I really don’t have that many strong feelings about this season. While there are some interesting shows to watch, I don’t think they have the strength that last year’s winter season. This is a slighty biased opinion because last winter had a lot more for me kind of shows. What does that mean? Well, that I am trying a few types of shows that I usually wouldn’t with a combination of shows that I usually would. I am watching some light novel adaptations and a cute girls doing cute things show that I usually wouldn’t watch with some good comedy series, relaxing series, and a mech show that I usually would. I do admit that I am watching Magus Bride, March, Yamato 2199, and Osumatsu-San which makes this season solid, but I wanted some original content to make it all even more special. Not some hold overs from last season propping this one up.
March S2, Bride, Yamato, and Osumatu-san S2 are solid enough, so I don’t feel like I have to cover those. So, in no particular order, here are the fresh new series that I am watching right now.
Beatless is a light novel adaptation with an interesting cyberpunk setting. It takes place in a short period of time in the future where human kind has cyborgs called hiE who handle so many human kinds of needs. They serve food, teach people, help the elderly, and other general working class items. Our main protagonist, Arato, seems to show a lot more empathy toward these robots then everyone else. Well, at least his friends. After the escape of five specially advanced hiE from a facility Arato finds himself in a situation where all manner of machines are out to kill him. In the luck of the draw, one of the advanced hiE called Lacia comes to his aid, after Arato became her master, and saves his life.
I wish this show had much more ambition behind it. Everything about it was painfully average or below. The animation and art style are average, the execution of it’s themes are average so far, and the show itself is just at a passing grade right now. There is a lot of interesting concepts this show can explore about humanity and society that it just isn’t right now. That’s pretty disappointing. Hopefully Beatless ramps things up more as time goes on, because it has the potential to be something interesting and grand.
A Place Further then the Universe
It’s becoming more and more apparent of how “anti-Scott” this series is as I watch more episodes. Why? For a lot of reasons really. Four cute girls going to Antarctica is an interesting concept and all, but the execution is not something that I am completely interested in. Especially since each of these girls feel one dimensional to me (read as just playing to their character types) and their trip to antartica feels too easy to me. For me, the most interesting part of this series was the girl’s barriers to even going on this trip and the danger involved. All of that was ruined with the addition of their fourth group member. Now it’s them going to Anartica, which can be interesting, but I wonder if their group will actually face some challenges. I guess time will tell for this one.
For what it is, I think it’s pretty ok. I hear a lot about how this is a great cute girls doing things series and maybe it is. It’s still not clicking with for some reason. What does it say about me that an average fantasy light novel adaptation appeals to me more than something that actually might be great?
How to keep a Mummy
The concept of this series is simple, but adorable. Our main character, Sora, was sent a little mummy by his dad, who is currently traveling around the world, excavating ancient cultural sites, and sending strange things home. That’s about it, but it’s so adorable. I do think that you have to be a pet lover and owner to love this anime, because the little, adorable mummy named Mii-Kun is one. This is such a great show that allows me to relax and unwind after a day of hard work. You know what? That’s all it needs to be. Each episode of this show has been a joy so far and I can’t wait to see the other little monsters shown in the ending and opening to appear too. Monster pet party!
Here we are with yet another simple, but entertaining show. This time, we have a grounded comedy. Takaga-san is a series of short skits either revolving around one boy trying to embarrass a boy and getting tricked himself or three goofy school girls going through some interesting small-time comedy routine. I do think that this show should have been a short, because I see it’s formulaic structure becoming very boring and uninteresting later down the road, but we shall see. There might more to this show that I haven’t seen yet. Also, there is nothing wrong with getting tricked by a cute girl as long as it doesn’t result in massive injury and death.
Here is the other light novel show I am watching this season. Grancrest Senki is a generic fantasy series that I have some hopes for it to turn into something interesting. Basically, after something called the chaos splits the wedding of two people would settle the conflict between two nations (Federation and the Alliance) that are currently apart, we see our main protagonist and mage Silluca meet a random lord down the road. Even though she was already destined she was on her way to declare fealty for a lord, she signs a contract with the random lord whose name turns out to be Theo after he “rescued” her from road bandits. The Lord Theo’s goals are incredibly low and very unambitious, but with Silluca is manipulating or “helping” him to gain more territory and make a name for himself. There are interesting concepts here, but whether or not the series lives up to those depends on how the show wants to treat everyone.
So far it’s all very fast paced, because Theo went from a nobody to somebody who could become a king in three episodes. I wouldn’t mind if this one slowed down a little bit and allowed its characters to breathe a little bit. It would be nice to know more about them all then “this one character does this one job and their name is this” kind of stuff. Don’t let Silluca be the only interesting character please. Despite all that, I have been enjoying this show quite a bit. Just not at any higher level.
Darling in the Franxx
Guys, I know that you probably won’t believe this, but I think that I watched too many mech shows. So many of the basic mech show clichés are here. Protagonist meets a mysterious girl that starts his journey? Check. Villains show up in the first episode? Check. Main protagonist jumps into the cockpit of giant robot and fights said enemy? Check. Pilots are lost children that are the only ones able to use giant robots? Going to give that a check too. Despite it’s lack of originality, I really enjoyed these two episodes. The outline of this series is something that I’ve seen many times, but skin and meat on the bones are interesting. Especially since this is an A-1 Pictures and a Trigger collab project, I want to see where this one goes. There is a confidence in this series that makes me what to keep watching it. I hope that stays around.
Let’s talk about the elephant in the room for a moment, the sexual content. For all my anime watches, this isn’t the first time I’ve seen sexual innuendos being used as technobabble in a mech series taken so seriously before. I need to introduce you to this not as well-known series called Aqaurion Evol sometime. Still, the cockpits are rather…umm…interesting. I have never seen an awkward seating position like that with between male and female (though I have seen a female cockpit design with code geass and Karen’s but being the center of many camera focuses) before or handles on the female’s butt either. I don’t know what to say about that, but at least the male and female pilot have to trust each other for the robot to work. It’s like a metaphor for consensual sex, which I am alright with. I guess I am alright with this show.
After the Rain
This anime is such a simple, but well executed romance between a seventeen-year-old girl and a 40+ year old guy who is down on his luck and is just the manager of a restaurant. This show may question your sensibilities, because it did for me too, but nothing is portrayed in a gross kind of way. This show is filled with so much subtlety and visual goodness because After the Rain knows how to show and tell. Our main protagonist might be a quiet girl who doesn’t speak much, but there are so many visual cues that give her personality. So much good stuff in this show.
I started this show on a whim a few Sundays ago and I don’t regret this decision at the least. It revolves around a young female adult named Juri who is interviewed for one job after another, but her trashy family filled with NEETS and people who aren’t interested in working at all. Still, this young female cares for nephew because he’s the only one who has the potential to not be trash like the rest of them. It was her job to pick up the nephew from school, but she urged her uncle to do it. Unfortunately, her uncle and nephew were both kidnapped. In order to get them back, Juri, her dad, and her grandpa stop time through a magic stone. It’s a good plan, but a group of people involved in the kidnapping can move in the stasis time too. Whew, and that’s only the first episode.
The concept behind this series is interesting, but the execution is kind of questionable. It’s not the animation, the writing, or the characters that is hurting the experience for me. It’s the editing. There is no natural flow between any of the scenes and it’s really off putting. Especially for things like the second episode where a scene was repeated just to let you know something happened at the same time as something else. It just felt wrong to me. What director would make a choice like that? Hopefully this improves as time goes on.
So that is it for this season. Some interesting shows, but nothing truly amazing yet. There is a lot of potential out there, but I just hope that each of these series lives up to it. So what shows are you watching this season? Is there anything that I am missing out that I might considering interesting? Please let me know in the comments.