Summer 2020 Anime First Impressions

The summer 2020 anime season is here! By all accounts, it’s a weird one—we have several series series that already re-started, and so already had a first impressions post (we’ll add these below anyway in case they’re new to you), and others with a delayed start. And it’s summer, which means there won’t be as many productions. But even if the pickings are slim, we’re on top of the new shows for you! Check out our thoughts on the new and return-from-delay shows and links to longer first impressions below. We’d love to hear your feedback, too, so let us know what you’re thinking in the comment section.

Appare-Ranman!Bungo and AlchemistBy the Grace of the GodsDECA-DENCEDiary of Our Days at the BreakwaterDigimon Adventure:Extra Olympia KyklosGibiate The God of High School Japan Sinks: 2020 Lapis Re:LiGHTs The Millionaire Detective – Balance: UNLIMITEDRent-a-Girlfriend

 

Appare-Ranman!

First Impression: Jeskai Angel

Appare-Ranman! appears to be a story that knows it’s ridiculous and makes the most of it. There was some pretty amusing dialogue, the historical setting was fun, and I’m quite curious how the show will portray past America. Also, the Engrish Force is strong with this one. In response to the famous question “Are you not entertained?” from Gladiator, I can happily say that yes, this episode indeed entertained me.” Read more

Samuru

Appare-Ranman Impression: When I first saw that this show was about a team of racers with different styles of cars, that’s all I needed to be convinced. The characters reminded me of this old cartoon called Wacky Races, but in Japanese and better animation! Appare is an interesting character, full of himself because of how smart he is compared to those around him, but I can imagine that changing once he is confronted with others who are equally or more intellectual. At first I was a little confused with the transition to seeing how Appare got to the race, but it was handled well and left me wanting to see what the next episode brings. Hitch up your loincloth, because this race is still running and I will be back to watch more of it!

Streaming on Funimation.


Bungo and Alchemist -Gears of Judgement-

First Impression: Samuru

“This anime was going in different directions at the same time, with not a lot of time to explain what is going on. The more I watched, the more confused I was. For example, at the end, there’s a talking cat and it’s not explained why. I would have to watch more of the show to fully understand what is going on.” Read more

Streaming on Funimation.


By the Grace of the Gods

First Impression: stardf29

“The story itself is pretty simple and laid-back like the light novel; those looking for some kind of thrilling adventure should probably look elsewhere. But if you’re in the mood for a very chill isekai about a guy learning to enjoy life, this one might be worth watching when it officially airs.” Read more

Jeskai Angel

Warm and sweet, much like the light novels that are its source material. This episode was a fine, albeit relatively unremarkable, starting point for this adaptation. This is a cute-boy-solving-problems-with-his-cute-pet-slimes story, and it’s good. One aspect of the LNs I’ve enjoyed, and which shows up in this episode, is the surprising amount of emphasis on the protagonist’s relationships with adults, rather than just other than kids his own age.

Streaming on Funimation.


DECA-DENCE

First Impression: Twwk

“I’ve been looking forward this series more than any original one this summer season, and the premiere, streamed through Funimation Con, was one of those initial episodes that makes you excited about anime again.” Read more

First Impression: Jeskai Angel

“I will almost certainly watch at least one more episode of Deca-Dence, just to see where it seems to be going. It might be good, it might not. It’s probably worth trying if it piques your curiosity.” Read more

Streaming on Funimation.


Diary of Our Days at the Breakwater

First Impression: Jeskai Angel

” The show failed to convince me that Hina had even the least bit of interest in fishing or that she liked the other girls in the club. Also, there’s not much cuteness to the other girls of the Breakwater Club, which means this isn’t a CGDCT story and can’t rely on cuteness to gloss over elements that might otherwise be grating.” Read more

stardf29

I was initially looking forward to this show, but it ended up like trying to catch a fish and getting an egg instead. “Cute-girls-doing-fishing-things” should have been a great concept, but the way the main character gets pressured into joining the club rubbed me the wrong way, and it never really felt like her “awakening” to fishing was genuine. Also, while the show idea sounds like it would have a nice iyashikei feel like Non Non Biyori or Laid-Back Camp, it just doesn’t pull that feel off for me. Still, it’s not all bad; at the very least, the actual fishing is somewhat entertaining and educational. If I had to grade this show… it’s at least a C+.

Streaming on Funimation.

Digimon Adventure:

First Impression: Twwk

“I hope that the rest of the Digi-Destined get their due, though even if they don’t, I remain hopeful for good things from the series based on the choices already made. I mentioned the animation—the direction is strong, as there seems to be a real lean toward Mamoru Hosoda’s vision as expressed in the first two parts of the Digimon Movie (later more fully realized in Summer Wars). Episode two even emulates the title of Children’s War Game, (minus “Children’s”). I’m down with anything that’s inspired by Hosoda, so you bet I’m aboard for this. I also like the design of this episode’s boss, a digimon out of a computer age Little Shop of Horrors (Feed me, Taichi!). The love for the franchise is expressed deeply through the care taken and creativity of the staff. This adventure looks to be a win.” Read more

Streaming on Crunchyroll.


Extra Olympia Kyklos

First Impression: Gaheret

“Everything is, well, quite absurd, from the music actually saying “time travel” again and again during the time travel to the interaction between flat drawings of Japanese characters and the clay-like Greek characters, but it was sort of clever and had nice touches, and in particular I found the ending song hilarious.” Read more

Streaming on Crunchyroll.


Gibiate

First Impression: Twwk

Gibiate is incredibly out of place in today’s anime landscape, a show with themes, characters, and writing that would have blended right in 20 years ago, but like its samurai lead, just doesn’t fit in during the current day, this despite some comparisons that could be made to the current pandemic and an idea that’s pretty cool (Can’t decide whether to make a Tokugawa period historical anime or a monster-virus sci-fi series? Why not do both?).” Read more

Streaming on Crunchyroll.


The God of High School

First Impression: Samuru

“Go, this anime is pretty crazy! I found it to be a little bit all over the place. It’s produced by Crunchyroll, and it tries to do a lot in its first episode. I would have liked more character development, and I never say this but I would liked it to go slower. They could have pulled three episodes out of this one episode, easily.” Read more

Streaming on Crunchyroll.


Japan Sinks: 2020

First Impression: Twwk

Comparisons will be made to Tokyo Magnitude 8.0, and while emotionally and topically the two compare, Japan Sinks: 2020 is on a whole other level in the story it’s telling and the way it’s executed. A better comparison would be to Saving Private Ryan or United 93, as this series is guttural and experiential.” Read more

Streaming on Netflix.


Lapis Re:LiGHTs

First Impression: stardf29

One potential concern is that the opening shows a lot more girls than just the core cast, which can be hard to manage, though they do seem to be grouped into their own cast herds to help on that end. Add on some cute character designs, solid animation, and pretty artwork and this could be the fantasy idol anime I had been looking for.” Read more

Jeskai Angel

I’m on board. First, this one of the prettier shows airing this  season, so that’s a plus. Second, the combination of Cute Girls Doing Cute Things and fantasy works for me. Third, it’s not new, but the music-magic connection is cool, and there are some cool hints floating around regarding the plot. Finally, the main cast, while not particularly unique as people yet, form a fun and likable core.

Streaming on Funimation.


The Millionaire Detective – Balance: UNLIMITED

First Impression: Jeskai Angel

Balance: UNLIMITED has potential…if the story addresses how Daisuke gets away with solving every problem by throwing money at it while avoiding charges for bribery, assault, reckless driving, etc. Surely not every civil official in Tokyo is on his payroll, right?” Read more

Streaming on Funimation.


Rent-a-Girlfriend

First Impression: Cajun Samurai

“Honestly, I tend to give shows about 5 episodes or so before deciding if it is worth my time or not, but in this case, I don’t think I’ll need that many. I don’t think there’s enough meat on this show’s bone for me to keep chewing at it. It’s a shame too, as it’s been a minute since I saw a really good harem series, and I had hoped that this one would give me something to sink my teeth into.” Read more

Streaming on Crunchyroll.

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