We’re over a week into the new year. The air is brisk, snow is falling (then immediately melting, then freezing over night and making my walk to work a death trap, but that’s besides the point) and everyone is bundled up for some rough weather. What better time is there to stay inside and watch the new season of anime?
There is no shortage of shows to talk about for this season. We’ve got some returning shows, a few newcomers and a few continuing from the last season! But which ones should be on your watch list?
Let’s have a look, shall we?
Boogiepop & Others
This show had everything going for it, at least for me. It’s a Madhouse production, the art and animation is stellar, the premise seems interesting, it’s apparently a remake of a classic series that everyone loves, and that opening features some unique visuals and a Myth & Roid song (which, fun fact, is my favorite Japanese band). I talked with a coworker about it during yesterday’s shift, and he seemed to enjoy it. I was super excited to check this one out, especially since I’ve never seen/read the original.
So allow me to recreate my first few exclamations while watching this show.
- Man, that opening was fucking rad! Alright, ya got me, let’s see what you’ve got!
- Okay, those pauses between dialogue and random music cut outs are a bit awkward, but that seemed to just be the opening of the episode so I guess I can let it go.
- WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK IS HAPPENING WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE PLEASE STOP INTRODUCING CHARACTERS I DON’T KNOW A DAMN THING ABOUT ANY OF THE ONES WE ALREADY HAVE!
- WHAT THE FUCK ARE THESE RANDOM GRUESOME SHOTS BETWEEN SCENES?! THAT’S NOT A TRANSITION, THAT SHOULD BE A SCENE IN IT OF ITSELF!! WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON?!
- WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU MEAN YOU ALREADY BEAT THE DEMON?! DID YOU DO IT OFF SCREEN?! HOW COME WE DIDN’T GET TO SEE IT, THAT SOUNDS RAD AS HELL!!
- NO YOU FUCKERS AREN’T FRIENDS YOU’VE SPOKEN TWICE BEFORE SAYING GOODBYE AND ALL YOU TALKED ABOUT WAS HOW A MONSTER WAS GOING TO KILL EVERYONE DON’T ACT SAD YOU SHOULDN’T GIVE A SHIT AND NEITHER DO I!!
- WHY THE FUCK IS THAT ONE CHICK A NINJA?! WHY IS THAT WHITE HAIRED DUDE A MANTICORE?! WHY IS THERE A MANTICORE?! I THOUGHT THE CONFLICT WAS RESOLVED! WAS IT NOT?! WAS BOOGIEPOP LYING?! WHEN DOES THIS TAKE PLACE?! WHAT IS HAPPENING?!
- I have a headache. I’m done.
This show is a cluster fuck. They introduce new characters practically every scene without giving them any development beyond ‘She’s dating a first year’ or ‘She likes reading books about murder’, so it becomes impossible to keep track of who is who, what they’re doing and why I should care.
On top of that, scenes just sort of end without any proper resolution. Do you want to know what happened to the paranoid girl after a fucking ninja chick pinned her to the ground? Or how about how her friend who was walking her home reacted to this? Well too fucking bad, let’s cut away to a fucking Manticore eating someone while some dude we’ve never met before watches super calmly like it’s nothing despite clearly not being a monster.
It feels like the story is trying to sow seeds of mystery. But it does so extremely poorly, leaving the audience asking “Well, what happened next? You cut it off early!” rather than “Why did that happen? Who is that? Is that person good or bad?” or any other question that an interesting mystery should make you ask. It just leaves you with a headache and makes you wonder if even the author knows what the hell is going on.
I’m willing to bet they don’t.
It may get better over time, but I won’t be there to find out. The first two episodes alone gave me a headache, and I legitimately can’t remember what happened, who was who and why I should care. And in case you’re curious, I just watched those before getting to writing this post.
The Rising of the Shield Hero
Oh boy, another Isekai show! Cause we haven’t seen enough of those already! But damn it, after we got That Time I Was Reincarnated as a Slime, I have to check out every Isekai on the off chance that they’re amazing! All I can do is pray to god that they aren’t painfully by the numbers!
And hey! This one has four Isekai protagonists rather than the one! And three of them are assholes!
I’m not sure how I feel about this show yet. On one hand, I do like the fact that the main protagonist isn’t unique, as there are three others beside him, and that he is the only one that people don’t immediately love and respect for no reason. It’s clear that, as the Shield Hero, he has to earn his place in the world, unlike other Isekai protagonists who have it handed to them on a silver platter.
On the other, the opening minutes of this show are downright painful to watch. They’re filled to the brim with long plot dumps and exposition that make it unbearable to witness. The plot is also super predictable, and you can tell whose going to do what the moment they do something, sometimes the moment they even show up.
Though to be fair, once you get past the exposition and cliche opening, things do pick up a bit. The show also seems reasonably self aware, poking fun at the different tropes and cliches in a way similar to Konosuba, though that show definitely has more charm and comedy.
All in all, this is a hard one to judge. Time will definitely make or break this series. At the moment, it’s not the worst nor the best Isekai I’ve ever seen. Maybe it will get better, or maybe it’ll descend into trash. Only time will tell. But to give it credit: it has given me enough to stick with it until we find out.
Mob Psycho 100 Season 2
Woohoo! More Mob Psycho! Let’s trip balls and root for this middle school boy to achieve his dreams!
I’ve already reviewed the first episode of this one (link to that right here plug plug), so I won’t go on too long about this show. It’s easily the best show this season, featuring the most unique art and animation, fantastic and memorable characters, perfect pacing and directing and spectacular humor. The first episode alone has one of the most powerful and emotional moments in the series so far!
It’s absolutely fantastic! If this one isn’t on your watch list, you are missing out.
Those were the three shows that grasped my interest the most this season. But there are plenty of shows that I haven’t seen yet, either because I simply have no interest in it or because I haven’t found the time yet. I may write more on these later in the season, but that’s yet to be seen. Consider this a lightning round. Here we go!
Kakegurui Season 2
Netflix is bringing back one of it’s anime originals for another season. I haven’t seen it, I’ve heard middling things across the board in regards to the first season, and I have no interest in seeing it. Not to say it’s bad, it’s just not my thing.
I get that it’s anime, but I’m pretty sure you’d die instantly if 48 Demons each took one of your organs and body parts. Especially if you’re a fucking infant child. But hey! Now we have a bad ass primitive tech cyborg samurai out for revenge! Sounds like it could be a cool vehicle for action, if it’s not just focused on being edgy and dark.
Please god don’t let it be edgy and dark.
WATATEN: an Angel Flew Down to Me
A college student otaku girl falls in love with a fifth grader girl. Comedy ensues! It already has two stars on Crunchyroll after one episode, and I can tell from the premise alone that I want no part of it. I don’t want to part of pedophilia in any way shape or form.
Girly Air Force
Pretty/Sexy girls can fly colorful plains and fight aliens too! Aliens attack, and three female elite pilots must save the day! It doesn’t seem bad, but I mainly want to watch it so I can trigger a friend by talking about the bright colorful planes. Aside from that, I doesn’t grasp my interest at all.
There are many shows this season, and I know that I missed a lot of them. Some show serious promise while others are really going to have to pull it together later. I’m sure there’s going to be a lot to talk about, and hey! If we’re lucky, most of it will be good! Because as much as I love it…
I really don’t want Mob Psycho 100 to be the only show on my recommended list at the end of the season.