After a couple of weeks of putting off this Summer season of anime, I finally made some time to check them out. Here’s my impressions


Angels of Death

Episodes watched: 1

I can see the potential of a good show in Angels of Death, but it’s too mired in anime tropes to be something I really enjoy. The ambience and pacing of the first couple of scenes in the first episode were fantastic. The show made me feel the uneasiness and confusion of the main character, Rachel, and it made me want to know more of what was going on… To bad what was going on was pretty disappointing.

Essentially, Rachel is in some kind of abandoned complex with multiple different floors that each hosts some kind of psychotic killer. The first killer is so god damn lame. He’s basically a crazy teeanger with a giant scythe who runs around laughing and killing things and I could barely take him seriously. I wish wouldn’t have to deal with scythe dude after Rachel escaped from him, but based on the promotional material and the end of the first episode, he looks to be one of the main characters…

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The second killer is a bit better because he’s Rachel’s psychiatrist, but he eventually devolves down into a generically crazy person. I love how the psychiatrist appears to be normal at first and as the episode goes on his crazy persona comes out more and more, but the reveal that he’s bat shit bonkers is super week. The psychiatrist basically turns out to be just another laughing psycho like the first killer and I wish the anime just stuck with the more unsettling and subtle crazy that it had initially.

Angels of Death knows how to construct an ambient and unsettling mood, but it doesn’t know how to execute on its set up. I’ll probably drop this anime unless if it’s able to use its setting and characters effectively in the future episodes


Hanebado

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Episode Watched: 2

I am so down to follow this anime to the end… Though I have a feeling that I’ll end up forgetting about the show halfway through its run and then forget to finish it… That’s happened with Blazing Ping Pong Girls and me…

Hanebado is a freaking gorgeous anime. The quality animation shown in the first scene of the anime is just so good. I love all the different movements shown off in the first scene and I felt like I had a better grasp of how the sport worked after the first two episodes. Fortunately, the animation quality across the first two episodes has stayed moderately consistent, even though the second episode was noticeably less stunning than the first. I just hope the studio can keep the animation quality good throughout its run.

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I enjoyed the character and story of Hanebado as well, but it also seems a bit unfocused as well. I liked how the show followed Aragaki, the archetypal rival in sports/shounen battle manga. This introduction gave me a good emotional hook that I could latch onto and her personality led to an interesting amount of change in the badminton club she’s the captain of. Despite this strong start, I’m wary about where the anime will go because Aragaki’s main arc completed at the end of episode 2.

I’m pretty invested in the drama and the action of Hanebodo, but it may lose me if doesn’t do a good enough job to develop its cast or if it doesn’t pivot back to Aragaki’s perspective.


Planet With

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Episodes Watched : 2

Christ I wish this anime was already completed because everything in it is so interesting and I want to know the details behind everything already.

Planet With is the brainchild of Satoshi Mizukami, the author and creator of Spirit Circle and The Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer. Mizukami signature off the wall designs and unique writing style shine in this anime and from the first two episodes I was hooked on the series. Mizukami introduced so many interesting concepts in the first episode that my mind is buzzing with all the different possibilities of how the series could play out. Plus, Planet With’s story is super simple so it’s moderately easy to digest all the quirky stuff happening.

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If I had to come up with a criticism for the show is that I don’t think it uses the anime medium too well. Specifically, Planet With’s shot composition is pretty bland. It’s like the animators took the panels of the manga that’s being released at the same time as the show and then adapted them straight to anime. This isn’t bad, but it’s disappointing because I could get the same experience of watching the anime by reading the manga.


Asobi Asobase

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Episodes Watched: 1

The production of Asobi Asobase is fantastic, but it’s a terrible comedy anime. The visuals and the voice acting of Asobi Asobase are incredibly solid. I love all the different faces that the characters make and the general art style sets it apart from all the anime this season. I’ve never seen some of the faces the characters in the anime make elsewhere and it’s cool to see new things, but I just wish all this uniqueness was delivered better.

For a comedy anime, Asobi Asobase’s jokes are awful. None of the jokes are timed well and their punchlines are either incredibly weak or their drawn out for too long. For example, at the end of the first episode of the anime, the main characters try to fool their teacher by saying that one of them peed in the classroom that the MCs made a watery mess in. The teacher then tasted the “pee” to see if the girls were telling the truth and once he figured out the MCs were lying to him, he lectured them on why lying to him was bad. The joke was great until it continued to a scene where the MCs discussed how creepy the teacher was. This last scene just killed the comedy because what was initially a funny scene got turned into an incredibly awkward moment. I don’t know if the director for the show has ever directed a comedy show before, but I think he needs more practice directing comedies

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I plan to write more about the other shows I watched in the past few days. So stay tuned if you want to hear my opinions on the other Summer shows.

Also, how’re you enjoying the summer anime season so far?