You know, there were too many anime worth watching during the spring season. Only one ranked as high as four stars in my opinion, but the ten anime I watched were quite enjoyable. Conversely, only three anime struck me as worth watching the Summer 2022 season: When Will Ayumu Make his Move, Call of the Night and Lycoris Recoil. Maybe I’ll add Cyberpunk: Edgerunner and Utawarerumono: Mask of Truth to that short list. I love most of what Trigger has done. The first Utawarerumono is still one of my all time favorites. Even though Utawarerumono: The False Faces was a complete disaster, I still feel compelled to try out their most recent attempt to craft a tale within this world. Feel free to recommend some new titles to me below.
At any rate, Vivaldi’s La Stravaganza plays in the background. Let me get on with rating last season!
- The Executioner and Her Way of Life ★★★1/2
Fantasy anime are a dime a dozen, and only rarely does the setting really stand out for me. The Executioner and Her Way of Life sets itself apart by containing a setting where…well…I don’t want to say it, even though it’s not actually a spoiler. You just won’t be shocked and appalled the way I was during episode one. The unique conceit with this isekai is that Japanese people are immediately slaughtered as soon as this world’s church discovers them. Otherworlders all carry special powers, which have gotten out of control in the past and have caused mass destruction, e.g. one entire continent being turned to salt. At the same time, the people of this world have adopted some Japanese technology (enough to give the world an early 19th century feel) and the Japanese language for its common tongue.
Our heroine, the priestess and assassin Menou, a.k.a. Flarette, discovers that some royals have summoned a Japanese high school girl named Akari inside one of their castles. Having infiltrated the castle, Menou claims to Akari that she wants to rescue her–only to assassinate her in the middle of the “rescue.” However, Akari has the power to turn back time, which leads to her reviving moments later. Menou realizes that she needs special help to liquidate Akari. So, she continues their pretend friendship as she takes Akari on a journey to her death.
There’s a dark setting for you! However, the characters tend to be very amusing to watch. There are some great fight scenes. I can promise you a unique fantasy anime experience with this show.
2. I’m Quitting Heroing ★★★
This show also contains an interesting conceit: the hero offers his service to the Demon Queen he recently defeated. After being rebuffed forthwith, he tries again under an alias. The queen’s generals are in on the fact that the hero is now working for the Demon Army, but not the queen herself. What follows is a series which offers some advice for how to get by in the Japanese working world and the real reason the hero enlisted in the Demon Queen’s ranks.
Here, we have an enjoyable story driven off of the relationships between the hero, the Demon Queen, and her generals. We learn why earth was invaded by the Demon Army in the first place, and whether there can be peace between the mazoku and humankind. As you know, three stars means that I’m happy to have watched an anime but won’t watch it again in the future.
3. The Rising of the Shield Hero: Season 2 ★★★1/2
The first five episodes were subpar, but the rest of the season almost stands up favorably to the original one. Just, the whole idea of our heroes combating a giant, soul-sucking turtle almost prevented me from getting to the good story after episode five. The next half has us confronting the real villain of series, and that was much better. Having the heroes of two opposing worlds work together was also interesting to watch.
If you liked the original, you should like this season too. However, don’t expect the story to be as good.
4. The Last Summoner or the Chinese Can Make Good Anime After All ★★★1/2
The Last Summoner counts as the third or fourth Chinese cartoon I’ve seen on Crunchyroll, and it’s the only good one. The plot falls on fairly standard lines as a monster of the week, good vs. evil story where certain human beings can summon powerful creatures to fight for them. Our hero, Ah Jie, accidentally summons a beautiful goddess named Dora by cooking delicious ramen. Though reluctant to form a contract with her, she guilt trips him by saying that she’ll disappear if he doesn’t. This leads to him finding more allies–including a stray cat–and brings him into conflict with an evil group of summoners.
Besides the backdrop of Chinese mythology, it’s interesting to see how The Last Summoner borrows from both Japanese and American animation. They draw most characters in a style similar to what you can find in anime. Certain others, like the powerful grandfather of Hana, would seem perfectly at home in Batman Beyond. It has quite a few pop culture references, including to the popular Avengers franchise. Overall, it’s a very funny anime, which makes you care about the characters and has great fights to boot.
5. Birdie Wing ★★★1/2
Here’s an anime for those who like golf. We essentially have a sports anime paradigm with female characters. Our heroine, Eve, lives in Nafrece (essentially, France), where she earns a living by winning bets at golf. With her winnings, she supports a bar and some orphans who live there with two of her friends. She meets a Japanese golfer named Aoi and becomes enamored of her style of play. After various tribulations, Eve comes to Japan in order to play her rival and make her debut in scholastic golf.
I really enjoyed the characters in this one and look forward to the next season. You probably have to have played or enjoy playing golf to take a shine to this anime. If you fall into that category, you need to watch this show.
6. A Couple of Cuckoos
No rating for this anime, because it’s not finished yet. I’d probably give it two and a half stars from what I’ve seen so far. Animation-wise, there’s a lot to love. The comedy driven off the fact that the hero and heroine were switched at birth can be pretty amusing. However, the last third of the first season did not strike me as funny as the earlier episodes. Still, I’ll probably continue watching this one–all the while asking myself why I’m not watching Kaguya-sama: Love is War instead.
7. Skeleton Knight in Another World ★★★
Here’s another anime which started out fun and became progressively more boring. Our hero wakes up as his avatar from a video game. He’s one of those overly powerful heroes–capable of trouncing everyone except for the maiden elf warrior’s mother. The plot concerns our hero rescuing maidens in distress, particularly elves held as sex slaves or for other nefarious purposes, and trying to avert a war between humans and elves over this slave trade. It felt like a very standard sort of isekai, but I like those.
8. The Dawn of the Witch ★★★
This stands as a sequel to The Grimoire of Zero. It also features Zero and Mercenary, but the plot focuses on three magic students: Hort, Saybil, and Kudo. I’d say that you should watch Grimoire of Zero (★★★★) but can easily pass on The Dawn of the Witch. The plot and the action are deficient compared to the previous anime. The new characters are not nearly as interesting.
The main benefit concerns Zero having grown up to become a real babe and this season’s Best Girl. There’s some fierce competition in that regard from characters like Yor from Spy x Family, Eve of Birdie Wing, Raphtalia of Shield Hero, Ariane of Skeleton Knight in Another World, both Olivia and Angelica of Trapped in a Dating Sim, Dora of The Last Summoner, and probably several others my dear readers could name. Yes, Summer 2022 might be dubbed the Season of the Babes.
9. Spy x Family ★★★1/2
Here’s the show I thought that I would love the most this season, but four other anime evoked more enthusiasm from me. It had a very strong start, but it started to bore me around the middle before the last couple of episodes came out strong. Spy x Family can be ridiculously hilarious, but one begins to worry whether one can only make so many gags about a spy, an assassin, and an esper forming a make-believe family.
The animation was top notch. The characters were rather likable. The show needs to find some way to raise the stakes in order for me to watch another season of it.
10. Trapped in a Dating Sim ★★★★
Here was my favorite of the season–and it only ranks four stars! Usually, the best will at least rate four and a half stars. Ah, well, above average babes, below average stories. I am surprised that Trapped in a Dating Sim did so well in my eyes. We have our standard hero sent to an isekai world of a video game he played where he ends up in a magic high school. Yet, watching our hero put several members of the arrogant nobility in their place was truly enjoyable. The reversal of the video game heroes into the anime’s villains was also nicely done.
The animation did not really stand out, but how the relationships between the characters flowered amidst all of the intrigue surrounding them made me eagerly await each week’s episode. Trapped in a Dating Sim takes a standard plot but carries it out in a masterful way. I eagerly await the next season of this.
What were my dear readers favorites from the Spring 2022 season? What should I be watching in the current season?