Seasonal Anime Marathon — Summer 2021 Edition
Another season has come, which means another anime marathon has been had! This time around, we only had 24 series to go through which led to a far shorter marathon with ~10 hours instead of the previous 13½... Sadly, we also seem to have had far fewer standout potential “Greats” than last season, and some that are regrettably very much in the “Don’t Watch”-category…
But I’m getting ahead of myself. See the start of my last post for more details, but for the short pitch of what you’re currently reading: There’s too much anime coming out each season for any one person to go through, and it’s hard to try to decide what’s worth keeping an eye on or not for the coming 2-3 months. To remedy this, me and a bunch of friends started doing Seasonal Anime Marathons, where we go through each of the pilot episodes of new anime series as a fun group thing instead (not including sequels or other series that require previous knowledge before jumping into, so anyone can join the marathon without being ‘in the know’ about any one series), as listed by sites like MAL. This means that we get to see the good stuff together, and laugh at the bad trash that inevitably pops up here and there.
What follows below are some of our quick thoughts on each pilot episode, and I hope it can be of some use in helping you decide what’s worth giving a shot this Summer Anime Season of 2021!
So, as always, going roughly in the order of how we arbitrarily watched them:
We begin with an almost fully 3D anime. Apparently a new mixed-media project where the mobile game version isn’t out yet, but it’s essentially another death game battle anime. Main-char-kun finds himself teleported to a strange place where people are battling against big monsters, and they’re wondering why he’s not using his powers etc. There’s an attempt of a cute… thing wandering around, but honestly I wasn’t paying too much attention during this one so I’m unsure if we got to know what it was… Not really memorable. There were overall some decent char designs and rendering, but animation outside of battles seemed a bit stiff. IN the battles was where it shined, so there is some hope if you’re looking for big bombastic set pieces in that regard!
It seems we’re continuing the death game genre for a second series! Something something Pro Gamer protagonist-kun gets dragged into a death game where you always have a 5-second timer before a battle starts, and each person gets a unique ability to help them out. Very full of itself, pacing is… jumping around a lot, but the battle effects seem alright but not great. Some gore. Most of us will most likely skip.
From the creator of Mangaka-san to Assistant-san to and Aho Girl, we are now thrown into the life of Naoya-kun, who is the very embodiment of “honest to a fault”. After confessing his love to his childhood friend Saki daily for literal years, they end up dating, and life seems good (although Naoya continues to be *intense* in his commitment). One day however, Minase corners Naoya and confesses her love for him, which “naturally” makes him want to date her as well. But he can’t break up with Saki since he loves her so much, so naturally they go to her in order to get her permission for him to date both of them, which goes about as well as you’d expect…
I’m personally caught up with the manga on this one, and it keeps the absurdity and intensity going throughout. I’d say give this 2–3 episodes if you’re unsure after the first episode, and there’s slightly more to the dynamic than what’s presented in the pilot. It’s dumb fun.
Another one where I’m caught up on the manga!
Isekai, where protag-kun is a realist! No, really, that’s about it. Immediately following his summoning to another world (“oh shit, it worked!”), he questions the reasoning of the summoning kingdom, and sets off redoing their finances instead of being sent off as down payment to a neighbouring country. There’s A LOT of talking in this series, and it’ll probably be far between any actions and battles, but again I’d say give this a shot as the character roster gets interesting, and it’s not your typical Isekai route, despite being set in a very typical fantasy Isekai world. Several people (including myself) will keep an eye on this one.
We’re thrown right into this one, and presented with our “Isekai-jin” (basically “otherworlder-person”) being set up with a neat drugstore, with a cute helper werewolf and a ghost that seems to be the one making most of the actual potions they sell? It’s all very in medias res (and it’s not the only series that does that this season…).
Seems cute, although many were put off by the highly repeated “cute” lines and jokes that were thrown about during the episode. I’ll might give this a shot, but it’s definitely not a sure-fire recommended watch just yet.
(For those of you unfamiliar with the term, a “black company” in Japan is one where they have exploitative sweatshop-style work environments, extremely long unpaid overtime etc)
Our “Pro Über NEET” protagonist has it all. He has achieved “ultimate NEET-ness” by a series of investments and has finally reached peak economic independence where he can now live the rest of his days cooped up in his own luxurious penthouse without working another day of his life. That is, until he gets sucked into another world…
Seems fun, although of course there’s a giant monster dragon that turns into a barely-not-naked small girl, and the protagonist isn’t exactly the most likeable guy. It might be fun, but in a very trash kind of ‘fun’?
With an hour-long pilot episode, and one of the highest scored series so far, we had high hopes going into this. Story essentially boils down to protag-kun being slightly unsuccessful gamedev whose project gets cancelled again, and for mysterious reasons he gets sent back in time 10 years, giving him a chance to redo his life starting from art school.
It seems okay? Some obvious plot twists, and an ecchi scene that made all of us go “Why though.”, but seems competent overall, maybe? We’ll give this a shot.
Vampires. Fantasy. Supernatural powers. Studio Bones. Seemed very Shoujo, but is apparently categorized as Shounen. Definitely one of the most interesting series of the marathon. Vampire meets human vampire doctor(?), and vampire decides to tag along with said human. Watch the first episode and you’ll know if you’re on board or not.
The game the anime. Seems very meh. Designs are all over the place, especially the monsters. I’d probably play the game instead of watching this. Some cool action shots here and there though.
Another double-length pilot episode, but we’re unsure why. This episode was really all over the place. One scene they’re battling CG ear snakes on an international flight, the next they’re cosplaying at a high school culture festival? Protag-kun gets dragged into the Detective’s plans for reasons unknown, and Detective is supposedly SUPER SMART and has the POWER OF DEDUCTION, but essentially we’re just shown “oh yeah I had a plan all along” at the end of each segment, instead of any actual “deduction”.
Very weird. Probably a pass?
This one was hilarious. About kids show hosts who are VERY tired of life, switches personas between cutesy kid-friendly fake smile and dead “what am I doing with my life” eyes every few seconds. Might get tiring to watch all-at-once, but as a weekly show it has great potential. We’ll definitely keep watching. #relatablecontent
Another mostly-3D sci-fi series with psychic powers. Something something “utopia” where anything that can’t be physically explained is forbidden (think religion, illusion magic, etc). For the better of humanity, of course. We follow two sets of brothers, one seemingly fleeing from the ruling powers, and one that enforce the law but look like they’re beginning to see through the cracks?
Looks a bit meh, but eh. Maybe has potential.
Definitely one of the most *interesting* series of the marathon. Highschool kids are somehow in a dark void that has swallowed them and their school, and some of the kids now have superpowers? Leads to some lord of the flies-stuff, some surrealist events. “Paprika, is this your child?”
We’ll definitely keep watching.
Another potentially great one! Girls are applying for “Red Flower Opera Company”, one of the most prestigious music schools in the country, which only enrol women. A ‘failed’ former idol who wants nothing to do with anyone else and a very extroverted and extremely tall who dreams of having the exclusive lead role at the school’s grand performances clash as they meet. Fun, great art, great chemistry and characters.
Waterpolo anime, without any waterpolo first episode. Protag-kun wakes up from half-year coma following a car crash, but has forgotten the past 3 years of his life, including a fairly successful middle school life as a water polo player and the friends he’d made during that time. Unsure what we wants to to with his fresh start and how to deal with the trauma in the family, he encounters more and more things from his now forgotten past.
Typical sports drama. Not my kind of anime, but if you’re into these kinds of series it looks competent enough.
Fantasy world where humans and demihumans don’t get along. Protag-chan is some sort of princess (?) that encounters a demihuman and feeds her a carrot, so now it’s devoting its life to her, obviously. They encounter “Ogres” (not green-skinned ones as we mostly know them in the west, these come in all shapes and sizes) and there’s suddenly gore everywhere.
We don’t know what to expect based on the first episode, might give this a watch out of morbid curiosity? Definitely in the ‘trash’ tier though.
So, uh, we skipped this one after about a minute in. Opens up first frame with full uncensored tits and ass; three fully naked women (I’m assuming goddesses based on the title) bathing and a 12-year old boy walking in on them.
Gag manga getting an anime. Second-in-command to Demon Lord gets her powers taken away and sent to our world, where she struggles to survive in Japanese society. Thankfully for her, instead of being trapped in the powerless childlike appearance at all times, she can temporarily switch appearance to her usual normal-sized self, allowing her to take a part-time job at a Izakaya. Comedy ensues. Seems cute?
I’m only posting about this to let you know to skip this one. Trust me.
Most of the episode is decent, almost good even, then for SOME UNKNOWN REASON it ends on a utterly despicable and disgusting scene that comes out of nowhere. DO NOT WATCH.
I don’t know what to say about this one. It’s an Isekai, but there are lingering memories of the real world or something? We were mostly in fantasy land during first episode, but there’s clearly connections to the normal world based on ED and such. Typical ‘scum royals think of peasants as worthless trash’ tropes, which just made us go “why though” during some scenes.
CW for child torture.
By far the worst 3D of the season. If you’ve seen “High-Score Girl” you know pretty much what to expect in terms of character style, but with the main girl having spheres for breasts here. Boy kills anything he touches and is ostracized from his family and society, but his maid is THIRSTY and wants him for unknown reasons.
P.A. Works coming in with the best visuals of the season. One girl is ‘the director’ of the local aquarium and lives for the ocean life. One girl is fleeing a failed idol career in Tokyo and decides to go to Okinawa instead of returning back home. Of course, second girl comes across the aquarium and the first girl, and wants to work there immediately.
We’ll definitely keep watching this one.
Last, but not least, is another Isekai. Protag-kun gets sent to another world through some supreme being who sends him to an underling goddess, who turns out to be a complete asshole and sends Protag-kun to the edge of her world where he can’t bother her or her other summoned heroes. Supreme being feels sorry for him because of this (“Sorry about her behaviour”), and gives him some additional powers to compensate. Beyond that, typical overpowered Isekai protagonist stuff the rest of the episode, another dragon turns into a girl (this time a bit older though thankfully).
AND THAT’S IT. Some good, a few potential Greats here and there. I also didn’t mention it earlier, but the MUSIC this season is fantastic. Both in terms of OPs and EDs (ED to Uramichi-Oniisan is chill and great), but also just in the background of the shows (Girlfriend, Girlfriend was just one standout here).
Ones to definitely watch:
- Sonny Boy
- Opera Girl
- The Case Study of Vanitas
- Realist Hero
If you’re in the mood for them:
- Remake Our Life!
- Girlfriend, Girlfriend
Stay absolutely clear from:
- The Idaten Deities Know Only Peace
- Mother of the Goddess’ Dormitory