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Spring Anime Season 2019 – Review July 7, 2019

Posted by coolmikeol in Seasonal Anime Reviews.
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I started with a few that I knew that I wanted to watch, ended up once again having about 9 total from this season. It always seems to be that way for me. There was a few big titles airing this season, but besides those there was a good few smaller ones. 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:

Bokutachi wa Benkyou ga Dekinai

Hitoribocchi no Marumaru Seikatsu

Kimetsu no Yaiba

Midara na Ao-chan wa Benkyou ga Dekinai

Nande Koko ni Sensei ga!?

One Punch Man 2nd Season

Sewayaki Kitsune no Senko-san

Shingeki no Kyojin Season 3 Part 2

Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari

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


Bokutachi wa Benkyou ga Dekinai

When I first learned about this anime at the start of the season, I didn’t initially see a reason to watch it. I had assumed that it was similar to last season’s The Quintessential Quintuplets, where the poor MC is tasked with helping a number of girls study. Now to be fair that does describe both animes basic premise, but that’s where the comparison ends. Unlike in the former anime, I feel that our MC Nariyuki Yuiga really helps each of them with their respective bad subject, as he is a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to academics. It’s also nice to see that his pupils are actually willing to listen and learn from his tutoring, as it did get somewhat irritating to see Fuutarou’s (From The Quintessential Quintuplets) efforts go to waste so quickly at times. What makes this anime different from the former is that each of the girls are geniuses at the opposite subject they actually want to pursue, mainly for the reasons that they either want to prove the naysayers wrong, follow in a loved one’s passions, or simply want to understand a subject that they are not well versed in.

Each of the main female protagonists as mentioned are great at one particular subject, such as math, literature, sports, etc. While they may excel at their genus subject, they don’t take the easy road for their futures by just doing what their good at. Their reasoning and drive to work on their weak subject is adamant, and lucky enough there’s someone who is good at all subjects who can keep up with their questions gauntlet. Of course, it goes without saying that besides their academic prowess, they have their own personality and charm that Nariyuki is aware of (to some extent). Once again the “waifu” generators are at it again, but this time I’m liking these girls more than the Quintuplets one. I’ve been ranking them in my mind in a couple of ways: Them to Nariyuki and to the viewer. For Nariyuki in this order; Furuhashi, Takemoto, Ogata, Kominami, Kirisu. Originally Takemoto was lower in my opinion, but her pushes in the end pushed her up. My second ranking based on (my) viewer opinion; Furuhashi, Kominami, Kirisu, Ogata, Takemoto. Furuhashi is consistently on top as she is the one most sociable, despite not initially thinking herself as attracted to Nariyuki the way the others are. However she finds herself getting closer to him even while trying to support Takemoto (and Nariyuki) and Ogata, as seen in the final episode of this first season. Someone in real life who is like Furuhashi would be nice to be friends with. Takemoto is the childhood friend of sorts whose liked Nariyuki since middle school. Her playful personality hides her true feelings from him as she’s shy in that regard. As for someone like her in real life, she would be fun to hang around but personally for me it would be a bit hard to deal with. Ogata is the logical math wizard who has trouble understanding reading emotions and the like. She’s not emotionless herself, she just has a hard time justifying emotional reasons. Short, plump, and diligent, Ogata’s slight tsundereness but willing to understand what she doesn’t makes her a rounded character to enjoy, both in anime and real life. Kominami-senpai had the least screen time but she came through strong, with Nariyuki masquerading as her boyfriend to her father to convince him that she’s working hard to eventually take over the family clinic business. As a senpai to all of them, she understands the trials and tribulations of studying a subject that’s hard for a person, as well as dealing with entrance exams for college. Last but not least, Kirisu-sensei. As the eldest person of this group, she doesn’t hold up very well as an adult compared to the others. Before Nariyuki came along to tutor, she was in charge of tutoring Ogata and Furuhashi, but failed to help them after coming to the conclusion that they should just stick to their best subjects for their futures. Her weakpoints, or rather her charm points, have made her a favorite among fans. Under her cold and professional exterior is a maiden who makes mistakes in the most embarrassing ways. I guess she’s a tsundere of sorts as well.

I enjoyed this anime, more than Quintuplets. I wished that I didn’t initially judge it in the beginning based on its synopsis, but it is what it is. Now with many shows sharing very similar stories (I’m looking at you Isekai genre), filtering out what to watch and what to skip is becoming more common for me. I’m glad that a second season has already been announced for Fall 2019, which reminds me that there’s also going to be a second season of Quintuplets as well in the future. Just like with the former, all the heroines are on the Nariyuki board. Once they achieve their academic goal, what will happen after? Kominami-senpai brought it up to Nariyuki, so now he has that to ponder about. He can’t stay the dense MC forever, right?

—–

Hitoribocchi no Marumaru Seikatsu

There are a lot of shy people out there, me included. Some of those people just accept it and turtle themselves away from society, some break that shell and become something new. But in this anime, Bocchi who is shy in the extreme, tries her utmost to befriend as many people as possible in her new school in order to keep a promise that she made to her childhood friend. Originally this show didn’t show much interest to me, but decided to check it out anyways. With Bocchi’s premise being that she had to befriend everyone in her class in order to stay friends with her childhood friend Kai (who is now attending a different school), I had initially felt this to be a bit too mean of a condition to put on someone, especially with Bocchi’s level of shyness. I guess the reason Kai did it was because she knew that as Bocchi’s only friend at the time, she knew that Bocchi didn’t want to lose her, and Kai knew that Bocchi needed to grow and make new friends so that she could have more people to depend on and eventually help her to get over her shyness. I’m glad to see that while Bocchi’s shyness is her weak-point, her willingness to overcome it shined through.

Bocchi’s new friends were unique on their own, all happy to help out poor Bocchi in her times of need. From what I heard, each of the characters names in this series is actually a Japanese pun relating to them. For example, Hitori Bocchi’s name means “loneliness” or “solitude”, and Bocchi’s first new friend Sunao Nako is derived from sunao na ko, which means “honest child.” If you want to read the article about this, check it out here.

This show is great as it shows the slow but steady development of a relatable character. Sure, maybe we’re not on Bocchi level shyness, but we’ve experienced it in one ways or another. Simply by taking the first step into something new can you discover something exciting and helpful to yourself and others. Also, I was grinning at the random DeLorean that was shown among other cars in the credits of the final episode. Kudos to the anime staff for adding that randomly in.

—–

Kimetsu no Yaiba

Demon Slayer is one of the top animes this season, as it’s being headed by Studio ufotable, known for their animation works from the Fate/Stay series among others. Also featuring Kajiura Yuki for the BGM and a decent cast of seiyuus, this show has the ingredients for success. While the main story is following a standard Shōnen formula, the character development of this series is key to making this different from others before it. This season is 26 episodes long, so we’re just under halfway done and so far things are going well for Tanjirou and company. And when I mean well I mean that he hasn’t suffered too much yet from his battles against the night-loving demons. In the story, He and his little sister Nezuko are trying to find a way to turn her back into a human after she was turned into a demon by one. After a couple years of training, Tanjirou joined the Demon Killing Corps in order to protect himself and his sister from them, while following clues that could help him reverse the demon curse. Luckily Nezuko was able to mostly keep her human emotion and thought, but has the power (and weakness) of a demon to help fight alongside her brother. Together they are a powerful duo with a goal in mind.

For some reason when I first saw this show from a trailer, I had thought it was some sort of parody anime. It was a combination of so many well known quality people that made it a “Too good to be true” kind of thing. The unique animation also helped to make it seem like a one off title; the water that flows with Tanjirou’s blade or the (literal) directional arrows that fly from a demon’s hands to attack by pulling the target as if it was being dragged by a mouse cursor. I now know that Demon Slayer is the real deal.

What do I think of the show so far? It’s pretty good, but pretty standard when it comes to its story. The animation is the highlight for me, smooth on all sides. I’m not really invested in the endgame plot for turning Nezuko back into a human yet, but if they can get me interested in the mystery behind the Demons I’ll be all for it.

—–

Midara na Ao-chan wa Benkyou ga Dekinai

A slightly ecchi but mostly pure love story about a high school girl named Ao Horie whose father happens to be a bestselling erotic author. Embarrassed throughout her childhood as her origin of her name comes from her father’s erotic work, she aims to get into an elite university and achieve independence from her father once and for all. What makes matters worse is that her classmate Takumi Kijima confesses that he likes her. Internal conflicts arise as she battles two things: Her original goal of studying to get into college, and her teenage mind which can’t think straight when love is in the picture.

On paper this sounds like a show that uses fanservice as its main feature, but I felt that it was just one aspect of it. Ao pushed away at thought of love as it was associated with her embarrassing memories from the past. And while she was exposed to her father’s work, she became desensitized to what she read from them. When she encountered love for herself, she thought nothing of it except from what she knew from her father’s books which were not based in reality. A combination of a young mind going through puberty and having someone confess that they love you is a lot for someone who thought it was something bad. Ao slowly learns to understand how to deal with love on her own, which has produced some interesting scenes, whether real or just all in her head.

An enjoyable short episode series I thought it was.

—–

Nande Koko ni Sensei ga!?

This series was purely fan service, from whatever you could see (or imagine) anyways. Basically teacher and student finds themselves in strange (ecchi) situations, where they ask themselves “Why the hell are you here!?” Not much more I can say about it.

—–

One Punch Man 2nd Season

One Punch Man Season 2 was definitely a different experience to the first season, a lot to do with the change of animation studio from Madhouse to J.C.Staff. Besides the downgrade in visual and animation quality, season 2 was more plot based, focusing on the Hero Hunter Garo in his quest to destroy the Hero Association. At the same time, monsters from the proclaimed Monster Association also are rampaging across multiple cities in order to wipe humans from the face of the Earth. While most heroes are busy at work protecting the people, our titular protagonist Saitama (aka One Punch Man) is as bored as ever. He tries a couple of things to combat this: Joining a martial arts tournament masquerading as someone else to learn more about martial arts, and playing video games against the Hero King. In-between these he One Punches some monsters that get in his daily life.

For a lot of people, including myself, did find the changes in season 2 to be a negative thing when compared to season 1. However after finishing this season, I thought it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. For starters, the story in better in this season, giving the spotlight to someone who is less OP or predictable. We’re already aware of Saitama’s power and abilities, and as such small fry are no match for him. The only one who gave him a somewhat extended fight was Boros from season 1, but it still ended when Saitama got serious. Garo as a character is interesting for a couple of reasons. Because he trained under Bang, he is a very capable martial arts fighter, so he’s more technical than just overwhelming power in a single hit. Besides his physical prowess, he also has strong motives for what he’s fighting for, highlighted by flashbacks to his past. The season ended without a big battle like we had in the previous season, but it definitely alludes to the story to continue in a future season, whenever that may be.

—–

Sewayaki Kitsune no Senko-san

The soothing series of the season, The Helpful Fox Senko-san was a simple series about an adorable foxgirl goddess wanting to serve and pamper a hardworking salaryman. Nakano comes home one day to find (the 800 year-old) Senko-san cooking and cleaning his apartment. She explains that she’s there to pamper and spoil Nakano to his hearts content. As a adult, Nakano initially refuses her help, but slowly grows to accept Senko-san’s warmth, both figuratively and literally.

As sketchy as this may sound, its absolutely a pure anime about having someone at home to take care of you after grueling hours at a unfavorable workplace. Whether that be through having a clean living place, delicious cooking, or just having company to heal a broken mind, heart, or soul.

At first I thought this would be a short series anime, you know shorter than normal episode length. When I saw that these episodes were full length, I was thinking “How will they fill each episode with new content that didn’t feel drawn out?” Something as simple as taking care of someone at home couldn’t be that entertaining? Boy was I proven wrong. Not only did I find episodes going by in an instant, by no means did I feel that things repeated or were boring. Just the sight of a loving kitsune wanting to do things for someone without feeling like they expect anything back, it’d want anyone to have someone like Senko-san. Of course we’d want to do things for her as thanks, but she would always turn down the offer. It reminds me of how a grandmother would treat their grandchildren.

—–

Shingeki no Kyojin Season 3 Part 2

The second part of Season 3 of AOT really moved the story along, finally retaking Wall Maria and getting to the basement that many fans have been waiting for. With the info found there, it opens up a new world of possibilities for how the story will continue. I don’t read the manga, but I know that it’s already ending if not already ended.

This season really felt like a big culmination of everything that the story has been building up to. And luckily the hype was definitely met with the same energy with the ending of this season. As a pure AOT anime watcher with no info from the manga, I liked the progression that has happened in the third season. I’ve felt that I’ve grown with the characters, as with many others who having been watching from the beginning way back in 2013. Looking back at it now, there have been many characters that have died since, but their deaths don’t feel like a waste. Every single sacrifice has brought humanity closer to the truth. Where we are now is proof of that.

I know that normally I speak with spoilers freely in my reviews, but I won’t for this one, as it’s best to watch and find out for yourself. Overall I thought Season 3 ended on yet another big cliffhanger on a couple of things. The story of course, but also about the future of AOT itself. Wit Studio who has been animating the series since the beginning has mentioned that they might be done doing AOT. With the announcement of the Final Season coming in 2020, it’s not confirmed who will be animating it. Wit Studio has done an amazing job of bringing the manga to life, and unless a parallel level studio can take over, I think a lot of fans will not like the difference if the animation quality is not as good as its been. A good example of this is One Punch Man which also aired this season. Season 1 of OPM was done by Madhouse while Season 2 was done by J.C.Staff. The difference between the two is very apparent in a bad way. I do hope that Wit Studio will hold on for the final season of AOT as a way to please fans, as well as finish what they started. I think it will cement their reputation in anime history as having done one of the greatest animes in this decade.

One more thing, besides the animation the music in this anime is as always phenomenal. Done by the one and only Sawano Hiroyuki, it’s thanks to him that this show is as epic as it is. Visually the show is great, but pairing it with a equally great soundtrack truly gives this show life and personally that few can match. I’m a big fan of his music, and I don’t think there’s a day where I don’t listen to his work. He has worked on plenty of other shows with memorable songs, and while his music is recognizable due to it having the same kind of style, I can’t get enough of it.

—–

Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari

As one of the better Isekais around, Shield Hero has proved itself to be a popular choice for its genre. In this second half of season, we finally see Naofumi getting the justice he deserves with the revelation of the King’s and Myne’s schemes. Even with his name cleared, his relationship with the other three heroes are still shaky at best. His efforts to get all of them to work together has not been successful, causing him to try and build himself and his party up to become the greatest fighting force against the waves, seeing that the other heroes won’t get over their egos.

Shield Hero was a nice watch, though I felt that the last episode was rushed. There was a lot going on, with the dialogue also being fairly abundant to give as much info as possible. I think they wanted to get this season to end at a good point to set up for an eventual future season.

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FanimeCon 2019 June 2, 2019

Posted by coolmikeol in Events, Otaku.
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FanimeCon 2019 took place May 24th – 27th at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center. FanimeCon is an anime convention “by fans, for fans”. I’ve been attending this anime convention since 2011, and I do intend to attend it annually as long as I’m able to, as it is one of my favorite cons around.

For all of my photos taken at the con, please check out my Flickr set FanimeCon 2019.


Day 1 – May 24th

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Day 1 started with me waking up at around 7am, a time I’ve been used to waking up to due to work. I aimed to get to the con by 10am, and since it takes about an hour to drive down to San Jose I planned to leave SF no later than 9am. I had all my stuff ready to go the night before, so after a quick bite to eat and putting everything in my car, I set off.

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Parking in the area has always been a thing of concern for me, since I commute back and forth everyday to the con than staying at a hotel. I had heard that San Jose State University’s parking was either cheap (or free from what I heard on FanimeCon’s Unofficial FB Page). Turns out that information was right as I was able to park without needing to pay, confirmed by some garage staff who I asked. Since SJSU was only a few blocks away from the con, it was definitely a good option to park at than paying $20 for parking at the convention center’s parking garage as I did last year.

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As usual, picking up my pre-reg badge took no time at all. No lines meant that in less than 3 min from entering the line area, I had my badge and con bag in hand and was already ready to go. As it was still fairly early on the first day, I walked around the con to scout the area. The only major area that’s open in the con at this time was the Gaming Hall, the Dealers Hall and Artist Alley don’t open until 2pm. And since not much changes year to year, it’s more so to kill time until Opening Ceremonies that happens at 2pm.

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After the ceremony concluded, I checked out the Dealer’s Hall. Besides the usual vendors of anime merchandise, towards the back were some food vendors. We had Okamoto Kitchen, Wild Bill’s Old Fashioned Soda Pop, and Psycho Donuts, a local specialty donuts shop. There was also Hirotako Co., a Takoyaki stand who also seemed to operate the neighboring Giant Baby Bottle, where they were selling 1 gallon sized baby bottles filled with organic fruit drinks that you could get unlimited refills for for $30. I saw that they lowered their price later on in the weekend to $25 because sales were probably slow.

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Most of the day I was either scouting around for photo taking, or taking a break at the anime viewing rooms. I picked up dinner at Okamoto Kitchen as I had a dollar off coupon for them. I didn’t know how much their bentos were until I got to the cashier. For about $15 you get this, which wasn’t too bad but the size is quite small.

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When things started to die down I called it for the day and went back to my car, which to my excitement seemed to duplicate itself, with someone else parking their same model same color car next to mine, complete with stickers and plushies. I left the con just prior to 6:30pm to get home and rest for the next day, knowing that it will be much more busier.

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Day 2 – May 25th

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For Day 2, I had a friend riding with me to Fanime. We arrived at the con area at around 10am. The plan for parking was to park at a garage located at the Peggy Sue’s Diner, as they had free parking with validation during the weekend. Unlike last year where (I thought) the garage was blocked by a running event called The Color Run, it didn’t seem to happen this year so parking there was easy. In case that the running event did take place, I found out that there are multiple entrances/exits to that garage that I could use, but luckily I didn’t need to go to those this time. We ate breakfast at Peggy Sue’s Diner and afterwards headed to the con.

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On the schedule only a couple of things piqued my interest, which were all cosplay gatherings. Those gatherings were the Azur Lane/Kantai Collection and the All Isekai Series groups. Talking about the cosplay gatherings this year, there was a lot that I didn’t recognize or think would have a lot of people to have a gathering. I was also surprised that series that usually has many cosplayers such as Sword Art Online was not even present as a gathering. It’s not like the series is not active, as we have Alicization that recently aired with its second part happening in the Fall. To be fair SAO cosplayers were very few this year, but maybe that’s because there was no gathering. Or maybe it’s because it’s the other way around. I don’t know, maybe I’m starting to get out of touch with the younger anime community, despite not really feeling old myself.

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Besides the gatherings, there wasn’t much I was planning to go to. Last year I went to MusicFest because they had a musical artist that I recognized, but not this year. I circled the front for shots of cosplayers of all kinds.

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Later in the day though I met up with my friend who was with one of his cosplaying friends. We had dinner together and afterwards accompanied them to a short photo-shoot (Not mine, I didn’t take any shots). After seeing her off, we left for home.

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Day 3 – May 26th

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Today my car was filled up by two more friends coming along for a total of four of us going to Fanime. The weather forecast for today had me worried because it looked like it would rain all day. It didn’t help that the commute to San Jose had on and off strong showers. After a bit of traffic, we arrived at the con area and parked at the usual place next to Peggy Sue’s for breakfast.

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Afterwards we split off to do our own things. I challenged myself today by not going upstairs (to the badged area), as most of the cosplay was either in the lobby or just outside the entrance. Because of the on/off rain, you could tell that there was a little less people around today. At least it wasn’t raining strongly or consistently. At one point I thought that the rain had stopped for good, but we got sprinkles every so often. I still was able to get some decent shots.

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We had already decided on where we were going to dinner, Kura Sushi in Cupertino. Because wait times there are usually very long, we put our names on the list at around 5pm, with a wait time of approximately 2 hours. (Kura Sushi has an app that you can use to put your name on the list, very useful.) At around 6pm we left Fanime for the restaurant, which was about a 15 min drive away. When we got there, we still had to wait about another hour until we were called. Overall it didn’t really feel that long to wait, compared to the wait time of approximately 3 hours that we saw at the restaurant if you put your name on the list at that time. I don’t think you could even get in if you did so as the place closed at 10:30pm. (It was 7:30pm when we were called.)

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The food was good, especially with great company. I think my friends are getting used to how I operate at anime conventions. Usually I feel obliged to show them around, but I guess the combination of them being at Fanime before and knowing that I do my own thing allowed us to enjoy doing what we want to do without having to worry about each other. They are casual anime fans at best, while I’m more into the “Otaku” level anime fan. Allowing us to enjoy the convention at our own paces I think is best for everyone.

Day 4 – May 27th

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The last day I went to Fanime solo. I didn’t know where cheap parking would be on Memorial Day, so I parked where I did last year, at the outdoor parking lot adjacent to the convention center. Surprisingly, the fee was $15 rather than $10 that I paid the same time same place last year.

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Upon arriving at Fanime at 10am, you can tell that the energy has died down. There wasn’t many people around, most of them in the Dealers Hall getting their last minute shopping done, me included. I also figured that people were also getting ready to check out of their hotel rooms by 12pm, so probably afterwards I’d see more people after that.

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Sure enough after noon the crowds started to come back. Oddly enough I felt that the protesters was helping in adding energy to the con goers, even if it was in a negative way (sort of). I was able to take a few decent shots of cosplayers before getting in line for Closing Ceremonies that was to start at 3pm. The theme for next year’s con was announced, which is food. I left for home afterwards at around 4pm. The next time I’ll be here will be for Crunchyroll Expo 2019 in late August/early September.

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Afterwords and Overall Thoughts

With FanimeCon 2019 being my 9th year attending the event, it seemed to come and go like the wind. Everything went more or less according to plan with no major hiccups. As such it was enjoyable to a certain extent, helped by the presence of my friends who came along with me on Day 2 and Day 3.

With that said, I’m starting to feel my age. As mentioned, I didn’t really recognize a lot of cosplay gatherings this year, and I feel that those groups are some sort of indication of what’s currently popular. I really started getting into anime probably around 2010, and with next year being the tenth year foe me attending FanimeCon, I feel that changes for me are necessary to move forward in life. Don’t get me wrong, I love this community and media, but just like a lot of people would say as they get older, things never stay the same. I’m reaching that point in life where I’m asking myself the big questions. I think Uncle Iroh from ATLA asked it best: “Who are you? And what do you want?” While this question is no easily answered, it doesn’t mean I have no idea what I want. At the very least I plan to work more behind the scenes at events like this, like staffing and such. I enjoyed doing work like that when I worked at anime conventions such as Animation on Display and Anime Expo. Besides being compensated, I felt I was also gaining new work experience which is valuable to me to apply to future work. It should also help with networking, which will allow for even more hopeful opportunities.

I’ll be at FanimeCon 2020, but I’m seriously thinking about applying for staff, or at the very least volunteer. Taking photos of the con is still something I’d like to do, but because things seem to stay the same year to year I want to do something different. I take my photos in a event photography style, to tell a story through chronological photos. To share my personal experience online to others who are not able to attend. I was motivated to do this back when Danny Choo was blogging regularly about his life in Japan, and I still do it to this day, at least when it comes to events and trips. I’d like to tell a new story, this time from working the con than just being an attendee.

Winter Anime Season 2019 – Review April 11, 2019

Posted by coolmikeol in Seasonal Anime Reviews.
Tags: , ,
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There’s a pretty good amount of animes airing this season, hopefully signaling what’s to come for the rest of the year. The anime opening songs are also pretty good as well, which is getting me to make APVs (Anime Piano Videos) more often. 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:

Date A Live Ⅲ

Domestic na Kanojo

Doukyonin wa Hiza, Tokidoki, Atama no Ue.

Gotoubun no Hanayome

Sword Art Online: Alicization

Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari

Tensei shitara Slime Datta Ken

Toaru Majutsu no Index III

Watashi ni Tenshi ga Maiorita!

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


 

Date A Live Ⅲ

Date A Live III continues where season 2 ended, and I do like the return of a more serious tone that the first season had and the second season didn’t have. Season 3 focuses on the spirits of Natsumi and the Origami story, which were quite dramatic to say the least. While I felt that this season was more focused on the spirits’ problem, it also introduced the potential origin of spirits, and that’s probably going to be explored in a future season. I will say that the final episode felt out of place, like it should have been an OVA. I know that it was suppose to be connected with the vast amount of spirit energy that Shido is sealing/harboring, but still it definitely like a weird way to end the season.

—–

Domestic na Kanojo

In this season’s adult themed drama, “Natsuo Fujii is in love with his teacher, Hina. Attempting to forget his feelings towards her, Natsuo goes to a mixer with his classmates where he meets an odd girl named Rui Tachibana. In a strange turn of events, Rui asks Natsuo to sneak out with her and do her a favor. To his surprise, their destination is Rui’s house—and her request is for him to have sex with her. There’s no love behind the act; she just wants to learn from the experience. Thinking that it might help him forget about Hina, Natsuo hesitantly agrees.

After this unusual encounter Natsuo now faces a new problem. With his father remarrying, he ends up with a new pair of stepsisters; unfortunately, he knows these two girls all too well. He soon finds out his new siblings are none other than Hina and Rui! Now living with both the teacher he loves and the girl with whom he had his “first time,” Natsuo finds himself in an unexpected love triangle as he climbs ever closer towards adulthood.”

I found this anime to be a fantasization of young love gone wrong. Of course when your young, you’re still learning from experience what is right or wrong, so it may not be clear what to do than just following your heart which is what Natuso seemed to be doing. He got himself into a love triangle that’s worse than your typical one, a forbidden one at that. I just didn’t see any way that he could of gotten out of it unscathed. One was his teacher, and the other was a same age/classmate, but once they became his (step) siblings that just added salt to the wound. The conclusion was probably the best that could have happened for all parties involved, and a lesson learned is knowledge gained.

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Doukyonin wa Hiza, Tokidoki, Atama no Ue.

This anime is a rehabilitating tale of having a cat as a roommate. “Novelist Subaru Mikazuki, who is shy and not good with other people, and Haru, the cat that has been living a severe stray life. This is a story of them suddenly living together and describes the happiness of living together from both points of view.”

In the beginning of the anime, Subaru morns the death of his parents, which causes him to keep to himself as he views the outside world as bothersome. When visiting his parents’ grave, he comes across a stray cat which he ends up keeping as he found that he inspires his imagination for his novel writing. By having someone to care for and vice versa, Subaru slowly learns to enjoy the company of others.

I found this anime to be quite a warm tale of a person and his cat. I love that we get the perspectives from both sides, Subaru and Haru respectively. This is definitely family friendly anime that anyone can watch.

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Gotoubun no Hanayome

This season’s “Waifu” generator is The Quintessential Quintuplets, a story about “A high school boy [who] must work part-time to help five sisters study so they can graduate, but the only thing these quintuplets have in common is that they all hate studying!”

“Fuutarou Uesugi took the tutoring gig because he was desperate for cash, but when his students—the five beautiful daughters of a wealthy businessman—find five times the excuses to slack off, what can he do?! At this rate, the sisters won’t graduate, so if he wants to get paid, Fuutarou must think of a plan to suit each of them… Which feels hopeless when five out of five of them think he’s a loser!”

With a fantastic seiyuu (Voice actors) cast, this anime was an interesting one to watch. It was one that focused more on building relationships rather than forced fanservice scenes, which is always welcome in a harem type show. What was also nice was that our MC Fuutarou wasn’t a pushover; he may be a bookworm but he knows how to be social as well when he needs to be. He probably was more so when he was in his delinquent looking days. The final episode tries to put a ring on the series, both figuratively and literally, but I do hope we get more in the future.

Also, I’m rooting for you Miku….

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Sword Art Online: Alicization

I finally got myself into watching Sword Art Online: Alicization, after putting it off for quite a while. It was already about a little more than halfway through when I first started it. In this season 3 of SAO, we find Kirito once again stuck in a virtual world, due to a fated encounter with a Laughing Coffin member in the real world putting him into a life-threatening state. To save him, he was placed in a new type of virtual world called The Underworld under Project Alicization, a top-secret government project run by Rath to create the first Highly Adaptive Artificial Intelligence (Bottom-up AI). As Kirito’s body was affected greatly by poison stabbed from said Laughing Coffin member, in order for his mind to be saved while his body recovered, his soul or “Fluctlight” was transferred over to the virtual world. Unknowing to most though, there was more to it than that…

I don’t want to write an entire summary of the anime like I tend to for context purposes, so I’ll stop there for that. I think that this season has definitely been a breath of fresh air, as was have a new cast of characters around Kirito that isn’t his usual harem. Things are once again grim when it comes to virtual world and human morals, with Kirito the outsider from the real “unknown” world influencing artificial beings who are human in their own ways. His aim is to once again figure out the mysteries of this virtual world and why things are the way they are.

There are a few scenes that stand out to me in this season. I like all scenes of Kirito and Eugeo using sword skills, as it hails back to the SAO days. Probably the most rage inducing scene was the attempted rape of Kirito and Eugeo’s Sword Academy underlings. You could feel Eugeo fighting against the system in an attempt to save the girls from what the system thought was right but is morally wrong, something that the virtual world sorely lacks, human morality. One of the small scenes that made me laugh is when Kirito is told by Cardinal that the Administrator, the one who controls the Axiom Church, resides on the 100th floor of the Central Cathedral. You can tell from Kirito’s reaction to this news that he’s thinking “Not again”.

As for the conclusion to the season, it was alright in my opinion. It certainly did feel a bit like a recycled idea though, Kirito going against the “God” of the virtual world. I’m glad that we did get to see Kirito dual wield, and of course it would have been welcome if he tried to use Starburst Stream, but in the situation he was in it was understandable that he didn’t. Because Quinella knew the inner workings of The Seed, the base code for what The Underworld was based on, she would have been able to counter any sword skills he used just like his against Kayaba. Once Kirito realized that she knew about sword skills, his experience from his fight with Kayaba reminded him to fight only using his swordsmanship techniques and not sword skills. The outcome was expected, but the aftermath was not. I am definitely looking forward to watching the story continue in the second part of the season called “War of Underworld” airing in the Fall 2019 season.

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Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari

The Rising of the Shield Hero is one my favorites if not my favorite of the isekai genre, as we have a fantastic cast, cool battles, and a story that draws you in. I’m happy that the season is 25 episodes long, which means more time for world building and storytelling. Here’s a synopsis from MAL.net:

“Stories of old tell of four otherworldly heroes—wielding the sword, spear, bow, and shield—who defended the land from wave after wave of calamity. With the fate of the world in balance, the kingdom of Melromarc summons these legendary figures; in modern-day Japan, the call is answered, and the unwitting heroes are transported to this fantasy universe.

Thrust into Melromarc and given the title of “Shield Hero,” otaku Naofumi Iwatani is labeled the weakest due to his lack of offensive capability and apparent inexperience. When the heroes part ways to start their journeys, he only has one willing companion: the beautiful princess Malty Melromarc. However, she soon betrays him, steals all his money, and accuses him of taking advantage of her.

For his alleged crimes, Naofumi is branded a criminal and made outcast of society. With hatred filling his heart, he sets out alone, vowing vengeance against those who wronged him.”

When I saw the first episode (which was double-length) the events that unfolded with Myne betraying Naofumi triggered me so much that I was thinking about it throughout the next day while I was at work. I did figure that something was going down when she was trying to get him to drink while at the inn, but the realization didn’t come soon enough when we see what happens in the morning. From there we can understand Naofumi’s trust issues with anyone, but he also knew that he needed help to fight. He recruits Raphtalia from a slave trader and together they take on the first wave. She’s the first person to see who Naofumi really is, which helps him to know that not everyone is his enemy and that there are people who truly believe in him as the Shield Hero. At the halfway point of the season, Naofumi now has Filo and Melty as well in his party, and they are heading to meet the Queen. We’ll probably learn the reasons behind the animosity by the King against the Shield Hero soon, something to do with demi-humans and the King’s family.

I like how this different world shows that there are multiple versions of our world as we know it as well, from how each summoned Hero comes from a different version of Japan. I also like how while this world is not a video game per se, it seems to operate as such to the Heroes and related party members by special Status magic. This “magic” acts as a way to build their skills similarly to a RPG type game. While we don’t see much of the Spear, Sword, and Bow abilities, the Shield seems more accustomed towards defense/counter and support. Naofumi’s fighting style tends to defend the first strikes to gauge an enemy’s attacks, then counters as necessary. With the addition of Raphtalia and Filo fighting on the frontline, he’s able to call strategies and protect them from the rear. In the case of powerful foes, he brings out his Rage Shield which feeds on his rage, giving him greater power by granting a barrier of fire that he can either use as defense or to attack with.

I’m really hyped with where this anime is going, and I’m definitely looking forward to watching the rest of the season. Hoping already that there will be a second season.

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Tensei shitara Slime Datta Ken

The second half of Slime showed more of Rimuru flexing his abilities and intellect to solve problems in this new world. Yes he always has a cool and mature demeanor that comes from living as a adult, but after a while of watching OP slime easily defeating bosses and enemies, it gets a bit old. I know that the gimmick of his abilities is that he will exponentially get stronger from new abilities he absorbs, but when a fight is just a one-sided battle every time, it’s predictable which dampens the experience.

At the end of the season, things wrap up well for Rimuru and his alliance. He is able to save the summoned children who Shizue could not, and gave them a chance at a future, hopfully one we’ll see in the future, as a second season has already been announced to air sometime next year. The teaser image from that announcement has Rimuru in a more dark and black outfit which makes me think that he will become a demon lord, something he has been asked about before. While he is strong, he is no way the strongest as the other demon lords seem to one up him as seen through his analysis of Millim, who seems to wield more power than him. I’ll definitely be watching the second season to see the evolution of Rimuru Tempest.

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Toaru Majutsu no Index III

Continuing from the previous anime season, Index III was still as confusing as ever. Focus wise it did have a “final boss” that helped somewhat to unite a bunch of groups to fight against, as well as streamlining the story to a purely good vs. evil fight. With three main characters’ stories going on at the same time (Touma, Accelerator, Hamazura), it’s hard to flesh them out and thus hurts their image and causes to the viewer. As far as I can see, Touma was our main hero with plot armor/monologue/Image “turn any bad guy into good” Breaker. Accelerator is of course our anti-hero, who deems himself unworthy of being a good hero until Touma tells him otherwise, fighting to protect Last Order and the Sisters. Hamazura is your average Level 0 with good luck, fighting on the sidelines as part of Acacemy City’s dark side’s group ITEM. Misaka and Index play relatively small parts in this third season, both playing as support and captive respectively.

The last few episodes pretty much boiled down to everyone vs. Fiamma of the Right. With Touma using his two main abilities, Image Breaker and hero monologuing, he wins against Fiamma with relative minimal damage, even when his right arm was cut off. An expected outcome.

The third season of Index suffered greatly from trying to tell three main characters’ stories in each episode. Even if they separated and told a single character’s story in each episode, it still would come off as fragmented and disconnected to the story that’s happening at the same time for all of them. While I don’t have an idea on how they could have done the story more effectively, what I do know is that if they had the budget and time, aka more episodes to spread out the content, maybe we would of had more world building to help with the amount of religious/scientific terms that randomly comes up to explain certain phenomenon. If the source material (light novel/manga) can do it, so can a good anime adaptation. The end of the season hinted that there’s more to come in the story of A Certain Magical Index, but just like how long we waited for this season to come, it may be a few more years until we get more on screen. Hopefully the company producing the series will learn from mistakes to make the watching experience less complicated and more enticing.

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Watashi ni Tenshi ga Maiorita!

“One day, fifth-grader Hinata Hoshino brings her friend Hana Shirosaki to her house, and Hinata’s sister Miyako, a college student, falls in love with Hana at first sight. Miyako manages to get along with Hana somehow, but her clumsy behavior and shyness make Hana wary. Even so, Hana gradually opens up to Miyako, who wants to become closer to her.” – Synopsis via MAL.net

Basically Miyako aka Myaa-nee is a super shy person who likes to make cosplay and sweets. When meeting her sister Hinata’s friends, she learns to overcome her shyness a little bit at a time. This show is a sweet comedy, with Miyako acting as the sometimes creepy adult who admires a little girl a little too much. This show has been compared to UzaMaid!, albeit less cringeworthy due to less of an age gap and adult-like terminology. Besides Miyako’s obsession over Hana like Kamoi over Misha in UzaMaid!, Miyako has a “friend” who obsesses over her in the form of Matsumoto, just like Midori over Kamoi. Basically both shows have people who like a person too much that that person holds them at bay. Besides that it was a fun anime that I enjoyed watching Miyoko’s awkward shyness cause unwarranted problems.