Week 2 already! And with it a bunch of new Episode 1’s to add to the ‘Watch List’, as it stands we’re at 20(!) seasonal anime that I’m watching and reviewing in this truncated format so prepare for a long read! Also, you might notice something different about this list than the previous, I’ve included a note on how much any particular episode has increased or decreased in the score out of 100 compared to the previous week’s episode. Now, let’s get started with ranking Week 2 of Summer 2019’s anime from worst to best!
Cinderella Nine – Episode 12 [Finale]
55/100 (DOWN 7 points from previous episode)
It ended; it was mostly mediocre—read my full review here if you want expanded thoughts.
given – Episode 1
71/100 (NEW entry)
Boy, this was a sort of tough sit in some ways. While ostensibly well-animated and kinda fun to watch it has legitimately the most infuriatingly inane protagonist I’ve ever bore witness too. I had to wonder if he Mafuyu had a learning disability because his characterisation is among the most pathetically ineffectual and irritating I’ve ever seen. Which is weird because the show has such strong supporting characters (if we’re counting Ritsuka as supporting, which he isn’t, he’s also a main character) that its hard to reconcile the lame parts of the show with the great. The “great” parts being, the aforementioned Ritsuka, his love for indie rock bands (like Radiohead and The Arctic Monkeys–among my personal favourites too) and the detailed animation of the band-centric scenes. This show is good, despite it being way outside my usual field of expertise, hopefully the ‘bad’ of it gets better.
Demon Lord, Retry! – Episode 2
73/100 (DOWN 4 points from previous episode)
This episode had a lot of really goofy humor, a lot of odd (some might say bad) writing choices and a lot of (seemingly) pointless moments and yet… it was still entertaining and kind of endearing. At times it even reminded me (with regard to its comedic tone and amateurish scripting) to last years’ ‘Conception’ anime, another show I enjoyed despite it having the feeling of being made up on the fly. Time will tell if it will get as “bad” as that show did, but I don’t see me dropping this anytime soon.
Arifureta: From Commonplace to World’s Strongest – Episode 1
75/100 (NEW entry)
So this was a weird one, if you weren’t paying attention or knew nothing about the show’s premise you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d accidentally watched the 2nd or 3rd episode. Ostensibly it’s an isekai; one where the protagonists entire high-school class has been transported to another world, but where most shows would start at that point, this show instead decides to focus on events further down the narrative line as our unpowered protagonist finds himself in a bad place, having to rely on luck and happenstance to advance him to a point of power. I admire this show for taking a different starting point to the standard isekai format–even if it’s not entirely successful in doing so. I think this series could improve from here on out so hopefully it does so, as it has some issues it needs to sort out.
Fruits Basket – Episode 15
77/100 (DOWN 8 points from previous episode)
Almost a ‘filler’ episode as very little of narrative consequence occurred–that doesn’t mean what we did get wasn’t entertaining or built a little on character–as it did both of those things, it just wasn’t as strong as previous weeks had been. Though it was nice to see more of Ayame, who, apart from Shigure is my favourite male character in the series.
If It’s For My Daughter, I’d Even Defeat The Demon Lord – Episode 2
79/100 (DOWN 3 points from previous episode)
As cute as this show is (and it is unbelievably cute) I do tend to find it rather boring, which is strange, right? Because I love CGDCT shows and slice of life shows so this should be right up my alley, and yet there’s something about this show that just leaves me feeling a bit cold. I’ll keep watching it because it’s not actively doing anything wrong but it will remain at the low end of my ‘weekly ranking’ until it does something more ~interesting~ than it has been.
Is It Wrong To Try And Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon? II – Episode 1
80/100 (NEW entry)
I love ‘Is It Wrong To Try And Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon’s first season, and I love Hestia as a character but you know what was my least favourite part of the first season? Whenever Hestia and Bell would go to a party or banquet with the other gods and goddesses; there’s just something about Hestia’s jealous bickering that falls completely flat for me and sadly for this first episode of the second season nearly half of it is spent in similar such fashion. There was plenty of great things about this episode that elevated it though with the highlight being Bell and Ais sharing a dance together, but I’m looking forward to more action, dungeon related shenanigans. Also bonus points for nice Hestia oppai.
Magical Sempai – Episode 2
81/100 (DOWN 2 points from previous episode)
More of the same, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing–especially for a short anime with a rather limited scope. Some of the sketches were funnier than others (the bending spoon skit fell flat, while the park magic skit was well executed) where I think this series will either ‘sink or swim’ is in the quality of its side characters–who the OP have teased but yet to have featured.
Are You Lost? – Episode 2
82/100 (DOWN 5 points from previous episode)
My favourite thing about this anime series (aside from the mildly perverted ecchi streak that runs through its core) is watching these girls survive on a desert island and the various ways they go about finding food, water and shelter–it’s a simple conceit but I think this show does it well enough to keep me entertained. Plus there’s a decent amount of character growth between these episodes to make the journey more fulfilling!
Cop Craft – Episode 1
83/100 (NEW entry)
I’ve always held the opinion that police procedurals and anime are two television formats that would mesh well together and finally we have a series that dares to combine the two! This is a first episode that excels in introductions by both outlying a ‘fantasy meets reality’ kind of world with a buddy cop formula and a gritty, violent edge to highlight the proceedings. I’m reminded (favourably) of both ‘Banana Fish’ and ‘Magical Girl Spec Ops’ in the tone and art style of this anime and if you’re a fan of either–or just a fan of cop dramas with a twist–then I definitely recommend this series. It has its flaws but its still pretty compelling all the same.
Wasteful Days of High School Girl – Episode 2
83/100 (DOWN 3 points from previous episode)
More of the same just with some subtle expansions on character backgrounds to flesh out the scenes between the more comedic moments, Wota figuring out whether two of her male teachers can be ‘shipped’ together using her “BL eyes” was a particular comedic highlight of the episode.
Isekai Cheat Magician – Episode 1
84/100 (NEW entry)
While striking a couple of different notes than your ‘run of the mill’ Isekai series, I will give a great amount of kudos to a series that has two protagonists’ being transported to another world together and have them being a boy and a girl–it may seem like a simple notion–but it adds a layer to the series that I hope isn’t disregarded come subsequent episodes. Also there’s a sense of confidence in the writing of this series that’s often sidelined in these fantasy-driven narratives which means everyone from bit-part side characters to the burgeoning supporting cast all feel like interesting people who contribute to a larger world rather than just glorified extras with speaking parts. Put this series down as my sleeper hit for the season like ‘Wise Man’s Grandchild’ was last season.
Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san 2 – Episode 1
84/100 (NEW entry)
Everything that was good and adorable and wholesome about Takagi-san’s first season is back and more refined than ever. If you weren’t sold on the formula before don’t go expecting anything different with this sequel as its more of the same just with a more assured directorial eye and commitment to its gimmick but likewise if you were a fan of the show then everything this episode does will only further endear you to this pair of awkward teens falling in love. More please!
Do You Love Your Mom And Her Two-Hit Multi-Target Attacks? – Episode 1
85/100 (NEW entry)
This was a whole lot of fun! Even if people will endlessly complain about there being too many ‘isekai anime’ this series proves that even within a familiar framework there is still so much room for new ideas, endearing subversions and poking fun at the very genre itself. While a lot of the references–especially with regard to the mother character–feel obvious, they are nonetheless a welcome change within the framework of this genre. The comedic potential of this series is what I’m most confident about but I am also hoping we get some more subversions on gender stereotypes seeing as how the mother is more powerful than the son. Also, I fully expect things to get awkwardly oedipal up in here–which let’s face it, is pretty much a given considering its an anime!
Hensuki: Are you willing to fall in love with a pervert, as long as she’s a cutie? – Episode 1
86/100 (NEW entry)
I really like this show, sure putting a male at the centre of a harem of female perverts isn’t 100% original but I like this shows’ approach to the subject matter–it’s surprisingly wholesome (which is probably not a thing fans of ecchi shows ever want to hear) but in some ways it makes the series more approachable. While the pacing of this episode is deliberately slow it also adds a certain ~gravitas~ to what is essentially a goofy teen sex comedy, I’ve connected with the characters, I enjoyed the comedy and I’m left wanting more–a wholly commendable first episode all things considered.
Re:Stage! Dream Days♪ – Episode 1
87/100 (NEW entry)
File this one under ‘Unexpectedly Great’, as, what was on the surface some samesy looking idol anime with its head in the clouds ended up being a first episode with a hearty sense of humour, a unique hook and characters who immediately felt fun and fresh to behold. While it doesn’t attempt to reinvent the wheel in any manner it has a sort of confidence that bolsters the material above the likes of other such series. Also the voice acting and animation is pretty damn great too, I’m looking forward to the rest of this series!
The Demon Girl Next Door – Episode 1
88/100 (NEW entry)
Wow. I did not expect this show to be as funny as it was but in a different way than you might expect. Not only is it surprisingly self-aware, it also is packed with comedic moments that occur in the foreground too which shows an exceptional attention to detail. Not only that the voice acting is pretty subtle, which makes a nice change from the more broad performances you might expect from a slice of life, cute girl comedy. This show is kind of hard to define but I absolutely recommend it, even if there’s the potential for it to become kinda samey from here on out.
How Heavy Are The Dumbbells You Lift? – Episode 2
89/100 (DOWN 2 points from previous episode)
The thing that’s most surprising about this anime is its existence entirely–who would ever think a series about exercise and weight training would connect with the sedentary otaku who are usually the target audience for an ecchi-adjacent slice of life comedy? And for me specifically, a very lazy and unmotivated individual–for it to make me want to join a gym and work out must mean it’s doing something right. On an episodic basis, this episode isn’t quite as good as the first, more or less doing everything it did right in the first while slowly expanding its universe and cast of characters, but it’s the last minute “twist” that makes the episode really worthwhile.
YU-NO: A Girl Who Chants Love At The Bound Of This World – Episode 15
90/100 (UP 3 points from previous episode)
The thing that continues to be most surprising about YU-NO, is how it subverts expectations that its set up for itself. Yes, the whole “subverting expectations” thing is more or less a meme now but for what it’s worth setting yourself up as a carefree ~beach episode~ and delivering an episode with plentiful character development, unexpected developments and a cliffhanger ending along with the requisite comedic and fan-service related shenanigans all add up to series highlight of an episode!
O Maidens In Your Savage Season – Episode 2
92/100 (DOWN 7 points from previous episode)
If you’re keeping track of scores, a 7 point drop might seem like a disastrous follow-up but let’s not forget that the first episode of this show was one of the single-best first episodes of any anime ever, there really was only one way to go and that was down. This show expanded upon some ideas from the first episode, but didn’t do anything groundbreakingly different or shocking, nevertheless it was comically rich, filled with riveting character moments and offered an emotional climax that’s only going to lead to greater things in future episodes.
Fire Force – Episode 2
93/100 (DOWN 3 points from previous episode)
It’s a slower and more introspective episode that introduces us to a new character joining the ranks of Special Fire Force Company 8, and for a moment I was worried new boy Arthur was going to be a loud-mouthed Bakugo clone (from ‘My Hero Academia’) but thankfully the writing seems a bit more nuanced here and not only is his contentious relationship with our protagonist Shinra built upon several different levels, but he even gets a decent amount of character development in the surprisingly emotional second-half of the episode. Also, it was great to see Maki kicking some ass as she gave the rookies a run for their money in a little sparring match–shonen anime needs more women with muscles who aren’t relegated to magic-casting and support roles and who aren’t afraid to get physical!
And that’s week two under the belt, let me know what you thought of the new shows that started this week and as always, thanks for reading!
Previous Summer 2019 Weekly Anime Review Posts:
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