Looking Back on Winter 2019/Spring 2019 First Impressions: Yu-No

The retrospective always seems to get lost in the shuffle, doesn’t it?

Page jumps


Winter 2019 Final Rankings

Rankings go from best – worst in this section.

Sidebar: 1) I typed up the Hitoribocchi post late last night, so I was about to watch Yu-No when I realised there was two really obvious mistakes in it! I’ve fixed them now, but please make sure to tell me if I do slip up like that.

2) I remembered about those tiers I used to have (“Magical”, “Black Magic” etc.). The current first impressions system probably works better in regards to spoilers, so I’ve made these final rankings more in line with them instead.

Mob Psycho 100 II

Mob Psycho II was always a step above everything else, even at its worst. My favourite parts – off the top of my head – were the Emi episode (ep 1, although the appearance of Tsubomi for no reason made me go “hmm…” with a bit of disapproval), the marathon episode which basically served me a Reigen Self-Defence Rush to the heart with the ending (ep 8) and Serizawa’s focus episode (ep 12), although there may be others in there.

Didn’t expect Reigen to be a jerk in that mini-arc of his, but…there you go.

One thing’s for certain though…people call the Mogami mini-arc (ep 5 or thereabouts) a spectacle and I didn’t feel the same way, although I can appreciate the work that went into it. People even call the Mob from that episode “bishonen Mob”, but…I wonder exactly to what extent “bishonen Mob” as a label is a joke…I also feel like the fight scenes are cool, but they sort of defeat the point of proving “your life is your own”, especially when Mob‘s smaller moments work so wonderfully.

Mob Psycho manga spoilers ahead!

I haven’t read the manga, but I did read on TV Tropes Mob ends the manga having confessed to Tsubomi and being rejected after the appearance of the giant broccoli. I read these before I saw ep 13, so I expected the same for the anime…and while we got the broccoli, we didn’t get the confession. I would’ve loved to see that, just for some closure.

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My Roommate is a Cat

This managed to jump up because Leth released his end-of-season post and I had to do a double take on how I was feeling about Shield Hero. This kitty anime’s nothing particularly special, but it does address grief and loss with surprising tact while still sucker punching you in the gut with feels or cuteness…it did this as well as Gakuen Babysitters, if not even better.

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Shield Hero

You know those things you stare at a dot in the middle of the page and then something happens because it’s an optical illusion? Shield Hero took a topple because it was like that – it got me on board until it started having harem hijinks (which are tolerable, but not what I’m here for) and then Naofumi started cleaning up people’s messes (particularly Myne and Motoyasu’s, which are even less what I’m here for).

It’s still watchable, sure, but if we don’t get to Shieldfreeden next cour or find out more about Glass (which is a mystery I’m willing to stick around for), then I’m out of here.

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Morose Mononokean Tsuzuki

Another “it’s an ending but not quite”?

Considering we didn’t even expect a season 2 of this to exist and basically 3 people watched this, it’s highly unlikely we’ll get any answers outside the manga…What we did get, however, was something that tried to punch above its weight and yet didn’t quite get there because its main trades are 1) mystique and 2) dragging you along with the promise of something exciting (in this case, more stuff on the Underworld and Sakae). 1) is done better by other shows with proper endings and 2) has been going on for 2 seasons now, so my feelings are…mixed, to say the least, because I acknowledge what we did get about the Executive, Justice and Legislator + influence + Sakae was enough to make it rank above season 1.

Regardless of whether a season 3 will happen or not, I won’t hold my breath and I’ll probably head straight to the manga if I ever get access to it.

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Mahou Shoujo Tokushusen Asuka/Magical Girl Spec-Ops Asuka

This engaged with some good ideas, but then also had the torture, war and hints of yuri (?) to scare people away. Introducing Peipei at the end, without revealing she was Peipei until ep 12, was a bad idea…and I also feel like erasing Nozomi’s memories with Kurumi’s drug was a bit of a copout – why are Asuka and Sayako the only two allowed to have proper PTSD-related characterisation? Sure, Nozomi is the genki girl, but it would’ve at least been interesting to have her deal with the fallout of being caught up in magical girl conflict.

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Egao no Daika/Price of Smiles

The price of smiles is high, but the price of an ending is higher…?

Basically an average mech show, but with shaky 2D animation and the loss of the impact of death (it’s arguable as to who got the worst treatment in that respect – Harold, Izana or Layla) in a rush to get Stella and Yuki together to press the button, it’s a bit of a hard sell outside the fact it has not-too-shabby-looking 3D stuff and the fact it’s its own package.


Yu-No

The episode was much better for MST3King at than watching – let’s work backwards: the final twist wasn’t handled particularly well at all. I think the best part of this show is the girls – especially the blonde elfin-eared girl who seems to be the title character – and that says something, considering they’re fairly flat across the board (at this point in time, in terms of characterisation) and I sometimes can’t tell the difference between Arima’s mother and Ayumi the secretary. Potato-kun (his name is “Takuya Arima”, I know, but I purposefully ignore it for “Potato-kun”) isn’t grating, he’s just…thinking with his “pen island” (so to speak) and not his head about 50% of the time this episode.

Other observations:

  • Yu-No‘s subs only worked on the phone app, meaning I couldn’t really test the video player on my laptop (the one device I’d want to purchase a subscription for, if anything, since I watch a very, very big fraction of my anime on it). So more waiting and more testing of Funi’s browser player is required to make a better decision – the app was better than the browser player when I was wrestling with it though, which…is not a good sign.
  • 2018 was pretty favourable in regards to scoring what I dropped (and that includes a bunch of shows I normally wouldn’t watch!), so when it comes to scores, what goes up must come down…
  • “Neumann space”…the only thing I think of when I hear/read that name is von Neumann (from von Neumann architecture), which I think is the point since Wikipedia says he’s a physicist as well as a computer scientist. 


Rankings

Watching:

  • [nothing yet]

Paused:

  • [nothing yet]

Dropped:

  • Hitoribocchi (watched 1 ep)
  • Yu-No (watched 1 ep)


Feel free to answer as many or as little of these questions as you’d like:

  • What’s your experience with Funimation like, if it’s available for your region? I’d especially like to hear from those who pay for it and/or those who’ve used the trial.
  • What are your thoughts about the first episode of the show I gave impressions on in this post?
  • Are there any shows that I’ve missed out on for this season? (if you need a refresher, see anticipated shows list here)

 

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