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Spring Anime Season 2019 – Review July 7, 2019

Posted by coolmikeol in Seasonal Anime Reviews.
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I started with a few that I knew that I wanted to watch, ended up once again having about 9 total from this season. It always seems to be that way for me. There was a few big titles airing this season, but besides those there was a good few smaller ones. 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:

Bokutachi wa Benkyou ga Dekinai

Hitoribocchi no Marumaru Seikatsu

Kimetsu no Yaiba

Midara na Ao-chan wa Benkyou ga Dekinai

Nande Koko ni Sensei ga!?

One Punch Man 2nd Season

Sewayaki Kitsune no Senko-san

Shingeki no Kyojin Season 3 Part 2

Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari

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


Bokutachi wa Benkyou ga Dekinai

When I first learned about this anime at the start of the season, I didn’t initially see a reason to watch it. I had assumed that it was similar to last season’s The Quintessential Quintuplets, where the poor MC is tasked with helping a number of girls study. Now to be fair that does describe both animes basic premise, but that’s where the comparison ends. Unlike in the former anime, I feel that our MC Nariyuki Yuiga really helps each of them with their respective bad subject, as he is a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to academics. It’s also nice to see that his pupils are actually willing to listen and learn from his tutoring, as it did get somewhat irritating to see Fuutarou’s (From The Quintessential Quintuplets) efforts go to waste so quickly at times. What makes this anime different from the former is that each of the girls are geniuses at the opposite subject they actually want to pursue, mainly for the reasons that they either want to prove the naysayers wrong, follow in a loved one’s passions, or simply want to understand a subject that they are not well versed in.

Each of the main female protagonists as mentioned are great at one particular subject, such as math, literature, sports, etc. While they may excel at their genus subject, they don’t take the easy road for their futures by just doing what their good at. Their reasoning and drive to work on their weak subject is adamant, and lucky enough there’s someone who is good at all subjects who can keep up with their questions gauntlet. Of course, it goes without saying that besides their academic prowess, they have their own personality and charm that Nariyuki is aware of (to some extent). Once again the “waifu” generators are at it again, but this time I’m liking these girls more than the Quintuplets one. I’ve been ranking them in my mind in a couple of ways: Them to Nariyuki and to the viewer. For Nariyuki in this order; Furuhashi, Takemoto, Ogata, Kominami, Kirisu. Originally Takemoto was lower in my opinion, but her pushes in the end pushed her up. My second ranking based on (my) viewer opinion; Furuhashi, Kominami, Kirisu, Ogata, Takemoto. Furuhashi is consistently on top as she is the one most sociable, despite not initially thinking herself as attracted to Nariyuki the way the others are. However she finds herself getting closer to him even while trying to support Takemoto (and Nariyuki) and Ogata, as seen in the final episode of this first season. Someone in real life who is like Furuhashi would be nice to be friends with. Takemoto is the childhood friend of sorts whose liked Nariyuki since middle school. Her playful personality hides her true feelings from him as she’s shy in that regard. As for someone like her in real life, she would be fun to hang around but personally for me it would be a bit hard to deal with. Ogata is the logical math wizard who has trouble understanding reading emotions and the like. She’s not emotionless herself, she just has a hard time justifying emotional reasons. Short, plump, and diligent, Ogata’s slight tsundereness but willing to understand what she doesn’t makes her a rounded character to enjoy, both in anime and real life. Kominami-senpai had the least screen time but she came through strong, with Nariyuki masquerading as her boyfriend to her father to convince him that she’s working hard to eventually take over the family clinic business. As a senpai to all of them, she understands the trials and tribulations of studying a subject that’s hard for a person, as well as dealing with entrance exams for college. Last but not least, Kirisu-sensei. As the eldest person of this group, she doesn’t hold up very well as an adult compared to the others. Before Nariyuki came along to tutor, she was in charge of tutoring Ogata and Furuhashi, but failed to help them after coming to the conclusion that they should just stick to their best subjects for their futures. Her weakpoints, or rather her charm points, have made her a favorite among fans. Under her cold and professional exterior is a maiden who makes mistakes in the most embarrassing ways. I guess she’s a tsundere of sorts as well.

I enjoyed this anime, more than Quintuplets. I wished that I didn’t initially judge it in the beginning based on its synopsis, but it is what it is. Now with many shows sharing very similar stories (I’m looking at you Isekai genre), filtering out what to watch and what to skip is becoming more common for me. I’m glad that a second season has already been announced for Fall 2019, which reminds me that there’s also going to be a second season of Quintuplets as well in the future. Just like with the former, all the heroines are on the Nariyuki board. Once they achieve their academic goal, what will happen after? Kominami-senpai brought it up to Nariyuki, so now he has that to ponder about. He can’t stay the dense MC forever, right?

—–

Hitoribocchi no Marumaru Seikatsu

There are a lot of shy people out there, me included. Some of those people just accept it and turtle themselves away from society, some break that shell and become something new. But in this anime, Bocchi who is shy in the extreme, tries her utmost to befriend as many people as possible in her new school in order to keep a promise that she made to her childhood friend. Originally this show didn’t show much interest to me, but decided to check it out anyways. With Bocchi’s premise being that she had to befriend everyone in her class in order to stay friends with her childhood friend Kai (who is now attending a different school), I had initially felt this to be a bit too mean of a condition to put on someone, especially with Bocchi’s level of shyness. I guess the reason Kai did it was because she knew that as Bocchi’s only friend at the time, she knew that Bocchi didn’t want to lose her, and Kai knew that Bocchi needed to grow and make new friends so that she could have more people to depend on and eventually help her to get over her shyness. I’m glad to see that while Bocchi’s shyness is her weak-point, her willingness to overcome it shined through.

Bocchi’s new friends were unique on their own, all happy to help out poor Bocchi in her times of need. From what I heard, each of the characters names in this series is actually a Japanese pun relating to them. For example, Hitori Bocchi’s name means “loneliness” or “solitude”, and Bocchi’s first new friend Sunao Nako is derived from sunao na ko, which means “honest child.” If you want to read the article about this, check it out here.

This show is great as it shows the slow but steady development of a relatable character. Sure, maybe we’re not on Bocchi level shyness, but we’ve experienced it in one ways or another. Simply by taking the first step into something new can you discover something exciting and helpful to yourself and others. Also, I was grinning at the random DeLorean that was shown among other cars in the credits of the final episode. Kudos to the anime staff for adding that randomly in.

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Kimetsu no Yaiba

Demon Slayer is one of the top animes this season, as it’s being headed by Studio ufotable, known for their animation works from the Fate/Stay series among others. Also featuring Kajiura Yuki for the BGM and a decent cast of seiyuus, this show has the ingredients for success. While the main story is following a standard Shōnen formula, the character development of this series is key to making this different from others before it. This season is 26 episodes long, so we’re just under halfway done and so far things are going well for Tanjirou and company. And when I mean well I mean that he hasn’t suffered too much yet from his battles against the night-loving demons. In the story, He and his little sister Nezuko are trying to find a way to turn her back into a human after she was turned into a demon by one. After a couple years of training, Tanjirou joined the Demon Killing Corps in order to protect himself and his sister from them, while following clues that could help him reverse the demon curse. Luckily Nezuko was able to mostly keep her human emotion and thought, but has the power (and weakness) of a demon to help fight alongside her brother. Together they are a powerful duo with a goal in mind.

For some reason when I first saw this show from a trailer, I had thought it was some sort of parody anime. It was a combination of so many well known quality people that made it a “Too good to be true” kind of thing. The unique animation also helped to make it seem like a one off title; the water that flows with Tanjirou’s blade or the (literal) directional arrows that fly from a demon’s hands to attack by pulling the target as if it was being dragged by a mouse cursor. I now know that Demon Slayer is the real deal.

What do I think of the show so far? It’s pretty good, but pretty standard when it comes to its story. The animation is the highlight for me, smooth on all sides. I’m not really invested in the endgame plot for turning Nezuko back into a human yet, but if they can get me interested in the mystery behind the Demons I’ll be all for it.

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Midara na Ao-chan wa Benkyou ga Dekinai

A slightly ecchi but mostly pure love story about a high school girl named Ao Horie whose father happens to be a bestselling erotic author. Embarrassed throughout her childhood as her origin of her name comes from her father’s erotic work, she aims to get into an elite university and achieve independence from her father once and for all. What makes matters worse is that her classmate Takumi Kijima confesses that he likes her. Internal conflicts arise as she battles two things: Her original goal of studying to get into college, and her teenage mind which can’t think straight when love is in the picture.

On paper this sounds like a show that uses fanservice as its main feature, but I felt that it was just one aspect of it. Ao pushed away at thought of love as it was associated with her embarrassing memories from the past. And while she was exposed to her father’s work, she became desensitized to what she read from them. When she encountered love for herself, she thought nothing of it except from what she knew from her father’s books which were not based in reality. A combination of a young mind going through puberty and having someone confess that they love you is a lot for someone who thought it was something bad. Ao slowly learns to understand how to deal with love on her own, which has produced some interesting scenes, whether real or just all in her head.

An enjoyable short episode series I thought it was.

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Nande Koko ni Sensei ga!?

This series was purely fan service, from whatever you could see (or imagine) anyways. Basically teacher and student finds themselves in strange (ecchi) situations, where they ask themselves “Why the hell are you here!?” Not much more I can say about it.

—–

One Punch Man 2nd Season

One Punch Man Season 2 was definitely a different experience to the first season, a lot to do with the change of animation studio from Madhouse to J.C.Staff. Besides the downgrade in visual and animation quality, season 2 was more plot based, focusing on the Hero Hunter Garo in his quest to destroy the Hero Association. At the same time, monsters from the proclaimed Monster Association also are rampaging across multiple cities in order to wipe humans from the face of the Earth. While most heroes are busy at work protecting the people, our titular protagonist Saitama (aka One Punch Man) is as bored as ever. He tries a couple of things to combat this: Joining a martial arts tournament masquerading as someone else to learn more about martial arts, and playing video games against the Hero King. In-between these he One Punches some monsters that get in his daily life.

For a lot of people, including myself, did find the changes in season 2 to be a negative thing when compared to season 1. However after finishing this season, I thought it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. For starters, the story in better in this season, giving the spotlight to someone who is less OP or predictable. We’re already aware of Saitama’s power and abilities, and as such small fry are no match for him. The only one who gave him a somewhat extended fight was Boros from season 1, but it still ended when Saitama got serious. Garo as a character is interesting for a couple of reasons. Because he trained under Bang, he is a very capable martial arts fighter, so he’s more technical than just overwhelming power in a single hit. Besides his physical prowess, he also has strong motives for what he’s fighting for, highlighted by flashbacks to his past. The season ended without a big battle like we had in the previous season, but it definitely alludes to the story to continue in a future season, whenever that may be.

—–

Sewayaki Kitsune no Senko-san

The soothing series of the season, The Helpful Fox Senko-san was a simple series about an adorable foxgirl goddess wanting to serve and pamper a hardworking salaryman. Nakano comes home one day to find (the 800 year-old) Senko-san cooking and cleaning his apartment. She explains that she’s there to pamper and spoil Nakano to his hearts content. As a adult, Nakano initially refuses her help, but slowly grows to accept Senko-san’s warmth, both figuratively and literally.

As sketchy as this may sound, its absolutely a pure anime about having someone at home to take care of you after grueling hours at a unfavorable workplace. Whether that be through having a clean living place, delicious cooking, or just having company to heal a broken mind, heart, or soul.

At first I thought this would be a short series anime, you know shorter than normal episode length. When I saw that these episodes were full length, I was thinking “How will they fill each episode with new content that didn’t feel drawn out?” Something as simple as taking care of someone at home couldn’t be that entertaining? Boy was I proven wrong. Not only did I find episodes going by in an instant, by no means did I feel that things repeated or were boring. Just the sight of a loving kitsune wanting to do things for someone without feeling like they expect anything back, it’d want anyone to have someone like Senko-san. Of course we’d want to do things for her as thanks, but she would always turn down the offer. It reminds me of how a grandmother would treat their grandchildren.

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Shingeki no Kyojin Season 3 Part 2

The second part of Season 3 of AOT really moved the story along, finally retaking Wall Maria and getting to the basement that many fans have been waiting for. With the info found there, it opens up a new world of possibilities for how the story will continue. I don’t read the manga, but I know that it’s already ending if not already ended.

This season really felt like a big culmination of everything that the story has been building up to. And luckily the hype was definitely met with the same energy with the ending of this season. As a pure AOT anime watcher with no info from the manga, I liked the progression that has happened in the third season. I’ve felt that I’ve grown with the characters, as with many others who having been watching from the beginning way back in 2013. Looking back at it now, there have been many characters that have died since, but their deaths don’t feel like a waste. Every single sacrifice has brought humanity closer to the truth. Where we are now is proof of that.

I know that normally I speak with spoilers freely in my reviews, but I won’t for this one, as it’s best to watch and find out for yourself. Overall I thought Season 3 ended on yet another big cliffhanger on a couple of things. The story of course, but also about the future of AOT itself. Wit Studio who has been animating the series since the beginning has mentioned that they might be done doing AOT. With the announcement of the Final Season coming in 2020, it’s not confirmed who will be animating it. Wit Studio has done an amazing job of bringing the manga to life, and unless a parallel level studio can take over, I think a lot of fans will not like the difference if the animation quality is not as good as its been. A good example of this is One Punch Man which also aired this season. Season 1 of OPM was done by Madhouse while Season 2 was done by J.C.Staff. The difference between the two is very apparent in a bad way. I do hope that Wit Studio will hold on for the final season of AOT as a way to please fans, as well as finish what they started. I think it will cement their reputation in anime history as having done one of the greatest animes in this decade.

One more thing, besides the animation the music in this anime is as always phenomenal. Done by the one and only Sawano Hiroyuki, it’s thanks to him that this show is as epic as it is. Visually the show is great, but pairing it with a equally great soundtrack truly gives this show life and personally that few can match. I’m a big fan of his music, and I don’t think there’s a day where I don’t listen to his work. He has worked on plenty of other shows with memorable songs, and while his music is recognizable due to it having the same kind of style, I can’t get enough of it.

—–

Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari

As one of the better Isekais around, Shield Hero has proved itself to be a popular choice for its genre. In this second half of season, we finally see Naofumi getting the justice he deserves with the revelation of the King’s and Myne’s schemes. Even with his name cleared, his relationship with the other three heroes are still shaky at best. His efforts to get all of them to work together has not been successful, causing him to try and build himself and his party up to become the greatest fighting force against the waves, seeing that the other heroes won’t get over their egos.

Shield Hero was a nice watch, though I felt that the last episode was rushed. There was a lot going on, with the dialogue also being fairly abundant to give as much info as possible. I think they wanted to get this season to end at a good point to set up for an eventual future season.

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