I decided to follow through with the “Watch Three Episodes” test with the majority of the Winter Anime 2019 titles I threw on to my watch list, so here are blurbs of text describing my initial thoughts!
Anime I Knew I’d Like From The Start
Mob Psycho 100 II – As I mentioned on my watch list, I’m down for further character development for Mob and so far, I’m not disappointed.
I’m enjoying Mob’s progression from an extremely nervous and shy introvert to an individual who is comfortable about sharing his thoughts with others and questioning his morality in his dealings with humans and spirits. I was attracted to Mob Psycho 100 for how earnest its protagonist was. Fluid and versatile in combining pencil strokes and thickness of lines to create textures with shifting camera angles, animation studio Bones is excelling at entertaining me in this second season. I really liked watching the villains’ movements in battle sequences. They all moved at different speeds and were all ultimately erratic, but you could definitely identify their personalities through their actions.
I also really like the OP theme, “99.9” by MOB CHOIR feat. sajou no hana. Just like the OP of the first season, this theme song is an anthem to the series. Starting with a strange overlaying of various characters on the screen, psychedelic flashing colours, 3D CGI animated bits, twanging bass and guitar moving onto monochromatic fight scenes, it’s a fun time.
Yakusoku No Neverland – When I read the first chapter of the manga, I knew that this series had to become an anime series and I’m overjoyed that all the ani-bloggers I follow are enjoying this series as much as I am!
Yakusoku No Neverland (The Promised Neverland) follows the recipe of a shounen series: the young protagonist needs to strengthen themselves and work alongside their friends in order to reach their goal. However, the premise takes on a darker twist by placing children in a world where they cannot fend for themselves and are grown to be food. It’s a story about children fighting for survival, not knowing what the future holds for them which makes this story so exciting. The story’s ability to keep its viewers on the edge of their seats is its strength. The series should be an example of how to write suspense without having to kill off a lot of characters to do so.
The anime adaptation is following its original source and stays true to the manga’s art style. I do have to give credit to Emma’s seiyuu, Sumire Morohashi for her distressed wail toward the end of the first episode. It gave me chills.
It’s no surprise that I like the OP theme, “Touch Off” by UVERWorld (They’re one of my favourite J-Rock bands), but the ED theme, “Zettai Zetsume” by Cö shu Nie is a sweet balance of rock, string instruments and swift piano with lyrics echoing the cast’s wish for salvation. It’s perfect.
Tate No Yuusha No Nariagari – The first episode was a full double length, but its length was needed to introduce and explain the diagesis of Tate Yuusha in order to move onto the story’s plot. I agree that this series isn’t unique amongst other titles in the isekai genre. However, watching other isekai anime thus far, I don’t mind having a protagonist who’s a justified jerk possessing skills that protect others rather than combat monsters.
The series’ pacing is pretty good considering they adapted a chunk of the source material to fit into an episode without making it feel too rushed. The voice acting choices are solid with Asami Seto voicing Raphtalia and Kaito Ishikawa as Naofumi. Seto gives Raphtalia a soft cheerful warmth with her voice acting and I love how her voice becomes so powerful in showcasing Raphtalia’s loyalty to Naofumi. Ishikawa is great at delivering emotional lines. I’ve listened to his work as Boku Hero‘s Iida and Haikyuu‘s Kageyama. With Naofumi, Ishikawa brings back an icy coolness (typical of a villainous character) that his other roles didn’t have.
Anime That I’ll Keep An Eye On
Boogiepop Wa Warawanai (2019) – When I read other ani-bloggers talk about the first two episodes of the series, I took my time waiting for the third episode to be released before watching it.
Boogiepop‘s format is interesting with the first story arc split into three parts. The narrative is divided into various points of view experiencing the same event at different moments in time for each episode. Its story is a slow burn and also follows a non-linear form of storytelling. I do enjoy piecing together parts of a story to understand what happened. With that being said, it’s easier to binge-watch a story arc than to watch it on a weekly basis so that I won’t be left confused.
The art style isn’t as unique compared to the other Winter anime I’m watching. In addition, its animation and use of camera angles for action sequences is good. The series’ OP theme, “shadowgraph” by Myth and Roid, and ED theme, “Whiteout” by Riko Azuna, compliment the story in showcasing what we can expect from it.
Anime That I Find Kinda Meh But Will Be Better Later On…Maybe?
Fukigen Na Monokean Tsuzuki – I had a difficult time decided where to list this series under this category or the previous one. I placed it here because although I don’t mind slow burn development, I’m not getting a lot out of the story since there is no overarching issue or large mysteries to be resolved.
The new characters who can present a problem pop up like a little blip on a radar and I hope their roles become more prominent as the series progresses.
The second season follows the same format as its predecessor with a new yokai introduced every episode can seem tiring, but I liked the different character designs for the yokai in the last season. So, I’m still going to watch the series, especially for Moja.
Wataten!: An Angel Flew Down To Me – This series wasn’t originally on my watch list but its premise perked my interest. From its key visual, it seemed to be another “cute girls doing cute things” anime series. It turned out to be the case as a comedic slice-of-life, but it adds an older sibling character who is obsessed with her younger sister’s friend. After watching the first three episodes, the older sister’s “pervyness” is meant to add onto the comedy and adorableness of the younger characters.
However, I can understand how this aspect can be problematic and irksome to viewers because it’s an adult character fawning over a child character, especially when the adult character’s reaction comes off as sexual. Even when her intention of dressing up the younger characters in cosplay or cute costumes is innocent fun, it’s still a bit creepy when you look past the sparkly kawaii exposition of cute girls wearing cute outfits.
The animation, art and music do well to compliment the cuteness of the series.
I’m not quite sure if I’ll drop the series or put it on hold because I don’t gain much from watching it as there is another cute series I’ve watched that I enjoyed more.
Endro! – Unlike the previous entry, Endro! was one of the series that I added to my watch list and compared to Wataten!, (What is it about the titles of anime featuring cute girls doing cute things ending with an exclamation mark?) Endro! has more potential for the characters to develop and grow. So far, they have done an episode with some action sequences, but I’d like to see more of how their diagesis works as well.
The character designs and look of the series is full of bright pastel colours. But the fun part about this series is the time travel twist of having the villain meet a younger version of their nemesis and plotting their utter demise before they can mature. But the plot line so far slowed down and I hope it can pick up in future episodes.
From the titles I’ve watched, I didn’t see an Anime That Missed The Mark For Me, although I did have titles that left me on the ropes.
Anime That Pleasantly Surprised Me
Dororo – I love historical pieces and Dororo takes us on a journey to Ancient Japan with samurai, war-ravaged lands, and the existence of demons. This series is technically a reboot of Dororo to Hyakkimaru that was released in 1969.
The storytelling focusing on a particular character, who is related to Hyakkimaru in some way, in each episode is great. I like how an episode splits between the present day and past so the audience can see and understand how Hyakkimaru evolved. This series also shows the audience (who may or may not be familiar with its creator’s work) Osamu Tezuka’s care into developing all the characters acting in his story.
I like MAPPA’s redrawn designs for the characters as well as how they animated the fight scenes. I also love the animation and style of the OP and ED songs; the ED theme is gorgeous. There was one small part in the first episode where Dororo’s facial expression was drawn in Tezuka’s style as a nod to the original source.
Doukyonin Wa Hiza, Tokidoki, Atama No Ue – I like to repeat myself a lot but I’m a HUGE sucker for a cute slice-of-life anime. I’m thoroughly enjoying this story about an awkward antisocial novelist and his newly adopted (more like taken…out of the graveyard) cat, Haru.
I like how the story is split into two main character’s perspectives to reveal what both characters were feeling and thinking in the exact same moment. I don’t have a pet cat myself, so I definitely feel like I’d freak out like Subaru if things went wrong. Haru is also written very well and her mannerisms are realistic, especially with how animals can sense things that are invisible to the human eye.
Anime I Still Need To Check Out
Leftover from My Watch List:
- Kouya No Kotobuki Hikoutai
- Dimension High School
Anime Series That Have Now Caught My Attention:
- Kaguya-Sama Wa Kokurasetai: Tensai-tachi No Renai Zunousen (Currently on Ep. 2)
- Ueno-san Wa Bukiyou!
My overall impression of the winter anime is that there are a few solid titles. It’s also possibly a good thing that I’m following quite a handful of the series that are airing, but I might cut down or push some series to watch later on down the road.
What is your general impression for this season’s lineup?? Let me know down below!!