Another batch of premieres watched and reviewed! There are still a couple lagging behind the rest, but now that we’ve gone through the main rush, it’s time to take a look at our latest bounty.
Which shows do you review?
We don’t review shows that are direct sequels, shorts, or for young children. Anything not licensed and/or immediately available (oh hai, Netflix) is off the table as well. This left us with a whopping 30 eligible premieres in about two weeks.
Please note that this fall season has a couple latecomers: Tsurune and Million Arthur. We’ll review those when/if they become available in the U.S. and retroactively add them to this list.
How do you write the reviews?
AniFem staffers Vrai and Caitlin handled the bulk of the write-ups, with managing editor Dee and new team member Chiaki swooping in to help out here and there. We don’t always like or dislike the same shows, or to the same extent, but we respect and support one another’s positions and critiques.
Once we have more funding, we aim to set up our own version of ANN’s Preview Guide, to give our readers a range of explicitly feminist views for each premiere. We’re a long way off 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, enough information so you can decide for yourselves whether or not to watch a show. There’s greater access to anime than ever before, and we want to help you find anime you can truly love, without wasting your time on a show which contains an automatic deal-breaker, be that fanservice, homophobia, the sexualization of children, and so on.
Individuals can find value in the unlikeliest of places, 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 merit takes precedence, with overall narrative quality coming second and personal preference a distant(ish) third.
Shows containing feminist themes are at the highest end and those containing anti-feminist themes 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 Fall 2018 Premiere Chart for the legal streaming sites carrying each series. Check to see if a show is available in your region!
FALL 2018 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.
- Bloom Into You (Episode 1): Romantic yuri melodrama that’s both overtly queer and non-fetishized. Despite the lead claiming disinterest and confusion regarding romance, the premiere frames this as a sad thing she will overcome, which may leave aro viewers disappointed.
- DOUBLE DECKER! Doug & Kirill (Episodes 1-3): Speculative detective dramedy with a gender-balanced cast, characters of color, a queer couple, and class-critical plot elements; shares a universe with Tiger & Bunny, but no knowledge of the other show is required.
- Radiant (Episode 1): A straightforward European-inspired fantasy series with a grizzled lady mentor-figure, a (flawed) undercurrent about prejudice and discrimination, and the promise of future characters of color.
- Boarding School Juliet (Episode 1): A determined, capable female lead (Juliet) and supportive male protagonist looking to change a sexist system… but spends its middle act sexualizing and forcing vulnerability on Juliet, including an assault scene.
- The Girl in Twilight (Episodes 1-2): Alternate Universe sci-fi focusing on a female cast and their friendships, including criticism of forced/underage marriage; nudity and mild fanservice in Episode 1.
- Release the Spyce (Episode 1): Extremely fun, energetic action series with a mostly female cast kicking evil crime syndicate butt; gay-coded characters among the main cast. That said, the costumes are impractically fan-servicey and the heroes all have the same body type, while the villains are more varied and interesting.
- Anima Yell! (Episode 1): A club anime with an archetypal cast that takes the female-focused sport of cheering seriously as a sport.
- BAKUMATSU (Episodes 1-2): A sword-wielding steampunk show featuring historical figures designed to cater to a (straight) female audience; few female characters; gratuitous costume designs.
- Hinomaru Sumo (Episode 1): Shounen sports series with a protagonist who immediately takes down a train groper; few female characters with minimal screen time.
- Merc StoriA (Episode 1): Family-friendly fantasy about a boy and a water sprite-like girl healing monsters together.
- Ms. Vampire who lives in my neighborhood (Episodes 1-2): Fluffy supernatural comedy about a teenage vampire and the human girl in love with her; no fanservice.
- RErideD: Derrida, Who Leaps Through Time (Episode 1): Maybe not “fun,” but seemingly harmless time travel story that has nothing to do with the father of deconstructionism.
- Run with the Wind (Episodes 1-2): Grounded sports series featuring college-age characters based on a novel; no female cast to speak of; African character calls out the assumption that he’d be good at sports.
- SSSS.Gridman (Episode 1): Atmospheric tokusatsu revival has two major female characters whose level of involvement remain to be seen.
- ZOMBIE LAND SAGA (Episodes 1-2): Zombie idols do their best while stuck with a (pretty obviously jerky) manager; body horror throughout.
- As Miss Beelzebub likes. (Episode 1): Rom-com set in the fluffiest version of Hell; some nudity and fanservice; possibly a Wacky Comedy Pedophile in future episodes (but not in the premiere).
- Between the Sky and Sea (Episode 1): Mobile-based sci-fi that tries to comment on workplace sexism but gets mired in microaggressions, fanservice, and strawmen.
- Gakuen Basara – Samurai High School (Episode 1): For established fans of Sengoku Basara only; sole female character who appears wears a cleavage-bearing crop top.
- IRODUKU: The World in Colors (Episode 1): Unoriginal “depressed girl meets boy who will probably cure her mental illness” story.
- Karakuri Circus (Episode 1): Male lead “comically” threatens and smacks a kid; powerful female bodyguard is lightly fetishized; somehow fails to make puppet fights fun.
- Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai (Episode 1): Two potentially interesting female leads with nuanced struggles, currently filtered through an insufferable male protagonist; some fanservice; imagery recalling self-harm.
- That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime (Episode 1): Better-than-average isekai has little offensive material, except for one assault “joke.”
- Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary (Episodes 1-2): Main cast featuring women who kick butt, but mired in fanservice. Has opportunity to respectfully and positively depict disability.
- DAKAICHI -I’m being harassed by the sexiest man of the year- (Episode 1): A decent BL rom-com setup between a veteran and newcomer actor poisoned by attempted rape.
- My Sister, My Writer (Episode 1): Extensive fanservice and nudity; main female character wants to date her (blood-related) older brother. Mostly it’s just boring and ugly.
- Ulysses: Jeanne d’Arc and the Alchemist Knight (Episode 1): Largely harmless first episode about a tight-knit group of young nobles with only one male member; however the ending theme and promotional materials hint heavily at later episodes leaning on fan service and sexualization.
Pit of Shame
- Conception (Episode 1): Boy must travel to another world and have sex with twelve girls to save it; some of those girls look very much underage; tanuki mascot gropes the lead girl.
- GOBLIN SLAYER (Episode 1): Mistakes explicit sexual assault for “realism” in the show about fantasy monsters, while the rest of its plot elements are unimaginative or cribbed from other, better-written series.
Anime Was a Mistake
- UzaMaid! (Episode 1): The joke is that a young child tries and fails to keep her caretaker from molesting her and her absent father doesn’t notice. With lots of lengthy monologues from the pedophile. Burn it.