Tuesday’s Top 5: Disappointments 2018

Tuesday's Top 5

More Top 5 lists for 2018 and now we’re diving into shows that I, for whatever reason, had some kind of expectations of and for whatever reason they left me feeling a little disappointed. I started this sort of list in 2016 where Kiznaiver took my top spot and did my second list in 2017 where Sword Oratoria swept the floor (that one actually hurt a lot) and I’ve been wondering which titles would end up on the list in 2018 because there have been a number of shows I really was looking forward to this year.

Now, as always, this is a personal list. These are shows I started watching and I had expectations for them that they didn’t quite meet. In some cases, they are actually still reasonable anime in their own way, but they didn’t end up being as good as I hoped.

So, without further delay let us get into the shows that decide to crush my hopes under heel in 2018 and then I’d love to know what shows ended up disappointing you this year. What did you wait for with baited breath only to have the wind knocked out of your sails (and there is a mixed metaphor and a half)?

Please Note – Potential spoilers below.

Honourable mentions this week go to: Devils’ Line and Record of Grancrest War

Number 5: My Hero Academia Season 3

And yes, I know My Hero Academia season 3 is actually not a bad anime. I am well aware of that. However, season 2 was an amazing season. It kept me thrilled from start to finish even though it had a tournament arc for half its run time (which normally is something I can’t stand). Season 2 worked and blew me away and cemented a real fondness for this show inside of me. And then season 3 happened. It wasn’t bad, but a lot of the thrill and fun seemed to be missing as things came across more than a little flat. Season 3 had its moments. Certainly All Might’s final fight was one of the truly epic moments of any shounen anime (I say with authority despite not watching a lot of them). But looking at the season as a whole, there were definitely more episodes I walked away from wanting more and that’s why I’ve given My Hero Academia my number 5 spot on the list for disappointments.

Number 4: Junji Ito Collection

Maybe it is just that horror doesn’t translate very well from the manga to the screen, but really this one was talked up a lot and I even checked out a lot of the art behind some of these stories online before hand and I was really kind looking forward to a solid horror anime (something we get so few of). Instead I got a fairly weak viewing experience with a few oddities, a little bit of eye-brow raising, and a few grotesque moments, but nothing that really managed to hit me with a major horror vibe. It was all just a little ordinary to be honest and while some of the concepts were cool, the execution was lacking. This one gains a place simply because it is a genre I love, there was so much hype about the source, and ultimately it just didn’t deliver much of anything.

Number 3: Devilman Crybaby

Maybe it was just that the internet exploded with hype after the release of this one, and maybe it was because again the source was fairly well spoken of, but this Netflix release really underwhelmed. It wasn’t strictly speaking bad, but at the same time, after watching it I ended up fairly indifferent to it. I get that it was over the top violence and sex and the conclusion they were aiming for, it all works in its own way, but I just didn’t feel it. The characters weren’t developed enough and I felt like the show spent too long trying to tell me things that I was meant to be feeling rather than giving me a reason to believe they were true. Basically I ended up thinking ‘is that it’ rather than being blown away by this one and that’s probably a good reason why I shouldn’t pay attention to internet hype.

Number 2: Angels of Death

Really, this one shouldn’t be too much of a shocker. Again, fans of the source really talked this one right up and then it kind of went splat. It wasn’t the obvious game dialogue, the shifting tone, the characterisation that didn’t sit right or even the plot that just didn’t seem to be connecting that ended up killing this for me. Nope, what killed it was that episode one promised me one tone and idea and then it was all taken away and replaced by other elements that were nowhere near as good. What had been intriguing in episode one evaporated leaving me with only elements that bored and even the fans of the source seemed to go quiet once the anime started rolling out so I guess a lot of people found the adaptation a little less than amazing (that said I do know a number of people who made it through this one, well done). Also, another fine example of why I shouldn’t listen to internet hype because I might have low-key enjoyed this if I had gone in expecting nothing.

Number 1: SAO Alternative: Gun Gale online

This one should be no surprise to people who have followed my posts. I love SAO. I really do. I was a little wary when I found out this spin-off was going to be set in GGO, my least favourite of the SAO worlds. Then I started it and met the characters and discovered the lack of anything resembling a forward moving plot. While I appreciate there’s an audience for pink bunny girls with guns playing a game in a kind of slice of life style thing with a story slowly developing in the background but four episodes in I was bored, still didn’t know where it was going, and didn’t really have any reason to watch. SAO Alternative went the way of Sword Oratoria in 2017. A spin-off for a show I loved that just missed everything about the original that I loved.

And that is my list done but next week I’ll turn it around and look at the shows that caught me by surprise. Where my expectations were zero and I ended up having a great time. In the meantime, remember to let me know in the comments which shows left you disappointed in 2018?

Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online Episode 3: And We Reach The Beginning?

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At the end of episode 3, we reached the beginning of episode 1. Okay then. What next?

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 I get we sometimes start a story in the middle and then find out how we got there. Sometimes that’s to ensure it grabs our attention early on or it makes us interested in something that we need to learn later on. GGO doesn’t seem to have done that. This anime dropped us into a decontextualised battle royale with characters we knew nothing about. We then spent two episodes seeing how the pink bunny girl got there and it wasn’t exactly a thrilling tale.

SAO3d

About the only point of interest is that they are strongly implying that Pito is the singer that LLENN likes and that letter LLENN sent seems like it would be a sure give-away. Whether that ends up being the case or not, I don’t think I care. From next week I’m going to swap out these episode reviews for something else. I might watch a bit more of this, but I’m not interested in reviewing it at the moment.

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Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

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Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online Episode 2: So, No Plot Then?

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Other than tall girl enjoying playing gun game as short avatar, is there actually a plot in this anime?

SAO2b

What happens when you take an anime focused on life or death in an alternative reality and instead cast an insecure girl and take out the life and death part? Well, probably this. LLENN is adorable as the pink devil and all but other than watching her freak out over various avatar designs before dancing happily because she finally got a short avatar and then watching her show prodigious skill at ambushing more experienced players, I still know pretty much nothing about her or the point of this anime. Sorry, she likes music. Including movie soundtracks.

SAO2e

I can kind of see that this will appeal to some viewers quite a lot, but it isn’t SAO. Not by a long shot. And as I’m really not finding any connection with the main character and still have no clue what the story is actually going to be, I’m not convinced that I’m signing up for a whole season of watch girl play game. I’ll give this one more episode, but if no story emerges I’m going to drop this, much like I did the DanMachi spin-off. If you take out all the parts of the franchise I actually like, regardless of whether you put that name on the product, I’m still not liking the product.

I can kind of see where people who weren’t as in to the original SAO might prefer this though. Still, so far not really to my taste.

Linked Reviews:


Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

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Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online First Impressions

sao1b

While I love SAO, I have to say Gun Gale isn’t my favourite part of it. Mostly because of the whole gun thing rather than swords. Still, this wasn’t a bad start. What did you think?

SAO1d

Well, if we wanted to know what the actual plot of this spin-off series was going to be, this first episode isn’t exactly big on revealing. Mostly it seems to be intent on distinguishing itself from the whole sword and magic fights of the main stream SAO and plunges us straight into a gun battle just to show us how COD it can be (or pick your favourite shooter game).

That doesn’t make it bad as visually it was fun to watch and I kind of love the main character’s pink outfit and matching gun (inappropriate thought it is), but if I wanted to explain to someone what this is about so far all I’ve got is shooter game fantasy. A little bit more of an idea about the character or plot development to come might have been appreciated.

SAO1c

Still, despite not being a fan of shooters, this is part of SAO and so I’m pretty much signed on to watch it unless it becomes totally abysmal and this first episode was actually pretty reasonable (most enjoyable if you actually like watching gun fights). I guess I’m signed up for a season.

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Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

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Consider supporting the blog by:

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