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The Rising of the Shield Hero, Pastel Memories, WATATEN, Rinshi!! Ekoda-chan, and The Price of Smiles – Winter 2019 – First Episode Roundup – Part 1

I’ve decided to make posts about the currently airing shows. I’ll make a post about the first episode of every show of this season and then some posts as the season goes along concerning which shows I’ve dropped or not and why. I’m not just writing this for people to know my opinions on shows, but because I may love some series that other people may gloss over, perhaps because they didn’t think they would like it. So, strap up, because we’re going through the best and the worst of this season through a series of posts starting with this one. I’ve decided to divide them because the post would be too long otherwise.


WATATEN!: an Angel Flew Down to Me

Wataten 2.jpg

I checked out the manga for this one a couple of days before the anime aired when I couldn’t sleep. The manga is a yon-coma (four-panel) manga, which means that it generally goes for slapstick humor going from one joke to the next at breakneck pace. These can be very difficult to adapt because timing these right in animation is very hard to pull off. My favorite yon-coma adaptation so far is K-On because it decides to take a manga that didn’t work in its medium and adapt it with added scenes to anime.

Wataten also has some similarities to how K-On was adapted, however, not nearly at the same level. It starts out with an entire anime original scene that introduces us to the main character of the show, Miyako. This scene shows us a lot of her interests which makes it less of an “oh, she’s into this” whenever she shows a new side of her. This is because we’ve already been shown that she does these things. In the manga, we suddenly learned that she could cook when we were told that she made the food.

Generally, the show is quite similar to the manga though. It has some scenes that go at a breakneck pace with slapstick after slapstick, but at other times it decides to swap the order of happenings from the manga to make it better flow as an anime.

This is a Doga Koba show, and if you know anything about anime studios you should first of all know that we generally don’t talk about studios. But you should also know that some studios are still worth talking about despite that, and Doga Kobo is one of them. I genuinely believe that they have, internally, a really high standard to the quality of their shows. They generally adapt works with very high animation quality and great comedic pacing. Not all their shows are great, but they usually produce really high-quality anime at least.

The quality is definitely high in this episode as well. While it may not be at the level of animation as in something like UzaMaid which they produced the last season, it still has better animation than a lot of other anime. It feels generally really polished with some sparks of great animation once in a while. I believe that if you’re very into great animation like me and aren’t offended by the themes of it, you should definitely check it out.


Pastel Memories


This show feels very much like an anime trying to pander to the hardest of otakus. The ones that watch every anime regardless of its quality. It feels less like it’s trying to make a good anime out of itself, and more like it just wants to reference every single other anime ever. I think I even saw a reference to Astarotte’s Toy in there! Even the characters seem to have designs ripped off other shows, perhaps as a reference. One of the girls look almost exactly the same as Hanekawa from the Monogatari series, and that’s even in the costume she’s wearing! There are some minor differences, but it’s very similar. Anyways the show didn’t give me much more than references, so I decided to drop it halfway through.


Rinshi!! Ekoda-chan

Rinshi Ekoda-chan.jpg

This short episode was kinda alright. Most of the time was spent on an interview with the director of the first episode and the main voice actor. It seems to be more of a conceptual anime than anything else. The comedy hit sometimes, but sometimes fell flat. I do, however, think it would’ve been better suited to watch the interview first and then get the episode. That way you’d get context before watching it, which may lead you to get more invested in it. This is how I learned to like Himote House and gdMen, by learning about the context around that style of anime and why it’s so hard to produce pure comedy anime. I made a post about this on Kitsu sometime earlier. I can re-upload it here some other time.


The Price of Smiles

The Price of Smiles.jpg

With these kinds of shows, going in with a low expectation is a good idea, as it can easily lead you to be pleasantly surprised. If I had gone into this expecting quality, I’d be disappointed, because there are loads of weird animation inconsistencies in here, however, when I went out of the episode I was still positive about it. I don’t expect to stick with it for long, but at least I went out with mostly a smile on my face.

The thing that made me interested in this is simply the main character. She’s adorable. Her cute design and her warm personality make me want to smile, which is very fitting for a show about a princess that wants to make everyone smile.


The Rising of the Shield Hero

Shield Hero.jpg

If there were any surprise hits for me this season, this was the one. Or, well, there’s another surprise as well, but for very different reasons, so let’s talk about that one in an upcoming post. Having gone into the show expecting the worst kind of isekai show because of a video by some person on the internet, I didn’t think it could impress me. I’m glad I was wrong (or at least for now) because I love good isekai shows.

I’m gonna say that, yeah, there were some moments of “what the heck?”, like how they say it’s a patriarchy, but there’s a king, or the negative feedback loop for shield heroes, which wouldn’t make sense in a game at all, however, if you look past these inconsistencies, there’s a lot to still like.

First of all is the fantastic animation. Perhaps this is because the 45 minutes long episode had already been shown a long time ago at a conference and that they had loads of time to clean it up, I don’t know, however, I do know that the episode generally looked really good. The animation was quite fluid, which not only had many frames of animation but also looked polished at the same time. Polish is something that has degraded a lot in recent times with a lot of anime, which is why I get extra excited when I see a polished show from recent times. (this could be a discussion for another time, but I’m aware that there’s still polished anime today, I’m just seeing a trend)

From this point on I will spoil some stuff from the first 45-minute episode.

I find it interesting story-wise as well. I like how the main character is put in a situation, forcing him to operate on his own. This can allow us to see a dark world depending on how it’s played out, especially considering how it looks like he’s about to buy a slave at the end of the episode. We’ll have to see how this goes on, but I’m intrigued so far at least.


Going forward, I’ll give a temporary score to every first episode because I think that would be fun to look back on when I’m done with the season. Don’t mind them too much.


WATATEN: an Angel Flew Down to Me – 8/10

Pastel Memories – 4/10

Rinshi!! Ekoda-chan – 5/10

The Price of Smiles – 6/10

The Rising of the Shield Hero – 7/10


So, apparently, to have one big anime per post, I need at least 4.2 anime that isn’t that big to fill in the gap. I calculated this by dividing all shows with less than 50 000 members on MAL on the ones with more than 50 000. Basically, there’s 21 anime that isn’t hyped up and there’s 5 anime that is very hyped. I’m doing it like this, as I said, because there may be unpopular shows that are still very worth watching. Please come back for more if you’re interested in my thoughts on currently airing anime.

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