Brief impressions of the Spring 2020 anime season so far
As before, it's time for my current views on how this season has shaken out so far, following up on my first episode reactions. This is rather more delayed than usual, but I want to write down my impressions so far before these shows end (and how they end changes my impressions of them).
Surprisingly tense but sometimes flawed:
- Gleipnir: This is one part battle show and one part psychological horror and tension; the two parts go together surprisingly well and make it the most interesting show I'm watching this season. The show has a very good command of atmosphere, which helps, but then it also has various flaws (many of them revolving around fanservice), which hurt a bit.
- Princess Connect! Re:Dive: This is a fun goofy show where the male protagonist being a potato is actually a feature. Karyl is the clear star in our ensemble cast, with Pecorine as the second best character, and I don't think it's an accident that Karyl is the one person who is getting a real character arc. With that said, Re:Dive is not where you should look if you want realistic characters and a deep story. It is nicely put together, though, with good direction, art, animation, and so on.
Sadly on the edge:
- My Next Life as a Villainess: I like the concept and there are some good aspects to it, but by now the basic premise is starting to get a little threadbare and how the show treats Catarina is increasingly grating. If something different doesn't start happening soon, I may get bored with this and drop it.
I didn't continue Kakushigoto and I have tacitly suspended or dropped Listeners because I still haven't gotten the energy together to watch more of it. Things I've heard about Listeners writing have not been encouraging in that regard, and I'm not sure its overall apparent genre of 'teenagers being teenagers in a SF setup' is one that I'm very interested in any more.
Looking back at the Winter 2020 anime season
It's rather past time for my traditional look back at what I watched in the Winter 2020 anime season (after abandoning the fall 2019 season), to follow up on my earlier impressions. As seems to be typical these days, this wound up being a season where I didn't watch very many shows.
- Magia Record: This sustained its pace and impact pretty much
all through, although it didn't resolve anything; this is just
the first half of a split cour show that resumes at some point
(predictions of exactly when seem premature at the moment). It
was all sorts of good in its own right without trying to be a
re-telling of the story of Madoka Magica.
- BOFURI: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, so I’ll Max Out My Defense:
This stayed enjoyable in a fun, goofy way all through the show,
although some of the hijinks may have gotten repetitive after a
while. The show may be unrealistic, but it's definitely fun (and
sometimes the game developers deserved what Maple did to their game). In
fact, I'll repeat my Twitter summary of the show:
BOFURI as a whole was a fun romp with some nice depths of characterization, a solid grasp of its overall comedic tone, and good handling of action. The cunning plans were good ones and there were surprises (and yes, Sally is the ruthless planner behind the throne).
I probably wouldn't mind watching more BOFURI, but I don't feel there's any need for more of the show and it might get a little repetitive. The further adventures of Maple, Sally, and so on are probably best left to our imagination (or the other media you can get it in).
(Of course, reading the Wikipedia entry just told me that there's a second season coming, so someday I'll get to swallow these words.)
- In/Spectre: I would say that this show had too much of people talking
to each other, but that's not quite it; its fatal flaw was that there
was no conflict in those conversations. I got
- Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken: This stayed suspended and thus became dropped. I never got around to watching the fourth episode, but perhaps someday.
The Winter season was a pretty good one all told. Although I regret that Eizouken didn't click with me (and In/Spectre wasn't better), the two shows I did watch were both quite enjoyable in their own ways.
Looking back at the Summer 2019 anime season
This turns out to be so extensively delayed that I only just noticed that I'd never written it. So, it's very past time for my traditional look back at what I watched in the Summer 2019 anime season, to follow up on my earlier impressions. Since it's almost a year since I saw these, my impressions are a bit faded.
- Symphogear XV: This was basically everything I could have reasonably
asked for in a Symphogear show, especially one that basically
wraps up the entire project (it may not stay wrapped up, in the way
of these things, but it's definitely over for now). Symphogear
unfortunately faced some structural story-telling issues in this
but it still did good work, was quite enjoyable, and did
some things to make the Symphogears not the sole saviors.
- Granbelm: This was generally well made and well put together, it had a bunch of characters that I liked, and for much of its run it was quite good. Unfortunately, it took its story in a direction I'm no longer a fan of, and so I can't really judge the show fairly as a result of that. I think the show took its story where it wanted to go and probably succeeded on its own terms (or mostly succeeded, there were some awkward bits), and it was a good spectacle. But the end result left me a bit let down.
I eventually dropped everything else that I was watching in Summer 2019. Lord El-Melloi II's Case Files and Isekai Cheat Magician both failed to sustain my interest, Fire Force was too typically shonen (and there was the horrifying Kyoto Animation tragedy), Astra Lost in Space lost me for various reasons, and I stopped being able to put up with the flaws in Cop Craft, especially in its writing surrounding Tilarna.