Round 2 of the Spring season first episodes yielded three long-titled fantasy series worthy of my list: Shuumatsu Nani Shitemasu ka? Isogashii Desu ka? Sukutte Moratte Ii Desu ka? (SukaSuka from here onwards), Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatte Iru Darouka Gaiden: Sword Oratoria (Danmachi Gaiden: Sword Oratoria from here onwards) and Zero kara Hajimeru Mahou no Sho (…just about short enough to leave as it is). The rest either weren’t my kind of thing, or lacked reliable simulcasts, so to round things up to 20, I’ll be giving the previously rejected Clockwork Planet another chance as well.
Here’s how they fared compared with last week’s lot:
1 – Shingeki no Kyojin S2 ep 2 (↑ 1)
2 – Shingeki no Bahamut: Virgin Soul ep 2 (↑ 1)
3 – Seikaisuru Kado ep 2 (↓ 2)
4 – Little Witch Academia ep 14 (↑ 4)
5 – Berserk (2017) ep 2 (↑ 6)
6 – Oushitsu Kyoushi Haine ep 2 (↓ 1)
7 – Boku no Hero Academia S2 ep 2 (↑ 7)
10 – Re:Creators ep 2 (↓ 3)
11 – SukaSuka ep 1
12 – Renai Boukun ep 2 (↓ 8)
13 – Kabukibu! ep 2 (↓ 4)
15 – Granblue Fantasy The Animation ep 2 (↓ 3)
16 – Sakura Quest ep 2 (↓ 3)
17 – Alice to Zouroku ep 2 (↓ 11)
18 – Sagrada Reset ep 2 (↓ 2)
19 – Yowamushi Pedal: New Generation ep 14 (↓ 9)
20 – Hinako Note ep 2 (↓ 5)
So, Clockwork Planet. An unoriginal introduction, with yet another girl dropping from the sky and into our protagonist’s life, although this time she’s an advanced automaton, whereas he’s an obsessed clockmaker. I do like the sharp-tongued RyuZU, and Naoto seems likable enough too, though so far they haven’t done much aside from flirt while our other duo Marie and Halter fight to save Kyoto and its inhabitants from a military purge. I really LOVE the setting, a tired and failing clockwork world, but it’s still got some work to do to prove that there’s substance behind the style and the fanservice – the second episode was certainly an improvement on the first, and hopefully it’ll get even better now the main characters have finally all met up.
A spin-off of the 2015 series that flopped in my rankings, Danmachi Gaiden: Sword Oratoria is off to a better start. This time the focus is on the Loki Familia, a large and competent guild, with plenty of fun characters… sometimes side characters are best left as side characters, but personally I prefer them to Bell and Hestia already! Main character Lefiya feels she’s the weak link in the chain however, constantly failing to finish incantations out of fear. Looks like a big part of the series will be to do with developing her confidence, and trust in her fellow guildmates. The fantasy world of Danmachi is more RPG-like; adventurers head into dungeons to fight monsters for treasure, and everything’s given levels etc. This doesn’t excite me as much as more ‘organic’, ‘natural’ fantasy worlds (if that makes any sense), but it beats the other latecomers due to the superior action scenes in its first ep.
Zero kara Hajimeru Mahou no Sho had another great first episode – our fluffy, ‘Beastfallen’ protagonist is a nice change from the usual generic everylead, and he brings with him a dark history full of persecution, to justify his hatred of witches. After getting into an argument over soup with a witch named Zero, however, he agrees to act as her bodyguard in her quest to retrieve a grimoire so powerful, it could end the world. A grimoire that she wrote. The interactions between these two were great, reminiscent of Lawrence and Holo of Spice & Wolf, though not as well written so far. Not a lot of action this week, so it remains to be seen how it’ll stand up to the rest of this battle-heavy season in that regard.
And again, our heroine falls from the sky~ SukaSuka brought more beast people, but unlike Zero kara Hajimeru Mahou no Sho, they’re the dominant race, and it’s the ‘disfeatured’ humans that are ostracized, so I’m not worried about them being too similar. Our protagonist lands a job in a ‘warehouse’, guarding ‘weapons’, but turns up on his first day there to find a dormitory full of young girls – that’s the warehouse, and they’re the weapons. There’s potential here. I like what I’ve seen of their world so far, the music was great, and the epilogue raised a whole lot of questions. But, if it focuses more on him babysitting these kids than on else, I might grow tired quickly. A demonstration of their powers sooner rather than later might help prevent that!
The low ranking for last week’s episode of Boku no Hero Academia S2 was largely due to the large amount of recap in the first half, and large amount of buildup for the sports festival in the second half. Very little of interest actually happened. Now that said festival is underway, hopefully we’ll see this show challenge my Top 5 a little more! I’m not a huge superhero fan, and the first series failed to make my lineup this time last year, but I ended up watching it later and really grew to like the characters, which gave it the edge over the fantasy shows this week. Should be interesting to see how the challengers from other classes (who have lower-ranked ‘quirks’ or super powers) fare against class 1-A. 🙂
Yowamushi Pedal: New Generation ends up in the red, something I didn’t expect to happen! A deadly combination of too many shiny new things being offered by other series, while YowaPeda retreads the same ground, pitting Koga against Teshima for the last place in and captaincy of Sohoku’s interhigh team. Of course, the latter won due to friendship power and plot armour, but I still think Koga should get a place in the team over that first year! Honestly, I’ve yet to warm to the new lineup – I really miss the third years, while Onoda, Imaizumi and Naruko seem to have been sidelined in favour of developing the newbies and former side characters. Once the interhigh starts, I imagine this will shoot back up again.