2019’s first TV season of new anime series have come to an end, leading us from winter into spring. I didn’t watch as much this season as I usually do, but figured I would list off my thoughts on some of the series I checked out. So let’s jump right in, this is A Look Back At The Anime Winter Season 2019.
BanG Dream! 2nd Season
We’re starting with the new BanG Dream! season thanks to alphabetical order and what a wonderful place to start. I will fully admit that I was worried that the change in studios and going full 3DCG would hurt the anime’s second season, but my worries were gone the moment the first episode released.
Introducing the full cast of the Girls Band Party mobile game, BanG Dream! 2nd Season had to juggle five bands and 25 characters while simultaneously develop 5 brand new characters to form the new rival band, RAISE A SUILEN.
The animation was wonderful, capturing the mobile game’s art style remarkably well and the mix of old and new songs from the bands was a delight to listen to. The fact that the overarching story had solid ongoing drama that didn’t feel out of place despite the extreme tonal shifts when the focus would go from one band to another is commendable to say the least.
Even if you were a bit let down by the first season, which I personally adored, I highly recommend checking out Bang Dream! 2nd Season, despite the less than stellar official localization that Sentai Filmworks provided.
Bermuda Triangle ~Colorful Pastrale~
Speaking of BanG Dream!, the band Pastel*Palettes from that series performed the opening theme song to this anime series. Based on a deck type in the card game Cardfight Vanguard, Colorful Pastrale is an iyashikei anime about five mermaids living in a small underwater town.
While Vanguard have had several anime series before it, this is the first time one have been set within the lore of the card game rather than being about playing the card game itself. It’s not the prettiest show, admittedly looking rather cheap more often than not, but it’s heartwarming and soft in a way that succeeded to make me smile each week. I recommend giving it a chance.
Kaori and Namori teamed up to give us a hilarious JRPG comedy with Endro~!, the tale of the 999th hero, Yulia Chardet, and her fated encounter with the reincarnated demon lord not going as intended. What follows is a fantastic kirarakei anime with a colourful cast of characters based on various JRPG archetypes.
I particularly liked the fact that Rona, the princess of the story, had no problem accepting that the hero she wished to marry was a woman. Even declaring that she’d use her royal status to legalize two women getting married should it be necessary. The fact that she comes to like Yulia for who she is rather than the title she holds was wonderful as well.
But the best character in the series is Mao, the demon lord herself, who end up being one of the most relatable characters of the season. Funny, charming and a great love letter to classic JRPGs like Dragon Quest, you’d do well in watching Endro~! as soon as possible.
This series spent years in production hell, initially carrying Rage of Bahamut as part of its name due to being set in the same universe. The anime follow Princess Anne and the half-dragon half-human Grea, popular characters from Rage of Bahamut and Granblue Fantasy, at their magic academy.
Full of gay subtext and plenty of explicit text on top of it, the series give us a taste of the forward and immensely thirsty Anne and the withdrawn and anxious Grea in various situations from episode to episode. It’s not for everyone, the second episode being particularly uncomfortable in its fetishistic gaze for me to enjoy, but it is a fun short series of two girls being gay.
Admittedly the ending left a lot to be desired, playing up the potential of Anne and Grea being forced apart due to Anne’s royal duties as a princess for no good reason other than to add drama that isn’t resolved by the closing of the series. It left a bad taste in most viewer’s mouth, feeling like a “gay until graduation” ending to many. Even so, the good parts were very good and I don’t regret watching the series.
I really wanted to like Pastel Memories. A story about magical girls entering fictional worlds to restore the love of manga, anime and games to Akihabara is a fun concept and the large cast of characters with unique transformations should give you a lot to work with.
Sadly, the anime was painfully boring. While there were certain highlights here and there, the series never becomes more than mediocre and generic. I can not recommend this series to anybody, there’s far better series out there as well as far worse series that at least give you something to talk about.
The Magnificent Kotobuki
Another 3DCG anime that proved that we’ve long since passed the point where such series have to look bad and stale. Kotobuki follows a squad of five pilot girls enlisting as bodyguards for hire in a world consisting mostly of a dry wasteland.
It has the best executed dog fighting scenes of any anime ever, be it spaceships or airplanes, and the characters are stuffed full of personality to the point where they practically explode through the screen every time they interact.
The series is directed by Girls Und Panzer’s Mizushima who feels more than at home in his element with Kotobuki. It’s an overused statement, but I sincerely believe there’s no other anime like this one and I believe everyone should give it a watch for its great action, wonderful cast and heartracing flight sequences.
The Price of Smiles
I tend to be pretty harsh on mecha anime, because more often than not they disappoint me by not offering anything new or interesting to the genre. Of course, one doesn’t have to innovate in order to be a genuinely good story, as The Price of Smiles proved quite elegantly.
Telling a story of the two fronts of a war, one from the perspective of a young princess thrown into commanding a nation in ways she’s not been prepared for and a highly skilled female soldier who’s putting in her efforts to end the war through any means necessary.
It’s bleak as hell and deals with gray areas of morality more than once, the mecha designs aren’t particularly interesting and suffer from looking too much like every other moden mecha series, but despite this it’s an anime I think far too many people overlooked this season.
The Promised Neverland
Hey kids, how about a psychological horror anime about kids trying to escape an orphanage where they’re raised as cattle? Well, The Promised Neverland gives you exactly that and it’s really good at hitting home with said horror.
Since most have no doubt already heard of this series, as it was popular enough to already get a second season announcement and it’s one of Shounen Jump’s big series at the moment, I don’t have much to say in terms of recommendation. It’s a really good anime that’s creepy and clever in various ways.
However, I have to talk about Sister Krone, one of the antagonists introduced early in the series. Her design is that of a racial stereotype straight out of a minstrel show and her depiction have been rightfully criticized both in the manga and in the anime for this reason. I highly recommend watching Zeria’s video “Let’s Talk About Sister Krone” for a good summary of the situation, I’ll put a link in the description. Because I feel everyone should know about this before deciding if they wish to watch the series or not.
Warning, for this next entry I will be talking about the subject of rape. As such, should you wish to skip it, I have decided to put the timecode of when I’m done talking about said subject both on screen here and in the description. The series I’m about to talk about is…
The Rising of the Shield Hero
Fuck you Crunchyroll. Fuck you for not only funding this series but for literally being the ones who pitched the adaptation in the first place.
You pitched an adaptation for the novel where the main character is dropped into a world led by women, is framed for rape because women with power are evil and will do that to keep men down, starts buying slaves that’s justified as a necessity and that he’s a nice slave owner, have the woman who accused him of rape renamed to Bitch as punishment only for her later to be married off to a king to become his 10,000th rape victim, during said rape she dies and the whole thing is filmed and shown to the main character and yet this woman who was raped to death is resurrected as the final evil boss of the story, now renamed Witch, so the main character and his merry band of slaves he owns can fight her and erase her from existence once and for all.
And that’s just a small taste of what’s in the Shield Hero novel from start to finish, the novel that Crunchyroll handpicked for adaptation. This disgusting MRA and incel pandering piece of filth that only gets worse and worse the deeper into the novel you get should have never seen the light of day and the fact that you put in an effort to get it localized was enough reason for me to never ever give you money again. Ending my over six year long subscription to your service.
Frankly I should have done so sooner considering your awful treatment of things such as the subject of rape on your social media account as well as your lack of content warnings for most series containing such content. And fuck you for staying onboard for Kemono Friends 2 as well.
And with that, we’ve talked about the season that just came to an end. I left out a few series I didn’t have enough to say about, such as the horrible Magical Girl Spec-Ops Asuka, which is really just shitty torture porn like all other magical girl manga adaptations these days.
So without further ado, let’s jump into the spring season which have series such as Carole & Tuesday, Cinderella Nine, Hitoribocchi no Marumaruseikatsu, Joshi Kausei and … … that’s it, for my interests going into it. Wow, this season looks quite dire to be honest.
Huh. Well, let’s hope those four series are good at least. As always you can support me on Patreon to help me keep making content and I’ll see you next video. Au revoir~!