Glancing Upstream: Summer 2017 Retrospective and Review

Replaying the slam dunks, swishes, and bricks of summer.

Sure, we’re neck-deep in Fall premieres, but that doesn’t mean we can’t pause to say goodbye to the summer shows! If you’re wondering why this took so long to go live, blame The Reflection: I got sucked into it and decided to wait to post the retrospective until the final episode had aired.

While this was an inconsistent, up-and-down kind of season, very sparse on shows I always liked, I somehow wound up finishing a whole bunch of them. I even picked up some previous “drops” along the way, with… mixed results, we’ll say. Not a ton of wholehearted recommendations, I’m sad to say, but if you’re interested in my summer season thoughts, you can either listen to the Chatty AF summer wrap-up podcast, or hit the jump for some written mini-reviews.

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Life After Failure in Sakura Quest

Roadblocks and scenic detours on the winding career path.

Since its very first promo video, Sakura Quest has been drawing comparisons to SHIROBAKO, and it’s easy to understand the impulse. Both are produced by P.A. Works, have similar character designs by Sekiguchi Kanami, and focus on five young women in the workplace. In a way, they’re also both about what happens after the credits roll on a typical high school anime, providing a refreshingly honest portrayal of the sometimes harsh realities of adulthood while still maintaining a relatively upbeat, optimistic tone.

Those “harsh realities” are where the two series diverge, though, because while SHIROBAKO focuses on what happens after people land their dream jobs, Sakura Quest is attempting something a bit trickier: what happens if they don’t? Can you still find happiness even if you don’t fulfill your childhood dream? What does life look like on the other side of failure?

Click here for the full post on Crunchyroll!


Did you know? Have you heard? The Josei Next Door has a tip jar!

Panning the Stream: Summer 2017 Midseason Review

Beating the heat with some cool summer series.

I’m writing this fresh off an Otakon Anime Convention whirlwind of a weekend, and dear readers, I am T-I-R-E-D. The thought of catching up with and writing 2-3 paragraphs on 11 series sounded so exhausting that I wound up dropping two of the shows I was still kinda on the fence about just so I could make the post shorter (I still talk about them a little, though). As I said after my June beach vacation, there’s truly nothing like a week away from your regular schedule to help you trim the ol’ watchlist.

Even with those dropped shows, my queue is still pretty packed thanks to sequels and surprise successes. Lots of variety too! Hit the jump to find the nice comedy, smart spy drama, or sprawling fantasy that sounds good to you.

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Rule of Three(ish) Review: Summer 2017 Anime Digest

Are you not entertained?!

Waiting on slowpoke Gamers to air its third episode meant a whole bunch of shows had already made it to their fourth, hence the “ish” in that title. Ah, well. Just means more tasty content for you dear readers, right?

I’m not sure this is what I’d call a “good” season, but it certainly is a fun one. Pleasant surprises, ambitious messes, exquisite piles of trash, and (sigh) Welcome to the Ballroom rule my summer watch list. While several of them could fall off a cliff in a hurry if they aren’t careful (and some maybe already have?), overall I’m having a pretty good time. Hit the jump to see who’s gaining ground and who’s falling behind 3-4 episodes into this wild, wacky season.

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Glancing Upstream: Spring 2017 Retrospective and Review

Hot sequels, cool tutors, and. Um. Kado.

This is a sparser list than usual, jam-packed with sequels but relatively light on everything else. I took a vacation in early June where I didn’t have time to watch anime, and lemme tell ya, that week away really puts into perspective which series you’re invested in and which you’re just watching for the sake of having something on the TV. At the end of that week, three series were on the cutting-room floor, which I think is the first time my Midseason and Series Review posts have differed so dramatically.

It was the kind of season that started strong and then kind of petered out, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t some great showings along the way (mostly in the form of sequels), a hidden gem or two (mostly in the form of The Royal Tutor), and a show that just… um… what? Hit the jump to learn more about that last one, as well as overall thoughts on all the others, too.

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Panning the Stream: Spring 2017 Midseason Review

Some of these spring buds are really starting to blossom.

WorldEnd - Willem, Ithea, and Ren

I finished writing this a few days ago, but I held off on posting it so I could roll it in with a neat bonus: I joined Amelia and Peter on the “Chatty AF” Anime Feminist podcast to talk about how this season’s shows are doing! So you can read the check-in or listen to it! Or both if you’re so inclined! The possibilities are endless! (Well, okay, the possibilities are three. But that’s still more than we had before!)

Much like this past Winter season, my favorite shows are returning ones, although I do think this gang of newcomers has more potential than the last batch did. A few are picking up steam, a few are wobbling on the edge of the cliff, and many are chugging along, doing their thing. Hit the jump for the written details, or click this here link for the spoken ones. (And remember that you can always search for Chatty AF on iTunes and Stitcher, too!)

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Rule of Three Review: Spring 2017 Anime Digest

Feels like only yesterday we were talking about the Spring premieres. They grow up so fast…!

It’s a great season for sequels, a good season for fantasy, and a not-too-shabby season for female protagonists. The watch list hasn’t shrunk much at all since the premiere digest (although a few shows could easily drop off in the coming weeks), so this is more of a check-in than a culling. Maybe that bodes well for Spring’s staying power?

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