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Stínolez’s Seasonal Roundup [Winter 2020]

Illustration for article titled Stínolez’s Seasonal Roundup [Winter 2020]

Writing these seasonal roundups is a bittersweet moment every season. It’s sad to say goodbye to some great shows you managed to snatch between the sea of mediocre and bad shows, but you can look forward to what the next season brings. What’s your process of choosing new shows for the season? Are you going by recommendation, what sounds interesting on sites like AniChart or just picking up what your streaming platform decides to drop and try it for an episode or two, just to see if it hooks you? I’m usually a combination of all three, but mainly I rely on my initial season research on AniChart. Next season will be wild as I have only three new shows I’m kinda interested in, but six sequels! But enough about the future, let’s look to the past. Now, as per usual: shows are divided into three groups; great and good; average; and bad and dropped shows. Each opinion in this article is mine and you might disagree. If you do, please do so politely 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 [Winter 2020]

Heya Camp△ (Room Camp)

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Episodes: 12 / 3 min. per ep.
Genres: Slice of Life, Comedy
Score: 7 / 10

Laid-Back Camp two years ago was a perfect chill show. It was the cute girls doing cute things while camping around the Mt. Fuji and surrounding lakes. When I heard about Room Camp I was hoping for the proper sequel, but we only got the amuse-bouche of a show. It was nice to relax with this show, but it left me hungry for more.

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Itai no wa Iya nano de Bougyoryoku ni Kyokufuri Shitai to Omoimasu. (BOFURI: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, so I’ll Max Out My Defense.)

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Episodes: 12 / 23 min. per ep.
Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Score: 7 / 10

Staying on the topic of cute girls doing cute things, this time in a game world. Maple is an ordinary girl who plays her probably first multiplayer online game. Everything is new to her and her fear of pain makes her choose the best possible option - buff your own vitality to survive everything. It’s not a conventional method of approaching the game system, but I’d assume, if there was at least decent QA testing of the game a whole lot of the show wouldn’t happen. Nevertheless I had a fun time following her story and same as devs of the game, I was curious which game-breaking bug will she find.

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Mairimashita! Iruma-kun (Welcome to Demon School! Iruma-kun)

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Episodes: 23 / 23 min. per ep.
Genres: Comedy, Demons, Supernatural, Fantasy, School, Shounen
Score: 9 / 10

On the surface Welcome to Demon School! Iruma-kun might look like a kids show, even the official trailer put up by Crunchyroll didn’t do it justice, but believe me, you are there for a wild ride. Iruma is a pushover, he always does what everybody asks him to do, to the point his irresponsible parents sell him to a demon. That fateful encounter of demon Sullivan and Iruma changes their lives forever. Iruma finally finds a place, where he can be himself and happy, while Sullivan finds an heir and grandson. To learn more about the world, demons and life in general, Iruma is sent to the Demon School. Being only one human there, he fears to stand out and in doing so, he stands out the most. Along this wild ride he finds few friends and the comedy may begin. This is a great comedy show and I cannot recommend it enough.

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Somali to Mori no Kamisama (Somali and the Forest Spirit)

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Episodes: 12 / 23 min. per ep.
Genres: Adventure, Demons, Drama, Fantasy, Slice of Life
Score: 9 / 10

What makes Somali and the Forest Spirit a beautiful anime is not only the stunning backgrounds, great animation, but also the story, world building and character development. From the first moment you can feel this anime was made with great care and respect. It explores the father-daughter like relationship in a harsh world, where the end is inevitable. Throughout the series you watch both Somali and Golem grow and try to find a way to each other. The side characters only accent this process by sharing their stories, offering help or advice. I might be biased as I have a baby girl (currently less than a year old), but the emotions captured within the anime are truly captivating and will pierce your heart, unless you have a heart of stone.

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Illustration for article titled Stínolez’s Seasonal Roundup [Winter 2020]

Isekai Quartet 2

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Episodes: 12 / 11 min. per ep.
Genres: Comedy, Parody, Fantasy
Score: 5 / 10

I already covered the first season of this show in my Spring 2019 Roundup and I still share the same opinion. I don’t see much of a reason for this show to exist. Yes, it has bright moments, when you laugh a little, but most of the time you are only questioning yourself and why are you still watching it. More importantly, why the hell isn’t the second season called Isekai Quintet?!

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Ishuzoku Reviewers (Interspecies Reviewers)

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Episodes: 12 / 23 min. per ep.
Genres: Comedy, Ecchi, Fantasy
Score: 5 / 10

It’s hard to admit you’ve watched this anime. It’d be probably better to switch to actual porn, when somebody enters your room, as it’s easier to explain. I picked this anime partly because the premise seemed hilarious, as a tribute to all the ecchi shows I’ve watched as a teenager and to see how far they’ll go. The show I got in exchange was sometimes funny, sometimes bad, but most definitely all the time with the ecchi level turned all the way to the max. If you really have nothing to do, you are feeling alone during these difficult times, you might find some use of this anime, otherwise - it’s fine to skip it.

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Kyokou Suiri (In/Spectre)

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Episodes: 12 / 24 min. per ep.
Genres: Mystery, Comedy, Demons, Supernatural, Romance, Shounen
Score: 6 / 10

This show is a tough one to crack. While I loved half of the main cast (Saki and Iwanaga), the other half (Kurou and Rika) were forgettable and boring. It had a really great start, the first few episodes set the base premise of the show and I was eager to watch more, until the Nanase Karin arc. This arc took over half of the season and was probably the lowest point of the show, though it had few moments so that’s why it’s sitting comfortably in the average section of my roundup.

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Nekopara

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Episodes: 12 / 23 min. per ep.
Genres: Slice of Life, Comedy
Score: 5 / 10

I started watching this show fully aware of its Visual Novel source (with the R+18 content), so I expected something which might fall into the “why isn’t this a hentai?” category. What I got was a wholesome show, which stripped most of the fanservice and was just an ordinary slice of life fluff. For some people coming from the VN background it might be detrimental, but it might similarly open a path to other people, who didn’t hear about the series yet.

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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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