And we’re back! No preamble, let’s get straight into this and get on with the first impressions!
Welcome to Demon School! Iruma-kun
Iruma is a total pushover, he’ll agree to do anything you ask as long as you say ‘please’. Obviously this makes his life difficult, but it’s not helped by the fact that he has the world’s worst parents, who are so completely lazy and useless that they get Iruma to do everything for them. Well, that is until they sell Iruma to a demon! Seriously, Worst. Parents. Ever! Luckily for Iruma the demon that he’s been sold to is actually fairly harmless and just wants to experience being a doting grandfather. He showers Iruma with love and presents, he even enrols him in Demon School, a school where if any of the students find out that he’s a human they’ll devour him in seconds, it’s even in their school song. You know what, I’ve changed my mind about how harmless this demon is.
I think this series may just be the surprise of the season for me. I really wasn’t expecting much out of this show, between the bright contrasting colours and how unsubtle this series is (the moment all the students started singing about killing humans while Iruma was stood there was a particular highlight), I judged this series to be fairly childish and simplistic, which isn’t a bad thing, but it didn’t exactly raise my hopes. But then, somewhere towards the end of the first episode, I realised something. I was actually having a lot of fun, Iruma is such a sweet kid and you can’t help but root for him as he tries to survive school and there are several points were the series manages to pull out a joke that I didn’t see coming. The series is just bursting with energy, it’s often completely over-the-top and ridiculous without ever breaking the internal logic that the series has set up. I’ve really grown to love the characters in this series I’m looking forward to spending the next season with them. Make sure to check this one out.
Fate/Grand Order Absolute Demonic Front: Babylonia
Humanity is facing extinction! When the Chaldea Security Organisation built its facility high in the mountains, it did so with one purpose, to watch over the safety of humanity’s future, but then something changed. Suddenly humanity’s future no longer existed and seven singularities appeared, points in history that have been warped to create a bleak outcome. Now Fujimaru, the last master of Chaldea, and Mash, a demi-servant with an unbreakable shield, travel into the past to correct the course of history and return hope to humanity’s future. With six singularities completed, it’s now down to the seventh and final one which will take them to ancient Mesopotamia and a city ruled by Gilgamesh.
This is yet another show that I was really looking forward to. I’ve had my ups and downs with the fate franchise over the years, but I did enjoy the Fate/Grand Order First Order movie that was released a few years back (I’ve never reviewed it so here’s a quick summary, it’s a fun little adventure, bit too much exposition and there’s no real conclusion to events and while I like the characters and the fights are cool, it definitely felt like one big ad for the game, which I’ve never played). Going into this series I really didn’t know what to expect and I’d say you definitely either need to have played the game or at least watched the First Order film to get a grounding in the characters and the set up because this show jumps straight into it’s story, and it’s an interesting story. For starters Babylonia is a great locale and I’m having a great deal of fun looking around the place, add on to that the usual collection of legendary heroes for us to get to know and a chance to see a wiser and calmer Gilgamesh and there’s plenty here for me to love. The action is pretty fantastic too.
Didn’t I Say to Make My Abilities Average in the Next life?!
Mile is a totally normal 12-year-old girl! Honestly, she’s super completely average and in no way special in the slightest, please believe her! Okay, fine, she’s not the least bit average, see Mile is one of those kids who made their way to a fantasy world after passing away in Japan (seriously has anyone checked Japan for any kind of dimensional instability? This keeps happening!). Since she was a bit of an honour student in her past life, Mile’s one and only wish is to be average in her next life. Unfortunately, as with every monkey’s paw, she should have phrased her request a little more specifically. What Mile meant was to be average for a human, but what is she is is average for the world, which basically means she’s half as strong as a dragon! Join Mile and her friends as she searches for her perfectly quiet and ordinary life, and fail miserably each and every time.
Okay, own up to it, who started putting effort into isekai series again? I mean between this and Asendance of a Bookworm it feels like the genre has been given a much-needed breath of fresh air. I wasn’t expecting anything from this series, but between Mile’s myriad of worried expressions, the many references and parody elements as well as the bond that’s formed between the four main girls, this series is so much fun! I mean all the standard tropes are here, Mile is the super overpowered protagonist that can breeze through any danger, and yet this feels fresh because Mile is trying so hard not to breeze through things. She so desperately wants to be average, even though we all know it is way too late for that, and we’re just waiting to see how Mile will mess up her own plans this time. Add on to that the fact that Mile actually uses her knowledge of her past life, and not just to comment on all the tropes at play, but she’s actually bringing otaku culture to this fantasy world, which I love! It’s just so much fun, I’m definitely sticking with this one.
Food Wars! The Fourth Plate
The battle for the Totsuki Academy is well underway! Having made a clean sweep of the first round of the Team Shokugeki, the rebels are feeling pretty good about themselves, but the Elite Ten are the top of the totem for a reason. There’re plenty of fierce battles ahead, but if Soma and the rebels don’t succeed then the whole of the culinary world will be forced to adopt Azami Nakiri’s rigid and set way of cooking. Cooking doesn’t get any more dramatic than this!
And it’s back! It feels strange to say, but out of all the sequels I’m watching this season, this is the one I was looking forward to the most. I have this weird relationship with Food Wars, when I first started watching it it was fun, but nothing really all that special, and yet, with each episode I watch of this series I just get more and more invested. After watching three seasons of this show I feel like I should have ‘Team Soma’ tattoo across my back and be waving a flag every time I watch an episode. It helps that this current arc is what I’ve been dying to see from the start, Soma and the gang vs. the Elite Ten in a knockout battle and we even get Erina participating instead of standing on the sidelines all the time! Well, at least she’s going to be participating at some point. My only real fear with this season is something that I noticed in the last one, the battles seem to be ending too quickly, we’re skipping over the actual cooking and just going straight to the judges’ decision a lot of time. I liked the cooking, partly because you get some really good food animation, but it also helps to build the tension for the climax. I hoped they don’t rush this arc, but I guess we’ll see.
No Guns Life
Extended, people who have been enhanced with cybernetics, giving them everything from superhuman strength to perfect marksmanship. Originally they were created as soldiers for a war, but the war is over and those who survived must find a new way to live. One such man is Juzo Inui, a man with a gun for his head! When’s he’s asked to protect a kidnapped kid, he finds himself battling the very mega corporation that not only runs the city, but actually built him, and they’ll stop at nothing to get their property back.
Another show that actually came as a bit of a surprise, I didn’t know anything about this series before the season started, but I’m so glad I found it. It combines several things that I love, from a hard-boiled detective to a grimy cyberpunk setting with some typical anime creativity like a main protagonist with a gun for a head. There are plenty of cool designs in this series, and I do also love a cyborg, but I’ve really grown to love Juzo as well. At first he looks like the typical stoic, manly main protagonist, and he certainly has plenty of cool and badass moments, but you spent five minutes and you realise he’s a bit of a goofball. Nothing over the top, but he’s easily flustered and panics about rusting or not getting his favourite brand of cigarettes. I like that and while we haven’t seen all that much of the other characters so far, I like them too, though the less Tetsuro takes over people without their permission, the better.
And that’s it for the first impressions this season. There’s a bunch of other shows I want to be watching, but I can’t get access to them yet. Damn it Amazon give me Psycho-Pass! Sorry, back next week with the regular reviews.
Chris Joynson, aka the Infallible Fish, is a writer, blogger and lover of animation living in Sheffield. The blog updates every Friday.