Even though it’s already the end of the year, I (Miko Suzahiru) decided to look at anime releases from autumn! Some may be more familiar due to being from popular manga series, some are a little less known, and others are continuations of current anime. Here are some first impressions of selected anime I’ll be watching from the fall line-up. These reviews are based on the first three episodes of the series, so opinions may change later on as the series continues.

 

Black Clover
Genre: Action, Comedy, Magic, Fantasy, Shounen
Rated: PG-13
Episodes: 51

After the closure of two major shounen series Naruto and Bleach, this new series comes to fill the void. The show follows two orphans abandoned at a church, Asta and Yuno, as they compete against each other to become the next Hokage Emperor Magus (Wizard King). The difference between the two friends is that Yuno is a genius with magic and Asta tries to make up for his lack of magical abilities by physically training his body. This element may remind shounen fans of another series by the name of My Hero Academia. For me, the series reminds me of a combination of Naruto and Blue Exorcist based on the magical elements and Asta’s intense personality as well as his goal to become Wizard King and the opening reminds me of Hunter x Hunter (2011).

Upon watching the first episode, Asta’s hyperactive reactions and loud voice were a bit annoying. I wanted to see a little more of Yuno’s personality. Around episode 2, I enjoyed their bond and friendly rivalry with each other. They definitely have this ying and yang relationship between them. The story also started to pick up some when the boys turned 15 and received their Grimoires, except for Asta. Of course, eventually he does obtain one by an unexpected threat. By the third episode, I started to fill unsure all over again, but the preview for episode 4 got me a little excited with a potential tournament-like episode or at least an introduction of more rival characters for Asta and Yuno to test their skills. For all the hype I’ve heard about this series and popularity from the manga, I’m willing to continue to see where Asta and Yuno’s journey will lead us.

Verdict: Optimistically Continue


 

Boku no Kanojo ga Majimesugiru Sho-bitch na Ken (My Girlfriend is a Faithful Virgin Bitch) 
Genre:
Comedy, Romance, School
Rated: PG-13
Episodes: Unknown

If someone came up to me and asked, “What made you want to watch this show?”, you would see me thinking a little hard about it, then ultimately shrug. Maybe it was the vague synopsis on MyAnimeList or the suggestive cover art, but it seemed pretty harmless. Possibly perverted, but harmless. As I watched each episode, I realized that I entered some sort perverted misunderstanding of a trainwreck that I can’t seem to escape. The story follows Shinozaki Haruka as he confesses his feelings to class rep Kousaka Akiho. Dating the seemingly perfect Akiho seems to be a little more difficult than Haruka hoped for. The viewers also get a ton of perverted shenanigans and misunderstandings. What do I mean by perverted shenanigans and misunderstandings? Pretty much various adult media that Akiho is/was exposed to she uses as a guide on how to act with her first boyfriend. Whether it’s a couple being a little crass with their love (or lust) or naughty magazines with provocative pictures and sexy articles.

It seems like every female Haruka interacts with acts and talks like this, but less clueless, which makes it a trainwreck. The difference between Akiho and everyone else is that she believes this is acceptable behavior and doesn’t know anything else other than to try to act like these adult actresses and models. As for almost everyone else, they seem fully aware that their words and actions are perverse. Moving forward into episode 4 and beyond, I realize that this series is absolutely ridiculous and I honestly wouldn’t recommend wasting your time on watching it. There’s so many silly pervy jokes and misunderstandings that it doesn’t feel like the little story there is progressing. Nonetheless, it’s not the worse thing I’ve seen and, as previously stated, it’s hard to escape this trainwreck, which hopefully explains my unfortunate verdict.

Verdict: Begrudgingly Continue


 

Dynamic Chord
Genre: Music
Rated: PG-13
Episodes: 12

I’m still fairly new to the anime music genre, but for the most part I’ve came across some really good ones and even exchanged some recommendations among friends. When I saw this series listed to debut in the fall line-up, I figured I’d give it chance, even though the summary (or lack there of) was very vague.

According to MyAnimeList, this show follows the daily lives of several bands under the Dynamic Chord label, but the reality is, it feels like the story (or vague semblance of one) is really about the guys looking for one of its members, Kisaka Yorito, or something like that. As I watched this show, it’s really hard to tell what the actual plot or motivations of these characters are at all. It just seems like random happenings between various handsome bandmen while a photographer sneaks around for pictures, and Yorito stares off in contemplation being emo over who knows what. Judging from episode 3, it seems he lost his passion for singing.

I really wanted to like this show as I enjoyed the character design, but the story’s all over the place and doesn’t know where it’s going or what it wants to accomplish. A show that does Dynamic Chord‘s summary justice is Shounen Hollywood: Holly Stage for 49 (and 50), which I was introduced to by a friend and am very thankful for seeing both seasons. It follows the daily lives of an idol group, Shounen Hollywood, as they develop their various skills to gain fans, keep their theater open, and personal growth. Even last year’s Tsukiuta. The Animation and B-Project: Kodou*Ambitious manages to balance the on and offstage lives of its members. I don’t know how this show managed to drop the ball on such a simple concept. Also the CGI is unforgivable. It looks really awkward listening to this cool music and watching these CG models lazily animated as they “play” their instruments. Such a turn off!

Verdict: Drop





IDOLiSH7 
Genre:
Music, Shoujo
Rated: None
Episodes: 17

This was another late entry to the group and I was surprised it was airing in November, but upon further reading, the first 2 episodes had a pre-stream on November 3. I can only critique from what I’ve seen on the first 2 episodes while the series airs regularly for the winter season, starting in January 2018. I was a little hesitant on whether to include this into the fall line-up for these set of reviews, but I figured it wouldn’t hurt sharing my opinion.

The show introduces us to Tsumugi Takanashi, Takanashi Productions’ new manager, who is challenged to put together an idol group for the label. Her father, who owns the company, challenges her to select three members from the group of trainees in the practice room. After watching their chemistry amongst each other during a basketball game and making them audition, Tsumugi goes against her father and decides to create a 7 member idol group instead. Pleased with her decision and the mental process she endured to come to such a conclusion, IDOLiSH7 is born!

This show combines some ideas from B-Project: Kodou*Ambitious and Uta no Prince-sama with its storytelling and characters. Not only are we given the opportunity to learn about these future male idols, but we get to watch them grow alongside their new manager; she’s just as important as they are to the overall progression in this story. At least, that’s what I’ve gathered from these two episodes. I’m really hoping that Tsumugi doesn’t become like “Uta-Pri”‘s Nanami as a somewhat hollow character used for viewers to place themselves into a reverse harem story. That’s something I liked about “B-Pro’s” Tsubasa, although she became overshadowed by the group as time went on. Nonetheless, I have a good feeling about this show and look forward to checking it out next year.

Verdict: Continue


Just Because! 
Genre:
Drama, Romance, School
Rated: PG-13
Episodes: 12

For the past 2-3 years, I’ve been trying to squeeze in new series by season into my regular rotation of anime, which is a set of 5-6 series that I watch on my free time at home or work. I use MyAnimeList to keep track of all the series I watch (and read) and look up any interesting series coming out for the future season. So, when I saw the synopsis for this show it sounded kinda mysterious and interesting, but when I started the first episode, my expectations did not match reality.

This simple little school anime follows a small group of students as they reach the final year of high school. Things begin to change when a mystery transfer student joins their class. From what I’ve gather while watching the first 3 episodes is there some sort unresolved relationship situation that’s going on between the transfer student Eita Izumi and one of his classmates. Him and his close friend Souma Haruto reconnect and decide to do a double date with Souma’s crush. Meanwhile, second year photographer Ena Komiya tries to use this opportunity to capture their reunion, submit the results into a photography competition, and revive the photography club. If that sounds boring, basic, or confusing, that’s pretty much how I felt watching it.

The characters are kinda interesting, but a lot of the time I kept wondering “where are we going with this?”. The most interesting character the show follows for me is Souma. He tries so hard to get along and like the same things his crush does, but sometimes they don’t go his way. I might watch a couple more episodes and see if the story picks up, but this is no Orange.

Verdict: Reluctant Continue (Probably Will Drop)


Mahoutsukai no Yome (The Ancient Magus’ Bride)
Genre: Slice of Life, Magic, Fantasy, Shounen
Rated: PG-13
Episodes: 24

I know a lot of people were looking forward to this series and I had no idea why. I also know that many people have been reading it at my job as well, but I had no interest. Eventually, my curiosity hit me and I checked out the OVA. Oh. My. God! I instantly jumped on that hype train and even recommended it to a couple friends to check out.

The OVA made me excited for a full series and so far, my feelings have carried over. The series taps into the beginnings of Chise’s life, before she meets the mysterious magician Elias. She’s brought into a different part of this magical world and has to learn about as Elias’ apprentice and bride. The animation is absolutely stunning and the characters are well thought out and emotionally engaging for me. I love following, learning, and experiencing new things with Chise.

I usually don’t get caught up in the fantasy (genre), but I was easily enrapture with this fantastical world of mystery, mystic, and adventure. I also found myself enjoying how the OVA fits into this current story and anticipating certain characters’ introduction, like my favorite from the OVA Ruth. If you do decide to take the time to watch the OVA and thought the emotional moments were over, this show continues to tug at heartstrings and keep your tear ducts wet as Chise meets Elias, the mysterious magician and her future husband.

Despite the title giving that little surprise away, I was still a little taken aback when that scene came up. The series keeps its mesmerizing animation and intriguing characters. The series also has a beautiful opening by JUNNA that helps set the tone of the series and kinda melds the modern and traditional together without being heavy handed with its sound.

Verdict: Continue!


Shokugeki no Soma: San no Sara (Food Wars: The Third Plate)
Genre: Ecchi, School, Shounen
Rated: PG-13
Episodes: Unknown

Shokugeki no Soma or Food Wars was a series which I started from the beginning, and even picked up the manga. As I’m typing this post I’ve stopped at volume 15 (chapter 127), around the time this third season begins with the Moon Festival. For the most part, the anime has stuck pretty closely to the manga with minor changes and omissions. The story is still quite enjoyable and entertaining as it is more satisfying to see these characters move with their cooking and looking at their delicious creations in full, glistening color.

Since I’ve surpassed where I’m at in the manga, everything is fresh and new to me, so I don’t know the results of each food battle or challenge. Of course, over the journey of two seasons (and some OVA specials), I’ve learned, and many have surely noticed, is that the show isn’t about the boss of the week, but rather character development! The main character doesn’t always win, and sometimes you’re going to be disappointed with the result. Their ups and downs make them easy to connect with and root for them from episode to episode. This season doesn’t stray from its course and continues to bring entertaining humor and cooking action, while providing more reasons to latch onto our main cast.

Verdict: Continue





Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou (Girls’ Last Tour)
Genre: Sci-Fi, Adventure, Slice of Life
Rated: PG-13
Episodes: 12

Chito and Yuuri are two young girls who travel through this post-apocalyptic looking world and it seems as though most of civilization is dead. The story follows these two girls as they look for food, mechanical parts, and converse on little things that most would think as meaningless. I expected this show to be dripping in a atmosphere of hopelessness, struggle, and melancholy similar to Grave of the Fireflies, but that wasn’t the case judging from the very first episode.

The moe blob character designs were a turn-off, and immersed in this dreary, well crafted scenery while they trudge through the snow and learn what an airplane is. By the end of episode 2, I was ready to drop the series completely as it felt like a lot of nothing was going on. Out of obligation, I stuck to the three episode rule and braced myself for another uninteresting adventure with the moe blobs in episode 3, but opinion started to slowly change during its duration. Another human life entered the scene and brought something different and interesting to the show.

Chito and Yuuri’s interactions with this mysterious man was what I needed to keep going, even though there was a good chance we’d never see him again. It’s kinda hard to explain the “charm” of this show, but it definitely engages you in another way. I think The Anime Man explains it best in a recent video he did about it. This show shouldn’t work, but…it does. Granted, this might not be for everyone, but I encourage those who want something different to check it out.

Verdict: Surprisingly Continue


Tsukipro The Animation
Genre: Music
Rated: PG-13
Episodes: 13

Simply glancing at the title of this show, I assumed it was a crossover series between B-Project: Kodou*Ambitious and Tsukiuta. The Animation, but was wrong.

The only plot summary I could find describes the show as following four idol groups under the TsukiPro label, which I believe is managed by the senior members of Six Gravity and Procellarum: SolidS, SOARA, Growth, and QUELL. If you’ve seen Tsukiuta. The Animation, you’ve got the jest of the contents in this show, but with two extra groups and occasional appearances from members of Six Gravity and Procellarum.

I can’t imagine anyone really enjoying this show if you’re not into idol shows, Tsukiuta, or the game it’s apparently based on, but I’ve never played. It has its own world that I have yet to tap into through the games, manga, etc. Unless you are into any of that, it probably wouldn’t interest the general anime viewer. It’s a bunch of pretty boys going through their schedule, but it is interesting if you’re into that stuff. I haven’t completely connected with this new batch of idols, but feel like it’ll be a gradual process that won’t be regretted in the long run. The animation is still gorgeous to look at, and I really like the songs. I probably should check them out more seriously.

Verdict: Continue

 

 

Well, those are my first impressions of a few of 2017’s autumn anime. I look forward to hopefully returning to these series and perhaps review my thoughts on them when they finish airing. What will you be watching this season? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!

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