We now arrive at the summer season, a season full of great shows that made those 3 months very enjoyable. Here are some highlights from the summer season!
Of course this would be first up, there never was any doubt about that. Harukana was one of those shows that the moment it was announced I had fully decided I was going to watch it. I knew nothing more than it was about girls playing beach volleyball, but that’s all that I needed to know going in. For real though as far as I can think, I don’t think there has ever been an anime about beach volleyball. Normal volleyball yes but never beach volleyball, so that was actually a secondary factor in my urge to watch it, a sports show that hasn’t been done before. And at its core that’s exactly what Harukana was, a sports show. Sure every ep was a beach ep and had girls in swimsuits, but it wasn’t some cheap gimmick, there was a reason this was happening. Be it training or actually playing, the swimsuits served a purpose in the show and had a reason to be there all the time.
It ties into the second point I made while writing weekly reviews, the fan service aspect of the show was actually very well-balanced. I know it sounds like a bit of a reach, but for real it was easy to pick out the fan service moments from the normal volleyball stuff. They kept the fan service to a good level, never beating you over the head each ep with it, but keeping it in its proper place.
I know you might have just expected me to be rambling on about anime girls in swimsuits for my write-up on this show, but honestly these are two points that are probably always over looked when a show like this comes around. But if all you care about is just watching anime girls in swimsuits play beach volleyball each ep, then I can 100% recommend this show to you. It will be no means let you down. So yeah, it’s an easy pick for me as top favorite, it was exactly what I wanted and even more so.
Shoujo☆Kageki Revue Starlight
This is a show that slipped under the radar and got little attention but man was it something. It’s a show best watched blind as I only read up a very brief summary of it before adding it to my list and watching it. Ep 1 seems normal for most of it, then the back half picks up and… yeah I wasn’t ready for it at all. Mild spoilers if you want to keep reading, normally I wouldn’t go in for a show like this had I known a bit more about it, I find myself struggling to keep up with all the symbolism and such, but I stuck with this show, interested where things would be heading after one of the best opening eps of the season, and yes by the end I can safely say it was a ride I’m glad I stuck with. Aside from the story and large cast of interesting characters, a part of the show that really stands out for me is the music and animation. I loved how incredible each duel looked, from the elaborate stages to the fluid animation of the girls dueling it out, each time they took the stage you knew you were in for a treat. And this being a musical show too, you can expect each song to be great and it was. Lots of music in this show, lots of albums to get if you enjoy it all. All in all though Revue Starlight is a show worth checking out as it’s a little different but still a very exciting watch.
Happy Sugar Life
Hot on the heels of Magical Girl Site in the spring time, Happy Sugar Life is another one of those moepocalypse shows (as OG puts it so nicely), so while it looks and cute and bubbly, it’s pretty dark and psychological. I went into this one expecting maybe a more gory of show, with Satou some serial killer, but no this show was focusing heavily on the psychological side of things. Not to say it didn’t have its fair share of bloody scenes, but that wasn’t the sole focus of the show. Satou isn’t exactly a normal “hero” as she’s not exactly playing with a full deck herself, but she justifies her actions as protecting her one true love, Shio, and their happy sugar life they live together.
It’s a psychological thriller that really goes inside the minds of the characters and shows how even the most normal looking ones can be the craziest out there. Satou runs into some deranged folks along her journey, overcoming each hurdle with the mindset that she’s doing this for the right reasons, even when they seem quite wrong or maybe in that gray area. So while on a whole it’s more of a slow show, when things get serious the show picks up and it really gets going. But the best part of it is that it doesn’t have to be non-stop action or hack and slash every ep, it’s that psychological thriller aspect of the show that really makes it an interesting watch. Each character has their own method to their madness and how it all plays out is where the show truly shines. It’s not a show for everyone, but if you’re a sucker for these moepocalypse shows, Happy Sugar Life should be on your list for sure.
Satsuriku no Tenshi
I’m a bit hesitant to say that Satsuriku no Tenshi was my favourite anime of the summer season but much like Eromanga Sensei from last year, after looking at everything I watched that season I’ve been given the options of either ISLAND which I have yet to finish or the promising start to an ultimately botched job. In all fairness, of an avid fan of the RPG Maker scene in general and someone who enjoyed the original game Satsuriku no Tenshi my expectations were unintentionally a bit higher than they should have been. Being the first major RPG Maker hit to get a television anime adaptation (not counting Ao Oni) it had quite large shoes to fill.
That being said, it was a bit inevitable that moments of video game logic or the bizarre end of the story would be mishandled since how do you handle that sort of thing? Part of me is a bit glad Satsuriku no Tenshi took the bullet of getting a good number of things right but a lot wrong so that when the inevitable next adaptation comes along but this time of something more beloved like a Funamusea game gets adapted there’s a sort of template for what to get right. I think at the very least I can appreciate Satsuriku no Tenshi for that.
Well, I didn’t finish too much from this season. This summer season for me was odd too, it was the first time since I started blogging here where I did not review anything weekly on The Reviewer’s Corner and reviewed something here. For once I also managed to complete and enjoy the series, although that could be said for all shows I reviewed here to completion that I rather enjoyed them a lot and they were some sort of major highlight. So, with that said, it is hopefully obvious what my choice is:
Cells at Work
Now, I am going to start what I didn’t like about the show. At times they had info dumping, and while the information was super helpful to understand the series, sometimes it took away from the action. This was much more common in the earlier episodes, and still served as a good part of the series. What I loved about the series is easily the main character. I still get a tad emotional thinking about her character development at the end of the series. It was so well done, while also being just as well done for her slight revert back to her old self. I won’t say more since that goes into major spoilers.
This series was fun, when it was not being informative, it certainly played around with the characters and right when it was thought to be possible when you would not here stories about them, there still were stories to tell. It made for an interesting monster of the week series, granted there wasn’t always a foe that needed fighting, and honestly in cases when there weren’t, the series shined just as bright and managed to be just as entertaining as it was informative. This show was easily one of the biggest highlights of the year for me, and I really hope I can cover more of it in the future here. (Not counting that OVA I still need to review)
Grand Blue Dreaming
Ah the college drinking anime. Eh it’s about diving. Seriously?
That’s the case with this gem of an anime where yes there is a lot of drinking(almost to the point where livers weep at the mere sight of it) but the majority of it is the bonds that are shared between clubmates during a point in life where people are changing and finding themselves. I found it to be a hilarious anime about fitting in and having a good time in college and I’d definitely recommend it to anyone that’s looking for a laugh.
Happy Sugar Life
The show I reviewed last summer. Often times with horror we usually get jump scares and monsters but Happy Sugar Life threw that on its head with its realism and adult fear. It’s way more scary to find that the adorable young girl that lives in your building is a murderous kidnapper as opposed to being chased by some flesh eating monster. Sure both are scary but one is a little more real, a little more close to home.
And there you have it, our favorites from the summer season!
What were your top shows of that season? Leave a comment below with the shows you enjoyed the most last summer!
Up next is part 4 which is the fall 2018 season, which wrapped up about a month ago now. Be sure to come back for our picks from that season.
See you next time!