2019 Summer Premiere Digest

By: Anime Feminist July 17, 20190 Comments
A boy with red hair carries a guitar on his back and stares at two people obscured in the foreground. He is starry eyed, with sparkles bouncing off of him.

We’ve viewed, we’ve reviewed, and now we’re ready to digest! Let’s see how this hot batch of fresh new titles shaped up.

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 is off the table as well. This left us with 24 premieres in about two weeks.

Thorfinn posing heroically on a boat while an adult man gestures frantically behind him

How do you write the reviews?

AniFem staffers Vrai and Caitlin handled most of the write-ups, with fellow editor 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’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.

A llama leans in and looks curiously at a girl, who leans back in surprise

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!

Kanata wiggling and smiling next to an empty chair. He says "Oh, but I'm not ready to be captain!"

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, homophobia, 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!

Nozomu leaning back from her desk in disturbed shock, face contorted. subtitle: Whoa!

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 2019 Premiere Chart for the legal streaming sites carrying each series. Check to see if a show is available in your region!


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 without also having any significant caveats we need to tell readers about.

  • Ensemble Stars (Episodes 1-2): A male idol series with a running undercurrent of industry critique. 
  • given (Episode 1): A BL music series with great direction and a soft, natural dynamic between its leads.
  • GRANBELM (Episodes 1-2): Magical Girls in Giant Robots; deals with its protagonist’s feelings of worthlessness; seems to be responding to grimdark magical girl trends.
  • Vinland Saga (Episode 1): Slow-burn viking epic emphasizing the importance of positive masculinity; includes an anti-slavery plot (the bar is low).

It’s… complicated
Similar to the above category, but in addition to all those possible feminist themes, there are a few caveats to keep in mind.

  • O Maidens in Your Savage Season (Episodes 1-2): Funny and raw coming-of-age drama about teen sexual awakening; it’s Mari Okada, so the protagonists are messy and prone to bad decisions.
  • 7 Seeds (Episode 1): A sci-fi josei classic with a pretty subpar adaptation; elements of sexual menace and attempted rape.

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

  • Astra Lost in Space (Episodes 1-2): Space survival story with well-developed, gender-balanced cast, although the male lead tends to get all the dramatic heroic moments thus far.
  • BEM (Episode 1): A 50th anniversary adaptation that mars a good concept with ugly, stilted execution.
  • The Demon Girl Next Door (Episode 1): Moe comedy about a novice demon meant to kill the magical girl who keeps rescuing her; very mild fanservicey outfits.
  • Demon Lord, Retry! (Episode 1): Lacks the worst elements of wish-fulfillment isekai but fills the gaps with terrible animation.
  • Do You Love Your Mom and Her Two-Hit Multi-Target Attacks? (Episode 1): Mother-and-son MMO adventure that’s surprisingly sincere; very mild fanservice of an adult woman.
  • Re:Stage! Dream Days (Episode 1): Idol school series with queer subtext and not much else.

Yellow flags
Premieres that weren’t actively hateful, but still raised some noteworthy caveats or concerns.

  • Arifureta: From Commonplace to World’s Strongest (Episode 1): Wish-fulfillment isekai and its usual pitfalls; disastrous production.
  • Dr. STONE (Episodes 1-2): Post-apocalyptic shounen about trying to rebuild society (and the ethics thereof); thus far has portrayed women solely as objects instead of subjects.
  • Fire Force (Episode 1): Fun supernatural action series that mostly considers its female cast vehicles for fanservice.
  • If It’s for My Daughter, I’d Even Defeat a Demon Lord (Episode 1): Glurgy adventurer-adopts-little-girl series that bears no resemblance to real children; in the source material, they hook up later.
  • Isekai Cheat Magician (Episode 1): Wish-fulfillment isekai that also has an overpowered female lead and some sensibly dressed competent women; male lead still appears to be the chosen one; some fanservice.
  • Kochoki (Episode 1): Competently executed take on the younger days of Nobunaga; some uncomfortable fanservice of its young teenage leads.
  • The Ones Within (Episode 1): Feels like the mediocre adaptation of a fun game, only there’s no game; minor fanservice; thinly written female cast.
  • To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts (Episode 1): A monster-hunting revenge drama with some equal-opportunity fanservice, minor peeping “jokes,” and an ambiguous fridging.
  • Wasteful Days of High School Girls (Episode 1): Slice-of-life comedy that feels halfhearted; jokes about their homeroom teacher as a potential predator.

Red flags
A whole lotta yikes.

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