Spring 2019 – Week 3 / Post Hiatus Restart

Howdy! Back from hiatus and trying to get back into the swing of weekly coverage.

I’m caught up on most this season’s offerings, so let’s his the jump and run ’em down!


The shows that I am watching are in bold, shows my wife and I are watching together are in bold italicsstrikethrough marks dropped shows and (*) marks shows that are watched but not regularly reviewed.  (?) marks shows I plan to watch, but which I haven’t watched yet.

I did get some premiere ep material written pre-hiatus, it’s include here in blockquotes.

Amazing Stranger Episodes 1-3

Episode 1 – First Impressions

An otaku somehow gets a hold of a figure that’s both a character in an anime – and real person who’s gone through the adventures in the anime.

Nothing in particular to praise, nothing in particular to complain about.  Mostly… it’s just there.  Maybe once we get past the introductory episode it’ll go somewhere.  The large number of additional characters in the OP does give me pause.  It’s a short, so there’s not a lot of room for additional characters.

Status: I’m thinking it’s going to go south and I’ll end up dropping it.

Episodes 2-3 were kinda… meh at best. The scene of the two otaku arguing in a fancy restaurant was just crap. Then there’s the hint of Something More Going On at the end of Ep 2…  But I’m not sure the plot structure can bear the weight of Something More.

Status:  On Notice for potential drop.

Cinderella Nine

Watched first ep, will be caught up by next week.

Fairy Gone

Watched the first ep, will be caught up by next week.

Fruits Basket 2019 Episode 1 – First Impressions

Possibly the most anticipated premiere this season…

The basic, reverse harem, setup is nothing we haven’t seen a million times before.  Tohru is but one more driven genki girl  with a tragic back story among of a crowd of them.

But I must admit there was a certain amount of charm to the characters.  (Though the rather dated designs will take some getting used to.)  The voice actors were really bringing their “A” game, and the animation was well done too.  So, I find myself liking it.

Which leaves me in a dilemma given my well-known dislike of reverse harems…  Am I giving room because of its status, or is it really a reverse harem I can like?  Time alone will tell I suspect.

Status: Keeper.

Fruits Basket 2019 Episodes 2-3

Honestly, I find myself conflicted here…  As long time readers will know, reverse harems are SO not my thing.  But so far, Fruits Basket doesn’t feel like a reverse harem even though it shows every sign of being one.

(Caveat:  I know nothing about the series that hasn’t appeared onscreen this season.)

There are some interesting mysteries, and some definite hints of romance in the air… so…

Status: Keeper.

(?) Hitoribocchi no Marumaruseikatsu

Joshi Kausei Episode 1 – First Impressions

Disappointed that it looks like they’re going for the fanservice angle and downplaying the comedy/SOL angles. Sure, there’s fanservice in the manga, but it’s only one part of the package.

The animation was kinda clunky, and the comedic timing way off too.

A fairly disappointing start to an anime I was looking forward to because I enjoy the heck out of the manga.

Status: Concerned about the future but sticking with it for now.

Episode 2  is much more in keeping with the basic charm of the series.  Just more-or-less an ordinary day with some comedic occurrences.  Episode 3…  More of a mess that goes nowhere.

So far, well…  The adaptation is rough overall and they’ve done a poor job communicating the basic charm that permeates the manga.  I’m not saying every chapter of the manga was a winner…  Just that they’ve made some very poor choices.

Status:  Reluctant keeper.

Kono Oto Tomare!: Sounds of Life Episodes 1-3

I am…  conflicted here.  Chika’s arc so far is interesting.  Satowa zooms from one extreme to another.  It’s hard as heck to pin her down.  Takezou….  Seems to be pinned as an innocent bystander more buffeted by the events around him than in control of the club he’s nominally the President of.

Satowa is the one to keep an eye on.  I suspect her mysteries and hangups will be a significant plot driver.

The there’s the “impress me in a month or be disbanded” plot line, which has been done absolutely to death.  I’m not seeing (so far) any way to resolve this conflict that hasn’t been done before or brings anything new to the table.

Status: Tentative keeper.  It’s not like I’m not enjoying the show, it’s that…  it just seems a muddle so far but there’s enough there to give it chance.  Too early too call.

Mix: Meisei Story Episodes 1-3

Three episodes in, and the story is slowly ambling towards…  what?  I’m not at all sure, but I am enjoying the stroll.  Despite being notionally a sports anime, so far it leans more towards being SOL’ish‘.  And the characters are in middle school, and it’s supposedly about the Koshien – a high school baseball tournament.  Time skip incoming?

Or it’s possible the anime adaptation ends before they get out of middle school…

Mix started as an ‘us’ anime, but my wife dropped it after episode 2.

Status: Keeper.

One Punch Man Episodes 1-2

I hate to say I was kinda bored with these two eps, especially the first…  But off-hand, I can’t think of another way to put it.  By no measure did these two episodes live up to anything in the first season.  The animation wasn’t nearly so dynamic (and they snuck in plenty of still or still-ish frames), and the color palette is much flatter.  The writing is kinda there, but the delivery is all but phoned in.

There’s nothing particularly wrong with a series being workmanlike…  It’s just a vast disappointment compared to the bar set by the first season.  I can live with the animation and colors, but only if the plot and voice acting up their game.

One Punch Man Episode 3

Episode 3 showed a modest uptick in plot progression…  But the series still has quite a way to go to really catch me.

Status:  I never thought I’d say this…  but I am considering a drop.  If it weren’t for the show’s status, I’d have already put it on notice.

Senryu Girl Episodes 1-3

Somewhere, someone’s Twitter feed?  I remarked that I thought the first episode was absolutely a-dork-able.  After the 2nd and 3rd episodes, I stand by that first impression.  It’s no Tsuki ga Kirei, but Nanako and Eiji and their bumbling romance is just downright cute.  (Even though it’s kinda one-sided at present because Eiji is something of a typically dense anime protagonist.)  I didn’t expect this to be a romantic comedy, but it’s becoming one and I’m enjoying it.

I think the only thing I don’t like are the whiffs of  ‘harem’ that Amane and Koto are giving off…  a feeling reinforced by the two girls we haven’t seen yet who feature in both the OP and ED.

Status: Firm keeper.

Strike Witches: 501st JOINT FIGHTER WING Take Off!

Really awful animation, stilted writing, and VA’s were phoning it in.  I enjoy the franchise, but I just couldn’t put up with more than five minutes of this crap.

Strike Witches earns the dubious distinction of being the first drop of Spring 2019.

Status: Dropped.

(?) We Never Learn: BOKUBEN

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And there you have it!  A quick overview of what I’ve seen so far and what I thought of it.  I apologize for the brevity, but between a very odd sleep schedule (jet lag sucks) and the sheer number of episodes to cover…  Something had to give if I was going to get anything out in a reasonable time frame.

We have a BUSY weekend, so next week’s schedule is up in air too.  On Friday, we’re going to see Avengers: Endgame, then the Cherry Blossom Festival is on Saturday.  Half the shows I’m watching are one Fri/Sat, so that puts me in a bind…  Ah well, I’ll work with what I have.

I’ve updated my schedule page, you can take a gander and see what I’m watching.

Speaking of the Avengers…  I have been working off-and-on on the post of Queen AMV’s I promised a few weeks back, and came across this cool Avengers AMV.

=========

Enough random stuff!  Time to hit publish!  What are you thoughts on these or other shows?  Drop a comment and let’s chat!

17 thoughts on “Spring 2019 – Week 3 / Post Hiatus Restart”

  1. I’ve been watching fruits basket and honestly, it’s not bad but I don’t feel invested in it like I’m not hooked in. I watched the original anime to some extent back in middle school and read a good portion of the manga so I know they are keeping true completely if not mostly to the source material. However, I think it just feels odd to me compared to most mainstream anime that have been made as of late.

    As to one punch man, I agree that it doesn’t meet the first season’s set bar. I did enjoy the first episode and part of the second but I miss the formula of killing a monster an episode. It’s cool if they want to throw in more plot now but it really feels like the first season was more of a comedic/action spinoff from season one.

    Also, I don’t know if you are watching this anime but I recommend Blade of Demon Slayer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. re:Fruits Basket

      However, I think it just feels odd to me compared to most mainstream anime that have been made as of late.

      It is almost twenty years old, I wonder how much comes from that?

      re:One Punch Man I really don’t know where it’s gonna go from here… Reading the reviews on ANN, there’s a lot of meta going on, but that’s not really my bag.

      I’ll keep Demon Slayer in mind if a hole opens in my schedule… I’ll definitely make sure my wife checks out the description, as that kind of thing is more up her alley than mine.

      Thanks for stopping by the Lounge! I hope you come back often!

      (And thanks for the kind words on Facebook.)

      Like

  2. Welcome back!

    Turns out I’m only watching Fruits Basket this season, because it’s the only one I was at all interested in that Crunchyroll picked up. I have no familiarity with the original either, but I’ve heard enough positive reviews from people I trust that I’m giving it a chance despite its apparent reverse harem trappings (not my thing either). And so far so good, I’ve enjoyed these first three episodes.

    Hopefully the lack of interesting CR content is just an aberration this season and not the start of a trend, but it’s leaving me time to watch other stuff at least. Or read. I’m completely caught up on the Quintuplets manga now, and that’s been a fun ride. Only problem is now that I’m caught up I have to wait two weeks to find out what happens next, because of Golden Week next week.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m with you on Fruits Basket. If it’s reputation hadn’t proceeded it, I’d have never picked it up.

      But I’d keep an eye on Mix. I have this sneaking suspicion you’d like it once it gets fully underway.

      Hopefully the lack of interesting CR content is just an aberration this season and not the start of a trend, but it’s leaving me time to watch other stuff at least.

      IIRC, you have a pretty substantial backlog… And there’s any number of shows worth a re-watch! And yeah, I kinda hate getting caught up with shows/manga for just that reason – you have to shift from marathon to waiting.

      Like

      1. I’m kind of mixed on Mix, only because I’ve actually been curious about watching Touch for several years now. If I’m ever going to watch that one I’d rather watch it first, even though I’m fully aware you can pick up Mix without seeing it at all. Of course, in reality that means I’ll probably never get to either one, but oh well.

        Yeah, I’d have a nice little backlog list even if I just stuck to the Blu-Rays I still haven’t watched since I bought them (Aokana, Scrapped Princess, Spice & Wolf, etc.), but then you add in the shows like Yorimoi and Fate/Zero that have been sitting patiently in my CR queue for months waiting for me to get around to watching/rewatching them too and it reaches the point of “too many choices” paralysis.

        BTW, I showed the first three episodes of Promised Neverland at anime club this month, and my teens were riveted. Even the ones who are usually really fidgety and prone to kibbitzing were glued to their seats.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I can’t find any comments from you on Yorimoi, so I can’t recall if you’ve seen it or not. If you haven’t, it carries my highest “Watch NOW” recommendation. (And you know I don’t say such things lightly.)

          Otherwise, there’s a creative solution to “too many choices paralysis” – crowdsource it! Post a poll, or a bracket, or even just a list discussion post. You’ll not lack for recommendations. :) :)

          Like

          1. No, that’s one I still need to get to, and I know how much you love it. Right now off the backlog list I’m watching Today’s Menu for the Emiya Family (Fate and cooking – how did I not watch that while it was airing?). I’m a little over half done with that one, and the plan right now is to hit Yorimoi after that.

            Liked by 1 person

        2. I have a huge backlog on DVD. I almost never watch shows on disk anymore as online is so much more convient, but I also don’t watch shows I’ve bought online, so oddly it’s often the shows I’ve baught that I don’t watch. It’s a really strange situation, once you think about it. Tokyo Magnitude 8.0, Planetes, Pandora Hearts, Paranoia Agent… all shows I’ve bought but never watched (I’m fairly sure it’s a coincidence that so many of them start with a P…).

          Like

          1. In my case, the shows that I buy are almost always shows that I’ve already watched before and know that I’ll want to watch again. I like owning my favorite shows because I don’t trust streaming services to always have them available (see: Encouragement of Climb), but I wasted too much money on blind buys in my early fandom years that either turned out to be really bad (like Wrath of the Ninja) or that I couldn’t get into despite them having good reputations (like Code Geass), so I stopped doing that. I think the last time I did a blind buy of a series was xxxHolic about four years ago, and only because it was really cheap. Fortunately I ended up enjoying that one.

            Like

  3. I hope your sleeping schedule normalises soon. That’s a lot of episodes to catch up with, too, so take your time and don’t burn out.

    Amazing Stranger is… dull. I did like the poke at waifu-culture: we’re married now, so no more watching other anime girls. You didn’t expect to have to take responsibility, did you? Heh. Still, that’s the only worthwhile moment in three episodes for me, and even that was just a minor chuckle.

    Fruits Basket is definitely a reverse harem. It’s the template for a lot of them. It’s interesting that you call them dated character designs. They probably are, but I think of them as updated character designs. The first anime had the typical cartoon-style shoujo designs you saw in plenty of other shows at the time. Those are the smoothed-over later design, and I was worried they’d not work well with the more slapstick elements (an arc-punch didn’t work for me in the preview). I needn’t have worried; in context they work for me. I’m happy with this adaption; it might actually have closed the gap between drama and slapstick comedy a little. Among the best recent reboots for me.

    Joshi Kausei? Nope, not for me. Episode 1 was pretty much what I feared it would be. I can take straightforward ecchi, but this sort of puppy voyeurism is really not my thing. Maybe the manga one day (the concept is probably easier to execute when all you lack is words; making sounds and not talking is probably harder to pull off).

    Kono oto tomare!, catchphrase style: too much drama, too little koto. It’s not bad, and it’s been getting better after the first episode. But it’s drama is just too rote.

    Mix is pretty much exactly what I expected. Adachi shows used to be at least 52 episodes, so the pacing would account for that. As far as I know we still don’t have an episode count, but it’s not a late-night anime (5:30 pm JST), so I wouldn’t be surprised to see a year-long run. What I like most about Mix is what I liked most about Cross Game, and it’s the sense of quiet determination, but also patience. I just like the mood. It’s probably my favourite anime of the season so far (after Dororo suffers a little from the mid-season slump [at that point I wonder if it’s just me; I experience that often in 2-cours])

    The One Punch Man situation is interesting. I’m pretty much the reverse of you: I liked the first two episodes better than anything OPM had to offer in the second half of the first season, but I’m not interested at all in Garou, and the dojo storyline, even though I quite like the old master as a character. I don’t mind the reduced values; I’m not into fight scenes anyway, so the high production values didn’t have as much an effect on me than on almost everyone else during season one.

    Senryu Shoujo is just adorable. What took me by surprise was Nanako’s personality. The cliché would have been for her to be too shy to talk, but instead she’s just so bubbly that she uses senryu to slow down her brain (and it’s borne out in her behaviour, too). I wonder about the harem aspect: the club president doesn’t actually give me harem vibes, but Koto-nee couldn’t be more obvious. We’ll see where this goes. The biggest problem with a harem interpretation I find is that the story focusses far too much on Nanako as some sort of moe Yamato Nadeshiko version; basically the idealised wife. I’m expecting any harem antics to be ornamental at best. I don’t expect much of a story development, since the source is a 4-koma – stories in 4-koma manga aren’t unheard of, but it feels like it’s really just going to be a cuteness parade. It does that really well, though. It just cheers me up.

    I’ll talk about the other shows as you get to them, but I’ll just say that I really, really enjoy Hitoribochhi.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope your sleeping schedule normalises soon.

      It’s getting there… at least it’s not like the last time I flew to the East coast for a funeral. I was stuck on EST for (IIRC) three months after I got back.

      @Amazing Stranger I think it would be a much stronger show if it picked one lane and stuck to it. Not doing so is, I suspect, going to lead to me dropping it.

      Kono oto tomare!, catchphrase style: too much drama, too little koto.

      Not disagreeing with you, but to me the characters (OK, Chika and Satawa) are more than you’d expect in a rote school club drama. I don’t expect greatness (it’s no Euph), but it does show promise.

      What I like most about Mix is what I liked most about Cross Game, and it’s the sense of quiet determination, but also patience. I just like the mood.

      “Sense of quiet determination” – I think that sums it up perfectly! The conversation between Sou and Tou about changing high schools is an example of that. If it end up being a long runner, so long as it holds up the quality to the bar set so far I’m good. I don’t mind slow, I loathe being bored.

      Like

      1. Oh, I’m enjoying Kono Oto Tomare!, and it’s definitely one of the better shows this season (which should be more of an accomplishment than it actually is…). But at the moment I can’t shake the feeling that I’d prefer a spin-off about making and selling Kotos. The workshop scenes are by far the most appealing to me in the show so far (both the uncle flashbacks, and the old woman’s shop).

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Senryu Girl and Fruit’s Basket are definitely keepers :) I’m glad you are feeling a little something for them too.

    And I’m kind of with you on One Punch Man. Episode 3 was comprehensible and better, but it’s still has been barely above average for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Senryu Girl is a delight. I wouldn’t go so far as “breakout”, but certainly unexpected.

      From what I’ve seen (been avoiding spoilers), that’s not an uncommon take on OPM.

      Like

  5. @Mix: I’m probably enjoying this in a different way as a long-time Touch fan: as soon as the narrator started talking I recognized the voice as Minami Asakura (female lead from Touch, voice actress Noriko Hidaka) and promptly floated away to my happy place. The visuals and dialogue are loaded with in-jokes and callbacks as well. Like the rest of you I just hope they are given enough episodes to justify sticking to the pace of the manga. Apart from that don’t expect much rational analysis of this show from me; it’s a total nostalgia trip to my mid-80s early days as an anime fan.

    @Carole & Tuesday: Floored by the animation quality, the music, and Shinichirou Watanabe’s direction, but something just feels a bit off about the plot. Perhaps the opening shot of the successful concert took away just a little too much dramatic tension? Dunno, but I’m sticking around for the rest of the ride.

    @Senryuu Shoujo: Surprise hit of the season for me. Nanako x Eji = most unlikely Best Couple I’ve seen in a while.

    Holdovers from winter: Dororo, Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari.

    Apart from those… a surprisingly weak opening to the spring season. Looking forward to the Shingeki no Kyojin premiere Sunday.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. @Mix

      The visuals and dialogue are loaded with in-jokes and callbacks as well.

      They’ve done a good job with those then, as a new viewer I haven’t caught anything amiss or odd. (Which often happens with such things.) I’m good with the pace as it’s keeping my attention.

      No spoilers on Carole & Tuesday! I’m going to marathon it once Netflix releases it from prison.

      I’ve said it several times, but yeah – Senryu Girl is unexpectedly good. The translation problems I was afraid of turned out to be unwarranted, but that’s mostly because anime sub translations are so simplified.

      Like

      1. “No spoilers on Carole & Tuesday!”

        Gomen! It’s the first scene in the first episode, so no harm done, I hope…

        “They’ve done a good job with those then, as a new viewer I haven’t caught anything amiss or odd.”

        Here’s an example: In episode 2 when Otomi is riding home with her new puppy, Punch, the narrator chimes in with, “That’s not the way Punch should be barking.” Which I suppose a new viewer would just pass off as an odd editorial comment for a narrator to make. But if you know that the narrator, Punch, and Minami Asakura from Touch all were voiced by the same actress, and that the Asakura family dog was also named Punch, it comes off as either Minami poking fun at the “new” Punch’s voice… or Noriko Hidaka as the narrator poking fun at her own voice acting in the other role. Which I somehow found side-splittingly funny.

        Liked by 1 person

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