Summer’s lookin’ mighty dry, but we’re here to help you find some unexpected treasures.
Which shows do you review?
We don’t review shows that are direct sequels, shorts, or (generally) for young children. Anything not licensed and/or immediately available is off the table as well, though we do our best to offer premiere reviews for “Netflix jail” shows (such as Uncle from Another World) once they become legally available. Shows with late release dates such as The Maid I Hired Recently is Mysterious and FUUTO PI, will be reviewed separately.
While shows may change category as they continue to air, for ease of reference this is the order that will be used when discussing shows on our midseason and wrap-up podcasts. Please note that any shows released in batches/by cour rather than weekly will not be discussed on the midseason podcast.
How do you write the reviews?
Mercedez, Lizzie, Vrai, and Alex took an even split of shows this season, covering 28 series in two weeks. The titles were divided by each reviewer’s preferred workload and choice. Caitlin pitches in on the Anime News Network Preview Guide, so you can see her take on the new shows over there.
Once we have more funding, we’d like to change our current model to provide a wider range of perspectives on more episodes. We’re a long way from that goal, but it’s been a personal wish of ours since launch and we hope to make it happen someday.
What do your reviews focus on?
This varies by writer to some extent (some of us are more focused on visuals, others on narrative, and so forth), but as a feminist site it’s of course essential that we raise any issues of feminist interest.
When you read an AniFem review, you’re likely to learn about female character designs, queer representation, analogies to real-world marginalization, and so on. If you think we missed something, please comment under the review and let us know!
Why do you categorize them?
The purpose of these reviews is to give you, our readers, information to help you decide if you want to try a show. There’s greater access to anime than ever before, and we want to help you find series you can truly love, without wasting your time on a show that contains an automatic deal-breaker, be that fanservice, queerphobia, the sexualization of children, and so on.
Individuals can find value in any series, and we will never lead a boycott of a particular show, but we want to make it easier for you to get the most out of your limited time. In our digest, feminist-relevant themes and ideas take precedence, with overall narrative quality coming second and personal preference a distant(ish) third.
Premieres that seem to contain progressive themes are at the highest end and those featuring regressive ideas (or out-and-out hatefulness) are at the lowest. We expect some disagreement and welcome debate, so if you have any objections to our lists then by all means let us know in the comments!
I found a show I’m interested in! Where can I watch it?
This will vary depending on where you live, but you can browse Yatta-Tachi’s Summer 2022 Premiere Chart for the legal streaming sites carrying each series. Check to see if a show is available in your region!
Summer 2022 Premiere Digest
The following titles are organized by categories, then alphabetically. Note that, because of the way premiere dates are staggered, we’ve had the chance to watch multiple episodes of some series. To give you a fuller picture of how much information we were working with when creating these rankings, we’ve marked how many episodes of each show we’ve seen.
Premieres that so far seem to be addressing progressive ideas or themes and executing them competently. Please check individual reviews for more detailed content warnings.
- Tokyo Mew Mew New (Episode 1): Remake of a classic magical girl series with an explicit pro-conservation message.
Similar to the above category, but in addition to all those possible feminist themes, the show may be biting off more than it can chew or in danger of fumbling its chosen themes.
- Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer (Episode 1): Sci-fi series whose lead is grappling with past trauma; one very cool trope-bucking female character and another who’s mainly there for jokes about her skirt getting flipped up; on the bright side, appears to have cut the manga’s many panty shots.
- Lycoris Recoil (Episode 1-2): A ruthless teen girl assassin learns about pacifism in this sci-fi buddy-cop series that might end up critiquing the shadowy state violence of its central organization… or might end up emphasizing cool action scenes and cute girls.
- Vampire in the Garden (Episode 1): Strongly anti-war queer romance, but it’s almost certain to end in tragedy.
- YUREI DECO (Episodes 1-2): Bright cyberpunk series with a racially diverse cast, female lead, and explicit social commentary; shows some missteps in its depictions of Black characters.
Very little to warn folks about, but also not a ton of progressive ideas to chew on so far either.
- CHIMIMO (Episode 1): Gentle if somewhat slight comedy about adorable little demons.
- Extreme Hearts (Episode 1): Genre mish-mash of sci-fi, sports, and idols that may or may not have the narrative pizzazz to carry this combination.
- Phantom of the Idol (Episode 1-2): Lighthearted comedy about the ghost of a teen idol possessing a lazy dude to achieve her dreams.
- RWBY: Ice Queendom (Episodes 1-3): Speedruns the franchise’s first season before branching off in a new direction.
- SHINEPOST (Episode 1): Idol series that starts strong introducing its main girls; hopefully it won’t fall into focusing entirely on the male manager.
- Shoot! Goal to the Future (Episode 1): Next-gen sequel of a 90s soccer manga that’s all angst, no charm.
- Smile of the Arsnotoria the Animation (Episode 1): 19 minutes of poorly done slice-of-life before it clumsily reveals its dark magical girl intentions.
- TEPPEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Laughing ’til You Cry (Episode 1): Fast-paced, silly comedy show about comedy; a big all-female cast with shallow characterization.
- The Yakuza’s Guide to Babysitting (Episode 1): Somewhat afraid of its own premise but the found family elements are sincere.
Premieres that weren’t actively hateful at the premise level, but still raised some noteworthy caveats or concerns.
- Call of the Night (Episode 1): Beautifully made vampire series dragged down by obtrusive fanservice.
- My Isekai Life: I Gained a Second Character Class and Became the Strongest Sage in the World! (Episode 1): A competent but uninspiring fantasy about an overpowered hero; no overt fanservice, but both of the female characters featured so far have the exact same kind of cute, youthful design whilst the men all look distinct and grizzled.
- My Stepmom’s Daughter is My Ex (Episode 1): Written with more heart than one might expect; the leads dated before becoming siblings, though it’s still playing to the appeal of “not technically incest” rom-coms.
- Parallel World Pharmacy (Episode 1): A compelling spin on overly familiar isekai tropes, however it’s thus far relegated its female characters to tragic background figures and mouthpieces for exposition.
- Prima Doll (Episode 1): The cuteness and tragedy of these sad robot girls feels manufactured and cynical.
- Shine On! Bakumatsu Bad Boys! (Episode 1): Fun, goofy Shinsengumi-flavored action series; fat character who functions entirely as a punchline
- SPRIGGAN (Episode 1): Cold War-era sci-fi shounen; girls are mainly there to be rescued and it uses Hebrew as its Macguffin’s mysterious mystical language.
A whole lotta yikes.
- Bastard!! -Heavy Metal, Dark Fantasy- (Episode 1): Remake of the grandaddy of edgelord power fantasies; warning for sexual violence in later episodes.
- Engage Kiss (Episode 1): Demon-hunting series with a scumbag MC who sponges off both his ex-girlfriend and his current one, the latter of whom is a high school girl.
- League of Nations Air Force Aviation Magic Band Luminous Witches (Episode 1-2): Misfit witches join the military band; flat characters and some ageist worldbuilding about when women lose their magic and thus their “usefulness”. As of Episode 2, the cast’s single darker-skinned character is conspicuously in a crop-top and tiny shorts where everyone else gets something closer to a military uniform.
- When Will Ayumu Make His Move? (Episode 1): A rom-com that centers on embarrassing and defeating a competent girl, with bonus jokes about the male lead casually stalking her.
Anime was a Mistake
We had to make a whole category for pedophilia and slavery apologia, and this is it.
- Black Summoner (Episode 1): Not one new idea as a power fantasy isekai, and one of the tropes it lifts is romanticized slavery.
- Harem in the Labyrinth of a Another World (Episode 1): Power fantasy isekai actively extolling the virtues of buying sex slaves.
- Vermeil in Gold (Episode 1): Ecchi series about an adult demon woman constantly feeling up a very baby-faced and uninterested high school boy.
Editor’s Note (7/18/22): This article was edited after publication to move the placement of Shine On! Bakumatsu Boys and add additional warnings