So the first week of Summer 2019 has come and what does that mean? Well from here on out I’ll be giving you mini-reviews of every new anime episode I watch each week–ranked from the worst of the week and ending with the week’s best new seasonal anime episode! (Also, for those curious, the header image of these posts each week will be whatever is my favourite moment of the entire week).
Cinderella Nine – Episode 11 (62/100)
I mean, there’s not much to say. This show is still the worst thing I’ve watched in a while, this episode is by no means terrible but it’s also not particularly interesting. You can see some expanded thoughts in my collaborative review here.
Demon Lord, Retry! – Episode 1 (77/100)
Yes, the premise is fairly generic–it’s an Isekai about entering a game world–there’s only so many ways you can spin that synopsis in the span of a first episode. I like the protagonist (even if his voice is sometimes annoying), after all it’s nice to have an isekai protagonist who isn’t exploiting or belittling the women he comes across. Speaking of which, our female main character (whose name I can’t remember but I’ve been calling “blonde Rem”) gets a fair chunk of character development that immediately endears me to her. The true test of whether this show has staying power week-to-week will be how interesting the other characters are and whether it does anything interesting with its setting and plot.
If It’s For My Daughter, I’d Even Defeat The Demon Lord – Episode 1 (82/100)
N’awwww. N’AWWWW! Kawaii. ~~~KAWAII!!!~~~
In all seriousness, this show is cute as heck, not much substance so far but then again maybe it’s not really going for the whole deep fantasy thing and instead will focus on being a fantasy-set slice of life. Either way, this could be a little bit of cute fun each week and I’m not really expecting anything else but then again it’s based on a light novel so maybe it’ll surprise me and have more to it.
Magical Sempai – Episode 1 (83/100)
The manic pixie dream girl trope is alive and well with our titular Sempai here and what is more or less just a series of comedic sketches loosely connected by a chronology works well enough by having endearing protagonists, comedic set-pieces with fun and saucy shenanigans as well as the promise of more interesting side-characters to come.
Fruits Basket 1st Season – Episode 14 (85/100)
A solid, tear jerking episode that’s among the best of the series so far, the stuff with Tohru and her friends commemorating the first anniversary of the death of Tohru’s mother was sweet and touching, and while I didn’t particularly care about learning about Momiji’s backstory it was still emotionally charged and well-written and filled in some gaps in the burgeoning Soma lore.
Wasteful Days of High School Girl – Episode 1 (86/100)
As far as pure comedy shows go this one seems to be a strong contender, I always love a school based anime where the girls can play against the ‘prim and proper’ archetypes and let loose with just being stupid and random. In some ways it’s reminiscent of ‘Asobi Asobase’ just without the cruelty and horror imagery and likewise a bit like ‘Nichijou’ just without the surrealism. If you like anime comedies then I imagine you’d find something to like about this show.
YU-NO: A Girl Who Chants Love At The Bound Of This World – Episode 14 (87/100)
A continually evolving mythos as well as learning about an ever-present but seldom explored character powers this episode through what would otherwise be an episode with little narrative substance. That said, the intertwining of drama and comedy continues to be this shows’ strong suit as well as its commitment to thoroughly interesting science fiction anime! In some ways this is a turning point for the show, but in other ways it’s just a frustrating ‘question’ to answers yet to come.
Are You Lost? – Episode 1 (87/100)
High school girls stranded on a desert island after a plane crash and living off the land to survive? I love the synopsis of this alone and the execution was everything I was hoping for and more. This first episode was funny and sexy but also surprisingly dramatic and compelling. It won’t be for everyone but it’s absolutely for me!
How Heavy Are The Dumbbells You Lift? – Episode 1 (91/100)
What’s especially surprising about this series is that despite this anime being about a subject I not only have zero interest but actually have a slight disdain for (that being weightlifting and the gym in general) this episode not only was relatable, entertaining and extremely well made but it also felt fresh. Obviously there were a lot of standard anime tropes both plot and character but the summation of the parts contributed to something pretty excellent. Even if you think there’s nothing for you here based on plot synopsis and genre alone I ~urge~ you to give it a go!
Fire Force – Episode 1 (96/100)
This anime impressed me in almost every department: from its gorgeously detailed visuals, to its slightly askew almost steampunk version of Tokyo. From its familiar but strong character designs and its compelling characterization. The magic/religion hybrid utilized by these firefighters feels fresh and fun and it’s emotional core—at least as far as our protagonist goes is solid. Like any great shonen series it introduces a lot but leaves room for so much and best of all left me desperately wanting more!
O Maidens In Your Savage Season – Episode 1 (99/100)
Sometimes you watch a show and everything just works and your left in awe of the episode you just experienced. It doesn’t happen often but when it does you just want to scream (or type) at the top of your lungs so everyone knows about it! This episode was funny, bittersweet, startling, energetic, emotional and most of all refreshingly honest and frank with how it approached teenage sexuality and the frustration that comes with the many facets of it. Not since ‘Rascal Dreams Of Bunny Girl Senpai’ have I watched a first episode that made such an immediate impact with its writing, voice acting and directing.
And those are my thoughts on the first week’s worth of anime for Summer 2019! This list is set to grow next week as a bunch more new shows get released so look forward to that! Let me know what you thought of these shows in the comments below, if there’s any shows you think I should have watched or any other questions you have. Thanks for reading!
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