The Forbidden Babka and Summer Season Rundown

June 29th, 2024

Three months ago, I was complaining about the rain. What hubris.

Aww. We almost made it two seasons in a row without an explicit idol shows. Way to ruin it, Oshi No Ko. Well, and there's one about VTubers which according to it, are just idols anyway, and I guess that's not entirely incorrect. Now if only we could move past the cheat power in RPG shows, both with and without reincarnation, because there's still around a dozen of those damn things. Relatively few sequels this season too, and even more rarely, I made it to the end of the first season of quite a few of them. Not that that means I'll necessarily pick them up again, but if I did, I'll probably poke at least the first episode or two. Then again, I remember virtually nothing about Last Crusade. 

Fairy Tale
Last Crusade
Shy
Oshi No Ko
Sengoku Fox
Goddess Cafe
Nier Automata
(Bake)Monogatari 

This is way overdue, and I'm gone until early afternoon anyway, leaving this scheduled post to marinate with any mistakes or oversights I've made, so let's go.

Fantasy Without Explicit RPG Elements

The Strongest Wizard in the Overlord's Army Is a Human
https://maougun-anime.com/
Studio: studio A-CAT
Genre: Drama?
Premieres June 26th

Show Premise: 
See title.

Random Thoughts:
Yeah, yeah, I know it's already aired. And covered, but anyway… Because demons are racist about leaders in their army, but once conquering humans, they're actually the nicest, most understanding and compassionate fellow countrymen. …The premise doesn't make much sense. And A-CAT is a horrible studio (Got Strong When Farming, Battle in 5 Seconds, etc), which the first episode (and promos) bear out. Again, it's a manga rather than a light novel source, which is a little unusual, but nothing special. Just another overpowered dude gratuitously dismember the evil people forcing his harem to dress in maid fetish costumes. Not even joking about that.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Not truly the strongest.

The Missing Majority
https://www.vap.co.jp/tasuketsu_anime/
Studio: Satelight
Genre: Action
Premieres July 2nd

Show Premise: 
People are forced into a survival game where they take a vote every day and the majority are killed.

Random Thoughts:
They get magic powers and have punchies to fight, of course. We're well past the time where these things were just psychological thrillers of people with wacky over the top gimmicks. Well, most always had magical powers, I suppose. While Satelight is a strong studio for their own original works, they nearly always half-ass it for adaptations, and this is particularly slowly paced web manga, that despite the promos going all Yu-Gi-Oh and card summoning monsters up front, still hadn't gotten around to… well, anything at all except covering the premise to be honest after the five exceedingly text heavy chapters I quickly thumbed through.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

So basically every pet in this world is dead then?

Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin
https://sakuna-anime.com/
Studio: PA Works
Genre: Farming?
Premieres July 6th

Show Premise: 
Spoiled goddess is forced to cultivate an island of monsters while babysitting humans.

Random Thoughts:
As much as I like Edelweiss, the Sakuna developer, the game had a metric assload of design issues that left me angry and embittered at it. Perhaps the adaptation will smooth them out, but a large part of the problem was its repeated decisions to forego Spider-manning around and terrorizing the wildlife by bludgeoning them with farm implements and instead focus on tedium. Long, repetitive minigames, long repetitive cutscenes, long, repetitive grinding. There's plenty that even a high budget, direct adaptation that smooths over all the obtuse and nonsensical game mechanics can find to make a profoundly boring show. The promos do seem to have at least some of the fighting bits, but at about the same unfortunate 10/90 split between that and empty space that the game did, and definitely looks to be on the lower end for a PA Works show, which is still above average, I suppose.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Had the saddest excuse for a frog boss I've ever seen.

Dahlia the Magic Craftsman Holds Her Head Up High
https://dahliya-anime.com/
Studio: TYPHOON GRAPHICS
Genre: Drama
Premieres July 6th

Show Premise: 
See title.

Random Thoughts:
Say it all with me. She's reincarnated. She unjustly loses her noble status. She's rejected by her fiance who's actually jealous of how great she is. But then the DEMON LORD who happens to be a brooding misunderstood pretty boy shows up and wouldn't ya know it, but they meet cute it up while she's gonna do her best. At least she wasn't the reincarnation of a villainess. We narrowly dodged ONE cliche. Okay, and not the literal demon lord, just a dude with scary eyes who has that as a nickname. Meanwhile, she's Mary Sue-ing it up to the extreme with amazing girl power by doing things like… *checks notes* inventing magical hair dryers. Impeccable. No notes. Just pure perfection. A true marvel of feminism and the triumph of the human spirit.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

At least invent something fun, like hockey.

The Wand and Sword of Wistoria
https://wistoria-anime.com/
Studio: Actas
Genre: Action
Premieres July 7th (Prime time)

Show Premise: 
Teenagers go to magic fighting school.

Random Thoughts:
Essentially the 'serious' version of Mashle. The dude has no magic so all the nobles scoff at him (except the harem, of course), but he has a sword large enough that you could hollow out and live in. Which is itself magic. But doesn't count as REAL magic because it doesn't come from Versailles or whatever, so it's just sparkling mysticism. It's not going to hold up to the critiques of your 3rd grade English teacher is my point. It's from the same dude as "Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon," but a manga, not a light novel, so hopefully paced slightly better, though I'm not holding my breath. Actas is generally a solid action studio (Classroom of Heroes, Princess Principal), and the promos are well animated, if cliche as all hell. It'll probably be mostly fine-ish standard fighting school harem, if generic as all hell. It is airing in an actual contested timeslot though, so it may actually have some genuine effort put into it.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Giant cowlicks are actually parasitic tentacles.

Bye Bye, Earth
https://bye2earth.com/
Studio: LIDENFILMS
Genre: Action
Premieres July 12th

Show Premise: 
Human girl fights animal people.

Random Thoughts:
They're racist against her because she's weak and puny and whatnot. Remember Mardock Scramble? Same author, though the original Y2K novel is only two volumes, so it likely has pacing problems already built in. Anyway, girl is the chosen one, created to kill god and all the usual young adult nonsense, but old enough to not be an RPG with cheat powers. Everybody just has magic swords with very specific weird things… and a particularly bizarre marching band-themed set of antagonists, which are featured prominently in the promos in CGI. And if there's anything one loves to see in a classic fantasy fighting adventure, it's a CGI marching band. The promo isn't ideal, though does have at least some action, but the band thing is really hard to ignore.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

At least the bards aren't having sex with anything.

Why Doesn't Anybody Remember My World?
https://www.nazeboku.com/
Studio: project No.9
Genre: Action
Premieres July 13th

Show Premise: 
100 years after humans win the war against demons, someone alters history and erase the hero. One dude and his magical girlfriend are the only two who remember the original timeline and join the human resistance to restore it.

Random Thoughts:
Your more classic light novel harem thing in the vein of stuff like Black Bullet or Anti-Magic Academy. Yes, he joins the monster hunting group of radical teenagers, which are mostly fanservice friendly girls who happen to be chained up and in distress for most of the promos. This is Project No.9 after all. They're not exactly great with action, though this is the same staff as Shut In Vampire Princess which did have its moments. It's not showing much promise in the promos though, which are largely dramatic posing and T&A. Maybe the studio's turned the corner and can do action now, but I wouldn't bet on it.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Very, very bouncy.

The Select Romances Without Any Jiggling In Promos

Pseudo Harem
https://gijiharem.com/
Studio: Nomad
Genre: Drama
Premieres July 4th

Show Premise: 
Girl pretends to be different cliches because her crush wants to have a harem, but is oblivious about her feelings.

Random Thoughts:
Every chapter of this is 4-5 pages where they have some minor banter, he announces what cliché she's doing, and then she either gets flustered or blushes and thinks "but that's how I really feel." They do eventually get together, ostensibly, but everything is so chaste and un-dramatic that even holding hands is too racy. I guess at least it's not trashy fanservice in any way unless the adaptation takes some major liberties at least. But I really doubt a whole cast of two characters awkwardly doing vaguely romantic cutesy schtick is going to keep at least my interest for long, even if it is impressive that a show with 'harem' in its title ends up largely inoffensive.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

As much actual sexual tension as Brothership.

Life With My Stepsister
https://gimaiseikatsu-anime.com/
Studio: Studio DEEN
Genre: Drama
Premieres July 4th

Show Premise: 
See title.

Random Thoughts:
The creator had the brilliant idea that his ultra original premise of two horny teenagers become step-siblings needed to reach a new audience, so created a series of 5 minute YouTube videos with two sketches of these characters bantering at each other. And then, over the last four years, proceeded to make TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY of them. And now, this auteur brillaince is being inflicted upon the world by being… slightly more animated. Fantastic. Truly seems like a can't miss.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

The internet used to be for cats and bananas.

Ordinary People
https://shoshimin-anime.com/
Studio: Lapin Track
Genre: Drama
Premieres July 6th

Show Premise: 
Dude and girl want to be ordinary, but keep solving mysteries.

Random Thoughts:
Remember Hyouka? Yeah, 2012. This is a series by the same dude, and is essentially the same thing, except not in a club. Which is to say a series of short slice-of-life-ish short stories vaguely about some dramatic mystery long ago or in the background which they're curious about, but not THAT curious, and not THAT serious anyway. Don't want to be too deep. Completely different staff and studio doing the adaptation from Hyouka though, and Lapin Track (Murder Farce, Have You Seen My Tama) hasn't been very impressive, but there's probably not much to animate here either. As Hyouka bored me to tears, I can't imagine its less acclaimed sibling will do much better.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Ordinary does not mean mundane.

Born in an RPG, Discovered Cheat Powers

The Old Man Rookie Adventurer Who Was Trained To Death By the Strongest Party Until He Became Invincible
https://shinmaiossan-anime.com/
Studio: Yumeta Company
Genre: Action
Premieres July 1st

Show Premise: 
See title.

Random Thoughts:
Another RPG world where he has maximum stats, but because he didn't officially update the official adventurer register about it, everybody thinks he's weak. At the advanced old age of… 32. And the "to death" part in the title is literal. It's one of those RPG worlds where you just get revived after dying. It considers itself a hilarious parody, ignoring the existence of like four other shows with the exact same premise this season alone. Don't worry, he has a dark elf maid. There cannot be a single unique or creative thought allowed. Mediocre animation in promos, godawful premise, onward.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Thanks, you gave me an aneurysm.

I Will PARRY Everything – The Complete Misunderstanding of the World's Strongest Man Who Wants to Become an Adventurer
https://parry-anime.com/
Studio: OLM
Genre: Action
Premieres July 4th

Show Premise: 
See title.

Random Thoughts:
In yet another RPG world, he has no 'skills,' so he goes into the mountains to grind "Parry" for ten years, and is now invicible, but still assumes he's weak because he didn't keep up with the paperwork. Such irony. Hilarious. At least he's not a reincarnation. One of the tiniest graces. The promo also looks surprisingly low quality for OLM. They're usually at least decent, but seems like they're half-assing the hell out of this. And I am not blaming them in the slightest. We go SLIGHTLY light on the cheat powers with reincarnation for one season, and instead end up with a half dozen of these.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

I slept until my inertia was at maximum.

Dungeon People
https://dungeon-people.com/
Studio: OLM
Genre: Comedy
Premieres July 5th

Show Premise: 
Adventurer is recruited to manage a dungeon.

Random Thoughts:
For how cutesy the style is, it's a little weird that the first shot is the protagonist bloodily decapitating a goblin. Not the most creative of premises either, no matter what kind of RPG gamified dungeon flavor you want, although most have the excuse of being actual games. Your Deception, Dungeon Keeper, Suzukuri Dragon, or whatever 25+ year old games you care to name. And like most of these things, it's just explaining stuff like "chests need to have things put in them" or "traps need to be reset" and then someone makes a face. Don't expect the kind of incisive genre saavy humor of Oglaf or even Softhouse Chara. Closer to the observational humor of Norbert from Accounting attempting to explain to you why the logistics of dungeons and dragons aren't realistic.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

OSHA certified architecture.

A Heroic Tale of Exploration Starting From a Nobody
https://mobkara.com/
Studio: Gekkou
Genre: Action
Premieres July 6th (two episode premiere)

Show Premise: 
See title.

Random Thoughts:
Again, at least not a reincarnation. Just Japan suddenly becomes RPG world and he randomly finds an ultra rare item that lets him summon an overpowered slave wife. Naked to start, obviously. And then joins the rest of the all female party who all have crushes on him. The only somewhat interesting thing here is that the adaptation looks to have hugely de-fanserviced the main female, cutting her bust down at least 5 cup sizes and moving her into a one-piece instead of a bikini. Good job, Gekkou. Or maybe they're just hiding it slightly more than all the covers of the light novels. All the monsters in the promos are still tentacles attempting to slime all the girls though. Can't get too respectable, after all.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Can't we have a feral oven for once instead of rapist slimes and orcs?

Horny Girls Thirsty for Bland Dudes

Alya, Who Sits Next to Me, Sometimes Mutters Affectionately in Russian
https://roshidere.com/
Studio: Doga Kobo
Genre: Comedy?
Premieres July 3rd

Show Premise: 
See title.

Random Thoughts:
See, because she's tsun in Japanese, but dere in Russian. It does the whole convoluted nonsense soap opera harem thing too, where the other most popular girl also has a crush on him, but is secretly his sister because they're both from the bestest rich family, so also another girl used to be his childhood maid fan or something, and the Russian girl's sister also has a crush on him because he's her forgotten childhood friend, blah blah blah. It's that kind of light novel/show. A generic loser dude who every female ovulates uncontrollably when within forty meters of for no particular reason. How cutesy and adorable all the flirting and sniping at each other is. 

Preseason Swing Rating: 
  
Get a cat if you're that desperate to be ignored by an ass.

2.5 Dimension Temptation
https://ririsa-official.com/
Studio: JC Staff
Genre: Boobs
Premieres July 5th

Show Premise: 
Dude has crush on porn character. Girl cosplays as her.

Random Thoughts:
This is a Jump thing whose main claim to fame is that it got flagged by Apple for being too overtly pornographic. Think about the fanservice Jump harem crap that didn't get in trouble for a moment, and then ponder how much striptease you need to have in order to cross the line. So yes, it is fanservice drek, and every single thing I read about it makes it worse. The author wrote about cosplaying, but knew nothing about it, just wanted to draw women changing. Pages on end of "Do my panties look okay? Are they frilly enough? What if I bend over? Are my nipples peeking out? How about now? Is 75% areola okay?" Somehow I don't think cosplay about porn game characters was the driving factor in its creation here.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Shave the ferret already.

The Elf Can't Lose Weight
https://www.elyase-anime.com/
Studio: Elias
Genre: Boobs
Premieres July 6th

Show Premise: 
See title.

Random Thoughts:
Another trashy fanservice thing. Dude's a masseuse, because of course he is, and constantly runs into various flavors of demihumans who are literally exploding out of their clothing, so he either massages them to orgasm, or teaches them exercise moves for the closeups of their crotch and underwear as they sweat and strain. Those are also the jokes. Plus "ha ha, fat people are gross." The promos have all that too by the way. Plenty of moaning, multiple clothes explosions, shots where literally the only thing actually animated are their chests jiggling. Incredible. At least that Dumbbells show had the weird grotesque beefcake dude to show it had some idea what a joke actually looks like.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

This is peak physical form.

The Villain and the Magic Girl Used to Be Enemies
https://mahoaku-anime.com/
Studio: Bones
Genre: Drama
Premieres July 9th

Show Premise: 
See title.

Random Thoughts:
Standard Romeo and Juliet thing that keeps popping up lately for some reason. Not even the only one this season with Last Crusade also hanging around. The adaptation here will be interesting on a technical level because the source is a pretty short (20 chapters) 4 panel comic thing, so not hugely story driven, nor particularly long. Despite the zillions of flowers in the promos, the source is also pretty fanservice heavy, if not outright trashy, with plenty of cleavage and clothing malfunction shots, not to mention an entire character whose schtick is fantasizing about being tied up and violated. Maybe they've changed that to be less fetishistic in the adaptation, but the source is a lot more trashy fanservice than the promos are letting on. 

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Whoa momma, red flags.

There's Too Many Loser Heroines!
https://makeine-anime.com/
Studio: A-1 Pictures
Genre: Drama
Premieres July 13th

Show Premise: 
Dude befriends rejected girls.

Random Thoughts:
It really says a lot that the original title of this godawful LN was "Could I Possibly Be the NPC Who Appears Next to The Losing Heroine in the Final Episode?" Yeah. That's its gimmick. That it's the pseudo-epilogue for harem/love triangle cliché girls who are rejected. But totally, for real, no fooling platonic rebound harem. With a dude just… standing around, being the definitely for real not-romantic sack of flour they all turn to for reassurance instead of a massage wand nicknamed Big Doug. I mean… what?

Preseason Swing Rating: 

At least they don't start a band.

Premises By Random Word Association

Narnia Suicide Squad
https://suicidesquad-isekai.com/
Studio: Studio Wit
Genre: Action
Premieres June 27th (Japanese Broacast July 5th)

Show Premise: 
*protracted sigh*

Random Thoughts:
Why. Three episodes already aired ahead of the Japanese broadcast starting as above. I feel like it was dreamed up by people looking at marketing trends and then handed off to a bunch of interns who weren't really familiar with either Suicide Squad or this stupid portal fantasy stuff that refuses to go away. It has none of the manic energy I've come to associate with the Suicide Squad franchise, and certainly none of the wit of that or stuff like the Harley Quinn series. I'm mad that this even exists at all. You've already got Merlin, Themyscira, Gorilla City, etc in the DC canon. Why are we traveling to generic Narnia? Just to chase a fad you don't even understand?

Preseason Swing Rating: 

What have we become.

My Deer Friend Noko
https://www.anime-shikanoko.jp/
Studio: Studio Wit
Genre: Comedy
Premieres July 3rd

Show Premise: 
Girl meets deer girl.

Random Thoughts:
The actual title is a tongue twister that I don't want to try to translate, so we'll go with the localization. The promos have gotten a lot of eyes and already had parodies and memes created around them because they're manic deranged overanimated nonsense. The staff here has done a ton of comedies, some even decent enough and Wit is usually a better studio, though they do put a lot of the budget up front, so the promos may very well be the best they've got. Regardless, the promos are already focusing on sight gags over loud reactions, so that's more promising than 98% of comedies anime has produced in the last few years.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Judgemental capybara tribunal.

Red Cat Ramen
https://ramenakaneko.com/
Studio: E&H Production
Genre: Comedy
Premieres July 4th

Show Premise: 
Girl is hired by a restaurant run by cats to take care of them.

Random Thoughts:
The premise is also the manga's entire humor. They're cats, but they're running a restaurant. I won't complain about not having some random line screamed and a gong banged to try to show that a joke has been made, but that premise ain't comedy either. Nor is there any story, drama, anything. It's the same studio as Ninja Kamui, but looks to have maybe 3% of the budget. I have a hard time understanding why this exists in any form at all.

Preseason Swing Rating: 
  
Definitely not a Ratatouille situation.

Delico's Nursery
https://delicosnursery.com/
Studio: JC Staff
Genre: Drama
Premieres August 7th

Show Premise: 
Vampires raise children and fight crime.

Random Thoughts:
There's a whole franchise of vampire-based stage plays that have been spun off into various things that this is a part of. The name of that franchise? TRUMP. Which you'd think would have some implications, but apparently not. It stands for "True Of Vamp", because we're lingual masters here. "Fight crime" is also a bit of a stretch. Its whole gimmick is that all the vampires have children aged 0 to 5. It's also going for a very rough art style, which is mostly coming out by looking like it's animated in Flash. I don't have great expectations. And yes, August 7th. It starts super late for some reason.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Who's got three arms and a stake for all your kids? This guy.

More Goddamned Portal Fantasy into RPGs With Cheats

I'll Become the Strongest By Destroying Everything Using My Debuffing Skill
https://hazurewaku-anime.com/
Studio: Seven Arcs
Genre: Idiocy
Premieres July 4th

Show Premise: 
See title.

Random Thoughts:
His skill is "badness", so he's rejected by the arrogant goddess and thrown into a level 9999 pit, but it's actually that he inflicts all debuffs at maximum efficiency with 100% success, killing all the high level demons with ease and getting max level and OP equipment, and a pet slime friend. Because OF COURSE that's how it is. That's not a spoiler by the way. That's in the promos. As is the chained up elf girl being groped. Monsters are janky-ass CGI. The harem is wearing pasties. Status screens show the numbers. So on and so forth. I would say that you're better than this, Seven Arcs, but your heyday is long since passed. Even compared to more recent trash like that Slave harem show though, this looks rough. And that is not a high bar to clear.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Doom wouldn't put up with this crap if he were in charge.

This World is Too Buggy
https://konofuka.com/
Studio: 100studio
Genre: 'Comedy'
Premieres July 5th

Show Premise: 
See title.

Random Thoughts:
Not to spoil the end of the first chapter, as if the promo image of a sky filled with texture errors didn't already, but the gimmick is that it's Sword Art Online, but crappy, and the protagonist is supposed to be fixing bugs. Please ignore that this has been the gimmick of at least a dozen of these stupid cheat power things. Oh, but he's in QA instead of a player, which is completely different… except how he plays the game just like all the other players, but with extra cheat powers because he works for the devs. The promos are barely animated, and who even is this studio? Can we PLEASE move past this godawful fad? Or at least assure me that at some point, we will?

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Quit beinga coward and let's see some real bugs.

A Relaxed Journey in Narnia – Being an Adventure While Raising Children
https://isekai-yururi-anime.jp/index.php
Studio: EMT Squared
Genre: Drama
Premieres July 7th

Show Premise: 
See title.

Random Thoughts:
Lest you think this is about actual parenting or the like, no. It's just a dude who gets reincarnated with cheat powers, finds two random kids, and decides not to abandon them to be eaten by wolves. They also have cheat powers. But because they're kids, it's 'heartwarming'. I guess better than being relentlessly horny or going all slave wife harem like the overwhelming majority of these do. One other thing that it does not have is a budget. Good lord, EMT. They're usually a poor studio to begin with, Doomsday Train astonishingly being their best looking show to date, but the animation in the promos for this show is dire.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Happy brithday to nobody.

Narnia Reject
https://isekaishikkaku.com/
Studio: Atelier Pontdarc
Genre: Comedy
Premieres July 9th

Show Premise: 
Dude in the 1940s tries to kill himself and ends up in RPG world with cheat powers.

Random Thoughts:
It's 'hilarious' because he doesn't know all the other world cliches and wants to kill himself, but has too many cheat powers to do so. Ha. Ha. Ha. We certainly have never seen that premise before. And no, having the harem yell the cliches so he can say "that sounds stupid" instead of "that is just like my video games" is not peak comedy it thinks. All the usual crap. Godawful CGI dragons in lieu of animation. Status screens cut and paste from Dragon Quest. Harem chasing after him. Snooze. He shouts "I want to kill myself" instead of "I just wanted to be average." 

Preseason Swing Rating: 

The lemonest show of the season.

Non-Relationships With Maximum Drama

My Wife Has No Emotions
https://bokutsuma-anime.com/
Studio: Tezuka Productions
Genre: Drama
Premieres June 29th

Show Premise: 
Dude marries his housekeeping robot.

Random Thoughts:
Oh goodie. The Chobits reboot nobody asked for nor wanted. A horrifying dystopian world of slave robots that the author intends for us to think as cute and heartwarming as they tell stories of how they're thrown in the garbage, reformated, sent on impossible Sisyphean tasks to toil in pointless soltitude forever which they can't actually comprehend except for the main one because she's speeeeecial, while all of humanity EXCEPT for the protagonist callously ignores the plight of their slave robot race. Ugh.

Preseason Swing Rating: 
  
LOVE MY METAL GEARS, HUMANOID

She's Trans
https://senpaiha-otokonoko.com/
Studio: project No.9
Genre: Drama
Premieres July 4th

Show Premise: 
Girl asks out girl not realizing she's trans, but it's okay because she's bi.

Random Thoughts:
Uh, well, I guess it's a step up from that season of shows forcibly gender swapping characters so they could sexually harass them. This is taking a similar "how crazy and silly is this" approach with its creative flair being that when it makes its stupid faces and yells overreaction, it becomes incredibly poorly drawn. I suspect it's trying to mimic that awful Flash animation style which is… a very, very odd choice. But it's project No.9, so that's probably all that they have the budget for. It's the standard drama-but-not-actually, where all the evil unaccepting people are just off screen while everything we see is sunshine and rainbows, which is a weird way to portray it if you're trying to seriously engage with any kind of dramatic topic, no matter what it is, but if you're NOT actually trying to do that, then it's easy.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Ghatanothoa devours all genders equally.

Twilight Out of Focus
https://tasogare-anime.com/
Studio: Studio DEEN
Genre: Drama
Premieres July 4th

Show Premise: 
Dude has a crush on his roommate.

Random Thoughts:
Is BL. Does BL things. Even the promo makes sure to highlight how the bad boy is naked and stretching with his unkempt hair falling all over him while he gazes with brooding, smoky eyes. Whew, I need to go lay down. Nothing about this appears to have any special twist or unique flavoring. Just gratuitous sparkling pretty boys with exceptionally pointy chins as usual. It exists, and I don't have a whole lot more to say beyond that. 

Preseason Swing Rating: 
   
Half off scented candles.

Love Can't Be Divided Between Twins
https://futakire.com/
Studio: ROLL2
Genre: Draaaaaaama
Premieres July 10th

Show Premise: 
Twins both have a crush on a dude.

Random Thoughts:
Extra double angsty twins. This is not a goofy romantic comedy, or even fanservicey nonsense, but the dude being a barely sentient golem while both insist he date the other despite crawling all over him and then stopping just short of sticking their hand in his pants, lamenting what terrible people they are. It's essentially just endless blueballing cheating, which okay, sure, I guess is a well established fetish, but I don't know that it needs a PG version.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Simple solution, dual wielding.

ATRI: My Dear Moments
https://atri-anime.com/
Studio: TROYCA
Genre: Drama
Premieres July 13th

Show Premise: 
Dude finds android girl.

Random Thoughts:
Oh wow. A visual novel. One of those 'can be played in an afternoon' ultra melodramatic ones about finding a sad clumsy android maid girl during the post-apocalypse who's secretly a super weapon. Or in this case, the prototype android of his bullied mother who just wants to come back and make it all right, but is too much of a cute, clumsy robot girl to understand the deep existential angst the protagonist has, so is just a manic pixie dream girl here to remind him of the true joy of life. As they all do. It's weird that this season has two Chobits knockoffs, both trying to out-melodrama the other. 

Preseason Swing Rating: 
  
LOVE ME, SENPAI.

Very, Very Loud Shows

Grendizer U
http://grendizer-official.net/
Studio: Gaina
Genre: Action
Premieres July 5th

Show Premise: 
Dude fights the evil Vegans with a giant robot.

Random Thoughts:
Gaina is a company Gainax spun off to… manage a museum and tourism dedicated to itself, which was then bought and reformed into an anime studio while Gainax itself went bankrupt. Who's the real winner here? Nobody? Grendizer's original incarnation was all the way back in the 70s, and this is looking like a remake of that, but I admit I'm not very familiar with it or the great Mazinger franchise stuff to say. Modernization appears to mostly mean the giant robots are now CGI. Staff are all long-time mecha vets, of particular note is the writer, same as all manner of Sunrise series that invariably go off the rails and have a nonsensical ending, from Witch From Mercury to Valvrave to Code Geass, so no matter how this starts, it's guaranteed to be a trainwreck by the end.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Every giant robot promo image looks like this.

The Elusive Samurai
https://nigewaka.run/
Studio: CloverWorks
Genre: Yelling
Premieres July 6th

Show Premise: 
Deposed princeling trains.

Random Thoughts:
The title is more like "The Young Lord Who is Good at Running Away," but it doesn't even commit to that bit in any way. It's a Shounen Jump thing, which means it's less about any flavor of actual samurai-ing and more about dudes overreacting extremely loudly and excessively over-explaining a Wikipedia article about archery forms for an entire chapter. The promos do have a dude going "BWAAAAAAAAAGH!?" so that's on brand. CloverWorks can be an okay studio (Wind Breaker/Bocchi, etc), but they're inconsistent and have production issues as often as not. It's still Jump though, so unless they're cutting out about 90% of the unneeded exposition and all the obnoxious attempts at humor, I don't see a lot of promise.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Usually better if the protagonist has more talent than a feisty dog.

Be a Vegetable, Be a Flower
https://narenare-anime.com/
Studio: PA Works
Genre: Drama
Premieres July 7th

Show Premise: 
Girls are cheerleaders.

Random Thoughts:
Officially translated as Cheer For You, for what I would hope are obvious reasons. Okay, and because the title is a bit of wordplay, but I like it translated directly. This be one of those very tiresome PA Works things where it's "girls want to do their generic best, but growing up is hard, except not actually in any way because everybody is the bestest of friends" that can only be called original by the most tortured definition. It has been a few years since the last one of these that they spewed out, so we were due. It looks indistinguishable from all the others, except that it has pompoms. More than usual? Not sure yet. Not eager to find out.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Teenage growth spurt.

A VTuber Forgot To End Her Stream and Went Viral
https://vden.jp/
Studio: TNK
Genre: Comedy
Premieres July 7th

Show Premise: 
See title.

Random Thoughts:
See, Vtubers are just idols, so they only do idol things and act just like idols, so it would be completely wacky and crazy if they got drunk and swore. So states the premise that totally knows about Vtubers and Vtuber culture. Come on, guys. Some of the most popular MAINSTREAM Japanese Vtubers openly talk about their porn collections and specific fetishes, and every single one of them has a tag in their profiles specifically pointing people towards fan made porn of them. Quite a few straight up do porn, and aren't shy about it. Not that I'm criticizing the hustle, just how far from reality this premise is when this has been the norm for half a decade. So it's just a little bit disconnected from the very culture it's trying to be a part of. Promos are fanservicey and just a barrage of girls, half yelling loudly, all in costume, because, again, that's how Vtubing works and is not at all for fetishism. Come on, guys. There's ample fun stuff to do here even just focusing on the technical side with all the ways Vtuber models are pieced together and can form nightmare fuel by accidentally disabling the hair mesh or going too pornographic with the toggles. Instead, it's just doing a generic idol thing, sans costume cohesion.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

And then harass and abuse them, tee hee.

Muscle Man
https://kin29man-anime.com/
Studio: Production IG
Genre: Oily Men
Premieres July 7th

Show Premise: 
Wrestling aliens wrestle.

Random Thoughts:
Originally a gag thing in the 70s, adaptated and then ended in the 80s, to do a DBZ like next generation spinoff, then revived in 2011, and now getting an adaptation of the 2011 version for the 40th anniversary of the original adaptation. Whew. We westerners might know it as the cheap plastic M.U.S.C.L.E. toys. It has been around a very, very long time, and been pretty influential, but so has General Hospital and salmonella, and that alone is not a selling point. It is the proto Jump from before most of us, even myself, were even alive. And that's DEFINITELY not a selling point for me.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

When was the last time aliens were little green men?

Midnight Punch
https://mayopan.jp/
Studio: PA Works
Genre: Comedy
Premieres July 8th

Show Premise: 
Vampire girls are streamers.

Random Thoughts:
The first couple episodes aired early as a special, and I wasn't hooked. It has energy at least, but the writing was kind of bad. Nonsense in slapstick comedy is completely fine, as would be an entire cast of petty idiots self-sabotaging. But when you try to make the whole thing emotional and actually about friendship, despite punching out your 'friends' and literally selling your body to spite them, whatever the target message here is meant to be is more than a little muddled. It's largely the same staff as that Zhuge Liang idol show. Better to have a lot of energy, animation, and expression than not, but, again, whole idol dance bit already front and center with the rest of the "we are such manic pixie girls and so unique, just like all the other streamers." It's certainly not another Galaxy Angel/Milky Holmes (season 1), or even that one weird show about comedy groups in a faux tournament.

Preseason Swing Rating: 

Eternally mining for a creative premise.

Wrapup

Coming off the previous season, anything's a step up, and I won't say no to a whole bunch of fighting fantasy. Fighting fantasy outside of getting dumped into an RPG even. Who knows. Maybe that deer show will live up to the checks its promo is writing and we'll see a genuinely solid slapstick absurd comedy for the first time in years. There's cause to be at least a little hopeful. On the other hand, getting back into the swing of regular posting? Regular blogging? In this dying medium? Yeesh.

I'm out for the morning doing social stuff. I'll be back for that stupid robot wife show in the evening.

Posted in Season Preview | 3 Comments »

3 Shouts From the Peanut Gallery

  • residentgrigo says:

    I am curious about Bye Bye, Earth. Not because it looks very promising but because of how off-the-wall Tow Ubukata and his source material can be. That said, putting 4 LNs though a 1 cour blender is a recipe for hard-to-follow chaos. The 2007-8 remake had designs by the Stellar Blade guy. His questionable work is at least striking. Liden Films made the show look… not that.

  • Pekwa says:

    Is it me or is there a lot PA Works this season?
    Heck, I didn’t even notice it’s already a new season and none of the anime you listed stuck out. Anime is truly dead.

  • Ark Noir says:

    nothiong for me apart from a couple of sequels. Hoping theres a birdie wing nonsense level anime out of this bunch. Do like muscle though, cant be arsed to get back into it.

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