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Winter Anime Season 2019 – Review April 11, 2019

Posted by coolmikeol in Seasonal Anime Reviews.
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There’s a pretty good amount of animes airing this season, hopefully signaling what’s to come for the rest of the year. The anime opening songs are also pretty good as well, which is getting me to make APVs (Anime Piano Videos) more often. 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:

Date A Live Ⅲ

Domestic na Kanojo

Doukyonin wa Hiza, Tokidoki, Atama no Ue.

Gotoubun no Hanayome

Sword Art Online: Alicization

Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari

Tensei shitara Slime Datta Ken

Toaru Majutsu no Index III

Watashi ni Tenshi ga Maiorita!

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


 

Date A Live Ⅲ

Date A Live III continues where season 2 ended, and I do like the return of a more serious tone that the first season had and the second season didn’t have. Season 3 focuses on the spirits of Natsumi and the Origami story, which were quite dramatic to say the least. While I felt that this season was more focused on the spirits’ problem, it also introduced the potential origin of spirits, and that’s probably going to be explored in a future season. I will say that the final episode felt out of place, like it should have been an OVA. I know that it was suppose to be connected with the vast amount of spirit energy that Shido is sealing/harboring, but still it definitely like a weird way to end the season.

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Domestic na Kanojo

In this season’s adult themed drama, “Natsuo Fujii is in love with his teacher, Hina. Attempting to forget his feelings towards her, Natsuo goes to a mixer with his classmates where he meets an odd girl named Rui Tachibana. In a strange turn of events, Rui asks Natsuo to sneak out with her and do her a favor. To his surprise, their destination is Rui’s house—and her request is for him to have sex with her. There’s no love behind the act; she just wants to learn from the experience. Thinking that it might help him forget about Hina, Natsuo hesitantly agrees.

After this unusual encounter Natsuo now faces a new problem. With his father remarrying, he ends up with a new pair of stepsisters; unfortunately, he knows these two girls all too well. He soon finds out his new siblings are none other than Hina and Rui! Now living with both the teacher he loves and the girl with whom he had his “first time,” Natsuo finds himself in an unexpected love triangle as he climbs ever closer towards adulthood.”

I found this anime to be a fantasization of young love gone wrong. Of course when your young, you’re still learning from experience what is right or wrong, so it may not be clear what to do than just following your heart which is what Natuso seemed to be doing. He got himself into a love triangle that’s worse than your typical one, a forbidden one at that. I just didn’t see any way that he could of gotten out of it unscathed. One was his teacher, and the other was a same age/classmate, but once they became his (step) siblings that just added salt to the wound. The conclusion was probably the best that could have happened for all parties involved, and a lesson learned is knowledge gained.

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Doukyonin wa Hiza, Tokidoki, Atama no Ue.

This anime is a rehabilitating tale of having a cat as a roommate. “Novelist Subaru Mikazuki, who is shy and not good with other people, and Haru, the cat that has been living a severe stray life. This is a story of them suddenly living together and describes the happiness of living together from both points of view.”

In the beginning of the anime, Subaru morns the death of his parents, which causes him to keep to himself as he views the outside world as bothersome. When visiting his parents’ grave, he comes across a stray cat which he ends up keeping as he found that he inspires his imagination for his novel writing. By having someone to care for and vice versa, Subaru slowly learns to enjoy the company of others.

I found this anime to be quite a warm tale of a person and his cat. I love that we get the perspectives from both sides, Subaru and Haru respectively. This is definitely family friendly anime that anyone can watch.

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Gotoubun no Hanayome

This season’s “Waifu” generator is The Quintessential Quintuplets, a story about “A high school boy [who] must work part-time to help five sisters study so they can graduate, but the only thing these quintuplets have in common is that they all hate studying!”

“Fuutarou Uesugi took the tutoring gig because he was desperate for cash, but when his students—the five beautiful daughters of a wealthy businessman—find five times the excuses to slack off, what can he do?! At this rate, the sisters won’t graduate, so if he wants to get paid, Fuutarou must think of a plan to suit each of them… Which feels hopeless when five out of five of them think he’s a loser!”

With a fantastic seiyuu (Voice actors) cast, this anime was an interesting one to watch. It was one that focused more on building relationships rather than forced fanservice scenes, which is always welcome in a harem type show. What was also nice was that our MC Fuutarou wasn’t a pushover; he may be a bookworm but he knows how to be social as well when he needs to be. He probably was more so when he was in his delinquent looking days. The final episode tries to put a ring on the series, both figuratively and literally, but I do hope we get more in the future.

Also, I’m rooting for you Miku….

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Sword Art Online: Alicization

I finally got myself into watching Sword Art Online: Alicization, after putting it off for quite a while. It was already about a little more than halfway through when I first started it. In this season 3 of SAO, we find Kirito once again stuck in a virtual world, due to a fated encounter with a Laughing Coffin member in the real world putting him into a life-threatening state. To save him, he was placed in a new type of virtual world called The Underworld under Project Alicization, a top-secret government project run by Rath to create the first Highly Adaptive Artificial Intelligence (Bottom-up AI). As Kirito’s body was affected greatly by poison stabbed from said Laughing Coffin member, in order for his mind to be saved while his body recovered, his soul or “Fluctlight” was transferred over to the virtual world. Unknowing to most though, there was more to it than that…

I don’t want to write an entire summary of the anime like I tend to for context purposes, so I’ll stop there for that. I think that this season has definitely been a breath of fresh air, as was have a new cast of characters around Kirito that isn’t his usual harem. Things are once again grim when it comes to virtual world and human morals, with Kirito the outsider from the real “unknown” world influencing artificial beings who are human in their own ways. His aim is to once again figure out the mysteries of this virtual world and why things are the way they are.

There are a few scenes that stand out to me in this season. I like all scenes of Kirito and Eugeo using sword skills, as it hails back to the SAO days. Probably the most rage inducing scene was the attempted rape of Kirito and Eugeo’s Sword Academy underlings. You could feel Eugeo fighting against the system in an attempt to save the girls from what the system thought was right but is morally wrong, something that the virtual world sorely lacks, human morality. One of the small scenes that made me laugh is when Kirito is told by Cardinal that the Administrator, the one who controls the Axiom Church, resides on the 100th floor of the Central Cathedral. You can tell from Kirito’s reaction to this news that he’s thinking “Not again”.

As for the conclusion to the season, it was alright in my opinion. It certainly did feel a bit like a recycled idea though, Kirito going against the “God” of the virtual world. I’m glad that we did get to see Kirito dual wield, and of course it would have been welcome if he tried to use Starburst Stream, but in the situation he was in it was understandable that he didn’t. Because Quinella knew the inner workings of The Seed, the base code for what The Underworld was based on, she would have been able to counter any sword skills he used just like his against Kayaba. Once Kirito realized that she knew about sword skills, his experience from his fight with Kayaba reminded him to fight only using his swordsmanship techniques and not sword skills. The outcome was expected, but the aftermath was not. I am definitely looking forward to watching the story continue in the second part of the season called “War of Underworld” airing in the Fall 2019 season.

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Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari

The Rising of the Shield Hero is one my favorites if not my favorite of the isekai genre, as we have a fantastic cast, cool battles, and a story that draws you in. I’m happy that the season is 25 episodes long, which means more time for world building and storytelling. Here’s a synopsis from MAL.net:

“Stories of old tell of four otherworldly heroes—wielding the sword, spear, bow, and shield—who defended the land from wave after wave of calamity. With the fate of the world in balance, the kingdom of Melromarc summons these legendary figures; in modern-day Japan, the call is answered, and the unwitting heroes are transported to this fantasy universe.

Thrust into Melromarc and given the title of “Shield Hero,” otaku Naofumi Iwatani is labeled the weakest due to his lack of offensive capability and apparent inexperience. When the heroes part ways to start their journeys, he only has one willing companion: the beautiful princess Malty Melromarc. However, she soon betrays him, steals all his money, and accuses him of taking advantage of her.

For his alleged crimes, Naofumi is branded a criminal and made outcast of society. With hatred filling his heart, he sets out alone, vowing vengeance against those who wronged him.”

When I saw the first episode (which was double-length) the events that unfolded with Myne betraying Naofumi triggered me so much that I was thinking about it throughout the next day while I was at work. I did figure that something was going down when she was trying to get him to drink while at the inn, but the realization didn’t come soon enough when we see what happens in the morning. From there we can understand Naofumi’s trust issues with anyone, but he also knew that he needed help to fight. He recruits Raphtalia from a slave trader and together they take on the first wave. She’s the first person to see who Naofumi really is, which helps him to know that not everyone is his enemy and that there are people who truly believe in him as the Shield Hero. At the halfway point of the season, Naofumi now has Filo and Melty as well in his party, and they are heading to meet the Queen. We’ll probably learn the reasons behind the animosity by the King against the Shield Hero soon, something to do with demi-humans and the King’s family.

I like how this different world shows that there are multiple versions of our world as we know it as well, from how each summoned Hero comes from a different version of Japan. I also like how while this world is not a video game per se, it seems to operate as such to the Heroes and related party members by special Status magic. This “magic” acts as a way to build their skills similarly to a RPG type game. While we don’t see much of the Spear, Sword, and Bow abilities, the Shield seems more accustomed towards defense/counter and support. Naofumi’s fighting style tends to defend the first strikes to gauge an enemy’s attacks, then counters as necessary. With the addition of Raphtalia and Filo fighting on the frontline, he’s able to call strategies and protect them from the rear. In the case of powerful foes, he brings out his Rage Shield which feeds on his rage, giving him greater power by granting a barrier of fire that he can either use as defense or to attack with.

I’m really hyped with where this anime is going, and I’m definitely looking forward to watching the rest of the season. Hoping already that there will be a second season.

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Tensei shitara Slime Datta Ken

The second half of Slime showed more of Rimuru flexing his abilities and intellect to solve problems in this new world. Yes he always has a cool and mature demeanor that comes from living as a adult, but after a while of watching OP slime easily defeating bosses and enemies, it gets a bit old. I know that the gimmick of his abilities is that he will exponentially get stronger from new abilities he absorbs, but when a fight is just a one-sided battle every time, it’s predictable which dampens the experience.

At the end of the season, things wrap up well for Rimuru and his alliance. He is able to save the summoned children who Shizue could not, and gave them a chance at a future, hopfully one we’ll see in the future, as a second season has already been announced to air sometime next year. The teaser image from that announcement has Rimuru in a more dark and black outfit which makes me think that he will become a demon lord, something he has been asked about before. While he is strong, he is no way the strongest as the other demon lords seem to one up him as seen through his analysis of Millim, who seems to wield more power than him. I’ll definitely be watching the second season to see the evolution of Rimuru Tempest.

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Toaru Majutsu no Index III

Continuing from the previous anime season, Index III was still as confusing as ever. Focus wise it did have a “final boss” that helped somewhat to unite a bunch of groups to fight against, as well as streamlining the story to a purely good vs. evil fight. With three main characters’ stories going on at the same time (Touma, Accelerator, Hamazura), it’s hard to flesh them out and thus hurts their image and causes to the viewer. As far as I can see, Touma was our main hero with plot armor/monologue/Image “turn any bad guy into good” Breaker. Accelerator is of course our anti-hero, who deems himself unworthy of being a good hero until Touma tells him otherwise, fighting to protect Last Order and the Sisters. Hamazura is your average Level 0 with good luck, fighting on the sidelines as part of Acacemy City’s dark side’s group ITEM. Misaka and Index play relatively small parts in this third season, both playing as support and captive respectively.

The last few episodes pretty much boiled down to everyone vs. Fiamma of the Right. With Touma using his two main abilities, Image Breaker and hero monologuing, he wins against Fiamma with relative minimal damage, even when his right arm was cut off. An expected outcome.

The third season of Index suffered greatly from trying to tell three main characters’ stories in each episode. Even if they separated and told a single character’s story in each episode, it still would come off as fragmented and disconnected to the story that’s happening at the same time for all of them. While I don’t have an idea on how they could have done the story more effectively, what I do know is that if they had the budget and time, aka more episodes to spread out the content, maybe we would of had more world building to help with the amount of religious/scientific terms that randomly comes up to explain certain phenomenon. If the source material (light novel/manga) can do it, so can a good anime adaptation. The end of the season hinted that there’s more to come in the story of A Certain Magical Index, but just like how long we waited for this season to come, it may be a few more years until we get more on screen. Hopefully the company producing the series will learn from mistakes to make the watching experience less complicated and more enticing.

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Watashi ni Tenshi ga Maiorita!

“One day, fifth-grader Hinata Hoshino brings her friend Hana Shirosaki to her house, and Hinata’s sister Miyako, a college student, falls in love with Hana at first sight. Miyako manages to get along with Hana somehow, but her clumsy behavior and shyness make Hana wary. Even so, Hana gradually opens up to Miyako, who wants to become closer to her.” – Synopsis via MAL.net

Basically Miyako aka Myaa-nee is a super shy person who likes to make cosplay and sweets. When meeting her sister Hinata’s friends, she learns to overcome her shyness a little bit at a time. This show is a sweet comedy, with Miyako acting as the sometimes creepy adult who admires a little girl a little too much. This show has been compared to UzaMaid!, albeit less cringeworthy due to less of an age gap and adult-like terminology. Besides Miyako’s obsession over Hana like Kamoi over Misha in UzaMaid!, Miyako has a “friend” who obsesses over her in the form of Matsumoto, just like Midori over Kamoi. Basically both shows have people who like a person too much that that person holds them at bay. Besides that it was a fun anime that I enjoyed watching Miyoko’s awkward shyness cause unwarranted problems.

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