Short Reviews of the Anime I've Watched in Taiwan

I’ve been living in Taiwan since December 20 of last year and I’ll return on June 29. There’s a lot of things I enjoy about living here, and one of them is that the content on Netflix here is quite different. In particular, there’s a lot of anime available that’s only available through Crunchyroll1 in the US.

I also have had more free time here, so I’ve ended up watching a lot of anime, both with my wife and by myself.

So here’s some quick reviews of most of them, with a ratings on a 1-5 scale:

  1. Terrible
  2. Could be worse
  3. Okay - good enough to keep watching at this point
  4. Great
  5. Excellent

Blue Eye Samurai

Technically not an anime, but definitely influenced by them. This is a great show, with an interesting story and stunning animation. I highly recommend checking this out, but note that it has a lot graphic violence and a some not-too-graphic sexual content as well. It’s also quite dark and disturbing, with a very self-hating MC.

Rating: 5

The Apothecary Diaries

This is one of my favorite new animes. It has a smart and funny main character, an interesting setting (the Imperial Court of China around 1,000 years ago), and really interesting, well though-out stories. It’s a mix of detective show and political drama. All of this makes it very unlike other anime. I look forward to more seasons.

Rating: 5

The Masterful Cat Is Depressed Again Today

A weird slice of life anime with a giant house cat with human-level (or greater) intelligence, who can do things like housework and cooking, but can’t talk. It’s pretty silly, but a lot of fun.

Rating: 4

Skip and Loafer

The main characters do a cute, goofy dance during the opening credits, which is always the sign of a good anime. This is a very sweet show about some kids in high school and their relationships. It’s also notable for including a trans character and not making this a focus of the show. She’s just there. I haven’t really seen that before.

Rating : 4 (I’m tempted to say 4.5 but then I might well use a scale of 1-10, which I don’t want to do, so 4 it is.)

A Sign of Affection

A romantic story about a deaf college student falling in love. Cute and fun.

Rating: 4

My Love Story with Yamada-kun at Lv999

A romantic story about a college student (who’s not deaf) falling in love with a handsome gamer nerd. Cute and fun.

Rating: 4


A combination of sci-fi/horror/thriller that’s one of the best written anime I’ve seen. This show provokes a lot of thought without having the characters sit around and have annoyingly in-your-face philsophical conversations. Instead, it makes you think simply by presenting us with interesting situations and moral choices. It also has fun action scenes, and the music is good, though I wish they’d sprung to pay for more different music. You hear the same snippets a lot. I really loved this one.

Rating: 5

Black Clover

We didn’t get too far into this one (maybe 6 episodes). It seems like a lot of other progression fantasy type shows. I found the voice acting for one of the main characters incredibly annoying too. There doesn’t seem to be too much different about this show from so many others like it, but which are better (like Demon Slayer or My Hero Academia).

Rating: 2

Spice and Wolf 2024

This so far seems to be more or less the same as the original, with the same voice actors and plots. But if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. It’s as fun, charming, and interesting as the original so far. A lot of the story is about economics and trading, which makes it stand out most other fantasy anime. This one also has excellent animation.

Rating: 5

Delicious in Dungeon

“An army marches on its stomach”, and so do adventurers in a dungeon. It’s basically an RPG-ish style anime with a lot of cooking scenes. It’s a fun take on an old subject, but nothing ground-breaking.

Rating: 3

The Unwanted Undead Adventurer

A progression fantasy about a low-level adventurer who dies and is reborn as a skeleton. Step one, get enough XP to evolve into a form that can talk. A fun take on the progression fantasy genre.

Rating: 3

Solo Levelling

A progression fantasy (seeing a theme here?) with an interesting setting, where the dungeons are accessed via holes in reality from our world. The main character becomes the first person able to level up (the others are NPCs?). Fun and a little different from other progression fantasy. It’ll be interesting to see where this goes in future seasons.

Rating: 3

Shangri-La Frontier

Do you like watching people play video games? I do. In this show, a guy plays a full-immersion VR RPG (via some sort of unexplained VR tech that is commonplace in the show’s universe). The video game he plays seems quite cool. It’s a MMORPG with way more depth and story than any existing game. I’d like to play this game.

But all of the scenes outside the RPG are boring AF. Also, if people really spent so many hours a day lying in bed with a VR helmet on they’d either be morbidly obese or have no muscle whatsoever, or both. All of the main characters should expect to die of cardiac failure in their 30s or 40s if they keep this up.

Rating: 3

Campfire Cooking in Another World with My Absurd Skill

The first of many isekai2 anime I’ve watched recently. Our MC is summoned to another world as a hero and gets the powerful skill of … online shopping. He can order anything he can find from a very well-stocked online grocery/general store. This is surprisingly powerful and useful. Also, there’s a lot of cooking. So it’s sort of Delicious in Dungeon as an isekai story.

Rating: 3

Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation

This anime is vile and disgusting. Do not watch it. Our MC is either a pedophile or sociopath or both. I noped out of this show when he gropes a sleeping pre-pubescent girl and comments on her breasts. The way it’s written almost makes it seem like the writers think this is funny. I don’t get it. It’s amazing I watched up until that point. Just writing about it makes me want to shower.

Bizarrely, this is one of the most highly rated isekai shows on MyAnimeList. WTF?!

Rating: 1

KonoSuba: God’s Blessing on This Wonderful World!

This is what a show with a lot of sexual humor should look like. It’s freaking hilarious. Our hero is reborn in a fantasy world and forms an adventuring party with a group of other losers and weirdos. They’re basically all idiots. This show makes fun of a lot of isekai tropes and does it really well, while telling its own compelling story.

Rating: 5

Re:ZERO - Starting Life in Another World

One of the best isekai anime I’ve watched. In this one, our hero’s special power is that when he dies time rewinds a few days (or so), but his memories are intact. So it’s a lot of him screwing things up and trying over and over again. This show could’ve taken this all very lightly, but it’s actually quite emotionally intense. He ends up suffering a lot, both in his own deaths and by seeing horrible things happen to the people around him. I also appreciated that the MC often acts in a way that’s really unlikeable but very realistic.

I’ve only watched season 1 so far but I’m looking forward to the rest.

Rating: 5

Log Horizon

Wow, so, so boring. A bunch of people are playing a MMORPG only to discover that they’re trapped in it and cannot leave the game. Early on, we establish that they can’t die either. Instead of having any emotional reaction, they all seem … fine? Like zero reaction to this insane event. And then they proceed to do things with goals that make no sense. Like why should I care about what guild anyone is in? How is this important relative to “I’m trapped in a fucking videogame, possibly for eternity”?

I gave up after around 6 episodes.

Rating: 2

TSUKIMICHI - Moonlit Fantasy

A very standard isekai. Hero is summoned to another world, is super powerful, attracts a harem. This one is entertaining but nothing special. I watched all of it recently but I’ve mostly forgotten the details already.

Rating: 3

The Magical Revolution of the Reincarnated Princess and the Genius Young Lady

What an interesting premise. There’s a princess who is actually someone from our world reincarnated. Then she finds ways to use magic to advance technology in this world.

That’s the theory at least. In practice, there’s a little of that, but it takes back seat to lots of … nothing. Nothing happens most of the time. Such an interesting premise and so little done with it. Very boring.

I gave up after around 7 episodes.

Rating: 2

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom

Another interesting premise. In this one our summoned hero is not powerful, but he knows a lot about economics and governance. Also, he’s read Machiavelli’s The Prince. This one is a bit uneven, but interesting. I think it could’ve leaned a lot harder into the realpolitik approach and showed more of the political maneuvering.

Also, a lot of what he does is a bit silly, and the story doesn’t really take its own premise that seriously. Like when the show starts there’s supposed to be a major food shortage in the kingdom, but there are no riots, protests, fights, etc. And to help combat the food shortage he introduced people to eating … octopus. Because starving people need to be told to try eating some animal that’s been around forever, obviously. Maybe “starving” was a mistranslation and in fact the people were just slightly peckish.

Rating: 3

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime

This is the first of four increasingly ridiculous premises for an isekai that I’ve watched. The premise is in the title. It’s actually very well done, and not what I expected based on the title. It’s got a huge and complex world full of political intrigue, and the show goes to a lot of unexpected places.

I have two criticisms of this show. First, there’s just too much stuff in it. Too many new characters, places, relationships, etc., and it keeps on coming. A lot of stuff is introduced in a really confusing way, with no backstory or explanation of who or what they are. Second, the pacing isn’t great. I swear there was one episode that consisted entirely of cuts between groups of people talking. Like no one even got up and walked around. They all just sat around and talked.

But it’s still quite good and very creative.

Rating: 4

So I’m a Spider, So What?

This time the MC is reincarnated as a spider, not a slime. If the one above is confusing and has too much stuff, this one is really confusing and has way too much stuff. Again, a fun premise and a lot of interesting ideas, but it is all over the place.

Also, it’s one and only season ends up with absolutely nothing resolved, and I don’t think it got renewed. So keep that in mind when deciding whether to watch it.

Rating: 3

Reincarnated as a Sword

So the previous two had the MC reincarnated as monsters. In this one he’s a sword. I bet you couldn’t figure that out from the title.

This seems like a fairly standard progression fantasy, but it’s got a darker than average world (one of the MCs starts out as an enslaved child). I also really like the relationship between the sword and Fran, the 12-year old catgirl who picks him up. Instead of being gross and pervy, it’s quite paternal, which is a nice change of pace.

Rating: 4

Reborn as a Vending Machine, I Now Wander the Dungeon

So the author of this one saw the previous shows, then heard someone say “it doesn’t get any sillier than having them reincarnate as a sword”, and they were like “hold my beer …”

Yes, in this one the MC is reincarnated as a vending machine. This absolutely batshit premise leads to something that is surprisingly creative and entertaining. The relationship between the vending machine and the other MC, Lammis, who carries him around, is very sweet. One of the fun things about the show is that the machine can only communicate through stock phrases like “Hello there” or “Too bad”. But despite that he actually develops real relationships with the other characters. I look forward to seeing what happens in future seasons.

Rating: 4

  1. I’ve tried Crunchyroll in the past and it seemed like they couldn’t stream without endless buffering even with my 1Gbps fiber to the home service. It was a huge disappointment. ↩︎

  2. Isekai is Japanese for “different world”. In these stories a person from our world is transported to another world, usually a fantasy world. Either they’re summoned there or they die in ours and are reborn there. A lot of them are very RPG-ish, with people talking about levels, stats, skills, mana points, etc. ↩︎