The first week (or so) is in the can! Time to run ’em down… Hit the jump see what I think are the hits and misses so far.
MIX: Meisei Story Season 2
MIX is certainly back… but it’s hard to have much in the way of a first impression. (Not that I needed one!) This wasn’t a normal episode so much as an extended re-introduction to the cast. Even so, they really only managed to hit the high spots. I’d forgotten just how big the cast was.
alice gear aegis Expansion
Ten minutes in, I was bored to tears and getting a headache… The dryer alarm went off, so I got up to swap laundry and just couldn’t bring myself to go back to the show.
So I didn’t.
Also, the bit they ripped off from Konasuba only works when you know the characters and have put in the work to be funny. Neither prerequisite was met.
Status: Dropped halfway through the episode
My Love Story with Yamada-kun at Lv999
Yamada-kun to Lv999 no Koi wo Suru / Loving Yamada At LV999
Starts off slow… but builds, and the ending scene(s) and especially the final scene are darn well done. Not exactly a cliffhanger, but sure left me wanting to know what’s coming next.
Dunno about Yamada himself yet, but Akane is pretty charming.
And Inori Minase, who voices Akane, is absolutely killing it. There’s a reason why she’s one of my favorite VA’s.
Status: Solid keeper.
The Dangers in My Heart
Boku no Kokoro no Yabai Yatsu
That was about the slowest, clunkiest first episode I’ve seen in a while. Spent a lot of time spinning it’s wheels and going back and forth over the same ground.
I kinda feel like we learned more about Ichikawa than we did Yamada, and left the whole thing a bit of an unsteady structure.
Really, mild curiosity about the answer is the only reason I’m sticking around. Otherwise there’s just not much there. And in a season that looks to be stacked with romances and rom-com’s… Ya gotta have something.
Status: My wife has dropped out, I’m sticking around but putting the show on probation under the three episode rule.
My Clueless First Friend
$DIETY, how many times can basically repeat the same narrow ranges of gags? Too. Many. Times. Until it’s driven into the ground all the way to the core of the planet.
Status: Dropped after one episode.
My Home Hero
In order for the audience to feel sympathy for a character and their circumstances, you first have to put in the work to lay the foundations. My Home Hero tried, but the episode was just stuffed too full and there wasn’t enough room for all it tried to do. Much of it was too rote.
This is one of those rare shows where it might have been better to start in the middle and then go back to the beginning. Think Chihayafuru or the ‘prologue’ episode of Saekano.
Status: Dropped after one episode.
Skip and Loafer
Skip to Loafer
These two images sum up Mitsumi, MC-chan, in a nutshell. Self confident, driven, but… Kinda clueless. And completely guileless. I love her to pieces.
And between her, Akane (Yamada at 999), and Anna (Dangers of my Heart) we’ve already got three great new female characters – and we’re not even done with the premiers. Let alone returning characters like Suletta (Gundam Witch) and Chise (Magus’ Bride). Gonna be a tight race for Best Girl this season.
Of MC-kun, the titular Loafer (I think), we don’t know quite so much… He is on the lazy side, but he’s already changing after encountering Mitsumi.
Status: Strong keeper.
KONOSUBA -An Explosion on This Wonderful World!
Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Bakuen wo!
Ever since this series was announced, I’ve been curious… Could lightning strike in the same place, or even nearby, for a third time?
I’m still not entirely certain it can. I mean even in larval form Megumin, everyone’s favorite chuuni gremlin, is still recognizable… But the show misses its mark. The maniac energy and off center characters that drove Konasuba‘s first two season are entirely absent. It’s trying so very hard, but there’s no heart, no soul, no comedy. A series of kinda predictable set pieces does not a successful show make.
Status: On probation, giving it a few episodes to work out the kinks.
Well, this has gotten long enough that it’s probably time to send it out into the world… Especially because I’ll want more to time talk about some of the premiers to come over the weekend.
So, let’s chat about the premieres so far! Everything (except what’s listed below) that’s premiered through Wednesday the 5th is fair game.
Premieres so far that I haven’t watched by plan to: Yuri is My Job!, Dr Stone: New World, Ancient Magus Bride S2, THE IDOLM@STER CINDERELLA GIRLS U149. So, please hold off on talking about these until next week’s post!
Drop a reply and let’s chat!
4 thoughts on “Spring 2023 – First Impressions – Part I”
Mix is Mix. If anything, the premier has shown me how much I’ve forgotten. I’ll remember soon enough. Glad to have it back; I just love that laid-back atmosphere.
alice gear… yeah, no thanks.
My Love Story with Yamada-kun was quite fun, on the whole, but it centres on a part of romance I just don’t get. The ending didn’t feel like much of a cliff hanger to me, since it’s pretty clear to me that nothing much happened. She passed out, he put her to bed, and played the game. (Watch me be wrong about this.) Anything cliff-hangery comes from a romantic default-line I don’t share. If something did happen, I’m going to be disappointed, and if nothing happened as I expect, I’m going to roll my eyes at the romantic default. I do really like our main character, though. She’s easy to root for.
I’m going to take Dangers in My Heart, Clueless Friend, and Megumin in one take: I really liked all three premiers. And it’s all just… how can say it… the general feel of the show. I don’t mind repetition (except when some aspects of Taiyo from Clueless Friend can start to grate); they’re building the substratus of mood. I find those shows really comfortable, and I’m glad I have them around. Out of those shows, Dangers in My Heart actually feels somewhat relatable, too, as in… people tend to have a certain aura from afar that they lose when you get close up. And I was a pretty muddled teenager, too.
Skip to Loafer didn’t disappoint. I love the easy character dynamics in this one, too. And nothing’s overblown. Good comedic timing, too (for example the barfing scene: with the words appearing and the act – it feels like a one-two-punch). Easily anime of the season so far.
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Re: Mix Yeah, it’s good to have it back… Even more so now that I’ve seen the 2nd ep and we’re into the story.
Re: Yamada “Cliffhanger” was the closest word I could come up with… Yamada is one of the better female romance leads to come along in a while. Kinda like a mirror Marin (Dress up Darling), which is refreshing.
Skip to Loafer is probably the strongest opener I’ve seen so far. Word on the street is that both it and Yamada only get better from here.
Dangers, yeah I get that. I didn’t have the best teenage years either, but I never was really an outcast so I dunno.
This might be the season of the rom-com. Like most everyone I’m really liking Yamada-Kun and Skip to Loafer. I’m pretty picky about Rom-Coms but both of those hit the spot for me – Plus Skip to Loafer is P.A Works goodness, so I’m always on board with that!
Another one I liked was Otanari Ni Ginga (A Galaxy Next Door). I thought it was interesting but as I’ve only seen the one episode, I’m holding off judging until the usual episode three.
Megami No Cafe Terrace – another rom-com but it’s a road we’ve been down before. A hard-boiled uni student inherits a cafe and surprise surprise there are five, yes, five girls living there! We’ve that formula before not long ago but so far it lacks the dynamism of the Nakano sisters and Uesugi-san.
The Dangers in My Heart was okay, but Anna isn’t jelling for me so I’m pretty detached from it so far. Whether I keep watching remains to be seen.
Yuri is My Job! about role playing cafe workers seems okay but that’s another three episode rule show for me.
Mix – I don’t know how I missed Mix season one – I’m an anime baseball tragic but somehow, I missed Mix (I had a lot going on in 2019) and I want to watch season one before I can watch series two so…
Now I know Derek didn’t like it, but I have to say Birdie Wing is back and its straight into back into where we left off after season one. It’s over the top sense of fun puts it near the top of the list this season for me.
Konosuba is an old favourite of mine but like you guys I thought this Megumin centred season misses the mark. At its heart Konosuba was a satire on the trope ridden ridiculous premises of fantasy and isekai shows. Moving its story telling into more conventional narratives involving the characters gets away from core Konosuba business, which for me is why it’s missing the mark (same with the Crimson Demon movie I thought). That said I will keep watching because an average Konosuba is still better than 80% of fantasy/isekai shows. Speaking of isekais, there is the usual plethora of new shows and it’s the worst crop of them I’ve seen for the last few seasons. When “Another World With My Smart Phone” is being signalled as an isekai highlight this season, you know you are scraping the bottom of the isekai barrel.
Since I am a confirmed cat tragic, I will give a shout-out to “Too Cute Crisis”, it’s a comedy about cats and pets in general, it okay so far, and it has cats!
AOTS – Well Vinland Saga is continuing, and it really is head and shoulders above everything else for storytelling and depth of story. For me it continues to be AOTS.
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Man, you beat me out by just a few hours… most of those shows are in the post that just went live!
Yes – watch Mix S1 ASAP. It’s very good.
Agreed on Dangers in My Heart. There’s a lot to like, but it’s mostly a waiting game at this point.