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Stínolez’s Seasonal Roundup [Spring 2022]

Greetings, and welcome to my seasonal roundup, an article I do at the end of (almost) every season to summarize my thoughts on the shows I watched. I scaled up from last season’s nine shows to seventeen so buckle your seatbelts as this roundup will be a longer one. In fact, there are two more shows I started, but one is continuing in the next season, and the other I paused for utter confusion after the first episode with no mental capacity to continue watching it — but still planning to do so in the future, so you won’t see it in the dropped shows below.

Now, as per usual, the shows are divided into three groups: great and good, average, and bad and dropped shows. The opinions in this article are mine and you might disagree. If you do, please do so politely in the comment section and respect my opinion so I can be respectful of yours. Now without further ado, let’s dive in…

Aharen Is Indecipherable

Episodes: 12 / 24 min. per ep.
Genres: Comedy, Romance, Slice of Life
Score: 7 / 10

One joke shows are usually a no-go for me. I tend to get bored of them and mostly it’s built on a slapstick comedy which isn’t my preferred type. Reading the synopsis of Aharen Is Indecipherable made me wonder if it’s a mistake to start it, but I’m delighted I did. Not only are the main duo charming, but the supporting cast is good as well. Having a wider character cast gives the show the option to change things up and deviate from the formula so the jokes don’t overstay their welcome. Despite the manga being still ongoing, the anime reached a perfect stopping point where I can leave satisfied without the need for more.

Ascendance of a Bookworm Season 3

Episodes: 10 / 24 min. per ep.
Genres: Drama, Fantasy, Slice of Life
Score: 8.5 / 10

It’s always tough to write about the sequel of a good show. I want to recommend you Ascendance of a Bookworm, but spoiling it would do it a tremendous disservice. You’ll unquestionably have to believe me when I say it’s a remarkable show. It contains carefully developed characters, and the world building is spot on. Without getting into too much detail, the information dropped in the last two episodes will leave you in disbelief and wanting more. Most likely, we’ll get another season soon.

Dance Dance Danseur

Episodes: 11 / 24 min. per ep.
Genres: Drama, Romance, Slice of Life, Sports
Score: 8 / 10

If you have a phobia of elongated necks, stay away from this show! For the rest, I can heartily recommend it. I am not an avid fan of ballet; I’ve been to a few performances, but none of them spoke to me. Dance Dance Danseur is different. Similarly to Welcome to the Ballroom, it takes a ballet or classical dance, puts an engaging story around it, and makes it interesting. You can forget about the 3D CGI idol dances — everything here is hand drawn and it allows the show to shine even more. Ultimately, this show is still fiction and relies on a few sports anime tropes. Despite that, the positives far surpass the negatives resulting in an impressive show to enjoy.

Deaimon: Recipe for Happiness

Episodes: 12 / 24 min. per ep.
Genres: Slice of Life
Score: 7.5 / 10

Deaimon is a small introspective into a few people’s lives. Itsuka is a small girl grasping on a hope to find her dad, who abandoned her, preferably to have a more decent life somewhere else than with him. Nagomu had a dream, but was unable to continue with it and came back home to seek some resolution. Kanoko isn’t too honest with her feelings and goes on a journey to discover and learn about herself and her relationship with Nagomu. Combine this in one pot, sprinkle some traditional wagashi making as a background setting, and you are in for a treat. This is definitely a slow-paced show, but that allows you to properly understand each character and sympathize with them.

Kaguya-sama: Love is War -Ultra Romantic-

Episodes: 13 / 24 min. per ep.
Genres: Comedy, Psychological, Romance, Slice of Life
Score: 8 / 10

There is only one thing I can say about Kaguya without ruining this season for you: it’s excellent! Go watch it! On a broader note, I enjoy the never-ending banter between the core cast; everyone is perfect in a way, but flawed in many others. Although comedy is subjective, I found it entertaining and usually laughed out loud several times each episode.

Miss Shachiku and the Little Baby Ghost

Episodes: 12 / 24 min. per ep.
Genres: Comedy, Slice of Life, Supernatural
Score: 7 / 10

If you are looking for a hyper action show, just skip this. It’s just a simple slice of life with a hint of comedy, which slaps you with the reality of your life decision every episode, especially if you are a working adult who over your career stayed overtime. Sadly, in our monotonous life, there isn’t a cute baby ghost to appear in your office at 2 a.m. to try to force you to leave work. The show is adorable, to a certain degree relatable, and forces you to think about your work-life balance. If any of it sounds interesting, give it a couple of episodes and maybe you’ll be charmed as I was.

Shikimori’s Not Just a Cutie

Episodes: 12 / 23 min. per ep.
Genres: Comedy, Romance, Slice of Life
Score: 7 / 10

Shikimori is a well produced average show. It’s animation and music are on point, while the story is lacking behind. If this show was only about Izumi and Shikimori, its quality would drastically drop. Izumi is a prime example of a bad luck magnet, and Shikimori is the hero without a cape to save the day each time. I’m ok with a character experiencing misfortune, but to take it ad absurdum like this (similarly to Anne-Happy) and still maintain an optimistic outlook on a world it hurts the believability of the character. Luckily, early on we are introduced to friends Nekozaki, Inuzuka, and especially Hachimitsu to balance things out. Their “outsider” view on the couple breathes fresh air into stale scenes and allows you to enjoy the show more.

The Executioner and Her Way of Life

Episodes: 12 / 24 min. per ep.
Genres: Action, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy
Score: 8 / 10

Even I, who basically watches almost all new isekai shows, am quite tired of them. I do enjoy the genre, but most of the recent influential shows spiced up the formula and that’s what seemed to be the case for The Executioner and Her Way of Life. It’s an alternative viewpoint on the people transferred into a new world. It’s not from the side of the people being transferred, but from the people living in the world where the constant influx of otherworlders causes a change in the culture, writing, and society. Not only that, but people from different worlds come with strong abilities, causing havoc and disturbances. For that reason you have to deal with this threat immediately and permanently. But what would you do if the person you should quickly dispose of refuses to die? When every time it happens they just return back time to the point where they are alive? Although this series has a strong main plot, it often derails into subplots, which — in most part — are not that interesting. Menou is a strong lead character and in most times timid Akari complements her quite well. Momo, Menou’s kouhai working from behind the scene, is adorable when her jealousy gets the better out of her. Princess Ashuna is an equally entertaining character. Although until the end, I didn’t understand her motivation and why she’s there, except to serve as an occasional deus-ex-machina. All things considered, I genuinely enjoyed the show and will watch more if they ever produce a sequel.

Date A Live IV

Episodes: 12 / 24 min. per ep.
Genres: Comedy, Ecchi, Mecha, Romance, Sci-Fi
Score: 6.5 / 10

I cannot believe it’s already been nine years since the first Date A Live aired. The third season aired three years ago and it showed how little I remember. Most of the characters were still the same, but the nuances of the story were a mystery for me. Thus, in the first half of the fourth season I didn’t have a clue what’s happening behind the scenes. I thought of dropping it several times, but then I left it for a binge at the end of the season and it was a good call. I powered through the tedious parts and was rewarded with the final arc featuring info about Kurumi’s past and everything was worth it. Right now, I don’t want to wait for the fifth season which was already announced.

I’m Quitting Heroing

Episodes: 12 / 24 min. per ep.
Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy
Score: 5.5 / 10

I genuinely wanted to like this show. It started as a strong fantasy comedy with more complex and more sinister undertones that surfaced as the show progressed. What I enjoyed most is they didn’t showcase only good and bad — every coin has two sides. If they stick with it till the very end, I will rave about the show, but the final episode just took everything they developed until that point and threw it on the ground and then stepped on it. It didn’t invalidate the enjoyment up to that moment, but it nevertheless left me with a crushing disappointment.

In The Heart of Kunoichi Tsubaki

Episodes: 13 / 24 min. per ep.
Genres: Comedy, Supernatural
Score: 5 / 10

I have to prefix the entry about this show with the fact; what you see on the cover art is what you get. In our community I’ve heard from a few people that they had a problem with the ninja outfits. They perceived it as an over sexualization of the characters. I personally didn’t have this feeling until the later half with they practice of “attractiveness justu”. With this out of the way, let’s talk about the show itself. It’s basically two shows in one. First part is about life in the village itself. Each character feels different, and their interactions are funny and entertaining. The second is Tsubaki’s embarrassment every time she hears about men. These segments are dull and personally I’d skip them as that feeds into what others are thinking about the show when only seeing a few screenshots.

The Dawn of the Witch

Episodes: 12 / 24 min. per ep.
Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Ecchi, Fantasy
Score: 5 / 10

This is a sequel to Grimoire of Zero. I had mixed feelings about that show, but overall it was decent, so I gave The Dawn of the Witch a chance. I’m not too fond of the memory loss protagonist as it feels like it has been overused already a decade ago. Sayb is a prime example why I don’t like it. In the first half, his character is paper thin and not at all compelling. Combine it with their escort teacher Roux, whose outfit is screaming fanservice and you instantly feel like being a teen again watching probably something you shouldn’t behind closed doors. As the story progressed, I opened up to the show a bit and semi-interesting plots as a continuation of Grimoire of Zero came to the front and made the show bearable. Together with that most of the characters developed a bit behind their original trait and in the end it improved the quality into an average territory.

Trapped in a Dating Sim: The World of Otome Games Is Tough for Mobs

Episodes: 12 / 24 min. per ep.
Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Mecha, Romance
Score: 5 / 10

An isekai anime isn’t a novel concept. It’s been here for a long time, so writers try to spice things up with different concepts. With the concept of being reincarnated as an otome game character came up (at least in anime) first in My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom!, where we had the otome game protagonist Katarina as a leading character. Logically I’d expect to shift the focus on the main romance interest but with the Trapped in a Dating Sim we swiftly passed that for a background character. It wasn’t a terrible show, but it’s far from being a decent show. Leon, our main character, is basically a kind person, but for the sake of his uncomplicated life, he’s making himself into a villain. Not only does it backfire numerous times, but it makes the viewer roll up their eyes on multiple occasions. This show isn’t in the top of my recommendation list, but it made me laugh a few times, and you can watch worse things than this.

Don’t Hurt Me, My Healer!

Episodes: 12 / 24 min. per ep.
Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Slice of Life
Score: 1 / 10

Comedy is subjective, and I definitely won’t slander anyone who found Don’t Hurt Me, My Healer! funny. For me, though, it was sheer hell to complete the series. Karla is an exceptionally annoying character without any redeeming qualities, and Alvin is so uninteresting that nobody would argue about him not being in the show. Although that would crumble the only concept this show had — throwing insults on him and rubbing salt into his wounds. Does somebody know the number for MiB? I need an emergency memory wipe!

Skeleton Knight in Another World

Episodes: 12 / 24 min. per ep.
Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy
Score: 4 / 10

I’d love to be able to recommend this show. It’s, in most aspects, quite competent, a slightly above average isekai show, with a diverse cast and interesting world history that feeds the main plot and progresses the story, which might be off putting for some viewers as it touches and somewhat shallowly explores the concept of slavery. Contrary to the expectation, this isn’t even the most offensive part. The very first episode starts with full blown rape attempt, which was later in the same episode repeated for the viewer to “enjoy” again for no apparent reason. I’m opposed to utilizing this as a plot point, but here it doesn’t even serve this purpose and is purely used for the shock value. To put the cherry on top, while the first episode aired they put “viewer discretion advised” warning during the attempted rape scene as it was the very first scene of the show — it wasn’t a smart move.

The Greatest Demon Lord is Reborn as a Typical Nobody

Episodes: 12 / 24 min. per ep.
Genres: Action, Ecchi, Fantasy, Romance
Score: 3 / 10

There isn’t really much to say about this show. It’s your general overpowered male reborn in the future fantasy setting. Most of the characters are defined by their tropes with no more than one dimension. With only that I’d likely forget about The Greatest Demon Lord is Reborn as a Typical Nobody before even writing this entry, but in the later half it slightly deviates from the formula. If you care (but why would you?), be warned, there are spoilers ahead! An entity, claiming to be god of sorts, comes to the protagonist and orders him to rescue the world. To do that, he sends him back in time to avert change in history. To spice things up, the identical entity transports a second future protagonist from a parallel universe to the same point in the history. Therefore, you end with a past-protagonist, current one, and his alter ego from a parallel universe in one place. If you are thinking this sounds incredibly dumb, believe me — it was.

The Rising of the Shield Hero Season 2

Episodes: 13 / 24 min. per ep.
Genres: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Score: 3 / 10

I didn’t understand the popularity of the first season, nor do I comprehend it now. Usage of an alleged rape as a plot device doesn’t work with me and the voluntary slavery didn’t click either. To give credit where it’s due, there were some intriguing concepts like providing the protagonist with a shield as a primary weapon with inability to equip any other. That said, the first season ended with the main villain defeated and Naofumi’s honor kind of restored. All the other loose ends were still unexplored, but I didn’t crave for the second season as I feared it’d only get worse and worse. Sometimes I hate being right. The second season is a utter mess of a story, with animation and music to be its only redeeming quality. The second season’s main villain is a psychopath with spite against everyone from his previous world. His sole motivation is hate, and I don’t really find it compelling. At this point I don’t even know if I’ll embark on the third season which was announced together with the second one.

You’re reading AniTAY, a reader-run blog whose writers love everything anime related. To join in on the fun, check out our website, visit our official subreddit, follow us on Twitter, or give us a like on our Facebook page. This article was brought to you by Stínolez — gamer, anime lover & so-called writer. Check my other stuff here or follow me on Twitter. As always, I’m thankful to Luigi for editing this piece, check his stuff here.

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Stinolez

Stinolez

Proud writer for AniTAY and normal guy loving anime, video games and other nerdy stuff.