Following up with more premieres and first impressions, and a look at how solid (or not) this season looks to be. Ready or not, here it is – hit the jump and let’s dive right in!
The shows that I am watching are in bold, shows my wife and I are watching together are in bold italics,
strikethrough marks dropped shows and (*) marks shows that are watched but not regularly reviewed.
Since they sit on the production committee… Crunchy has been loudly beating the hype drum for Dr. Stone. Frankly, it failed to live up to the hype. But, to be fair, I can’t think of many (if any) shows that would survive an honest comparison to such hype. So, I’m not going to try.
Taken on it’s own merits, there’s not much to celebrate or complain about. The first episode was all about setup and introducing the brain-brawn pair of central characters. Largely one-note at the moment, I guess they’re both likable enough. The world building is… interesting. One huge plot hole (or plot point, we just don’t know yet) – why birds and then humans? Were the birds a trial run by whoever or whatever is behind the events?
I suspect it’s going to take a few episodes for Dr. Stone to really gain traction, so I’m in a wait and see mode.
Hands down the most visually impressive premiere. Fire in particular writhes and breathes like a living being. (A simple screenshot does not do it justice.) But is there more than that?
Not so much… Behind the stunning visuals is the structure of what appears to be a bog standard hardcore shonen. Hmm… OK, there’s not actually anything wrong with that. (I generally calibrate my expectations by genre.) The big question is whether it can take those staple parts and stock tropes and actually produce anything useful and interesting with them. Fire Force will be a two cour series, and that’s a lot of time to fill without wearing out it’s welcome.
For the moment, I’m in.
Had only been on the edge of my radar until Bless brought it to my attention…
And now I’m having a “what they heck did I just watch” moment. Magical Girls? Mecha? Both in one show? WTF? Nothing like I’ve ever seen before. What I have seen before, and seems to be in the offing, is a Battle Royale. (AKA “There can be only one”.) If that’s true, we’ve likely already met our winner – the frightened MC-chan. If that’s the course they’re taking, they’re going to have to beat Magical Girl Raising Project, and that’s not going to be easy. (Especially since so far there isn’t much to distinguish between the various combatants.)
Of course, trying to project ahead is a bit unfair. We got some exposition, and a ton of hot mecha-on-mecha action, but we don’t really know much yet. By that standard it’s probably unfair to have much of an opinion.
What do I know? That Granbelm has certainly caught my attention. It’s left me not only with questions, but with at least a moderate desire to know the answers. (And to see how the cliffhanger pans out… dang, there seem to be a lot of them this season!) For the moment, I’m in.
Re:Stage! Dream Days
I’m on the fence here… Large part of the first episode were pretty much paint-by-numbers. Others, such as the stealth idol club, were at least kinda inventive. So it’s not really clear where they’re going from here. Will invention win out? Or will the comfortable paint-by numbers approach rule the day?
Dream Days is decent enough (other than the… odd character design with their disturbingly large heads) that I’m willing to stick around and find out. And yeah, as any long term reader knows, I have a bad habit of giving idol shows way more leeway than I do to other genres.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. An ordinary cop gets an unusual (and/or unwanted) partner and they set out to solve crime(s)…. Yeah, we’ve all heard that before, a gazillion times. At least this time it’s a (serious?) drama rather than a comedy. Seen those too many times across the years.
Packed with character and world building, neither too far off the well beaten path, the first episode ended with a cliffhanger… OK, I’ll be back next week. So far, there’s nothing particularly out of the ordinary here, but nothing particularly annoying either.
Side note: I chuckled when someone on Twitter called it Law & Order: Special Faeries Unit.
I do have to say, I’m loving the stylin’ jazzy OP. The only one so far that sticks in my head.
I had originally tagged Cop Craft as a “me” show, but my wife decided to check it out after perusing a list of this season’s streams and decided she was in too. So, now it’s a “we” show.
Certainly the dullest and flattest entry I’ve watched this season… And probably would rank high among the dullest and flattest ever. Honestly, I’m not certain why I didn’t drop it straight off or why I’m not dropping it now. MC-kun is every colorless Everyman self-insert ever, and the girls are all painfully bland stereotypes. (There’s even the requisite imouto.)
I should just cut my losses and drop it now…
Overall assessment of the season… Well, First Impressions are like Opening Day in baseball. Everyone is batting 1.000, and nobody (or at least not many) has had much of a change to disappoint yet. Even so, I’m going out on a limb and saying this is the strongest opening showing that I’ve seen in a couple of years.
I’ve been actively avoiding watching The Ones Within and Arifureta… And I guess that says a lot. The initial reviews aren’t promising, so unless I hear buzz otherwise I’m not planning on watching them.
There’s a few more shows to premiere, but I’ll cover them with my regular coverage. Crossing my fingers that A Certain Scientific Accelerator gets a legal stream. My schedule page has been updated with what I’m watching… (And man, Fridays are packed!) but I’m undecided as to when the weekly post will be coming out.
And I think I’m still in semi-staycation mode for the foreseeable future. August, I’ll be busy as all get out with the County Fair.
So, your thoughts on these shows? Or anything else that’s premiered to date? (If it’s not listed here or in First Impressions Part 1, I’m not planning on watching.) Drop a comment and let’s chat!