So more than halfway through…
Asobi Asobase could become great. It is a refreshingly self-aware and irreverent comedy, having issues however because it's not 100% confident at what it tries and some jokes just fall flat, are poorly delivered or are plain mean and lacking punch (those fat jokes). But it has potential and I'm loving the reaction faces.
Yeah this is very good. I love how much effort is going to the production to enhance the jokes. It has definitely improved. Yet from time to time, there's the really tasteless joke I can't get into.
Banana Fish is going to be one of the strong contenders for this season. Absolutely every aspect of its production and its narrative treatment of several different moods is spot on. The action looks engaging, the character drama is intriguing and empathic, the main mysteries are being unfold in a pretty elegant way. And the cinematic look makes everything better. This has potential and I hope it keeps it in the long run.
I've grown a little tired of its routine, so I will probably not put it among my favorites of the season, and it has dropped some of the quality. It's still really good and engaging. It moves very, very fast though, I still wonder how can this be two cour.
Chio-chan no Tsuugakuro is more hit and miss than I'd like, still decent fun. Visually it is far from delivering well enough for the kind of comedy it tries, but it knows timing and it knows how to escalate the jokes, so if it manages to get more consistent production values it could get good.
I don't know what to think. It depends so much on the episode. What I'm not appreciating at all is the amount of really questionable jokes out there, which I find cringey and tryhard. I don't get the obsession this show has for that kabaddi girl but that's seriously bottom of the barrel comedy. Ugh, I don't hate it, but it can get on my nerves at times.
The new season of Gintama started as an action episode with some little dramatic introspection about a character I really don't care that much for, so I can't say I loved it. But it was a good start, and new Gintama is always great news.
After a bunch of episodes I really didn't care about, the last three were great. I still have major issues with the pacing and how fast everything goes, a lot of tragedies happened and the show didn't give enough time to breath. It was almost ridiculous.
Grand Blue sounds fun but I wasn't fully convinced. What I like the most is the setting, both the summer and college campus vibes. The comedy had me laughing in several parts, but at the same time, I felt it was the weakest aspect of the episode. It made decisions that I just don't understand, like trying to stretch an already delivered joke with a delayed reaction face. If it gets over this annoying trend, yeah, I can see it becoming a genuinely great watch.
Still not great, but this is getting better. I have good fun with this show even if the execution is not the best.
Hanebado! is a serious and competitive spokon and that is far from my preference but this one is working very well for me. It is perhaps the most ambitious visual production of the season and it looks stunning in all levels. In the narrative and character growth, this raised some red flags in the first episode due to its trend to make every scene so emotionally loaded that I feared it would break my suspension of disbelief at some point, but the second episode cleared my doubts with its narrative decisions. Now I'm absolutely digging this. Another solid contender.
Solid contender my ass. Fuck this shit. What about writing characters that make sense for more than one scene. Everything went horribly wrong after those two episodes.
Harukana Receive is not yet among the top ones of the season, but the sole fact I'm considering it for the future is a major surprise. Sure, I have to sit through a good amount of cheap fanservicey shots and ugly CGI (the first episode has some jarring sequences) but… it's actually really competent? The character writing and dramatic escalation and delivery are pretty great, it has good comedy and laid-back vibes, the setting is chill and inviting, and it takes its sport seriously enough. Also, shout-out to the voice acting. It's absolutely fantastic, in a more subdued and naturalistic way than I'm used to. The dialogues feel cordial and inviting. Even the dramatic peaks don't feel overacted.
So everything I said before, with less and less fanservice the more it advances, and perhaps a little more overacting in certain climax parts, but it doesn't bother me. This show is a blessing.
Hataraku Saibou is my third candidate for AOTS so far and it may be my favorite due to personal affinity with the field of knowledge it deals with. I am loving it for its educational content but also for its ability to use the biological geekiness to the worldbuilding's advantage because it's so creative and fun. The story in this first episode was quite conventional, which I think makes it very easy to enjoy, and I loved every detail of the world it depicts. Don't forget to check this out even if you are not into this field as much. It's entertaining and creative enough and there's a lot of fun character dynamics.
My current AOTS. This series is so consistently brilliant and I have loved every episode so far. I particularly like how it makes use of common narrative tropes in anime in a way that makes perfect sense with the facts of human biology. The personalities of the cells make too much sense and so do their dramatic arcs. Plus it's funny and cute as heck.
The third season of Yama no Susume has two episodes so far and my opinion on both is quite polar opposite, so I think this is going to be like the second season: a very irregular series which is worth the watch either way because the highs are very high. It doesn't seem to have fixed its issues, but it keeps delivering its strengths. I'm in for this wild ride again.
And this wild ride is working well because the ratio has improved. I'm liking it more than the second season so far.
And another I started later is Shoujo Kageki Revue Starlight. This show is brilliant, and despite I don't like it yet as much as Hataraku Saibou, I think it has more potential and can reach higher if it nails its main story arc. Aesthetically fascinating with a very elegant presentation, narratively mysterious, unique and engaging, the character arcs so far have been all great and the latest plot twist was amazing and makes me even more hyped for the things to come.