First Impressions Roundup: Winter 2019

How is everyone enjoying the Winter 2019 anime season so far? If you want a quick index of all the first impressions posts we’ve written so far and can’t see the index on the sidebar to the right, here you go:

Endro~!

KAGUYA-SAMA: LOVE IS WAR

Lord El-Melloi II’s Case Files {Rail Zeppelin} Grace note

The Price of Smiles

The Promised Neverland (for manga readers)

The Promised Neverland (non-spoiler)

Quintessential Quintuplets

The Rising of the Shield Hero (stardf29)

The Rising of the Shield Hero (negativeprimes)

In addition, I have watched a number of other shows this season that I did not end up writing full impressions for, for one reason or another. Here, I’ll go into some quick thoughts on those shows, plus my thoughts on one particular show’s second episode…

BanG Dream! Season 2: Some sequels require familiarization with the first season. The Bandori anime’s “season 2” doesn’t require that… and instead requires familiarization with the entire franchise, primarily from its mobile game. Much of it is fanservice through its five bands’ musical performance so far, though there’s a nice story moment at the end of episode 2 (causing some controversy in the Bandori community) that I might write a post on…

WATATEN: An Angel Flew Down To Me: This cute Doga Kobo comedy is unfortunately marred by the main character being overly interested in an elementary school girl and being fairly creepy about it. (Yes, said main character is female, and no, that does not make it okay.) It’s at least more tolerable than last season’s UzaMaid, not going quite as far as that show did, but it’s definitely not one I would recommend for those sensitive to that sort of content.

My Roommate is a CatOkay, this one is good and one I would recommend. It’s a simple slice-of-life about a shut-in author who unwittingly ends up adopting a cat, and how he adapts to life with a pet. That would be nice enough as it is, but then each episode flips to the cat’s perspective, at which point it becomes an amusing comedy as the cat is quite the sassy kitty. This is definitely one of the shows I’ll be looking forward to most this season.

(TWWK): Stardf29 said is just right—the first half of episode one was pleasant enough, with a character that I found compelling, but when the episode basically flipped in the second half, coming from the point of view of the cat (who might just be the best character of the season!), I became totally hooked. A simple but fun idea, and one being employed effectively.

Domestic GirlfriendHoo boy, I can just see the incoming train wreck. This actually could be an interesting look at how “casual” sex can end up not so casual, something I think could make for interesting content. Though, I feel like what’s more likely is that this show just ends up a big mess of salacious melodrama. Note that the actual depictions of sex are very restrained, though it’s still definitely only for mature viewers, and even then it’s hard to say if this show will offer anything other than the perverse entertainment of watching a train wreck.

Bermuda Triangle: Colorful Pastrale: This spinoff of the Cardfight: Vanguard kids show is rather low-key, with relatively low production values, characters that aren’t particularly memorable, and very little in the way of plot. That said, if you want a wholesome show featuring cute mermaids, here you go. The mermaids’ world is actually reasonably interesting, with some nice-looking locales and various details of underwater life like “storms” of water currents. There seems to be a burgeoning storyline about becoming idols, too, for what that’s worth.

Magical Girl Spec-Ops Asuka (TWWK): There’s pedigree in this one, and it’s adapted from a fairly well-regarded manga, which is why the opening episode disappointed me. It feels like one of those shows that is trying to sell the audience on being something special, when it really isn’t, like “Hey, look! Our magical girls are a little older and war-torn, and we have violence! And unique-looking bad guys!” But what’s really happening is that older magical series are taken as base, and some of the material is recycled and other material is modified, all with uneven animation. I wouldn’t be surprised if the series gets markedly better, but all of the above has certainly discouraged me from continuing.

The Rising of the Shield Hero, ep. 2: And here we go, from one controversial landmine to another as Naofumi buys a slave (and a child slave, at that!) and orders her around to train her up so she can fight in Naofumi’s place. I suppose it helps that Naofumi is presented as not particularly caring about morals, focusing more on survival through whatever means possible, though then he’s also shown as being caring for his slave Raphtalia and she starts getting attached to him because of that… I’m getting the feeling that between this show, Wataten, and Domestic Girlfriend, I’m going to be spending a lot of time this season in a state of vague discomfort. Well, Raphtalia is adorable either way and she alone might just keep me watching this show.

So what are you watching this season? Let us know in the comments!

stardf29

Frank is known as "stardf29" on various parts of the Internet; it stands for "Star Defender 29", which is something he came up with during his chuunibyou years. Now, when he's not doing things for the Navy or indefinitely delaying his writing projects, he likes engaging in anime, especially of the slice-of-life sort.

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