I don’t think it’s burnout, per se. But at the height of my seasonal anime-watching prowess I am not. The grand total number of shows this season I’m actively keeping up with? Six.
So, what am I still watching this season? Or, perhaps “still” isn’t quite the right word, as this season is filled with shows I’m not making a huge effort to watch each week but still am planning on watching during the season in chunks or marathons or however else it turns out. But freeing myself from a self-imposed requirement to always watch the latest episode of each show as soon as it turns up has allowed me to watch things at a more natural pace, when I feel like it—and I’m enjoying that very much.
Keeping Up With…
Regalia: The Three Sacred Stars: It’s only got 2 episodes left, but Regalia is still one of my favorite things I’m watching, even if the weird release schedule and certain other issues have dampened my enthusiasm for it just a bit. The combination of cool 2D robot fights, warm character relationships, some neat visual ideas, and the mythic feeling the show maintains is just a really great mix of stuff I like in my anime, and even if the plot isn’t always quite up to stuff, the show never fails to deliver on those (for me) key variables. And that’s what a good Pet Show does—it keeps giving me the things I crave most from it, and everything else is just icing on the cake if it works out alright and doesn’t hamper those all-important elements. So, of course, I’m sad the show’s ending, but I’m still grateful for the miracle of it even existing.
Yuri!!! on Ice: I gave Yuri!!! my top endorsement of the season after its first episode, but my esteem for it has somewhat faded over time. This is due to a couple of factors, primarily the show’s tragic production woes (which thankfully recovered mostly for the important episode 7) and what I see as some pretty thin writing. The crux of the issue for me is that Yuri!!! has too much going on and not enough focus to go around for it all. The intensity of Yuri and Viktor’s relationship does not, to me, match what we’ve actually seen in terms of progression, and it’s throwing me out of the pivotal moments. On the other hand, though, there’s something intriguing about this sense that stuff has been going on between Yuri and Viktor that the audience isn’t seeing—for a large part of their interactions, we’re only seeing what other people see in public. Hmmm… hmm… now I have to pay attention to what the show does with this going forward…
Bungou Stray Dogs S2: What a fine shounen romp this show has turned into after the ending of the excellent Dazai backstory arc. Cliffhangers, battles, villains that are fun to watch, a three-sided conflict with lots of plotting and scheming, Atsushi’s insecurities being rehashed AGAIN (wait, that part’s actually bad), the trashy fun of seeing these characters with the names of famous authors getting turned into typical anime battler characters… Bungou really is nailing a lot of the right notes, being competent, and overall making itself a lot of fun to watch. We’ve lost the depth that the first four episodes of the season had, but that’s fine with the show being as fun as it is. Bring me more Kyouka and Dazai in action and I’ll be happy.
Show by Rock!! #: Very few depth thoughts from me on SB69—after all, it’s just not that kind of show. Like Bungou, the main appeal here is just that I have fun watching SB69 every week thanks to its wackiness, use of music, and campy story. Moa is still the best anime smile for miles and years (her focus episode was stunning), and the introduction of space and BUD VIRGIN LOGIC and Daggar’s comeback and those prissy richboy unicorns and everything else is just so very SB69 and so very fun to watch. And that’s all I have to say about that.
Lostorage incited WIXOSS: Honestly, I’m not even sure what it is that’s keeping me keeping up with Lostorage, but here we are at the midpoint of the season and I haven’t fallen behind. As far as I can tell, Lostorage is inferior to the original WIXOSS series in every conceivable way, but I keep on trucking in hopes of the signature WIXOSS moments, which do appear every now and then. The more sober nature of this iteration of the franchise keeps me sort of thinking that it’s going to try to go for a coherent thematic statement, but I’m trying to be smart about things and not get my hopes up too high in that direction.
Occultic;Nine: Even more than Lostorage, Occultic;Nine being here surprises me. There isn’t really much in the show that I really like since it lost the first episode’s insane, frenetic pacing, and there’s plenty I actively dislike, but… maybe it’s just a case of something being bad for me and me wanting to watch it even so. Who knows if I’ll actually finish it. Please bring back episode one’s nonsense, that was the best thing the show had going for it, because the characters and the story and everything else is just so egregious that I’m not sure if it even justifies it’s own existence. Yes, I know, a big endorsement.
Said Farewell to…
Girlish Number: (After 5 episodes) Well, my hopes that Girlish Number would have more to it than just snark feel like they’ve finally run out. After the show’s third episode, I was thinking it was starting to move in that direction, but episodes 4 and 5 lapsed back into the same patterns that I found so tiring in the first three. The show’s neither visuals or characters (aside from Gojou!) interesting enough to me to make up for the fact that this just seems like one long tongue-in-cheek shade-throwing exercise at the anime industry. And while, yeah, the industry definitely deserves it, Girlish Number doesn’t really have enough edge to it to feel like it’s actually doing anything compelling. Sorry Watari…
Shuumatsu no Izetta: (After 4 episodes) Too much fanservice, not enough solid characterization, weightless action. That would be the quick summary of the issues that led me to drop Izetta, but I think overall there was a sense of unengagement with the show that even conceptual pluses like magic and Fine being cool and competent couldn’t overcome.
The Great Passage: (After 2 episodes) There’s a chance that I could go back to this one later once it gets put on Amazon, but process of downloading the torrents each week was more trouble than I wanted to bother with for a show that, while I thought was quite good, was also just a tad too quiet to stick in my mind over the course the intervening weeks between episodes. And, sadly, the truth is that simulcasts that I drop during the season usually wind up not being shows I come back to in the future—there’s just too much other stuff I want to see to stick with or return to things that didn’t stand out as truly remarkable for me early on.
Flip Flappers: Adored it up through episode 4, which was the last episode I watch. It’s on hold for now since I don’t care to watch it along with the rest of the community—and it’s popular enough in my social circles that I can’t ignore the chatter. So, the solution (as with Sound! Euphonium 2—incidentally the chatter I’m avoiding for Flip Flappers is basically the same as what caused me to hold on Eupho) is to wait out the storm and come back to the show later on in the season on my own terms. I’m happy with this.
March comes in like a lion: I have very good reasons to believe that I will like this show a great deal when the urge to continuing moving forward with it hits me. I’m just waiting on the whim to strike, and then we’ll be off to to the races.
Haikyuu!! S3: “Wait, but didn’t you swear off Haikyuu!! after Seijoh lost at the end of last season?” YES AND I STILL HAVENT FORGIVEN THE SHOW. But that being said I heard thing about Tsukki getting his moment to shine and that pulled me back in. Right now I’m waiting on the season to end so I can marathon the remainder all at once, but as of episode five I feel that S2’s faults are still somewhat present in S3, although not in such damning quantities. But my emotional investment remains shattered, so at this point I’m just in it for as much fun as I can glean out. And that’s fine.
———Anything else I haven’t mentioned at this point I either dropped after episode one or didn’t actually try out, so that about covers things from me here!
What have you guys been keeping up with this season?