Sitting in front of the TV, just me & my socially distanced 2D friends.
Since nobody asked:
8 is the highest score for something I've only watched once.
In overly simple terms: 1-3 = not worth it; 4-6 = worth the watch; 7+ = would watch again.
Titles I didn't finish, short/historical films & music videos generally don't get scored (if they even get added).
Not all equal scores are equal.
A 7 in 2014 is probably a 5-6 now (but I sure ain't rewatching everything to check)
Chances are I've forgotten why something got the score it did.
Not bad, just disappointing. If Part 4 was a welcome return for Lupin as a regular TV series, Part 5 suggests it might have been better if they went back to films & TV specials.
The Island of Giant Insects (sub)
It's not so bad till the bugs show up - which is a problem, given the title. I get that it's trying to be trashy schlock; but it could have tried a bit harder. Hopefully everyone involved got paid, at least. GeGeGe no Kitaro 2018 (sub) Umeka Shouji has a bright future as a cat impersonator. 97 episodes is quite the ask for completionists; but there's barely a dud among them & it's easily one of the better modernisations of a classic series in recent years. Imo the OP is one of the better covers of the original theme song, too.
My Roommate is a Cat
> He & His Cat. It's a bit mawkish & Subaru's mopey loner act can be tiresome in the early episodes; but him getting over it with the help of a cute cat turns out to only be a part of what makes this show a surprisingly sweet & heartfelt experience. Kemurikusa
> Tatsuki & Yaoyorozu return with another show about cute characters in a strange post-apocalyptic world that deserves better than to be left forgotten on Amazon Video. It isn't quite as endearing as Kemono Friends was; but it's still a solid follow up that hopefully won't be the last. Meiji Tokyo Renka
> Ever wondered what an otome game adaptation directed by Daichi Akitarou would look like? Now we know. It's pretty good. I'm not sure why the top reviews are so down on it. Sure, it's by & large a rather standard reverse harem anime; but Daichi's style of dramedy is as fun as ever & if you were surprised by there not being a "they lived happily ever after" ending, then you weren't paying attention. Mob Psycho II
> Takes a couple episodes to get going; but when it does it's got all the good stuff that made the first season a breath of fresh air - then Claw turn up to once again allow for a bloated, action packed ending. Still a show that I want to like more than I do; but I still like it. Rinshi!! Ekoda-chan
> 12 directors & VAs try their hand at a character who's somewhere between Retsuko & Belle de Jour. It's a testament to the range of talents & styles on offer that it starts with Daichi Akitarou & only gets better. The Royal Tutor Movie
> A triple length episode of princely shenanigens; with two new princes, a lower-key atmosphere & cgi rendered on a mouldy potato. The Magnificent Kotobuki
> The Last Exile meets Girls & Tanks? I don't think I'll ever be a fan of these types of plastic-looking cgi character models; but it's a fun & entertaining series with some gorgeous aerial combat, though the speed things escalate towards the end make me think it was conceived as a longer series. The Price of Smiles
> It's nothing to look at & a lot of its two factions fighting over a magic, mysterious resource story will be familiar to mecha fans especially. However, some of the character writing is really good; & the focus on individuals' motivations for fighting (& dying) moreso than the politics & battles means weaknesses in the latter matter less.
Midnight Occult Civil Servants
> Imagine if Natsume graduated & got a job with the local government's yokai affairs bureau. Nothing to look at & many of its themes will be familiar to Book of Friends fans; but I had a good time with its slightly more adult, urban fantasy spin on stories of mistrust & miscommunication between humans & the supernatural. RobiHachi
> A fun, frivolous & very camp comedy by some of the production staff from Cute High Earth Defence Club. This time it's a mecha-space adventure mixing character comedy, genre parodies & taking the piss out of what PR companies have done to Japanese tourism. Cinderella Nine
> Pretty much what you'd expect from a cute girls sports club anime & can look a bit janky at times. To its credit, it executes the formula pretty well & at least tries to answer "why baseball?" with a bit more than "because girls are cute." Hitoribocchi no Marumaru Seikatsu
> The optimistic antidote to Watamote, where the appeal is in watching a socially awkward weirdo succeed at making friends despite that instead of failing because of it. Sarazanmai
> The route to a man's heart is through the anus. Probably Ikuhara's easiest series to follow; though I do wonder if, perhaps because it's about male instead of female characters, it indulges in its more scatalogical visual "metaphors" to an unnecessary degree. Would be a shame if that put some people off. Senryu Girl
> A short & sweet show. / The main couple are cute & / the rest are fun too.
Do You Love Your Mom and Her Two-Hit Multi-Target Attacks?
> ...I liked it. It's pure trash; but why so few people seem to have seen the funny side of an isekai about a teenager being forced to tag along on his epic fantasy adventure with his mum, I dunno. Maybe y'all are just too young, or I'm too far gone. Given
>Pretty good as boys in a band anime go & the overtly gay characters give their drama an extra spark. My only real gripe with it is that Mafuyu too often comes across like a clueless robot rather than as introverted/emotionally scarred
Kono Oto Tomare! Season 2
> Formulaic & cliche, but that's no bad thing. Despite some overwrought drama & limited production values, it pulls off most of what you'd want from a show about seemingly disparate kids overcoming personal problems & growing as both individuals & friends as they strive to be the best at [club activity] they can be. Welcome to Demon School!
> The setting won't win any prizes for originality & Iruma's nice guy failing upwards shtick can get tiresome when it's laid on too thick. That aside, it's mostly a fun series with an entertaining cast & builds up to a satisfying conclusion.
Favourites of 2018
Bob Team Epic
> I could watch Bob Team Epic all day. Rest of it is a bit more hit & miss, though its best moments far outweigh its worst. & hey, you don't have to get a joke to find it funny. Hakumei & Mikoshi
> Almost dropped it after episode one because of the overuse of gags & the director's annoying fondness for manga-panel style split-screens. Glad I didn't, though; because it quickly settles down & watching the characters live their idyllic little lives is just adorable. Laid Back Camp
>Pleasant & relaxing. Indeed it's so laid back that I let my Crunchyroll sub. lapse while watching & didn't get around to finishing it for over a year. Make of that what you will.
> Pulls its punches somewhat & the metal gimmick gets a little stale, but is still an office comedy that approaches the subject with more wit & maturity than most workplace anime. Dragon Pilot
> The show's gender politics are a hot, hot mess. However, when the dragon-pilot dynamic is being used as an analogy for ambition rather than romance; Dragon Pilot is a quirky, fun, colourful romp that, due to its ASDF setting, does occasionally veer into "I don't think they considered the implications of using the image of a mushroom cloud in WW2" territory. Space Battleship Tiramisu
> Mecha Spaceballs. It's not smart; but it is funny. Megalo Box
> The "Gears" themselves are a sci-fi gimmick that don't really fit the story it's trying to tell; but otherwise it's a pretty solid, gritty sports tournament anime that clearly parallels Tomorrow's Joe while still being enough of its own thing. GeGeGe no Kitaro 2018
> Umeka Shouji has a bright future as a cat impersonator. 97 episodes is quite the ask for completionists; but there's barely a dud among them & it's easily one of the better modernisations of a classic series in recent years. Imo the OP is one of the better covers of the original theme song, too.
> Some of the character & art design is pretty cool (topknot Robin being a notable exception) & the action scenes are some of the best CGI I've seen in a Japanese production. Just bare in mind that this film prioritises having castle-mecha Joker fight a giant Batman made of bats over there being any reason for it to happen. Hi Score Girl
> Street Fighter II: Love Triangle Edition. A love letter to arcade games & the bonds made playing them. The thing keeping me from liking it more is the love triangle feels there more to add to the episode count rather than the story. Ending on the cliffhanger it does then selling the final episodes as a separate OVA is also really tacky. Happy Sugar Life
>What if Ryu Murakami wrote a high school anime. A darkly comic, violent, thrilling, taboo-ridden psycho(melo)drama that from the first scene makes no secret of what it is & where its story is going. It's not an overlooked masterpiece & clearly isn't for everyone; but I was pretty much hooked from start to finish. Chio's School Road
>Grmr Grl goes to school. Things happen. She gets to school. There's laughs to be had in every episode, though it's sometimes guilty of the anime sin of spending more time explaining the joke than being funny.
Bloom Into You
>At first it seemed a bit like Say "I Love You;" but it gets more complicated than simply being about a one-sided relationship that gradually becomes more equal as the main character overcomes their insecurities. It's good, yet there was still something a bit unsatisfying about it that I can't quite explain.
Favourites of 2017
The Moment You Fall in Love
> A rather standard teenage romantic drama that none the less manages to tell a more complete love story in 60 minutes than many anime manage in four hours. Kemono Friends
> Two strangers find friendship & seek purpose in a setting that's somewhere between The Island of Dr Moreau, The Prisoner & Westworld.
The Laughing Salesman New
> Darkly ironic humour as a shadowy businessman gives seemingly deserving people an offer they can't refuse. Blame!
> Arguably Polygon's best Netflix Original yet as a village on the brink of collapse receives unexpected help from a man of few words. The Royal Tutor
> The good kind of bishoenen comedy where the protagonist is the main character & not merely a vessel through which the audience interact with the others. Tsugumomo
> A throwback slapstick sex comedy where a boy finds himself fighting evil manifestations with the help of a feisty loli spirit. Ninja Girl & Samurai Master 2nd
>The continued comical conquests of Oda Nobunaga from the perspective of his chibi shinobi henchwoman. Night is Short, Walk on Girl
>A quasi-spin off from The Tatami Galaxy, a girl who doesn't stop to think before acting is romantically pursued by a guy who can't stop thinking long enough to act. Amelie continues to cast its long shadow on Japanese romance.
Netsuzou TRap -NTR-
> Heightened, lesbian melodrama that is faintly reminiscent of Manji (Masumura,1964); two girls struggle to come to terms with their feelings in a genre where love between girls is just practice. Pikotarou's Lullaby La La By
> Bedtime stories for a middle aged man. Uh! Internet meme. Owarimonogatari 2nd Season
> Arararagi finally stumbles into adulthood; though once again it takes Senjougahara to stop him & the show from getting lost up his own arse. Made in Abyss
>Takes the formula of classic children's fantasy adventure stories - most obviously ones associated with Takahata & Miyazaki - & keeps the child's yearning for adventure while adding a real sense of peril & forlornness, yet managing to avoid the tiresome edgyness & blind cynicism some "not for kids" stories revel in. Hitorijime My Hero
>It's a bl romance about a student - teacher relationship. So, ya know. However, accepting that & that it's rather slow to watch, it's a pretty solid romance that doesn't pussyfoot around being about gay guys in love.
Girls' Last Tour
>Two cute girls & the end of the world. In theme & tone it's more like something from the early 00's than the late 10's. So if you've been craving something more quiet, contemplative, & bittersweet, give it a shot. I might just be saying that to to avoid calling it Kemono Friends without the friends, though. Land of the Lustrous
>The sheer number of cute crystals can leave it feeling like a gacha girl game adaptation; but the excellent visuals & engaging main character overcome the underdeveloped side characters & subplots. Just Because
>Trains & teenagers. The animation is pretty stiff & it won't win any prizes for originality; but its more low key, more naturalistic take on high-school romance provides all the wanted drama that comes from teenagers making love harder than it needs to be - without much of the usual anime histrionics.
Favourites of 2016:
Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu
> Perhaps best surmised as a combination of Floating Weeds (Ozu, 1959) & Blue (Ando, 2001), an accusation of murder leads to a story of the struggles of two Rakugo actors in post war Tokyo. Oshiete! Galko-chan
> Appearances deceive as the main character's bodily proportions soon reveal a show more concerned with the thoughts of teenage girls than the views of adult men. Kono Danshi, Mahou ga Oshigoto Desu.
> Soubi Yamamoto returns with another boys love story that's got a lot of heart & none of the sexual aggression that too often characterizes yaoi relationships. Pandora in the Crimson Shell
> Two lesbian androids on an island that looks like a pierced labia fight robots & fall in love. Momokuri
> A rom com so sweet you'll develop tooth decay while its main character learns that you can't have a real relationship if you refuse to take your partner off the pedestal you built for them.
Space Patrol Luluco
> An almost perfectly realised first love story takes on intergalactic proportions as Hiroyuki Imaisihi homages almost everything he's worked on since his Gainax days. ]Tonkatsu DJ Agetarou
> Though it perhaps lacks the ambition, it's probably closest anime has come to realising the teenage rockstar (or DJ in this case) fantasy since Beck (2004).
Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE! LOVE!
> Second verse more or less the same as the first, but with enough variation to keep things as entertaining as the first season. Mob Psycho 100
> Instead of the usual special snowflake who wants to be normal until the first damsel needs saving, Mob seeks self-improvement while being confronted by those who can't see past the one thing they think makes them special. First Love Monster
> A rough first couple of episode ends up being a surprisingly entertaining comedy about adults acting like children to play children that look like adults. Takes a turn for the worse whenever it takes itself seriously, though. Ange Vierge
> A straightforward battle babe anime that somehow manages to stand out by virtue of how competently it executes the genre formula - something fewer anime seem able to. Onara Gorou
Life is like a fart. Some pass without notice. Some linger far too long. But all must eventually fade away, just as we all must one day pass on through this transient life. We are all farts in the wind. Your Name
> One can think of it as either 5cm Per Second with a plot; or The Lake House (Agresti, 2006) with a tonne of teen/anime tropes added. It has a myriad of issues; yet somehow I'd still recommend it despite its best efforts to put me off.
Yuri on Ice
> An ambitious tale of love on & off the ice that is arguably guilty of trying to be too much in too short a space of time. Drifters
> Historical figures clash with fantasy creatures in an entertainingly violent action series hamstrung by a tiresomely puerile sense of humour. Chi's Sweet Adventure
> A cute cat does cute things cutely. Dream Festival!
> In a sea of forgettable idol shows, Dream Festival manages to stand out with its amusingly silly stage performances & engaging characters. Sengoku Choujuu Giga
> Historically themed improv comedy combines with side scrolling animation to produce one of the more original anime comedies in years. To Be Hero
> A triumphant debut as an original creator for Li Haoling. A playboy toilet seat designer is sucked into the sewer & begins a vulgarity laden allegory for a mid-life crises as he struggles to confront his failings & reconnect with his teenage daughter before it's too late. Ninja Girl & Samurai Master
>The comical conquests of Oda Nobunaga from the perspective of his chibi shinobi henchwoman. In This Corner of the World
> I'm torn. On the one hand, it does a very good job of immersing you in the world of & making you empathise with its characters. On the other, it's my least favourite type of Japanese film, where an "ideal" young woman is made to suffer through the indignities of life with stoic grace so the audience can learn from her example.
Favourites of 2015
Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE!
> Beautiful boys bathe & battle bad guys, all the while questioning why they have to dress up as magical girls to do so. DRRR!! x2
> A flawed & at times quite ugly conclusion to DRRR!!, but at least they made the effort when few other franchises bother. JJBA: Stardust Crusaders - Egypt Arc
> JoJo at its simplest &, I'd argue, its best as the best ensemble of the series so far travel the world to finally bring an end to the conflict between the Joester's & Dio. Maria the Virgin Witch
> A bawdy comedy that manages to have more to say about war, religion & the role of women than many more serious series. Samurai Warriors
> Manly men being manly during a period of history that writes itself. Yuri Kuma Arashi
> A somewhat obtuse take on Frank Wedekind's Mine-HaHa (1903), Kunihiko Ikuhara's third original series offers social critique & lesbian bears.
> Arguably outstays its welcome, but few series can claim to be as gratuitously gross & yet as entertaining. Wakako-zake
> A woman drinking beer for three minutes shouldn't be this engaging.
> Cute dog does cute things, cutely. Lupin III (2015)
> A fine return to TV for one of the great anime franchises that will appeal to old fans while being as good a start point as any for newcomers. Miss Monochrome: The Animation 3
> The little idol series that could. Owarimonogatari
> Accepting at this point that the Monogatari series might as well just be an assortment of short stories, these more mystery based ones are a welcome addition to a series. Peeping Life TV: Season 1??
> Peeping Life turns its improv comedy onto classic characters from Tezuka & Tatsunoko productions. Monster Strike
> Takes a while to settle into a groove, but once it does it's pretty fun. Girls & Tanks: The Movie
>More girls. More tanks. More girls & tanks.
(Lists updated: 04/08/20)
You should be watching: RobiHachi