Summer Season Anime Review

By Ilona Kinnear

If you are the type of person who likes to watch an anime all in one sitting and doesn’t like waiting a week for the next episode in a series to come out, I’m with you. The suspense of finding out what happens next is what keeps you coming back, and the anime producers know this. So you wait until a season is over before watching anything that runs that season, and here I am with my reviews and recommendations from the summer season.

Fantasy/Action: “Re: Zero Starting Life in Another World”
From the summer season, there were a lot of great anime, but this anime had a particular impact on me. “Re: Zero” was produced by anime studio White Fox, and is available to watch on Crunchyroll.
First off, when starting the anime, I wasn’t impressed by its cliche opening and unimpressive main character named after a car. Now, if some guy magically teleporting to a fantasy realm isn’t your cup of tea, wait just a second. The beginning might not be impressive, but the payoff is.
Though as a fair warning for some viewers, this anime does contain quite a bit of unexpected gore and brutal imagery.
Without getting into spoiler territory, I will have to say that the character development is very spot-on for the main character and it gives you a perspective of what mental strain a person would go through if they had the main character’s ability.
Another thing, this anime spawned another meme, just sayin’.
So overall, this is a must-watch. I highly, highly recommend it. My rating is an 8/10.

Comedy/Superpower: “The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.”
There are quite a few anime that satirize the genre of superpowers, but I say this one does it really, really well.
“Saiki K.”was produced by the anime studio JC Staff and is the most hilarious anime this season. If you are going for a good laugh, then this is the anime for you.
The basic premise of the story is that you get to follow an “all-powerful” psychic through his point of view and see what it is really like to be one, in a comedic sense.
That is all I can say without spoiling the fun of the show. Definitely a must-watch, 8.5/10. You can watch this one on Funimation.

Slice of Life/Cooking: “Sweetness and Lighting”
This anime works if you want to learn how to cook a few yummy Japanese dishes or just curl up and watch an adorable show.
“Sweetness and Lightning” was produced by TMS Entertainment and is available to watch on Crunchyroll.
The anime follows the story of a single father, whose wife had just recently passed away, and his adorable preschool-aged daughter, though this is a premise that has been done before, I like how this one is executed.
The father notices that all he has been feeding his daughter is pre-packaged garbage and wants to cook her something homemade, but there is one problem. He can’t cook.
So he gains the assistance of one of his students whose mother is a chef on TV, but it turns out the student can’t cook either. With written instructions from the student’s mother, they start cooking together.
Some of the parts I like most about this anime include the father-daughter relationship portrayed and how simply they show the recipes being created. Unlike “Shokugeki no Soma,” an anime that just finished its second season with food-making beyond our comprehension, this show shows us all the steps and what to do so that it’s perfect for cooking beginners.
Definitely a grate watch — just like my puns. 8.5/10

Drama/Time Travel: “Orange”
A slow-paced drama that follows a group of friends, this anime was produced by Telecom Animation Film.
The overall plot of this anime without getting into spoiler territory, is that the main character receives a letter from her future self to manipulate the past in order to erase the regrets that she’ll have in the future.
A few of my gripes for the season are that I didn’t like how they tried to explain how they got the letter into the past. I also wasn’t too fond of the main character’s indecisiveness and immense shyness and stubbornness.
Even though I had my discomforts with the main characters, it was the other people in the group of friends that made me enjoy it, though another gripe of mine is that I don’t think they were given enough screen time.
I would still recommend watching it. I ended up liking it and it had a great ending. 7/10. You can watch it on Crunchyroll.

Action/Superpower: “Mob Psycho:100”

Now, my favorite anime of the season. This anime was created by the same person who created “One Punch Man,” who goes by the alias ONE.
While “One Punch Man” was a satire of the superhero genre, this anime goes for more of a character analysis. It still has the premise of an overpowered main character, but it goes into the cost of having the immense power.
I love how they built upon the main character and also went into depth with the major people around him, mainly his mentor, rival-turned-friend, and younger brother, who looks older than the main character.
Without spoiling anything, again, I would highly recommend this anime for your viewing pleasure as well. You can watch it on Crunchyroll with my rating of 9/10.

Reboot/Action: “D. Gray Man Hallow”
And lastly, an amazing reintroduction to an older series I very much enjoyed.
This anime has been long-awaited on my part. The story follows an exorcist named Allen Walker as he tries to defeat “akuma” (translated from japanese as demon) with his weapon known as “Innocence,” and there is an amazing cast of other exorcists as well. While waiting for the continuation of the anime series, I read all the manga chapters that were translated as of that point (online and probably illegally).
I knew what was going to happen, but that didn’t take away from watching it. Being able to see something come to life again with modern animation prowess really made me happy. I would recommend this to anyone who had watched the original series. And, for those who haven’t seen the original yet, what the hell are you doing!?! You are missing out on a classic anime that is highly entertaining and worth the watch. So catch up on the original and then watch this. You can watch it on Funimation and on Crunchyroll. My rating is 9.2/10 with an extra 0.2 for nostalgia’s sake.

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