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Saying Goodbye To Spring Anime 2024
By WakeUpSnooze • 2 weeks ago

Chances are you should be hearing some fireworks somewhere in the next few hours or days if you’re living in America. How fast time flies. We've left spring behind and moved into the dreaded heat of summer around here. Thank god for the marvelous invention that is air conditioning. Before we completely dive into a new pool of anime, let's send off the spring flowers as they stop growing.

Spice and Wolf

Listen, I did my duty. I heard the hype. I watched the season. I can't do this for another twelve episodes guys. This series has a heavy light novel feel and I'm not talking about the good kind. Light novels often can invoke this sense that you're missing some context about a grander theme or idea. If you watch the Boogiepop anime you'll understand some stuff about the universe and the author's intent, but reading that shit makes the whole theme way more comprehensible and ties together a ton of components with much more detail and intricacy than the anime. This show is already pretty big-brain with its focus on economics, and when you start combining business schemes and tactics with less detail than the light novel medium provides... after a while I stopped understanding what the hell was going on. After thirteen episodes it feels like I have next to no idea what the author is trying to say with this story, and Holo and Lance being cute isn't enough to keep me around. From how much people love this series I suspect the light novel to be a much better experience.

Black Butler: Public School Arc

Was... was Black Butler ever really that good or was I just a young dude who thought Ciel was awesome because he controlled a demon? I had a good first impression this season thanks to the series setting up an interesting mystery. However, about mid-way through we lose sight of the mystery and spend a bunch of time doing memes at a cricket festival, and then when we finally return, the mystery is solved almost instantly and the culprit turns out to be a longtime familiar face of the series. To me the conclusion wasn't very satisfying, and then to top it off we spend the last episode watching memes for twenty minutes as there's nothing left to do. The last minute or two setup the next arc which will involve werewolves. As for me, I think my interest in the series has been murdered and I'll let any future installments be handled by the diehard fanatics of this property. Sebastian is still hot as fuck though.

Jellyfish Can't Swim in the Night

This production had some damn gorgeous animation. It's in the style of a band anime where girls come together to make music, but it breaks the traditional band formula by being much more modernized. Here we have a singer, artist, composer, and streamer merging their talents to form an online presence known as JELEE. In fact this whole series feels very current with depictions of Discord, Vtubing, Twitter, etc. In terms of quality I really enjoyed the intro episodes and the last few segments. The middle? I don't know what the hell happened. It's like the director got his memory wiped and forgot what he was even making in the middle. We go from a solid journey with progression and character development each week to a "story of the week" format that falls much flatter by comparison. We also bring up some wacky story beats at times that makes it hard for me to understand what exactly the vision was for this. Still, the comedy was fun and enhanced by the lively animation and I did love the main cast so it was a nice ride, just plagued by issues in the middle and with Yoru's storyline (it really seems ridiculous to me that she decided to work with an emotionally abusive mom, but whatever).

Wind Breaker

A fantastic first episode brawl left me worried that they spent the budget on immediately dazzling the audience and as the subsequent episodes crawled on I was losing faith fast. Then we reached the mini-tournament portion of this season and we soared to new heights. The character writing for the main villain's right hand, Kame, was unusually solid for a gang anime like this and the animation was a spectacle to behold. This was my favorite series of fights to watch since those of Jujutsu Kaisen, which of course are famously known for killing animators. The choreography was simply smooth as hell and reflected the different fighting styles of each character. My one complaint is that the main character, Sakura, gets embarrassed easily over nothing and is holding on to his tsundere tendencies even as he tries to climb the ranks and become a top member of the gang. Compared to other gang MCs though (looking at you, Takemichi) he's still much more tolerable. Confirmation for a second season was just announced and I'll be returning to see how we handle our next array of opponents known as KEEL. Yes, I'm pretty sure it's supposed to sound like "kill" and yes, it does make me giggle.

Demon Slayer: Hashira Training Arc

Maybe I fucked up. I sort of expected this arc to be about the Hashira training to defeat Muzan and the final remaining Moon Demons, not Tanjiro and friends training to be Hashira. You know, the same thing they've been doing this entire series. Even with this installment's shorter run time a lot of scenes felt like wasted space. Hell any scene that contains Zenitsu is a wasted opportunity in my eyes. And I like my boy Tanjiro but I'm tired of seeing his ass train. When the story was focused on developing a Hashira I was sitting at my seat at full attention, especially for Giyu's story. Be warned those moments are few and far between the comedy and training montages though. Overall I think it's a completely appropriate time to reach near the end of this anime and would consider this the calm before the storm. According to manga readers that's exactly what this season is supposed to be so I’m excited as hell to witness the grand finale arc.

Kaiju No.8

After the comedic memelord focus of the first episode I was ready to hand in my badge and retire from the Defense Force. It seemed like this show wasn't going to take anything seriously and the jokes were shoved in your face with the subtlety of an exploding fart sound. I stuck around though based on the hype and over time it was clear that the author found a more appropriate balance of comedy, action, and true serious development of the plot and characters. I'm personally not interested in kaiju monsters at all so seeing the squabbles with them was never going to be a big selling point for me, but the chemistry between the cast has sucked me in and now I care about what happens to them. Plus even though the kaiju fights aren't my thing, a lot of the action still shows off conflict between smaller, human-sized creatures with actual choreography so I'm a happy enough camper in that department. The only character who is a true boring trope so far is Shinomiya's father. However, he fights with high tech boxing gloves which is fucking awesome, therefore I can forgive him for the transgression of being a typical, emotionally negligent, serious anime parent.

Mushoku Tensei Season 2 Part 2

Mushoku is at its best for me when the pacing is calculated perfectly, and I think that's a much bigger selling point in this part. Some may have found the Sylphie romance to be a bit slow, so I think this second part will be enjoyed by a wider variety of audiences. We've got everything from drama, romance, action, depression, and more taking place. Man oh man the action was animated beautifully too and I loved the reliance on teamwork to take down a big boss monster. It's hard to touch on much without spoiling so I'll keep this brief. Considering we're so deep into the series now it's probably time to stop reviewing it anyway. If you want a fantasy journey that completely covers someone's life from baby to old man there's not much else like it. If that doesn't sound appealing to you, well them's the breaks as it appears the anime has locked down that direction from the source material.

Bartender: Glass of God

I'm not a shill. I promise. This show didn't pay me. It had the worst animation of all the productions I watched this season and it's not even close. The art came across noticeably flat at frequent intervals. But dammit, it didn't matter to me nor Kinky. This is our anime of the season from the raw characters and plot alone. I say "plot", there really isn't much besides "guy and other people slowly learning more about bartending". Yet even with such a basic premise this story is filled with so much beautiful commentary about the act of customer service and life itself. Every episode contains some insightful messaging and no episode contains any of the typical anime tropes. I have no interest in alcohol whatsoever and yet this easily won my anime of the season slot through sheer character building and moments of calm reflection. This is one of those "by adults, for adults'' productions that may not be for everyone with its more laid-back style. Those who value writing above all else? Don't miss this fantastic remake that ends at a good stopping point for the series and wraps up the loose ends. It goes down smooth.

I wish there was time to breathe, but by the time this article goes live I expect I’ll need to be checking out the new Suicide Squad anime. It’s impolite to leave without saying goodbye though. What anime did you watch this season? What did you love, and what did you drop? Did I sleep on any bangers? Take some cold showers, keep the A/C blasting, and say goodbye to Spring Anime 2024 in the comments below!