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Fall Anime Season 2018 – Review January 1, 2019

Posted by coolmikeol in Seasonal Anime Reviews.
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I got a late start on most of these series as I was in Japan when they started. I started watching about halfway into the season, and slowly I added a few more series as I watching during it. The only one I did plan to watch but haven’t started yet from this season was Sword Art Online: Alicization, but since it’s going to be a fairly long series I knew I didn’t have to rush into it. If you want to see a full list of what animes I’ve watched, you can always check out My Anime List. Here is a list of animes that I watched from this season:

Gaikotsu Shotenin Honda-san

Goblin Slayer

Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume wo Minai

SSSS.Gridman

Tensei shitara Slime Datta Ken

Toaru Majutsu no Index III 

Tonari no Kyuuketsuki-san

Uchi no Maid ga Uzasugiru!

Yagate Kimi ni Naru

Remember, these reviews assume that you have watched the series, which means SPOILERS will be few but imminent. You have been warned.


Gaikotsu Shotenin Honda-san

Skull-face Bookseller Honda-san‘s “story centers on a skeleton named Honda who works in a bookstore. Hilarity ensues daily in his work at the shop’s manga counter.” I connected with this anime as it was all about retail work in a bookstore. As a person who works in a bookstore myself, I related to a lot of what Honda-san went through. Of course the main difference was that this was about a Japanese bookstore that seems to sell a large variety of books, where as my department exclusively sells textbooks used for University college classes. There was some cases where the more specific situations that Honda-san had I had trouble keeping up with understanding, but that’s probably because just like with all retail stores, there’s always something to do. Employees and customers are in a rush alike, and so are the tasks to do. My favorite episode was the last one, as I could relate to most if not all to what a bookstore deals with. From looks alone, I probably would have skipped this anime if I had not known what it was about. I’m grateful that I did check this short anime out because it put a smile on my face, and I’ll definitely think about it from time to time while I’m at work.

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Goblin Slayer

Goblin Slayer, with its raw violence and disclaimers about it, was something that people either liked or didn’t like. I myself had no problems with it, but I can imagine why controversy was stirring about it when the anime started. Images of gore and rape were present and talked about in the show, but it was done to set the reality of how dangerous goblins were when left unchecked. Goblin Slayer (the character) had goblins killing on his mind ever since they killed people close to him when he was a child. Now he goes about on quests only to kill goblins and nothing else. He eventually has a party of people helping him, and they do their best in whatever dark situation they find themselves in.

Unlike most animes that look the same as this one, I felt that the fights that Goblin Slayer and company had were more realistic in the sense that there was no plot armor to protect them. Their strategy and teamwork to fighting the goblins was their greatest weapon, and even when things didn’t go according to plan, they fought until they could no more. The tag line for this show: “He does not let anyone roll the dice” probably means that Goblin Slayer controls his own destiny, and he will not let anyone control it for him in the form of luck or higher beings. Hard work, advanced planning, consistency, and a passion for killing Goblins seems to be the core that drives Goblin Slayer to live up to his name.

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Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume wo Minai

Probably my favorite of this season is Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai, which is about Sakuta Azusagawa, a second-year student in high school who meets several girls that are experiencing “puberty syndrome”, an “illness” that is provoked by some sort of personal drama. The some of the effects include presence disappearance, time looping, body doubles and transforming and the like. Sakuta himself has experienced his own puberty syndrome and helps each respective girl out with their problems, mainly because they are either people who are friends or family, and also because sometimes their syndrome affects him as well.

This show was quite fantastic, as it balanced each of the girls on-screen time, as well as keeping them relevant even when they were not the focused girl. Mai Sakurajima is the favorite girl of the anime, being the face of the series. After Sakuta helps her fix her dwindling presence in the world, she is able to re-pursue her passion for acting. She and Sakuta begin dating after this, but have to keep it low key due to Mai’s acting career. Unlike most anime girlfriends, she is a very calm and understanding person who doesn’t jump to conclusions. This is a breath of fresh air in an anime world filled with stereotypical girls who are either quick to anger or are quite meek, as she is neither and actually feels more realistic. I think a lot of people would like a person like Mai with her characteristics.

In terms of who I liked the most, yes Mai is probably my number 1, but probably my close runner up would be Tomoe. In her case the puberty syndrome caused time loops, where she and Sakuta would relive certain days over and over again. This happened because Tomoe is a person who is extremely conscious of her social life with her friends, and when she was being asked out by Maezawa, who her best friend had a crush on, she was reluctant to answer. When Sakuta passed by this situation and later a unfortunate event happened between him and Tomoe, a time loop started. Sakuta asks Rio (one of the other heroines) about this who attributes the phenomenon to being Laplace’s demon. To my understanding and in this case, the time loop is Tomoe’s way of trial and error, making sure that the best outcome happens from that day. When she is satisfied, time flows again. This is probably why when she and Sakuta were about to end their fake public relationship, that day ended up repeating again and again. It was because Tomoe fell in love with him despite them having a fake relationship to get Maezawa to move on from liking her. She didn’t want to end their friendship at the same time as ending their fake girlfriend/boyfriend status. After she confessed to Sakuta and got rejected, things were resolved and time reverted back to the day where it all began, the day of Maezawa confessing to Tomoe. In essence, that whole experience was merely a simulation of the future. She confidently rejected Maezawa’s confession and when asked if she liked someone else, described the person she admired as a new friend. I liked Tomoe’s arc because of her development from being overly conscious of what others think of her, to learning to be honest to herself. The people around her would never see her for who she is if she always had a mask on, and by accepting who she was she could have people who accept her as well.

There was a movie announced to be released sometime in 2019, and I hope to see if when I have the chance. Hopefully it will fill in any other gaps the anime had and further Sakuta and Mai’s relationship.

—–

SSSS.Gridman

SSSS.Gridman was a great throwback to classic kaiju shows, like its original show. It was entertaining with its kaiju battles and Trigger style, but the story felt shallow. Once again, it’s thanks to space aliens causing trouble for our world. When I say “Once again”, I mean in terms of Trigger’s animes. Kill La Kill and Darling in the FranXX both also had aliens who were presented as the main antagonist halfway through the season. It feels like a tired and cheap way to have a bad guy to identify. I might be jumping the gun though when it comes to this show, as SSSS.Gridman is not an original thing by Trigger, but rather a remake in their own style of the original 1993-1994 tokusatsu show titled Gridman the Hyper Agent. If there are aliens in the original show, then I’ll forgive Trigger this time. Overall it was unique in its own right and has some nice characters. The ending to this show also was a nice touch to answering the question about the connection between Akane and the world she “played” in.

—–

Tensei shitara Slime Datta Ken

The current favorite of the isekai genre this season is TenSura (That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime). In a typical fashion a guy who dies in Tokyo is reborn in a new world of magic and fantasy. However he is now a slime who is capable of permanently learning new unique abilities by absorbing the entity or being that has them. (Kind of like Kirby from Nintendo.) By gaining new powerful abilities and being a nice guy, he gains allies and alliances to solve problems that this new world has.

I’m happy this this show is 24 episodes, which means that my expectations for it to have a good story are there. So far I’m liking most of the characters, and the story is progressing at a good rate. I don’t know what to expect in the second half of the season, but if it’s as entertaining as it has been I’m not worried about it.

—–

Toaru Majutsu no Index III 

We’re halfway into season 3 of Index, it being 24 episodes long, and it’s been a rushed mess of sorts. When I mean rushed I don’t mean quality of the show, but rather the plot. The first several episodes had the viewers thrown all over the place, just like how Touma is too. It can get confusing when trying to follow multiple factions fighting each other. More than half the time I don’t really know what’s going on, besides the basic idea of Science vs. Magic thing in this series. You would think that a season with 24 episodes would be able to spread itself out evenly over those episodes, but at the rate things are going I feel like they intend to make this the last season. Things seem to be slowing down slightly at the midway point of the season, but the rush to it has definitely affected the overall quality of the show in my opinion. Index has always had a bunch of intersecting storylines, but with the massive amount of church terminology being mentioned as well supposedly important for the story, it’s hard to keep up with it all. Whenever I watch this show, I just think about it as good guys vs. bad guys and hope to see more Touma punches saving the day.

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Tonari no Kyuuketsuki-san

The cutesy slice-of-life anime of the season, Ms. vampire who lives in my neighborhood is exactly what it sounds like. Akari Amano is obsessed with dolls, and upon hearing a rumor of a doll-like girl living in a house near the woods, goes to see if she can find her. She ends up getting lost but is saved by Sophie Twilight, a vampire girl who was the subject of the rumors. Unlike most stereotypical vampires, Sophie lives a modern life, never attacking humans and gets her blood by ordering it on the internet. Akari befriends Sophie and moves in with her. Together they enjoy their everyday company all while learning about each other. This is the modern everyday life story of a human and vampire living together.

I enjoyed it as a light comedy, though there’s nothing outstanding about it. When I was in Japan a couple of months ago, while fishing the Japanese television channels I came across this on one of the live anime channels. I already heard about this anime before I left for Japan, so I knew generally what it was. But because I was with other people at the time and also I couldn’t understand spoken Japanese, I would watch it another time.

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Uchi no Maid ga Uzasugiru!

Another slice-of-life anime that I also watched was UzaMaid!, an anime about a girl named Misha and her lolicon maid Kamoi. A lot of the comedy in this show comes from the funny but cringe-worthy moments that usually come from Kamoi or Midori, with their obsessions over their respective person. While it is a slice-of-life show, there is the story of Kamoi slowly getting closer to Misha, helping her to accept her feelings about her late mother. I found it heart warming that despite Kamoi’s strange actions, there was certain things that she knew she could or should not do, and in the case of Misha and her mother, she always put Misha’s well-being first. The last couple of episodes had more drama that the rest of the series, but it came out well and it had a believable conclusion.

—–

Yagate Kimi ni Naru

This shojo ai series is a slow drama about discovering what love is, as well as self discovery. Here is a synopsis of Bloom Into You from MAL.net:

“Yuu has always loved shoujo manga and awaits the day she gets a love confession that sends her heart aflutter with bubbles and blushes, and yet when a junior high classmate confesses his feelings to her…she feels nothing. Disappointed and confused, Yuu enters high school still unsure how to respond. That’s when Yuu sees the beautiful student council president Nanami turn down a suitor with such maturity that she’s inspired to ask her for help. But when the next person to confess to Yuu is Nanami herself. Has her shoujo romance finally begun?”

While this describes Yuu, Nanami has a more complicated situation. Namami admired her late older sister who passed away when she was about the same age as she is now. To follow and fulfill her sister’s footsteps, she decides to do a school play that used to be a tradition for the student council to put on. The last one that was to be held was seven years ago, one that her sister was to perform in until she died in a traffic accident. Nanami felt that it was her duty to fulfill what her sister couldn’t do, but is that who she truly wanted to be? The new school play was written by Yuu’s friend Koyomi, an aspiring writer. The play she wrote for the student council can be seen as parallel to the current situation, basically a girl who has to discover who she truly is after losing her memories from the people who are close to her. Memories loss aside, Nanami struggles to figure out who she really is; A replacement of her sister? A perfect student council president? Or a person with faults that hates herself for it? Yuu sees a side of Nanami that she never shows others, and even though Nanami has admitted that she loves Yuu, she doesn’t want Yuu to fall in love with her, or rather with the her that she hates. Yuu initially doesn’t feel much towards Nanami, but as she spends time with her, her feelings grow and eventually blossom within her. However, because of Nanami’s insecurity about who she should be on the outside, Yuu is determined to help Nanami to discover who she truly is though the writing of the student council school play.

Unlike the other yuri genre shows I’ve watched, this one is slower and more thought out in a good way. The other yuri shows I’ve watched more or less speed through and force the girls love onto the audience via fan service scenes, usually though sexual harassment or though a form of Stockholm syndrome. This can be cringey to watch, so these shows end up being on the end of the enjoyment spectrum. However, Bloom Into You is a slow story about discovering what you like and love, and that’s how it should be. Most of the time you don’t fall in love at first sight; it develops as you learn more about yourself in relation to the person you’re interested in. This anime is probably one of the more realistic love stories I’ve seen in a while, and that’s why I like it. The ending of the season though left much to be wanted. It didn’t end on a stereotypical note where they become an actual couple, but it didn’t resolve the story either. The school play is where the climax will be, but the season ended right before it. I guess if they were to have a movie that could conclude it nicely, but nothing has been officially announced. I’ll be looking forward to any new animations of this series in the future.


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