Another season done and the endless pandemic makes the concept of time increasinly less relevant and hard to follow. Would be nice if there was more great stuff to watch.
Houkago Teibou Nisshi– as someone who is not in highschool, not a girl and does not like fishing; everything about this show is not for me. But in the same way that Yuru Camp had agreat and relaxing take on the cute-girls-being-cute genre by having them focus on an unusual hobby. Houkago was a fantastic angle on that genre through the lens of a school fishing club. Each of the characters brought interesting stuff to the table- Hina as the new person who is yucked out by much of the gross stuff of fishing, Natsumi the youthful energy, Ohno the reserved expert and President as the lazy and cunning one. Plus the drunkard. unreliable teacher/advisor who came in every now and then. Using Hina as the draw to bring the watcher into the ideas and details of fishing didn’t get tired across the season and the way they characters bounced off each other made for some great comedy and learning moments. And I loved in the last episode where the whole club embraces Hina’s interest of handicrafts/sewing as she embraced fishing over the series. A fantastic show and the only one I’d recommend without caveats from the season.
Deca-Dence– this show had a good first episode setting up an interesting world . Then episode 2 started with the biggest twist (to the point I thought I was watching the wrong show) that ranks up there with the Gakkou Gurashi ep1 twist. And then after that point it was a pretty solid action show about ‘fighting the system’. Literally. I got a bit bored so ended up marathoning a bunch of episodes in the middle in a clump. When you’re watching the episodes they are super fun and engaging but they didn’t really draw me in to immediately watch them when I could like Houkago (or even Maou Gakuin). A solid recommendation for people to give it a try.
Maou Gakuin no Futekigousha– this show is either the worst legitimate attempt at the ‘OP protag who crushes everything in training school” genre or the best piss-take of it I’ve seen. Even had a line in like ep1 about “did you really think I’d die if you killed me”, which is either terrible writing or brilliant writing. It got to a point in the middle of the season where I was beginning to think the charm was wearing off as given how ridiculously OP Anos (the protag) had been in the tests and trials various one episode villains had put up, it was becoming ridiculous that anyone was still refusing to acknowledge he was so much more powerful than them and they couldn’t beat him in a fight… but at that point the school sent a delegation off to another kingdom so it because plausible int he story that they would still not acknowledge and adapt to run out the season. Was also great how the tsundere and kuudere characters were both conquered in the first two eps and Anos just went around casually being awesome and gathering more of a harem, literally (and accidentally) redirecting an entire equality movement to fall in line and love with him. Plus his parents were a good occasional gag, as the typical parental attitude of ‘my child is the greatest’ was absolutely right and they treat him just as any parent would their one year old child- lots of doting. This is a bit of a trashy recommendation as a show, I can see it wouldn’t be to everyone’s taste but it’s solid fun that doesn’t require much (any) thought or brain engagement
Shows that I’m watching and are good(?) but I haven’t finished yet
Fruits Basket S2– this show is fucking fantastic and at this stage I’m deliberately not watching episodes because a) if I watch one I must watch more and b) I simply don’t want to finish it and thus have no more to watch.
My Teen SNAFU S3– this show is also very good but I’m feeling some of the magic may be missing from earlier seasons. I suspect that is because while the in-the-moment stuff is still great, the long form story is clearly zeroing in on Hachiman x Yukinon and that is the pairing I find least interesting. Yukinon is the least interesting girl (“oh no I’m super rich and privileged and have to deal with my mums expectations”) and I think her and Hachiman are too similar personalty wise and bring out the worst of each other. Yuigahama is the better girl, both in of herself and with Hachiman they make each other better. So I do wish that was the direction it went and find myself in a rollercoaster of emotion as every time Yui is on screen I get my hopes up Hachiman will make the right decision. Especially as the source material goes Yukinon- this is a show where I think having different endings manifest in different media ould be very interesting. (Irohas is second place girl narrowly edging above Yukinon… although Kawasaki makes a very strong case in early S3 arc. As does Yui’s mum late in S3).
Re:Zero S2– this show is also very good BUT I find that it seems to be really padding and stretching out things. Both in terms of the story (fucking hell Subaru takes about 50% more loops to figure things out that he should) but more-so as a production thing. Probably due to COVID but they seem to be really stretching things out to pad the run time. I found it particularly annoying in a loop where he got killed by broken-Emilia because what shoudl have been a 3 minute segment of him trying to run, failing and dying took more than half an episode. At this stage I am keeping my watch at least a week behind because I find one episode is unsatisfying in terms of progressing stories or characters so having a spare to keep going to have me end the watch with a positive feeling. Is still a really good show, but is become more and more apparent that they good things are the world and supporting characters not Subaru. I generally don’t like OP as fuck protagonists (unless it’s a joke like Maou) but as boring as they are equally as bad through frustration are idiot protagonists who miss obvious things which Subaru is really leaning in to.
Railgun S3– I really don’t know about this show. There seems to be large amounts of time where nothing is really happening and heaps of focus on characters who aren’t a) Railgun or b) her trio of friends. Particulary bad in the opening arcs where it was about an interschool athletics carnival and we got heaps of episodes/time focused on random characters fighting random bad guys. There is a big lack of Biribiri and Touma and their, uhh, electric relationship which is far and above the most interesting thing of the Railgun franchise (and the Index one too…). Was mildly surprised the busty.blonde girl turned out to be a good guy/ally and not the villain she was initally made out to be, but then the reveal that the arc was another Railgun Level Up/Level 6 thing was pretty boring. As was the solution to the arc, despite it feayuring Touma after the writers put themsleves in a hole. I also noticed that the teleport girl who loves Misaka has a weird sounding voice which maybe a new VA (or it being years since S2 finished so the VAs voice has changed). I also found it very funny that after a COVID induced pause they came back with a recap episode to remind people what had happened…. and then had another COVID induced pause a fortnight later. At this point I’m half a dozen eps behind and 60/40 dropping this show which feels oddly sad.
Shows I finished but I don’t know why
Lapis ReLiGHTs– I really don’t know why I finished this show. I think because the world it built was interesting even if it seemed to be doing so accidentally/tangentially to the ‘story’ of the five main girls trying to become magic-singing-witches. The episodes were entertaining enough I guess but the switch to CGI for the music performances was a bit garish and the music itself was of course absolutely horrid. Had a couple interesting arcs of people learning how to believe in themselves and their companions. A complete left-field final conflict and a few mildly surprising twists/mysteries involving Tia’s older sisters actions that were almost interesting. But then it had some really weird decisions- like in the last arc the main girls discover the older sister has used a magic circle to transport to another city to deal with final conflict. But they themselves can’t use the magic circle coz its advanced.. But rather than them teaming up and demonstrating how they’ve grown and learned by using the circle as a group, instead Tia’s made come sin with a clutch save of a magical plane to fly them there and meat the deadline… with planes not having been seen or mentioned before.. So yeah, weird. This show really strikes me as trying to sell/advertise something but I’m not quite sure what as it’s ambiguously part of a ‘multimedia project’. But yeah, if you like idol shows you’ll enjoy this. If you like magical girl shows it’s ok but lacking.
Peter Grill to Kenja no Jikan– seriously odd show to watch. I mean, I have access to hentai so the appeal of this show isn’t really necessary. None of the girls I found particular attractive physically or personality wise and I didn’t even realise there were uncensored versions of the bouncing tits until halfway through the show. But then weirdly at the end if had a surprisingly well written arc about people learning to let go and growing and attaining goals and such. And I must admit the individual episodes introducing each of the four girls sucking off Peter for his super powered sperm were amusing. The weakest part of the show was the middle between introducing the girls and the final arc of lazy hi-jinks resulting in Peter having to reluctantly fuck all the girls multiple times. And to be honest that stuff was bad, with the stuff before and after barely scraping in as ‘ok’ so really not worth anyone’s time to watch. Although the final ep suggested a second season which is surely never going to happen.
Shows that are bad and worth me commenting on to point out they are bad
Dokyuu Hentai HxEros- like Peter Grill, but instead of being a medieval fantasy setting this is a power ranger highschool setting. A few funny gags in the opening couple eps e.g. ‘when a girl runs through the school in a swimsuit word spreads fast’ but everything was pretty boring and cliche and with no uncensored version zero point watching it through
Gibiate- generic samurai and generic ninja from feudal Japan end up in generic future world fighting generic evil bug things and somehow their old weapons are not even less effective that the modern/future weapons. A generically “attractive” female who is maybe meant to be bad ass? I can’t remember to be honest, this show had nothing that latched in the memory
Kanojo, Okarishimasu- this show being so “popular” and over-hyped by Crunchyroll really fucking annoys me. Is a generic harem with an even more emasculated and hopeless and inept MC than normal (seriously, he’s such a mess that people shouldn’t be interested in him in general, let alone a string of babes having romantic interest). And it somehow seems to be shaming the idea of sex-work or ‘renting girlfriends’ despite that being the operating premise of the show.. The girls themselves (well, the two I saw before dropping the show) seem like interesting characters in of themselves but their involvement and interest with the MC (beyond a monetary one of him literally hiring them to pretend to be his gf) is nonsensical. And the vibes and messages I think this show sends to people watching it just don’t seem healthy.
Monster Musume no Oisha-san- a doctor/vet provides health services to a bunch of monster-girls and they all want to fuck him. Yawn. Yuk. Seriously Japan why do you need to make this trash.
Ninja Collection- I think this was being made by a one-person team consisting of an intern from a local high-school with no budget. If so it’s a pretty great effort by them and they have a promising future ahead of them. If it’s not this is possibly the worse thing ever in terms of concept, story, execution, animation, art, VA, music etc.
The God of High School- this shows “popularity” and Crunchyroll based hype really annoyed me. It’s interesting that it’s adapting a Korean ‘manwha’ instead of a manga but (like Tower of God adapting a webcomic last season being its point of distinction) that doesn’t make it interesting/good. The art-style was a bit different, not good or bad but interesting. And I guess the action/fights were well made. But aside from that it was completely empty and vacuous. The characters were barely one-dimensional and the story was literally a highschool tournament arc with no emotion or meaning behind any of the fights because none of the characters were characters. A lazy excuse to set up cool lighting fights but still a complete waste of time.
Uzaki-chan wa Asobitai!- this show is absolute trash and its popularity speaks very poorly for both Japan and anime fans. The main character is designed and coded as a 12 year old with huge tits. I don’t care if the story says she’s in university, her entire design is of that as a child with watermelons for tits. Unlike e any other female character in the show who look and act like adults, as do all the male ones. Everything with Uzaki in the story is sexualising children because of how she looks and acts. If she was designed like every other female character in the show, even keeping her abnormally short and unnaturally busty, or had even a modicum of adult thoughts/actions/reasoning it would be a fine and ok show. Maybe even good with its story about coming out of your shell and engaging with people. But as it is it is at best borderline pedophilia with the most flimsy of excuses to cover it that simply do not stack up.
COVID Induced Watch/Rewatch
Re: Zero Hyouketsu no Kizuna– an interesting prequel delving into Emilia and Puck that gives some background on how/why Emilia is so mentally fucked and unsure. Good background viewing before S2 with some good combat at the end, if maybe a little long in the tooth in terms of run time. I am not 100% sure that I had not watched it previously (like the other OVA where it’s prepping for Subaru and Emilia’s date) which perhaps says a lot about how engaging/essential it is as a viewing experience.
Full Metal Alchemist 2003– FMA:Brotherhood is in my mind possibly the greatest piece of media and storytelling ever made. It is flawless, aside from possibly being both too long (a hard sell to others to try at ~60 eps) and too short (it ends and thus I can’t keep watching new episodes). But I occasionally hear people say that the 2003 series that has an original story is great, maybe even better because it takes 25 episodes to cover the first 11(ish) eps of Brotherhood giving those early stories more heart and impact. Those people are wrong. The early arcs are fine but the extra detail honestly seems more like filler/padding and the tight construction in Brotherhood is way better (also the stretching out of the Shou Tucker and Nina stuff is torture). Then the anime original story and characters it has post episode 25 are way inferior too, being way more generic/cliche, less interesting and more predictable. Even the characters who aren’t anime original are way more two-dimensional in their actions and plans and motivations. Specifically Armstrong, Mustang, Kimblee, Scar, Selim and Alphonse are done dirty in this version (let alone the great characters who don’t even feature in the 2003 version) and make decisions that don’t make sense e.g. Alphonse switching sides to help the Homonculus. The unresolved ending is also pretty bad. I’m told that the movie resolves/fixes the ending and is thus a better movie than the Brotherhood movie, which is maybe true but it’s still bad. I concede that the show may be decent on it’s own or in the context of 2003 era content and that comparing it (or anything) to Brotherhood is pretty unfair, but given it is FMA the Brotherhood comparisons is inevitable and given FMA 2003 is almost as long as Brotherhood I don’t see any reason anyone should watch this.
Konosuba S1 and part of S2- around May/June I somehow found myself watching heaps of Konosuba clips on facebook and found them really funny, so decided to give the show a crack at a third watch. And given I dropped it early in the second watch, I was pleasantly surprised that I quickly smashed through all of S1. I dropped off on S2 more as I got distracted with other things but overall I found the comedy beats hit really well this time. Dunno why. But in particular I liked the first episode and the scene of Kazuma and Aqua in the ‘go get reincarnated’ conversation. And things just rolled from there in a great marathon vibe as Kazuma’s reputation is made worse and worse by the actions of those around him (although he doesn’t help things with his own actions) e.g. Aqua in the cage, Megumin aggravating the Dullahan. And of course the accidental but lecherous panty-stealing scene(s) and the interactions between Kazuma’s band of deviant misfits and the legit-hero guy and his party were great. As was the Aqua-Wiz stuff as Aqua fucks things through her laziness. On the flip side, the stuff with the Succubuses (Succubi?) was the unwatchable sort of comedy- hilarious but just overwhelmingly awkward.
Arpeggio of the Blue Steel– this was a surprisingly decent show. I remember enjoying it when it first came out due to it’s actually good CGI and was surprised on the gym-rewatch that it actually had decent story, characters and action scenes. Nothing groundbreaking and the increasing cast of female ‘mental models’ for the ships who all seem to be obsessed with the main guy (or his main girl/ship Iona) is a bit much at times. But it was pretty enjoyable and helped make the dreariness of exercise bearable without requiring much thought (or being too concerned about what other gym people might randomly see on the screen if they glanced over). Apparently it has a couple sequel movies that I reckon I’ll try track down
Nobunaga no Shinobi– this is an odd one. It’s a fun shorts series (as in, 5 min episodes) that is like 70+ episodes long doing a comedic take on Nobunaga’s rise to power in feudal Japan. It came out across multiple seasons years ago and I’ve just been slowly working through it. On the odd occasion where i wanted a quick laugh and didn’t want to watch a full episode of something I’d watch a couple eps of this. And I finally finished it. It is very good and very funny and I hope reasonable historically accurate as most of my Nobunga knowledge is based on this show. Highly recommend it for people to check out for that same purpose of fun short gag comedy with an actual story.
Arakawa Under the Bridge– fuck me this show was unwatchable. Is by the same author as Monogatari but for whatever reason this version of that style of that show is grating, obnoxious, super dense and hard to get into. The characters shit me immediately and I barely finished the first episode and almost immediately dropped the second. The “jokes” were trying to be funny but I just found them extremely cringey. Makes me retrospectively worry about Monogatari and if its actually good… hard pass on this show.
Goblin Slayer Goblin Crown Movie– this movie was fine. Like (most of) the series. Although very little of the details were memorable enough to stick on my brain during, let alone after, the movie. But I enjoyed it in the moment.. I lol’ed at how utterly incompetent the non-Goblin Slayer party was in setting off to go kill some Goblins. Them all dying seemed actually appropriate. Also I found the extended recap of the series for the first… half(?) of the movie pretty boring. Seemed like a cheap attempt of ruling out the overall runtime to make it a theatrical movie rather than just an extended OVA (like the Re:Zero ones). At least they didn’t focus in on the rape scene(s), yeah..
Seitokai Yakuindomo S2 ep/OVA 22- I was so lost on this. I have no clue when it came out or if I’d already seen it, just saw it on my computer and thought I’d watch it to clear it out. It had some funny jokes but given I’d forgotten the details about half the characters several jokes didn’t quite land. And I definitely feel that the humour it, to m at least, pioneered and perfected way back in… uhh… 2011/2012(?) , has definitely been moved on from. Again, at least by me. Which makes me feel a little sad and reflective about the great group of undergrad uni mates I watched the series with and we pissed ourselves laughing. And now we’re all super busy adults who barely, if ever, hang out.
Kyochuu Rettou Movie– goddamn this movie was a a mess. An almost enjoyable mess. Watching a bunch of almost two dimensional and unlikable or nonsensical characters get fucked over by giant bugs on an abandoned island with weird sexual undertones/overtones/just-normal-tones was weird but fun
Studio Ghibli Movies- had the chance to see several Ghibli movies at a local cinema. Trying to draw in crowds with COVID around. Ended up seeing Laputa Castle in the Sky, Kiki’s Delivery Service and Lupin III- Castle of Cagliostro. I found all of them pretty underwhelming. I was surprised at how young the protagonists were in Laputa and Kiki’s, I feel if the characters were maybe half a dozen years older then the stories would work a bit better. A 10 year old trying to live by themselves in a new city (Kiki) is less interesting than a 16 year old (as the 10 year old gets a lot of more help and sympathy from other people to make it not a struggle). I did find it amusing how the titular Castle in the Sky maintained itself for centuries with no issue but within hours of humans finding it it was destroyed. Not heavy-handed messages at all. Meanwhile for Lupin I just found it boring and slow. I guess I can see why it was so good when it came out but through modern eyes it really does not hold up. But maybe I’m just expecting too much for what are basically kids movies from the 70s/80s that I would not ever consider watching if they weren’t
Big Brother US S8– this was another Dom & Colin podcast watch and while I really struggled to get into the BB concept as a much simpler game compared to Survivor, by the end I found it pretty engaging. For example while I don’t like how HoH can’t be won by a person multiple times in a row and forces people to do put their fate in others hands – in Survivor consecutive challenge wins is a potential strategy and make the choice of social manipulation a choice not a requirement and thus more impressive/interesting. But in the end game the HoH not being able to vote despite being the person who chooses the vote out nominations makes for some really interesting dynamics and strategy. But I hated how the show ended, it seriously shits me that a cunt like Evil Dick won the money at the end. Although the other players hardly showered themselves with glory e.g Joe was a real cunt, Dustin was an arrogant tosser, everyone watched Jen get abused and assaulted by Dick without intervening. (Shocking that Dick wasn’t forced to leave by the rules/laws after literally assaulting Jen and burning her with cigarettes. And equally shocking is how impressively resilient Jen was under that constant torrent of abuse). But I do recognize the interesting Production aspect of having to edit a 3 month long show where you only know things 48 hours in advance (if that). Especially with the America’s Player twist throwing a wrench in the dynamics- Eric being forced to make bad decisions (for his game) in who got voted out in order to protect Dick and Danielle reconciliation arc (as the 2008 populace decided they loved that). Became noticeable that Eric was clearly throwing the HoH challenges because if he won and had to nominate whoever America told him too, rather than lobbying for certain people to get nominated, he would destroy any chance he had of winning. I dunno if I’d recommend it for anyone else as a first BB experience but if you’re interested in the show worth checking out
Cobra Kai S1– this show was actually really good at the “re-contextualizing a good vs evil story to make things more grey than they originally appear” which is generally pretty cliche these days. Karate Kid is a great movie (lets ignore the sequels) and seeing the other side through Johnny’s shitty life (and Daniel becoming a bit of a privileged cunt) in Cobra Kai is great. I also love how Johnny teaches some very toxic 1980s ideas and ideals to the modern teenagers to help them overcome bullies which is very, uhh, conflicting. The tournament arc at the end was predictable in happening but surprising in its resolution. And the complex web of relationships and family made for some great character conflict and interactions. Highly recommend the show… although it recently got renewed for a S4 and I dunno if it has enough legs to go that far without jumping the shark or running out of steam. Have heard S2 is great too but S3 is probably where it should wrap up.
McMillions– this was a good 2 episode documentary about the Maccas Monopoly contest being rigged that was stretched over 6 episodes, without some awkward interview scenes in particular between a husband-wife where the wife’s body language and expressions make her seem very much like a domestic violence victim. Interesting enough story to half watch while doing something else but you can probably get the gist of it from a Wikipedia article summary without really missing out on anything.
Stargate S2– great. SFX is still a bit outdated and I fucking hate the recurring arc around Jolinar but otherwise super enjoyable stuff. Although the self-contained episodes that aren’t building towards the larger Goau’d storyline (in which I include stuff involving Asgard and Tokra) are generally pretty weak and could be skipped without missing much. Listening to a couple companion podcasts I’m finding myself increasingly at odds with the typical Stargate fans who generally love the one off comedy epsidoes (e.g. “1969”) while I find them so boring. I want plot progression dammit!
Alone S1– a really interesting reality show of people living by themselves in a very rough area of the wilderness. A bit clunky in its execution as a first time show e.g. entirely male cast, the camping sites of some people being inhabited by bears and thus not really feasible for long term human usage (safely). I really enjoyed both the early season action as people dropped like flies when really exposed (and ‘alone’) in the wild. Then the switch in the second part of the season to some super reflective and philosophical struggles between man and nature for the handful who stuck it out way longer than everyone else. I’m told that subsequent seasons really refine and build on this interesting show to make a great one, but I’m yet to have the time or inclination to check them out.
Man in Highcastle S1– this alternative history show (well, looking at current America I dunno if it is that “alternate”) was really engaging and interesting. Actually sympathizing with Nazis, especially John Smith, as they try and hold the Reich Empire together as Hitler’s health ails and worse Nazis try take over is so weird. While seeing the Japanese Empire be super racist and classist but also trying to maintain the balance with the Nazis is also pretty interesting. The love triangle involving Julianna is a bit meh and the direction that Ed goes (i.e. not being Resistance) makes his character really confusing. And while I suspect the titular Man in the High Castle and his films will be a lame, magical thing that doesn’t really fit satisfyingly with the hard-reality nature of the show, I really look forward to watching more of this show. Although I can fully see why watching such a grim-dark alternate history show is not something people want to do right now, but I found this a real enjoyable and interesting show to watch (maybe even fun? Maybe?)
Daria– tried watching this with a group of friends. Was shocked at how boring and slow and cringey I found it given I first watched it maybe 7 years ago, having not had MTV when it originally aired, and found it awesome without any nostalgia. Was meant to watch 6 episodes a week with this friend group but I dropped out after 3 eps in week 1 and didn’t go back.
Artemis Fowl– oh god this was irredeemably awful. I made the mistake of rereading several of the books before getting around to watching the live action adaption, which meant I had fresh memories that could see how they’d completely bastardized every single character and concept in a nonsensical and cheap retelling. Painful and disappointing.
Rick and Morty S4– I finished this show what seems like years ago and can not remember any of what happened in the second half of S4, other than finding it a bit more enjoyable (and less awkwardly horny) than the first half. Yeah, it’s really hard to think about or feel good about this show without remembering how fucked the fandom community is.
The New Mutants– goddamn this movie was weird. Production hell for several years makes sense given how shallow and confusing the final product was. But was great seeing all this young rising stars from 2016 in a movie they filmed in 2016 to try get into the superhero franchise cash cow. But this just won’t get that done for them. Has a real bad case of ‘entirely mismatched and incompatible powers’. One girl has the power of a laser sword. One guy can set himself on fire (not throw/use/create fire, just sets himself on fire). One guy can explode or something. One girl can take your dreams and make them real. And one person is just a werewolf. With the last one in particular really being a utility character where their power had a specific use case in one scene (tracking someone) and was otherwise entirely useless in the overall story. I saw this with a $5 movie ticket which made it an enjoyably bad watch…. but I think if I’d paid for a full price ticket I would have been pretty fucking annoyed.
Survivor NZ S1– this was a really pleasant season of Survivor to watch. It started off on very shaky grounds with the cheapness of the budget being obvious and lots of little things not quite being right compared to other versions e.g. all the supplies the castaways were given (including journals to write in!) and the voting urn being too small to hold the votes and the rewards being pretty lame (e.g. a chocolate bar in a zip-lock bag that melted before they could eat it…). Also the airing choice was weird- it was set up in two episode cycles using the Redemption Island mechanic- in the first ep they had reward challenge in game followed by a RI duel with the loser eliminated from the game. Then in the second ep they would have an immunity challenge followed by a tribal to vote someone to RI. With, to my understanding, these episodes having on Sunday-Monday, meaning there was a five day break between someone being ‘voted off’ and someone actually leaving the game. Also the first episode ran 90 minutes (with ads) and the second ep 60 minutes (with ads), which felt maybe backwards given how much more variable there were leading into a tribal vote than an RI duel. It was quite fun digging through Survivor podcast archives to find coverage of this show form the time to listen to (without being spoiled). Having never seen an RI season before, I’m not sure if I don’t like the concept at all (likely) or just the execution here was a bit meh (possible). But despite the shaky start and RI stuff, as the season went it got better and better. All the casts were really good, we got to learn heaps about them and see them play and interact (with 16 castaways and 20 episodes overall, half of those extra long episodes, we had heaps of time to see them) and so many different play styles (social, strategic, physical) was hugely refreshing from US Survivor (and Aus Survivor to an extent). The complete lack of idols was also great- no extended sequences of people looking in the jungle scavenger hunt. I was legitimately surprised/shocked by the decisions people took, especially post-merge all the way up to, and including, the final winner. And some dogshit decisions (I’m looking at Barb locking in the a Tom-Avi final three) make a lot more sense with context in the reunion (form both Barb and the other players) making the Reunion chat actually worthwhile. A super sold recommendation, and possibly a decent choice for a non-Survivor watcher given the whole season was built to reintroduce the show to a NZ audience.