Anime Summer 2018 Retrospective

A pattern is being established. Watch the first 6 or so episodes of a series then hold off watching anymore until it's complete then binge the rest. Shows where I have a casual interest or aren't setup to have a last arc build up I'll follow throughout the shows run, but I definitely prefer to watch episodes 10, 11 and 12 of a show back to back rather than wait three weeks.

Persona 5

Persona 5 The Animation

Conflicted -- sums up my thoughts well.

I was expecting better. I wanted better. I now have to wait for an OVA to finish the story (and no word how long we will have to wait nor how long the OVA will be).

Still, I love these characters. I've now played the P5 game twice and watched two cours of the anime -- so I've invested a lot of time into this franchise. If I didn't love the game, I'm fairly sure I would think the anime is just average.

Maybe they will take the time to do the OVA right. Maybe they will give us a two hour proper conclusion. Maybe they will get the original English voice actors to give us an English dub. A lot of ifs, but I'm not holding on to hope that any of them will come.

Should you watch it? If you've played the game, I think it's worth it. Getting another chance to spend time with these characters is worth the investment. If there is an official English dub down the road (provided they use the cast from the game) I will end up watching it yet again. Otherwise, I am reserving judgment until the OVA drops to make a final determination.

Satsuriku no Tenshi

Satsuriku no Tenshi

I feel like there is a piece of context I was missing with Angels of Death. There was some interesting morality exploration and some good voice acting, but the dialog was often obtuse and repetitive -- exemplified by any interaction between Zack (Isaac Foster) and Abraham Gray. At this point I've invested enough time that I want to find out what the big reveal is (if there is one) and thankfully it seems the OVA is picking up immediately after the final episode, so no waiting (unlike another show on this list).

Hanebado

Hanebado!

First, the animation on this show is absolutely jaw dropping. Combined with excellent sound design, those elements did a lot to sustain the show when the story got rocky.

I am willing to give the writers the benefit of the doubt on this one. Even though initially it seems like Hanesaki will evolve into the main protagonist, the real one really is Aragaki. In a more traditional sports anime, Hanesaki would have been the antagonist from the get go. She is competitive to the point of being mean, but that is just who she is. She doesn't have a change of heart -- she was made this way by her despicable mom (worst mom ever) and her arc centers around her love of badminton, not her character flaws.

It's easy to mistake that realization because Aragaki gets shafted for screen time. There isn't enough time to develop these two characters given how much time is spent exploring some of the other rivals. If they were able to do a 24 episode show with the same level of animation throughout, this show could have been absolutely amazing.

Harukana Receive

Harukana Receive

Actual heart to go along with your fan service.

I enjoyed the characters and their relationships, but unfortunately the animation and composition during the matches really left a lot to be desired. If you go into it with low expectations, I think you'll find something more than just vanilla fan service.

Revue Starlight

Shoujo☆Kageki Revue Starlight

Anime of the Season for me and if weren't for A Place Further than the Universe it would have been the leading AOTY candidate.

Any original anime effort should be applauded for the risk they are taking and that is doubly so with a show like this -- the OST. All the original insert songs were sung by the VAs and that level of investment in an original property is fantastic. I would absolutely love full music videos of those songs set to fight sequences. Additionally that transformation sequence is brilliantly done:

This show doesn't just deserve props for effort. Its story, animation, and meta exploration of what it means to perform are executed brilliantly. I highly suggest re-watching the first episode after you've completed the show to see just now the narrative parallels are setup early on.

Planet With

Planet With

I didn't watch an episode until the season was essentially over and then binged my way through it: This is a fun, rapidly paced mech ride that stumbles a bit with the ending.

It's weird and absurd, but with purpose.

As far as mech shows go, I think it's very digestible for anyone (like myself) that doesn't watch many of them, but will pick one up occasionally (Gurren Lagann, Darling in the Franxx, etc)

Kyoto Teramachi Sanjou no Holmes

Kyoto Teramachi Sanjou no Holmes

Enjoyable, but fails to deliver the one thing we were waiting for:

Ship It

The animation is budget level and the "Sherlock Holmes deductions" don't feel earned (which is going to be a problem for any show that tries to evoke Sherlock).