Right now, the shows I’m looking forward to watching the most are Violet Evergarden and Darling in the FranXX. Yes, a KyoAni show sits on top. It’s still early, but yeah, I’m kind of surprised too.
On the other hand, it seems as though I’m one of the few people excited for Trigger’s new anime. I could be wrong; after all, I don’t have the time nor energy to check the state of the anime blogging community (and besides, I don’t think other anime bloggers bother to read Moe Sucks anyways). Nevertheless, this isn’t a game where we score points by being right or wrong about anime. Or to put it in more simpler terms, it’s fine if most people disagree with me. I often just go with my gut. I’ll watch a show once, decide if I like it, then I’ll watch it again for all the details I might’ve missed it. Afterwards, I try to describe my reaction to the episode. I’m not here to convince anyone that I’m right; I just hope my readers understand where I’m coming from. Besides, I even said it myself that the first episode was trite and full of mecha anime cliches.
Kokkoku used to be on my short list of must-watch anime, but the last episode kinda put a huge damper on that. Beyond that, there are certainly some more-than-solid efforts airing this season, but they’re not exactly my cup of tea. For instance, Koi wa Ameagari no You ni is absolutely gorgeous, and it is certainly better directed than Wit Studio’s other currently airing anime series. But for reasons you can probably already guess, I’m not looking forward to it at all. I’ll still follow the anime to see where the story goes, but I’m kind of dreading Akira’s deepening relationship with her manager. And, uh, that Antarctica show is okay so far. The characters are innocently childish, but the show has an infectious energy. Takagi-san is adorable, but cuteness won’t be remembered.
Anyways, here’s a quick rundown of all the shows I’m glancing at but don’t want to follow too closely…
Dagashi Kashi S2 Ep. 1
Here’s a confession: I rather like Hotaru’s wardrobe. To add to that, I don’t mind a little crazy in my characters. At least she’s passionate, right?
Unfortunately, the first episode doesn’t do anything for me. It just isn’t funny. As usual, Hotaru continues to educate her audience on dagashi that most of us will never get to try. Besides Ramune, everything else is a mystery to me. Furthermore, I’m not convinced that her instant pasta is any good. Like seriously, pasta is cheap and easy enough to make. I’m sure Japan has dry pasta. Slap some sauce on it and call it a day. Anyone can whip up a brown butter and sage sauce, which would blow any powdered nonsense out of the water.
Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens Ep. 1
Typical of modern Japanese mysteries, this show has a ton of characters and moving parts but little in way of heart. Everything just feels so cold and clinical. No one’s likeable, but there’s no one that I would love to hate either. Usually, someone important is supposed to die, and this gets the ball rolling. Let’s say an old flame needs your help. Someone has murdered her husband in cold blood, and even though you two haven’t spoken in years, you just can’t say no to her. Before you know it, you’ve uncovered a massive conspiracy! Sorry, for some reason, I have Policenauts on the mind. My point is that this opening episode does a poor job of getting me caught up in the Hakata Tonkotsu Ramen‘s tangled web of hitmen, hitmen, and more hitmen.
Seriously, it feels like every other character you meet is a hitman. You’ve got a cross-dressing hitman, a newbie hitman who just transferred to the city, a father and daughter hitmen duo, a half-Japanese hitman, a hitwoman, a hitman who goes after hitmen, so on and so forth. 3 out of 100, my ass. And at the center of it all, there’s a detective who likes to wear wide-neck sweaters. The death of a fellow detective has Banba looking into a shady mayor and… God, there are so many details to keep track of, but no real emotional reason to do so. Maybe this ramen is underdone. Maybe the story just needs to simmer long enough for the rich collagen to finally escape the bones and into the soup. Maybe. But for now, Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens is a tough sell.
Hakyuu Houshin Engi Ep. 1
I don’t really want to talk about the story, because then I’d have to define terms like “sennin,” “doshi,” and “Houshin List.” To make a long story short, there’s an evil fox spirit that needs to be punished. Slap a Chinese theme on that and there you go. Evil fox spirit is an understatement, by the way. She definitely doesn’t pull her punches, and she teaches the hero a valuable lesson: stop fucking around.
The anime is certainly well made. The backgrounds, for instance, are pretty damn nice to look at. At the end of the day, however, it’s a matter of taste. You could put the best country song in front of me, and I still wouldn’t like it. That’s how I feel about Haykuu Houshin Engi. Practically everything else about it — from the character designs to the character personalities to the story itself — is just not to my taste. I probably won’t bother to watch the next episode.
Miira no Kaikata Ep. 1
I couldn’t even finish the first episode. It was just so boring, and I don’t even find the mummy cute. Like, isn’t that the one thing the show is supposed to get right?
Pop Team Epic Ep. 2
Eh… I think the novelty has already run out. Other than the opening gag, nothing else kept my interest. I was going to say, “Hey, Pop Team Epic might not be funny, but at least it doesn’t bore me.” Then the rest of the episode happened. Oh well, it’s not like I was particularly invested in this show or anything.
Takunomi Ep. 1
Do non-Tokyoites view Tokyoites the same way non-New Yorkers view New Yorkers? Anyways, Michiru has moved to Tokyo to work in the sales department of a new startup. Sales? Don’t you mean account executive, ho ho ho. Yeah, job titles are 99% bullshit. But enough about that. Takunomi is a show about four young, attractive women living and drinking together under one roof. One of the ladies even throws together some delicious dishes to go with the beer. Fuck, I’m jealous; I want tuna and avocado. So yeah, the anime sounds like a blast to experience, but alas, we can only be viewers and nothing more. And unfortunately, the anime is not that fun to watch; it’s pretty boring. Thankfully, each episode is only twelve minutes long.
As an aside, Yebisu is nothing to speak of, so it is quite hilarious to see these women keep referring to it as premium beer. Japan has a lot of interesting craft beers to talk about, too. It’s a shame we have to sell out.
Toji no Miko Ep. 2
Even though they’re on the lam, Kanami can’t help but give Mai a call from a payphone, and as a result, she inadvertently gives away her location. Then afterwards, she drags her partner on a sight-seeing trip, because gosh, wouldn’t it be just so much fun? Frankly, our heroine is an airhead. A well-meaning one, but you know what they say about good intentions.
But to her credit, at least the girl has a good reason for lending Hiyori a hand. Apparently, she managed to detect something evil lurking within Yukari, the big Toji honcho. I was afraid Kanami was just tagging along with the raven-haired girl because she’s that big of a sword-fighting nerd. Thankfully, she’s got more sense than that.
I still wouldn’t say that this anime is any good. It’s pretty damn forgettable, and the animation is sub-par. I don’t recommend it, but I’ll personally keep going until I’m unable to finish an episode.
That’s it for now. Next week’s post will probably be longer as a I continue to pare down the list of shows that I want to cover in-depth. This means less posts per week, but goddamn, I’d go crazy if I had to write 14+ posts every week. Besides, I’m sure you guys are getting sick of all these updates anyway.