GundamGaroGin TamaGeGeGe no Kitaro
Anime 1st episodes 2018: G
Including: Gakuen Basara: Samurai High School, Ganbare! Lulu Lolo, Garo: Vanishing Line, gdgd men's party, Gegege no Kitarou (2018), Gintama, The Girl in Twilight, Goblin Slayer, Golden Kamuy: seasons 1-2, Grand Blue Dreaming, Great King of the Grave: Secrets of the Qilin, Gundam Build Divers, Gurazeni
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2018
Series: << Anime 1st episodes 2018 >>
Keywords: GeGeGe no Kitaro, Garo, Gin Tama, Gundam, yokai, anime, SF, mecha, alternate universe, fantasy, historical, baseball
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 13 first episodes
Website category: Anime 2018
Review date: 15 May 2020
Listed under "A": Gyakuten Saiban: Sono "Shinjitsu" Igi Ari! Season 2, aka. Ace Attorney season 2
Listed under "L": Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu Die Neue These Kaikou, aka. Legend of the Galactic Heroes
Listed under "R": Grancrest Senki, aka. Record of Grancrest War
Listed under "S": Gakuen Babysitters, aka. School Babysitters
Listed under "S": Gin no Guardian 2, aka. The Silver Guardian 2
Listed under "S": Gaikotsu Shotenin Honda-san, aka. Skull-face Bookseller Honda-san
It's a CGI movie: Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle, the 2nd movie in Polygon's Godzilla trilogy
It's a CGI movie: Godzilla: The Planet Eater, the 3rd movie in Polygon's Godzilla trilogy
Gakuen Basara
Gakuen Basara: Samurai High School
Gakuen Basara
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: historical samurai in school setting
Well, that was silly. Famous samurai have been re-imagined in a modern high school setting. They talk in samurai language and have intense confrontations between the soccer and baseball clubs.
This episode also has:
(a) playing a game to settle their disagreement. Which game, you ask? A cross between both! You kick a soccer ball, then the baseball player uses his bat to hit it out of the ground.
(b) shooting into the sky, that ball hits a flying warrior in power armour with a jet pack and a ridiculously huge lance. He's a samurai Galactus. He hits the ball back and it blows up a biker gang.
(c) a sadistic torture doctor in the school infirmary.
(d) Guess who the headmaster is. "You would wreak havoc here at Basara Academy knowing that I, Oda Nobunaga, am the headmaster? Divine punishment!" He then summons lightning that destroys the school playing field and leaves a house-sized crater.
The opening title sequence is pretending that the cast is gender-balanced, but the episode's overwhelmingly male. (Well, they're samurai.) The only significant female character is a teacher who can knock you out by throwing chalk and dresses more skimpily than real teachers.
Summary: so ridiculous and trivial that I actually quite admire it. It's so wholehearted in its silliness that it might make you laugh. However I'm still dropping it, because it's about macho schoolboys.
lulu lolo
Ganbare! Lulu Lolo
Tiny Twin Bears
Episodes: it's been running since 2013
Minutes: ...five?
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: children's anime
Natsuki was watching this in Japan. It was on children's TV.
Two baby bears are writing letters. Letter-writing gathers up all your feelings and the recipient will definitely respond! The bears decide to write to the king, so their father dresses up as one and pretends to have received these letters.
It was quite entertaining, but aimed at five-year-olds.
Garo Vanishing Line
Garo: Vanishing Line
Season 1 (of this third Garo anime series)
Episodes: 13-24
24 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: demon fighters
I'd disliked ep.1 of this series in 2017. However ep.13 is another 2018 first episode, so I watched it. It's okay. It's a downtime exposition episode in which very little happens, but that exceeded my expectations.
That man called Sword is still here, but now he's travelling with the pink-haired teenager, Sophie. They're quite likeable together, which lifts Sword's characterisation up to "watchable". Sophie made me laugh. They've even acquired a third friend, Gina, who has mega-cleavage and quite a chunky physique by Japanese standards. (The show's set in America, though, where she'd look normal. She's also tall, while of course Sword looks like a shaved grizzly bear.)
They visit a Makai Alchemist village where Gina does a test with wolves. There's an info-dump about the Big Bad (called "King") and a magic ring that controls Horrors.
This is an unremarkable episode, but watchable enough. Gina's nice to some children. I'm sure the mythos stuff would have been more meaningful if I'd been watching from the beginning. This episode didn't tempt me to return to the show, but equally I have no objections to it.
gdgd men party
gdgd men's party
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 8 minutes
Keep watching: good grief, no
One-line summary: zero-budget CGI isekai sort-of-parody
Ugh. It just looks horrible. It's the kind of cheap CGI that could have been done by schoolboys in a weekend. The weightless walking alone will have you running for the exits.
It's also a vapid sequel to gdgd Fairies, a short-ish form anime from 2011. Three boys get sucked into a fantasy world and spend lots of time standing around having conversations. (Why? Because that's cheaper to animate.) They want to rescue a princess who's locked in a dungeon. She's a bit amusing, but she also hardly appears.
No, no, no, no. The show's parody-ish elements might have been fun if the show hadn't looked godawful, though.
Gegege originals
Gegege no Kitarou
Series: 6
Episodes: 37 x 23 minutes in 2018 (and it continued)
Keep watching: HELL YES
One-line summary: Japan's No.1 youkai manga creator's most famous creation
CURRENTLY WATCHING
GeGeGe is a huge deal. I've seen the live-action films and even read some of Shigeru Mizuki's manga, but I'd never watched any of its many anime. At last, a chance to put that right!
This series celebrates the 50th anime anniversary, by the way. The list so far is 1968 (65 episodes), 1971 (45 episodes), 1985 (115 episodes), 1996 (114 episodes), 2007 (100 episodes), 2008 (11 episodes), ten movies and now this 2018 series (97 episodes) which finished in 2020.
This episode contains:
(a) An idiot YouTuber. "Let's see what happens if I ignore these traffic signals!" The answer is "nothing good", but in a weirder way than you'd expected. What's more, it also happens to everyone who just stands and watches, taking pictures on their phones.
(b) Kitarou and Medama-oyaji discovering mobile phones. This is oddly cool. These characters are ancient, both in-universe (being inhuman youkai) and in real life (since Mizuki's manga is from the 1960s).
(c) Vampire trees, with Japanese wordplay that doesn't translate into English.
(d) A girl who hits bullies.
(e) Kitarou being kind of scary. He doesn't show much interest in humans. He actually will be heroic when push comes to shove, but you'll be kept guessing. The next episode preview has him saying, "Dad, 50,000 people suddenly disappeared. But it's not our concern, right?"
(f) THE MUSIC. Gegege no Kitarou has an iconic theme song, like Cutey Honey.
It's a children's show, admittedly. However it's also strongly horror-themed and I'm planning to watch the earlier shows too after this one.
gin.tama
Gintama
Episode 342: "Try As You Might to Make a Natural Perm Go Away, It Will Always Return"
Start of the Silver Soul Arc
24 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: alt-universe samurai gag series, except when it's not
Gintama has had gag episodes and serious episodes. This is the latter, mostly. We start with lots of plot, which I presume is recapping recent events. "Our final battle is about to begin!"
The episode's mostly build-up for our no-good heroes' return. The Altana Liberation Army claim to be on Earth to free us, but in practice they're gangsters and thugs. They throw their weight around. They demand stuff for free, shoot up your place afterwards and abduct non-consenting women for recreational purposes.
Gintama and co. return. There's much violence. To be honest, I got bored and fast-forwarded through most of that.
I don't watch Gintama, but there's nothing else like it. Even in a serious episode, are there puerile gags about money and/or sexual references? Well, obviously. This episode's doing its thing efficiently.
Akanesasu Shojo
The Girl in Twilight
Akanesasu Shoujo
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: interdimensional schoolgirls
I've since finished it and... it's thoughtful and character-based.
Five schoolgirls do a magic ceremony in the woods. The scene's tone is realistic, so success is clearly not an option and the girls are clearly just doing it for laughs and/or tagging along with their friends. They're trying to open a door to another world.
Then, on trying again, they succeed and reach a world of cyber-bunnies. One finds an alt-universe version of herself and takes ages to notice the resemblance.
Seems interesting. I'm looking forward to this.
Goblin-Slayer
Goblin Slayer
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: goblin-hating adventurer vs. rapey goblins
I've since finished it and... it's a polarising show, but I liked it a lot.
I'd heard about this. It's a bit notorious. It's a fantasy RPG anime (adventurers, dragons, etc.), in which goblins are the weakest of all monsters and everyone looks down on them. A 15-year-old priestess goes on her first adventure with three other rookies who want to go goblin-bashing. They're expecting a walk in the park. They haven't even bothered buying magic potions. "We didn't have the time or money to go shopping."
This goes so badly that it made the series controversial with anime fans. Think poison, stabbings and rape. (Apparently it's less explicit than the manga, but more traumatic and disturbing.) One of those human deaths is a mercy killing by our hero, by the way. "Kill me." "All right".
Goblin Slayer hates goblins. He wears full plate armour at all times, counts his victims and can't be talked out of slaughtering goblin children.
So... yeah, it's dark. Lots of people refused to watch it. It's certainly attention-grabbing, though, and I'll be continuing.
Golden Kamui
Golden Kamuy
Seasons 1-2
Episodes: 2 x 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: Ainu culture and frozen wilderness ultra-violence in 1904
I've since finished it and... it's pretty good.
Saichi Sugimoto is nicknamed the Immortal. He earned this name by going psycho in the Russo-Japanese war, charging into enemy lines and killing lots of them disgustingly. Bullets don't slow him down. Give him a crazy man-eating bear and he'll punch it.
Asirpa is a young Ainu girl. The Ainu used to own Hokkaido, but then got assimilated and labelled "former aborigines" under the Meiji Restoration Japanese government. This has been called "genocide", but metaphorically. No one died. (The Ainu in the Russian-controlled Kuril islands have their own problems too.) Asirpa is also super-competent, armed with poison arrows and an expert on everything in the snows of Hokkaido.
There's also a story of hidden gold and death row inmates with information in their tattoos.
This is educational, historical and great, although also extremely violent. Sugimoto skins someone with a knife. The CGI bear looks bad, though.
Grand Blue
Grand Blue Dreaming
Grand Blue
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: vulgar idiots in university scuba diving club
DISCLAIMER: "This is a work of fiction. Underage drinking is strongly prohibited and illegal. Scenes involving alcohol with forced consumption and shameful acts are not encouraged. Please view this as a comedy. Further all characters appearing in this work are of legal age."
That's just the first of three disclaimer screens. Imagine my surprise when we begin with a nice boy (called Iori) and an idyllic beach. What's the problem?
You'll soon find out. Iori opens a door and finds Dante's Inferno. (Nearly.) The diving club is full of malevolent, raucous musclemen, shouting things like "we'll start with naked rock-paper-scissors" and "you said it's wrong to run naked outside without trying it". There's lots of groinal censorship. Iori has normal, sane reactions, refusing to participate in these antics. He then changes his mind.
RESULT: deserved public humiliation.
The episode's funny, but with humour that's built on idiots being punished for pointless stupidity. I had zero sympathy and I just wanted everyone to go away. There's lots of muscleman fanservice, though. (Also, admittedly, two girls in bikini tops, but it's still a minor step towards gender-balancing for the anime industry.)
Recommended for fans of crass, drunken comedy. If that's your bag, it's great.
Mu Wang Zhi Wang
Great King of the Grave: Secrets of the Qilin
Mu Wang Zhi Wang: Qi Lin Jue
Season 1
Episodes: 20 x 16-20 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: magical martial arts historical
It's all-CGI, but the CGI's beautiful. Looks expensive. The king getting angry at his son is well done. I liked the petal blossom floating on the wind above the trees.
The plot offered no great surprises, though. Swords. Magic kung fu battle. Looks fine, if you like that kind of thing.
Gundam Build Fighters Battlogue
Gundam Build Divers
Season 1
Episodes: 25 x 24 minutes plus an Episode Zero
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: VR battles with Gundam plastic toys
It's a sequel to Gundam Build Fighters, which itself is a rather odd spin-off from Sunrise's mega-franchise, Gundam. What surprised me was the apparent target audience. Gundam is serious space opera with interplanetary war, dirty killing, the sweep of interplanetary history, etc. (Also giant robot battles.)
This, on the other hand, stars kiddie heroes who want to be the world's greatest at their highly merchandisable game! (They call it Gunpla, which I presume is short for "Gundam play".) It's a real world show, more or less.
Ep.0 is just an extended robot battle. I fast-forwarded. (Even real robot battles are boring, but this is just children playing on the internet.) Ep.1 then runs through all the expected elements... primary schoolchildren, a soccer game, buying plastic model kits, etc.
No, no, no... although Gundam fans all over the world disagree with me.
Gura Zeni
Gurazeni
Gurazeni: Money Pitch
Season 1
Episodes: 24 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: utterly unromantic pro baseball player
Sports anime tends to idolise idealism and passion. Natsunosuke Bonda doesn't care about that. He's a baseball player, but also a professional who's in it for the money. He wants a bulging wallet. He lives for cash, currency, moolah, mazumas, dough and legal tender. His motto is "there's money in the pitch", which (in Japanese) is where the show's title comes from. He memorises his rivals' salaries and is almost supernaturally good at guessing them, because that's how he and his professional colleagues measure status. (What's more, it works. Natsunosuke can beat a lower-paid player with reasonable consistency, but his hit rate worsens as the batter's salary increases. He's in trouble with 50+ million yen players.)
He's not scum, though. He's a fairly ordinary guy. He's just realistic. He's on 18 million yen a year, which is a lot (USD 160,000) but below average for players his age. He's a professional sportsman and he'll be thirty in four years. One day he'll have to leave the sport, which many find difficult.
Anyway, this is a reasonably interesting angle on sports anime. This episode is mostly looking at baseball, but also at the job insecurity of a bad radio commentator who used to be a bad baseball player. It's a dog-eat-dog world. Bonda knocks a just-promoted player back down to the minor leagues, despite knowing that the guy has a family and is in an even worse financial place than him. You've got a ball and he's got a bat. It's either you or him.
This looks reasonably good, but not heartwarming. It has drama, albeit slightly drab and downbeat. Careers and futures are at stake. Bonda definitely cares, despite being motivated by money. He's thinking like crazy about every ball and there can't be many people more focused than him. Do I like him? Not really. Would I have watched this series if I'd been a baseball fan? Quite possibly, yes.