Panning the Stream: Winter 2020 Premiere Digest

Winter snows, meet winter shows.

Yashiro clenches her fists together and sparkles happily. Hanako watches with a small smile in the background.

While I didn’t write any premieres this season, I did watch far too many of them—and enjoyed quite a lot of them, too. Read on for my own brief first impressions, and if you’re curious to learn more, click the show’s title for a detailed review from one of my AniFem teammates.

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Panning the Stream: Fall 2019 Premiere Digest

Maybe it’s called “Fall” ’cause you watch anime until you collapse.

A teen boy holds a magnifying glass up to his eye and says "Your power level's pretty amazing!"

The Fall 2019 season is jam-packed with new series, which means I watched a small mountain of premieres. Some soared, some wobbled, and some fell flat on their faces. And I’m here to tell you all about it… in a paragraph or less.

But hey, don’t worry! If you’d like to hear more in-depth thoughts from my teammates and me, I’ve also linked to the full premiere reviews over at AniFem. Hit the jump for hot takes and hotlinks alike.

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Panning the Stream: Summer 2019 Premiere Digest

It’s a manga adaptation wonderland out here.

Despite spending my last month bouncing from city-to-city and house-to-house like a hyperactive jackalope, I managed to find a little time to watch some summer premieres and chat about them.  Like I did last season, I’ve also linked to the full premiere reviews over at AniFem if you’d like to hear more in-depth thoughts from my teammates.

Here are my first impressions on what I’ve caught so far—let me know if I’m missing out on anything!

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Panning the Stream: Fall 2018 Premiere Digest

‘Round and ’round the seasons go, what we’ll watch, nobody knows…

A group of young men sit around a low table in a messy, Japanese-style living space, drinking and eating. One says "Let's aim for the top together!"

My early October was packed with travel, which lightened my premiere load significantly. You can click here for the full digest on AniFem, which includes links to every review. The handful of reviews I wrote are listed below for ease of access:

  • Boarding School Juliet (Episode 1): Awesome lead, cute couple, potential for a progressive story about smashing sexist systems… and it’s hamstrung by anime bullshit. Le sigh.
  • Hinomaru Sumo (Episode 1): Straightforward shounen about high school sumo wrestlers. Not my bag, but totally fine.
  • Karakuri Circus (Episode 1): I can’t believe they made puppet fights boring. HOW.
  • Radiant (Episode 1): Pretty by-the-book European-style fantasy series, but it looks pretty and  Alma is awesome.

If you like the dishes AniFem is serving up, please consider becoming a patron for as little as $1 a month!

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!

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Panning the Stream: Spring 2018 Premiere Digest

The good, the bad, and the kitties.

A teen boy in a school uniform holds an umbrella, looking unphased. Behind him, a teen girl holding a cat looks at him in admiration, sparkling light bursting around her.

It’s that time of quarter-year again! I got together with fellow AniFem staffers Caitlin and Vrai to review all the premieres for Anime Feminist and help readers find some diamonds in the rough. This was the first season in… gosh, three years?… where I didn’t watch every single premiere, as I trusted my fellow reviewers to help me avoid the real stinkers.

I’ve listed my own reviews below in order of “fave” to “least fave” (somehow I didn’t get assigned any of the really heinous ones this time around) for your perusal. And can also click here for the full digest on AniFem, which includes links to every review!

  • HINAMATSURI: A silly and surprisingly sweet take on the “supernatural girl adopted by unlikely father-figure” subgenre, this one came out of nowhere to be my favorite premiere of the season.
  • Yotsuiro Biyori: a.k.a. Laid-Back Cafe, this is the season’s cozy blanket series. I loved it.
  • Tada Never Falls in Love: Yamazaki Mitsue’s directorial debut is a bit of a mixed bag tonally, but there are good gags, good cats, and the potential for a solid school story, so I’m still hyped.
  • Cute High Earth Defense Club HAPPY KISS!: If you’ve been following me these past few years, you know how much I enjoy this goofball magical boy parody show. Happy Kiss is more of the same, and I’m A-OK with that.
  • Libra of Nil Admirari: An otome VN adaptation with a rad premise and a protagonist who wants to focus on taking more control of her life, but it’s bit, er, lacking in the charm department.
  • GeGeGe no Kitaro: A family-friendly remake of an old classic that’s pretty darn clever with its social commentary. There wasn’t quite enough here to get me to come back, but I still enjoyed it well enough.
  • MAJOR 2nd: This baseball series writes its female characters so well I wound up disappointed that they weren’t the stars of the series.
  • Gurazeni: Money Pitch: The Other Baseball Show, this one focusing on a professional player’s financial concerns and future goals. Refreshing in its uniqueness, but nothing I’m dying to watch again.

If you like the dishes AniFem is serving up, please consider becoming a patron for as little as $1 a month!

Panning the Stream: Winter 2018 Premiere Digest

Heavy emphasis on “digest” this time around…

A boy in front of a blue "doom" background looks back at his two friends with puppy-dog eyes. All three are wearing the same school uniform.

Sorry, team, but the hefty task of both writing  and editing for Premiere Hell over at AniFem has taken its toll, and your humble blogger is burned out. So instead of the usual mini-reviews for Every Single Premiere (and yeah, I watched ’em all again), below is just a super-quick rundown of what’s caught my eye and what hasn’t.

To help you decide if you should try out a new series,  I’ve included links to all the AniFem premiere reviews (some of which I did write, so it’s not like I’ve been sittin’ on my laurels the past couple weeks!). I don’t have exactly the same tastes as the other AniFem reviewers, but I respect and largely agree with their analyses, so I’m totally fine just pointing to them and saying “Yeah, what they said.” Hit the jump for links and a rundown!

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Panning the Stream: Fall 2017 Premieres Digest

Let the battle for a spot on my watchlist begin!
A blonde girl in a school uniform stands with her eyes closed and one hand stretched out to the side. Beside, her someone in a black suit and gloves stands, their face and most of their torso hidden by a tall stack of what appear to be blu-ray cases.

This. Season. Is. STACKED. Or, at least, that’s how it looks after a deluge of strong premieres. Six shows impressed me enough to earn a guaranteed three episodes, not including the four sequels I’m locked into; and honestly, in a normal season, at least a few of the fence-sitters would have been “guaranthreed,” too. I eventually had to start dropping stuff not because I hated it, but because I was terrified my watchlist would topple sideways under the weight of all those shows and crush me beneath it.

Point being, there’s almost certainly something listed below that will catch your fancy as much as or more than it did mine. So let’s dive right into ’em, shall we?

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Panning the Stream: Fall 2017 AniFem Premiere Review Digest

Crawling the dungeons for anime treasure.

A young man and woman dressed in fantasy garb face away from the camera; across from them is a small treasure chest and a giant, fluffy gold mouse. They appear to be standing in a dungeon.

I picked up another batch of full-length premiere reviews at AniFem this season. You’ll still get the usual Premiere Review On All The Things post later this week (once I’ve had a chance to sleep a little), but as has become tradition, I wanted to make these available in a nice digest post.

As has also become tradition, they’re organized by how highly I’d recommend them, from “a whole lot” to “not at all”:

  • The Ancient Magus’ Bride – A beautifully animated adaptation of one of my favorite ongoing manga series. That opening chapter sure is side-eye-tastic, though.
  • Recovery of an MMO Junkie – I found it super cute and charming, but YMMV if you’re bothered by its somewhat shallow handling of gender and sexuality.
  • Code: Realize ~Guardian of Rebirth~ A fun otome VN adaptation with smart pacing, a solid plot, strong aesthetics, and good boys? Folks, we found The Unicorn!
  • Black Clover – A paint-by-numbers shounen fantasy series, but harmless enough.
  • DYNAMIC CHORD – A poorly plotted, cheaply animated, angst-riddled mess. I kinda liked it.
  • KONOHANA KITAN – A neat premise hamstrung by assault “jokes” and fanservice. Sigh.
  • SENGOKU NIGHT BLOOD – The other otome VN adaptation. Almost hilaribad, but alas, not quite.
  • Inuyashiki – Better executed than a lot of the shows above it, but so viscerally unpleasant that I just don’t care.

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