The Winter 2019 anime season is over and I would like to take some time to reflect on what I watched during this season in a new feature. Let’s call it My Anime Season. Just because it takes place after each season does not mean it is limited to that season. Instead, I will reflect on what I watched that season. This includes what I watched all of, what I dropped, any shows I went back for, and even what I wished I watched. With all that said let’s get started.
What I Watched
I only watched two new shows during the winter season. The first was one I was very hyped for, Mod Psycho 100 II. The first season was very good and left me wanting more. It stars a humble 14-year-old boy name Shigeo Kageyama who mostly blends into the background. This quite personality earns him the nickname “Mob” which is a term that is short for “part of the mob”. Despite this Mob lives a second life as a powerful psychic working for a conman named Arataka Reigen. Reigen claims to be the “Greatest Psychic of the 21st Century” but that title can easily go to Mob who does all of the real work.
Both seasons follow similar pacing. Most of the first episodes focus on Mobs personal life. Next, he meets and deals with other powerful psychics. Finally, he has to face off with a powerful group of psychics bent on world domination. Although Mob’s school life may seem like filler it is critical to the overall plot. Despite Mod’s overwhelming powers, he does not believe in using them to get ahead in life. This makes him a very admirable character in my eyes. To me, there are too many arrogant heroes who always get their way. Seeing someone who has great power but wants to grow stronger as a person regardless is a nice change of pace. As Mod puts is, “Psychic powers aren’t needed to survive in the first place.”
The second show I watched was out of pure curiosity and I doubt it will gain much of a following. Girly Air Force sounds like it could be any number of things. I was happy to find out that the show opted for story over fanservice. The series takes place in a world being invaded by a mysterious force known only as the Zai. The Zai take over China using advance fighters that are far superior to anything found on earth. To combat them humans build their own fighters from parts salvaged from the Zai. The catch is that not only do they build the fighters from the salvage but also the pilots…
Enter the Daughters. They are artificial humans made from the Zai parts. As the name suggests they are all girls. Each has their own traits and personalities. This is standard “Moefication” at work. Take something and turn it into a cute girl. Thankfully the setting an atmosphere are more serious than other similar series. The war with the Zai keep the stakes high and the Daughters are our only hope.
The main character is a young man named Kei Narutani who is forced to flee China after the Zai invade. During the encounter, he meets one of the Daughters who is the personification of a JAS 39F Gripen. Gripen passes out when piloting on her own but remains stable when she is with Kei. The two bond and fight the Zai together. Nothing too special happens to make this show stand out. It’s not bad but I’m not really sure who to recommend it to. There is not enough mechs for mecha fans, not enough cuteness for moe fans, and too much exposition for action fans. Again, it is not a bad first season but it is forgettable. I’ll be surprised if it gets a season two.
What I Dropped
There is one series I would count as “dropped” but I might go back for it. That would be season two of Kemono Friends. I originally dropped season one because it appeared to be a low budget kids show. It felt like a cheap Dora the Explorer or Blues Clues. I came back to see what all of the hype was about. The dark foreshadowing did make Kemono Friends interesting and for many, it was relaxing to watch. Despite the controversial decision to replace director Tatsuki and animation studio Yaoyoruzu, Kemono Friends 2 carries over much of the same feel as the first season.
I was more bothered by the replacement of the main character and the repeating of the same formula. A young girl loses her memory and finds herself in Japari Park. In this abandon wildlife park, the animals have turned into human hybrids known as “Friends”. The human girl helps them to solve puzzles while trying to learn more about herself. The lack of plot progression from the first season put me off but after getting further that changed. Events from season one start coming back and the mystery finally continues. Like with season one I may go back and binge it to see how it ends.
What I Went Back For
For some reason, I had a desire to go back and finished Ladies vs Butlers. This series is almost ten years old now and is considered an ecchi classic. There is a lot of fanservice and I mean a lot. Ecchi is hit or miss for me. No matter how many animated boobies and booties fill up the screen I still need another reason to come back. For Ladies vs Butlers, it was the characters. The show stars a young man named Hino Akiharu. He is a delinquent who gets transferred to an elite school know as Hakureiryō Academy. The school is divided into Servant-ed and Upper-ed classes. Servant-ed teaches students how to be maids and butlers while Upper-ed is for the elite to learn how to be lords and ladies.
The highlight of the show for me is the rivalry between Akiharu’s two main “love interest”. One is his childhood friend Tomomi Saikyō who loves to create chaos and watch the world burn. The other is Selnia Iori Flameheart who’s arrogance is almost a fatal flaw but is kept in check. The rest of the cast is not bad but these two are what makes this series worth watching. I also have to give the bonus episodes credit. Saving the “good stuff” for last is a good way to get people invested in the characters before overwhelming them with fanservice. Ladies vs Butlers already has a lot of fanservice but the bonus episodes take the cake!
I also finally started The Seven Deadly Sins. This one came out in 2014-2015 so I’m about four or five years behind. So far it is much better than I imagined. The Seven Deadly Sins does not look like the kind of series that is going to have a lot of plot. Much to my surprise, the plot contains multiple connected subplots. The main and supporting cast are amazing. Finally, the balance is near perfect. There are not many anime series that make me laugh, think, and still have good fanservice.
Season one stars Elizabeth Liones who is a princess looking for the Seven Deadly Sins. The Sins were once her kingdoms greatest protectors but were exiled for plotting to take over the kingdom. The king becomes ill and some of the current knights begin to rule with an iron fist in his absence. Elizabeth hopes the Seven Deadly Sins can help her set things straight. As I said before the plot is deeper than your basic action show. The mixture of compelling characters who all have their own goals with a dark plot is balanced out with the occasional fanservice and jokes. This might get on the nerves of people who hate fanservice but I found it never fully undercut the writing. That said Meliodas could learn to keep his hands to himself…
What I Wish I Watched
Somehow I missed My Roommate is a Cat. My sister told me I need to see it but by that time I was too invested in other series. I managed to squeeze in the first episode and I can see how cat fans everywhere would love it. From the first episode alone My Roommate is a Cat appears to be about a writer who is very anti-social and avoids human contact. He takes in a stray who seems to try and take care of him as much as he does her. The perspective even switches to that of the cat and we get to hear her inner monolog. It is way too cute and touching! I’ll have to go back for it someday!
Finally is the infamous The Rising of the Shield Hero. I will not lie I have paid little attention to it. I just know it has a raccoon girl named Raphtalia. The show has generated a lot of hype and I want to see why. Normally with a show like this when I finally get around to watching it the hype will be justified. For now, I’ll avoid spoilers and get to Shield Hero when I can.
That is it for my Winter Season. The Spring season has already begun and it looks like a doozy! There is more One Punch Man, Strike Witches, Fruits Baskets, The Helpful Fox Senko-san and more. Hopefully, I’ll be able to keep up with everything. Look forward to My Spring Anime Season in a few months!