Summer 2021 Anime Season
June 27, 2021 11:17 AM - Subscribe

As the northern hemisphere burns to death we're gonna stay inside and watch cartoons. AniChart. MyAnimeList.
posted by ardgedee (12 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Broadcasters are going hard on the isekai this season. And for a change many of the new shows have source material that's well-written and mostly fanservice-averse.

"Genjitsu Shugi Yuusha no Oukoku Saikenki" is the usual Japanese guy reincarnated in a fantasy world, and the spin on the usual power-fantasy is that he proves himself to be the ultimate governmental administrator, and the story is primarily about mastery of realpolitik in a fantasy world. "Tsuki ga Michibiku Isekai Douchuu" has an MC who, despite being overpowered AF is forsaken by the new world's gods and has to learn how to live in a world where he's not even allowed to talk to other people -- the manga has a well-balanced mix of serious adventure storytelling and lightheartedness, and I hope the anime maintains this. "Seirei Gensouki" is a more conventional isekai, kind of dry and by-the-numbers IMO but thankfully no fanservice or harem aspects to speak of. "Cheat Kusushi no Slow Life" is silly, in the spirit of the Spring season's "300 Years Killing Slimes" and unfortunately also as fan-servicey. There are also "Meikyuu Black Company" and "Bokutachi No Remake", about which I don't know anything, and "Jahy-sama wa Kujikenai!", a reverse-isekai comedy in which all the humor derives from repeatedly humiliating the female title character.

Continuing from earlier: "Reincarnated as a Slime" gets a second cour of its second season. "Bakarina" second season. "Standing on a Million Lives" second season.

I'm sure I'm missing some. But as it is that makes 25% of the new and continuing shows this summer being isekai of some kind.
posted by ardgedee at 12:12 PM on June 27, 2021

"Maid Dragon" gets a second season. If the weekly teaser shorts during the Spring season are any indication, it's going to lean a little more heavily into sexual humor, which won't improve it.

"Peach Boy Riverside" is a manga scripted by the author of "Maid Dragon" (drawn by someone else) and is a fairly straight-ahead fantasy adventure about a princess who leaves the castle to learn about the world outside. It's a decent story and unlike most of Cool-Kyou Shinsha's manga it doesn't indulge his obsession with breasts at all. I'm looking forward to this one.
posted by ardgedee at 12:21 PM on June 27, 2021

"Summer of isekai", indeed.

If you look at the key images for Peach Boy Riverside, I'd say that there's definitely some breast obsession there, defying quite a lot of gravity. I hope it isn't too distracting.

As for not-isekai on my radar, the most interesting might be The Detective Is Already Dead. I'm hoping for something good from D_Cide Traumerei (I'm a sucker for Lovecraft-derivatives), and the visuals for Sonny Boy plus Madhouse suggest we might get a good visual spectacle - even if the plot description sounds a bit dry at first. (If I had a nickel for every time a clunky translation of an official blurb undersold a show...)
posted by Citrus at 11:31 PM on June 28, 2021

Okay, I don't think I've ever swung between anticipation and disappointment as fast as I have during the first episode of "Peach Boy Riverside", which showed up on Crunchyroll today. The production is complete shambles. There's an inexplicable -- literally, it's like it was spliced in from some other show -- tentacle rape scene, and they seem to want to erotically exploit the main character but can't even remember that they're supposed to be doing that sometimes.

I had to go back to the manga to check whether I had somehow misremembered everything about this, and nope. It's not quite as good as I remembered, and the MC has big boobies for no reason other than the writer demanded them, but it's still a pretty good adventure story and there's no tentacle rape scene and the manga artist appears to have opted for minimal compliance with the writer's requests regarding how the women are drawn and otherwise seems disinterested in making any opportunities for fanservice.

So the anime is a trainwreck -- characters change shapes, the pacing is awkward, the story starts at the third chapter of the manga so you're given no means for understanding what's happening, and so on. If they keep it up it might be this season's hatewatch. Sucks, because the source material deserved better. Oh well.
posted by ardgedee at 4:12 PM on July 1, 2021

Peach Boy Riverside is also aired out of order deliberately it seems like, so if you don't recognise the story from the original, that's why.

Mind, still has the best Frau since the original Gundam so I'll keep watching it for her for the moment.

Kanojo mo Kanojo attempts to be zany comedy about a guy who, when proposed to by a cute first year when he's already in a relationship with his childhood friend, attempts to sell them both on a polyamourous relationship. Mostly harmless, but the animation isn't goof enough to match the actors wrecking their voices.

Vanitas no Karte is a pretty boys steampunk vampire anime as done by Bones, which had a really, really good first episode. You got an over enthusiastic dumbass vampire and a wannabe edgelord human doctor/vampire hunter as the main duo and both the opening and the ending theme are about how they cannot live without each other anymore.

Scarlet Nexus is the anime adaptation of a just launched video game and I could only make it until the opening before I stopped watching. Painfully generic.

Bokotachi no Remake is about a failed game developer who moves back to his hometown after the company he worked for went bankrupt. He goes to sleep dreaming about the prodigies in his generation who had become superstars while he worked on shitty mobile gacha games and wakes up as his high school self, just before he goes to uni. Will his renewed life see him succeed where he originally couldn't? I liked the manga version of this so cautiously optimistic. First episode is double length.
posted by MartinWisse at 10:27 AM on July 3, 2021

Aquatope first episode is a very nice calming show.

Remake is doing something to annoy me I can't quite put my finger on. Maybe it's the characters don't feel very real to me, in ways that don't gel with the ostensibly more grounded subject matter? Like, "this girl fell head-first into my crotch" is broad farce, and undermines my ability to take these character's lives seriously when they're talking about their future and creative potential.
posted by RobotHero at 12:38 PM on July 13, 2021

> Peach Boy Riverside is also aired out of order deliberately it seems like, so if you don't recognise the story from the original, that's why.

I don't care. Gratuitous and totally non-sequitur rape scene (which was not even in the source material) means it's permanently off the watch list. If they fuck up this bad once, they'll do it again.

Too bad, because it's a good story. They ruined it. Maybe a studio that's not shit will do a remake it deserves some day.

I know I'm repeatedly complaining about excessive fan service, but it's annoying. It wastes time and adds nothing except a few moments of humiliation for some female characters. There are shows where gratuitous T&A manages to work as part of the story -- Kill la Kill for example -- but for the most part these scenes are not interesting, not even as interesting as whatever story or character development had been happening before the fan service got inserted. There are a lot of options for shows where fanservice is the point, and I don't even mind those as much. It's the fanservice added inappropriately to shows that don't need it that I'm ranting about here.
posted by ardgedee at 6:10 AM on July 16, 2021

I said calming show but it's apparently willing to make me think about the stress of being on the first day of a job. being told to do something you don't know how to do and messing up badly.
posted by RobotHero at 8:22 AM on July 17, 2021

I dropped Vanitas no Carte after 3 episodes. This show has nothing going for it except the production value, which feels really backwards to me. This show bothered me from the start, but seeing the main character force a kiss onto a defeated opponent made me rather uncomfortable. And then, it was played off for laughs by the writers, which made it worse.

Oddly, I'm still sticking with Peach Boy Riverside, even though it steadfastly refuses to actually explain anything that's going on. While I'm generally also annoyed by "unnecessary" fan service as well, I guess I have a bit more of a tolerance to it?

Nothing this season is jumping out at me as an awesome show. Maybe last season spoiled me a little bit.
posted by Citrus at 10:02 AM on July 18, 2021 [1 favorite]

I watched the first episode of Peach Boy as well, and I would tolerate that level of fan service if it did anything else to hold my interest, but it didn't really.

I watched the first three episodes of Remake though it makes me yell "nobody acts like this!" at the screen at least once every episode.
posted by RobotHero at 4:47 PM on July 18, 2021

> Aquatope first episode is a very nice calming show.

Thank you for bringing this to my attention! Maybe because of the name, I had ignored it but your comment made me give it a try.

So far it's been a nice relaxing show for me, even with that first day on the job second episode, haha. A large part of what has made it relaxing for me, a female viewer, is "There’s no fan service, no peering and leering camera, and no wacky jokes at the expense of anyone’s body" (quoting from Anime Feminist episode 1 review).

I grew up watching anime, and I used to be able to tolerate the male-oriented fan service and the male gaze camera, but I am finding it increasingly difficult to do so and it's just exhausting.

This summer I seem to be paying more attention to Chinese donghua offerings than Japanese anime. Donghua has their share of stupid (Douluo Continent / Soul Land *cough*), not to mention the predilection for terrible 3D animation. But I am finding epic stories with great character interaction that I haven't see as much of in recent Japanese anime. And kickass fight scenes in the wuxia-themed donghua.
posted by needled at 7:59 AM on July 19, 2021

I bet Aquatope is going to sell those "first penguin" keychains in real life.

I've actually started watching Utena, which somehow I never got around to before. A friend is watching the dub while I'm watching the sub. There isn't any drastic difference between the two, like "these two are cousins" sort of thing? I found some threads discussing them and they're mostly focused on the actors' performances, so probably not?
posted by RobotHero at 2:42 PM on August 1, 2021 [1 favorite]

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