It’s Fall 2017 and with the season changing comes new shows. I didn’t make a post for Anime Summer 2017, but that was because I simply found it overwhelming to do in addition to summer work, but this fall it’s different (even though I’m back to grad school life). So just as I did with Anime Spring 2017, I’ve watched one to three (though let’s face it, for most series it was only one–I’ve learned from last time) episodes for a few shows and then tell you whether they’ll be worth it or not, according to your tastes. Though let’s face it, the answer will always be that anime is trash (and there’s nothing wrong with loving trash). This time around I’ll be covering a lot of shows, and I’ll probably hate myself by the end of writing this blog. Fun.
Blend-S (one episode where I paid attention. another where I stopped caring and played video games)
So Blend-S is a cute little anime about a girl who wants to get a job in order to pay to study abroad. She’s very interested in non-Japanese culture. One of her flaws is that she unintentionally has sadistic qualities (how she smiles or offhandedly rejects people). She ends up working at a theme cafe where the theme is essentially your common anime female archetypes. So you’ll get your tsundere, your imouto archetype, your onee-chan archetype, and your sadistic archetype. It’s even covered in the opening. After watching the first two episodes I realized that this show wasn’t my cup of tea, but it can be yours. If you enjoy the bending of anime archetypes, since the characters portraying the archetypes in the cafe don’t genuinely act that way, and what to explore the complexities of our mainly female cast, or if you want an anime that’ll somewhat remind you of Working, than this show is probably for you. It’ll especially be your top pick if you just enjoy cute shows (which coincidentally, I don’t like them that much).
Sengoku Night Blood (one episode. I couldn’t anymore.)
So Sengoku Night Blood is a show about a high school girl who gets transported to another world. It’s another anime part of the subgenre of isekai (tl note: another world). There’ve been a lot of anime in this subgenre popping up, and in this series the world the girl is transported to is feudal Japan, and you might be asking, well how is that another world, and boy do I have the answer for you. Though the world is feudal Japan, it’s like a parallel version of it where all of your known Japanese historical figures are A) bishounen (pretty boys) and B) either vampires or people with cat/dog ears. It started to, for five seconds, remind me of Inuyasha, but then as I got further into the first episode I understood that it wasn’t. It plays out like many anime that cover feudal Japan in that there’s a war going on and you have to understand and get expository introductions to each faction of the war and all of the big players. What I was introduced to was a far too expansive cast, to the point that I couldn’t keep up with all of the names. And though I understood the premise and was pretty okay with it, I wondered how this could all keep up. How invested would I get for the characters? And as I looked at our main heroine, whose name I don’t remember, I wondered if at any point she’d have her own autonomy. With her blood being a major key, a boost, for Hideyoshi Toyotomi, I felt as though she’d get swept up in the action as a tool, rather than a player in this game. Hopefully in later episodes she would be an active participant, but for now I had to pass, because it felt like I was just watching feudal Japan’s version of Twilight with way too many characters.
But if you like feudal Japan, a massive cast of bishounen, or the sensation that you might be watching a dating sim, this show might be for you.
The Ancient Magus’ Bride (three enjoyable episodes)
It was October 7th. I wanted to watch a fight for the ages vesseled through a one hour special of Dragon Ball Super. That’s right. I had the intention of watching Goku vs Jiren, and the might of Ultra Instinct. And as I had naively come to CrunchyRoll’s site, believing I could watch the episode in peace, as if it wasn’t heavy in demand, as if the servers weren’t congested with traffic from many other unfortunate nerds who rapidly tapped their refreshes with the hope of watching the episode too, I kept getting this small strip of text on the site, suggesting for me to watch The Ancient Magus’ Bride. I had known of the manga, but had never read, though I knew it was good, and at that point when I read that small strip of text I yelled, not today CrunchyRoll! Not today. For I had a much loftier, action oriented, means of entertainment in my focus.
Anyways, fast forward to this week where I decide to cover this show for the blog, and this is an anime of the year candidate for me. This show is amazing. It’s about a fifteen year old girl named Chise who sold herself off as a slave, essentially, and was bought by an old creature that’s also a mage. Boom there ya go, it seems simple, but the amount of emotional conveyance in this series is amazing. The animation is off the chart and each episode feels like a small anime feature. If I were not to count the ending of episode two, I would say that this series feels like a collection of short stories. Each episode can stand on its own (so far), as we get tidbits of Chise’s past and get enveloped by the pure fantasy that’s contained in this world. And I love this show so much that I watched three episodes. I couldn’t stop watching and had to force myself to stop in order to cover the other shows. And what’s best about this show is that it balances the raw dramatic emotion with a sweetness that Chise dearly needs and episode three was simply magnificent. I mean you need to watch this show. Go and watch it. Drop what you’re doing and peep this piece of fantastic fantasy and artistic animation, so that you can finish episode one and say to yourself, this might be anime of the year.
Juni Taisen: Zodiac War (two episodes.)
When I saw the description of this series on anichart, I thought that this sounded eerily like Battle Royale or, even more recently, Mirai Nikki (but without the who concept of cellphones that told the future). And I thought that this would be your run of the mill action oriented anime. Though I was kind of right, I really enjoyed it, enough so to watch two episodes, and I might come back to it or binge on a day off. I enjoy that this show takes tries to balance out its cast and gives you the perspective and background of the various characters. It’s also a show with a mental level of screwed up and manipulation that many people can enjoy. The show gives you enough time with characters to start to feel invested or to know the character before ripping them away from you. And though I enjoyed that, I started to wonder how, if the show wants to give you the perspective of each character, many episodes would be needed for that. I mean there are twelve competitors and a competitor will probably die each episode, how much focus do you want to give to the people who’ll survive, and when will it feel kind of gimmicky when, if, the audience notices that episodes are given primary perspective focus to characters who’ll die that episode. Other than that it’s a show that doesn’t give a clear favorite or a clear main protagonist and that’s fun. People can pick who they want to survive and probably cry when they choose wrong. So if you enjoy well animated fights and battle royale-esque competitions, you should watch this show.
Dies irae (one and a half episodes.)
I didn’t know what to expect from Dies irae, and this might be my shortest entry in this blog, but I think I left the show a bit too early. I enjoyed the cast. And I enjoyed that pieces were being put into position for the narrative. I found myself laughing at the dynamic between our MC and the senpai character, but I don’t think I stayed with the show long enough to understand the full premise. It’s one of those kind of mysterious shows where the full narrative slowly reveals itself, but until you get to the revelations, you’re sort of lost for a moment. And as much as I cared for the cast, I didn’t enjoy the repeated use of dream sequences, and I believe that’s why I left an episode and half in. So if you enjoy more thought-oriented anime, you might enjoy this show, and maybe I’ll come back to it and give it another chance.
King’s Game (one and a half episodes)
I believe I might have read the manga for this show, though there’ve been a lot of manga based around the ousama game (by a lot I mean more than one), so maybe I haven’t. This show is about a boy who had already survived a previous King’s Game at his former school, and has to relive the experience as the King’s Game comes to his current one. Due to the experience of the former King’s Game he’s very reluctant to making new friendships and that’s rightfully so, but what I didn’t like about the first episode was that his new class believed he was behind the murders that happened in the first episode. I understand suspicion, but to take out half your class in under two hours and make it look like they all strangled themselves in their own rooms is kinda…sane people, even teenagers, shouldn’t somehow believe that one singular high schooler would be able to do that (even though we’re in a world where people die via disobeying the King’s Game). Another interesting point of this show is that it goes back and forth between our MC’s past experience of the King’s Game and the current one, which is a nice way of showing his character development, but I wonder why they hadn’t just made it so he was experiencing only one. I believe I stopped watching only for the sake of time, but it was interesting enough to keep me going. So if you enjoy psychological thrillers or the murder of high school kids (please only enjoy the previous, the latter is dangerous) then you should watch this show, but not emulate it in anyway.
A Sister’s All You Need (somehow one episode, and I don’t trust my morals because of it. feel like scum.)
It feels that every season we’re given a show that tries to one up itself in screwed-up-ed-ness. And A Sister’s All You Need in the same vein as OreImo or Ero-Manga Sensei is trying to be a trash contender. We have our light novel writing character who’s a siscon (but here’s the twist: he doesn’t have a sister). We have our perverted female. And we have our innocent younger sibling (but here’s the twist: the sibling isn’t a sister). And just from jump we are shown that this show is trash. Other series’ waited at least halfway into the first episode to hint to you that it was trash, but this just begins with it. The first scene is trash and continues to be so, with small hints of traumatic pasts. I watched this show, and though I didn’t feel like I needed a shower afterwards, I could feel the filth start to consume me. So if you enjoyed OreImo or Ero-Manga Sensei or maybe even Hajimete no Gal, you’ll probably enjoy this show. Just remember to watch it in a dim room where no one else can see you, unless you have no shame, which then good for you.
Shokugeki no Soma: The Third Plate (I read the manga. I didn’t even need to watch these episodes to tell you if you’d like this series, but I did anyway. also it’s the third season, so ya know if you like it or not by this point.)
It’s the third season of one of my favorite series, and I actually watched all five episodes that are out for this one, because I love myself some Soma. I wanted to watch also just to see how close to the anime the series is and though it’s not that close, we’re at a good point. The show’s just introduced the Elite Ten, and has shown the animated version of fan favorite, Rindou.
But also once you get past the Moon Festival (the first four and half episodes), you reach that good good. I mean it’s that greatness. You know how Katekyo Hitman Reborn seemed like a simple gag anime until Mukuro was involved (which if you don’t, that’s fine this is a dated reference), this show is about to shift from being an anime about high school kids that cook. And it’s going to be dramatic. And it’s going to be awesome. And you’re about to experience some very shounen-esque goodness along with superb cooking and foodgasms. Stay on this show if you were already watching, and if you haven’t, binge the first two seasons and know that at the end of episode five it gets real. Let me repeat, you’re about to get that good good. Stay tuned, my dudes and dudettes.
Black Clover (another case of reading the manga, so I watched the third and fourth episodes and skipped the first two.)
I’m up to date with the manga and was glad that it got an anime. I see that this show and the manga are under a lot of scrutiny because fans feel as though it’s a rip off of Naruto and other shounen series, but at this point I have to tell you, most shounen series are “rip offs”. They follow the same tropes. And do the same thing with their archetypal characters. Naruto did not invent the wheel. Character driven series focused on the development of two rivals with an overarching narrative was invented before 1999 (or ’97 if you want to talk about the pilot chapter). Naruto was just your first anime/ manga (or it wasn’t and if it wasn’t, why are you making this argument? is it cause it was the most prominent one you could think of?). I enjoy the manga a lot, but the anime suffers a bit due to execution. And by that I mean that Asta’s voice, when yelling, is like glass scratching against a chalkboard. Also that it’s kind of slow with its progression, but mainly the first point. Because I know how this show will go due to reading the manga, I can tell you with certainty that you’ll be entertained, but if you don’t enjoy annoying yelling or feel too much that the sacrament of shounen anime/ manga is being tainted by the show and it’s copied tactics, then this show might not be for you.
Other options that might before you, but that I didn’t feel like writing paragraphs for:
—Did you enjoy Kekkai Sensen season 1? Watch Kekkai Sensen season 2!
—Do you enjoy slightly artsy narrative driven pieces displaying the human experience? Watch Kino no Tabi! (also if you enjoyed the original series. ps. never talk to me about Mushishi, I will never watch that show).
—Did you like Made in Abyss and, though you know that nothing will ever touch you the way that series touched you, still want to seek a series that might remind you of it? Watch Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou
—Do you like Negima? Watch UQ Holder (I recommend it. it’s nice.).
—You enjoy your slapstick erotic humor? Watch, woo this is along title, Boku no Kanojo ga Majime Sugiru Shoujo Bitch na Ken!
—Enjoy small scale robot battles? Watch Robomasters The Animated Series!
—Enjoyed Boruto’s Dad Shippuden? Continue watching Boruto (I’ll continue recommending this show till it dies. He did a gale palm into a gentle fist strike in the most recent episode and I can’t get over it.)
Anyways have a great Anime Fall! I leave you with the opening to Shokugeki No Soma: The Third Plate. Later days.