Summer 2018 Overview


It seems like fall series are airing earlier than I expected, so I'll deal with this last bit on the summer season. As always, this post is a look at my impressions of the shows I watched in Summer 2018, split into four totally arbitrary categories. Let me know what you think, and feel free to share your own thoughts on the season. I thought Summer 2018 was pretty fun, and I ended up watching more shows than normal.

What I Liked

  • Happy Sugar Life

Marth's Synopsis: There was only supposed to be one crazy character in this show, but they're everywhere.

I actually held off on reading the manga for this series. I think it was mostly because I was skeptical of the hype. That being said, this series surprised me, and I might end up reading the manga after all. Despite how insane the premise gets, the story seemed smartly written and the developments were fun to watch. The series also did a great job of keeping me guessing and messing with my expectations.

  • Planet With

Marth's Synopsis: Revenge is nice, but love and forgiveness save the world.

I thought I'd become jaded by some of the mecha series I've watched, but this series pushed those thoughts aside. The series felt like it had the perfect mix of serious and lighthearted, and the pacing of the story was extremely impressive. It had a decent message behind it, and the main conflict felt like it was handled well. Some of the characters do get pushed a bit to the background, but I thought the series was really enjoyable overall.

  • Steins;Gate 0

Marth's Synopsis: My time travel story can't possibly be so tragic.

It's not quite at the level of the original, but this series was still pretty enjoyable. I did think it was disappointing that the series sets up interesting ideas about artificial intelligence only to put them to the side. However, I was still impressed with how the series managed to introduce new implications and facets of the time travel in their world that I don't think were present in the original. It made the side story all the more intriguing to watch, and I'm glad I did.

What I Liked (Part 2)

  • Isekai Maou to Shoukan Shoujo no Dorei Majutsu

Marth's Synopsis: When in doubt, just act like a demon lord and everyone will love you.

Putting this series here feels like cheating because I was looking forward to the adaptation after having liked the manga. Still, adaptations can always be sketchy, so I'm just glad it wasn't too crazy. Some of the scenes I liked didn't make it into the adaptation and other scenes went lewder than I expected, but it was fun overall. Maybe I just relate to Diablo too much. Sometimes, it's just easier to act like a demon lord when you don't know what to say.

  • Hataraku Saibou

Marth's Synopsis: Making you almost feel bad for the sicknesses that make you suffer.

This series was another one in the season that was just fun to watch. It was absurd enough to be funny while have mixing in some truly heartwarming moments, all while acting under the guise of an educational series. I'm not sure how educational it ends up being (because I studied this stuff in college), but I had a good time. Some parts of the series start to feel repetitive, and I honestly think that the more wholesome scenes are where the series does best, but I can't really complain.

  • Persona 5

Marth's Synopsis: Edgy kids change the hearts of adults to fix society.

I covered most of this in the post I wrote about what I liked in the series, but the adaptation has been pretty fun for me to watch. I think it's mostly because it likes to reference the game a lot even if the pacing is a fairly rushed. As someone who played the game (and can therefore pay less attention to the story), there's a lot still left for me to see. That being said, this adaptation was probably torture for anime-only viewers, which is kind of a shame because the story's not bad. I'm especially surprised with how the series ended..it just feels like a huge troll.

  • Yama no Susume S3

Marth's Synopsis: Cute girls climb mountains for the third time.

I managed to catch up with the second season in time to watch the third season. As someone who likes exploring mountains myself, this show has always appealed to me. I found the part of the season focused on Hinata to be fairly awkward to watch, but I thought that this season's focus on how much Aoi has progressed was pretty nice.

Middle Area

  • Asobi Asobase

Marth's Synopsis: Puppets are funny, and don't judge a book by its cover.

The idea of not judging a book by its cover feels like the central theme of this series. By that, I mean that every character falls into a stereotype visually, but the reality is something completely different. For example, you have the bookish girl who needs help with English, the foreign-looking girl who is fluent in Japanese, and the love-obsessed idiot who's actually a rich girl as the main characters. It's a comedy show that leans heavily towards the ridiculous side, and it was pretty entertaining to watch, but I didn't think it was particularly special.

  • Harukana Receive

Marth's Synopsis: It turns out beach volleyball can involve girls wearing swimsuits.

This series was pretty chill for a sports series. The character drama didn't feel overplayed, and the rivalries between characters made sense. I say this because it aired in the same season as Hanebado, and I really couldn't say the same for that show. I thought that the animation quality was noticeably weaker in this series in distracting ways (the sand in particular really bothered me). But hey, those reaction faces were great.

  • Overlord S3

Marth's Synopsis: The overlord finally decides to take over the world.

This series is still fun to watch. CG scenes can look pretty wonky, but I think the differing perspectives in the show make it entertaining. I feel like the series tends to do a better job with the "unfair" character deaths than Angolmois did, since the characters who die really feel like they have something worth living for.

  • Chio-chan no Tsuugakuro

Marth's Synopsis: Girl with video game brain tries to go to school without making a scene...that isn't from a video game.

I read the manga for this series before the anime aired, and I was mostly tired of it by that time. The adaptation didn't add all that much to the manga, but it wasn't boring to watch it all over again. At the very least, watching the way the characters treat each other is pretty hilarious, and the video game references are cool.

Middle Area (Part 2)

  • Angolmois - Genkou Kassenki

Marth's Synopsis: The Mongols invade a tiny island on the way to Japan.

This series did a decent job of satisfying my interest with historical series for this season. I personally didn't have too much of an issue with the filter that put over every scene, but I did have problems with how the series escalates in the end. I liked the idea of watching the main characters struggle to survive what should be a losing battle, but it was depressing to see how little the characters were explored.

  • Kakuriyo no Yadomeshi

Marth's Synopsis: Cooking saves the day, spirit-realm edition.

As I said when I posted about the second half of this series before, I thought it was weird that the second half seemed to hit a reset button on the first half. Aoi is brought to a new inn where everyone hates her and she has to once again win each character over individually through meddling and cooking. I didn't really like how repetitive that felt. That being said, I did like how the series ended. The story of the umi-bouzu was pretty much the kind of story I like to see in this type of series.

  • Jashin-chan Dropkick

Marth's Synopsis: Snake demon is killed and maimed repeatedly.

I feel like this is another comedy series that wears itself out. I guess I just get tired of watching Jashin-chan lose over and over again. I didn't hate watching the series, but it felt mostly mindless and I doubt I'll remember much of it after it's done. But hey, gore is always good, right?

  • Shingeki no Kyojin S3

Marth's Synopsis: This time, let's do it without the titans!

I thought this season went in an interesting direction by focusing on humans fighting humans rather than titans. I didn't mind the shift, especially since it brings out new weapons and spends time looking at how different people react to killing humans. Couple this idea with the revelation from the last season, and it's an interesting way of framing the war against the titans, even if the titans are largely absent.

Meh

  • Kyoto Teramachi Sanjou no Holmes

Marth's Synopsis: Antiques are basically like mysteries, kids!

This series always felt like a chore to watch. I'm all for bringing the character of Holmes into new areas, but I wasn't a fan of this rendition. The appraiser aspect of the Holmes character could have been an interesting mix of deduction with subjective appreciation for art, but I never got that sense. Instead, Holmes has one personality for critiquing art, in which he uses vague "feelings" to judge the pieces, and a different personality for solving mysteries, in which he actually makes deductions. That just feels like tacking on a detective aspect to the show. And the romantic angle was pretty disappointing in the end...oh well.

  • Satsuriku no Tenshi

Marth's Synopsis: Girl really wants the bandaged, scythe-wielding murderer to kill her because...reasons.

This series really drew me in with its base premise of the frightened girl with the mysterious past and the crazy murder-happy guy with the scythe trying to escape some kind of insane asylum. It's hard to even judge the series well since it's still not technically complete. I think the sudden change in personality for Rachel will alway bother me in the series. She went from a fairly typical character who felt believable to a pretty flat character that didn't seem to contribute for a while. The "final revelation" also seemed too casual, if that even is the final revelation.

Dropped

You can't really give a witty synopsis if you didn't finish the series, right?

  • Hanebado

I don't really have anything new to say about this series. It looks really great for a sports series, and the badminton games are enjoyable to watch. However, the character interactions are just too much for me. They always feel like they're dialing the tension up way too high to the point where it has the opposite effect and I can't take them seriously. My initial impression of the series was also fairly negative, which didn't help. I wasn't a fan of how the characters dragged Ayano back to the team, so I admit I had a persistent nagging feeling when watching.

  • Island

I watched because it seemed like a promising take on time travel. It did seem to incorporate ideas of the infinite time loop, but I probably stopped before anything was explained. Maybe the VN handles things better, but what I saw was intriguing but ultimately a bit too confusing to me. The exploration of the side characters' stories also didn't feel like they contributed to the main story as much as they should have. I might eventually finish the series to see whether the time travel angle goes anywhere, but I wasn't really feeling motivated.

  • Shichisei no Subaru

My thoughts on this series aren't too different from my thoughts on Hanebado. The character interactions always felt overly dramatic, and it was hard to buy into them enough to feel for the characters. Also, the premise of the series always seemed like it was a bit too absurd. The game mechanics were so extreme that they didn't feel believable. It was starting to feel like a chore to watch for me, so I just cut it off.



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