Hello again and welcome to my Summer 2020 preview of the few shows I might watch. As usual, I’m going mostly by the Random Curiosity preview page. I always include a screenshot of the first image of the episode that makes sense, unless it’s a long fade out of black, in which case, to hell with them I’ll use that instead. This season is slightly complicated by the fact that some of the shows are actually Spring season shows that got interrupted by COVID-19. Since I already have a good idea what they’re about I may or may not keep following them. This will explain why I’m skipping Appare-Ranman. I watched a few episodes but the show didn’t grab me, so instead of that well-crafted, good-looking show I’m starting with …
Dokyuu Hentai HxEros. Yes, because while I don’t always follow good shows I will usually give ecchi a chance. HxEros has two kids cutely holding hands in one scene and then jumps forward to high school where the girl, Hoshino, has become an ice queen, much to the boy Retto’s dismay. We get a few scenes of Hoshino’s coldness toward all males in her class to Retto’s further dismay, until aliens show up to suck the erotic energy, or something, out of a group of guys watching a scantily-clad idol girl. Turns out Retto’s a hero of Earth determined to defeat these beasts because of what they’ve done to Hoshino, with the help of his weird uncle. Later, while trying to apologize to Hoshino for grabbing her boob the other day (well, she was falling down the stairs) another one shows up, but he’s too weak to fight it alone, so Hoshino’s hidden power (way too powerful, according to the alien) is unleashed. Turns out her eroticism wasn’t stolen by the aliens back as a child, she was just terribly embarrassed. Some other girls show up, and we have our team of HxEros!
The problem with HxEros is that it tries to be a teen hero adventure series with all the trappings, like the team members being color-coded, etc, and thus gives us a clumsy, exposition-ridden, slow-moving introductory episode, AND it wants to be ecchi to boot, meaning when the team go into battle they lose all their clothes and other equally gratuitous moments like the idol girl’s top coming loose, but they could just lose all that and still have the adventure show. The dirty moments are no fun at all. Shimoneta showed way less flesh but was raunchier and funny to boot–it had fun with the material. ExEros just throws the fanservice in there. The only funny moments came after the alien would suck the erotic force out of someone and they’d mutter things like “I need to study for exams.” Maybe the other girls on the team, shown at the end, will liven things up, but I doubt it.
Skipping a few season twos and fighting shows which I have no interest in, I get another silly show, Lapis Re:LIGHTs (I’m going to ignore the capital letters from now on), where a nice girl named Tiara (with the questionable nickname “Titi”) finishes her long journey and winds up in a generic western medieval town where she’s to join some sort of magic school for girls. She immediately meets up with her old friend Rose who shows her around the place, the whimsical classes, etc, and she meets the other girls in her group. We get some backstory about friction with her beloved sister to darken things a little, and then she learns that her group is called Lapis because they’re low tier and all in danger of flunking out, taking her with them! Oh, no!
A fluffy magical world series, and a typical first episode of world-building, magic, and some fluffiness. That said, it wasn’t bad. The show jumps over bits that could be tedious, like the first interview with the school director who basically says “Okay, you’re in, just touch that glowing stone to make sure.” The team members are all of types but at least that cuts down on the explanations. The classroom tour breezes by, little bits of humor thrown in to make it interesting. The song bit went on a bit long, but it was kind of pretty. The problems with the higher tiered teams could be interesting. We got Yue who recognizes Tiara and hates her immediately, but her own teammates seem nicer. So it’s going to be a nice show whatever happens. The art and character designs are average but the creators spend a little more time on little detailed bits of animation, like the guy in the carriage who’s annoyed at something, and Tiara’s face when she sings. All in all, it’s about as good as it’s going to get for a show like this. Don’t know if I’ll watch it but it looks promising.
Next is a not-so-fluffy magical world series, Maou Gakuin no Futekigousha, where a confident lad named Anos (or Anoth) takes exams to enter a demon school named after the ultimate demon from 2000 years ago and may well be reincarnated soon. He befriends the monotoned Misha, gets challenged by a punk named Zepes and kicks his ass twice, the second time as part of the exam. Then we meet his loving, supportive parents, and after that Zepes’s older brother challenges him, because, after all you’re not supposed to kick royalty’s ass. So he kicks the brother’s ass and gives a moral lecture about family to boot, and then announces himself to be the demon lord reincarnated. Trouble is, his official school designation (on his sleeve) is “misfit,” and no one will talk to him except Misha.
It’s pretty much by-the-book, but it wasn’t bad. Nice light shows in the battle, etc. A little slow-paced, but it’s a first episode. Two things interested me, the first being Anos’s demonic confidence mixed with human decency. Sure, he’ll kill you in interesting ways if you cross him, but he’s perfectly civil otherwise, with a penchant for bad jokes, okay, not bad but ill-timed. His “three-second rule” joke isn’t going to get a laugh if he’s torturing someone viewed by a horrified crowd. The second thing is Misha. Normally the laconic, monotone girl is a side character in a harem, but here she is introduced first and could be Anos’s only friend. Nothing wrong with that, and I prefer the type myself, but she says so little that their conversations might be a little one-sided. Still, overall, this is the first show I’ve seen this season with real potential.
Skipping some more we get to Deca-Dence, where we flash back to a child Natsume, who’s father and friends are attacked by, er, Gadoll, nasty generic-looking monsters, and her father dies and she loses an arm. Flash forward where the teenage Natsume is refused permission to join the soldier unit (called Gears) and is stuck instead on scrubbing the sides of Deca-Dence, a giant mobile fortress where the last of humanity continue to fight the Gadoll. Her laconic boss, Kaburagi, tells her to give up on fighting and whatever dreams she has and live a peaceful life. Then some bits involving some dark aspect of Kaburagi’s life, with human chip stealing, not explained, and then we get a full-scale Gadoll attack where armor repairer Kaburagi is shown to be a great fighter, and we get a great battle sequence. Having nothing this episode to top that, the show wisely ends there, though we all have a million questions, especially about Kaburagi.
The story itself is nothing new, another “last humans fighting huge monster things,” but it’s told extremely well, apart from the classroom/exposition scene which fortunately doesn’t last long. Natsume is full of spunk with a touch of resentment as she can’t fight (yet). I’ve described Kaburagi as much as you need to know. It looks great. As I said, the battle scene was great, if confusing, showing us how formidable both sides are, and also with a ton of fighters and corpses flying around while Kaburagi, with Natsume literally dragged along, maneuvers through them. In fact, most of the animation looks very good. Natsume’s faces of wonder and, more often, frustration, are quite vivid and gives you an idea of her personality. I don’t know if the show will pan out, but the first episode did its job by getting my attention.
Skipping a few, we have Uzaki-chan wa Asobitai!, where a slacker college student named Shinichi meets a former high school kouhai, Uzaki, who observes his loner life for a year and decides to make a pest of herself from here on out. She talks him into doing various things on a free afternoon and is a pest the entire time, a LOUD pest who says inappropriate things in public. Shinichi seems to come to accept this pestering for the few moments of fun he gets out of it. Oh, there’s a cat following them around, and all the movie titles have “nyan” in them, so there’s a cat theme going on too.
The big question is how much I can stand of Uzaki. I’m a little like Shinichi in that I like my solitude and peace and quiet, and this idiot girl is ruining it for him. On the other hand Uzaki is indeed cute, and well-voiced by Oozora Naomi, who is loud but at least not shrill. Another question is whether this relationship is going to develop at all. It might just be like episode 1 where Uzaki tags along and bugs Shinichi. That would be all right, I suppose, depending on the situations they bring up and, again, whether I can stand Uzaki. One point that might keep me watching is that it’s set in Sendai, where I live for the time being, and it’s always fun to recognize landmarks. That is no reason for YOU to keep watching, of course.
In Kanojo, Okarishimasu we meet Kazuya, your average loser college student who just got dumped by his girlfriend, and out of desperation and a well-placed phone app advertisement, winds up renting one, Chizuru. It is the perfect, sweet, and empty first date as he learns afterward that she does that for all the boys. For some reason he does another expensive date with her and keeps spouting bitter lines about the futility of the whole thing, whereupon Chizuru snaps and becomes far less nice to her, and more entertaining for us. After she’s gone off on him he discovers his beloved grandma is in the hospital and so they both go. Oh, look, Kazuya’s got a girlfriend! To make it worse, Chizuru’s grandma is there, too, and doesn’t know about her side job. So now they have to keep pretending, and Kazuya’s bankbook is going to shrink considerably …
The first scenes, of Kazuya wretched over getting dumped, are excruciating to watch and take far too long. It doesn’t get much better during the first date, and I kept checking my watch. It improves after Chizuru’s mood change, falls into silly comedy for a bit, and then gets kind of sweet at the end. But I don’t like Kazuya very much, just another horny college student. But the show hints at a growing maturity in him, which might be fun, as long as we can cut back on his embarrassed reactions and monologues. Chizuru’s usually in “girlfriend” mode, not very interesting except for the fact that when she’s in it it means she is knowingly playing a role, which is a useful weapon in some of the gag situations they’ll throw at us. I hope we see “normal” side, though, partly because sometimes she exhibits some loneliness then. Overall, I didn’t enjoy the gags (like the hospital bed scene, way too long), but I’ll cut the show some episode-one slack and see what happens next time.
Next we have a short: Peter Grill to Kenja no Jikan, where, in another pseudo-medieval fantasy world, the titular character wins the fighting championship and is hailed as the strongest man in the world. He intends to use this leverage to win the hand of his beloved Luvelia, but on the way to the church he is waylaid by two fellow-guildmembers, ogres named Mimi and Lisa, who want to have sex with him because of his mighty bloodlines. Meanwhile, Luvelia is so sweet and pure that she has no idea what sex is. The ogres sneak into his bedroom and there follows an epic battle between pure love and sex with no remorse with two sexy ogre babes. Guess who wins …
Considerably different from HxEros. This show is more fun and the sexiness isn’t just tacked-on fanservice. Peter Grill knows what it’s about and doesn’t beat around the bush. No time for that considering it’s about twelve minutes long anyway. But is it worth watching? Hard to tell. If it’s going to be a girl-of-the-week, or two girls in this case, it will depend on the girls. This week I quite liked Mimi, especially her voice (Taketatsu Ayana). There’s also the relationship between Peter and Luvelia, but her innocence is dull and it will take time to get her out of it. But overall this is a lighthearted ecchi show with no deep meaning or serious issues, which is what ecchi should be.
Since I’ll give that girly fishing show another try, and Railgun T is coming back, AND how limited my time is going to be, I skipped some more and so it’s the last: Monster Musume no Oisha-san, another western fantasy world where Dr. Glenn and his assistant(?) Sapphee treat monsters, girls I assume. After a suggestive examination by Glenn with the obvious smitten Sapphee frowns, he declares a buxom minotaur to be pregnant, omeditou! But that’s just preview for the main story where he’s called to the capital to do physicals on the gladiators there, especially the very hime Tisalia, who is on a bad losing streak. However, there’s nothing physically wrong with her. Glenn watches a match and announces that her hooves (oh, she’s a centaur) need trimming and really she should be shod, leading to another “Oh, not THERE, doctor … Ohhhh!,” the second of the episode. Anyway, his diagnosis is correct and everyone’s happy. Oh, there’s a bit at the end involving a girl and a fish to set up next week.
So this show is going to give us more sexy bits, but without the sex. Dr. Glenn is thoroughly professional and wouldn’t dream of abusing any of the woman under his care. Besides, Sapphee, a serpent woman, would crush him with her tail if he did. That means the girls come on to him, but again Sapphee takes care of any flirting. Dr. Glenn is a young doctor and eager to learn more, soft-spoken and therefore dull. Sapphee’s mood swings are more entertaining, but that might be all of her personality. The patients are the usual fantasy characters. The animation isn’t much and the episode dragged at times. It seems to be a patient-of-the-week series with Dr. Glenn growing a bit as a doctor, though I don’t know if that will be fun to watch. Overall it’s a happy series with some sexy monster girls in it, but little else.
And so, for Summer 2020, I’ve managed to keep my first impressions posts down to single one! Am I concerned that a high percentage of them include sexy girls? Nah.