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…)
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.
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?
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.)
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!