Summer 2019 – First impressions Part 1

O Maidens in Your Savage Season
Ready or not, the Summer 2019 anime season in on us… and the premiers are coming like they were shot out of a gun.  Hit the jump for a quick roundup of what I’ve watched so far.

Are You Lost? / Sounan desu ka?

Thought about just dropping this with the blatant panty shots during the cold open.  Really should have dropped it after the pee scene.  Watched it to the end, and it got no better.

Dropped without a backwards glance.

(*) Magical Sempai / Tejina-Senpai

Cute, though awfully predictable…  plus they lean on the fan service and innuendo whenever they run out of ideas for the moment.  Still, it made me chuckle a time or two and it’s hardly the worst first episode ever.  (Let alone of this season, see Are You Lost just above…)

Magical Sempai.png
I do find Assistant-kun’s deadpan approach to the lemon life has handed him funny.  Which is kinda weird, because the straight man isn’t supposed to be the one that generates the laughs, right?

Might as well keep it around for a bit and see what happens.  Also, pre-emptively placing it on the “not regularly reviewed” list because it’s not a show that’s going to generate much to talk about.

Astra Lost in Space / Kanata no Astra

Have you ever wondered what kind of story would emerge if Tunnel in the Sky and The Martian shacked up and had a love child?  I have a sneaking suspicion that we’re about to find out.  (Has anyone reading this post even read Tunnel in the Sky?  I think I’m something of a fossil for being raised on SF from the pre-Star Wars era.)

That’s all also a way of saying the premise of being lost/stranded in space and having the main characters make their way on their own wits has been done to death.  But here, they do take a bit of a different approach…  By the end of the first (double length) episode, they have a Plan and something approaching organization.  (None of which will work out of course, else it would be a really boring show.)  There’s not a lot of time spent dwelling on their predicament.

Astra Lost in Space.png
If Astra does have a weak point, it’s the fairly predictable character types.  I don’t need to list ’em off as you’ll no doubt have recognized them all if you’ve watched any amount of anime.  I just hope they don’t weigh the series down.

Marked as a ‘me’ show but I plan on getting my wife to check it out.

(*)How Heavy Are the Dumbbells You Lift? / Dumbbell Nan Kilo Moteru?

How Heavy Are the Dumbbells You Lift.png
This is a seriously dumb show.  There’s (almost) nothing about it that wasn’t predictable.  But…  Damn if it wasn’t somehow catchy.  I kept finding myself grinning and actually chuckled a time or two.

If you don’t have an oddball sense of humor and a moderate tolerance for fanservice (male and female), this is probably not the show for you.  The instructional (edutainment) segments are a bit off putting too.  On the other hand, Dumbbells is very genre aware and isn’t the least bit afraid to lampshade and skewer the very tropes it’s exploiting.

It amuses me, so I think it’s a keeper.

O Maidens in Your Savage Season / Araburu Kisetsu no Otome-domo yo

First up, a confession…  (No, not that kind.)  When I sat down to watch Maidens, I had all but completely forgotten everything about it except that it sounded vaguely interesting.  I’d even managed to miss that Marie Okada had written the manga it’s based on.

I was totally unready to be completely blown away.  I mean, potential AOTS territory right in the first ep.  When the credits rolled, I grabbed the mouse to make sure I hadn’t missed anything because I wasn’t ready for it to be over yet.

(OK… calm down.)

O Maidens in Your Savage Season.png

How to describe Maidens?  What are the angles it’s playing? Coming-of-age seems to fall a bit short, but I think we’re in for a lot more than the sex comedy that played such a large role.  Relationships, well that couldn’t be more obvious if they rented a billboard in Times Square.  There’s a ton of room for exploration and character growth…

I’m not always any good at this stuff.

Marked as “me” show, but I plan on getting my wife to check it out as well.

(*)Wasteful Days of High School Girls / Joshikousei no Mudazukai

Watching this right on the heels of Maidens was…  a bit of shock actually.  From the sublime to the ridiculous.  Wasteful is out and out comedy and doesn’t care who knows it.  The problem is, it keeps wearing out it’s welcome by running every gag into the ground.  It almost feels like it’s a short that’s been stretched to full length.

But here’s the weird part…  I know it’s likely because of one character’s design and demeanor, but I kept getting Mitsuboshi Colors vibes.  Almost like it’s the Colors trio grown up and entering high school.  I know it’s wrong, but I can’t shake it.

Still, it shows a modest amount of promise, so not dropping it… yet.  Let’s see what happens when the other characters some into better focus.  But I am tagging it as not regularly reviewed.

=========

So, all caught up on the premieres with the exception of Dr. STONE and Fire Force…  Will hopefully get to those sometime over the course of the weekend.  Should be ready to chat about those by Monday sometime.

What do you think of the season so far?  Drop a comment and let’s chat!

7 thoughts on “Summer 2019 – First impressions Part 1”

  1. Sounan desu ka? Not quite out yet, but, yeah, the wet clothes ogling opening scene was very much the wrong way to frame the show. I didn’t mind the pee scene, actually; the rest was more okay for me. Still, it’s not going to win any prizes.

    Astra Lost in Space: I really liked this, but with the content and the direct of School Live/Hakumei to Mikochi I expected to. It’s definitely true about the characters being instantly recognisable types, but I find them individuated enough for now. Also, I have absolutely no idea what that sphere was about, but that it transported them close to an abandoned but functional space ship can’t be an accident. I’m actually curious (but if I want to know what that’s about, I’ll most likely have to “read the manga”.)

    Dumbbells. Not sure about this one. The constant calory tags over each and every bit of food started to be annoying. I don’t like the muscle aesthetic that much, though it’s no turn off in itself, but when they go comedic about it… it doesn’t work for me. Character-wise, I’m okay with Hibiki, but that’s it. I think of it as a weaker Ramen Daisuki Koizumi san: this is going to be a single-minded hobby show, isn’t it?

    Maidens: I can tell it was pretty good, but it left me oddly cold, and I’m puzzled. Maybe I wasn’t in the mood? This is definitely the good Okada, and I like her when she’s serious. (It’s entirely possible I’ll enjoy coming episodes more. I really do think it’s my mood more than the show.)

    Wasteful Days: was fun for me, but there’s little else to say. It’s been a while since an idiot character lead the troop in just this way. Minami-ke?

    Any intention of checking out the Sacred Beasts, or is that fair game?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. re: Astra

      It’s definitely true about the characters being instantly recognisable types, but I find them individuated enough for now.

      They’re certainly individuals, agreed. It just they were so blatant about the ‘types’. Or maybe I’m jaded?

      As to your other worry, the manga is complete at 12 volumes – and it will be a two cour series. It’s not impossible that they cover the whole thing with some judicious trimming. (If it’s are possible. I haven’t read it, so I don’t know.)

      re:Maidens
      I think the first episode would profit from a re-watch. When my wife watches, I’m certainly going to watch with her.

      re: Sacred Beasts
      Nope, neither of us are in the least interested. Have at it.

      Like

      1. @Astra: No, they’re definitely up to type. I watched Uninhabited Planet Survive last year (students crash-land a shuttle on an uninhabited planet), and there’s some overlap (though traits are sometimes distributed across characters, and our leads have a clumsiness to them that wasn’t en vogue back then), but one character in particular is very nearly a carbon copy at that point in the story. The types are very recognisable.

        @Sacred Beasts: Not sure why I mentioned it, because it’s actually nothing special. Perhaps it’s that it comes on the heels of Fairy Gone, with a similar concept (power-control of supernatural science soldiers after the war that made them a necessity). So far it’s a fairly standard action show, with some inconsistencies that could make the show better if addressed. It’s a good mid-level show, IMO. So if neither of you have any interest in the show, then I have nothing to change your mind.

        Liked by 1 person

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