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What Anime are you watching now?


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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

Over the last couple of weeks I watched the anime adaptations of Key VNs I hadn't seen yet, namely Air, Little Busters and Rewrite.

 

Air: This is the only one out of the three where I haven't read the VN so I can't really comment on how good of an adaption it is. What I can say is that I enjoyed it quite a lot despite the rushed pacing at times. I feel like three or four more episodes to properly establish the heroines and backstory could have worked wonders for its general quality because what is there in the anime is in no way weaker than Kanon imo except maybe for the one route by the guy who hasn't written anything since whose name I'm too lazy to look up. It's quite atmospheric and Air as a story feels like the logical link between Kanon and Clannad thematically. I get why it is the closest thing Key has to a "forgotten" VN, with the game being (and looking) quite old and the anime falling somewhat short of the amazing adaptations of Kanon (at least the one by KyoAni) and Clannad, but I'd still highly recommend checking it out.

 

Little Busters: Out of the VNs written by Maeda I think Little Busters is the hardest to adapt, mainly because of all the minigames that make up a lot of its charm that won't work as well in a linear medium. Considering that I thought the adaption was pretty solid even though the drop in production quality when compared to Kanon or Clannad is immediately noticable. I feel like they tweaked a few of the heroines' personalities a bit, sometimes for better (Kotomi), sometimes for worse (Haruka). Also some of the heroine routes were actually handled better in the anime than the VN, especially in Mio's case. And is it just me, or is there a lot more fanservice than in the KyoAni adaptations? I'm not fundamentally opposed to it, but in a couple of emotional scenes it got quite annoying.

 

Rewrite: I know this one is kind controversial, as it has an original route and is pretty obviously rushed trying to cut down an 80+ hours VN into 24 episodes. Despite that I think this version of Rewrite is probably close the best that's possible considering the restraints in terms of time and budget the studio apparently had to work with. Yes, the way they handle Lucia's and Shizuru's backstories is clunky, and the bad CG, animation and direction in some scenes when compared to others make it pretty obvious what parts of the anime they thought were important to get right and which ones not so much. But I think in terms of what Rewrite wants to convey as a story they did a solid job. The new route itself captures the spirit of the VN well enough and where they make changes to mechanics or personalities they are sensible. Would I recommend it someone who hasn't read the original? Still no. For that it's just moving through things way to fast to make sense of what's happening without prior knowledge. But I think it shows they consulted Tanaka Romeo for the new route and if you're looking for a somewhat different take on some material you already know, I think its worth checking out.

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3 hours ago, alpacaman said:

This is the only one out of the three where I haven't read the VN so I can't really comment on how good of an adaption it is.

Good enough, i believe. The two non-main girls' stories are a bit rushed, and I found the medieval part more enjoyable to read than to watch, but the other parts are exactly the same in both formats.

3 hours ago, alpacaman said:

And is it just me, or is there a lot more fanservice than in the KyoAni adaptations?

I haven't seen the first season of the anime, but, to be fair, LB! visual novel has some fanservice as well.

3 hours ago, alpacaman said:

Would I recommend it someone who hasn't read the original?

I watched some episode reviews on youtube as it was coming out, and some people literally couldn't understand what was happening in the later parts of the first season. 😄 I agree that this anime makes a nice addition to the VN if you read it, but I still consider it one of the worst anime I've ever watched. To be fair, I don't really watch bad anime.

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  • 1 month later...

So, signifying my return to life after a few months of physical and emotional misery (yay!), I've starting watching bottom-tier anime again. My first choice randomly became Monster Girl Doctor, which I downloaded before the anime-watching-break to my CR app and hey, it was way less terrible than I expected! As far as harem trash can be my guilty pleasure, it can become so juvenile and shallow that it gets irritating even as brainless time waster. This anime kept a surprisingly good balance of things: episodes that focus on medical cases rather than fanservice overload, heroines with decently defined personalities and standing in the show's world... We even don't focus on the cookie-cutter protag that much, with girls interacting with each other in meaningful ways and regularly getting some spotlight. More than that, there's some passable worldbuilding involving the city where humans and monsters live together after a long war between them, and there's a really good variety of non-human races represented.

Of course, it's still trash-tier (including cheap visuals and forgettable music) and can get obnoxious with its harem tropes, but I was surprised how the show maintained a nice, relaxing tone and decent pacing all throughout. Even the protagonist himself, as bland as he is, is less a clueless moron and more just too dedicated to his work to give much attention to the affection he gets. It's these kind of nuances that make the difference between unwatchable trash and arguably-enjoyable trash to me. :3 The final verdict is something like... 6,5/10? Quite watchable trash indeed!

Next I wanted to check out The Faraway Paladin, another show I downloaded and never got to watch. I initially heard some good things about it, but it apparently went downhill in a drastic fashion... I'm discussing internally whether it's a good reason to not watch it or exactly the reason to watch it ASAP. :P

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  • 3 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Anime Series Every Fan Should Be Binge-Watching Right Now

Death Note. Madhouse/NTV. "I think anyone who loves a good crime or police drama will really take to Death Note. ...

Attack on Titan. MBS. ...

Fullmetal Alchemist. JNN. ...

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. JNN. ...

Yuri!!! on Ice. Crunchyroll. ...

Naruto. TXN. ...

Fairy Tail. TXN. ...

Elfen Lied. AT-X.

 

 

 

 

krnt.run

myindigocard app

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  • 3 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

So, I was mostly cut from internet for a bit, but I've got some series downloaded on my tablet and ended up watching some... Interesting stuff.

First, The Irregular at Magic High School... What in the actual f***. I just can't get over how much this series destroys itself with its OP protagonist. Who (warning: SPOILERS!) starts as unassuming badass (more or less a Yuuji from Grisaia kind of character), but is quickly revealed to be:

- A master-class martial artist,

- World's best magic engineer,

- Literally immortal,

- Literally able to make and unmake things at will(!!!!),

- Able to heal and resurrect people with minor limitations,

- A living tactical nuke.

So, this literal living god is shunned by his magical clan because... He's not a "real" mage. Still, his power level manages to kill all tension and cohesion in the story, as there's no challenge that... Well, would actually be a challenge for him, and there's no stakes because he can repair anything. What a freakin' mess, wasting a ton of actually cool ideas and world-building (even if the latter is often done with awkward info-dumps). Also, the incest... Is so uncomfortable that it even makes a degenerate such as myself feel distaste.

With protag's powers scaled down, it would actually be pretty cool visual novel material, as a VN could do something meaningful with the imouto character and other heroines (who are, admittedly, mostly quite badass)... But as anime it's honestly atrocious. Although, I guess it looked and sounded good enough to keep me entertained at the very shallow levels. 6/10?

Speaking of shallow entertainment. I also checked two isekais I wanted to watch, A Farawar Paladin an In the Land of Leadale. The Paladin show got some really bad rap, but I feel a need to defend it to some extent. It's cheaply-produced and iterative, but there are details about it that I really, really like. It's an isekai with no romance or harem, where the protagonist becomes a champion and devoted follower of a mostly-neglected deity. Maybe I'm easily amused, but the way his motivations are presented (having vague memories of dying as a hikikomori and desperately trying to make this new life meaningful – and this really plays into his decisions, like rejecting the immortality of undeath) and some of the characters he meets really left me with an impression. For example, the Bishop, head of the church in the city the protag visits mid-season... He is presented as this boorish tyrant, considered corrupt and power hungry, in contrast to his deputy. However, his first interaction with the main character suggests that there's more to his... And later he has a pretty brilliant dialogue about why he doesn't use divine blessings in public. This is NOT the kind of writing I usually see in crappy isekais. I mean, the show is still quite full of cliches and rather heavy-handed drama, but it's not trash despite of what many reviews would suggest. 7/10

Leadale... Is much less surprising, but I also think it's a bit underrated. It's a feel-good, "finding family in another world" kind of show and... Well, it just delivers. It also treats the fantasy setting in a way I enjoy, for example showing the protagonist confronting with the fact that the world she messes with is no longer just a game and her actions has very real - and deadly - consequences. There's also the pretty weird idea that the protag starts the story already having NPC children (now all holding important position withing the world) she has to deal with. It's shallow and meandering, more or less as you would expect from this brand of isekai, but outside of the children characters being too one-note I can't see a reason to hate it. If you don't mind these "pointless" power fantasies, you'll get exactly what you're singed up for – and I imagine the weak reception it got is mostly due to general isekai attrition. 7/10 if you're the intended audience.

Now, I think I'll catch up with the second season of Restaurant to Another World, it's probably not healthy to just live off of amusing trash...

Edited by Plk_Lesiak
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7 hours ago, Plk_Lesiak said:

Leadale... Is much less surprising, but I also think it's a bit underrated. It's a feel-good, "finding family in another world" kind of show and... Well, it just delivers. It also treats the fantasy setting in a way I enjoy, for example showing the protagonist confronting with the fact that the world she messes with is no longer just a game and her actions has very real - and deadly - consequences. There's also the pretty weird idea that the protag starts the story already having NPC children (now all holding important position withing the world) she has to deal with. It's shallow and meandering, more or less as you would expect from this brand of isekai, but outside of the children characters being too one-note I can't see a reason to hate it. If you don't mind these "pointless" power fantasies, you'll get exactly what you're singed up for – and I imagine the weak reception it got is mostly due to general isekai attrition. 7/10 if you're the intended audience.

I've read a few volumes of the original LN. And it was kind of okay? Nothing particularly outstanding. Zero story to speak of. OP protagonist. But it also has none of these revolting elements so many other isekais have, and is kind of okay for a light read. I may continue with it eventually when I have nothing better to read.

Paladin LN, I believe, is quite well received, but I haven't read it.

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30 minutes ago, Dreamysyu said:

I've read a few volumes of the original LN. And it was kind of okay? Nothing particularly outstanding. Zero story to speak of. OP protagonist. But it also has none of these revolting elements so many other isekais have, and is kind of okay for a light read. I may continue with it eventually when I have nothing better to read.

I think at this point wholesome isekais with female protagonists are their own, major sub-genre and I'm haven't encountered one bad enough to not be enjoyable to me. It's just distilled relaxation, and there seems to be a decent market for them, considering some shows like Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear even get multiple seasons. At the same time, the absolute freakin' flood of isekais of all kind is a thing, so I understand why people get so sick of them and bash every show that doesn't introduce something fresh.

Quote

Paladin LN, I believe, is quite well received, but I haven't read it.

Aye, and funnily enough, I haven't really seen many opinions claiming the anime is a bad adaptation, apart from it having low production quality. The main criticisms sound... quite petty? Like, overfocusing on the visuals and clear inspirations from other series and only vaguely addressing the actual content. Once more, maybe it's a loud minority of people really fed up with iterative isekais? I sympathise, but in this case the bashing feels a bit misguided. 😆

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Posted (edited)
52 minutes ago, Plk_Lesiak said:

I think at this point wholesome isekais with female protagonists are their own, major sub-genre

Sure. And I generally find them pretty enjoyable. Though, I'd say Leadare is still on the weaker side there, because even among the other works in this sub-genre there's nothing that makes it stand out. I don't remember the comedy being particularly funny, and some scenes are outright cringy. The MC is nice, but somewhat bland, and the other characters are completely forgettable. It still works, somehow. Probably due to the comfy feeling it provides. 🙂

52 minutes ago, Plk_Lesiak said:

I'm haven't encountered one bad enough to not be enjoyable to me.

Well, it doesn't have an anime, but I'll Survive Making Potions (from the author of Didn't I Say to Make my Abilities Average?) went complete horseshit in volume 6, and it was bad enough to make me instantly drop all books from this author. :yumiko:

Spoiler

Basically, at some point in the story the MC gets stuck inside her own inventory for seventy years. It feels like an instance for her, but when she comes out of there, all of her acquaintances are either very old or dead. It all is played for laughs, and all of them lived good lives, but it made me feel very uncomfortable and anxious, and I don't think this kind of a plot twist is okay for a lighthearted comedy.

 

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14 hours ago, Dreamysyu said:

Well, it doesn't have an anime, but I'll Survive Making Potions (from the author of Didn't I Say to Make my Abilities Average?) went complete horseshit in volume 6, and it was bad enough to make me instantly drop all books from this author. :yumiko:

That's indeed not a great source of comfy vibes... :marie: It's good that Leadale's author had enough reason to couple the time skip with relevant characters being of the long-lived races. And you reminded me of the Average Abilities show that Poltroon recommended me to skip... From what I heard that might be an actual case of this brand of isekai being more annoying than relaxing.

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6 hours ago, Plk_Lesiak said:

And you reminded me of the Average Abilities show that Poltroon recommended me to skip... From what I heard that might be an actual case of this brand of isekai being more annoying than relaxing.

Well, the first 5-ish volumes of Average Abilities LN were actually pretty decent, imo. It's a rare "relaxing" isekai that actually has some semblance of character development, worldbuilding and overarching mystery. Though the development was extremely slow, and after 10 volumes it still got basically nowhere. The characters themselves are pretty colorful, and I didn't find them particularly annoying. Though nowadays I'm way more tired of these common isekai tropes, so there's a chance that if I read the story right now I would find them a lot more annoying. My problem with this story is that it didn't end while it was still good. Eventually it just starts getting boring, and the jokes start getting dumber and rather repetitive. The overarching mystery also gets nowhere. The author still manages to keep some level of quality, and it is still somewhat fun to read, but at some point I just stopped caring.

I tried watching a few episodes of the anime, and, honestly, it's hard for me to judge it since I've read the source material, but I didn't like it at all. It changed a lot compared to the source material, and while I don't think it's a problem, but I compared how some scenes were handled I couldn't help but feel that the LN version was better. For example, I recall there was a scene in the LN where the MC intentionally lost in a fight to seem weaker than she actually is, but her examiner still realized that she is a lot stronger than she pretends since she avoided all the blows that could hurt her. In the anime... she just snaps when someone calls her flat-chested and accidentally wins the fight. The Ln also has a lot of these types of jokes, but there were also some good ones. Though, I guess, this type of the anime is more similar in quality to the later volumes of the LN.

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On 6/7/2022 at 12:44 PM, Plk_Lesiak said:

That's indeed not a great source of comfy vibes... :marie: It's good that Leadale's author had enough reason to couple the time skip with relevant characters being of the long-lived races. And you reminded me of the Average Abilities show that Poltroon recommended me to skip... From what I heard that might be an actual case of this brand of isekai being more annoying than relaxing.

Did I? Last I recall about that show I found that the anime and LN seemed to diverge, and should be taken as such disparate experiences. Though in respect to the LN I agree with Dreamysyu here. It's well paced until it isn't anymore, at which point it's hard to just keep going.

The stuff I recall recommending against was actually the Bakarina light novels, as I find the anime works better as the medium.

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On 6/9/2022 at 2:56 PM, Mr Poltroon said:

Did I? Last I recall about that show I found that the anime and LN seemed to diverge, and should be taken as such disparate experiences. Though in respect to the LN I agree with Dreamysyu here. It's well paced until it isn't anymore, at which point it's hard to just keep going.

The stuff I recall recommending against was actually the Bakarina light novels, as I find the anime works better as the medium.

Riiiight, I think it was more what you told about the anime that made me feel I shouldn't watch it. Subtle differences. :3

Anyway, managed to catch up on some more of my watch-to list over the last week (including a bit of binging over the weekend) and none of it was trash! How weird.

So, a very positive surprise was I Can't Understand What My Husband Is Saying, a comedy short about a young marriage between an otaku and a normie. You wouldn't expect an anime with 3 minute, gag-filled episodes to have much substance, but damn, it's such an on-point portrayal of young adult relationships. And on top of that, it's really good at tackling adult themes, including sex, in an unpretentious way. It's already refreshing to see a series that escapes the eternal high school drama hell, but even more fun to see a comedy created obviously for mature audiences (in the sense of relating to their life experiences, not being explicit in any way). You can finish both seasons in under two hours, but it condenses a lot of enjoyment within that runtime. 8/10.

Restaurant to Another World 2 is, well... More Restaurant to Another World. Wholesome food porn mixed with fantasy, purely episodic, relaxed and inescapably making you hungry with every eating scene. It looks even better than the prequel and, despite of what I just said, manages to slowly build up its lore into a more cohesive vision of the fantasy world the restaurant is connected to, and does a bit more with interactions between patrons. What it culminates with, I won't spoil, but it's obviously wholesome and pleasant. If you're looking for low-stakes chill, definitely another 8/10.

And then, Kobayashi's Dragon Maid Season 2... I think deep inside I was a bit scared of watching this one, pushing it for later all the time, as the first season is one of my most beloved pieces of anime. The second season is still REALLY GOOD and in some ways it improves on the original, but I'm slightly conflicted about it. For the positives, it tones down the fanservice a bit, especially the cursed Lucoa/Shouta sexual harassment "gags" and delves a lot deeper into the backstory of Tohru and her world. The problem is, it adds things like massive retrospective arc between Tohru and Elma, showing a very complex and deep relationship between them... But it's on the level that is a bit hard to reconcile with what the show offered earlier and the tone of the comedic interactions. Same goes for what we learn about Tohru herself... It's something that makes sense "on paper", but not something I fully buy after what we learned from her behaviour so far. It very much feels like things the writer of the source material came up with on the fly, rather than properly foreshadowed character development. And of course, the yuri stays just as vague and one-sided as ever (with obligatory arc teasing some development and bailing on it at the end of the season, as apparently every anime has to outside of those 4-5 actual yuri ones in existence). And as the last nitpick, I don't think this season had truly epic, hard-hitting moments, on the level of the fight between Tohru and her father. It's even more of whimsical slice-of-life series, but on the other hand, still a fantastic one, with on-point comedy and wonderful relaxation factor. 9/10. Also, little dragon Tohru just melted my heart and there's no coming back from that:

5LYzTBVoS196gvYvw3zjwAfO38z-WRN5t_Fa_pAHLJk

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey, I've got to watch a few interesting ones while dying from the absolute insane heat that came to Poland right now.

Finally, I've started catching up on Studio Ghibli movies, starting with Spirited Away and Howl's Moving Castle. Was pretty surprised with how whimsical and meandering Miyazaki's movies can be – it's a very different vibe than what I'm used to with serialized anime and movies that tie into those. There's a lot of beauty and wonder in those worlds, but not necessarily much "worldbuilding" or solid plotlines. More symbolism/alegorical stuff than just stories, which I guess put those two closer to classic fairy tales than to what anime usually is today. Also, it was interesting to see what a harrowing anti-war movie Howl's Castle was, with the motiff of chaotic lashing out against the injustice of it all. Easy to see how it was inspired by the Iraq War, I remember quite well the feeling of horror and powerlessness while my country jumped into the US' bandwagon back then. What seems a bit weird to me is to see how many people miss the fact that the whole story feeds into those themes, the absurdity of war and saving your own humanity in the face of conflict you are powerless to stop. Both movies are 9/10 for me, masterpieces mostly in the visuals/craftsmanship department, with actual storylines being on the weaker side, but overall very compelling.

Than, going back to trash-tier stuff... Wataten. The "creepy lolicon onee-san crushes on a 10-year old girl" show. I skipped on it when it aired, as the concept seemed irredeemable, but then saw relatively positive reviews, and... Well, it's not that bad, to be honest. It's definitely a show about a lolicon, and she is very much a creep, but the way the series handles the underage characters is surprisingly not lolicon bait. Pretty much devoid of fanservice and constantly calling out how inappropriate the main character's behavior is. The comedy it also quite solid, with gags being creative and not becoming overly formulaic throughout the season. Honestly, it's way better than it had any right to be. Still a bit creepy though and labeling it as yuri kind of made it feel worse than it was (there is some very subtle subtext between the girls, but the "main" romance is so one-sided and farcical, the categorization hardly applies). 7,5/10?

And ending with something recent, Don't Hurt Me, My Healer!... Is actually a decent gag comedy, that got me curious for receiving absolutely HOSTILE reception at first. It seems if someone doesn't like this kind of humour, it really rubs them the wrong way. It's a story about a dark elven "healer" who forms a party with a trash-tier warrior to mercilessly troll both him and everyone they meet along the way. It's kind of dumb, but also kind of brilliant – a pairing of a Don Kichot-like loser high on heroic tales and a borderline-malicious weirdo, in a world that mostly moved past the conflicts they could be useful for. Monsters just mind their own business, quests are trivial, and Karla, the "healer", usually seems to be the most dangerous thing around. Apparently "useless" at first, over time she's shows to be pretty powerful with different kinds of magic, including healing spells. She just can't be bothered to use any of it properly... Because where's the fun in that? Overall, a decent, absurd gag comedy with a tendency to subvert fantasy tropes in a fun way. 7/10

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  • 3 weeks later...

Is it legal to praise Crunchyroll on the internet? Not only is their library in my region steadily improving, they also cut the subscription costs heavily for regions without access to their full catalogue. I don't feel bad about giving them money for the first time in years... :P

Anyway, got through some fun stuff lately! Continuing with Studio Ghibli, I've seen the legendary My Neighbour Totoro and while I understand it's a kids' movie, boy was it not for me in any way. It was mostly just two small girls screeching in headacke-inducing manner and a tiny bit of whimsical fantasy stuff that didn't amount to much overall. A beautiful thing visually-speaking and the main themes were nice, but while I'm very tolerant to narrative emptiness, this movie was a narrative void for most of the time and managed to tire me out in record time (it's actually short, especially if you exclude the OP and ED songs, but did so little in its runtime it was kind of sad...). 6,5/10?

On the other hand, Princess Mononoke is a genuine masterpiece. Miyazaki definitely has his taste for environmentalist messages, but I really loved how it was delivered here, without demonizing either side or providing some overly-convenient resolution. It's also way more focused and intense than all of the Ghibli films I've seen so far, beautifully balancing the personal journey of Ashitaka and the grand conflict he's trying to mediate in. The environments and music are also spectacular, obviously not on Spirited Away or Hawl's Castle levels of refinement, but incredible for its time. With no nostalgia for Ghibli movies, this is the one that fully convinced me that Miyazaki's fame is not just all hype - basically flawless, considering what can be done with this formula. 10/10

Coming back to modern stuff, I've dug out an obscure fantasy show that really fits my tastes... At least in theory. Banished from the Hero's Party is basically all ingredients I love mixed in a very sloppy fashion. A story of two outcasts once involved in the god-chosen hero's quest to save the world, but now pushed aside and trying to find a place for themselves at the fringes of the civilized world. The protagonist is Hero's older brother, who fell behind the rest for the party in martial prowess and was convinced to leave, faking his death. On his exile he's reunited with a Princess of a militaristic kingdom, who once fought alongside the hero's party, but was forced to leave her country due to a succession dispute, becoming an adventurer. Determined to leave their pasts behind and create a new, quiet life, they try to settle down, but their pasts slowly catch up to them...

The whole thing is mostly a slow-burn romance story set in a fantasy world with bullshit RPG rules... But in abstraction, I love pretty much every idea and major plot element behind it. It even manages to build up and resolve a really complex conflict around the hero within 13 episodes, without really feeling rushed or creating too many obvious plotholes. It's just... Not that well written on scene-to-scene basis. The dialogue is clunky, the romance overly juvenile for who the main characters are... It just always slips away from being that perfect chill fantasy series I'm always looking for. Still, it's IMO quite underrated - 7/10.

Than, Moonlit Fantasy is such a weird, contradictory spin on isekai. Basically a combination of Konosuba (a protagonist rudely dismissed by a Goddess and cursed to be a pariah among other humans) and the Slime anime (building a nation of non-humans on the fringes of civilized world), but one that transforms from near pure comedy at first to VERY REAL at the end of the season. It might seem weird/impossible to justify on paper, but it's a really interesting form of story progression. The protagonist's journey starts whimsical and chaotic, with his incredible powers kind of auto-piloting him through various challenges... But than, as he gains influence and builds a domain of his own, he's tragically reminded of the responsibilities he bears. It all begins as a farce, as it looks ridiculous and random from his perspective, but the show is shockingly consistent in building up towards something, unlike most cheap isekais that kind of just flow pointlessly - it matures in tone as the protagonist himself is forced to mature to build a future for himself and those that rely on him.

I thought it would just be a parody series after the first episode, but the story turned out quite solid by the end and I'm really interested in what the second season is going to show, as the foundation set here is really good and the source material seems highly-rated. 8/10 :)

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  • 3 weeks later...

I've been watching plain unhealthy amounts of anime lately, both by myself and with my GF... Not all of it worth talking about, but there were a few interesting ones too.

First, the amusing disasters. Psychic Wars and Dark Cat are two legendarily bad old anime movies and both are hilarious in their own ways. Psychic Wars is a story of a surgeon that becomes magical shinto superman and punches demons. It's also so horribly edited it's barely comprehensible and the fight scenes are so dumb and cliched I nearly died from laughter on a few occasions. Utterly horrible and taking itself so seriously it's histerical. 1/10, highly recommended.

Dark Cat is a story of two magical shapeshifting brothers fighting demons straight out of Maggot Baits. I'm not even joking, it's an unironic mix of Saturday morning cartoon (the dialogue, the villain and general story setup) and visuals straight out of guro hentai. Also, it was dubbed by a hentai company completely clueless on how to deal with proper anime and the dub is the only version I was able to find online. Quite a glorious combination.

Also, I think Big Order is absolutely hilarious too. I understand that people watching it expecting anything half decent were extremely upset, but the kitsch postapocalyptic world, stupid edgy protagonist, chaotic storytelling, awful CGI and bonkers fanservice wasting tons of already too-limited runtime are an incredible mix. When it goes to full series anime, I haven't seen anything this comically inept since Hand Shakers, which means Big Order too will hold a very special place in my heart.

When it goes to more ambivalent stuff, Elaina's Journey was quite a letdown for me... Really weird anime when it goes to tone and pacing. The idea of somewhat aimlessly exploring a vast fantasy world is definitely my jam, but the morals and structure of the story are arguably awful. Elaina is theoretically taught early on that despite her powers as a talented witch she's just one person and it's not her role to save the world... But there's no consistency whatsoever in what she does. She can be passive when all she needed to do is say something (the early episode about a slave is particularly jarring, with Elaina narrating the problem to the audience but not doing anything at all), or get herself in life-or-death situations without much need... It's just bad writing. It's also not the kind of travelling anime that focuses a lot on the episodic stuff and slowly develops the protagonist in subtle ways... It establishes Elaina as this rather obnoxious brat, gives her tons of screentime and doesn't make her grow in any meaningful way. On moment-to-moment basis, the anime isn't exactly awful, but as a whole, it was very meh... 6/10.

Adachi and Shimamura, the adaptation of one of the most-celebrated yuri LNs... Is pretty solid but also very much hurt by being a single season affair. It establishes the characters quite well, but never gets to the point that could be described as payoff by any reasonable definition – it'd either need to be a 24 episode anime for that, or at least 13 episode one with a movie/long OVA. With the 12 we've got... I kind of understand why it's rated so low. You have Adachi, who is isolated and extremely awkward, which turns her into a walking dumpster fire when she has to confront with her feeling for Shimamura and realization of being gay. The main content of the anime is her suffering through episodes of gay panic, and Shimamura being confused with what's happening. A rather tropy affair, but not something I'd label "unrealistic" or "bad" by any measure.

Shimamura is maybe the more interesting part of the story, as she is much better adapted than Adachi, but also having her own set of issues. She's a kind of person that lost her way, not being motivated to do much and just going with the flow most of the time. Her social interactions are mostly empty pleasantries, she cannot dedicate herself to her studies, doesn't have meaningful hobbies... When she meets Adachi while they're both skipping classes she doesn't give much thought to the time they spend together. She has a hard time deciphering the ever-increasing attention she's getting from Adachi and her drive to deepen the relationship. It takes a lot of time and minor subplots for her to start noticing that there's something different about their bond and what it could bloom into... But you don't get to see much of that, as the anime just ends.

Some people complain that the relationship dynamic in this anime is unhealthy, but hell, it's not like people only get together in a well-adjusted and straightforward fashion. The real problem is that the series do not get to the point where they work through their issues. Also, fuck, gay dating must be scary with all the ambiguity and the low chance of your random crush being available, and in an environment like Japan it must be a nightmare. Still, the series has a lot of warmth, hopefulness and excellent attention to detail. I wish there'd be enough of it to give anime viewers closure, but still, I'll give it 8/10.

Oh, and I finally restarted watching Kaguya-sama, which I paused early in the second season. I easily get burned out on romcoms because unless they are short and close-ended stories, the just never move forward and never give you a resolution. The only way that can be tolerable is if the comedy or writing in general is really that good... And while I still probably needed that break, Kaguya-sama is just excellent enough of a comedy to justify narratively standing still and just having fun. Shame that we'll probably only get a proper conclusion in the upcoming movie and not the season 3 finale (I'm in the middle of season 3 now)? Still, hard to dispute the universal acclaim it gets. It's just so full of fun and charm, it's hard not to love it.

Edited by Plk_Lesiak
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1 hour ago, Dreamysyu said:

Yeah, I've seen some similar criticism for the LN. I used to interested in this title, but these points make me think that it's probably not worth watching/reading.

The incessant yuri baiting (with your typical "weird girl obsessively in love with the protagonist" trope) likely didn't endear me to it either... But yeah, I don't think I'd recommend it to anyone, the ratings it gets are generally high, but it falls apart if you actually pay attention to what the episodic stories show you. Plus the tone shifts in some of them are borderline-comical and the show hardly earns the really heavy drama it occasionally tries to pull off.

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