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Fall Anime Season 2020 – Review December 31, 2020

Posted by coolmikeol in Uncategorized.
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This final season of 2020 had an alright mix of animes to watch. If you want to see a full list of what animes I’ve watched, you can always check out My Anime List. Here is a list of animes that I watched from this season:

Adachi to Shimamura

Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka III

Enen no Shouboutai: Ni no Shou

Iwa Kakeru!: Sport Climbing Girls

Kamisama ni Natta Hi

Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear

Love Live! Nijigasaki Gakuen School Idol Doukoukai

Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei: Raihousha-hen

Tonikaku Kawaii

Remember, these reviews assume that you have watched the series, which means SPOILERS will be few but imminent. You have been warned.


Adachi to Shimamura

Adachi and Shimamura, is exactly who this anime is about. As for “what” it’s about, it’s a bit more complicated. Friendships come in all shapes and sizes, and Adachi who doesn’t like being around people, tends to skip class and hide in the second floor of the gym. One day she finds company in this space by Shimamura who skipped class as well. As time went on, and the more these two spent time together away from class, an unexpected relationship blooms.

Of course this sounds like a classic yuri type of story, and you’re somewhat right. Two girls enjoying each other’s company sounds like that. But the relationship these two have stemmed from a slow, steady, but unstable feelings. As mentioned, Adachi doesn’t associate herself with too many people. Though when she finally realizes that Shimamura is someone she’d like to be close with, her main obstacle to that would be herself and how she tended to run away from her problems rather than facing them. Maybe it’s because she overthinks, or because of a past event. Over time she gains more and more self confidence, to the point where she will just do it rather than standing on the edge and turning around.

Shimamura is a outgoing character on the outside, but in reality worries about how the friends around her may move on and disappear. When a old friend comes back to reconnect, old memories years ago versus the present created an awkward atmosphere, mainly from the difference of where their lives went after they split. It’s not that hatred or loneliness came between them, it was just time that did. You may be able to rekindle a friendship that faded, it just may take a new form.

That being said about these two, here’s the situation between Adachi and Shimamura; Adachi wants to find a way to be Shimamura’s best friend while getting over her shyness and lack of self-confidence, while Shimamura (who also can be a little dense) slowly settles into accepting Adachi as someone who won’t fade from her life the way others have before. Their progress over the course of the season can probably be described as a hilly rollercoaster, going up and down but never dropping lower than the lowest point. Basically a snaking line in a upward climb. What I like is the development of both characters, realizing what causes their troubles in their mind and heart, and how they learn to grow from it. The biggest development can be seen from Adachi, whose shy tendencies always were the first to pop in her mind. When she finally decided that enough was enough, and loudly announced that she would not run away anymore, she was able to start anew. Adachi and Shimamura were able to get over their fears to become close (best) friends.

I enjoyed watching this anime, originally thinking it was just going be more of a lovey-dovey type of show. I’ve realized that every Shoujo Ai anime I’ve watched is different in someway when it comes to the relationship development of the two main heroines, and that Adachi to Shimamura was the slowest of them all, in a good way. So far I haven’t been disappointed in shows in this genre, so I’ll forward to watching a new one hopefully soon enough.


Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka III

The third season has come to a close, and while it was better in it’s action scenes than ever, the story still felt like it went nowhere in the end. At first I thought that the plot was moving forward when Bell and party was trying to upend the balance of humans over monsters, but I felt that this season’s conclusion just nullified all their efforts. The whole point of Bell trying to help the monsters was to get them freedom and understanding from the beings above that they aren’t just mindless beings. I know that it’s not simple at all to get the people who’ve always seen the monsters as nothing more than savages, as seen from the high tension of Bell publicly protecting a rampaging Wiene. But at least I thought that they would of found a way to have them at least hide on the surface rather than back where they came from underground. Again, I know that for the time being it’s the best course of action, but then what was the point of Ourano’s plan for the Xenos? Why try and help them through the Hestia Familia if it was just going to cause all of this with no gain? In the end, the some adventurers and surface dwellers know that these monsters can talk, but most of them still think of them as just enemies. The Hestia Familia is the only group who will actively help the Xenos, but at the cost of their reputation which will cause them hardship. While things have been patched up for now, the future of the Xenos is unclear. Maybe I’m missing information by not reading the source material, and/or maybe the adaptation of said materials was not great. I’m only reviewing what I saw through the anime, though this sounds more like a rant than anything. Just wanted to get my opinion and feelings out on this show. I’ll of course look forward to more seasons; I just don’t know if the show can pull itself together to have both good story and animation at the same time.


Enen no Shouboutai: Ni no Shou

Fire Force Season 2 has concluded and I felt that the second part of it lagged in the story department, as if they were stretching it out for a third season…. Besides that the animation and action has been consistently good, and I like that they’ve given spotlights to the other characters as well. The ending of this season has now hinted at what’s to come in the future, heating up the hype for the ongoing battle between the Fire Force and the Evangelist.


Iwa Kakeru!: Sport Climbing Girls

Another female focused sport anime, Iwa Kakeru!: Sport Climbing Girls follows the typical format of a newcomer to a sport, eventually to become one of the best, thanks to teamwork, friendship, and innate abilities. It’s not a standout anime, especially in the story department, besides it being unique about rock climbing. I personally like to casually climb rock walls, though I haven’t done so in a long time as they aren’t too common around where I live. The animation is fine, though I’d like to have seen a full climb with no cuts to really sell it. I’ll admit that midway through the season though I was falling asleep at times, but overall I thought that it was entertaining for people who have interest in rock climbing and the like.


Kamisama ni Natta Hi

The end of a another Jun Maeda anime, The Day I Became a God may not have been what I was expecting, but it was alright in its own way. If you don’t know, Jun Maeda also created other Key works such as Angel Beats!, Charlotte, and Clannad, so expectations were high for a sad twist. While watching this anime, for the first half of the season I was just waiting for that twist. I knew it was coming, I just didn’t know when or how. When it did happen, I’ll admit that it felt rushed so the impact was less than anticipated. Maybe also because the twist was somewhat more realistic than his previous anime works. In the end though it was a bittersweet ending, which made me tear up slightly.

While waiting for said twist though, I had my own ideas of what it could have been. Based on the fact that the ending had a computer/virtual vibe, I imagined that maybe the twist was that the main character Yota was in some sort of virtual world. Maybe sick in the real world and that his mind was sent to a virtual one to ease his pain. Hina telling him how many days left until the end of the world was going to be his countdown to his remaining lifespan. The ending would have probably been a struggle to realize these facts and how he may or may not accept death as it comes. Maybe a compromise would have happened to save him, but not without consequence, similar to what happened to Hina in the actual ending.

I’m not disappointed in this anime, it had its fun and sad moments. The pacing was just off that affected the twist. While the first half felt like funny random moments, which we later learn had a purpose, the second turned sad with almost no set up. It just happened in a moment, but it lacked substance to sell itself well. The “I love you” dialogue between Yota and Hina felt like a last ditch attempt to save the scene, but figuratively and literally. I also wish they went in more depth about Hina’s grandfather and his work that saved but doomed Hina. What happened with the so called Super Conducting Computer that was put in her head? Yes it was removed from Hina but was it truly destroyed? Technology of that caliber wouldn’t be ignored. This anime had potential that maybe if it had more episodes it would have been more fleshed out. I’ll still look forward to animes from Jun Maeda in the future, but my expectations are now that much lower after watching this one.


Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear

A cute show about an overpowered bear costume wearing girl named Yuna in a VRMMO game turned isekai, Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear was a fun casual anime to watch this season. I wasn’t expecting the twist about the VR game she played would turn into an inescapable world with real characters (Not NPCs), though that aspect is rarely touched upon after it happens. While Yuna misses certain things from the real world (mainly Japanese food) her detachment from it allows her to not worry so much about going home and enjoying her time in this new one, where she and her bear abilities are needed and appreciated. A second season has been announced which I will watch when it eventually comes out.


Love Live! Nijigasaki Gakuen School Idol Doukoukai

In this Love Live! series, we follow the Nijigasaki School Idol Club based in Odaiba. Originally on the verge of disbanding, the club eventually reforms with new members inspired by their friends and fans. Each character of the club has an episode focusing on them, showing their strengths and weaknesses.

Unlike previous Love Live! series though, these idols mostly are independent of one another, solo idols. In the beginning, each person’s uniqueness clashed which caused issues when trying to only operate as a group. They ended up deciding that each person becoming their own thing was the best solution. The club became a way to support one another as they built up their idol game. Another difference from other Love Live! series is that not all members of the club are idols, as seen from the character Takasaki Yuu. She becomes a fan of school idols after seeing a performance from the idol Setsuna (who ironically is the president of the school idol club and was trying to disband it). She became a supporting manager of sorts for the club, helping out in any ways she could. Through it she discovered her dream of playing the piano, slowly learning with the intent to join the music course at the school.

I liked this Love Live! series as it mixes up the formula a bit. Actually, you could even say that this anime is not really Love Live! at all. For starters, Love Live! is the name of a competition between school idol groups from across Japan. This anime though rarely if ever mentions it. I don’t see this as a bad thing though; it took away the usual drama and story we’re used to from worrying about it in the previous Love Live! animes. It allowed for each character to shine in their own way. When they did finally perform as a group at the end of the season, it felt like they earned it. Watching them learn about themselves and about each other allowed them to grow into their idol colors.

I’ll admit that I have a soft spot for idol anime; cute characters and music. I like watching characters progress from the beginning to end, showing the results of their training and will. Idol anime tends to be a kind of inspiration for me to work at what I like to do, and what I want to accomplish. Like seeing the Nijigasaki School Idol Club finally have their group performance was a great way to conclude the season, to see their seeds bear fruit so to speak. If they wanted to do a second season, maybe that’s where Love Live will be relevant again.


Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei: Raihousha-hen

The second season of The Irregular at Magic High School has ended, and while it’s always great to see Tatsuya do his thing, it wasn’t as great as the first. I will note that while the animation studios did change between seasons (Madhouse to 8bit), I didn’t see much quality drop from it. I guess it comes from a change from Season 1 having a lot of action scenes to Season 2 being more dialogue based. While dialogue is key to telling the story, I felt that not much really happened in that regard and with continual development of the characters. Everyone besides Tatsuya and Miyuki felt secondary even more so than normal. Everyone had a minimal part, enough to not be forgotten but also not enough that they are memorable. Even Lina who was suppose to be a strong main character this season could not stand up to Tatsuya’s “OPness”. Maybe it’s because there were changes to the adaptation from source to anime, or that the arc itself was a shift change in the amount of action we’d see. I still thought that this season was a good watch, but I’m craving for the story to move forward towards bigger and better things.

Looks like we’re getting something in between for the future. A spin-off anime titled The Honor Student at Magic High School will follow the events of the original series (assuming the first season) but through Miyuki’s perspective. This anime will probably help in fleshing out gaps from the from the first season, as well as showing more of Miyuki, who we almost always see alongside Tatsuya in the main series. Seeing her in action without Tatsuya should get her out of her brother’s shadow that we all see when she’s in her love-struck mode with him. I’ll look forward to watching this when it eventually comes out, planned for next year.


Tonikaku Kawaii

An unexpected favorite of the season for me, Tonikaku Kawaii was the most wholesome anime of a young married couple I’ve ever seen. Before we get into things though, let me elaborate on “an unexpected favorite” of mine this season. For some reason, when I first heard about this anime earlier in the year, it sounded like a cheap spin-off. For starters, the title in English was TONIKAWA: Over the Moon For You, also know as Generally Cute, Fly Me to the Moon, which reminded me of the song of the same name, thinking that the English version of the title was just making reference to a popular classic song. Secondly, the visuals that was promoted with this news looked simple like in lower budgeted animes. Basically my first impressions were not great for these reasons. I didn’t really even look into what it was about at that time. What did perk my interest was that this was coming from the same creator who made Hayate The Combat Butler, a favorite of mine when I was starting to get into anime the way I am now.

I’m glad to say that my terrible first judgement was wrong, and we got an anime about two people who fell in love on first sight because of unusual circumstances, and became an inseparable couple. Not only that, but both of them have a unique personality. Nasa has mostly everything figured out; he’s confident but not brash. Tsukasa is a calm and cool character who does have her quirks and interests, but most importantly she’s understanding and doesn’t jump to conclusions right away. Basically these two are the opposite of typical rom-com stereotypical characters, which is a breath of fresh air. While the animation is quite simple as expected, it’s enough to convey the warmth that this anime radiates.

An OVA episode has been announced for next year. Whether or not we’ll get a new full season though, that remains to be seen. You know that I’ll be seeing anything that this series animates, so look forward hopefully to more in the future.


With this season over, we can also say bye and good riddance to 2020. Its given us enough grief, and it’s still not over. From animes being delayed and conventions and events being cancelled, I’ll be looking forward to the day when this pandemic is finally over and we can enjoy an anime otaku’s life without fear and disappointment of a viral outbreak. To 2021, please be the hope that this world needs. To any of you that reads my posts, I appreciate and thank every one of you. I mostly write these for myself to not forget the feelings and opinions I have on the animes I watch, but if any of what I write interests you, I’ll feel happy that someone can relate. Until next year (tomorrow), see you all then!

Summer Anime Season 2020 – Review October 2, 2020

Posted by coolmikeol in Seasonal Anime Reviews.
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This season had a lot of hot shows going on, and thank goodness there wasn’t any delays or hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic. If you want to see a full list of what animes I’ve watched, you can always check out My Anime List. Here is a list of animes that I watched from this season:

Enen no Shouboutai: Ni no Shou

Kanojo, Okarishimasu

Monster Musume no Oishasan

Shokugeki no Souma: Gou no Sara

Sword Art Online: Alicization – War of Underworld 2nd Season

The God of High School

Toaru Kagaku no Railgun T

Remember, these reviews assume that you have watched the series, which means SPOILERS will be few but imminent. You have been warned.


Enen no Shouboutai: Ni no Shou

Fire Force Season 2 is underway, focusing on world building and the like. Shinra and co have been finding the pieces of the puzzle of the intentions of the Evangelist, it’s connection to the Holy Sol Church, and most importantly the creation of the new world after the Great Cataclysm. I’m liking this season a bit better than the last so far. A bit less fan service (from Tamaki), some more action, and delving into the inner hidden mysteries of the people or entities in charge. We’re halfway into the 24 episode second season, so I’ll continue this review in the Fall Anime Season post.

—–

Kanojo, Okarishimasu

Rent-a-Girlfriend was this season’s “fighting for best girl” anime, but unlike most animes of its kind, there was one that everyone knew was the worst one (you know who). Here’s the synopsis for convenience:

Kazuya Kinoshita is a 20-year-old college student who has a wonderful girlfriend: the bright and sunny Mami Nanami. But suddenly, he doesn’t. Without warning, Mami breaks up with him, leaving him utterly heartbroken and lonely. Seeking to soothe the pain, he hires a rental girlfriend through an online app. His partner is Chizuru Mizuhara, who through her unparalleled beauty and cute demeanor, manages to gain Kazuya’s affection.

But after reading similar experiences other customers had had with Chizuru, Kazuya believes her warm smile and caring personality were all just an act to toy with his heart, and he rates her poorly. Aggravated, Chizuru lambastes him for his shameless hypocrisy, revealing her true pert and hot-tempered self. This one-sided exchange is cut short, however, when Kazuya finds out that his grandmother has collapsed.

They dash toward the hospital and find Kazuya’s grandmother already in good condition. Baffled by Chizuru’s presence, she asks who this girl might be. On impulse, Kazuya promptly declares that they are lovers, forcing Chizuru to play the part. But with Kazuya still hung up on his previous relationship with Mami, how long can this difficult client and reluctant rental girlfriend keep up their act?

I liked watching this series, but not without its cringe moments. For me this mainly happens when Kazuya lies to make things worse.

I’m in the same boat as most people for who’s best girl and not. Mami is the worst, Chizuru is the ideal best. I liked Ruka, seeing her backstory, but do realize that her clinginess can get annoying. Sumi only got little screen time, but she’s so shy, cute, and precious you can’t help but want to protect her.

While the season is over, the story is definitely not. A second season has already been announced, rightfully so as this season felt more like half of a full 24 episode anime. I’ll look forward to everyone’s development, especially Kazuya who really needs to man up to his mistakes.

—–

Monster Musume no Oishasan

Monster Girl Doctor is just that, an anime about about a doctor who specializes in taking care of monsters, though from what were shown it seems most of his clients are female. Fan service scenes are pretty much expected here, but at least the doctor here is a practicing professional, diligently working on his patient’s medical needs, even if he may get tunnel vision at times.

I enjoyed the general world building and relationships between the different monster species. I also liked how Glenn (the doctor) has a calm and cool demeanor, and doesn’t act like a typical harem protagonist, getting worked up over certain sites. He’s a certified doctor, so I guess he’s used to knowing the ins and outs of different species’ bodies. The medical knowledge depicted in this series is also believable, which makes this show all the better. I definitely wouldn’t mind another season of this.

—–

Shokugeki no Souma: Gou no Sara

Food Wars! The (Final) Fifth Plate has concluded and wrapped up the long journey of Soma’s quest to be the very best chef…. besides Erina of course. Even though the main antagonist of this season seemed to be another person who used his stealing ability to gain power, you could begin to understand him after his defeat, thanks to his backstory and conclusion. I’m glad that it seems that everyone got a good ending, even the people who we thought were bad in the past. Who knew that this whole time, it went all according to a plan to save the God Tongue.

Food Wars! has been a consistent series to watch since 2015, putting out a season every year. It was a quirky cooking show with it’s characters, settings, and most importantly fanservice. We saw Soma climb from the bottom to the top though sheer willpower, nothing gained without the hard work and determination he had to beat an opponent. While he has claimed the 1st Seat at his cooking academy, he always knows that there’s always more to learn and improve, even as good as he is now. He is a great role model that has shown that trial and error, win and lose, victory and defeat, the good and the bad; live and learn to become the very best of what you believe in. I think that’s the lesson this show offers. I truly enjoyed this series, and while this hasn’t inspired me to cook, this will be the titular cooking anime for me.

—–

Sword Art Online: Alicization – War of Underworld 2nd Season

The Underworld Saga has finally concluded and boy has it been a journey. Sword Art Online has grown from its humble beginnings as a VRMMORPG Death Game, to a “Imagination is power” kind of thing. Kirito has truly become a god of the VR world, his power no longer being a subtle glow of golden eyes. Did I enjoy War of Underworld Part 2? Yeah, I did. Doesn’t mean there aren’t a couple things I’d like to point out though.

For starters, when PoH had “captured” the team before Kirito woke up, why was everyone completely powerless to do anything? I know they were exhausted from battling the seemingly endless waves of enemy players, but they stayed on the ground as if they were tied down, which they weren’t. The only person to come to their defense was Eiji out of nowhere, and while he did buy some time for Kirito to wake up, he did almost next to nothing against PoH. I’d would of liked it if some of the side characters to be doing something on the sidelines, but PoH apparently had their full and undivided attention. Maybe it has something to do with an ability of PoH’s? I know the anime has a bad habit of not explaining important background elements, such as the Incarnate System, but they should of had a little internal monologue to explain the basics instead of just showing without context.

We were all looking forward to the day that Kirito would bring back his signature move Starburst Stream, and while it did look epic during the final fight, the cinematography toward the end of it  felt a bit rushed. I liked that Kirito had all the looks of a god; glowing aura and eyes, wings, and swords, and that every strike of the dual wield skill had power and range never seen before. What I don’t like as much about Kirito’s swordplay nowadays is that I feel he is just brute forcing his way through combined with his high reaction speed, rather than being dexterous with the swords itself. Or maybe I’m not looking into it deep enough and that he really is doing all he can. For his last couple of final fights, he always manages to get sliced quite bad before making his comeback, assisted or not. If the final fight lasted longed and was smoother (maybe having some slow-mo shots of sword parrying and attacking), I would have been more satisfied.

Overall, Sword Art Online: Alicization – War of Underworld 2nd Season was the climax of everything that the series built up, and I think they did it well. Pretty much every important character from the previous arcs got their own time to shine, even Klein. While it felt obvious that Kirito was going to be the god and savior of the VRMMO world, I didn’t expect it on the scale that it was shown. The conclusion did feel like a end, but not the end of the Sword Art Online series. It set in motion new elements that will bring in a new chapter, though not right away anyways. For the future, announced is a Sword Art Online: Progressive anime, a retelling of sorts of the Aincrad arc based on the light novels of the same name. We don’t know when it will air, but I think Fall season of 2022 would be the best time if you know what I mean.

—–

The God of High School

This was the second Webtoon turned anime series I’ve watched, and I’ve got to say I’m not a fan of the hype. Maybe there’s a lot of people who read the webtoon comic, but I don’t. Maybe that’s why I don’t understand the setting and story that well, as it seems that the animators try to fit part of the original material into a dozen or so episodes.

I will say this, the animation is quite good but there’s a couple of things that bug me. For starters, while the camera is smooth and dynamic, it also gets repetitive for how they do it. Most of the fights have the camera go around the action to show multiple angles in real time. This was cool in the beginning, but got old when it came to the final fight. Because the camera tended to also zoom in and out, I felt that I was missing out on the peripheral side of the battle.

For me, this was a window into what studio MAPPA has to offer. I’ve never watched an anime made by them before this one, and I know that they will be the ones to animate the final season of Attack on Titan, after being done by Wit Studio from the beginning. A lot of people now have their eye on them to not mess up the finale of one of the best animated anime series of the recent decade, mine included. I know they have potential, but whether or not it will succeed, I’m not sure judging from The God of Highschool. Only time will tell.

GOH was at least better than The Tower of God, but that’s because the story wasn’t as complicated in my opinion. I feel like a continuation will happen, but probably not right away. Webtoon animes need to improve, whether that’s fleshing out how they do the stories or animate them. I’ll probably pass on future webtoon animes, but if I notice that it may be good, I’ll be open to check it out.

—–

Toaru Kagaku no Railgun T

Railgun has once again proved that it is the superior series of the “To Aru/A Certain” universe. First and foremost: the plot and storytelling, Steady, understandable, and connected. Rarely do I remember much fillers in Railgun, and rarely is there something I don’t understand. As told before in the previous (partial) reviews of Railgun T, random terms and unintroduced characters aren’t mentioned to confuse the viewers. I got a bad taste of that in Index 3, so I use that as an example of a rushed and complicated show, as much as I wanted to like it. Most sub arcs in Railgun connect to each other in a way, or imply a connection to another series in the universe, reminding you that we’re seeing Academy City from Misaka’s point of view. Doesn’t mean that other things aren’t happening in parallel. It makes the setting feel dynamic and alive.

Secondly, the animation and action in Railgun is probably the best I’ve seen from J.C. Staff. You love it every time you see Misaka charging up for a railgun, or Kuroko teleporting in and take someone down using close quarters combat. Even the CG (or stuff that looks like CG but isn’t) looks great as well. Long story short, Railgun is eye candy.

Overall, Railgun T was a blast from start to finish. Even though it was on hiatus at times due to the pandemic, it extended such a great series a season over. It managed to conclude all of it’s stories, with more hinted on the way. We may not get another “To Aru/A Certain” series for a while, but I’m certain that it’s not over yet.

Spring Anime Season 2020 – Review June 29, 2020

Posted by coolmikeol in Seasonal Anime Reviews.
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Saying this season was worse than last season would be an understatement, and it’s all because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. To be clear though, I’m not talking about the quality of the shows that DID air. The amount of delays and cancellations we’ve seen because of the world crisis is unheard of. Of the seven animes I mainly watched this season, two of them got put on hiatus early this season until July. In the end, this is probably the fewest new animes I’ve watched in a seasonal season, though it did give me some time to catch up on some older ones I didn’t watch, like Your Lie in April. If you want to see a full list of what animes I’ve watched, you can always check out My Anime List. Here is a list of animes that I watched from this season:

BNA

Honzuki no Gekokujou: Shisho ni Naru Tame ni wa Shudan wo Erandeiraremasen 2nd Season

Kakushigoto (TV)

Kami no Tou

Otome Game no Hametsu Flag shika Nai Akuyaku Reijou ni Tensei shiteshimatta…

Shokugeki no Souma: Gou no Sara

Toaru Kagaku no Railgun T

Remember, these reviews assume that you have watched the series, which means SPOILERS will be few but imminent. You have been warned.


BNA

A breath of fresh air from Trigger, BNA (Brand New Animal) was a entertaining show filled with action, drama, and a story not ending with space/aliens (to everyone’s relief). I enjoyed it quite a bit, but before I talk about that let me tell a fairly funny story. When BNA was first announced, I thought it was going to be a anime about animal people playing basketball. Now we all know that is definitely not the case, but a couple of things led me to this initial conclusion. First off, one of the promotional art for the series showed the main character with a basketball, as seen here:

As I didn’t have any idea about the story, and with nothing else in the picture hinting otherwise, that’s what I thought: “This is a basketball anime”. This is what I described this anime to my friends. To further this theory, the name “BNA” I thought was suppose to be a parody of NBA, you know, the National Basketball Association? Other art that came out before the start of the show didn’t give much context about what this anime was going to be about so I stuck to this story. When my friends started watching before I did and told me that this show had nothing to do with basketball, I was stunned as that’s all I thought I knew about this series. Turns out it’s a lot better than that. Long story short, the reason we see a raccoon girl dribbling a basketball was because she used to play it. Her choice of sport at this point of the story is more like a hobby, which is not reflective of the actual plot.

Going back on topic, BNA was a very grounded show that mainly focused on human/Beastmen relationships. Similar to how we have racism in the real world, Beastmen are often looked down upon by humans. In order to create a home for them, the city of Anima City was created so that they could all live in harmony with one another. But certain people and parties seek to threaten this society. Enter human-turned-Beastmen Michiru. After mysteriously turning into a tanuki, she leaves behind her home in Japan for Anima City, in hopes of changing her back into a human. While in the city she makes friends all while dealing with problems that she deals with with her own justice. As mysterious as the reasoning for her turning into a Beastmen, even more curious is that unlike other Beastmen she can partially transform into other animals to use their abilities too.

I enjoyed this show quite a bit, and it’s all due to Trigger’s ability to greatly emphasize expression, all the while dealing with tough topic situations. As mentioned, I’m glad that no aliens appeared this time, as it has become a crutch of Trigger to rely on aliens/space as a way to explain what’s causing the problems. There also wasn’t much in terms of mechs either, or any real noticeable references to previous Trigger shows. Normally this sounds like a bad thing, but I feel this is to differentiate BNA from all their other shows as a new thing, not to be shadowed by their previous works. All the characters were cool in their own way, and the story, while not as flashy as were used to from Trigger, was still great. The last few episodes were darn good in trying to persuade Michiru (and audience) that the “bad guys” was not what she thought they were. Even though in my mind it had to be that person, the actions that we saw them do up to that point supported their claim that they are just helping the city. In the end, I was mostly right about how it would end, glad that there was still something I didn’t expect.

If BNA gets a new season in the future I’d watch it. Heck I usually watch anything that Trigger produces these days, so you know I’ll look forward to their new animes.

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Honzuki no Gekokujou: Shisho ni Naru Tame ni wa Shudan wo Erandeiraremasen 2nd Season

The second season of Ascendance of a Bookworm was just as great as the first, with Myne continuing on her quest to make books. With her mana sickness being taken cared of by joining the church, in doing so she also learns about class and noble affairs. While she still tends to get worked up about things, Myne has grew her network of relations with people within the church who initially though of her as a commoner in noble clothes. After showing them her understanding and actions to help them, she gained loyal attendants who respected that Myne was someone who they could trust. She was finally able to create books, starting with picture books that could be mass produced to show that what she wanted to do could be done.

This isekai anime has been consistently good, and it’s all due to a great story and characters. Unlike most animes in this genre that lean more towards great art/animation and/or fan service, Ascendance of a Bookworm has shown that animes of its kind can still exist in a would where cheap fan service tactics have become commonplace. At the end of the second season of Bookworm, it’s hinted that the anime series will continue, even though nothing official has been announced… yet. When it does, I’ll definitely look forward to it. Maybe a time skip would work as it would be great to see what progress happens with Myne at the helm, but that would probably be better at the fourth season…

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Kakushigoto (TV)

A wholesome father/daughter anime, Kakushigoto is a funny/emotional story about a father who hides his job from his daughter because he believes that it’s a shameful one; a mangaka who makes dirty jokes. While the premise sounds like one where fan service or otherwise would be present, it’s not. The appeal of the series is how much effort the father puts into keeping his secret from her, and by doing so shows how much he cares for her.

Throughout the anime, there are hints that not everything is as happy and homely. Kakushi and his daughter Hime live without her mother around, at first hinted that she died while Hime was too young to remember her. Because of this, Kakushi usually has a caretaker watching her while he is at work, though he worries endlessly regardless of whether or not she’s safe. As the show progressed, it seems that what we’ve been watching all this time is the past seeing that Hime has grown up. In this present (future), her father is spoken about in the past tense, hinting that something happened to him as well that causes him to be out of the picture of Hime’s current life. While watching the past Hime, it hurts to know that something bad will happen to this already affected family, we just won’t know until the end.

I love the buildup towards the conclusion, with the clever “watching the past to show the future which is the present”. There are a lot of details about the family situation of Kakushi, and it’s the slow assemble of puzzle pieces that made this a show that, besides watching the daily life of Kakushi and Hime, made you always think about what will happen to them in the end. The finale was not one I originally expected, but am glad that it did end the way it did. I won’t spoil it for the sake of experiencing it yourself, so please look forward to it.

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Kami no Tou

Tower of God was the hyped up webtoon series turned anime this season. I’m not too familiar with webtoons apart from seeing them every so often on social media, but as my friends were watching it I decided to as well. Right off the bat, I felt that I missing some background info on this series as it starts right off with the main character entering the tower. Even though I watched the entire season, I don’t know much about the setting of this series. All I know is that there is a tower where if you climb it you can meet with god and get your wish granted, or something along those lines. Everything else hints that this whole area is enclosed from the true outside world, with things being said that the sky they see isn’t real. The unique cast of characters were either very different or generic. Even though I never heard of this series before this season, at the very beginning while reading comments I had gotten the hint that Rachel was not as good a person as Bam always says she is. Usually I absolutely hate spoilers, but for a series I wasn’t really invested in it didn’t really matter. In the end though, it came down to selfish desires….

Did I like this show? To be honest I have mixed feelings about it. It’s not bad but not one I prefer either. I was going to pass on this originally, but a combination of hype, recommendation from friends, and lack of other shows made be decide to check it out. This was also the first time I’ve seen an anime labeled as a “Crunchyroll Original”, meaning that Crunchyroll seems to be moving toward pushing and creating animes they’d like to see made, the next ones being The God of High School and Gibiate airing in July. The story may not be over for Tower of God, but I may be.

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Otome Game no Hametsu Flag shika Nai Akuyaku Reijou ni Tensei shiteshimatta…

A reverse harem isekai where a girl get reincarnated into a otome game that she used to play, but instead of becoming the heroine she becomes the villain. As she reincarnates as the kid version of said villain, this gives her time to set herself up to avoid the routes that would get her killed or exiled. Her general knowledge of the characters around her thanks to the game helps her not only avoids her becoming the mean villain she was suppose to become, but rather she became her own heroine, attracting everyone around her as the stupid air-headed Catarina Claes.

This was a fun little show that I originally thought of skipping, but decided to watch it as there wasn’t much else to watch at the time. It’s a unique take on the isekai genre as the world is based around the setting of a visual novel game for girls, where normally you would conquer routes to romance guys. In Catarina’s case though, she unknowingly conquers everyone. A second season has been announced which I plan to watch, though I’m not sure what it will be about, besides probably more of Catarina’s life in magic school and avoiding any new threats.

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Shokugeki no Souma: Gou no Sara

Only two episodes came out for the fifth season of Food Wars! before it went on hiatus due to the Coronavirus, but it will return sometime in July. The couple of episodes that were released were alright, showing the power of the new Elite Ten, as well as introducing the next chef Souma and friends will have to deal with at Tootsuki Culinary Academy.

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Toaru Kagaku no Railgun T

Continuing with the old news of delays because it’s 2020, Railgun T at least made it to the end of a arc in fantastic fashion. I’ll always prefer delays over rushed content, as you can only make an impression once. So far this season has got to be the best of all the “To Aru/A Certain” series with everyone playing a vital role, without the confusing story and terminology that S3 of Index had. Touma got his hyped battle in, which disappointed nobody. Railgun T will return in mid/late July as far as I know, and I’m definitely looking forward to watching more. Won’t be surprised if we get more delays even after that though.