Welcome to week 4 of “Up to Snuff*”. We started this mid-season, so it’s not too surprising that we’re not seeing huge movement week-to-week. But it’s striking just how dominant the top two series are – they jostle with each other for position, but no other show has nearly as broad an appeal with our crack staff. The movement for the remaining places has been interesting to watch – those have been anything but predictable so far.

Meanwhile, our bonus poll this week is “Best Art & Animation”. And this one was a blowout – not even close. As for the hidden gem, Passerby joins the fold to share his pick – and since he’s keeping a light viewing this schedule this season, reaches back a bit for his choice. All the goodies are below – please enjoy and as always, share your feedback in the comments.

Without further ado, let’s get to this week’s results:

* Name subject to change (“Golden Gridman”?)


Weekly Staff Poll

SSSS.Gridman – 14 points (2 first-place votes)
Golden Kamuy – 13 (1)
Double Decker! Doug & Kirill – 5
Sword Art Online: Alicization – 5
Tensei shitara Slime datta ken – 4


Bonus Question: Best Art & Animation

    SSSS.Gridman – 15 (2)
    Sword Art Online: Alicization – 9 (1)
    JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Golden Wind – 7
    Double Decker! Doug & Kirill – 6
    Uchi no Maid ga Uzasugiru! – 6


Passerby’s Hidden Gem: Beatless S2

I know, I know, Beatless wasn’t exactly hidden nor really a gem — if it was then maybe a rather dull gem that needs a lot of polish and even when you do it just reveals all the cracks. But all gems are but fancy rocks in the end and it’s up to humans to give them value. And Beatless, for all its flaws, was nonetheless interesting. I suspect that when people think of science-fiction anime their first instinct is robots shooting lasers, and while that’s not exactly wrong and Beatless has all that too, science-fiction is first and foremost speculative fiction, about ideas that are on the cutting edge, or that represent a specific vision of humanity, or that are just plain weird. That’s where the value of Beatless is; while it is not at all the best produced anime out there it can still be perfectly engaging if the ideas it explores about artificial intelligence and cognition pique your curiosity. There’s usually a few shows with this sort of appeal every season, especially in science-fiction. One of the great strengths of anime as a medium is its breadth and if you poke around its edges you’ll find shows that may not be the same spectacle or pure entertainment as mainstream hits, but may, by their fringe nature if nothing else, offer fresh perspectives. That’s why we should dig around for hidden gems; sometimes we hit the mother lode, other times it’s just dirt, but as long as we open up new horizons along the way then it’s a worthy exercise.


    1. Yes, I saw that. Obviously huge congrats on that – shows just how mainstream anime is becoming. For me I don’t really get the hype on that show – I thought it was likable enough but pretty silly for the most part, but it’s good for anime to have any series get this sort of attention I think.

      1. Lmao, Stills(the MIA RandomC writer) would be a better spokesperson for this show not me.


        That said however, my critique of it is the formulaic episodes, and some dramatic scenes feel somewhat forced. But I think they deliberately did it because of the limited run time. Putting that into consideration along with a tight budget, I don’t think Madhouse could have made it any better.

        Honestly, I am just shocked that Yorimoi, which ain’t really that popular outside of Japan is acclaimed by an organization that produces “The Daily” political podcast. So yeah, I still in complete disbelief by this by the New York Times.

        I mean, Winter 2018 was packed. Yet this anime outshone Violet Evergarden and March Comes in Like Lion for crying out loud to be in this list?! WHAT!?

        Anyways… anime is here to stay inside & outside Nippon fellas. Yay.

      2. I ain’t MIA! I know exactly where I am, and so do they. I just ain’t blogging this season.

        Within constraints, remarkable creativity can flourish. Within tropes, magic can be created. In the search for novelty, for the ineffable “new,” some people lose sight of how wonderful a good story told well can be.

        Or maybe it just didn’t resonate for some like it did for me! (And for many others, and likely that Times writer as well) That’s cool. A story can’t be all things to all people and be any good. The emotions are what makes Yorimoi, and if they don’t resonate—for whatever reason—that’s fine. I think it supremely deserves such high praise, though, because it was a good story told eminently well, and because I know it dug so deep into my psyche that I think about it at least twice a week.

      3. @Stills

        Great hearing from you again. I saw what you wrote back at the beginning of fall in why you won’t be writing entries for the foreseeable future. I hope everything is working out well for you.

        Speaking of Yorimoi, does your acclaim of it still the same as when it finished airing back in March? – perhaps lower or higher? I am actually even more fond of it now than when it finished airing.

        Also, if you were making entries this season, I can totally see you doing Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara and Yagate Kimi ni Naru for some reason…

      4. As high or higher. That I think of it so often doesn’t make me love it any more, it just affirms that my esteem for it at the end of that season hasn’t waned, which isn’t always the case.

        I mighta done Irozuka. Probably not on Yagate, both because I know it’s a Pan-chan show, and because I haven’t been keeping up with it as-is. RELEASE THE SPYCE woulda been most likely.

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