2024 Winter Premiere Digest

By: Anime Feminist January 19, 20240 Comments
Naomi and Rouge sitting back to back against the Mars skyline

Get out of the winter chill and enjoy some cozy food and cool ladies.

Which shows do you review? 

We don’t review shows that are direct sequels, shorts, or (generally) for very young children. Anything not licensed and/or immediately available is off the table as well; series that are dropped in batches (the binge/Netflix model) won’t receive a premiere review but are eligible for recommendations at end of season. Shows with late release dates will be reviewed separately from the digest.

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 mid-season and wrap-up podcasts. Please note that any shows released in batches/by cour rather than weekly will not be discussed on the mid-season podcast.

Closeup of a serious-looking woman dressed as a surgeon
Doctor Elise: The Royal Lady with the Lamp

How do you write the reviews?

Alex, Vrai, Cy, and Caitlin split the majority of shows, with Toni stepping in to pinch hit. Lizzie and Chiaki took a sabbatical this season to focus on other responsibilities. The titles were divided by each reviewer’s preferred workload and choice.

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.

Mr Villain’s Day Off

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 intersectional 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!

Marcille leaning suspiciously over Laios' cooking pot
Delicious in Dungeon

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!

Fluffy Paradise

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 Winter 2024 Premiere Chart for the legal streaming sites carrying each series. Check to see if a show is available in your region!

Winter 2024 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.

Feminist potential

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.

It’s… complicated

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.

  • Fluffy Paradise (Episode 1): Mostly cute animals, except that the protagonist is supposed to single-handedly decide if humanity is irredeemably racist; again, using a fantasy race as a stand-in.
  • Metallic Rouge (Episodes 1-2): Cyberpunk series with cool ladies and a Black co-protagonist; using androids as a discrimination stand-in often gets dicey.
  • Sengoku Youko (Episode 1): Seemingly a boilerplate battle shounen with simplistic morals, but with an author who often subverts shounen tropes and conventional morality.
  • Solo Leveling (Episode 1): Satire and critique of capitalism is built into its premise, but the character writing, especially for the women, leaves much to be desired.

Neutral zone

Very little to warn folks about, but also not a ton of progressive ideas to chew on so far either.

Yellow flags

Premieres that weren’t actively hateful at the premise level, but still raised some noteworthy caveats or concerns.

  • BUCCHIGIRI!?! (Episode 1): Utsumi’s usual madcap originality, but also lifts Middle Eastern culture for visual aesthetic and a girl waaaay too into her brother.
  • Hokkaido Gals Are Super Adorable (Episode 1): A meet cute premiere set in rural Hokkaido that trips on unnecessary fanservice in the back half.
  • Sasaki and Peeps (Episode 1): Office worker portal fantasy; his middle-school neighbor seems to have a thing for him.

Red Flags

A whole lotta yikes.

  • Chained Soldier (Episode 1): The protagonist becoming magically enslaved to a hot woman is clearly the fantasy, but she’s also not consenting to the dynamic, and nuance is nowhere in sight.
  • The Foolish Angel Dances with the Devil (Episodes 1-2): Urban fantasy rom-com where pseudo-Kaguya-sama flirting machinations get sometimes derailed by servitude kink interludes that one party is loudly not into.
  • Tales of Wedding Rings (Episode 1): Heterosexual harem romance involving promises, rings, that same high school hero, and a whole lot of fanservice from its busty female lead.
  • The Witch and the Beast (Episode 1): Stylish and gritty fantasy that’s throwing around complex themes like prejudice and gender identity with wild abandon; features a forced kiss as the main character’s finishing fight move.

Anime was a Mistake

We had to make a whole category for pedophilia and slavery apologia, and this is it.

  • Gushing Over Magical Girls (Episode 1): Magical girl parody about discovering your kinks… but it’s wall-to-wall explicit fanservice and the cast are all middle-schoolers.

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