Looking Back At 2019’s Spring Anime

I’ve been very busy and stressed as I’ve said a billion times over the past year-ish now and things haven’t really changed, mostly the stress part hasn’t, so I haven’t really talked about anime and the posts I have done are mostly about games and such which are easier for me than watching anime for some reason. Well, while sitting here with a cute anime girl sleeping on me in VRC and nothing else to do (aside falling asleep myself which I did for a little while) because I didn’t want to ditch out on them, I figured I’d go back to last season and go over what I watched and my general feelings on the shows without going full review mode. Well, I took another day or two to write this so I’m finishing it without an anime on my lap but still.

Usually that would mean quite a long post, however this past season I really couldn’t watch much of what I intended to – I couldn’t even try the majority of it…it was a pretty rough time for me, honestly it was kind of the roughest it’s ever been or close to it and I’m still working to get over some things that happened and other shit keeps happening that is super stressful too. Because of that, yeah, there probably won’t be much to talk about here – and I don’t want to bore you with a billion “I planned to try this but didn’t” listed off so I won’t bother including anything I didn’t actually watch at least 1 episode of even if I really wanted to see it.

Cinderella Nine

I had heard about this from the advertising crossover-campaign for the mobage with the main girl appearing in a few videos with Kizuna Ai who I rarely will click through videos from. She was really cute and memorable, so when they announced an anime some months later I was already interested. On top of that there are already a lot of really great baseball anime out there, including about all-female teams, and I’ve enjoyed all of them so I didn’t see a reason not to try it out. This turned out to be yet another pretty good one, it isn’t the best one ever or anything but it’s definitely a legitimate sports anime and not just made to market the game. If you didn’t know the game existed you’d never even think there was anything more than the show.

Enjoyable cast, nice little backstories – though it does go kind of really serious for one in a way that was just a little out of place for anime at all, given how rare divorce and the trauma it has on children is brought up in ANY anime let alone something about cute girls playing baseball and it even manages it in a pretty good way instead of being over the top…which sort of made it feel even more weird that it was in this show.

Anyway, good baseball series with cute and likable girls. Nothing spectacular, isn’t the best of the girl-team baseball sub-genre, but was totally alright and had some good music (by that I mean the one song it seemed to have was good).

The Helpful Fox Senko-san

I really wanted to love this show and with the first episode I did right away and that stayed true for a little bit. Incredibly sweet, incredibly cute, a little bit of very easy to see coming and expected “OH MY GOD YOU TOUCHED MY TAIL I’M GUSHING OH MY GOD IM CUMMING!!!!” which was annoying but wasn’t terrible and, again, completely expected, and it was just a very heartwarming and soft show that made even the viewer feel pampered by this wonderful little fox girl (and I don’t just mean with the fun post-ED bits of her literally doing that for the viewer).

However, it started becoming kind of boring and felt like it was losing its focus and turning in to something else. This was especially true once they forced in a new character – the bane of the slice of life genre yet something clearly every mangaka who writes them is cursed to do – another fox girl who had no reason to be there, added nothing, served no purpose, and just created an unwelcoming, unfun, not comfy at all situation from then on. She was basically a worse Azusa and I dropped the show right around her introduction because she just took everything I enjoyed about it out of it.

Attack On Titan Season 3 Part 2

I have to be real careful with this one or else I’ll go into a massive review-length amount of text and/or I will spoil a bunch of shit, so I’ll try to keep it short. I’ll put it this way, this specific season of the show has made me genuinely consider – depending on how the “final” season ends up – putting AoT into my top 10. That’s how fucking good this season was. AoT in general I could speak about maybe in a longer way than any other posts I’ve done – even longer than my lengthy and in-depth 3-part discussion on defending Inami Mahiru and a lot of that is part of what makes THIS season so amazing. Everything, after almost 7 years of watching it, finally pays off and it does it in spectacular fashion that absolutely nobody could have ever seen coming – and for manga readers I’m sure it was the same when they reached this portion of the story. It’s just amazing.

Not only the specific twists, reveals, fights, and events that happen this time around but the ability of this writer to take care of even the dumbest smallest little strings nobody even noticed existed and make sure to tie them off and not leave them be without any conclusion or being ignored in hopes everyone truly did forget about them. No, he went extremely far out of his way to bring up every single big and tiny thing all the way back from episode fucking 1 to the present and make sure it all is still relevant or is completely concluded – and none of it messily or lazily, it all makes fucking sense even things he clearly didn’t plan on ever explaining or bringing up he spent the time to figure out in his own head in a way that works and put pen to paper. I mean some of it is even as meaningless and small as showing us the original titans that attack the town at the very start of the show and how those specific ones came to be just ‘because’.

The action sequences are still fucking amazing too.

This is mindblowing coming from an author who has shown he was somewhat inept and uncertain of himself with things like Sasha being killed early on to suddenly retconning her death because of fan outcry – and yet he’s proven himself to be unbelievably talented. It also continues the already established ability of Attack on Titan to truly elevate what the generally understood “shounen” genre can truly be. AoT started out as a generic battle shounen take on David and Goliath, then became a character drama, then became a show about politics (and more character drama), and now it has become something I can’t even hint at without spoiling one of the biggest fucking twists ever but it’s certainly become a prime example of the genre maturing. Which, that’s also worth mentioning – I can think of ALMOST nothing else that has such a big reveal THIS FAR INTO IT in any fiction at all, even literature, and it made the basement that much more fucking crazy to finally reach.

And yes, that stupid fucking basement was worth the wait and then some. Do NOT be surprised if I repeat literally all of this in my AOTY posts – this might not be the top, I can’t say for sure, but I have absolutely no doubt in my mind this will be in the top 10 somewhere especially when, like I said, I’m considering replacing something in my top EVER 10 with AoT as a whole depending on how the conclusion is all thanks to this specific season. Really, this was fucking incredible and it is upsetting me that there isn’t more already.

Amazing Stranger

I have no idea why this image looks so bad in the actual post, in the writer it looks very crisp and clean.

This is a half-lengther (I wish they’d stop calling 12 minute episodes “shorts” – shorts are 2-5 minutes) about the anime figures this guy buys coming to life and believing they are their character. It’s surprisingly fun, not nearly as pandery as you’d expect, and has a lot of really cute and unique interactions between the lead guy and the figurine cast – I especially enjoyed the JRPG heroine for obvious reasons; tits, short hair, and tomboy, but also because some of her moments are the cutest ones in the show and she’s the most active in taking part in her original source as she loves to play the game she’s from along with other games. It’s a fun little thing.

Joshikausei

This is a rarity for me nowadays in that I actually “read” some of this manga years ago and so once the announcement came I was actually really excited. The manga was such a unique cute idea and the fact it isn’t a 4koma always surprised me. It’s a slice of life light-comedy but done without any dialogue whatsoever.

The show did not disappoint – it is just as fucking sweet and adorable as the manga. However, be warned they started it out in the stupidest way possible – with a chapter from way later in the manga, one that plays on a character’s personality and a running gag that the viewer would have no way of being aware of. Instead it makes it very “obvious” (incorrectly) that the show is going to be fanservice and ecchi focused comedy – which is not remotely true, like, at all. In fact Joshikausei might be the most wholesome little show out there it’s just about this trio of girls having childish fun like by playing with fogged up windows or drawing faces on orange peels. It’s too bad they started it how they did and probably made a lot of people lose interest while also bringing in people who would then be disappointed the moment it wasn’t an ecchi series. Regardless, the series was really great and adorable, definitely one of the best short episode series out there.

Yatogame-chan Kansatsu Nikki

Another cute short, this time about Nagoya and basically playing on stereotypes of all kinds from how many people who take pride in the place aren’t natives to more basic things like dialect and accent, and also preys on Tokyoites too a little. It actually got flack from westerner lefties because of course it did, it’s so racist and prejudiced even though it’s a fun thing that is even so thoroughly condoned BY NAGOYA THAT THE ACTUAL FUCKING GOVERNOR DID AN INTRO FOR AN EPISODE because it’s FUN. Poking FUN at things is not fucking prejudiced or offensive, especially when the people poking fun are the same ones who they are making fun of in the first place. Features Totally-Not-Satanichia, a weird lesbian, and a very cute girl that in no way at all is a cat.

Fruits Basket (2019) – still ongoing

Japanese colds should never be underestimated.

I always had a fondness for the original Furuba, I think everyone who likes anime does, it’s sweet in a way most things aren’t and it’s got a lot of reasons for being widely accepted as a classic. I also have a special bit of enjoyment from the story truly being about Kyou as he was someone I was often compared to when I was younger from everyone be it my friends or my mother, and I totally get why and it’s always made me like him a lot. This new version for the longest time was IDENTICAL literally word for word and even camera angle for camera angle the exact same show just with art that looks more like the manga. That made it unbelievably fucking boring. However, more recently it has been starting to get better about adding more from the manga, plus we hit several of my favorite parts of the whole story (mostly Hattori’s backstory which even now is just such a well done tragic tale and it got to me even though I knew every bit of it), but mostly the addition of new content mixed in with the old has been giving it the fresh air it needed. I almost dropped it due to how 1:1 it was but yeah, I’m finally really enjoying it again and I can’t wait till we get to the fully non-adapted in the old anime stuff.

Demon Slayer / Kimetsu no Yaiba – still ongoing

I did not expect this to be as good as it is, but this is a fantastic shounen title. The action is terrific, the character designs are all good and memorable, and the characters really have a staying power with the audience. This is one of the only shows in a very long time where I actually remember character names without looking them up or thinking about it for awhile; Nezuko and Tanjiro are names I just know off the top of my head and, for me, that’s really rare – even in shows I love I have a hard time with that sort of stuff pretty often.

UFOtable’s involvement also can’t be overstated – the show is fucking gorgeous visually with the only exceptions being budget cutting techniques which luckily have only shown up really one time (so far) in the form of HILARIOUSLY BAD CG being used in one of the first big fights with a pair of demons which MOST of it looked great but for one part of the fight in one episode they went with a Love Live tier character model with animations worse than anything I’ve attempted to do for vrchat. Like it was really goddamn bad. However, aside that single part of the show it’s extremely pretty and, in fights, really goddamn cool how they mix in this super vibrant stuff that stands way out and purposefully clashes with the rest and the fights are just so well choreographed and directed. Without UFOtable at the helm it would have suffered quite a bit.

My favorite thing though is Nezuko. In fact, while this year has a fuck ton of “best girl of the year” nominees already (possibly one of the most filled with them years ever), the fact is she is pretty far up on the list of my favorites of 2019. It’s hard to explain without actually watching because it’s just everything about her is wonderful both in terms of her personally as a character (personality, visual look, etc) but also in terms of her impact on what this show is and how it handles things. This series really isn’t about a shounen protagonist fighting demons for his sister, it’s about two siblings fighting to protect one another, and that has a huge impact on how it all feels.

Nezuko’s involvement in fights was the number one thing I went into this as a must-have because I just don’t care for shounen that much and that one thing would give this a little twist that would keep me interested and it’s absolutely delivered. She’s overpowered as fuck but given she’s a new demon and a young girl she isn’t amazing at fighting, but even that element has given the show another way to develop an otherwise one note character (simply being a demon) while also keeping her from just destroying everything non-stop – instead she’s “demon” “sister” “protector” with “KOS-MOS” added to the mix too but a learning KOS-MOS not an actual KOS-MOS because if you’ve played Xenosaga at all you know she just starts out and remains forever absolutely the strongest thing in the entire game. Nezuko’s signature move is kicking heads off, but she has shown the capacity to really learn how to fight back against enemies just like Tanjiro himself while earlier in the show she’d kick a head off and then immediately get her ass kicked. She’s not some side character, and she’s not some cute girl to stand on the side and watch fights happen while being protected, she’s fucking cool and super fucking sweet and the fact her sisterly bond with Tanjiro is the root of her internal strength just makes her even more lovable. She’s a truly great character even though she’s literally got a gag in her mouth at all times and can’t speak (well in my case that just makes me like her more), and every episode I can’t wait to see her. They also just did a fantastic job of her character design – especially her eyes which are the only thing she has to really get across any emotion and they did great at making them speak for her.

Really a pretty great show and I appreciate that it makes sure to remind you at least with the bigger enemies that they were turned into demons but were all originally human aside the progenitor of them all presumably. It’s a little on the more simple childish writing side for that stuff because it IS a shounen manga, but I still enjoy that aspect. In fact, I enjoy all of it.

Boogiepop And Others

For some reason Anichart lists this as a “leftover” that was airing last season – I don’t recall that at all, maybe it was like 1 episode? Well, because I was using it for this even though it makes no sense I will go with just one sentence instead of more. “Expect more of my thoughts on this show when it appears on the top 10 of the year.” I feel pretty ashamed of not talking about this when it was airing as I am a huge Boogiepop fanboy since way back but this will have to do for now.

And that was kinda it aside still watching Jojo 5, but that started last fucking year somehow. My current season post is basically complete so expect it in a day or two. I’ve tried a fuck ton more this season so it’ll be a lot busier than this post.

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