Usually, I don’t, but This Season I’m Watching Quite a Bit
Other than watching more than usual this season, I thought this would be a pleasant surprise after my short leave of absence. More than a few people have been wanting to know what I was watching this season and my thoughts so, by popular demand, I thought I’d finally do one of these things! I’ll walk through each show, my progress so far, and general thoughts. If a title you were hoping I’d cover is missing, it means I’m either not watching it or just don’t have access (it’s more likely to be the latter).
Watched: 2 episodes out of 51
Status: Not Watching
Let’s start with the elephant in the room. A ton of people feel the need to talk about this show so it is an obligatory inclusion here. I was actually interested in Black Clover but just couldn’t get through Asta’s yelling. That’s really the only thing that stopped me. Sure, it’s generic, a bit slow, and has a litany of other problems but that doesn’t matter to me. I figured it would be a pretty decent watch, and from what I’ve seen, it should be. Asta just yells too much and too loudly. I’m really sensitive to that sort of thing so I gave up after sampling it. I wouldn’t say this is dropped or in-progress though. That being said, if the Black Clover anime manages to improve down the road, I’d be happy to get back into it.
A Sister’s All You Need
Watched: 6 episodes out of ??? (probably 12)
Ridding the waves of Eromanga Sensei, brings us to something I bet none of you thought I’d be watching: A Sister’s All You Need. Despite the trashy first five minutes, the actual show itself is a surprisingly pleasant workplace comedy/drama/romance… well, it’s a lot of things, but what it isn’t is trashy (usually). Outside of two specific moments, those being the egg scene and ten minutes of the MC telling a girl she was a slut for not getting what his novel was about, A Sister’s All You Need has managed to be fairly enjoyable.
I can’t quite explain what makes this show work since it is very clearly a hodgepodge of ideas, but it does work. The comedy works, it doesn’t make me laugh really hard or anything, but it works. More compelling is the fairly serious narrative that is suspiciously prominent despite this supposedly being a comedy. However, that’s not the most important part.
Obviously, the only real reason to watch this show is to see Itsuki’s impressive board game library. I mean, look at it! He has so many great games it’s not even funny. This was going to be a whole article (more as a joke than anything) but since I was doing this I scrapped it. He has games such as Skull as well as games that haven’t even been released yet! Board games getting featured in media is extremely rare, so to see pretty hardcore games as well as ones that aren’t even out yet in an anime of all things is just crazy to me.
In all seriousness, A Sister’s All You Need isn’t anything incredible. It’s average, but it did manage to bring more to the table than I could have ever predicted. If I had just brushed it off as another Eromanga Sensei, like I had initially, I would have missed out on something I’ve really been enjoying. Don’t let the first five minutes turn you away and consider giving it a fair go, it may just surprise you like it did me.
Watched: 6 episodes out of 12
Status: Watching… a bit begrudgingly
King’s Game is a train wreck. It’s not good. Is it funny at least? No. So is it even worth watching? No. So why exactly am I watching it? The better question, why do I so badly want to watch it each week and see just what will happen next?
It all started when this anime was announced. My thoughts, “This sounds like Future Diary, but if it actually delivered on its initial premise.” Guess what, that’s not exactly wrong here. However, King’s Game makes Future Diary look like a masterpiece by comparison. It does a ton of things that just don’t make sense and the presentation is bananas.
For whatever reason, King’s Game combines a prequel manga and another manga together and tries to make that work as one cohesive anime. Which is fine, except it starts you out in “the future,” which is just the present at first, but quickly gets abandoned in favor of telling the story about the previous game.
Sound kind of weird and confusing? It is. Especially when the show just randomly jumps between the two and doesn’t always make it clear why or when it’s going to do so. The thing is, there are a few things that could have easily fixed this. For example, starting in the past with the first game. Still want to cut to the future? Sure, just do so in a way that makes it unclear that the future skips are part of a different game. Really, there are a lot of little things like this that would dramatically improve King’s Game. It has bad direction, pacing, over-the-top death sequences, and horrific writing.
The two manga aren’t much better. That being said, episode six hit new levels of stupid. Spoilers, not that you should even care, but it turns out that everything is caused by a virus. Not just any virus though, one that can also infect computers as well as people. Oh, did I mention it kills you with hypnosis? Yup…
Any way, I desperately want to see where this ends up going. It’s been a descent into madness with each passing episode having me question my sanity. I can’t stop watching it. Do yourself a favor and don’t get into this one. Points for the opening though, it’s now the only part of the show I actively look forward to and fully enjoy. Funny since I used to hate it and was more “invested” in the story previously.
Zodiac Wars (Juuni Taisen)
Watched: 6 episodes out of 12
Status: Eagerly Watching
Speaking of Future Diary, here’s a show coming from director Hosoda, Naoto. Zodiac Wars was a show I had also been looking forward to. However, I thought that this would actually be worse than *barf* King’s Game *barf* when I had first heard about them long before either began airing. I mean, it did come with a certain reputation attached.
This turned out to be the complete opposite case. As far as action shows go, this is by and far the best series I’m watching this season. I like that there is no “obvious” winner to this battle royal, even if there are hints about who will die and when. The thing is though, the show has managed to surprise me about a few things. Massive props because that isn’t the easiest thing for a show to do. I’m surprisingly good at calling twists, even ones that aren’t even foreshadowed, and Zodiac Wars got me exactly two times so far.
The first time was not actually in episode one where most people were tricked. That would actually go to a different moment where nobody died in an episode. I hadn’t expected that at all, which ended up making it rather tense because that had been the pattern up until then. The second time was with episode six and the death of a specific character who I had pegged as an obvious front-runner (didn’t think they’d win but I had expected top three).
Great animation on display, a real death game with just a bit going on in the background, and the proper amount of tension episode-to-epsisode. Some folks have complained about deaths being a little telegraphed by certain events, a possible death pattern (though that has been largely debunked), and a few more spoiler-y things but considering the production staff and director on this one I think Zodiac Wars still has a few surprises up its sleeve. If it manages to stick the ending, it’ll be one of the better shows (that I can watch at least) this season.
Kekkai Sensen & Beyond/Blood Blockade Battlefront & Beyond
Watched: 4 episodes out of 12
After season one of Blood Blockade Battlefront I was definitely up for more and now that it’s here I can’t help but feel uncertain about it. On the one hand, some episodes have been enjoyable and fun. On the other, I’m just not quite sure where the show is going. I’m not very far into it, so there is still plenty of time for a bigger picture to come into focus but the standard vignette story telling that is expected here just isn’t quite doing enough for me. I really enjoyed episodes 3 and 4 though, so if they continue on these lines I should have a good time at least.
Regardless, everything that was good about season one is still present here and it isn’t like it hasn’t been a good time (usually). If you liked season one then watching season two is kind of a no brainer. If not, then there isn’t anything here that is going to change your mind, at least not at only four episodes in.
Recovery of an MMO Junkie
Watched: 5 episodes out of 10
Ug, I missed a week on this one so I’m only five episodes in. Any way, Recovery of an MMO Junkie is about a lady who quits her job and becomes a NEET who stays home to play an MMO. She meets another player and they instantly click. The problem? Both of them play characters of the opposite gender. It’s pretty by the books to be perfectly frank, but there is an abundance of charm in this anime.
There are a lot of coincidences in MMO Junkie that are pretty unbelievable but nothing has really taken me out of it. This is added by the fact that the characters themselves recognize the improbability of some of these events. At its core, the show seems to be one part comedy and the other part dramatic romance. Totally fine with me, I’m pretty easily invested in this sort of thing.
I do have to wonder based on what has happened so far, exactly how everything is going to be wrapped up. There are about 3 sub-plots going on, and while they are extremely obvious to the viewer, they haven’t really gained much momentum in the anime itself. So far the romance plotline has been advanced and you see plenty of the MMO world but there is enough other stuff that has been kind of pushed to the wayside. Still, this has been an enjoyable show and I would recommend it so far.
The Ancient Magus’ Bride
Watched: 5 episodes (plus the 3 OVA’s) out of 24
Status: Watching Eagerly
This is probably the biggest ticket item of the season. The Ancient Magus’ Bride is a beautiful show that has so much potential. It reminds me of some Ghibli films, Harry Potter, and offers a story that works well for people of all ages and backgrounds. It’s hard not to like this anime.
Unfortunately, I did miss last week’s episode which was a real bummer. I’m going to be sure not to do that again because this is the one show that I don’t want to fall behind on this season. The Ancient Magus’ Bride is easily a must-watch this season. Since it’s on Crunchyroll with the three prequel OVA episodes, there is no excuse to not be watching it.
In fairness, there are faults with this anime but they are always made up for in one way or another. My biggest complaint is that some information form the OVA’s is repeated quite a bit in the early episodes (which is obviously there for people who didn’t watch them or just forgot the details since they came out awhile ago) but even then things have been expanded upon in these same moments. If you aren’t watching this one already, you really should be.
That’s it Folks!
These are all the shows I am watching this season. Of course I’d love to be watching some of the other ones like YuYu’s second season or Land but I don’t have access so it can’t be helped. I hope you enjoyed this article and maybe I’ll do another one of these again for next season. Since I did a mid-way impressions article, I might just do a season wrap-up once all these shows finish up as well. Keep an eye out 😉