Overall Impressions + What I’ll Be Watching – Winter 2019

Oh boy, I’m late. Very late.

Long time no see everyone. It’d be a bit of an understatement to say that it’s “been a while”. In fact, it’s been so long since I’ve written something for this blog that my overall impressions of the current Anime season can no longer be considered “first impressions” because… Well… The season is well underway at this point. We’ve gone beyond the middle mark!

Truth be told, I think I may have come back from my hiatus a little too early. I fell into yet another slump of “I ain’t feeling it” and ceased writing for a few weeks as a result. I probably should have said something, but I didn’t.

But anyway, none of that matters, because I’m back now. And I’m here to talk about the Winter 2019 Anime Season that is still underway and give my overall impressions of every show that I had a chance to watch some of.

So…

*pastes in template*

As per usual, I’ll be splitting everything into tiers, which are described below (and these remain the same despite this post being later than usual). I also haven’t had much of a chance to watch as much Anime as I normally do, so the list of “I haven’t watched this” shows will be longer than usual. Sorry.

And no, I’m not really watching anything weekly because I kind of hate doing that.

So without further delay, here are the tiers:

The Tiers:

  • Incredible – Will Most Definitely Watch: Shows listed under this tier will be shows that I’ll most definitely be watching as soon as possible. These are the shows that currently have me the most invested, that keep me glued to my monitor and that have me literally filled with excitement and suspense from beginning to end, every episode. Shows in here all have the potential to become a member of my favourites (although anything can change over time).
  • Looks Interesting – Will Watch: Shows in this tier will be shows that I’ll be watching at some point because they seem like they could go in interesting directions and I’m looking forward to seeing where they will end up. These are shows that, while they had some issues or didn’t have me fully invested, are still engaging enough to warrant further watching.
  • Decent – Will Carry On With It: Shows that had a lot of issues or didn’t really grab me will be under this tier. I’ll be watching these and enjoying them, but there’s a high chance I’ll be stopping and starting these frequently and taking my time with them.
  • Meh – Will Watch Begrudgingly: Shows that are just pretty darn terrible but I feel I should watch for whatever insane or ridiculous reason will be listed here. Watching these shows will no doubt be painful, but I need to persevere for whatever excuse that I’ll no doubt forget upon reaching the halfway point. Of course, things can improve over time. Maybe these will?
  • Not Feeling It – Will Stall For Now: I never drop shows permanently, because my goal is to watch every Anime ever. I’ll never manage to do that in my lifetime, but I’d love to get as close to doing so as possible. However, these shows made me feel nothing, were completely yawn inducing or just had nothing going for me so I’ve put them to the side for god knows how long. I may pick them up again, but it’ll be unlikely to be any time soon.
  • I have Little To Say – The Rest: This is mostly reserved for stuff I generally have no comment on, shows I didn’t check out or second seasons to shows I haven’t seen/have yet to finish.

So let’s break these shows down!

Incredible – Will Most Definitely Watch:

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Rising of the Shield Hero – As I suspected before the show even began airing, Rising of the Shield Hero has been the subject of a lot of controversy, due to the fact that the show doesn’t have rape in i-

Wait. What?

In all seriousness, people have been quick to mount the moral high horse when it comes to Shield Hero and I’m not even really sure why this time around. I understood the hatred for shows like Goblin Slayer, Happy Sugar Life and Magical Girl Site, but this? This isn’t bad at all. There are some questionable themes, such as slavery, but these are present in a lot of isekai stories for a very specific reason, and if you know anything about role-playing video games and how party members function, it’s very easy to connect the dots and understand why it’s such a commonly used narrative device.

As for the big controversy, I don’t really think it’s a big deal. The main character gets falsely accused of rape and it causes him a lot of trouble. This is a thing that happens in real world more often than you would think, and it’s also something that’s horrendously underrepresented in fictional stories.

As for what I think of the show? I think all controversy aside, the show is fantastic and it’s a brilliant isekai story with some interesting ideas, good characters and a well written plot. It has it’s issues, like most isekai, but I love it. It’s such a shame that the moral arguments have completely buried any meaningful discussion that could be had about the show.

Definitely a contender of best show of the season.

The Promised Neverland – As a fan of the original Manga series, I was very excited for this adaptation, and I have to say that I haven’t been disappointed at all so far. The tone of the Manga has been kept 100% intact and the atmosphere is on freaking point. And of course, the story is as good as ever, only this time it’s animated!

There’s not an awful lot I can say about The Promised Neverland without diving into spoiler territory, but let’s just say it had one of the best premiere episodes I’ve seen from an Anime series in a long time. And I’d already read the Manga! I can’t imagine how mind-blowingly brilliant the first episode would have been for someone who had no idea what was going to happen. And it just keeps delivering afterwards.

My only concern about this adaptation is how short it is. It seems that we’re only going to be getting the first arc of the Manga animated, and while that’s a perfect cliffhanger to end a season with, there’s so much more story that comes after. I really hope we get a second season, possibly more, to adapt the rest of the Manga, especially because it’s so close to ending its run in Jump.

Time will tell I guess. And if you haven’t watched this one yet, I suggest you do so and that you avoid learning anything about it. You’ll thank me later!

Mob Psycho 100 II – As I’ve said many times before on this blog, I didn’t care at all for One Punch Man. That being said, Mob Psycho 100, by the same Mangaka, was a pleasant surprise, and I really enjoyed it. And naturally, this second season continues to be pretty great so far, and is a worthy follow up to the first.

I haven’t gotten too far through this one yet, but the production is incredible and the story continues to be as enjoyable and fun as ever, and judging from the reaction I’ve seen on Twitter, it’s only been getting better apparently. Really looking forward to catching up on this one when it ends.

Kakegurui×× – Being a fan of hot Anime chicks and psychological thrillers, Kakegurui was more or less guaranteed to be a hit with me, given its premise focusing on a gambling-centric high school where the stakes are raised to life destroying levels and the participants are all Anime girls with twisted personalities who enjoy screwing each other over.

So yeah, this second season of Kakegurui is great and I’m enjoying it for all of the same reasons as the first. It’s more Kakegurui and I can’t complain. At all. I’ve seen some snarky remarks that the series isn’t “smart” like other similar gambling focused series, but I wholeheartedly disagree with that and find that, for the most part, the strategies and outcomes of the games are pretty clever. And when coupled with the over the top reactions of the characters… Yeah. It’s pretty darn amazing.

Looks Interesting – Will Watch:

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Domestic na Kanojo – I’m a huge fan of the Manga of Domestic na Kanojo and this Anime adaptation has been pretty great so far, and has managed to keep much of the story, its characters, and the overall atmosphere intact. It’s been a very enjoyable watch so far, and even my wife has gotten on board with this one and we’re watching it together. …Of all the shows…

That being said however, I can’t help but also feel a little disappointed too. The original Manga had a lot of sexually explicit scenes, and this adaptation has chosen to omit much of this material entirely. It doesn’t necessarily take anything away from the central narrative, given that the events themselves still happen, but we don’t really see any of them. And that kind of sucks!

Perhaps the blu-ray release will include them, but I won’t be holding my breath. It’s hardly a deal breaker, and the show is still very good, but it’s a bit of a shame. Still very worth your time however.

Date A Live III – At last! The long-awaited third season of Date A Live is here and I’m loving it so far. It’s like the series never left, and it’s a real treat to finally have a follow up after all these years.

Everything that drew me to the first two seasons is still here. The diverse cast of females and their relationships with the protagonist, the awesome, over the top action scenes and the fantastic soundtrack. It’s all still here and it’s all still great.

My Roommate is a Cat – As a lover of cats, I just freaking love this one. It’s so cute, charming and wholesome and it makes me so happy. My cat is also a fan. Probably.

What more can I say? It’s a wholesome show with a cat in it. And it’s great.

Magical Girl Spec-Ops Asuka – As I mentioned before, one of my real life friends is really into the Manga for this one and he highly recommended it. And as always, his recommendation was spot on because I’m having a great time with this one so far.

It’s another one of these slightly-edgier-than-normal Magical Girl shows, only this time there’s a heavy emphasis on brutal, military style combat that takes things to a much more gritty level than usual. It also comments on the nature of war and how it can mentally affect a person through exploring the PTSD of the protagonist, which is something I definitely didn’t expect going into this one.

And man, the action scenes are superb. It’s really great, and a fine example of why you shouldn’t judge a show solely based on the ridiculousness of its premise.

Decent – Will Carry On With It:

Dororo – There seems to be a lot of hype surrounding this one, and while I am enjoying it, I can’t quite say it’s as high up for me as it seems to be for a lot of others. It’s fun, it’s interesting and it’s enjoyable, but I feel like something’s missing. And I’m not quite sure what…

Then again, I’ve never been that big of a samurai guy, so maybe that has something to do with it. Maybe my opinion will change when I watch more. Still pretty good.

Gotoubun no Hanayome – This is funny and pretty entertaining, and I like the characters, but aside from that, there’s not an awful lot going on here, at least so far. That being said, I’ve only seen the first episode so…

It’s not bad, just not amazing or anything.

Manaria Friends – Given how long this show has taken to come out, I can’t help but feel a little disappointed with the result. I remember being really excited for this back when it was first announced, but I guess the lengthy wait has just taken the hype out of me, or my tastes have simply shifted too much in the time between the announcement and the premiere episode.

It’s not bad at all, but I expected more. It’s still very good, just not quite what it should have been: amazing.

Grimms Notes The Animation – This show is actually a pretty good time so far, and it has a very interesting and unique premise, but aside from that the execution is a little lacking and something just feels like it’s missing.

However, I believe this one has a lot of potential for improvement due to its unique premise and I look forward to seeing how it develops, for better or for worse.

Meh – Will Watch Begrudgingly:

W’z – When an Anime’s art style literally gives you freaking headache, you know something isn’t quite right.

Apparently this is a follow up to HandShakers of all things, and it most certainly shows, both through its retina-destroying visuals and its all-over-the-place storytelling. GoHands does it again I guess.

Not Feeling It – Will Stall For Now:

Wow. For the first time in the history of this blog, nothing is in this category. Is this what happens when you don’t watch some of everything?

Oh well. Next!

I Have Little To Say – The Rest:

Kaguya-sama: Love is War – I forgot to watch this one. Is it any good?

Boogiepop Never Laughs (2019) – I’ve never seen the original Boogiepop series, so I purposefully didn’t watch this one. Can I watch it on it’s own? Seems interesting and I’ve ehard good things about this one.

Watashi ni Tenshi ga Maiorita! – It’s kinda cute.

How clumsy you are, Miss Ueno. – Cute girl inventing cute inventions.

3D Kanojo: Real Girl 2nd Season – Did not watch 3D Kanojo: Real Girl 1st Season.

Endro~! – I forgot to check this out. Sounds good.

Girly Air Force – Cute girls becoming cute fight planes. FuckingWHITTTTTTTTTTTTTTT?!

Egao no Daika – The Mecha show I forgot to watch.

Fukigen na Mononokean Tsuzuki – I’ve never even heard of the first season.

Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai – Didn’t watch.

Piano no Mori (TV) 2nd Season – Didn’t watch Piano no Mori (TV) 1st Season.

Meiji Tokyo Renka – Cute girl meets handsome historical figures.

BanG Dream! 2nd Season – I never watched BanG Dream! 1st Season.

Pastel Memories – Cute girls running a cute “otaku shop”. It’s surprisingly good.

Kemurikusa (TV) – I forgot about this.

Circlet Princess – I can’t find a legal stream of this anywhere and I don’t even think there are fansubs. Which is a shame because I love the sound of this one!

Kemono Friends 2 – How was it? Was it worth the wait? I wouldn’t know. I haven’t seen anyone talk about this at all either, which is fucking weird because I remember everyone was talking about the first season. What happened here?

Dimension High School – No.

Rinshi!! Ekoda-chan – The promo art for this still weirds me out.

B-Project: Zecchou*Emotion – Hey look! Another season of B-Project!

Ame-iro Cocoa: Side G – “In the fifth season o-” Let me just stop you right there and say that I haven’t even heard of the first four seasons.

Bermuda Triangle: Colorful Pastrale – Wow. I was actually right! This show is “cute girls being cute mermaids in the not-so-cute Bermuda Triangle.”

Virtual-san wa Miteiru – No idea what this is.

Mini Toji – Chibis!

Star☆Twinkle Precure – The 1000000000000000000000001st season of Precure. Just fantastic! Now I have even more to catch up on.

Hulaing Babies – Cute girls being cute hula dancers.

Mannaka no Rikkun@Kin Tele – There is a CAT on the poster!

Kawauso Labo – WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS? ARE THOSE FUCKING OTTERS?! WITH BOOKS? AND BEER? AND ONE OF THEM HAS AN APRON?!

Kyou mo Tsuno ga Aru – In the words of one of my favourite bands: “YELLOW FROG LEGS FOR MY EVILLLLL SPELLLLLLL!!!”

Mr. Shadow – The Hedgehog.

Annnnnd that’s a wrap! Whew.

If I missed anything, feel free to flag it up, but I’m pretty sure that’s everything…

As always, I hope you enjoyed hearing my thoughts, even if they were significantly later than usual this time. I’m really sorry about that.

Overall, this season is a pretty good start to the year. It isn’t the best season for me personally, but a lot of that probably has to do with the fact that I simply haven’t been sampling as much Anime this time around. That being said, there’s plenty of great shows in here, with Shield Hero and The Promised Neverland being potential top tier shows. And we’ve got plenty of long-awaited sequels too, like Date A Live III and a second season of Kakegurui. I’m excited to see how everything turns out in the end.

As for the status of the blog, I’m not going to disappear after this. I have some big plans coming over the next couple of weeks and I do hope you’ll look forward to them.

It’s good to be back folks. Sorry for the absence. Thank you for sticking around!

What are your impressions of the season so far and what shows are you currently watching? Let me know down below!

13 thoughts on “Overall Impressions + What I’ll Be Watching – Winter 2019

  1. Welcome back! 🙂

    I’ve only seen a small bit of Kaguya-sama, but it appears to be an over-the-top comedy, played out almost entirely on a psychological level, about these two characters who are interested in each other but are obsessed with getting the other one to confess their feelings first.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Endro has so far been cute but fun enough (it isn’t my usual kind of thing but I’m enjoying it). Kaguya-Sama isn’t really working for me as a comedy and there’s not a lot else to it. Very well produced show, lots of people are enjoying it, but not my kind of thing. As for Boogiepop, it has an intriguing premise but execution has been pretty hit and miss and it is pretty bland to look at. I’m mostly watching still to find out if they can actually bring things together which might make it worth the effort of having watched it but I think Boogiepop is my swing and miss for the season.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. “main character gets falsely accused of rape”

    Well, yeah. That would probably stir up more controversy than actual rape by a certified villain.

    Domestic na Kanojo stirred up controversy from the same people. That attempt to steal a kiss from Sleeping Beauty…

    Liked by 4 people

  4. “Mr. Shadow – The Hedgehog.”

    lol XD

    “Kaguya-sama: Love is War – I forgot to watch this one. Is it any good?”

    Yes, it is tied for the best show I’m watching this season.

    “Boogiepop Never Laughs (2019) – I’ve never seen the original Boogiepop series, so I purposefully didn’t watch this one. Can I watch it on it’s own? Seems interesting and I’ve ehard good things about this one.”

    You certainly can watch this one without having read the source. Things will be intentionally confusing for most of it though. It’s a general improvement over Phantom, the first go at, “adapting” the source (by that I mean, it was almost entirely original). It’s decent, but not great like it could be.

    To address stuff you are actually watching:

    Shield Hero really surprised me. Not revolutionary, but something I’m having a great deal of fun with. The controversy around it is pretty dumb though. I am confident you will enjoy it. Been a bit slow of late though, but it still has plenty of episodes to wow me with.

    Neverland is just alright. A lot loving it, and it is delivering some great moments, but overall I have been pretty lukewarm on it. Not bad by any stretch though.

    Mob 2 didn’t grab me right away, it took a bit but now I’m with it. Story wise, I’ve found Mob to have a better shelf-life than OPM, so I can see what you are getting at with your points.

    “W’z – When an Anime’s art style literally gives you freaking headache, you know something isn’t quite right.

    Apparently this is a follow up to HandShakers of all things, and it most certainly shows, both through its retina-destroying visuals and its all-over-the-place storytelling. GoHands does it again I guess.”

    As much as I hate to say it, this one hasn’t impressed me much. Still enjoy it, but not as much as I would have liked. I liked HS, especially seeing as it was a literal advertisement for a store and pet project. That said, they did greatly improve things visually here. The rest leaves something to be desired though…

    That’s all the thoughts I bothered responding to for now lol. Bit too tired to respond to the whole article in any more detail. Enjoyed reading it though 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sorry for the late reply Jon!

      Nice one about Kaguya-sama. Definitely going to be checking it out once the season ends now!

      Glad to know I can also watch Boogiepop without any previous exposure to the series. Again, definitely got to check it out.

      I’m glad that you’re enjoying Shield Hero as well. As you said, it’s not the most revolutionary series out there, but it IS good and fun!

      Interesting perspective on Neverland. Most people seem to either love it or despise it. Seeing someone right in the middle is a change!

      I’m well aware that you were one of the few that enjoyed HandShakers, so I figured you’d be on board with this one. I still need to give both series a proper, fair shot though.

      And no worries. Sorry for the late response, I don’t always have time to reply right away and then forget to later on… I’m glad you enjoyed the post! Thank you for your comment! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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