Something new I thought of doing because I’m honestly having a blast with this new anime season, is a “live” ranking of my favorite series… at least up until the fourth episode where it should be pretty obvious which anime are top tier, average, and low tier. I’ll update the list every time I watch a new episode of anime and add any comments I can to it to give you a better idea of what works.

UPDATE: The shows haven’t really changed too much in quality these past weeks, so I’ve decided to leave the list as is until the Season Review. My favorite anime that started this season is Yuru Camp, anime of the season still feels like it’s going to be 3-gatsu no Lion.

Update: 1/22

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1. 3-gatsu No Lion 2nd Season (No Change)

Episodes so far: 16

3-gatsu no lion is number one on this list for several reasons, but the biggest reason is how strong the most recent story arc was. I’ll admit that I wasn’t a fan of how the series started because it seemed like it was trying to be excruciatingly cutesy, but that all changed with the most recent arc that dealt with bullying. Bullying has always been a big topic in not only anime, but movies, tv shows, and games. 3-gatsu doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel when it comes to how to deal with bullying, but instead it showcases just how strong its characters are and how the bullying affects their bonds. Don’t worry, there’s still Shogi involved and it’s still as hype as Shogi can be, but the reason why the second season of 3-gatsu no Lion is my favorite series right now is because of how it excellently deals with its characters.

[Update as of episode 15: Previous rank 1] Just like with Mahoutsukai no Yome, there’s a little bit of a lull in this episode, which makes it a little difficult to evaluate whether or not its value has changed. It’s definitely setting p for its new arc, so it should be pretty exciting when it happens. But for now, nothing tells me that its rank should be changed. It’s still undoubtedly the best show of the season right now.

[Update as of episode 16: Previous rank 1] 3-gatsu no Lion mostly stays at number one this week due to its past but also due to some revelations in the episode. We find out that Souya is not just some air-headed genius. He’s deaf… but not naturally? Apparently at a certain point, he lost his hearing, but the doctors said that they didn’t see anything wrong with him, which led them to conclude that there was some kind of psychological problem preventing him from hearing. Seeing the dynamic between him and Rei was pretty interesting especially when Rei begins to act like Souya. It seemed like Rei was starting to go down the same path as Souya– forgetting everything except Shogi. Sounds started to disappear around Rei, but the thing that brings him back is his rival, Nikaidou. It’s thanks to him that he realizes that he’s not walking the path of a Shogi player by himself like Souya is. Even though there wasn’t a whole lot of action this episode, I think it was still a good episode in its own right.

2. Mahou Tsukai no Yome (No Change)

Episodes so far: 17

Mahou Tsukai no Yome keeps a good balance between magic and the human life we’re familiar with. It goes much more into the connection between magic and nature while anchoring itself on the unusual relationship with a mysterious mage, Elias, and a girl who sold herself into slavery just to find a place she could call home, Chise. The recent episodes that have come out have been going more into the relationship between Chise and Elias which in turn has been really fleshing them out. The strength of the series isn’t only in its storytelling, but its visuals and music as well which have been spectacular from the beginning.

[Update as of episode 16: Previous rank 2] Nothing really happened to make me think that it deserves to be lower or higher, so Mahoutsukai no Yome stays at rank 2 for this week.

[Update as of episode 17: Previous rank 2] This is probably one of my favorite episodes of Mahou Tsukai no Yome so far. I was really close to pushing Mahou Tsukai no Yome up a rank because of this open and it’s not because of my bias towards shows that focus on familial ties. I think this episode was a perfect display of everything that they’ve worked on so far– Chise’s progression as a mage, her relationship with Elias, and Elias’s growth as a… person? The episode perfectly showed how all these elements are growing and working together.

3. Yuru Camp (No Change)

Episodes so far: 5

This is where people will start rolling their eyes and saying this list is shit and I don’t blame you. Yuru Camp seems like a basic slice of life show, but I’ve honestly been impressed by how well the show is carried by the characters with this unique choice of topic to focus on. The aspect of the show that has impressed me the most after the characters is the voice work and the basic, but effective animation style. This isn’t to say that the other anime on this list haven’t impressed me with their characters or animation style, but Yuru Camp already showed its cards for the most part, so it’s safe to say that this show will continue in the same way that it started– relaxed, comfy, and entertaining.

[Update as of episode 4: Previous rank 3] I can’t say that it’s necessarily gotten better, but it hasn’t gotten any worse and it was already a very fun show to watch. It still has a laid back atmosphere showcasing a niche aspect of life, camping, while also adding in its own mix of comedy that’s primarily effective due to its great characters and voice work. I’m still sure that the show won’t be for everyone, but for now, it’s definitely one of the shows I’m enjoying the most this season.

[Update as of episode 5: Previous rank 3] What can I say? More camping. More beautiful scenery. More fun character interactions. More greatness from one of my favorite anime this season.

4. Sora Yori mo Tooi Basho (No Change)

Episodes so far: 5

A fresh concept involving high school girls wanting to go to Antarctica for various reasons. The concept is unique enough to get a new viewer’s foot into the door and the characters plus the visuals are enough to make you keep watching. Though I still find it a little unbelievable at times how easy they’re getting to go to a continent of ice despite them being high schoolers, but honestly, the anime is playing out well enough that I ‘m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt that this is totally possible.

[Update as of episode 3: Rank stays the same] Not much has changed. It’s keeping the same pace as before, just adding a little taste of training for the Antarctica expedition as well as some set up for Shirase’s past.

[Update: Up one rank] Violet Evergarden moves down one rank, pushing Sora Yori mo Tooi Basho up to Rank 4.

[Update as of episode 4: Previous rank 4] Don’t take the fact that it stayed the same rank this week as an indication of it not being better than last week. This episode was without doubt the best episode so far and one of the reasons why I always insist on watching the first four episodes rather than just the first three. The fourth episode had a lot going for it in regards to character growth, comedy, and overall engagement. It’s also a plus that they’re finally embarking on their journey to Antarctica. The only reason it didn’t move up a rank is because I still feel like the shows above it are still better if only slightly.

[Update as of episode 5: Previous rank 4] I can see the day that it will move up a rank or two coming up soon. The dynamic that these characters have together as well as their unique adventure to Antarctica is still just as getting more interesting and entertaining with each episode. This episode, they take their first big step towards going to Antarctica by flying to Australia. It was a good opportunity to break some ice between some of the characters and I think they did a good job of that. I’m genuinely excited to see how Sora Yori mo Tooi Basho grows as the season continues and you should be too.

5. Hakumei to Mikochi ( 1)

Episodes so far: 4

For our next laid back series we have the Borrowers v2. Hakumei to Mikochi is a show about two… well I’m not sure what kind of creatures they are. They’re humanoid small creatures about the size of mice maybe. This is just a story about these two and while it’s really simple and is yet another story carried by its characters, it’s still a fun time and I’m excited to see more.

[Update as of episode 3: Previous rank 7] Correction: They’re the size of grasshoppers. This show is still just as relaxing as before but still hasn’t impressed me enough to move it up the ranks. To be honest, I think it’s still on par with several of the series above this, but if I were to recommend a series to someone on this list, I’d be just a little more hesitant to recommend Hakumei to Mikochi.

[Update: Previous rank 8] Up one rank due to Ryuuou no Oshigoto going down in the ranks.

[Update as of episode 4: Previous rank 6] Hakumei to Mikochi is proving itself to be one of the more fun series. The relationship between Hakumei and Mikochi is proving to be something I look forward to revisit every week. They have a good chemistry in addition to having a strong set of side characters. One of the more entertaining things to come back to every week though is their connection to nature and how their perspective of it is different from ours. But even so, their lifestyle and values are the same as ours… just miniaturized. Though I didn’t expect to enjoy this series too much, it’s proven itself to be a competent show that is vying for a place in the top five.

6. Violet Evergarden ( 1 )

Episodes so far: 5

If we’re going by animation alone, Violet Evergarden would easily rank one on this list. 3-Gatsu no Lion is pretty, but Kyoto Animation is always one-upping their previous series. The reason why Violet Evergarden which should have the potential to be anime of the season, is ranked at number four, is simple. Because there just hasn’t been enough of it to make an informed decision yet. From what I’ve seen, it’s going to be about the main character, Violet, learning what it means to truly live while also touching the lives of those around her. To be blunt, it’s nothing new– it’s predictable. What will sell this series is the timing of the big reveal behind the truth of the Major as well as the performances of the characters. This series is by all means a series that will be carried by its characters, not its story.

[Update as of episode 4: Previous Rank 4] Violet Evergarden continues the same pattern of Violet meeting someone new and through that meeting, she becomes a little more able to understand the human heart. This time she’s shown the unconditional familial love of a fellow classmate, Luculia whose brother is drowning in alcohol from the guilt of not being able to protect their parents. It ends with Violet writing a touching letter to Luculia’s brother since she could never find the words to tell him how she felt. The only thing is… she just regurgitated what Luculia said into the letter and shortened it. Somehow that was enough to save her brother from his spiraling depression and enough to get her teacher to believe that she could accurately relay a person’s feelings into a letter and allow her to graduate. I already feel like the series is moving too quickly for its own good and is falling into cliched patterns that aren’t really making it any better of an anime. It’s still better than the majority of the anime, but if they don’t switch it up soon, I can see this falling further in ranks as the weeks progress.

[Update as of episode 5: Previous rank 4] Me moving Violet Evergarden down a rank is more of a statement than anything else. Though this anime is easily top five just by music and animation alone, the story feels so painfully mediocre. I am positive that it’s going to follow the same pattern of Violet interacting with a new person every week and through it, changing their life and getting one more step closer to realizing what love is. It’s like there’s a list of people and she’s just checking one name after another as she goes through the series. Who’s she going to spend time with next week? Is it going to be Cattleya? Or are they going to go with the realization that the Major is dead? They’re probably going to save that revelation until about episode 9 or 10 when she’s connected with enough people that they go out into the streets to try and search for her when she bursts out to desperately search for a person who’s already been buried in the ground. Violet Evergarden is still touching enough to keep its rank in the top 5, but not impressive enough to keep its number four rank from last week. If it keeps being this predictable without any real pay off, I could see it dropping further from the top five.

7. Darling in the FranXX (No Change)

Episodes so far: 4

I’m giving the edge to this series over others because I believe in Trigger. It looks like the series will be a coming of age story and I generally like how the story is progressing so far. The reason why it’s in the middle of this list though is because it hasn’t really proven itself to be a standout series yet. Everything that’s happened so far has been typical boy meets girl flowchart progression. I’m waiting for Trigger to really “pull the trigger” and get some of the weird in there.

[Update as of episode 3: Previous rank 11] Well I might’ve said that they needed to get some of the weird into the anime, but I think they struck a good balance this episode with throwing in backstory to justify the amount of angst among these kids. They even added a little softcore NTR into the mix to show the dangers of piloting with 02. Oh also another thing that I just randomly realized (unless they already pointed this out) is that all the children have names based off of their code numbers. 02 is the only one who is called Zero Two, but if you try to make it like the other names, it becomes Oni, which makes sense because she has horns. But going back to why the anime’s jumped up the ranks, it’s mostly because it’s starting to go more into detail about why all the kids have a a love/hate relationship with Hiro. This episode also shows off some great action and ends with juicy karma.

[Update: Previous rank 9] Up one rank due to Ryuuou no Oshigoto going down in the ranks

[Update as of episode 4: Previous rank 7] I’m not sure how I feel about Darling in the FranXX, but I think its rank right now is pretty accurate. It’s a Trigger show that’s all about angsty teenagers and finding one’s destiny. It’s still a fun show that’s a cut above most of the shows below it, but it’s still lacking the quality that the shows above it have. Also, the design for the mechas (FranXX) are really similar to the mechas in Stardriver. Not that it’s a bad thing, but I just forgot to throw that out earlier.

8. Dagashi Kashi 2 ( 2)

Episodes so far: 4

Dagashi Kashi is back and it’s being done by a different animation studio than it was last time. I have to say that Tezuka Productions has made the transition perfectly. Though many were concerned about the animation when they first revealed it, after watching the first few episodes, it’s apparent that there’s nothing to worry about. The animation is still there, the comedy is still there, and the character chemistry is still there. There’s nothing to worry about at all so far. The only question is how consistent the comedy will be.

[Update as of episode 3: Previous rank 10] I’m honestly pretty impressed with how consistent the second season of Dagashi Kashi is. Last season it was just either actual comedy or playing off of sexually charged situations with Hotaru and sometimes Saya. This season it feels like it’s working between those two extremes a lot better. I’m actually finding myself laughing at its comedy a little more than I did last season. If it keeps up this trend, it’ll stay in the top ten easily.

[Update: Previous rank 9] Down one rank due to Hakata Tonkotsu Ramen going up the ranks.

[Update as of episode 4:  Previous rank 10] Dagashi Kashi jumps up 2 ranks due to a pretty touching fourth episode. Though I don’t think the show is the strongest comedy of the season, I do think it’s one of the more relaxing and fun shows of the season.

9. Ryuuou no Oshigoto (No Change)

Episodes so far: 5

Just by reading the description, I was very close to not watching the show, especially considering that I was watching the superior Shogi show, 3-gatsu no Lion. But I decided to give it a shot and I have to say, it’s a fun show to watch. It’s a different experience than 3-Gatsu since it takes a more eccentric and colorful approach to Shogi. By that I mean characters wearing capes, people with the ability to see a million moves ahead, etc. For lack of a better way to describe it, it’s very much a light novel experience. But even so, there’s something about seeing young talent being nurtured in the way that it is in this show that makes me excited to watch it every week.

[Update as of Episode 4: Previous rank 6] There are too many damn grade school girls in this anime. This week features a new nine year old genius of Shogi with the same name as the main heroine. I can already see this becoming a headache to deal with. This week Ryuuou no Oshigoto finds itself falling a little in the rankings due to it keeping things steady while other shows are ramping up a little. The show is still fun… if not a little creepy with how many grade school girls are appearing.

[Update: Previous rank 8] Down one rank due to Hakata Tonkotsu Ramen going up the ranks.

[Update as of episode 5: Previous rank 9] The two Ais face off and it’s as much a doozy as you’d expect a Shogi match to be. It did serve as some excellent character development though, so I will give the anime that. I also have mixed feelings on the “Good grief, I love elementary school girls.” I hope that the anime keeps the amount of elementary school girl loving at a minimum especially since last episode he asked an elementary school girl to be his wife and then this episode he asked an elementary school girl to be part of his family. It’s a weird anime that I do enjoy because I think it’s cool to see the origins of naturally gifted players who are trying their hardest to get better.

10.  Mitsuboshi Colors ( 2)

Episodes so far: 5

This is basically a lesser version of the Yotsuba anime I’ve always wanted. It’s children parading around as heroes of justice, but their acts of heroism are childish and always result in hijinks usually ending in the police officer, Saito, taking the brunt of their playtime.

[Update: Previous rank 8] Due to Dagashi Kashi,Darling in the FranXX, and Slow Start jumping ahead, Mitsuboshi Colors goes down 2 ranks.

[Update as of episode 4: Previous rank 11] I still find Mitsuboshi a pretty fun comedy and pretty much on par with other comedy shows this season like Slow Start and Dagashi Kashi. Though it ranks below them, I wouldn’t discourage people from watching this show at all.

[Update: Previous rank 11] Down one rank because of Hakata Tonkotsu Ramen going up the ranks.

[Update as of episode 5: Previous rank 12] Mitsuboshi Colors is really just a discount Yotsuba to be honest, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad at all. I actually enjoy the show quite a bit, especially because though some shows are hit or miss, the show is generally a hit. There is an unnerving amount of focus on poop jokes at times, but most of the comedy is just good old comedy coming from children being innocent.

11. Slow Start (Unchanged)

Episodes so far: 4

Not entirely sure why the show is called slow start, but it’s a pretty fun series especially if you lie 4-komas. Overall it plays things very safe with its comedy, but it’s still able to keep things fun. I expect it to stay in this position for the rest of the season because while it’s not bad, it’s nothing too special or new.

[Update as of episode 4: Previous rank 12] Well if it wasn’t clear why it was called Slow Start before, it’s clear now. It’s because of the main character’s slow start on life because of being held back a year due to attendance. But that aside, I think the series is shaping up to be a nice blend of comedy with hints of growing up and friendship. This episode focuses on a character who is in a similar case to Hana but the end outcome was different. She became a shut-in and was slowly distancing herself from the world. Thanks to Hana and the help of her friends though, she’s able to break out of her shell a little and slowly but surely, gain the confidence to reintegrate herself into society. I’m liking Slow Start not because I think it’s necessarily successful as a comedy, but because of the way the characters interact with each other and touch each others lives. However, if it fails to keep working on character development, I can see it falling in the ranks again.

[Update: Previous rank 10] Down one rank because of Hakata Tonkotsu Ramen going up the ranks.

[Update as of episode 5: Previous rank 11] I never thought I’d say this, but… this show is literally carried by the genki. The loli is also ok, but the life of this anime is without doubt the genki. If she wasn’t in the anime, I doubt it’d be ranked as high as it is.

12. Hakata Tonkotsu Ramen 4)

Episodes so far: 4

I’m cautiously intrigued by this, because it’s giving me a bad vibe. I feel like it can get really bad really quick due to it trying to be more intricate than it needs to be. However, its overall story and cast of characters are not unique or strong enough to make the anime outstanding or break the top five. I’m leaning towards this becoming a convoluted mess in the end, but I’d be glad to be proven wrong. On a side note, what does this show have to do with Ramen?

[Update as of episode 3: Previous rank 17] I finally figured out what the anime reminds me of. It reminds me of a less eccentric Durarara. Now that everything is coming together, it’s shot up the ranks to number thirteen. I expect that if it keeps going at this pace without losing steam, it’ll slowly climb its way to top ten. Calling it right now, Banba’s the Niwaka Samurai.

[Update: Previous rank 13] Yowamushi Pedal moves down one moving Hakata Tonkotsu Ramen up by one.

[Update as of episode 4: Previous rank 12] Episode 4, aka I fucking called it. The identity of the Niwaka Samurai wasn’t a huge focus of the anime, so it’s not too big a deal that I guessed it, but I’m pretty proud of myself regardless. Anyway, it feels like the prelude to the anime is over and the real anime is about to start. I suspect that the next few episodes will really determine where this anime will land by the end of the season. This episode brought a satisfying conclusion to the anime’s first arc but I still can’t shake the feeling that it’s a cheap Durarara with a slightly less eccentric cast and a slightly less exciting city.

[Update: Previous rank 8] RIP Hakata Tonkotsu Ramen. Your time in the top 10 was short lived. Better luck not getting outdone by shows next week.

13. Yowamushi Pedal: Glory Line (1)

Episodes so far: 5

I’ve always been a pretty big fan of Yowamushi Pedal. It’s such a typical sports anime at its core, but I feel like it takes the comradery and hype situations to a new level and this season is no different. I’m not always the biggest fan of sports series, but Yowamushi Pedal is always fun to watch.

[Update: Previous rank 12] Due to Dagashi Kashi. Darling in the FranXX, and Slow Start going up the ranks, Yowamushi Pedal goes down two ranks.

[Update as of Episode 4: Previous rank 12] Yowamushi Pedal is falling back into bad habits of interrupting the action with useless filler and unbelievable results. I might still not understand the intricacies of road racing, but I’m pretty sure if there are two people going at top speed almost a kilometer away, there isn’t anything you’re doing to close that gap. And if that wasn’t enough, they cut from the action for pointless flashbacks that could’ve been summarized in about half the time or more than the time they used to do the flashback. It needs to get back to the action instead of stretching things out too much.

[Update as of Episode 5: Previous rank 13] I’m reminded of what I hate about sports anime with this episode. The half episode focus on maybe what would be less than a minute in real life is really annoying especially when the other half of the episode is just screaming. Unfortunately, it still feels exciting enough to keep its general rank, but I really wish they’d cut out the fluff of the episode.

14. Miira no Kaikata (No Change)

Episodes so far: 4

Who knew that keeping a mummy could be so cute. If you’re looking for a cute show, this is it. Despite it having some really flat characters, it’s got ok comedy and probably one of the cutest things I’ve seen in recent history.

[Update as of Episode 3: Previous Rank 13] This anime is still diabetes level of sweet. I can’t say it’s necessarily gotten better, but it hasn’t gotten worse for the time being. The experience of seeing what life is like living with a miniature mummy is still fun enough to keep me interested, but overall the anime still feels pretty flat and lacking of engaging elements.

[Update: Previous rank 13] Moved down one rank by default due to Hakata Tonkotsu Ramen jumping in front of it.

[Update as of episode 4: Previous rank 14] A new… little being? has been added to the mix. It’s nice to have a change of pace from just a tiny mummy and to have a side character take the spotlight from the main character. Despite this, it’s not like anything really changed for the anime. It’s pretty much the same anime that it was from episode one– just cute little things doing cute things.

15. Cardcaptor Sakura Clear Card-hen (No Change)

Episodes so far: 5

This is another series I’m expecting to rise in the rankings. So far there’s only been set up and the nostalgia factor. Unfortunately, that’s not enough for me to put it higher in the rankings, but once it ramps up, I’m sure that it’ll be higher.

[Update: Previous Rank 14] Down one rank due to Hakata Tonkotsu Ramen moving up.

[Update as of Episode 3: No change to rank] Nothing’s really happened so far in the anime yet, so I can’t really say it deserves to move up or down the ranks. Right now I only see its rank changing depending on how the other series around it fare. I will say that the romance in this anime is just insanely pure and sweet. Shaoran and Sakura ship too strong.

[Update as of Episode 5: No Change to rank] Apparently I slacked off one week… oops. But there’s still no real progress in the show. As I’ve said before, I’m sure that once things start rolling, it’ll jump up the ranks, but for now, it’s gonna sit cozy around here.

16. Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san (No Change)

Episodes so far: 5

I’m surprised by how much I like this series so far. The first episode really turned me off and in a way, I expected that, but the following episodes had a good blend of knowledge about Ramen as well as comedy, making it educational AND fun! The only problem is that I can see this anime getting old real quick since it’s going to rely on the same set up for its comedy with a limited cast of characters. So far it’s fresh enough that I enjoy watching it, but I can see how it’ll lose steam later in the season.

[Update from Ep. 4: Previous Rank 15] It’s the same type of comedy with no real change to quality or anything. Same pattern of “What’s Koizumi-san up to? Ramen? What kind of new ramen is out there? What different ways can we enjoy ramen today?” It hasn’t gotten to the point of being completely worn out yet, but it hasn’t gotten any more engaging and I doubt it will. Its quality will most likely stay stagnant for the rest of the season, so its up to the rest of the anime to show that they can do better and move up the ranks.

[Update: Previous rank 15] Down one rank due to Hakata Tonkotsu Ramen moving up

[Update as of episode 5: Previous rank 16] I’m afraid of sounding like a broken record at this point, but it’s the same old song and dance and I’m sure it will be every single week. If they keep doing the same pattern as they do every week, the only way for it to move up in the ranks will be for it to get better at its comedy which is pretty hit or miss. For the time being, it’s still good enough to keep its rank, but not good enough to move up in the ranks.

 

17. Overlord 2  ( 1)

Episodes so far: 5

[Update from Ep. 2] I expect its ranking to go up as the season progresses. So far, Overlord 2 hasn’t shown any of its cards and is once again setting up for its next arc. There’s really nothing going on and nothing to comment on. It’s fun to watch, but there’s no real emotional investment in it yet because they’re spending time on developing new characters and places.

[Update as of Episode 3: Previous rank 14] I’m still watching Lizardman: Origins, but at least there’s fighting now? The show is still just as lacking of content as it usually is now that my main complaint from its first season has resurfaced. What’s the point of an Isekai show if the real world is barely mentioned? You might as well have just made it a regular fantasy show. All we have in Overlord is a guy stuck in a game whose attitude is “Well, I’m here. Might as well.” In addition, the quality of the animation for the fighting in this episode was average at best and bordering on poor at times.

[Update as of episode 4: Previous rank 18] At this point I’m not sure if I’m just really biased against Overlord or if it’s just a genuinely boring series. I don’t expect it to be exclusively about fighting (especially when the battles in the anime are equally boring) but if it’s going to focus on strategy an becoming an ‘overlord,’ I’d expect a little stronger characters and situations overall. They threw in an incredibly two-dimensional romance in the “enemy camp” in an attempt to humanize the opposition but really… who cares? The anime has yet to make me understand why I should care about any of the events or characters in the series and with the way it’s going, I doubt it ever will. As I stated before, it’s a pseudo isekai show that never actually talks about the isekai world which is basically the real world at this point. Why people enjoy this show I have no clue and I’ve been trying to understand for the longest time… but I just don’t get it.

[Update as of episode 5: Previous rank 18] I still don’t get why people like this show so much, but I will admit that there were some scenes in this episode that actually made me laugh. In the grand scheme of things, I still have the same complaints as I’ve had since the start of the anime. The only reason why it moves up a rank is because of it actually clicking as a comedy this week.

18. Hitori no Shita: Season 2 ( 1)

Episodes so far: 4

Hitori no Shita picks up from where it left off, but isn’t really showing too much of its hand… which is frankly a good thing. Last time it showed what it had, it became a huge convoluted mess that could barely hold my interest. They’re ramping up for a fighting tournament, so I doubt that its rank will go up too much since it’s not breaking from the mold too much. It’ll just be another action anime with a different premise and that’s not enough to push it to the top.

[Update: Previous rank 16]  Down one rank due to Hakata Tonkotsu Ramen moving up.

[Update as of episode 3: Previous rank 17] Hitori no Shita is staying the same rank this season because it’s stuck in setup for tournament purgatory. It’s still taking its time to introduce characters, which isn’t a bad thing, but it’s taking a while and none of the characters are especially interesting.

[Update as of episode 4: Previous rank 17] Hitori no Shita moves down a rank this week because while it stayed stagnant in its approach and progression through its generic tournament, Overlord actually had a fun episode.

19.  Takunomi (No Change)

Episodes so far: 4

If you like watching short series about ways to enjoy your alcohol featuring cute girls, this show is for you. The show is nothing special, it’s literally just about that. It’s a fun show, but it’s a one trick pony and one that won’t get any better as time goes on.

[Update as of Episode 3: Previous rank 19] There’s really not much to say. It’s still a show about drinking– different types of drinks and how to enjoy them. At its core its still cute girls drinking, so until its content gets a little more involved than that, it’ll probably stay around this rank.

[Update as of Episode 4: Previous rank 19] This week they delve into the tasty but kinda girly drink, Hyouketsu. When I was in Japan, Hyouketsu wasn’t really my drink of choice, but I liked it. I can’t say I ever enjoyed it the way they did, but it was cool seeing them feature a fairly popular drink and showing a new way to enjoy it. However, at its core, it’s still the same show about cute girls drinking. No real substance gained.

20. Grancrest Senki (No Change)

Episodes so far: 5

This episode screams “light novel adaptation.” Boy meets girl situation? Check. Main heroine who is strong willed falling for the protagonist? Check. Main heroine wearing skimpy clothing? Check. I have so many questions about the events of this series and none of them are really being answered. It’s just one generic event after another and I can’t see the anime ever evolving out of that pattern.

[Update as of episode 4: Previous rank 20] It still hasn’t gotten any better or any worse but it’s still better and more cohesive than the shows below it… if not still very cliched and predictable. I also can’t go on enough about how much of a light novel feel it has with the main heroine already swooning over the main character. Also, though the anime had some good fight scenes, it also has scenes like this.

[Update as of Episode 5: Previous rank 20] Well, this anime has officially given its main heroine a reason to continue wearing skimpy clothes. This episode served as a trigger to make all the characters want to get stronger while also introducing some new side characters. I’m surprised that it wasn’t too jarring to have werewolves, vampires, and black and white witches introduced in the same episode. It felt much smoother than I expected, but it still wasn’t good enough for me to move it up the ranks.

21. Hakyuu Houshin Engi ( 1)

Episodes so far: 4

Despite being planned to be just a few episodes shorter than the original, this feels even more rushed than it should be. The story is flying by way too fast for newcomers to appreciate and understand the story. While the animation might be an upgrade from the original anime back in 1999, the pacing of the anime is really making the anime feel cheap and confusing. If they can slow down the pace a little, I can see the anime rising in the ranks, but if they don’t, it’ll stay the same at best.

[Update as of episode 3: Previous Rank 20] Wow, its like they’re allergic to pacing, Everything feels like it’s trying to move faster than light right now. I guess even if it has the freedom of twenty or so episodes, it’s still trying to get through the entire twenty-three volume manga series and that’s no easy feat. Even so, it’s not very enjoyable to sit through each episode when each episode is tripping over itself to get to the end.

[Update as of episode 4: Previous rank 22] This episode brought to you by the letter H for Hambagu (Salisbury steak). Houshin Engi finally gets to move up the rankings and it’s literally only because of one scene where a character is served his son in the shape of a seemingly innocuous Hambagu. Otherwise the story is still feeling just as rushed as always but I guess it’s a little easier to follow than Basilisk at least.

22. Basilisk Ouka Ninpouchou (No change)

Episodes so far: 5

The original anime of Basilisk was one of my favorite anime from back in the day. In a time when Naruto was supposedly the pinnacle of ninja anime, Basilisk was a huge breath of fresh air. The battle between the Iga and Kouga ninja was bloody to say the least and actually showcased “real ninja techniques.” Well, as real as ninja techniques can be, at least. This series seems like it’s already trying to rush to the end and barely takes time to explain itself, instead just running through the story, hoping the viewer will follow along. I’m not excited about this new entry into the Basilisk series, but I can only hope that it’ll get better.

[Update as of Episode 4: Previous rank 21] The story is becoming a little more coherent, but it’s still a pretty big mess. It still has yet to capture the same magic that the original had… it feels like a really rushed, vanilla version of the original and I doubt that will change as the series progressed. However, it still has proved a little more comprehensible and enjoyable than the series below it, so it will keep its rank this time.

[Update: Previous rank 21] Down one rank because Houshin Engi went up one.

[Update as of episode 5: Previous rank 22] Basilisk aka genjutsu city. With kunais missing their targets, genjutsus everywhere, and child ninjas, I’m getting a real Naruto vibe from the show now…. but at least Naruto had a more cohesive story. Basilisk make sense pls. I’m sad that a spiritual successor to my favorite ninja series is just this low quality.

23. Death March Kara Hajimaru Isekai Kyousoukyouku (No Change)

Episodes so far: 4

And my least favorite anime of this season is another Isekai series. The reason it’s this low isn’t just because it’s an Isekai series, it’s because it feels like the laziest of them all. I already really disliked Overlord for its weak premise of “hey, guy didn’t log off before MMO servers shut off forever and now he’s stuck in there forever. Wao.” This is somehow even worse. It’s “Wow, I fell asleep at my desk and now I’m stuck in a game.” The premise alone already turns me off by how lazy it feels, but the main character is far from compelling and the characters feel like generic cut outs from other series. I doubt it’ll get any better, I just expect other series will get worse which will push it up in the ranking.

[Update as of episode 3: Previous Rank 23] I still don’t understand so many things. It’s been a while since he started playing this game and he probably still thinks he’s in a dream. I say probably because he hasn’t mentioned it at all. He’s also treating it like a game, so it’d lead me to believe that he understands that he’s trapped in a game, but in the previous episode he expressed that he thought that he was still in a dream. I also don’t get why he has to max skills in the middle of battle rather than just do it all at once. Also this has to be the shittiest game ever made if you get titles left and right. He literally got “bug hunter” for killing one bug. This show continues to confuse me and leave me unimpressed. It’s like a really really really poor man’s Sword Art Online to be honest and that’s not in a good way.

[Update as of episode 4: Previous rank 23] Death March stays at the bottom of the list because it still sucks as in Isekai show and it still sucks as a show in general. I’m still not understanding why the main character is struggling against monsters WAYYYY beneath his level. Either the game he’s stuck in is really shitty and doesn’t let you blast through enemies even with a hundred level gap or he’s just a real idiot. I think he reasoned that he didn’t want to show off all his powers because he didn’t want to be roped in as the hero and he thought it’d be better to lay low, but… if you have maxed out persuasion and conversation skills, then you can basically sway any conversation as you like. You also don’t have to suffer against lower leveled enemies than you just to put on airs. I honestly really just don’t get the anime and I don’t think I ever will. I have little faith in this anime and doubt it will climb any higher than it is now.