It’s that time of the year again, so enjoy our Final Thoughts of the spring anime season that just came to an end~
After watching the first episode a few months ago, it was pretty clear that this revival of Battle Athletess wasn’t going to be good, but this was a classic case of a franchise that should’ve stayed dormant. In every regard, this seemed like a regression from the previous Battle Athletess anime, which I didn’t even think were that great to begin with. There are so many bad things to point out here, but maybe the thing that stuck out the most to me was just how boring this was. The straightforward plot made the competition to become the next Cosmo Beauty almost irrelevant, since the events often took a backseat to the meddling from an incredibly generic set of villains, and it was clear that none of the other girls were a real challenge to Kanata or Eva. Even the finale was amazingly anti-climactic, so I was bored for almost the entire twelve episode run.
Like the horrible villains, the rest of the cast were extremely forgettable, but the most forgettable of the bunch to me was the protagonist herself, Kanata. In fact, she might be the most forgettable protagonist I’ve ever seen. The production values of this anime are also incredibly low, but that shouldn’t come as a shock, considering over half of the studio’s other works are hentai and those terrible ecchi “romance” anime. Speaking of romance, this anime doesn’t have any. The previous Battle Athletess anime had a much stronger romantic two-girl friendship (including a kiss~) as well as a twisted infatuation, but Battle Athletess Daiundoukai ReSTART! barely even makes any sort of yuri impact. Yeah, you can ship a few pairings in this show, but those relationships never felt like anything more than friendship to me. Needless to say, I don’t feel strongly enough about the yuri in this to even bother reviewing it, so I was disappointed that this didn’t more closely resemble the old-school versions. Man, I’ve had so many bad things to say about this, but if there’s one good thing that comes from this abomination, it’s that hopefully viewers will consider watching the old Battle Athletess anime. They’re not great by any stretch, but I think they’re much more entertaining than this. 😛
Watching Vivy after watching Battle Athletess felt so refreshing. The complex “change the future” story, the great animation and music, the likable characters (except for Matsumoto, he was pretty annoying), this anime simply did a lot of things really well. Given the somewhat odd title, I thought there would be a much greater emphasis on Vivy’s singing, but I was pleasantly surprised to see this become a sci-fi thriller instead. As I had suspected, Vivy didn’t include much social commentary on the subject of AIs, and that’s probably for the best, since that’s just not as exciting as seeing some sweet AI on AI violence.
Taking place over the course of a hundred years of AI evolution and their integration into human society, the journey that Vivy had to go through in order to prevent a future AI apocalypse was super entertaining, and the individual stories of the AIs and humans that she crossed paths with tended to be surprisingly heartfelt (while still being action-packed for most of the season). Time travel stories just seem super interesting to me, and Wit Studio did a great job with this one~
I may not be the biggest fan of idol anime, but once again, even I liked Zombieland Saga, and so far, this is probably one of my favorite anime of the year. Like the first season, Revenge had plenty of sentimental moments that managed to feel surprisingly genuine, and even though I didn’t find this season quite as funny as the first, this series just seems a lot more charming and enjoyable to me than the Love Live‘s of the anime world.
The characters are as great as ever, and most of my issues with the first season (particularly some characters not getting enough of the spotlight) were addressed, so I have almost nothing to complain about. I mean, even Tae got an episode where she was the focal point, so MAPPA really hit it out of the park in that regard. That cliffhanger in the final seconds makes me hope that there’s a third season or a movie or something, and there’s definitely room to explore how the girls became zombies, as well as more backstory for Kotaro.
Whether it was the music, the comedy, or the story, I feel like Zombieland Saga Revenge was about as good a sequel as any fan could have hoped for, and I think even fans of comedies or idol anime can find something to like about this series. If Love Live! can get 87 sequels and spinoffs, why shouldn’t this get another? 😛