So the Spring 2019 Anime season has come and gone and in its wake a bunch of shows and many more opinions on them! Overall it wasn’t the strongest or most memorable season in recent memory, but the highs certainly were high! I watched 16 shows in Spring and I’ll be ranking them from best to worst with a score and a little review for each too!
BOKUBEN: We Never Learn
Oh boy, do I have so much to talk about regarding this show but then again most of it will be me complaining about “people” who compare this show to last seasons’ ‘The Quintessential Quintuplets’ despite the fact that ‘We Never Learn’ came first (as a manga) and is infinitely superior! Okay I’ll stop with the mini-rant and just say that seldom do I see a harem anime with such a commitment to fully developing its female characters and making the audience not only want each of the girls to end up with the male lead but also give them personal and unique journeys that make all these characters feel real. I really love this show and I’m so glad it’s getting a second season in October of this year!
Hitoribocchi no Marumaru Seikatsu
Shows like this are especially hard to review because the journey of the anime is less about a definite ‘beginning’, ‘middle’ and ‘endpoint’ narratively speaking but rather just watching characters find one another, grow closer and develop as people in their own right. Likewise the amount you’re going to get out of a series like this is directly proportional to how much you can be brought into their world and sympathise/empathise with the characters in it. Bocchi and her cohorts remained like friends I never knew I needed right up until the end and I’ll forever appreciate them for letting me be privy to their journey, this show was wonderful.
Why the Hell are You Here, Teacher!?
A show as shamelessly ecchi as this one deserves kudos for fully committing to its ridiculous premise alone. But what was more surprising than the myriad ways it managed to push together a female teacher and a male student in compromising situations was the honest to goodness heart, character development and how well it tied it all together. Sometimes a show can be sexy and sweet.
Wise Man’s Grandchild
I went into great detail (and defense) about this series in my episode 1 & 2 review but my thoughts on the series as a whole remain more or less the same. ‘Wise Man’s Grandchild’ is an isekai that knows it’s an isekai, embraces the tropes of its genre but is still wise (heh) enough to do things differently when it needs to. Its sense of humour remains its greatest strength though and made every single episode an absolute joy to watch.
YU-NO: A Girl Who Chants Love at the Bound of this World
(86/100) [ongoing series Episodes 1 to 13 watched]
Here’s a series that gets more interesting, more complex and more narratively satisfying the longer it goes on and the fact we’re only halfway through its planned 26 (plus 1 OVA) episode at the time of writing this makes things all the more exciting. This show feels fresh despite being based on a Visual Novel from the 90’s and whats more its just entertaining as heck. Yes it’s got some issues (mostly to do with its sometimes sexist protagonist) but the good far outweighs the bad in this particular anime!
Ao-chan Can’t Study!
I haven’t watched that many strictly romantic comedy anime (harem’s usually don’t count as such) likewise even less with a female lead but not only was the titular Ao-chan an adorable neurotic and refreshingly frank character but the show itself was as funny as it was endearing.
Yatogame-chan Kansatsu Nikki
When’s a 2 minute anime better than half the anime you watch in a particular season? When it’s ‘Yagogame-chan Kanatsu Nikki’! Food anime are often a favourite of mine, and what’s better than a food anime? A food anime filled with comedy and niche references to very specific parts of Japanese culture (in this case the Nagoya region of Japan). As you’d (hopefully) expect for an anime this short not a second is wasted and the result is a fun and frenetic, but still surprisingly laid back anime that I’m very glad is getting a 2nd season next year!
Bringing together characters from four different popular isekai anime and smashing them together could have been a recipe for disaster–or at least a recipe for a messy anime but the team responsible for this crossover handled it (almost) perfectly and gave us fun and entertaining experience. Even if you’re only familiar with half the shows being referenced it’s still a worthwhile experience if you’re into seeing crazy characters interact with each other with often hilarious results!
The otaku references in ‘AMAZING STRANGER’ were an endless source of comedic delight as were the marital shenanigans between our protagonist and 1/6 scale bishojou figure but it was the commitment to its world building, the connections between the characters and the surprising amount of drama that ended up making this anime such a rewarding (if still inherently silly) experience.
The Helpful Fox Senko-san
Despite seemingly being an anime that’s exactly in my wheelhouse (a.k.a. it’s about a cute loli fox girl in a Slice of Life setting) there were certain things about this anime that I wasn’t exactly a fan of and hence prevented me falling in love with the show like so many others did. Having an adult male protagonist felt like it was pandering to a different demographic entirely (I wrote a whole rant-y post about it which I never ended up posting) but external factors should seldom detract from a show’s enjoyment factor. Also the fact the show felt the need to mention that the loli fox girl is actually 800 years old in every episode (sometimes multiple times) felt like the writer was embarrassed by his very own premise–which sucked a lot of the joy out of the show. Regardless of my issues it was still a wholesome, comfortable and well-made anime.
Fruits Basket 1st Season
(81/100) [ongoing series 13 Episodes watched so far]
As someone who’s never seen the ‘original’ Fruits Basket, read the manga nor is particularly a fan of this genre of anime (whatever genre that is) I’m still yet to see the monumental appeal of this series–however its characters, its overall emotional impact and the promise of something bigger and more serious behind the scenes means I’m more than happy to keep watching the show and see where it goes.
Nobunaga teacher’s young bride
There’s a lot of promise in this anime’s premise but unfortunately not a lot of care in its overall execution. It’s clumsy, occasionally ugly and extremely problematic. But it’s also fun, amusing and occasionally inspired. Also kudos for being one of the only ecchi harem anime I’ve ever seen to have a “trap” character get further sexually with the main (male) character than any of the girls did! I’ll remember that about this series if nothing else…
An interesting premise and some wholly likeable characters are the highlight of this short anime that never does anything particular inventive with its ‘no dialogue’ premise but is still a pleasant and entertaining diversion.
As of the writing of this I’m only 11 out of 12 episodes (due to a broadcast delay) but ‘Cinderella Nine’ is an example of a sports anime without the budget to wholly execute its sport in any satisfying way, with characters who amount to little more than single sentence cliches and nothing in the way of a gimmick to spice up the proceedings.
Han-Gyakuisei Million Arthur 2nd Season [on hold at Episode 3]
So, this show is great, probably with a score around the mid 80’s, but I had to stop it at Episode 3 because Funimation being the incompetent twats that they are decided to cut out the post-credit gag scenes which were a source of so much joy in the 1st season. Maybe it seems weird to put a show on hold because of such a (seemingly) minor reason but its a matter of principal, you know?! I’ll probably get back to watching this just… not on Funimation…
AFTERLOST [on hold at Episode 7]
*sigh* This show… is so frustrating, there’s so much good about it and almost in equal measure so much bad about it. I haven’t considered this ~officially~ dropped but at the same time I don’t know if I want to ever go back to it so consider this in the limbo between on hold and dropped–whatever that might be called… okay let’s call it ‘Lost’!
And that’s the Anime of Spring 2019 that I watched reviewed! What are your thoughts? What are your thoughts on my thoughts? Drop a comment below if you have something to say! Thanks for reading!
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