The Roundup: Winter 2018 Cute Anime BATTLE ROYALE Round 1

In this week’s installment…

As we kick off our Cute Anime BATTLE ROYALE, we size up the ten contestants’ prospects, look at a cute picture, and then sacrifice the blood of our first victim to the anime gods. Sounds like a good formula, right? So get those fists pumping in the air, cheer on your favorites, and LET THE BATTLE BEGIN!

The Rules: We will watch and review every episode that is still in the contest. We will choose one show to eliminate every week based on the quality of that week’s episode and the series overall. We will also choose a “Nice Moment of the Week” and the series that wins will be immune from elimination next week.



Ms. Koizumi Loves Ramen Noodles
Episode 2: “Hokkyoku / K-K-K-K-Koizumi-san”

Thursdays 7:30 am EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: I was pleasantly surprised by the direction episode 2 takes us. My biggest criticism of the first episode was that it was too repetitive, so breaking out of the formula and having the other girls meet Koizumi worked out really well, as did keeping it to two segments instead of three. A step in the right in direction.


Laid-Back Camp
Episode 2: “Welcome to the Outdoor Activities Club”

Thursdays 10:30 am EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: If you just eliminated Nadeshiko from the show, or at least dialed her down enough to be believable as a human being, I’d actually say Laid Back Camp is good. I like Rin and I appreciated the realistic tone of her conversations with Saitou. This episode had less Nadeshiko than the first so it was an improvement by default, unfortunately I don’t think that’s going to be the case every week.

Laid-Back Camp – SHO~CK! KUMA SHOCK!


How to Keep a Mummy
Episode 1: “White, Round, Tiny, Wimpy, and Ready”

Thursdays 3:00 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: It might be a little harsh judging some of these shows on their first episodes, but we are already hitting episode 3 on others and we have a schedule to keep. I don’t think Mummy has anything to worry about as rated on pure cuteness, it may be at the top of the chart. I’m still not sure why they chose to make an adorable mummy of all things, but whatever, protect that precious baby.


Hakumei & Mikochi
Episode 1: “Yesterday’s Dark Red / Marketplace Shanty”

Fridays 8:30 am EST on HiDIVE

Jel: The biggest advantage this show has is the setting, as the tiny cast in a tiny fantasy world produced a lot of “ah, that’s neat!” moments while watching. It also appears to be a show entirely about nice people being nice to each other and that’s always refreshing. Like all these types of shows I worry how long the premise can keep me interested, but it’s a good start.

Sanrio Boys – Nice Choice of Words Pt. 1


Sanrio Boys
Episode 2: “Gift Gate After the Rain”

Saturdays 10:30 am EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: Aside from the hilarious amount of shirtless dudes, this show continues to be pretty good? I think it’s important to note that Kouta feeling ashamed of his love for Sanrio is more than just men feeling like they can’t like cute things, it’s really about men being told they need to hold in their feelings and not talk about things. So Kouta’s breakthrough this week was actually pretty profound. Still not sure this show will have long term legs, but this was a nice follow up to the first episode. I still can’t believe I’m saying all this about a Sanrio commercial…

Artemis: … I’m okay with the hilarious amount of shirtless dudes. But on a more serious note, I also thought episode 2 was, if not great, then at least decent. I’m fully on board with the message that Sanrio Boys is bringing to the table, even if it’s not exactly being clever or subtle about it, and I really appreciate that Kouta was able to muster the courage to admit his passion for Sanrio not only to Mizuno and Yoshino, but also to his two classmate pals who have no interest in Sanrio whatsoever. That takes real guts, and I honestly wasn’t expecting it so soon.


Slow Start
Episode 2: “Exercise Wears Me Out”

Saturdays 1:00 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: This was a marginal improvement over the first episode as they actually get into the reason for Hana’s insecurities. You can kind of understand better as to why missing a year would be a bit traumatic, watching all your friends move on and what not. I also liked that the girls, including her cousin, aren’t above some good natured teasing. That said… this show is still boring and has that weird subtle layer of sexuality to it that feels super out of place.

Slow Start – Nice Choice of Words Pt. 2


Mitsuboshi Colors
Episode 2: “Hide and Go Seek”

Sundays 9:30 am EST on HiDIVE

Jel: All I asked was for this show to not turn into pedophile bait and sure enough they decided to creep up to the line. Yui’s monster outfit and Sat-chan trying to blackmail some nerd with a 3DS were not the most overtly sexual things but in the context of three very little girls I don’t think we needed either. Aside from that, the first episode was cute in part because the girls were being mischievous whereas here they were just straight up misbehaving. I found it more annoying than anything, and this episode was definitely a step backwards.

Euri: Sat-chan attempting to blackmail a guy for his 3DS sets an awful precedent for her character. Her sexualised attempt to make him hand it over, and subsequent threat to scream if he didn’t, made this scene incredible uncomfortable to watch. This is right off the back of Yui being abandoned for no good reason – ditching her for a few hours didn’t feel like a joke, and completely at odds with the ‘three girls getting up to fun hijinks’ premise that gave us such a positive opinion of episode one.


School Babysitters
Episode 2

Sundays 11:00 am EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: If there’s a dark horse pick to win this thing, I’d say it’s this show. Sure I think the dramatic elements are a bit lacking in subtlety, like how Inomata was reduced to tears within the first ten minutes of the episode. I would have liked to see that built up a little bit more first. But the fact that School Babysitters does have some depth to it definitely gives it an edge on the competition.

Marlin: I dare anyone to not smile at that scene of them all holding bunnies. I think this show has the most potential of all the candidates because it really can delve into loss and how to heal from it in a deep way, and has already shown touches of that ability here and there. Most of the characters may be a bit 2-dimensional so far, but I can see that growing with some time.

Takagi-san – Still not sold on eyebrows girl


Karakai Jozu no Takagi-san
Episode 2: “Calligraphy / Seasonal Change of Clothing / Pool”

Mondays 11:30 am EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: I like this show very much, but the fact that I waited to write about it two days later and kind of struggled to remember what happened is telling. In a contest full of shows with thin premises, this is one of the thinnest. That said, Takagi and Nishikata’s relationship is so adorable that I can’t help but be charmed by it. I’m still hoping as the show goes on they will continue to expand outside the classroom (like this week’s pool segment) and I still think it’s a strong contender.

Marlin: This show continues to be cute, but I’m afraid it doesn’t have real staying power. The premise is firmly established, and without the surrealism that Tonari no Seki-kun worked to its advantage, it’ll be hard to up the gambit. Also, the breather segments with the three girls have been uniformly unfunny, which means everything is put on the back of Takagi’s teasing. While that has been pretty great so far, it would only take one bland episode for this show to get the axe.


A Place Further Than the Universe
Episode 3: “The Follow Backs Don’t Stop!”

Tuesdays 8:30 am EST on Crunchyroll

Jel: Let’s be honest, A Place Further Than the Universe is the frontrunner for this thing. If all these shows are about equal plot wise, adding strong, likable characters with great natural chemistry and a nice layer of technical polish is going to give it an edge. The cast acts so believable that it makes it easier to swallow the rather unbelievable circumstances, even this week’s coincidental run in with a idol that happens to be going to Antarctica. There are things I could nitpick at, but I think it’s safe to say this show will be going deep into the Battle Royale.

Marlin: At first I thought this show was gonna pitch its first loss. I wasn’t in love with how the girls pratfall every five seconds in the beginning, and at first it seems like the plot was going to let an opportunity fall into their hands unearned. Then Yuzuki explains how she got a hold of Shirase, and managed to craft a good story as to why she would pick her as a replacement for the trip. The way the girls open up about how friendship works to this girl was cute, and about as naturally done as this show can manage. I still think this all seems too easy, but I can’t imagine this is the last obstacle they face on the way.

Nice Moment of the Week:

Kids with bunnies – School Babysitters

Look at the picture, what else do I have to say? School Babysitters will be safe from being cut next week.

This Week’s Victim Is…

Slow Start

As the only show I disliked from the beginning, this series had a real uphill climb to win me over. The second episode did nothing to address my concerns from the first, and so Slow Start you are officially…

4 thoughts on “The Roundup: Winter 2018 Cute Anime BATTLE ROYALE Round 1

    • Takagi-san seems to be romantic comedy to watch this season, there really isn’t any others going at the moment. If we’re talking the past year or so I’d say Recovery of an MMO Junkie, GAMERS!, Tsukigakirei, and I didn’t watch it but some of us really liked Just Because. If you want something a bit more dark and twisted, maybe Scum’s Wish? I’d also throw in Seiren for something funny and kind of weird.

    • We’d like to cover them in some capacity, but unfortunately no concrete plans yet. We do have a lot to say about the first two.

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