kappaStrike WitchesSpace Battleship YamatoStar Twinkle
Anime 1st episodes 2019: S
Including: Saint Seiya: Saintia Shou, Saint Seiya: Knights of the Zodiac, Sarazanmai, Sazae-san, Scissor Seven, SD Gundam World: Sangoku Soketsuden, Seizei Ganbare! Mahou Shoujo Kurumi, Senryu Girl, The Seven Deadly Sins: Wrath of the Gods, Shao Nian Ge Xing, Shaonu Qianxian: Renxing Xiao Juchang, Shimajirou no Wow!, Shinkansen Henkei Robo Shinkalion The Animation, Shiohi Girls: Vongole Bianco, Shoujo Conto All Starlight, Shounen Ashibe: Go! Go! Goma-chan, Special 7: Special Crime Investigation Unit, Stand My Heroes: Piece of Truth, Star Blazers: Space Battleship Yamato 2202, Stars Align, Star Twinkle PreCure, Strike The Blood III, Strike Witches: 501st JOINT FIGHTER WING Take Off!, Super Shiro, Sword Art Online: Alicization: War in Underworld, Senki Zesshou Symphogear XV
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2019
Series: << Anime 1st episodes 2019 >>
Keywords: Space Battleship Yamato, Star Twinkle, PreCure, Sword Art Online, Strike Witches, Senki Zesshou Symphogear, Crayon Shin-chan, anime, fantasy, SF, kappa, detective, vampires, samurai, ninja, MMORPG, reverse-harem, magical girl, Gundam, mecha
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 26 first episodes
Website category: Anime 2019
Review date: 18 August 2022
Listed under "A": Afterlost, aka. Shoumetsu Toshi (reviews suggest it stinks)
Listed under "A": Are You Lost? aka. Sounan Desu ka?
Listed under "A": Attack on Titan: Season 3 Part 2, aka. Shingeki no Kyojin
Listed under "C": Cooking Master Boy, aka. Shin Chuuka Ichiban!
Listed under "C": Cautious Hero: The Hero Is Overpowered but Overly Cautious, aka. Shinchou Yuusha: Kono Yuusha ga Ore Tueee Kuse ni Shinchou Sugiru
Listed under "D": The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.: Reawakened, aka. Saiki Kusuo no sai-nan: Shidou-hen (6 episodes)
Listed under "F": Food Wars!: Shokugeki no Soma, aka. Shokugeki no Soma S4
Listed under "H": The Helpful Fox Senko-san, aka. Sewayaki Kitsune no Senko-san
Listed under "H": High School Star Musical, aka. Starmyu 3rd Season (12 eps + "encore")
Couldn't find: Shiawase Haitatsu Taneko, about a cat that answers people's wishes and delivers happiness.
Sod it: Shan He She Ji Tu (20 episodes), but episode one in 2018 was quite fun
Okay, I know about this: Sore Ike! Anpanman
It's a film: The Saga of Tanya the Evil (2019 movie), which was a blast.
It's a film: Seishun Buta Yarou wa Yumemiru Shoujo no Yume wo Minai Movie, aka. Rascal Does Not Dream of a Dreaming Girl, which is quite good but skips the ending.
It's a film: Shimajirou to Ururu no Hero Land
It's a film: Shishigari
It's a film: Soukyuu no Fafner: Dead Aggressor - The Beyond
It's a film: Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata Fine. It was very successful and I've seen the TV series it's a sequel to, but I'll probably skip it.
It's a film: Sora no Aosa wo Shiru Hito yo
It's a film: Sore Ike! Anpanman: Kirameke! Ice no Kuni no Vanilla-hime
It's a film: Star Twinkle Precure: Hoshi no Uta ni Omoi wo Komete, which is good for the last 25 minutes but otherwise a waste of time.
It's a film: Sumikko Gurashi
It's a film: Santa Company: Christmas no Himitsu
It's just a bonus episode, not actually a film at all: Strike Witches: 501 Butai Hasshin Shimasu! Movie
It's a bonus episode: Sora no Method: Mou Hitotsu no Negai
It's a bonus episode: Senjuushi OVA
It's a five-minute tourism promotion advert: Start
It's a two-minute short that got played at an airport: Sagashimono (ONA)
It's a two-minute short: Soba e
It's a one-minute web commercial for a park's horror attraction: Sema Kuruoshii Ie
It's a one-minute short that the artist actually created in 1988, but only uploaded to YouTube in 2019: Sonoda
It's a 48-second musical short: Shiro no Kanga"roo" no Uta
It's a 40-second short: Space Shower Man: Legacy for the Future
It's a 41-second short: SOUND & FURY
It's a 30-second special: Shapeshifter
They're music videos for a fictional band: Sayonara Freeway + Shout Our Evidence!
Saint Seiya
Saint Seiya: Saintia Shou
Season 1
Episodes: 10 x 25 minutes
Keep watching: I won't, but it's good
One-line summary: magical girls in armour with swords
Saint Seiya is a old, respected franchise that I'm not allowed to bad-mouth in front of Tomoko. It looks a bit silly, but that's part of its age. (Imagine huge hero muscles, gorgeous purple locks and Fashion Victim golden armour.)
What's more, this is a strong episode. (It's actually ep.4, since ep.1 was in December 2018.) It's going straight for life-or-death drama and not chickening out of the consequences. If the whole series managed to stay at this level, it would be almost Shakespearean. It's built around the relationship between two sisters and the evil goddess who's possessing one of them.
Saintia Shou is meant to be a rare female Saint spin-off series, but it can't drag itself away from the men. Admittedly that's in an interesting semi-antagonistic way (with Purple Hair determined to kill the evil goddess no matter what), but it's still reducing the heroine's role. Another approach to this plot, for instance, would have been to remove the bloke and make the heroine face all these choices herself.
As in ep.1, being evil and female makes your clothes fall off.
I should probably watch this. One day, I might come back and do so. Right now, though, I don't feel like it. I don't follow Saint Seiya and I don't know the mythology. Ep.4's less magical girly (its chosen genre) than ep.1. I'd have watched this had it only starred the girls, but... well, not for now.
saint seiya
Saint Seiya: Knights of the Zodiac
7th series
Episodes 1-6 of 12
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: CGI Netflix remake of shounen action classic
Even people who watch Netflix anime have called this one bad. Apparently it takes a much-loved 1980s epic and bludgeons it down to twelve bare-minimum episodes. It's also a Japanese-American co-production, with the English dub technically being the original. That's just what I've heard, though. After watching this first episode, it didn't seem that bad. The storytelling isn't too crunched yet. I only hated it because of the bad CGI animation, obnoxious idiot hero and American-isations.
Firstly, the CGI isn't even cel-shaded. It's dead-eyed and made of plastic, like watching children play with dolls. (Despite this, though, even the action is poor, with a hilariously bad moment where a bald bloke hits two soldiers with his stick.)
Secondly, it's very very very American. Sometimes this is cool, e.g. the baddie's goons look like modern US Army troops, with body armour, helicopter gunships, etc. That's unexpectedly realistic for a superhero show with those goofy Saint Seiya golden suits of armour. Sometimes, though, you're watching a Japanese hero called Seiya cruise on his skateboard through what looks like downtown New York and hanging tough with his dudes.
Thirdly, let's examine Seiya's IQ. His introduction scene has a flying superhero in golden armour flying down from the sky to save him from soldiers who'd just ordered him shot to death. Later, he makes a car levitate with the superpowers he didn't know he had. On meeting a nice old man who can explain all this, though, he goes into rude denial mode and doesn't listen because, um, me badass street cool and duh me bad attitude.
Apparently, subsequent episodes are even worse.
sara zanmai
Season 1
Episodes: 11 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: mandatory
One-line summary: kappa and men's arses
I've since finished it and... yup, it's everything I'd expected. Recommended, if you like stuff that's a bit different.
It's the latest anime by Kunihiko Ikuhara. Enough said. The guy's a mad genius. I was expecting this to be mental and it was, but in an oddly understated way. It's almost staid. The episode's about boys who do relatively modest stuff.
Mind you, I say that despite the flying cardboard box, memory-erasing talking kappa blob statue and florid, celebratory attention on arses. (Kappa remove shiridama from them. This really is part of Japanese folklore, but I've never seen seen an anime go so surreal with it.)
But anyway. This series is by Kunihiko Ikuhara, so it has to be watched. I have the highest expectations.
Sazae san
Episodes: 7500+ (and counting)
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: gentle not very much
At last, I've managed to watch Sazae-san! Almost no one outside Japan knows or cares about it, but it's the longest-running animated series of all time, anywhere in the world. The manga ran from 1946-1974 and at that time was seen as controversially feminist and liberated. (Sazae scandalised her neighbours by bossing around her husband, thus violating traditional gender roles, then later joined a women's liberation group.)
Today, it's become a time capsule of a simpler, more traditional era. (This has tended to make non-Japanese anime fans call it bland and kind of pointless.) In Japan, though, it beats pretty much all other anime in the TV ratings, even after all these years. It's been running non-stop since 1969. It also crosses generations. We watched it in Tokushima, which got Tomoko and her mother discussing how it felt wrong to them to watch Sazae-san at 7am on a Sunday.
That said, though, Tomoko admits that the stories aren't particularly interesting. It's gentle. No one gets hurt or killed. As it happens, we were watching the last episode of the current voice actress of Sazae herself. (Midori Katou had been with the show since the beginning, but she's now nearly eighty and Tomoko noted how much her voice had changed.)
Personally, I'd have probably guessed it was a children's show. Old-fashioned art style (i.e. no attempt at drawing realistically detailed humans). Simple animation. Each episode is split into three seven-minute segments. A family doing family stuff, e.g. accidentally breaking windows (the boys) or being kind of grouchy (grown-up sister). I liked the cicada mini-episode, which was celebrating the miracle of moulting and didn't show any female characters freak out and squeal "iyaaaaah bugs".
I'm not sure there's much point in watching this show. Besides, it's probably impossible to do so without visiting Japan and just watching it on broadcast. It seems nice, though, and it's got some ripe old veteran voice actors (e.g. Norio Wakamoto).
Wu Liuqi Zhi Zui Qiang Fa Xing Shi
Scissor Seven
Wu Liuqi Zhi Zui Qiang Fa Xing Shi
Killer 7
24 episodes in two seasons, plus some OVAs
About 15-20 minutes per episode
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: assassin comedy
It's a Chinese Netflix anime about an assassin and hairdresser called Seven. He goes off to fight other assassins and kills them in bathetic ways. I won't be watching any more of it, but it's not bad and I like its artwork. Chinese anime uses lots of CGI, but this is very hand-drawn and full of style, e.g. Mr Extreme Hair.
The comedy's not bad. Seven has an aggressive boss who's a blue bird and points for no reason to look dramatic. (He admits this.) The assassins all have ranks (3346, 2999, 11279, 2117) and say things like, "I came here to kill the strongest person on this island and rise up the assassin rankings." The shittier and/or more pathetic ones are Japanese.
I don't believe in the show's premise, though. I shouldn't be taking any of this literally, but even so I don't believe in a world this jam-packed with assassins... and, partly as a result, I didn't care about it either.
SD Gundam World
SD Gundam World: Sangoku Soketsuden
Season 1
Episodes: 7 x 16 minutes (?)
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: excitable shounen giant robots
I found two things that claimed to be this. One was a series of twelve 22-minute episodes with no voice acting, no animation and instead just a camera panning over manga frames while Chinese word balloons appeared on screen. Yes, Chinese. (There's no kana and they use a Western comma, whereas the Japanese comma is a slanted line.)
The other was on YouTube and was a more conventional anime. The "SD" in the title stands for "Super-Deformed", i.e. everyone being drawn in a cute style, only two or three heads high. This is an unusual look for giant piloted war robots, but what the hell. It makes them look like six-year-old shounen action heroes, even down to the goofy shounen spiky hairstyles. That's also how they talk and act. Hot-blooded! Fight! Lots of exclamation marks!
It's set in a Mad Max world of deserts and zombie Gundams. (If you're infected, you lose your will and attack others.) Apparently it's based on the 14th century Chinese novel, Romance of the Three Kingdoms, but it seems to draw a stronger inspiration from anime where small boy protagonists shout a lot and only ever talk about trading card game battles.
Seizei Ganbare Mahou Shoujo Kurumi
Seizei Ganbare! Mahou Shoujo Kurumi
Episode 31, aka. the 6th of Season 2
Episodes: 4 minutes each
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: Flash-animated parody of magical girl shows
I quite like the theme song and title sequence, which is all about the show's magical girls. The actual episode, though, is about three motionless boys who stand there commenting snarkily on the magical girls' silliness. That's all they do. It's like a bad animated YouTube review. I wanted them to go away, or for preference die.
Meanwhile, the animation was probably done by one nerd on his computer in a morning.
The super-brief "next episode" preview mildly amused me. Otherwise, no no no. I'm aghast that this thing got a third season in 2020.
Senryuu Shoujo
Senryu Girl
Senryuu Shoujo
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 12 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: schoolgirl who only communicates via poems
I've since finished it and... it's charming.
There's a girl (Yukishiro Nanako) who claims she can't express herself properly in speech. Instead she writes senryuu poems (like haiku but with fewer rules) and holds them up for people to read. (Or else, more simply, she'll just point and mime.) She's capable of being a bit scatterbrained, e.g. forgetting to say in the school cafeteria that she doesn't like onions, but she's thoroughly nice.
Busujima Eiji has the face of a thug. This is because he really is a thug, or at least he used to be one. (His smile is so demonic that it's funny.) These days, though, he's in Nanako's Literature Club and, like her, he loves writing senryuu.
I enjoyed it. It's pleasant. The Literature Club also has a president (Katagiri Amane), who's actually normal. I'm happy to see where this goes.
Seven Deadly Sins
The Seven Deadly Sins: Wrath of the Gods
Nanatsu no Taizai: Kamigami no Gekirin
Season 3
Episodes: 24 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: children's shounen adventure
I quite like this franchise. I don't watch it, but it's fun. Here, our heroes fight some blue birdmen who'd been putting people in cages, followed by lots of big demons. Moustache Bloke ("Pride") is amusing. Merlin is female and dresses outrageously even for anime. (This series is doing Britannia, Camelot, etc. but without corresponding to anyone's idea of Arthurian.)
The talking pig's still there. It's the kind of bloodless show where baddies fall down in splashes of white when hit by a hero's sword... but it's fine.
Shao Nian Ge Xing
Season 1
Episodes: 26 x 26 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: Chinese CGI martial arts anime
This has various English titles, including "Great Journey of Teenagers" and "Youths and Golden Coffin". I'll stick with the original Chinese title.
The episode begins with an abbot who returns from the dead (?) and beats people up, then disintegrates into golden light. The heroes I quite liked. They've got a bit of fun about them. They run an inn and are polite but no-nonsense with a big, thuggish dwarf who's come to rob them. (The thug's slightly cartoonish performance annoyed me, I'm afraid.)
There are also fights. I snoozed a bit during those.
Shaonu Qianxian Renxing Xiao Juchang
Shaonu Qianxian: Renxing Xiao Juchang
Girls' Frontline
Season 1
Episodes: 24 x 3 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: silly short episodes
You'll know immediately that it's probably a spin-off from a game. (It stars the Tactical Dolls from the Girls' Frontline mobile game.) It starts with conventionally animated girls in a warzone, firing automatic weapons... and then everyone turns into tiny, goofy versions of themselves, fighting over the last slice of cake.
For what it's worth, the original game was a hit. This Chinese anime is a load of nothing (although the characters look fun), but it still got a Japanese dub and sequels.
Shimajirou no Wow
Shimajirou no Wow!
Season 4
Episodes: 38 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: animated segment in a children's TV show about science and exploration
Two tigers and a rabbit go off together into the mountains... and no one eats anyone. Everyone's friendly. The cheap computer animation has never been touched by human hands.
That's just one segment, though, in a live-action show that looks quite good. It's educating children about science, geography, geology, etc. This week, we see live footage of potholing and learn what a lava cave is. There are also bits with puppets.
Sinkansen Henkei Robo Sinkalion
Shinkansen Henkei Robo Shinkalion The Animation
Episode 52 of 76
Keep watching: good grief, no
One-line summary: shounen show about bullet trains that transform into giant robots
The heroes look about eight years old, as will be the target audience. The episode's first half is based around the attempted joke of food constantly turning out not to be sweet, but instead to be noodles. This is repeated five times.
After that, there's a cutaway scene of an underwater bloke with a dragon. It's TRAIN ROBOT TIME! The episode's second half is one big battle scene, which I fast-forwarded.
Shiohi Girls Vongole Bianco
Shiohi Girls: Vongole Bianco
Season 1
Episodes: 48 x 2 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: 90% title sequences
There's a title sequence, then a girl talks for ten seconds, followed by the closing title sequence. The latter has cute girls dancing, but... what?
I watched ep.2, to make sure my eyes hadn't deceived me. That's the same. Unbelievable. Apparently it's based on an illustration series.
Shojo Conto All Starlight
Shoujo Conto All Starlight
Season 1
26 episodes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: chibi short form comedy
It's a series of comedy shorts, set in the Shoujo Kageki Revue Starlight universe. I respect that show and its ambitious surrealism, but I didn't think it was actually that much cop. This... well, it's quite fun, actually, and the characters and their interactions are lively. It's still silly, though, and there's probably not much point in watching it if you're unfamiliar with Shoujo Kageki Revue Starlight.
I have seen that show, but I basically remembered the talking giraffe and that was it.
Shounen Ashibe GO GO Goma-chan
Shounen Ashibe: Go! Go! Goma-chan
Season 1
9 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: children's show with a small boy and his friend, a seal
It's the story of "Gomaderella"! (In a Japanese accent, this sounds as if the voice actor has a stammer.)
Goma-chan (the seal) is Cinderella! The ugly sisters are nice in this retelling and they adore Goma-chan, but that still doesn't mean they're taking him to the ball. (I'm not completely sure about Goma-chan's gender, but that's hardly your first question when you're looking at a potential human-seal marriage.) There are plenty of jokes here, obviously, with the better ones being about how to shoehorn the show's regular cast into this special episode. There's a gravelly-voiced lady-in-waiting, for instance. There's Japanese wordplay, Red-Hot Pepper Apple Sellers, a comedy marriage ending, etc.
I quite enjoyed it, but it's also a one-off that tells me nothing about what the show's normally like. I'll have to watch again next week.
The children are watching snow on TV. "Would you like to see some snow, Goma-chan?" The seal nods, because it understands human speech. The children then go off and play with stepladders, painted backdrops and fake snow that can be tipped out of basins. Imagination is clearly part of it too, as we can see from the frankly delusional child-o-vision shots.
A woman called Peppeppe appears and talks about skiing, then grandad appears and starts firing rice flour dumplings and other food out of a snow machine cannon.
...and that's it, really. It's fine. It's a children's show and it does the job. I wouldn't object to being exposed to other episodes, but equally I wouldn't go looking for them.
special seven
Special 7: Special Crime Investigation Unit
Keishichou Tokumubu Tokushu Kyouakuhan Taisakushitsu Dainanaka: Tokunana
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: cop drama in a modern city with elves, vampires, etc.
I've since finished it and... I enjoyed it.
It's like Cop Craft Season 2, but with different non-humans instead of Tilarna. Similar premise. (Police heroes in a city that also has elves, dwarves, etc.) Same growling, super-cool performance from Kenjiro Tsuda as a light-hearted but intimidating cop.
The episode's straightforward, but fun. New, idealistic cop Seiji Nanatsuki gets involved with (a) a bank robbery and (b) Metropolitan Police Special Duty Department Special Crime Investigation Unit Section 7. The latter include a self-proclaimed ninja, a vampire with super-speed and Kenjiro Tsuda as a cop who'll happily destroy city centre bridges. (I assumed the ninja was an elf, but apparently she's a homunculus.)
I enjoyed Cop Craft and I'm expecting to enjoy this too. Should be a laugh.
Stand My Heroes Piece of Truth
Stand My Heroes: Piece of Truth
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: reverse-harem cop show
It's based on a reverse-harem game. One girl, lots of boys. What's more, they're supposed to be cops. They look far too delicate for that to convince you for a millisecond. They're elegant pretty boys who've clearly wandered in by accident from their boy band idol rehearsal.
Nothing much happens in the episode's first half. Later, they get on a yacht and there's some action, but by that point I'd stopped paying attention.
Uchuu Senkan Yamato 2202
Star Blazers: Space Battleship Yamato 2202
Uchuu Senkan Yamato 2202: Ai no Senshi-tachi
Episode 23: "Warriors of Love"
24 minutes
Keep watching: no, but I was impressed
One-line summary: revival of 1970s classic
There are two ways of reviving old properties. One is to update it and hide the creaking, dated or embarrassing bits. The other (my preference) is to embrace it and celebrate it, warts and all.
This series does the latter. It's got that title song, with its hilariously macho singing. The incidental music feels right. The Leiji Matsumoto character designs I'm okay with. Even the title logo's spot-on retro. The episode's full of heartfelt, dramatic scenes and stuff to enjoy, e.g. the cool space fleet flying over the city, although admittedly this is ep.23 of the revival's second series, so you'd expect the plot to be well developed.
I approve. I have limited patience for the original 1970s TV series, admittedly, but I can respect it and I can see how revolutionary it was at the time. I enjoyed this episode.
Stars  Align
Stars Align
Hoshiai no Sora
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: no, but it's very good
One-line summary: soft tennis club where most (but not all) of the boys are losers
This was one of the big shows of the Autumn 2019 season, getting a ton of praise and appearing on critics' "best of the year" lists. It's really sharp, with strong character work, writing and direction.
A school has two soft tennis clubs, one each for boys and girls. The episode starts with the clubs playing each other. The girls are local champions, while the boys have one good player (Shinjou) and seven also-rans who don't even pretend not to be losers. The school council president announces that school clubs will have to show some passion and interest to be allowed to continue. Our heroes are doomed, then. Seems like the right decision, although Shinjou doesn't like it.
There's also a boy who's just moved to the area, has amazing reflexes and prefers running up seven flights to stairs to waiting for a lift. He lives with his mother. His sinister dad is a reason to call the police. Now. Absolutely right now.
It's clearly an excellent episode... but this is a sports anime. There will be tennis. (Well, soft tennis, a game played mostly in Asia.) If you like sports shows, though, I'd definitely recommend it.
Star Twinkle: Pretty Cure
Star Twinkle PreCure
Star Twinkle Pretty Cure
Series 16
Episodes: 49 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: obviously
One-line summary: PreCure in space
I've since finished it and... it's not up to much. I'd suggest skipping it.
Well, it's PreCure. Fluffy, colourful, light, fun and primarily aimed at small girls. This series is going into space.
Our heroine, Hoshina Hikaru, loves astronomy, UFOs, aliens, etc. She invents her own constellations. When a rocket lands, she's the invader (of the aliens' personal space). She thinks the villain looks cool. That's amusing, but I'm a bit disconcerted by Hikaru's ability to take everything in stride. She's unfazed when one of her drawings comes alive and turns into a fairy, for instance. She names it Fuwa and doesn't even seem to realise something unusual has happened.
It's a reasonably solid first episode. Hikaru goes into space in two ways, including the one that's traditionally fatal. The main thing that's bugging me is whether I've seen that little octopus alien before. Kodocha? Takahashi Rumiko?
Anyway, it's fine. Happy to continue.
Strike Blood
Strike The Blood III
Season 3
Episode: 3
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: action harem show
If you're looking for action, it's good. Magical lightning blasts the city and sucks the energy from demons to feed the flying monsters. It's all very important and life-or-death. Our heroes fight terrorists and have to get to the Keystone Gate, whatever that is. There will be exciting electric guitars.
However it's also a harem show, with the twist that our hero is a vampire. The girls in his harem tell him to suck their blood, because that'll give him the magical energy he needs to control his familiars in battle. When he says he can't get it up, she strips to her underwear. Next, another girl arrives to add her own bodily fluids. "I'm not against it, but this is my first time." "Don't look, Yuki!"
In other words, vampires are being used as a metaphor for sex. Again. Girls who get bitten react by blushing.
It's a reasonably strong finale to its story arc. Fights. Panty shots. Emotional bit at the end with the defeated enemy. There isn't really much depth or meaning, but it's not that kind of show. I'm sure the show's fans enjoyed this episode.
Strike Witches
Strike Witches: 501st JOINT FIGHTER WING Take Off!
Strike Witches - 501-butai Hasshin Shimasu!
4th season, set around seasons 1 & 2
Episodes: 12 x 14 minutes
Keep watching: "nope" (first viewing), but then "yes" (second viewing)
One-line summary: badly animated girls do nothing on a military base
Strike Witches is a surprisingly big franchise. It started in 2005 and it's had manga, games, OVAs, TV shows, a movie, etc. Witches save the world against alien invaders... without skirts or trousers. Funimation marketed it as a "war on pants" and this is apparently one of the franchise's more throwaway series.
Most of this episode is in a kitchen and nothing happens, really. One girl's a really bad cook. The animation barely exists, although the art's fine. It's like a three-minute gag anime that's somehow lasted for fourteen minutes. That was my limit, although apparently Strike Witches fans think the show's quite funny.
I'm doing a Strike Witches marathon, which of course includes this show. There is no best place to put it in the watching order, incidentally. It's plot free and none of it matters, so watch it whenever. Technically, I suppose it must happen either during Season 1 or during Season 2. (It can't be set between seasons, since the 501st is disbanded then.) For my marathon, though, I did it all more or less in release order, so I left this until after Seasons 1-2, the movie and Operation Victory Arrow, for the sake of knowing the characters better.
Unsurprisingly, it's funnier if you know the cast. I laughed at the whacking stick for Hartman, Miina's lethal cooking and "forget the idiots". (Is Miina the only witch with a magical power that's useful outside combat, incidentally?)
The production values are low, though. The animation suggests a DVD extra, while at one point the artists unintentionally give someone an extremely scary eye.
Super  Shiro
Super Shiro
Season 1
Episodes: 48 x 6 minutes
Keep watching: no, but it's not bad
One-line summary: kiddie comedy
It's an eccentric spin-off of Crayon Shin-chan. It stars Shin's dog Shiro, who in this show is revealed to be secretly a superhero protecting the world. Obviously. (Crayon Shin-chan is a mega-hit show for small children about a rude boy who likes waggling his arse.) What's more, it's by the highly respected Masaaki Yuasa, creator of some of the most interesting anime in the industry. (He's worked on lots of Crayon Shin-chan. I never knew!)
Anyway, Shiro is a small, badly drawn white blob. As a superhero, he wears a red cape. He protects the legendary bone "Bobobobobone" from a pink cat supervillain in a yellow afro helmet. There's an amusing bit where they're both queuing dutifully to use the swings at a children's playground.
I quite liked this episode. I wouldn't go looking for it, but it's decent.
SAO Alicization
Sword Art Online: Alicization: War in Underworld
Season 3, or the 4th if you count Gun Gale Online
Episode 13, or the 76th of all of Sword Art Online
24 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: serious-minded VR fantasy
I've been watching this franchise from the beginning and this is its most mature, ambitious arc, although that's killed its sense of humour. It's good, though.
A memory-blanked Kirito's been stuck in a VR fantasy world for time-accelerated years. Now, at last, he's learning some answers... i.e. this episode's an info-dump. An evil immortal queen overwrites a girl's soul for the sake of memory space. (In flashback.) A benevolent saviour wants to destroy the world and kill everyone. Kirito's okay with this, although he reserves the right to look for a better solution. When the end comes, he'll be allowed to save ten people.
If it comes to that, which I hope it doesn't, I'm expecting some pretty intense scenes of choosing. This series isn't light entertainment and it's not what I watch first every morning, but I'm definitely continuing.
Senki Zesshou Symphogear XV
Symphogear XV
Season 5 (no, not 15 in Roman numerals)
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: singing magical girls have lots of fights
I liked this series in its early days.
2012. Senki Zesshou Symphogear - it's quite a serious show, except for the silly contrivance of Hibiki keeping all those secrets from Miku
2013. Senki Zesshou Symphogear G - messy, silly and even more implausible, but also kind of awesome in its shamelessness.
2015. Senki Zesshou Symphogear GX - so many fights that it's boring.
2017. Senki Zesshou Symphogear AXZ - the first series I didn't bother watching.
2019. oh dear.
By now, the show's driven by excess. The magical girls' transformation sequences are absurdly over the top. A girl fires two car-sized automatic weapons, one in each hand. Even its backstory and info-dumps are silly. "In order to rule the planet, he would destroy the coffin that surfaces from beyond the horizon of time." There's also a scene where a map of the world rotates to highlight Antarctica and someone says, "Is that Antarctica?"
There are some calmer scenes, e.g. friends talking and eating fish-shaped pastries, but what the episode really cares about is fight scenes. I ended up fast-forwarding.