Posts by Dee

  • We Rent Tsukumogami – Episode 1

    We Rent Tsukumogami is a historical fantasy based on Shinto-inspired Japanese mythology. It has cute spirits, a great aesthetic, and fun facts about daily life in Edo. It is so squarely in my wheelhouse I was halfway around the bases before I even pressed “play.” So why did this first episode leave me lukewarm?

  • Grand Blue Dreaming – Episode 1

    Take an American frat house movie. Combine it with a Japanese gag manga. Now make them both profoundly unfunny. If you can imagine that, then congratulations! You’ve just seen the premiere of Grand Blue Dreaming.

  • Holmes of Kyoto – Episode 1

    Holmes of Kyoto is a difficult premiere to pin down. Based on a series of mystery novels, it has the laid-back tone of an iyashikei (soothing) series, the soft-touch aesthetic of a slow-burn romance, and the content of Antiques Roadshow. Full marks for originality, I s’pose?

  • Late Night! The Genius Bakabon – Episode 1

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen a show try this hard and so blatantly to be something else—and boy howdy, does Bakabon wanna be Mr. Osomatsu.

  • Phantom in the Twilight – Episode 1

    Lady Luck looked down and smiled upon me, surprising me with a supernatural mystery series complete with spunky female foreign-exchange students, Gatling-gun-toting waiters, and kickass great-grandmas. Oh yeah. This one has my name scribbled all over it.

  • Planet With – Episode 1

    Planet With is buck. Freaking. WILD, y’all. It’s an explosion of plot points and reveals and battles, a gleefully weird cocktail of absurdity, action, and sudden emotional sincerity. It’s a total mess and it has no business working and I cannot wait to watch more of it.

  • Harukana Receive – Episode 1

    I adore beach volleyball, so you can imagine both my initial excitement when this series was announced and my disappointment when I saw the cover art of cute girls in impractical bikinis. Harukana Receive had an uphill battle to win me over… but, well, consider me won over.

  • Seven Senses of the Re’Union – Episode 1

    There’s a lot of world-building, table-setting, and plot packed into this first episode, yet it somehow all pretty much boils down to “What if AnoHana, but in one of them MMO animes that are all the rage with the kids these days?”

  • Yotsuiro Biyori – Episode 1

    There are few fictional genres where “it made me sleepy” is considered high praise, but iyashikei (healing) anime and manga have made it one of their primary goals. So please know that, when I say I nearly dozed off halfway through Yotsuiro Biyori, I mean it in the most complimentary way possible.

  • Cute High Earth Defense Club HAPPY KISS! – Episode 1

    The creative team behind Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE is trying to turn their magical boy show into a bonafide franchise by launching this second series, HAPPY KISS. With a brand-new cast and Michiko Yokote no longer working as series composer, can Cute High rekindle the flame of clever stupidity that made LOVE so much fun?

  • Libra of Nil Admirari – Episode 1

    Libra of Nil Admirari is built atop a fascinating premise and stars a female protagonist trying to find her own path. That’s a solid recipe for a good series—the question is if Libra can effectively cook it.

  • MAJOR 2nd – Episode 1

    The sports anime deluge continues! But where MEGALOBOX and Gurazeni were geared towards an older audience (albeit in very different ways), Major 2nd is targeted towards a younger crowd, with all the marks of a classic shounen—for better and for worse.

  • HINAMATSURI – Episode 1

    Cute without being precious, somber without being grimdark, and refusing to take itself too seriously, Hinamatsuri is thus far a surprisingly fun take on an old (and frequently unpleasant) premise.

  • Gurazeni: Money Pitch – Episode 1

    Have you ever wanted to watch a sports story about financial anxieties and retirement plans? Then have I got a series for you!

  • Tada Never Falls in Love – Episode 1

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with telling a familiar story if you tell it well, and so far TadaKoi is telling it very well.

  • GeGeGe no Kitaro – Episode 1

    We included GeGeGe no Kitaro on our premiere list with the understanding that, if it was a kids’ show, we wouldn’t actually cover it. After watching it, I’d say it’s probably closer to “kids’ show” than “not a kids’ show”… but y’know what? It’s right on the edge, it’s pretty fun, and I’m trapped inside of my apartment because ice is falling from the sky in April. So screw it! Let’s do the dang thing!

  • After the Rain, Ristorante Paradiso, and the delicate art of the age-gap romance

    Through its premise, dialogue, and visual language, Ristorante Paradiso is a story that’s clearly told from its female protagonist’s perspective and directed at a female audience. After the Rain, on the other hand, seems mostly directed at the (straight) adult men its seinen magazine is so obviously targeting.

  • My Fave is Problematic: Fushigi Yugi

    Full of big adventure and bigger emotions, Fushigi Yugi scratched an itch I hadn’t even known I had: for fantastical, adventure-driven comics and TV shows that placed as much focus on character relationships and emotional turmoil as they did on action and intrigue, and treated those feelings not only with respect, but as powerful forces essential to the plot.

  • DARLING in the FRANXX – Episode 1

    This has the potential to challenge cultural and gender norms. It also has the potential to be a queer-erasing mess of cliches. And while I want to believe it’ll be the former, I can’t shake the feeling it’ll wind up being the latter.

  • DamePri Anime Caravan – Episode 1

    ‘Scuse me while I bust out the biscuits, ’cause this premiere was 100% my jam.