This is actually being written in a somewhat timely matter for once? Wonders never cease.
Sadly this season was pretty thin on the ground in the shorts sphere, there weren’t that many to start with, and only four actually got picked up for streaming. But on the plus side they were fairly consistently decent, and in some cases pretty great, so it could be far worse.
Poor poor gdmen. We’re starting off with what’s sadly probably this weakest of the lot. gdmen isn’t bad, but it’s ultimately damned by its lineage. If gdmen existed in a vacuum I’d probably look more positively on it, unfortunately, it’s a gdgd Fairies spinoff. I’ve written before about how much I love one of gdgd’s spiritual successors, Straight Title Robot Anime. gdmen is not up to that standard. it also doesn’t match up to the original gdgd Fairies. For one thing it feels lacking in ambition. It apes the blend of scripted and ad lib segments from previous series, with an rpg spin, but ultimately doesn’t do anything clever with the format.
What made its predecessors stand out was their willingness to go all in on weird meta jokes like gdgd Fairies 2nd season being caught in a self-perpetuating time loop, having a random throwaway joke from one of the ad lib segments become core to the first season’s final episode or just about anything in the later two seasons of Tesagure! Bukatsu-mono. It’s not a bad show, the cutaway segments with the princess are generally at least a little amusing and there are a few fun ad lib moments. But, ultimately, gdmen just feels like it’s been done before, and better, several times at this point.
This one’s actually pretty good, following a pair of cats who take various part time jobs, it follows a fairly standard pattern. A new job is introduced along with a more experienced character to show the pair the ropes, then a weird deep-voiced existential koala shows up (complete with ominous theme music), says something vaguely philosophical and the episode ends.
The teacher characters are usually fun, with their over the top personalities playing well with the upbeat Chatorazawa and his laid back colleague Roshihara. And the Koala is reliably existentially terrifying. It also sports the highest Wooser cameo count in recent years, so it’s got that going for it.
Continuing the theme of existential terror; it’s Mitchiri Neko, yay!. Mitchiri Neko is a strange beast. Most of the time it feels like a kids show, with its rainbow array of cute squishy cats generally just mooching around playing out a bunch of lightning fast skits, often based around the weird gimmicks of individual members of the horde. But sometimes individual segments take a hard left turn into some downright horrifying concepts; The impostor cat wearing a which costume hides something so terrifying the others refuse to acknowledge it, the cats squishy bodies being deformed into weird shapes, or their sheer numbers leaving them trapped in a pile of their friends, when Mitchiri Neko is being unsettling, it manages it pretty darn well. It’s pretty cute otherwise though!
And rounding things out we have the OK sequel to an OK series from 2016. Kaijuu girls is alright. It’s a mostly inoffensive show about a bunch of humanised Kaijuu hanging around and occasionally fighting shadow blobs. Much like the first season there’s not a ton going on here but it has its moments, the gag with the transformation sequences is still funny in a low key way. They also decided to play around with an ongoing storyline this time around, as opposed to the original’s spontaneous final boss fight. As with all sequels in this vein, if you liked the first one you’ll probably like this.
And that’s the lot, for whatever reason Winter ended up being rather sparse this year, but looking forward the drought seems to be over, Spring has a lot more going on in terms of numbers, and some of them are pretty good already. Nobunaga no Shinobi is back again too, which is always a good thing.