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Stínolez’s Seasonal Roundup [Spring 2020]

Proper image expressing current year so far?
Proper image expressing current year so far?
Graphic: Stinolez

The Spring Season’s beginnings were truly uncertain times, one show after another dropping from the lineups and being hopefully only postponed to next season. I wasn’t sure how many shows I’d end up watching and if my classic Seasonal Roundup was even worth trying to do. Luckily, I found enough shows to watch, so here I am rambling again trying to introduce an article which I’ve been doing four times a year for the past three or four years. So, as per usual, shows are divided into three groups: great and good, average, and bad and dropped shows. The opinions in this article are mine and you might disagree. If you do, please do so in a polite manner down in the comment section and respect my opinion, so I can be respectful of yours. Now without further ado, let’s dive in...

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Illustration for article titled Stínolez’s Seasonal Roundup [Spring 2020]
Graphic: Stínolez

Gleipnir

Don’t talk to crazy on the roof...
Gif: Funimation
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Episodes: 13 / 23 min. per ep.
Genres: Action, Mystery, Supernatural, Ecchi, Seinen
Score: 8 / 10

Gleipnir was a shot in the dark. I knew nothing about the series, but it paid off immensely. It immediately caught my attention, and I knew this will be the best trash show of the season - sometimes you just know. I usually don’t intend to read the source material after watching most series, but here I made an exception, reading up to around the tenth episode after watching the premiere. I’ll definitely continue reading this series; I cannot get enough. Is this a garbage show? Probably, but boy, I love it. Most of the main characters grow and develop, the art is great, I love the animation, and a wet girl in a furry costume is just a cherry on top of an already perfect cake. Think whatever you want about me, but I hope the second season comes quickly.

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Honzuki no Gekokujou: Shisho ni Naru Tame ni wa Shudan wo Erandeiraremasen 2nd Season (Ascendance of a Bookworm Part 2)

She is so cute and happy
Gif: Crunchyroll
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Episodes: 12 / 23 min. per ep.
Genres: Slice of Life, Fantasy
Score: 8 / 10

I very briefly touched on Ascendance of a Bookworm’s first season after it finished airing in Fall 2019, but never went into much details. I can agree with my fellow writer TGRIP that the isekai genre has been oversaturated for the past several seasons (or even years), and now it’s almost normal to hate every isekai show each season brings. That sparked a new trend in this genre (you can read more about it in TGRIP’s article The Moe-fication of Isekai) which brought a breeze of fresh air. That’s the case with Bookworm, as well. The main protagonist isn’t a middle/high-school boy who reincarnates in a different world just to receive incredible power to fulfil the task he only can do. It’s a simple story of a young woman reincarnated as a 5-year-old girl with poor health, trying to survive and fulfil her dream in a world on the technological level of our Middle Ages. It’s about using her knowledge to make her life easier, a class-based system, and walking on the knife’s edge between what society expects from her and what she wants.

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Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai?: Tensai-tachi no Renai Zunousen (Kaguya-sama: Love is War Season 2)

Just Chika...
Gif: Funimation
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Episodes: 12 / 25 min. per ep.
Genres: Comedy, Psychological, Romance, School, Seinen
Score: 8 / 10

I don’t have much to say about Kaguya-sama. It’s the second season, it’s still great as the first one, you should watch it. Seriously, watch it. I can wait, you can read the rest of my article after you finish this series.

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Otome Game no Hametsu Flag shika Nai Akuyaku Reijou ni Tensei shiteshimatta… (My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom!)

Don’t be pain in the ...
Gif: Crunchyroll
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Episodes: 12 / 24 min. per ep.
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance, Fantasy, School
Score: 7 / 10

I already wrote about the isekai genre’s changes in my paragraph about Ascendance of a Bookworm, so I won’t repeat myself here. It’s just nice to see shows coming in with new ideas. What would you do if you reincarnated into a game where you know every end is a bad end for you? Will you resign, or will you try to change your fate despite being almost powerless? I started watching this show only after I saw how much attention it got from other AniTAY authors and how it was pushed towards our seasonal collaborative recommendations article. That raised the bar of expectations higher, so in the end I was slightly disappointed, but overall it was a solid show with some great moments.

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Illustration for article titled Stínolez’s Seasonal Roundup [Spring 2020]
Graphic: Stínolez

Kakushigoto

She is so pure, we must protect her!
Gif: Funimation
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Episodes: 12 / 23 min. per ep.
Genres: Slice of Life, Comedy, Shounen
Score: 5 / 10

I’m quite open about the fact I’m one of the AniTAY’s dads. My daughter celebrated her first year just a week or so ago, and her being in my life completely changed my perspective on certain anime series. That’s the reason I picked Kakushigoto, although the premise itself wasn’t something that sparked my interest. Going into the series without any prior knowledge, I thought it started strong. The show keeps you wondering what happened between the present and future and how they’ll resolve the mystery, which was introduced in the first episode. As the show continued ,I found myself more and more uninterested. I didn’t particularly care about the comedy, and it didn’t invoke any other emotions so it ended being a chore watching each new episode. The only thing which kept me going was the hunger to know how they resolve the mystery and how it’ll end. The final two episodes were one disappointment after another and it completely ruined the rest of the show. Looking at it broadly, there were some highs but the same amount of lows with hard landing that almost broke the show’s neck.

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Kami no Tou (Tower of God)

Why even bother...
Gif: Crunchyroll
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Episodes: 13 / 23 min. per ep.
Genres: Action, Adventure, Mystery, Drama, Fantasy
Score: 6 / 10

For a long time I had trouble expressing what exactly I’m missing or dislike about Tower of God. There was just something about the animation which ticked me off. I don’t mean the overall art design, it’s fine; I can handle more stylized shows, but when somebody in our chat mentioned the absence of a character shading, it finally clicked. That was the reason the show felt so flat to me. The other problematic aspect I had was with the source material. Not with the fact it’s a Korean manga, I couldn’t care less about the country of origin, but the fact it’s already a decade old and definitely shows its age. We’ve seen most of these concepts before, often under different names with the same purposes. The combination of both these aspects resulted in me not caring much about the show. I stuck with it only out of curiosity as this is one of the first Webtoon-based anime, and I’ve heard there are many more and many better ones out there. Let’s hope it’ll open the door for new source materials to bring something new into what sometimes feels like a stagnating industry.

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Tsugu Tsugumomo

Yes, I’m guilty.
Gif: Crunchyroll
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Episodes: 12 / 23 min. per ep.
Genres: Action, Comedy, Supernatural, Ecchi, School, Seinen
Score: 6 / 10

I’m not ashamed to admit I enjoyed the first season of Tsugumomo and the second season wasn’t different. It has action, it’s lewd and it’s fun. There is nothing more to it. Turn your brain off and just watch for some mindless fun.

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Illustration for article titled Stínolez’s Seasonal Roundup [Spring 2020]
Graphic: Stinolez

Hachi-nan tte, Sora wa Nai deshou! (The 8th son? Are you kidding me?)

Do you want these concubines?
Gif: Crunchyroll
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Episodes: 12 / 23 min. per ep.
Genres: Action, Fantasy
Score: 4 / 10

I’ve already written twice about new things in the isekai genre; that’s not the case with 8th son. This show follows the same framework as most other isekai, so there is no surprise it ended here. It doesn’t do anything so bad that it’s unwatchable, but there is nothing to surprise you and most characters are bearable at best, so it’s really nothing more than a waste of time.

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Listeners

Shut up and take my money...
Gif: Funimation
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Episodes: 12 / 24 min. per ep.
Genres: Action, Mecha, Music, Sci-Fi
Score: 4 / 10

I’m a sucker for music shows, and I like action anime and, from time to time, good mecha fights. From the preview Listeners sounded like a match made in heaven and show I’d enjoy to the fullest. It hooked me on the dynamic of the main duo, but after two episodes started to annoy me. It was all the same, each episode introduced new people, new locations, and what seemed like a pointless journey. At the middle point I didn’t even know which direction the show was going or why should I even bother to care. Plus, the ending felt way too rushed. Bringing the characters from previous episodes was a nice touch, but it was too little too late. Also, I know I shouldn’t question logic in an anime where some people have a huge jack socket in their bodies and are perfectly fine with it, but can somebody explain to me how a small amp you can hold in a hand can transform into huge ass mecha?

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You’re reading AniTAY, the anime-focused portion of Kotaku’s community-run blog, Talk Amongst Yourselves. AniTAY is a non-professional blog whose writers love everything anime related. To join in on the fun, check out our website, visit our official subreddit, follow us on Twitter, or give us a like on our Facebook page. This article was brought to you by Stínolez - gamer, anime lover & so-called writer. Check my other stuff here or follow me on Twitter.

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