A Cour in Review: Spring 2018

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After having a small wander through the Japan Curiosity Archives, I noticed that the usual season preview had never been done for the cour that has just passed. Now, I know that the season is almost, and for most shows is (Thanks Clover Works), over; but I felt like I could take a crack at a seasonal review of Spring 2018 to dust off my trusty Lappy’s keyboard.

Note: This is a purely subjective piece, and only reflects my own views. If a show you watched was not mentioned, that means I didn’t watch it, probably due to not having watched Steins;Gate.


THE HOLDOVERS


First up is cour 8 and 9 of Yowamushi Pedal; GLORY LINE. After the less exciting beginning to the shiny cyclers’ second year, GLORY LINE finally feels like it’s got back into form. It was also during this set of episodes I started really noticing the homoerotic undertones of the show for myself (others had pointed them out to me before), especially noting the fact that the universe the show is set in only has one clothing line, “Best Boy”.

Record of Grancrest War is a show that I only completed all 24 episode of due to wanting to watch Record of Lodoss War in the future and never wanting to give it another chance. The abhorrent animation issues throughout the show made it near impossible to keep my eyes on, and the plot felt so rushed through it was almost as if a 24-car train had run over my computer desk.

Darling in The Franxx is bad. It has not finished and breaks the rule of Trigger shows getting amazing in their second cour. I know; blah blah, studios mean nothing, blah blah, and I would agree with you if it wasn’t for the fact that this show was initially advertised as a collaboration between TRIGGER and A-1 Pictures. I had hoped it would take the best parts of each studio into an amazing series, but instead, they only covered the parts they sucked at. Gurren Lagann that looks like Sword Art Online? No, thank you.

This is the paragraph where I’d talk about how amazing the second season of The Seven Deadly Sins is. Since it isn’t streaming anywhere, I cannot. Luckily though, as I was writing this article NETFLIX has just added the first cour of The Disastrous Life Of Saiki K. Season 2. It has just as much charm and wit as the first season had, and Hiroshi Kamiya (Monogatari, Noragami) once again kills it in the leading role.


SHORTS


My Sweet Tyrant is fun. I have always enjoyed a stalker-like character in comedy, and when it’s a consensual situation I can’t help but laugh. It’s interesting due to its second cour announcement though, but with how easy it is to make a short-form anime, it doesn’t totally surprise me.

Watch the first and last episode of Crossing Time. The rest isn’t worth it unless you absolutely love the first episode and demand more.

Love To-Lie Angle, Alice or Alice, You Don’t Know Gunma, and Ninja Girl & Samurai Master 3rd are exactly what they say on the tin. If you haven’t watched them yet; I wouldn’t say they are worth going back for.


THE BIGGUNS


Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online is possibly the most conflicted I feel about any of these series. On one hand, it’s an extremely fun action show starring a loli with pink hair (See: Comic Girls). But on the other, I don’t see why this needed to be Sword Art Online; having it set in a universe created by one man, Reki Kawahara, but written by a completely different guy. It pains me that you can’t consider anything this series does well, and there is so much of that, a canonical fact that happened in the same world that Kirito beat SAO. At least with side material like Girl OPs, Kawahara wrote it himself and anything added into it can be called back on later. This story does make me want to track down a translation of Sigsawa-sensei’s other works, such as Kino’s Journey, and have a read of them to see if him also having complete control over the setting can improve his narrative skills even further.

My experience with the Persona series extends to Persona 4: The Golden Animation, and the first 4 months of Persona 4: Golden on Vita. With having so little experience with the series, and definitely not with Persona 5 specifically, I would recommend watching this show if you don’t own a PS4 (Like me) or don’t want to spend 100 hours playing a J-RPG. Just avoid anyone who has played the game until you’ve finished the show; the fanboys are crazy negative about this adaptation.

I only have one thing to say about Food wars season 3, and that is that this show needs to stop ending on cliffhangers in the middle of massive contests. It’s not cool, especially when you don’t announce a sequel season. I even read the manga and it annoys me to no end, especially when it causes them to cut content so anime-only watchers have no idea what’s going on (The introduction of Subaru and the elite 10 come to mind).

Wotakoi: Love Is Hard for Otaku had a great start to a childhood friends love story; but after one episode, you can feel the webcomic roots flooding into each scene. The reference to Yuru Yuri in episode 2 can’t save it, and I am buying the English release of the manga by Kodansha; but as an animated title, it didn’t work well.

Biggest surprise of the season for me was Hinamatsuri. Originally a title I was going to skip, I decided to try the first episode while waiting for My Hero Academia to air, and I was surprised at how much a ‘realistic’ comedy could make me laugh. The use of a wide cast of characters, and the fact that they made what seemed as a throw-away character, Hitomi, the best of the bunch, it reaffirms my conviction to trying as many anime as possible each season.

The biggest disappointment of the Spring season for me was Tada-kun Falls in Love. It seems to be a pattern that whenever a show is sold to me on the backs of creators, it tends to be a disappointment. “By the team that brought you Monthly Girl’s Nozaki-kun” sounds great on the surface, but when you realise that the real strength of that show was the character motivations and individual moments from the original mangaka, and not from the anime studio; the magic is completely lost for me.

Comic Girls: The Animation is my ANIME OF THE SEASON and possibly the year, I’ll have to wait another 2 seasons to make that official though. Kaos-chan ABABABBAs and the self-deprecating humour creates such an amazing bundle of sadness that she carries the show all on her own. Added to the fact that the show is about weeb-media creation, so it falls into my favourite genre. If you want CGDCT with a spice of varied genre-savvy humour, do watch this.

Uma-Musume: Pretty Derby is a Gatcha show that disguises itself as an idol show, which disguises itself as a sports show, which disguises itself as a Yuri. Why did I watch this? The girls are named after real horses, and that’s just hilarious.

I recommend watching Lupin III Part 4 before watching Lupin III Part 5. Five drops you right into the series, and even though no matter where you start in Lupin you will be a little bit confused, Part 4’s more episodic structure coupled by its short runtime of only 26 episodes, (and a sexy set just released by AllTheAnime) my recommendation is to start there.

Dorei-ku: The Animation, Real Girl, Magical Girl Ore, and Gegege no Kitaro are filler shows. With them, all either having sub-par animation or uninteresting characters. I am enjoying them, but there’s just not much to offer anyone but those who watch everything anyway; or in the case of Dorei-ku & Real Girl, are looking for a reason to pay for HIDIVE.


SPORTS


A lot of people in the circles I hang out in have been raving at Megalo Box, but I just don’t really get it. If I’d watched Tomorrow’s Joe before now, maybe it’d be a bit better, but boxing as a sport isn’t as interesting in comparison to baseball or road racing to keep me hooked on the narrative; and the managerial side isn’t as good as the boxing to even keep me in the ring. A solid middle hitter.

Gurazeni: Money Pitch was really fun for about 6 episodes, then I had to do a massive catch-up due to exams and it not being weekly kind of killed the enjoyment for me. But I do believe a lot of people will enjoy this as long as you know one thing; the girl in the end credits only appears in the last episode. Just forget about her until then. Also; go and listen to the OP on YouTube; Merigo by Cypress Ueno. Funky rapping is hip with the weeb crowd, right?

I saw Major 2nd on the list, and the Second in the title immediately put me off. After watching the first 2 out of 12 cours of the original Major in a weekend, I decided to just watch it anyway; and the show is definitely not for beginners to the franchise. It’s more sequel-y than Boruto and is only something you should watch if you really enjoy baseball anime and are vehemently against watching the original Major.


INTERESTING DROPS


My decision why I drop shows is pretty simple in theory; do I care what happens to these characters? Will I feel anything if I never watch this again? If I answer ‘no’ to both of these the show gets the drop. I also try not to drop anything past episode 3, with an extra chance to drop after a cour if it’s longer than that. Yotsuiro Biyori is an exception to this. I watched 6 episode of this show weekly. I then forgot it existed until I was writing this article up; the day the final episode came out. This show is so forgettable it’s almost brilliant, but I do not want to give it the time to finish it.

Devil’s Line wins my award for “Show that was so abhorrent even the weirdo that’s fine with pretty much anything couldn’t stomach it.” How many times can a person be almost raped by a vampire before it’s too much? Three 24 minute episodes worth.


CONCLUSION


So there it is; a nice casual run through of every anime I watched this last season and how good they are; obviously this isn’t a review so there are no scores to any of these, but if you decided to scroll to the final paragraph for recommendations here ya go; My Hero Academia Season 3, Comic Girls: The Animation, Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale OnlineHinamatsuri, and not Black Clover.

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About Author

I do stuff and then forget to write about it. Animeholic, plays a lot of tabletop games. Mathematician.