This is just a table of anime I’ve seen recently enough to rank. They’re ordered from favourite to least (with ones I’m currently watching being listed at the top), but I also gave them a more objective rating…if that’s even possible. Yes, I’m biased. No, you shouldn’t watch Domestic Girlfriend.
To explain the “Status” column, those marked with just a season (ex. S2) means I’ve only watched up until that season, and I try to notate in parenthesis if more has come out since. Those marked “Complete” have finished their main stories. Sequel shows count as different shows. Note that shows that I’m caught up on are not marked complete until their story has finished.
For the hell of it, I’ll leave little reviews below the table for some standouts.
|Boochi the Rock!||10||S1|
|Your Lie In April||10||Complete|
|Kaguya-Sama||10||S3 + Movie|
|Bunny Girl Senpai||9||S1 + Movie|
|Oshi no Ko||9||S1|
|Vanitas no Carte||9||S1|
|Mobile Suite Gundam: Witch From Mercury||9||Complete|
|Sono Bisque Doll||9||S1|
|Spy x Family||9||S1|
|Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood||9||Complete|
|Houseki No Kuni||7||S1|
|Ouran High School Host Club||9||Complete|
|Yamada-kun to Lvl 999||8||S1|
|Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song||8||Complete|
|Skip and Loafer||8||S1|
|Akiba Maid War||8||Complete|
|Tomo-Chan is a Girl||8||S1|
|Eminence in Shadow||8||S1|
|Konosuba||7||S2 + Movie|
|That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime||8||S2|
|Ascendance of a Bookworm||8||S3|
|Domestic Girlfriend||6||S1 (finished manga)|
|Little Witch Academia||9||Complete|
|Kill La Kill||7||Complete|
|Magical Revolution of the Reincarnated Princess||7||S1|
|Don’t Mess With Me Miss Nagatoro||7||S2|
|Yuri is my Job||6||S1|
|Raven of the Inner Palace||7||S1|
|Call of the Night||6||S1|
|Danmachi (Light Novel is better)||6||S4|
|Tensai Ouji (Genius Prince)||6||S1|
|Princess Connect: Re Dive||7||Complete|
|Goblin Slayer||7||S1 + Movie|
|Shikimori is Not Just a Cutie||6||S1|
|Reincarnated as a Sword||5||S1|
|Do It Yourself!!||6||Complete|
|Higehiro (High School Runaway)||5||Complete|
|My Next Life as a Villainous||6||S1 (S2 out)|
|Taming the Final Boss, Villainous||4||Complete|
|Wandering Witch Elaina||4||S1|
|High School DxD||5||S3 (fuck S4)|
|Reborn to Master the Blade||4||S1|
|World’s Finest Assassin||5||S1|
Reborn to Master the Blade; from Hero-King to Extraordinary Squire
Stormfather, get shorter names.
I really wanted to like this one. Nagu is one of my favourite artists and hearing that they did the Light Novel illustrations made me interested…then I read the plot summary…then I read the reviews. Episodes 1-3 were actually relatively good. The worldbuilding genuinely had me wanting, the characters were meh, the story felt believable, and the Hyral Menas as a concept were great! Arguably everything up to them leaving for the academy was good.
Then it turned into rushed plot (yes, I know they cut a lot compared to the light novel) with very little effort put into the fight scenes. The whole point of Inglis becoming this fantastical warrior is for her fights to be interesting. What the fuck was that “finger guns!” scene? Sure, some people might have liked it, but I am not some people. Every single “wow, look at how great Inglis is!” scene fell flat, including the final fight in the last episode. So many other ways of killing big baddie would’ve felt more satisfying. Instead, the anime settled back into its normal rhythm of super fast punching…why is that the way they portray all powerful opponents? Oh, that and big magic lasers.
sigh This one had potential, but it just fell so flat. Maybe the light novel is better? Probably not. That’s a shame.
EDIT: I’m sorry, this went through EIGHT books in one season?!?! Holy shit…
WHY ARE THEIR BOOBS SO BIG?!?!??!
Anyway, the manga is really great. Overall fine adaptation, but the voice actor for Mahiro grated me, and the animation felt…wrong. Not the CG scenes, but the sudden leap in quality. I could tell when they were “saving up” to go harder on a future scene.
SOMEONE JUST DIE ALREADY.
The show tricks you into thinking there are stakes, but that’s a lie. In FOURTEEN volumes, not a single bad thing has permanantly negatively affected the party. I’m in a fiesty mood. I think it’s fine and deserves more love (especially the light novels), but grrrr. Too much “power of friendship” for my cold, blackened heart.
Ryu best girl.
Call of the Night
I think my expectations were too high. I started watching this when it aired with my girlfriend, but we quickly forgot to keep watching it. The plot never really interested me (though it did feel as if we just finish up with the exposition), and while the character interactions felt great, they were too far between. The background art is gorgeous, and I’m down bad for thicker lineart, but the overall style felt a bit underutilized overall. There were moments, but that’s it. Other absurdly well animated series such as Chainsaw Man never let up while this was…eh.
Bocchi the Rock
I have never felt more seen before in my life.
As a musician who has always struggled with social anxiety, this show made me feel not only seen but also comforted in knowing that I’m not alone in my thoughts or actions. Everything from Bocchi’s “Oh, I’ll take my guitar to school and hope someone notices me!” to her “ah…it seems I am nothing more than a burden to everyone around me” resonates with me incredibly well. Watching this cringe girl make friends, learn how to socialize, and generally grow as a person warms my heart and gives me hope that I too might be able to overcome the struggles. Thankfully, the show does not go “Wow! Look!! She had a big moment in episode 8, so now all her problems are solved!” but instead shows the real life progression of slow, inconsistent progress over time that looks more like 2 steps forward, 1.9 steps back than a constant march in the direction of “and everything was fine.”
Contrasting Bocchi are her three friends who all take up the mantle of a specific social archetype: Nijika, the loving extrovert, Ryo, the asocial introvert, and Kita, the social butterfly. While Kita and Bocchi are both the stereotypical “extrovert” and “introvert”, Nijika and Ryo exist to show how the terms are actually a definition of how one gains social energy. Nijika loves being around people, but she’s not constanty with someone every single second of the day. Ryo enjoys life alone, but she has no issue interacting with other people. These four all compliment each other in subtle ways, such as Kita pulling everyone out of their comfort zones, Nijika taking the lead and being chronically reliable, Ryo being very knowledged about music, and Bocchi always coming in clutch.
Even though this is “merely” a slice of life music show, the animation is absolute god-tier. Nearly every episode features multiple minutes of unique, expertly produced visuals that are not standard animation. The best example of this is in episode 7 when Bocchi has a PTSD flashback to a middle school Sports Day, and the show decides to portray this using claymation before switching to a _Fist of the North Star style of animation for an absurdly long gag. The visual comedy in this show surpasses the level of Kaguya-sama in its absurdity, and I love every ounce of it.
Overall, 10/10. My only gripe is that the finale felt more like the end of a part 1…so I am huffing copium while hoping Bocchi’s “Be back later” is a nod to a likely Season 2.
World’s Finest Assassin
The main character has no struggles, the harem girls (Maha and Tarte) are too over the top, the magic system is actually fine, and episode one feels like a bait. First and third are obvious points, but the harem girls are so wasted. By the end of season 1, it seems as if the harem girls are only used as a way to show that the main character isn’t one of those protagonists (aka. perverts). Rather than doing this in a subtle way, the harem girls are instead sacrificed to “better” the image of the main character. Yes, this does work, but it’s a very weak effect that has no signifiance. There is no need to go out of the way to prove that the main character is not a pervert. I won’t touch on the ethical issues of the main character being a 40-year-old man and manipulating two children into lusting after him and feeling the need to dedicate their lives to him. The shallow “I must become the best tool for him” that is Tarte’s character disapppoints me. It makes sense, I guess, but I don’t care. I want better.
The finale was a disappointment.
Vanitas no Carte
It’s been about a month since I’ve finished season one, and I still crave more. I’ll elaborate more after my second viewing. It deserves it.
I don’t have nearly as much to say, and that’s a good thing. I really liked it.
The characters were all incredibly unique, the romance between the main characters is adorable, and seeing Komi grow (even if it’s slow) is really wholesome. The pacing felt just right, and the animation was, usually, amazing. I’m not a fan of the lingering shots on her face designed to make the audience go “wow, she’s pretty”, but they weren’t frequent enough to get annoying. Yeah, I can’t think of much else to praise.
My only issues were with everyone treating Komi as this special person. The school treating her like a god, the show pointing out that she’s a literal babe (and guy) magnet, and the starbucks/subway scenes where the workers read too much into the conversation. The goddess quirk is…weird, but I can live with it. The eccentricity of the characters makes it (somewhat) more acceptable. While the people magnet aspect of her makes no real sense, imo, it’s not used enough to detract from the show in a substantial way. The last one really irks me since situations like ordering food are a perfect opportunity to show how aweful social anxiety can be. I hope season 2 (season 1 part 2?) delves into this aspect rather than giving Komi an out. Sure, she gets the wrong order, but the employee bails her out with no effort from her being required. She needs coping mechanisms, at bare minimum, and while the show is letting her build them in some ways (writing things down, pointing at menu, etc.), they’re blatantly ignoring them in this vital aspect.
Rant over, solid show, 8/10. Season 2 just has to be slightly better to bump it up to a nine.
Oh, wait, fuck you Netflix and your shitty translations. Dialogue isn’t the only thing you need to translate. A significant portion of the show is communicated via text on screen and that’s just not translated the vast majority of the time. I won’t take points off since it’s not the show’s fault, but I want my dislike of Netflix to be known.
I have not read the manga yet.
Alright, I have so many mixed feelings about this show. The main romance in the first four or five episodes? Legendary. Genuinely a contender for the best anime I have ever seen. If that type of pacing continued, it would’ve easily been a top five, 10/10 anime. The issue is that it didn’t. The main romance itself was rather well paced, except for their “first time” which felt pseudo-random, and the last few episodes were also genuinely great as well. The middle is where things seemed to fall apart. Sakura had her entire character arc in like 8 minutes, Tanihara had two scenes of note which do not make up for, excuse, or even adequately explain his behaviour towards Miyamura in the beginning, and Remi was pushed off to the side so much that I felt a stronger connection to Sawada.
Ah, Sawada, a character who was so slighted that her entire character arc happened off screen, and the audience had to be told about how close she and Miyamura were (not to mention they never even mention why she has a thing for Hori). Iura at least got most of an episode dedicated to him, even though he never got a proper introduction and was just shu-horned into the main group. After seeing the later episodes, it makes sense why their stories needed to be there (except Sawada; hers was pretty isolated, even if I loved her character), but that doesn’t excuse the lack of space given to make these moments impactful.
Oh my lord, I completely forgot Yanagi was even a character… Yeah, he also just suddenly joined the group with no explanation of how they got close.
On the other hand, some side characters were done incredibly well. Ishikawa, Yoshikawa, Sengoku, and Shindou all had enough space to actually be real characters rather than plot devices. Shindou especially since his entire character is, in the anime, designed to bring out another side of Miyamura. Yoshikawa and Ishikawa’s relationship had to be one of the highlights of the final third of the show. Not only did their relationship feel genuine, but the way both of them went about avoiding admitting anything had been foreshadowed very well in the first third of the show, which made it believable rather than a “oh, I guess that’s a thing now”. Sengoku didn’t need much characterization outside of the him/Remi episode. I’m not sure why that felt adequate for him and not for Remi, but, if I had to guess, it has to be that we saw him grow during that and during the show while Remi just stayed static. Her introduction was also quite lacklustre. She was foretold to be this irresponsible, mean spirited person, but then she makes a complete 180 the next time she shows up.
Overall, I wanted more. Twenty-six episodes may not have been enough, especially after seeing how long the manga is, but it would have been a dramatic improvement. I can overlook some of the pacing issues since they didn’t affect the main plot, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t affect my enjoyment. I’ll add an update after I read the manga. I have a strong feeling the manga will turn out to be a 9/10 or 10/10. The anime gives me hope.
Kaguya-sama: Love is War
This is my favourite comedy of all time. The banter between characters and the exaggerated stakes of nearly every chapter make this show what it is. Kaguya and Shirograne’s relationship is well written (especially in season 2; the moon episode is my favourite romance scene), but the relationships between side characters are even amazing (notable examples are Chika-Miko and Ishigami-everyone). Every episode is funnier and more well written than the last. Easy recommend to anyone but especially someone who loves romcoms.
Hayasaka best girl.
Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai
This show is clickbait.
I signed up for hot anime waifus, and I got a thought provoking drama focused around the main character’s friends mental health conditions. The main relationship between Mai and Sakuta is very well written and well understood by the author, especially since they have a pointedly kinky relationship that would be considered abusive if they weren’t so good at unspoken communication (though this would not work in real life; open and honest communication trumps all).
Overall, the show is quite good. I’m currently reading the Light Novels, and I have a strong feeling books 5-7 will make me sob my eyes out again. Highly recommend.
Mai best girl.
That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime
Man, I can talk about this show for literal days.
To be short, season 1 is fine. It’s not stellar, but it does an isekai/city builder show quite well. Standout moments are Milim vs. Charybdis (the sound design for all Milim fight scenes are stellar), Rimuru meeting Shizu, and the Orc Lord battle.
Now, season 2 rocks. The first half of the season is where the show gets serious and the second half is when the power fantasy kicks in. If you haven’t watched it, stop reading. There will be spoilers from this point onward. You have been warned.
Watching Diablo absolutely body Razen without breaking a sweat made me giggle with excitement. Rimuru’s Megido was not only incredibly well thought out but also spectacularly well illustrated in the Manga (not too convinced with the anime adaptation, but the scene was still a satisfying climax). Let’s not even mention best girl Raphael resurrecting people. Gah, Rimuru’s ascension to a Demon Lord is one of the best arcs in the Tensei Slime series so far. While I haven’t finished watching the second half of season 2, I have read the light novels up to and including volume 13. The battle against Clayman (the army, Adalman, and the man himself) had me grinning from ear to ear the entire time. Well worth the read.
I won’t go into spoilers for the Light Novel, but I did find volumes 8, 9, and 12 to be quite boring in comparison while volumes 7 and 11 were fantastic. Volume 13 had standout moments (Demonesses in particular), but the book was stuffed full of fluff. Half of the material could have been cut, and it would have benefited greatly.
sigh Alright, so, this is complicated…as an anime, it deserves to be ranked below High School DxD (wow, I just said that), but the manga is sooooooooooooo much better!!
“But Roman, this is an anime list!”
Yes, but I have nowhere else to talk about this show until I start maintaining a manga list so shh.
I prefer to think of this manga as existing in three main arcs: high school, college, and no. The High School arc is a great introduction to our two main love interests as well as the two main side chicks that end up with significantly better lives (Momo deserves to be loved). The relationship between Hina and…uh…fuck, what’s his name checks google Natsuo is compelling. She’s his teacher, and Sasuga-san makes sure that this has actual consequences rather than most harem/romcom stories that brush it off as a side detail. The scene where Hina asks Natsuo to commit double suicide with her in the ocean is a perfect metaphor for their situation. To be together, the two must sacrifice their lives to be with each other. Anyway, their relationship blossoms throughout the beginning of the high school arc until they’re caught. Hina moves away, cutting contact from Natsuo.
We ignore Hina’s “boyfriend” even though he’s an actual well written character in…some of the later parts of the manga.
Now, onto the juicy bit. Natsuo and Rui are the perfect example of a dysfunctional couple. I LOVE this. Most high school and college relationships mirror Natsuo and Rui’s. The vast majority of the audience believes that this is the relationship that’s supposed to work out. They fight over stupid shit, make up (more like make love), Rui supports Natsuo’s writing, Natsuo supports Rui’s dream of being a chef, etc. At first glance, this doesn’t seem bad. Sure, fighting over stupid shit isn’t great, but it’s much better than fighting over large stuff…right?
It’s impossible to never fight in a relationship, but the important differntiators between a “good” and “bad” fight are as follows: why the fight started and how the fight was handled. Fights start for a myriad of reasons, but stubbornness is one of the worst reason to start one. If someone can’t entertain an idea that isn’t there’s, then any further attempts at persuasion will only lead to the situation escalating. On the reverse, someone who always gives in can build resent and end up starting a fight after bottling up their emotions for so long. Neither of these are healthy. Open communication is key. Now, a fight where two people calmly discuss their opinion and how they arrived at that opinion, including the context surrounding that decision, is quite healthy. Two people screaming “Why won’t you listen to me?!” is not.
Guess which one Natsuo and Rui are?
The majority of their fights can be solved with a calm conversation. Why do they never have these? Because they bottle up their emotions! Natsuo put up with a lot of shit from Rui, and, in the end, that’s what destroyed their relationship. Rui was chronically jealous and distrusting of Natsuo, and she took this out on him. Natsuo isn’t innocent either, but that pertains more to the college arc.
In the college arc, Natsuo and Rui spend the majority of their time separated. Natsuo makes some friends (including best girl, Miyabi), Rui gets a great cooking job, everything’s great! Except Natsuo starts prioritizing his friends over Rui. Miyabi is the centre of his focus for a large portion of this arc, Hina comes back and wiggles her way into Natsuo’s life (and is always on his mind), and he even goes as far as reuniting a father and his daughter (great shit, ngl). With Rui? Nah, he just goes along with her stuff. He’s “supporting” her with lip service (pun intended). There’s very little that he actually does for Rui compared to all of her new friends. To be completely fair, Rui does this as well in regards to Natsuo’s writing. What does this tell us?
“Okay, you can’t seriously be saying—”
Shh! We’re not there yet.
Throughout the rest of the college arc, Natsuo and Rui grow more and more estranged while Hina grows closer and closer to Natsuo. Hina actively supports his writing career and ensures that Natsuo is taking care of himself. The arc draws to a close in chapter 215 when Rui and Natsuo break up.
If the story ended here, with Natsuo and Hina getting together a dozen or so chapters after the break up, I would give this series a VERY solid 9/10.
But it doesn’t.
Instead, the story rounds the corner on two wheels going 94 MPH (yes, I’m from the States, I just like using ‘u’ in my words). HOLY SHIT, THE SPREAD IN CHAPTER 234 TAKES MY BREATH AWAY. But that’s the only real praise I have. Miyabi’s story ends well (love ya, girl), but the rest…doesn’t. Between the sudden introduction of a new (very hot and well written) girl who ends up being in the mafia to Hina getting put in a coma after being stalked by one of her exes (I think? idk, it’s all a blur) to ANOTHER RUI X NATSUO FAKE OUT, the story ends up turning into more of a soap opera than a complex love story.
There isn’t much more to say. Natsuo and Hina being together makes perfect sense, but the execution was subpar. Rui and Natsuo had a child (yeah, let’s not talk about it) that had no purpose in the story outside of added drama, and all of his friends ended up with better lives. At this point, the story falls to a 6/10, sadly.
Why is this rated so highly, then? I’m not sure. What I do know is that this story inspired me to finally confess my feelings to my now girlfriend and to start writing. I don’t know where I’d be without this story, but I know I’m in a better place because of it.
For that, thank you, Sasuga-san.
P.S. the art is amazing.