After a pretty awesome Spring lineup packed with more hits than misses. Summer kinda felt meh by comparison. There were still some enjoyable shows for what they were, but there isn't much that really popped out.
Attack on Titan Season 3
While it's one of the few remaining shows that have yet to end. I feel like this is the best showing not counting the carry over MHA Season 3 from Spring. After a Season 2 that felt like it didn't go very far save for the big reveal, season 3 dives deeper into the political scene of AoT. As with most apocalyptic series of any medium, Season 3 is mostly humans turning on each other. Killing people is a new and chilling concept for the scout regimen as they face this new grim reality. Season 3 is plenty visceral and dark. Levi takes the spotlight after being in the back seat during season 2. He makes this season for me. He was my favorite character in season 1, and he proves why here. Levi is the scouts, and they are not the same without him, neither is this show.
Black Clover won't get an in depth review, but I will mention my feelings on it every season as it will be a continually running anime with no seasonal breaks unlike MHA. Last time I reviewed this series I said the supporting cast made this show, and that is still true. Asta has improved as a character somewhat with less constant shouting and screaming. He's still annoying, but god damn is the supporting cast so good in this series. The Black Bulls are a bunch of flunkie mages and the laughing stock of the Clover Kingdom, but this season they've really went into great depth on Asta's guildmates... when it all comes together for the big show down, its amazing. The action in this series keeps getting better and better.... I don't recommend this series to non-shonen fans like I would MHA. This show has no shame with exploiting shonen tropes and concepts. Its very DBZ-y and Narutoy at its core.
Did I say AoT3 was the best showing this season? Well technically it is, because Steins is a carryover as well from winter. I actually just finished the finale. Bravo... although I was initially irritated until I saw the post credits scene. This is one of the few times they make a sequel to something, and they don't mess it up and ruin the original's legacy. I loved the second season for its emotional value. It really beats on your feels and manages to pull off a few surprises that should or could be obvious. I was so caught up in the feels at times I guess it was a surprise to me. The stuff Okabe had to go through this season would mentally break any normal being. I couldn't even imagine going through what he did near the end on top of all the shit that has happened to him since season 1.
Overlord Season 3
It started out slow, but it's gotten a lot more interesting. More action this go around thankfully, and new interesting characters... Lupusregina most notably . The geopolitical scene is finally taking shape here, and I'm looking forward to see what is coming. I've been watching a lot of character analysis on youtube and it just makes me more interested in the series. Shalltear is still my favorite floor guardian, especially after learning that despite not being the most powerful guardian of Nazarick, no one can defeat her 1v1... except for Ainz... and barely as we saw in S1.
Alright.... on to the new stuff
How Not to Summon A Demon Lord
So some dude that goes by Diablo, nolifes an MMO and gets summoned into it by an overly busty elf and a loli cat girl. Since his character is super OP and has a magic reflect ring, their enslavement summon enchantment reverses on to them. Diablo runs around his new world with his companions in tow getting into all sorts of mischief... there isn't much here tbh. The story is nothing special or new, and its chalk full of fan service and modern day sexual innuendos. Some of the fights are pretty cool with Diablo's ultra OP attacks. You'd be good to skip this one as I doubt it gets a season 2.
Angels of Death
Apparently this is based off a game? Rachel Gardner wakes up in a hospital only to find out its a psychotic murder dungeon featuring different floors with different floor guardians. After cutting a deal with one of the floor guardians, a maniac serial killer named Zach, the two venture though each floor trying to find a way out. This series was ok... its more a play on the mental state of Rachel as she wants to die and the deal cut with Zach was she helps him escape in exchange for him killing her afterwards. Its a grim arrangement as Rachel clearly isn't right in the head, but neither is Zach. There is lots of blood and violence, but you find it hard to care for either character as one is reprehensible and the other is clinically depressed. Every floor guardian is just as deranged as the next, each with their own theme. I wouldn't recommend this one either.
The Master of Ragnarok & Blesser of Einherjar
Hoooo boy. The premise of this was excellent, its a shame it was wasted on a low budget harem anime. Yuuto, an average high school student is transported back in time/to another world through a cursed mirror. He eventually becomes the ruler of the Wolf Clan because his cell phone magically works in this bronze age world, and wirelessly charges somehow. He brings wealth, prosperity, advanced weaponry and tools, and military might via Google. Yuuto, using battle tactics of ancient and modern generals, quickly builds an empire by conquering his neighboring rival nations, all while capturing the admiration of everyone... Sounds kinda cool right? Well all of that you have to learn as you go... there is actually no explanation how he had gotten there until 3/4ths of the way through the series. It feels like the series starts on episode 3 or something. He's just there using his cellphone to give out battle commands. All while being surrounded by voluptuous beauties that can fight, protect, and blacksmith. He can just give his blacksmith instructions on how to make steel, crossbows, katanas, and what not. All the meanwhile he calls his average looking, air head high school crush at night who I guess was with him when he got sucked through this mirror that actually belonged to her. Each fight the Wolf Clan endures is a complete route, minus a few times where he still pulls out the win. The fight scenes are lazily done with tons of recycled animation, and blurred scenes. When he's not commanding his army, hes busying fighting off all his horny subjects competing for his love. At least he isn't a pervert I guess? There is a difference between a good fan service anime, and a bad one.... this one is somewhere in between. It had all the promise, but none of the effort. Some of the characters were interesting enough... but more effort was put into the bust sizes and lavish hair styles than sword play.
Some guy washed up on an island naked with few visions and memories of his past. He knows his name is Setsuna, and he is from the future. He's suppose to save someone but he can't remember who. He eventually comes across a girl name Rene, as his time with her progresses his memories slowly come back... Yeah no... don't waste your time here. Its some terrible time travel anime that isn't time travel and makes little sense. He's suppose to save Rene based off some love story legend about Setsuna and Rene... she dies, he finds a time machine to try to save her, but its just a time stopping machine. Apparently he only really ever travels forward by being frozen in time, but like out of an episode of futurama, if you go forward far enough, civilization just resets and repeats. This series was a big fail as they do way to much to confuse the shit out of you until they reveal the "time traveling" method... then it makes the whole thing unbelievable.... along with some almost close call accidental incest. PASS
Lord of Vermilion: The Crimson King
Tokyo Majin 2.0... pass. I couldn't even tell you what is happening in this anime. A bunch of pew pew crystal power flying post apocalyptic Tokyo.
Magical Girl Raising Project
This one I had high hopes of being the most f'ed up anime I've seen in a long time... sadly it fell a little flat. I would have passed on this altogether if its TV-MA rating didn't catch my eye. The first 15 seconds indicated that this was going to be a blood bath of cute magical girls... and eventually it was. It took a long time to get there though, and it wasn't satisfying enough. Basically a bunch of girls around an undisclosed Japanese city get selected to be Magical Girls from playing an innocent magical girl mobile game. They each protect their own district of the city, and compete by scoring "magic candies" from the amount of good deeds they do weekly. Each magical girl has their own unique special powers... eventually its announced to them that there are too many magical girls and each week, the person with the least amount of candy will be dismissed and lose their magical girl status... little do they know at first that the result of losing your powers also ends in death. This later evolves into some girls murdering others. Some deaths are pretty brutal and sad, but overall it keeps its magical girl anime tone. It was ok I guess... it leaves you with a somewhat happy ending. I wanted more and it didn't deliver.
Chio's School Road
After the first ep I thought this was going to be my surprise of the season... but it fizzled out fast. Chio's a nerdy gamer girl that neglects her studies and sleep for online game binging. The series is actually about her daily trip to school rather than actual class which I though was a neat new concept. Every day is some insane adventure on the way to school... the first two episodes were hysterically funny. I thought this was going to be one of those crazy randomness comedies like Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo. Sadly the comedy later falls flat with a bunch of perv jokes and sexually charged shenanigans. It wouldn't have been so bad if some of the episodes are just flat out boring.
I normally don't do sports anime, but there were two this season... well 3, but I didn't watch FREE! For obvious reasons in my tastes. This one got a lot of western media hype for "FINALLY! STRONG FEMALE CHARACTERS!!!!!!!!!".... WRONG. Erza Scarlet, Revy Two Hand, Chise Hatori, Haruhi Suzumiya, all the girls of Toji No Miko... all of these are strong female characters in different ways and genres. Please give me a break. HANEBADO actually features some pretty broken characters, that are mentally weak and screwed up. I assume since this series is almost completely devoid of eastern tropes, is why it got love. Either way its not a bad series. I quite enjoyed it. Its about Badminton which is weird. It revolves around Ayano and Nagisa... two prodigies of the sport. Nagisa is naturally gifted because of her height, while Ayano was raised by a world champion mother who trained her from a young age. The series starts with Ayano destroying Nagisa 20-0 in the nationals and then flashes forwards years later. Ayano has given up badminton because her mother inexplicably left to go overseas, and Nagisa is captain of her high school badminton club where she takes out her past failures on her club members. At the start Ayano is the vulnerable character and Nagisa is the one you don't like. Somehow Ayano finds her way to the badminton club because of her pushy childhood friend. Nagisa finally comes to the realization shes been a bitch the whole time to everyone and clams down... later Ayano turns into a psycho when she runs into her adopted sister she didn't know she had. She's a Danish badminton superstar that was also trained by her mother... this puts Ayano into a crazed mental state that she never really recovers from.. she goes from super sweet and shy badminton pro to snobbish cut throat. It swap doesn't make any sense really and her mother just seems like she doesn't care about how she is acting making it worse. Its honestly hard to like either character. Some of the side characters have better stories but they all get berated by Nagisa or Ayano at some point... and the whole thing that set her off with her adopted sister was just to gain her acceptance in the worst way possible... which ends up backfiring making her adopted sister sad... the story is actually pretty shitty now that I think about it. But the badminton matches are pretty crazy and well animated. I wouldn't recommend this one, but if someone asked me if it was worth watching. I'd give it the thumbs up.
So this was actually my surprise anime of the season. An anime about beach volleyball... I totally went into this knowing it was all about jumping around in bikinis on the beach. I left surprised with a pretty solid story and some great suspense. The animation IS beautiful... but seeing as the color pallet was very limited to sand, net, water, and skin... they really didn't have to do much here to be challenged. This is about as tasteful as fan service gets. Yes these girls have goddess bodies with muscles and curves... trust me I enjoyed every bit of it with no shame. But there isn't a bunch of silly bouncy and jiggles nor the sound effects that normally go along with them.. its a 100% female cast at all times, and there is no boob groping or shower room trope scenes. The series faithfully sticks to volleyball the entire time. Gratuitous butt shots is as racy as this one gets. *Eh hem* Anyways, the story is about Haruka Oozura coming to Japan to live with her cousin Katana Higa. Katana was once a world class child volley ball player and won nationals with her partner Narumi Tooi. They defeated Emily and Claire Thomas... the best team from the US to do this. As they got older, Katana never grew any taller and felt that she was holding Narumi back. One day Katana gives up the sport in the middle of a match after having a panic attack while they were losing... completely abandoning Narumi. Seeing as Katana lives on the beach where some practice courts are, Haruka becomes interested in beach volleyball. Katana plays around with showing her the basics only to run into her former partner Narumi along with her new partner. The overly excited Haruka wants to play them, unaware of Katana's past. Narumi gives out a childish challenge where they only have to score one point to win and she'll buy them ice cream. You should guess how the rest goes... anyways Emily and Claire see the match from afar and take interest in Haruka since she was able to get Katana to play again... the four become friends and help train Haruka who is naturally gifted because of her height. This series has really good pacing, all the matches were pretty intense, and they don't always spend time on every single point of the match. The only absurd part of this anime is how a total noob can learn the basics of beach volleyball and all of the sudden carry her short cousin to victories against pros that have trained since they were small children. When they aren't playing volleyball they're doing innocent girly things like buying ice cream and talking about the power of friendship and believing in each other. It was enjoyable enough for me, and there will most likely be a season 2 of this which I will watch.
Best intro this season: Overlord
Best outro: Magical Girl Rising Project