How about our impressions on the first episode of nearly every new title of this season, told from the perspective of our writers? This list is going to be frequently updated, so don’t forget to bookmark MANGA.TOKYO!
Disclaimer: There is no logical sequence to the way the anime are listed. We watch; we write; we add. Every time you visit the article, first on the list will be the latest episode we watched.
(C) TETSUYA IMAI/TOKUMA SHOTEN, ALICE & ZOUROKU COMMITTEE
Run: ? Episode 1: 2 April
Summary: Sana was locked away from the world to learn more about her power called ‘Alice’s Dream.’ She is one of many test subjects. Her ability is to materialize anything she thinks of. But she escapes the lab and meets an old man named Zouroku. (from our anime info page)
Impressions: For a show that references more than once one of the most interesting books I’ve ever read, Lewis Carrol’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, this double episode was very dull. From the preview and the visuals, I was expecting one of those slice-of-life parent-child relationship shows (like Sweetness and Lightning) with a supernatural twist to it (like Udon no Kuni). Instead, what we have is a toned-down Elfen Lied that tries really hard to be funny, mysterious, action-packed, and sweet.
Verdict: The first 44 minutes were not good enough to sell me the series. The action scenes were not that good and the slice-of-life part was toned down. If I return to the show, it will be because of Zoroku. I want to learn more about his granddaughter and the role she will play in the story.
Summary: One day, a freedom-loving high schooler named Fudo Nomura transfers to Aichi Symbiosis Academy.
However, there was an unrelenting domination of male students by the powerful girls who are armed in the name of self-defense. All the male students there are forced to throw away their masculinity in order to live together with the girls there. On the first day, Onigawara, the master swordsman of the Kajima shindenjiki shinkage style and one of the Tenka Goken members picks a fight against Nomura as her new target in the name of ‘reform’, but…. (from our Anime Info Page)
Impressions: A school where five girls are allowed to carry swords and oppress the male students to the point where they have to dress as girls in order to exist in this matriarchal dictatorship; a police force of female students carrying batons; a freedom-loving protagonist who is somehow super-proficient in martial arts; a bear because why not. This anime is the definition of ‘stupid fun.’ Plenty of action scenes with special moves whose name takes half the screen, light fan service that at times contradicts the characters, and humor that tries to be funny enough to get some laughs out of the ridiculous premise.
Verdict: This show will find its audience. Its mix of action and fan-servicy comedy has many dedicated supporters. People love stupid fun so much that if you give them action scenes and boobs, they will forget everything else.
My first impression was rather unpleasant because hearing and seeing all the characters for the first time made me think they all are just ignorant, bored brats, who think they are the strongest in the world and deserve the right to tell other people what to do. And the arrogance all of them show just didn’t make it possible to enjoy the first episode. Adding to that the rather forced body contact made me cringe too much. But when it comes down to it, I think it overall is a funny anime that can run in the background while you do housework or other simple tasks. Once you get used to it, it is actually funny and the animation of the fights is quite worth the time. And even if the story itself wasn’t amusing, the short glimpse of Nomura’s nice body is enough to make me keep watching it, maybe it is also enough for you?
Summary: Second season of the popular 2013 TV anime series. Eren Yeager, his foster sister Mikasa Ackerman, and their childhood friend Armin Arlert enlist in the army after the man-eating Titans destroy their hometown of Shinganshina. Having watched his mother being devoured by one of the colossal monsters, he vowed to eradicate them from the face of the earth.
Impressions: The second season is a direct sequel as if the last 4 years were just a break for advertisements. After a very brief recap, we are back in action right after the female Titan was captured. The episode doesn’t waste any time in explaining what we have already seen. Instead, it dives into new plot points, new Titans, and new scenes that will make your skin crawl. Everything, from the animation to the voice acting, feels like Attack on Titan with a slight improvement in the drawings.
Verdict: If the series manages to maintain the same level of quality, we are in for a treat. If you are new to the series, this is your chance to binge-watch it and get ready for this season. This is a must-watch for all anime fans.
Summary: The story starts with a peaceful and advanced Konoha village. Even though it is a shinobi village, the village grew and the way the shinobi live has slowly changed. The leader of the village is the 7th Hokage, Naruto Uzumaki, and he has a son called Boruto, who he wants to raise like a ninja and thus sends to the Ninja Academy. There, Boruto’s classmates see him only as ‘son of the Hokage’ but Boruto doesn’t care much about them and makes new friends. Soon enough a mystery occurs and he chases after the truth which is the start of an adventure. (from our Anime Info Page)
Impressions: The success of the first episode of Boruto was that it needed no particular knowledge of Naruto to enjoy it. Fans will have so much more to rave about, from Naruto’s family to all the familiar faces, but even I, a complete Naruto noob, managed to stay on track and more or less understand the premise and the direction of the show. This is Boruto’s story and his father is not going to ruin it with needless background info and stupid fillers. I hope.
Verdict: Boruto will follow the classic academy recipe mixed with ninjutsu and technology. If you are a fan of his father, then this series is a no brainer. If on the other hand, you are giving this series a chance because of Naruto’s fame, then you are in for an easy first ride.
Summary: Earth was reconstructed by a legendary watchmaker, Y, after being destroyed 1000 years ago. Naoto Miura, who can’t keep up in school, meets RyuZU, an automaton that Y left behind, and a genius watchmaker, Marie. When their abilities intertwine, fate’s gears begin to move. A cycle of failure and life extension, the Earth (Clockwork Planet) on the edge of destruction, is repaired in this clockwork fantasy! (from our Anime Info Page)
Impressions:Clockwork Planet focused on the wrong things. While the clockpunk style is interesting and the world certainly has legs, the story and the characters do not. I was ready to forgive the sloppy animation, the deus-ex-machina big-breasted sexualized and sassy robot, and even the confused plot, until RyuZU (the robot girlfriend) sealed her allegiance to her master by simulating fellatio with his finger. No. Just no.
Verdict: This is not a show I will be returning to. I don’t really care about little forgot-my-pants Marie or if Kyoto is going to vanish from the face of a clockwork Earth. I don’t even care of Scarecrow-RyuZU has real human feelings or will allow her master to grab her boobs.
There was only very little information about this anime before it came out and I have to say, watching the first episode still left me quite in the dark. I am not sure where this is going and who the people are. There is still too much confusion to say anything concrete but after all the other great anime of this season, Clockwork Planet lacks intensity. The only thing I remember is RyuZU, who is going to be an erotic toy and that Naoto is your everyday hero with little to no personality, a precious pure heart and a machines-otaku… I will keep watching to see where it goes, because I like the design of the world with all the steampunk elements. I also have to say I think RyuZU is kinda cool, because she can decide things and still have a master she follows. And then there is Marie, who also seems rather intriguing. So I will give this a chance, mostly because I hope there will be a good story hidden behind the chaos and good character development.
Summary: Masamune Izumi, a high school boy who also works as a light novel (young adult fiction) author, has a younger stepsister Sagiri who is a hikikomori (a shut-in). One day, Masamune finds out that his sister is ‘Eromanga Sensei’, the very person who draws the illustrations for his light novels. How could it be that his cute shut-in sister who lives in the same house is drawing sexy illustrations using such an indecent name? (from our Anime Info Page)
Impressions: This show looks great. The character designs are amazing and the animation is one of the best I’ve seen so far in this season. I’m not really sold on the concept of the high-school author and the underage erotic illustrator who happen to be his step-sister to whom he is obviously attracted, but the character dynamics were all believable and realistic. Our protagonist’s ego-surfing, his friendship with the bookstore owner, and the relationship with his editors, all felt natural. Like most recent series that focus on a profession (New Game!, Stella no Mahou, and others) we doubt that it will focus on the details of being a novelist or an illustrator.
Verdict:Eromanga Sensei seems like the perfect show for those who are into the ‘cute sister’ kind of thing. The series is going to do right to that kind of fanbase, and even if it’s not my cup of tea, the effort put by A-1 Pictures is going to find its audience.
In all honesty, with this title, I thought it would be something very erotic or at least stupidly hentai. But then the story started and I have to admit, I was wrong. Plainly wrong. I loved everything about it. The characters, the drawings, the voices… I love how Masamune cares for his sister, Sagiri, and how cute she is. What I liked best was the pace of the first episode. Even though I read the synopsis, I felt like there already was progress in the story – especially compared to other anime of this season. It was not only a new introduction to what I already read weeks ago, when the storyline was announced. There were fun and sadness and my expectations are high for the next episodes. It is a nice mixture of fun and seriousness, cuteness and sexiness and I think we will be in for a ride, given Sagiri’s character and the things we saw in the first episode.
Summary: Ao is the classic high school girl who lives alone because her parents are working abroad. One day, she received a package with an AI doll called Gourai. She is a Frame Arms Girl, a tiny robot who can fight other Frame Arms Girls in a virtual reality application.
Impressions: How do you put off a potential viewer that thinks like I do? Start with a panty shot. And I’m not talking about the first scene, but about the very first frame of the opening sequence. Gourai’s panties are the only fan-service Frame Arms Girl offers, and even that is dismissed by the character as non-intentional, as in the preview she insists that it’s just part of her body armor. Yeah right. But the major dealbreaker for me was the fact that every scene felt like it was trying to sell me a model. After a few of these scenes, I realized that the series is not even trying to hide its intentions. They are trying to sell the viewers model kits. From Gourai’s fan-girl moment about her original company’s clippers to the right way to assemble a model and read the instructions, Frame Arms Girl is a promotion event in the form of an anime. Nothing wrong with that, but I’m not into that kind of thing.
Verdict: This is a big no for me. Watch it if you are interested in cute plastic female models who want to learn how to cry and smile, all while fighting in virtual worlds. Beware, it sounds cooler than it actually is.
Summary: The story revolves around song-loving Nino, who experienced two heart-wrenching separations when she was a child. One is from her first love, Momo. The other is the songwriter, Yuzu. Nino keeps singing, believing in the promises from those two boys. She dreams that they will find her singing voice someday. As time passes, what will become of the relationship between these three high school students? It is an unrequited love story and a youth band story, with the characters growing up with music. (from our Anime Info Page)
Impressions: Writing an unbiased opinion on this is nearly impossible because it has everything I love and need in an anime. Cute boys, a love story, promises, and music. The music is amazing and aside from Alice’s strange ‘la-la-la’ sounds, I love every tone of it. I wonder if somebody will eventually tell our main heroine, that her melody singing skills could be improved a lot. But aside from that, we have three main characters with great problems in their past, probably striving to face them at some point in this anime. The mystery of who will end up with Alice isn’t the most exciting thing in this series! There is also the band ‘in NO hurry’ which I am curious about, then I want to know about the lives of the boys, why they disappeared and why both of them behave so strange. To be honest, I also want to see Alice fall on her nose at least once, because she is one of those generic pure-hearted dumb heroines we see in every second anime. At least she can sing if there are lyrics.
Verdict: So while I do not recommend it to the boys who would rather not watch a shojo anime, I do recommend it to those who like the genre. We have all the standard things and while I won’t dare to compare Fukumenkei Noise to Yazawa Ai’s Nana, I think the basics are the same. Music, dreadful pasts which left behind internal conflicts and worries, and a love story. Two thumbs up for me, I can’t wait for the next episode!
Summary: The protagonist, Riku Suigin, is a pro-level gamer and the heroine, Riku Rei who also loves games, knows of this and is also the most beautiful girl in school. Riku receives a device for a game called ‘Grave Buster’ which transfers him to a world where the battle for the Tomb of the Mother Goddess Bango has been raging for more than 1000 years.
Impressions: Gin no Guardian is based on a Chinese webcomic (manhua) by Rei Mei. The comic is currently being serialized by China’s Tencent Anime and has been viewed more than 418 million times. For all its popularity, I failed to see what the fuss is all about. The very first scene went full fan-service, and the confusing storyline had me all guessing about the plot, Riku, and Rei. The battle effects were impressive, but after 24 minutes whose purpose was to hook me into the series, if I’m returning for something it will be for the most interesting character in the first episode: Wanchoi, the cat.
Verdict: 8-bit insert scenes and an overall 80s anime feel, coupled with Chinese martial arts and weapons and some impressive fighting scenes. I will probably give the anime the benefit of the doubt and return for the second episode.
Summary: – The story of the skies we weave with you – This is a celestial world with countless islands floating in the skies. A boy named Gran from the island of mystery, Zanktinzel, and a talking lizard with wings named Vyrn, one day encounter a girl named Lyria. Lyria has fled from the militaristic nation, Erste Empire, which is plotting to conquer the whole sky world with its overwhelming military force. While on the run from the empire, Gran and Lyria together embark on a great adventure in the magnificent skies with Gran’s missing father’s letter saying ‘I’m waiting on the star island Istalsia.’ (From our anime info page)
Impressions: GRANBLUE FANTASY is based on a mobile game for Android and iOS. Before discarding the anime as an attempt on increasing awareness and sales, know that this game is the first time that legendary composer Nobuo Uematsu and art director Hideo Minaba had the chance to work together since 1994 and then Squaresoft’s Final Fantasy VI for the SNES. Both are directly involved with the anime as well. I haven’t played the game even though I am huge JRPG fan, but the anime adaptation of GRANBLUE FANTASY feels different from the classic game conversions. It doesn’t try to drift away from the classic JRPG tropes (I’m looking at you, Tales of Zestiria) but instead took the cliches and turned them into an amazing first episode. You have the classic fantasy medieval setting; the hero who wears armor as he cuts wood because why not; just the necessary info to get hooked on the story and ask the right questions; a forest that has monsters; random encounter battles; cheesy JRPG dialogues; skill moves and spells; and a boss battle. Plus dragons. Did I mention the dragons? There are dragons.
Verdict: This is a show for both fans of the game and fans of JRPG in general. If the series embraces the tropes that make the genre, we are in for a pleasant season.
Summary: It’s the year 526. A world, where “witchcraft” was popular. A world, where people didn’t actually know “magic”. During that time, there is a mercenary, half human half animal, who was despised by the people. Every day the witches would hunt him down and he would dream of becoming a human. But one day, he meets a beautiful witch in the forest and she changes his fate. “Do you want to turn back into a human? Then stop being a mercenary and become my personal guard.”
The witch, her name is Zero, carried a book around with her called “Zero no sho” which – depending on the way you use it – could destroy the world. It was stolen from her and she is on the way to get it back. On the condition to be turned back into a human later, he agrees to the terms of the witch he normally hates, but they encounter people, who want to use the forbidden magic book. (from our Anime Info Page)
Impressions: What drew me to this series was the soft, cute, big, white kitty as the main character. After the first episode, I can only confirm that the kitty is probably one of the best characters ever. As a beast-fallen he is hunted by witches and in consequence very bitter with life, always on the way, a strong fighter and snarky. I love his remarks when he talks with Zero and how he is a tiny bit a pessimist, but still confident in his abilities. Putting aside my love for big cats, this is also a great story, as far as one can judge from one episode. I like the hint at the different kinds of magic, that nothing is as random and easy as it seems. The way Zero talks about herself, the charming surroundings of them. The art is really beautiful and the story is set in a kind of medieval setting. It just is a really good show, that takes the viewer on an adventure.
Verdict: I suggest everybody that likes Lord of the Rings or Beauty and the Best to watch it. It has cute characters, adventures, magic and beasts. I am excited to see where our search for the book of Zero will lead us!
Summary: Sakuragi Hinako becomes stiff like a scarecrow in front of people. She can’t talk with them. But in return animals seem to like her, so she works as an actual scarecrow in her hometown in a rural part of Japan. Now she wants to change herself and decides to attend Fujimiya High School and join the theatrical club. (from our Anime Info Page)
Impressions: I’m not sure if there are any other similar titles this season like Hinako Note. It’s your typical CGDCT anime (cute girls do cute things) based on a 4-koma manga. It tries a little too hard to deliver its punchline jokes and the characters are a bit simplistic. The backgrounds are not something special and the characters spend a little too much time in chibi mode. I will give this to the title and then leave it to the fans who are all about the genre: the characters are cute.
Verdict: This is not my style, but if you are into all this watching cute girls doing stuff thing, then Hinako Note is awfully cute. It also has some kind of storyline and we will probably see the girls in some sort of theater production.
Oh, what a pleasant surprise this one was! I expected not too much, I thought it would be boring. But these girls are awesome! In this, we see cute girls with strange personalities hunting their dreams. I like the simple storyline with Hinako trying to improve herself through theater. I think it is something that will speak to many people since we always strive to make the best of us and maybe it will motivate some to do better and try hard like Hinako to work on their problems. What makes this so enjoyable are of course mostly the cute moments with Hinako as a chibi, the birds that jump around and the fun interaction between the characters. How Kuina literally eats a book and how the pressured Hinako turns into a scarecrow. It is simple, but it is perfect to watch after a hard day at work. Soothing and cute, with enough storyline to stay amusing and characters as pure as sugar. So if you like cute girls, this is made for you. And for I’d also recommend it to get a tiny bit of motivation to improve yourself and get inspired.
Summary:ID-0 is a story about mechas, so called I-machines, that work in extreme environments. While Mikuri Maya is operating one of those machines, she has an accident and gets saved by space pirates and their space ship. She has to join their group and work for them. This is a robot-action story never seen before, taking place in planets beyond the deepest parts of the universe. (from our Anime Info Page)
Impressions: The previews of ID-0 had my attention. After all, the show seemed to have two of my favorite things: robots and space. The crew of the pirate-cum-mining ship reminds me of shows like Firefly and Cowboy Bebop. A group of misfits, who most probably each has a tragic story to tell, are running away from the military while trying to make a living. Not a bad setting, and one I have found myself enjoying over and over again. What I didn’t like was the 3DCG. I know, progress and all that, but my old-school mind is not reacting well to this kind of graphics.
Verdict: I will probably follow the series for a few episodes because the concept of the I-Machines and the mind transfer technology is interesting. Also, robots.
Summary: Hinako grew up in an orphanage and doesn’t know her true family. Shortly before she enters high school, Hikaru approaches her and claims he is her twin brother. According to him, they are the children of a yakuza family leader and Hikaru wants Hinako to switch places with him and go to an all-boys school. The school is famous for harboring the worst delinquents of the nation, so Hinako has to fight for respect, love, and power. (from our Anime Info Page)
Impressions: It is amazing, what kind of stories people will think of. Having a girl fight all the boys at school seems interesting enough, especially since it is based on a dating game. As long as there are pretty boys to look at, count me in! While it is a short anime, I think they tried hard to have a proper story and development. Of course, it is still lacking compared to a full episode, but I think they did quite well! Aside from the ridiculous basic story, I like that she is a tough girl and like Hinako, as much as one can like a character after 10 minutes. I wouldn’t say this series is something everybody should watch, but if you like the boys, a bit of fighting and a cute main heroine, you could spend the few minutes it takes to watch the first episode and get your own impression.
Verdict: I will probably keep watching it since it is just the right thing to watch while doing the dishes or folding laundry. Simple, enough story to want to watch it and promising characters.
Summary: This is a comedy about five new students entering Kokudate Inaho Gakuen, a school on the verge of closing. They dedicate themselves to earning the title of ‘HarveStar’ by performing well at the harvest show. The HarveStar unit ‘Yeast King’ has seen a surge in popularity due to policies reducing acreage, an increase in Western food, and the fact that bread has been replacing rice lately. The five new students aim to boost the popularity of rice by forming the group Love Rice. They are aiming to be the true HarveStar. (from our Anime Info Page)
Impressions: What can I say for Love Kome? It is a 4-minute series whose purpose is clear-cut: it wants to get people interested in rice for less than noble reasons, probably because rice has experienced a fall in sales, I guess. It uses the academy- pop idol cliche combination, that’s not too bad since the series doesn’t aspire to be something more than five minutes of feel-good moments. Did I mention the ending credits? They are a cooking segment like the famous Tasty videos we see on Facebook. Clever.
Verdict: If you don’t have anything better to do and you like idols, rice, and the color red, thenLove Kome -WE LOVE RICE– is the perfect short anime for you.
This series is lucky that its episodes are so short. This is what will keep me watching. Aside from that, this is a single advertisement for rice and even though it could be fun, the short episodes make it kind of impossible to have anything else but food in it. Fine, the characters are cute and dorky and the concept is adorable, with the Harvest Stars and all the things around it. A bit more screen-time would have probably done the deed. But as it is, I wouldn’t full-heartedly recommend this to anyone. The biggest plus I can think of is the ending credits. Great ideas for food including rice, shown in a few easy steps and looking delicious. Will definitely try some of the recipes from this show!
Summary: In a not-so-distant future, 80% of the population manifest extraordinary powers, Quirks, when they turn 4. Some of them become heroes while others use their newfound abilities for evil. Imagine the world where heroes and villains are everywhere! Real heroes are more needed than ever, and is there a better place to teach younglings the ways of heroic chivalry than an Academy? The second season returns to the story of student Izuku Midoriya (who was born Quirkless) as he tries to become the Symbol of Peace after inheriting a Quirk from his childhood hero, All Might!
Impressions: Like every major anime title that is either associated with the tag ‘shounen‘ or the famous manga magazine Jump, most of us probably know about My Hero Academia without having watched a single episode. It’s part of Weekly Shounen Jump‘s new generation of titles, an attempt to create a new crop of super-popular titles that will inherit the mainstream mantle held by NARUTO, One Piece, BLEACH, and others.
I am (probably unsuccessfully) trying to redeem myself for writing my opinion on a series after watching the 13.5 recap episode and Episode 14, the first of the second season. My Hero Academia is colorful and full of heroes with unique superpowers that remind me of the Western Patheon of MarvelDCism. The general feel of the series, from the comic-book like titles to the latex costumes, feels fresh, especially for the Japanese audience (not so fresh for classic comic geeks) who may have a different view on the super-hero genre. Typical to the shounen genre, the recap episode was enough to give me the gist of the series.
Verdict: Not my cup of tea, but I have really enjoyed the first episode. The balance between humor and classic shounen moral shoutouts was good and didn’t feel forced. Must for those who have seen the first season or are looking for a typical feel-good shounen show. If you haven’t seen the first season, just watch the recap; It’s more than enough.
Key visuals of ‘Oushitsu Kyoushi Haine’ (c)赤井ヒガサ／SQUARE ENIX・王室教師ハイネ製作委員会
Run: ? Episode 1: 3 April
Summary:Oushitsu Kyoushi Haine is a comical story about the everyday life of Haine, the tutor of the royal family who looks like a small boy, and his four students who are all princes. Itis based on a manga series by Higasa Akai which has been serialized in Square Enix’s Monthly G Fantasy since November 2013. There are currently eight volumes and a character book available. (from our Anime Info Page)
Impressions: I started watching the episode without expecting much. Four princes of a central Europe kingdom are to be instructed by a mysterious tutor who looks like a child. My anime eyes and ears are not trained to recognize the two main reasons behind its pre-broadcast lukewarm reception. The show was criticized for its use of no-name seiyuu and lousy visuals. I couldn’t recognize the voice of a famous voice actor even if you pointed to the role, and I saw no lousy visuals that could ruin my day. Instead, what I saw was a quite entertaining show with many chibi-cute moments.
Verdict: I am giving this series a chance. The premise is simple with spot-on jokes and great dialogues. I am staying at least for all the prince interviews. If you like witty comebacks, accurate observations, and some lightness in your anime diet, this show is for you.
Heine is my personal precious little gem this season. Heine Wittgenstein is the cutest little teacher I have ever seen. His students are also very cute, but all of them in a different way. It is amusing to watch their introduction. What also makes me like this series so much are the backgrounds. So many details and beauty. To be honest, for me there is also a lot of nostalgia and an ounce of homesickness in it since it is all modeled after Austria/Vienna. But aside from the feeling of coming home, the characters are the cutest I have ever seen. If I could get my own Heine-sensei, I would. And the brothers can come along because they are cute and entertaining. But what is it aside from nice graphics, voices, and characters? We do have a good story as well! It is kind of over-done in Japan, your regular teacher-tames-students story. But it is something done so many times because it doesn’t get too boring if done well. And Heine is done very well if you ask me. I will keep watching this series and will recommend it to anybody liking cute boys and dry humor.
Summary: Humans have created many stories. About joy, sadness, anger and deep emotions. With their emotions, stories shake or fascinate us. That’s what bystanders think, those who listen to the story. But what about the characters in the story? What if they have ‘intentions’? Are we gods to them, since we brought their stories into this world? Our world is changed. In Re:Creators everyone becomes a creator.(from our Anime Info Page)
Impressions: What makes this story really good is that for once, the people foreign to it come to our world. The fantasy characters come to the real world, from books and games and other stories. It is exciting just to think about it, and I think, this anime could be really good. I also think the characters so far are really interesting, of course the most interesting one has to be the villain, because she seems to more than she lets on. And while I would like to know what happens to her and can’t find much to say that is bad about the series, for some reasons I didn’t ‘klick’ with this anime. It wasn’t boring, but it also didn’t make me want to keep watching. Maybe it was the lack of exciting main characters? Because for all the power and malice the villain shows, the female lead seems strong and determined but rather plain. And the male lead is as lost in the situation as normally are the characters who land in a foreign world. But since it was an introduction to the whole series and there seems to come a lot, I guess I can for now give it a positive first impression.
Verdict: I personally won’t keep watching this one, since there are so many other good series this season. If we don’t have any chemistry, I will just let it be and might come back at another point in life, when i have more time and give Re:Creators another chance.
Design visual for the anime ‘Renai Boukun’ (c)三星めがね・COMICメテオ／恋愛暴君製作委員会
Run: ? Episode 1: 7 April
Summary: One day an angel called Guri appears in front of Seiji Aino and tells him that she wrote down his name in the Kiss Note by accident. If he doesn’t kiss someone in the next 24 hours, Guri will die and Seiji would be damned to live as a virgin until his last day. (from our Anime Info Page)
Impressions: Ren’ai Bōkun, aka as Love Tyrant or The Very Lovely Tyrant of Love, is a Japanese comedy manga series by Megane Mihoshi, serialized online since 2012 in Aplix’s Comic Meteor website. Fans are swearing by its hilarious scenes and industry references, and one episode was enough to make me a fan. Among clear references to Death Note, cliche boobs-first introductions, BL kisses, yandere, yaoi, and kukris, we have a show that is not trying to be anything else than stupidly funny and entertaining.
Verdict: I nominate Renai Boukun for the Best Comedy of the Season award. It managed to do something that a few shows have managed in quite a long time: It made me laugh. I find myself guilty of wanting dumb laughs. Don’t judge.
While the basic story is mildly amusing, I have to say that after the second episode I just can’t watch this forced comedy anymore. I can live with the whole erotica, I really like Guri but then there is the whole rest of the show. Akane is over the top – in a rather unfunny way and after she tried to kill someone for the fifth time it just is not funny anymore – and her tiny stalker was what made me stop watching for good. Making stalking look normal and accept it just as a person trait will not do it for me, not even in anime. I can understand if others like it for the above-mentioned reasons of it being a comedy and Guri, the good basic story and erotica. But there are so many things it in that make me uncomfortable while watching (all the other characters aside from Guri and maybe Seiji).
Summary: Sistine is happy with her life the way it is, especially her academic life. She is studying magic and has a good tutor. That is until he retires and a substitute teacher takes over his classes. Sistine soon has to realize that her new teacher is a lazy bastard and doesn’t plan on teaching them anything, which stands in the way of her life-goal to find the sky castle. And how did that strange teacher end up getting the job anyway, since her past teacher would never have picked him as his substitute if he knew he was that incompetent. (from our anime info page)
Impressions: Let’s start with the positive points, shall we? Akashic Records has some really attractive character designs and consistent animation, both the work of Yuji Kaneko, art director of Little Witch Academia. But a single bright spot is not enough to cut the mustard for the whole show, and I would have chosen Akko and her gang over any magical academy. What the 50+ show list we get every season doesn’t need is another adaptation of a magical school light novel that tries to blend sexual innuendo, weird school uniforms, crappy anime cliches, and an anti-hero who is a little too fond of bad jokes. In the end, the first episode was just a hotbed for fan service.
Verdict: This is an easy skip. As much as my libido wants more boob-groping scenes and big-breasted mistresses, Glenn and his anti-hero silliness are not worth it.
My first impression on Glenn and his students could have been better. I thought he was fun but that most of the story was rather generic. Cute students, bored but horny teacher, magic, and sexy outfits. Nothing new. But their take on comedy saves a lot. After the first episode, it only gets better. While I know that the first impression should be on only the first episode, this one would loose too much if one would only judge by the first episode. With episode 2, we get into the game and see what Glenn can do, that it is not only about the sex but also about characters and their history. The magic plays an important part as well, which is really exciting for the lessons Glenn is giving, as he is a teacher after all. The comedy of the series really got me, because it takes your regular everyday anime happening, like a teacher walking into a girls dressing room, and makes fun of it. it is just my piece of cake and I will recommend it to those who like a good laugh, adventures and good fight scenes with logical magic. Ever seen a good magician hit someone instead of using their magic? No? Then let this be your first time!
Summary: The heroine is you! You can experience a para-life from your own point of view! You are the superintendent of a Western-style apartment building, where you meet 3 boys who live there. The anime will deliver the fun and exciting days with these unique boys, as well as the wavering bittersweet relationships right to your very eyes.
Impressions: Yes, a romance game turned anime and I am the main heroine! Oh no, I don’t have a voice! I really don’t know what to do with this. I love the characters and their voices but I am kind of uncomfortable with the fact that they answer things I never said or would have said differently. If the anime had at least written down what she – or rather what I am saying so that the guys wouldn’t stare at me for a few precious seconds of their short episode, I think I could deal better with it. But aside from that, there are three cute boys and I think every girl would be able to settle on one of them as the main hero.
Verdict: So while I am unsure what to do with it after the first episode, I think it is a good idea for starters, but maybe I will rather stick to the interactive version of it, playing the romance game on my consoles and choosing the answers myself. Watch it for a new experience, a few minutes of fun or the ending credits. They are…mind-stripping.
Summary: In the town of Sakurada, half the population possesses unique powers. Its inhabitants live in peace, with the special powers observed by the Administration Bureau.Kei Asai has the power of ‘Memory Keep’, which allows him to fully remember past experiences. Misora Haruki has the power of ‘Reset’, which can make the world go back up to 3 days.
When Misora uses this power, she herself also loses her memories of the time before the Reset, but she teams up with Kei, who will not forget no matter what happens. Together they can remake the past and change the present. (from our Anime Info Page)
Impressions:Sagrada Reset has a flavor of Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni with the rules from Death Note and the superpowers found in many other titles. While the premise is interesting, the characters are reduced to contemplating the nature of goodness, the philosophy of morality and the ethics behind our actions. If not for these deep conversations, Sagrada Reset would have had nothing to show for itself. I feel that the show might go on to explore some really profound ideas later on.
Verdict: Are you looking for impressive animation? Complex character expressions? Action scenes? The emotional voice acting? This is not the show for you. It has none of those. What it has, however, is the potential to explore some complex ideas through monologues and rooftop conversations that are easy to follow.
What sounded like an amazing storyline proved to be right, at least as far as the first episode goes. There were cute students, the hint of a love story, a child that is supposed to be dead and magical abilities, which seem to have a defined source and aren’t random magic like I feared it would be. This all hints to something great. Aside from the story, the main characters are very loveable. Strange at first, but Haruki is the impersonation of real-life cuteness, while Kei is the down-to-earth boy he needs to be, considering the plans he and Haruki seem to have. This was one of the series I looked forward to most and it seems to keep what it promised. Can only recommend this to everyone!
Summary: Koharu is looking for a job in Tokyo, but instead ends up with a one-year job in a small town in the countryside. They want to revive their tourism by making the town a ‘mini-nation’ and use five girls and their ideas to make it come true. (from our Anime Info Page)
Impressions: PA Works is back with an anime that is worth our time. Similar to 2014’s amazing SHIROBAKO, Koharu’s adventures are grounded down to reality, a drama that focuses on the struggles of adult life, full of real-life jokes and believable characters. Manoyama is a charming little village with lovely people, and even though the premise seems a little predictable (young girl leaves her hometown to live in the big city and then discovers again life in the sticks) this is the right time for such a narrative; in a world that seems meaningless, we may find meaning in the most unexpected of places.
Verdict: If you like low-character dramas, then you have to give Sakura Quest a few weeks to build on its characters. I will be definitely jumping on this bandwagon because PA Works has proved that it can make this low-key shows gorgeous to watch.
Sakura Quests starts off good, by introducing us very real characters. Koharu seems like a normal Japanese girl, without making here seem too good or pure. She nags her mother for wanting her to come back home to the countryside, even though she is currently living in big Tokyo! But then there is the problem that she couldn’t find a job until now and that she is broke and in desperate need of money. So she takes the next best job offer that comes in. I guess most of us know her situation and can relate, and that’s what made me like it so much. On the other hand, I didn’t get around watching more than one episode, because it is too normal. With all the magic stories, the super powers or outstanding cuteness Sakura Quest seems a bit plain. But I think it will be a great story and that it just might be something to binge watch instead of follow weekly. There is hardly any suspense or mystery or even adventure, what makes it worth watching are the characters and the development, the heart-warming scenes and real-ness. It’s a series I’d recommend anybody, as long as they want to know more about Japan and it’s culture.
‘Sekai no Yami Zukan’(Short Anime)
Run: 12 episodes Episode 1: 3 April
Summary: Sekai no Yami Zukan is a short-form anime that will deal with stories of the strange and bizarre in our world. From aliens and cryptids to curses, ancient civilizations, supernatural powers, and urban legends, the episodes will be told in a picture format style.
Impressions: Short-form anime range from really bad to really good (just see Nobunaga no Shinobi). Sekai no Yami Zukan is not technically an anime, but instead, follows a picture book format where still images are combined to give the illusion of movement. The first story lacked any substantial depth; it was the kind of scary story you’d hear around a campfire. ‘The Black Shadow of Temptation’ failed to either successfully portray ‘temptation’ (the female voice acting was terrible) or build up to a climactic moment, but the theme of alien abduction and human experiments are enough to justify what the series wants to cover.
Verdict: If you like occult stuff and you have 5 minutes to spare each week, Sekai no Yami Zukan seems like a good choice.
Summary: Archangel Lucifer disobeys God and is thrown to hell as a fallen angel by her sister Michael. On her way to hell she briefly stops on Earth where she meets a high school girl who is probably studying to be a nun or her outfit doesn’t fit, who helps her. In hell, Lucifer meets an emo-goth demon named after a water dragon, Leviathan, who leads the fallen anger to the demons who rule Hell, The Seven Deadly Sins. the seven demon king rulers of hell.
Impressions: What did I just see? What was that boobfest of misattributed references and groping demons? It was Seven Mortal Sins, the softcore fantasy action porn series of the season. I was never a fan of fan-servicy shows because they usually leave the plot behind in favor of boobs and butts. This episode was no exception, but at least the balance between the action and the ecchi was good enough to keep me in the show for its 24-minute run.
Verdict: Maybe I would have returned for the second episode if not for the incredibly overbearing censorship. This show is supposed to show the nipples and butt cheeks and yet each one of them is obscured by huge alchemical symbols. Since I’m not one of those eager fans who will wait for the Blu-ray to come to get my dose of 2D porn, I think I’ll skip this show.
Summary: Humans fought beasts for years and were driven to extinction by them. Now the fairies fight against the Beasts with their power to use special swords, kariyon, until they lose the fight as well. At that point, one human wakes up to fight his fight against the beasts. (from our anime info page)
Impressions: My very first impression was, that this anime might loose its broadcasting time slot because there hardly was any information on it. I still decided to give it a try and have to say: it’s too bad, the marketing isn’t as good as it should be! The series started to make it’s way into my heart with the first episode, because we got introduced to such an amazing world vision! We see our two main characters and they simply wander around the flying island, looking for a special spot to see all of the city. It was amazing and beautiful and I liked it, even though there wasn’t much of the story revealed yet. After watching the second episode, I can only wholeheartedly recommend this series to everyone. It is a dark story, making one think about value and life at some points, but in a very bright way. It isn’t depressing, it is inspiring. Oh, and of course the story starts to develop from episode two and we see more happenings and less island and scenery. I also like the characters we get presented, especially Willem, who seems like a really good guy. I am excited to follow the kariyon and Willem further into their world.
Verdict: Don’t shy away from this anime, because it has little exposure. It is amazing and worth a try!
Summary: An adult story of a woman, who falls in love with her former classmate. He took over the temple of the family and became a priest and while she thought priests do not have relationships, they start a passionate relationship, making her wonder if it is right to do so. (from our anime info page)
Impressions: I am a bit disappointed that it only is a short anime. While the story is not a very creative one, it for once is a erotic story aimed at the female audience and I would have been able to enjoy the series more, if there was more time for character introduction, development and story. Like this, we only get to see a horny monk and a pure, love-blinded woman. But I think the manga would be fun to watch, so at least they get to spread the word about the manga, and that is where I will start next. It is a bit a shame, that they wasted the story on a short anime.
As for the story itself, I don’t really like our main heroine, because she seems rather stupid letting him do what he wants. There is also the issue of him just doing whatever he pleases with her, even though she clearly said ‘no’ AND was drunk. It’s not a character I would support and like, but since us women hardly get good anime themed around sex, I guess we have to take what we can get. For now.
Verdict: To be honest, I can not recommend watching it if you want to see a good anime. But to get a bit of distraction, I’d say go for it. We will see where the ‘story’ is leading us.
Summary: Ais Wallenstein is one of the strongest female swordsman. She sometimes fights in the dungeon with her allies to protect everyone. But one day she meets a boy there and a new kind of adventure begins. (from our anime info page)
Impressions: Sword Oratoria is just like a game. And that’s also the first impression I got. Levels and dungeons and people making weapons. The first few minutes I wasn’t too sure what I expected, but I guess it was something different. And I was overwhelmed by the mass of characters. Since I don’t know anything about the main story, I didn’t feel like that many characters were needed in the beginning. They all talk and fight and there is a lot to take in. The worst part is that one of our main heroines, cute little Lefiya, was the one who seemed most plain and boring. She is, in some way, but I still like her for the stupid love she gives Ais. And while I was overwhelmed by the amount of characters in the beginning, it was easy to start to like most of them. I think it started of well. Even though I can’t say I am too curious about what will happen quite yet. I just hope they will make it a good story, so that I will get excited watching it.
Verdict: For those who already know DanMachi, this might be fun and nostalgic. Those who like games will enjoy the anime as well, I guess. For the rest, I am not too sure. There definitely are better series this season to watch instead.
Sword Oratoria is part of MANGA.TOKYO’s episodic anime reviews for Spring 2017. Here is our review for the first episode:
Summary: One day, an ordinary boy named Kazuya Kagami comes across a beautiful kimono-clad girl named Kiriha. Although this was Kazuya’s first encounter with her, she greets him with the words ‘It’s been a long time.’ She turns out to be a ‘Tsukumogami’ that had been living in Kazuya’s late mother’s obi (belt for kimono) which Kazuya kept with him at all times. Together with this super sadistic beautiful god, Kazuya tackles numerous supernatural cases. (from our anime info page)
Impressions:Tsugumomo is a yokai action comedy that follows a textbook harem ecchi recipe. It is based on the manga by Yoshikazu Hamada, serialized in Monthly Action from Futabasha. The first episode was full of dirty jokes and sexual innuendo, and while this is not bad on its own, it was a bit too full of cliches for my taste. It felt like the anime belonged to a different decade when the harem genre took a pre-formated formula setup that offered little variations.
Verdict: The manga is well-regarded among fans to the point that I will probably see the second episode. The impressive yokai battle and the great soundtrack are not enough to justify the excessive slapstick comedy and sexual innuendo, but maybe there is something in this story worth seeing.
Summary: Kotaro and Akane end up in the same class in their 3rd year of middle school. They meet there for the first time. Feeling different from the people around them – parents, teacher, classmates, and friends – they follow their own path. (from our Anime Info Page)
Impressions: What a sweet story Tsuki ga Kirei is. It’s a straight-forward romance between two young people who are very different from the people around them. The art design is adorable, the voice-acting incredible, and the characters so sweet that you’ll want to give them a hug by the end of the episode. The director of the series, Seiji Kishi, is known for its action series like Danganronpa and Assassination Classroom, so a title like Tsuki ga Kirei felt like a gamble. It seems like he’s going to win this one.
Verdict: This is a slow-paced and high-quality romance about two teenagers who are so similarly awkward that they are perfect for each other. It was a lovely episode.
Summary: The bright Meguru and the rather anti-social Sumire get orders from a hedgehog to fight evil as ‘Twin Angels.’ Together, they get stronger with every encounter and try to save the world! (from our Anime Info Page)
Impressions: This is the second Twin Angels anime after the 2011 TV series which I haven’t seen but people say it was terrible. They also say that this one is leagues ahead. Since I thought this one was terrible, I don’t even want to imagine how bad the previous one was. The anime is based on a pachinko game and it has all the generic tropes and cliches you can think of a magical girl anime.
Verdict: If the rest of the Monster of the Week are as boring as the evil shamisen player, then this is a no-no for me. That said, the episode wasn’t terrible but it will be more interesting to Precure fans and Magical Girls enthusiasts. Even then, this is a pretty crowded category and Twin Angels must find a way to differentiate from the bunch
‘World Fool News’ Part II (Short Anime)
Run: ? Episode 1: 4 April
Summary: In World Fool News you get to see what happens all the time in the day-to-day dealings of a local TV station. The second season has the staff all hyped to makes the news even more interesting, especially since the addition of the new caster, Ichitaro Takahashi.
Impressions: World Fool News is a parody anime about newscasters and news in general. While the theme seems universal, you need to be versed in common Japanese tropes and things that may seem natural to a Japanese viewer. I did laugh in a few scenes, but I’m fairly sure that I did not for the reasons intended by the writers. I’m sure I lost all the jokes.
Verdict: See the first episode and judge for yourself. If you get the jokes, then probably the series is perfect for you.
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