Fall 2019 1

Hisashiburi! Here I am ready to look at the new Fall 2019 shows that I care to watch. As usual I am going by the Random Curiosity list unless something else interesting pops up. Again as usual I won’t do every show. Season 2’s where I didn’t watch season 1, sports shows (usually), or those that revel in gore. And I will once again start each review with a screenshot of the show’s first moment or two.

Hataage! Kemono Michi starts with an aerial view of an arena, but we won’t stay in the real world long.

We start with Hataage! Kemono Michi, where an animal-loving pro wrestler named Genzo is summoned mid-match to your typical European-type isekai, by a princess who wants him to kill monsters, i.e., animals. He refuses rather violently and then has to run from the guards into the village, where the townspeople run from him because he looks like a pervert (wrestling attire). He causes trouble, saves a wolf-girl, molests a beastman (so furry!), and then manages to be some use by befriending some cerebuses who were threatening the city. So at least he has some cash to buy clothes.

That would not be my reaction to seeing a cerebus.

The execution isn’t all that great. They linger on moments when Genzo is petting, or molesting, fierce animals too long. The art and animation is mostly average. I do like the concept that the way Genzo (and we) treat animals (petting them) comes off as perverted to them. And his dream of getting humans and beasts to get along is certainly noble, though how much of that is because he’s perverted that way remains to be seen. Not all the monsters in the show are warm and fluffy, there’s a giant ant near the end for example, but Genzo doesn’t seem to mind. As to my own perversions, I am hoping he gets to pet the catgirl. For isekai, wrestling, and catgirl fans.

Some magical glowing thing to start Shinchou Yuusha.

Next is Shinchou Yuusha, where a goddess named Ristarte, wanting to level up, has to find a human hero for a particularly nasty world called, er, Gaeabrande. She chooses a handsome boy named Seiya. Trouble is, he doesn’t like anything he sees, or rather, he is overly suspicious, though the show calls it “cautious.” To him, Ristarte might actually be evil, the food she gives him might be poisoned, and he’s not about to step foot in Gaeabrande until he’s leveled up a little, all to the consternation of Ristarte. Once there, he tries to buy too much armor, overequips himself with healing potions, and suspects the friendly villager to be evil shapeshifters. After he overkills a weak slime he gets the attention of an upper-level demon … and runs away.

See, that’s the thing. I’m a cautious person myself, and I would probably do many of the things Seiya did, only two sets of armor would be fine for me. So while I can get Ristarte’s frustration over his inactivity I think much of the time he’s behaving the right way. What sets me off about him is his callousness. There’s no reason to look that coldly on everything you see. They try to soften it with his interaction with a small girl, but it’s hardly enough. On the plus side, veteran Seiyuu Aki Toyosaki does a splended job as Ristarte, though the character is in enraged reaction mode so much in this episode that it wears you down. Nice visual reactions, though. Hopefully they’ll find a good balance as the series progresses.

Joro’s fingers twitching …

Ore wo Suki na no wa Omae Dake ka yo has the cleverest opening so far. We meet a nice high school boy nicknamed Joro, his genkii childhood friend Himawari, who apparently is jealous of his friendship with the alluring student council president. There’s lots of romantic, tinkly music in the background as both girls ask Joro on a date–and well, there are some confessions, and I’ll leave it at that because explaining would ruin the fun.

Here it comes …

The show does an excellent job of not showing its cards until the right moment, and when it does, it completely overturns your expectations. The only clue we get is the ominous opening scene to which everything else is flashback, and the glimpses of some girl following Joro around, so I expected a plot-shift but not the one I got. I especially liked the show’s “reboot,” for want of a better word, though while I understand the need for the repetition it made the second time around drag a bit. On the other hand, Joro’s responses usually salvaged these moments. Joro, by the way, is nicely played by Yamashita Daiki. Now that the revelations have occurred I guess the show will shift to a more mundane story but considering the fun of the opener I’m not too worried.

A quiet medieval(?) lab to start Honzuki.

Honzuki no Gekokujou: Shisho ni Naru Tame ni wa Shudan o Erande Iraremasen starts with a small girl named Myne being mind-melded by a priest to figure out what makes her so damn clever, and so we get our story. She was a young woman who loved to read books, who died (I think a bookshelf fell on her) and she woke up in this world, a poor peasant girl with no books to be seen. We meet her family, pay a visit to a market, and not even words, though they have numbers. The one book she encounters is very expensive and she’s not allowed to even touch it. Finally she decides to hell with it, she’ll make her own books!

She says this a lot.

This has the quietness and pace of a healing show, pauses where people just walk and see things, but since there’s actually a plot I figure this show is instead intended for young girls, or anyone who wants to see someone invent the printing press in an isekai. There’s a nice angle in that Myne is probably better educated than anyone in her village, including the nobles, and it gives her an educated adult’s perspective inside a cute little girl’s body. How she’s going to break out her impoverished peasant status and meet others who actually have an education might be interestng to watch, but I’m not sure I’m up for it. Still, a sweet and gentle show.

Obviously an allusion to the new high school year.

Next it’s Houkago Saikoro Club, where a shy girl named Miki has no fun at all and, despite living in Kyoto, doesn’t know how to have fun. Naturally she has a nearly literal run-in with a classmate named Aya, and they go exploring, much to Miki’s worry and fear. After seeing some lovely spots they see the stern class rep Ono go into a building and learns she works in a board game shop, so they all have a lovely time along with the scary manager playing Marrakech. So soon Miki will learn to have fun, friends, etc.

It’s basically a “lonely girl makes friends and learns to have a good time with a set activity as a theme” show, here being board games. This means two things, first, the early episode are going to drag as Miki manages to crawl out of her shell, and second, we are going to learn a lot about board games. I don’t know Marrakech the game, but the rules were explained clearly and simply (well, it IS a fairly simple game) and I could easily see how much fun it could be to play. I don’t know if that will be enough. None of the characters were terribly interesting. … finally, I kept waiting for some punchline about Aya going commando, but it never came … Anyway, the show will be enjoyable for board gamers, at least.

Choyoyu begins with eggs.

In Choujin Koukousei-tachi wa Isekai demo Yoyuu de Ikinuku you desu!, better known as Choyoyu, we meet seven high school prodigies who do everything from ruling Japan to doctoring to entrepreneurship, who are all somehow on the same plane that takes a detour and crash-lands in a medieval European isekai. Tsukasa, the PM, wakes up first, is fed mouth-to-mouth by a sexy elf, and meets a wolf-woman. When the others wake up they are feted and then decide what to do to get back home and replenishing the village’s meager supplies. They hold off some nasty soldiers and that’s it for episode 1.

I like isekai shows but this is getting a little ridiculous. This is the third or fourth in this post alone! This is one of them where the human visitors have a big edge in power than the locals, just having a samurai girl among them takes care of that. Not that I dislike that; it simply means that the show will be mostly happy and fluffy, like Slime, rather than gritty. The high school prodigies are all mature beyond their age, and entirely altruistic, not quite so believable. Tsukasa says an important goal is not to ruin this world, a nice pronouncement, but I can’t imagine a high-schooler, even a PM with diplomatic skills, saying that. On the other hand, this business of the legend of the Seven Heroes is intriguing, and I am a little curious as to what will happen next …

Azur Lane begins appropriately with the blue sea.

Finally there’s Azur Lane, another show of Anthropomorphic girls/warships. The girls range from deadly serious (Enterprise) to silly and goofy (Unicorn, Laffey), and years ago they successfully fought off alien invaders called Sirens. We meet a lot of girlships in the first episode as they either talk coolly about an impending crisis, or run around doing cute things like losing stuffed animals. But the crisis hits. They are attacked by two girlships (Akagi and Kaga) and an exciting but confusing battle starts up, confusing because at this stage I don’t know who’s on whose side. Anyway, K and K declare war and withdraw after Enterprise shows up.

The Enterprise is the coolest character of the lot.

In the flurry of infodumps we’re presented with before the battle, we have four, er, navies, I suppose. The Union and the Royal represent the US and UK, obvious, while Sakura and Iron Blood represent factions you can guess. What’s odd is that the Japanese fleet are bad guys … in an anime! So my guess is that Sakura at least will see the error of their ways and turn good to help them fight the Sirens whose technology they are currently using, hence the rift between factions. This will happen muh later in the series, and I’m not sure I have the desire to see it happen. The whole thing is pretty generic. I liked some of the transformation bits, and while I said the battles were confusing they were often fast and exciting as well. But so many girls and ships to remember, and none of them really standing out. I think I will give this one a miss.

2 thoughts on “Fall 2019 1

  1. Isekai shows seem to be a new trope, seen so often, like cultural festivals or sports festivals in HS shows, but there’s often delight when a stab at a trope is different in some way or outstanding in execution. That’s all I need.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s