Summer 2017 Anime Hits, Maybes And Misses: Gamers, Fastest Finger First, Vatican Miracle Examiner

What’s in your queue?
gamers anime
Gamers. (c) Pine Jam

The summer 2017 anime season is now well underway, which means it’s no longer time for episode 1 reviews. Now that we’re four, five, even six episodes into these shows, it’s time to judge. Did Made in Abyss' brilliant episode 1 presage a sudden, sharp decline? Did the terrible first episode of Vatican Miracle Examiners somehow lift itself up from disgrace? Did the promising episode 1 of Elegant Yokai Apartment Life live up to what it could be?

Let’s find out by assigning each show a verdict: “Hit” for the top-tier shows and conversation starters, “Maybe” for fun shows that you can live without if you haven’t got the time or it’s not to your taste, and “Miss” for the shows you just don’t need on your queue.

Gamers

via GIPHY

VERDICT: HIT

Gamers continues to be a big, welcome surprise, full of shenanigans and drama that still manage to be just goofy enough. The distracting text-on-screen gag from episode 1 has been ditched, the colors are bright, the writing is solid and Gamers is fleshing out a loveable cast of characters indeed.

Who do you root for in a love dodecahedron when you love them all?! There’s our main character, who stands his ground as a lover of casual, co-op games; his putative love interest, who is cute, loves games and whose obsessive, awkward nature feels both endearing and different from the norm; his pal, a dork when he was younger who’s worked hard to become a hottie; his pal’s girlfriend, an airhead who’s crushed on her man since his dork days; and on and on and on. They’re a varied, appealing bunch, and I want them all to be happy.

Gamers started off strong and super entertaining and has continued that streak. Keep it on the queue.

Fastest Finger First

via GIPHY

VERDICT: MISS

Fastest Finger First is boring. Yeah, I said it. I was afraid it would be boring and I was right. I’m so sorry, but the show’s earnest attempt to infuse tension, urgency and pathos into pushing a button ( button-pushing is a physical sport! ) doesn’t work. I can’t believe the manga has run for seven years, but I guess there’s a strong audience out there for, uh, trivia nerds? Look, I respect the niche, and I bet the manga’s just fine, but this anime puts me to sleep.

I think it’s all the explanation, which is so… much . They explain at exactly what point in a question you can anticipate what the question will be in order to hit the buzzer first. They explain different quiz bowl rules. They explain zettai ryouiki , which, ugh, just Google it. They explain how the buzzer works and how to push the button just enough that you have less button to press once you are ready to press, rather than the pleb strategy of just pushing the button like a normal person. They explain the “classic questions” like three thousand times.

And I don’t like our main character. He moans and stutters and carries on, and it’s annoying. I get that this gives him a goal as a character and we are meant to root for his progress, but I personally find him as tedious as Fastest Finger First ’s many explanations.

You can miss this show without missing much.

Vatican Miracle Examiner

via GIPHY

VERDICT: MAYBE

Vatican Miracle Examiner is not a good show. Let’s get that out of the way. It’s beyond melodramatic, its sense of tone is ridiculously over-the-top, its plot workings are ludicrous, its music is unimaginative color-by-numbers faux-Catholic organ crap and basically everything about it is dross.

But. But. Oh my God, it’s so funny. It’s so unintentionally funny. The jump scares are funny. All the stuff about demons and shady priests and demonic rituals and pregnant virgin nuns and statues bleeding from the eyes and all that is taken so seriously that it becomes hilarious . This is garbage, but it’s campy horror without really meaning to be campy horror, which makes it top-tier.

Skip this show if you don’t like to watch bad shows, but if you’re always on the prowl for popcorn trash that will make you bark with laughter (the mummified priest and the sister fellating a hot dog did it for me), give it the ol’ hatewatch.

(I do like the two priest main guys and wish they had more characterization. As it is, I can’t even rustle up some homoerotic subtext to spice things up.)

Don't miss our previous report, and there's plenty more on the way. What’s the state of your anime queue? What are you watching faithfully each week? What do you plan to ignore? Are you really mad at my terrible choices or are you relieved someone finally said it? Turn on your location, I just want to talk. Follow me on Twitter at @ndmedinaaa, follow us at @PlayerDotOne and feel free to chat about the current anime season in the comments section below.

 

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