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Iaboo, Youaboo, Weallaboo for Anime!

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
The season is winding down. I have to say, there are a lot of decent sleepers this season. Appare Ran-Man didn't do any wheel re-invention but it remained a fun ride throughout with enjoyable characters, even if the main villain was not all that interesting. The reveal of the mystery at the end of Millionaire Detective was genuinely surprising and it was a slick, fun breeze of a show. Olympia Kyklos remained hilariously delightful.

The weaker shows of the season I ended up watching all the way through were probably No Guns Life and God of High School. The former just turned into kind of a drag and my enjoyment of both noir and shounen action did nothing to make me more excited for me. Didn't help that entire "comedy" episode revolved around a creep with x-ray vision. God of High School began with a promising first episode. It promised it would be dumb, slickly animated and funny. But it didn't keep up with the last promise and became pretty generic, and then over the top in a way that could have been stupid fun with meteor summons and winged babies but has been a mix of not fun enough, not funny enough and incomprehensible. And I guess there's one more episode of that.

Fruits Basket was good throughout but it seemed to think I would be more shocked by its reveal than I was, but I guess I should be thankful that it reads less like possessive gay villain now. Ahiru no Sora remained a competent sports show. Pretty bold to make it this far to the end of the series and not let the characters win ANY games. Like, I was pretty sure this is where they were heading but we've hit this beat many times by now and was ready to move on after the last time.

I've been watching the Netflix Baki show, which was not a wise decision. It is the most Dad anime I've ever seen in my life, full of middle aged or older men doing the craziest shit imaginable, all written from an author that I cannot believe has ever seen two real humans fight each other. I've seen six episodes and Baki hasn't fought a single guy! It's just fights between Karate Dad's and a giant 19 year old gangster who survived a half dozen gunshots and his mouth exploding from chomping down on a handful of bullets.
Yeah, the structure of the narrative feels more like the creator wanting to show off all the characters from the previous series but I don't think the Baki the Grappler anime made waves like the manga did so people coming into it keep getting surprise guest stars whom they don't know who they are or why they should be surprised when they show up.
 

Zef

Find Your Reason
(He/Him)
I don't know why I always thought Yashahime - Half-Demon Princess would be a movie, or an OAV at most, but nope, seems to be a full-fledged TV-length series (even if it's technically streaming first.) Episode 1 was... fine. Fine. It's fine! It's fine. It's a fine episode to catch up with the Inuyasha crew and hint at the new protagonists. The OP is a mess of action scenes barely threaded together with a title song to match (disappointing since the original IY songs are some of my favorites) and the animation of the actual episode is choppy and often off-model. Since all fans watching this already knows the basics of the premise, and anyone new to the series would just be confused further by the episode spending so much time catching up with the gang without re-introducing them, I would have rather had the narrative start with Towa in present day at the Higurashi home, and THEN do the Sengoku isekai bit where she has to get her bearings... but maybe they started in medias res with her already acquainted with Setsuna and Moroha precisely to avoid the isekai comparisons. At any rate, hopefully episode 2 fixes 1's stilted pacing and rushed plot progression.

OK yeah, thinking about it more, this episode was aimed exclusively at pre-existing fans of Inuyasha. On its own merits, if I had never watched the previous series or had only heard about it and wanted to start with this one, it would have been a rather underwhelming first impression. Here's hoping the series gives its central characters room to breathe and grow; it's rare to see multiple female leads in an action show, let alone in a non-sexualized way.
 
Last edited:
Yashahime - Half-Demon Princess
I watched this and... I'm in love! Zef I think your criticisms aren't invalid/wrong, but they're also probably coming from a place of high expectations and fond memories. The first episode looked fine. This isn't a prestige anime (Inuyasha never was) and it looks on par with a lot of mid-tier contemporary shows that get made these days, and the OP isn't any more or less of a visual mess than most Inuyasha OPs; I actually think it does a good job of telling us as an audience who these new characters are as well. Not a huge fan of the song though, personally.

The episode itself nailed everything that it needed to. Everything looks and sound just like I remember. (Except Miroku, who got recast on account of the original Seiyu dying a few years back.) Lots of warm fuzzy feelings here. The plot of the episode itself (the Inuyasha/Kagome bits at least) is IIRC actually just from a bonus epilogue manga chapter done for charity in the wake of the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake. It's a nice bridge for what's to come, and it's also cool to see this lost chapter from the original manga get animated finally.

The new Yashahimes themselves are delightful, even if we haven't seen much of them yet. Inuyasha & Kagome's daughter sounds exactly like you would expect, and the main character is this wonderful mix of the softness that is Sesshoumaru, with a touch of Kagome's brash, modern sensibilities. The third Yashahime seems more like her father, and seems to more take after Kohaku in style and demeanor. (Which makes sense, since IIRC she's Kohaku's disciple.)

I'm super excited for where this show will go next, and also pretty stoked just in general about the potential flow of the show. Since Rumiko Takahashi shows usually in the past always have to deal with being a manga-adaptation, and all the baggage that entails, it's gonna be fun to see what a show of her's looks like when it's made as an original TV show and doesn't have to worry about things like stretching out source material or having to adjust scenes/dialog from the manga to work in animated form.

seems to be a full-fledged TV-length series (even if it's technically streaming first.)
Just to clear up a small misconception here, that's not what's happening. It's being "simulcast" - which typically means it hits our streams on roughly the same timeframe as it hits Japanese TV, usually with at least an hour delay or so to give Japanese TV stations a small window of exclusivity. Yashahime is scheduled to go live on streams at 6am EST on Saturdays, but it aired on Japanese TV at 5:30pm, which translates to 4:30am EST.
 

q 3

Posts: 181,942
(they/them)
Wandering Witch seems quite promising, nice to look at, a rare premise these days, already more thoughtful than Kino's Journey, and the original author knows what's what.

Talentless Nana may or may not be watching past the first episode, but the first episode is definitely worth watching unspoiled. It's already healed my soul from the wound inflicted by Danganronpa V3.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
Another season another batch of first episodes for me to discuss. I’m going to say that when looking at what was coming out this season, I was initially disappointed. I mean, part of me likes a bit of a fallow season so that I can catch up on other things but there are very few new shows I’m looking forward to with great anticipation. I’m hyped for more Haikyu!! (the first episode of the new season was good stuff) and Golden Kamuy (YES!!!!) but while there were some I thought would be interesting, I felt let down thumbing through the previews. But having watched a bunch of episodes, the season so far looks, though not amazing, very solid. And maybe this time of year, we need some solid feel-good shows. Only two of these shows I will not continue and only one do I have an overtly negative review for. It didn’t even make me angry or anything, just a deep disinterest. So lets get started!

Majo no Tabitabi

AKA

Wandering Witch




Premise

In a fantasy world, a girl named Elaina dreams of growing up to become a witch and at age 13 she does just that, becoming the youngest witch ever to graduate her witch finals. However, once she does, she finds no one wants to take her in as an apprentice. The only witch she can find is a spacy, free-spirited witch who seems more interested in being pampered and spoiled than teaching Elaina anything. After a month of chores, Elaina finally stands up for herself and her mentor reveals she was paid money by Elaina’s parents to take her in and not teach her anything because apparently they SUCK. Her mentor eventually teaches Elaina both magic and to be more assertive and the episode ends with the two going their separate ways and Elaina becoming a wandering witch.

It gud?

It pleasant. Quite pleasant. Animation wise and tone this feels like a slightly less-melancholy version of Somali and the Forest Spirit in that it is a fantasy story and though we see our hero learning some combat magic, I get the impression our hero isn’t going to wander the world beating up magic jerks and more travelling to make friends, learn about other peoples and cultures and improve her magic game. It appears to be a slice of life fantasy adventure.

The animation is nice but not incredibly amazing or anything. I find a lot of the lower key fantasy series like Somali and Ascendance of a Bookworm have a look that is very polished but not very ambitious. That said, despite the fact that I don’t expect this to be a fight-centric series, there is a pretty impressive fight set piece at the end of act two that looked pretty darn impressive. I expect we will get a few more of those (maybe more in the form of “rescues”) but I suspect more of the series will look pretty but more conventional going forward.

Conventional is a term I’ll be using a lot for this show and a lot of shows this season (though there’s one show the word won’t go ANYWHERE NEAR) and that extends to the characters. The lead here feels like a traditional read for a slice-of-life fantasy: she is naïve but intelligent and wants to learn and I suspect meet knew people and solve their problems. Her mentor is sweet but a bit silly. Still, underneath there’s compassion and love. But its all a comforting sort of conventional and while I don’t see myself raving about the show, I see myself enjoying returning to a pleasant little world of magic and optimism

Yashahime



Premise

To rework a bit from Ron Funches:

“Not everyone knows Yashahime. Everyone knows Inuyasha. Inuyasha fucked and had babies. They gave the babies a show.”

It gud?

If you like Inuyasha, the first episode is… just an Inuyasha. My personal feelings on Inuyasha is as such. I liked Inuyasha but I never loved it. And I got pretty tired of the show spinning its wheels. Then when the show ended, I decided to read the manga. Turns out even without filler, it tended to have a similar problem. But when it decided to, it could be good. I liked the ending, I guess. But I wasn’t particularly excited for more Inuyasha.

The first episode is a completely competent random episode of Inuyasha. It’s a real “monster of the week” story, with hints that said monster may actually be a bigger, more long term threat than he initially appears (or perhaps will awaken a more long term threat). The episode certainly takes place after Inuyasha the show but the dynamics are mostly the same. There are hints that the two leads are both maturing but it’s a good thing the characters noted it because it barely registered for me.

The show definitely wants to count on you being a fan of the old show. The music is the same and though the animation is more polished, it feels like it is meant to be contiguous with the old show (am I using the word right?), like Dragonball Super. Unlike Dragonball Super, while nostalgia will be key, it looks like its going to be an all-new cast, who bookend the show. We don’t get into their backstory but it certainly implies there is more going on than “raised by Inuyasha and Kagome” as one seems to have been living in the contemporary present while the others have lived in the feudal era. I mean, I think they are all Inuyasha and Kagome’s kids. One could be Sesshomaru and Jaken’s kid.

Anyway, it feels a bit early to say. I don’t mind watching more Inuyasha but its clear with a new cast there will be new dynamics, even if the show is clearly trying to echo the old with the intro promising a girl Shippou joining the cast. As JBear pointed out, weirdly the most nostalgic part of the show isn’t the music or familiar plot beats, it’s the moments after the OP and ED where there’s an image or clip with the music where the sponsors would go.


Sport Climbing Girls



Premise

A girl goes to a new school and wants to join a club but finds many not her speed. That is, until she finds a rock climbing wall for the climbing club. She tries it out and does very well for a beginning but irritates another student by calling it a “game” and is challenged to climb a wall or not join the club. She uses her wits to making a good showing at the challenge and though she loses, she stays in the club and her strategic skill is acknowledged.

It Gud?

Its not nearly the bad show I thought it was going to be. See, the preview made the show look quite horny, with some butt and down the shirt shots of the girls climbing. The only reason I watched the first episode is that it also looked like there was some silly conceit in the preview that the characters would metaphorically turn into animals. But neither the horniness nor the weirdness came up in the episode. Instead, it was simply a competent climbing anime. The characters are pretty rote but it made the sport look fun, interesting and deep, which I think is key. However, I feel like the show has one similarity to the much better animated Hanebado!; I think it is a show that it not horny in most respects but has an occasionally male gaze-y camera, which it really doesn’t need.

Other than that? The challenge that the main character receives is really dumb. The character challenges a newcomer to a duel for having the audacity to call a sport a game and not being into it as much as her. I can rationalize this pretty easily with classic teenage snotiness and gatekeeperism but it definitely feels like a silly escalation of events in order to add stakes to the plot and a real challenge to our hero. And its strongly hinted there is something of a club member deficit, so maybe don’t scare off club members!

Anyway, its not a bad show… yet. Maybe the gaze-cam implied by the preview will get worse in subsequent episodes rather than being relatively subtle as it is here. However, it is also not particularly interesting as these things go and I don’t have a particularly strong drive to watch more. The animation is serviceable, the story telling is generic and the characters are… also generic. It doesn’t really click as a show I really need any more of. But it was a pleasant enough diversion and it did make rock climbing look like an interesting sport. I’ve seen shows fail before, like Hinamaru Sumo for the sport of sumo and Kamogawa Jet Girls for the sport of shooting each other in the vagina while riding on jet skis.

Jujutsu Kaisen



Premise

Yūji Itadori is an unusually strong kid, easily able to break world records of physical feats. But the only club he wants to join is the Occult Club because they don’t mind him going to visit his grandfather in the hospital. After his grandfather dies of natural causes, a mysterious fellow student approaches Itadori and reveals that schools generally have cursed items to ward off evil and that their school’s item, a powerful severed finger, is missing. Turns out his club borrowed it to exam it… and unleashed evil “curses”, monsters born of human suffering. Itadori and the other kid race to school to save his friends but ends up swallowing the finger and becoming possessed by an ancient evil. But what the evil doesn’t expect is that Itadori is so friggin’ strong, he can actually still control his body with relative ease. Now the entity and Itadori presumably are going to reluctantly team up for some monster hunting.

It Gud?

This reminds me of Demon Slayer. Demon Slayer’s first episode told a fairly traditional shounen battler set up story but with extremely nice animation and telling the story very well. Though Jujutsu Kaisen isn’t quite as impressive in terms of animation, it is still one of the best looking shows this season, stem to stern. The story itself, like Demon Slayer, in no way adds nothing new to the supernatural shounen horror action genre but the lead is likable, his friends are fun and the humour generally works pretty well.

I don’t expect our show will give our hero much time to breathe before flinging him headlong into a larger mythology with action and factions and non-stop fights and exposition. But I really do hope they take the time to focus on the fact that our lead is in a very sad situation. He just lost his one parental figure and I hope we get a bit of weight to the loss going forward and the idea that our hero might have great friends old and new but must go home to an empty house. I don’t expect this to happen but it would add some pathos to a character whose life is about to become a series of battles against monsters and, if previous shounen is any indication, quirky humanoid villains.

JBear also pointed out the series emotional crux might take a lot from Ushio and Tora and very early Inuyasha were the hero’s partner is a monster who would supposedly murder everyone they wanted if not for the fact that they have something that restrains them and forces them to behave and fight against demons and monsters and such. My hope is that in the first two examples, those characters are mostly talk (Tora won’t shut up about eating people but he clearly isn’t gonna) but maybe this creature in the lead is a genuinely threat that our hero must fight against before it gets humanized. It you are looking for a fun and beautifully animated shounen action series, you can do worse than this.

But I will say, it won’t be your only choice…

Dragon Quest: The Adventures of Dai



Premise

In a fantasy world (specifically the Dragon Quest one, which is probably obvious at this point), a boy named Dai was raised by monsters on a remote island. One monster, Lump Elder, wants Dai to grow up to be a mage but Dai wants to be a full on capital H Hero. When a bunch of adventurers land on the island, Dai greats them but they soon reveal themselves to be villains, stealing Dai’s best friend Golden Metal Slime (or Gome-Chan for short). Dai rescues the slime from being sold to a king and the king is so impressed with Dai’s heroism that he gives him some sort of hero crown.

It gud?

In many ways, it doesn’t get more basic than this. While Jujutsu Kaisen was based on a modern manga, The Adventures of Dai is an adaptation of a manga from the late 80s. I’ve actually read all of it and it is the platonic ideal of a late 80s/early 90s manga. Its not terrible complicated but it is still a fun read with bad guys turning good after getting beaten up and characters fighting in epically long battles. Since this seems to be a very direct adaptation, I suspect there’s no reason for the show to change much and I’m sure the appeal is seeing the show become completed in anime form for the first time (there was an anime but it was only 30-some episodes, I think). So if you are looking for something different from a shounen manga, you’ve come to the wrong place.

But that’s not a complaint. It’s a comforting adventure show in that respect and the animation is largely quite good. The one downside in the show is the very low-rent CG animation that’s being used for the monsters. It looks not much different than a show from at least a decade before in that respect and with so much work getting into it, it’s a shame we are stuck with somewhat shoddy looking monsters.

Nonetheless, I’m looking forward to seeing the show completed for the first time. I always look forward to when an older series gets adapted. That often (though definitely not always) are better looking series and in terms of pacing it seems like it is easier for them to gauge what that should look like, with no worries of catching up to the source material. Note that this isn’t always true. There was a Hoshin Engi series from a few years back that was apparently a mess and a recent Cooking Master Boy series that was hurting its already silly source material with a weak adaptation. But this looks really promising in that regard with some nice animation from Toei. I don’t know yet if they’ll break it up into seasons. If they don’t, I foresee some places where it looks a little weaker for budgetary and time constraint reasons. Hopefully it will all come out looking nice.

Rail Romanesque



Premise

So some “Raillord”, who are adorable girl conductors have some sort of conference.

It gud?

This is easily the worst thing I’ve watched this season. Not, I can’t even call it bad. I just… don’t get it? I feel like apart from looking at adorable little girls in conductor outfits, I’m not sure what this is. I feel like it requires me to be something of a train nerd to get it what they are referencing and how all these train girls might have different personalities reflective of the real world trains they might represent. But I think even then you need to be on some specific venn diagram of really being into both trains and kawaii for this to work. The jokes don’t seem to land and are dependent on the adorableness of the joke makers. At five minutes, this one is far too long.



With a Cat and a Dog, Every Day is Fun



Premise

A cartoonist owns a dog. She also owns a cat.

It gud?

I mean, it makes me smile. Its also so short that Bananya feels like the Irishman in comparison. Each episode is 1 minute and thirty seconds long, including end credits. The humor comes from the personalities of the pets which are pretty basic dog/cat personalities: the dog is endlessly optimistic and friendly and the cat is full of rage. The formula seems the same: the cartoonist notices her dog being silly and finding the beauty in it. The cat is less impressed and then we see a giant photo of a cat in the back ground with imposing music.

Being very short, this thing didn’t make me cringe and I enjoyed it. So if you want a very short show for whatever reason… this is one.

There’s one more show I need to talk about that I watched on the weekend but its… a lot. I will unpack in a future post.
 

Bongo

excused from moderation duty
(he/him)
Staff member
Tell me more about Dai. I'm conceptually interested in Perfectly Generic Shonen Anime, but if the main character is extremely dense I will find him hard to relate to in the way that's necessary to enjoy it as intended.
 

muteKi

say "fish don't exist" to my face, motherfucker
Rail Romanesque is apparently based on a game called Maitetsu, and while I would presume that because it's based on a niche title that they decided to ride hard on in-jokes only the people who were big fans of the game would get, at the same time reviews claim that the game hsa similar problems (along with a few others, being one of sekai project's tamer titles)
 

Zef

Find Your Reason
(He/Him)
I wholeheartedly approve of bringing the Simpsons image summaries over to the anime thread.


The show definitely wants to count on you being a fan of the old show. The music is the same and though the animation is more polished, it feels like it is meant to be contiguous with the old show (am I using the word right?), like Dragonball Super. Unlike Dragonball Super, while nostalgia will be key, it looks like its going to be an all-new cast, who bookend the show. We don’t get into their backstory but it certainly implies there is more going on than “raised by Inuyasha and Kagome” as one seems to have been living in the contemporary present while the others have lived in the feudal era.
Yeah, this is exactly how I feel, down to the "liked, but not loved" aspect. But YH is definitely banking on the nostalgia, too--the old IY cast will continue to appear, just older, and I'm pretty sure they'll still get scene-stealing moments to tickle at fans' shipping bones.

I mean, I think they are all Inuyasha and Kagome’s kids. One could be Sesshomaru and Jaken’s kid.
I will now accept no other explanation. Especially because SesshouRin is skeeeeeeeeevy as hell.

Anyway, it feels a bit early to say. I don’t mind watching more Inuyasha but its clear with a new cast there will be new dynamics, even if the show is clearly trying to echo the old with the intro promising a girl Shippou joining the cast.
An all-girl leading cast is definitely the major point of interest for this show. Last year's NHK poll showed that, overall, the Rumic World franchises have a predominantly female audience at most age groups, from new fans to old (ironically, Maison Ikkoku's is overwhelmingly [middle-aged] male, which prompted some major introspection from me :p) and Inuyasha was the most popular show, so here's hoping they can do the fans right with this new story.

Jujutsu Kaisen



Premise

Yūji Itadori is an unusually strong kid, easily able to break world records of physical feats. But the only club he wants to join is the Occult Club because they don’t mind him going to visit his grandfather in the hospital. After his grandfather dies of natural causes, a mysterious fellow student approaches Itadori and reveals that schools generally have cursed items to ward off evil and that their school’s item, a powerful severed finger, is missing. Turns out his club borrowed it to exam it… and unleashed evil “curses”, monsters born of human suffering. Itadori and the other kid race to school to save his friends but ends up swallowing the finger and becoming possessed by an ancient evil. But what the evil doesn’t expect is that Itadori is so friggin’ strong, he can actually still control his body with relative ease. Now the entity and Itadori presumably are going to reluctantly team up for some monster hunting.

It Gud?

This reminds me of Demon Slayer. Demon Slayer’s first episode told a fairly traditional shounen battler set up story but with extremely nice animation and telling the story very well. Though Jujutsu Kaisen isn’t quite as impressive in terms of animation, it is still one of the best looking shows this season, stem to stern. The story itself, like Demon Slayer, in no way adds nothing new to the supernatural shounen horror action genre but the lead is likable, his friends are fun and the humour generally works pretty well.

I don’t expect our show will give our hero much time to breathe before flinging him headlong into a larger mythology with action and factions and non-stop fights and exposition. But I really do hope they take the time to focus on the fact that our lead is in a very sad situation. He just lost his one parental figure and I hope we get a bit of weight to the loss going forward and the idea that our hero might have great friends old and new but must go home to an empty house. I don’t expect this to happen but it would add some pathos to a character whose life is about to become a series of battles against monsters and, if previous shounen is any indication, quirky humanoid villains.

JBear also pointed out the series emotional crux might take a lot from Ushio and Tora and very early Inuyasha were the hero’s partner is a monster who would supposedly murder everyone they wanted if not for the fact that they have something that restrains them and forces them to behave and fight against demons and monsters and such. My hope is that in the first two examples, those characters are mostly talk (Tora won’t shut up about eating people but he clearly isn’t gonna) but maybe this creature in the lead is a genuinely threat that our hero must fight against before it gets humanized. It you are looking for a fun and beautifully animated shounen action series, you can do worse than this.
I quoted the whole thing because this description REALLY reminds me of Hell Teacher Nube, where the title character has the hand of a Japanese Oni which he uses to battle supernatural nasties but occasionally has to subdue all over again. I absolutely adore Nube because of all the mythological references, urban legends, and adaptations of horror stories; I had very high hopes for Nura, Rise Of The Youkai Clan several years ago, but that one quickly devolved into stock-standard shounen "power escalation" and "gotta be the strongest" drek. The summary above not only informs me of this show's existence but also makes me very interested in seeing whether it goes the Nube route or the Nura one.


I missed the original Dai no Daibouken during its original run (it was localized as The Adventure of Fly in Latin America during the mid-to-late 90s) so I'm kinda sorta looking forward to the 2020 update. The CGI bit makes me wary, though, as the 90s show was beautifully animated and still holds up in all its retro glory.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
I feel confident that Jujutsu Kaisen will likely fall into the latter camp If I remember correctly, Nube was largely un-serial and heavily 'monster of the week" in its storytelling, which seems to be less common in popular shounen series. I feel like overarching plots probably make it easier to get people hooked. I did feel like Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun felt a bit like the Nube I'd read but while there's no power escalation, there is a larger plot.
 

JBear

Internet's foremost Bertolli cosplayer
(He/Him)
Tell me more about Dai. I'm conceptually interested in Perfectly Generic Shonen Anime, but if the main character is extremely dense I will find him hard to relate to in the way that's necessary to enjoy it as intended.
I mean, he's a kid. I wouldn't call him especially dense, but he is naive. And justifiably so, since he was raised by monsters on an island and has never met another human.

Anyway, as someone who is a big DQ fan but has no familiarity with any previous version of Dai in any medium, this was probably my favourite show of the first eps that Johnny and I have watched thus far. The CGI monsters honestly didn't bother me that much, and otherwise, it really tickled my fancy. It's just a fun shounen adventure with rapid-fire fun DQ references. If you want to see a Mage from Dragon Quest dressed like a Mage from Dragon Quest and casting Frizz on a Lump Mage, then this is the show for you.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
Yeah, Dai never has the manic density of Goku or Luffy and things get more serious for him as it goes on. But even when he grows, he's still very much a kid throughout, which I could see someone being jot interested in.
 
The first episode is a completely competent random episode of Inuyasha.
Definitely not just a 'random episode' of Inuyasha when it's completely realigning the status quo, and also introducing us to a completely new main cast. But it certainly nails the *feeling* of being an Inuyasha episode.

Tell me more about Dai. I'm conceptually interested in Perfectly Generic Shonen Anime, but if the main character is extremely dense I will find him hard to relate to in the way that's necessary to enjoy it as intended.
Other posters have added their impressions, but I'll add some context. The original manga came out in 1989, not long after DQ3. The first anime adaptation began in '91, and finished its run three days before DQ5 came out. Both are incredibly beloved in Japan and form an integral part of the franchise's history during the absolute apex of its popularity.* 30 years later, nothing it does might be noteworthy anymore after decades of formulaic shounen shows coming and going in the interim, but getting a remake show to both seize on millennial nostalgia, and to help indoctrinate their young children is both a pretty big deal, and explains why this is being made to begin with. I can't speak for the quality of this remake (The OP looks great though.) but the original stuff isn't just popular because it was riding coat tails. I'll be watching just for historical context mostly. The original show is still out there though and people should watch it because it was a legitimately good looking show as well.

*There's a gawker-esque write up begging to be written about how Dai no Daibouken was the Ur-video game multimedia experiment that informed every other subsequent attempt to turn other video games into multimedia empires.

I wholeheartedly approve of bringing the Simpsons image summaries over to the anime thread.
Johnny has been doing this in the TT2's anime thread for a long while! He just historically hid his impressions behind a spoilerpop. Which I assumed was always a move out of courtesy so as to not just create a super giant post that dominated the page, but I support Johnny liberating his impressions because all things aside, at the very least they're amusing to read and deserve to be visible so people don't accidently skip over them.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
We live in dark times. There have been hard times before but I feel this kind of hardship is unprecedented and certainly effects everyone. There’s no doubt it has hit our collective psyche very hard. A show that acts as a balm or an escape is something I’m grateful for. But what I got… was a show with ANSWERS. The answers we need NOW! There are few shows that will change everything the way that the world will be changed by this show. There was the moon landing. There were national tragedies. But this time, we have something that will change our minds and souls on a fundamental level. Ladies. Gentlemen. Non-binaries. I present to you…





HYPNOSIS MIC: DIVISION RAP BATTLE!




I can’t give this a normal review. This needs a serious unpacking.

We begin with… the future. Everything is similar… but something has changed. A NEW PARTY HAS TAKEN OVER THE CHOU WARD GOVERNMENT! And they are bringing change. Is it the Liberal Democratic Party? The Constitutional Democratic Party? Reiwa Shinsengumi? The Party to Abolish the NHK? NO! THEY DON’T HAVE THE ANSWERS. The new ruling party is the Party of Words! Because they know words have power. Also, it is a women-only party. FINALLY! Their first act: abolish all weapons in ANY form from the Greater Tokyo Area. If you feel undefended, there is an answer. MICROPHONES!

The Mics are Hypnosis Mics. Police, army and any form of defense or law enforcement within Tokyo are now equipped with microphones. This is the first minute of the show. Welcome to the new world.


If you did NOT CRY in relief for the fate of the world when they sang “Hypnosis Action Ends Corruption”, knowing that we soon will live in a better world, I feel bad for you.

Cut to three years later.

Ikebukuro. Two tough (re: cute) boyz are following some thug into a warehouse. It turns out to be a trap. A gang known as the Tenderloins is trapped two members of another gang, the Buster Bros!!!, in an ambush. Both sides are wielding microphones. The leader of the Tenderloins, who we know is morally and spiritually weak because he isn’t dressed as fashionably as possible, claims that the BB!!!’s third member has recently fallen. After all, who could defeat thirty men with just a microphone?

The leader of the Buster Bros.!!! Ichiro Yamada can. And then the Buster Bros.!!! unleash their full fury. And no one is prepared.


Do you see all that shit? THAT’S NOT A METAPHOR! Hypnosis Mics transform and can summon giant amps to blow away your enemies with the sounds of your mad skillz. The Tenderloins are easily bested and the streets are safe again.

Yes, this is a world without weaponry, except now everyone wields the most powerful weaponry: the gift of music. Rattling in your enemies ears until they fall unconscious from headaches, based on their visceral reactions to the music. I mean, its possible they think the Buster Bros.!!! are just very bad rappers and have been defeated via psychological torture but this is a better world now.

But as we see, paradise doesn’t happen overnight. It needs constant vigilance.

Cut to a dock in Yokohama. A drug deal is going down. The specific drugs are never specified, but I’m going to assume its called Spank and it gives one a way to chemically enhance one’s ability for off-the-dome rhymes. But the criminals were not counting on the Mad Trigger Crew. The first we see of them are an army man on a roof watching the action. Will he snipe them with silent long distance hip hop? Now, he gets down with his bros to face the enemy face to face.


Via the art of comparing their prey to “scrawny hamsters” and summoning skeletons, a cluster of police sirens and rocket launchers, the Mad Trigger Crew reveals that they are a three way team of representatives of the yakuza, the police and the army, finally coming together for a greater good to bring the noise on drug!

Cut to Shibuya.

A smol cinnamon bun of a boy lives the most loudly coloured apartment ever. His friend comes in, a gambler, asking for money. So the two, along with a traditional looking poet, decide to head downtown and use their hypnosis mics to make money. Ladies and gentlemen… the FLING POSSE!


The Fling Posse is clearly the Hufflepuff of rap warriors. Also, either this is the first time rapping has gone unweaponized or this was a really upbeat mass mugging.

Lastly, we end our tour in Shinjuku. We meet the members of Matenro, whose members include a doctor, a host bar host and a bummed-out office worker who looks exactly like one of the main characters from Given. They pay a visit to the hospital and learn it is being threatened by an anti-Hypnosis Mic faction. They end up interceding in a hostage situation on a roof. The fact that they weren’t holding a microphone to the hostage’s neck is a missed opportunity as JBear pointed out but they do try to use an “illegal mic” (I… don’t know the difference) with a red aura (maybe just that) to take down our heroes. By Matenro beats them and you are never ever guess how they do it ever. They rap at them. Up until now, this is actually the first time one of the bad guys almost used their mic first, though even he doesn’t get a chance to rap. Another JBear observation: maybe you are just guaranteed to win if you just think to rap first.

This is the only group whose rap isn’t a video on youtube but here’s what happens. They rap and the bad guys lose. One guy’s microphone turns into a cell phone. So that’s neat.

We learn that the leader of each group was once a member of the megateam the Dirty Dawg, which is revealed with all the dramatic weight it deserves. A lot. And that they were disbanded because their science was TOO TIGHT! But we are promised that these once friends will now face each other in a division rap battle. The stakes?



We need SOME mystery, don’t we? Meanwhile, the buxom leaders of Tokyo look on.

Some notes: I’m not sure what it is trying to say with its all women government. It seems like they aren’t calling it a bad thing but also it seems weird that they are dressed like sexy fascists. You might say “yeah, but anime. You’ve seen it, right?” Yeah, but this series also has the vibe of a collect-the-boyz. There’s no reverse harem but all of the boys are super cute or super hawt and I feel like this is strongly trying to appeal towards a female audience with this aspect while a bit of a male audience with its action raps. This doesn’t look like Babylon-type misogyny but it does feel muddled in messaging, maybe intentionally.

Also… this thing is rated MA. There’s a big disclaimer at the beginning. I have NO idea why. The only other anime I remember having this disclaimer is Blade of the Immortal. Something to think about.

Anyway, this is mankinds greatest achievement. I usually don’t rank shows with a numbers system but I’ve created a special one for the best things ever.

Bananya.

This show gets one out of five Bananya. If this seems really cruel, most anything gets less than that. One Bananya is equivalent to being a 10 dan martial artist.

It goes like this

Five Bananya – Banayna and Bananya and the Curious Bunch

Four Bananya – Nothing

Three Bananya – Nothing

Two Bananya – The Creation of Written Languages

One Bananya – Hypnosis Mic

Half Bananya – Goku’s driving lesson

Note: This system is for general human achievement.

So I’m going to keep watching Hypnosis Mic. Unless I get bored of it in the middle of the next episode, them it’s a Mama’s Family rerun.
 

ThornGhost

lofi posts to relax/study to
(he/him)
So it's a whole show based around that one fight in Scott Pilgrim? I'm....on board.

 

JBear

Internet's foremost Bertolli cosplayer
(He/Him)
I've seen Hypnosis Mic listed on MangaDex before. It was in the "actually hentai" section.
Ahahahaha. Perfect. This just piques my curiousity even further, because there wasn't a whiff of that in episode 1.

That said, Turtle, if you just robbed me of the joy of a sudden unexpected swerve in that direction, I will be very sad.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
I believe you but... this show is REALLY burying the lead here. The closest is when the tiny boi sings "fun is magic!"

Edit: Also can't tell if its straight or gray. Don't tell me, I like surprises.
 

Peklo

Oh! Create!
(they/them, she/her)
In that vein, it was mentioned above that Rail Romanesque is based on the game Maitetsu, but I think just knowing that fact is burying the lede because that game was originally pornographic, and I'm not talking about the train otakuisms because that was only half it while the rest was specifically about having sex with all the little girls featured in it. Later on, the explicit pornographic content gets edited out, and presto, now it's approved for sale on the Switch eShop and elsewhere, and earns itself this anime adaptation through lowest-effort social camouflage. Something like Nekopara has followed the exact same path as a franchise, and I guess it must be working to an extent because simply being unaware of the lineage leads to people trying out something I doubt they'd otherwise want to associate with on principle or in practice, and "explains" why these things are so narratively and conceptually baffling because ultimately they are vehicles for porn removed of that context in a misguided bid to break into some measure of comparative mainstream popularity.
 

Mightyblue

aggro table, shmaggro table
(He/Him/His)
"Cute boys/girls doing cute things" has been a selling vehicle since forever and if all you have to do to get that is strip the porn out of a property, why not?

Various eroge developers have been doing that since the 90s.
 

Zef

Find Your Reason
(He/Him)
"Taking porn out of it to make it legit" has been a practice since, as far as I can remember, Project A-ko (and I wouldn't be surprised if it went back even further.)
 

Hilene

Loves "Friendly Girls"
(She/Her)
I still remember the weird times of the 2000s, where we got a lot of anime adaptations of straight up porn games, but without the porn.
 

Peklo

Oh! Create!
(they/them, she/her)
I don't understand the dismissive "yeah get with it this has been happening for a long time" comments--no one said anything contrary to that. The point I'm making and why I will always try to inform people in this PSA manner whenever these things slip into storefront release roundups or new seasons of shows is that these specific properties are fundamentally built on commodified pedophilia in ways that are not deniable or up to interpretation, and do only the slightest in their sanitized forms to mask that. They will never admit to such origins but you can't just remove select scenes from a work of that nature and expect its intent, tone and aesthetic not to show through regardless. People should absolutely know what they're getting into, explicitly because the creators and publishers themselves won't speak a word of it, and if conceptually something seems worrying, then a reason like this is sometimes the reason why.
 

Mightyblue

aggro table, shmaggro table
(He/Him/His)
I mean, you're the one stuffing words and arguments into our mouths. The major reason behind my drifting away from anime/manga is that I can't ignore that anymore like I could in my twenties and the constant oversexualization of middle- and high-school kids got ever creepier as I got older.
 

aturtledoesbite

earthquake ace
(any/all)
I mean, yeah, I have no idea how it actually comes up in Hypnosis Mic (though given the title, I can make some guesses). The most I know is how it was categorized.
 

Hilene

Loves "Friendly Girls"
(She/Her)
I apologize if I came across as dismissive. I really was trying to say that I find the whole process amusing, and that time is a flat circle. Like, shows like Kanon, Galaxy Angel, Otoboku, Fate, and Demonbane were fairly common in the '00s, and I legit found it really interesting. Especially since a number of them became more popular once the porn was taken out, so I wouldn't necessarily call it a mask?

(Relatedly, one could probably believe that Otoboku was both very appealing and also pretty disappointing to a younger Hilene still in her eggshell. It sure was to an egg friend of mine, who was upset because the protag was too good at looking like a girl.)
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
Another day, another bunch of anime. This crop is a little more disappointing but after Hypnosis Mic, everything would be.

BTW, tempted to start a Hypnosis Mic thread. Here are some working titles;

“Straight Outta the Greater Tokyo Metropolitan Area”
“Rapping Production”
“Bishi Bishi Bishi Bish Can’t You See, Sometimes Your Mic Just Hypnotize Me”
“Beat Cops” (this only works for exactly one character)
“Is It Porn Yet?”
OK, what we got today?

Ikebukuro West Gate Park



Premise

In the district of Ikebukuro in Japan, there’s a street gang who uses vigilante justice to protect the streets from crime, particularly drugs. They are the G-Boys and they are lead by their “King”, a suave, well-dressed super dude who is assisted by his tough guy “Knight”. But his strongest weapon isn’t a G-Boy but a friend: a greengrocer who is streetwise and has his own set of skills for dealing with problems.

It Gud?

To be honest, this one is kind of dull. This was advertised as an “urban mystery series” but there’s not much Sherlock Holmes (that urban Sherlock Holmes series also wasn’t so hot) in it and more tut tutting vague drugs that… might just be weed? Like, our heroes discover criminals drug operation and it basically just like a hydroponics farm with weed. Maybe there’s are other more dangerous plant-based drugs grown similarly but they didn’t look like opium-ish pods to me. That said, I could be way off because I don’t know much about drug operations. But it looked like the big evil drug our heroes are fighting was “weed, but worse”.

Its not a terribly exciting series, either. Our hero must try to convince a young girl to stop trying to burn down a drug dealer’s location and to do so must stop them. We are introduced to the suave super gangster but he doesn’t do all that much in the episode, really. I will also say for all my problems with that Sherlock show, it definitely represents its title setting as interesting and rich and here, the setting seems rather bland. Like, between the uninspired setting and implications that it is a hotbed for drug dealers, this is a BAD advertisement for Ikebukuro. I mean, the world of that Sherlock show was crime-ridden but it made its sketchy setting seem exciting.

And boy, is the climax a disappointment. The bit scene is “will our heroes be caught by some rando baddie”, which could be tension filled if they didn’t establish that there are TWO people in the apartment and both are very competent fighters. The climax ends pretty quickly and the finale is “so we called the cops on them and they took care of it”, which is somewhat sensible but pretty disappointing. It implies that they will have to fight the real villains who were paying the drug dealer who looked and dressed like Shaggy from Scooby Doo but I can’t imagine them being much more interesting, no matter how fancy their binoculars looks as they spy on our heroes from a distance.

By the Grace of the Gods



Premise

A bunch of adventurers find a boy living in the forest with his army of trained slimes. After helping save a body guard from a nearly fatal injury, the boy, Ryouma, becomes trusted by the duchy’s Duke. But Ryoma has a secret: he’s a 39 year old guy who died and oh fuck another fucking bland isekai just kill me.

It Gud?

Look, there’s nothing inherently bad about the weirdly specific yet ubiquitous subgenre of “person dies and wakes up in a fantasy JRPG world with some abilities maxed out or with a very specific advantage” but it certainly does tend to bleed into some gross, problematic wish fulfillment. Often it takes the form or romantic conquest and creepy exceptionalist philosophy where the character’s innate exceptionalism is both gifted via a special power or cheat and it tied to the main characters completely awesome ability to exploit or game that power because he’s awesome, unique or clever in a way no one else in this world thought to be.

This one doesn’t reveal its an isekai until the half way point but it is hardly surprising based on the quality of the project (a lot of isekai feel like they don’t feel the need to bother to look good) and the general quality of the script. Plus the intro kind of hints at it. Before then, it was a somewhat dull story of a kid with an army of slime familiars, including “excrement slime”, which exist for the sole purpose of eating poop. He… he probably shouldn’t have those guys around when company comes. They are even brown. Ew. We also have a scene of his widdle monsters eating other widdle monsters and its kind of unsettling.

Anyway, at the half way point it turns out “of course he was a salaryman who was reincarnated into a young boy’s body”. At least this character, at first blush, seems less toxic than some leads. Anyway, some gods explain he’s going to get reincarnated and everyone is pretty blasé about it because “there are a lot of anime like this these days”, because this is so played out the creators even seem to be saying “ugh” as they put a lampshade on it.

The episode ends with our hero being introduced to a young girl and I remember her from the opening and FUCK. FUCK! Look, I don’t expect it to get clearly romantic but they are going to throw vague romantic tension between the 8 year old and the 39 year old in an 8 year old body, aren’t they? GO STRAIGHT TO HELL! ARGH! Then in the end credits, a sexy cat girl is sleeping with a body pillow with the main character’s face on it AND THIS IS NOW PROBLEMATIC AND CONVOLUTED IN HOW PROBLEMATIC IT IS. BURN THIS SHIT DOWN.

Also, the slimes lacked charm. I didn’t like the way they looked or were animated.

Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle



Premise

In the kingdom of Goodereste, all was peaceful until the demon king kidnapped the princess. As the heroes wage a campaign of adventure against the demon king, Princess Syalis has another concern: getting a good night’s sleep. And to do that, she wages a campaign of her own in the demon castle, harvesting monster parts as tools and materials for pillows, blankets and beds to improve her barely effective captivity.

It Gud?

I didn’t laugh as much as JBear through it but I definitely enjoyed it throughout. It has a winning cuteness to it. Lately, I’ve been getting tired of anime set in Dragon Quest but not that (ironically, this excludes the Adventures of Dai) but this is fun and whimsical in the same way as Mahoujin Guru Guru. Its cute but there’s still a fun sassiness to it.

Its also a really nice-looking show. Its very colorful and fun monster designs (I’m partial to the Frankenstein’s monster who likes to tell it like it is, baby) and it has one of my favourite intros of the season.


The series set up worried me that its premise would be limited but its remained fun through three segments so I’m hopeful. Structurally it feels like a gag manga version of The Ransom of Red Chief, the classic O Henry story where kidnappers end up having to pay their would-be victims to get a terrible hostage out of their hair. Here, Syalis (well, there’s an unfortunate name) almost immediately becomes a royal terror, easily slipping away and causing all sorts of trouble for the various monsters living in the tower and no one being able or willing to do anything to stop her. Literally, even death can’t prevent Syalis from completing her singular mission of having a pleasant night’s rest.

This wasn’t a laugh out loud series for me but I consistently had an amused smirk throughout as the princess turns monsters into tools and creates her own personal sleepytime paradise. I feel like this isn’t a series I won’t “look forward to” every week but will feel all good inside while watching it.

Talentless Nana



Premise
(I even hate doing this since admitting there are spoilers is going to imply a lot and its better to go in blind but I must. Spoilers are a tricky mistress).

At a school on an isolated island, children with super powers train to battle entities known as the Enemies of Humanity. One boy from a wealthy elite background, Nanao is bullied and looked down upon but he feels he should be a leader like his father suggested. Then two new students come to class: a gloomy mystery man and a bubbly girl named Nana who immediately states that while she can read minds, she can’t read the room. She soon starts a friendship with the bullied kid and helps him not only open up but reveal his quite useful power.

There’s actually more but lets put this behind a spoiler pop.

That evening, the young man thanks the girl for helping her build his confidence… at which point she pushes him off a cliff. She reveals she was never a psychic, only using detective and cold reading tactics to manipulate people in believing she does. In addition, she states that the super powered kids ARE the enemies of humanity and though she knows Nanao is a pure hearted person, she must kill him for humanity’s own good. Which is exactly what she does. She looks are her phone, which estimates this action saved millions of people.

It Gud?

It is really hard to say but it is a fascinating first episode. But because of the nature of the last minute swerve, its hard to say exactly what the show will be in the long run. What I like is that largely the show largely kept this turn close to its chest and the majority of the first episode is a straightforward shounen show. So much so, I felt weird watching it and I couldn’t put my finger on why. I enjoyed it but it was hitting ALL the general beats, so hard in fact that I assumed the show was going to be a comedy about a kid in a crazy school full of quirky power users and the main character’s only power being common sense, sort of a reverse Saiki K. Instead, it became clearly while it felt breezy it wasn’t a comedy.

I was definitely expecting a twist though. Through the episode, the Enemies of Humanity are named check and are apparently capable of disguise. I thought the show might reveal either than Nana was an “enemy” but they aren’t bad actually, or she’s a rare one with a conscience. Maybe the show was going to turn into a mix of superpowered shounen action and mafia/werewolf. See, the show was so generic but at the same time I found it compelling for reasons I knew I wouldn’t be able to articulate. Its effective but it almost felt ridiculously by the numbers. I’ve even seen the reveal that the loser hero’s power is actually the extremely powerful “power negation” before. It felt like the first chapter of Assassination Classroom without the imagination. But there was something about it… it reminded me of Astra: Lost in Space, a show that was pretty meat and potatoes storytelling that happened to EXCEL mostly in twists that are clever, surprising and usually made sense within the logic of the series.

This show’s twist places it in an interesting place. It could easily go “edgelord” from here, but I don’t think it will. Even the shocking death happened off camera. I don’t expecting it to get overly graphically violent going forward, even if there will be a lot of death. I don’t know for sure it can deliver on the swerve but it definitely has my attention for the next episode. The next episode title is Time Traveller, which also opens a lot of doors and raises questions: is our anti-heroine a time traveller or does she just have to outwit a time traveller next episode. Is what she is doing actually for the future or is this master manipulator herself being manipulated. Is the island a cult or do they really mean well but a time traveller knows this is going to end badly and decides to “kill baby Hitlers”.

The other thing is the characters we meet and who survive are ridiculously arch and what I am hoping is that they are going to take stock archetypes and reveal them to have more depth than the first episode lets on. Maybe the bully is actually more savvy than he looks or maybe there’s a deep well of sadness in being apart from his home. I won’t say “I have the highest hopes” for this series but I do see a lot of potential and I’m extremely curious going forward to see what that yields.
 

Zef

Find Your Reason
(He/Him)
A bunch of adventurers find a boy living in the forest with his army of trained slimes. After helping save a body guard from a nearly fatal injury, the boy, Ryouma, becomes trusted by the duchy’s Duke. But Ryoma has a secret: he’s a 39 year old guy who died and oh fuck another fucking bland isekai just kill me
Did someone hear how "Reincarnated as a Slime" became the most popular isekai of its season, and decided to do it again but 10x harder?

Also I hate that I know that "Reincarnated as a Slime" is a thing that exists and is popular.

Anyway, some gods explain he’s going to get reincarnated and everyone is pretty blasé about it because “there are a lot of anime like this these days”, because this is so played out the creators even seem to be saying “ugh” as they put a lampshade on it.
Isn't this already a cliche in and of itself? I tried out Cautious Hero because some reviews said it was at least funny (it wasn't) and it was already elbowing you HARD about "getting hit by a truck" and "otaku are familiar with this premise so let's go with it." And you know you've hit rock bottom when the self-deprecating metatextual acknowledgement itself is trite and played out.

Anyway the 8yo love interest aspect is hyper-gross and I hope one day the people who decide which LNs to adapt get struck by lightning a runaway truck and they end up isekaing as background characters into, iunno, Berserk.
 

JBear

Internet's foremost Bertolli cosplayer
(He/Him)
Talentless Nana
My favourite thing about this one is how carefully written the online summary is to read differently before and after you've watched the first episode (not spoiling it, since, as mentioned, it's carefully crafted so as to not be a spoiler, although probably still don't read it if you plan to watch it):

It is the year 20XX. Earth has been assaulted by monsters known as 'the Enemy of Humanity'. In order to deal with this threat, special schools comprised of teenagers with extraordinary abilities were formed. These people, who came to be known as 'the Talented', have abilities that defy the rules of reality. Among these superpowered individuals was an outlier, someone who was sent to one of these schools despite having no innate special abilities whatsoever. This is the story of our protagonist, who attempts to defeat the Enemies of Humanity through the use of intelligence and manipulation.
ETA: Anyway, given the ED, I have less faith than Johnny that this won't go full edgelord, but I hope I'm wrong!
 
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