And now it’s the post you’ve all been waiting for! Time to run down the first batch of new shows and try to sift the gold from the mud. And honestly, so far, it’s hard work as there really isn’t much to work with. We’ve got far too many isekai, and far too little originality.
Anyhow, hit the jump and let’s run ’em down!
After School Dice Club / Houkago Saikoro Club Ep 1
Stop me if you’ve seen this before… Cute introvert meets genki extrovert and learns to come out of her shell. What? You didn’t stop me? You must have only started watching anime yesterday…
OK, excessive snark aside, after all is said and done there’s just not much more (so far) to Houkago Saikoro. It really is the distillation of any number of previous shows, stock characters and all.
Status: Uncertain. Most likely keeper due to it’s unusual hook (board games). Also, because I have weak spots for CGDCT and school club shows and this hits both quite squarely.
Ascendance of a Bookworm / Honzuki no Gekokujou: Shisho ni Naru Tame ni wa Shudan wo Erande Iraremasen Ep 1
Ascendance has a great concept, but so far it’s boring. This episode took some awfully thin material, and then stretched it out until it practically broke. Myne’s ongoing self pity didn’t help matters much… But maybe, with her newfound purpose, that’s going to change.
Status: Tentative keeper. The three episode and mid-season gut check rules are definitely in play here.
Bananya and the Curious Bunch / Bananya: Fushigi na Nakama-tachi Ep 1
Not at all what I expected, as it’s basic story is quite different from the first series… Still, who can’t help but be charmed by the Bananya kittens? Certainly not me!
Cautious Hero: The Hero Is Overpowered but Overly Cautious /
Kono Yuusha ga Ore Tueee Kuse ni Shinchou Sugiru Ep 1
Ristarte is far and away the star of the show… Telling the story from the point of view of the supervising goddess was an inspired choice. Toyosaki Aki is doing a superlative job of performing the various voices, noises, and reactions demanded of her character. (I rarely mention VA’s, and that’s something I need to rectify.) In the same vein, the animation staff is doing a bang up job of providing the visuals.
Notice how I haven’t mentioned the titular hero? There’s a reason for that. He’s tedious, drab, and BORING. Practically the definition of a one-trick-pony. He doesn’t deserve much more than a brief dismissal…
And that’s a Problem with a capital P. Even the funniest comedian can’t make a routine work unless the straight man ups his game and gives the funny girl something to work with.
Status: Even though it’s standing on the edge of the drop zone, I haven’t kicked it over the side – yet.
Kemono Michi: Rise Up / Hataage! Kemono Michi Ep 1
Ok, I have to admit I chuckled through the whole episode… For the most part, it was right on it’s game and had great comedic timing. But, like Cautious Hero, so far it’s a one-trick-pony. Kemono Michi is by the same author as Konsuba, and he got away with one-trick-ponies because he had a whole cast of ponies to mix and match each episode. Unless Kemono follows the same route (and soon!), it’ll quickly become stale.
Status: Tentative keeper. But it had better move pretty quickly beyond it’s current rut.
Oresuki has premiered, but I haven’t had a chance to check it out yet. Other than that, I’m caught up with everything that’s premiered through Thursday PST (GMT -8). Feel free to comment on anything I haven’t mentioned. I depend on y’all to help me find the diamonds I miss.
So, feel free to drop me a comment and let’s chat!
6 thoughts on “Fall 2019 – First Impressions Part I”
After School Dice Club: Pretty much what you say. One thing: I’m Austrian, and I did recognise some of those German board games. They really did their homework on that.
Bookworm: I wasn’t bored at all. The animation is cheap with lots of stills, but I find I prefer that to awkward CGI crowds (who’s surprised?). I’m hoping the main character’s self-centredness is actually a plot element. The priest in the opening segment said something about her making picture books for the children, which suggests she’ll learn to interact with others. Also, the scene where she begs to hold the book and is (plausibly) denied gives me hope that the show won’t indulge her. I thought it was a reincarnation show, but it seems that Myne died from a fever and the Japanese transfer student moved in the now vacant body. That’s a tad grimmer than I expected. I’m totally in, here. So far it looks like a cute and charming show that doesn’t actually pretty things up too much in the background.
Bananya: Ah, no, I don’t like the changes. I didn’t need a kitty-themed planet. It’s also far more frantic, louder voice acting, the kitty volcano, etc.; I liked the restraint of the original better. It’s, for me, a definite step down. That said, the bananyas are as cute as ever and that might just carry me through the show. (If you ever introduce Yuuki Kaji to anyone, put a picture of Eren Jaeger next to Bananya – the contrast is too good to pass up).
Cautious Hero: Rista reaction faces are gold, everything else is avarage. I had lots of fun with this one, but already tuned out twice. I think I might like the hero a bit more than you, but I agree with the general drive of what you say.
Kemono Michi: Loved it. (There are digs at wrestling storylines with the main character – who’s basically portayed as someone who takes them so seriously that he’s lost the ability to distninguish between in-ring and the real world. It’s hilarious that way.) The opening suggests a huge cast; I’m optimistic.
I’ve watched nothing else particularly recommendable. The chuunibyou reverse harem is fun, but the boys are annoying me every bit as much as the main character – it’s part of the concept and thus acceptable for now, but if they don’t tone it down I might drop the show from fatigue. The closest I come to a recommendation is Null Peta about a girl who makes herself a big sister in a vat, but her big sister turns out not quite what she expected. It’s weird, but not weird enough. No stand-out. It’s pretty decent and fun, but it’s also, well, just there. Too early to tell.
I’m curious to hear how you feel about Oresuki, because I certainly can’t tell how I feel about it.
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That part, the question of what happened to the original Myne, squicked out quite a few people… I can certainly see where they’re coming from. As you said, that’s pretty grim for how these shows usually go.
Re:Kemono Michi I should have figured you’d pick up on those elements.
I ended up watching Outburst Dreamers, but I’ll talk about that and Oresuki in the next installment…
Yeah I got nothing. Since the dice club show ended up with Funi I probably won’t bother chasing it down, and the rest of these weren’t on my radar. Instead I’m going back through my DVD collection right now and hitting some of the discs I either haven’t rewatched in 5+ years or haven’t watched at all since I bought them. I finished up a Noir rewatch a few days ago, and now I’m on to Persona 4.
We did have a fun Halloween theme at anime club on Tuesday, though. I showed the kids Li’l Spider Girl and a few episodes of Yamishibai, and I also brought in some small pumpkins and a bunch of craft supplies and gave them the pumpkins to decorate. Anime-themed, of course. It was fun to see what they came up with, like they made a Kaneki pumpkin (Tokyo Ghoul) and a Monokuma pumpkin (Danganronpa) among others, as well as some original designs.
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Li’l Spider Girl? Is that Wasurenagumo? I think I heard that name with respect to that show once. Excellent one shot, and perfect for halloween. A Monokuma pmpkin sounds awesome.
Yes, that’s the one! And fortunately it’s uploaded on YouTube, so I didn’t have to resort to anything sketchy to show it.
Monokuma was definitely a great idea, and it turned out really well. His artist chose one of the wider pumpkins, so the overall face shape was pretty spot-on too. I probably should have taken a picture of it before she took it home.
Things do start looking up with a couple of shows in the next installment, so there’s hope yet! (And of course, Chihayafuru is coming.)
Sounds like you have a lot of fun with your anime club!