Saturday, October 20, 2018
First Impressions of Fall 2018 Anime
Summer has come to an end, but as the heat starts to cool down, the anime coming out this season are hot and entertaining!
2018 has been a great year for anime. Since I started watching anime, this is the first year where I'm gorging on seasonal anime and it doesn't look like I'm going to stop this Fall anime season. I will say that a lot of first episodes from this season did not really impress me, but ended up hooking me with the second episode, and there were some series that either completely failed to interest me or impressed me so much that I'm ready to call them "Anime of the Year".
While I don't have time to watch everything, below are a list of anime that I started watching along with my brief thoughts on their introduction and premise. Of course, I doubt that I will complete all of these series when the Fall season comes to an end, but I will try to keep up with most of the series that I write about here.
I really wasn't expecting much from this series except that it would be weird. An anime about a guy transported to a fantasy world as a slime. It's a humorous premise, but I wasn't sure what kind of entertainment, I was supposed to get from this series. So far, I'm enjoying watching the main character, as a slime, explore the fantasy world that he was resurrected into after being murdered on Earth. The main character really has no main objective when transported to the fantasy world, so he's just wandering around, hanging out with goblins, learning about the world around him as well as his new slime powers. I am sure that the plot will kick in soon and the main character will have a clear goal, but I wouldn't mind just following him around for another few episodes as he just wanders around, meeting new monsters or other fantastic creatures.
When a series is made up of three minute episodes, I think that it is important that the series should capture an audiences attention quickly and make the most of their time. Jingai-san no Yome did not do that for me in its first episode. An anime about a high school boy who becomes the wife of a fluffy monster has potential to be something really funny or adorable, but the first episode was just boring. I guess it set up the premise, but I almost dropped the series after a weak introduction. The second episode was better, it was amusing and cute seeing this regular high school student suddenly have to adjust to being the wife of a creature who eat concrete. Since each episode is only three minutes long, I'll probably keep watching, but I doubt it will become one of my favorites of the series.
I am ashamed to say that I started watching this anime for the wrong reasons. With a title like Rascal does not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai, I assumed that this was just going to be an ecchi trash anime, so I was prepared for boobs and lewd humor. It turns out that this anime actually has something to say about adolescence and going against the flow of society. I like the banter and dynamic of the two main characters, Mai Sakurajima, a girl who is invisible to the world whenever she goes outside of school, and Sakuta Azusagawa, a boy who is rumored to have sent classmates to the hospital after a fight. After watching the third episode, I felt like I was going to cry because of how hard this series hit me in the feels, and I now have high expectations for it going forward.
What I thought was going to be a comedy anime in a zombie apocalypse setting, actually turned out to be a show about idol zombie girls. I fell in love with Zombie Land Saga after the first episode and fell in love with it even more after the second episode. Not only is this series taking what I expect from a show about zombies, as well as what I expect from a show about idols, and subverting those expectations, but it also makes me burst into laughter. I cannot wait for a new episode every week and I end up rewatching the few episodes that have just been released. Zombie Land Saga not only completely surprised me but it also was a great way for me to start this season of anime. I would not have a problem with calling this series my favorite show of the Fall season.
This series actually reminded me a lot of Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid, except instead of a Dragon who falls in love with a human, Ms. Vampire who Lives in my Neighborhood is about a human who falls in love with a vampire. Also these characters aren't adults, they're adorable high school girls. I also do not expect this show to make any profound statements on being different or on non-traditional families like Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid. This show is just fun moe trash, and I like fun moe trash. I doubt that this show will become a favorite for me and I will likely forget that it exists a few seasons from now, but for now it is entertaining and I plan to come back for more every week.
After Megalobox, I took more of an interest in sports anime. Last season, I watched Hanebado! and Harukana Receive, and I enjoyed both of those series, albeit for different reasons. After watching the first episode of Hinomaru Sumo, an anime about sumo wrestling, I was not only entertained, but I was pumped up. I wanted to go work out or try sumo wrestling. I never knew that sumo wresting could be such a manly and intense sport. Not only do I plan to watch this series weekly, but I am hoping that it gets a second, third, and fourth season. I would happy to watch new episodes of Hinomaru Sumo every year.
While many in the anime community are calling Goblin Slayer a "New Berserk", I think of it more as a "Batman and Robin in a Fantasy World". The main character, Goblin Slayer, is a man who watched his entire family and village killed and tortured by goblins. He hunts and slays goblins with a young Priestess who watched her previous party slain by goblins and was almost killed herself if not for the appearance of Goblin Slayer. The reason I think of Goblin Slayer as a "Batman and Robin in a Fantasy World" is because of how Goblin Slayer is a dark and skilled warrior shaped by tragedy like Batman, and the Priestess was saved from a similar tragedy like her mentor but doesn't succumb to the same darkness, like Robin. Goblin Slayer's first episode made me really uncomfortable and it made a huge impact on the anime community. The second episode was a lot better and I think going forward I'll be a lot more prepared for the maturity and brutality of Goblin Slayer.
As much as I liked Studio Trigger's last mecha anime, Darling in the Franxx, I do have to admit that it suffered from bad pacing and an ending that came out of nowhere. So even though I was optimistic about Trigger's next mecha anime, I was also wary. Unfortunately, SSSS.GRIDMAN is really exciting and I'm practically bouncing in my chair every time I watch a new episode. For those who don't know, SSSS.GRIDMAN is an adaptation of a tokusatsu show called Gridman the Hyper Agent. Tokusatsu shows have a lot of special effects and typically involve giant robots and monsters, examples include movies and series like Gozilla, Ultraman, and Super Sentai. This show definitely feels like those series while also being original and exciting. Not only are the action scenes great, but SSSS.GRIDMAN has a great antagonist who might end up being my favorite anime villain.
Another short anime, this time with 10 minute long episodes, Skull-face Bookseller Honda-san is about a skeleton who works at a bookstore that sells manga and comic books. This is an absurd series that I find really fun and I really can't think of another series that is anything like it. My only complaint is that each episode starts to drag on for too long, even though each episode is relatively short. Each episode is made up of several gags that revolve around the same topic. In the first episode, Honda is selling yaoi books and dealing with fujoshi, and in the second episode, the entire store is putting all of the books on display as more book deliveries come in before opening. I see no reason to drop it since each episode is so short, but like with some other series that I mentioned, I don't think that Skull-face Bookseller Honda-san will become one of my favorites.
When I first read the plot synopsis of Conception, I thought it was strange but definitely something that could only be done in anime. So I thought that this was going to be a fun, but ridiculous anime. My first impression of Conception is that it's a very meh series. It's not particularly bad but it's also not good. To me, Conception is just a bland series with nothing that is calling me back to it. Sure it's pretty ecchi and there are some boobs, but I'm not that thirst that some attractive anime girls will keep me coming back every week. I never officially drop any anime series, but I do end up watching them at a snails pace, and I have a feeling that is going to be how I watch Conception.
I would not say that I am a fan of shoujo anime, so after watching the first episode of Bloom into You, I thought that even though the series looks beautiful and has what seems like a good story, I might not keep up with it just because it's not my kind of anime. Bloom into You is about Yuu Koita, a high school girl who has never felt romantic feelings toward another person, the feeling of her heart racing and sparkles in the air is something that she really wants. When Yuu meets an upperclassman, Touko Nanami, she thinks she has found someone who can relate to her struggle, however Touko quickly falls in love with Yuu. Not only do I like how this series tackles how one discovers their sexual identity and romantic feelings, it also has some beautiful artwork. Even though I'm not a shoujo or yuri fan, I think that I'll stick around with Bloom into You.
More than One Punch Man and My Hero Academia, Release the Spyce feels like it came right out of a superhero comic book. This series is about a group of girls who are part of a spy organization that fights against evil to protect their city. Not only do they use high-tech gadgets and their martial arts and acrobatic skills, but they also consume spices that give them superhuman strength and speed for a short amount of time. Release the Spyce has a really catchy opening and cool action. I'm not expecting much from this series, but I'll keep up with it as long as it continues to entertain me with cute anime girls fighting evil.
So that's everything that I've started watching for this season and hopefully I'll watch these shows until the very end. Comment and let me know what you think about the anime series from this Fall season, and also let me know if there are any series that I am missing out on and should definitely give a chance.