Merry Christmas everybody!
The Fall season of anime is coming to a close. We had some returning shows, some new faces, and a few unexpected surprises. On top of that, we even got a massive and annoying controversy.
Can we go a month without one of those? Please? That’d be nice.
Now, before we get into my top picks, let’s start off with some honorable mentions. These are the shows that I didn’t watch, but had high success in the season. I won’t be telling you whether or not they’re worth your time, as again: I haven’t seen them. But their popularity cannot be denied.
First up, we have many people’s top pick for the season: Zombieland Saga.
Zombieland Saga is an idol show about girls who are also zombies. And that is the extent of my knowledge on this show in terms of story. It has some high quality animation, an opening on par with JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure in terms of style and insanity, and biggest of all: it’s an idol show that people don’t hate!
This is definitely one on my ‘Watch Later’ list. It seems cute and charming, and I’m sure I’d get some enjoyment out of it. But I had other things to watch that peaked my interest further.
Next up on our honorable mentions, we have our favorite controversy: Goblin Slayer.
Love it or hate it, you can’t deny that this show has had quite a bit of success. It has plenty of things going for it. It’s dark tone has been a nice change of pace for some people, and it’s gruesome action can be pretty fun to watch. Still, like I said in my earlier post on this show (link to that here) this show wasn’t for me.
And to wrap it up, we have the only show that I’ve seen more than a few clips of: SSSS Gridman.
This show should have everything for me. It’s a Studio Trigger show, the writing is corny as hell in all the best ways, the character designs are pretty good (though that poor girl could use a skirt longer than not at all) and the action is fun. This is a love-letter to the Sentai genre, such as Japanese Spider-Man (look it up) and Kamen Rider. Unfortunately, it didn’t grasp my interest long enough to keep me on board for the whole run.
Now, with the honorable mentions out of the way, let’s talk about my two picks (yes, only two, get off my back). Starting with what I consider the most fun show this season: That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime.
God damn it, I thought I was finally done with Isekai shows. But every time I do, a brand new show of actual charm and quality drops in and sucks me in once again. No matter how many times I try to get out, they pull me right back in!
This show is charming as hell! The art and animation is among the highest this season in terms of quality, the writing is surprisingly good, the action is fun, everything about this show is just fun! It’s very cliche, yes, but it executes on all of them very well.
The main character, Rimuru Tempest, is actually a very interesting character as well. He’s extremely powerful, yes, but it’s never unjustified or infuriating. He earned that strength by slaying monsters in a cave for god knows how long and by making friends with Veldora the Tsundere Dragon (which is the best thing that has ever happened in the history of anime, just so you know). Even with his supreme power, he clearly doesn’t enjoy fighting, and he works as hard as he can to avoid conflict. On top of that, he spends considerable time in the new world before he makes up his mind on a goal: achieving world peace. Hefty, yes, but considering all that he’s done already? Not impossible.
The setting itself is also very interesting. Being reincarnated into the world is apparently a common thing, which goes a long way to make our main character feel more grounded and less like a Gary Stu. The different depictions of classic fantasy creatures is fun and fascinating, and the Power of Names system is also super unique and interesting.
All in all, I love this show. It’s charming, it’s fun, and it’s super well executed. If you want a fun, light-hearted fantasy adventure, this is one you should check out. That being said, it’s still not my top show of the season.
That honor goes to Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai.
This show had everything stacked against it in terms of first impressions. With that title and that poster, the image of what this show was became twisted in a lot of people’s minds. Including my own, as I made plenty of jokes about this show just being a wannabe hentai. But I don’t take those jokes back.
Instead, I redirect them at a more deserving target: Conception. But I’m done talking about that garbage, so let’s move on.
This show is absolutely stellar. It has some of the most amazing art and animation of the season, an interesting premise, and some of the best character interactions and dialogue I have ever seen in a show. It’s truly remarkable from top to bottom.
Let’s start with the premise. In this series, a mysterious phenomenon called ‘Puberty Syndrome’ plagues the lives of certain teenagers as physical manifestations of different adolescent issues. Be they the sudden appearance of full body injuries after being bullied online, getting stuck in a Groundhog Day scenario, or slowly fading from everyone’s perception, this issue is not scientifically proven, but undeniably real. At least for protagonist Sakuta.
On the subject of whom, Sakuta and Mai are two of the greatest protagonists in any story I’ve ever seen. Their chemistry is absolutely golden, featuring some of the greatest banter in any piece of media I’ve ever seen and a truly awkward but heartfelt romance. Every scene these two share together is absolutely wonderful, and they make this show one thousand percent better.
And that’s not even mentioning the rest of the cast. Every character in this show is lovable, unique and relatable. Plus, it never feels like a harem, as Sakuta makes it explicitly clear that he only has feelings for Mai. From Kaede to Futaba, every character and their story gets you sucked in and invested right up to the end.
If you haven’t seen this show yet, I strongly recommend you go and fix that. It’s an amazing pick that deserves the top spot of the fall season. Even after it ends, I will be dreaming of bunny girl senpai for a long time to come.
That may be the worst closing line I’ve ever written.