AggretsukoAttack on TitanAikatsuJapanese
Anime 1st episodes 2018: A
Including: 100 Sleeping Princes and the Kingdom of Dreams, Ace Attorney, After the Rain: anime series, Aggretsuko (2018), Aguu Tensai Ningyou, A.I.C.O. Incarnation, Aikatsu Friends!, Akuma no Memumemu-chan, Alice or Alice, Amanchu! Advance, The Ancient Magus' Bride, Angels of Death, Angolmois: Record of Mongol Invasion, Anima Yell!, Ani ni Tsukeru Kusuri wa Nai! 2, As Miss Beelzebub Likes, Asobi Asobase, Attack on Titan: Season 3 Part 1
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2018
Series: Anime 1st episodes 2018 >>
Keywords: Aggretsuko, Attack on Titan, Aikatsu, anime, SF, fantasy, reverse-harem, favourite, rubbish, horror, historical
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 18 first episodes
Website category: Anime 2018
Review date: 22 April 2020
Listed under "C": Aishen Qiaokeli-ing... II, aka. Cupid's Chocolates (Chinese, 2nd season)
Listed under "G": Akanesasu Shoujo, aka. The Girl in Twilight (interesting, but probably not a keeper)
Listed under "M": Akkun to Kanojo, aka. My Sweet Tyrant (funny, lovely comedy about an abusive stalker)
Listed under "S": Amai Choubatsu Watashi wa Kanshu Senyou Pet, aka. Sweet Punishment (porn)
It's a movie: Attack on Titan, aka. Shingeki no Kyojin: Kakusei no Houkou (compilation film recapping Season 2)
It's a movie: Asagao to Kase-san (it's great)
It's a movie: Aru Zombie Shoujo no Sainan, aka. Calamity of a Zombie Girl (I enjoyed it, except for the first fifteen minutes)
It's a one-minute OVA: Akuma no Kimuraa-hen (cup noodle commercial)
Couldn't find: 15-sai, Kyou kara Dousei Hajimemasu. (one-minute episodes)
100 sleeping princes
100 Sleeping Princes and the Kingdom of Dreams
Yume Oukoku to Nemureru 100-nin no Ouji-sama
Season 2
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: nope
One-line summary: reverse-harem fluff
A girl's in a dream world full of pretty boys. She's got to wake up princes, of which there are lots and lots in the title sequence but only two in this episode. If only she had a personality! Or even a name!
It's based on a reverse-harem game, obviously. If you're a fan of pretty boy anime, it looks reasonably good. The boys so far are: (a) Mr Straight-Laced and Slightly Grumpy, and (b) the cheeky, charming street trader who loves getting in trouble and can't remember his past. There's banter. It's reasonably entertaining. There are also antagonists: guards to outwit and monsters to flee from, called Dream-eaters. They possess their victims and turn them into black miasma swirls with red eyes.
It's fine. I'm not tempted, but it's a blandly competent example of its genre. Step right up if you're looking for a self-insert story about a nameless girl who's the only female character in a fantasy world of pick-your-own boys.
Ace Attorney
Gyakuten Saiban: Sono "Shinjitsu", Igiari!
Season 2
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: courtroom comedy/drama
I dropped Season 1 with a vengeance back in 2016, but this is a new season. I gave it a go... and didn't even get ten minutes into the episode before I bailed.
For starters, the subtitles change everyone's names. It's distracting. Is that Suzuki Mako or Maggey Byrde? Admittedly something like Wanpaku Park warrants a similarly punning name in English, but most names don't have that excuse. (The anime's based on a Capcom game with a well-established American localisation, so they kept those names. Unfortunately I haven't played the game.)
Anyway, Ryuuichi Naruhodou (aka. Phoenix Wright) gets clobbered with a fire extinguisher and gets amnesia. He goes into court with no clue about anything. What's a court? What's a judge? He's defending someone on a murder charge and... WHOAAAAAAH STOP RIGHT THERE. She's been accused of murder. She probably won't get the death penalty (although the victim was a cop), but we're still looking at life imprisonment. Stop it, Naruhodou. You're a spongebrain. You're not competent. This isn't funny and the lady deserves an attorney who can do his job.
This episode considers none of all this. Naruhodou has, ho ho ho, comedy reactions. He admits to the court that he has amnesia, but the judge orders him to get on with cross-examining the defendant.
That's where I stopped watching.
Koi wa Ameagari no You ni
After the Rain
Koi wa Ameagari no You ni
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 23 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: teenage girl with crush on 45-year-old divorced parent
I've since finished it and... both the anime and the live-action film are lovely
It's an noitaminA show, but also an unusually charming one. I admire the mature storytelling of noitaminA shows, but they can sometimes be dreary. This one's funny and engaging.
Tachibana's a schoolgirl who looks like a secretary bird. She's tall, self-possessed and has a stern intensity that can seem menacing. She's romantically interested in Masami Kondo, the manager at the family restaurant where she works, but he's clueless. "She's definitely glaring at me! She's scary!"
Tachibana tends to be non-verbal, but her body language can be expressive. (Does she hate being seen smiling, perhaps?) The silly boy who fancies her also made me laugh. Tachibana used to be on the track team, until she got a leg injury that plays up when it's going to rain.
The character designs made me assume that the original manga was from the 1980s or 1990s, but apparently it's from 2014-18. Crumbs. (I like retro, though.) Tachibana asks for Kondo's messenger phone app ID, which is a doomed effort. ("What's an ID?") I have high expectations of this and of its sibling live-action film adaptation. I'm expecting this to be something happy, sweet and likeable in my current anime watch list.
Aggressive Retsuko
aka. Aggressive Retsuko
Season 2
10 x 15 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: suppressed rage of office worker
I've since finished it and... it's great.
Aggretsuko is great in any format, but it did my head in to watch the 2016 series and then immediately start this 2018 Netflix one. The original was 100 one-minute episodes. The pacing's completely different. It's like the difference between a TV episode and a movie, but more so. This new show looks just as good and I'll definitely watch it, but I'll have to take a break, just to let my brain recover.
It's about a red panda who relieves her stress with death metal karaoke. It's an observational comedy about office life, workplace sexism, passive-aggressive irritations and lots of other stuff like that. It's very good. Watch it. Just don't do these two seasons back-to-back.
Agu Tensai Ningyo
Aguu Tensai Ningyou
Aguu: Genius Dolls
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: horror aguu dolls that make and are made from geniuses
I've since finished it and... it's actually better than I'd expected. Quite interesting.
It's about aguu dolls that make the difference between geniuses and the rest. Our heroine is a ballerina called Ai who works herself to the bone, but can't compete with her friend Machi who gets it all naturally. Ai can't even beat Machi when it comes to boys.
Ai then reads a creepy manga about aguu dolls. This was written/drawn by a blind bookseller (how?) and its fairly disgusting stories might contain important information about Machi.
This is a Chinese anime, but it might still be okay. The horribly cheap art and animation aren't important, because it's surreal horror. Some googling suggests that the series will soon run out of steam, but I'll give it a go anyway.
Arisu or Arisu
A.I.C.O. Incarnation
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: yes, but with low expectations
One-line summary: schoolgirl in odd SF mystery-action-thing
I've since finished it and... it's a dead, hollow load of Netflix nothing.
It's a bit like Philip K. Dick, but not as good. One of my alarm bells, to be honest, is that it's a Netflix anime. I don't always agree with Netflix on anime, e.g. Polygon Pictures and CGI. (Netflix helped produce that Gen Urobuchi Godzilla film trilogy. My point is proved.)
There's a good episode here, underneath, but my main complaint so far is the action sequences. They exist. Or, more precisely, someone thinks I'll like an episode more if it includes action sequences without set-up, meaning or emotional connection.
Most of the episode I sort of liked, though. Aiko Tachibana is in hospital with the world's coolest wheelchair. (You can race in it, although it'll turn you upside-down if you bash the controls while trying to catch a ball.) She's learning to walk after an accident that killed her parents and her brother, but she also has mysterious poison-vein bruises that appear and disappear. There are hints of SF backstory, e.g. Bursters, the Border Zone. A boy tells her surprising things.
I'm not expecting much, but it might be good. Let's just hope it's not too Netflixy.
Aikatsu Friends!
Series 3 of Akiatsu
Episode 1
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: idol academy
I'm fond of Aikatsu. It's lovely. It's also vapid fluff that you shouldn't watch. It's about idols going to idol school, giving idol performances and wearing idol clothes. Its episodes end with CGI-animated stage performances, which over the years have demonstrated the advance in technology from "kill the floating zombies" (2014) to "surprisingly good if you don't look at the audience" (2018).
The original Aikatsu! had 178 episodes, then Aikatsu Stars! had 100. This is the latest reboot.
Our heroine is Aine. She works in a cafe and delivers sandwiches. She's also super-likeable, even by the standards of a genre where that's the norm. She meeets an idol (Mio Minato) and doesn't know who she is, but is bubbly and friendly anyway as she forgets to collect money, invites her to play with tiny boys and then volunteers to do anything. They're friends! She doesn't even hesitate.
Mio returns the favour by inviting Aine to become Mio's stage partner. Aine's up for it, but it's a tough regime. 800+ sit-ups, running, stretching, vocalisation, voice training, dance lessons, etc. "What is this? No one ever told me that Aikatsu would be this hard."
Mio doesn't apologise, but instead explains that "the stage is a battlefield".
The episode made me laugh, e.g. the gobsmacked reactions of Aine's family, or one of those small boys pulling a comedy rude face. There's a beautiful sunset image of Aine and Mio looking at each other during practice. Bizarrely, the girls also have nude magical girl transformation sequences to get into their stage costumes. I enjoyed this episode enormously. Don't watch the show.
Akuma Memumemu Chan
Akuma no Memumemu-chan
One-off OVA
6 minutes
Keep watching: I'd like to, but I can't
One-line summary: tiny, easily embarrassed demon tries incompetently to buy souls
Memumemu-chan is a devil. She wants the soul of high school student Hyouta and she'll stop at nothing to get it! Sexual domination, hypnosis, endless vistas of carnal delights...
...or that's what he's imagining. In fact, Memumemu-chan has the body of an infant and the attitudes of a maiden aunt. If you want "sexy", try the girl sweeping the yard outside, but our hero's luck won't hold there either.
This episode's a six-minute throwaway, but it's based on an ongoing manga with 9 volumes so far. I enjoyed it. I'd have watched ep.2 had there been one.
Arisu or Arisu
Alice or Alice
Episode title: "Siscon Nii-san to Futago no Imouto"
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 3 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: not yet appalling trash, but that's probably just a matter of time
I've since finished it and... I'd have preferred trash. It's forgettable.
The episode's title means "the brother with a sister-complex, plus his twin sisters". The episode starts with the girls in bed. The camera leers at boobs and arse. One sister tries to wake up the other, eventually trying molestation. (She gets clobbered for her pains.)
They wash, get dressed and go down for breakfast. Hurrah, pancakes! However one of the girls turns bright red and collapses, so her brother sends her back to bed.
BROTHER WHO NEEDS TO GET OVER HIMSELF: "Okay, I'll let you get some rest, but won't you be lonely without me?"
SISTER: "Don't be ridiculous!"
BROTHER: "If you pretend this is me, I'm sure you won't get lonely."
He gives her a stuffed toy alpaca. She hugs it. The end credits roll. Civilisation is in trouble if shows like this exist. Let's watch it.
Amanchu! Advance
Season 2
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: I probably won't, but I enjoyed this episode
One-line summary: scuba-diving girls
I gave Amanchu! a miss in 2016, so I wasn't expecting to pick it up in Season 2. I didn't. It's still nice, though.
Pikari is a girl of boundless energy and questionable sentience, with a face that's often drawn like a manic rag doll. (This is funny.) She's also charming and likeable. She'll do things like racing on foot against a motorbike. There's a bit halfway through the episode where she removes her top, only realises the problems with this a few minutes later and needs rescuing by her friends.
Teko is quieter. She likes Pikari a lot, but she's also brooding about perhaps being separated from her one day. (It's unclear when this would happen or why it's inevitable. I was puzzled. When they discuss this, though, Pikari rejects the idea because her brain refuses to engage with the concept.) Teko thinks she's too dependent on Pikari. "So I figured I had to learn to find fun things for myself."
It's nice. It's still a scuba-diving show, but there's no diving in this episode. The girls still wear long, purple, scallop-edged dresses that suggest Spanish dancing and there's still a pet dog-cat-thing with an arse head.
I enjoyed it. I could easily have continued.
Mahoutsukai no Yome
The Ancient Magus' Bride
Mahoutsukai no Yome
Season 1
Episodes: 13-24
24 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: delicate, slightly dark fantasy in the modern world
I've since finished it and... it's not quite as lovely as I'd expected, but it's intelligent and well-crafted.
One day, Chise sold herself into slavery. Voluntarily. That's what she wanted. She was bought by Elias, an eight-foot-tall magic-user with a wolf's skull for a head. He lives in England and he's super-polite.
I like this show.
This episode starts with Chise and Elias shearing bugs. These look like flying six-legged sheep and are the size of small dogs. Lots have bred this year. Elias says they help to show you the dreams you want to see, but that Chise shouldn't touch any odd-looking ones and should instead report them to him. There are multiple bug species, although Elias unhelpfully provides no details.
Elias doesn't usually tell Chise much, actually. He's nice, but he has a "need to know" policy and he's a bit insecure. She's human and he's a skull-headed monster. He thinks he scares her. For her part, Chise's just returned from a trip to see Elias's old teacher and has learned surprising things about him, but she wants him to tell her himself. Unfortunately saying so would require confidence and force of personality, which don't come naturally to her. (Remember: this woman sold herself into slavery.) She's doing her best, but it's tough.
This is a heartwarming episode. Chise teaches Elias about humans, just as he teaches her about magic. He needs to learn empathy and emotion. They're family, after all. After that, Elias meets an amorphous blob (if you look at him through a hole in a stone), a coughing priest and a millennia-old man who smells of sand. One of those three people is bad.
This isn't an exciting series, but instead a calm, gentle one about likeable people. This is a 2017 series, incidentally, and here I was halfway through it. I'd known I was going to keep watching, but this analysis was a minor confirmation of that.
Saturiku no Tenshi
Angels of Death
Satsuriku no Tenshi
Season 1
Episodes: 16 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: horror video game adaptation
I've since finished it and... it's fantastic, mad and a favourite.
That episode felt overwhelmingly like a horror video game. (It is.) A small girl wakes up in an absurd nightmare-like environment. She's in a dark, dank corridor in her pyjamas and she doesn't know where she is or what's going on. There are sinister stains and it might be a hospital, but you'd never voluntarily set foot in it. No life signs anywhere. It's like the land of the dead.
This is so successfully evoked this that my brain refused to process the setting except as a game. It's too arbitrary and surreal to take it at face value. It's a big dark fantasy, as are the (few) people our heroine meets there. This assumption in my head jumped gleefully on dialogue like "you're in a dream" and "this is my floor".
"A resident of Floor B6 has attacked a resident of Floor B5. As this violates the rules, the traitor has been selected as a sacrifice."
The heroine is a small girl who saw people getting killed, so they brought her here for counselling. Allegedly. She sees bad stuff here too and is on a slippery sanity slope. Everything's silent and sinister until a ridiculously loud, dumb, gleeful scythe-waving psychopath jumps into the episode and WON'T SHUT UP. He's so goofy and mood-shattering that he's almost funny. I sort of like him.
There's also a Nice Doctor. If you expect him to make everything all right, I have a bridge to sell you. (His tongue made me laugh.)
This looked like a laugh, or at least light relief from Higurashi: When They Cry, which I was also watching then.
Angolmois Genkou Kassenki
Angolmois: Record of Mongol Invasion
Angolmois: Genkou Kassenki
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: 13th century historical about the Mongol invasion
It looks well made, for what it is. If you like this kind of thing, try it. It's a serious historical, full of integrity and violence. It's even educational. At one point, a shark swims under a boat and gets called a "wani", which had me pausing the episode and checking a dictionary. (That word means "crocodile", but with an archaic meaning of "shark".)
Furthermore, the Mongols' two failed invasions of Japan are key events in world history, as well as being nation-defining for Japan itself.
Unfortunately, though, I'm smelling the problem I had with that CGI Beowulf film in 2007. These people are boring. Historical authenticity is laudable, but these are still a bunch of thugs who think with their swords. They're not stupid, mind you. Kuchii Jinzaburou is clearly intelligent, while Princess Teruhi has layers and inner life. However, my guess for the rest of the series is swords, killing and humourless macho intensity in a story that wouldn't change significantly if everyone was a caveman.
I'll give it a miss, but only because of the subject matter. It looks like a quality show.
Anima Yell
Anima Yell!
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: schoogirl cheerleading club
I've since finished it and... it's pleasant and nice, if inconsequential.
Well, I say "cheerleading club". It doesn't exist yet. You need five people for an officially recognised club at this school, not just one manic pink-haired idiot (Kohane). She won't let that stop her, though.
I enjoyed this episode. It's funny. Kohane in real life would be exhausting, but she loves helping people. That's why she falls in love with cheerleading. "A whole sport made to cheer on and support people!" ("Sport"? Well, never mind.) She acquires two victims here: (a) Uki, her best friend who probably fancies her but also has the role of knocking back her stupid comments and saying when she's being ridiculous, (b) Hizume, who has issues.
NOTE: Kohane's family name (Hatoya) includes the character for pigeon. That's probably why Kohane sometimes gets drawn with a beak and/or flapping wing-like arms.
This episode isn't particularly special, but it's good fun. I liked everyone. Kohane provides lots of energy and Hizume provides dark backstory (although she'll probably be okay soon). The cheerleading's impressive too, with gymnastics and acrobatics. (And modesty shorts under their skirts.) It's not significantly different from something like Love Live, except with cheerleaders rather than school idols... but I enjoyed that show too.
There's No Cure for My Brother!
Ani ni Tsukeru Kusuri wa Nai! 2
Please Take My Brother Away 2
Season 2
Episodes: 24 x 3 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: junior high school students in the army
It's a Tencent Chinese anime, based on a web comic. It stars two siblings. He's a bit of an idiot, while she's violent. I watched an episode of it last year and it was okay, but I didn't keep going. Now, though, it's back for Season 2.
This time, they're doing military training! (Does China have conscription? I can't believe Lazy Useless Brother volunteered for this.) He does the following:
(a) when marching in line, he turns left instead of right and then stays standing the opposite way from everyone else. He doesn't correct himself even when his commanding officer starts shouting at him. Predictable result: "special training" (from hell).
(b) fails at running. (His sister zooms past him.)
(c) fails at doing press-ups. (His sister does hers with someone sitting on her back.)
(d) surprisingly, succeeds at folding his laundry. For the first time, he hasn't failed! He then calls his sister a gorilla and says that she's got physical strength, but can't do delicate work. She folds him into a box shape.
The show seems okay. It projects quite a lot of personality in three minutes, while the school-age military service makes it feel a bit different. The gorilla stuff was funny, but the "standing backwards" joke is unfunny. People don't do that. Overall, it's watchable.
Beelzebub Jou no Okinimesu Mama
As Miss Beelzebub Likes
Beelzebub-jou no Okinimesu Mama.
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: Beelzebub is a dozy airhead
I'd been optimistic. This sounded funny. Hell's universally feared ruler, Beelzebub, is the opposite of her public image, which exasperates her servant, Mullin.
In practice, though, it didn't work. For starters, Beelzebub doesn't come alive as a character. She's too dozy. She barely seems sentient. She sort of drifts through the episode, often getting naked in a simple, comedic art style that will disappoint sleazehounds. Mullin's the main character, not her, but he's no more interesting. He's disappointed that Beelzebub never lives up to expectations, but he still reveres her in his slightly tsundere way. He's also bit of a swooning maiden aunt, e.g. being horrified by nudity.
I don't hate Mullin, but I also don't care what he does or thinks. Meanwhile, Beelzebub's a void. She talks as if half-asleep. Apparently the show's slice-of-life (i.e. nothing happens). I'd been expecting to eat this up with a spoon, but to my surprise it's an easy skip.
Asobi Asobase
Asobi Asobase: Workshop Of Fun
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: ...I don't want to, but yes
One-line summary: idiot schoolgirls
I've since finished it and... it's offensive and often very funny.
I've seen glowing reviews of this one. People were calling it a riot of vulgar trash and one of the funniest shows of the year. Personally, though, I found this episode annoying.
It's about three schoolgirls. Kasumi is an intense, slightly psychotic girl who wants English tuition. (Okay so far.) Hanako is a hyperactive idiot. (Still okay.) Olivia is a blonde who claims to be a foreigner who's bad at Japanese, even though she was born and raised in Japan and can't speak any other language. She was painful. Her American-esque accent made me scream. I'd have dropped the show already if I thought it would all be like that, but the accent's already started slipping... so it's a "maybe".
In short: one near-psycho, one idiot and a second idiot with an accent to make you want to kill. Did I laugh, though? Not for the most part, but the episode ends on amusing urine gags. I understand the show gets filthier and revolting, so that's a plus. Reluctantly and tentatively, I'll stick around for a bit longer.
Shingeki no Kyojin
Attack on Titan
Shingeki no Kyojin
Season 3 Part 1
Episodes: 38-49 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: fewer Titans, more evil humans and conspiracies
I've since finished it and... it's another strong season of the biggest international anime hit of the 2010s
Tomoko and I have been watching this on DVD since the start. We also own the manga. We were guaranteed to watch this season too, but as it happens the show's still as strong and nasty as ever. (You might not want to watch with small children present, though.)
I wouldn't call this a character-based show, but this episode has gestures in that direction. There's understated comedy in the opening scenes with Sasha vs. food and Hanji vs. science. Soon, though, the Interior Military Police are torturing and killing their prisoners and our heroes are promising to do the same, but worse. (This is likely. Anyone who thinks Levi and his cadets wouldn't torture someone to death has forgotten what show they're watching. Levi can work out how much information the enemy have learned by asking how many fingernails were torn out.)
The enemy's no longer Titans. It's people in the government who are targeting two specific members of Squad Levi and have no moral restraints. There's also someone extremely violent, called Kenny.
To be honest, I'm slightly concerned about the prominence of Levi. He doesn't have much personality beyond "cold bastard", but he's a fan-favourite and I presume he'll be getting lots of screen time. Ah well. The action scenes are still impressive, of course. We'll keep watching, obviously.