For those wanting the reader’s poll results, they’ll be out in a few more hours. 300 votes this time around. Brilliant. Thanks so much for participating. However, before we get to the reader’s poll here is my round up of what I watched and what I thought this season.
Just so we’re clear, I’m sure people who find the ‘comedy’ in this anime even vaguely amusing are enjoying this a lot more than I did. However, given this one didn’t even get me to crack a smile, the characters never progress beyond tropes and I haven’t figured out what the actual plot is even after finishing the series, there just isn’t anything about this series that really makes me want to recommend it. Of all the anime I watched this season, this is the one that made me wish I’d dropped it early on and maybe finished Granbelm instead.
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Images from: Maou-Sama, Retry! Dir. H Kimura. EKACHI EPILKA. 2019.
This one continued to be poorly paced with poor characterisation all the way to the bitter end. Throw in the unspectacular visuals and action and there is little redeemable about this anime adaptation. The one small light is that once you accept that we’re never going to learn much about the characters or explore anything in any detail, this one is pretty easy to just switch the brain off and watch. That doesn’t make it good by any means, but once you are resigned to it the whole viewing experience becomes easier. Still, I don’t say this very often but here it is appropriate, read the source. So much better.
If you are game, check out more reviews of Arifureta.
Images from: Arifureta: From Commonplace to World’s Strongest. Dir. K Yoshimoto. White Fox. 2019.
Isekai Cheat Magician
This one remained very much bland right to the final episode. This one isn’t painful to watch and it doesn’t make any grave mis-steps. It’s just dull as it takes every ingredient it needs to tell its story but doesn’t ever make the audience feel anything for the characters or help us care about the events. As such, we’re just watching the characters walk through all the situations while they deliver fairly inane dialogue. I wanted to enjoy this. I really did. And there’s potential here. It just never reaches higher than below average.
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Images from: Isekai Cheat Magician. Dir. T Daisuke. Encourage Films. 2019.
I’ve still got to finish this one. I fell a little bit behind. This is another one that had a lot of potential, an interesting premise, potentially interesting characters, but it just never really did anything with it. Wasted potential is the best description I can think of. Still, there are some fun moments here and the basic ideas and world building are good. I definitely intend to finish this one.
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Images from: Cop Craft. Dir. S Itagaki. Millepensee. 2019.
Go For It – Not Great But Fun Enough
Are You Lost?
While I didn’t review it week to week, Are You Lost? remained an anime I really enjoyed watching this season. The short episode length helped but it was just a bit of fun. A warning though that there is a lot of fan-service in the episodes (not sure what else we would expect from an anime about high school girls stranded on an island) so if fan-service isn’t your thing it may be best just to pass.
- Sounan Desu Ka Episodes 1 – 5
- Images from: Are You Lost? Dir. N Nagayama. Ezola. 2019.
If It’s For My Daughter I’d Even Defeat a Demon Lord
This one continued to sell itself on consistent cuteness. While there wasn’t a whole lot else in the end – hints of a greater narrative and some darker moments didn’t really go anywhere – Uchinoko remains an adorable ride. If you go in expecting nothing but fluff from Latina being adorable you’ll probably have a great time and those few moments that seem to be building a bigger picture are enough to stop you from getting a sugar overload.
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Images from: Uchi no Musume no Tame Naraba, Ore Wa Moshikashitara Maou mo Taoseru Kamo Shirenai. Dir. T Yanase. Maho Film. 2019.
This one definitely gets stronger as it goes and from episode 6 and the introduction of new characters it has gotten more and more interesting. This one still isn’t going to top my list but I do understand why other people are hooked on it and I’m certainly enjoying the watch now. If you gave up early on this one or haven’t tried it, I’d say it is worth giving a go to and with a second cour to go hopefully it will just keep getting better.
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Images from: Dr Stone. Dir. I Shinya. TMS Entertainment. 2019.
The One’s Within
I ended up enjoying this a lot. There’s definitely a weaker middle than the beginning an end, and it is odd. Definitely odd. Also, unfinished. This one is hard to actually say that I’d solidly recommend it. Still, if you are after something that is a little different, you don’t mind a cast that starts out as tropes but slowly reveals more of the characters, and you aren’t obsessed with resolution, than this one will actually be entertaining. It is also visually really interesting with a range of styles within each episode to convey different tones and ideas. At times it might even be considered a little too much, but you kind of get used to it. The Ones Within didn’t quite manage to be brilliant but I do not regret watching it and I’d happily watch a season two should such a creature ever exist.
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Images from: Nakanohito Genome [Jikkyouchuu]. Dir. S Oonuma. Silver Link. 2019.
DanMachi Season 2
I still really enjoyed this second season of DanMachi, but it is undeniably weaker than season one. Still, with a third season announcement and characters that I love, I still think DanMachi is an anime worth watching and quite entertaining. More importantly, the events of this season are pretty critical to later story developments, so provided season 3 is solid enough, when binge watching the whole story, this season will feel a lot more important. That said, I still can’t put it into my must watches, this one is definitely only for those who are already fans of the franchise because it isn’t going to win over any new watchers.
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Images from: DanMachi 2nd Season. Dir. T Hideki. J.C. Staff. 2019.
This one definitely suffers from being a little bit of a mixed bag. There are some truly brilliant moments in this series and Tanjiro as a shounen protagonist is definitely fighting his way into my top picks. He might even knock Ichigo from Bleach off of his perch as my favourite shounen protagonist the way he is going. We’ll see what the future brings. However, the story as a whole goes so fast and then slams the breaks the filler moments in-between conflicts are lame and I’m still not sold on a lot of the support cast. There’s a lot to praise in this series and it is fun, but it just has a few too many flaws for me to throw it into the must watches this season.
Have you missed a review from Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba?
Images from: Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba. Dir. H Sotozaki. Ufotable. 2019.
To The Abandoned Sacred Beasts
To The Abandoned Sacred Beasts never quite reached its potential but it was still quite a good watch this season. It would have been nice if it had been given about five or six more episodes because it feels like a lot of ideas were fairly rushed or crammed in here. Still, I liked the general tone and atmosphere of this anime and I’m glad this one was picked by one of my patrons to be reviewed because this one was an entertaining enough watch for something that ended up being fairly bleak.
Reviews of To The Abandoned Sacred Beasts
are available for Patrons on Patreon.
Images from: To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts. Dir. J Shishido. MAPPA. 2019.
Recommended For The Season
Fruits Basket has made it all the way through 25 episodes and has been one of the most consistently good anime this season. While this one is a very low key, emotional viewing experience, it is one that sticks with you once you are done watching it. With the soft visuals, quirky characters, and Honda Tohru’s healing smile, this anime is definitely one to watch but remember to have the tissues on hand for some episodes.
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Images from: Fruits Basket. Dir. Y Ibata. TMS Entertainment. 2019.
Astra Lost in Space
Seriously, this one is the best story of the season. And it is a complete story told in the 12 episodes and beautifully resolved. While there are some issues along the way and a few things that might have done with a bit of tweaking, this one is solid entertainment with a great cast of characters that will grow on you as you go on the journey with them. There’s not a lot more to say without spoiling things so just go and watch Kanata no Astra if you skipped it this season. It is definitely worth the time.
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Images from: Kanata no Astra. Dir. M Andou. Lerche. 2019.
While Astra may have had the stronger story, Given delivered the best characterisation and character drama. At the completion of this series I talked a friend IRL into watching this with me over a couple of days and watching it the second time was even better as I could see how the boys slowly but surely changed throughout the series. However, the highlight is when they actually directly address their feelings. Very few romances in anime are this clear about things and honestly it was refreshing. Given was definitely my pick for the best anime this season. While the animation can’t compete with some of the heavier hitters, the characters and the direction more than make up for it. There’s some fantastic choices in the colour and shot composition in this anime that make it well worth while.
Want more rambling thoughts from Irina and Karandi on Given?
Images from: Given. Dir. H Yamaguchi. Lerche. 2019.
Right, so the next post is the reader’s choice poll results for the season. Be sure to check it out.
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