2018 Spring Anime Season In Review | Evil Anime-tion
The Spring Anime Season has come to an end. So let’s talk about the winners and losers, going into the Summer.
CVoyage: Well, last season was… eventful.
EvilBob: It’s over! It’s finally over!
CVoyage: You hated the spring season that much?
EvilBob: What? No. I was talking about Hoshin Engi. It’s done! Haha! Sweet freedom!
CVoyage: Right. Well, let’s get this over with, huh? You’re up.
EvilBob: Roger that.
EvilBob: …Do I have to?
EvilBob: But I don’t wanna talk about this again!
CVoyage: If you don’t, young man, no juice box for you.
So. This catastrophe finally ended. I’m happy it’s gone and I feel like I wasted my time watching it. Good work.
CVoyage: You know, you could’ve just… dropped it.
EvilBob: No I couldn’t! I can’t stop until I finish something! Unless it’s that other one. Seriously. Screw that one.
CVoyage: Sounds like a personal problem.
EvilBob: …Shut up, Chris.
Anyway, the biggest problem with this entire series is the main character. If he’s not screwing up his own plans and getting his allies killed, he’s doing nothing at all. And the worst part is that it’s apparently contagious because his friends got just as dumb as he was! Aaaand then there’s that ending. As I said. The guy accomplished absolutely nothing. As a whole, the show’s about as evil as a Henchman (4).
This show was a lot of fun, for the most part. It had a few somewhat tasteless jokes regarding a certain android. And an unnecessary beach episode-
CVoyage: I mean, they typically are pointless, so…
EvilBob: But they already had the hot springs episode before that.
CVoyage: Your point is…?
EvilBob: Well, that one wasn’t pointless!
CVoyage: You’re arguing about a comedy anime that gives absolutely no f–ks about its own existence…
EvilBob: …Can you not do that thing where you make good points? It’s really harshing my mojo.
CVoyage: Sorry. Making sense is kind of in my nature.
The best part about this show is definitely Choco. She’s just so genre-savvy. She calls the show out on all of its bullcrap. Even it being a glorified commercial for a mobile game. I’d say it’s about as Evil as The Dark Side (6). It’s a fun show, though there’s not a whole lot of depth to it.
Tokyo Ghoul:re was different from its predecessors in a lot of ways. Most of those changes I liked. But it seems I may be in the minority when it comes to this show. All I can say about it is that I enjoyed it. I did have a few problems with the way Kaneki was handled but overall I’d say this season was about as Evil as a Killer Robot Army (8). The end wasn’t as bad a people make it out to be. It’s still better than season two, for crying out loud.
This was a little bit… different from most of the show’s I watched, this season. It’s a mystery story with… a lot more political intrigue than I expected. Especially for an Otome Game. There was no world-ending power struggle or anything like that. Just one guy trying to take over a country. Oh. And he got away at the end. So yeah. Second season’s probably on the way. I’m very curious to see where they’re going to take things in the future. But for this particular season, it’s about as Evil as a Villain (9).
It’s just. So. STUPID! And I love it.
CVoyage: A match made in heaven…
I mean, every joke is right in your face from the beginning. And the show lets you know they’re there. Which was actually kind of refreshing. This thing was even more self-aware than Last Period. The strongest enemies had abilities that actually affected the art of the show, itself. And the main villain was, um… not really a villain? It was weird. But awesome. And hilarious. And about as Evil as a Villain (9). You’ll laugh. You’ll cry… from laughing so hard. Your sides will split. It’s great.
While the initial promise of traveling through time and fighting enemies was…
CVoyage: A bold-faced lie?
EvilBob: …Yeah, pretty much.
The show was all right in other ways. The characters were pretty cool. The powers were amazing to watch when they were actually using them. And then we had them basically fighting a time vortex. You know. As ya do. This show looked like it was pretty open-and-shut. But there was a little bit at the end that implied Jay’s sister coming back to life or… something. So I’m not sure this is going to be the end of it. Overall, I’d say it’s about as Evil as a Villain (9). It might’ve been higher than that. If they actually… you know… kept their promise from the description.
So. Back to Cardcaptor Sakura. Not a whole lot happened, this time around. I was hoping for a glorious ending.
CVoyage: In one episode?
EvilBob: I can dream.
But all we got was a “To Be Continued…” While I’m glad they didn’t try to squeeze a proper ending into one episode, I’d have liked to get a more satisfying ending to this arc. Still, it was adorable as always, funny where it mattered, and the captures (what few we got) were cool. Overall it was still about as Evil as a Villain (9). Though it could’ve been much higher if it actually had a satisfactory ending.
Okay. This is the last time I’m probably ever going to say this. This show was awesome. Okay. That’s all, folks. Peace out!
CVoyage: Boy, you thought.
EvilBob: You can’t blame me for trying.
CVoyage: You are going to sit here and eat crow with the rest of us, dammit.
EvilBob: Fine, fine.
In all seriousness… I never thought I’d say that about a show that’s related to Sword Art in any way.
CVoyage: To be fair, completely different writer.
EvilBob: And it shows.
This has got to be one of the most brutal anime I’ve ever watched. If this wasn’t inside of a game, it’d probably be almost as brutal as Attack on Titan. And that’s saying something. Even the villain didn’t seem like an SAO villain. She was actually cool! Her reasoning was a little… off. But, as villains go, she was cool. At least she was engaging. Overall, I’d say this is about as Evil as… a Villain (9).
EvilBob: I know, right?! I liked it that much! But… there was still one more show. A show that went beyond.
CVoyage: Wait, but you didn’t cover that, this-
EvilBob: Not that one. That one’s all yours. No. I am, of course, referring to…
Talk about having a lot of things going on. It’s the treasure hunting show you never knew you needed. It’s got a little bit of everything! Action! Drama! Weird facial expressions! Immortal soldiers! Brain Damaged Psychopaths! Samurai Gang Leaders! Romance-
CVoyage: Dude! She’s a child!
EvilBob: I wasn’t talking about the girl.
CVoyage: Then what? The wolf family thing? Yeah, that was kinda sweet.
EvilBob: Oh. No. Not that, either.
CVoyage: Then who- oh. OH. Oooh dear…
EvilBob: Ah. He got it. Yeah, I don’t wanna see him in a motel, ever again. Geez.
Anyway, it’s got some of everything for everyone and it’s really well balanced. Just, uh… keep the kiddies away from it. I’d say Golden Kamuy is about as evil as… a Super Villain (10)!
CVoyage: Well, okay then.
EvilBob: Tag! You’re it!
CVoyage: Oh… right.
All right, where to begin? Well… let’s start with Bad Decision Theatre. No, but really. No one in this show. Literally no one can make a good judgment call to save their lives. And yeah. That’s kind of the point. They’re a bunch of stupid teenagers. They’re gonna make ridiculously bad calls. Because love is hard (more on a better example of that subject later). But the thing about it is that some of the bad decisions these guys make go against all manner of sense narratively. Characters make calls they shouldn’t based on things they’ve been through in previous episodes. And the tendency of these shows to try to get all philosophical about the nature of teen love is just grating when literally everyone in the show is absolutely terrible at understanding the concept… and yet…
It’s one of the most adorable things I’ve seen all season. I don’t even know how that works. The show’s infuriating. And then right when you think you’re about to start hating it, it does something sickeningly sweet and you forget you were mad in the first place. It’s a rollercoaster of emotions. Two emotions specifically. “Aaaaaarrrgh!” and “Aaaawwww!” It’s part of the show’s ever-present balancing act. The characters range from endearing and relatable to annoyingly pretentious. And because of that, the show levels out, keeping it from being anything more than the painfully average Shoujo Romance story it had the potential to escape being. It can’t get much higher than Easy Viewing in its better episodes. But hey. Maybe the second season will bring something better to the table. Tighter writing, a higher budget to improve the art and such. You get the idea.
CVoyage: All right, folks. Before we begin, I’d just like to remind you all to forward your hate mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. All right? We good? Good. On with the show.
So unlike my associate, pretty pictures and cute scenes dooon’t really help a show truly escape mediocrity for me. And while Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card is filled with lots of cute scenes, a few cool captures, and a lot of heartwarming moments between Sakura and Boyfriend-kun, the fact remains that the second cour of this anime was just unsatisfying. There weren’t many captures. The story was extremely slow to get anywhere, and yeah. That ending. But, of course, the cour’s biggest problem? The absolutely criminal lack of Best Girl in it! Seriously! She was barely in it! C’mon, man! So yeah. It was enjoyable, but not particularly great. A decent exercise in Easy Viewing in the good episodes. I hope when the show makes its return, we’ll get to fulfill some of the arc’s promises.
EvilBob: I sense a disturbance in the force. It is as if millions of voices cried out in anger. And were suddenly silent.
CVoyage: Yes. Let the hatred flow through you.
CVoyage: Oh look. Apparently, cholesterol levels are approaching record highs in just one day.
EvilBob: That’s a lot of salt…
Anyway, so yeah. Somehow Black Clover actually beat Cardcaptor Sakura, this season. And since I didn’t actually review the last four episodes, here’s the gist. “Followed up an awesome action sequence with a ‘meh’ one, but that’s fine since it was just there to introduce the new threat for the next cour and then get into the stuff about a traitor in the ranks. All that was fairly interesting.” The thing that gives Black Clover a leg up? It actually completed its story arcs. And though it pains me to say it, Black Clover is occasionally funny. The action scenes were cool and Asta hasn’t been nearly as annoying in previous episodes as he was when he started out. But there’s something to be said about the difference between quirks and actual personality traits. I’ll probably make some sort of article on that soon because Black Clover does do this one thing that annoys the hell out of me. But otherwise, this cour was actually really effective Junk Food. Now, I believe this is the part where I say something to the effect of “Come at me, bro.”
Despite a very “meh” ending, Toji no Miko never really felt like it fell to a place lower than it had been. Quite the contrary. This cour of the show was ambitious and elevated what was previously set up in a lot of ways. The problem was ultimately that the pacing too slow to allow the show to deliver on a lot of what it wanted to do, at least in a satisfactory way. But even so, it never exactly “forgot” about things like a lot of other shows would, choosing to just wrap up the “important” stuff. It closed out everything. The action was solid. The story between Kanami and Hiyori was fleshed out and well handled. The other characters were a tad underutilized. But, in the end, the show was still enjoyable and cohesive. A nice showing of Junk Food that tried to throw in shades of depth, even if it wound up taking on more than it could realistically manage.
And now the good stuff. So I’ll be frank. If not for a certain other show that we all know is going to be my number one, this would be it. Wotakoi was delightful. And I honestly do hope to see more of it soon. It’s romance… for adults! It doesn’t have all the tired tropes you expect in some teenage story, filled with misunderstandings born of stupid miscommunication issues. There are some communication problems, obviously, but a lot of it is played very differently. And the characters deal with the problems in mature ways. Hell, their being geeks is almost just a bonus. They’re charming and endearing characters and the show is fully self-aware. The drama isn’t melodrama. It comes from an earnest place and is handled well, without things blowing up to extremes. Even when characters do argue (and boy, do they argue) it’s treated very differently than it tends to be in shows that are like this, but typically aimed at younger audiences. In a word, this show was refreshing. And I loved it. There’s nothing more to say except this show didn’t just meet my expectations. It’s shattered them. And because of that, I’d honestly consider it to be in the tier of World’s Finest.
EvilBob: …well, holy crap. You never go that high.
CVoyage: Hardly anything surprises me quite that much. But like you said before. There was ooone other show.
CVoyage: It’s all right now. Why? Because Boku no Hero Academia Season 3 is Here!!!
I don’t believe I can overstate my love for this show. And no. It’s not because I’m a comic book geek. I’d love this show even if I wasn’t. (This show’s nothing like actual comic books, anyway). This season has, thus far, had pretty much everything I’ve loved about it since the first season. The action has been great. Sure, it’s not quite the same level of high energy, crazy movement with huge set pieces that we’re used to from the first two season. But it’s still excellent because it’s being used for something else. This isn’t action that’s there to be flashy and the like. This is action that’s there to convey a sense of peril and grim reality. So it doesn’t need to be as visually jaw-dropping as All-Might vs. Noumu or Midoriya vs. Todoroki.
The drama has been top notch as well, which has really been sold by the characters. I can talk about Midoriya or Bakugo all day. But it’d be criminal of me to not mention the impact of the side characters. I’m used to creating stories with absolutely enormous casts. Hell, as I’m writing this, I’ve got a project with as many as 50 characters in the works. And it’s because of shows like this. Shows that know how to handle their side characters extremely well and make sure none of them really feel like wasted space. All the characters are given things to do. Things to say. They all feel like individuals, not just one big mob of faces. Even though hardly any of them are actually very important in the grand scheme of things. And that’s something this season, in particular, has done extremely well, following from the momentum of Season 2. Tokoyami, Asui, Iida, Yaoyorozu, everyone has a part to play.
The villains continue to be awesome in this series. And All-Might is still one of the best characters I’ve seen in a long time. There’s nothing more I can say about this series except that it’s definitely gone beyond and has continued on being worthy of its World’s Finest standing. Plus Ultra.
CVoyage: And then… there are these.
CVoyage: Well, whatever. Let’s just get it done.
Tachibana-kan to Lie Angle
CVoyage: We skipped this because they were shorts.
Akkun to Kanojo
EvilBob: Also shorts. Not much to say about these. Next.
CVoyage: This one’s my fault, really. I warned it’d probably be best to avoid this one since it seemed like it was gonna do that thing where it wants to be all philosophical and whatnot and wound up just being pretentious, doing a lot of unnecessary stuff like killing off characters and whatnot for no other reason that to make its point or whatever. Those heavily annoy the both of us. So yeah. We avoided it. Maybe we should’ve covered it. Dunno. Based on what I’ve read about it, we weren’t really missing much.
EvilBob: So, Chris. Why’d you drop this one?
CVoyage: Because shut up. Also: F–k Episode 9.
EvilBob: Well, okay then.
CVoyage: Okay. For the long version, here’s the spoiler warning. If you don’t wanna be spoiled, just scroll right on down to Darli- why am I even bothering. The show’s, like, 50 years old at this point. Natsuko dies. She dies at a completely different time than she does in every other version where she dies. But she dies. Now yes. I frankly should’ve expected it, based on a particular piece in the OP. But the fact still remains, they killed the literal only supporting character I gave a damn about. The one character I had even the slightest inkling of investment in, aside from Honey, herself. And the circumstances leading to her death were so unbelievably stupid that I can’t really forgive the laziness it took to put her in that situation.
And then there’s Honey. Honey was fine. But barring Natsuko, her entire supporting cast was either annoying or boring. That means the entire show is on her shoulders. And I’m sorry to say it but Honey isn’t terribly interesting. She’s only all that engaging when she’s able to interact with other characters. If she only has one other character to play off of that’s worth paying attention to, and you kill that character, I’m not compelled to keep watching your show, now am I? See, I don’t get angry at the characters who did the killing if the dead character dies because of outright incompetence from the writer. Guess who I get mad at?
EvilBob: The sound designer?
CVoyage: Don’t be a smartass.
I get mad at the writer. Everything. Everything about her death was contrived and conveniently set in place to make sure she died. She should have lived. But she stupidly got into a car with someone she knew was a friggin’ terrorist. Then Tarantula just happened to conveniently split into two characters, which was never a thing even slightly implied could happen. And all this after actually pulling off a much better character death in an earlier episode, which came with a heroic sacrifice that added the gravity the series was going for, to begin with. Meaning Natsuko’s death was also entirely unnecessary.
Oh, but let’s also talk about another little aspect of the show that was horrific. You know, there’s only so much one can tolerate watching the character they’re supposed to be rooting for lose. Honey literally doesn’t win anything at all ever until the last episode. Not once. No a single solitary time. Oh, she beats a few of the Panther Claw monsters, sure. But Jill didn’t even care about them. They were pawns. They weren’t victories. They were obstacles. Barely even that. There’s nothing wrong with the hero losing battles. But when you can’t throw them a bone even once, one wonders just what the hell the point is. The ultimate victory, once they’ve effectively lost everything isn’t satisfying. And ending it on a sweet little note where Honey kisses the ring Natsuko had her make is not going to change that. “I’ll always be with you” messages are now, and have literally always been bulls–t.
So yeah. Honey’s fine, but everything the audience has been brought to give a single f–k about is dead by the end of the series. I didn’t sign on to watch Devil-Man Crybaby: The Magical Girl Edition. F–k Cutie Honey Universe and Pass with extreme prejudice.
CVoyage: Skipped out on following up after the first episode. I’ve done my research. Know I’d hate it. Next.
CVoyage: Dropped it. Kind of. Technically I’ve finished it. Buuut the series actually isn’t really over. I don’t know exactly how it’s going to actually conclude, and I don’t intend to review it until it’s fully over. So I guess this one’s going to wait until it does totally wrap up. But for the mini-review of what we’ve gotten so far… meh. It’s got some good ideas but the pacing is so. Slow. It’s painfully dull at times. Helped none by the show’s need to take constant intermissions, for one reason or another. We’ll see what happens.
CVoyage: Passed on it. Actually, it’s not bad, here. I just wasn’t sure I could write about it even every other week. There’s only so much I think I can say about a show like this. I might retroactively cover it in full once I watch the remainder of it. But yeah. That’s that.
EvilBob: So yeah. It was supposed to be mine. It sounded interesting but… I wasn’t able to watch it wherever it was streaming, so… yeah.
Tada-kun wa Koi wo Shinai
CVoyage: I have no idea why we skipped this one. I think it might’ve been a casualty of scheduling.
EvilBob: Probably. It was gonna be an Evil Anime-tion but… you’re kind of a busy guy.
CVoyage: I am. Still. Lots of other people have been covering it and it seems interesting, based on what I’ve read. May not ever cover it, but I may watch it on my own time.
Seven Deadly Sins
CVoyage: Won’t lie. We just didn’t have the time.
EvilBob: We both would’ve had to rewatch the entire first season, for one thing.
CVoyage: Then review that in full. Which is 24 episodes. And then the second season is 24 more episodes. So that’s 48 episodes total.
EvilBob: Ain’t nobody got time for that.
CVoyage: We’ll get around to it eventually, for sure. Maybe in a special format, you may or may not expect. But, for now, it’s on the backburner. Sorry, folks.
CVoyage: The Hell-
EvilBob: Did we skip this?!
CVoyage: Seriously! I went and watched this on my own time once the season was mostly over and… what the hell were we thinking?! This show is friggin’ amazing! It’s hilarious but heartfelt and awesome and… what was going through our heads?!
EvilBob: We have brought shame to our family.
CVoyage: This dishonor must be punished…
CVoyage: As for other stuff we covered during the season that predates the newer stuff-
CVoyage: Well, me. You could always-
EvilBob: If you say it, so help me god…
CVoyage: Fine. I’m just saying, it ain’t my fault your critical thinking skills don’t let you keep up.
EvilBob: …Why you gotta do me like that, bro?
CVoyage: Because I’m a bit of an arse. Thought we’d covered this. Anyway…
CVoyage: In preparation for the new season, hopefully coming sooner, rather than later, I took it upon myself to deliver on a promise from quite some time ago, reviewing both the first and second seasons of Date A Live. It was fun getting to revisit a series that actually helped me with getting back into anime and defining what exactly it means for a series to be Junk Food. Definitely check out that review if you’re curious.
CVoyage: And that’s all we wrote, folks.
EvilBob: Ha. I see what you did there… and now I feel old.
CVoyage: You are old.
EvilBob: Ouch. My pride. Anyway, it’s been an… interesting Spring Anime Season.
CVoyage: That’s one word for it…
EvilBob: Now let’s move on to summer!
CVoyage: Try to hold on to that enthusiasm. This season’s looking, uh… sparse.
EvilBob: …must you ruin everything?
CVoyage: No. It’s a service I have exclusively for your benefit, my good sir.
EvilBob: Gee. I feel so incredibly special…
CVoyage: …Did you mean to leave me that opening, or…? Because I’ll take it. I won’t complain. But I wanted to make sure you knew what you just did.
EvilBob: Just wrap up the article.
CVoyage: Yes, mother. Thanks for reading, folks. As always, Keep Up the Awesome.
EvilBob: And keep it classy.
CVoyage: Take care.