Oh, man. Two whole years of Seasonal Sawce brings us to this legendary moment: Another Seasonal Sawce.
This is a pretty ridiculously stacked season. I started eight this season, and I’m not even watching everything I want to. As always, we’re pretty much halfway through, so I’m gonna rank these anime from my least hype to my most hype every week. Kinda fudging it a bit since one anime had an episode 0 and another had a recap 4.5, but I need to go ahead and get this out of the way.
Here we go.
8) High School DxD Hero
After three seasons and a few OVAs, Issei Hyoudou is well on his way to becoming the Harem King. He’s the current Red Dragon Emperor and legendary throughout the supernatural world as the comical yet powerful “Oppai Dragon.” So, things are looking up for him and his friends as the second-year students prepare for their trip to Kyoto. Rias, Akeno, and Koneko aren’t happy about staying behind, but with Issei and so many of their other allies going, they should be fine. Really.
Yeah, not really. High School DxD Hero is one of those rare anime (that I’ve watched, at least) to get an episode 0. Basically, the last few episodes of the third season have now been retconned out (best I can tell). Having never read the novels or really remembering last season that well, I have no idea why that had to happen, but here we are. This fourth season is like all the rest. Characters I love with designs I love even more, so many fantasy and mythological characters and ideas thrown together with absolute glee, good-looking characters, genuine heart with its approach to story and fan-service, and wonderfully gif-able characters. I don’t like the art style as much as the previous seasons, but it’s growing on me.
7) Food Wars! The Third Plate: Totsuki Train Arc
With Erina Nakiri in their corner, the Rebels have become actual threats to Central’s reign at Totsuki Academy. So much so that when it comes time for the school’s annual promotion exams, every student opposing Azami Nakiri and his ideals are ridiculously handicapped during each test. Yukihira Souma and his friends prove resilient by facing the exams with confidence, but when the group is split up and put on different trains, they face their biggest challenges yet: The Elite Ten.
Another season four? Surely, there can’t anymore of those this season! (Spoiler alert: There is.) As much as I love Food Wars, I can’t help but feel it’s just kinda going through the motions right now. Don’t get me wrong, I still think everything about the show is good, but it almost feels like there’s a spot the show wants to be at and it just wants to be there instead of where it is. Again, I love it. Yukihira finally getting his salty runback against Akira, Erina being Erina, the strange and fascinating dishes, etc. But still, it doesn’t feel as enthusiastic as it used to.
6) Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku
Narumi Momose recently broke up with her boyfriend, but things don’t seem too down for her. She’s attractive, only in her mid-20’s, and she’s landed a new job where no one knows her or her secret. Well…almost no one. Without thinking she calls out to her childhood friend, Hirotaka Nifuji, who also works at said new job. All seems to go well until Hirotaka casually asks her about Comiket, and just like that, her secret is out: Narumi is an otaku. Even worse, she’s a yaoi fangirl! Luckily for her, the people around her don’t seem to care. Hirotaka himself is a massive game nerd, his senpai is a light novel fanboy, and her own senpai is a well-known cosplayer. Hirotaka also seems pretty interested in the prospect of dating Narumi, so she’s got that going for her, too.
Wotakoi is successfully filling the void in my heart left by Gamers! and Recovery of an MMO Junkie. Nerd rom-coms are just the best, aren’t they? It’s this low on the list just because it hasn’t done too much to really wow me so far. It has been consistently funny with quite an entertaining cast, though. Also, it has a wonderful OP. Has the cutest bit of an OP I’ve seen in a while. And, as if Wotakoi didn’t have me hooked already, Sawashiro Miyuki voices the very attractive cosplayer. Great stuff.
5) Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory
After what feels like years, Sousuke Sagara and Kaname Chidori finally hold hands! Unbelievable! The romantic milestone is short-lived as Leonard Testarossa and his forces make their big play to eliminate Mithril and capture Kaname. For what may be one final time, Sousuke and Kaname will have to fight the odds to stay together and possibly hug one day!
To say Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory is one of my most anticipated anime ever is a bit of an understatement. I adore the first three seasons (Yeah, three!), and Sousuke and Kaname are straight-up one of my favorite anime couples. The franchise is one of the best blends of action, mech, comedy, and romance. So, why isn’t it higher? Because they gave me a friggin’ recap episode, and then they didn’t even acknowledge the cliffhanger of the previous actual episode! I’m not sure if I’ve ever been that blue-balled by an anime. I love you, FMP, but I need you to treat me better.
Nitta is your average low-ranking yakuza thug. He has a mean face, a nice apartment, and a penchant for collecting expensive vases. What he doesn’t much care for is the large metal egg housing a young girl that appeared in his home one night. Deciding to ignore it, Nitta goes to bed, but the girl is still there the next morning. Releasing her from the egg, Nitta learns her name is Hina and she has great telekinetic powers matched only by her desire to live an easy life. They reach an uneasy agreement where Nitta will essentially treat Hina as his estranged daughter and Hina won’t use her powers to ruin his life. Throw in a hot, manipulative bartender, the most skilled middle-schooler of all-time, a street band, a community of homeless men looking after another psychic girl, and a few more oddities and weirdos and you got yourself a delightful comedy for the whole family…as long as you don’t mind explaining what girly clubs are.
Man, I can’t remember the last time I laughed at an anime this much. Hinamatsuri is absolutely hilarious. The comedic timing, punchlines, and facial expressions are top-notch. And the characters–oh, the characters! Nitta and Hina’s initially reluctant father-daughter relationship only works thanks to Nitta’s ability to roll with life’s punches. Hitomi is easily the funniest character in the show, and Anzu often brings a tear to my eye. I love this show. It’s a guaranteed high point of my week every time.
3) Steins;Gate 0
Rintarou Okabe did not save Kurisu Makise. He has abandoned his lighthearted “Hououin Kyouma” personality. Suzuha Amane’s future is still one of war and terror, but Okabe no longer has the heart to help anyone, really. He just goes to class and lives a normal life now. Until he meets Maho Hiyajou and the AI Amadeus she and her colleagues have been working on. They’ve found a way to store an individual’s personality and memories into an artificial intelligence allowing it to grow and learn as if it were that person. To Okabe’s surprise, Kurisu used herself as a subject for Amadeus before her death. It’s almost a second chance for Okabe, but he’s in the bad timeline now, so the pin has to drop at some point.
Said it before, and I’ll say it again–the first Steins;Gate is one of my all-time favorite anime. Okabe is one of my favorite male protagonists, and Kurisu is one of my favorite female protagonists (she might actually be number one). And hey, I love time travel stories. So, checking out Steins;Gate 0 was pretty much a no-brainer for me. Yes, it is certainly darker compared to the original. There are no fun time traveling text messages. Okabe has made his choice, and the world is on a march to self-destruction. I’m not expecting a happy-ending, but I just love these characters so much. It’s been a bit more of a slow-burn than I would’ve liked, though. I’m still on the edge of my seat every week. It’s good to be back.
2) My Hero Academia 3
Ain’t no rest for the wicked or the virtuous as the League of Villains launch their assault on UA’s summer training camp to kick off the third season of My Hero Academia. Plus Ultra, bay-bay!
I mean, come on. It’s My Hero Academia! Of course I’m hype for this every week. We even get a patented MHA uber hype scene in the first few episodes. Right up there with All Might versus Nomu, Deku versus Todoroki, and everything with Stain. Probably the only reason this isn’t number one is because I have a good idea where this is going (I’ve started reading that manga, yo). I’m still super excited for it each and every Saturday, and it will probably wind up being one of my favorites I watch this summer.
What could possibly be my most hype show I’m following right now, though?
1) Megalo Box
Junk Dog doesn’t have a real name. Doesn’t know if he ever did. All he does know is how to box. Unfortunately, he’s forced to constantly throw underground Megalo Boxing matches in order for himself and his crooked manager to make money and survive. They’re unlicensed and will only ever live in the slums outside the absurdly wealthy city. That changes one day, though, when Junk Dog runs afoul of the top-ranked legitimate Megalo Boxer, Yuri, and gets him into a ring. No longer can he just throw underground fights. He’s seen greatness firsthand, and he wants it. With the local mob getting hold of an illegal license for him, the newly christened “Joe” now has only three months to climb the Megalo Boxing rankings and enter the Megalonia tournament. The world of Megalo Boxing has never seen anyone like him, and Joe plans to take full advantage that.
I…am not really familiar with the original Ashita no Joe. I’d love to check it out, but to the best of my knowledge, neither the anime or manga are readily legally available in the States. What I have seen, though, is Hajime no Ippo, and that anime…well, it’s my favorite. So, imagine me finding this brand new sci-fi boxing anime with a killer soundtrack and made to look like it came out in the late ’90s. Simply put–I was smitten. Megalo Box does falter when it comes to the actual fights sometimes, but I think that’s due to the series getting only one cour, forcing them to up the pacing. But, the show has already tackled themes I never expected out of my boxing anime like classism and PTSD. Megalo Box is only halfway through, but it already feels like this anime was made just for me. Plus, it’s had some truly maddening cliffhangers, and I have to respect that.
Whoops. Before I forget:
And that wraps up this Seasonal Sawce! I’m watching three season fours! Inconceivable. When next we meet; however, it will not be another Seasonal Sawce. Nay, it’s that most wonderful time of the year: The Summer of Anime.
Peace out, and stay bizarre.