Holy crap guys, it’s time for the Week in Review! Once again, this post turned out to be far more unmanageable than the usual standard, largely because I had so much friggin’ catching up to do. This week saw me burning through episodes of SukaSuka and Re:Creators along with my existing schedule, and yeah, I had a couple thoughts. And jeez, I still need to catch up on Rage of Bahamut… anyway. It feels like I’m still kinda sweeping up the wreckage of preview week, but hey, my untenable personal schedule equals EVEN MORE CONTENT for you guys. Enjoy it, ya bastards. Let’s run these shows down!
Dear lord has this season ever begun. Having just barely survived the most absurd preview week yet, my relative watch-positioning on this season’s various attractions is an absolute shambles. I’ve got shows I’m already somehow two episodes behind on, shows I just reviewed this week for ANN, and shows that ended weeks ago and I only just now found time to watch. In light of that, I’m gonna be keeping things a little loose for this Week in Review, and just running down what I actually watched this week in whatever order comes to me. It’s been a hectic week in anime, so buckle the fuck in and let’s RUN THIS SHIT DOWN.
Somehow I am still alive. This preview “week” was one of the most punishing I’ve experienced, spreading out an absurd number of shows across an untenable number of days. The silver lining on this whole affair is that this season actually seems to have a whole ton of worthy contenders. I’ve spent the last week and a half or so sifting through this absurd haul, dragging treasures to the surface and weathering the rest as gracefully as I can. My trials have been numerous, but suffering this fate has granted me a new perspective – at last, I am blessed with moderately informed opinions on basically everything coming out this spring.
Starting with the brightest lights and slowly descending into the depths, I will now share my vast wisdom and narrow opinions with all of you. As usual, you can check out the full list of reviews over at ANN, or click on any of the titles here to go to my full thoughts. If you’re frustrated that your new favorite was only afforded a toilet emoji here, just click through that name and check for Nick Creamer to see me try and justify that takeaway. In the end, I’m just one guy with my own specific tastes, after all. So without further ado, let’s get this boulder rolling!
Today on Why It Works, I plot out the groundwork for how season two will start to mess with the first season’s general thoughts on heroism. I’m kinda cheating, since I’ve actually read through the next couple arcs, but it was still nice to see how the first episode established so many of the conflicts that will play into this arc’s major themes. I hope you enjoy the piece!
The season’s in full swing now, so it’s time once again to take stock of where we’re at so far. With six shows released as of today, things are playing out pretty much by the script – My Hero Academia has the same issues the first season did, Alice & Zoroku is the most promising new property, and nothing else is really worth mentioning. Titan is still Titan, but I’m not really at a point where I feel obligated to watch the crossover hits anymore, so I’ll probably be skipping that one.
As usual, you can see a list of my scores so far below, and click on any of the titles to link to their full review pages, or just go to the overall review page here. Have at it!
The winter season is drawing to a close, which means it’s once more time to look forward and see what the future might bring. This current season was a bit of a wash, and I’m not gonna sugarcoat it – next season isn’t looking great either. Frankly, if you’re not anticipating at least one or two of this spring’s big sequels, it might be worth calling a mulligan on this one. Outside of Masaaki Yuasa’s new films, there are basically no noteworthy projects by any of the creators I generally keep tabs on – no Matsumoto, no Mizushima, no Nakamura, and nothing by Kyoto Animation period. Couple that with a slate of dire-looking premises and previews, and you’ve got the recipe for a fresh season of playing videogames and catching up on backlog. Personally, I recommend the first one – I normally only get excited about a couple games a year, but this year’s already brought us Resident Evil VII, Nier Automata, Nioh, and Breath of the Wild, with Persona 5 still on its way. Those are some pretty great videogames!
But of course, you’re here for anime. The good news is, if you are in the market for sequels, this season has some extremely promising ones. The Eccentric Family counts among my favorite shows of all time, and both My Hero Academia and Rage of Bahamut have strong predecessors to live up to. As usual, my list won’t cover every show – you can check basically any resource to find that, along with handy synopses. I’ll just be running down the shows I’m actually excited about, along with what specifically sticks out to me. So let’s start with my most anticipated shows and run this coming season down!
And somehow, another year has come to a close. This has been a strange year for me – as my first full year of wholly anime-related employment, it’s been often terrifying, sometimes uplifting, and always exciting. I’m not sure it means anything that my move to freelance coincided with the world catching fire, but hey, things happen. At least I also write for Crunchyroll now!
As far as anime itself goes, this has been a very solid year in general. The industry is currently at a somewhat unsustainable level of production, and though foreign streaming and other forms of revenue are putting the industry in a more stable place financially, that still hasn’t adjusted the workflow mechanisms that keep animators so terribly underpaid. That will have to change eventually, but as far as the actual shows go, there were plenty of anime I had a great time with this year, and solid hits in a wide variety of genres. In fact, this year’s crop was so good that I even have some honorable mentions! That’s honestly kind of unusual for me – I generally struggle getting to ten shows without including stuff I’m not totally sold on. So let’s start right there, and run down the shows that just barely missed the list before we count off the final ten!
My Hero Academia’s fifth volume is a friggin’ masterpiece. That’s basically all there is to it – the manga has continued to improve from a starting point of “extremely solid archetypal shounen,” and at this point its strong art, wonderful characters, and bubbling themes are all working in concert to create legitimate magic. This was a tournament arc where I actually cared about every single competitor, where I cheered and cried at every single fight. It perfectly fused climactic action and very personal storytelling, demonstrating exactly how you make fights worth fighting. I can’t even imagine what comes next.
You can check out my full review over at ANN!
Today I took one more look back at this spring’s big shounen superhero extravaganza. My Hero Academia’s strengths and weaknesses have been pretty firmly articulated at this point – the show had great material to work with, and understood the spirit of that material perfectly, but was hamstrung by the limitations of adapting too few chapters into too many episodes. In spite of that, I had a solid time with MHA, and am hopeful the second season will learn from this one’s mistakes. There’s always next time!
You can check out my full review over at ANN.
The spring season came to a full end this week, finishing off with a double helping of Flying Witch to help make up for our dearly departed Lost Village and Conrevo. Most of the other shows I’ve been watching have been pretty consistent, and this week confirmed that – Kiznaiver’s conclusion was the best it could be given the circumstances of its existing narrative, My Hero Academia finished a fairly simple arc with as much passion as it could muster, and Flying Witch charmed for every dang minute. Luluco was probably the biggest upset, as its fairly strong conclusion raised my overall impression of the show a tick. And heck, if I just pretend the cameo episodes never happened, it’s even better!
Anyway, enough preamble. Let’s sweep up the season’s loose ends and RUN ‘EM DOWN!