Some cool new anime to chill you out on these blazing summer days.
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!
The good, the bad, and the kitties.
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!
Heavy emphasis on “digest” this time around…
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!
Let the battle for a spot on my watchlist begin!
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?
Crawling the dungeons for anime treasure.
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.
Did you know? Have you heard? The Josei Next Door has a tip jar!
Let’s see what sort of treasures we can excavate this time!
I’ve been hard at work writing and editing the full-length premiere reviews for Anime Feminist, so you’ll have to excuse me if the write-ups for my digests have gotten smaller along the way. Writing lots of words about a few series means fewer words about a lot of series, it turns out. The good(?) news is that I actually watched the shows on Amazon Strike this time around (I signed up for the free trial so I could help AniFem–and yes, I feel dirty about it, too), so they’re included for once.
The categories are a little different this time because there were only a couple of shows that “wowed” me but a whole bunch that fell in a “let’s give it a couple and see what happens” range, so I adjusted accordingly. Overall, the Summer premiere week started slow, peaked in the middle, and finished with a rollercoaster of “pleasant surprise” crests and “utter garbage” valleys. I wound up with a lot more balls in the air than expected. Here’s hoping we can all catch a few good ones as they come down.
Boldly going where… I go every season, actually…
Like I did last season, I tackled some of the full-length Summer premiere reviews over at Anime Feminist. I’ll have my usual Premiere Digest out later this week to give you a quick run-down of All The Things, but for now I figured I’d put these in one easy-to-find place.
To keep things simple for anyone who’s wondering which shows they should check out and which they should sink to the bottom of the sea, they’re organized from Very Best to Literally The Worst:
Did you know? Have you heard? The Josei Next Door has a tip jar!
Don’t mind me, just drooling over a fresh batch of titles.
Even though some series are heading into their third episodes, believe it or not this post is not belated! The spring premiere season decided to stretch itself out over the course of two solid weeks, and once I struck (ah-hem) all those Amazon shows from my schedule, it wasn’t long enough to justify two posts. Rolling ’em into one made sense.
Y’all know the drill: New series get divided into three categories (Yes, Maybe, and Nope), then I make a note of any shows I didn’t mention and any sequels I’m catching. The list isn’t terribly long, but there’s a fair amount of charm and some solid potential, especially if you like fantasy (and I do). Hopefully I can help you find a new show to add to your watchlist, too!
Venturing out to explore the new anime season.
We tossed some coins and drew some lots and, in addition to The Royal Tutor, I covered a trio of other premieres for AniFem this season:
And in case you missed it, I also published my usual Premiere Digest where I talk a little about All The Shows (that aren’t on Strike) as well. Check it out if you’re curious!
They’re good boys, Brent.
There’s a subgenre of anime that I’ve recently become quite fond of, which I like to call “cute girls behaving badly.” The idea is simple but subtly subversive: Take your standard cute-girl character designs and then imbue them with traits that aren’t considered cute at all. No wide-eyed innocence or endless compassion here; nope, these gals are selfish, short-sighted, egotistical, and/or just plain lazy. They’re rarely malicious and they often have redeeming or (sym)pathetic qualities, which makes them relatable or at least funny, but they’re hardly what you’d called heroic ideals. They are, as we’ve talked about before, trash characters.
The Royal Tutor is that, but with pretty boys.
Click here for the full review on Anime Feminist!