Wow, halfway through the season already! Time to take a look at how things stand! Last season had some surprising additions part way through, will that become a tradition? Maybe! Actually you probably already know. Anyway, lets take a look!
How Can Any of These Shows Be This Good?
Re:Creators (6 Episodes)
No one is more surprised to see this here than I am. I blithely dismissed it when the season began. “Concept by Hiroe Rei? Directred by Ei Aoki? Soundtrack by Sawano Hiroyuki? Sounds loud and obnoxious!” Well, it’s definitely loud, but its anything but obnoxious. The real standout of course is Meteora, who has essentially at this point taken over the role of protagonist. But the rest of the “Creations” are also fantastic, cleverly designed to be evocative of “real” characters we know, but not so much to be clearly ripoffs. Sawano is being incredibly Sawano, however.
Alice to Zouroku (6 Episodes)
So after wrapping up the main plotline in episode 5, where is the show going from here? Well, happy daily life with Sana, apparently. Which is fine with me. The conclusion to the first arc was fantastic, with a fight that made up for in creativity what it somewhat lacked in animation chops. Hopefully we’ll have a few more daily life episodes before the secret conspiracy stuff comes back in. The show has fully earned both sides of its coin though, and that’s something to be said when one side is basically Elfen Lied.
Shuumatsu Nani Shitemasu ka? Isogashii desu ka? Sukutte Moratte Ii desu ka (5 Episodes)
Sukasuka has continued to be solidly excellent, though not quite topping the previous two shows. It certainly has potential. I’m very invested in Willem now, which is saying a lot for a male lead. His relationship with Chtholly feels real and solid, and his interactions with the rest of the girls has a nice father/older brother aspect to it. Its biggest flaw is its pacing, it probably should have been a two cour show, a lot has happened in only 5 episodes, and it leads to a bit of a whiplash feeling.
The Shows I Expected to be at the Top
Frame Arms Girl (7 Episodes)
This show is absurd on every level. Yet also its become just solidly excellent. All the Frame Arms Girls are caricatures, but well-defined ones that play their roles excellently. The Materia Sisters and Baselard being the real standouts, though Gourai, Jinrai and Stylet have been doing good as the frequent targets of the former’s pranks. Ao is also a solid lead, who has taken living with 7 sentient plastic toys with remarkable ease. While it will certainly never be as acclaimed as the top three shows on this list, its consistently fun and entertaining. Also the CG for the Frame Arms Girls and their fights is surprisingly solid and has led to some very dynamic fight scenes.
Hinako Note (6 Episodes)
Hinako Note has struggled to keep up this season, and the exceptionally horny 5th episode was just all sorts of strange. Plus Ruriko being a 9 year old teacher who has enormous boobs is…yeah. Thankfully, episode 6 was super solid, and brought together a lot of the stuff the show had been plugging away at. Particularly Hinako’s efforts to be able to perform, and Yua being able to engage with Hinako in an honest manner. Super strong end to the first half of the show. Hopefully it can keep up with this and keep the horny to a reasonable level.
Sakura Quest (6 Episodes)
Sakura Quest has settled into being a perfectly ok show to watch every week. It has flashes of brilliance, but doesn’t always manage to follow through as smoothly as would be ideal. To its credit, it isn’t settling for easy answers to the incredibly complex issues its raising, but on the other hand, it needs to keep upbeat. This can lead to it feeling a tad shallow as it searches for victories to keep Yoshino and the others motivated in their efforts. It has a long way to go though, and it continues to be quite entertaining all around.
And The Rest
Zero Kara Hajimeru Mahou no Sho (6 Episodes)
Never quite reaching the heights of its first episode, Grimoire of Zero is still a very fun fantasy romp that has deftly eschewed several clichés that tend to bring this kind of story down. It’s not quite as smart as it thinks, but it’s still smarter than many other shows like it. Zero and Mercenary continue to be lots of fun to watch, and the overarching plot provides a nicely engaging motivation for their adventures. If it can keep this up it’ll be a solid fantasy recommendation.
sin Nanatsu no Taizai (4 Episodes)
Honestly episode 1 was the peak, and there is little reason to watch past that. The animation is pretty mediocre much of the time, the characters are shallow and it’s more than just a bit problematic when it comes to things like, well, consent. Whether it survives to reach the end of the season list is highly in doubt.
Twin Angel Break (3 Episodes)
Lost the motivation to continue, just not engaging me enough and lacked even the charm of the original show. Which isn’t saying much. Does have a chance to return, though not looking good.
The iDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls Theater (2 Episodes)
Not funny, too much fawning over producer.