This summer season of anime has been a little more filled out than the previous Spring one was. What with the global pandemic and all that putting a lot of production on hold and leaving Spring rather sparse. A by-product of this situation being that a number of the anime due out last season found their way into the Summer rotation instead.
More anime, as it turns out, that I could find the time to watch. But I still watched a bunch and it’s time for my seasonal catch-up of what I got through during the Summer Anime Season.
Uzaki-Chan Wants to Hang Out!
It’s kind of telling that the most interesting talking point regarding this show was the drama that popped up surrounding the design of the main female character. A bunch of easily triggered types plucking an anime out at random to be morally outraged about. Uzaki-Chan is no more damning an example of the male gaze in anime than thousands of other shows out there. This show just so happened to have the misfortune of being the show that happened to be airing at the time to create this perfect storm.
If anything, this show is pretty toothless compared to a ton of other shows out there more worthy of a non-anime watchers outrage. Which sums it up aptly honestly. Uzaki-Chan is a pretty middle of the road romantic comedy with some relatively light ecchi elements to it. I only really saw it through to the end because it’s a series I was already familiar with and I wanted to see if they did that thing anime like this do where they represent a pretty innocuous scene from manga and turn into some big dramatic season finale.
No such luck there though. But like I said at the top, the fact that people were getting upset over a character design while nobody was talking about the content of the series itself probably tell you all you need to know about this one.
I really enjoyed Deca-Dence, as I explained in my review of it earlier this week. In fact, of all the new shows I did watch this season, it was definitely my favourite. Outside of being cute, fun and action-packed, the overarching story spoke to me in a way only a jaded member of this near cyberpunk dystopia that we call reality could.
It’s kind of reductive to describe a piece of media by comparing it to other pieces of media, but it really does feel like Deca-Dence was really smart in plucking a lot of elements out from other anime and western media to make a solid, one and done, series of 12 episodes that sprung out from a very cool concept for a world.
The God of High School
Man, The God of Highschool just did nothing for me. Despite the fact that I made a choice not to do episodic reviews of any shows this season, I still ended up talking about this anime three times regardless. (Which you can find here, here and here) Each time with less enthusiasm behind me than the last.
I’m so unenthusiastic about GoHS that I made it through 11 episodes and just can’t be bothered to watch the final two episode in the series. I might just stick it on in the future when I’ve got minutes to kill, but nothing about this show compelled me to care about its characters or what they were doing.
Like I said in my post from a few weeks back, the show has some fantastically animated action sequences, but hype alone cannot carry a show, especially when I’ve become desensitized to it just a few short years after anime became a regular part of my life again.
The Misfit of Demon King Academy
Like I said in the post linked here, The Misfit of Demon King Academy is a great four-episode series about two sisters who meet a God and then, against all odds, manage to break free of their doomed destiny and properly become a family again.
The problem being that there are a bunch of episodes following that all involve events that happen “against all odds”. I don’t like power fantasy anime as a rule, I’ve made that case several times now, and Anos Voldigoud is the most power fantasy main character I think I’ve ever seen.
In the end, though, the supporting cast isn’t compelling enough, or the comedic aspects strong enough to make this anything more than a super generic fantasy show with another smirking main character who just spits in the face of reality to do whatever the hell he wants.
I ended up dropping it after like 6 or 7 episodes.
Ahiru No Sora
As I write this, I have just finished the 50th and final episode of the series. While I’ve been in the seasonal anime rotation for a while now, a sports anime was something I hadn’t really gotten my teeth into until I watched this one. Based on what I already know about sport anime; they’re generally series about over the top, near superpowered underdogs battling their way to the very to and be the best there ever was.
Ahiru No Sora isn’t like that. Again, I don’t really have the basis for comparison here, so forgive me if I’m way off the mark with my assessment, but this series is way more grounded than that. It begins with the unlikely hero, a pint-sized kid with a deep passion for basketball, bringing together an equally unlikely gathering of delinquents through his unbridled enthusiasm for the game to form a high school team.
The thing is, despite the team having some highly talented individuals amongst them, they actually suck. And only come to suck a little less by the time the 50 episode season is over. And I love it. There’s something super grounded about the series, not pretending this spattering of misfits isn’t going to hugely struggle against even mediocre teams who a better drilled and better coached than they are.
The combination of a bunch of fuck ups turning their lives around underdog story, combined with how effectively the series makes me enjoy basketball (a sport I previously had a negative view on) really got its hooks into me in a big way. I mentioned the last time I spoke about this series that sometimes a longer form show has more time to really dig into its characters and stretch these games out to the extent they do.
And Ahiru No Sora does that amazingly. For my first foray into the world of Sports Anime, I adored this series. Although I’m not sure if we’re going to get a second of the same length for a long time, considering these 50 episodes covered 139 of the 169 chapters of the released manga so far. I might write a larger review of the series in the future, but right now this show is in major contention for being my favourite anime of the year.
Fire Force (Season 2)
I liked the first season of fire Force, however I never felt like it could get its claws into me in a way similar to other, likeminded anime at the time had managed to. As it went on though, the characters settling in and overarching mystery/conspiracy that was driving the show forward coming to light managed to settle it a bit more and help me better invest with what was going on.
The second season continues on from this point, having set up all of its pieces and now allowing them to actually play the game. Actually knowing the stakes, the power system in the world and most of the weird characters that inhabit this world, I am much more interested in seeing where the second series of Fire Force is going.
That being said, it’s still not my favourite anime on right now. It’s in the top half no doubt, but I’m not itching to see where the next episode takes me. I feel like I’ve had a lot of shows keeping my attention this season, and as the second series of Fire Force approaches its finale, I might have some stronger feelings about it.
Those fight scenes are still hype as hell though. I can’t complain that this isn’t a good looking show.
Digimon Adventure was the mains series from the Spring season that got pushed back after its initial three episodes and moved into the Summer season. And its a series I am very hot and cold on. Digimon is an anime of my childhood, like Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh and Dragon Ball that seemed to come out every single week and just went on and on.
My strongest memory of those original 54 episodes of the 1999 Digimon Adventure were that they took a long time to get going, and built themselves very slowly. Upon watching the first ten episodes of the remade series, it seemed like things were unfolding at a much more rapid pace, seeing Omnimon in the second episode and Metalgreymon showing up in only the 10th episode as opposed to the 20th of the original series.
And yet, this new series is going to run for 66 episodes, 12 more than the original series. Which makes me super curious as to what the second half this series is going to be and how it’ll futher diverge from the events of that old show. While I’ve not been against this rebooting of the original Digimon Adventure, there has always been a thought at the back of my head wondering “why does this story need to be retold”.
I think I’m going to allow this series to fold out for another few months before I come up with any answer to that question, because for the most part I’m enjoying this take. I’m just curious as to how much of Adventure 02 and Tri movies are going to factor into this longer running series, if at all.