A poor kid drowning in inherited debt makes ends meet by killing devils with the help of his chainsaw dog demon. However, eventually the criminals he owe throws him under the bus to be killed by a demon. When both are near death, his pet decides to merge them together into some sort of… devil man. Made of chainsaws. He kills the gangster, realizes he is free from debt and after meeting an officially sanctioned devil hunter, decides to become one himself.
I like it so far. I’ve been hearing people have been over the moon for it but it feels mostly like a nastier shounen series. Which I don’t mind because I often like the formula when done well and I think they do a great job with this initial “boy and his dog” story. I’m a little late waiting for the other shows I’m covering to have episodes to talking about so I’ve seen the other two and I’ll say with the boy and his dog story removed, it’s a little less exciting but I do like a lot of its humour, especially a fight were our protagonist goes ONLY for nut shots. And blames it on a nut devil. I’ll say the following two feels like it is working on making the new cast coalesce. Power seems like she’ll be a fun character, especially since (based on the OP) it seems like they are building up a relationship similar to Itadori and Kugisaki’s in Jujutsu Kaisen; rather than making the main boy and most prominent girl an item they will be buds and partners in being annoying to a third member.
Also, a lot of those episodes are revolving around the main character, unsure what he wants now that he has what he wants, deciding the next thing he wants is to feel tits and it’s a bit I don’t like as much. I get why this is the decision beyond the “gag” because I think it’s part of this guy’s story figuring out what he really wants beyond freedom and trying some things and it’s not nearly as sex pesty as most anime would play it but in the end it’s still a guy hoping to get a quid quo pro boob touch as a motivator.
Otherwise, I really do like this show and am looking forward to its direction. I’m not as over the moon as most but also not as aghast by it by some other tyrants. And as usual, Mappa is killing it.
Ataru is the world’s unluckiest boy… which would be more tragic if he wasn’t a little creep who constantly leers at and hits on women. But sure enough his bad luck tips over when he’s randomly chosen to save the Earth from oni alien invaders. Ataru has a week to catch the aliens’ strongest soldier the beautiful Lum in a game of tag. Ataru keeps losing and with time running out, a girl he likes promises to marry him if he wins. And he manages to use his wits to win while raving about getting married. He’s the hero… until Lum mistakenly thinks Ataru was proposing to her… and she will not take no for an answer.
This is a weird one. Back in the day, I was really into Ranma ½ but Urusei Yatsura was something I only caught occasionally and I enjoyed it OK but I don’t have much emotional connection to it. It’s one that is riding a tricky line in it’s return as it is one of the many properties from that era where the protagonist’s defining feature is goddamned sex pest. So I was a little wary going in.
I don’t know if I’m going to follow up on this simply due to my ambivalence to the source material but holy shit is this an amazing looking show. David Production already made their bones on a Jojo adaptation that generally got better looking each season and I think this cements them as the company to go to for realizing older manga. It’s goddamned gorgeous. It’s opening credits are perfect thematically as our womanizing protagonist has the tables turned on him by a possessive alien.
The interesting thing is that while, yeah, sex pest protag is kind of done (and when it isn’t, that’s a bad sign for your show) but I think the show does the best it can. I think it helps that by the metrics of the era, this isn’t nearly as bad as Ryo Saeba from City Hunter or similar characters. But also, it is a show we don’t see too much anymore; all the characters are shits. And that’s the actual selling point. I feel like we are in an era were it can be a harder sell, Rick and Morty and Always Sunny notwithstanding, to have leads who are plain bad people but I think the show knows it and is having fun with these jerks making each other life terrible. Even the parents break anime tradition of smiling, accepting non-entities into straight up fucking hating their teenage son and telling him repeatedly they wish he was never born. It should feel more mean-spirited but I think it works.
I might come back but seeing it’s not on Crunchyroll, I’m not excited. But it’s definitely one of the best productions of the year in a very good year of quality animation.
Management of a Novice Alchemist
A young girl goes to an academy for alchemy and manages to focus on her studies and pass with high honors thanks to an experienced tutor. However, her success came at the cost of not making any friends. She’s eventually provided with her own shop in the middle of nowhere… almost.
Um… I think? I watched this forever ago and I can vaguely remember plot points. And I didn’t dislike it. But I also had no desire to stick with it. Like, no objections, but I just wasn’t left with a desire to stick with it.
Pui Pui Molcar Driving School
The Ratmobiles go to school.
If you don’t know my answer, you just… don’t get me, man.
Arknights: Prelude to Dawn
A man wakes up to discover he’s lost his memory… and he’s the last hope in a world where a group of disease victims has turned to terrorism and a superstorm looms over the horizon. The man is a “doctor” and must remember how to fight his way to lead a counterinsurgency group to victory.
No. It’s not awful and it has a promising start. I thought this might be a isekai at first but then I was thinking “if it is, then it is throwing us into a much more tense scenario than usual where even in the edgelordy ones characters usually are given breathing room to flex a cool muscle or learn to be badass”. This felt different… but then when I realized what its hand is, I was less impressed. The series is heavy on worldbuilding and I’m glad they don’t take too much time to exposition at us but then I realized this is based on a tactical JRPG gacha mobile game with the animal people being among the creature girls you can with win by luck, I was less impressive. The main character’s muteness became less “mysterious” and more “player insert.” The first adventure became less tense and more “tutorial mission with fake sense of tension.” And it’s not even that it is bad but when it showed it’s hand, the world building it was working on felt less engaging. This isn’t a comment on the Arknight game. Maybe it's good and fun. But it’s hard to make a tie-in exciting for me and this could have been far worse but I’m just not excited about the drab fantasy world of this series.
Play It Cool, Guys
They look cool and sexy. But even cool, sexy boys can be complete hot messes. And accident prone. And cringy.
At first, I thought it was sort of an inverse version of the comedy Haven’t You Heard, I’m Sakamoto. That show is about a cool dude who is unflappable to a ridiculous degree. I thought this might be about cool dudes trying to hide being flapped. And it kind of is but they end up exposing their flaps… but their vulnerabilities clearly are making them cuter to the women they encounter, who find their errors adorable. At least, that’s the case for the first lead but this is an ensemble so remains to be seen for the other characters.
But one episode in, it’s pretty charming. It also helps that the episodes are only about 12 minutes. There are a lot of anime I probably would have kept with if they didn’t go full length and I appreciate that it won’t overstay its welcome, at least episode to episode. It seems to be a sweet little something and am hoping it keeps up its low key charms.
A salaryman struggling to find work accidentally stumbles onto a new job opportunity… a idol group made of 40 year old men.
I feel like I’ve hit a certain issue with the idol shows I try; they are best when they aren’t idol shows. I like Zombieland Saga but the show was best in the wacky first episode, unpredictable weird and funny. It’s still fun and sweet afterward and goes some surprising places but it never gets better. I liked the first episode of Heroines Run the Show but then it gets into the weird, kind-of-toxic issues with idols and reinforces ideas like “they shouldn’t be allowed to date because all the ladies need to dream about them” or some shit. Phantom of the Idol starts fun but the last episode is a nearly insufferable full on performance (the show also thinks the fan characters are far funnier than they are.
But all the same, I want to try this. It’s got a pretty decent and sweet first episode and AGAIN, we have a 12-minute show. This helps a lot for watchability and not outstaying its welcome. More 12 minute shows please.
A high school girl doesn’t have time for romance. There’s too many video games to play, chocolate to eat and cats to snuggle. But a meddling wizard takes those away in an attempt to force her into a romantic life and line its own pockets in the process. She’s doesn’t like this turn and rather work toward romance to get them back, she decides to fight against romance, hoping the wizard will get frustrated and quit. But can the plan work when the wizard already has a hot dude lined up for her?
I… mostly like it. It’s swinging for the fences in being wacky but it’s a hit or miss when it pays off. The misses aren’t cringey but it’s a thing where I feel like it treats the yelling as funny enough and it doesn’t always work. But there are a lot of good gags. The episode begins with a parody otome game in 3D that looks intentionally ugly and off and the sexy boy looks hilariously off. That stuff hits really good. And I do kind of appreciate an element we haven’t seen in a while; an ending theme sung by a character (I guess Saiki K. had those but that’s the last one that comes to mind). It definitely a romance but it is unabashedly silly. In many ways, the mascot character sidekick as antagonist feels like wacky, comedy-centric update of older fantasy shoujo like Hime no Ribbon, Tonde Burin or Full Moon o Shigashite where a young girl has magical assistance to improve her life, except here, it is completely against her will and the mascot sucks.
I’m curious how it’s going to go. I don’t think I’ll be happy if the message is “drop your favourite stuff to find love” but the fact that the shitty wizard makes me think it might not go there. I’m actually hoping the direction is the lead deflects her suitors and inadvertently helps other boys find love and ironically does the wizard’s job better. But I don’t think it’s quite shown it’s hand in this department yet so I’ll go in cautiously optimistic for an interesting take. So far it’s promising.