Brief impressions of the Summer 2019 anime season so far
As before it's time for my relatively early views of how this season has shaken out so far, following up on my first episode reactions. At this point I've seen three episodes of everything I'm watching, so it feels like things are starting to stabilize (although maybe not).
A great Symphogear experience:
- Symphogear XV: This season builds on everything that's come before (and is in many ways the second half of AXZ), so it's not a good place to start, but after three episodes it's a pretty great season of Symphogear. Everyone is being themselves and we're getting sustained epic things, melodramatic twists, ancient secrets, and so on.
- Granbelm: I'm a minority that finds the giant robot fights to be not
so impressive, but
fortunately the characters and their interactions more than make up for
that. This is really a character piece hiding inside what is nominally
an action show, and it's pretty good at that.
- Astra Lost in Space: The show is more or less written for kids and
it shows, but I've wound up sucked into its charms despite that. I like
watching it, even though bits of writing and other twists irritate me
from time to time.
- Lord El-Melloi II's Case Files: So far, this is basically a series
of fun romps that use the Fate/* world as a background setting.
People snark at each other, interesting things happen, a problem gets
solved, and it all wraps up neatly by the end of the episode. That
makes it an enjoyable watch for me, one that I'm willing to continue
for as long as the charm and novelty holds up.
(I refuse to use the show's gigantic full official name.)
Cannot evaluation fairly:
- Fire Force: This had a very impressive first two episodes and then
the horrifying Kyoto Animation tragedy happened. While
I can still watch the show, I don't
know if I really want to and the KyoAnime tragedy has unquestionably
changed my reaction to it. I was much less taken with the third episode
and its flaws and irritations stood out much more. Some of those flaws
and irritations were present even in the first two episodes; did they
get worse in the third episode, or have I become more sensitive because
I'm now less enthused about something involving fire? I don't know.
I will probably keep watching Fire Force, but it's now very much on the edge in a way that it wasn't before and probably wouldn't have been without the KyoAnime tragedy.
- Cop Craft: I really liked the first episode, although even then its
limited animation was noticeable, but I'm afraid that the
wheels have started coming off by the third episode. There is
the core of a compelling story and show in here, but it is not being
realized so far; things are too rushed and abbreviated, and the great
characters are not being given enough of a chance to interact with
each other naturally. That it cannot really animate what should be
exciting fight scenes is just the unsatisfying icing on the cake.
However, there is still enough good stuff here that I'm willing to keep watching, partly in the hopes that everything will improve again. There are flashes of excellence in the show, even in the third episode.
- Isekai Cheat Magician: I have no excuses; this is a terribly bland
show that somehow makes what should be an exciting, enthusiastic
situation into a boring one. There have been far better shows with
the same fundamental premise. But so far apparently I want to watch
a popcorn isekai show with vastly overpowered protagonists.
I expect to drop this sooner or later.
- To the abandoned Sacred Beasts: The second episode opened with a charming orphanage, and nothing good ever happens to those in a show like this so I decided that I didn't want to watch any more.
I've also dropped last season's Demon Slayer, which basically wore out its charm. Zenitsu very strongly pushed me to drop it, but even without his presence I probably would have given up. I'm just not very interested in watching a long parade of shonen fights any more, and that was what Demon Slayer has transitioned into.
Written on 27 July 2019.