Spring 2019 Anime Mid-Season Thoughts

Right, I’m still playing catch-up with some shows this season and other shows I’m only able to watch a week after they air so while it is the mid-season there’s still a few shows I’m in the early stages of. That said, I’ve kind of got a rough idea of each of the shows I’m following, at least enough to do my current impressions of the season.

There’s a lot of talk about Spring being a weak season and to be honest it isn’t as though that is wrong. The biggest titles this season are all follow up seasons to shows that you are either already a fan of or not, or a reboot of an old show, and most of the new shows are either on the average side or very niche titles. That said, while there’s nothing really blowing me away I’ve certainly ended up with plenty on my watch list that I am enjoying.

So here are the anime I’m following from weakest to strongest for the season as they stand right now based on what I’ve seen so far.

Number 15: Amazing Stranger

I’m actually more amazed that I’m still watching, though I have made it to episode 6 (reviews of the episodes 5 + 6 coming next week). The short length of the episodes helps but really this anime isn’t very good even in terms of being fan-service or a silly comedy. It just doesn’t commit to being anything and so we have something that is barely average in almost every sense of the word. Still, it does follow one fantasy of your favourite figure coming to life so I guess there is still an audience for this and it isn’t as though it is unwatchable even if there is little to recommend it.

Number 14: Hitoribocchi no Marumaru Seikatsu

Hitoribocchi is actually a pretty cute anime and a lot of people are really enjoying it and have really connected with Bocchi, the shy and timid protagonist on a mission to make friends. It is one of those anime that if you really like slice of life and cute girls making friends will probably work really well for you. For me, this one is a swing and a miss. I actually like Bocchi, the central character, and Nako, her first friend in the class, but almost every other member of the cast annoys me to no end and the drawn out nature of each situation to the full twenty minutes just makes me want to watch the clock. Still, there are a lot of people who are pretty positive about this one so depending on your preferences, it might be worth checking out.

Number 13: Fairy Gone

One of the anime I’ve seen hitting a lot of viewer’s dropped lists this season, Fairy Gone hasn’t done itself many favours in how it has presented its narrative so far. Couple that with the visuals that just aren’t all that appealing and it is easy to see why people are walking away. For me, this one has the minor advantage of being squarely based around subject matter I’m interested in and having two cours so I’m willing to give it a little longer to get its set-up in order but it is starting to wear out that grace period. There’s potential here but it isn’t hitting yet so I’m not exactly saying you should get on board with this one, but it is one I’m still waiting to make a final decision about.

Number 12: Afterlost

I feel like I could repeat a lot of what I just said about Fairy Gone, though the visuals are a bit better in Afterlost and there’s been less random flashbacks. Still, there’s a lot in Afterlost that hasn’t quite come together yet and while I get the reason why they are delaying explanations, it is becoming more and more important that when we finally get those explanations they make a lot of sense because if they don’t tie things together we’re just going to be left with a mess. Still, there’s a lot of potential in this story and if they’ve actually thought it through it could be worth the time, but I won’t recommend it until I see what they do with all their ideas.

Number 11: Senryuu Shoujo

I actually feel a little bad about placing this one so far down the list because it is working very well for what it is. This cute short anime is a slice of life that focuses on Nanako, a girl who doesn’t speak but communicates by writing poems, and Eiji, a misunderstood member of her club. The two of the are adorable together but not a lot happens in this one. It really is just slice of life and while I can appreciate this one, it isn’t exactly the kind of anime I get super excited about. Still, this one is definitely a relaxing viewing experience and for those who like this type of anime there’s plenty to appeal.

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THE PROMISED NEVERLAND 1/8 SCALE PRE-PAINTED FIGURE: RAY

Number 10: RobiHachi

I’m only a few episodes into this one and it isn’t my usual kind of story but I will admit I’m having a lot of fun with the random space hi-jinx on offer here. Robi is not a character I can usually get behind but despite his brash attitude he’s actually kind of charming in how he’s presented here and he pairs well with Hachi’s personality. Whether I find this entertaining for the duration of a season remains to be seen but so far this one is making me laugh and I’m enjoying the absurdity of it as well as the bright colour palette.

Number 9: One Punch Man Season 2

Considering I was not looking forward to a second season, having felt the first season more or less ran the joke into the ground, season 2 has actually been surprisingly decent. I know the criticisms about the change in studio and quality and music which have soured some viewers are valid criticisms and certainly this one doesn’t have the grab and appeal that season one did. Yet, for me, when I focus more on characters and story in what I look for anyway, One Punch Man Season 2 has been setting up some things quite nicely and while it may not end up delivering on them, I’m not unhappy with how this season has started. It isn’t amazing but it is competent and interesting enough and I’m enjoying it each week even if I am a week behind.

Number 8: The Rising of the Shield Hero

I’m mostly reviewing this one over on patreon for my patrons but it continues to roll along. It is easy viewing with some good moments and a lot of just kind of average moments. It makes sense this one remains in the middle of my viewing list mostly because for every good character moment or interesting plot point there’s something that just kind of drags it down. It very much is average but entertaining enough in almost every way. While the controversy around this one has finally died down, those who have stuck with it are being rewarded with a story that keeps moving forward even if the pace is still a little all over the place.

Number 7: Wise Man’s Grandchild

Alright, this one isn’t a great anime by any means, in fact average is the best description you could give this production. Yet, for those who have watched and generally enjoyed copious amounts of isekai stories, while this one isn’t treading new ground, it is providing an amusing and entertaining viewing experience. It reminds me a lot of In Another World With My Smart Phone in that it isn’t that it does anything different from other anime in the genre, but it remembers to be entertaining while it does it. So far Shin has been a decent enough protagonist and the story they are setting up is interesting enough. I enjoy the magic they are using and the fights have been decent. This one won’t remake the world or change your mind if you don’t like isekai stories, but for those who do it will be fun viewing this season.

Number 6: Bungo Stray Dogs Season 3

This is another one I’m reviewing over on Patreon mostly because Irina is going to cover the episodes here on the blog. That said, this is more Bungo Stray Dogs. If you’ve enjoyed the previous two season, you’ll still enjoy. If you haven’t, you won’t. For me there are a lot of good things about Bungo Stray Dogs and some episodes that really make me pay attention (such as episode 4) but then there are things I find tiresome about it. Still, it’s a decent story and the music and visuals are always a treat with a large cast of colourful characters. if you haven’t tried Bungo Stray Dogs, don’t jump into season 3, but it might be worth giving a go.

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Number 5: Midnight Occult Civil Servants

I know, how can I put this one ahead of Bungo Stray Dogs? Visually there’s no comparison and certainly the animation isn’t even close. Yet, Midnight Occult Civil Servants is one of the anime that if you are part of the niche audience that really likes the kind of slow story that’s unfolding here as Arata learns more about the Anothers and they investigate various supernatural situations, then Midnight Occult Civil Servants will be more than enough. I look forward to each new episode and while there are plenty of points I could nit-pick, overall I’m having fun with it and I’m curious as to where it will go. Whether it stays in my top 5 will entirely depend on where they take this story in the second half.

Number 4: Attack on Titan Season 3 Part 2

Attack on Titan Season Three Part Two Episode 1

Season 3 Part 1 really got me back into this story and Part 2 has so far been doing an excellent job keeping my attention. I’m still not sold on the pace that this narrative has been told over these three seasons and certainly there’s still this need for characters to shout or make everything more or less the end of the world, but that’s Attack on Titan and you’ve either signed up for it or not at this point. Visually I’ve been impressed with this latest entry and I really feel some of the characters have stepped up in these first few episodes. Hopefully the season continues to develop the characters and fill in some plot points while giving us some great action.

Number 3: Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba

Kimetsu no Yaiba Episode 4

Not sure if this will stay so high on the list but I will say I’m enjoying the rapid pace this shounen story has gone through during its set up and the characters are interesting enough. I’m also kind of interested in learning more about demons and the demon slayers. There’s plenty to explore in the world they’ve set up, the fights so far have been fantastic to watch and over quickly enough that they haven’t dragged. Tanjiro has grown more as a shounen protagonist in 6 episodes than some shounen characters do in an entire series and all and all there’s little to complain about other than a few narrative choice and the fact that they feel they need to hit the audience over the head with important plot points rather than trusting us to pick them up. Still, having a lot of fun with this one so far.

Have you missed a review from Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba?

Images from: Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba. Dir. H Sotozaki. Ufotable. 2019.

Number 2: Kono Oto Tomare

Really not sure if this will stay so high up the list but really I’ve enjoyed it so far. While there are standard narrative developments (like the vice-principal trying to shut down the club) that aren’t particularly well done, the relationships between club members and the overall feel of the anime has so far really drawn me into the story. I’m enjoying the visuals and the music, but it has been the characters who have really sold this so far. Hoping it continues to be as compelling to watch right to the end.

Number 1: Fruits Basket

Fruits Basket - Tohru and Kyoko

I’m actually surprised this one is so high up my list. I really did enjoy the original Fruits Basket anime but wanted a reboot to see the story finished. That said, after Sailor Moon and Cardcaptor, I was keeping my expectations low because nostalgia is lovely but it also makes you more critical of anime that come along trying to duplicate the effect. Still, Fruits Basket 2019 has so far hit all the right notes and been a lovely, cathartic viewing experience giving me everything I would have ever wanted from a retelling of the story. Really hoping it manages to be consistent in its quality right through because this one is a lovely anime to watch.

Would you like to read more about Fruits Basket’s feels?

Images from: Fruits Basket. Dir. Y Ibata. TMS Entertainment. 2019.


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Karandi James



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14 thoughts on “Spring 2019 Anime Mid-Season Thoughts

  1. AOT is finally grabbing me. Season 2 sucked.

    Kono Oto Tomare left me flat. After a half dozen episodes I still haven’t heard a lot of music and the characters are just too predictable.

    Haven’t looked at Demon Slayer or Fruits Basket yet. Life is too busy right now to watch a lot of additional anime.

    I finally got into March Comes In Like a Lion. I was seriously bored to tears and frustrated with the MC until episode 8 when that foster sister perked my interest. There’s a complex set of relationships going on.

    Of course, in true shounen style, he keeps the beautiful girl who has taken him in at arm’s length. There is a lot of hidden romantic tension between the two and he’s in denial. If I’m reading it wrong, the show may suddenly suck again. They still need to discuss shogi strategy more.

    Right now Fairy Tail and AOT are the anime keeping my interest.

    1. I love March Comes in Like a Lion but I find Rei really interesting as a character and really enjoy watching him slowly grow and retreat as a character. The supporting cast all undergo fantastic growth as well throughout the two seasons.
      Season three of Attack on Titan has got me back into it as well, I really disconnected from the series during season 2 and thought I was going to drop it when season 3 started. So far part 2 of season 3 is doing a great job of keeping me hooked so hopefully it keeps going strong.

  2. Did Sarazanmai not catch your eye? I was really on the fence about it, but as of this past episode I’m all in. Enough to write something about it for next week at least anyway.

    1. I started the first episode but it didn’t really grab me. I do intend to give it another shot because some of the reviews I’ve read have been interesting but I probably won’t follow week to week.

  3. I’m only watching 3 series this season and it’s Demon Slayer, Fruits Basket, and then Fairy Gone. Although there is a pretty huge gulf between second and third.

      1. Hardest thing is not jumping into the other shows. I’m holding back on AoT so that I can watch the whole of season 3 together. I’ve read all the manga so not worried about spoilers. Same with One Punch Man. There are a couple that I’ll probably watch once the seasons have finished, but I am enjoying writing episode reviews for just a select few shows.

  4. WHY ISN’T ANYONE TALKING ABOUT YU-NO?

    Sorry…that keeps happening when I keep reading these lists and that anime is always missing.

    1. It is actually in my list but having read the synopsis I felt I’d probably take to it better with a binge. I’ll probably catch it between this season and the next in that awkward week where lots of shows have finished but very few new ones have started. Not entirely sure I’m going to like it but I want to give it a go.
      Though, there’s a few shows this season that don’t seem to be being mentioned. When I came across RobiHachi I hadn’t read a single post about it and Afterlost seems to have gone very quiet from most people after the first episode.

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