Here are the reviews for all the other anime I watched this season, that I didn’t have time to blog every episode of.

And, just to clarify, since I realized what date it is; this isn’t an April Fool’s joke post.

I got more attached to these girls than I expected.

Endro!:

Despite my rather critical first impression review of this anime, I ended up watching all of Endro. I found it to be an enjoyable and entertaining series overall, although I don’t think it really improved much in the areas I initially criticized it for.

Endro’s gags remained largely predictable (to me) to the very end. I still wish the series hadn’t played it so “safe” with the comedy, as a lot of the gags were things I’ve already seen a hundred times over in other comedy anime. I also got a little bit annoyed by the numerous “small chested girl is envious of big chested girl” jokes scattered throughout the series because… come on writers. Actual women don’t act this way, and furthermore this joke is just plain overdone. I cannot believe we’re still seeing jokes on this subject in two-thousand-freaking-nineteen.

In my first impression review, I also criticized the four main “heroes” for basically being walking anime archetypes—and to be honest, it didn’t feel like they underwent much character development by the end of the show. Yuusha is still the oblivious hero, Fai is still a glutton, Mei is still a nerd obsessed with Cartado, and Seira is still the “only sane one” of the party. But to Endro’s credit, at least the four girls are fleshed out a bit more over the course of the series, making them a bit more well-rounded as characters. These girls may not be the most original of characters, but dangit, I found myself liking all of them and their quirks by the end of the season.

What really endeared me to the show, however; was Mao. Mao is undeniably the most complex character in the entire series, and she also ended up being my favorite. Her relationships with her minions and with the four heroes manages to be both heartwarming and hilarious. I also have to give a special mention to Princess Rona. She initially appeared to be just a very hero-obsessed princess, but ended up becoming a close friend and ally to Mao and the four heroes. The episodes focusing on Mao or Rona were my favorites in the entire series.

Overall, I found Endro to be a pretty decent show with a surprisingly emotional ending. While its animation quality isn’t the best, I appreciate the show’s use of bright colors; and I think the character designs are cute. I didn’t find the humor to be laugh-out-loud funny, but there were some clever gags scattered throughout that made me smile. Despite the girls’ somewhat revealing outfits (what is up with Mei’s butt window) there’s relatively little fanservice which I’m thankful for.

Endro feels to me like a very “first anime” type of series—a show you could recommend to people who want to get into anime. It’s weird but not TOO weird, and the RPG/fantasy aspect makes it more easily accessible. Endro may not be an anime with too much substance, but it was fun while it lasted.

Out of five:

precure heart2precure heart2precure heart2 and 1/2

Bermuda Triangle: Colorful Pastrale:

Underwater mermaid selfie!

Objectively, this series would not be considered a good anime. It’s very likely that this may even be the “worst” anime of the Winter 2019 season. But… I still genuinely liked Colorful Pastrale.

Colorful Pastrale had a lot of things going against it from the start. While the show is set in the Cardfight!! Vanguard universe, it went the “slice-of-life” route instead of focusing on the more exciting lore. The animation is also nothing spectacular, and the art style looks dated. There’s also some rather bizarre water physics (there being liquids underwater, and there being RAIN underwater) that never gets explained. But even with all of these shortcomings, I enjoyed watching Colorful Pastrale. I think I enjoyed it so much because the show had (in my opinion) a similar vibe to the first season of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. They’re both similar in terms of pacing, take place in a fantasy world, and have a large cast of mainly female characters.

Colorful Pastrale is obviously not for everyone. The show is extremely slow-paced and its plot is rather mundane for its fantastical setting: the series focuses on a group of teenage girls living in what is essentially “the countryside,” who are trying to restore an old movie theater. And that’s basically it. There are a handful of somewhat emotional episodes in the latter half of the season (episodes 6 and 8 especially), although your mileage may vary on that. The thing I definitely enjoyed most about Colorful Pastrale is its exploration of the mermaid world and the events that occur. Even with all the wonky water physics, there’s some decent world-building going on. I also appreciate that, apart from a very brief panty-shot, there’s no fanservice at all in this show.

It makes me sad that this series isn’t very well received, even though I definitely understand why. As much as I enjoyed Colorful Pastrale, it still doesn’t rate high in my list of anime faves. It was an interesting little show, which could have done much better with some better directing, animation, and character designs. Colorful Pastrale was unfortunately probably just created as a fast cash-grab advertisement to sell more Vanguard trading cards. (I actually pre-ordered the Bermuda Triangle set for myself because I am a sucker for pretty card art.) If it was intended to be one big advertisement, at least Colorful Pastrale wasn’t too in-your-face about it.

If I had to give an objective rating for this show, I’d probably give it a two—but this is my review so I’m allowed to be a little more biased.

So, out of five, I give this series:

precure heart2precure heart2precure heart2

Wataten!: An Angel Flew Down to Me:

You kinda deserved this one, Miyako.

Yes, this is a show that revolves around the antics of an adult woman who is in love with a ten year old. Yes, I actually sat down and watched all of this. Why did I bother watching this? Possibly out of some misguided sense of hope that this series would not really be as creepy as its premise suggested. Now that Wataten is finally over, I ultimately have some very mixed feelings.

If you can ignore all the creepy parts, Wataten can be a pretty charming show at times. Miyako (the main character) has a genuinely sweet and non-creepy sibling relationship with her little sister, Hinata. There’s some great chemistry between all the characters, and some actually funny jokes here and there. I am also welcome to there being an anime where girls have blatant crushes on other girls and it’s not played up for fanservice—i.e. Hinata has a same-age classmate who has a crush on her.

…But then Wataten brings up how utterly obsessed Miyako is with Hana (a fifth grader) and you’re unfortunately reminded of how gross the show’s premise is. Wataten tries really hard to hand-wave away the creepiness factor by making Miyako out to be horribly socially inept and sort of immature—as if that fact suddenly makes it acceptable for her to have romantic feelings for a kid half her age (spoilers: it doesn’t). Miyako herself really toes the line in this show. There are times when her “crush” is downplayed as her just finding Hana really adorable; and in these episodes I could almost forget that an adult woman was crushing on a kid. But then there are times where the show goes out of its way to portray Miyako as (essentially) a stalker; with Miyako taking candid photos of Hana without her permission, showing Miyako taking low-angle shots of Hana while she’s in a dress, having Miyako keep one of Hana’s old shirts for unexplained reasons… and the list goes on and on. Miyako is probably not as overtly creepy and despicable as that maid-who-shall-not-be-named from Uzamaid last season, but… she’s still pretty bad in other ways.

I’m actually pretty mad at this series, because this show would have worked perfectly well without that shitty “adult has a crush on a literal kid” plotline. This show could have instead been an anime focusing on how a socially anxious woman learned to be less afraid of the outside world through her friendship with her younger sister’s friends. But noooo Miyako has to fall in love with and be obsessed with a ten year old, because apparently that type of crap is what makes all the cash??? There’s actually a character introduced later on in the show who is a stalker for Miyako, which I guess is supposed to balance out Miyako’s creepiness? The only way this would have worked is if Miyako actually realized how creepy she was being towards a kid because of this situation, but Miyako doesn’t change at all; so we’re just stuck with another creepy character on the show. Fantastic.

As much as I’d like to, I simply cannot ignore the problematic aspects of this show. Even though I enjoyed some parts of this anime, I ultimately have to condemn this series for existing at all. In an age where creepy child predators exist and can easily get in contact with children through the web, the last thing we need is an anime of this sort. Maybe I’m being over-dramatic or “taking a silly anime too seriously,” but we do not need an anime encouraging awful adults to pursue romantic relationships with kids, and we do not need an anime saying that it’s okay for adults to have romantic relationships with kids if they “behave themselves.” This type of shit should never be normalized.

This spiel may come off as hypocritical coming from someone like me; as I don’t generally have a problem with age-gap relationships (as mentioned in my review for After the Rain). But when a clearly adult character is making romantic attempts at a character that’s obviously a young child, that’s a whole different story. Sure, I watched through all of Happy Sugar Life despite it featuring a 16 year-old having a “romantic” relationship with an 8 year-old; but at least that series very definitely made it clear that such a relationship was wrong and messed up. With Wataten, while Hana and some other adults do think Miyako’s crush is creepy, it’s also worryingly framed in an almost “innocent” light. It seems as if the series ultimately endorses the relationship between Miyako and Hana as something that’s okay; as long as Miyako waits until Hana is older to pursue a more serious relationship with her. And that’s just all sorts of messed up, man.

Out of five:

precure heart2

Mob Psycho 100 II:

I couldn’t find an appropriate screengrab from the last episode so I just went with this.

Mob Psycho 100 is a series I didn’t know I wanted until now. I absolutely love the concept of an incredibly powerful character who just wants to live a normal life. In so many other anime, extremely powerful characters tend to be portrayed as the villains of the show, because “power corrupts people” is a common theme in many stories. But seeing Shigeo (the main character of Mob Psycho) try to use his powers for good, and usually only when it’s needed, is very refreshing.

I love everything about the Mob Psycho 100 series. There’s some astounding animation present in the anime, and the voice acting is great. But what I love most about Mob Psycho 100 is its story and characters. One may not be the best artist in the world, but he sure as heck can craft an amazing story that manages to be heartwarming, exciting, tearjerking, and hilarious all at the same time. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a series that handled drama AND comedy so well.

I kind of regret not watching this series when the first season initially aired, but I’m glad I was able to catch up while the second season was being broadcast. The second season is much more plot-intensive than season one, the stakes are higher, and it features a great amount of character growth for Shigeo and his “mentor,” Reigen. The plotlines in season two feel more mature and philosophical in tone, which makes its heartwarming scenes even more… well, heartwarming.

I don’t want to make this review too long, as it would just end up with me gushing about how much I love all the characters. I will say that the last few episodes of season two felt a little bit rushed, and the last episode feels more like a set up for a final season rather than a proper ending. Even so, I definitely recommend checking out the Mob Psycho 100 anime. It’s one of the best anime that I have seen in a while, and is a strong contender for anime of the year.

Out of five, I give season 2:

precure heart2precure heart2precure heart2precure heart2precure heart2