It’s been a year since I started doing these Seasonal Sawce posts. The fact that I haven’t missed one is a darn miracle, and you should all be proud of me. Just don’t think of all the other things I should’ve also written by now.
As usual, the following anime are the ones I started this season and will be ranked from my least favorite/hype to my most favorite/hype. A bit of disclosure this time around, too: All of these are on Crunchyroll. There are a few on Amazon’s Anime Strike I’d planned on watching, but they already get an annual Prime payment out of me, so I don’t feel like giving them more for their anime service…even though I don’t know how long that resolve will actually stick because I really, really, really want to watch Saekano Flat and Re:Creators.
Okay! Let’s get this party started!
7) Eromanga Sensei
It’d be good if it wasn’t so bad.
Masamune Izumi is an orphaned high school light novel author who’s using his earnings to take care of himself and his little stepsister, Sagiri Izumi, who he hasn’t seen in a year because she won’t leave her room. Problem is, though, Masamune isn’t that great of an author despite how much he writes. His novels’ popularity are based almost solely on the artwork in them done by the anonymous Eromanga Sensei. With Masamune desperate to get a new novel series released, he inadvertently finds out that Eromanga Sensei is actually Sagiri. The two once distant siblings now have something to bond over as Kyousuke and Kirino look to reconnect and repair their relationship.
I know what I typed. Same creator. Same-ish set-up. But…kinda better. Sorta. Eromanga Sensei isn’t inherently bad so far. I’ve actually laughed at a few of the jokes, but I must confess that I am indeed hate-watching it. I am here for the trainwreck. Yes, the character designs look nice…just unfortunate that they’re mostly 12 or 13-year-old girls. It’s almost admirable in how shameless it is. And, seeing fictional creators do their art thing tends to get me motivated to write and doodle, so that’s a plus. This show happens to be saddled with the same problem as Oreimo, though: The main love interest is not only a less interesting character than the supporting cast, but it is also very disturbing to think of her ending up with the main protagonist–i.e.–her older brother.
Oh well! Like I said earlier–I’m here to see how badly this turns out. Enjoying the ride so far. For the most part.
6) Sakura Quest
It’s like Shirobako, but they make a tourist trap instead.
Yoshino Koharu is a fresh college graduate whose future looks bright. Or so she likes to tell herself. In reality, she’s failed interview after interview and her parents are trying to get her to leave Tokyo and move back home. Yoshino refuses to return to the country even though things aren’t going great. She gets a break when the economically struggling town of Manoyama wants to hire to be their “Queen” in order to revitalize their tourist industry. Yoshino decides to take the one-day gig, and heads to the sticks to help the town. But, as it turns out she was hired by mistake and she actually signed her contract to work there for one year. Thus, the new Queen of Manoyama is joined by four other young adult women as they spend the next year trying to find a way to bring more people to their town and figure out what they want to do with their lives.
I guess I’ve reached that age where stories about adults just trying to do their jobs and find their way speak to me. Doesn’t interest me as much as Shirobako did (so far), but there are still plenty of moments that have made me pause the episode and stare off in the distance contemplating whether or not I should write those lines down. But yeah, Sakura Quest is pretty fun so far. It’s my designated cool-down anime this season, and I do enjoy me a show when I go back and forth over who is best girl/woman (Maki or Sanae–the others don’t matter).
If relatable, interesting characters doing their hardest to accomplish their goals gets your slice-of-life engine going, then check it out.
5) Akashic Records of Bastard Magic Instructor
Those school uniforms sure are practical…magic. Movie joke!
Sistine Fibel’s favorite teacher at the Alzano Imperial Magic Academy has recently resigned, and she and her best friend Rumia Tingel wonder about his sudden departure on the way to school one morning. Along the way, a disheveled man accidentally runs into them as he’s hurrying off somewhere. Well, he would have run into them had Sistine not launched him with her wind magic. That’s a bit of a no-no outside school grounds, and the man taunts her for doing so until she does it again and leaves. Finally in their classroom, Sistine, Rumia, and their fellow classmates are astonished their new substitute teacher is so late–especially since rumor is he was recruited by the most powerful teacher at the school. Finally their teacher arrives and–shock of all shocks–enter the bastard who ran into Sistine and Rumia, Glenn Radars. The students eventually learn there’s more to the lazy, incompetent teacher than they initially thought, but they’ll have to wait till after study period to find out what it is.
I initially wasn’t going to watch Akashic Records since I’ve seen plenty of magical school shows in the past few years, and yes, even I can get tired of a genre. The set-up also reminded me a bit of Irregular at Magic High School (seemingly inept mage being a secret badass), and that was another deterrent. But, I saw that it was doing better on MyAnimeList than I expected and decided to check it out. Glad I did! I do wish Glenn maintained his bastard tendencies a little more, the female school uniforms are laughable in their pandering, and there are definitely some cliches present, but I do honestly like the cast and the rules for magic. Glenn is a big plus and the main reason I look forward to this show every week. Yes, he’s not as big of an asshole as I thought he would be, but he still taunts his students, shirks responsibility whenever he can, and makes reckless bets.
I wouldn’t exactly call the show fresh, but it has enough good ideas and heart to make it stand out a smidgen.
4) Love Tyrant
Akane top contender for Best Girl of 2017. Fight me.
So, imagine you’re at home one day, and this cute girl cosplaying as a shinigami comes to your door saying she accidentally wrote your name in her Kiss Note–a magical notebook that forces two people whose names are written down with an X between them to fall in love. Well, this happens to Seiji Aino when the angel Guri visits him. She tells him he needs to kiss someone or else she’ll die, so she convinces him to confess to his crush, the beautiful redhead Akane Hiyama. She actually reciprocates his feelings a hundredfold, and everything turns out okay!… Except Guri finds Seiji interesting and pairs up herself with Seiji and Akane. And Akane’s a legitimate murderous yandere. And she has a younger sister who’s in love with her. And they have an even crazier sadomasochist cousin. And Seiji has a little sister who’s stalked by some sort of powerful penguin demon. Well, at least he’s immortal now that he’s been paired up with an angel! Yay?
Love Tyrant probably isn’t good. At all. But, I’ll be damned if the show doesn’t entertain the heck out of me. Yeah, the jokes don’t always hit, and the show kinda falls into the same tropes it relishes in parodying. I just always find it charming. The character designs are neat, there are some wonderful facial expressions, and the seriousness of some events isn’t so far from the humor that it feels out of place. I also like how the show kinda ponders what exactly love is. Might be giving it too much credit, but Guri’s whole thing is she’s trying to understand love. She doesn’t know the difference between familial love, friendly love, and romantic love. I enjoy their shenanigans as she tries to figure it all out. Also, Akane is great. I get yandere love now.
It ain’t the funniest anime out there, but I like what it does.
3) Kado: The Right Answer
Arrival, starring Roger Smith.
A cube two kilometers on each side suddenly appears at a Japanese airport one day. The cube is made of a material that deflects any and all contact no matter the force, and worst of all is it’s appeared on top of a plane carrying 252 people. No one knows the fate of the passengers, but finally, after 30 hours, a man walks out on top of the cube. He is one of the passengers–Koujirou Shindou, the best negotiator for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The world is baffled until the owner of the cube, Yaha-kui zaShunina, appears next to him and informs all that he has come to Earth as a friend and Koujirou will speak on his behalf. Let the negotiations begin!
I know that may not sound like the most exciting synopsis, and it honestly isn’t. Kado: The Right Answer maintains a fairly slow pace and doesn’t seem to be interested in speeding things up too much. But, Kado is pretty legit. Koujirou is an immensely likable protagonist, and it’s easy to see why so many characters in-universe gravitate towards him. The speed with which he adapts to Yaha-kui and treats the alien like a person who just doesn’t get people even amuses the young negotiator hired to be his opposite, Saraka Tsukai. She, Yaha-kui, and the other characters are good, too, but it’s really the ideas that got me so interested. Physics and communication work differently in Yaha-kui’s dimension. There are concepts that seem absolutely impossible to humans at first, but it takes the Arrival approach of adapting one’s mind can alter one’s sense of reality. That’s just cool as sh*t. Also, I don’t know if I wasn’t paying close attention during the 0 episode (yes, you should watch episode 0 “Ninovo”), but I didn’t notice until the end that everything save for the backgrounds is CG. Yeah. A CG anime that doesn’t look like complete crap. I can’t believe it.
Kado is a legitimately good sci-fi anime, and I implore you all to show it more love.
2) Attack on Titan Season 2
After the battle against Annie the Female Titan, one of the kingdom’s biggest secrets is revealed–Titans are inside the walls. And–as they so often do–things go from bad to worse when the rest of the 104th Training Corps graduates are attacked by Titans in a place where there shouldn’t be any Titans and the new recruits don’t have their OMD Gear. The mysteries of the Titans’ identities and the bleakness of the world are the driving forces in this second season of Attack on Titan.
Yeah, spoiler alert–this list is dominated by second seasons. Sorry, but I love these shows! Distance may not have made my heart grow fonder for Attack on Titan, but now I remember why it became such a big thing. The world-building is just the best, the soundtrack is bumpin’, the characters are great, the mysteries are deep and interesting, and hey, it looks pretty good, too. I appreciate they wanted to focus more on the pants-crapping horror of the world at the beginning, but I gotta tell ya, the show is at its best for me when Mikasa is killing all the things. Also, the fight between Eren and the Armored Titan was an MMA fan’s dream come true.
It’s season two of one of the most popular anime in recent years. If you aren’t watching it…well, I can only assume it’s because you haven’t finished the first season.
1) My Hero Academia 2
It’s back! Yes! Oh, man. I can’t tell you how much I’ve been wanting this new season of My Hero Academia. It’s been a whole year since I last saw Izuku, All Might, Uraraka, Bakugo, and the others. The students had just survived their first real encounter with actual supervillains! Yeah, the first season started taking its sweet time after the first couple breakneck-paced episodes, but I love it all the same. Although, I can’t quite put my finger on why I put this above AOT. Why did I do that? I can’t…wait. I hear something. Off in the distance. Can it…can it be? It can! Oh, my! Say it loud, my friend! Say it loud!
Yeah…that’s the good stuff right there. Not even an attack by supervillains can stop UA High School from hosting their annual sports festival. It’s an event that’s essentially the new Olympics in terms of prestige and popularity. The whole world tunes in to see the current crop of hero students and their powers. Still unable to control his Quirk, Izuku is at a definite disadvantage, and things only get trickier when the top student in their class, Shouto Todoroki, acknowledges Izuku’s talent and vows to defeat him in the festival. The other students are hungry for fame and recognition as well, so let’s see just who will rise to the top of this generation.
Hot damn, I love tournaments.
Yeah, I love the world, characters, concepts, look, soundtrack, and everything else about MHA, but you throw in a tournament arc and my poor body just can’t handle it. I love this stuff!
Despite the triumphant returns of Academia and Titan, I think I was enjoying last season a little more at this point. Overall, at least. Only by a bit. Even then I’m still flip-flopping on it. But yeah, this season of anime has been fun so far, and I just wish Amazon didn’t stream anime so Crunchyroll and Funimation could take them.
It’s actually time to start the Summer of Anime series, so it’s a guarantee when next we meet it won’t be another Seasonal Sawce. Rejoice!
Peace out, and stay bizarre.