Anime Summer Season 2019: Final Thoughts

2019 summer anime season

It’s that time of the year again, so enjoy our Final Thoughts of the 2019 summer anime season that just came to an end~


Carole & Tuesday • 8/10
Length: 24 Episodes • Genre: Drama, Music, Romance, Sci-Fi

carole & tuesday anime
This may not be a yuri anime, but romantic two-girl friendship is a thing, and Carole & Tuesday is another example of how to do it right. The relationship between our two protagonists never quite threatens to cross over into real romantic territory, yet the bond forged between these two girls was beautiful to watch, and I think that quite a bit of yuri fans will be content with what we got. There was even a (creepy) yuri character, and two insignificant female characters were even planning to get married. Again, not a yuri anime, but it’s enough to warrant a review. 😛

For the most part, this was a simple story of girls chasing their dreams of making music, and I’m not just talking about Carole & Tuesday. Another girl, Angela, also plays a big part in this show, and her path to stardom couldn’t be any more different than our two leads, but let’s get back to the stars of the show. Coming from very different backgrounds, Carole & Tuesday meet by chance and then overcome all sorts of difficulties and challenges in an attempt to make their dreams come true. The show was surprisingly funny and extremely charming, and you can say the same thing about the characters.

Towards the end, the show drifted over towards the dramatic side of things, and you might even call it melodramatic. Personally, I preferred when the show was lighter and more easygoing (like the entire Mars Greatest arc), but I still applaud this show for delving into some serious topics, even if it was kind of clumsy. All in all, this was an extremely watchable and enjoyable show that I think was one of the best anime of the season (this show was actually two cours). Regardless, this was one of my favorite shows of the year thus far~


Dumbbell Nan Kilo Moteru? • 7.5/10
Length: 12 Episodes • Genre: Comedy, Ecchi, Slice of Life, Sports

dumbbell nan kilo moteru
This anime had an unusual premise, and it looked promising early on, but I think it really did turn out to be one of the more entertaining anime of the summer season. You’d think that an anime centering around physical fitness would get tired or boring at some point, yet this anime had a great way of mixing things up and finding ways to keep things fresh, and to top it all off, it’s super educational about all sorts of fitness-related activities. If you think that last part doesn’t sound like it’d be very entertaining, you’d be wrong!

This is another in a long line of Doga Kobo comedy anime success stories, and despite the unique subject material, I think it doesn’t feel that different from what you’d expect from Doga Kobo. The comedy and characters work hand-in-hand extremely well, and the show’s quirky charms were really easy to love. It’s just one of those shows that’s goofy as hell, but it simply works. Barnold Shortsinator? Jason Sgatham? Comrade Poutine? So stupid, but it’s so much fun.

As you’d expect, there is some fanservice here, but it works both ways, since Machio spends like half the time in speedos, so Hibiki and the girls aren’t the only ones showing a little skin every now and then. Hibiki and Akemi were especially fun characters, and the other characters compliment them (and each other) very well. Considering how much dumb fun Dumbbell was, I’m really hoping this gets a second season, and it helps that this might be as entertaining a way to get in better shape as you’re going to find. 😛


Granbelm • 8/10
Length: 13 Episodes • Genre: Fantasy, Magic

granbelm anime
We’ve actually already reviewed Granbelm, so I won’t talk too much about it here. This show has a criminally low score on MAL, and it perplexes me to no end, considering I’m really tempted to score this as an 8.5. If you view it as a magical girl anime, I think it ends up outshining recent efforts like Lostorage Conflated WIXOSS, Nanoha: Detonation, and Symphogear XV, as well as putting a girl-focused mecha anime like Rinne no Lagrange to shame.

For most of the season, the story seemed pretty straightfoward, but as we should all know by now, things usually aren’t that simple when it comes to magical girl anime, and I feel like this anime got better and better as the season wore on. I thought that the story was simple yet surprisingly good, but I definitely don’t want to spoil anything by saying too much about it. Some magical girl anime are guilty of trying to overthink and overcomplicate matters when it comes to storytelling, but I think Granbelm did a really good job of infusing character development into their story, and I think the end result was more enjoyable to me than most of the magical girl anime from recent years.

In addition to the action (which is pretty epic), the characters were one of the best things about this show. When it comes to yuri, I expected a little more. You can definitely draw some MadoHomu vibes between Mangetsu and Ernesta, but I don’t think Nexus takes it as far as Shaft did with everyone’s favorite magical girl pairing. Anyway, if you’re into magical girl anime, I think you should definitely check Granbelm out~


Machikado Mazoku • 7/10
Length: 12 Episodes • Genre: Comedy, Magic, Slice of Life

machikado mazoku
The first episode of Machikado Mazoku had me hopeful that this show could keep up the silly hijinks for an entire season, and the show actually managed to pull it off. The strange dynamic between demon girl Yuko and magical girl Momo was really fun to watch, and I’m glad that this show never really took itself seriously and didn’t actually pit the two lead characters against each other, because I’d much rather see them as frenemies anyway.

This was a funny show, and the characters were very entertaining. Momo’s deadpan replies were always great, and Shami was just the perfect foil for her, so of course they were great together. Even Yuko’s family had some amusing moments (including her ancestor), as did her friends. Later on, I don’t think Mikan, another magical girl, added that much to the show, but with such a fun main twosome, that didn’t even matter. Whether you consider Shamiko and Momo friends or enemies, you can’t deny that they made a really nice comedic team.

Overall, this anime wasn’t anything special, but it was a pretty entertaining concept, and I don’t even know if there’s enough content for it, but a second season would be something that I’d definitely welcome. There wasn’t really any yuri in this show, and that’s a disappointment, but this was still a really fun time, so it’s not the end of the world.


Senki Zesshou Symphogear XV • 8/10
Length: 13 Episodes • Genre: Action, Music, Sci-Fi

symphogear xv
The first episode of the newest season of Symphogear, Symphogear XV, almost made me forgot how disappointed I was with AXZ, and I’m happy to say that this season is arguably the best season of Symphogear yet. At this point, you know exactly what you’re getting with this franchise, yet XV dug deep into its bag of tricks and kept upping the ante even further than previous seasons, which is saying something, considering how over-the-top this series has always been.

Pretty much all of the main cast returns, as does a new group of villains, Noble Red, and since Adam isn’t involved, they’re much better than the villains from AXZ. You kinda want to feel bad for them, but that feeling goes away pretty quickly (at least it did for me), and they return to being mostly typical villains that you don’t care that much about. At least they provide a nice challenge to Hibiki & Co., but twists and turns litter this season, and it turns out there’s more to all of this than meets the eye. Did I mention that some familiar faces return, and it’s awesome to see them back?

The story got crazier and more absurd as the season went on, but that’s when Symphogear is as its very best. For most of the season, it seems like there’s no place for yuri among all this chaos, so shippers of Shirabe x Kirika and Tsubasa x Maria will probably be disappointed. Hibiki and Miku are the pairing to watch, and even though they don’t share many cute scenes together for most of the season, that final episode should make shippers of theirs very happy. A review is coming in a few weeks, but just know that this seemed kind of like a love letter to Symphogear fans, and it was a pretty good one.

And for the record, I definitely feel like Granbelm was better than this, even if the scores are technically the same. 😛


Sounan Desu ka? • 5/10
Length: 12 Episodes • Genre: Adventure, Comedy

sounan desu ka are you lost anime
I didn’t pick up this show until a few weeks ago, but thanks to that yuri “kiss” in episode one, here it is on the list. Thanks to Lost, I like “stranded on a deserted island”-type media, but I can’t say that I liked Sounan desu ka?. The survival tips and tactics shared weren’t as informative (or anywhere near as entertaining) as the info found in Dumbbell, so this was basically Survivor in comedy anime form, minus the backstabbing and weird games.

At only about half the length of a traditional anime, a lot of the entertainment factor of this show came from the less-than-ideal situations the girls found themselves in, however, as is usually the case with these shorter shows, the fun and entertainment value was limited. The survival aspects of the show grew repetitive to me, and since there wasn’t much else to this anime—not to mention the lack of a story beyond just surviving—this was a very forgettable anime that I won’t be missing.

The characters could’ve been more charismatic, and besides what the girls have to do in the name of self-preservation, there isn’t any yuri either, so what we ultimately had here was an anime that was a halfway decent time-waster, but nothing really more than that.


Dropped: Maidens of the Savage Season, To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts


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19 thoughts on “Anime Summer Season 2019: Final Thoughts

    • I thought the story was a lot better, in addition to being less *searches for the right word* convoluted. I also liked the characters a lot more and thought they were more nuanced than the ones from WIXOSS.

      There’s probably more stuff, but because of all the sequels and whatnot, I’m drawing a blank. Those are the two major things, though.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Also why on earth did you DROP Maidens of the Savage Season?! To me, that’s one of the best animes of this season, alongside Given 🙂

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      • Oh! Just want to add then that it does have strong yuri points thanks to one character 🙂 If you get the time at a later point I truly recommend it! ❤️

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  2. Yes, I could follow you to 8.5 for Granbelm, You hit the nail on the head in pointing out that “In addition to the action (which is pretty epic), the characters were one of the best things about this show.” Yes best characters including villains of the season. Was somewhat disappointed that they didn’t go far with romance, and that ending was not satisfying but certainly the best “close to yuri” this season. Beautiful use of colour and very, very Shounen’ish Shoujo combat that was very brutal.

    Also loved the silly Machikado Mazoku but so fun and kawaii.

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  3. Hmmm, i’ve never considered trying out Granbelm even though such positive feedback has been forming around it. I suppose now that I know there are hints of Yuri in it, i’m more eager to check it out. My inner Yuri fangirl is coming out oh no.

    Also, this is a bit off-topic but I nominated you for the Sunshine Blogger Award! For some very questionable reason, my nominees haven’t been receiving notifications of it so all night it’s just been me writing comments on people’s blog post haha. If you haven’t checked it out you can do so here, I look forward to your answers!: https://inskime.home.blog/2019/10/06/sunshine-blogger-award/

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    • Seems I’m not the only one who liked it, but I think I might have been a little generous with my yuri score. Not sure… 😀

      And thanks for the nomination! I’ll show it to my blogging partner, but even if she doesn’t want to do it, I’ll fill it out and do it. 😛

      Liked by 1 person

      • As a Yuri moth, it’s my job to go out and about and digest every Yuri I find no matter how trashy (and oddly enough, I somehow end up enjoying them more than I should’ve…)

        Also, thank you! Now I know for sure that the pingback notifications are definitely dead. I look forward to your guys’ answers!

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        • That’s the best approach! It makes it easy to appreciate the good yuri stuff when you get to experience so much of the bad. 😀

          And she said yes, so we’ll probably post ours either this weekend or next weekend~ 😛

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  4. C&T was a placid waste of time without the Yuri, and they just had to show Tuesday interest in Men near the end..unneeded. They didn’t even have the best songs, Angela and Pyotr had better.

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    • There was a bit of subtext, especially involving Cybelle, but it would’ve been a lot better with Carole and Tuesday. And when they showed Tuesday crushing on that reporter, I knew people were going to hate it. 😀

      I didn’t really like Angela’s songs that much. Pyotr’s were better, but I agree about C&T’s songs.

      Hold Me Now was pretty nice, tho… 😀

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  5. Machikado Mazoku was easily my favorite of the season. I especially loved how Momo’s transformation sequence was timed as well as the best Sailor Moon parody I’ve ever seen. The random junk inside the not-Cosmic Heart Compact really got me. And the humour very rarely let me down. The translators also did a spectacular job in making jokes work that apparently probably shouldn’t have been able to be translated.

    And of course the bit at the end with Yuko challenging Momo to a duel, but Momo expecting to go on a nice (romantic) date really sealed it as something excellent. The /u/ threads about the manga have also got me wanting more of it.

    And I think it’s about time I started watching Symphogear

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    • For most of the season, I thought it was super fun and I liked it a lot, but my enthusiasm kind of died down a little bit towards the end. A second season would still be fun, though!

      If you like action and music, I think you’ll like it. It does those things really well~

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  6. For me (and one of my friend), C&T peaked at the Mars event, largely because its has too many ideas (and character) that don’t really gel together (such as suddenly dropping that Tao and Angela are human clone at the final episode, like wha-..? Won’t that subject more interesting than Tuesday fall in love with an old man she barely knows?). I will give the first half of C&T an 8, while the second half about 5-6. Also, barely any yuri which deflate my interest over time.

    At the end of the season Granbelm and Symphogear are fighting for my AOTS. Which is fitting for Magical Girl Battle series (and shared multiple seiyuu). Ultimately Symphogear win because it is gayer, and also use its gimmick to make it gayer (For example, the OP title, METANOIA, if your read it from right to left, become AI NO TAME. So she save Miku for the sake of love). Thus while they cut from the confession scene, I take it as Symphogear trying to stay in style (and apparently there is interview from staff saying that the final episode is Hibiki-Miku marriage, but I kinda miss the source for that). Granbelm got a nine for me (though the central message can be polished a lot better) while Symphogear got a 10 (it is probably the best final season I’ve seen to date).

    However, the gayest show of the season, hands down, Re:Stage Dream Days. This is a very rare idol show that do not use 3D for its concert. It also rare because everyone is paired, so you don’t need to make OT3 or left anybody out, because everyone has their own partner. The amount of yuri it emits each episode exceed anything the summer can give. It has great characters, great interaction, and it also do not fall in to typical final-arc-drama that all other idol series seems to typically suffer. A 9 for me, and strongly recommend for anyone who has not watched it yet.

    Another contender for AOTS is Machikado Mazoku. I disagree that it is nothing special because as I see it, unlike other CGDCT, Machikado has an actual plot. Its story is pretty dense and well planned out with a lot of interesting twist (like the box). While it disguise itself as a low stake iyashikei series, Machikado Mazoku surprise me by how much world building and how strong the motivation that each character has. The only other series that I remember has this much plot progression while also a CGDCT is Urarara Meirochou. More like this please! A 9 from me, and would easily be an AOTS if not for Granbelm and Symphogear.

    And finally there is Sounan Desuka. A fun, turn your brain off, series that deliver multiple kisses with a lot of variation of how to kiss, if you know what I mean. Unfortunately it is short and can only use so much material from the manga. I hope there is a second season because what covered by the anime is just the beginning of their relationship. An 8 from me.

    Oh, I just remember I want to plug in Miru Thights. Another short anime, that begin to air in Spring, but last until mid Summer. It is a fetish show, but it has yuri subplot, and the characters look really nice, so I really like it. It got an 8 from me. Hopefully there will be second season.

    Overall, a really refreshing season for me after the huge let down of Spring. It reinvigorate my desire to watch more anime, so let’s hope Fall can keep this up.

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  7. Where is Wasteful Days of High School Girls? Easily the best anime of the season imo and yes there is quite a bit of yuri undertone in it, mostly thanks to one character named Lily (obvious Lily=Yuri name joke).

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    • I totally missed it. There were quite a bit of yuri-ish shows this season, so I just didn’t notice it at all…

      But now that you mentioned it, maybe I’ll pick it up at some point. Thanks for the heads up~

      Like

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