Winter Season 2018: First Impressions

The winter season is well underway, and most the new anime have finally premiered! Below is a list of the anime I’m watching this season (and some bad ones I just HAD to talk about) and my first impressions of each. This anime season has some great pinch hitters, and some- not so great additions to the anime universe.

Series Review: Blend-S

Blend S is cute, and you get what you came for: girls serving food, light romance, and situational comedy. It’s a lot of fun watching the girls parodying anime personality tropes, and the cafe life seems truly enjoyable. Blend S is very much the cutesy-popcorn watch of the season, with little (if any) issues with execution. Though the show itself occupies a niche section of anime culture, I do believe it can transfer well to all anime viewers given the chance.

Series Review: UQ Holder

UQ Holder is little treat for those of you who have seen Negima!, and for people who haven’t seen Negima!, this show is a little too referential- especially toward the end of the of the season. The references and cameos in UQ Holder come at a detriment to the progress of the show, in fact, as it impedes any interesting development that could have made this am overall good anime. As it stands, UQ Holder manages to only be okay. If you are looking for a new series to love- just read the manga.

Series Review: Kino’s Journey – the Beautiful World

Having never seen the first Kino’s Journey and after hearing it’s praises for years, finally getting a chance to see a version of the story was quite the treat. That sounds weird, but you don’t need to watch the first season from 2003 to fall in love with this continuation. Kino’s Journey – the Beautiful World does a masterful job of introducing (or reintroducing) you back into Kino’s fascinating world of countries and adventure.

Series Review: Juni Taisen

I believe Juni Taisen did a great job integrating the Chinese zodiac into their world, and I thought it was quite cool that families could choose people outside their bloodline to compete in the competition. However, I was left with more questions than answers at the end of the show, and though these are likely discussed in the novel, I really think the anime could have fleshed these concepts out more.

Series Review: Inuyashiki

Past characterization, Inuyashiki has a very solid first episode that could actually be a stand alone work. It’s tonally the same as the rest of the show, but it encloses a singular idea into one 25 minute stint. This first episode is great example of letting characters breathe and showing rather than telling. Though, Inuyashiki attempts to keep this pacing and story form as it progresses through the season, the violence and largely stagnant main character bring a sort of contrast between our initial introduction into the series and the later half.

Series Review: King’s Game

Let me start by saying that I would have loved King’s Game in eighth grade. The way the characters speak and interact with each other, and the general premise of the show, remind me of everything my angsty little heart loved as a 12 to 13-year-old. Unfortunately, King’s Game is not made for anyone past the age of 16, and it’s painfully tough to get through as an adult. But, I did it. I watched it all, and boy was it bad.