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Iaboo, Youaboo, Weallaboo for Anime!

BEAT

LOUDSKULL
(DUDE/BRO)
Wyst you wrote a post 3 times as long about how you felt betrayed by animal friends you don't get to judge.
 

q 3

here to eat fish and erase the universe
(they/them)
new curse discovered, may you live long enough to see your favorite anime rebooted except now it sucks

(I take no position on the current controversy)
 

Purple

(She/Her)
So to mildly change the subject, anyone have thoughts on how this is gonna turn out?


My honest thoughts- Lum's hair looks super weird, is it like, gelatinous or something? Also curious how the whole lecherous creep protagonist deal is going to play out now that the culture has shifted from "ha ha girls get mad when you grope them" to the new norm where like... they stand there like deer in headlights maybe going "eh" and the creep protagonist is basically terrified of them.
 
I'm gonna weigh in with a big, what precious little they show in the Trigun trailer is tonally identical to what I remember of the old anime. I'm a million times more interested in watching this than I ever was in seeing Netflix's Cowboy Bebop adaptation. My biggest worry is how they'll handle certain animation challenges like the bullet dodging which is shown but not in what I'd call the most promising way. If the animation quality stays consistent though it'll easily be the prettiest 3D anime I've ever looked at. My sister loved the old anime way more than I did and I loved it a lot, and she's amped as hell to see it.

On the subject of Urusei Yatsura I'm probably only going to watch it if my SO has nostalgia for the original run/manga. She consumed manga and anime like a wildfire growing up and has been getting me to watch new releases like this with her that I otherwise would probably never have watched myself. I don't really know much about it though so right now I can only hope the creepy lecher crap has been significantly grown out of in the event that I do end up watching it. The hair in general looks a little off from what I'd expect but with some cursory glances at old stuff it looks like they're trying a lot harder to capture the manga cover illustration style than any of the old runs were able to.
 

Bongo

excused from moderation duty
(he/him)
Staff member
Sometimes it seems the only way we get new ideas any more is when they can be shoehorned into an old IP that doesn't quite fit it, to the detriment of both.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Similarly; BASTARD!! Heavy Metal Dark Fantasy also just dropped on Netflix

This is… for anyone who thinks Guilty Gear and JoJo are too subtle with the references
 

gogglebob

The Goggles Do Nothing
(he/him)
I watched that thar Bastard man.

Full disclosure: Bastard! was kind of my guilty pleasure back in late high school/early college. At the time, anime was sparse, and my girlfriend had Bastard!, the six episode OAV, bootlegged on some VHS tapes. And we both really enjoyed the show! The main character was a... bastard, and we both appreciated how it was irreverent of typical fantasy/anime tropes. We both agreed that this was the guy that would just hit Sailor Moon with a rock when she was winding up to do her latest two-minute attack animation. And, while we also both agreed the show was problematic (to say the least, like, the big "love of his life" character is an adult [hooray] who he had raised from childhood to be his lover [boooo]), it wasn't like anything else we had ever seen. And it was pretty! So a good time was had by all.

Now, the thing that made Bastard great (in my opinion) was that he was a jackass of a hero, but still a hero. This was new to me at the time! He could save the day, but he wasn't some stuffy Superman. He made quips. He defeated villains while they were monologuing. He made it clear he was not conquering and/or saving the world for reasons that were good or bad, simply that he had his own wants and desires and would see them fulfilled. He was a hero, but a selfish hero, and that was new or novel.

Nowadays, however, there is nothing unique about that. You want a selfish hero that makes quips, you have the last two decades of the Marvel cinematic universe. You want a selfish hero that wants to turn the world into his harem, you have literally every other anime protagonist. There's nothing "special" here now, and in the absence of that, you just have a bunch of weirdos flying around with giant shoulder pads.

But... okay... the six episode OAV did seem limited. Maybe expanded to further episodes, Bastard! can fill in some of the blanks, and be better than all the other franchises that stole its thunder in the intervening years.

WRONG

As someone with some measure of nostalgia for Bastard!, I did not want this to be the case, but let's be clear: Bastard!: The Netflix Original Anime (or whatever) blows goats. It expands the initial six episode story to something that is going to be at least 13 episodes (no, it does not get "as far" as the OAV inside of its first season run of episodes), but adds nothing. I presume this is all still based on the same original manga (which I have not read), but knowing the OAV and then watching the expanded anime proves that brevity is the source of wit. And that's me saying this! A guy who has managed to wring a whole paragraph out of the concept of "cynical hero"! The OAV obviously identified what didn't need to be there, and cut it for time. The anime has no such constraints, and spends whole episodes just puttering around with nonsense like "oh maybe Dark Schneider is going to flip out and kill everybody in the second episode". Newsflash, dumbasses, no one would ever buy that happening, and it adds nothing to the character! We already know he's a bastard! It's the title!

For anyone that is familiar with the OAV, and wants to know if anything relevant was added: we now include two new "sub" generals before the vampire fight, and, surprise, they're both women wizards who eventually fall for D.S. He metaphorically has sex with both of them, but not for realsy reals, because of whacky hijinks. Have to keep that character that may as well be described as a literal sex god virginial for some reason. Other than that, it is exactly what happens in the OAV up to D.S. tearing his own heart out, and nothing more. We'll save the conclusion to that cliffhanger for Season 2.

And you may ask "well, if everything else is the same, how does that more than double the episode length"? Well, the fights have been expanded to Dragon Ball Z-esque lengths of posturing and one-upping attacks. And, as an added bonus, with all the "new attacks", there is a constant, eternal audience of helpful townsfolk, knights, and ninja that explain every attack and why it is risky and how this fight is going to go but OH MY OZZIE it doesn't go exactly that way and things change from the narration of five minutes ago. Who would have expected such a thing!?!!?

Anyway, tldr of Bastard!: it was already a problematic, dated kind of show, and this new expansion did nothing to fix the already preexisting problems, and added a whole host of the worst excesses of the genre. Do not recommend.
 

Peklo

Oh! Create!
(they/them, she/her)
Bastard!!'s author has never formally cancelled or ended the series, but it's been over a decade since there has been any new material, and long before that point the schedule was sporadic at best. Hagiwara realized he could put out an explicitly pornographic doujin or art anthology whenever he felt like it and suffer no kind of career downturn for it, because that was what the series was a vehicle for from the start and nothing more. He learned his trade from porn artists and sold his sexual preferences under the guise of a serial narrative that is nothing but a parade of kinks and pretext for the titillation. It's incredible that it has been latched onto as a work of mass popularity and now revival when its very existence rejects any kind of reason for being except the surface exploitation. The man should gorge himself on pornography as that's what his sensibilities and skillset are suited for--trying to glean any kind of story worth following from Bastard!! however was never possible.
 

ArugulaZ

Fearful asymmetry
Kazuki Takahashi of Yu-Gi-Oh fame recently died in a diving accident. I wasn't a fan of the cartoon based on his work, but rather liked his early comics, where Yugi challenged terrible people to games they couldn't possibly win, and tormented them shortly afterward with ironic punishments. Now see, I would watch a show like that. Not "Buy More Cards: The Animated Series."
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
Shoot! Goal to the Future
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The Premise

Some kid is a former soccer player and hates soccer because a guy he played with doesn't play anymore. He ends up getting in a fight with the captain of the soccer team who were once great but have now fallen very far in the rankings. They decide to resolve their issues with a PK shootout which the former player handily wins with some amazing kicking skills and his prize is to never play again. A new coach arrives after that and agrees; if someone is good but doesn't want to play or grow, then they shouldn't. Then another team arrives for a practice match... with the former player's former bestie and partner in tow.
It Gud?
Apparently this is a sequel to another soccer series, simply called Shoot! that I think I've heard of but really blended into the background with all the other soccer manga I didn't read like Whistle! and the Knight in the Area. Having seen the first episode of this sequel, it certainly doesn't set itself apart, nor does it make the original series look interesting. It's poorly animated and has a cast of deeply uninteresting, unlikable characters.

The main guy is supposed to have fallen out of love with soccer but both his reasons and attitude are weak. His reason is his favourite partner left and he's not a good player without him and they sell it poorly, making it seem like just being whiny rather than simply hitting a wall he wasn't mature enough to deal with. And he has the misanthropic "everything is boring" attitude that made me think he was going to be isekaied into a misogynistic power fantasy where he owns lady slaves, which the show thinks is totally cool. Instead, it's a very dull sports story. And as someone who LOVES sports anime, I'm disappointed about how so few of them are worth watching lately.

It doesn't help that the guy who he is set up against is ALSO an asshole, a guy who resorts to violence at any whiff that soccer is insulted. He's a boorish creep when he is supposed to be a passionate tough and the failure to make this guy likable in any capacity makes me wonder "why should I be invested." I'm not rooting for them to come out of their slump and even as "bad boys" or "antiheroes" (which I don't think the show is going for) works because even in that capacity, they are completely unengaging. No, thank you.

Phantom of the Idol
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The Premise
An idol duo has one member who is extremely not into it. Though he can sing and dance, he has no passion and only went into it for the money without having to do hard work. One day he meets an idol and realizes she's a ghost... who can possess him. Realizing the advantage, he decides to let her possess him so she can relive her idol days while he doesn't have to do the hard work of idoling.
It Gud?
It's not bad, so far. There's something fun about the premise of an idol star so completely disinterested in his craft that he's willing to let a ghost possess him. I like that while the show makes it a mutual arrangement, he is clearly hoping he doesn't have to do jack shit on his end and the narrator puts a bow on the fact that he kinda sucks as a person. The ghost herself is, sadly, a more generic "happy girl" character who is living her dream and so far doesn't have much going on beyond that.

The rest of the cast is similarly malnourished in characterization so far but it's just the intro and they aren't the focus so that could change. My biggest issue is that I'm not that big into idol shows and while this is one with a high concept angle, it is unabashedly that, with a full on musical number in the last act that left me pretty cold. It's the cheesy CG and clearly the show wants to sell some CDs and stuff and it's a big chunk out of the show.

I do think the lead male is probably enjoying himself, as he gets to play two characters; himself and himself possessed by a ghost girl. He plays both roles with the appropriate levels and while it isn't exactly a revelation, it's better done than some of these, really cementing the differences. I will say I feel the show lacks direction. The episode ends with both characters getting what they want. The male lead has fans who love him for who he is but do they turn on him when he's suddenly VERY different? No, they love him still. Does he feel a pang of jealousy that the ghost is getting attention? No. There could be more going in but I'm not sure what this looks like as a weekly series yet.


Yurei Deco
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The Premise
On an island society were everyone uses augmented reality and status and wealth are based solely on "love", a girl hunts for a criminal thief known as Zero out of interest. She finds a mysterious "invisible" thief only she can see due to a glitch in her eye, and follows them, assuming they are Zero. After a chase, the two encounter the "real" Zero, a mysterious entity that destroys the like economy with their mere presence.
It Gud?
I'm a big booster of Science Saru and have yet to see a series they've done I didn't enjoy but I was a little worried going into this one. A series about a society focused on the Like economy seemed extremely heavy-handed and would lead to some eyeball rolling, no matter how well animated it is. But thankfully, the first episode keeps things very light, fun and keeping the characters as the priority. It is still one of my least favourite first episodes for a Saru series.

It looks pretty as fuck, with eye-popping colours and some fun visuals and character designs. The action scenes look pretty great and, again, it doesn't let it's premise allow itself to wallow in smug self-satisfied "DO YOU GET IT?!" and instead is a light adventure. Things have room to deepen but it's actually pretty easy to follow overall, while still having mysteries to solve and has an opportunity to explore it's ideas in an organic way.

But to it's detriment, I'm just not engaged in the characters yet. They aren't boring or dull or trite. I mean, I have seen their types before but they don't feel like a cookie cutter design, entirely, and their personality is greatly aided by the animation. But I'm only mildly invested in the protagonists and it is so light-feeling that I don't have engagement beyond "oh, this is fun". But I am hopeful it can unfold into a young adult style adventure that becomes stronger as it grows. But even if it stays at this level, I'm in for a good time.

Allied Air Force Magical Idols Luminous Witches
680062.jpg

The Premise
In an alternate World War II... CUBES ARE ATTACKING! Our only hope? Witches with propeller jets for legs and animal ears and tails. How can they help? Forming an idol group! Duh!
It Gud?
Wow, that's a wild premise, huh? I mean, it's a lot. A World War II show mixed with Idol Show mixed with Magical Girl show seems fucking wild. The girls merge with their familiars and also get ears and tails. Does the weirdness ever stop? I mean, it's crazy that their a series about a magical war with girls in ridiculous jet boots and the series isn't about them fighting but instead singing and dancing. Look at this nonsense.

A24669-2020549386.1654133194.jpg

So maybe I should be worried. I guess military chic never speaks to me anyway but it's an alternate history where Japan seems to be on the side of the allies this time which... I have mixed feelings about. I'm not entirely sure what to glean from it. I get wanting to have a fake history where you get to have made fewer mistakes and evil acts and instead of killing people, they get to kill... cubes. But I guess this kind of fanciful revisionist history while knowing the horror of war makes me not entirely comfortable with it. But I also enjoy war adventure movies from time to time so maybe I'm just being a hypocrite.

But after all the weirdness, the weirdest part is... how boring this show is. It is a shockingly dull show. They KEEP introducing new characters and they get less and less interesting. Lots of time with world building and characters but I don't understand this world and only know the most basic info on some of them and a couple of them come across as "also, these people". I can't even get angry at it, I'm just shock that a series with a premise this wild is so deeply dull, it hurts to think about.

Shine On! Bakumatsu Bad Boys!
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The Premise
In an alternate reality Meiji era, all but one of the Shinsengumi have been murdered by an mysterious evil gang. Desperate for help, 7 criminals are recruited to be the new Shinsengumi, wielding the swords of the original leaders of the crime fighting swordsmen. This includes a murderer of samurai, a hitman, a mad doctor, a "sinful" monk, a woman who dresses as a man, a loan shark and a foot thief. The unlikely team soon finds that the swords they use may have unexpected supernatural properties.
It Gud?
Bakumatsu Bad Boys is a show I'm going to give a chance to. The first episode was middling but it has a few aspect I like. Some of the character designs are fun. I like the idea of bad dudes teaming up to do good, against their nature. And the show does nothing overtly wrong save for not being that exciting. But it's a weak season, so against my better judgment, I'm giving some middling shows a chance. The description might make it sound like Akudama Drive but tonally it feels like Tribe Nine, another show with a fun premise but mediocre results.

One thing to complain about is the decision, like the also mediocre Angolmois (there's a reason you probably don't know this one), for some reason there's some weird filter that looks like it was smeared with dust. It doesn't add charm, it's just ugly.

Parallel World Pharmacy
1233114.jpg

The Premise
A medical doctor dies and goes to another world and he's a kid and he's more powerful than anyone ever and has all the best magics to make medicine and everyone is SOOOOOO impressed and also he's rich and loved. A real upper middle class to GOD MODE BRUCE WAYNE story.
It Gud?
I certainly gave it a very facetious synopsis but I really didn't "hate" or even "dislike" this show, but I am sort of exhausted by going through the same song and dance again and again. It's another older dude who travels into a younger body after dying of a lethal case of work. He is innately amazing at everything (these series often either have that or are given all the time in the world to be the best in an atmosphere of near complete isolation) and frankly he has more personality as a burnt out workaholic than some rando rich kid, even though they are the actual same character. I don't hate formula at all but it bothers me how it is constantly the hero drowning in privilege when I'm much more interested in watching a guy having to introduce modern medical techniques to a fantasy world.

But there was nothing offensive about it... yet. It's fairly standard but I do see potential here and since JBear is more interested, I don't mind giving it a chance. I like the implications that what the character has on his wrist when he first gets there. Medical isekai has been done but if it doesn't rely too much on all-power and seeing the value of medical knowledge, I'm more into it. And maybe the hero will develop a real personality that I can articulate. That said, I won't recommend this one as it stands, though I'll let you know if anything changes.

Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer
468484.jpg

The Premise
A young man is approached by a lizard who tells him he is destined to be a heroic knight protecting a princess. He wants nothing to do with this but it won't stop monsters from attacking him and his meager superpower. Luckily he finds his princess, who protects him... and points out a giant hammer hovering above the Earth, threatening to smash the Earth. And she doesn't want that to happen... because SHE wants to smash the Earth.
It Gud?
This is yet another show with a wild premise but while I wouldn't call it boring... exactly, I really didn't care for this at all. I get what it wants to do; it wants to be a show that deconstructs and challenges adventure tropes, particularly chosen one heroes, knights protecting princesses and the goals of characters. The hero is actively trying to avoid the plot and constantly questions the premise of the series, mocking it and trying to ditch his responsibility. There's monsters but a lot of it is him walking around and discussing his nature.

I don't mind the idea of a show putting the escapist stuff on the backburner for fun character interactions but the lead character is fucking insufferable. It's not just that he's a jerk, it's that we are constantly with him and I think we are supposed to share some of his smugness about the series and it's premise. The jokes mostly don't land. And it is ugly. Not, like, the worst by a long shot but it just looks shoddy and cheap and passionless. Apparently this was based on a 20 year old manga and I think that maybe it's such a product of it's time that it wasn't made to come out again.

Whatever the case, whether it aged badly or it was always bad, Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer takes a wacky premise and turns it into a slog. I don't like being around these characters and particularly not the lead, who is in every scene and has some dismissive comment that isn't clever as much as it is off-putting. Which also describes the show.

The Yakuza's Guide to Babysitting
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The Premise
The toughest, most feared yakuza in town has a new mission; taking care of his boss's young daughter.
It Gud?
I feel like this is part of a burgeoning sub-genre of yakuza being put in softer roles. The most obvious one is the hit The Way of the Househusband but there's also the very fun Hinamatsuri (though the yakuza angle is only a smaller part of the series). I also like the formula of cute kid with unlikely guardian or protector, which feels as old as time where the idea is taking a type who doesn't seem kid friendly and forcing them to be a parental figure.

Yakuza's Guide to Babysitting follows this but the results are merely fine. I didn't mind watching it but it was neither laugh out loud funny nor did it pull on my heartstrings the way I would have wanted. I still enjoying it well enough and it's fun to see an uncompromising bully find someone worth protecting and caring about and having those feelings reciprocated. That said, it's merely a so-so first episode and while I'm hoping it will grow in my estimation, I don't have a lot of faith in it hitting that much harder.


When Will Ayumu Make His Move?
881464.jpg


The Premise
Ayumu is a beginner player of shogi who joins the unofficial "shogi club" in order to confess his love to the only other member. She already has feelings for him too but the catch is he will only confess once he wins one game against her. She's much better than him so it seems hopeless. But his one advantage is his pokerface and his completely guileless forwardness that makes it very clear he does feel something and constantly makes her flustered in a way he seems to be unaware of.
It Gud?
It's alright. This is another rom-com series based on a manga created by Sōichirō Yamamoto who is currently doing three series. I didn't care much for In the Heart of Kunoichi Tsubaki, about a ninja who wants to see a man, but this is much more fun. Having not seen it, I suspect this has a lot in common with Teasing Master Takagi-San, as it revolves around one character making another character flustered, though this seems to be about someone who is clueless that they are doing it.

It's a cute little series, mostly, and I do like the two leads. Ayumu both sincerely wants to confess but also looks up to his love interest, naively waiting to equal her in a game when he already has the romantic advantage he is constantly and aggressively pressing it without noticing how effective it is. I think it risks getting old but I'm hoping like Aharen, it mixes up the formula and keeps pressing on it's own advantage of charming leads, I see this as a fun one for the season.


My Isekai Life: I Gained a Second Character Class and Became the Strongest Sage in the World

1201534.jpg

The Premise
Guy is in a fantasy world and was probably isekaied or something and he super great at everything who cares.
It Gud?
Based on the write up, you must know and must ask "why even try? Why?" Let me let you in on a secret. If there's a goofy looking monster, that helps. We'll give it a shot. And there's a slime with a handlebar mustache and a wolf that looks like he's constantly in panic mode.

Really, don't bother. Pretty animation AND in the first episode, nothing offensive (though the fact that the only woman I remember is the heroes hench-fairy and some lady who... helps at a guild bar or something? So potential sign of where it puts it's female characters). But it is kind of generic and overpowered cool main character is boring when played completely straight. The charm of things like One-Punch Man or Haven't You Heard, I'm Sakamoto? is that it understands the absurdity of power but also humanizes it's cast (even if Sakamoto is almost a cipher, he brings out the best in people). But shows like this really want to to wish you were as powerful and clever without actually feeling clever and having a very superficial idea of what makes a character cool.

Lycoris Recoil
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The Premise
Society has reached a golden age but eternal vigilance is needed. The last vestiges of crime and terror are discreetly dealt with by an army of heavily armed teen girls. One such girl makes a pretty big dangerous chance and is punished/rewarded with a transfer to Lycoris Recoil, where a former agent runs a cafe and uses her assassin skills to help people rather than punishing villains, to teach her to value life.
It Gud?
You'd think a utopia built on a secret army would be interesting in raising questions about what kind of paradise is built on lies and death but Lycoris Recoil puts that on the backburner for "gal pals bonding". Nothing wrong with that but it's weird to have the heroes be secret police and it kind of not having an opinion on secret police. During on montage there's a guy who is killed sitting on a bench with a bag and I think we are supposed to assume he's a mad bomber but also maybe it looks like the cute girls murdered a rando for the crime of loitering. I don't think this show wants to really deal with the ramifications of it's premise, which is weird. I think it somewhat gets that there's a darkness to it but this isn't treated like a secret dystopia and the main hero doesn't seem haunted by her bloody-handed past so much as "let's help people rather than kill them." Good but also, I suspect it will be frustrating going forward.

The show has a light feel. It's more about a person learning that helping people is better than punishing evil and I can enjoy it for that. I think I will enjoy it for what it is but it's kind of wild that (again, I suspect, maybe I'll be wrong) it isn't interested in making the secret police as baddies. Like, in an ideal world, the secret ladies turn on their masters and overthrow paradise but instead its about killers learning small stakes lesson. And it sounds like I'm down on this show. But I'm not. It's just weird, is all.

Call of the Night
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The Premise
A teen finds himself secretly wandering the streets at night and encounters a weird young woman. It turns out she's a vampire looking to score some blood but he's less interested in her teeth than her life-style as she is truly a creature of the night. He wants to follow her example and become a vampire but before he can be one he needs to live like one, leading a second life as a night owl.
It Gud?
Overall this season has been a bit of a bummer over all. But I will say Call of the Night looked like a simple and maybe horny romance series. But I actually think this is going somewhere interesting. The first episode does do some worldbuilding for vampires but I think that this isn't going to be a vampire adventure series but I suspect is going to be more of a coming of age story about a guy learning to enjoy the night life. In order for him to become a vampire, he's basically going to have to spend a lot of time in the night and I could see this as being a series about opening himself up to a new world.

The animation is really nice to be sure and though the female lead is scantily dressed, it doesn't feel like a saucy series (though it has some gestures in that direction) but really about a guide to the world of night and her charge. I can see this going in several directions and they mostly interest me. It could go more vampire heavy but if it does, I feel like it won't be "good vs. evil vampires" and more vampires enjoying the night differently. I see a lot of what I assume are the main character's classmates so I suspect it'll be about this guy dealing with his two worlds and how his night adventures play into his daytime life.

I won't say I'm super stoked but I enjoyed it and see a lot of potential not just in the premise but the presentation. Frankly, I've seen good premises die on the vine but this one seems to know what it wants to be and I hope it succeeds and that I enjoy it.
 

Peklo

Oh! Create!
(they/them, she/her)
It doesn't sound like you're aware so forgive me for this: Luminous Witches is a Strike Witches spinoff, as tipped off by its near-identical premise, aesthetic and all the rest. Maybe the only difference is that fifteen years ago the aircraft-legged children were wearing swimsuits and less tights to facilitate perpetual upskirts, but I doubt the series' spirit of marrying sexualization of its underage cast with military fetishization has changed substantially in the interim--at most they're awkwardly masking it to a degree. It's one of those things where as a younger person I forced interaction with it because there was a Finnish character, and she was gay, and I could not allow that point of connection to pass me by. All I've got to show for it now is literacy in absolute garbage.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
I've heard the name "Strike Witches" but I lumped it in with other witch show's that were in the periphery of my mind like Tweeny Witches and Something Witch Academy (which I think is supposed to be pretty good, despite not being able to bring the title to mind). At this point, I feel proud of my ignorance am I am... Kengan Segura? Is that right? That horny booby franchise?
 

Peklo

Oh! Create!
(they/them, she/her)
Strike Witches is one of these perennial media franchises that use little girl otakuism as a vehicle for Imperial Japan otakuism and propaganda, much like other trash like Girls und Panzer and Kantai Collection. It's not subtle about it, with the author having done work to promote the SDF just to put a point on what the aim of all of it is. It's a pretty particular kind of insidious even beyond the "usual" modes of sexual exploitation when it's getting intrinsically connected with fascist imagery and nostalgia. It has also lasted very long as a franchise so I'm not surprised if people forgot it was ever even a thing, but these things always have an audience to sustain them, even if it's very insular by nature.
 
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Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
Kantai Collection
The funny thing is I was like "I'm glad I never heard of this" and then decided to look it up and realized I've actually seen the first episode. But even then, I think I watched it out of a bemused morbid curiousity.

Please, Japan, stop anthropomorphizing your vehicles with 12 year olds. I saw one with trains a few years back and I expected dry train otakuism with cute girls and then the actual thing made me uncomfortable (I don't remember the specifics except "this is not what I signed up for.")
 
A few shows from this season I've tried:

Call of the Night - this is by the same author as "Dagashi Kashi" so it has roughly the same M.O., just without the pretense of exploring traditional Japanese junk food. So lots of ecchi-sketchy camera pans and horny teenagers put into compromising positions. But like, with a vampire this time, encouraging a young teenager to be a delinquent? I don't really know. This show isn't good.

Uncle from Another World - this one is stuck in netflix jail or something, but should come out soon? I like it. The premise is pretty simple. Your stereotypical isekai protagonist wakes back up in the real world after having been Isekai'd for a few decades, and tries to go back to a normal life. But it's pretty fun satire of the whole situation as it's clear this raging otaku's complete lack of social skills, self-awareness, and moral compass meant all of his Isekai adventures did not go as they were supposed to. Pretty amusing gag comedy.

Summer Time Rendering - I'm only a few episodes into this one, but it's amusing for how overwrought and dramatic it is, while also being pretty stupid. Lots of nerds on the internet are creaming themselves on this show for its meme-value, so I look forward to seeing how bad this can get.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
I started watching Cells at Work and… this might be the most educational piece of Edutainment I’ve ever seen?

Sorry Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego, you were king for a while but most of your facts have become very out of date.
 

ThornGhost

lofi posts to relax/study to
(he/him)
Because I finally fell for Crunchyroll's aggressive recommendation of it, I watched Rent-A-Girlfriend (RAG), now in its second season.

Let's be clear, I'm pretty sure RAG is not a good show, but it has some qualities, some of them quite unique in the space, that elevate it from merely "bad" to "complicated". Some may find it compelling if not entirely enjoyable.

The bad first then: if not exactly a "harem" show it is quite aware of the genre and would love to position itself in some adjacency to it. The show features a cast of attractive women and isn't afraid to trot them out for intros, outtros and advertisements as if they were some homogenous idol group.

The first season in particular has a love of masturbation jokes that never hit and are often quite off-putting, even in the sex comedy space.

There is a non-negligable amount of male gaze in the visual direction of the show. These generally don't align with the events happening on screen, and seem more of an artifact of barely suppressed lechery on the part of the animation staff.

Some of the secondary female cast are one dimensional, and if they do have layers they're often off-putting or boring.

Well, what could be the good then?

I actually think the main female character, Chizuru, is written very compelling and uniquely. She's very layered, with strengths, weaknesses, goals, successes and failures. She's essentially a sex worker, and the show explores that pretty even-handedly. In fact, it really is the main source of conflict and plot development in the show, and is treated better than you'd imagine.

Most of the cast are adults in college. If this show was set with high school kids, as is typical with anime, it would be a non-starter for me. As it is, it slots into the college boner comedy genre pretty nicely.

The art and music are really top notch.

The mediocre:

The main character, Kazuya, is also a bit of a mixed bag, trending toward unlikable but not completely unredeemable. He has fits and starts of growth as he deals with his feelings for Chizuru and their actual relationship, but is significantly less interesting than her. Since his main activity is thinking about Chizuru, however, he can serve as a vector for advancing her story.

A lot of the comedy falls flat with the typical anime meet-cute """"jokes"""". There is some inherent situational comedy that hits a lot better that the show would do well to focus on.

In conclusion, this show has a lot of parts that could be appreciated, but it doesn't quite come together into a recommendable show. I think there's a compelling story in there, but the main viewpoint character would need to be changed and the direction would need to be handed to a different creator. Frustratingly, RAG does occasionally rise above and let us see glimpses of that other story, but then jumps right back into the muck.
 

BEAT

LOUDSKULL
(DUDE/BRO)
Everything I've heard about RAG makes me think it's in the same vein of that one show about the sadist GF, in that it's completely dedicated to appeasing a very specific set of incels.

A classic NO BITCHES show, if you will.
 
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BEAT

LOUDSKULL
(DUDE/BRO)
I remember the time my esteemed colleague @gogglebob streamed the FATE cooking game, and I pondered at how something that unambiguously started as pornography had mutated into an almost upsettingly "wholesome" cooking video game.

And then it suddenly dawned on me that the FATE COOKING WITH YOUR GIRLFRIEND IN AN ENTIRELY NONSEXUAL MANNER was in fact, pornographic. It's just that the fantasy it was providing was "a lady in your house that will talk to you."

I think this describes a LOT of the dreaded "slice of life" genre, and anime in general.
 
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It's just that the fantasy it was providing was "a lady in your house that will talk to you."

I think this describes a LOT of the dreaded "slice of life" genre, and anime in general.
Eh. Yes and no. A large proportion of 'slice of life' shows are 'Cute Girls Doing Cute Things' shows that almost universally exclude men/boys entirely, so there's no real wish-fulfillment aspect to them. Except I guess voyeurism which is a whole other issue, but not entirely unrelated.

I've been watching "Isekai Ojisan" and that show is hilarious. It really takes the piss out of nerd isekai fantasies. Only bummer with the show is that it's on an unplanned hiatus because covid hit the animation studio hard enough to stop production.
 

FelixSH

(He/Him)
Still watching the original Space Battleship Yamato (very slowly). Just watched episode 9, really fun and intense. The reason why I write is, that they reversed the polarity. And it actually meant something. Theme- and Endsong are still awesome (men choirs sound so great), and I really enjoy the old artstyle.

Already looking forward to comparing it with the remake from years later.
 
Finally sat down to the absurdly and poorly named "Rascal does not dream of bunny girl senpai" and

What I expected: anime bullshit hate watch

What I got: entertaining banter and conversation exchanges with science lingo (poorly) peppered in, and also a very less embarrassing version of Bakemonogatari series. Also surprisingly almost no bunny girl beyond the first five minutes of episode 1 and opening song.

What I find most entertaining: two kids kicking each other in the butt

Also a very poor movie with some good bits but is mostly ... self-indulgent (?) for lack of a better term; the movie tries very hard to be more dramatic than ther main series but fails to do so. I can see how the entire set up of the movie was build from the epusode 1 but it is a major far cry from even the low points of the main series.
 
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JBear

Internet's foremost Bertolli cosplayer
(He/Him)
Yeah, I thought that show was surprisingly decent. The two leads have great chemistry and I enjoy their dry, witty banter, which helps a lot. Otherwise, it reminds me a lot of Suzimiya Haruhi, with a bunch of kids ending up in surreal/supernatural situations and thinking it's more intelligent and has more to say than it does.
 
Crosspost from the Gundam thread, but the prologue episode for Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch from Mercury went live on Bandai's Gundam channel on youtube.


I have fairly mixed feelings about this, but I'm more than intrigued and am looking forward to how the show is come October when it starts in earnest.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
What I got: entertaining banter and conversation exchanges with science lingo (poorly) peppered in, and also a very less embarrassing version of Bakemonogatari series. Also surprisingly almost no bunny girl beyond the first five minutes of episode 1 and opening song.
I liked the show. I feel like it risked being a little insufferable in the way I found The Detective is Already Dead was but luckily pretty much always landed on charming. I will say, I feel like it never gets as good as the first arc but it remains a watchable show throughout.
 
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