Spring 2019 Anime Final Thoughts


Much like the mid-season, I’m still playing catch up with some titles at the end of the season. That said, with only an episode or two to go on most, I’m pretty sure the ranks aren’t going to change at this particular point in time so here are my final thoughts. On Friday, the results of the reader’s poll will be announced and I’m looking forward to discussing the season as a whole with everyone.

Given how many times Spring was declared the worst anime season for a while, I ended up having a great time with it and even those titles I didn’t end up liking all that much but watched were better than some of the stuff I kept on the Winter line up.

So here are the anime I’m following from weakest to strongest based on my personal enjoyment. The reader’s choice list ended up a little bit different.

Number 15: Amazing Stranger


Yes, this one got to stay as my least favourite show in the line up. There were some cute and potentially interesting ideas, and surprisingly it didn’t overwhelm with fan-service and it did have a plot, but that still doesn’t make this one particularly good. Still, there’s a lot worse out there and with 12 minute episodes this one remained tolerable.

Award for: Bringing the fantasy of figures coming to life into anime.

Number 14: Hitoribocchi no Marumaru Seikatsu


Hitoribocchi also hasn’t moved. It isn’t that Hitoribocchi is bad as it is actually a really cute anime about cute girls making friends and getting along, it just never worked for me. At the core of the problem is that every character seems to have some sort of social disorder but it is played for laughs and to be honest it just never really seemed funny. Anyway, lots of people loved this one but this list is my personal ranking so here it is.

Award for: Inspiring ninjas to make origami.

Number 13: Fairy Gone


Also not moving on the list, and I’m not sure if I’m continuing this one when it comes back for a second season in October, I’d say probably not. Visually it has remained unimpressive and while the core idea of the story is kind of interesting, the way it is delivered hasn’t been. A few interesting moments in the final few episodes doesn’t really take away all the poor decisions in execution that have plagued the entire series.

Award for: Getting more interesting as the story progressed.

Number 12: Afterlost


This one makes less sense than Fairy Gone but has at least had its moments scattered throughout the season. I also like the characters more than I like the cast of Fairy Gone. I do however feel that they spent pretty much the entire mid-season going around in circles and we could probably cut from episode 4 to episode 9 or 10 without appreciably losing any actual content that makes sense, which is a problem for the series and makes it almost impossible to recommend.

Award for: Demonstrating unsafe road practices and the importance of wearing a helmet.

Number 11: RobiHachi


This one I’ve fallen a fair way behind on during the season. I still enjoy it when I watch an episode and it is bright and fun, but there’s pretty much no substance and the overall plot is incredibly weak which means there’s nothing really driving me back to watch the next episode. That makes this one very easy to put on hold when things get busy. Still, I’ve mostly enjoyed all the episodes I’ve watched and this one makes me laugh every now and then at the silliness of the whole thing.

Award for: Knowing not to take itself seriously.

Affiliate Link – Game

Number 10: One Punch Man Season 2


This is another one that I’ve found very easy to put on hold, but I’ve enjoyed what I’ve watched. Really, I expected nothing from a second season of One Punch Man and yet I’ve found the second season quite fun as it seems to have expanded the world a bit. The lack of Genos moments has at times been a little bit of a problem (yes, I am still a Genos fan-girl), but I’ve liked what this season delivered even if the music wasn’t great and the visuals couldn’t hold up in comparison with season one. This was definitely worth watching as a continuation and I’ll hopefully finish it soon.

Award for: Being much better than expected.

Number 9: The Rising of the Shield Hero


I’m been reviewing this one over on patreon for my patrons and really when it came down to deciding whether or not this one is recommendable it really comes down to where you stand on isekai in general. Because outside of Naofumi not being the generic nice guy after episode one, instead insert generic bitter guy, what we have is a standard isekai. I’ve had fun with it, and I enjoyed that the end of the season went beyond what I had read of the series so I actually got to see a bit more of the story, but it is pretty much an average kind of thing. Either you like isekai and this one is enjoyable enough, or you don’t and this one doesn’t have anything else to offer.

Award for: Resilience in the face of endless criticism (both the main character and the anime).

Number 8: Kono Oto Tomare


This one was really misplaced, coming it at number 2 in the mid-season ranking. Honestly, all the ingredients were there for something really cathartic but the focus on incredibly lame antagonists and throwing external conflicts at the club all the time really diluted the impact. the best moments remain those that focus on the relationships between the club members and those moments are fantastic and make this show one that is worth watching. Too bad about all the stuff in between.

Award for: Developing a strong core cast.

Number 7: Bungo Stray Dogs Season 3

bungo stray dogs s3 ep12 35

This is another one I’ve been reviewing over on Patreon mostly because Irina has given this show some excellent coverage (and also provided brilliant screen cap photo galleries of each episode). I’ll admit, I’m not quite done yet with a couple of episodes still to watch of Bungo Stray Dogs but I’ve really enjoyed the third season as we’ve met some delightful characters, had some interesting developments with existing characters and generally just had fun with super powered characters. My usual concerns about not having a clue what the overall direction of the narrative is (that has been an issue since season one) kind of remains, but it sort of doesn’t matter at this point because if you’ve watched this far into Bungo Stray Dogs you more or less know what you are in for.

Award for: Always bringing fun and energy into every situation.

Number 6: Senryuu Shoujo


This one truly ended up being delightful. Small doses at 12 minutes a piece made for an easily digestible and adorable viewing experience each week. The two main characters are completely charming and while this one is definitely slice of life with no driving plot, I never felt like nothing was happening. For something outside of my comfort zone, I really had fun with Senryuu Shoujo this season and I kind of wish more people had tried this one because it was really fun.

Award for: The most expressive silent character.

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bungo stray dogs 18 scale prepainted figure osamu dazai 592443.1

Number 5: Wise Man’s Grandchild


Yes, it is generic isekai just like The Rising of the Shield Hero, and visually this one is the poorer cousin at best. However, I had a great deal more fun with this one. Part of it was going in without any expectations, part of it was that I really liked Shin as a clueless main character, and part of it was that it never took itself seriously realising exactly what it was and making the most of it. If you just want a powerful teenager who is actually a reincarnated Japanese salary man who ends up fighting demonoids to save a kingdom, by all means, this one is a winner.

Award for: Embracing being isekai.

Number 4: Midnight Occult Civil Servants


Seriously, visually this one is problematic and it hasn’t got anywhere near the hype or energy of some of the other titles this season. However, this one just really clicked with my particularly viewing preferences and I loved watching it this season. Seeing the various cases with Arata stepping in and interacting with the Anothers was great and while there are certainly a number of areas where they could improve, it just worked for me. Also a nice break from high fantasy, isekai, or stories set in a high school.

Award for: Being a more thoughtful approach to dealing with the modern supernatural setting.

Number 3: Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba


For a very clear shounen story, Demon Slayer is still doing a great job of keeping me interesting. Some of the newer characters aren’t exactly working for me but I’ve really enjoyed the show so far. The fights remain interesting, the protagonist isn’t an endless shouter, and our introduced villain so far looks like he’ll be fun to learn more about. There’s still a way to go with this one but I’m definitely still finding it worth the watch and this is one I made sure to catch each week because I didn’t want to read posts from others and have the episode ‘spoiled’ which usually means I’m fairly invested in the show.

Award for: Visually interesting battle sequences with a lot of variety.

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: Fruits Basket


Rarely does a reboot get so many things right. Everything I ever wanted from a reboot of this series has been on display and I’m hooked. I already loved the story of Fruits Basket, it being one of the very few anime I loved enough to track down the manga online to find out more about the characters and what happened next (then realised the original series didn’t follow closely enough so just quickly read the main points). Seeing the story play out this time I’m just loving it. While it isn’t a perfect series by any means, the sheer enjoyment of seeing something I loved coming back and being done well means that this is one of my must watch shows of the season and into the next.

Award for: Hitting us right in the feels every single episode.

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

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

Number 1: Attack on Titan Season Three Part Two


Nope, not a dream and after falling out of love with this show during season two I’m still completely surprised that this ended up topping the Spring season in terms of an anime I was enjoying. But it did and there’s really no contest. I’ve cried, I’ve sat in stunned shock, I’ve leaned forward and shouted at the characters through the screen, I’ve smiled and cheered… this season has been one of those viewing experiences where I’ve been drawn fully into the story and it has been an amazing experience.

Award for: Sheer awesomeness.

Remember, check back Friday for the results of the reader’s poll.

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James

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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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.

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James

What’s Wrong With The Spring Anime Season?

Friday's Feature Banner Image

I know the headline is a little dramatic and realistically the Spring anime season isn’t any better or worse than any other, and yet for a lot of bloggers there seem to be slim pickings this season when it comes to creating a review list. With my travel overseas making my start to the season a little late, I kind of expected that I’d have too many shows to catch up and that I’d be fighting to narrow my list down to 15 or 16 titles. Instead I’m struggling to find even 14 anime that I might last the season with.


Now that doesn’t necessarily mean anything is wrong with the Spring Anime season. There are actually quite a number of anime out that people have been anticipating and are excited about. The Fruits Basket reboot being a great example of something lots of people wanted and the first few episodes haven’t really disappointed. While some viewers aren’t thrilled by the toned down comedy, I’m preferring the tone of the reboot and the visuals and sound are miles better than the original series.

Fruits Basket

There’s also the return of Bungo Stray Dogs, Attack on Titan, and One Punch Man that all have their fans and detractors at this point and all of these anime have made a pretty reasonable start to the season, even if Attack on Titan entered the anime season later than I did.

Bungo Stray Dogs

However, this season seems a lot more scattered in how it has been distributed across streaming services. I have subscriptions to Crunchyroll and HiDive, access to AnimeLab a week after release (as well as a Netflix subscription I rarely use for anime viewing) and yet there are still a plethora of titles I’m just not able to watch yet. Carole and Tuesday, Fairy Gone, and Shoumetsu Toshi were all titles I was interested in checking out but they are either locked behind paywalls of services I don’t use or region locked so I won’t be seeing them any time soon. Every season there are one or two shows I just kind of miss out on that I was curious about but this season this has become a larger problem.

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It certainly brings us back to why there is an anime piracy problem still. Access to anime has certainly improved since the early 2000’s but there’s only so many services someone can subscribe to before the cost definitely outweighs any potential benefit. And region locking just feels like people haven’t woken up to the fact that the world is actually all connected these days (okay, I know there are actual legal and political reasons for region locking but it really does feel like something we should have moved on from at this point).

One Punch Man

For me, while I’m mostly feeling this season is weak, is because while there are a number of shows I’m enjoying to watch, when I think about which ones will probably end up on my DVD purchase list, I can’t think of a one outside of Fruits Basket.

Midnight Occult Civil Servants hits all the right genre notes for me but just isn’t objectively very good. That doesn’t mean I’m not enjoying it, but it isn’t the kind of anime you go to watch again. Unless it does something amazing in its second half but to be honest I’ll just be happy if it manages to maintain where it is and doesn’t implode. Demon Slayer might end up being quite good but it is very classic shounen and realistically the only one of those I ever bought the DVD’s for was Bleach. It just isn’t a genre I get super excited about even though the few episodes I’ve watched have been good enough.

Midnight Occult Civil Service

Then there are the school based anime. Hitoribocchi with the shy girl and Senryuu Shoujo with its girl who doesn’t talk gimmick. Both are cute in their own way. They’ve got some good points. But neither is something I’d ever go for a rewatch of. Again, they just aren’t the kind of show I’m likely to remember after they finish airing.

Senryuu Shoujo

While there’s certainly still a few titles for me to try, and I am curious about one or two, I’m definitely finding the spring anime season is coming up a little empty.

Still, I’m sure there are other viewers who have found shows they love this season and as always, another season is just a couple of months away.

Kimetsu no Yaiba

In the meantime, a low watch anime season is an opportunity. It means I get to pick some older anime that I didn’t get to review or watch and fill in some gaps in my anime knowledge.

But that’s enough rambling from me. How are you finding the spring season so far?

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James

Friday’s Feature: Choosing A Watch List When Faced With A Sea of Spring Anime

hero academia 3 two

The Spring 2018 anime season has started and so many bloggers, reviewers and just watchers are faced with the question of what will end up on their list. For some this is an easily answered question as they had already picked out 2 or 3 big titles that they intended to watch during the season and the rest will either wait or be forgotten, but for the rest of us watching a plethora of premiere episodes this can actually end up being quite a difficult decision.

The important thing to keep in mind is that there is no surefire way to pick a winner and regardless of what you end up watching, you always have the option of dropping mid-season and picking up something else. Or you can just keep going and at the end of the season check out those titles that slid past you. And at the end of the day, as long as you are having fun, what does it really matter? Still, there are some approaches I’ve watched other reviewers take when choosing their watch list that I’m going to share here and then I’d love to know how you pick your list.

Genre Matters

This method works for bloggers who have a very specific theme on their blog. For example some people review cute girls doing cute things and slice of life and that’s what they like to watch so their list is automatically narrowed down to titles that fit within those descriptions with maybe one or two outliers for variety. Other bloggers focus on shounen or romance or whatever it is that they have made their niche. It is quick and effective and if your blog is targeted at a specific genre or audience then it is probably a necessity in order to avoid brand confusion. Needless to say this doesn’t work for everyone, particularly those of us who while there are genres we’d prefer to watch don’t have any one genre that we’re crazy enough about to only watch that.

One From Each Box

This method is probably a bit better for people that like to cover a range of anime where the blogger picks a title from each major category or group for the season. So one cute girl anime and one action and one fantasy, etc. It gives some good variety and if the title they’ve picked ends up being a dud they can always swap a new one in. Of course, then you have to wonder how they pick that one title and in a season like last one, how would you narrow down your cute girl show?

No Sequels, No Spin-Offs, No Light Novel Adaptations

For those overwhelmed by the sheer volume of titles each season, having an exclusion clause can really narrow the field. It doesn’t really matter what it is you are excluding. Maybe yours would be ‘no pink haired heroines’, but essentially whatever you eliminate from the line up leaves you with less options to choose from possibly making the choice easier. Now while you might argue that this particular method means that the blogger in question is going to miss some good titles (obviously everyone wants to watch a spin-off light novel adaptation about a pink haired heroine) but realistically there are so many anime out there that even if they miss one brilliant entry because of their exclusion, they are likely to find a title or two that has been overlooked by others.

Try Everything Then Decide

This is probably the most time-consuming method but at least you get a taste of everything. Essentially, watch every first episode that floats across whatever streaming services you use and make the call based on what you see. Now if you were really committed you could give shows two or three episodes but that is a massive time commitment. The advantage is that you aren’t relying on the synopsis or second hand opinions, you genuinely make your own call after watching. The down side, other than the time commitment, is that you end up starting episodes you know you are going to hate – though it does make everything else look so much more sparkly.

My Method:

I kind of do a bit of all of the above when choosing a watch list. I try to watch everything I can but I already know there aren’t enough hours in the day to actually watch everything. There are definitely some episodes I’ve killed in less than five minutes due to wanting to save time and realising pretty quick that it isn’t the show for me. I eliminate all sequels where I haven’t watched previous seasons before beginning and I also eliminate most short form anime unless they really catch my attention in the write up. I used to eliminate all sports anime by default but I’ve caved on that and now give most of them at least half an episode to convince me to keep watching.


As for actually finalising the list, I do give preference to certain genres. Horror, fantasy, and supernatural stories will almost always get in over cute girl, high school, comedy stories. That said, I try to cover a range of genres because I know not all my readers are into bad horror or sub-par supernatural romances. That and, I also happen to like variety in my weekly viewing. There’s only so many edgy vampire wannabes getting transported into pseudo-medieval worlds while wearing trench coats before being attacked by werewolves that a girl can take in any given season (and I swear this story must exist somewhere). So once I’ve picked my list I run my eye over it to make sure I’ve got some variety for me and for my readers.


However, what I do know is that I do deliberately leave anime in my watch list that I know aren’t very good. Why? Because I actually enjoy things that aren’t well done from time to time. Because sometimes things improve. Because watching something that is bad can help you recognise when something is good. And the most important reason, it gives me perspective on average anime. Sometimes perfectly functional stories get torn apart because they aren’t great but when you actually watch anime that have a broken narrative and failed characters you realise that while average anime might be pretty dull, it is perfectly watchable. Of course, there’s a difference between leaving something in that might find a decent story and just watching something that is dreadful. Sometimes I miss that mark and put myself through some pretty painful episodes.

And given what I will keep watching, I have to wonder how Dances with the Dragons managed to go so wrong that it is a serious contender to be dropped.

So yes, when I finalise my watch list, while I hope the shows on it will end up being fun and entertaining, I usually know that I am signing up for at least one or two titles that are going to leave me shaking my head most episodes. Still, there are the occasional surprises and really no matter what you pick there will always be at least one title you leave off your list that you will later wish you had watched.


With all that said and done, the Spring Anime season is looking good. Sure there are some hits and misses already, but there’s quite a range of titles, some interesting sequels, some continuing anime from last season, and a lot of general excitement in the community. Hopefully we’ll all enjoy this season of anime.

Now, I’d love to know: How do you pick a watch list?

Thanks for reading.

Karandi James


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