A year has passed since I wrote a similar article, I hope the time between writing this and the next season won’t be as long as now, but remember this is a space where after watching three episodes of shows of the season, I list those who grabbed my interest, those who are hanging there and things that were too horrible to keep watching. In comparison with last year, this season has a more diverse pool to pick from long-awaited second seasons to original shows from famous directors. Time to jump in to those impressions.
Shows I like
Move along Hollywood and your cinematic universes / crossovers, Anime is here to show what it can do better than others, not taking itself seriously. Mixing the characters from the most popular Isekai shows and putting them all together in a school setting is something that is pure fanfiction and it works. Chibi-centric shows tend to episodic and the jokes center on the quirks of the characters but in this case, it seems we have a story behind and the humor relies on the unlikely interactions of our protagonists and their completely different situations from where they were taken away from their original world to their new one. It’s also good to watch again those who haven’t had a show or season in the last two years (Konosuba and Re:Zero).
Sewayaki Kitsune no Senko-san
As a sort of disclosure, I’m kind of a fan of fluffy. I love it. So after watching the first episode, I was already engaged regardless of what will come next. But in all fairness, I also like this show because it reminds me of a bygone era of Anime where this class of shows were booming. I’m talking about the early 2000s where we have shows like Ah Megamisama, Chobits, Midori no Hibi, Mahoromatic, etc. A simple premise of somebody who just need a break of the torturous Japanese work culture letting be pampered by a fox girl. Nothing more, nothing less.
Hitoribocchi no ○○ Seikatsu
Portraying social anxiety on Anime most of the time relies on the character being awkward and fragile. And while the perception is not far off from the real world, Hitoribocchi no ○○ Seikatsu do a great job of portraying Bocchi’s internal dialogue and (ir)rationality for her actions. It doesn’t make fun of her or treats her as a comedic punch bag. Fearing that someone might forget about you because you didn’t see them one day sounds ridiculous, but not somebody who is always thinking over and over things. Life is such a tough place and for Bocchi is harder than everyone else.
Carole & Tuesday
Watanabe (Cowboy Bebop, Space Dandy, Sakamichi no Apollon) is back. And he brings a mix of his best settings: A musical drama set in space. Mars has been conquered but it looks like a mix of New York from the late 70s/early 80s and a boring futuristic set of the 50s. Tuesday runs away from home to achieve her dream of making music and she encounters somebody with a similar goal but from a different life background. It can be jarring when the characters change to the singing parts because they use different voice actors for the dialogue but they are really good singers. There’s also an underlying conflict between something created by humans vs. AI and if you think that’s laughable, that’s the future we are heading now so let’s see how this show tackles this issue.
When was the last time you saw a silent comedy? The common answer is probably never, and I don’t blame you. Joshi Kausei is short anime about the adventures of three high school girls but there’s no dialogue only background sounds and the occasional title cards. 3 minutes of cute girls doing cute and sometimes dumb things. It’s just raw entertainment.
I get the gimmick but it only makes it above average about similar shows and the premise got old as the episodes went by.
Nande Koko ni Sensei Ga!?
There’s nothing wrong with an ecchi anime but when the show ████████████████████ just to force you to buy the ███, it’s unacceptable. Stick with the manga.
One Punch Man S2
Since the announcement that the second season of OPM changed hands from Madhouse to J.C.Staff many were wary about a drop of quality in animation and direction. And they were right. The first two episodes had a noticeable change of pacing, voice direction and art style. It seems that they were trying to emulate Madhouse style from the previous season and failed to do so. The third episode was better than the first two, the actions scene felt more natural and also the voice actors matched what the characters were doing but overall is a downgrade. J.C.Staff should have made OPM S2 with their own animation style instead of copying Madhouse.
Bokutachi wa Benkyou ga Dekinai
A romantic comedy that is not a comedy, nor romantic. A harem with a main character so uninteresting that makes the Infinite Stratos guy a god in comparison. And the cherry on top, is that we had a similar show airing the previous season and while it did rely on harem tropes, it fleshed out all the characters so we are interested not only in their stories but also their relationships. This show feels like it was made by somebody dumping all famous harem shows in a blender and put their hand in that blender too. Terrible all the way, except for the character design.