“Yeah let’s watch and review every show of the new season” -me, an idiot.
At the time of this writing I only watched the first episode of everything, except DOUBLE DECKER because the first apisode had already come out a while ago, and I felt like watching the second.
There’s a few more shows that haven’t aired/been subbed yet, but I really don’t want to wait several more days to finish this list. It’s taken so much time for everything to start that a bunch of shows are already on the second episode.
1. Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind
Hell yeah we’re getting more Jojo. It’s been ages since I read part 5, so a lot of this is going to feel new to me. In fact, I could barely remember what Giorno was even like (other than fabulous).
At first it seemed to be starting slow, but then it ramped up quickly and finished in style. Giorno’s first encounter with Bucciarati includes what is probably the most parodied panel in all of Golden Wind, but the whole scene is 100% Jojo and it’s great.
Overall it’s exactly the kind of quality I’ve come to expect from the Jojo adaptations. I hope it keeps up the pacing, because that’s has been the most glaring issue with some of the other parts.
2. Zombieland Saga
I had no idea what this was going to be about, but it was surprisingly funny. Some madman tries to create a zombie idol group and it goes about as well as you’d expect. Since I hate idols, the only kind of idol show I like is the kind where they’re shit at it.
My only worry is that it can’t keep up. It’s hard for a high energy silly comedy like this to stay fresh, if you’ll pardon the pun. Episode one sorta worked because Sakura was the only ‘awakened’ zombie, surrounded by a bunch of mindless walking corpses. But by the end of the episode all but one of the girls have suddenly awakened, which seems a little fast, and I wonder if that will change the whole feel of the anime. After all, if the zombies are just regular people except immortal and a little pale, then the novelty is sort of lost.
3. Golden Kamuy
Well, it’s more Golden Kamuy.
Towards the end of the first season I gave in and read the whole manga, so my experience with season 2 will be somewhat different. Knowing what happens has also made me slightly worried for the anime. Without going into spoilers, the manga has a major climax that would be the perfect point for the anime to end. Except I’m not sure if it can get there in 13 episodes without rushing or cutting more content. At least I won’t be too disappointed if it doesn’t get there, but I’d still like to see it animated.
Anyway, the first episode of the new season jumps right back into the action. We’ve got all the familiar elements: silly jokes, Ainu culture lessons, and insane characters. I’m definitely enjoying the anime, but at the same time it doesn’t really offer that much over the manga. Yeah, yeah, we all know the 3DCG bears looked hideous, but even the 2D animation and direction isn’t amazing. Compared to Jojo, where I feel like the anime is a cool new way of experiencing the story, the Golden Kamuy adaptation is serviceable but unremarkable.
4. DOUBLE DECKER: Doug & Kirill
This is very silly. But a good kind of silly… I think? It’s very stylish and self-aware. Meta humor has a tendency to grate on me, but it’s not taking it too far and it’s not the tired “wow this is just like an anime” jokes. The first two episodes were mostly introduction, so we’ll see where it goes from here. We haven’t even gotten to know the rest of the team yet.
The setting does seem pretty contrived. Something about an illegal drug that modifies your DNA to give you special powers, and Seven-O is a special force that handles these cases. So far we’ve only seen Doug in action, and he’s got some sort of gun that fires special bullets to nullify the drug’s effect. We got a first taste of that during the opening scene, which seemed to be trying extremely hard to make Doug and his gun look cool. Knowing how the rest of the episode panned out, I’m going to assume it was meant as a joke, especially since Doug turns out to be kind of a weirdo like the rest of the cast. So I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt.
As long as it continues not to take itself too seriously I’ll probably enjoy this show.
A boy named Yuta collapses in front of a classmate’s home, and wakes up only to discover he has amnesia. While he’s trying to piece together who he is, a voice on a computer screen starts talking to him and telling him that danger is approaching. No one else can see or hear him though. Nor can anyone else see the giant lizard looming over the city. But eventually the creature breaks loose and starts wreaking havoc, and Yuta is sucked into the screen to combine with Gridman and fight the monster.
I’d never heard of SSSS or Gridman before, and I’ve never had any interest in tokusatsu shows, but this was all right. I liked the characters and the way they interacted. Thanks to Yuta’s memory loss he has to get re-introduced to his own friends, which is convenient for us. At the same time, I’m not that excited by the action yet. It was just sort of a random monster showing up and then a big robot man fights him. Although it was kinda funny to see Yuta’s friends’ confusion quickly turn to excitement when they realize they can communicate with him through the computer terminal. I’m hoping that we’ll get more context next episode.
Since the list of Trigger shows I actually like is very short I’m not getting my hopes up, but so far it doesn’t have any glaring issues. I’m willing to give it a shot.
6. Karakuri Circus
Everyone knows the circus, a place that makes people smile, but did you know there’s also an evil circus, that makes people die!?
The young heir to a massive corporation, whose father died under suspicious circumstances, is being chased by a group of shady people. His only hope lies in a woman called Shirogane, who has learned the ancient martial art of puppet fighting, and the puppet given to the boy by his grandfather.
Wait a minute, these characters are wearing colorful costumes while making humanoid figures do the fighting for them. This is literally Jojo. Except the stands are on strings. It’s budget Jojo.
This might be okay, but it’s kind of hard to judge by the first episode because we haven’t actually seen a real puppet battle yet. And there’s a guy who has a disease where he dies if he can’t make people laugh, which is, uh… something. It certainly isn’t funny.
7. Run with the Wind
Ten male university students go running together.
Ehh, it’s okay, I guess? I’m not really getting the draw so far. Most of the first episode consists of banter between the housemates, and while it’s pretty natural and they do come across like a group of friends, it’s also not that interesting or funny. Come on, where’s the hook? Where’s the drama?
Okay, so it turns out most of the guys living there didn’t realize that by moving in, they were also signing themselves up to be part of the track & field club. In other words, they got tricked. That’s, uh, kind of a weird starting point. It’s the kind of anime logic where people go “oh no I’ve been had” and then just stay in this club they don’t want to be in, instead of immediately packing their bags and leaving. But I bet it turns out that they’ve all become such good friends that they want to stay together no matter want and fulfill this dream that they’ve never had until now. And that they will all come to realize the joy of running.
I dunno. I’m already not especially interested in running as a sport, but I’m even less interested in watching some dudes forced into running because they got played and don’t want to become homeless. Maybe I’m getting a bit too hung up on the premise, but there’s not a lot else going on that makes me want to watch more.
8. The Girl of Twilight
A group of schoolgirls use radios to perform an occult ritual and travel to a place between worlds where they fight rpg enemies. Or something. There’s also alternate-universe versions of themselves. At least, just the main girl for now, but I’m sure others will show up soon. It’s not clear yet what thes show will actually be about, because even the girls themselves didn’t know what they were getting themselves into. Yeah they can travel to the twilight zone, but why?
It’s a little annoying how wacky and stupid the main girl is, but overall it’s not bad. I don’t have high hopes for it, especially since it’s based on a game, but it might be okay.
9. Bloom Into You
Back in middle school, Yuu was good friends with a boy from her class. Then one day, he confessed his love for her and asked her out. Yuu had always imagined love to be something special that makes your heart flutter, but when he told her, she felt nothing. No matter how she wished for it, she had no special feelings for him. Unable to talk to her friends about it, she kept it to herself until she witnessed Nanami rejecting a boy. Nanami is similar to her, and she’s able to put into words what Yuu couldn’t, and assures her she’s not weird for feeling this way. Nanami herself has received confessions from many different boys and girls, but she’s never felt a spark and turned them all down. But much to the surprise of both of them, after confiding in each other like this, Nanami realizes she’s falling in love with Yuu. The latter, however, doesn’t quite understand her.
It’s kinda funny, really. It’s obvious how this is going to turn out -it’s a yuri show after all- but there’s nothing this episode that suggests Yuu swings that way. Not having romantic feelings for one particular boy doesn’t really mean anything. And while she does feel alienated when her friends are discussing what kind of boys they like, she may just not have figured it out for herself. Even when Nanami takes Yuu’s hand and holds her close, Yuu seems more surprised and confused than anything. So you can easily read it as Nanami getting the wrong idea entirely. But of course we know Yuu will eventually realize she feels the same way, or there wouldn’t be much of a story.
Anyway… it seems fine, even though I have little interest in it. I can’t exactly call myself an expert, but compared to the few yuri shows I’ve sampled over the years this one seems a bit more heartfelt… and a lot less coercive.
10. Hinomaru Sumo
A middle schooler with a passion for sumo wrestling called Ushio goes to check out a high school with a well-known sumo club. By accident he ends up at the wrong school, where the dojo has been taken over by hoodlums and the sumo club has only one member, the talented but cowardly Uzeki.
Ushio doesn’t back away from a fight, so he challenges the leader of the gang to a duel over the dojo’s ownership. I can’t say I have any interest in sumo wrestling, but up until this point I was reasonably entertained. The characters seemed likeable enough and it was moving at a steady pace.
But then it takes a turn for the silly. The leader, Yuma, insists that they fight on his terms, and Ushio accepts. As it turns out, this means that Ushio has to be Yuma’s punching bag for ten minutes. If he holds out, he wins. I dunno, but if you challenge someone to a duel I don’t think they’re allowed to say “okay but you can’t fight back at all”. But Ushio’s cool with it. In fact, Yuma’s punches seem to have no effect on him whatsoever. Did I mention that Yuma’s supposed to be some sort of karate champion? And he’s punching him in the face repeatedly for 15 minutes? Yeahhhh I think my suspension of disbelief might’ve cracked a little bit.
A sports show needs to be pretty good for me to get interested at all, and Hinomaru Sumo didn’t quite manage that. It was decent enough, and I generally like learning about things I don’t know anything about, but it hasn’t convinced me that I want to know more about sumo.
11. Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary
The bar for fantasy anime has been set so low that I’m genuinely impressed when a show doesn’t feel like a video game. Which is ironic, since this one is based on a Taiwanese RPG series. I don’t know exactly how it connects to the games and if these are existing characters, but at times this felt like I was watching a recap episode. Let’s just see what happened in episode one. There’s an empire using giant mechanical constructs as weapons, based on some ancient technology, who are planning on building an even bigger mechanical construct as a weapon, two wandering sisters doing martial art performances for money, a slave boy who somehow taught himself engineering in his spare time, a group of rebels we get introduced to in quick succession, and of course a variety of imperial bad guys. We see how the boy and the sisters used to live in a village together as children and how the village was attacked by the empire. We get one of the sisters stumbling upon some magic artifact that allows her to summon a girl to do her bidding, and also said girl can transform into a robo-dog, and also she gets a bracelet that turns into a sword. The rebel warriors each show off their magic powers, the slave boy meets a mysterious girl who later turns out to be the empress and who appoints him the new chief engineer, since the previous one got sick of his job and ran away.
It’s not especially confusing, but it also feels like nothing is given a chance to settle. Here’s this character, he’s doing this. Got it? Cut to the next scene. It’s not bad, and if you’re desperate for a fantasy adventure that isn’t an isekai set in an MMO this may be the best you’re going to get. But it’s not impressing me either.
12. Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai
Oh, it’s that kind of show. You know, the kind about high schoolers but it talks about wider societal issues, and the main character is this cynical guy who’s wise beyond his age and just gets how the world works, and everyone tries very hard to sound clever and witty. But then on the other hand it has a lot of silly stuff and I’m not sure it meshes well. Like for example his sister got bullied so hard she developed stigmata and doesn’t like to go out, but she also crawls into her brother’s bed and talks about how much she loves her oniichan. Unfortunately I don’t like either of these things separately, and I like them even less put together.
Objectively speaking it seems competently made, I just have no interest in watching it. But if you do like this kind of thing then I’m sure it’s worth checking out.
Wizard grandma sends her granddaughter back in time. Why? “You’ll see when you get there” she says, but by the end of the first episode, we don’t have a clue yet.
Something seems to have happened to Hitomi in the past to leave her depressed and antisocial. The world has lost its color to her. I thought that was a figure of speech, but no, it’s literal. In general the look and feel of the show is very nice, but they show her color-blindness by occasionally switching the scene to grayscale. I don’t know if there was a better way of handling it, but it’s awkward every time it happens.
I don’t know what to think of this show. It looks good, but the first episode was so boring. We still have no idea why she was sent into the past, and all she’s really managed to do was stumble her way to her grandmother’s family. Grandma herself isn’t there though. Hitomi is so gloomy that watching her interact with people feels like a chore. But the most annoying part was that they shoehorned in some wacky misunderstanding where she initially wakes up in some boy’s room, and some of his classmates spot her leaving through the window. So of course they all think she’s his girlfriend. Groan. It doesn’t help that she’s super awkward so all this feels like torture.
I guess the point of all this is that Hitomi will somehow learn to enjoy life and see color again, but so far I have no clue what happened to her, or why helping her required time travel. I just have no reason to care about any of this.
Apparently this is based on a French comic, but you wouldn’t know by watching it. Radiant is very standard shounen, with all the usual tropes. Seth is a shouty spikey-haired kid who wants to be strong, and who’s heroic but reckless… you get the drill. In this case, he’s training to become a sorcerer. Sorcerers fight monsters called Nemesis who fall down from space.
As we’re shown in the first episode, people generally fear sorcerers and would rather they stay out of their towns. In this case they seem fully justified though, as Seth is constantly causing trouble. We see him trying to show off his magic, and he launches a boulder into the sky, which then crashes into a barn and causes a stampede. You’re not exactly selling me on this “mages are unfairly maligned” thing when people are upset about something actually caused by reckless use of magic.
There’s really not much more to say about it. Maybe it’s good if you’re a shounen junkie looking for a fix, but I’ll pass.
15. Ms. Vampire Who Lives in my Neighborhood
A regular girl meets a vampire living on the edge of town. The twist is that the vampire girl is actually kind of normal, while the regular girl keeps creeping her out with her weirdness. Usually my eyes glaze over when I hear the phrase “slife of life moe comedy with yuri undertones”, but this had a few decent gags in it so I can’t hate on it. But I wouldn’t watch more of it either.
16. Merc StoriA: The Apathetic Boy and the Girl in a Bottle
Kid with the power to tame wild monsters heads out into the world with a flying water fairy.
Yet another mobile rpg adaptation, but at least it’s not blatantly obvious in this one. It’s not bad, but it’s also like… whatever.
17. Release the Spyce
Yet another “cute girls doing a thing” show, except in this case they do drugs and beat people up. Don’t worry though, they were bad people.
Aside from the action parts it’s all very run-of-the-mill. You’ve got the usual cast of moe archetypes, and of course they’re in high school too. It doesn’t strike me as a show with any sort of aspirations. It reminds me a lot of last year’s Princess Principal, which I didn’t get into either, but which did seem to have a bit more originality to it. This feels very formulaic, and you have to really be into the cute girls genre to enjoy it.
This wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, and I had good reasons for expecting it to be bad. First of all, it’s based on a video game about pretty boys. Second of all, I don’t know much about the bakumatsu period, so the contant namedrops are lost on me. And finally, it’s fantasy alternate history, so I’m not going to learn much about actual history either. So with all these strikes against it, I’m surprised that it was borderline watchable.
The anime seems to focus on two swordsmen from the era who are transported to this alternate timeline. Oddly enough, the original game apparently stars a female lead who finds herself surrounded by all these handsome men. The anime seems to have decided to leave out the audience self-insert, which is probably for the better.
There’s some action and adventure in the first episode, but it’s all pretty forgettable. And once it switches to the alternate history version it becomes even less interesting. Even if you’re just in it for the guys, you can probably do better this season than Bakumatsu.
19. RErideD: Koku Koe no Derrida
Not sure what was going on here. First half is dull and does a remarkably poor job at establishing the setting in a natural way. Apparently autonomous robots are ubiquitous in this world, but it starts off with a series of pan shots of the city with no robots in them whatsoever. Then we get stilted dialogue in which the characters explain it to each other.
Most of it is kind of slow and boring, but around the halfway point it suddenly turns into complete nonsense. Two characters think they’re being targeted, so they get in the car and drive away. I guess there’s only one road out of the city, because they encounter a roadblock with the bad guys waiting for them. The car crashes into the blockade and does a ridiculous flip and spin. The bad guy reveals he wants to make it look like the main character killed his buddy and himself, but then he has his goons fire a few hundred rounds into the car so it explodes. The force of the explosion throws him off a cliff, but he miraculously survives, and even more miraculously stumbles upon a mysterious laboratory. There he finds a single open crystasis chamber waiting for him, so he obviously gets in and lies down. I guess that maybe he was being influenced by someone, but it makes no damn sense. I had to watch the whole scene a second time just to figure out what was going on.
The first four episodes all came out at once, but I decided I’d seen enough after just one.
20. Ulysses: Jeanne d’Arc and the Alchemist Knight
I’m kind of confused. I saw some promo material for this show, and it looked pretty trashy. But then the only sign of that in the first episode is the OP, because it’s all backstory set seven years earlier. If the main selling point of your show is cleavage, wouldn’t you want to put it on full display in the opening episode? You’re not going to draw in the fanservice crowd with this tepid tale of friendship.
Ulysses is set in a fantasy version of France during the Hundred Years’ War, and we see the young aspiring alchemist Montmorency and his friends spend some time together until they’re inevitably split up. I can’t say it was bad, but it’s all very uninteresting. It feels like a typical Light Novel fantasy. Not as tropey as most, but the same kind of bland character archetypes and the same juvenile feel to it. I’m going to give this a pass, so I guess I will never find out if the tone of the rest of the show is drastically different.
Based on the initial premise, I thought this was going to be a creepy garbage show. So I guess I set the bar so low that it actually managed to clear it. An obstinate girl who’s lost her mother has to deal with an former air force pilot turned maid who thinks she’s adorable. Honestly the jokes aren’t bad, but I’m also not into this sort of saccharine stuff. It edges on skeevy a few times and barely manages to pull back in time, so I don’t know if it will start crossing lines later on.
22. Anima Yell!
In anime, if someone doesn’t want to join your school club, you should definitely not respect their decision and leave them alone. They always secretly do want to join the club, and if you pester them for long enough they’ll eventually give in. This is a good lesson to learn.
23. That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime
So you want to write an isekai? Let’s start with the main character. No no, what are you doing? Writing an elaborate backstory? Erase that right now. The main character should be as uninteresting as possible. He’s male, either a student or salaryman. Hobbies or interests are not allowed, unless they’re anime, video games, or complaining about not having a girlfriend. You want to make him 37 years old? Okay, that’s a little unusual, but you can get away with it if you make him so bland that he could’ve been any age.
Okay, what’s next? Right, the gimmick. There’s a million isekais out there, so you need to have a gimmick. Yeah sure, make him a slime, whatever, it really doesn’t matter. Make sure that he gets to turn into a human form at some point though or people will lose interest. Now we need a world to set it in. You have two options, so think really carefully and make your decision. Do you want a generic fantasy world with a bunch of video game mechanics, or a literal video game? Okay, we’ll do the former. Now come up with some skills. Skills are the most important thing in isekai, so the more the better. Make sure it all feels like you’re watching someone play an RPG.
Done? Now mash all those game mechanics together and see what happens. Just write it all down, whatever comes to mind. All right, you finished your first draft? Great, let’s take it straight to the animation studio. They’ll put a ton of polish on that shit.
24. Goblin Slayer
Back when this first got announced, I tried reading a couple of the manga chapters. Not because I expected to like it, I just wanted to know what the deal was. The deal, apparently, is an edgy teenager’s Berserk imitation. But aside from being kind of unappealing in general, what struck me was how much of a mess it was. It seemed like the author wanted to write at least four different kinds of stories, and decided to just merge them all together.
On the face of it, it seems like a straight-up dark fantasy. It immediately starts off by slaughtering a group of bright-eyed rookies, making sure to include gratuitous amounts of violence and rape to drive home just how serious this is. The lady at the guild did seem a little concerned that these beginners were going off to fight goblins, but for some reason didn’t bother to warn them. I guess graduates from wizard school are dispensible.
But then it also takes place in a video game world for no clear reason. It’s not as overt as some other series, but it still focuses on this nebulous concept of ‘adventurers’ that only makes sense in an MMO, who register with guilds and go out to do quests. There’s talk of levels and classes, and characters are only referred to by their job description. There’s not enough of it to really consider it a video game parody, but enough that the world is doesn’t seem real. But wait, wasn’t that the point of the goblin slaughter party? To make it feel real? It’s like it’s undermining itself. The only reason we would need to be shown that hunting goblins is dangerous is because the world is so gamelike that it’s not self-evident.
Then there’s Goblin Slayer himself. He’s a high level adventurer, but all he ever does is kill goblins -the lowest level monster out there, low enough that even beginners can handle them if they don’t get too cocky. There’s clearly something wrong with his brain, but nevertheless everyone looks up to him as this huge badass. I don’t know if I would be impressed by a guy who’s really good at clearing level 1 enemies. I didn’t get far enough to know if it ever gets deeper into Mr. Slayer as a person, or if he remains an enigma all the way.
But then the story also wants to show off all these clever ways of fighting monsters. Not just by running in and hacking them to pieces, but by setting traps, using your knowledge of the environment and your enemy, relying on your wit to adapt to the situation. It’s the only part of the story that’s actually interesting, but again it doesn’t really fit in. Why does the guy who only fights the weakest monsters need to use any tricks to begin with? You could argue that these skills are what make him strong. After all, in the real world you don’t just magically get stronger and tougher until you’re immune to getting stabbed. But this isn’t the real world, this is a video game world. So I expect it to obey video game logic. Besides, why would I want to watch someone employ all these neat tactics if they’re doing it to hunt the weakest monsters in the world?
Finally, there’s some elements that just clash with all of the above. The young priestess watches all her new buddies get horribly killed right in front of her eyes, and yet afterwards she’s all ready to follow Goblin Slayer and seek out new adventure. I’m sorry, I thought this was a dark and realistic story where childish naievety is brutally punished? We see one of the other girls carted off with a blank stare, but I guess priestess got over it really quickly and is thirsty for more. And it’s the same with all those other fresh adventurers, including the ones from the prologue. Apparently death lurks around every corner in this world, but they’re acting like it’s going to be a fun adventure. It’s like they don’t live in their own setting, almost like… they’re intentionally written that way to make their deaths look more dramatic.
And that’s my real problem with Goblin Slayer. Yeah, it’s edgy and not enjoyable to watch, but it’s also impossible to get into because it’s all over the place.
25. Sword Art Online: Alicization
Disclaimer: I haven’t watched any of the previous SAO series, and I only know what happened in them through other channels. So while I have a basic understanding of the story and characters, I haven’t experienced it and I wouldn’t know about many of the details an actual watcher would. I went into Alicization blind, expecting that even if I was missing some of the context it might at least be stupid enough to be funny. But instead I can only describe it as tedious.
The first episode is a two-parter that can broadly be divided into three parts. The first takes place inside some virtual environment, and Kirito is a kid who seemingly isn’t aware that he’s in a game. This part constantly throws special terms at you in a clumsy attempt at wordlybuilding. Kirito and his buddy Eugeo are supposed to work on cutting down a special tree, a task that will take generations of woodcutters an estimated 900 years to finish. It’s not explained why this is a thing that needs to be done, or why they’re leaving it to some kids. Also this is not their job, but their Calling. Together with a girl called Alice they discuss things like Dark Territory, Taboo Index, Axiom Church, and Integry Knights. All of this is explained entirely in dialogue, so it feels more like I’m listening to a lecture than experiencing a world. Besides, it’s a virtual world so I haven’t even been given a reason to care about any of this. They even show occasional menus to make it absolutely clear that it’s not real.
The kids get lost in a cave system and end up at the edge of the forbidden Dark Territory. Through some dumb contrivance Alice falls and barely touches the Dark Territory with her fingertips. As a result, a face appears and babbles about something that’s meant to sound mysterious. The next day, Alice is taken away by an Integrity Knight to be executed for violating the Taboos. Oh no! Then we see Kirito waking up in a lab. Phew, it was all just a
Speaking of games, the next part takes place in Gun Gale Online, where the whole crew shows up to fight some people. They try to make it sound like they’re not just playing for fun but something’s going on beneath the surface, but uh… whatever. We just spent half an episode in an entirely different setting with entirely different characters and storyline, and now you expect me to care about this random thing? This whole section feels like they just wanted to shoehorn the other characters into this episode. Also, I don’t know much about VRMMO shooters, but I don’t think it’s particularly suspicious that a group of people would kill other players in a video game for no obvious reason. But characters in Sword Art Online seem to regularly forget that it’s a game.
The final third of the episode is a massive plot dump. Kirito and Asuna meet up with Shinon and they talk and talk and talk. All the while we’re just watching three characters sitting at a table. It’s hard not to doze off, but I tried my best. I won’t even get into all this stuff about Gun Gale Online since it doesn’t seem very important at the moment. It turns out that Kirito is testing some kind of special new VR device. There’s some pseudoscience about the soul residing within the light in the microtubules of your brain cells. I don’t know if that’s based on existing pseudoscience or made up for SAO. Either way it makes little sense and they have to give everything a special name or abbreviation. This new VR is literally transferring your soul into the game or something. As far as I could tell it’s supposed to be more immersive but I guess Kirito doesn’t know the whole deal either. Why? Well here’s the catch: once Kirito leaves the VR world, his memories of what he experienced are erased. Kirito speculates it’s ‘for the sake of confidentiality’, but that’s some serious bullshit. What kind of moron would agree to undergo these tests if he’s not allowed to know what happened during them?
I have no idea what the deal is with this game and why we’re meant to care about anything that happens in it, but if it’s going to be this painful to find out, then I think I’ll pass.
26. Boarding School Juliet
More like bore-ding school ha ha ha.
Anime has this weird idea that anything can be improved by setting it in a high school. So now we get Romeo and Juliet except in high school. I don’t actually know much about the play beyond the basics, so maybe there’s a lot of clever references in here. I doubt it though. But despite taking place at a school, everyone takes everything super seriously. So seriously that the black faction tries to kidnap Juliet and some guy cuts open her top. Sigh.
Mostly this was just dull. The best I can say about it is that we only had to sit through one episode where the guy can’t express his feelings for the girl.
27. Gakuen Basara
I watched Sengoku Basara way back when it first came out. It remember it being a fun goofy action show, if nothing more. But that was then, and this is now. Gakuen Basara is a spinoff where the gimmick is that, you guessed it, the characters are in high school! Not winning any originality points here.
You’d better hope you know all the characters, because the first episode is an endless series of “hey, remember this guy? Well now he’s a high schooler!” moments with little rhyme or reason. There’s barely a joke in here beyond the setting itself, which makes it mind-numbingly boring to watch. Two sports teams play a baseball match to decide who gets to use the field. The game goes on and on but no one manages to score a point, which is an apt metaphor for the show itself. You’d have to be a serious Sengoku Basara fan to get anything out of this.
28. DAIKAICHI! – I’m being harrassed by the sexiest man of the year! –
Well I’m watching this and it’s pretty damn gay but doesn’t seem so bad, I guess the ‘harassment’ in the title isn’t sexual… ohh nooo, it is. I guess it kinda recovered from being uncomfortably rapey midway through, but that was a very sudden turn for the worse. An arrogant actor voted ‘most huggable man of the year’ five years in a row is dethroned by a young upstart, who turns out to want more from him than acting advice.
This wouldn’t even be that bad if it weren’t for the whole, uh, “I recorded an embarassing video of you that you wouldn’t want to get out, now please sleep with me” thing. Unfortunately that’s kind of a very bad thing.
29. Between the Sky and the Sea
All fish on earth have died so humanity created big ocean moons in space to grow fish, which are harvested by space fishermen. Women were not allowed to be fishermen until now, so they’re sending a bunch of clueless high schoolers up there. Also they have to fight the fish using gods summoned from a phone app.
Look, I could go on and on about how the setting is a bunch of nonsense, but why bother? It’s an anime based on a mobile game. Of course it’s going to be bad. Of course it’s an ultra-generic cute-girls-doing-things show featuring a girl who’s clumsy and has no idea what she’s doing but tries her best. The only truly bizarre part is how much the fishing part feels like a game. Most mobage adaptations just try to show off the setting and don’t include literal gameplay mechanics. I don’t know if this was an intentional choice or just sheer laziness. I’m leaning towards the latter.
I can’t even call this trash, because it’s not trying hard enough to sink that low. It’s just stupid.
Well, this is exactly as stupid as you’d expect it to be. A guy and his childhood friend are transported to a fantasy world, where he is told he must sleep with 12 girls representing the zodiac signs to conceive magical children that will help him defeat some great evil. And his friend is one of them.
If you have a pregnancy fetish this probably isn’t the thing for you, since the children apparently spring forth fully born upon conception. But if you have an exposition fetish, then strap yourself in my friend, because about two-thirds of the episode is dedicated to people either explaining things or speculating about things.
And is there anything more romantic than two people getting intimate because “well, it’s the only way to get back home”?
31. My Sister, My Writer
Finally, something this season that’s just outright trash, something painful enough that I was desperately waiting for it to end.
Yuu is an older brother who dreams of being a light novel author, but hasn’t managed to get published yet. His younger sister Suzuka is, according to him, absolutely perfect. She’s smart, pretty, mature, and good at sports. But here’s the twist: she’s actually in love with her brother. I know, it’s shocking. For now, Yuu does not feel that way about her. He even remarks, after an editor suggested he write about a little sister character because they’re popular, that it would be creepy to fetishize sisters when you have one yourself. Hey, look at how self-aware we are! He does imagine her naked though, but only because his coworker told him to. It’s not his fault, okay!
But that’s not even what makes this show truly awful. The twist is that Suzuka saw an ad for a light novel competition and decided to send in something under a pseudonym. Of course, she ended up winning. So now the publisher is trying to reach out to her, but she can’t actually accept the award. School regulations won’t allow her to have a side job, and their parents wouldn’t approve. So she turns to her brother for help. If he’d just pretend he’s the one wrote the novel, everything will work out. Oh, and did I mention it’s about a little sister who is in love with her brother?
Not only would Yuu have to pretend to everyone that he wrote a novel about incest, which I’m sure will lead to all sorts of hilarious misunderstandings down the line, but he’d effectively be sacrificing his own dream for his sister’s sake. But of course she just has too look at him with a sad face and he immediately accepts.
What follows his Yuu meeting his editor and illustrator, who are of course all women, and who behave in… less than professional ways. The illustrator’s giant breasts are also vividly bouncing up and down while she’s standing still, for several seconds. I’ve seen a lot of absurdly unnecessary bouncing in anime but this is on a whole other level. Meanwhile Yuu has to maintain that, yes, he definitely wrote all of that. It’s so embarassing to watch I was close to just calling it there, but fortunately the episode was over at that point.
God, and we haven’t even gotten to the part where his friends and classmates find out and he has to pretend to have a sister fetish. It’s only going to get worse.