Summer 2019 Anime Season
June 22, 2019 3:37 PM - Subscribe

MyAnimeList. AniChart. The summer of isekai...

Only about 30 new shows listed, down from 40-ish in the Spring season and over 60 last year. Is the industry collapsing, or just giving up on broadcast television series in Japan for more remunerative work?
posted by ardgedee (23 comments total)
"Arifureta Shokugyou de Sekai Saikyou", "Isekai Cheat Magician", "Tsuujou Kougeki ga Zentai Kougeki de Ni-kai Kougeki no Okaasan wa Suki Desu ka?" and "Maou-sama, Retry!" are straight-up isekai. And then there's a second season of "Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka II" which I consider isekai-adjacent since it works off the same power-fantasy template of an innocent outsider who's both far more OP than anyone suspects and is also inexplicably attractive to the opposite sex and also inexplicably awkwardly innocent (and the story leaves unanswered the question of where the main character came from so some big reveal down the road might be that he's from another world anyway).

Of that bunch, "Maou-sama, Retry!" might be worthwhile because of how it deliberately upends some tropes; instead of being a guileless naif the main character is a charming and conniving schemer, and the story is a farce in which people more or less get the comeuppances they deserve. "Isekai Cheat Magician" is about terribly earnest highschoolers and of the shows in this comment is also probably the least gross towards women, although that's not saying it doesn't have problems. "Tsuujou Kougeki" is willfully dorky but the humor (in the manga, anyway) never really lands, and it's not subtle about its fetishes. "Arifureta Shokugyou " is deathly serious and grimdark in the way that highschoolers (and adults who think like them) often confuse with depth. "Dungeon ni Deai" is a known quantity, but I'll probably end up hatewatching it because despite itself the story usually manages to be interesting. It also has a feature film touring the US that will be easy to avoid.

Man I just wrote a lot of words about things I probably won't be doing, huh.
posted by ardgedee at 4:04 PM on June 22, 2019 [1 favorite]

Things I might be interested in:

"Uchi no Ko no Tame naraba, Ore wa Moshikashitara Maou mo Taoseru kamo Shirenai" might be promising. Standard RPG-ish fantasy tropes but from the point of view of an orphaned girl adopted by an adventurer. I think the manga is very good; it's gentle and heartwarming but avoids becoming a generic moe cute girl story because the world changes with time and wins are not always easy. Of course as I've learned from the Kenja no Mago anime, an adaptation can always be pointlessly worse than its source.

"Nakanohito Genome" is a battle royale-ish, murder room-ish story. I tried reading the manga and my eyes kind of slid off the page. But the setup was good so maybe the anime will grab me.

"BEM" and "Cop Craft": I don't know anything about these but the descriptions seemed interesting. And I'll probably watch "Maou-sama" despite myself.
posted by ardgedee at 4:22 PM on June 22, 2019

I did a twitter thread on the summer season.

I'll try everything but what I'm actually looking forward to is:


Kanata no Astra: Mugen no Ryvius for the 21st century, about a bunch of kids stranded in spaace.

Machikado Mazoku: a new magical girl show that doesn't seem to go for grim 'n gritty

Vinland Saga: the manga is highly rated and it's about Vikings.
posted by MartinWisse at 4:41 AM on June 23, 2019


I find the popularity of this series inexplicable, but the guys who like it really like it.
posted by ardgedee at 9:26 AM on June 23, 2019

I think this clip, the opening scene of the first episode of season 3 explains its appeal thoroughly.

It's as over the top as a Wagnerian opera but with better songs, less fascism and a lot more lesbians punch^wbefriending each other.

It's gloriously dumb spectacle that has its heart in the right place, with the main protagonist in a canonical lesbian marriage, several trans characters and still room for songs about beef stroganoff.
posted by MartinWisse at 12:11 PM on June 23, 2019 [1 favorite]

The ones catching my attention are

  • BEM - this is a remake of an anime series which first aired in 1968. Latest PV.

  • Given - adaptation of a popular BL manga, it's Noitamina's first BL anime.

  • Katsute Kami Datta Kemono-tachi e (To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts) - I've heard good things about the manga it's based on. The Korean manga reviews I've read remarked on the melancholic mood, and I'm interested to see if the adaptation will retain on this or focus on the action aspects. The theme is rather dark, as it explores what happens after the war to soldiers who had willingly turned themselves into monsters to win the war, and now civilian society has no room for them, with many of them obviously suffering from PTSD.

  • Lord El-Melloi II Sei no Jikenbo: Rail Zeppelin Grace Note - I liked Waver's character arc in Fate/Zero, and it's nice to see him all grown up.

  • With Dororo, and now BEM, I wonder if there will be more remakes of anime from the 60's and 70's.
    posted by needled at 7:14 PM on June 23, 2019

    > I think this clip, the opening scene of the first episode of season 3 explains its appeal thoroughly.

    And it explains how we can agree to disagree 😃
    posted by ardgedee at 7:02 AM on June 24, 2019

    I mostly just wait for the ones that show up on Cruncyroll and queue them all for a couple of weeks until paring down the ones I want to keep watching. I just hope for a handful of decently enjoyable things.
    posted by zengargoyle at 11:54 AM on June 25, 2019

    Of the previews, Fire Force and Maidens in your Savage Season jumped out at me as shows that I had basically zero interest in until I actually saw the preview, especially that last one--though I feel like at this point I should just admit that any picture of lilies in a preview is probably going to put something on my list. Given and the latter half of Carole and Tuesday overlapping is going to be a lot of fun.

    But so far the only thing I've actually gotten to a first episode of, of the things that have aired, is Starmyu season 3, which I find very charming but is basically the kind of thing where I'm pretty sure anybody who's apt to watch it already knows they're watching it.
    posted by Sequence at 6:43 PM on July 3, 2019

    A couple shows already released their first episodes.

    Katsute Kami Datta Kemono-tachi e (To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts): This was more like an episode zero, since you only learn after the end credits that they used the full length of the show for the backstory. While the production quality was decent, the writing wasn't good. A lot of the female characters dressed to display their assets for no particular reason, you know how that goes. Anyway, it looks like instead of being some kind of psychological drama, it's just gonna be a battle anime, so I might hang in until ep 3 but overall there's probably nothing here for me.

    Maou-Sama Retry: Well, at least the animation, writing and voice acting are better than Wise Man's Grandchild, but since it invites comparisons with *that* isekai rather than some other isekai, you can see where I'm going with this. It was neither good enough to sell itself nor bad enough to be a hatewatch, so it probably won't end up in the watch queue.
    posted by ardgedee at 6:58 PM on July 3, 2019

    GO DROP WHAT YOU'RE DOING AND WATCH Araburu Kisetsu no Otome-domo yo.

    Dammit that was good, especially the climax (spoilers).

    Also good first episodes:

    Symphogear, as expected, brings the craziness from the start.
    Enen no Shouboutai, if you want your shounen action with a bit of Shaft flavour
    Granbelm, a magical girl/mecha crossover for if you miss Rayearth, _and_ it's in 2D rather than CGI.
    Kanata no Astra: Lost in Space: the anime
    Dr. Stone, post-apocalyptic shounen action.
    posted by MartinWisse at 9:07 AM on July 7, 2019

    Astra Lost in Space looks like it should be all right, though I'm pissed at the protagonist bait and switch. We really don't need to see the generic-looking guy's tragic backstory on repeat every five minutes. But damn Maidens of the Savage Season's first episode was incredibly good, and having that alongside the second half of Carole and Tuesday should mean two concurrent shows starring actual plausible female human beings.
    posted by one for the books at 4:48 PM on July 7, 2019

    Uchi no Ko no Tame naraba...: If you're not familiar with the LN or the manga, your past experience with other anime will be putting you on guard, anticipating that the wholesomeness is setting you up for something depraved or gruesome. Don't worry, this time it really is just a lightweight wholesome story. The first episode was kind of slow-moving, but now that the characters are established hopefully the second episode will tighten up a little. Otherwise I'll probably only stick around for the requisite three eps.
    posted by ardgedee at 5:17 PM on July 7, 2019

    Sure is hot today.
    posted by RobotHero at 7:51 PM on July 7, 2019

    Okay, so bear with me here, but How Heavy Are The Dumbbells You Lift? is, uh, good. I mean, it isn't great art or anything, but it is actually good. The pervasive attitude of the show itself is that the main character wants to lose weight but that she's not unattractive, which marks this as the first time I can really say that I feel like the male gaze was used for good. Second ep came out hard against extreme dieting. It's not exactly fat-positive or anything, but the whole fitness thing is very "start from wherever you are" and "bodies are different and we have different interests in how to use them". There is actual instruction on how the machines at the gym work and also how to do exercises you can do at home, with examples of correct form. Everybody seems to be having fun. Guys, I was watching this because I thought it'd be terrible in a funny way, and two episodes in I'm pretty sure I like it?

    (I still think it has potential to be an ED/body image trigger, but so far all it's made me think is that I wish as a teenager somebody had just encouraged me to like exercising and work with the body I had and figure out what my body was actually good at. Jesus.)

    Also, Given is good. That was not at all surprising, but I want to say it. Everything about it is good. The music is good. The animation is good. I am already ready to protect the main characters as though they are my own children. It's so good to have this and Carole and Tuesday going on at once, I feel so spoiled.
    posted by Sequence at 9:48 AM on July 12, 2019

    Once again, I've probably taken on more than I can possibly watch...

    So far:
    Kemono-tachi: This comes correct. I'm really enjoying it so far.
    Kanata no Astra: "Lost in Space" meets "The Breakfast Club". I kind of wish they hadn't stolen the hand-puppet gag from Date A Live, though.
    Shouboutai: I'm appreciating the weirdness of the premise. If they actually give us a decent reveal on the core plot driver, I'll be OK with this show.
    Granbelm: It's... yeah. Broken girls fighting each other. Not quality stuff by any means. But, if they keep animating the combat decently, it'll at least satisfy the "art" factor for me.
    Vinland Saga: Dialogue writing could be tighter, but real solid so far. I appreciate that the authors have actually done some research about the history, rather than just totally making stuff up.
    ICM: Might be my favorite in a while in this very crowded genre. Reminds me just a bit of "No Game, No Life". I hope the story holds up.
    Accelerator: Huge fan of the franchise, but it's weird to go backwards in the world's history again. Otherwise, so far, so good.
    DanMachi S2: Everything I liked about S1 is still present. All good by me. :)

    And, I need to vent a little bit about Cop Craft. (I probably should post separately about this, but I'm feeling lazy.)
    Anyway - I'm a long time veteran watcher of police procedurals. (Invite me to a Law & Order discussion panel sometime.) So, if we're going to have a cop story set in the US, I'm going to be highly critical about it, even if there's no point because it's a damn anime with dimensional gates and alien magic powers. With that setup in place...

    I appreciated seeing a suspect correctly (if sarcastically) mirandized by the police. I've found that Japanese authors are usually about as uninformed about American jurisprudence as Americans are about such things in Japan (or, anywhere else). Also, Left-hand steering. Coming off the positive, though, we see the partner character killed in action. And, the writer then takes us to the main character overruling his CO to demand doing the notification. This is weird, but probably believable by most. It's the CO's job to do, he shouldn't have buckled. But - and this is what REALLY burned my bacon - he proceeds to tell the wife OVER THE PHONE. You DO NOT do that over the phone! Forget culture, procedure, whatever. It's just common decency to show up in person, and there's no situation in which EOW is handled with anything but the utmost care and seriousness among American police. I think that the writer was either being lazy, time-sensitive, or both. It got the story out of "exposition mode" a bit faster. But, it also made me pause the show, leave the room, and actually take time to blow off steam before returning to it. I can't remember the last time an anime episode made me have to stop watching for a break like that.

    The rest of the show did what it was supposed to do, and was enjoyable on its face. But, man - it can be hard for me to get over writing gaffes that large.
    posted by Citrus at 1:02 AM on July 14, 2019

    Yes, that bothered me too in Cop Craft.
    posted by MartinWisse at 3:40 AM on July 14, 2019

    > Given is good. That was not at all surprising, but I want to say it. Everything about it is good. The music is good. The animation is good.

    Given is the only ep. 1 I have re-watched so far this season.
    It was excellent overall, combining good art, direction, and music. I appreciated the director's confidence exhibited in the initial scenes with Mafuyu, deftly showing his disconnect with others with minimal dialogue. It was especially pleasurable to watch after forcing myself through ep. 1 of Enen no Shouboutai and its poor directing, not to mention its women characters whom I found cringe-inducing as a female anime viewer.

    I'm coming off re-watches of Jormungand and Black Lagoon, and this season's shounen just seem ... lacking. I'm not seeing anything with the stylishness of Bungo Stray Dogs or Dororo, and definitely nothing on the level of Mob Psycho 100.
    posted by needled at 12:14 PM on July 14, 2019

    Horrified at this news, Kyoto Animation arson:
    Fire dept.: 33 dead in suspected arson in Kyoto
    posted by needled at 9:55 AM on July 18, 2019

    I was considering trying to post something on the Blue about the fire, but I've been trying to just process it all day and I don't even know what there is to say about it. Like it'd be horrifying news about anywhere, but it seems to be particularly hard to reconcile the fact that this is KyoAni. The next Free movie. I was waiting for news about the next Free movie. I was desperately hoping at some point to hear about a second season of Tsurune. On the one hand it's insane to care about those things now, on the other hand I just keep turning it over trying to reconcile that the people who died may have been the people who were working on my fluff comfort food shows. Jesus.
    posted by Sequence at 12:34 PM on July 18, 2019

    Pragmatically, the Free! movie was scheduled to open this weekend so it's complete and shipped. (iirc the opening has been delayed out of respect.) But apparently all of KyoAni's animation files and backups were on-site and might be total losses now. That is a lot of work gone.

    The human loss is immense. It's such a bizarre and senseless thing to have happened.
    posted by ardgedee at 1:03 PM on July 18, 2019

    This Free movie is a compilation. It's the 2020 Olympics one that was the upcoming Really Big Deal. And if they've lost everything to do with that... well, theoretically there'd still be time to recover, but will they? I have no idea. I know it isn't really that important, not compared to everything else, but maybe it's just easier to think about that than what's really happening.
    posted by Sequence at 1:34 PM on July 18, 2019

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