Stínolez’s Seasonal Roundup [Winter 2021]

Stinolez
Stinolez
Apr 13 · 9 min read

Hello, and welcome to my usual seasonal roundup, an article I do at the end of (almost) every season to summarize my thoughts on the shows I watched. The last year was in many ways unique, mostly in not-so-positive ways, but we managed to overcome it and make it to 2021. Sadly, the bell striking midnight on December 31st wasn’t a magical thing, and everything continued as it was into the new year. Luckily, not everything is that bad, as the new year marks the new Winter season of anime. So, as per usual, 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 in a polite manner in the comment section and respect my opinion so I can be respectful of yours. Now without further ado, let’s dive in…

Dr. STONE: STONE WARS

Episodes: 11 / 24 min. per ep.
Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi
Score: 7 / 10

The first season of Dr. STONE was a rollercoaster. After the first few episodes I fully intended to drop the show, but decided not to (mainly due the article of fellow author Ishmael, which I sadly cannot link as it lies in the abyss after Kinja’s doomsday). In the end, I enjoyed the show and had a good time, and that feeling directly translated to the second season. I got over the fact that these inventions and knowledge Senku has are total bullshit and am now just enjoying the ride on the Steam Gorilla. The final few episodes were kinda pushing it too far, but despite the bumpy ride, it was a fun one.

Log Horizon: Entaku Houkai (Log Horizon: Destruction of the Round Table)

Episodes: 12 / 25 min. per ep.
Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy
Score: 7.5 / 10

I’ll be frank — I don’t have a Scooby-Doo what’s going on in Log Horizon. I vaguely remember I loved the first season and the second season was a let down, but it was still a better love story than Twilight. So, for unknown reasons I was hyped when they announced the third season and, for what it’s worth, I wasn’t disappointed. I still had the pleasure of experiencing the stories of characters I like with the addition of the unmanageable bullet Kanami — it was a great time. The only thing which was missing were the conversations between Lenessia and Krusty — those were always moments to look forward to.

Mushoku Tensei: Isekai Ittara Honki Dasu (Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation)

Episodes: 11 / 24 min. per ep.
Genres: Adventure, Drama, Ecchi, Fantasy
Score: 8 / 10

Let’s start with the obvious. I don’t like Rudy and neither will you, probably, or at least in the beginning. It’s strange to see a 34-year-old ugly, perverted bastard, scared by society be reborn as a kid in a different world. As soon as he opens his eyes there, his gaze focuses on his mother’s breasts, and later his maid’s and his teacher’s. His objectification and sexualization of women around him is something that might turn away quite a lot of people, and I wouldn’t blame them. The only saving grace of the show is that reality is slowly starting to creep in and remind Rudy that he’s not the same person anymore; if he wants to achieve something in this world, he has to change. For the first time, he experiences a loving family, a sense of accomplishment with his magic studies, and his first friendship. All these details slowly break down and rebuild his character and these subtle changes slowly start to surface, although it’ll be a painfully long process before he could be considered a decent person.

Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu 2nd Season Part 2 (Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World- Season 2 Part 2)

Episodes: 12 / 30 min. per ep.
Genres: Action, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, Psychological, Romance, Thriller
Score: 8.5 / 10

When Re:Zero first aired almost five years ago, it was an okay series which had a neat death/reset loop gimmick and few likable and several obnoxious characters. I wasn’t sure if I’d give a second season a chance, but in the end I’m happy I did. Each arc’s end marks the beginning of a new, more complex, and longer loop than the previous. This gives us more time to explore the world, understand the motivations of each character, and focus more on their development, which is especially true for the side characters which are usually out of focus for most other anime. If you are like me and are unsure whether to continue watching this show, I’d highly recommend you to give it a shot.

Yuru Camp△ SEASON 2 (LAID-BACK CAMP SEASON2)

Episodes: 13 / 24 min. per ep.
Genres: Comedy, Slice of Life
Score: 7.5 / 10

The release schedule of Laid-back Camp could not be planned any better with almost every country having forced restrictions and lockdowns. It’s a show about camping, visiting different places around Japan and exploring nature with an interesting cast of characters, where each and everyone has their unique charm. It can soothe your soul that aches for picking up your camping gear and wanting escape for all the madness of the world. Top it up with great art and you have a nearly flawless show worth your time.

Tatoeba Last Dungeon Mae no Mura no Shounen ga Joban no Machi de Kurasu Youna Monogatari (Suppose a Kid from the Last Dungeon Boonies moved to a starter town?)

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

Despite Last Dungeon Boonies not being an isekai, it sure feels like one. You have a typical overpowered protagonist, every girl is madly in love with him and, to finish it up, Lloyd is a complete idiot. Based on the premise, I get why he’d have an inferiority complex, but it’s taken to the absolute extreme and thus ruins any enjoyment of the show. That being said, there were few moments where I had fun and laughed out loud. If you are looking for something to kill time and shut your brain down, this might do the trick.

Tensei Shitara Slime Datta Ken 2nd Season (That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Season 2)

Episodes: 12 / 24 min. per ep.
Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy
Score: 6 / 10

I always had a soft spot for Slime. It was ridiculous and over the top, but I had a great time watching it, sometimes laughing out loud several times each episode. Its second season didn’t drop the ball and kept rolling in the same vein until the later second half, where it shat the bed. For the first time, it looked like Rimuru’s decisions had finally caught up to him and bit him in the ass, but literally 2 minutes after what was supposed to be a heartbreaking scene we are presented with a deus ex machina-like solution to solve the problem. Also, why would you ever mention there is a less than 5% success rate of that solution? Due to the nature of the show, we already know it’ll work out. Another moment that weighed the show down was when Rimuru revealed he’s a reincarnated human from another world. The circumstances that made him reveal it should have had a greater impact; it shouldn’t be simply acknowledged and moved on from like nothing has happened.

Kaifuku Jutsushi no Yarinaoshi (Redo of Healer)

Episodes: 12 / 24 min. per ep.
Genres: Ecchi, Fantasy
Score: 1 / 10

The idiom-proverb “curiosity killed the cat” is fitting for this show. Redo of Healer is a pathetic excuse of revenge porn to satisfy masochists and sadists. Almost every single character in this series is warped, horrible (I don’t even dare to say “human”) being whose only purpose is to shock the audience by how psychotic they are. There are few exceptions — but those don’t last long. Everyone is either raped, killed, or both for the sake of reminding the main protagonist not to forget about his revenge. This series is something you should definitely avoid, especially if you’re sensitive to extreme violence, rape, slavery, both physical and mental abuse, genocide, and probably every other fucked up thing you can come up with.

Ore dake Haireru Kakushi Dungeon (The Hidden Dungeon Only I Can Enter)

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

The image used for this show is almost how I felt throughout the whole series. I felt violated. I don’t remember when was the last time I watched an anime and felt offended by its constant fan service. In a normal show, you’d remember character names and general design to distinguish between them, but here boobs are the only sole focus of this whole series and, thus, it’s what you remember each girl for, and I’m not comfortable with that. Another detriment of this show is the wasted potential Noir’s skills had. If you missed the show or deliberately skipped it, you made the right choice.

Yakusoku no Neverland 2 (The Promised Neverland Season 2)

Episodes: 11 / 23 min. per ep.
Genres: Action, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, Horror
Score: 4 / 10

Emma’s face cannot convey my feelings after finishing the second season of The Promised Neverland. I cannot say more without treading into the spoiler territory, so this is your warning. The first season had me hooked from the start: the slow build up of the characters lead to one of the greatest season finales in a long time. The second season, meanwhile, will be remembered for completely different reasons — it was a rushed, incomplete, crammed mess and, overall, a huge disappointment. At first, I was disappointed by the way Mujika and Sonju, crucial characters for the second half of the season, were introduced. It felt incredibly forced due to their limited screen time. I felt the same way when Emma and the kids finally reached the shelter. Their relief and false happiness was short lived, so their forced eviction fell flat without any sense of gravity. When you finally think you are catching your breath, the show throws another curveball with Norman appearing like nothing has happened. Only after several episodes is it explained, and you finally start to understand what’s happening. I could probably forgive most of these if the show stuck the landing, but that didn’t happen. The final several minutes of the last episodes were supposed to be arguably the most emotional moments of the whole series, and they didn’t even bother to animate it. We were presented with a slideshow that was meant to be the series finale. After the second season threw the show’s great character and world building and careful story progression out the window, this was the final straw. It was a huge middle finger to everybody who enjoyed the show, and I’m not okay with it.

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’d like to thank TheMamaLuigi for his editing, check his stuff here.

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