Winter 2020 Anime Picks/Early Thoughts

Direct from my anti-pandemic shelter I’ll take some time to write about anime while snacking on fresh Bat Sou-oh no

I want to write about anime more again and even though this is the thousandth time I’ve tried writing more for the blog in recent days when I’ve had a hard time even watching anything, I figured this would be a good step. So here we go – starting with a few continuing shows from last season and all shows being in no actual order. Maybe I’ll live long enough to make another one of these next season too, but LA has confirmed cases of the #WuhanGang so we’ll see.

Continuing Shows

Chihayafuru 3

Chihayafuru is a series very dear to me and season 3 does nothing but continue being amazing without a single misstep so far. In fact, this has some of the best and most important moments – both in terms of Karuta matches and character/romance/story development – in the entire series up to this point. They’ve also done a fantastic job of tying things back into the childhood stuff and recognizing all the developments and growth and changes everyone has gone through since then and through all the prior episodes to now. It’s not the end yet it feels like everything is really paying off in great ways after all this time and we’re seeing these matches you’d think wouldn’t come until the end (or never) like Arata and big bear Sensei taking each other on and romance aspects that, with the pacing of that specific stuff, I figured was still ages away.

My Hero Academy Season 4

This had a really weak start and to be honest the storyline this season blows total ass. Yet at the same time this season has some of the best moments and character development sequences of the entire series so far. The focus on the hardening red kid has been great as he’s one of the best supporting cast members, the story is fucking retarded and I don’t think it’s possible for me to care less than I do about whats going on, the new villains are fucking lame (especially the main one who looks 15 but is in his 30s and somehow in flashbacks looks more like an adult) but they’ve actually given the cast a lot of ways to shine and have badass moments, the new good guys suck (this like “elite 4” or whatever, Chamillionaire is fucking lame though at the very least he does have some really great moments), but like I said – lots of really fucking great moments and these longer sequences of backstory buildup during those moments have all been done really well.

Also, as an aside that doesn’t matter a huge amount but does some and is also just worth pointing out. This season introduced really pointlessly shoved in progressive bullshit that has no place here or in any anime really; both a moment the entire lefty anime fandom has lost their minds praising when the villain is corrected after calling the dead trans character he murdered “he”…by people who have murdered hundreds of people, but hey, they weren’t transgenders they killed, but CIS and mostly not minorities, so fuck those ones who were murdered and besides they’re demanding he use the proper pronouns so that nullifies everything else about them! WE LOVE YOU BANE-CHAN AND DEADPOOL-KUN! YOU LITERALLY MURDER IN COLD BLOOD ALL THE TIME INCLUDING CHILDREN AND ARE FACTUALLY LITERALLY ACTUAL FUCKING TERRORISTS BUT YOU MADE SURE THIS OTHER GUY WHO HAS ALSO KILLED HUNDREDS DIDN’T CALL YOUR TRANS FRIEND A BOY YOU ARE GREAT PEOPLE YASSSS SLAY!!!!

Then you get clearly shoved in a race mixing propaganda couple last-minute (whether its in the manga or not I don’t know) shoved in. If this was done more naturally I wouldn’t mind it at all, I wouldn’t have even really thought about it, but the show goes out of its way to showcase it and specify that she is a white woman with a black man for 0 reason; it serves no purpose other than to push and agenda and doesn’t just come off as here is this guys wife and child because literally all she does is show up in a flashback (never was in the show before and is only there 1 or 2 seconds again like 3 episodes later) and makes a 1 line joke about HI IM WHITE AND THIS IS MY BLACK BABY! and then she’s off screen and this is the only moment she has ever existed in the entire series or was even MENTIONED. She’s not even a fucking character. Don’t try telling me it’s not pushing an agenda when this person who never existed not even mentioned ever before pops on screen for no reason aside pointing out in her only line and only appearance in the show that her baby is very black unlike herself. This wasn’t a touching moment of a guy who thinks he’s dying remembering his family or else the only fucking thing wouldn’t be HI I AM WHITE ALSO MY BABY IS NOT.

Can we not have another retarded JRPG villain for the next main baddie? This shit was so stupid, the dude literally turns into an enormous monster thing. Though it leading to Deku going fucking super saiyan was worth it, I suppose. This arc was so goddamn stupid and now we’re just going into ANOTHER fucking festival.

Mairimashita! Iruma-kun

Fun comedy with a real cute cast (especially Clara who you might recall from my Best Of 2019 post) set in a demon world with a human boy having to pretend to be a demon too. It’s not the most amazing and intellectual set-up for something, but it’s a comedy series, who cares? It reminds me of a lot of other shows but definitely does its own thing instead of being, say, a Hayate clone, and I’m enjoying it. I haven’t stuck with many comedies recently because the lack of thinking leads me to thinking about the things that stress me out or scare me and I can’t handle that these days with it piling on so badly, but this one has been fun enough that I mostly can handle watching it even if I fall behind at times. It’s not super original or anything, but the great chemistry of the characters is good and everyone is so likable and the art is so nice and silly that it works out very well.

New Shows

Heya Camp

This feels like such a huge waste, if they wanted to justify skipping out on a season 2 by making a pointless 3 minute comedy short series they should have at least made them, I dunno, chibis or something to differentiate it? Instead it’s just the normal show but only a couple minutes and one joke. Make a real season 2 or don’t make anything, this is almost more upsetting than the typical GREENLIT SEASON 2 NEVERMIND HERE’S A FUCKING MOVIE that happens with everything these days. I’m enjoying it, absolutely, but it’s bothered me since the announcement and now seeing that its just like “bluray extras” material from the main show has really left me disappointed.

Yatogame-chan Kansatsu Nikki Nisatsume

Not much to say here, it’s a second season of Yatogame-chan which means more silly jokes about Nagoya. Still fun and cute short little episodes.

Somali to Mori no Kamisama

Or as I call it, “Smally & Bigh”. Kino’s Journey and Mushishi but lighthearted with a loli and a tsundere-ish daddy golem searching for humans for the loli to go back to in a world where the humans were basically all eaten by the monster people who are the entire population now. I really really really like this one, it’s got this great sense of newfound fatherhood, childish joy and fascination, exploration and adventure, and the bond between the two in this really interesting world that is so nice to look at. It’s just so well done and gets to me emotionally at times and I am loving it so far, it’s a great mix of really goddamn cute, touching, and at times very sad.

Bofuri

I’m still not sure about this (well when I wrote it I wasn’t, I am pretty sure I really enjoy it now) and I picked it up last-minute in an effort to finally find a show that is nothing but characters who are normal people playing a normal virtual reality MMO that doesn’t have some stupid twist to it about being stuck or dying or anything else. This season I was lead to believe a different show was that, then more of the summary was shown to me and it was another one of THOSE. But nothing I can find about this series or its source material, which isn’t to say much as I could barely find anything, says that it ever becomes one of those. So, hopefully not stupidly, I’m giving it a shot in hopes that someone finally just made a show about playing an MMO in VR and nothing more than that aside maybe character development and such…but being a light novel its very likely either going to end up softcore incest porn or another thing where the game is more than just a game. I mean when the whole thing is the main character specializing in defense it really sounds like a setup for some bullshit where that becomes a life saving choice later on. If I get any inkling of that type of shit I’ll drop it unless its so good that I can tolerate that turn of events if it comes.

However, so far its everything I was hoping for. It’s a lighthearted fun little comedy set in a VR MMO with no hints of anything ever going beyond that and a lead who plays MMOs nearly like I do only instead of VIT 100% of my stats go into STR because I like fucking shit up and also she has INSANE luck getting skills and gear that are one-of-a-kind in the game and perfect for her build just by chance. It also has sort of a Reincarnated as a Slime thing going on where she basically keeps getting skills from doing jack shit (a skill that doubles her vitality in her first hour of playing just by standing there getting hit by a bunny monster, a poison resist skill just from being poisoned, etc) or eating things which is in a way fun too and plays into the idea of a class made entirely for defense and also shows that, although she is new to the game she’s not a retard who knows nothing about video games because she takes total advantage of the way you gain status resistances in the first episode to beat a high level boss by having it accidentally give her immunity to its only attack (and does things like this regularly) and in general she plays the game well. I also appreciate that this isn’t some super impossible Full Dive equipment, she’s in normal VR basically just an Index with a glove style controller for full hand tracking without holding anything (which do exist now but barely and are impossibly expensive). The best way to describe the show really is just that it’s fun but most importantly it’s actually surprisingly relaxing.

Though it also serves as another depressing reminder that SOMEHOW there are still no fucking VR MMORPGs in real life, hell, there are still basically no VR games with a longer playtime than a handful of hours in general aside the social platform/virtual Tinder that is VRChat and a few games you can get a lot of hours out of that still have minimal content (Pavlov, Beat Saber, etc).

Also an issue with this is that of the viewers, as for some reason everyone is calling this an Isekai. This is yet another time where people take a term they don’t know but hear a lot and want to fit in so they just attach it to anything to feel like they are hip without actually knowing what they’re doing. This is not an isekai, this is a girl playing a VR MMO. Isekai’s are stories where the character is transported to another world different from their own (too many to name) and/or trapped in an other worldly situation away from their normal life and world, as in sometimes it’s not an actual world but a video game, but they are still transported in terms of soul/body/mind to this other existence in this alien to them world and typically stuck there; someone playing a video game is NOT an Isekai because she is a normal person in the normal world literally playing a normal video game. It’s like claiming you’re in an Isekai if you sit down and play Final Fantasy because you are playing a game that is in a fantasy world and so your life is isekai. You’re fucking retarded. Unless, and until that point if it does happen, the girl becomes trapped in this game then it’s not an Isekai, it’s a girl playing a video game. It fits into the isekai genre as much as Azumanga Daioh or Nodame Cantabile at this point.

Yes, I said way too much about this – but I really am enjoying it and, most importantly, I react much bigger to surprises like this than shows I go in sort of knowing I’ll probably enjoy them. I so rarely get to try anime I’m uncertain about with how things have been lately, and this was just such a nice feeling.

Toaru Kagaku no Railgun T

I’m kind of disappointed with season 3 of Railgun, and I hate that I feel that way and almost feel bad about it, but I really am just not feeling it so far. Maybe it’ll get better, but the first episode was bad with a lot of terrible directorial and writing decisions and the second was right on the mark of being nothing more than “fine”. Everyone knows my obvious strong love for this series and for Mikoto, but really this seems more like an Index spinoff than any of Railgun ever has in the past even though it literally always was one. As in aside the art (which isn’t as good as S and seems to reuse assets from S, which I was told I’m wrong about but I looked into it further and started comparing and they are really doing it not whole scenes but the characters, as in if this was an old anime and was done with cels they’d be reusing cels of the characters, I’m not sure what to call it now but anime is still character art overlaying background art just on computers, they’re reusing those assets and animations unless you’d rather tell me they’re literally tracing the old stuff and somehow that’s better) this season so far feels like it should be in Index, not Railgun, and that’s really not good news.

At the very best, the season feels like a meaningless epilogue to Railgun S – you know, the extra season western TV shows always are forced to tack on because the producers want more money even though the series already had its finale. I hate that this is how the show feels to me so far, I feel kind of bad about it just because how important this series is to me, but its not my fault if they pump out disappointing stuff because Komachi decided to try and write a little for Railgun instead of having Fuyukawa (though never specifically credited for it, yet constantly thanked specifically for writing it by Komachi himself) do it all for once after he realized how much more popular it was then his shitty LNs. I hope it gets better, it’s not SHIT or anything just…too close to it, and too close to being Index.

Ishuzoku Reviewers

It’s kind of mediocre comedy mixed with very softcore pornography. It’s not really worth watching, I am anyway because of the lewd bits and the fact that it might be the first non-hentai labeled anime to have uncensored vagina in any of its versions (the Taiwan version, if I recall – but only in the OP for some reason) which makes it kind of an interesting thing. Plus, really, the idea of a show about guys reviewing prostitutes is great, it’s just too bad its kind of boring and honestly the painstaking lengths you have to go to find the right version with the right codec and the right tv rip from the right not-even-ATX-because-they-had-to-censor-half-of-it-too-for-once channel and then the right subs and just fuck it man its not even good, I don’t know if I’ll keep watching it’s just a pain in the ass for low-tier softcore shit for 30 seconds of some breasts or a moan.

Runway de Waratte

I feel like I should just think this is an alright show, but something about it I really like, I’m just not sure what. I don’t mean the OST but I do really love that, this has some fantastic background tunes throughout the episodes honestly easily the best music this season so far. Maybe its just because it seems to be a well done but typical “you can do anything if you try hard enough” show about perseverance and fighting for your dreams and I like those, maybe its the dual storylines for the cast which is kind of a cool thing and goes the extra mile by making use of it to have them both on totally different paths working totally different situations yet leaning on one another to continue forward in this really great use of the concept, or maybe because it feels so much like a lot of the shoujo manga I’ve enjoyed even though it’s shounen somehow.

All she had to do was not eat the bat soup…

Anyway, it’s pretty good so far and I like both the male and female leads and the overall feeling of it and the fairly unique focus (very unique for a shounen) on modeling and fashion design.

Oda Cinnamon Nobunaga

When I started the first episode I was almost going to stop once I noticed it was a full length episode series and not shorts, but I kept with it. It ended up just fucking adorable and full of actually good humor that gave me a lot of chuckles throughout. It’s way cuter and more fun than you’d expect and it makes that 24 minute run-time actually enjoyable instead of a slog. It does a great job of using the concepts that it has going instead of wasting them. Lots of the humor comes from the fact these old warriors are dogs – not just “they aren’t their normal selves” and not “there’s just comedy”, no the writing here is very specifically leaning in on the factors that make the show unique rather than just being a comedy where the characters happen to be old warlords out of their time and out of their place or just being a comedy where the characters happen to be dogs. It makes the best of the very specific fact that it is both of those things and never feels like its just one of those aspects, all the humor works because of the fact they are these historical figures who are now dogs and its pretty much not jokes that would work without that being the case which is something a lot of comedy shows like this don’t manage to accomplish.

If I’m not dead in the next month from the wuhan coronavirus I have a couple posts already mostly written so this’ll be a little more active than its been finally.

4 responses to “Winter 2020 Anime Picks/Early Thoughts

  1. Pingback: A Look Back At Winter 2020's Anime [Mini-Reviews] | 24 Frames Per Second·

  2. I’m gonna just not bother watching Ishuzoku Reviewers either. I saw episode 2, I saw the big honkin’ cow titties, I got what I came here for the rest isn’t worth it. You barely even get a good look at them, it’s always they same. They tease you with the giant boobers in the marketing and then you get so little!

    It’s fine like it’s fun enough but if it was easier to get the right version that might be enough to make me keep seeing it, but yeah it’s too much of a hassle for too little payoff.

    Like

    • I might just PTW instead of drop because when the proper version is easier to just get a batch torrent of in like 6 years when I go “oh yeah I remember that” and decide to try it again maybe that’ll help, but really the show is just not great anyway so maybe not. Not a huge disappointment, but certainly feel let down by it.

      Like

      • yeah I MIGHT do that as well, It’s not bad like there are parts I like like this running gag of this incel lizardman guy and people going “aren’t you a virgin do you even know what you’re talking about?”,

        But for sure it’s not enough to keep up with. If there’s a fully uncensored batch some day I’ll get that MAYBE.

        Like

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