2021 Summer Season Anime Preliminary Review part 2

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  • In the second part of my preliminary reviews, I will be checking the popular and highly anticipated Kobayashi-san series along with Peach Boy Riverside. If you are after slice-of-life then I suggest you give Aquatope on White Sand a go. If moe is more your thing then look no further than Making a Drugstore in Another World. Finally, Meikyuu Black Company delivers a pretty unique take on the isekai genre. Beware the anti-hero that lurks within!


    Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid S

    Oh boy Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid S fires off its shots early! Right off the bat Torhu joins a maid café and it is not long before we are bombarded by a load of maids! Maid lovers rejoice! Yes, this bit is good and we get lots of fun and laughs in the opening scenes. After this little skit is down the show takes a somewhat more serious tone with the introduction of a certain character. It is here we get some action but the most memorable bit of the episode is left right at the end. I won’t give it away but the final twist was a great treat.

    This gag is carried in the early part of the second episode and it is one of the most amusing part thus far. Again, there is a shift in focus and we get more screen time with our new character. The character building is simple but effective and once a few important truths are revealed the banter starts once again with allusions of a repeat to the first episode. In the end what we get with Kobayashi Maid S is good comedy, a decent new character plus two cliff-hangers in as many episodes. If that trend continues this could make it a bit tricky to watch week by week. All things considered though this is a keeper and I would say this is the most promising series of the season thus far. I would give a 7.5/10.

    One final comment I would add is the quality of the animation seems to have gone up a notch when compared to season one. Oh, and speaking of season one there is no need to watch it. You can just jump into this one although as always it is recommended to watch season one if only to get a kick out of it as I am sure you would enjoy it. In terms of plot though you are not missing anything as this isn’t the purpose of Kobayashi-san.


    Peach Boy Riverside

    Sometimes an Anime likes to stray from the beaten path and take certain directions that go against convention. Now nothing wrong with trying something new or even unconventional but I don’t know if this change was really sensible. From what I understand Peach Boy Riverside’s episode will not be broadcast (at least initially) in chronological order. Instead, it will be released as a mish mash of episodes kinda like The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. I am not a fan of such moves and that series random episode structure infuriated me greatly. However, some people will not be bothered by such details and what it does mean (if true) is this series can be marathoned or watched in a very casual manner as you could hop on some random episode and just plod along from there.

    The opening episode is pretty decent. It sets the stall by introducing us to Saltorine Aldike otherwise known as Sally who is a princess wondering the land. We soon discover that she inhabits a land full of demi-humans and ogres that are all hostile to one another. This hostility is not always rational and it would seem that no race is free from evil. It is a simple enough but effective premise that keeps you engaged. This is not all the episode has to offer as there are a few action scenes near the end plus some fanservice and one really random risqué scene. This risqué scene really came out of nowhere and was like a bolt from the sky. It was totally out of place considering what came before. I suppose I will chalk that ecchi piece to the creators being horny one night.

    The second episode to me was the better of the two as it was more action orientated which I feel is when this series shines the most. It is not a complete fight fest however as Peach Boy does try and focus on extra character development. It does this by shifting the focus of the series away from Sally and unto another character. The change of narrative is actually commendable as this shift in perspective does two things; it adds character depth and also provides extra world building. Now don’t expect a lot of depth to the story or the characters. At heart, Peach Boy is an action series and so people keen on that genre should watch this. Peach Boy Riverside shows promising signs so I will continue watching this to the end. I will give this a 6.5 or even 7 for now.


    The Aquatope on White Sand (Shiroi Suna no Aquatope)

    Aquatope on White Sand tells the tale of two girls working in an aquarium and with this being a slice-of-life my initial thoughts after hearing the premise was something that was reminiscent of Super Cub i.e., a slow burning series with nice scenic scenes that captivate you with a story of discovery and coming of age.

    So, does it deliver on those points? Well, there are good scenic scenes and there is are trials both on a personal and story level. In terms of pacing, it seems to be on point. This may not seem immediately apparent as the opening episode was a bit all over the place and seemed to lack direction. But do not be fooled. Considering the theme being explored it was actually a really good move. What this episode delivers is a shared experience between the viewer and Fuuka Miyazawa where we are both lost. This just serves to underline the point home more forcibly thus allowing us to empathise with her blight more strongly. I will spare you the details as it will be better to watch those developments first hand. I just think the writing and direction taken was well done.

    The second episode was also pretty solid. Whilst Fuuka still features prominently there is a definite shift as we get to understand Kukuru Misakino as well as the state of affairs at the aquarium. This issue presented here seems to suggest this will be main driver to Aquatope which, if true, is a good thing as it ensures there is a clear end goal in mind thus preventing the show meandering into a meaningless direction.

    From what I have seen thus far Aquatope has delivered a good experience. The stall has been set and perhaps more important for a slice-of-life series the main characters are likeable. Sure, they may not be perfect and I am not suggesting this will be a classic but it has laid the foundation to a solid series. If you are fan of slice-of-life then this could really be right up your alley. Opening two episodes get a 6/10.


    Cheat Pharmacist’s Slow Life: Making a Drugstore in Another World

    In an oversaturated isekai genre I can imagine many people being hesitant in watching yet another isekai series. That leads to the obvious question of whether this one is worth watching? Nominally this is a story about Reiji Kirion opening a drug store and selling various medicines to remedy various aliments people have. There are comedic moments in how his customers act so there is a laugh or two to be had.

    But do you know what I really think this series is about? It is about moe! There are cute girls introduced early on but the focal point of the moe is our mascot character Noera. This show spares no scene in showing how cute she is taking every opportunity to make Noera pose for the camera. If you want to indulge that moe urge this series certainly delivers. The opening episode, in essence, is a showcase on how cute Noera is. I just hope that you enjoy your girls acting loli like cause Noera behaves in a very infantile childlike manner.

    The second episode certainly tries to build on the comedy and moe factor. A tsundere is introduced in the shape of Annabelle who plays the role to a tee. More medicines and potions are introduced and we see the comical results that ensue from them. It can be pretty funny. A somewhat sinister or perhaps, if you are inclined that way, an exciting development is revealed at the end. I won’t reveal what it is exactly suffice to say the introduction gives off I Killed Slimes for 300 Years vibe. This is a decent series if you like moe and is for moe fans only. It should be noted that the animation is second rate so it can deter even the moe fans from watching. 5/10 for now. I hope more characters and girls are introduced because I don’t think Noera is enough to carry this show.


    Meikyuu Black Company

    They say power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. This opener is pretty much a showcase of that phrase in action. You see our main character Kinji Ninomiya is a guy with a huge ego which teeters on the brink of being megalomanic. His rant at the start certainly sets the stall portraying the man as a guy with an insatiable lust for power. His high baller lifestyle and sense of superiority is brought crashing down when he transports into another world…

    For reasons that are not exactly clear Kinji finds himself in another world but worse than that he seems to work for an organisation that is run like a black company! This drastic setback has not deterred Kinji however and it is not long before his lust for power comes into the forefront once again as he is prepared to do whatever it takes to reach the top. His ego really is the size of the universe and he displays narcissistic qualities throughout the episode and is even prepared to use others to accomplish his goals.

    I will say off right of the bat Kinji will prove to be a controversial figure but if you want to get maximum enjoyment out of the guy you just got to view him as an anti-hero. The guy is pretty unique as far as protagonists goes and if you can get over some of his more dubious practices then you can laugh and be amused with his antics and grandiose opinions. These traits are highlighted in a different manner in the second episode which I found pretty funny. I feel his call for action had a certain fakeness to it that was reminiscent of Boris Johnson and his Brexit campaign. I am sure you can find your political figure that would represent what Kinji did here.

    The series is not all about him however as numerous parodies are made over the abuse black companies inflict on its staff that you could possibly relate to if you had a rubbish day at work or god forbid, work for a black company yourself! On top of this we get Rimu who is a source of amusement, grief and trouble all rolled into one. In all we get a pretty unique story with a controversial lead. How much you get out of this will depend on how much you can handle big egos. 5/10 after the first two.