Fall 2018 Anime Round Up

I’m only about a month late but whatever. Fall 2018 was a fairly uninspired season- chatting with a friend yesterday I literally couldn’t name a single show I’d watched without referring to my notes.

Great Shows:

These anime were legitmiately good and highlight why this medium is arguably better than live-action and how its not just for kids.

Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume wo Minai– this show wasSeishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume wo Minai fantastic. Easily AOTS. In the same vein as SNAFU or even Classroom of the Elite (I’m reasonably sure all three have the same writer or character designer…), a deadpan main character deals with the ever increasing harem of attractive girls around him. However unlike a tpyical harem, he actually has a girlfriend and the girls all have actualy characters, development and interpersonal relations that aren’t just about the male MC. The art, animation and music are all really really good (although the hype of the OP song is perhaps a bit too much). It also has some really good small touches, like the chnages it makes to the ED as it progresses through each arc. Thankfully the bunny girl stuff really only features in ep1 and then a single scence around ep8-9 and is played for emotional laughs. The supernatural stuff isn’t too ridicuous even though by all rights it’s stupid, they use it to good comedic effect with the deadpan MC. But the show really focuses on the characters and how they (in)effectively deal with puberty and goreiing up and family/societal pressure. Which is a super relatable to any audience. The arc with the science nerd girl was a bit of a dissappointment and I’m annoyed at the number of unresolved plot threats (namely the mysterious purple haired beach girl and the MCs own supernatural issue which is highlighted in ep1). Also the ending was fucking heartbreaking with how things panned out for the MCs sister. Such a beutifuclly emotional show. Absolutely recommend it and insts people ignore the silly title.

Yagate Kimi ni Naru– what appears to be a yuri romance show on the surface is Yagate Kimi ni Naruactually a show about young people’s self-realisation. Speaking to a fellow anime nerd about this show, it was observed that none of the characters actually change what they are or what they’re doing over the show. Rather, what changes as they develop is that they stop passively being *something* and start actively being that same *something*. The art style and animation are eye wateringly beutuficul, notably the walking to and from the student council room. And the romance triangle that sort of forms between three girls is a fantastic deconstruction of a girl who is disillusioned with her own inabilty to feel love, a girl who has been putting on a persona for so long she doesn’t know how to be herself and a girl who has dedicated her enitre existence to a falsehood story. But even then, those brief descriptions barely capture the comoplexity of those three characters. As a crisitism, the two other characters included in the student council feature in half an epsiode and zero episodes respectively which was a bit dissappointing. Also the fact that the yrui romance was successfully kept a secret and had no repurcussions was an odd choice. There was a weird subplot about one of the yuri girls being told by an ex-lower she was just going through a phase which was a but weird. Also the final arc was quite tropey in that they were perfomring a play that happened to replicate aspects of the weird love triangle, false persona situation. But it was handled suprisingly well, in parituclar all three characters immediately relaised this and it became an active spy-vs-spy thing as they watched how the other reacted and did things themselves to try steer it to their own direction. The ending was a bit unstasifying in the sense it didn’t reach a proper conclusion, but I guess that’s an incentive to read the manga. However my biggest issue with this show, and the reason I initially dropped it, is that the early episodes feature pretty frequent sexual assault of a young girls by the older one. It’s played off in a positive way as the young girl doesn’t feel assaulted or a victim but even so it’s quite off putting and gross. Is the main reason it isn’t AOTS. Makes it hard to recommend because rather than the usual anime caveat of ‘dumb stuff in bad taste’ (e.g. ridicuously proportioned female characters) it’s got an actively, morally bad starting point. It’s great if you can get past that but still is kind of fucked.

Watchable Shows

These shows weren’t actively terrible but they weren’t actively fantastic. I enjoyed them as filler content while playing Smash Ultimate or eating or watching two things at once.

Irozuku Sekai no Ashita karaIrozuku Sekai no Ashita kara- or as I call it, poorly-Irozuku Sekai no Ashita karadisguised-depression-metaphor the anime; was a fine show. The art and animation was generally good and the characters all had reasonable development. The fact that pretty much all the intercharacter relationships we saw develop were romantic ones (with the exception of the MC and her grandmother) was a bit boring. Also the solution to the MCs “I can’t use magic for some reason” (*cough* I’m depressed *cough*) was obvious from episode 1. There was also a “reveal” about a book the MC vaguely remembered from her childhood which was also incredibly obvious several episodes in advance. I was a bit suprised how much of a focus was put on school based content given it was technically a magic anime but the activities that happened there were fun enough. Only real issue is that they didn’t stick the landing at the end- which they never could because it was a time travel anime. The MC was sent into the past by her grandma to hang out with teeange-grandma and her friends. So they then built up all these relationships, in particular a romance, and at the end there was a somewhat rushed arc about her having to return to the future. I won’t spoilt how it reolved but I wasn’t happy with it emotionaly… but then again I think the alternatives would have been equally unahppy for a variety of reasons. Time travel should just be avoided, Steinsgate lukced out in being fantastic.n

Release the Spyce– I’m not really sure what I exoected from this show. I foundRelease the Spyce the unintentional message of ‘do drugs, they make you stronger and you ca do cool shit’ kind of amusing. The… six(?)… main girls were kind of cute and the world/story was kind of interesting. I guess. Each episode consisted of some insanely stupid “espionage” thing followed by an action sequence of these ninja girls fucking people/robots up. The training arc went maybe a little too long and the MCs self doubt got a bit grating. There was a werid side plot involving a viking girl which was funny (in the sense that the viking girl had wiped out an entire branch of the secret spy agency and no-one noticed) and there identify of the traitor was a bit of a suprise… as were the consenquences of their revelation as a traitor. This is 100% the sort of show to watch while making dinner or doing homework- you can stop watching for minutes at a time and not be confused about what’s going on when you come back.

SSSS.GRIDMAN- I have no love for the Gridman franchise. I have never seen SSSS.Gridmanany other parts of it. The only reason I watched this was becuase it was Mech vs Kaiju fights. And there was a weird amount of discussion over how “thicc” the main female character was. To be frank the show was garbage. It looked pretty but reused footage way too often, had fairly cookie character characters and the story was pretty uninspired. Typical villian-of-the-week mostly with a weird redemption arc (or two?) in a longer story towards the end. And the thicc girl was basiclaly always shot from the wasit up so that was a complete waste of time on everyone’s behalf. I guess this show was like a DCEU movie but unlike DCEU it chickened out and didn’t committ to weirdly sexualising its female characters. So a good show to watch if you like a pretty, trainwreck you don’t need to devote brain space to.

Tonari no Kyuuketsuki-san– cute girls doing cute things, but two of those girlsTonari no Kyuuketsuki-san are 300+ year old vampires. A yuri vampire slice of life. A fairly funny if fogettable show, each of the four characters fit a fairly standard mold and the episodic nature of the epsiodes meant that if a storyline didn’t really work, it was gone pretty soon. For example the werid doll stuff. Most unrealistic thing was the the MC’s (a like, ~14 year old girl) parents were happy to let her move out of home and in with another 14 year old girls (one of the 300) old vampires) without parental supervision.  Some of the gags around a 300+ year old vampire being a massive otaku were pretty funny- her coffin full of body pillows, her insistence that the only people posting to forums at 3am must also be vampires who don’t need sleep etc. I kind of switched off towards the end of the series but it a decent show to chuck on if you’re bored and don’t want to think too deeply.

Otona no Bouguya-san– was a fairly Otona no Bouguya-sanforgettable short about a fantasy world shop selling female armour i.e. sexy armour. Each epsiode had a laugh or two and they run short so that was fine. Nothing really of interest. It relied too much on the premise in ealr eposides and then had a really bad crack at a story in the later episodes. It was fine though. Good to watch while brushing your teeth.

 

Dissappointing Shows

For some reason I thought these shows would be great but turns out I was wrong.

Goblin Slayer– despite all the bullshit press coverage, episode 1 of this show Goblin Slayerwas fantastic. It did a great job estabishing the characters, the world and the tone of this very grimdark fantasy world. However it didn’t live up to that setting and, through a combination of righteous backlash and the fact the manga also does this, quickly regressed to being a typical fantasy world show. Look, rape is fucked. I know that. You know that. We all know that. So the way Goblin Slayer used rape to show just how fucked the world was isn’t inherently a problem. What is a problem is that completely disregarded being an actually edgy grimdark story- what was an awesome exercise in world building was turned an oggensivel egregious use of rape to shock people into paying attention. The manga regressed into medicrity a bit less abruptly from what I’ve seen but the anime glosses over the other sharp edges in the story pretty much entirely. Ultimately ending with a stock standard fight of misc adventurers fighting off a few waves of attacking goblins. Ugh. Was also kind of funny that they killed a Beholder with a sack of flour.  If you’re a fan of D&D and being a murder-hobo this show is probably worth watching btu otherwise there’s more interesting stuff out there.

Uchi no Maid ga Uzasugiru!- I cannot for the life of me figure out why I thought Uchi no Maid ga Uzasugiru!this would be good. If you gender swap the adult character it’s just flat out pedophilia. It had a few funny gags buried amongst garbage that somehow kept me going. Somehow. I don’t know how. Don’t watch this. It doesn’t even explain why the MC has a fucking eyepatch after serving in the JSDF. Ugh. I’m not even sure if any of the characters have any worthwhile growth. The side characters are partiucalry aggravating, epseiclaly the Maid’s ex-JSDF commander who’s a massive masochist for no reason. And the young loli girls friends, parituclarly the “popular” one who keeps challenging her to fights. Oh and there’s a super contrived ‘big drama’ event at the end of the series that is not even based on a plausible misunderstanding, it’s just based on characters being incoherent. So dumb. Don’t watch.

Dropped Shows

Everything prior were shows I watched entirely. Any other Fall 2018 anime was bad. But here are some particualrly egregious examples of bad-ness which make it hard to be an anime fan and also have people’s respect. Or are just things that weren’t for me (a person with a full time job and decent taste)

Conception- the plot of this show is a bland MC having to fuck 12 girls who match the star signs to save the world. Starting with the cousin who is also pregant through immaculate conception. This show is almost literal cancer.

Bakumatsu- some weird bishi samurai displaced into an alternative era show. A plot point of the opening ep is how one guy uses a really big sword. I don’t remember anything else. Not my cup of tea.

Sono Toki, Kanojo wa- this wasn’t anime. It was a bunch of poorly drawn still images with naration put to it.

Akanesasu Shoujo- something about a crystal radio connecting different worlds and girls fighting monsters. Possibly some interacting-with-other-versions-of-yourself-who-have-a-really-fucked-life.  Found it quite boring.

Anime Yell!- sports anime where the sport is cheerleading and the art/animation are a bit weirder/simpler than they initially seem.

Dakaretai Otoko 1-i ni Odosarete Imasu- one sexy hot male model blackmails another sexy hot mail model into a relationship. I think. Which might be the plot of one of the Zoolander movies. Again, not my cup of tea but I suppose I can see it appealing to specific demograhics.

Double Decker! Doug and Kirill- Tiger and Bunny is a fantastic show. This is a poor sort-of-prequel that tries to cash in on the buddy cop dynamic but completly fucks it up. Go watch Tiger and Bunny instead.

Frankenstein Family- a fairly generic/boring show across the board, supplmented by a large amount of in studio interviews with the people who were making the show. I guess it’d be good to watch if you want to work in the industry and get some insights into the production of anime.

Gaikotsu Shoten’in Honda-san- a fantatsic 2-3 minute short anime strecthed into 15 minute epsiodes of subpar mediocrity.

Gakuen Basara- quite possibly the worst adaption of the warring states characters. This time the historical figures are all delinquents in highschool gangs! Or soemthing.

Himote House- oh godm the CG, it burns! This is the type of show that makes it hard to argue having CG in anime is ok/can be beneficial.

Hinomaru Sumo- a sports anime about sumo. Featuring a lot of delinquents (at least in episode 1) and a MC who’s main characteristic is that he is small. Not a sport I care for and the over the top dumbness makes it a worse verion of Kuroko no Basuke.

Jingai-san no Yome- I dont understand. Why is the male highschool student this weird fluff creature’s wife? He is very clarly male and very clearly a wife. What?

Karakuri Circus- I dunno. Some people have told me this good. It’s a fairly generic shounen but this one is set in the circus rather than with ninja/pirates/magicians. Whatever floats your boat?

En Ken – Aoki Kagayaki- I think this was a Chinese production. Probably towards the better end of that genre of anime but yet to crack into ‘good’. It had a lot of interesting elements but fuck it was a poorly paced, confusing mess without the best art/animation. Maybe next time China.

Kishuku Gakkou no Juliet- Romeo and Juliet but in this version the two groups have about four different characteristics that splot them- nationality, colour, animal, direction on compass, preferred form of government. You know, the usual.

Kitsune no Koe- continuing the trend that any anime about music is bad.

Muhyo to Rouji no Mahouritsu Soudan Jimusho- a boring supernatural/detective agency show. Just watch Mob Psycho 100 instead.

Ore ga Suki nano wa Imouto dakedo Imouto ja Nai- further showcasing the horrors of animes deepest depths, in this one the MCs little sister is a perfect human who loves him (too much) and wrote a super successful manga about a girl who loves her older brother. And the MC has to pretend to be the author and thus gets fawned on by a harem of terribly an dinconcstently drawn one dimensional “characters”. Fucking hell Japan.

Radiant- a genera wizard shounen. Like Black Clover, maybe less yelling. Equally as bad.

RErideD – Tokigoe no Derrida- further proof that Steinsgate was a massive fluke. This weird time travel, robot apoclypse, greedy corpoation show by the Steins;gate… creator? (writer? director?) was boring and bad. And super fucking contrived all through ep 1 to try set up the nonsensical “story”.

Sora to Umi no Aida- five(ish) young girls fight against the patricachal system of space whaling. Fuck off.

Ulysses – Jeanne d’Arc to Renkin no Kishi– you think Japan only fucks up adapting their own historicla events? Have you heard of the 100 year wat? Well imagine every one of the main people is a cute young girl who wants to fuck (I mean, be friends with) Montmorency (who’s based on Bluebeard). Also there are fairies who all look like kids toys except one who looks like a dominatrix and is the one who accompanies our “hero”. Fucking hell Japan.

Zombieland Saga- an idol show not as bad as that Yakuza Idol show from a season or two earlier. It had a fantastic opening bit then went down hill into, well, generic idol bullshit. I’m told the rap/hiphop at the end of ep2 was great but I disagree. Am also told there is a big emotional reveal about why the MC is one of the zombies (given she is the only non-idol) but I don’t really care.

Devidol- an idol show that was as bad as that yakuza one, however while that was just an incredibly fucked concept, this one is a minorly fucked concept and incredibly fucked CGI.

Bonus Stuff

Here’s some other random anime stuff I’ve finshed recently:

SAO 2- with SAO 3 starting this season, it seems the perfect time to finish S2. However I don’t care about watching what’s popular anymore, only stuff I like/think I like. More to the point, I got a new laptop and needed to transfer files off my old one. So I decided to give up on FFF fansubs and just watch the final arc of S2 with official subs. It was boring. Introducing a random character who is magically better that Kirito (maybe) and then killing her with cancer or something was presumably a nice emotional moment for fans. But I don’t care about the characters.

Attack on Titan S3- I don’t actually know if I finished this show. I think the blonde girl is Queen (Krista?) and there was some shit about undergound crystal caves. As with SAO S2, I just wanted to clear up space on my computer. This show is bad and you should be dissappointed/angry at how its ended up being so bad.

Steinsgate 0- I finished it and also have watched half of the extra OVA episode. I was pleasantly surpised with the ending/final arc. The show definetely sucked in the middle chunk but with a solid opening and ending story it was worth the watch. OVA is just a waste of time. And it’s nowhere near as good as the original. But I guess it’s a fun journey back into that universe.