Judge Anime by its Cover - Summer 2018


Welcome to the fourth 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 fall!

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From my own judging by the cover, I am pretty sure that other than Lupin III summer looks kinda shit.

By the way, the chart link is for the Spring, not for summer.

I watched the first episode of Overlord when it was first getting traction and did not watch more. It’s one of those stuck in a mmo or teleported into fantasy world that’s just the world of the mmo except real or something like that concept. The interesting bits that might have been there were not enough.

I’ve read some of the High-Score Girl manga and I like it a lot. Even though I don’t have any personal nostaliga towards the early 90s arcade scenes or fighting games of that era it’s still nice depction of those times. I know the manga had some issues, with SNK (I think it was) and I’m really hoping they have found a solution that allows them to have the full range of references in the anime as in the manga there was lot more than just Street Fighter 2 and capcom games.

Also on topic of shows set in an mmo, I’m currently watching Gundam Build Divers and enjoying it and Rym can’t tell me what I shouldn’t do.

Somehow I edited it and it got un-edited. I fixed it again.

Now it says Summer, but the actual link goes to Spring still.

Is it really better to not know what’s in the basement? I don’t know currently. If it’s that bad I could keep it that way.

It’s just really disappointing and lame.

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Asobi Asobase is pretty much Nichijou plus Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

So, I’ve watched both seasons of Overlord, and I plan to watch this next one as well, but I can’t really recommend it as good.

The jist of the show is that Skeletor gets isekai’ed into some mmo fantasy world as an op being with a bunch of op bots. However, unlike most male power fantasy isekai shows, like Sword Art Online and it’s ilk, where the protagonist easily defeats every challenge, the twist is that Skeletor is “smart” and hides his power level as he gets familiar with the world and slowly builds an empire with his op bots, while hinting that he is not the only op being in the world.

That’s why I enjoy the show, as I’m willing to put up with the slow pace and it’s many failings as Skeletor slowly unleashes his master plan to conquer the world… very slowly.

Problem 1: Pacing - Very slow, which is worsen by some very pointless arcs in the first season. Honestly, seasons 1, 2, and probably 3 should have been mashed into one season.

Problem 2: Politics - I love watching politics in these types of shows, but my problem with how this anime handles it is that it hides the goals of the characters in an effort to be suspenseful, but ends up failing on all accounts and characters just do stuff randomly for 3-5 episodes until they tell you what their goal is. The one time they don’t do this in the show is during the Lizard people arc, and that’s when the show is really interesting.

Problem 3: Questionable Morality - Now, I know that Skeletor isn’t suppose to be a good guy. I mean, he’s Skeletor. But Skeletor used to be a normal 9 to 5 office worker on Earth, and I find it strange that Skeletor is suddenly open to just killing people if they aren’t useful to his master plan or conquering/genociding native populations because of “empire”. I personally think the show would better if it questioned the morality of it’s main character, maybe show that things don’t have to be this way, or that these actions will backfire. But the show isn’t interested in this, it just jumps from plot point to plot point, glorifying Skeletor’s actions along the way.

Problem 4: Personal Peeve - Season two introduced a compelling, ambitious, politically savvy princess character who gets plot twisted into an anime stereotype, practically throwing away the character. :frowning:

Cells at Work is awesome.

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How wack is it relative to

In Escaflowne when

Isaac Newton?

I enjoy Overlord, but I don’t disagree with any of your criticism.

The first fundamental question is “Why is this Isekai?” I mean, the plot does extend from that premise in all directions, but it’s not fundamental to the story being told. At best, it serves to explain why the protagonist doesn’t know shit about this world, giving an excuse for a vastly overpowered being to still be learning the basics. Maybe eventually it pulls it all back together, but as you said, the pacing is very very slow. Maybe some other players are alive, maybe some of his underlings will betray him, maybe he serves some larger purpose. It’s better than the pure wish fulfillment isekai, but it could easily die incomplete or be wrapped up poorly. That seems statistically likely given how often that happens. Also everyone trying to be Oda when they should really be writing a story they think they can wrap in 3 years or less.

Really, why are any isekai stories isekai? With the exception of KonoSuba which lampoons the genre I have never seen an isekai story that could not have been told just as a regular fantasy story. I think it’s just the Japanese penchant for self insert storytelling in popular fiction taken to the n’th degree.

One reason is that it’s “really easy.” You get an automatic exposition engine. You get to explain things to the protagonist, you get to have the protagonist explain things from the perspective of the reader, and anything that doesn’t make sense can be hand-waived as “cause it’s a game world.”

On that last point, that’s why I set one D&D campaign in an Isekai-type setting… but I think I can justify it. One goal was to facilitate all that stupid game bullshit that kinda breaks verisimilitude like fast travel, easy resurrection, incompetent npc fodder, etc. But also that game had a whole Paranoia type metagame where the players had “player characters” controlling avatars within the game.

Besides self-insert, it let’s them make a protagonist who has knowledge and experience of someone much older, St. Alia of the Knife-style (in scenarios where they’re reborn instead of being teleported) and it gives them knowledge of our technology which can be part of what makes them special. Knights & Magic for example took advantage of this, although they could have gotten similar results with other explanations.

This does happen. And the plot is foiled about as quickly as it comes up, for a grand story impact of nothing. I would spoiler tag this, but it’s not really worth considering a spoiler, that’s how little impact it has.

Ya, I agree.

I really like Overlord because it’s my favorite type of isekai, where the main character decides to make a city state or empire and attempts to grow it, and the problems they run into. Log Horizon is one of my favorite anime for this very reason, also for it’s optimistic view on government.

I also do enjoy how the main character’s organization is morally questionable, as it has me rooting for and against them all the time and makes the show unpredictable in a good way, the cast is interesting, and I do feel like the show really picks up in Season 2.