Fall 2019 Anime Season
October 1, 2019 7:32 AM - Subscribe

MyAnimeList. AniChart. Do I see ... grownups?

Over 40 new shows, up from summer. And several shows with adult protagonists - e.g. Psycho-Pass 3, Kabukicho Sherlock, Babylon. Also Legend of Galactic Heroes, as it looks like outside of Japan, S2 will be shown as separate episodes, and not grouped into movies.
posted by needled (33 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Thanks, again and always, for posting the lists.

I enjoyed Psycho-Pass, but missed PP 2. Kabukicho Sherlock sounds intriguing. In general, I'll follow the suggestions of others :)
posted by filthy light thief at 8:30 AM on October 1, 2019

I myself am curious if Psycho-Pass 3 will require one to have viewed the Sinners of the System movies from earlier this year. I did watch PP 2 and the 2015 movie, but not the 3 Sinners of the System movies.
posted by needled at 12:49 PM on October 1, 2019

Psycho Pass 2 is... different from the first, it feels like it has less of the cyberpunk Hannibal vibe that I liked of the first season and is leaning a little harder on straight gore, but I'm still enjoying it a lot, as I crank through it in an attempt to be able to watch the third season in a timely manner. I feel like most of what I'm looking forward to at this point are just "more X" new seasons of shows I've been watching. More My Hero Academia, more Psycho Pass. I'm kind of interested in Kabukicho Sherlock but there's going to be some wildly problematic stuff there and I'm not sure how well that's going to sit with my watch group, we'll see. Some sports anime that might be promising but I haven't really heard much about yet.

I think the one thing I'm genuinely looking forward to that's new is Ascendance of a Bookworm. I feel like watching Babylon and PP3 at the same time may be a decision I regret later in the season, but I will probably make the attempt.

It's actually seeming like kind of a light season for me despite the number of things coming out, but that might be good, I've got a lot of things I still need to catch up. Still haven't gotten to the second season of Mo Dao Zu Shi, which I think is up fansubbed somewhere at least at this point, and behind on Carole and Tuesday and a couple shows I really was enjoying from summer where my watch group got interrupted with scheduling problems.
posted by Sequence at 8:42 AM on October 2, 2019

I was looking forward to Ascendance of a Bookworm but the first episode is far more twee and perky than I was expecting, complete with some fourth-wall breaking to drive home the fact that, in case you haven't guessed yet, the protagonist really likes books a lot. Haven't read the VN but the manga at least is considerably more grim about the state of the world and gives the protagonist's quest a sense of weight and meaning than the anime so far has lacked. I'll do the usual three episodes, but I suspect that if it doesn't get better I'll end up hatewatching the whole series anyway.
posted by ardgedee at 5:53 PM on October 2, 2019

Once again there's a shitton of isekai this season: Ascendance of a Bookworm, Shinchou Yuusha, Choujin Koukousei-tachi wa Isekai demo Yoyuu de Ikinuku you desu!, Hataage! Kemono Michi, and Watashi, Nouryoku wa Heikinchi de tte Itta yo ne!,

I'm starting to wonder whether the light novel and manga markets are so heavily saturated with isekai that there's nothing else to turn into anime any more, or whether the publishers are seeing the trend is peaking so they're trying to milk their existing properties while they can.

Other than Ascendance of a Bookworm (which, whoops, is a light novel, not visual novel; my bad), they're all pretty cheap (and Bookworm might end up disappointing too). Kemono Michi and Shinchou Yuusha are genre parodies for which there's not a lot going on beyond the premise. Choujin Koukousei-tachi wa Isekai I tried reading and my eyes fell off the page, the main characters are too smug and their adventures too pat to enjoy. Watashi, Nouryoku wa Heikinchi de is one I don't recognize, but "isekai involving cute girls so OP they could kill God but they're too cute so it's basically about being cute" is its own sub-genre, I could name you a couple other LN/manga series that could swap in for it without anyone noticing. Yeah, I'll probably watch an episode or two of all of these with expectations set low, I need more shows in my hatewatch queue anyway.

Not an isekai, I think: There's not much about the description of No Guns Life that grabs me but the trailer is sufficiently surreal that I might check it out.
posted by ardgedee at 6:24 PM on October 2, 2019

needled, now that I have asked somebody who I trust: I have been told at least that the Sinners of the System stories are side-stories and almost certainly not necessary before s3. Still intending to see them, but probably not going to rush it, since I've now finished s2 but still need to catch the movie and all my backlog.

I'm a little sad to hear that Bookworm isn't looking as deep as it could be, but honestly, I'm usually here for the cute girl shows as long as they aren't just "cute girls get ogled by a dude character". I intended to be hate-watching both Are You Lost and How Heavy are the Dumbbells You Lift last season as ironic comic relief after heavier stuff, and wound up genuinely attached to both of them, sob.
posted by Sequence at 8:21 PM on October 2, 2019

Chihayafuru Season 3! [flailing arms gif]
posted by lucidium at 5:35 AM on October 3, 2019

Fall 2019 anime per streaming service - I suspect this is U.S.-centric.
posted by needled at 10:50 AM on October 3, 2019

Wait, what's this about LGH being shown as episodes? Where do I find that, exactly? I rather enjoyed S1.
posted by Citrus at 8:08 PM on October 5, 2019

The plan for LoGH S2 was to release three movies, each with 4 episodes of content. The first movie came out on Sep. 27 and Crunchyroll has decided to show it split into one episode per week, and will do so for the subsequent movies coming out in October and November. So Crunchyroll has 2 episodes of S2 so far.

The last chapter of vol. 1 of the novel is the material covered in S2 Ep1. The argument could be made that this should have been the last episode of S1, but I can also see reasons for putting it in the beginning of S2, mainly that the chapter material connects vols 1 and 2. If S2 were to start with the actual start of vol 2 of the novels, S2 material would feel too disconnected coming after the S1 and S2 gap.

I re-watched S1 episode 5 and it felt depressing in light of the past couple of years of U.S. politics. I also watched the extended trailer for S2 and just the brief stadium scenes were a gut punch, alluding to Chile's Estadio Nacional being used as a prison camp by Pinochet's forces after the 1973 military coup.

I expect this season will be painful to watch as we watch the Free Planet Alliance be the worst democracy it can be, as it's being taken over by self-serving populists and religious demagogues in addition to Reinhard's ambitions on the Galactic Empire side.
posted by needled at 6:36 AM on October 6, 2019

Ascendance of a Bookworm (which, whoops, is a light novel, not visual novel; my bad)
This explains why the first episode felt like it would work much better as prose.

Anyway yeah, nothing much worthwhile this season. It happens. At least Afterschool Dice Club is fun when you pause it to search the background for board games you recognize.
posted by one for the books at 11:05 PM on October 7, 2019

As somebody with a library school degree who's also taught library school students, the first episode of Ascendance of a Bookworm made me cringe repeatedly. What the protagonist exhibits is book fetishism. She loves books themselves, not what books can do. She is the type of library school applicant who would be steered towards a book production or publishing program. For somebody who professes a deep love of books, she seemed to recall very little of the content of the books, such as history books, at least in the first episode.

I'll try to give this 3 episodes, but if I can't stop cringing I may have to go watch Library Wars instead for a bit.
posted by needled at 4:55 AM on October 8, 2019 [1 favorite]

Okay, everybody who hasn't done so yet, got and watch Hoshiai no Sora/Stars Align, which so far is the best animated series of the season. I went in blind not knowing anything about it and it blew me away.
posted by MartinWisse at 12:30 PM on October 11, 2019

Stars Align is worth a little checking first if you're the sort of person who has some things you need content warnings for, which I say only because it does not look like the sort of show where that would be an issue, but I won't go into detail. It was stunning, though, and I can't wait for the rest of the system.

On a way, way happier note: Outburst Dreamer Boys is about a hundred times better than I actually expected it to be. Two eps in and I am so far past ironically liking it already to just thinking it is genuinely charming. And they got Akira Ishida to play a parakeet, apparently, which killed me.
posted by Sequence at 8:22 PM on October 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

Stars Align is superbly executed, but agree with Sequence's comment, it can get unexpectedly heavy.

My fluffy anime to watch while eating dinner this season is After School Dice Club. So far it's cute without being icky, and no heavy feels involved, so will not impact appetite or digestion :)

Stars Align definitely does not fall in above category.
posted by needled at 8:53 AM on October 16, 2019

Anime Feminist's quick takes on the first one-or-two episodes of the season's shows, with links to longer reviews of each.

Didn’t I Say to Make My Abilities Average in the Next Life? might be the most bizarre. I checked the manga adaptation of the LN and there are no predatory lesbian pedophiles there. (There are over 100 chapters in the LN, I'm not taking the time to skim it). The LN's author (FUNA) specializes in isekai feminist power fantasy stories -- at least the self-determination and achievement aspects of power fantasy, leaving the harem and fanservice out. I picture FUNA throwing her computer at the wall on seeing how the anime goes.

"Bookworm" is another series that continues to vex. In the LN and manga, the heroine faces crippling chronic disease, exploitation (intellectual and financial, not sexual) by merchants, and being forced to choose between an early death and slavery in exchange for medicine, all set in a medieval city where starvation and death by exposure in winter are very real risks. And the anime's a comparatively cute, low-stakes romp through a colorful and quaint disneyesque cityscape. The producers didn't want to let problems be taken seriously if a woman is involved.

Most isekai is trashy, the better ones are trashy in the same way that cheap SF and paperback romances are trashy -- meaning they don't necessarily demean the reader, they just don't really elevate the reader either. And it's not like the source material for these two anime are awesome: The main character's dilemma in "Make Me Average" is trying to avoid being too successful rather than trying to succeed at all, which is not really that relatable a problem for us. But it's doubly frustrating to see a couple of relatively progressive feminist-leaning stories dropped on studios that shit things up immediately. FFS, "Make Me Average" starts when the MC is something like eight years old, adding sexy-sex should be beyond the pale even by the pretty loose standards of anime series.
posted by ardgedee at 6:51 AM on October 17, 2019

Well, whatever faults the season may have, at least there's no new undisguised child porn involving naked boys diving into anuses.

The anime industry tends to jump on trends--remember how it was all about being nice to hikkomori? And the ones about a "completely average high school student" turning out to be The Chosen One in an urban supernatural setting? Does anyone remember any of those series?

That said, the Isekai ones are such slight wish fulfillment in not looking guitars to any of them. Except I have enjoyed the satirical "I Reincarnated into an Otome Game as a Villainess With Only Destruction Flags", so I'll catch a few episodes at least when that shows up.
posted by happyroach at 8:45 AM on October 17, 2019

I'm still catching up with premieres, thanks to ${NEW_JOB} making me busier. So far, I'm very impressed by Babylon. Most anime writers wouldn't know a good crime drama if it beat them upside the head. But, after watching the first episode, I like what I see. This seems possibly promising.
posted by Citrus at 9:28 PM on October 21, 2019

I watched 3 ep of Babylon and it made me feel dumber and I'm already watching Psycho-Pass S3. I can't recc'd the former since it lacks the stylishness and the fact that there is exactly one woman in the entire series who happens to be the main villain.

Fall season is pretty grim for me compared to Summer but so it goes.
posted by chrono_rabbit at 4:30 PM on October 26, 2019

at least there's no new undisguised child porn involving naked boys diving into anuses.

I want to defend Sarazanmai against this charge but I'm not 100% sure how to do so. They transform into their kappa forms before entering the anuses? They're ... metaphorical anuses?

There was something going on I can't quite articulate how episodic formula and recycled animation can be used as ceremonial ritual? Does anyone get what I mean?

I haven't watched a lot of isekai shows but I do kind of like Bookworm.

I'm still watching Doctor Stone even though it keeps defying so much logic. The latest development is there was an entire space station of unfrozen astronauts but our best chance of recovering civilization is still the super-smart high-school kid?

Maybe I appreciate the Bookworm does have plausible setbacks like she underestimates how tedious weaving papyrus is.
posted by RobotHero at 6:40 PM on October 26, 2019

Further to Bookworm, there's an interesting contrast between her attempts to make books, which nobody else understands the value of. Versus when she crochet's hair decorations or makes pancakes, which she doesn't think is a big deal but everyone else is impressed by.

Again, I don't watch a lot of isekai so I don't know how unusual that is.
posted by RobotHero at 2:36 PM on November 2, 2019

> Again, I don't watch a lot of isekai so I don't know how unusual that is.

It's a trope but not a ubiquitous one. Some isekai are specifically about how the MC becomes the coolest person in the world for their endless streams of inventions and insights. Knowing how to build a hand-powered water pump, in particular, tends to be a pivotal moment in these kinds of stories. Other isekai are effectively stock heroic fantasy for which the MC's previous life is dropped entirely, other than for occasional moments of longing for the people they used to know.

This one kind of runs down the middle, and it's to the LN's credit that the MC doesn't arrive wielding previously-nonexistent engineering skills like a wizard; it's truer to type for a liberal-arts kind of person to remember the history of writing from our world but without sufficient detail to successfully replicate any methods other than the ones that people in her current world already more or less know about.
posted by ardgedee at 3:09 PM on November 2, 2019 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I was totally thinking last week about why the Bookworm doesn't do wood slats and soot ink. She should know this. And BAM. Now if she'd only start making washi by pulverizing plants and sifting them through cloth and figure out inkstones and make a brush out of her hair. Seems her previous life wasn't that knowledgeable or just maybe being in a six year old body is fuzzing things up a bit. I'm enjoying it enough while back-seat driving.
posted by zengargoyle at 6:40 PM on November 2, 2019 [1 favorite]

> I have enjoyed the satirical "I Reincarnated into an Otome Game as a Villainess With Only Destruction Flags"

fwiw there's a spinoff manga of that being scanlated now, in which the MC awakens to her previous life only shortly before the game's ultimate denouement that seals her fate (rather than in early childhood per the original story). It's basically the same story but on hard mode. It's somehow simultaneously less silly yet funnier.
posted by ardgedee at 7:14 PM on November 2, 2019 [1 favorite]

Bookworm has been slowly getting heavier as the season continues, and not coincidentally it's also been improving into an interesting story. They're condensing the events in the LN and Manga, and some things are happening out of order, but I guess that's the penalty for condensing a hundred thousand words or so down to 12 episodes. The world is still kind of disneyesque rather than grimdark, but at least the director has decided to let the MC face some relatively serious dilemmas that could've easily been trivialized.
posted by ardgedee at 1:13 PM on November 16, 2019 [1 favorite]

Anyone watching Vinland Saga? I've been reading it since near when it was first being published and gosh it is good. It looks like it is being marketed as another "best fighter make good fight with swordy-sword" anime but it is a lot more than that. Serves as an examination of trauma, the effects of violence and toxic masculinity, and later whether it is possible to repent and then fully be forgiven for the sins of the past. It's not like, the best comic ever in the world but it's pretty darn good and I'm glad it has a show now.
posted by Anonymous at 1:34 PM on November 16, 2019

Babylon is modestly entertaining just because it makes so little sense.

Psycho-Pass S3 seems pretty good, but I entirely skipped both S2 and the movies, so I probably have no real idea what's going on.

Chihayafuru is as good as you'd think, which is to say very good.

Blade Of The Immortal is sort of funny--and intentionally, at least some of the time. The MC is kind of a bum who only wins fights because he can't die. While he's getting his ass kicked up and down the street, he says to his opponent, "I'd like to say something cool like, 'Guess it's time for me to get serious,' but the sad fact is I've been serious the whole time." You've gotta like that.

Also, it seems like every time he and the heroine, Rin, encounter ANYBODY, they turn out to be a member of the school of Evil Swordsmen that Rin has sworn vengeance against. Nice old lady? Evil swordsman. Cute kid with lollipop? Evil swordsman. Rin is voiced by Sakura Ayane, so if you like her, she's another reason to watch a bit of this.

That's about it. Kind of a slow season for me.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 4:14 PM on November 16, 2019 [1 favorite]

Who's watching Welcome to Demon School! Iruma-kun?

It's basically (and also literally) a high school comedy in hell. Considerably more fun than it has a right to be and more family-friendly than you would expect. (Which is probably because it's from NHK, Japan's state television network.)
posted by ardgedee at 5:07 PM on November 16, 2019 [2 favorites]

Welcome to Demon School! Iruma-kun reminds me a lot of Rin-ne. The same sort of pretty tame fun.
posted by zengargoyle at 11:20 AM on November 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

> Psycho-Pass S3 seems pretty good, but I entirely skipped both S2 and the movies, so I probably have no real idea what's going on.

I've watched S1, S2, the movie, and the Sinners of the System movies, and I think one can go straight from S1 to S3, as long as one is aware that S3 takes place 7 years after the end of S1. So basically a lot of stuff has happened between S1 and S3 in-world, but they're leaving the really important stuff as mysteries so far in S3 (e.g. What happened to Akane???). S2 and the Sinners of the System movies would provide some background for some of the characters that showed up in S3 episode 2.

At this point in the season my anime-watching brain has been occupied by Psycho-Pass S3 and Legend of the Galactic Heroes S2. I can't believe Production I.G. has both of these showing this season, in addition to Kabukicho Sherlock. Next year they'll be releasing Fate/Grand Order Camelot movies, as well as a new 4-part adaptation of Ito Junji's Uzumaki. They've also got 4th season of Haikyu next year, and rumored to take over the last season of Attack on Titan from WIT Studio. I marvel that the studio has the funds and the animators to handle these many projects and still maintain the level of quality they have so far for Psycho-Pass and LoGH.
posted by needled at 12:18 PM on November 17, 2019

Whoa - episode 7 of Babylon. I don't think I'm up to re-watching that episode even if the next episode won't be available until Dec. 29.
posted by needled at 8:31 AM on November 19, 2019

My wrap-up thoughts...

Well, they managed to wedge the entire Part One of the "Bookworm" LN into 14 episodes (13 and 14 appear to have been released concurrently), and blitzed through the second half of Part One in the final three and a half episodes. Without spoilers, I'll say I'm kind of pleased with how the anime turned out, especially considering how overly slick and Disneyfied it began. One of the things that was interesting about the manga adaptation is how the story manages to portray social class, and how narrow the perspective of members of each social strata is regarding people above and below them. I don't know anything about what comes after (the manga adaptation has just started Part Two, the LN is apparently in the early stages of Part Three), but the series ends teasing Part Two, so it's possible that's already in the works.

"Outburst Dreamer Boys" was an easy watch but it's hard to say I liked it. The main characters were extremely annoying, and while that's the point, it also means having to put up with half a dozen extremely annoying people sharing the spotlight.

"After School Dice Club" was the anime equivalent of warm herbal tea. Pleasant and inoffensive and overall a nice stress-free break from reality.
posted by ardgedee at 8:18 AM on December 29, 2019

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