Winter 2019 has well passed the halfway point and the anime season has been humming along. My thoughts on the shows I’ve watched up until are right after the cut. What’s been dropped? What’s held out? Let’s take a dive and find out!
Date A Live III
My thoughts after 8 episodes: When it comes to anime with multiple seasons, you have either already become a fan, or you just don’t care. At this point, you are either a fan of Date A Live or not. With the second arc of the season now well underway, bringing the long expected Origami story to the forefront, it’s been a fun great ride. Yes, the animation isn’t as good as it was, but it hasn’t been that bad. I’m enjoying it a lot and remains the first thing I watch on a Friday afternoon after work. Besides, “best” girl Kurumi is back!
STATUS: Still kissing girls, still saving the world.
The Rising of the Shield Hero
My thoughts after 8 episodes: I don’t know if Shield Hero will continue to be as a good as it has been, and it’s been REALLY good. If I’m learning anything Isekai Slime, it’s that shows can hit a good high note and then tread water for the rest of it. I hope that it isn’t the case with Shield Hero, which has been just a glass of cool water in a desert of “just ok” anime series this season.
Shield Hero’s got great characters, consistent and good use of MMO game mechanics, a STELLAR soundtrack and is just enjoyable to watch. It deserves way more than the knee-jerk response the first (and to be fair, sloppy) episode got. While I have no doubt that the rest of the year will have more thoughtful and impactful shows. The Rising of the Shield Hero is the one to beat for Anime of the Year.
STATUS: Loving the Shield Hero, even if no one else will.
Kagura-Sama: Love is War
My thoughts after 8 episodes: I was ready to drop this, I just didn’t care for it at all. Yet something (Chika) made me stick it out and I am glad I did because I am a believer now. Love is War is a hilarious comedy with amazing characters and a premise that it fully commits too. I think I just needed to get over my expectations of the show and accept that its style of short-form storytelling. This is probably going to end up on many top lists when 2019 is said and done, and I hope it doesn’t get forgotten. It’s a damn good and DAMN FUNNY series.
STATUS: Now a loyal follower to the cult of Chika.
Magical Girl Spec-Ops Asuka
My thoughts after 8 episodes: Magical Girl Spec-Ops Asuka feels like a show that should have come out in the early 2000s. If it had I have no doubt that it would have remained a fan favorite and classic of my generation. Everything about it from the quiet tone, the gruesome violence, and reserved art style scream “early 2000s anime” to me.
It’s a solid show, and while I can already predict some plot points (if you are watching this and haven’t figured out who the bad guy is, then come on…) from miles away. It is a good and (for me) fresh and dark take on the magical girl genre, and it pulls no punches in that regard, except when it does. So…mixed bag?
STATUS: Violent, Fun, if Predictable. Watching and never feel like my time is wasted.
The Quintessential Quintuplets
My thoughts: I think ecchi and harem animes have spoiled me, but I just couldn’t get on the bus for this show. I understand that it is a callback to the non-ecchi harems of the past and while it’s got good art and decent characters, I just couldn’t get into it. If it had gone down that road I’m sure it would have been better for me, but probably turned off the fans who are watching and enjoying.
And that’s ok. not everything is meant for me. I hope this show succeeds!
Girly Air Force
My thoughts: Like Quintuplets, this show just wasn’t doing it for me. I don’t care what people ended up thinking about Darling in the Franxx, but that show at least had good characters and an interesting world (until it screwed that up) that kept you coming back every week. Girly Air Force may have had cute Gripen faces, but that was all it really had and it just wasn’t enough. It’s a shame because I had high hopes for this show, but not every plane can fly I suppose.