Panning the Stream: Summer 2018 Premiere Digest

Some cool new anime to chill you out on these blazing summer days.

A teen girl in a bikini claps her hands together happily. Above her head, in thought bubbles, are images of her surfing, swimming, and scuba diving.

As is the new tradition, I got together with fellow AniFem staffers Caitlin and Vrai to review all the premieres for Anime Feminist and help readers find their new faves.

You can click here for the full digest on AniFem, which includes links to every review. Or you can hit the jump for a quick rundown of the series I reviewed and what’s caught my attention this season!

Guaranthreed

  • Banana Fish: I thought this adaptation of a classic ’80s shoujo manga would be a lock for the season, but as of Episode 2 I’m actually super annoyed the adaptation team has made no effort to take contemporary context and audience sensibilities into account. I’ll give it another episode, but I may have to tap out and just read the republished manga instead.
  • HANEBADO!: A lady-led sports series that doesn’t relentlessly sexualize its leads will always get three episodes from me, but I gotta admit the rushed narrative and overly-serious atmosphere has yet to hook me. I haven’t watched the third episode yet, but I’m going to.
  • Harukana Receive: I reviewed this one! Fanservice be damned, I really like this one’s upbeat, Haiyku-esque tone and focus on teamwork an awful lot. Mark it down as a Problematic Fave.
  • Phantom in the Twilight: Another surprise favorite that I got to review! Urban fantasy featuring a spunky female protagonist, kickass grandma, and mystery monocle man? Oh, hell to the yes.
  • Planet With: An off-the-wall mecha series with some seriously uncanny character designs and a love of the absurd. Weird as shit and I can’t wait to see more of it. I reviewed this one, too.
  • Revue Starlight: Came out of absolutely nowhere to be my favorite premiere of the season. Surreal, visually stunning series about Takarazuka actors-in-training with heavy yuri overtones? Gimme. GIMME.

On the Fence

  • 100 Sleeping Princes and the Kingdom of Dreams: It’s doing its best with limited resources and a gacha game as its story base. The boys are fun, but the female protagonist could really use some more personality. Still, I’m hard-up for a lady-led isekai (and the villain’s design is Chef’s Kiss), so I might stick around.
  • Asobi Asobase: This crude comedy feels like it’s always on the edge of making a joke that’s too uncomfortable for me to keep watching—but it also makes me laugh, a lot, so I’m still here for now.
  • Cells at Work!: I think I’m the only person who wasn’t utterly charmed by this one. The gender essentialism and hapless female protagonist irked me more than is probably fair. I’ll give it another try, though.
  • Holmes of Kyoto: If it leans into the romance angle between the teen protagonist and her grad school boss, I’m out. But I’m interested enough in Japanese art history to stick around for at least one more.

Other Stuff I Reviewed

They didn’t make the watchlist, but at least I got paid to talk about ’em!

  • Grand Blue Dreaming: Viscerally unpleasant, mean-spirited comedy featuring “jokes” about incest, college boys preying on teen girls, and peer-pressure binge-drinking. I hated it.
  • Late Night! The Genius Bakabon: Had some decent jokes, but tried way too hard to be Mr. Osomatsu and featured some cringe-inducing gender nonsense to boot. Soft pass.
  • Seven Senses of the Re’Union: “What if AnoHana took place in an MMO and all the characters were way less well-developed?” It was functional, but predictable and kinda bland.

And if you’d like to read about all the other shows, remember to check out the full digest on AniFem!


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