Checking in on the Summer 2018 anime season 'midway' through
I seem to have settled on a pattern of first episode reactions, early impressions around the fourth episode mark, and these 'midway' views about two thirds of the way through the season (so around episode eight). This point is far enough into the season that most shows have settled into their course and I have pretty solid opinions on them, which makes it a good time to take stock (and sometimes to admit that I've dropped some of them, although not this season).
- Planet With: This has remained a great show, one that's moving at a
breakneck pace and with full awareness of what it's doing. The show's
full of little touches, fine moments, and excellent characters, and
I can't wait for each episode.
One thing I like about Planet With is how quietly clever and sophisticated it is without rubbing our noses into certain things. Various of the characters and organizations in action in the show are being questionable, but the show is not going to tell us that; it's just going to have some characters say some things, and then show us some stuff, and we can draw our own conclusions. In this it favourably reminds me of UN-GO.
- Shoujo Kageki Revue Starlight: I've come around to the view that
this is an explicitly theatrical show even in its normal side, which
makes me accept certain things that I would otherwise consider overdone.
It's a solid show in general, and episode 7 has made me even more
interested in rewatching the early episodes at some point (although
I have no idea if I'm ever going to get around to that, as I'm bad at
If you're watching Revue Starlight, I'd strongly encourage you to read Atelier Emily's writing on it (but beware of spoilers, you should be completely current on the show before visiting, and @AJtheFourth often publishes new entries on Friday, the day the show comes out in Japan).
Popcorn educational entertainment:
- Cells at Work!: This doesn't have any real characters that I can care
about (although it has characterization) and it only sort of has
action, but what's kept me watching is that it's both entertaining
and educational. I got scraped up a bit recently and having watched
Cells at Work! made it a different experience.
(With that said, I'm not sure it's going to stay interesting as it goes on longer. There's already a feeling that it's reaching for more obscure and less interesting topics.)
- Phantom in the Twilight (#4): I ran out of interest basically immediately after my early impressions, when the next episode seemed to be a 'supernatural creature of the week' episode instead of moving the plot forward and I decided I wasn't that enthused.
This feels like a good season, even though I'm only watching three shows, and I feel like I lived up to my resolution from last season's midway views. Two of the three shows I'm watching are very good, and the third makes for surprisingly compelling educational material with periodic funny bits.
Written on 01 September 2018.