Summer 2019 First Impressions: The Final Stretch

I don’t think I have any snarky puns for the post title anymore.

Previously, I watched Sacred Beasts, Astra, Maou-sama Retry! and UchiMusume. The post after that had Fire Force, Dr Stone, Granbelm and Ensemble Stars. I’ll be skipping the recap of DanMachi (I saw s1 at the start of the Spellbook’s existence!), so then it’s Arifureta, Cop Craft, DanMachi, Naka no Hito and Given. (Kochoki seems to be premium-only on Funimation…)

Page jumps


Arifureta

The CGI looks terrible, Hajime complains a lot, I couldn’t tell the girls apart until Shirasaki had a more prominent role and I don’t get why Hajime had to name his gun Donner…but honestly? I feel like even though I complained about most of this episode, the complaints of “source material was ruined!” were enough to make me think it would look a lot worse than what I got. I’ve never experienced the source so I’m biased in that regard, but y’know how the author delayed the anime’s debut? Imagine if they’d let the first attempt go to air…

That aside, the story did seem to have a glimmer of hope when Hajime started to showcase his accumulated skills Slime-style, so that might tell you a thing or two about my tastes in isekai.

Other notes:

  • Yue next. Not that I want to stick around for that, but…maybe someday…?
  • I already complained about visual darkness in anime last year, so suddenly I feel morally justified people are calling Arifureta the same thing. I didn’t think it was too dark, but maybe that was because I was watching it at a fairly bright time of day (morning on an overcast day).

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Cop Craft

Despite the sometimes-awkward CGI…I liked it. I seem to like buddy cop shows in anime a lot, even though my best reference for this outside of anime would be the few episodes of CSI and many, many episodes of regional border security shows that play on TV over the weekend. That cliffhanger – in the middle of a shootout, no less! – was a bit of a copout, though…

Other notes:

  • Rick Fury??? I almost misread it as a certain Samuel L. Jackson character…
  • I saw people pick on the racism and that seems to come with the territory for “two worlds collide” anime like this one (“two worlds collide” anime = Kekkai Sensen, Kyousogiga and this). While I can see the pros to having it in the show, I also see the cons…hmm.

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DanMachi II

More DanMachi just gives you…exactly what you’d expect from the words “more DanMachi”. I realised that even though I watched the show a year ago, I only vaguely remember some of the characters that weren’t important to Bell or important to the plot in s1 (e.g. I remembered Freya, Miach and Takemikazuchi, but not Naza or Asfi). It was nice to have a ball episode – I like ball episodes and the cliffhanger was great – but there was no way it would compete against the likes of Dr Stone or Astra…especially when there’s more than enough shonen-style action on offer this season…sorry.

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Given

Hmm…for my second ever BL/yaoi anime (admittedly, most of the stuff I’ve been trying is BL, since the yaoi manga I tried – Koi ni Tsuite – was pretty tame yet mediocre all ’round and I don’t think I was mentally ready for DakaIchi), it wasn’t bad. It’s got an actual sense of humour and more thought put into the visuals, which is why I think of it better than Ensemble Stars, but both shows don’t show too many signs of CGI, which is a good sign all ’round.

Also, Given made me think about what would happen if someone begged me to teach them piano, which admittedly would be a lot harder than Ritsuka’s case, because I haven’t practiced in about 5 years.

Other notes:

  • I love Yayoi already. She’s such an irresponsible bum – the sort of character reserved for hard-drinking ladies who are slightly older than Yayoi’s age in anime – and yet she’s also massively relatable. 
  • The ED doesn’t seem to match the rest of the show, what with its emphasis on the tiny doggo and non-rock instrumental.
  • Early husbando predictions say Haruki is going to be my dude of the season…that’s because Souma isn’t in the running anymore.
  • These references to musicians (Thom Yorke, Keith Richards, Yujiro Ishihara) mean I’m going to be googling quite a bit…just another perk of picking this over Ensemble Stars.

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Naka no Hito

You didn’t expect this. I didn’t expect this either, so who convinced me? wheatsquares33 on AniList. (Turns out the thing about potential husbandos is only one point on the status…)

It turns out it’s good…for laughing at. It’s just so bad, it’s good (I probably wouldn’t stick with this if it had been subject to extra Crunchyroll buffering). I mean, who thinks of befriending a giant panda??? However, I do get how Iride’s “escape game” shtick factors into his play tactics, even though I’ve never played an escape game in my life.

Other notes:

  • At least the use of colour is good, especially in the OP. This is the first OP I watched through fully this season. Also, I don’t get the thing with the dark frames that moved upwards on the screen when Iride fell…If that was “art”, I don’t think it is.
  • “Perverted alpaca” is not a phrase I knew I’d ever type in my life…
  • I’d probably have to say dating sim guy (Aikawa) was my favourite, but only because the rest are either loons or cliched. Now that I think about it, I can see how dating sims would facilitate videos of few words, although I don’t know how popular those videos would be in real life…

Rankings

Adding Demon Slayer and Fruits Basket back into the mix to demonstrate where they stand right now…so this is my final lineup. Much like winter 2018 (in which there was way too much CBDCT), I chose the lineup based on their rankings and which of the anime occupy the same genre space. 

Watching:

  • Astra (2 eps)
  • Dr Stone (1 ep)
  • Fruits Basket (13 eps)
  • Cop Craft (1 ep)
  • Given (1 ep)
  • Demon Slayer (14 eps, impossible to drop due to the collab)

Paused:

  • Fire Force (1 ep, down 5 spots/1 category because even though I like Soul Eater and sakuga, plus I was looking forward to this more than other anime, its future is uncertain after the KyoAni fire)
  • DanMachi s2 (1 ep)
  • Sacred Beasts (2 eps, down one category because it shares similar genre space to Demon Slayer)
  • Ensemble Stars! (1 ep, down one category because it shares similar genre space to Given)
  • Naka no Hito (1 ep, down one category because it’s only for hatewatching anyway)
  • Granbelm (1 ep)

Dropped:

  • Maou-sama, Retry! (1 ep)
  • Arifureta (1 ep)
  • UchiMusume (1 ep, hit “drop” as soon as I learnt it does an Usagi Drop…)

So how’s your experience with these shows? Did I skip anything good? (For a refresher, see the anticipated anime list here.)

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