Spring 2018 First Episode Impressions

Since I have the New Year’s resolutions this year, I’m trying to be as forgiving as I can to all newcomers (hence putting a lot of stuff on hold). However, that does mean more to clean up in 2019…

HiDive is not letting me get at a few shows, but as a tradeoff watching Crunchyroll like a maniac means all spring shows are available at the same time for free and premium members…for their first episode, on a hit and miss basis. Before I begin:

  • The shows that have underlined titles were introduced as a part of the “vary my genres” resolution.
  • I only let 5 shows into my weekly lineup (+ 1 short series), which is why I’m going to have to update it again. This subsequent update will occur once the lineup is solidified (normally after episode 3, but any shows confirmed before then will be mentioned in this month’s Must-read Monday post). I signed on to do a Mahou Shoujo Ore/Boueibu Happy Kiss thing with AstralGemini, so those two are definitely making it anyway.
  • The ranking goes from best – worst. It’s subjective so feel free to debate with me about it.
  • If I skip a show, the most likely reason is that I had no legal access to it. You could always ask about specific cases, though.
  • Idolish7 decided to go on hiatus until May 19th. The art in that show wasn’t bad…so I don’t quite get why it needs to do that. But I’ll wait. I always do.

Magical – pass muster so far. Are the top of what’s available, and may go on to be part of my weekly lineup.

  • Golden Kamuy – Almost as good as hype made it out to be. The only qualm I have with this show is the CGI wolves and bears…like pretty much everyone else. Otherwise, it’s a solid action show if you don’t mind gore. It even has some history and intrigue to keep a person entertained.
  • Boku no Hero Academia 3 – If you’ve watched previous seasons, there’s no reason not to go into this. However, by this point you know this show takes its time to get going at the beginning of a season, so you have to forgive how much recap it does…
  • Hinamatsuri – A very solid show, even if it’s a little repetitive and the after-credits segment was…not the best in its choice of humour. It seems like it’ll have a wide cast and some lessons on the disparity between children and adults, which is great too.
  • Boueibu Happy Kiss – Happy Kiss is a high ranker, as is usual for me. Wakura and Taishi seem to have some hidden problems they have to deal with, and there are a few callbacks to LOVE!, although they’re all season 1-related. Notably, King Kamopapa (platypus = kamonohashi in Japanese) does show up in the ED, which could mean a greater role for him later on…hey, let me save these words for later!
  • Lupin III Part V: Aside from the fact Ami pulls a gun out of her underwear and the fact people are now implanting security stuff into their bodies (which makes 2018 seem way too high-tech), this show’s in top form. Who knew all Lupin III needed to appeal to me more than it used to (because I get kinda bored with part 4) was to shuffle technology to present day stuff?

Meh – (the category explains itself…)

  • Kakuriyo no YadomeshiAlmost didn’t watch this, but Crunchyroll got it…It’s quite standard for a show of its kind, but it does have enough distinctiveness to stand out too because Aoi’s in the front seat. Its only problem is being off model, which is why it couldn’t shoot for higher than this.
  • Yotsuiro Biyori – A late pickup for resolution-filling which I almost didn’t recognise when I saw the licence announcement (since my name for this show is Rokuhoudou). This show is pleasant in its own way (“charming” was definitely the word that came to mind), but this show could go two ways: 1) episodic with self-conflicts all around or 2) actually having some conflict, climax etc. at the end. It’s dangerous for 2) to happen in a show like this but not entirely unfeasible, which gives me some reservations. Its visual work isn’t top-notch, either…
  • Mahou Shoujo Ore – Its source material is only 2 volumes long so how are they going to pad out 12 episodes of this stuff? (2 anime-original characters). Add some somewhat jerky pacing choices, an art style that makes this show feel like it should be 10 years older (that’s from the manga’s front cover, but the rainbows you see in the anime were definitely not there!) and some fairly plain reaction shots (from the manga, unfortunately) and you can see someone was grasping at straws when they decided to adapt this. However, it’s right up my alley which may be its key to salvation…and the collab’s saved it anyway. It looks like it’s set to be my Tsukigakirei of the season (i.e. I complain about it a lot, but I still like it nonetheless).
  • Saredo Tsumibito wa Ryuu to Odoru (Dances with the Dragons) – Can I call this Saredo? Aside from that, this show’s got a mature air that makes it easy to mistake for being better than some of the other shows – reevaluating shows after you’ve watched all the first episodes mitigates that, luckily. The technobabble’s a bit of a mess (some of that explanation at the start did throw me off, because it implies time Jushiki will be used) and switching scenes is a bit shaky, but it’s somewhat compelling if you manage to keep on top of things. Plus I didn’t notice the CGI crowd, which is an automatic plus in my book. The aesthetic is kinda dark (with the exception of the ED), but easier to look at than some shows from previous seasons.

Black Magic – may not necessarily be bad, depending on perspective and how highly it’s ranked. However, some of the lowest ones may be good for hatewatches.

  • Nil Admirari no Tenbin – A bit confusing at first, so it was the first drop of the season after some deliberation. I did have a bit of a headache due to staying up late a lot (to watch anime) though, so I may have to get back to it later when I’m better rested. It’s a tad repetitive, but better than some other reverse harems I’ve dealt with. Plus that ED…whoo, is it just me or is it hot in here?
  • Gegege no Kitaro (2018)I took this on because I was hoping to get in early with everything and this was an early debut. However, I wasn’t entirely impressed by it because of the fact I can see this going for 50 or 100 episodes and I won’t have the time in my day to deal with a slightly subpar show. I dropped it but acknowledged I’d come back later if I wanted something of its genre, because lack of sleep and all.
  • Caligula – The plot’s quite shaky, to the point where you can’t quite tell if it’s a time travel show/flashing back/transitioning. I zoned out at one point in the first half of the first episode, which is a death knell for a show in a packed season like this. I think this show’s very much like Butlers x Battlers in that it shows its true colours only at the end and is only sorting itself out. Word on the street says it’s better with music, so I’ll need to give that a shot properly…later.
  • Butlers x Battlers – When is a Butler not a butler?…In this show! Stupid joke aside, I was swayed by Cactus Matt to give this show a chance (which is why it’s not underlined, but it wasn’t part of the original list either). Just as I feared, it has way too many plot threads at once and I didn’t think it would throw all its named characters into the first episode, but…it did. I feel like I might like it if it manages to focus on time travel/café business in the next episode or two, so onto the hold pile it goes.

On the short episode side, we have:

  • Omae wa Gunma wo Mada Shiranai (You Don’t Know Gunma Yet) – A scrappy travel show, full of weird Japanese cultural things…just the way I like my obscure anime, so this lived up to all expectations I had of it! It’s a faithful adaption of the manga too, but since I’ve only read one chapter and a lot of chapters are now locked up, it’s uncharted territory from here. They even got that mayor to speak on the show, which is a bit weird and adds to the “obviously a tourist trap” side of things, but it’s only for 30 seconds…
  • Nobunaga no Shinobi: Anegawa Ishiyama-hen: If you’ve followed this show in the past, there’s no reason why you wouldn’t join in with this season. The women are always a focal point in this show, even though it could be focussing on only the men – I love it!
  • Uchuu Senkan Tiramisu: Originally not a pick, but since it was an earlier debut I could make time for it (plus the mecha part fit into my New Year’s resolutions). Subaru isn’t bad-looking (if you like men muscular) and the jokes weren’t too bad, but you get the feeling you’ve seen better in other shows (mostly long-form ones) and the CGI is janky in a somewhat obvious way. This was probably a show that should’ve had a longer runtime than 7 minutes…(Note: I talked myself into getting back into this show here, but I still put it on hold as of episode 2.)
  • Isekai Izakaya Nobu: It was an early licence that never left my list so I took it on. I’m not very kind to cooking shows because I’m not a foodie. It’s pleasant in a way that is thus clearly not up my alley, and it was dropped.
  • Akkun to Kanojo – This show didn’t entertain me in the slightest. You’re meant to see Akkun’s activities as cute due to gap moe, but I don’t feel it in the slightest…This was the only show I dropped without any hesitation, which really says how much I’ve changed from the days where I’d only watch 2 shows…(Plus, what is up with the name My Sweet Tyrant? Sounds like something from Nontan’s perspective, which is only about half right for this show.)

I did also see Tada-kun wa Koi wo Shinai via my anime club, but since I can’t put that into my weekly lineup here’s my take on its first episode:

This show isn’t something that stands out in romance alone, although it does have a great sense of humour and an OP I bookmarked on YouTube as quickly as I could. The fact Alexandra knows perfect Japanese seems a bit off since she’s not a Rainbow Shogun fan, but it’s a comedy so you can forgive it a bit. Kaoru’s voice is…distinctive (and not in a way that sticks in the brain like Nagi of Idolish7’s accent does)…but again, comedy. (Sidenote: I thought Hikaru Midorikawa was Kaoru, but it’s Mamoru Miyano.) I would’ve kept it (it’s between Kakuriyo and Yotsuiro Biyori, as the ranking stands) if it weren’t under HiDive.


So, what do you think about these shows? I’ve got Megalobox stored away for later because I’m already at my limit as it is, but aside from that, are there any other shows you’re pointing to as early favourites this spring season and feel that I should check them out?

8 thoughts on “Spring 2018 First Episode Impressions

Add yours

  1. I don’t know if you’ve seen the 2nd ep of Yotsuiro Biyori yet, but I think I like the direction it takes. It looks like there’s going to be more there than simply repetitions of the scenario in ep 1.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. While there are a lot of shows I am really interested in this season, there’s nothing I’m jumping up to recommend to anyone on the first episode. A lot of the shows have potential but they haven’t really done anything yet and might end up being train wrecks. Still, my watch list is way over-loaded so I’ve clearly found something to entertain me.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is a lot of shows. I watch only a handful of these. Curious, what do you mean Caligula would be better with music?

    Like

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