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Iaboo, Youaboo, Weallaboo for Anime!

Mightyblue

aggro table, shmaggro table
(He/Him/His)
Oh, hey, Noblesse, I remember reading scans of that somewhere around five years plus ago? Kind of an odd choice to adapt into an anime out of the scads of Korean paranormal action manhuas.
 

Hilene

Loves "Friendly Girls"
(She/Her)
So, I really don't want to be that person, but also I'm one of the few people on these boards that cares about this kind of stuff at all.

The first episode of Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear, for some reason I can't fathom, is in media res, starting from an adventure in the middle of the first LN. It's taking place WELL after everything you talked about has been established and "explained". I can only imagine that the anime director wanted to start off with action, but even that doesn't seem right or sensible.

I'm just gonna say it, because it's not like it's a spoiler (the About blurb for it on Funi even straight up says this, let alone the blurbs for the books): It's not a VRMMO anime like Bofuri or Dendrogram. It's of the "transported into a world based on an MMO as your character" sub-genre of isekeis, and the reason Yuna acts like the "NPCs" have agency is because they do. They're not computer programs.

I have no idea why this episode bookended itself with her entering and leaving her VR world, but the bit you see at the very end of the episode is the actual MMO, and should lead right into the next episode setting up how she was transported into this other world (which, despite what I said earlier, is neither the world of her MMO nor her as her character, but the setup of this series is basically taking from that playbook).

Overall, I really like the LNs because it has this vibe of being Cute Girls Doing Cute Things in that sub-genre playbook, but there's also this dark undercurrent that keeps me interested. Like I said, I'm one of the few people here who would even be interested in something like this, so take my commentary with a grain of salt.
 

Hilene

Loves "Friendly Girls"
(She/Her)
Just gonna follow up with my last post and say that they really should have had the second episode of Kuma be the first episode, because it actually is the first episode, now that I have watched it.
 

Zef

Find Your Reason
(He/Him)
I only read the manga (up to a point) and watched... maybe the first 15 or so episodes of the anime? But I think now I know what being a fan of the Inuyasha TV anime during its mid-run must've been like.

Yashahime continues to progress at an absolutely glacial pace, throwing mystery box into mystery box into puzzle box into an abyss. Episode 3 spends its runtime on, basically, two scenes that just tease at things but come no closer to developing either the plot, or the characters (not beyond stuff we already knew about them from Ep 2.) And... honestly, it's not cute anymore for people within the show to call things "nostalgic" every episode. Yes, there's three magical gemstone MacGuffins. Yes, there's a Mistress Centipede that serves as the first boss. Yes, there's this feral half-demon who doesn't know how to act around modern people (and it gets creepy when the nudity-based humor centers on a 14yo.) And then Kikyo is showing up next episode, so... Yeah, it's all the greatest hits, but it'd be nice if the show let its characters do their own thing, capture new fans, rather than shackle them to Millennial nostalgia. And you can tell, from the style of dialogue and exposition, that Takahashi didn't pen this, especially when you compare to her modern works like Rinne or Mao.

(Or, well, maybe that last bit is unfair, since this extremely slow delivery is the reason I quit the original IY manga way back then.)

At least, now we know (thank you, Exposition Kaede!) that this all takes place 15 years after the end of the original series so the SesshouRin ship wasn't just sunk, it was torched, torpedoed, and scattered across the seven seas. I hope, anyway. Still no mention or concern about why Inuyasha and Kagome left their kid to fend for herself like we now know Mr. Fluff (and presumably the mysterious Mrs. Fluff) did to his own daughters.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
There's a lot I want to talk about this season but the second episode of the new season of Golden Kamuy does what it does best: very homoerotic comedy and food porn (sadly the latter is only at the end of the episode).

I'm not sure who the MVP of the episode was but I think its Koito and his insistence that every terrible thing that ends up happening is part of Sugimoto's plan.
 
Yashahime continues to progress at an absolutely glacial pace
Just here to offer the counter perspective: I wouldn't really call it "glacial", it's about on par with how most shounen shows pace themselves. Which is definitely too slow for some people, but not me. I'm relishing the show taking its time to slowly introduce things and characters versus going at breakneck speeds. And I'm quite happy with just about everything happening in this show. It's comfy, it's uplifting, it's fun, it looks great, and I love every single character so far. You weren't that big on Inuyasha Zef, but Inuyasha was my jam. So sitting down with this show is like catching up with a long lost friend you haven't seen in a decade, and it just feeling 100% right like you just saw them yesterday and haven't missed a beat. Inuyasha in general is gonna be a ymmv thing, but I know a lot of people got a lot of milage out of it, so I think it's definitely worth people trying out to see if it's for them or not.

At least, now we know (thank you, Exposition Kaede!) that this all takes place 15 years after the end of the original series so
I don't think that's the case? Kaede said it had been 15 years since she last saw Sesshoumaru, not since the end of the last show. I assume it's been significantly longer. Especially given the context of the first episode, where Kaede is seeing Sesshoumaru, without any babies in tow, and it's been long enough that Sango has a brood now. Also consider, if it's been 15 years since the end of Inuyasha, then that means Kagome and Inuyasha had a kid when Kagome was still a high school aged teenager, and that's a different level of oof I'm pretty sure they're smart enough to avoid.
 

Hilene

Loves "Friendly Girls"
(She/Her)
Yeah, I agree that it doesn't feel that slow to me, but I guess I can see why someone who isn't in tune with the genre would think so.

I also want to say that I actually appreciate that characters just constantly get their names put on the screen on their first appearance in each episode. Like, it feels refreshing to me, but also it helps because I'm awful with names, so it gives me a reminder.
 
Yeah, I agree that it doesn't feel that slow to me, but I guess I can see why someone who isn't in tune with the genre would think so.
I think you can totally be in tune with the genre and it would still feel slow? Because some people just get sick of shounen stuff, and not all shows are slow. From my perspective, this isn't slow in the way a lot of shounen shows are, where they're visibly teasing things out because they don't know what they're doing and/or trying to wring dry a concept before the mangaka can get around to figuring out what they're doing next. They're still establishing the cast and the setting, which is like, normal for a show three episodes in? Fay Valentine didn't show up until episode 3 of Cowboy Bebop; Goemon didn't show up until episode 5 of Lupin III. Good shows take their time to let us get to know its cast and setting, and I really miss when that was the case. But if it is too slow for you right now, it's probably not going to get better down the line.

Meanwhile, I'm *really* getting to like the cast of Yashahime that we've been shown so far. Towa in particular is absolutely delightful. I really like how they portray her as a person pulled out of time. How even though her home is warm and inviting and loving, that she still doesn't feel like herself there. That she feels the gender roles and societal expectations of modern Japan to be restrictively suffocating. The part where she was trying to explain why she wants to wear masculine clothing, and how her family doesn't really get it or accept that's the way she is, is both endearing to Towa and rather heartbreaking. And I'm so excited for her to be able to go back where she's from, and feel more at home, and catch up with the family she lost.
 

Hilene

Loves "Friendly Girls"
(She/Her)
Also Towa looks friggin good in that suit.

I'll just be upfront and admit that my "touch" on shonen has atrophied over the last few years. I just found that I didn't really have much interest at all. And this is on top of me having not given Inuyasha enough of a fair shake when it was contemporary.
 

Zef

Find Your Reason
(He/Him)
OK, I'll rein in my expectations a bit :) You know, it's all the more ironic for me to expect faster plot progression when my favorite Takahashi work is downright episodic and you can only spot the character development if you take a bird eye's view of it (as in, a bird that's flying low-orbit.) But points taken all around, so I'll try to take the show as it is and not as I want it to be.

OTOH:

I don't think that's the case? Kaede said it had been 15 years since she last saw Sesshoumaru, not since the end of the last show. I assume it's been significantly longer. Especially given the context of the first episode, where Kaede is seeing Sesshoumaru, without any babies in tow, and it's been long enough that Sango has a brood now. Also consider, if it's been 15 years since the end of Inuyasha, then that means Kagome and Inuyasha had a kid when Kagome was still a high school aged teenager, and that's a different level of oof I'm pretty sure they're smart enough to avoid.
Kaede said it's been 15 years since the Bone Eater's Well stopped working, which I assume was when Kagome made her last trip from Heisei to Sengoku. Since (according to fan wikis) 3~4 years passed from the start of the show to the end, she was 18 at the time--and Rin was 11. If the math checks out, apparently InuKag wasted zero time, but I also don't see them waiting 7 years just to make SesshouRin even slightly less creepy, .

On that note, though, one of the mysteries that bother me is that there has been no mention of InuKag yet, not even during Kaede's exposition dump. They've already answered why Towa and Setsuna were on their own since infancy, but what's up with Moroha? Why does no one seem to know who she is, not even Sango's family? (Yes, I know it's one of the driving mysteries, and technically it concerns only old fans, and neophytes wouldn't blink at this notion, but from a narrative standpoint I'd expect Kaede to have brought the topic up for discussion sometime in the last 14 years, especially if something happened to Moroha's parents...)

Incidentally, have a fancomic:

 
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Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
Show has not dismissed SesshouJaken. And the kids are half human. Which means Jaken has been a small, shriveled green human the whole time. Will also accept SesshouKaede. We will know if this is true if Setsuna sits other characters down for an episode and a half of exposition in her hut.
 

JBear

Internet's foremost Bertolli cosplayer
(He/Him)
Listen, there's only one plausible explanation here, because we all know who Sesshoumaru loves most: himself.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
Has anyone ever seen Twilight Q? Apparently it's a Twilight Zone riff that only lasted for two OVA episodes, but the interesting thing is it's made by many of the folks who did Patlabor, including one ep directed by Oshii. I haven't gone looking yet so I don't know if fansubs are findable (there's certianly no official English release), or if it's really worth tracking down.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
I don't think so, and the latter predates the former by 20 years, but that's an interesting coincidence! According to wikipedia the Q in Ultra Q comes from "question"; it's possible the same is true for Twilight Q, but I don't know, there's not a whole lot of information on it out there.
 
On that note, though, one of the mysteries that bother me is that there has been no mention of InuKag yet, not even during Kaede's exposition dump.
Haha, all in good time I'm sure my mans. The first episode was really about re-establishing the setting. The second episode focused on Towa's personality and backstory. The third episode focused mostly on explaining Setsuna's whole deal. I expect the fourth will probably go a little more into explaining Moroha. Especially when the episode preview had Kikyo showing up, and what looked like Kagome trapped in the big time-tree. So far, the show is doing a lot of laying down the foundations, and they've continually hinted that something is wrong with the time-tree. Which is probably why the bone eater well stopped working. (Which I wouldn't place as directly at the end of Inuyasha, but probably during the events of the first episode which is several years later, since that's the point where whatever that parasitic yokai dug into the ground and seemed to have infected the tree.)

This one-episode at a time to really introduce characters is also something I really appreciate. It gives characters time to breathe and become known by the audience. It's something anime, and TV shows in general used to do a lot more. But these days, you're more apt to get a dozen characters thrown at you within the first episode and how tf is anybody supposed to learn a dozen new names, or have a meaningful/fluid explanation of who these characters are within only 24 minutes??
 

Zef

Find Your Reason
(He/Him)
That's not quite the issue I have with the show, though. We're only introduced to three new characters, yeah, but each of them has several mysteries surrounding them, and the "focus episodes" we've gotten so far have piled said mysteries on top of each other. There's the identity of the twins' mother, there's the portal that first separated the twins, there's the pearls, there's the absence of all the various parents, there's the lack of mention of said parents except Za Fluff, there's Root Head and what it did to the Tree of Ages, there's the in medias res opening scene with Towa in the past and the four-eyed yokai owl, there's Towa's Future Trunks sword, and so on. The original Inuyasha basically had only one opening mystery--what the Shikon no Tama was, since everyone wanted it and apparently it allowed Kagome to travel to the Sengoku era. Everything else was introduced slowly once the audience was hooked, like the quest for the shards, that IY had a family to begin with, or the real reason IY and Kikyo were fighting at the beginning (beyond the appearances of that scene). Likewise, the other Takahashi works present all their cards on the table and only start complicating the characters' backgrounds after we've gotten to know them for a bit. By contrast, I feel overwhelmed by YH's cascade of questions and I inevitably try to make sense of them through knowledge of the previous series, and I don't know how or which of these questions relate to the characters' personalities yet.

before the last few minutes of ep 3, I would have completely believed and sympathized with the stoic, detached Setsuna merely because she raised herself for about eight years before she came to Kaede's village, in what was described as a "fend for yourself and see if you survive" test, in an era where yokai ran rampant and her blood probably made her a target. That's all perfectly understandable and you could believe that's why her personality is basically Fluff Jr. Then it turns out, on top of all that expected trauma, she was also victim to a new type of yokai that eats dreams, and that is the reason she's inhumanly detached and emotionless. I don't know if that was particularly necessary--I have a feeling her emotions will come back when they kill the bug, rather than through regular human interaction and bonds with her sister/friends--but it's now a subplot for her and Towa, so the show will need to deal with at some point in addition to all the other mysteries.

So maybe calling the pace "glacial" was a mistake, when it's really more, I dunno, overwrought? In that every new episode raises new questions without answering any previous ones.
 
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ThornGhost

lofi posts to relax/study to
(he/him)
One of the things I might criticize about Takahashi's classic works that I'm most familiar with (Maison Ikkoku and IY along with Ranma and Lum to a lesser extent) is that she paces stories like she doesn't know how much longer they're likely to run. And she might not have! I'm certainly no expert in 80s/90s era manga contracts but I bet they may have been re-upped by their magazines depending on popularity.

Often time it seems to me she will start a story with a simple premise, get that story to a point she could wrap it at any time if she had to, then let it simmer and introduce new characters or side plots until she has an idea of how long the manga will run. This can lead to some stories that sag in the middle.

Obviously she's not writing this and I think it is an anime-first story so I imagine it will be structured differently. You generally want there to be some hints of future developments in early episodes. I'm not overwhelmed so far but it does seem like a story that might take 50+ eps to tell and not 13 or 26 or whatever.
 
We're only introduced to three new characters, yeah, but each of them has several mysteries surrounding them, and the "focus episodes" we've gotten so far have piled said mysteries on top of each other....
...The original Inuyasha basically had only one opening mystery--what the Shikon no Tama was
Yeah sort of, but not all the way? There was a LOT going on in the beginning of Inuyasha regarding questions of what is happening and why anything is the way that it is. Why was Inuyasha and Kikyo fighting was a question that's immediately brought to bear, since neither of their accounts match up from the get go. Kagome's time travel mechanics takes a few episodes to be ironed out and at first she's very worried she's permanently stuck in the past. Inuyasha is introduced as a violent antagonistic character, and it takes quite some time for Kagome and him to trust each other, so why is he the way he is, is a big mystery. Inuyasha's dead father and shitty half-brother is also a big mystery introduced early on in the first few episodes regarding why anything is the way they are, the answers of which takes years to tease out.

There might be more questions off the bat in Yashahime, but it's also a sequel show with a big time skip and a lot of changed status quos that need full exploration. And I think that's pretty natural for such a scenario. That might not be your cup of tea, and that's fine, but I love it. It's a trope that I think is personally pretty engaging, because I want to know all these things and have them explored. And in general I also just love mystery-shows too. Like, sure, I can sympathize with feeling like a show never giving you satisfying answers and just piling up the mysteries forever can feel really exhausting annoying. But this isn't like, Season 5 of LOST, we're only three episodes deep. 😂

I'm not overwhelmed so far but it does seem like a story that might take 50+ eps to tell and not 13 or 26 or whatever.
Totally, I'd be happy if this went on for 200 episodes, but I'm an easy mark for this kind of show and this specific setting/universe/characters. When I really dig a show, I just like hanging out with the characters. I could watch a thousand episodes of Ranma and Akane fight/flirt amongst each other and having it go nowhere because it's just a fun cast/setting to spend time with. In fact, I actually get more beleagured when shows of this nature zero in on a long-form plot, and spend precious little time just hanging out. Inuyasha started to wear out its welcome with me back in the day, when we're chasing Naraku for the 12th time, finding yet another sword power-up, and then having him cackle as he escapes, for the whole cycle to start back over for a 13th time. There was not nearly enough "filler" episodes in between, which helps balance out the drudge of a never-ending plot. Which is why the Final Act anime was both rewarding and not for me personally, because it cut out soooo much stuff and laser focused in on the plot. Which was both a mercy to spare the audience of too much bloat in the story, but robbed us of all the little nice moments in between that gave the story more balance.

I think I also just really appreciate shows that spare more time for slower, more contemplative moments. It's something Rumiko Takahashi shows used to do a lot, and was really an anime-only thing that was added independent of the source material. Like say, just have a several minute long scene of Ranma walking home in the rain being sad and thinking about how he messed up, or Godai waiting at a train station because he missed the last ride home, that stuff fuels my soul. Even Inuyasha had plenty of these moments, like Kagome and Inuyasha looking up at the stars and being contemplative about how they're separated by time and space. They really nail the Mono no Aware, and I love it when modern shows can incorporate such moments into them as well, despite them generally becoming increasingly rare. It's just so quintessentially Japanese and very romantic.
 
I'm slowly catching up with shows I'm behind on last season, and starting new shows.

Fugou Keiji: Balance:Unlimited was a fun, if not particularly meaty show. Can't strongly recommend it, but it was entertaining in a pulpy, buddy cop, psudo-Batman kind of way.

Appare-Ranman! turned into one of the better watches of the year, and is an easy/safe recommendation for most people. On a side note, the studio behind it -- PA Works -- is just a perplexing enigma to me. Half of the time, they produce shows like this that are incredible. And the other half of the time, they produce just some of the worst written dregs of the medium. I'm glad this turned out to be the former. Their last few shows however didn't.

Osomatsu-san 3rd Season has just begun and. Hmmmm. It just doesn't hit the same? This is the fourth time they've began the show with an episode centered around meta humor about them making a show. And it just isn't as funny when it begins to feel like a retread. I adored the first season, the second season was pretty decent. The movie was kinda whatever. I'll keep watching this third season, but I'm beginning to feel like the core idea of this show has run its course. But that's just me.

Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka III -- I dunno why I keep watching this shit, I feel like I have an abusive relationship with it. Because on the one hand, from a logistical standpoint, Danmachi is actually a pretty good show and one of the better explorations of what it would be like to live in an RPG town. Everything is fleshed out from the complicated geopolitics, lore, etc and is a lot of fun to explore, as is the more esoteric moral issues. And it's consistently one of the better looking, better choreographed action shows around. But every single thing that happens in this show is ultimately in the service of building up a bad harem fantasy with egregious and vulgar sexualizations of its female cast. It's just woof.
 

ThornGhost

lofi posts to relax/study to
(he/him)
I was weirdly in the mood for a romantic comedy and tried out "Rent-A-Girlfriend" on a whim because CR kept recommending it. It's actually...pretty good and less skeezy than you might think?

I'm very down for the basic premise, which is a compounding and expanding web of lies based on trying to prevent hurting the feelings of the main characters' grandmothers. There's a few groady things around the edges, not the least of which is the show's insistence that the main character's masturbation habits are somehow endearing or funny or something? I just find it off putting, but I suppose your mileage may vary there.

Anyway, if you were holding off because you thought it might be a vapid harem show or overly exploitative, I can say that's not the case from what I've seen. It's not a recommendation without caveats, but if you're used to anime's typical bullshit, this is a noticeable cut above that.
 
Oh, good! I'm not the only one who deserves to be in horny jail for watching DanMachi.

I watched the first episode of Tonikawa. I'm undecided if I like it yet or not, since it simply sets up the premise of "boy sees girl, boy tries to save girl from being hit by a truck, boy confesses to girl that he wants to date her, girl says she will only date him if he marries her, boy passes out from blood loss and shock due to multiple broken bones, boy wakes up in hospital and goes through a year of rehab but girl never shows up, boy quits school and moves into his own apartment and works by himself for three years, girl shows up with a marriage license, boy and girl get married." Oh, and there are hints that's the girl is Princess Kaguya.
 

Hilene

Loves "Friendly Girls"
(She/Her)
Oh, that actually makes it sound way more interesting then just the blurb did on it's own.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
To me, the factor that made me avoid it was mostly that it was based on a series by the guy who did Hayate the Combat Butler, which I felt was a very mediocre comedy.
 

Erilex

hourglass figure
I thought I was going to like Majo no Tabitabi a lot more based on how good the first episode was, but then the second episode I found vaguely uncomfortable for some reason I can't quite put my finger on, and the third was basically "Protag witnesses horrifying shit in her travels, does nothing to help because she is too cool to get involved or something" and if that's how the series is going to be going forward, I'm not sure I want to keep watching.
 

JBear

Internet's foremost Bertolli cosplayer
(He/Him)
Yeah, I feel that. This reference might be too Canadian, but after episode 3, I said to Johnny that "this show is basically What if Littlest Hobo, but instead of helping people the dog just fucked off to the next town."
 
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