessential Quintuplets’ so stop acting like ‘We Never Learn’ is somehow a rip-off/cash-in, okay?! /rant

The Anime That’s Fun–But Not Much Else…

“Thin volumes” ftw!

‘Amazing Stranger’ has a lot of potential in its premise–sort of an otaku-Toy Story except with more lewds. And while I do find myself enjoying every episode for its own merits, it’s also (unfortunately) kind of forgettable.

The Anime That Deserved Better

No comment.

It’s a weird sentence to say but this 7-minute time-travel lolicon harem should have been a lot better than its execution! ‘Nobunaga teacher’s young bride’ is the kind of controversy baiting show that I gobble up–only this time the only person it seems to be “triggering” is the irlwaifu… As for my opinions on the show, at 7 minutes per episode there’s not enough time to even have a show worth defending and what is here is kinda cheap looking and rushed.

The Anime That Should Slow The Fuck Down

If super dramatic moped chases are your thing than this show has you covered!

As if to contrast this seasons’ ‘YU-NO’, ‘AFTERLOST’ is unrelenting in its narrative pace and almost belligerent at its introducing of new characters and plots upon subplots only for said characters (and said subplots) to be hastily wrapped up or truncated or elaborated upon needlessly. It’s a messy show but it needn’t have been this way, given a few more episodes between the ones we have and there’d almost have been a show worth recommending. But as it stands its just a fast-paced mess.

The Anime That Needs To Be Uncensored ASAP!

She could glare at me all day…

I hate censorship–and while I understand its purpose in the anime industry–it’s pretty egregious when an ecchi comes out that not only decides to censor a toilet bowl, a fully clothed chest rub and a consensual kiss(?)! ‘Why the Hell are You Here, Teacher!?’ is funny, its shenanigans are imaginative and sexy and it’s characters are all (so far) charismatic and enjoyable to watch. But the censorship… my god, the censorship is just borderline infuriating! *impatiently awaits the blu-ray version*

The Anime That I’m Only Still Reviewing Weekly Because It’s Part Of A Collab

“I’m generic! Haha!”

Of all the shows I ended up reviewing week-to-week it had to be the most ‘vanilla’ of anime. ‘Cinderella Nine’ isn’t by any means a bad show, it’s a perfectly fine viewing experience during the 23ish minutes its on. But after it’s over its almost like the show doesn’t exist because I don’t even think about it once until I’m watching it again next week. It makes very little impact and I doubt it ever will…

The Anime That’s (As of Writing This) My Anime of The Season

Big mood.

Calling an anime ‘anime of the season’ before its done can be troublesome–it’s backfired for me in the past more than a few times–but for me, nothing this season is better than ‘Hitori Bocchi no Marumaru Seikatsu’. On all fronts it’s pretty much flawless and Bocchi herself is my new spirit animal–which probably says more about me than I care to admit…

And those are my brief but specific thoughts on the anime I’m watching this season. If you have any questions please feel free to leave a comment below and thanks for reading!


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