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Here we go with covering the second half of the new anime from this summer 2022 season! If you have yet to see part 1, I would highly recommend looking there first before reading this batch of impressions, but let’s just say that this is by far the batch of shows that had the most interesting shows, but also the worst. Let’s dive right in!
Harem in the Labyrinth in Another World (Crunchyroll)
Content Warning: This show is all about sex slavery as a fetish
Well, who is shocked that they let another softcore/basically porn show into the season? I’m not. It’s based on the light novels and manga by Schagi Sogano. It’s directed by Naoyuki Tatsuwa, written by Kurasumi Sunayama, and produced by Passione, the same studio that did Mieruko Chan and Interspecies Reviews. Once you realize that, a lot of this show’s horny-on-main elements make a lot of sense. Listen, there is nothing wrong with a show being horny, and sexual themes shouldn’t be taboo, but maybe don’t make an anime or a light novel that’s about the main character who literally buys a harem of slaves? It’s played up for the fetish aspect of the story, but the way they frame sex slavery in the show is the real-world horrors that slavery actually is. It’s a tone that’s never quite gels, since it’s stuck being a mediocre boilerplate isekai, but it’s got no real time to focus on that, since it also wants to be a sexy romp with a harem angle. The show tries to have more philosophical and moral elements to the lead killing people and the whole morality of slavery, but since he can buy a slave who will have sex with him without fear of rejection, it’s okay. The first three episodes are literally about the lead character getting enough money to buy a sex slave. Doesn’t help either that the anime looks fine, but you know where all the budget went and it’s not the normal scenic moments or the action. They can try and have as many non-horny or softcore moments as possible, but the gist of the show is still a lead character buying a harem of slave girls. They could have all of the diverse personalities in the world, and the show’s world could have some amazing lore, and it still wouldn’t make up for the fact that not everyone on this show’s production team is on the same page. It’s even funnier, since the show knows you are here for the sexual elements, but since it’s on Crunchyroll, and was made for TV broadcast, the censorship covering every sexual element or word is done in such a comedic and over-the-top manner that it makes you wonder how in on the joke they are, or how dense it was for Crunchyroll to buy a softcore anime that, like Winter Season’s World End Harem, is made pointless due to how absurd the censorship is. Morally, this is the most repugnant anime I have seen this season, and it’s one of the worst I have seen this year. It’s an anime to make you realize that there are anime that actually know how to handle certain fetishes better than this one, and you should check out shows like the flawed, but better How Not to Summon a Demon Lord.
Black Summoner (Crunchyroll)
This generic isekai is based on the novels and manga by Doufu Mayoi. The anime adaptation is directed and written by Yoshimasa Hiraike, and produced by Satelight. Well, here we are with another boilerplate isekai. Yes, it tries something different with the monster-taming aspect. Yes, it has this fun knight side character and decent chemistry between our lead, the slime, the elf, and the knight. With all that said, you have literally seen anime that have done this before, and better. That’s the thing, you can get away with being familiar if you actually execute it well, and this one is fine. It’s also yet another isekai that tries to implement slavery into its narrative, but does nothing with it. Like, don’t introduce story beats that either don’t make a lick of sense narrative-wise or aren’t going to be expanded upon. Even other isekai this year with some very repugnant themes were able to do this. When you fail to be memorable or interesting, then you fail as a show or a reason for anyone to keep watching. Also, the animation is ugly. Its mix of 2D and CGI elements clash at all times and gives this show a dirt cheap look. There is a reason why many are critical of the isekai genre. When you don’t deliver on something good, people will turn on you quickly, and to be frank, there really should be a limit to how many we get in a year.
Vermeil in Gold (HiDive)
This fantasy ecchi anime is based on the manga by Kota Amana. The anime is directed by Takashi Naoya, written by Tatsuya Takahashi, and produced by Staple Entertainment. I know most come down hard on these ecchi series when they are just so upfront with how horny they are, and to give this show credit, it’s not trying to hide that it’s mostly a fetish anime. When a fetish anime decides to try and hide what it actually is all about, it ends up being a worse product. What’s frustrating about Vermeil though is that it’s actually trying hard to balance out its more arousing elements with a solid enough story that dives into the relationship and dynamics of our characters, and at the same time gives us a tragic backstory to our titillating female demon familiar. It’s commendable that the show is doing more than most, but that’s the problem. It wants to have its sexy visuals and also keep you invested with the rest of the show, resulting in it faltering in both areas. The show’s fetish is going to, as usual, be on a case-by-case scenario of whether you are going to be down with a flimsy teen boy being dominated by a curvaceous demon woman as a major driving force with why you watch the show. Granted, the lack of consent is distracting as heck, and while I get why this is a fetish, if the roles were reversed, people would be raking this show over the coals. It’s maddening that so few ecchi shows share the basic human concept of consent on any level. The more story-driven aspect is fine, but it’s every magic-based school anime you have ever seen, and while some tropes and characters are amusing, they don’t do enough to keep my interest. Still, it’s at least an ecchi show that I can see why people like it. It’s just not for me.
My Isekai Life: I Gained a Second Character Class and Became The Strongest Sage in the World (HiDive)
This isekai is based on the novels/light novels/manga by Shinkoshoto. The anime adaptation is directed by Keisuke Kojima, written by Naohiro Fukushima, and produced by Revoroot. While this does not do anything truly unique or distinct from other isekai out there, it’s an absolutely perfect example of a comfort food anime. It’s smart enough to make sure to give you a compelling character that isn’t just a self-insert for audiences, it has good action, the party the lead travels with is diverse and full of fun characters, and the animation isn’t lacking personality or polish. It has rock-solid action, the magic system is fun to see unfold, and our lead has a real reason to be distant toward many of the people he encounters on his journey. It’s nice to see an isekai not just skirt by with the bare minimum, and not be an overly powerful individual right off the bat. This should be the bare minimum, but since so many isekai tend to give up on their plots after the first episode, doing the bare minimum and doing it well is on the levels of something like Faraway Paladin or isekai that were made back in the day like Escaflowne, and anytime an anime is actually doing as much as it can or is willing to execute its familiar premise with flair, then I am all for supporting it. Plus, it has a batch of cute slimes that all have distinct looks to them! Who would say no to an adorable batch of slimes?
Parallel World Pharmacy (Crunchyroll)
This refreshing spin on the isekai genre is based on the novels by Liz Takayama. The anime is directed by Keizo Kusakawa, written by Wataru Watari, and produced by Diomedea. Once again, it feels so rare for an isekai to actually be both compelling and unique. While we have had an isekai about a guy making medicine last year, this is more akin to something like Saint’s Magic is Omnipotent, which is amusing since the same writer worked on that show and the same studio animated it as well. It’s more about a doctor who was reincarnated in a fantasy world that revolves around medicine and how it works in this world. It’s also not a power fantasy. He is powerful, but instead of taking down demon lords in one hit and getting a harem, the main character is all about making sure life saving medicine and healthcare is available to everyone and not just for the rich elite. This is the kind of isekai that we need more of, and not just a power fantasy made for the lowest common denominator. We need more isekai that actually want to and care about their characters. Or, like our next isekai, they do something so outwardly different that it sort of inspires its own sub-genre of isekai.
Uncle from Another World (Netflix)
This unique isekai comedy is based on the manga by Hotonshindeiru. The adaptation is directed by Shigeki Kawai, written by Kenta Ihara, and produced by AtelierPontdarc. I think this is the first time I have seen an isekai take place after the big power fantasy adventure is over. I like to describe this show as a post-isekai comedy. Its main focus is having our lead, the titular uncle, back in the real world who shacks up with his nephew. The major twist is that he brought all of his powers from the fantasy world back with him. Instead of being a power fantasy, it’s more of a slice-of-life comedy with some magical aspects that result in a lot of shenanigans from making YouTube videos of the uncle’s magic powers. It also portrays a more realistic isekai hero with the uncle having a ton of well-meaning intentions, but not the greatest social cues or awareness of things, all of which lead to a lot of incredible laughs. It also implements more modern elements like YouTube careers, and dives more into the psyche of our lead characters and the interactions they share. It might be full of unexpected dashes of humor, but it doesn’t forget to give depth to our characters, and it results in a show in this genre of anime that stands out among the rest. Also, the animation on the characters is so out there that it reminds me of the facial expressions from anime like Golden Boy, and that’s saying something due to how most anime try to stay cute and pretty while on-screen. Uncle From Another World feels like a breath of fresh air and a distinct experiment that the isekai genre absolutely needed.
Slice of life
Prima Doll (HiDive)
This is based on the multimedia project by Key and Visual Arts. The anime is directed by Tensho, it’s written by Kai and Toya Okano, and produced by Bibury Animation Studios. Listen, the hook of this one is cool. It’s pretty much set up like a post-war drama of these robot girls who were made to be soldiers now having to adapt to living a civilian life. That sounds great! Too bad the art direction is focused more on selling these characters as models and figurines than actually making sense in the setting in which they take place. This isn’t new, but when you have these cute, very high-pitched voices, and annoying characters that are cute for the sake of cute, sitting through this show is a chore. It doesn’t help either that the show tries really hard to make you feel sad and bad about the situation these characters are in. Too bad the very modern look of these cute robot girls takes you out of the experience. It’s why a good art direction can save a show, and why the look of our lead characters feels so out of place. It’s a shame, since you could see this being a solid drama about the mental baggage that comes with being someone who was on the frontlines, and now has to adapt to normal life, and the struggles that come with it. However, when you have to see “tragic” war flashbacks with these child soldiers that look like they were made to sell you merchandise and or be a part of those virtual idols, well, it’s more funny than serious. When it’s not visually distracting, it’s trying too hard to be taken seriously, and I can’t see this one being appealing to anyone.
The Maid I Hired Recently is Mysterious (Crunchyroll)
It’s a case of a show doing the bare minimum to try and keep you invested. This is based on the manga by Wakame Konbu. It’s directed by Mirai Minato (who also writes the script) and Misuzu Hoshino and produced by Silver Link and Blade. The compelling angle of why you should check this show out is the mystery about why this maid showed up at this young kid’s mansion, and honestly, It’s not all that compelling. There are moments where the dynamic between the two is cute enough, but since there is a tinge of romance and an obvious age difference in the relationship, it becomes a bit iffy on where this is going, and the mystery angle is not all that compelling. The show wants you to keep coming back to our maid lead and while she is cute, it’s not enough anymore. The comedy falls flat and the animation is fine, but nothing outstanding. Maybe if they started the mystery angle a bit harder or if this was funnier, I would be more involved, but this anime just bored me to tears with how repetitive it got. Even the new characters they introduced don’t do enough to make up for how dull the rest of the show is.
Shine Post (HiDive)
This is based on the multimedia project by Konami and Straight Edge. The adaptation is directed by Kei Oikawa, written by SPP, Tatsuo Higuchi, and Rakuda, and produced by Studio Kai. Yeah, we already have too many idol anime as well, and like isekai, they need to do something to differentiate themselves than be more idol industry propaganda. This anime tries to differentiate itself by focusing more on the personal drama of the idol group we follow and a manager brought in who has a unique ability to see people who are lying about something. It gives the manager more of a character, and focuses on him just as much as our group of promising idols. It definitely tries to do more than just “we want to be the best idol group of all time”, and I’m glad it does have something other than cute anime girls that may or may not look good as anime statues on your shelf. It’s overall an okay show with some genuine drama thrown into some of the characters, and the dance sequences are all done using rotoscope, but it still looks clunky. It would be so cool to see them do more than what looks like typical dance sequences we see with every idol anime, but at least they don’t use ugly CGI that’s not composited well onto the 2D background. It’s solid, but I don’t think I have the interest to dive back into the drama of the idol anime unlike the next idol anime on this list.
When Will Ayumu Make his Move (HiDive)
This romantic comedy is based on the manga by Teasing Master Tagaki San author Soichiro Yamamoto. It’s directed by Mirai Minato, written by Deko Akao (aka Hitomi Mieno), and produced by Silver Link. While this is leagues better than Soichiro’s previous anime adaptation of In The Heart of Kunoichi Tsubaki, it still has its own set of problems. It at least moves a bit faster between our leads crushing on one another and by the third episode go on a date, the side characters have a bit more spark and quirk to them than expected, and there is a nice low key vibe to this slice-of-life romcom. Unfortunately, it decided to come out after the latest season of the much better and more popular Kaguya Sama: Love is War. The overall journey through the first four episodes was uneven, and the whole shogi club premise is not entirely fleshed out, and the author’s iconic art style is poorly shown in such a drab-looking show. I think the intention was meant to make the world around them feel like the flashback sequences from Only Yesterday where there is a hazy glow to everything. It just doesn’t help things that the animation is not all that stellar. It looks fine at points, but then it can look rather cheap due to whatever was going on behind the scenes. It’s a cute show, and it’s not the worst one of the season, but you can do much better in terms of slice-of-life anime.
Phantom of the Idol (HiDive)
This anime is based on the manga by Hijiki Isoflavone. It’s directed by Daisei Fukuoka, written by Yasuko Aoki, and produced by Studio Gokumi. This spooky take on the idol formula is at the very least, more interesting than the last time I encountered an idol show with a ghostly idol individual in the cast. This one takes it in a more comedic route with one of the male leads in an idol duo group only doing the idol thing to rake in easy cash and doesn’t have the passion to push himself. That is, until he encounters a ghost of a deceased idol who agrees to help him become the best idol he can be. However, this only scratches the surface of what the entire show is about as you get past the first episode. The lead that bonds with the ghost idol actually becomes much more interesting and compelling. His lackadaisical attitude could be a very easy turn-off to many, if not handled well, but his interactions with the idol ghost and his fellow idol make for a very fun comedy/drama that actually doesn’t focus too much on the idol stuff. Like it gets brought up and you do get songs and dancing sequences through the first few episodes, but the show wants to also focus on its characters and what drives them, and to be honest, that’s way more compelling than being just another idol show. Seeing a flawed trio of characters go about how they want to go about the idol experience and job, while focusing little on pushing out a new mobile game or merchandise (at least upfront) makes for a better show than most this season.
TEPPEN Laughing Til You Cry (Crunchyroll)
Consider this a surprise of the season! This comedy anime is based on the manga by Inujun. It’s directed by Shinji Takamatsu and Toshinori Watanabe, written by Jun Kumagai, and produced by Drive. You would think a comedy anime about a house full of comedy groups would be a touch overwhelming, chaotic in what kind of comedy styles they perform, and that the comedy wouldn’t translate to an English-speaking audience. Then again, when you get someone like Shinji Takamatsu, who has been behind a multitude of classic comedy anime like School Rumble, a majority of the Gintama franchise, Haven’t You Heard, I’m Sakamoto Kun, and Cute High Earth Defense Club, then you have someone with the experience to make it work. And, to my surprise, it’s a delightful show. It’s not only funny, but it also dabbles in how weird comedy trios can be with how absurd some of the humor and each individual group’s gimmicks can be. They also do take episodes to focus on one or two groups, and it makes sure to make them all stand out from one another. It is an anime that’s simply put, having fun with its premise, and that feels so rare that they know what they are doing and aren’t just bailing on the word ‘go’. Never thought I would be here saying this comedy anime about comedians is good due to the last one being dire, but this one is in fact, good!
The Yakuza Guide to Babysitting (Crunchyroll)
This anime is based on the manga by Tsukiya. It’s directed by Itsuro Kawasaki, written by Keiichiro Ochi, and produced by Feel and Gaina. If you like shows like Kotaro Lives Alone or Sweetness and Lightning, then this will be right up your alley about a tough yakuza right hand who has to take care of his boss’s daughter. It sounds like it could go either way with comedy and drama. What the show decides to do is go down the route of both, where it balances out comedic antics with personal character drama. There is a lot going on under the surface of this show, and it may have a hard time balancing it out in the first episode, but after that, you are met with some complex characters, solid laughs, and constant momentum with the bond between the yakuza and the kid becoming stronger as each episode passes. It also lays down the groundwork for a cast of likable and imposing side characters, and an ongoing subplot about the daughter’s mom that make for one of the best anime of the season and the year in general.
And there we have it! This was the Summer 2022 Anime Season Impressions! Not a great season of anime, but there were definitely a couple of shows that I very much enjoyed. If I had to list the ones I recommend from this part and part 1 of the impressions, these would be the anime I would recommend checking out now if you haven’t already.
They are Uncle From Another World, Yakuza’s Guide to Babysitting, TEPPEN, Phantom of the Idol, Parallel World Pharmacy, Call of the Night, and Lycoris Recoil. Definitely give these anime a watch if you haven’t already!