[Review] THE REFLECTION – episode 1

After THE REFLECTION, some of the people in all parts of the world are discovered with super powers. Some become heroes, and others villains. How did The Reflection happen? What was the cause of it? With many unsolved mysteries, the world is lead into turmoil. Source: Crunchyroll Oh, Studio DEEN. I thought that perhaps the truly lovely Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju meant you’d finally broken through your well-deserved reputation for heinously cheap animation. I was wrong. Shame on me.

[Review] GAMERS! – episode 1

Keita Amano is a lonely young man who loves video games; Karen Tendō is the beautiful president of the video game club; Chiaki Hoshinomori constantly fights with Keita; and Tasuku Uehara puts on a facade of being satisfied with his life in the real world, but he in truth loves video games. Source: Anime News Network I am as surprised as anyone to find myself wanting another episode of GAMERS!. Given how hit or miss club shows can be, combined with the infamously toxic atmosphere that is actual gaming culture, the show had an uphill battle ahead of it. But skin my flesh and call me a newb if I didn’t walk away endeared.

[Review] Classroom of the Elite – episode 1

Kōdo Ikusei Senior High School is a leading prestigious school with state-of-the-art facilities where nearly 100% of students go on to university or find employment. The students there have the freedom to wear any hairstyle and bring any personal effects they desire. Kōdo Ikusei is a paradise-like school, but the truth is that only the most superior of students receive favorable treatment. Kiyotaka Ayanokōji is a student of D-class, which is where the school dumps its “inferior” students in order to ridicule them. For a certain reason, Kiyotaka was careless on his entrance examination, and was put in D-class. After meeting Suzune Horikita and Kikyō Kushida, two other students in his class, Kiyotaka’s situation begins to change. Source: Anime News Network Classroom of the Elite thinks it’s a lot smarter than it actually is. This is a show that opens with a quote from Nietzsche (which is slightly more or less stupidly pretentious than quoting Rand, depending on who you ask) and ends on La Rouchefoucald. Simultaneously, I had guessed its end-of-episode twist by about the five-minute mark. That’s not necessarily a deal-breaker, because there are several hints of genuine intrigue here, but is certainly sets a tone.

[Review] My First Girlfriend is a Gal – episode 1

Junichi “Jun” Hashiba is an uncool high school student who frets about wanting to lose his virginity. Egged on by his friends, Jun gets on his knees and confesses his love to a classmate named Yukana Yame. The confession surprisingly works and the couple goes out. However, Jun finds himself in uncharted waters with Yame, a trendy and fashion-conscious “gal.” Source: Anime News Network “Oh, there’s this season’s obligatory T&A show,” I thought, as the opening seconds of the episode framed a set of censored labia and the opening credits showed off the kind of watermelon boobs that would give an actual human serious back problems. I could’ve called it there, but I kept on—you may all remember that I had a grand time laughing at Seven Mortal Sins last season, so I didn’t want to miss any idiotic gold. The only idiot was me, flying ever higher on wings of wax. Caution: So very, very many NSFW images below.

[Review] In Another World with My Smartphone – episode 1

Mochizuki Touya is the unfortunate victim of a bolt of lightning thrown carelessly by God. Because he really wasn’t supposed to die at fifteen, God is willing to cut him a deal – Touya can be reborn, or rather, re-placed, at his present age in a new world in order to continue living. To sweeten things, the world will have magic, which Touya will be able to use, his physical abilities will get a boost, and he can bring any one thing with him. Touya opts to take his smartphone, which God kindly equips with the appropriate maps and translation functions for his new life. And that life looks like it’s going to go pretty well – within moments of awakening, Touya has been paid for his other-world clothes, formed a party with twins Elze and Linze, learned he can use all seven forms of magic, and introduced his new world to ice cream – and this is only the first day. Source: Anime News Network If you’ve been watching anime at all these past five years, you’ve seen this series before. A teenage boy dies and gets sent to a fantasy world. He meets some cute girls around his age and they go adventuring together. There’s a bunch of world-building about Guilds and magic systems. Our protagonist turns out to be Very Special And Talented. Okay, sure, the kid gets to use his smartphone to help people invent ice cream, but beyond that this is a straightforward, by-the-book, boilerplate isekai light novel adaptation. I, uh… kinda liked it?

[AniFemTalk] Summer 2017 so far

The Summer 2017 premieres are almost all out – what do you think so far? Which shows do you intend to keep up with? Which were you surprised by, for better or worse? Which do you think will be of particular interest to AniFem readers? Which do you suspect you may enjoy even though it’s not exactly feminist-friendly? Which of our premiere reviews has been your favorite so far?   Comments are open! Please read our comments policy before joining the conversation and contact us if you have any problems. At this stage, we have raised enough money to be able to pay for contributed posts, behind the scenes admin, and audio editing for weekly podcasts. Our next goal is to pay the editors who have worked on AniFem as volunteers since before launch, making enormous contributions for no pay. Help us pay them for their work at a rate of $15 an hour by becoming a patron for as little as $1 a month! 

[Review] Angel’s 3Piece! – episode 1

Kyō Mekui is a high school student who tends to skip school due to a trauma in his past. Kyō secretly creates songs using vocal song synthesis software as his hobby. Three girls who just entered fifth grade — the crybaby Jun “Jun-tan” Gotō, the strong-willed Nozomi “Zomi” Momijidani, and the somewhat sleepy Sora “Kū” Kaneshiro who takes life at her own pace — email Kyō. These three girls, who were raised together like sisters since childhood, want Kyō to help them break into music. Source: Anime News Network I like to go into premieres blind, so I knew nothing about 3Piece beyond the cover art. “Eh, worst-case scenario, it’ll just be a bland cute-girl show,” I thought as I signed up to review it. Such a fool I was. So young. So naive.

[Review] A Centaur’s Life – episode 1

Follows the school life of a teenage centaur named Himeno, and her friends, who happen to be mermaids, angels, and other mystical creatures. Source: Anime News Network Over the course of both watching this show and writing this review, I was assured from multiple sources that lots of people really like the manga, and that it improves drastically after its first chapter. I cannot judge this future potential, because it is not here in front of my eyes. And if it is indeed true, this premiere does the single worst job of selling that promise I’ve ever seen.

[Review] Princess Principal – episode 1

Five girls live in 19th century London, a city within the Albion Kingdom divided into east and west by a large wall. The girls serve as undercover spies enrolled as students at the prestigious Queen’s Mayfair school. The girls make use of their individual abilities to remain active in the underground world of disguise, espionage, infiltration, and car chases. Source: Anime News Network Minor bones of contention aside, this has the makings of an engaging and poignant action title. Princess Principal starts strong with a car chase sequence that wouldn’t be out of place in Lupin III (look if the show wants to have a jazz-influenced soundtrack and an anachronistic samurai whose team role is “cuts stuff,” I’m gonna make comparisons), introducing both its steampunk and magical elements in an active, showing-over-telling sort of way. The streets of alternate-history London are intricately designed and manage to look grimy and cluttered without distracting from the central action on screen.

[Review] Chronos Ruler – episode 1

Koyuki is a high school student who’s cheerfully trying to lead preparations for graduation even though she has recently lost her only living relative, her brother. While visiting her brother’s grave, she encounters a strange creature called a Horologue, which is attracted to human regret and eats the time of its victims, causing them to age in reverse. She is saved by Kiri Putin, a serious-minded swordsman who works with his “brother” as a Chronos Ruler, agents who attempt to thwart the activities of the Horologues by slowing down or speeding up time to fight. In defeating the Horologue, the two are able to help Koyuki understand that dwelling on her regret forever isn’t safe or healthy. Source: Anime News Network Well, that happened. I don’t mean that in the sense that this premiere was terrible. It did some very good things, and it did some very bad things in equal measure, and in the end it averages out to “just okay.” You could probably waste some time with it without regret.

[Review] Action Heroine Cheer Fruits – episode 1

The “local heroine fighter” of a certain city became popular and a national star. Because of this, “local heroines” debuted in various other places, and their action live events became a hit trend nationally. In Hinano City, high school girl Misaki Shirogane and other girls become local heroines (at the urging of Misaki’s aunt, the prefectural governor) and vow to produce action live events. Source: Anime News Network For three years I’ve mourned the ending of Samurai Flamenco and its creators’ decision to torch their own house following the series’ abysmal sales. And at long last that series has returned to me under a new name, with all its heroic enthusiasm and queer attraction intact: Action Heroine Cheer Fruits!

[Review] Hitorijime My Hero – episode 1

Masahiro Setagawa doesn’t believe in heroes. With his dad out of the picture and his mother just as likely to bring her work (read: lovers) home as to spend all night out with them, he knows that there’s no one to come save you when you’re in trouble. To that end, he’s thrown his lot in with a group of thugs, doing their bidding if only to have a place to belong. Then one night, after the notorious Bear Killer (a man in a weird T-shirt who takes down thugs) attacks his gang, Masahiro meets Kensuke Oshiba in the park with an abandoned kitten. Masahiro helps Kensuke take the kitten home and feed it, only to discover that Ken’s older brother Kousuke is the Bear Killer himself! A year later, Masahiro and Kensuke are starting high school. Masahiro has cut ties with his former associates, become friends with Kensuke, and finally found the hero he’s always wished for in Kousuke. But with Kousuke set to become a math teacher at their high school and Kensuke’s old best friend Hashiba suddenly returning, do the boys have any hope of a normal high school life – or love? Source: Anime News Network   No.

[Review] Welcome to the Ballroom – episode 1

Feckless high school student Tatara Fujita wants to be good at something – anything. Unfortunately, he’s about as average as a slouchy teen can be. The local bullies know this, and make it a habit to hit him up for cash, but all that changes when the debonair Kaname Sengoku sends them packing. Sengoku’s not the neighborhood watch, though. He’s a professional ballroom dancer. And once Tatara Fujita gets pulled into the world of the ballroom, his life will never be the same. Source: Anime News Network In a shocking turn of events, the most highly anticipated anime of the summer season is real good. There’s not a lot of competition for Best in Show so far, mind, except for maybe Made in Abyss (if it can avoid the worst excesses of its source material). But Ballroom is more than that. It has the vibrant promise of an all-time great.

[Review] Vatican Miracle Examiner – episode 1

To detect lies, refuse fakes, and reach the miracle of God – that is their mission as Vatican Miracle Examiners. Hiraga, a scientific genius and Roberto, an expert on the decryption of cryptography and ancient documents are not only good partners but also “Miracle Examiners” working for the Vatican. They are secret examiners, who are requested to examine and identify the authenticity of miracles from all over the world. Source: Anime News Network In the ’90s and early 2000s, there was a subgenre of (usually) shoujo that I like to call “Catholicsploitation.” Whether they were series that liked the aesthetic of Gothic fiction without necessarily grasping the deeper themes that tradition sprang from, or just liked the mysterious visual appeal of an extremely minor religion in Japan (‘sup, Anno), surface-level use of crucifixes, demonology, homoerotic boarding schools, and starched white collars were kind of a thing for a while. Y’know, your Hellsings, your Godchilds, your Angel Sanctuarys, that one arc in Descendants of Darkness, and so on (seriously, how have we not had a Vampire Chronicles anime?).

[Review] Made in Abyss – episode 1

An enormous pit and cave system called the “Abyss” is the only unexplored place in the world. Strange and wonderful creatures reside in its depths, and it is full of precious relics that current humans are unable to make. The mysteries of the Abyss fascinate humans, and they head down to explore. The adventurers who venture into pit are known as “Cave Raiders.” A little orphan girl named Rico lives in the town of Ōsu on the edge of the Abyss. Her dream is to become a Cave Raider like her mother and solve the mysteries of the cave system. One day, Rico starts exploring the caves and discovers a robot who resembles a human boy. Source: Anime News Network It’s impossible for me to maintain anything even remotely resembling critical distance with this review, so I’m not even going to try. Made in Abyss is a dieselpunk fairy tale that combines a rich world, curious kids, and energetic adventure with an undercurrent of lurking danger and quiet melancholy. I was over-the-moon in love with it by the 30-second mark and gushing about it to the rest of the AniFem staff before the opening credits had finished rolling. I can’t prove it, but I’m pretty sure Kinema Citrus had this series custom-made for me.