As the Spring 2019 anime season comes to a close, we’re giving our impressions of how we thought things turned out, this time focusing on the sci-fi, seinen, and mystery series we previously preview. Yeah, this season saw a good amount of variety within these genres, but were the shows actually any good? Read on to find out!
- Genres: Action, Thriller, Horror, Sci-fi
- Air Date: June 28, 2019
When a young girl named Natsu opens her eyes, she’s surrounded by the ocean. Then, she, along with Arashi, Semimaru, and Botan, ride the stormy seas to arrive at an island. This island is covered in a sprawling, unexplored jungle with massive plants. They are attacked by sinister animals and bugs one after another, thrown into struggling to just survive and are constantly threatened by death.
That’s when someone who simply calls themselves ‘guide’ appears and explains to them a completely unbelievable plan.
It is then that they learn that while they were still young and healthy, they were cryogenically frozen in order to avoid humanity’s extinction. The ambitious plan is called ‘The 7SEEDS Project’ and they have become ‘the seeds’ to bring humanity back in a decimated world. They are astonished to learn that they were the humans chosen for this project.
They now live assiduously in a world completely transformed into a hostile environment as members of the 7SEEDS Project.
What We Got:
After scientists discover that the Earth will soon be struck by a gigantic meteorite, a special government program called Seven Seeds project is initiated by nations around the world to ensure the survival of humanity. In Japan, 5 teams of 7 teenagers and one adult guide with some survival training are cryogenically frozen in different places across the country. When they awaken, they find the world has changed dramatically, with evolution producing deadly plants and animals while the meteorite and natural disasters caused major shifts in geography. The story largely focuses on Team Spring and Team Summer B specifically, and goes into various developments of the different teams and characters, with drama about relationships and survival in the new world.
Based on the homonym best-selling, cult hit manga that blends elements of shoujo and josei styles with sci-fi and horror, 7SEEDS had a lot to live up to with its anime adaptation. Unfortunately, it seems that 12 episodes were not enough to capture 177 chapters of manga adequately. While the story setup of a small group of cryogenically frozen survivors awaking to an incredibly weird and dangerous Earth after meteorites nearly destroyed all life is still a great hook, the pacing, poor character development, and low production values make this adaptation one that treads into “so bad it’s good” territory but doesn’t even make it to that. In a word: disappointing.
7SEEDS Official PV
2. Bakumatsu Crisis (2nd Season)
- Genres: Sci-fi, Action
- Air Date: April 5 2018
This is the 2nd Season of Bakumatsu.
The time is the end of the Bakufu.
The future of Japan is troubled, and the era is a period of passionate men devoted to their ambitions as a rivalry of local warlords.
Shinsaku Takasugi is a lucky adventurer from Choushuu. Along with his partner Kogorou Katsura, they infiltrate a ship of the Naval Shogunate commanded by Yoshinobu Tokugawa. They are in search of a legendary treasure that gives one the ability to control time known as ‘Jinshingi pocketwatch’ (Chronometer). Shinsaku heard a rumor that the Shogunate are planning to use the Jinshingi to rule over the entire country. So, he plans to steal the secret treasure with the goal of destroying it.
‘Using this to rule over the country is boring. They have another way to take control!’ However, Shinsaku has the Jinshiki in his hands for just a brief moment of time before it is stolen by a mysterious woman in all black clothing. In order to get it back and finish what they started by stopping Tokugawa from ruling the country, Shinsaku and Kogorou chase after the woman to Kyoto where the Shogunate is. When they arrive, they see a strange figure and reigning deity, Susanoo.
They are greeted with a completely different city to the one they knew, and the way the people look bewilders Shinsaku.
Here, this is another Shogunate dominated by Toki Mugen, the masked Shogun (general). Sticking true to their convictions, they push onward to fight against the Shogunate loyalists in a new battle that goes beyond time.
What We Got:
In Japan’s Bakumatsu period, mercenary soldier Takasugi Shinsaku and his partner Kogorou Katsura sneak aboard a Tokugawa shogunate ship in search of the 'Chronometer', a magical watch with time-traveling powers. However, soon they find out that it has been stolen! Following the thief’s travel to Kyoto, they find themselves in some sort of alternate reality where Shinto deity Susanoo now rules from the capital. Still determined to find the timepiece and set things right, they do everything they can to return Japan to normalcy.
Another show with a bit of missed potential, although less so than with 7SEEDS, Bakumatsu blends its historical setting (the final years of the Edo period) with a mysterious device and a bunch of bishounen —the original source material is an otome game after all. This second season has the same issues the first one had, mainly with incoherent story planning and some subpar production values. All that being said, if you’re mostly here to watch pretty anime boys sword fight and/or enjoyed the first season, there’s some fun to be had with Bakumatsu: Crisis! Just don’t expect it to totally wow you by any means.
Bakumatsu Crisis (2nd Season) Official PV
3. Kono Yo no Hate de Koi wo Utau Shoujo YU-NO
- Genres: Fantasy, Adventure, Isekai
- Air Date: April 2, 2019
Takuya Arima lost his mother when he was but a child. He also lost his father, a historian, two months ago in an accident. He’s lost all will to do anything and is in the last summer break of his high school career.
Then one day, a small package is delivered. Inside, is a round mirror which appears to serve no purpose, and a glass orb with some strange object inside of it. Also in the package is a letter that makes him wonder if maybe his father is still alive…?!
“Tonight at 10pm, go to Ken no Misaki (Sankakuyama) and bring the glass orb.”
Following the orders he was given, he heads there and finds a mysterious young girl collapsed. There, he found the head of his school and the figure of a mysterious transfer student.
Instantly, the earth tremors and he is surrounded by light. His journey around another parallel world begins now.
What We Got:
Takuya Arima is told about the existence of parallel worlds from a strange package he receives from his long-lost historian father. While at first skeptical, he soon learns that not only do these worlds exists but that he can travel between them using a special device! Using this, Takuya begins his quest to understand these alternate realities, a mysterious girl called YU-NO (and others), and find out what happened to his father.
Arguably the most interesting show of this bunch, YU-NO is based on a 1996 PC-98 visual novel that was later ported to Sega Saturn and Windows; in fact, there's also a remake for modern systems launched in 2017, coming to more platforms this year. Our verdict so far is that, although it’s a bit hard to follow at times and some of the characters are a little generic, the premise is interesting enough, the art quality is quite nice (albeit a little lacking in animation at times), and the voice acting and OP/ED are very strong. Considering the original VN inspired the likes of Fate/stay night and Steins;Gate, we’re interested to see the rest of this series and generally recommend trying it out if it sounds cool.
Kono Yo no Hate de Koi wo Utau Shoujo YU-NO Official PV
- Genres: Sci-Fi, Action
- Air Date: April 8, 2019
It’s 0051 G.C. (Galaxy Century). Two residents of NEO TOKYO, Robby and a young boy named Hatchi, set off on a galactic adventure on a spaceship! They are headed for a planet of legend known as Isekandr where it’s said, if one visits, they will experience true happiness.
Disaster rains down all around them on their journey and they cause plenty of issues as they travel to each place…
What We Got:
Despite living in a cool future with interstellar travel and a commonwealth of planets with humans and various alien races, Robby Yarge has been having a tough life with failed jobs, romances, and now debt collectors after him. One such debt collector is Hatchi Kita, a young man who actually met Robby before when he retrieved his bag from a criminal. After Robby narrowly escapes the collectors, he sets off for Isekandar, a legendary planet said to bring luck and happiness to whoever finds it, but soon discovers that Hatchi had stowed himself away on the ship as well! Thus begins a series of misadventures with the unlikely duo as they look for the fabled planet.
A wacky offbeat space comedy with a retro feeling, RobiHachi felt like a pretty unique offering this season, with a lot of positives that surprised us like it’s strong soundtrack that mixes jazz, funk and techno, good voice acting, creative settings, and fun characters. RobiHachi also has fairly above-average animation and art, and largely succeeds with its light-hearted storytelling. While it might be living in the shadow of Space Dandy a bit, we think RobiHachi has the makings of a hidden gem and recommend it especially for fans of retro sci-fi and mecha series that it riffs off quite a bit. Overall, a solid production that does a lot with its limited resources. Recommended!
Robihachi Official PV
5. Shoumetsu Toshi
- Genres: Mystery, Thriller
- Air Date: April 7, 2019
One day, an entire city was annihilated.
Left behind was a lone wolf courier named Takuya and the only girl who is rumored to have survived the destruction, Yuki.
Relying on the message from Yuki’s father who disappeared without a trace, the two head towards the annihilated city, Lost.
However, a set of unexpected difficulties stand in the way. For Yuki, it is an incredibly devastating reality: The feelings of being the sole survivor, a mysterious organization operating behind the scenes, and a hidden conspiracy.
Now two complete strangers, Takuya and Yuki, will deepen their bonds as they travel as they draw closer to the mysteries of the annihilated city.
What We Got:
After an entire city disappears under mysterious circumstances, special courier Takuya meets the lone survivor Yuki, whose father left a message that might lead to some answers. While initially very much of a loner, Takuya and Yuki begin to form a strong bond together as they travel towards the vanished city of Lost.
Knowing this anime was being made by Madhouse and featuring the voice talents of the likes of Kana Hanazawa and Tomokazu Sugita might have gotten you excited, but the fact that this was a mobile game adaptation might have been a better indication of its quality... althouogh to be fair, shows like Kemono Friends came from this too, so not all of these are terrible. The premise of a mysterious city-destroying event with a lone survivor and Takuya’s job as a contract courier is interesting enough, but the writing and convoluted, poorly explained plot, distractingly bad CGI, and underwhelming ending really held this series back. Not disappointing per se, but not good either and arguably a waste of talent given the final product.
Shoumetsu Toshi Official PV
And with that, our impressions for the Sci-Fi, Seinen & Mystery anime categories are complete! Overall, we’d say this season’s offerings were a bit of a mixed bag but still had some quality —or at least interesting— shows to offer to different crowds. What do you think? Let us know your own thoughts in the comments section below, and stick around Honey’s for more thoughts and reporting on the latest anime. Until next time!