Kotoko fell in love with Kuro at first sight. I’ll never understand how that works. If I see someone really, really pretty, I’ll acknowledge it. But if I barely know them as a person, forget love! I can’t even imagine having a crush on them. Kotoko isn’t simply in love with Kuro, though. Rather, she met him two years ago and she’s still carrying a torch for him to this day. And as soon as she learned that Kuro had broken up with his high school sweetheart, our girl didn’t miss a beat; she pounced on him at the first available opportunity. On the one hand, you miss every shot you don’t take. On the other hand, I really can’t comprehend her mentality. I’m not a very impulsive person. I can be emotional, but not when it comes to matters of the heart. And I have certainly never compared any of my lovers to a goat. Also, Kotoko is perhaps 30 to 40 cm shorter than Kuro. She looks more like a younger sibling than a potential lover. But hey, it’s anime. Dainty, petite heroines are the gold standard in this realm.
From a certain point of view, however, Kotoko’s bluntness is almost kind of refreshing. I just finished watching My Hero Academia, a series where the love interest has feelings for the main character, but she would rather bury them for an indefinite amount of time. Hell, take any average show for that matter. People love the chase. And if they can’t participate in the chase, they would certainly like to watch. But not me. I want the couple to get together as soon as possible. I want to see them in love. Take Kaguya-Sama Wa Kokurasetai, for instance. It was such a drag to see the two main characters dance around each other for over a hundred chapters. Suddenly, I find the manga much more enjoyable as soon as they got together. I’ve seen the chase over and over again, so I don’t want to see it again no matter how well executed it is. It would be much more interesting for me to see a couple juggle the ins and outs of a relationship. Unfortunately, even if Kotoko is a willing participant, it takes two to tango. And understandably enough, Kuro intends to push the girl away for now. But it’s not because he doesn’t like her (he barely knows her). Rather, he thinks he’s too dangerous to date anyone.
We’ve buried the lede. When Kotoko was young, a bunch of yokai asked her to become their goddess of wisdom. She agreed, and two weeks later, she was found on a park bench with both a missing eye and a missing leg. And yet Kotoko was never phased. Even though she needs a cane for the rest of her life — and even though her depth perception will always suck (presumably) — she sees this as a fair trade in order to become a goddess. That’s great and all, but Kotoko is not the only person with one hell of an icebreaker for parties. When a dangerous yokai is bearing down on her and Kuro at the library, the latter calmly offers up his arm to the rampaging beast. He doesn’t even flinch when his arm gets bitten clean off. Why fear when your arm is just going to grow back instantly? Not only that, the yokai’s flesh turns into sludge as if it had just eaten something terribly acidic. Kuro hen turns to Kotoko and dramatically confesses that he had once consumed two kinds of yokai flesh. I guess this explains why the yokai are scared of him. But we’re not gonna let that get in the way of true love, are we?
So yeah, at its core, this is yet another anime series about yokai and solving yokai problems. This will necessitate a bit of knowledge on Japanese mythology. Sometimes, shows of this ilk are peaceful and calming (read: boring). But in this case, it looks like Kotoko and her partner will find themselves in life-threatening situations. The stakes will be quite high. Is this enough for the anime to hold my interest? Well, to be honest, I’m already going to keep watching simply because of the romance angle. What can I say? I am a goddamn sap. Plus, Kotoko can be quite cheeky, and who doesn’t love that in a partner? I just hope the ol’ high school sweetheart doesn’t decide to come back and muck things up. Nothing zaps my enjoyment in a potential romance than seeing the dreaded love triangle rear its ugly head. Ugh. Anyways, this isn’t a stellar opening episode by any means, but it’s functional. It kept my interest, so I’ll stick with the show for now.
Alright, let’s now talk about a bunch of shows that I won’t watch beyond this week. Why even check them out in the first place? Just for the sake of completion.
Boku no Tonari ni Ankoku Hakaishin ga Imasu
I think the longer a title is, the greater the chances that the show will suck. Case in point, I gave this anime exactly nine minutes and thirty-seven seconds. It’s about some chuunibyou, and I can’t ever remember enjoying a show about these delusional kids. I don’t find them remotely funny or interesting. It’s just a tired exercise of one wacky kid plus one serious kid playing the straight man, i.e. rambling on and on about how totally fed up he is about the wacky kid. A while back, there was that Kyoto Animation anime with their patented high production values and moe girls, but even then, I wasn’t interested. It even had romance, and it couldn’t win me over. So what chance does this show have? Absolutely nothing. Zilch. Nada. Zero.
That’s what she said.
A buncha dudes (and one intersex angel) fuck prostitutes then post reviews about them. Even when you ignore all the unsavory implications, the show’s boring. It’s pretty much toilet humor. Elves have a super-long lifespan, so old human women are practically nubile lolis to them! Har har har.
Nanabun no Nijyuuni
This is an anime about idols, but the premise tries to be as atypical as it possibly can. Eight girls have been chosen to form an idol group. They meet up at a zoo and are promptly led by man whom they’ve never met into an underground facility. Right there, alarm bells should be going off in these girls’ heads. Human trafficking is a thing, yo. But everything else appears to be on the up and up… except for some mysterious Wall that “spits out orders” — orders that the girls have to obey. What happens if you don’t obey? Shrug. Why idols? Shrug. To what aim? Shrug. I almost feel like the show wants to have this mysterious, dreamlike nature to its narrative like that Revue Starlight anime from a while back. But obviously, it’s not quite at the same level. I haven’t even talked about Miu, the main character. She’s this gloomy, introverted girl who is quite cynical about human nature. She’s an absolute disaster when it comes to social interactions. Predictably enough, Miu initially wants nothing to do with this idol project. But when she loses her job and suffers an emotional breakdown, she returns to the group to meet the challenge head on… even if she has no goddamn clue what she’s walking into.
Alright, does any of this sound interesting? I can’t answer that question fairly because I am absolutely biased against all things idols. I don’t get their music, I don’t get their aesthetics, I just don’t get idols. So I will be dropping the show here. It’s like… durian to me. You can prepare durian in all sorts of ways. You can present it simply as is, fry it, boil it, turn it into ice cream — do whatever you want! It won’t matter because I still won’t eat it. Its mere existence offends me.
I feel the same way about idols.
Oda Cinnamon Nobunaga
Every so often, we get a show about Oda Nobunaga, but to keep things fresh, we need a twist. So what’s the twist here? Oda Nobunaga has been reborn as a shiba inu named Cinnamon. He doesn’t even start out as a newborn puppy. Nope, he’s like a full grown dog right off the bat. He isn’t alone either, ’cause other historic Japanese warlords have also been reincarnated as dogs. Sigh. Is this absurd gimmick enough convince me to watch 24 minutes of this nonsense every week? Absolutely. Fucking. Not. I don’t care about Japanese warlords. I never have and I never will.