Fall, or autumn, for my fellow Brits, is almost upon us! But what’s even more exciting than the thought of cool weather, back to school shopping (what? That’s exciting, right?), and pumpkin spice everything is that we’re due yet another promising season of anime! As with my last season preview I will list the shows that I’ve chosen to watch. These will be divided into three categories: continuing from the last season (so, summer), sequels, and standalones. Based on my research (which involves pouring through reviews, news articles, and source materials) I’ll briefly discuss what it was about these shows that appealed to me. I hope that this will help you decide what to watch yourself!
Continuing from Summer 2018
Attack on Titan Season 3
Attack on Titan Season 3 has been fine so far. That’s right, just fine. I like the way in which it has continued to slowly drip feed us viewers more and more information about the world in which the characters live and the action sequences are just as good as ever, but we’re seven episodes in now and I don’t think, aside from flashbacks and the very last couple of seconds of episode seven, we’ve seen a single titan. In my opinion, Attack on Titan loses much of its appeal and uniqueness by pitting its characters, not against nightmarish monsters, but against other people. However, that may no longer be the case as of episode eight, which is just as well, because I signed up to watch Attack on Titan, not Attack on Other Humans.
I’ve loved Banana Fish so far. It’s compelling viewing and I look forward to seeing what the remainder of the show holds. Surprisingly, the fact that there are no strong female characters hasn’t detracted from my enjoyment of the show, as the men, contrary to what you might expect from gang members, aren’t just buff, manly men. Aside from your typically masculine qualities, they also display typically feminine qualities, such as sensitivity and affection towards each other. It also doesn’t shy away from difficult topics, like rape, death, and drugs. However, that’s also a double-edged sword, as it can make watching the show a pretty tough, intense experience at times.
Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind
I am incredibly late to the Jojo craze. I didn’t start watching Phantom Blood until 2015 and it wasn’t until I finished watching Stardust Crusaders in 2016 that I really understood the franchise’s appeal. Furthermore, I am not one of the master race (i.e. its manga readers) or one of the lucky few who have seen the early release of Golden Wind’s first episode. As such, I don’t feel qualified to wax lyrical about how great this series will be or why you should watch it. Nevertheless, I’m sure that if, like me, you’re up-to-date with the latest series, you don’t need much convincing! BUT, if you’re reading this and you haven’t seen a single episode of Jojo, close this tab, fire up Crunchyroll (it’s all on there), and give the show a try! It’s a zany, action-packed thrill-ride where literally anything goes! It will leave you laughing until you’re crying and gripping the edge of your seat in nervous anticipation! Hey, what are you still doing here? Go! Go now and watch it! I’ll still be here when you come back!
Tokyo Ghoul:re 2nd Season
Tokyo Ghoul is not my favourite anime franchise, not by a long shot. It’s too fast-paced and is constantly introducing new characters, making it a bit hard to follow. So why do I keep watching each new series? Well, I really like Tokyo Ghoul’s premise… And with each new entry into the franchise I hope that it’ll dial back the action in favour of some additional character development, because I also really like its characters. But I doubt, three series in, anything significant about the delivery of the show is about to change. Still, if you’ve loved what you’ve seen so far, you’ll probably lap up this latest entry, which appears as though it’ll continue from where the last one concluded. It looks like this series will feature more Touka though, so that’s a plus!
Bloom Into You
My never-ending search for a shoujo-ai show that isn’t either 1) about an aggressively sexual lesbian forcing herself on a confused het or 2) all bubbles and fluff and no real substance brought me to Bloom Into You. Its manga has received overwhelmingly positive reviews. Some touch upon its lack of over-the-top melodrama and flagrant (in its attempts to appeal to a male audience) fanservice, but all touch upon its superb character development. In light of this, I thought I’d read the first chapter of the manga myself. I have to say, I really liked Touko, the protagonist, Yuu’s, love interest. She seemed direct, but gentle. Like she’ll pursue Yuu (and drive the story forwards), but not to the extent that she should call the cops! It felt more akin to Sweet Blue Flowers, with its mellow tone and sensitive exploration of a love between two young women, than to Citrus, which dialed the drama up to 11 and featured an extremely toxic lesbian relationship.
Run with the Wind
Now, it’s no secret that I love sports anime. I love the thrill of competition, of perfecting your skills, and of working together as a team towards a singular goal. Luckily, we’ve no shortage of sports anime to choose from this season. But why did Feel the Wind make the cut where other shows failed? Well, its main characters are all college students. As such, I’m hoping that this show will be more serious in tone and will explore more adult issues, issues more relevant to me (at the ripe old age of 24) than those plaguing the children of Captain Tsubasa or the highschoolers of Anima Yell! And Hinomaru Zumou.
Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara
Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara is an original anime. As such, there’s not a wealth of information to be found on it. But P. A. Works originals, including Sakura Quest, Shirobako, and Angel Beats!, have tended to sit well with me, so that’s a good sign! This anime looks as though it’ll be a drama, with a strong emphasis on relationships and character development, with a hint of magic. I don’t think we’ve had a strong drama in quite some time (unless any have flown under my radar), so I’m definitely down for that! This anime also looks like it’ll have outstandingly high production values. Seriously, watch the trailer, it looks just as good as a big budget movie! I might be saying this prematurely, but this anime is a strong contender for anime of the season!
Tsurune: Kazemai Koukou Kyuudoubu
I’m always game for cute boys doing cute things, especially if those things are obscure sports! I love watching anime about obscure sports such as archery, as they aren’t something that I’m exposed to on a regular basis and I love learning new things! Tsurune’s being adapted from an award-winning novel and, whilst I wasn’t able to find any reviews of it, KyoAni has produced several decent novel adaptations in the past, such as Hibike! Euphonium and Hyouka, so I’m feeling pretty good about this one!
Given that I’d made the decision to watch two fewer shows than usual next season, as I’m now in gainful employment (yay), I thought I’d have the toughest time whittling down my choices. However, I actually had a hard time choosing even eight shows to watch! And whilst I do feel positive about the shows that I did pick, sequels aside, I wouldn’t be prepared to stake money on any of them being hits that stand the test of time. We’re due to receive yet another glut of fantasy and isekai shows, which I’ve never been enchanted by, including more entries into the Fairy Tail and Sword Art Online franchises and standalone shows such as Goblin Slayer, Radiant (which I briefly considered), and That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime (which, despite having a hilarious title, I expect will have about as much substance as slime)! Thankfully, we’re also due to receive a generous helping of sports shows. All the same, I can’t help but hope that we see trends in anime gradually begin to change, as the lack of variety is starting to wear on my palate!