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Another season has passed. Well, sort of. There are still a few stragglers, and a surprising number of shows are carrying into the next season. I considered splitting this post into three parts, but it felt too much like I was cheating for extra posts. Let’s do this!
What I Liked
- Golden Kamuy – This series was certainly a nice surprise. It starts out with a fairly grim premise. The main characters are trying to find a hidden treasure by tracking down a bunch of escaped criminals with pieces of a map tattooed on their bodies. But the show mixes in so many funny moments that it tends to balance out. The series also felt like an entertaining look into an indigenous tribe of people I didn’t even know existed. Not that that’s saying much…
- Last Period – The surprises pile on further with this series. I totally expected this series to be a pretty generic comedy series, but it was actually a blast to watch. The show especially appealed to me since I’ve played a few mobile games. The show constantly rips on mobile games in really funny ways. And somehow, this series managed to have my favorite fight scene in the season (Mao’s fight was close).
- Hinamatsuri – While Golden Kamuy aired more on the side of the serious and Last Period was more “meta”, this series really went for the ridiculous instead. The show handled itself well, with some surprisingly heartfelt scenes mixed in among the comedy.
- Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii – This is kind of unfair because I was heavily looking forward to this series, and the adaptation had to mess up really badly to screw that up. I like this show mostly for its characters. They represent somewhat separate aspects of otaku fandom, but they come together for their common interest.
- Piano no Mori – I still need to get around to watching the movie version of this series, but this adaptation did a good job of holding my interest. It had a weird supernatural aspect that didn’t sit well with me in the beginning, but the story quickly pushes past that and moves into a look at the world of competitive piano.
- Steins;Gate 0 – This series is another one I was looking forward to watching. It was slow at first, but I think it has been picking up more rapidly than the original. The mystery seems interesting so far, but there’s still plenty of story left to cover.
- Boku no Hero Academia S3 – I don’t really have anything new to say.
- Comic Girls – This adaptation ended up being more entertaining than I expected after reading the manga. Maybe it was the Kaos noises.
- Juushinki Pandora – This series was pretty decent as a mecha series. The fights were interesting, and I like the setting both for its post-apocalyptic concept and its Chinese-inspired culture. The “science” gets a bit ridiculous, but the rest of the show is alright.
- Persona 5 – I had a lot more fun watching this adaptation than I expected I would. However, I do acknowledge that this series seems like it would be a lot better for people who have already played the game. It was entertaining for me, but I think it’s a pretty weak adaptation overall, since it doesn’t do as much for the people who aren’t familiar with the game.
- Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online – This story turned being better than I expected. The series seemed more focused on the actual game mechanics than the original, so it had a different kind of appeal that worked for me. I think it stood well on its own without considering the original series.
- Gundam Build Divers – The general theme of online community felt a bit overplayed, but this series wasn’t too bad. It’s a bit childish for my liking, so it ended up being just okay.
- Shokugeki no Souma S3 Part 2 – Honestly, I liked this season mostly for the backstory we got for Jouichirou. His story is probably my favorite from when I read the manga.
- Isekai Izakaya – Not bad for a wannabe Isekai Shokudou.
- Tada-kun wa Koi wo Shinai – This series started out pretty well. The character relationships were pretty good, and the episodes had an interesting way of anchoring around a concept. I just wasn’t a big fan of the ending, which brought down my general opinion of the series.
Special short mention: Fumikiri Jikan – Even though the episodes are 3 minutes long, they’re pretty funny. They’re a nice look at the idle thoughts of people forced to wait at a railroad crossing near other people. It’s certainly a familiar experience.
- Darling in the Franxx – I wasn’t the biggest fan of the series in the first half, and the second half really hasn’t helped. It’s still possible that the series nails the ending, but I don’t have high hopes.
- Saredo Tsumibito wa Ryuu to Odoru – I was really disappointed with how this series approached its setting. It introduced a sci-fi take on magic only to sweep it aside. The mechanisms of the magic and the effects the magic has on the world are never really explored. Instead, we get a poorly introduced world, and we’re immediately thrown into a political struggle between the main ruling entities of that world. And the ending was really strange…the main antagonist of the arc just dies off-screen.
- Kakuriyo no Yadomeshi – This series was a bit unfortunate. It’s not really that bad…I just found it boring. It doesn’t seem to do anything particularly noteworthy.
- Grancrest Senki – This really isn’t too different from last season. The series started to get more interesting when it moved towards battles between larger armies, but the pacing of the story always seemed like an overwhelming negative. Most characters weren’t ever really explored, which resulted in many boring death scenes. The “twist” at the end also wasn’t set up well.
- 3D Kanojo – You know…I didn’t remember disliking the manga so much, but watching the anime was really a struggle. I got the sense that Tsutsui was more of a jerk than most normal romance protagonists.
- Caligula – This series started off promising, with a Persona-like premise and an interesting psychological take. But much of the series felt like a waste of time, and the ending was ultimately unsatisfying. There’s something to be said about the focus on social behaviors and redemption, but they didn’t really appeal to me.
- Devils Line – I was watching a lot in this season, and I wasn’t particularly convinced by the first episode.
- Dorei-ku – I wanted to give this series a shot because the premise seemed interesting, but the show just felt like it was making less and less sense as it went on. So, I just gave up…
- Tokyo Ghoul;re – I fell behind on this series and didn’t really have the motivation to catch up again.