The Wise Man's Grandchild
Enjoyment Factor: 4/5
Fanservice Level: Mild
Violence: Bloody but not gruesome.
This anime suffers from a pretty terrible name. There is really noting too spectacular to report here. The show was highly enjoyable, has a cute love angle, and features decent magical action. The story revolves around Shin Wolford, who in his previous life was a businessman that got hit by a truck and ended up as a child in a forest found by a powerful heroic magician couple. Shin is trained in the art of magic and becomes your typical ultra OP isekai MC. As this series goes on though, you pretty much forget its an isekai as there is little reference to it ever again from the opening monologue. We start out with Shin hunting demons in the forest with his adoptive grandfather, and from there he is quickly enrolled into a prestigious magical academy where he is already more powerful and skilled than everyone else. This may seem kinda lame, but it works as the series tends to satire Shin's power with him going overboard and his friends being terrified of his "experiments". Shin makes friends pretty fast with an interesting group of characters, and also gains a love interest from the start. The main story arc revolves around demoniods trying to take over a neighboring country, and causing an initial ruckus in the school. As they prepare to deal with the issue Shin trains his friends on how to be more efficient using magic. Overall the anime is very low stakes. You'll never be at the edge of your seat on this one, but the fights are pretty good. The animation quality lapses now and then, but never when it really matters. If you're looking for a relaxing throw away series, it will entertain you enough.
Enjoyment Factor: 3/5
Violence: Brutal when it needs to be
Fairy Gone was one of my most anticipated series of this season, but it didn't live up to what I thought it would be. The one thing I can say about this series is the music and animation are 10/10. Fairy Gone's art style is one of the 80s and early 90s when it comes to character design, but with crisper lines and colors. Characters are proportionally realistic. No big eyes, thick thighs, and bewbies. For the serious nature of this series, it adds depth. The world building is top notch. The realm you're thrown in had just found peace after a massive conflict. Tensions are still high and wounds are fresh from betrayal and grudges. Soldiers now find themselves as mercenaries or working for one of the big political organizations, Fairies are weapons that give individuals incredible power as they can summon a massive creature to fight for them. This is obtained through a dangerous surgery where a fairy organ is attached to the heart of the wielder. This is different for our MC, Marlya Noel. She acquired a fairy power through unexplained natural causes. Once an orphaned refugee, Marlya looks for Veronica Thorn friend who saved her life amidst a massacre. Upon stumbling across her by chance, they instantly find themselves working for competing factions. Marlya is forced into working for Dorothea as possession of a Fairy is illegal for civilians. Veronica is an assassin for a mysterious organization after the Black Fairy Tome, which Dorothea intends to secure first to keep it out of the wrong hands. The series barely touches this interesting conflict outside of one other episode. The rest of the series delves into various missions Marlya is assigned and her dealing with the fact she believes shes a curse to any who get close to her. My main issue with this series is that Marlya is a burden to her teammates the entirety of the series. Shes a crackshot with a rifle she always carries but when it comes to the fight she messes up under pressure all the time... plus her special fairy always gets defeated quickly. There is no breakthrough moment where she "gets it". On top of this, Fairy's aren't really explained well as they seem to exist in some type of trinity. You have fairies in a jar, but fairy organs are huge, and then there are fairy weapons... which are just weapons? I liked the series, but I wanted more. Season 2 will be coming in the fall season so hopefully we get there.
The Rising of the Shield Hero
Enjoyment Factor 5/5
Violence: Intense, sometimes bloody
There was "That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime" and then there is this. The former was joyful happy fun, this is dark, savage, and just a complete opposite from any Isekai I've ever watched. Our protagonist Naofumi Iwatani is transported to another world where he is selected as one of the 4 legendary heroes (The Shield Hero). Their task is to save the realm from raids of powerful monsters that intend to spread death across the land. Shortly after being debriefed, Naofumi is framed for a sexual assault on the Kings daughter, orchestrated by herself and the King. They have a grudge against the shield hero... the previous one apparently. Naofumi reputation is completely destroyed and is left without aid from the monarchy as he sets out to make his own way and try to restore his name while defending people that utterly despise him. What makes this series so different is Naofumi doesn't take the high road, and instead become savagely bitter towards everyone. He does many unheroic things like buying a slave, and charging people exorbitant rates for his services, all while every step of the way he's getting screwed over royally by the King's schemes. As the story goes on the reasons behind what is happening slowly unfold. Naofumi gradually comes back around as he builds his small party of companions. Even though he is a defense class, they do a good job of giving him some reasonable offense a little later, but for the most part he relies on his party for offensive attacks. The animation is solid, and while some of the attacks are CGI, its forgivable for the most part. This anime has similar story structure to Gladiator where the main character has to claw his way back, and eventually gets the payoff the audience desires. I highly recommend this show. Out of all the Isekai, Shield Hero and Slime are by far the best in the genre.
The Helpful Fox Senko-San
Enjoyment Factor 5/5
This show is so ADORABLE!!!!!!!!!! OMG. There isn't much to go in depth about. Its just about cute spirit foxes trying to help a poor overworked soul (Kuroto Nakano) to better relax and not be stressed out all the time. Senko is an 800 year old fox spirit that has connections to Kuroto's past. He doesn't remember this at first, but each episode is just a sitcom format of him coming home from work and getting pampered by Senko. There are other characters like fellow fox spirit Shiro, Kuroto's wacky neighbor Yasuko that add some variety to each ep. Senko is just too freakin' adorable. This is one of those shows you can just sit back and relax. There's no big epic plot, or any type of suspense. It's rare I'd give a show like this a top score, but here we are.
Mob Pyscho 100 II
Enjoyment Factor 4/5
Violence: Standard Shonen
Ah Mob, a show that caught me by surprise not too long ago. This season was a ride. It was a lot different from the previous season... and well, it had to be. But it still caught me off guard. Gone was most of the silly humor although it still had its moments and kept the major ongoing gags. The episode structure was different as well. This season was more serious and dark than the previous. Mob is no longer a cowardly OP beast, and now he's just a OP beast that has better control of his powers. He's still an unathletic good natured kid that is nice to everyone. The first half of the show spends time on the exploits of Mob's master Reigan. The pair solve cases with Mob doing all the work. At this point Mob knows Reigan is a fraud so their relationship dynamic is a bit different. The audience can tell, but Reigan can't yet. The second half is almost just a rehash of the last season with the same crime organization. I feel like this season was missing a little something. I still really enjoyed it, and there were a lot of great movements and pop culture satire. It seemed a bit less original than the first though. It's hard to criticize something you can't put your finger on.
Enjoyment Factor: 4/5
Bruh, WTF just happened? That's what describes this show. Episodes one is batshit and really the first few could turn anyone off and have them move on. If you can get past the butt jokes and weirdness, there is actually a great story under it all. The story follows three young boys, Kazuki, Toi, and Etna. Each kid has some type of complication in their life. Kazuki comes from a broken family that he doesn't feel a part of. His younger brother is his closest connection. His brother is also paralyzed and he blames himself for the accident that caused it. Toi lives with his aunt and uncle who run a ramen shop, his parents are dead and his older bro is a criminal who he looks up to and wants to travel with. Etna is Kazuki's best friend, but is secretly in love with him and doesn't know how to deal with it. He also struggles with the fact that Kazuki quit their soccer club after his brother's accident. While Toi is breaking into cars and selling stolen merchandise, Kazuki is cross dressing as Sara Azuma, a Idol mega star his younger brother is crazy about. He sends him selfies and exchanges texts messages while pretending to be her trying to lift his brother's spirits. Eventually the three run into Keppi a strange Kappa that tasks the three to save the world by defeated Kappa Zombies. Keppi transforms the boys into kappa's by altering their shirikodama (a forklore spirit orb in your anus). The Kappa zombies are being created by mysterious police officers murdering criminals, and the boys have to take the kappa zombie's shirikodama and give it to Keppi for a wish dish. As weird and fucked up as it sounds... and well it is, the plot device is ingenious. No one would want to do this, but the wish dishes can grant a single wish upon collecting 5. Each character has a desire that can be granted with the wish, so they go along with it. Meanwhile every time they take a shirikodama, who ever actually does the act of taking it has one of their secrets revealed to the other 2. So each episode they learn more about each other's dark secrets while fighting over who gets the dish as they inch closer to their 5th. The story gets deep and is pretty serious along with all the wacky, crazy stuff that is going on. A lot of people will pass on it and miss out on a pretty great story... but I'd recommend this to anyone at the risk that no one would ever take my suggestions again.
Kono Oto Tomare! Sounds of Life
Enjoyment Factor 5/5
Violence: Mostly slapstick
This is one of those anime about a theme I'd never be interested in and make it a great story. The show revolves around a band of misfit students that come together to form a Koto club that is on the brink of going defunct due to lack of members. Most of the characters have their own outside issues, while the ones that don't are there in support of another character, and run into their own struggles as they try to learn to play an instrument they had no desire to prior to getting involved with the club. The club president Takezo is only prez because hes the only remaining club member from the previous year (everyone else graduated). Chika is a kid with a troubled criminal past, but has a connection to the koto through his grandfather. He is the first to join, but the school vice principle wants Chika expelled as he feels he's a tarnish on the institute's reputation. Hozuki is a child prodigy from an elite family, she is disowned by her mother who runs the top koto school in Japan. Her goal is to win nationals by carrying the dead weight of these misfits with her own skills. These three are the heart of the club, and watching their relationship grow is wonderful. The character development is superb as the club grows, faces incredible challenges, overcomes set backs, and enters competitions. The music is really good, and how they put suspense and "action" in these competitions is pretty neat. The animation is also beautiful... but of course when there isn't a lot of fast action, it tends to be easier to spend more time on the quality I guess. The season ends on a cliffhanger and season two will be starting in the fall. I really look forward to this show. The opening is also outstanding, but in a season with way too many amazing openings, it falls just short of being the winner.
Midnight Occult Civil Servants
Enjoyment Factor 2/5
This show had a lot of potential but has too many things holding it back. Animation is mediocre and so is the voice acting. Its pretty generic overall. The concept is really cool though. Arata Miyako joins a task force that investigates "anothers" which are spirit beings on a different plane of reality. When the anothers cause mischief Arata and the gang are tasked with resolving and or stopping their disruption of society. Arata is gifted with the "ears of sand" where he can actually communicate with anothers. Something that no other human can do. Through dialogue most of the problems anothers cause are because of the misunderstanding via lack of communication. Anothers live their lives without regarding the existence of the human world just like humans are unaware of anothers. Arata becomes a mediator to better improve relations between the two sides, and faces push back from both sides at times. There isn't much that's memorable about this series, but I did enjoy it a little.
Attack on Titan S3P2
Enjoyment Factor 5/5
I really can't properly review this without spoiling it. Its more of the same AoT, except with some pretty massive reveals about the world, the titans, and society behind the walls. The series is at a critical turning point. A lot is about to change as I've read beyond what's going on here. A lot of people will not be happy, while a lot will find it to be mind blowing. The second half of season 3 is filled with action, and some really spectacular moments. One of the best moments of dub voice acting ever takes place. Overall season 3 delivered what season 2 couldn't. It mostly comes down to how the anime picked its start and stopping points of the manga... they did it pretty awkwardly for season 2.
Enjoyment Factor 6/5
Violence: Mostly slapstick
I never watched the original and never will. This is all I need. I love and adore this show so much. The characters, the story, the music, and the top tier animation quality. Torhu Honda is everything that is good and pure. Shes such a broken person that lifts up a completely broken cast of characters without a care in the world for herself. The dynamic of Yuki and Kyo is so good, and Shigure is so mysterious, Hanajima and Utani's unlikely friendship with Torhu, Torhu's mom's story, the Sohma family as a whole.. its all too much to go into and its all so amazing! Every character is interesting. Very few anime can pull of a large cast like this and make them all important in some way. There is a masterful use of "less is more" going on here, while the overflow of emotion this series can put on you can be overwhelming at times. As season 1 ended, there are so many questions left to be answered! I can only imagine how the original left everyone wanting more, especially people that know the manga. Its a show about every day normal life with a mythical twist, but strip that aspect away and it would still be incredibly captivating. This is this season's best in show hands down. Oh and I almost forgot how great the comedy is... Kagura's split personality toward Kyo is probably my favorite of all the gags. I'm so ready for season 2, I hope we don't have to wait too terribly long for it.
Best opening: There were A LOT of good ones this season. I can't cheat like last time and award 2. FB captures the beauty and feels of this series so much, that I kinda don't like OP2
Best Outro: No question. Sarazanmai takes the cake with is beautiful light show and augmented reality use of the main characters.... the song is nice too... its kinda a bring me down from all the weirdness you just witnessed. A lot of the eps ended on some cliff hangers as well. It just works.