Well here we are, the new season has started. It already has some clear winners and losers, so lets see whats up.
Yagate Kimi ni Naru (3 Episodes)
Bloom into You, or Yagakimi, is based on what is somewhat arguably the current most popular yuri manga. Its the story of an extremely slow burn relationship. Koito Yuu is a girl who reads about love but has never experienced it, and when she was confessed to by someone she by all rights should have feelings for she was left cold and confused by her own lack of a reaction. She finds herself drawn into the orbit of Nanami Touko, a tall and dark second year at her new school, famous for rejecting every confession she has ever received. Shortly after they meet, Touko tells Yuu she loves her, leaving Yuu even more confused than she was before.
Having read through volume 5 of the manga, nothing in these episodes was surprising, however the show is excellent in its presentation. The visuals are perfect for the show, if perhaps a little too much bloom in the composite for some. Excellent layouts and direction have also enhanced it in the transition from manga to anime. All in all Yagakimi is certainly going to be one of the best shows of the season, particularly if you like slow-burn romances between girls.
Zombieland Saga (3 Episodes)
Its rare that a show comes out and no one knows what to expect, and even rarer that such surprises actually result in a good show. But damn, Zombieland Saga is a hell of a show. Even discussing it at all would do a disservice to anyone who hasn’t watched yet, but thats probably too late for anyone reading this. So what is Zombieland Saga about? Well, its about Zombies. Idol Zombies. Idol Zombies who are going to save Saga Prefecture.
More specifically, aspiring idol Minamoto Sakura is hit by a truck and dies. Ten years later she awakens and is now a zombie, and is informed by a mysterious and very energetic man that she and six other zombie girls are going to form an idol group and save Saga Prefecture. Madness then ensues. Amazing show on every level and well worth checking out. Even if you don’t like zombies or idols!
Aikatsu Friends (22 Episodes)
Still behind whoops.
Anima Yell (2 Episodes)
The fact that its taken till the end of 2018 to get a Cute Girls Do Cheerleading anime is somewhat amazing, in retrospect. At any rate, Anima Yell is a very find entry into the general genre of cute girls do a club and are subtextually gay. Consideing some of the other shows airing this season just having vague subtext makes it look like a bit of an underachiever.
The show follows one Hatoya Kohane, a clumsy but extremely good-hearted girl who’s been searching for something to really be passionate about. When she accidentally stumbles on a cheer routine being performed she is entranced, and decides to join the cheer club when she enters high school. Unfortunately her chosen school doesn’t have a cheer club, so clearly it is up to her to create one. Not a particularly new or original premise, but executed well. Kohane is entertaining to watch and her long suffering childhood friend, who clearly has a crush on her, makes for some fun interactions. Worth watching, if this is your sort of thing.
Hugtto! Precure (36 Episodes)
What if they just put a bunch of old Precure in this season. Wouldn’t that be wild?
Release the Spyce (3 Episodes)
What if James Bond, but ninja girls? Or perhaps, what if Senran Kagura but somewhat serious and with less tits? (we’ll get back to this comparison later). What if it was really really gay? Thats pretty much Release the Spyce. Its a very silly yet still remarkably dramatic ninja-spy-thriller about a group of high school girl ninjas fighting a mysterious worldwide criminal conspiracy that happens to be headquartered in a random city in Japan.
With designs by Yuruyuri’s Namori, its extremely cute of course, and leans very heavy into the gay subtext, probably in part why Namori is involved at all. The first three episodes have done a good job getting the team established, through the viewpoint of new recruit Minamoto Momo. Despite how silly it is, the drama has been remarkably effective, constant references by the villains to a turncoat within the group of girls has a bit of a mystery going. Very interested in seeing where this goes, lots of potential here.
Tonari no Kyuuketsuki-san (3 Episodes)
What if a NEET Otaku Vampire? What if that vampire accidentally gets found by an extremely gay girl who happens to very much like dolls, and this vampire is small, cute and looks very good in goth loli fashion? Well, in that case you have this show. Amano Akari meets shy, reclusive vampire girl Sophie Twilight and immediately falls for her. Within short measure she’s moved into Sophie’s oversized mansion and lighthearted comedy hijinks ensue.
Along with Anima Yell, Kyuuketsuki-san is the cute girls show of the season, and is definitely the cutest show going. Sophie subverts lots of vampire stereotypes, and the show mines a lot of comedy from her being scared of everything from Akari being eager to let her suck her blood, to a tale about a ghost haunting a school hallway.
Akanesasu Shoujo (3 Episodes)
Between Toji no Miko and this, throwbacks to mid-2000s Sunrise girl action shows are starting to be a thing. Akanesasu Shoujo is an extremely interesting show that is perhaps somewhat less than the sum of its parts. Set in what seems to be the late 90s, a group of girls who are surprisingly interested in Crystal Radios accidentally warp themselves to a parallel universe when doing an occult ceremony involving a sacred tree, an AM radio and glowsticks. In that parallel universe they encounter an alternate version of one of their own, who fights monsters for reasons unknown. After some hijinks involving hiding a double of yourself at your own home, the girls, headed by endearing airhead Tsuchimiya Asuka, get transported to more parallel worlds, where they alternate Asuka continues to be mysterious.
Akanesasu Shoujo is overall thoroughly ok. Its art and animation struggles a bit to hold together, and the plot at the moment is extremely unclear. Episodes 2 and 3 focusing on a world where girls are forced to marry at age 17, was an odd choice, and having the arc end with the groom-to-be revealed to be a dimension eating monster that needed to get punched by a girl wearing wedding themed power armor sure was an interesting choice. Its definitely not the action show of the season but it at least has a unique aesthetic and some decently clever dialog.
Senran Kagura Shinovi Master (2 Episodes)
Its got a lot of tits. Like. A lot of tits. Even more than you probably expect. Yes, its Senran Kagura, and its extremely Senran Kagura, but its also not very good. Less good than you would probably expect, actually. The art and animation are both shockingly bad, and the plot thus far has been thin even by Senran Kagura standards. An easy, easy pass unless you are a huge fan of the franchise, in which case you have probably already watched it.
Its really not good at all. Watch Release the Spyce for the same general concept but not, well, bad.