We are more than halfway through the Summer 2019 season, so it’s time to reflect a little bit on the shows I’ve been watching!

That’s right, it’s time for the traditional slightly-late-but-still-midseason reflection post, where I comment on the shows I’m still watching and talk about the shows that I’ve dropped.

I think Summer 2019 has been quite good! Despite only picking three shows to watch (something which honestly might become an actual thing for me from now on), I’ve been keeping an eye on the other shows from this season as well and, I must say, they’ve surprised me! It’s been quite a high-scoring season at times and I’m going to check out shows such as GivenVinland Saga and Fire Force at some point for sure. You guys have sold these shows to me very well!

But now it’s my turn to try and sell the shows I’ve been watching and, often, that’s easier said than done. Nevertheless, let’s have a go. The first show I’ve been watching doesn’t need an introduction, though.

I spoke about Dr. STONE quite thoroughly in my first impressions post, but this show is still the most surprising for me this season. It intrigues me every single time I watch it. What’s Senku going to be making next? How is he going to do that? What would I be like if I woke up after thousands of years being petrified? Answer to that last one is: probably not as calm and collective as the characters in Dr. STONE, that’s for sure.

Although I’ve fallen a little bit behind, the show is one that’s quite easy to binge so there shouldn’t be a problem catching up. From what I’ve seen on Twitter, though, there’s a lot of things happening that do add more excitement to the show. I’m not going to comment on this one any longer, because I do feel as if my first impressions post does tie my opinions about this series together in a better way than I could write here.

Likewise, I don’t want to talk about Ensemble Stars! too much either. Although I’ve managed to keep up with this one, I do think a lot of the points I could cover here have already been covered in my first impressions post. That being said, I’m still really impressed by this show and the fact that I don’t see too many people talking about it does disappoint me slightly.

Even if idol shows aren’t your thing, I do think you should at least listen to the variety of music that’s on offer from the show. The songs – whether used as an insert or for the ED – are still great in my eyes. Regardless, if you are interested in watching the show, it is a really easy show to watch. Time flies. Perhaps that’s because the pacing of the show is also quick, but that doesn’t bother me. Sure, I usually like shows with character development – something which Ensemble Stars! lacks – but there’s just something about it which makes me not entirely care. Maybe it’s the full cast of cute boys, I don’t know…

If you are new to male idol shows, don’t fret too much about the low ratings you see on websites such as MyAnimeList. Although idol shows are popular, for some reason the male idol side of things tends to lack high scores. Apart from IDOLiSH7apparently. What I’m trying to say, although rather pessimistically, is that give Ensemble Stars! a go before you go and judge it from any score you see. You might be pleasantly surprised.

A show which you probably should pay attention to the score of, however, is Try Knights. I’m genuinely at a loss of words for this show. As it stands, this is the worst show of the Summer 2019 season. Now, I know my taste in anime isn’t always ‘good’ but this is definitely on another level. This is bad.

I should have taken note when the first episode came out three weeks into the season, but I still wanted to give Gonzo and Seven (the studios behind this series) a chance. Although Gonzo has given us some classics, such as Welcome to the NHK!, I can’t say that they’ve delivered us a sporting classic with Try Knights. I don’t know how Gonzo and Seven have split the responsibilities of this series up, but I’m seeing a lot more traits of Seven’s infamously bad shows than I am of Gonzo’s slightly more somewhat OK shows. For those who need a reminder, Seven has given us the nice little comedy I Don’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying and also an awful lot of hentai. In fact from Seven’s highest-scoring shows, 8 out of 10 are hentai – the other two being the two seasons of the aforementioned comedy.

For the first couple of episodes, I (quite generously) added room for teething issues. But these issues are being repeated and repeated as the series goes on. The animation is horrendous and inconsistent at best. Even as a fan of CG animation, I agree that whoever decided that CG animation was a good choice for this show needs a slap on the wrist. And can we talk about the mouth flaps? Is there ever a time where they have the right amount of mouth flaps? I could understand it if it was a foreign dub that probably didn’t have the best budget, but not here.

As I mentioned in my Summer 2019: What am I watching? post, I decided to give Try Knights ago because I am a fan of rugby. (And also because it’s meant to be a josei anime, which I found slightly odd… and still do.) Even as a fan of rugby, I’m lost. I expected the show, as a sports anime and as potential Rugby World Cup promotion material, to at least explain the sport. We haven’t had any mention of the rules in the four episodes I’ve watched. We don’t even know what type of rugby it is. Is it rugby league? Rugby union? There needs to be far more context here.

I’ve gone on a bit of a rant about Try Knights there, and although I have a lot more to say and nitpick at, I’m going to leave it there. I am still watching this. For now. I’m planning to stop at the end of their first match… which is hopefully soon. I know we all thought last season’s Fairy gone was bad, but uh – Try Knights just replaced it for this year’s worst anime for me.

And finally, let me clarify something and end on a more positive note, by mentioning the beloved Spring 2019 series – Fruits Basket. As a two-cour show, it continued into the Summer 2019 season. And yes, I am continuing to love it.

But hang on, where are the weekly reviews? Man, weekly episodic reviews are hard. Kudos to anyone who can manage to do them for several shows. What with working, moving countries, volunteering and going on holiday, I was always trailing behind and so I decided to stop the episodic reviews. Although I’m frustrated at stopping halfway through the series, it was the best move to make for me. I’m just glad I gave it a go.

If you miss my weekly gush about Shigure, Hatori, and Hatsuharu, though, please do not worry. I still fawn over them all the time. I still love them, I still love the show. I just don’t have the energy to keep up with the episodic reviews anymore. Still watching! (Although a couple of episodes behind…)

Overall, I think that this season is quite a strong season! There’s something for everyone this season, that’s for sure, and I’ll be sure to check out some other series from this season before long as well.

What about you? Are you still watching the shows you started to watch at the start of the season? Any shows that surprised you in a bad or good way? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time!

– Amelia xo

Where can I watch these shows?

You can watch Dr. STONE on Crunchyroll, Funimation, VRV and AnimeLab.

You can watch Ensemble Stars! on Funimation and AnimeLab.

You can watch Try Knights on Crunchyroll and VRV.

You can watch Fruits Basket (2019) on Crunchyroll, Funimation, VRV, Hulu and AnimeLab.

Please note that some shows may not be available in some regions.

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