I had a taste of 10 first episodes from this season, and here are my very brief thoughts on everything. I had the audacity to rank them all in order of enjoyment after just one episode. Enjoy.
*Verdicts subject to change
10. Nil Admirari no Tenbin: Teito Genwaku Kitan
- Did not know it was a reverse harem, and was sufficiently disappointed. There’s not even a husbando-worthy character in this.
- Aside from the unexpectedly dark introduction scene, nothing about this episode could have surprised any viewer. A perfectly flat first episode is the death to a show.
- Pretty heroine though. I love her hair. Her cutting it eliminates any reason for me to watch this show.
9. Mahou Shoujo Ore
- A lot of people seemed to have enjoyed this, and while I definitely laughed at multiple gags, I couldn’t get into this one enough. Yes, it’s self-aware, but a lot of the time, I feel like it’s subverting tropes simply for the sake of subversion, and can’t really imagine it going anywhere remarkable. I guess I was looking for a slightly wittier parody?
- Saki’s mom is the best though.
8. 3D Kanojo
- Out of the 10 first episodes I’ve watched, Iroha is already the most lovable girl. She’s savagely honest, somehow pure, and has an adorable voice.
- I’ve actually seen two episodes by now, and 3D Kanojo frequently feels like a wish-fulfillment show. The irony in how the 3D girlfriend is really just another 2D goddess. It’s not exactly a bad thing, but it’s something I can’t resonate with fully as an actual 3D girl.
- I wish Tsutsui’s otaku side is fleshed out more. Maybe this is to happen gradually, but all we really see is the unconvincing magical girl Ezomichi.
7. Mahou Shoujo Site
- Now…it seems like most people hated this. In terms of tropes, I have a high tolerance towards gore and cruelty (and conversely, not much patience for cheesy drama). Sorry for the Madoka comparison, but while Madoka took basically the whole series to get to her contract, Mahou Shoujo Site wants to get its protagonist on the dark side right away, and the utterly gruesome first episode justifies Aya’s decision. Heavy-handed, definitely, but it doesn’t offend me.
- I don’t have hopes that this anime is going to be of great quality, but the controversy it generates (and those suspicious sperm cells in the ED song) makes it too interesting to drop right away. I could use another dose of edginess for now.
6. Omae wa Mada Gunma wo Shiranai
Verdict: Casual Watch (as in I’d watch it if I happen to remember to)
- A 3-minute short that advertises (?) the prefecture of Gunma. The humour is kind of dumb, but the fact that this show exists (and isn’t full-episode length like Pop Team Epic) allows it a reasonably high spot on my list.
- This mayor is adorable…I hope he appears again. He sounds so sincere despite knowing that he’s in this weird comedy show (d-does he really know??).
- I was certainly very entertained by this episode, but there are simply too many good shows this season, so I shall wait and see if I have time for this one.
- Nitta’s absurd reactions to Hina’s behaviours, more so than Hina’s own reactions to the human world, were the real comedy gold.
- I can’t help but wonder if I’d love the show more in its original manga form, where disbelief is more easily suspended and the differences between panels can be as enormous as can be. You can argue that the absurdity is what makes the anime funny, but it does try to convey more serious messages as well, and I think manga is the only medium that can present a good amount of both.
4. Steins;Gate 0
- I thought Steins;Gate was one of the greatest anime when I watched it, but I can’t seem to pick up that feeling again when I watched this episode. Don’t get me wrong – it was a great episode. Perhaps it’s because the only characters who really stood out in the original were Okabe and Kurisu, so the show loses half the charm without Kurisu. The greatest problem for me, however, is simply that I’ve forgotten most of what has happened, and will have to look up a detailed summary before I can continue watching (or else it’ll keep bugging me).
3. FLCL Alternative
- I haven’t seen the original FLCL, but this episode was still a great experience. You don’t seem to need to have seen the original to understand Alternative. The schedule for Alternative is a bit unusual, but we’ll see how it goes. I’m the type of person who prefers to see the original work first, so I may do that before continuing this.
- The depiction of high school girls and their daily lives feels so real. Varied faces and body shapes, pointless and unintentionally interesting conversations, lying around being unproductive… I used to lie in a heap on the carpet with my three friends like that, and we called it “glooping.”
- The kick -> forehead -> flower -> guitar scene was mind-blowing.
2. Piano no Mori
- I like shounen feels sometimes, except I don’t care for sports. I do care for classical music, however. And the anime opens with the International Chopin Competition!
- The show seems to be going for a pretty traditional shounen structure, with two vastly different boys becoming friends (potentially rivals later?), competitions, and the subject of talent being a very big thing.
- Ajino-sensei is cool… I love those dark but secretly supportive characters. Reminds me of Professor Snape, except Ajino is probably a way better person.
1. Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii
- Finally, an office romance in anime! Not that I’ve ever sat in an office, but it’s certainly a breath of fresh air.
- The anime only seems to be concerned with the four characters featured in the above image (at least, they’re the only ones in the OP), and so far, all four of them are highly likable and interesting.
- There’s something charming about Hirotaka’s dull, efficient, yet gentle personality. The scene where he recites his skills/qualifications and Narumi “hires” him was to die for.
I truly love this season, and out of everything, Nil Admirari was the only one that was truly “bad” to me.
You might notice that the only one I said “review” to was Piano no Mori. And I won’t even review it episodically unless all goes well in life. Getting lazy, aren’t I? I’m choosing Piano no Mori over Wotakoi simply because I find that I have more to say about music than romance. Might review other stuff in collabs, but nothing has been decided so far.
It really doesn’t look like that many people are watching Piano no Mori this season. Well, you can look forward to my reviews, I guess. Most likely.