Aw man it’s one of those seasonal times of the year again when a new crop of anime pops up and I tell myself that I’ll write a blog piece about the new shows, even though there’s a good chance I’ll be too busy to actually watch a bunch of shows and write about them. Will I actually pull through this time? Who knows? But if I do, you’re probably reading this piece right now. If I don’t, it’ll face the same fate as my pieces Anime Winter 2018 and Anime Spring 2018 in that they don’t exist.
So as usual, and by that I mean, as I did for Anime Fall 2017, I’ll watch 1-2 episodes of a few different anime released for this Summer 2018 season and talk about them. I’ll suggest if you should watch them and who should watch what and dole out my general impressions. There might even be a show so bad that it’ll be my verbal body bag. Let’s begin.
Chio’s School Road
A popular genre in anime is Slice of Life anime, which outside of being set in the country side or being set in a fantasy world in order to bend tropes, is set in school, showing the lives of students. And though the shows display life at school, they occasionally brush over the commute to school. In Romance anime, one of the clichés is for the protagonist to encounter their potential romantic partner, their suitor, on the way to school, usually with a slice of toast in their mouth, but that’s it. Everything else is placed in school or a few café dates where the characters hold hands and blush, maybe we’ll get a confession, fireworks blaring in the background. But Chio’s School Road the entire plot is Chio’s commute to school and the wackiness that ensues.
When I watched the first episode, I hadn’t read the synopsis for the series, but the opening gave me Nichijou vibes, which is always a good thing. And it essentially held true. This is a funny show. It dramatizes the small actions because it’s a gag anime. It’s adorable, it makes references to video games (in episode 1 it references Assassin’s Creed). Overall this seems like a great show for people who enjoy comedy anime to watch.
There’s just one thing I noticed. From the opening, and from certain scenes in the first episode, it felt as if the creator/ artist for this series was a hentai artist because of some of the fan service-y shots that were focused on. And after looking up the creator it was confirmed. So watch this series if you want Nichijou vibes with fan service shots. I won’t judge.
Angels of Death
To be honest, I don’t really watch horror anime much. I watch horror movies. I watch people play horror games, but I’ve never really found a reason to watch horror anime. Either it just wasn’t a genre I paid attention to or I’ve really narrowed my anime genre (comedy/ slice of life/ fantasy/ Boruto). So when I watched this show, I didn’t know what to expect. It’s about a girl named Rachel trying to escape a facility/ hospital and meet up with her parents. This facility has rules, which will probably be explained as the series goes on that the citizens in the facility have to abide to. There are multiple levels to this facility and the first episode really only shows two of them, so there’ll be multiple floors for her to tackle. Overall, I don’t yet know what the plot is, but it’s an interesting show. It’s great at setting an eerie mood in the small things, like walking around or when interacting with others, but from the first episode, I could tell that it tries a little too hard to be edgy when going about horror/ thriller tropes. There’s a killer with a scythe in the series whose voice, at first, kind of irritated me as if he were more of an angsty teen than a murderer. A lot of scenes seemed like someone trying to act the part of a crazed killer than being one, so that threw me off for a bit. But when Rachel interacts with the doctor (side note: I think it really says something about my view on society when I look at a villain, think that he’s a rapist, and then feel automatically relieved when it’s revealed he just wants to steal some eyes ala Jeepers Creepers) or walks around alone is when you can really feel the eeriness of her predicament. It reminded me of old horror games such as Misao or Mad Father, so I have a lot of hope in this show. If you wanna get your horror on, go for this. There’s just one more thing though, I could do without the blood splatter graphics that happen during the dramatic scenes. Not because it’s too much, it’s not, but because it feels tacky and unneeded.
Cells at Work
When I saw the thumbnail for this show, my first reaction was to say, Yo this is just Japanese Osmosis Jones, which if it were actually just Osmosis Jones but with moe anime girls, I could live with that. But this show is a bit different from that. It’s a show about the functions of a body. In the first episode we’re shown a red blood cell, simply named Red Blood Cell, trying to deliver oxygen, co2, and nutrients to various organs and can’t find her way to the lungs. The interesting part of this series is that every part of the body: Killer T-Cells, Helper T-Cells, White Blood Cells, the Spleen, the Platelets etc., is represented by a character. And with these characters and this setting of the body, there’s quite a bit of world building which not only serves as exposition for the environment of the characters and the way in which they live their lives, but also serves as a means of education. It explains the body functions and has wonderful/ imaginative ways of displaying them (i.e. the sneeze rocket/ missile). It’s a show I wish was around when I was in high school, because I would have enjoyed biology more. Also the Platelets are little kindergartners and they’re so adorable I made a high pitch squee. Anyways, of all the shows, this will probably be the show I most likely keep up with. If you enjoy biology/ educational topics, watch this show. Also if you enjoy watching germs get killed by badass White Blood Cells, watch this show.
Holmes of Kyoto
I feel as though this show is a wonderful case of demonstrating the regular method for judging anime, one that I do not have the time to do, which is to watch three episodes before deciding to keep up or drop a show. In this show the male protagonist is nicknamed Holmes because parts of his given and surname make the name Holmes and because of his Sherlock-esque deduction skills. While watching the first episode, his deduction seemed so good that I had to call b.s. for moments that went unexplained. Other than that, the first episode was quite slice of life-y, but not in a humorous way. It was a lot of talking and discussing certain philosophies, and I found myself quite bored. But the episode does a good job in making it seem as if it’ll pick up, as there’s an interesting scene in which they show a mysterious figure and the last bit of narration flat out says that they’ll be solving crimes. If anything this episode serves as an introduction to the characters, the shop, and the skills that’ll be on display throughout the series. If you want a relaxing mystery show, you should watch this, but it’ll take more than this episode to know if it’ll be exciting or particularly fun.
How Not to Summon a Demon Lord
Yo…not gonna lie, couldn’t even finish the first episode of this show. I could kind of tell what it was by time the opening ended, and why watch the rest of the episode if I can just move on to the next series I’ve convinced myself to cover? I mean another season another isekai and this is an isekai/ harem show that’ll have a poor, unpopular, not that social, nor used to female interaction geek go to the fantasy world of the game he plays and become an overpowered god. It’s a male power fantasy, something we’ve all seen and what will always be an entry with each upcoming anime season for eternity or until society itself changes. There’ll be fanservice upon fanservice and a standard following to it where there’ll be regular fans, not insane and perfectly functioning, but amongst a loud minority will probably be incels who are also mad about the new look of She-Ra for the upcoming Netflix series. Anyways if you like boobs and butts, go for it, but don’t you dare tell me you’re in it for the plot, because I already know what you mean when you say it.
Side note: Friends, since I know some of you guys don’t know what that means, just google, “anime plot.”
Every season a new mech anime comes out, and I ask myself, will this be the time I’ll watch and like a mech anime? The answer for a while has been no. The last mech anime I thoroughly enjoyed was Aldnoah Zero season 1. I binged the entire series in a day during undergrad and skipped all of my classes. It was great–did not enjoy season 2 as much though. So when I saw this series I had hoped that maybe I’ll like it. The opening reminded me of Star Driver which is always a good thing (I love that trash show and will always love that trash show. Galactic Pretty Boy forever.).
But as the show began, I could tell it was bonkers. We’re just introduced to two random odd characters and we’re given no explanation for them, which in this case is a good show of necessary ambiguity. It kind of shows, doesn’t tell, what this world is like. It starts weird and rolls with it. Our main character, Kuroi, is an amnesiac who just wants to eat some beef in an environment where the diet is vegetarian (hopefully we’ll get an answer to why that is). The plot from just the first episode is quite confusing, a weird alien creature comes in and we start to believe that that’s the aliens will be the villain of the series, but instead we get this twist that Kuroi has to defeat, not the aliens, but the superheroes (who arrive later in the episode) who defeat the aliens. It feels like a twist because it seems as though our protagonist is the villain of the series. And usually the confusion of an episode like this, along with the conspicuous CGI, would be enough for me to drop this series, but there was a moment. One where I looked at the eyebrows of one of the superheroes, and I had to look up the creator of this series, and it was the same artist that created, Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer, a series I enjoyed a lot as a high schooler. So I’ll continue watching this show, probably. I’ll watch Kuroi sweep through the superheroes and maybe this will be the series that gets me back into the mech genre, and hopefully he’ll get the beef he desires so much. So if you enjoy mech anime, watch this. Or if you enjoy complex plots, watch this. Though for the most part, ignoring the glaringly bad CGI, I’d probably wait out a few more episodes before continuing with this series if I were an unbiased or average viewer.
Yuuna and the Haunted Hot Springs
Now remember how I essentially insulted How Not to Summon a Demon Lord, this series is kind of like that. It’s a harem anime with an overpowered, quite Saitama-esque character as the main protagonist, but I read the manga for this show. I like Fuyuzora as a character because he’s not meek, he’s not unaware of love interests’ feelings (unlike other standard harem protagonists), and he’s poor (which I relate with on an all too real level). He’s tortured by the fact that he was possessed by multiple spirits and his life was ruined. What I’m saying is that he has an interesting background. Also the plot is centered around Fuyuzora’s mission to send Yuuna’s spirit on to the afterlife. It’s an interesting series, though it does suffer from the fact that sometimes the sake of fan service/ T&A take away from all the other elements of this series, especially the narrative, given that for every plot centric episode you’ll probably get ten focused on fan service and nothing else. It’s kind of like To Love Ru. Anyways as with How Not to Summon a Demon Lord, watch it if you enjoy T&A, but also enjoy humor and comedic fights, just don’t be a men’s rights manbaby about it.
Anyways that’s my small coverage of Anime Summer 2018. Weebs, I hope you have some good times watching some interesting anime and that this piece helps with your viewing choices. But also, even though I didn’t cover it, you guys should watch Grand Blue, it’s a nice comedy that dramatizes college party life. I wish that I could keep up with most of these series, but I know my destiny, and my destiny is to likely drop all of these shows and stick with Boruto instead (especially after watching episode 65 three times in a row, because that episode was perfection and it took so long to write this piece because I just sat on my couch crying and yelling, Oh my lord that episode was so good.). I leave you with AfroSenju’s reaction to Boruto episode 65, because it’s real close to how I reacted. Later days.