Running a tad late here, but the five new shows I’m following this season have all hit six episodes each, so it’s time to talk about ’em from my least favorite to my most favorite. (Editor’s note: Actually ahead of schedule because dumb-dumb forgot his number four had aired five episodes and a recap–not six actual episodes) Should do some housekeeping before that, though.
This Summer of Anime hasn’t been as big as last year’s because, well…I just haven’t been bitten by the anime bug this summer. I have a lot of other stuff I’ve been watching, and my reading backlog is genuinely out of control, so I’ve been trying to work on that more. Also, there are quite a few others this season I plan on watching when they’re through. I just wanted to keep the numbers small this time around.
A’ight. Here we go.
5) Magical Sempai
On his first day of high school, an antisocial kid’s plans to go home after school every day are ruined because the school requires every student be a member of a club. He winds up getting roped into the magic club by the hot sempai who runs it. Now known simply as Assistant, he spends his days with Sempai as she hones her magic skills and tries to conquer her crippling stage fright. Too bad she sucks at both.
This is another of those half-episode length series, and yet they wind up cramming in four or five seperate segments in each one. It gives everything a real breakneck feel, and the jokes rarely have time to settle in before the show moves on (and the punchline is often fan-service provided by the titular Sempai). It’s an amusing show even if most of the characters have garbage personalities. Do wish Madara-san (the chemistry club member) would show up more. I feel like she’d be a fun character for the other weirdos to play off of. Also, Sempai has a single fang, which isn’t uncommon for anime characters, but it’s flesh-colored in the show. It’s kinda distracting/unnerving.
4) Arifureta: From Commonplace to World’s Strongest
Hajime Nagumo and his entire class are transported to a magical world where they are heralded as its saviors. Normally, this would be a pretty cool development for an otaku like Hajime, but while his classmites get awesome powers, he gets transmutation…and then he’s betrayed by one of his classmates during a training exercise and left for dead in an extremely dangerous dugeon. Hajime’s drive to survive kicks in, though, and the meek nerd is reborn as a one-armed badass wielding a magic gun. He’s soon joined by the ancient vampire queen Yue after releasing her from her prison, and now the two have vowed to return to Hajime’s world no matter what they have to do or who they have to go through.
This is the kind of try-hard isekai trash I would’ve loved years ago. As it stands now, though, I am simply entertained by its “super cool” edginess. I started it because I like stories of a character being betrayed and returning much later as a wholly different individual (ex. The Count of Monte Cristo and Arrow). It’s not a great-looking show, and it’s not as cool as it wants to be. But, I’m all here for it because of one single scene: Hajime finally goes after the monster that ate his arm, and Hajime eats its arm while staring it in the eyes. A show that can give me a scene that wonderfully stupid is one that’s earned my attention.
3) How Heavy Are the Dumbbells You Lift?
In order to lose weight, high-schooler Hibiki Sakura decides to join a gym. The young girl finds herself accompanied by the school’s idol Akemi Souryuuin at the newly opened Silverman Gym. Hibiki is lured in by the handsome trainer Machio, but she’s horrified when she realizes just how buff he is and that he aims to make all his charges as macho as possible. Akemi is turned on by being surrounded by all that musculature, though, and Hibiki eventually decides to stick around so she can lose weight. Might be hard to stick with that goal since she seems to be a combat sports and bodybuilding prodigy…and she never stops eating.
So, I started this one because the premise sounded amusing, and I assumed the fan-service would be well-done. As for the fan-service–it’s there and it’s nice, but it’s more restrained than I expected, and I really appreciate that. As for the amusing part–this is a genuinely funny show. I did not expect to laugh anywhere near as much as I have so far. The characters are all likable, and the art style shifts are always spot-on. Plus, the show gives us detailed workouts during each episode so you can get those gains along with the characters! And that OP is catchy as all get-out. Honestly, I’m enjoying every aspect of this show. Except for maybe the exercise asides can take a little too much time. That’s the only drawback, though.
2) Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? II
Bell Cranel, Hestia, and their friends are living pretty well nowadays. That is until Bell overhears members of the Apollo Familia badmouthing Hestia and gets into a barfight with them. Apollo uses this incident to lure Hestia into a War Game where the losing Familia will be forced to disband and follow the orders of the winning deity. Apollo’s Familia numbers in the hundreds while Hestia has only Bell by her side, but Bell’s pulled off miracles before, so why would he falter now?
Boy, this second season has taken its sweet time getting here. DanMachi is one of those anime that actually makes me want to read the original light novels. The world and its rules are really cool, and it doesn’t have the isekai stink all over it. The first arc is a fun underdog tale with a satisfying ending. Show’s only two episodes into the second arc of the season, and it’s introduced the Ishtar Familia–a Familia comprised almost solely of Amazonesses and you bet I’m all here for that. The cast is just as wonderful as always, so if you liked the first season, check it out.
1) Fire Force
Death is almost as old as life. What’s relatively recent is the phenomenon spontaneous human combustion. In Year 198 of the Solar Era, squads in the Special Fire Force lay to rest those indivudals who fall victim to the phenomenon and become constantly burning beings called Infernals. Shinra Kusakabe is a third generation pyrokinetic who joins Special Fire Force Company 8 in order to become a hero and to ensure no one else must face the same trauma he did as a child when a strange Infernal killed his entire family. Suffering from a nervous tic that forces him to smile when he’s nervous, Shinra’s earned the moniker “Devil,” which makes the whole hero image a little hard to attain.
Ah, good ol’ shounen action-adventure nonsense. This is my poison. The world has a cool enough hook that I was there from the word “go,” and there’s been more thought put into the world-building than I expected. The way it all looks, the way it operates, the institutions and beliefs that have formed…all really neat stuff. Plus, I thought people having only fire powers would wind up being restrictive, but so far, each person’s powers have been distinctly different from the rest. And cool. Honestly, I’m just gonna call everything here neat and cool and awesome. And there’s enough heart and humor here to make it all even better!
That’ll do it for this time around. I’m really loving the top three, while the bottom two are entertaining enough to keep me tuning back in. Also, I’m still watching Demon Slayer and Mix which are delightful as always.
Peace out, and stay bizarre.