It’s now January 2020, and to my shame I haven’t posted anything here since August last year. Time to change that as the Winter 2020 anime season is now in full swing, and while I find it a bit lacking compared to the last few seasons, there are still some fantastic shows you should be watching.
First up, we have Darwin’s Game. This series follows a high school student named Kaname Sudou who suddenly finds himself involved with a mobile app called Darwin’s Game, which proves to be especially dangerous when he realises there’s no way to quit the game. The concept is similar to other death game series like Battle Royale, Btooom! and King’s Game, and if you’ve seen more than one of those already, you’ll know the formula can turn out either perfectly, disastrously or somewhere in between.
So far, Darwin’s Game has been fun and the team behind it is great at building suspense. The characters are likeable and it hasn’t devolved into the oversexualised mess of a certain other death game show that I’ve already named. There’s still potential for everything to go downhill, but I like what I’ve seen so far and have faith in it.
We’re now two weeks into the Summer 2019 anime season, and I have seen enough to say it has one of the best lineups of the last few years. We have a few long anticipated manga adaptations as well as some original series from a large variety of genres, and I’m watching nine currently airing shows.
Arifureta: From Commonplace to World’s Strongest
The elephant in the room that I should address first is Arifureta: From Commonplace to World’s Strongest. This is an isekai light novel adaptation and is probably the biggest disappointment of the season. The source material has a cult following, so I was rather excited to see how the anime would play out, but I’m afraid the first episode was a bizarre, poorly directed, confusing mess.
Arifureta‘s anime adaptation begins in the other world, unlike the manga and light novel, and the show utterly fails to explain how the protagonist ended up in his situation. The show constantly uses flashbacks in poor attempts to explain what’s happening, and the CGI animation actually made me laugh out loud.
Gundam is one of the most iconic anime franchises, and I think every otaku should watch at least one Gundam series – but there are so many and it can be difficult to know where to start. You might be wondering whether they’re all connected, or whether they hold up as standalone entries, but fear not – all will be explained in this post.
While some Gundam series are connected to each other, there are several different timelines and most of them hold up as standalone watches. Don’t worry, there’s no need to watch all 900+ episodes that have aired since the 1970’s!
That said, the original Mobile Suit Gundam series from 1979 isn’t a bad place to start. Its 43 episodes long, the budget was clearly low and the pacing can be a little slow, but you’ll learn the basics and get to see what Gundam is all about. If you don’t want to commit to watching too many episodes, there are three movies that cut out all the filler.
Today I would like to write about the anime series I’ve been watching over the past few months, some quick thoughts on them and whether or not I recommend them! This list will be a mix of classics as well as currently airing shows. So, without further ado, lets get started!
Back in September I picked up The Vision of Escaflowne on DVD from the Anime Limited stall at MCM Comic Con Scotland. This is a massively popular mecha/fantasy series that first aired in 1996, but I hadn’t seen it until recently. The pacing is slow at times but its a fun watch that does romance well and has a beautiful soundtrack. 7/10.
Another old anime I got round to watching is Full Metal Panic!, seasons 1-3. I bought the Blu-Ray releases and watched the English dub. I love it when anime gets political, and this series provides the perfect mix of epic fights, high school comedy, military madness and governmental woes. It sounds like a weird mix, and the story is nothing spectacular, but it made me laugh and it would make a solid introduction to anime. 8/10.
We’re now more than halfway into the winter 2019 anime season, and with more than fifty different shows airing, it can be difficult to decide which ones to pick up. I would like to share my recommendations on which current anime you should be watching.
I will not be including leftovers from the fall 2018 season on this list, nor any second seasons, so you don’t have to worry about catching up with any of these.