Welcome back everybody! So sorry I haven’t been posting lately, but I’ve finally decided to return to my first love – Anime Discussions 😀
We’ve had a week’s worth of new shows and OOF. This is the season of Shonen… and I’ve got no complaints!
If you don’t have the time to read the full post, in summary, this season is looking very good! It’s shaping up to have many standouts with several flavors. So even if you tend to be picky or have tastes that are oddly specific, you have a good chance of finding something worth following.
I meant to have this post out two weeks ago with my opinions solely based on the anime’s pilot episodes for my initial first impressions. But as you may have guessed, that didn’t end up happening. So with each show listed below, I’ll be specifying precisely how many episodes I watched, and my initial first impression of the show.
On to the post!
To The Abandoned Sacred Beasts – 8/10
An Adaptation To Be Proud Of
The Abandoned Sacred Beasts is a manga that’s being adapted by MAPPA, and as a manga reader, I can confidently say that they’re doing an excellent job. They seem to be following the same strategy that they used for Dororo; adapt the source material faithfully, enhance or rework the material to be the most effective it can be and add anime original content that will make it better.
Yes, that seems to be it, and it’s beautiful. The pilot episode opens completely differently from the first Volume’s opening chapters, but this is starting out the story with its best foot forward. They used the same scenes that are found later on in the manga and moved it to the beginning so that you can get a better feel for the story and plot direction. They may have even brought in some anime original scenes to fill in some of the episode (such as the goofy scenes around the middle when the characters are hanging out at camp), which mostly felt unnatural, at least to me. But to be fair, I haven’t read the entire series yet, so it could actually be from the manga.
MAPPA has handled anime original content very well in Dororo, so let’s hope that any new material they come up with will be more satisfying in the future. But at the end of the day, this was a solid, and well handled first episode that builds anticipation for the next installments.
Episode 2 and 3
This show is continueing to do what I’ve discussed above; Improving the way the material is presented and changing the order as needed. I’m continually impressed by the way they’re adapting the manga and the material is reaping the benefits of sound design, music, and animation.
It just seems to keep getting better and better with each episode and I can’t wait for more! If you’re a strict follower of the three episode rule, I have no doubt that you’ll find something here to love 🙂
The Abandoned Sacred Beasts is officially on the watch list!
Are We Lost? – 2/10
… Not For Me
Are We Lost? Is a playful Ecchi, short-form series about the daily survival of four high school girls. The animation is quite beautiful but has several upskirt/kinky shots. Truth be told, I wasn’t really sure what I was getting into beforehand, so it’s not the show’s fault for my opinion.
The characters are simple but nice, and the stuff they did for the sake of survival will tell you just about everything you need to know about this show. It’s for a very specific crowd and… I’m just not in that crowd. There really isn’t much to say, it’s just another strange Ecchi fetish show.
If you enjoy watching high school girls doing kinky things (or things that appear that way) then you will probably have a good time with this.
As you can see, my journey with “Are We Lost?” has started and ended with the pilot episode.
On to the next one 🙂
Astra Lost In Space – 8/10
The pilot aired as a one-hour special, and honestly, I don’t know how this could’ve worked without it. The hour (or 45 ish minutes without commercials) covers everything you needed to decide whether to move forward with the show or not.
There’s a whole lot of build up and the payoff works as a teaser for the rest of the show. The opening itself is likely to hook you, as it conveys the feeling of fear and desperation very well in a matter of seconds. By the end, the anime seems to be going into a survival journey to get back home, and with those scenes in space illustrating the kind of survival situations they’ll face and how the show has handled them already, we’re in for quite the experience. The animation is superb and the characters are likable, if not, unexplored, but this is the first episode so any character complaints wouldn’t be fair.
Seriously though, this is the start of something big, and I encourage any interested otakus to give it a try.
Okay, I was already hooked by the pilot, but this episode vastly improved in character development and progression, as well as the experience over all. We continue to learn more about our cast and our attention span does not go wasted. It provided a surprisingly powerful emotional catharsis by the end, and considering this is only episode two (or 3? IDK) that’s impressive, and only sends me good vibes where the future of the show’s concerned.
Pretty much the same opinion as the last. The plot continues to progress and thicken. The characters are being developed slowly but surely, and their interactions are getting more interesting as they’re thrown into more survival situations. So far, I’m very interested in following the crew for the rest of their adventure.
Astra: Lost in Space is on my list to stay 🙂
Chances are, if you already liked the first episode, than you’re going to love the rest of the series. It’s always a good feeling when you get a hold of something special.
How Heavy Are The Dumbbells You Lift? – 10/10
I’m Head Over Heals!
Okay, okay, I know it’s may be a little immature to slap a 10/10 on any show this early, and I’m fully aware that this isn’t on the level of a Cowboy Bebop or other legendary anime… but as a random stranger on the internet, I reserve the right to praise or trash any show I watch based on my personal opinions! … So take everything with a grain of salt 😉
Sweet glory! This show is just such a great time! It has some excellent comedy and never fails to make my day better. Besides that pot of subjectivity, the animation is very nice to look at and tends to change the style to better emphasize certain moments for comedic effect. The main lead is charming, cute, and if you’ve ever worked out at the gym or your own home, she suddenly becomes VERY relatable. The animators made a very cool creative choice too. Whenever the characters eat food, candy or drinks, a calorie count pops up to show us how good or bad they are for their health. The main goal for our leading lady is to get that summer bod, and she’ll do anything to get it. Yes, even work out at a gym with heavy body-builders… Idk why that bothers her so much, cause for most ladies that’d be a plus.
If you’re working out or just like watching cute girls work to get built, then this is a high recommendation from me!
Episode 2 and 3
This is without a doubt one of my favorite anime of this season! The first episode had me singing its praises, but the second and third was what solidified its place in my heart. I usually watch anime downstairs in the living room, but I always save this for when I’m in my room, because it just keeps me laughing (and I’m afraid to disturb my family at night)!
Recently, my sister and I have been working out together (started two weeks before the pilot aired), and I swear that I’ve heard us say similar lines to the MC and been in her situations. It’s not just funny, it’s also very encouraging for any who’re working out and especially those who are just starting their journey. They’re teaching us helpful tips and information about healthy exercise techniques and give us the opportunity to train with them at the end of each episode.
But just like all educational anime shows, it’s probably best to put a bit of research time in before taking their advice and writing them in stone. But otherwise, people who know better than I have said that it’s accurate for the most part.
Chances are, you won’t need three episodes to know whether it’s for you, because the first episode presents itself as an open book. What you first got out of it, you’ll get more from the future installments. The comedy and tone are consistent and you can tell there was a lot of thought put into it.
This is on the watch list, for sure!
Demon Lord Retry – 3/10
*3 Episode Rule Has Entered The Chat*
Oh boy, this is the first of many new Isekai this season will bring and so far, It’s… okay?. A lot of the generic Isekai flavors are present, but a stand out so far seems to be the two main characters. Of all the overpowered protagonists I’ve come across in this genre, Akira is pretty dang cool design wise. He’s got a very mafia type look (they even mention as much) and with a plethora of knives hidden under his long dark coat, he could at least add something fun to the action sequences in the future. He also has a reluctant father type personality that comes out when he has to take care of a little girl, which I usually find charming, so who knows? Things could get better. Getting back to the two MCs, their dynamic is quite enjoyable but it’s lacking something I can’t quite put my finger on.
The story so far is bland and unoriginal, but I like the duo enough to find out what happens to them. This is where the three episode rule comes into play. It’s very difficult to know whether this show is worth your time until the plot gets rolling, and honestly, the characters are the only things holding my attention. So time is definitely going to be the life or death of this anime because it isn’t anything spectacular just yet.
If you’ve got an Isekai bug, I’d say it’s worth your time, but I can’t vouch for the rest of the show.
Nothing has really changed… Not a good sign. I’ll give it a few more episodes but the plot hasn’t gone anywhere and just taking the time to sit down and watch this show has become tiresome. It feels awful when this thought goes through my head:
“Oh boy, another anime on my watch list has a new episode available. But this show isn’t very good… do I really have to watch the new episode today? How about tomorrow? Yeah, tomorrow sounds nice.”
Anime has always been a special experience in my life and to give up on any show is difficult for me because if it can change my mind, I want it to have that chance. But dear lord, this is like eating white bread.
Wait hold on, I like white bread…
VANILLA PUDDING! It’s like vanilla pudding (because I don’t like vanilla pudding…). Something that doesn’t blatantly insult my attention, but takes effort to finish.
Akira has nothing truly unique or interesting about him, the little girl is just kinda there to go “WHOA! Sugoi, Demon Lord-Sama!” and it’s getting really annoying. Seriously, anyone can get this down to a science:
One use of standard magic = “Sugoi, Demon Lord-Sama!”
One act of kindness = Tsundarei response with grumbling and/or sighing.
And that’s basically all this is. An overpowered MC who uses his abilities for basic uses and survival etc. with the little girl reacting to his greatness. I honestly wouldn’t mind so much if there was a story here… or even just some sort of plot that was remotely interesting.
Anyways, this show’s easily found a spot on my metaphorical chopping block, but I’ll give it one last chance to do something. Anything.
Nothing’s changed my mind. Sorry, Demon Lord: Retry, but I gave you plenty of my time already. This is a show I’ll no longer be watching.
If It’s For My Daughter, I’d Even Defeat a Demon Lord – 5/10
Cute but… Eh?
If you need to put a comma in your anime/book title, there’s – there’s just got to be a better way name your story. But light novel titles aside, this really didn’t do much for me.
I can see it being loved for the little girl because of how cute she is, and no one could be blamed for it. But the MC is bland and uninteresting. He looks like ‘stock fantasy MC’ and his characteristics are just as boring. The little girl is charming and will no doubt gain a following who’ll devote their lives to protecting her smile, but besides the occasional moment from her, I couldn’t care less and I doubt this will be on my radar for very long. I’ll give it the three episodes to give it a fair try but there’s nothing else to bring me back.
Okay, this was definately an improvement from the first one. The little girl’s cuteness has reached a whole new level. When she started taking empty plates one at a time with upmost seriousness it was just so, so cute!
I can see why this is getting popular, as it really does give you a warm feeling in your heart. But besides the little girl’s interactions with others, I’m having trouble with the other main character. His reactions can be funny at times, but he really doesn’t add much to the show. This anime is great for the warm and fuzzies, but does nothing else really, and this is why I’ll probably check in on it once in a while. But as far as staying on the watch list, I’m not sure if it will.
If you want some cuteness in your life, this will probably do it for you.
Sticking with it a while longer
Dr. Stone – 10/10
Educational In The Best Ways Possible
Dr. Stone has been hyped up to such a crazy standard that I was afraid it wouldn’t live up to my expectations. I was wrong. This was a lot of fun and reminded me of “Cells at Work”, in the way that it found such an entertaining way to teach. “Cells at Work” taught us about our bodies, Dr. Stone now teaches us how to science!
The animation is very good and the backgrounds are gorgeous! The painted stone figures are so hauntingly beautiful, and watching as the whole earth was reduced to the stone age after thousands of years were absolutely breathtaking. Besides the artistry, the characters are a ball! The ‘big oaf’ and science genius makes for a lovable pair and a lot of laughs.
Episode 2 and 3
This isn’t just a joy ride, but now has become something greater and more complex. The more characters are introduced the more perspectives we get, and the more complicated the story becomes. One of said characters is proving to have a villainous edge, but he isn’t insane from his years left in stone or twirling a mustache out of malicious intent, he actually has a vision for this new world that you can understand. And like everyone says, the scariest villains are the ones we understand.
He wants humanity to succeed, but at the cost of cleansing it of its past mistakes and flawed ideals, and thus, the past generations. I’ll leave it at that, but what I’m getting at here is that the writing continues to get more and more compelling.
If you’re not sure wether or not this train is for you, do yourself a favor and ride it for a few episodes. I have no doubt this anime is and will continue to be something special.
Dr. Stone is a no brainer *adds to watch list*
Fire Force 9.5/10
A Surprisingly Grim Shonen With a Heart of Gold
I’m always one to hop on hype trains as they come and go, and it’s always so I can have and share impactful and emotional experiences with the fandom. This is often a rewarding thing to do, so why stop now?!
The cast is up there with the characters from Blood Blockade Battlefront. A highly lovable group that work off each other in splendid ways. Akitaru (the captain) so far is my favorite! But the others are almost as enjoyable, and the typical rivalry between the MC and the aggressive bone-head isn’t so typical. They actually learn from their experiences and grow. Also, Maki is just AWESOME! She’s funny and can kick some serious butt! Our main character is great also, having a very unusual quirk with smiling at all the wrong moments. This is played well for comedic and tragic effect, for reasons I won’t delve into here.
Truthfully, the first episode was entertaining, but didn’t exactly impress me.
The animation was something to behold and the characters, enjoyable, but something was lacking. We got the tragic backstory for our hero, we got introduced to the cast but besides the setting and main plot, it broadcasted a very basic Shonen set up; defeat the bad guy every episode, and go home to goof with the gang.
That wouldn’t have been such a bad thing, but considering the beings they’re killing, it created a disconnect between me and the show.
“It was fun and beautiful to watch, but weren’t those monsters people?”
Fire Force is one of many shows that have deeply resonated with me this season, not because I was a manga reader (and I’m not), not because of the hype and literally explosive action, but because of its heart. 💖
Akitaru shows us the more realistic and human side of him in episode 2. A character who’s usually a bit of a goof who needs his second in command to real him in has been given a moment to show us who he truly is. He’s a man who laughs and makes light of daily events, so much so that it’s a bit surprising when he reprimands the two newcomers. Because when it comes down to their jobs, he feels the weight of their actions and takes everything seriously.
This is what sealed the deal for me. The senior officer addressed the issue I had with the pilot and directly tells the two cocky characters about how they should conduct themselves. Their job is to mercy kill innocent people, and this isn’t something to be enjoyed or feel heroic about. It’s a very grim job, and they should play their parts as respectfully as possible, especially in front of the survivors.
The change in tone feels as if they showed us the idealized version of their job in the first episode and then yanked us by the collar, bringing us back to earth so we could really consider the things our characters are doing.
They aren’t heroes. They’re not really even firefighters.
They’re just people doing what needs to be done, to face this terrible truth and protect others from being harmed by those who can’t control themselves. This also plays on the idea that it can happen to anyone, even someone in our main cast. If something like that were to happen… I can’t even imagine, but in this world it’s more than possible.
Sorry for going so long on this subject, it was something that really touched me and I’m so glad they didn’t just ignore it.
This isn’t going to just be a joyride, but an entertaining show with emotional moments. The fact that they’re addressing this so early in the show will no doubt lead us down some uncomfortable roads, but this is a good thing. Sometimes a show can benefit from facing its own reality, and this one certainly does.
If you’re even remotely interested in this series, please give it the first two episodes, give it the chance to show you what it has up its sleeves. I for one can’t wait to see what this all leads to.
Is Fire Force on my list? Of course it is, and it won’t ever leave.
Granbelm – 4/10
Incredible Art, Lackluster Story
Granbelm is a mixed bag for me. I could only manage to get through the first episode, so this section might be a bit shorter than the rest.
The art is absolutely jaw dropping, the mechs are hand drawn! This is something we can all appreciate, because CG mechs just aren’t as appealing as 2D ones. The lighting and colors are spectacular as well, and are really what stood out to me long after the episode had ended. This is just eye-candy through and through, but unfortunately my love for it starts and ends there.
The story isn’t anything special, but I could’ve gotten past that if any of the characters were remotely interesting. The lead is just as bland as usual, but then again, she doesn’t really have much of an opportunity to prove otherwise. A lot of things are happening and the audience is just thrown in, which is totally fine, but there wasn’t anything that made me want to see where the rest of the show was going.
At the very least, it was a marvelous sight, and I’m glad to have watched it just for that. But for all its action and mystery, I couldn’t help but feel bored… Why? I honestly don’t know.
I apologize to any Granbelm fans out there, this was something I wanted to like. But if you can enjoy it, I’m glad you’ll have another show to look forward to every week, but I’m gonna have to pass on this one.
It really was pretty though 🙂
Lord El Mellio II Case Files – 7/10
Waiver Velvet is living the life he said he would, and continues to be influenced by his experiences in the Holy Grail War. He now takes on the responsibilities he feels he has, and will most definately lead him to many dangerous and stressful situations. In short, this is a very strong start for the Fate/Zero spin off, and I would recommend it if you’ve seen its predecessor. I’ll most likely wait until the rest of the show’s finished airing. It’s a bit of a slow burn and I’d rather binge it all at once to get the full experience.
But this really is pretty good, and it’s cool to see our beloved Waiver all grown up!
Postponed, but will watch
The Ones Within – 7/10
The Most Bizarre YouTube Adventure Ever
Episode 1 and 2
Much like “How Heavy Are The Dumbbells You Lift?”, this rating is based mostly on the level of enjoyment I had while watching it. So, you’ll need to take a little more salt for this.
This anime is a marriage between YouTube and the death game genre. It has the randomness of the internet with the stakes of a death game, and I freaking love it so far! The characters are fine enough, and when they get their comedic moments it’s usually hilarious. The nurturing gamer especially has my attention. The art is pretty well handled and is nice to look at. Oh, and the villain is a guy in a suit with a llama mask. What else is there to say?!
Yeah, yeah, I doubt this’ll get much appreciation are anything, but so far it’s just been so entertaining!
A panda with an afro, you say? You’d better believe I’m watching this!
Vinland Saga – 10/10
An Epic In The Making
Episodes 1, 2, and 3
For some reason WITT Studios decided to release the first three episodes and leave us with a two week wait until the next installment. I guess they figured ‘Absence makes the heart grow fonder’, but apparently, they didn’t realize that it was actually a form of torture. Because this show is amazing!!! If you’ve been hungry for an epic or high quality Seinen, than this is exactly what you need. Its got grit, gravitas, realism and proves itself through excellent writing while it flexes on us with its glorious animation. If you’re missing Attack on Titan like I am, this should help ease the pain of waiting for another season.
What are you doing? Stop reading this and start watching Vinland Saga! It’s truly on its way to becoming a modern masterpiece. Manga readers have sung its praises for decades, and now anime viewers will for decades more.
Okay WITT, you can start airing episodes again.
… Pretty please?
Vinland Saga is said to return the 28th.
Not even a question *Adds to watch list*
Cop Craft – 8/10
A Crime Drama With Magical Elements
Episode 1 and 2
If you need a cop show fix, look no further. This anime has excellent animation and – so far – fun action and compelling drama. The way our two leads interact with one another is that of a classic “I don’t need a new partner” relationship, and yet it’s played off in a more realistic and amusing way.
They both act like adults (which is uncommon in anime nowadays), and treat their disagreements as such. The alien warrior holds herself to a high standard of honor and decency while our rough n’ tough cop puts up with everything in mild agrivation. Neither one is too extreme in their personality tropes, and both are allowed to have some compelling dialogue with each other.
When the urban world is mashed up with a fantasy world, it’s interesting to watch as the two varied cultures butt heads and conflict. This anime feels a little more grown up than most coming out this season, and leans more into the Seinen genre. So if you’re trying to find something a little more adult, then Cop Craft is patiently waiting for your attention.
… Seriously though, no one’s talking about this one and it doesn’t deserve to be lost in the wide world of obscurity.
This beats any American cop show, EASY *Adds to list*
BEM – 6.5/10
An Urban Fantasy With A Lot Of Mystery
Much like Cop Craft, this’ll scratch your urban fantasy itch, but there really isn’t much to go off of just yet as the pilot gives us lots of questions that’ll need answering. As fun as it seems at this time, it’s still not on the level of a Cop Craft, but I’m looking forward to what they do with it.
The lead character is the new cop on the block in the grimy city underbelly. We get introduced to a werewolf type character, except in this case, it’s more like a werealien, and he’s the very suave but can kick anybody’s butt type… which is an anime character I’ve been craving for lately. Seriously, the suave BA’s are kinda lacking nowadays, and they’re just so much fun to watch. So, thank you BEM for bringing it back.
With the plot focusing on “Let’s become human”, I hope this’ll take us to interesting places, or at least, compelling characters and scenes. So far, the action is nice and animation is fairly well directed. Like many of the Summer anime coming out this season, it has the potential to make something great, but time will tell whether or not it has the legs to stand.
On the list for now
From Commonplace To World’s Strongest – 4/10
Not Good, But Not Bad Either
Episode 1 and 2
Okay, this one’s getting a pretty bad rap, and it’s easy to see why. The pacing and the directing for the anime adaptation is erratic and downright backwards at times. While all of these complaints (among several others) are well founded, I can’t help but want to give it another chance after finishing the first two episodes.
There’s nothing truly unique about this series, but as you can tell, that’s not exactly a turn off for me. There’s still some potential here, and at the moment, I’m holding out in case it’s just about to find its solid footing. All this show really needs is some good directing and better visuals and pacing. But hey, at least the monsters are mostly hand drawn… not including that Balrog thing.
There’s a chance that if the MC can become more compelling in his quest for vengeance it will grow to be very entertaining. But so far it feels rushed, and the original source material, abused, and I don’t even read the manga/light novel. It’s very telling when an adaptation feels off to an audience that don’t know any better, and from what the fans have said about the books, well, if I give up on the show I’ll probably just read the manga.
On the list… for now.
Do You Love Your Mom And Her Two Hit Multi Attacks? – 3/10
Why? Just… WHY?
Episode 1 and 2
This Anime: “Do you love your mom and her two hit multi attacks?”
Me: “In a word, NO.”
Dear Lord. Why does this exist? Or, why doesn’t this just say what it is? I expected a few Echi moments because it’s Isekai, but it just went full on Hentai in its second episode and I ain’t sticking around for what comes next. At most it seemed harmless enough with a few likable moments, and considering the anime is focusing on the estranged relationship between a mother and her son through a game’s setting, there was some real potential to turn it into something more. Like delving into the disconnect there is between parents and their kids and how they can both grow to understand one another and look past each others flaws.
Seriously, what’s up with the Isekai this Summer? Usually we have one or even two that fill in the gap as a satisfying watch, but this season’s looking like a dry Isekai desert. So far, none are hitting the mark and it’s just disappointing.
If you weren’t sure whether or not you were going to like this show from the first episode, you’ll know for sure by its second. I have no doubt there’s someone who’ll get a kick out of this anime, but as for me, I wash my hands of it.
Kochoki – 6/10
Waiting For The Main Plot To Kick In
Episode 1 and 2
This series is another mixed bag. The pilot is a harmless yet boring child’s day out in rebellion tale, but by the end shows us some of the guts that this Nobunaga had, even as a kid. Episode two is more of an unfortunate politcal situation with his future bride… which was more fun than the last installment.
This is definitely a slow burn, going through the stages of Nobunaga’s life as a young man and gradually demonstrating the contents of his character and leadership capabilities. By no means is this a bad idea, in fact this was the idea that drew me in, but unfortunately it can feel a bit monotonous at times. At the end of each episode so far, it does give you a reason to keep watching.
The animation looks nice but is lacking when fast movement is needed, especially during the brief action sequences. I’m hoping this is just to save their efforts and budget for the large scale war the story is leading to, otherwise we could be in trouble here. Nobunaga himself is designed to look a little pretty? I – I don’t know why, but he looks kinda girly for a warlord in the making. Though to be fair, the image above does depict him as an adult and he looks very good. So his earlier design might be giving us a more playful or innocent version of him to contrast with his more weathered character later in the anime.
Personally, I can’t wait for the main plot to kick in during the war, hopefully this will be the main focus for the last two thirds of the anime. At any rate, I think it will be worth the wait, because each episode has built on the last well even though it is slow and mediocre at times.
Watching for another few episodes at least.
Boy, that was a long post!
Sorry for it being so long, but this was something I really wanted to do right and spend the time on. No joke, this took over two weeks to write, but I had a lot of fun doing it.
I hope you all enjoyed!
Let me know what you think below. Which of the anime do you like most so far? Have a great week, my lovely anime people!
2 thoughts on “Summer Anime 2019 – First Impressions”
I’m really enjoying To The Abandoned Sacred Beasts and Astra Lost in Space. Actually, there’s just a lot of fun shows this season in general so I’m having a really good time checking out the start of so many shows. Hopefully they can all stay fun until the end of the season.
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Agreed! Every season there seems to be at least 3-5 incredible shows airing. We truly live in blessed times!
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