First Impressions of the Summer 2019 Anime Season

A collage of anime airing this season (Arifureta, Dumbbell , Cop Craft, Fire Force)

Introduction

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.

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Getting Into Gundam, for Beginners

Getting into Gundam

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.

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My Anime Viewing Journal #1

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.

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The Winter 2019 Anime You Should Be Watching

Characters from Shield Hero & Kaguya-Sama

Introduction

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.

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Boogiepop works better as a Light Novel.

Who doesn’t love her smug expression?

When the current Winter 2019 anime season started, one of the first shows to air was Boogiepop and Others, and it was the first I picked up. Its an adaptation of the light novel that kicked off the craze in Japan, and I thought the anime seemed promising at first – the production value was solid and Kensuke Ushio had done an ear-inspiring job with the music.

But unfortunately after three episodes I was finding Boogiepop a bit confusing and struggling to keep up. At first I was wondering if this would be another Steins;Gate, which made more sense as it went on. But I’m now six episodes in and it isn’t getting any better.

I eventually came to the conclusion that watching one episode per week isn’t ideal for a show like Boogiepop and Others where its good to remember little details, and decided to check out the light novel, which is being released in English by Seven Seas.

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