Spring 2018 Anime Season
March 18, 2018 5:35 PM - Subscribe

Most of the Spring season is listed on AniChart now, so we might as well start in on what looks good, bad, and good-bad.

(It's early for this since few English-language anime sites have posted their previews yet, but Fizz posted this anime-isn't-just-for-nerds-any-more FPP earlier today and it felt like a good time to start.)

As usual, not every series is going to get distribution in English-language countries, although most of the high-profile ones are likely to.

If you want to get your mind numbed, here are trailers for 26 of them; some of them only consisting of the voice actors introducing their characters or of animatics made out of manga art.
posted by ardgedee (74 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Blasts from the past include Cutie Honey and "Souten no Ken", a Fist of the North Star prequel.

Shows I'll probably check out for at least one episode: "Souten no Ken", "Mahou Shoujo Ore", a parody of magical girls, yakuza drama, idol shows, and whatever else; "Isekai Izakaya" looks to be a note-for-note cover of Restaurant to Another World from last year; "Rokuhoudou Yotsuiro Biyori" stands to be the other food-based warm blanket series. I usually only follow three or four shows per season so that might be it, depending on the first impressions they make.

So far, nothing seems as nihilistically anarchic as Pop Team Epic. The wackiest shows this season look like "Mahou Shoujo Ore" and "Oshiri Tantei", which is about a butt who solves crimes and farts a lot.
posted by ardgedee at 5:54 PM on March 18, 2018

Super excited for more BNHA. I loved the original Bouei-bu but I'm not sure how I feel about them doing more of it with different characters, but I'll be giving it at least a couple episodes to see if I like the new boys as much as I liked the old ones. Mahou Shoujo Ore gets at least a try because somehow I like Ishikawa Kaito voicing basically anybody? (I blame BNHA and Haikyuu for this.)

So, funny story. Steins;Gate 0's summary probably shouldn't even be read if you haven't already seen Steins;Gate, but I literally had just finished it when I saw this stuff go up, and had just been telling my friend that I was being traumatized by the mere thought of... the thing that turns out to be the central plot of Steins;Gate 0. I'm expecting to be murdered and I can't wait.
posted by Sequence at 5:58 PM on March 18, 2018

I am super stoked about the Legend of the Galactic Heroes remake.

Here's a trailer, since the linked compilation didn't include one for it.
posted by needled at 6:23 PM on March 18, 2018

I had to check that Oshiri Tantei trailer, I know that Japan is not just a country that produces weird stuff, but seriously they're not helping their case here.
posted by SageLeVoid at 7:05 PM on March 18, 2018

I see they're doing a Persona 5 animation. One day I'll actually play the game.

I'm really going to miss Yuru Camp. I'm watching it slowly at the moment.
posted by Ms. Moonlight at 8:49 AM on March 19, 2018

Not sure which of these two is going to be the most abhorrent anime of the season.

Amai Choupatsu: Watashi wa Kanshuu Senyou Pet:

The story is set in a prison in the near future. It revolves around Hina Saotome, imprisoned despite her innocence, and the elegant yet sadistic guard Aki Myoujin. Hina's heart and body are at the mercy of Myoujin's "heartless yet sweet domination" from physical examinations to lovers' prison visits.

Or Dorei-ku The Animation:

What if you could enslave anyone you ever wanted? Well, this comes close. The SCM lets you enslave anyone who is also wearing an SCM, at a price. One must win over the other, at the cost of anything, in order for the other to become their slave.
posted by MartinWisse at 3:00 PM on March 19, 2018

I have really mixed feelings about stuff like Amai Choubatsu. It doesn't look like something I want to see, but I'm pretty sure it's tagged josei for a reason, and I think it's more the kind of thing that falls into the category of "this is someone else's kink but not mine". On the other hand you have Alice or Alice: "The manga centers on the everyday lives of two twin sisters both named Alice, and their brother who is slightly attracted to them." So yeah, someone else's S&M fantasy stuff doesn't even start to rate next to that, for me, on a scale of abhorrent.
posted by Sequence at 3:33 PM on March 19, 2018

"Alice or Alice" is a 4koma; as far as I can tell the challenge set to the mangaka is "make the most moe comic in the universe. I want even the border panels to cause otaku nosebleeds." I'm not surprised that it's made it to video because it's merchandise dynamite, but at the same time there's nothing there; it's not funny and there's no storyline, it's just a lot of drawings of cuteness. So it's probably going to be indistinguishable from an equivalent number of minutes of dead air after you have been hit on the head with a hammer.
posted by ardgedee at 4:04 AM on March 20, 2018 [1 favorite]

I counted seven reboots of series that are at least 30 years old:
* Captain Tsubasa (first anime: 1983)
* Cutie Honey (first anime: 1973)
* Gegege no Kitaro (manga started 1960; first anime: 1968)
* Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu / Legend of the Galactic Heroes (first novel: 1982; first anime: 1988)
* Lupin III (first anime: 1971)
* Megalo Box, which is either a reboot or spinoff of Ashita no Joe (first anime: 1970)
* Souten no Ken / Fist of the North Star (first anime: 1984)

Those are the ones I recognize. There's another Godzilla movie of course, but that's an evergreen. Similarly, Cutie Honey, Gegege no Kitaro, and Lupin III get new movies or series every couple years, so they never really go away whether or not they get English language distribution. That leaves three real revivals, which haven't had new productions for at least three decades: Captain Tsubasa, Ashita no Joe, and Souten no Ken.
posted by ardgedee at 3:49 AM on March 21, 2018

Souten no Ken had a series in 2006, Tsubasa also has had series in this millennium.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:24 AM on March 22, 2018

Whoops. You're right, and I had skimmed to quickly.

In my defense, whomever's gatekeeping the "Fist of the North Star" entry in Wikipedia is managing it differently than other anime/manga entries.
posted by ardgedee at 3:52 AM on March 22, 2018

I get that wasn't supposed to be a defense of it, ardgedee, I just want to clarify: If you're talking about "most abhorrent", then just by definition normalizing that kind of thing ranks far higher on my scale of abhorrence than Fifty Shades style fantasies, is all. This might be one of those things that people feel differently about when they've been exposed to manga/anime for longer, but--just, ugh. How much content is there doesn't really matter.

I'm kind of not sure what to think about all the reboot stuff, except that Sailor Moon Crystal is basically the whole reason I get anybody's Sailor Moon references, so I guess on the whole I'm in favor of it as a practice, but it does complicate my life a lot to worry about whether I should be watching THIS Legend of the Galactic Heroes or THAT Legend of the Galactic Heroes and whether it's worth seeing the new one if I'm going to have the same problem I had with Crystal where people started to be like "oh but you wouldn't know this because it was only in the original show".
posted by Sequence at 10:09 AM on March 22, 2018

As far as new-entries-in-decades-long-franchises goes, we also have Gundam Build Divers coming up next season. The last two Gundam Build shows have provided sufficient robot antics for my taste, so I'm all in on this new one too.

Legend of Galactic Heroes is one of those shows that doesn't really NEED a remake, but if they're going to do it anyway, sure I guess I'll check it out and see how it goes.

My Hero Academia Season 3 will be more delightful superhero shenanigans, so bring that on.

Megalo Box is what I'm most excited for. Ashita no Joe is a venerated classic for a reason, and this looks like it's going to be an interesting take on that.

I've really enjoyed the Golden Kamuy manga. Part survival story, part treasure hunt, part cooking manga. I'll check out the animated version, sure.

And I'll never say no to new Lupin III, so all in all this is going to be a very busy season for me.
posted by Aznable at 2:44 PM on March 22, 2018

> The last two Gundam Build shows have provided sufficient robot antics for my taste, so I'm all in on this new one too.
posted by Aznable

Of course you'll be watching Gundam.
posted by needled at 5:27 PM on March 22, 2018 [5 favorites]

"... Kaoruko's editor recommends that she enter an all-female dormitory for manga creators..."

This sounds like my bag.

"... she turns into a handsome guy in a magical girl outfit. On top of that, her love interest shows an attraction toward her magical guy form."

This will either be great or terrible.
posted by RobotHero at 8:35 AM on March 26, 2018

> This will either be great or terrible.

It has the potential to be both.
posted by ardgedee at 10:22 AM on March 26, 2018

Did the first two episodes of Mahou Shoujo Ore, which is up for CR premium, last night. It is beautiful. And terrible. But in a beautiful way. It's basically just crack all the day down, is what I'm saying.
posted by Sequence at 2:50 PM on March 26, 2018

Aside from My Hero Academia S3 and maybe the Steins;Gate sequel, there are a couple of other shows I'm looking forward to based on the track record of their creators:

Hisone to Maso-tan is being written by Mari Okada, who's previously been responsible for such gloriously messy melodramas as Toradora, Nagi no Asukara, Hourou Musuko ("Wandering Son"), and the incredibly silly Mayoiga ("The Lost Village").

And Tada-kun wa Koi wo Shinai is by the same creative team (writer, director, animation director, editor, and composer) behind Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun, which is one of the most consistently funny anime series I've seen. Not sure what that means for a show that leans more toward the drama end of the spectrum, but I'm definitely interested in seeing where it goes.

Tip of the hat to Wrong Every Time for pointing these out.
posted by teraflop at 7:53 PM on March 26, 2018

So what you're saying is, Japan is getting its own version of Assy McGee

With, I suppose, the minor caveat that that show wasn't meant for children
posted by DoctorFedora at 7:41 PM on March 29, 2018

Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii is getting an anime? I've been on a romance manga binge lately and this is one of the better ones out there. It's actually about grown-ass adults instead of school kids!
posted by charred husk at 10:02 AM on March 30, 2018

New Legend of the Galactic Heroes PV:

The first episode got leaked online, so here’s the OP:
posted by needled at 7:05 AM on April 1, 2018

I'm going to at least check out the one about horse girls.
posted by RobotHero at 8:54 PM on April 1, 2018

Oooh. An OVA episode of Mob Psycho 100 is on Crunchyroll!
posted by ardgedee at 5:20 PM on April 2, 2018

So far we've watched the first episodes of "Kakuriyo -Bed & Breakfast for Spirits" and "Magical Girl Ore"...

"Kakuriyo": The heroine is plucky and determined but also not that bright, excepting when it's convenient for the plot. Definitely an effort to make all the male figures into pretty boys, so this might become a reverse harem. Don't know what to make of it yet; I'll tag along for a few episodes to see whether it gets better or worse.

"Magical Girl Ore": I was ready to hate this, and there are times when it's taxing my patience, but it also managed to make me laugh out loud at times and it's also being pretty demonstrative about intending to dig in on all the magical girl tropes ever. If we're lucky, it might like "Anime Gataris" start as a parody for the true fans before for no discernible reason it suddenly implodes into a far freakier thing.

The key running gag is that the magical girls' forms are immense, totally ripped bros. But (to me, so far, anyway) it doesn't read like a mockery of crossdressing as much as a necessary component of the inside-outness of this show's universe, just like none of the good guys are particularly smart or noble, the heroine has bad hair and can't sing, the magical girls' mascot is a rough, scarred yakuza and the big bads are cute mascot-like critters. It's going to be a rough line for the show to walk, because the nothing-sacred parody isn't set up to cut a compassionate exception for portrayals of gender minorities. So I'll keep watching but a little warily.
posted by ardgedee at 5:42 PM on April 2, 2018

Kakuriyo's protagonist at least feels more opinionated than a lot of reverse harem protagonists seem to be, but otherwise it is feeling a lot like that, except that I'm not sure if two counts as a harem. A bunch of Natsume's Book of Friends comparisons were made when I was watching it with friends, it doesn't have quite the same delicate touch but it was still very... comfortably watchable?

First episode of Space Battleship Tiramisu was dumb--so dumb--but fun.
posted by Sequence at 2:53 PM on April 3, 2018

I suspect Kakuriyo will be a bog-standard reverse harem, only with unnecessarily detailed cooking, because all shows must now include unnecessarily detailed cooking.

Magical Girl Ore seems goofy enough that I ought to like it, but there's an undercurrent of trying-too-hard that I'm having some difficulty with.

"The one with the horse girls" is not nearly as fetishy as you could be excused for assuming it would be. It's meant to promote a game that combines racing with some kind of "idol-training" shenanigans. The show explains that the characters "inherit their names from horses from another world"; the main character is a girl named 'Special Week'. She and her classmates attend a Racing High School and compete, and whoever wins the races has to give a Winner's Concert where they sing while big crowds wave glow sticks at them. And of course they tell each other 'ganbatte!' and stuff. It's made by P.A. Works, who've previously done Shirobako, Eccentric Family, Hanasaku Iroha, and some other stuff that is, arguably at least, very good; it's a little funny to see them doing something with, uh, more modest artistic ambitions. The show isn't exactly GOOD, but it's extremely cheerful, and it's such an odd combination of things that it gives you that 'what the hell am I looking at' feeling that one gets from anime sometimes.

There's also a Fist Of The North Star spinoff that's worth watching for an episode just to see the CGI and the character designs. If Guts from Berserk was in this show and went to the beach, he'd get sand kicked in his face.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 5:29 PM on April 3, 2018

Legend of the Galactic Heroes: Die Neue These - what can I say, I didn't realize I had been missing a grand space opera so badly until I saw this first episode. The OP is fantastic, particularly the moment when Brünhild breaks through the clouds and Barbarossa flies alongside it. And then the feeling of 'I have so been waiting for this so much' when we get a glimpse of the lettering Hyperion on the side of a spaceship and we're shown Yang Wen-Li (drinking tea, of course).

On to the episode itself - the introduction of Reinhard and Kircheis was beautifully done. Animation quality is high throughout, and CG animation used well for the space battles. I can only hope they maintain the quality throughout the 12-episode run. My one nitpick is with the music, I have to agree with the folks who preferred the use of classical music tracks in the LoGH OVA's.

Judging from episode 1, this is a fine introduction to LoGH, and the one I would recommend to more recent anime viewers. Then if they want to find out what happens after volume 1 of the novel, they can dig up the older series.

> worry about whether I should be watching THIS Legend of the Galactic Heroes or THAT Legend of the Galactic Heroes and whether it's worth seeing the new one if I'm going to have the same problem I had with Crystal where people started to be like "oh but you wouldn't know this because it was only in the original show".

For LoGH, the original source is the 10-volume series of novels, plus collected side stories. So just ignore people prattling on about the "original show". It is rather early to say with only one episode so far, but the consensus is the 2018 version adheres more closely to the novel than the OVA series did.
posted by needled at 5:01 AM on April 5, 2018

> Judging from episode 1, this is a fine introduction to LoGH, and the one I would recommend to more recent anime viewers.

I wholeheartedly agree with this.

Episode 2 is out but I haven't seen it yet.

If they stick to volume 1 the pacing should be, ehhh, fine, if a little tight; the OVA had 110 episodes to adapt 10 novels, so 12 episodes for volume 1 doesn't seem too bad with that in mind. For reference, the OVA gave the content roughly 16 episodes to breathe. On the other hand, the OVA didn't do a straight adaptation, and brought in concepts from later novels, and expanded on events that were given a couple paragraphs' worth of summary at best.

Slight episode 1 & 2 spoilers:

One thing the OVA does is give you the impression that everyone is paying attention to Astarte. Literally everyone of note in the galaxy is watching what's unfolding with bated breath. I don't think the novel ever makes the scope of attention being paid to the battle in as blunt and front-loaded a fashion as that. The new series narrows down the focus to Reinhardt (and I assume, in episode 2, will extend the same courtesy for Yang). Which I honestly think is probably for the better.
posted by redrawturtle at 2:17 AM on April 11, 2018

That 'wholeheartedly' probably doesn't convey what I want it to convey. It's something like a combination of me being wowed by the first episode, and hope. Let this turn out well! My concerns for the rest of the run haven't gone away. It's given me hope that the Empire side will be handled just fine.

The Alliance side, though... The OVA did things with the Alliance material I appreciated in retrospect. [insert many complicated feelings and thoughts here]

I can't wait to see Yang in action but my trepidation knows no boundaries.

It would be no exaggeration for me to say that I would have, at one point in my starry-eyed youth, been 100% behind watching a slice-of-life featuring Yang Wen-Li.
posted by redrawturtle at 12:16 PM on April 11, 2018

Did a bunch more first eps: BNHA was just a recap but I was still tickled with the framing. The new Earth Defense Club is cute nonsense, possibly not as good as previous seasons but I'll give it a bit to see if the new cast grows on me. Caligula seems, uh, pretentious so far, and I can't figure out if I'm supposed to actually like the protagonist or not. (I do not.)

Devils Line seems destined to be the sort of show that I have a hard time explaining to people why I like it without getting into how I definitely should not have been allowed to read so many vampire novels as a teenager in the 90s, but maybe it'll rise above that.
posted by Sequence at 2:41 PM on April 11, 2018

I thought Golden Kamuy looked like a pretty passable adventure yarn. Possibly even rollicking. It DOES have the worst CGI bear you've ever seen, unless you see significantly worse CGI bears than I do. But if you pretend you didn't see the bear, it's promising.

Fumikiri Jikan--now here's a show that knows how to get shit done. It's a short format show that's provided more development in a single three-minute episode than one normally hopes to get out of a romantic comedy in a full season. The characters won't be recurring, sadly--it's a different story every week, about people waiting at a rail crossing. But the first one is just delightful.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 9:43 PM on April 13, 2018

Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku had a fab first episode and one of the most romantic declarations I've ever heard:

"If it was me, I'd collect materials and level up with you whenever you want. If you had to work overtime, I'd wait for you. I wouldn't disappoint you and make you cry. I'd make sure that you'd never say that you made the wrong choice. And I can go with you the to the event next weekend as your sales assistant."


Aww, game otaku x fujoshi love!
posted by needled at 9:28 AM on April 14, 2018

I really like the sound of Wotakoi, and I look forward to Amazon eventually getting their shit together and putting it on the freakin' service--it's available in Canada and the UK, but not the US, for some reason...
posted by Sing Or Swim at 5:40 PM on April 14, 2018

Wotakoi appears to be up on Amazon in the US now, FWIW. Seems to have happened in the last few hours.
posted by Sequence at 7:09 PM on April 14, 2018

Oo! It is indeed. Cool, I'll be watching that tonight--thanks!
posted by Sing Or Swim at 7:30 PM on April 14, 2018

Another LoGH aside: I forgot about this; the real starting point of the OVAs is Movie 1. (And before anyone asks, what about Movie 2? Confusingly, that's an older remake of episodes 1 and 2. I won't advise for or against skipping it, it's really up to ... you, if you're reading this.) Movie 1 is the explanation for half of the early discrepancies in the OVA. Here, I'll stop talking about LoGH before I get any more tiresome.

Okay. So. Maybe not just yet. I watched episode 2 of the new anime yesterday. I liked it. Sorry, I tend to burn out on my enthusiasm before I post about anything. This is me. :) I assure you I was totally stoked yesterday.

I'm thinking of checking out Hinamatsuri at some point.

Wotakoi looks like heartwarming fun.
posted by redrawturtle at 2:31 PM on April 15, 2018

I was a little puzzled by the first episode of Hinamatsuri--for parts of it, I wasn't entirely sure what the tone was supposed to be. I think of my sense of humor as being fairly dry, but it's possible the show was drier. Anyway, I really liked the second episode; the show and I have made up, and are friends now.

I liked Wotakoi, but there's almost no way I wouldn't--it's like playing tennis without a net.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 2:58 PM on April 15, 2018

I was probably going to like Wotakoi either way, but I think it was a bit more charming than I expected. Man, are they living the dream or what? But it was like--god, how many toxic gamer dudes Do Not Get that this is the thing the nerdy girls are looking for, just somebody who supports their interests, too instead of expecting an NPC. Also, I was so in love with MMO Junkie and it's nice that this is doing similar nerds-in-love stuff without taking literally the entire show for them to get together.

Contrast Steins;Gate 0, where I literally started crying within the first sixty seconds. In that case, it is going to take a few episodes before I know if the plot is actually good because I am still so overwhelmed by feelings about the first show. Definitely not objective about that one. I just started tearing up again at work thinking about it.
posted by Sequence at 12:40 PM on April 17, 2018

Wotakoi is fun. The writing is a little erratic (the story seems to be draaaaaaging things out for no reason other than to fill out time) and the art is kind of bad. Characters change shapes and sizes which shouldn't really be happening in a slice-of-life story. I'm enjoying it too much to mind though.

Kakuriyo might get dropped. The plucky heroine is not smart enough to justify the treatment she's given. The other characters seem to clever themselves into boxes that they are suddenly too stupid to get out of. The prettyboy oni behaves extremely capriciously and I can't tell if that's how magical spirits are supposed to be or he's like that because, like all the other characters, he's the victim of bad writing. If they were trying to make a reverse harem, they can't manage that either. In the latest episode, a flying ship is set on fire as a climactic scene and then, after the baddies are dispatched, the oni handwaves the conflagration away (literally) for no apparent reason other than because it was an inconvenient narrative tangent. It's unclear why the story bothered to have this happen.

Basically if the art and production teams for Kakuriyo and Wotakoi swapped shows, that would be the best outcome.
posted by ardgedee at 5:42 PM on April 21, 2018

I really enjoyed watching Wotakoi and Hinamatsuri wasn't too bad.

I've also been following the anime starring Katrielle Layton and it's so nice to see a woman lead who's allowed to be eccentric without much consequence. People still take her seriously, and she's allowed to hold all the answers and be as dramatic as she likes. It's a little frustrating to watch sometimes-- and not because of Katrielle!--, but it's nice that it exists. I guess this is where I confess I'm not watching an official stream. *cough*
posted by redrawturtle at 2:11 AM on April 26, 2018

Kakuriyo quickly passed from "fine enough" to "not actually enough to keep me awake even on an evening I was fully rested", although... I mean, I guess I got a good nap out of it.

A queer female friend and I have picked up Comic Girls and it is so, so problematic, and also a combination of weirdly relatable and "why wasn't my adolescence like this" wish fulfillment. Like, I don't think it's made for us, I know it's not made for us, but watching it as though it really was is kind of weirdly pleasant, with some giant caveats as to "a lot of this would be wildly inappropriate for real girls this age" and general objectification of women issues. I am weirded out just thinking about its major audience potentially being dudes, but... not enough to not watch it. There was for example an extended scene involving a lot of girls in their underwear comparing body types that was SUPER RELATABLE for us involving being young and in that space where your body feels hideous even as you think other girls' bodies are perfect no matter what, and I'm like... oh, guys are just watching this because they're undressed. Sigh.
posted by Sequence at 11:59 AM on April 26, 2018

I'm a guy. I'm watching it so far. But I'm happiest when they're talking about or drawing manga. So I liked everything with her crêpe-eating comic and stuff like that and I'm worried I'm not going to get as much of that as I want.

I started watching Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun based on seeing the box scene if that's any indication.
posted by RobotHero at 5:20 PM on April 26, 2018

I shouldn't have tarred it with quite so broad a brush! But yeah, it is only incidentally about manga, it seems like.
Watching Comic Girls for the drawing seems like it would be like watching Sekaiichi Hatsukoi for the publishing industry bits.
posted by Sequence at 9:12 AM on April 27, 2018

Well, the latest episode they're focused a lot on the girl that draws porn. Which again, is how much are they really considering this from the point of view of the characters, vs how much is it "I think it's cute when they're embarrassed."
posted by RobotHero at 12:11 PM on April 27, 2018

And now I just watched the latest Wotakoi, and that's one aspect where it comes across better. The main character is into yaoi and that's treated in a level-headed manner.

Where in Comic Girls, the one girl became a porn artist not out of any interest in that sort of thing, but because her editor pushed her into it. Which comes across as sort of a Madonna/Whore thing, put on for the contradictory demands of the audience rather than a real character.

And maybe I'm being nit-picky because "all-female dormitory for manga creators" sounds like it should be my jam and it keeps being almost but not quite what I want.
posted by RobotHero at 9:26 AM on April 28, 2018

"Umamusume: Pretty Derby": Tried it on a whim. In the first eight minutes, the heroine arrives in the big city from the countryside, fresh in her mind being her mother's admonishment to watch out for molesters. She gets groped in a crowd, kicks the creep hard, and then it turns out somehow that he's going to be a regular character and one of the good guys. That's where I noped out. If it gets better after that I don't really care.

"Isekai Izakaya: Japanese Food From Another World": This is set up more like a regular segment in a morning variety show, or maybe a Food Network or Travel Show thing: A sketch in which some people who have never had Japanese bar food before tries it and it blows their minds, followed by a live-action cooking segment or a live-action man-on-the-street account of a hole-in-the-wall restaurant that specializes in a particular dish. It's not as satisfying to watch as "Restaurant from Another World" was, in part because the anime is even more threadbare, plot-wise, and the food porn doesn't make up for the gap. On the other hand, it's not unpleasant to watch either, a decent 24 minute time-filler mind-killer.
posted by ardgedee at 10:25 AM on April 28, 2018

Yeah, my wife threw on Isekai Izakaya yesterday and we were pretty baffled by it. We genuinely couldn’t tell if it was made for a foreign audience, or if it was just standard navel-gazey “Japan sure is great, Japan!” fluff intended for a domestic audience. The explanations of very basic stuff were pretty odd, for instance.

Magical Girl Ore seems to be medium-aware enough to merit a good few laughs so far, though.
posted by DoctorFedora at 4:28 PM on April 28, 2018

Magical Girl Ore's last episode was either amazing or I was on some kind of drugs.
posted by Sequence at 9:42 AM on May 2, 2018

Wotakoi — Like others have said, the writing/art's not great, but I love nerds being nerds together, so I'm enjoying it too much to care. I'm charmed by Narumi's fujoshi-friendship with her female coworker! Pretty sure I had that exact friendship in high school.

If I'm enjoying Wotakoi, should I also/instead watch last season's MMO Junkie? Is one a watered-down version of the other, or are they quite different?

Tada-kun wa Koi wo Shinai — Tried out the first episode and wasn't impressed. I think that I've watched this movie already and that it starred Zooey Deschanel.

Rokuhoudou Yotsuiro Biyori — Laid-Back Café. Four cute guys doing cute things. Sadly, this doesn't seem to be very popular, probably for demographic reasons: cute guys instead of the usual cute girls. It's not perfection like last season's Yuru Camp (the final episode of which I am saving for a rainy day, because I can't bear to finish it), but it's still charming, relaxing, and features a lot of dessert porn. The third episode's B-plot is about finding a cute kitten, which then proceeds to do cute kitten things for ten minutes ... that pretty much sums up the kind of show it is.
posted by fire, water, earth, air at 4:34 PM on May 2, 2018

By all means, watch MMO Junkie. It's got the most heart of any anime I've seen in yonks.
posted by ardgedee at 6:01 PM on May 2, 2018 [1 favorite]

Tada-kun had a couple good episodes but episode 4 made me so, so, so angry basically the whole time.

MMO Junkie and Wotakoi are like--they're aimed at very similar audiences primarily, but they're scratching related-but-different itches, I think? MMO Junkie spends literally the whole show on the getting-together part. Wotakoi gets them together immediately and then looks at their actual relationship. I would sooner date Sakurai than Hirotaka, but I'm not the hetero target audience by a long shot. They are so clearly written to be the dream dude for the nerd girl target audience that even I would seriously consider going out with either of them and that by itself says something? Except that wasn't the question.

MMO Junkie's gender role stuff was very good. Wotakoi's partners being supportive of their interests even when they're completely different is also good. Basically, yeah, if you like one, probably see the other.
posted by Sequence at 9:30 PM on May 2, 2018

I was on Episode 3 of Tada-kun. I hope it doesn't get too bad ... I was really enjoying the way the animation looks. It feels like I could drop it inside a line up of circa 2009 anime and I wouldn't be able to tell the difference.
posted by redrawturtle at 4:20 AM on May 5, 2018

Remember the character who is obsessed with a model and keeps going on about breasts in inappropriate circumstances? Well, you get a lot more of him in episode 4.
posted by RobotHero at 6:31 AM on May 5, 2018

I'm enjoying Hinamatsuri the most of anything this season. I don't know quite what to compare it to. Like, it's doing a lot of the found family thing, sometimes with a Bad Santa angle to it with the gangster adopted father. It currently seems happy to forget about whatever institute for psychic girls that Hina escaped from and have stories about kids trying to get money by finding TVs that people threw away. And they somehow did a pedophilia joke I didn't hate, I think because it was based on a third-party misunderstanding, rather than "Oh hey, now there's a pedophile character hanging around" or "this girl thought she was about to be molested isn't that funny?"
posted by RobotHero at 7:22 AM on May 5, 2018

I feel conflicted about Hinamatsuri. It can be quite funny but I was bothered by Hitomi being coerced into being a bartender. It bothered me enough that I haven't been able to watch later episodes - do things work out better for her later?
posted by needled at 5:56 AM on May 6, 2018

She seems to enjoy the work itself, but remains terrified of people finding out about it.

And it does feel like the show sometimes will use stuff like this to justify something initially, and then forget about it once it's established as the show's status quo. Like the first episode had Hina constantly threaten to break Yoshifumi's things to get what she wants, but they've dropped that dynamic. Similarly, since the initial blackmail to make Hitomi a bartender, the show just accepts that she's a bartender and doesn't dwell on her initial reasons.
posted by RobotHero at 9:45 AM on May 6, 2018

I also am too earnest for Hinamatsuri's style of humor--I find almost everything with Hitomi in it hilarious, but I can't stand the stuff about homelessness. I think the show has an unusual, extra-dry deadpan style which demands that you NOT empathize with the characters past a certain point, and I find it really difficult to comply. The parts of it that I find funny, I find REALLY funny--and the rest of it is equally interesting, just because I SUSPECT it's also funny, but I can't catch it 'cause I've got a hole in my glove in that spot.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 11:07 AM on May 7, 2018

I still dislike Pin-senpai enough that I have not yet managed to get around to watching episode 5 of Tadakoi, but I am feeling weirdly guilty about this with the news about Yuichiro Umehara's hospitalization and acting hiatus. He's in a ton of stuff right now--I hope he makes a full recovery and that this doesn't derail his career or anything.

In lighter news, I have been a bit messed up by the realization that apparently all the characters in Space Battleship Tiramisu are apparently named after cars or companies somehow adjacent to auto manufacturing? I feel weirdly unnerved by this, like it's some kind of industry propaganda. I was all like "I mean clearly not that Subaru" until I worked out that the character isn't really Vulgar Hammer, he's Volga Hummer.
posted by Sequence at 11:32 AM on May 11, 2018

That feels like just a naming gimmick, like all the high schools in Cromartie High that are named after baseball players, or the characters in Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt.

Where I've wondered about industry propaganda is whether Yuru Camp exists because the Camping Association of Japan or something went, "Young people aren't going camping! We'll make an anime about how great camping is!"
posted by RobotHero at 9:27 AM on May 12, 2018

I didn't really mean literally propaganda, just like--wtf, why cars. I guess I should know better than to expect that of all shows to make sense, but. It is definitely not on the level of--well, I haven't seen Yuru Camp though it's on my list, but I have (somehow) seen both seasons of Love Kome, a whole series whose overt message is "you should really be eating more carbs", so it's not like they wouldn't go there if that's what they really wanted.
posted by Sequence at 1:51 PM on May 12, 2018

Naming characters after food (especially sweets) and naming space ships after vehicles that actually existed (most notably Battleship Yamato) are both pretty common in manga and anime, so by doing the opposite "Spaceship Tiramisu" is messing with tropes. I could believe there's more to it than that, but I wouldn't know.
posted by ardgedee at 5:54 PM on May 12, 2018

> Where I've wondered about industry propaganda is whether Yuru Camp exists because the Camping Association of Japan or something went, "Young people aren't going camping! We'll make an anime about how great camping is!"

The mangaka's notes to the reader in the omake of recent volumes of the Dagashi Kashi manga make me suspect that they're trapped continuing a story beyond its natural lifespan because the publisher is making too much money off the product placements to drop what was intended to be a finite series.
posted by ardgedee at 6:02 PM on May 12, 2018

Naming characters after food (especially sweets) and naming space ships after vehicles that actually existed (most notably Battleship Yamato) are both pretty common in manga and anime, so by doing the opposite "Spaceship Tiramisu" is messing with tropes.

THIS. THIS is the piece I needed to connect things. It seemed like there had to be some kind of a reason and I just could not make it resolve because I clearly haven't seen enough scifi anime yet. Thank you!
posted by Sequence at 6:22 PM on May 12, 2018

Yeah, Dagashi Kashi almost certainly stays aloft thanks to sponsorship, same goes for Takunomi and the lovingly-rendered beverage of the week.

Yuru Camp also had one episode that prominently featured that folding charcoal stove, and then the company that makes it had a limited-edition laser-etched Yuru Camp version for sale. So.

In Tiramisu I didn't make the connection of it being an inverse of a more common thing. Yamato was a ship, but I didn't make the leap to cars also being vehicles.
posted by RobotHero at 8:39 PM on May 12, 2018

Okay, so in Lupin III, we're definitely supposed to read Lupin and Albert as ex-lovers, right?
posted by RobotHero at 3:44 PM on June 1, 2018

They've established Albert as queer in episode 8. They're not quite as clear cut with Lupin, but they're leaning hard on the "Albert betrayed him" backstory and how it brings back old wounds to see him again.

Really when I put it like that, it's obvious, I guess I was just incredulous they were going there with a decades-old character. Like just earlier in the season they were treating the idea as a joke.
posted by RobotHero at 4:08 PM on June 1, 2018

I mean, I haven't seen Lupin III in either old or new incarnations, that's how ship-teasing for the female audience usually works. It's totally a joke, ha-ha, or just an implication that they are Such Close Friends (or perhaps that they used to be Such Close Friends and had some kind of bitter breakup but of course nobody will say it's that kind of bitter breakup) and then people who are uncomfortable with such things go "what great pals" and the people desperately looking for representation or just emotional resonance go "Harold, they're queer."
posted by Sequence at 12:27 PM on June 3, 2018

C'mon Harold, just look at ... (gestures vaguely at current storyline in Lupin III)

It's hard for me to find people talking about this because there's a lot more people talking about a Harry Potter character.

I did find a Twitter thread of people in Lupin putting cigarettes in each other's mouths. Including an example with Albert which is not at all subtle.

And apparently the writer was also on Devilman Crybaby?

there's nothing hetero about this this is the reaction of a man in love with another man
posted by RobotHero at 2:17 PM on June 3, 2018

And yeah, I was being a bit of a Harold regarding Lupin/Jigen. I had assumed it was like Kirk/Spock but now I'm convinced it was more on-purpose than that.
posted by RobotHero at 2:33 PM on June 3, 2018

The original Monkey Punch comics (from the late 60s) portray Lupin being, I dunno, bi-curious, to use an old-fashioned phrase. One of Lupin III's skills is disguise and the comics show him continuing to have fun being a sexual tease after his crossdressing disguise is removed.

The comics were playing with sexual exploration because transgression and embarassment can get a laugh. In the comics, women also mostly exist for the sexual benefit of the men passing through. So I don't recommend investing a lot of effort searching for evidence that Monkey Punch was more socially woke than most of Japan fifty years ago. It's just that, winding the clock forward to the present day, those gags involving crossdressing and teasing provided an opening for current writers to explore gender fluidity without having to contradict canon.
posted by ardgedee at 4:02 PM on June 3, 2018

As just a bit of post-script: I cried over the ending of Magical Girl Ore. I don't know how that happened.

Dropped a lot of stuff this season, but I've continued to find Cute High Earth Defense Club Happy Kiss WTFBBQ Etc to be reliable lightweight cute, Wotakoi is still incredibly charming, and My Hero Academia's latest arc has completely broken me as a human being (in a good way).
posted by Sequence at 1:32 PM on June 20, 2018

I think I just finished Umamusume: Pretty Derby. The horse girl thing. Past the 4th episode or so it turns into happy girl's track team sports anime. Nicer than expected.

Legend of the Galactic Heroes: Die Neue These - yeah space war politics and such.

My Hero Academia Season 3 - enjoyable enough.

Amanchu! ~Advance~ - Spiritual successor to Aria... luv it. The Peter Pan arc sorta made me happy grar, but who's to argue with cat sith.

DARLING in the FRANXX - need editing more than anything. The twist at the end is mostly worth it. Going all Arthur C. Clarke out of nowhere.

Yotsuiro Biyori - This I watched based on the feminist anime blog recommendation. Cafe, cute guys, mostly easy happy watch.

Other than that, I didn't watch that much this season. I'm keeping Food Wars! The Third Plate as something to just watch one weekend when bored. And Steins;Gate 0 as well, think I'll enjoy them enough to watch, but not enough to do it now.

If there's anything I should give a shot, especially if it's on Amazon Prime because I have that but haven't slogged through the horrible UI... I could use a few more to marathon through on a weekend or something.
posted by zengargoyle at 8:54 AM on June 21, 2018

It looks like Anonymous Noise is on Amazon. I'm divided on whether I call that good, but I found it very entertaining. I started out thinking it was poor-man's Nana but eventually appreciated it as its own weird thing.

Oh, and Vatican Miracle Examiner, where Catholic priests sent to determine the veracity of miracles end up solving grisly murders. I don't know if their first assignment is the best, or if the novelty wore off for me, but you might be fine treating it as a miniseries that ends after their first Scooby-Doo denouement.
posted by RobotHero at 8:46 AM on June 24, 2018

I guess this belongs more in this thread, but Hisone to Maso-tan was really enjoyable! Netflix just released it in September and I binged it in one night. I love that it's more about Hisone finding herself and not so much a good vs evil kind of thing. There's a mythical element that's actually not too farfetched, and a resistance to tradition that was handled well. And the mostly female cast with really great characters was what really kept me watching.
posted by numaner at 3:27 PM on October 2, 2018

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