The Summer 2018 anime season is now well underway, so here is a post wrapping up this season’s “first impressions.” In case you’re late in starting the anime season, here are all the full first impressions we have written this season, listed in alphabetical order:
- Angels of Death
- Chio’s School Road
- Free! – Dive to the Future
- Grand Blue Dreaming
- Harukana Receive
- Hi Score Girl
- Holmes of Kyoto
- The Master of Ragnarok & Blesser of Einherjar
- Revue Starlight
- Working Buddies! 2!
In addition to the above shows, the team has also watched various other shows which caught our interest but we may not have gotten around to writing a first impressions post for. As such, to finish things off this season, we will present a First Impressions Digest for those other shows.
I’m not watching a lot this season, mostly HANEBADO! and Working Buddies! 2! (see my first impressions above). I’m still, as always, hyped to continue watching Ninja Girl and Samurai Master (Nobunaga no Shinobi). It’s a lot of fun as it delves into a period of Japanese history that I know very little about. Also, it’s a short – and I love shorts. They’re comfy to wear. Honestly, one of the shows I was most hyped for this season, High Score Girl, isn’t getting a proper legal release during this season in the west. It’s formal, US premiere will be two episodes at Otakon. So, guess I’ll be waiting and see if anything else strikes my fancy this season. Hopefully all of you (and my fellow writers) have some good suggestions for me.
First of all, if you haven’t already, go watch the first season of Encouragement of Climb. It’s only 12 3-minute episodes, so it won’t take long, but within that is a very nice tale of friendship and mountain climbing. I bring this up because Season 3 of the show started this summer, and it is every bit as wonderful already as before. Unfortunately, Season 2 isn’t available on Crunchyroll at the moment (I should note that starting in season 2, the episodes become 12-minute episodes, and with 24 such episodes in season 2 it’s effectively a full-length show at this point), but if you liked the first season and find some way to watch the second, Season 3 looks to provide even more mountain-climbing goodness.
Cells at Work! is my jam. I’ve always been interested in the workings of the human body, and shows like The Magic School Bus were cornerstones of my childhood, and now we have human biology and edutainment show mixed with anime goodness and this show is pretty much perfect for me. It’s especially fun to see how various parts/functions of the human body get represented, such as how the platelets are all little kids, which is both meaningful (actual platelets are much smaller than red/white blood cells) and absolutely freaking adorable. Also, Red Blood Cell x White Blood Cell may be my favorite ship this season…
As the resident idol girl guru I suppose I’m contractually obliged to watch and comment on Music Girls… uh, it’s super-cute. 10/10 character designs. Girls seem to be fun but the first episode doesn’t do much to notate their quirks. Plot isn’t much but the “twist” at the end (which I saw coming because Hanako isn’t the first idol with that particular “problem”) does give potential for some interesting material. It’d be nice to see more of the producer and Hanako’s parents as well as how they seem to know each other. But really I’m just here for the cute girls, which is nothing unusual for me.
Speaking of idols, though, there’s also the new season of The iDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls Theater! Will they spring another surprise voice on us this time? Who knows…
Whereas the spring season proffered a few very top-notch series (amidst the clamor of the lesser-quality riffraff that are an essential part of the anime ecosystem), the summer promises a fair number of decent-but-not-amazing shows. So I’ve tasted quite a few dishes at the feast set before us, and have not yet settled upon those which I shall dine on all the way until the dessert course. Though I have eliminated the occasional concoction that is not to my liking. (All links are to Crunchyroll.) To wit:
Calamity of a Zombie Girl: (Actually a film, not a series.) Do you like lots and lots of crushed and dismembered people with your naked zombie girl fantasies? Then this is the movie for you! Otherwise, not so much.
Mr. Tonegawa Middle Management Blues: Season 3! Would it have hurt them to put “Season 3” on this, so as not to totally confuse me?? Anyway, morbid corporate humor is good for a chuckle. Not sure if I’ll stick with it.
How not to Summon a Demon Lord: Alternate title, “How to have an ecchi isekai hero without black hair!”
Angels of Death: Alternate title, “Twitch streamer play horror visual novel!” Alternate alternate title, “Amnesiac protagonist based on a video game #1!”
Working Buddies! 2!: Everything that Anime-Gataris aspired to be and fell short of! Well, ok, not quite; but this first episode was pretty darn meta! Child-friendly yet profound, absurdist humor at its finest. And they kept the existential koala bear! I’m so happy!
The Journey Home: Delightful, family-friendly story about three bugs trying to make it home. It’s A Bug’s Life meets Incredible Journey… IN SPACE!!!
The Master of Ragnarok & Blesser of Einherjar: Alternate title, “We have the longest anime title of the season, and no one will remember it!” Alternate alternate title, “In the same world with my smartphone!” Ok, this one I think I will stick with, as it promises an intriguing twist on the isekai genre. Be forewarned about the lewd jokes.
Cells at Work!: Possibly the most enjoyable show of the season. Certainly the most educational!
Asobi Asobase – workshop of fun: High school girl situational comedy at its finest and most horrifying. 🙂
ISLAND: Alternate title, “Amnesiac protagonist based on a video game #2!” Marketing slogan, “This time with more lolis!”
Planet With: Who needs acid? I’m definitely following this mind-trip!
Holmes of Kyoto: Alternate title, um, “Holmes of Kyoto”. I mean, that’s pretty much exactly what it is. Will continue to give this one a shot.
Phantom in the Twilight: A story about a vampire guy, a human girl, a werewolf third wheel, and it has “twilight” in the name. Need I say more? Ok, actually, this one might be pretty good. Will give it a try.
Hmm, I guess I’ve made more decisions than I realized! Notice the absolute dearth of sports anime on my list: No Hanebado, Harukana Receive, etc. By the time I was into the Hanebado opening, I had lost all interest in it. Just not a sports anime guy.
How about you? What are your thoughts on this new anime season! Sound off with what you’re watching and your hopes for the season in the comments.