[Review] KOKKOKU – Episode 1

Well, this is a premiere that hits the ground running. By the end of the episode there’s been a kidnapping, a ransom demand, and not one but two pretty brutal fight scenes. Also monsters or spirits are somehow involved, but apparently that’s a kettle of fish for a whole ‘nother episode.

[Review] School Babysitters – Episode 1

Childcare is a big deal for me. Nothing grates on me more than poorly written fictional children, who tend to be either overly precocious and precious or totally helpless. There’s also few things that bring me greater joy in fiction than well-written children, because it’s so hard to capture that mix of sweetness, natural self-centeredness, and unpredictability that characterizes the age. I approached School Babysitters with some trepidation—could it nail the chaos of a daycare?

The answer, it turns out, is a resounding YES.

[Review] Mitsuboshi Colors – Episode 1

I finished Mitsuboshi Colors with a deep sigh of a relief and a cry of “Oh THANK GOD it isn’t lolicon!” There’s more to like about it than just that, mind you, but if you saw the cover art and were side-eyeing it like I was, I figured I should start this review by putting your greatest fears to rest. Based on this premiere, Mitsuboshi Colors is more-or-less a family-friendly show, albeit one with a saucy streak.

[Review] Pop Team Epic – Episode 1

Nobody else wanted to try writing about this one, so your managing editor is in da house to take one for the team. Pop Team Epic appears to be 24 minutes (but really only 12 minutes) (I’m still not even sure it’s actually full-length?) of carefully crafted trolling. There’s a reason the most iconic image is of the two girls gleefully flipping off the readers, you know.

[Review] Sanrio Boys – Episode 1

There are three things you need to know about Sanrio Boys going in. First, it’s a shameless toy commercial that wants you to shut up and give Sanrio your money. Second, it’s a cute-boy show blatantly targeted at (straight) teen girls in the same way many cute-girl shows are targeted at (straight) teen boys, up-to-and-including a gratuitous shower scene. And third, it is somehow, in spite of all these obvious marketing calculations, charming as all get-out.

[Review] DEVILMAN crybaby – Episode 1

Devilman Crybaby is not for everyone. It’s got a list of content warnings as long as my arm, to begin with, which in this premiere includes: animal death, blood, gore and dismemberment, body horror, drug use, so much nudity, and onscreen sex. It is determined to exercise its TV-MA rating and clearly enjoying the freedom of airing on Netflix.

[Review] Junji Ito Collection – Episode 1

Junji Ito’s talent for disturbing atmosphere and slow burns has rightfully cemented his status as a household name. The downside is that it means this adaptation comes with enormous expectations, and it’s arguably impossible to live up to what everyone wants—particularly in a format as inevitably uneven as an anthology. Still, I think this one is off to a pretty good start.

[Review] Katana Maidens ~Toji no Miko – Episode 1

Katana Maidens is in a hurry to get you on board. To that end, it’s willing to throw as many things at the wall as possible in the name of finding something that sticks. Do you like para-military fights against kaiju? No problem, here’s our info-dump opening sequence. More interested in battle maiden fanservice shows? Sure, here’s some weirdly plastic schoolgirls and a bath scene. Do you like tournament arcs, everyone’s favorite part of shonen? Conspiracy thrillers? Oh God, please just tell us what you want.

[Review] IDOLiSH7 – Episode 1

Well, this sure is a boy idol show.

Okay, sorry, that’s not fair. It’s not IDOLiSH7’s (boy that’s going to be annoying to type) fault that boy idol shows have become the new big thing these days. Still, the genre has quickly gotten overcrowded, and it’s going to be an uphill battle for any new one to distinguish itself.

The thing is? I think IDOLiSH7 has a chance.