I didn’t do a picks post or an early thoughts, but here’s this. Obviously this will only cover what I’ve watched. There are some shows I was interested in but as far as I know there are no subs, like Piano no Mori and the girl Layton one. I also needed to take on less this time around so I was a little more picky.
By the way a short update on the blog overall; wordpress has decided to make images complete shit now so there’s no way to expand images and I have to go through extra steps every image to link it to itself and to have it open in another tab. So you should be able to full size any images in any posts by clicking them still but itll open in a tab instead of in-line, and I updated a lot of recent-old posts too one by one so in general unless I forget images should be okay again, just a little annoying. Basically it seems like they wanted to cut on hosting costs for free accounts, so they limit the amount of people who are seeing bigger images – they already made it impossible to embed videos without uploading them elsewhere as it is.
Anyway, this is just in alphabetical order and does not include Cardcaptor Sakura because it’s not new to the season.
Akkun to Kanojo
A cute short series about an adorable girl and her tsuntsun boyfriend who is just nonstop a massive dick to her. The joke isn’t him being an ass though, it’s the fact that she knows and understands what really is going on, so her ability to handle it and even have perfect preparation for it gives the show its humor. It’s nothing outstanding but it’s like 3 minutes and cute.
Cutie Honey Universe
This is a surprise – not only is it actually a really good show, it’s got a lot of themes that would send any liberals, progressives, and especially feminists screeching into the skies about how horrible it is. I’ve never really seen Cutie Honey before but I know just a bit about the franchise and how it’s always evolving and changing. This time around it’s sort of standard classic style mahou shoujo but with so much about it that makes it feel like it came out two decades ago – giving it a very unique feeling comparable to something like the original Sailor Moon just obviously being a lot more sexually charged because Cutie Honey is by all means a sex icon and she continues that legacy here for sure.
For the story you’ve got some hilariously in-your-face anti-feminism stuff – seriously, they outright say it directly – as well as a great visual of how good women are beautiful and ugly women are evil. The entirety of Panther Claw, with the exception of goth-spider who is even said by the big bad to ‘have a heart as pure as Honey’s’, are all horrendously ugly monster-women. You even see some cute normal looking ones be transformed into these once they are brainwashed into becoming the big bad’s minions. It’s hilarious and mirrors the transition of normal women into feminists and liberals that end up somehow physically uglier really well.
The show overall beyond being great for that though is also just real fun stuff, very lighthearted, very well placed little bits of sexy fun with Honey or her friends, and some actually cool battles as well. My main interest is definitely in the spider girl – not only is she super cute and the owner of THE BIGGEST BOOTY OF ALL TIME (especially proportionately), but she’s the only ‘bad guy’ aware of how insane and obsessed the main bad has become with Honey to the point of even killing her own people to make Honey get closer with her. I want to see what happens with spider, she’s in a gray area and knows the truth of how expendable she is, so what will she do?
Also, this show gets pretty fucked up. They outright murder a bunch of kids including a lot we ‘know’ at least as supporting cast even at one point just to get to Honey.
Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory
I wasn’t sure about this after episode 1. It felt off, like FMP just didn’t have the right stuff to be continuing all this time later – from what I’ve read of the LNs and manga I also kind of dropped off after where TSR does (which I loved) so I wasn’t sure what to expect aside knowing I didn’t maintain enough interest to read this part. Luckily, immediately after that episode things really feel like Full Metal Panic again in every way, definitely TSR style with the much more dramatic darker feeling though but its doing it real well.
They’ve made me uncertain about Kaname now too, after 2 real seasons of anime and a canonical spinoff still starring her and Sousuke, still not having come to terms with the fact Sousuke has killed people. She literally has seen him do it plenty of times and she knows he grew up as a fucking child soldier and is also part of a very aggressive anti-terrorist PMC. BUT UH OH. THE BAD GUY SAID HE’S KILLED PEOPLE…OH NO. DON’T TOUCH ME! AHHH YOU’RE SO SCARY! It’s stupid.
More importantly, episode 4 is a fantastic example of how to meaningfully destroy everything you’ve built up from the start and FORCE everyone and everything left to progress forward in a big way. It wipes out EVERYTHING – both literally and figuratively, ranging from real actual characters being killed or injured, important locations being destroyed, and a lot of relationships being completely decimated. It’s done in a way too that makes it impossible to simply go back, that’s not an option for any of the main or supporting cast anymore, and so everyone has to move forward. They even killed my favorite character aside Mao and possibly fatally injured my other (aside Mao) favorite. It was done really fucking well…
…then they waste a timeslot with a RECAP EPISODE 4 EPISODES IN. Getting flashbacks to another sequel I was excited about – Last Exile’s which has 3 different recap episodes and the first I believe was also only 4 episodes in, then 8, and then one more later.
Worse, they return from that recap waste of fucking time with the absolute most boring episode of anime this season so far. It doesn’t even have the main cast in it because it’s wasting time introducing the really stupid shitty THIRD girl to Sosuke’s love-drama who is le strong le empowered womyn le mech luvr in some shithole who, now that I saw her again, reminded me immediately why I dropped READING this series at this part (it was because of her and this entire stupid MECH FIGHTING ARENA bullshit).
How you go from maybe the most well done “destroying all the bridges we built over 3 long seasons and started ALMOST 20 YEARS AGO” to this? I don’t know, but it sure as fuck destroyed the momentum.
Extremely hit or miss so far but MOSTLY all hits. Most of the episodes have been fun and cute, but a couple have been stupid and completely missed the mark. It’s just 3 minute mini-stories that take place at a train crossing waiting for it to pass. A small thing I really like about it is how it subverts the classic cliche of yelling or saying something as a train passes and nobody hearing somehow – here they treat that realistically and play it as a joke because that character doesn’t expect them to hear but then they do because “you’re standing right next to me and yelling, of course I heard”. That isn’t like “the joke” or something, it just comes up from time to time, instead each story is very unique and new every week with some dumb over the top situation being presented.
Gegege No Kitarou (2018)
This is a LOT darker than I expected – for whatever reason I thought this was more lighthearted generic childrens show about a kid who fights yokai. The latter is correct and maybe it is “for kids” but it’s got straight up genuinely upsetting body horror, death, and more realistic takes on yokai than you typically expect out of anime or games. These aren’t friendly creatures, these are ancient beings that can be extremely dangerous and sometimes only come to our world to LITERALLY TORTURE CHILDREN FOR ETERNITY BY LOCKING THEM ALIVE-FOREVER AWARE LOCKED AS CONCRETE SLABS or decimate an entire town and the people in it because it was slighted by a girl who didn’t like it back.
I was also surprised by Kitaro. The kid sucks ass, there isn’t a single episode where he doesn’t get his ass completely kicked and has to rely on his friends to save him. I supposed that part does work into the kids show aspect but it just makes him look like a fucking wimp who can’t do anything at all, making you question why he’s the titular character and why there’s legends of him taking down yokai with ease. He literally never manages to do anything but ACTUALLY DIE before coming back or get close to it.
Aside Kitaro blowing ass in fights, the stories each episode are really intriguing and immerse you easily into them. They’re usually dark or more serious than you’d think like I mentioned already, but often they can also be touching as well. My favorite part about this show though is probably learning either MORE about yokai I knew or learning about yokai I never even knew existed. This is a good show for that because they’re not romanticized like usual, this is the type of show where if a kappa ever shows up it will be one that’s killed like 8 kids already by sucking their innards out of their asses rather than being a cute turtle person with a cucumber. Hell, they just outright have Kitaro basically torturing a dude who doesn’t realize he’s dead because he was a shitty guy so he has a fun time fucking with him before making him realize he’s dead and being haunted in hell by the people he forced into killing themselves.
It’s also pretty often relevant to current-ish events, so that’s kinda cool.
I don’t dislike this show but it also isn’t very good. Golden Kamuy is a really bad mash up of comedy and visceral dark fucked up violent shit. The latter is surprisingly handled very well and without feeling edgy…but the problem is that it makes up about 2-3 minutes per episode MAXIMUM and it’s sprinkled in with ~30 second bits throughout the 24 minutes. The rest is really poorly written attempts at comedy and, worse, the dumb meandering bullshit that has no place in a narrative. This is some Tolkien level explaining meaningless lore and how to cook a fucking squirrel for 15 minutes shit, and it’s just followed up with YOU’RE EATING POOP. THAT’S NOT MISO, MISO ISN’T ANYTHING. THAT’S BROWN SO IT’S POOP POOPY POOPY POOP YOU’RE EATING POOPY POOP!!!!
It’s confused and it ruins the entire show because you can’t have a story be POOPY POOP EATING POOP BY THE WAY MY NAME’S GRANDPA’S ASSHOLE LOL i lost my parents im sad Retard the wolf is my only friend POOP POOP WOW YOU’RE SO EMBARRASSING AND LAME LOL HERE’S HOW TO MAKE SQUIRREL BRAIN LUNCH POOPY POOP TULPAS DO YOU HAVE A TULPA I LEARNED HOW TO HAVE A TULPA ON 4CHAN SUGIMOTO DO YOU WANT TO KNOW HOW LOL YOURS IS PROBABLY POOPY POOP then suddenly throw in Sugimoto about to die and screaming about how he’s immortal while tied to a chair and fighting off two armed men while being stabbed in the gut as the ED song bleeds in perfectly to make an amazing moment.
I want to love this, but it’s basically trying to be Alderamin in terms of how perfectly it mixed serious meaningful drama and violence with comedy and lighthearted stuff and instead it’s just like a modern (so SHIT) Gintama sketch with Gintoki going hardcore at some point to end the episode. I literally can’t stand over half the episode every week of this show…but that…no, not even half, the 1/8th of the episode that is good IS REALLY GOOD and so I’m still watching it. It so clearly needed to be seinen, but instead it’s a shounen with all the trappings of one that DO NOT BELONG IN SUCH A DARK AND SERIOUS TALE.
It DOES have a great main antagonist though, he’s that good insane and hard to read type, but sadly they wasted the second best one in the show up to now – the guy voiced by Fango who may as well be dead given he’s permanently bedridden.
On top of all that is the OP song which, I like Man on a Mission, but boy did they fucking waste good music with HORRIBLE indecipherable Engrish which is odd given this band has done English before just fine. Honestly the most enjoyment I get out of the show at this point is making fun of the fucking lyrics to the OP. I take back that first sentence, I think I DO dislike this show at this point after spending an entire episode with a hunter making boner jokes, 10 more minutes of poopy jokes, and the entire plot being thrown aside in exchange for a nobody hunting the wolf literally named Retard.
I really really like this show. It’s sweet, it’s HILARIOUS, and the Yakuza MC has some of the most perfect and comical reactions to things with just fantastically thought out faces/poses/lighting/animation and fitting line delivery. This is a comedy that I’ll absolutely remember years from now fondly. There really just isn’t much to expand on beyond the fact it’s very unique, very fun, and is a top-notch comedy when it comes to timing, line delivery, and overall writing.
The only aspect I don’t like is the glorifying of the homeless – which is worse when, later on, they just abandon the little girl and it’s such a big in your face “this is why hobos are hobos and why they deserve no better” until she’s taken in by a real family with a real house and real jobs and she defends them and the entire episode turns into being about how great they were as humans…when they did nothing to defend her as she lost her home yet again. Other than that though, this is fucking hilarious.
Houzuki no Reitetsu 2 Part 2 (just call it fucking season 3)
More Hozuki. I’m not sure what to say beyond that – still just as fun and goofy with its hell hijinks and new characters as it ever was. Shiro the dog and best character luckily has a lot more screentime in both parts of season 2.
I do have a big problem this time around though…the lore they’re dealing with in a lot of episodes in this “part 2” of season 2 is just sometimes too fucking deep for me to know or keep up with at all and it leaves me just not enjoying it sometimes.
My Hero Academy 3
As usual, MHA is fucking incredibly good and is reminding me yet again how it earned its way into my top 10. The first episode of this season was TERRIBLE – a lazily done recap with the new parts being pointless and fucking horrible visually with lots of “QUALITY” art. Once that was over though it got right back into top form and they paced it out very well with a fun intro to the new training location and system and some new enjoyable characters (WILD WILD PUSSYCATS) and shortly after shit really gets going. Bane finally shows up with mask and all, and she brings friends.
This leads to what I mean by a reminder of why this is where it is for me. The battle between Deku and the big muscle guy ends up at a point where Deku pretty literally dies for a couple seconds right after apologizing to his mother for dying, before realizing yet again what it means to be a hero and that he can’t let this little boy he’s protecting be killed or abandoned yet again and rises up only to let loose the strongest attack (or would be, if his arms weren’t already broken at the time and he wasn’t basically dead seconds prior) in the entire series thus far at 1 million fucking percent.
Beyond that, the entire events that took place during this attack on the training center were way more violent than I thought this show would get. People die. CHILDREN die. Worse, at the very least one woman was cut into parts by a fucking serial killer. They’re getting into a much more serious tone with this season and I don’t mind it at all.
The new OP is terrible though, the song and video don’t match at all and both are lame either way.
Also, I like Bane. She’s as edgy as I was worried she’d be, but they’re playing it really well and making her fun and crazy in a way that works. Really it’s mostly the mask, I hope it comes back.
Nobunaga no Shinobi 3
More ninja girl working under Nobunaga. I’ve always loved this show because while it’s VERY cute and very fun, it’s actually extremely historically accurate in ways nothing else – even serious historical fiction – ever is. This is basically a history book down to every detail with the only difference being it’s cute to look at (though it’s actually pretty violent at times), has a lot of levity to it at times, and moves quickly. This season features a lot of serious deaths that continually get more gruesome each time because that’s how these later battles went – a lot of big names being killed in some messed up or heroic ways. It still maintains the humor too though.
A poor adaptation of a fabulous game. That isn’t to say it’s terrible, I’m enjoying it just fine but boy does it do a really mediocre-at-best job of retelling the game. They kept the worst aspects and got rid of the best – for example they for some fucking reason kept the hilarious exposition dump from cafe dude EXPLAINING TO YOUR CHARACTER WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR CHARACTER for like 5 minutes in the most “I am reading the set-up that was pitched to make this game to you” way possible…yet they heavily played down the kind of very important rape stuff with the PE teacher and even took out his literal rape room in his palace. He does end up outright stating he sexually abused the females but still. They also fucked up with him by having him go HEY FAGGOT and smash the ball into MC’s face well before he just is “abusing” his team by, you know, doing what he’s meant to as a coach and hitting the ball “sort-of-hard” into their hands during practice, making it really stupid feeling after he just CALLS OUT AND SMASHES THE MC FOR NO REASON just an episode prior.
You’ve also got some just really badly done presentation aspects. Loads of spoilers immediately shoved in your face, bad pacing that makes you almost confused at times at what is going on or why it’s happening. Most importantly a complete lack of the style – the actual style not the “STYLE” people clamor about – that the game had. Take the transition from the past story being told by MC to the present where he’s being interrogated, it’s just jarring and stupid feeling here, while in the game it was fantastic every time it happened and felt so goddamn cool in how it changed the way the narrative came off entirely.
A lot of the art is…questionable at best too. Loads of QUALITY and sometimes just outright shitty re-designs, like Tae who now has an awkwardly shaped head and hair that makes no sense and looks incredibly fucking stupid when you see her from the front. Anywhere else it looks similar, but if you see the front of her face in the shot then she looks like she has an extremely tiny face and hair that like is growing out of itself. Speaking of which they ruined her entire substory too and the POINT OF IT already.
Everything about this just serves to remind me how fucking amazing this game was, but it’s not delivering that level of quality or storytelling at all – not even close. I’m hoping it gets better but really it’s all very mediocre.
Lesbians with boobs. Silly with plenty of fanservice too in it’s short few minute run time.
Tada-kun wa Koi wo Shinai
This might be one of the least memorable shows imaginable and every week when I go to watch it I completely forget what it is before it starts. I’m not even joking. It’s not even bad at all it’s just absolutely fine with nothing that stands out about it except the fact it feels so middling in a way that’s reminiscent of middling similar genre shows in the early 00s, Nyanko Big exists, and Golgo 13 being a recurring cameo character. I like it and at times I really love moments from it, but it’s so forgettable that I end up with like 3 episodes queued up for it to watch all the time because I genuinely don’t remember it’s even airing.
Uchuu Senkan Tiramisu
Fun absurdist 5 minute per episode comedy…until halfway in, then suddenly this gets the unironically best twist of the year done in an actually really cool way. Then it returns immediately to being silly shit. I like this, it’s great.
Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii
This has turned out to be a surprisingly sweet and charming romcom that doesn’t pander to otaku at all, contrary to the name. Usually with anime, manga, or games – well really anything from Japan – anything that has an otaku in it at all will be about self-inserting or selling to those same people (otaku). Wotakoi is no such thing, it’s an actual genuine romance comedy like back in the mid 00s and only uses the otaku aspect to make it unique as there really aren’t any romcoms out there with characters like this.
While it doesn’t pander or give losers a self-insert, it DOES use the fact all 4 of the cast are otakus to it’s advantage by showing you the fun sides of going out with someone like yourself as well as the doubts, worries, and sometimes hard parts of being in a relationship at all – even taking that aspect in a way that you can only spin with otaku.
The comedy is great and works in a lot of references to anime, events, etc, the characters are great, the two couples have serious chemistry, and really this takes me back to when romcoms were THE thing for anime – a time I miss. This is one of my favorites of the season especially when it hits that perfect middle ground of the more serious and difficult parts of relationships with the comedy element and a nice uplifting or sentimental conclusion swiftly to most of the doubts or light drama. Honestly, this might be my favorite show of the season after MHA and just barely ahead of Hinamatsuri.
—– —– —–
That’s all for this season, well the first half of it – but those are all the shows I’m watching aside Sakura’s continuing story.
I did a quick edit to show just how big her head/how small her face has to be.