Spring 2018 Anime wrap up

Unfortunately, as they more or less say in Jurassic park, life finds a way to get in the way of watching anime.

Specifically, I was away with family no internet for about four months so started the Spring 2018 season super late. That being said, I somehow managed to catch up and finish all the shows worth watching. So here’s some thoughts that definitely follow the same format as my other wrap ups:

“Must Watch”

Legend of the Galactic Heroes- Die Neue These– The original 1980s/1990s always seemed like a must watch show. It was critically acclaimed by everyone who’d seen it and the genre and topic (sci-fi, politics, strategy, war with heroes on both sides, moral shades of grey etc). But it’s age, and thus old animation style, and the fact it was 110 episode long was always a major turn off. So the 2018 remake is a great jumping in point and now the original is extremely high on my ‘to watch list’. Possibly only two missteps- a single scene maybe 2/3 through that sort of seems to be trying to set up things for like Season 3 of this story and then a cliffhanger ending. Legit expected the show to be 13 eps not 12 based on how/where ep 12 ended.

Hinamatsuri-¬†an excellent absurdist comedy dealing with a very nice, straight man yakuza and their sudden adoption of a psychic child. Incredibly funny storylines and characters… with a hugely poignant, entirely left-field social commentary weaved through the middle section that makes it almost lose the tag of being a comedy entirely. Not sure how I feel about the final episode. But absolutely one of the best comedy shows I’ve seen recently.

“Worth Watching (seriously)”

Mahou Shoujo Site– while not reaching the same heights as Puella Magi Madoka Magica or the same horrors as Magical Girls Raising Project, this was still a solid instalment in the genre of ‘cute high school girls getting absolutely fucked over and brutally massacred by the T&Cs of magic’. Is related to Magical Girl Apocalypse but I don’t know much about that. Worth checking out if your a fan of magical girls (or if you hate them)

Megalo Box– this boxing anime had a real 90s vibe to it, due mainly to the animation and pacing. Reminded me of Hajime no Ippo crossed with Blade Runner. Perhaps not as good as that cross over would imply, but still a really good story. While the overall arc was predictable, there were still a few twists and turns I did not expect.

Steins Gate 0– the original Steins;gate rates as one of the best TV shows I’ve ever seen. Period. However is has been a significant outlier to the rest of the anime in the same universe, with two iterations of Chaos;Head being bad and horrible and Robotics;Notes being passable. Even the Steins;gate movie was a bit unexciting. Currently this two-cour spin off story is half done and I think it’s falling short of the original but still exceeding everything else in the franchise. In particular the first six or so eps were a solid marathon with quite an emotional rollercoaster. Let’s hope it keeps that good trajectory.

Fumikiri Jikan– this is a little fun short (~4 minutes in length). So it is a bunch of funny scenarios that play out with some jokes and then end without over staying their welcome. Nothing amazing but a great little show to chuck on to fill in time.

“Worth watching (ironically)”

Dorei-kun The Animation– one of my rules of anime is that if the title includes the word ‘The Animation’, the show will be terrible. That is true here. However this is the rare case where is is such a dumpster fire that it becomes entertaining to watch (I’m looking at you Guilty Crown). Average animation, insane characters, ridiculous motivations, predictable story, poor voice acting (especially the English parts). Ah such a glorious train wreck of a show.

Comic Girls– cute girls doing “cute” things. I guess. Aspiring mangaka who all happen to be in the same class at the same school live in a door. They break out the trope of insecurities over breast size and have the busty blonde (who is still in school) traipse around in just her underwear in the second episode. Also there is a fifth person who lives by themselves in the attic (everyone else shares a room but this girl’s partner ditched her to go overseas) and is (unintentionally?) bullied mercilessly by the main four characters- they exclude her from everything, run away whenever she is near, don’t even recognise her when they see her at school… I guess it’s fine for just a ‘show to throw on and not think about’

Darling in the Franxx– once again, Trigger shows that despite they don’t deserve the unrequited love the community appears to give them. Take a less good version of Evangelion and halfway through switch it to be a less good version of Gurren Lagann and you’ve got what this show is attempting to do and failing at. And then there is a sudden shift into Stardew Valley for a bit too…

Emiya-san Chi no Kyou no Gohan– bad cooking with bad Fate franchise stuff. Whatever. I guess teaching anime fans how to cook food is of benefit to society?

Sword Art Online Alternative- Gun Gale Online– I stuck with Sword Art Online longer than most sane people did and perhaps my hatred of the franchise is disproportionately large because of that. I went into this expecting to hate it but found it ok. Taking out all the problematic characters of SAO and the world is ok. Has a stupid end but the journey was fun enough on the way there.

“You know what you’re getting”

Shokugeki no Souma S3 (cour 2)– This is the second half of Season 3. By this stage, you know if you like it or not. By this stage I’m still enjoying it but don’t pay full attention to it when I’m watching it

Boku no Nero Academia– this is… season 3 of the show? And it’s maybe half done? I think? It had a very shaky start as they had to jam story content into the framework of ‘students going to school’ which is by far the biggest thing holding the show back. But after the ~8-10 episode summer camp arc, we actually got the first bit of actual plot progression since about episode 3 of Season 1. Was fine, maybe even good in parts.

Nanatsu no Taizai- Imashime no Fukkatsu– the first half of the second season was quite a struggle. Actually, maybe it was the middle third. The story really got lost in the weeds and got kind of boring. Nothing was really progressing and characters were being added in and side stories fleshed out. And then at the end a heap of stuff was packed into a couple of episodes. Given how much time is spent recapping previous episodes, I’m wondering if there is a dearth in the source material.

“Dunno, is maybe ok”

Saredo Tsumibito wa Ryuu to Odoru– watched three episodes. Swords, magic and dragons. Wasn’t bad enough to make me hate it and drop it but not good enough to make me bother to pick up any more episodes. So maybe it it’s great, maybe it’s awful.

Is actually just bad

Anything not mentioned above is bad and shouldn’t be watched, mentioned again or have any money given to support it in any form. But some particularly egregious pieces of crap from Spring 2018:

Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii- it’s main crime is being popular but not good. A classic case of anime fans going ‘hey I’m that unsociable nerd so maybe I can get a girlfriend/boyfriend like the unsociable nerds in this show even they they are bad people’. I dropped this on ep1, ep 3 and ep6 (my “friends” kept trying to make me watch it as it apparently got good. Liars.)

Tokyo Ghoul:re- Season 1 was fine, Season 2 was a trainwreck, this started by randomly destroying the kind of interesting MC and his kind of character development for no clear reason. And made things super fucking boring. Dropped in less than one ep.

Golden Kamuy- CGI Bears. Enough said (although Japan acknowledging the existence of the Ainu is surprising). Dropped after ep3

3D Kanojo- like Wotaku but without the pretence of being ‘realistic’. Not sure of that makes it worse of better though. Dropped after ep2

Uma Musume Pretty Derby- the horse girls and their interactions with broader soicety raise so many questions it makes my head hurt. Dropped after ep2