Judge Anime by its Cover - Spring 2018


Welcome to the second episode of GeekNights Judges Anime by its Cover!

We used to host this panel every year at Anime Boston, but now we are making it a quarterly video show. Armed with nothing more than the title, studio, a short description, and a small preview image, we will let you know which TV anime coming out next season are worth watching, and which ones should be avoided at all costs.

We honestly don't know much about these new anime and are judging them based on almost nothing, so be sure to post lots of hate comments! We want to hear all about everything we got wrong.

And when this season is over, be sure to come back and let us know how right or wrong we were about these shows. Our track record in the past has been really good, but we are sure to have more misses when we take more shots.

Special thanks to Anime Boston for letting us get this started in the first place. It's really a fantastic convention. Any anime fan in the Northeastern US should definitely attend.


And of course none of this would be even remotely possible without the excellent web site AniChart.net. They organize all this information so well every single season.


See you in the summer!

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Golden Kamuy is based on a manga. It isn’t a reboot of an older anime.

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Winning Eleven is Konami’s competitor to FIFA games and unrelated to Inazuma Eleven.

TIL. I thought they were the same, and the games were based on the anime/ manga.

I found it hilarious how you guys confused the monogatari series and persona. That was transcendental.

Each of the entries in the Persona series are separate, with only a loosely shared universe between them. Monogatari should be avoided at all costs.

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I feel like anime is getting better. When I saw Judge An Anime by its Cover at Anime Boston 2014 there was a lot more “this show is bad and if you like it you are bad” type shows.

Did I say Monogatari? I meant Megami Tensei.

That’s where it all started right? All the Persona games that come out now are like, the 20th or 30th installments in this same franchise? Yes?

Do they really have nothing to do with each other? Like Final Fantasy where you can just play whatever one you want? If they are really that unrelated to each other, then I could probably play one. Otherwise, there is not enough time in my short human lief to go back and consume something that started when I was 5 years old.

If I had been born in Japan, there is a good chance this would be my life if Dragon Quest wasn’t.

Did you missed the past year in anime glorified toxic relationships? Between Cheating on Your Boyfriends: the anime and Sexually Assaulting your new Sister: the anime it’s been a race to the bottom. and I’m not even counting atrocities to animation like Eromanga Sensei and Oreimo and whatever other awful shit comes out every season. It’s not that anime is getting better, it’s that there’s so much more of it now that there’s a wider spread of quality every season.

I haven’t counted, but I agree, in some regards.

The quantity of straight-up trash anime relative to the percentage of total anime produced for TV each season has gone down. There are only a handful of straight up harem/moe garbage shows no. A few years ago they were a big trend and couldn’t be escaped.

Proof? Check out the anichart from Spring 2015

However, the quantity of TV anime being produced has gone up. There are 51 shows this season compared to 41 in 2015. More animators are animating more working crazy hours. More animation is being outsourced or computer generated cheaply and quickly. We are not seeing a lot of high quality animation work being produced outside of the big budget movies.

Also, while the shows coming out now aren’t disturbing moe/harem stuff, a lot of them are still just as worthless. Instead we have a plague of generic shonen shows. I keep trying to find new words to refer to them so I don’t use the word “generic” 100 times every time we judge anime.

I don’t know if Fullmetal Alchemist deserves the credit or not. Maybe it was One Piece. But it was around that time we saw a new formula for the basic shonen action anime. It moved away from the DBZ tournament style fighting into something with a semblance of a plot. Current incarnations are Attack on Titan, Steins;Gate, Fate/Whatever, etc. Many anime and manga with these shallow JRPG plots are being cranked out. While they aren’t offensively awful, they are still mostly not worth watching.

Yeah, that’s more accurate. Persona is (technically) the spinoff of a spinoff of a spinoff, because that makes a lot of sense. But if you want to jump into the series, there’s a 4 part OVA/film series that covers the events of the third game. It almost feels like watching a lets play at points, but it works and the animation is gorgeous. Don’t watch the Persona 4 anime.

I would probably play a Persona game instead of watching any of it.

Maybe I’ll play JUST the old NES game.

They are like Final Fantasy games in that way. They are connected in the themes present in the games, but the actual story isn’t contiguous. P3-P5 represent a major shift in tone and mechanics from the previous games, and actual Shin Megami Tensei games tend to be even darker. Persona 4 Golden or Persona 5 are probably the best, most accessible games now.

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That’s good info.

It’s probably worth mentioning that even the “less dark” games still deal with really heavy topics: bullying, sexual exploitation of minors, blackmail, being married off, other kinds of abuse, etc. And those are just the side stores. They’re handled in a good way, but the games can get heavy.

I would expect no less from a Digital Devil Story. It’s not a Digital Sunshine and Rainbows Story.

Well, yeah. I just feel it’s worth mentioning because I’ve known people who had trouble with parts because they hit close to home.

Funnily, I think that Persona is more emotionally taxing than most other Megami Tensei stuff because it’s smaller scale and focus on people. Like, I think it’s easier to empathize with “this person has a shitty life and hardships” than “it’s the apocalypse and demons are eating people”. Demons eating people is probably the worse thing of the two, but you can’t really relate to it in same way as in somewhat realistic struggles of human in modern world.

I think that’s a much better description. Being eaten by demons is certainly bad, but it’s a lot less relatable than ‘my best friend tried to kill herself because she was being molested, what do I do?’.

The general consensus is that if you’re going to play one and only one, you play P3 Portable for the PSP (which is a trivially emulated system right now).

PSP Triviall emulated now? That’s good to know. What emulator is best? How large are the ROMs? Is there a torrent for all PSP games or at least all good PSP games?