Analysis

Summer 2019 Premiere Reviews

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This shaping up to be one of the strongest overall seasons in a while–there’re more than three shows that I’m actually excited to keep up with rather than obligated–I’m going to go ahead and include the full AniFem digest here, so y’all can also see the stuff I didn’t review.

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!

SUMMER 2019 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 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.

Categories: Analysis

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