Re:ZeroOverlordTanya the EvilIsekai Quartet
Anime 1st episodes 2020: I
Including: Id:Invaded, IDOLiSH7: Second Beat!, THE IDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls Theater: Climax + Extra Stage, If My Favourite Pop Idol Made It to the Budokan, I Would Die, Ikebukuro West Gate Park, I'm Standing on a Million Lives, Infinite Dendrogram, In/Spectre: Season 1, Interspecies Reviewers, The Irregular at Magic High School: Visitor Arc, Isekai Quartet 2, Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? III, Is the Order a Rabbit season 3, Iwa Kakeru!: Sport Climbing Girls
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2020
Series: << Anime 1st episodes 2020 >>
Keywords: Isekai Quartet, The Idolmaster, DanMachi, KonoSuba, Overlord, Re:Zero, Tanya the Evil, anime, SF, fantasy, favourite, rubbish, MMORPG, boobs, ghost, yokai, detective
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 14 first episodes
Website category: Anime 2020
Review date: 12 September 2023
Listed under "B": BOFURI: I Don't Want to Get Hurt, so I'll Max Out My Defense. Season 1, aka. Itai no wa Iya nano de Bougyoryoku ni Kyokufuri Shitai to Omoimasu
Listed under "W": With a Dog AND a Cat, Every Day is Fun, aka. Inu to Neko Docchi mo Katteru to Mainichi Tanoshii
It's a two-minute OVA: Inunaki-mura x Taka no Tsume-dan
Id Invaded
Season 1
Episodes: 13 x 25 minutes
Keep watching: ep.1: yes, but ep.2: no
One-line summary: surreal detective
I was sure I'd seen this on a "worst of the year" list, but it's not looking that way so far. A bloke wakes up from a Matrix-y opening with his body floating around him in bits, while the room he's lying in is similarly one of several floating in a disembodied fashion in a white void. He pulls most of himself together and goes exploring.
Well, that was attention-grabbing.
The bit I didn't like was the bit where he finds a girl who's been stabbed in the chest... and the incidental music gives us cheerful, bouncy violins. You'd use it for an exciting scene. Here, to me, it felt wrong.
Otherwise, though, it's pretty cool. I'm not sure how much character-based storytelling to expect, but this episode at least was intriguing.
I still like the visuals, but after a while I realised I'd barely been watching the episode. It barely has any characters. (There are cops, victims, serial killers, etc. but none of them had enough of a personality to draw my attention.) The detective (played by Kenjiro Tsuda) has some motivation, but his memory gets wiped whenever he enters another serial killer's imaginary world.
On second thoughts, I'll drop this.
IDOLiSH7: Second Beat!
Season 2
Episodes: 15 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: boy idols
"Do you want to hear me sing?" (No.)
It's a pretty boy idol group. One of them speaks Japanese with an American accent that alone is reason enough to drop this show. Their manager's got them a TV show! Hurrah!
They discuss the mysterious retired idol, Zero. What on Earth is that semi-talking animal pet thing in the arms of one of their managers? The episode ends with a song-and-dance number. Welcome to the land of slightly sinister CGI people who'd have looked good in 2014.
This kind of thing definitely has its fanbase. They'll enjoy it. For me, it's a big pile of reasons not to watch.
THE IDOLMaSTER Cinderella Girls Theater Extra Stage
THE IDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls Theater: Extra Stage
Cinderella Girls Gekijou: Extra Stage
Season 5
Episodes: 48 x 90 seconds
Keep watching: yes, but I wouldn't recommend these to most people
One-line summary: comedy-ish short spin-off of THE IDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls
I've since finished it and... it's harmless and mildly amusing. I like the songs.
I've been watching THE IDOLM@STER since 2014. To be honest, these shorts are almost never funny and there's nothing special about them, but they're only ninety seconds long, so what the hell. The episode itself is about dance practice and it's perfectly okay, but you'd need to have seen the parent show within the last month or two to remember who most of the girls are.
The show's always gone to town with its gazillion end credit song-and-dance routines. This one's called "Sing the Prologue", but oddly it's been overlaid on an ordinary end credits sequence. Which is fine, but surprising for Cinderella Girls Theater.
Oshi ga Budoukan Itte kuretara Shinu
If My Favourite Pop Idol Made It to the Budokan, I Would Die
Oshi ga Budoukan Ittekuretara Shinu
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: scary-but-lovable fans
I've since finished it and... it's fantastic.
If she were male, she'd be terrifying. Well, she is anyway. Her name's Eripiyo and she's a REALLY big fan of a minor idol called Maina. She'll queue all day in near-lethal heat for the chance to buy five copies of the same CD, because that'll earn you tickets to a handshake event. As her (fat male otaku) friend says, "But paying money to interact with them, doesn't it feel great? Buying five seconds of bliss with your favourite for 1000 yen!"
GET A GIRLFRIEND, you. Actually, no, that's not going to happen.
We also see Maina, sometimes. She runs away when she sees Eripiyo approaching.
This show got a lot of attention. It's mildly agonising and I was howling and curling up on the floor. Good grief. It's also both good and funny and I can't not watch it, but yowch. "Maina, you managed to make it on to the stage again tonight. It's actually pretty amazing that our eyes don't meet even though we're this close. You must be looking for fans further back! Great job, Maina!"
Great self-deluding, Eripiyo!
Ikebukuro Westgate Park
Ikebukuro West Gate Park
Season 1 of anime, although there was also a live-action drama 20 years earlier
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: urban bad boys do detective-y things
It's based on a novel by Ira Ishida that had a successful live-action TV drama adaptation in 2000. I wasn't interested in this anime version, though. There's a bloke who claims to be a fruit seller, but everyone says he's wonderful and that no bad guy would stand a chance against him. His most prominent ability so far, though, appears to having significant friends. Gang leaders, police chiefs, detectives, super-hackers, etc. The title sequence also seems to be promising some kind of Fight Club.
The baddies sell drugs. Ooooooh. It's all very male, although his client this week is a twelve-year-old girl.
Standing on a Million Lives
I'm Standing on a Million Lives
100-man no Inochi no Ue ni Ore wa Tatte Iru
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: isekai fantasy hero who's also a piece of shit
"I like being alone. I hate that city. This is a million times more exciting than shitty Tokyo," thinks Yotsuya Yuusuke as he kills things.
Flashback to his former existence. He's an ordinary junior high school student. Nothing wrong with his life. He's not being bullied, he's normal... but he's bored by everything except killing things in a game. He's the only person in his class not to have responded to the career guidance survey and he doesn't even really listen when his teacher tries to talk to him about it. There's nothing he wants to do except go home and play his video game. "I don't care about this stupid school."
He then gets summoned to another world. He's in a lake facing serpent monsters. It's his first time, but he's with two girls from his class who know more about it than him. They tell him to listen to the guy who's going to appear in a moment and explain everything. "Okay, so a weirdo with half a face is about to show up. Don't panic. Just listen to him."
The guy appears as promised, explains the rules of this world and gives the heroes a quest. "Fulfill the village chief's request within the fourteen day time limit."
Yuusuke doesn't listen, even when his teammate repeatedly says "shut up and listen". Soon she's actually kicking him.
What a knob.
After that, Yuusuke became a functioning member of the party. The episode improved. I changed my mind and considered sticking with it... but then at the end of the episode he decides one of his teammates is useless and ditches her. He has a reason (although not a good one), but sod it. I hate the guy. My only interest in his adventures would be hoping that he got killed.
(The show got a second season in 2021, though, so I'll watch the first episode of that too.)
Infinite  Dendrogram
Infinite Dendrogram
Season 1
Episodes: 13 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: another virtual reality MMORPG anime
I've since finished it and... I liked the first half, but the show's not very good or clear about what it's doing.
I'm going to keep watching, but I see some question marks.
Reiji Mukudori signs up to a new MMORPG, talks to a rabbit/cat and falls from orbit to land (safely) on the planet. He runs into a girl who accidentally breaks his arms, then heals them. She's looking for her little sister! Could he help find her? All that I'm fine with. The worldbuilding also has some specific, unusual aspects, so for instance the game's NPCs are intelligent but death is permanent for them. Player "death", on the other hand, means a 24-hour game lockout, which is actually 72 game hours. There's also something weird at the episode's end with a girl and a sword. However...
1. Reiji's brother, Shuu, also plays the game. Shuu wears a bear suit, says "bear" at the end of sentences and has a bit of a Fat Voice. I nearly dropped the anime because of him.
2. That sister-seeking NPC is looking for her sister. Shuu, though, can see that there's only one possible place where this sister could be... and when our heroes go there, the NPC's gone there too. This could be justified within the fiction as a badly constructed game quest, but even so.
3. The whole thing with the permanent death of NPCs that are intelligent and have their own personalities. I presume this will be fleshed out in later episodes, but it gives me the willies. Given the artificial level of danger for the purposes of adventures, wouldn't that make the game basically Murderworld?
This could be intriguing. It could also be garbage, but let's find out.
In/Spectre: Season 1
Kyokou Suiri
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: one-legged, one-eyed female investigator of youkai
I've since finished it and... it's intelligent and entertaining. I don't imagine I'll rewatch it, but I watched the second season too.
Oooh, I enjoyed this. It has intelligent, slightly literary dialogue that made me laugh. Kotoko Iwanaga sees Kurou Sakuragawa and decides that he resembles a goat, then immediately wonders, "Is this what they call love at first sight?"
Kurou's voiced by Mamoru Miyano, whom I recognised from 75 episodes of Chihayafuru.
Kotoko and Kurou both have connections to youkai, which was surprising but cool after the episode opened with a realistic tone. Kotoko is capable of extremely interesting inferences, although she had help there. There's a kappa, a samurai's ghost and a man-eating monster in a library. I also enjoyed our two heroes' very different relationships with youkai. This should be good.
Interspecies Reviewer
Interspecies Reviewers
Ishuzoku Reviewers
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: sex with elves, dwarves, monsters, etc.
I've since finished it and... sometimes it's a laugh, but I'm not particularly keen on it.
It's not a hentai, but it went too far for its TV station and for various streaming services. It's set in a sword-and-sorcery world of dragons, goblins, etc... but our adventurer heroes (Stunk and Zel) are mostly here for the inter-species brothels.
One day, they rescue an angel (Crim) from a monster. Crim's halo is broken, so (s)he temporarily can't return to heaven. Crim's flabbergasted by his new friends' favourite hobby, then even more so when they treat him to a cat girl. (Might Crim be endangering his return home? I don't think the Bible specifically bans sex with cats, but even so...)
Anyway, it's all boisterous, good-natured filth between consenting adults. The theme songs are fun. There's a nice waitress who thinks our heroes are animals and keeps punching Stunk. It's a bit different, anyway.
Irregular at Magic High School
The Irregular at Magic High School: Visitor Arc
Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei: Raihousha-hen
Season 2
Episodes: 27-39
24 minutes each
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: nerd power fantasy with interesting politics
I've since finished it and... I found it quite good and continued with the sequel series (which I also enjoyed)
I quite enjoyed Season 1 in 2014, but it's silly. Tatsuya Shiba might be the most powerful being in the universe (only slight exaggeration) and has enough magical combat ability to threaten entire continents, but he failed his school's magical proficiency test and is officially a loser outcast with no friends! He also has no emotions and is magnificently above all the girls who are in love with him, because no one can get between him and his sister.
Anyway, this time we meet for the first time a central character from the 2017 movie. (It got made out of order. Don't ask.) Her name's Liina and she's an American magical superweapon who's being ordered to become a spy and infiltrate Tatsuya's First High magic high school. (She protests, rightly, that she'll be rubbish at it.)
There are also military operations and killings. I'm slightly surprised to see this show getting a second season, but what the hell. It looks fine. I'll keep watching.
Isekai Quartet
Isekai Quartet 2
Season 2
Episodes: 12 x 12 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: comedy isekai crossover
I've since finished it and... it's fun.
I loved season 1 and I'm eagerly looking forward to season 2. This episode was in line with my expectations.
PREMISE: take the main characters from some of the most popular isekai anime, then drop them into a high school setting. This year, they've added The Rising of the Shield Hero, which I watched partly because I wanted to watch this show. It's quite a good introduction for Naofumi, Raphtalia and Filo. Naofumi gets to be heroic against a killer baseball, which was nice and slightly surprising in what's basically a gag comedy.
There's even another cast singalong theme song. I loved the first season's one...
Dungeon ni Deai o Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka
Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? III
Dungeon ni Deai o Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka
Season 3
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes + a 2021 OVA
Keep watching: yes yes yes
One-line summary: dungeon adventurer world
I've since finished it and... bloody hell. I'd never have guessed that this show could get this strong.
DanMachi has always been comfortable with monster-killing. There are far more egregious shows, admittedly, but it's still part of the genre. See an orc, kill an orc. Season 1 ep.1 had Bell going on a killing spree for stress relief.
Here, he meets a monster girl.
She can talk. She's a child. She doesn't have a name, so they call her Wiene. She gets upset when she shreds Bell's arm, so they file her claws. She's frightened by dreams of the killing machine she used to be. She's adorable.
Bell's world, though, doesn't allow for the existence of Wiene. Dungeon-bashing and monster-killing is Oratorio's main industry and adventurers are getting killed all the time. Even Bell's friends wanted to kill Wiene as soon as they saw her and even now they haven't all been won over. Lily is still being Little Miss Grumpy, although she participates in their investigation of intelligent monsters. Worryingly, they're not the only people looking into this.
I already liked DanMachi, but this is my favourite episode of the show to date. It's addressing something I'd never expected the show to touch. I enjoyed moments like Wiene trying to catch Haruhime's tail, like a lazy kitten chasing a toy. So far, DanMachi seems to be improving every season.
Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka
Is the Order a Rabbit
Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka BLOOM
Season 3
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: vapid girls serve and drink coffee
I watched the first two seasons of this show, but I was young and foolish. I paid the cost in brain cells. Watching these girls sweetly do nothing for episode after episode probably counts as a form of lobotomy.
Significantly, one of this episode's early "gags" (using the word generously) involves people not recognising the cast when they wear different clothes. They're so bland and generic that this is believable. The show's creators should reflect on that and repent.
Iwa Kakeru Sport Climbing Girls
Iwa-Kakeru! Sport Climbing Girls
Iwa-Kakeru! Climbing Girls
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: schoolgirls' rock climbing club
We're not even talking cliffs or mountains. They're ascending those rock climbing practice walls you see in sports centres. One of the girls issues a silly challenge. Watch this if you're interested in rock climbing practice walls.